Theosophical ARTICLES



Reprinted from Original Sources

Volume II

The Theosophy Company

Los Angeles 1981

Three Volume Set: ISBN 0-938998-26-9


  11. GENIUS119
  14. KOSMIC MIND179
  16. A NOTE ON "MEMORY"206
  56. 1890! ON THE NEW YEAR’S MORROW495
  61. FRAGMENTS526


The Science Of The Soul

ETHICS and law are, so far, only in the phases where there are as yet no theories, and barely systems, and even these, based as we find them upon à priori ideas instead of observations, are quite irreconcilable with one another. What remains then outside of physical science? We are told, "Psychology, the Science of the Soul, of the Conscious Self or Ego."

Alas, and thrice alas! Soul, the Self, or Ego, is studied by modern psychology as inductively as a piece of decayed matter by a physicist. Psychology and its mother-plant metaphysics have fared worse than any other sciences. These twin sciences have long been so separated in Europe as to have become in their ignorance mortal enemies. After faring poorly enough at the hands of mediaeval scholasticism they have been liberated therefrom only to fall into modern sophistry. Psychology in its present garb is simply a mask covering a ghastly, grimacing skeleton’s head, a deadly and beautiful upas flower growing in a soil of most hopeless materialism. "Thought is to the psychologist metamorphosed sensation, and man a helpless automaton, wire-pulled by heredity and environment"—writes a half-disgusted hylo-idealist, now happily a Theosophist. "And yet men like Huxley preach this man automatism and morality in the same breath. . . . Monists1 to a man, annihilationists who would stamp out intuition with iron heel, if they could." . . . Those are our modern western psychologists!

Everyone sees that metaphysics instead of being a science of first principles has now broken up into a number of more or less materialistic schools of every shade and color, from Schopenhauer’s pessimism down to agnosticism, monism, idealism, hylo-idealism, and

1 Monism is a word which admits of more than one interpretation. The "monism" of Lewes, Bain and others, which endeavors so vainly to compress all mental and material phenomena into the unity of One Substance, is in no way the transcendental monism of esoteric philosophy. The current "Single-Substance Theory" of mind and matter necessarily involves the doctrine of annihilation, and is hence untrue. Occultism, on the other hand, recognizes that in the ultimate analysis even the Logos and Mûlaprakriti are one; and that there is but One Reality behind the Mâyâ of the universe. But in the manvantaric circuit, in the realm of manifested being, the Logos (spirit), and Mûlaprakriti (matter or its noumenon), are the dual contrasted poles or bases of all phenomena—subjective and objective. The duality of spirit and matter is a fact, so long as the Great Manvantara lasts. Beyond that looms the darkness of the "Great Unknown," the one Parabrahman.


every "ism" with the exception of psychism—not to speak of true psychology. What Mr. Huxley said of Positivism, namely that it was Roman Catholicism minus Christianity, ought to be paraphrased and applied to our modern psychological philosophy. It is psychology, minus soul; psyche being dragged down to mere sensation; a solar system minus a sun; Hamlet with the Prince of Denmark not entirely cast out of the play, but in some vague way suspected of being probably somewhere behind the scenes.

When a humble David seeks to conquer the enemy it is not the small fry of their army whom he attacks, but Goliath, their great leader. Thus it is one of Mr. Herbert Spencer’s statements which, at the risk of repetition, must be analyzed to prove the accusation here adduced. It is thus that "the greatest philosopher of the nineteenth century" speaks:

"The mental state in which self is known implies, like every other mental act, a perceiving subject and a perceived object. If then the object perceived is self, what is the subject that perceives? or if it is the true self which thinks, what other self can it be that is thought of?2 Clearly a true cognition of self implies a self in which the knowing and the known are one—in which subject and object are one; and this Mr. Mansel rightly holds to be the annihilation of both! So that the personality of which each is conscious, and of which the existence is to each a fact beyond all others the most certain, is yet a thing which cannot truly be known at all; the knowledge of it is forbidden by the very nature of thought."3

The italics are ours to show the point under discussion. Does this not remind one of an argument in favor of the undulatory theory, namely, that "the meeting of two rays whose waves interlock produces darkness." For Mr. Mansel’s assertion that when self thinks of self, and is simultaneously the subject and object, it is "the annihilation of both"—means just this, and the psychological argument is therefore placed on the same basis as the physical phenomenon of light waves. Moreover, Mr. Herbert Spencer confessing that Mr. Mansel is right and basing thereupon his conclusion that the knowledge of self or soul is thus "forbidden by the very nature of thought"

2 The Higher Self or Buddhi-Manas, which in the act of self-analysis or highest abstract thinking, partially reveals its presence and holds the subservient brain-consciousness in review.

3 First Principles, pp. 65, 66.


is a proof that the "father of modern psychology" (in England) proceeds on no better psychological principles than Messrs. Huxley or Tyndall have done.4

We do not contemplate in the least the impertinence of criticizing such a giant of thought as Mr. H. Spencer is rightly considered to be by his friends and admirers. We mention this simply to prove our point and show modern psychology to be a misnomer, even though it is claimed that Mr. Spencer has "reached conclusions of great generality and truth, regarding all that can be known of man." We have one determined object in view, and we will not deviate from the straight line, and our object is to show that occultism and its philosophy have not the least chance of being even understood, still less accepted in this century, and by the present generations of men of science. We would fain impress on the minds of our Theosophists and mystics that to search for sympathy and recognition in the region of "science" is to court defeat. Psychology seemed a natural ally at first, and now having examined it, we come to the conclusion that it is a suggestio falsi and no more. It is as misleading a term, as taught at present, as that of the Antarctic Pole with its ever arid and barren frigid zone, called southern merely from geographical considerations.

For the modern psychologist, dealing as he does only with the superficial brain-consciousness, is in truth more hopelessly materialistic than all-denying materialism itself, the latter, at any rate, being more honest and sincere. Materialism shows no pretensions to fathom human thought, least of all the human spirit-soul, which it deliberately and coolly but sincerely denies and throws altogether out of its catalogue. But the psychologist devotes to soul his whole time and leisure. He is ever boring artesian wells into the very depths of human consciousness. The materialist or the frank atheist is content to make of himself, as Jeremy Collier puts it, "a very despicable mortal . . . no better than a heap of organized dust, a talking machine, a speaking head without a soul in it . . . whose thoughts are bound by the law of motion." But the psychologist is not even a mortal, or even a man; he is a mere aggregate of sensa-

4 We do not even notice some very pointed criticisms in which it is shown that Mr. Spencer’s postulate that "consciousness cannot be in two distinct states at the same time," is flatly contradicted by himself when he affirms that it is possible for us to be conscious of more states than one. "To be known as unlike," he says, "conscious states must be known in succession" (see The Philosophy of Mr. H. Spencer Examined, by James Iverach, M.A.).


tions.5 The universe and all in it is only an aggregate of grouped sensations, or "an integration of sensations." It is all relations of subject and object, relations of universal and individual, of absolute and finite. But when it comes to dealing with the problems of the origin of space and time, and to the summing-up of all those inter- and co-relations of ideas and matter, of ego and non-ego, then all the proof vouchsafed to an opponent is the contemptuous epithet of "ontologist." After which modern psychology having demolished the object of its sensation in the person of the contradictor, turns round against itself and commits hari-kari by showing sensation itself to be no better than hallucination.

This is even more hopeless for the cause of truth than the harmless paradoxes of the materialistic automatists. The assertion that "the physical processes in the brain are complete in themselves" concerns after all only the registrative function of the material brain; and unable to explain satisfactorily psychic processes thereby, the automatists are thus harmless to do permanent mischief. But the psychologists, into whose hands the science of soul has now so unfortunately fallen, can do great harm, inasmuch as they pretend to be earnest seekers after truth, and remain withal content to represent Coleridge’s "Owlet," which—

Sailing on obscene wings across the noon,
Drops his blue-fringed lids, and shuts them close,
And, hooting at the glorious sun in heaven,
Cries out, "Where is it?" . . .
—and who more blind than he who does not want to see?

We have sought far and wide for scientific corroboration as to the question of spirit, and spirit alone (in its septenary aspect) being the cause of consciousness and thought, as taught in esoteric philosophy. We have found both physical and psychical sciences denying the fact point-blank, and maintaining their two contradictory and clashing theories. The former, moreover, in its latest development is half inclined to believe itself quite transcendental owing to the latest departure from the too brutal teachings of the Büchners and Moleschotts. But when one comes to analyze the difference be-

5 According to John Stuart Mill neither the so-called objective universe nor the domain of mind—object, subject—corresponds with any absolute reality beyond "sensation." Objects, the whole paraphernalia of sense, are "sensation objectively viewed," and mental states "sensation subjectively viewed." The "Ego" is as entire an illusion as matter; the One Reality, groups of feelings bound together by the rigid laws of association.


tween the two, it appears so imperceptible that they almost merge into one.

Indeed, the champions of science now say that the belief that sensation and thought are but movements of matter—Büchner’s and Moleschott’s theory—is, as a well-known English annihilationist remarks, "unworthy of the name of philosophy." Not one man of science of any eminence, we are indignantly told, neither Tyndall, Huxley, Maudsley, Bain, Clifford, Spencer, Lewes, Virchow, Haeckel nor Du Bois Raymond has ever gone so far as to say that "thought is a molecular motion, but that it is the concomitant (not the cause as believers in a soul maintain) of certain physical processes in the brain." . . . They never—the true scientists as opposed to the false, the sciolists—the monists as opposed to the materialists—say that thought and nervous motion are the same, but that they are the "subjective and objective faces of the same thing."

Now it may be due to a defective training which has not enabled us to frame ideas on a subject other than those which answer to the words in which it is expressed, but we plead guilty to seeing no such marked difference between Büchner’s and the new monistic theories. "Thought is not a motion of molecules, but it is the concomitant of certain physical processes in the brain." Now what is a concomitant, and what is a process? A concomitant, according to the best definitions, is a thing that accompanies, or is collaterally connected with another—a concurrent and simultaneous companion. A process is an act of proceeding, an advance or motion, whether temporary or continuous, or a series of motions. Thus the concomitant of physical processes, being naturally a bird of the same feather, whether subjective or objective, and being due to motion, which both monists and materialists say is physical—what difference is there between their definition and that of Büchner, except perhaps that it is in words a little more scientifically expressed?

Three scientific views are laid before us with regard to changes in thought by present-day philosophers:

Postulate. "Every mental change is signalized by a molecular change in the brain substance." To this:

  1. Materialism says: the mental changes are caused by the molecular changes.
  2. Spiritualism (believers in a soul): the molecular changes are caused by the mental changes. [Thought acts on the brain matter
  1. through the medium of Fohat focussed through one of the principles.]
  2. Monism: there is no causal relation between the two sets of phenomena; the mental and the physical being the two sides of the same thing [a verbal evasion].

To this occultism replies that the first view is out of court entirely. It would enquire of No. 2: And what is it that presides so judicially over the mental changes? What is the noumenon of those mental phenomena which make up the external consciousness of the physical man? What is it which we recognize as the terrestrial "self" and which— monists and materialists nothwithstanding—does control and regulate the flow of its own mental states. No occultist would for a moment deny that the materialistic theory as to the relations of mind and brain is in its way expressive of the truth that the superficial brain-consciousness or "phenomenal self" is bound up for all practical purposes with the integrity of the cerebral matter. This brain-consciousness or personality is mortal, being but a distorted reflection through a physical basis of the mânasic self. It is an instrument for harvesting experience for the Buddhi-Manas or monad, and saturating it with the aroma of consciously-acquired experience. But for all that the "brain-self" is real while it lasts, and weaves its Karma as a responsible entity. Esoterically explained it is the consciousness inhering in that lower portion of the Manas which is correlated with the physical brain.

Lucifer, October, 1896



". . . I made man just and right,
Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall,
Such I created all th’ ethereal powers
And spirits, both them who stood and them who fail’d,
Truly, they stood who stood, and fell who fell . . ." —MILTON

". . . The assumption that the mind is a real being, which can be acted upon by the brain and which can act on the body through the brain, is the only one compatible with all the facts of experience."—GEORGE T. LADD, in the Elements of Physiological Psychology.

A NEW influence, a breath, a sound—"as of a rushing mighty wind"—has suddenly swept over a few Theosophical heads. An idea, vague at first, grew in time into a very definite form, and now seems to be working very busily in the minds of some of our members. It is this: if we would make converts the few ex-occult teachings, which are destined to see the light of publicity, should be made, henceforward, more subservient to, if not entirely at one with modern science. It is urged that the so-called esoteric1 (or late esoteric) cosmogony, anthropology, ethnology, geology—psychology and, foremost of all, metaphysics—having been adapted into making obeisance to modern (hence materialistic) thought, should never henceforth be allowed to contradict (not openly, at all events) "scientific philosophy." The latter, we suppose, means the fundamental and accepted views of the great German schools, or of Mr. Herbert Spencer and some other English stars of lesser magnitude; and not only these, but also the deductions that may be drawn from them by their more or less instructed disciples.

A large undertaking this, truly; and one, moreover, in perfect conformity with the policy of the medieval Casuists, who distorted truth and even suppressed it, if it clashed with divine Revelation. Useless to say that we decline the compromise. It is quite possible—nay, probable and almost unavoidable—that "the mistakes made" in the rendering of such abstruse metaphysical tenets as those contained in

1 We say "so-called," because nothing of what has been given out publicly or in print can any longer be termed esoteric.


Eastern Occultism, should be "frequent and often important." But then all such have to be traced back to the interpreters, not to the system itself. They have to be corrected on the authority of the same Doctrine, checked by the teachings grown on the rich and steady soil of Gupta Vidya, not by the speculations that blossom forth today, to die tomorrow—on the shifting sands of modern scientific guesswork, especially in all that relates to psychology and mental phenomena. Holding to our motto, "There is no religion higher than truth," we refuse most decidedly to pander to physical science. Yet, we may say this: If the so-called exact sciences limited their activity only to the physical realm of nature; if they concerned themselves strictly with surgery, chemistry—up to its legitimate boundaries, and with physiology—so far as the latter relates to the structure of our corporeal frame, then the Occultists would be the first to seek help in modern sciences, however many their blunders and mistakes. But once that overstepping material Nature the physiologists of the modern "animalistic"2 school pretend to meddle with, and deliver ex cathedrâ dicta on, the higher functions and phenomena of the mind, saying that a careful analysis brings them to a firm conviction that no more than the animal is man a free-agent, far less a responsible one—then the Occultist has a far greater right than the average modern "Idealist" to protest. And the Occultist asserts that no materialist—a prejudiced and one-sided witness at best—can claim any authority in the question of mental physiology, or that which is now called by him the physiology of the soul. No such noun can be applied to the word "soul," unless, indeed, by soul only the lower, psychic mind is meant, or that which develops in man (proportionally with the perfection of his brain) into intellect, and in the animal into a higher instinct. But since the great Charles Darwin taught that "our ideas are animal motions of the organ of sense" everything becomes possible to the modern physiologist.

Thus, to the great distress of our scientifically inclined Fellows, it is once more Lucifer's duty to show how far we are at loggerheads

2 "Animalism" is quite an appropriate word to use (whoever invented it) as a contrast to Mr. Tylor’s term "animism," which he applied to all the "Lower Races" of mankind who believe the soul a distinct entity. He finds that the words psyche, pneuma, animus, spiritus, etc., all belong to the same cycle of superstition in "the lower stages of culture," Professor A. Bain dubbing all these distinctions, moreover, as a "plurality of souls" and a "double materialism." This is the more curious as the learned author of "Mind and Body" speaks as disparagingly of Darwin’s "materialism" in Zoonomia, wherein the founder of modern Evolution defines the word idea as "contracting a motion, or configuration of the fibres which constitute the immediate organ of Sense" (Mind and Body, p. 190. Note).


with exact science, or shall we say, how far the conclusions of that science are drifting away from truth and fact. By "science" we mean, of course, the majority of the men of science; the best minority, we are happy to say, is on our side, at least as far as free-will in man and the immateriality of the mind are concerned. The study of the "Physiology" of the Soul, of the Will in man and of his higher Consciousness from the standpoint of genius and its manifesting faculties, can never be summarized into a system of general ideas represented by brief formulae; no more than the psychology of material nature can have its manifold mysteries solved by the mere analysis of its physical phenomena. There is no special organ of will, any more than there is a physical basis for the activities of self-consciousness.

"If the question is pressed as to the physical basis for the activities of self-consciousness, no answer can be given or suggested. . . . From its very nature, that marvelous verifying actus of mind in which it recognizes the states as its own, can have no analogous or corresponding material substratum. It is impossible to specify any physiological process representing this unifying actus; it is even impossible to imagine how the description of any such process could be brought into intelligible relation with this unique mental power."3

Thus, the whole conclave of psycho-physiologists may be challenged to correctly define Consciousness, and they are sure to fail, because Self-consciousness belongs alone to man and proceeds from the SELF, the higher Manas. Only, whereas the psychic element (or Kama-manas)4 is common to both the animal and the human being—the far higher degree of its development in the latter resting merely on the greater perfection and sensitiveness of his cerebral cells—no physiologist, not even the cleverest, will ever be able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation, or in its dual aspect of the psychic and the noëtic (or the manasic),5 or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely material plane—unless he knows something of, and is prepared to admit the presence of this dual element. This means that he would have to admit a lower (animal), and a higher (or divine) mind in man, or what is known in Occultism as the "personal" and the "imper-

3 Physiological Psychology, etc., p. 545, by George T. Ladd, Professor of Philosophy in Yale University.

4 Or what the Kabalists call Nephesh, the "breath of life."

5 The Sanskrit word Manas (Mind) is used by us in preference to the Greek Nous (noëtic) because the latter word having been so imperfectly understood in philosophy, suggests no definite meaning.


sonal" Egos. For, between the psychic and the noëtic, between the personality and the individuality, there exists the same abyss as between a "Jack the Ripper," and a holy Buddha. Unless the physiologist accepts all this, we say, he will ever be led into a quagmire. We intend to prove it.

As all know, the great majority of our learned "Didymi" reject the idea of free-will. Now this question is a problem that has occupied the minds of thinkers for ages; every school of thought having taken it up in turn and left it as far from solution as ever. And yet, placed as it is in the foremost ranks of philosophical quandaries, the modern "psycho-physiologists" claim in the coolest and most bumptious way to have cut the Gordian knot for ever. For them the feeling of personal free agency is an error, an illusion, "the collective hallucination of mankind." This conviction starts from the principle that no mental activity is possible without a brain, and that there can be no brain without a body. As the latter is, moreover, subject to the general laws of a material world where all is based on necessity, and where there is no spontaneity, our modern psycho-physiologist has nolens volens to repudiate any self-spontaneity in human action. Here we have, for instance, a Lausanne professor of physiology, A. A. Herzen, to whom the claim of free-will in man appears as the most unscientific absurdity. Says this oracle:—

"In the boundless physical and chemical laboratory that surrounds man, organic life represents quite an unimportant group of phenomena; and amongst the latter, the place occupied by life having reached to the stage of consciousness, is so minute that it is absurd to exclude man from the sphere of action of a general law, in order to allow in him the existence of a subjective spontaneity or a free will standing outside of that law"—(Psychophysiologie Générale.)

For the Occultist who knows the difference between the psychic and the noëtic elements in man, this is pure trash, notwithstanding its sound scientific basis. For when the author puts the question—if psychic phenomena do not represent the results of an action of a molecular character whither then does motion disappear after reaching the sensory centers?—we answer that we never denied the fact. But what has this to do with a free-will? That every phenomenon in the visible Universe has its genesis in motion, is an old axiom in Occultism; nor do we doubt that the psycho-physiologist would place himself at logger-heads with the whole conclave of exact scientists were he to allow the idea that at a given moment a whole series of


physical phenomena may disappear in the vacuum. Therefore, when the author of the work cited maintains that the said force does not disappear upon reaching the highest nervous centers, but that it is forthwith transformed into another series, viz., that of psychic manifestations, into thought, feeling, and consciousness, just as this same psychic force when applied to produce some work of a physical (e.g., muscular) character gets transformed into the latter—Occultism supports him, for it is the first to say that all psychic activity, from its lowest to its highest manifestations is "nothing but—motion."

Yes; it is MOTION; but not all "molecular" motion, as the writer means us to infer. Motion as the GREAT BREATH (vide "Secret Doctrine," vol, i. sub voce)—ergo "sound" at the same time—is the substratum of Kosmic-Motion. It is beginningless and endless, the one eternal life, the basis and genesis of the subjective and the objective universe; for LIFE (or Be-ness) is the fons et origo of existence or being. But molecular motion is the lowest and most material of its finite manifestations. And if the general law of the conservation of energy leads modern science to the conclusion that psychic activity only represents a special form of motion, this same law, guiding the Occultists, leads them also to the same conviction—and to something else besides, which psycho-physiology leaves entirely out of all consideration. If the latter has discovered only in this century that psychic (we say even spiritual) action is subject to the same general and immutable laws of motion as any other phenomenon manifested in the objective realm of Kosmos, and that in both the organic and the inorganic (?) worlds every manifestation, whether conscious or unconscious, represents but the result of a collectivity of causes, then in Occult philosophy this represents merely the A,B,C, of its science. "All the world is in the Swara; Swara is the Spirit itself"—the ONE LIFE or motion, say the old books of Hindu Occult philosophy. "The proper translation of the word Swara is the current of the life wave," says the author of "Nature’s Finer Forces,"6 and he goes on to explain:

6 The Theosophist, Feb. 1888, p. 275, by Rama Prasad, President of the Meerut Theosophical Society. As the Occult book cited by him says: "It is the Swara that has given form to the first accumulations of the divisions of the universe; the Swara causes evolution and involution; the Swara is God, or more properly the Great Power itself (Maheshwara). The Swara is the manifestation of the impression on matter of that power which in man is known to us as the power which knows itself (mental and psychic consciousness). It is to be understood that the action of this power never ceases. It is unchangeable existence"—and this is the "Motion" of the Scientists and the universal Breath of Life of the Occultists.


"It is that wavy motion which is the cause of the evolution of cosmic undifferentiated matter into the differentiated universe. . . . From whence does this motion come? This motion is the spirit itself. The word atma (universal soul) used in the book (vide infra), itself carries the idea of eternal motion, coming as it does from the root, AT, or eternal motion; and it may be significantly remarked, that the root AT is connected with, is in fact simply another form of, the roots AH, breath, and AS, being. All these roots have for their origin the sound produced by the breath of animals (living beings). . . . The primeval current of the life-wave is then the same which assumes in man the form of inspiratory and expiratory motion of the lungs, and this is the all-pervading source of the evolution and involution of the universe. . . ."

So much about motion and the "conservation of energy" from old books on magic written and taught ages before the birth of inductive and exact modern science. For what does the latter say more than these books in speaking, for instance, about animal mechanism, when it says:—

"From the visible atom to the celestial body lost in space, everything is subject to motion . . . kept at a definite distance one from the other, in proportion to the motion which animates them, the molecules present constant relations, which they lose only by the addition or the subtraction of a certain quantity of motion."7

But Occultism says more than this. While making of motion on the material plane and of the conservation of energy, two fundamental laws, or rather two aspects of the same omnipresent law—Swara, it denies point blank that these have anything to do with the free-will of man which belongs to quite a different plane. The author of "Psychophysiologie Générale," treating of his discovery that psychic action is but motion, and the result of a collectivity of causes—remarks that as it is so, there cannot be any further discussion upon spontaneity—in the sense of any native internal proneness created by the human organism; and adds that the above puts an end to all claim for free-will ! The Occultist denies the conclusion. The actual fact of man’s psychic (we say manasic or noëtic) individuality is a sufficient warrant against the assumption; for in the case of this conclusion being correct, or being indeed, as the author expresses it, the collective hallucination of the whole mankind throughout the ages, there would be an end also to psychic individuality.

Now by "psychic" individuality we mean that self-determining power which enables man to override circumstances. Place half a

7 "Animal Mechanism," a treatise on terrestrial and aerial locomotion. By E. J. Marey, Prof, at the College of France, and Member of the Academy of Medicine.


dozen animals of the same species under the same circumstances, and their actions while not identical, will be closely similar; place half a dozen men under the same circumstances and their actions will be as different as their characters, i.e., their psychic individuality.

But if instead of "psychic" we call it the higher Self-conscious Will, then having been shown by the science of psycho-physiology itself that will has no special organ, how will the materialists connect it with "molecular" motion at all? As Professor George T. Ladd says:

"The phenomena of human consciousness must be regarded as activities of some other form of Real Being than the moving molecules of the brain. They require a subject or ground which is in its nature unlike the phosphorized fats of the central masses, the aggregated nerve-fibres of nerve-cells of the cerebral cortex. This Real Being thus manifested immediately to itself in the phenomena of consciousness, and indirectly to others through the bodily changes, is the Mind (manas). To it the mental phenomena are to be attributed as showing what it is by what it does. The so-called mental ‘faculties’ are only the modes of the behavior in consciousness of this real being. We actually find, by the only method available, that this real being called Mind believes in certain perpetually recurring modes: therefore, we attribute to it certain faculties. . . . Mental faculties are not entities that have an existence of themselves. . . . They are the modes of the behaviour in consciousness of the mind. And the very nature of the classifying acts which lead to their being distinguished, is explicable only upon the assumption that a Real being called Mind exists, and is to be distinguished from the real beings known as the physical molecules of the brain’s nervous mass."8

And having shown that we have to regard consciousness as a unit (another occult proposition) the author adds:

"We conclude, then, from the previous considerations: the subject of all the states of consciousness is a real unit-being, called Mind; which is of non-material nature, and acts and develops according to laws of its own, but is specially correlated with certain material molecules and masses forming the substance of the Brain."9

This "Mind" is manas, or rather its lower reflection, which whenever it disconnects itself, for the time being, with kama, becomes the guide of the highest mental faculties, and is the organ of the free-will in physical man. Therefore, this assumption of the newest psychophysiology is uncalled for, and the apparent impossibility of recon-

8 "The higher manas" or "Ego" (Kshetrajna) is the "Silent Spectator," and the voluntary "sacrificial victim": the lower manas, its representative—a tyrannical despot, truly.

9 Elements of Physiological Psychology. A treatise of the activities and nature of the mind, from the Physical and Experimental Point of View, pp. 606 and 613.


ciling the existence of free-will with the law of the conservation of energy is—a pure fallacy. This was well shown in the "Scientific Letters" of "Elpay" in a criticism of the work. But to prove it finally and set the whole question definitely at rest, does not even require so high an interference (high for us, at any rate) as the Occult laws, but simply a little common sense. Let us analyze the question dispassionately.

It is postulated by one man, presumably a scientist, that because "psychic action is found subject to the general and immutable laws of motion, there is, therefore, no free will in man" The "analytical method of exact sciences" has demonstrated it, and materialistic scientists have decreed to "pass the resolution" that the fact should be so accepted by their followers. But there are other and far greater scientists who thought differently. For instance, Sir William Lawrence, the eminent surgeon, declared in his lectures10 that:—

The philosophical doctrine of the soul, and its separate existence, has nothing to do with this physiological question, but rests on a species of proof altogether different. These sublime dogmas could never have been brought to light by the labours of the anatomist and physiologist. An immaterial and spiritual being could not have been discovered amid the blood and filth of the dissecting room.

Now, let us examine on the testimony of the materialist how this universal solvent called the "analytical method" is applied in this special case. The author of the Psychophysiologie decomposes psychic activity into its compound elements, traces them back to motion, and, failing to find in them the slightest trace of free-will or spontaneity, jumps at the conclusion that the latter have no existence in general; nor are they to be found in that psychic activity which he has just decomposed. "Are not the fallacy and error of such an unscientific proceeding self-evident?" asks his critic; and then argues very correctly that:—

"At this rate, and starting from the standpoint of this analytical method, one would have an equal right to deny every phenomenon in nature from first to last. For, do not sound and light, heat and electricity, like all other chemical processes, once decomposed into their respective elements, lead the experimenter back to the same motion, wherein all the peculiarities of the given elements disappear leaving behind them only ‘the vibrations of molecules’? But does it necessarily follow that for all that, heat, light, electricity—are but illusions instead of the actual mani-

10 W. Lawrence, Lectures on Comparative Anatomy, Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural History of Man. 8vo. London, 1848, p. 6.


festations of the peculiarities of our real world? Such peculiarities are not, of course, to be found in compound elements, simply because we cannot expect that a part should contain, from first to last, the properties of the whole. What should we say of a chemist, who, having decomposed water into its compounds, hydrogen and oxygen, without finding in them the special characteristics of water, would maintain that such did not exist at all nor could they be found in water? What of an antiquary who upon examining distributed type and finding no sense in every separate letter, should assert that there was no such thing as sense to be found in any printed document? And does not the author of "Psycho-physiology" act just in this way when he denies the existence of free-will or self-spontaneity in man, on the grounds that this distinctive faculty of the highest psychic activity is absent from those compounded elements which he has analysed?"

Most undeniably no separate piece of brick, of wood, or iron, each of which has once been a part of a building now in ruins, can be expected to preserve the smallest trace of the architecture of that building—in the hands of the chemist, at any rate; though it would in those of a psychometer, a faculty by the bye, which demonstrates far more powerfully the law of the conservation of energy than any physical science does, and shows it acting as much in the subjective or psychic worlds as on the objective and material planes. The genesis of sound, on this plane, has to be traced back to the same motion, and the same correlation of forces is at play during the phenomenon as in the case of every other manifestation. Shall the physicist, then, who decomposes sound into its compound element of vibrations and fails to find in them any harmony or special melody, deny the existence of the latter? And does not this prove that the analytical method having to deal exclusively with the elements, and nothing to do with their combinations, leads the physicist to talk very glibly about motion, vibration, and what not, and to make him entirely lose sight of the harmony produced by certain combinations of that motion or the "harmony of vibrations"? Criticism, then, is right in accusing Materialistic psycho-physiology of neglecting these all-important distinctions; in maintaining that if a careful observation of facts is a duty in the simplest physical phenomena, how much more should it be so when applied to such complex and important questions as psychic force and faculties? And yet in most cases all such essential differences are overlooked, and the analytical method is applied in a most arbitrary and prejudiced way. What wonder, then, if, in carrying back psychic action to its basic elements of motion, the psycho-


physiologist depriving it during the process of all its essential characteristics, should destroy it; and having destroyed it, it only stands to reason that he is unable to find that which exists in it no longer. He forgets, in short, or rather purposely ignores the fact, that though, like all other phenomena on the material plane, psychic manifestations must be related in their final analysis to the world of vibration ("sound" being the substratum of universal Akasa), yet, in their origin, they belong to a different and a higher World of HARMONY. Elpay has a few severe sentences against the assumptions of those he calls "physico-biologists" which are worthy of note.

Unconscious of their error, the psycho-physiologists identify the compound elements of psychic activity with that activity itself: hence the conclusion from the standpoint of the analytical method, that the highest, distinctive specialty of the human soul—free-will, spontaneity—is an illusion, and no psychic reality. But as we have just shown, such identification not only has nothing in common with exact science, but is simply impermissible, as it clashes with all the fundamental laws of logic, in consequence of which all these so-called physico-biological deductions emanating from the said identification vanish into thin air. Thus to trace psychic action primarily to motion, means in no way to prove the "illusion of free-will." And, as in the case of water, whose specific qualities cannot be deprived of their reality although they are not to be found in its compound gases, so with regard to the specific property of psychic action: its spontaneity cannot be refused to psychic reality, though this property is not contained in those finite elements into which the psycho-physiologist dismembers the activity in question under his mental scalpel.

This method is "a distinctive feature of modern science in its endeavor to satisfy inquiry into the nature of the objects of its investigation by a detailed description of their development," says G. T. Ladd. And the author of The Elements of Physiological Psychology adds:—

The universal process of "Becoming" has been almost personified and deified so as to make it the true ground of all finite and concrete existence. . . . The attempt is made to refer all the so-called development of the mind to the evolution of the substance of the brain, under purely physical and mechanical causes. This attempt, then, denies that any real unit-being called the Mind needs to be assumed as undergoing a process of development according to laws of its own. . . . On the other hand, all attempts to account for the orderly increase in complexity and comprehensiveness of the mental phenomena by tracing the physical


evolution of the brain are wholly unsatisfactory to many minds. We have no hesitation in classing ourselves among this number. Those facts of experience which show a correspondence in the order of the development of the body and the mind, and even a certain necessary dependence of the latter upon the former, are, of course, to be admitted; but they are equally compatible with another view of the mind’s development. This other view has the additional advantages that it makes room for many other facts of experience which are very difficult of reconciliation with any materialistic theory. On the whole, the history of each individual’s experiences is such as requires the assumption that a real unit-being (a Mind) is undergoing a process of development, in relation to the changing condition or evolution of the brain, and yet in accordance with a nature and laws of its own" (p. 616).

How closely this last "assumption" of science approaches the teachings of the Occult philosophy will be shown in Part II of this article. Meanwhile, we may close with an answer to the latest materialistic fallacy, which may be summarized in a few words. As every psychic action has for its substratum the nervous elements whose existence it postulates, and outside which it cannot act; as the activity of the nervous elements are only molecular motion, there is therefore no need to invent a special and psychic Force for the explanation of our brain work. Free Will would force Science to postulate an invisible Free-Willer, a creator of that special Force.

We agree: "not the slightest need," of a creator of "that special" or any other Force. Nor has any one ever claimed such an absurdity. But between creating and guiding, there is a difference, and the latter implies in no way any creation of the energy of motion, or, indeed, of any special energy. Psychic mind (in contradistinction to manasic or noëtic mind) only transforms this energy of the "unit-being" according to "a nature and laws of its own"—to use Ladd’s felicitous expression. The "unit-being" creates nothing, but only causes a natural correlation in accordance with both the physical laws and laws of its own; having to use the Force, it guides its direction, choosing the paths along which it will proceed, and stimulating it to action. And, as its activity is sui generis, and independent, it carries this energy from this world of disharmony into its own sphere of harmony. Were it not independent it could not do so. As it is, the freedom of man’s will is beyond doubt or cavil. Therefore, as already observed, there is no question of creation, but simply of guidance. Because the sailor at the wheel does not create the steam in the engine, shall we say that he does not direct the vessel?


And, because we refuse to accept the fallacies of some psycho-physiologists as the last word of science, do we furnish thereby a new proof that free-will is an hallucination? We deride the animalistic idea. How far more scientific and logical, besides being as poetical as it is grand, is the teaching in the Kathopanishad, which, in a beautiful and descriptive metaphor, says that: "The senses are the horses, body is the chariot, mind (kama-manas) is the reins, and intellect (or free-will) the charioteer." Verily, there is more exact science in the less important of the Upanishads, composed thousands of years ago, than in all the materialistic ravings of modern "physico-biology" and "psychophysiology" put together!


". . . The knowledge of the past, present, and future, is embodied in Kshetrajna (the Self)."
Occult Axioms

Having explained in what particulars, and why, as Occultists, we disagree with materialistic physiological psychology, we may now proceed to point out the difference between psychic and noëtic mental functions, the noëtic not being recognized by official science.

Moreover, we, Theosophists, understand the terms "psychic" and "psychism" somewhat differently from the average public, science, and even theology, the latter giving it a significance which both science and Theosophy reject, and the public in general remaining with a very hazy conception of what is really meant by the terms. For many, there is little, if any, difference between "psychic" and "psychological," both words relating in some way to the human soul. Some modern metaphysicians have wisely agreed to disconnect the word Mind (pneuma) from Soul (psyche), the one being the rational, spiritual part, the other—psyche—the living principle in man, the breath that animates him (from anima, soul). Yet, if this is so, how in this case refuse a soul to animals? These are, no less than man, informed with the same principle of sentient life, the nephesh of the 2nd chapter of Genesis. The Soul is by no means the Mind, nor can an idiot, bereft of the latter, be called a "soul-less" being. To describe, as the physiologists do, the human Soul in its relations to senses and appetites, desires and passions, common to man and the brute, and then endow it with God-like intellect, with spiritual and


rational faculties which can take their source but in a supersensible world—is to throw for ever the veil of an impenetrable mystery over the subject. Yet in modern science, "psychology" and "psychism" relate only to conditions of the nervous system, mental phenomena being traced solely to molecular action. The higher noëtic character of the Mind-Principle is entirely ignored, and even rejected as a "superstition" by both physiologists and psychologists. Psychology, in fact, has become a synonym in many cases for the science of psychiatry. Therefore, students of Theosophy being compelled to differ from all these, have adopted the doctrine that underlies the time-honored philosophies of the East. What it is, may be found further on.

To better understand the foregoing arguments and those which follow, the reader is asked to turn to the editorial in the September Lucifer ("The Dual Aspect of Wisdom," p. 3), and acquaint himself with the double aspect of that which is termed by St. James in his Third Epistle at once—the devilish, terrestrial wisdom, and the "wisdom from above." In another editorial, "Kosmic Mind" (April, 1890), it is also stated, that the ancient Hindus endowed every cell in the human body with consciousness, giving each the name of a God or Goddess. Speaking of atoms in the name of science and philosophy, Professor Ladd calls them in his work "supersensible beings." Occultism regards every atom11 as an "independent entity" and every cell as a "conscious unit." It explains that no sooner do such atoms group to form cells, than the latter become endowed with consciousness, each of its own kind, and with free-will to act within the limits of law. Nor are we entirely deprived of scientific evidence for such statements as the two above-named editorials well prove. More than one learned physiologist of the golden minority, in our own day, moreover, is rapidly coming to the conviction, that memory has no seat, no special organ of its own in the human brain, but that it has seats in every organ of the body.

"No good ground exists for speaking of any special organ, or seat of memory," writes Professor G. T. Ladd.12 "Every organ indeed, every area, and every limit of the nervous system has its own memory" (p. 553 loc. cit.).

The seat of memory, then, is assuredly neither here nor there, but everywhere throughout the human body. To locate its organ in the

11 One of the names of Brahmâ is anu or "atom."

12 Professor of Philosophy at Yale University.


brain is to limit and dwarf the Universal Mind and its countless Rays (the Manasa putra) which inform every rational mortal. As we write for Theosophists, first of all, we care little for the psychophobian prejudices of the Materialists who may read this and sniff contemptuously at the mention of "Universal Mind" and the Higher noëtic souls of men. But, what is memory, we ask. "Both presentation of sense and image of memory, are transitory phases of consciousness," we are answered. But what is Consciousness itself?—we ask again. "We cannot define Consciousness," Professor Ladd tells us.13 Thus, that which we are asked to do by physiological psychology is, to content ourselves with controverting the various states of Consciousness by other people’s private and unverifiable, hypotheses; and this, on "questions of cerebral physiology where experts and novices are alike ignorant," to use the pointed remark of the said author. Hypothesis for hypothesis, then, we may as well hold to the teachings of our Seers, as to the conjectures of those who deny both such Seers and their wisdom. The more so, as we are told by the same honest man of science, that "if metaphysics and ethics cannot properly dictate their facts and conclusions to the science of physiological psychology

. . . in turn this science cannot properly dictate to metaphysics and ethics the conclusions which they shall draw from facts of Consciousness, by giving out its myths and fables in the garb of well ascertained history of the cerebral processes" (p. 544).

Now, since the metaphysics of Occult physiology and psychology postulate within mortal man an immortal entity, "divine Mind," or Nous, whose pale and too often distorted reflection is that which we call "Mind" and intellect in men—virtually an entity apart from the former during the period of every incarnation—we say that the two sources of "memory" are in these two "principles." These two we distinguish as the Higher Manas (Mind or Ego), and the Kama-Manas, i.e., the rational, but earthly or physical intellect of man, incased in, and bound by, matter, therefore subject to the influence of the latter: the all-conscious SELF, that which reincarnates periodically— verily the WORD made flesh!—and which is always the same, while its reflected "Double," changing with every new incarnation and personality, is, therefore, conscious but for a life-period. The latter "principle" is the Lower Self, or that, which manifesting through our organic system, acting on this plane of illusion, imagines itself the Ego Sum, and thus falls into what Buddhist philosophy brands as

13 Elements of Physiological Psychology.


the "heresy of separateness." The former, we term INDIVIDUALITY, the latter Personality. From the first proceeds all the noëtic element, from the second, the psychic, i.e., "terrestrial wisdom" at best, as it is influenced by all the chaotic stimuli of the human or rather animal passions of the living body.

