Human Magnetism, as the term is used in these lessons, is a very different thing from that which the public generally terms “Personal Magnetism.” Personal Magnetism is an attribute of the mind, and belongs to the subject of the Dynamics of Thought.
Human Magnetism, on the contrary, is a manifestation of Prana, and belongs to that part of the general subject. The term “Human Magnetism” is a poor one, but like many other such terms, is used for want of a better one, and to avoid the coining of new terms which would be likely to confuse the student.
The Sanscrit contains terms perfectly fitting each phase of the subject, which terms have come into use as the knowledge of the subject grew. And such will be the case as the knowledge of this philosophy of the Orient becomes more generally known to the Western people-new terms, fitting to the subject, will spring into general usage, and the confusion which now exists will cease. We prefer the term “Human Magnetism” to that of “Animal Magnetism,” as the latter is generally confounded with some manifestations of Mesmerism. But this Human Magnetism is not the sole property of Man, for the lower animals possess it in a degree.
There is this difference, however – Man is able to consciously direct it by his will, and through his Thought, while the lower animals use it more or less unconsciously, and without intellectual aid, or under control of the Will. Both the lower animals and man constantly throw off this magnetism, or pranic energy, unconsciously, but the developed or psychically educated man has the force under his control, and can either repress it to a great extent, or throw off greatly increased quantities of it; and may also direct it to any special place or spot. He can also use it in connection with his thought waves, in order to give the same a greater carrying power and strength.
At the risk of being charged with needless repetition, we wish to impress upon your minds that this Pranic Energy, or Human Magnetism, is a very different thing from “thought-force” or any exhibition of the power of thought, except that it may be used in connection with thought-waves as above stated. It is merely a blind force of nature, just as is electricity or similar forces, and may be used consciously or unconsciously; wisely or foolishly. It has no intelligent action except as directed by the mind of its user. “Human Electricity” would be a far more appropriate name for it than is “Human Magnetism” – for it resembles Electricity far more than it does Magnetism.
With this explanation, we will continue the use of the term “Magnetism,” asking that you always remember just what we mean by the term. Human Magnetism is a form of Pranic Energy. We have said something about Prana in our First Lesson. Prana is the Universal Energy, and is found in varying forms, in all things, animate or inanimate. All forms of Force or Energy are but manifestations of Prana. Electricity is a form of Prana – so is the force of Gravitation – so is the Human Magnetism.
It is one of the Seven Principles of Man, and is found in a greater or lesser degree in all human organisms. Man extracts Prana from the air he breathes; the food he eats; the fluid he drinks. If he be deficient in Prana, he becomes weak and “lacks vitality,” as the term goes. When his supply of Prana is sufficiently large for his needs, he becomes active, bright, energetic, and “full of life.” We have given directions regarding the acquiring and storing up of Prana, by means of Breath, in our little book, “Science of Breath,” and will give directions for its best absorption from the food and fluids, in our forthcoming book, “Hatha Yoga.”
There is a great difference in the amount of Prana absorbed and stored up by different persons. Some are surcharged with Prana, and radiate it like an electrical machine, causing all others with whom they come in contact to feel increased health, strength, life and vigor. Others are so deficient in Prana, that when they come into company of other persons, their depleted condition causes them to draw upon the Pranic supply of magnetism of the others, the result being that the other persons so drawn upon, are apt to feel uncomfortable and weak after the interview.
Some people are practically vampires, and live upon the magnetism of others, unconsciously, usually, although some have acquired the knowledge that they may live on others’ strength in this way, and practice their wicked arts consciously. This conscious use of their power is a form of black magic, and is attended with certain psychic penalties and punishments. But no one can be thus drawn upon, either by the unconscious demand of others, or by conscious design, after they have once learned something about this Human Magnetism, and its laws. Human Magnetism, or Pranic Energy, is a most potent therapeutic force, and, in one form or another, it is found in the majority of cases of psychic healing.
It is one of the oldest forms of natural healing, and it may be said to be almost instinctive in the race. A child who has hurt itself, or who feels a pain, at once runs to its mother who kisses the hurt part, or places her hand on the seat of the pain and in a few moments the child is better. When we approach one who is suffering, it is very natural for us to place our hands on his brow, or to pass our hand over him.
