In this supplemental chapter to the foregoing, I will tell you of The High Magic Of India (of which all other forms of magic are but imitations), and how to develop the powers of Yoga Cosmology. This is the type of magic which is performed in secret monastaries in the mountains of Northern India and Tibet by the Adepts. This magic is in no sense supernatural, but it is decidedly supernormal, and shows a most amazing control over the forces of Nature. I will both describe the effects of such high magic and give you the modus operandi so you will know of the means of developing as do the Master Magicians.
As you have studied, there are three kinds of magic seen in India. One is the fakir type which the tourist enjoys. However it is but a presentation of clever trickery. Then there is the magic of the intermediate magician in which is employed the particular form of oriental hypnotism known as Maya; the spectators thinking they see what is in fact unreality. Third, there is the supernormal magic of the Adepts, which, while apparently defying the laws of nature and seeming to accomplish the impossible is nonetheless actually occurring before the eyes of the beholders. This is the High Magic.
You will note that I use the words "apparently defying the laws of nature and seeming to accomplish the impossible" because nothing ever really defies Nature. The Adept produces his magic by controlling nature in advanced ways unsuspected by the average person. To accomplish this magical purpose, the Adept employs exactly the same principles of magic which you have learned, but to such a degree has he advanced his powers that his visualization projected upon the akasha, held firm by unshakable will, and energized by highly concentrated prana is sufficient to cause an actual materialization in the substance of the akaska, bringing forth a unique physical occurrence which to the uninitiated seems most magical in nature. This is the modus operandi of the
High Magic. This type of magic has never been scientifically studied, but more than 50,000,000 human beings in the Orient testify to it.
As I have commented, these Adepts hold that there is absolutely nothing supernatural about the powers employed or the effects produced. They assert positively that the power and the effect are purely "advanced nature," and come fully under natural law and order. The fact is that there are certain Finer Forces of Nature, unknown to the masses of people, but known to certain advanced minds of the race. These forces are employed to perform these apparent "miracles" known to the Yogis and their students, and to those who have been permitted a glimpse "behind the veil." You have had that glimpse.
As an instance of how an effect of High Magic has been imitated, recall the "Mango Tree Trick" of the fakir, and the deceptive way it was accomplished. In an Adept's performance of this same effect, there occurs a real and actual rapid growth of the planted seed. How is this possible without violating natural laws? The explanation is in the skilled employment of prana, projected and held firm by the concentrated thought and will of the magician; nature being compelled to "speed up" her processes in the development of the tree from the seed, and fruit from the tree. None of her process are changed, but have merely been speeded. Using a familiar illustration, it might be said that Nature's film of the whole process, in such cases, was run at a highly increased rate of speed, and the picture on her screen was rushed through in a few minutes, instead of the many days required for the performance when the film was run at the regulation speed. That is the secret.
Another effect performed by the Adepts is to make fish-eggs hatch in a few minutes. Again the secret lies in speeding up the normal processes of nature. Unless the mango seed had been alife and perfect, no magical power could have grown a tree from it. Unless the fish-eggs had been properly fertilized and alive, there could have been no fish hatched from them by any magician. The whole natural process of growth was performed by the vital forces of plant and egg, just as in the normal growth the only difference being the "speeding up" of the process, or running faster the vital film. Nature gives us many familiar illustrations of the fact that time is relative, not absolute, in natural processes. Some seeds sprout faster than do others; some eggs hatch more rapidly. A tiny insect is born, matures, breeds, lays eggs, and dies, all in the space of a single day.
Another mystery of the High Magic is for the Adept to hold a container of cold water between the palms of his hands, and by employing the power of projected prana to cause it to boil. In this experiment, the magician concentrates intently upon the water. Soon there is noted a peculiar ebulition, bubbling, and "boiling" in the water; tiny bubbles forming at the bottom and sides of the recepticle and then mounting to the top. In every way, there is the appearance of the application of great heat, yet the water actually remains cold to the touch. You will recall how this effect has been imitated by the fakirs by using a tricky brass bowl with double sides.
