Yogi Philosophy - Human Magnetism
( Originally Published 1903 )
Human Magnetism, as the term is used in these lessons, is a very different thing from that which the public generally terms "Personal Magnetism." Personal Magnetism is an attribute of the mind, and belongs to the subject of the Dynamics of Thought. Human Magnetism, on the contrary, is a manifestation of Prana, and belongs to that part of the general subject.
The term "Human Magnetism" is a poor one, but like many other such terms, is used for want of a better one, and to avoid the coining of new terms which would be likely to confuse the student. The Sanscrit contains terms perfectly fitting each phase of the subject, which terms have come into use as the knowledge of the subject grew. And such will be the case as the knowledge of this philosophy of the Orient becomes more generally known to the Western people—new terms, fitting to the subject, will spring into general usage, and the confusion which now exists will cease.
We prefer the term "Human Magnetism" to that of "Animal Magnetism," as the latter is generally confounded with some manifestations of Mesmerism. But this Human Magnetism is not the sole property of Man, for the lower animals possess it in a degree. There is this difference, however— Man is able to consciously direct it by his will, and through his Thought, while the lower animals use it more or less unconsciously, and without intellectual aid, or under control of the Will. Both the lower animals and man constantly throw off this magnetism, or pranic energy, unconsciously, but the developed or psychically educated man has the force under his control, and can either repress it to a great extent, or throw off greatly increased quantities of it; and may also direct it to any special place or spot. He can also use it in connection with his thought waves, in order to give the same a greater carrying power and strength.
At the risk of being charged with needless repetition, we wish to impress upon your minds that this Pranic Energy, or Human Magnetism, is a very different thing from "thought-force" or any exhibition of the power of thought, except that it may be used in connection with thought-waves as above stated. It is merely a blind force of nature, just as is electricity or similar forces, and may be used consciously or unconsciously; intelligently or unintelligently; wisely or foolishly. It has no intelligent action except as directed by the mind of its user. "Human Electricity" would be a far more appropriate name for it than is "Human Magnetism"—for it resembles Electricity far more than it does Magnetism.
With this explanation, we will continue the use of the term "Magnetism," asking that you always remember just what we mean by the term.
Human Magnetism is a form of Pranic Energy. We have said some little about Prana in our First Lesson. Prana is the Universal Energy, and is found in varying forms, in all things, animate or inanimate. All forms of Force or Energy are but manifestations of Prana. Electricity is a form of Prana—so is the force of Gravitation—so is the Human Magnetism. It is one of the Seven Principles of Man, and is found in a greater or lesser degree in all human organisms.
Man extracts Prana from the air he breathes; the food he eats ; the fluid he drinks. If he be deficient in Prana, he becomes weak and "lacks vitality," as the term goes. When his supply of Prana is sufficiently large for his needs, he becomes active, bright, energetic, and "full of life." We have given directions regarding the acquiring and storing up Prana, by means of the Breath, in our little book, "Science of Breath," and will give directions for its best absorption from the food and fluids, in our forthcoming book, "Hatha Yoga."
There is a great difference in the amount of Prana absorbed and stored up by different persons. Some are surcharged with Prana, and radiate it like an electrical machine, causing all others with whom they come in contact to feel increased health, strength, life and vigor. Others are so deficient in Prana, that when they come into company of other persons, their depleted condition causes them to draw upon the Pranic supply of magnetism of the others, the result being that the other persons so drawn upon, are apt to feel uncomfortable and weak after the interview. Some people are practically vampires, and live upon the magnetism of others, unconsciously, usually, although some have acquired the knowledge that they may live on others' strength in this way, and practice their wicked arts consciously. This conscious use of their power is a form of black magic, and is attended with certain psychic penalties and punishments. But no one can be thus drawn upon, either by the unconscious demand of others, or by conscious design, after they have once learned something about this Human Magnetism, and its laws.
