ability to gain information about an object, person, location or physical event through extrasensory perception

Clairvoyance (/klɛərˈvɔɪəns/; from French clair meaning "clear" and voyance meaning "vision") is the claimed ability to gain information about an object, person, location, or physical event through extrasensory perception. A clairvoyant is one who sees clearly.

These [thoughtforms]... were seen simultaneously among the spectators of a street accident... both animated by affectionate interest... and deep compassion... The one over whom floats that vague sphere of cloud is thinking "Poor fellow, how sad!" while he who gives birth to that sharply-defined disc is... rushing forward to see in what way he can be of assistance... One is a dreamer... the other is a man of action. ~ Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, Thought-Forms

Quotes edit

  • Telepathy, clairvoyance, movement without contact, though not yet admitted to the scientific table, are approaching the Cinderella-stage. The fact is that science has pressed its researches so far, has used such rare ingenuity in its questionings of nature, has shown such tireless patience in its investigations, that it is receiving the reward of those who seek, and forces and beings of the next higher plane of nature are beginning to show themselves on the outer edge of the physical field.
  • What is light to us is darkness to certain insects, and the eye of the clairvoyant sees illumination where the normal eye perceives only blackness. p. 41
  • Dangma means a purified soul, one who has become a Jivanmukta, the highest adept, or rather a Mahatma so-called. His “opened eye ” is the inner spiritual eye of the seer, and the faculty which manifests through it is not clairvoyance as ordinarily understood, i.e., the power of seeing at a distance, but rather the faculty of spiritual intuition, through which direct and certain knowledge is obtainable. p. 46 footnote
  • And there was a day when all that which in our modern times is regarded as phenomena, so puzzling to the physiologists now compelled to believe in them — such as thought transference, clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc.; in short, all that which is called now “wonderful and abnormal ” — all that and much more belonged to the senses and faculties common to all humanity. p. 537
  • Clairvoyance. The faculty of seeing with the inner eye or spiritual sight. As now used it is a loose and flippant term, embracing under its meaning a happy guess due to natural shrewdness or intuition, and also that faculty which was so remarkably exercised by Jacob Boehme and Swedenborg. Real clairvoyance means the faculty of seeing through the densest matter (the latter disappearing at the will and before the spiritual eye of the Seer), and irrespective of time (past, present and future) or distance.
  • Looking at the alluring possibilities of clairvoyance so far as it is understood, many persons have sighed for its power for several different reasons. Some would use it for the purposes described, but many another has thought of it merely as a new means for furthering personal ends... Its delusions are so manifold that, although mystical and psychical subjects have obtained in the public mind a new standing, clairvoyance will not be other than a curiosity for some time, and when its phenomena and laws are well understood no reliance greater than now will be placed upon it. And even when individual clairvoyants of wonderful power are known, they will not be accessible for such uses, because, having reached their power by special training, the laws of their school will prohibit the exercise of the faculty at the bidding of selfish interest, whether on the one side or the other.
    • W.Q. Judge, Delusions of Clairvoyance, The Path, (July 1892)
  • Geoffrey Hodson developed these powers to a remarkable degree and all his talents were devoted to helping forward humanity at large. At no time did he seek monetary compensation for any of his clairvoyant work in healing or research. By working with accredited scientists, he not only provided valuable insights and knowledge but to a large extent validated the faculty of clairvoyance as a legitimate tool of investigation which could have positive connotations for the future. The validation given by scientists provides credence to his research in areas where scientists cannot go... Hodson was a highly trained clairvoyant in many of its forms (e.g. in time, space and magnification) and could use this faculty under conscious control.
  • Clairvoyance. In its largest sense the word simply means "clear-seeing," insight behind the veils, inner visioning. Genuine clairvoyance is a spiritual faculty and is the ability to see and to see aright; and in seeing to know that your seeing is truth. This is no psychical faculty. The clairvoyance commonly called the psychical clairvoyance is very deceptive, because it is a mere moonlight reflection so to speak, and this moonlight reflection is uncertain, deceiving, and illusory. Genuine spiritual clairvoyance, of which the psychical clairvoyance so called is but a feeble ray, will enable one to see what passes at immense distances. You can sit in your armchair and see, with eyes closed, all that you care to see, however far away. This can be done not only in this exterior world, but one can penetrate into the interior and invisible worlds with this spiritual vision, and thus know what is going on in the worlds spiritual and ethereal. This vision is not physical vision, nor that which, on the astral plane, manifests itself as psychical clairvoyance; but true vision is spiritual clairvoyance seeing through the inner spiritual eye.
It is well for us ever to bear in mind that there is a hidden side to life—that each act and word and thought has its consequence in the unseen world which is always so near to us, and that usually these unseen results are of infinitely greater importance than those which are visible to all upon the physical plane. ~ Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, Thought-Forms
What is light to us is darkness to certain insects, and the eye of the clairvoyant sees illumination where the normal eye perceives only blackness. ~H.P. Blavatsky
At the moment of consecration the Host glowed with the most dazzling brightness it became in fact a veritable sun to the eye of the clairvoyant, and as the priest lifted it above the heads of the people... spiritual force poured forth from it... roughly corresponding to the light of the sun... poured forth impartially upon all, the just and the unjust, the believers and the scoffers... ~C.W. Leadbeater

