Genuine Mediumship or The Invisible Powers is one of the masterworks of William W. Atkinson. The book deals with abnormal and supernatural powers, clairvoyance, mental capabilities of man and the spiritual planes. Contents: Part I - Nature's Finer Forces Part II - Mental Vibrations And Transmissions Part Iii - Thought Transference Part Iv - Clairvoyance And Kindred Phenomena Part V - Clairvoyance: Past, Present And Future Part Vi - Mediumship Part Vii - Mediumistic Conditions Part Viii - How To Develop Mediumship Part Ix - Mediumistic Phenomena Part X - Experiences In The Circle Part Xi - Higher Spirit Manifestations
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Or The Invisible Powers
William Walker Atkinson (Swami Bhakta Vishita)
Part I - Nature's Finer Forces
Part II - Mental Vibrations And Transmissions
Part Iii - Thought Transference
Part Iv - Clairvoyance And Kindred Phenomena
Part V - Clairvoyance: Past, Present And Future
Part Vi - Mediumship
Part Vii - Mediumistic Conditions
Part Viii - How To Develop Mediumship
Part Ix - Mediumistic Phenomena
Part X - Experiences In The Circle
Part Xi - Higher Spirit Manifestations
Genuine Mediumship, William Walker Atkinson
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
One of the most common mistaken conceptions of the average student of the occult sciences, and of so-called "psychic phenomena" in general, is that which may be expressed by the term "supernatural." This term, as you know, is used to express the idea of "that which is outside of the realm of Nature, and of Nature's laws."
Knowledge Versus Faith
As a matter of fact, as all the advanced students and teachers of the occult doctrine know full well, we have no direct knowledge whatsoever of anything that is "outside of the realm of nature, and of Nature's laws." It is true that we may, by an act of faith, profess to believe in powers and beings entirely apart from the great realm of Nature—in fact, most persons do believe in such powers and beings in connection with their formal religion—but their belief is entirely within the category of Faith, and is not even pretended to be based upon actual experience and phenomenal manifestation.
The moment that there appears any manifestation which is possible of being known to, or experienced by, the human senses, ordinary or extraordinary, that moment the phenomena and the immediate cause thereof must be regarded as being properly classed in the category of "natural." This is true not only of such phenomena as are perceived by means of our ordinary five senses, but also of those which are perceptible only to the highest powers of perception, or higher senses, which are latent in all human beings but which are unfolded only in the case of a comparatively few individuals of the race.
It should be clearly understood by all students of occultism or psychic phenomena that man's knowledge and experience, normal or supernormal, is confined to the realm of Nature. There is a "ring pass-not" around the boundaries of the Kingdom of Nature which mortals cannot pass, no matter how high may be their degree of development and advancement. Even those great mystics whose writings are filled with the startling revelations of "union with the Divine," and of "At-one-ment with Deity," are under no illusion concerning this fact they know full well that only in so far as Deity involves itself in Nature—wraps itself up in the garments of Nature—can it be directly experienced by man, and thus actually known by him.
Supernormal, Not Supernatural
Perhaps a clearer understanding of this important subject will be had if we but substitute the term "supernormal" for that of "supernatural." The term "supernormal" is not commonly employed, and but few know that such a word is to be found in the dictionaries, much less know its meaning; but a study of its meaning, and its adoption in our thinking, will serve to give us a clearer conception of the true nature of many strange phases of experience of which we have become conscious, either by reasons of their manifestation by ourselves, or else by the manifestation on the part of others. It will accordingly be well for us to carefully examine this term and its meaning.
"Subnormal" means: "Beyond, above, or exceeding that which isnormal; extraordinary, inexplicable perhaps, butnotsupernatural." Now, the term "normal" means: "Conforming to a certain standard, rule, or type"; hence, anything that is "supernormal" is something that isabove the usual pattern, rule, or type.
