Types of Psychic Abilities - clairvoyance
What is Clairvoyance?
Clairvoyance means literally nothing more than "clear-seeing," Even in its more restricted sense it covers a wide range of phenomena, varying so greatly in character that it is difficult to give a concise definition of the word which will be at once succinct and accurate. It has also been called "spiritual vision," but no rendering could well be more misleading than that, because in the vast majority of cases there is no faculty connected with it which has the slightest claim to be honored so lofty a name.
Basically clairvoyance can be classified as (1) Simple clairvoyance; (2) Clairvoyance in space; and (3) Clairvoyance in Time. In simple clairvoyance 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.
An authority on the subject of astral phenomena has written interestingly, as follows, regarding some of the phases of simple clairvoyance: "When we come to consider the additional facilities which it offers in the observation of animate objects, we see still more clearly the advantages of astral vision. It exhibits to the clairvoyant the aura of plants and animals, and thus in the case of the animals their desires and emotions, and whatever thoughts they may have, are all plainly shown before his eyes. But it is in dealing with human beings that he will most appreciate the value of this faculty, for he will often be able to help them far more effectually when he guides himself by the information which it gives him.
"He will be able to see the aura as far up as the astral body, and though that leaves all the higher part of a man still hidden from his gaze, he will nevertheless find it possible by careful observation to learn a good deal about the higher part from what is within his reach. His capacity of examination of the etheric double will give him considerable advantage in locating and classifying any defects or diseases of the nervous system, while from the appearance of the astral body he will at once be aware of all the emotions, passions, desires and tendencies of the man before him, and even of very many of his thoughts also.
"As he looks at a person he will see him surrounded by the luminous mist of the astral aura, flashing with all sorts of brilliant colors, and constantly changing in hue and brilliancy with every variation of the person's thoughts and feelings. He will see this aura flooded with the beautiful rose-color of pure affection, the rich blue of devotional feeling, the hard, dull brown of selfishness, the deep scarlet of anger, the horrible lurid red of sensuality, the livid grey of fear, the black clouds of hatred and malice, or any of the other hundredfold indications so easily to be read in it by the practiced eye; and thus it will be impossible for any persons to conceal from him the real state of their feelings on any subject. Not only does the astral aura show him the temporary result of the emotion passing through it at the moment, but it also gives him, by an arrangement and proportion of its colors when in a condition of comparative rest, a clue to the general disposition and character of its owner."
By simple clairvoyance in a certain stage of development the clairvoyant person is able to sense the presence of the human aura, by means of his astral sight. The human aura, as all students of occultism know, is that peculiar emanation of astral vibrations that extends from each living human being, surrounding him in an egg-shaped form for a distance of two to three feet on all sides. This peculiar nebulous envelope is not visible to the physical sight, and may be discerned only by means of the astral senses. It, however, may be dimly "felt" by many persons coming into the presence of other persons, and constitutes a personal atmosphere which is sensed by other persons.
The trained clairvoyant vision sees the human aura as a nebulous hazy substance, like a luminous cloud, surrounding the person for two or three feet on each side of his body, being more dense near the body and gradually becoming less dense as it extends away from the body. It has a phosphorescent appearance, with a peculiar tremulous motion manifesting through its substance. The clairvoyant sees the human aura as composed of all the colors of the spectrum, the combination shifting with the changing mental and emotional states of the person. But, in a general way, it may be said that each person has his or her or distinctive astral auric colors, depending upon his or her general character or personality. Each mental state, or emotional manifestation, has its own particular shade or combination of shades of auric coloring. This beautiful kaleidoscopic spectacle has its own meaning to the advanced occultist with clairvoyant vision, for he is able to read the character and general mental states of the person by means of studying his astral auric colors.
