Moscow, . 70x55 cm. Fragment of upper edge lost
(text affected), faded stains from glue around tears repaired, edges chipped. Otherwise good.
Rare survival of the time. One of 1100 copies.
Fragile advertisement poster for lectures given by a notable and recognized neurologist in the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow.
Most scientific activities of Vladimir Bekhterev (1857-1927) were in the pre-revolutionary period. He had focused on nervous and mental diseases, worked in St. Petersburg and Kazan Universities, founded societies of neurologists and psychiatrists, and contributed to specialized magazines. In 1907, Bekhterev founded an institute for psychology, psychiatry, neurology and other “human science” disciplines. Under Soviet rule, he continued his research and experiments. In 1925, the Psychoneurological Institute was named after him. Along with other experiments, Bekhterev dealt with issues of hypnosis and telepathy. In about 1924, Bekhterev held a pair of lectures and visualized them with projection of slides and a moving picture.
The first one was dedicated to suggestion, foresight and thought-transference. He told about religious suggestions in the Middle Ages, mesmerism, scientific hypnosis, hallucinations, imaginary and real risks of hypnosis. Then he turned to foresight and transmission of thoughts, mental influence on animals.
Bekhterev was the first of the major scientists to approach the research of suggestion and telepathy in a complex manner. In particular, he experimented with mental suggestion on animals of trainer V. Durov, some patients (for medicinal purposes) and most likely his kith as well. For the experiments on animals, he involved doctor Alexander Barchenko who later headed a laboratory of telepathy experiments of the NKVD. Bekhterev wrote: “Sometimes one thrown word, one thought, or even one wave of a hand is enough <...> Through suggestion, the masses can be directed both to the most immoral and cruel deeds, and to great historical actions”.
Within the lecture, he was also explaining basics and methods of psychoanalytic practice. He ended this performance with excerpts from a congress of psychoneurologists held in January 1924 and
inventions discussed there. On January 3-10, 1924, the second All-Russian Congress on Pedology, Experimental Pedagogy and Psychoneurology was held in Petrograd. For the first time, Bekhterev
organized and headed a section of normal and pathological reflexology within the event. His second lecture covered a touchy subject, immortality of a soul. Bekhterev elaborated on the immortality of souls in various religions and endless cycles of rebirth in the East, death and afterlife of a human personality, an idea of social immortality and one’s impact on culture. He did believe in sharing one’s energy during conversation and formed a hypothesis of “world energy”.