The reader will by now have realized that there is a certain difference between Visions obtained by means of the Crystal, and the attainment of Crystal Vision.
Let us consider the matter in greater detail. If we use a crystal as a means of obtaining visions of what, to us, would otherwise remain unseen, we accomplish our purpose through learning to concentrate our attention on the Lesser Crystalline Sphere. Just what we see by this means is beyond our power of control, for we have taken no steps to insure any particular type of vision appearing before us in the crystal. The visions so obtained may be pleasant, or unpleasant; symbolical or actual; past, present, or future; and we have to rely upon our own power of comprehension and our own intuitive ideas, in order to make such visions of value.
Also, the power to see such visions at all, largely depends on our own inner state of development. If we have not been living on the right diet, if we have not learned to breathe correctly, if our own ideas are not of the greatest purity; these visions may be coloured by our own thought, or we may not be able to get beyond the very early stages.
Much therefore depends upon ourselves, and we must be prepared to so train ourselves that these "inner powers", which enable us to contact the subtle vibrations concentrated on the crystal from the Universal Sphere, may become apparent to our conscious mind.
The concentration of our gaze on the crystal is Perhaps the most important part of the whole operation, for we are thus learning to concentrate our minds on a single idea.
Concentration of mind leads to the highest results, if rightly directed. It is a valuable acquirement and well worth the time and trouble it may take in order to secure it.
The true Student will probably realize that this power of mental concentration is of greater importance than the mere elementary visions seen in the crystal while we are learning to acquire it., The practices we have undertaken to that end will have served to strengthen the will and with that strengthening of the will comes more power of choice. We are no longer content to remain slaves to our visions (or to our thoughts) we seek a conscious mastery over these things.
In that case, we may begin to question the truth of our visions. We may find ourselves in a position to see certain events which have transpired, or are transpiring, or will transpire on this material plane. We may follow our inner guidance when we interpret these visions, and we may make a true guess, so that what we have beheld may prove in line with fact. On the other hand, we may find many instances when our interpretation of the Symbols, or the Time, connected with our visions is far from correct. Many people forget about these things, and we only hear of the few instances when everything turns out correctly.
Some persons seem naturally gifted with "second sight" and are able to give others an accurate "reading" in a fairly large percentage of cases. But such persons are comparatively rare, and in any case they represent the "mediumistic" passive type of individuals, who are little better than reflectors, with no creative powers of their own.
Crystal gazing, should teach us to become more positive, rather than more negative. Our only chance of true advancement lies in the direction of control of the Astral Plane. If we let it control us, we are lost.
The Ancients, realizing this, devised the proper methods for obtaining visions of a definite type, or at least from a definite type of intelligence, represented -- in the examples previously given -- by certain Angels of a high order. Such Beings are capable of teaching us great truths, while the mere elementals, with which we may come in contact by less scientific methods, are only too likely to lead us astray.
But we also discovered that in order to carry out the instructions of the Wise Seers of the past, we must first be in possession of a fund of knowledge which would put us in the position to work in an intelligent manner. Should we, on the other hand neglect to obtain this, we should still be just as much at the mercy of the elementary forces, since in our ignorance, we could be easily deceived, and having no means of testing the accuracy of our results, might well come to grief.
Our safest method, therefore, will be to treat every result as subjective, as something arising within ourselves, and to leave on one side the question of the objective reality of any of our visions. Just because we perceive a "vision" which appears to be in objective space, because we have our physical eyes open and have been gazing at a Crystal, it does not prove that this vision is really outside of us. As a matter of fact all we perceive in the physical universe, is within our organ of vision, and the outside cause may be quite other than that which we think it is. A table, for instance, appears as it does on account of certain vibrations from the "outside" entering our consciousness through the "eye" and our inner organ of vision reacts, and projects into "space" the image that we call a "table". Just what a "table" is in reality, we really do not know.
In any case, when we have been gazing at the crystal, after the mist has cleared away and we become conscious of the "vision", we are not at the same time conscious of our material surroundings.
So we see, that after all, our own "vision" needs to be trained, and that is the most important consideration for the true Seer.
Now, although it is not so easy perhaps, we are just as well able -- with practice-- to concentrate our minds inwards as outwards. We can make a mental picture of a crystal or some other simple object, and concentrate on that mental image while our physical eyes are closed. We have, in other words a certain power of inner vision which may be much developed. Once we have learned to concentrate the mind to some extent, we may arouse, by means of our creative imagination any kind of vision we desire. But again we cannot be sure that we imagine truly, this, however, need not concern us very much for the moment.
