The study of Crystal Gazing without a Crystal would appear very much like the study of a "Bill of Fare" without troubling to obtain the material food described thereon. The mere reading of a book on a subject of this nature without an attempt to put into practice the processes described -- step by step -- from the very beginning, is futile and a mere waste of time.
The first consideration, therefore (if the would-be seer has not already attended to the matter), will be the choice of a suitable Crystal to form the material basis of his experiments and a stepping-stone to the development of his latent powers of clear vision.
In all probability the aspirant to this ancient art has already been attracted to a Crystal Sphere of this nature, for there is little doubt of the extraordinary magnetic attraction of objects of this kind whenever they are exposed to our view, and since the present interest in this fascinating subject has become apparent, we may see these Crystals displayed more publicly than has ever been the case in the past.
In olden times, and even up to the last few years, crystals were the cherished possessions of those well advanced upon the Path and kept by them from the eyes of the so-called profane. Only after having found the way, often with difficulty, to the presence of these Seers, did an opportunity occur to get even a glimpse of such a magical link with the invisible spheres. Fortunately for the modern aspirant, however, this difficulty has been removed and it has been found that more good may result by a proper study of this science so as to develop one's own latent powers, than ever a mere visit to a Seer could produce. Man has made a considerable advance on the road to Attainment. Self-development and self-initiation are beginning to play a much more prominent part than formerly. Man is no longer content to believe what he is told, he at last desires to know from his own experience. The Crystal is a stepping-stone towards Self-knowledge.
We should select our crystal with great care; the more perfect its quality, the more we should desire it as the means of our development. It should be neither too large, nor too small, and here our natural intuition should be allowed to guide us, but I may say that it is not well that the Sphere be less than two and one-half inches in diameter, and it is not necessary that it be more than four. We should choose this crystal, I might almost say, lovingly; at least, if a selection is presented to us we should take the one to which, after a moment of silent consideration, we feel most attracted; and this -- if possible -- regardless of the material consideration of its cost. We should not, however, purchase a globe which is far beyond our material means, so that other obligations would suffer thereby; otherwise, lurking at the back of our consciousness whenever we use it, may be the feeling of having acted wrongly in that connection from the very start.
We must realize the importance of this advice, for the great attraction that the Crystal has for us is something more than the arousing of a mere idle curiosity on our part. It is no less than a desire -- subconscious it may be -- to attain the same purity of soul that we perceive in the Crystal before us, and, as a matter of fact the results we obtain by a study and practice of this Art will largely, if not entirely, depend on the purity of our desire and the quality and state of development of our inner nature.
That is why I am taking up the material consideration first of all, for after the crystal has actually come into our possession, our path lies away from such considerations, at least until we have attained the success which will surely attend our earnest efforts in the right direction.
Let us suppose then that the first step has been taken, a suitable Crystal has been obtained, and that the possessor has taken it into his own room -- the one he likes best and wherein he feels most contented and serene. The choice of this room is also of importance, though in this case we must make the best of what is at our disposal. If possible this room should be one wherein we have never had any particularly unpleasant experience, where there is nothing that we feel antipathy towards, and wherein are such objects as we love best of all our possessions. In such an atmosphere the soul of the seer will feel at peace, free from distractions, and consequently in the right mood to commence his studies.
The Crystal should first be taken in both hands and held for a few moments while we close our eyes and, calming the mind, raise our consciousness to the highest and purest Ideal of which we are capable. We should persist in our effort toward this state until we feel that holy calm and stillness, so well symbolized by the Crystal itself.
We should next turn our attention to the crystal, separating the thumbs slightly, thus allowing it to rest easily in the hollow of our hands. We should remember that we, too, rest thus in the Hollow of the Hand of the Almighty without Whose aid, our Work must come to naught.
As we look into the depths of this Globe -- material though it be -- we cannot but be impressed with ideas of Purity. It is almost as if we gazed into the eyes of a little child, and there are few who have not experienced a peculiar sensation, almost amounting to awe, certainly one of wonder, when so doing. The soul of the seer is very like that of a little child -- or should be -- and it is in order that we may regain the purity and perfection of this child-like vision that we set out on this path. Most of our material surroundings give us a certain feeling of grossness, few, if any, can compare with the lucid depths of the crystal now before us.
