There are in existence certain magical works, such as those of Trithemius and Barrett, wherein the use of the Crystal is accompanied by certain rites and invocations. This ceremonial magic we are disposed to repudiate as highly dangerous. It brings into play a number of forces which may well prove disastrous in inexperienced hands. All action and reaction are equal and opposite. A child might easily fire a cannon, but could not possibly withstand its recoil. So in the education of the spiritual
aculties, it is better to encourage their natural development by legitimate exercise than to invoke the action of stimulants which we may not afterwards be able to control. The continual fretting of the water will wear away a rock, though none doubts the water is softer than the rock. If the barrier between this and the soul-world be like granite, yet the patient and persistent action of a determined mind will sooner or later wear it away, the last layer will break down, and the light will stream through, dazzling the unaccustomed eyes with its effulgence.
It is our desire to indicate by what means and by what persons the natural development of the clairvoyant faculty may be achieved.
First, in regard to the subject, medium or seer. There are two distinct temperament in which the faculty is likely to be dominant, and capable of high and rapid culture. There is the nervous temperament associated, with a high muscular development, classified as the "mental-motive" temperament. It is characterized by extreme activity of body and mind, a certain nervous excitability, prominent features, full osseous development, prominent brows, intent gaze, and generally a swarthy complexion. This type represents the positive seers, in whom the mind goes out towards the images of the soul. The other, in whom the passive temperament is present, and to whom the soul-images come by passive reflection, as things mirrored in a moveless lake, are known by the following characteristics: Full and lymphatic habit, pale or delicate complexion, generally blue eyes, straight fine hair; small, plump, and cold hands; a high, piping or feeble voice, and languid disposition.
These two types—of which there are many varieties—achieve their psychic development by quite opposite means. The positive seer works with effort, throwing out the soul-images by the power of his will, perceiving them with more or less accuracy, and thereafter turning them over in the mind, reasoning and questioning concerning their import and meaning. The passive seer, on the contrary, works not at all and makes no effort, the visions coming slowly, almost imperceptibly, and in most cases having a literal interpretation. The visions in this case are not allegorical, emblematic, or symbolic, as in the case of the positive seer, but are actual visions of facts just as they have happened, or will transpire in the future. Of the two orders, the passive is the more serviceable because the more perspicuous, but it has the disadvantage of being largely under the control of external influences, and hence is frequently incapable of "seeing" anything whatever.
The positive type of seer exercises an introspective vision, searching inwardly towards the soul-world whence the revelations proceed. Of what nature these revelations are will appear in the following pages. The passive type of seer, on the contrary, remains in statu quo, open to impressions coming inwards towards the perceptive faculty, but making no effort towards either outward or inward searching. The success of each depends upon the observance of that method which is agreeable to their respective temperaments.
In regard to the qualifications which should supplement and sustain the natural aptitude of the seer or seeress, the following remarks may be of general service.
Self-possession and confidence in one's own soul-faculties must be the firm rock upon which all revelations should rest. The purer the intention and motive of the seer, the more lucid will be the visions accorded. No reliable vision can be obtained by one whose nature is not inherently truthful. Any selfish desire dominanting the mind in regard to any thing or person will distort the visions and render them misleading, while a persistent self-seeking spirit will effectually shut the doors upon all visions whatsoever. Therefore, above all things it is essential for the investigator to have an unflinching love of truth, to be resigned to the will of Heaven, to accept the revelations accorded in a spirit of grateful confidence, and finally to dispel all doubt and controversy by appeal to the eyes of one's own immortal soul. These are qualifications with which the seer or seeress should be invested, and if with these the quest is unsuccessful after a period of earnest trial, it must be taken as sufficient warrant that the faculty is not in the category of one's individual powers. Haply, the same qualifications brought to bear upon some other psychic faculty will result in a rich recompense.