From THE CHAKRAS
BY C. W. LEADBEATER
VITALITY AND MAGNETISM
The vitality coursing along the nerves must not be confused with what we usually call the magnetism of the man – his own nerve-fluid, specialized within the spine, and composed of the primary life-force intermingled with the kundalini. It is this fluid which keeps up the constant circulation of etheric matter along the nerves, corresponding to the circulation of blood through the arteries and veins; and as oxygen is conveyed by the blood to all parts of the body, so vitality is conveyed along the nerves by this etheric current. The particles of the etheric part of man’s body are constantly changing, just as are those of the denser part; along with the food which we eat and the air which we breathe we take in etheric matter, and this is assimilated by the etheric part of the body. Etheric matter is constantly being thrown off from the pores, just as is gaseous matter, so that when two persons are close together each necessarily absorbs much of the physical emanations of the other.
When one person mesmerizes another, the operator by an effort of will gathers together a great deal of this magnetism and throws it into the subject, pushing back his victim’s nerve-fluid, and filling its place with his own. As the brain is the centre of this nervous circulation, this brings that part of the subject’s body which is affected under the control of the manipulator’s brain instead of the victim’s and so the latter feels what the mesmerist wishes him to feel. If the recipient’s brain be emptied of his own magnetism and filled with that of the performer, the former can think and act only as the latter wills that he should think and act; he is for the time entirely dominated.
Even when the magnetizer is trying to cure, and is pouring strength into the man, he inevitably gives along with the vitality much of his own emanations. It is obvious that any disease which the mesmerizer happens to have may readily be conveyed to the subject in this way; and another even more important consideration is that, though his health may be perfect from the medical point of view, there are mental and moral diseases as well as physical, and that, as astral and mental matter are thrown into the subject by the mesmerist along with the physical current, these also are frequently transferred.
Nevertheless, a man who is pure in thought and filled with the earnest desire to help his fellows may often do much by mesmerism to relieve suffering, if he will take the trouble to study this subject of the currents which enter the body through the chakras and flow along the nerves. What is it that the mesmerist pours into his subject? It may be either the nerveether or the vitality, or both. Supposing a patient to be seriously weakened or exhausted, so that he has lost the power to specialize the life-fluid for himself, the mesmerist may renew his stock by pouring some of his own upon the quivering nerves, and so produce a rapid recovery. The process is analogous to what is often done in the case of food. When a person reaches a certain stage of weakness the stomach loses the power to digest, and so the body is not properly nourished, and the feebleness is thereby increased. The remedy adopted in that case is to present to the stomach food already partially digested by means of pepsin or other similar preparations; this can probably be assimilated, and thus strength is gained. Just so, a man who is unable to specialize for himself may still absorb what has been already prepared by another, and so gain strength to make an effort to resume the normal action of the etheric organs. In many cases of debility that is all that is needed.
There are other instances in which congestion of some kind has taken place, the vital fluid has not circulated properly, and the nerve-aura is sluggish and unhealthy. Then the obvious course of proceeding is to replace it by healthy nerve-ether from without; but there are several ways in which this may be done. Some magnetizers simply employ brute force, and steadily pour in resistless floods of their own ether in the hope of washing away that which needs removal. Success may be attained along these lines, though with the expenditure of a good deal more energy than is necessary. A more scientific method is that which goes to work somewhat more quietly, and first withdraws the congested or diseased matter, and then replaces it by healthier nerve-ether, thus gradually stimulating the sluggish current into activity. If the patient has a headache, for example, there will almost certainly be a congestion of noxious ether about some part of his brain, and the first step is to draw that away.
How is this to be managed? Just in the same way as the out-pouring of strength is managed – by an exercise of the will. We must not forget that these finer subdivisions of matter are readily moulded or affected by the action of the human will. The mesmerist may make passes, but they are at the most nothing but the pointing of his gun in a certain direction, while his will is the powder that moves the ball and produces the result, the fluid being the shot sent out. A mesmerizer who understands his business can manage as well without passes if he wishes; I have known one who never employed them, but simply looked at his subject. The only use of the hand is to concentrate the fluid, and perhaps to help the imagination of the operator; for to will strongly he must believe firmly, and the action no doubt makes it easier for him to realize what he is doing.
Just as a man may pour out magnetism by an effort of will, so may he draw it away by an effort of will; and in this case also he may often use a gesture of the hands to help him. In dealing with the headache, he would probably lay his hands upon the forehead of the patient, and think of them as sponges steadily drawing out the deleterious magnetism from the brain. That he is actually producing the result of which he thinks, he will be very likely soon to discover, for unless he takes precautions to cast off the bad magnetism which he is absorbing, he will either himself feel the headache or begin to suffer from a pain in the arm and hand with which the operation is being performed. He is actually drawing into himself diseased matter, and it is necessary for his comfort and well-being that he should dispose of it before it obtains a permanent lodgment in his body.
He should therefore adopt some definite plan to get rid of it, and the simplest is just to throw it away, to shake it from the hands as one would shake water. Although he does not see it, the matter which he has withdrawn is physical, and we can deal with it by physical means. It is therefore necessary that he should not neglect these precautions, and that he should not forget to wash his hands carefully after curing a headache or any malady of that nature. Then, after he has removed the cause of the evil, he proceeds to pour in good strong healthy magnetism to take its place, and to protect the patient against the return of the disease. One can see that in the case of any nervous affection this method would have manifold advantages. In most of such cases what is wrong is an irregularity of the fluids which course along the nerves; either they are congested, or they are sluggish in their flow, or on the other hand they may be too rapid; they may be deficient in quantity, or poor in quality. If we administer drugs of any sort, at the best we can act only upon the physical nerve, and through it to some limited extent upon the fluids surrounding it; whereas mesmerism acts directly upon the fluids themselves, and so goes straight to the root of the evil.