In view of the considerable attention and publicity currently being
given to psychism, it will be found beneficial to review the Rosicrucian
Fellowship Teachings concerning this phenomenon, and thus to understand why
these Teachings emphasize the superiority of positive spiritual growth over
negative psychic development.
Two Classes of Sensitives
As far as the growth of so-called
extra-sensory faculties is concerned, humanity is divided into two general
categories. Among the members of one category, the "ordinary" people
engaged in material pursuits and by and large out of touch with the spiritual
worlds, the connection between dense and vital body is close. In the other
category, that of the so-called "sensitives," the connection between
the two vehicles is loose. These "sensitives", in turn, are also
divided into two classes; voluntary clairvoyants, positive and actuated by their
own wills; and involuntary clairvoyants, negative and amenable to the will
Pituitary Body and Pineal Gland
A lax connection between vital and dense
bodies induces sensitivity to spiritual vibrations. The pituitary body and the
pineal gland, two organs presently dormant in most people, were eons ago
connected with the involuntary nervous system and invested man with involuntary
clairvoyance. They are the instruments with which voluntary clairvoyance, under
control of the cerebrospinal nervous system, will be attained as man progresses
spiritually. The man who consciously evolves his spiritual faculties controls
the vibration of these organs by will, and the power to "see" in the
other worlds is constant, to be used at his discretion.
The voluntary clairvoyant develops his
sensitivity, and learns to control his extrasensory abilities, as a result of
exercising his will in living a pure, spiritual life and devoting himself to
selfless service to others. In time, after he has proved himself worthy, he
receives the teaching necessary to complete the connection between pineal gland
and pituitary body and to become a trained clairvoyant -- a master of his
faculty at any and all times, free to exercise it or not, as he pleases.
When the connection between the vital and
dense bodies has become so lax that part of the vital body may be withdrawn, the
positive clairvoyant may become a conscious Invisible Helper. He has, by pure
and selfless living, developed his soul body -- the two higher ethers of the
vital body, sense perception and memory -- to such an extent that he can
withdraw in it at will from the dense vehicle, using the soul body as a vehicle
in which to operate. He can then function consciously in the spiritual world and
remember everything he has done there. He is as fully conscious in the spiritual
as in the material world and, after awakening in the morning, is well aware of
what he has done in the spiritual world at night, while he was asleep.
Negative (Involuntary) Clairvoyant
The case of the negative clairvoyant is
entirely different. He, too, because of the loose connection between physical
and vital bodies, is sensitive to spiritual vibrations. Since he is of a
negative temperament, however, and since retrogression is more readily
accomplished than progression, he makes no effort to submit this sensitivity to
his own domination -- in fact, it is not likely to occur to him that he might
eventually do so. Instead, he easily renews the negative activity of the pineal
and pituitary organs, and becomes a negative clairvoyant. Inasmuch as the
negative faculty is exercised by means of the involuntary nervous system, it is
not under the control of the will and is, thus, sporadic in nature. The
involuntary clairvoyant has no control over what he sees or experiences in the
other worlds. He is aware only of what happens to come before him, and cannot
use his power for investigative purposes.
Negative clairvoyants often allow
themselves to come under the control of earth-bound Spirits who constitute
themselves as "spirit guides," and are, in many cases, unscrupulous
entities who seek to coerce their human victims for their own nefarious
purposes. The negative clairvoyant then becomes a trance or materializing
medium, and, when this happens, it can truly be said that his life is no longer
In the case of a materializing medium, the
materializing earthbound Spirit entrances its victim, and, because of the loose
connection between his vehicles, draws the ether of the medium's vital body out
through the spleen and uses it for its own materialization. The vital currents
which give us vitality are specialized. Deprived of this vitalizing principle,
the body of the medium sometimes shrinks to a fraction of its usual size; his
flesh becomes flabby and the spark of life burns very low. When the vital ethers
are returned and he awakens, he is exhausted. This procedure naturally has
extremely adverse consequences to health -- a hazard which does not exist for
the positive clairvoyant.
Mediumship, once entered into, does not
usually remain a matter of choice. Once a Spirit control has gained ingress, the
medium loses the power to shut it out. If he is content to do the control's
bidding -- even, sometimes, to the point of committing murder or suicide-he
escapes harassment, but if he tries to balk or rid himself of the now-unwelcome
Spirit, he is likely to experience great agony at the hands of the more
unscrupulous of these entities. Some Spirit controls-usually those least
experienced and, therefore, most dangerous -- go so far as to push the Ego and
the higher vehicles out of the medium's physical body and step in themselves to
take temporary or permanent control. This condition is generally known as
obsession, and is the basis of many so-called "mental cases."