This instinctive use of the hand is a form of conveying magnetism to the afflicted person, who is usually relieved by the act. The holding of a babe to its mother’s bosom, is another instinctive act for the same purpose. The mother’s magnetism goes out, propelled by her loving thought, and the child is soothed, rested, and strengthened. Human Magnetism may be thrown off from the system by means of a desire or thought, or it may be more directly passed to another by means of the hand; contact of the body; a kiss; the breath; and similar ways. We will speak of this matter, again, in our Eighth Lesson, on “Occult Therapeutics.” It is impossible to give a plain, clear explanation of just what this Human Magnetism is, unless we go into the deeper occult teachings, which are not fitted for the beginner.
To tell what Human Magnetism is, we must explain what Prana is, and in order to tell what Prana is, we must go right to the root of the matter and discover the true nature and origin of “Force,” something which modern physical science has failed to do, but which the deeper occult teachings are able to explain, at least to those who have reached that stage of understanding, by slow, laborious and gradual steps. It may be urged that we are expecting too much when we ask students to accept as truth, the statement that there exists such a thing as Human Magnetism, or Pranic Energy, at all, when we cannot explain its real nature. Replying to this objection, we answer that there are many things which may be proven by their observed effects, although the thing itself cannot be explained in plain terms.
Take Electricity, or Magnetism, for instance – we have their existence clearly proved to us every day, by their effects, and yet physical science tells us very little that can be understood, about their real nature. And so it is with this other exhibition of Pranic Energy – Human Magnetism – we must look to its effects for proof, rather than try to solve the mystery of the common source of all forms of force – Prana.
But, we have had it urged that whereas we can easily observe the effects and outward manifestation of Electricity and Magnetism, there are no such effects and manifestations of Human Magnetism, or Pranic Energy. This objection has always amused us, when we remember that every movement of the body, from the mighty effort of the giant, to the quiver of an eyelash, is a direct effect and manifestation of this Human Magnetism or Pranic Energy. Physical scientists call this thing “Nervous Force” or similar names, but it is the same thing that we have called Human Magnetism – a form of Pranic Energy.
When we wish to raise a finger, we put forth an effort of the Will, if the desire be a conscious one – r an effort of the Instinctive Mind, if the desire be sub-conscious – and a supply of Human Magnetism is sent to the muscles controlling the movement of the finger. The muscles contract, and the finger raises. And so it is with every movement of the body, both on the conscious and subconscious plane of effort. Every step we take is caused by this same process – every word we utter is produced in this way – every tear we shed obeys the law – even the beating of the heart responds to the supply of Human Magnetism, propelled, in this last case, by the command of the Instinctive Mind.
The magnetism is sent over the nerves, just as is a telegraph message sent over the wires leading from the central office to all parts of the land. The nerves are its telegraph wires, and the current in the body always travels over these wires. And just as, until a very recent time, it has been thought impossible for messages to be sent without wires, so even to this day, do the physical scientists deny that this Human Magnetism (which they call Nervous Force) can be transmitted except over these wires of the nervous system.
And just as the scientists have recently discovered that “wireless telegraphy” is a possibility, and a working truth – so have the occultists known for centuries that this Human Magnetism can be transmitted from person to person, through the astral atmosphere, without the need of the wires of the nerves. Have we helped you to form a clearer idea of Human Magnetism? As we have stated, Human Magnetism is taken up by the organism of man, from the air he breathes; the water he drinks; and the food he eats. It is extracted in Nature’s laboratory, and stored up in his nervous system, in a chain of storage – batteries, of which the Solar Plexus is the central and chief store – house.