Human Magnetism, or Pranic Energy, is a most potent therapeutic force, and, in one form or another, it is found in the majority of cases of psychic healing. It is one of the oldest forms of natural healing, and may be said to be almost instinctive in the race. A child who has hurt itself, or who feels a pain, at once runs to its mother who kisses the hurt part, or places her hand on the seat of the pain, and in a few moments the child is better. When we approach one who is suffering, it is very natural for us to place our hands on his brow, or to pass our hand over him. This instinctive use of the hand is a form of conveying magnetism to the afflicted person, who is usually relieved by the act. The holding of a babe to its mother's bosom, is another instinctive act for the same purpose. The mother's magnetism goes out, propelled by her loving thought, and the child is soothed, rested, and strengthened. Human Magnetism may be thrown off from the system by means of a desire or thought, or it may be more directly passed to another by means of the hand; contact of the body; a kiss; the breath; and similar ways. We will speak of this matter, again, in our Eighth Lesson, on "Occult Therapeutics."
It is impossible to give a plain, clear explanation of just what this Human Magnetism is, unless we go into the deeper occult teachings, which are not fitted for the beginner. To tell what Human Magnetism is, we must explain what Prana is, and in order to tell what Prana is, we must go right to the root of the matter and discover the true nature and origin of "Force," something which modern physical science has failed to do, but which the deeper occult teachings are able to explain, at least to those who have reached that stage of under-standing, by slow, laborious and gradual steps.
It may be urged that we are expecting too much when we ask students to accept as truth, the statement that there exists such a thing as Human Magnetism, or Pranic Energy, at all, when we cannot explain its real nature. Replying to this objection, we answer that there are many things which may be proven by their observed effects, although the thing itself cannot be explained in plain terms. Take Electricity, or Magnetism, for instance—we have their existence clearly proved to us every day, by their effects, and yet physical science tells us very little that can be understood, about their real nature. And so it is with this other exhibition of Pranic Energy—Human Magntism—we must look to its effects for proof, rather than try to solve the mystery of the common source of all forms of force —Prana.
But, we have had it urged that whereas we can easily observe the effects and outward manifestation of Electricity and Magnetism, there are no such effects and manifestations of Human Magnetism, or Pranic Energy. This objection has always. amused us, when we remember that every move-ment of the body, from the mighty effort of the giant, to the quiver of an eye-lash, is a direct effect and manifestation of this Human Magnetism or Pranic Energy.
Physical scientists call this thing "Nervous Force" or similar names, but it is the same thing that we have called Human Magnetism—a form of Pranic Energy. When we wish to raise a finger, we put forth an effort of the Will, if the desire be a conscious one—or an effort of the Instinctive Mind, if the desire be sub-conscious—and a supply of Human Magnetism is sent to the muscles con-trolling the movement of the finger. The muscles contract, and the finger raises. And so it is with every movement of the body, both on the conscious and sub-conscious plane of effort. Every step we take is caused by this same process—every word we utter is produced in this way—every tear we shed obeys the law—even the beating of the heart responds to the supply of Human Magnetism, propelled, in this last case, by the command of the Instinctive Mind.
The magnetism is sent over the nerves, just as is a telegraph message sent over the wires leading from the central office to all parts of the land. The nerves are its telegraph wires, and the current in the body always travels over these wires. And just as, until a very recent time, it has been thought impossible for messages to be sent without wires, so even to this day, do the physical scientists deny that this Human Magnetism (which they call Nervous Force) can be transmitted execpt over these wires of the nervous system. And just as the scientists have recently discovered that "wireless telegraphy" is a possibility, and a working truth so have the occultists known for centuries that this Human Magnetism can be transmitted from person to person, through the astral atmosphere, without the need of the wires of the nerves.
Have we helped you to form a clearer idea of Human Magnetism?
As we have stated, Human Magnetism is taken up by the organism of man, from the air he breathes ; the water he drinks ; and the food he eats. It is extracted in Nature's laboratory, and stored up in his nervous system, in a chain of storage-batteries, of which the Solar Plexus is the central and chief store-house. From these storage-batteries, the magnetism is drawn by the mind and sent forth to be used for the thousands of purposes for which it is intended. When we say, "drawn by the mind," we do not mean that it must be necessarily drawn by an effort of the conscious mind, or will power, —in fact, not over five per cent of the amount used is so drawn, the remaining ninety-five per cent, being drawn and used by the Instinctive Mind, which controls the functions of the body—the workings of the internal organs—the processes of digestion, assimilation, and elimination-the circulation of the blood and the various functions of the physical body, all of which are wholly, or in part, under the control and care of the Instinctive Mind.
