There are four kinds of psychics. The physical psychic attains to physical soul-husbands and soul-wives, to intercourse with incubi and succubi and to having his body obsessed. The astral psychic unfolds and uses lower psychic faculties. The mental psychic reaches into the higher psychic realms, but the spiritual psychic alone knows and has the power of prophesy and the power to will.

—The Zodiac.

THE

WORD

Vol. 7 JUNE, 1908. No. 3

Copyright, 1908, by H. W. PERCIVAL.

PSYCHIC TENDENCIES AND DEVELOPMENT.

EPIDEMICS of different kinds appear in every age. Many epidemics have visited us, among them psychic epidemics. A psychic epidemic prevails when many people in a community give rein to that side of man’s nature which inclines to the mysterious and they deal with such subjects as omens, fortune telling, dreams, visions, communication with creatures of the invisible worlds, and the communication with and worship of the dead. These epidemics, like other movements, come in cycles or waves. When they are well under way there appears a general tendency among people to develop as sport or as study psychism and psychology. Different peoples, different conditions of climate, environment and the particular cycle or period of time bring out different phases of psychism.

Owing to the modern materialistic turn of the scientific mind, the study of psychology, the science of the soul, has been discredited and any suggestions as to the possession, development or inclination to the study of psychic faculties have been disposed of by the scientific mind with ridicule and contempt. If one was in possession of psychic faculties, or believed in their development, he was considered by the hard thinkers to be either an impostor, a hypocrite, or to be mentally unbalanced or a fool. And some of the keenest thinkers who gladly would have investigated psychism and psychology have not been strong enough to stand against the weapons of ridicule and contempt, as used by their fellows.

But the cycle has turned. The scientific mind has with great seriousness begun to investigate the psychic faculties in man. It is now the fashion for people to be psychic: to see, smell and hear strange things, and to feel creepy and spooky. This is a quick reaction from modern materialism, but primarily it is due to the season, the cycle or period of time which we have entered. This cycle is causing the physical organism of man to become more susceptible to the influences from the invisible worlds which surround and permeate our physical world, although these worlds are as they were before the organism of man was so responsive to them.

For ages past the human mind has been intent on ideals and objects which have been material in their nature; but since the latter part of the nineteenth century the mind has been directed to new lines of thought, to new ideals and aspirations. It has been pointed out that there are worlds hitherto undreamed of which may be opened up to man. It has been shown there are possibilities for his development far beyond anything which he had considered himself capable of attempting or attaining.

As a result of such thoughts, many societies have been formed for the study and research into psychical matters. Some of these societies teach and encourage the development of psychic faculties. Some make a business of it, and some prey on the credulity of people by pretending to have and to impart for money powers and knowledge which they have not.

But psychic tendencies are not restricted to societies specially organized for that study and practice. The psychic wave has affected religious bodies as it has those not particularly interested in religion. In fact, religion has always depended on the psychic nature and tendencies of man for its strength and power over his mind. Following the first teachings of any founder of a religion and his associates there have been developed hard and fast rules and observances, which are imposed on the people. The advocates of the particular religion have often departed from its true teaching to gain followers, to build up a church and to increase the power of the church. To do this they abandoned reason and appealed to the psychic emotional nature of man. They first stirred up his psychic nature and inflamed his sympathies, then controlled and enslaved his mind. It is more difficult to control man by an intellectual process. The mind can never be enslaved by an appeal to reason. A religion always controls man by inflaming his emotional psychic nature.

When any spiritual movement is started there is usually the tendency of its followers to degenerate by psychic practices. If such practices are indulged in before members of that body are qualified physically, morally and mentally to begin the practices, disruption and confusion and other unfortunate happenings will inevitably result. It may be well to say a few words concerning the advent of psychical tendencies and spiritual aspirations now manifest.

