Psychic Influence; Its Laws And Principles





One of the phases of psychic phenomena that actively engage the attention

of the student from the very beginning is that which may be called Psychic

Influence. By this term is meant the influencing of one mind by

another--the effect of one mind over another. There has been much written

and said on this phase of the general subject in recent years, but few

writers, however, have gone deeply into the matter.



In the first place, most of the writers on the subject seek to explain the

whole thing by means of ordinary telepathy. But this is merely a one-sided

view of the truth of the matter. For, while ordinary telepathy plays an

important part in the phenomena, still the higher form of telepathy, i.e.,

astral thought-transference, is frequently involved. The student who has

followed me in the preceding lessons will understand readily what I mean

when I say this, so there is no necessity for repetition on this point at

this place.



At this point, however, I must ask the student to consider the idea of

psychic vibrations and their inductive power. It is a great principle of

occultism, as well as of modern science, that everything is in a state of

vibration--everything has its own rate of vibration, and is constantly

manifesting it. Every mental state is accompanied by vibration of its own

plane: every emotional state or feeling has its own particular rate of

vibration. These rates of vibrations manifest just as do the vibrations of

musical sound which produce the several notes on the scale, one rising

above the other in rate of vibration. But the scale of mental and

emotional states is far more complex, and far more extended than is the

musical scale; there are thousands of different notes, and half-notes, on

the mental scale. There are harmonies and discords on that scale, also.



To those to whom vibrations seem to be something merely connected with

sound-waves, etc., I would say that a general and hasty glance at some

elementary work on physical science will show that even the different

shades, hues and tints of the colors perceived by us arise from different

rates of vibrations. Color is nothing more than the result of certain

rates of vibrations of light recorded by our senses and interpreted by our

minds. From the low vibrations of red to the high vibrations of violet,

all the various colors of the spectrum have their own particular rate of

vibration. And, more than this, science knows that below the lowest red

vibrations, and above the highest violet vibrations, there are other

vibrations which our senses are unable to record, but which scientific

instruments register. The rays of light by which photographs are taken are

not perceived by the eye. There are a number of so-called chemical rays of

light which the eye does not perceive, but which may be caught by delicate

instruments. There is what science has called "dark light," which will

photograph in a room which appears pitch dark to the human sight.



Above the ordinary scale of light vibrations are the vibrations of the

X-Rays and other fine forces--these are not perceived by the eye, but are

caught by delicate instruments and recorded. Moreover, though science has

not as yet discovered the fact, occultists know that the vibrations of

mental and emotional states are just as true and regular as are those of

sound or light, or heat. Again, above the plane of the physical vibrations

arising from the brain and nervous system, there are the vibrations of the

astral counterparts of these, which are much higher in the scale. For even

the astral faculties and organs, while above the physical, still are under

the universal rule of vibration, and have their own rate thereof. The old

occult axiom: "As above, so below; as below, so above" is always seen to

work out on all planes of universal energy.



Closely following this idea of the universality of vibrations, and

intimately connected therewith, we have the principle of "induction,"

which is likewise universal, and found manifesting on all planes of

energy. "What is induction?" you may ask. Well, it is very simple, or very

complex--just as you may look at it. The principle of induction (on any

plane) is that inherent quality or attribute of energy by which the

manifestation of energy tends to reproduce itself in a second object, by

setting up corresponding vibrations therein, though without direct contact

of the two objects.



Thus, heat in one object tends to induce heat in another object within

its range of induction--the heated object "throws off" heat vibrations

which set up corresponding vibrations in the near-by second object and

make it hot. Likewise, the vibrations of light striking upon other objects

render them capable of radiating light. Again, a magnet will induce

magnetism in a piece of steel suspended nearby, though the two objects do

not actually touch, each other. An object which is electrified will by

induction electrify another object situated some distance away. A note

sounded on the piano, or violin, will cause a glass or vase in some

distant part of the room to vibrate and "sing," under certain conditions.

And, so on, in every form or phase of the manifestation of energy do we

see the principle of induction in full operation and manifestation.



