Allied Psychic Phases

The faculty of second sight is not by any means the most

common of the psychic powers. Psychometric impressions which

proceed by the sense of touch into that of a superior order of

feeling are far more general. We are affected much more than is

generally recognized by the impressions gathered from the things

we have contact with, and it is quite a common experience that

very delicate and sensitive people take the "atmo
phere" of places

into which they go. I have in mind an instance of an extremely

high-keyed person who invariably takes on the atmosphere of

new localities, houses and even rooms. Going to view a house

with the object of taking it on rental, she will as likely as not

pronounce against the moment she enters on the ground that it is

a "house of death" or a "quarrelsome house," full of sickness,

intemperance or what not, and wherever enquiry has been

possible it has invariably confirmed her impressions. On one

occasion she had telegraphed to engage a room at an hotel in a

seaside town, and on being shown to it by the maid found that it

was locked. While the maid went to fetch the key the young

lady tried the door and immediately received a psychometric

impression. "Oh, M--," she said to her companion, "we cannot

possibly have this room, there's a corpse in it!" This was

confirmed, almost as soon as said, by the appearance of the

proprietor, who explained that the maid had made a mistake in

the number of the room, and then, feeling that there was a state of

tension, confidentially informed his visitors that the locked room

had really been booked to them but the old lady who was to have

vacated it that morning had unfortunately died, and in order not

to distress the other visitors the door had been locked pending the

removal of the body, and even the servants had not been

informed of it.

The experiments of Denton recorded in his Soul of Things are

full of interest for those who would learn something more about

the phenomena of psychometry.

The suggestion is that every particle of matter has its own aura or

"atmosphere" in which are stored up the experiences of that

particle. What is said of the particle applies also to the mass of

any body, and in effect we get the aura of a room, of a house, of a

town, of a city; and so successively until we come to that of the

planet itself. These stored-up impressions are not caused by the

mental action of human beings in association with the material

psychometrized, they appertain entirely to the associations of the

material itself, and the psychometric sense consists in recovering

these associations and bringing them into terms of human sense

and consciousness. The experience seems to suggest a nexus

between the individualized human soul and the world-soul in

which the generic life is included; also that the human soul is a

specialized evolution from the world-soul, and hence inclusive of

all stages of experience beneath the human. I think it was Draper

who suggested in his Conflict that a man's shadow falling upon

a wall produced an indelible impression which was capable of

being revived. The cinematograph film is that brick wall raised to

the nth power of impressibility. The occultist will point you to a

universal medium as much above the cinema film as that is above

the brick or stone, and in which are stored up the memoria

mundi. It is this sensitized envelope of the planetary atom that

your sensitive taps by means of his clairvoyant, psychometric and

clairaudient senses.

Clairaudience is far more general than second sight, but there is

the same variability in the range of perception as is seen in

clairvoyance and psychometry. Thus while one hears only the

evil suggestions of "obsessing spirits" or discarnate souls being

dinned into his ears, another will be lifted to the third heaven and

hear "things unutterable." Brain-cell discharges will hardly

account for the phenomena of clairaudience. A brain-cell

discharge never goes beyond the repetition of one's own name in

some familiar voice, or at most the revival of a phrase or the

monotonous clang of a neighbouring church bell. These are not

clairaudiences at all. Clairaudience consists in receiving auditory

impressions of intelligible phrases not previously associated with

the name of person or place involved in the statement. These

impressions may be sporadic or may be continuous. In the case of

a genuine development where the interior sense is fully opened

up, the communication will be continuous and normal, as much

so as ordinary conversation, and the translation of consciousness

into terms of sense will be so rapid and unimpeded as to give the

impression to an Englishman that he is listening to his native

language and to a Frenchman that he is listening to French,

though the communication may proceed from a source which

renders this impossible. The universal language of humanity is

neither Volapuk, nor Esperanto, nor Ido. It is Thought, and when

thought proceeds from a point beyond the plane of differentiation

it can be determined along the line which makes for English as

readily as that which makes for French, or any other tongue. It is

they of the soul-world who convey the thought, it is we of the

sublunary world who translate that thought into our own

language. The Hebrew prophets were almost uniformly instructed

by means of clairaudience. But as I have already said there are

degrees of clairaudience, as of any other psychic faculty. The

danger is that a false value may be set upon the experiences,

especially during the early stages of development when everything

is very new and very wonderful.

