RE: Theos-World Re: THE RADHASOAMI FAITH, AND THEOSOPHY.
Dec 04, 2004 04:15 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
Dec 3 2004
Recent inquiries and exchanges on the subject of dreams and visions suggest
this article be circulated for information .
SHALL WE TEACH CLAIRVOYANCE?
A NOTE OF WARNING
MY attention has been arrested by the address delivered in the Adyar course
by Dr. Daly and reported in the September THEOSOPHIST. It is entitled
Coming out in the Adyar course, it has a certain flavor of authority which
will appeal to many members of the Society and may cause them to adopt the
suggestions for practice given in the latter part of the address. Yet at the
same time it is very true that the Theosophical Society is not responsible
for the utterances of members in their private capacity.
The fact that clairvoyance is a power sought after by many persons cannot be
disputed, but the questions, Is it well to try to develop clairvoyance? and
Shall we teach it? have not yet been definitely decided. Hence I may be
permitted to give my views upon them.
At the outset I desire to declare my personal attitude on these questions
and my beliefs as to facts. In using the term "clairvoyance" I intend to
include in it all clear perception on that plane.
I. I have for many years been convinced by proofs furnished by others and
from personal experience that clairvoyance is a power belonging to man's s
inner nature; and also that it is possessed by the animal kingdom.
2. This faculty is either inherited or educed by practice.
3. Those who have it by birth are generally physically diseased or nervously
deranged. The cases where clairvoyance is shown by a perfectly healthy and
well-balanced person are rare.
4. The records of spiritualism for over forty years in America conclusively
prove that clairvoyance cannot be safely sought after by persons who have no
competent guide; that its pursuit has done harm; and that almost every
medium to whom one puts the question "Am I able to develop clairvoyance?"
will reply "Yes."
5. There are no competent guides in this pursuit to be found here or in
Europe who are willing to teach one how to acquire it without danger.
6. The qualifications such a guide should possess render the finding of one
difficult if not impossible. They are: the power to look within and see
clearly the whole inner nature of the student; a complete knowledge of all
the planes upon which clairvoyance acts, including knowledge of the source,
the meaning, and the effect of all that is perceived by the clairvoyant; and
last, but not least, the power to stop at will the exercise of the power.
Evidently these requirements call for an adept.
Who are the teachers of clairvoyance, and those who advise that it be
practiced? In the main, the first are mediums, and any investigator knows
how little they know.
Every one of them differs from every other in his powers. The majority have
only one sort of clairvoyance; here and there are some who combine, at most,
three classes of the faculty.
Not a single one is able to mentally see behind the image or idea perceived,
and cannot say in a given case whether the image seen is the object itself
or the result of a thought from another mind.
For in these planes of perception the thoughts of men become as objective as
material objects are to our human eyes. It is true that a clairvoyant can
tell you that what is being thus perceived is not apprehended by the
physical eye, but beyond that he cannot go. Of this I have had hundreds of
In 99 out of 100 instances the seer mistook the thought from another mind
for a clairvoyant perception of a living person or physical object.
The seers of whom I speak see always according to their inner tendency,
which is governed by subtle laws of heredity which are wholly unknown to
scientific men and much more to mediums and seers.
One will only reach the symbolic plane; another that which is known to
occultists as the positive side of sound; another to the negative or
positive aspects of the epidermis and its emanations; and so on through
innumerable layer after layer of clairvoyance and octave after octave of
They all know but the little they have experienced, and for any other person
to seek to develop the power is dangerous. The philosophy of it all, the
laws that cause the image to appear and disappear, are terra incognita.
The occult septenary scheme in nature with all its modifications produces
multiple effects, and no mere clairvoyant is able to see the truth that
underlies the simplest instance of clairvoyant perception. If a man moves
from one chair to another, immediately hundreds of possibilities arise for
the clairvoyant eye, and he alone who is a highly trained and philosophical
seer -- an adept, in short -- can combine them all so as to arrive at true
clear-perception. In the simple act described almost all the centres of
force in the moving being go into operation, and each one produces its own
peculiar effect in the astral light.
At once the motion made and thoughts aroused elicit their own sound, color,
motion in ether, amount of etheric light, symbolic picture, disturbance of
elemental forces, and so on through the great catalogue. Did but one wink
his eye, the same effects follow in due order. And the seer can perceive but
that which attunes itself to his own development and personal peculiarities,
all limited in force and degree.
What, may I ask, do clairvoyants know of the law of prevention or
encrustation which is acting always with many people? Nothing, absolutely
nothing. How do they explain those cases where, try as they will, they
cannot see anything whatever regarding certain things?
