Oct 31, 2005 04:21 PM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
10/31/2005 3:18 PM
I post this article by Judge as it has relevance to some of the discussion
we have been reading and to an interesting "esoteric" aspect thereof.
ITS PURPOSE AND PLACE IN MAGIC
NOTE-This article was first printed by William Q. Judge in the Path, May,
THE word "glamour" was long ago defined in old dictionaries as "witchery
or a charm on the eyes, making them see things differently from what they
really are." This is still the meaning of the word.
Not long ago, before the strange things possible in hypnotic experiments
became known to the Western world, it seemed as if everything would be
reduced to mere matter and motion by the fiat of science. Witchery was to
fade away, be forgotten, be laughed out of sight, and what could not be
ascribed to defective training of the senses was to have its explanation in
the state of the liver, a most prosaic organ.
But before science with its speculation and ever-altering canons could
enlighten the unlearned multitude, hypnotism crept slowly and surely forward
and at last began to buttress the positions of theosophy.
Glamour stands once more a fair chance for recognition. Indeed, H. P. B.
uttered prophetic words when she said that in America more than anywhere
else this art would be practised by selfish men for selfish purposes, for
money-getting and gratification of desire.
Hurriedly glancing over some fields of folk-lore, see what a mass of
tales bearing on glamour produced by men, gods, or elementals.
In India the gods every now and then, often the sages, appear before certain
persons in various guises by means of a glamour which causes the eye to see
what is not really there. In Ireland volumes of tales in which the person
sees houses, men, and animals where they are not; he is suddenly given the
power to see under the skin of natural things, and then perceives the field
or the market-place full of fairies, men, and women gliding in and out among
the people. Anon a man or woman is changed into the appearance of animal or
bird, and only regains the old semblance when touched with the magic rod.
This change of appearance is not a change in fact, but always a glamour
affecting the eyes of the other person.
Such a mass of similar stories found during all time and among every people
cannot be due to folly nor be without a basis. The basis is a fact and a law
in man's nature. It is glamour, the reason for glamour, and the power to
bring it about. Just because there have always been those who, either by
natural ability or training, had the power to bring on a "witchery over the
eyes," these stories have arisen.
A writer well known in England and America once thought he had found a
mare's nest when he reported that Mme. Blavatsky had confessed to him that
certain phenomena he enquired of had been caused by glamour.
"Ah, glamour!" he said; "thus falls this theosophic house of cards"; and
he went away satisfied, for in truth he had been himself thoroughly
glamoured. But theosophists should not stumble and fall violently as this
gentleman did over a word which, when enquired into, carries with it a good
deal of science relating to an important branch of occultism.
When I read in an issue of the Arena all about this confession on glamour, I
was quite ready to believe that H. P. B. did say to the learned enquirer
what he reported, but at the same time, of course, knew that she never
intended to apply her enchantment explanation to every phenomenon. She only
intended to include certain classes,-although in every occult phenomenon
there is some glamour upon some of the observers according to their
individual physical idiosyncrasies.
VISION AND SEEING
The classes of phenomena covered by this word are referred to in part by
Patanjali in his Yoga Aphorisms, [P. 45 ] where he says that if the
luminousness natural to object and eye is interfered with the object will
disappear, whether it be man or thing and whether it be day or night. This
little aphorism covers a good deal of ground, and confutes, if accepted,
some theories of the day. It declares, in fact, that not only is it
necessary for rays of light to proceed from the object to the eye, but also
light must also proceed from the eye towards the object. Cut off the latter
and the object disappears; alter the character of the luminousness coming
from the eye, and the object is altered in shape or color for the perceiver.
Carrying this on further and connecting it with the well-known fact that
we see no objects whatever, but only their ideal form as presented to the
mind, and we arrive at an explanation in part of how glamour may be
possible. For if in any way you can interfere with the vibrations proceeding
to the eye on the way to affect the brain and then the percipient within,
then you have the possibility of sensibly altering the ideal form which the
mind is to cognize within before it declares the object to be without which
produced the vibration.
Take up now imagination in its aspect of a power to make a clear and
definite image. This is done in hypnotism and in spiritualism. If the image
be definite enough and the perceiver or subject sensitive enough, a glamour
will be produced. The person will see that which is not the normal shape or
form or corporature of the other. But this new shape is as real as the
normal, for the normal form is but that which is to last during a certain
stage of human evolution and will certainly alter as new senses and organs
develop in us.
Thus far having gone, is it not easy to see that if a person can make
the definite and vivid mind-pictures spoken of, and if the minor organs can
affect and be affected, it is quite probable and possible that trained
persons may have glamoured the eyes of others so to make them see an
elephant, snake, man, tree, pot, or any other object where only is empty
space, or as an alteration of a thing or person actually there? This is
exactly what is done in experiments by the hypnotists, with this difference,
that they have to put the subject into an abnormal state, while the other
operators need no such adventitious aids. Glamour, then, has a very
important place in magic. That it was frequently used by H. P. B. there is
not the smallest doubt, just as there is no doubt that the yogee in India
puts the same power into operation.
In many cases she could have used it by making the persons present think
they saw her when she had gone into the next room, or that another person
was also present who was not in fact. The same power of glamour would permit
her to hide from sight any object in the room or in her hands. This is one
of the difficult feats of magic, and not in the slightest degree dependent
Persons sometimes say this is folly even if true, but looked at in another
light it is no folly, nor are the cases those in which anyone was entitled
to know all that was going on. She exhibited these feats - seldom as it
was-for the purpose of showing those who were learning from her that the
human subject is a complicated and powerful being, not to be classed, as
science so loves to do, with mere matter and motion.
WHY PHENOMENA ?
All these phenomena accomplished two. objects.
First, to help those who learned from her, and
second, to spread abroad again in the west the belief in man's real power
The last was a most necessary thing to do because in the West materialism
was beginning to have too much sway and threatened to destroy spirituality.
And it was done also in pursuance of the plans of the Great Lodge for the
human race. As one of her Masters said, her phenomena puzzled sceptics for
many years. Even now we see the effects, for when such men as Stead, the
Editor of the REVIEW OF REVIEWS, and Du Prel, Schiaparelli, and others take
up the facts of Spiritualism scientifically, one can perceive that another
day for psychology is dawning.
This power of glamour is used more often than people think, and not
excluding members of the T. S., by the Adepts. They are often among us from
day to day appearing in a guise we do not recognize, and are dropping ideas
into men's minds about the spiritual world and the true life of the soul, as
well as also inciting men and women to good acts.
By this means they pass unrecognized and are able to accomplish more in this
doubting and transition age than they could in any other way. Sometimes as
they pass they are recognized by those who have the right faculty, but a
subtle and powerful bond and agreement prevents their secret from being
divulged. This is something for members of the Society to think of, for they
may be entertaining now and then angels unawares. They may now and then be
tried by their leaders when they least expect it, and the verdict is not
given out but has its effect all the same.
But glamour covers only a small part of the field of occultism.
The use of the astral body enters into nearly all of the phenomena, and in
other directions the subject of occult chemistry, absolutely unknown to the
man of the day, is of the utmost importance; if it is ever given out it will
be a surprise to science, but certainly that divulgation will not soon be to
such a selfish age.
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