There is an important distinction to be noted here, to-wit: a thing may beoutsideof the usual pattern, rule, or type, in the sense of beinginferior toorunderthe ordinary standard, and in this case is known as "abnormal," the latter term being employed as a term of depreciation. On the other hand, the "outsideof the standard" quality may consist of asuperiorityto the prevailing standard, and accordingly is entitled to be classed in the category of the "supernormal"—the prefix "super" meaning "above,over,higher, etc."
It is important that the distinction be made clearly between the use and meaning of these two terms, "abnormal" and "supernormal," respectively. The first named denotesinferiority, and the latter denotessuperiority. This distinction may be more clearly apprehended by means of a concrete example, as follows:
On our own plane of existence the senses of sight and hearing, respectively, are included in the usual standard, pattern, and type of sense normality—every normal person possesses these senses in a certain general degree of power; hence, on this plane of existence, a person born blind, or deaf, is spoken of as "abnormal," that is to say, such a person isdeficientin regard to the sense powers.
On the contrary, let us imagine a plane of existence, in which the great majority of individuals lack the power of sight and hearing, respectively. On such a plane of existence, the occasional individual who was born possessed of the powers of sight and hearing, respectively, would be properly regarded as "supernormal," that is to say, such a person would besuperiorto the ordinary run of individuals—above them, in fact. The term "abnormal" meansminusthe ordinary standard quality; and the term "supernormal" meansplusthe ordinary standard quality. And yet both the "plus" and the "minus" would be "outside" the normal type, though there is a difference as wide as that between the two poles, in this "outsideness."
Supernormal, Not Abnormal
The above important statement concerning the distinction between the "abnormal" and "supernormal" is not made merely for the purpose of academic differentiation and classification. On the other hand, it is made because there is a most pernicious tendency on the part of the ignorant and unthinking portions of the public to regard and to classify certain high phases of occult and psychic manifestation of power as "abnormal," hencebelowthe standard; whereas, properly speaking, such manifestations of power are farabove the standard, and, hence, clearly entitled to the term "supernormal."
The Prevailing Ignorance
The ignorant and unthinking attitude of certain portions of the general public toward this class of phenomena is akin to that of a community of blind and deaf persons, satisfied that their own "three sense" standard is the highest possible one attainable by living creatures and that all variation therefrom must be considered as "abnormal." In such a community there would occasionally be born certain individuals possessed of the senses of sight and hearing, in addition to the common three senses possessed by the entire community. Judging by what we know of the tendency of human nature in such cases, we are warranted in conjuring that the ordinary run of persons in such a community would revile the seeing and hearing individuals as "abnormal," and their possessors therefore to be pitied, and perhaps shunned. Only the intelligent and thoughtful members of such a community would be able to grasp the fact that these exceptional individuals were really not only not "abnormal," and inferior to type, but that they were really "supernormal," and superior to type.
Prejudice Against the Unusual.
Those to whom the above illustration may seem far-fetched, exaggerated, and unwarranted, are asked to carefully consider the ignorant and unthinking attitude which the great majority of the general public, at least at first, present toward that most wonderful display of supernormal powers, known as "occult" or "psychic," made by the few highly developed individuals of the race who are able to manifest them to some degree. These individuals are regarded as "queer," and "strange," "unnatural," and "abnormal" by their ignorant and unthinking neighbors and associates, just as the seeing and hearing exceptional individuals were likewise so regarded by their blind and deaf neighbors in the above illustration. And, here as in the illustration it is only the few intelligent and thinking individuals of the community who recognize that the departure from the standard type is in the direction of advancement and gain, rather than of retrogression and loss—a plus attribute, rather than a minus one. The illustration is startlingly true and in accordance with the facts of the case, as many thoughtful persons know only to well, and admit sadly.
Great Changes Impending
But it would be unjust and unfair to the general public were we to fail to add to the above criticism the fact that there is underway a great change in the public opinion regarding this important matter. More and more persons are becoming interested in Nature's Finer Forces every day; more are becoming more familiar with the phenomena manifested by the gifted individuals possessing these wondrous powers; and more are coming to realize that these powers are really latent in all of the members of the human race, though lying dormant in the majority thereof, and may be unfolded and brought into active manifestation by scientific methods of training and development. But, even so, the student and teacher of this great subject should carefully bear in mind the important distinction above made between that which is "abnormal," and that which is "supernormal"; and such should lose no opportunity in pointing out this important distinction whenever the subject arises in conversation or argument—for the propaganda of truth should be earnestly and vigorously pursued, in order that the world may be liberated from its chains of error.
