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c l a i r v o y a n c e


THE WORD "CLAIRVOYANCE" MEANS "CLEAR SEEING". In its present usage it covers a wide field of psychic phenomena; and is used by different writers to designate phases of psychic phenomena differing widely from each other. The student is apt to become confused when he meets these apparently conflicting definitions and usages. In the glossary of the Society for Psychical Research, the term is defined as: "The faculty or act of perceiving, as though visually, with some coincidental truth, some distant scene; it is used sometimes, but hardly properly, for transcendental vision, or the perception of beings regarded as on another plane of existence."
Mrs. Henry Sidgwick, a distinguished writer on the subject of psychic phenomena, in one of her reports to the Society for Psychical Research, says: "The word clairvoyant is often used very loosely and with widely different meanings. I denote by it a faculty of acquiring supernormally, but not by reading the minds of persons present, a knowledge of facts such as we normally acquire by the use of our senses. I do not limit it to knowledge that would normally be acquired by the sense of sight, nor do I limit it to a knowledge of present facts. A similar knowledge of the past, and if necessary, of future facts may be included. On the other hand, I exclude the mere faculty of seeing apparitions or visions, which is sometimes called clairvoyance."
The above definitive explanation of the term clairvoyance agrees with the idea of the best authorities, and distinguishes between the phenomena of clairvoyance and that of telepathy, on the one hand; and between the former and that of seeing apparitions, on the other hand. I, personally, accept this distinction as both scientific in form, and as agreeing with the facts of the case. You will, of course, see that the acceptance of the existence of the astral senses throws light on many obscure points about which the psychic researchers are in doubt, and reconciles many apparently opposing facts.


ALL SCIENTIFIC AUTHORITIES, AS WELL AS THE BEST OCCULTISTS, DIVIDE THE PHENOMENA OF CLAIRVOYANCE INTO SEVERAL WELL-DISTINGUISHED CLASSES. The following classification is simple, and indicates clearly the principal forms of clairvoyant phenomena:
(1) Simple Clairvoyance, in which the clairvoyant person merely senses the auric emanations of other persons, such as the auric vibrations, colors, etc.; currents of thought-vibrations, etc.; but does not see events or scenes removed in space or time from the observer.
(2) Clairvoyance in Space, in which the clairvoyant person senses scenes and events removed in space from the observer; and, often also is able to sense such things even when they are concealed or obscured by intervening material objects.
(3) Clairvoyance in Time, in which the clairvoyant person senses scenes and events which have had their original place in past time; or scenes and events which will have their original place in the future.
I shall describe each of these three classes, with their many variations, as we reach them in their proper places in these lessons. Before doing so however, I wish to explain to you the several methods by which clairvoyant vision is usually induced. These methods may be designated as follows:
(1) Psychometry, or the method of getting en rapport with the astral plane by means of some physical object connected with the person, thing, or scene about which you desire to be informed.
(2) Crystal Gazing, etc., or the method of getting en rapport with the astral plane by means of gazing into a crystal, magic mirror, etc.
(3) Clairvoyant Reverie, or the method of getting en rapport with the astral plane by means of psychic states in which the sights, sounds and thoughts of the material and physical plane are shut out of consciousness.
I shall now proceed to give the details regarding each one of these three great classes of methods inducing clairvoyant vision, or en rapport conditions with the astral plane.


Without going into technical occult explanations, I would say that the virtue of these articles consists entirely of their associative value. That is to say, they carry in them certain vibrations of past experience which serve as a connecting link, or associated filament, with the thing which is sought to be brought into the field of clairvoyant vision.
To reach clairvoyantly a thing, scene, or person in this way is akin to the unwinding of a ball of yarn, when you hold the loose end in your hand. Or, it is like giving a keen-scented dog a sniff at a handkerchief once carried by the person whom you wish him to nose out for you.