The human aura is not always in a state of calm phosphorescence, however. On the contrary, it sometimes manifests great flames, like those of a fiery furnace, which shoot forth in great tongues, and dart forth suddenly in certain directions toward the objects attracting them. Under great emotional excitement the auric flames move around in swift circling whirlpools, or else swirl away from a centre. Again, it seems to throw forth tiny glistening sparks of astral vibrations, some of which travel for great distance.
The clairvoyant vision is also able to discern what is called the "prana aura" of a person. By this term is indicated that peculiar emanation of vital force which surrounds the physical body of each and every person. In fact, many persons of but slight clairvoyant power, who cannot sense the auric colors, are able to perceive this prana-aura without trouble. It is sometimes called the "health aura," or "physical aura." It is colorless, or rather about the shade of clear glass, diamond, or water. It is streaked with very minute, bristle-like lines.
In a state of good health, these fine lines are stiff like toothbrush bristles; while, in cases of poor health, these lines droop, curl and present a furlike appearance. It is sometimes filled with minute sparkling particles, like tiny electric sparks in rapid vibratory motion. To the clairvoyant vision the prana-aura appears like the vibrating heated air arising from a fire, or stove, or from the heated earth in summer.
If the student will close his eyes partially, and will peer through narrowed eyelids, he will in all probability be able to perceive this prana-aura surrounding the body of some healthy, vigorous person--particularly if the person is sitting in a dim light. Looking closely, he will see the peculiar vibratory motion, like heated air, at a distance of about two inches from the body of the person. It requires a little practice in order to acquire the knack of perceiving these vibrations--a little experimenting in order to get just the right light on the person--but practice will bring success, and you will be repaid for your trouble.
In the same way, the student may by practice acquire the faculty to perceiving his own prana-aura. The simplest way to obtain this last mentioned result is to place your fingers (spread out in fan-shape) against a black background, in a dim light. Then gaze at the fingers with narrowed eyelids, and half-closed eyes. After a little practice, you will see a fine thin line surrounding your fingers on all sides--a semi-luminous border of prana-aura. In most cases this border of aura is colorless, but sometimes a very pale yellowish hue is perceived. The stronger the vital force of the person, the stronger and brighter will this border of prana-aura appear. The aura surrounding the fingers will appear very much like the semi-luminous radiance surrounding a gas-flame, or the flame of a candle, which is familiar to nearly everyone.
Another peculiar phenomenon of the astral plane, perceived by clairvoyants of a certain degree of development, is that which is known as the "thought-form." A thought-form is a specialized grouping of astral substance, crystalized by the strong thought impulses or vibrations of a person thinking, or manifesting strong emotional excitement. It is generated in the aura of the person, in the first place, but is then thrown off or emitted from the atmosphere of the person, and is sent off into space. A thought-form is really but a strongly manifested thought or feeling which has taken form in the astral substance. Its power and duration depend upon the degree of force of the thought or feeling manifesting it.
These thought-forms differ very materially from one another in form and general appearance. The most common form is that of a tiny series of waves, similar to those caused by the dropping of a pebble in a pond of water. Sometimes the thought-form takes on the appearance of a whirlpool, rotating around a centre, and moving through space as well. Another form is like that of the pin-wheel fireworks, swirling away from its centre as it moves through space. Still another form is that of a whirling ring, like that emitted from a smokestack of a locomotive, or the mouth of a smoker--the familiar "ring" of the smoker. Others have the form and appearance of semi-luminous globes, glowing like a giant opal.
Other thought-forms are emitted in jet-like streams, like steam puffed out from a tea-kettle. Again, it will appear as a series of short puffs of steam-like appearance. Again, it will twist along like an eel or snake. Another time it will twist its way like a corkscrew. At other times it will appear as a bomb, or series of bombs projected from the aura of the thinker. Sometimes, as in the case of a vigorous thinker or speaker, these thought-form bombs will be seen to explode when they reach the aura of the person addressed or thought of. Other forms appear like nebulous things resembling an octopus, whose twining tentacles twist around the person to whom they are directed.