Even more perilous is the situation which
threatens the medium after death. The Spirit control to which he has been
subject during life does not then release its hold; on the contrary, its
despotism often becomes more intense after the medium enters the spiritual
realms and may continue for many years before the medium can finally break away.
Thus the medium, in addition to experiencing the torture that comes from being
deprived of his vehicles, lags behind in his evolutionary timetable.
It should be obvious to the student that
mediumship, or any other negative undertaking in which one Ego surrenders his
free will to another is, at best, hindering to evolutionary progress -- which
depends on individual initiative - - and at worst, is extremely dangerous in
terms of both life on Earth and life after the passing. Yet most of the psychics
who are now receiving public notice and acclaim are negative in character. Those
few spiritually advanced Egos who have developed positive extrasensory
perception use their abilities in service, selflessly and quietly, without
calling attention to themselves or their talents.
Self-Mastery and Self-Reliance
The object of the Rosicrucian Philosophy and
method of development is to free the student from dependence upon others and to
help him acquire the utmost degree of self-mastery and self-reliance. Negative
psychism of any sort obviously represents a condition of dependency which is
completely at variance with this end. Both self-mastery and self-reliance,
together with attendant positive spiritual growth, are achieved only when we
live noble, unselfish lives, devoting our time to serving God and man, and
keeping our thoughts and deeds pure and elevated. Only in this way can we
strengthen the two higher ethers, develop our soul bodies, respond positively to
the spiritual vibrations to which we will become increasingly sensitive, and
learn to avoid all external influence and dominance. Only when we feel, within
our innermost beings, a holy, unselfish desire to help humanity, can we begin to
make progress in the direction of positive clairvoyance.
Negative clairvoyance is, so to speak, more
or less thrust upon a person. He has done nothing on his own initiative to
generate the ability to perceive in the other worlds and does not, at least
initially, set out purposely to do so. Some psychics, in fact, have publicly
expressed the wish that they could cease to encounter the, to them, disturbing
and distracting phenomena which sporadically intrude upon their consciousness.
Will and Effort
Positive clairvoyance, on the other hand,
is achieved solely after determined effort and persistence, both in living the
spiritual life of purity and service and in performing the requisite exercises
which are given at the appropriate time. Many people simply do not make the
sustained effort which will achieve the necessary degree of spirituality, but
without the will and effort, positive spiritual perception will not be attained.
A Permanent Asset
Positive clairvoyance, once achieved,
remains a permanent asset which the Ego retains in subsequent lifetimes -- at
least, as long as he continues to conduct himself as an aspirant should.
Negative clairvoyance, however, is a temporary attribute, not secured from one
lifetime to another. Thus, although it is much more difficult to develop
positive clairvoyance, this becomes, once attained, an enduring power of
inestimable present and potential value to the Ego.
To evolve voluntary clairvoyance is an
arduous task; this faculty, therefore, is possessed by few. Negative
clairvoyance, unfortunately, has been developed by many who have no idea of the
potential dangers to which they are exposing themselves.
Spiritual Truths Revealed
Surely, if we wish to work with the trend
of evolution, for ourselves individually and for humanity as a whole, we should
strive to develop every constructive faculty we have in potential, including
particularly the superphysical ones. It is wise, however, to cultivate them
along the lines most beneficial to our own evolutionary progress and to our
powers of service to God and man. Negative psychic development is hazardous to
the Egos concerned, and seldom results in observations or
"revelations" of intrinsic or lasting value. Positive, trained
clairvoyance, on the other hand, subject to the will and determination of the
Ego, is a highly effective instrument of investigation and scientific study.
Many spiritual Truths will be revealed through the use of this faculty, once it
has become commonplace among mankind, as it is destined to be.
The Spirit evolves by dwelling in vehicles
of dense matter and by working with the material found in the world. Thus, the
Spirit progresses, and matter is also being refined because the Spirit works
with it. The more advanced Spirits naturally draw to themselves finer matter
than those behind them upon the path of evolution, and the atoms in the bodies
of a highly evolved race are more sensitive than those of the earlier peoples.
-- Letters to Students, page 91, by Max Heindel.