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


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


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


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


(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


"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


"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.

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