A well-known authority on the subject of psychic phenomena has said on this point: "The untrained clairvoyant usually cannot find any particular astral picture when it is wanted, without some special link to put him en rapport with the subject required. Psychometry is an instance in point. It seems as though there were a sort of magnetic attachment or affinity between any particle of matter and the record which contains its history - an affinity which enables it to act as a kind of conductor between that record and the faculties of anyone who can read it. For instance, I once brought from Stonehenge a tiny fragment of stone, not larger than a pin's head, and on putting this into an envelope and handing it to a psychometer who had no idea what it was, she at once began to describe that wonderful ruin and the desolate country surrounding it, and then went on to picture vividly what were evidently scenes from its early history, showing that the infinitessimal fragment had been sufficient to put her into communication with the records connected with the spot from which it came. The scenes through which we pass in the course of our life seem to act in the same way upon the cells of our brain as did the history of Stonehenge upon that particle of stone. They establish a connection with those cells by means of which our mind is put en rapport with that particular portion of the records, and so we 'remember' what we have seen."
One of the simplest and most common form of psychometry is that in which the psychometrist is able to tell the physical condition of a person by means of holding to the forehead, or even in the hand, some trinket or small article such as a handkerchief recently worn on the person of the individual regarding whom the information is sought. In the case of some very sensitive psychometrists, the psychic person "takes on" the condition of the other person whose former article of clothing, trinket, etc., she is holding. She will often actually experience the physical pain and distress of the person, and will be able to indicate from what ailment the person is suffering. Some persons attain great proficiency in this direction, and are a great assistance to wise physicians who avail themselves of their services. Some successful physicians themselves possess this faculty well developed, and use it to great advantage, though, as a rule they keep very quiet about it, from fear of creating unfavorable comment from their fellow-physicians and from the general public who "do not believe in such tom-foolery."
A step further is the power of some psychometrists to correctly describe the personal characteristics, and even the past history of persons with whom they come in contact, or whose "associated article" they have in their hands. Some very remarkable instances of this phase of psychometry are related in the books containing the history of clairvoyance.


AN INTERESTING CASE IS THAT RELATED BY ZSCHOKKE, THE EMINENT GERMAN WRITER, WHO RELATES IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY HIS WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE IN THIS DIRECTION. Listen to the story in his own words: "It has happened to me occasionally at the first meeting with a total stranger, when I have been listening in silence to his conversation, that his past life up to the present moment, with many minute circumstances belonging to one or other particular scene in it, has come across me like a dream, but distinctly, entirely involuntarily and unsought, occupying in duration a few minutes. For a long time I was disposed to consider these fleeting visions as a trick of the fancy - the more so as my dream-vision displayed to me the dress and movements of the actors, the appearance of the room, the furniture, and other accidents of the scene; till on one occasion, in a gamesome mood, I narrated to my family the secret history of a seamstress who had just quitted the room. I had never seen the person before. Nevertheless, the hearers were astonished, and laughed and would not be persuaded but that I had a previous acquaintance with the former life of the person, inasmuch as what I had stated was perfectly true.
"I was not less astonished to find that my dream vision agreed with reality. I then gave more attention to the subject, and as often as propriety allowed of it, I related to those whose lives had so passed before me the substance of my dream-vision, to obtain from them its contradiction or confirmation. On every occasion its confirmation followed, not without amazement on the part of those who gave it. On a certain fair-day I went into the town of Waldshut accompanied by two young foresters, who are still alive. It was evening, and, tired with our walk, we went into an inn called the 'Vine.' We took our supper with a numerous company at the public table, when it happened that they made themselves merry over the peculiarities of the Swiss in connection with the belief in mesmerism, Lavater's physiognomical system, and the like. One of my companions, whose national pride was touched by their raillery, begged me to make some reply, particularly in answer to a young man of superior appearance who sat opposite, and had indulged in unrestrained ridicule.