But, in entering this path, we are about to deal with ideas and forces, finer and less apparent to our ordinary senses than any we have yet known. Even the transparent crystal is not as yet entirely pure, though we may be unable to perceive one spot on its surface or within its depths.
It is charged with a certain subtle magnetism attracted to it from the surroundings in which it has been prior to the time we obtained it. It has passed through many hands before, for a few moments, it rested in our own while we turned our thoughts inward and upward towards the Highest. Even as our own aspiration at that moment was pure, so must we first purify this symbol of our Inner-self -- the Diamond Soul as it is sometimes called -- for purification is the first step in the process whereby Initiation may be obtained. We must pass this material thing -- inorganic and lifeless though it may seem to us -- through the same processes of Purification, Consecration and Initiation, through which we in turn desire to pass.
But how may this be accomplished? That is not so difficult as it might at first appear, but it is quite necessary for all that, and in order to impress this necessity on your minds I must first devote a little time to an explanation of the process.
Every material object, including the physical body of man himself, is but the outward expression of certain finer forms of matter which interpenetrate it. Thus in the case of man, we may say he is composed of body, soul and spirit, the soul, in that case, being the plastic medium which enables the Pure Essence or Spirit to contact and communicate with the outer physical shell or envelope. This Soul of man -- and of the World -- is sometimes called "The Astral Light" or "Plastic Mediator", for unlike grosser substances it may be readily molded at will and without visible means. This Astral Light interpenetrates all objects, it is invisible to our physical senses, but its existence both in man and in all nature, makes possible the power of Clairvoyance -- Clear Vision -- as well as of Clairaudience and other powers the development of which does not come within the scope of the present treatise.
This subtle magnetic fluid is everywhere present, and reflected upon it -- as in a mirror -- may be found all the events or pictures of what has occurred, or what is occurring on this planet and even beyond this sphere. The Astral light absorbs every least impression, and so, even though not apparent to our normal and undeveloped senses, the astral counterpart of our Crystal Globe is still charged with impressions of all kinds that have accumulated within it since its material substance was first formed. It is because of its attracting these subtle influences that we wish to make use of it as a medium for bringing them to our own consciousness, but we must in the first instance demagnetize it, so as to banish all trace of the past influences which it still contains.
This may be simply accomplished as follows:
First place the crystal on a slender cup-like stand. (One may usually be obtained with the crystal in the first instance.) This stand should be placed on the surface of a small table, which has previously been carefully cleansed, and from which all other objects have been removed.
We may either stand or sit before this table, within easy reach of the crystal while we perform the first step towards the purification of our material basis. Next place the tips of the fingers of both hands together, the thumbs being also joined, so as to form a circle -- symbol of infinity but also of a limitation or boundary -- then concentrate the attention on this circle until you clearly imagine, or actually feel, a film of fine astral matter, like the film of a soap-bubble, formed of the fine substance of your own astral and etheric bodies, spreading over the hollow space between your hands. As in the former instance, when your whole attention was turned within, this film should represent to you the highest and purest of which you are capable. A film of such purity that it will have the effect of dispelling or banishing every lower influence it contacts.
Having concentrated your mind in this way for a few moments -- and the ease with which this is accomplished is a good test of your powers as a crystal-gazer -- you must now slowly move your hands until they are directly above the crystal on the table, and still keeping your mind firmly fixed on the idea of this pure film of astral matter, pass your hands down over the crystal, thus causing it, in its turn, to pass clear through the magnetized circle of your hands.
When your hands reach the table at the base of the stand, they should be drawn apart, thus breaking the "film" and leaving the crystal above demagnetized of all that is of a lower vibration than your own highest ideal. It is then like a blank talisman, or a thing without life. If this first step has been successfully accomplished, the crystal will now give an impression of perfect 'cleanliness,' or that is the best description one can give of the proper result obtained by the process of purification. It must on no account be touched at this stage of the work.
The next process is to charge it with your own magnetism, thus consecrating it to the Work you wish to accomplish.