The psychic wave now passing over the world began in the latter part of the last century. In a section of one of the New England States there had been a spiritistic outbreak which then seemed to be a local affair. But spiritism is only one of the phases of psychic tendencies. The psychic tendencies were really inaugurated in New York by Madam Blavatsky, who formed the Theosophical Society, in 1875. The Theosophical Society was formed by Madame Blavatsky as a working instrument through which Theosophy was to be given to the world. The Theosophical Society was of course composed of men and women of the age, whereas Theosophy is the wisdom of the ages. Through the Theosophical Society were presented by Madam Blavatsky certain theosophical teachings. These teachings apply to subjects covering the entire range of thought and introduced to the Western world problems not before considered. They apply to mundane affairs as well as to ideal and spiritual aspirations and attainments. However enigmatical an individual Madam Blavatsly may have appeared to some people, the teachings which she brought are worthy the most serious consideration and thought.

The many societies now engaged in psychical matters, and the mental and spiritual development of man, have received their real impulse through the Theosophical Society. The Theosophical Society made it possible for representatives of other races and religions to come to the Western world and present their different doctrines to the people. Western people who would not have tolerated or given ear to religions other than their own were, owing to the strange Theosophical teachings, interested and made ready to consider anything from “the heathen.” Eastern races came, they found a hearing in the West. Whether it is to be to the advantage of the West will depend on the integrity of the Eastern teachers, honesty in the presentation of their doctrines, and on purity of life.

Following the passing of Madam Blavatsky, the Theosophical Society was for a time convulsed and thrown into confusion by that which Madam Blavatsky had advised against: division and separation. Even then, although the Society was divided against itself, the teachings were the same. But as time progresses, some of the teachings are slightly changed. With continued division, there has also been a departure from the philosophical and spiritual tone of the teachings and a tendency to psychic practices. The Theosophical Society cannot be an exception to the law: if its members continue to give way to their psychic tendencies, they, as have other similar bodies in the past, will degenerate morally, mentally and physically and end in ignominy and reproach. There is one other possibility: if some inimical being of power should get control of one of the now existing Theosophical Societies he might by force of his will use the philosophical teachings with such changes as might suit his convenience, and, dominating that body, build up a church or powerful hierarchy. Such a course would be most unfortunate for humanity as the being of power, through the hierarchy, would have a hold on and dominate and enslave the human mind even more than the religions of the past or present have done. The Theosophical Society has done a great work in giving a portion of Theosophy to the world, but it would be much better to have every one of its societies stamped out of existence than to have all or any part of it become such a curse to humanity as to establish a so-called spiritual hierarchy from among its members with all the human weaknesses and shortcomings.

In other civilizations, those, for instance, of Greece, Egypt, and India, psychics have been made use of by the priests. Their psychics were used as oracles, for purposes of divination, of discovery, in the treatment of diseases and for communication with the invisible powers. The psychics of our civilization have been used for similar purposes, but more especially have they been used for the curiosity seekers, to produce sensation, and to gratify the inordinate desires of test hunters and wonder lovers.

But the psychic tendency in our civilization, if turned in the right direction and controlled, will assist us in building up a civilization greater and grander and nobler than any of the past. On the other hand, psychic tendencies may hasten our destruction and bring our history to a close by insane desire for money, by the love of luxury, or by sensual gratification and worship of the dead. This civilization should be greater than others because of the physical organisms of the people, their adaptability to conditions, their ability to change conditions, their inventiveness, their readiness to grasp and make the best of a situation, their being equal to emergencies, and on account of their nervous force and mental activity.

There are disadvantages, as well as benefits, which may result from psychic tendencies and their development. Whether we shall have benefit instead of harm from psychic tendencies depends on the individual as it does on the nation. The influences which affect the psychic come from the visible and invisible worlds. Through our visible world there are constantly playing and interacting the forces and powers of the invisible worlds. Each world, visible or invisible, has its races and beings peculiar to itself. The entities from the invisible worlds come in contact with man through his psychic nature, and, according to his psychic tendencies, the invisible influences and entities will act on him and stimulate him to action. Creatures and powers at present undreamed of act on man through his emotional psychic nature. His mental visions and imaginary sounds and strange feelings are often caused by the presence of these forces and beings. While man is partitioned off from them by his limited physical sight, and walled in and protected from them by a strong, healthy physical body, he is safe, for his physical body is to him as a fortress. But should the walls of the fortress be weakened, as it may by foolish practices, then inimical creatures of the invisible worlds will break through and make a captive of him. The elemental powers of nature will drive him to all manner of excesses and he will be unable to resist any of their attacks. They will sap him of his vitality, make him incapable of controlling his physical body, enslave him to his desires, obsess his body, and dishonor and lower him below the level of a beast.