Nor must it be supposed that this magnetism is absent from any part of the body, at any time; or is absent until it is sent there by a distinct effort of the mind. The fact is that every part of the body contains a greater or lesser amount of magnetism at all times—the amount depending upon the general vitality of the person, which vitality is determined entirely by the total amount of Prana, or Human Magnetism in the system.
A brief consideration of the nervous system, with its nerve-cells, ganglia, plexi, etc., will be advisable, at this point, in order to gain a clearer idea of the processes of nature in its distribution of the supply of magnetism.
The Nervous System of man is divided into two great systems, viz., the Cerebro-Spinal System, and the Sympathetic System. The Cerebro-Spinal System consists of all that part of the Nervous System contained within the cranial cavity, and the spinal canal, viz., the brain and the spinal cord, together with the nerves which branch off from the latter. This system presides over the functions of animal life known as volition, sensation, etc. The Sympathetic System includes all that part of the Nervous System located principally in the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities, and which is distributed to the internal organs. It controls the involuntary processes, such as growth, nutrition, etc., under the supervision and direction of the Instinctive Mind.
The Cerebro-Spinal System attends to all the seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, etc. It sets things in motion; it is used by the Ego to think —to manifest consciousness and Intellect. It is the instrument by which the Ego is enabled to communicate with the outside world by means of the physical senses. This system has been likened to a great telephone system, with the brain as the central office, and the spinal column and nerves as cable and wires respectively.
The brain is a great mass of nerve tissue, and consists of three parts, viz., the Cerebrum, or brain proper, which occupies the upper, front, middle and back portion of the skull; the Cerebellum, or "little brain," which fills the lower and back portion of the skull ; and the Medulla Oblongata, which is the broadened commencement of the spinal cord, lying before and in front of the Cerebellum.
The Cerebrum is the organ of the Intellect, and also of the unfolding Spiritual Mind—the organ of manifestation, remember, not the thing itself. The Cerebellum is the organ of the Instinctive Mind. The Medulla Oblongata is the upper enlarged part of the spinal cord, and from it and the Cerebrum branch forth the cranial nerves which reach to various parts of the head; to the organs of special sense, and to some of the thoracic and abdominal organs, and to the organs of respiration.
The Spinal Cord, or spinal marrow, fills the spinal canal in the vertebral column, or "back-bone." It is a long mass of nerve tissue, branching off at the several vertebrae to nerves communicating to all parts of the body. The Spinal Cord is like a great telephone cable, and the emerging nerves are like the private wires connecting there-with.
The Sympathetic System is composed of a double chain of ganglia on each side of the spinal column, and scattered ganglia in the head, neck, chest, and abdomen. (A ganglion is a mass of nervous matter, including nerve cells.) These ganglia are connected with each other by filaments, and are also connected with the Cerebro-Spinal System by motor and sensory nerves. From these ganglia numerous fibres branch out to the organs of the body, blood vessels, etc. At various points, the nerves meet together and form what are known as plexi, or plexuses. The Sympathetic System practically controls the involuntary processes, such as the circulation, respiration and digestion.
Over this wonderful system operates the Human Magnetism or Pranic Energy (or "Nervous Force," if you prefer the term of the physical scientists.) By means of the impulses from the mind, through the brain, the magnetism is drawn from its storage batteries, and sent to all parts of the body, or to any particular part of the body, over the wires of the nervous system. Without this magnetism, the heart cannot beat; the blood cannot circulate; the lungs cannot breathe; the various organs cannot function; in fact, the entire machinery of the body comes to a stop if the supply of magnetism be shut off. Nay, more, even the brain itself cannot per-form its functions as the physical organ of the mind, unless a supply of Prana or magnetism be present. And yet, the physical scientists smile at the mention of the subject of "Human Magnetism," and dismiss it by giving it another name, "Nervous Force," but limiting its scope.
