Theosophists and clairvoyants Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater placed thought-forms in three classifications: (1) the image of the thinker (see Bilocation); (2) an image of a material object associated with the thought; and (3) an independent image expressing the inherent qualities of the thought. Thoughts which are of a low nature, such as anger, hate, lust, greed, and so on, create thought-forms which are dense in color and form. Thought of a more spiritual nature tend to generate forms possessing a greater purity, clarity, and refinement.
Thought-forms can be directed toward anyone, but to be effective they must latch onto a similar vibration in the other person’s aura. If they are unable to do so, they can boomerang back on the sender. Thus, working according to the occult theory, one who directs evil toward another runs the risk of having it return.
The strength and clarity of the original thought determines the duration, strength and the distance of travel of its developed thought-form. It is said that thought-forms can have the capability to assume their own energy and appear to be intelligent and independent. Equally strong thought-forms can disperse them, or they may disintegrate when their purpose has been accomplished. Some may stay in existence for years, while others can become uncontrollable and turn on their senders.
Thought-forms, in magic, are also called "artificial elements," which are created through ritual involving intense concentration, repetition, and visualization. (see Egrigor) They can be directed toward individuals to protect or heal, or to harm. Also, thought-forms can be created to perform low-level tasks and errands.
Other thought-forms can occur spontaneously, for example, "Group minds" that emerge whenever a group of people concentrate on the same thought, ideas, or goals, such as a team of employees or a crowd of demonstrators. To a certain extent the group-mind possesses the group, such is seen in psychic bonding and power that coalesces in crowds, and in the synergy of a close-knit working group. Usually when the group disbands the power of the group-mind dissipates too. A.G.H.
An excerpt from
BY ANNIE BESANT
AND C.W. LEADBEATER
The text of this little book is the joint work of Mr Leadbeater and myself; some of it has already appeared as an article in Lucifer (now the Theosophical Review), but the greater part of it is new. The drawing and painting of the Thought-Forms observed by Mr Leadbeater or by myself, or by both of us together, has been done by three friends—Mr John Varley, Mr Prince, and Miss Macfarlane, to each of whom we tender our cordial thanks. To paint in earth's dull colours the forms clothed in the living light of other worlds is a hard and thankless task; so much the more gratitude is due to those who have attempted it. They needed coloured fire, and had only ground earths. We have also to thank Mr F. Bligh Bond for allowing us to use his essay on Vibration Figures, and some of his exquisite drawings. Another friend, who sent us some notes and a few drawings, insists on remaining anonymous, so we can only send our thanks to him with similar anonymity.
It is our earnest hope—as it is our belief—that this little book will serve as a striking moral lesson to every reader, making him realise the nature and power of his thoughts, acting as a stimulus to the noble, a curb on the base. With this belief and hope we send it on its way.
illustrations of thought forms
FIG. 11. RADIATING AFFECTION
FIG. 39. IN THE SIX DIRECTIONS
FIG. 12. PEACE AND PROTECTION
FIG. 15. UPWARD RUSH OF DEVOTION
FIG. 16. SELF-RENUNCIATION
FIG. 37. SYMPATHY AND LOVE FOR ALL
FIG. 38. AN ASPIRATION TO ENFOLD ALL