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T. lobsang rampa doctor from lhasa

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SHANGHAI! I had no illusions. I knew that Shanghai was going to be a very difficult spot indeed in which to live. But fate had decreed that I should go there, and so we made our preparations, Po Ku and I, and later in the morning we walked together down the street of steps, down to the docks, and went aboard a ship which would take us far down the river to Shanghai.

In our cabin—we shared a cabin—I lay upon my bunk, and thought of the past. I thought of the first time that I had known anything about Shanghai. It was when my guide, the Lama Mingyar Dondup, was teaching me the finer points of clairvoyance, and as this particular knowledge may be of interest and help to many I will give the actual experience here.

It was a few years previously, when I was a student in one of the great lamaseries of Lhasa. I and others of my class were sitting in the schoolroom longing to be out. The class was worse than usual for the teacher was a great bore, one of our worst. The whole class was finding it difficult to follow his words and remain alert. It was one of those days when the sun was shining warmly, when light fleecy clouds raced high overhead. Everything called us to go outside into the warmth and sunshine, away from musty classrooms and the droning voice of an uninteresting teacher. Suddenly there was commotion. Someone had come into the room. We, with our backs to the teacher, could not see who it was, and we dared not turn and look in case HE was looking at US! The rustle of paper, “Hmm ruining my class.” A sharp “crack” as the teacher brought his cane down on his desk, making all of us jump high with fright. “Lobsang Rampa, come here.” Filled with foreboding I rose to my feet, turned and made my three bows. What had I done now? Had the Abbot seen me dropping pebbles on those visiting lamas? Had I been observed “sampling” those pickled walnuts? Had I—but the voice of the teacher soon put my mind at rest: “Lobsang Rampa, the Honourable Senior Lama, your Guide, Mingyar Dondup, requires you at once. Go, and pay more attention to him than you have to me!” I went, in a hurry.

Along the corridors, up the stairs, round to the right, and into the precincts of the lamas. “Tread softly here,” I thought, “some crusty old dodderers along here. Seventh door left, that is it.” Just as I raised my hand to knock, a voice said “Come in,” and in I went. “Your clairvoyance never fails when there is food about. I have tea and pickled walnuts. You are just in time.” The Lama Mingyar Dondup had not expected me so early, but now he certainly made me welcome. As we ate he talked. “I want you to study crystal gazing, using the various types of appliances. You must be familiar with them all.”

After our tea he led me down to the storeroom. Here were kept the appliances of all kinds, planchettes, tarot cards, black mirrors, and a perfectly amazing range of devices. We wandered around, he pointing out various objects and explaining their use. Then, turning to me, he said, “Pick a crystal which you feel will be harmonious to you. Look at them all, and make your choice.” I had my eyes on a very beautiful sphere, genuine rock crystal without a flaw and of such a size that it needed two hands to hold it. I picked it up and said, “This is the one I want.” My Guide laughed. “You have chosen the oldest and most valuable. If you can use it you can have it.” This particular crystal, which I still have, had been found in one of the tunnels far below the Potala. In those unenlightened days it had been called “The Magic Ball” and given to the Medical Lamas of the Iron Mountain as it was considered to be connected with medicine.

A little later in this chapter I will deal with glass spheres, black mirrors, and water globes; but now it may be of interest to describe how we prepared to use the crystal, how we trained ourselves to become as one with it.

It is obvious that if one is healthy, physically and mentally fit, the sight is at its best. So it is with the Third Eye sight. One must be fit, and to that end we prepared before trying to use any of these devices. I had picked up my crystal, and now I looked at it. Held between my two hands it appeared to be a heavy globe which reflected upside-down a picture of the window, with a bird perched on the ledge outside. Looking more closely I could dimly see the reflection of the Lama Mingyar Dondup, and—yes—my own reflection as well. “You are looking at it, Lobsang, and that is not the way in which it is used. Cover it up and wait until you are shown.”

