The following facts, in connection with predictions made from the Crystal, have come within the knowledge of the writer, either as personal experiences or in association with others in which the faculty of clear vision is active.
A lady of title visited the seer in the month of June, 1896, and was told that she would hear news from abroad in some hot country concerning the birth of a child, a boy, who would arrive in the following year in the month of February. The lad
did hear such news, and in February, 1897, a boy was born to the lady's sister in India. The same lady was told that on a certain date, while travelling, she would meet with an accident to the right leg. She fell between the platform and the footboard while getting into a train, and suffered severe abrasion of the right leg, together with a serious muscular strain which laid her up for several days. Previous to that the lady was to be surprised by some good fortune happening to her son in connection with papers and a contest. This happened at the time specified. Her son passed his examination for the military college with honours.
Mrs. H. was consulted by a lady of some ability in a special line of literature. This fact was not, however, within the knowledge of the seeress. She was told that she would go up a certain staircase into a dingy room with a roll of something under her arm. She would see a dark man who was thick-set and of quiet demeanour. The man would take the roll, and it would be a source of good fortune to her at a later date.
The lady-consultant did so take a certain manuscript rolled up beneath her arm. She went up the dingy staircase described by the seeress, and saw the man whose description had been given.
The manuscript was transferred from her hand to that of the publisher, for such was the man's occupation. The manuscript was accepted, and later on was published. So the prediction was literally fulfilled.
In the first case cited the vision was symbolical, and the interpretation was made by the seer himself. In the second case the vision was literal, and needed no interpretation. These two cases will serve for an illustration of the two types of vision.
Mrs. A. was consulted by a lady of the writer's acquaintance in 1893. She was told that she would not marry the person to whom she was then engaged, but would have to wait till a certain person, who was described, should come from a foreign country and take her away. This would happen, it was said, in the month of January, three years later. This event transpired in due course exactly as predicted, though nothing was further from the probable course of events; in fact, the lady was not a little irate at the allusion to the breaking off of her then existing relations, while the idea of marrying a person whom she had never seen, and for whom she could have no sort of regard, was naturally revolting to one so wholly absorbed as she was at the time.
Mrs. G. consulted the seer on September 27th, 1894. She was told she would have sickness incidental to the loins and shooting pains in the knees. [A figure was seen with a black cloth around the loins, the figure stooping and resting its hands upon its knees.] She would be the owner of a house in the month of December. [A house was seen covered with snow; the trees were bare.] A removal would be made when the trees were without leaf. [A bird was seen on a branch without leaf; the bird flies off.] The consultant would be engaged in a dispute concerning money. [Several hands seen grabbing at a pile of money.]
These events came to pass at the time predicted. It is advisable to note that in the first instance the symbolical vision is seen; in the second, a literal vision supervenes; and in the third and fourth cases the vision reverts to the symbolical. Here we have an instance of the overlapping of the two conditions of the temperament, the active and the passive state alternating.
As an illustration of the extreme difficulty of interpretation in the normal state of consciousness a symbol may be cited which was seen in the crystal for Miss X. "A shield, and a lion rampant thereon, in red." Now this might mean anything. It suggests the armorial bearings of a princely family. The lion rampant might mean the anger of a person in authority, as the lion is the avowed king of beasts. Its colour, red, and its attitude are naturally expressive of anger. The shield might be a protection, though little needed by a lion, especially if the assailant were the fragile Miss X. to whom the vision had reference.
Now observe the interpretation of the seer. "You will hear news from a man of medium height and fair complexion concerning a foreign country. A letter will come in reference to something written by you which will be the very best thing that could happen. You will score a great success." This interpretation, which is quite in line with the fact and which afterwards transpired, is probably as far removed from all that one might have expected as anything could well be. But we have to remember that the condition in which the seer voices the interpretation of symbols seen by him is a psychological one, and no doubt in that state natural symbols take on quite a different signification to that which they would hold in the normal state of waking consciousness. How often do dreams have a marked influence upon the dreamer while still asleep; how often do they assume proportions of magnitude and become pregnant with meaning to the dreamer, only to dissolve into ridiculous triviality and nonsense as soon as the person awakes! It would indeed appear that a complete hiatus exists between the visionary and the waking states of consciousness, so that even the laws of thought undergo a change when the centre of consciousness is removed from the outer to the inner world of thought and feeling.
