Roots of consciousness
ISBN 0-394-73115-8 (Original Edition) 1-56924-747-1 (Revized Edition) By Jeffrey Mishlove
Some of the most significant evidence for the physical effects of thoughtforms comes from an experiment conducted by James L. Hickman with Uri Geller, using highvoltage photography. The experimental procedure was the following: The experimenter and the observers arbitrarily chose a geometric figure. With the lights off, the experimenter guided the subject’s right forefinger tip to the film surface while carefully feeling for any foreign material that might influence the photographic image. One or two control exposures were taken. Then the experimenter lowered the subject’s fingertip to another portion of the film, again feeling for foreign material. The experimenter and observers concentrated on the target image and, on the subject’s command, the high voltage supply was activated. The exposed film was placed in a lighttight box and the lights were turned on. The lower image in the above figure indicates that the triangular target was correctly received by Geller and somehow made to appear on the photographic image. While successful results were obtained on several occasions and also with other researchers, the experimenters are cautious in interpreting their data without further investigation. (Courtesy Henry S. Dakin, HighVoltage Photography, 1975.)
The above figure was taken using the same procedure as described on the previous page, except that the subject, Uri Geller, was asked to try to transfer mental energy from his finger to a wristwatch lying on the film surface. (Courtesy of Henry S. Dakin, High-Voltage Photography, 1975.)
Several related findings have been reported from the UCLA radiation field photography laboratory. One study attempted to observe the Kirlian fingertips of pairs of individuals, holding their fingers close together, but not touching, as they stared into each other’s eyes. Frequently they found, for no apparent explanation, that one of the fingertips in each pair would practically disappear. (See Plate 14, thirdright.) One of the subjects was a professional hypnotist, and it was repeatedly discovered that he could blank out the fingertips of any one of a number of partners. In a rather striking experiment, one subject was asked to visualize sticking a needle into her partner, who was known to be afraid of needles. The Kirlian photograph of their fingertips shows a sharp red line darting out of the aggressor’s finger toward that of her imagined victim whose emanations appear to be retreating! (See Plate 12, bottom). On the other hand, the photographed corona of two individuals taken while they have meditated together typically has shown a merging and uniting of the two individual coronas. (377)
Sometimes when two persons were able to generate feelings of hostility towards each other, the corona between their fingers would abruptly cut off, leaving a gap so sharp and clear that it became known as the “haircut effect.” In some instances a bright bar, like a barrier, would appear between the two photographed finger pads. (See Plate 14, lowerright.) Further studies with family groups engaged in family therapy were conducted. Group photographs were taken with the finger pads of each member of the family. Typically one member of the group, generally the son, would not photograph at all. Other photographs in this study strongly suggested to the researchers that Kirlian photography could provide valuable insights into the emotional reactions between people. (373 379)
In order to explain these uncanny photographic events, researchers are drawing upon the efforts of Kurt Lewin (1890 – 1947) to apply the concepts of physical fields to the study of human personality. One of the unique characteristics of Lewin’s theory was using of diagrammatic representations of internal and external personality interactions. The following diagram is one Lewin used:
The individual is described graphically by the quality of psychological environment (or aura) around him. Person b, for example, is one with a thicker boundary. The outer world has little influence on the lifespace and viceversa. The lifespace of person a is more open and expansive. (330)
Lewin has often been criticized for the unjustified application of physical concepts and terminology to the realm of personality where they did not belong. It was claimed that his diagrams were an attempt to appear scientific without using the requisite controls and measurements of science. Furthermore, it was difficult for these critics to see what these diagrams had to do with the “real world.” Now however, Moss’ studies and the work of other researchers suggest that Kirlian photographs can be read almost as if they were Lewin diagrams of personality fields! (381) This finding, if it stands the test of further scrutiny, will provide an enormous theoretical breakthrough-far beyond what Lewin himself ever actually suggested.
This type of experience suggests that the psychic aura consists of precise conceptual images (theosophical mental body) as well as more nebulous emotional colorings (astral body). The astral body then relates to the instinctual levels of the Freudian unconscious-sex, aggression, love, and sublimation. These are the powerful emotions that motivate man’s behavior. To pursue the analogy further, the mental body corresponds very nicely to the world of archetypes, and thoughtforms symbols described in the analytical psychology of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung. Jung himself stated many times that the archetypal world- although it exists within the mind-should be thought of as objective reality. It resembles Plato’s realm where ideas themselves exist as visible thoughtforms. The famous medium Eileen Garrett provides an example of the perception of thought-forms:
One sees lines and colors and symbols. These move, and one is wholly concentrated on them and their movement. I say “symbols” here for want of a better word. I frequently see curving lines of light and color that flow forward in strata, and in these strips or ribbons of movement there will appear other sharply angled lines that form and change and fade like arrow heads aimed and passing in various directions. And in this flow of energy that is full of form and color, these arrow heads will presently indicate the letter H. Each line of the H will be an independent curve, and their combination will not remain identifiable for very long. But I shall have caught it; and holding it suspended in awareness, I continue to watch the process develop and unfold. Soon a rapidly drifting A appears in the field of concentration, and then, let us suppose, an R; and presently I have gathered the word HARRY out of the void, either as a proper name or as a verb temporarily without either subject or object. Whether it is actually a noun or a verb will depend upon the context of the perception as a whole.
