CLAIRVOYANCE AND OCCULT POWERS
INCLUDING CLAIRVOYANCE, CLAIRAUDIENCE PREMONITION AND IMPRESSIONS CLAIRVOYANT PSYCHOMETRY CLAIRVOYANT CRYSTAL-GAZING DISTANT CLAIRVOYANCE PAST CLAIRVOYANCE FUTURE CLAIRVOYANCE SECOND-SIGHT PREVISION CLAIRVOYANT DEVELOPMENT ASTRAL-BODY TRAVELING ASTRAL-PLANE PHENOMENA PSYCHIC INFLUENCE—Personal and Distant PSYCHIC ATTRACTION PSYCHIC HEALING TELEPATHY MIND-READING THOUGHT TRANSFERENCE and other PSYCHIC PHENOMENA
Author of "The Human Aura," "The Astral World," Etc.
SYNOPSIS OF THE LESSONS
LESSON I THE ASTRAL SENSES The skeptical person who "believes only the evidence of his senses." The man who has much to say about "horse sense." "Common Sense" versus Uncommon Senses. The ordinary five senses are not the only senses. The ordinary senses are not as infallible as many think them. Illusions of the five physical senses. What is back of the organs of physical sense. All senses an evolution of the sense of feeling. How the mind receives the report of the senses. The Real Knower behind the senses. What the unfolding of new senses means to man. The super-physical senses. The Astral Senses. Man has seven physical senses, instead of merely five. Each physical sense has its astral sense counterpart. What the astral senses are. Sensing on the astral plane. How the mind functions on the astral plane, by means of the astral senses. The unfolding of the Astral Senses opens up a new world of experience to man.
LESSON II TELEPATHY vs. CLAIRVOYANCE The two extra physical senses of man. The extra sense of "the presence of other living things." The "telepathic sense." How man may sense the presence of other living things apart from the operation of his ordinary five physical senses. This power is strongly developed in savages and barbarians, but has become atrophied in most civilized men, by continued disuse. It is now vestigal in civilized man, but may be developed by practice. Animals have this extra sense highly developed, and it plays a very important part in their protection from enemies; their capture of prey, etc. The strange actions of dogs, horses, etc., explained. How the geese saved Rome by reason of this sense. All hunters have experienced evidences of the existence of this sense on the part of animals. The physical telepathic sense. How it operates. Interesting instances of its possession by animals, and savage tribes. Women possess it strongly. The distinction between this form of thought-transference and clairvoyance.
LESSON III TELEPATHY EXPLAINED What "telepathy" means. The mental process by which one "knows at a distance." The sending and receiving of waves and currents of thought and feeling. Thought vibrations, and how they are caused. The part played by the cerebrum, cerebellum, and medulla oblongata—the three brains of man. The part played by the solar plexus and other great nervous centres. How thought messages are received. How states of emotional excitement are transmitted to others. The Pineal Gland: what it is, and what it does. The important part it plays in telepathy and thought-transference. Mental atmospheres. Psychic atmospheres of audiences, towns, houses, stores, etc. Why you are not affected by all thought vibrations in equal measure and strength. How thought vibrations are neutralized. Affinities and repulsions between different thought vibrations. Interesting facts concerning telepathy. Scientific explanations of telepathy.
LESSON IV SCIENTIFIC TELEPATHY The important investigations of the Society for Psychical Research. True telepathy and pseudo-telepathy; how they are distinguished by scientists. Strict tests imposed in investigations. The celebrated "Creery Experiments," and how they were conducted. The elaboration of the "guessing" game. Seventeen cards chosen right, in straight succession. Precautions against fraud or collusion. Two hundred and ten successes out of a possible three hundred and eighty-two. Science pronounces the results as entirely beyond the law of coincidences and mathematical probability; and that the phenomena were genuine and real telepathy. Still more wonderful tests. Telepathy an incontestable reality. "A psychic force transmitting ideas and thoughts." Interesting cases of spontaneous telepathy, scientifically proven. Extracts from the scientific records. Cold scientific reports read like a romance, and prove beyond doubt the reality of this great field of phenomena.
LESSON V MIND-READING, AND BEYOND What "Mind-Reading" is. The two phases of Mind-Reading. Mind-Reading with physical contact; and without physical contact. Why the scientific investigators make the distinction. Why science has been over-cautious; and how it falls short of the full understanding of contact Mind-Reading. How the thought-waves flow along the nerves of the projector and recipient. Like telegraphy over wires, as compared with the wireless method. How to learn by actual experience, and not alone by reading books. How to experiment for yourself; and how to obtain the best results in Mind-Reading. The working principles of Mind-Reading stated. Full directions and instruction given for the successful performance of the interesting feats. This lesson is really a little manual of practical instruction in Mind-Reading, and the higher phases of Thought-Transference. The person carefully studying and applying the principles taught therein should become very proficient in both private and public manifestations.
LESSON VI CLAIRVOYANT PSYCHOMETRY What Clairvoyance really is; and what it is not. The faculty of acquiring super-normal knowledge of facts and happening at a distance, or in past or future time, independent of the ordinary senses, and independent of telepathic reading of the minds of others. The different kinds of Clairvoyance described. What is Psychometry? Clairvoyant en rapport relations on the astral plane, with distant, past or future happenings and events; by means of a connecting material link. How to obtain the psychic affinity or astral relation to other things by means of a bit of stone, lock of hair, article of wearing apparel, etc. Interesting instances of clairvoyant psychometry. How to go about the work of psychometrizing. How to develop the power. How to secure the best conditions; and what to do when you have obtained them. Psychometry develops the occultist for still higher clairvoyant powers.
LESSON VII CLAIRVOYANT CRYSTAL-GAZING The second great method of securing clairvoyant en rapport relations with the astral plane. How the crystal, magic-mirror, etc., serves to focus the psychic energy of the clairvoyant person. The crystal serves the purpose of a psychic microscope or telescope. How crystals tend to become polarized to the vibrations of their owner. Why crystals should be preserved for the personal use of their owners. The use of crystals, or other forms of shining objects, by different peoples in ancient and modern times. How they are employed in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, South America, etc., by the primitive tribes. Various substitutes for the crystal. Full directions for Crystal Gazing. Complete instructions and warnings. All stages described, from the first "milky mist" to the clearly defined "psychic photograph." The Astral Tube, and the part it plays in Crystal Gazing. A complete little text-book of the subject.
LESSON VIII CLAIRVOYANT REVERIE The higher forms of Clairvoyance, and how they may be cultivated and acquired. Trance conditions not essential to highest Clairvoyance, although often connected therewith. In Clairvoyant Reverie, the clairvoyant does not become unconscious; but merely "shuts out" the outside world of sights and sounds. Shifting the consciousness from the physical plane to the astral. Clairvoyant Reverie may be safely and effectively induced by mental concentration alone. Artificial methods dangerous, and not advised by best authorities. Abnormal conditions not desirable. The "one pointed" mind. The Clairvoyant "day dream" or "brown study." False "psychic development." Use of hypnotic drugs strongly condemned. Scientific psychological methods stated and taught. The laws of attention and concentration of the mind. How Clairvoyance develops by this method. The true occult instruction given fully.
LESSON IX SIMPLE CLAIRVOYANCE What the Clairvoyant senses in Simple Clairvoyance. Perception of the Aura, and Auric Emanations of others; Psychic Vibrations; Astral Colors; Thought Currents, Waves and Vibrations, etc., are features of Simple Clairvoyance. The beautiful kaleidoscopic spectacle of the Auric changes. The Prana Aura, and its appearances. The Mental and Emotional Aura, and its many interesting phases. Perception of Astral Thought-Forms. Other Astral Phenomena. The Astral World, and its Myriad Manifestations. Strange aspects of Astral Visioning. "Seeing through a Brick-wall." The X-Ray Vision. Reading from closed books, sealed envelopes, etc., and how it is explainable. Seeing into the depths of the earth, and the occult explanation thereof. The Laws and Principles of this Extraordinary Power. Magnifying and Diminishing Clairvoyant Vision. A wonderful field for experiment opened out for the student.
LESSON X CLAIRVOYANCE OF DISTANT SCENES The characteristics of Space Clairvoyance. The Astral Seeing of Distant Scenes; and through intervening objects. Remarkable instances of this power, well authenticated and established. Interesting and instructive historical cases recorded and explained. Testimony of the Society for Psychical Research concerning this phase of Clairvoyance. The interesting case of W.T. Stead, the celebrated English writer, who went down on the "Titanic." The important testimony of Swedenborg, the eminent religious teacher. Other well-authenticated cases happening to well-known persons. The evidence collected by the Society for Psychical Research. Interesting German case. Why so many cases of this kind happen when the person is on his death-bed, or seriously ill. Why such experiences often occur in dreams. Actual "appearance" of persons at a distance, and how explained. Important and interesting facts recited in connection with this phase of Clairvoyance.
