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[6:06:11 PM] Thuan Thi Do: CHAPTER XXII
Etheric faculties are extensions of the ordinary physical senses, enabling the possessor to appreciate “vibrations” pertaining to the etheric portion of the physical plane. Such impressions will be received through the retina of the eye, affecting of course its etheric matter.
In some abnormal cases other parts of the etheric body may respond as readily as, or even more readily than, the eye. This would usually be due to partial astral development, the sensitive areas of the etheric double nearly always corresponding to the astral chakrams.
There are roughly, two main kinds of clairvoyance, the lower and the higher. The lower variety appears sporadically in undeveloped people, such as savages of Central Africa, and is a sort of massive sensation vaguely belonging to the whole etheric body, rather than an exact and definite sense-perception communicated through a specialised organ. It is practically beyond the man’s control. The Etheric Double being in exceedingly close relationship with the nervous system, any action on one of them reacts speedily on the other. In the lower clairvoyance the corresponding nervous disturbance is almost entirely in the sympathetic system.
In more developed races the vague sensitiveness usually disappears as the mental faculties are developed. Later on, when the spiritual man begins to unfold, he regains clairvoyant power. This time, however, the faculty is precise and exact, under the control of the will, and exercised through a sense organ. Any nervous action set up is almost exclusively in the cerebro-spinal system.
The lower forms of psychism are most frequent in animals and very unintelligent human beings. Hysterical and ill-regulated psychism is due to the small development of the brain and the dominance of the sympathetic system, the large nucleated ganglionic cells in this system containing a very large proportion of etheric matter, and thus being easily affected by the coarser astral vibrations.
Etheric vision may be temporarily stimulated, e.g.., by delirium tremens, so that the sufferer may see etheric (as well as astral) creatures: the snakes and other horrors seen in such cases are almost invariably creatures of low type which feast on alcoholic fumes exuding from the drunkard’s body.
It should be noted that the Etheric Double is peculiarly susceptible to the volatile constituents of alcohols.
Clairvoyant faculty may also sometimes be exhibited under the influence of mesmerism; also by an increased tenseness of the nerves, caused by excitement, hysteria, ill-health, drugs, or certain ceremonial rites which induce self-hypnotism.
It is not, however, advisable to allow oneself to be thrown into mesmeric sleep in order to obtain clairvoyant experiences, because domination of the will by that of another person tends to make the will of the subject weaker and thus more liable to be acted upon by others.
Occasionally a person fortunate enough to have gained the friendship of etheric nature-spirits may be helped by these creatures to attain flashes of temporary clairvoyance, in order that the person may see them. In order to cultivate such friendship, it must be remembered that these nature-spirits are intensely shy and distrustful of men: they object to the physical emanations of the average man – of meat, tobacco, and alcohol; also to low selfish feelings, such as lust, anger, or depression. Strong, unselfish feelings of a lofty nature create the kind of atmosphere in which nature-spirits delight to bathe.
Almost all nature-spirits are fond of music, and some are especially attracted by certain melodies. C.W. Leadbeater writes that he has seen shepherd-boys in Sicily playing on their home-made Panpipe, with an appreciative audience of fairies frisking around them, of which they were probably blissfully unconscious. Sometimes, however, peasants do see nature-spirits, as the literature of many peoples affirms.
One method of developing etheric sight is by utilising the imagination. An endeavour is made to “imagine” what the inside of a physical object, such as a closed box, would be like, i.e., to “guess” with an effort of strained attention, trying to see that which by ordinary sight could not be seen. After many attempts it is said that the “guessing” becomes more frequently correct than the theory of probability would demand, and presently the man begins actually to see etherically that which at first he only imagined. It is said that this practice is followed by the Zuni tribe of American Red Indians (see Service Magazine, April, 1925, article by Beatrice Wood).
