THEOSOPHY, Vol. 32, No. 2, December, 1943
(Pages 69-72; Size: 13K)
(Number 9 of a 10-part series)
[Compiler's Note: All 10 articles have the same name.]
CYCLES OF PSYCHISM(1)
WE have now come to another part of the nature of man which is a land unknown to the Western world and its scientists. By mesmerism other organs are set to work disconnected from the body, but which in normal state function with and through the latter. These are not admitted by the world, but they exist, and are as real as the body is -- in fact some who know say they are more real and less subject to decay, for they remain almost unchanged from birth to death. These organs have their own currents, circulation if you will, and methods of receiving and storing impressions. They not only keep them but very often give them out, and when the person is mesmerized their exit is untrammelled by the body.
They are divided into many classes and grades, and each one of them has a whole series of ideas and facts peculiar to itself, as well as centres in the ethereal body to which they relate. Instead now of the brain's dealing with the sensations of the body, it deals with something quite different, and reports what these inner organs see in any part of space to which they are directed. And in place of your having waked up the Higher Self, you have merely uncovered one of the many sets of impressions and experiences of which the inner man is composed, and who is himself a long distance from the Higher Self. These varied pictures, thus seized from every quarter, are normally overborne by the great roar of the physical life, which is the sum total of possible expression of a normal being on the physical plane whereon we move. They show themselves usually only by glimpses when we have sudden ideas or recollections, or in dreams when our sleeping may be crowded with fancies for which we cannot find a basis in daily life. Yet the basis exists, and is always some one or other of the million small impressions of the day, passed unnoticed by the physical brain, but caught unerringly by means of other sensoriums belonging to our astral double. For this astral body, or double, permeates the physical one as colour does the bowl of water. And although to the materialistic conceptions of the present day such a misty shadow is not admitted to have parts, powers, and organs, it nevertheless has all of these with surprising power and grasp. Although perhaps a mist, it can exert under proper conditions a force equal to the viewless wind when it levels to earth the proud constructions of puny man.
In the astral body, then, is the place to look for the explanation of mesmerism and hypnotism. The Higher Self will explain the flights we seldom make into the realm of spirit, and is the God -- the Father -- within who guides His children up the long steep road to perfection. Let not the idea of it be degraded by chaining it to the low floor of mesmeric phenomena, which any healthy man or woman can bring about if they will only try. The grosser the operator the better, for thus there is more of the mesmeric force, and if it be the Higher Self that is affected, then the meaning of it would be that gross matter can with ease affect and deflect the high spirit -- and this is against the testimony of the ages.
The mesmeric fluid brings the paralysis about by flowing from the operator and creeping steadily over the whole body of the subject, changing the polarity of the cells in every part and thus disconnecting the outer from the inner man. As the whole system of physical nerves is sympathetic in all its ramifications, when major sets of nerves are affected others by sympathy follow into the same condition. So it often happens with mesmerized subjects that the arms or legs are suddenly paralyzed without being directly operated on, or, as frequently, the sensation due to the fluid is felt first in the forearm, although the head was the only place touched.
There are many secrets about this part of the process, but they will not be given out, as it is easy enough for all proper purposes to mesmerize a subject by following what is already publicly known. By means of certain nerve points located near the skin the whole system of nerves may be altered in an instant, even by a slight breath from the mouth at a distance of eight feet from the subject. But modern books do not point this out.
When the paralyzing and change of polarity of the cells are complete the astral man is almost disconnected from the body. Has he any structure? What mesmerizer knows? How many probably will deny that he has any structure at all? Is he only a mist, an idea? And yet, again, how many subjects are trained so as to be able to analyze their own astral anatomy?
Disjoin this being from the outer body with which he is linked, and the divorce deprives him of freedom temporarily, making him the slave of the operator. But mesmerizers know very well that the subject can and does often escape from control, puzzling them often, and often giving them fright. This is testified to by all the best writers in the Western schools.