On the plane of ordinary thought and emotion, we find many instances of

this principle of induction. We know that one person vibrating strongly

with happiness or sorrow, cheerfulness or anger, as the case may be fends

to communicate his feeling and emotions, state to those with whom he comes

in contact. All of you have seen a whole room full of persons affected and

influenced in this way, under certain circumstances. You have also seen

how a magnetic orator, preacher, singer or actor is able to induce in his

audience a state of emotional vibration corresponding to that manifested

by himself. In the same manner the "mental atmospheres" of towns, cities,

etc., are induced.



A well-known writer on this subject has truthfully told us: "We all know

how great waves of feeling spread over a town, city or country, sweeping

people off their balance. Great waves of political enthusiasm, or

war-spirit, or prejudice for or against certain persons, sweep over places

and cause men to act in a manner that they will afterward regret when they

come to themselves and consider their acts in cold blood. They will be

swayed by demagogues or magnetic leaders who wish to gain their votes or

patronage; and they will be led into acts of mob violence, or similar

atrocities, by yielding to these waves of contagious thought. On the other

hand, we all know how great waves of religious feeling sweep over a

community upon the occasion of some great 'revival' excitement or fervor."



These things being perceived, and recognized as true, the next question

that presents itself to the mind of the intelligent student is this: "But

what causes the difference in power and effect between the thought and

feeling-vibrations of different persons?" This question is a valid one,

and arises from a perception of the underlying variety and difference in

the thought vibrations of different persons. The difference, my students,

is caused by three principal facts, viz., (1) difference in degree of

feeling; (2) difference in degree of visualization; and (3) difference in

degree of concentration. Let us examine each of these successively, so as

to get at the underlying principle.



The element of emotional feeling is like the element of fire in the

production of steam. The more vivid and intense the feeling or emotion,

the greater the degree of heat and force to the thought wave or vibratory

stream projected. You will begin to see why the thought vibrations of

those animated and filled with strong desire, strong wish, strong

ambition, etc., must be more forceful than those of persons of the

opposite type.



The person who is filled with a strong desire, wish or ambition, which has

been fanned into a fierce blaze by attention, is a dynamic power among

other persons, and his influence is felt. In fact, it may be asserted that

as a general rule no person is able to influence men and things unless he

have a strong desire, wish or ambition within him. The power of desire is

a wonderful one, as all occultists know, and it will accomplish much even

if the other elements be lacking; while, in proper combination with other

principles it will accomplish wonders. Likewise, a strong interest in a

thing will cause a certain strength to the thought-vibrations connected

therewith. Interest is really an emotional feeling, though we generally

think of it as merely something connected with the intellect. A cold

intellectual thought has very little force, unless backed up by strong

interest and concentration. But any intellectual thought backed up with

interest, and focused by concentration, will produce very strong thought

vibrations, with a marked inductive power.



Now, let us consider the subject of visualization. Every person knows that

the person who wishes to accomplish anything, or who expects to do good

work along any line, must first know what he wishes to accomplish. In the

degree that he is able to see the thing in his mind's eye--to picture the

thing in his imagination--in that degree will he tend to manifest the

thing itself in material form and effect.



Sir Francis Galton, an eminent authority upon psychology, says on this

point: "The free use of a high visualizing faculty is of much importance

in connection with the higher processes of generalized thought. A visual

image is the most perfect form of mental representation wherever the

shape, position, and relations of objects to space are concerned. The best

workmen are those who visualize the whole of what they propose to do

before they take a tool in their hands. Strategists, artists of all

denominations, physicists who contrive new experiments, and, in short, all

who do not follow routine, have need of it. A faculty that is of

importance in all technical and artistic occupations, that gives accuracy

to our perceptions and justice to our generalizations, is starved by lazy

disuse instead of being cultivated judiciously in such a way as will, on

the whole, bring best return. I believe that a serious study of the best

way of developing and utilizing this faculty, without prejudice to the

practice of abstract thought in symbols, is one of the pressing desirata

in the yet unformed science of education."



