Fear Induced By Atmospheric Touch
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The preceding considerations have to do with conscious conditions and activities. The underlying spring of fear is the subconscious life. People for whom you experience natural antipathies trouble you, however, by action on your subconscious self more truly than by action on your conscious self. Very likely your antipathy and fear result from these subconscious, rather than the conscious, activities, affecting you, primarily, in a subconscious way which reports finally in your conscious life. You may say that you ought not to be antipathetic or fearful in regard to groups or masses of people, but you nevertheless experience these feelings, often beginning with simple uneasiness alone. The case seems to you inexplicable and hard to master.
We have here antagonism of personal atmospheres.
Such antagonism has a psychic cause, but the first expression of that cause occurs in your etheric sphere.
We need not say more about the ether at this point than that it is the hypothetical medium of activities or mass of activities which lies at the base of all matter and founds, pervades, saturates and surrounds every individual object of material existence.
You have your physical neighborhood of etheric activities. Call this your etheric sphere or atmosphere.
The etheric sphere is what it is because you are what you are. Your psychic self appropriates and molds the ether in definite ways. Your established, regular complex way of being and doing establishes in regularity those etheric activities the final manifestation of which is your body: that is, your kind of body, your particular personal body. The body being a final manifestation of these activities, the latter affect a "field" of the ether. In all bodies this is true: The character of etheric activity, psychically induced and established, is reflected in, goes over to, this etheric field immediately surrounding the body. Your body is not a closed thing, like a hollow glass ball. It is a living thing in relation with the ether of which it is a manifest, immersed in which it exists and acts.
Science declares: "While it lives, a living sub-stance by the act of living creates in the environment around its semi-fluid body whirlpool movements which count for a great deal in the determination of its own form. Thus, just so long as it survives, the living body carries along with it, not only its own substance, but also a certain system of movements which it imposes on the medium in the immediate environment of its body."
This must also be true of the etheric environment especially, since every material body is saturated with the etheric medium or exists by reason of etheric activities.
Thus, the character of the etheric movements external to a body is also a definite thing. Because the character is definite, the etheric sphere or atmosphere of a body has a limited power of harmonizing with other spheres or personal atmospheres. (See "The Personal Atmosphere.") When etheric activities of one atmosphere do not harmonize with the activities of another atmosphere, when they interfere with, oppose, disturb, those of another atmosphere, one of the persons, perhaps both, is or are psychically affected, and the outcome is vague uneasiness or positive antipathy in one or the other.
You may not, then, consciously feel aversion or fear for any individual in a group of people, while antipathy developing into fear may arise when you confront several people of such a group. Their personal atmospheres, insufficient in any one case to induce antipathy or fear in you, excite these feelings because they combine, and, so combined, assault your personal atmosphere, and through that your psychic self, so powerfully as to disharmonize your regular etheric activities and your subconscious self. Then, it may be, the final outcome appears in your conscious mind. And so we learn -
FIFTH AND SIXTH REGIMES — FOR FEAR INDUCED BY ATMOSPHERIC CONTACT: Indifference and Resistance. The remedy is two-fold : the cure by indifference and the cure by self-assertive resistance.
(1). You are invited to recall the suggestions related to the cure by indifference, and to make them effective by the simple, yet emphatic and persistent assertion: "My antipathy for any and all of you, or of you for me, is a matter of entire indifference to me: let it go ! I do not care about you. Even though I feel aversion for you, or you for me, the fact is of no importance whatever." You thus kill fear for a group as you kill fear for an individual.
(2). The cure by self-assertive resistance is allied to the preceding. In the one case we have resistance through aroused and maintained indifference. In the other case we have resistance through aroused assertion of self. The former method consists in control of feelings by accepting them as devitalized and of no importance - destroying their value, "letting them slide" as of no significance or power. The latter method consists in control by thinking and willing repulsion of all etheric activities and psychic suggestions of disagreeableness or danger. In this method you are invited to affirm, vigorously and confidently: "I hold to myself! I throw my will out to the whole field of my personal atmosphere and maintain throughout a positive attitude of resistance to all your etheric activities and psychic influences and suggestions. This attitude meets your group and kind of personality. I repel you. I close you out. I do not care about you, and I do not suffer you to share in my life. In my antipathy and because of it, and beyond my indifference, 1 do not fear you."