Great numbers of people, if they will take the trouble to look, under suitable conditions of light, can see the mesmeric fluid, i.e., the nerve-ether, as it streams from the hands of the mesmerist. Baron Reichenbach, in the middle of the nineteenth century, records that he found over sixty persons able to see these emanations, and some could see also a somewhat similar emanation proceeding from physical magnets, from crystals, and from a copper wire, one end of which was exposed to sunlight. The observers were usually shut up in a dark room for some hours in order to make the retina more sensitive.
It is reported that some French scientists, who could not normally see the N Rays, became able to do so after sitting in darkness for three or four hours.
We may here note that N Rays are due to vibrations in the Etheric Double, causing waves in the surrounding ether. The student will recollect that N Rays are given off by animals, flowers and metals, but that all alike, when under the influence of chloroform, cease to emit them. They are also never emitted by a corpse. It will also be recollected that anæsthetics – such as chloroform – expel etheric matter from the physical body (see p. 5), thus of course preventing the emanation of the Rays.
A full and controlled possession of etheric sight enables a man to see through physical matter: a brick wall, for example, seems to have the consistency of a light mist: the contents of a closed box could be accurately described and a sealed letter read: with a little practice it is also possible to find a passage in a closed book.
When the faculty is perfectly developed it is completely under control, and may be used or not used at will. It is said to be easy to change from ordinary to etheric vision as to alter the focus of the eyes – the change being in reality a focusing of consciousness.
The earth is transparent to etheric vision to a certain extent, so that a man can see to a considerable depth, much as in fairly clear water. A creature burrowing underground could thus be seen, or a vein of coal or metal could be seen, if not too far below the surface. The medium through which we are looking is thus not perfectly transparent.
Bodies of men and animals are, in the main, transparent, so that the action of the internal organs can be seen, and to some extent disease may be diagnosed in this manner.
Etheric sight makes visible many entities, such as the lower orders of nature-spirits, which have etheric bodies: in this class are nearly all the fairies, gnomes and brownies, of which many stories are told in the highlands of Scotland, Ireland and other countries.
There is a class of beautiful fairies with etheric bodies who live upon the surface of the earth, and who have come up the ladder of evolution through grasses and cereals, ants and bees, and tiny nature-spirits. After their time as etheric fairies they become salamanders or fire-spirits, then sylphs or air-spirits, and later still they pass into the kingdom of the angels.
The forms of fairies are many and various, but most frequently human in shape and somewhat diminutive in size, usually with a grotesque exaggeration of some particular feature or limb. Etheric matter being plastic and readily moulded by the power of thought, they...
[6:06:25 PM] Thuan Thi Do: The forms of fairies are many and various, but most frequently human in shape and somewhat diminutive in size, usually with a grotesque exaggeration of some particular feature or limb. Etheric matter being plastic and readily moulded by the power of thought, they are able to assume almost any appearance at will, but, nevertheless, they have definite forms of their own which they wear when they have no special reason for taking any other.
In order to take a form other than his own a fairy must conceive it clearly and keep his mind fixed upon it : as soon as his thought wanders he will at once resume his natural appearance.
Etheric matter does not obey the power of thought as instantaneously as does astral matter. We might say that mental matter changes with the thought, astral matter so quickly after that the ordinary observer can scarcely note any difference, but with etheric matter one’s vision can follow the growth or diminution without difficulty. An astral sylph flashes from one shape to another ; an etheric fairy swells or decreases quickly, but not instantaneously.
There are also limits, though wide ones, within which a fairy can alter his size. Thus a fairy naturally 12 inches high might expand himself to 6 feet high, but only with a considerable strain which he could not maintain for more than a few minutes.
One of the streams of evolving life, after leaving the mineral kingdom, instead of passing into the vegetable kingdom, assumes etheric vehicles, which inhabit the interior of the earth, living actually within solid rock, which offer no impediment to their motion or their vision. At a later stage, though still inhabiting the solid rock, they live close to the surface of the earth, and the more developed of them can occasionally detach themselves from it for a short time. These gnomes, which have sometimes been seen, and perhaps more frequently heard, in caves or mines, become visible either by materialising themselves by drawing around them a veil of physical matter, or, of course by the spectator becoming temporarily etherically clairvoyant. They would be seen more frequently than they are,, were it not for the rooted objection to the proximity of human beings which they share with all but the lowest types of nature-spirits.
