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Clairvoyance and Occult Powers by Swami Panchadasi


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There is much confusion existing in the minds of the average students of occultism concerning the distinction between astral visioning by means of the astral senses in clairvoyance, and the visioning of the astral senses during the travels of the astral body away from the physical body. There is such a close connection between the two several phases of occult phenomena that it is easy to mistake one for the other; in fact, there is often such a blending of the two that it is quite difficult to distinguish between them. However, in this lesson I shall endeavor to bring out the characteristics of astral body visioning, that the student may learn to distinguish them from those of the ordinary clairvoyant astral visioning, and recognize them when he experiences them.

The main points of distinction are these: When visioning clairvoyantly by means of the astral senses, as described in the preceding chapters of this book, the clairvoyant usually perceives the scene, person or event as a picture on a flat surface. It is true that there is generally a perfect perspective, similar to that of a good stereoscopic view, or that of a high-grade moving picture photograph--the figures "stand out," and do not appear "flat" as in the case of an ordinary photograph; but still at the best it is like looking at a moving picture, inasmuch as the whole scene is all in front of you. Visioning in the astral body, on the contrary, gives you an "all around" view of the scene. That is to say, in such case you see the thing just as you would were you there in your physical body--you see in front of you; on the sides of you, out of the corner of your eye; if you turn your head, you may see in any direction; and you may turn around and see what is happening behind you. In the first case you are merely gazing at an astral picture in front of you; while in the second place you are ACTUALLY THERE IN PERSON.

There are some limitations to this "seeing all around" when in the astral body, however, which I should note in passing. For instance, if when in the astral body you examine the akashic records of the past, or else peer into the scenes of the future, you will see these things merely as a picture, and will not be conscious of being present personally in the scene. (An apparent exception is to be noted here, also, viz., if your past-time visioning includes the perception of yourself in a former incarnation, you may be conscious of living and acting in your former personality; again, if you are psychometrizing from fossil remains, or anything concerned with a living creature of the past, you may "take on" the mental or emotional conditions of that creature, and seem to sense things from the inside, rather than from the outside. This, of course, is also a characteristic of the ordinary clairvoyant vision of the past.) But when, in the astral body, you perceive a present-time scene in space, you are, to all intents and purposes, an actual participant--you are actually present at the place and time. The sense of "being actually present in the body" is the leading characteristic of the astral body visioning, and distinguishes it from the "picture seeing" sensing of ordinary clairvoyance. This is stating the matter is as plain and simple form as is possible, ignoring many technical details and particulars.

You, being a student of occultism, of course know that the astral body is a fine counterpart of the physical body, composed of a far more subtle form of substance than is the latter, that under certain conditions you may travel in your astral body, detached from your physical body (except being connected with it with a slender astral cord, bearing a close resemblance to the umbilical cord which connects the newborn babe with the placenta in the womb of its mother), and explore the realms of the astral plane. This projection of the astral body, as a rule, occurs only when the physical body is stilled in sleep, or in trance condition. In fact, the astral body frequently is projected by us during the course of our ordinary sleep, but we fail to remember what we have seen in our astral journeys, except, occasionally, dim flashes of partial recollection upon awakening. In some cases, however, our astral visioning is so distinct and vivid, that we awaken with a sense of having had a peculiar experience, and as having actually been out of the physical body at the time.

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