Each thought-form bears the same color that it possessed when generated in the aura of its creator, though the colors seem to fade with time. Many of them glow with a dull phosphorescence, instead of bright coloring. The atmosphere of every person, and every place, is filled with various thought-forms emanated from the person, or persons who inhabit the place. Each building has its own distinctive thought-forms, which permeate its mental atmosphere, and which are clearly discernible by trained clairvoyant vision.
"Notice that beautiful spiritual blue around that woman's head! And see that ugly muddy red around that man passing her! Here comes an intellectual giant--see that beautiful golden yellow around his head, like a nimbus! But I don't exactly like that shade of red around his body--and there is too marked an absence of blue in his aura! He lacks harmonious development. Do you notice those great clouds of semi-luminous substance, which are slowly floating along?--notice how the colors vary in them. Those are clouds of thought-vibrations, representing the composite thought of a multitude of people. Also notice how each body of thought is drawing to itself little fragments of similar thought-forms and energy. You see here the tendency of thought-forms to attract others of their kind--how like the proverbial birds of a feather, they flock together--how thoughts come home, bringing their friends with them--how each man creates his own thought atmosphere.
"Speaking of atmospheres, do you notice that each shop we pass has its own peculiar thought-atmosphere? If you look into the houses on either side of the street, you will see that the same thing is true. The very street itself has its own atmosphere, created by the composite thought of those inhabiting and frequenting it. No! do not pass down that side street--its astral atmosphere is too depressing, and its colors too horrible and disgusting for you to witness just now--you might get discouraged and fly back to your physical body for relief.
Look at those thought-forms flying through the atmosphere! What a variety of form and coloring! Some most beautiful, the majority quite neutral in tint, and occasionally a fierce, fiery one tearing its way along toward its mark. Observe those whirling and swirling thought-forms as they are thrown off from that business-house. Across the street, notice that great octopus monster of a thought-form, with its great tentacles striving to wind around persons and draw them into that flashy dance-hall and dram-shop. A devilish monster which we would do well to destroy. Turn your concentrated thought upon it, and will it out of existence--there, that's the right way; watch it sicken and shrivel! But, alas! more of its kind will come forth from that place."
The above represents the sights common to the advanced occultist who explores the astral plane either in his astral body, or else by means of clairvoyant vision. To such a one, these sights are just as natural as those of the physical plane to the person functioning by ordinary physical senses. One is as natural as is the other--there is nothing supernatural about either.
But there are other, and even more wonderful attributes of astral visioning than that which we have just related. Let us take a general survey of these, so that you may be familiar with what you hope to see on the astral plane, and which you will see when you have sufficiently developed your clairvoyant powers.
What would you think if you could "see through a brick wall?" Well, the clairvoyant is able to do this. For that matter, the physical X Rays are able to penetrate through solid substances, and the astral vibrations are even more subtle than these. It seems strange to hear of this kind of visioning as purely natural, doesn't it? It smacks strongly of the old supernatural tales--but it is as simply natural as is the X Ray. The advanced clairvoyant is able to see through the most solid objects, and inside of anything, for that matter. The astral senses register the subtle vibrations of the astral plane, just as the physical eye registers the ordinary rays of light-energy. You are able to see through solid glass, with the physical eye, are you not? Well, in the same way the clairvoyant sees through solid steel or granite. It is all a matter of registering vibrations of energy--nothing more, and nothing less.
It is in this way that the trained clairvoyant is able to read from closed books, sealed letters, etc. In the same way, he is able to pierce the dense soil, and to see far down into the depths of the earth, subject to certain limitations. Veins of coal, oil, and other substances have been discovered clairvoyantly in this way. Not every clairvoyant is able to do this, but the advanced ones have done it. In the same way, the trained clairvoyant is able to see inside the bodies of sick persons, and to diagnose their ailments, providing, of course, he is familiar with the appearance of the organs in health and in disease, and has a sufficient knowledge of physiology and pathology to interpret what he sees.
