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Once upon a time, people confused clairvoyance with telepathy. For those who may still be confused, clairvoyance tends to look into the future, although such visions are not restricted to future events. Telepathy, on the other hand, involves sending and receiving specific thoughts and was considered during the early 20th century as the primary way of influencing others to specific actions. We have recently replaced telepathy with Smart Phones and text messaging.

This latter business of “influencing” via mental powers was (and is) considered bad form. This, however, did not stop Swami Panchadasi from telling his readers exactly how to do it. He then also includes text on how to resist such influences. The exercises resemble the visualization exercises common in texts written for sales people. It’s clear Panchadasi had Dale Carnegie as a contemporary.

Published originally in 1916, the book demonstrates the odd linguistic gap that appears in material printed between the 19th and 20th centuries. The populist writing makes it modern enough for a quick and interesting read, but certain phrases will read as stiff and come anchored in assumptions about race, gender and money that most modern occult writers eschew.

Do not dismiss this book because of age and mildly antiquated language. Many passages apply directly to the experiences of modern psychism that are not nearly as well addressed in current texts. This includes techniques for sensing moods and atmosphere in public spaces, concrete language about the impact of skepticism on psychic training and simple and effective forms of psychic self-defense. The direct, uncomplicated approach to psychic practice gives a foundation sometimes missing from more recent works on the same topic.

Recommended, and not just for curio collectors.

~ review by Diana Rajchel

Author: Swami Panchadasi
Weiser Books, 2011
pp. 187, $16.95

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