The next morning I had to take herbs with my first meal, herbs to purify the blood and clear the head, herbs to tone up the constitution generally. Morning and night these had to be taken, for two weeks. Each afternoon I had to rest for an hour and a half with my eyes and the upper part of my head covered with a thick black cloth. During this time I had to practice special breathing to a particular rhythm pattern. I had to pay scrupulous attention to personal cleanliness during this time.

With the two weeks completed I went again to the Lama Mingyar Dondup. “Let us go to that quiet little room on the roof,” he said. “Until you are more familiar with it you will need absolute quietness.” We climbed the stairs and emerged on the flat roof. To one side was a little house where the Dalai Lama had his audiences when he came to Chakpori for the Annual Blessing of the Monks. Now we were going to use it. I was going to, and that was indeed an honour, for no other than the Abbot and the Lama Mingyar Dondup could use it. Inside we sat on our cushion-seats on the floor. Behind us was a window through which one could see the distant mountains standing as the Guardians of our pleasant valley. The Potala too could be seen from here, but that was too familiar to bother about. I wanted to see what there was in the crystal. “Move around this way, Lobsang. Look at the crystal and tell me when all the reflections disappear. We must exclude all odd points of light. THEY are not what we want to see.” That is one of the main points to remember. Exclude all light which causes reflections. Reflections merely distract the attention. Our system was to sit with the back to a north window, and draw a reasonably thick curtain across the window so as to provide a twilight. Now, with the curtains drawn, the crystal ball in my hands appeared dead, inert. No reflections at all marred its surface.

My Guide sat beside me. “Wipe the crystal with this damp cloth, dry it, then pick it up with this black cloth. Do not touch it with your hands yet.” I did as instructed, carefully wiped the sphere, dried it, and picked it up with the black cloth which was folded into a square. My two hands I crossed, palms up, under the crystal which was thus supported in the palm of the left hand. “Now, look IN the sphere. Not AT it, but IN. Look at the very centre and then let your vision become blank. Do not try to see anything, just let your mind go blank.” The latter was not difficult for me. Some of my teachers thought that my mind was blank all the time.

I looked at the crystal. My thoughts wandered. Suddenly the sphere in my hands seemed to grow, and I felt as if I was about to fall inside it. It made me jump, and the impression faded. Once more I held just a ball of crystal in my hands. “Lobsang! WHY did you forget all I told you? You were on the verge of seeing and your start of surprise broke the thread. You will see nothing today.”

One has to look in the crystal and just hold one's mental focus on some inner part of it. Then there comes a peculiar sensation as if one is about to step inside another world. Any start or fright or surprise at this stage will spoil everything. The only thing to do then, while learning, of course, is to put aside the crystal and not attempt to “see” until one has had a night's sleep.

The next day we tried again. I sat, as before, with my back to the window, and saw to it that all disturbing facets of light were excluded. Normally I should have sat in the lotus attitude of meditation, but because of a leg injury this would not be the most comfortable for me. Comfort is essential. One must sit quite at ease. It is better to sit in an unorthodox manner and SEE, than to sit in one of the formal attitudes and see nothing. Our rule was, sit any way you like so long as it is comfortable, as discomfort will distract the attention.

Into the crystal I gazed. By my side the Lama Mingyar Dondup sat motionless, erect, as if carved from stone. What would I see? That was my thought. Would it be the same as when I first saw an aura? The crystal looked dull, inert. “I'll never see in this thing,” I thought. It was evening so that there would be no strong play of sunlight to cause shifting shadows, so that the clouds would not temporarily obscure the light, and then permit it to shine brightly. No shadows, no points of light. It was twilight in the room and with the black cloth between my hands and the sphere I could see no reflections at all on its surface. But I was supposed to be looking inside.

