Experience And Use

First let us have the facts, we can then best see what use we can

make of them. This I think is the correct position in regard to any

abnormal claim that is made upon our attention. Everybody has

heard of the prophecies of the Brahmin seer, most people

have some acquaintance with the phenomena attending the

clairvoyance of the seeress of Prevorst, while the experiences of

Emanuel Swedenborg have been set forth in many

but in none more lucidly and dispassionately than that by William

White. Traditions have come to us concerning the clairvoyance of

the Greek exponent of the Pythagorean teachings, Apollonius of

Tyana, and the case of Cavotte, who predicted his own death and

that of Robespierre and others by the guillotine, is on record. The

illumination of Andrew Jackson Davis, the Poughkeepsie seer,

and that of Thomas Lake Harris of Fountain Grove, are modern

examples of abnormal faculty of a nature which places them

outside the field of direct evidence. A prophecy made from the

use of the super-sense which is followed by exact fulfilment

appears to be the best criterion, though it is a very imperfect

illustration of the scope of clairvoyance.

The following instances are within my personal experience, and

being already on record and well attested, will serve equally to

illustrate the fact of clairvoyance as would numerous others

within my knowledge.

In June, 1896, a lady visited me in Manchester Square and, being

anxious on several points, asked that I would scry for her. A blue

beryl was used as agent. She was told that she would have news

from a tropical country concerning the birth of a child, a boy,

who would arrive in the following year in the month of February.

That on a certain date while travelling she would meet with an

accident to the right leg. Previous to this, in October she would

have a welcome surprise connected with papers and a contest in

which her son was engaged.

Now here was a network of disaster for any would-be prophet

who relied upon what is called the "lucky shot." If we enumerate

the items of prediction, on any of which a fatal error could have

been made, we shall find a very formidable list:--

A tropical country.

A birth.

A boy then unborn.

February, 1897.

A journey on a particular date.

The right leg.

The son.



At least nine points on which the faculty could have been wholly

at fault. The fulfilment, however, came in due course. The lady

heard that her sister, then vicereine of India, was about to have a

child, and in February, 1897, a son was born to Lord Elgin. In

October the lady referred to was agreeably surprised to learn that

her son had passed his examination for the military college with

honours. Further, while boarding a train at Victoria station she

had the misfortune to slip between the platform and the footboard,

so that the shin of the right leg was badly damaged and severe

muscular strain was also suffered, in consequence of which she

was laid up for several days.

Mrs. H. was consulted by an authoress, her profession being

unknown to the scryer. She was told that she would go up a dingy

staircase with a roll of papers under her arm; that she would see a

dark man, thickset and of quiet demeanour. He would take the

roll of papers and it would be a source of good fortune to her.

The prediction was literally fulfilled.

The first case cited is an example of the positive and symbolic

type of vision; the second being of the passive and direct type.

Mrs. A. was consulted by a lady of the writer's acquaintance and

was told that she would not marry the man to whom she was then

engaged as there was a certain other person, described, coming

across the seas to claim her. She would meet him three years later

in the month of January.

The event transpired exactly as stated, though nothing at that time

appeared less probable, and indeed the lady was not a little irate

at the allusion to the breaking off of the engagement and of

marrying a man whom she had never seen and for whom she

could have no sort of regard. In fact, the whole revelation was

very revolting to one so wholly absorbed as was she at the time.

It cannot be argued that this was a case of suggestion working

itself out, for one cannot auto-suggest the arrival of a person

of a particular description from a distant land to one's own

drawing-room at any time, and there is here a prediction as

to the date which was duly fulfilled. This was a case of direct


Mrs. G. consulted a seer on September 27, 1894. She was told

she would have sickness affecting the loins and knees; that she

would be the owner of a house in the month of December; that a

removal would be made when the trees were leafless; that there

would be a dispute about a sum of money.

This is positive or symbolical clairvoyance. The symbols seen

were as follow: a figure with a black cloth about the loins, the

figure stooping and resting the hands upon its knees. A house

covered with snow, bare trees around it. A bird on a leafless

branch; the bird flies away. Several hands seen grabbing at a pile

of money.

