[Notes on “Mediums and Yogis”]
Theosophist, May, 1882
Article Selections by * * * | Notes by H.P.B.
Mediums and Yogis.
What is the Difference Between the Two?
A Yogi is a man who has prepared himself by a long discipline of body and spirit, and is thereby rendered capable of dealing with phenomena, and receiving occult communications at will, the theory being that he, so to speak, paralyzes his physical brain and reduces his mind to complete passivity by one of the numerous modes at his command, one of which is the magnetization of the second set of faculties pertaining to and exercised by the spiritual or inner man. . . .
As the magnetic power is directed to any particular faculty, so that faculty at once forms a direct line of communication with the spirit,1 which, receiving the impressions, conveys them back to the physical body.2 . . .
1. Sixth principle—spiritual soul.—Ed. [H.P.B.]
2. In the normal or natural state, the sensations are transmitted from the lowest physical to the highest spiritual body, i.e., from the first to the 6th principle (the 7th being no organized or conditioned body, but an infinite, hence unconditioned principle or state), the faculties of each body having to awaken the faculties of the next higher one, to transmit the message in succession, until they reach the last, when, having received the impression, the latter (the spiritual soul) sends it back in an inverse order to the body. Hence, the faculties of some of the “bodies” (we use this word for want of a better term) being less developed, they fail to transmit the message correctly to the highest principle, and thus also fail to produce the right impression upon the physical senses, as a telegram may have started for the place of its destination faultless and have been bungled up and misinterpreted by the telegraph operator at some intermediate station. This is why some people, otherwise endowed with great intellectual powers and perceptive faculties, are often utterly unable to appreciate—say, the beauties of nature, or some particular moral quality; as, however perfect their physical intellect—unless the original, material or rough physical impression conveyed has passed in a circuit through the sieve of every “principle”—(from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, up to 7, and down again from 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, to No. 1)—and that every “sieve” is in good order—the spiritual perception will always be imperfect. The Yogi, who, by a constant training and incessant watchfulness, keeps his septenary instrument in good tune and whose spirit has obtained a perfect control over all, can, at will, and by paralysing the functions of the four intermediate principles, communicate from body to spirit and vice versa—direct.—Ed. [H.P.B.]
The secret of the theory is this, that the Yogi, possessing the power of self-mesmerization and having a perfect control over all his inner principles, sees whatever he desires to see, rejecting all elementary influences which tend to contaminate his purity.
The medium receives his communications differently. He wishes for “spirits”; they are attracted towards him, their magnetic influences controlling his faculties in proportion to the strength of their respective magnetic powers and the passivity of the subject; the nervous fluid conveys their impressions to the soul or spirit in the same manner, and often the same results are produced as in the case of the Yogi, with this important difference that they are not what the medium or spiritist wishes, but what the spirits (elementary influences) will produce . . . The spiritist cannot at desire produce a fixed result,—the Yogi can. . . . The Yogi forms a direct connection between his spiritual soul and any faculty, and, by the power of his trained will, that is by magnetic influence, concentrates all his powers in the soul, which enables him to grasp the subject of his enquiry and convey it back to the physical organs, through the various channels of communication.3 . . .
3. Or—direct, which is oftener the case, we believe.—Ed. [H.P.B.]
If the Yogi desires to see a vision, his optic nerves receive the magnetic fluid; if an answer to a question is wanted, the faculties of thought and perception are charged by him; and so on. If he desires to traverse space in spirit, this is easily done by him by transferring the faculty of will,4 and, as he may have acquired more or less power, so will he be able to produce greater or minor results. . . .
4. From the physical to the Spiritual body and concentrating it there, as we understand it.—Ed. [H.P.B.]