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Esoteric Psychology II - Chapter II - The Ray of Personality - Problems of Disciples and Mystics
What then, is to be seen and heard by the medium when in trance or when giving an exhibition of clairvoyance and clairaudience? Several possibilities, which I might list as follows:
  1. A revelation of the "wish life" of the person or the group to whom the medium is addressing himself. This wish life takes form in proportion to the power of the unexpressed wish or the mental ability of the person or persons concerned.
  2. A recognition by the medium of the thought forms or thought form to be found in the aura of the person in the audience or circle. These thought forms have been [569] built over a space of time and are usually of some one deeply loved or as deeply disliked. They are often so real in appearance that the person can recognize them when described by the medium and the medium can at the same time by a process of telepathy (via the solar plexus center) become aware of the things which the sitter wishes to hear, which will be in line with the usual mannerisms and methods of speech and thought of the departed or living friend. This accounts for the mediocre caliber of the usual utterance and statement made at a seance. The average person who frequents a seance is not usually of the highest grade of intelligence, unless he is simply there as an investigator.
  3. A few rare cases when a soul on the path of return to incarnation or immediately after death is impelled (for good and sufficient purpose) to make a contact with a friend or relative via a medium. Such cases are known and usually presuppose more than average intelligence on the part of the sitter, the communicator and the medium. They constitute however, the exceptional occurrence.
  4. The revelation to the clairvoyant and clairaudient worker of much of the phenomena of the astral plane, which parallels that of the physical plane and which is conditioned by the quality and caliber of the circle of people who constitute the audience. This, the medium interprets to them and it usually evokes recognition.

I am here casting no doubt on the sincerity of the performance nor on those mediums who are born with these clairvoyant and clairaudient faculties. I am only pointing out that the phenomena which they are contacting is astral in nature and that anyone looking at a circle from the standpoint [570] of the higher psychic powers would note around each sitter a group of astral forms (self-created) of those who have departed physical life through death, of those who are constantly in his thoughts though still alive, and also a kaleidoscopic and changing process of appearing and disappearing forms (some quite nebulous and some quite substantial according to the power of thought) which concern the wish life of the sitter, which are concerned with his home affairs, his business or are built up around his health. The sensitive tunes in on these, connects them with the attendant thought forms and hence the production of the usual performance found in the seance room or with the average audience. The medium is truly and accurately relating just what he sees and hears and therefore is sincere and truthful, but because he receives no real training in the art of interpretation and in the technique of distinguishing the illusory from the real, he is, perforce, unable to do more than describe the phenomena seen and the words heard.

When, however, the mystic opens up these same powers as is sometimes the case, the phenomena seen and the words which are heard can be of a very high order. Nevertheless they are still astral, for they concern happenings and phenomena found upon the higher levels of the astral plane. He comes into contact with the spiritual or religious wish life of the race and according to the basic trend of his individual aspiration at the moment so will be his contacts. If he is an earnest and devoted Christian, he will see one of the beautiful and vital thought forms of the Christ there to be found and in the wonder of that revelation, his love and his imagination and all that is best in him will be evoked in adoration and mystery. Hence some of the inspired writings and illumined visions of the mystic. If he is a Hindu, there may come [571] to him a vision of the Lord of Love, Shri Krishna, or, if a Buddhist, he may see the Lord of Light, the Buddha, in all His radiance. If he is an occult student, or a Theosophist or Rosicrucian, he may see a vision of one of the Masters or of the entire Hierarchy of adepts; he may hear words spoken and thus feel assured, past all controversy, that the Great Ones have chosen him for special privilege and for unique service. And yet, his consciousness has never moved from off the astral plane and his contacts have only been a wonderful and inspiring expression of the phenomena of that plane, released to his inner sight and hearing through his aspiration.

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