The Naturalness of the Occult Powers
Returning to the subject considered in the opening paragraphs of this book, namely, thenaturalnessof the occult and psychic higher powers and the manifestation thereof, we strongly advise all students of these subjects to acquire a working knowledge of the place in Nature occupied by these powers and their manifestations. A little scientific information on this subject will render the student better able to intelligently teach others concerning these matters, and also to successfully defend himself when the ignorant and unthinking seek to attack the things which are so dear to his heart, and so real and evident to himself. Many, by reason of their lack of scientific knowledge on these points, not only fail to make converts to their cause of truth, but often really drive away persons who might otherwise be interested. Many persons are really interested in and attracted to the manifestations of the higher occult and psychic powers, but are fearful of anything "unnatural" or "supernatural," and are disposed to be frightened off by any suspicion of such qualities in things. These same persons, if shown that the phenomena have a perfectly valid scientific base in natural forces and laws, will throw aside their fears and will become earnest investigators and students of this great subject. Hence, as we have said, every teacher and student of this subject should know the true scientific natural basis thereof; and in the following few pages we shall endeavor to plainly, though briefly, present these to you.
The World of Vibrations
Modern science furnishes abundant testimony to support and substantiate the teachings of the ancient Hindu sages to the effect that everything in the Universe is in constant motion, which is manifested by varying rates, degrees, and modes of vibration. The modern scientists, alike with the ancient occultist, knows that the differences between the things of the Universe arise mainly from the different rates, modes, and degrees of the vibrations manifested in the things themselves. If we change the vibration of a thing, we practically change the manifested nature of that thing. The difference between solid ice, liquid water, semi-gaseous vapor, and gaseous steam is simply the difference caused by various rates of vibration caused by heat. The difference between red and blue, green and violet, is simply that caused by varying rates of vibration. Light and heat, as well as sound, depend for the differences upon rates of vibration.
Moreover, as every text book on science informs us, there are sounds too low as well as those too high for the human ear to register, but which are registered by delicate instruments. Again, there are colors beyond the place of red, at one end of the visible spectrum; and others beyond the place of violet at the other end of that spectrum, which the human eye is unable to register and detect, but which our apparatus in the laboratory plainly register. The ray of light which registers on the photographic plate, and which causes sunburn on our skin, is too high a rate of vibration for our eyes to perceive. Likewise the X-Rays, and many other of the finer rays of light known to science are imperceptible to the unaided human vision—they are actually "dark rays" so far as the human eye is concerned, though man has devised instruments by means of which they may be caught and registered.
The Higher Vibrations
The vibrations of magnetism and electricity are imperceptible to our sight, though they may be registered by the appropriate apparatus; and if we had the proper sense of apparatus to perceive them, these rays of vibratory force would open up a whole new world to us. Likewise, if we could increase our power of hearing-perception, we would seem to be living in a new world of sights and sounds now closed to us. Reasoning along the same lines of thought, many great thinkers have held that there is no reason for doubting the possible existence of other world-planes of being, just as real and as actual as the one upon which we live, and move, and have our being, but which is forever invisible to the ordinary human sight and senses; the apparent nothingness of such worlds arising solely from the great difference in the rates of vibrations between the two planes of being.
Listen to what careful thinkers have said concerning the possibility of entire worlds existing in the same space occupied by us, but of which we are unconscious by reason of our failure to sense their vibrations: One says, "All our sensations are due to the impact upon our sense-organs of vibrations in some form. Variations in the strength and rapidity of these vibrations constitute the difference in our perceptions. Our range of response is but a limited one. Some vibrations are too rapid and some too slow to affect our senses, and therefore we have called to our aid various mechanical contrivances which enable us to recognize existences which would otherwise remain unknown. But it is still conceivable that there may be, and doubtless are, conditions of vibratory energy that escape us, and which, if we could develop finer senses, would yield wonderful results and extensions of our power and knowledge. Today, indeed, we are coming into contact with forces, possibilities, and personalities which amount to a revelation of a new universe of things."
