Jose Custodio de Faria: Hypnotist, Priest and Revolutionary

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Trafford Publishing, Jan 1, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 328 pages

This is the first English translation of the 1906 edition of Abbé Faria's 1819 De la cause du sommeil lucide. Several modern researchers have looked at the original French text in an attempt to extract its essential matter, only to find themselves recoiling in terror: tackling 18th Century language and concepts expressed awkwardly by a non French native is indeed not for the faint of heart. But Carrer took up the gauntlet. A veteran translator and practicing hypnotherapist, he has delivered yet another masterful annotated translation more legible than its original.

This book also contains Laurent's translation of Memoir on the Life of Abbé Faria, a 1906 study by Dr. Daniel Gelasio Dalgado, of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Lisbon. Dalgado presents copious biographical data unavailable almost anywhere else today, retracing in detail the famous priest's life from his native Goa to Paris, by way of Lisbon and Rome. His research is thorough, and sources are copiously cited.

Laurent has strewn his text with informative historical, literary and linguistic notes explaining certain terms, untangling complex historical events and at times correcting erroneous names, facts or statements.

While hypnosis enthusiasts may already be familiar with Faria's role in the history of psychology, the following synopsis may help summarize the scope of his influential work.

Faria's contributions to the field of hypnosis:

· Experimented with hypnosis, a state he called "lucid sleep," on more than five thousand individuals.

· Questioned Mesmer's theory of magnetic fluid and believed that "magnetic fits" were not only unnecessary to healing, but potentially harmful. His own approach was to keep his subjects in a state of calm, and he believed the magnetic fit to be "a state contrary to the normal development of nature."

· Held the original view, though uncomfortably caught between Mesmerists, skeptics and religious opponents, that hypnotic phenomena were not due to magnetism, trickery or the Devil but to the expectancy and cooperation of the patient.

· Discovered the suggestive method of inducing and interrupting trance verbally.

· Observed and described numerous hypnotic phenomena, now well known, and gave them psychological explanations.

· Postulated that ordinary sleep and the hypnotic state are of similar nature (a theory that was later adopted by the School of Nancy, but has now been proven wrong).


"The ever deepening insights into the history of therapeutic hypnosis that are made possible by Laurent Carrer's new translation of the humanitarian work of Faria will give present-day students and professionals fresh inspiration from this fountain of human creativity."

Ernest Lawrence Rossi, Ph.D., FAPA, author of 24 books on hypnosis, including A Discourse with Our Genes: The Psychosocial and Cultural Genomics of Therapeutic Hypnosis and Psychotherapy.

"The importance of Dr. Carrer's role in making de Faria's work available in translation is invaluable in providing insight to the basis of not only hypnosis but psychotherapy more generally. In 2002, he performed a similar service by making available for the first time in English Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault's important 1866 classic Le sommeil provoqué. He has produced a significant contribution to the hypnosis and psychological literature, and scholars now have available a first-rate version of the original treatise."

Melvin A. Gravitz, Ph.D., ABPP, ABPH. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, D. C.

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About the author (2005)

Laurent Carrer, Ph.D. is a French native who has lived in the U.S. since 1978. He is certified by the American Translators Association and has begun translating important works of the French pioneers of hypnosis, making them pertinent to our times by providing relevant commentary and biographical background. He is the author of Ambroise-Auguste Liébeault: The Hypnological Legacy of a Secular Saint, which features a translation of Liébeault's main opus Le sommeil provoqué et les états analogues. He is also the creator of the "Pioneers" column in the bulletin of the APA's Division of Psychological Hypnosis. He lives in Encinitas, California with his wife Rebecca and cat Rimsky.

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