If the best results are to be obtained the crystal must now be consecrated or dedicated to the special mission for which it is destined. This mission is a very important one, much greater than we at first imagined perhaps, for it is no less than that of representing to the seer his own Soul in the pure condition to which he aspires to bring it. For that reason, his material basis, the crystal, must never be used for any but the highest purposes. It is no longer an ornament that may be placed on the mantel-shelf, but something he is about to endow with his own life, to charge with his own highest Will. Thus it becomes something most sacred to him, no longer an object to be idly handled by the profane any more than he would allow his own innermost feelings and ideals to be thus roughly used by every passing stranger. This explains the attitude of the true Seer of the past; it is not so much that the Crystals they used became objects of superstitious mystery to the ignorant, as this sacred value to the Seer himself, which caused them to be so carefully preserved. Once we understand this, we shall adopt the right attitude towards our studies from the very start.
How then must we accomplish the Consecration of our Small Crystalline Sphere?
Leaving it just where it stands on the table before us we must next place the tips of our fingers and thumbs together, very much as before, but this time allowing them to form a perfect equilateral triangle. Our hands should be held in this position over the crystal, while we strongly concentrate our minds on the idea that a positive current is flowing from them down into the crystal. This current must again represent our highest aspiration in its purest form, but directed this time by our True Will. When we fairly feel this current flowing from our hands, they should be passed gently over the crystal -- still forming the triangle as before but gradually allowing the palms to encircle the globe, without actually touching it; then, when we feel impressed to do so as by an unseen force, we should gently but firmly grasp the crystal itself, lifting it from its stand, and allowing our hands to pass all over its surface. All this while the mind must be kept in the highest possible condition of pure aspiration, as if we were giving our very life to this object, as indeed we are, for it now becomes more than a mere symbol of dead matter, it lives, and we have brought it to birth as a child of our Will. Henceforth it must be treated as such, as a sacred instrument, dedicated and consecrated to the service of the Highest.
And here a warning is necessary, though it will not be needed by the aspirant to this Art who has followed the directions hitherto given in the right spirit. This warning was also given by an earlier writer on this subject, John Melville, he writes:
"A sure and certain law exists, viz: - That if the seer's purpose be evil when he or she uses the crystal or mirror, it will react upon the seer sooner or later with terrible effect; wherefore all are strictly cautioned to be good and do good only."
This may sound rather like Sunday-school talk, but when explained in the light of the principles I have set forth above, it becomes clear, for we thereby charge the body of our "child" -- the crystal -- with a force which must inevitably return to us as its creator, quite apart from any question of outside influence from "beings" on other planes.
But he again reminds us that "The aerial spaces are thronged with countless intelligences -- celestial, good, pure, true, and the reverse. The latter have force: the former possess power. To reach the good ones, the heart of the gazer must correspond, and they should be invoked with prayerful feelings. There are innumerable multitudes of the bad on the confines of Matter and Spirit. These malign forces are many and terrible; but they can never reach the soul that relies on God in perfect faith, and which only Invokes the Good, the Beautiful, and True for noble purposes."
Here we have many fresh ideas that need to be dealt with more fully in their proper place, but the advice is good, and the warning necessary to those who, with the best intentions, may through ignorance of their own nature, and that of the Universe in which they live and move and have their being, imprudently attract to themselves forces of evil too great for them to withstand, thus bringing about obsession, madness or even worse, through use of wrong methods.
This stage in the process of the preparation Of our crystal has been partially accomplished in the previous section of the work. We have really CONSECRATED the object by determining to use it only for the one work before us and for no other purpose, and we have at least partially INITIATED it by charging it with our own Will and Life. Initiation means a beginning and we shall have made a good beginning If the above instructions have been carefully and faithfully followed. An elaborate ceremony might have been adopted, but since we are ourselves only making a beginning of the Work, such a Ceremony, even if described would have appeared cumbersome and unwieldy. As it is the merest novice has no excuse for neglecting the few simple rules laid down, which in the end, will be seen to have a far greater importance than is at first imagined.
If we start rightly we shall continue rightly, but a false start practically ruins our chances of success.
Enough has been accomplished for the moment, and the next step is to leave the crystal alone for a short time, not to start to use it immediately. This will be a test of patience, for one thing, and we shall need all our patience in order to succeed fully.