Not only on the ordinary planes is the forming of strong mental images

important and useful, but when we come to consider the phenomena of the

astral plane we begin to see what an important part is played there by

strong mental images or visualized ideas. The better you know what you

desire, wish or aspire to, the stronger will be your thought vibrations of

that thing, of course. Well, then, the stronger that you are able to

picture the thing in your mind--to visualize it to yourself--the stronger

will be your actual knowledge and thought-form of that thing. Instead of

your thought vibrations being grouped in nebulous forms, lacking shape and

distinct figure, as in the ordinary case; when you form strong, clear

mental images of what you desire or wish to accomplish, then do the

thought vibrations group themselves in clear, strong distinct forms. This

being done, when the mind of other persons are affected by induction they

get the clear idea of the thought and feeling in your mind, and are

strongly influenced thereby.



A little later on, I shall call your attention to the Attractive Power of

Thought. But at this point I wish to say to you that while thought

certainly attracts to you the things that you think of the most, still the

power of the attraction depends very materially upon the clearness and

distinctness of the mental image, or thought visualization, of the desired

thing that you have set up in your mind. The nearer you can actually see

the thing as you wish it to happen, even to the general details, the

stronger will be the attractive force thereof. But, I shall leave the

discussion of this phase of the subject until I reach it in its proper

order. For the present, I shall content myself with urging upon you the

importance of a clear mental image, or visualized thought, in the matter

of giving force and direction to the idea induced in the minds of other

persons. In order for the other persons to actually perceive clearly the

idea or feeling induced in them, it is necessary that the idea or feeling

be strongly visualized in the mind originating it; that is the whole thing

in one sentence.



The next point of importance in thought-influence by induction, is that

which is concerned with the process of concentration. Concentration is the

act of mental focusing, or bringing to a single point or centre. It is

like the work of the sun-glass that converges the rays of the sun to a

single tiny point, thus immensely increasing its heat and power. Or, it is

like the fine point of a needle that will force its way through where a

blunt thing cannot penetrate. Or, it is like the strongly concentrated

essence of a chemical substance, of which one drop is as powerful as one

pint of the original thing. Think of the concentrated power of a tiny drop

of attar of roses--it has within its tiny space the concentrated odor of

thousands of roses; one drop of it will make a pint of extract, and a

gallon of weaker perfumery! Think of the concentrated power in a lightning

flash, as contrasted with the same amount of electricity diffused over a

large area. Or, think of the harmless flash of a small amount of gunpowder

ignited in the open air, as contrasted with the ignition of the same

amount of powder compelled to escape through the small opening in the

gun-barrel.



The occult teachings lay great stress upon this power of mental

concentration. All students of the occult devote much time and care to the

cultivation of the powers of concentration, and the development of the

ability to employ them. The average person possesses but a very small

amount of concentration, and is able to concentrate his mind for but a few

moments at a time. The trained thinker obtains much of his mental power

from his acquired ability to concentrate on his task. The occultist trains

himself in fixing his concentrated attention upon the matter before him,

so as to bring to a focal centre all of his mental forces.



The mind is a very restless thing, and is inclined to dance from one thing

to another, tiring of each thing after a few moment's consideration

thereof. The average person allows his involuntary attention to rest upon

every trifling thing, and to be distracted by the idlest appeals to the

senses. He finds it most difficult to either shut out these distracting

appeals to the senses, and equally hard to hold the attention to some

uninteresting thing. His attention is almost free of control by the will,

and the person is a slave to his perceptive powers and to his imagination,

instead of, being a master of both.



