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Osty, Dr Eugene - Supernormal faculties in Man – M. de Fleuriere the importance of symbolism in understanding images of the past present and future, as well as character



Type of spiritual experience


A description of the experience

Supernormal faculties in Man- Dr Eugene Osty

To reinforce an exposition, necessarily brief and imperfect, how mental visual images are used, it seems useful to quote here a fragment of auto-analysis given me in 1913 by M. de Fleuriere. It is given in full in my book  Lucidite et Intuition, pages 437-456.

My intuitive mental images occasionally correspond with the objective reality in the present or the future. Thus,-the vision of a cradle in which is a smiling child, of a person extended on a death-bed, a vessel sinking at sea, a building in flames, are natural images thrown on the screen of the soul which describe facts past, present, or future, according to the plane of vision.

At other times the visions are figurative, So to speak, they are of a symbolical type.

Thus, in current language and by traditional meaning, an olive branch does not signify the branch of a tree, but peace; a dove does not stand for the bird, but the idea of gentleness ; a lily is not a flower, but an image of candour and purity.

These are, substantially, metaphors, and such artifices must, so it seems to me, be frequently used by lucidity.

In my own case they continually recur when I take the trouble to analyse the visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory images which constitute one form of direct vision or telepathic intuition.

Symbolism always plays a very large part.

Thus, the vision of a dead man, instead of presenting itself under the natural form of a corpse in a coffin, it may appear under twenty different forms. Sometimes I have the impression of a branch which cracks, breaks, and falls (especially in cases of sudden death), and then there is both the vision of the fact and the auditory supplement, all referring not to the material object, but the event signified.

Occasionally I have this vision of death under the form of a black line cleaving a grey crystal or extending into a cloudy sky: or it may be a light which is slowly extinguished, or a meteor vanishing on the horizon: or again, it may appear under the form of a gaping chasm by the side of a person into which some one dear to him disappears.

These few examples will show how much images which convey the same idea may differ.

In another order of ideas when the life of an individual is very much disturbed, morally and materially, but better and more peaceful times are approaching, the situation is manifest to me in the lucid state by the very expressive image of a rough sea or a wind-driven lake on which the tempest is succeeded by calm, the water becoming a mirror in which blue sky and sunshine are reflected.

Or I may have before me the image of a tempestuous sky and heavy clouds with flashes of lightning succeeded by calm, silence, and serene light.

Under a different symbolism, when the future is to be mild and sweet I see a verdant plain dotted with flowers, which stretches far beyond the person, beautiful and smiling, over which blow the breezes of springtime.

If the matter concerns great material and pecuniary success, the result of personal effort and assisting circumstances, the interior sensation is that of swelling out, plenitude, marked relief, and the corresponding images are swelling billows, rounded hills that rise, or a fertile slope on which there are gilded heaps like masses of gold or ripe wheat. (The most curious of these symbols is that a swelling on my left arm above the metacarpal bones and on the forearm a little above the inner articulation of the wrist always corresponds to this kind of future-increased material advantages.)

If unexpected good fortune, due to chance, happening suddenly-an inheritance, lottery prize, discovery of treasure, etc.-is to come to pass, I have the same sensation of plenitude, extension, and swelling, but the image is usually different-a golden rain or sparkling light falling on the person.

We may now consider another kind of success-moral achievement, notoriety, social relief, celebrity, distinction, renown. In such cases I feel a sensation of light, and the image is that of an aureole more or less bright shining on and around the person. The colour will be according to the case, will be white, golden or rose, or harmonious blendings of these. (I note in passing that in these cases I have never seen blue or green.)

If the renown is to come from literary success, intellectual effort, or brain-work, I have observed that the aureole tends to red, more or less tinged with violet. I have further observed that more or less red pertains to cerebral activity, as if the red colour were the result of its ebullition as of melted metal or a burning substance.

I do not claim that this is so; I mean that by such a colour I have the vision or the sensation of cerebral activity and of the kind of luminous vapour that proceeds from it, just as white or green flames play over melted silver or copper.

In my visions or sensations of colour this red becomes empurpled and changes into pure violet when the cerebral activity tends towards or is bent upon the transcendental, psychical problems, research into the Beyond, solution of philosophical problems and all that is called the domain of the marvellous.

If it be permissible I could give you the names of very well-known persons who have given me this colour-sensation-notably, Mme de V-, M. Max--, Leon D-, Mme Ag--, Mme Dr. J-M-, and others. I have always observed it more or less characteristically with priests, doctors, men of science, highly cultured spiritualists, and some enlightened mystics.

Now to speak of success of a sentimental kind. When a life holds, or will hold, joys of the heart and love, this state of things presents to my intuition the image of an azure nimbus, or a surrounding atmosphere of blue (or blue-green) above and around the person predestined to such joy. (In the exercise of my humble powers, bright blue, bluish, or blue and green mixed have always appeared to me as the special colours relating to the heart and its influences.)

On the other hand, if the life is to be overshadowed by a deep and unhappy love, torn by shocks and crises, I see the blue atmosphere intersected by grey, dark, fire-red, or dark-red rays and blots of strange shapes flung together. In such cases the vision gives me a sensation of something at once sweet, grand, and painful.

If a person is in physical or moral danger I see quagmires and chasms opening under his steps or round about him. I could quote many such.

If a person is menaced by perfidy, falsehood, and equivocal proceedings I could quote instances in which this intuition is given by the image of serpents that I see creeping and hissing about the person in danger, insidious and threatening.

Here is an example of symbolical imagery drawn from physical and the moral sources, having to do with a passion such as anger:

I have often found myself in intuitive contact with choleric persons violent by nature or actually angry. The image revealing this state is often very striking, for it shows the projection of black, or grey, effluvia, or steaming vapour from the brain or the chest, nearly always streaked with a bilious yellow; these came chiefly from the head and chest, like dark, concentric sheaves, like fireworks of ill-assorted colours.

On the other hand, a gentle, calm, and good disposition is shown by the visual image of a rosy transparence, slightly warm (tactile image or sensation) with a sort of magnetic attraction which draws and retains. This is a physical and moral sensation which I can hardly describe, but appears to me fluidic.

With respect to the magnetic attraction which I have just mentioned, I have observed that a few men and many women, especially in the realm of passion, have this undefinable quasi-magnetic property which at once attracts, captivates, and retains. In the intuitive perception of such women, charming and fatal, I have several times had a sensation as if I saw deep in their being an eye with the power of fascination, and also from the forehead and the heart a sort of magnetic radiation proceeding from their whole being attracting all that is near them, as a magnet attracts certain metals. By this magnetic sensation I feel that I am in presence of one of those heart-vampires who burn and devour all affection approaching them, an attraction from which none can escape.

I could multiply these symbolical images for direct or telepathic intuition indefinitely."

The source of the experience

Osty, Dr Eugene

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image



Observation contributed by: Henry Ibberson