Extract from the Book
Psychic Self-Defense by Dion Fortune
METHODS OF DEFENCE
PSYCHIC trouble not infrequently arises owing to the formation of an undesirable rapport. In order to understand the nature of this problem we must consider the whole subject of rapport.
We have already considered in some detail the question of telepathic suggestion. Rapport might be considered as the passive aspect of that of which telepathic suggestion is the active aspect. It forms, in fact, the basic condition necessary for telepathic suggestion to take place. Two people who are in rapport might be described as astral Siamese twins. Although the physical bodies are independent units, the astral bodies are linked in such a manner that there is free circulation of astral force between them, just as the circulatory system of the mother is connected through the umbilical cord with the unborn child, and the same blood circulating freely through both.
This fact explains many important occult phenomena. It is the real key to marriage, and explains many facts in the relationship of parent and child. It also accounts for some important aspects of the relation of pupil and teacher.
But not only is it possible for a rapport to be established between two individuals, but between an individual and a group. This fact plays an important part in all fraternity work. It is also possible to establish rapport between a human being and other kingdoms of nature; with discarnate entities, superhuman beings, and, in fact, with any form of life with which an individual can form a sympathetic understanding. There must be some ground of sympathy as the basis for the formation of a rapport, but once formed, it can be developed almost indefinitely. It is a curious fact that if a rapport is long continued, the persons thus united gradually come to resemble each other. We all know the “horsey” type of man; also the son of the soil of whom it was expressively remarked, “Father’s in the pig-stye. You’ll know him by his hat.”
When two human beings are in rapport, the less positive of the two tends to lose his own individuality and becomes the pale reflection of the other. It is for this reason that the Western occultist, who values individuality highly, does not take personal pupils in the same way as does the Eastern guru, but prefers to work through ritual with a group because this method is more impersonal. But even so, the individual members of a group will undergo certain changes whereby they are tuned in to the group-tone, so that there will be a certain common denominator which they all possess. Who cannot recognise the sign-manual of the Christian Scientist, the Theosophist, the Quaker? Any system which has group meditation rapidly puts its mark on its members.
In this fact, of course, lies much of the value of association with a worthy group. In it, equally, lies the detriment of association with an unworthy group. Let us consider what happens when a person of ordinary good character becomes associated with a group of degenerate moral tone. He will either find himself in such sharp antagonism to the group-mind that he will have no option but to withdraw, or he will rapidly but unconsciously be tuned to the keynote of his new associates. Without his being aware of the fact, his moral sense will have become blunted and he will accept as a matter of course what he would originally have turned from in disgust.
Rapport once established, other things beside the general feeling-tone can be shared. Actual ideas can be transferred from one mind to another as in telepathy; and in the same way, vital force can be transmitted. It is this fact which is the explanation of certain types of spiritual healing. When etheric vitality is being transmitted, it is necessary that the persons concerned should be within the immediate magnetic field of each other; but when astral force is in question, this is not necessary. Transmission is independent of space.
We are not now considering the legitimate use of this force for healing, or for teaching and developing neophytes, so we will not, therefore, consider its modus operandi in detail. Enough has been said to show in what way it works. Let us now proceed to the consideration of the practical methods of breaking such a rapport if for any reason it is desired to discontinue its use.
To astral vision the telepathic link appears as a ray of light, a shining cord, or some similar thought-form, because it is in this form that it is usually formulated by the person who is making the magnetic link. It sometimes happens, however, if the operator has a high grade of initiation, that instead of connecting the ray direct to the person with whom he desires to be in touch, he will formulate an astral animal at the end of it to which he transfers a modicum of his own consciousness. This animal-form is called a Watcher; it does not act on its own initiative unless attacked, when it defends itself according to the nature of the species in whose likeness it is made. The use of a Watcher is to obtain a record of what is transpiring without the necessity of focussing consciousness thereon. When the psychic substance of the Watcher is reabsorbed by the adept, he becomes aware of the content of the Watcher’s consciousness. The disadvantage of this method lies in the vulnerableness of the Watcher to psychic attack, and the fact that its projector is affected if it is injured or disintegrated.
In dealing with a thought-form, always bear in mind that it is the product of the imagination, and is in no sense self- existent. What the imagination has made the imagination can unmake. If the maker of a thought-form has thought it into existence by picturing it imaginatively, you can equally well think it out of existence by picturing it clearly and imagining it bursting into a thousand fragments, or going up in flames, or dissolving into water and being absorbed by the soil. That which is thought into existence by the imagination can be thought out of existence by the imagination.
If what was taken for a thought-form resists destruction by this method, it is probably an artificial elemental. Now there are two such elementals, one kind being ensouled by the invocation of elemental essence into a thought-form, and the other by the projection of something of the magician’s own nature into it. If it is ensouled by elemental essence, the use of the Pentagram will serve to banish it; but if it is of the kind that is ensouled by the magician’s own force, another method must be used, known as absorption.
