Future-Time Clairvoyance, as indicated by its name, is that class of clairvoyant phenomena which is concerned with the perception of facts, events and happenings of future time. In this class of clairvoyant phenomena naturally fall all genuine cases of prophecy, prevision, foretelling, second-sight, etc.
History, theological and secular, is filled with instances of the foretelling of the future by prophets, wise men, and others. By many, such powers are generally regarded as supernatural or divine.
But while the phenomena itself is very well known, and is accepted as genuine in even many cases in which past-time clairvoyance is doubted, still it is even more difficult to explain than is past-time clairvoyance based on the Akashic Records or the Astral Light.
To the person not well versed in occult knowledge, and esoteric principles, it is deemed impossible to intelligently account for the perception of an event before it has actually happened—perhaps years before its actual happening.
In the first place, in some of the simpler forms of future-time clairvoyance, there is merely a high development of subconscious reasoning from analogy. That is to say, the subconscious mental faculties of the person reason out that such-and-so being the case, then it follows that so-and-so will result, unless something entirely unexpected should prevent or intervene.
This is merely an extension of certain forms of reasoning that we perform ordinarily. For instance, we see a child playing with a sharp tool, and we naturally reason that it will cut itself. We see a man acting in certain ways which generally lead to certain ends, and we naturally reason that the expected result will occur.
The more experience that the observer has had, and the keener his faculty of perception and his power of deductive reasoning, the wider will be the range of his power in the direction of predicting future results from present happenings and conditions.
In this connection, we must remember that the ordinary clairvoyant has easier access to his subconscious mentality than has the average person. The subconscious mind perceives and notes many little things that the conscious mind overlooks, and therefore has better data from which to reason.
Moreover, as all students of the subconscious know, these wonderful subconscious mental factulties have a very highly developed power of reasoning deductively from a given premise or fact. In fact, the subconscious faculties are almost perfect reasoning machines, providing they are supplied with correct data in the first place. Much of the so-called “intuitive reasoning” of persons arises from the operations of the subconscious mental faculties just mentioned.
But, you may say, this is very interesting, but it is not clairvoyance.
Certainly, good student, but still clairvoyance plays an important part even in this elementary form of prevision and future-seeing. You must remember that by clairvoyant vision the real thoughts and feelings of a person may be perceived. But, unless the attention of the clairvoyant is specially directed to this, the conscious mind does not note it, and the matter reaches the subconscious faculties without interference or conscious knowledge on the part of the clairvoyant. This being so, it will be seen that the subconscious mind of the clairvoyant is able to reason deductively, in such cases, far beyond the power of even the subconscious mind of the ordinary person—it has fuller data and more complete material to work upon, of course.
It has become a proverb of the race that “coming events cast their shadows before”; and many persons frequently have little flashes of future-time seeing without realizing that they are really exercising elementary clairvoyant powers.
The combination of even a simple form of clairvoyance and an active subconscious mind will often produce very wonderful results—although not of course the more complex phenomena of full clairvoyance and prevision. Some persons have claimed that even this form of prevision implies something like fate or predestination, but this is not fully true, for we must remember the fact that in some cases it is possible to so act in accordance with a clairvoyant warning of this kind that the impending calamity may be escaped.
But, on the other hand, we must also remember that every event is the result of certain preceding events, without which it could not have happened, and which existing it must happen unless some new element intervenes. There is such a thing as cause and effect, we must remember—and if we can reason clearly from one to the other with sufficient clearness, then we may actually prophesy certain things in advance, always making allowance for the intervention of the unexpected.
An authority says on this phase of the question: “There is no doubt whatever that, just as what is happening now is the result of causes set in motion in the past, so what will happen in the future will be the result of causes already in operation. Even on this plane of life we can calculate that if certain actions are performed, certain results will follow; but our reckoning is constantly liable to be disturbed by the interference of factors which we have not been able to take into account. But if we raise our consciousness to the higher planes we can see much further into the results of our actions.