LESSON XI CLAIRVOYANCE OF THE PAST The clairvoyant perception of the facts, events and happenings of past time. There is no difference in the nature of this strange phenomenon, whether the past time be but five minutes or else five thousand years. How is it possible to "see" a thing that no longer exists? The "just how" of this strange happening. Nothing could be perceived if it had actually disappeared from existence. But nothing entirely disappears in fact. On the astral plane are recorded all things, events and happenings since the beginning of the present world-cycle. The "Akashic Records;" or the "Astral Light;" constitute the great record books of the past. The clairvoyant gaining access to these may read the past like a book. Analogies in physical science. Interesting scientific facts. What astronomy teaches on the subject. How the records of the past are stored. How they are read by the clairvoyant. A fascinating subject clearly presented and explained.
LESSON XII CLAIRVOYANCE OF THE FUTURE The clairvoyant power manifest in all forms of perception of facts, happenings and events of future time. Explanation of Prophecy, Prevision, Foretelling, Second-Sight, etc. These powers not supernatural; but are merely the development of the clairvoyant faculties. How may a thing be "seen" years before it really exists. Nothing could be seen, unless it existed in some form, at least potential and latent. Keen perception of the subconscious faculties. Subconscious reasoning from cause to effect. Coming events cast their shadows before. Fate vs. Free-Will. "Time is but a relative mode of regarding things." "Events may, in some sense, exist always, both past and future." Time like a moving-picture reel, containing the future scene at the present moment, though out of sight. Analogy of dream-time. An Absolute Consciousness in which past, present and future exist as a single perception. A glimpse of a transcendental truth. How to acquire the faculty of Future-Clairvoyance.
LESSON XIII SECOND-SIGHT, PREVISION, ETC. Many persons, in all times, in all lands, have possessed the gift of looking into the future. Not a superstition, but a scientific fact. The Investigations of the scientific bodies. The Society for Psychical Research, and its reports on this phase of Clairvoyance. Interesting case told by a leading Theosophist. Tragedy and Funeral foreseen by Clairvoyant Prevision, or Second-Sight. Historical instances. George Fox, the Quaker, and his Second-Sight. The prophecy of the Death of Caesar. Biblical instances. The celebrated case of Cazotte, which has become a matter of history. How Cazotte foretold the coming of the French Revolution, including the fate of eminent personages present at the time of the prophecy. A startling occurrence, well worthy of careful study. The historical case of the assassination of Spencer Perceval, Chancellor of the Exchequer. Other well-authenticated cases. Symbolic visions. Irish and Scotch cases.
LESSON XIV ASTRAL-BODY TRAVELING Astral visioning in Clairvoyance, and visioning by means of the Astral Body. The difference between the two phases of clairvoyant phenomena. The characteristics of Astral-Body traveling. How one traveling in the Astral Body may "see all around him," instead of merely gazing at an astral picture. Limitations of Astral-Body visioning. What the Astral-Body really is; and what it is like. How it disengages itself from the physical body, and travels in space. Many persons "travel in the astral" during ordinary sleep. Occult teachings regarding Astral-Body traveling. How dying persons often travel in the astral-body, before death. Many interesting cases cited, all well-authenticated by scientific investigation. Society for Psychical Research's records and reports on such cases. Dangers of uninstructed persons going out on the astral, except in dream state. "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread." A timely warning. A most important and interesting subject.
LESSON XV STRANGE ASTRAL PHENOMENA Additional phases of Astral Phenomena. Projection of Thought-Forms. Something between ordinary Clairvoyance and Astral-Body perception. What a Thought-Form is. How it is created. What it does. Where it goes. How a portion of one's consciousness is projected in a Thought-Form. Using a Thought-Form as at cut-post, or observation point. How things appear when viewed from a Thought-Form. A wonderful phase of occult phenomena. Advantages and disadvantages of this form of clairvoyant visioning. Hindu Psychic Magic, and how it is performed. Remarkable illusory effects produced by Hindu Magicians. All is explained when the principle of the creation and projection of Thought-Forms is understood. Why the Hindus excel in this phase of occultism. An interesting description of Hindu Magic feats. The power of concentrated "visualization." The phenomena of Levitation, or the moving of articles at a distance. The occult explanation of this phenomenon. Natural explanation for so-called "super-natural" occurrence.
LESSON XVI PSYCHIC INFLUENCE: ITS LAWS AND PRINCIPLES The laws and principles underlying the power of one mind to influence and affect another mind. More than ordinary telepathy. The inductive power of mental vibrations. Everything is in vibration. Mental vibrations are much higher in the scale than are physical vibrations. What "induction" is. How a mental state, or an emotional feeling, tends to induce a similar state in another mind. Many instances cited. The different degrees of vibratory influence, and what causes the difference. The contagious effect of a "strong feeling." Why a strong desire hag a dynamic effect in certain cases. The power of visualization in Psychic Influence. The Attractive Power of Thought. The effect of Mental Concentration. Focusing your Forces. Holding the mind to a state of "one-pointedness." Why the occultist controls his imagination. Suggestions as to practice, and rules of development. A few easily-mastered principles which give you the key to the whole of this wonderful subject.
LESSON XVII PERSONAL PSYCHIC INFLUENCE OVER OTHERS Psychic Influence exerted over others, when in their presence. Different degrees of the influence. Possession of this power by Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, and other great leaders of men. The ability to influence others is a sure sign of the possession of this psychic power. The Three Underlying Principles of Psychic Influence. The importance of strong desire to influence and exert power. The importance of clear, positive mental pictures of what effect you wish to produce. The importance of the firm concentration of your mind on the subject. The creation of a positive psychic atmosphere. The Positive Psychic Aura. How to project your Psychic Power. The Psychic Struggle between two persons. How to handle yourself in such conflicts of Psychic Power. How to Neutralize the Psychic Power of others, and thus disarm them. The Occult Shield of Defence. Valuable directions regarding practice and development of Psychic Power. Scientific Exercises for Development. Important Rules of Practice.
LESSON XVIII PSYCHIC INFLUENCE AT A DISTANCE Psychic Influence over others, manifested when they are distant from the person exerting the influence. Distance no obstacle. Psychic Induction at Long-Range. How to create the en rapport condition with the other person. How to protect yourself against such influence at a distance. The Psychic Armor. Psychometric Method of producing Distant En Rapport Condition. To proceed when the en rapport condition is secured. The scientific explanation of the old tales about sorcery, witchcraft, super-natural influence, etc. The effect of fear, and belief, on the mind of the other person. The effect of Denial. The secret of many strange cases made plain. Some typical cases. The Master-Key which unlocks the doors of many Mysteries. Low forms of Occultism, and how they may be defeated. Dangerous Teachings in some quarters. Warnings against their use. The Astral Tube; how it is erected, used and employed. A simple, plain explanation of a puzzling occult manifestation. Self-Protection.
LESSON XIX LAWS OF PSYCHIC ATTRACTION How psychic vibrations tend to attract to their creator other persons vibrating along the same lines; and things having a relation to the things thought of. Harmony and Inharmony in the Psychic World. The Law of Psychic Attraction. The Law of Psychic Repulsion. An important phase of Astral Phenomena. The Law works two ways. It draws other persons and things to you; and you to other persons and things. How the men of "big business" operate under this Law of Attraction. How scheming exploiters of the public actually "treat the public" by psychic means. The various forms of psychic influence employed by persons of this kind. The Law of Attraction, and how it works out in Business Life. The scientific facts behind the outward appearance of things. Instances and examples of the working out of these laws and principles. The Law of Psychic Attraction is as constant and invariable as the great Law of Gravitation, or Magnetic Attraction. The Co-Relation of Thoughts and Things. How we may create our own environment by Psychic Influence.
LESSON XX PSYCHIC AND MAGNETIC HEALING The Psychic Principles underlying the many forms of psychic or mental healing. Many theories—one set of principles. Psychic Healing as old as the race. The Basic Principles of Psychic Healing. The Physiological Principles involved. How the Astral Body is used in Psychic Healing. Human Magnetism, and what it really is. All about Prana. The Laying-on of Hands in Healing; and what is back of it. What happens in Magnetic Healing. The Secret of Absent Healing. Space no barrier in Psychic Healing. The Human Aura and Psychic Healing. The Secret of Suggestive Therapeutics. The effect of the "affirmations" of the healers. How the Healing Cults obtain good results. Self-Healing by Psychic Power. Absent Healing by Psychic Power. How to "treat" others by Absent Treatment. Valuable Instructions and Practical Methods of Psychic Healing. The whole subject condensed, and made plain, so that it may be applied by any person of average intelligence. No fanciful theories; only plain, practical facts for actual application.
In preparing this series of lessons for students of Western lands, I have been compelled to proceed along lines exactly opposite to those which I would have chosen had these lessons been for students in India. This because of the diametrically opposite mental attitudes of the students of these two several lands.