Clairvoyance by C.W. Leadbeater, (1903) edit

Chapter I edit

  • Clairvoyance means literally nothing more than "clear-seeing," and it is a word which has been sorely misused, and even degraded so far as to be employed to describe the trickery of a mountebank in a variety show... For the purpose of this treatise we may, perhaps, define it as the power to see what is hidden from ordinary physical sight. It will be as well to premise that it is very frequently (though by no means always) accompanied by what is called clairaudience, or the power to hear what would be inaudible to the ordinary physical ear.
  • Let me make two points clear... I am not writing for those who do not believe that there is such a thing as clairvoyance, nor am I seeking to convince those who are in doubt about the matter. In so small a work as this I have no space for that; such people must study the many books containing lists of cases, or make experiments for themselves along mesmeric lines. I am addressing myself to the better-instructed class who know that clairvoyance exists, and are sufficiently interested in the subject to be glad of information as to its methods and possibilities; and I would assure them that what I write is the result of much careful study and experiment, and that though some of the powers which I shall have to describe may seem new and wonderful to them, I mention no single one of which I have not myself seen examples.
    Secondly... as I am writing in the main for students of Theosophy, I shall feel myself at liberty sometimes to use, for brevity's sake and with out detailed explanation, the ordinary Theosophical terms with which I may safely assume them to be familiar.... Should this little book fall into the hands of any to whom the occasional use of such terms constitutes a difficulty, I can only apologize... and refer them for these preliminary explanations to any elementary Theosophical work, such as Mrs. Besant's Ancient Wisdom or Man and His Bodies...
  • Clairvoyance, like so many other things in nature, is mainly a question of vibrations, and is in fact nothing but an extension of powers which we are all using every day of our lives. We are living all the while surrounded by a vast sea of mingled air and ether, the latter inter-penetrating the former, as it does all physical matter; and it is chiefly by means of vibrations in that vast sea of matter that impressions reach us from the outside. This much we all know, but it may perhaps never have occurred to many of us that the number of these vibrations to which we are capable of responding is in reality quite infinitesimal.