Now absorption is a very high-grade method, and its successful use depends upon the state of consciousness of the user. Each individual has to decide for himself whether in any given case at a given moment he is in a fit state to attempt it. Unless he can completely steady his own vibrations and arrive at a state of perfect serenity and freedom from all sense of effort, he should not make the attempt.
We will, however, describe the method for the benefit of those who care to try it.
Harmonising himself by mediation upon the Christ, the adept, as soon as he is satisfied that his own vibrations are steady, proceeds to call up before his astral vision the image of the form he intends to destroy. He sees it clearly in all its details and seeks to divine its nature, whether it is a vehicle for malice or lust, or vampiric action: these are the three most common, and it can almost certainly be assigned to one or other of these classes. Having discerned the type of the force with which he has to deal, he then proceeds to meditate upon its opposite, concentrating upon purity and selflessness if the force be lust; compassion and love, if it be malice; and upon God as the creator and sustainer of all life if it be vampiric.
He continues this meditation until he feels himself suffused with the quality upon which he is meditating; until he feels himself so imbued with purity and selflessness that lust causes him to feel nothing but pity, malice causes him to feel nothing but compassion, and in regard to vampirism, he is so assured that his life is hid with Christ in God that he would willingly let the vampire finish its meal in peace if he could thereby help it. In fact, the adept who proposes to perform a magical absorption has to reach the point where he has clearly realised the nothingness of the evil he proposes to absorb, and no longer has any feeling towards it but pity for an ignorance that thinks it can gain any good thing for itself in this way. He desires to uplift and educate and free the misguided soul from its bondage. Until he has arrived at the point when he has no other feeling than this towards his persecutor, it is not safe for him to attempt an absorption.
Having satisfied himself that he is ready for the attempt, he proceeds to draw the thought-form towards him by pulling in the silver cord that connects it with his solar plexus if it be a vampiric thought-form, or by opening his aura to it and enfolding it if it be one of the other two types. He literally sucks it in. This process should be done slowly and gradually, taking some minutes in the doing. If it be done suddenly, the adept may not find it possible to keep his own vibrations steady, and then he will indeed be in an unpleasant situation.
As the thought-form is absorbed, the adept will feel a reaction in his own nature corresponding to the type of the thought-form. If it is a lust-force, he will feel desire rise within him; if it is a malicious force, he will feel anger; and if it is a vampire, he will feel blood-lust. He must immediately overcome this feeling and revert to his mediation upon the opposite quality, maintaining it until his vibrations are once more fully harmonised. He will then know that the evil force has been neutralised and there is that much less evil in the world. He will immediately feel a great access of vigour and a sense of spiritual power, as if he could say to a mountain, “Be ye cast into the sea,” and it would be done. It is this sense of spiritual exaltation and power which tells him that the work has been successfully accomplished. It is, however, advisable to repeat the meditation at intervals for two or three days in case another thought-form is formulated and sent after the first.
As for the sender of the thought-form, when the absorption takes place he will feel that “virtue has gone out of him,” and may even be reduced temporarily to a state of semi- collapse. He will soon revive, however, but with his power for evil of this particular type considerably reduced for some time to come; and if he have the possibility of reform in his nature, it may even be that he himself will be permanently freed from this type of evil.
The great advantage of this method is that it actually destroys the evil, root and branch; whereas the mere destruction of a thought-form is like cutting off the top of a weed. On the other hand, it can only be done by an advanced occultist keyed up to the highest pitch. If one is disturbed or harassed or has in any degree lost his nerve, one dare not attempt it.
If the rapport is perceived as a line of light, a cord, or any similar form, attached to the solar plexus, the forehead, or any other part of the body, the best way of severing the rapport is to forge a magical weapon and cut it. In fact, if a rapport is felt, the first thing to do is to visualise the cord and try to see where it attaches; the solar plexus is the commonest place.
Next formulate the cross-handled sword as already described, and invoke God’s blessing upon it. Then visualise a flaming torch, and invoke the power of the Holy Ghost, whose symbol it is. Now with the sword hack through the cord or ray until every shred is severed. Then sear the stump with the consecrated fire of the torch until it shrivels up and falls off from its point of attachment to your body.
After such a severing one must, of course, take the ordinary human precautions to prevent the link being re-formed. Refuse to meet the person responsible for its formulation, or to either read or answer letters from him. In fact, cut off physical communications as thoroughly and resolutely as one has cut off astral ones for a period of some months at least.
There are occasions, however, when a person is so completely overshadowed and dominated that he cannot perform this operation for himself. The magical operation of Substitution can then be performed, if he can find a friend ready to undertake the task.
In order to perform this operation, the two friends agree that it shall be done, but the one who is to become the substitute does not tell the original victim when he proposes to undertake the operation lest that latter should be so completely in the hands of the dominator that he should give the game away involuntarily.
Choosing a time at which he is sure his friend is asleep, the substitute concentrates upon him and imagines himself to be standing beside him, and visualises the cord or ray of the rapport stretching from his friend out into space. If he can visualise its other point of attachment in the dominator, so much the better.
