“The clairvoyant can at this stage perceive things which are almost or entirely withheld from the senses. He can, for instance, tell the astral difference between a room full of low or of high-minded people. Not only the physical but also the spiritual atmosphere of a hospital differs from that of a ballroom. A commercial town has a different astral air than a university town. In the initial stages of clairvoyance this perception faculty is but slightly developed. … It will, however, become fully awakened. … The highest achievement of a clairvoyant who has attained the degree of vision described above is that of which the astral counter-effects of animal and human impulses are revealed to him.” ~Rudolf Steiner
A New Perception
If you replace the word “clairvoyant” with “spiritual student” or “spiritual adept” in the above quote, the meaning remains the same, as does it’s truth. Just becoming a spiritual student means that one has started to question the reality of that which most people think is the only reality. It is also true that many who become spiritual students, and most who are candidates for such training, have displayed some limited degree of that New Perception Steiner is talking about.
Perception of Place
Steiner is correct in saying that we can feel different vibes in different places. That ability improves with spiritual training. It is one reason why spiritual gurus tend to avoid crowded places unless it is a crowd of their followers.
Mr. Steiner chose two interesting locations to compare. You might at first think that the hospital would have the higher vibrations as it is a place of healing while the ballroom is a place of frivolous time-wasting. On the other hand, the hospital is also a place where many die and there is much sadness while the ballroom is full of joy and happy thoughts (for the most part).
Sometimes a kind of vibration is so strong, it can stay with a place for years after the events that caused them. Sensitive people still feel the anguish of the suffering when they visit a place like Auschwitz. Yet when visiting the Holy Land, they find that the high frequencies of that area are no longer present.
I have personally experienced this new perception in places on occasion. I felt sad walking by a building that I didn’t know until I got to the other side was a funeral home. And on a SCUBA diving trip, when we did a dive over a shipwreck, I felt uncomfortable in that place and didn’t stay in the water for long.
New Perception Counter Effects
Steiner says that the highest achievement of these students is that in which counter effects are “revealed to him.” Actually, I don’t think it is so much that they are revealed, as that these adepts are able to put such counter-measures into play. Often they do so without being consciously aware of it. It becomes an automatic response, a reflex.
This countering usually isn’t done with places, however, but with individuals. In places the spiritual adept simply shields himself in a psychic shell that helps block the negativity out. With individuals, it is often a more active thing. Specifically, rather than simply block out negative thoughts and emotions, the spiritual adept reflects them back to their originator. So if a person is sending out hateful thoughts, they will go right back to him. If he is trying to weaken other, he will weaken himself instead.
Another way to counter the negative and hateful is to send out the opposite. You don’t even have to be a spiritual adept to do that. Anyone can practice sending out thoughts of peace, love, brotherhood, tolerance, and other positive concepts. This does have an effect, even if it doesn’t always seem so. Those with developed new perception can even charge those thoughts with spiritual energy from the spiritual sun. That will make them strong enough to counter the negative thoughts of a dozen or more.