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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

The Faculty Of Seership

Until quite recently the faculty of seership has been associated
in occult literature with various magical formulae. There are in
existence works by Tristemius, Francis Barrett, Ebenezer Sibley
and others in which the use of the crystal is made by means of
magical invocations and a variety of ceremonial observances. It
is not within the scope of this treatise to determine the
value of such rites or the desirability of invoking extraneous
intelligences and powers by the use of magical practices; but I
think we may conclude that communion of this order is not
unattended by grave dangers. When the Israelites were ill-content
with the farinaceous manna they invoked Heaven to send them meat. They
got what they wanted, but also the dire penalty which it incurred; and
it is quite likely that in invoking occult forces beyond one's power
to control great evils may ensue. All action and reaction are equal
and opposite. A child can pull a trigger but cannot withstand the
recoil of a gun, or by moving a lever may set machinery in motion
which it can by no means control. Therefore without strength and
knowledge of the right sort it is foolish to meddle with occult
forces; and in the education of the development of the psychic and
spiritual faculties native in us, it is better to encourage their
natural development by legitimate exercise than to invoke the action
of a stimulus which cannot afterwards be controlled. Water will
wear away a rock by continual fretting, though nobody doubts
that water is softer than a rock, and if the barrier between this
and the soul-world be like granite, yet the patient and persistent
action of the determined mind will sooner or later wear it away,
the last thin layer will break and the light of another world will
stream through, dazzling our unaccustomed eyes with its bright

It is my object here to indicate by what means and by what
persons the natural development of the clairvoyant faculty may
be achieved. In regard then to the subject, medium or seer, there
are two distinct temperaments in which the faculty is likely to
be dominant and capable of high and rapid development. The
first is the nervous temperament, characterized by extreme
activity of body and mind, nervous excitability, dark complexion,
prominent features, and wiry frame. Types of this temperament are
to be seen in the descriptions of Dante, Swedenborg, Melancthon,
Edgar A. Poe and others. This type represents the positive seers.

The other temperament is of the passive type and is characterized
by a full lymphatic habit, pale or delicate complexion, blue eyes,
straight fine hair, small hands, tapering fingers, cold and fleshy to
the touch; usually a thin or high voice and languid manner.

These two types of seers--of which there are many varieties--
achieve their development by quite opposite means. The positive
seer projects the mental images by a psychic process impossible
of description, but by a certain psychic metabolism by which the
apperceptions of the soul are transformed into mental images of a
purely symbolical nature. The psychic process of picture-production
is involuntary and unconscious, but the perception of the
mental pictures is a perfectly conscious process and involves
the exercise of an introspective faculty. The passive seer, on the
contrary, is effortless, and receives impressions by reflection, the
visions coming imperceptibly and having a literal interpretation.
The vision is not in this case of an allegorical or symbolic nature,
as is the case with the positive seer, but is an actual vision of a
fact or event which has already happened or as it will transpire in
the future. Thus the positive vision consists in the projection of
the mind towards the things of the soul-world, while the passive
vision in the result of a propulsion of the soul-world upon the
passive sense. Of the two kinds of vision, the passive is the more
serviceable as being the more perspicuous and literal, but it has
the disadvantage of being largely under the control of external
influences and consequently of greater variability than the
positive vision. It is, indeed, quite the common experience that
the passive medium requires "conditions" for the proper exercise
of the faculty and where these are lacking no vision can be

The positive type of seer exercises an introspective vision,
searching inwardly towards the soul-world whence revelation
proceeds. The passive seer, on the other hand, remains in a static
condition, open to impressions coming inwards upon the mind's
eye, but making no conscious effort towards inward searching.
Those who have experienced both involuntary and voluntary
visions will readily appreciate the difference of attitude, which is
difficult to convey to others in so many words.

Now the exercise of this faculty does not exist apart from some
definite use, and it may be of advantage to consider what that use
may be. Primarily, I should be disposed to regard the mere
opening up of a channel of communication between the material
and psychic worlds as adequate reason for the exercise of the
faculty. The Gates of Heaven have to be kept open by human
endeavour and the exercise of the spiritual and psychic faculties,
otherwise a complete lesion and cutting off of our source of
inspiration would follow. Except we aspire to the higher world
that world will come no nearer to us. Action and reaction are
equal and opposite. It was never said that the door would be
opened to others than those who knocked. The law of spiritual
compensation involves the fact that we receive what we ask for.
If we get it otherwise, there is no guarantee of its continuance or
that its possession will be a blessing. But if we ask according to
our needs and strive according to our strength there is no law
which can prevent a commensurate response. The ignorance of
our asking and the imperfection of our striving will modify the
nature of the response, but they cannot be negative of results. We
can trust nature and there is a spiritual law in the natural world as
well as a natural law in the spiritual world, for they are

But even our daily life affords numerous instances wherein the
use of the clairvoyant faculty is attended by beneficial results.
How many people there are who have been warned in dreams--
wherein all people are naturally clairvoyant--of some impending
danger to themselves or those around them, must have struck any
casual reader of the daily press; for during recent years much
greater interest has been taken in psychological matters and we
are continually in hearing of new facts which give us knowledge
of the power of the soul to foresee danger, and to know what is
determined upon the world for the greater ends of human
evolution. Some experiences of this nature will no doubt form a
fit subject for a subsequent chapter. The qualifications which
should supplement and sustain the natural aptitude of the seer or
seeress demand consideration in this place, and the following
remarks may not be without value in this respect.

