What is the difference between Hypnotism and Mesmerism?
MESMERISM and hypnotism differ completely in their method. In hypnotism the nerve-ends of a sense organ are first fatigued, and then by continuance of the fatigue are temporarily paralysed; and the paralysis spreads inwards to the sense-centre in the brain, and a state of trance results. The fatigue is brought about by the use of some mechanical means, such as a revolving mirror, a disc, an electric light, etc.. A frequent repetition of this fatigue predisposes the patient to fall readily into a state of trance, and permanently weakens the sense-organs and the brain. When the Ego has left his dwelling, and the brain is thus rendered passive, it is easy for another person to impress ideas of action upon it, and the ideas will then be carried out by the patient, after coming out of trance, as though they were his own. In all such cases he is the mere passive agent of the hypnotizer.
The method of true mesmerism is entirely different. The ...more
2. A precursor of hypnotism, believed by Mesmer to involve animal magnetism.
3. By extension, the power to fascinate in a way that is almost hypnotic.
The term mesmerism is named after the physician Franz (originally Friedrich) Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), who propounded his theory of animal magnetism or mesmerism.
Hypnotism; the field of study which encompasses, among other things, hypnotic trance; its induction, management, and application; and related subjects such as the phenomena of 'waking suggestion' and naturally occurring ('hypnoidal') trance states.