But, as with a new born babe, we must not leave our crystal unprotected. It should be carefully wrapped in a piece of silk obtained for the purpose and likewise dedicated to that end. Rose-pink is perhaps the best, as if to suggest our pure love of this "object" we have so carefully prepared. Outside that we might well place "grey" and finally "black" silk wrappings.
If this seems too elaborate, use a piece of pure black silk only, and whenever the Little Crystalline Sphere is used, first polish it carefully with this same silk wrapper.
Now put your crystal away, and read the next Chapter carefully before attempting to use it further.
The attitude of mind in which we approach the practice of the Art of Crystal-Gazing, will largely determine the results to be obtained therefrom. These may be little or great, as we ourselves look at the matter from a narrow or broad point of view.
Those who enter upon this study, actuated by a mere idle curiosity, after having attempted to satisfy it, may find there is apparently very little to be gained, while, on the other hand, even if in the first instance curiosity alone was our motive, it may give place to a genuine and lasting interest, leading to the highest results, if we are prepared to add to our original impulse enough energy to carry us through the very necessary preliminary practices by which alone, success may be assured.
There are two important factors entering into this proposition, The Seer or Gazer and the Crystal or object used to concentrate the gaze upon. The proper relation of these two is what brings about the desired result, viz: Clear Vision.
Now the clarity of our vision depends chiefly upon ourselves, not upon the crystal which is but a convenient means of acquiring this. We should now spend a few minutes in self-examination, in the same way that we did when we first examined the crystal or material basis of the work.
Why have we been attracted to the crystal. is just as important a question as why did the crystal attract us? In fact much more important, for our whole future may depend upon this curious meeting. Was it because we had been told, or that we imagined, that by some mysterious means we should thereby be enabled to peer into the future there to discover what lies before us on Life's Path, or what lies before those whom we hold dear as friends or acquaintances? Was it that we might perchance see the vision of one whom we had idealized in our imagination as a soul-mate, and hoped thereby to be assured of the actual existence of such? Was it that we might pry into the distant past, or even into the immediate past, of the lives of those with whom we are in daily contact, so that we might thereby obtain a knowledge of events that would at the same time put us in possession of a certain degree of power? Or was it as a stepping stone to really Clear Vision, a better understanding of Life itself, of our own being, and our true relationship with our environment in a larger sense than could be expected by mere physical means?
Probably our motives may have been compounded of some or all of these, and many more, and on that account be somewhat vague and uncertain. In that case we must at first expect a certain vagueness and uncertainty in our visions. In proportion to the clarity of our own conceptions, must our visions appear hazy or perfect in every way. "A true vision is to awakement as awakement is to a dream: and a perfect vision is so nearly perfect Reality that words cannot be found in which to translate it, yet it must not be forgotten that its truth ceases on return of the seer to the Material plane". This statement was made by one of the Great Seers, one who no longer needs the aid of a crystal, yet it holds good in this case also and will give the aspirant a glimpse of what may be expected provided we go to the trouble to thus perfect our instrument -- the Greater Crystalline Sphere.
A certain honesty of purpose is requisite to this Art, that is to say if it is our true desire to obtain the beat results. The Good the Beautiful and the True are the natural desires of the human soul, any inclination towards the reverse, shows an imperfection in our Crystalline Sphere which needs to be eradicated. Fortunately the Soul of man is Plastic and unlike the Hard Crystal Globe, may be easily worked upon and remoulded nearer to the heart's desire.
A certain honesty of purpose must also be apparent in the instructions we follow, and for that reason it may be well to say a few words about the "crystals" and books on Crystal-Gazing which may come into the hands of the Student.
First then in regard to Crystals and "crystals". In all probability the crystal you have purchased, purified, consecrated, initiated and wrapped away so carefully, is not a real crystal at all. This news may come to you with a kind of sickening shock. But this shock will not last long if your own "Greater Crystal" the Inner Part of your being is true, and if you have faithfully carried out the preliminary instructions as directed. You have accepted this symbolic crystal as your "child", as something into which you have directed your highest aspiration and will. It matters little what the substance is composed of, so long as it has now become for you a sacred thing.
