The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 4

Prenatal influences of parents. Thoughts of the mother. Inheritance of former thoughts.

It is supposed that the child’s future character depends upon the mother and her environment. This is not entirely true. The mother is but the willing or unwilling instrument who works according to the form destiny of the future child.

Experiments have been tried to produce offspring that would fulfill certain hopes. Most of them have failed. Among the Greeks, expectant mothers were surrounded by objects conducive to the production of healthy, beautiful and noble children. Such children were frequently produced, as far as physical qualities were concerned; but parents cannot produce noble characters and intellects. The best way for a woman to assure herself of a child which will have noble qualities and intellectual powers is to have these herself, to control her desires and think on lofty subjects before conception. However, women with strong desires or holding tenaciously to a thought have shown that strange results may sometimes be produced by the invisible and psychic influences prevailing on the form plane during fetal development. Marks have been made on the body of the child, due to a picture held in the thoughts of its mother and then built out by elementals. Strange appetites have been impressed, fierce desires engendered and peculiar tendencies implanted in the child; or birth was accelerated or retarded in consequence of some thought of its mother.

This interference would at first seem to disprove the law of thought, as destiny; but there is no real contradiction. Often when the mother supposes that she is the cause of birth marks or tendencies in the child, she has been impelled to act by the child’s own past thoughts. The child whose destiny seems to have been interfered with by the action of the mother is receiving just payment for a similar act done to another in a prior life, while the mother is either paying the child for a like interference with her or another’s psychic destiny in a previous life, or is setting up for reasons of the law a new score which must and will be paid in the future. When the doer to whom such form or psychic destiny is due is ready to re-exist, it will be attracted to parents who have these notions about prenatal development.

If a man and his wife are pure in their bodies and their thoughts, they will attract a doer about to come into a body whose destiny requires such conditions. The destiny is decided before pregnancy. After the impregnation is made, the mother cannot change the character and psychic tendencies of the doer which is to re-exist; the utmost that she can do is to interrupt or postpone their expression, if such is the destiny of the child.

The mother has no right to say what the features of the child shall be, or what position in life it shall hold. Nor has she the right to attempt to determine its sex. The sex has been determined before pregnancy; any attempt to change it is against the law and injures the child.

With the beginning of pregnancy, the mother is brought more closely into touch with the form plane. She should hold herself to a pure life and think on lofty subjects, thereby avoiding improper thoughts. Her right to change these thoughts, appetites and desires which come to her depends on how they affect herself. She has the right to refuse to obey any impressions felt which would tend to lower her in her own estimation or to injure her present or future health.

Prenatal development opens the psychic nature of the prospective mother and makes her sensitive to influences from the form plane. If she is of sound health, mind and morals, the uncommon emotional phases which she experiences come to her because of the thoughts of the doer which will be in the child. If she is a medium or of weak mind, lax morals or unsound body, she may be beset by all manner of beings of the form plane, which desire to obsess or control her and to have the sensations which her condition affords them. Nature ghosts, ghosts of dead men and morbid desires of the living and “lost” portions of doers, may crowd in upon her. If her body is not strong enough or her desires not opposed to them or if she is not high-minded enough to resist their urgings and does not know how to keep them away, these creatures in search of sensation may control her. Sudden debauchery, fits of drunkenness and morbid fancies may be indulged in; bestial appetites gratified; revolting practices allowed; explosive outbursts of anger which lead to killing and messing in blood may take place; paroxysms of delirious fury, frenzied hilarity or intense gloom, may obsess the mother irregularly or with cyclic frequency. Such conditions are usually caused by creatures who have been thrown out of the stream of human progress.

On the other hand, the prenatal period may be one of satisfaction, one in which the mother feels sympathy for everyone; a period of mental exhilaration, buoyancy and life, of happiness, aspiration and high-mindedness, and she may gain knowledge of things not usually known. The atmospheres of the incoming doer blend with the atmospheres of the mother, and thoughts whirling in the atmospheres of the fetus affect her. The atmosphere of the doer of the fetus acts upon it through the atmospheres of the mother, and all connections are made through the breath.

All this is the psychic destiny of the doer who will live in the body which is being prepared, and at the same time it fits the mother and is her destiny. This period of a woman’s life is distinctly psychic. She may learn much by studying her emotions and thoughts during that time, for by doing so she may follow not only the processes of nature within herself, but may see these in operation in the external world. Moreover, it is her duty to protect the body in her charge from evil influences which may beset it through her.

As soon as placental development begins and circulation is established between the fetus and the mother, the four atmospheres of the mother and the breath-form of the fetus are mutually connected. The food she takes becomes part of her blood and that carries her breath into the fetus, where the doer’s own thoughts are thereby implanted. Desire in the mother for wholesome food or for liquors or for strange foods and drinks, comes from the thoughts of the doer which thus express themselves in the physical body later in life as proneness to virtues or vices.

The father’s heredity is stamped on his germ cell, the mother’s on her germ cell, and the doer’s own heredity on its breath-form. But nothing can come as heredity from father or mother that does not coincide with the heredity of the breath-form. This heredity, which controls like a screen what will be let through from father and mother, consists of the impressions made on the aia by previous thoughts of the doer and is transferred to the breath-form at conception or during gestation. Thoughts are precipitated as tendencies into the fetus in a twofold way: firstly as impressions transferred from the breath-form through heredity from the parents, and secondly directly from the breath-form as exteriorizations from thoughts in the mental atmosphere of the doer. After the child is born, the tendencies implanted in the fetus and re-existing in the child gradually develop into the physical form and features, the psychic inclinations and the mental qualities and powers. Finally, the body comes into the world with the desires and tendencies which have been transferred by the doer to the child through the father and mother.

All those who “inherit” propensities to shed blood, to rape, lie and steal; tendencies to madness, fanaticism or epilepsy; inclinations to be hypochondriacs, freaks or rogues, or to be mild-mannered, easy-going, matter-of-fact or jolly; a bent towards religious fervor or artistic ideals; who inherit unaffected, modest, upright, considerate and well-bred natures—all possess such traits as a result of their own former thinking and thoughts.