Some of the lower types of etheric nature-spirits are not pleasing to the aesthetic sense. There are shapeless masses with huge red gaping mouths, which live upon the loathsome etheric emanations of blood and decaying flesh ; rapacious red-brown crustacean creatures which hover over houses of ill-fame; and savage octopus-like monsters which gloat over the orgies of the drunkard and revel in the fumes of alcohol.
The entities posing or accepted as tribal deities, for whom blood sacrifices are made, or food, preferably of flesh, is burnt, are very low-grade creatures, possessing etheric bodies, for it is only through etheric bodies that they can absorb physical fumes and derive either nourishment or pleasure from them.
The stories told of ointments and drugs which, when applied to the eyes, enable a man to see the fairy people have a basis in truth. No anointing of the eyes could open the astral vision, though, if rubbed over the whole body, some ointments assist the astral body to leave the physical in full consciousness. But the application to the physical eyes might stimulate etheric sight.
Etheric sight would of course make the Etheric Doubles of men visible : these doubles would often be seen hovering over newly made graves : at séances etheric matter could be seen oozing from the left side of the medium, and one could perceive the various ways in which the communicating entities make us of it.
Etheric sight makes visible several entirely new colours, quite different from those in the spectrum, as we know it, and therefore indescribable in words we use at present. In some cases these other colours are combined with colours that we know, so that two surfaces which to ordinary eyes appear to match perfectly would appear different to etheric sight.
For the chemist a whole fresh world would come under observation, and he could deal with ethers as he now deals with liquids or gases.
There are, belonging to the mineral kingdom, many etheric substances, the existence of which is unknown to Western science. Even the bodies of men, in the First Round, were constructed of etheric matter only, and resembled vague, drifting and almost shapeless clouds.
Etheric sight would inform us of the healthiness or otherwise of our surroundings, and we should be able to detect disease germs or other impurities.
The beneficial effects of travel are partially due to the change of the etheric and astral influences connected with each place and district. Ocean, mountain, forest or waterfall –each has its own special type of life, astral and etheric as well as visible, and, therefore its own special set of impressions and influences. Many of the unseen entities are pouring out vitality, and in any case the vibrations which they radiate, awaken unaccustomed portions of men’s Etheric Doubles, and of their astral and mental bodies, the effect being like that of exercising muscles which are not ordinarily called into activity – somewhat tiring at the time, yet distinctly healthy and desirable in the long run. Such amusements as rowing for example, or swimming, especially in the sea, are of especial value, for the reasons named.
There is a basis of truth in the tradition that it is strengthening to sleep under a pine tree with the head to the north, for the magnetic currents flowing over the surface of the earth, by steady gentle pressure, gradually comb out the entanglements and strengthen the particles both of the astral body and of the Etheric Double, and thus give rest and calm. The radiations of the pine tree make the man sensitive to the magnetic currents, and, in addition, the tree is constantly throwing off vitality in that special condition in which it is easiest for man to absorb it.
There is a kind of magnetic tide, and outflow and back-flow of magnetic energy between the sun and earth, the turning points of which are at noon and midnight.
The great etheric currents which are constantly sweeping over the surface of the earth from pole to pole possess a volume which makes their power as irresistible as that of the rising tide, and there are methods by which this stupendous force may be safely utilised, though unskilful attempts to control it would be fraught with danger. It is also possible to use the tremendous force of etheric pressure.
In addition, by changing matter from a grosser to a subtler kind the vast store of potential energy which lies dormant may be liberated and utilised, somewhat as latent heat-energy may be liberated by a change of condition of visible matter.
[6:06:56 PM] Thuan Thi Do:
A reversal of the above process enables one to change matter from the etheric to the solid condition, and thus to produce a “materialisation” phenomenon.
