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Beard distinguished several varieties of trance:
Trance may, for the sake of convenience of description, be divided into four varieties: the spontaneous, the self-induced, the emotional, and the intellectual trance.
He goes on to describe how these various forms of trance can be entered and he explains that the emotions through which trance is most likely to be excited, are fear, reverence, wonder, and expectation. He rejects the notion that trance is created by some force or fluid the operator emits and rather explains it as the brain is only partially awake and active while the other parts are less or not active - 'cerebral activity in a limited region'. He continues with a point-by-point account that his explanation of trance accounts for the actual phenomena of it in all its forms and stages. He also differentiates trance from ordinary sleep. He goes on to analyse how trance can affect legal testimony.
First published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease Vol. IV. January, 1877. PDF 31 pages.
word count: 18784 which is equivalent to 75 standard pages of text