The "Higher Ego" cannot act directly on the body, as its consciousness belongs to quite another plane and planes of ideation: the "lower" Self does: and its action and behaviour depend on its free will and choice as to whether it will gravitate more towards its parent ("the Father in Heaven") or the "animal" which it informs, the man of flesh. The "Higher Ego," as part of the essence of the UNIVERSAL MIND, is unconditionally omniscient on its own plane, and only potentially so in our terrestrial sphere, as it has to act solely through its alter ego—the Personal Self. Now, although the former is the vehicle of all knowledge of the past, the present, and the future, and although it is from this fountain-head that its "double" catches occasional glimpses of that which is beyond the senses of man, and transmits them to certain brain cells (unknown to science in their functions), thus making of man a Seer, a soothsayer, and a prophet; yet the memory of bygone events—especially of the earth earthy—has its seat in the Personal Ego alone. No memory of a purely daily-life function, of a physical, egotistical, or of a lower mental nature— such as, e.g., eating and drinking, enjoying personal sensual pleasures, transacting business to the detriment of one’s neighbor, etc., etc., has aught to do with the "Higher" Mind or Ego. Nor has it any direct dealings on this physical plane with either our brain or our heart—for these two are the organs of a power higher than the Personality—but only with our passional organs, such as the liver, the stomach, the spleen, etc. Thus it only stands to reason that the memory of such-like events must be first awakened in that organ which was the first to induce the action remembered afterwards, and conveyed it to our "sense-thought," which is entirely distinct from the "supersensuous" thought. It is only the higher forms of the latter, the superconscious mental experiences, that can correlate with the cerebral and cardiac centres. The memories of physical and selfish (or personal) deeds, on the other hand, together with the mental experiences of a terrestrial nature, and of earthly biological functions, can, of necessity, only be correlated with the molecular constitution of various Kamic organs, and the "dynamical associations" of the elements of the nervous system in each particular organ.


Therefore, when Professor Ladd, after showing that every element of the nervous system has a memory of its own, adds:—"This view belongs to the very essence of every theory which considers conscious mental reproduction as only one form or phase of the biological fact of organic memory"—he must include among such theories the Occult teaching. For no Occultist could express such teaching more correctly than the Professor, who says, in winding up his argument: "We might properly speak, then, of the memory of the end-organ of vision or of hearing, of the memory of the spinal cord and of the different so-called ‘centres’ of reflex action belonging to the chords of the memory of the medulla oblongata, the cerebellum, etc." This is the essence of Occult teaching—even in the Tantra works. Indeed, every organ in our body has its own memory. For if it is endowed with a consciousness "of its own kind," every cell must of necessity have also a memory of its own kind, as likewise its own psychic and noëtic action. Responding to the touch of both a physical and a metaphysical Force,14 the impulse given by the psychic (or psycho-molecular) Force will act from without within; while that of the noëtic (shall we call it Spiritual-dynamical?) Force works from within without. For, as our body is the covering of the inner "principles," soul, mind, life, etc., so the molecule or the cell is the body in which dwell its "principles," the (to our senses and comprehension) immaterial atoms which compose that cell. The cell’s activity and behavior are determined by its being propelled either inwardly or outwardly, by the noëtic or the psychic Force, the former having no relation to the physical cells proper. Therefore, while the latter act under the unavoidable law of the conservation and correlation of physical energy, the atoms—being psycho-spiritual, not physical unitsact under laws of their own, just as Professor Ladd’s "Unit- Being," which is our "Mind-Ego," does, in his very philosophical and scientific hypothesis. Every human organ and each cell in the latter has a keyboard of its own, like that of a piano, only that it registers and emits sensations instead of sounds. Every key contains the potentiality of good or bad, of producing harmony or disharmony. This depends on the impulse given and the combinations produced; on the force of the touch of the artist at work, a "double-faced Unity," indeed. And it is the action of this or the other "Face" of the Unity that determines the nature and the dynamical character

14 We fondly trust this very unscientific term will throw no "Animalist" into hysterics beyond recovery.


of the manifested phenomena as a resulting action, and this whether they be physical or mental. For the whole of man is guided by this double-faced Entity. If the impulse comes from the "Wisdom above," the Force applied being noëtic or spiritual, the results will be actions worthy of the divine propeller; if from the "terrestrial, devilish wisdom" (psychic power), man’s activities will be selfish, based solely on the exigencies of his physical, hence animal, nature. The above may sound to the average reader as pure nonsense; but every Theosophist must understand when told that there are Manasic as well as Kamic organs in him, although the cells of his body answer to both physical and spiritual impulses.

Verily that body, so desecrated by Materialism and man himself, is the temple of the Holy Grail, the Adytum of the grandest, nay, of all, the mysteries of nature in our solar universe. That body is an Æolian harp, chorded with two sets of strings, one made of pure silver, the other of catgut. When the breath from the divine Fiat brushes softly over the former, man becomes like unto his God— but the other set feels it not. It needs the breeze of a strong terrestrial wind, impregnated with animal effluvia, to set its animal chords vibrating. It is the function of the physical, lower mind to act upon the physical organs and their cells; but, it is the higher mind alone which can influence the atoms interacting in those cells, which interaction is alone capable of exciting the brain, viâ the spinal "centre" cord, to a mental representation of spiritual ideas far beyond any objects on this material plane. The phenomena of divine consciousness have to be regarded as activities of our mind on another and a higher plane, working through something less substantial than the moving molecules of the brain. They cannot be explained as the simple resultant of the cerebral physiological process, as indeed the latter only condition them or give them a final form for purposes of concrete manifestation. Occultism teaches that the liver and the spleen-cells are the most subservient to the action of our "personal" mind, the heart being the organ par excellence through which the "Higher" Ego acts—through the Lower Self.

Nor can the visions or memory of purely terrestrial events be transmitted directly through the mental perceptions of the brain—the direct recipient of the impressions of the heart. All such recollections have to be first stimulated by and awakened in the organs which were the originators, as already stated, of the various causes that led to the results, or, the direct recipients and participators of the latter.


In other words, if what is called "association of ideas" has much to do with the awakening of memory, the mutual interaction and consistent interrelation between the personal "Mind-Entity" and the organs of the human body have far more so. A hungry stomach evokes the vision of a past banquet, because its action is reflected and repeated in the personal mind. But even before the memory of the personal Self radiates the vision from the tablets wherein are stored the experiences of one’s daily life—even to the minutest details—the memory of the stomach has already evoked the same. And so with all the organs of the body. It is they which originate according to their animal needs and desires the electro-vital sparks that illuminate the field of consciousness in the Lower Ego; and it is these sparks which in their turn awaken to function the reminiscences in it. The whole human body is, as said, a vast sounding board, in which each cell bears a long record of impressions connected with its parent organ, and each cell has a memory and a consciousness of its kind, or call it instinct if you will. These impressions are, according to the nature of the organ, physical, psychic, or mental, as they relate to this or another plane. They may be called "states of consciousness" only for the want of a better expression—as there are states of instinctual, mental, and purely abstract, or spiritual consciousness. If we trace all such "psychic" actions to brain-work, it is only because in that mansion called the human body the brain is the front-door, and the only one which opens out into Space. All the others are inner doors, openings in the private building, through which travel incessantly the transmitting agents of memory and sensation. The clearness, the vividness, and intensity of these depend on the state of health and the organic soundness of the transmitters. But their reality, in the sense of trueness or correctness, is due to the "principle" they originate from, and the preponderance in the Lower Manas of the noëtic or of the phrenic ("Kamic," terrestrial) element.

For, as Occultism teaches, if the Higher Mind-Entity—the permanent and the immortal—is of the divine homogeneous essence of "Alaya-Akasa,"15 or Mahat,—its reflection, the Personal Mind, is, as a temporary "Principle," of the Substance of the Astral Light. As a pure ray of the "Son of the Universal Mind," it could perform no functions in the body, and would remain powerless over the turbulent organs of Matter. Thus, while its inner constitution is Manasic, its "body," or rather functioning essence, is heterogeneous, and leav-

15 Another name for the universal mind.


ened with the Astral Light, the lowest element of Ether. It is a part of the mission of the Manasic Ray, to get gradually rid of the blind, deceptive element which, though it makes of it an active spiritual entity on this plane, still brings it into so close contact with matter as to entirely becloud its divine nature and stultify its intuitions.

This leads us to see the difference between the pure noëtic and the terrestrial psychic visions of seership and mediumship. The former can be obtained by one of two means;

(a) on the condition of paralyzing at will the memory and the instinctual, independent action of all the material organs and even cells in the body of flesh, an act which, once that the light of the Higher Ego has consumed and subjected for ever the passional nature of the personal, lower Ego, is easy, but requires an adept; and (b) of being a reincarnation of one, who, in a previous birth, had attained through extreme purity of life and efforts in the right direction almost to a Yogi-state of holiness and saintship. There is also a third possibility of reaching in mystic visions the plane of the higher Manas; but it is only occasional and does not depend on the will of the Seer, but on the extreme weakness and exhaustion of the material body through illness and suffering. The Seeress of Prevorst was an instance of the latter case; and Jacob Boëhme of our second category. In all other cases of abnormal seership, of so-called clairaudience, clairvoyance and trances, it is simply—mediumship.

Now what is a medium? The term medium, when not applied simply to things and objects, is supposed to be a person through whom the action of another person or being is either manifested or transmitted. Spiritualists believing in communications with disembodied spirits, and that these can manifest through, or impress sensitives to transmit "messages" from them, regard mediumship as a blessing and a great privilege. We Theosophists, on the other hand, who do not believe in the "communion of spirits" as Spiritualists do, regard the gift as one of the most dangerous of abnormal nervous diseases. A medium is simply one in whose personal Ego, or terrestrial mind, (psuche), the percentage of "astral" light so preponderates as to impregnate with it their whole physical constitution. Every organ and cell thereby is attuned, so to speak, and subjected to an enormous and abnormal tension. The mind is ever on the plane of, and quite immersed in, that deceptive light whose soul is divine, but whose body—the light waves on the lower planes, infernal; for they are but the black and disfigured reflections of the earth’s memories.


The untrained eye of the poor sensitive cannot pierce the dark mist, the dense fog of the terrestrial emanations, to see beyond in the radiant field of the eternal truths. His vision is out of focus. His senses, accustomed from his birth, like those of a native of the London slums, to stench and filth, to the unnatural distortions of sights and images tossed on the kaleidoscopic waves of the astral plane—are unable to discern the true from the false. And thus, the pale soulless corpses moving in the trackless fields of "Kama loka," appear to him the living images of the "dear departed" ones; the broken echoes of once human voices, passing through his mind, suggest to him well coordinated phrases, which he repeats, in ignorance that their final form and polish were received in the innermost depths of his own brain-factory. And hence the sight and the hearing of that which if seen in its true nature would have struck the medium’s heart cold with horror, now fills him with a sense of beatitude and confidence. He really believes that the immeasurable vistas displayed before him are the real spiritual world, the abode of the blessed disembodied angels.

We describe the broad main features and facts of mediumship, there being no room in such an article for exceptional cases. We maintain—having unfortunately passed at one period of life personally through such experiences—that on the whole, mediumship is most dangerous; and psychic experiences when accepted indiscriminately lead only to honestly deceiving others, because the medium is the first self-deceived victim. Moreover, a too close association with the "Old Terrestrial Serpent" is infectious. The odic and magnetic currents of the Astral Light often incite to murder, drunkenness, immorality, and, as Eliphas Lévi expresses it, the not altogether pure natures "can be driven headlong by the blind forces set in motion in the Light"—by the errors and sins imposed on its waves.

And this is how the great Mage of the XIXth century corroborates the foregoing when speaking of the Astral Light:

"We have said that to acquire magical power, two things are necessary: to disengage the will from all servitude, and to exercise it in control.

"The sovereign will (of the adept) is represented in our symbols by the woman who crushes the serpent’s head, and by the resplendent angel who represses the dragon, and holds him under his foot and spear; the great magical agent, the dual current of light, the living and astral fire of the earth, has been represented in the ancient theogonies by the serpent with the head of a bull, a


ram, or a dog. It is the double serpent of the caduceus, it is the Old Serpent of Genesis, but it is also the brazen serpent of Moses entwined around the tau, that is to say, the generative lingha. It is also the goat of the witch-sabbath, and the Baphomet of the Templars; it is the Hylé of the Gnostics; it is the double-tailed serpent which forms the legs of the solar cock of the Abraxas: finally, it is the Devil of M. Eudes de Mirville. But in very fact it is the blind force which souls (i.e., the lower Manas or Nephesh) have to conquer to liberate themselves from the bonds of the earth; for if their will does not free ‘them from this fatal attraction, they will be absorbed in the current by the force which has produced them, and will return to the central and eternal fire’."16

The "central and eternal fire" is that disintegrating Force, that gradually consumes and burns out the Kama-rupa, or "personality," in the Kama-loka, whither it goes after death. And verily, the Mediums are attracted by the astral light, it is the direct cause of their personal "souls" being absorbed "by the force which has produced" their terrestrial elements. And, therefore, as the same Occultist tells us:

"All the magical operations consist in freeing one’s self from the coils of the Ancient Serpent; then to place the foot on its head, and lead it according to the operator’s will. ‘I will give unto thee,’ says the Serpent, in the Gospel myth, ‘all the kingdoms of the earth, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.’ The initiated should reply to him, ‘I will not fall down, but thou shalt crouch at my feet; thou wilt give me nothing, but I will make use of thee and take whatever I wish. For I am thy Lord and Master!’"

And as such, the Personal Ego, becoming at one with its divine parent, shares in the immortality of the latter. Otherwise. . . .

Enough, however. Blessed is he who has acquainted himself with the dual powers at work in the ASTRAL Light; thrice blessed he who has learned to discern the Noëtic from the Psychic action of the "Double-Faced" God in him, and who knows the potency of his own Spirit—or "Soul Dynamics."

Lucifer, October, November, 1890

16 Dogme et Ritual de la Haute Magie, quoted in Isis Unveiled.


No doubt but ye are the people and wisdom
shall die with you.
JOB xii. 2.

But wisdom is justified of her children.
MATTHEW xi. 19.

IT is the privilege—as also occasionally the curse—of editors to receive numerous letters of advice, and the conductors of Lucifer have not escaped the common lot. Reared in the aphorisms of the ages they are aware that "he who can take advice is superior to him who gives it," and are therefore ready to accept with gratitude any sound and practical suggestions offered by friends; but the last letter received does not fulfil the condition. It is not even his own wisdom, but that of the age we live in, which is asserted by our adviser, who thus seriously risks his reputation for keen observation by such acts of devotion on the altar of modern pretensions. It is in defence of the "wisdom" of our century that we are taken to task, and charged with "preferring barbarous antiquity to our modern civilization and its inestimable boons," with forgetting that "our own-day wisdom compared with the awakening instincts of the Past is in no way inferior in philosophic wisdom even to the age of Plato." We are lastly told that we, Theosophists, are "too fond of the dim yesterday, and as unjust to our glorious (?) present-day, the bright noon-hour of the highest civilization and culture"!!

Well, all this is a question of taste. Our correspondent is welcome to his own views, but so are we to ours. Let him imagine that the Eiffel Tower dwarfs the Pyramid of Ghizeh into a mole-hill, and the Crystal Palace grounds transform the hanging gardens of Semiramis into a kitchen-garden—if he likes. But if we are seriously "challenged" by him to show "in what respect our age of hourly progress and gigantic thought"—a progress a trifle marred, however, by our Huxleys being denounced by our Spurgeons, and the University ladies, senior classics and wranglers, by the "hallelujah lasses"—is inferior to the ages of, say, a hen-pecked "Socrates and a cross-


legged Buddha," then we will answer him, giving him, of course, our own personal opinion.

Our age, we say, is inferior in Wisdom to any other, because it professes, more visibly every day, contempt for truth and justice, without which there can be no Wisdom. Because our civilization, built up of shams and appearances, is at best like a beautiful green morass, a bog, spread over a deadly quagmire. Because this century of culture and worship of matter, while offering prizes and premiums for every "best thing" under the Sun, from the biggest baby and the largest orchid down to the strongest pugilist and the fattest pig, has no encouragement to offer to morality; no prize to give for any moral virtue. Because it has Societies for the prevention of physical cruelty to animals, and none with the object of preventing the moral cruelty practised on human beings. Because it encourages, legally and tacitly, vice under every form, from the sale of whiskey down to forced prostitution and theft brought on by starvation wages, Shylock-like exactions, rents and other comforts of our cultured period. Because, finally, this is the age which, although proclaimed as one of physical and moral freedom, is in truth the age of the most ferocious moral and mental slavery, the like of which was never known before. Slavery to State and men has disappeared only to make room for slavery to things and Self, to one’s own vices and idiotic social customs and ways. Rapid civilization, adapted to the needs of the higher and middle classes, has doomed by contrast to only greater wretchedness the starving masses. Having levelled the two former it has made them the more to disregard the substance in favor of form and appearance, thus forcing modern man into duress vile, a slavish dependence on things inanimate, to use and to serve which is the first bounden duty of every cultured man.

Where then is the Wisdom of our modern age?

In truth, it requires but a very few lines to show why we bow before ancient Wisdom, while refusing absolutely to see any in our modern civilization. But to begin with, what does our critic mean by the word "wisdom"? Though we have never too unreasonably admired Lactantius, yet we must recognize that even that innocent Church Father, with all his cutting insults anent the heliocentric system, defined the term very correctly when saying that "the first point of Wisdom is to discern that which is false, and the second, to know that which is true." And if so, what chance is there for our century of falsification,


from the revised Bible texts down to natural butter, to put forth a claim to "Wisdom"? But before we cross lances on this subject we may do well, perchance, to define the term ourselves.

Let us premise by saying that Wisdom is, at best, an elastic word—at any rate as used in European tongues. That it yields no clear idea of its meaning, unless preceded or followed by some qualifying adjective. In the Bible, indeed, the Hebrew equivalent Chokmah (in Greek, Sophia) is applied to the most dissimilar things—abstract and concrete. Thus we find "Wisdom" as the characteristic both of divine inspiration and also of terrestrial cunning and craft; as meaning the Secret Knowledge of the Esoteric Sciences, and also blind faith; the "fear of the Lord," and Pharaoh’s magicians. The noun is indifferently applied to Christ and to sorcery, for the witch Sedecla is also referred to as the "wise woman of En-Dor." From the earliest Christian antiquity, beginning with St. James (iii, 13-17), down to the last Calvinist preacher, who sees in hell and eternal damnation a proof of "the Almighty’s wisdom," the term has been used with the most varied meanings. But St. James teaches two kinds of wisdom; a teaching with which we fully concur. He draws a strong line of separation between the divine or noëtic "Sophia"—the Wisdom from above—and the terrestrial, psychic, and devilish wisdom (iii, 15). For the true Theosophist there is no wisdom save the former. Would that such an one could declare with Paul, that he speaks that wisdom exclusively only among them "that are perfect," i.e., those initiated into its mysteries, or familiar, at least, with the A B C of the sacred sciences. But, however great was his mistake, however premature his attempt to sow the seeds of the true and eternal gnosis on unprepared soil, his motives were yet good and his intention unselfish, and therefore has he been stoned. For had he only attempted to preach some particular fiction of his own, or done it for gain, who would have ever singled him out or tried to crush him, amid the hundreds of other false sects, daily "collections" and crazy "societies"? But his case was different. However cautiously, still he spoke "not the wisdom of this world" but truth or the "hidden wisdom . . . which none of the Princes of this World know (I Corinth, ii.) least of all the archons of our modern science. With regard to "psychic" wisdom, however, which James defines as terrestrial and devilish, it has existed in all ages, from the days of Pythagoras and Plato, when for one philosophus there were nine sophistae, down to our modern era. To such wisdom our century is welcome, and indeed fully entitled, to lay


a claim. Moreover, it is an attire easy to put on; there never was a period when crows refused to array themselves in peacock’s feathers, if the opportunity was offered.

But now as then, we have a right to analyze the terms used and enquire in the words of the book of Job, that suggestive allegory of Karmic purification and initiatory rites: "Where shall (true) wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding?" and to answer again in his words: "With the ancient is wisdom and in the length of days understanding" (Job xxviii, 12 and xii, 12).

Here we have to qualify once more a dubious term, viz: the word "ancient," and to explain it. As interpreted by the orthodox churches, it has in the mouth of Job one meaning; but with the Kabalist, quite another; while in the Gnosis of the Occultist and Theosophist it has distinctly a third signification, the same which it had in the original Book of Job, a pre-Mosaic work and a recognized treatise on Initiation. Thus, the Kabalist applies the adjective "ancient" to the Manifested WORD or LOGOS (Dabar) of the for ever concealed and un-cognizable deity. Daniel, in one of his visions, also uses it when speaking of Jahve—the androgynous Adam Kadmon. The Churchman connects it with his anthropomorphic Jehovah, the "Lord God" of the translated Bible. But the Eastern Occultist employs the mystic term only when referring to the re-incarnating higher Ego. For, divine Wisdom being diffused throughout the infinite Universe, and our impersonal HIGHER SELF being an integral part of it, the atmic light of the latter can be centered only in that which though eternal is still individualized—i.e., the noëtic Principle, the manifested God within each rational being, or our Higher Manas at one with Buddhi. It is this collective light which is the "Wisdom that is from above," and which whenever it descends on the personal Ego, is found "pure, peaceable, gentle." Hence, Job’s assertion that "Wisdom is with the Ancient," or Buddhi-Manas. For the Divine Spiritual "I," is alone eternal, and the same throughout all births; whereas the "personalities" it informs in succession are evanescent, changing like the shadows of a kaleidoscopic series of forms in a magic lantern. It is the "Ancient," because, whether it be called Sophia, Krishna, Buddhi-Manas or Christos, it is ever the "first-born" of Alaya-Mahat, the Universal Soul and the Intelligence of the Universe. Esoterically then, Job’s statement must read: "With the Ancient (man’s Higher Ego) is Wisdom, and in the length of days (or the number of its re-incarnations) is understanding." No man can


learn true and final Wisdom in one birth; and every new rebirth, whether we be reincarnated for weal or for woe, is one more lesson we receive at the hands of the stern yet ever just schoolmaster— KARMIC LIFE.

But the world—the Western world, at any rate—knows nothing of this, and refuses to learn anything. For it, any notion of the Divine Ego or the plurality of its births is "heathen foolishness." The Western world rejects these truths, and will recognize no wise men except those of its own making, created in its own image, born within its own Christian era and teachings. The only "wisdom" it understands and practises is the psychic, the "terrestrial and devilish" wisdom spoken of by James, thus making of the real Wisdom a misnomer and a degradation. Yet, without considering her multiplied varieties, there are two kinds of even "terrestrial" wisdom on our globe of mud—the real and the apparent. Between the two, there is even for the superficial observer of this busy wicked world, a wide chasm, and yet how very few people will consent to see it! The reason for this is quite natural. So strong is human selfishness, that wherever there is the smallest personal interest at stake, there men become deaf and blind to the truth, as often consciously as not. Nor are many people capable of recognizing as speedily as is advisable the difference between men who are wise and those who only seem wise, the latter being chiefly regarded as such because they are very clever at blowing their own trumpet. So much for "wisdom" in the profane world.

As to the world of the students in mystic lore, it is almost worse. Things have strangely altered since the days of antiquity, when the truly wise made it their first duty to conceal their knowledge, deeming it too sacred to even mention before the hoi polloi. While the mediæval Rosecroix, the true philosopher, keeping old Socrates in mind, repeated daily that all he knew was that he knew nothing, his modern self-styled successor announces in our day, through press and public, that those mysteries in Nature and her Occult laws of which he knows nothing, have never existed at all. There was a time when the acquirement of Divine Wisdom (Sapientia) required the sacrifice and devotion of a man’s whole life. It depended on such things as the purity of the candidate’s motives, on his fearlessness and independence of spirit; but now, to receive a patent for wisdom and adeptship requires only unblushing impudence. A certificate of divine wisdom is now decreed, and delivered to a self-styled "Adeptus" by a regular majority of votes of profane and easily-


caught gulls, while a host of magpies driven away from the roof of the Temple of Science will herald it to the world in every marketplace and fair. Tell the public that now, even as of old, the genuine and sincere observer of life and its underlying phenomena, the intelligent co-worker with nature, may, by becoming an expert in her mysteries thereby become a "wise" man, in the terrestrial sense of the word, but that never will a materialist wrench from nature any secret on a higher plane—and you will be laughed to scorn. Add, that no "wisdom from above" descends on any one save on the sine quâ non condition of leaving at the threshold of the Occult every atom of selfishness, or desire for personal ends and benefit—and you will be speedily declared by your audience a candidate for the lunatic asylum. Nevertheless, this is an old, very old truism. Nature gives up her innermost secrets and imparts true wisdom only to him, who seeks truth for its own sake, and who craves for knowledge in order to confer benefits on others, not on his own unimportant personality. And, as it is precisely to this personal benefit that nearly every candidate for adeptship and magic looks, and that few are they, who consent to learn at such a heavy price and so small a benefit for themselves in prospect—the really wise Occultists become with every century fewer and rarer. How many are there, indeed, who would not prefer the will-o’-the-wisp of even passing fame to the steady and ever-growing light of eternal, divine knowledge, if the latter has to remain, for all but oneself—a light under the bushel?

The same is the case in the world of materialistic science, where we see a great paucity of really learned men and a host of skin-deep scientists, who yet demand each and all to be regarded as Archimedes and Newtons. As above so below. Scholars who pursue knowledge for the sake of truth and fact, and give these out, however unpalatable, and not for the dubious glory of enforcing on the world their respective personal hobbies—may be counted on the fingers of one hand: while legion is the name of the pretenders. In our day, reputations for learning seem to be built by suggestion on the hypnotic principle, rather than by real merit. The masses cower before him who imposes himself upon them: hence such a galaxy of men regarded as eminent in science, arts and literature; and if they are so easily accepted, it is precisely because of the gigantic self-opinionatedness and self-assertion of, at any rate, the majority of them. Once thoroughly analyzed, however, how many of such would remain who truly deserve the appellation of "wise" even in terrestrial


wisdom? How many, we ask, of the so-called "authorities" and "leaders of men" would prove much better than those of whom it was said—by one "wise" indeed—"they be blind leaders of the blind"? That the teachings of neither our modern teachers nor preachers are "wisdom from above" is fully demonstrated. It is proved not by any personal incorrectness in their statements or mistakes in life, for "to err is but human," but by incontrovertible facts. Wisdom and Truth are synonymous terms, and that which is false or pernicious cannot be wise. Therefore, if it is true, as we are told by a well-known representative of the Church of England, that the Sermon on the Mount would, in its practical application, mean utter ruin for his country in less than three weeks; and if it is no less true, as asserted by a literary critic of science, that "the knell of Charles Darwinism is rung in Mr. A. R. Wallace’s present book,"1 an event already predicted by Quatrefages—then we are left to choose between two courses. We have either to take both Theology and Science on blind faith and trust; or, to proclaim both untrue and untrustworthy. There is, however, a third course open: to pretend that we believe in both at the same time, and say nothing, as many do; but this would be sinning against Theosophy and pandering to the prejudices of Society—and that we refuse to do. More than this: we declare openly, quand même, that not one of the two, neither Theologist nor Scientist, has the right in the face of this to claim, the one that he preaches that which is divine inspiration, and the other—exact science; since the former enforces that, which is on his own recognition, pernicious to men and states—i.e., the ethics of Christ; and the other (in the person of the eminent naturalist, Mr. A. R. Wallace, as shown by Mr. Samuel Butler) teaches Darwinian evolution, in which he believes no longer; a scheme, moreover, which has never existed in nature, if the opponents of Darwinism are correct.

Nevertheless, if anyone would presume to call "unwise" or "false" the world-chosen authorities, or declare their respective policies dishonest, he would find himself promptly reduced to silence. To doubt the exalted wisdom of the religion of the late Cardinal Newman, or of the Church of England, or again of our great modern scientists, is to sin against the Holy Ghost and Culture. Woe unto him who refuses to recognize the World’s "Elect." He has to bow before one or the other, though, if one is true, the other must be false; and if the "wis-

1 See "The Deadlock of Darwinism," by Samuel Butler, in the Universal Review for April, 1890.


dom" of neither Bishop nor Scientist is "from above"—which is pretty fairly demonstrated by this time—then their "wisdom" is at best—"terrestrial, psychic, devilish."

Now our readers have to bear in mind that nought of the above is meant as a sign of disrespect for the true teachings of Christ, or true science: nor do we judge personalities but only the systems of our civilized world. Valuing freedom of thought above all things as the only way of reaching at some future time that Wisdom, of which every Theosophist ought to be enamored, we recognize the right to the same freedom in our foes as in our friends. All we contend for is their claim to Wisdom—as we understand this term. Nor do we blame, but rather pity, in our innermost heart, the "wise men" of our age for trying to carry out the only policy that will keep them on the pinnacle of their "authority"; as they could not, if even they would, act otherwise and preserve their prestige with the masses, or escape from being speedily outcast by their colleagues. The party spirit is so strong with regard to the old tracks and ruts, that to turn on a side path means deliberate treachery to it. Thus, to be regarded now-a-days as an authority in some particular subject, the scientist has to reject nolens volens the metaphysical, and the theologian to show contempt for the materialistic teachings. All this is worldly policy and practical common sense, but it is not the Wisdom of either Job or James.

Shall it be then regarded as too far fetched, if, basing our words on a life-long observation and experience, we venture to offer our ideas as to the quickest and most efficient means of obtaining our present World’s universal respect and becoming an "authority"? Show the tenderest regard for the corns of every party’s hobbies, and offer yourself as the chief executioner, the hangman, of the reputations of men and things regarded as unpopular. Learn, that the great secret of power consists in the art of pandering to popular prejudices, to the World’s likes and dislikes. Once this principal condition complied with, he who practises it is certain of attracting to himself the educated and their satellites—the less educated—they whose rule it is to place themselves invariably on the safe side of public opinion. This will lead to a perfect harmony or simultaneous action. For, while the favorite attitude of the cultured is to hide behind the intellectual bulwarks of the favorite leaders of scientific thought, and jurare in verba magistri, that of the less cultured is to transform themselves into the faithful, mechanical telephones of their superiors,


and to repeat like well-trained parrots the dicta of their immediate leaders. The now aphoristical precept of Mr. Artemus Ward, the showman of famous memory—"Scratch my back, Mr. Editor, and I will scratch yours"—proves immortally true. The "rising Star," whether he be a theologian, a politician, an author, a scientist, or a journalist— has to begin scratching the back of public tastes and prejudices—a hypnotic method as old as human vanity. Gradually the hypnotized masses begin to purr, they are ready for "suggestion." Suggest whatever you want them to believe, and forthwith they will begin to return your caresses, and purr now to your hobbies, and pander in their turn to anything suggested by theologian, politician, author, scientist, or journalist. Such is the simple secret of blossoming into an "authority" or a "leader of men"; and such is the secret of our modern-day wisdom.

And this is also the "secret" and the true reason of the unpopularity of Lucifer and of the ostracism practised by this same modern world on the Theosophical Society: for neither Lucifer, nor the Society it belongs to, has ever followed Mr. Artemus Ward’s golden precept. No true Theosophist, in fact, would consent to become the fetish of a fashionable doctrine, any more than he would make himself the slave of a decaying dead-letter system, the spirit from which has disappeared for ever. Neither would he pander to anyone or anything, and therefore would always decline to show belief in that in which he does not, nor can he believe, which is lying to his own soul. Therefore there, where others see "the beauty and graces of modern culture," the Theosophist sees only moral ugliness and the somersaults of the clowns of the so-called cultured centres. For him nothing applies better to modern fashionable society than Sydney Smith’s description of Popish ritualism: "Posture and imposture, flections and genuflections, bowing to the right, curtsying to the left, and an immense amount of male (and especially female) millinery." There may be, no doubt, for some worldly minds, a great charm in modern civilization; but for the Theosophist all its bounties can hardly repay for the evils it has brought on the world. These are so many, that it is not within the limits of this article to enumerate these offsprings of culture and of the progress of physical science, whose latest achievements begin with vivisection and end in improved murder by electricity.

Our answer, we have no doubt, is not calculated to make us more friends than enemies, but this can be hardly helped. Our magazine


may be looked upon as "pessimistic," but no one can charge it with publishing slanders or lies, or, in fact, anything but that which we honestly believe to be true. Be it as it may, however, we hope never to lack moral courage in the expression of our opinions or in defence of Theosophy and its Society. Let then nine-tenths of every population arise in arms against the Theosophical Society wherever it appears—they will never be able to suppress the truths it utters. Let the masses of growing Materialism, the hosts of Spiritualism, all the Church-going congregations, bigots and iconoclasts, Grundy-worshippers, aping-followers and blind disciples, let them slander, abuse, lie, denounce, and publish every falsehood about us under the sun—they will not uproot Theosophy, nor even upset her Society, if only its members hold together. Let even such friends and advisers as he who is now answered, turn away in disgust from those whom he addresses in vain—it matters not, for our two paths in life run diametrically opposite. Let him keep to his "terrestrial" wisdom: we will keep to that pure ray "that comes from above," from the light of the "Ancient."

What indeed, has WISDOM, Theosophia—the Wisdom "full of mercy and good fruits, without wrangling or partiality and without hypocrisy" (James iii, 17)—to do with our cruel, selfish, crafty, and hypocritical world? What is there in common between divine Sophia and the improvements of modern civilization and science; between spirit and the letter that killeth? The more so as at this stage of evolution the wisest man on earth, according to the wise Carlyle, is "but a clever infant spelling letters from a hieroglyphical, prophetic book, the lexicon of which lies in eternity."

Lucifer, September, 1890


On Astral Bodies, or Doppelgangers

M. C. Great confusion exists in the minds of people about the various kinds of apparitions, wraiths, ghosts or spirits. Ought we not to explain once for all the meaning of these terms? You say there are various kinds of "doubles"—what are they?

H.P.B. Our occult philosophy teaches us that there are three kinds of "doubles," to use the word in its widest sense. (I) Man has his "double" or shadow, properly so called, around which the physical body of the foetus—the future man—is built. The imagination of the mother, or an accident which affects the child, will affect also the astral body. The astral and the physical both exist before the mind is developed into action, and before the Atma awakes. This occurs when the child is seven years old, and with it comes the responsibility attaching to a conscious sentient being. This "double" is born with man, dies with him and can never separate itself far from the body during life, and though surviving him, it disintegrates, pari passu, with the corpse. It is this which is sometimes seen over the graves like a luminous figure of the man that was, during certain atmospheric conditions. From its physical aspect it is, during life, man’s vital double, and after death, only the gases given off from the decaying body. But, as regards its origin and essence, it is something more. This "double" is what we have agreed to call linga sarira, but which I would propose to call, for greater convenience, "Protean" or "Plastic Body."

M.C. Why Protean or Plastic?

H.P.B. Protean, because it can assume all forms; e.g. the "shepherd magicians" whom popular rumour accuses, perhaps not without some reason, of being "were-wolves," and "mediums in cabinets," whose own "Plastic Bodies" play the part of materialised grandmothers and "John Kings." Otherwise, why the invariable custom of the "dear departed angels" to come out but little further than arm’s length from the medium, whether entranced or not? Mind, I do not at all deny foreign influences in this kind of phenomena. But


I do affirm that foreign interference is rare, and that the materialised form is always that of the medium’s "Astral" or Protean body.

M.C. But how is this astral body created?

H.P.B. It is not created; it grows, as I told you, with the man and exists in the rudimentary condition even before the child is born.

M.C. And what about the second?

H.P.B. The second is the "Thought" body, or Dream body, rather; known among Occultists as the Mayavi-rupa, or "Illusion-body." During life this image is the vehicle both of thought and of the animal passions and desires, drawing at one and the same time from the lowest terrestrial manas (mind) and Kama, the element of desire. It is dual in its potentiality, and after death forms what is called in the East, Bhoot, or Kama-rupa, but which is better known to theosophists as the "Spook."

M.C. And the third?

H.P.B. The third is the true Ego, called in the East by a name meaning "causal body" but which in the trans-Himalayan schools is always called the "Karmic body," which is the same. For Karma or action is the cause which produces incessant rebirths or "reincarnations." It is not the Monad, nor is it Manas proper; but is, in a way, indissolubly connected with, and a compound of the Monad and Manas in Devachan.

M.C. Then there are three doubles?

H.P.B. If you can call the Christian and other Trinities "three Gods," then there are three doubles. But in truth there is only one under three aspects or phases: the most material portion disappearing with the body; the middle one, surviving both as an independent, but temporary entity in the land of shadows; the third, immortal, throughout the manvantara unless Nirvana puts an end to it before.

M.C. But shall not we be asked what difference there is between the Mayavi and Kama rupa, or as you propose to call them the "Dream body" and the "Spook"?

H.P.B. Most likely, and we shall answer, in addition to what has been said, that the "thought power" or aspect of the Mayavi or "Illusion body," merges after death entirely into the causal body or the conscious, thinking EGO. The animal elements, or power of desire of the "Dream body," absorbing after death that which it has


collected (through its insatiable desire to live) during life; i.e., all the astral vitality as well as all the impressions of its material acts and thoughts while it lived in possession of the body, forms the "Spook" or Kama rupa. Our Theosophists know well enough that after death the higher Manas unites with the Monad and passes into Devachan, while the dregs of the lower manas or animal mind go to form this Spook. This has life in it, but hardly any consciousness, except, as it were by proxy, when it is drawn into the current of a medium.

M.C. Is it all that can be said upon the subject?

H.P.B. For the present this is enough metaphysics, I guess. Let us hold to the "Double" in its earthly phase. What would you know?

M.C. Every country in the world believes more or less in the "double" or doppelganger. The simplest form of this is the appearance of a man’s phantom, the moment after his death, or at the instant of death, to his dearest friend. Is this appearance the mayavi rupa?

H.P.B. It is; because produced by the thought of the dying man.

M.C. Is it unconscious?

H.P.B. It is unconscious to the extent that the dying man does not generally do it knowingly; nor is he aware that he so appears. What happens is this. If he thinks very intently at the moment of death of the person he either is very anxious to see, or loves best, he may appear to that person. The thought becomes objective; the double, or shadow of a man, being nothing but the faithful reproduction of him, like a reflection in a mirror, that which the man does, even in thought, that the double repeats. This is why the phantoms are often seen in such cases in the clothes they wear at the particular moment, and the image reproduces even the expression on the dying man’s face. If the double of a man bathing were seen it would seem to be immersed in water; so when a man who has been drowned appears to his friend, the image will be seen to be dripping with water. The cause for the apparition may be also reversed; i.e., the dying man may or may not be thinking at all of the particular person his image appears to, but it is that person who is sensitive. Or perhaps his sympathy or his hatred for the individual whose wraith is thus evoked is very intense physically or psychically; and in this case the apparition is created by, and depends upon, the intensity of the thought. What then happens is this. Let us call the dying man A, and him who sees the double B.


The latter, owing to love, hate, or fear, has the image of A so deeply impressed on his psychic memory, that actual magnetic attraction and repulsion are established between the two, whether one knows of it and feels it, or not. When A dies, the sixth sense or psychic spiritual intelligence of the inner man in B becomes cognisant of the change in A, and forthwith apprizes the physical senses of the man, by projecting before his eye the form of A, as it is at the instant of the great change. The same when the dying man longs to see some one; his thought telegraphs to his friend, consciously or unconsciously along the wire of sympathy, and becomes objective. This is what the "Spookical" Research Society would pompously, but none the less muddily, call telepathic impact.

M.C. This applies to the simplest form of the appearance of the double. What about cases in which the double does that which is contrary to the feeling and wish of the man?

H.P.B. This is impossible. The "Double" cannot act, unless the keynote of this action was struck in the brain of the man to whom the "Double" belongs, be that man just dead, or alive, in good or in bad health. If he paused on the thought a second, long enough to give it form, before he passed on to other mental pictures, this one second is as sufficient for the objectivizations of his personality on the astral waves, as for your face to impress itself on the sensitized plate of a photographic apparatus. Nothing prevents your form, then, being seized upon by the surrounding Forces—as a dry leaf fallen from a tree is taken up and carried away by the wind—being made to caricature or distort your thought.

M.C. Supposing the double expresses in actual words a thought uncongenial to the man, and expresses it—let us say to a friend far away, perhaps on another continent? I have known instances of this occurring.