But how could you have been thus deceived if such were the case. Through ignorance of the real value of Crystal. In all probability the ball you purchased cost but a few dollars, whereas, had it been genuine Crystal, it would have been much beyond your means, or at least have cost more than you were prepared to risk on the experiment in hand. You have probably obtained a very carefully cut and polished sphere of glass, free from flaws and difficult and expensive to make. But it is a manufactured article, not a natural stone. It may be you could see little difference between it and a genuine stone, but the difference lies within, for the real crystal is built up by Nature on hexagonal lines, yet so clear and transparent is the stone that we do not see them. The one true test of all the crystal family is the fact that the angle of incidence remains the same in each species. Now the Hexagram symbolizes the Macrocosm, the Great Universe, or God. For the moment we have described the Soul of Man as our Greater Crystalline Sphere. In many cases this Soul has not attained to its greatest purity, and is little more than the Glass Sphere is to the Genuine Crystal.
Let this teach you your first great lesson in the Art, not to be deceived by, appearances, for it is written "The Devil himself may appear to us as an Angel of Light". Yet do not be discouraged by this discovery, let us examine the matter more closely. Crystals are comparatively rare, and while little in demand, and that only by the most earnest seekers and Seers who were prepared to "Buy their eggs without haggling", the supply was ample to fill the needs of those who sought after them. Today Crystal-Gazing has taken a more popular aspect, and attracts -- in many instances -- less serious people, or those who are not prepared to pay very highly for the fulfilment of their desires. Consequently a demand has arisen for "something very like the real" -- just as good perhaps for the majority of persons -- but, what is more serious, there is likely to be a corresponding decline in the value of the practice, for less care may be taken in the methods used, and so on, till -- like many other studies -- it fails to be understood and thus falls into disrepute.
Fortunately the matter is not irreparable when understood in its true light, and greater reliance placed upon the inner powers of the Seer than on the objects at which he gazes. He cannot change glass into crystal in the case of the globe before him, but he may change Glass into Crystal in the case of his own Inner Being, and the latter is far the most important consideration after all.
Next, in regard to books on the subject of Crystal-Gazing, we find the Art mentioned here and there in a great many Ancient and Modern treatises on Occult matters, but there are few books of a serious nature devoted entirely to this subject. What we do see are usually produced in such a catch-penny style that they are immediately associated with 'fortune-telling' and 'dream-books' of the lowest order.
There is one little book, however, that is well worthy of notice as it is evidently an earnest effort on the part of the Author to set forth the main principles, as far as known to him, in a truly helpful manner. I refer to "Crystal Gazing and Clairvoyance" by John Melville. Published London 1910 by Nichols and Co. in a new and revised form. I shall refer to this little book again from time to time, meanwhile I should tell you that it is out of print and not available in America in that form. I may remark, however, that it has been copied almost word for word by a person who, claiming to be an occultist, should know better.
The book was Copyrighted in England in 1896, but apparently no American protection was secured by the Author or Publisher. In that case it may be just within the scope of legitimate business to publish an American Edition without permission of the author or his agents, but in the case I refer to even the Author's Preface was copied word for word and signed by the impostor with his own name as being author of the whole treatise; acknowledged references in the book itself to other contributors were deliberately deleted and so changed that credit was no longer given to original sources, and in addition Copyright was claimed by the plagiarist, not alone in America but even in England and other Countries covered by the original Copyright. A warning was added that the contents of the volume must not be copied in any way without written permission, disregard of which would subject the offender to the penalty provided by law. This seems to me to add insult to injury and, whether the laws of the Country overlook such things or not, the Law of Karma must in the long run deal with anyone who steals another man's work and calls it his own and then foists it upon the public, making everyone who purchases the book, whether ignorant of the truth or otherwise, what can scarcely be other than a receiver of stolen goods.
From an occult point of view these circumstances practically bar the serious student from any benefit he might otherwise have derived from a study of the book itself, but fortunately, that is not essential as after all the treatise leaves much to be desired.
