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The word clairvoyance means “clear-sighted”, or the ability to see in the invisible (to physical vision) worlds. It is a faculty latent in all and will eventually be possessed by every human being in the course of his or her spiritual unfoldment. Having acquired this spiritual sight, one may then investigate for himself such matters as the state of the human Spirit before birth and after death, and life in the invisible worlds.
Although each of us inherently has this faculty, a persistent effort is required to unfold it in a positive manner, and this seems to be a powerful deterrent. If it could be bought, many people would pay a high price for it. Few people, however, seem willing to live the life that is required to awaken it. That awakening comes only by patient, persistent effort. It cannot be purchased: there is no royal road to its acquisition.
There are two types of clairvoyance. Positive, voluntary clairvoyance is that in which the individual is able, at will, to see in and investigate the inner worlds, and is the master of himself and what he is doing. This type of clairvoyance is developed through pure, helpful living, and the individual must be carefully trained in its use, in order that it may be completely effective and useful. Negative, involuntary clairvoyance exists when the sights of the inner worlds are presented to an individual quite independently of his will; he sees what is given him to see and can in no way control this sight. This type of clairvoyance is dangerous, laying the individual open to possession by discarnate entities and, if permitted to go far enough, presenting the possibility that his life, in this world and the next, will quite literally not be his own.
In the brain are two small organs called the pituitary body and the pineal gland. Medical science knows but little about them, and calls the pineal gland “the atrophied third eye,” yet neither it nor the pituitary body is atrophying. This is very perplexing to scientists for Nature retains nothing useless. All over the body we find organs which are either atrophying or developing.
The pituitary body and the pineal gland belong to still another class of organs, however, which at the present time are neither evolving nor degenerating, but are dormant. In the far past, when man was in touch with the inner worlds, these organs were his means of ingress thereto, and they will again serve that purpose at a later stage. They were connected with the involuntary or sympathetic nervous system. In earlier times (during the Moon Period and the latter part of the Lemurian and early Atlantean Epochs) man saw the inner worlds; pictures presented themselves quite independently of his will. The sense centers of his desire body were spinning around counter-clockwise (following negatively the motion of the Earth, which revolves on its axis in that direction) as the sense centers of “mediums” do to this day. In most people these sense centers are inactive, but true development will set them spinning clockwise. That is the difficult feature in the development of positive clairvoyance.
The development of negative clairvoyance, or mediumship, is much easier, because it is merely a revival of the mirror-like function possessed by man in the far past, by which the outside world was involuntarily reflected in him. This function was afterward retained by inbreeding. With present-day mediums this power is intermittent, which explains why they can sometimes “see” and at other times, for no apparent reason, fail utterly to do so.
In the desire body of the properly trained voluntary clairvoyant, the desire currents turn clockwise, glowing with exceeding splendor, far surpassing the brilliant luminosity of the ordinary desire body. The centers of perception in the desire body around which these currents swirl furnish the voluntary clairvoyant with the means of perception of things in the Desire World, and he sees and investigates at will. The person whose centers turn counter-clockwise is like a mirror, reflecting only what passes before it. Such a person is incapable of reaching out for information.
This is one of the fundamental differences between a medium and a properly trained clairvoyant. It is impossible for most people to distinguish between the two; yet there is one infallible rule that can be followed by anyone. No genuinely developed seer will ever exercise this faculty for money or its equivalent; nor will he use it to gratify curiosity, but only to help humanity.
The great danger to society which would result from the indiscriminate use by an unworthy individual of the voluntary clairvoyant’s power to investigate and “see” at will can easily be understood. He would be able to read the most secret thought. Therefore, the aspirant to the true spiritual sight and insight must first of all give proof of unselfishness. The Initiate is bound by the most solemn vows never to use this power to serve his individual interest in the slightest degree.
Trained clairvoyance is the kind used for investigating esoteric facts, and it is the only kind that is of any use for that purpose. Therefore the aspirant must feel, not a wish to gratify an idle curiosity, but a holy and unselfish desire to help humanity. Until such a desire exists, no progress can be made in the attainment of positive clairvoyance.
