Yogi Philosophy - Telepathy and Clairvoyance
( Originally Published 1903 )
Telepathy may be roughly defined as the communication of mind with mind, other than by means of the five senses to which material science limits man, viz: sight; hearing; smell; taste and touch—sight, hearing and touch being the senses most commonly used. According to material science, it would follow that if two minds were placed beyond the possibility of ordinary sense communication, there could be no communication. And, if there should prove to be communication under such circumstances, it would be a reasonable inference that man possessed senses other than the five which have been allotted him, or recognized in him, by material science.
Occultists, however, know that man has other senses and faculties than those taken into consideration by material science. Without going too deeply into this subject, and confining ourselves to the purposes of this lesson, we may say that besides the five physical senses he has five astral senses (counterparts of the physical senses), operating on the astral plane, by which he may see, hear, taste, smell, and even feel, without the use of the physical organs usually associated with the use of these senses. More than this, he has a special sixth physical sense (for which we have no English term), by which he becomes aware of the thoughts emanating from the minds of others, even though the other minds may be far removed from him in space.
There is one great point of difference between this special sixth physical sense and the five astral senses. The difference is this: The five astral senses are astral counterparts of the five physical senses, functioning upon the astral plane just as the five physical senses function upon the physical plane, there being an astral sense corresponding with each physical organ, although the astral impression is not received through the physical organ, but reaches the consciousness along lines of its own, just as does the impression received through the physical channels. But this special sixth physical sense (let us call it "the telepathic sense," for want of a better name) has both a physical organ through which it receives impressions, and also an astral sense counterpart, just as have the other physical senses. In other words, it has an organ just as truly physical as is the nose, the eye, the ear, through which it receives the ordinary "telepathic" impressions, and which is used in all cases coming under the head of "telepathy." The astral counterpart is used on the astral plane, in certain forms of clair-voyance. Now for the telepathic physical organ, through which the brain receives the vibrations, or thought-waves, emanating from the minds of others.
Imbedded in the brain, near the middle of the skull, almost directly above the top of the spinal column, is to be found a small body, or gland, of reddish-gray color, cone-shaped, attached to the floor of the third ventricle of the brain, in front of the cerebellum. It is a mass of nervous matter, containing corpuscles resembling nerve cells, and also containing small concretions of gritty, calcareous particles, sometimes called "brain sand." This body is known to Western physical science as the "Pineal Gland," or "Pineal Body," the term "pineal" having been given it by reason of its shape, which resembles that of a pine-cone.
Western scientists are completely at sea regarding the function, purpose and use of this organ of the brain (for an organ it is). Their text-books dismiss the matter with the solemn statement, "the function of the pineal body is not understood," and no attempt is made to account for the presence and purposes of the "corpuscles resembling nerve cells," or the "brain sand." Some of the text-book writers, however, note the fact that this organ is larger in children than in adults, and more developed in adult females than in adult males-a most significant statement.
The Yogis have known for centuries that this "Pineal Body" is the organ through which the brain receives impressions by the medium of vibrations caused by thoughts projected from other brains—the organ of "telepathic" communication, in short. It is not necessary for this organ to have an outward opening, as has the ear, nose and eye, for thought-vibrations penetrate matter of the consistency of the physical body, just as easily as light-vibrations penetrate glass, or X-ray-vibrations pass through wood, stone, etc. The nearest illustration of the character of thought-vibrations is found in the vibrations sent forth and received in "wireless telegraphy." The little "pineal body" of the brain, is the receiving instrument of the wireless telegraphy of the mind.
When one "thinks" he sets up vibrations of greater or lesser intensity in the surrounding ether, which radiate from him in all directions just as light-waves radiate from their source. These vibrations striking upon the telepathic organ in other brains cause a brain action which reproduces the thought in the brain of the recipient. This reproduced thought may pass into the field of consciousness, or it may remain in the region of the Instinctive Mind, according to circumstances.
In our last lesson, "Thought Dynamics," we spoke of the influence and power of thought, and we suggest that, after finishing the present lesson, the student re-read the Fifth Lesson, in order to fix the two lessons together in his mind. In the previous lesson we told what thought-waves did—in this one we tell how they are received.
