DIVINATION is the act of foreseeing or foretelling future events or discovering information not accessible through the exercise of reason and the ordinary physical senses. When this lesson was first issued, in 1923, there was a vast accumulation of scientifically checked evidence that man has faculties through which his mind can reach across space, and, irrespective of distance and physical barriers, perceive objects and events, and through which he can perceive events in the past and events in the future. But it was not until after the advent of the Pluto Period, commencing with the discovery of the planet Pluto in March, 1930, that mass methods applied to experiments gave irrefutable evidence of such faculties in not less than a dozen universities and gained for the process the now universally accepted name Extra-Sensory Perception-- usually abbreviated ESP--and for its use in perceiving that which is yet in the future the name Precognition.
Although he may not be exercising ESP nor in possession of precognition, when the Midwest farmer sees dark clouds gather upon the western horizon and predicts rain, he is practicing a form of divination. The old rhyme tells us that, "A mackerel sky and mare's-tails, Make tall ships carry low sails"; and another that, "Red clouds in morning the sailor takes warning, Red clouds at night are the sailor's delight."
So too, here in California in winter, and elsewhere earlier in the season, when the nights seem cold but cloudy there is little fear of frost, but when nights become both cold and clear, frost warnings go out and the citrus growers prepare to light their smudge-pots. In fact, out-of-doors people--sailors, lumbermen, stockmen and fruit-growers--have a wide assortment of signs by which they attempt to predict the weather. The woodsman, for instance, examines the thickness of the bark on trees, and the Amerindian examines the quantity of food stored by chipmunks and squirrels, in an endeavor to predict if the approaching winter will be severe. They also believe if the cockle-bur ripens early and hibernating animals go into their dens before the usual time, that there will be an early winter. Whether or not such methods have any degree of reliability, any person using them in the attempt to foretell the future is practicing divination.
Knowledge of Future Conditions Has Great Practical Value
These efforts to foreknow are not prompted by idle curiosity. Frequently preservation of life itself depends upon preparations based upon such foreknowledge. If the seafaring man waits until the blast strikes before furling sail, it may be too late. If the western stockman delays until the snow is falling to move his cattle from the high mountain meadows it is then usually too late; and many a huge band of sheep has perished thus in the High Sierras because it tarried a day or two too long. On the other hand the heavy snows may hold off another month, and if the stock can stay during this period on the free range, instead of being fed in the valley on costly hay, it may mean all the difference between profit and loss.
The lumberman may find it necessary to get in his winter supplies before the rains soften the roads, and he may find it necessary to have his logs in advantageous positions before the spring thaw and consequent freshets, that the stream may carry them to the market. The Amerindian must regulate his stores of food and his movements more or less in anticipation of weather conditions or he may perish. And the fruit-grower who fails to take warning of approaching frost may well lose in a single night the result of a year of labor. It will be seen, consequently, in these instances that success or failure, even life or death, may depend upon correct methods of divination.
Such observations are quite commonplace. But if we take a step further and examine any person's life, and every department of his life, we shall find that correct information as to approaching conditions and events may be made the means of making every such phase of his life more successful than it otherwise would have been. So often we hear the thought expressed that if one's foresight were as good as one's hindsight there would be no reasonable limit to what might be accomplished. There are opportunities surrounding every person, if the future could be clearly foreseen, that would lead on to worthwhile achievement. Doubt may arise as to whether the future may be foreseen and foretold, and doubt may be expressed as to the extent it is possible to foresee the future; yet no one, I think, will be so foolhardy as to deny that could the future be foreknown such knowledge would be of utmost value.
Evidence of Precognition
As the type of divination to be considered in this course depends upon the exercise of Extra-Sensory Perception in what science now calls Precognition, I shall pass over the voluminous literature issued by the world's greatest men of science giving conclusive proof of telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience and other supernormal sensing, to a consideration of this still more wonderful and useful phenomenon of perceiving that which is yet in the future. Fortunately there has been considerable effort made by men of recognized scientific standing in the larger universities of the world to collect and verify data bearing upon this subject. Bozzano has published what is said to be an excellent book on premonitions. Camille Flamarion in Death and Its Mystery, gives considerable attention to premonitions, and various other eminent writers on psychical research cite instances of premonitions that can be explained only on the basis of the existence of a supernormal faculty by which otherwise unknowable future events may be perceived.
As this is being written, a radio program which specializes in strange matters frequently presents to its audience some individual who relates his own experience with precognition. To be eligible on this program the person relating the experience must have documentary evidence such as would be deemed valid in a court of law, of its authenticity.
Joseph Banks Rhine, whose mass-method experiments with the ESP cards which he invented for the purpose, made the public conscious of the significance of Extra-Sensory Perception, reports numerous instances in his Duke University experiments which can be explained only through precognition.