To regain contact with the inner worlds it is necessary to establish the connection of the pineal gland and the pituitary body with the cerebro-spinal nervous system, and to reawaken the pituitary body and the pineal gland. When that is accomplished, man will again possess the faculty of perception in the higher worlds, but on a grander scale than it was in the distant past, because it will be in connection with the voluntary nervous system and therefore under the control of his Will. Through this inner perceptive faculty all avenues of knowledge will be opened to him and he will have at his service a means of acquiring information compared with which all other methods of investigation are but child’s play.
The awakening of these organs is accomplished by esoteric training, as follows: in the majority of people, the greater part of the sex force which may legitimately be used through the creative organs is expended for sense-gratification. When the aspirant to the higher life begins to curb these excesses and to devote his attention to spiritual thoughts and efforts, the unused sex force commences to ascend. It surges upward in stronger and stronger volume, traversing the heart and the larynx, or the spinal cord and the larynx, or both, and then passing directly between the pituitary body and the pineal gland toward the point at the root of the nose where the Spirit has its seat.
This current, however, no matter how great must be cultivated to some extent before the real esoteric training can begin. It is not only a necessary accompaniment, but also a prerequisite, to self-conscious work in the inner worlds. Thus, a moral life devoted to spiritual thought must be lived by the aspirant for a certain length of time before it is possible to commence the work that will give him first-hand knowledge of the super-physical realms and enable him to become, in the truest sense, a helper of humanity.
When the candidate has lived such a life for a time sufficient to establish the current of spiritual force, and is found worthy and qualified to receive esoteric instruction, he is taught certain exercises to set the pituitary body in vibration. This vibration causes the pituitary body to impinge upon and slightly deflect the nearest line of force which, in turn, impinges upon the line next to it, and so the process continues until the force of the vibration has been spent.
When these lines of force have been deflected sufficiently to reach the pineal gland, the object has been accomplished: the gap between the two organs has been bridged. This is the bridge between the World of Sense and the World of Desire. From the time it is built, man becomes clairvoyant and able to direct his gaze where he will. Solid objects are seen both inside and out. Space and solidity, as hindrances to observation, have ceased to exist.
He is not yet a trained clairvoyant, but he is a clairvoyant at will, a voluntary clairvoyant. It is a very different faculty from that possessed by the medium.
The person in whom his bridge is once built is always in sure touch with the inner worlds, the connection being made and broken at his will. By degrees, the observer learns to control the vibration of the pituitary body in a manner enabling him to get in touch with any of the regions of the inner worlds which he desires to visit. The faculty is completely under the control of his will. It is not necessary for him to go into a trance or do anything abnormal to raise his consciousness to the Desire World. He simply wills to see, and he sees.
Having attained this faculty, however, the neophyte must now learn to understand what he sees in the Desire World. Many people seem to think that once a person is clairvoyant, all truth is at once open to him, and that when he can “see”, he at once “knows all about” the higher worlds. This is a great mistake. We know that those of us who have been able to see things about us in the Physical World all our lives are far from having a universal knowledge of them. It requires much study and application to know about even that infinitesimal part of physical things we handle in our daily lives.
In the Physical World, objects at least are dense, solid, and do not change in the twinkling of an eye. In the Desire World they change in the most erratic manner. This is a source of endless confusion to the negative, involuntary clairvoyant, and even to the neophyte who enters under the guidance of a teacher. The teaching the neophyte receives, however, soon brings him to a point where he can perceive the Life that causes the change in Form, and knows it for what it is, despite all possible and puzzling changes.
Thus clairvoyants must first be trained before their observations are of any real value, and the more proficient they become, the more modest they are about telling of what they see; the more do they defer to the versions of others, knowing how much there is to learn and realizing how little the single investigator can grasp of all the detail incident to his investigations.
This also accounts for the varied versions of the higher worlds, which are, for superficial people, an argument against the existence of these worlds, They contend that if these worlds exist, investigators must necessarily bring back identical descriptions. But just as, in the Physical World, if twenty people set out to describe a city, there would be twenty different versions, so too is it true of accounts made by investigators of the higher worlds. Each has his own peculiar way of looking at things and can describe what he sees only from his particular point of view. The account he gives may differ from each individual observer’s viewpoint.