This process is infinitely rapid. But I have achieved an alertness of attention, of awareness, of being, which is equal to this rapid flow of immaterial line and color and symbol, and out of this alertness, poised above the flowing stream of differentiated energy, I gather a message with a meaning-a message which has come to my consciousness out of the objective world as factually as the reflected light from the distant Moon may reach my consciousness by way of my sense of sight. (332)
The following descriptions of thoughtforms and the mental body comes from Annie Besant and the Reverend Leadbeater:
The mental body is an object of great beauty, the delicacy and rapid motion of its particles giving it an aspect of living iridescent light, and this beauty becomes an extraordinarily radiant and entrancing loveliness and the intellect becomes more highly evolved and is employed chiefly on pure and sublime topics. Every thought gives rise to a set of correlated vibrations in the matter of this body, accompanied with a marvelous display of color, like that in the spray of a waterfall as the sunlight strikes it, raised to the nth degree of color and vivid delicacy. The body under this impulse throws off a vibrating portion of itself, shaped by the nature of the vibrations-as figures are made by sand on a disk vibrating to a musical note-and this gathers from the surrounding atmosphere matter like itself in fineness from the elemental essence of the mental world. We have then a thoughtform pure and simple, and it is a living entity of intense activity animated by the one idea that generated it. If made of finer kinds of matter, it will be of great power and energy, and may be used as a most potent agent when directed by a strong and steady will….
Each definite thought produces a double effect-a radiating vibration and a floating form. The thought itself appears first to clairvoyant sight as a vibration in the mental body, and this may be either simple or complex….
If a man’s thought or feeling is directly connected with someone else, the resultant thoughtform moves toward that person and discharges itself upon his astral and mental bodies. If the man’s thought is about himself, or is based upon a personal feeling, as the vast majority of thoughts are, it hovers round its creator and is always ready to react upon him whenever he is for a moment in a passive condition….
Each man travels through space enclosed within a case of his own building, surrounded by a mass of the forms created by his habitual thought. Through this medium he looks out upon the world, and naturally he sees everything tinged with its predominant colors, and all rates of vibration which reach him from without are more or less modified by its rate. Thus until the man learns complete control of thought and feeling, he sees nothing as it really is, since all his observations must be made through his medium, which distorts and colors everything like badlymade glass.
If the thoughtform be neither definitely personal nor specially aimed at someone else, it simply floats detached in the atmosphere, all the time radiating vibrations similar to those originally sent forth by its creator. If it does not come into contact with any other mental body, this radiation gradually exhausts its store of energy, and in that case, the form falls to pieces; but if it succeeds in awakening sympathetic vibration in any mental body near at hand, an attraction is set up, and the thoughtform is usually absorbed by that mental body. (333)
To this picture of the mental body, Yogi Ramacharaka adds a further description of the mental world as such:
Places and localities are often permeated by the thought of persons who formerly lived there, who have moved away or died many years ago…. The occultist knows that this thought-atmosphere of a village, town, city, or nation is the composite thought of those dwelling in it or those who have previously dwelt there. Strangers coming into the community feel the changed atmosphere about it, and, unless they find it in harmony with their own mental character, they feel uncomfortable and desire to leave the place. If one, not understanding the laws operating in the thought world, remains long in a place, he is most likely to be influenced by the prevailing thought-atmosphere, and in spite of himself a change begins to be manifest in him and he sinks or rises to the level of the prevailing thought….
In the same way dwellings, businessplaces, buildings, etc., take on the predominant thought of those inhabiting them or who have dwelt in them. (334)
The existence of the mental world implies a view of nature that incorporates meaning as well as mechanism. We are no longer dealing with blind forces bouncing aimlessly throughout the universe. The substance of the mental world is embued with purpose. Minds, or monads, are constantly emitting radiation of an intelligent nature. Every thought may be thought of as an active spiritual force.
It is on this level that we need to consider some of the more extreme findings of astrology. Electromagnetic radiations and solar storm activity can certainly account for certain mass phenomena. But we cannot expect electromagnetic effects to bear much relationship to the individual horoscope. Nevertheless, data of this sort exists which must be considered. Most of the significant studies to which I am referring are the result of many years of experimentation by Michel Gauquelin in France. His findings do not support the type of astrology relating to sun signs that you normally read about in popular books, newspapers, and magazines. (In fact, there is really no good data I know of which offers evidence for the astrological value of sun signs, moon signs, or any signs at all.) What Gauquelin was able to discover was a weak relationship between the position of planets relative to the horizon and success in certain professions. While, with a few notable exceptions, Gauquelin did not predict his results in advance, his findings are consistent with the astrological interpretations of Ptolemy and Kepler. These results are independent of normal seasonal or circadian factors.
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