Telepathy Vs Clairvoyance

In this work I shall use the term "clairvoyance" in its broad sense of

"astral perception," as distinguished from perception by means of the

physical senses. As we proceed, you will see the general and special

meanings of the term, so there is no necessity for a special definition or

illustration of the term at this time.

By "telepathy," I mean the sending and receiving of thought messages, and

mental and emotional states, consciously or unconsciously, by means of

what may be called "the sixth sense" of the physical plane. There is, of

course, a form of thought transference on the astral plane, but this I

include under the general term of clairvoyance, for reasons which will be

explained later on.

You will remember that in the preceding chapter I told you that in

addition to the five ordinary physical senses of man there were also two

other physical senses comparatively undeveloped in the average person.

These two extra physical senses are, respectively, (1) the sense of the

presence of other living things; and (2) the telepathic sense. As I also

told you, these two extra physical senses have their astral counterparts.

They also have certain physical organs which are not generally recognized

by physiologists or psychologists, but which are well known to all

occultists. I shall now consider the first of the two above-mentioned

extra physical senses, in order to clear the way for our consideration of

the question of the distinction between ordinary telepathy and that form

of clairvoyance which is its astral counterpart.

There is in every human being a sense which is not generally recognized as

such, although nearly every person has had more or less experience

regarding its workings. I refer to the sense of the presence of other

living things, separate and apart from the operation of any of the five

ordinary physical senses. I ask you to understand that I am not claiming

that this is a higher sense than the other physical senses, or that it has

come to man in a high state of evolution. On the contrary, this sense came

to living things far back in the scale of evolution. It is possessed by

the higher forms of the lower animals, such as the horse, dog, and the

majority of the wild beasts. Savage and barbaric men have it more highly

developed than it is in the case of the civilized man. In fact, this

physical sense may be termed almost vestigal in civilized man, because he

has not actively used it for many generations. For that matter, the

physical sense of smell is also deficient in man, and for the same reason,

whereas in the case of the lower animals, and savage man, the sense of

smell is very keen. I mention this for fear of misunderstanding. In my

little book, "The Astral World," I have said: "All occultists know that

man really has seven senses, instead of merely five, though the

additional two senses are not sufficiently developed for use in the

average person (though the occultist generally unfolds them into use)."

Some have taken this to mean that the occultist develops these two extra

physical senses, just as he does certain higher psychic or astral

faculties. But this is wrong. The occultist, in such case, merely

re-awakens these two senses which have been almost lost to the race. By

use and exercise he then develops them to a wonderful proficiency, for use

on the physical plane.

Now, this sense of the presence of other living beings is very well

developed in the lower animals, particularly in those whose safety depends

upon the knowledge of the presence of their natural enemies. As might be

expected, the wild animals have it more highly developed than do the

domesticated animals. But even among the latter, we find instances of this

sense being in active use--in the case of dogs, horses, geese, etc.,

especially. Who of us is not familiar with the strange actions of the dog,

or the horse, when the animal senses the unseen and unheard presence of

some person or animal? Very often we would scold or punish the animal for

its peculiar actions, simply because we are not able to see what is

worrying it. How often does the dog start suddenly, and bristle up its

hair, when nothing is in sight, or within hearing distance. How often does

the horse grow "skittish," or even panicky, when there is nothing within

sight or hearing. Domestic fowls, especially geese, manifest an uneasiness

at the presence of strange persons or animals, though they may not be

able to see or hear them. It is a matter of history that this sense, in a

flock of geese, once saved ancient Rome from an attack of the enemy. The

night was dark and stormy, and the trained eyesight and keen hearing of

the Roman outposts failed to reveal the approach of the enemy. But, the

keen sense of the geese felt the presence of strange men, and they started

to cackle loudly, aroused the guard, and Rome was saved. Skeptical persons

have sought to explain this historical case by the theory that the geese

heard the approaching enemy. But this explanation will not serve, for the

Roman soldiers were marching about on their posts and guard-duty, and the

geese remained silent until they sensed the approach of the small number

of the enemy's scouts, when they burst into wild cries. The ancient

Romans, themselves, were under no illusion about the matter--they

recognized the existence of some unusual power in the geese, and they gave

the animals the full credit therefor.