Judging from human nature and the sordidness of many schools of
clairvoyance, are we not safe in affirming that if there were any real or
reliable clairvoyance about us now-a-days among those who offer to teach it
or take pay for it, long ago fortunes would have been made by them, banks
despoiled, lost articles found, and friends more often reunited?
Admitting that there have been sporadic instances of success on these lines,
does not the exception prove that true clairvoyance is not understood or
likely to be?
But what shall theosophists do? Stop all attempts at clairvoyance. And why?
Because it leads them slowly but surely - almost beyond recall into an
interior and exterior passive state where the will is gradually overpowered
and they are at last in the power of the demons who lurk around the
threshold of our consciousness.
Above all, follow no advice to "sit for development." Madness lies that way.
The feathery touches which come upon the skin while trying these experiments
are said by mediums to be the gentle touches of "the spirits."
But they are not. They are caused by the ethereal fluids from within us
making their way out through the skin and thus producing the illusion of a
touch. When enough has gone out, then the victim is getting gradually
negative, the future prey for spooks and will-o'-the-wisp images.
"But what," they say, "shall we pursue and study?" Study the philosophy of
life, leave the decorations that line the road of spiritual development for
future lives, and practice altruism.
WILLIAM Q. JUDGE Path, December, 1890
DELUSIONS OF CLAIRVOYANCE
SOME years ago it was proposed that psychometry should be used in detecting
crime and for the exposing of motive in all transactions between man and
man. This, the alleged discoverer said, would alter the state of society by
compelling people to be honest and by reducing crime.
Now for those who do not know, it may be well to say that when you
psychometrize you take any object that has been in the immediate vicinity of
any person or place of any action, or the writing of another, and by holding
it to your forehead or in the hand a picture of the event, the writer, the
surroundings, and the history of the object, comes before your mental eye
with more or less accuracy.
Time and distance are said to make no difference, for the wrapping from a
mummy has been psychometrized by one who knew nothing about it, and the
mummy with its supposed history accurately described. Letters also have been
similarly treated without reading them, and not only their contents given
but also the unexpressed thoughts and the surroundings of the writers.
Clairvoyants have also on innumerable occasions given correct descriptions
of events and persons they could never have seen or known. But other
innumerable times they have failed.
Without doubt if the city government, or any body of people owning property
that can be stolen, had in their employment a man or woman who could declare
beyond possibility of ever failing where any stolen article was, and who
stole it, and could in advance indicate a purpose on the part of another to
steal, to trick, to lie, or otherwise do evil, one of two things would
Either criminals or intending offenders would abide elsewhere, or some means
of getting rid of the clear-seer would be put into effect. Looking at the
alluring possibilities of clairvoyance so far as it is understood, many
persons have sighed for its power for several different reasons. Some would
use it for the purposes described, but many another has thought of it merely
as a new means for furthering personal ends.
Its delusions are so manifold that, although mystical and psychical subjects
have obtained in the public mind a new standing, clairvoyance will not be
other than a curiosity for some time, and when its phenomena and laws are
well understood no reliance greater than now will be placed upon it. And
even when individual clairvoyants of wonderful power are known, they will
not be accessible for such uses, because, having reached their power by
special training, the laws of their school will prohibit the exercise of the
faculty at the bidding of selfish interest, whether on the one side or the
If it were not always a matter of doubt and difficulty, natural clear-seers
would have long ago demonstrated the unerring range of their vision by
discovering criminals still uncaught, by pointing out where stolen property
could be recovered, by putting a finger on a moral plague-spot which is
known to exist but cannot be located. Yet this they have not done, and
careful Theosophists are confirmed in the old teaching that the field of
clairvoyance is full of delusions. Coming evil could in the same way be
averted, since present error is the prelude and cause of future painful
The prime cause for delusion is that the thought of anything makes around
the thinker an image of the thing thought about. And all images in this
thought-field are alike, since we remember an object by our thought-image of
it, and not by carrying the object in our heads.
Hence the picture in our aura of what we have seen in the hands of another
is of the same sort for untrained seers-as our ideas on the subject of
events in which we have not participated.
So a clairvoyant may, and in fact does, mistake these thought-pictures one
for the other, thus reducing the chances of certainty. If an anxious mother
imagines her child in danger and with vivid bought pictures the details of a
railway accident, the picture the seer may see will be of something that
never happened and is only the product of emotion or imagination.