Suddenly the crystal seemed to come alive. Inside a fleck of white appeared at the centre and spread like white swirling smoke. It was as if a tornado raged inside, a silent tornado. The smoke thickened and thinned, thickened and thinned, and then spread in an even film over the globe. It was like a curtain designed to prevent me from seeing. I probed mentally, trying to force my mind past the barrier. The globe seemed to swell, and I had a horrid impression of falling head first into a bottomless void. Just then a trumpet blared and the white curtain shivered into a snowstorm which melted as if in the heat of the noonday sun.

“You were near it then, Lobsang, very near.” “Yes I would have seen something if that trumpet had not been sounded. It put me off.” “Trumpet? Oh, you were as far as that, eh? That was your subconscious trying to warn you that clairvoyance and crystal gazing are for the very few. Tomorrow we will go further.”

On the third evening my Guide and I sat together as before. Once again he reminded me of the rules. This third evening was more successful. I sat with the sphere lightly held and concentrated on some invisible point in its dim interior. The swirling smoke appeared almost at once and soon provided a curtain. I probed with my mind, thinking, “I am going through, I am going through NOW!” Again came the horrid impression of falling. This time I was prepared. Down from some immense height I plummeted, falling straight towards the smoke-covered world which was growing with amazing rapidity. Only strict training prevented me from screaming as I approached the white surface at tremendous speed—and passed through, unharmed.

Inside the sun was shining. I looked about me in very real astonishment. I had died surely for this was nowhere that I knew. What a strange place! Water, dark water stretched before me as far as I could see. More water than I had ever imagined existed. Some distance away a huge monster like a fearsome fish forced its way across the surface of the water. In the middle a black pipe sent what looked like smoke upwards, to be blown back by the wind. To my amazement I saw what appeared to be little people walking about on the “fish's back!” This was too much for me. I turned to flee and stopped in my tracks petrified. This was too much. Great stone houses many stories high were before me. Just in front of me a Chinaman dashed pulling a device on two wheels. Apparently he was a carrier of some sort, because on the wheeled thing a woman was perched. “She must be a cripple,” I thought, “and has to be carried about on wheels.” Towards me a man was walking, a Tibetan lama. I held my breath, it was exactly like the Lama Mingyar Dondup when he was many years younger. He walked straight up to me, through me, and I jumped with fright. “Oh!” I wailed, “I'm blind.” It was dark, I could not see. “It is all right, Lobsang, you are doing well. Let me draw back the curtains.” My Guide did so, and into the room flooded the pale light of evening.

“You certainly have very great clairvoyance powers, Lobsang; they merely need directing. Quite inadvertently I touched the crystal and from your remarks I gather that you have seen the impression of when I went to Shanghai many years ago and nearly collapsed at my first sight of steamer and rickshaw. You are doing well.”

I was still in a daze, still living in the past. What strange and terrible things there were outside of Tibet. Tame fishes which belched smoke and upon which one rode, men who carried wheeled women, I was afraid to think of it, afraid to dwell on the fact that I too would have to go to that strange world later.

“Now you must immerse the crystal in water to erase the impression you have just seen. Dip it right in, allow it to rest on a cloth on the bottom of the bowl, and then lift it out with another cloth. Do not let your hands touch it yet.”

That is an important point to remember when using a crystal. One should always demagnetize it after each reading. The crystal becomes magnetized by the person holding it in much the same way as a piece of iron will become magnetized if brought into contact with a magnet. With the iron it is usually sufficient to knock it to cause it to lose its magnetism, but a crystal should be immersed in water. Unless one does demagnetize after each reading the results become more and more confusing. The “auric emanations” of succeeding people begin to build up and one gives a completely inaccurate reading.

No crystal should ever be handled by anyone except the owner, other than for the purpose of “magnetizing” for a reading. The more the sphere is handled by other people, the less responsive it becomes. We were taught that when we had given a number of readings in a day we should take the crystal to bed with us so that we should personally magnetize it by its being close to us. The same result would be attained by carrying the crystal around with us, but we would look rather foolish ambling around twiddling the crystal ball!