Interpenetrating Planes and Worlds.
Another says: "It is true that 'things are not what they seem'; but everything seems to be 'thus and so' to us only because of its particular plane of being, and that plane of being is determined by its vibrations. On one plane there is a certain vibratory value or speed; on another plane, a different one; but a plane is not a place, but a state, and so it is possible that two utterly different planes of being might co-exist in the same place and be entirely unknown to one another. That may seem absurd, but it is a scientific truth, and many authorities have endorsed the same."
Another says: "There may be, right here and now, passing through us and this world, some planet invisible to us, with mountains, oceans, lakes, rivers, cities, and inhabitants: and yet we know absolutely nothing of their existence." Another says: "Some students of the occult find it difficult to grasp the idea of a number of manifestations, each having its own rate of vibration, occupying the same point of space at the same time. A slight consideration of the phenomena of the physical world would perhaps aid such persons in assimilating the concept in question. For instance, as every student of physics knows, a single point of space may contain at the same time vibrations of heat, light of many shades, magnetism electricity, X-Rays, etc., each manifesting its own rate of vibration, land yet none interfering with the others."
Another says: "Every beam of sunlight contains many different colors, each with its own degree of vibration, and yet none crowding out the others. By the use of the proper forms of laboratory apparatus each kind of light may be separated from the others, and the ray thus split up. The difference in colors arises simply from the different rates of etheric vibrations. Again, it is possible to send many telegrams along the same wire, at the same time, by using senders and receivers of different vibratory keynotes. The same thing has its corresponding analogy in the case of the wireless telegraphy. So you see, even on the physical planes we find many forms of vibratory energy manifesting on, in, and at the same point of space at the same time, without interfering one with the other."
Manifold Planes of Existence
The ancient occult teachings have ever insisted upon the presence of numerous planes of existence, of which our own particular plane is but one. And all of these numerous planes are equally within the realms of Nature; none of them being supernatural. And there is always found to exist a correspondence between these several planes of manifestation; and, under supernormal conditions, a certain degree of possible communication between them. Each of these planes has numerous subdivisions and subplanes, the divisions being according to the rule of "sevens," as follows: there are seven grand planes, and each of these are subdivided into seven secondary planes, and each of these into seven tertiary planes, and so on until the division has been made seven times.
The student of occultism, particularly at the beginning of his studies, experiences difficulty in comprehending just what is meant by the term "plane" as employed in the occult teachings. His first impression, usually encouraged by the use of the dictionary, is that each "plane" is one of a series of strata or layers, above and below which are present other layers or strata. Even after the student progresses in his understanding of the subject, this original picture of material layers and strata tends to persist in his thought on the subject. The error, of course, arises from his original conception of the planes, layers, or strata as being composed of gross material matter, whereas, as a matter of fact, only one of the many planes is so composed. When one stops to think that even the grossest form of matter is itself composed of vibrations of energy (for science teaches that all matter is but energy at the last); and that all other forms of material substance is likewise so composed of vibrations of energy; then one is on the road to the discovery of the real state of affairs. Then he begins to realize that instead of the planes of being rising one above the other in the scale of their fineness, they are graded according to their degree of vibratory energy, and each may actually occupy the same space as all the others. In short, the "planes" are not strata or layers of "matter" at all, but are simply different states of vibration of energy; and that which we know as "matter" is simply one (and a very low one) of the many forms of such vibrations.
From the above, it is seen that the various planes of being are not distinguished by spatial position; they do not lie one superimposed on the other, like layers or strata of matter. Instead, they interpenetrate each other in the same limits of space. A single point of space may accommodate the manifestations of each and all of the seven great planes of being, and all the subdivisions, and sub-divisions (sevenfold in division) at the same time. The old occultists impressed this and other facts upon the minds of their pupils by the oft-repeated aphorism: "A plane of being is not a place of being, but a state of being." And the "state of being" is simply a certain manifestation of vibratory energy. With these ideas firmly fixed in the mind, the student is less apt to wander astray from the facts of the case.
