Essay on Clairvoyance & Travelling in the Spirit

Vision By Sub. Spe – Zelator Adeptus Minor
(John William Brodie-Innes)


The best theory of the phenomenon of Clairvoyance seems to be founded on the relation between Man as the Microcosm and the Universe as the Macrocosm; regarding the former as a reflection in miniature of the latter, as in a grass field full of dewdrops each drop might present a perfect tiny image of trees and mountains, the sky, clouds, the sun and the stars.

If, then, everything in the Cosmos is somehow reflected or pictured on each man’s own sphere of sensation, or Akashic envelope, it follows that if he could but be conscious of the pictures so reflected or imprinted he would at once be possessed of all actual or potential knowledge of everything in the Cosmos, and further assuming that time itself is merely an illusion, and that the reality of things is, as it were, one vast picture along which we travel seeing point after point in succession and pro­ducing the idea of lapse of time, then it further follows that the full and complete knowledge of all that is reflected in our sphere of sensation includes all knowledge past, present and future.

The reason, then, why we have not such knowledge consciously to ourselves must be from the obtuseness of the Sensor­ium, the actual physical brain, which cannot perceive the images on the sphere of sensation. If, then, all knowledge lies within each man’s own sphere, it is by looking within, or intuition, that such knowledge is made available.

Know thyself and thou wilt know everything. But seeing that the brain and sensorium are physical, it is necessary at first to use physical means to produce the sensitiveness necessary to consciously perceive the images on the Sphere of Sensation. And the readiest and safest means is the use of a symbol. This is familiar in everyday life, but so much so as to escape notice.

For example—to a depraved and debauched person an obscene word or figure—carelessly drawn and seen by chance, is a symbol calling up a host of unclean images and ideas. To a lover the name of his mistress spoken by chance in his hearing—the sight of a colour she usually wears, or the scent of a familiar per­fume will suffice to raise the image of the beloved form almost visibly before him and to produce quickened pulse, heightened colour, etc.

To the soldier the sight of the flag of his country or his regiment, produces visions of martial glory, ideas of devotion, loyalty, patriotism and unflinching courage.

In all these cases ideas and visions are produced in the brain by the symbol, and if the above theory be accepted it follows that the effect of the symbol is to render one portion of the physical brain more sensitive, or it may be more translucent, so that the images lying within the corresponding region of the Sphere of Sensation may be dimly perceived (such sensitiveness of brain may be produced in other ways, such as by Hypnotism or self-induced Trance, by Obsession, Disease, etc.—but the method by symbol seems to remain the surest and the best).

This theory is made use of in the practice of inducing Clairvoyance.

A large number of well known and recognised symbols have a definite relation to certain portions of the Sphere of Sensation and the corresponding regions of the Cosmos, and also to the regions related thereto of the physical brain.

The experimenter should know thoroughly the attributions and meanings of the symbol employed, as this knowledge produces an immediate concentration of thought, of vital energy, of nerve force, and of actual physical blood on the tract of brain related thereto, and thus materially aids the establishment of a special sensitiveness there.

Thus if the Tejas Tattva card be taken, the knowledge that it belongs to fire will at once charge with nerve force and with blood all the centres of the brain relating to fire, and will in­voluntarily recall the various Divine and Spirit names which the experimenter has learnt connected therewith. The actual speaking of these with the solemnity and impressiveness of the Vibration will increase the effect—gazing fixedly at the symbol and touching the appropriate implement which is also a symbol of the same brain tract, momentarily increases the force—vires acquiret eundo—until every other brain cell is shut down, muted and inhibited; the whole consciousness is concentrated on the perception of fire.

The physical brains thus become sensitive and translucent in this respect and able to perceive dimly in the Sphere of sensation the reflection of the Macrocosmic idea of fire, with all its connotations.

The sensation is as though one stepped out through a window into a new world.

The reality probably is that the new sensitiveness enables the actual physical brain to become conscious of ideas and pictures hitherto unknown.