The occultist, on the contrary, masters his attention, and controls his

imagination. He forces the one to concentrate when he wishes it to do so;

and he compels the latter to form the mental images he wishes to

visualize. But this a far different thing from the self-hypnotization

which some persons imagine to be concentration. A writer on the subject

has well said: "The trained occultist will concentrate upon a subject or

object with a wonderful intensity, seemingly completely absorbed in the

subject or object before him, and oblivious to all else in the world. And

yet, the task accomplished, or the given time expired, he will detach his

mind from the object and will be perfectly fresh, watchful and wide-awake

to the next matter before him. There is every difference between being

controlled by involuntary attention, which is species of

self-hypnotization, and the control of the attention, which is an evidence

of mastery." An eminent French psychologist once said: "The authority of

the attention is subject to the superior authority of the Ego. I yield it,

or I withhold it, as I please. I direct it in turn to several points. I

concentrate it upon each point, as long as my will can stand the effort."



In an earlier lesson of this series, I have indicated in a general way the

methods whereby one may develop and train his powers of concentration.

There is no royal road to concentration; it may be developed only by

practice and exercise. The secret consists in managing the attention, so

as to fix it upon a subject, no matter how uninteresting; and to hold it

there for a reasonable length of time. Practice upon some disagreeable

study or other task is good exercise, for it serves to train the will in

spite of the influence of more attractive objects or subjects. And this

all serves to train the will, remember; for the will is actively concerned

in every act of voluntary attention. In fact, attention of this kind is

one of the most important and characteristic acts of the will.



So, as you see, in order to be successful in influencing the minds of

others by means of mental induction, you must first cultivate a strong

feeling of interest in the idea which you wish to induce in the other

person, or a strong desire to produce the thing. Interest and desire

constitute the fire which generates the stream of will from the water of

mind, as some occultists have stated it. Secondly, you must cultivate the

faculty of forming strong and clear mental images of the idea or feeling

you wish to so induce; you must learn to actually "see" the thing in your

imagination, so as to give the idea strength and clearness. Thirdly, you

must learn to concentrate your mind and attention upon the idea or

feeling, shutting out all other ideas and feelings for the time being;

thus you give concentrated force and power to the vibrations and

thought-forms which you are projecting.



These three principles underlie all of the many forms of mental induction,

or mental influence. We find them in active operation in cases in which

the person is seeking to attract to himself certain conditions,

environment, persons, things, or channels of expression, by setting into

motion the great laws of mental attraction. We see them also employed when

the person is endeavoring to produce an effect upon the mind of some

particular person, or number of persons. We see them in force in all

cases of mental or psychic healing, under whatever form it may be

employed. In short, these are general principles, and must therefore

underlie all forms and phases of mental or psychic influence. The sooner

the student realizes this fact, and the more actively does he set himself

to work in cultivating and developing these principles within himself, the

more successful and efficient will he become in this field of psychic

research and investigation. It is largely in the degree of the cultivation

of these three mental principles that the occultist is distinguished from

the ordinary man.



It may be that you are not desirous of cultivating or practicing the power

of influencing other persons psychically. Well, that is for you to decide

for yourself. At any rate, you will do well to develop yourselves along

these lines, at least for self-protection. The cultivation of these three

mental principles will tend to make you active and positive, psychically,

as contrasted with the passive, negative mental state of the average

person. By becoming mentally active and positive you will be able to

resist any psychic influence that may be directed toward yourself, and to

surround yourself with a protective aura of positive, active mental

vibrations.



And, moreover, if you are desirous of pursuing your investigations of

psychic and astral phenomena, you will find it of great importance to

cultivate and develop these three principles in your mind. For, then you

will be able to brush aside all distracting influences, and to proceed at

once to the task before you, with power, clearness and strength of purpose

and method.



In the following chapters I shall give you a more or less detailed

presentation of the various phases or forms of psychic influence. Some of

these may seem at first to be something independent of the general

principles. But I ask that you carefully analyze all of these, so as to

discover that the same fundamental principles are under and back of each

and every instance presented. When you once fully grasp this fact, and

perfect yourselves in the few fundamental principles, then you are well

started on the road to mastery of all the various phases of psychic

phenomena. Instead of puzzling your mind over a hundred different phases

of disconnected phenomena, it is better to master the few actual

elementary principles, and then reason deductively from these to the

various manifestation thereof. Master the principles, and then learn to

apply them.





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