Planes and Vibrations
To those who may be disposed to regard the above statements concerning the "planes of being" as somewhat visionary, theoretical, or imaginary, we would say: "Go to modern science, and verify this statement." The following quotation from a writer on the subject will serve to illustrate this fact, viz.: "We are apt to think that we are familiar with every kind of matter in existence, but such is not the case. We are familiar with only a few forms of matter. Spectrum analysis shows us that on certain fixed stars there are forms of matter far different from matter as we know it on this planet. On some stars this unknown matter appears to be of a much lower form of vibration than that manifested by terrestrial matter; while on others, there appears to be a much higher vibratory rate than even that manifested by the most subtle forms of ultra-gaseous matter known to us here. Even on our own globe we can distinguish between several great class of matter. In addition to the forms called 'solid,' 'liquid,' and 'gaseous,' respectively, science now recognizes a fourth plane of matter known as 'ultra-gaseous' matter, and there are indications of several even finer states of matter, known under the general term of 'radiant matter.' In fact, modern science sees 'radiant matter' apparently fading away into 'radiant energy.'"
In view of the facts of modern science concerning the different planes of substance, matter and energy, it is mere stupidity that ventures to question the possibility of the existence of great plane of being and life beyond the range of the ordinary senses of man—planes surrounding us on all sides, occupying the same space as we do, yet unseen by us, and we largely unseen by those dwelling upon such planes.
The Higher Senses of Men.
There are found persons who, while admitting the possibility of other and finer planes of being and life, yet question the possibility of communication between these planes of existence. They say, with apparently sound logic, "How is it possible for the human being, with his ordinary senses, to 'sense' things or being, dwelling on finer planes of being?" If this were all that there is to the question, we might well echo "How, indeed?" and agree with the critic. But, this is not all that there is to it—not even the beginning of the end of the tale. For not only may things on the finer planes become perceptible to human beings by means of the lowering of the vibrations of these finer vibratory objects in certain ways, but human beings may develop and cultivate an increased power in their senses of sight and hearing, and thus raise their vibrations so as to "sense" the things of the higher vibrations; and, still more, human beings may, and often do, develop and cultivate certain latent powers of "sensing" which are inherent in every one of us, and thus directly "sense" the sights and sounds of the higher planes of existence, almost if not quite as clearly as they can sense the objects and events of their own plane of existence. To understand how this can be, it is necessary to carefully consider the question of "sensing" in general, so as to understand just what enables us to "sense" anything at all. Once understanding this, it is but a step further to understand thissupernormalsensing referred to. Let us then examine this matter of "sensing" in general.
The World of Sensation.
The reports of our sense organs are called "sensations." A sensation is defined as "an impression, or the consciousness of an impression, made upon the mind through the medium of a nerve or one of the organs of sense. The term 'sense' is defined as 'a faculty possessed by animals of perceiving external objects by means of impressions made upon certain organs of the body, or of perceiving changes in the condition of the body.' Our senses have been well said to constitute 'the doors to the outside world.' Unless our attention is specially directed to the subject, few of us even begin to realize how completely we are dependent upon these 'doors' to the outside world" for our knowledge of that outside world. It is only when we stop to imagine how completely shut in, or shut out, we would be if all of our sense channels should be destroyed, that we can even begin to realize just how dependent we are upon our senses for our knowledge of the world in which we live, and move, and have our being.
A Senseless World.