You may learn a further important lesson from what has just been recited, viz: Don't be content to rely upon appearances, and when you obtain a message from whatever source don't be too sure that the source is the same that it purports to be, or that you imagine it to be. In Crystal-Gazing, and all similar practices this is of vital importance, for neglect of this warning, may lead you far astray from the true Path. St. John knew his business when he said: "Test ye the spirits, whether they be of God." (Good). And this testing of your sources of information, as well as of your own motives is of primary import.
To return, however, to John Melville's little book, it is cast in the following form. First the composition of Beryls or Crystals is taken up; but for reasons mentioned earlier this aspect is of no great importance to the modern enquirer. Then the derivation of the name is discussed and certain other matters of a hypothetical nature are enquired into. The Ancient Methods of Ceremonial in connection with the Art are summarized, and a few practical directions for the modern student follow. This concludes the first part of the book dealing particularly with the matter in hand. The second part is by another author, and entitled "Hygienic Clairvoyance", the title being a most unfortunate one in my opinion, although there are some interesting hints in regard to "Induced Clairvoyance". But there is no connected and systematic thread to guide through the various stages that may be necessary to attain a complete knowledge and experience of the whole matter.
Take your crystal and polish it carefully placing it upon its stand near you, while you pay attention to the following directions.
In the first instance your desire is merely to cultivate a certain degree of clairvoyant power by the regular use of this globe. By this means what are called "visions" of things or events, past, present or future may appear clearly to the inner sight or eye of the soul.
No great harm can come from this practice, provided that the inner motives of the Seer are kept pure and no attempt is made to prostitute it to undesirable ends. Looked upon as a process of self-development leading to concentration of the powers of the mind, and a widening of the mental horizon, the practice of this art may be recommended to almost everyone.
The rules laid down by John Melville for this stage of the work are clear and concise, and leave little to be desired, I shall therefore quote them practically in full, adding my own comments, where necessary, in parentheses.
(1) "Select a quiet room where you will be entirely undisturbed, taking care that it is as far as possible free from mirrors, ornaments, pictures, glaring colours and the like, which may otherwise distract the attention.
"This room should be of a comfortable temperature in accordance with the time of year, neither too hot nor too cold. About 60° to 65° Fahr. is suitable in most cases, though allowance can be made for natural differences in the temperaments of various persons. Thus thin, nervous, delicately organized individuals, and those of lymphatic and soft, easy-going, passive types, require a slightly warmer apartment than the more positive class, who are known by their dark eyes, hair and complexion, combined with more prominent joints and sharper development of what phrenologists term the Perceptive region of the forehead. Should a fire, or any form of artificial light be necessary, it should be well screened off, so as to prevent the light rays from being reflected in, or in any manner directly reaching the crystal.
"The room should not be dark, but rather shadowed, or charged with dull light, somewhat such as prevails on a cloudy or wet day.
(2) "The crystal should be placed on its stand on a table, or it may rest on a black velvet cushion, but in either case it should be partially surrounded by a black silk or similar wrap or screen, so adjusted as to cut off any undesirable reflection.
"Before beginning to experiment, remember that most frequently nothing will be seen on the first occasion, and possibly not for several sittings, though some sitters, if strongly gifted with psychic powers in a state of unconscious, and sometimes conscious degree of unfoldment, may be fortunate enough to obtain good results at the very first trial.
"If, therefore, nothing is perceived during the first few attempts, do not despair or become impatient or imagine that you will never see anything.
"There is a royal road to crystal vision, but it is open only to the compound password of Calmness, Patience, Perseverance. If at the first attempt to ride a bicycle failure ensues, the only way to learn is to pay attention to the necessary rules, and to persevere daily until the ability to ride comes naturally.
"Thus it is with the would-be seer. Persevere in accordance with these simple directions, and success will sooner or later crown your efforts.
(3) "Commence by sitting comfortably with the eyes fixed upon the crystal, not by a fierce stare, but with a steady, calm gaze, for ten minutes only, on the first occasion. In taking the time it is best to hang your watch at a distance where, while the face is clearly visible, the ticking is rendered inaudible. When the time is up, carefully put the crystal away in its case, and keep it in a dark place, under lock and key, allowing no one but yourself to handle it."
(The importance of this latter instruction will be clear to those who have studied the first chapter of this present treatise, and who have actually prepared their crystals in the proper manner. Strange magnetism will of course have its effect on the crystal globe, and again render necessary some such process of Purification as already described.)
