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Questions Answered Extempore by Miss Emma Hardinge 1866


Question 2


WHAT is the connection, if any, between hysteria and mediumship?




HYSTERIA is a nervous affection common to persons of a highly susceptible temperament. As its seat is not unfrequently found in special nerves which physiologically speaking are peculiar to the feminine organism, and as mediumship is more frequently developed in the finely strung and susceptible physique of woman than the more indurated frame of man - so hysteria, which is produced by a highly susceptible condition of the nervous system unduly stimulated by excitement, is frequently supposed to be connected with mediumship, and that only because both states are liable to affect the same subjects. Hysteria and mediumship are not necessarily connected with each other, but both become manifest under certain conditions in the same person, and those who are highly sensitive to the influence which produces mediumship are the most likely to be affected with the disease “hysteria.! There are many curious psychological and physiological facts related to each other which careful observation of the phenomena of magnetism and catalepsy, somnambulism and hysteria, mediumship and nerve-aura, together with other mental and physical states strangely interblended with each other would serve to illustrate. Affections of the throat and glandular diseases generally, are often found to co-exist with the occult powers of mediumship, clairvoyance, and somnambulism, at the same time that they can by no means be regarded either as their cause or effect. I would say that those highly strung physiques generally, which by reason of their peculiarly



nervous temperament are the subjects of one of these states, become liable from the nature of such a temperament to all and each of the other manifestations of nervous affections, and the relation between them is simply that which exists between fire heat, force movement, soothing and agitating influences, all and each varying phenomena of which can be called forth from the same electro-magnetic apparatus, under different conditions of its powers.


Question 3 - March 19th, 1866