When not in use, the crystal should lie covered by a black cloth. One should NEVER allow strong sunlight to fall on it, as that impairs its use for esoteric purposes. Nor should one ever allow a crystal to be handled by a mere thrill-seeker. There is a purpose behind this. A thrill-seeker not being genuinely interested but wanting cheap entertainment, harms the aura of the crystal. It is much the same as handing an expensive camera or watch to a child so that its idle curiosity may be appeased.

Most people could use a crystal if they would take the trouble to find what type suited them. We make sure that our spectacles suit us. Crystals are equally important. Some persons can see better with a rock crystal, and some with glass. Rock crystal is the most powerful type. Here is a brief history of mine as recorded at Chakpori.

Millions of years ago volcanoes belched out flame and lava. Deep in the earth various types of sand were churned together by earthquakes, and fused into a kind of glass by the volcanic heat. The glass was broken into pieces by the earthquakes and spewed out over the mountain-sides. Lava, solidified, covered much of it.

In the course of time rock falls exposed some of this natural glass, or "rock crystal." One piece was seen by tribal priests in the dawn of human life. In those far off days the priests were men who had occult power, who could predict, and tell the history of an object by psychometry. Such a one must have touched one particular fragment of crystal and been impressed enough to take it home. There must have been a clear spot from which he gained clairvoyant impressions. Laboriously he and others chipped the fragment into a sphere, as that was the most convenient to hold. From generation to generation, for centuries, it was passed from priest to priest, each charged with the task of polishing the hard material. Slowly the sphere became rounder and clearer. For an age it was worshipped as the Eye of a God. In the Age of Enlightenment it came into its own as an instrument whereby the Cosmic Consciousness could be tapped. Now, almost four inches across and as clear as water, it was carefully packed and hidden in a stone casket in a tunnel far beneath the Potala.

Centuries later it was discovered by monk explorers and the inscription on the casket was deciphered. “This is the Window of the Future,” it read, “the crystal in which those who are fitted can see the past and know the future. It was in the custody of the High Priest of the Temple of Medicine.” As such, the crystal was taken to Chakpori, the present Temple of Medicine, and kept for a person who could use it. I was that person, for me it lives.

Rock crystal of such size is rare, doubly rare when it is without flaw. Not everyone can use such a crystal. It may be too strong and tend to dominate one. Glass spheres can be obtained, and those are useful for gaining the necessary preliminary experience. A good size is from three to four inches; size is NOT important at all. Some monks have a tiny sliver of crystal set in a large finger-ring. The important point is to be sure that there are no flaws, or that there is only a slight defect that is not at all visible in subdued lighting. Small crystals, of “rock” or glass, have the advantage of light weight, and that is considerable when one tends to hold the sphere.

A person who desires to purchase a crystal of any type should advertise in one of the “psychic” papers. The things offered for sale at certain shops are more suitable for conjurors or stage turns. Usually there are blemishes which do not show until one has bought the thing and taken it home! Have any crystal sent on approval, and as soon as you unpack it wash it in running water. Carefully dry it, and then examine it, holding it with a dark cloth. The reason? Wash it to remove any fingermarks which may appear to be faults, and hold it so that YOUR fingerprints do not mislead you.

You cannot expect to sit down, look in the crystal, and “see pictures.” Nor is it fair to blame the crystal for your failure. It is merely an instrument, and you would not blame a telescope if you looked through the wrong end and saw only a small picture.

Some people cannot use a crystal. Before giving up they should try a “black mirror.” This can be made very cheaply indeed by procuring a large lamp glass from a motor accessory shop. The glass must be concave and quite smooth and plain. The ridged type of car headlamp glass is not suitable. With a suitable glass hold the outer curved surface over a candle flame. Move it about so that there is an even deposit of soot on the OUTER surface of the glass. This can be “fixed” with some cellulose lacquer such as is used to prevent brass from tarnishing.

With the black mirror ready, proceed as you would with the round crystal. Suggestions applicable to any type of “crystal” are given later in this chapter. With the black mirror one looks at the INNER surface, being careful to exclude all random reflections.

