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A Postulate
Allied Psychic Phases
Concise Dictionary Of Astrological Terms
Directions For Using The Ovoids And Shperes For Crystal Or Mirror Vision
Experience And Use
Kinds Of Vision
Materials And Conditions
Obstacles To Clairvoyance
Preliminaries And Practice
Some Experiences
The Faculty Of Seership
The Practice Of Crystal Vision
The Scientific Position
The Vision

Obstacles To Clairvoyance

Various impediments stand in the way of inducing second sight,
and certain others may be expected to arise in connection with
the faculty when induced. Putting aside the greatest of all
obstacles, that of constitutional unfitness, as having already been
discussed in the preceding pages, the first obstacle to be
encountered is that of ill health. It can hardly be expected that
new areas can be opened up in the mind without considerable
change and adjustment taking place by reflection in the physical
economy. The reaction is likely to be attended by physical
distress. But Nature is adaptable and soon accommodates herself
to changed conditions, so that any results directly attributable to
the development of the psychic centres of activity is not likely to
be more than transient, providing that due regard has been given
to the normal requirements of health.

The importance of a moderate and nourishing diet cannot be too
strongly urged upon those who seek for psychic development. All
overloading of the stomach with indigestible food and addiction
to alcoholic drinks tend to cloud the higher faculties. The brain
centres are thereby depleted, the heart suffers strain, and the
equilibrium of the whole system is disturbed. Ill health follows,
the mind is centred upon the suffering body, spiritual aspiration
ceases, and the neglected soul folds its wings and falls into the
sleep of oblivion.

But, on the other hand, one must not suppose that the adoption of
a fruit and cereal diet will of itself induce to the development
of the psychic powers. It will aid by removing the chief
impediments of congestion and disease. Many good people who
adopt this dietetic reform have a tendency to scratch one another's
shoulder blades and expect to find their wings already sprouting.
If it were as easy as this the complacent cow would be high up in
the scale of spiritual aspirants.

The consciousness of man works from a centre which co-ordinates
and includes the phenomena of thought, feeling, and volition.
This centre is capable of rapid displacement, alternating
between the most external of physical functions and the most
internal of spiritual operations. It cannot be active in all parts of
our complex constitutions at one and the same moment. When
one part of our nature is active another is dormant, as is seen in
the waking and sleeping stages, the dream-life being in the
middle ground between the psychic and physical. It will therefore
be obvious that a condition in which the consciousness is held in
bondage by the infirmities of the body is not one likely to be
conducive to psychic development. For this reason alone many
aspirants have been turned back from initiation. The constitution
need not be robust, but it should at all events be free from
disorder and pain. Some of the most ethereal and spiritual natures
are found in association with a delicate organism. So long as the
balance is maintained the soul is free to develop its latent powers.
A certain delicacy of organization, together with a tendency to
hyperaesthesia, is most frequently noted in the passive or direct
seer; but a more robust and forceful constitution may well be
allied to the positive type of seership.

As a chronic state of physical congestion is altogether adverse to
the development of the second sight or any other psychic faculty,
so the temporary congestion following naturally upon a meal
indicates that it is not advisable to sit for psychic exercise
immediately after eating. Neither should a seance be begun when
food is due, for the automatism of the body will naturally demand
satisfaction at times when food is usually taken and the
preliminary processes of digestion will be active. The best time is
between meals and especially between tea and supper, or an hour
after the last meal of the day, supposing it to be of a light nature.
The body should be at rest, and duly fortified, and the mind
should be contented and tranquil.

The attitude of the would-be seer should not be too expectant or
over-anxious about results. All will come in good time, and the
more speedily if the conditions are carefully observed. It is
useless to force the young plant in its growth. Take time, as
Nature does. It is a great work and much patience may be needed.
Nature is never in a hurry, and therefore she brings everything to
perfection. The acorn becomes the sturdy oak only because
Nature is content with small results, because she has the virtue of
endurance. She is patient and careful in her beginnings, she
nurses the young life with infinite care, and her works are
wonderfully great and complete in their issues. Moreover, they
endure. Whoever breathes slowest lives the longest.

