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Among the entities so seen will be some of the lower orders of nature-spirits – those whose bodies are composed of the denser etheric matter. I say nothing against the practice of curative mesmerism by those who understand it; that is a totally different matter, for in that it is unnecessary to produce the trance condition at all.
But it is in dealing with human beings that he will most appreciate the value of this faculty, for he will often be able to help them far more effectually when he guides himself by the information which it gives him. A good example of the full possession of this power is given, on the authority of the German writer Jung Stilling, by Mrs.
These may sometimes reach great heights of knowledge and be exceedingly precise in their indications, but when that is so they are usually undergoing a course of regular training, though for some reason unable as yet to set themselves free from the leaden weight of earthly lie without assistance. In hearing, the same difference can be tested by taking some sound which is just not too high to be audible – on the very verge of audibility as it were – and discovering how many among a given number of people re able to hear it.
All these distinctions are of importance, and we shall have to take them all into consideration as we go on, but perhaps on the whole the most useful classification will be one something on the lines of that adopted by Mr.
Sometimes the same general result is obtained by the recitation of certain formulae, the repetition of which over and over again deadens the mental faculty almost as the gazing at a metal disc does. What is really done by the student who adopts this method is not so much the setting in motion of a current in astral matter as the erection of a kind of temporary telephone through it. Of course the objects must always be magnified to some extent, or they would be absolutely invisible, but usually the extent is determined by the size of the astral tube and the whole thing is simply a tiny moving picture.
And not only would he see new objects that were wholly of these new colours, but he would also discover that modifications had been introduced into the colour of many objects with which he was quite familiar, according to whether they had [Page 32] or had not some tinge of these new hues intermingled with the old. But the hysterical and ill-regulated psychism of which we see so many lamentable examples is due to the small development of the brain and the dominance of the sympathetic system.
He will be conscious of a far greater fulness in nature in many directions, but chiefly his attention will be attracted by the living denizens of this new world.
It shall flow into me to the uttermost degree in which I am capable of receiving it. Usually the astral part of any object projects somewhat beyond the physical part of it, and thus metals, stones and other things are seen surrounded by an astral aura.
Some few there will perhaps be who can see farther than ordinary at both ends, and these will almost certainly be what we call sensitive people – susceptible in fact to a great range of vibrations than are most men of the present day.
There is something still better, perhaps, for those who find that they can do it readily and easily; and that is contemplation. Try to follow the thought back to its genesis, and you will probably be surprised to find how many desultory thoughts have wandered through your brain during the previous five minutes, just dropping in and dropping out again and leaving almost no impression. For the purpose of this treatise we may, perhaps, define it as the power to see what is hidden from ordinary physical sight.
Since he can not only see the dead, but speak with them, he can often be of very great use to them, and give them information and guidance which is of the utmost value to them.
The vast kingdom of nature-spirits is in the main an astral kingdom, but still there is a large section of it which appertains to the etheric part of the physical plane, and this section, of course, is much more likely to come within the ken of ordinary people than the others.
That is the old story. But, it may be said, the mere fact that he is using astral sight ought to enable him to see it from all sides at once.
Now supposing that in addition to this he obtained the sight of the astral plane, what further changes would be observable?
Clairvoyance by ater
In a bar of iron, for example, we have clairvoyanxe mass clarvoyance physical molecules in the solid condition – that is to say, capable of comparatively little change in their relative positions, though each vibrating with immense rapidity in its own sphere.
But I suppose that out of a score of men who took up this study, not more than one claiirvoyance succeed as well and as quickly as that; but at any rate the study is a most fascinating one for those who have a mathematical turn of mind, and where it does not bring increased faculty to see, it must at least bring wider comprehension and a broader outlook over the world, and this is no mean c.w.leabdeater, even if no other be attained.
Indeed, in every c.w.leadbrater his power and freedom are far greater when he uses this method than they have been in any of the previous cases. To this there can be no possible objection; yet the man who tries to do even this much would do well to acquaint himself thoroughly with the literature of the subject, for there must always remain a certain element of danger in playing, even with the noblest intentions, with forces which you do not understand, c.w.leadbeager to you are still abnormal forces.
In the few cases where the figures are seen as a life-size by this method, it is probable that an altogether new power is beginning to dawn; but when this happens, careful observation is needed in order to distinguish them from examples of our next class. This may be done either by invocation or by evocation: But supposing we have sufficient concentration to keep out those thoughts which we do not want, it yet remains to be considered how we shall think during these few minutes.
Instances in which this kind of sight is possessed with any degree of perfection by untrained people are naturally rarer than in the case of the previous type, because c.w.ledbeater the capacity for mental control required, and the vlairvoyance finer nature of the forces employed. But the application to the physical eye might very easily so stimulate its sensitiveness as to make it susceptible to some of the etheric vibrations.
Every time we enter a room we step into the midst of a crowd of thoughts, good, bad or indifferent as the case may be, but the great mass of them just a dull, purposeless fog which is hardly worth calling thought at all.
Though these cases appear to be less widely known than that of Mary Goffe, the evidence of their c.w.leadbrater seems to be quite as good, as will be seen by the attestations obtained by the reverend author of the works from which they are quoted.
It has been called “spiritual vision”, but no rendering could well be more misleading than that, for in the vast majority of cases there is no faculty connected with it which has the slightest claim to be honoured by so lofty a name. The Central African medicine-man or witch doctor and some of the Tartar Shamans are good examples of the type. Among the c.w.ledabeater he will find here and there one wide awake and fully conscious, perhaps sent to bring him some message, or examining him keenly to see what progress he is making; while the majority of his neighbours, when away from their physical bodies during sleep, will drift idly by, so wrapped up in their own cogitations as to be practically unconscious of what is going on around them.
Though these cannot be described as organs in the ordinary sense of the word, since it is not through them that the man sees and hears, as he clairvoyancee in physical life through eyes and ears, yet it is apparently very largely upon their vivification that the power of exercising these astral senses depends each of them as it is developed giving to the whole astral body the power of response to a new set of vibrations.
Another characteristic is that any power gained by these methods can at best be only temporary. But bj make that fact of any use to them down here in the physical body, two changes are usually necessary: Not only does he see the astral part of the object c.w.leadneater which he looks, which before was wholly hidden from him; not only does he see much more of its physical constitution c.w.leadbeatef he did before, but even what was visible to him before is now seen much more clearly and truly.
There c.w.leadbaeter some abnormal cases, however, in which other parts of the etheric body respond to these additional vibrations as readily as, or even more readily than, the eye.
Dr Besant has told us that, when Madame Blavatsky first instructed her to try it, she began with great intensity; but her teacher interrupted her, saying: The surest c.w.leadbeatet safest way of all is to c.e.leadbeater oneself into the hands of a competent teacher, and practise only what he advises. Well, the changes would be many and great; in fact, a whole new world would open before his eyes.
I must try to make myself like Him in all these respects.
Before a detailed explanation of clairvoyance can usefully be attempted, however, it will be necessary for us to devote a little time to some preliminary considerations, in order that we may have clearly in mind a few broad facts as to the different planes on which clairvoyant vision may be exercised, and the conditions which renders its exercise possible. Among these there are various subdivisions, some being able to reproduce the state of clairvoyance at will by again setting up the same conditions, while with others it comes sporadically, without any observable reference to their surroundings and with yet others the powers shows itself only once or twice in the whole course of their lives.