Telepathy then, for the purpose of this lesson, may be considered as the receiving by a person, consciously or unconsciously, of vibrations, or thought-waves, sent forth, consciously or unconsciously, from the minds of others. Thus, deliberate thought-transferrence between two or more people is Telepathy; and so, also, is the absorption by a person of the thought-vibrations in the atmosphere sent out by other thinkers without any desire to reach him. Thought-waves vary in intensity and force, as we have explained in the previous lesson. Concentration, upon the part of the sender or receiver, or both, of course greatly intensifies the force of the sending, and the accuracy and clearness of the receiving.
It is very difficult for us to intelligently speak of the phenomena coming under the head of Clairvoyance without going into the subject of the Astral Plane, as Clairvoyance is an incident of the Astral Plane and belongs to that subject. But we cannot go into details regarding the Astral Plane, as we intend to devote an entire lesson to that subject, so we must go on with the subject before us, with the understanding that the student will be given an explanation of the nature and incidents of the Astral Plane in due time. For the purpose of this lesson, however, we must ask the student to accept the statement that man has within him faculties which enable him to "sense" vibrations which are not responded to by his ordinary physical organs of sense. Each physical sense has its corresponding astral sense, which is open to the vibrations alluded to and which interpret such vibrations and pass them on the consciousness of man.
Thus, the astral sight enables man to receive astral light-vibrations from an enormous distance; to receive these rays through solid objects; to perceive thought-forms in the ether, etc. Astral hearing enables one to receive astral sound-vibrations from enormous dis-tances, and after a long time has elapsed, the fine vibrations still remaining in existence. The other astral senses correspond to the other physical senses, except that like the astral senses of seeing and hearing they are an extension of the physical senses. We think that the matter was well, if rather crudely, expressed to us, several years ago, by an uneducated psychic, who, after endeavoring to explain the resemblance of her astral senses to her physical ones, at last said, awkwardly : "The astral senses are just the same as the physical ones—only more so." We do not think that we can improve upon the explanation of this uneducated woman.
All persons have the astral senses alluded to, but comparatively few have developed them so that they can consciously use them. Some have occasional flashes of astral sensing, but are not conscious of the source of their impressions, they merely knowing that "something came into their mind," and often dismissing the impression as an idle fancy. Those awakening into astral sensing are often as clumsy and awkward as is the infant when the physical senses begin to receive and translate impressions. The infant has to gauge distance in receiving impressions through the eye and ear, and also in the matter of touch. The infant in psychism has to pass through a similar experience, hence the confusing and unsatisfactory results at the beginning.
In order to intelligently understand the several forms of clairvoyant phenomena, more particularly those forms which manifest in what we will call "space clair-voyance," e., the power to see things at great dis-tances, we must accept as facts the occult teachings 'which the latest discoveries of modern physical science are verifying) that all forms of matter are constantly throwing forth radiations in all directions. These astral rays are many times more subtle and fine than ordinary light rays, but they travel in the same manner and are caught up and registered by the astral sense of sight just as are ordinary light rays by the physical organs of sight. Like ordinary light rays these astral light rays move on infinitely, and the highly developed and trained astral senses of the advanced occulist register impressions from distances incredible to the average reader who has not studied these matters. These astral light rays penetrate and pass through solid material objects with comparatively no difficulty, and the densest bodies become almost transparent to the trained clair-voyant vision.
In all of the several forms of clairvoyance herein noted, there are of course various degrees of clairvoyant power on the part of the clairvoyant. Some manifest extraordinary power, others average, and the majority possess only occasional and more or less rudimertary power of sensing on the astral plane. This is the case with simple clairvoyance as well as with the higher forms, which we will presently describe. Accordingly, one may possess some of the characteristics of simple clairvoyance and lack the others.
