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HOW T O DEVELOP

PSYCHOMETRY

The immaterial substance containing m e m o r y records of all life u p o n t h e physical p l a n e t c a n be ' r e a d ' w h e n objects a r e held in t h e h a n d or p r e s s e d t o t h e forehead. T h i s book reveals t h e t e c h n i q u e s to e m p l o y .

By the same author APPRENTICED T O MAGIC M A G I C : Its R i t u a l , P o w e r a n d P u r p o s e MAGIC AND T H E QABALAH In this series AN I N T R O D U C T I O N T O TELEPATHY H O W T O DEVELOP CLAIRVOYANCE H O W T O READ THE AURA

HOW TO DEVELOP PSYCHOMETRY


by

W.E. Butler

SAMUEL WEISER INC. 740 B r o a d w a y , N e w York, N . Y . 10003

First published 1971 Third Impression 1975 Second Edition, revised and reset, 1979

W E . BUTLER 1979

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

ISBN 0 85030 180 7 (UK) ISBN 0 87728 440 7 (USA) Photoset by Specialised Offset Services Limited, Liverpool and printed in Great Britain by Weatherby Woolnough, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

CONTENTS

Chapter 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. A T a l e to Unfold C o n c e r n i n g Psychic Gifts Preliminary Training First Steps Postscript

CHAPTER O N E

A TALE T O UNFOLD

You must often have heard people say, w h e n looking at some object of historical interest, 'What a tale it could unfold, if it could only speak'. T h o s e of us who have practical knowledge of what is popularly known as E.S.P. (short for Extra-Sensory-Perception) know from our o w n experience that this saying is true. T h e historic article, indeed every article, not only has a tale to tell, but it is already telling it constantly, in the same way, to use an analogy, that the magnetic tape of a tape-recorder has imprinted upon it words or music which, under suitable conditions, may be heard again and again as they are reproduced by the machine. It is true that there is no instrument, electrical or otherwise, which can reproduce for us the sights and sounds, the emotions passions and thoughts which have been recorded upon material objects. Certain people, however, appear to have a kind of 'sixth sense' which enables them to pick up these hidden vibrations and impressions, and bring them into their waking consciousness. Such people are called 'psychometrists'. T h e word is derived from two Greek words, psyche, meaning 'the soul', and metron, signifying a 'measure'. So by this definition, psychometry is the power tQ measure and interpret 'the soul of things'.

Professor D e n t o n T h i s n a m e w a s given to t h e faculty by a n A m e r i c a n Professor of Geology in t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . Professor D e n t o n c a r r i e d o u t a n exhaustive series of tests with t h e aid of his sister, M r s A n n D e n t o n C r i d g e . H e found t h a t if she held a geological s p e c i m e n t o h e r forehead, even t h o u g h it w a s carefully w r a p p e d u p , so t h a t its n a t u r e c o u l d not be guessed at t h r o u g h its a p p e a r a n c e , s h e w a s a b l e to o b t a i n , t h r o u g h vivid p i c t u r e s w h i c h arose i n h e r m i n d ' s eye', s o m e k n o w l e d g e of t h e past history of t h e p a r t i c u l a r s p e c i m e n b e i n g tested. D e n t o n w r o t e a m o s t interesting book, The Soul of Things, d e a l i n g w i t h t h e p s y c h o m e t r i c faculty, a n d gives t h e r e i n s o m e fine e x a m p l e s of t h e a c c u r a c y of t h e visions of his sister. P e r h a p s at t h e p r e s e n t t i m e w e m a y feel t h a t he did not allow for t h e possibility of t e l e p a t h y b e t w e e n himself a n d his sister, a n d b e c a u s e of this t h e value of s o m e of t h e evidence for a s u p e r n o r m a l faculty is s o m e w h a t w e a k e n e d . H o w e v e r , this applies to only a small p a r t of his r e s e a r c h e s . D e n t o n h a d b e e n d r a w n to t h e s t u d y of this s t r a n g e faculty b y r e p o r t s given by a certain Dr Rhodes Buchanan, who e x p e r i m e n t e d w i t h s o m e of his s t u d e n t s by getting t h e m to hold p h i a l s c o n t a i n i n g powerful d r u g s . H e found t h a t s o m e of t h e m , w h e n h a n d l i n g phials d i s t i n g u i s h e d only b y a n u m b e r e d label, b e g a n to e x p e r i e n c e t h e
c

physical reactions w h i c h w o u l d have b e e n p r o d u c e d in t h e m by a n a c t u a l dose of t h e d r u g in q u e s t i o n . Metallic Taste B u c h a n a n himself h a d b e e n s t a r t e d off along this particular trail by the chance information t h a t , d u r i n g t h e A m e r i c a n Civil W a r , a c e r t a i n G e n e r a l Palk h a d found t h a t if he t o u c h e d a n y t h i n g metallic, even in t h e d a r k , he e x p e r i e n c e d a c u r i o u s metallic t a s t e in his m o u t h . T h r o u g h t h e r e s e a r c h e s of D e n t o n t h e w o r d ' p s y c h o m e t r y ' w a s first coined, b u t since t h a t t i m e t h e w o r d h a s c o m e to b e a r a s e c o n d a r y m e a n i n g , a n d it is in this s e c o n d a r y sense t h a t it is n o w used by psychologists. T h e d i c t i o n a r y definition of the w o r d gives b o t h m e a n i n g s . It r e a d s : ' T h e m e a s u r e m e n t of t h e d u r a t i o n of t h e m e n t a l processes used in p s y c h o - a n a l y s i s and intelligence testing. Also, t h e occult faculty of divining, by t o u c h i n g a n object, the c h a r a c t e r , p e r s o n a l qualities, etc., of a n o t h e r p e r s o n w h o has h a n d l e d it.' It is s o m e w h a t a m u s i n g t o n o t e h o w eagerly t h e psychologists, as a b o d y , t r y to dissociate themselves from t h e p r i m a r y m e a n i n g of t h e w o r d as coined by D e n t o n , a n d a t t e m p t to convince t h e p u b l i c t h a t t h e w o r d belongs to t h e m , a n d h a s n o possible c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e firm next d o o r : t h e 'occultists'!

A P s y c h o m e t r i s t at W o r k H a v i n g briefly dealt w i t h t h e m o d e r n rediscovery of this p s y c h i c faculty (it w a s well k n o w n in various p a r t s of t h e w o r l d in past c e n t u r i e s ) let us n o w w a t c h , in i m a g i n a t i o n , a p s y c h o m e t r i s t at work. T h e r e a r e ' p s y c h o m e t r y m e e t i n g s ' , socalled, w h e r e a professional p s y c h o m e t r i s t deals with a n u m b e r of articles b r o u g h t by m e m b e r s of t h e a u d i e n c e . As a rule, t h e objects are p l a c e d in s e p a r a t e c o m p a r t m e n t s o n a t r a y , in o r d e r , it is said, to prevent t h e influences of o n e article affecting o t h e r s n e a r it. T h i s , as w e k n o w from practical experience, is not a l w a y s a c o m p l e t e safeguard a g a i n s t m i x e d influences. In this c o n n e c t i o n , a story from t h e beginnings of modern psychometric e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n m a y be of interest. A c e r t a i n lady w h o h a d b e e n told of this s t r a n g e n e w power, h a d g o n e to b e d o n e night, a n d w a s lying a w a k e t h i n k i n g a b o u t p s y c h o m e t r y as it h a d b e e n d e s c r i b e d to her. S u d d e n l y she d e t e r m i n e d to m a k e a p r a c t i c a l test to see if t h e r e w a s a n y t h i n g in t h e idea. So getting out of b e d in t h e d a r k she w e n t d o w n s t a i r s w i t h o u t a light a n d from h e r writing desk chose at r a n d o m a letter from a collection of letters w h i c h she kept in chronological o r d e r in one of t h e desk d r a w e r s . She duly held t h e letter t o her forehead a n d tried to ' s e e ' s o m e t h i n g a b o u t the p e r s o n w h o h a d w r i t t e n it, a n d w a s r e w a r d e d by finding a flood of i m p r e s s i o n s c o m i n g t o h e r

m i n d . T h e s e i m p r e s s i o n s built u p t h e c h a r a c t e r a n d g e n e r a l outlook of o n e m a n , a very strong-willed a n d powerful p e r s o n . Full of e x c i t e m e n t at this proof of t h e reality of this s t r a n g e p o w e r , she w e n t b a c k to b e d w i t h o u t even a t t e m p t i n g to see if her i m p r e s s i o n s were c o r r e c t ; she felt so s u r e t h a t they were. Astonishment and Disillusionment W a k i n g in t h e m o r n i n g , she r e m e m b e r e d her midnight psychometric experiment, and eagerly looked at t h e letter w h i c h she h a d b r o u g h t u p w i t h h e r a n d w h i c h n o w lay o n t h e t a b l e beside h e r b e d . T o her great astonishment and disillusionment, the c h a r a c t e r of t h e w r i t e r of t h e letter in no w a y w h a t s o e v e r r e s e m b l e d t h a t w h i c h she h a d felt in h e r e x p e r i m e n t . Full of gloom she w e n t d o w n to r e p l a c e t h e letter in its correct position in t h e d r a w e r . As she did so, she g l a n c e d at t h e letter w h i c h lay next to it in t h e b u n d l e , a n d saw, w i t h delight, t h a t all t h a t she h a d felt w h e n a t t e m p t i n g to p s y c h o m e t r i z e t h e letter she h a d c h o s e n w a s to b e found in t h e c h a r a c t e r of t h e w r i t e r of this one w h i c h h a d b e e n lying next to it. T h e s t r o n g virile c h a r a c t e r h a d i m p r e s s e d itself not only o n t h e a c t u a l letter, b u t also u p o n t h e w e a k influence of t h e letter next to it. A n Imaginary Reading R e t u r n i n g to o u r p s y c h o m e t r i c r e a d i n g s , we

see t h a t t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t takes a n article a n d either holds it in his h a n d or presses it to his forehead, a n d p r o c e e d s to d e s c r i b e t h a t w h i c h he feels a n d ' s e e s ' as h e comes into p s y c h i c c o n t a c t w i t h it. H e r e is a n i m a g i n a r y reading, based u p o n our own experience w i t h a good p s y c h o m e t r i s t : 'I see before m e a wide e x p a n s e of w a t e r - 1 t h i n k it is t h e sea. Yes, I feel it is t h e A t l a n t i c o c e a n . I a m s t a n d i n g o n t h e deck of a ship it seems to be a w o o d e n s h i p - it is a w a r s h i p of s o m e kind, for I see g u n s - m u z z l e - l o a d i n g g u n s of N e l s o n ' s t i m e or t h e r e a b o u t s . T h e sea a p p e a r s to b e a d e e p b l u e a n d is very c a l m , a n d t h e sunlight is s t r o n g . I n t h e d i s t a n c e t h e r e is a low coast-line, a n d I see, nestling in t h e low hills w h i c h rise b e h i n d t h e s a n d d u n e s of t h e coast, a t o w n of w h i t e walled b u i l d i n g s . M y a t t e n t i o n is d r a w n to a m a n w h o is evidently t h e c a p t a i n of this ship. H e is dressed in t h e uniform of a n officer in t h e R o y a l N a v y of N e l s o n ' s t i m e . I feel t h a t s o m e of t h e trees o n t h e hills a r e olive trees, a n d I t h i n k this m u s t b e e i t h e r S p a i n or P o r t u g a l . T h e ship a p p e a r s to be t a k i n g p a r t in b l o c k a d i n g this s e a p o r t t o w n . Prominent Churchman ' N o w I a m looking at a ring - a gold ring w i t h a large a m e t h y s t set in it - it is this s a m e r i n g w h i c h I a m n o w h o l d i n g - I feel a sense of p o w e r a n d a u t h o r i t y in c o n n e c t i o n with this. W h y , it belongs to this officer, b u t it

takes me back very many years before this time. I seem to be in Italy - at least that is the impression I get - and I feel that the original owner of this ring lived in Italy and was a prominent Churchman of his time - I sense he was a bishop or some such dignitary there is a sound as of Latin being chanted, and I feel that this ring goes back to the time of the Renaissance. 'This must have been handed d o w n to the captain as an heirloom and has in the same way been passed d o w n to its present possessor. ' N o w I want to come to the person who gave in this ring for a reading. Y o u are at present at the parting of the ways, and you are finding it very difficult indeed to decide which path to choose - they seem equally compelling. I feel, however, that within a short time - and this will be measured in days, not weeks, t h e i n a t t e r will become clear to you and the way forward be opened up. D o not make any sudden move until this clear indication of the correct line to take presents itself.
5

Sea Captain T h e recipient of this message confirms that the ring did in fact belong to one of Nelson's sea captains, an ancestor of his, and it w a s at one time owned by one of the great Catholic bishops of the Renaissance period. H e alsQ agrees that he is indeed approaching a crisis

in his m a t e r i a l affairs, a n d c a n n o t m a k e u p his m i n d as to w h i c h will be t h e correct c o u r s e to follow. T h i s is a typical p s y c h o m e t r i c r e a d i n g of the better type. Some such readings are m u c h b e t t e r , s o m e very m u c h worse, b u t this gives a fair idea of w h a t m a y be expected. Y o u will notice t h a t t h e r e a r e t h r e e definite levels in this p a r t i c u l a r r e a d i n g . T h e r e is t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e original o w n e r of t h e ring a n d his g e n e r a l s u r r o u n d i n g s , t h e r e is t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e sea c a p t a i n a n d his general c o n d i t i o n s , a n d finally t h e r e is a s t a t e m e n t m a d e c o n c e r n i n g t h e p r e s e n t o w n e r of t h e article. T h e first level w e m a y t e r m its ' p r i m a r y r e c o r d ' , t h e second its s e c o n d a r y level, t h e level c o n c e r n i n g t h e p r e s e n t a n d future c o n d i t i o n s of t h e o w n e r of t h e r i n g b e i n g w h a t m a y b e d e s c r i b e d as t h e t e r t i a r y level. T h e s e t h r e e levels will b e found, in varying p r o p o r t i o n s , in all p s y c h o m e t r i c r e a d i n g s . T h e S o u r c e of K n o w l e d g e The question arises, how has the p s y c h o m e t r i s t o b t a i n e d his k n o w l e d g e ? I n t h e majority of cases we c a n rule out collusion b e t w e e n t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t a n d t h e o w n e r of t h e article c o n c e r n e d . W h e r e s u c h collusion does h a p p e n , it is soon d e t e c t e d a n d dealt w i t h . W e a r e left with a very c o n s i d e r a b l e b o d y of s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h h a v e to b e e x p l a i n e d in s o m e o t h e r w a y . A d e t a c h e d s t u d y of t h e m a t t e r usually

reveals t h e p r e s e n c e of m u c h w h i c h is not in any w a y evidential. It is d u e to t h e psychological fact that the 'level of a c c e p t a n c e ' , if we m a y so call it, varies c o n s i d e r a b l y from o n e p e r s o n to a n o t h e r . T h e r e a r e those w h o s e critical faculty is slight, a n d s u c h people will accept as evidence m u c h t h a t m o r e critical p e o p l e would not r e g a r d as b e i n g in a n y w a y evidential. So w h a t we m a y t e r m t h e 'credibility factor' h a s to be t a k e n into account when judging the statements made. W e w o u l d point out, however, t h a t often w h a t a p p e a r s to b e a triviality m a y have a real significance for t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d , a n d it is s o m e t i m e s t h e s e very trivialities w h i c h provide conclusive proof of t h e a c c u r a c y of t h e s t a t e m e n t s m a d e b y t h e psychometrist. Evidential Statements W h e n , however, we have d i s c o u n t e d t h o s e vague general statements which are obviously non-evidential, b u t a r e w h a t we m i g h t describe as verbal ' p a d d i n g ' , we a r e left w i t h positive a n d detailed s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h are truly evidential, a n d w h i c h c a n n o t be e x p l a i n e d a w a y by a n y theories of fraud or wishful t h i n k i n g . So we a r e b a c k to o u r q u e s t i o n of h o w t h e s e evidential s t a t e m e n t s c a m e into t h e m i n d of t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t . It w a s obviously not t h r o u g h t h e o r d i n a r y five senses. O n e answer, of course, is t h a t t h e

k n o w l e d g e w a s received telepathically from t h e m i n d of t h e o w n e r of t h e article w h i c h w a s b e i n g p s y c h o m e t r i z e d . T h i s m a y be so in s o m e instances, b u t we feel t h a t by invoking t h e t e l e p a t h i c e x p l a n a t i o n , w e a r e simply s u b s t i t u t i n g one form of e x t r a - s e n s o r y p e r c e p t i o n for a n o t h e r , a n d in m a n y cases t h e i n f o r m a t i o n simply d o e s not exist w i t h i n t h e m i n d of a n y living p e r s o n . T h e sceptic is therefore often driven to f o r m u l a t i n g a ' p o o l of k n o w l e d g e ' , a ' c o s m i c m e m o r y ' , from w h i c h , it is alleged, t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t d r a w s his information. It is a n attractive t h e o r y , a n d , q u i t e a p a r t from t h e w a y in w h i c h it is s o m e t i m e s e m p l o y e d against t h e claims of t h e spiritualists, it does fit in w i t h t h e results of p s y c h o m e t r i c a l practice. It will b e useful, p e r h a p s , to t a k e a look at this idea of a pool of k n o w l e d g e u p o n w h i c h we m a y d r a w u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s . Those who are acquainted with the work of t h e late D r C . G . J u n g will r e m e m b e r t h a t he p u t forward in his writings t h e idea of w h a t he called t h e 'Collective U n c o n s c i o u s ' , w h i c h lies b e h i n d t h e n o r m a l individual consciousness w i t h w h i c h w e a r e all familiar. Each person, in t h e depths of his s u b c o n s c i o u s n a t u r e , is linked u p directly w i t h this collective unconscious. B e c a u s e of this we m a y , u n d e r c e r t a i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s , b r i n g t h r o u g h into t h e w a k i n g consciousness s o m e of t h e k n o w l e d g e w h i c h lies in those h i d d e n r e a l m s of t h e m i n d .

