William Walker Atkinson was one of the spiritual leaders among the New Thought pioneers. His writings also touch the topics of occultism, divination, psychic reality and the nature of manking. This edition contains the following works: Practical Psychomancy And Crystal Gazing Reincarnation And The Law Of Karma The Law Of The New Thought
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The Spiritual Writings Of William Walker Atkinson
Practical Psychomancy And Crystal Gazing
Lesson I. The Nature of Psychomancy.
Lesson II. How to Develop Yourself.
Lesson III. Simple Psychomancy.
Lesson IV. The Astral Tube.
Lesson V. Psychometry.
Lesson VI. Crystal Gazing.
Lesson VII. Astral Projection.
Lesson VIII. Space Psychomancy.
Lesson IX. Past Time Psychomancy.
Lesson X. Future Time Psychomancy.
Lesson XI. Dream Psychomancy.
Reincarnation And The Law Of Karma
Chapter I. The Early Races.
Chapter II. The Egyptians, Chaldeans, Druids, Etc.
Chapter III. The Romans and Greeks.
Chapter IV. The Jews, Essenes and Early Christians.
Chapter V. The Hindus.
Chapter VI. The Modern West.
Chapter VII. Between and Beyond Incarnations.
Chapter VIII. The Justice of Reincarnation.
Chapter IX. The Argument for Reincarnation.
Chapter X. The Proofs of Reincarnation.
Chapter XI. Arguments Against Reincarnation
Chapter XII. The Law of Karma.
The Law Of The New Thought
Chapter I. What Is The 'New Thought'?
Chapter Ii. Thoughts Are Things
Chapter Iii. The Law Of Attraction.
Chapter Iv. Mind Building.
Chapter V. The Dweller Of The Threshold.
Chapter Vi. Mind And Body.
Chapter Vii. The Mind And Its Planes.
Chapter Viii. The Sub-Conscious Plane.
Chapter Ix. The Super-Conscious Faculties.
Chapter X. The Soul's Question.
Chapter Xi. The Absolute.
Chapter Xii. The Oneness Of All.
Chapter Xiii. The Immortality Of The Soul
Chapter Xiv. The Unfoldment.
Chapter Xv. The Growth Of Consciousness.
Chapter Xvi. The Soul's Awakening.
The Spiritual Writings Of William Walker Atkinson
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
The term “Psychomancy” (pronounced, “sy-ko-man-see”), is derived from two Greek words, the first “psycho,” meaning “the soul; the mind; the understanding” (and generally used to indicate “psychic” or unusual powers of the soul or mind); the second word, “mancy” meaning “to divine; to foresee, or foreknow; to detect secret things,”—and in occult parlance, “to sense,” or “to receive impressions by the Astral Senses.” So the word, as we use it, may be said to mean “Psychic Sensing,” and in this work will be so used. The word “Psychomancer” means “one practicing Psychomancy;” and the word “Psychomantic” means “relating to Psychomancy.” The word “Clairvoyance” is frequently used by people to designate some of the phases of Psychomancy, but strictly speaking this term is incorrect when used in this sense, the true occult meaning of the word “Clairvoyance,” being “transcendental vision, or the perception of beings on another plane of existence—the seeing of disembodied souls, elementals, etc.” And so, in this work, we shall consider the true phenomena of Clairvoyance, as distinct from that of Psychomancy. In this work, we shall regard as the true phenomena of Psychomancy, all the various phenomena known as Practical Psychomancy and Crystal Gazing. Psychometry; Crystal Gazing; Perceiving Distant Scenes; a perception of Past Events, and Indication of Future Events; either in the full waking state; the state of reverie; or the state of dreams. And, so this work will examine, consider, and explain, the various phases of phenomena above indicated—in short, the phenomena of “sensing” objects by means of Astral Senses, omitting the phenomena of Clairvoyance, or seeing disembodied souls, etc., which we regard as belonging to a different phase of the general subject, and which require special consideration and examination. The majority of works upon these lines begin by an elaborate attempt to “prove” the reality of the phenomena in question. But we shall not fall into this error, for such we regard it. The time for the necessity of such proof is past. The records of the Societies for Psychical Research are full of proofs, and evidence, which are as full, complete and strong as ever required by any court to hang or clear a man. And the book shelves of the libraries are full of other books, giving like proof. And, for that matter, this work is not written to convince people of the truth of this phenomena—it is intended for those who have already convinced themselves of its reality, but who wish for specific information regarding its nature, manner of manifestation, etc. Where we quote instances of the manifestation of some form of Psychomantic phenomena, in this work, we do so simply to illustrate the characteristics of some particular form of the phenomena, and not as corroborative proof. With this explanation, we propose plunging right into the main subject itself.
There have been many attempted explanations of, and theories regarding the phenomena of Psychomancy, some of which are more or less plausible, while others are quite visionary, “wild,” and fantastic. In this work, we shall pay no attention to those more or less ingenious “guesses” of the theorists, but shall, instead, give you plainly, clearly, and simply, the time-honored teachings of the advanced Occultists which teachings we believe to be the Truth, tested and tried by centuries of investigation, and experiment.
The Occult Teachings inform us that in addition to the Five Physical Senses possessed by man, viz: Seeing; Feeling; Hearing; Tasting; and Smelling; each of which has its appropriate sense organ, every individual is also possessed of Five Astral Senses, which form a part of what is known to Occultists as the Astral Body. These Astral Senses, which are the astral counterparts of the five physical senses, operate upon what Occultists call the Astral Plane, which is next above the Physical Plane, in the Sevenfold Scale of Planes. Just as do the Physical Senses operate upon the Physical Plane, so do the Astral Senses operate upon the Astral Plane.