H.P.B. Because it then so happens that the created image is taken up and used by a "Shell." Just as in séance-rooms when "images" of the dead—which may perhaps be lingering unconsciously in the memory or even the auras of those present—are seized upon by the Elementals or Elementary Shadows and made objective to the audience, and even caused to act at the bidding of the strongest of the many different wills in the room. In your case, moreover, there must exist a connecting link—a telegraph wire— between the two persons, a point of psychic sympathy, and on this the thought travels in-


stantly. Of course there must be, in every case, some strong reason why that particular thought takes that direction; it must be connected in some way with the other person. Otherwise such apparitions would be of common and daily occurrence.

M.C. This seems very simple; why then does it only occur with exceptional persons?

H.P.B. Because the plastic power of the imagination is much stronger in some persons than in others. The mind is dual in its potentiality: it is physical and metaphysical. The higher part of the mind is connected with the spiritual soul or Buddhi, the lower with the animal soul, the Kama principle. There are persons who never think with the higher faculties of their mind at all; those who do so are the minority and are thus, in a way, beyond, if not above, the average of human kind. These will think even upon ordinary matters on that higher plane. The idiosyncracy of the person determines in which "principle" of the mind the thinking is done, as also the faculties of a preceding life, and sometimes the heredity of the physical. This is why it is so very difficult for a materialist—the metaphysical portion of whose brain is almost atrophied—to raise himself, or for one who is naturally spiritually minded, to descend to the level of the matter-of-fact vulgar thought. Optimism and pessimism depend on it also in a large measure.

M.C. But the habit of thinking in the higher mind can be developed—else there would be no hope for persons who wish to alter their lives and raise themselves? And that this is possible must be true, or there would be no hope for the world.

H.P.B. Certainly it can be developed, but only with great difficulty, a firm determination, and through much self-sacrifice. But it is comparatively easy for those who are born with the gift. Why is it that one person sees poetry in a cabbage or a pig with her little ones, while another will perceive in the loftiest things only their lowest and most material aspect, will laugh at the "music of the spheres," and ridicule the most sublime conceptions and philosophies? This difference depends simply on the innate power of the mind to think on the higher or on the lower plane, with the astral (in the sense given to the word by St. Martin), or with the physical brain. Great intellectual powers are often no proof of, but are impediments to spiritual and right conceptions; witness most of the great men of science. We must rather pity than blame them.


M.C. But how is it that the person who thinks on the higher plane produces more perfect and more potential images and objective forms by his thought?

H.P.B. Not necessarily that "person" alone, but all those who are generally sensitives. The person who is endowed with this faculty of thinking about even the most trifling things from the higher plane of thought has, by virtue of that gift which he possesses, a plastic power of formation, so to say, in his very imagination. Whatever such a person may think about, his thought will be so far more intense than the thought of an ordinary person, that by this very intensity it obtains the power of creation. Science has established the fact that thought is an energy. This energy in its action disturbs the atoms of the astral atmosphere around us. I already told you; the rays of thought have the same potentiality for producing forms in the astral atmosphere as the sunrays have with regard to a lens. Every thought so evolved with energy from the brain, creates nolens volens a shape.

M.C. Is that shape absolutely unconscious?

H.P.B. Perfectly unconscious unless it is the creation of an adept, who has a preconceived object in giving it consciousness, or rather in sending along with it enough of his will and intelligence to cause it to appear conscious. This ought to make us more cautious about our thoughts.

But the wide distinction that obtains between the adept in this matter and the ordinary man must be borne in mind. The adept may at his will use his Mayavi rupa, but the ordinary man does not, except in very rare cases. It is called Mayavi rupa because it is a form of illusion created for use in the particular instance, and it has quite enough of the adept’s mind in it to accomplish its purpose. The ordinary man merely creates a thought-image, whose properties and powers are at the time wholly unknown to him.

M.C. Then one may say that the form of an adept appearing at a distance from his body, as for instance Ram Lal in Mr. Isaacs, is simply an image?

H.P.B. Exactly. It is a walking thought.

M.C. In which case an adept can appear in several places almost simultaneously.

H.P.B. He can. Just as Apollonius of Tyana, who was seen in two places at once, while his body was at Rome. But it must be un-


derstood that not all of even the astral adept is present in each appearance.

M.C. Then it is very necessary for a person of any amount of imagination and psychic powers to attend to his thoughts?

H.P.B. Certainly, for each thought has a shape which borrows the appearance of the man engaged in the action of which he thought. Otherwise how can clairvoyants see in your aura your past and present? What they see is a passing panorama of yourself represented in successive actions by your thoughts. You asked me if we are punished for our thoughts. Not for all, for some are still-born; but for others, those which we call "silent" but potential thoughts— yes. Take an extreme case, such as that of a person who is so wicked as to wish the death of another. Unless the evil-wisher is a Dugpa, a high adept in black magic, in which case Karma is delayed, such a wish only comes back to roost.

M.C. But supposing the evil-wisher to have a very strong will, without being a dugpa, could the death of the other be accomplished?

H.P.B. Only if the malicious person has the evil eye, which simply means possessing enormous plastic power of imagination working involuntarily, and thus turned unconsciously to bad uses. For what is the power of the "evil eye"? Simply a great plastic power of thought, so great as to produce a current impregnated with the potentiality of every kind of misfortune and accident, which inoculates, or attaches itself to any person who comes within it. A jettatore (one with the evil eye) need not be even imaginative, or have evil intentions or wishes. He may be simply a person who is naturally fond of witnessing or reading about sensational scenes, such as murder, executions, accidents, etc., etc. He may be not even thinking of any of these at the moment his eye meets his future victim. But the currents have been produced and exist in his visual ray ready to spring into activity the instant they find suitable soil, like a seed fallen by the way and ready to sprout at the first opportunity.

M.C. But how about the thoughts you call "silent"? Do such wishes or thoughts come home to roost?

H.P.B. They do; just as a ball which fails to penetrate an object rebounds upon the thrower. This happens even to some dugpas or sorcerers who are not strong enough, or do not comply with the rules —for even they have rules they have to abide by—but not with those


who are regular, fully developed "black magicians"; for such have the power to accomplish what they wish.

M.C. When you speak of rules it makes me want to wind up this talk by asking you what everybody wants to know who takes any interest in occultism. What is a principal or important suggestion for those who have these powers and wish to control them rightly—in fact to enter occultism?

H.P.B. The first and most important step in occultism is to learn how to adapt your thoughts and ideas to your plastic potency.

M.C. Why is this so important?

H.P.B. Because otherwise you are creating things by which you may be making bad Karma. No one should go into occultism or even touch it before he is perfectly acquainted with his own powers, and that he knows how to commensurate it with his actions. And this he can do only by deeply studying the philosophy of Occultism before entering upon the practical training. Otherwise, as sure as fate—HE WILL FALL INTO BLACK MAGIC.

Lucifer, December, 1888


ECCE Signum! Behold the sign foreseen in a brighter future; the problem that will be the question of the forthcoming age, that every thoughtful, earnest father will be asking himself with regard to his children’s education in the XXth century. And let it be stated at once, that by "Occult Science" neither the life of a chela nor the austerities of an ascetic are here meant; but simply the study of that which alone can furnish the key to the mysteries of nature, and unveil the problems of the universe and of psychophysical man—even though one should not feel inclined to go any deeper.

Every new discovery made by modern science vindicates the truths of the archaic philosophy. The true occultist is acquainted with no single problem that esoteric science is unable to solve, if approached in the right direction; the scientific bodies of the West have as yet no phenomenon of natural science that they can fathom to its innermost depths, or explain in all its aspects. Exact science fails to do so—in this cycle, for reasons that will be given further on. Nevertheless the pride of the age, which revolts against the intrusion into the empire of science of old—especially of transcendental— truths, is growing every year more intolerant. Soon the world will behold it soaring in the clouds of self-sufficiency like a new tower of Babel, to share, perchance, the fate of the Biblical monument.

In a recent scientific work on Anthropology,1 one can read the following: "It is then given to us, at last, to know (?), to grasp, to handle and measure the forces through which it is claimed, that God proceeded. . . . We have made electricity our postman, light our draughtsman, affinity our journeyman," etc., etc. This is in a French work. One who knows something of the perplexities of exact science, of the mistakes and daily confessions of her staff, feels inclined, after reading such pompous stuff, to exclaim with the malcontent of the Bible: Tradidit mundum ut non sciant. Verily —"the world was delivered to them that they should never know it."

1 Bulletin de la Société dʼ Anthropologie, 3 fasc. p. 384.


How likely the scientists are to succeed in this direction may be inferred from the fact that the great Humboldt himself could give expression to such erroneous axioms as this one: "Science begins for man only when his mind has mastered MATTER!"2 The word "spirit" for "matter" might perhaps have expressed a greater truth. But M. Renan would not have complimented the venerable author of the Kosmos in the terms he did, had the term matter been replaced by spirit.

I intend to give a few illustrations to show that the knowledge of matter alone, with the quondam "imponderable" forces—whatever the adjective may have meant with the French Academy and Royal Society at the time it was invented—is not sufficient for the purposes of true science. Nor will it ever prove efficient to explain the simplest phenomenon even in objective physical nature, let alone the abnormal cases in which physiologists and biologists at present manifest such interest. As Father Secchi, the famous Roman astronomer expressed it in his work,3 "If but a few of the new forces were proven, they would necessitate the admission in their domain (that of forces) of agents of quite another order than those of gravitation."

"I have read a good deal about occultism and studied Kabbalistic books: I have never understood one word in them!"—was a recent remark made by a learned experimenter in "thought-transference," "colour-sounds," and so on.

Very likely. One has to study his letters before he can spell and read, or understand what he reads.

Some forty years back, I knew a child—a little girl of seven or eight—who very seriously frightened her parents by saying:

"Now, mamma, I love you. You are good and kind to me to-day. Your words are quite blue" . . .

"What do you mean?" . . . asked the mother.

"Your words are all blue—because they are so caressing, but when you scold me they are red . . . so red! But it is worse when you fly in a passion with papa for then they are orange . . . horrid . . . like that" . . .

And the child pointed to the hearth, with a big roaring fire and huge flames in it. The mother turned pale.

After that the little sensitive was heard very often associating

2 Kosmos, Vol. 1, pp. 3 and 76 (with same ideas).

3 Delle Forze, etc.


sounds with colours. The melody played by the mother on the piano threw her into ecstacies of delight; she saw "such beautiful rainbows," she explained, but when her aunt played, it was "fireworks and stars," "brilliant stars shooting pistols—and then . . . bursting" . . .

The parents got frightened and suspected something had gone wrong with the child’s brain. The family physician was sent for.

"Exuberance of childish fancy," he said. "Innocent hallucinations . . . Don’t let her drink tea, and make her play more with her little brothers—fight with them, and have physical exercise. . . ."

And he departed.

In a large Russian city, on the banks of the Volga, stands a hospital with a lunatic asylum attached to it. There a poor woman was locked up for over twenty years—to the day of her death in fact —as a "harmless" though insane patient. No other proofs of her insanity could be found on the case-books than the fact that the splash and murmur of the river-waves produced the finest "God’s rainbows" for her; while the voice of the superintendent caused her to see "black and crimson"—the colours of the Evil one.

About that same period, namely in 1840, something similar to this phenomenon was heralded by the French papers. Such an abnormal state of feelings—physicians thought in those days—could be due but to one reason; such impressions whenever experienced without any traceable cause, denoted an ill-balanced mind, a weak brain—likely to lead its possessor to lunacy. Such was the decree of science. The views of the piously inclined, supported by the affirmations of the village curés, inclined the other way. The brain had nought to do with the "obsession," for it was simply the work or tricks of the much slandered "old gentleman" with cloven foot and shining horns. Both the men of learning and the superstitious "good women" have had somewhat to alter their opinions since 1840.

Even in that early period and before the "Rochester" wave of spiritualism had swept over any considerable portion of civilized society in Europe, it was shown that the same phenomenon could be produced by means of various narcotics and drugs. Some bolder people, who feared neither a charge of lunacy nor the unpleasant prospect of being regarded as wards in "Old Nick’s Chancery," made experiments and declared the results publicly. One was Théophile Gautier, the famous French author.


Few are those acquainted with the French literature of that day, who have not read the charming story told by that author, in which he describes the dreams of an opium-eater. To analyze the impressions at first hand, he took a large dose of hashisch. "My hearing," he writes, "acquired marvellous capacities: I heard the music of the flowers; sounds,—green, red and blue—poured into my ears in clearly perceptible waves of smell and colour. A tumbler upset, the creaking of an arm-chair, a word whispered in the lowest tones vibrated and resounded within me like so many claps of thunder. At the gentlest contact with objects—furniture or human body—I heard prolonged sounds, sighs like the melodious vibrations of an Æolian harp . . ."4

No doubt the powers of human fancy are great; no doubt delusion and hallucination may be generated for a shorter or a longer period in the healthiest human brain either naturally or artificially. But natural phenomena that are not included in that "abnormal" class do exist; and they have at last taken forcible possession even of scientific minds. The phenomena of hypnotism, of thought-transference, of sense-provoking, merging as they do into one another and manifesting their occult existence in our phenomenal world, succeeded finally in arresting the attention of some eminent scientists. Under the leadership of the famous Dr. Charcot, of the Salpêtriere Hospital in Paris, several famous men of science took the phenomena in hand—in France, Russia, England, Germany and Italy. For over fifteen years they have been experimenting, investigating, theorising. And what is the result? The sole explanation given to the public, to those who thirst to become acquainted with the real, the intimate nature of the phenomena, with their productive cause and genesis—is that the sensitives who manifest them are all HYSTERICAL! They are psychopates,5 and neurosists6—we are told,—no other cause underlying the needless variety of manifestations than that of a purely physiological character.

This looks satisfactory for the present, and—quite hopeful for the future.

"Hysterical hallucination" is thus doomed to become, as it appears, the alpha and the omega of every phenomenon. At the same time science defines the word "hallucination" as "an error of our senses, shared by, and imposed (by that error) upon our intelli-

4 La Presse, July 10, 1840.

5 A Greek compound term coined by the Russian Medical Faculties.

6 From the word neurosis.


gence."7 Now such hallucinations of a sensitive as are objective—the apparition of an "astral body" for instance,—are not only perceptible by the sensitive’s (or medium’s) "intelligence," but are likewise shared by the senses of those present. Consequently the natural inference is that all those witnesses are also hysterical.

The world is in danger, we see, of being turned, by the end of this century, into one vast lunatic asylum, in which the learned physicians alone would form the sane portion of humanity.

Of all the problems of medical philosophy, hallucination seems, at this rate, the most difficult to solve, the most obstinate to get rid of. It could hardly be otherwise, for it is one of the mysterious results of our dual nature, the bridge thrown over the chasm that separates the world of matter from the world of spirit. None but those willing to cross to the other side can appreciate it, or ever recognize the noumenon of its phenomena. And without doubt a manifestation is quite disconcerting to any one who witnesses it for the first time. Proving to the materialist the creative faculty, the potency of man’s spirit, naturalising before the churchman the "miracle," and super naturalising, so to say, the simplest effects of natural causes, hallucination cannot be accepted yet for what it really is, and could hardly be forced upon the acceptation of either the materialist or the believing Christian, since one is as strong in his denial as the other is in his affirmation. "Hallucination," says an authority quoted by Brierre de Boismont,8 "is the reproduction of the material sign of the idea." Hallucination, it is said, has no respect for age or for merit; or, if a fatal experience is worth anything—"a physician who would give it too much of his attention or would study it for too long a time and too seriously, would be sure to end his career in the ranks of his own patients."

This is an additional proof, that "hallucination" was hardly ever studied "too seriously" as self-sacrifice is not quite the most prominent feature of the age. But if so catching, why should we not be permitted the bold and disrespectful suggestion that the biologists and physiologists of Dr. Charcot’s school, have themselves become hallucinated with the rather one-sided scientific idea that such phenomenal hallucinations are all due to Hysteria?

However it may be, whether a collective hallucination of our medical lights or the impotency of material thought, the simplest phenomenon—of the class accepted and verified by men of science

7 Dictionnaire Medical.

8 Hallucination, p. 3.


in the year 1885—remains as unexplained by them, as it was in 1840.

If, admitting for argument’s sake, that some of the common herd out of their great reverence—often amounting to fetich worship—for science and authority, do accept the dictum of the scientists that every phenomenon, every "abnormal" manifestation, is due to the pranks of epileptic hysteria, what shall the rest of the public do? Shall they believe that Mr. Eglinton’s self-moving slate pencil is also labouring under a fit of the same epilepsy as its medium—even though he does not touch it? Or that the prophetic utterances of the seers, the grand inspired apostles of all ages and religions, were simply the pathological results of hysteria? Or again that the "miracles" of the Bible, those of Pythagoras, Apollonius and others—belong to the same family of abnormal manifestations, as the hallucinations of Dr. Charcot’s Mlle. Alphonsine—or whatever her name—and her erotic descriptions and her poetry—"in consequence of the swelling with gases of her great bowel" (sic)? Such a pretension is likely to come to grief. First of all "hallucination" itself, when it is really the effect of physiological cause, would have to be explained—but it never has been. Taking at random some out of the hundreds of definitions by eminent French physicians (we have not those of the English at hand) what do we learn about "hallucinations?" We have given Dr. Brierre de Boismont’s "definition," if it can be called one: now let us see a few more.

Dr. Lelut calls it—"a sensorial and perceptive folly"; Dr. Chomil—"a common illusion of the sensorium"9; Dr. Leuret—"an illusion intermediary between sensation and conception" (Psychol. Fragments); Dr. Michéa—"a perceptive delirium (Delusion of the Senses); Dr. Calmeil—"an illusion due to a vicious modification of the nervous substance" (Of Folly, Vol. I) etc., etc.

The above will not make the world, I am afraid, much wiser than it is. For my part, I believe the theosophists would do well to keep to the old definition of hallucinations (théophania)10 and folly, made some two thousands of years back by Plato, Virgilius, Hippocrates, Galen and the medical and theological schools of old. "There are two kinds of folly, one of which is produced by the body, the other sent to us by the gods."

About ten years ago, when Isis Unveiled was being written, the most important point the work aimed at was the demonstration of

9 See Dictionary of Medical Terms.

10 Communication with Gods.


the following, (a) the reality of the Occult in nature; (b) the thorough knowledge of, and familiarity with, all such occult domains amongst "certain men," and their mastery therein; (c) hardly an art or science known in our age, that the Vedas have not mentioned; and (d) that hundreds of things, especially mysteries of nature,—in abscondito as the alchemists called it,—were known to the Aryas of the pre-mahabharata period, which are unknown to us, the modern sages of the XIXth century.

A new proof of it is now being given. It comes as a fresh corroboration, from some recent investigations in France by learned "specialists" (?) with regard to the confusion made by their neurosists and psychomaniacs between colour and sound, "musical impressions" and colour-impressions.

This special phenomenon was first approached in Austria in 1873 by Dr. Newbamer. After him it began to be seriously investigated in Germany by Blaver and Lehmann; in Italy by Vellardi, Bareggi and a few others, and it was finally and quite recently taken up by Dr. Pedronneau of France. The most interesting accounts of colour-sound phenomena may, however, be found in La Nature, (No. 626, 1885, pp. 406, et seq.) in an article contributed by A. de Rochat who experimented with a certain gentleman whom he names Mr. "N. R."

The following as a short resumé of his experience.

N. R. is a man of about 57 years of age, an advocate by profession, now living in one of the country faubourgs of Paris, a passionate amateur of natural sciences which he has studied very seriously, fond of music, though no musician himself, a great traveller and as great a linguist. N. R. had never read anything about that peculiar phenomenon that makes certain people associate sound with colour, but was subject to it from his very boyhood. Sound of every description had always generated in him the impression of colours. Thus the articulation of the vowels produces in his brain the following results:—The letter A—appears to him dark red; E— white; I—black; O—yellow; U— blue. The double-vowelled letters; Ai—chestnut colour; Ei—greyish white; Eu—light blue; Oi—dirty-yellow; Ou—yellowish. The consonants are nearly all of a dark grey hue; while a vowel, or a double vowel forming with a consonant a syllable, colours that syllable with its own tint. Thus, ba, ca, da are all of red-grey colour; bi, ci, di ash coloured; bo, co, do yellow grey, and so on. S ending a word and pronounced in a hissing way,


like the Spanish words los compos, imparts to the syllable that precedes it a metallic glittering. The colour of the word depends thus on the colour of the letters that compose it, so that to N. R. human speech appears in the shape of many coloured, or variegated ribbons coming out of persons’ mouths, the colours of which are determined by those of the vowels in the sentences, separated one from the other by the greyish stripes of the consonants.

The languages receive in their turn a common colouring from those letters that predominate in each. For instance, the German, which abounds in consonants, forms on the whole the impression of a dark grey moss; French appears grey, strongly mixed with white; the English seems nearly black; Spanish is very much coloured especially with yellow and carmine-red tints; Italian is yellow, merging into carmine and black, but with more delicate and harmonious tints than the Spanish.

A deep-toned voice impresses N. R. with a dark red colour which gradually passes into a chocolate hue; while a shrill, sonorous voice suggests the blue colour, and a voice between these two extremes changes these colours immediately into very light yellow.

The sounds of instruments have also their distinct and special colours: the piano and the flute suggest tints of blue; the violin—black; and the guitar—silver grey, etc.

The names of musical notes pronounced loudly, influence N. R. in the same manner as the words. The colours of a singing voice and playing depend upon the voice and its compass and altitude, and upon the instrument played on.

So it is with figures verbally pronounced; but when read mentally they reflect for him the colour of the ink they are written or printed with. The form, therefore, has nought to do with such colour phenomena. While these impressions do not generally take place outside of himself, but perform, so to say, on the platform of his brain, we find other sensitives offering far more curious phenomena than "N. R." does.

Besides Gabon’s interesting chapter upon this subject, in his "Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development," we find in the London Medical Record a sensitive describing his impressions in this wise: "As soon as I hear the sounds of a guitar, I see vibrating chords, surrounded by coloured vapours." The piano produces the same: "coloured images begin to float over the keys." One of Dr.


Pedronneau’s subjects in Paris11 has always colour impressions outside of himself. "Whenever I hear a chorus composed of several voices," he says, "I feel a great number of coloured points floating over the heads of the singers. I feel them, for my eye receives no definite impression; nevertheless, I am compelled to look at them, and while examining them I feel perplexed, for I cannot find those bright coloured spots where I look at them, or rather feel them."

Inversely, there are sensitives in whom the sight of colours evokes immediately that of sounds, and others again, in whom a triple phenomenon is produced by one special sense generating two other senses. A certain sensitive cannot hear a brass band without a taste "like copper in the mouth" during the performance, and seeing dark golden clouds.

Science investigates such manifestations, recognizes their reality, and—remains powerless to explain them. "Neurosis and hysteria" is the only answer obtained, and the "canine hallucinations" of the French academicians quoted in Isis, have remained valid to this day as an explanation, or a universal solvent of all such phenomena. But it is only natural after all, that science should be unable to account at any rate for this particular phenomenon of light and sound, since their theory of light itself has never been fully verified, nor made complete to the present day.

Let then our scientific opponents play for a while longer at "blind man’s buff" amongst phenomena, with no ground to stand upon but their eternal physiological hypotheses. The time is not perhaps far off when they shall be compelled to change their tactics or—confess themselves defeated by even such elementary phenomena as described above. But, whatever physiologists may, or may not say, or do; whatever their scientific explanations, hypotheses and conclusions at present or in the future, modern phenomena, are fast cycling back for their true explanation, to the archaic Vedas, and other "Sacred Books of the East." For it is an easy matter to show, that the Vedic Aryans were quite familiar with all such mysteries of sound and colour. Mental correlations of the two senses of "sight" and "hearing" were as common a fact in their days, as that of a man in our own seeing objective things before him with eyes wide open at noon.

Any student of Occultism, the youngest of chelas who has just

11 Annales ďOculistique, Nov. and Dec. 1882.—Journal de Medicine de ľOuest, 4me. Trimestre. 1882.


begun reading esoterically his Vedas, can suspect what the real phenomenon means; simply—a cyclic return of human organisms to their primitive form during the 3rd and even the 4th Root Races of what is known as the Antediluvian periods. Everything conspires to prove it, even the study of such exact sciences as philology and comparative mythology. From the hoary days of antiquity, from the very dawn of the grand civilizations of those races that preceded our Fifth Race, and the traces of which now lie buried at the very bottom of the oceans, the fact in question was known. That which is now considered as an abnormal phenomenon, was in every probability the normal state of the antediluvian Humanity. These are no vain words, for here are two of the many proofs.

In consequence of the abundant data gleaned by linguistic research, philologists are beginning to raise their voices and are pointing to some very suggestive, though as yet unexplained facts. (1) All the words indicative of human representations and conceptions of light and sound are found to have their derivation from the same roots.12 (2) Mythology shows, in her turn, the evident law—the uniformity of which precludes the possibility of chance—that led the ancient symbologists to represent all their sun-gods and radiant deities—such as the Dawn, the Sun, or Aurora, Phœbus, Apollo, etc.— connected in one way or the other with music and singing,—with sound in short,— associated with radiancy and colour.13

If this is as yet but an inference, there exists a still better proof in the Vedas, for there the conceptions of the words "sound" and "light," "to hear" and "to see," are always associated. In Hymn X, 71, verse 4, we read "One—though looking, sees not the speech, and the other seeing—does not hear it." And again in verse 7th, in which a party of friends is represented as emulating each other in singing, they are charactered by the double epithet placed side by side: Akshavanta and Karnavanta, or "one furnished with eyes" and "one furnished with ears." The latter is natural—the singer has a good ear for music, and the epithet is comprehensible in view of the musical emulation. But what sense can the Akshavanta have in this case, with his good sight, unless there is a connection and a meaning in it that are not explained, because probably the hymn refers to days when sight and hearing were synonymous terms?

12 Introduction à la Mythologie de l’Odyssée. "Voyvodsky."

13 Essay on the Bacchic Cults of the Indo-European Nations.


Moreover, a philologist, a rising Orientalist, tells14 us that "the Sanskrit verbal root ARC is used to denote two meanings—(a) "to sing," and (b) "to shine," to radiate beams or rays. The substantives rc and arka, derived from the root ARC are used to signify (1) song, hymn, and (2) brilliancy, ray, sun. . . . In the conception of the ancients a speech could be seen . . . he explains. What does the Esoteric Doctrine,—that universal solvent indeed of all scientific difficulties and puzzles—say to this? It sends us to the chapter on the Evolution of Races, in which primitive man is shown in his special evolution advancing on the physical plane by developing a sense in each successive sub-race (of which there are seven) of the 1st Root-race during the 4th Round on this globe.15 Human speech, as known to us, came into being in the Root-race that preceded ours—the Fourth or the "Atlantean"—at the very beginning of it, in sub-race No. 1; and simultaneously with it were developed sight—as a physical sense—while the four other senses (with the two additional—the 6th and 7th—of which science knows nothing as yet)— remained in their latent, undeveloped state as physical senses, although fully developed as spiritual faculties. Our sense of hearing developed only in the 3rd sub-races. Thus, if human "speech"—owing to that absence of the sense of hearing—was in the beginning even less than what we would call a whispered speech, for it was a mental articulation of sounds rather than anything else, something like the systems we now see worked out for the Deaf and Dumb, still it is easy to understand how, even from those early days, "speech" became associated with "sight," or, in other words, people could understand each other and talk with the help of only sight and touch. "Sound is seen before it is heard,"— says the Book of Kiu-ti. The flash of lightning precedes the clap of thunder. As ages went by mankind fell with every new generation lower and lower into matter, the physical smothering the spiritual, until the whole set of senses—that had formed during the first three Root-races but one SENSE, namely, spiritual perception—finally fell asunder to form henceforth five distinct senses. . . .

But we are in the 5th race, and we have already passed the turning or axial point of our "sub-race cycle." Eventually as the current phenomena and the increase of sensitive organisms in our

14 Professor Ovseniko Koulikovsky, the Author of the Essay on "Bacchic Cults."

15 See Esoteric Buddhism—for the Rounds, World-periods, and Sub-races. The chapter referred to will appear in the Secret Doctrine, which will shortly be published.


age go to prove, this Humanity will be moving swiftly on the path of pure spirituality, and will reach the apex (of our Race) at the end of the 7th sub-race. In plainer and fuller language—plainer and fuller to some theosophists only, I am afraid—we shall be, at that period, on the same degree of spirituality that belonged to, and was natural in, the 1st sub-race of the 3rd Root-race of the FOURTH Round; and the second half of it (or that half in which we now are) will be, owing to the law of correspondence, on parallel lines with the first half of the THIRD Round. In the words of one in whom live Truth and Wisdom—however often His words may have been misunderstood and criticised, not alone by profane critics but even by some theosophists,—"in the 1st half of the 3rd Round the primordial spirituality of man was eclipsed, because over-shadowed by nascent mentality"; Humanity was on its descending arc in the first half of that round and in the last half on its ascending arc: i.e., "his (man’s) gigantic stature had decreased and his body improved in texture; and he had become a more rational being though still more an ape than a Deva-man." And, if so, then, according to that same law of correspondences—an immutable one in the system of cycles—we have to infer the following:—that the latter half of our Round,—as shown to correspond with the 1st half of the 3rd,—must have already begun to be once more overshadowed by renascent "primordial" spirituality, which, at the end of the 4th Round, will have nearly eclipsed our actual mentality—in the sense of cold human Reason.

On the principle of that same law of correspondences,—as shall be shown and thoroughly explained in the forthcoming SECRET DOCTRINE—civilized humanity will soon begin to show itself, if even less "rational" on the worldly plane, at any rate more Deva-like than "ape-like"—as we now actually are, and that in the most distressing degree.

I may conclude with the remark, that since our natural and still "ape-like" propensities make us dread, individually and collectively, to be thrown by public opinion out of that region where all the smaller bodies gravitate toward the luminary of our social solar system—Science and her authority,—something has to be done to remedy such a disastrous state of things. I propose to show therefore, in my next, that as we are still only in the 5th sub-race of the Parent race, and none of us shall live to see the 7th—when things shall mend naturally,—that it is just as well not to hang our hopes


on science, whether orthodox or semi-heretical. The men of science cannot help the world to understand the rationale of phenomena, which for a little while longer in this cycle it will be quite impossible for them to account for, even to themselves. They can neither understand nor explain it, any more than any one else can, who has not studied occultism and the hidden laws that govern nature and rule mankind. The men of science are helpless in this case, and it is unjust to charge them with malice, or even with unwillingness—as has been often done. Their rationality (taken in this case in the sense of intellectuality, not of reason) can never permit them to turn their attention to occult study. Therefore it is useless to demand or expect from the learned men of our age that which they are absolutely incapable of doing for us, until the next cycle changes and transforms entirely their inner nature by "improving the texture" of their spiritual minds.


It has already been remarked that neither the medical faculties, nor the scientific bodies of physicists, could ever explain the primum mobile or rationale of the simplest phenomenon, outside of purely physiological causes; and that, unless they turned for help to occultism, they would have to bite the dust before the XXth century was very old.

This seems a bold assertion. Nevertheless, it is fully justified by that of certain medical celebrities: that no phenomenon is possible outside of physiological and purely physical causes. They might reverse this statement and say no final investigation is possible with the light of only physiological and physical causes. That would be correct. They might add that, as men of exact science, they could not employ other methods of investigation. Therefore, having conducted their experiments to a certain boundary, they would desist and declare their task accomplished. Then the phenomena might be passed on to transcendentalists and philosophers to speculate upon. Had they spoken in such a spirit of sincerity no one would have the right of saying that they had not done their duty: for they would have done the best they could under the circumstances, and, as will presently be shown, they could do no more. But at present the neuropathic physicians merely impede the progress of real psychological knowledge. Unless there is an opening, however small, for the passage of a ray from a man’s higher self to chase the dark-


ness of purely material conceptions from the seat of his intellect, and to replace it by light from a plane of existence entirely unknown to the ordinary senses, his task can never be wrought to a successful termination. And as all such abnormal cases, in order to be manifested to our physical as well as spiritual senses, in other words, to become objective, must always have their generating causes inter-blended between the two spheres or planes of existence, the physical and the spiritual, it is but natural that a materialist should discern only those with which he is acquainted, and remain blind to any other. The following illustration will make this clear to every intellectual reader.

When we speak of light, of heat and sound, and so on, what do we mean? Each of these natural phenomena exists per se. But for us it has no being independently of our senses, and exists only to that degree which is perceived by a sense corresponding to it in us. Without being in the least deaf or blind, some men are endowed with far less acute hearing and sight than their neighbours; and it is a well known fact that our senses can be developed and trained as well as our muscles by exercise and method. It is an old axiom that the sun needs an eye to manifest its light; and though the solar energy exists from the first flutter of our Manvantara and will exist to the first killing breath of Pralaya, still, if a certain portion of that energy did not call forth in us those modifications that we name perception of light, Cymmerian darkness would fill the Kosmos and we should be denying the very existence of the sun. Science makes a distinction between the two energies—that of heat and that of light. But the same science teaches us that the creature, or being, in which the corresponding external actions would cause a homogeneous modification, could not find any difference between heat and light. On the other hand, that the creature, or being, in which the dark rays of the solar spectrum would call forth the modifications that are produced in us by the bright rays, would see light there, where we saw nothing whatever.

Mr. A. Butlerof, a professor of chemistry and an eminent scientist, gives us many instances of the above. He points to the observations made by Sir John Lubbock on the sense of colour in ants. It was found by that distinguished man of science, that ants do not allow their eggs to remain subjected to light, and carry them off immediately from a sun-lit spot to a dark place. But when a ray of red light is turned on those eggs (the larvas), the ants leave them


untouched as though they were in complete darkness: they place their eggs indifferently under a red light or in utter darkness. Red light is a non-existent thing for them: as they do not see it, it is for them darkness. The impressions made on them by bright rays are very weak, especially by those nearest to the red—the orange and yellow. To such rays, on the contrary, as light and dark blue and violet—they seem very impressionable. When their nests are lit partly with violet and partly with red rays, they transfer their eggs immediately from the violet on to the red field. To the ant, therefore, the violet ray is the brightest of all the spectral rays. Their sense of colour is therefore quite the opposite of the same sense in man.

But this contrast is still more strengthened by another fact. Besides the rays of light, the solar spectrum contains, as every one knows, the so-called heat rays (for red) and the chemical (for violet). We see however neither the one nor the other, but term both of them dark rays; while the ants perceive them clearly. For, as soon as their eggs are subjected to the action of those dark rays, the ants drag them from that (to us) quite obscure field on to the one lighted by the red ray; therefore, for them, the chemical ray is violet. Hence says the professor—"Owing to such a peculiarity, the objects seen by the ants must appear to them quite different from what they seem to us; those insects find evidently in nature hues and colours of which we have not, nor can have, the slightest conception. Admit for one moment the existence in nature of such objects as would swallow up all the rays of the solar spectrum, and scatter only the chemical rays: these objects would remain invisible to us, while the ants would perceive them very well."

And now, let the reader imagine for one moment the following: that there may be a possibility within the powers of man, with the help of secret sciences, firstly of preparing an "object" (call it talisman if you will) which, detaining for a longer or shorter period the rays of the "solar spectrum" on some one given point, will cause the manipulator of it to remain invisible to all, because he places himself and keeps within the boundary of the chemical or "dark" rays; and secondly—reversing it, to become enabled to see in nature by the help of those dark rays that which ordinary men, with no such "talisman" at hand, can never see with their natural, naked eye! This may be a simple supposition, or it may be a very serious statement, for all the men of science know. They protest only against


that which is claimed to be supernatural, above or outside their Nature; they have no right to object to the acceptance of the super-sensuous, if shown within the limits of our sensuous world.

The same holds good in acoustics. Numerous observations have shown that ants are completely deaf to the sounds that we hear; but that is no reason why we should suppose that ants are deaf. Quite the reverse; for taking his stand on his numerous observations, the same scientist thinks it necessary to accept that the ants hear sounds, "only not those that are perceptible to us."

Every organ of hearing is sensitive to vibrations of a given rapidity, but in cases of different creatures such rapidities may very easily not coincide. And not only in the case of creatures quite different from us men, but even in that of mortals whose organizations are peculiar—abnormal as they are termed—either naturally, or through training.16 Our ordinary ear, for instance, is insensible to vibrations surpassing 38,000 a second, whereas the auditive organ of not only ants but some mortals likewise—who know the way to secure the tympanum from damage, and that of provoking certain correlations in ether—may be very sensitive to vibrations exceeding by far the 38,000 in a second, and thus, such an auditive organ,— abnormal only in the limitations of exact science,— might naturally enable its possessor, whether man or ant, to enjoy sounds and melodies in nature, of which the ordinary tympanum gives no idea. "There, where to our senses reigns dead silence, a thousand of the most varied and weird sounds may be gratifying to the hearing of ants," says Professor Butlerof,17 citing Lubbock; "and these tiny, intelligent insects could, therefore, regard us with the same right as we have to regard them—as deaf, and utterly incapable of enjoying the music of nature, only because they remain insensible to the sound of a gun, human shouting, whistling, and so on."

The aforesaid instances sufficiently show that the scientist’s knowledge of nature is incapable of coinciding wholly and entirely with all that exists and may be found in it. Even without trespassing on other and different spheres and planets, and keeping strictly within the boundaries of our globe, it becomes evident that there exist in it thousands upon thousands of things unseen, unheard, and impalpable to the ordinary human senses. But let us admit, only for the sake of argument, that there may be—quite apart from the

16 The case of Kashmiri natives and especially girls who work on shawls is given in Isis. They perceive 300 hues more than Europeans do.

17 Scientific Letters, X.


supernatural—a science that teaches mortals what may be termed supersensuous chemistry and physics; in plainer language—alchemy and the metaphysics of concrete not abstract nature, and every difficulty will be removed. For, as the same Professor argues—"If we see light there, where another being is plunged in darkness; and see nothing there, where it experiences the action of the light waves; if we hear one kind of sounds and remain deaf to another kind of sounds, heard, nevertheless, by a tiny insect— is it not clear as day, that it is not nature, in her, so to say, primeval nakedness, that is subject to our science and its analysis, but simply those modifications, feelings and perceptions that she awakens in us? It is in accordance with these modifications only that we can draw our conclusions about external things and nature’s actions, and thus create to ourselves the image of the world surrounding us. The same, with respect to every ‘finite’ being: each judging of the external, only by the modifications that are created in him (or it) by the same."

And this, we think, is the case with the materialist: he can judge psychic phenomena only by their external aspect, and no modification is, or ever can be, created in him, so as to open his insight to their spiritual aspect. Notwithstanding the strong position of those several eminent men of science who, becoming convinced of the actuality of "spiritual" phenomena, so-called, have become spiritualists; notwithstanding that—like Professors Wallace, Hare, Zöllner, Wagner, Butlerof—they have brought to bear upon the question all the arguments their great knowledge could suggest to them—their opponents have had, so far, always the best of them. Some of these do not deny the fact of phenomenal occurrences, but they maintain that the chief point in the great dispute between the transcendentalists of spiritualism and the materialists is simply the nature of the operative force, the primum mobile or the power at work. They insist on this main point: the spiritualists are unable to prove that this agency is that of intelligent spirits of departed human beings, "so as to satisfy the requirements of exact science, or of the unbelieving public for the matter of that." And, viewed from this aspect, their position is impregnable.

The theosophical reader will easily understand that it is immaterial whether the denial is to the title of "spirits" pure and simple or to that of any other intelligent being, whether human, sub-human, or super-human, or even to a Force—if it is unknown to, and rejected á priori by science. For it seeks precisely to limit such mani-


festations to those forces only that are within the domain of natural sciences. In short, it rejects point blank the possibility of showing them mathematically to be that which the spiritualists claim them to be, insisting that they have been already demonstrated.

It becomes evident, therefore, that the Theosophist, or rather the Occultist, must find his position far more difficult than even the spiritualist ever can, with regard to modern science. For it is not to phenomena per se that most of the men of science are averse, but to the nature of the agency said to be at work. If, in the case of "Spiritual" phenomena these have only the materialists against them, not so in our case. The theory of "Spirits" has only to contend against those who do not believe in the survival of man’s soul. Occultism raises against itself the whole legion of the Academies; because, while putting every kind of "Spirits," good, bad and indifferent, in the second place, if not entirely in the back-ground, it dares to deny several of the most vital scientific dogmas; and in this case, the Idealists and the Materialists of Science, feel equally indignant; for both, however much they may disagree in personal views, serve under the same banner. There is but one science, even though there are two distinct schools— the idealistic and the materialistic; and both of these are equally considered authoritative and orthodox in questions on science. Few are those among us who clamoured for a scientific opinion expressed upon Occultism, who have thought of this, or realized its importance in this respect. Science, unless remodelled entirely, can have no hand in occult teachings. Whenever investigated on the plan of the modern scientific methods, occult phenomena will prove ten times more difficult to explain than those of the spiritualists pure and simple.