In the winter of 1937-38 the Zenith Foundation put on a radio program in which search was made for authentic data on the little known powers of the mind, and telepathic experiments were conducted with its audience. Alter thirty weeks of such work, the sponsors had received and tabulated over a quarter of a million pieces of mail. And although I have quoted this part of their findings in lesson No. 16, I will give the quotation again here:
"Authentic personal experiences indicate time is not a factor in telepathic communication. Possession of the ability to visualize in detail events which have not happened, a phenomenon science calls precognition, seems but slightly less rare than telepathy itself."
The most systematic presentation of the evidence regarding premonitions,
or divination of the future, that I have yet seen is in that notable book
published the same year (1923) this course was first written, Thirty Years
of Psychical Research, by Charles Richet, Professor of Physiology in the
University of Paris. In this book Professor Richet has devoted fifty large
pages to a recital and classification of carefully verified cases of premonition.
As lessons on divination can only be justifiable when divination has been
demonstrated to be possible, and as the presentation of the evidence by
Professor Richet and his conclusions very fairly express the views still
held by the many scientific men who have conducted unprejudiced investigation
of the subject, I feel I should not only refer the student to his book
for evidence, but that I should quote his summing up and conclusions on
the matter fully:
"In certain circumstances not as yet definable, certain individuals (mostly, though not exclusively, hypnotizable persons or mediums) can announce events to come, and give precise details on these events that are not as yet existent; details that no perspicuity, no coincidence, and no chance can account for the prediction.
"We are therefore driven to infer that the special, mysterious faculty that we have called cryptesthesia, whose nature and modes of action are unknown, is not only manifest for past and present facts, but also for future ones.
"After all, the metapsychic cognition of existing distant facts is so marvelous that cognition of the future is not so very much more extraordinary. A. knows B., six hundred miles away, is drowned. How can A. know this? We have not the least idea. A. announces that B. will be drowned tomorrow. It is only a little more marvelous. In the whole domain of metapsychic lucidity, so profound is the mystery and so impenetrable the obscurity that a little more or a little less mystery should not appall us.
"Are we then to conclude that time is only a notion of our defective mental constitution, that the future is irrevocably fated, that free will is an illusion, and that there is no moral responsibility? Long discussions might be raised on that text. I shall not enter on arguments that pertain more to metaphysics than to metapsychics, not allow myself to be led into vain speculation. I shall abide in the domain of strict facts. There are indisputable and verified facts of premonition. Their explanation may or may not come later; meanwhile the facts are there--authenticated and undeniable. There are premonitions.
"Are these due solely to human intelligence, or to other intelligent forces acting on our minds? It is impossible to decide. We must be content with exact observation of facts.
"And it would be inexcusably rash to affirm, as 1 have, boldly done, that there are premonitions, if abundant and formal proof had not been advanced. This abundant and formal proof has, I think, been given."
Space-Time Relativity Permits Precognition
One of the most thoroughly established foundations of present-day physical science is that, as Einstein and certain physicists who preceded him pointed out, time and velocity are always related to each other as a ratio such that when any new time condition is present the velocity on that time-level can be determined by inverse proportion, and when any new velocity level is present the rate of time-flow there can be determined by inverse proportion. In other words, as time increases, velocities slow down; and as velocities increase, time slows down. As explained in lesson No. 14, proof of such slowing down of time when velocities increase has been provided experimentally, and the time factor in the operation of progressed aspects in natal astrology depends upon this space-time inter-relationship.
Man normally lives in two realms. He lives, moves and is conscious in a physical world in which time is rapid and velocities comparatively slow. But his soul, which is identical with his unconscious mind, habitually lives in a realm where velocities are greater than the 186,173 miles per second which light, radiation and electromagnetic waves travel when unimpeded. Yet the mathematicians, headed by Einstein, hold that physical velocities cannot exceed that of light, and that anything moving with the velocity of light no longer possesses length, has infinite mass and so is impervious to the pull of gravitation, and that for it time has come to a standstill. In other words, in the region where the soul chiefly functions, on the inner plane or astral world, velocities are greater than those of light and there consequently is a different order of gravitation, a different order of distance, and a different order of time, all of which is explained more fully in lesson No. 16.
Connecting these two realms in both of which all incarnated life constantly functions, are light, electromagnetic waves and radiations which have velocities approximately those of light. And, as explained in detail in lesson No. 11, the region where mind functions, the astral realm, can be affected by physical conditions only by first communicating its motions to this Boundary-Line energy; and vice versa, the astral realm and mind can contact and affect anything physical only through first communicating energies to this Boundary-Line electromagnetic energy which then passes it on to the physical.
Consciousness Can Function on Many Levels
When the attention, sustained by electromagnetic energies of the frequency of the Cerebral System, is directed to perceiving objects on the physical plane, there is objective consciousness of the reports of the physical senses; and when the Attention is directed to cerebral processes the energies stimulate and support objective thinking.