The writer has known cases of sickness predicted with remarkable accuracy, the time and the nature of the sickness being foretold with more or less accuracy. The reception of unexpected letters and telegrams; their import and consequences; the various changes, voyages, business negotiations and speculations occurring in the consultants' lives have been foretold by means of the crystal. Deaths have been foreseen, and even changes in the religious views of the consultant or his associates.
In one case the writer saw a vision of a public square in which was the effigy of a lamb mounted upon a pedestal. The lamb was made of solid silver and was mounted on marble. A Catholic priest came along and pointed at the lamb. Immediately a flash of lightning came from the sky and struck the effigy, melting off one of its ears.
This was stated to signify that the community to which the consultant belonged would immediately lose a member by conversion to the Roman Church. By the next mail the consultant learned that such was the case—an important member of the community having gone over to the Roman Catholics exactly as predicted.
In another case a man was seen dressed in black and wearing the habit of a judge. He held some papers in his hands which he was endeavouring to conceal. He appeared unsuccessful in his efforts. A snake was seen at his feet. It rose up against him. A change took place in the field of the vision and the same man was seen lying on his death-bed. From this it was predicted that the man designated by the vision would be guilty of misrepresentation, and would be cut off by death three years from that time. The prediction was in every respect verified.
Not unfrequently the visionary state is induced by excessive emotion, during which the prophetic faculty is considerably heightened. Some temperaments of a peculiarly sensitive order will fall into the clairvoyant condition while engaged in thought. The thread of thought is broken, and there appears a vision wholly unconnected with the subject but a moment ago in the mind. It would appear that the soul of the sensitive, while probing the depths of its inner consciousness, suddenly comes into contact with the thin partition which may be said to divide the outer world of thought and doubt from the inner world of intuition and direct perception, and, breaking through, emerges into the light beyond. The same may be said of cases which manifest the faculty of clear visions while in the hypnotic state, whether spontaneous or induced. The trance condition frequently manifests this faculty in conjunction with others, such as clairvoyance or clear-hearing and the sense of psychic touch.
The following instance, which was reported in the Morning Leader of Friday, 14th August, 1896, is remarkable for its extreme pertinence to the subject under consideration:
"Last month a man named David Thomas, who had for a short time been employed by Lord Windsor as his estate carpenter, was found shot dead in a lonely spot on the roadside near Fairwater, a village not far from Cardiff. No trace of the murderer could be found, and no motive has been supplied for the fell deed.
"David Thomas was, from all accounts, a quiet, peaceable fellow, well liked by his intimates, and happy in his domestic relations. He was a native of the little fishing village Aberaeron, in Cardiganshire, but he had lived in Glamorganshire for some years, and had married a respectable woman, a native of the Vale of Glamorgan. A few months ago he received the appointment of carpenter on Lord Windsor's estate. He then removed with his family to live in the little village of St. Fagan's a few miles out of Cardiff. He had hardly settled down there when the tragedy took place. It happened on a Saturday night. He had given up work early, and had come home to cut the grass in the little green in front of his cottage, and to tidy up his new home. Early in the afternoon he seems to have grown tired of the work and went indoors. His wife asked him to take the children out for a stroll. He made no reply, and his wife, busy in another part of the house, did not pay much attention to his subsequent movements. She knows, however, that he washed and went upstairs to put himself tidy, and then went out—without the children.
"He seems to have met a friend on the road, and went for a walk with him. They called at a public-house, and had a glass or two of beer. Then, about ten o'clock, they parted. Thomas was quite cheerful, and started for home at a brisk pace. He came presently to a lonely part of the road. A wayfarer heard a pistol shot and a scream, and presently met a man who was hurrying away from the direction of the scream, and who wished him a gruff good-night. Two hundred yards farther on the traveller saw in the dim night the body of a man stretched out on the side of the road. He fetched assistance: the body was that of David Thomas. He had been shot about a hundred yards behind, but he had not been killed outright. He had run in terror up the road, spouting blood as he went, and leaving a ghastly trail behind him.
