We have given some consideration to the proper preparation of our Crystal, or, as we termed it in the last chapter, the Lesser Crystalline Sphere. We must now pay some attention to the necessary condition of our own Inner Being or what we may term The Greater Crystalline Sphere.
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 remolded 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 fulfillment 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.
[Transcriber's note: The person being referred to above is L.W. de Laurence, a notorious literary thief.]
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 in this chapter, 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" towards the end of the book. But there is no connected and systematic thread to guide the student through the various stages that may be necessary for him in order to attain a complete knowledge and experience of the whole matter. For that reason, having been requested to prepare a new and original account of the processes involved, I have decided to start at the very beginning, and lead the student by gradual stages to a comprehension of the larger outcome of the Work.
But it is now time for us to consider the early stages of the practical work, taking up the thread from where we left it at the end of the last chapter.
Therefore 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 colors 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."
So ends Mr. Melville's instruction, and he displays his wisdom in thus warning the reader of the necessity of cultivating purity in his own Larger Crystalline Sphere and in relying on nothing but the highest as his ultimate Guide. We shall understand this more clearly as the work progresses, meanwhile enough has been given to enable the would-be seer to start without further delay-his actual practice of the Art.
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.