The Yogi teachings go further than does Western Physical science regarding one particular part of the nervous system. We allude to that which physical scientists call "the Solar Plexus," or "Abdominal Brain," and which they consider as merely one of a series of certain matted nets of sympathetic nerves which, with their ganglia are found in various parts of the body. Yogi science teaches that this Solar Plexus is really a most important part of the nervous system, and that it is the great store-house of Prana, which supplies the minor storage batteries, and the entire system. The Solar Plexus 's situated in the Epigastric region, just back of the pit of the stomach, on either side of the spinal column. It is composed of white and gray brain mat-ter, similar to that composing the other brains of man. It plays a much more important part in the life of man, than is generally supposed. Men have been killed instantly by a severe blow over this region, and prize fighters recognize its vulnerability, and frequently paralyze their opponents by a blow over it. The name "Solar" is well bestowed, as, in fact, it does radiate energy and strength to all parts of the body, even the upper brains depending upon it for energy with which to work.
Just as the blood penetrates all parts of the system, by means of the arteries, and smaller blood vessels, terminating in tiny, fine hair-like vessels called capillaries, and the system is thereby kept supplied with rich, red blood, building up and re-pairing the cells of the body, and supplying the material required for that endless work of repair and rebuilding which is constantly going on in every part of the body, under the direction of that faithful servant, the Instinctive Mind—so does this Human Magnetism, or Pranic Energy, penetrate every portion of the system, by means of this wonderful and complex machinery called the Nervous System, with its complicated systems within systems of cables, wires, relays, storage-batteries, and the like. Without this magnetism there could be no life, as even the machinery and apparatus for the carrying on of the work of the circulation of the blood depends for motive power upon this Pranic Energy.
The healthy human body is filled from head to toe, with this wonderful force, which keeps its machinery moving, and which is used not only on the physical but on the astral plane, as we shall see later on.
But, it must be remembered that the Instinctive Mind is back of all this distribution, for it keeps up a continual demand and draught upon the storage batteries of the system for a sufficient supply of magnetism to supply all parts of the body, and only calls for a special amount in response to a sudden and immediate demand. But the Instinctive Mind regards the supply and demand question, in this continuous draught upon the storage batteries, and the consequent sending forth of the magnetism to all parts of the body. It sends forth only a certain reasonable percentage of the amount stored up, otherwise it would soon bankrupt the system. If one has an abundant supply of magnetism, the Instinctive Mind is quite liberal in disbursing that amount, for it is no miser—it is merely prudent—and such a person fairly radiates magnetism, so that others coming in contact with him feel the healthy outpouring which leaps beyond the confines of the nervous system, and fills the astral atmosphere around him. We have described the human Aura in our Fourth Lesson, and in the same lesson have touched upon the Aura of the third principle, or Prana, which is practically the Aura of Human Magnetism.
This Aura may be felt by many, and seen by those having a certain degree of clairvoyant vision. In fact, a good clairvoyant may see the magnetism as it moves along within the nervous system of a per. son. When in or very near the body, it has a faint rosy tint, which leaves it as it moves away from the body. At a little distance from the body, it resembles a vapory cloud of the color and appearance of an electric spark, or rather of the radiations from an X-ray tube. Clairvoyants see spark-like particles of it being shaken from the finger-tips of those giving "magnetic treatments" or mesmeric passes. It is also seen by some persons who do not consider themselves clairvoyants, to whom it appears like the heated air arising from a stove, or from the heated ground; that is, like a colorless, vapory something, pulsating and vibrating.
A person of strong concentration or trained pow-ers of thought, also throws off a considerable amount of magnetism along with the thought-waves emanating from his brain. In fact, all thought-waves are more or less charged with magnetism, but those of poor concentration and negative character throw off so little that we do not generally take it into consideration as compared to the heavily charged thought-waves of the positive or developed person.
The great point of difference between the physical scientist and the occultist, is in the question of the possible transference of magnetism, or nervous force as the physical scientist calls it. The physical scientiste insists that although the nervous force undoubtedly exists and does all within the body, that the occultist claims, yet it is confined to the nervous systems, and cannot traverse their limits. He consequently denies the existence of much of the phenomena incident to Human Magnetism, and considers the occult teachings as fit only for visionary and imaginative people. The occultist, on the other hand, knows by experience that this magnetism, or nervous force, can and repeatedly does traverse the boundaries of the nervous system, and is projected, at times, to distances far remote from the person in whose system it was stored up. The proof of this occult teaching is to be found by anyone who will experiment for himself, providing he will divest his mind of prejudice and will be willing to accept facts as they are presented to him.
