One of the things which have puzzled scientific investigators and students of the history of mankind is the persistent recurrence of stories, legends and traditions relating to the possession and practice of some form of Psychic Influence by men of all races and in all ages.
The investigators have found it easy to dismiss the more primitive forms of these stories by the explanation that they were merely the result of the crudest form of superstition among the uneducated and undeveloped people. But as they turned over the pages of history they found that the “idle superstition” still maintained its original force, and that its forms increased in number and variety.
From the repulsive Voodoo practices of the African savage, one may trace a straight line to the Witchcraft epidemic in New England, and thence on to the present time, when the Western world has apparently gone wild on “psychism,” and the daily papers are filled with sensational tales of mesmeric influence, hypnotism, personal magnetism, etc. The books of all ages are filled with tales of psychic influence, the Bible containing a number of instances of its practice for good or evil.
At the present time, attention is often called to the wonderful instances of the power of the mind, personal magnetism, etc., and it is quite common to hear the expression that one has, or has not, “personal magnetism” – is, or is not, “magnetic.” Much nonsense has been written on this subject, and some of the wildest assertions and theories regarding it have been advanced. And yet, the truth itself is far more wonderful than are the wildest fictions which have been written and taught regarding it. Underlying all the popular notions and misconceptions regarding Psychic Influence lies a solid basis of fact, the greater portion of which is undreamt of by even many of those who have been feeding the public taste for sensationalism.
We need scarcely tell our students that the Orientals have known and practiced, for centuries past, all known forms of occultism, and, in fact, have possessed the secrets which the investigators of the West have been striving so laboriously to uncover. Scraps of the knowledge have filtered through, and have been eagerly seized upon by Western writers, and used as the basis for startling claims and theories.
And, much of this hidden knowledge will, and must, remain hidden for years to come, because of the undeveloped state of the race and the general unfitness of people for this secret wisdom. To spread before the general public even a small part of certain of the hidden teachings, at this time, would be dangerous indeed, and would bring upon the race one of the greatest curses known to man. This not because of any wrong in the teachings themselves, but because the selfishness of the average man or woman is such that they would soon begin to use this knowledge for their own personal profit and ends, to the detriment and hurt of their fellow men.
This would avail them nothing if the entire race knew enough of the subject – had advanced far enough intellectually and spiritually to grasp and comprehend these teachings, and thus be able to protect themselves from the selfish attempts of their unscrupulous brothers and sisters. For, as all occultists know; no Black Magic can affect the man or woman who knows his or her real place in nature, his or her real powers to resist the practices of those who have acquired bits of occult knowledge without the spiritual growth which would teach them how to use same properly. But the average person of today does not know – and will not be convinced – of his own power, and therefore is unable to protect himself from the psychic attempts of even those who have grasped some fragments of occult teachings, and are using them for selfish ends.
The improper use of psychic power has long been known to occultists as “Black Magic,” which, so far from being a remnant of the superstition of the Middle Ages, is a very real thing, and is being practiced today to a great extent. Those so practicing it are sowing the seeds of their own punishment, and every bit of psychic force expended for base and selfish ends will unquestionably rebound and react upon the user, but nevertheless these people are in fluencing others that they may reap some material gain or pleasure, and the public is being more or less imposed upon by such people, although it laughs at the idea – considers the matter a joke – and regards those who teach the truth as wild visionaries or mentally weak.
Very fortunately, those who would so prostitute psychic powers know comparatively little regarding the subject, and can use only the simpler forms, but when they come in contact with those entirely ignorant of the subject, they are able to accomplish more or less by their arts. Many men find, sometimes by accident, that they can influence others to their bidding, and not knowing the source of their power often use it just as they would any physical power, or mental strength. Such people, however, usually have gradually brought to their knowledge (in pursuance with well-established occult laws) something which will lead them to a better understanding of the subject, and they begin to see their mistake.
Others pick up a little bit of occult teaching, and “try it on” others, and, seeing the effect, start on the road to “Black Magic,” although scarcely knowing what they are doing. These people, also, are warned in certain ways, and given every chance to rectify their error. Others seem to understand something of the risk they are running, but willingly take it, being fascinated by their new sense of power, and blinded by it. None of these people are allowed to go very far with their selfish work, as there are certain influ ences at work to counteract their efforts, and a little good always counteracts a great deal of the selfish psychic work – this being an old occult truth.