Mistakes in identity come next. These are more easily made a the astral
plane, which is the means for clairvoyance, than yen upon the visible one,
and will arise from numerous causes. So numerous and complex is this that to
fully explain would not only be hopeless but tedious.
For instance, the person, say at a distance, to whom the clairvoyant eye is
directed may look entirely different from reality, whether as clothing or
physiognomy. He may, in the depths of winter, appear clad in spring
clothing, and your clairvoyant report that, adding probably that it
symbolizes something next spring. But, in fact, the spring clothing was due
to his thoughts about well-worn comfortable suit of this sort throwing a
glamour f the clothing before the vision of the seer. Some cases exactly
like this I have known and verified. Or the lover, dwelling on the form and
features of his beloved, or the criminal upon the one he has wronged, will
work a protean change and destroy identification.
Another source of error will be found in the unwitting transfer to the
clairvoyant of your own thoughts, much altered either for better or worse.
Or even the thoughts of some one else whom you have just met or heard from.
For if you consult the seer on some line of thought, having just read the
ideas on the same subject of another who thinks very strongly and very
clearly, and whose character is overmastering, the clairvoyant will ten to
one feel the influence of the other and give you his ideas.
Reversion of image is the last I will refer to. It has been taught always in
the unpopular school of Theosophy that the astral light reverses the images,
just as science knows the image a the retina is not upright.
Not only have the Cabalists said this, but also the Eastern schools, and
those who now have studied these doctrines along Theosophical lines have
discovered it to be a fact. So the untrained clairvoyant may see a number or
amount backwards, or an object upside down in whole or in part.
The reliance we can place on the observations of untrained people in
ordinary life the scientific schools and courts of law have long ago
discovered; but seekers after the marvellous carelessly accept the
observations of those who must be equally untrained in the field of
clairvoyance. Of course there are many genuine cases of good clear-seeing,
but the mass are not to be relied on. The cultivation of psychic senses is
more difficult than any physical gymnastics, and the number of really
trained clairvoyants in the Western world may be described by a nought
written to the left.
M. MORE Path, July, 1892
Some further comments are given here:
Moral States Classified
"The following classification and discussion of the three qualities ( B.
Gita, Ch. 14) illustrates the vital difference between the ancient, true
psychology of the East, and what is termed Western psychology. Both abound
in classifications; those of the East are much more numerous...and cover a
wider field; Western psychology in its classifications refers solely to
mental states. The psychology of the Gita and the ancient sages classify
the moral states, treating the mental states as mere effects produced by
moral conditions. Herein lies the secret of the hold the Gita has had all
down the ages, and continues to have increasingly. It lays bare the
unsuspected bases of error; it discloses the most subtle forms of
self-delusion; it marks out the true course so painstakingly that the
dullest mind cannot fail to grasp a clear perception of the path to true
knowledge." G. N. p. 197
"...the word Kama...means "desire,"...the 4th principle was the "body or
mass of desires and passions." [GITA NOTES 197: -- "Western psychology in
classifications refers solely to mental states...[Eastern} and the ancient
sages classifies the moral states, treating the mental states as mere
effects produced by moral conditions...It lays bare unsuspected bases of
error; it discloses the most subtle forms of self-delusion; it marks out
the true course so painstakingly that the dullest mind cannot fail to grasp
a clear perception of the path to true knowledge."]...The West divides man
into intellect, will and feeling, but it is not understood whether the
passions and desires constitute a principle in themselves or are due
entirely to the body..."desires of the flesh,...fleshly appetites."
WESTERN SCIENTIFIC PSYCHOLOGY STYMIED
"The lack of an adequate system of Psychology is a natural consequence of
the materialistic bias of Science and the paralyzing influence of dogmatic
religion; the one ridiculing effort and blocking the way, the other
forbidding investigation...Real psychology is an Oriental product
today...the system was known in the West when a very ancient civilization
flourished in America, and in certain parts of Europe anterior to the
Christian era, but for the present day, psychology in its true sense belongs
to the Orient...
"In man are the same powers and forces which are to be found anywhere in
Nature. He is held by the Masters of Wisdom to be the highest product of
the whole system of evolution, and mirrors in himself every power, however
wonderful or terrible, of Nature; by the very fact of being such a mirror
he is man." OCEAN 135-6
"Some day proofs as conclusive [as that of the theory of Evolution in the
Rig Veda or the Books of Hermes] will be discovered of the reliability of
the ancient writers as their evidence on psychological matters...There can
be no real enfranchisement of human thought nor expansion of scientific
discovery until the existence of spirit is recognized." - H.P.Blavatsky
Modern Panarion, p. 93
PASSIONS AND DESIRES
"The passions and desires are not produced by the body...on the contrary,
the body is caused by the former. it is desire and passion which caused us
to be born, and will bring us to birth again and again in some body on this
earth...[it] is the balance principle of the whole 7. It stands in the
middle, and from it the ways go up or down. It is the basis of action, and
the mover of the will..."Behind will stands desire." OCEAN 46
"[Low desires] the constant placing of the consciousness entirely below in
the body or astral body... [High desires] the influence of and aspiration
to the trinity above, of Mind, Buddhi and Spirit...
[During life] the emplacement of the desires and passions is...throughout
the entire lower man...it may be added to or diminished, made weak or
increased in strength, debased or purified.
[After death] it (Kama) informs the astral body, which then becomes a mere
shell; for when a man dies his astral body and principle of passion and
desire leave the physical in company and coalesce, It is then that the term
Kamarupa may be applied, as Kamarupa is really made of astral body and Kama
in conjunction, and this joining of the two makes a shape or form which
though ordinarily invisible is material and may be brought into visibility.
Although it is empty of mind and conscience, it has powers of its own that
can be exercised whenever the conditions permit. These conditions are
furnished by the medium of the spiritualists, and in every seance room the
astral shells of deceased persons are always present to delude the
sitters... For the astral spook--or Kamarupa--is but the mass of the desires
and passions abandoned by the real person who has fled to "heaven and has no
concern with the people left behind, least of all with seances and mediums.
Hence, being devoid of the nobler soul, these desires and passions work only
on the very lowest part of the medium's nature and stir up no good elements,
but always the lower leanings of the being...
The Kamarupa spook is the enemy of our civilization, which permits us to
execute men for crimes committed and thus throws out into the ether the mass
of passion and desire free from the weight of the body and liable at any
moment to be attracted to any sensitive person. Being thus attracted, the
deplorable images of crimes committed and also the picture of the execution
and all the accompanying curses and wishes for revenge are implanted in
living persons, who, not seeing the evil, are unable to throw it off. Thus
crimes and new ideas of crimes are willfully propagated every day by those
countries where capital punishment prevails." OCEAN 47-48
DANGER OF EXERCISING PSYCHIC POWERS
"To attempt to acquire the use of the psychic powers for mere curiosity or
for selfish ends is also dangerous for the same reasons as in the case of
mediumship. As the...present day is selfish to the last degree and built on
the personal element, the rules for these powers in the right way have not
been given out, but the Masters of Wisdom have said that philosophy and
ethics must first be learned and practiced before any development of the
other department [psychism] is indulged in...
Equally improper is the manner of the scientific schools which...indulge in
experiments in hypnotism in which the subjects are injured for life...
"The Lodge of the Masters does not care for Science unless it aims to better
man's state morally as well as physically, and no aid will be given to
Science until she looks at man and life from the moral and spiritual side.
For this reason, those who know all about the psychical world, its denizens
and laws, are proceeding with a reform in morals and philosophy before any
great attention will be accorded to the strange and seductive phenomena
possible for the inner powers of man." OCEAN 152
WHAT ARE THE "MORAL STATES ?"
Some Notes derived from studying HPB:
Metaphysics is the "mother-plant" of psychology. It is a science of first
The Esoteric Philosophy recognizes in the ultimate analysis that there is
only One Reality. This lies behind the illusions (Maya) of our Universe of
forms. It is called variously Sat or Para-Brahm, the "Great Unknown."
There is a continual circuit of manifestation followed by rest (pralaya, or
non-manifestation - a supra-physical, "spiritual" state). This compares
with our cycle of sleeping and waking.
The duality, in manifestation of Spirit and Matter is a fact.
These emerge from the One Reality, and are found in ancient philosophy
designated as the Word (Logos)--Spirit; and, Matter (Mula-prakriti) --Root
Matter. They equilibrate each other constantly.
The great Law of cause and effect, measured, regular, constant and
consistent, ever merciful and totally just runs continuously through all
periods. It has been called variously: the One Life, Karma, the "Great
Breath." It works in and on everyone impartially.
One of the chief differences between antique psychological philosophical
systems and the modern is that in antiquity, the moral states were
classified. States of Consciousness and Perception were held to be the
result of those moral conditions.
Morality is defined as those acts, thoughts and feeling which harmonize with
the Great Law of the Evolutionary progress of the Universe. Of necessity
this is universal in scope, considers the value and necessity of every
creature, every particle of substance. Nothing is excluded or held to be
unrelated to its all-encompassing purview.
