Both begin with the impeccability of the mind.
All things have their sphere of influence, or spirit atmosphere which exerted on a sensitive subject is called psychometric. The mind of the subject simply receives. Clairvoyance goes further and sees beyond these impressions. It is true that the two blend most inextricably at times.
Clairvoyance is spiritual perception and takes cognizance of the past, present and future. Psychometry is impeccability to past or present surroundings or influences.
It is well for the student to draw the lines between the mingling fields of research, and not extend the boundaries of one over another. Psychometry is only one expression of sensitiveness. The subject feels impressions with this faculty as he sees with his eyes, and is not dependent on any other person. An impression from another person would be thought transference; from a spirit inspiration, a spirit communion. It is the mistake of discoverers to enhance the horizon of their discoveries, and make their one idea extend over many others.
Dr. Buchanan, in his researches, and Wm. Denton, in his three volumes, the Soul of Things, confused the limits of psychometry with that of clairvoyance and spirit impression.
A careful analysis will show the student that many of the instances detailed, may with equal propriety be explained by spirit control, or by clairvoyance, as by psychometry proper.
As example, a fragment from the swathing band of a mummy is placed in the hand of a sensitive. It retains the original impress of the individual it enwrapped, and of that remote age as a whole. It also retains the impress of the hands through which it has passed, and strongest of all, of the immediate person who gives it to the sensitive for inspection. Now the latter takes it and gives the character of the mummy when living in a city by the Nile, and of the country, taking up the impressions made three thousand years ago, and not feeling those made by the hands which gave it! And how do we know that the psychometrist does not receive these impressions through clairvoyance—I. e., his or her own spiritual perception, or that they are not given from a spiritual source? Prof. Denton gives us no guide; in fact, did not recognize the difficulty.
On reading his record of investigations, one is constantly forced to admit that the spiritual theory is most plausible, in a great number of instances, and this without any disparagement to the patient research and honesty of purpose every page displays. With care in instituting, the research these objections may be obviated.
The psychometrist by practice, if informed, may learn to distinguish between impressions, as he does between them and his own thoughts.
Development of the psychometric faculty can be gained only by its practical use.
Psychometric readings may or may not be given without spirit assistance. The psychometric subject must be sensitive or impressible by a spirit, a person near, or the influence imparted to a letter by writing, or an object. It depends on the same laws and conditions as mediumship, and the good psychometrist has the capabilities of a good medium. At the same time, it will be seen that he is able to produce the readings usually given. But when the reading extends far beyond the character of the writers, into the past, or forecast of the future, interference on the part of higher intelligences must be admitted.
When an autograph or object is taken in the hand, the sensation is felt in the arm, gradually extending to the brain. The same sensation is felt, but more rapidly, when the object is placed on the forehead. A word may be profitably said on the choice of autographs. None are as good when long mingled with other writing, as the influences from the papers thus brought together blend.
The manifestations of psychometric influence, and of spirit control, intricately mingle; are at times difficult to separate, and it is true that no one can be sufficiently sensitive to give psychometric readings and not be subject to spirit control. To cultivate this faculty, the essential is use, constant observance of impressions received from surrounding objects, letters, and persons, until a distinction can be made between these and the workings of the mind.
All have the gift of psychometry, in degree, as all are sensitive to impressions from surrounding objects. The chief and most difficult part is to learn to distinguish such impressions from the thoughts springing from the mind itself. The two are intricately blended, and all are accepted in every-day life, as from the mind. Let it here be distinctly understood that while the so-called “readings” of psychometrists may be simply impressions given by spirits interested, we are now studying that form of manifestation wherein the spirit of the experimenter alone is engaged, and reading by the same law that governs disembodied spirits.
As every object throws out waves, the necessity is to receive and interpret these waves. A letter or garment, a lock of hair, have what may be called their primary waves, and many other series of secondary waves received from contact with other persons. These primary vibrations will be the most intense, although the others may be vividly recognizable.
In the practice of psychometry, it is best to have an assistant. Perfect quiet and uninterruption should be secured. The subject placed in a perfectly easy and restful position, as in a reclining chair. The assistant takes the letter or object to be experimented with, without knowing its author, or nature, if possible, and gives it to the subject. If he knows, mind-reading might be the explanation and the result vitiated. The letter is held in the hand or placed lightly against the forehead. The first impression should be immediately spoken, and as these come they should be uttered without stopping to reason on the why and wherefore. If it is a medicinal substance the effect it produces should be at once described. With relics, or minerals, scenes arise like a mirage, which, however clear, pass with great rapidity. These should be described as they pass. Not more than two or three tests should be made at a seance, as the influences are liable to blend and cloud the delineation. Continuous and patient practice is essential to acquire skill in this direction.
It is impossible to attain the profound state of trance without partially surrendering the will.
The same passivity must be allowed as in going to sleep. Nor should there be any more fear. Why should there be? One state is as natural as the other, and, understood, fraught with no more danger.
When one enters the state of sleep, he is not certain that he will ever awake. He is helpless to all external conditions and trusts that in case of imminent danger he may arouse. The trance state is so profound the awakening may not come even in the deadliest peril. The mourning of friends, the preparation for burial, and even the horrible entombment, although the person is fully conscious, fails to restore the power of expression.
In trance, the spirit does not leave the body, as has been advocated. The spirit only leaves the body at death, and when it does so it cannot again return to its possession. If a person in a trance should be cremated, separation of spirit and body would take place, or death, and the condition of the spirit would not differ from that occasioned by other forms of departure. The facts which have led to the conclusion are those of “double appearance,” where the person has appeared at a distance from where his body was known to be. This usually occurs at the moment of death, but a great number of well authenticated cases have been observed where the participant was in perfect health. In the former case, the real presence of the spirit maybe inferred, in the latter the thoughts are so intensely projected, that the waves strike the mind of a sensitive with such force that they give the impression of objective reality.
Trance induced in a circle requires trust in the dominating intelligence and the surrounding conditions.
There is no danger of bad results, if the circle is harmonious, its members actuated by pure and exalted motives, with desire for spiritual knowledge, and remain self-possessed, and undisturbed by fear or curiosity. The recipient should be incited by pure and unselfish motives that only the highest influences may be attracted. However well prepared the subject may be, he should approach the state slowly, and maintain a will positive to any degrading influence.
And here it may be well to deeply impress the importance of carefully distinguishing the trance state from death, which it so nearly approaches. There are, no doubt, many premature burials because of ignorance on this subject. Volumes might be filled with ell attested cases, and of those where the awful fate was averted at the last moment. Bishop, the celebrated mind-reader, is a conspicuous illustration. The doctors did not wait the usual time, but hurried an autopsy that they might perchance find in the cells or fibres of his brain the secret of his sensitiveness. They found a slight congestion, that was all. There should not be such haste as is usually manifested in consigning the body to the grave. The signs of death should be sure and unmistakable, and those generally relied on are not absolute evidence. The only one that
is so, is the plain approach of decomposition. Even this must be pronounced, for the profound trance by suspending the organic functions allows the accumulation of effete matter, which by its decay produces an unpleasant odour and discoloration. Even after these have been observed there has been recovery.
Thought for the day
A large number of dreams which are looked upon as prophetic, are nothing more than the result of impressions made on the mind during sleep by some bodily sensation.
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