Now the inner man is not by any means omniscient. He has an understanding that is limited by his own experience, as said before. Therefore, error creeps in if we rely on what he says in the mesmeric trance as to anything that requires philosophical knowledge, except with rare cases that are so infrequent as not to need consideration now. For neither the limit of the subject's power to know, nor the effect of the operator on the inner sensoriums described above, is known to operators in general, and especially not by those who do not accept the ancient division of the inner nature of man. The effect of the operator is almost always to colour the reports made by the subject.
Body, soul, and astral man properly in relation give us a sane man; hypnotized, the relation is broken and we have a person who is not for the time wholly sane. Acute maniacs are those in whom the disjunction between astral man and soul is complete. Where the hypnotized one remains for months in that state, the astral man has become the slave of the body and its recollections, but as the soul is not concerned no real memory is present and no recollection of the period is retained.
The varied personalities assumed by some subjects brings up the doctrine of a former life on earth for all men. The division between soul and astral man releases the latter from some of the limitations of brain memory so that the inner memory may act, and we then have a case of a person reënacting some part of his former life or lives. But a second possibility also exists, -- that by this process another and different entity may enter the body and brain and masquerade as the real person. Such entities do exist and are the astral shells of men and women out of the body. If they enter, the person becomes insane; and many a maniac is simply a body inhabited by an entity that does not belong to it.
The process of hypnotizing is as yet unknown in respect to what does happen to the molecules. We claim that those molecules are pressed from periphery to center instead of being expanded from the inside to the surface. This contraction is one of the symptoms of death, and therefore hypnotizing is a long step toward physical and moral death. The view expressed by Dr. Charcot that a subject is liable to fall under the influence at the hands of anyone should be admitted, as also that in the wake of the hypnotizer will be found a host of hysteriacs, and that it all should be regulated by law is unquestionable. I go still further and say that many persons are already in a half-hypnotized state, easily influenced by the unprincipled or the immoral; that the power to hypnotize and to be sensitive to it are both progressive states of our racial evolution; that it can and will be used for selfish, wicked, and degrading purposes unless the race, and especially the occidental portion of it, understands and practises true ethics based on the brotherhood of man. Ethics of the purest are found in the words of Jesus, but are universally negatived by Church, State, and individual. The Theosophical doctrines of man and nature give a true and necessary basis and enforcement to ethics, devoid of favoritism or illogical schemes of eternal damnation. And only through those doctrines can the dangers of hypnotism be averted, since legislation, while affixing penalties, will not alter or curtail private acts of selfishness and greed.
* * *
There is no question but that hypnotism brings "results" of a sort, but so will partial knowledge of any of the laws of nature. A savage may be taught to set off a charge of explosive that is miles away. He will hear the report and conclude by highly scientific reasoning from cause to effect that he knows what happens when he presses the plunger. But not until he is led to the place of the explosion does he discover that the charge has torn away the side of a hill, or reduced a human habitation to ruins. Modern scientific ignorance of the psychological constitution of man completes the analogy, for the effect of hypnotism may be just as catastrophic as the more violent effect of an explosion. One is external and physical, the other internal and psychic, attacking the inner organism of man with a subtle disintegration that remains unperceived until its ravages are far advanced. It is not contended that hypnotism invariably produces this result, but that, in view of the nature of the process, such is the common effect. Many factors, among them the motives of both practitioner and subject, enter in. The real causes of disaster are the non-moral approach to man's subtle psychological nature, and the blinding ignorance of the semi-occult character of the forces that are invoked.
Dangers similar to those involved in hypnotism confront those who indulge in the Eastern psychological practices that have recently become popular in the West. Many people begin "breathing exercises" and postural disciplines under the delusion that they are "spiritual." Suffice it to point out that the Oriental teachers dispose of this idea by calling all such practices Hatha Yoga, which means, simply, physical discipline. There is nothing spiritual about it.
CYCLES OF PSYCHISM
(Part 10 of a 10-part series)
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ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) NOTE.--This installment continues the material quoted from Mr. Judge's writings. See November issue, p. 23. [Note: Which is the article just before this one, number 8 in this 10-part series. --Compiler.]
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