The Word Foundation


Harold W. Percival



Section 14

Habits, customs and fashions are psychic destiny.

The habits, customs and fashions of an individual and of a people are psychic destiny; they depend upon the bent of feeling-and-desire. The thought connected with the desire gives them the astral form in which they are then expressed as fashions and customs.

Personal habits may be attributes at birth; in such case they were transferred to the astral body in its formation and manifest later in life. If they are acquired during life, the breath-form was impressed by a thought along a certain line and this then finds vent through some organ of the body. A habit is an elemental. The elemental finding an opportunity to become a sensation, continues as habit often against the person’s wish. Instances are blinking the eyelids, twisting the mouth, raising the eyebrows, clearing the throat. Other instances are certain cases of stammering, whistling without intent, touching gateposts or stepping on certain parts of the pavement, clenching the hands, spreading the fingers, wabbling the knees—all these habits, when against the wish of the person, are elementals taking possession of the part in question. Offensive or peculiar habits or mannerisms are the reflex action of like offensive or peculiar feelings or desires given form by thought. However trifling a habit may seem it is the outcome of one’s thinking which permits an elemental to become a habit. It is psychic destiny exteriorized onto the physical plane.

The fashions of dress, superficial manners, furniture, songs, dances and slang phrases, which appear and change and reappear, are caused by the effort of thinking to give expression to varying emotions. So there are extremes of fashion, from a clinging gown to a balloon-like dress, from flowing folds to a tight-fitting garment; or headgear varying from a close cap to a structure of great width or height. A style can no longer remain permanently in fashion than there can be a permanent emotion. Sentiments and emotions change and their changes are expressed in fashions.