Art and Clairvoyance

The power of clairvoyance has replaced the faith boosted by St. Paul as “the evidence of things not seen.” It is comparatively easy to obtain the inner sight. The mistake which has been made is that people have expected to see the material world with their astral eyes; and this cannot be done unless the astral body is rematerialized, that is to say, brought back to the same plane as it started from. If you want to find out what is happening elsewhere you have first to form the astral body and travel in it to that place. When you are there you must find sufficient material to build a physical body. This being done, you can see very nearly as if you had traveled there in the body. Then by reversing the process you come back to your own body with the information desired. It cannot be too clearly understood that the astral world is a place with laws of its own just as regular as those pertaining to what we call the material world. In reality one is just as material as the other. There is merely a difference in the quality of the material. We cannot say, therefore, that the color and form perceived by the clairvoyant is really identical in its nature with that perceived by the physical eye. Yet there is a certain analogy or similarity; and there is no particular reason why the astral world should not be represented plastically. Attempts to do this have been made by clairvoyants from the beginning of history. The most successful have on the whole been of purely hieroglyphic or symbolic characters. Geometrical patterns and sacred words and numbers have been used by the best seers to represent — perhaps not exactly what has been seen, but the truth of what has been seen. Attempts to make a direct representation have not been successful, but the reason for this has not been the impossibility of the task. It has not been the lack of good clairvoyants; it has been the lack of good artists. We cannot say that there is any actual incompatibility between the two powers. In fact, the greatest artists have nearly always possessed a touch of mysticism. One might even go so far as to say that even art itself is of a mystic character, since even the most realistic of painters transmutes the physical facts before his eyes into a truth of beauty. A good picture is always a picture of more than the model.

In the exhibition held last month by Mr. Engers Kennedy, we have a very definite attempt to portray that which is seen by the spiritual sight, and the result may be described as extremely successful because the artist is a good artist. These pictures can be looked at with pleasure from the purely aesthetic standpoint. There is no ad captandum effort to interest people in the subject of the picture. They stand on their own merits as pictures. But it would be useless to deny that a supreme interest is superadded by the representation of the character or mood of the sitter by the simple means of using the symbolic colors and forms perceived by the spiritual eye as background. We need not go in detail into the nature of the method employed. These pictures must be seen to be appreciated at their full value. But it is certainly possible to predict a great vogue for these portraits. Everyone must naturally wish a representation in permanent form of their inner as well as their outer body.

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