By simple clairvoyance we mean the power to receive astral impressions from near by, the clairvoyant not possessing the power to see distant things or to sense things occurring in the past or present. To the person possessing a full degree of simple clairvoyance there occurs the phenomenon of receiving astral light wave: through solid objects. He, literally, sees things "through a stone wall." Solid objects become semi-transparent, and he senses the vibrations passing through them just as does the observer with the proper apparatus sense the X Rays which have passed through a solid object. He is able to observe things transpiring in an adjoining room, and behind closed doors. He may read the contents of sealed letters, by practice. He may see several yards into the earth beneath his feet, and observe the minerals which may be there. He may see through the body of a person near him, and may also observe the working of the internal organs, and distinguish the cause of physical ailments, in many cases. He may see the aura of persons with whom he comes in contact, observing the auric colors and thus ascertaining the quality of thought emanating from their minds. He may, by clairaudient power, hear things which are being said beyond the range of ordinary hearing. He becomes sensitive to the thoughts of others, owing to the exercise of his astral telepathic powers, which are many times keener than his ordinary telepathic senses. He may see disembodied spirits and other astral forms, which will be explained in the lesson treating on that subject. In short, a new world of impressions is opened out before him. In some rare cases persons possessing simple clairvoyance gradually develop the faculty of magnifying the size of small objects at will—that is, through their astral vision they are able to adjust the focus so as to bring the astral image of the object before them enlarged to any de-sired size, just as does the person using the microscope, This faculty, however, is quite rare, and is seldom found to have been developed spontaneously—the faculty usually being possessed only by those of advanced and developed occult powers. A variation of this faculty will be noticed under the head of space clairvoyance, which we take up next.
There are several means whereby the psychic or developed occultist may perceive people, things, scenes and events far removed from the observer, and far beyond the range of the physical vision. Two of these means only will come under the head of this lesson, the other methods belonging to the higher planes of life, and being beyond the power of any but the adepts and most advanced occultists. The two methods alluded to come, strictly speaking, under the head of space clairvoyance on the astral plane, and therefore form a part of this lesson. The first of these methods consist of what we have described as simple clairvoyance, on an increased scale, by reason of the development of the faculty of focusing upon far distant objects and bringing them to view by means of what occultists know as "the astral tube," which will be described in the following paragraphs. The second method consists in projecting the astral body, consciously or unconsciously, and practically observing the scene on the spot, through the astral vision. This method will also be described a little later on in this lesson.
We have described the astral light rays emanating from all objects by means of which the astral vision becomes possible. And under the head of simple clair-voyance we have told you how the clairvoyant may observe near-by objects through his astral vision, just as he may through his physical sight, the astral light rays being used in the one case, just as are the ordinary light rays in the other. But just as one is unable to perceive a far removed object through his ordinary physical vision, although the light rays are not interrupted, so is the simple clairvoyant unable to "see" far removed objects by means of his astral vision, although the astral light rays are uninterrupted. On the physical plane, man, in order to see things beyond his normal vision, must make use of the telescope. Like-wise, on the astral plane, he must call into operation some assistance to the simple astral vision, in order to receive a clear impression of things far off. This assistance, however, comes from within his own astral organism, and consists of a peculiar astral faculty which acts as the lens of a telescope and magnifies the rays received from afar, rendering them sufficiently large to be distinguished by the mind. This power is "telescopic" in effect, although it is really by a variation of that "microscopic" faculty noted under the head of simple clairvoyance. This telescopic faculty varies very much in psychics, some being able to see but a few miles, while others receive impressions just as easily from all parts of the earth, and a few have been able to occasionally perceive scenes on other planets.
This telescopic astral vision is usually operated in connection with what occultists have called the "astral telescope," which is akin to the "astral telegraph," "astral current," etc., all of which are but variations of the "astral tube." The astral tube is caused by the forming of a thought current on the astral plane (held together by a strong supply of prana projected along with the thought), which current renders far easier the passage of astral vibrations of all kinds, whether they be telepathic thought-vibrations, astral light-vibrations, or astral sound-vibrations. It is the bringing of the observer and the observed—the projector and the recipient—or the two persons in harmony—into a closer condition of rapport. The astral tube is the means whereby quite a variety of psychic phenomena is made possible.
In the case of astral telescopic vision, or "space clairvoyance," the clairvoyant, either consciously or unconsciously, sets up an astral tube connecting him with the distant scene. The astral light-vibrations reach him more easily by this method, and the outside impressions are inhibited or shut out, so that the mind receives only the impressions from the point focused upon. These impressions reach the clairvoyant, and are magnified by his "telescopic" faculty and are then plainly perceived by his astral vision. This "telescopic" faculty, remember, acts merely as the lens through which the astral light rays pass, and by which they are magnified to a size sufficiently large to be distinguished by the astral vision, just as the ordinary light rays are magnified for the ordinary vision by the lens of the telescope. The analogy is a very close one, and will help you to form a clear mental idea of the process.
