A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

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Sarcognomy solves the mind-body dualism problem, according to its inventor Joseph Rodes Buchanan (1814-1899). According to Buchanan, the soul occupies the brain as a master occupies the mansion. The soul leaves the brain "when invited by a congenial season of pleasure" and occupies "the body to the apparent neglect of the brain." A telepathic connection to the body not only establishes a sympathy between the brain and body parts, but also repeats in the trunk and torso the phrenological locations identified by Gall and Spurzheim, plus a few more. Buchanan identified 166 faculties to Gall's mere 32. For example, amiability is in the right breast, while intellect is located in the sternum. Heroism is located in the left shoulder (Jastrow, p. 317). Knowing which character traits are located in which body parts, said Buchanan, would be of vital use in diagnosing and treating disease. It's all explained in Buchanan's book Therapeutic sarcognomy: the application of sarcognomy, the science of the soul, brain and body, to the therapeutic philosophy and treatment of bodily and mental diseases by means of electricity, nervaura, medicine and haemospasia, with a review of authors on animal magnetism and massage, and presentation of new instruments for electro-therapeutics.* The work is available in paperback from Amazon as Therapeutic Sarcognomy: A Scientific Exposition of the Mysterious Union of Soul, Brain and Body.

The only thing more amazing than a man's imagination coming up with such a system of thought is the fact that he was able to attract a following of adherents who thought he was a genius as he made the lecture circuit.

See also psychometry.

further reading

books and articles

Hood, Bruce. 2009. SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable. HarperCollins. See my review of this book here.

Jastrow, Joseph. 1935. Wish and Wisdom: Episodes in the Vagaries of Belief. (Published in 1962 by Dover Books as Error and Eccentricity in Human Belief).

Last updated 21-Oct-2015

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