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Clairvoyant Reverie








In the preceding two chapters, I have asked you to consider the first two
methods of inducing the clairvoyant phenomena, namely, Psychometry, and
Crystal-Gazing, respectively. In these cases you have seen how the
clairvoyant gets en rapport with the astral plane by means of physical
objects, in the case of psychometric clairvoyance; or by means of a
shining object, in the case of crystal gazing. Let us now consider the
third method of inducing the clairvoyant condition or state, i.e., by
means of what may be called Clairvoyant Reverie, in which the clairvoyant
gets en rapport with the astral plane by means of psychic states in which
the sights, sounds and thoughts of the material and physical plane are
shut out of consciousness.

The student of the general subject of clairvoyance will soon be impressed
with two facts concerning the production of clairvoyant phenomena, namely,
(1) that in the majority of the recorded cases of the investigators the
clairvoyant phenomena were obtained when the clairvoyant was in the state
of sleep, or at least semi-sleep or drowsiness, the visioning appearing
more or less like a vivid dream; and (2) that in the case of the
clairvoyant voluntarily entering en rapport with the astral plane, he or
she would enter into what seemed to be a kind of trance condition, in some
cases an absolute unconsciousness of the outside world being manifested.
The student, noting these facts, is apt to arrive at the conclusion that
all clairvoyance is accompanied by the condition of sleep, or trance, and
that no clairvoyant phenomena are possible unless this psychic condition
is first obtained. But this is only a half-truth as we shall see in a
moment.

In the first place, the student arriving at this conclusion seems to have
ignored the fact that the phenomena of psychometry and crystal gazing,
respectively, are as true instances of clairvoyance as are those which are
manifested in the sleep or trance condition. It is true that some
psychometrists produce phenomena when they are in a state of psychic
quiescence, but, on the other hand, many clairvoyant psychometrists merely
concentrate the attention on the object before them, and remain perfectly
wide-awake and conscious on the physical plane. Likewise, the average
crystal gazer remains perfectly wide-awake and conscious on the physical
plane. When the student takes these facts into consideration, he begins to
see that the trance condition, and similar psychic states, are simply
particular methods of inducing the en rapport condition for the
clairvoyant, and are not inseparably bound up with the phenomena of
clairvoyance.

As the student progresses, moreover, he will see that even in the case of
Clairvoyant Reverie, the third method of inducing the astral en rapport
condition, the clairvoyant does not always lose consciousness. In the case
of many advanced and exceptionally well-developed clairvoyants, no trance
or sleep condition is induced. In such cases the clairvoyant merely "shuts
out" the outside world of sights, sounds and thoughts, by an effort of
trained will, and then concentrates steadily on the phenomena of the
astral plane. For that matter, the skilled and advanced occultist is able
to function on the astral plane by simply shifting his consciousness from
one plane to another, as the typist shifts from the small letters of the
keyboard to the capital letters, by a mere pressure on the shift-key of
the typewriter.

The only reason that many clairvoyants manifesting along the lines of the
third method, known as "clairvoyant reverie," fall into the trance or
sleep condition, is that they have not as yet acquired the rare art of
controlling their conscious attention at will--this is something that
requires great practice. They find it easier to drop into the condition of
semi-trance, or semi-sleep, than it is to deliberately shut out the outer
world by an act of pure will. Moreover, you will find that in the majority
of the recorded cases of the investigators, the clairvoyance was more or
less spontaneous on the part of the clairvoyant person, and was not
produced by an act of will. As we proceed to consider the various forms
and phases of clairvoyant phenomena, in these lessons, you will notice
this fact. There are but few recorded cases of voluntary clairvoyance in
the books of the investigators--the skilled clairvoyants, and more
particularly the advanced occultists, avoid the investigators rather than
seek them; they have no desire to be reported as "typical cases" of
interesting psychic phenomena--they leave that to the amateurs, and those
to whom the phenomena come as a wonderful revelation akin to a miracle.
This accounts for the apparent predominance of this form of
clairvoyance--the secret is that the net of the investigators has caught
only a certain kind of psychic fish, while the others escape attention.