Hunters in wild and strange lands have told us that often when they were

lying concealed for the purpose of shooting the wild animals when they

came within range, they have witnessed instances of the existence of this

strange faculty in the wild beasts. Though they could not see the

concealed hunters, nor smell them (as the wind was in the other direction)

all of a sudden one or more of the animals (generally an old female) would

start suddenly, and a shiver would be seen to pass over its body; then it

would utter a low warning note, and away would fly the pack. Nearly every

hunter has had the experience of watching his expected game, when all of a

sudden it would start off with a nervous jerk, and without waiting to

sniff the air, as is usual, would bolt precipitately from the scene.

Moreover, many beasts of prey are known to sense the presence of their

natural prey, even when the wind is in the other direction, and there is

no sound or movement made by the crouching, fearstricken animal. Certain

birds seem to sense the presence of particular worms upon which they feed,

though the latter be buried several inches in the earth, or in the bark of


Savage man also has this faculty developed, as all travellers and

explorers well know. They are as keen as a wild animal to sense the

nearness of enemies, or, in some cases, the approach of man-eating beasts.

This does not mean that that these savages are more highly developed than

is civilized man--quite the reverse. This is the explanation: when man

became more civilized, and made himself more secure from his wild-beast

enemies, as well as from the sudden attacks of his human enemies, he began

to use this sense less and less. Finally, in the course of many

generations, it became almost atrophied from disuse, and ceased reporting

to the brain, or other nerve centres. Or, if you prefer viewing it from

another angle, it may be said that the nerve centres, and brain, began to

pay less and less attention to the reports of this sense (trusting more to

sight and hearing) until the consciousness failed to awaken to the

reports. You know how your consciousness will finally refuse to be

awakened by familiar sounds (such as the noise of machinery in the shop,

or ordinary noises in the house), although the ears receive the


Well, this is the way in the case of this neglected sense--for the two

reasons just mentioned, the average person is almost unaware of its

existence. Almost unaware I have said--not totally unaware. For probably

every one of us has had experiences in which we have actually "felt" the

presence of some strange person about the premises, or place. The effect

of the report of this sense is particularly noticed in the region of the

solar plexus, or the pit of the stomach. It manifests in a peculiar,

unpleasant feeling of "gone-ness" in that region--it produces a feeling of

"something wrong," which disturbs one in a strange way. This is generally

accompanied by a "bristling up," or "creepy" feeling along the spine. The

organs registering the presence of a strange or alien creature consist of

certain delicate nerves of the surface of the skin, generally connected

with the roots of the downy hair of the body--or resting where the hair

roots would naturally be, in the case of a hairless skin. These seem to

report directly to the solar-plexus, which then acts quickly by reflex

action on the other parts of the body, causing an instinctive feeling to

either fly the scene or else to crouch and hide oneself. This feeling, as

may be seen at once, is an inheritance from our savage ancestors, or

perhaps from our lowly-animal ancestral roots. It is a most unpleasant

feeling, and the race escapes much discomfort by reason of its comparative


I have said that occultists have developed, or rather re-developed this

sense. They do this in order to have a harmonious well-developed

seven-fold sense system. It increases their general "awareness." Certain

other knowledge of the occultist neutralizes the unpleasant features of

the manifestation of this sense, and he finds it often a very valuable

adjunct to his senses of seeing and hearing, particularly in the cases in

which he is approached by persons having antagonistic or hostile feelings

toward him, as in such cases this faculty is particularly active. In

connection with the telepathic sense (to be described a little further on)

this sense operates to give a person that sense of warning when approached

by another person whose feelings are not friendly to him, no matter how

friendly the outward appearance of that person may be. These two extra

senses co-operate to give a person that instinctive feeling of warning,

which all of us know in our own experience.

This particular, as well as the telepathic sense, may be cultivated or

developed by anyone who wishes to take the time and trouble to accomplish

the work. The principle is simple--merely the same principle that one uses

in developing any of the other physical attributes, namely, use and

exercise. The first step (a) is the recognition of the existence of the

sense itself; then (b) the attention given to its reports; then (c)

frequent use and exercise. Just think of how you would proceed to develop

any of the five ordinary senses--the hearing, sight, or touch, for

instance--then follow the same process in the cultivation of this extra

sense, or two senses, and you will accomplish the same kind of results.