From these storage-batteries, the magnetism is drawn by the mind and sent forth to be used for the thousands of purposes for which it is intended. When we say, “drawn by the mind,” we do not mean that it must be necessarily drawn by an effort of the conscious mind, or will power, in fact, not over five per cent of the amount used is so drawn, the remaining ninety-five per cent, being drawn and used by the Instinctive Mind, which controls the functions of the body – the workings of the internal organs – the processes of digestion, assimilation, and elimination – the circulation of the blood and the various functions of the physical body, all of which are wholly, or in part, under the control and care of the Instinctive Mind. Nor must it be supposed that this magnetism is absent from any part of the body, at any time; or is absent until it is sent there by a distinct effort of the mind.
The fact is that every part of the body contains a greater or lesser amount of magnetism at all times – the amount depending upon the general vitality of the person, which vitality is determined entirely by the total amount of Prana, or Human Magnetism in the system. A brief consideration of the nervous system, with its nerve-cells, ganglia, plexi, etc., will be advisable, at this point, in order to gain a clearer idea of the processes of nature in its distribution of the supply of magnetism.
The Nervous System of man is divided into two great systems, viz., the Cerebro Spinal System, and the Sympathetic System. The Cerebro Spinal System consists of all that part of the Nervous System contained within the cranial cavity, and the spinal canal, viz., the brain and the spinal cord, together with the nerves which branch off from the latter.
This system presides over the functions of animal life known as volition, sensation, etc. The Sympathetic System includes all that part of the Nervous System located principally in the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities, and which is distributed to the internal organs. It controls the involuntary processes, such as growth, nutrition, etc., under the supervision and direction of the Instinctive Mind.
The Cerebro Spinal System attends to all the seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, etc. It sets things in motion; it is used by the Ego to think – to manifest consciousness and Intellect. It is the instrument by which the Ego is enabled to communicate with the outside world by means of the physical senses. This system has been likened to a great telephone system, with the brain as the central office, and the spinal column and nerves as cable and wires respectively.
The brain is a great mass of nerve tissue, and consists of three parts, viz., the Cerebrum, or brain proper, which occupies the upper, front, middle and back portion of the skull; the Cerebellum, or “little brain,” which fills the lower and back portion of the skull; and the Medulla Oblongata, which is the broadened commencement of the spinal cord, lying before and in front of the Cerebellum. The Cerebrum is the organ of the Intellect, and also of the unfolding Spiritual Mind – the organ of manifestation, remember, not the thing itself.
The Cerebellum is the organ of the Instinctive Mind. The Medulla Oblongata is the upper enlarged part of the spinal cord, and from it and the Cerebrum branch forth the cranial nerves which reach to various parts of the head; to the organs of special sense, and to some of the thoracic and abdominal organs, and to the organs of respiration. The Spinal Cord, or spinal marrow, fills the spinal canal in the vertebral column, or “backbone.” It is a long mass of nerve tissue, branching off at the several vertebrae to nerves communicat ing to all parts of the body.
The Spinal Cord is like a great telephone cable, and the emerging nerves are like the private wires connecting therewith. The Sympathetic System is composed of a double chain of ganglia on each side of the spinal column, and scattered ganglia in the head, neck, chest, and abdomen. (A ganglion is a mass of nervous matter, including nerve cells.) These ganglia are connected with each other by filaments, and are also connected with the Cerebro-Spinal System by motor and sensory nerves. From these ganglia numerous fibres branch out to the organs of the body, blood vessels, etc. At various points, the nerves meet together and form what are known as plexi, or plexuses. The Sympathetic System practically controls the involuntary processes, such as the circulation, respiration and digestion. Over this wonderful system operates the Human Magnetism or Pranic Energy (or “Nervous Force,” if you prefer the term of the physical scientists.)
By means of the impulses from the mind, through the brain, the magnetism is drawn from its storage batteries, and sent to all parts of the body, or to any particular part of the body, over the wires of the nervous system. Without this magnetism, the heart cannot beat; the blood cannot circulate; the lungs cannot breathe; the various organs cannot function; in fact, the entire machinery of the body comes to a stop if the supply of magnetism be shut off. Nay, more, even the brain itself cannot perform its functions as the physical organ of the mind, unless a supply of Prana or magnetism be present. And yet, the physical scientists smile at the mention of the subject of “Human Magnetism,” and dismiss it by giving it another name, “Nervous Force,” but limiting its scope.