BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois


Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman


Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Multiple personality

by Boris Sidis

Excerpt:

We had frequently to simplify and elucidate our questions, as Mr. Hanna often failed to understand words and phrases. Mr. Hanna's talk is somewhat incoherent, due' to scantiness of his mental content and of his newly acquired vocabulary.

Q. We want to get from you an account of the very first things you remember of your life? A. That would be hard to do orderly. I told you before about that. I woke up, and it was at first only wonder how far anything could be. Of course, I did not move, and did not see; just in my mind measuring how far there could be room or space. And while I was thinking, I noticed this movement that I had when I breathe, and then, when I would think and notice that breathing, it would be more slow and irregular; and so I found when I would think and watch that it would change and that I could make it slow or fast, and I began to breathe very fast. They have told me since that time that that was what frightened them first. But it was just to see how fast I could breathe, and I was breathing very fast to see how it would seem. And all at once my eyes opened. I don't know how it came. I was breathing very fast, and my eyes just came open, and then I looked all around at everything, and found that my head would turn, too, when I would try to look.

Q. When you opened your eyes, did you have an impression of any kind or was your mind a blank? A. I don't know that there was anything. My eyes just were so confused by everything that I could not tell one thing from another.

Q. Then everything looked alike to you? A. Just like one picture against my eyes. If now I could have a great picture against my eyes, it would look like that.

Q. Did you see objects, or see colors? A. Colors. There was not anything like thickness; no distance; only colors.

Q. Did you see straight lines, squares? A. It was only darkness and lightness and colors.

Q. You can see the straightness of this pencil (placing a pencil at some distance from the patient) 1 A. Yes.

Q. Did you see anything of that kind? A. No; they were just alike; all was one thing. I would not know whether the pencil was on your face or not. It was all one thing—close to my eyes—just like a painting.

Q. What was next after you noticed that you could turn your head? A. When I would turn my eyes very far, and see all about this picture, I noticed my head would turn, too. Then I began to roll my head very fast, to see how hard I could turn it. Then I would turn that hand. Then I threw both hands. They say that was what frightened them worst of all. Everything in the room was all still and quiet. I wanted to see how much I could move my hand. Then there was something here that changed, that moved. Of course, I know now what it was. I thought it was something that my hand had done that made it

move. It was really Dr. St n, near the door. I put out

my hand and tried to move it, but found that I didn't touch it; I got up and went farther and farther to make it move. The movement surprised me. I thought my hand must have done it, but I did not move my hand any then. That was the first time I separated my movement from that of others, when he moved the first time without my moving him. It was all very strange. It was such an experience. The first I knew of external movement at all was when he moved, and then I didn't have it clear in my mind. The first that I was really sure that there was something beside me was when Dr. 0. jumped on me. Then I was sure there was something against me.

Q. But before you thought it was yourself? A. Yes. But I thought I didn't know it all. I thought there must be some part that I didn't know; but it was very hard, because I was so much surprised at everything each second that I wanted to think all about that—what it could be and what it could not be; and then the next second there would be something else I wanted to think about, and it was very hard to get all these things in my mind, and to think of them orderly after they jumped at me.


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