This statement opens up a very important matter connected with
all psychic phenomena, and one that deserves more than casual
notice. It has been long known to the people of the East that there
is an intimate connection between brain and lung action, and
modern experiment has shown by means of the spirometer that
the systole and diastole motion of the hemispheres of the brain
coincide exactly with the respiration of the lungs. The brain
as the organ of the mind registers every emotion with unerring
precision. But so also do the lungs, as a few common observations
will prove. Thus if a person is in deep thought the breathing
will be found to be long and regular, but if the mind is
agitated the breathing will be short and stertorous, while if fear
affects the mind the breathing is momentarily suspended. A
person never breathes from the base of the lung unless his mind
is engrossed. Hard exercise demands deep breathing and is
therefore helpful in producing good mental reactions. It is said
that the great preacher De Witt Talmage used to shovel gravel
from one side of his cellar to the other as a preliminary to his fine
elocutional efforts. It is this obvious connection between
respiration and mental processes which is at the base of the
system of psycho-physical culture known as Hatha Yoga in
distinction from Raj Yoga, which is concerned solely with
mental and spiritual development. The two systems, which have
of late years found frequent exposition in the New Thought
school, are to be found in Patanjali's Yoga sutra. Some
reference to the synchronous action of lung and brain will also be
found in Dr. Tafel's translation and exposition of Swedenborg's
luminous work on The Brain. In this work the Swedish seer
frankly refers his illumination regarding the functions of the brain
to his faculty of introspective vision or second sight, and it is of
interest to observe that all the more important discoveries in this
department of physiology during the last two centuries are clearly
anticipated by him. The scientific works of this great thinker are
far too little known by the majority, who are apt to regard him
only as a visionary and a religious teacher.

Ad rem. The vision is produced. The faculty of clairvoyance is
an established fact of experience and has become more or less
under the control of the mind. There will yet remain one or two
difficulties connected with the visions. One is that of time
measure, and another that of interpretation. The former is
common to both orders of vision, the direct and the symbolic.
The difficulty of interpretation is, of course, peculiar to the latter
order of vision.

The sensing of time is perhaps the greatest difficulty encountered
by the seer, and this factor is often the one that vitiates an
otherwise perfect revelation. I have known cartomantes and
diviners of all sorts to express their doubt as to the possibility of a
correct measure of time. Yet it is a question that follows naturally
upon a clear prediction--When?

It is sometimes impossible to determine whether a vision relates
to the past, the present, or the future. In most cases, however, the
seer has an intuitive sense of the time-relations of a vision which
is borne in upon him with the vision itself. It will generally be
observed that in ordinary mental operations the time sense is
subject to localization, and a distinct throw of the mind will be
experienced when speaking of the past and the future. Personally
I find the past to be located on my left and the future on my right
hand, but others inform me that the habit of mind, places the past
behind and the future in front of them, while others again have
the past beneath their feet and the future over their heads. It is
obviously a habit of mind, and this usually inheres in the
visionary state so that a sense of time is found to attach to all
visions, though it cannot be relied upon to register on every
occasion. But also it is frequently found that there is an automatic
allocation of the visions, those that are near of fulfilment being in
the foreground of the field, the approximate in the middle ground,
and the distant in the background; position answering to time
interval. In such case the vision has a certain definition or focus
according to the degree of its proximity. These points are,
however, best decided by empiricism, and rarely does it happen
that the intuitive sense of the seer is at fault when allowed to have

The other difficulty to which I have referred, that of interpretation
of symbols when forming the substance of the vision, may
be dealt with somewhat more fully. Symbolism is a universal
language and revelation most frequently is conveyed by means
of it. As a preliminary to the study of symbolism the student
should read Swedenborg's Hieroglyphical Key to Natural and
Spiritual Mysteries, one of the earliest of his works and
in a great measure the foundation of his thought and teaching.
The Golden Book of Hermes containing the twenty-two Tarots is
open to a universal interpretation as may be seen from the works
of the Kabalists, and in regard to their individual application may
be regarded in a fourfold light, having reference to the spiritual,
rational, psychic and physical planes of existence. It is by means
of symbols that the spiritual intelligences signal themselves to
our minds, and the most exalted vision is, as an expression of
intelligence, only intelligible by reason of its symbolism.
Something more may be said in regard to the interpretation of
symbols which may possibly be of use to those who have made
no special study of the subject, and this may conveniently form
the material of another chapter.

Next: Symbolism

Previous: Kinds Of Vision

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