Telepathy is another and yet more general phrase of psychic

activity. It may consist in the transmission from one person to

another of a feeling or impression merely, which results in a

certain degree of awareness to the state of mind in which the

transmitter may be at the time, as when a mother has a "feeling"

that all is not well with her absent child. Or it may yet take a

more definite and perspicuous form, even to the transmission of

details such as the names of persons and places, of numbers,

forms and incidents. Telepathy commonly exists between persons

in close sympathy; and when two persons are working along

separate lines toward the same result, it is quite usual that they

unconsciously "telepath" with one another, their brains being for

the time in synchronous vibration. Spiritual communication in

any degree is nothing more or less than sympathy--those who feel

together, think together. The modern development of the aerial

post is a step towards the universal federation of thought, but it is

not comparable with the astral post which carries a thousand

miles an hour. In this sort of correspondence the communication

is written like any ordinary letter designed for transmission, but

instead of stamping and posting it, a lighted match is applied to

the finished work. The material part is destroyed, but the

intangible and only real and lasting part remains behind. This is

attached, by the direction of the will, to a particular person and

set in a certain direction. If all the conditions have been properly

observed it will not fail to reach its destination. I have fortunately

been able to demonstrate this fact in public on more than one

occasion. The phenomenon is repeated in a less striking

form in every case of what is called "crossing," as when one

correspondent feels suddenly called upon to write urgently to

another and receives a reply to his enquiries while his letter is

still in course of delivery.

Nature is full of a subtle magic of this sort for which we have no

organized science. It is said that if you put snails together and

afterwards separate them, placing each upon a copper ground to

which electric wires are attached, a shock given to one snail will

be registered by the other at the same moment. I have not tried

this theory, but the idea is fundamental to a mass of telepathic

observations which have found practical expression in wireless

telegraphy. Some thirty years ago, however, I made trial of the

twin magnet theory and was entirely successful in getting

wireless messages from one room to another. The performance

was, however, clumsy and tedious, and I did not then know

enough to see how it could be perfected. The idea is now in the

very safe custody of the Patents Office.

Community of taste can be demonstrated under hypnosis. It is not

otherwise usually active in sensitives, and Swedenborg was

hence of opinion that the sense of taste could not be obsessed.

This, however, is incorrect. I have illustrated community of all

the senses under hypnosis in circumstances which entirely

precluded the possibility of feint or imposition on the part of the


Another phase of psychic activity is that illustrated in "dowsing"

or water-finding by means of the hazel fork. It may be accounted

a form of hyperaesthesia and no doubt has a nervous expression,

but it is not the less psychic in its origin. I have already referred

to the action of water upon psychic sensitives, and there seems

little room for doubt that it is the psychometric sense which, by

means of the self-extensive faculty inhering in consciousness,

registers the presence of the great diamagnetic agent. Professor

Barrett has written a most interesting monograph on this subject,

and there are many books extant which make reference to and

give examples of this curious phenomenon. The late British

Consul at Trieste and famous explorer and linguist, Sir Richard

Burton, could detect the presence of a cat at a considerable

distance, and I have heard that Lord Roberts experiences the

same paralyzing influence by the proximity of the harmless feline.

If, therefore, one can register the presence of a cat, and another

that of a dead body, I see no difficulty in others registering water

or any other antipathetic. All we have to remember is that these

things are psychic in their origin, and not ignorantly confound

sensation with consciousness, or hyperaesthesia with the various

psychopathic faculties we have been discussing. But it is

necessary to return to our main subject and consider where our

developed clairvoyant or second-sight faculty will lead us, and

what sort of experience we may expect to gain by its use. These

points may now be dealt with.