A writer on the subject has said: "Psychologists have pointed out to us the fact that if a human being were born without sense organs, no matter how perfect a brain he might have, his life would be little more than that of a plant. Such a person would exist merely in a dreamlike state, with only the very faintest manifestations of consciousness. His consciousness would not be able to react in response to the impact of sensations from the outside world, for there would be no such impact. And as consciousness depends almost entirely upon the impact of, or resistance to, outside impressions, his consciousness would be almost entirely inactive. He would be conscious of his own existence, but would probably never realize the fact fully, for he would have nothing else with which to compare himself, and his self-consciousness would never be aroused by contact with things outside of himself. Such a person would not have even the memories of previous sensations or experiences to arouse or heighten his consciousness or thought, and consequently he would have no imagination to use. He would be, to all intents and purposes, a living corpse. Helen Keller has only two doors of sensation closed to her—the sense of sight and the sense of hearing. Touch, taste, and smell, however were left to her; and each was quickened and heightened in order to help so far as possible to perform the world of the defective senses. The reaching of the consciousness of this girl is considered by science to be akin to a miracle—yet only two senses were missing. To appreciate the full meaning of the importance of the senses, one has but to think of Helen Keller as having been also deprived of the sense of touch."
The Elemental Sense.
Science informs us that all of the five senses of man, viz., the respective senses of touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell are but modifications of one elementary sense namely the sense of touch; and that the other senses have been gradually evolved from that one elementary sense. This is seen to be the case when it is realized that the only way that we "sense" the presence of an outside object—be that object either a material substance, a vibration of the air, or an etheric vibration of light—is by that outside object coming in contact, directly or indirectly, with one or more of our sensory nerves, the latter conveying the report of the contact to the brain, which translates the sensation into what is called a "perception." This is true of the sensations of touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell, and of senses higher than these and which as yet are not recognized by science. Consequently, the consciousness of the presence of an outside thing arises from contact with that outside thing through the channel of the sense of touch, or of some of its more complex evolved phases.
The Raw Material of Thought.
From what has been said, it is seen that we can know only those things concerning the outside world which are capable of being reported to us by means of sense impressions, simple or complex—all of our thought regarding the world is made up from "the raw materials of thought" which psychologists have termed sensations. Consequently, if an individual is deprived of one or more of his ordinary senses, his knowledge of the outside world is decreased to just that extent. And, likewise, if the individual were to be given one or more additional senses, his knowledge of the world would be increased in the same ratio. The same result, at least in a certain degree, would be attained if the existing senses of the individual were to be increased in power so as to register higher rates of vibration than they now consciously register and record.
The Evolution of the Senses.
This subject of increased sense-powers has always been a fascinating one for the psychologists, and much speculation has been indulged in concerning the increased consciousness of mankind were additional senses opened to it. We ask you to carefully consider the following quotations from psychologists possessing the "scientific imagination."
A psychologist says: "All the senses have been evolved from the elementary sense of Touch. All of our senses are but modified, specialized, and more complex forms of the sense of Touch. The elementary life-forms possessed merely the sense of Touch; and that but faintly developed—but a faint sensitiveness to outside impressions. Then developed the sense of Taste, from which later evolved the sense of Smell, the latter even now being closely associated with the former. Then evolved the sense of Hearing, or the consciousness of the contact of air vibrations called 'sound.' Then evolved the sense of sight, or the consciousness of contact with the light waves of the other. And it is not impossible, or even improbable, that the human race will eventually develop other and more complex senses—in fact, many even now claim that the development of extra senses is now under way in the race, and that the same are now manifesting the presence and their powers in exceptional cases."
Unfoldment of New Senses
The same writer continues as follows: "Even as it is man is able to perceive only a limited number of sound vibrations—there are many sound vibrations above and below his scale, and which he is unable to perceive, but which are registered by delicate instruments. Likewise, man is able to perceive only a limited range of light vibrations, there being enormous fields of such vibrations above and below his range. Again, man is unable to sense electrical waves, or magnetic waves—though, theoretically, he should be able to sense these as well as light waves, the difference between these respective fields of etheric vibrations being simply different rates of vibration. Imagine what a new world would be opened to man if he could sense the waves of electricity. In that case he could 'see' things as far away from him as the waves of electricity could travel, and even though solid objects intervened, as in the case of the X-Rays. In such a case a man might actually 'see' things at the other side of the world, by means of 'wireless electrical waves.' Theoretically these things are possible, providing that man's optical nerves are rendered more sensitive, or provided that he evolves a new set of sensory nerves and instruments of impression."
