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Second Sight: A study of Natural and Induced Clairvoyance by Sepharial


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There are two kinds of vision, and each of these may be perceived in two different ways. The two sorts of vision are called the Direct Vision and the Symbolic Vision.

The first of these is an exact representation of some scene or incident which has taken place in the past or will subsequently be experienced in the future. It may have relation to the experience of the seer, or of those who are present at the sitting, or yet may have a general or public application.

The second order of vision is a representation by ideograph, symbol or other indirect means, of events similar to those conveyed by direct vision. The visions of Ezekiel and John of Patmos are of the symbolic order, and although to the seers themselves there probably was a very clear apperception of their import, yet for others they require interpretation. In most cases it will be found that the nature of the vision has relation to that sphere of life and interest in which the seer or those for whom he is serving are concerned. But this is not always the case, for there are some peculiarly sensitive seers whose visions have a wider range and a more general application. In the first case it would seem that the impressions latent in the individual sphere of subconscious activity are brought into evidence, and in the other case the seer comes into relations with the world-soul or earth-sphere, so that political, social and cosmic events are brought out of latency into conscious perception. In most cases it will be found that answers to questions are conveyed by symbols, though this is not an invariable rule, as will appear from the following remarks.

The vision, when it occurs, may be conveyed in one of two ways: first, as a vivid picture affecting the focus and retina of the eye, perfect in its outline and colouring, and giving the sense of nearness or distance; secondly, as a vivid mental impression accompanied by a hazy or dim formation in the "field" of vision. In this latter form it becomes an apperception rather than a perception, the mind receiving the impression of the vision to be conveyed before it has had time to form and define itself in the field.

As already intimated, there appears to be a connection between the temperamental peculiarities of the two classes of clairvoyants and the kind of vision developed in them. Thus the direct vision is more generally found in association with the passive temperament. The direct vision is neither so regular nor so constant as the symbolic vision owing to the peculiarities of the negative or passive subject. When it does develop, however, the direct vision is both lucid and actual, and has literal fulfilment in the world of experience and fact. It is an actual representation of what has actually happened or will have place in the future, or yet may be presently happening at some place more or less distant.

The symbolic vision, on the other hand, is more generally developed in the positive or active type of seer. It has the advantage of being more regular and constant in its occurrence than the direct vision, while at the same time being open to the objection that it is frequently misinterpreted. Nothing shows this better perhaps than the various interpretations which have been made of the Apocalypse.

The positive temperament appears to throw off the mental images as speedily as they are developed in the subconscious area, and goes out to meet them in a mood of speculative enquiry. But the passive temperament most frequently feels first and sees afterwards, the visionary process being entirely devoid of speculation and mental activity. In a word, the distinction between them is that the one sees and thinks while the other feels and sees.