By means of these Astral Senses, one may sense outside objects without the use of the physical senses usually employed. And it is through this sensing by these Astral Senses, that the phenomena of Psychomancy becomes possible.
By the employment of the Astral Sense of Seeing, the Psychomancer is able to perceive occurrences, scenes, etc., at a distance sometimes almost incredibly far; to see through solid objects; to see records of past occurrences in the Astral Ether; and to see Future Scenes thrown ahead in Time, like the shadows cast by material objects—“coming events cast their shadows before,” you have heard. By the use of the Astral Sense of Hearing, he is able to sense sounds over immense distances and often after the passage of great periods of time, for the Astral vibrations continue for many years.
The Astral senses of Taste and Smell are seldom used, although there are abundant proofs of their existence. The Astral Sense of Feeling enables the Psychomancer to become aware of certain occurrences on the Astral Plane, and to perceive impressions, mental and otherwise, that are being manifested at a distance.
The Astral Sense of Feeling may be explained as being rather a sense of “Awareness,” than of a mere “Feeling,” inasmuch as the Psychomancer, through its channel, becomes “aware” of certain occurrences, other than by Astral Sight or Hearing, and yet which is not “Feeling” as the word is used on the Physical Plane. It may be well called “Sensing” for want of a better name, and manifests in a vague consciousness or “awareness.” But still we must not overlook the fact that there are many instances of true “feeling,” on the Astral Plane, for instances, cases where the Psychomancer actually “feels” the pain of another, which phenomena is commonly known as “sympathetic pains;” “taking on the condition,” etc., etc., and which are well known to all investigators as belonging to the phenomena of the Astral Senses.
But, to understand the Astral Senses, one must be made acquainted with the existence of that which Occultists know as “The Astral Body.” There is no point in the Occult Teachings better established; longer held; or more thoroughly proven than that of the existence of the Astral Body. This teaching of the Ancient Occultists is being corroborated by the experiments, and investigations of the Psychic Researchers of the present day. The Astral Body, belonging to every person, is an exact counterpart of the perfect physical body of the person. It is composed of fine ethereal matter, and is usually encased in the physical body. In ordinary cases, the detaching of the Astral Body from its physical counterpart is accomplished only with great difficulty, but in the case of dreams; great mental stress; and under certain conditions of occult development, the Astral Body may become detached and sent on long journeys, traveling at a rate of speed greater than that of light waves. On these journeys it is always connected with the physical body by a long filmy connecting link. If this link were to become broken, the person would die instantly, but this is an almost unheard of occurrence in the ordinary planes of action. The Astral Body exists a long time after the death of the physical body, but it disintegrates in time. It sometimes hovers around the resting place of the physical corpse, and is mistaken for the “spirit” of the deceased person, although really it is merely a shell or finer outer coating of the soul. The Astral Body of a dying person is often projected to the presence of friends and loved ones a few moments before the physical death, the phenomenon arising from the strong desire of the dying person to see and be seen. The Astral Body frequently travels from its physical counterpart, in Psychomantic phenomena, and visits scenes far distant, there sensing what is occurring. It also leaves the body during what are known as Psychomantic dreams; or under the influence of anaesthetics; or in some of the deeper phases of hypnosis; when it visits strange scenes and places, and often holds mental conversation with other Astral Bodies, or else with disembodied entities. The jumbled and distorted recollections of these dreams are occasioned by the brain not having received perfect impressions transmitted to it, by reason of lack of training, development, etc., the result being like a blurred or distorted photographic plate.
In order to intelligently grasp the underlying principles of the phenomena of Psychomancy, and its allied subjects, you must familiarize yourself with the truth concerning the Astral Senses, which we have just stated. Unless you understand and accept this truth and fact, you will not be able to grasp the principles underlying the phenomena in question, but will be lost in the quagmire of idle theories, and fantastic “explanation” hazarded by investigators of psychic phenomena who have not made themselves acquainted with the Occult Teachings which alone give the student an intelligent key to the mysteries of the Astral Plane.
The phenomena of Psychomancy, etc., may be grouped into three classes, each being produced by its own special classcause. In either or all cases, the impressions are received by and through the Astral Senses, but there are three distinct ways in which, and by which, these impressions are received. These ways, which we shall now proceed to consider in detail, may be classified under the following terms:
(1) Sensing by the “quickening” of one’s Astral Senses sufficient to perceive more clearly the etheric vibrations or currents; the auric emanations of persons and things; and similar phases of Psychomancy, but which does not include the power to sense occurrences happening in distant places; nor the power to sense the records of the past, or to receive indications of the future. (See Lesson III.)
(2) Sensing by means of the “Astral Tube,” erected in the Ether by the operation of one’s Will or Desire, and which acts as a Psychic “telescope,” or “microscope,” with “X Ray” features. (See Lesson IV.)
(3) Sensing by means of the actual projection of one’s own Astral Body to the distant scene. (See Lesson VII.)
“Clairaudience” is a term sometimes used to indicate Astral Hearing. Some writers on this subject treat “Clairaudience” as a separate class of phenomena. But we fail to see the distinction they make. It, of course, employs a different Astral Sense from that generally employed, but both are Astral Senses functioning on the Astral Plane, just as the physical senses of Seeing and Hearing function on the Physical Plane. And, more important, both forms of Astral Sensing are subject to the same laws and rules. In other words, all that is said in the lessons of this book on the subject of Psychomantic Vision holds equally true of Clairaudience.
Thus, there may be Simple Clairaudience; Space Clairaudience; Past Time Clairaudience; Future Time Clairaudience, etc.; also Clairaudient Psychometry; Clairaudience through Crystal Gazing, etc. Psychomantic Vision is the employment of the Astral Sight, while Clairaudience is the similar employment of the Astral Hearing.
