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Psychic Phenomena

56 The Review of Religions – April 2005 There are two realms of pheno-mena in operation which embrace dreams, visions, sounds from nowhere, and so on. They are the realms of: 1. Psychic Phenomena; 2. Spiritual Phenomena. This personal treatise is devoted only to a brief study of psychic phenomena; and the principal design of the writer is to lay bare certain physical laws which should not be confused with spiritual laws. Visions, startling dreams, voices from space and other phenomenal manifestations are everyday experiences which can all be explained scientifically. Each experience should be examined with reserve and not hastily accepted and proclaimed as a sign from heaven. Two men may hear a voice in the still of the night. One may be listening to a revelation from on High; the other may be listening to a telepathic com- munication. Phenomenal expe- rience must be studied in the light of caution otherwise irresponsible and uninitiated people in spiritual matters will not hesitate to regard them as Divine manifestations. The glory of Islam Islam is the most dynamic religion in the world because it is based on the pure Word of God. The Holy Prophet Muhammad(sa) was by far the greatest of all the prophets. He was bathed in the effulgence of Divine Light and drank deeply from the fountain-head of revelation. Upon no other prophet was bestowed such an abundance of Divine grace as was bestowed upon him. God spoke to him as a father speaks to his son. Every word of the Holy Qur’an is the genuine and pure verbal revelation of the Master of the Universe. It is a perfect Book and there is no doubt about it. None can PSYCHIC PHENOMENA By the Late Bashir Ahmad Orchard 57 PSYCHIC PHENOMENA The Review of Religions – April 2005 successfully combat its Divine Power for it is the Word of God in the literal sense. Thousands upon thousands of Muslims have been, in one form or another, the recipients of Divine Revelations. The evidence is irrefutable. However, spiritual phe- nomena is not the subject of this treatise which is concerned primarily with psychic phenom- ena; so let us focus the spotlight on the subject in hand. Dreams In a dream, a man sees himself climbing a snow-capped mountain and in desperation he clings on to the icy crags; but alas, his hold gives way and he finds himself falling into a yawning abyss. He awaits the fateful moment when life will be battered out of his broken body upon the rocks below; but before the worst happens, he awakens to feel a blast of chilly air blowing into his room through the open window which he had forgotten to close before he slept. A young lady dreams that she is walking on a cool summer evening in a garden scented with the redolence of beautiful flowers. Birds of brilliant plumage sing upon the branches of the trees. Butterflies of exquisite colour and designs flitter among the flowers; and as the sun in all its coloured glory sinks behind the western horizon, the shadows begin to lengthen, stars begin to twinkle and the moon casts its bright lustre over the quietude of nature’s retreat. The young lady is bewitched by the loveliness and fragrance of the night. She thinks she has found paradise on earth; but it is not to last forever for she awakens from her sleep and notices on the table beside her bed the uncorked bottle of her favourite perfume. A dream may be caused by the transference of thought from one mind to another. Telepathy is a proven science. Thoughts are being continually projected into the ether through which they travel as wave motions; and they lodge in the minds of others in sleep and in wakefulness. A man saw in a dream, friends and relatives standing around the bed of his dying father. The man awoke 58 PSYCHIC PHENOMENA The Review of Religions – April 2005 with a start fully convinced of his f a t h e r’s impending death. Next morning he received a telegram informing him that his father had died during the night; and later he learned that his father had called for him just before he passed away. This is an instance of an earnest thought being received in the mind of one who was sleeping. Thought waves may be picked up by the mind and become manifested to the recipient in at least three ways: 1. As ideas and feelings; 2. As words and sounds; 3. As visions. Higher forms of revelation also descend through the medium of words and visions; but normally they are charged with an unmistakable grandeur and majesty. It is because there is a certain degree of similarity between psychic and spiritual experiences that there arises a great need for caution in judging their source of origin. Ideas and feelings There is probably nobody who has not uttered a thought at the very moment when the same idea was in the mind of a companion; or who has not held a thought in mind at a time when a companion speaks the same thought. A husband says: ‘I intend to polish the furniture this afternoon’ and the wife responds: ‘The idea was in my mind too and I was just on the point of telling you that you should do it.’ On another occasion the call of the stomach turns his mind on his next meal, and at the same moment his wife, who is washing some clothes, says: ‘I expect you are feeling h u n g r y. I will go and prepare food.’ There is the authentic account of a shopkeeper who caught the idea that two thieves were about to break into his shop; and the presentiment was so vivid that he informed the police who came and concealed themselves in the building. A little later two men posing themselves as customers entered the shop, drew their revolvers and threatened the o w n e r. The police quickly intervened and the men were arrested. Similar premonitions are on record. 59 PSYCHIC PHENOMENA The Review of Religions – April 2005 Every human being radiates mental currents and they are particularly strong in the aura or personal atmosphere which envelopes every person. Who is there who has not entered the presence of a person and immediately sensed that there is something wrong although there may be nothing unusual in the manner of the person to serve as an indication. It is not only in the presence of others that one is influenced by their mental radiation. The atmos- pheres of shops, homes and other localities are often distinctly coloured by the mental vibrations not only of their occupants but also of their former occupants. Let one enter the vacated home of a righteous and God-fearing family and there is every likelihood that one would sense an atmosphere of tranquillity; but let one enter a vacated home where evil, strife and bitterness had reigned and there is every likelihood that one would sense an atmosphere of depression. Intuition is a notable trait of women. Intuition is telepathic for it is able to extract information from the mind of another. One should guard one’s thoughts especially when in the presence of other people. One may be suc- cessful in covering up one’s thoughts by muscular control but it is not possible to camouflage one’s mental vibrations. Great minds which are clear and strong are adept in receiving the thoughts of others. Audible words and sounds Sounds normally travel as wave motions through the atmosphere; but when they are transmitted by radio they first travel to the microphone as atmospheric waves; they then travel to the receiving sets as air waves; then once again as atmospheric waves from the radio set to the listener. What is air or ether? It is the invisible, elastic substance which has been supposed to be evenly distributed through space and which conducts electrical, light and thought waves. Ether fills all space between atoms which make up solids, just as thousands of millions of stars make up galaxies. This explains how radio waves pass through a solid wall, for while it looks solid, it is really not so at 60 PSYCHIC PHENOMENA The Review of Religions – April 2005 all. All solids are composed of countless atoms which are as far apart from one another as stars in a galaxy. Ether flows between each and every atom of a substance although it may appear as a compact solid to the human eye. Enclose a radio in an airtight compartment and it will continue to play. Ether is the sole medium for the transmission of thought waves which are sometimes reproduced as sounds in the brain of the recipient. An English lady visited France and stayed in a house on the Channel coast. One night she awoke and distinctly heard the crackle of rifle and machine-gun fire; and she also heard the shouts of soldiers. Investigation revealed that on the same night in 1945 allied forces landed on the beaches that stretched below her bedroom window which met with strong resistance from the German defences. The explanation of this phenomenon could have been thought-waves emanating from the mind of a soldier who took part in the battle; or perhaps the ether in the vicinity was so powerfully charged with the mental vibrations of the soldiers that they could still be ‘picked up’ even after a lapse of several years. In 1924, a London gentleman was sitting in his home in the company of his son and a relative. Suddenly he heard the voice of his mother calling him by name; and the two others present also heard the voice. At that time, the mother was nowhere in the locality. Next day the gentleman received a telegram informing him that his mother had died the previous evening. Experiences of this nature involving the hearing of sounds and words are quite common and have established the fact that one cause is telepathy. Mental currents are reproduced as sounds. Visions Since time immemorial there have been people of every generation who have seen visions of one kind or another. They have represented every philosophy under the sun. Not only have they had extraordinary dreams, but even while in a state of wakefulness or drowsiness they have seen distant scenes, people, and text, mate- 61 PSYCHIC PHENOMENA The Review of Religions – April 2005 rialise before their eyes. Such manifestations do occur and there is no reason to doubt their genuineness for they are facts of life and may result from either the operation of spiritual or physical laws; or they may result from a combination of both. (a) A vision may originate through physical laws alone. (b) A vision may originate through the combination of physical and spiritual laws. (c) A vision which originates solely through physical laws is of this world. (d) A vision which originates through both spiritual and physical laws is of the spiritual world. What is the meaning of a vision? The word has many meanings which may be understood from the context of the sentence in which it appears. Generally speaking, it applies to anything seen: ‘When we had climbed to the top of the hill we had a vision of the whole city beneath us.’ It may apply to an imaginative plan: ‘I have visions of a bright future for my son.’ In this treatise it is applied to dreams and scenes of a phenomenal nature seen in a state of wakefulness or drowsiness. A phenomenon is an occurrence or manifestation of a mysterious nature for which there is no apparent explanation. The earlier the epoch, the more its people were mystified by phenomena. An eclipse of the sun would terrify people out of their wits and it was judged to be a manifestation of the wrath of the gods. We are now aware of the orbital movements of the earth and the moon and that an eclipse of the sun is caused by its view being obscured by the moon when it is positioned in a direct line between the sun and the earth. A traveller in the desert sees a large pool of water on the horizon; and on its shores stand buildings and trees. Being weary and thirsty, he spurs his horse towards the gladsome site, but as he draws n e a r e r, the scene fades and vanishes. Only the same barren desert awaits to greet him. He had seen a mirage and had he no 62 PSYCHIC PHENOMENA The Review of Religions – April 2005 knowledge of the fact that such illusions have a scientific explanation, he might well have believed that he had seen a kashf (a vision seen in a state of wake- fulness). Today a phenomenon is often regarded as a Divine manifestation whereas in truth it is only the operation of certain natural laws. This treatise has been written for the purpose of stressing the importance of caution when interpreting phenomena. A person who is suffering from certain defects of the brain may see frightful visions. Objects assume grotesque forms. A tea cup on the table may appear as a hideous frog. Such visions appear as realities to the viewers. Another person who is suffering from inflammation of the meninges may also see visions of an extraordinary character. The meninges are the membranes which encase the brain and they become inflamed due to alcoholism, meningitis, typhoid, etc. The nature of the visions, which may be horrifying or beautiful, are different to those created by a diseased brain. The latter distorts the appearance of objects while visions brought on by inflamed meninges are projected from the mind alone. The wife of the writer once had the misfortune to suffer from typhoid delirium and while wide awake would see scorpions crawling over the bed. She would call upon those in attendance to brush them away; but as there were no scorpions they had to reassure and pacify her although she insisted that she could plainly see them. Her visions of scorpions were due to the inflammation of her meninges. Wide awake visions can also result from telepathic communication. A thought from another person may be picked up and reproduced in the form of a vision. This may sound amazing; but so did the invention of television and radio. To these inventions may be added the gramophone, cinematograph and the incandescent light bulb by Thomas Edison; also the telephone by Dr. Bell. These scientific wonders were greeted with acclamations of astonishment. 63 PSYCHIC PHENOMENA The Review of Religions – April 2005 The reproduction of thought waves in the form of ideas and sounds has already been briefly discussed. The transference of scenes by thought is no more remarkable than the transference of scenes by tele- vision. There are scientific explanations for both these won- ders. It is possible that anyone might suddenly behold a vision of a distant scene, object or person. It has been said that of the five senses, sight is the closest to the brain. The name of a friend is uttered and immediately there appears a mental image of his features. A thief is convicted to a term of imprisonment whereupon a picture of the bleak and dreary walls of a prison cell is visualised in his mind. Thought and picture making are inalienably linked together. Some years ago, the writer read in the newspaper an interesting occurrence. During the last war, a mother received information from the War Office that her son had been killed on active service. One day later when she was sitting in her room she was overwhelmed with happiness and surprise at seeing her son enter the house and greet her. But, alas, the wonderful sight quickly vanished; it was a momentary vision. Nevertheless, the great joy of seeing her son again was later literally fulfilled. Her ‘lost’ son who had been mistakenly reported as dead returned home. Intense thought often sends telepathic commu- nications to the mind of another; and in this case it was an instance of sight transferred by thought. Similar occurrences are recorded in the files of psychic research. The subject psychic phenomena is a very far reaching one; but enough has been said to establish its identity and the necessity of d i fferentiating it from spiritual phenomena. All praise is due to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. (First printed in The Review of Religions, April 1995). We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of the magazine. The Review of Religions will continue to provide discussion on a wide range of subjects and welcomes any comments or suggestions from its readers. To ensure that you regularly receive this monthly publication, please fill in your details below and we will put you on our mailing list. The cost of one year’s subscription is £15 Sterling or US $30 for overseas readers (Please do not send cash). Payments by US residents should be by check payable to “AMI” (US dollars 30) and sent direct to ‘The Review of Religions’, Baitul Zafar, 86-71 PALO ALTO ST, HOLLISWOOD. NY 11423-1203 (USA). 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