A demonstration of High Magic of a somewhat similar nature is performed by certain Adepts in which the magician produces what seems to be a process of "refrigeration by evaporation," lowering the temperature of a jar of water by a
marked number of degrees. In this case, the open jar of water, composed of clay and quite common in tropical countries, is wrapped with cloths saturated with water, and is held in the hands of the magician, whose attention is then closely concentrated upon it. The prana is thus projected into the moistened cloths surrounding the jar, and evaporation is produced in the water moistening the clothes. Such evaporation produces a certain fall in the temperature of the jar, and the interior water becomes cooler.
That the procedure follows purely natural laws is evidenced by the fact that in many tropical countries water is habitually cooled by placing it in an earthen jar surrounded with moistened cloths, and placing it in the sunlight; evaporation and consequent refrigeration thus resulting. Here, however, the prana of the magician takes the place of the sun's rays, and in some strange manner produces an evaporation of the water saturating the clothes, and thus lowers the temperature of the interior water. The feat is wonderful magic, but it will be seen to proceed in exact accordance to Nature's well established laws, and not contrary to them.
The ability to control the temperature of their body is a feat often performed by the Adepts. In Tibet, cases are reported of the exponents of High Magic sitting for long periods of meditation in the freezing cold in perfect comfort; the snow actually melting about their body.
Another amazing effect of the High Magic is that of levitation, or the act of raising one's body, or the body of another, up into the air where it remains unsupported.
In the performance of this feat of levitation, the body, under the control of the magician, is seen to rise slowly in the air apparently defying gravity. The Adepts assert that the phenomenon is genuine, and is caused by a particular application of prana, directed and controlled by rhythmic breathing, which in some unknown way counteracts the pull of gravity and raises the body against such pull.
The principle of rhythmic breathing is held to play an important part in the production of the phenomenon of levitation. One is here reminded of the familiar feat of our western lands, in which the body of a heavy person is lifted easily from the ground upon the fingertips of several persons who are breathing in rhythmic union. Possibly the "key" to levitation might be found by following up this significant lead.
The Hindu magicians, themselves, say that they do not understand "just why" the body is raised into the air during the act of rhythmic breathing in this special way, but they do know how to apply the method. Parimal Bandu mSitioned that only certain magicians seem able to achieve the "knack" of levitation, the remainder never being able to accomplish it, no matter how carefully they are instructed.
From what information I could glean about levitation, the phenomenon is produced by creating a strong mental picture of one's body (or the body of another) rising in the air, then projecting a strong current of prana in such a way as to neutralize the pull of gravitation, and, at the same time, performing a certain form of rhythmic breath, which is said to be the real secret of the process. They claim that they are greatly fatigued after a feat of this kind, which would seem to indicate that the will is actively employed in the technique.
I sought for more knowledge about levitation, but that is all I was able to learn of the process. So striking is the effect of levitation that it has become a much imitated feat. Indeed, occidental stage magicians have designed conjuring methods of producing the effect, and "The Floating Lady" has become a featured illusion in many shows. The celebrated magician, Howard Thurston, on returning from his tour in India, developed the illusion and made a sensation of it in his performances. Many other magicians have since done likewise. The famous American illusionist, Lee Grabel even advanced the idea of levitation in his show to the extent of causing a girl playing a piano to float up from the stage; girl and piano then turning a complete somersault in midair. Levitation remains as one of the great mysteries of magical illusions.
We will now consider Yogi Astral Plane Phenomena, which belongs to the High Magic; these powers continue our study of Yoga Cosmology and take us into the realm of extra sensory perception.
Simplest of the Yogi's psychic abilities is that known as telepathy. This phenomenon consists of the conscious projection and reception of the vibratory thought waves emanating from the minds of persons performing the processes of thought. The Yogis hold that there is always more or less unconscious telepathy in operation among people. Everyone is constantly emanating thought waves, and everyone is constantly receiving such; but the performance is chiefly along unconscious lines. The conscious projection and the conscious reception of these thought vibrations constitutes the psychic phenomena of telepathy. The Yogis hold mastery of the skill as elemental.