In many cases of Psychomantic Vision there Is an accompaniment of Clairaudience; while in others it may be missing. Likewise, Psychomantic Vision usually accompanied Clairaudience, although sometimes one may be able to hear astrally, although not seeing.
You will notice that in many of the instances of Psychomantic Vision related in this book, there is a mention of the person hearing words or sounds, while seeing the vision—this, of course, is Clairaudience.
Passing to the actual practice, we desire to inform our students that the faculty of Psychomancy lies dormant in every person—that is the Astral Senses are present in everyone, and the possibility of their being awakened into activity is always present. The different degrees of power observable in different persons depend chiefly upon the degree of development, or unfoldment, rather than upon the comparative strength of the faculties. In some persons, of certain temperaments, the Astral Senses are very near the manifesting point at all times. Flashes of what are considered to be “intuition,” premonitions, etc., are really manifestations of Psychomancy in some phase. In the case of other persons, on the other hand, the Astral Senses are almost atrophied, so merged in materialistic thought and life are these people. The element of Faith also plays an important point in this phenomena, as it does in all Occult phenomena, for that matter. That is to say, that one’s belief tends to open up the latent powers and faculty in man, while a corresponding disbelief tends to prevent the unfoldment or manifestation. There is a very good psychological reason for this as all students of the subject well know. Belief and Disbelief are two potent psychological factors on all planes of action.
Occultists know, and teach, that the Astral Senses and faculties of the human race will unfold as the race progresses, at which time that which we now call Psychomantic Power will be a common possession of all persons, just as the use of the Physical Senses are to the race at the present time. In the meantime, there are persons who, not waiting for the evolution of the race, are beginning to manifest this power in a greater or lesser degree, depending much upon favorable circumstances, etc. There are many more persons in this stage of development than is generally realized. In fact many persons manifesting Psychomantic power, occasionally, are apt to pass by the phenomena as “imagination,” and “foolishness,” refusing to recognize its reality. Then, again, many persons manifest the power during sleeping hours, and dismiss the matter as “merely a dream,” etc.
Regarding this matter of the dawning of Psychomancy, a well-known authority writes as follows: “Students often ask how this psychic faculty will first be manifested in themselves— how they may know when they have reached the stage at which its first faint foreshadowings are beginning to be visible. Cases differ so widely that it is impossible to give to this question an answer that will be universally applicable. Some people begin by a plunge, as it were, and under some unusual stimulus become able just for once to see some striking vision; and very often in such a case, because the experience does not repeat itself, the seer comes in time to believe that on that occasion he must have been the victim of hallucination. Others begin by becoming intermittently conscious of the brilliant colors and vibrations of the human aura; others find themselves with increasing frequency seeing and hearing something to which those around them are blind and deaf; others again see faces, landscapes, or colored clouds floating before their eyes in the dark, before they sink to rest; while perhaps the commonest experience of all is that of those who begin to recollect with greater and greater clearness what they have seen and heard on other planes during sleep.”
Very many persons possess respectable degrees of Simple Psychomancy, varying from vague impressions to the full manifestation of the faculty, as described in these lessons. Such a person has “intuitions”; “notions”; “presentiments,” and the faculty of getting ideas regarding other persons and things, other than by the usual mental processes. Others manifest certain degrees of Psychometric powers, which develop rapidly by practice. Others find themselves possessing certain degrees of power of “scrying” through Crystals, which power, also, may be developed by practice. The phases of Time Psychomancy, Past and Future; and that of Space Psychomancy, in its higher degrees, are far more rare, and few persons possess them, and still fewer persist in the practice until they develop it, they lacking the patience, persistence, and application necessary. While it is very difficult to lay down a set method of instruction in the Development of Psychomantic Power, owing to reasons already given, and because of the varying temperaments, etc., of students, yet there is possible a plan of giving general information, which if followed will put the student upon the right path toward future development. And this plan we shall now proceed to give the students of this little book.
In the first place, the student should cultivate the faculty of Concentration, that is the power to hold the attention upon an object for some time. Very few persons possess this power, although they may think they do. The best way to develop Concentration is to practice on some familiar and common object, such as a pencil, book, ornament, etc. Take up the object and study it in detail, forcing the mind to examine and consider it in every part, until every detail of the object has been observed and noted. Then lay the object aside, and a few hours after pick it up again and repeat the process, and you will be surprised to see how many points you have missed on the first trial. Repeat this until you feel that you have exhausted your object. The next day take up another object, and repeat the process. A drill of this kind will not only greatly develop the powers of Perception, but will also strengthen your powers of Concentration in a manner which will be of great value to you in Occult Development.
The second point of development for the student, is the development of the faculty of Visualization. In order to Visualize you must cultivate the faculty of forming Mental Pictures of distant scenes, places, people, etc., until you can summon them before you at will, when you place yourself in the proper mental condition. Another plan is to place yourself in a comfortable position, and then make a mental journey to some place that you have previously visited. Prepare for the journey, and then mentally see yourself starting on your trip; then seeing all the intermediate places and points; then arriving at your destination and visiting the points of interest, etc.; and then returning home. Then, later try to visit places that you have never seen, in the same way. This is not Clairvoyance, but is a training of the mental faculties for the exercise of the real power.