The student in India expects the teacher to state positively the principles involved, and the methods whereby these principles may be manifested, together with frequent illustrations (generally in the nature of fables or parables), serving to link the new knowledge to some already known thing. The Hindu student never expects or demands anything in the nature of "proof" of the teachers statements of principle or method; in fact, he would regard it as an insult to the teacher to ask for the same. Consequently, he does not look for, or ask, specific instances or illustrations in the nature of scientific evidence or proof of the principles taught. He may ask for more information, but solely for the purpose of bringing out some point which he has not grasped; but he avoids as a pestilence any question seeming to indicate argument, doubt of what is being taught him, or of the nature of a demand for proof or evidence.
The Western student, on the other hand, is accustomed to maintaining the skeptical attitude of mind—the scientific attitude of doubt and demand for proof—and the teacher so understands it. Both are accustomed to illustrations bringing out the principles involved, but these illustrations must not be fanciful or figurative—they must be actual cases, well authenticated and vouched for as evidence. In short, the Western teacher is expected to actually "prove" to his students his principles and methods, before he may expect them to be accepted. This, of course, not from any real doubt or suspicion of the veracity or ability of the teacher, but merely because the Western mind expects to question, and be questioned, in this way in the process of teaching and learning.
Consequently, in this series of lessons, I have sought to follow the Western method rather than the Hindu. So far as is possible, I have avoided the flat positive statement of principles and methods, and have sought to prove each step of the teaching. Of course, I have been compelled to assume the existence of certain fundamental principles, in order to avoid long and technical metaphysical and philosophical discussions. I have also had to content myself with the positive flat assertion of the existence of the Astral Plane, Akashic Records, Prana, etc., which are fundamental postulates of Hindu philosophy and occult science—for these are established solely by the experience of those who are able to function on the higher planes themselves. But, beyond this I have sought to prove by direct and positive evidence (adapted to the Western mind) every step of my teaching and methods.
In offering this scientific proof, I have purposely omitted (except in a few instances) all mention of occult or psychic phenomena occurring in India, and have confined myself to instances occurring in Western lands to Western persons. Moreover, I have avoided quoting and citing Hindu authorities, and have, instead, quoted and cited from authorities well known and respected in Western lands, such as the Society for Psychical Research, and the prominent scientists interested in the work of the said society. In this way I have sought to furnish the Western student with examples, cases, and illustrations familiar to him, and easily referred to. Had I cited Indian cases, I might be accused of offering proof that could not be easily verified; and quoting persons unknown to my readers. There is a wealth of such cases and illustration in India, naturally, but these as a rule are traditional and not available in printed form; and these would not likely be very satisfactory to the Western student.
I must, however, positively and firmly state that while these cases and illustrations, these quotations and citations, are purely Western, the principles they illustrate and prove are among the oldest known to Hindu occult science and philosophy. In fact, having been accepted as proved truth in India, for centuries past, there is very little demand for further proof thereof on the part of the Hindus. In the Western world, however, these things are comparatively new, and must be proved and attested accordingly. So, as I have said, I have cut the cloth of my instruction to conform with the pattern favored for the Western garment of knowledge. So far as the illustrations and cases, the quotations and citations are concerned—these are purely Western and familiar to the student. But, when it comes to the principles themselves, this is another matter—I must be pardoned for stating that these are the outgrowth of Hindu thought and investigation, and that he who would discover their roots must dig around the tree of the Wisdom of the East, which has stood the storms and winds of thousands of years. But the branches of this mighty tree are wide-spreading, and there is room for many Western students to rest in its shade and shelter.
In these lessons I have referred occasionally to my two little books, entitled "The Astral World," and "The Human Aura," respectively. To those who are interested in these subjects, I recommend these little books; they are sold at a nominal price, and contain much that will be helpful to the student of Hindu Occult Science. They are not required, however, to complete the understanding of the subjects treated upon in these lessons, and are mentioned and recommended merely as supplementary reading for the student who wishes to take little "side excursions" away from the main trip covered in these lessons.
I trust that my students will find the pleasure and satisfaction in studying these lessons that I have in writing them.
THE ASTRAL SENSES.
The student of occultism usually is quite familiar with the crass individual who assumes the cheap skeptical attitude toward occult matters, which attitude he expresses in his would-be "smart" remark that he "believes only in what his senses perceive." He seems to think that his cheap wit has finally disposed of the matter, the implication being that the occultist is a credulous, "easy" person who believes in the existence of things contrary to the evidence of the senses.
While the opinion or views of persons of this class are, of course, beneath the serious concern of any true student of occultism, nevertheless the mental attitude of such persons are worthy of our passing consideration, inasmuch as it serves to give us an object lesson regarding the childlike attitude of the average so-called "practical" persons regarding the matter of the evidence of the senses.
These so-called practical persons have much to say regarding their senses. They are fond of speaking of "the evidence of my senses." They also have much to say about the possession of "good sense" on their part; of having "sound common sense"; and often they make the strange boast that they have "horse sense," seeming to consider this a great possession. Alas, for the pretensions of this class of persons. They are usually found quite credulous regarding matters beyond their everyday field of work and thought, and accept without question the most ridiculous teachings and dogmas reaching them from the voice of some claimed authority, while they sneer at some advanced teaching which their minds are incapable of comprehending. Anything which seems unusual to them is deemed "flighty," and lacking in appeal to their much prized "horse sense."
But, it is not my intention to spend time in discussing these insignificant half-penny intellects. I have merely alluded to them in order to bring to your mind the fact that to many persons the idea of "sense" and that of "senses" is very closely allied. They consider all knowledge and wisdom as "sense;" and all such sense as being derived directly from their ordinary five senses. They ignore almost completely the intuitional phases of the mind, and are unaware of many of the higher processes of reasoning.
Such persons accept as undoubted anything that their senses report to them. They consider it heresy to question a report of the senses. One of their favorite remarks is that "it almost makes me doubt my senses." They fail to perceive that their senses, at the best, are very imperfect instruments, and that the mind is constantly employed in correcting the mistaken report of the ordinary five senses.
Not to speak of the common phenomenon of color-blindness, in which one color seems to be another, our senses are far from being exact. We may, by suggestion, be made to imagine that we smell or taste certain things which do not exist, and hypnotic subjects may be caused to see things that have no existence save in the imagination of the person. The familiar experiment of the person crossing his first two fingers, and placing them on a small object, such as a pea or the top of a lead-pencil, shows us how "mixed" the sense of feeling becomes at times. The many familiar instances of optical delusions show us that even our sharp eyes may deceive us—every conjuror knows how easy it is to deceive the eye by suggestion and false movements.
Perhaps the most familiar example of mistaken sense-reports is that of the movement of the earth. The senses of every person report to him that the earth is a fixed, immovable body, and that the sun, moon, planets, and stars move around the earth every twenty-four hours. It is only when one accepts the reports of the reasoning faculties, that he knows that the earth not only whirls around on its axis every twenty-four hours, but that it circles around the sun every three hundred and sixty-five days; and that even the sun itself, carrying with it the earth and the other planets, really moves along in space, moving toward or around some unknown point far distant from it. If there is any one particular report of the senses which would seem to be beyond doubt or question, it certainly would be this elementary sense report of the fixedness of the earth beneath our feet, and the movements of the heavenly bodies around it—and yet we know that this is merely an illusion, and that the facts of the case are totally different. Again, how few persons really realize that the eye perceives things up-side-down, and that the mind only gradually acquires the trick of adjusting the impression?
I am not trying to make any of you doubt the report of his or her five senses. That would be most foolish, for all of us must needs depend upon these five senses in our everyday affairs, and would soon come to grief were we to neglect their reports. Instead, I am trying to acquaint you with the real nature of these five senses, that you may realize what they are not, as well as what they are; and also that you may realize that there is no absurdity in believing that there are more channels of information open to the ego, or soul of the person, than these much used five senses. When you once get a correct scientific conception of the real nature of the five ordinary senses, you will be able to intelligently grasp the nature of the higher psychic faculties or senses, and thus be better fitted to use them. So, let us take a few moments time in order to get this fundamental knowledge well fixed in our minds.
What are the five senses, anyway. Your first answer will be: "Feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling." But that is merely a recital of the different forms of sensing. What is a "sense," when you get right down to it? Well, you will find that the dictionary tells us that a sense is a "faculty, possessed by animals, of perceiving external objects by means of impressions made upon certain organs of the body." Getting right down to the roots of the matter, we find that the five senses of man are the channels through which he becomes aware or conscious of information concerning objects outside of himself. But, these senses are not the sense-organs alone. Back of the organs there is a peculiar arrangement of the nervous system, or brain centres, which take up the messages received through the organs; and back of this, again, is the ego, or soul, or mind, which, at the last, is the real KNOWER. The eye is merely a camera; the ear, merely a receiver of sound-waves; the nose, merely an arrangement of sensitive mucous membrane; the mouth and tongue, simply a container of taste-buds; the nervous system, merely a sensitive apparatus designed to transmit messages to the brain and other centres—all being but part of the physical machinery, and liable to impairment or destruction. Back of all this apparatus is the real Knower who makes use of it.