If we try to imagine, for instance, a "Red Triangle" we find our mental picture, even of this simple object, trying to escape us. It will change colour, and shape, and size; and at first it is very little under our control. But it is slightly under our control because we created it by means of our will to perceive a red triangle. It is quite unlike an idea which takes possession of our mind against our will, and obsesses us. Also, the more we practice, the more vividly shall we be able to see the Red Triangle, and the less it will change colour and shape, till one day after we have been practicing a long time, perhaps -- we shall be able to hold it before our mental vision at will. The fact that we are able to do this, will imply that we have been able to cut away from consciousness every other thought except the Red Triangle. What will be the result? There will be a "rushing together of the Seer and the Seen" and in a moment we shall find ourselves in an entirely new state of consciousness. Our mind -- for a brief period at any rate -- will become CRYSTAL CLEAR. We shall have obtained, what in Raja Yoga is called, Dhyana. This is but the first of the Great results, but it is a thousand times more glorious, and more worth while, than any vision in the crystal that might have been obtained by concentration of the mind outside instead of inside our own Crystalline Sphere.
Again, man has the power -- once he has learned to concentrate -- to form for himself a "Body of Light" or "Astral Body" which at first surrounds his physical body, and may afterwards be separated from it, so that -- while still retaining his full consciousness -- he may learn to travel clothed in his Body of Light, on the Astral Plane. He may visit other spheres, those depicted in the Diagram as surrounding the physical world, governed by the planetary intelligences. He may extend his field of knowledge further and further, until some day, if he has succeeded in purifying himself sufficiently in the meanwhile, he may gaze upon that UNIVERSAL CRYSTALLINE SPHERE, mentioned in our Third Chapter.
It was such a course that Frater 0. M. took when he obtained the series of 30 Visions of the Aires or Athyrs, in accordance with the System partially worked out by Dr. Dee and Sir Edward Kelly. Some of these visions are very wonderful indeed, and I cannot refrain from quoting a part of his Magical Record on the subject. The following is chosen because it introduces the Angel Madimi, the same who first appeared to Dr. Dee.
THE CRY OF THE 17TH AETHYR WHICH IS CALLED TAN.
"Into the stone there first cometh the head of a dragon, and then the Angel Madimi. She is not the mere elemental that one would suppose from the account of Casaubon. I enquire why her form is different.
She says: Since all things are God, in all things thou seest just so much of God as thy capacity affordeth thee. But behold! Thou must pierce deeply into this Aethyr before true images appear. For TAN is that which transformeth judgment into justice. BAL is the sword, and TAN the balances.
A pair of balances appears in the stone, and on the bar of the balance is written: Motion about a point is iniquity.
And behind the balances is a plume, luminous, azure. And somehow connected with the plume, but I cannot divine how, are the words: Breath is iniquity. (That is, any wind must stir the feather of truth.)
And behind the plume is a shining filament of quartz, suspended vertically from the abyss to the abyss. And in the midst is a winged disk of some extremely delicate, translucent substance, on which is written in the "dagger" alphabet: Torsion is iniquity. (This means, that Rashith Ha-Gilgalim is the first appearance of evil.)
And now an Angel appears, like as he were carven in black diamonds. And he cries: Woe unto the Second, whom all nations of men call the First. Woe unto the First, whom all grades of Adepts call the First. Woe unto me, for I, even as they, have worshipped him. But she whose paps are the galaxies, and he that never shall be known, in them is no motion. For the Infinite Without filleth all and moveth not, and the Infinite Within goeth indeed; but it is no odds, else were the space-marks confounded.
And now the Angel is but a shining speck of blackness in the midst of a tremendous sphere of liquid and vibrating light, at first gold, then becoming green, and lastly pure gold. And I see that the green of Libra is made up of the yellow of air and the blue of water, swords and cups, judgment and mercy. And this word TAN meaneth mercy. And the feather of Maat is blue because the truth of justice is mercy. And a voice cometh, as it were the music of the ripples of the surface of the sphere: Truth is delight. (This means that the Truth of the universe is delight.)