After you have developed yourself along the lines of Concentration, and Visualization as above stated, you may begin to practice Psychometry, as follows: Take a lock of hair; or handkerchief; or ribbon; or ring; belonging to some other person, and then press it against your forehead, lightly, closing your eyes, and assuming a receptive and passive mental state. Then desire calmly that you Psychometrize the past history of the object. Do not be in too much of a hurry, but await calmly the impressions. After a while you will begin to receive impressions concerning the person owning the object pressed against your forehead. You will form a mental picture of the person, and will soon begin to receive impressions about his characteristics, etc. You may practice with a number of objects, at different times, and will gradually develop the Psychometric power by such practice and experiments. Remember that you are developing what is practically a new sense and must have perseverance and patience in educating and unfolding it. Another form of Psychometric development is that of tracing the past history, surroundings, etc., of metals, minerals, etc. The process is identical to that just described. The mineral is pressed against the forehead, and with closed eyes the person awaits the Psychometric impression. Some who have highly developed the faculty have been able to describe the veins of mineral, metal, etc., and to give much valuable information regarding same, all arising from the psychic clue afforded by a sample of the rock. mineral, metal, etc. There are other cases of record, in which underground streams of water have been discovered by Psychometrists, by means of the clue given by a bit of earth, stone, etc., from the surface. In this, as in the other phase mentioned, practice, practice, practice, is the summing up of the instruction regarding development.
We consider the use of the Crystal, Glass Ball, or other forms of what the ancients called “The Magic Mirror,” to be the best plan of developing Psychomantic Power. As we have already explained, this method serves to focus the concentrated desire, will, and thought of the person, and thereby becomes the starting point for the Astral Tube, of which we have frequently spoken in this work. The student becoming proficient in this class of phenomena, passes by easy, gradual and natural stages to the higher and more complex phases of the subject. The “Magic Mirror” (of which the Crystal is but a form) was used by the ancient Occultists in developing the powers of their students, and in all countries, and in all ages, it has played a similar part in the process of developing psychic powers, and serving as a focal point for the erection and operation of the Astral Tube, Psychomancy and other forms of occult and psychic phenomena.
At this point, we wish to tell you that there is no special virtue or magical properties or qualities in the Crystal itself—it is merely an instrument for Astral Vision, just as the telescope, microscope and other optical instruments are instruments employed in the phenomena of physical vision. It is true that the atomic and molecular characteristics of glass, crystal, etc., tend to produce the best results, but, after all, water, ink, etc., have been, and may be similarly used. No, there is no special “magic” in the crystal itself, so do not allow yourself to fall into any superstition regarding its use.
Various teachers use different forms of the Crystal, or substitutes for it. Some of the teachers whose patrons are among the wealthier classes of the community, insist upon their pupils possessing globes of pure crystal, insisting that the latter alone gives the best results. But others who have pupils among people with shorter purses, have found that their pupils obtained just as good results by the use of a ball of plain glass, which is inexpensive. Others have advocated the use of watch crystals laid over a piece of black cloth, preferably velvet. Others have used polished steel objects, or pieces of polished metal of various kinds, a new silver coin, for instance. Others still, have used a large drop of ink poured into a small dish, etc. Others have had cups painted black on their inner surface, into which they poured water, and claimed to have obtained the finest results. All the old talk about magic ceremonies and incantations being necessary in manufacturing the Magic Mirror, is pure nonsense, which has grown around the scientific facts of the case, as is so often the case. Do not be deceived by any such tomfoolery. A number of persons prefer to gaze into the bright substance of a precious stone. So you see, when we use the term “Crystal,” we mean that the student may make his choice of any, or several, of the above-mentioned objects, or that he may even substitute some other object of his own choosing, possessing the requisite power of reflection.
There are but very few directions to be given in the use of the Crystal. Read what we have to say at the conclusion of our lesson on “Crystal Gazing” in this book, (Lesson VI). The principal point insisted upon by nearly all the teachers, is that of placing the back of the gazer to the light, instead of having him face the light.
The simple general direction is that the gazer should practice by himself, at first, in a quiet room, sitting with his back toward the light, with the Crystal placed before him on a table, on a piece of black cloth, or other dark material, and then gaze calmly at the Crystal. Do not be afraid of winking, and do not strain or tire the eyes. Some prefer making funnels of their hands, and gazing through them just as if they were operaglasses, and we think this plan a very good one, for it serves to shut out distracting light, and sights. If you fail to see anything at the first trial, do not be discouraged, but persevere. A number of trials are necessary in some cases, while in others wonderful results have been obtained at the first experiment.
An English authority recommends that beginners failing to get direct results, then try to “visualize” something that they have already seen—something familiar, such as a chair, a ring, a face, etc., and then turning to the Crystal endeavor to reproduce there. It is claimed that this practice will often gradually lead to actual “seeing” in the Crystal.
The first signs of the actual “seeing” in the Crystal, comes in the form of a “cloudiness,” or “milkymist” in the crystal, which slowly resolves itself into a form, or scene, which appears gradually like the precipitation of a photograph upon a sensitive plate in the developing room. In some cases, the “misty” cloud deepens into a black one, from which the pictures appear.
General Advice. In this work we give you a comprehensive, although condensed, account of the various phases of the phenomena of Psychomancy, together with a number of instances of typical manifestations. By reading the following lessons, after having read the present one, the student will be able to gather much practical instruction on the subject of the manifestation of the power. He will be able to understand the nature and general workings of the phenomena, so that, when he undertakes the work of developing the power within himself, he will recognize the indication of his increasing power and unfolding faculties, which otherwise would “be Greek” to him. In order to get the very best results of instruction in this line, the student would of course do well to secure some competent instructor who could give him personal lessons. But, the person who has the patience and perseverance to “work the thing out for himself,” as many before him have done, will obtain results none the less valuable because they were worked for without assistance.
We feel that we have given the students of this little work, such an idea of the general subject, and its fundamental laws, together with such general instruction in the methods of developing and manifesting the power that it will be one’s own fault if he fails to get at least a fair degree of success from his undertaking self-development along these lines. There is no royal road to occult or psychic power—no “magic word” which when once pronounced will prove an “open Sesame” to the Doors of Psychomancy. And we would warn the student against persons who undertake to impart the “Secret” upon the payment of a goodly sum of money. There is no “Secret” to be so imparted—it is all a matter, first of general understanding, and then practice and work. To some it comes easier than to others, but even to such, the higher degrees mean work and practice. We trust that we have given you food for thought and material for practice. The rest depends upon yourself.
