Visions seen in the crystal are of two kinds, both of which may be conveyed to the perception of the seer in two ways. The two kinds of visions are: 1, Direct visions; 2, Symbolic visions. The first of these is a representation of scene or incident exactly as it will transpire, or has already happened, either in relation to the seer, those sitting with him, or yet in relation to public affairs. The second order of vision is a representation, by means of symbol, ideograph, or other indirect means
of events similar to those conveyed by direct vision.
In most cases it will be found that answers, to questions take the form of symbols. But this is not always so, as will appear from the following remarks concerning the manner in which these impressions or visions are conveyed to the perception of the seer.
The vision is conveyed in one of two ways—first, as a vivid picture affecting the focus and retina of the eye, perfect in its outline and colouring, and giving the impression of being either distant or near or at moderate range, Secondly, it may be conveyed as a vivid impression accompanied by a hazy and undefined formation in the crystal field. In this form it becomes an apperception rather than a perception, the consciousness receiving the impression of the vision to be conveyed before it has had time to form and define itself in the crystal.
The direct vision is more generally found in association with the passive type of seer. It is not usually so regular and constant as the symbolic vision, owing to the peculiarities of the negative temperament. When it does appear however, it is particularly lucid and actual, and has its literal fulfilment in the world of experience and fact. It is an actual representation of past or future event, or yet of what is then presently happening at some place more or less distant.
The symbolical vision is more closely associated with the positive temperament. It has the advantage of being more ready and constant in its manifestation than the direct vision, while on the other hand it is frequently a matter of speculation as to what the symbolic vision may portend.
The positive temperament, centripetal and forceful in its action, appears to throw off the soul-images, afterwards going out towards them in a mood of speculative inquiry. The passive temperament, however, centrifugal and sensitive, most frequently feels first and sees afterwards, the visionary process being wholly devoid of speculation or mental activity. The one sees and thinks, the other feels and sees that, in a word, is the distinction between the two temperaments.
In the early stages of development the crystal will begin to cloud over, first becoming dull, then suffused with milky clouds, among which sparkle a large number of little specks of light like gold dust in the sunlight. The focus of the eyes is inconstant, the pupil rapidly expanding and contracting, the crystal at times disappearing entirely in a haze or film which seems to pass before the eyes. Then the haze will disappear, and the crystal will loom up into full view again, accompanied by a lapse of the seer into full consciousness. This may be the only experience of the first few sittings, it may be that of many; but, sooner or later, there will come a moment when the milky clouds and dancing starlights will suddenly vanish—a bright azure expanse like an open summer sky will occupy the field of vision; the brain will take up a spasmodic action, as if opening and shutting in the superior coronal region; there will be a tightening of the scalp on a level with the base of the brain, as if the floor of the cerebrum were contracting; the seer will catch his breath with a spasmodic sigh, and the first vision will stand out, clear and life-like, against the azure screen of heaven.
The danger at this supreme moment is that the seer will be surprised into full waking consciousness. During the process of abstraction which precedes every vision or series of visions, the consciousness of the seer is gradually and imperceptibly withdrawn from his surroundings. He forgets that he is seated in this or that room, that such a person is at his right hand, such another at his left. He forgets that he is gazing into the crystal. He hears nothing, sees nothing, save what is passing before the eyes of his soul. He loses sight, for the time, even of his own identity.
Therefore, when his vision is suddenly arrested by an apparition, startling in its reality and instantaneous production, even though hoped for and expected, the reaction is so violent and rapid that the seer is frequently carried back into the full consciousness of his physical conditions. Therefore, the qualifications of self-possession and confidence in one's own soul-faculties have been stated as of primary importance in this domain of research. Excess of joy or fear at sight of the vision will be fatal to its continuance and to the condition of mind required for the process of development. This fact must therefore be borne in mind.