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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 Scientific Position

It would perhaps be premature to make any definite pronouncement
as to the scientific position in regard to the psychic phenomenon
known as "scrying," and certainly presumptuous on my part
to cite an authority from among the many who have examined
this subject, since all are not agreed upon the nature and
source of the observed phenomena. Their names are, moreover,
already identified with modern scientific research and theory,
so that to associate them with experimental psychology would
be to lend colour to the idea that modern science has recognized
this branch of knowledge. Nothing, perhaps, is further from
the fact, and while it cannot in any way be regarded as derogatory
to the highest scientist to be associated with others, of less
scientific attainment but of equal integrity, in this comparatively new
field of enquiry, it may lead to popular error to institute a connection.
It is still fresh in the mind how the Darwinian hypothesis was utterly
misconceived by the popular mind, the suggestion that man was descended
from the apes being generally quoted as a correct expression of
Darwin's theory, whereas he never suggested any such thing,
but that man and the apes had a common ancestor, which makes
of the ape rather a degenerate lemur than a human ancestor.
Other and more prevalent errors will occur to the reader, these
being due to the use of what is called "the evidence of the
senses"; and of all criteria the evidence of sensation is perhaps
the most faulty. Logical inference from deductive or inductive
reasoning has often enough been a good monitor to sense-perception,
and has, moreover, pioneered the man of science to correct
knowledge on more than one occasion. But as far as we know
or can learn from the history of human knowledge, our senses
have been the chiefest source of error. It is with considerable
caution that the scientist employs the evidence from sense
alone, and in the study of experimental psychology it is the sense
which has first to be corrected, and which, in fact, forms the great
factor in the equation. A person informs me that he can see a vision in
the crystal ball before him, and although I am in the same relation
with the "field" as he, I cannot see anything except accountable
reflections. This fact does not give any room for contradicting him or
any right to infer that it is all imagination. It is futile to say the
vision does not exist. If he sees it, it does exist so far as he is
concerned. There is no more a universal community of sensation than of
thought. When I am at work my own thought is more real than any
impression received through the sense organs. It is louder than the
babel of voices or the strains of instrumental music, and more
conspicuous than any object upon which the eye may fall. These external
impressions are admitted or shut out at will. I then know that
my thought is as real as my senses, that the images of thought
are as perceptible as those exterior to it and in every way as
objective and real. The thought-form has this advantage,
however, that it can be given a durable or a temporary existence,
and can be taken about with me without being liable to impost
as "excess luggage." In the matter of evidence in psychological
questions, therefore, sense perceptions are only second-rate
criteria and ought to be received with caution.

Almost all persons dream, and while dreaming they see and
hear, touch and taste, without questioning for a moment the
reality of these experiences. The dreaming person loses sight of
the fact that he is in a bedroom of a particular house, that he has
certain relations with others sleeping in the same house. He
loses sight of the fact that his name is, let us say, Henry, and
that he is famous for the manufacture of a particular brand of
soap or cheese. For him, and as long as it lasts, the dream is the
one reality. Now the question of the philosopher has always
been: which is the true dream, the sleeping dream or the waking
dream? The fact that the one is continuous of itself while the
other is not, and that we always fall into a new dream but
always wake to the same reality, has given a permanent value to
the waking or external life, and an equally fictitious one to the
interior or dreaming life. But what if the dream life became
more or less permanent to the exclusion of all other memories
and sensations? We should then get a case of insanity in which
hallucination would be symptomic. (The dream state is more or
less permanent with certain poetical temperaments, and if there
is any insanity attaching to it at all, it consists in the inability
to react.) Imagination, deep thought and grief are as much
anaesthetic as chloroform. But the closing of the external
channels of sensation is usually the signal for the opening of the
psychic, and from all the evidence it would seem that the
psychic sense is more extensive, acuter and in every way more
dependable than the physical. I never yet have met the man or
woman whose impaired eyesight required that he or she should
use glasses in order to see while asleep. That they do see is
common experience, and that they see farther, and therefore
better, with the psychic sense than with the physical has been
often proved. Emanuel Swedenborg saw a fire in Stockholm
when he was resident in England and gave evidence of it before
the vision was confirmed by news from Sweden. A lady of my
acquaintance saw and described a fire taking place at a country
seat about 150 miles away, the incident being true to the
minutest details, many of which were exceptional and in a
single instance tragic. The psychic sense is younger than the
physical, as the soul is younger than the body, and its faculty
continues unimpaired long after old age and disease have made
havoc of the earthly vestment. The soul is younger at a thousand
years than the body is at sixty. Let it be admitted upon evidence
that there are two sorts of sense perception, the physical and the
psychical, and that in some persons the latter is as much in
evidence as the former. We have to enquire then what relations
the crystal or other medium has to the development and exercise
of the clairvoyant faculty. We know comparatively little about
atomic structure in relation to nervous organism. The atomicity
of certain chemical bodies does not inform us as to why one
should be a deadly poison and another perfectly innocuous. We
regard different bodies as congeries of atoms, but it is a singular
fact that of two bodies containing exactly the same elements in
the same proportions the one is poisonous and the other
harmless. The only difference between them is the atomic

The atomic theory refers all bodies to one homogeneous basic
substance, which has been termed protyle (proto-hyle), from
which, by means of a process loosely defined as differentiation,
all the elements are derived. These elements are the result of
atomic arrangement. The atoms have various vibrations, the
extent of which is called the mean free path of vibration;
greatest in hydrogen and least in the densest element. All matter
is indestructible, but at the same time convertible, and these
facts, together with the absolute association of matter and force,
lead to the conclusion that every change of matter implies a
change of force. Matter, therefore, is ever living and active,
and there is no such thing as dead matter anywhere. The hylo-idealists
have therefore regarded all matter as but the ultimate expression
of spirit, and primarily of a spiritual origin.