The phenomena of Psychomancy may be divided into three general classes, depending upon the nature of the “seeing,” as follows:
I. Simple Psychomancy, by which is meant the power of “sensing” by means of the Astral Senses in the degree of a mere “quickening” of the Astral Senses sufficiently to enable one to “sense” more clearly any etheric vibrations or currents; the auric emanations of persons and things; and similar phases of Psychomantic phenomena; but which does not include the power to sense actual occurrences happening in distant places; nor the power to sense the records of the past, or to receive indications of the future.
II. Space Psychomancy, by which is meant the power to sense distant scenes, persons, or objects.
III. Time Psychomancy, by which is meant the power to sense objects, events, persons, etc., in the records of the past; and also the power to sense the indications of the future—the “shadows of coming events.”
Simple Psychomancy is very much more common than is generally supposed. Very many people are quite sensitive to “impressions” coming to them in this way, which while akin to the impressions of Telepathy, nevertheless belong to the higher grade of Psychic Phenomena known as Psychomancy. It may be well to state here the difference between ordinary Telepathic impressions, and those of Simple Psychomancy. Many students are perplexed by the similarity between the two mentioned classes of phenomena, and we think it advisable to set them straight regarding the matter, at this point.
As we have stated in our previous work in this series, (entitled “Practical Mind Reading”) Telepathy is occasioned by the passage of Thought Waves or Currents, passing from one brain to another, just as pass the waves of Heat, Light, Electricity, etc. In Telepathy the brain of the Transmitter sends forth the vibration, waves, or currents, and the brain of the Receiver registers the same, receiving them by means of the Pineal Gland which acts in a manner closer resembling that of the receiving instrument in Wireless Telegraphy. In Telepathy there is merely the sending and receiving of thought vibrations, over the physical organs. But in Simple Psychomancy, the person may, and does, receive the thought vibrations emanating from the mind of another, but not over the physical channels, as in Telepathy, but by means of the Astral Senses. In this lies the difference. Now, it follows that the Astral Senses being far more keen and acute than the Physical Senses, the former will register vibrations and impressions far more readily than the latter, and will often register impressions that the Physical Senses (even the Pineal Gland organ) take no account of. In this way the person in whom the Astral Senses are even partially developed will receive impressions of the thoughts of others that even the most acute Mind Reader will fail to notice; as well as words actually spoken by the other person; and ideas forming in the mind of the other person not yet expressed in active thought-waves.
But, it should be added, the development of Telepathic powers very frequently grow into a development of Psychomantic powers, and so the former is one of the easiest paths to the latter, and may be used in developing Clairvoyant power, and in unfolding the Astral Senses. In this way the person possessing even a moderate degree of Psychomantic power often “feels” the thoughts, ideas, emotions, and other mental states of the people around him, and knows without any words being used just what the others are thinking and feeling. This is often perceived by merely the increased power to receive and register the Thought-vibrations, but in some cases the ability to sense the “Aura” of the other persons heighten the impression.
The majority of our readers are familiar with the fact that all persons, and objects, are surrounded by an emanation called an “Aura,” or egg-shaped psychic emanation extending several feet around them. This aura is charged with the thought-vibrations of the persons, and is really the “atmosphere” that we feel surrounding people and by which we feel attracted or repelled as the case may be. The trained and developed Psychomancer is able to see the colors by which the various emotions, thoughts, etc., are indicated, but even when that degree of power is lacking, he may “feel” the general character of the various component parts of the person’s aura.
While it is not our intention to go deeply into this matter of Auric Colors, in this work, still we think it well to indicate the same here, by quoting from a well-known authority on the subject, who says: “As he looks at a person he will see him surrounded by the luminous mist of the astral aura, flashing with all sorts of brilliant colors, and constantly changing in hue and brilliancy with every variation of the person’s thoughts and feelings. He will see this aura flooded with the beautiful rose-color of pure affection; the rich blue of devotional feeling; the hard dull brown of selfishness; the deep scarlet of anger; the horrible lurid red of sensuality; the livid grey of fear; the black clouds of hatred and malice; or any of the other hundredfold indications so easily to be read in it by a practiced eye; and thus it will be impossible for any persons to conceal from him the real state of their feelings on any subject.”
But only a comparatively few are able to distinctly see these Auric Colors, by reason of their lack of development along these special lines. But a great number of people are able to feel the subtle vibrations which give rise to these colors. Just as there are well authenticated cases of blind men and women being able to distinguish by the sense of feeling (in touch) the various colors which their blind eyes fail to see, so are thousands of people able to feel the auric shades which their imperfectly developed clairvoyant vision fails to perceive. In this connection it is interesting to note that science informs us that the sense of Feeling was the first developed of any of the physical senses; in fact all the other senses are developments of, and extensions of, the original sense of Feeling. And there is a close correspondence between this phenomena of the Physical Senses, and that of the Astral Senses.
But there are other, and perhaps more wonderful, features of Simple Psychomancy. It is a well established scientific fact that nearly, if not indeed all, objects are constantly emanating streams of Radiant Energy, or Streams of Electrons as they are called by some. The delicate instruments of science are able to detect and register some of the coarser vibrations of this energy, but the more delicate ones have so far escaped them. But the Astral Senses of the developed Psychomancer register and record many of the finer vibrations, and in this way many so-called “miracles” of occultism are explained. Let us examine this phenomena at this point.
It becomes apparent to any student of the subject, early in his investigations, that the Psychomancer is able to “see” things hidden by other objects, and often surrounded by the densest matter. In other words he is able to see through solid objects— to see “through a brick wall” to use the familiar phrase. Now this may seem almost incredible to one at the first mention of the subject. But when the skeptic’s attention is called to the fact that the “X Rays” and similar forms of energy recently discovered by science, readily pierce through solid objects, and may be actually “seen” by the eye (aided by the proper instruments), or recorded on a photographic plate—then the impossible feat of “seeing through a brick wall” becomes a very simple, understandable matter, indeed. And in an almost identical manner the Psychomancer sees through solid objects— and the most solid material becomes transparent to his Astral Sight.
The fine streams or waves of energy constantly being emanated by all objects, which are invisible to the naked physical eye, are registered and recorded by the Astral Sense of Sight. The Psychomancer even by means of the comparatively elementary power of Simple Psychomancy is able to see what is going on in an adjoining room, or other nearby place; to read the contents of a sealed letter; to describe the contents of a locked, steel book; or to read a chosen passage in a closed book. To the developed and trained Psychomancer, when he concentrates his power, the solid ground over which he is walking, becomes transparent, and he is enabled to see down into its depths to a considerable distance. In this way he may see living underground creatures at work, and play; and to discover veins of mineral, coal, etc., or underground streams of water. In these cases the Clairvoyant does not travel in the Astral, but merely receives and perceives the subtle vibrations or streams of fine energy constantly being emanated by the objects. Some Clairvoyants have developed certain other less common faculties of Astral Sight, which give the “telescopic” and “microscopic” vision in these “cases, in addition to the main faculty of “seeing” things through solid coverings. The question will naturally arise in the mind of the student, whether there is any limit to the depths open to the Astral Sight of the Psychomancer (in this phase of the phenomena), as for instance when he is looking into the solid earth. It may be urged that as objects at immense distances underground emanate rays just as truly as do objects nearer the surface, then there should be no difference in the power of vision. Answering this question we would say that the same objection and obstacle arises in this case, as in the corresponding physical phenomena, such as the X Rays. While a far distant object emits rays just as well as a nearby one, still there is a loss of energy according to distance, and the Astral Sense, like the Physical Sense, fails to clearly register after a certain distance is attained. This distance varies in the case of different persons using their Astral Vision, just as it does in the case of the different degrees of eyesight possessed by various persons. And then again, it must not be supposed that the earth becomes as clear as glass to the Astral Vision. On the contrary it presents a similar appearance to that obtained when one is seeing objects through water or mist, with the physical eye. One can see quite a way through water or mist with the physical eye, but after a certain distance the impressions grow dim, and finally fade from view. Of course in the case of the erecting of the Astral Tube better results may be obtained, but this phenomena belongs to the class of Space Psychomancy.
There is another power open to the Psychomancer along the lines of Simple Psychomancy. We refer to the phenomena of “seeing into” the physical bodies of other people; examining the internal organs; diagnosing diseases, etc. Of course, in this case, before the Clairvoyant is able to correctly diagnose a disease he must be acquainted with the nature of the organs, and their appearance in their normal state, etc., so that he will recognize a diseased condition when he sees it. One must needs have an acquaintance with Anatomy and Physiology, as well as possessing trained Psychomantic powers for this work.
The term “The Astral Tube,” is frequently met with in the writings of Occultists, but you will find very little more than a mention of it in many of such works, the proverbial caution of the older writers having acted in the direction of preventing their entering into a fuller description or explanation, for fear of the information falling into improper hands. This will be more readily understood, when we tell you that the Astral Tube is, and may be, used for classes of phenomena other than that of Psychomancy, notably that of Mental Influencing, “treating,” etc., which however forms no part of the present work, but which will be discussed in a future volume of the series to be called “Mental Influence, etc.”
The Astral Plane is composed of an ethereal form of matter, very much rarer and finer than the matter of the Physical Plane—but matter, nevertheless, and subject to fixed laws and conditions. And, just as it is possible to establish “lines of force” in the physical matter, so may corresponding “lines of force” be established in Astral matter. And this Astral Tube is really such a “line of force.” In other words, it is possible to set up and establish a “line of force” on the Astral Plane, that will serve as a ready conductor of Astral vibrations, currents, etc., and which affords a highly efficient channel of communication between objects far removed from each other in space. And this channel is actually created and used in a variety of forms of Occult phenomena.
You have heard of “Polarity,” and “Polarization” in connection with electrical phenomena. “Polarity” is defined by Webster as: “That quality or condition of a body by virtue of which it exhibits opposite or contrasted properties or powers, in opposite or contrasted parts or directions; or, a condition giving rise to a contrast of properties corresponding to a contrast of positions.” And, “Polarization” is defined by the same authority as: “Act of polarizing; state of having polarity.” Well, then, the process of erecting the Astral Tube is practically that of the “polarization” of the particles of Astral matter by an effort of the human Will, set in motion by means of a strong Desire or Determination, under certain conditions.
When the human Will is directed toward a distant person or object, under the proper psychic conditions, it tends to “polarize” a path or channel through the Astral atmosphere toward the desired point, which channel becomes at once an easy course of psychic communication for the transmission or receiving of psychic impressions or expressions, as the case may be. And, in the case of Psychomancy, and kindred phenomena, the Astral Senses of the person (even though his Astral Body be still within its physical counterpart) are able to readily “sense” the impressions being manifested at a far distant point in space. The above mentioned channel of communication—the Astral Tube—has not of course the advantages of actual travel in the Astral Body, and is besides affected by certain Astral happenings, such as the breaking up of the tube, or an impairment of its efficiency, by reason of some stronger astral current or channel, etc., for instance. When one considers the currents and cross-currents constantly in operation on the Astral Plane, it will be seen how likely the above mentioned interference is to happen.