"It happened that the events of this person's life had just previously passed before my mind. I turned to him with the question whether he would reply to me with truth and candor, if I narrated to him the most secret passages of his history, he being as little known to me as I to him. That would, I suggested, go something beyond Lavater's physiognomical skill. He promised that if I told the truth he would admit it openly. Then I narrated the events with which my dream vision had furnished me, and the table learned the history of the young tradesman's life, of his school years, his peccadilloes, and finally, of a little act of roguery committed by him on the strongbox of his employer. I described the uninhabited room with its white walls, where to the right of the brown door there had stood upon the table the small money-chest, etc. The man, much struck, admitted the correctness of each circumstance - even, which I could not expect, of the last."
The above incident is typical of this class of psychometry, and many persons have had at least flashes of this phase of the power. The only remarkable thing about this particular case is its faithfulness regarding details - this shows a very fine development of the astral sense. The feature that makes it psychometric, instead of pure clairvoyance, is that the presence of the other person was necessary to produce the phenomenon - a bit of clothing would probably have answered as well. Zschokke does not seem to have been able to manifest time - clairvoyance independent of the presence of the person concerned - he needs the associated link, or loose end of the psychic ball of yarn.


NEXT IN ORDER IN THE LIST OF THE PHENOMENA OF PSYCHOMETRY IS THAT IN WHICH THE PSYCHOMETRIST IS ABLE TO DESCRIBE A DISTANT SCENE BY MEANS OF A BIT OF MINERAL, PLANT, OR SIMILAR OBJECT, ONCE LOCATED AT THAT PLACE. In such cases, the psychometrist gets en rapport with the distant scene by means of the connecting link mentioned. Having obtained this, he is able to relate the events that are happening on that scene at that particular moment. Some very interesting cases are mentioned in which the psychometrist has been able to "spy" in on a certain place, by means of some small article which has recently been located in that place. For instance I once gave a young psychometrist a penholder from the office of a lawyer, a friend of mine, located about eight hundred miles from the psychometrist. She gave a perfect picture of the interior of the office, the scene across the street visible from the office window, and certain events that were happening in the office at that moment, which were verified by careful inquiry as to persons and time. Every occultist, or investigator of psychic phenomena has experienced many cases of this kind.
Another phase of psychometry is that in which the psychometer is able to sense the conditions existing underground, by means of a piece of mineral or metal which originally was located there. Some wonderful instances of phychometric discernment of mines, etc., have been recorded. In this phase of psychometry, all that is needed is a piece of the coal, mineral or metal which has come from the mine. Following up this psychic "lead" the psychometrist is able to describe the veins or strata of the surrounding land, although they have not yet been uncovered or discovered.
Still another form of psychometric discernment is that in which the psychometrist gets en rapport with the past history of an object, or of its surroundings, by means of the object itself. In this way, the psychometrist holding in his hand, or pressing to his head, a bullet from a battle field, is able to picture the battle itself. Or, given a piece of ancient pottery or stone implement, the psychometrist is able to picture the time and peoples connected with the object in the past - sometimes after many centuries are past. I once handed a good psychometrist a bit of ornament taken from an Egyptian mummy over three thousand years old. Though the psychometrist did not know what the object was, or from whence it had come, she was able to picture not only the scenes in which the Egyptian had lived, but also the scenes connected with the manufacture of the ornament, some three hundred years before that time - for it turned out that the ornament itself was an antique when the Egyptian had acquired it. In another case, I had the psychometrist describe in detail the animal life, and the physical phenomena, of the age in which a fossil had existed when alive - many thousands of years ago. In the proper place in this book, I will explain just how it is possible to penetrate the secrets of the past by psychometric vision - that is to say, the psychic laws making the same possible.


SOME OF THE MOST REMARKABLE OF RECORDED INSTANCES OF THIS FORM OF PSYCHOMETRY KNOWN TO THE WESTERN WORLD ARE TH0SE RELATED IN THE WORKS OF A GEOLOGIST NAMED DENTON, WHO SOME FIFTY YEARS AGO CONDUCTED A SERIES OF INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE PHENOMENA OF PSYCHOMETRY. His recorded experiments fill several volumes. Being a geologist, he was able to select the best subjects for the experiments, and also to verify and decide upon the accuracy of the reports given by the psychometrists. His wife, herself, was a gifted psychometrist, and it has been said of her, by good authority, that "she is able, by putting a piece of matter (whatever be its nature) to her head, to see, either with her eyes closed or open, all that the piece of matter, figuratively speaking, ever saw, heard, or experienced." The following examples will give a good idea of the Denton experiments, which are typical of this class of psychometry.
