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JUNE 1910

Copyright 1910 by H. W. PERCIVAL


Is it possible and is it right to look into the future and predict future events?

It is possible but seldom right to look into the future. That it is possible is attested on many pages of history. As to its being right that must be determined by one’s own fitness and good judgment. A Friend would not advise another to try to look into the future. One who looks into the future does not wait to be advised. He looks. But of those who look into the future, few know what they are looking at. If they look and do see, it is only when the future has become the past that they know what they saw when they looked. If one sees into the future naturally, there is no particular harm in his continuing to look, though few are able to derive any benefit from the operation. Harm comes almost invariably from predicting what the looker thinks he sees.

If one looks or sees into the future he does so with his senses, that is, his astral senses; or with his faculties, that is, the faculties of the mind; and there is no particular danger in doing so, providing he does not attempt to mix the world in which he sees with this physical world. When he attempts to predict future events in this world from what is seen in another world, he becomes confused; he cannot relate what he has seen and fit it into its place in the future in this physical world; and that is so even though he did see truly. His predictions cannot be relied on when applied to future events in this physical world, because these do not occur as predicted in time, nor in manner, nor in place. He who sees or who tries to see into the future is like an infant seeing or trying to see objects about it. When the child is able to see, it is quite pleased, but it makes many mistakes in its understanding and judging of what it sees. It cannot appreciate relation nor distance between objects. Distance does not exist for the infant. It will try to grasp the chandelier with as much confidence as it lays hold of its mother’s nose and does not understand why it does not reach the chandelier. One who looks into the future sees events and fancies that they are about to occur, because he has no judgment as to the relation between what he sees in the world in which he sees it, and the physical world, and because he is unable to estimate the time of the physical world in which it may occur in relation to the event at which he is looking. Many predictions do come true, though not always as predicted. It is unwise, therefore, for people to depend on the predictions of those who try to look into the future by use of clairvoyance or other of the inner senses, because they cannot tell which of the predictions will be correct.

Those who depend on predictions coming from what are usually called “inner planes” or “astral light,” lose one of their most valuable rights, that is, their own judgment. For, however many mistakes one may make in attempting to judge things and conditions for himself, he will judge correctly only by learning, and he learns by his mistakes; whereas, if he learns to depend on others predictions, he will never have sound judgment. One who predicts future events has no certainty of their coming true as predicted, because the sense or faculty by which the prediction is made is unrelated to the other senses or faculties. So one who sees only or hears only, and that imperfectly, and who attempts to predict what he saw or heard, is likely to be correct in some respects, but to confuse those who rely on his prediction. The only sure way of predicting future events is for the one who predicts to have his senses or his faculties intelligently trained; in that case each sense or faculty will be related to the others and all will be so perfected that they can be used with as much accuracy as that with which a man is able to use his senses in his action and relation to this physical world.

The much more important part of the question is: Is it right? In man’s present condition it is not right, because if one be able to use the inner senses and relate them to events and conditions of the physical world, it would give him an unfair advantage over the people among whom he lives. The use of the inner senses would enable a man to see what has been done by others; the seeing of which would as surely bring about certain results as the tossing of a ball in the air would result in its fall. If one saw the ball tossed and was able to follow the curve of its flight, and had experience, he could estimate accurately where it would fall. So, if one could use the inner senses to see what had already been done in the stock market or in social circles or in matters of state, he would know how to take unfair advantage of what was intended to be private, and could so shape his actions as to benefit himself or those in whom he was interested. By this means he would become the director or ruler of affairs and could take advantage of and control others who were not possessed of powers such as his. Therefore, before it can be right for a man to look into the future and predict future events correctly, he must have overcome covetousness, anger, hatred and selfishness, the lust of the senses, and must be unaffected by what he sees and predicts. He must be free from all desire of possession or gain of worldly things.

A Friend [H. W. Percival]