In the present stage of the ordinary man’s development, psychic tendencies are as useless to him as whisky and astronomical instruments to an American Indian. The benefit of psychic tendencies and psychic faculties are that they make man responsive to nature, and put him in sympathy with his fellow man. They are the instruments which he may use for seeing into and understanding the details of nature and of all natural phenomena. The psychic nature, if properly trained, will enable man to more readily change and improve his physical body and to bring it under control. The psychic nature, when controlled and cultured, will enable man to bring into the physical world the treasures which he may gather from the invisible worlds, to bring into physical life all the desirable ideals and ideal forms stored up in the world of thought, the mental world, and to make the physical world ready for the knowledge from the spiritual world.

The tendency of those interested in psychics and psychic development is to abandon reason or make their reasoning faculties subservient to the new psychic faculties and worlds opening up to them. This abandonment of reason at once unfits them for progress. To make faculties which are new, useful, their uses must be understood and care applied, until the new faculties are known and brought under the control of the reasoning being. Reason should never be abandoned.

People of the Western world, particularly in the United States, will continue to develop psychic tendencies, but they should appreciate and have a better understanding of the uses and abuses of psychic tendencies and their development, instead of as at present allowing their psychic nature to manifest and run riot.

Under present conditions, a normal healthy man is one whose physical cell-body (♎︎) is closely knit with his astral molecule-body (♍︎)—the design principle of form on which the physical tissue of the body is built.

The general make-up and characteristics of a psychic are usually quite different from those of a normal healthy man. A psychic is one whose astral molecule-body of form is loosely knit with the physical cell-body of cells, and the astral form, on account of its loose connection with the physical cell tissue, is more susceptible to the influences of the worlds around it which correspond to its nature.

There are natural-born psychics and psychics who become such by development. Psychics are born as such, owing to the physiological and psychic condition of their parents or the general conditions prevailing before and at the time of birth. All with psychic tendencies should become acquainted with the philosophy concerning the psychic nature before attempting psychic practices. The best means of combatting the dangers of psychism is the study of philosophy and the living of a clean life.

Those not born psychics may develop a psychic organism and become psychics by giving up their will and becoming negative and giving way to all influences which they feel, or by a weakening and breaking down of the resisting powers of the animal body through a vegetarian diet. These are the irresponsible psychics. But psychic organisms might also be developed by directing one’s actions according to reason, by the control of one’s appetites and desires, by the performance of one’s duties, or by development of the mind through control of its functions. If the latter course is followed, the psychic faculties will develop as naturally as a tree puts forth leaves, buds, blossoms and fruit in the proper seasons. These are the trained psychics. There are very few.

The make-up of a psychic is like that of a kaleidoscope. The physical body is like the casing or sheath, the many-sided facets within like the senses in use; the colored and colorless objects which fall about on the glass at every turn of the case like the thoughts and desires which are thrown and reflected on the glass or astral body, the eye through which the pattern is seen is like the mind in the body, and the intelligence which discriminates concerning what is seen is like the real man. As kaleidoscopes differ, so do psychics differ in their quality and as individuals who handle the kaleidoscope differ, so do those who make use of their psychic nature.

The terms “psychic,” “psychism” and “psychology” are frequently used, but the distinctions are not as sharply drawn as they should be. The word psychic comes from the Greek word Psyche, a beautiful mortal maiden, the human soul, who underwent many trials and hardships, but at last became an immortal by uniting in marriage with Eros. Psyche itself means the soul, and all words with this prefix have to do with the soul; thus psychism is that which is of the soul. But psychism as used to-day has more to do with the nervous physiological action of the personality than with the soul proper. Psychology is soul science, or science of the soul.