It is, after following for nearly ten years, the arguments of many learned opponents who battled for and against phenomena, that an attempt is now being made to place the question squarely before the Theosophists. It is left with them, after reading what I have to say to the end, to use their judgment in the matter, and to decide whether there can remain one tittle of hope for us ever to obtain in that quarter, if not efficient help, at any rate a fair hearing in favour of the Occult Sciences. From none of their members—I say—not even from those whose inner sight has compelled them to accept the reality of the mediumistic phenomena.

This is but natural. Whatever they be, they are men of the modern science even before they are spiritualists, and if not all,


some of them at any rate would rather give up their connection with, and belief in, mediums and spirits, than certain of the great dogmas of orthodox, exact science. And they would have to give up not a few of these were they to turn Occultists and approach the threshold of THE MYSTERY in a right spirit of enquiry.

It is this difficulty that lies at the root of the recent troubles of Theosophy; and a few words upon the subject will not be out of season, the more so as the whole question lies in a nut-shell. Those Theosophists who are not Occultists cannot help the investigators, let alone the men of science. Those who are Occultists work on certain lines that they dare not trespass. Their mouth is closed; their explanations and demonstrations are limited. What can they do? Science will never be satisfied with a half-explanation.

To know, to dare, to will and to remain silent—is so well known as the motto of the Kabbalists, that to repeat it here may perhaps seem superfluous. Still it may act as a reminder. As it is, we have either said too much or too little. I am very much afraid it is the former. If so, then we have atoned for it, for we were the first to suffer for saying too much. Even that little might have placed us in worse difficulties hardly a quarter of a century ago.

Science—I mean Western Science—has to proceed on strictly defined lines. She glories in her powers of observation, induction, analysis and inference. Whenever a phenomenon of an abnormal nature comes before her for investigation, she has to sift it to its very bottom, or let it go. And this she has to do, and she cannot, as we have shown, proceed on any other than the inductive methods based entirely on the evidence of physical senses. If these, aided by the scientific acumen, do not prove equal to the task, the investigators will resort to, and will not scruple to use, the police of the land, as in the historical cases of Loudun, Salem Witchcraft, Morzine, etc.: The Royal Society calling in Scotland Yard, and the French Academy her native mouchards, all of whom will, of course, proceed in their own detective-like way to help science out of difficulty. Two or three cases of "an extremely suspicious character" will be chosen, on the external plane of course, and the rest proclaimed of no importance, as contaminated by those selected. The testimony of eye-witnesses will be rejected, and the evidence of ill-disposed persons speaking on hearsay accepted as "unimpeachable." Let the reader go over the 20 odd volumes of de Mirville’s and de Mousseau’s works, embracing over a century of forced


enquiry into various phenomena by science, and he will be better able to judge the ways in which scientific, often honourable, men proceed in such cases.

What can be expected then, even from the idealistic school of science, whose members are in so small a minority. Laborious students they are, and some of them open to every truth and without equivocation. Even though they may have no personal hobbies to lose, should their previous views be shown to err, still there are such dogmas in orthodox science that even they would never dare to trespass. Such, for instance, are their axiomatic views upon the law of gravitation and the modern conceptions of Force, Matter, Light, etc., etc.

At the same time we should bear in mind the actual state of civilized Humanity, and remember how its cultured classes stand in relation to any idealistic school of thought, apart from any question of occultism. At the first glance we find that two-thirds of them are honey-combed with what may be called gross and practical materialism.

"The theoretical materialistic science recognizes nought but SUBSTANCE. Substance is its deity, its only God." We are told that practical materialism, on the other hand, concerns itself with nothing that does not lead directly or indirectly to personal benefit. "Gold is its idol," justly observes Professor Butlerof18 (a spiritualist, yet one who could never accept even the elementary truths of occultism, for he "cannot understand them.")—"A lump of matter," he adds, "the beloved substance of the theoretical materialists, is transformed into a lump of mud in the unclean hands of ethical materialism. And if the former gives but little importance to inner (psychic) states that are not perfectly demonstrated by their exterior states, the latter disregards entirely the inner states of life. . . . The spiritual aspect of life has no meaning for practical materialism, everything being summed up for it in the external. The adoration of this external finds its principal and basic justification in the dogmas of materialism, which has legalized it."

This gives the key to the whole situation. Theosophists, or Occultists at any rate, have nothing then to expect from materialistic Science and Society.

Such a state of things being accepted for the daily routine of life,—though that which interferes with the highest moral aspirations

18 Scientific Letters, X.


of Humanity cannot we believe live long,—what can we do but look forward with our hopes to a better future? Meanwhile, we ought never to lose courage; for if materialism, which has depopulated heaven and the elements, and has chosen to make of the limitless Kosmos instead of an eternal abode a dark and narrow tomb, refuses to interfere with us, we can do no better than leave it alone.

Unfortunately it does not. No one speaks so much as the materialists of the accuracy of scientific observation, of a proper use of one’s senses and one’s reason thoroughly liberated from every prejudice. Yet, no sooner is the same privilege claimed in favour of phenomena by one who has investigated them in that same scientific spirit of impartiality and justice, than his testimony becomes worthless. "Yet if such a number of scientific minds," writes Prof. Butlerof, "accustomed by years of training to the minutest observation and verification, testify to certain facts, then there is a primâ facie improbability that they should be collectively mistaken." "But they have and in the most ludicrous way," answer his opponents; and this time we are at one with them.

This brings us back to an old axiom of esoteric philosophy; "nothing of that which does not exist somewhere, whether in the visible or invisible kosmos, can be reproduced artificially, or even in human thought."

"What nonsense is this?" exclaimed a combative Theosophist upon hearing it uttered. "Suppose I think of an animated tower, with rooms in it and a human head, approaching and talking with me—can there be such a thing in the universe?"

"Or parrots hatching out of almond-shells?" said another sceptic. Why not?—was the answer—not on this earth, of course. But how do we know that there may not be such beings as you describe—tower-like bodies and human heads—on some other planet? Imagination is nothing but the memory of preceding births—Pythagoras tells us. You may yourself have been such a "tower man" for all you know, with rooms in you in which your family found shelter like the little ones of the kangaroo. As for parrots hatching out of almond shells—no one could swear that there was no such thing in nature, in days of old, when evolution gave birth to far more curious monsters. A bird hatching out of the fruit of a tree is perhaps one of those countless words dropped by evolution so many ages ago, that the last whisper of its echo was lost in the Diluvian roar. "The mineral becomes plant, the plant an animal,


an animal man," etc.—say the Kabbalists.

Speaking of the evidence and the reliability of senses—even the greatest men of science got caught once upon a time, in not only believing such a thing, but in actually teaching it as a scientific factas it appears.

"When was that?" was the incredulous question. "Not so far back, after all; some 280 years ago—in England." The strange belief that there was a kind of a sea-fowl that hatched out of a fruit was not limited at the very end of the XVIth century to the inhabitants of English sea-port towns only. There was a time when most of the men of science firmly believed it to be a fact, and taught it accordingly. The fruit of certain trees growing on the sea shore —a kind of Magnolia—with its branches dipping generally in the water, had its fruits,—as it was asserted,—transformed gradually by the action of salt water into some special Crustacean formation, from which emerged in good time a living sea-bird, known in the old natural histories as the "Barnacle-goose." Some naturalists accepted the story as an undeniable fact. They observed and investigated it for several years, and "the discovery was accepted and approved by the greatest authorities of the day and published under the auspices of some learned society. One of such believers in the "Barnacle-goose" was John Gerard, a botanist, who notified the world of the amazing phenomenon in an erudite work published in 1596. In it he describes it, and declares it "a fact on the evidence of his own senses" "He has seen it himself," he says, "touched the fruit-egg day after day," watched its growth and development personally, and had the good luck of presiding at the birth of one such bird. He saw first the legs of the chicken oozing out through the broken shell, then the whole body of the little Barnacle-goose "which begun forthwith swimming."19 So much was the botanist convinced of the truth of the whole thing, that he ends his description by inviting any doubter of the reality of what he had seen to come and see him, John Gerard, and then he would undertake to make of him an eye-witness to the whole proceeding. Robert Murray, another English savant and an authority in his day, vouches for the reality of the transformation of which he was also an eyewitness.20 And other learned men, the contemporaries of Gerard

19 From the Scientific Letters—Letter XXIV, Against Scientific Evidence in the Question of Phenomena.

20 He speaks of that transformation in the following words, as translated from the Latin: "In every conch (or shell) that I opened, after the transformation of the fruits


and Murray—Funck, Aldrovandi and many others, shared that conviction.21 So what do you say to this "Barnacle-goose—?"

—Well, I would rather call it the "Gerard-Murray goose," that’s all. And no cause to laugh at such mistakes of those early scientists. Before two hundred years are over our descendants will have far better opportunities to make fun of the present generations of the F. R. S. and their followers. But the opponent of phenomena who quoted the story about the "Barnacle-goose" is quite right there; only that instance cuts both ways, of course, and when one brings it as a proof that even the scientific authorities, who believe in spiritualism and phenomena, may have been grossly mistaken with all their observation and scientific training, we may reverse the weapon and quote it the other way; as an evidence as strong that no "acumen" and support of science can prove a phenomenon "referable to fraud and credulity," when the eye-witnesses who have seen it know it for a fact at least. It only shows that the evidence of even the scientific and well trained senses and powers of observation may be in both cases at fault as those of any other mortal, especially in cases where phenomenal occurrences are sought to be disproved. Even collective observation would go for nought, whenever a phenomenon happens to belong to a plane of being, called (improperly so in their case) by some men of science the fourth dimension of space; and when other scientists who investigate it lack the sixth sense in them, that corresponds to that plane.

In a literary cross-firing that happened some years ago between two eminent professors, much was said of that now for ever famous fourth dimension. One of them, telling his readers that while he accepted the possibility of only the "terrestrial natural sciences," viz., the direct or inductive science, "or the exact investigation of those phenomena only which take place in our earthy conditions of space and time," says he can never permit himself to overlook the possibilities of the future. "I would remind my colleagues," adds the Professor-Spiritualist, "that our inferences from that which is already acquired by investigation, must go a great deal further

on the branches into shells, I found the exact pictures in miniature in it of the sea-fowl: a little beak like that of a goose, well dotted eyes; the head, the neck, the breast, the wings, and the already formed legs and feet, with well marked feathers on the tail, of a dark colour, etc., etc."

21 It is evident that this idea was commonly held in the latter half of the 17th century, seeing that it found a place in Hudibras, which was an accurate reflection of the opinions of the day:—

"As barnacles turn Poland Geese
In th’ islands of the Orcades."
—Ed. Theosophist


than our sensuous perceptions. The limits of sensuous knowledge must be subjected to constant enlargement, and those of deduction still more. Who shall dare to draw those limits for the future? . . . existing in a three dimensional space, we can conduct our investigations of, and make our observations upon, merely that which takes place within those three dimensions. But what is there to prevent us thinking of a space of higher dimensions and building a geometry corresponding to it? . . . Leaving the reality of a fourth dimensional space for the time being aside, we can still . . . go on observing and watching whether there may not be met with occasionally on our three-dimensional world, phenomena that could only be explained on the supposition of a four-dimensional space." In other words, "we ought to ascertain whether anything pertaining to the four-dimensional regions can manifest itself in our three-dimensional world . . . can it not be reflected in it. . . ?"

The occultist would answer, that our senses can most undeniably be reached on this plane, not only from a four-dimensional but even a fifth and a sixth dimensional world. Only those senses must become sufficiently spiritualised for it in so far as it is our inner sense only that can become the medium for such a transmission. Like "the projection of an object that exists in a space of three dimensions can be made to appear on the flat surface of a screen of only two dimensions"—four-dimensional beings and things can be reflected in our three-dimensional world of gross matter. But, as it would require a skilful physicist to make his audience believe that the things "real as life" they see on his screen are not shadows but realities, so it would take a wiser one than any of us to persuade a man of science—let alone a crowd of scientific men—that what he sees reflected on our three-dimensional "screen" may be, at times, and under certain conditions a very real phenomenon, reflected from, and produced by "four-dimensional powers," for his private delectation, and as a means to convince him. "Nothing so false in appearance as naked truth"—is a Kabbalistic saying;—"truth is often stranger than fiction"—is a world-known axiom.

It requires more than a man of our modern science to realize such a possibility as an interchange of phenomena between the two worlds—the visible and the invisible. A highly spiritual, or a very keen impressionable intellect, is necessary to decipher intuitionally the real from the unreal, the natural from the artificially prepared "screen." Yet our age is a reactionary one, hooked on the very end


of the Cyclic coil, or what remains of it. This accounts for the flood of phenomena, as also for the blindness of certain people.

What does materialistic science answer to the idealistic theory of a four-dimensional space? "How!" it exclaims, "and would you make us attempt, while circumscribed within the impossible circle of a three-dimensional space, to even think of a space of higher dimensions! But how is it possible to think of that, which our human thought can never imagine and represent even in its most hazy outlines? One need be quite a different being from a human creature; be gifted with quite a different psychic organization; one must not be a man, in short, to find himself enabled to represent in his thought a four-dimensional space—a thing of length, breadth, thickness and—what else?"

Indeed, "what else?"—for no one of the men of science, who advocate it, perhaps only because they are sincere spiritualists and anxious to explain phenomena by the means of that space, seem to know it themselves. Is it the "passage of matter through matter?" Then why should they insist upon it being a "space" when it is simply another plane of existence,—or at least that is what ought to be meant by it,—if it means anything. We occultists say and maintain, that if a name is needed to satisfy the material conceptions of men on our low plane, let them call it by its Hindu name Mahas (or Mahaloka)—the fourth world of the higher septenary, and one that corresponds to Rasatala (the fourth of the septenary string of the nether worlds)—the fourteen worlds that "sprung from the quintuplicated elements"; for these two worlds are enveloping, so to say, our present fourth-round world. Every Hindu will understand what is meant. Mahas is a higher world, or plane of existence rather; as that plane to which belongs the ant just spoken of, is perchance a lower one of the nether septenary chains. And if they call it so—they will be right.

Indeed, people speak of this four-dimensional space as though it were a locality—a sphere instead of being what it is—quite a different state of Being. Ever since it came to be resurrected in people’s minds by Prof. Zöllner, it has led to endless confusion. How did it happen? By the means of an abstruse mathematical analysis a spiritual-minded man of science finally came to the laudable conclusion that our conception of space may not be infallible, nor is it absolutely proven that besides our three-dimensional calculations it is mathematically impossible that there are spaces of more or less


dimensions in the wide Universe. But, as is well expressed by a sceptic—"the confession of the possible existence of spaces of different dimensions than our own does not afford us (the high mathematicians) the slightest conception of what those dimensions really are. To accept a higher ‘four-dimensional’ space is like accepting infinitude: such an acceptation does not afford us the smallest help by which we might represent to ourselves either of these . . . all we know of such higher spaces is, that they have nothing in common with our conceptions of space." (Scientific Letters.)

"Our conception"—means of course the conception of materialistic Science, thus leaving a pretty wide margin for other less scientific, withal more spiritual, minds.

To show the hopelessness of ever bringing a materialistic mind to realize or even conceive in the most remote and hazy way the presence among us, in our three-dimensional world of other higher planes of being, I may quote from the very interesting objections made by one of the two learned opponents,22 already referred to, with regard to this "Space."

He asks: "Is it possible to introduce as an explanation of certain phenomena the action of such a factor, of which we know nothing certain, are ignorant even of its nature and its faculties?"

Perchance, there are such, who may "know" something, who are not so hopelessly ignorant. If an occultist were appealed to, he would say—No; exact physical science has to reject its very being, otherwise that science would become metaphysical. It cannot be analyzed—hence explained, on either biological or even physiological data. Nevertheless, it might, inductively—as gravitation for instance, of which you know no more than that its effects may be observed on our three-dimensional earth."

Again (1) "It is said" (by the advocates of the theory) "that we live unconditionally in our three-dimensional space! Perchance" (unconditionally) "just because we are able to comprehend only such space, and absolutely incapable, owing to our organization, to realize it in any other, but a three-dimensional way!"

(2) In other words, "even our three-dimensional space is not something existing independently, but represents merely the product of our understanding and perceptions."

22 1883.—Scientific Letters—published in the Novoye Vremya, St. Petersburg.


To the first statement Occultism answers that those "incapable to realize" any other space but a three-dimensional one, do well to leave alone all others. But it is not "owing to our (human) organization," but only to the intellectual organization of those who are not able to conceive of any other; to organisms undeveloped spiritually and even mentally in the right direction. To the second statement it would reply, that the "opponent" is absolutely wrong in the first, and absolutely right in the last portion of his sentence. For, though the "fourth dimension"—if we must so call it—exists no more independently of our perceptions and senses than our three-dimensional imagined space, nor as a locality, it still is, and exists for the beings evoluted and born in it as "a product of their understanding and their perceptions." Nature never draws too harsh lines of demarcation, never builds impassable walls, and her unbridged "chasms" exist merely in the tame conceptions of certain naturalists. The two (and more) "spaces," or planes of being, are sufficiently interblended to allow of a communication between those of their respective inhabitants who are capable of conceiving both a higher and a lower plane. There may be amphibial beings intellectually as there are amphibious creatures terrestrially.

The objector to a fourth dimensional plane complains that the section of high mathematics, known at present under the name of "Metamathematics," or "Metageometry," is being misused and misapplied by the spiritualists. They "seized hold of, and fastened to it as to an anchor of salvation." His arguments are, to say the least, curious. "Instead of proving the reality of their mediumistic phenomena," he says, "they took to explaining them on the hypothesis of a fourth dimension." Do we see the hand of a Katie King, which disappears in "unknown space"—forthwith on the proscenium—the fourth dimension; do we get knots on a rope whose two ends are tied and sealed—again that fourth dimension. From this standpoint space is viewed as something objective. It is believed that there are indeed in nature three, four and five-dimensional spaces. But, firstly, by the means of mathematical analysis, we might arrive, in this way, at an endless series of spaces. Only think, what would become of exact science, if, to explain phenomena, such hypothetical spaces were called to its help. "If one should fail, we could evoke another, a still higher one, and so on "

Oh, poor Kant! and yet, we are told that one of his fundamental principles was—that our three-dimensional space is not an absolute


one; and that "even in respect to such axioms as those of Euclid’s geometry, our knowledge and sciences can only be relatively exact and real."

But why should exact science be thought in danger only because spiritualists try to explain their phenomena on that plane? And on what other could they explain that which is inexplicable if we undertake to analyze it on the three-dimensional conceptions of terrestrial science, if not by a fourth-dimensional conception? No sane man would undertake to explain the Dæmon of Socrates by the shape of the great sage’s nose, or attribute the inspiration of the Light of Asia to Mr. Ed. Arnold’s skull cap. What would become of science—verily, were the phenomena left to be explained on the said hypothesis? Nothing worse, we hope, than what became of science, after the Royal Society had accepted its modern theory of Light, on the hypothesis of an universal Ether. Ether is no less "a product of our understanding" than Space is. And if one could be accepted, then why reject the other? Is it because one can be materialised in our conceptions, or shall we say had to be, since there was no help for it; and that the other, being useless as a hypothesis for the purposes of exact science, is not, so far?

So far as the Occultists are concerned, they are at one with the men of strict orthodox science, when to the offer made "to experiment and to observe whether there may not occur in our three-dimensional world phenomena, explainable only on the hypothesis of the existence of a space of four dimensions," they answer as they do. "Well"—they say—"and shall observation and experiment give us a satisfactory answer to our question concerning the real existence of a higher four-dimensional space? or, solve for us a dilemma unsolvable from whatever side we approach it? How can our human observation and our human experiments, possible only unconditionally within the limits of a space of three dimensions, serve us as a point of departure for the recognition of phenomena which can be explained "only if we admit the existence of a four-dimensional space?"

The above objections are quite right we think; and the spiritualists would be the only losers were they to ever prove the existence of such space or its interference in their phenomena. For see, what would happen. No sooner would it be demonstrated that— say, a ring does pass through solid flesh and emigrate from the arm of the medium on to that of the investigator who holds the two hands of


the former; or again, that flowers and other material things are brought through closed doors and walls; and that, therefore, owing to certain exceptional conditions, matter can pass through matter,—no sooner would the men of science get collectively convinced of the fact, than the whole theory of spirit agency and intelligent intervention would crumble to dust. The three-dimensional space would not be interfered with, for the passage of one solid through the other does nothing to do away with even metageometrical dimensions, but matter would be probably endowed by the learned bodies with one more faculty, and the hands of the materialists strengthened thereby. Would the world be nearer the solution of psychic mystery? Shall the noblest aspirations of mankind after the knowledge of real spiritual existence on those planes of being that are now confused with the "four-dimensional space" be the nearer to solution, because exact science shall have admitted as a physical law the action of one man walking deliberately through the physical body of another man, or through a stone wall? Occult sciences teach us that at the end of the Fourth Race, matter, which evolutes, progresses and changes, as we do along with the rest of the kingdoms of nature, shall acquire its fourth sense, as it acquires an additional one with every new Race. Therefore, to an Occultist there is nothing surprising in the idea that the physical world should be developing and acquiring new faculties,—a simple modification of matter, new as it now seems to science, as incomprehensible as were at first the powers of steam, sound, electricity. But what does seem surprising is the spiritual stagnation in the world of intellect, and of the highest exoteric knowledge.

However, no one can impede or precipitate the progress of the smallest cycle. But perhaps old Tacitus was right: "Truth is established by investigation and delay; falsehood prospers by precipitancy." We live in an age of steam and mad activity, and truth can hardly expect recognition in this century. The Occultist waits and bides his time.

Theosophist, April, May, 1886Η. P. Blavatsky


As for what thou hearest others say, who persuade the many that the soul, when once freed from the body, neither suffers evil nor is conscious, I know that thou art better grounded in the doctrines received by us from our ancestors and in the sacred orgies of Dionysos, than to believe them; for the mystic symbols are well known to us, who belong to the "Brotherhood."

OF late, Theosophists in general, and the writer of the present paper especially, have been severely taken to task for disrespect to science. We are asked what right we have to question the conclusions of the most eminent men of learning, to refuse recognition of infallibility (which implies omniscience) to our modern scholars? How dare we, in short, "contemptuously ignore" their most undeniable and "universally accepted theories," etc., etc. This article is written with the intention of giving some reasons for our sceptical attitude.

To begin with, in order to avoid a natural misunderstanding in view of the preceding paragraph, let the reader at once know that the title, "The NEGATORS of Science," applies in nowise to Theosophists. Quite the reverse. By "Science" we here mean ANCIENT WISDOM, while its "Negators" represent modern materialistic Scientists. Thus we have once more "the sublime audacity" of, David-like, confronting, with an old-fashioned theosophical sling for our only weapon, the giant Goliath "armed with a coat of mail," and weighing "five thousand shekels of brass," truly. Let the Philistine deny facts, and substitute for them his "working hypotheses"; we reject the latter and defend facts, "the armies of the one living TRUTH."

The frankness of this plain statement is certain to awake all the sleeping dogs, and to set every parasite of modern science snapping at our editorial heels. "Those wretched Theosophists!" will be the cry. "How long shall they refuse to humble themselves; and how long shall we bear with this evil congregation?" Well, it will certainly take a considerable time to put us down, as more than one experi-


ment has already shown. Very naturally, our confession of faith must provoke the wrath of every sycophant of the mechanical and animalistic theories of the Universe and Man; and the numbers of these sycophants are large, even if not very awe-inspiring. In our cycle of wholesale denial the ranks of the Didymi are daily reinforced by every new-baked materialist and so-called "infidel," who escapes, full of reactive energy, from the narrow fields of church dogmatism. We know the numerical strength of our foes and opponents, and do not underrate it. More: in this present case even some of our best friends may ask, as they have done before now: "Cui bono? why not leave our highly respectable, firmly-rooted, official Science, with her scientists and their flunkeys, severely alone?"

Further on it will be shown why; when our friends will learn that we have very good reason to act as we do. With the true, genuine man of science, with the earnest, impartial, unprejudiced and truth- loving scholar—of the minority, alas!—we can have no quarrel, and he has all our respect. But to him who, being only a specialist in physical sciences— however eminent, matters not—still tries to throw into the scales of public thought his own materialistic views upon metaphysical and psychological questions (a dead letter to him) we have a good deal to say. Nor are we bound by any laws we know of, divine or human, to respect opinions which are held erroneous in our school, only because they are those of so-called authorities in materialistic or agnostic circles. Between truth and fact (as we understand them) and the working hypotheses of the greatest living physiologists—though they answer to the names of Messrs. Huxley, Claude Bernard, Du Bois Reymond, etc., etc.— we hope never to hesitate for one instant. If, as Mr. Huxley once declared, soul, immortality and all spiritual things "lie outside of [his] philosophical enquiry" (Physical Basis of Life), then, as he has never enquired into these questions, he has no right to offer an opinion. They certainly lie outside the grasp of materialistic physical science, and, what is more important, to use Dr. Paul Gibier’s felicitous expression, outside the luminous zone of most of our materialistic scientists. These are at liberty to believe in the "automatic action of nervous centres" as primal creators of thought; that the phenomena of will are only a complicated form of reflex actions, and what not—but we are as much at liberty to deny their statements. They are specialists—no more. As the author of Spiritisme et Fakirisme admirably depicts it, in his latest work:—


A number of persons, extremely enlightened on some special point of science, take upon themselves the right of pronouncing arbitrarily their judgment on all things; are ready to reject everything new which shocks their ideas, often for the sole reason that if it were true they could not remain ignorant of it! For my part I have often met this kind of self-sufficiency in men whom their knowledge and scientific studies ought to have preserved from such a sad moral infirmity, had they not been specialists, holding to their specialty. It is a sign of relative inferiority to believe oneself superior. In truth, the number of intellects afflicted with such gaps (lacunes) is larger than is commonly believed. As there are individuals completely refractory to the study of music, of mathematics, etc., so there are others to whom certain areas of thought are closed. Such of these who might have distinguished themselves in . . . medicine or literature, would probably have signally failed in any occupation outside of what I will call their lucid zone, by comparison with the action of those reflectors, which, during night, throw their light into a zone of luminous rays, outside of which all is gloomy shadow and uncertainty. Every human being has his own lucid zone, the extention, range and degree of luminosity of which, varies with each individual.

There are things which lie outside the conceptivity of certain intellects; they are outside their lucid zone.1

This is absolutely true whether applied to the scientist or his profane admirer. And it is to such scientific specialists that we refuse the right to sit in Solomon’s seat, in judgment over all those who will not see with their eyes, nor hear with their ears. To them we say: We do not ask you to believe as we do, since your zone limits you to your specialty; but then do not encroach on the zones of other people. And, if you will do so nevertheless, if, after laughing in your moments of honest frankness at your own ignorance; after stating repeatedly, orally and in print, that you, physicists and materialists, know nothing whatever of the ultimate potentialities of matter, nor have you made one step towards solving the mysteries of life and consciousness—you still persist in teaching that all the manifestations of life and intelligence, and the phenomena of the highest mentality, are merely properties of that matter of which you confess yourselves quite ignorant,2 then— you can hardly escape the charge of humbugging the world.3

1 "Analyse des Choses." Physiologie Transcendentale. Dr. Paul Gibier, pp. 33, 34.

2 "In perfect strictness, it is true that chemical investigation can tell us little or nothing directly of the composition of living matter, and . . . it is also in strictness true, that we KNOW NOTHING about the composition of any body whatever, as it is." (Prof. Huxley).

3 This is what the poet laureate of matter, Mr. Tyndall, confesses in his works concerning atomic action: "Through pure excess of complexity . . . the most highly trained


The word "humbug" is used here advisedly, in its strictest etymological Websterian meaning, that is, "imposition under fair pretences"—in this case, of science. Surely it is not expecting too much of such learned and scholarly gentlemen that they should not abuse their ascendency and prestige over people’s minds to teach them something they themselves know nothing about; that they should abstain from preaching the limitations of nature, when its most important problems have been, are, and ever will be, insoluble riddles to the materialist! This is no more than asking simple honesty from such teachers.

What is it, that constitutes the real man of learning? Is not a true and faithful servant of science (if the latter is accepted as the synonym of truth) he, who besides having mastered a general information on all things is ever ready to learn more, because there are things that he admits he does not know?4 A scholar of this description will never hesitate to give up his own theories, whenever he finds them—not clashing with fact and truth, but—merely dubious. For the sake of truth he will remain indifferent to the world’s opinion, and that of his colleagues, nor will he attempt to sacrifice the spirit of a doctrine to the dead-letter of a popular belief. Independent of man or party, fearless whether he gets at logger-heads with biblical chronology, theological claims, or the preconceived and in-rooted theories of materialistic science; acting in his researches in an entirely unprejudiced frame of mind, free from personal vanity and pride, he will investigate truth for her own fair sake, not to please this or that faction; nor will he dislocate facts to make them fit in with his own hypothesis, or the professed beliefs of either state religion or official science. Such is the ideal of a true man of science; and such a one, whenever mistaken—for even a Newton and a Humboldt have made occasional mistakes—will hasten to publish his error and correct it, and not act as the German naturalist, Hæckel, has done. What the latter did is worth a repetition. In every subsequent edition of his Pedigree of Man he has left uncor-

intellect, the most refined and disciplined imagination retires in bewilderment from the contemplation of the problem. We are struck dumb by an astonishment which no microscope can relieve, doubting not only the power of our instrument, but even whether we ourselves possess the intellectual elements which will ever enable us to grapple with the ultimate structural energies of nature." And yet they do not hesitate to grapple with nature’s spiritual and psychic problems—life, intelligence and the highest consciousness—and attribute them all to matter.

4 And therefore it is not to such that these well-known humorous verses, sung at Oxford, would apply:

"I am the master of this college,
And what I know not is not knowledge."


rected the sozura ("unknown to science," Quatrefages tells us), and his prosimiœ allied to the loris, which he describes as "without marsupial bones, but with placenta" (Ped. of Man, p. 77), when years ago it has been proved by the anatomical researches of Messrs. "Alphonse Milne, Edwards and Grandidier . . . that the prosimiœ of Hæckel have . . . no placenta" (Quatrefages, The Human Species, p. 110). This is what we, Theosophists, call downright dishonesty. For he knows the two creatures he places in the fourteenth and eighteenth stages of his genealogy in the Pedigree of Man to be myths in nature, and that far from any possibility of their being the direct or indirect ancestors of apes—let alone man, "they cannot even be regarded as the ancestors of the zonoplacental mammals" according to Quatrefages. And yet Hæckel palms them off still, on the innocent, and the sycophants of Darwinism, only, as Quatrefages explains, "because the proof of their existence arises from the necessity of an intermediate type"!! We fail to see any difference between the pious frauds of a Eusebius "for the greater glory of God," and the impious deception of Hæckel for "the greater glory of matter" and—man’s dishonour. Both are forgeries—and we have a right to denounce both.

The same with regard to other branches of science. A specialist—say a Greek or Sanskrit scholar, a paleographer, an archaeologist, an orientalist of any description—is an "authority" only within the limits of his special science, just as is an electrician or a physicist in theirs. And which of these may be called infallible in his conclusions? They have made, and still go on making mistakes, each of their hypotheses being only a surmise, a theory for the time being—and no more. Who would believe today, with Koch’s craze upon us, that hardly a few years ago, the greatest authority on pathology in France, the late Professor Vulpian, Doyen of the Faculty of Medicine in Paris, denied the existence of the tubercular microbe? When, says Doctor Gibier, (his friend and pupil) M. Bouley laid before the Academy of Sciences a paper on the tubercular bacillus, he was told by Vulpian that "this germ could not exist," for "had it existed it would have been discovered before now, having been hunted after for so many years!"5

Just in the same way every scientific specialist of whatever description denies the doctrines of Theosophy and its teachings; not that he has ever attempted to study or analyze them, or to discover how

5 Analyse des Choses, etc., Dr. P. Gibier, pp. 213 and 214.


much truth there may be in the old sacred science, but simply because it is not modern science that has discovered any of them; and also because, having once strayed away from the main road into the jungles of material speculation, the men of science cannot return back without pulling down the whole edifice after them. But the worst of all is, that the average critic and opponent of the Theosophical doctrines is neither a scientist, nor even a specialist. He is simply a flunkey of the scientists in general; a repeating parrot and a mimicking ape of that or another "authority," who makes use of the personal theories and conclusions of some well-known writer, in the hope of breaking our heads with them. Moreover, he identifies himself with the "gods" he serves or patronizes. He is like the Zouave of the Pope’s body-guard who, because he had to beat the drum at every appearance and departure of St. Peter’s "Successor," ended by identifying himself with the apostle. So with the self-appointed flunkey of the modern Elohim of Science. He fondly imagines himself "as one of us," and for no more cogent reason than had the Zouave: he, too, beats the big drum for every Oxford or Cambridge Don whose conclusions and personal views do not agree with the teachings of the Occult Doctrine of antiquity.

To devote, however, to these braggarts with tongue or pen one line more than is strictly necessary, would be waste of time. Let them go. They have not even a "zone" of their own, but have to see things through the light of other people’s intellectual "zones."

And now to the reason why we have once more the painful duty of challenging and contradicting the scientific views of so many men considered each more or less "eminent," in his special branch of science. Two years ago, the writer promised in the Secret Doctrine, Vol. II., p. 798, a third and even a fourth volume of that work. This third volume (now almost ready) treats of the ancient Mysteries of Initiation, gives sketches—from the esoteric stand-point—of many of the most famous and historically known philosophers and hierophants, (every one of whom is set down by the Scientists as an imposter), from the archaic down to the Christian era, and traces the teachings of all these sages to one and the same source of all knowledge and science—the esoteric doctrine or WISDOM-RELIGION. NO need our saying that from the esoteric and legendary materials used in the forthcoming work, its statements and conclusions differ greatly and often clash irreconcilably with the data given by almost all the English and German Orientalists. There is a tacit agreement among


the latter—including even those who are personally inimical to each other—to follow a certain line of policy in the matter of dates;6 of denial to "adepts" of any transcendental knowledge of any intrinsic value; of the utter rejection of the very existence of siddhis, or abnormal spiritual powers in man. In this the Orientalists, even those who are materialists, are the best allies of the clergy and biblical chronology. We need not stop to analyze this strange fact, but such it is. Now the main point of Volume III. of the Secret Doctrine is to prove, by tracing and explaining the blinds in the works of ancient Indian, Greek, and other philosophers of note, and also in all the ancient Scriptures— the presence of an uninterrupted esoteric allegorical method and symbolism; to show, as far as lawful, that with the keys of interpretation as taught in the Eastern Hindo-Buddhistic Canon of Occultism, the Upanishads, the Purânas, the Sutras, the Epic poems of India and Greece, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Scandinavian Eddas, as well as the Hebrew Bible, and even the classical writings of Initiates (such as Plato, among others) —all, from first to last, yield a meaning quite different from their dead letter texts. This is flatly denied by some of the foremost scholars of the day. They have not got the keys, ergo—no such keys can exist. According to Dr. Max Müller no pandit of India has ever heard of an esoteric doctrine (Gupta-Vidya, nota bene). In his Edinburgh Lectures the Professor made almost as cheap of Theosophists and their interpretations, as some learned Shastris—let alone initiated Brahmins—make of the learned German philologist himself. On the other hand, Sir Monier Williams undertakes to prove that the Lord Gautama Buddha never taught any esoteric philosophy (!!), thus giving the lie to all subsequent history, to the Arhat-Patriarchs, who converted China and Tibet to Buddhism, and charging with fraud the numerous esoteric schools still existing in China and Tibet.7 Nor, according to Professor B. Jowett, the Master of Balliol College, is there any esoteric or gnostic element in the Dialogues of Plato, not even in that pre-eminently occult treatise, the Timæus.8

6 Says Prof. A. H. Sayce in his excellent Preface to Dr. Schliemann’s Troja: "The natural tendency of the student of to-day is to post-date rather than to ante-date, and to bring everything down to the latest period that is possible." This is so, and they do it with a vengeance. The same reluctance is felt to admit the antiquity of man, as to allow to the ancient philosopher any knowledge of that which the modern student does not know. Conceit and vanity!

7 See Edkin’s Chinese Buddhism, and read what this missionary, an eminent Chinese scholar who lived long years in China, though himself very prejudiced as a rule, says of the esoteric schools.

8 See Preface to his translation of Timæus.


The Neo-Platonists, such as Ammonius Saccas, Plotinus, Porphyry, etc., etc., were ignorant, superstitious mystics, who saw a secret meaning where none was meant, and who, Plato heading them, had no idea of real science. In the scholarly appreciation of our modern scientific luminaries, in fact, science (i.e., knowledge) was in its infancy in the days of Thales, Pythagoras and even of Plato; while the grossest superstition and "twaddle" reigned in the times of the Indian Rishis. Pânini, the greatest grammarian in the world, according to Professors Weber and Max Müller was unacquainted with the art of writing, and so also everyone else in India, from Manu to Buddha, even so late as 300 years B. C. On the other hand, Professor A. H. Sayce, an undeniably great paleographer and Assyriologist, who kindly admits such a thing as an esoteric school and occult symbology among the Accado-Babylonians, nevertheless claims that the Assyriologists have now in their possession all the keys required for the right interpretation of the secret glyphs of the hoary past. Methinks, we know the chief key used by himself and his colleagues:—trace every god and hero, whose character is in the least doubtful, to a solar myth, and you have discovered the whole secret; an easier undertaking, you see, than for a "Wizard of the North" to cook an omelette in a gentleman’s hat. Finally, in the matter of esoteric symbology and Mysteries, the Orientalists of today seem to have forgotten more than the initiated priests of the days of Sargon (3750 years B.C., according to Dr. Sayce) ever knew. Such is the modest claim of the Hibbert Lecturer for 1887.

Thus, as the personal conclusions and claims of the above-named scholars (and many more) militate against the theosophical teachings, in this generation, at any rate, the laurels of conquest will never be accorded by the majority to the latter. Nevertheless, since truth and fact are on our side, we need not despair, but will simply bide our time. Time is a mighty conjurer; an irresistible leveller of artificially grown weeds and parasites, a universal solvent for truth. Magna est veritas et prevalebit. Meanwhile, however, the Theosophists cannot allow themselves to be denounced as visionaries, when not "frauds," and it is their duty to remain true to their colours, and to defend their most sacred beliefs. This they can do only by opposing to the prejudiced hypotheses of their opponents, (a) the diametrically opposite conclusions of their colleagues—other scientists as eminent specialists in the same branches of study as themselves; and (b) the true meaning of sundry passages disfigured by


these partizans, in the old scriptures and classics. But to do this, we can pay no more regard to these illustrious personages in modern science, than they do to the gods of the "inferior races." Theosophy, the Divine Wisdom or TRUTH is, no more than was a certain tribal deity—"a respecter of persons." We are on the defensive, and have to vindicate that which we know to be implicit truth: hence, for a few editorials to come, we contemplate a series of articles refuting our opponents—however learned.

And now it becomes evident why it is impossible for us to "leave our highly respectable, firmly-rooted official science severely alone."

Meanwhile we may close with a few parting words to our readers. Power belongs to him who knows; this is a very old axiom: knowledge, or the first step to power, especially that of comprehending the truth, of discerning the real from the false— belongs only to those who place truth above their own petty personalities. Those only who having freed themselves from every prejudice, and conquered their human conceit and selfishness, are ready to accept every and any truth—once the latter is undeniable and has been demonstrated to them—those alone, I say, may hope to get at the ultimate knowledge of things. It is useless to search for such among the proud scientists of the day, and it would be folly to expect the aping masses of the profane to turn against their tacitly accepted idols. Therefore it is also useless for a theosophical work of any description to expect justice. Let some unknown MS. of Macaulay, of Sir W. Hamilton, or John Stuart Mill, be printed and issued to-day by the Theosophical Publishing Company, and the reviewers—if any—would proclaim it ungrammatical and un-English, misty and illogical. The majority judge of a work according to the respective prejudices of its critics, who in their turn are guided by the popularity or unpopularity of the authors, certainly never by its intrinsic faults or merits. Outside theosophical circles, therefore, the forthcoming volumes of the Secret Doctrine are sure to receive at the hands of the general public a still colder welcome than their two predecessors have found. In our day, as has been proved repeatedly, no statement can hope for a fair trial, or even hearing, unless its arguments run on the lines of legitimate and accepted enquiry, remaining strictly within the boundaries of either official, materialistic science, or emotional, orthodox theology.

