by Robert Wilkinson
From The Magic of Space, Chapter VI, "Thought," we find our thoughts and desires have more power than we imagine.
Elementals are created by the thoughts of men. As man develops he thinks more and more forcefully, and as he thinks, he creates little centers of consciousness within Divine Mind. These centers of consciousness assume different forms according to the quality of the thought which created them. These centers which man creates draw strength and vitality from him, and remain within the photosphere of their creator. But since whatever is created upon the mental plane must, in the course of time, objectivize, or embody itself in a physical form, at some time these elementals must take on material bodies of some kind. There are the so-called good and bad elementals, and when they become embodied in animal or insect form that form will be assumed which corresponds to the nature of the consciousness seeking embodiment. Should the elemental be of a mischievous destructive nature, then it was the result of mischievous, destructive thoughts of man, and will take upon itself the form of an animal or insect that will annoy man and destroy his property, because it is a law that whatsoever man sends forth mentally must and will return to him.
We often hear the expression that "thoughts are things," although most people do not realize the truth of this statement. In fact, it is a difficult thing for most of us to have any clear idea as to exactly what kind of a "thing" a thought really is. All students know that what is known as the "aura" of man is the outer part of the cloudlike substance of his higher bodies, interpenetrating each other and extending beyond his physical body, which is the smallest of all, and the subject of auras will be taken up in a later chapter. However, two of these bodies, the mental and desire bodies, are those which are chiefly concerned with the appearance of what we call thought-forms.
The mental body is composed of innumerable combinations of the subtle matter of the mental plane, and this body is more or less refined in its constituents, and organized more or less fully for its functions, according to the stage of intellectual development at which the man himself has arrived. The mental body is an object of great beauty, and delicacy and rapid motion of its particles causing it to have the appearance of living iridescent light. Of course, this beauty becomes an extraordinarily radiant and breath-taking loveliness as the intellect becomes more highly evolved, and is employed chiefly on pure and sublime thoughts.
Now, every thought gives rise to a set of correlated vibrations in the matter of this body, accompanied by a marvelous play of color, such as the spray of a water-fall when the sunlight strikes it -- which is only a poor comparison, since there is no way in which to describe the degree of color, or the vivid delicacy. The body, under this impulse, throws off a vibrating portion of itself, shaped by the nature of the vibrations, much in the same way that figures are made by sand on a disc vibrating to a musical note -- and this gathers from the surrounding atmosphere matter like itself in fineness, from the elemental essence of the mental world.
We then have a pure and simple thought-form, and it is a living entity of intense activity animated by the one idea that generated it. If it is made of the finer kinds of matter, it will be of great power and energy, and may be used as a most powerful agent when directed by a strong and steady will. When the man's energy flows outwards toward external objects of desire, or is occupied in passionate and emotional activities, this energy works in a less subtle order of matter than the mental, or in that of the astral world.
What is known as the desire-body is composed of astral matter, and it forms the most prominent part of the aura in the undeveloped man. Where the man is of a gross type, the desire-body is of the denser matter of the astral plane, and is dull in color, consisting mostly of browns, dirty greens and dull reds. Through this flash various characteristic colors, as his passions are excited. A man of a higher type has his desire-body composed of the finer qualities of astral matter, with the colors which ripple over and through it being fine and clear in hue. While it is less delicate and less radiant than the mental body, nevertheless it forms a beautiful object, and as selfishness is eliminated all of the duller and heavier shades disappear.
This desire, or astral, body gives rise to a second class of entities, similar in their general constitution to the thought-forms already described, though limited to the astral plane, and generated by the mind under the dominion of the animal nature. These are caused by the activity of the lower mind throwing itself out through the astral body, or the mind dominated by desire. Vibrations in the body of desire, or astral body, are in this case set up -- and under these, this body throws off a vibrating portion of itself, shaped, as in the previous case, by the nature of the vibrations, and this attracts to itself some of the appropriate elemental essence of the astral world. Such a thought-form has for its body this elemental essence, and for its animating soul the desire or passion which threw it forth; according to the amount of mental energy combined with this desire or passion will be the force of the thought-form. These, like those belonging to the mental plane, are called artificial elementals, and they are by far the most common, as few thoughts of ordinary men and women are untinged with desire, passion or emotion.