Through the Astral Tube the Astral Senses actually “sense” the sights, and often the sounds, being manifested at a distance, just as one may see distant sights through a telescope, or hear distant sounds through a telephone, for instance. It also may be used as a microscope, as we shall see as we proceed. The student’s attention is especially directed toward the fact that in this form of phenomena, the Psychomancer remains within his physical body, and does not travel in the Astral at all. He sees the distant scenes, just as a man sees them through a telescope. His consciousness remains within his physical body. A well known writer on this subject has truly said: “…the limitations resemble those of a man using a telescope on the physical plane. The experimenter, for example, has a particular field of view which cannot be enlarged or altered: he is looking at his scene from a certain direction, and he cannot suddenly turn it all around and see how it looks from the other side. If he has sufficient psychic energy to spare, he may drop altogether the telescope that he is using, and manufacture an entirely new one for himself which will approach his objective somewhat differently; but this is not a course at all likely to be adopted in practice. 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. And so it would, if he were using that sight in the normal way upon an object which was fairly near him—within his astral reach as it were; but at a distance of hundreds or thousands of miles the case is very different. Astral sight gives us the advantage of an additional dimension, but there is still such a thing as position in that dimension, and it is naturally a potent factor in limiting the use of the powers of its plane. … Astral sight, when it is cramped by being directed along what is practically a tube, is limited very much as physical sight would be under similar circumstances, though if possessed in perfection it will continue to show, even at that distance, the auras, and therefore all the emotions and most of the thoughts of the people under observation.”
The Astral Tube, in connection with Psychomancy, is used in a variety of forms. It is often used unconsciously, and springs into existence spontaneously, under the power of some strong emotion, desire or will. It is also observed in some cases of hypnotic phenomena, in which the hypnotist uses his will to cause his subject to form an Astral Tube, and then report his impressions. It is also used by the trained Psychomancer, without the use of any “starting point,” or “focal centre,” simply by the exercise of his trained, developed and concentrated will. But its most familiar and common use is in connection with some object serving as a “starting point,” or “focal centre.” The “starting point” or “focal centre,” above mentioned, is generally either what is known as “the associated object” in the class of phenomena commonly known as “Psychometry,” or else a glass or crystalball, or similar polished reflecting surface, in what is known as “Crystal Gazing.” In the two next succeeding lessons, we shall consider these two forms of phenomena, respectively.
The phenomena commonly known as “Psychometry,” is but one phase of Psychomancy—or it even may be said to be but a method employed to bring into action the Astral Senses. The Psychometrist merely gets into rapport with the distant scene; or period of time; or person; or object; by using some bit of physical material associated with that scene; time; person; objects; etc., into order to “open up communications” along the usual lines of Psychomancy. This has been compared to the use of objects associated with a thing in the case of memory. We all know how the sight of some object will recall at once memories of things long since forgotten, to all appearances, but which memories have been merely stored away in the great storehouse of the mind, to be recalled readily when the “association” is furnished. What “association” is in the case of Memory, so is the material object presented as the “associated object” in Psychometry.
The Occult Teachings inform us that there is a psychic connection ever existing between things once associated, and that when we throw ourselves into the psychic current surrounding an object we may readily follow the current back until we reach the associated object for which we are seeking on the Astral Plane. In the Akashic Records (See Lesson IX) all memories are registered and recorded, and if we have a good starting point we may travel back until we find that which we desire. In the same way the “associated object” furnishes us with a ready means of starting our Astral Tube into being and use. This is the secret of the use of the lock of hair; the bit of clothing; the piece of metal or mineral, etc., used by Psychometrists. A well known authority on the subject has said concerning Psychometry: “It may be asked how it is possible, amid the bewildering confusion of these records of the past, to find any particular picture when it is wanted? As a matter of fact, the untrained psychic usually cannot do so without some special link to put him in rapport with the subject required. Psychometry is an instance in point, and it is quite probable that our ordinary memory is really only another presentment of the same idea. It seems as though there were a sort of magnetic attachment or affinity between any particle of matter and the record which contains its history—an affinity which enables it to act as a kind of conductor between that record and the faculties of anyone who can read it. For instance, I once brought from Stonehenge a tiny fragment of stone, not larger than a pin’s head, and on putting this into an envelope and handing it to a psychometrist who had no idea what it was, she at once began to describe the wonderful ruin from which it came, and the desolate country surrounding it, and then went on to picture vividly what were evidently scenes from its early history, showing that the infinitesimal fragment had been sufficient to put her into communication with the records connected with the spot from which it came. The scenes through which we pass in the course of our life seem to act in the same manner upon the cells of our brain as did the history of Stonehenge upon that particle of stone; they establish a connection with those cells by means of which our mind is put in rapport with that particular portion of the records, and so we ‘remember’ what we have seen.”
The method of Psychometry may be employed in a number of ways, among which are the following, all of which are subject to many variations and combinations:
I. Locating a person by means of a lock of hair, article of clothing, handkerchief, ribbon, piece of jewelry, bit of writing, etc. In this manner not only may a good Psychometrist locate the person, but will also be able to give an idea of his characteristics, habits, health, etc.
2. Describing a person’s characteristics, past life, future, etc., by means of the rapport condition made possible by the person’s presence.
3. Describing a present distant scene by means of a bit of mineral, plant, or similar object once located at the place.
4. Describing the surrounding underground characteristics by means of a bit of mineral, etc.
5. Getting into touch with the past history of an object, or its surroundings, by means of the object itself. For instance, a bullet from the battle-field may give the history of the battle; a bit of ancient pottery, the characteristics and habits of the people who made or used it, as well as the appearance of the land in which they dwell, etc.