Higher in the scale of the Yogi's supernormal powers is that class of psychic phenomena known generally as clairvoyance, or psychic perception. In this class of phenomena, the mind functions on the astral plane, rather than upon the ordinary physical plane. That is to say, the mind employs its "astral senses" rather than its "physical senses," and its objects so perceived by these astral senses are the associated astral images rather than the ordinary physical objects of which these astral images are the counterparts or reflections. You have been informed concerning these "astral images" in the preceding chapter, so you will have this understanding.
The "astral images" cannot be perceived by means of the five physical senses, but may only be sensed by employing the "astral senses." The "astral senses" are the counterparts of the five physical senses in everyway excepting that while the physical senses function on the physical plane, the astral senses function on the astral plane. The description and use of these astral senses constitutes an important phase of the Yoga teaching.
Swami Ramavedananda says, "Man has, in addition to the five physical senses, the corresponding counterparts of these, known as the five astral senses. By means of these astral senses he is able to see, hear, feel, taste, and smell on the astral plane in response to the stimuli of the astral counterparts of his physical organs, though which the astral sensations reach the consciousness. The astral senses are inactive and dormant in the majority of human beings, but may be rended active and operative by means of the approved methods of psychical development, chiefly through the practice of Pranayama."
Before proceeding to a more detailed consideration of the activities of these astral senses, I would call your attention to the fact that in the majority of cases there are only two of the five astral senses employed in psychic perception or clairvoyance, i.e., the astral sense of sight, and that of hearing. In fact, the astral sense of sight is frequently the only one manifesting effects, that of hearing being far less common. The use of the astral sense of hearing is known as clairaudience, literally "clear hearing." There are no distinctive terms applied to the three other astral senses, for, as I have said, their use is infrequent.
In clairvoyance, the person penetrates the veil of the astral plane, and there perceives the "astral images" of physical objects in actual existence on the physical plane; or else he perceives the pictures of past events in the Akashic Records; or else he perceives representations of "the Universal Mind" which indicate future happenings necessarily resulting from present condition and causes. In clairvoyance, also, by means of the astral senses, the person perceives the Auras (the astral colors), and the various thought-forms which are produced in the Astral World by the action of the thought of individuals on the physical plane.
Clairvoyance is developed by the Yogis in various ways and by different methods. The Hindus are inclined to favor the course of gradual development
and unfoldment by means of the use of the crystal ball in concentration. They also favor accompanying this practice by the methods of Pranayama, including, of course, the exercise of rhythmic breathing.
The Yogis teach that in relation to mastering this phase of the High Magic, the Chakras must be considered. You are familiar with the existence of these psychic centers of force which have been vivified in turn by "the serpent fire," as the man advances in evolution. These chakras cannot be described naturally as organs in the ordinary sense of the word, since it is not through them that the man sees or hears, as he does with his physical eyes and ears, yet it is apparently very largely upon their vivification that the power of exercising the astral senses depends, each of them, as it is developed, giving the whole astral body the power of response to a new set of vibrations.
The astral faculties may be developed in various ways, which it will be well to consider. If it were possible for a man to be isolated from all but the finest outside influences, and to unfold from the beginning in a perfect fashion, he would unquestionably develop his astral senses in regular order. In this, he would find his physical senses extending their scope until they responded to all the particular vibrations of akashic as well as of denser matter; then in orderly sequence would come sensibility to the coarser part of the astral plane, and presently the finer parts also would be included, until in due course the faculties of the highest astral perception dawned in their turn.
In real life, however, development so perfect is hardly ever known, and many a man has occasional flashes of astral perception without having the slightest appreciation of what it is. Indeed, this irregularity of development is one of the principal causes of man's common liability to error in matters of clairvoyance a liability from which there is no escape except by careful training. Only in this latter way is there a certainty in the development of his latent powers, for, as all occultists know, it is very easy for the untrained clairvoyant to deceive himself as to the meaning and value of what he sees in astral visioning, and how easy it is to distort the astral vision completely in bringing it down into his physical consciousness.