At first it seems as though everything thus perceived were just the product of one’s own imagination—i.e. that one simply took scraps of memory, scraps of other men’s ideas gleaned from books, pictures, etc. and built them up at will into a composite picture. But a little further experience generally convinces one that the new country one has become conscious of has its inviolable natural laws just as the physical world has: that one cannot make or unmake at wifi, that the same causes produce the same results, that one is in fact merely a spectator and in no sense a creator. The conviction then dawns on one that one is actually perceiving a new and much extended range of phenomena; that, in fact, which is known as the Astral World or Astral Plane.

Here, then, comes an experimental confirmation of the theory above set forth, which will probably be deepened and intensified with every experiment which is carefully made.

Personal experience confirms the foregoing: On taking any symbol whereof I know the meaning, such as a Tattva—or Tarot card, the abstract idea of the meaning of the symbol comes first—as fire, or water in the abstract—and a pose of mind cognate and sympathetic thereto, a desire for that particular element— not keen but perceptible—gradually the feeling of the physical effects of the element—as of warmth—moisture—-etc.—and especially the sound as of the roaring or crackling of fire, the rush—or patter, or ripple of water. Gradually the attention is withdrawn from all surrounding sights and sounds, a grey mist seems to swathe everything, on which, as though thrown from a magic lantern on steam, the form of the symbol is projected.

(This I conceive is due to the withdrawal of blood and nerve force from other centres of the brain and their consequent inhibi­tion.)

The Consciousness then seems to pass through the symbol to realms beyond but, as above-said, I think it more probable that visions and pictures from beyond come on to the hypersensitive brain centres and, as these have been sensitised by the symbol and the first effect has been the vision of the symbol itself on the grey mist, so they seem to take the form of the symbol and to pass through it. At all events the sensation is as if one looked at a series of moving pictures, although there are beings in this new world with whom one can converse, animals that one can dominate, or that attract one, yet to me personally it is all no more solid than the pictures of a Kinetoscope or the sound of a phonograph.

Yet when this sensitiveness of brain and power of perception is once established there seems to grow out of it a power of actually going to the scenes so visionary and seeing them as solid, indeed, of actually doing things and producing effects there.

This is what I imagine is termed Travelling in the Spirit Vision.

Whether it is more than an extension of the power of per­ceiving the pictures on the Sphere of Sensation or Akashic en­velope is very difficult to determine. The sensation, however, to me personally is first to become, as it were, dimly conscious of a figure walking among the scenes of the new country—or the Astral Plane-gradually to become conscious that it is my own figure I am looking at—gradually, as it were, to be able to look through the eyes—and feel with the sensations of this doppel ganger. Further to be able consciously to direct its motions, to control it, to inhabit it, and in this body to be able to visit the scenes and persons I had previously only looked at, as it were, through a telescope.

It is as though my Consciousness had extruded from my own body to take possession of a body which I had either created for the purpose, or invoked out of the Astral Sphere as a vehicle for myself.

It seems, however, almost more probable that as the Sphere of Sensation reflects everything that is in the material Universe so it must needs contain a reflection also of the material body of the percipient and if this be so it is not hard to suppose that such reflection can be made to travel about within the Sphere of Sensation and visit all things therein reflected with as much ease (or more) as the will of the man can make his physical body travel to material places on the earth.

The Perception of the Astral plane seems to be peculiarly liable to delusions, arising probably from defects in the sen­sorium or physical brain—as an object seen through faulty glass is distorted, that is to say the personal element, or what scientists call the ‘personal equation’, becomes so strong as to produce actual error.

As the brain can be rendered sensitive in a particular direction by symbol—so can these errors also be corrected by symbol. The various qualities in each man’s nature are symbolised by the planets—hence when this symbology is well known the planetary symbols may be used to correct errors arising from the particular quality attributed to each. Thus the error could be that the visions are merely compounded from memory.

In this case build up in brilliant white light in front of any image which you suspect to be merely a product of memory the letter Tau, the symbol of the Path of Saturn, ‘The Great One of the Night of Time’—whose sober and steadying influence will cause a memory picture to disappear. Similarly Beth for Mercury formulated in the same way will cause to vanish any product of lying intellectual delusion—or Daleth for Venus is used for the result of intellectual vanity—Gimel for Luna for a wavering mind—Resh for the Sun for delusions of haughtiness, vanity, etc. and Kaph for the path of Jupiter against imagination, and Peh for the path of Mars against revenge, hatred etc.