Science tells us that of all the five senses, that of Touch or Feeling was the original—the fundamental sense. All the rest are held to be but modifications of, and specialized forms of, this original sense of feeling. I am telling you this not merely in the way of interesting and instructive scientific information, but also because an understanding of this fact will enable you to more clearly comprehend that which I shall have to say to you about the higher faculties or senses.
Many of the very lowly and simple forms of animal life have this one sense only, and that but poorly developed. The elementary life form "feels" the touch of its food, or of other objects which may touch it. The plants also have something akin to this sense, which in some cases, like that of the Sensitive Plant, for instance, is quite well developed. Long before the sense of sight, or the sensitiveness to light appeared in animal-life, we find evidences of taste, and something like rudimentary hearing or sensitiveness to sounds. Smell gradually developed from the sense of taste, with which even now it is closely connected. In some forms of lower animal life the sense of smell is much more highly developed than in mankind. Hearing evolved in due time from the rudimentary feeling of vibrations. Sight, the highest of the senses, came last, and was an evolution of the elementary sensitiveness to light.
But, you see, all these senses are but modifications of the original sense of feeling or touch. The eye records the touch or feeling of the light-waves which strike upon it. The ear records the touch or feeling of the sound-waves or vibrations of the air, which reach it. The tongue and other seats of taste record the chemical touch of the particles of food, or other substances, coming in contact with the taste-buds. The nose records the chemical touch of the gases or fine particles of material which touch its mucous membrane. The sensory-nerves record the presence of outer objects coming in contact with the nerve ends in various parts of the skin of the body. You see that all of these senses merely record the contact or "touch" of outside objects.
But the sense organs, themselves, do not do the knowing of the presence of the objects. They are but pieces of delicate apparatus serving to record or to receive primary impressions from outside. Wonderful as they are, they have their counterparts in the works of man, as for instance: the camera, or artificial eye; the phonograph, or, artificial ear; the delicate chemical apparatus, or artificial taster and smeller; the telegraph, or artificial nerves. Not only this, but there are always to be found nerve telegraph wires conveying the messages of the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, to the brain—telling the something in the brain of what has been felt at the other end of the line. Sever the nerves leading to the eye, and though the eye will continue to register perfectly, still no message will reach the brain. And render the brain unconscious, and no message will reach it from the nerves connecting with eye, ear, nose, tongue, or surface of the body. There is much more to the receiving of sense messages than you would think at first, you see.
Now all this means that the ego, or soul, or mind, if you prefer the term—is the real Knower who becomes aware of the outside world by means of the messages of the senses. Cut off from these messages the mind would be almost a blank, so far as outside objects are concerned. Every one of the senses so cut off would mean a diminishing or cutting-off of a part of the world of the ego. And, likewise, each new sense added to the list tends to widen and increase the world of the ego. We do not realize this, as a rule. Instead, we are in the habit of thinking that the world consists of just so many things and facts, and that we know every possible one of them. This is the reasoning of a child. Think how very much smaller than the world of the average person is the world of the person born blind, or the person born deaf! Likewise, think how very much greater and wider, and more wonderful this world of ours would seem were each of us to find ourselves suddenly endowed with a new sense! How much more we would perceive. How much more we would feel. How much more we would know. How much more we would have to talk about. Why, we are really in about the same position as the poor girl, born blind, who said that she thought that the color of scarlet must be something like the sound of a trumpet. Poor thing, she could form no conception of color, never having seen a ray of light—she could think and speak only in the terms of touch, sound, taste and smell. Had she also been deaf, she would have been robbed of a still greater share of her world. Think over these things a little.
Suppose, on the contrary, that we had a new sense which would enable us to sense the waves of electricity. In that case we would be able to "feel" what was going on at another place—perhaps on the other side of the world, or maybe, on one of the other planets. Or, suppose that we had an X Ray sense—we could then see through a stone wall, inside the rooms of a house. If our vision were improved by the addition of a telescopic adjustment, we could see what is going on in Mars, and could send and receive communications with those living there. Or, if with a microscopic adjustment, we could see all the secrets of a drop of water—maybe it is well that we cannot do this. On the other hand, if we had a well-developed telepathic sense, we would be aware of the thought-waves of others to such an extent that there would be no secrets left hidden to anyone—wouldn't that alter life and human intercourse a great deal? These things would really be no more wonderful than is the evolution of the senses we have. We can do some of these things by apparatus designed by the brain of man—and man really is but an imitator and adaptor of Nature. Perhaps, on some other world or planet there may be beings having seven, nine or fifteen senses, instead of the poor little five known to us. Who knows!
But it is not necessary to exercise the imagination in the direction of picturing beings on other planets endowed with more senses than have the people of earth. While, as the occult teachings positively state, there are beings on other planets whose senses are as much higher than the earth-man's as the latter's are higher than those of the oyster, still we do not have to go so far to find instances of the possession of much higher and more active faculties than those employed by the ordinary man. We have but to consider the higher psychical faculties of man, right here and now, in order to see what new worlds are open to him. When you reach a scientific understanding of these things, you will see that there really is nothing at all supernatural about much of the great body of wonderful experiences of men in all times which the "horse sense" man sneeringly dismisses as "queer" and "contrary to sense." You will see that these experiences are quite as natural as are those in which the ordinary five senses are employed—though they are super-physical. There is the greatest difference between supernatural and super-physical, you must realize.
All occultists know that man has other senses than the ordinary five, although but few men have developed them sufficiently well to use them effectively. These super-physical senses are known to the occultists as "the astral senses." The term "Astral," used so frequently by all occultists, ancient and modern, is derived from the Greek word "astra," meaning "star." It is used to indicate those planes of being immediately above the physical plane. The astral senses are really the counterparts of the physical senses of man, and are connected with the astral body of the person just as the physical senses are connected with the physical body. The office of these astral senses is to enable the person to receive impressions on the astral plane, just as his physical senses enable him to receive impressions on the physical plane. On the physical plane the mind of man receives only the sense impressions of the physical organs of sense; but when the mind functions and vibrates on the astral plane, it requires astral senses in order to receive the impressions of that plane, and these, as we shall see, are present.
Each one of the physical senses of man has its astral counterpart. Thus man has, in latency, the power of seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, and hearing, on the astral plane, by means of his five astral senses. More than this, the best occultists know that man really has seven physical senses instead of but five, though these two additional senses are not unfolded in the case of the average person (though occultists who have reached a certain stage are able to use them effectively). Even these two extra physical senses have their counterparts on the astral plane.
Persons who have developed the use of their astral senses are able to receive the sense impressions of the astral plane just as clearly as they receive those of the physical plane by means of the physical senses. For instance, the person is thus able to perceive things occurring on the astral plane; to read the Akashic Records of the past; to perceive things that are happening in other parts of the world; to see past happenings as well; and in cases of peculiar development, to catch glimpses of the future, though this is far rarer than the other forms of astral sight.
Again, by means of clairaudience, the person may hear the things of the astral world, past as well as present, and in rare cases, the future. The explanation is the same in each case—merely the receiving of vibrations on the astral plane instead of on the physical plane. In the same way, the astral senses of smelling, tasting, and feeling operate. But though we have occasional instances of astral feeling, in certain phases of psychic phenomena, we have practically no manifestation of astral smelling or tasting, although the astral senses are there ready for use. It is only in instances of travelling in the astral body that the last two mentioned astral senses, viz., smell and taste, are manifested.
The phenomena of telepathy, or thought transference, occurs on both the physical and the mental plane. On the physical plane it is more or less spontaneous and erratic in manifestation; while on the astral plane it is as clear, reliable and responsive to demand as is astral sight, etc.
The ordinary person has but occasional flashes of astral sensing, and as a rule is not able to experience the phenomenon at will. The trained occultist, on the contrary, is able to shift from one set of senses to the other, by a simple act or effort of will, whenever he may wish to do so. Advanced occultists are often able to function on both physical and astral planes at the same time, though they do not often desire to do so. To vision astrally, the trained occultist merely shifts his sensory mechanism from physical to astral, or vice versa, just as the typewriter operator shifts from the small-letter type to the capitals, by simply touching the shift-key of his machine.
Many persons suppose that it is necessary to travel on the astral plane, in the astral body, in order to use the astral senses. This is a mistake. In instances of clairvoyance, astral visioning, psychometry, etc., the occultist remains in his physical body, and senses the phenomena of the astral plane quite readily, by means of the astral senses, just as he is able to sense the phenomena of the physical plane when he uses the physical organs—quite more easily, in fact, in many instances. It is not even necessary for the occultist to enter into the trance condition, in the majority of cases.
Travel in the astral body is quite another phase of occult phenomena, and is far more difficult to manifest. The student should never attempt to travel in the astral body except under the instruction of some competent instructor.
In Crystal Gazing, the occultist merely employs the crystal in order to concentrate his power, and to bring to a focus his astral vision. There is no supernatural virtue in the crystal itself—it is merely a means to an end; a piece of useful apparatus to aid in the production of certain phenomena.
