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Clairvoyance In Space: Intentional
Clairvoyance In Space: Semi-intentional
Clairvoyance In Space: Unintentional
Clairvoyance In Time: The Future
Clairvoyance In Time: The Past
Methods Of Development
Simple Clairvoyance: Full
Simple Clairvoyance: Partial
What Clairvoyance Is

Simple Clairvoyance: Partial

The experiences of the untrained clairvoyant--and be it remembered
that that class includes all European clairvoyants except a very
few--will, however, usually fall very far short of what I have
attempted to indicate; they will fall short in many different ways--in
degree, in variety, or in permanence, and above all in precision.

Sometimes, for example, a man's clairvoyance will be permanent, but
very partial, extending only perhaps to one or two classes of the
phenomena observable; he will find himself endowed with some isolated
fragment of higher vision, without apparently possessing other powers
of sight which ought normally to accompany that fragment, or even to
precede it. For example, one of my dearest friends has all his life
had the power to see the atomic ether and atomic astral matter, and to
recognize their structure, alike in darkness or in light, as
inter-penetrating everything else; yet he has only rarely seen
entities whose bodies are composed of the much more obvious lower
ethers or denser astral matter, and at any rate is certainly not
permanently able to see them. He simply finds himself in possession of
this special faculty, without any apparent reason to account for it,
or any recognizable relation to anything else: and beyond proving to
him the existence of these atomic planes and demonstrating their
arrangement, it is difficult to see of what particular use it is to
him at present. Still, there the thing is, and it is an earnest of
greater things to come--of further powers still awaiting development.

There are many similar cases--similar, I mean, not in the possession
of that particular form of sight (which is unique in my experience),
but in showing the development of some one small part of the full and
clear vision of the astral and etheric planes. In nine cases out of
ten, however, such partial clairvoyance will at the same time lack
precision also--that is to say, there will be a good deal of vague
impression and inference about it, instead of the clear-cut definition
and certainty of the trained man. Examples of this type are constantly
to be found, especially among those who advertise themselves as "test
and business clairvoyants."

Then, again, there are those who are only temporarily clairvoyant
under certain special conditions. Among these there are various
subdivisions, some being able to reproduce the state of clairvoyance
at will by again setting up the same conditions, while with others it
comes sporadically, without any observable reference to their
surroundings, and with yet others the power shows itself only once or
twice in the whole course of their lives.

To the first of these subdivisions belong those who are clairvoyant
only when in the mesmeric trance--who when not so entranced are
incapable of seeing or hearing anything abnormal. These may sometimes
reach great heights of knowledge and be exceedingly precise in their
indications, but when that is so they are usually undergoing a course
of regular training, though for some reason unable as yet to set
themselves free from the leaden weight of earthly life without

In the same class we may put those--chiefly Orientals--who gain some
temporary sight only under the influence of certain drugs, or by means
of the performance of certain ceremonies. The ceremonialist sometimes
hypnotizes himself by his repetitions, and in that condition becomes
to some extent clairvoyant; more often he simply reduces himself to a
passive condition in which some other entity can obsess him and speak
through him. Sometimes, again, his ceremonies are not intended to
affect himself at all, but to invoke some astral entity who will give
him the required information; but of course that is a case of magic,
and not of clairvoyance. Both the drugs and the ceremonies are methods
emphatically to be avoided by any one who wishes to approach
clairvoyance from the higher side, and use it for his own progress and
for the helping of others. The Central African medicine-man or
witch-doctor and some of the Tartar Shamans are good examples of the

Those to whom a certain amount of clairvoyant power has come
occasionally only, and without any reference to their own wish, have
often been hysterical or highly nervous persons, with whom the faculty
was to a large extent one of the symptoms of a disease. Its appearance
showed that the physical vehicle was weakened to such a degree that it
no longer presented any obstacle in the way of a certain modicum of
etheric or astral vision. An extreme example of this class is the man
who drinks himself into delirium tremens, and in the condition of
absolute physical ruin and impure psychic excitation brought about by
the ravages of that fell disease, is able to see for the time some of
the loathsome elemental and other entities which he has drawn round
himself by his long course of degraded and bestial indulgence. There
are, however, other cases where the power of sight has appeared and
disappeared without apparent reference to the state of the physical
health; but it seems probable that even in those, if they could have
been observed closely enough, some alteration in the condition of the
etheric double would have been noticed.