Immorality is held to be anything adverse, by definition it is limited,
selfish, acquisitive defensive of territory and possessions.
Eastern Psychology recognizes in Man's conscious constitution several
distinct and active principles:
1. The Emotions: feelings, desires, needs and wants, all
centered around the personality the "I"-self in waking consciousness. It is
very "territorial." These are seen to come and go and change constantly.
It rarely considers consequences, is rash and wayward.
2. The Mind: thoughts, imagination, fancy, ability to study
and analyze, memory, extrapolation, etc... This is called the True Self and
the Individual. This sense of Individuality persists throughout the life in
spite of many changes. It is "superior" to the "emotional, the selfish
self, as it can control and direct it. It tends to be deliberate and
considers results that may accrue to actions.
3. In waking consciousness these two are combined to form two
operative points of dialog: There is an alliance between one aspect of the
mind and the emotions. This makes up the "Lower Mind" - selfish,
territorial, vicious, amatory, etc... The second unit is that aspect of the
mind which coalesces with experience, with the memory of results and
considers those which are beneficial to itself or dangerous in potential.
It has been called "The Higher Mind." One of its faculties is to access to
the common and universal plane of Mentality in the Universe where results of
all past events and actions are recorded. ["Actions" include: desires,
thoughts, and physical acts.]
4. Mind (Soul) is that which persists. In Eastern psychology
it is held that it constitutes an unbreakable thread of consciousness
between the life experiences of this personality and that of previous
personalities ensouled by it through the process of reincarnation.
5. Mind is allied, in it higher, nobler aspect, to a principle
of Universal Wisdom--the source of Law, Karma, Justice and Progress. It has
been named Wisdom, Buddhi. This the Higher Mind is called Buddhi-Manas to
use terms that philosophers employ in Sanskrit. The "Lower Mind" is denoted
Kama-Manas, or the desire-mind. This last informs the personality and gives
it its awareness. It transfers constantly its impressions to the Higher
Mind, and at the death of the body it makes a final transfer to the Higher
Mind. This becomes the conveyor of the life of the Entity through a review
and resting period to its eventual return on Earth in a new body.
6. Intuition and the "Voice of Conscience" are evidence of the
communications between the Higher and the Lower Minds during life. The
Higher, having access to past experience in full, warns the lower, when
necessary at the time when it makes decisions or choices. These may or may
not be heeded by the embodied Lower Mind. Consequences ensue and this is
called "Karma," the ledger balance of all our activities, visible and
invisible, physical or immaterial.
7. We are part of a vast host of intelligences. Men-minds like
ourselves, and levels of consciousness represented by the animals, plants,
minerals and other elements of the Universe. It is also reasonable to
consider that there are our predecessors on the Ladder of Evolution. Those
once men like ourselves who have progressed to a wiser and wider view of
things. Like our teachers, instructors and professors they remain as
assistants, whose advise is available to those of us who care to seek for
and ask for it.
8. The subject of the "will." or the executive power which
transfers an "idea" into an action is also to be considered. It is
volitional, directive, serves as a bridge between the mind and the hands
that work in the world of physical matter. It is "colorless." It can be
employed by either the Lower or the Higher Mind.
9. The Buddha was the greatest of psychologists. He showed the
inquirer how to understand Suffering as part of a pair. Happiness was the
alternative. There is something in Man which sees both sides. This
sensitivity evokes compassion. To refrain from hurting others while gently
but firmly insisting on equity is the study of the ages. The personal
application leads to Adeptship through true non-violence.
10. The Higher Self is common to all it being Atma, and
universal. As a drop resides in the Ocean, so the Higher Self of each
individual resides in the Universal Spirit. It is at once a part of THAT,
and yet is individualized. We therefore share in all the sufferings and the
pleasures of others. We are their brothers and sisters in Spirit.
11. Each individual has to come to the realization that he alone
will save or damn himself.
12. Each one is morally obliged to assist all others when able
to do so. The motive for such assistance has to be disinterested, to be
STATEMENTS AND WARNINGS BY HPB
"Psychism, with all its allurements and all its dangers, is necessarily
developing among you, and you might beware lest the Psychic outruns the
Manasic and Spiritual development. Psychic capacities held perfectly under
control, checked and directed by the manasic principle, are valuable aids in
development. But these capacities running riot controlling instead of
controlled, using instead of being used, lead the Student into the most
dangerous delusions and the certainty of moral destruction. Watch therefore
carefully this development, inevitable in your race and evolution-period so
that it may finally work for good and not for evil..." HPB
-- 5 Messages, p. 29
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