All the predictions were fulfilled.

Interpretations of symbols when made during the vision are

frequently far removed from what one would be led to expect.

But we have to remember that the seer is then in a psychologized

state, and there is reason to believe that interpretations made from

the inner plane of consciousness are due to the fact that the

symbols appear in a different light. Our ordinary dreams

follow the same change. While asleep we are impressed by the

importance and logical consistency of the dream incident, which

assumes, possibly, the proportions of a revelation, but which

dissolves into ridiculous triviality and nonsense as soon as we

awake. The reason is that there is a complete hiatus between the

visionary and the waking state of consciousness, and even the

laws of thought appear to undergo a change as the centre of

consciousness slides down from the inner to the outer world of

thought and feeling.

In the Eastern conception the three states of jagrata, waking,

swapna, dreaming, and sushupti, sleeping, are penetrated by

the thread of consciousness, the sutratma, a node of complete

unconsciousness separating one state from the next. The centre of

consciousness, like a bead on the thread, alternates between the

three states as it is impelled by desire or will.

I have known sickness predicted, both as to time and nature of

the malady; the receipt of unexpected letters and telegrams with

indications of their contents and resulting incident; changes,

voyages, business transactions, deaths, and even changes in the

religious views of individuals, all by means of the crystal vision.

It sometimes happens that the visionary state is induced by

excessive emotion during which the prophetic faculty is

considerably heightened. Some temperaments on the other hand

will fall into the clairvoyant condition when engaged in deep

thought. The thread of thought seems suddenly to be broken, and

there appears a vision wholly unconnected with the subject but a

moment ago absorbing the mind. It is as if the soul, while probing

the depths of its inner consciousness, comes into contact with the

thin partition which may be said to divide the outer world of

reason and doubt from the inner world of intuition and direct

perception, and breaking through, emerges into the light beyond.

In trance there is generally a development of other super-senses,

such as clairaudience and psychic touch, as well as clairvoyance.

Examples might be multiplied and would but serve to show that

the rapport existing between the human soul and the world soul,

the individual consciousness and the collective consciousness, is

capable of being actively induced by recourse to appropriate

means and developed where it exists in latency by means of the

crystal, the black concave mirror or other suitable agent. As yet,

however, the majority are wholly ignorant of the existence of

such psychic faculties, and even those who possess them are

conscious of having but an imperfect control of them.

As in the case of genius where nature is opening up new centres

of activity in the mind, the casual observer notes an eccentricity

hardly distinguishable from some incipient forms of insanity; so

the development of new psychic faculties is frequently attended

by temporary loss of control over the normal brain functions.

Loss of memory, hysteria, absent-mindedness, unconscious

utterance of thought, illusions, irritability, indifference,

misanthropy and similar perversions are not infrequent products

of the preliminary stages of psychic development. These,

however, will pass away as the new faculty pushes through into

full existence. Nature is jealous of her offspring and concentrates

the whole of her forces when in the act of generation, and that is

the reason of her apparent neglect of powers and functions,

normally under her control, while the evolution of a new faculty

is in process. Let it be understood therefore that the faculty of

clairvoyance or any other super-sense is not to be artificially

developed without some cost to those who seek it. "The universe

is thine; take what thou wilt, but pay the price," says Emerson.

This is the divine mandate. It is not merely a question of the price

of a crystal or a mirror, the sacrifice of time, the exercise of

patience: it may mean something much more than this. It is a

question of the price of a new faculty. What is it worth to you?

That is the price you will be required to pay. And with this

equation in mind the reader must consider the use to which, when

obtained, he will apply his faculty; for the virtue of everything is

in its use. It is reasonable to presume that one's daily life can

supply the true answer. To what use are we employing the

faculties we already have, all of them acquired with as much pain

and suffering, it may be, as any new ones we are ever likely to

evolve? If we are using these faculties for the benefit of the race

we shall employ others that are higher to even greater effect. In

other case it is not worth the effort of acquiring, nor is it likely

that anybody of a radically selfish nature will take the trouble to

acquire it. Natural selection is the fine sieve which the gods use

in their prospecting. The gross material does not go through.