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Mind CureHow Meditation Became Medicine$
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Wakoh Shannon Hickey

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190864248

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190864248.001.0001

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Mysticism, Mesmerism, Mind Cure

Mysticism, Mesmerism, Mind Cure

(p.18) 1 Mysticism, Mesmerism, Mind Cure
Mind Cure

Wakoh Shannon Hickey

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the far-reaching influences in American religion and medicine of Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish scientist and mystic, and Franz Anton Mesmer, who developed Mesmerism, the forerunner of hypnosis. Swedenborg’s theology filtered into homeopathy and the religious movements of Shakerism, Transcendentalism, Unitarianism, Mormonism, modernist Buddhism, Theosophy, Spiritualism, and New Thought. Mesmer’s theories about illness contributed to the development of osteopathy, chiropractic, and hypnotherapy. Before the development of chemical anesthesia, some nineteenth-century doctors performed complex and successful surgeries on patients who were sedated only by hypnotic suggestion. Ideas and practices derived from Mesmer and Swedenborg converged in the nineteenth-century mental-healing practice of Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a New England clockmaker and the first American to discover that beliefs and mental states can affect one’s physical health.

Keywords:   Emanuel Swedenborg, Franz Anton Mesmer, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, Spiritualism, New Thought, Theosophy, hypnosis, clairvoyance, osteopathy, chiropractic

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