The "astral tube" is usually formed by the will of the clairvoyant, or by his strong desire, which has almost as much force. At times, however, the conditions being favorable, any idle thought may cause the erection of the astral current and the clairvoyant will see scenes unthought of, or even unknown to him. The idle thought may have formed a connection with other psychic currents, or have been attracted in certain directions by any of a thousand and one psychic causes under the law of attraction and association ; but the will of the operator is usually sufficient to shut out the careless adjustments and to establish a speedy connection with the desired person or place. Many persons have this faculty well under the control ; others find it coming and going spontaneously; others are devoid of it, except under mesmeric influence, etc. Many have found the crystal ball, or similar object, an easy means of creating the astral tube, the crystal being used as a sort of starting point. Crystal-gazing is merely space clairvoyance by use of the astral tube, the scenes perceived by the observer eing seen by this means. We have space merely to state the general principles of this great subject, in order to give the student an intelligent idea of the several forms of psychic phenomena. We regret that we have not the opportunity to relate the interesting in-stances of clairvoyant power which have been recorded by eminent writers on this subject, and which are well attested from a scientific point of view. However, we are not starting to prove the existence of clairvoyance to you—we must assume that you know it to be a fact, or are at least not antagonistic to the idea. Our space must be devoted to a brief description and explanation of this phenomenon, rather than to any attempt to prove its reality to sceptics. It is a matter which, after all, every man must prove to his own satisfaction by his own experience, and which no outside proof will establish.
The second method of seeing things far removed from us by space, consists in the projecting of the astral body, consciously or unsconsciously, and practically observing the scene on the spot, by means of the astral vision. This is a more difficult and rarer method than the ordinary "astral tube" method, just described, although many persons travel in the astral and perceive scenes which they think are seen in a dream or "in the mind's eye."
We have described the astral body in a previous lesson. It is possible for one to project their astral body, or travel in their astral body, to any point within the limits of this planet, although very few people are conscious of their ability to so travel, and considerable practice and caution is necessary for the beginner. Once on the spot the astral traveler may see what is going on around him, and is not confined to the small scene to which the psychic using the "astral tube" is restricted. His astral body follows his desires or will, and goes where it is ordered. The trained occultist merely wishes to be at a certain place, and his astral travels there with the rapidity of light, or even more rapidly. Of course, the untrained occultist has no such degree of control over his astral body, and is more or less clumsy in his management of it. People often travel in their astral body in their sleep ; a smaller number travel unsconsciously in their waking moments, and a few have acquired the knowledge enabling them to travel consciously and at will in their waking moments. The astral body is always connected with the physical body by a thin, silklike, astral thread, and the communication between the two is maintained. We will have more to say on the subject of the astral body in our Tenth Lesson, which treats of the Astral Plane. We merely allude to it here, in order to ex-plain that what is called clairvoyance is sometimes accomplished by its aid, although it is a higher form of psychic power than the other forms of clairvoyance mentioned by us so far.
PAST TIME CLAIRVOYANCE
Time clairvoyance, so far as regards the sensing of past events, is not a rare faculty among advanced occultists—in fact, it may be termed a common one among such people. And the same faculty, imperfectly manifested, is found among many ordinary psychics who are not acquainted with the nature of their power. Among this last mentioned class of people time clairvoyance is more or less unsatisfactory be-cause imperfect and misleading, from causes which will be seen presently.
The statement that one may see past events and scenes, even by astral vision, will readily be seen to re-quire an entirely different explanation from that given of simple and space clairvoyance, for in the latter cases the clairvoyant sees that which is actually occur-ring somewhere at the time it is seen, or at least, a few seconds previous, whereas, in the latter case, the clairvoyant sees something which has occurred, perhaps ages ago, and after apparently all records of it have perished. Ah, that is just the explanation—"apparently perished." Occultists know that nothing ever perishes, and that there are in existence on the higher planes of matter, imperishable and unalterable records of every scene, act, thought, and thing that ever existed or occurred. These akasic records are not on the astral plane, but are on a plane far above it, but they are mirrored on the astral plane, just as is the sky and clouds reflected in the body of the lake, and the observer who cannot see the sky itself may see its counter-part in the water. And just as his vision may be distorted by the ripples and waves on the water, so may the astral vision of these records of the past become distorted and imperfect impressions by reasons of the disturbances in the astral light. Occultists for ages have used "water" as a symbol of the astral light—do you see why?