Occasional flashes of clairvoyance sometimes come to individuals spontaneously. Such glimpses usually signify that he is approaching a stage in his evolution when these powers will naturally begin to manifest themselves, and were he to cultivate the ability he would show marked psychic talent. In other cases, the power of supernormal visioning, though still out of reach during waking life, becomes available when the body is held in the bonds of sleep. Such persons are the ones who are "warned in a dream," or dream of prophetic events which lie on ahead. Initiates often ask how the clairvoyant faculty will first be noted in themselves; how may they know when they have reached the stage when the first foreshadowings of supernormal visioning begin to manifest? Developing clairvoyant powers vary so widely in individuals that it is impossible to give a universal answer to that question; I can cover the subject for you sufficiently, however, so you can find your own answer, viz.:
Clairvoyance comes to some people in a plunge, as it were, who under the stimulus of a crisis of some kind become able to see a striking vision in a flash. Often such experience proves to be an isolated case of precognition, but it does show that the basic talent is there to be cultivated. Others begin by becoming intermittently conscious of the brilliant colors of the human aura. Often to their own surprise they see these vibrations about the heads of people with whom they come in contact. Yet others begin to find themselves, with increasing frequency, being aware of things to which those around them are blind and deaf. Others, again, seem to see faces, landscapes, or colored clouds floating before their eyes in the dark prior to going to sleep.
The clairvoyant vision of the human aura is most interesting to those who can see it, and it provides immediate insight into a person's thoughts, feelings, and character, i.e., when the aura is noted flooded with a beautiful rose color it denotes affection; a rich blue shows devotional feeling; a dull brown color indicates selfishness, and a deep scarlet anger; lurid red shows sensuality; a livid grey fear, and black hatred and malice. Little can remain hidden to the practiced eye opened to astral visioning.
In developing this power of the advanced magicians, it is well to proceed carefully, gradually, patiently, perseveringly, and persistently, beginning your first clairvoyance with the simplest experiments and exercises, and then working on to the higher and most complex stages. As the Yogis express it, "Give the right knock and in time the door will be opened unto you; but never try to break open the door, or to steal in through the window like a thief in the night." Take your time with your practice, and clairvoyance will come.
Be sure to use the crystal ball in your practice, and use it at the same time to develop your powers of concentration. In such, while using the crystal, "hold the thought for your clairvoyant development, seeing yourself "in your mind's eye" as gradually developing and unfolding the desired ESP faculties, and, at the same time, positively affirm that such is the case. Visualization and affirmation of the desired result, in your course of concentration accompanied by the use of the crystal ball, is a case of becoming what you wish to become, and is a legitimate use of the threefold magic formula of the Yogis which you have learned to use so well.
The first step in your development exercises in achieving clairvoyance or astral perception is to work with telepathy. Such exercises will tend to gradually develop and unfold the more complex and higher psychic powers. From the sensing of thoughts advance to the next stage of psychic perception which is known as Psychometry. Psychometry is really a form of clairvoyance. Its distinctive feature being that of employing a psychic "loose end" in order to establish the necessary rapport condition between the clairvoyant faculties and the senses in distant space, or past time, or both. This psychic "loose end" may be a bit of clothing, a handkerchief, a pocket knife, a piece of jewelry, a photograph, a letter, a stone, a ring, a piece of metal or mineral—anything in fact that has been associated with the person, thing, place, scene, or event with which you wish to enter into psychic rapport for the purpose of establishing astral visioning.
In practicing your exercises in Psychometry, you should always begin with a few moments of silence; in earnest concentration in which the crystal ball is employed as a focal point of complete attention. Then, when you feel that the desired mental condition of calmness has been acquired, you will be ready to proceed with the experiment. Have at hand the psychic "loose end" by means of which you hope to establish the rapport conditions; the psychic connection (line of communication) between your astral senses and the person, thing, place, scene or event which you wish to perceive clairvoyantly.