All this would be of no practical importance, however, were it not for the
fact that the average student is so impressed by the fact that he must
learn to induce the trance condition in order to manifest clairvoyant
phenomena, that he does not even think of attempting to do the work
otherwise. The power of auto-suggestion operates here, as you will see by
a moment's thought, and erects an obstacle to his advance along voluntary
lines. More than this, this mistaken idea tends to encourage the student
to cultivate the trance condition, or at least some abnormal psychic
condition, by artificial means. I am positively opposed to the inducing of
psychic conditions by artificial means, for I consider such practices most
injurious and harmful for the person using such methods. Outside of
anything else, it tends to render the person negative, psychically,
instead of positive--it tends to make him or her subject to the psychic
influence of others, on both the physical and astral plane, instead of
retaining his or her own self-control and mastery.

The best authorities among the occultists instruct their pupils that the
state of clairvoyant reverie may be safely and effectively induced by the
practice of mental concentration alone. They advice positively against
artificial methods. A little common sense will show that they are right in
this matter. All that is needed is that the consciousness shall be focused
to a point--become "one pointed" as the Hindu Yogis say. The intelligent
practice of concentration accomplishes this, without the necessity of any
artificial methods of development, or the induction of abnormal psychic
states.

If you will stop a moment and realize how easily you concentrate your
attention when you are witnessing an interesting play, or listening to a
beautiful rendition of some great masterpiece of musical composition, or
gazing at some miracle of art, you will see what I mean. In the cases just
mentioned, while your attention is completely occupied with the
interesting thing before you, so that you have almost completely shut out
the outer world of sound, sight and thought, you are, nevertheless,
perfectly wide awake and your consciousness is alert. The same thing is
true when you are reading a very interesting book--the world is shut out
from your consciousness, and you are oblivious to the sights and sounds
around you. At the risk of being considered flippant, I would remind you
of the common spectacle of two lovers so wrapped up in each other's
company that they forget that there is a smiling world of people around
them--time and space are forgotten to the two lovers--to them there is
only one world, with but two persons in it. Again, how often have you
fallen into what is known as a "brown study," or "day dream," in which you
have been so occupied with the thoughts and fancies floating through your
mind, that you forgot all else. Well, then, this will give you a
common-sense idea of the state that the occultists teach may be induced in
order to enter into the state of en rapport with the astral plane--the
state in which clairvoyance is possible. Whether you are seeking
clairvoyance by the method of psychometry, or by crystal gazing, or by
clairvoyant reverie--this will give you the key to the state. It is a
perfectly natural state--nothing abnormal about it, you will notice.

To some who may think that I am laying too much stress on the
undesirability of artificial methods of inducing the clairvoyant
condition, I would say that they are probably not aware of the erroneous
and often harmful teachings on the subject that are being promulgated by
ignorant or misinformed teachers--"a little learning is a dangerous
thing," in many cases. It may surprise some of my students to learn that
some of this class of teachers are instructing their pupils to practice
methods of self-hypnosis by gazing steadily at a bright object until they
fall unconscious; or by gazing "cross eyed" at the tip of the nose, or at
an object held between the two eyebrows. These are familiar methods of
certain schools of hypnotism, and result in producing a state of
artificial hypnosis, more or less deep. Such a state is most undesirable,
not only by reason of its immediate effects, but also by reason of the
fact that it often results in a condition of abnormal sensitiveness to the
will of others, or even to the thoughts and feelings of others, on both
the astral and the physical planes of life. I emphatically warn my
students against any such practices, or anything resembling them.

While I dislike to dwell on the subject, I feel that I should call the
attention of my students to the fact that certain teachers seek to produce
the abnormal psychic condition by means of exhausting breathing exercises,
which make the person dizzy and sleepy. This is all wrong. While rhythmic
breathing exercises have a certain value in psychic phenomena, and are
harmless when properly practiced, nevertheless such practices as those to
which I have alluded are harmful to the nervous system of the person, and
also tend to induce undesirable psychic conditions. Again, some teachers
have sought to have their students hold their breath for comparatively
long periods of time in order to bring about abnormal psychic states. The
slightest knowledge of physiology informs one that such a practice must be
harmful; it causes the blood to become thick and impure, and deficient in
oxygen. It certainly will produce a kind of drowsiness, for the same
reason that impure air in a room will do the same thing--in both cases the
blood stream is poisoned and made impure. The purpose of rational and
normal breathing is to obviate just this thing--so these teachers are
reversing a natural law of the body, in order to produce an abnormal
psychic state. With all the energy in me, I caution you against this kind
of thing.