Dr. Denton gave the psychometrist a small fragment broken from a large meteorite. She held it to her head, and reported: "This is curious. There is nothing at all to be seen. I feel as if I were in the air. No, not in the air either, but in nothing, no place. I am utterly unable to describe it; it seems high, however I feel as though I were rising, and my eyes are carried upwards; but I look around in vain; there is nothing to be seen. I see clouds, now, but nothing else. They are so close to me that I seem to be in them. My head, and neck and eyes are affected. My eyes are carried up, and I cannot roll them down. Now the clouds appear lighter and lighter, and look as though the sunlight would burst through them. As the clouds separate, I can see a star or two, and then the moon instead of the sun. The moon seems near, and looks coarse and rough, and paler and larger in size than I ever saw it before. What a strange feeling comes over me! It appears as if I were going right to the moon, and it looks as if the moon were coming to me. It affects me terribly."
Dr. Denton adds: "She was too much affected to continue the experiment longer. Had this aerolite at some period of its history, come within the sphere of the moon's attraction, and had its velocity so increased that its augmented centrifugal force had carried it off into space again, whence, drawn by the superior attractive force of the earth, it had fallen and ended its career forever?"
At another time, Dr. Denton tested the psychometrist with a whalebone walking cane. She supposed it to be wood, but when she began to report her psychic impressions, they came as follows: "I feel as though I were a monster. There is nothing of a tree about it, and it is useless for me to go further. I feel like vomiting. Now I want to plunge into the water. I believe that I am going to have a fit. My jaws are large enough to take down a house at a gulp. I now know what this is - it is whalebone. I see the inside of the whale's mouth. It has no teeth. It has a slimy look, but I only get a glimpse of it. Now, I see the whole animal. What an awful looking creature."
Another time, Dr. Denton gave the psychometrist a minute piece of the enamel of the tooth of a mastodon, which had been found thirty feet below the surface of the earth. The psychometrist had not the slightest knowledge of the character of the tiny flake of enamel handed her, but nevertheless reported: "My impression is that it is a part of some monstrous animal, probably part of a tooth. I feel like a perfect monster, with heavy legs, unwieldy head, and very large body. I go down to a shallow stream to drink. I can hardly speak, my jaws are so heavy. I feel like getting down on all fours. What a noise comes through the woods. I have an impulse to answer it. My ears are very large and leathery, and I can almost fancy they flap in my face as I move my head. There are some older ones than I. It seems so out of keeping to be talking with these heavy jaws. They are dark brown, as if they had been completely tanned. There is one old fellow, with large tusks, that looks very tough. I see several younger ones. In fact, there is a whole herd. My upper lip moves curiously; I can flap it up. It seems strange to me how it is done. There is a plant growing here, higher than my head. It is nearly as thick as my wrist, very juicy, sweet, and tender - something like green corn in taste, but sweeter. It is not the taste it would have to a human being - oh no! it is sickenish, and very unpleasant to the human taste." These instances might be multiplied indefinitely, but the principle is the same in each. In my own experience, I gave a small piece from the Great Pyramid of Egypt to a psychometrist who was uneducated and who knew nothing of ancient Egypt or its history. Notwithstanding this, she gave me such a detailed and complete account of the life of ancient Egypt, which was in such complete accordance with the opinions of the best authorities, that I would hesitate about publishing the report, for it certainly would be regarded as rank imposture by the average scientific authority. Some day, however, I may publish this.