Now, "throw your mind blank." Then, in a few moments, you will sense that the desired psychic condition or state of mind has been reached. Then, and not until then, you should press against your forehead (or, if the object is too large, touch it with your hand) the material thing which serves as your linkage. Next, without haste let your mind drift along, making no actual effort to "see" anything in particular; just letting the "seeing" come entirely of itself. And remember this "seeing" is not as a vision within the crystal ball that will come to you, but is an image "in your mind's eye." Such is the astral sight.
Gazing into the crystal ball, let your mind proceed to drift along, in a sort of reverie without trying to "see" any particular things. Always, however, hold in the background of your mind an awareness of the materia^ object which you are psychomotrizing. After a time, possibly not until after several successive sittings, you will begin to find that this psychic "loose end" is beginning to unwind the thread of psychic association, and you will begin to experience perception of places and scenes with which it has previously been associated.
Do not be over anxious; you cannot hurry these things, remember that over-anxiety is really an obstacle. Just let the thing work itself out. At first the perception may be dim and hazy, but do not be discouraged. Sooner or later, as you persist, the picture will become clearer and more definite, and you will perceive motion in it if there was motion in the original distant and past scene.
Sometimes you will "see" the person, thing, or event as it was in past time; again you may see it as it is at the present time, if it is still in existence. You should return to your work with the same object at different sittings; keep psychometrizing the one object until you feel sure that you have exhausted its possibilities. Then, you may take up another object, and proceed in the same way. Later on, you may go back to the first object, and you will discover how much your powers have advanced. It is largely a matter of patient, persistent practice; there is no royal road to clairvoyance—work is required.
You will find it helpful in these experiments to speak aloud, describing just what you are seeing "in your mind's eye." This will serve to enhance your vision, and make more definite the psychic pictures you perceive. For the most part, practice in private by yourself. If you work with others, be certain that they are of harmonious natures, and seek to develop their own psychic powers along with yourself. Sometimes practicing in conjunction with sympathetic persons seeking a common objective works excellently.
Do not become disturbed if you see anything startling in these psychometric experiments. You are simply the observer of events on the astral plane; and these events are merely records or reflected pictures. Consider it as though you were looking at a motion picture; it is not "real" so far as you are personally concerned. It will follow, as a matter of course, that some of the scenes which you will see in your psychometric vision will be exciting; a piece of shell from a battlefield, for instance, will connect you with some thrilling event. Be impersonal about the things you see and just observe. You will be in for some real surprises during your psychic excursions into the astral plane. For example, an old daguerreotype photograph may transport you to scenes back in the Victorian era, or an old letter will give you the "loose ends" to some strange scenes and experiences.
Do not take lightly what you see or jest about it. These are "psychic secrets" which you are bringing to light, and should be regarded as private. Occultists insist that one loses psychic gifts if he does not handle such with dignity and respect.
After you have attained a satisfactory degree of proficiency in psychom-etry, you will be prepared to proceed to experiments along the lines of clairvoyance without the employment of any psychic "loose ends" serving to establish the rapport with the distant of past-time scenes. Remember, however, that there is really no essential difference between such clairvoyance and that of psychometry which you have been studying.
You will probably find it easier to manifest the phenomena of present-time distant clairvoyance at first, rather than those of past-time or future-time. It is well to practice accordingly. Take it in your stride. When you have become proficient in this phase, you may then advance on to the next.
In practicing present-time distant clairvoyance, you should employ the crystal ball in the manner previously described. First, indulge in a few silent moments of concentration, using the crystal as a focal center. Then, when you feel your psychic conditions are satisfactory, proceed "throwing your mind blank" for a few moments, after which you proceed to concentrate upon the crystal for the purpose of inducing the astral vision of the happenings at some distant scene, the doings of some particular person, etc. You must "hold the thought" of that distant place or scene, or of that particular person in order to establish and set up the psychic rapport therewith.
After a little time, you will become aware that the rapport has been established. Then, allow your mind to drift along easily and without special direction, until "in your mind's eye" the astral picture begins to form. The astral picture may be nebulous at first, or else it may manifest clearly from the very start depending upon the particular psychic conditions involved in the case. Sooner or later, however, you will acquire the faculty of perceiving clear pictures. Always, there will be the impression that you are gazing into some shifting reflecting surface, something like the bosom of a tiny lake the surface of which is stirred by the passing breezes.