T h e Astral L i g h t T h i s c o n c e p t of t h e collective u n c o n s c i o u s is one w h i c h is familiar to a n y o n e w h o h a s s t u d i e d t h e t e a c h i n g s of w h a t is usually called occultism. By t h e m t h e collective u n c o n s c i o u s is k n o w n as ' t h e a s t r a l l i g h t ' a n d it is held t h a t t h e activities of this collective u n c o n s c i o u s work t h r o u g h m a n y varying degrees of a n i m m a t e r i a l ' s u b s t a n c e ' w h i c h u n d e r l i e s all physical m a t t e r . It is further held t h a t this u n d e r l y i n g s u b s t a n c e not only c o n t a i n s t h e m e m o r y r e c o r d s , b o t h conscious a n d s u b c o n s c i o u s , of all life u p o n t h e p h y s i c a l p l a n e t , b u t it is also the channel through which the all-embracing C o n s c i o u s n e s s of t h e C r e a t o r a n d S u s t a i n e r of this universe holds all manifestation, on all levels of existence, w i t h i n Its p o w e r a n d control. T h e Akashic Records I n t h e E a s t , t h e divine life a n d c o n s c i o u s n e s s is said to work in a n d t h r o u g h w h a t is k n o w n as ' A k a s h a ' , a n d for this r e a s o n we find t h e t e r m ' T h e A k a s h i c R e c o r d s ' e m p l o y e d to refer to this ' c o s m i c m e m o r y ' . T h i s , is, of course, only a very r o u g h o u t l i n e of a very i n t r i c a t e system of p h i l o s o p h y , b u t it m a y serve t o e x p l a i n t h e use of t h e t e r m ' T h e Akashic Records'. It is further t a u g h t t h a t t h e s e A k a s h i c R e c o r d s a r e reflected at varying levels i n t h e A s t r a l Light, a n d a r e liable to suffer s o m e d i s t o r t i o n w h e n n e a r to t h e e m o t i o n a l a n d

mental currents which surge through the collective u n c o n s c i o u s of t h e p l a n e t . So we h a v e t h e c o n c e p t of a n alle m b r a c i n g m i n d a n d c o n s c i o u s n e s s not far r e m o v e d from earth-life a n d its struggles, b u t actually i m m a n e n t w i t h i n it as well as r e m a i n i n g in Its Fullness a b o v e a n d b e y o n d all manifestation. It is also held t h a t b y virtue of his o w n i n n a t e divinity, m a n m a y b e c o m e , in varying degree, en rapport with that divine consciousness, a n d in p r o p o r t i o n a s h e does this, he is a b l e to m a k e c o n t a c t w i t h t h a t cosmic m e m o r y , of w h i c h his o w n p e r s o n a l m e m o r y is b u t a fractional p a r t . S o u l of t h e W o r l d With J a m e s and Fechner and many other p h i l o s o p h e r s , t h e occultists also hold t h a t this p l a n e t is not a m e r e inert ball of m i n e r a l m a t t e r swinging t h r o u g h t h e h e a v e n s , b u t is t h e ' b o d y ' or vehicle of a m i g h t y b u t s i m p l e life, a n d b e c a u s e of this it possesses its o w n m e m o r y of all t h a t h a s h a p p e n e d u p o n it. Every p a r t i c l e of m a t t e r is, by this h y p o t h e s i s , u n d e r s t o o d to b e a m e a n s w h e r e b y t h e Anima Mundi, t h e Soul of t h e W o r l d , m a y be c o n t a c t e d . T h e Reflecting E t h e r So we c o m e to t h e s i m p l e definition of Denton and his co-workers, that in p s y c h o m e t r y we a r e m a k i n g c o n t a c t w i t h a n d r e a d i n g in t h e indelible m e m o r y of t h e

soul of t h i n g s . I n c i d e n t a l l y , t h e occultists say t h a t this p l a n e t a r y m e m o r y is r e c o r d e d in w h a t t h e y t e r m t h e 'reflecting e t h e r ' of t h e p l a n e t . T h i s reflecting e t h e r not only h o l d s t h e p l a n e t a r y m e m o r y , b u t also reflects clearly or otherwise, according to c i r c u m s t a n c e s , t h e fore-knowledge of t h e Divine M i n d w h i c h is ever in t h e t r u e Akashic Records. T h u s , t h r o u g h t h e reflecting ether, s o m e glimpses of futurity, s o m e ' s h a d o w s cast before' may be obtained by the p s y c h o m e t r i s t , b u t s u c h foretelling of t h e future will d e p e n d for its a c c u r a c y u p o n h o w clearly those reflections of t h e D i v i n e M i n d a r e b e i n g m i r r o r e d in t h e d e p t h s of t h e m e m o r y of t h e Anima Mundi. In p a s s i n g we m a y suggest t h a t it w a s t h e k n o w l e d g e of t h e existence of this universal memory which was symbolized by the records which were read, according to the old E g y p t i a n belief, w h e n t h e d i s c a r n a t e soul w a s b r o u g h t to t h e j u d g e m e n t of t h e gods, a n d s o m e of this E g y p t i a n s y m b o l i s m m a y have b e e n b r o u g h t over into C h r i s t i a n i t y in t h e i m a g e s of t h e b o o k of R e v e l a t i o n s , w h e r e it is said t h a t t h e ' b o o k s were o p e n e d ' a n d t h e d e a d were j u d g e d . D e v e l o p i n g the Faculty H a v i n g given y o u s o m e t h i n g of t h e theories a n d h y p o t h e s e s w h i c h have b e e n p u t forward to e x p l a i n t h e p h e n o m e n a of p s y c h o m e t r y , we w o u l d point o u t t h a t , i n t e r e s t i n g a n d

instructive t h o u g h s u c h ideas m a y be, it is as well if w e get ' d o w n to e a r t h a n d c o n c e n t r a t e u p o n developing t h e faculty; o n e c a n always a r g u e a b o u t t h e m e t a p h y s i c s of it at a later date when personal practical experience has been gained. It is not necessary t h a t you s h o u l d h o l d any particular theory about psychometry; you c a n j u s t develop t h e faculty a n d use it w i t h o u t a c c e p t i n g a n y one t h e o r y , j u s t as o n e c a n see w i t h o u t a n y e x p e r t k n o w l e d g e of optics. O n c e you have developed the p s y c h o m e t r i c faculty you c a n use it, as i n d e e d you c a n use all faculties, b o t h physical a n d s u p e r - p h y s i c a l , for w h a t e v e r p u r p o s e a p p e a l s to you. Remember, however, that increased ability brings w i t h it i n c r e a s e d responsibility to use it in t h e right w a y , a n d h e r e , of c o u r s e , you c o m e u p a g a i n s t t h e m o r a l aspect of s u c h d e v e l o p m e n t . C o n c e r n i n g this we shall have m o r e to say later in this book.
5

CHAPTER T W O

CONCERNING PSYCHIC GIFTS

A n idea h a s g r o w n u p t h a t psychic faculties, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience, p s y c h o m e t r y a n d so on, a r e p e c u l i a r 'gifts' b e s t o w e d by n a t u r e o n c e r t a i n individuals, a n d a r e not faculties possessed b y all . m a n k i n d . T h i s belief h a s t h r e e aspects. First of all, t h e r e is t h e old ' p a g a n ' idea of t h e ' g o d s ' s h o w e r i n g gifts u p o n m e n . M o r e p a r t i c u l a r l y , since it w a s t h o u g h t t h a t s u c h psychic qualities e n a b l e d s o m e kind of link t o be m a d e b e t w e e n t h e gods a n d t h e i r w o r s h i p p e r s , t h e psychic qualities, above all o t h e r s , w e r e r e g a r d e d in a special w a y , a n d around t h e i r use t h e r e g a t h e r e d the ' n u m i n o u s ' a t m o s p h e r e of religion. At t h e h e a r t of t h e p r i m i t i v e religions of m a n k i n d w a s t o b e found- t h e idea of t h e ' o r a c l e ' , t h e seer, t h e ' s o o t h s a y e r ' , a n d b e h i n d t h e official exoteric religion of t h e d a y a n ' i n n e r ' or ' e s o t e r i c ' t e a c h i n g a n d p r a c t i c e . W h e n C h r i s t i a n i t y b e g a n to e m e r g e as a religion t h e r e arose various g r o u p s w h i c h a r e generally listed t o g e t h e r as ' G n o s t i c s ' , for they c l a i m e d t o have direct p e r s o n a l knowledge of s p i r i t u a l t h i n g s . M a n y of those w h o h a d c o m e over into C h r i s t i a n i t y from o n e or a n o t h e r of t h e old M y s t e r y F a i t h s , felt t h a t a great d e a l of their p r e v i o u s k n o w l e d g e c o u l d b e ' b a p t i z e d into C h r i s t ' a n d m a n y of t h e m

b e c a m e influential Church.

teachers

in t h e

infant

Psychic Faculties It is w o r t h n o t i n g t h a t in b o t h t h e classical M y s t e r i e s a n d early C h r i s t i a n G n o s t i c i s m , t h e use of t h e psychic faculties did not i m p l y a n y s u c h c o m m u n i c a t i o n s w i t h t h e ' s p i r i t s ' of discarnate human beings as modern s p i r i t u a l i s m envisages, b u t w a s c o n c e r n e d w i t h c o n t a c t w i t h spiritual beings of various kinds. W h e n , by a n y m i s c h a n c e , w h a t a p p e a r e d to b e a d i s c a r n a t e h u m a n b e i n g m a d e itself felt, it w a s held t h a t s o m e t h i n g h a d g o n e w r o n g , a n d steps w e r e t a k e n to prevent its r e c u r r e n c e . It is w o r t h e m p h a s i z i n g t h e p o i n t that neither Egyptian ' K e r h e b ' , Elusinean Hierophant, Neo-Platonic Theurgist nor Christian Gnostic sought communication with the ' d e a d ' through mediumship, though all forms of p s y c h i c faculty w e r e k n o w n to them. T h i s , of c o u r s e , does not disprove t h e spiritualistic e x p l a n a t i o n , b u t as m a n y spiritualists h a v e c l a i m e d t h a t s u c h c o n t a c t must have b e e n m a d e , a n d t h a t only w i t h human spirits, it is necessary t o point o u t t h a t a l t h o u g h t h e possibility of s u c h c o n t a c t w i t h t h e d e a d c a n n o t b e r u l e d out, t h o s e w h o m we have m e n t i o n e d d i d not in a n y w a y r e g a r d it as t h e p r i m a r y object of t h e i r psychic practices.

St P a u l I n a w e l l - k n o w n p a s s a g e in one of his letters to his C o r i n t h i a n converts, St P a u l gives i n s t r u c t i o n s to t h e s m a l l g r o u p s of C h r i s t i a n s w h o m e t t o g e t h e r for s p i r i t u a l c o m m u n i o n and prayer. It m u s t b e kept in m i n d t h a t t h e early ' F o l l o w e r s of t h e W a y ' , as t h e C h r i s t i a n s were first called, took t h e p r o m i s e of their L o r d a n d M a s t e r very seriously i n d e e d . H e h a d told t h e m t h a t H e w o u l d s e n d t h e H o l y Spirit to t h e m , to lead t h e m , a n d t h e y believed t h a t t h e influence of this s a m e H o l y Spirit w a s to b e found in all t h e g a t h e r i n g s of t h e faithful. It w a s , t h e y said, a 'Spirit-filled Church'. In t h e small g r o u p s g a t h e r e d t o g e t h e r for worship and communion, psychic p h e n o m e n a manifested, j u s t as t h e y did m a n y c e n t u r i e s later in t h e similar g r o u p s of t h e Society of F r i e n d s ( m o r e c o m m o n l y k n o w n as t h e ' Q u a k e r s ' . ) H e r e a g a i n , in t h e Q u a k e r M e e t i n g s it is held to b e t h e p o w e r a n d p r e s e n c e of t h e Spirit, r a t h e r t h a n t h e efforts of t h e so-called 'dead', which produces them. P s y c h i c Gifts P a u l i n d e e d says t h a t t h e one a n d selfsame Spirit a p p o r t i o n s t o e a c h p e r s o n a p a r t i c u l a r 'gift' or ' c h a r i s m ' , a n d h e r e we find a link with t h e p a g a n a n d also t h e J e w i s h idea of t h e gods or G o d , giving gifts to m e n . A n u n f o r t u n a t e t r a n s l a t i o n of t h e G r e e k

h a s m a d e P a u l refer to 'spiritual' gifts, b u t t h e p h r a s e is m o r e correctly t r a n s l a t e d as ' p s y c h i c ' gifts, i.e., a p p e r t a i n i n g to t h e soul or ' p s y c h e ' , r a t h e r t h a n to t h e spirit; t o P a u l , m a n w a s a trinity of b o d y , soul a n d spirit. So, from p a g a n a n t i q u i t y , t h r o u g h t h e C h r i s t i a n ages u p to t h e p r e s e n t t i m e , these psychic faculties h a v e b e e n r e g a r d e d as gifts from above, a n d this a t t i t u d e of m i n d h a s also b e e n a p p l i e d to all t h e faculties of m a n . T h u s , we s p e a k of a gifted speaker, a gifted artist or a gifted m u s i c i a n . I n all t h e s e cases we a r e using t h e t h o u g h t forms of t h e past, a n d this is especially n o t i c e a b l e w h e n we c o m e to deal w i t h t h e psychic faculties. T h r e s h o l d of Waking Consciousness T h e r e is, however, a n o t h e r p o i n t of view, w h i c h is implicit in t h e t e a c h i n g s w h i c h form t h e basis of t h e p h i l o s o p h y of life of t h e p r e s e n t writer. T h i s is, t h a t t h e psychic faculties a r e p r e s e n t in all m e n , a n d , i n d e e d in a latent fashion in all life, b u t in s o m e cases t h e y a r e w o r k i n g a b o v e t h e t h r e s h o l d of t h e n o r m a l w a k i n g consciousness, w h e r e a s in t h e majority t h e y a r e below t h a t t h r e s h o l d . H o w far t h e y lie below t h a t t h r e s h o l d d e t e r m i n e s w h e t h e r it is w o r t h t h e effort n e e d e d to b r i n g t h e m into conscious w o r k i n g activity. I n s o m e cases it simply w o u l d not b e worthwhile. Let us t a k e a n illustration from a n o t h e r of t h e 'gifts', t h a t of m u s i c . T h e r e have b e e n t h o s e w h o , at a very early age, s h o w e d a n

a p t i t u d e for t h e subject, a n d s u c h a t a l e n t for m u s i c a l c o m p o s i t i o n a n d expression as to be r e g a r d e d as m u s i c a l prodigies. M u s i c a n d its expression a p p e a r to b e i n n a t e in t h e m . S o m e of t h e great m u s i c a l c o m p o s e r s c o m e into this category. As a n e x a m p l e of t h e o t h e r e n d of t h e scale, t h e p r e s e n t writer m a y b e t a k e n as a n illustration. H e h a s never, from earliest c h i l d h o o d , b e e n a b l e to sing in t u n e , b e i n g p a r t l y ' t o n e - d e a f , a n d t h e mysteries of o r c h e s t r a l p e r f o r m a n c e a r e as closed books to him. D u r i n g his early s c h o o l d a y s , he w a s given a b o o k to r e a d w h e n t h e singing lesson was on, for not only c o u l d he not sing t w o notes in t u n e b u t no o n e w i t h i n a fifty y a r d r a d i u s could sing either, if he tried! It is obvious t h a t a n y t i m e spent b y h i m in m u s i c a l t r a i n i n g w o u l d be entirely w a s t e d . Spontaneous Activity So it is w i t h t h e psychic faculties. I n some cases t h e y s e e m t o s p r i n g s p o n t a n e o u s l y into activity. I n o t h e r s , y e a r s of ' s i t t i n g for d e v e l o p m e n t ' will fail to b r i n g t h e m into action. M o s t p e o p l e , however, lie b e t w e e n these t w o e x t r e m e s . T h e y c a n develop or unfold s u c h faculties, b u t t h e t i m e n e e d e d to d o this varies w i t h e a c h individual. H o w e v e r , to unfold a faculty is one t h i n g ; to stabilize it a n d h a v e it u n d e r o n e ' s control is q u i t e a n o t h e r ! It is h e r e t h a t so m a n y w o u l d - b e psychics fail t h e test. T h e y m a k e

n o a t t e m p t to discipline a n d t r a i n their psychic ability, a n d this very often springs from t h e m i s t a k e n idea of 'gifts' w h i c h we have a l r e a d y c o n s i d e r e d . W e shall r e t u r n to this whole question of stabilization, discipline a n d t r a i n i n g later o n in this book, b u t we felt w e s h o u l d j u s t refer t o it at this point. W e c o m e n o w t o t h e ethical point of view. As we have a l r e a d y p o i n t e d out, a n unfortunate translation has connected these faculties w i t h t h e idea of ' s p i r i t u a l i t y ' . It is therefore w o r t h w h i l e to c o n s i d e r w h a t this t e r m m e a n s , a n d h o w far it m a y be a p p l i e d to these s u p e r n o r m a l faculties w h i c h lie w i t h i n e a c h of us. Spirit a n d Matter I n t h e early C h r i s t i a n C h u r c h , t h e r e arose a c u r i o u s ' h e r e s y ' or p o i n t of view (for t h a t is w h a t t h e w o r d ' h e r e s y ' originally m e a n t ) which made a clear-cut division or 'dichotomy' between 'Spirit' and 'Matter'. T h e b e g i n n i n g s of this c a n be t r a c e d in s o m e p a r t s of t h e letters of St P a u l , b u t it c a m e into p r o m i n e n c e in t h e t e a c h i n g s of a c e r t a i n Manes, a Christian teacher who had adopted s o m e of t h e ideas of t h e P e r s i a n religion of Z o r o a s t r i a n i s m . Spirit a n d M a t t e r w e r e r e g a r d e d as eternally o p p o s e d a n d M a t t e r w a s held to b e absolutely evil. T h i s heresy, t h o u g h c o n d e m n e d b y t h e great C o u n c i l s of t h e C h u r c h , h a s never b e e n entirely b a n i s h e d from C h r i s t e n d o m , a n d

h a s a p p e a r e d in various guises a g a i n a n d again. It w a s t h e basis of t h e P u r i t a n streak w h i c h r u n s t h r o u g h t h e w h o l e of C h r i s t i a n history, a n d it c a u s e d a n y n a t u r a l a n d necessary r e a c t i o n to licentious t e a c h i n g a n d c o n d u c t to b e c o m e b a d l y e m p h a s i z e d a n d out of b a l a n c e , r e s u l t i n g in a t e a c h i n g a n d p r a c t i c e equally detrimental to the true development of t h e spirit of m a n . Faulty Translation N o w , a l t h o u g h t h o s e schools of t h o u g h t w h i c h t e a c h t h e use of t h e psychic faculty c l a i m to have b e c o m e free from ' o r t h o d o x ' ideas, they a r e still a p p a r e n t l y b o u n d b y this faulty t r a n s l a t i o n of t h e N e w T e s t a m e n t c o n c e r n i n g psychic gifts, a n d very m a n y of their followers persist in r e g a r d i n g t h e s e faculties as spiritual gifts. In so far as all m a n ' s p o w e r s a n d faculties a r e spiritual, in t h e t r u e sense, for M a t t e r is b u t o n e m a n i f e s t a t i o n of Spirit, t h e y a r e correct, but a n d this is a big ' b u t ' , if t h e y d o so r e g a r d psychic faculties as s p i r i t u a l , t h e n t h e y m u s t also r e g a r d m a n ' s physical faculties as e q u a l l y spiritual, o t h e r w i s e t h e y fall i n t o t h e M a n i c h a e a n heresy. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , however, t h e e r r o r persists t h a t t h e possession of a psychic faculty of necessity m e a n s t h a t t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d is also a ' s p i r i t u a l ' p e r s o n in t h e ethical a n d m o r a l sense. A n y o n e w h o is a c q u a i n t e d at first h a n d w i t h t h e w o r l d of p s y c h i s m a n d

allied subjects k n o w s full well t h a t this is not t h e case, yet t h e idea is strongly e n t r e n c h e d , a n d will no d o u b t be w i t h us for a long t i m e . As we have seen, it h a s a long history, a n d c a n n o t be e l i m i n a t e d in five m i n u t e s . T h e fact r e m a i n s , t h a t t h e possessor of psychic faculties a n d m e d i u m i s t i c abilities is not necessarily a p e r s o n of h i g h m o r a l a n d s p i r i t u a l c h a r a c t e r . I n d e e d , t h e reverse is very often t h e case. Telepathic Suggestions W e have a l r e a d y referred t o t h e varying d e p t h s of t h e m i n d in w h i c h these psychic faculties m a y b e l a t e n t . Let us n o w consider t h e case of o n e in w h o m these faculties a r e very n e a r t h e surface of t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s m i n d , b u t a r e not w i t h i n t h e conscious field of t h e w a k i n g self. T h e y a r e , however, c o n s t a n t l y a c t i n g in t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s levels, receiving i m p r e s s i o n s from t h e t h o u g h t s a n d e m o t i o n s of others a r o u n d t h e m . All t h e s e i m p r e s s i o n s a r e c o m i n g into their m i n d s as suggestions, s o m e good, a n d s o m e b a d , and are constantly altering the whole consciousness. All m e n a r e linked t o g e t h e r in this m a n n e r , n o m a n is a n island, as one poet h a s said, a n d , q u i t e a p a r t from o u r c o m m o n s u b c o n s c i o u s b a s e in w h a t is k n o w n as t h e 'Collective U n c o n s c i o u s ' of t h e r a c e , we a r e ever s u r r o u n d e d b y a n d i m m e r s e d in a swirling sea of t h o u g h t a n d e m o t i o n , t h r o u g h w h i c h flow r h y t h m i c tides of e n e r g y , a n d to

t h e c o n t e n t of this u n s e e n sea we a r e ever res p o n d i n g , w h e t h e r or not we a r e a w a r e of it. L i f e of a P r o s t i t u t e So it often h a p p e n s t h a t a w o m a n a d o p t s t h e life of a p r o s t i t u t e not b e c a u s e she consciously chose s u c h a p a t h , b u t b e c a u s e of t h e effect u p o n h e r p a r t i a l l y a w a k e n e d psychic senses of t h e t h o u g h t s a n d e m o t i o n s of o t h e r s c o n c e r n i n g h e r . H e r very sensitivity h a s b e t r a y e d her. If she w a s b r o u g h t u p w i t h c e r t a i n ideals of c o n d u c t in sexual m a t t e r s , she m a y have resisted t h e c o m b i n e d pull of h e r n a t u r a l instincts a n d t h e insidious suggestions w h i c h r e a c h e d her t h r o u g h h e r h i d d e n sensitivity. T h e n a time may have come when she was for t h e m o m e n t , 'off g u a r d ' , a n d t h e instinctive urges and the telepathic suggestions c o m b i n e d to lose her e m o t i o n a l a n d ethical b a l a n c e , a n d so she 'fell into sin'. But t h e b l a m e for t h a t fall m a y well lie with someone who, with virtuous ' r e s p e c t a b i l i t y ' p r e j u d g e d her, a n d , b y t h e weight of this t h o u g h t (itself very often t h e product of thwarted sexual urges) c o n t r i b u t e d to h e r downfall. ' C o n d e m n not, t h a t ye b e not c o n d e m n e d ' is a Very s o u n d injunction. A C o d e of L i v i n g Because of this psychic i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n ourselves a n d all a r o u n d us, it is highly d e s i r a b l e t h a t , if we w o u l d most t r u l y b e

'ourselves', we s h o u l d consciously and deliberately c o n s t r u c t for o u r daily life a n d w o r k a c o d e of living, a s t a n d a r d of ethics a n d m o r a l s , w h i c h will prevent us b e i n g at t h e m e r c y of t h e s e u n s e e n b u t powerful influences w h i c h w e a r e receiving from o u r environment. W e k n o w t h e necessity of s u c h codes of t h o u g h t a n d c o n d u c t in t h e face of t h e visible a n d t a n g i b l e t e m p t a t i o n s w e m e e t in o r d i n a r y w a k i n g life. E v e n m o r e so a r e s u c h codes n e e d e d as a g u a r d a g a i n s t t h e s e u n s e e n and intangible subconscious temptations. H a v i n g e s t a b l i s h e d s u c h a code of living, w e m a y safely a t t e m p t to b r i n g into t h e conscious w a k i n g m i n d t h e i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h a r e b e i n g received by w a y of t h e s e s u b m e r g e d psychic senses. W h e n thus b r o u g h t u n d e r o u r conscious control, t h e y cease to b e t h e h i d d e n u n c h a r t e d sources of s o m e of o u r irresponsible t h i n k i n g , a n d we b e g i n t o b e less affected b y t h e c o m p o s i t e ' m o b - m i n d ' of t h o s e a r o u n d . W e a r e in t h e c o u r s e of o b e y i n g t h e rule w h i c h in a n c i e n t d a y s w a s inscribed over t h e T e m p l e of t h e M y s t e r i e s : Gnothi seauton, which simply m e a n s ' K n o w Thyself!' W h e n t h e psychic i m p r e s s i o n s a r e t h u s b r o u g h t into consciousness, it is possible t o j u d g e their value a n d to deal w i t h t h e m w i t h i n t h e c o d e of living w h i c h has b e e n developed. S c i e n c e of t h e S o u l T h e r e a d e r is in a position to m a k e use of

t h e m for his o w n t r u e a d v a n c e m e n t in c h a r a c t e r , a n d , b y b e i n g consciously a w a r e of t h e m he will n o longer be at t h e i r m e r c y . H e c a n observe t h e c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h will allow t h e m to work, a n d c a n also b e g i n t o assess t h e i r value to h i m in his life. If his m i n d is of t h e scientific t y p e , t h e n he m a y also b e a b l e to begin to spell out t h e a l p h a b e t of w h a t is, in t h e s e m o d e r n t i m e s , a long forgotten science: a science of t h e soul. It is t r u e t h a t in t h e p r e s e n t s t a t e of o u r m o d e r n k n o w l e d g e r e g a r d i n g these faculties, their exercise p a r t a k e s far m o r e fully of art, r a t h e r t h a n science, b u t as p r o g r e s s is m a d e in u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e laws w h i c h g o v e r n their m a n i f e s t a t i o n , it will b e g i n to be seen w h a t a s u b l i m e science lies b e h i n d t h e w o r k i n g s of t h e s e s u p e r n o r m a l faculties. Yoga Systems T h i s science h a s never b e e n entirely lost to m a n k i n d , t h o u g h in t h e W e s t it h a s a p p a r e n t l y b e e n o b s c u r e d b e c a u s e of t h e t y p e of civilization w h i c h h a s b e e n built u p here. I n t h e East, however, it h a s p e r s i s t e d m o r e o p e n l y in t h e v a r i o u s Y o g a s y s t e m s , fragments of w h i c h a r e b e i n g so a s s i d u o u s l y p e d d l e d in t h e W e s t at t h e p r e s e n t t i m e . M u c h of this is a travesty of t h e t r u e teaching. In b o t h t h e East a n d W e s t , however, t h e r e a r e t h o s e w h o a r e t h e initiates and c u s t o d i a n s of this Ageless W i s d o m , a n d t h e y s t a n d r e a d y to assist those in t h e W e s t e r n

w o r l d w h o , at this m o m e n t o u s p o i n t in t h e history of m a n , a r e e n g a g e d in r e s e a r c h w o r k in this field of t h e s u p e r n o r m a l . T h e faculty of p s y c h o m e t r y is o n e of t h e m o s t i n t e r e s t i n g a n d instructive of t h e s e p a r a n o r m a l p o w e r s , a n d if rightly used it c a n b e of great value. Special Training It is c o m p a r a t i v e l y easy to a c q u i r e some ability to p s y c h o m e t r i z e w i t h o u t a n y special t r a i n i n g , b u t it is far better, from every point of view, if s o m e definite s y s t e m of t r a i n i n g is u n d e r g o n e by t h e w o u l d - b e p s y c h o m e t r i s t . T h e faculty so t r a i n e d is in every w a y s u p e r i o r to t h e u n t r a i n e d variety. The training necessary for the d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e p s y c h o m e t r i c faculty c a n b e divided into several t e c h n i q u e s , a n d in t h e next c h a p t e r we will d e a l with t h e s e in s o m e detail. H o w e v e r , before we p a s s o n to t h a t , we w o u l d like t o e x p l a i n w h a t m a y have s e e m e d to s o m e of o u r r e a d e r s a n excessive use of t h e w o r d 'faculty'. M o s t p e o p l e w h o deal w i t h these t h i n g s w o u l d c o m m o n l y refer t o ' p s y c h i c powers', b u t we prefer t o use t h e t e r m ' f a c u l t y ' as it is a m o r e correct d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e m . T h e y a r e receptive faculties, not expressed powers.

CHAPTER T H R E E

PRELIMINARY TRAINING

W e have a l r e a d y p o i n t e d o u t t h a t it is q u i t e possible to develop t h e p o w e r of p s y c h o m e t r y w i t h o u t any t r a i n i n g , as, of c o u r s e w a s t h e case w i t h t h e p i o n e e r s in t h e m o d e r n r e discovery of t h e faculty. I n d e e d , this h o l d s good of all new discoveries or re-discoveries, for it is only b y r e p e a t e d e x p e r i m e n t a n d classification of t h e results o b t a i n e d t h a t t h e underlying laws of the subject are f o r m u l a t e d . It t h e n b e c o m e s possible t o devise a m e t h o d of s y s t e m a t i c t r a i n i n g . However, even w h e n s u c h a s y s t e m of t r a i n i n g h a s b e e n evolved, it m u s t always b e kept in m i n d t h a t t h e exercise of t h e s e psychic faculties, a l t h o u g h b a s e d o n a t r u e scientific f o u n d a t i o n , is also very m u c h of a n art, a n d a n y s y s t e m of t r a i n i n g m u s t allow for t h e personal factors involved. A similar state of affairs is to be found in t h e visual a r t s ; a p a i n t e r , for i n s t a n c e , m a y have a very exact m e c h a n i c a l t e c h n i q u e of p a i n t i n g , b u t t h e real value of his w o r k will lie in t h e p e r s o n a l e l e m e n t w h i c h h e p u t s i n t o his p i c t u r e s . So it is w i t h this psychic faculty of p s y c h o m e t r y . T h e R u l e of N a t u r a l L a w T h e reference to a 'scientific' basis t o p s y c h i c p r a c t i c e m a y c a u s e s u r p r i s e to m a n y of o u r

readers, who have always understood that these things b e l o n g e d to a ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' o r d e r of t h i n g s , a n d were not therefore a m e n a b l e t o scientific law. H o w e v e r , those w h o have s t u d i e d these m a t t e r s m o s t deeply a r e convinced t h a t t h e y a r e i n d e e d subject to t h e rule of n a t u r a l law. It is necessary, p e r h a p s , to p o i n t out t h a t w h e n we talk of t h e n a t u r a l laws of t h e universe, we a r e really referring to w h a t h a s b e e n t e r m e d ' t h e p r e d i c t a b l e s e q u e n c e of events observed over a long p e r i o d ' a n d not t o t h e a c t u a l i m m u t a b l e cosmic law w h i c h is t h e very f r a m e w o r k of this universe. I n o t h e r w o r d s , it is our concept of t h e true n a t u r a l law. A n e x a m p l e is to b e found in t h e N e w t o n i a n h y p o t h e s e s of gravity a n d light. W i t h i n c e r t a i n limits these theories w o r k well, a n d a c c o u n t for m o s t of t h e o b s e r v e d facts, b u t t h e r e are facts w h i c h d o not fit into their scheme, whereas the general hypothesis of Relativity, as f o r m u l a t e d by Einstein, does cover t h e m . I n t h e s a m e w a y , t h e V i c t o r i a n scientists, forming t h e i r h y p o t h e s e s u p o n a p u r e l y m a t e r i a l basis, w e r e convinced t h a t p s y c h i c manifestations h a d n o p a r t in t h e ' r a t i o n a l u n i v e r s e ' of scientific t h o u g h t . New Hypotheses ' T h e r e is no place in t h e universe for g h o s t s ' d e c l a r e d o n e of t h e m , a n d a n o t h e r d e c l a r e d , ' I n m a t t e r I see t h e p r o m i s e a n d p o t e n c y of all life'.

W e h a v e m a d e this digression in o r d e r to point out t h a t t h e ' l a w s of n a t u r e ' as expressed at a n y o n e t i m e , m a y well b e s u p e r s e d e d by new h y p o t h e s e s f o r m u l a t e d at a later d a t e . All a r e b u t theories, h y p o t h e s e s , built u p t o express a n d e x p l a i n c e r t a i n facts. B e h i n d t h e m all is t h e i m m u t a b l e l a w of t h e universe, a n d t h e t r u t h or falsity of a n y ' n a t u r a l law h y p o t h e s i s ' , d e p e n d s u p o n h o w closely it a p p r o a c h e s to t h a t true law. T h e a n n a l s of scientific history a r e c r o w d e d w i t h e x a m p l e s of t h e relative a c c u r a c y of t h e theories evolved by scientific t h i n k e r s to a c c o u n t for t h e observed p h e n o m e n a of n a t u r e . All h y p o t h e s e s a n d s t a t e m e n t s a b o u t natural law are conditioned by our u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e facts observed, o u r p e r s o n a l prejudices, b o t h conscious a n d s u b c o n s c i o u s , a n d t h e scope a n d e x t e n t of o u r e x p e r i e n c e of t h e subject. T h i s w a s not always u n d e r s t o o d b y t h e V i c t o r i a n scientists or, for t h a t m a t t e r , b y m a n y scientists t o d a y . A short t i m e a g o w e h e a r d a p r o m i n e n t psychologist d e c l a r e t h a t n o a m o u n t of evidence w o u l d ever m a k e h i m e n t e r t a i n t h e idea of t h e possibility of E x t r a - S e n s o r y P e r c e p t i o n , since t o a d m i t s u c h a possibility w o u l d d e s t r o y t h e basis of all m o d e r n teaching. Religious Thinkers A s i m i l a r ' b l o c k a g e ' exists also in t h e m i n d s of m a n y religious t h i n k e r s , a n d this s h o w s

itself in t h e t e n d e n c y t o m a k e a h a r d a n d fast division b e t w e e n t h i n g s ' s a c r e d ' a n d things ' s e c u l a r ' . It is this m e n t a l outlook w h i c h h a s a l w a y s t e n d e d to r e g a r d t h e p s y c h i c faculties as b e i n g ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' . W e d o not s u b s c r i b e to this belief, for in c o m m o n w i t h m o s t of t h o s e w h o have w o r k e d a l o n g these lines, we hold t h e belief t h a t t h e only ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' is t h e O n e W h o is above all N a t u r e b e c a u s e H e is its F o u n t a n d O r i g i n . W e also believe t h a t it is t h e Will a n d P u r p o s e of this O n e w h i c h is t h e t r u e l a w of t h e Universe. Super-Normal Manifestation So all m a n i f e s t a t i o n , o n w h a t e v e r p l a n e of existence, c o m e s u n d e r t h e n a t u r a l laws, a n d s h o u l d not b e t e r m e d ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' . It is u s u a l , therefore, to refer to t h e psychic faculties as ' s u p e r - n o r m a l ' . It follows, t h e n , t h a t they c o m e i n t o t h e r e a l m of scientific observation and method. Equally, much of t h e testing and investigating w h i c h is c a r r i e d out is a n y t h i n g b u t scientific, a n d its e x t r e m e s at b o t h e n d s of t h e m e n t a l scale s h o w a similar p i g h e a d e d n e s s a n d a n unwillingness to follow t h e d i c t u m of t h e great V i c t o r i a n scientist, H u x l e y , w h o said t h a t t h e t r u e scientist m u s t be p r e p a r e d to 'sit d o w n before N a t u r e as a little child, a n d follow w h e r e she leads'. I n w h a t we h a v e w r i t t e n h e r e in

connection with the training of the p s y c h o m e t r i c faculty we h a v e tried to avoid t h e t w o e x t r e m e s of intellectual aridity o n t h e one h a n d and sentimental stupidity on the other. E x a m p l e of an Inadequate R e a d i n g Y o u will r e m e m b e r t h a t we gave a brief outline of a ' p s y c h o m e t r y m e e t i n g ' , a n d we said t h a t t h e ' r e a d i n g ' given b y t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t w a s o n e of t h e b e t t e r t y p e . W e n o w w a n t to p o r t r a y a psychometric ' r e a d i n g ' of t h e p o o r e r variety. Y o u will notice t h a t t h e s t a t e m e n t s m a d e a r e q u i t e evidential, a n d a r e recognized b y t h e o w n e r of t h e article. It is not i n t h e information given, b u t in its p r e s e n t a t i o n t h a t t h e w e a k n e s s lies. O u r p s y c h o m e t r i s t t a k e s t h e article a n d s a y s : ' I see a lot of w a t e r - t h e r e ' s a m a n h e r e - I t h i n k it is t h e sea - t h e m a n h a s a q u e e r uniform - I see q u i t e a lot of trees, greyishg r e e n leaves - I have a feeling of C h u r c h influence - incense - t h e trees a r e g r o w i n g on low hills b e h i n d a t o w n - a r e you in s o m e d o u b t as t o t h e best t h i n g t o d o ? - t h e r e a r e I t a l i a n influences c o n n e c t e d w i t h this article - t h e m a n is looking at s o m e t h i n g - have you b e e n i n t e n d i n g to go t o I t a l y ? - I get t h e idea of g u n s going off - w e r e y o u in t h e W a r ? - t h e m a n is w e a r i n g a sword, h e seems t o b e in c o m m a n d of s o m e t h i n g - d o n ' t w o r r y , t h e w a y will b e m a d e p l a i n for you in a few d a y s ' .

Selective Action Y o u will observe t h a t this ' r e a d i n g ' c o n t a i n s m o s t of t h e evidential facts given by t h e first p s y c h o m e t r i s t , b u t i n s t e a d of b e i n g a c o h e r e n t series of s t a t e m e n t s , it is a m a s s of j u m b l e d f r a g m e n t s . H o w does this arise? T h e r e a r e t w o m a i n factors a n d o n e s u b s i d i a r y o n e . First of all, it is a peculiarity of t h e psychic faculties t h a t t h e i n f o r m a t i o n received t h r o u g h t h e m comes i n t o t h e m i n d as a solid block of k n o w l e d g e , a n d this is t h e n sorted out b y t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s m i n d a n d projected into t h e w a k i n g consciousness in s o m e kind of s e q u e n c e . I n c i d e n t a l l y , this s a m e k i n d of t h i n g h a p p e n s w i t h o r d i n a r y p h y s i c a l vision. T h e eyes p r e s e n t t h e total p i c t u r e t h e y a r e receiving t o t h e visual c e n t r e in t h e b r a i n a n d this results in i n f o r m a t i o n b e i n g p a s s e d t h r o u g h t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s into t h e w a k i n g consciousness. N o r m a l l y , t h e r e is a selective action which goes on in the s u b c o n s c i o u s n e s s , a n d it is this s u b c o n s c i o u s selective action w h i c h b r e a k s u p t h e block of visual i m p r e s s i o n s received a n d p r e s e n t s its p a r t s in a p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n to t h e w a k i n g self. T h e s u b c o n s c i o u s selective action is triggered off b y several t h i n g s . W e m a y have b e e n r e a d i n g a b o u t a river in flood, a n d t h e d a m a g e it h a s c a u s e d , a n d t h e n , in t h e course of t h e d a y w e a r e in c o u n t r y c o n d i t i o n s in w h i c h , a m o n g s t m a n y o t h e r t h i n g s , a river is seen. Almost i n v a r i a b l y t h e first t h i n g w e

shall notice a b o u t t h e c o u n t r y s i d e w e a r e looking at will b e t h e river, b e c a u s e o u r s u b c o n s c i o u s n e s s h a s b e e n keyed to it b y o u r r e a d i n g earlier in t h e d a y . Psychological Bias O r w e m a y have a great a n t i p a t h y t o c e r t a i n a n i m a l s , cows, for e x a m p l e , a n d w i t h o u t consciously b e i n g a w a r e of it, o u r first o b s e r v a t i o n is t h a t t h e r e a r e cows a r o u n d ! H e r e we c o m e to t h e s e c o n d factor in this m a t t e r of p e r c e p t i o n . A psychological bias has automatically built up in our subconsciousness, and all incoming i m p r e s s i o n s from a n y of t h e senses a r e affected b y it o n their w a y t h r o u g h to t h e conscious levels of t h e m i n d . If we k n o w w h a t bias w e have in a n y direction, we a r e a b l e to consciously c o m p e n s a t e for it, b u t if we a r e u n a w a r e of even h a v i n g s u c h a m e n t a l twist, t h e n it is liable to affect o u r j u d g e m e n t of w h a t we receive t h r o u g h o u r senses. P a r t i c u l a r l y is this t h e case w h e n w e have to assess a n d r e c o r d w h a t w e s a w or h e a r d . T h i s is well k n o w n in police a n d legal circles. T w o witnesses of t h e s a m e a c c i d e n t , s t a n d i n g at t h e t i m e in a l m o s t t h e s a m e place, will give t w o h o n e s t , s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d a c c o u n t s of w h a t h a p p e n e d , a n d these t w o r e p o r t s will virtually c o n t r a d i c t e a c h o t h e r ! T h i s imperfect selection of i m p r e s s i o n s is obvious in s o m e of t h e ' d e s c r i p t i o n s ' given by clairvoyants a n d p s y c h o m e t r i s t s , a n d is, in a

large m e a s u r e , d u e to lack of good m e n t a l t r a i n i n g . It is fairly obvious t h a t everything w h i c h c o m e s into t h e m i n d is recorded in consciousness, a n d this m e n t a l r e c o r d is t h e basis of w h a t w e call ' m e m o r y ' . So t h e r e c o r d w h i c h is t h e result of incoming psychic perceptions operates under t h e s a m e m e n t a l laws as t h e m e n t a l r e c o r d w h i c h is m a d e b y i n c o m i n g physical sense perceptions. T h e A b i l i t y to O b s e r v e I n t h e case of t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t t h e i n c o m i n g block of psychic i m p r e s s i o n s m u s t be r e c o r d e d a n d sent o u t a g a i n very quickly, in s o m e w h a t t h e s a m e w a y as t h e visual i m p r e s s i o n s received by a television s p o r t s c o m m e n t a t o r m u s t be p u t out again i m m e d i a t e l y as a r u n n i n g c o m m e n t a r y o n t h e g a m e he is w a t c h i n g . T h i s m e a n s t h a t t h e selective p o w e r of t h e m i n d m u s t r a p i d l y select incidents in t h e g a m e in their correct s e q u e n c e , a n d for t h e process to be c a r r i e d out successfully, t h e first ability n e e d e d is t h e ability t o observe. O b s e r v i n g in s e q u e n c e is not q u i t e so c o m m o n as s o m e p e o p l e m i g h t i m a g i n e . M o s t of us, b e c a u s e of psychological b l i n d spots, t e n d t o observe s o m e t h i n g s a n d fail to observe o t h e r s , or else we confuse t h e s e q u e n c e in w h i c h t h i n g s took place. T r a i n e d o b s e r v a t i o n is a n essential for a n y o n e using t h e psychic senses, a n d it is t h e lack of this w h i c h we referred t o as a