Along the same line, I protest and warn you against the practices advised
by certain teachers of "psychic development," who seek to have their
pupils induce abnormal physical and psychic conditions by means of drugs,
odor of certain chemicals, gases, etc. Such practices, as all true
occultists know, belong to the clans of the Black Magicians, or devil
worshippers, of the savage races--they have no place in true occult
teachings. Common sense alone should warn persons away from such
things--but it seems to fail some of them. I assert without fear of
intelligent contradiction, that no true occultist ever countenances any
such practices as these.

All the true teachers are vigorous in their denunciation of such false
teachings and harmful practices. In this same category, I place the
methods which are taught by certain persons, namely, that of inducing
abnormal physical and psychic condition of giddiness and haziness by means
of "whirling" around in a circle until one drops from giddiness, or until
one "feels queer in the head." This is a revival of the practices of
certain fanatics in Persia and India, who perform it as a religious rite
until they fall into what they consider a "holy sleep," but which is
nothing more than an abnormal and unhealthful physical and psychic
condition. Such practices are a downward step, not an upward one. It seems
a pity that the necessity has arisen for such warnings as these--but my
duty, as I see it, is very plain. To all who are tempted to "develop" in
this way, I say, positively, "DON'T!"

The scientific, rational way to develop the astral senses is to first
acquire the art of concentrating. Bear in mind that in concentration the
person, while shutting out the impressions of the outside world in
general, nevertheless focuses and concentrates his attention upon the one
matter before him. This is quite a different thing from making oneself
sensitive to every current of thought and feeling that may be in the
psychic atmosphere. True concentration renders one positive, while the
other methods render one negative. Contrary to the common opinion, psychic
concentration is a positive state, not a negative--an active state, not a
passive one. The person who is able to concentrate strongly is a master,
while one who opens himself to "control," either physical or astral, is
more or less of a slave to other minds.

The student who will begin by experimenting along the lines of contact
mind-reading, and who then advances along the lines of true telepathy, as
explained in the earlier chapters of this book, will have made a good
start, and considerable progress, along the road to clairvoyant
development. The rest will be largely a matter of exercise and practice.
He will be aided by practicing concentration along the general lines of
the best occult teaching. Such practice may consist of concentration upon
almost any physical object, keeping the thing well before the mind and
attention. Do not tire the attention by practicing too long at one time.
The following general rules will help you in developing concentration:

(1) The attention attaches more readily to interesting rather than
uninteresting things. Therefore, select some interesting thing to study
and analyze by concentrated thought.

(2) The attention will decline in strength unless there is a variation in
the stimulus. Therefore, keep up the power of concentration by either
changing the object you are observing; or else by discovering some new
properties, qualities or attributes in it.

(3) The things you wish to shut out of consciousness can best be shut out
by your concentration upon some other thing--the attention can dwell only
upon one thing at a time, if focused upon that one thing.

(4) The power of applying your attention, steady and undissipated, to a
single object, is a mark of strong will and superior mental
discipline--weak-minds cannot do this. Therefore, in cultivating
concentrated attention you are really strengthening your mind and will.

(5) To develop concentrated attention, you must learn to analyze, analyze,
and analyze the thing upon which you are bestowing concentrated attention.
Therefore, proceed by selecting an object and analyzing it by concentrated
attention, taking one part after another, one by one, until you have
analyzed and mastered the whole object. Give it the same attention that
the lover gives his loved one; the musician his favorite composition; the
artist his favorite work of art; and the booklover his favorite book--when
you have accomplished this, you have mastered concentration, and will be
able to apply the mind "one pointed" upon anything you wish, physical or
astral; and, consequently will have no trouble in shutting-out disturbing
impressions.

(6) Learn to concentrate on the physical plane, and you will be able to
concentrate on the astral plane as well. By the one who has mastered
concentration, trances and abnormal psychic states will not be needed. The
needle-pointed mind is able to pierce the astral veil at will, while the
blunt-pointed mind is resisted and defeated by the astral envelope, which
while thin is very tough and unyielding.

