“We find examples of all degrees of the power to see into this ’memory of nature,’ from the trained man who can consult the records for himself at will, down to the person who gets nothing but occasional vague glimpses, or has perhaps had only once such glimpse. But even the man who possesses this faculty only partially and occasionally still finds it of the deepest interest. The psychometer, who needs an object physically connected with the past in order to bring it all into life again around him; and the crystal-gazer who can sometimes direct his less certain astral telescope to some historic scene of long ago, may both derive the greatest enjoyment from the exercise of their respective gifts, even though they may not always understand exactly how their results are obtained, and may not have them fully under control under all circumstances.
“In many cases of the lower manifestations of these powers we find that they are exercised unconsciously. Many a crystal-gazer watches scenes from the past without being able to distinguish them from visions of the present. And many a vaguely-psychic person finds pictures constantly arising before his eyes, without ever realizing that he is in effect psychometrizing the various objects around him, as he happens to touch them or stand near them. An interesting variant of this class of psychics is the man who is able to psychometrize persons only, and not inanimate objects as is more usual. In most cases this faculty shows itself erratically, so that such a psychic will, when introduced to a stranger, often see in a flash some prominent event in that stranger’s earlier life, but on similar occasions will receive no special impression. More rarely we meet with someone who gets detailed visions of the past life of nearly everyone whom he encounters. It may easily happen, moreover, that a person may see a picture of the past without recognizing it as such, unless there happens to be in it something which attracts special attention, such as a figure in armor, or in antique costume. Its probable, therefore, that occasional glimpses of these astral reflections of the akashic records are commoner than the published accounts would lead us to believe.”
I would say to my students, make haste slowly. Do not try to rush development too rapidly. Perfect and develop yourself in one line of psychic power, before seeking another. Take things cooly, and do not lose your head because you happen to achieve some wonderful phenomena. Do not become conceited and vain-glorious. And, finally, do not prostitute your powers to ignoble ends, and make a cheap show of them. By cheapening and prostituting the higher psychic powers, the student frequently ends by losing them altogether. Moderation in all things is the safe policy. And it always is well for the occultist to resist temptation to use his powers for unworthy, sensational, or purely selfish purposes.