Our age, reader, is a paradoxical anomaly. It is pre-eminently materialistic, and as pre-eminently pietist, a Janus age, in all truth.


Our literature, our modern thought and progress so-called, run on these two parallel lines, so incongruously dissimilar, and yet both so popular and so very "proper" and "respectable," each in its own way. He who presumes to draw a third line, or even a hyphen of reconciliation, so to speak, between the two, has to be fully prepared for the worst. He will have his work mangled by reviewers, who after reading three lines on the first page, two in the middle of the book, and the closing sentence, will proclaim it "unreadable"; it will be mocked by the sycophants of science and church, misquoted by their flunkeys, and rejected even by the pious railway stalls, while the average reader will not even understand its meaning. The still absurd misconceptions in the cultured circles of Society about the teachings of the "Wisdom-religion" (Bodhism), after the admirably clear and scientifically presented explanations of its elementary doctrines by the author of Esoteric Buddhism, are a good proof in point. They might serve as a caution even to those amongst us, who, hardened in almost a life-long struggle in the service of our Cause, are neither timid with their pens, nor in the least disconcerted or appalled by the dogmatic assertions of scientific "authorities." And yet they persist in their work, although perfectly aware that, do what they may, neither materialism nor doctrinal pietism will give theosophical philosophy a fair hearing in this age. To the very end, our doctrine will be systematically rejected, our theories denied a place, even in the ranks of those ever-shifting, scientific ephemera—called the "working hypotheses" of our day. To the advocates of the "animalistic" theory, our cosmogenetical and anthropogenetical teachings must be "fairy tales," truly. "How can we," asked one of the champions of the men of science of a friend, "accept the rigmaroles of ancient Babus (?!) even if taught in antiquity, once they go in every detail against the conclusions of modern science . . . As well ask us to replace Darwin by Jack the Giant Killer!" Quite so; for those who would shirk any moral responsibility it seems certainly more convenient to accept descent from a common simian ancestor, and see a brother in a dumb, tailless baboon, rather than acknowledge the fatherhood of the Pitris, the fair "sons of the gods," or to have to recognize as a brother, a starveling from the slums, or a copper-coloured man of an "inferior" race. "Hold back!" shout in their turn the pietists, "you can never hope to make respectable church-going Christians— ‘Esoteric Buddhists’!"

Nor are we in any way anxious to attempt the metamorphosis; the


less so, since the majority of the pious Britishers have already, and of their own free will and choice, become Exoteric Boothists.

De gustibus non disputandum.

In our next, we mean to enquire how far Prof. Jowett is right, in his Preface to Timæus, in stating that "the fancies of the Neo-Platonists have nothing to do with the interpretation of Plato," and that "the so-called mysticism of Plato is purely Greek, arising out of his imperfect knowledge," not to say ignorance. The learned Master of Balliol denies the use of any esoteric symbology by Plato in his works. We Theosophists maintain it and must try to give our best proofs for the claims preferred.


On Authorities in General, and the Authority of Materialists, Especially

In assuming the task of contradicting "authorities" and of occasionally setting at nought the well established opinions and hypotheses of men of Science, it becomes necessary in the face of repeated accusations to define our attitude clearly at the very outset. Though, where the truth of our doctrines is concerned, no criticism and no amount of ridicule can intimidate us, we would nevertheless be sorry to give one more handle to our enemies, as a pretext for an extra slaughter of the innocent; nor would we willingly lead our friends into an unjust suspicion of that to which we are not in the least prepared to plead guilty.

One of such suspicions would naturally be the idea that we must be terribly self-opinionated and conceited. This would be false from A to Z. It does not at all stand to reason that because we contradict eminent professors of Science on certain points, we therefore claim to know more than they do of Science; nor, that we even have the benighted vanity of placing ourselves on the same level as these scholars. Those who would accuse us of this would simply be talking nonsense, for even to harbour such a thought would be the madness of conceit—and we have never been guilty of this vice. Hence, we declare loudly to all our readers that most of those "authorities" we find fault with, stand in our own opinion immeasurably higher in scientific knowledge and general information than we do. But, this


conceded, the reader is reminded that great scholarship in no way precludes great bias and prejudice; nor is it a safeguard against personal vanity and pride. A Physicist may be an undeniable expert in acoustics, wave-vibrations, etc., and be no Musician at all, having no ear for music. None of the modern bootmakers can write as Count Leo Tolstoi does; but any tyro in decent shoemaking can take the great novelist to task for spoiling good materials in trying to make boots. Moreover, it is only in the legitimate defence of our time-honoured Theosophical doctrines, opposed by many on the authority of materialistic Scientists, entirely ignorant of psychic possibilities, in the vindication of ancient Wisdom and its Adepts, that we throw down the gauntlet to Modern Science. If in their inconceivable conceit and blind Materialism they will go on dogmatizing upon that about which they know nothing—nor do they want to know—then those who do know something have a right to protest and to say so publicly and in print.

Many must have heard of the suggestive answer made by a lover of Plato to a critic of Thomas Taylor, the translator of the works of this great sage. Taylor was charged with being but a poor Greek scholar, and not a very good English writer. "True," was the pert reply; "Tom Taylor may have known far less Greek than his critics; but he knew Plato far better than any of them does." And this we take to be our own position.

We claim no scholarship in either dead or living tongues, and we take no stock in Philology as a modern Science. But we do claim to understand the living spirit of Plato’s Philosophy, and the symbolical meaning of the writings of this great Initiate, better than do his modern translators, and for this very simple reason. The Hierophants and Initiates of the Mysteries in the Secret Schools in which all the Sciences inaccessible and useless to the masses of the profane were taught, had one universal, Esoteric tongue—the language of symbolism and allegory. This language has suffered neither modification nor amplification from those remote times down to this day. It still exists and is still taught. There are those who have preserved the knowledge of it, and also of the arcane meaning of the Mysteries; and it is from these Masters that the writer of the present protest had the good fortune of learning, howbeit imperfectly, the said language. Hence her claim to a more correct comprehension of the arcane portion of the ancient texts written by avowed Initiates—such as were Plato and Iamblichus, Pythagoras, and even Plutarch—than


can be claimed by, or expected from, those who, knowing nothing whatever of that "language" and even denying its existence altogether, yet set forth authoritative and conclusive views on everything Plato and Pythagoras knew or did not know, believed in or disbelieved. It is not enough to lay down the audacious proposition, "that an ancient Philosopher is to interpreted from himself [i.e., from the dead-letter texts] and by the contemporary history of thought" (Prof. Jowett); he who lays it down has first of all to prove to the satisfaction, not of his admirers and himself alone, but of all, that modern thought does not woolgather in the question of Philosophy as it does on the lines of materialistic Science. Modern thought denies Divine Spirit in Nature, and the Divine element in mankind, the Soul’s immortality and every noble conception inherent in man. We all know that in their endeavours to kill that which they have agreed to call "superstition" and the "relics of ignorance" (read "religious feelings and metaphysical concepts of the Universe and Man"), Materialists like Prof. Huxley or Mr. Grant Allen are ready to go to any length in order to ensure the triumph of their soul-killing Science. But when we find Greek and Sanskrit scholars and doctors of theology, playing into the hands of modern materialistic thought, pooh-poohing everything they do not know, or that of which the public—or rather Society, which ever follows in its impulses the craze of fashion, of popularity or unpopularity—disapproves, then we have the right to assume one of two things: the scholars who act on these lines are either moved by personal conceit, or by the fear of public opinion; they dare not challenge it at the risk of unpopularity. In both cases they forfeit their right to esteem as authorities. For, if they are blind to facts and sincere in their blindness, then their learning, however great, will do more harm than good, and if, while fully alive to those universal truths which Antiquity knew better than we do—though it did express them in more ambiguous and less scientific language—our Philosophers will still keep them under the bushel for fear of painfully dazzling the majority’s eyes, then the example they set is most pernicious. They suppress the truth and disfigure metaphysical conceptions, as their colleagues in Physical Science distort facts in material Nature into mere props to support their respective views, on the lines of popular hypotheses and Darwinian thought. And if so, what right have they to demand a respectful hearing from those to whom TRUTH is the highest, as the noblest, of all religions?


The negation of any fact or claim believed in by the teeming millions of Christians and non-Christians, of a fact, moreover, impossible to disprove, is a serious thing for a man of recognized scientific authority, in the face of its inevitable results. Denials and rejections of certain things, hitherto held sacred, coming from such sources, are, for a public taught to respect scientific data and bulls, as good as unqualified assertions. Unless uttered in the broadest spirit of Agnosticism and offered merely as a personal opinion, such a spirit of wholesale negation—especially when confronted with the universal belief of the whole of Antiquity, and of the incalculable hosts of the surviving Eastern nations in the things denied—becomes pregnant with dangers to mankind. Thus the rejection of a Divine Principle in the Universe, of Soul and Spirit in man and of his Immortality, by one set of Scientists; and the repudiation of any Esoteric Philosophy existing in Antiquity, hence, of the presence of any hidden meaning based on that system of revealed learning in the sacred writings of the East (the Bible included), or in the works of those Philosophers who were confessedly Initiates, by another set of "authorities"—are simply fatal to humanity. Between missionary enterprise— encouraged far more on political than religious grounds9 —and scientific Materialism, both teaching from two diametrically opposite poles that which neither can prove or disprove, and mostly that which they themselves take on blind faith or blind hypothesis, the millions of the growing generations must find themselves at sea. They will not know, any more than their parents know now, what to believe in, whither to turn for truth. Weightier proofs are thus required now by many than the mere personal assumptions and negations of religious fanatics and irreligious Materialists, that such or another thing exists or has no existence.

We, Theosophists, who are not so easily caught on the hook baited with either salvation or annihilation, we claim our right to demand the weightiest, and to us undeniable proofs that truth is in the keeping of Science and Theology. And as we find no answer forthcoming, we claim the right to argue upon every undecided question, by analyzing the assumptions of our opponents. We, who believe

9 We maintain that the fabulous sums spent on, and by, Christian missions, whose propaganda brings forth such wretched moral results and gets so few renegades, are spent with a political object in view. The aim of the missions, which, as in India, are only said to be "tolerated " (sic) seems to be to pervert people from their ancestral religions, rather than to convert them to Christianity, and this is done in order to destroy in them every spark of national feeling. When the spirit of patriotism is dead in a nation, it very easily becomes a mere puppet in the hands of the rulers.


in Occultism and the archaic Esoteric Philosophy, do not, as already said, ask our members to believe as we do, nor charge them with ignorance if they do not. We simply leave them to make their choice. Those who decide to study the old Science are given proofs of its existence; and corroborative evidence accumulates and grows in proportion to the personal progress of the student. Why should not the negators of ancient Science—to wit, modern Scholars—do the same in the matter of their denials and assertions; i.e., why don’t they refuse to say either yea or nay in regard to that which they really do not know, instead of denying or affirming it à priori as they all do? Why do not our Scientists proclaim frankly and honestly to the whole world, that most of their notions—e.g., on life, matter, ether, atoms, etc., each of these being an unsolvable mystery to them—are not scientific facts and axioms, but simple "working hypotheses"? Or again, why should not Orientalists—but too many of them are "Reverends"—or a Regius Professor of Greek, a Doctor of Theology, and a translator of Plato, like Professor Jowett, mention, while giving out his personal views on the Greek Sage, that there are other scholars as learned as he is who think otherwise? This would only be fair, and more prudent too, in the face of a whole array of evidence to the contrary, embracing thousands of years in the past. And it would be more honest than to lead less learned people than themselves into grave errors, by allowing those under the hypnotic influence of "authority," and thus but too inclined to take every ephemeral hypothesis on trust, to accept as proven that which has yet to be proved. But the "authorities" act on different lines. Whenever a fact, in Nature or in History, does not fit in with, and refuses to be wedged into, one of their personal hypotheses, accepted as Religion or Science by the solemn majority, forthwith it is denied, declared a "myth," or, revealed Scriptures are appealed to against it.

It is this which brings Theosophy and its Occult doctrines into everlasting conflict with certain Scholars and Theology. Leaving the latter entirely out of question in the present article, we will devote our protest, for the time being, but to the former. So, for instance, many of our teachings—corroborated in a mass of ancient works, but denied piecemeal, at various times, by sundry professors—have been shown to clash not only with the conclusions of modern Science and Philosophy, but even with those passages from the old works to which we have appealed for evidence. We have but to point to a


certain page of some old Hindû work, to Plato, or some other Greek classic, as corroborating some of our peculiar Esoteric doctrines, to see—

Lucifer, April, 1891Η. P. B.


Important To Students

AS some of the letters in the CORRESPONDENCE of this month show, there are many people who are looking for practical instruction in Occultism. It becomes necessary, therefore, to state once for all:—

  1. The essential difference between theoretical and practical Occultism; or what is generally known as Theosophy on the one hand, and Occult science on the other, and:—
  2. The nature of the difficulties involved in the study of the latter.

It is easy to become a Theosophist. Any person of average intellectual capacities, and a leaning toward the meta-physical; of pure, unselfish life, who finds more joy in helping his neighbour than in receiving help himself; one who is ever ready to sacrifice his own pleasures for the sake of other people; and who loves Truth, Goodness and Wisdom for their own sake, not for the benefit they may confer—is a Theosophist.

But it is quite another matter to put oneself upon the path which leads to the knowledge of what is good to do, as to the right discrimination of good from evil; a path which also leads a man to that power through which he can do the good he desires, often without even apparently lifting a finger.

Moreover, there is one important fact with which the student should be made acquainted. Namely, the enormous, almost limitless, responsibility assumed by the teacher for the sake of the pupil. From the Gurus of the East who teach openly or secretly, down to the few Kabalists in Western lands who undertake to teach the rudiments of the Sacred Science to their disciples—those western Hierophants being often themselves ignorant of the danger they incur—one and all of these "Teachers" are subject to the same inviolable law. From the moment they begin really to teach, from the instant they confer any power—whether psychic, mental or physical—on their pupils, they take upon themselves all the sins of that pupil, in connection with the Occult Sciences, whether of omission or commission, until the moment when initiation makes the pupil a Master and responsible in his turn. There is a weird and mystic religious law, greatly


reverenced and acted upon in the Greek, half-forgotten in the Roman Catholic, and absolutely extinct in the Protestant Church. It dates from the earliest days of Christianity and has its basis in the law just stated, of which it was a symbol and an expression. This is the dogma of the absolute sacredness of the relation between the god-parents who stand sponsors for a child.1 These tacitly take upon themselves all the sins of the newly baptised child—(anointed, as at the initiation, a mystery truly!)—until the day when the child becomes a responsible unit, knowing good and evil. Thus it is clear why the "Teachers" are so reticent, and why "Chelas" are required to serve a seven years probation to prove their fitness, and develop the qualities necessary to the security of both Master and pupil.

Occultism is not magic. It is comparatively easy to learn the trick of spells and the methods of using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature; the powers of the animal soul in man are soon awakened; the forces which his love, his hate, his passion, can call into operation, are readily developed. But this is Black Magic— Sorcery. For it is the motive, and the motive alone, which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic. It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining in the operator. For, unless the intention is entirely unalloyed, the spiritual will transform itself into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it. The powers and forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and the all-forgiving; the powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in heart—and this is DIVINE MAGIC.

What are then the conditions required to become a student of the "Divina Sapientia"? For let it be known that no such instruction can possibly be given unless these certain conditions are complied with, and rigorously carried out during the years of study. This is a sine quâ non. No man can swim unless he enters deep water. No bird can fly unless its wings are grown, and it has space before it and courage to trust itself to the air. A man who will wield a two-edged sword, must be a thorough master of the blunt weapon, if he would not injure himself—or what is worse—others, at the first attempt.

1 So holy is the connection thus formed deemed in the Greek Church, that a marriage between god-parents of the same child is regarded as the worst kind of incest, is considered illegal and is dissolved by law; and this absolute prohibition extends even to the children of one of the sponsors as regards those of the other.


To give an approximate idea of the conditions under which alone the study of Divine Wisdom can be pursued with safety, that is without danger that Divine will give place to Black Magic, a page is given from the "private rules," with which every instructor in the East is furnished. The few passages which follow are chosen from a great number and explained in brackets.

  1. The place selected for receiving instruction must be a spot calculated not to distract the mind, and filled with "influence-evolving" (magnetic) objects. The five sacred colours gathered in a circle must be there among other things. The place must be free from any malignant influences hanging about in the air.

    [The place must be set apart, and used for no other purpose. The five "sacred colours" are the prismatic hues arranged in a certain way, as these colours are very magnetic. By "malignant influences" are meant any disturbances through strifes, quarrels, bad feelings, etc., as these are said to impress themselves immediately on the astral light, i.e., in the atmosphere of the place, and to hang "about in the air." This first condition seems easy enough to accomplish, yet—on further consideration, it is one of the most difficult ones to obtain.]

  2. Before the disciple shall be permitted to study "face to face," he has to acquire preliminary understanding in a select company of other lay upasaka (disciples), the number of whom must be odd.

    ["Face to face," means in this instance a study independent or apart from others, when the disciple gets his instruction face to face either with himself (his higher, Divine Self) or—his guru. It is then only that each receives his due of information, according to the use he has made of his knowledge. This can happen only toward the end of the cycle of instruction.]

  3. Before thou (the teacher) shalt impart to thy Lanoo (disciple) the good (holy) words of LAMRIN, or shall permit him "to make ready" for Dubjed, thou shalt take care that his mind is thoroughly purified and at peace with all, especially with his other Selves. Otherwise the words of Wisdom and of the good Law, shall scatter and be picked up by the winds.

    ["Lamrin" is a work of practical instructions, by Tson-kha-pa, in two portions, one for ecclesiastical and exoteric purposes, the other for esoteric use. "To make ready" for Dubjed, is to prepare the vessels used for seership, such as mirrors and crystals. The "other selves," refers to the fellow students. Unless the

  1. greatest harmony reigns among the learners, no success is possible. It is the teacher who makes the selections according to the magnetic and electric natures of the students, bringing together and adjusting most carefully the positive and the negative elements.]

  2. The upasaka while studying must take care to be united as the fingers on one hand. Thou shalt impress upon their minds that whatever hurts one should hurt the others, and if the rejoicing of one finds no echo in the breasts of the others, then the required conditions are absent, and it is useless to proceed.

    [This can hardly happen if the preliminary choice made was consistent with the magnetic requirements. It is known that chelas otherwise promising and fit for the reception of truth, had to wait for years on account of their temper and the impossibility they felt to put themselves in tune with their companions. For—]

  3. The co-disciples must be tuned by the guru as the strings of a lute (vina), each different from the others, yet each emitting sounds in harmony with all. Collectively they must form a key-board answering in all its parts to thy lightest touch (the touch of the Master). Thus their minds shall open for the harmonies of Wisdom, to vibrate as knowledge through each and all, resulting in effects pleasing to the presiding gods (tutelary or patron-angels) and useful to the Lanoo. So shall Wisdom be impressed forever on their hearts and the harmony of the law shall never be broken.
  4. Those who desire to acquire the knowledge leading to the Siddhis (occult powers) have to renounce all the vanities of life and of the world (here follows enumeration of the Siddhis).
  5. None can feel the difference between himself and his fellow-students, such as "I am the wisest," "I am more holy and pleasing to the teacher, or in my community, than my brother," etc.,—and remain an upasaka. His thoughts must be predominantly fixed upon his heart, chasing therefrom every hostile thought to any living being. It (the heart) must be full of the feeling of its non-separateness from the rest of beings as from all in Nature; otherwise no success can follow.
  6. A Lanoo (disciple) has to dread external living influence alone (magnetic emanations from living creatures). For this reason while at one with all, in his inner nature, he must take care to separate his outer (external) body from every foreign influence: none must drink out of, or eat in his cup but himself. He must avoid bodily

  1. contact (i.e. being touched or touch) with human, as with animal being.

    [No pet animals are permitted and it is forbidden even to touch certain trees and plants. A disciple has to live, so to say, in his own atmosphere in order to individualize it for occult purposes.]

  2. The mind must remain blunt to all but the universal truths in nature, lest the "Doctrine of the Heart" should become only the "Doctrine of the Eye," (i.e., empty exoteric ritualism).
  3. No animal food of whatever kind, nothing that has life in it, should be taken by the disciple. No wine, no spirits, or opium should be used; for these are like the Lhamayin (evil spirits), who fasten upon the unwary, they devour the understanding.

    [Wine and Spirits are supposed to contain and preserve the bad magnetism of all the men who helped in their fabrication; the meat of each animal, to preserve the psychic characteristics of its kind.]

  4. Meditation, abstinence in all, the observation of moral duties, gentle thoughts, good deeds and kind words, as good will to all and entire oblivion of Self, are the most efficacious means of obtaining knowledge and preparing for the reception of higher wisdom.
  5. It is only by virtue of a strict observance of the foregoing rules that a Lanoo can hope to acquire in good time the Siddhis of the Arhats, the growth which makes him become gradually One with the UNIVERSAL ALL.

These twelve extracts are taken from amongst some seventy-three rules, to enumerate which would be useless, as they would be meaningless in Europe. But even these few are enough to show the immensity of the difficulties which beset the path of the would-be "Upasaka," who has been born and bred in Western lands.2

All Western, and especially English, education is instinct with the principle of emulation and strife; each boy is urged to learn more quickly, to outstrip his companions, and to surpass them in every possible way. What is mis-called "friendly rivalry" is assiduously cultivated, and the same spirit is fostered and strengthened in every detail of life.

With such ideas "educated into" him from his childhood, how

2 Be it remembered that all "Chelas," even lay disciples, are called Upasaka until after their first initiation, when they become lanoo-Upasaka. To that day, even those who belong to Lamaseries and are set apart, are considered as "laymen."


can a Westerner bring himself to feel towards his co-students "as the fingers on one hand"? Those co-students, too, are not of his own selection, or chosen by himself from personal sympathy and appreciation. They are chosen by his teacher on far other grounds, and he who would be a student must first be strong enough to kill out in his heart all feelings of dislike and antipathy to others. How many Westerners are ready even to attempt this in earnest?

And then the details of daily life, the command not to touch even the hand of one’s nearest and dearest. How contrary to Western notions of affection and good feeling! How cold and hard it seems. Egotistical too, people would say, to abstain from giving pleasure to others for the sake of one’s own development. Well, let those who think so defer, till another lifetime, the attempt to enter the path in real earnest. But let them not glory in their own fancied unselfishness. For, in reality, it is only the seeming appearances which they allow to deceive them, the conventional notions, based on emotionalism and gush, or so-called courtesy, things of the unreal life, not the dictates of Truth.

But even putting aside these difficulties, which may be considered "external," though their importance is none the less great, how are students in the West to "attune themselves" to harmony as here required of them? So strong has personality grown in Europe and America, that there is no school of artists even whose members do not hate and are not jealous of each other. "Professional" hatred and envy have become proverbial; men seek each to benefit himself at all costs, and even the so-called courtesies of life are but a hollow mask covering these demons of hatred and jealousy.

In the East the spirit of "non-separateness" is inculcated as steadily from childhood up, as in the West the spirit of rivalry. Personal ambition, personal feelings and desires, are not encouraged to grow so rampant there. When the soil is naturally good, it is cultivated in the right way, and the child grows into a man in whom the habit of subordination of one’s lower to one’s higher Self is strong and powerful. In the West men think that their own likes and dislikes of other men and things are guiding principles for them to act upon, even when they do not make of them the law of their lives and seek to impose them upon others.

Let those who complain that they have learned little in the Theosophical Society lay to heart the words written in an article in the


Path for last February: "The key in each degree is the aspirant himself." It is not "the fear of God" which is "the beginning of Wisdom," but the knowledge of SELF which is WISDOM ITSELF.

How grand and true appears, thus, to the student of Occultism who has commenced to realise some of the foregoing truths, the answer given by the Delphic Oracle to all who came seeking after Occult Wisdom—words repeated and enforced again and again by the wise Socrates:—MAN KNOW THYSELF. . . .

Practical Occultism

"In a very interesting article in last month’s number entitled ‘Practical Occultism’ it is stated that from the moment a ‘Master’ begins to teach a ‘chela’ he takes on himself all the sins of that chela in connection with the occult sciences until the moment when initiation makes the chela a master and responsible in his turn.

"For the Western mind, steeped as it has been for generations in ‘Individualism,’ it is very difficult to recognize the justice and consequently the truth of this statement, and it is very much to be desired that some further explanation should be given for a fact which some few may feel intuitively but for which they are quite unable to give any logical reason."—S. E.

EDITORS’ REPLY. The best logical reason for it is the fact that even in common daily life, parents, nurses, tutors and instructors are generally held responsible for the habits and future ethics of a child. The little unfortunate wretch who is trained by his parents to pick pockets in the streets is not responsible for the sin, but the effects of it fall heavily on those who have impressed on his mind that it was the right thing to do. Let us hope that the Western Mind, although being "steeped in Individualism," has not become so dulled thereby as not to perceive that there would be neither logic nor justice were it otherwise. And if the moulders of the plastic mind of the yet unreasoning child must be held responsible, in this world of effects, for his sins of omission and commission during his childhood and for the effects produced by their early training in after life, how much more the "Spiritual Guru"? The latter taking the student by the hand leads him into, and introduces him to a world entirely


unknown to the pupil. For this world is that of the invisible but ever potent CAUSALITY, the subtle, yet never-breaking thread that is the action, agent and power of Karma, and Karma itself in the field of divine mind. Once acquainted with this no adept can any longer plead ignorance in the event of even an action, good and meritorious in its motive, producing evil as its result; since acquaintance with this mysterious realm gives the means to the Occultist of foreseeing the two paths opening before every premeditated as unpremeditated action, and thus puts him in a position to know with certainty what will be the results in one or the other case. So long, then, as the pupil acts upon this principle, but is too ignorant to be sure of his vision and powers of discrimination, is it not natural that it is the guide who should be responsible for the sins of him whom he has led into those dangerous regions?

Is There No Hope?

I think, after reading the conditions necessary for Occult study given in the April number of LUCIFER, that it would be as well for the readers of this magazine to give up all hopes of becoming Occultists. In Britain, except inside a monastery, I hardly think it possible that such conditions could ever be realised. In my future capacity of medical doctor (if the gods are so benign) the eighth condition would be quite exclusive; this is most unfortunate, as it seems to me that the study of Occultism is peculiarly essential for a successful practice of the medical profession.3

I have the following question to ask you, and will be glad to be favoured with a reply through the medium of LUCIFER. IS it possible to study Occultism in Britain?

Before concluding, I feel compelled to inform you that, I admire your magazine as a scientific production, and that I really and truly classify it along with the "Imitation of Christ" among my text books of religion.

David Crichton.

Marischall College, Aberdeen.

EDITORS’ REPLY.—This is a too pessimistic view to entertain. One may study with profit the Occult Sciences without rushing into the higher Occultism. In the case of our correspondent especially, and in his future capacity of medical doctor, "the Occult knowledge

3 By "successful practice" I mean, successful to everybody concerned.


of simples and minerals, and the curative powers of certain things in Nature," is far more important and useful than metaphysical and psychological Occultism or Theophany. And this he can do better by studying and trying to understand Paracelsus and the two Van Helmonts, than by assimilating Patanjali and the methods of Taraka Raja Yoga.

It is possible to study "Occultism" (the Occult sciences or arts is more correct) in Britain, as on any other point of the globe; though owing to the tremendously adverse conditions created by the intense selfishness that prevails in the country, and a magnetism which is repellent to a free manifestation of Spirituality—solitude is the best condition for study.

A Subsequent Note

[In Lucifer for June, 1889, H.P.B. printed a letter questioning the "practicality" of certain of the requirements of chelaship, as given in "Practical Occultism." She made the following reply in a footnote:]

Chelaship has nothing whatever to do with means of subsistence or anything of the kind, for a man can isolate his mind entirely from his body and its surroundings. Chelaship is a state of mind, rather than a life according to hard and fast rules on the physical plane. This applies especially to the earlier, probationary period, while the rules given in Lucifer for April last pertain properly to a later stage, that of actual occult training and the development of occult powers and insight. These rules indicate, however, the mode of life which ought to be followed by all aspirants so far as practicable, since it is the most helpful to them in their aspirations.

It should never be forgotten that Occultism is concerned with the inner man who must be strengthened and freed from the dominion of the physical body and its surroundings, which must become his servants. Hence the first and chief necessity of Chelaship is a spirit of absolute unselfishness and devotion to Truth; then follow self-knowledge and self-mastery. These are all-important; while outward observance of fixed rules of life is a matter of secondary moment.

Lucifer, April, May, 1888 June, 1889


I oft have heard, but ne’er believed till now,
There are, who can by potent spells
Bend to their crooked purpose Nature’s laws.

IN this month’s "Correspondence" several letters testify to the strong impression produced on some minds by our last month’s article "Practical Occultism." Such letters go far to prove and strengthen two logical conclusions.

  1. There are more well-educated and thoughtful men who believe in the existence of Occultism and Magic (the two differing vastly) than the modern materialist dreams of; and—
  2. That most of the believers (comprising many theosophists) have no definite idea of the nature of Occultism and confuse it with the Occult sciences in general, the "Black art" included.

Their representations of the powers it confers upon man, and of the means to be used to acquire them are as varied as they are fanciful. Some imagine that a master in the art, to show the way, is all that is needed to become a Zanoni. Others, that one has but to cross the Canal of Suez and go to India to bloom forth as a Roger Bacon or even a Count St. Germain. Many take for their ideal Margrave with his ever-renewing youth, and care little for the soul as the price paid for it. Not a few, mistaking "Witch-of-Endorism" pure and simple, for Occultism—"through the yawning Earth from Stygian gloom, call up the meagre ghost to walks of light," and want, on the strength of this feat, to be regarded as full blown Adepts. "Ceremonial Magic" according to the rules mockingly laid down by Eliphas Levi, is another imagined alter-ego of the philosophy of the Arhats of old. In short, the prisms through which Occultism appears, to those innocent of the philosophy, are as multicoloured and varied as human fancy can make them.

Will these candidates to Wisdom and Power feel very indignant if told the plain truth? It is not only useful, but it has now become necessary to disabuse most of them and before it is too late. This truth may be said in a few words: There are not in the West half-a-dozen among the fervent hundreds who call themselves "Occultists," who have even an approximately correct idea of the nature of the


Science they seek to master. With a few exceptions, they are all on the highway to Sorcery. Let them restore some order in the chaos that reigns in their minds, before they protest against this statement. Let them first learn the true relation in which the Occult Sciences stand to Occultism, and the difference between the two, and then feel wrathful if they still think themselves right. Meanwhile, let them learn that Occultism differs from Magic and other secret Sciences as the glorious sun does from a rush-light, as the immutable and immortal Spirit of Man—the reflection of the absolute, causeless and unknowable ALL—differs from the mortal clay—the human body.

In our highly civilized West, where modern languages have been formed, and words coined, in the wake of ideas and thoughts—as happened with every tongue—the more the latter became materialized in the cold atmosphere of Western selfishness and its incessant chase after the goods of this world, the less was there any need felt for the production of new terms to express that which was tacitly regarded as absolute and exploded "superstition." Such words could answer only to ideas which a cultured man was scarcely supposed to harbour in his mind. "Magic," a synonym for jugglery; "Sorcery," an equivalent for crass ignorance; and "Occultism," the sorry relic of crack-brained, mediaeval Fire-philosophers, of the Jacob Boehmes and the St. Martins, are expressions believed more than amply sufficient to cover the whole field of "thimble-rigging." They are terms of contempt, and used generally only in reference to the dross and residues of the dark ages and its preceding æons of paganism. Therefore have we no terms in the English tongue to define and shade the difference between such abnormal powers, or the sciences that lead to the acquisition of them, with the nicety possible in the Eastern languages—pre-eminently the Sanskrit. What do the words "miracle" and "enchantment" (words identical in meaning after all, as both express the idea of producing wonderful things by breaking the laws of nature (!!) as explained by the accepted authorities) convey to the minds of those who hear, or who pronounce them? A Christian—breaking "of the laws of nature," notwithstanding—while believing firmly in the miracles, because said to have been produced by God through Moses, will either scout the enchantments performed by Pharaoh’s magicians, or attribute them to the devil. It is the latter whom our pious enemies connect with Occultism, while their impious foes, the infidels, laugh at Moses, Magicians, and Occultists, and would blush to give one serious thought to such


"superstitions." This, because there is no term in existence to show the difference; no words to express the lights and shadows and draw the line of demarcation between the sublime and the true, the absurd and the ridiculous. The latter are the theological interpretations which teach the "breaking of the laws of Nature" by man, God, or devil; the former—the scientific "miracles" and enchantments of Moses and the Magicians in accordance with natural laws, both having been learned in all the Wisdom of the Sanctuaries, which were the "Royal Societies" of those days—and in true OCCULTISM. This last word is certainly misleading, translated as it stands from the compound word Gupta-Vidya, "Secret Knowledge." But the knowledge of what? Some of the Sanskrit terms may help us.

There are four (out of the many other) names of the various kinds of Esoteric Knowledge or Sciences given, even in the exoteric Purânas. There is (1) Yajna-Vidya,1 knowledge of the occult powers awakened in Nature by the performance of certain religious ceremonies and rites. (2) Maha-vidya, the "great knowledge," the magic of the Kabalists and of the Tantrika worship, often Sorcery of the worst description. (3) Guhya-Vidya, knowledge of the mystic powers residing in Sound (Ether), hence in the Mantras (chanted prayers or incantations) and depending on the rhythm and melody used; in other words a magical performance based on Knowledge of the Forces of Nature and their correlation; and (4) ATMA-VIDYA, a term which is translated simply "knowledge of the Soul," true Wisdom by the Orientalists, but which means far more.

This last is the only kind of Occultism that any theosophist who admires Light on the Path, and who would be wise and unselfish, ought to strive after. All the rest is some branch of the "Occult Sciences," i.e., arts based on the knowledge of the ultimate essence of all things in the Kingdoms of Nature—such as minerals, plants and animals—hence of things pertaining to the realm of material nature,

1 "The Yajna," say the Brahmans, "exists from eternity, for it proceeded forth from the Supreme One . . in whom it lay dormant from ‘no beginning.’ It is the key to the TRAIVIDYA, the thrice sacred science contained in the Rig verses, which teaches the Yagus or sacrificial mysteries. ‘The Yajna’ exists as an invisible thing at all times; it is like the latent power of electricity in an electrifying machine, requiring only the operation of a suitable apparatus in order to be elicited. It is supposed to extend from the Ahavaniya or sacrificial fire to the heavens, forming a bridge or ladder by means of which the sacrificer can communicate with the world of gods and spirits, and even ascend when alive to their abodes"—Martin Hauge’s Aitareya Brahmana.

"This Yajna is again one of the forms of the Akasa; and the mystic word calling it into existence and pronounced mentally by the initiated Priest is the Lost Word receiving impulse through WILL-POWER." Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, Intr. See Aitareya Brahmana, Hauge.


however invisible that essence may be, and howsoever much it has hitherto eluded the grasp of Science. Alchemy, Astrology, Occult Physiology, Chiromancy, exist in Nature and the exact Sciences—perhaps so called, because they are found in this age of paradoxical philosophies the reverse—have already discovered not a few of the secrets of the above arts. But clairvoyance, symbolised in India as the "Eye of Siva," called in Japan, "Infinite Vision," is not Hypnotism, the illegitimate son of Mesmerism, and is not to be acquired by such arts. All the others may be mastered and results obtained, whether good, bad or indifferent; but Atma-Vidya sets small value on them. It includes them all and may even use them occasionally, but it does so after purifying them of their dross, for beneficent purposes, and taking care to deprive them of every element of selfish motive. Let us explain: Any man or woman can set himself or herself to study one or all of the above specified "Occult Arts" without any great previous preparation, and even without adopting any too restraining mode of life. One could even dispense with any lofty standard of morality. In the last case, of course, ten to one the student would blossom into a very decent kind of sorcerer, and tumble down headlong into black magic. But what can this matter? The Voodoos and the Dugpas eat, drink and are merry over hecatombs of victims of their infernal arts. And so do the amiable gentlemen vivisectionists and the diploma-ed "Hypnotizers" of the Faculties of Medicine; the only difference between the two classes being that the Voodoos and Dugpas are conscious, and the Charcot-Richet crew unconscious, Sorcerers. Thus, since both have to reap the fruits of their labours and achievements in the black art, the Western practitioners should not have the punishment and reputation without the profits and enjoyments they may get therefrom. For we say it again, hypnotism and vivisection as practiced in such schools, are Sorcery pure and simple, minus a knowledge that the Voodoos and Dugpas enjoy, and which no Charcot-Richet can procure for himself in fifty years of hard study and experimental observation. Let then those who will dabble in magic, whether they understand its nature or not, but who find the rules imposed upon students too hard, and who, therefore lay Atma-Vidya or Occultism aside—go without it. Let them become magicians by all means, even though they do become Voodoos and Dugpas for the next ten incarnations.

But the interest of our readers will probably centre on those who


are invincibly attracted towards the "Occult," yet who neither realise the true nature of what they aspire towards, nor have they become passion-proof, far less truly unselfish.

How about these unfortunates, we shall be asked, who are thus rent in twain by conflicting forces? For it has been said too often to need repetition, and the fact itself is patent to any observer, that when once the desire for Occultism has really awakened in a man’s heart, there remains for him no hope of peace, no place of rest and comfort in all the world. He is driven out into the wild and desolate spaces of life by an ever-gnawing unrest he cannot quell. His heart is too full of passion and selfish desire to permit him to pass the Golden Gate; he cannot find rest or peace in ordinary life. Must he then inevitably fall into sorcery and black magic, and through many incarnations heap up for himself a terrible Karma? Is there no other road for him?

Indeed there is, we answer. Let him aspire to no higher than he feels able to accomplish. Let him not take a burden upon himself too heavy for him to carry. Without ever becoming a "Mahatma," a Buddha or a Great Saint, let him study the philosophy and the "Science of Soul," and he can become one of the modest benefactors of humanity, without any superhuman powers. Siddhis (or the Arhat powers) are only for those who are able to "lead the life," to comply with the terrible sacrifices required for such a training, and to comply with them to the very letter. Let them know at once and remember always, that true Occultism or Theosophy is the "Great Renunciation of SELF," unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action. It is ALTRUISM, and it throws him who practises it out of calculation of the ranks of the living altogether. "Not for himself, but for the world, he lives," as soon as he has pledged himself to the work. Much is forgiven during the first years of probation. But, no sooner is he "accepted" than his personality must disappear, and he has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature. There are two poles for him after that, two paths, and no midward place of rest. He has either to ascend laboriously, step by step, often through numerous incarnations and no Devachanic break, the golden ladder leading to Mahatmaship (the Arhat or Bodhisatva condition), or—he will let himself slide down the ladder at the first false step, and roll down into Dugpaship. . . .

All this is either unknown or left out of sight altogether. Indeed, one who is able to follow the silent evolution of the preliminary


aspirations of the candidates, often finds strange ideas quietly taking possession of their minds. There are those whose reasoning powers have been so distorted by foreign influences that they imagine that animal passions can be so sublimated and elevated that their fury, force, and fire can, so to speak, be turned inwards; that they can be stored and shut up in one’s breast, until their energy is, not expanded, but turned toward higher and more holy purposes: namely, until their collective and unexpanded strength enables their possessor to enter the true Sanctuary of the Soul and stand therein in the presence of the Master—the HIGHER SELF! For this purpose they will not struggle with their passions nor slay them. They will simply, by a strong effort of will put down the fierce flames and keep them at bay within their natures, allowing the fire to smoulder under a thin layer of ashes. They submit joyfully to the torture of the Spartan boy who allowed the fox to devour his entrails rather than part with it. Oh, poor blind visionaries!

As well hope that a band of drunken chimney-sweeps, hot and greasy from their work, may be shut up in a Sanctuary hung with pure white linen, and that instead of soiling and turning it by their presence into a heap of dirty shreds, they will become masters in and of the sacred recess, and finally emerge from it as immaculate as that recess. Why not imagine that a dozen of skunks imprisoned in the pure atmosphere of a Dgon-pa (a monastery) can issue out of it impregnated with all the perfumes of the incenses used? Strange aberration of the human mind. Can it be so? Let us argue.

The "Master" in the Sanctuary of our souls is "the Higher Self"—the divine spirit whose consciousness is based upon and derived solely (at any rate during the mortal life of the man in whom it is captive) from the Mind, which we have agreed to call the Human Soul (the "Spiritual Soul" being the vehicle of the Spirit). In its turn the former (the personal or human soul) is a compound in its highest form, of spiritual aspirations, volitions, and divine love; and in its lower aspect, of animal desires and terrestrial passions imparted to it by its associations with its vehicle, the seat of all these. It thus stands as a link and a medium between the animal nature of man which its higher reason seeks to subdue, and his divine spiritual nature to which it gravitates, whenever it has the upper hand in its struggle with the inner animal. The latter is the instinctual "animal Soul" and is the hotbed of those passions, which, as just shown, are lulled instead of being killed, and locked up in their breasts by some


imprudent enthusiasts. Do they still hope to turn thereby the muddy stream of the animal sewer into the crystalline waters of life? And where, on what neutral ground can they be imprisoned so as not to affect man? The fierce passions of love and lust are still alive and they are allowed to still remain in the place of their birth—that same animal soul; for both the higher and the lower portions of the "Human Soul" or Mind reject such inmates, though they cannot avoid being tainted with them as neighbours. The "Higher Self" or Spirit is as unable to assimilate such feelings as water to get mixed with oil or unclean liquid tallow. It is thus the mind alone, the sole link and medium between the man of earth and the Higher Self—that is the only sufferer, and which is in the incessant danger of being dragged down by those passions that may be re-awakened at any moment, and perish in the abyss of matter. And how can it ever attune itself to the divine harmony of the highest Principle, when that harmony is destroyed by the mere presence, within the Sanctuary in preparation, of such animal passions? How can harmony prevail and conquer, when the soul is stained and distracted with the turmoil of passions and the terrestrial desires of the bodily senses, or even of the "Astral man"?

For this "Astral"—the shadowy "double" (in the animal as in man) is not the companion of the divine Ego but of the earthly body. It is the link between the personal SELF, the lower consciousness of Manas and the Body, and is the vehicle of transitory, not of immortal life. Like the shadow projected by man, it follows his movements and impulses slavishly and mechanically, and leans therefore to matter without ever ascending to Spirit. It is only when the power of the passions is dead altogether, and when they have been crushed and annihilated in the retort of an unflinching will; when not only all the lusts and longings of the flesh are dead, but also the recognition of the personal Self is killed out and the "astral" has been reduced in consequence to a cipher, that the Union with the "Higher Self" can take place. Then when the "Astral" reflects only the conquered man, the still living but no more the longing, selfish personality, then the brilliant Augoeides, the divine SELF, can vibrate in conscious harmony with both the poles of the human Entity—the man of matter purified, and the ever pure Spiritual Soul—and stand in the presence of the MASTER SELF, the Christos of the mystic Gnostic, blended, merged into, and one with IT forever.2

2 Those who would feel inclined to see three Egos in one man will show themselves


How then can it be thought possible for a man to enter the "straight gate" of occultism when his daily and hourly thoughts are bound up with worldly things, desires of possession and power, with lust, ambition and duties, which, however honourable, are still of the earth earthy? Even the love for wife and family—the purest as the most unselfish of human affections—is a barrier to real occultism. For whether we take as an example the holy love of a mother for her child, or that of a husband for his wife, even in these feelings, when analyzed to the very bottom, and thoroughly sifted, there is still selfishness in the first, and an égoisme à deux in the second instance. What mother would not sacrifice without a moment’s hesitation hundreds of thousands of lives for that of the child of her heart? and what lover or true husband would not break the happiness of every other man and woman around him to satisfy the desire of one whom he loves? This is but natural, we shall be told. Quite so; in the light of the code of human affections; less so, in that of divine universal love. For, while the heart is full of thoughts for a little group of selves, near and dear to us, how shall the rest of mankind fare in our souls? What percentage of love and care will there remain to bestow on the "great orphan"? And how shall the "still small voice" make itself heard in a soul entirely occupied with its own privileged tenants? What room is there left for the needs of Humanity en bloc to impress themselves upon, or even receive a speedy response? And yet, he who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind, has to reach it through the whole of Humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion or social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It is to these needs and to this work that the true disciple of true Occultism has to devote himself, if he would obtain theo-sophy, divine Wisdom and Knowledge.

The aspirant has to choose absolutely between the life of the world and the life of Occultism. It is useless and vain to endeavour to unite the two, for no one can serve two masters and satisfy both. No one can serve his body and the higher Soul, and do his family duty and his universal duty, without depriving either one or the other of its rights; for he will either lend his ear to the "still small

unable to perceive the metaphysical meaning. Man is a trinity composed of Body, Soul and Spirit; but man is nevertheless one, and is surely not his body. It is the latter which is the property, the transitory clothing of the man. The three "Egos" are MAN in his three aspects on the astral, intellectual or psychic, and the Spiritual planes, or states.


voice" and fail to hear the cries of his little ones, or, he will listen but to the wants of the latter and remain deaf to the voice of Humanity. It would be a ceaseless, a maddening struggle for almost any married man, who would pursue true practical Occultism, instead of its theoretical philosophy. For he would find himself ever hesitating between the voice of the impersonal divine love of Humanity, and that of the personal, terrestrial love. And this could only lead him to fail in one or the other, or perhaps in both his duties. Worse than this. For, whoever indulges after having pledged himself to OCCULTISM in the gratification of a terrestrial love or lust, must feel an almost immediate result; that of being irresistibly dragged from the impersonal divine state down to the lower plane of matter. Sensual, or even mental self-gratification, involves the immediate loss of the powers of spiritual discernment; the voice of the MASTER can no longer be distinguished from that of one’s passions or even that of a Dugpa; the right from wrong; sound morality from mere casuistry. The Dead Sea fruit assumes the most glorious mystic appearance, only to turn to ashes on the lips, and to gall in the heart resulting in:—

Depth ever deepening, darkness darkening still;
Folly for wisdom, guilt for innocence;
Anguish for rapture, and for hope despair.

And once being mistaken and having acted on their mistakes, most men shrink from realising their error, and thus descend deeper and deeper into the mire. And, although it is the intention that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad Karma. Enough has been said to show that sorcery is any kind of evil influence exercised upon other persons, who suffer, or make other persons suffer, in consequence. Karma is a heavy stone splashed in the quiet waters of Life; and it must produce ever widening circles of ripples, carried wider and wider, almost ad infinitum. Such causes produced have to call forth effects, and these are evidenced in the just laws of Retribution.

Much of this may be avoided if people will only abstain from rushing into practices neither the nature nor importance of which they understand. No one is expected to carry a burden beyond his strength and powers. There are "natural-born magicians"; Mystics and Occultists by birth, and by right of direct inheritance from a series of incarnations and aeons of suffering and failures. These are passion-proof, so to say. No fires of earthly origin can fan into a


flame any of their senses or desires; no human voice can find response in their souls, except the great cry of Humanity. These only may be certain of success. But they can be met only far and wide, and they pass through the narrow gates of Occultism because they carry no personal luggage of human transitory sentiments along with them. They have got rid of the feeling of the lower personality, paralyzed thereby the "astral" animal, and the golden, but narrow gate is thrown open before them. Not so with those who have to carry yet for several incarnations the burden of sins committed in previous lives, and even in their present existence. For such, unless they proceed with great caution, the golden gate of Wisdom may get transformed into the wide gate and the broad way "that leadeth unto destruction," and therefore "many be they that enter in thereby." This is the Gate of the Occult arts, practised for selfish motives and in the absence of the restraining and beneficent influence of ATMA-VIDYA. We are in the Kali Yuga and its fatal influence is a thousand-fold more powerful in the West than it is in the East; hence the easy preys made by the Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under which the world is now labouring. One of these is the relative facility with which men fancy they can get at the "Gate" and cross the threshold of Occultism without any great sacrifice. It is the dream of most Theosophists, one inspired by desire for Power and personal selfishness, and it is not such feelings that can ever lead them to the coveted goal. For, as well said by one believed to have sacrificed himself for Humanity —"narrow is the gate and straightened the way that leadeth unto life" eternal, and therefore "few be they that find it." So straight indeed, that at the bare mention of some of the preliminary difficulties the affrighted Western candidates turn back and retreat with a shudder. . . .

Let them stop here and attempt no more in their great weakness. For if, while turning their backs on the narrow gate, they are dragged by their desire for the Occult one step in the direction of the broad and more inviting Gates of that golden mystery which glitters in the light of illusion, woe to them! It can lead only to Dugpa-ship, and they will be sure to find themselves very soon landed on that Via Fatale of the Inferno, over whose portal Dante read the words:—

Per me si va nella citta dolente
Per me si va nell’eterno dolore
Per me si va tra la perduta gente. . . . .

Lucifer, May, 1888


CHRISTINA ROSSETTI’s well-known lines:

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Does the journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

are like an epitome of the life of those who are truly treading the path which leads to higher things. Whatever differences are to be found in the various presentations of the Esoteric Doctrine, as in every age it donned a fresh garment, different both in hue and texture to that which preceded; yet in every one of them we find the fullest agreement upon one point—the road to spiritual development. One only inflexible rule has been ever binding upon the neophyte, as it is binding now—the complete subjugation of the lower nature by the higher. From the Vedas and Upanishads to the recently published Light on the Path, search as we may through the bibles of every race and cult, we find but one only way,—hard, painful, troublesome, by which men can gain the true spiritual insight. And how can it be otherwise, since all religions and all philosophies are but the variants of the first teachings of the One Wisdom, imparted to men at the beginning of the cycle by the Planetary Spirit?

The true Adept, the developed man, must, we are always told, become—he cannot be made. The process is therefore one of growth through evolution, and this must necessarily involve a certain amount of pain.

The main cause of pain lies in our perpetually seeking the permanent in the impermanent, and not only seeking, but acting as if we had already found the unchangeable in a world of which the one certain quality we can predicate is constant change; and always, just as we fancy we have taken a firm hold upon the permanent, it changes within our very grasp, and pain results.

Again, the idea of growth involves also the idea of disruption: the inner being must continually burst through its confining shell or encasement, and such a disruption must also be accompanied by pain, not physical but mental and intellectual.


And this is how it is, in the course of our lives. The trouble that comes upon us is always just the one we feel to be the hardest that could possibly happen—it is always the one thing we feel we cannot possibly bear. If we look at it from a wider point of view, we shall see that we are trying to burst through our shell at its one vulnerable point; that our growth, to be real growth, and not the collective result of a series of excrescences, must progress evenly throughout, just as the body of a child grows, not first the head and then a hand, followed perhaps by a leg, but in all directions at once, regularly and imperceptibly. Man’s tendency is to cultivate each part separately, neglecting the others in the meantime—every crushing pain is caused by the expansion of some neglected part, which expansion is rendered more difficult by the effects of the cultivation bestowed elsewhere.

Evil is often the result of over-anxiety, and men are always trying to do too much, they are not content to leave well alone, to do always just what the occasion demands and no more; they exaggerate every action and so produce karma to be worked out in a future birth.

One of the subtlest forms of this evil is the hope and desire of reward. Many there are who, albeit often unconsciously, are yet spoiling all their efforts by entertaining this idea of reward, and allowing it to become an active factor in their lives, and so leaving the door open to anxiety, doubt, fear, despondency—failure.

The goal of the aspirant for spiritual wisdom is entrance upon a higher plane of existence; he is to become a new man, more perfect in every way than he is at present, and if he succeeds, his capabilities and faculties will receive a corresponding increase of range and power, just as in the visible world we find that each stage in the evolutionary scale is marked by increase of capacity. This is how it is that the Adept becomes endowed with marvellous powers that have been so often described, but the main point to be remembered is, that these powers are the natural accompaniments of existence on a higher plane of evolution, just as the ordinary human faculties are the natural accompaniments of existence on the ordinary human plane.

Many persons seem to think that adeptship is not so much the result of radical development as of additional construction; they seem to imagine that an Adept is a man, who, by going through a certain plainly defined course of training, consisting of minute atten-


tion to a set of arbitrary rules, acquires first one power and then another; and, when he has attained a certain number of these powers is forthwith dubbed an adept. Acting on this mistaken idea, they fancy that the first thing to be done towards attaining adeptship is to acquire "powers"—clairvoyance and the power of leaving the physical body and travelling to a distance are among those which fascinate the most.

To those who wish to acquire such powers for their own private advantage, we have nothing to say; they fall under the condemnation of all who act for purely selfish ends. But there are others, who, mistaking effect for cause, honestly think that the acquirement of abnormal powers is the only road to spiritual advancement. These look upon our Society as merely the readiest means to enable them to gain knowledge in this direction, considering it as a sort of occult academy, an institution established to afford facilities for the instruction of would-be miracle-workers. In spite of repeated protests and warnings, there are some minds in whom this notion seems ineradicably fixed, and they are loud in their expressions of disappointment when they find that what had been previously told them is perfectly true; that the Society was founded to teach no new and easy paths to the acquisition of "powers"; and that its only mission is to rekindle the torch of truth, so long extinguished for all but the very few, and to keep that truth alive by the formation of a fraternal union of mankind, the only soil in which the good seed can grow. The Theosophical Society does indeed desire to promote the spiritual growth of every individual who comes within its influence, but its methods are those of the ancient Rishis, its tenets those of the oldest Esotericism; it is no dispenser of patent nostrums composed of violent remedies which no honest dealer would dare to use.

In this connection we would warn all our members, and others who are seeking spiritual knowledge, to beware of persons offering to teach them easy methods of acquiring psychic gifts; such gifts (laukika) are indeed comparatively easy of acquirement by artificial means, but fade out as soon as the nerve-stimulus exhausts itself. The real seership and adeptship which is accompanied by true psychic development (lokothra), once reached, is never lost.

It appears that various societies have sprung into existence since the foundation of the Theosophical Society, profiting by the interest the latter has awakened in matters of psychic research, and endeavouring to gain members by promising them easy acquirement of psy-


chic powers. In India we have long been familiar with the existence of hosts of sham ascetics of all descriptions, and we fear that there is fresh danger in this direction, here, as well as in Europe and America. We only hope that none of our members, dazzled by brilliant promises, will allow themselves to be taken in by self-deluded dreamers, or, it may be, wilful deceivers.

To show that some real necessity exists for our protests and warnings, we may mention that we have recently seen, enclosed in a letter from Benares, copies of an advertisement put forth by a so-called "Mahatma." He calls for "eight men and women who know English and any of the Indian vernaculars well"; and concludes by saying that "those who want to know particulars of the work and the amount of pay" should apply to his address, with enclosed postage stamps! Upon the table before us lies a reprint of "The Divine Pymander," published in England last year, and which contains a notice to "Theosophists who may have been disappointed in their expectations of Sublime Wisdom being freely dispensed by HINDOO MAHATMAS"; cordially inviting them to send in their names to the Editor, who will see them, "after a short probation," admitted into an Occult Brotherhood who "teach freely and WITHOUT RESERVE all they find worthy to receive." Strangely enough, we find in the very volume in question Hermes Trismegistus saying:

"Herein is the only way which leads to Truth, which, indeed, our ancestors trod, and by which they arrived at the attainment of the Good. This way is beautiful and even; nevertheless, it is difficult for the soul to walk therein so long as she is immured within the prison of the body Therefore, abstain from the crowd, so that by means of

ignorance the vulgar may be kept within bounds, even through fear of the unknown."

It is perfectly true that some Theosophists have been (through nobody’s fault but their own) greatly disappointed because we have offered them no short cut to Yoga Vidya, and there are others who wish for practical work. And, significantly enough, those who have done least for the Society are loudest in fault-finding. Now, why do not these persons and all our members who are able to do so, take up the serious study of mesmerism? Mesmerism has been called the Key to the Occult Sciences, and it has this advantage that it offers peculiar opportunities for doing good to mankind. If in each of our branches we were able to establish a homeopathic dispensary with the addition of mesmeric healing, such as has already been done with


great success in Bombay, we might contribute towards putting the science of medicine in this country on a sounder basis, and be the means of incalculable benefit to the people at large.

There are others of our branches, besides the one at Bombay, that have done good work in this direction, but there is room for infinitely more to be done than has yet been attempted. And the same is the case in the various other departments of the Society’s work. It would be a good thing if the members of each branch would put their heads together and seriously consult as to what tangible steps they can take to further the declared objects of the Society. In too many cases the members of the Theosophical Society content themselves with a somewhat superficial study of its books, without making any real contribution to its active work. If the Society is to be a power for good in this and other lands, it can only bring about this result by the active cooperation of every one of its members, and we would earnestly appeal to each of them to consider carefully what possibilities of work are within his power, and then to earnestly set about carrying them into effect. Right thought is a good thing, but thought alone does not count for much unless it is translated into action. There is not a single member in the Society who is not able to do something to aid the cause of truth and universal brotherhood; it only depends on his own will, to make that something an accomplished fact.

Above all we would reiterate the fact that the Society is no nursery for incipient adepts; teachers cannot be provided to go round and give instruction to various branches on the different subjects which come within the Society’s work of investigation; the branches must study for themselves; books are to be had, and the knowledge there put forth must be practically applied by the various members: thus will be developed self-reliance and reasoning powers. We urge this strongly; for appeals have reached us that any lecturer sent to branches must be practically versed in experimental psychology and clairvoyance (i.e., looking into magic mirrors and reading the future, etc., etc.). Now we consider that such experiments should originate amongst members themselves to be of any value in the development of the individual or to enable him to make progress in his "uphill" path, and therefore earnestly recommend our members to try for themselves.

Theosophist, May, 1885


THE passage, "to Live, to Live, TO LIVE must be the unswerving resolve," occurring in the article on the Elixir of Life, published in the March and April Numbers of Vol. III of the Theosophist, is often quoted, by superficial readers unsympathetic with the Theosophical Society, as an argument that the above teaching of occultism is the most concentrated form of selfishness. In order to determine whether the critics are right or wrong, the meaning of the word "selfishness" must first be ascertained.

According to an established authority, selfishness is that "exclusive regard to one’s own interest or happiness; that supreme self-love or self-preference which leads a person to direct his purposes to the advancement of his own interest, power, or happiness, without regarding those of others."

In short, an absolutely selfish individual is one who cares for himself and none else, or, in other words, one who is so strongly imbued with a sense of importance of his own personality that to him it is the acme of all his thoughts, desires and aspirations and beyond that all is a perfect blank. Now, can an occultist be then said to be "selfish" when he desires to live in the sense in which that word is used by the writer of the article on the Elixir of Life? It has been said over and over again that the ultimate end of every aspirant after occult knowledge is Nirvana or Mukti, when the individual, freed from all Mayavic Upadhi, becomes one with Paramatma, or the Son identifies himself with the Father in Christian phraseology. For that purpose, every veil of illusion which creates a sense of personal isolation, a feeling of separateness from THE ALL, must be torn asunder, or, in other words, the aspirant must gradually discard all sense of selfishness with which we are all more or less affected. A study of the Law of Cosmic Evolution teaches us that the higher the evolution, the more does it tend towards Unity. In fact, Unity is the ultimate possibility of Nature, and those who through vanity and selfishness go against her purposes, cannot but incur the punishment of total annihilation. The Occultist thus recognises that unselfishness and a feeling of universal philanthropy are the inherent law of our being, and all he does is to attempt to destroy the chains


of selfishness forged upon us by Maya. The struggle then between Good and Evil, God and Satan, Suras and Asuras, Devas and Daityas, which is mentioned in the sacred books of all the nations and races, symbolizes the battle between unselfishness and the selfish impulses, which takes place in a man, who tries to follow the higher purposes of Nature, until the lower animal tendencies, created by selfishness, are completely conquered, and the enemy thoroughly routed and annihilated. It has also been often put forth in various theosophical and other occult writings that the only difference between an ordinary man who works along with Nature during the course of cosmic evolution and an occultist, is that the latter, by his superior knowledge, adopts such methods of training and discipline as will hurry on that process of evolution, and he thus reaches in a comparatively very short time that apex to ascend to which the ordinary individual may take perhaps billions of years. In short, in a few thousand years he approaches that form of evolution which ordinary humanity will attain to perhaps in the sixth or the seventh round during the process of Manvantara, i.e., cyclic progression. It is evident that the average man cannot become a MAHATMA in one life, or rather in one incarnation. Now those, who have studied the occult teachings concerning Devachan and our after-states, will remember that between two incarnations there is a considerable period of subjective existence. The greater the number of such Devachanic periods, the greater is the number of years over which this evolution is extended. The chief aim of the occultist is therefore to so control himself as to be able to control his future states, and thereby gradually shorten the duration of his Devachanic states between his two incarnations. In his progress, there comes a time when, between one physical death and his next re-birth, there is no Devachan but a kind of spiritual sleep, the shock of death, having, so to say, stunned him into a state of unconsciousness from which he gradually recovers to find himself reborn, to continue his purpose. The period of this sleep may vary from twenty-five to two hundred years, depending upon the degree of his advancement. But even this period may be said to be a waste of time, and hence all his exertions are directed to shorten its duration so as to gradually come to a point when the passage from one state of existence into another is almost imperceptible. This is his last incarnation, as it were, for the shock of death no more stuns him. This is the idea the writer of the article on the Elixir of Life means to convey, when he says:—


By or about the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed HE IS ACTUALLY DEAD, in the ordinary sense, that is to say, that he has relieved himself of all or nearly all such material particles as would have necessitated in disruption the agony of dying. He has been dying gradually the whole period of his Initiation. The catastrophe cannot happen twice over. He has only spread over a number of years the mild process of dissolution which others endure from a brief moment to a few hours. The highest Adept is in fact dead to, and absolutely unconscious of, the World—he is oblivious of its pleasures, careless of its miseries—in so far as sentimentalism goes, for the stern sense of DUTY never leaves him blind to its very existence. . . .

The process of the emission and attraction of atoms, which the occultist controls, has been discussed at length in that article and in other writings. It is by these means that he gets rid gradually of all the old gross particles of his body, substituting for them finer and more ethereal ones, till at last the former sthula sarira is completely dead and disintegrated and he lives in a body entirely of his own creation, suited to his work. That body is essential for his purposes, for, as the Elixir of Life says:—

But to do good, as in every thing else, a man must have time and materials to work with, and this is a necessary means to the acquirement of powers by which infinitely more good can be done than without them. When these are once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive. . . .

In another place, in giving the practical instructions for that purpose, the same article says:

The physical man must be rendered more ethereal and sensitive: the mental man more penetrating and profound; the moral man more self-denying and philosophical.

The above important considerations are lost sight of by those who snatch away from the context the following passage in the same article:—

And from this account too, it will be perceptible how foolish it is for people to ask the Theosophists "to procure for them communication with the highest Adepts." It is with the utmost difficulty that one or two can be induced, even by the throes of a world, to injure their own progress by meddling with mundane affairs. The ordinary reader will say—"This is not God-like. This is the acme of selfishness" . . . . But let him realise that a very high Adept, undertaking to reform the world, would necessarily have to once more submit to Incarnation. And is the result of all that have gone before in that line sufficiently encouraging to prompt a renewal of the attempt?


Now, in condemning the above passage as inculcating selfishness, superficial readers and thinkers lose sight of various important considerations. In the first place, they forget the other extracts already quoted which impose self-denial as a necessary condition of success, and which say that, with progress, new senses and new powers are acquired with which infinitely more good can be done than without them. The more spiritual the Adept becomes, the less can he meddle with mundane, gross affairs and the more he has to confine himself to a spiritual work. It has been repeated, time out of number, that the work on a spiritual plane is as superior to the work on an intellectual plane as the one on the latter plane is superior to that on a physical plane. The very high Adepts, therefore, do help humanity, but only spiritually: they are constitutionally incapable of meddling with worldly affairs. But this applies only to very high Adepts. There are various degrees of Adeptship, and those of each degree work for humanity on the planes to which they may have risen. It is only the chelas that can live in the world, until they rise to a certain degree. And it is because the Adepts do care for the world that they make their chelas live in and work for it, as many of those who study the subject are aware. Each cycle produces its own occultists who will be able to work for the humanity of those times on all the different planes; but when the Adepts foresee that at a particular period the then humanity will be incapable of producing occultists for work on particular planes, for such occasions they do provide by either giving up voluntarily their further progress and waiting in those particular degrees until humanity reaches that period, or by refusing to enter into Nirvana and submitting to re-incarnation in time to reach those degrees when humanity will require their assistance at that stage. And although the world may not be aware of the fact, yet there are even now certain Adepts who have preferred to remain statu quo and refuse to take the higher degrees, for the benefit of the future generations of humanity. In short, as the Adepts work harmoniously, since unity is the fundamental law of their being, they have as it were made a division of labour, according to which each works on the plane at the time allotted to him, for the spiritual elevation of us all—and the process of longevity mentioned in the Elixir of Life is only the means to the end which, far from being selfish, is the most unselfish purpose for which a human being can labour.

Theosophist, July, 1884


Genius! thou gift of Heaven, thou light divine!
Amid what dangers art thou doom’d to shine.
Oft will the body's weakness check thy force,
Oft damp thy vigour, and impede thy course;
And trembling nerves compel thee to restrain
Thy nobler efforts to contend with pain;
Or want, sad guest! . . .

AMONG many problems hitherto unsolved in the Mystery of Mind, stands prominent the question of Genius. Whence, and what is genius, its raison d’être, the causes of its excessive rarity? Is it indeed "a gift of Heaven"? And if so, why such gifts to one, and dullness of intellect, or even idiocy, the doom of another? To regard the appearance of men and women of genius as a mere accident, a prize of blind chance, or, as dependent on physical causes alone, is only thinkable to a materialist. As an author truly says, there remains then, only this alternative: to agree with the believer in a personal god "to refer the appearance of every single individual to a special act of divine will and creative energy," or "to recognize, in the whole succession of such individuals, one great act of some will, expressed in an eternal inviolable law."

Genius, as Coleridge defined it, is certainly—to every outward appearance, at least— "the faculty of growth"; yet to the inward intuition of man, it is a question whether it is genius—an abnormal aptitude of mind—that develops and grows, or the physical brain, its vehicle, which becomes through some mysterious process fitter to receive and manifest from within outwardly the innate and divine nature of man’s over-soul. Perchance, in their unsophisticated wisdom, the philosophers of old were nearer truth than are our modern wiseacres, when they endowed man with a tutelar deity, a Spirit whom they called genius. The substance of this entity, to say nothing of its essence— observe the distinction, reader,—and the presence of both, manifests itself according to the organism of the person it informs. As Shakespeare says of the genius of great men— what we perceive of his substance "is not here"—


For what you see is but the smallest part. . . .
But were the whole frame here,
It is of such a spacious, lofty pitch,
Your roof were not sufficient to contain it. . . .

This is precisely what the Esoteric philosophy teaches. The flame of genius is lit by no anthropomorphic hand, save that of one’s own Spirit. It is the very nature of the Spiritual Entity itself, of our Ego, which keeps on weaving new life-woofs into the web of reincarnation on the loom of time, from the beginnings to the ends of the great Life-Cycle.1 This it is that asserts itself stronger than in the average man, through its personality; so that what we call "the manifestations of genius" in a person, are only the more or less successful efforts of that EGO to assert itself on the outward plane of its objective form—the man of clay—in the matter-of-fact, daily life of the latter. The EGOS of a Newton, an Æschylus, or a Shakespeare, are of the same essence and substance as the Egos of a yokel, an ignoramus, a fool, or even an idiot; and the self-assertion of their informing genii depends on the physiological and material construction of the physical man. No Ego differs from another Ego, in its primordial or original essence and nature. That which makes one mortal a great man and of another a vulgar, silly person is, as said, the quality and make-up of the physical shell or casing, and the adequacy or inadequacy of brain and body to transmit and give expression to the light of the real, Inner man; and this aptness or inaptness is, in its turn, the result of Karma. Or, to use another simile, physical man is the musical instrument, and the Ego, the performing artist. The potentiality of perfect melody of sound, is in the former—the instrument— and no skill of the latter can awaken a faultless harmony out of a broken or badly made instrument. This harmony depends on the fidelity of transmission, by word or act, to the objective plane, of the unspoken divine thought in the very depths of man’s subjective or inner nature. Physical man may—to follow our simile—be a priceless Stradivarius or a cheap and cracked fiddle, or again a mediocrity between the two, in the hands of the Paganini who ensouls him.

All ancient nations knew this. But though all had their Mysteries and their Hierophants, not all could be equally taught the great metaphysical doctrine; and while a few elect received such truths at their initiation, the masses were allowed to approach them with

1 The period of one full Manvantara composed of Seven Rounds.


the greatest caution and only within the farthest limits of fact. "From the DIVINE ALL proceeded Amun, the Divine Wisdom . . . give it not to the unworthy," says a Book of Hermes. Paul, the "wise Master-Builder,"2 (I Cor. III, 10) but echoes Thoth-Hermes when telling the Corinthians "We speak Wisdom among them that are perfect (the initiated) . . . divine Wisdom in a MYSTERY, even the hidden Wisdom." (Ibid, II, 7.)

Yet, to this day the Ancients are accused of blasphemy and fetishism for their "hero worship." But have the modern historians ever fathomed the cause of such "worship"! We believe not. Otherwise they would be the first to become aware that that which was "worshipped," or rather that to which honours were rendered was neither the man of clay, nor the personality—the Hero or Saint So-and-So, which still prevails on the Roman Church, a church which beatifies the body rather than the soul—but the divine imprisoned Spirit, the exiled "god" within that personality. Who, in the profane world, is aware that even the majority of the magistrates (the Archons of Athens, mistranslated in the Bible as "Princes")—whose official duty it was to prepare the city for such processions, were ignorant of the true significance of the alleged "worship"?

Verily was Paul right in declaring that "we speak wisdom . . . not the wisdom of this world . . . which none of the Archons of this (profane) world knew," but the hidden wisdom of the MYSTERIES. For, as again the Epistle of the apostle implies, the language of the Initiates and their secrets no profane, not even an "Archon" or ruler outside the fane of the sacred Mysteries, knoweth; none "save the Spirit of man (the Ego) which is in him." (Ib. v, II.)

Were Chapters II and III of 1 Corinthians ever translated in the Spirit in which they were written—even their dead letter is now disfigured—the world might receive strange revelations. Among other things it would have a key to many hitherto unexplained rites of ancient Paganism, one of which is the mystery of this same Hero-worship. And it would learn that if the streets of the city that honoured one such man were strewn with roses for the passage of the Hero of the day, if every citizen was called to bow in reverence to him who was so feasted, and if both priest and poet vied in their zeal to immortalize the hero’s name after his death—occult philosophy tells us the reason why this was done.

2 A term absolutely theurgic, masonic and occult. Paul, by using it, declares himself an Initiate having the right to initiate others.


"Behold," it saith, "in every manifestation of genius—when combined with virtue— in the warrior or the Bard, the great painter, artist, statesman or man of Science, who soars high above the heads of the vulgar herd, the undeniable presence of the celestial exile, the divine Ego whose jailor thou art, Oh man of matter!" Thus, that which we call deification applied to the immortal God within, not to the dead walls of the human tabernacle that contained him. And this was done in tacit and silent recognition of the efforts made by the divine captive who, under the most adverse circumstances of incarnation, still succeeded in manifesting himself.

Occultism, therefore, teaches nothing new in asserting the above philosophical axiom. Enlarging upon the broad metaphysical truism, it only gives it a finishing touch by explaining certain details. It teaches, for instance, that the presence in man of various creative powers—called genius in their collectivity—is due to no blind chance, to no innate qualities through hereditary tendencies—though that which is known as atavism may often intensify these faculties —but to an accumulation of individual antecedent experiences of the Ego in its preceding life, and lives. For, though omniscient in its essence and nature, it still requires experience through its personalities of the things of earth, earthy on the objective plane, in order to apply the fruition of that abstract omniscience to them. And, adds our philosophy—the cultivation of certain aptitudes throughout a long series of past incarnations must finally culminate in some one life, in a blooming forth as genius, in one or another direction.

Great Genius, therefore, if true and innate, and not merely an abnormal expansion of our human intellect—can never copy or condescend to imitate, but will ever be original, sui generis in its creative impulses and realizations. Like those gigantic Indian lilies that shoot out from the clefts and fissures of the cloud-nursing, and bare rocks on the highest plateaux of the Nilgiri Hills, true Genius needs but an opportunity to spring forth into existence and blossom in the sight of all in the most arid soil, for its stamp is always unmistakable. To use a popular saying, innate genius, like murder, will out sooner or later, and the more it will have been suppressed and hidden, the greater will be the flood of light thrown by the sudden eruption. On the other hand artificial genius, so often confused with the former, and which, in truth, is but the outcome of long studies and training, will never be more than, so to say, the flame of a lamp burning outside the portal of the fane; it may throw a long trail of light across


the road, but it leaves the inside of the building in darkness. And, as every faculty and property in Nature is dual—i.e., each may be made to serve two ends, evil as well as good—so will artificial genius betray itself. Born out of the chaos of terrestrial sensations, of perceptive and retentive faculties, yet of finite memory, it will ever remain the slave of its body; and that body, owing to its unreliability and the natural tendency of matter to confusion, will not fail to lead even the greatest genius, so called, back into its own primordial element, which is chaos again, or evil, or earth.

Thus between the true and the artificial genius, one born from the light of the immortal Ego, the other from the evanescent will-o’-the- wisp of the terrestrial or purely human intellect and the animal soul, there is a chasm, to be spanned only by him who aspires ever onward; who never loses sight, even when in the depths of matter, of that guiding star the Divine Soul and mind, or what we call Buddhi-Manas. The latter does not require, as does the former, cultivation. The words of the poet who asserts that the lamp of genius—

If not protected, pruned, and fed with care,
Soon dies, or runs to waste with fitful glare—

—can apply only to artificial genius, the outcome of cultural and of purely intellectual acuteness. It is not the direct light of the Manasa putra, the "Sons of Wisdom," for true genius lit at the flame of our higher nature, or the EGO, cannot die. This is why it is so very rare. Lavater calculated that "the proportion of genius (in general) to the vulgar, is like one to a million; but genius without tyranny, without pretension, that judges the weak with equity, the superior with humanity, and equals with justice, is like one in ten millions." This is indeed interesting, though not too complimentary to human nature, if, by "genius," Lavater had in mind only the higher sort of human intellect, unfolded by cultivation, "protected, pruned, and fed," and not the genius we speak of. Moreover such genius is always apt to lead to the extremes of weal or woe him through whom this artificial light of the terrestrial mind manifests. Like the good and bad genii of old with whom human genius is made so appropriately to share the name, it takes its helpless possessor by the hand and leads him, one day to the pinnacles of fame, fortune, and glory, but to plunge him on the following day into an abyss of shame, despair, often of crime.

But as, according to the great Physiognomist, there is more of the former than of the latter kind of genius in this our world, because,


as Occultism teaches us, it is easier for the personality with its acute physical senses and tatwas to gravitate toward the lower quaternary than to soar to its triad—modern philosophy, though quite proficient in treating this lower place of genius, knows nothing of its higher spiritual form—the "one in ten millions." Thus it is only natural that confusing one with the other, the best modern writers should have failed to define true genius. As a consequence, we continually hear and read a good deal of that which to the Occultist seems quite paradoxical. "Genius requires cultivation," says one; "Genius is vain and self-sufficient" declares another; while a third will go on defining the divine light but to dwarf it on the Procrustean bed of his own intellectual narrow-mindedness. He will talk of the great eccentricity of genius, and allying it as a general rule with an "inflammable constitution," will even show it "a prey to every passion but seldom delicacy of taste!" (Lord Kaimes.) It is useless to argue with such, or tell them that, original, and great genius puts out the most dazzling rays of human intellectuality, as the sun quenches the flame-light of a fire in an open field; that it is never eccentric, though always sui generis; and that no man endowed with true genius can ever give way to his physical animal passions. In the view of an humble Occultist, only such a grand altruistic character as that of Buddha or Jesus, and of their few close imitators, can be regarded, in our historical cycle, as fully developed GENIUS.

Hence, true genius has small chance indeed of receiving its due in our age of conventionalities, hypocrisy and time-serving. As the world grows in civilization, it expands in fierce selfishness, and stones its true prophets and geniuses for the benefit of its apeing shadows. Alone the surging masses of the ignorant millions, the great people’s heart, are capable of sensing intuitionally a true "great soul" full of divine love for mankind, of god-like compassion for suffering man. Hence the populace alone is still capable of recognizing a genius, as without such qualities no man has a right to the name. No genius can be now found in Church or State, and this is proven on their own admission. It seems a long time since in the XIII century the "Angelic Doctor" snubbed Pope Innocent IV who, boasting of the millions got by him from the sale of absolutions and indulgences, remarked to Aquinas that "the age of the Church is past in which she said ‘Silver and gold have I none’!" "True," was the ready reply; "but the age is also past when she could say to a paralytic, ‘Rise up and walk’." And yet from that time, and far, far earlier, to our own


day the hourly crucifixion of their ideal Master both by Church and State has never ceased. While every Christian State breaks with its laws and customs, with every commandment given in the Sermon on the Mount, the Christian Church justifies and approves of this through her own Bishops who despairingly proclaim "A Christian State impossible on Christian Principles." Hence—no Christ-like (or "Buddha-like") way of life is possible in civilized States.

The occultist then, to whom "true genius is a synonym of self-existent and infinite mind," mirrored more or less faithfully by man, fails to find in the modern definitions of the term anything approaching correctness. In its turn the esoteric interpretation of Theosophy is sure to be received with derision. The very idea that every man with a "soul" in him is the vehicle of (a) genius will appear supremely absurd, even to believers, while the materialist will fall foul of it as a "crass superstition." As to the popular feeling—the only approximately correct one because purely intuitional, it will not be even taken into account. The same clastic and convenient epithet "superstition" will, once more, be made to explain why there never was yet a universally recognised genius—whether of one or the other kind—without a certain amount of weird, fantastic and often uncanny, tales and legends attaching themselves to so unique a character, dogging and even surviving him. Yet it is the unsophisticated alone, and therefore only the so-called uneducated, masses, just because of that lack of sophistical reasoning in them, who feel, whenever coming in contact with an abnormal, out-of-the-way character, that there is in him something more than the mere mortal man of flesh and intellectual attributes. And feeling themselves in the presence of that which in the enormous majority is ever hidden, of something incomprehensible to their matter-or-fact minds, they experience the same awe that popular masses felt in days of old when their fancy, often more unerring than cultured reason, created of their heroes gods, teaching:

. . . . The weak to bend, the proud to pray
To powers unseen and mightier than they . . .

This is now called SUPERSTITION . . .

But what is Superstition? True, we dread that which we cannot clearly explain to ourselves. Like children in the dark, we arc all of us apt, the educated equally with the ignorant, to people that darkness with phantoms of our own creation; but these "phantoms"


prove in no wise that that "darkness"—which is only another term for the invisible and the unseen—is really empty of any Presence save our own. So that if in its exaggerated form, "superstition" is a weird incubus, as a belief in things above and beyond our physical senses, yet it is also a modest acknowledgement that there are things in the universe, and around us, of which we know nothing. In this sense "superstition" becomes not an unreasonable feeling of half wonder and half dread, mixed with admiration and reverence, or with fear, according to the dictates of our intuition. And this is far more reasonable than to repeat with the too-learned wiseacres that there is nothing "nothing whatever, in that darkness"; nor can there be anything since they, the wiseacres, have failed to discern it.

E pur se muove! Where there is smoke there must be fire; where there is a steamy vapour there must be water. Our claim rests but upon one eternal axiomatic truth: nihil sine causa. Genius and undeserved suffering, prove an immortal Ego and Reincarnation in our world. As for the rest, i.e., the obloquy and derision with which such theosophical doctrines are met, Fielding—a sort of Genius in his way, too—has covered our answer over a century ago. Never did he utter a greater truth than on the day he wrote that "If superstition makes a man a fool, SCEPTICISM MAKES HIM MAD."

Lucifer, November, 1889



THE Universal Æther was not, in the eyes of the ancients, simply a tenantless something, stretching throughout the expanse of heaven; it was for them a boundless ocean, peopled like our familiar earthly seas, with Gods, Planetary Spirits, monstrous and minor creatures, and having in its every molecule the germs of life from the potential up to the most developed. Like the finny tribes which swarm in our oceans and familiar bodies of water, each kind having its habitat in some spot to which it is curiously adapted, some friendly, and some inimical to man, some pleasant and some frightful to behold, some seeking the refuge of quiet nooks and land-locked harbours, and some traversing great areas of water; so the various races of the Planetary, Elemental, and other Spirits, were believed by them to inhabit the different portions of the great ethereal ocean, and to be exactly adapted to their respective conditions.