He then formulates the sword and the torch as above described, and with these in his hands he imagines himself stepping right through the line of rapport, so as to break it with his body. He must not use either sword or torch for this process, but break it with his own flesh, as it were. Having thus severed it from his friend, he should then go for it with sword and torch with all his strength as it tries to enwrap him, as it assuredly will do, for it resembles nothing so much as the tentacle of an octopus. He should go for it hammer and tongs, making up in zeal what he lacks in knowledge, until it has had enough, and begins to curl up and withdraw. The combat, of course, takes place in the imagination, but if a clear and vivid image is produced it will be effectual.
In illustration of this method I may mention a case I once handled by its means. I was asked if I could help a woman who had been a lifelong invalid, but whose case the many doctors she had consulted were neither able to diagnose satisfactorily, nor to help. They all agreed that there was nothing organic the matter with her, and after trying in vain to get her better, they generally united in saying that it was pure hysteria. She suffered from a chronic condition of exhaustion, indigestion, attacks of vomiting, blinding headache and palpitation of the heart. She was, however, not in the least of a neurotic disposition, but a quiet, sensible, intellectual woman, bearing her sufferings with fortitude. I made a psychic diagnosis and came to the following conclusion. That for many past lives she had been upon the Path, and that in her last life, a male incarnation, in order to speed up her progress she had travelled in the East, and eventually took initiation into one of the Thibetan Orders, which unfortunately turned out to be upon the Left-hand Path. Here she learnt the Hatha Yoga which gives control over the functions of the body.
In her present life, she retained the powers her training had given her, but not the memory of its technique. Consequently her emotional states affected those automatic systems of nervous control whose functions are normally not under the direction of the mind. Whenever, therefore, she was emotionally disturbed, her subconscious mentation overflowed into the automatic mind and threw certain of the functional systems of the body out of gear. It is my belief that this explanation affords a key to a good many cases of functional disorder. Many people in the course of occult meditative practices obtain control of the automatic mind which controls the functioning of the bodily organs. It may be recalled that the famous scientist, Sir Francis Galton, the founder of the science of eugenics, experimented with mental control of respiration, and having obtained it, found that the automatic function had fallen into abeyance, and he had to spend three anxious days breathing by will power and voluntary attention until the automatic function was re-established.
In this particular case, however, there was more than disturbance of function, there was this peculiar and very marked chronic exhaustion. I formed the opinion that a rapport still existed between her and the Thibetan Order of which she had been an initiate in her previous life. As is well known to occultists, one returns life after life to the Order of which one is an initiate, the rapport being a very strong one. This is one of the reasons why the great Mystery Schools have no need to make themselves known by advertising, they know their own, and pick them up on the astral plane.
But while it is an invaluable thing to be under the aegis of a reputable Order, it is an exceedingly unpleasant thing to stand in a similar relationship to a disreputable Order. In this particular case it was my opinion that the Order to which this lady had belonged in her previous life had sunk to a very low ebb indeed, and its leaders were deliberately drawing upon the vitality of its members.
Acting upon this hypothesis, I projected myself astrally in the way I have already described, and visited this lady at night. I perceived that from her solar plexus as she lay asleep there stretched a black, elastic, stringy-looking substance that resembled nothing so much as a stick of Spanish liquorice that has been well chewed by a small boy. This went off into space. Upon trying to see its further end I had a brief and far-off vision of a monastery with a Chinese type of roof perched on a crag among vast mountains.
I tackled the situation by the simple expedient of passing in my astral body athwart the line of black substance, thus breaking it. It immediately transferred itself to my solar plexus, and for a moment I felt a surge of tempting thoughts urging me to get this woman under my thumb and exploit her to her full financial capacity. I cast these out, and “went for” the rope of astral liquorice in the manner I have described, casting it off and searing the stump, and had the satisfaction of seeing it curl up and disappear into the darkness. I then fell into what I considered a well-earned sleep.
I had told this lady nothing of my ideas because I wanted to see whether I could clear up the case by working solely on the occult hypothesis without any admixture of suggestion. Next morning I visited her to see how she was getting on, and found her sitting up in bed eating a hearty breakfast and looking an entirely different woman to the grey-faced, exhausted creature I had seen the day before.
Without waiting for any enquiry from me, she said, “I don’t know what has been done, but I feel as if something has been broken and I am free.”
After breakfast she got up, went for a stroll, and met the doctor who was attending her in the street. So great was the change in her appearance that he failed to recognise her until she spoke to him.
I told her that in my opinion she ought to have nothing whatever to do with occult studies lest she re-form the magnetic link with her old Order, and also taught her how to prevent her subconscious mind from giving disruptive suggestions to her bodily systems of functional control. For some years she remained in good health, but later, unfortunately, took up the study of occultism again and relapsed into a condition approximating to her previous one, having presumably re-forged the contacts with the Thibetan Brotherhood which had proved so disastrous to her.
For further reading on Psychic Self Defence and Dion Fortune
7 Basic Psychic Self Defense and Energy Protection Techniques
Introduction to Psychic Self Defense