Another voice cometh; it is the voice of a mighty Angel, all in silver; the scales of his armour and the plumes of his wings are like mother-of-pearl in a framework of silver. And he sayeth: Justice is the equity that ye have made for yourselves between truth and falsehood. But in Truth there is nothing of this, for there is only Truth. Your falsehood is but a little falser than your truth. Yet by your truth shall ye come to Truth. Your truth is your troth with Adonai the Beloved one. And the Chymical Marriage of the Alchemists beginneth with a Weighing, and he that is not found wanting hath within him one spark of fire, so dense and so intense that it cannot be moved, though all the winds of heaven should clamour against it, and all the waters of the abyss surge upon it to smother it. Nay, it shall not be moved.
And this is the fire of which it is written: "Hear thou the voice of fire I" And the voice of Afire is the second chapter of the Book of the Law, that is revealed unto him that is a score and half a score and three that are scores, and six, by Aiwass, that is his guardian, the mighty Angel that extendeth from the first unto the last, and maketh known the mysteries that are beyond. And the method and the form of invocation whereby a man shall attain to the knowledge and conversation of his Holy Guardian Angel shall be given unto thee in the proper place, and seeing that the word is deadlier than lightning, do thou meditate straightly thereupon, solitary, in a place where is no living thing visible, but only the light of the sun. And thy head shall be bare. Thus mayest thou become fitted to receive this, the holiest of the Mysteries. And it is the holiest of the Mysteries because it is the Next Step. And those Mysteries which lie beyond, though they be holier, are not holy unto thee, but only remote. (The sense of this passage seems to be, that the holiness of a thing implies its personal relation with one, just as one cannot blaspheme an unknown god, because one does not know what to say to annoy him. And this explains the perfect inefficiency of those who try to insult the saints; the most violent attacks are very often merely clumsy compliments.)
Now the Angel is spread completely over the Globe, a dewy film of silver upon that luminous blue.
And a great voice cries: Behold the Queen of Heaven, how she hath woven her robes from the loom of justice. For as that straight path of the Arrow cleaving the Rainbow became righteousness in her that sitteth in the hall of double truth, so at last is she exalted unto the throne of the High Priestess, the Priestess of the Silver Star, wherein also is thine Angel made manifest
And this is the mystery of the camel that is ten days in the desert, and is not athirst, because he hath within him that water which is the dew distilled from the Night of Nuit. Triple is the cord of silver, that it may not be loosed; and three score and a half a score and three is the number of the name of my name, for that the ineffable wisdom, that also is of the sphere of the stars, informeth me. Thus am I crowned with the triangle that is about the eye, and therefore is my number three. And in me there is no imperfection, because through me descendeth the influence of TARO. And that is also the number of Aiwass the mighty Angel, the Minister of Silence.
And even as the shew-stone burneth thy forehead with its intolerable flame, so he who hath known me, though but from afar, is marked out and chosen from among men, and he shall never turn back or turn aside, for he hath made the link that is not to be broken, nay, not by the malice of the Four Great Princes of the evil of the world, nor by Choronzon, that mighty Devil, nor by the wrath of God, nor by affliction and feebleness of the soul.
Yet with this assurance be not thou content; for though thou hast wings of the Eagle, they are vain, except they be joined to the shoulders of the Bull. Now, therefore, I send forth a shaft of my light, even as a ladder let down from the heaven upon the earth, and by this black cross of Themis that I hold before thine eyes, do I swear unto thee that the path shall be open henceforth for evermore.
There is a clash of a myriad silver cymbals, and silence. And then three times a note is struck upon a bell, which sounds like my holy Tibetan bell, that is made of electrum magicum.
I am happily returned unto the earth. Bou-Saada.
December 2, 1909. 12:15-2 A. M.
The above example of one of the most perfect types of Symbolic Visions cannot be fully appreciated by those who are unacquainted with the true Keys of the Holy Qabalah, and with some of the Mysteries of the New Aeon. Those who have made some study of "Q. B. L.", of the "Tree of Life", the Tarot, etc., will soon discover a great many underlying meanings, and to them the perfect consistency of all the symbolism, will be quite apparent. In any case, even those who have little knowledge of such matters, will recognize the beauty, sublimity, and greatness of this type of Vision, compared with any of a more partial nature. Of course, this is but one of a series, and by itself is not very explanatory, but I may add, that all these Visions were of a definitely Initiatory nature -- so far as the Seer was concerned -- and at the same time they have a perfectly true Universal Application. It is a pity this cannot be said in regard to the average "crystal reading". But the concentration of mind obtained by the earnest student of crystal-gazing, may, as before remarked, result in visions of a much more important character, if the seer is sufficiently interested in Truth to learn to make his own Inner Vision, Crystal Clear.