The astral picture so perceived "in your mind's eye" will represent the events occurring at the distant place, or the doings of the distant person, at that particular moment of time; your astral vision being much like sight through a powerful telescope. In fact, if you so desire, you may erect "The Astral Tube" to peer through in connection with such clairvoyance. Some initiates finds this helpful and holds the scene more sturdy. Such scenes viewed through "The Astral Tube" appear much as if viewed through a telescope, even the circular end of the "tube" serving to form a frame for the picture.
If you experience any difficulty in locating a distant scene or person, you will find it helpful to visualize some prominent landmark existing at that place; this will serve as a center around which the astral picture will gradually form. In case of a person whose whereabouts are unknown to you, you will find it helpful to fall back upon the psychometric method, i. e., to use a picture, letter, or other object associated with that person, in order to set up the necessary rapport condition. Having established the rapport, the object may then be discarded and the rest of the experiment conducted along the line above described. You will find "the psychometric link" very useful; employ it whenever possible.
Many initiates in clairvoyance conduct experiments in distant perception with the aid of friends. They arrange a time and date for the experiment. The distant party then carefully records just what he or she is doing at that particular time, and the clairvoyant does likewise. A comparison of these records will show conclusively just what degree of success is being obtained. Results are often remarkable, gives the clairvoyant excellent practice in the art, and develops confidence.
In practicing past-time clairvoyance, the same preliminary course is followed as in the phases of clairvoyance just described. The crystal ball, of course, is employed in concentration as always in such experimenting. The great difficulty lies in establishing a psychic rapport with the particular period in past-time in which the desired scene, event, or person existed. Using a "psychometric link" is very helpful in this regard. Once the rapport (or line of psychic communication) has been established, the "link" may be dropped. For past-time clairvoyance the reading of a story associated with that period in history aids in developing the "psychic atmosphere" of the time and scene.
Indeed, occasionally in clairvoyant experiments this principle operates without definite intent. For instance, a clairvoyant person may have been reading a story, or a page from history, in which the events of a certain time are described; and in his next session he will find himself drawn to witnessing astral events connected with that period; not the same events of which he has read, but others associated with the same general period in past-time.
Future-time clairvoyance is somewhat more complex and complicated, although the same general methods are pursued. The "connecting link" between present and future is difficult to establish in most cases. In fact, the best examples of future-time clairvoyance has been more or less spontaneous, and have taken the form of "prevision," produced involuntarily on the part of the clairvoyant. Many instances of such have been recorded in the annuals of psychical investigations. Experimental future-time clairvoyant experiences are rare.
A discussion of magic
The only general directions that can be given in such regards fall under two rules, viz.: (1) think intently of the person or place concerning whom or which you desire to know "what will be happening" at some particular time in the future; then "run your mind ahead" to that particular period of future-time. In the performance, you will finally experience that peculiar psychic "click," which I have had occasion to mention before; this will inform you that you have reached the desired point in future-time. Then let the astral picture proceed as has been described. (2) Or, while holding the person or place intently in mind, "run your mind ahead" slowly and deliberately without setting a fixed time, and, if the right conditions are present, you will see a gradually developing picture of the future events concerning that person or plac one scene melting into another in regular sequence.
In the development of clairvoyance, astral plane phenomena, and psychic perception in all of its phases, the Yogis attach great importance to the subject of Pranayama, especially in relation to rhythmic breathing, as you have learned. They hold that the awakened and aroused Kundalini serves to vivify and energize the various chakras, connected with the Sushumna, and thus develop and unfold in themselves the powers which serve to render efficient the clairvoyant faculties and senses.
You will find that as you practice the magical arts of India that there is an interrelationship from one skill to another; as each phase developes others will in like manner be cultivated. You have been taught how to develop the powers of the Adepts and Yogis. Practice the arts. You are learning how to be a magician.
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