"But a weird story which is told in the Western Mail of Cardiff serves to lend that touch of horror to the tale which renders it more thrilling than any story which the most daring novelist would venture to create.
"A young girl, who is not yet 20, has been in the habit for some time past of attending séances held by the Cardiff Psychological Society. One night at a séance, while in a state of trance, she was seized with a strange convulsion. Through her lips came the words:
"'Who are you, friend?' asked the interlocutor.
"This entirely unexpected answer was followed by sensational statements concerning the murder and the identity of the murderer. Some days after she was taken out to Fairwater—which she had never before visited—and reenacted in a trance the scene of the murder.
"The story leaked out, and came to the ears of the Western Mail. Doubts were cast at once on the bôna fides of the girl and the whole story. An offer was made to repeat the experiment in the presence of two Mail representatives. The offer was accepted, and one night this week, at ten o'clock, the little party met outside the Railway Inn, where poor David Thomas had had his last drink.
"A start was made. The medium walked at an easy pace between a male and female friend, whose arms were linked. The faint outline of the road ahead led always on towards a wall of blackness.
"At last they came near Fairwater. Suddenly the medium spoke:
"'I see a pistol right in front of me—held towards me—it is a shiny one—there it is, held up—it has a large mouth.'
"Forty yards farther on the medium spoke again: 'Hark! I hear footsteps! I see a man!'
"'Right in front of us. There he is, creeping along the hedge. He is keeping out of sight.'
"'What is he like? How is he dressed?'
"The medium described her vision very minutely. Her pace increased suddenly; she dragged her linked companions on with a lurch forward. The farmhouse where she first saw the phantom stranger was well passed. She was following him, eagerly now.
"A piercing scream came from the girl. A pressman sprang to her side and helped to prevent her body pitching headlong forward.
"This was at the spot where David Thomas fell at the first shot.
"'O—o—oh!' moaned the medium, twisting her left arm round to the back, to a spot immediately below the shoulder-blade, as if in intense agony. Then, supported on either side, she staggered forward.
"A light was struck to see her face. It was the hue of death. Her eyes were turned until the whites only were visible.
"'Let her go down!'
"Moaning, she was allowed to sink, and lay there prone. Her moans expressed intense agony, and were like those of a man dying, blood gurgling in the sound; it was scarce conceivable a woman actually lay there.
"'Speak, friend,' said her interlocutor, and presently came the slow answer, a whisper:
"'What do you want of us, friend?'
"'I—was—shot!' The tones of the voice were those of a man.
"'Who shot you?'
"A name was given.
"'What do you want to do, my friend?'
"Slowly, distinctly, with relentless purpose came the answer:
"'I—will—have—my revenge. He shot me.'
"Then the medium told them where the pistol had been bought by the murderer a year ago under an assumed name, and where the pistol would be found. All this while the poor girl lay prone on the roadside under the thin sinister telegraphic pole.
"Gradually she revived. 'Look, look!' she cried, in a voice of horror, 'Look at the blood.'
"'Here—look! Look here!' indicating spots visible to any one else. 'Take me away,' she shuddered, but before her frightened exclamation could be obeyed her body suddenly stiffened. 'He is there!' she said, with a pitiful horror in her tone, but with her face expressionless and her eyes still white.
"'What do you see?'
"Then the party returned, shaken in mind and surfeited with horrors."
Examples of a similar nature might be multiplied indefinitely, and would but serve to show what has already been stated as a matter of personal experience among all those in whom the psychic faculties have attained any degree of development, viz., that the rapport existing between the human soul and the world of subjective consciousness is capable of being actively induced by recourse to appropriate means, or cultivated, where it exists to any degree, by means of the crystal and other accessories, such as the metal disc used in China, or the Shiva-lingam stones used in India.