In Psychometry some object is used in order to bring the occulist "en rapport" with the person or thing associated with it. But it is the astral senses which are employed in describing either the past environment of the thing, or else the present or past doings of the person in question, etc. In short, the object is merely the loose end of the psychic ball of twine which the psychometrist proceeds to wind or unwind at will. Psychometry is merely one form of astral seeing; just as is crystal gazing.
In what is known as Telekinesis, or movement at a distance, there is found the employment of both astral sensing, and astral will action accompanied in many cases by actual projection of a portion of the substance of the astral body.
In the case of Clairvoyance, we have an instance of the simplest form of astral seeing, without the necessity of the "associated object" of psychometry, or the focal point of the crystal in crystal gazing.
This is true not only of the ordinary form of clairvoyance, in which the occultist sees astrally the happenings and doings at some distant point, at the moment of observation; it is also true of what is known as past clairvoyance, or astral seeing of past events; and in the seeing of future events, as in prophetic vision, etc. These are all simply different forms of one and the same thing.
Surely, some of you may say, "These things are supernatural, far above the realm of natural law—and yet this man would have us believe otherwise." Softly, softly, dear reader, do not jump at conclusions so readily. What do you know about the limits of natural law and phenomena? What right have you to assert that all beyond your customary range of sense experience is outside of Nature? Do you not realize that you are attempting to place a limit upon Nature, which in reality is illimitable?
The man of a generation back of the present one would have been equally justified in asserting that the marvels of wireless telegraphy were supernatural, had he been told of the possibility of their manifestation. Going back a little further, the father of that man would have said the same thing regarding the telephone, had anyone been so bold as to have prophesied it. Going back still another generation, imagine the opinion of some of the old men of that time regarding the telegraph. And yet these things are simply the discovery and application of certain of Nature's wonderful powers and forces.
Is it any more unreasonable to suppose that Nature has still a mine of undiscovered treasure in the mind and constitution of man, as well as in inorganic nature? No, friends, these things are as natural as the physical senses, and not a whit more of a miracle. It is only that we are accustomed to one, and not to the other, that makes the astral senses seem more wonderful than the physical. Nature's workings are all wonderful—none more so than the other. All are beyond our absolute conception, when we get down to their real essence. So let us keep an open mind!
TELEPATHY vs. CLAIRVOYANCE.
In this work I shall use the term "clairvoyance" in its broad sense of "astral perception," as distinguished from perception by means of the physical senses. As we proceed, you will see the general and special meanings of the term, so there is no necessity for a special definition or illustration of the term at this time.
By "telepathy," I mean the sending and receiving of thought messages, and mental and emotional states, consciously or unconsciously, by means of what may be called "the sixth sense" of the physical plane. There is, of course, a form of thought transference on the astral plane, but this I include under the general term of clairvoyance, for reasons which will be explained later on.
You will remember that in the preceding chapter I told you that in addition to the five ordinary physical senses of man there were also two other physical senses comparatively undeveloped in the average person. These two extra physical senses are, respectively, (1) the sense of the presence of other living things; and (2) the telepathic sense. As I also told you, these two extra physical senses have their astral counterparts. They also have certain physical organs which are not generally recognized by physiologists or psychologists, but which are well known to all occultists. I shall now consider the first of the two above-mentioned extra physical senses, in order to clear the way for our consideration of the question of the distinction between ordinary telepathy and that form of clairvoyance which is its astral counterpart.
There is in every human being a sense which is not generally recognized as such, although nearly every person has had more or less experience regarding its workings. I refer to the sense of the presence of other living things, separate and apart from the operation of any of the five ordinary physical senses. I ask you to understand that I am not claiming that this is a higher sense than the other physical senses, or that it has come to man in a high state of evolution. On the contrary, this sense came to living things far back in the scale of evolution. It is possessed by the higher forms of the lower animals, such as the horse, dog, and the majority of the wild beasts. Savage and barbaric men have it more highly developed than it is in the case of the civilized man. In fact, this physical sense may be termed almost vestigal in civilized man, because he has not actively used it for many generations. For that matter, the physical sense of smell is also deficient in man, and for the same reason, whereas in the case of the lower animals, and savage man, the sense of smell is very keen. I mention this for fear of misunderstanding. In my little book, "The Astral World," I have said: "All occultists know that man really has seven senses, instead of merely five, though the additional two senses are not sufficiently developed for use in the average person (though the occultist generally unfolds them into use)." Some have taken this to mean that the occultist develops these two extra physical senses, just as he does certain higher psychic or astral faculties. But this is wrong. The occultist, in such case, merely re-awakens these two senses which have been almost lost to the race. By use and exercise he then develops them to a wonderful proficiency, for use on the physical plane.
Now, this sense of the presence of other living beings is very well developed in the lower animals, particularly in those whose safety depends upon the knowledge of the presence of their natural enemies. As might be expected, the wild animals have it more highly developed than do the domesticated animals. But even among the latter, we find instances of this sense being in active use—in the case of dogs, horses, geese, etc., especially. Who of us is not familiar with the strange actions of the dog, or the horse, when the animal senses the unseen and unheard presence of some person or animal? Very often we would scold or punish the animal for its peculiar actions, simply because we are not able to see what is worrying it. How often does the dog start suddenly, and bristle up its hair, when nothing is in sight, or within hearing distance. How often does the horse grow "skittish," or even panicky, when there is nothing within sight or hearing. Domestic fowls, especially geese, manifest an uneasiness at the presence of strange persons or animals, though they may not be able to see or hear them. It is a matter of history that this sense, in a flock of geese, once saved ancient Rome from an attack of the enemy. The night was dark and stormy, and the trained eyesight and keen hearing of the Roman outposts failed to reveal the approach of the enemy. But, the keen sense of the geese felt the presence of strange men, and they started to cackle loudly, aroused the guard, and Rome was saved. Skeptical persons have sought to explain this historical case by the theory that the geese heard the approaching enemy. But this explanation will not serve, for the Roman soldiers were marching about on their posts and guard-duty, and the geese remained silent until they sensed the approach of the small number of the enemy's scouts, when they burst into wild cries. The ancient Romans, themselves, were under no illusion about the matter—they recognized the existence of some unusual power in the geese, and they gave the animals the full credit therefor.
Hunters in wild and strange lands have told us that often when they were lying concealed for the purpose of shooting the wild animals when they came within range, they have witnessed instances of the existence of this strange faculty in the wild beasts. Though they could not see the concealed hunters, nor smell them (as the wind was in the other direction) all of a sudden one or more of the animals (generally an old female) would start suddenly, and a shiver would be seen to pass over its body; then it would utter a low warning note, and away would fly the pack. Nearly every hunter has had the experience of watching his expected game, when all of a sudden it would start off with a nervous jerk, and without waiting to sniff the air, as is usual, would bolt precipitately from the scene. Moreover, many beasts of prey are known to sense the presence of their natural prey, even when the wind is in the other direction, and there is no sound or movement made by the crouching, fearstricken animal. Certain birds seem to sense the presence of particular worms upon which they feed, though the latter be buried several inches in the earth, or in the bark of trees.
Savage man also has this faculty developed, as all travellers and explorers well know. They are as keen as a wild animal to sense the nearness of enemies, or, in some cases, the approach of man-eating beasts. This does not mean that that these savages are more highly developed than is civilized man—quite the reverse. This is the explanation: when man became more civilized, and made himself more secure from his wild-beast enemies, as well as from the sudden attacks of his human enemies, he began to use this sense less and less. Finally, in the course of many generations, it became almost atrophied from disuse, and ceased reporting to the brain, or other nerve centres. Or, if you prefer viewing it from another angle, it may be said that the nerve centres, and brain, began to pay less and less attention to the reports of this sense (trusting more to sight and hearing) until the consciousness failed to awaken to the reports. You know how your consciousness will finally refuse to be awakened by familiar sounds (such as the noise of machinery in the shop, or ordinary noises in the house), although the ears receive the sound-waves.
Well, this is the way in the case of this neglected sense—for the two reasons just mentioned, the average person is almost unaware of its existence. Almost unaware I have said—not totally unaware. For probably every one of us has had experiences in which we have actually "felt" the presence of some strange person about the premises, or place. The effect of the report of this sense is particularly noticed in the region of the solar plexus, or the pit of the stomach. It manifests in a peculiar, unpleasant feeling of "gone-ness" in that region—it produces a feeling of "something wrong," which disturbs one in a strange way. This is generally accompanied by a "bristling up," or "creepy" feeling along the spine. The organs registering the presence of a strange or alien creature consist of certain delicate nerves of the surface of the skin, generally connected with the roots of the downy hair of the body—or resting where the hair roots would naturally be, in the case of a hairless skin. These seem to report directly to the solar-plexus, which then acts quickly by reflex action on the other parts of the body, causing an instinctive feeling to either fly the scene or else to crouch and hide oneself. This feeling, as may be seen at once, is an inheritance from our savage ancestors, or perhaps from our lowly-animal ancestral roots. It is a most unpleasant feeling, and the race escapes much discomfort by reason of its comparative absence.