Discovery of New Worlds.
Another psychologist says: "If a new sense or two were added to the present normal number in man, that which is now the phenomenal world for all of us might, for all that we know, burst into something amazingly different and wider, in consequence of the additional revelations of these new senses." Another authority has said: "It does not seem at all improbable that there are properties of matter of which none of our senses can take immediate cognizance, and which other beings might be able to see in the same manner that we are sensible to light, sound, etc." Another writer has said: "We know that our sensory nerves are capable of transmitting to the brain only a part of the phenomena of the universe. Our senses give us only a section of the world's phenomena. Our senses usher only certain phenomena into the presence of our minds. If we had three or four new senses added, this might appear like a new world to us; we might become conscious of a vast number of phenomena which at present never have any effect upon our nervous system. It is not possible to imagine a race of beings whose senses do not resemble ours, inhabiting other worlds."
Another writer has drawn an interesting picture, which is based upon a conjecture which is scientifically valid, as follows: "The late Professor James once suggested as a useful exercise for young students a consideration of the changes which would be worked in our ordinary world if the various branches of our receiving instruments happened to exchange duties; if, for instance, we heard all colors, and saw all sounds. All this is less mad than it seems. Music is but an interpretation of certain vibrations undertaken by the ear; and color is but an interpretation of other vibrations undertaken by the eye. Were such an alteration of our senses to take place, the world would still be sending us the same messages, but we should be interpreting them differently. Beauty would still be ours, though speaking in another tongue. The birds' song would then strike our retina as pageant of color; we should see all the magical tones of the wind, hear as a great fugue the repeated and harmonized greens of the forest, the cadences of stormy skies. Did we realize how slight an adjustment of our own organs is needed to initiate us into such a world, we should perhaps be less contemptuous of those mystics who tell us in moments of transcendental consciousness they 'heard flowers that sounded, and saw notes that shone'; or that they have experienced rare moments of consciousness in which the senses were fused organs is needed to initiate us into such a world into a single and ineffable act of perception, in which color and sound were known as aspects of the same thing."
We Sense Only Vibratory Motion.
In assimilating the strange and wonderful conceptions of the psychologists above quoted, concerning the possibility of a new world of sensation arising from the possession of new channels of sense impression, we must never lose sight of the basic fact that allsensations result from contact with vibratory motion. An eminent scientific authority has said regarding this: "The only way the external world affects the nervous system is by means of vibratory motion. Light is vibratory motion; Sound is vibratory motion; Heat is vibratory motion; Touch is vibratory motion; Taste and Smell are vibratory motion. The world is known to us simply by virtue of, and in relation to, the vibratory motion of its particles. Those vibratory motions are appreciated and continued by the nervous system, and by it brought at length to the mind's perception."
The Higher Planes of Nature
In view of the facts and principles above set forth and considered, we may begin to see that there is nothing "unnatural" in the hypothesis that there may be reports conveyed to the consciousness of man by means of higher vibrations than those of ordinary sound, or ordinary sight, providing that man has either (1) highly developed his ordinary senses of sight, hearing, or touch to a degree sufficiently high to register these higher vibrations; or else has evolved and unfolded into consciousness certain latent faculties of sense-impression which are lying dormant in the great masses of mankind. In fact, the thoughtful person will be forced to admit that this new knowledge of the nature of sensations, and of its relation to vibratory motion, renders extremely probable the truth of the great body of reports of such so-called extra-conscious knowledge which the experience of the race has furnished from the beginning of human history down to the present time. Such a person will see that it is not a sign of "credulity" for a person to accept such reports, so universally set forth; but that, rather, it is a sign of "credulity" for a person to accept blindly the dogmatic assertions of the materialistic sceptics to the effect that "there is no such thing possible in the natural world, under natural world, under natural laws—the whole thing is delusion or else deliberate fraud." Such "know-it-all" persons are usually found to really "know much that is not true," and to lack knowledge of much that is true, regarding Nature, her realm and her laws.