The Hidden Side of things by C.W. Leadbeater, (1913) edit

  • A fine word that — clairvoyant. It means 'one who sees clearly'; but it has been horribly misused and degraded, so that people associate it with all sorts of trickery and imposture — with gypsies who for sixpence will tell a maid-servant what is the colour of the hair of the duke who is coming to marry her, or with establishments in Bond Street where for a guinea fee the veil of the future is supposed to be lifted for more aristocratic clients.
  • Trees — especially old trees — have a strong and definite individuality, well worthy the name of a soul. This soul, though temporary, in the sense that it is not yet a reincarnating entity, is nevertheless possessed of considerable power and intelligence along its own lines. It has decided likes and dislikes, and to clairvoyant sight it shows quite clearly by a vivid rosy flush an emphatic enjoyment of the sunlight and the rain, and distinct pleasure also in the presence of those whom it has learnt to like, or with whom it has sympathetic vibrations. Emerson appears to have realised this, for he is quoted in Hutton’s Reminiscences as saying of his trees: I am sure they miss me; they seem to droop when I go away, and I know they brighten and bloom when I go back to them and shake hands with their lower branches.
  • Most nature-spirits dislike and avoid mankind, and we cannot wonder at it. To them man appears a ravaging demon, destroying and spoiling wherever he goes.. He wantonly kills, often with awful tortures, all the beautiful creatures that they love to watch; he cuts down the trees, he tramples the grass, he plucks the flowers and casts them carelessly aside to die; he replaces all the lovely wild life of nature with his hideous bricks and mortar, and the fragrance of the flowers with the mephitic vapours of his chemicals and the all polluting smoke of his factories. Can we think it strange that the fairies should regard us with horror, and shrink away from us as we shrink from a poisonous reptile? p. 143
  • The effect produced by the celebration of the Mass in a Roman Catholic church... At the moment of consecration the Host glowed with the most dazzling brightness it became in fact a veritable sun to the eye of the clairvoyant, and as the priest lifted it above the heads of the people I noticed that two distinct varieties of spiritual force poured forth from it, which might perhaps be taken as roughly corresponding to the light of the sun and the streamers of his corona. The first rayed out impartially in all directions upon all the people in the church; indeed, it penetrated the walls of the church as though they were not there, and influenced a considerable section of the surrounding country...
  • The light which I have just described poured forth impartially upon all, the just and the unjust, the believers and the scoffers. But this second force was called into activity only in response to a strong feeling of devotion on the part of an individual. At the elevation of the Host all members of the congregation duly prostrated themselves— some apparently as a mere matter of habit, but some also with a strong feeling of deep devotional feeling. The effect as seen by clairvoyant sight was most striking and profoundly impressive, for to each of these latter there darted from the uplifted Host a ray of fire, which set the higher part of the astral body of the recipient glowing with the most intense ecstasy. p. 227
  • The light which I have just described poured forth impartially upon all, the just and the unjust, the believers and the scoffers. But this second force was called into activity only in response to a strong feeling of devotion on the part of an individual. At the elevation of the Host all members of the congregation duly prostrated themselves— some apparently as a mere matter of habit, but some also with a strong feeling of deep devotional feeling. The effect as seen by clairvoyant sight was most striking and profoundly impressive, for to each of these latter there darted from the uplifted Host a ray of fire, which set the higher part of the astral body of the recipient glowing with the most intense ecstasy. Ch. 8