Those who have only one instance of clairvoyance to report in the
whole of their lives are a difficult band to classify at all
exhaustively, because of the great variety of the contributory
circumstances. There are many among them to whom the experience has
come at some supreme moment of their lives, when it is comprehensible
that there might have been a temporary exaltation of faculty which
would be sufficient to account for it.

In the case of another subdivision of them the solitary case has been
the seeing of an apparition, most commonly of some friend or relative
at the point of death. Two possibilities are then offered for our
choice, and in each of them the strong wish of the dying man is the
impelling force. That force may have enabled him to materialize
himself for a moment, in which case of course no clairvoyance was
needed or more probably it may have acted mesmerically upon the
percipient, and momentarily dulled his physical and stimulated his
higher sensitiveness. In either case the vision is the product of the
emergency, and is not repeated simply because the necessary conditions
are not repeated.

There remains, however, an irresolvable residuum of cases in which a
solitary instance occurs of the exercise of undoubted clairvoyance,
while yet the occasion seems to us wholly trivial and unimportant.
About these we can only frame hypotheses; the governing conditions are
evidently not on the physical plane, and a separate investigation of
each case would be necessary before we could speak with any certainty
as to its causes. In some such it has appeared that an astral entity
was endeavouring to make some communication, and was able to impress
only some unimportant detail on its subject--all the useful or
significant part of what it had to say failing to get through into the
subject's consciousness.

In the investigation of the phenomena of clairvoyance all these varied
types and many others will be encountered, and a certain number of
cases of mere hallucination will be almost sure to appear also, and
will have to be carefully weeded out from the list of examples. The
student of such a subject needs an inexhaustible fund of patience and
steady perseverance, but if he goes on long enough he will begin dimly
to discern order behind the chaos, and will gradually get some idea of
the great laws under which the whole evolution is working.

It will help him greatly in his efforts if he will adopt the order
which we have just followed--that is, if he will first take the
trouble to familiarize himself as thoroughly as may be with the actual
facts concerning the planes with which ordinary clairvoyance deals.
If he will learn what there really is to be seen with astral and
etheric sight, and what their respective limitations are, he will then
have, as it were, a standard by which to measure the cases which he
observes. Since all instances of partial sight must of necessity fit
into some niche in this whole, if he has the outline of the entire
scheme in his head he will find it comparatively easy with a little
practice to classify the instances with which he is called upon to

We have said nothing as yet as to the still more wonderful
possibilities of clairvoyance upon the mental plane, nor indeed is it
necessary that much should be said, as it is exceedingly improbable
that the investigator will ever meet with any examples of it except
among pupils properly trained in some of the very highest schools of
occultism. For them it opens up yet another new world, vaster far than
all those beneath it--a world in which all that we can imagine of
utmost glory and splendour is the commonplace of existence. Some
account of its marvellous faculty, its eneffable bliss, its
magnificent opportunities for learning and for work, is given in the
sixth of our Theosophical manuals, and to that the student may be

All that it has to give--all of it at least that he can assimilate--is
within the reach of the trained pupil, but for the untrained
clairvoyant to touch it is hardly more than a bare possibility. It
has been done in mesmeric trance, but the occurrence is of exceeding
rarity, for it needs almost superhuman qualifications in the way of
lofty spiritual aspiration and absolute purity of thought and
intention upon the part both of the subject and the operator.

To a type of clairvoyance such as this, and still more fully to that
which belongs to the plane next above it, the name of spiritual sight
may reasonably be applied; and since the celestial world to which it
opens our eyes lies all round us here and now, it is fit that our
passing reference to it should be made under the heading of simple
clairvoyance, though it may be necessary to allude to it again when
dealing with clairvoyance in space, to which we will now pass on.

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