"At the second sitting, which should be at the same place, in the same position, and at the same time, you may increase the length of the effort to fifteen minutes, and continue for this period during the next five or six sittings, after which the time may be gradually increased, but should in no case exceed one hour."
(The first instruction in the above paragraph, relative to place, time, etc., is given in order that the student may take advantage of certain Cyclic Laws, which make the repetition of an act under similar circumstances, easier with each attempt, on account of the fact that he has begun to form a habit of working.)
(4) "Any person, or persons admitted to the room, and allowed to remain while you sit should (a) keep absolute silence and (b) remain seated at a distance from you."
(The presence of any other person is of course a handicap to concentration of mind, and should be avoided at first. Any movement in the room may reflect in the crystal, and thus disturb the vision.)
"When you have developed your latent powers, questions may, of course, be put to you by one of those present, but even then only in a very gentle, or low and slow tone of voice; never suddenly, or in a forceful manner."
(It is far better to make the whole practice one of self-development, and not to have people around who will ask a lot of idle questions. Again, the soul of the seer is to some extent thrown open during the practice, so as to make impressions from the Higher Spheres possible, and it is quite another matter to let other, probably ignorant, people, pump the mind of the seer full of suggestions of a lower order, while in that condition. Therein lies the danger of the practice.)
(5) "When you find the crystal begins to look dull or cloudy, with small pin points of light glittering therein, like tiny stars, you may know that you are commencing to obtain that for which you seek - viz: crystalline vision. Therefore persevere with confidence. This condition may, or may not, continue for several sittings, the crystal seeming at times to alternately appear and disappear as in a mist. By and by this hazy appearance will in its turn give place quite suddenly to a blindness of the senses to all else but a blue or bluish ocean of space, against which, as if it were a background, the vision will be clearly apparent."
(The above is practically all the instruction necessary to the desired result, the rest is practice on your part. Yet here are a few further hints for your guidance:)
(6) "The crystal should not be used soon after taking a meal, and care should be taken in matters of diet to partake only of digestible foods, and to avoid alcoholic beverages. Plain and nourishing food, and outdoor exercise, with contentment of mind, or love of simplicity of living, are great aids to success. Mental anxiety, or ill health, are not conducive to the desired end. Attention to correct breathing is of importance."
(A long comment might be added on the necessity of correct breathing, it will perhaps find a place later on in this treatise.)
(7) "As regards the time at which events seen will come to pass, each seer is usually impressed with regard thereto; but as a general rule, visions appearing in the extreme background indicate time more remote, either past or future, than those perceived nearer at hand, while those appearing in the forefront, or close to the seer, denote the present, or immediate future."
(This question of 'time' is an important one, and it is unfortunate that it should largely depend on the 'hunch' of the seer. Time on other planes is differently conditioned, or rather since time is a mode of the human mind, and our mind is at a different state of vibration when examining a vision, the question arises as to the ability of the seer to translate one set of time senses into another corresponding to a different plane. Time in the long run, is discovered to be an illusion after all. There is much in the warning, previously given, that however perfect a vision may appear, it is untrue when brought down to the material plane. More may be said on this matter later.)
(8) "Two principal classes of visions will present themselves to the sitter (a) The Symbolic, indicated by the appearance of symbols such as a flag, boat, knife, gold, etc.: and (b) Actual Scenes and Personages, in action or otherwise."
(In the former instance much will depend on the ability of the seer to translate the symbols correctly, and in the latter there is always liable to be deception by elementals masquerading as the persons that appear to the seer. Remember our warning about the faked book.)
"Persons of a Positive cast of organization, the more active, excitable, yet decided type, are most likely to perceive symbolically or allegorically; while those of a Passive nature usually receive direct or literal revelations. Both classes will find it necessary to carefully cultivate truthfulness, unselfishness, gratitude for what is shown, and absolute confidence in the Love, Wisdom and Guidance of God Himself."
Follow the above instructions carefully, and perform your first ten-minute practice now, before you go any further in the study of this treatise. Then make up your mind to do the practice regularly every day till you have proved for yourself the possibility of obtaining some results by this means.