According to the ancient doctrines, every member of this varied ethereal population, from the highest "Gods" down to the soulless Elementals, was evolved by the ceaseless motion inherent in the astral light. Light is force, and the latter is produced by the will. As this will proceeds from an intelligence which cannot err, for it is absolute and immutable and has nothing of the material organs of human thought in it, being the superfine pure emanation of the ONE LIFE itself, it proceeds from the beginning of time, according to immutable laws, to evolve the elementary fabric requisite for subsequent generations of what we term human races. All of the latter, whether belonging to this planet or to some other of the myriads in space, have their earthly bodies evolved in this matrix out of the bodies of a certain class of these elemental beings—the primordial germ of Gods and men—which have passed away into the invisible worlds. In the Ancient Philosophy there was no


missing link to be supplied by what Tyndall calls an "educated imagination"; no hiatus to be filled with volumes of materialistic speculations made necessary by the absurd attempt to solve an equation with but one set of quantities; our "ignorant" ancestors traced the law of evolution throughout the whole universe. As by gradual progression from the star-cloudlet to the development of the physical body of man, the rule holds good, so from the Universal Æther to the incarnate human spirit, they traced one uninterrupted series of entities. These evolutions were from the world of Spirit into the world of gross Matter: and through that back again to the source of all things. The "descent of species" was to them a descent from the Spirit, primal source of all, to the "degradation of Matter." In this complete chain of unfoldings the elementary, spiritual beings had as distinct a place, midway between the extremes, as Mr. Darwin’s missing-link between the ape and man.

No author in the world of literature ever gave a more truthful or more poetical description of these beings than Sir E. Bulwer-Lytton, the author of Zanoni. Now, himself "a thing not of matter" but an "idea of joy and light," his words sound more like the faithful echo of memory than the exuberant outflow of mere imagination. He makes the wise Mejnour say to Glyndon:

Man is arrogant in proportion of his ignorance. For several ages he saw in the countless worlds that sparkle through space like the bubbles of a shoreless ocean, only the petty candles . . . that Providence has been pleased to light for no other purpose but to make the night more agreeable to man. . . . Astronomy has corrected this delusion of human vanity, and man now reluctantly confesses that the stars are worlds, larger and more glorious than his own. . . . Everywhere, in this immense design, science brings new life to light. . . . Reasoning, then, by evident analogy, if not a leaf, if not a drop of water, but is, no less than yonder star, a habitable and breathing world—nay, if even man himself is a world to other lives, and millions and myriads dwell in the rivers of his blood, and inhabit man’s frame, as man inhabits earth—common sense (if our schoolmen had it) would suffice to teach that the circumfluent infinite which you call space—the boundless impalpable which divides earth from the moon and stars—is filled also with its correspondent and appropriate life. Is it not a visible absurdity to suppose that being is crowded upon every leaf, and yet absent from the immensities of space! The law of the great system forbids the waste even of an atom; it knows no spot where something of life does not breathe. . . . Well, then, can you conceive that


space, which is the infinite itself, is alone a waste, is alone lifeless, is less useful to the one design of universal being . . . than the peopled leaf, than the swarming globule? The microscope shows you the creatures on the leaf; no mechanical tube is yet invented to discover the nobler and more gifted things that hover in the illimitable air. Yet between these last and man is a mysterious and terrible affinity. . . . But first, to penetrate this barrier, the soul with which you listen must be sharpened by intense enthusiasm, purified from all earthly desires. . . . When thus prepared, science can be brought to aid it; the sight itself may be rendered more subtile, the nerves more acute, the spirit more alive and outward, and the element itself—the air, the space—may be made, by certain secrets of the higher chemistry, more palpable and clear. And this, too, is not Magic as the credulous call it; as I have so often said before, Magic (a science that violates Nature) exists not; it is but the science by which Nature can be controlled. Now, in space there are millions of beings, not literally spiritual, for they have all, like the animalculæ unseen by the naked eye, certain forms of matter, though matter so delicate, air-drawn, and subtile, that it is, as it were, but a film, a gossamer, that clothes the spirit. . . . Yet, in truth, these races differ most widely some of surpassing wisdom, some of horrible malignity; some hostile as fiends to men, others gentle as messengers between earth and heaven.1

Such is the insufficient sketch of Elemental Beings void of Divine Spirit, given by one whom many with reason believed to know more than he was prepared to admit in the face of an incredulous public. We have underlined the few lines than which nothing can be more graphically descriptive. An Initiate, having a personal knowledge of these creatures, could do no better.

We may pass now to the "Gods," or Daimons, of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, and from these to the Devas and Pitris of the still more ancient Hindû Âryans.

Who or what were the Gods, or Daimonia, of the Greeks and Romans? The name has since then been monopolized and disfigured to their own use by the Christian Fathers. Ever following in the footsteps of old Pagan Philosophers on the well-trodden highway of their speculations, while, as ever, trying to pass these off as new tracks on virgin soil, and themselves as the first pioneers in a hitherto pathless forest of eternal truths—they repeated the Zoroastrian ruse: to make a clean sweep of all the Hindû Gods and Deities, Zoroaster had called them all Devs, and adopted the name as designating only evil powers. So did the Christian

1 Bulwer-Lytton, Zanoni.


Fathers. They applied the sacred name of Daimonia—the divine Egos of man—to their devils, a fiction of diseased brains, and thus dishonoured the anthropomorphized symbols of the natural sciences of wise antiquity, and made them all loathesome in the sight of the ignorant and the unlearned.

What the Gods and Daimonia, or Daimons, really were, we may learn from Socrates, Plato, Plutarch, and many other renowned Sages and Philosophers of pre-Christian, as well as post-Christian days. We will give some of their views.

Xenocrates, who expounded many of the unwritten theories and teachings of his master, and who surpassed Plato in his definition of the doctrine of invisible magnitudes, taught that the Daimons are intermediate beings between the divine perfection and human sinfulness,2 and he divides them into classes, each subdivided into many others. But he states expressly that the individual or personal Soul is the leading guardian Daimon of every man, and that no Daimon has more power over us than our own. Thus the Daimonion of Socrates is the God or Divine Entity which inspired him all his life. It depends on man either to open or close his perceptions to the Divine voice.

Heracleides, who adopted fully the Pythagorean and Platonic views of the human Soul, its nature and faculties, speaking of Spirits, calls them "Daimons with airy and vaporous bodies," and affirms that Souls inhabit the Milky Way before descending "into generation" or sublunary existence.

Again, when the author of Epinomis locates between the highest and lowest Gods (embodied Souls) three classes of Daimons, and peoples the universe with invisible beings, he is more rational than either our modern Scientists, who make between the two extremes one vast hiatus of being, the playground of blind forces, or the Christian Theologians, who call every pagan God, a dæmon, or devil. Of these three classes the first two are invisible; their bodies are pure ether and fire (Planetary Spirits); the Daimons of the third class are clothed with vapoury bodies; they are usually invisible, but sometimes, making themselves concrete, become visible for a few seconds. These are the earthly spirits, or our astral souls.

The fact is, that the word Daimon was given by the ancients, and especially by the Philosophers of the Alexandrian school, to all kinds of spirits, whether good or bad, human or otherwise, but

2 Plutarch, De Isid., ch. xxv, p. 360.


the appellation was often synonymous with that of Gods or angels. For instance, the "Samothraces" was a designation of the Fane-gods worshipped at Samothracia in the Mysteries. They are considered as identical with the Cabeiri, Dioscuri, and Corybantes. Their names were mystical—denoting Pluto, Ceres or Proserpina, Bacchus, and Æsculapius or Hermes, and they were all referred to as Daimons.

Apuleius, speaking in the same symbolical and veiled language of the two Souls, the human and the divine, says:

The human soul is a demon that our language may name genius. She is an immortal god, though in a certain sense she is born at the same time as the man in whom she is. Consequently, we may say that she dies in the same way that she is born.

Eminent men were also called Gods by the ancients. Deified during life, even their "shells" were reverenced during a part of the Mysteries. Belief in Gods, in Larvæ and Umbræ, was a universal belief then, as it is fast becoming—now. Even the greatest Philosophers, men who have passed to posterity as the hardest Materialists and Atheists—only because they rejected the grotesque idea of a personal extra-cosmic God—such as Epicurus, for instance, believed in Gods and invisible beings. Going far back into antiquity, out of the great body of Philosophers of the pre-Christian ages, we may mention Cicero, as one who can least be accused of superstition and credulity. Speaking of those whom he calls Gods, and who are either human or atmospheric spirits, he says:

We know that of all livings beings man is the best formed, and, as the gods belong to this number, they must have a human form. . . . I do not mean to say that the gods have body and blood in them; but I say that they seem as if they had bodies with blood in them. . . . Epicurus, for whom hidden things were as tangible as if he had touched them with his finger, teaches us that gods are not generally visible, but that they are intelligible; that they are not bodies having a certain solidity. . . . but that we can recognize them by their passing images; that as there are atoms enough in the infinite space to produce such images, these are produced before us. . . . and make us realize what are these happy, immortal beings.3

If, turning from Greece and Egypt to the cradle of universal civilization, India, we interrogate the Brâhmans and their most admirable Philosophies, we find them calling their Gods and their

3 De Natura Deorum, lib. i. cap. xviii.


Daimonia by such a number and variety of appellations, that the thirty-three millions of these Deities would require a whole library to contain only their names and attributes. We will choose for the present time only two names out of the Pantheon. These groups are the most important as well as the least understood by the Orientalists—their true nature having been all along wrapped in obscurity by the unwillingness of the Brâhmans to divulge their philosophical secrets. We will speak of but the Devas and the Pitris.

The former aerial beings are some of them superior, others inferior, to man. The term means literally the Shining Ones, the resplendent; and it covers spiritual beings of various degrees, including entities from previous planetary periods, who take active part in the formation of new solar systems and the training of infant humanities, as well as unprogressed Planetary Spirits, who will, at spiritualistic séances, simulate human deities and even characters on the stage of human history.

As to the Deva Yonis, they are Elementals of a lower kind in comparison with the Kosmic "Gods," and are subjected to the will of even the sorcerer. To this class belong the gnomes, sylphs, fairies, djins, etc. They are the Soul of the elements, the capricious forces in Nature, acting under one immutable Law, inherent in these Centres of Force, with undeveloped consciousness and bodies of plastic mould, which can be shaped according to the conscious or unconscious will of the human being who puts himself en rapport with them. It is by attracting some of the beings of this class that our modern spiritualistic mediums invest the fading shells of deceased human beings with a kind of individual force. These beings have never been, but will, in myriads of ages hence, be evolved into men. They belong to the three lower kingdoms, and pertain to the Mysteries on account of their dangerous nature.

We have found a very erroneous opinion gaining ground not only among Spiritualists—who see the spirits of their disembodied fellow creatures everywhere— but even among several Orientalists who ought to know better. It is generally believed by them that the Sanskrit term Pitris means the spirits of our direct ancestors; of disembodied people. Hence the argument of some Spiritualists that fakirs, and other Eastern wonder-workers, are mediums; that they themselves confess to being unable to produce anything without the help of the Pitris, of whom they are the obedient instru-


ments. This is in more than one sense erroneous, the error being first started, we believe, by M. L. Jacolliot, in his Spiritisme dans le Monde, and Govinda Swami; or, as he spells it, "the fakir Kovindasami’s" phenomena. The Pitris are not the ancestors of the present living men, but those of the human kind or primitive race; the spirits of human races which, on the great scale of descending evolution, preceded our races of men, and were physically, as well as spiritually, far superior to our modern pigmies. In Mânava-Dharma-Shâstra they are called the Lunar Ancestors. The Hindû— least of all the proud Brâhman—has no such great longing to return to this land of exile after he has shaken off his mortal coil, as has the average Spiritualist; nor has death for him any of the great terrors it has for the Christian. Thus, the most highly developed minds in India will always take care to declare, while in the act of leaving their tenements of clay, "Nachapunarâvarti," "I shall not come back," and by this very declaration is placed beyond the reach of any living man or medium. But, it may be asked, what then is meant by the Pitris? They are Devas, lunar and solar, closely connected with human evolution, for the Lunar Pitris are they who gave their Chhâyâs as the models of the First Race in the Fourth Round, while the Solar Pitris endowed mankind with intellect. Not only so, but these Lunar Devas passed through all the kingdoms of the terrestrial Chain in the First Round, and during the Second and Third Rounds "lead and represent the human element."4

A brief examination of the part they play will prevent all future confusion in the student’s mind between the Pitris and the Elementals. In the Rig Veda, Vishnu (or the pervading Fire, Æther) is shown first striding through the seven regions of the World in three steps, being a manifestation of the Central Sun. Later on, he becomes a manifestation of our solar energy, and is connected with the septenary form and with the Gods, Agni, Indra and other solar deities. Therefore, while the "Sons of Fire," the primeval Seven of our System, emanate from the primordial Flame, the "Seven Builders" of our Planetary Chain are the "Mind-born Sons" of the latter, and—their instructors likewise. For, though in one sense they are all Gods and are all called Pitris (Pitara, Patres, Fathers), a great though very subtle distinction (quite Occult) is made which must be noticed. In the Rig Veda

4 Let the student consult The Secret Doctrine on this matter, and he will there find full explanations.


they are divided into two classes—the Pitris Agni-dagdha ("Fire-givers"), and the pitris Anagni-dagdha ("non-Fire-givers")5 i.e., as explained exoterically—Pitris who sacrificed to the Gods and those who refused to do so at the "fire-sacrifice." But the Esoteric and true meaning is the following. The first or primordial Pitris, the "Seven Sons of Fire" or of the Flame, are distinguished or divided into seven classes (like the Seven Sephiroth, and others, see Vâyu Purâna and Harivamsha, also Rig Veda); three of which classes are Arûpa, formless, "composed of intellectual not elementary substance," and four are corporeal. The first are pure Agni (fire) or Sapta-jiva ("seven lives," now become Sapta-jihva, seven-tongued, as Agni is represented with seven tongues and seven winds as the wheels of his car). As a formless, purely spiritual essence, in the first degree of evolution, they could not create that, the prototypical form of which was not in their minds, as this is the first requisite. They could only give birth to "mind-born" beings, their "Sons," the second class of Pitris (or Prajâpati, or Rishis, etc.), one degree more material; these, to the third—the last of the Arûpa class. It is only this last class that was enabled with the help of the Fourth principle of the Universal Soul (Aditi, Âkâsha) to produce beings that became objective and having a form.6 But when these came to existence, they were found to possess such a small proportion of the divine immortal Soul or Fire in them, that they were considered failures. "The third appealed to the second, the second to the first, and the Three had to become Four (the perfect square or cube representing the ‘Circle Squared’ or immersion of pure Spirit), before the first could be instructed" (Sansk. Comment.). Then only, could perfect Beings—intellect-

5 In order to create a blind, or throw a veil upon the mystery of primordial evolution, the later Brâhmans, with a view also to serve orthodoxy, explained the two, by an invented fable; the first Pitris were "sons of God" and offended Brahmâ by refusing to sacrifice to him, for which crime, the Creator cursed them to become fools, a curse they could escape only by accepting their own sons as instructors and addressing them as their Fathers—Pitris. This is the exoteric version.

6 We find an echo of this in the Codex Nazaræus. Bahak-Zivo, the "father of Genii" (the seven) is ordered to construct creatures. But, as he is "ignorant of Orcus" and unacquainted with "the consuming fire which is wanting in light," he fails to do so and calls in Fetahil, a still purer spirit, to his aid, who fails still worse and sits in the mud (Ilus, Chaos, Matter) and wonders why the living fire is so changed. It is only when the "Spirit" (Soul) steps on the stage of creation (the feminine Anima Mundi of the Nazarenes and Gnostics) and awakens Karabtanos—the spirit of matter and concupiscence—who consents to help his mother, that the "Spiritus" conceives and brings forth "Seven Figures," and again "Seven" and once more "Seven" (the Seven Virtues, Seven Sins and Seven Worlds). Then Fetahil dips his hand in the Chaos and creates our planet. (See Isis Unveiled, vol. i. 298-300 et seq.)


ually and physically—be shaped. This, though more philosophical, is still an allegory. But its meaning is plain, however absurd may seem the explanation from a scientific standpoint. The Doctrine teaches the Presence of a Universal Life (or motion) within which all is, and nothing outside of it can be. This is pure Spirit. Its manifested aspect is cosmic primordial Matter coeval with, since it is, itself. Semi-spiritual in comparison to the first, this vehicle of the Spirit-Life is what Science calls Ether, which fills the boundless space, and it is in this substance, the world-stuff, that germinates all the atoms and molecules of what is called matter. However homogeneous in its eternal origin, this Universal Element, once that its radiations were thrown into the space of the (to be) manifested Universe, the centripetal and centrifugal forces of perpetual motion, of attraction and repulsion, would soon polarize its scattered particles, endowing them with peculiar properties now regarded by Science as various elements distinct from each other. As a homogeneous whole, the world-stuff in its primordial state is perfect; disintegrated, it loses its property of conditionless creative power; it has to associate with its contraries. Thus, the first worlds and Cosmic Beings, save the "Self-Existent"—a mystery no one could attempt to touch upon seriously, as it is a mystery perceived by the divine eye of the highest Initiates, but one that no human language could explain to the children of our age—the first worlds and Beings were failures; inasmuch as the former lacked that inherent creative force in them necessary for their further and independent evolution, and that the first orders of Beings lacked the immortal soul. Part and parcel of Anima Mundi in its Prâkritic aspect, the Purusha element in them was too weak to allow of any consciousness in the intervals (entr’ actes) between their existences during the evolutionary period and the cycle of Life. The three orders of Beings, the Pitri-Rishis, the Sons of Flame, had to merge and blend together their three higher principles with the Fourth (the Circle), and the Fifth (the microcosmic) principle before the necessary union could be obtained and result therefrom achieved. "There were old worlds, which perished as soon as they came into existence; were formless, as they were called sparks. These sparks are the primordial worlds which could not continue because the Sacred Aged had not as yet assumed the form"7 (of perfect contraries not only in opposite sexes but of cosmical polarity). "Why were these primordial worlds destroyed? Because,"

7 Idra Suta, Zohar, iii. 292b.


answers the Zohar, "the man represented by the ten Sephiroth was not as yet. The human form contains everything [spirit, soul and body], and as it did not as yet exist the worlds were destroyed."

Far removed from the Pitris, then, it will readily be seen are all the various feats of Indian fakirs, jugglers and others, phenomena a hundred times more various and astounding than are ever seen in civilized Europe and America. The Pitris have naught to do with such public exhibitions, nor are the "spirits of the departed" concerned in them. We have but to consult the lists of the principal Daimons or Elemental Spirits to find that their very names indicate their professions, or, to express it clearly, the tricks for which each variety is best adapted. So we have the Mâdan, a generic name indicating wicked elemental spirits, half brutes, half monsters, for Mâdan signifies one that looks like a cow. He is the friend of the malicious sorcerers and helps them to effect their evil purposes of revenge by striking men and cattle with sudden illness and death.

The Shudâla-Mâdan, or graveyard fiend, answers to our ghouls. He delights where crime and murder were committed, near burial-spots and places of execution. He helps the juggler in all the fire phenomena as well as Kutti Shâttan, the little juggling imps. Shudâla, they say, is a half-fire, half-water demon, for he received from Shiva permission to assume any shape he chose, to transform one thing into another; and when he is not in fire, he is in water. It is he who blinds people "to see that which they do not see." Shȗla Mâdan is another mischievous spook. He is the furnace-demon, skilled in pottery and baking. If you keep friends with him, he will not injure you; but woe to him who incurs his wrath. Shȗla likes compliments and flattery, and as he generally keeps underground it is to him that a juggler must look to help him raise a tree from a seed in a quarter of an hour and ripen its fruit.

Kumil-Mâdan, is the undine proper. He is an Elemental Spirit of the water, and his name means blowing like a bubble. He is a very merry imp, and will help a friend in anything relative to his department; he will shower rain and show the future and the present to those who will resort to hydromancy or divination by water.

Poruthȗ Mâdan is the "wrestling" demon; he is the strongest of all; and whenever there are feats shown in which physical force


is required, such as levitations, or taming of wild animals, he will help the performer by keeping him above the soil, or will overpower a wild beast before the tamer has time to utter his incantation. So, every "physical manifestation" has its own class of Elemental Spirits to superintend it. Besides these there are in India the Pisâchas, Daimons of the races of the gnomes, the giants and the vampires; the Gandharvas, good Daimons, celestial seraphs, singers; and Asuras and Nâgas, the Titanic spirits and the dragon or serpent-headed spirits.

These must not be confused with Elementaries, the souls and shells of departed human beings; and here again we have to distinguish between what has been called the astral soul, i.e., the lower part of the dual Fifth Principle, joined to the animal, and the true Ego. For the doctrine of the Initiates is that no astral soul, even that of a pure, good, and virtuous man, is immortal in the strictest sense, "from elements it was formed—to elements it must return." We may stop here and say no more: every learned Brâhman, every Chelâ and thoughtful Theosophist will understand why. For he knows that while the soul of the wicked vanishes, and is absorbed without redemption, that of every other person, even moderately pure, simply changes its ethereal particles for still more ethereal ones; and, while there remains in it a spark of the Divine, the god-like man, or rather, his individual Ego, cannot die. Says Proclus:

After death, the soul (the spirit) continueth to linger in the aërial body (astral form), till it is entirely purified from all angry and voluptuous passions . . . then doth it put off by a second dying the aërial body as it did the earthly one. Whereupon, the ancients say that there is a celestial body always joined with the soul, which is immortal, luminous, and star-like—

while the purely human soul or the lower part of the Fifth Principle is not. The above explanations and the meaning and the real attributes and mission of the Pitris, may help to better understand this passage of Plutarch:

And of these souls the moon is the element, because souls resolve into her, as the bodies of the deceased do into earth. Those, indeed, who have been virtuous and honest, living a quiet and philosophical life, without embroiling themselves in troublesome affairs, are quickly resolved; being left by the nous (understanding) and no longer using the corporeal passions, they


incontinently vanish away.8

The ancient Egyptians, who derived their knowledge from the Aryans of India, pushed their researches far into the kingdoms of the "elemental" and "elementary" beings. Modern archæologists have decided that the figures found depicted on the various papyri of The Book of the Dead, or other symbols relating to other subjects painted upon their mummy cases, the walls of their subterranean temples and sculptured on their buildings, are merely fanciful representations of their Gods on the one hand, and on the other, a proof of the worship by the Egyptians of cats, dogs, and all manner of creeping things. This modern idea is wholly wrong, and arises from ignorance of the astral world and its strange denizens.

There are many distinct classes of "Elementaries" and "Elementals." The highest of the former in intelligence and cunning are the so-called "terrestrial spirits." Of these it must suffice to say, for the present, that they are the Larvæ, or shadows of those who have lived on earth, alike of the good and of the bad. They are the lower principles of all disembodied beings, and may be divided into three general groups. The first are they who having refused all spiritual light, have died deeply immersed in the mire of matter, and from whose sinful Souls the immortal Spirit has gradually separated itself. These are, properly, the disembodied Souls of the depraved; these Souls having at some time prior to death separated themselves from their divine Spirits, and so lost their chance of immortality. Eliphas Lévi and some other Kabalists make little, if any, distinction between Elementary Spirits who have been men, and those beings which people the elements, and are the blind forces of nature. Once divorced from their bodies, these Souls (also called "astral bodies"), especially those of purely materialistic persons, are irresistibly attracted to the earth, where they live a temporary and finite life amid elements congenial to their gross natures. From having never, during their natural lives, cultivated their spirituality, but subordinated it to the material and gross, they are now unfitted for the lofty career of the pure, disembodied being, for whom the atmosphere of earth is stifling and

8 Of late, some narrow-minded critics—unable to understand the high philosophy of the above doctrine, the Esoteric meaning of which reveals when solved the widest horizons in astro-physical as well as in psychological sciences—chuckled over and pooh-poohed the idea of the eighth sphere, that could discover to their minds, befogged with old and mouldy dogmas of an unscientific faith, nothing better than our "moon in the shape of a dust-bin to collect the sins of men!"


mephitic. Its attractions are not only away from earth, but it cannot, even if it would, owing to its Devachanic condition, have aught to do with earth and its denizens consciously. Exceptions to this rule will be pointed out later on. After a more or less prolonged period of time these material souls will begin to disintegrate, and finally, like a column of mist, be dissolved, atom by atom, in the surrounding elements.

These are the "shells" which remain the longest period in the Kâma Loka; all saturated with terrestrial effluvia, their Kâma Rûpa (body of desire) thick with sensuality and made impenetrable to the spiritualizing influence of their higher principles, endures longer and fades out with difficulty. We are taught that these remain for centuries sometimes, before the final disintegration into their respective elements.

The second group includes all those, who, having had their common share of spirituality, have yet been more or less attached to things earthly and terrestrial life, having their aspirations and affections more centred on earth than in heaven; the stay in Kâma Loka of the reliquiæ of this class or group of men, who belonged to the average human being, is of a far shorter duration, yet long in itself and proportionate to the intensity of their desire for life.

Remains, as a third class, the disembodied souls of those whose bodies have perished by violence, and these are men in all save the physical body, till their life-span is complete.

Among Elementaries are also reckoned by Kabalists what we have called psychic embryos, the "privation" of the form of the child that is to be. According to Aristotle’s doctrine there are three principles of natural bodies: privation, matter, and form. These principles may be applied in this particular case. The "privation" of the child which is to be, we locate in the invisible mind of the Universal Soul, in which all types and forms exist from eternity—privation not being considered in the Aristotelic philosophy as a principle in the composition of bodies, but as an external property in their production; for the production is a change by which the matter passes from the shape it has not to that which it assumes. Though the privation of the unborn child’s form, as well as of the future form of the unmade watch, is that which is neither substance nor extension nor quality as yet, nor any kind of existence, it is still something which is, though its outlines, in order to be, must acquire an objective form—the abstract must become concrete,


in short. Thus, as soon as this privation of matter is transmitted by energy to universal Æther, it becomes a material form, however sublimated. If modern Science teaches that human thought "affects the matter of another universe simultaneously with this," how can he who believes in a Universal Mind deny that the divine thought is equally transmitted, by the same law of energy, to our common mediator, the universal Æther— the lower World-Soul? Very true, Occult Philosophy denies it intelligence and consciousness in relation to the finite and conditioned manifestations of this phenomenal world of matter. But the Vedântin and Buddhist Philosophies alike, speaking of it as of Absolute Consciousness, show thereby that the form and progress of every atom of the conditioned universe must have existed in it throughout the infinite cycles of Eternity. And, if so, then it must follow that once there, the Divine Thought manifests itself objectively, energy faithfully reproducing the outlines of that whose "privation" is already in the divine mind. Only it must not be understood that this Thought creates matter, or even the privations. No; it develops from its latent outline but the design for the future form; the matter which serves to make this design having always been in existence, and having been prepared to form a human body, through a series of progressive transformations, as the result of evolution. Forms pass; ideas that created them and the material which gave them objectiveness, remain. These models, as yet devoid of immortal spirits, are "Elementals"—better yet, psychic embryos— which, when their time arrives, die out of the invisible world, and are born into this visible one as human infants, receiving in transitu that Divine Breath called Spirit which completes the perfect man. This class cannot communicate, either subjectively or objectively, with men.

The essential difference between the body of such an embryo and an Elemental proper is that the embryo—the future man—contains in himself a portion of each of the four great kingdoms, to wit: fire, air, earth and water; while the Elemental has but a portion of one of such kingdoms. As for instance, the salamander, or the fire Elemental, which has but a portion of the primordial fire and none other. Man, being higher than they, the law of evolution finds its illustration of all four in him. It results therefore, that the Elementals of the fire are not found in water, nor those of air in the fire kingdom. And yet, inasmuch as a portion of water


is found not only in man but also in other bodies, Elementals exist really in and among each other in every substance just as the spiritual world exists and is in the material. But the last are the Elementals in their most primordial and latent state.


Another class are those elemental beings which will never evolve into human beings in the present Manvantara, but occupy, as it were, a specific step of the ladder of being, and, by comparison with the others, may properly be called nature-spirits, or cosmic agents of nature, each being confined to its own element and never transgressing the bounds of others. These are what Tertullian called the "princes of the powers of the air."

In the teachings of Eastern Kabalists, and of the Western Rosicrucians and Alchemists, they are spoken of as the creatures evolved in and from the four kingdoms of earth, air, fire and water, and are respectively called gnomes, sylphs, salamanders and undines. Forces of nature, they will either operate effects as the servile agents of general law, or may be employed, as shown above, by the disembodied spirits—whether pure or impure—and by living adepts of magic and sorcery, to produce desired phenomenal results. Such beings never become men.9

Under the general designation of fairies, and fays, these spirits of the elements appear in the myths, fables, traditions, or poetry of all nations, ancient and modern. Their names are legion—peris, devs, djins, sylvans, satyrs, fauns, elves, dwarfs, trolls, norns, nisses, kobolds, brownies, necks, stromkarls, undines, nixies, goblins, ponkes, banshees, kelpies, pixies, moss people, good people, good neighbours, wild women, men of peace, white ladies—and many more. They have been seen, feared, blessed, banned, and invoked in every quarter of the globe and in every age. Shall we then concede that all who have met them were hallucinated?

These Elementals are the principal agents of disembodied but never visible "shells" taken for spirits at séances, and are, as shown

9 Persons who believe in clairvoyant power, but are disposed to discredit the existence of any other spirits in nature than disembodied human spirits, will be interested in an account of certain clairvoyant observations which appeared in the London Spiritualist of June 29th, 1877. A thunderstorm approaching, the seeress saw "a bright spirit emerge from a dark cloud and pass with lightning speed across the sky, and, a few minutes after, a diagonal line of dark spirits in the clouds." These are the Maruts of the Vedas.

The well-known lecturer, author, and clairvoyant, Mrs. Emma Hardinge Britten, has published accounts of her frequent experiences with these elemental spirits. If Spiritualists will accept her "spiritual" experience they can hardly reject her evidence in favour of the occult theories.


above, the producers of all the phenomena except the subjective.

In the course of this article we will adopt the term "Elemental" to designate only these nature-spirits, attaching it to no other spirit or monad that has been embodied in human form. Elementals, as said already, have no form, and in trying to describe what they are, it is better to say that they are "centres of force" having instinctive desires, but no consciousness, as we understand it. Hence their acts may be good or bad indifferently.

This class is believed to possess but one of the three chief attributes of man. They have neither immortal spirits nor tangible bodies; only astral forms, which partake, to a distinguishing degree, of the element to which they belong and also of the ether. They are a combination of sublimated matter and a rudimental mind. Some remain throughout several cycles changeless, but still have no separate individuality, acting collectively, so to say. Others, of certain elements and species, change form under a fixed law which Kabalists explain. The most solid of their bodies is ordinarily just immaterial enough to escape perception by our physical eyesight, but not so unsubstantial but that they can be perfectly recognized by the inner or clairvoyant vision. They not only exist and can all live in ether, but can handle and direct it for the production of physical effects, as readily as we can compress air or water for the same purpose by pneumatic and hydraulic apparatus; in which occupation they are readily helped by the "human elementaries," or the "shells." More than this; they can so condense it as to make for themselves tangible bodies, which by their Protean powers they can cause to assume such likeness as they choose, by taking as their models the portraits they find stamped in the memory of the persons present. It is not necessary that the sitter should be thinking at the moment of the one represented. His image may have faded many years before. The mind receives indelible impression even from chance acquaintances or persons encountered but once. As a few seconds’ exposure of the sensitized photograph plate is all that is requisite to preserve indefinitely the image of the sitter, so is it with the mind.

According to the doctrine of Proclus, the uppermost regions from the Zenith of the Universe to the Moon belonged to the Gods or Planetary Spirits, according to their hierarchies and classes. The highest among them were the twelve Huper-ouranioi, or Su-


percelestial Gods, with whole legions of subordinate Daimons at their command. They are followed next in rank and power by the Egkosmioi, the Inter-cosmic Gods, each of these presiding over a great number of Daimons, to whom they impart their power and change it from one to another at will. These are evidently the personified forces of nature in their mutual correlation, the latter being represented by the third class, or the Elementals we have just described.

Further on he shows, on the principle of the Hermetic axiom—of types, and prototypes—that the lower spheres have their subdivisions and classes of beings as well as the upper celestial ones, the former being always subordinate to the higher ones. He held that the four elements are all filled with Daimons, maintaining with Aristotle that the universe is full, and that there is no void in nature. The Daimons of the earth, air, fire, and water are of an elastic, ethereal, semi-corporeal essence. It is these classes which officiate as intermediate agents between the Gods and men. Although lower in intelligence than the sixth order of the higher Daimons, these beings preside directly over the elements and organic life. They direct the growth, the inflorescence, the properties, and various changes of plants. They are the personified ideas or virtues shed from the heavenly Hylê into the inorganic matter; and, as the vegetable kingdom is one remove higher than the mineral, these emanations from the celestial Gods take form and being in the plant, they become its soul. It is that which Aristotle’s doctrine terms the form in the three principles of natural bodies, classified by him as privation, matter, and form. His philosophy teaches that besides the original matter, another principle is necessary to complete the triune nature of every particle, and this is form; an invisible, but still, in an ontological sense of the word, a substantial being, really distinct from matter proper. Thus, in an animal or a plant—besides the bones, the flesh, the nerves, the brains, and the blood, in the former; and besides the pulpy matter, tissues, fibres, and juice in the latter, which blood and juice, by circulating through the veins and fibres, nourishes all parts of both animal and plant; and besides the animal spirits, which are the principles of motion, and the chemical energy which is transformed into vital force in the green leaf—there must be a substantial form, which Aristotle called in the horse, the horse’s soul; Proclus, the daimon of every mineral, plant, or animal, and the mediæval philosophers, the elementary spirits of the four kingdoms.


All this is held in our century as "poetical metaphysics" and gross superstition. Still on strictly ontological principles, there is, in these old hypotheses, some shadow of probability, some clue to the perplexing missing links of exact science. The latter has become so dogmatic of late, that all that lies beyond the ken of inductive science is termed imaginary; and we find Professor Joseph Le Conte stating that some of the best scientists "ridicule the use of the term ‘vital force,’ or vitality, as a remnant of superstition."10 De Candolle suggests the term "vital movement," instead of vital force;11 thus preparing for a final scientific leap which will transform the immortal, thinking man, into an automaton with clock-work inside him. "But," objects Le Conte, "can we conceive of movement without force? And if the movement is peculiar, so also is the form of force."

In the Jewish Kabalah, the nature-spirits were known under the general name of Shedim, and divided into four classes. The Hindûs call them Bhûtas and Devas, and the Persians called them all Devs; the Greeks indistinctly designated them as Daimons; the Egyptians knew them as Afrites. The ancient Mexicans, says Kaiser, believed in numerous spirit-abodes, into one of which the shades of innocent children were placed until final disposal; into another, situated in the sun, ascended the valiant souls of heroes; while the hideous spectres of incorrigible sinners were sentenced to wander and despair in subterranean caves, held in the bonds of the earth-atmosphere, unwilling and unable to liberate themselves. This proves pretty clearly that the "ancient" Mexicans knew something of the doctrines of Kâma Loka. These passed their time in communicating with mortals, and frightening those who could see them. Some of the African tribes know them as Yowahoos. In the Indian Pantheon, as we have often remarked, there are no less than 330,000,000 of various kinds of spirits, including Elementals, some of which were termed by the Brâhmans, Daityas. These beings are known by the adepts to be attracted toward certain quarters of the heavens by something of the same mysterious property which makes the magnetic needle turn toward the north, and certain plants to obey the same attraction. If we will only bear in mind the fact that the rushing of planets through space must create as absolute a disturbance in the plastic and attenuated medium of the ether, as the passage of a cannon shot does in the

10 Correlation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces, by J. Le Conte.

11 Archives des Sciences, xiv. 345, December, 1872.


air, or that of a steamer in the water, and on a cosmic scale, we can understand that certain planetary aspects, admitting our premises to be true, may produce much more violent agitation and cause much stronger currents to flow in a given direction than others. We can also see why, by such various aspects of the stars, shoals of friendly or hostile Elementals might be poured in upon our atmosphere, or some particular portion of it, and make the fact appreciable by the effects which ensue. If our royal astronomers are able, at times, to predict cataclysms, such as earthquakes and inundations, the Indian astrologers and mathematicians can do so, and have so done, with far more precision and correctness, though they act on lines which to the modern sceptic appear ridiculously absurd. The various races of spirits are also believed to have a special sympathy with certain human temperaments, and to more readily exert power over such than others. Thus, a bilious, lymphatic, nervous, or sanguine person would be affected favourably or otherwise by conditions of the astral light, resulting from the different aspects of the planetary bodies. Having reached this general principle, after recorded observations extending over an indefinite series of years, or ages, the adept astrologer would require only to know what the planetary aspects were at a given anterior date, and to apply his knowledge of the succeeding changes in the heavenly bodies, to be able to trace, with approximate accuracy, the varying fortunes of the personage whose horoscope was required, and even to predict the future. The accuracy of the horoscope would depend, of course, no less upon the astrologer’s astronomical erudition than upon his knowledge of the occult forces and races of nature.

Pythagoras taught that the entire universe is one vast series of mathematically correct combinations. Plato shows the Deity geometrizing. The world is sustained by the same law of equilibrium and harmony upon which it was built. The centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres; all forms are the product of this dual force in nature. Thus, to illustrate our case, we may designate the spirit as the centrifugal, and the soul as the centripetal, spiritual energies. When in perfect harmony, both forces produce one result; break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the center which attracts it; arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, and the harmony of the whole, which was its life, is


destroyed. Individual life can only be continued if sustained by this two-fold force. The least deviation from harmony damages it; when it is destroyed beyond redemption, the forces separate and the form is gradually annihilated. After the death of the depraved and the wicked, arrives the critical moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner self to reunite itself with the faintly-glimmering ray of its divine monad is neglected; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions, and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere of the Kâma Loka. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in what the ancients termed Hades, and we—Avîchi. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps; for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul of the personality being formed of elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation, the Yin-youan of the Buddhist initiates.

This class of spirits are called the "terrestrial," or "earthly elementaries," in contradistinction to the other classes, as we have shown in the beginning. But there is another and still more dangerous class. In the East, they are known as the "Brothers of the Shadow," living men possessed by the earth-bound elementaries; at times—their masters, but ever in the long run falling victims to these terrible beings. In Sikkhim and Tibet they are called Dug-pas (red-caps), in contradistinction to the Geluk-pas (yellow-caps), to which latter most of the adepts belong. And here we must beg the reader not to misunderstand us. For though the whole of Bûtan and Sikkhim belongs to the old religion of the Bhons, now known generally as the Dug-pas, we do not mean to have it understood that the whole of the population is possessed, en masse, or that they are all sorcerers. Among them are found as good men as anywhere else, and we speak above only of the élite of their Lamaseries, of a nucleus of priests, "devil-dancers," and fetish worshippers, whose dreadful and mysterious rites are utterly unknown to the greater part of the population. Thus there are two classes of these terrible "Brothers of the Shadow"—the living and the dead. Both cunning, low, vindictive, and seeking to retaliate their sufferings upon humanity, they become, until final annihilation, vampires, ghouls, and prominent actors at séances. These are the leading "stars," on the great spiritual stage of "materializa-


tion," which phenomenon they perform with the help of the more intelligent of the genuine-born "elemental" creatures, which hover around and welcome them with delight in their own spheres. Henry Kunrath, the great German Kabalist, in his rare work, Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ Æternæ, has a plate with representations of the four classes of these human "elementary spirits." Once past the threshold of the sanctuary of initiation, once that an adept has lifted the "Veil of Isis," the mysterious and jealous Goddess, he has nothing to fear; but till then he is in constant danger.

Magi and theurgic philosophers objected most severely to the "evocation of souls." "Bring her (the soul) not forth, lest in departing she retain something," says Psellus. "It becomes you not to behold them before your body is initiated, since, by always alluring, they seduce the souls of the uninitiated"—says the same philosopher, in another passage.