This faculty is sometimes employed in cases of emergency, where a man in his astral body, an “invisible helper”, is in need of means of acting on physical matter. The faculty demands considerable power of sustained concentration, and the mind must not be taken off for one half-second, or the matter of the materialised form will instantly fly back into its original condition.
The reason why a physical object, after being reduced to the etheric condition, can afterwards be restored to its former shape, is that the elemental essence is retained in the same shape, and when the will-force is removed the essence acts as a mould which the solidifying particles re-aggregate. If however, a solid object be raised to a gaseous condition by heat, the elemental essence which informed the object would be dissipated – not because the essence itself can be affected by heat, but because when its temporary body is destroyed as a solid, it pours back into the great reservoir of such essence, much as a man’s higher principles, though entirely unaffected by heat and cold, are yet forced out of a physical body when the latter is destroyed by fire.
Means must then be employed to reduce a physical object to etheric condition, and then to move it from one place to another, even through solid matter, such as a brick wall, by an astral current, with great rapidity. As soon as the disintegrating force is withdrawn, the matter is forced by the etheric pressure into its original condition.
When a man becomes etherically sensitive, in addition to sight, in most cases a corresponding change would at the same time take place in the other senses. Thus it is claimed by astrologers that planetary influences, by expanding or congesting the etheric atmosphere, make the conditions for meditation respectively more or less favourable.
Incense is said to act on the etheric body somewhat as colours do on the astral body, and so may be employed to bring a man’s vehicles rapidly into harmony. It appears that certain odours may be used to act on various parts of the brain.
The effect of etheric sight is quite different from that of astral sight. In the case of astral sight an entirely new element is introduced, often described as that of a fourth dimension. With such vision, for example, a cube would be seen as though it were all flattened out, all its sides being equally visible as well as every particle within it.
With etheric sight, however, one merely sees through objects, and the thickness of matter through which one is looking makes a great difference to the clearness of the sight. Such considerations have no effect whatever on astral vision.
The word “throughth” used by W.T. Stead in referring to four-dimensional sight, is a perfect description, not of astral, but of etheric vision.
Etheric sight can also be used for purposes of magnification. The method is to transfer impressions from the etheric matter of the retina direct to the etheric brain: the attention is focused in one or more etheric particles, and thus is obtained a similarity of size between the organ employed and some minute object being observed.
A commoner method, though one demanding higher development, is to project a flexible tube of etheric matter from the centre of the chakram between the eyebrows, having one atom at its end which serves as a lens. Such an atom must have all its seven spirillae fully developed. The atom can be expanded or contracted at will. This power belongs to the causal body, so that when an etheric atom forms the lens a system of reflecting counterparts must be introduced.
By a further extension of the same power, the operator, by focusing his consciousness in the lens, can project it to distant points.
The same power, by a different arrangement, can be used for diminishing purposes, this giving a vision of something too large to be taken in at once by ordinary vision.
This power was symbolised by a small snake projecting from the centre of the forehead in the head-dress of the Pharaoh of Egypt.
Much of the clairvoyance shown by dead people at a spiritualistic séance, enabling them to read passages out of a closed book, is of the etheric type.
One of the varieties of telepathy is etheric, and may take either of two forms. In the first an etheric image is made which can be seen by a clairvoyant; in the second the etheric waves, which the creation of the image generates, radiate out and, striking upon another etheric brain, tend to reproduce in it the same image.
The organ in the brain for thought transference, both transmitting and receiving, is the pineal gland. If any one thinks intently on an idea, vibrations are set up in the ether which permeates the gland, thereby causing a magnetic current, which gives rise to a slight quiver or creeping feeling. This feeling indicates that the thought is clear and strong enough to be capable of transmission. With most people the pineal gland is not yet fully developed, as it will be in the course of evolution.
There is known to occult students a process by which rays of light may be bent, so that after passing round an object they may resume exactly their former course. This would, of course, make the object round which the rays were bent invisible to ordinary sight. It may be surmised that this phenomenon would result from a power to manipulate the particular form of etheric matter which is the medium for the transmission of light.
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