Another type of black mirror is the one known to us as “null.” It is the same as the former mirror, but the soot is on the INSIDE of the curve. A big disadvantage is that one cannot “fix” the soot, as to do so would be to provide a glossy surface. This mirror may be of more use to those who are distracted by reflections.

Some people use a bowl of water and gaze into it. The bowl must be clear, and entirely without pattern. Place a dark cloth under it, and it becomes in effect a glass crystal. In Tibet there is a lake so situated that one sees, yet almost doesn't see the water in it. It is a famous lake and is used by the State Oracles in some of their most important predictions. This lake, we call it Chö-kor Gyal-ki Nam-tso (in English, The Heavenly Lake of the Victorious Wheel of Religion) is at a place called Tak-po, some hundred miles from Lhasa. The district around is mountainous and the lake is enclosed by high peaks. The water is normally very blue indeed, but at times as one looks from certain vantage points the blue changes to a swirling white, as if whitewash had been dropped in. The water swirls and foams, then suddenly a black hole appears in the middle of the lake, while above it dense white clouds form. In the space between the black hole and the white clouds a picture of the future events can be seen.

To this spot, at least once in his lifetime, comes the Dalai Lama. He stays at a nearby pavilion and looks at the lake. He sees events important to him and, not least important, the date and manner of his passing from this life. Never has the lake been proved wrong!

We cannot all go to that lake, but most of us with a little patience and faith can use a crystal. For Western readers here is a suggested method. The word “crystal” will cover rock crystal, glass, black mirrors, and the water globe.

For a week pay particular attention to the health. For this week in particular avoid (as much as possible in this troubled world) worries and anger. Eat sparingly and take no sauces or fried foods. Handle the crystal as much as possible without making any attempt to “see.” This will transfer some of your personal magnetism to it and enable you to become quite familiar with the feel of it. Remember to cover the crystal at all times when you are not handling it. If you can, keep it in a box which can be locked. This will prevent other people from playing with it in your absence. Direct sunlight, as you know, should be avoided.

After the seven days take the crystal to a quiet room with a north light if possible. The evening is the best time, as then there is no direct sunlight to wax and wane with the passing of clouds.

Sit—in any attitude you find comfortable—with your back to the light. Take the crystal into your hands and note any reflections on its surface. These must be eliminated by drawing the curtains across the window, or by changing your position.

When you are satisfied hold the crystal in contact with the centre of your forehead for a few seconds, and then slowly withdraw it. Now hold it in your cupped hands, the back of which can rest on your lap. Gaze idly at the surface of the crystal, then move your vision inwards to the centre to what you must imagine as a zone of nothingness. Just let your mind go blank. Avoid trying to see anything. Avoid any strong emotion.

Ten minutes is enough for the first night. Gradually increase the time, until at the end of the week you can do it for half an hour.

The next week let your mind go blank as soon as you can. Just gaze into nothingness inside the crystal. You should find that its outlines waver. It may appear that the whole sphere is growing, or you may feel that you are falling forward. That is how it should be. Do NOT start with astonishment, for if you do it will prevent you from ”seeing” for the rest of the evening. The average person ”seeing” for the first time jerks in much the same way as we sometimes jerk when we are falling off to sleep.

With a little more practice you will find that the crystal is apparently growing larger and larger. One evening you will find as you look in that it is luminous and filled with white smoke. This will clear—provided you do not jerk—and you will have your first view of the (usually) past. It will be something connected with you, for only you have handled the sphere. Keep on at it, seeing just your own affairs. When you can “see” at will, direct it to show what you want to know. The best method is to say to yourself firmly, and out loud. “I am going to see so-and-so tonight.” If you believe it, you WILL see what you desire. It is as simple as that.

To know the future you must marshal your facts. Gather all the data you have available, and say them to yourself. Then “ask” the crystal, and tell yourself that you are going to see what you want to know.

