In some cases persons have been warned by symbols of various kinds; or else have had prevision in the same way. For instance, many cases are known in which the vision is that of the undertaker’s wagon standing before the door of the person who dies sometime afterward. Or, the person is visioned clad in a shroud. The variations of this class are innumerable. Speak to the average dweller in the highlands of Scotland, or certain counties in Ireland, regarding this—you will be furnished with a wealth of illustrations and examples.
This phase of the general subject of clairvoyance is very fascinating to the student and investigator, and is one in which the highest psychic or astral powers of sensing are called into play. In fact, as I have said, there is here a reflection of something very much higher than the astral or psychic planes of being. The student catches a glimpse of regions infinitely higher and grander. He begins to realize at least something of the existence of that Universal Consciousness “in which we live, and move, and have our being;” and of the reality of the Eternal Now, in which past, present and future are blended as one fact of infinite consciousness. He sees the signboard pointing to marvelous truths!
There is much confusion existing in the minds of the average students of occultism concerning the distinction between astral visioning by means of the astral senses in clairvoyance, and the visioning of the astral senses during the travels of the astral body away from the physical body. There is such a close connection between the two several phases of occult phenomena that it is easy to mistake one for the other; in fact, there is often such a blending of the two that it is quite difficult to distinguish between them. However, in this lesson I shall endeavor to bring out the characteristics of astral body visioning, that the student may learn to distinguish them from those of the ordinary clairvoyant astral visioning, and recognize them when he experiences them.
The main points of distinction are these: When visioning clairvoyantly by means of the astral senses, as described in the preceding chapters of this book, the clairvoyant usually perceives the scene, person or event as a picture on a flat surface. It is true that there is generally a perfect perspective, similar to that of a good stereoscopic view, or that of a high-grade moving picture photograph—the figures “stand out,” and do not appear “flat” as in the case of an ordinary photograph; but still at the best it is like looking at a moving picture, inasmuch as the whole scene is all in front of you. Visioning in the astral body, on the contrary, gives you an “all around” view of the scene. That is to say, in such case you see the thing just as you would were you there in your physical body—you see in front of you; on the sides of you, out of the corner of your eye; if you turn your head, you may see in any direction; and you may turn around and see what is happening behind you. In the first case you are merely gazing at an astral picture in front of you; while in the second place you are actually there in person.