s u b s i d i a r y c a u s e of t r o u b l e in p s y c h o m e t r i c d e v e l o p m e n t . T h e fine psychic i m p u l s e s w h i c h a r e received b y t h e psychic m u s t b e realized, r e c o r d e d a n d t r a n s l a t e d i n t o vocal or w r i t t e n w o r d s , (some p s y c h o m e t r i s t s d o w h a t is called ' p o s t a l p s y c h o m e t r y ' ) . If this is not done almost immediately, these i m p r e s s i o n s will m e r g e into t h e g e n e r a l m e n t a l field, a n d b e c o m e m i x e d w i t h a n d d i s t o r t e d b y t h e existing t h o u g h t i m a g e s therein. A n essential p a r t of t r a i n i n g , therefore, is t h e cultivation of this p o w e r of o b s e r v a t i o n , a n d a s we have said, this p o w e r is not q u i t e so c o m m o n , for, t h o u g h all i m p r e s s i o n s a r e r e c o r d e d in t h e m i n d , t h e y rarely ever e m e r g e into t h e w a k i n g consciousness, b u t r e m a i n below t h e m e n t a l t h r e s h o l d , in t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s n e s s . It is necessary, therefore, to t r a i n t h e m i n d to so o p e r a t e t h a t m a n y m o r e of these i n c o m i n g i m p r e s s i o n s a r e r e c o r d e d in t h e w a k i n g consciousness. T h e r e a r e various exercises w h i c h have b e e n devised to effect t h i s t r a i n i n g , b u t m a n y of t h e m suffer from b e i n g far too c o m p l e x , in fact, t h a t t h e y defeat their p w n e n d . I n all t h e s e m a t t e r s t h e s i m p l e r a n exercise c a n b e m a d e to be, t h e b e t t e r its c h a n c e of success. Attention and Concentration Let us consider for a m o m e n t what ' o b s e r v a t i o n ' really is. It is t h e p o w e r t o p a y concentrated and consciously directed a t t e n t i o n to t h e i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h a r e

a r o u s e d in o u r m i n d s t h r o u g h t h e actions of o u r senses, as those senses react to all t h e various things a n d h a p p e n i n g s w h i c h form t h e b a c k g r o u n d of o u r lives. This directed a n d concentrated attention m e a n s t h a t it is necessary to develop t h e ability to keep t h e a t t e n t i o n fixed o n a n y p a r t of t h a t b a c k g r o u n d at will. T h i s , of c o u r s e , is w h a t is really m e a n t b y ' c o n c e n t r a t i o n ' . So attention and concentration are both v a l u a b l e t r a i n i n g tools in p s y c h o m e t r i c d e v e l o p m e n t . I n d e e d , a t t e n t i o n is also t h e key to m u c h successful physical life also, a n d it s h o u l d be noticed t h a t t h e p r o p e r l y t r a i n e d psychic, whether clairvoyant or p s y c h o m e t r i c , is not by a n y m e a n s t h e d r e a m y , i m p r a c t i c a b l e p e r s o n h e is usually t h o u g h t to b e . O f course, t h e r e a r e s o m e psychics w h o are dreamy and impracticable, and there are several r e a s o n s for t h e i r b e i n g so. I n t h e s a m e way, there are m a n y clergymen who to a g r e a t e r or lesser e x t e n t p r e s e n t a n i m a g e w h i c h closely r e s e m b l e s t h a t w h i c h h a s b e e n built u p of t h e m o n t h e variety stage. But j u s t as we w o u l d not j u d g e t h e great number of h a r d w o r k i n g and efficient C h r i s t i a n priests a n d m i n i s t e r s by t h e vagaries of t h e few, so we s h o u l d not j u d g e t h e great n u m b e r of psychics b y t h e comparatively small number of i m p r a c t i c a b l e 'freaks' to b e found in t h e p s y c h i c field. I n t h e cases of m a n y of t h e freaks, this lack of m e n t a l t r a i n i n g is o n e

r e a s o n for their failure to help or i m p r e s s t h e average m a n . False Spirituality It m u s t also b e said t h a t t h e r e is a n o t h e r a n d very s t r o n g influence at w o r k w h i c h t e n d s t o e n c o u r a g e s u c h people. T h i s is t h e e m o t i o n a l a n d entirely uncritical a p p r o a c h t o t h e s e m a t t e r s b y so m a n y p e o p l e . T h i s usually stems from a c u r i o u s s u p e r s t i t i o n t h a t t h e s e faculties a r e ' s u p e r n a t u r a l , a n d therefore t h e i r o w n e r s have a licence to be freakish. Also t h e r e is a c o n t i n u i n g t r a d i t i o n t h a t t h e s e s a m e faculties a r e ' s p i r i t u a l ' gifts a n d m a n y e q u a t e t h e idea of s p i r i t u a l i t y w i t h v a g u e s e n t i m e n t , e m o t i o n a n d g e n e r a l ' o u t of this world' behaviour. B e c a u s e of this a u r a of false spirituality, their followers (for t h e y usually get a 'following') will also e q u a t e t h e possession of psychic ability w i t h spirituality. T h i s leads to a form of h e r o - w o r s h i p in w h i c h t h e u n f o r t u n a t e psychic is willy-nilly p l a c e d u p o n a p e d e s t a l , a n d in t h e eyes of his followers c a n d o no w r o n g . W h e n finally h e does d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t a l t h o u g h psychic he is not spiritually developed, m o s t of his followers will i m m e d i a t e l y kick a w a y t h e p e d e s t a l a n d a b a n d o n h i m for a n o t h e r h e r o figure. A m i n o r i t y of his followers will s p e n d t h e rest of their lives in a t t e m p t i n g t o justify h i m at t h e b a r of t h e i r o w n e m o t i o n a l l y biased judgement.
5

Incoming Psychic Impressions It is for this r e a s o n t h a t t h e g e n u i n e psychic needs a t r a i n i n g w h i c h will e n a b l e h i m t o b e t h e m a s t e r in his o w n m e n t a l s p h e r e , a n d not d e p e n d e n t u p o n o t h e r s . T h i s is w h a t t h e t r a i n i n g in o b s e r v a t i o n , a t t e n t i o n and c o n c e n t r a t i o n gives to t h o s e w h o a t t e m p t it. It p r o d u c e s a m i n d w h i c h c a n register a n d sort out t h e i n c o m i n g p s y c h i c i m p r e s s i o n s , w h i c h , as we h a v e a l r e a d y p o i n t e d out, a r e very faint as c o m p a r e d w i t h t h e i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h a r e received t h r o u g h t h e physical senses. Curiously enough, when once the p s y c h o m e t r i c faculty h a s b e e n developed a n d t r a i n e d , it is possible for t h e s e i n c o m i n g i m p r e s s i o n s t o . e q u a l a n d in s o m e cases exceed t h e vividness of p u r e l y physical sensory p e r c e p t i o n s . 'Conditioned Reflex' T h e followers of c e r t a i n ' o c c u l t ' systems t e a c h t h a t t h e a v e r a g e p e r s o n goes t h r o u g h life in a waking dream, responding a u t o m a t i c a l l y to c o n d i t i o n s a r o u n d h i m , a n d in general justifying t h e c o n t e n t i o n of t h e 'Behavourist' psychologists and the c o m m u n i s t i c Dialectical M a t e r i a l i s t s t h a t a h u m a n b e i n g is b u t a n e l a b o r a t e piece of m e c h a n i s m , w o r k i n g b y w h a t is t e r m e d ' c o n d i t i o n e d reflex'. T h e famous e x p e r i m e n t o f ' P a v l o v ' s d o g s ' is r e g a r d e d as proof of this m e c h a n i s t i c view

of life, a n d these occult schools, t h o u g h entirely disagreeing with the basic m a t e r i a l i s t i c view, nevertheless say t h a t t h e bulk of t h e t h i n k i n g a n d action of t h e a v e r a g e m a n is t h e result of this ' c o n d i t i o n e d reflex . H o w e v e r , they definitely t e a c h t h a t it is possible for m a n t o a w a k e n from this d r e a m a n d b e g i n to act as a conscious b e i n g . T h e further i m p l i c a t i o n s of this t e a c h i n g w o u l d lead us too far from o u r c h o s e n course, b u t we have m e n t i o n e d it b e c a u s e it is a n u n d o u b t e d fact t h a t to s o m e extent or other, this d r e a m l i k e q u a l i t y of consciousness does s h o w itself in o u r w a k i n g life a n d work.
5

U r b a n Life Blunts Perception T h e c o n d i t i o n s of m o d e r n life in u r b a n s u r r o u n d i n g s t e n d to c a u s e us t o react automatically to c o n d i t i o n s a r o u n d us, w h e r e a s if we were living in wild natural s u r r o u n d i n g s , w h e r e i n a t t e n t i o n to t h e details of life w o u l d p r o b a b l y m e a n o u r d e a t h , we s h o u l d find ourselves consciously observing e v e r y t h i n g n e a r us in a w a y w h i c h we s h o u l d never t h i n k of d o i n g in u r b a n life. Every sense i m p r e s s i o n w h i c h c a m e into o u r m i n d w o u l d be consciously e v a l u a t e d a n d as a result, t h e keenness of o u r p h y s i c a l sense would be greatly increased. Even in m o d e r n u r b a n life, it w o u l d greatly r e d u c e t h e m o r t a l i t y r a t e d u e to ' a c c i d e n t s if we l e a r n t to p a y a t t e n t i o n to o u r s u r r o u n d i n g s , i n s t e a d of w a l k i n g or driving
5

a l m o s t entirely a u t o m a t i c a l l y , d e p e n d i n g m e r e l y u p o n t h e good sense of o t h e r s , or t h e speed of o u r reflexes. N o w this does not m e a n t h a t w e should a l w a y s be w a t c h i n g o u r e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h t h e s a m e intensity as t h e w h i t e ' s c o u t ' used t o h a v e to e m p l o y in t h e d a y s of t h e A m e r i c a n W i l d W e s t , b u t it does m e a n t h a t s o m e p a r t of t h a t q u a l i t y of intensity m u s t b e b r o u g h t into o r d i n a r y life. T h i s , in itself, w o u l d not b e a b a d t h i n g . Kim's Game I n s o m e of m y earlier w r i t i n g s , I m e n t i o n e d a c e r t a i n exercise in a t t e n t i o n w h i c h is c o m m o n l y k n o w n as ' K i m ' s G a m e ' , a n d w h i c h w a s taken- from t h e book e n t i t l e d Kim by R u d y a r d K i p l i n g . J u d g i n g b y c o m m e n t s from m y r e a d e r s , this exercise w a s found by m a n y t o be too difficult. M u c h of this difficulty w a s , I think, psychological, for w h e n o n e first starts this exercise, it is u s u a l l y found to b e s o m e w h a t d i s h e a r t e n i n g . T h e r e a s o n for this is t h a t it d e m o n s t r a t e s very forcibly h o w poorly we a r e e q u i p p e d w i t h t h e m e n t a l p o w e r of a t t e n t i o n . However, by steady application this p a r t i c u l a r exercise c a n develop t h e p o w e r in a r e a s o n a b l y short t i m e . F o r t h o s e w h o m a y not have h e a r d of K i m ' s g a m e , it is p l a y e d by h a v i n g a n u m b e r of small objects, s u c h as rings, c o l o u r e d or c a r v e d b u t t o n s , small n u t s , screws a n d o t h e r small e n g i n e e r i n g objects all p l a c e d u p o n a

t r a y . F o r a b o u t t w o or t h r e e m i n u t e s one directs o n e ' s a t t e n t i o n u p o n these t h i n g s a n d t h e n t h e t r a y is covered w i t h a cloth. O n e now writes d o w n t h e n a m e s of t h e objects w h i c h o n e r e m e m b e r s seeing o n t h e t r a y . It is as well if o n e gets a n a c q u a i n t a n c e t o collect t o g e t h e r t h e various objects, b u t this is not really essential. H a v i n g w r i t t e n d o w n as m a n y of t h e n a m e s of t h e objects as possible, t h e covering over t h e t r a y is r e m o v e d , a n d a check m a d e b e t w e e n t h e total n u m b e r r e m e m b e r e d a n d the actual n u m b e r on the tray. As a r o u g h guide, if, o u t of t w e n t y articles on t h e t r a y o n e c a n r e m e m b e r eight or n i n e , t h e n t h e score is q u i t e good. M o s t l y a b o u t five o r six a r e t h e best t h a t c a n be e x p e c t e d . W i t h p r a c t i c e t h e p o w e r of recollection improves until a score of seventeen or eighteen o u t of t w e n t y is possible. W h e n a r e a s o n a b l e score h a s b e e n o b t a i n e d , t h e exercise m a y be varied b y a t t e m p t i n g t o recollect details of e a c h object: its s h a p e , t h e n a t u r e of a n y carving o n it, its colour a n d a n y flaws w h i c h m a y have b e e n noticed. T h o s e w h o find t h a t t h e e l e m e n t of c o m p e t i t i o n helps t h e m m a y try this exercise as a g a m e , w i t h o n e or t w o friends. M o s t l y , however, w e a r e usually so a s h a m e d of o u r initial failures t h a t we prefer t o p l a y this g a m e solo!
t

Think Shoelace H e r e is a n o t h e r exercise, a g a i n , a simple o n e ,

b u t very effective n o n e t h e less. I call it ' T h i n k S h o e l a c e ' since it w a s so d e s c r i b e d t o m e b y m y first t e a c h e r in these m a t t e r s . Briefly it amounts to this, that the attention is fixed upon whatever one may be doing at the moment. T h u s , we a r e t y i n g o u r shoelace. T h e n w e s i m p l y p u t t h e w h o l e of o u r a t t e n t i o n o n d o i n g j u s t t h a t . W e a r e not a u t o m a t i c a l l y t y i n g t h e shoelace a n d at t h e s a m e t i m e listening, ' w i t h half a n e a r ' as w e say, to t h e news o n t h e r a d i o , or t h e wife's voice as she gives us a list of w h a t we m u s t b r i n g h o m e w h e n we r e t u r n . N o r a r e we subjectively w o n d e r i n g w h a t w e o u g h t to d o at t h e office, or t h e works, in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h s o m e difficulties w h i c h m a y arise. N o , we simply c o n c e n t r a t e o n tying t h a t shoelace. It s o u n d s so s i m p l e t h a t t h e i d e a of m e n t a l t r a i n i n g r e s u l t i n g from it a p p e a r s farcical, a n d we a r e liable t o fall into t h e e r r o r of t h e g e n t l e m a n in t h e Bible story w h o , o n b e i n g told to w a s h in t h e w a t e r s of t h e J o r d a n to c u r e his leprosy, i n d i g n a n t l y d e c l a r e d t h a t t h e n o t e d p r o p h e t w h o h a d given t h e advice s h o u l d have d o n e s o m e t h i n g s p e c t a c u l a r : ' S t r e t c h e d out his h a n d u p o n m e ' as h e p u t it, a n d so m a d e a n i n s t a n t a n e o u s c u r e . I n a n y case, t h e y h a d s o m e wonderful rivers, A b a n a a n d P h a r p a r , in his l a n d . R e a l rivers, not like this little m u d d y a n d t u r b u l e n t J o r d a n ! H o w e v e r , as t h e story goes, t h e despised river c u r e d t h e disease. T h i s c u r i o u s desire for t h e b i z a r r e a n d s p e c t a c u l a r is o n e w h i c h h a s persisted

t h r o u g h t h e ages, a n d w e still find it in evidence t o d a y . It is this t a s t e w h i c h causes m a n y p e o p l e to fall victims t o t h e psychic a n d occult ' q u a c k s ' w h o are to be found in or around some of the societies and o r g a n i z a t i o n s devoted to t h e s t u d y of these matters. T h e simplicity of this exercise is only a p p a r e n t . W h e n you have p r a c t i s e d it a few times, you will h a v e b e c o m e a w a r e of t h e tricks w h i c h y o u r m i n d c a n play o n you, given a n o p p o r t u n i t y . T h e b e a u t y of this s i m p l e exercise is t h a t it c a n be p r a c t i s e d at a n y t i m e , w i t h o u t a n y involved p r e p a r a t i o n , a n d t h e least of its effects is an increased power of c o n c e n t r a t i o n , w h i c h a l o n e c a n yield q u i t e a r e a s o n a b l e dividend in daily life. T h e F a c u l t y of R e c o l l e c t i o n A further d e v e l o p m e n t is to e x t e n d this direct a n d conscious a t t e n t i o n to w h a t e v e r is h a p p e n i n g a r o u n d us as we c a t c h t h e b u s or t r a i n o n o u r w a y to t h e factory or t h e office. H o w m a n y of m y r e a d e r s , as t h e y r e a d t h e s e w o r d s , c o u l d r e m e m b e r t h e details of t h e h o u s e at t h e corner, as t h e y t u r n from t h e i r o w n r o a d into t h e m a i n r o a d ? Its g e n e r a l appearance, how many windows, its d e c o r a t i o n s or its front g a r d e n (or lack of same)? A g a i n , t h e people in t h e b u s or t r a i n , t h e i r a p p e a r a n c e , their m a n n e r i s m s , a n d so on. H o w m a n y of us give t h e m a n y b u t t h e

slightest a t t e n t i o n ? H e r e a r e t h e m a t e r i a l s for a r e w a r d i n g m e n t a l exercise, a n d a g a i n , it is o n e w h i c h c a n b e p r a c t i s e d at a n y t i m e . O f course, s u c h a t t e n t i o n to o t h e r p e o p l e does not m e a n t h a t o n e n e e d s to stare in a p o p - e y e d m a n n e r at t h e m , w h i c h w o u l d b e discourteous and might probably be p r o d u c t i v e of t r o u b l e , if t h e y objected to b e i n g s t a r e d at. It is not necessary to stare fixedly for m i n u t e s at a t i m e in o r d e r to r e t a i n a good visual p i c t u r e of a p e r s o n or object. T h i s is a n i m p o r t a n t point to r e m e m b e r . As a m a t t e r of fact, a quick glance, w i t h c o n c e n t r a t e d a t t e n t i o n , is sufficient. I n proof of this, let m e give a n a c c o u n t of visual recollection given m e by a friend w h o is a h y p n o t i s t . H e s h o w e d to s o m e o n e a p a g e of a book o n psychology, h a v i n g previously found o u t t h a t t h e subject of psychology w a s o n e of w h i c h t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d k n e w nothing. H e t h e n h y p n o t i z e d her, a n d w h e n she w a s in t h e deep h y p n o t i c state h e suggested to her t h a t she w a s a p o p u l a r l e c t u r e r a n d w a s s t a n d i n g o n a p l a t f o r m r e a d y to give a talk o n t h e p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t of psychology w h i c h w a s t o u c h e d u p o n in t h e p a g e at w h i c h she h a d g l a n c e d for one m i n u t e only. She i m m e d i a t e l y a c c e p t e d t h e suggestion a n d gave q u i t e a good l e c t u r e t t e u p o n w h a t she h a d r e a d in t h a t brief glance at t h e p a g e of t h e book o n psychology. W h e r e t h e p a g e did not m e n t i o n a n y t h i n g , t h e n o n t h a t

aspect she ' t a l k e d a r o u n d ' it, b u t w h e r e definite s t a t e m e n t s h a d b e e n m a d e , she e l a b o r a t e d o n t h e m a n d q u o t e d w o r d for w o r d from t h e p a g e itself. T h i s w a s after only o n e m i n u t e ' s g l a n c e at a p a g e of small p r i n t . W e have ourselves c o n d u c t e d similar e x p e r i m e n t s , w i t h t h e s a m e g e n e r a l results. I n c i d e n t a l l y , it is this e x t r e m e l y powerful faculty of recollection possessed b y t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s m i n d w h i c h so often falsifies w h a t a p p e a r at first sight t o be evidences of E x t r a - S e n s o r y - P e r c e p t i o n . So it is not a q u e s t i o n of t h e a m o u n t of t i m e spent in observing a n y t h i n g or a n y p e r s o n , b u t t h e intensity of a t t e n t i o n w h i c h is required. P r e s e n t a t i o n of t h e E v i d e n c e H e r e we c o m e to a very i m p o r t a n t point in this t r a i n i n g . Y o u will r e m e m b e r t h a t w h e n we d e s c r i b e d t h e ' r e a d i n g ' given b y a psychic we gave t w o versions of it, o n e b y a p s y c h o m e t r i s t of t h e b e t t e r kind, a n d t h e o t h e r by one w h o s e w o r k w a s greatly inferior. W e said t h a t it w a s in t h e presentation of t h e evidence t h a t t h e difference b e t w e e n t h e t w o psychics w a s m o s t a p p a r e n t , a n d this links u p w i t h w h a t we have j u s t b e e n saying a b o u t concentrated attention. T h e r e is a ' t e c h n i q u e of d e s c r i p t i o n ' , a n d this t e c h n i q u e is not, as a general rule, l e a r n t i m m e d i a t e l y . It involves a disciplined u s e of t h e a t t e n t i o n , b u t o n c e gained, it m a k e s all t h e difference b e t w e e n success a n d failure. I n