In all of these phases, with their variations and combination, the student will see the operation of the phenomena under the various heads as classified by us in this work. Each occurrence or manifestation will be found to fit into the class of Simple Psychomancy; Space Psychomancy; Past Time Psychomancy; or Future Time Psychomancy. (See Lesson II, for suggestions regarding development of Psychometric power.)
There has been a great revival of interest in the subject of “Crystal Gazing,” particularly in England, of late years, and many interesting accounts have appeared in the papers and magazines regarding the results of the experiments. But the majority of the writers on the subject persist in treating it as a thing separate and apart from other forms of Psychomancy— in fact, many of them ignore Psychomancy altogether and are apparently under the impression that there is no connection between it and their favorite subject of Crystal Gazing. This attitude is somewhat amusing to persons who have made a careful study of Psychic Phenomena and who know that Crystal Gazing is not a distinct phenomenon, but is merely a method of bringing into action the Psychomantic faculties.
In many respects the Crystal acts in a manner akin to that of the “associated object” in Psychometry, but there is one point of distinction which should not be overlooked by the student. The “associated object” gives to the Psychometrist a starting point for the Astral Tube, and also serves to “point the Astral Telescope” (if one may use the term) in the right direction, by reason of its affinity with the distant scene, etc. But the Crystal does not so act, for it is not closely allied to, or in sympathy with other things, when used in the ordinary manner. Instead of being the “eyelens of the telescope,” it is really a “Magic Mirror” which is turned first this way and that, and which reflects whatever comes within its field, just as does any other mirror. The trained and developed Psychomancer, however, may direct his Mirror to any desired point, and may hold it there by means of a concentrated Will.
The favor with which Crystal Gazing meets with at the hands of beginners is due to the fact that it is the easiest method known by which the Astral Vision may be awakened. With the majority of people, the power may be awakened only by the aid of some physical object which may act as a startingpoint for the Astral Tube, or as one writer has expressed it, “a convenient focus for the Will-power.” A number of objects may be so employed, but the Crystal or Glass Ball is the best for the purpose because of certain atomic and molecular arrangements which tend to promote the manifestation of the psychic power and faculties. Crystal Gazing, as a method for inducing Psychomantic vision, has been quite common among all peoples, in all times. Not only the Crystal but many other objects are . similarly used. In Australia the native priests use water and shining objects, or in some cases, flame. In New Zealand some of the natives use a drop of blood. The Fijians fill a hole with water, and gaze into it. Some South American tribes use the polished surface of a black stone. The American Indians used water and shining bits of flint or quartz. And so the story goes. As Lang states it, people “stare into a crystal ball; a cup; a mirror; a blot of ink (Egypt and India); a drop of blood (the Maoris of New Zealand); a bowl of water (American Indians); a pond (Roman and African); water in a glass bowl (Fez); or almost any polished surface, etc.”
We quote a typical case of Crystal Gazing, related by Mr. Andrew Lang. He says: “I had given a glass ball to a young lady, Miss Baillie, who had scarcely any success with it. She lent it to Miss Leslie, who saw a large, square, old-fashioned red sofa covered with muslin (which she afterward found in the next countryhouse she visited). Miss Baillie’s brother, a young athlete, laughed at these experiments, took the ball into his study, and came back looking ‘gey gash.’ He admitted that he had seen a vision—somebody he knew, under a lamp. He said he would discover during the week whether he saw right or not. This was at 5.30 on a Sunday afternoon. On Tuesday, Mr. Baillie was at a dance in a town forty miles from his home, and met a Miss Preston. ‘On Sunday,’ he said, ‘about halfpast five, you were sitting under a standard lamp, in a dress I never saw you wear, a blue blouse with lace over the shoulders, pouring out tea for a man in blue serge, whose back was towards me, so that I only saw the tip of his mustache! ‘Why, the blinds must have been up,’ said Miss Preston. ‘I was at Dulby,’ said Mr. Baillie, and he undeniably was.”
Stead relates the following experience with the Crystal: “Miss X. upon looking into the crystal on two occasions as a test, to see if she could see men when she was several miles off, saw not me, but a different friend of mine on each occasion. She had never seen either of my friends before, but imediately identified them both on seeing them afterward at my office. On one of the evenings on which we experimented in the vain attempts to photograph a Double, I dined with Madam C. and her friend at a neighboring restaurant. As she glanced at the water bottle, Madam C. saw a picture beginning to form, and, looking at it from curiosity, described with considerable detail an elderly gentleman whom she had never seen before. and whom I did not in the least recognize from her description at the moment. Three hours afterwards, when the seance was over, Madam C. entered the room and recognized Mr. Elliott, of Messrs. Elliott & Fry, as the gentleman whom she had seen and described in the water bottle at the restaurant. On another occasion the picture was less agreeable: it was an old man lying dead in bed with some one weeping at his feet; but who it was, or what it related to, no one knew.”
As a matter of general interest, we also quote Mr. Stead’s remarks on crystal gazing, which agree with our own views and experience. He says: “There are some people who cannot look into an ordinary globular bottle without seeing pictures form themselves, without any effort or will on their part, in the crystal globe. Crystal gazing seems to be the least dangerous and most simple of all forms of experimenting. You simply look into a crystal globe the size of a fiveshilling piece, or a water bottle which is full of clear water, and which is placed so that too much light does not fall upon it, and then simply look at it. You make no incantations, and engage in no mumbo-jumbo business; you simply look at it for two or three minutes, taking care not to tire yourself, winking as much as you please, but fixing your thought upon whatever you wish to see. Then, if you have the faculty, the glass will cloud over with a milky mist, and in the centre the image is gradually precipitated in just the same way as a photograph forms on the sensitive plate.” (See Lesson II, for further particulars on Crystal Gazing, and suggestions for the successful development of the power.)
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