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Introduction








In preparing this series of lessons for students of Western lands, I have
been compelled to proceed along lines exactly opposite to those which I
would have chosen had these lessons been for students in India. This
because of the diametrically opposite mental attitudes of the students of
these two several lands.

The student in India expects the teacher to state positively the
principles involved, and the methods whereby these principles may be
manifested, together with frequent illustrations (generally in the nature
of fables or parables), serving to link the new knowledge to some already
known thing. The Hindu student never expects or demands anything in the
nature of "proof" of the teachers statements of principle or method; in
fact, he would regard it as an insult to the teacher to ask for the same.
Consequently, he does not look for, or ask, specific instances or
illustrations in the nature of scientific evidence or proof of the
principles taught. He may ask for more information, but solely for the
purpose of bringing out some point which he has not grasped; but he avoids
as a pestilence any question seeming to indicate argument, doubt of what
is being taught him, or of the nature of a demand for proof or evidence.

The Western student, on the other hand, is accustomed to maintaining the
skeptical attitude of mind--the scientific attitude of doubt and demand
for proof--and the teacher so understands it. Both are accustomed to
illustrations bringing out the principles involved, but these
illustrations must not be fanciful or figurative--they must be actual
cases, well authenticated and vouched for as evidence. In short, the
Western teacher is expected to actually "prove" to his students his
principles and methods, before he may expect them to be accepted. This, of
course, not from any real doubt or suspicion of the veracity or ability of
the teacher, but merely because the Western mind expects to question, and
be questioned, in this way in the process of teaching and learning.

Consequently, in this series of lessons, I have sought to follow the
Western method rather than the Hindu. So far as is possible, I have
avoided the flat positive statement of principles and methods, and have
sought to prove each step of the teaching. Of course, I have been
compelled to assume the existence of certain fundamental principles, in
order to avoid long and technical metaphysical and philosophical
discussions. I have also had to content myself with the positive flat
assertion of the existence of the Astral Plane, Akashic Records, Prana,
etc., which are fundamental postulates of Hindu philosophy and occult
science--for these are established solely by the experience of those who
are able to function on the higher planes themselves. But, beyond this I
have sought to prove by direct and positive evidence (adapted to the
Western mind) every step of my teaching and methods.

In offering this scientific proof, I have purposely omitted (except in a
few instances) all mention of occult or psychic phenomena occurring in
India, and have confined myself to instances occurring in Western lands to
Western persons. Moreover, I have avoided quoting and citing Hindu
authorities, and have, instead, quoted and cited from authorities well
known and respected in Western lands, such as the Society for Psychical
Research, and the prominent scientists interested in the work of the said
society. In this way I have sought to furnish the Western student with
examples, cases, and illustrations familiar to him, and easily referred
to. Had I cited Indian cases, I might be accused of offering proof that
could not be easily verified; and quoting persons unknown to my readers.
There is a wealth of such cases and illustration in India, naturally, but
these as a rule are traditional and not available in printed form; and
these would not likely be very satisfactory to the Western student.

I must, however, positively and firmly state that while these cases and
illustrations, these quotations and citations, are purely Western, the
principles they illustrate and prove are among the oldest known to Hindu
occult science and philosophy. In fact, having been accepted as proved
truth in India, for centuries past, there is very little demand for
further proof thereof on the part of the Hindus. In the Western world,
however, these things are comparatively new, and must be proved and
attested accordingly. So, as I have said, I have cut the cloth of my
instruction to conform with the pattern favored for the Western garment of
knowledge. So far as the illustrations and cases, the quotations and
citations are concerned--these are purely Western and familiar to the
student. But, when it comes to the principles themselves, this is another
matter--I must be pardoned for stating that these are the outgrowth of
Hindu thought and investigation, and that he who would discover their
roots must dig around the tree of the Wisdom of the East, which has stood
the storms and winds of thousands of years. But the branches of this
mighty tree are wide-spreading, and there is room for many Western
students to rest in its shade and shelter.

In these lessons I have referred occasionally to my two little books,
entitled "The Astral World," and "The Human Aura," respectively. To those
who are interested in these subjects, I recommend these little books; they
are sold at a nominal price, and contain much that will be helpful to the
student of Hindu Occult Science. They are not required, however, to
complete the understanding of the subjects treated upon in these lessons,
and are mentioned and recommended merely as supplementary reading for the
student who wishes to take little "side excursions" away from the main
trip covered in these lessons.

I trust that my students will find the pleasure and satisfaction in
studying these lessons that I have in writing them.





Next: The Astral Senses




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