Before proceeding further, we wish to again remind our students that this Human Magnetism is merely a manifestation or form of Prana, and that Prana is not made to order by people to sup-ply their needs. When one increases the amount of magnetism in his system, he does it not by making a fresh supply of it, but by drawing to himself an increased supply of Prana from the great source of supply, by breathing, eating, or drinking. The amount so absorbed or extracted from air, food, and fluid may be greatly increased by the mental desire, or will power, as we will presently see. There is a certain amount of Prana in existence—this amount cannot be added to or diminished. It is unchangeable. It is Force.
In our Fifth Lesson, we told you that when a thought is sent forth with strength, it usually carries with it a considerable amount of Prana, or magnetism, which gives to it additional strength, and sometimes produces startling effects. This Prana, or magnetism, practically vitalizes the thought, and makes it almost a living force. All positive thought, good or bad, is more or less heavily charged with Prana or magnetism. The man of strong will sending forth a vigorous, positive thought unconsciously (or consciously, if he understand the subject) sends with it a supply of Prana, or magnetism, pro-portioned to the force or energy with which the thought is propelled. A thought sent forth when one is laboring under a strong emotion is likewise heavily charged with magnetism. Thoughts, so charged, are often sent like a bullet to the mark, instead of drifting along slowly like an ordinary thought emanation. Some public speakers have acquired this art, and send forth their words with such force that one can fairly feel the impact of the thought. A strong, vigorous thinker, whose thoughts are heavily charged with Prana, will sometimes impart such vitality to his thoughts that they will live for a time as Thought Forms—that is to say, will possess such vitality, from the Prana with which they are charged, that they will become almost like living forces. We may have something to say on this subject in our Lesson on the Astral World (Lesson X). Such Thought Forms, coming into one's psychic atmosphere possess almost the same degree of power that would be experienced were the person present in person talking to you. Read over pages 85-88, Fifth Lesson, now that you have learned some little more about Prana, and you will get a clearer idea of Thought Forms.
Prana depends very considerably upon the desires and expectations of the person, both in the matter of his absorption and its projection with a thought-wave. That is to say, that while every person absorbs more or less Prana every moment of his life, and this amount may be largely increased by following the Yogi teaching regarding breathing, eating and drinking, still the thought, or desire, or expectation of the person will greatly increase the amount of Prana absorbed. And, in like manner, will the desire, or will, of the person greatly multi-ply the force with which a thought is projected, as it largely increases the amount of Prana with which the thought is charged.
To speak more plainly: If one will form a mental image of the absorption of Prana, while breathing, eating or drinking, he will bring into operation certain occult laws which will tend to release a greater amount of Prana from its confining matter, and he will be greatly strengthened in consequence. Try the experiment of taking a few deep breaths, holding the mental image that you are absorbing a large amount of Prana with each inward breath, and you will feel an influx of new strength. This is worth trying when you feel tired and exhausted. Like-wise, drink slowly a cupful of water, forming the mental image that you are extracting from the water a great supply of Prana which is stored up in it, and you will experience a similar result. Like-wise, in eating, if you will masticate your food slowly, holding the mental image that you are extracting the strength of the Prana in the food, you will receive a much greater per cent of nourishment and strength from the food, than you would in the ordinary way. These things are all helpful—we hope that you will try them, and use them when you need them. Do not let the simplicity of these things cause you to undervalue them.
The same law causes a thought projected with the mental image that it is heavily charged with Prana, to attain a greater velocity and force than would an ordinary thought, and its potency will be greatly increased by this practice. But be careful not to send forth evil thoughts in this way. Read your lesson on "Thought Dynamics" (Fifth Les-son) carefully, and heed the warnings contained therein.
A number of interesting experiments along the lines of Human Magnetism may be tried. If you have a number of friends interested in this subject you may try this experiment: Let a party sit around in a circle, holding hands, and all concentrate their minds on the common purpose of sending a Pranic current, or current of magnetism, around the circle. There must be a common under-standing of the direction, else some will be sending in one direction and some in another, and the benefit of co-operation will be lost. A good plan is to send the current in the direction of the movement of the hands of a watch around its face, that is, pick out some person to represent the figure XII, and then start the current moving in the direction of "right" from that person. If the party is harmonious, and the conditions are favorable, they will soon feel a faint tingling like a weak current of electricity moving through them. This practice, if moderately indulged in, will prove invigorating to all concerned in it, but we would not advise that the sittings be continued too long, as it might pro-duce a sufficiently strong current that might be conducive to the production of psychic phenomena, which should not be too freely indulged in by those who are not familiar with the laws of psychic phenomena. We do not approve of indiscriminate, and unintelligent production of phenomena of this sort. One should learn something of the laws, before he attempts to produce phenomena.