There is also another and most important distinction to be made. The power which enables one to perceive the objects in a world is not identical with the power of entering that world and functioning there. The voluntary clairvoyant, though he may have received some training and is able to distinguish the true from the false in the Desire World, is in practically the same relation to it as a prisoner behind a barred window to the outside world—he can see it, but cannot function therein. Therefore, at the proper time, further exercises are given the aspirant to furnish him a vehicle in which he can function in the inner worlds in a perfectly self-conscious manner.
The faculty of clairvoyance indicates a loose connection between the vital body and dense body. During the epochs of our Earth’s history in which all men were involuntarily clairvoyant, it was looseness of this connection that made them so. Since those times, the vital body has become much more firmly interwoven with the dense body in the majority of people, but in all sensitives it is loose. That looseness constitutes the difference between the psychic and the ordinary person who is unconscious of all but the vibrations contacted by means of the five senses. All human beings have to pass through this period of close connection of the vehicles and experience the consequent limitation of consciousness.
There are, therefore, two classes of sensitives: those who have not become firmly enmeshed in matter (including those that have practiced endogamy) and those who are in the vanguard of evolution. The latter are emerging from the acme of materiality and are again divisible into two kinds: voluntary and involuntary.
When the connection between the vital body and the dense body of a man is somewhat lax, the individual will be sensitive to spiritual vibrations, and if positive he will by his own will develop his spiritual faculties, live a spiritual life, and in time receive the teaching necessary to become a trained clairvoyant and a master of his faculty at any and all times, free to exercise it or not, as he pleases.
If a person has this slight laxity between the vital and dense bodies, and is of a negative temperament, he is likely to become the prey of discarnate Spirits, as a medium.
When the connection between the vital and dense bodies is very lax, so that it may be withdrawn, and the man is positive, he may become an Invisible Helper, capable of taking the two higher ethers away from his dense body at will and using them as a vehicle for sense perception and memory. He can then function consciously in the Spiritual World and bring back a recollection of everything he has done there, so that for instance, when he leaves his body at night he takes up the life in the Invisible Worlds in a fully conscious manner, as we do here when we wake up in the morning after sleep and perform our worldly duties.
When a person has this lax connection between the vital body and the dense body and is of a negative temperament, entities which are earthbound and seek to manifest here may withdraw his vital body by way of the spleen and temporarily use the ether of which it is composed to materialize spirit forms, returning the ether to the medium after the séance is over.
Since the vital body is the vehicle whereby the solar currents which give us vitality are specialized, the body of the medium at the time of materialization sometimes shrinks to almost one-half its usual size because it has been deprived of the vitalizing principle. His flesh becomes flabby and the spark of life burns very low. When the séance is over, the medium is awakened to normal consciousness and experiences a feeling of the most terrible exhaustion.
The full danger of mediumship has been dealt with in detail elsewhere within The Rosicrucian Teachings. Suffice it to say here that it is extremely harmful to any individual to permit himself to become so negative that his vehicles and faculties can be taken over by a discarnate entity, which is what occurs when a medium is “working”. The entity can exert his control over the individual to the point where the individual can no longer exercise choice in any matter, but must live only as the entity wishes him to live. This control can continue in the individual’s life after death, when his desire body can be appropriated by the entity. It is extremely difficult to break away from the entity once this has happened.
In addition to these various types of clairvoyants, all children are clairvoyant, at least during the first year of life. How long the child will keep its faculty depends upon its spirituality and also upon its environment, because most children communicate all they see to their elders and the faculty of clairvoyance is affected by their attitude. Often children are ridiculed for telling of things that, their elders believe, can only be the result of “imagination”, and they soon learn to shut out scenes which engender such ridicule, or at least to keep these things to themselves.
Thus we see that, although both positive and negative clairvoyance exist, it is only with positive clairvoyance that an individual can accurately see and investigate the inner worlds and advance himself along the evolutionary path. Negative clairvoyance cannot be counted upon as a reliable tool of investigation, often brings about the highly undesirable situation of personal control from an outside source, and can, at least among peoples of the Western World, cause evolutionary regression of the individual concerned.
Contemporary Mystic Christianity
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