The following example of the psychic sense of feeling will serve to show that all the senses, not that of vision alone, are capable of development under suitable conditions. A contributor to the Westminster Budget, in December, 1893, sends the following account of the use of the divining rod for the purpose of spring-finding:
"A few weeks ago took place some operations with the divining rod by Mr. Stears, of Hull, who was called to Mr. S. Campion's farm at East Heslerton, near Malton, to search for a water supply. At that time he marked two places near the farmhouse where, he said, the presence of water was indicated by the rod. Since then Mr. E. Halliday, plumber of Malton, has bored an artesian well at one of the places indicated, and found a very copious supply of water at a depth of 87 feet, after going through sand, clay, and a bed of what Mr. Halliday says is quartz and lead ore. Mr. Campion, who was previously without a supply of pure water, is delighted with the results of the visit of the 'diviner,' and has faith in his power with the rod. Mr. Stears has since been called in to experiment on several farms on the Birdsall estate of Lord Middleton, the operations being conducted in the presence of Julia, Lady Middleton, the Hon. Geoffrey and Mrs. Dawnay, Mr. Persons (Lord Middleton's agent), and others. Other farms were visited, and Mr. Stears, after employing the rod, indicated the presence of water at each. Mr. Halliday has also received instructions to make tests at these places, and operations are now in progress. Mr. Stears has successfully 'divined' for water on two of Mr. Lett's farms in the East Riding, and also at Amotherby, near Malton; and his success is drawing fresh attention to the 'divining rod' and its capabilities in the hands of a duly 'inspired' professor. Mr. Stears claims that he can also discover metals as well as water, and he alleges that not one person in 10,000 can use the rod successfully. His explanation of the power he possesses beyond the ordinary run of his fellow-men is that it is what he would call 'animal electricity,' because at times, after using the rod for a long period, he loses his power with it, and only recovers it after a short rest and refreshment. In the presence of Lady Middleton and the rest of the company he made several interesting experiments—for instance, standing on a china dish, to show that china is a non-conducting agent (the rod ceasing to oscillate even when over water); finding metals hid in the ground, etc."
Mrs. Louise Cotton, writing of the operation itself, says:
"When a sensitive person who has the power of feeling the existence of water or mineral under the surface of the earth, steps exactly over the course of a spring or running water, or metallic vein, etc., the piece of wood or other medium used turns in the hands—in most cases upwards for water and downwards for minerals. The motion varies according to individual temperaments: in some hands the turning is slow and but slightly felt, or scarcely perceptible by lookers-on; with others it rotates rapidly, and when held tightly by the thumb, the bark of the branch or twig often peels off; and, with very susceptible operators. I have seen the rod fly, out of the hands, or, if very tightly held, break."
As yet, however, the majority of people are wholly oblivious to the fact that such psychic faculties exist, and even those who possess them, i.e., who have them in something like working efficiency, are conscious of having but an imperfect control over them.
Probably it is as suggested by Mr. F. H. Myers, these things are, as yet, imperfectly understood. Genius, far from being a condition bordering on neurosis or other nervous ailments—as Lombroso and Nordau have erroneously taught—is an exaltation of faculty which brings its subject into relations with a plane of life possibly far in advance of one's normal experience; so that while new centres of activity are as yet under imperfect control, the normal functions of the brain and other centres of action are left in neglect. Hence, to the casual observer, the erratic nature of Genius is not distinguishable from some incipent forms of insanity.
In just the same way the opening up of new centres of activity in the psychic nature of man is frequently attended by temporary loss of control over the normal brain functions. Loss of memory, hysteria, absentmindedness, unconscious utterance of one's thoughts, illusions and hallucinations, irritability, indifference to one's surroundings, and similar perversions, are among the products of the newly-evolved psychic faculty.
These, however, will pass away when the faculty has been brought under control of the mind. Nature is jealous of its offspring, and concentrates the whole of its forces when in the act of generation. That is the reason of its apparent neglect of powers and function already under its control while the evolution of a new faculty is in process.
The would-be seer, therefore, must be prepared to pay the price of any success which may attend his efforts in the direction of inducing clairvoyance by means of the crystal.
"The universe is thine. Take what thou wilt, but pay the price," is the mandate of Nature. "What shall be the price of this new faculty?" the reader may ask. The answer is the same in regard to this or any other faculty of the soul: "What is it worth to yourself? That is the price you must pay."
With this equation in mind the reader is asked to consider seriously the phenomena indicated in the foregoing pages.