o u r opinion, success in this descriptive t e c h n i q u e is essential if you wish t o c a r r y out a n y work in this field. A s i m i l a r t e c h n i q u e is used by detectives, a n d also in t h e r e g u l a t i o n work of t h e police. H a v e you ever c o n s i d e r e d how you recognize a friend or a c q u a i n t a n c e ? P r o b a b l y not, for m o s t of us e x p e r i e n c e recognition in a s u b c o n s c i o u s m a n n e r , a n d c a n s e l d o m say h o w we d o it. It is necessary for us to e x a m i n e this q u e s t i o n fairly carefully. T h e r e a r e , of course, c e r t a i n t h i n g s , c e r t a i n salient p o i n t s in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h p e o p l e , a n d in s o m e cases s u c h p o i n t s a r e so strongly e m p h a s i z e d t h a t r e c o g n i t i o n is often b a s e d entirely u p o n t h e m . T h u s , t h e n a s a l o r g a n of C y r a n o d e B e r g e r a c w o u l d identify h i m i m m e d i a t e l y , as w o u l d t h e crooked b a c k of R i c h a r d III (if t h e S h a k e s p e a r e a n i m a g e is c o r r e c t ) . H o w e v e r , a n y or all of these most a p p a r e n t p o i n t s of recognition m a y be d u p l i c a t e d , a n d t h e y a r e not so g o o d for recognition p u r p o s e s as s o m e o t h e r a s p e c t s of t h e individual. T h e F i n e r P o i n t s of I d e n t i f i c a t i o n O n e of these o t h e r p o i n t s , a n d a very useful one, is t h e m a n n e r in w h i c h a p e r s o n s t a n d s a n d moves. E a c h o n e of us h a s his o w n p a r t i c u l a r w a y of s t a n d i n g a n d moving a r o u n d , a n d this c o m e s to be associated w i t h us in t h e m i n d s of those w h o m we m e e t . I n fact, t h e r e is w h a t m a y be d e s c r i b e d as a w h o l e g r o u p of s u c h finer p o i n t s , t h e n a t u r e

of w h i c h definitely identifies us as a c e r t a i n person. M o v e m e n t s of t h e h a n d s , t h e fingers a n d t h e feet, g r i m a c e s w h i c h b e c o m e h a b i t u a l to us, s u d d e n t u r n s of t h e h e a d a n d c h a n g i n g tensions in t h e m u s c l e s of t h e face, especially a r o u n d t h e eyes, all these, a n d m a n y m o r e , serve to identify us, a n d it is t h e identification afforded b y these finer p o i n t s w h i c h is very often t h e best evidence w h i c h c a n b e given b y the psychometrist. D e s c r i p t i o n of Face a n d F o r m After this, in o r d e r of i m p o r t a n c e c o m e s t h e a c t u a l d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e face a n d form, t h e clothes a n d a n y p o i n t s c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e m . H e r e a g a i n , t h e t e c h n i q u e is a very definite one, a n d t h e g e n e r a l r u l e is t h a t t h e r e s h o u l d b e c o h e r e n c e in t h e d e s c r i p t i o n given. F o r instance, t h e b u d d i n g p s y c h o m e t r i s t s h o u l d n o t begin a d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e face he is perceiving psychically by s t a t i n g t h a t t h e m a n h a s b l u e eyes a n d a small w a r t o n his neck. H e s h o u l d s t a r t first of all by d e s c r i b i n g a n y outstanding feature o n t h e face, s u c h as t h e large nose of w h i c h we have spoken, or t h e a b s e n c e of p a r t of o n e ear, or t h e a b s e n c e of one eye. T h e n he s h o u l d p r o c e e d to d e s c r i b e t h e face, s t a r t i n g w i t h t h e colour a n d t e x t u r e of t h e hair, w h e t h e r it is s m o o t h l y dressed or sticks u p in a n u n r u l y fashion. T h e n t h e forehead, w h e t h e r it is b r o a d a n d high or low a n d n a r r o w , lined w i t h wrinkles or s m o o t h .

T h e e y e b r o w s thick or t h i n , b u s h y or s m o o t h ; t h e eyes, their colour, their setting in t h e face, close t o g e t h e r or far a p a r t , lines a n d sagging muscles a r o u n d t h e m , deeply set or s o m e w h a t p r o t r u d i n g ; t h e nose, a q u i l i n e , s t r a i g h t or retrousse, b r o a d or t h i n a r o u n d t h e nostrils; t h e ears, l a r g e or small, h o w set o n t h e h e a d ; t h e cheeks, full a n d r o u n d or s u n k e n , florid or p a l e , general c o m p l e x i o n ; moustache a n d / o r beard, type, shape and g e n e r a l colour a n d a p p e a r a n c e ; m o u t h a n d lips, full lips or t h i n lips; j a w a n d chin, firm or o t h e r w i s e , g e n e r a l t y p e of face, r o u n d , s q u a r e or l a n t e r n - j a w e d ; neck, t h i n or thick, long or short. A u t o m a t i c S e q u e n c e of A t t e n t i o n All this w o u l d seem at first sight to be a very f o r m i d a b l e task, b u t as we always register these a n d o t h e r details every t i m e we look at a p e r s o n ( t h o u g h t h e b u l k of t h e detail remains below the threshold of consciousness) it is not t h e m e r e r e g i s t r a t i o n of t h e details w h i c h calls for s o m e t r a i n i n g on t h e p a r t of t h e b e g i n n e r . W h a t is i m p o r t a n t is t h e g r a d u a l b u i l d i n g u p of a n automatic sequence of attention, so t h a t all t h e details a r e stored in their correct pigeon-holes in t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s , from w h i c h t h e y c a n b e d r a w n in t h e s a m e s e q u e n c e . T h i s t e c h n i q u e also applies to t h e details of t h e b o d y , t h e a r m s a n d legs, t h e dress a n d all c o n n e c t e d w i t h it. O b v i o u s l y , t h e r e a r e

c e r t a i n general c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s w h i c h s h o u l d b e d e s c r i b e d at t h e very b e g i n n i n g of t h e description. T h e height, g e n e r a l t y p e of b o d y (fat or t h i n ) a n d a n y o u t s t a n d i n g details s u c h as a n artificial leg, a r e s o m e of these. T h e n we c o m e to t h e m o r e subtle p o i n t s of s t a n c e , etc., w h i c h we have a l r e a d y s p o k e n of, a n d it is h e r e t h a t often t h e m o s t convincing bits of evidence m a y be g a i n e d . T o s u m m a r i z e w h a t we have b e e n saying o n this q u e s t i o n of a c c u r a t e description, we would suggest the following general sequence: 1. E s t i m a t e d height a n d b u i l d of p e r s o n perceived, t o g e t h e r w i t h a n y o u t s t a n d i n g peculiarities, s u c h as a n artificial leg or deformity of a n y kind. 2. C l o t h i n g , style a n d colour. 3. Q u i c k detailed d e s c r i p t i o n of features, a n y peculiarities to b e n o t e d a n d d e s c r i b e d first. 4. A n y finer p o i n t s of identification, m a n n e r i s m s , a n d so on. Personal Talents W h a t we have j u s t given applies to t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s of people, b u t , of course, t h e s a m e principles a p p l y in t h e case of l a n d s c a p e s a n d s u c h g e n e r a l s u r r o u n d i n g s as m a y be given. N o w t h a t you have t h e p r i n c i p l e involved, you m a y a p p l y it in y o u r o w n w a y . I n d e e d , in all p s y c h i c work, t h e r e

is a n a r e a w h e r e t h e personal t a l e n t s c o m e into play, j u s t as t h e y d o in p a i n t i n g a n d s c u l p t u r e , for i n s t a n c e . Y o u will r e m e m b e r t h a t w e have said t h a t all psychic work is as m u c h a n a r t as a science. H e r e is w h e r e y o u r o w n individual t a l e n t m a y b e e m p l o y e d , a n d it is h e r e t h a t n e w discoveries m a y be m a d e . So d o n ' t b e afraid to e x p e r i m e n t in this field. T h e outline given is a g e n e r a l one, a n d as long a s you h a v e t h e p r i n c i p l e of sequential description fixed in y o u r m i n d , you m a y vary t h e a p p l i c a t i o n in a c c o r d a n c e with y o u r o w n particular 'slant'. R e m e m b e r t h a t even w i t h s u c h s e q u e n t i a l description, it is possible for you to get into a rigid groove, a n d this m a y prevent further p r o g r e s s in y o u r work. It w a s Oliver W e n d e l l H o l m e s , in o n e of his b o o k s , w h o said; ' t h e difference b e t w e e n a g r a v e a n d a groove is only o n e of d e p t h ' . So preserve flexibility of m i n d . U s e t h e t e c h n i q u e s b o t h psychological a n d psychic w h i c h you have b e e n given here until y o u are perfectly familiar w i t h t h e m , a n d c a n rely u p o n t h e m . T h e n , as y o u r k n o w l e d g e a n d e x p e r i e n c e grow, you c a n a d a p t t h e m to y o u r o w n individual m e t h o d of w o r k i n g . Remember always that your s u b c o n s c i o u s n e s s h a s its o w n p o i n t of view, w h i c h does not always agree w i t h t h a t of t h e w a k i n g self> a n d unless you give this h i d d e n aspect of yourself a c h a n c e t o express itself it

m a y b e g i n t o w o r k against y o u r efforts. W e shall r e t u r n to this later on. C o n t r o l of E m o t i o n a l R e a c t i o n s H e r e we c o m e to a n o t h e r very i m p o r t a n t factor, n a m e l y , t h e place of e m o t i o n in o u r p s y c h o m e t r i c work. V e r y often, as we a t t e m p t t o p s y c h o m e t r i z e a n article, w e find t h e e m o t i o n a l a t m o s p h e r e w h i c h we a r e sensing is b e g i n n i n g to flood o u r m i n d , a n d we feel very acutely t h e s o r r o w or p a i n or a n g e r c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e object. N o w this e m p a t h y , or 'feeling-with , is of t h e very essence of p s y c h o m e t r i c work, b u t if w e allow it to d o m i n a t e o u r consciousness, t h e n we lose control of o u r e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n s a n d so o b l i t e r a t e t h e fine p s y c h i c i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h are c o m i n g in. A perfect a n a l o g y is to b e found in t h e well-known radio phenomenon of 'oscillation . A r a d i o set m a y , u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s , not only receive t h e signals o n a p a r t i c u l a r wave-length, b u t m a y also rer a d i a t e t h e m in a d i s t o r t e d form as t h e p i e r c i n g whistle or howl w i t h w h i c h w e a r e all familiar. I n t h e early d a y s of r a d i o this p h e n o m e n o n w a s very c o m m o n , b u t t h e t u n i n g devices w h i c h have since b e e n developed have largely e l i m i n a t e d it, t h o u g h , u n d e r c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s it c a n still occur.
5 5

Controlling Emotional Reactions I n t h e s a m e w a y , it is possible to sense t h e

e m o t i o n a l r e c o r d of t h e object y o u a r e h a n d l i n g a n d be so affected by it as to lose all c o n t a c t w i t h t h e psychic i m p r e s s i o n s a n d simply flounder in a sea of e m o t i o n , w i t h o u t realizing t h a t t h e w h o l e t h i n g is o u t of focus, a n d w h a t m a y b e a mild e m o t i o n a l record has been enormously exaggerated by your own reactions. It is well, therefore, if you c a n t r a i n yourself to control y o u r e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n s , a n d o n e of t h e best exercises for this is a very old o n e indeed. It is a s i m p l e one, too, a n d consists in m a k i n g yourself listen t o s o m e highly e m o t i o n a l a t t a c k u p o n one of y o u r o w n pet subjects. If you a r e a C o n s e r v a t i v e in politics, t h e n listen to a violent c o m m u n i s t a t t a c k u p o n y o u r political c r e e d ; if you a r e a Socialist, t h e n listen to a d i e - h a r d Conservative a t t a c k i n g all the ideas w h i c h s e e m t o you to be so i m p o r t a n t . T h e s a m e t e c h n i q u e c a n be used on religious, artistic or sociological ideas. T h e i m p o r t a n t t h i n g is t h a t you m u s t not sit a n d listen in a s t a t e of s u p p r e s s e d w r a t h , b u t n e i t h e r m u s t you i m p o s e u p o n yourself a m e n t a l s t a t e of passive resistance. Y o u m u s t simply listen calmly and attentively to t h e s t a t e m e n t s m a d e , a s s e n t i n g or d i s a g r e e i n g with t h e m mentally, not emotionally. R e m e m b e r t h a t t h e ideas w h i c h seem so repulsive to you a r e tidings of j o y t o t h e one t o w h o m you a r e listening, a n d in t h e s a m e w a y t h e ideas w h i c h to you s e e m so self-

evidently t r u e a r e e q u a l l y repulsive to h i m . A few e x p e r i m e n t s a l o n g t h e s e lines will soon convince you of t h e p a r t e m o t i o n plays in w h a t we a r e usually p l e a s e d to t e r m 'rational thought'. Even in t h e r e a l m of m a t h e m a t i c s , w h i c h at one t i m e w a s t h o u g h t to be practically t h e only n o n - e m o t i o n a l subject, we c a n find t h e s a m e e m o t i o n a l bias at w o r k as t h e different p r o p o u n d e r s of n e w systems of g e o m e t r y a n d t h e r e v o l u t i o n a r y h y p o t h e s i s of Relativity get into p r i n t or fulminate a g a i n s t e a c h o t h e r at t h e m e e t i n g s of l e a r n e d societies. Is T r a i n i n g N e c e s s a r y ? Many p e o p l e develop t h e faculty of p s y c h o m e t r y w i t h o u t a n y such m e n t a l t r a i n i n g as t h a t w h i c h we have o u t l i n e d in this c h a p t e r , a n d some m a y ask w h e t h e r all this ' t r a i n i n g ' is necessary. T h e short a n s w e r is t h a t it is not a b s o l u t e l y necessary, b u t it c a n be of t r e m e n d o u s h e l p . In the same way, there are those who are b o r n w i t h a n i n n a t e sense of m u s i c a n d rhythm, and who can perform on a musical i n s t r u m e n t in q u i t e a c r e d i t a b l e fashion. O t h e r s a r e b o r n m u s i c a l prodigies, b u t t h e work of b o t h types is t r e m e n d o u s l y i n c r e a s e d if they l e a r n t h e t h e o r y a n d t e c h n i q u e of music. So t h e r e a r e m a n y w h o have g a i n e d t h e faculty of p s y c h o m e t r y w i t h o u t a n y t r a i n i n g , except p e r h a p s t h a t given in a ' d e v e l o p m e n t circle' a n d they c a n c a r r y o u t q u i t e good

work. H o w e v e r , it so often h a p p e n s t h a t t h e faculty h a s b e e n m i s d i r e c t e d a n d e m p l o y e d for p u r p o s e s w h i c h to m a n y of us w o u l d a p p e a r t o b e o u t s i d e t h e l e g i t i m a t e scope of psychometry. T h i s is p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e case w h e r e p s y c h o m e t r y is u s e d in a n a t t e m p t to c o n t a c t discarnate people. T h a t this attempt may s o m e t i m e s be successful, as m a n y years of e x p e r i e n c e in t h e s e fields gives us r e a s o n for believing, does not m e a n t h a t this is a l w a y s t h e case, a n d we d e p l o r e t h e use of t h e faculty in this w a y . W e a r e of t h e o p i n i o n t h a t t h e r e a r e o t h e r a n d b e t t e r ways of effecting s u c h c o n t a c t , a n d we w o u l d strongly suggest t h a t it is m o s t d e s i r a b l e t h a t this wonderful faculty be t a k e n out of t h e s e c t a r i a n religious a t m o s p h e r e in w h i c h it is usually to b e found, a n d t r e a t e d in a n objective fashion. E q u a l l y , a n d with even m o r e urgency, we w o u l d try t o rescue it from t h e b a s e uses m a d e of it by t h e professional fortune-telling e l e m e n t w h i c h infests t h e fringe of t h e p s y c h i c m o v e m e n t .

CHAPTER FOUR

FIRST STEPS

H u m a n n a t u r e b e i n g w h a t it is, we expect t h a t q u i t e a n u m b e r of o u r r e a d e r s will have t u r n e d to this c h a p t e r w i t h o u t r e a d i n g a n y t h i n g t h a t h a s gone before, w h i c h is a pity, b u t it is not u n c o m m o n . H o w e v e r , it gives us t h e c h a n c e to p o i n t out t h a t a l t h o u g h it is really b e t t e r to u n d e r t a k e t h e p r e l i m i n a r y t r a i n i n g , before a t t e m p t i n g to d o p r a c t i c a l work, m u c h of t h a t t r a i n i n g c a n be carried out together with the actual p s y c h o m e t r i c a l work. At t h e s a m e time, it does i m p o s e a n e x t r a s t r a i n u p o n t h e developing psychic, a n d we w o u l d suggest t h a t , h a v i n g b r o w s e d t h r o u g h this c h a p t e r , o u r w o u l d - b e p s y c h o m e t r i s t s go b a c k to t h e work o u t l i n e d in t h e previous c h a p t e r , a n d begin on that, making occasional experiments in the actual 'sensing' technique. Psychometrical Sensings S u c h a n a p p r o a c h will, as w e have said, yield dividends, for t h e m o r e t h e m i n d h a s b e e n b r o u g h t u n d e r s o m e k i n d of discipline, t h e m o r e reliable t h e p s y c h o m e t r i c a l sensings will be. It will b e n o t e d t h a t w e speak of sensing', a n d this is t h e best w a y of describing w h a t happens when one attempts to p s y c h o m e t r i z e a n article. S u c h sensing is a

general i m p r e s s i o n w h i c h is received, a n d for q u i t e a time, unless t h e e x p e r i m e n t e r has t h e visual or a u r a l forms of p e r c e p t i o n strongly developed, it will r e m a i n simply an impression. T h e n , as d e v e l o p m e n t p r o c e e d s , t h e visual a n d / o r a u d i b l e i m a g e s will b e g i n to s h o w themselves. Remember, all perception, w h e t h e r physical or s u p e r - p h y s i c a l , is, in fact a d e v e l o p m e n t of one basic set of i m p r e s s i o n s . O n t h e physical p l a n e , t h e sense o f ' t o u c h ' is t h e basic sense, a n d e a c h of t h e five senses is a different kind of ' t o u c h i n g ' T h u s , t h e r a y s of light t o u c h t h e sensitive r e t i n a of o u r eye, a n d c a u s e c e r t a i n c h e m i c a l and electrical c h a n g e s t h e r e a n d in t h e optic nerves. T h e s e c h a n g e s a r e t r a n s m i t t e d to t h e s i g h t - c e n t r e in t h e b r a i n , a n d a r e t h e r e , in some m y s t e r i o u s m a n n e r , t r a n s l a t e d into visual i m p r e s s i o n s . S o u n d waves striking t h e ear d r u m cause m o v e m e n t in t h e c o m p l i c a t e d ' h a m m e r - a n d s t i r r u p b o n e s ' of t h e m e c h a n i s m of t h e ear, a n d this m o v e m e n t affects t h e fluid in a special c a n a l w h i c h also c o n t a i n s m a n y nerve fibres. F r o m t h e s e fibres c h e m i c a l a n d electrical c h a n g e s a r e t r a n s m i t t e d to t h e c e n t r e in t h e b r a i n w h i c h governs h e a r i n g , a n d a r e t h e r e t r a n s l a t e d into a u d i b l e impressions. In j u s t t h e s a m e w a y t h e senses of taste, a n d smell o p e r a t e ; all five senses b e i n g b a s e d u p o n t h e one sense of t o u c h , w h i c h w a s t h e first sense to e m e r g e in evolutionary t i m e .