Mental stability, self-possession and confidence in one's own
soul-faculties must be the firm rock on which all revelation
should rest. The element of doubt either negatives results or
opens the door to the ingress of all manner of deceptive

Integrity of purpose is imperative. The purer the intention and
motive of the seer the more lucid will be the vision accorded. No
reliable vision can be obtained by one whose nature is not
inherently truthful.

Any selfish desire dominating the mind, in regard to any thing or
person will distort the vision and render it misleading, while a
persistent self-seeking spirit will effectually shut the door to all
revelation whatsoever.

Therefore above all things it is essential for the investigator of
psychic phenomena to have an unflinching love of truth, to be
resigned to the will of Heaven, to accept the revelations accorded
in a spirit of grateful confidence, and to dispel all doubt and
controversy by an appeal to the eyes of one's own immortal soul.

These are qualifications with which the seer or seeress should be
invested, and if with these the quest of the vision is unsuccessful
after a period of earnest trial, it must be taken as sufficient
warrant that the faculty of clairvoyance is not in the category of
one's individual powers. Haply the same qualifications brought to
bear on some other psychic faculty will result in a rich recompense.

As for those triflers who at odd moments sit for the production of
what they call "phenomena," with no other object than the
gratification of an inquisitive vanity, I would drive them with
whips from the field of psychical research. They are people
whose presence in this area of serious enquiry does no good
either to the cause of truth or the service of the race, and this
loose traffic of sorts in the hope of finding a new sensation would,
were it transferred to another sphere of activity, deservedly
receive a very ugly name.

The suggestion that the clairvoyant faculty is latent in all of us
has no doubt been responsible for much misunderstanding, and
not a little disappointment; but I doubt if it is so far removed
from the truth as that which makes the possession of the faculty a
certain sign of a superior degree of evolution. Although the
faculty of clear vision brings us into more intimate conscious
relations with a new order of existence, where the past and future,
the distant and the near, would seem to be brought into
immediate perception, it does not therefore confer upon us a
higher degree of spirituality. It may undoubtedly offer us a
truer perspective than that we may derive from the ordinary
circumstance of our lives, and may suggest good grounds for a
more comprehensive ethical system, but it cannot compel one to
do the right thing or to lead the virtuous life. Clairvoyance,
indeed, is a faculty which has no direct moral relations. It is no
more the gift or property of the wise or the good man than
extraordinary muscular power is an adjunct of high intelligence.
And yet it is a curious fact that in all the sacred writings of the
world there is a suggestion that holy men, or "Men of God," have
this and other transcendent faculties, such as clairaudience
and the power of healing. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures
clairaudience seems to constitute the peculiar authority of the
teacher or prophet. Thus we have expressions such as: "The
Word of the Lord came to me saying," etc., and "I heard a voice
which said," etc., which is sometimes but not always associated
with direct vision. But because holy men of old were distinguished
by this power of direct vision it is not to be supposed that all who
have it are equally sanctified. By natural gift or by such means we
are here discussing, the faculty may be brought into active function,
but we should not lose sight of the fact that the attainment of
righteousness implies that "all these things shall be added unto you."

I think it right, therefore, to regard the quest of clairvoyance as a
legitimate occupation, providing that it is purposeful and carried
out with a right spirit, while not being allowed to interfere with
the proper performance of one's ordinary duties in life. For it is
possible to become over-zealous and even morbid over these
mysteries of human life, and to become so obsessed by the idea
of their importance as practically to render oneself unfitted for
any ordinary pursuits, thereby producing an isolation that is in the
best sense unprofitable. Moreover, there are mental dangers as
well as spiritual and social to be feared, and it is unfortunately
not uncommon to observe that neuraesthenia, nervous corrosion,
and even insanity attends upon the tireless efforts of the
enthusiast in this direction.

If we regard clairvoyance as a normal faculty we are more likely
to treat it normally than if we give it a paramount and exceptional
value and seek to beatify those in whom it appears. I am
convinced from experience that it is both normal and educable
though not usually active in the large majority of people. I am
also of the opinion that it is not peculiar, except in its higher
functions, to human beings. I have known animals to possess this
faculty; in a higher degree I have seen humans in the exercise of
it. Perhaps even the archangels are yet seeking their vision of

But to us as normal beings clairvoyance should appear a
potentially normal faculty, to be studied and pursued by methods
that are efficient while yet harmless; and this is the purport of the
present treatise. I will therefore ask the reader to follow me in
these pages with a mind divested of all disposition to the

Next: Preliminaries And Practice

Previous: Materials And Conditions

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