Now, let us consider the other extra physical sense--the "telepathic"

sense, or sense of becoming aware of the thought-waves, or emotional

waves, of other persons. Now, as strange as this may appear to some

persons--the most of persons in fact--this telepathic faculty is not a

"higher" faculty or sense, but is really a comparatively low one. Just

like the sense just described, it is possessed in a higher degree by many

of the lower animals, and by primitive and savage man. That which really

is "higher" in this kind of psychic phenomena is the manifestation of that

higher form of telepathy--by use of the astral counterpart of this

sense--which we shall consider, later, under the name of clairvoyance, for

this is really a particular phase of clairvoyance.

As strange as it may appear to some of you, the lower animals possess a

kind of telepathic sense. An animal is usually aware of your feelings

toward it, and your purposes regarding it. Domestic animals lose some of

this by generations of confinement, while the wild animals have the sense

highly developed. But even some of the domestic animals have more or less

of it. You will readily recognize this fact if you have ever tried to

"cut out" a certain animal from a herd or flock. You will find that the

animal in some way has sensed your designs upon it, no matter how

indirectly you approach it, and it will begin circling around the other

animals, twisting in and out in its endeavors to be lost to your sight.

The other animals, likewise, will seem to know that you are after only

that particular one, and will manifest but little fright or distrust,


I have frequently seen this thing, in my own country and in others, among

poultry raisers. The poultryman will think, to himself, "Now, I am going

to get that black hen with the yellow legs--that fat, clumsy one," and he

will move toward the flock slowly and with an air of unconcern. But, lo!

as soon as he gets near the creatures, that black hen will be seen edging

her way to the outer circle of the flock, on the opposite side from the

man. When the man moves around to her side, she will be found to have

plunged into the crowd, and it is hard to find her. Sometimes she will

actually try to sneak off, and conceal herself in some dark corner, or

back of some large object. Every poultryman will smile when this

occurrence is mentioned to him--he knows by experience that hens have a

way of sensing what he has in his mind regarding them.

Moreover, as every farmer knows, the crow family has a most uncanny way of

sensing the intentions of the farmer who is trying to destroy them, and

shows great sagacity in defeating those intentions. But, while the crow is

a very intelligent bird--one of the wisest of the bird family, in

fact--it obtains its knowledge of what is in the mind of the man not alone

from "figuring on his intentions," but rather from that instinctive

sensing of his mental states. The hen, as all know, is a very stupid bird,

showing but little intelligent activity. But, nevertheless, she is very

quick about sensing the poultryman's designs on her, though generally very

stupid about planning out a skillful escape.

Every owner of dogs, cats and horses, has had many opportunities for

observing the manifestation of this sense on the part of those animals.

Every dog feels the emotional states of his owner, and others. The horse

knows when his owner seeks to throw the halter over his neck, or when, on

the contrary, he is merely walking through the field. Cats sense their

owners' feelings and thoughts, and often resent them. Of course, the lower

animals can sense merely elementary mental states, and generally only

emotional states, as their minds are not developed so as to interpret the

more complex mental states. Primitive men likewise almost instinctively

sense the feelings and designs of other men. They do not reason the thing

out, but rather merely "feel" the ideas and designs of the others. The

women of the lower races are more adept in interpreting these sense

reports than are the men. Women are more sensitive, as a rule, than are

men--on any point on the scale of development.

When we come to consider ordinary telepathy in the case of men of

civilized countries, we find a more complex state of affairs. While

civilized man, as a whole, has lost some of the quick telepathic

perception of the lower races, he has, in some exceptional cases, acquired

a faculty of receiving and interpreting more complex thought-forms and

mental states. The investigations of the Society for Psychical Research,

and those of private investigators as well, have shown us that a picture

of a complicated geometrical design held in the mind of one person may be

carried to and received by the mind of another person, who reproduces the

design on paper. In the same way, complicated thoughts have been

transmitted and received. But these are only exceptional cases. In many

cases this sense seems almost dead in the ordinary civilized individual,

except when aroused in exceptional cases.

But, nevertheless, the majority of persons have occasional flashes of

telepathy--just enough to make them realize that "there is something in

it." The renewed interest in the subject, of late years, has directed the

public mind to the phenomena of telepathy, and, consequently, more persons

are now taking note of the cases of thought-transference coming under

their personal notice. It must be remembered, of course, that all of us

are constantly receiving thought-waves, and feeling thought-influence,

unconsciously. I am speaking now only of the conscious perception of the


Many investigators have so developed their telepathic sense that they are

able, at times, to obtain wonderful test results. But, it has been a

source of disappointment to many of them to discover that at other times,

under apparently similar conditions, their success was very slight. So

true is this that many authorities have accepted the theory that telepathy

is more or less spontaneous, and cannot be produced to order. This theory

is true as far as it goes, but there is a side of the case that these

investigators overlook, probably because of their lack of the occult

principles involved in the phenomena. I mean this: that their most

brilliant successes have been obtained by reason of their unconscious

"switching on" of the astral telepathic sense, the clairvoyant sense.