There are no special directions to be given the student in psychometry. All that can be done is to suggest that each person should try the experiments for himself, in order to find out whether he has, or has not, the psychometric faculty. It may be developed by the methods that will be given to develop all psychic powers, in another part of this book. But much will depend upon actual practice and exercise. Take strange objects, and, sitting in a quiet room with the object held to your forehead, shut out all thoughts of the outside world, and forget all personal affairs. In a short time, if the conditions are all right, you will begin to have flashes of scenes connected with the history of the object. At first rather disconnected and more or less confused, there will soon come to you a clearing away of the scene, and the pictures will become quite plain. Practice will develop the power. Practice only when alone, or when in the presence of some sympathetic friend or friends. Always avoid discordant and inharmonious company when practicing psychic powers. The best psychometrists usually keep the physical eyes closed when practicing their power.
You have doubtless heard the sensing of sealed letters spoken of as clairvoyance. But this is merely one form of psychometry. The letter is a very good connecting medium in psychometric experiments. I advise you to begin your experiments with old letters. You will be surprised to discover how readily you will begin to receive psychic impressions from the letters, either from the person who wrote them, or from the place in which they were written, or from some one connected with the subsequent history. One of the most interesting experiments I ever witnessed in psychometry, was a case in which a letter that had been forwarded from place to place, until it had gone completely around the globe, was psychometrized by a young Hindu maiden. Although ignorant of the outside world, she was able to picture the people and scenery of every part of the globe in which the letter had traveled. Her report was really an interesting "travelogue" of a trip around the world, given in tabloid form. You may obtain some interesting results in psychometrizing old letters - but always be conscientious about it, and refrain from divulging the secrets that will become yours in the course of these experiments. Be honorable on the astral plane, as well as on the physical - more so, rather than less.
W.T. Stead relates the case of a lady well known to him, who spontaneously developed the power of awakening astral perception in others. She seemed to "materialize" in their presence. Her power in this direction became a source of considerable anxiety and worry to her friends to whom she would pay unexpected and involuntary visits, frightening them out of their wits by the appearance of her "ghost." They naturally thought that she had died suddenly and had appeared to them in ghostly form. The lady, her self, was totally unconscious of the appearance, though she admitted that at or about the times of the appearances she had been thinking of her friends whom she visited astrally.
The German writer, Jung Stilling, mentions the case of a man of good character who had developed power of this kind, but also was conscious of his visits. He exerted the power consciously by an effort of will, it seems. At one time he was consulted by the wife of a sea captain whose husband was on a long voyage to Europe and Asia (sailing from America). His ship was long overdue, and his wife was quite worried about him. She consulted the gentleman in question, and he promised to do what he could for her. Leaving the room he threw himself on a couch and was seen by the lady (who peered through the half-opened door) to be in a state of semi-trance. Finally he returned and told her that he had visited her husband in a coffee-house in London, and gave her husband's reasons for not writing, adding that her husband would soon return to America. When her husband returned several months later, the wife asked him about the matter. He informed her that the clairvoyant's report was correct in every particular. Upon being introduced to the clairvoyant, the captain manifested great surprise, saying that he had met the man in question on a certain day in a coffee-house in London, and that the man had told him that his wife was worried about him, and that he had told the man that he had been prevented from writing for several reasons, and that he was on the eve of beginning his return voyage to America. He added that when he looked for the man a few moments afterwards, the stranger had apparently lost himself in the crowd, disappeared and was seen no more by him.
The Society for Psychical Research gives prominence to the celebrated case of the member of the London Stock Exchange, whose identity it conceals under the initials "S.H.B.," who possessed this power of voluntary awakening of astral sight in others by means of his "appearance" to them. The man relates his experience to the Society as follows: "One Sunday night in November, 1881, I was in Kildare Gardens, when I willed very strongly that I would visit in the spirit two lady friends, the Misses X., who were living three miles off, in Hogarth Road. I willed that I should do this at one o'clock in the morning, and having willed it, I went to sleep. Next Thursday, when I first met my friends, the elder lady told me that she woke up and saw my apparition advancing to her bedside. She screamed and woke her sisters, who also saw me." (The report includes the signed statement of the ladies, giving the time of the appearance, and the details thereof.)

This text was borrowed from Project Gutenberg. Contact the webmaster Rob Sullivan at coderot@gmail.com. Anticopyright February 2011.

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