I have said that occultists have developed, or rather re-developed this sense. They do this in order to have a harmonious well-developed seven-fold sense system. It increases their general "awareness." Certain other knowledge of the occultist neutralizes the unpleasant features of the manifestation of this sense, and he finds it often a very valuable adjunct to his senses of seeing and hearing, particularly in the cases in which he is approached by persons having antagonistic or hostile feelings toward him, as in such cases this faculty is particularly active. In connection with the telepathic sense (to be described a little further on) this sense operates to give a person that sense of warning when approached by another person whose feelings are not friendly to him, no matter how friendly the outward appearance of that person may be. These two extra senses co-operate to give a person that instinctive feeling of warning, which all of us know in our own experience.
This particular, as well as the telepathic sense, may be cultivated or developed by anyone who wishes to take the time and trouble to accomplish the work. The principle is simple—merely the same principle that one uses in developing any of the other physical attributes, namely, use and exercise. The first step (a) is the recognition of the existence of the sense itself; then (b) the attention given to its reports; then (c) frequent use and exercise. Just think of how you would proceed to develop any of the five ordinary senses—the hearing, sight, or touch, for instance—then follow the same process in the cultivation of this extra sense, or two senses, and you will accomplish the same kind of results.
Now, let us consider the other extra physical sense—the "telepathic" sense, or sense of becoming aware of the thought-waves, or emotional waves, of other persons. Now, as strange as this may appear to some persons—the most of persons in fact—this telepathic faculty is not a "higher" faculty or sense, but is really a comparatively low one. Just like the sense just described, it is possessed in a higher degree by many of the lower animals, and by primitive and savage man. That which really is "higher" in this kind of psychic phenomena is the manifestation of that higher form of telepathy—by use of the astral counterpart of this sense—which we shall consider, later, under the name of clairvoyance, for this is really a particular phase of clairvoyance.
As strange as it may appear to some of you, the lower animals possess a kind of telepathic sense. An animal is usually aware of your feelings toward it, and your purposes regarding it. Domestic animals lose some of this by generations of confinement, while the wild animals have the sense highly developed. But even some of the domestic animals have more or less of it. You will readily recognize this fact if you have ever tried to "cut out" a certain animal from a herd or flock. You will find that the animal in some way has sensed your designs upon it, no matter how indirectly you approach it, and it will begin circling around the other animals, twisting in and out in its endeavors to be lost to your sight. The other animals, likewise, will seem to know that you are after only that particular one, and will manifest but little fright or distrust, comparatively.
I have frequently seen this thing, in my own country and in others, among poultry raisers. The poultryman will think, to himself, "Now, I am going to get that black hen with the yellow legs—that fat, clumsy one," and he will move toward the flock slowly and with an air of unconcern. But, lo! as soon as he gets near the creatures, that black hen will be seen edging her way to the outer circle of the flock, on the opposite side from the man. When the man moves around to her side, she will be found to have plunged into the crowd, and it is hard to find her. Sometimes she will actually try to sneak off, and conceal herself in some dark corner, or back of some large object. Every poultryman will smile when this occurrence is mentioned to him—he knows by experience that hens have a way of sensing what he has in his mind regarding them.
Moreover, as every farmer knows, the crow family has a most uncanny way of sensing the intentions of the farmer who is trying to destroy them, and shows great sagacity in defeating those intentions. But, while the crow is a very intelligent bird—one of the wisest of the bird family, in fact—it obtains its knowledge of what is in the mind of the man not alone from "figuring on his intentions," but rather from that instinctive sensing of his mental states. The hen, as all know, is a very stupid bird, showing but little intelligent activity. But, nevertheless, she is very quick about sensing the poultryman's designs on her, though generally very stupid about planning out a skillful escape.
Every owner of dogs, cats and horses, has had many opportunities for observing the manifestation of this sense on the part of those animals. Every dog feels the emotional states of his owner, and others. The horse knows when his owner seeks to throw the halter over his neck, or when, on the contrary, he is merely walking through the field. Cats sense their owners' feelings and thoughts, and often resent them. Of course, the lower animals can sense merely elementary mental states, and generally only emotional states, as their minds are not developed so as to interpret the more complex mental states. Primitive men likewise almost instinctively sense the feelings and designs of other men. They do not reason the thing out, but rather merely "feel" the ideas and designs of the others. The women of the lower races are more adept in interpreting these sense reports than are the men. Women are more sensitive, as a rule, than are men—on any point on the scale of development.
When we come to consider ordinary telepathy in the case of men of civilized countries, we find a more complex state of affairs. While civilized man, as a whole, has lost some of the quick telepathic perception of the lower races, he has, in some exceptional cases, acquired a faculty of receiving and interpreting more complex thought-forms and mental states. The investigations of the Society for Psychical Research, and those of private investigators as well, have shown us that a picture of a complicated geometrical design held in the mind of one person may be carried to and received by the mind of another person, who reproduces the design on paper. In the same way, complicated thoughts have been transmitted and received. But these are only exceptional cases. In many cases this sense seems almost dead in the ordinary civilized individual, except when aroused in exceptional cases.
But, nevertheless, the majority of persons have occasional flashes of telepathy—just enough to make them realize that "there is something in it." The renewed interest in the subject, of late years, has directed the public mind to the phenomena of telepathy, and, consequently, more persons are now taking note of the cases of thought-transference coming under their personal notice. It must be remembered, of course, that all of us are constantly receiving thought-waves, and feeling thought-influence, unconsciously. I am speaking now only of the conscious perception of the thought-waves.
Many investigators have so developed their telepathic sense that they are able, at times, to obtain wonderful test results. But, it has been a source of disappointment to many of them to discover that at other times, under apparently similar conditions, their success was very slight. So true is this that many authorities have accepted the theory that telepathy is more or less spontaneous, and cannot be produced to order. This theory is true as far as it goes, but there is a side of the case that these investigators overlook, probably because of their lack of the occult principles involved in the phenomena. I mean this: that their most brilliant successes have been obtained by reason of their unconscious "switching on" of the astral telepathic sense, the clairvoyant sense. While in this condition, they obtained startling results; but the next time they tried, they failed to awaken the astral sense, and, therefore, had to depend entirely upon the physical telepathic sense, and, consequently, their results were comparatively poor.
You will understand the difference and distinction between physical-sense telepathy, and astral-sense telepathy, if you will carefully consider the nature of each, as I shall now present it to you. I ask your close attention to what I shall have to say on this subject in the remaining pages of this chapter. Do not pass over these explanations as "dry," for unless you have a clear fundamental understanding of the thing, you will never be able to get the best results. This is true of every phase of learning, physical as well as psychical—one must get started right, in order to obtain the best results.
In the first place, every thought process, every emotional activity, every creation of ideas, is accompanied by a manifestation of force—in fact, is the result of the manifestation of a force. Without entering at all into the question of what mind is, in itself, we may rest firmly on the natural fact that every manifestation of mental or emotional activity is the result of an action of the brain or nervous system, manifesting in a form of vibrations. Just as in the case of the manifestation of electricity in which certain chemical elements are consumed, or transformed, so in the case of mental or emotional activity there is a consuming or transformation of the substance of which the nervous system is composed. When I say "nervous system" in this connection, I include the brain, or brains of man—for these are but a part of his great nervous system in which all emotional or mental activity is manifested.
Moreover, just as there is no real destruction of matter in any of Nature's processes—all seeming destruction being but a transformation—so in the case before us there is a transformation of the energy released in the thought or emotional process. We may grasp this idea more clearly if we consider what takes place into transformation of electrical energy. For instance, transmit a strong current of electricity over a fine wire, or filament of carbon, and lo! the current is transformed into light. Use another kind of channel of transmission, and the current is transformed into heat. Every electric light, or electric heating apparatus is proof of this. In the same way, the electric current is sent into space in the form of wireless waves. These waves coming in contact with certain forms of apparatus are transformed into forms of force which are registered and interpreted by the wireless operator.
In the same way, the telepathic waves of energy are sent forth by the activity released by the thought or emotion state. These waves travel in every direction, and when they come in contact with physical apparatus sufficiently sensitive to register them, they may be reproduced or retransformed into thought or mental states similar to those which originally sent them forth. You talk into the receiver of the telephone, and the sound waves are transformed into waves of electricity. These electric waves travel over the wires, and on reaching the other end of the telephone circuit are again transformed into sound-waves which are heard by the ear of the listener. Well, then, when your brain sends out thought waves, these travel until they are received by the apparatus in the brain of another person, when they are re-transformed into thoughts of the same kind that originally caused the thought-waves. I will have much more to say on this subject in the next chapter. I will pause here to point out the difference between the phenomena of this form of telepathy, and the higher form which is really a phase of clairvoyance.
