Hypnotizing Crayfish & Elephants #2
George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (Meetings with Remarkable Men, 1963) wrote …
“If a Yezidi is forcibly dragged out of a circle, he immediately falls into the state called catalepsy, from which he recovers the instant he is brought back inside. But if he is not brought back into the circle, he returns to a normal state, as we ascertained, only after either thirteen or twenty-one hours.
“To bring him back to a normal state by any other means is impossible. At least my friends and I were not able to do so, in spite of the fact that we already possessed all the means known to contemporary hypnotic science for bringing people out of the cataleptic state. Only their priests could do so, by means of certain short incantations.”
Albert Moll (Hypnotism, Fourth Edition, 1897) wrote …
“[Conrad] Reiger has especially shown that the frog will remain rigid when upright, if it is kept from falling, as well as when lying on its back. The hind leg of a frog lying on its back may be pulled out, and the animal will not draw it in again as it usually does. [Charles S.] Richet, however, says that it is drawn in again at once, if the spinal cord is divided below the medulla oblongata. It is interesting that when a ‘hypnotic’ frog is placed in a certain position it will at first move after a short time, but the more often the experiment is repeated the longer the frog lies without moving. I have seen frogs lie on their backs in this way for hours, and have even often seen them die without turning over. The deeper the state is, the less the animal responds to external stimuli; it ends by not moving at tolerably loud noises or even stimulation of the skin. [Vasily] Danilewsky made a series of experiments, from which he concluded that there were regular changes of reflex excitability; but Reiger was unable to confirm this. Danilewsky has lately made some more deeply interesting experiments, which it is to be hoped he will carry on. He says that when the brain hemispheres are taken away the frog assumes cataleptoid postures, and further that these turn into hypnoses in animals who have rotatory movements after injury of the semi-circular canals of the ear.
“[M.] Harting’s experiments also deserve mention; after repeated hypnotic experiments with fowls he observed hemiplegic phenomena in them, according to a communication by [Henri] Milne-Edwards to the Paris Academy of Sciences.
“I will not try to decide the question as to the nature of the state revealed by these experiments on animals.
“Another series of observations, which were chiefly made for practical purposes, may be mentioned here. They also may be regarded as hypnotic phenomena. I speak of the so-called ‘Balassiren’ of horses, introduced by the cavalry officer [Constantin] Balassa [1792-1862]. This process has been introduced by law into Austria for the shoeing of horses (Obersteiner). It consists chiefly in looking fixedly at the horse, just as in ‘fascination.’ It has also been stated that restive horses may be checked by hypnotism (Glanson). Czinski is said to have hypnotised dogs, cats, and monkeys; Bruno, cats and doves. [Otto] Stoll believes that in other ways we work by suggestion on our domestic animals. He regards the influence of the rider on the horse or the mule, especially when particular tricks have to be combated, as suggestive, since scarcely anything can be accomplished here by brute force. A kind of counter-suggestion, appropriately brought to the animal’s intelligence, would thus oppose his idiosyncrasies and auto-suggestions. The numerous experiments by [John] Wilson should also be mentioned; he is said to have hypnotized elephants, wolves, horses, &c., in London, in 1839. Fascination is used by beast tamers, who stare fixedly into the eyes of the animal they wish to tame. Many think that the charming of birds by snakes is fascination. Hart and Lysing, however, believe that the animals are not hypnotized, but that, as the snake gazes at them, they hypnotize themselves. Liebeault and Forel think that the winter sleep (hibernation) of animals is an auto-hypnosis; and so, perhaps, is the strange sleep of Indian fakirs, which sometimes lasts for weeks and months (Fishcer).”
(To Be Continued)