These akasic records contain the "memory" of all that has passed, and he who has access to them may read the past as he may a book. But only the most advanced intelligences have free access to these records—or rather have the power to read them. But many have acquired a greater or lesser degree of power, which enables them to read more or less plainly from the reflections of these records in the astral plane. Those who have developed time clairvoyance are able to see these reflections of the records as scenes actually occurring before them, just as one hears from the phonograph the voices of people long since passed out of the body, and just as others may listen to our voices centuries hence. It is impossible to explain to beginners the nature of these records—we have no words to explain them—even we who write these words have but a partial understanding of the inner mystery of the akasic records—then how may we make ourselves plain to those who are still further back on the path than are we? We can think of but one illustration--and that an imperfect one. In the brain of every human being there are millions of cells, each containing the records of some past event or thought or action. We cannot find these records by the microscope, or by chemical test, and yet they are there, and may be used. The memory of every act, thought, and deed remains, during life, in the brain, although its owner may not always be able to call it up in recollection. Can you grasp the idea of the akasic record from this illustration? In the great memory cells of the Universe are registered and stored away the records of all that has gone before—those who have access to the records may read—and those who are able to see even the astral reflection of the records, may read with greater or less accuracy and skill. This is the best we can offer you in the way of explaining an unexplainable matter. Those who are ready for the truth hidden in these words will see a glimpse of it; the others must wail until they are ready.
FUTURE TIME CLAIRVOYANCE
Time clairvoyance, so far as "seership" or the seeing into the future is concerned, is even still more difficult of a simple explanation. We shall not attempt it, except to say that in the astral light there are to be found faint and imperfect reflections the workings of the great law of cause and effect, or rather of the shadows cast before the coming events. Some few have the power of a closer view point of the things causing these shadows or reflections, while more have a degree of psychic power enabling them to see with their astral vision these poor reflections, distorted and uncertain, by reason of the waves and ripples on the body of the lake of astral light. There are higher planes of power whereby a few in each age have been able to see partially into the future, but such powers are far above the poor astral plane faculties, which although quite wonderful to the untrained occultist, are not so highly viewed by those who have progressed well along the path. We almost regret to be compelled to pass 'ver this part of the subject in so few words, and with a mere hint of even the small particle of the truth vouchafed to even the advanced seeker of the way. But we know full well that all will receive the light needed by them, just the moment they are ready—not one moment later—not one moment sooner. All that can be done is for us to drop a word here—a hint there—a planting of the seed. May the harvest come soon and be a rich one.
Clairaudience is the hearing on the astral plane by means of the astral senses. Nearly all that we have said about Clairvoyance is equally true of Clairaudience, the only difference being that a different astral organ is used. Simple clairaudience is similar to simple clairvoyance; space clairaudience is akin to space clair-voyance; past time clairaudience is similar to past time clairvoyance; even future time clairvoyance has a shadow, of a resemblance in clairaudient phenomena; the only difference between the two astral manifestations is that they are experienced through two different astral senses. Some clairvoyants are also clairaudients, while others lack the latter power. On the other hand, some hear clairaudiently but are unable to see in the astral light: On the whole, clairaudience is a somewhat rarer manifestation than is clairvoyance.
Just as we may sometimes recall an apparently for-gotten thing, by seeing something which is associated with that thing in our memory, so may we sometimes be able to open up the astral reflection of the akasic records of some particular scene or event by touching some material associated with the event or scene. There seems to be almost an affinity between a bit of matter and the particular portion of the akasic records containing the past history of the thing in question. A bit of metal, or stone, or cloth, or hair will open up the psychic vision of the things previously associated with it in the past. Or, on the other hand, we may bring ourselves in rapport with persons now living, by means of a particle of their clothing, hair, or articles formerly carried by them, the rapport condition thus established enabling us to more easily set up the "astral tube." Psychometry is merely one or more forms of clairvoyance, brought into operation by means of some connecting link between persons or things, or some object connected with these persons or things. It is not a distinct class of psychic phenomena, but is merely a variation of the other classes, sometimes combining several classes of clairvoyance in its manifestation.
How To DEVELOP PSYCHIC POWERS
We are often asked the question which is probably in the minds of the majority of our students, at least those who have not yet manifested any marked exhibition of psychic power: "How can one develop the psychic power which is latent within him?"