Our little book, "Science of Breath," gives in condensed form, a number of methods of using Pranic force, or Human Magnetism, and we refer the student to that book, after he has finished this lesson. All of our publications dove-tail one into the other, and as each one is read others become plainer. Of necessity, we must condense our information, and must trust to a careful reading of all the lessons on the part of our students, in order that they may obtain the best results.
In order not to go over the same ground twice we must refer the student to "Science of Breath" for directions and exercises calculated to increase the absorption of Prana, and also for directions regarding its distribution.
Chapter XIV, of "Science of Breath," gives you some valuable information along these lines. In this chapter, Paragraph 2 furnishes a fine exercise for the increased absorption of Prana, and its distribution to all parts of the body, strengthening and invigorating all the cells, organs and parts of the body. This exercise will seem doubly valuable to you now that we have gone a little deeper into the subject of Prana or magnetism. Paragraph 3, of the same chapter, instructs you how to inhibit pain" by the direction of Prana. Paragraph 4 instructs you in the directing of the circulation. Paragraph 5 gives you information on Self Healing, and Para-graph 6 gives you a short course on Healing of Others, which if followed carefully by you will make you a good "magnetic healer." Paragraph 7 instructs you in Distant Healing.
The next chapter, Chapter XV, gives you information regarding thought projection by means of sending distant thoughts charged with Prana; di-rections for forming a Protective Aura, which will enable you to resist the thoughts and Prana of others, if desired—this information is especially valuable, and we urge upon the student that he acquire this practice of forming a Protective Aura, as he will find it of use to him many times. Our Fifth Lesson also contains directions for the same thing, going a little more into detail than does "Science of Breath;" Chapter XV of "Science of Breath" also tells you how to Re-charge yourself, and how to Recharge others, with Prana; also how to charge water, and quite a number of valuable exercises and directions for the use of Pranic force, or Human Magnetism ; much of which has, so far as we know, never been printed before.
A casual reader of these concluding lines might very naturally suppose that we were trying to sell "Science of Breath" to our students, by reason of these constant references to it. We beg to inform such casual reader of a fact, which all our students realize, without being told, and that is, that nearly every student of this Class has read "Science of Breath," generally before he has purchased this Course. Consequently, he is not a good subject for another sale of the same book, so we must be relieved of the suspicion of an inordinate desire to sell our books by means of praising them in our lessons. Our real reason for this repeated allusion to "Science of Breath" is that we have noticed that the average student, even though he had re-read the little book several times, does not begin to realize the large amount of information contained within its pages, until his attention is called to it.
Then, we know that if he takes up the book, after our calling his attention to it, he will be able to understand this particular lesson much better by reason of the reference to the book. Likewise, he will understand the book better by reason of his having just read the lesson. We wish to keep hammering away at these ideas, until our students have firmly grasped them. These lessons are intended as lessons, not as mere interesting reading. They are intended to teach something—not merely to amuse our students.
So, if the student wishes to practice the workings of Pranic Energy or Human Magnetism, we cheerfully direct him to "Science of Breath," in which he will find enough to keep him busy for a while.
In our Lesson VIII, on "Occult Therapeutics," we will also give him some work to do, if he desires, with a few exercises new to him.
As we have before said, these lessons must be read and re-read, in connection with one another, as one lesson will throw light on another, and vice versa. They are all parts of the one thing—all stones going to build up the temple—each has its place, and each fits into the other.
To those among our students, who have not reached that state of perfect health which the Yogi Philosophy teaches is desirable, as it fits the body for use as a perfect instrument of the Ego—to those who are suffering from disease and ill-health—we urge the practice of increasing the supply of Prana, by means of the breath, the food, and the fluids, as stated in this lesson, and in "Science of Breath." A careful and constant practice of this absorption and storage of Prana will benefit every person, particularly those who are not in perfect health. Do not despise the body, as it is the Temple of the Living Spirit. Tend it well, and make a worthy instrument of it.