A warning here. One cannot use the crystal for personal gain, to forecast the result of races, nor to injure another person. There is a powerful occult law which will make it all recoil on your own head if you try to exploit the crystal. That law is as inexorable as time itself.

By now you should have been able to obtain much practice in your own affairs. Would you like to try on someone else? Dip the crystal in water and carefully dry it without touching the surface. Then hand it to the other person. Say, “Take it in your two hands and THINK what you want to know. Then pass it back to me.” Naturally you will have warned your enquirer not to speak or disturb you. It is advisable to try with some well-known friend first as strangers often prove disconcerting when one is learning.

When your enquirer passes back the crystal you will take it in your hands, either bare or covered in the black cloth, it does not matter which; you should have “personalized” the crystal by now. Settle yourself comfortably, raise the crystal to your forehead for a second, then let your hands rest on your lap, supporting the crystal in any way which causes no strain. Look INTO it and let your mind become blank, quite blank if you can, but this first attempt may be somewhat difficult if you are self-conscious.

As you compose yourself, if you have trained yourself as suggested, you will observe one of three things. They are true pictures, symbols, and impressions. True pictures should be your aim. Here the crystal clouds, and then the clouds disperse to show actual pictures, living pictures what you want to know. There is no difficulty in interpreting such a case.

Some people do not see true pictures; they see symbols. They may see, as an example, a row of X's, or a hand. It may be a windmill, or a dagger. Whatever it is you will soon learn to interpret them correctly.

The third thing is impressions. Here nothing is set except swirling clouds and a little luminescence, but as the crystal is held, definite impressions are felt or heard. It is essential to avoid personal bias, essential not to over-rule the crystal by one's own personal feelings about a certain case.

The true Seer never tells a person of the date or even the probability of death. You will know, but you should NEVER tell. Nor will you warn a person of impending illness. Say instead: “It is advisable to take a little more care than usual on such-and-such a date.” And never tell a person: “Yes, your husband is out with a girl who—etc., etc.” If you are using the crystal correctly you will KNOW that he IS out, but is he out on business? Is she a relation? Never, NEVER tell anything that would tend to break up a home or cause unhappiness. This is abuse of the crystal. Use it only for good, and in return good will come to you. If you see nothing, say so, and the enquirer will respect you. You can “invent” what you say you see, and perhaps you say something which the enquirer KNOWS to be incorrect. Then your prestige and reputation are gone, and you also bring a bad name to occult science.

Having given your reading to the enquirer carefully wrap up the crystal and set it down gently. When the enquirer has left you are advised to dip the crystal in water, wipe it dry, and then handle it to re-personalize it with your own magnetism. The more you handle the crystal the better it will be. Avoid scratching it, and when you have finished, put it away in the black cloth. If you can, put it in a box and lock it. Cats are great offenders, some of them will sit for a very long time “gazing.” And when you use the crystal next time, you do not want to see the cat's life history and ambitions. It CAN be done. In Tibet in some of the “occult” lamaseries a cat is questioned by the crystal when it comes off duty after guarding gems. Then the monks know if there has been any attempt at stealing.

It is strongly advised that before embarking on any form of training in crystal gazing, you inquire most thoroughly into your secret motives. Occultism is a two-edged weapon, and those who “play” out of idle curiosity are sometimes punished by mental or nervous disorders. You can know through it the pleasure of helping others, but you can also know much that is horrible and unforgettable. It is safer just to read this chapter unless you are very, very sure of your motives.

Once having decided on the crystal do not change it. Make a definite habit to touch it every day, or every other day. The Saracens of old would never show a sword, even to a friend, unless to draw blood. If for some reason they HAD to show the weapon, then they pricked a finger to “draw blood.” So with the crystal, if you show it at all to anyone, READ it even though it be only your own affair. Read it, although you need not tell anyone what you are doing or what you see. This is not superstition, but a sure way of training yourself so that when the crystal is uncovered you “see” automatically, without preparation, without thinking about it.

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