A Single Immediate Perception I n exactly t h e s a m e w a y , t h o u g h after a n o t h e r m o d e , t h e psychic p e r c e p t i o n s work. Actually, t h e p s y c h i c is a single i m m e d i a t e p e r c e p t i o n , conveying direct k n o w l e d g e t o t h e self, b u t as the m i n d h a s developed in a c e r t a i n w a y , t h r o u g h t h e specialization of t h e physical senses, t h e psychic i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h a r e received a r e , as a g e n e r a l rule t r a n s l a t e d a u t o m a t i c a l l y into t h e physical sense i m a g e s w i t h w h i c h w e a r e familiar. So in t h e first stages of d e v e l o p m e n t , it is this general i m p r e s s i o n w h i c h will b e received a n d you m u s t not b e d i s a p p o i n t e d if for a long t i m e you get s u c h i m p r e s s i o n s w i t h o u t a n y visual or a u d i b l e images. At a much later stage in your d e v e l o p m e n t , if you have p e r s e v e r e d so far, t h e r e will c o m e a t i m e w h e n t h e p i c t u r e s a n d a u d i t o r y i m a g e s will give place t o a formless p e r c e p t i o n w h i c h , however, will give you all a n d m o r e t h a n you ever received t h r o u g h t h e images. At t h e s a m e t i m e , you will r e t a i n t h e p o w e r to use t h e p i c t u r e - i m p r e s s i o n s if you so wish. Later D e v e l o p m e n t H o w e v e r , this later stage of d e v e l o p m e n t will not as a g e n e r a l rule c o m e for s o m e c o n s i d e r a b l e t i m e after you have s t a r t e d y o u r d e v e l o p m e n t , a n d , indeed, it need not ever a p p e a r unless you yourself aspire to its unfoldment. For s o m e of you, such further d e v e l o p m e n t

w o u l d possibly be out of y o u r r e a c h , a n d you w o u l d be well advised to stick to a n d t r a i n t h e ' f o r m ' t y p e of p s y c h o m e t r y . N o w a l t h o u g h we have said t h a t t h e i m p r e s s i o n s give w a y t o t h e i m a g e s of various kinds, nevertheless t h e r e is a l w a y s a b a c k g r o u n d of i m p r e s s i o n a l sensing w h i c h a c c o m p a n i e s t h e p i c t u r e s seen or t h e s o u n d s h e a r d , a n d this b a c k g r o u n d is i m p o r t a n t in e n a b l i n g you to i n t e r p r e t t h a t w h i c h you perceive. W e will r e t u r n to this q u e s t i o n of i m p r e s s i o n a l a t m o s p h e r e later. P r e p a r i n g for a R e a d i n g N o w you a r e r e a d y to c o m m e n c e y o u r a c t u a l psychometrical development. W h a t are the m a i n points to b e o b s e r v e d ? T h e first, we t h i n k , is t h a t for successful w o r k you s h o u l d b e as c o m f o r t a b l e as possible. N o tight c l o t h i n g , ill fitting shoes w h i c h give p a i n , n o u n c o m f o r t a b l e seat; t h o u g h it is as well if you avoid t h e o t h e r e x t r e m e in t h e m a t t e r of seating, for you c a n b e too comfortable. As far as possible, y o u should b e relaxed physically. A good w a y to achieve this is to use a c o m b i n e d b r e a t h i n g - a n d - r e l a x a t i o n exercise such as t h e following. Sit comfortably, b u t do n o t cross t h e legs; keep t h e feet firmly o n t h e floor, a n d take c a r e t h a t t h e edge of t h e c h a i r you a r e sitting on does not c a t c h you j u s t b e h i n d t h e knees a n d so i m p e d e t h e c i r c u l a t i o n in y o u r legs. Let y o u r h a n d s rest on y o u r knees. N o w t a k e in a d e e p b r e a t h , a n d b r e a t h e out slowly, at

t h e s a m e t i m e quietly fixing y o u r m e n t a l a t t e n t i o n u p o n t h e t o p of t h e h e a d , a n d as you c o n t i n u e to exhale, allow t h a t a t t e n t i o n to travel d o w n over all y o u r b o d y , until at t h e e n d of t h e b r e a t h i n g - o u t it h a s r e a c h e d y o u r feet. N o w t a k e in a n o t h e r b r e a t h a n d r e p e a t t h e process. T h e essence of t h e exercise is t h a t as you allow your a t t e n t i o n t o s w e e p d o w n over t h e b o d y , so, at every point r e a c h e d you must also relax the muscles of that part. Y o u will find t h a t at first you will not b e a b l e to keep all t h e muscles r e l a x e d ; s o m e of t h e m , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h e m u s c l e s of t h e face a n d neck will m o r e or less a u t o m a t i c a l l y tense u p a g a i n as soon as y o u r a t t e n t i o n h a s p a s s e d o n to t h e next p a r t of y o u r b o d y . D o not w o r r y a b o u t this, j u s t p r o c e e d w i t h t h e exercise. In t i m e t h e muscles will r e m a i n relaxed after the a t t e n t i o n has p a s s e d t h e m . At first half a d o z e n i n b r e a t h i n g s a n d o u t b r e a t h i n g s will b e e n o u g h , b u t this is s o m e t h i n g w h i c h y o u will have to j u d g e for yourself. T h e success of t h e exercise is seen w h e n you find t h a t t h e b o d y as a w h o l e a p p e a r s to b e c o n s i d e r a b l y relaxed. Choosing the Objects Y o u are n o w r e a d y to a t t e m p t y o u r first r e a d i n g . W h i c h b r i n g s us t o t h e q u e s t i o n of w h a t objects you s h o u l d choose for y o u r first e x p e r i m e n t s , for objects vary greatly in t h e r e c o r d w h i c h c a n b e o b t a i n e d from t h e m , a n d in y o u r early d a y s it is as well if you

choose those w h i c h give t h e strongest a n d m o s t easily r e a d i m p r e s s i o n s . Before discussing t h e kinds of objects, it m a y b e as well to consider w h e r e t h e y m a y b e o b t a i n e d . If you c a n enlist t h e aid of o n e or t w o friends, w h o c a n s u p p l y t h e m , a n d w h o c a n check u p on t h e a c c u r a c y of y o u r ' r e a d i n g ' , you will have a c o n s i d e r a b l e a d v a n t a g e , since you will not have to d e m o n s t r a t e y o u r faculty to people w h o m a y b e sceptical or even a n t a g o n i s t i c to t h e subject. It is as well, also, if you d o not k n o w very m u c h of y o u r friends' private lives, since s u c h p r i o r k n o w l e d g e m a y q u i t e easily confuse you a n d in a n y case will d e t r a c t from t h e value of w h a t e v e r you m a y r e a d from t h e object. T w o 'Memories' T h e r e are two main 'memories' connected w i t h every object. T h e first is w h a t we m a y call t h e i n h e r e n t or p e r s o n a l m e m o r y of t h e object's individual a n d s e p a r a t e existence. T h e n t h e r e is w h a t we m a y t e r m t h e ' g a t h e r e d ' m e m o r y . T h i s is t h e s u m of all t h e i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h have b e e n m a d e u p o n it by its association w i t h h u m a n beings, a n d this will give highly c o m p l e x m e m o r i e s w h i c h n e e d c o n s i d e r a b l e skill to r e a d . O f course, it usually h a p p e n s t h a t o n e s t r a t u m or a n o t h e r in this c o m p o s i t e m e m o r y is so powerful t h a t it d o m i n a t e s t h e rest, a n d p r e v e n t s you from going m o r e d e e p l y into t h e

general m e m o r y c o n n e c t e d w i t h its history. It is suggested, therefore, t h a t in y o u r initial e x p e r i m e n t s you select objects w h i c h have either a powerful p r i m a r y or i n h e r e n t m e m o r y - a u r a , or w h i c h have not p a s s e d through many hands. It is best, of c o u r s e , if t h e object h a s b e e n c o n n e c t e d w i t h one p e r s o n only, as it is t h e n u n n e c e s s a r y for you to have to try t o sort o u t t h e m e m o r y layers c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e various p e o p l e to w h o m t h e object m a y h a v e belonged. The simpler your initial e x p e r i m e n t s c a n be m a d e , t h e better. L a t e r , as you g a i n confidence in y o u r p o w e r s , you c a n a t t e m p t to p s y c h o m e t r i z e m o r e difficult objects.. Necklaces usually m a k e good articles for r e a d i n g , b u t rings a n d very small objects a r e m o r e difficult. Keys a r e not good objects, for t h e y a r e a p t to p a s s t h r o u g h several h a n d s ; n e i t h e r a r e h a n d k e r c h i e f s or o t h e r w a s h a b l e articles, for t h e r e p e a t e d processes of w a s h i n g a n d being h a n d l e d by others m a k e it difficult to pick u p t h e a u r a - m e m o r y . If you a t t e m p t to p s y c h o m e t r i z e gloves, it is best to t u r n t h e m inside out, as t h e o u t e r surfaces will have collected e x t r a n e o u s impressions. L e t t e r s a r e a good source, b u t if you d o e x p e r i m e n t with t h e m r e m e m b e r t h a t t h e envelope h a s p a s s e d t h r o u g h several h a n d s , a n d is of very little use. Y o u s h o u l d therefore remove t h e letter from its envelope before a t t e m p t i n g to p s y c h o m e t r i z e it. P e r h a p s we

m a y start o u r d e s c r i p t i o n of y o u r first a t t e m p t s in p s y c h o m e t r y by t a k i n g t h e letter as t h e object used. T e c h n i q u e of Sensing Y o u c a n s p r e a d t h e letter o n t h e t a b l e a n d rest t h e p a l m of y o u r h a n d o n it. O r you m a y j u s t p u t your fingertips o n t h e s i g n a t u r e , or hold t h e letter to y o u r forehead. It is for you to find for yourself t h e m e t h o d w h i c h best suits you; every p e r s o n h a s his o w n peculiarity in this m a t t e r . Preferably, as we have i n d i c a t e d , t h e writer of t h e letter s h o u l d not b e k n o w n to you personally, t h o u g h , of course, it s h o u l d be possible to o b t a i n s o m e k n o w l e d g e a b o u t h i m after y o u r r e a d i n g , as o t h e r w i s e it will b e impossible for you to verify t h e t r u t h or falsity. H a v i n g t a k e n u p t h e letter, you will n o w m a k e a simple act of will or ' i n t e n t i o n ' to t h e effect t h a t you a r e going to r e a d t h e psychic r e c o r d of this letter. J u s t a s i m p l e i n t e n t i o n is all t h a t is necessary; a sufficient i n d i c a t i o n to y o u r s u b c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t you wish a n y i n c o m i n g i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h m a y b e picked u p to be p a s s e d t h r o u g h to y o u r w a k i n g self. T h i s is a 'trigger a c t i o n ' c o n c e r n i n g w h i c h w e shall say s o m e t h i n g later. Y o u now quietly wait until you b e c o m e conscious of new a n d different i m p r e s s i o n s c o m i n g into y o u r m i n d . T h e s e i m p r e s s i o n s m a y r e m a i n as s i m p l e i m p r e s s i o n s , or t h e y m a y b e a c c o m p a n i e d by vivid p i c t u r e s a n d

i n n e r s o u n d s . S o m e t i m e s t h e p i c t u r e s will arise w i t h o u t a n y s u r r o u n d i n g i m p r e s s i o n s , b u t w h a t e v e r you get s h o u l d be d e s c r i b e d to t h e friend w h o is assisting you in y o u r e x p e r i m e n t s by a c t i n g as a n a u d i t o r . S h o u l d you be c o m p e l l e d to work w i t h o u t s u c h help, t h e n a g o o d t a p e - r e c o r d e r ' c a n be u s e d t o record y o u r description. Bodily Sensations Y o u will often feel yourself impelled to react strongly to t h e i m p r e s s i o n s you a r e getting, b u t if you a r e wise y o u will not allow this r e a c t i o n to flood y o u r field of consciousness a n d a r o u s e similar c o n d i t i o n s in y o u r o w n self. Y o u m a y also, a n d this is a frequent h a p p e n i n g in p s y c h o m e t r y , receive bodily s e n s a t i o n s , indications of illness or accident, a n d these i m p r e s s i o n s m a y b e very s t r o n g indeed. Never allow t h e m t o influence y o u in a n y u n d e s i r a b l e fashion. R e m e m b e r t h a t you a r e o p e n to all t h e influences c o m i n g from t h e object y o u a r e ' r e a d i n g ' , a n d t h a t m e a n s t h a t y o u often sense c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h you do not like, j u s t as you also sense c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h a p p e a l to y o u . Y o u m u s t not, however, be selective at this s t a g e in y o u r d e v e l o p m e n t , b u t m u s t allow all t h e i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h a r e b e i n g received t o c o m e u p into consciousness. At a later d a t e you can b e selective, a n d follow o n e p a r t i c u l a r t r a i n of psychic i m a g e s , b u t at first this is not possible. At t h e s a m e t i m e you m u s t not allow a n y u n d e s i r a b l e

i m p r e s s i o n to affect you too strongly. W h e n this seems likely to h a p p e n , it is best to p u t d o w n t h e object a n d b r e a k y o u r c o n t a c t w i t h it. T h i s is s o m e t i m e s done by the p s y c h o m e t r i s t w a s h i n g his h a n d s before s t a r t i n g to c o n t a c t a n o t h e r article, b u t it c a n also be d o n e by a s i m p l e act of will, a definite i n t e n t i o n to b r e a k t h e c o n t a c t . N e c e s s i t y for D i s c r i m i n a t i o n W h a t you often get, a n d this applies p a r t i c u l a r l y to letters, is a n i m p r e s s i o n of t h e p e r s o n a l i t y of t h e o w n e r or writer, a n d this can be both evidential and useful. R e m e m b e r , however, if t h e w r i t e r of t h e letter or t h e o w n e r of t h e object h a s recently suffered a great shock, or h a s b e e n u n d e r c o n s i d e r a b l e m e n t a l a n d e m o t i o n a l strain, t h e n you will, in all p r o b a b i l i t y pick u p this c o n d i t i o n before a n y t h i n g else. So even in t h e simplest r e a d i n g , you will find t h a t it is necessary to use a g o o d deal of d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , a n d not t o a c c e p t all y o u r i m p r e s s i o n s at t h e i r face value. T h o u g h t h a s a very real existence, a p a r t from t h e m i n d a n d e m o t i o n s w h i c h f o r m u l a t e d it, a n d t h e results of s u c h t h i n k i n g a r e often m o s t strongly i m p r e s s e d u p o n t h e object, a n d m a y well b e r e a d off b y you as i m p r e s s i o n s of a c t u a l o c c u r r e n c e s . I n t h e s a m e way, c l a i r v o y a n t s often find it e x t r e m e l y difficult to differentiate b e t w e e n s u c h e m o t i o n a l l y charged thought images and actual astral beings or c o n d i t i o n s .

A Curious Intuition T h i s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n will develop as you c o n t i n u e to p r a c t i c e p s y c h o m e t r y . Y o u will find t h a t you a r e developing a c u r i o u s i n t u i t i o n w h i c h e n a b l e s y o u to perceive t h e s u b t l e differences b e t w e e n t h e i m p r e s s i o n s d u e to t h o u g h t a n d t h o s e d u e to a c t u a l physical activity. T h i s s u b t l e p e r c e p t i o n is s o m e t h i n g well w o r t h cultivating, as its use c a n b e e x t e n d e d to m a n y o t h e r fields of experience. W h e n describing the impressions you are receiving you should always aim at p r e s e n t i n g as b a l a n c e d a p i c t u r e as possible. If you m u s t err, t h e n it is best to err o n t h e side of brevity r a t h e r t h a n o n t h e side of longwindedness. A l t h o u g h t h e psychic i m p r e s s i o n s a r e received in t h e s u b c o n s c i o u s n e s s in a block, you will find t h a t in p r a c t i c e they e m e r g e into t h e w a k i n g consciousness at varying speeds. I n s o m e cases you m a y have t o wait for q u i t e a long t i m e before a n y i m p r e s s i o n comes t h r o u g h , a n d s u c h a slow r a t e of emergency may continue. W i t h o t h e r objects y o u will find t h a t t h e i m p r e s s i o n s c o m e p o u r i n g t h r o u g h a t a very r a p i d r a t e . So d o n ' t b e w o r r i e d if t h e i m p r e s s i o n s s e e m to ' d r i b b l e ' into y o u r m i n d , or if, o n t h e o t h e r h a n d t h e y a r e so r a p i d t h a t it seems impossible to m a k e a note of t h e m . A g a i n , t h e s t r e n g t h of t h e p e r s o n a l i t y of t h e o w n e r of t h e object will very often force these i m p r e s s i o n s u p o n it in s u c h a w a y t h a t

t h e y form t h e strongest layer of influence c o n n e c t e d w i t h it, a n d t h e y will therefore be t h e first to b e sensed by you. I n c r e a s e of A c c u r a c y It very often h a p p e n s t h a t t h e p a r t i c u l a r h e a l t h c o n d i t i o n s of t h e o w n e r of t h e article m a y be sensed by you a n d in s o m e cases this sensing m a y b e so s t r o n g t h a t you a c t u a l l y feel t h e p a i n s t h a t a r e felt b y h i m to s u c h a n extent they seem t o be a c t u a l l y in y o u r o w n body. T h i s could b e u n d e s i r a b l e , unless you deliberately a n d w i t h i n t e n t i o n b r e a k t h e contact with the object you are p s y c h o m e t r i z i n g . I n a later section we will suggest to y o u a m e t h o d w h i c h will e n a b l e you to b r e a k a n y p a r t i c u l a r c o n t a c t a n d also t o ' t u n e in', as it were, to a n y aspect of t h e general block of p s y c h i c i m p r e s s i o n s received from a n y object. T h i s , however, is best d o n e after you have b e g u n to get s o m e a c t u a l results from y o u r e x p e r i m e n t s . At first you m a y find t h a t out of t e n s t a t e m e n t s you m a y m a k e a b o u t a n y object, p e r h a p s t w o will b e m o r e or less a c c u r a t e , one m a y b e a r r e l a t i o n to t h e a c t u a l state of t h i n g s , a n d t h e rest m a y b e e i t h e r s o m e w h a t n e a r or else far from t h e m a r k . With practice, this proportion will gradually change, and as you gain confidence t h e p r o p o r t i o n of ' h i t s ' to ' m i s s e s ' m a y b e sixteen or seventeen o u t of t w e n t y .

W h e n you h a v e arrived at this stage, t h e n you m a y c o n s i d e n y o u r s e l f t o be q u i t e a good psychometrist. Above all t h i n g s , ' t o t h i n e o w n self be t r u e ' , for it is no p a r t of o u r work a l o n g t h e s e lines to e n c o u r a g e you to lower y o u r s t a n d a r d s of t r u t h , n o r d o we desire to h o o d w i n k you into a n y self-deception. Record of Experimental Work K e e p a r e c o r d of y o u r e x p e r i m e n t a l work, a n d r e c o r d not only t h e successes b u t also t h e failures. Never b e afraid to a d m i t t h a t you have failures, b u t use t h e failures as m e a n s whereby you can discover the laws u n d e r l y i n g your w o r k . T h e r e a r e psychic tides a n d c u r r e n t s w h i c h will work for you or against you, t h e r e a r e psychic tides w i t h i n y o u r o w n i n n e r self w h i c h m a y work w i t h or a g a i n s t t h e o u t e r tides a n d influences, a n d t h e r e is also t h a t i m p o n d e r a b l e factor: t h e influence of y o u r o w n p e r s o n a l i t y u p o n y o u r p s y c h o m e t r y . As w e have a l r e a d y said, this p a r t a k e s of t h e n a t u r e of science and a r t . L e a r n to observe y o u r o w n r e a c t i o n s to t h e i m p r e s s i o n s you receive. Y o u will find t h a t t o s o m e of t h e m you give a w e l c o m e , to o t h e r s you erect a b a r r i e r . T r y to find o u t w h y this is; e n d e a v o u r to u n d e r s t a n d y o u r p e r s o n a l e q u a t i o n , a n d a b o v e all t h i n g s , never consciously twist or alter w h a t y o u receive e i t h e r to i m p r e s s o t h e r s or to excuse yourself.

C o n d i t i o n s of I l l n e s s o r D e a t h N o w we wish to t o u c h u p o n a n o t h e r point. T h i s is, h o w you s h o u l d p r e s e n t y o u r 'reading'. It sometimes happens that c o n d i t i o n s of illness or even d e a t h a r e strongly felt, a n d h e r e you m u s t b e e x t r e m e l y careful not to express this i m p r e s s i o n in a way which might cause the person concerned t o a u t o - s u g g e s t themselves into t h e idea t h a t t h e c o n d i t i o n is o n e t h a t c a n n o t b e a l t e r e d or t h a t d e a t h is inevitable. W e have h e a r d s o m e very r e p r e h e n s i b l e statements made in this way by p s y c h o m e t r i s t s a n d w e w o u l d most strongly u r g e u p o n you t h a t you give out t h e s e i m p r e s s i o n s in s u c h as w a y as to give w a r n i n g of difficulties a h e a d , t o g e t h e r with w h a t e v e r i m p r e s s i o n s you m a y have as t o h o w these difficulties m a y be s u r m o u n t e d . R e m e m b e r t h i s : even w h e n you have a t t a i n e d q u i t e a c o n s i d e r a b l e proficiency in this work, you a r e still far from being a b l e to act as Sir O r a c l e . I n t h e first stages you m o s t certainly a r e not in a n y s u c h position of infallibility. W e a r e strongly m o v e d to e m p h a s i z e this p o i n t b e c a u s e w e have seen h o w h a r m f u l s u c h s t a t e m e n t s c a n be. F r i e n d s of ours w e r e told s u c h t h i n g s a n d t h e results in their lives w e r e d i s a s t r o u s . F o r this r e a s o n we w o u l d u r g e you to exercise discretion in t h e s e things.