The somewhat irksome phraseology of Baron Swedenborg has dulled
many minds to a sense of his great acumen and philosophical depth, but
it maybe convenient to summarize his scientific doctrine of
"Correspondences" in this place as it has an important bearing on the
subject in hand. He laid down the principle of the spiritual origin of
force and matter. Matter, he argued, was the ultimate expression of
spirit, as form was that of force. Spirit is to force what matter is to
form--its substratum. Hence for every spiritual force there is a
corresponding material form, and thus the material or natural world
corresponds at all points to the world of spirit, without being
identical. The apparent hiatus between one plane of existence and the
next he called a discrete degree, while the community between different
bodies on the same plane he called a continuous degree. Thus
there is community of sensation between bodies of the same
nature, community of feeling, community of thought, and
community of desire or aspiration, each on its own plane of
existence. But desire is translated into thought, thought into
feeling, and feeling into action. The spirit, soul (rational and
animal in its higher and lower aspects), and the body appear to
have been the principles of the human constitution according to
this authority. All spirits enjoy community, as all souls and all
bodies on their respective planes of existence; but between spirit
and soul, as between soul and body, there is a discrete degree.
In fine, mind is continuous of mind all through the universe, as
matter is continuous of matter; while mind and matter are
separated and need to be translated into terms of one another.

Taking our position from the scientific statement of the atomic
structure of bodies, atomic vibration and molecular arrangement,
we may now consider the action exerted by such bodies upon
the nervous organism of man.

The function of the brain, which may be regarded as the
bulbous root of a plant whose branches grow downwards, is
twofold: to affect, and to be affected. In its active and positive
condition it affects the whole of the vital and muscular
processes in the body, finding expression in vital action. In its
passive and negative state it is affected by impressions coming
to it in different ways through the sense organs, resulting
in nervous and mental action. These two functions are interdependent.
It is the latter or afferent function with which we are now concerned.
The range of our sense-perceptions puts us momentarily in relations
with the material world, or rather, with a certain portion of it. For
we by no means sense all that is sensible, and, as I have already
indicated, our sense impressions are often delusive. The gamut of our
senses is very limited, and also very imperfect both as to extent and
quality. Science is continually bringing new instruments into our
service, some to aid the senses, others to correct them. The
microscope, the microphone, the refracting lens are instances. It used
to be said with great certainty that you cannot see through a brick
wall, but by means of X-rays and a fluorescent screen it is now
possible to do so. I have seen my own heart beating as its image
was thrown on the screen by the Rontgen rays. Many insects,
birds and animals have keener perceptions in some respects than
man. Animalculae and microbic life, themselves microscopic,
have their own order of sense-organs related to a world of life
beyond our ken. These observations serve to emphasise the
great limitation of our senses, and also to enforce the fact that
Nature does not cease to exist where we cease to perceive her.
The recognition of this fact has been so thoroughly appreciated
by thoughtful people as to have opened up the question as to
what these human limitations may mean and to what degree
they may extend.

We know what they mean well enough: the history of human
development is the sequel to natural evolution, and this
development could never have had place apart from the hunger
of the mind and the consequent breaking down of sense limitations by
human invention. As to the extent of our limitations it has been
suggested that just as there are states of matter so fine as to be
beyond the range of vision, so there may be others so coarse as to be
below the sense of touch. We cannot, however, assert anything with
certainty, seeing that proof must always require that a thing must
be brought within our range of perception before we can admit it as
fact. The future has many more wonderful revelations in store for us,
no doubt. But there is really nothing more wonderful than human
faculty which discovers these things in Nature, things that have
always been in existence but until now have been outside our
range of perception. The ultra-solid world may exist.

The relations of our sense-organs to the various degrees of
matter, to solids, fluids, gases, atmosphere and ether, vary in
different individuals to such a wide extent as to create the
greatest diversity of normal faculty. The average wool-sorter
will outvie an artist in his perception of colour shades. An odour
that is distinctly recognizable by one person will not be
perceptible to others. In the matter of sound also the same
differences of perception will be noted. On a very still night one
can hear the sugar canes growing. Most people find the cry of a
bat to be beyond their range. The eye cannot discern intervals of
less than one-fiftieth of a second. Atmospheric vibration does
not become sound until a considerable frequency is attained.
Every movement we make displaces air but our sense of touch
does not inform us of it, but if we stand in a sunbeam the dust
particles will show that it is so. Our sense of feeling will not
register above certain degrees of heat or below certain degrees
of cold. Sensation, moreover, is not indefinitely sustained, as
anyone may learn who will follow the ticking of a watch for
five minutes continuously.

But quite apart from the sense and range of our perceptions, the
equality of a sense-impression is found to vary with different
persons, affecting them each in a different way. We find that
people have "tastes" in regard to form, colour, flavour, scent,
sound, fabric and texture. The experience is too general to need
illustration, but we may gather thence that, in relation to the
nervous system of man, every material body and state of matter
has a variable effect. These remarks will clear the ground for a
statement of my views upon the probable effect a crystal may
have upon a sensitive person.

Next: Materials And Conditions

Previous: Concise Dictionary Of Astrological Terms

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