There are many methods of such development, a few of which are desirable; many of which are undesirable, and some of which are positively harmful.
Among the harmful methods are those in use among certain savage races, and which maintain even among misguided ones of our own race. We allude to such objectionable practices as the use of stupefying drugs, whirling dances, voodoo practices, repulsive rites of the black magicians, and other similar practices which we do not consider it wisdom to even mention. These practices aim to produce an abnormal condition similar to intoxication, and which, like intoxication and drug habits, only result in physical and psychical ruin. Those indulging in them do, it is true, develop a low order of psychic or astral power, but they invariably attract to themselves an undesirable class of astral entities and often open themselves up to the influence of a low order of intelligences which wise men carefully avoid and refuse to entertain. We will do no more than to utter a warning against these practices and their results. Our work is intended to elevate our students, not to drag them down to the level of the black magicians.
Other practices, more or less undesirable, although not absolutely harmful in the sense that we speak of the last mentioned ones, are more or less common among both the Hindus of a certain class and the Western peoples. We allude to methods of self-hypnotization and of hypnotization by others, in order to produce, or induce, a psychic condition in which the persons is entitled to catch glimpses of the astral world. Gazing at some bright object until a trance-like condition is induced, or the repetition of some monotonous formula until a drowsy condition is produced, are among the methods of this class. In the same class we place the ordinary process of hypnotism by others for the same purpose. There is, of course, a higher form of "mesmerism" known to occultists, which is on an entirely different plane, but occultists are reluctant to use same, except in certain cases, where good may result, and such methods are not known to the ordinary hypnotic operator, who, alas, too often is a person of imperfect occult knowledge and training and of a low degree of moral character. We caution our students against allowing themselves to be experimented with in this manner.
There are two methods of psychic development practiced by the Yogis, which we will mention here. The first and highest is the development of psychic powers by first developing the spiritual faculties and nature, when the psychic powers may be used with intelligence and power without any special training—the higher attainment carrying with it the lower. In other words, the Yogi, bent on spiritual attainment, contents him-self with merely an intellectual acquaintance with psychic power, in passing on, and then after he has acquired the higher spiritual knowledge and develop-ment, he returns and uses the tools ready at his hand, the use of which he now understands. In the Fourteenth Lesson of this series we will point ut the way of this development the lesson will be entirely devoted to pointing out the way to spiritual attainment.
There is, however, another way whereby some students of the Yogi Philosophy develop psychic powers in themselves, preferring to gain this knowledge by experiment and experience before passing on to the spiritual plane. We have no fault to find with this course, providing the student does not regard psychic power as the end of attainment, and providing he al ways is inspired with worthy motives and does not allow the interest of the astral plane to divert him from the main object spiritual development. Some of the Yogi students follow the plan of first mastering the body by the mind, and then mastering the Instinctive Mind by the Intellect under the direction of the will. The first steps in the mastery of the body have been spoken of by us in "Science of Breath," and will be more clearly brought out and added to in our forthcoming book, "Hatha Yoga." The mental control forms a subject in itself, and we trust to find time to write a little manual on the subject some time during the present year.
If the student wishes to experiment a little for himself, we suggest that he acquire self-control and practice Concentration, in the Silence. Many of you have already had exhibitions of psychic power, and you may practice along the lines corresponding to the manifestations you have already had. If it be Telepathy, practice with some of your friends and note results. A little practice will work wonders for you. If it be Clairvoyance, you may practice with a crystal, or glass of clear water, to assist in concentrating, and to form the beginning of the astral tube. If it be Psychometry, practice by picking up some object, such as a pebble, a coin, a key, etc., and sit quietly taking note of the fleeting impressions which at first will come but dimly be-fore your mind. The description of the different classes of phenomena mentioned in this lesson will suggest methods and exercises for you.
But do not allow yourself to be carried away by psychic practices—they are interesting and instructive, but they are not essential things at this stage of development. Keep your mind fixed always on the goal —the end to be attained—the development of the Real Self—the realization of the I Am within you—and the still higher realization of your Oneness with All.
Peace be to thee, student. You have our loving thought and wishes for your welfare. If you ever feel the need of our sympathy and mental help, call for it in the great Silence, and we will respond.