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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Clairvoyance

Literally means “clear vision.” A form of extra-sensory perception (ESP), employing the ability to gain information not perceived by the normal senses. Helena P. BLAVATSKY remarked that true clairvoyance is very rare, the most frequently met with form is by those practicing deception (CW VI:181).

The theosophist Charles LEADBEATER published a treatise entitled Clairvoyance in 1908 (London: Theosophical Publishing Society) which sets out the theosophical view of this subject very clearly. In this work he deals with the various kinds of clairvoyance including clairvoyance in space as well as in time (past and future) and methods of its development. In this work Leadbeater emphasizes most emphatically that the so-called “sitting for development” or any other method of forcing the gaining of psychic powers is to be discouraged. He points out that such a course can bring in its train most undesirable effects. He suggests that if the aspirant should concentrate on living the pure and unselfish life and practice meditation, then possibly some form of psychic power may emerge spontaneously with little risk.

Such abilities are referred to quite often in early Indian texts, such as Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras where they are included under the Sanskrit term siddhis.

See PARAPSYCHOLOGY.

 

P.S.H.

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