We can trace, for example, the effect of a casual word, not only upon the person to whom it was addressed, but through him on many others as it is passed on in widening circles, until it seems to have affected the whole country; and one glimpse of such a vision is more efficient than any number of moral precepts in impressing upon us the necessity of extreme circumspection in thought, word, and deed.
Not only can we from that plane see thus fully the result of every action, but we can also see where and in what way the results of other actions apparently quite unconnected with it will interfere with and modify it. In fact, it may be said that the results of all causes at present in action are clearly visible—that the future, as it would be if no entirely new causes should arise, lies open before our gaze.
“New causes of course do arise, because man’s will is free; but in the case of all ordinary people the use which they make of their freedom may be calculated beforehand with considerable accuracy. The average man has so little real will that he is very much the creature of circumstances; his action in previous lives places him amid certain surroundings, and their influence upon him is so very much the most important factor in his life-story that his future course may be predicted with almost mathematical certainty.
With the developed man the case is different; for him also the main events of life are arranged by his past actions, but the way in which he will allow them to affect him, the methods by which he will deal with them and perhaps triumph over them—these are all his own, and they cannot be foreseen even on the mental plane except as probabilities.
“Looking down on man’s life in this way from above, it seems as though his free will could be exercised only in certain crises in his career. He arrives at a point in his life where there are obviously two or three alternative courses open before him; he is absolutely free to choose which of them he pleases, and although someone who knew his nature thoroughly well might feel almost certain what his choice would be, such knowledge on his friend’s part is in no sense a compelling force. But when he has chosen, he has to go through with it and take the consequences; having entered upon a particular path he may, in many cases, be forced to go on for a very long time before he has any opportunity to turn aside. His position is somewhat like that of a driver of a train; when he comes to a junction he may have the points set either this way or that, and so can pass on to whichever line he pleases, but when he has passed on to one of them he is compelled to run on along the line which he has selected until he reaches another set of points, where again an opportunity of choice is offered to him.”
But, interesting and wonderful as this phase of future-time clairvoyance undoubtedly is, it pales before the fuller and more complete phases. And, in the latter, we must look elsewhere for the explanation—or approach to an explanation.
The explanation of this higher form of future-time clairvoyance must be looked for in a new conception of the nature and meaning of time. It is difficult to approach this question without becoming at once involved in technical metaphysical discussion.
As an example of this difficulty, I invite you to consider the following from Sir Oliver Lodge, in his address to the British Association, at Cardiff, several years ago. While what he says is very clear to the mind of a person trained along these lines of subtle thought, it will be almost like Greek to the average person. Sir Oliver Lodge said:
“A luminous and helpful idea is that time is but a relative mode of regarding things; we progress through phenomena at a certain definite pace, and this subjective advance we interpret in an objective manner, as if events moved necessarily in this order and at this precise rate. But that may be only one mode of regarding them. The events may be in some sense of existence always, both past and future, and it may be we who are arriving at them, not they which are happening. The analogy of a traveller in a railway train is useful; if he could never leave the train nor alter its pace he would probably consider the landscapes as necessarily successive and be unable to conceive their co-existence * * * We perceive, therefore, a possible fourth dimensional aspect about time, the inexorableness of whose flow may be a natural part of our present limitations. And if we once grasp the idea that past and future may be actually existing, we can recognize that they may have a controlling influence on all present action, and the two together may constitute the ‘higher plane’ or totality of things after which, as it seems to me, we are impelled to seek, in connection with the directing of form or determinism, and the action of living being consciously directed to a definite and preconceived end.”
Sir Oliver’s illustration is somewhat akin to that of a person who sees a moving-picture show for the first time, and does not know how it is produced. To him it looks as if the events of the pictured story actually were developing and happening in time, whereas, in reality the whole picture is existing at one time.