I m p o r t a n c e of D i s c r e t i o n H e r e we t o u c h u p o n a n o t h e r t h i n g . W e have j u s t used t h e w o r d ' d i s c r e t i o n ' . Many psychics have a n a s t y h a b i t of discussing w i t h o t h e r s t h e i n f o r m a t i o n t h e y have received psychically a b o u t o t h e r p e o p l e . T h i s is i n e x c u s a b l e on a n y c o u n t . T h e a t t i t u d e of t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t s h o u l d b e t h a t of t h e d o c t o r or lawyer; w h a t e v e r h e learns t h r o u g h t h e exercise of his p s y c h i c faculty s h o u l d b e r e g a r d e d as entirely confidential a n d s h o u l d not be divulged to a n y o t h e r person. W e have seen so m u c h t r o u b l e arise t h r o u g h a failure to observe this rule, t h a t we w o u l d i m p r e s s it u p o n you w i t h all t h e force in o u r p o w e r . S u c h malicious or i g n o r a n t gossip is o n e of t h e r e a s o n s w h y so m a n y c u l t u r e d a n d intelligent p e o p l e a r e t u r n e d a w a y from t h e w h o l e subject, a n d t h e s e a r e j u s t t h e people w h o m we w o u l d wish to b e c o m e interested. Selective Working W h e n you have b e g u n to g a i n s o m e proficiency in p s y c h o m e t r i z i n g objects in t h e w a y w e have d e s c r i b e d , t h e n you s h o u l d begin to e m p l o y w h a t we m a y t e r m a 'selective' m e t h o d of w o r k i n g . So far, you have b e e n passively receiving w h a t e v e r impressions a n d pictures entered your mind as you ' r e a d ' t h e object. N o w you m u s t l e a r n to develop t h e p o w e r t o direct y o u r p s y c h i c vision in a n y w a y y o u wish.

Y o u m u s t actively r e a c h out for t h e i n f o r m a t i o n you desire, instead of passively receiving w h a t e v e r m a y c o m e a l o n g . S u c h a p o w e r of selection, once a c q u i r e d , is a distinct step forward in y o u r d e v e l o p m e n t a n d gives you a n i n c r e a s i n g c o n t r o l over y o u r o w n faculty. T h e r e a r e t w o w a y s in w h i c h this m a y be d o n e . In t h e first w a y a general i n t e n t i o n is m a d e b y asking a definite q u e s t i o n a n d this q u e s t i o n m u s t be p u t in simple a n d pictorial t e r m s . T h e m o r e pictorial it is, t h e b e t t e r c h a n c e it h a s of b e i n g a n s w e r e d by t h e psychic faculty of t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d . A n a c t u a l e x a m p l e m a y help to illustrate this point. If we wish to o b t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n a l o n g o n e p a r t i c u l a r line c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e object b e i n g p s y c h o m e t r i z e d , we t a k e t h e article a n d m a k e t h e u s u a l passive c o n t a c t w i t h it. As a g e n e r a l rule, t h e r e t h e n b u i l d s u p in o u r m i n d a w h i r l i n g s p h e r e of greyish mist, in w h i c h small s t a r r y p o i n t s of light g l e a m . E a c h point of light is t h e s t a r t i n g p l a c e of a line of k n o w l e d g e c o n c e r n i n g t h e object a n d t h o s e linked w i t h it. W e n o w m e n t a l l y ask t h e q u e s t i o n w e have in m i n d , a n d at o n c e o n e of t h e p o i n t s of light a p p e a r s to become significant, a n d as w e look at it, a s t r e a m of i m p r e s s i o n s referring t o t h e q u e s t i o n asked begins t o p o u r i n t o o u r m i n d . T h i s is o n e m e t h o d in w h i c h a positive a c t i o n is b r o u g h t into play.

T h e T r e e of L i f e T h e second w a y in w h i c h selective c o n t a c t m a y b e m a d e is by u s i n g a ' K e y S y m b o l ' . T h i s s y m b o l has b e e n linked w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r e m o t i o n a l a n d m e n t a l idea. T h u s , a key-symbol w h i c h could b e used could be a n o r a n g e coloured circle w i t h t h e s y m b o l of t h e p l a n e t M e r c u r y in its c e n t r e . T h i s p a r t i c u l a r s y m b o l is one of a set of t e n w h i c h t o g e t h e r form w h a t is called ' T h e T r e e of Life', a n d this is one of t h e very i m p o r t a n t g r o u p of s y m b o l s used in a c e r t a i n occult p h i l o s o p h y k n o w n as t h e Q a b a l a h . F o r further i n f o r m a t i o n o n this great g r o u p s y m b o l , o u r book entitled Magic and the Qabalah, p u b l i s h e d by t h e A q u a r i a n Press m a y be c o n s u l t e d . T h e s y m b o l of M e r c u r y h a s special reference to all matters concerning mentality: books, lecturing, conveying i n f o r m a t i o n by a n y m e a n s ( M e r c u r y or H e r m e s , as t h e G r e e k s called h i m ; w a s t h e M e s s e n g e r of t h e G o d s ) s u c h as letters, cables, t e l e g r a m s or p e r s o n a l c o n v e r s a t i o n . So if it is desired to o b t a i n b y p s y c h o m e t r i c a l m e a n s s o m e i n f o r m a t i o n as to t h e intellectual c a l i b r e of t h e w r i t e r of a letter w h i c h is b e i n g p s y c h o m e t r i z e d , t h e n this s y m b o l w o u l d serve as a n excellent key-symbol, a n d keep t h e psychic i m p r e s s i o n s r o u t e d along t h e o n e line, to t h e exclusion of irrelevant m a t t e r s . But the key symbol must have been thought out and linked in the mind with the characteristic to which it was to be the key. So you w o u l d have to

m a k e y o u r o w n key-symbols, t h o u g h , of c o u r s e you could use t h e s y m b o l system of t h e T r e e of Life as y o u r basis. Colour Symbolism T h e r e is also t h e q u e s t i o n of colour s y m b o l i s m . Y o u will find t h a t you will receive m a n y i m p r e s s i o n s of colour in c o n n e c t i o n with objects you p s y c h o m e t r i z e , a n d in s o m e cases t h e colour will a p p e a r q u i t e vividly before you. T h e r e is a general c o d e of colour s y m b o l s , a n d this m a y be found in s u c h a b o o k as Man, Visible and Invisible, b y A n n i e Besant a n d C.W. Leadbeater. H o w e v e r , you will also discover t h a t y o u r i n n e r self h a s its o w n p a r t i c u l a r m e a n i n g s w h i c h it a t t a c h e s to various colours, a n d for you this is m u c h b e t t e r t h a n simply relying u p o n t h e findings of o t h e r s . So you will have to w o r k out y o u r o w n scale of colour s y m b o l i s m , a n d this in itself will be of considerable value to you in your d e v e l o p m e n t , as you will discover. Incidentally, some psychometrists regard s t r o n g v i b r a n t colours as relatively ' l o w ' a n d ' e a r t h l y ' , a n d delicate pastel s h a d e s as being ' h i g h ' a n d ' s p i r i t u a l ' . D o not fall into this p a r t i c u l a r t r a p . T h e s t r o n g v i b r a n t colours a r e j u s t as ' h i g h ' as t h e w e a k pastel s h a d e s . I n t h e s e m a t t e r s , you m u s t use y o u r o w n r e a s o n a n d not slavishly follow o t h e r s .

Flower Psychometry T h e r e is a curious form of ' s e n s i n g ' w h i c h is very often d e m o n s t r a t e d in p u b l i c m e e t i n g s for p s y c h o m e t r y . It is u s u a l l y called ' F l o w e r P s y c h o m e t r y ' a n d t h e p r o c e d u r e is as follows. T h e q u e r e n t b r i n g s a flower to t h e m e e t i n g , a n d this flower is p s y c h o m e t r i z e d in t h e usual w a y . Before c o m i n g to t h e m e e t i n g , t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d takes t h e flower he has picked (which is t h e best p r o c e d u r e ) or b o u g h t (which it not s u c h a good p r o c e d u r e ) a n d h o l d i n g t h e flower h e c o n s i d e r s in his m i n d a n y p a r t i c u l a r p r o b l e m w h i c h is w o r r y i n g h i m , a n d u p o n w h i c h h e desires advice. In a great m a n y cases it is this p r o b l e m w h i c h is picked u p by t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t , a n d t h e resulting advice m a y c o m e from his o w n m e n t a l point of view, or be derived from t h e psychic i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h he receives from t h e flower. In a n y case, t h e flower h a s p r o v i d e d a link b e t w e e n t h e q u e r e n t a n d t h e psychometrist. Flower Aura T h e e x p l a n a t i o n w h i c h is given of this p a r t i c u l a r m e t h o d is t h a t a r o u n d every object t h e r e is a psychic a t m o s p h e r e or ' a u r a ' as it is called. In objects g e n e r a l l y this a u r a , w h i c h carries t h e r e c o r d s , is c o m p l e x , as it h a s b e e n subjected t o so m a n y influences at various t i m e s in its history, a n d for this r e a s o n it is m o r e difficult for t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t to pick up any particular past.

But t h e a u r a of t h e flower, w h i c h is also a living t h i n g , is m u c h m o r e of a b l a n k sheet, a tabula rosa a n d t h e s t r o n g t h o u g h t a n d e m o t i o n i m p r e s s e d o n it by t h e q u e r e n t will b e far m o r e easily picked u p . T h e b u d d i n g p s y c h i c m a y try e x p e r i m e n t s with floral p s y c h o m e t r y , b u t we w o u l d strongly i m p r e s s u p o n h i m t h a t he s h o u l d c o n t i n u e to e x p e r i m e n t w i t h all kinds of objects, b e a r i n g c o m p l e x p s y c h i c r e c o r d s , a n d not r e m a i n c o n t e n t with this e l e m e n t a r y method. It is very easy to fall into this t r a p , b u t if you do, t h e n you will have limited y o u r p s y c h o m e t r i c p o w e r s c o n s i d e r a b l y , since t h e use of t h e triggering key-symbols is j u s t as effective as t h e floral c o n t a c t , a n d c a n yield m u c h m o r e information. E x p e r i m e n t s for G r e a t e r P r o f i c i e n c y T h e m a i n t h i n g to r e m e m b e r is t h a t you s h o u l d never b e c o n t e n t t o stay at one level. A l w a y s you s h o u l d b e p r e s s i n g forward to g r e a t e r proficiency, a n d you s h o u l d never be afraid to m a k e e x p e r i m e n t s . T h o s e w h i c h you c a n t h i n k u p for yourself will usually p r o v e m o r e fruitful t h a n those suggested to you b y o t h e r s , as t h e y will usually be the results of s o m e effective t h i n k i n g w h i c h h a s t a k e n p l a c e in y o u r d e e p e r m i n d . At t h e s a m e t i m e you s h o u l d b e on t h e look-out for n e w suggestions for further e x p e r i m e n t s . Let us give you a n illustration of w h a t we m e a n . A n u m b e r of years ago, we

attended a public demonstration of p s y c h o m e t r y given b y a c e r t a i n C a p t a i n B l a n d . D u r i n g this d e m o n s t r a t i o n he s h o w e d us a n interesting e x p e r i m e n t . I n s t e a d of h o l d i n g a n object in his h a n d in o r d e r to p s y c h o m e t r i z e it, C a p t a i n B l a n d asked t h e o w n e r of it to place it o n a t a b l e s o m e t e n feet a w a y from h i m . H e t h e n c o n c e n t r a t e d his a t t e n t i o n u p o n it for a m o m e n t a n d p r o c e e d e d to give a very evidential r e a d i n g c o n c e r n i n g it. H e r e a n interesting p o i n t w a s raised, for there are those who say that the p s y c h o m e t r i s t r e a d s t h e r e c o r d w h i c h is held in t h e ' a u r a ' of t h e article, in a similar fashion to t h e dog w h i c h follows a m a n b y t h e a c t u a l scent he leaves u p o n t h e g r o u n d a n d u p o n everything h e t o u c h e s , whilst o t h e r s m a i n t a i n t h a t t h e object, b e i n g b y its a c t u a l existence linked w i t h all its associated r e c o r d s in t h e Universal M i n d a n d t h e m i n d of t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t , t h r o u g h t h e i m a g e s it calls u p in his m i n d . T h e foregoing s o u n d s s o m e w h a t involved, t h o u g h if o n e s u b s t i t u t e s t h e t e r m ' A k a s h i c R e c o r d ' for ' U n i v e r s a l M i n d ' , it is t h e t h e o r y h e l d very largely in t h e E a s t . T h e o t h e r c o n c e p t , w h i c h we call t h e ' B l o o d h o u n d t h e o r y ' is, p e r h a p s m o r e easily a c c e p t e d b y the average person t h a n the metaphysical oriental idea. M a y w e suggest t h a t b o t h views a r e correct, b u t e a c h needs t h e o t h e r to r o u n d it o u t fully. At o n e t i m e w e d i d a good deal of

e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n a l o n g this line, a n d t h e idea w h i c h w e have tentatively p u t forward is really b a s e d u p o n o u r findings in these experiments. Charged Objects N o w we c o m e to a m o r e r e c o n d i t e aspect of o u r subject. W h e n w e gave a n i m a g i n a t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n of t h e average p s y c h o m e t r y r e a d i n g , we i n c l u d e d in it a r i n g w h i c h h a d o n c e b e e n in ecclesiastical h a n d s , a n d we did this for a definite r e a s o n . I n a n earlier p a r t of this b o o k w e referred to t h r e e kinds of i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h it w a s possible to receive, b u t later we referred to only t w o of these. O n e w a s t h e r e c o r d of t h e article itself, its basic nature and manufacture. T h e n came the gathered m e m o r i e s w h i c h it h a d a c q u i r e d in its use b y h u m a n beings u n d e r differing c i r c u m s t a n c e s . There is, however, another set of i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h a n object m a y c a r r y , a n d these a r e i m p r e s s i o n s t h a t have b e e n deliberately i m p o s e d u p o n t h e object by t h e will of s o m e being, w h e t h e r s u c h a b e i n g w a s h u m a n , s u b - h u m a n or s u p e r - h u m a n . V e r y often t h e i m p r e s s i o n s w h i c h have b e e n m a d e u p o n t h e object p a r t a k e of t h e qualities of all t h r e e g r a d e s of intelligence. H e r e , of course, we a r e to s o m e extent t o u c h i n g u p o n s o m e a s p e c t s of b e i n g w h i c h a r e r e g a r d e d by m a n y ' m o d e r n s ' as b e i n g entirely fictional. Angels a n d fairies a r e r e l e g a t e d to t h e

phantasies of c h i l d h o o d , and learned a n t h r o p o l i g i s t s spin wonderful theories to e x p l a i n t h e records in every p a r t of t h e w o r l d w h i c h a p p e a r to i n d i c a t e t h a t forms of life o t h e r t h a n those u s i n g m a t e r i a l bodies h a v e b e e n seen by m a n y p e o p l e u n d e r m a n y different c o n d i t i o n s . However,* b e c a u s e of o u r o w n p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e in this field, we feel p r e t t y s u r e t h a t t h e r e a r e good r e a s o n s for t h e c o n t i n u i n g belief in t h e existence of s u c h intelligences. Borders of the Magical H e r e , we a r e s t e p p i n g u p o n t h e b o r d e r s of t h e m a g i c a l . A n y w a y , w e a r e going to place before you c e r t a i n ideas a n d suggest c e r t a i n e x p e r i m e n t s w h i c h m a y b e of interest t o those of you w h o wish t o go b e y o n d t h e m e r e giving of p s y c h o m e t r i c a l ' r e a d i n g s ' . P e r h a p s this is t h e p o i n t w h e r e we s h o u l d give t h e details of a n i m p o r t a n t aspect of y o u r d e v e l o p m e n t . If you were c o n c e r n e d w i t h c e r t a i n c h e m i c a l work, you w o u l d have learnt a little trick w h i c h often saves t h e c h e m i s t q u i t e a lot of t r o u b l e . H e m a y w a n t to k n o w w h a t is in a given bottle or flask, from w h i c h t h e label h a d b e e n r e m o v e d , a n d , of course, if identification by sight is not possible, t h e n a t u r a l p r o c e d u r e is to o p e n t h e bottle a n d see w h a t it smells like inside. H e r e t h e r e is a possibility of d a n g e r , for t h e s u b s t a n c e m a y be highly toxic a n d highly volatile, so t h a t before you c a n get it out of

y o u r lungs y o u m a y h a v e b e e n affected by it. T h e trick is first t o t a k e a good d e e p b r e a t h a n d t h e n , h o l d i n g t h a t b r e a t h in t h e lungs, t a k e a further sniff at t h e c o n t e n t s of t h e bottle. Y o u r lungs, b e i n g filled w i t h air d o not t a k e in a n y q u a n t i t y of t h e gas w h i c h is given off b y w h a t e v e r s u b s t a n c e is b e i n g tested, b u t sufficient reaches t h e olfactory nerves for you to identify it. If it is s o m e t h i n g very i r r i t a t i n g or d a n g e r o u s , t h e lungs c a n i m m e d i a t e l y b e e m p t i e d , a n d t h e released air sweeps o u t w i t h it t h e very small t r a c e of t h e lethal e l e m e n t w h i c h m a y b e in t h e nose. I n t h e p a s t we have found this little trick h a s saved us q u i t e a lot of t r o u b l e . Receptive Attitude W e have m e n t i o n e d it h e r e b e c a u s e y o u r a p p r o a c h to w h a t w e p r o p o s e to call ' c h a r g e d o b j e c t s ' s h o u l d r e s e m b l e s u c h a m e t h o d of d e a l i n g w i t h w h a t e v e r force you m a y c o n t a c t in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h s u c h articles, of w h i c h , for i n s t a n c e , t h e ring w h i c h we m e n t i o n e d in o u r ' p s y c h o m e t r i c r e a d i n g ' is one. It is necessary t h a t you a p p r o a c h s u c h objects w i t h t h e correct a t t i t u d e of m i n d . T h i s s h o u l d be a positive i n t e n t i o n t o r e a d t h e r e c o r d of t h e object. T h e n , following this triggering-off action, t h e m i n d s h o u l d b e kept receptive, b u t still positive. T h i s a t t i t u d e h a s b e e n d e s c r i b e d by a R o m a n C a t h o l i c writer, t h e late M o n s i g n o r R . H . B e n s o n as c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e flight of a

seagull hovering practically motionless a g a i n s t a s t r o n g gale. W e k n o w t h a t in spite of its a p p a r e n t i m m o b i l i t y , t h e gull is w o r k i n g very h a r d i n d e e d to stay in t h e o n e p l a c e . So t h e receptive a t t i t u d e of w h i c h we have s p o k e n s h o u l d also be t h e 'receptive p o i n t ' of a s t r o n g m e n t a l i n t e n t i o n . T h i s a t t i t u d e of m i n d is not a c q u i r e d at t h e first a t t e m p t , a n d it is for this r e a s o n t h a t we have reserved o u r t r e a t m e n t of t h e s e c h a r g e d objects until we have given you t h e m o r e simple a n d easily acquired techniques. Misuse of 'Mystical' I n c i d e n t a l l y , in case a n y of o u r r e a d e r s a r e led by o u r reference to R . H . B e n s o n to t h i n k t h a t h e b e c a m e a convert to psychic t e a c h i n g s , we m a y say t h a t t h e illustration w a s used by h i m in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h a b o o k of stories o n mysticism, a n d this h a s very little to d o w i t h psychic p h e n o m e n a . It is t r u e t h a t c e r t a i n psychic p h e n o m e n a very often a p p e a r in t h e lives of t h e mystics, b u t t h e y a r e r e g a r d e d as h i n d r a n c e s , not helps to t h e mystical life. T h i s , b y t h e w a y , is t r u e also of B u d d h i s m a n d s o m e o t h e r O r i e n t a l religions. T h e y all strongly o p p o s e t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of t h e psychic p o w e r s , w h i c h , t h e y say, a r e like toys w h i c h lure a p e r s o n a w a y from t h e spiritual p a t h , a n d at best a r e t i m e - w a s t e r s . T h e w o r d ' m y s t i c a l ' is greatly m i s u s e d in these m o d e r n t i m e s , a n d m a d e to refer to psychic a n d occult p h e n o m e n a . At s o m e d a t e

