The Theosophical Forum – July 1946


"Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before"

On a sultry July afternoon in 1939, a cloudburst roared down East Birch Creek canyon and devastated the little town of Pilot Rock, Oregon. A rancher on his way to town that morning was amazed at the uncommon activity among the little animals which made their homes along the creek. Clearly, something had disturbed them. Altogether he saw countless "chucks" and gophers, bull snakes, rabbits, and a covey of quail with many very young fledglings, all headed for higher ground.

The day had begun clear and bright, without a cloud to mar its beauty. About noon large thunderheads began to appear over the foothills. Then, within an hour, the storm broke. Immediately every ravine became a torrent, sending a fifteen-foot wall of muddy water down the main canyon, destroying everything in its path.

Could it have been an accident of nature that sent these creatures scurrying for higher ground? Or did some subtle intelligence warn them of impending danger? "Coming events cast their shadows before." Surely the Cosmic vibrations on that morning must have been heavy with evil portent.


There is something positively uncanny about the amazing sensitivity of a hound's nose. Under favorable conditions he can follow a trail many days old. Surely here is involved some higher and infinitely finer instinct than mere sense of smell. Undoubtedly the dog is able to pick up the vibrations from the magnetic aura of the person being trailed. This faculty enables the dog to follow a trail where no vestige of scent remains, and in addition he gets a clear-cut mental picture of his quarry.


A strange creature is the bat. Although nearly blind, he comes forth after dark to wheel in dizzy circles through the forest — and he never strikes a twig. What is his secret? Science has a rather involved theory that the bat locates objects about him by means of sound vibrations. The bat emits a throaty cry while in flight, and it is thought that the vibration bounces back after the manner of radar, thus warning him of objects in his path.

While this theory sounds plausible enough and may be well founded, it does not explain how the bat locates his food supply nor how he is able to return unerringly to his own barn loft or hollow tree. It would seem that this tiny creature, too, possesses some "sixth" sense to guide him in his peregrinations.


Fish, too, are sensitive to all manner of vibrations, and water is an excellent conductor of sound waves. Test this the next time you go swimming. With your head submerged, tap two stones together and note how the sound is amplified.

A marine returning from service in the Solomon Islands reported witnessing a most unusual method of catching fish. He told how a native fisherman, in a guttural chant "shouted at the water" and that numerous fish came to the surface, to be gathered into the boat. This was not told as a "fish story" nor a tall tale, incredible though it sounds. The marine who told the story could offer no explanation. He did not know that the native probably intoned certain vowel sounds, the vibrations of which stupefied the fish and made the waters untenable for them. Most likely, the tones used so agitated the water that the fish were forced to the surface to escape an unpleasant vibration.


It is hardly believable that birds or animals are psychic, for this would seem to imply a spiritual background. But it is said that the crow always knows when the farmer has a gun, and the buzzard was thought by early plainsmen to be an ill omen, a harbinger of death.

But all birds are extremely sensitive to all manner of vibrations. They are dependent upon vibrations for most of their food. It is by this means that the robin locates a worm on the lawn. To say he "hears" the worm in the soil is misleading; actually he "feels" it, for the worm, like all forms of insect life, puts out a minute vibration. It is in this way, too, that the woodpecker detects larvae beneath the bark of a dead tree. And it would seem that the buzzard, far from being psychic, is able to trail a thirst-crazed steer simply by picking up the vibrations of fear which emanate from the glands of the stricken animal.


The earth is enveloped in an imponderable aether which mirrors every event that takes place — past, present and future. In the Orient there is wide knowledge and acceptance of this doctrine. It is known as the "Akasa." As a television set produces a picture on the screen by means of electrical impulses, in like manner this Akasa, through Cosmic vibrations, materializes a picture of a coming event in the mind of one attuned to receive it. It is a living picture gallery of worldly events, and is the "Recording Angel" to the Christian.

Mother Nature has endowed many of her tiny creatures with strange instincts before which man, in all his vaunted intelligence, stands humbled. No doubt these instincts are necessary to their way of life and to perpetuate their species in a hostile world. If man were less of a materialist and could live closer to the heart of Nature, she would be less reticent in revealing to him her manifold mysteries.

There is much evidence to support the theory that animals are given the ability to prognosticate coming events. Farm animals "act up" before a weather change, and swallows fly high before a storm. And the farmer always looks for cold weather when pigs carry straw. It is not thought that pigs are capable of logical reasoning; therefore it must be concluded that they receive from the Akasa a strong mental impression or a picture of the approaching blizzard.

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