Its past, present and future is already pictured, and may be seen by one who knows the secret and how to look for the past or future scene; while, to the ordinary observer, the scene progresses in sequence, the present being followed by something else which is at this moment “in the future,” and therefore, unknowable. To the senses of the ordinary observer only the present is in existence; while, in fact, the “future” is equally truly in existence at the same time, although not evident to the senses of the observer. Think over this a little, and let the idea sink into your mind—it may help you to understand something concerning the mystery of future-time clairvoyance, prevision, or second-sight.
Time, you know, is far more relative than we generally conceive it. It is a scientific fact that a person in the dream state may cover years of time in a dream that occupies only a few seconds of time. Persons have nodded and awakened immediately afterwards (as proved by others present in the room), and yet in that moment’s time they have dreamed of long journeys to foreign lands, great campaigns of war, etc.
Moreover, a loud sound (a pistol shot, for instance) which has awakened a sleeping person, has also set into effect a dream-state train of circumstances, constituting a long dream-state story which, after many events and happenings, terminated in the shot of a firing-squad—and then the man awoke. Now in this last mentioned case, not only has the dreamer experienced events covering a long time, all in the space of a second of time; but, also, the very sound which terminated the dream, also induced it from the very beginning—the last thing caused the first things to appear and proceed in sequence to the last! Persons under the influence of chloroform, or “laughing gas,” have similar experiences—often the first sound heard at the moment of recovering consciousness seems to be the last thing in a long dream which preceded it, though the long dream was really caused by the final sound.
Now, remember, that here not only did past, present and future exist at the same moment of time; but, also, the future caused the past and present to come into being.
On the physical plane, we have analogies illustrating this fact. It is said that in every acorn rests and exists, in miniature, the form of the future oak. And, some go so far as to say that the oak is the “ultimate cause” of the acorn—that the idea of the oak caused the acorn to be at all. In the same way, the “idea” of the man must be in the infant boy, from the moment of birth, and even from the moment of conception. But, let us pass on to the bold conception of the most advanced metaphysicians—they have a still more dazzling explanation, let us listen to it.
These occultists and metaphysicians who have thought long and deeply upon the ultimate facts and nature of the universe, have dared to think that there must exist some absolute consciousness—some absolute mind—which must perceive the past, present and future of the universe as one happening; as simultaneously and actively present at one moment of absolute time.
They reason that just as man may see as one happening of a moment of his time some particular event which might appear as a year to some minute form of life and mind—the microscopic creatures in a drop of water, for instance; so that which seems as a year, or a hundred years, to the mind of man may appear as the happening of a single moment of a higher scale of time to some exalted Being or form of consciousness on a higher plane.
You remember that it is said that “a thousand years is but as a day to the Lord;” and the Hindu Vedas tell us that “the creation, duration, and destruction of the universe, is as but the time of the twinkling of an eye to Brahman.” I shall not proceed further along this line—I have given you a very strong hint here; you must work it out for yourself, if you feel so disposed. But there are certain consequences arising from this ultimate universal fact, which I must mention before passing on.
The high occult teachings hold that there is a plane of the higher astral world which may be said to carry a reflection of the Universal Mind—just as a lake contains a reflection of the distant mountain.
Well, then, the clairvoyant vision at times is able to penetrate to the realm of that astral reflecting medium, and see somewhat dimly what is pictured there. As the future may be discerned in this reflected picture, by the clairvoyant mind, we see how future-seeing, prevision, and second-sight may be explained scientifically.
A writer has said: “On this plane, in some manner which down here is totally inexplicable, the past, the present, and the future, are all there existing simultaneously. One can only accept this fact, for its cause lies in the faculty of that exalted plane, and the way in which this higher faculty works is naturally quite incomprehensible to the physical brain. Yet now and then one may meet with a hint that seems to bring us a trifle nearer to a dim possibility of comprehension. When the pupil’s consciousness is fully developed upon this higher plane, therefore, perfect prevision is possible to him, though he may not—nay, he certainly will not—be able to bring the whole result of his sight through fully and in order into his physical consciousness. Still, a great deal of clear foresight is obviously within his power whenever he likes to exercise it; and even when he is not exercising it, frequent flashes of foreknowledge come through into his ordinary life, so that he often has an instantaneous intuition as to how things will turn out.”