In a more particular sense, however, and according to the Greek myth, Psyche in man is the astral molecule-body, or design principle of form (linga-sharira). Psyche was said to be mortal because the astral molecular body of form lasts only as long as does the physical body, its counterpart. The father, too, of Psyche was a mortal because as the past personality he also was subject to death. The astral molecular body of form of the present life is the sum total and result of one’s thoughts in the preceding life—in the same sense that in the present life one’s desires and thoughts are building for his next life the astral molecular form body, on and according to which his physical matter will be moulded. Psyche is beloved by Eros, which name is used in different senses. The Eros who first loves Psyche is the principle of desire which, unseen by Psyche, unites with her. Psyche the astral molecular body of form is the body through which all sensations are experienced as the pleasures and pains of the senses; is the giver of pleasure to desire. But as the mortal form, it dies. If, however, Psyche, the astral molecular body of form, the mortal soul, can successfully go through all of the hardships and trials imposed upon it, it passes through a metamorphosis similar to that of Psyche and her symbol, the butterfly, and is transformed into a being of a different order: from the mortal into an immortal. This takes place when the astral molecular body of form is changed from the temporary mortal into a permanent immortal; it is then no longer subject to death, for it has grown out of the larval state of the physical body of flesh. Eros is sometimes used to designate that portion of the higher mind, of the individuality, which enters into the astral molecular body of form (the linga-sharira) and is incarnate in the physical body. It is owing to the love of the mind for its mortal form, Psyche, in the physical body, that Psyche, the personal human soul, is eventually saved, raised from the dead and made an immortal by union with the mind. The different uses made of the names Psyche and Eros and the mystery of the relation of Eros to Psyche, the mortal personal human soul, will be more clearly understood as one becomes acquainted with his own nature and learns to distinguish between and relate the different constituent parts and principles which make him the complex being which he is. A study of psychology will prove to man that he is made up of many Psyches, or souls.

There are four kinds of psychics: the physical psychic, astral psychic, mental psychic, and the spiritual psychic, as represented in the zodiac by the respective signs libra, (♎︎) virgo-scorpio, (♍︎–♏︎), leo-sagittary, (♌︎–♐︎), cancer-capricorn (♋︎–♑︎). These four kinds are shown and explained in The Word, Vol. 6, No. 3, pages 4-7. In the different zodiacs within the absolute zodiac, each zodiac represents man.

One may develop his physical psychic nature (libra, ♎︎) by breaking down his physical health, by improper food, by fasting, by ill treatment and abuse of the body, such as taking alcohol, and drugs, by inflicting pain, by austerities, by flagellation, or by excessive sexual indulgence.

The astral psychic nature (virgo-scorpio, ♍︎–♏︎) may be developed by gazing fixedly at a bright spot, or by sitting alone in the dark in a passive condition of mind, or by pressing the eyeballs and following the colors seen, or by magnetic treatment, or by being hypnotized, or by the burning of certain incense, or by using a ouija board, or by attending spiritistic seances, or by the repetition and chanting of certain words, or by the assuming of physical postures, or by the exhaling, inhaling and retention of the breath.

The mental psychic nature (leo-sagittary, ♌︎–♐︎ ), is to be developed by mental practices, such as the forming of mental pictures, by giving mental forms to mental colors, and by controlling all the functions of the mind through meditation.

The development of the spiritual psychic nature (cancer-capricorn, ♋︎–♑︎) is brought about by the control of the functions of the mind when one is able to identify himself in the spiritual world of knowledge, in which all the other phases of the psychic nature are comprehended.

The attainment, powers or faculties developed by the foregoing classes of psychics are:

First: the belief in and practice of physical spiritual husbands and wives, or the intercourse held with actual incubi or succubi, or the obsession of one’s body by some strange entity.

Second: the developing of clairvoyance or clairaudience, as a materialization medium, or a trance medium, or a precipitation medium, or somnambulism.

Third: the faculty of second-sight, or psychometry, or telepathy, or divination, or ecstasy, or a powerful imagination—the image-building faculty.

Fourth: the attaining of knowledge, or the faculty of prophecy, or the power to create intelligently—the power to will.