Sleep is a no-man's-land between such consciousness on the physical plane and consciousness on the astral plane. From that state, to the extent the Attention can mobilize electromagnetic energies of the cerebral frequency and direct them to happenings on the physical plane, is the sleeper aware of what is going on about him in the physical world. Physical sensations thus reaching his consciousness afford suggestions which give trend to his dream.
In this state of sleep, or a similar condition induced for the purpose, if the Attention moves neither out to become conscious of the material plane, nor in where velocities exceed those of light, the consciousness remains chiefly linked with electromagnetic energies, and because it is not fully conscious on either plane, but in the no-man's-land where Boundary-Line energies are dominant, it is highly susceptible to suggestion and devoid of discrimination. The subconscious mind referred to by many writers is a consciousness functioning almost exclusively in this Boundary-Line region.
Electromagnetic waves, as we see demonstrated in radio, have the power to move almost instantly to distant places on the earth. They have the power to make considerable impact on a suitably tuned instrument at a distance; but to do much work thus at a distant point the receiving set must itself provide electrical energy suitable to amplify the modulated carrier waves picked up.
Consciousness can be extended in association with electromagnetic waves. It can make an impact thus on those at a distance, and have considerable influence provided the receiver is tuned to the same frequencies and is generating electrical energies suitable for amplifying what is thus received. And consciousness thus extended in association with electromagnetic energies can become aware of distant happenings on the earth, and to a limited extent even or events yet to come. Extension of consciousness occurs in many degrees, all the way from the perceptions of the physical senses on the plane of matter, through the region of Boundary-Line electromagnetic energies, to the various ascending levels of the astral world into a region which has still higher velocities called spiritual.
In the no-man's-land of sleep if the Attention is turned to the inner plane the consciousness in some degree becomes aware of stimuli reaching it from the astral realm where, as velocities are greater than those of light, time relations, as well as those of distance and gravitation are of quite a different order than those either on the physical plane or in the electromagnetic Boundary-Line region. Almost anyone who will systematically endeavor to do so, and thus turn the Attention of his soul to the inner plane during sleep, and over a few weeks keep a careful record of his dreams, will become convinced that his consciousness has become aware of some events long before they happen or could be surmised from ordinary waking sources. To keep such a record, the dreams should be written down in full detail in the morning before thinking about them. In the state between sleep and waking there is usually remembrance of dreams, but it is largely destroyed as soon as cerebral thinking commences.
It is not to be expected that such dreams at first will give full and correct pictures. But fragments recorded will so amazingly coincide, either actually or through symbols, with some of the situations or events which occur a day, several days, or even weeks later, that little doubt will remain that some portion of the consciousness has precognition of some events.
Such dreams should be regarded, not as complete inner awareness of the details of the future event, but as a distortion of the fantasy thinking common to the no-man's-land of sleep by the impacts of stimuli relating to the event from the astral plane. They should be considered in the category of imperfectly perceived conditions, just as stimuli coming from the outer world also distort the fantasy thinking common to sleep. Too many covers, producing the sensation of weight, may cause an individual to dream of being between the closing jaws of some huge press; or if they cause him to become too warm, he may dream of being in the tropics. The exact trend the fantasy will take depends largely upon the power of desires in his unconscious mind, his experiences in the preceding waking state, and past experiences in his fife which have conditioned his mental associations. The stimuli reaching his consciousness in the no-man's-land from either the outer plane or the inner plane under such conditions is not powerful enough to displace the fantasies passing through the mind, but only to warp them from their course and to inject into them an occasional image, symbolic or real, pointing unmistakably to the source of the stimuli.
Yet just as consciousness can move out from the no-man's-land of sleep where Boundary-Line energy and suggestion chiefly prevail, to become vividly aware of the happenings on the space-time ratio which we call the physical world, so also can it, through diverting sufficient electrical energy to upper-octave electromagnetic radiations which are transformed into inner-plane energies, and holding its Attention there, move out on the astral plane where a new order of space-time relations prevails.
Unlike the physical world, this astral world has numerous levels of existence on each of which a wide variety of life functions. As explained in detail in lesson No. 16, an astral entity, or the consciousness of an individual yet on the physical plane, is pulled to the basic astral level by its dominant vibratory rate, much as gravitation keeps physical objects fastened to or near the earth.
Every physical object has its astral counterpart, even though there are many astral objects and entities which have no physical counterparts. And as distance on the inner-plane, as explained in lesson No. 16, is not of the same order as on the physical, but is the relation between vibratory rates, consciousness functioning on the inner plane can bridge the distance instantly to any object or person on the inner plane, including the astral counterparts of anything physical, to which it can sufficiently adjust its vibratory rates.