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Thought Forms Annie Besant

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Thought Forms

by Annie Besant

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Divine Singles are the ones we keep

Illustrative Thought-Forms


Vague Pure Affection.—Fig. 8 is a revolving cloud of pure affection, and except for its vagueness it represents a very good feeling. The person from whom it emanates is happy and at peace with the world, thinking dreamily of some friend whose very presence is a pleasure. There is nothing keen or strong about the feeling, yet it is one of gentle well-being, and of an unselfish delight in the proximity of those who are beloved. The feeling which gives birth to such a cloud is pure of its kind, but there is in it no force capable of producing definite results. An appearance by no means unlike this frequently surrounds a gently purring cat, and radiates slowly outward from the animal in a series of gradually enlarging concentric shells of rosy cloud, fading into invisibility at a distance of a few feet from their drowsily contented creator.

FIG. 8. Vague Pure Affection

Vague Selfish Affection.—Fig. 9 shows us also a cloud of affection, but this time it is deeply tinged with a far less desirable feeling. The dull hard brown-grey of selfishness shows itself very decidedly among the carmine of love, and thus we see that the affection which is indicated is closely connected with satisfaction at favours already received, and with a lively anticipation of others to come in the near future. Indefinite as was the feeling which produced the cloud in Fig. 8, it was at least free from this taint of selfishness, and it therefore showed a certain nobility of nature in its author. Fig. 9 represents what takes the place of that condition of mind at a lower level of evolution. It would scarcely be possible that these two clouds should emanate from the same person in the same incarnation. Yet there is good in the man who generates this second cloud, though as yet it is but partially evolved. A vast amount of the average affection of the world is of this type, and it is only by slow degrees that it develops towards the other and higher manifestation.

FIG. 9. Vague Selfish Affection

Definite Affection.—Even the first glance at Fig. 10 shows us that here we have to deal with something of an entirely different nature—something effective and capable, something that will achieve a result. The colour is fully equal to that of Fig. 8 in clearness and depth and transparency, but what was there a mere sentiment is in this case translated into emphatic intention coupled with unhesitating action. Those who have seen the book Man Visible and Invisible will recollect that in Plate XI. of that volume is depicted the effect of a sudden rush of pure unselfish affection as it showed itself in the astral body of a mother, as she caught up her little child and covered it with kisses. Various changes resulted from that sudden outburst of emotion; one of them was the formation within the astral body of large crimson coils or vortices lined with living light. Each of these is a thought-form of intense affection generated as we have described, and almost instantaneously ejected towards the object of the feeling. Fig. 10 depicts just such a thought-form after it has left the astral body of its author, and is on its way towards its goal. It will be observed that the almost circular form has changed into one somewhat resembling a projectile or the head of a comet; and it will be easily understood that this alteration is caused by its rapid forward motion. The clearness of the colour assures us of the purity of the emotion which gave birth to this thought-form, while the precision of its outline is unmistakable evidence of power and of vigorous purpose. The soul that gave birth to a thought-form such as this must already be one of a certain amount of development.

FIG. 10. Definite Affection

Radiating Affection.—Fig. 11 gives us our first example of a thought-form intentionally generated, since its author is making the effort to pour himself forth in love to all beings. It must be remembered that all these forms are in constant motion. This one, for example, is steadily widening out, though there seems to be an exhaustless fountain welling up through the centre from a dimension which we cannot represent. A sentiment such as this is so wide in its application, that it is very difficult for any one not thoroughly trained to keep it clear and precise. The thought-form here shown is, therefore, a very creditable one, for it will be noted that all the numerous rays of the star are commendably free from vagueness.

FIG. 11. Radiating Affection

Peace and Protection.—Few thought-forms are more beautiful and expressive than this which we see in Fig. 12. This is a thought of love and peace, protection and benediction, sent forth by one who has the power and has earned the right to bless. It is not at all probable that in the mind of its creator there existed any thought of its beautiful wing-like shape, though it is possible that some unconscious reflection of far-away lessons of childhood about guardian angels who always hovered over their charges may have had its influence in determining this. However that may be, the earnest wish undoubtedly clothed itself in this graceful and expressive outline, while the affection that prompted it gave to it its lovely rose-colour, and the intellect which guided it shone forth like sunlight as its heart and central support. Thus in sober truth we may make veritable guardian angels to hover over and protect those whom we love, and many an unselfish earnest wish for good produces such a form as this, though all unknown to its creator.

FIG. 12. Peace and Protection

Grasping Animal Affection.—Fig. 13 gives us an instance of grasping animal affection—if indeed such a feeling as this be deemed worthy of the august name of affection at all. Several colours bear their share in the production of its dull unpleasing hue, tinged as it is with the lurid gleam of sensuality, as well as deadened with the heavy tint indicative of selfishness. Especially characteristic is its form, for those curving hooks are never seen except when there exists a strong craving for personal possession. It is regrettably evident that the fabricator of this thought-form had no conception of the self-sacrificing love which pours itself out in joyous service, never once thinking of result or return; his thought has been, not "How much can I give?" but "How much can I gain?" and so it has expressed itself in these re-entering curves. It has not even ventured to throw itself boldly outward, as do other thoughts, but projects half-heartedly from the astral body, which must be supposed to be on the left of the picture. A sad travesty of the divine quality love; yet even this is a stage in evolution, and distinctly an improvement upon earlier stages, as will presently be seen.

FIG. 13. Grasping Animal Affection


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