An authority on the phenomena of the astral plane has written entertainingly and correctly regarding this phase of simple clairvoyance, as follows: "The possession of this extraordinary and scarcely expressible power, then, must always be borne in mind through all that follows. It lays every point in the interior of every solid body absolutely open to the gaze of the seer, just as every point in the interior of a circle lies open to the gaze of a man looking down upon it. But even this is by no means all that it gives to its possessor. He sees not only the inside as well as the outside of every object, but also its astral counterpart. Every atom and molecule of physical matter has its corresponding astral atoms and molecules, and the mass which is built up out of these is clearly visible to the clairvoyant. Usually the astral form of any object projects somewhat beyond the physical part of it, and thus metals, stones and other things are seen surrounded by an astral aura.
"It will be seen at once that even in the study of inorganic matter a man gains immensely by the acquisition of this vision. Not only does he see the astral part of the object at which he looks, which before was wholly hidden from him; not only does he see much more of its physical constitution than he did before, but even what was visible to him before is now seen much more clearly and truly.
Another strange power of which he may find himself in possession is that of magnifying at will the minutest physical or astral particle to any desired size, as through a microscope--though no microscope ever made, or ever likely to be made, possesses even a thousandth part of this psychic magnifying power. By its means the hypothetical molecule and atom postulated by science become visible and living realities to the occult student, and on this closer examination he finds them to be much more complex in their structure than the scientific man has yet realized them to be.
It also enables him to follow with the closest attention and the most lively interest all kinds of electrical, magnetic, and other etheric action; and when some of the specialists in these branches of science are able to develop the power to see these things whereof they write so facilely, some very wonderful and beautiful revelations may be expected.
"This is one of the SIDDIHIS or powers described in the Oriental books as accruing to the man who devotes himself to spiritual development, though the name under which it is there mentioned might not be immediately recognizable. It is referred to as 'the power of making oneself large or small at will,' and the reason of a description which appears so oddly to reverse the fact is that in reality the method by which this feat is performed is precisely that indicated in these ancient books. It is by the use of temporary visual machinery of inconceivable minuteness that the world of the infinitely little is so clearly seen; and in the same way (or rather in the opposite way) it is by enormously increasing the size of the machinery used that it becomes possible to increase the breadth of one's view--in the physical sense as well as, let us hope, in the moral--far beyond anything that science has ever dreamt of as possible for man. So that the alteration in size is really in the vehicle of the student's consciousness, and not in anything outside of himself; and the old Oriental books have, after all, put the case more accurately than have we. I have indicated, though only in the roughest outlines, what a trained student, possessed of full astral vision, would see in the immensely wider world to which that vision introduced him; but I have said nothing of the stupendous change in his mental attitude which comes from the experimental certainty regarding matters of paramount importance. The difference between even the profoundest intellectual conviction, and the precise knowledge gained by direct personal experience, must be felt in order to be appreciated."
Now, here at this place, I wish to call the attention of the student to the fact that while the above stated, phenomena strictly belong to the class of "simple clairvoyance," rather than to "space clairvoyance," or "time clairvoyance" respectively, nevertheless the same phenomena may be manifested in connection with that of these other classes of clairvoyance.
For instance, in space clairvoyance the trained clairvoyant is able not only to perceive things happening at points far distant, but may also (if highly developed psychically) be able to perceive the details just mentioned as well as if he were at that distant point in person. Likewise, in time clairvoyance, the clairvoyant may exercise the power of magnifying vision regarding the object far distant in time, just as if he were living in that time. So here as elsewhere we find the different classes of phenomena shading and blending into each other. At the best, classifications are useful principally for convenience in intellectual consideration and reasoning.
In the same way, the clairvoyant may manifest the above mentioned forms of astral sensing in cases when the astral vision has been awakened by psychometry, or by crystal gazing, as well as in those cases in which the condition has been brought about through meditation, or similar methods.