Clairvoyance is a state of impeccability, presenting gradations from semi-consciousness to profound and deathlike trance.
Whether natural or induced by artificial means, the attending phenomena are similar. In its deepest form the body is insensible. A flame may be applied without producing a quiver of a nerve, and the most pungent substances have no effect in the nostrils.
The senses of the clairvoyant appear to be entirely independent of the organs of the body.
The muscular system is either relaxed or rigid; the circulation in some cases is impeded until respiration is imperceptible, and gives no stain of the breath on a mirror held over the nostrils.
In passing into this state, the extremities become cold, the brain congested, the vital powers sink and a dreamy unconsciousness steals over the faculties. There is a sensation of floating or sinking; after a time the perceptions become intensified as they become more and more freed from the influence of the mortal body. Death, the complete severance, is only one step beyond. The step preceding this, Is the so-called independent clairvoyance, wherein the senses of the spirit received impressions from spiritual sources, and the subject is brought into direct contact with the thought-atmosphere of the universe. Then as the aeolian harp responds to the waves of the wind, the mind of the clairvoyant subject responds to the waves of thought. He may receive from a distinct and individual mind, or from the grand reservoir or atmosphere in which thoughts are incessantly pulsating.
The words clairvoyance, trance and even cataleptic have been used as synonymous, although each has a distinct meaning, and confusion must arise from their indiscriminate use.
Catalepsy is a state of suddenly suspended vital function in which it is impossible to move, and its new meaning as clairvoyance is wholly unwarranted. When persons fall into a sleep resembling death, in which they may or may not be conscious, it is called trance. This applies when they are in a lethargy, resembling sleep. But when their spiritual perceptions are intensified to a degree exceeding their physical senses, it shows the presence of clairvoyance, which is a sensitive state, of all degrees of acuteness, from that wherein the personality predominates and modifies the perception, to that wherein the mind is independent of the physical body and its surroundings, and is in direct contact with superior intelligences.
Clairvoyance is the perception of the spirit, independent of all the physical organs of sense. It is seeing with the spiritual eyes, as clairaudience is hearing with the spiritual organs of hearing. In this the spirit while in the body approaches, for a brief time, a state which is thenormal with the freed spirit.
It may be developed without spirit aid, or it may be induced by spirit control. We are spirits while in the body with spiritual capabilities, latent, perhaps, but at times, unexpectedly breaking through the restraining walls of physical matter which environ it.
Clairvoyance may come spontaneously or be induced by the magnetism of those within or without the body. The process is identical in both cases. Independent clairvoyance is the freedom of the spirit from physical restraint, to that degree that it has the use of its spiritual senses and perceptions. Of course, the only independent clairvoyance is that of the freed spirit.
Dependent clairvoyance is the lower form of this state, when the physical body, the surroundings, and the persons near exert an influence perceptible. A magnetizer finds that he is able to control his subject. He makes that subject see and hear whatever he pleases. The subject is in a dependent magnetic or clairvoyant state. If instead of a magnetist, a spirit operated, the subject would depend for his knowledge on the spirit. He could know no more than the spirit impressed on his mind. This is passive or dependent sensitiveness. As this state deepens, a manifestation every experimenter has observed, the subject passes from control, and his perceptions are quickened. He no longer
depends on anyone for his knowledge. His spiritual faculties are alert. He sees to great distances, gains knowledge by observation, and this grows stronger, clearer, until the separation from the physical body is completed.
This is the independent state.
It is a very sensitive condition, and often the subject freely converses with the departed, whom he sees and hears as he would be he like them detached from the body. There is no arbitrary line between these two states, and to properly place any manifestation that may arise may appear difficult. It is yet more difficult for even the clairvoyant to distinguish what is observed by himself from what is impressed or given to him by spirit intelligences, for the impressions are often so vivid as to be accepted as objective and real. A great deal of mystery has unnecessarily been thrown around this subject, especially by interested charlatans who, with the methods of the juggler, have covered up the reality with the hocus pocus of words, “passes,” and other practices to distract attention. Mesmer set the bad example and the ludicrous operations he recommended and that have been invented by his followers have been the means of covering the subject with obloquy and mental censure. When it was shown that his “passes” and “magnetic” instruments were inconsequential, his conclusions were condemned, although not dependent thereon. Yet his followers continued in their practice, and gravely sat down before their subjects, touching thumbs, and staring fixedly into their eyes, afterwards going through a set form of “passes,” the direction of which was taught to be of utmost consequence. All the benefit derived was that of fixing the attention, and the most adroit performers dropped the ludicrous practice and gained their end by having the subjects fix their gaze on a bright object, as a coin, or light.
There is no necessity for anyone wishing to learn the art, or to enter this state, purchasing the “secret” of so-styled “professors,” for the means are simple and at hand.
If one wishes to enter this state there are certain conditions to be observed. Not all can enter it; probably not one in five of the more cultured can reach any marked success, and with the uncultured the proportion is less. There are few of the first class, however, who cannot partially enter it, for it is as much a common endowment of our organization as the senses, being a part of our spiritual being, differing only in degree, and is capable of culture. The stress laid on so-called temperament is quite misleading, for although those in whom the mental, or nervous, predominate are most sensitive, all temperaments, even the sluggish-lymphatic, furnish noteworthy subjects.
The “discs,” “medals,” “mirrors,” of “Egyptian” or other make, are, as advertised, deceptive, for the only advantage they give is the concentration of attention, which is quite as well attained by a coin, a bright light or any other object to which the eyes and the thoughts may be directed.
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