Now, in the case of what may be called a clairvoyant-telepathy, or astral telepathy, the ordinary thought-waves play but a small part. Instead of these, there is a transmission of force along the channels of the astral plane. It is almost impossible to describe the phenomena of the astral plane in the terms of the physical. I may illustrate the matter, in a general way, by saying that is something like your astral self actually extending itself out until it touches the astral self of the other person, and thus actually "feels" the astral activities there, instead of it being a case of something like waves travelling along space between brain and brain. Do you get this clearly? This is about as near to it as I can explain it to you at this place. Telepathy is simply a matter of the transmission and receiving of waves of vibratory force which have travelled along the ether between two persons. But clairvoyance or astral-telepathy is something like your mind being extended out until it actually touches the mind of the other person and sees what is there.
I shall have much to say regarding the working out of the processes of clairvoyance, as we proceed. I have merely given the above explanation for the purpose of distinguishing between ordinary telepathy and clairvoyance, so as to prevent you from falling into a common error. Now let us consider the phenomena of ordinary telepathy—this is very wonderful in itself, although it is on a lower plane of activity than its astral or clairvoyant counterpart.
Telepathy, meaning Thought-Transference, bears a misleading title. Literally translated, it means "suffering at a distance," or, perhaps, "feeling pain at a distance." The name should really indicate "knowing at a distance," in order to be properly descriptive. But as the term has acquired a forced meaning by reason of years of usage, it will probably be continued in popular favor. After all, names do not count, so long as the meaning is accepted and understood.
While the term itself has been generally used in the sense of conscious and deliberate sending and receiving of thought-waves, there is a far wider field of phenomena really covered by it, viz., the unconscious sending and receiving of mental and emotional vibrations. I shall take up this phase of the subject in a moment, after I have called your attention to the mechanism whereby the waves of thought and emotion are transmitted.
In the last chapter, you will remember that I called your attention to the fact that there is a manifestation of energy or force (in the form of vibrations) in every mental or emotional state. This is true not only in the case of deep thought or vivid feeling, but also in the case of general mental "feelings," and emotional states. During such manifestations there is a radiation of mental or emotional vibrations from the brain or nervous centres of the system, which flows out in all directions just as do light and wireless electricity. The principal seats or centres of these radiations are (1) the several brains of man, viz., the cerebrum, cerebellum, and the medulla oblongata, respectfully; and (2) the several great centres of nerve substance in the human system, called the plexi, such as the solar plexus, etc.
The vibrations arising from emotional excitement are sent out principally from the plexi, or great centres of the sympathetic nervous system. Those arising from the more strictly mental states emanate from certain centres and points of the brain, or brains, of the person manifesting them. Certain forms of these vibrations constitute the real essence of what is generally called "human magnetism," which will be treated upon in the proper place in these lessons.
I do not think it advisable to go into the technical details of the generation and mechanism of transmission of these thought and emotional vibrations, in these lessons. To understand the same would require a technical knowledge of physiology and organic chemistry, which is not possessed by the average person. Moreover, such details are neither interesting nor instructive to the general student of occultism. But, I think it proper to give at least a brief description of the receiving of such vibratory-waves by other individuals.
In the first place, every great plexus, or groups of nerve ganglia, in the human system is a receiving station, as well as a sending station. A person manifesting strong emotional excitement tends to awaken similar states in the nervous centres of other persons in whom the conditions are favorable. This explains why the vibrations of anger, fear, panic, are so contagious. It also explains the strong effect of the vibrations emanating from the nerve centres controlling the reproductive system, in certain cases of strong sexual excitation. Each human sympathetic nervous system contains many receiving stations where emotional vibrations are received, and where they tend to be transformed into similar feeling in the receiving system, unless neutralized by other mental and emotional states in the person.
When we come to consider the apparatus by which is received the vibrations arising from what may be called "purely mental" operations of the brain, such as intellectual thought, constructive imagination, etc., we find a more specialized arrangement, as might be expected. There are several minor receiving points of mental vibrations, regarding which I do not consider it worth while to go into detail, because of the technical features involved. The principal apparatus for receiving thought vibrations of this kind is that which is known as the "pineal gland," which I shall now describe.
The pineal gland is a peculiar mass of nervous substance which is embedded in the human brain, in a position near the middle of the skull almost directly above the extreme top of the spinal column. It is shaped like a small cone; and is of a reddish-gray color. It lies in front of the cerebellum, and is attached to the floor of the third ventricle of the brain. It contains a small quantity of peculiar particles of gritty, sand-like substance, which are sometimes called "brain-sand." It derives its scientific name from its shape, which, as I have said, resembles a pine-cone. Physiologists are at sea regarding the function of this strange organ, and generally content themselves with the statement that "its functions are not understood." But occultists know that the pineal gland, with its peculiar arrangement of nerve-cell corpuscles, and its tiny grains of "brain-sand," is the physical telepathic receiving instrument. Students of wireless telegraphy have noticed a startling resemblance between the pineal gland and a part of the receiving instrument employed in wireless telegraphy.
The thought vibrations coming in contact with the nervous system of the receiving person, set up a peculiar vibration in the substance of the pineal gland and thus the first step in the transformation of these vibrations into thought-forms in the mind of the person is under way. The remainder of the process is too technical, both in the physiological as well as in the occult sense, to be taken up in detail at this place. The student will do well to get the idea of the workings of wireless telegraphy well fixed in his mind, for this will set up the right conception of the working of ordinary telepathy, without the necessity of complicated technical diagrams and descriptions.
And, now then, let us see what results from the sending forth and receiving of these mental and emotional waves of force and energy. It is a most interesting subject, I assure you. While the phenomena of the astral plane is probably more fascinating to the average student, I would impress upon you the importance of mastering the occult phenomena of the physical plane, before passing on to that of the higher planes.
In the first place, as all occultists know, each person is constantly surrounded with what has been called an "atmosphere" composed of mental and emotional vibrations which are emanated from his personality. The atmosphere of each person depends upon the general character of the thoughts and feelings of the person in question. Consequently, as no two persons are precisely alike in character, it follows that no two personal atmospheres are exactly alike. Each person has a psychic atmosphere of his or her own. These atmospheric vibrations do not extend very far from the presence of the person, and, consequently affect only those coming near to him.
In the same way, every group or crowd of persons has its own psychic atmosphere, composed of a blending of the individual psychic atmospheres of the persons composing the crowd, group or assemblage, and representing the general average of the thought and feelings of the crowd. There are no two group atmospheres exactly alike, for the reason that no two groups of persons, large or small, are exactly alike. Actors know that each audience which they face has its own psychic atmosphere, and the actors are affected by it. Preachers, lawyers, and speakers in general are quite aware of this fact, and freely admit it, though they may not be acquainted with the causes or laws governing the phenomena.
Following the same psychic law, it will be found that every town or large city, or even every small village or section of a larger town, will be found to have its own distinctive psychic atmosphere, which is very perceptible to strangers visiting the place, and which affect those who take up their residence in the place. In large cities, it has been noticed that every building has its own peculiar vibrations which arise from the general character of those occupying it. Different church buildings likewise reflect the character of the general habits of thought and feeling of those worshipping in them. Likewise, certain business streets have pleasant or unpleasant vibrations in their atmosphere, from the same causes. Every person recognizes the truth of these statements, though but few are able to account for the facts in a scientific manner.
The beginner in the study of psychic phenomena often asks how these things can be, when the thought which has occasioned the vibrations have long since passed away. The explanation is simple, when properly explained. It is something like this: just as heat remains in a room after the stove has ceased to throw out heat-waves, so do the vibrations of thought and feeling persist long after the thought or feeling has died away. Or, if you prefer a more material illustration, we may say that if a package of perfumery has been opened in a room, and then removed, the air will remain charged with the odor for a long time afterwards.
So, you see, the same principle applies in the case of psychic vibrations. The person carries around with him the general atmosphere of his characteristic mental and emotional vibrations. And, in the same way, the house, store, church, street, town, or city, etc., is permeated with the psychic vibrations of those who have frequented them. Nearly every one realizes the different feeling that impresses him when he enters a strange house, apartment, store or church. Each one has its own difference of psychic effect. And, so does each person create his or her psychic effect upon those coming in contact with him or her, or who comes into his or her presence or vicinity.
The next question asked by the thoughtful new student is this: If persons are constantly sending forth psychic vibrations, and if such vibrations persist for some time, why are we not overwhelmed with the force of them; and why are they not all so mixed up as to lose all their effect. I shall now answer this very important question.
In the first place, though we are constantly affected more or less by the multitude of psychic vibrations beating upon us, still the greater part of them do not consciously impress us. For an example, we have but to consider how few of the sounds or sights of a busy street are impressed upon our consciousness. We hear and see only a few of the things which attract our attention and interest. The rest are lost to us, although our eyes and ears receive them all. In the same way, we are impressed only by the stronger vibrations which reach us, and then only by those which we have attracted to ourselves, or which prove attractive to us by reason of our own likes and dislikes.
In the second place, the effect of certain thought vibrations is neutralized by the effect of the vibrations of thoughts of an opposite character. Just as a mixture of black and white produces the neutral color of grey, so do two currents of opposing thought vibrations tend to resolve themselves into a neutral vibration which has little or no effect upon those coming in contact with them. You may think of numerous correspondences to this in the world of material things. For instance, a mixture of very hot and very cold water, will produce a neutral lukewarm liquid, neither hot nor cold. In the same way, two things of opposing taste characteristics, when blended, will produce a neutral taste having but little effect upon one. The principle is universal, and is readily understood.