  • Let us put aside altogether, for the moment, the injury done to the victim of the fraud—though, since humanity is truly a vast brotherhood, that is a factor by no means to be ignored; but let us restrict ourselves now exclusively to the selfish aspect of the action, and see what harm the dishonest merchant has done to himself. The Results of Deceit. Two facts stand out prominently to clairvoyant sight. First, the deceiver has had to think out his scheme of imposture he has made a mental effort, and the result of that effort is a thought-form. Because the thought which gave it birth was guileful and ill-intentioned, that thought-form is one which cramps and sears the mental body, hindering its growth and intensifying its lower vibrations—a disaster in itself far more than counterbalancing anything whatever that could possibly happen in the physical world. But that is not all.
  • Secondly, this duplicity has set up a habit in the mental body. It is represented therein by a certain type of vibration, and since this vibration has been set strongly in motion it has created a tendency towards its own repetition- the next time the man’s thoughts turn towards any commercial transaction, it will be a little easier than before for him to adopt some knavish plan, a little more difficult than before for him to be... open and honest. ...This one act of double-dealing may have produced results in the mental body which it will take years of patient striving to eliminate.
  • A knowledge of the hidden side of life by no means teaches us to forget our dead, but it makes us exceedingly careful as to how we think of them; it warns us that we must adopt a resolutely unselfish attitude, that we must forget all about ourselves, and the pain of the apparent separation, and think of them neither with grief nor with longing, but always with strong affectionate wishes for their happiness and their progress. The clairvoyant sees exactly in what manner such wishes affect them, and at once perceives the truth which underlies the teaching of the Catholic Church with regard to the advisability of prayers for the dead. By these both the living and the dead are helped; for the former, instead of being thrown back upon his grief with a hopeless feeling that now he can do nothing, since there is a great gulf between himself and his loved one, is encouraged to turn his affectionate thought into definite action which promotes the happiness and advancement of him who has passed from his sight in the physical world. Of all this and much more I have written fully in the book called The Other Side of Death... p. 340
  • ...there was once a monastery whose abbot possessed the power of clairvoyance. Among his monks there were two young men who had an especial reputation for purity and holiness... One day when they were singing in the choir it occurred to the abbot to turn his clairvoyant faculty upon these two young men, in the endeavour to discover how they contrived to preserve this especial purity amidst the temptations of daily life. So he looked at the first young man and saw that he had surrounded himself with a shell as of glittering crystal, and that when the tempting demons (impure thought-forms we should call them) came rushing at him, they struck against this shell, and fell back without injuring him, so that he remained inside his shell, calm and cold and pure. Then the abbot looked at the second young monk, and he saw that he had built no shell round himself, but that his heart was so full of the love of God that it was perpetually radiating- from him in all directions in the shape of torrents of love for his fellowmen, so that when the attempting- demons sprang at him with foul intent they were all washed away in that mighty outpouring stream, and so he also remained pure and undefiled... the abbot said that the second monk was nearer to the kingdom of heaven than the first. p. 477