While in this condition, they obtained startling results; but the next

time they tried, they failed to awaken the astral sense, and, therefore,

had to depend entirely upon the physical telepathic sense, and,

consequently, their results were comparatively poor.

You will understand the difference and distinction between physical-sense

telepathy, and astral-sense telepathy, if you will carefully consider the

nature of each, as I shall now present it to you. I ask your close

attention to what I shall have to say on this subject in the remaining

pages of this chapter. Do not pass over these explanations as "dry," for

unless you have a clear fundamental understanding of the thing, you will

never be able to get the best results. This is true of every phase of

learning, physical as well as psychical--one must get started right, in

order to obtain the best results.

In the first place, every thought process, every emotional activity,

every creation of ideas, is accompanied by a manifestation of force--in

fact, is the result of the manifestation of a force. Without entering at

all into the question of what mind is, in itself, we may rest firmly on

the natural fact that every manifestation of mental or emotional activity

is the result of an action of the brain or nervous system, manifesting in

a form of vibrations. Just as in the case of the manifestation of

electricity in which certain chemical elements are consumed, or

transformed, so in the case of mental or emotional activity there is a

consuming or transformation of the substance of which the nervous system

is composed. When I say "nervous system" in this connection, I include the

brain, or brains of man--for these are but a part of his great nervous

system in which all emotional or mental activity is manifested.

Moreover, just as there is no real destruction of matter in any of

Nature's processes--all seeming destruction being but a transformation--so

in the case before us there is a transformation of the energy released in

the thought or emotional process. We may grasp this idea more clearly if

we consider what takes place into transformation of electrical energy. For

instance, transmit a strong current of electricity over a fine wire, or

filament of carbon, and lo! the current is transformed into light. Use

another kind of channel of transmission, and the current is transformed

into heat. Every electric light, or electric heating apparatus is proof

of this. In the same way, the electric current is sent into space in the

form of wireless waves. These waves coming in contact with certain forms

of apparatus are transformed into forms of force which are registered and

interpreted by the wireless operator.

In the same way, the telepathic waves of energy are sent forth by the

activity released by the thought or emotion state. These waves travel in

every direction, and when they come in contact with physical apparatus

sufficiently sensitive to register them, they may be reproduced or

retransformed into thought or mental states similar to those which

originally sent them forth. You talk into the receiver of the telephone,

and the sound waves are transformed into waves of electricity. These

electric waves travel over the wires, and on reaching the other end of the

telephone circuit are again transformed into sound-waves which are heard

by the ear of the listener. Well, then, when your brain sends out thought

waves, these travel until they are received by the apparatus in the brain

of another person, when they are re-transformed into thoughts of the same

kind that originally caused the thought-waves. I will have much more to

say on this subject in the next chapter. I will pause here to point out

the difference between the phenomena of this form of telepathy, and the

higher form which is really a phase of clairvoyance.

Now, in the case of what may be called a clairvoyant-telepathy, or astral

telepathy, the ordinary thought-waves play but a small part. Instead of

these, there is a transmission of force along the channels of the astral

plane. It is almost impossible to describe the phenomena of the astral

plane in the terms of the physical. I may illustrate the matter, in a

general way, by saying that is something like your astral self actually

extending itself out until it touches the astral self of the other person,

and thus actually "feels" the astral activities there, instead of it being

a case of something like waves travelling along space between brain and

brain. Do you get this clearly? This is about as near to it as I can

explain it to you at this place. Telepathy is simply a matter of the

transmission and receiving of waves of vibratory force which have

travelled along the ether between two persons. But clairvoyance or

astral-telepathy is something like your mind being extended out until it

actually touches the mind of the other person and sees what is there.

I shall have much to say regarding the working out of the processes of

clairvoyance, as we proceed. I have merely given the above explanation for

the purpose of distinguishing between ordinary telepathy and clairvoyance,

so as to prevent you from falling into a common error. Now let us consider

the phenomena of ordinary telepathy--this is very wonderful in itself,

although it is on a lower plane of activity than its astral or clairvoyant


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