A well-known authority on psychic development has well said: "Occasional
flashes of clairvoyance sometimes come to the highly cultured and
spiritual-minded man, even though he may never have heard of the
possibility of training such a faculty. In his case such glimpses usually
signify that he is approaching that stage in his evolution when these
powers will naturally begin to manifest themselves. Their appearance
should serve as an additional stimulus to him to strive to maintain that
high standard of moral purity and mental balance without which
clairvoyance is a curse and not a blessing to its possessor. Between those
who are entirely unimpressionable and those who are in full possession of
clairvoyant power, there are many intermediate stages. Students often ask
how this clairvoyant 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 any 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; yet 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."

The authority in question gives the following excellent advice regarding
the subject of the development of clairvoyant power and astral visioning:
"Now the fact is that there are many methods by which it may be developed,
but only one which can be at all safely recommended for general use--that
of which we shall speak last of all. Among the less advanced nations of
the world the clairvoyant state has been produced in various objectionable
ways; among some of the non-Aryan tribes of India, by the use of
intoxicating drugs or the inhaling of stupefying fumes; among the
dervishes, by whirling in a mad dance of religious fervor until vertigo
and insensibility supervene; among the followers of the abominable
practices of the Voodoo cult, by frightful sacrifices and loathsome rites
of black magic. Methods such as these are happily not in vogue in our own
race, yet even among us large numbers of dabblers in this ancient art
adopt some plan of self-hypnotization, such as gazing at a bright spot, or
the repetition of some formula until a condition of semi-stupefaction is
produced; while yet another school among them would endeavor to arrive at
similar results by the use of some of the Indian systems of regulation of
the breath. All these methods are unequivocally to be condemned as quite
unsafe for the practice of the ordinary man who has no idea of what he is
doing--who is simply making vague experiments in an unknown world. Even
the method of obtaining clairvoyance by allowing oneself to be mesmerized
by another person is one from which I should myself shrink with the most
decided distaste; and assuredly it should never be attempted except under
conditions of absolute trust and affection between the magnetizer and the
magnetized, and a perfection of purity in heart and soul, in mind and
intention, such as is rarely to be seen among any but the greatest of
saints.

"Yet there is one practice which is advised by all religions alike--which
if adopted carefully and reverently can do no harm to any human being, yet
from which a very pure type of clairvoyance has sometimes been developed;
and that is the practice of meditation. Let a man choose a certain time
every day--a time when he can rely upon being quiet and undisturbed,
though preferably in the daytime rather than at night--and set himself at
that time to keep his mind for a few minutes entirely free from all
earthly thoughts of any kind whatever, and, when that is achieved, to
direct the whole force of his being towards the highest ideal that he
happens to know. He will find that to gain such perfect control of thought
is enormously more difficult than he supposes, but when he attains it it
cannot but be in every way most beneficial to him, and as he grows more
and more able to elevate and concentrate his thought, he may gradually
find that new worlds are opening before his sight. As a preliminary
training towards the satisfactory achievement of such meditation, he will
find it desirable to make a practice of concentration in the affairs of
daily life--even in the smallest of them. If he writes a letter, let him
think of nothing else but that letter until it is finished; if he reads a
book, let him see to it that his thought is never allowed to wander from
his author's meaning. He must learn to hold his mind in check, and to be
master of that also, as well as of his lower passions; he must patiently
labor to acquire absolute control of his thoughts, so that he will always
know exactly what he is thinking about, and why--so that he can use his
mind, and turn it or hold it still, as a practiced swordsman turns his
weapon where he will."

I have given the above full quotation from this authority, not merely
because that from another angle he states the same general principles as
do I; but also because his personal experience in actual clairvoyant
phenomena is so extended and varied that any word from him on the subject
of the development of clairvoyant power must have a value of its own.
While I differ from this authority on some points of detail of theory and
practice, nevertheless I gladly testify to the soundness of his views as
above quoted, and pass them on to my students for careful consideration
and attention. The student will do well to heed what he has to say, and to
combine such opinion with what I have uttered in the earlier part of this
chapter--there will be found a close agreement in principle and practice.

And, now let us pass on to a consideration of the various forms and phases
of the clairvoyant phenomena itself. The subject is fascinating, and I am
sure that you will enjoy this little excursion into the strange realm of
thought regarding the astral phenomena of clairvoyance. But, be sure to
master each lesson before proceeding to the rest, as otherwise you will
have to turn back the leaves of the course in order to pick up some point
of teaching that you have neglected.





Next: Simple Clairvoyance

Previous: Clairvoyant Crystal Gazing



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