Each definite thought produces two effects -- a radiating vibration and a floating form. The thought itself appears to the person with clairvoyant sight as a vibration in the mental body, and this may be either simple or complex. If the thought itself is absolutely simple, then there is only one rate of vibration, and only one type of mental matter will be strongly affected. The mental body, you see, is composed of matter of several degrees of density, which we can arrange in classes, according to the sub-planes -- and each of the sub-planes have many sub-divisions.
So you see that there are many varieties of this mental matter, and each one has its own special and appropriate rate of vibration, to which it seems most accustomed, so that it will readily respond to it, and tends to return to it as soon as possible when it has been forced away from it by a strong rush of thought or feeling. When a sudden wave of some emotion sweeps over a man, for example, his astral body is thrown into violent agitation, and the original colors are, for the time, almost obscured by the flush of scarlet or blue or dull green which corresponds with the rate of vibration of that particular emotion. This change is only temporary, of course, and passes off in a few seconds, and the astral body rapidly resumes its usual condition.
But -- every rush of feeling such as this produces a permanent effect; it always adds a little of its hue to the normal coloring of the astral body, so that every time the man yields himself to a certain emotion, it becomes easier for him to yield himself to it again, because his astral body is getting into the habit of vibrating at that special rate. The majority of human thoughts are by no means simple. Absolutely pure affection, of course, does exist -- but we very often find it tinged with pride, or with selfishness, jealousy, or animal passion. This means that at least two separate vibrations appear both in the mental and astral bodies -- and frequently more than two. The resulting vibration, therefore, will be quite complex, and the resultant thought-form will show several colors instead of only one.
These radiating vibrations, like all others in nature, become less powerful according to the distance from their source. And, like other vibrations, they tend to reproduce themselves whenever the opportunity is offered to them, and so whenever they strike upon another mental body they tend to set it off, or charge it, in their own rate of motion. That is, from the point of view of the man whose mental body is touched by these waves, they tend to produce in his mind thoughts of the same type as those which had previously arisen in the mind of the thinker who sent forth the waves.
The distance to which such thought-forms penetrate, and the force and persistency with which they are able to strike against the mental bodies of others, depends upon the strength and clearness of the original thought. In this way, the thinker is in the same position as a man who is speaking. The voice of the speaker sets in motion waves of sound in the air, which radiate from him in all directions, carrying his message to all who are within hearing distance, and the distance to which his voice can penetrate depends, of course, upon its power and upon the clearness of his enunciation. Now in just this same way the forceful thought will carry much further than the weak and undecided thought; but clearness and definiteness are of even greater importance here than is strength. And, in addition, just as the speaker's voice may fall upon "deaf" ears, where men are already engaged in business or pleasure, so can a mighty wave of thought sweep past without affecting the mind of the man, if he is already deeply engrossed in some other line of thought.
Another important fact is that this radiating vibration conveys the character of the thought, but not its subject. For instance, if a Hindu is sitting in rapt devotion to Krishna, the waves of feeling which pour forth from him will stimulate devotional feeling in all those who come under their influence -- although in the case of a Mohammedan, the devotion is to Allah, and in the case of a Christian, the devotion is to Jesus. A man thinking keenly upon some high subject pours out from himself vibrations which will stir up thought at a similar level in other, but they in no way suggest to those others the special subject of his thought.
Naturally they act with special force or vigor upon those minds already in the habit of sending out vibrations of a similar character, but they have some effect on every mental body against which they strike, so that their tendency is to awaken the power of higher thought in those to whom it has not yet become a custom. So actually, every man who thinks along high lines is really doing "missionary work," even though he may be entirely unconscious of it.
More from The Magic of Space, with links in each to previous posts from the same source: