A PSYCHIC WARNING
[The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 9, June, 1881, pp. 187-188]
[Mr. A. Constantine of Agra wrote to the Editor asking for enlightenment as to the following psychic phenomenon: he and a very close and intimate friend were employed in the same Government office. They had arranged to go together during the next holiday for a visit to Meerut; but at the last moment the friend backed out on the ground that he had, for health reasons, to take his family to Rambagh (a sanitarium on the other side of Agra). On parting the friend shook hands with Mr. Constantine and again expressed his regret, saying that though absent in body, he would be present with him in thought and spirit. Mr. Constantine duly went to Meerut; but on the morning of the third day of his stay there, a curious sensation came suddenly over him; he felt dull and melancholy, and told his brother-in-law, at whose house he was staying, that he must return to Agra immediately. In spite of the remonstrances of his relatives, his urge to return made him insist on going straight home, to find on arriving at Agra that his friend had died suddenly at Rambagh that very morning, about the time when the impulse to return had first seized him.]
Note by the Editor.—No need of attributing the above “warning” to anything supernatural. Many and varied are the psychic phenomena in life, which unintentionally or otherwise are either attributed to the agency of disembodied “spirits” or entirely and intentionally ignored. By saying this we do not intend at all depriving the spiritual theory of its raison d’être. But beside that theory there exist other manifestations of the same psychic force in man’s daily life, which are generally disregarded or erroneously looked upon as a result of simple chance or coincidence for the only
reason that we are unable to forthwith assign for them a logical and comprehensive cause, though the manifestations undoubtedly bear the impress of a scientific character, evidently belonging, as they do, to that class of psycho-physiological phenomena which even men of great scientific attainments and such specialists as Dr. Carpenter are now busying themselves with. The cause for this particular phenomenon is to be sought in the occult (yet no less undeniable for it) influence exercised by the active will of one man over the will of another man, whenever the will of the latter is surprised in a moment of rest or a state of passiveness. We speak now of presentiments. Were every person to pay close attention—in an experimental and scientific spirit, of course—to his daily action and watch his thoughts, conversation and resultant acts, and carefully analyse these, omitting no details, trifling as they might appear to him, then would he find for most of these actions and thoughts coinciding reasons based upon mutual psychic influence between the embodied intelligences.
Several instances, more or less familiar to everyone through personal experience, might be here adduced. We will give but two. Two friends or even simple acquaintances are separated for years. Suddenly one of them—he who remained at home and who may have never thought of the absent person for years, thinks of that individual. He remembers him without any possible cause or reason, and the long forgotten image sweeping through the silent corridors of MEMORY brings it before his eyes as vividly as if he were there. A few minutes after that, an hour perhaps, that absent person pays the other an unexpected visit. Another instance—A lends to B a book. B having read and laid it aside thinks no more of it, though A requested him to return the work immediately after perusal. Days, perhaps months after that, B’s thought occupied with important business, suddenly reverts to the book, and he remembers his neglect. Mechanically he leaves his place and stepping to his library gets it out, thinking to send it back without fail this once. At the same moment, the door opens, A enters, telling that he had come purposely to fetch his book, as he needed it. Coincidence?
Not at all. In the first case it was the thought of the traveller, which, as he had decided upon visiting an old friend or acquaintance, was concentrated upon the other man, and that thought by its very activity proved energetic enough to overpower the then passive thought of the other. The same explanation stands good in the case of A and B. But Mr. Constantine may argue, “my late friend’s thought could not influence mine since he was already dead, when I was being irresistibly drawn to Agra.” Our answer is ready. Did not the warmest friendship exist between the writer and the deceased? Had not the latter promised to be with him in “thought and spirit”? And that leads to the positive inference that his thought was strongly preoccupied before his death, with him whom he had unintentionally disappointed. Sudden as may have been that death, thought is instantaneous and more rapid still. Nay, it surely was a hundredfold intensified at the moment of death. Thought is the last thing that dies or rather fades out in the human brain of a dying person, and thought, as demonstrated by science, is material, since it is but a mode of energy, which itself changes form but is eternal. Hence, that thought whose strength and power are always proportionate to its intensity, became, so to say, concrete and palpable, and with the help of the strong affinity between the two, it enveloped and overpowered the whole sentient and thinking principle in Mr. Constantine, subjecting it entirely, and forcing the will of the latter to act in accordance with his desire. The thinking agent was dead, and the instrument lay shattered for ever. But its last sound lived, and could not have completely died out, in the waves of ether. Science says, the vibration of one single note of music will linger on in motion through the corridors of all eternity; and theosophy, the last thought of the dying man changes into the man himself; it becomes his eidôlon. Mr. Constantine would not have surprised us, nor would he have indeed deserved being accused by the skeptical of either superstition or of having labored under a hallucination had he even seen the image, or the so-called “ghost” of his deceased friend before him. For that “ghost” would have been neither the conscious spirit nor the soul of the
dead man; but simply his short—for one instant—materialized thought projected unconsciously and by the sole power of its own intensity in the direction of him who occupied that THOUGHT.