An Appeal To Reason.
Concluding these statements, let us say that the student of this book will find nothing contained within this book which is contrary to Nature's laws and principles. He will nowhere in it be asked to suspend the exercise of his reason, and to accept as facts things which violate all of Nature's laws. Instead, he will find at each point full natural explanations of even the most wonderful phenomena; and the appeal to accept same will be made always to his reason, and not to his blind faith or unreasoning belief. The student is urged to build his knowledge of this important subject upon this solid rock of natural law and fact, and not upon the shifting and sinking sands of mere dogmatic assertion and appeal to assumed authority ancient or modern.
In the category of Nature's Finer Forces must be included that class of manifestations which are generally known as Telepathy, Thought Transference, Thought Force, etc., all of which are based upon the fact that there is present in all such mental states as Thought, Emotion, Desire, etc., a certain rate of vibratory motion, which motion is capable of being radiated from the mind of the person manifesting them in such power and force that they may be registered with more or less distinctness upon the minds of other persons are at a greater or less distance from the first person. In the more common forms of its manifestation, such mental force or power is known as Thought Force, Mental Influence, etc., and in its more pronounced and less common phases it is known as Telepathy, Thought Transference, etc., but the basic principle is precisely the same in all of such cases, simple or complex though their manifestations may be.
The Higher Forces.
We may say here, frankly and plainly, however, that the advanced occultists regard this class of phenomena as comparatively simple and elementary, and therefore not fully entitled to be included in the same category with the higher phases of Nature's Finer Forces, such as, for instance, Clairvoyance, Psychometry, Communication with the Higher Planes, etc. But notwithstanding this, we are of the opinion that any and every one of the finer forces of nature, i.e., any of the forces which are over and above the plane upon which the ordinary senses of man, normally developed, ordinarily function and operate, should be placed in one general category of the Higher Forces of Nature, particularly in a work of this kind designed for the instruction of the general public upon these important subjects. Accordingly, these lesser manifestations of the finer forces in the natural world shall be carefully considered in this part of this book, so that the student may become acquainted with the scientific principles upon which they are based, and may be enabled to develop the power of manifesting such powers if he choose to do so; and that he may understand the nature of such forces and powers when they are manifested by other persons.
Chitta, or Mind Substance.
The Hindu Teachings hold that that which we call "Mind" is not an intangible something different from anything else in Nature, but that, on the contrary, it forms a part of Nature's general manifestation, and is a substantial thing. The Hindus have given to this Mind Substance the name of Chitta. Without going into metaphysical discussion, or entering into technical details concerning this Mind Substance or Chitta, we may say that the Hindus believe it to be one phase of the great Manifestation which we call Nature—just as that which we call Matter is another phase of Manifestation—and, like Matter, having its own particular kind of force, or energy, its own rates of vibrations, and its own attribute of radiating its vibratory force or energy over space. Chitta manifests its activity in creating Thought, Emotions, etc., and also in receiving impressions from the outside world which it translates into perceptions and ideals. Chitta, or Mind Substance, is not regarded by the Hindus as being identical with the Soul, or the Ego; but, on the contrary, they regard it as being an instrument for the expression of the activity of the Ego, or Soul, just as the Body is another kind of instrument. Both Body and Mind are regarded as being intended for the use of the Ego or Soul, and not as identical with the latter. We shall not discuss these distinctions further in this book, this subject being apart from the general field and scope of the present work.
What Modern Science Says.
There are many to whom this conception of the vibration energy of Chitta or Mind Substance may seem strange. But such persons will be still more surprised, perhaps, when they are told that modern science has practically admitted the general truth contained in the Hindu teachings concerning the same, though modern science seems to cloak the facts of the case in technical terms so that the ordinary person is unable to comprehend the real facts dwelling beneath these terms. To this latter class we specially commend the following statement made by Professor Ochorowicz, the eminent European scientist, a few years ago. Professor Ochoriwicz says:
A Living Dynamic Focus.
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