In the third place, there is that which we may call an "affinity" between thoughts and feelings of a similar character. Not only do the vibrations of similar thoughts tend to coalesce and combine; but, more than this, each one of us attracts to himself or herself the thought vibrations which are in general accord with corresponding thoughts in our own minds, or feelings in our own nature. Like attracts like. In the same way, the character of our thoughts and feelings act to repel thought or emotional vibrations of an opposite or inharmonious nature. As all occultists know, everyone draws thought vibrations in harmony with his or her own; and also repels thought vibrations of an inharmonious nature.
These are the general laws and principles governing the phenomena of this phase of telepathic vibrations. There is much more to be said on the subject, of course, but if you will note carefully the leading principles and laws of manifestation just mentioned, you will be able to reason correctly regarding any phase of this class of phenomena which may come before you for attention. Once you learn a general rule, the rest becomes merely a matter of application and interpretation. Let us now proceed to a consideration of other phases of the general subject of telepathic influence.
We now come to the phase of what may be called direct telepathy—that is where a thought is consciously, and more or less purposely, directed toward another person. We come across many interesting cases of this kind where persons find themselves thinking intently of certain other persons, and afterwards are told by the other persons that "I found myself thinking intently about you, at such and such a time," etc. In some of these cases it is difficult to determine which one started the thinking. Again, how often do we find ourselves thinking of a person, when all of a sudden the person comes into sight. Again, we think intently and earnestly about a certain question; and then, all of a sudden, other folks whom we meet begin talking to us about the same thing. These instances are too common to need more than a passing notice.
A little more purpose is displayed in that class of phenomena in which we intently wish that a certain person shall do a certain thing, and lo! we soon learn that that certain person has done it. A number of years ago, a popular writer wrote an article in which he mentioned what seemed to him to be a curious instance of some form of mental influence or telepathy. He said that he had found out that if he would sit down and carefully write a letter to some person from whom he had not heard for a long time, and then destroy the letter instead of sending it, he would be almost certain to receive a letter from that person within a few days. He did not attempt to account for the phenomenon, he merely called the attention of his readers to it. Many persons have followed the suggestion, often with very wonderful results. There is nothing miraculous, or supernatural about such occurrences. It is merely one phase of telepathy. The concentrated thought of the writer of the letter is directed toward the other person, and that person begins to think of the first one; then he thinks he will write to him; then he actually does write. Distance, space, and direction have no importance in this experiment—it is not necessary to even know where the second person is, in fact.
There are often found persons so closely in psychic harmony with each other that they very often are able to ask questions and receive answers from each other, even though great distances separate them. Some particular times there is a better psychic harmony existing between the same persons than is found at other times. All this, of course, affects the success of the experiment. It is surprising what wonderful results along these lines may be obtained by almost any person of average intelligence, after a little careful, patient, conscientious practice.
But there have been phenomena obtained as the result of long series of careful experiments which are, in a way, even more wonderful than these somewhat less deliberate experiments just mentioned. I allude to the experiments of a number of earnest, careful scientific students, who surrounded themselves with every precaution against over-enthusiasm, fraud, and coincidence. Prominent among this class of investigations we find those conducted by the Society for Psychical Research, of England, which really established a firm basis for the work of other investigators who followed the general methods of the said society. In the following chapter, I shall give you a somewhat extended statement of the results of such investigations, because this information is important to every student of psychic phenomena, not only because it establishes a firm scientific basis for his studies and beliefs, but also because it gives him important information which he may apply in the course of his own experimental work.
I may mention that the investigations into the subject of telepathy, and kindred subjects, under the auspices of the society just mentioned, were conducted by men of careful scientific training and experience, and under the general supervision and approval of the officers of the society, among which have been numbered such eminent men as Prof. Henry Sidgwick, of Cambridge University; Prof. Balfour Stewart, a Fellow of the Royal Society of England; Rt. Hon. A.J. Balfour, the eminent English statesman; Prof. William James, the eminent American psychologist; Sir William Crookes, the great chemist and discoverer of physical laws, who invented the celebrated "Crookes' Tubes," without which the discovery of the X Rays, radio-activity, etc., would have been impossible; Frederick W.H. Myers, the celebrated explorer of the astral planes, and writer upon psychic phenomena; Sir Oliver Lodge, the popular English scientist; and other men of international reputation and high standing. The character of these men at once gives the stamp of honesty and scientific accuracy to all the work of the society.
In order that you may understand the spirit which animated these scientific investigators in their work of the exploration of this new and strange region of Nature, I ask you to carefully read the following words of the presidential address of Sir William Crookes, before the Royal Society, at Bristol, England, in 1898. Remember, please, that this address was made before an assemblage of distinguished scientists, many of them rank materialists and, quite skeptical of all occult phenomena—this was nearly twenty years ago, remember. Sir William Crookes, facing this gathering, as its president, said:
"Were I now introducing for the first time these inquiries to the world of science, I should choose a starting point different from that of old (where we formerly began). It would be well to begin with Telepathy; with that fundamental law, as I believe it to be, that thoughts and images may be transferred from one mind to another without the agency of the recognized organs of sense—that knowledge may enter the human mind without being communicated in any hitherto known or recognized ways. * * * If telepathy takes place, we have two physical facts—the physical change in the brain of A, the suggestor, and the analogous physical change in the brain of B, the recipient of the suggestion. Between these two physical events there must exist a train of physical causes. * * * It is unscientific to call in the aid of mysterious agencies, when with every fresh advance in knowledge it is shown that either vibrations have powers and attributes abundantly able to any demand—even the transmission of thought.
"It is supposed by some physiologists that the essential cells of nerves do not actually touch, but are separated by a narrow gap which widens in sleep while it narrows almost to extinction during mental activity. This condition is so singularly like a Branly or Lodge coherer (a device which led to the discovery of wireless telegraphy) as to suggest a further analogy. The structure of brain and nerve being similar, it is conceivable that there may be present masses of such nerve coherers in the brain, whose special function it may be to receive impulses brought from without, through the connecting sequence of ether waves of appropriate order of magnitude.
"Roentgen has familiarized us with an order of vibrations of extreme minuteness as compared with the smallest waves with which we have hitherto been acquainted: and there is no reason to suppose that we have here reached the limit of frequency. It is known that the action of thought is accompanied by certain molecular movements in the brain, and here we have physical vibrations capable from their extreme minuteness of acting direct upon individual molecules, while their rapidity approaches that of internal and external movements of the atoms themselves. A formidable range of phenomena must be scientifically sifted before we effectually grasp a faculty so strange, so bewildering, and for ages so inscrutable, as the direct action of mind upon mind.
"In the old Egyptian days, a well known inscription was carved over the portal of the Temple of Isis: 'I am whatever has been, is, or ever will be; and my veil no man hath yet lifted.' Not thus do modern seekers after truth confront Nature—the word that stands for the baffling mysteries of the Universe. Steadily, unflinchingly, we strive to pierce the inmost heart of Nature, from what she is to reconstruct what she has been, and to prophesy what she shall be. Veil after veil we have lifted, and her face grows more beautiful, august and wonderful, with every barrier that is withdrawn."
You will notice that this address made nearly twenty years ago, and from the standpoint of physical science is in full accord with the ideas of occultism as old as the hills. And yet, the speaker had worked out the idea independently. He also investigated higher forms of psychic phenomena, with results that startled the world. But, you will notice that he does not attempt to give any other than purely physical laws the credit for the ordinary phenomena of telepathy. And he was thoroughly right in this, as we have seen. He escaped the common error of confusing physical-sense phenomena with the phenomena of the astral-senses. Each plane has its own phenomena—and each class is surely wonderful enough. And, again, remember that both physical and astral phenomena are purely natural; there is no need for seeking any supernatural agencies to account for these natural facts.
The investigators of the Society for Psychical Research, of England, started by giving a broad definition of Telepathy, as follows: "Telepathy is the communication of impressions of any kind from one mind to another, independently of the recognized channels of sense." They took the rational position that the actual distance between the projector and the recipient of the telepathic message is not material; and that all that is required is such a separation of the two persons that no known operation of the senses can bridge the space between them. They wisely held that telepathy between two persons in the same room is as much telepathy as when the two persons are located at opposite sides of the world.
The investigators then ruled out all instances of thought-transmission in which there was even the slightest muscular contact between the projector and the recipient. They held that though there might be genuine telepathy in such cases, nevertheless, there was always the possibility of fraud or collusion, or of unconscious muscular action on the part of the projector. They demanded absolute and actual separation of the two persons, in order that their experiments might be above suspicion. They were wise in this, for while there is undoubtedly a psychic communication in the cases in which there is the slight physical connection between the two persons (as I shall point out to you a little further on), still the element of doubt or suspicion must be entirely eliminated from a scientific test, in order to render it valuable and valid.