The same writer says: “Short of perfect prevision we find that all degrees of this type of clairvoyance exist, from the occasional vague premonitions which cannot in any true sense be called sight at all, up to frequent and fairly complete second-sight. The faculty to which this latter somewhat misleading name has been given is an extremely interesting one, and would well repay more careful and systematic study than has hitherto been given to it. It is best known to us as a not infrequent possession of the Scottish Highlanders, though it is by no means confined to them. Occasional instances of it have appeared in almost every nation, but it has always been commonest among mountaineers and men of lonely life. With us in England it is often spoken of as if it were the exclusive appanage of the Celtic race, but in reality it has appeared among similarly situated peoples the world over, it is stated, for example, to be very common among the Westphalian peasantry.
“Sometimes the second-sight consists of a picture clearly foreshowing some coming event; more frequently, perhaps, the glimpse of the future is given in some symbolical appearance. It is noteworthy that the events foreseen are invariably unpleasant ones—death being the commonest of all; I do not recollect a single instance in which the second-sight has shown anything which was not of the most gloomy nature. It has a ghastly symbolism of its own—a symbolism of shrouds and corpse-candles, and other funeral horrors. In some cases it appears to be to a certain extent dependent upon locality, for it is stated that inhabitants of the Isle of Skye who possess the faculty often lose it when they leave the island, even though it be only to cross to the mainland. The gift of such sight is sometimes hereditary in a family for generations, but this is not an invariable rule, for it often appears sporadically in one member of a family otherwise free from its lugubrious influence.
“There may be still some people who deny the possibility of prevision, but such denial simply shows their ignorance of the evidence on the subject. The large number of authenticated cases leave no room for doubt as to the fact, but many of them are of such a nature as to render a reasonable explanation by no means easy to find. It is evident that the Ego possesses a certain amount of previsional faculty, and if the events foreseen were always of great importance, one might suppose that an extraordinary stimulus had enabled him for that occasion only to make a clear impression of what he saw upon his lower personality. No doubt that is the explanation of many of the cases in which death or grave disaster is foreseen, but there are a large number of instances on record to which it does not seem to apply, since the events foretold are frequently trivial and unimportant.”
In future-time clairvoyance, as well as in past-time clairvoyance, the phenomenon may be manifested in many ways and according to several methods. That is to say, that in future-time clairvoyance the vision may come in the state of meditation or reverie; it may come along the lines of psychometry, some associated object or person supplying the connecting link; or, again, it may come as the result of crystal-gazing, etc.
This is as we might naturally expect, for this form of clairvoyance is merely one special and particular phase of clairvoyance in general, and of course, comes under the general laws and rules governing all clairvoyant phenomena.
Future-time clairvoyance, prevision and second-sight may, like any other form of clairvoyance, be developed and unfolded, by means of the same rules and methods that I have already suggested to you in the preceding lessons. It is all a matter of attention, application, patience, exercise and practice.
Strong desire and wish for the perception of future events, held firmly in mind during the practicing and exercising, will tend to unfold and develop the clairvoyant faculties in this particular direction. Strong desire, and earnest attention in the desired direction, will do much to cultivate, develop and unfold any psychic faculty.
Just as meditation and reverie about past times and things tend to develop past-time clairvoyance, so will meditation and reverie about future time and things tend to develop prevision and the seeing of future things.
This, indeed, is the very first step toward the attainment of this form of clairvoyance. The attention clears the psychic path, over which the astral faculties travel. In the astral, as on the physical, the rule is: always look where you are going—look ahead on the path over which you wish to travel.