in t h e future we h o p e to b e a b l e to discuss t h e relative values, as we see them, of p s y c h i s m , o c c u l t i s m a n d m y s t i c i s m , in a n o t h e r book. Talismans and Charms E x a m p l e s of ' c h a r g e d o b j e c t s ' a r e t a l i s m a n s a n d c h a r m s , t h e virtues of w h i c h a r e extolled in the various psychic and occult p u b l i c a t i o n s . S o m e of these a r e sold o n t h e well-known dictum of the American s h o w m a n , B a r n u m , ' T h e r e ' s o n e b o r n every m i n u t e ' , b u t o t h e r s have b e e n carefully m a d e by p e o p l e w h o have a good w o r k i n g k n o w l e d g e of t h e principles of m a g i c . T h e first class of c h a r g e d objects works p r i m a r i l y by a u t o - s u g g e s t i o n o n t h e p a r t of t h e i r possessors, b u t t h e second class really h a s p o w e r a p a r t from s u c h a u t o - s u g g e s t i o n , a n d it is t h e objects in this second class w h i c h should be approached with caution. If it is k n o w n t h a t one h a s , or is developing, psychic p o w e r s , t h e offering of s u c h a n object for a ' r e a d i n g ' is c o m m o n p r a c t i c e , a n d it is as well to t a k e d u e p r e c a u t i o n s . After all, you have not a t t e m p t e d t a d e v e l o p p s y c h o m e t r i c p o w e r s in o r d e r to b e ' b u t c h e r e d to p r o v i d e a psychic h o l i d a y ' , if we m a y s o m e w h a t t r a n s p o s e a saying regarding the ancient Roman gladiators. W e c o m e n o w to t h e second class of 'charged objects' a n d these are those which have b e e n blessed or c o n s e c r a t e d by t h e priests of s o m e C h r i s t i a n a n d n o n - C h r i s t i a n

bodies. O f s u c h w a s t h e ring w h i c h o u r hypothetical querent put up for a p s y c h o m e t r i c r e a d i n g . H e r e t h e influence r a d i a t i n g from t h e object is keyed (if t h e blessing or c o n s e c r a t i o n h a s b e e n p r o p e r l y c a r r i e d out, a n d not in t h e perfunctory m a n n e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of s o m e ecclesiastics) to a h i g h m o r a l a n d ethical level, a n d t h e effect of it c a n n o t b u t b e helpful. Even h e r e , however, it is advisable to a p p r o a c h s u c h a n object with t h e s a m e m e n t a l a t t i t u d e as t h a t used in t h e case of t h e o t h e r t y p e of subject. A n Exercise in Charging Objects N o w we m a y suggest t h a t you c a r r y out certain experiments of y o u r own in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h these ' c h a r g e d objects'. T h i s will require the co-operation of a s y m p a t h e t i c friend, a n d if this friend h a s a good p o w e r of visualization, so m u c h t h e better. T h e exercise is c a r r i e d out in t h e following w a y : five pieces of w o o d , say a b o u t t h r e e inches long a n d a n i n c h wide (thickness i m m a t e r i a l ) a r e t a k e n a n d m a r k e d either by n u m b e r s or letters, so t h a t t h e y c a n b e d i s t i n g u i s h e d from e a c h other. T h e o n e w h o is to ' c h a r g e ' t h e m t h e n e n t e r s in a n o t e b o o k exactly w h a t s t r o n g e m o t i o n he wishes t o i m p r e s s u p o n e a c h one. As this is best d o n e by visual i m a g e s , he s h o u l d also e n t e r in t h e n o t e b o o k t h e i m a g e s he p r o p o s e s to use in e a c h case.

W e will s u p p o s e t h a t t h e object m a r k e d ' A ' is to be c h a r g e d w i t h t h e e m o t i o n of anger. H e m a y use a n y i m a g e w h i c h h e t h i n k s gives a good p i c t u r e of this e m o t i o n , a n d , h o l d i n g t h e object b e t w e e n his h a n d s , he b u i l d s u p t h e p i c t u r e as strongly as possible, at t h e s a m e t i m e e n d e a v o u r i n g to feel t h e e m o t i o n w h i c h it p o r t r a y s . H a v i n g d o n e t h i s , h e w r a p s t h e object in a piece of silk a n d t u r n s his a t t e n t i o n to t h e next object. It is advisable, b y t h e way, t o allow a p e r i o d of s o m e fifteen m i n u t e s or so for h i m to clear t h e e m o t i o n a l bias from his m i n d , o t h e r w i s e t h e influences o n t h e next object will be s o m e w h a t m i x e d . T h i s w o r k s h o u l d b e c a r r i e d o n until all five objects have b e e n c h a r g e d . O f course, d u r i n g this work you s h o u l d not have b e e n in t h e s a m e r o o m , n e i t h e r s h o u l d you have b e e n w i t h i n e a r s h o t of w h a t w a s going on. F o r preference it w o u l d be best for you t o be o u t of t h e house a l t o g e t h e r . 'Reading' the Objects N o w t h e objects a r e h a n d e d to you, or you t a k e t h e m u p o n e b y o n e yourself, u n w r a p t h e m only as you d o so, a n d t h e n give y o u r ' r e a d i n g ' , e n d e a v o u r i n g to d e s c r i b e t h e general e m o t i o n a l effect, t o g e t h e r w i t h a n y pictures which may come up. H a v i n g dealt w i t h t h e first article, you p a s s o n t o t h e second, u n w r a p it a n d r e p e a t t h e process, a n d so on w i t h t h e m all. It is as well if, after e a c h r e a d i n g , y o u r u b y o u r h a n d s

vigorously t o g e t h e r as t h o u g h r u b b i n g off dust. Some psychometrists wash their hands after e a c h r e a d i n g , b u t this is really u n n e c e s s a r y , a n d , i n d e e d , is i m p o s s i b l e if you a r e giving a p u b l i c d e m o n s t r a t i o n . T h e r e a d i n g s w h i c h w e r e given for e a c h object a r e n o w c o m p a r e d w i t h t h e e n t r y m a d e in t h e n o t e b o o k by t h e o n e w h o ' c h a r g e d ' t h e m , a n d successes a n d failures noted down. T h i s is a very good exercise, for w h e n you d o b e g i n to be a b l e to sense t h e s e different e m o t i o n s in this w a y , you a r e i n c r e a s i n g y o u r ability to select j u s t t h a t p a r t i c u l a r line w h i c h you wish to follow t h r o u g h , from o u t of t h e m a s s of i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h you receive from a n y article. O n c e you a r e a b l e t o pick u p t h e s e influences in this w a y , you c a n use t h e faculty t o sense t h e c o n d i t i o n s of a n y r o o m or h o u s e you m a y enter, a n d this m a y be helpful to you at a later d a t e . Person-Psychometry Finally, it is also possible for you to p s y c h o m e t r i z e a person, by d i r e c t i n g y o u r intention towards him a n d then picking up t h e images a n d sensings w h i c h c o m e into consciousness. H e r e is a big field for experimentation. Incidentally, you will find in c o n n e c t i o n w i t h this ' p e r s o n - p s y c h o m e t r y ' t h a t m o s t p e o p l e c a r r y a r o u n d in t h e i r a u r a q u i t e a few definite t h o u g h t - f o r m s , a n d in s o m e cases

these forms have c o n s i d e r a b l e e m o t i o n a l e n e r g y locked u p in t h e m . S o m e m a y be t h e result of intensive visualization; t h e y m a y have b e e n r e a d i n g a g r i p p i n g a n d exciting novel, a n d t h e c h a r a c t e r s in t h e story have b e e n so clearly visualized t h a t t h e y exist in t h e a u r a as well-defined forms w h i c h m a y easily b e picked u p b y t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t . A n o t h e r interesting p h e n o m e n o n m a y also be e x p e r i e n c e d in this p s y c h o m e t r i z i n g of p e r s o n s . A p a r t from i m a g i n a r y c h a r a c t e r s from novels one s o m e t i m e s sees o t h e r forms, w h i c h w h e n d e s c r i b e d b y us a r e usually not recognized by t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d . If, however, t h e form is sufficiently striking in a p p e a r a n c e , t h e p e r s o n m a y say, ' t h a t ' s n o t h i n g to d o w i t h m e , b u t it is a very good d e s c r i p t i o n of a m a n w h o called o n us this week, a n d c a u s e d a bit of a r o w ! ' T h e key is in t h e latter p a r t of t h a t r e m a r k . T h e s t r o n g e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n s a r o u s e d have c a u s e d t h e i m a g e of t h e one c o n c e r n e d to be strongly i m p r i n t e d o n t h e a u r a , a n d so b e easily seen and described by the psychometrist. W e have, o n occasion, amused ourselves by describing such ' i m p r i n t s ' , as we call t h e m , to s o m e o n e w h o m we h a d j u s t m e t , a n d c o n c e r n i n g w h o m we k n e w n o t h i n g at all. T h e results were often striking. I n a later piece of w r i t i n g d e a l i n g w i t h t h e subject of ' r e a d i n g t h e a u r a ' , w e h o p e to go m o r e fully into this a n d o t h e r a s p e c t s of w h a t we have called ' p e r s o n a l i t y - p s y c h o m e t r y ' .

Diagnostic Psychometry T h e r e is a n o t h e r i n t e r e s t i n g a p p l i c a t i o n of p s y c h o m e t r y . T h i s is w h a t we m a y call ' d i a g n o s t i c p s y c h o m e t r y . It is a n occult t e a c h i n g t h a t disease in t h e physical b o d y originates in t h e s u b t l e ' e t h e r i c d o u b l e w h i c h is t h e b a c k g r o u n d to t h e physical b o d y , a n d u p o n w h i c h t h e p h y s i c a l b o d y is c o n t i n u a l l y being built u p a n d b r o k e n d o w n , so t h a t we d o not possess t h e s a m e m a t e r i a l b o d y t h a t we h a d say five years ago. ( S o m e m e d i c a l a u t h o r i t i e s say t w o y e a r s see a c o m p l e t e e x c h a n g e of p h y s i c a l m a t t e r in t h e body.) So, a c c o r d i n g to this occult t e a c h i n g , t h e etheric b o d y is t h e real persisting b o d y , w h i c h we keep d u r i n g o u r e n t i r e life, a n d it is in this b o d y t h a t t h e first s y m p t o m s of disease a r e to be found, long before a n y p u r e l y physical s y m p t o m s a r e felt or signs seen w h i c h c a n provide m a t e r i a l for diagnosis b y t h e d o c t o r . It is d u r i n g this ' p r e - m a t t e r p h a s e t h a t disease m a y best be d e a l t w i t h b y t h e m o r e s u b t l e m e t h o d s of h o m o e o p a t h i c m e d i c i n e a n d so-called ' s p i r i t u a l h e a l i n g , t h o u g h , of course, these m e t h o d s can be quite successfully a p p l i e d even w h e n t h e disease h a s g a i n e d a s t r o n g hold o n t h e a c t u a l m a t e r i a l body.
5 5 5

Physical Contact Unnecessary I n this field of p s y c h o m e t r y great c a r e is r e q u i r e d , for t h e r e a r e m a n y people w h o c a n b e adversely affected b y s u c h a diagnosis

b e c a u s e of a u t o - s u g g e s t i o n o n t h e i r p a r t , a n d this c a n a n d h a s led to t r a g e d i e s in t h e p a s t . If you s h o u l d d e c i d e t o follow u p this line of work, it w o u l d help you g r e a t l y if you followed t h e e x a m p l e of a friend of m i n e w h o took a t w o - y e a r c o u r s e in a n a t o m y a n d physiology before c o m m e n c i n g . I n t h e first stages of t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of this p h a s e of p s y c h o m e t r y y o u should move y o u r h a n d over t h e subject's b o d y , k e e p i n g at least t h r e e inches a w a y from a c t u a l physical c o n t a c t w i t h t h e p e r s o n . It is never necessary in this d i a g n o s t i c w o r k to m a k e a n y physical c o n t a c t w i t h t h e b o d y of t h e p e r s o n c o n c e r n e d . If you b r e a k this rule, t h e n you align yourself w i t h t h o s e m a l p r a c t i t i o n e r s w h o s e a i m s a r e sexual, not psychic, a n d you will b u i l d u p u n t o l d t r o u b l e for yourself o n all levels. F o r t h e s a m e r e a s o n , if you ever d o this kind of work, always have a t h i r d p e r s o n p r e s e n t d u r i n g a n y interview. W e have referred to this form of p s y c h o m e t r y , since it is a very i n t e r e s t i n g p h a s e of t h e work, b u t p e r s o n a l l y s p e a k i n g , w e w o u l d not advise you to t a k e it u p o n a n y large scale. A n o t h e r interesting p h a s e of t h e work is t h a t of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g ' f a k e ' j e w e l s from t h e real variety, fake E g y p t i a n a n t i q u e s m a d e in B i r m i n g h a m from t h e real articles, a n d fake p e r i o d furniture a n d a r t pieces from t h o s e that are genuine. Those who are interested c a n devise q u i t e a n u m b e r of e x p e r i m e n t s in this field.

CHAPTER FIVE

POSTSCRIPT

T h e w r i t i n g of this book h a s b e e n for us a l a b o u r of love. Q u i t e a p a r t from a n y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of royalties, we have derived great satisfaction in p u t t i n g t o g e t h e r s o m e of t h e k n o w l e d g e c o n c e r n i n g this wonderful faculty w h i c h w e h a v e g a i n e d t h r o u g h s o m e fifty-three years of p r a c t i c a l experience in t h e field. T h e r e a r e few books o n t h e subject, a n d what there are seem mostly to be written from a s e c t a r i a n , religious point of view. W e have t r i e d in this book t o avoid a n y s u c h a p p r o a c h , since w e firmly believe, a s we have s u g g e s t e d in t h e b o d y of t h e book, t h a t these psychic faculties a r e in themselves in t h e s a m e c a t e g o r y as o u r o t h e r p h y s i c a l p l a n e senses, a n d do not d e p e n d u p o n o u r m o r a l or ethical outlook. At t h e s a m e t i m e , of course, it will have b e c o m e evident t o those w h o have r e a d so far, t h a t t h e r e is a definite s t a n d a r d w h i c h m u s t b e m a i n t a i n e d by t h e w o u l d - b e psychometrist. T h i s does not m e a n t h a t a p s y c h o m e t r i s t m u s t b e l o n g to a n y definite religious b o d y , b u t it does m e a n t h a t if h e is t o get t h e full value o u t of his work, h e m u s t b e p r e p a r e d to discipline himself. T h e Bible says, ' g r e a t e r is he t h a t c o n t r o l l e t h himself t h a n h e t h a t t a k e t h a city

by a r m s ' . T h i s self-control is o n e of t h e greatest virtues of t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t , a n d m u s t , if it is t o be really effective, e x t e n d over a w i d e a r e a of his o w n p e r s o n a l self, a n d b e c o m e a powerful factor in his e v e r y d a y life. H a v i n g m o r e c o n t r o l over himself, t h e p s y c h o m e t r i s t finds t h a t he is b e g i n n i n g to have m o r e p o w e r over o t h e r s , a n d at o n c e c e r t a i n ethical c o n s i d e r a t i o n s c o m e into play. R u l e s of C o n d u c t Since he finds himself able to exert p o w e r over o t h e r s a r o u n d h i m , h e is n o w faced w i t h t h e q u e s t i o n , w h a t k i n d of influence a r e you going to exert o n o t h e r s , a n d b y w h a t a u t h o r i t y d o you use this influence? T h e r e is a saying t h a t p o w e r c o r r u p t s , a n d certainly in this field of psychic activity the t e m p t a t i o n s of p o w e r arise, a n d t h e m o r e successful in his w o r k t h e psychic b e c o m e s , t h e g r e a t e r is t h e t e m p t a t i o n to m i s u s e his p o w e r over o t h e r s . All t h e discipline w h i c h he h a s i m p o s e d u p o n himself so far is a n e m o t i o n a l a n d m e n t a l control, a n d it is this discipline w h i c h gives h i m his p o w e r . But h o w shall t h a t p o w e r b e e m p l o y e d , w h a t rules shall he follow, a n d w h a t code of c o n d u c t shall he a p p l y to himself? All t h e s e a r e q u e s t i o n s w h i c h he m u s t ask himself before he goes a n y further in his work. W e have carefully avoided a n y s e c t a r i a n , religious a p p r o a c h to this p u r e l y n a t u r a l faculty, b u t now w e a r e c o m p e l l e d to e n t e r t h e field of religion, for t h e exercise of t h e s e

p o w e r s , as of every p o w e r we possess, is in essence a s p i r i t u a l t h i n g . T h e r e c a n be no d i c h o t o m y ; no splitting of life into ' s p i r i t u a l ' a n d ' m a t e r i a l ' , for all existence is in t h e last resort a spiritual t h i n g . T e a c h i n g s of R e l i g i o n So w e m a y look for s o m e code of c o n d u c t , s o m e rules to follow in t h e t e a c h i n g s of religion. T h i s is, of course, t h e age of iconoclasm, t h e b r e a k i n g d o w n of all old e s t a b l i s h e d images a n d , of course, t h e e n t h r o n e m e n t of n e w i m a g e s , for m a n m u s t have some i m a g e s , s o m e rules. T h e old codes a r e therefore o u t of favour, b u t we a r e going to suggest t h a t t h e y m a y yet r e t u r n to p o w e r . In t h e early d a y s of t h e R u s s i a n R e v o l u t i o n t h e idea of permissiveness w h i c h seems to be t h e keynote of t o d a y w a s e x t e n d e d t o t h e whole a r e a of sexual ethics, a n d t h e 'free love' w h i c h is b e i n g so fervently a d v o c a t e d b y m a n y people t o d a y w a s allowed to flourish. However, t h e resulting misery a n d t h e social d i s r u p t i o n c o n s e q u e n t u p o n the a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e free love ethic w a s such that the Russian rulers revoked this permissiveness a n d m o v e d b a c k t o w a r d s t h e very i m a g e w h i c h t h e y h a d in t h e i r h a s t e cast down. The Ten Commandments W e w o u l d suggest, therefore, t h a t t h e code of c o n d u c t k n o w n as t h e T e n C o m m a n d m e n t s is a useful one for a n y o n e w h o is using t h e s e e x t e n d e d p o w e r s of t h e self. T h e s u m m a r y of

t h e law, as given by J e s u s , is a positive affirmation of this s a m e c o d e , b u t in t h e p r e s e n t state of s e m a n t i c c h a o s , w h e n t h e m e a n i n g s of w o r d s s e e m to be in d o u b t , p e r h a p s t h e definite a n d b l u n t s t a t e m e n t s of t h e old M o s a i c c o d e m a y be m o r e helpful. O t h e r religions have t h e i r o w n ethical codes, a n d s u c h c a n b e of value to t h e developing psychic. F o r ourselves, we long a g o took t h e s t a n d a r d s laid d o w n by t h e M a s t e r J e s u s as o u r code of c o n d u c t , a n d t h o u g h o n m a n y occasions we m u s t o w n to h a v i n g t r a n s g r e s s e d t h a t code, yet it r e m a i n s as a g u i d i n g line in t h e difficulties of life, a n d p a r t i c u l a r l y in t h e difficulties w h i c h arise in the exercise of t h e s e s u p e r n o r m a l p o w e r s of the mind. O u r final w o r d t o o u r r e a d e r s is, a d o p t a s t a n d a r d , i m p o s e u p o n yourself a s y s t e m of self-discipline a n d t h e n go forward w i t h t h e d e v e l o p m e n t of this power. So will it b r i n g t o you, as it h a s b r o u g h t to us over t h e years, h a p p i n e s s a n d i n c r e a s e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s of serving y o u r fellow m a n . F o r in t h e e n d , t h e sole r e a s o n for a n y intensive cultivation of this or a n y o t h e r faculty is, in t h e w o r d s of t h e n e o p h y t e w h o s t a n d s before t h e d o o r of t h e L o d g e of t h e M y s t e r i e s , 'I desire to k n o w , in o r d e r to serve', a n d t h a t service is t o G o d a n d his fellow m e n , a n d b r i n g s s o m e glimpse of t h a t t r u e p e a c e a n d freedom w h i c h c o m e from O n e w h o said, I a m a m o n g s t you as o n e w h o serves'. For i n d e e d a s D a n t e said, long a g o , ' I n H i s Will is o u r p e a c e ' .
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