The Masters and the Path by C.W. Leadbeater, (1925) edit

  • I remember very well a lady coming to me in an American city and asking the question: “What is the matter with me? Why may I not draw near to the Master?” “Do you really want to know?” I asked. Yes, certainly, she really wished to know. She adjured me to look, at her occultly, or clairvoyantly, or in any way I wished, at all her vehicles and her past lives, and to decide thereby. I took her at her word and said: “Well, if you really want to know, there is too much ego in your cosmos. You are thinking all about yourself and not enough about the work.” Of course she was terribly offended; she flounced out of the room, and said she did not think much of my clairvoyance; but that lady had the courage to come back two years later and say: “What you told me was quite true, and I am going to put it right and to work hard at it.” That story has repeated itself many times, except that this is the only case in which the person came back and acknowledged the fault. p. 66
  • The words which are connected with desirable qualities produce pleasant forms, and those which are associated with evil qualities produce ugly forms. Such word-forms are not determined by the thought which accompanies the word; the thought builds its own form in a higher type of matter. For example, that word “hate” is often used quite casually without any real hatred at all, when speaking, perhaps, of some article of food; that is a perfectly unnecessary use of the word, and it obviously does not convey any serious emotion; so that the astral hate-form is not produced; but the ugly etheric sound-form appears just as though the speaker really meant it. So clearly the word itself is not a good word. The same is true of the oaths and obscene words so often used amongst uneducated and uncultured people; the forms produced by some of these are of a peculiarly horrible nature when seen by clairvoyant sight. But it is unthinkable that anyone aspiring to be a disciple would pollute his lips with these. p. 91
  • Whenever we speak or laugh we make colour as well as sound. If it is the right kind of laughter, hearty and kindly, it has a very pleasant effect, and spreads a feeling of joyousness all round. But if it should be a sneering or sarcastic laugh, a coarse guffaw, a snigger or a giggle, the result is very different, and exceedingly unpleasant. p. 92
  • When you are parting with someone you say “Good-bye”. Those words may be accompanied by a real outrush of friendly feeling; but if you say “Good-bye” in a casual tone, without any special thought or feeling behind it, that produces a totally different effect on the higher planes. One is just a flash in the pan, meaning little, doing little; the other is a definite outpouring which you give to your friend. It is well to remember that the expression means “God be with you”; therefore it is a blessing which you are giving... If you would think of the meaning of such words whenever you say them, you would do much more good...
  • In occultism we always mean exactly what we say, neither more or less. When a rule is laid down that nothing unkind or critical must be said about another, just that is exactly what is meant—not that when we happen to think of it we should slightly diminish the number of unkind or critical things that we say every day, but that they must definitely altogether cease. p. 93
  • In the early days in India, when a guru selected his chelas, he formed them into a group and took them about with him wherever he went. Now and then he taught them, but often they received no instructions; yet they made rapid progress, because all the time they were within the aura of the teacher and were being brought into harmony with it, instead of being surrounded by ordinary influences.
  • It is probably inevitable in the course of karmic law that one who is aspiring shall be brought into contact with someone more advanced than himself, and receive much benefit through his ability to respond to him; and it is generally the fact that the Master does not advance or raise any person unless he has been with an older student who can guide and help him.
  • Absolutely unselfish love is the strongest power in the world, but few are they who can keep it pure from exaction or jealousy, even if it be for one object alone. Your advancement is due to your success in keeping that flame burning ardently for several objects simultaneously. You have done much to develop strength, but you need still more of it. You must acquire discrimination and alertness, so that you see what is wanted at the right moment, instead of ten minutes afterwards. Before you speak or act, think carefully what the consequences will be. p. 97 (The Master Koot Hoomi speaking to some students)
  • I remember one lady who was an exceedingly good clairvoyant, capable of looking back into the past, and describing historical events with great accuracy and wealth of detail. She was a very devout Christian, and I think she was never quite able to feel that any other religion could be as full an exposition of the truth as her own. She might be said (using the word in no invidious sense) to have a strong prejudice in favour of Christianity. The result of that upon her clairvoyance was very striking—in fact, almost amusing sometimes. She might be describing, let us say, a scene in ancient Rome; so long as nothing directly connected with religion came into her purview, the description would be quite accurate, but the moment that it appeared that one of the characters in the scene was a Christian she immediately displayed a remarkable strong bias in his favour. Nothing that he did or said could be wrong, whereas anything whatever that was said or done against him was always indicative of the greatest wickedness. When this factor was introduced her clairvoyance became absolutely unreliable. p. 110
  • The pupil must make up his mind that with regard to his efforts towards self-improvement he will never allow himself to be discouraged by failure, even though it be often repeated. However many times he may have failed in his effort, however many falls he may have on the path which he sets before himself, there is exactly the same reason for getting up and going on after the thousandth fall that there was after the first. p. 126
  • In the books we are told that there are four ways, any one of which may bring a man to the commencement of the Path of development. First, by being in the presence of, and getting to know, those who are already interested along that line. Some of us, for example, may have been monks or nuns in the Middle Ages. We may have come into contact in that life with an abbot or abbess who had deep experience of the inner world — a person like St. Theresa. We may, looking up to that leader, have earnestly wished that such experience should come to us; and our wish for that may have been quite unselfish. It may be that we did not think of the importance that would come to us or of the satisfaction of achievement, but simply of the joy of helping others, as we saw the abbot able to help others through his deeper discernment. Such a feeling in that life would certainly bring us in the next incarnation into touch with teaching on the subject.
  • It happens that, in lands which have the European culture, almost the only way in which we can get the inner teaching put clearly before us is by coming into The Theosophical Society, or by reading Theosophical works.... there are none, so far as I know, which state the case so clearly, so scientifically, as the Theosophical literature has done.
  • I know of no other book which contains such a wealth of information as The Secret Doctrine.
  • One who is clairvoyant will readily subscribe to the truth of this great teaching of the Buddha, that on the whole life is sorrow; for if he looks at the astral and mental bodies of those whom he meets he will see that they are filled with a vast number of small vortices all whirling vigorously, representing all sorts of odd little thoughts, little anxieties, little troubles about one thing or another. All these cause disturbance and suffering, and what is needed most of all for progress is serenity. The only way to gain peace is to get rid of them altogether... p. 304

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