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Thought Forms

That interesting phase of occult phenomena, known as "thought forms," is

so closely related to the general subject of the human aura that a

mention of one must naturally lead to the thought of the other.

Thought-forms are built up of the very material composing the aura, and

manifest all of the general characteristics thereof, even to the auric

colors. An understanding of the facts of the human aura is necessary for

orrect understanding of the nature of the thought-forms composed of

the same substance.

A "thought form" is a peculiar manifestation of mental activity on the

astral plane. It is more than a powerful disturbance in the body of the

human aura, although this is the place of its embodiment or birth in the

objective world. It is formed in the following manner: A person

manifests a strong desire, feeling or idea, which is naturally filled

with the dynamic force of his will. This sets up a series of strong

vibrations in the body of the aura, which gradually resolve themselves

into a strong whirling centre of thought-force involved in a mass of

strongly cohesive auric substance, and strongly charged with the power

of the prana of the person.

In some cases these thought forms survive in the auric body for some

little time, and then gradually fade away. In other cases they survive

and maintain an almost independent existence for some time, and exert a

strong influence upon other persons coming in the presence of the

person. Again, these thought forms may be so strongly charged with

prana, and so imbued with the mental force of the person, that they will

actually be thrown off and away from the aura itself, and travel in

space until they exhaust their initial energy--in the meantime exerting

an influence upon the psychic aura of other persons.

A thought-form is more than merely a strongly manifested thought--it

really is such a thought, but surrounded by a body of ethereal

substance, charged with prana, and even carrying with it the vibration

of the life energy of its creator. It is a child of the mind of its

creator, and acquires a portion of his life-essence, so to speak, which

abides with it for a longer or shorter time after its birth. In extreme

instances it becomes practically a semi-living elemental force, of

necessarily comparatively short life.

To those who find it difficult to understand how a thought-form can

persist after separation from the presence of the thinker, I would say

that the phenomena is similar to that of light traveling in space, long

after the star which originated it has been destroyed. Or, again, it is

like the vibrations of heat remaining in a room after the lamp or stove

causing it has been removed, or the fire in the grate having died out.

Or like the sound waves of the drum-beat persisting after the beat

itself has ceased. It is all a matter of the persistence of vibrations.

Thought forms differ greatly one from the other in the matter of shape

and general appearance. The most common and simple form is that of an

undulating wave, or series of tiny waves, resembling the circles caused

by the dropping of a pebble into a still pond. Another form is that of a

tiny rotating bit of cloud-like substance, sometimes whirling towards a

central point, like a whirlpool; and sometimes swirling away from the

central point like the familiar "pin-wheel" fireworks toy. Another form

is akin the ring of smoke projected from the coughing locomotive, or

the rounded lips of the cigar smoker, the movement in this kind being a

form of spiral rotation. Other thought forms have the appearance of

swiftly rotating balls of cloudy substance, often glowing with a faint


Sometimes the thought form will appear as a great slender jet, like

steam ejected from the spout of a tea-kettle, which is sometimes broken

up into a series of short, puffed-out jets, each following the jet

preceding it, and traveling in a straight line. Sometimes the thought

form shoots forth like a streak of dim light, almost resembling a beam

of light flashed from a mirror. Occasionally, it will twist its way

along like a long, slender corkscrew, or auger, boring into space.

In cases of thought-forms sent forth by explosive emotion, the thought

form will actually take the form of a bomb, which literally explodes

when it reaches the presence of the person toward whom it is aimed.

Every person has experienced this feeling of a thought bomb having been

exploded in his near vicinity, having been directed by a vigorous

personality. This form is frequently found in the thought forms sent out

by a strong, earnest, vigorous orator.

There are strong thought forms which seem to strive to push back the

other person, so correctly do they represent the idea and feeling back

of their manifestation. Others seem to strive to wind around the other

person, and to try to literally drag him toward the first person, this

form often accompanying strong appeal, persuasion, coaxing, etc., when

accompanied by strong desire. A particularly vigorous form of this kind

of thought form takes on the appearance of a nebulous octopus, with

long, winding, clinging tentacles, striving to wrap around the other

person, and to draw him toward the center.

The force of the feeling behind the manifestation of the thought form

will often travel a long distance from the sender--in fact, in cases of

great power of concentration, space seems to be no barrier to its

passage. In striking instances of thought transference, etc., it will be

found that thought forms play an important part.

The variety of shapes of thought forms is almost endless. Each

combination of thought and feeling creates its own form, and each

individual seems to have his own peculiarities in this respect. The

forms I have above described, however, will serve as typical cases to

illustrate the more common classes of appearances. The list, however,

might be indefinitely expanded from the experience of any experienced

occultist, and is not intended to be full by any means. All varieties of

geometrical forms are found among the thought forms, some of them being

of remarkable beauty.

In considering the subject of projected thought forms, moreover, it must

be remembered that they partake of, and manifest, the same colors as

does the aura itself, for they are composed of the same material and are

charged with the same energy. But, note this difference, that whereas

the aura is energized from the constant battery of the organism of the

individual, the thought form, on the contrary, has at its service only

the energy with which it was charged when it was thrown off--being a

storage battery, as it were, which in time expends all of its power and

then is powerless.

Every thought form bears the same color that it would possess if it had

been retained in the body of the aura itself. But, as a rule, the colors

are plainer, and less blended with others--this because each thought

form is the representation of a single definite feeling or thought, or

group of same, instead of being a body of widely differing mental

vibrations. Thus the thought form of anger will show its black and red,

with its characteristic flashes. The thought form of passion will show

forth its appropriate auric colors and general characteristics. The

thought form of high ideal love will show its beautiful form and

harmonious tinting, like a wonderful celestial flower from the garden of

some far off Paradise.

Many thought forms never leave the outer limits of the aura, while

others are projected to great distances. Some sputter out as they

travel, and are disintegrated, while others continue to glow like a

piece of heated iron, for many hours. Others persist for a long time,

with a faint phosphorescent glow. A careful study of what has been said

regarding the characteristics of the various feelings and emotions, as

manifested in the auric body, will give the student a very fair general

idea of what may be the appearance of any particular variety of thought

form, for a general principle runs through the entire series of auric

phenomena. An understanding of the fundamental principles will lead to

an understanding of any of the particular varieties of the manifestation


Finally, remember this: A thought form is practically a bit of the

detached aura of a person, charged with a degree of his prana, and

energized with a degree of his life energy. So, in a limited sense, it

really is a projected portion of his personality.