By Robert C. Fuller
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13 At this deeper level, the mind detects orders of sensation never monitored by the physical senses. Some mesmerized subjects became clairvoyant, or capable of seeing objects at any distance, without even the assistance of sympathy [with their operator]; they are prevoyant, or capable of foreseeing future events; and they have also intuitive knowledge as to the thought and characters of persons to whom they direct their attention.... 14 These deeper realms of the mesmeric state had a decidedly mystical element to them.
Natural theology was based on the assumption that God has revealed Himself to humankind through two mediums: Scripture (special revelation) and nature (general revelation). This view could accommodate the Baconian insistence that nothing could be accepted as true unless founded on hard empirical evidence. If knowledge of God and knowledge of the world were of the same order, it was possible to derive theological conclusions from observations of natural phenomena. Herbert Hovenkamp notes that in the mid-nineteenth century Orthodox Protestants believed that the Baconian method was useful for both science and theology.
Others claimed to "see" dazzling bright lights. Nor was it uncommon for subjects to perform feats of clairvoyance and extrasensory perception. They might locate lost objects, describe events transpiring in distant locales, or telepathically read the minds of persons in the audience. Yet, upon returning to the waking state, they remembered little of their trance-bound experiences. It was as if they had temporarily existed in an altogether different realm. They knew only that they were now more refreshed, energetic, and healed of their former ailments.
Americans and the Unconscious by Robert C. Fuller
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