They objected to it for several good reasons. 1. "It is extremely difficult to distinguish a good Daimon from a bad one," says Iamblichus. 2. If the shell of a good man succeeds in penetrating the density of the earth’s atmosphere—always oppressive to it, often hateful—still there is a danger that it cannot avoid; the soul is unable to come into proximity with the material world without that on "departing, she retains something," that is to say, she contaminates her purity, for which she has to suffer more or less after her departure. Therefore, the true theurgist will avoid causing any more suffering to this pure denizen of the higher sphere than is absolutely required by the interests of humanity. It is only the practitioners of black magic—such as the Dug-pas of Bhûtan and Sikkhim—who compel the presence, by the powerful incantations of necromancy, of the tainted souls of such as have lived bad lives, and are ready to aid their selfish designs.

Of intercourse with the Augœides, through the mediumistic powers of subjective mediums, we elsewhere speak.

The theurgists employed chemicals and mineral substances to chase away evil spirits. Of the latter, a stone called Mnizurin was one of the most powerful agents. "When you shall see a terrestrial Daimon approaching, exclaim, and sacrifice the stone Mnizurin"— exclaims a Zoroastrian Oracle (Psel., 40).

These "Daimons" seek to introduce themselves into the bodies of the simple-minded and idiots, and remain there until dislodged therefrom by a powerful and pure will. Jesus, Apollonius, and


some of the apostles, had the power to cast out "devils," by purifying the atmosphere within and without the patient, so as to force the unwelcome tenant to flight. Certain volatile salts are particularly obnoxious to them; Zoroaster is corroborated in this by Mr. C. F. Varley, and ancient science is justified by modern. The effect of some chemicals used in a saucer and placed under the bed, by Mr. Varley, of London,12 for the purpose of keeping away some disagreeable physical phenomena at night, are corroborative of this great truth. Pure or even simply inoffensive human spirits fear nothing, for having rid themselves of terrestrial matter, terrestrial compounds can affect them in no wise; such spirits are like a breath. Not so with the earth-bound souls and the nature-spirits.

It is for these carnal terrestrial Larvæ, degraded human spirits, that the ancient Kabalists entertained a hope of reïncarnation. But when, or how? At a fitting moment, and if helped by a sincere desire for his amendment and repentance by some strong, sympathizing person, or the will of an adept, or even a desire emanating from the erring spirit himself, provided it is powerful enough to make him throw off the burden of sinful matter. Losing all consciousness, the once bright monad is caught once more into the vortex of our terrestrial evolution, and repasses the subordinate kingdoms, and again breathes as a living child. To compute the time necessary for the completion of this process would be impossible. Since there is no perception of time in eternity, the attempt would be a mere waste of labour.

Speaking of the elementary, Porphyry says:

These invisible beings have been receiving from men honours as gods; . . . a universal belief makes them capable of becoming very malevolent; it proves that their wrath is kindled against those who neglect to offer them a legitimate worship.13

Homer describes them in the following terms:

Our gods appear to us when we offer them sacrifice . . . sitting themselves at our tables, they partake of our festival

12 Mr. Cromwell F. Varley, the well-known electrician of the Atlantic Cable Company, communicates the result of his observations, in the course of a debate at the Psychological Society of Great Britain, which is reported in the Spiritualist (London, April 14th, 1876, pp. 174, 175). He thought that the effect of free nitric acid in the atmosphere was able to drive away what he calls "unpleasant spirits." He thought that those who were troubled by unpleasant spirits at home, would find relief by pouring one ounce of vitriol upon two ounces of finely-powdered nitre in a saucer and putting the mixture under the bed. Here is a scientist, whose reputation extends over two continents, who gives a recipe to drive away bad spirits! And yet the general public mocks at as a "superstition" the herbs and incenses employed by Hindus, Chinese, Africans, and other races to accomplish the self-same purpose!

13 "Of Sacrifices to Gods and Daimons," chap. ii.


meals. Whenever they meet on his travels a solitary Phœnician, they serve to him as guides, and otherwise manifest their presence. We can say that our piety approaches us to them as much as crime and bloodshed unite the Cyclopes and the ferocious race of Giants.14

The latter proves that these Gods were kind and beneficent Daimons, and that, whether they were disembodied spirits or elemental beings, they were no "devils."

The language of Porphyry, who was himself a direct disciple of Plotinus, is still more explicit as to the nature of these spirits.

Daimons are invisible; but they know how to clothe themselves with forms and configurations subjected to numerous variations, which can be explained by their nature having much of the corporeal in itself. Their abode is in the neighbourhood of the earth . . . and when they can escape the vigilance of the good Daimons, there is no mischief they will not dare commit. One day they will employ brute force; another, cunning.15

Further, he says:

It is a child’s play for them to arouse in us vile passions, to impart to societies and nations turbulent doctrines, provoking wars, seditions, and other public calamities, and then tell you "that all of these are the work of the gods." . . . These spirits pass their time in cheating and deceiving mortals, creating around them illusions and prodigies; their greatest ambition is to pass as gods and souls (disembodied spirits).16

Iamblichus, the great theurgist of the Neoplatonic school, a man skilled in sacred magic, teaches that:

Good Daimons appear to us in reality, while the bad ones can manifest themselves but under the shadowy forms of phantoms.

Further, he corroborates Porphyry, and tells how that:

The good ones fear not the light, while the wicked ones require darkness . . . The sensations they excite in us make us believe in the presence and reality of things they show, though these things be absent.17

Even the most practised theurgists sometimes found danger in their dealings with certain elementaries, and we have Iamblichus stating that:

The gods, the angels, and the Daimons, as well as the souls, may be summoned through evocation and prayer. . . . But

14 Odyssey, vii.

15 Porphyry, "Of Sacrifices to Gods and Daimons," chap. ii.

16 Ibid.

17 Iamblichus, De Mysterits Egyptorum.


when, during theurgic operations, a mistake is made, beware! Do not imagine that you are communicating with beneficent divinities, who have answered your earnest prayer; no, for they are bad Daimons, only under the guise of good ones! For the elementaries often clothe themselves with the similitude of the good, and assume a rank very much superior to that they really occupy. Their boasting betrays them.18

The ancients, who named but four elements, made of ether a fifth. On account of its essence being made divine by the unseen presence, it was considered as a medium between this world and the next. They held that when the directing intelligences retired from any portion of ether, one of the four kingdoms which they are bound to superintend, the space was left in possession of evil. An adept who prepared to converse with the "invisibles," had to know his ritual well, and be perfectly acquainted with the conditions required for the perfect equilibrium of the four elements in the astral light. First of all, he must purify the essence, and within the circle in which he sought to attract the pure spirits, equilibrize the elements, so as to prevent the ingress of the Elementals into their respective spheres. But woe to the imprudent enquirer who ignorantly trespasses upon forbidden ground; danger will beset him at every step. He evokes powers that he cannot control; he arouses sentries which allow only their masters to pass. For, in the words of the immortal Rosicrucian:

Once that thou hast resolved to become a coöperator with the spirit of the living God, take care not to hinder Him in His work; for, if thy heat exceeds the natural proportion, thou hast stirr’d the wrath of the moyst19 natures, and they will stand up against the central fire, and the central fire against them, and there will be a terrible division in the chaos.20

The spirit of harmony and union will depart from the elements,

18 Ibid., "On the Difference between the Daimons, the Souls," etc.

19 We give the spelling and words of this Kabalist, who lived and published his works in the seventeenth century. Generally he is considered as one of the most famous alchemists among the Hermetic philosophers.

20 The most positive of materialistic philosophers agree that all that exists was evolved from ether; hence, air, water, earth, and fire, the four primordial elements must also proceed from ether and chaos the first duad; all the imponderables, whether now known or unknown, proceed from the same source. Now, if there is a spiritual essence in matter, and that essence forces it to shape itself into millions of individual forms, why is it illogical to assert that each of these spiritual kingdoms in nature is peopled with beings evolved out of its own material? Chemistry teaches us that in man’s body there are air, water, earth, and heat, or fire—air is present in its components; water in the secretions; earth in the inorganic constituents; and fire in the animal heat. The Kabalist knows by experience that an elemental spirit contains only one of these, and that each one of the four kingdoms has its own peculiar elemental spirits; man being higher than they, the law of evolution finds its illustration in the combination of all four in him.


disturbed by the imprudent hand; and the currents of blind forces will become immediately infested by numberless creatures of matter and instinct—the bad demons of the theurgists, the devils of theology; the gnomes, salamanders, sylphs, and undines will assail the rash performer under multifarious aërial forms. Unable to invent anything, they will search your memory to its very depths; hence the nervous exhaustion and mental oppression of certain sensitive natures at spiritual circles. The Elementals will bring to light long-forgotten remembrances of the past; forms, images, sweet mementoes, and familiar sentences, long since faded from our own remembrance, but vividly preserved in the inscrutable depths of our memory and on the astral tablets of the imperishable "Book of Life."

The author of the Homoiomerian system of philosophy, Anaxagoras of Clazomene, firmly believed that the spiritual prototypes of all things, as well as their elements, were to be found in the boundless ether, where they were generated, whence they evolved, and whither they returned from earth. In common with the Hindûs who had personified their Âkâsha, and made of it a deific entity, the Greeks and Latins had deified Æther. Virgil calls Zeus, Pater Omnipotens Æther,21 Magnus, the Great God, Ether.

These beings, the elemental spirits of the Kabalists,22 are those whom the Christian clergy denounce as "devils," the enemies of mankind!


Every organized thing in this world, visible as well as invisible, has an element appropriate to itself. The fish lives and breathes in

21 Virgil, Georgica, book ii.

22 Porphyry and other philosophers explain the nature of the dwellers. They are mischievous and deceitful, though some of them are perfectly gentle and harmless, but so weak as to have the greatest difficulty in communicating with mortals whose company they seek incessantly. The former are not wicked through intelligent malice. The law of spiritual evolution not having yet developed their instinct into intelligence, whose highest light belongs but to immortal spirits, their powers of reasoning are in a latent state, and, therefore, they themselves, irresponsible.

But the Latin Church contradicts the Kabalists. St. Augustine has even a discussion on that account with Porphyry, the Neoplatonist. "These spirits," he says, "are deceitful, not by their nature, as Porphyry, the theurgist, will have it, but through malice. They pass themselves off for gods and for the souls of the defunct" (Civit. Del, x. 2). So far Porphyry agrees with him; "but they do not claim to be demons [read devils], for they are such in reality!"—adds the Bishop of Hippo. So far, so good, and he is right there. But then, under what class should we place the men without heads, whom Augustine wishes us to believe he saw himself; or the satyrs of St. Jerome, which he asserts were exhibited for a considerable length of time at Alexandria? They were, he tells us, "men with the legs and tails of goats"; and, if we may believe him, one of these satyrs was actually pickled and sent in a cask to the Emperor Constantine!!!


the water; the plant consumes carbonic acid, which for animals and men produces death; some beings are fitted for rarefied strata of air, others exist only in the densest. Life to some is dependent on sunlight, to others, upon darkness; and so the wise economy of nature adapts to each existing condition some living form. These analogies warrant the conclusion that, not only is there no unoccupied portion of universal nature, but also that for each thing that has life, special conditions are furnished, and, being furnished, they are necessary. Now, assuming that there is an invisible side to the universe, the fixed habit of nature warrants the conclusion that this half is occupied, like the other half; and that each group of its occupants is supplied with the indispensable conditions of existence. It is as illogical to imagine that identical conditions are furnished to all, as it would be to maintain such a theory respecting the inhabitants of the domain of visible nature. That there are "spirits" implies that there is a diversity of "spirits"; for men differ, and human "spirits" are but disembodied men.

To say that all "spirits" are alike, or fitted to the same atmosphere, or possessed of like powers, or governed by the same attractions—electric, magnetic, odic, astral, it matters not which—is as absurd as though one should say that all planets have the same nature, or that all animals are amphibious, or that all men can be nourished on the same food. To begin with, neither the elementals, nor the elementaries themselves, can be called "spirits" at all. It accords with reason to suppose that the grossest natures among them will sink to the lowest depths of the spiritual atmosphere—in other words, be found nearest to the earth. Inversely, the purest will be farthest away. In what, were we to coin a word, we should call the "psychomatics" of Occultism, it is as unwarrantable to assume that either of these grades of ethereal beings can occupy the place, or subsist in the conditions, of the other, as it would be in hydraulics to expect that two liquids of different densities could exchange their markings on the scale of Beaume’s hydrometer.

Görres, describing a conversation he had with some Hindûs of the Malabar coast, reports that upon asking them whether they had ghosts among them, they replied:

Yes, but we know them to be bad bhûts [spirits, or rather, the "empty" ones, the "shells"], . . . good ones can hardly ever appear at all. They are principally the spirits of suicides and murderers, or of those who die violent deaths. They constantly


flutter about and appear as phantoms. Night-time is favourable to them, they seduce the feeble-minded and tempt others in a thousand different ways.23

Porphyry presents to us some hideous facts whose verity is substantiated in the experience of every student of magic. He writes:

The soul,24 having even after death a certain affection for its body, an affinity proportioned to the violence with which their union was broken, we see many spirits hovering in despair about their earthly remains; we even see them eagerly seeking the putrid remains of other bodies, but above all freshly-spilled blood, which seems to impart to them for the moment some of the faculties of life.25.

Though spiritualists discredit them ever so much, these nature-spirits—as much as the "elementaries," the "empty shells," as the Hindûs call them—are realities. If the gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines of the Rosicrucians existed in their days, they must exist now. Bulwer Lytton’s "Dweller on the Threshold" is a modern conception, modelled on the ancient type of the Sulanuth of the Hebrews and Egyptians, which is mentioned in the Book of Jasher.26

The Christians are very wrong to treat them indiscriminately, as "devils," "imps of Satan," and to give them like characteristic names. The elementals are nothing of the kind, but simply creatures of ethereal matter, irresponsible, and neither good nor bad, unless influenced by a superior intelligence. It is very extraordinary to hear devout Catholics abuse and misrepresent the nature-spirits, when one of their greatest authorities, Clement the Alexandrian, has described these creatures as they really are. Clement, who perhaps had been a theurgist as well as a Neoplatonist, and thus argued upon good authority, remarks, that it is absurd to call them devils,27 for they are only inferior angels, "the powers which inhabit elements, move the winds and distribute showers, and as such are agents and subject to God."28 Origen, who before he became a

23 Görres, Mystique, iii; 63.

24 The ancients called the spirits of bad people "souls"; the soul was the "larva" and "lemure." Good human spirits became "gods."

25 Porphyry, De Sacrificiis. Chapter on the true Cultus.

26 Chap. lxxx. vv. 19, 20. "And when the Egyptians hid themselves on account of the swarm [one of the plagues alleged to have been brought on by Moses] . . . they locked their doors after them, and God ordered the Sulanuth . . . [a sea-monster, naively explains the translator, in a foot-note] which was then in the sea, to come up and go into Egypt . . . and she had long arms, ten cubits in length . . . and she went upon the roofs and uncovered the rafting and cut them . . . and stretched forth her arm into the house and removed the lock and the bolt and opened the houses of Egypt . . . and the swarm of animals destroyed the Egyptians, and it grieved them exceedingly."

27 Strom., vi. 17, §159.

28 Ibid., vi. 3, §30.


Christian also belonged to the Platonic school, is of the same opinion. Porphyry, as we have seen, describes these daimons more carefully than any one else.

The Secret Doctrine teaches that man, if he wins immortality, will remain for ever the septenary trinity that he is in life, and will continue so throughout all the spheres. The astral body, which in this life is covered by a gross physical envelope, becomes— when relieved of that covering by the process of corporeal death—in its turn the shell of another and more ethereal body. This begins developing from the moment of death, and becomes perfected when the astral body of the earthly form finally separates from it. This process, they say, is repeated at every new transition from sphere to sphere of life. But the immortal soul, the "silvery spark," observed by Dr. Fenwick in Margrave’s brain (in Bulwer Lytton’s Strange Story), and not found by him in the animals, never changes, but remains indestructible "by aught that shatters its tabernacle." The descriptions by Porphyry and Iamblichus and others, of the spirits of animals, which inhabit the astral light, are corroborated by those of many of the most trustworthy and intelligent clairvoyants. Sometimes the animal forms are even made visible to every person at a spiritual circle, by being materialized. In his People from the Other World, Colonel H. S. Olcott describes a materialized squirrel which followed a spirit-woman into the view of the spectators, disappeared and reappeared before their eyes several times, and finally followed the spirit into the cabinet. The facts given in modern spiritualistic literature are numerous and many of them are trustworthy.

As to the human spirit, the notions of the older philosophers and mediæval Kabalists while differing in some particulars, agreed on the whole; so that the doctrine of one may be viewed as the doctrine of the other. The most substantial difference consisted in the location of the immortal or divine spirit of man. While the ancient Neoplatonists held that the Augœides never descends hypostatically into the living man, but only more or less sheds its radiance on the inner man—the astral soul—the Kabalists of the middle ages maintained that the spirit, detaching itself from the ocean of light and spirit, entered into man’s soul, where it remained through life imprisoned in the astral capsule. This difference was the result of the belief of Christian Kabalists, more or less, in the dead letter of the allegory of the fall of man. The soul, they said, became, through the "fall of Adam," contaminated


with the world of matter, or Satan. Before it could appear with its enclosed divine spirit in the presence of the Eternal, it had to purify itself of the impurities of darkness. They compared—

The spirit imprisoned within the soul to a drop of water enclosed within a capsule of gelatine and thrown in the ocean; so long as the capsule remains whole the drop of water remains isolated; break the envelope and the drop becomes a part of the ocean—its individual existence has ceased. So it is with the spirit. As long as it is enclosed in its plastic mediator, or soul, it has an individual existence. Destroy the capsule, a result which may occur from the agonies of withered conscience, crime, and moral disease, and the spirit returns back to its original abode. Its individuality is gone.

On the other hand, the philosophers who explained the "fall into generation" in their own way, viewed spirit as something wholly distinct from the soul. They allowed its presence in the astral capsule only so far as the spiritual emanations or rays of the "shining one" were concerned. Man and his spiritual soul or the monad—i.e., spirit and its vehicle—had to conquer their immortality by ascending toward the unity with which, if successful, they were finally linked, and into which they were absorbed, so to say. The individualization of man after death depended on the spirit, not on his astral or human soul—Manas and its vehicle Kâma Rupa— and body. Although the word "personality," in the sense in which it is usually understood, is an absurdity, if applied literally to our immortal essence, still the latter is a distinct entity, immortal and eternal, per se; and when (as in the case of criminals beyond redemption) the shining thread which links the spirit to the soul, from the moment of the birth of a child, is violently snapped, and the disembodied personal entity is left to share the fate of the lower animals, to gradually dissolve into ether, fall into the terrible state of Âvîchi, or disappear entirely in the eighth sphere and have its complete personality annihilated— even then the spirit remains a distinct being. It becomes a planetary spirit, an angel; for the gods of the Pagan or the archangels of the Christian, the direct emanations of the One Cause, notwithstanding the hazardous statement of Swedenborg, never were nor will they be men, on our planet, at least.

This specialization has been in all ages the stumbling-block of metaphysicians. The whole esotericism of the Buddhistic philosophy is based on this mysterious teaching, understood by so few persons, and so totally misrepresented by many of the most learned


scholars. Even metaphysicians are too inclined to confound the effect with the cause. A person may have won his immortal life, and remain the same inner self he was on earth, throughout eternity; but this does not imply necessarily that he must either remain the Mr. Smith or Brown he was on earth, or lose his individuality. Therefore, the astral soul, i.e., the personality, like the terrestrial body and the lower portion of the human soul of man, may, in the dark hereafter, be absorbed into the cosmical ocean of sublimated elements, and cease to feel its personal individuality, if it did not deserve to soar higher, and the divine spirit, or spiritual individuality, still remain an unchanged entity, though this terrestrial experience of his emanations may be totally obliterated at the instant of separation from the unworthy vehicle.

If the "spirit," or the divine portion of the soul, is preëxistent as a distinct being from all eternity, as Origen, Synesius, and other Christian fathers and philosophers taught, and if it is the same, and nothing more than the metaphysically-objective soul, how can it be otherwise than eternal? And what matters it in such a case, whether man leads an animal or a pure life, if, do what he may, he can never lose his personality? This doctrine is as pernicious in its consequences as that of vicarious atonement. Had the latter dogma, in company with the false idea that we are all personally immortal, been demonstrated to the world in its true light, humanity would have been bettered by its propagation. Crime and sin would be avoided, not for fear of earthly punishment, or of a ridiculous hell, but for the sake of that which lies the most deeply rooted in our nature—the desire of a personal and distinct life in the hereafter, the positive assurance that we cannot win it unless we "take the kingdom of heaven by violence," and the conviction that neither human prayers nor the blood of another man will save us from personal destruction after death, unless we firmly link ourselves during our terrestrial life with our own immortal spirit—our only personal God.

Pythagoras, Plato, Timæus of Locris, and the whole Alexandrian School derived the soul from the universal World-Soul; and a portion of the latter was, according to their own teachings—ether; something of such a fine nature as to be perceived only by our inner sight. Therefore, it cannot be the essence of the Monas, or Cause,29

29 As says Krishna—who is at the same time Purusha and Prakriti in its totality, and the seventh principle, the divine spirit in man—in the Bhagavad Gita: "I am the Cause. I am the production and dissolution of the whole of Nature. On me is all the Universe suspended as pearls upon a string." (Ch. vii.) "Even though myself unborn, of changeless


because the Anima Mundi is but the effect, the objective emanation of the former. Both the divine spiritual soul and the human soul are preëxistent. But, while the former exists as a distinct entity, an individualization, the soul (the vehicle of the former) exists only as preëxisting matter, an unscient portion of an intelligent whole. Both were originally formed from the Eternal Ocean of Light; but as the Theosophists expressed it, there is a visible as well as invisible spirit in fire. They made a difference between the Anima Bruta and the Anima Divina. Empedocles firmly believed all men and animals to possess two souls; and in Aristotle we find that he calls one the reasoning soul, Nous, and the other, the animal soul, Psuche. According to these philosophers, the reasoning soul comes from without the Universal Soul (i.e., from a source higher than the Universal Soul—in its cosmic sense; it is the Universal Spirit, the seventh principle of the Universe in its totality), and the other from within. This divine and superior region, in which they located the invisible and supreme deity, was considered by them (by Aristotle himself, who was not an initiate) as a fifth element—whereas it is the seventh in the Esoteric Philosophy, or Mûlaprakriti—purely spiritual and divine, whereas the Anima Mundi proper was considered as composed of a fine, igneous, and ethereal nature spread throughout the Universe, in short—Ether.30 The Stoics, the greatest materialists of ancient days, excepted the Divine Principle and Divine Soul from any such a corporeal nature. Their modern commentators and admirers, greedily seizing the opportunity, built on this ground the supposition that the Stoics believed in neither God nor soul, the essence of matter. Most certainly Epicurus did not believe in God or soul as understood by either ancient or modern theists. But Epicurus, whose doctrine (militating directly against the agency of a Supreme Being and Gods, in the formation or government of the world) placed him far above the Stoics in atheism and materialism, nevertheless taught that the soul is of a fine, tender essence formed from the smoothest, roundest, and finest atoms—which description still brings us to the same sublimated ether. He further believed in the Gods. Arnobius, Tertullian, Irenæus, and Origen, notwithstanding their Christianity, believed, with the more modern Spinoza and Hobbes,

essence, and the Lord of all existence, yet in presiding over Nature (Prakriti) which is mine, I am born but through my own Mâyâ [the mystic power of Self-ideation, the Eternal Thought in the Eternal Mind]." (Ch. iv.)

30 Ether is the Âkâsha of the Hindus. Âkâsha is Prakriti, or the totality of the manifested Universe, while Purusha is the Universal Spirit, higher than the Universal Soul.


that the soul was corporeal, though of a very fine nature—an anthropomorphic and personal something, i.e., corporeal, finite and conditioned. Can it under such conditions become immortal? Can the mutable become the immutable?

This doctrine of the possibility of losing one’s soul and, hence, individuality, militates with the ideal theories and progressive ideas of some spiritualists, though Swedenborg fully adopts it. They will never accept the kabalistic doctrine which teaches that it is only through observing the law of harmony that individual life hereafter can be obtained; and that the farther the inner and outer man deviate from this fount of harmony, whose source lies in our divine spirit, the more difficult it is to regain the ground.

But while the spiritualists and other adherents of Christianity have little, if any, perception of this fact of the possible death and obliteration of the human personality by the separation of the immortal part from the perishable, some Swedenborgians— those, at least, who follow the spirit of a philosophy, not merely the dead letter of a teaching—fully comprehend it. One of the most respected ministers of the New Church, the Rev. Chauncey Giles, D.D., of New York, recently elucidated the subject in a public discourse as follows. Physical death, or the death of the body, was a provision of the divine economy for the benefit of man, a provision by means of which he attained the higher ends of his being. But there is another death which is the interruption of the divine order and the destruction of every human element in man’s nature, and every possibility of human happiness. This is the spiritual death which takes place before the dissolution of the body. "There may be a vast development of man’s natural mind without that development being accompanied by a particle of the divine love, or of unselfish love of man." When one falls into a love of self and love of the world, with its pleasures, losing the divine love of God and of the neighbour, he falls from life to death. The higher principles which constitute the essential elements of his humanity perish, and he lives only on the natural plane of his faculties. Physically he exists, spiritually he is dead. To all that pertains to the higher and the only enduring phase of existence he is as much dead as his body becomes dead to all the activities, delights, and sensations of the world when the spirit has left it. This spiritual death results from disobedience of the laws of spiritual life, which is followed by the same penalty as the disobedience of the laws of the natural life. But the spiritually dead have still


their delights; they have their intellectual endowments, and power, and intense activities. All the animal delights are theirs, and to multitudes of men and women these constitute the highest ideal of human happiness. The tireless pursuit of riches, of the amusements and entertainments of social life; the cultivation of graces of manner, of taste in dress, of social preferment, of scientific distinction, intoxicate and enrapture these dead-alive; but, the eloquent preacher remarks, "these creatures, with all their graces, rich attire, and brilliant accomplishments, are dead in the eye of the Lord and the angels, and when measured by the only true and immutable standard have no more genuine life than skeletons whose flesh has turned to dust."

Although we do not believe in "the Lord and the angels"—not, at any rate, in the sense given to these terms by Swedenborg and his followers, we nevertheless admire these feelings and fully agree with the reverend gentleman’s opinions.

A high development of the intellectual faculties does not imply spiritual and true life. The presence in one of a highly developed human, intellectual soul (the fifth principle, or Manas), is quite compatible with the absence of Buddhi, or the spiritual soul. Unless the former evolves from and develops under the beneficent and vivifying rays of the latter, it will remain for ever but a direct progeny of the terrestrial, lower principles, sterile in spiritual perceptions; a magnificent, luxurious sepulchre, full of the dry bones of decaying matter within. Many of our greatest scientists are but animate corpses— they have no spiritual sight because their spirits have left them, or, rather, cannot reach them. So we might go through all ages, examine all occupations, weigh all human attainments, and investigate all forms of society, and we would find these spiritually dead everywhere.

Although Aristotle himself, anticipating the modern physiologists, regarded the human mind as a material substance, and ridiculed the hylozoïsts, nevertheless he fully believed in the existence of a "double" soul, or soul plus spirit, as one can see in his De Generat. et Corrupt. (Lib. ii.). He laughed at Strabo for believing that any particles of matter, per se, could have life and intellect in themselves sufficient to fashion by degrees such a multiform world as ours.31 Aristotle is indebted for the sublime morality of his Nichomachean Ethics to a thorough study of the Pythagorean

31 De Part., i. 1.


Ethical Fragments; for the latter can be easily shown to have been the source at which he gathered his ideas, though he might not have sworn "by him who the Tetraktys found."32 But indeed our men of science know nothing certain about Aristotle. His philosophy is so abstruse that he constantly leaves his reader to supply by the imagination the missing links of his logical deductions. Moreover, we know that before his works ever reached our scholars, who delight in his seemingly atheistical arguments in support of his doctrine of fate, they passed through too many hands to have remained immaculate. From Theophrastus, his legator, they passed to Neleus, whose heirs kept them mouldering in subterranean caves for nearly 150 years; after which, we learn that his manuscripts were copied and much augmented by Appelicon of Theos, who supplied such paragraphs as had become illegible, by conjectures of his own, probably many of these drawn from the depths of his inner consciousness. Our scholars of the nineteenth century might certainly profit well by Aristotle’s example, were they as anxious to imitate him practically as they are to throw his inductive method and materialistic theories at the heads of the Platonists. We invite them to collect facts as carefully as he did, instead of denying those they know nothing about.

What we have said here and elsewhere of the variety of "spirits" and other invisible beings evolved in the astral light, and what we now mean to say of mediums and the tendency of their mediumship, is not based upon conjecture, but upon actual experience and observation. There is scarcely one phase of mediumship, of either kind, that we have not seen exemplified during the past thirty-five years, in various countries. India, Tibet, Borneo, Siam, Egypt, Asia Minor, America (North and South), and other parts of the world, have each displayed to us its peculiar phase of mediumistic phenomena and magical power. Our varied experience has fully corroborated the teachings of our Masters and of The Secret Doctrine, and has taught us two important truths, viz., that for the exercise of "mediumship" personal purity and the exercise of a trained and indomitable will-power are indispensable; and that spiritualists can never assure themselves of the genuineness of mediumistic manifestations unless they occur in the light and under such reasonable test conditions as would make an attempted fraud instantly noticed.

32 A Pythagorean oath. The Pythagoreans swore by their Master.


For fear of being misunderstood, we would remark that while, as a rule, physical phenomena are produced by the nature-spirits, of their own motion and under the impulse of the elementaries, still genuine disembodied human spirits, may, under exceptional circumstances—such as the aspiration of a pure, loving heart, or under the influence of some intense thought or unsatisfied desire, at the moment of death— manifest their presence, either in dream, or vision, or even bring about their objective appearance—if very soon after physical death. Direct writing may be produced in the genuine handwriting of the "spirit," the medium being influenced by a process unknown as much to himself as to the modern spiritualists, we fear. But what we maintain and shall maintain to the last is, that no genuine human spirit can materialize, i.e., clothe his monad with an objective form. Even for the rest it must be a mighty attraction indeed to draw a pure, disembodied spirit from its radiant, Devachanic state—its home—into the foul atmosphere from which it escaped upon leaving its earthly body.

When the possible nature of the manifesting intelligences, which science believes to be a "psychic force," and spiritualists the identical "spirits of the dead," is better known, then will academicians and believers turn to the old philosophers for information. They may in their indomitable pride, that becomes so often stubbornness and arrogance, do as Dr. Charcot, of the Salpêtrière of Paris, has done: deny for years the existence of Mesmerism and its phenomena, to accept and finally preach it in public lectures—only under the assumed name, Hypnotism.

We have found in spiritualistic journals many instances where apparitions of departed pet dogs and other animals have been seen. Therefore, upon spiritualistic testimony, we must think that such animal "spirits" do appear although we reserve the right of concurring with the ancients that the forms are but tricks of the elementals. Notwithstanding every proof and probability the spiritualists will, nevertheless, maintain that it is the "spirits" of the departed human beings that are at work even in the "materialization" of animals. We will now examine with their permission the pro and con of the mooted question. Let us for a moment imagine an intelligent orang-outang or some African anthropoid ape disembodied, i.e., deprived of its physical and in possession of an astral, if not an immortal body. Once open the door of communication between the terrestrial and the spiritual world, what prevents the ape from producing physical phenomena such as he sees human


spirits produce? And why may not these excel in cleverness and ingenuity many of those which have been witnessed in spiritualistic circles? Let spiritualists answer. The orang-outang of Borneo is little, if any, inferior to the savage man in intelligence. Mr. Wallace and other great naturalists give instances of its wonderful acuteness, although its brains are inferior in cubic capacity to the most undeveloped of savages. These apes lack but speech to be men of low grade. The sentinels placed by monkeys; the sleeping chambers selected and built by orang-outangs; their prevision of danger and calculations, which show more than instinct; their choice of leaders whom they obey; and the exercise of many of their faculties, certainly entitle them to a place at least on a level with many a flat-headed Australian. Says Mr. Wallace, "The mental requirements of savages, and the faculties actually exercised by them, are very little above those of the animals."

Now, people assume that there can be no apes in the other world, because apes have no "souls." But apes have as much intelligence, it appears, as some men; why, then, should these men, in no way superior to the apes, have immortal spirits, and the apes none? The materialists will answer that neither the one nor the other has a spirit, but that annihilation overtakes each at physical death. But the spiritual philosophers of all times have agreed that man occupies a step one degree higher than the animal, and is possessed of that something which it lacks, be he the most untutored of savages or the wisest of philosophers. The ancients, as we have seen, taught that while man is a septenary trinity of body, astral spirit, and immortal soul, the animal is but a duality— i.e., having but five instead of seven principles in him, a being having a physical body with its astral body and life-principle, and its animal soul and vehicle animating it. Scientists can distinguish no difference in the elements composing the bodies of men and brutes; and the Kabalists agree with them so far as to say that the astral bodies (or, as the physicists would call it, the "life-principle") of animals and men are identical in essence. Physical man is but the highest development of animal life. If, as the scientists tell us, even thought is matter, and every sensation of pain or pleasure, every transient desire is accompanied by a disturbance of ether; and those bold speculators, the authors of the Unseen Universe believe that thought is conceived "to affect the matter of another universe simultaneously with this"; why, then, should not the gross, brutish thought of an orang-outang, or a dog, impressing itself on the


ethereal waves of the astral light, as well as that of man, assure the animal a continuity of life after death, or a "future state"?

The Kabalists held, and now hold, that it is unphilosophical to admit that the astral body of man can survive corporeal death, and at the same time assert that the astral body of the ape is resolved into independent molecules. That which survives as an individuality after the death of the body is the astral soul, which Plato, in the Timæus and Gorgias, calls the mortal soul, for, according to the Hermetic doctrine, it throws off its more material particles at every progressive change into a higher sphere.

Let us advance another step in our argument. If there is such a thing as existence in the spiritual world after corporeal death, then it must occur in accordance with the law of evolution. It takes man from his place at the apex of the pyramid of matter, and lifts him into a sphere of existence where the same inexorable law follows him. And if it follows him, why not everything else in nature? Why not animals and plants, which have all a life-principle, and whose gross forms decay like his, when that life-principle leaves them? If his astral body becomes more ethereal upon attaining the other sphere, why not theirs?*

Lucifer, August, 1893

* The article here comes to an abrupt termination—whether it was ever finished or whether some of the MS. was lost, it is impossible to say.—EDS. [Lucifer].


YEARS have been devoted by the writer to the study of those invisible Beings— conscious, semi-conscious and entirely senseless—called by a number of names in every country under the sun, and known under the generic name of "Spirits." The nomenclature applied to these denizens of spheres good or bad in the Roman Catholic Church, alone, is—endless. The great kyriology of their symbolic names—is a study. Open any account of creation in the first Purâna that comes to hand, and see the variety of appellations bestowed upon these divine and semi-divine creatures (the product of the two kinds of creation—the Prakrita and the Vaikrita or Padma, the primary and the secondary) all evolved from the body of Brahmâ. The Urdhwasrota only,1 of the third creation, embrace a variety of beings with characteristics and idiosyncracies sufficient for a life-study.

The same in the Egyptian, Chaldean, Greek, Phoenician or any other account. The hosts of those creatures are numberless. The old Pagans, however, and especially the Neo-Platonists of Alexandria knew what they believed, and discriminated between the orders. None regarded them from such a sectarian stand-point as do the Christian Churches. They dealt with them far more wisely, on the contrary, as they made a better and a greater discrimination between the natures of these beings than the Fathers of the Church did. According to the policy of the latter, all those Angels that were not recognised as the attendants upon the Jewish Jehovah—were proclaimed Devils.

The effects of this belief, afterwards erected into a dogma, we find asserting themselves now in the Karma of the many millions of Spiritualists, brought up and bred in the respective beliefs of their Churches. Though a Spiritualist may have divorced himself for years from theological and clerical beliefs; though he be a liberal or an illiberal Christian, a Deist or an Atheist, having rejected

1 The Urdhwasrota, the Gods, so called because the bare sight of ailment stands to them, in place of eating; "for there is satisfaction from the mere beholding of ambrosia," says the commentator of the Vishnu Purana.


very wisely belief in devils, and, too reasonable to regard his visitors as pure angels, has accepted what he thinks a reasonable mean ground—still he will acknowledge no other Spirits save those of the dead.

This is his Karma, and also that of the Churches collectively. In the latter such a stubborn fanaticism, such parti pris is only natural; it is their policy. In free Spiritualism, it is unpardonable. There cannot be two opinions upon this subject. It is either belief in, or a full rejection of the existence of any "Spirits." If a man is a sceptic and an unbeliever, we have nothing to say. Once he believes in Spooks and Spirits at all—the question changes. Where is that man or woman free from prejudice and preconceptions, who can believe that in an infinite universe of life and being—let us say in our solar system alone—that in all this boundless space in which the Spiritualist locates his "Summer-land"—there are only two orders of conscious beings—men and their spirits; embodied mortals and disembodied Immortals.

The future has in store for Humanity strange surprises, and Theosophy, or rather its adherents, will be vindicated fully in no very distant days. No use arguing upon a question that has been so fully discussed by Theosophists and brought only opprobrium, persecution, and enmity on the writers. Therefore we will not go out of our way to say much more. The Elementals and the Elementaries of the Kabalists and Theosophists were sufficiently ridiculed. From Porphyry down to the demonologists of the past centuries, fact after fact was given, and proofs heaped upon proofs, but with as little effect as might be had from a fairy tale told in some nursery room.

A queer book that of the old Count de Gabalis, immortalized by the Abbé de Villars, and now translated and published in Bath. Those humorously inclined are advised to read it, and to ponder over it. This advice is offered with the object of making a parallel. The writer read it years ago, and has read it now again with as much, and much more attention than formerly. Her humble opinion as regards the work is—if any one cares to hear it—that one may search for months and never find the demarcation in it between the "Spirits" of the Séance rooms and the Sylphs and Undines of the French satire.

There is a sinister ring in the merry quips and jests of its writer, who, while pointing the finger of ridicule at that which he believed,


had probably a presentiment of his own speedy Karma2 in the shape of assassination.

The way he introduces the Count de Gabalis is worthy of attention.

"I was astonished one Remarkable Day, when I saw a man come in of a most exalted mien; who, saluting me gravely, said to me in the French Tongue but, in the accent of a Foreigner, ‘Adore my son; adore the most great God of the Sages; and let not thy self be puffed up with Pride, that he sends to thee one of the children of Wisdom, to constitute thee a Fellow of their Society, and make thee partaker of the wonders of Omnipotency’."3

There is only one answer to be made to those who, taking advantage of such works, laugh at Occultism. "Servitissimo" gives it himself in his own chaffing way in his introductory "Letter to my Lord" in the above-named work. "I would have persuaded him (the author of Gabalis) to have changed the whole form of his work," he writes, "for this drolling way of carrying it thus on does not to me seem proper to his subject. These mysteries of the Cabal are serious matters, which many of my friends do seriously study . . . the which are certainly most dangerous to jest with." Verbum sat sapienti.

They are "dangerous," most undeniably. But since history began to record thoughts and facts, one-half of Humanity has ever been sneering at the other half and ridiculing its most cherished beliefs. This, however, cannot change a fact into a fiction, nor can it destroy the Sylphs, Undines, and Gnomes, if any, in Nature; for, in league with Salamanders, the latter are more likely to destroy the unbelievers and damage Insurance companies, notwithstanding that these believe still less in revengeful Salamanders than in fires produced by chance and accident.

Theosophists believe in Spirits no less than Spiritualists do, but, as dissimilar in their variety as are the feathered tribes in the air. There are bloodthirsty hawks and vampire bats among them, as there are doves and nightingales. They believe in "Angels," for many have seen them

2 The work was published in Paris in 1670, and in 1675 the author was cruelly murdered on his way to Lyons from Languedoc his native country.

3 Sub-Mundanes; or the Elementaries of the Cabal: being the History of Spirits, reprinted from the Text of the Abbé De Villars, Physio-Astro-Mystic, wherein it is asserted that there are in existence on earth rational creatures besides man. 1886: Bath, Robert H. Fryer.


. . . . . by the sick one’s pillow—
Whose was the soft tone and the soundless tread!
Where smitten hearts were drooping like the willow,
They stood between the living and the dead.

But these were not the three-toed materializations of the modern medium. And if our doctrines were all piece-mealed by the "drolleries" of a de Villars, they would and could not interfere with the claims of the Occultists that their teachings are historical and scientific facts, whatever the garb they are presented in to the profane. Since the first kings began reigning "by the grace of God," countless generations of buffoons appointed to amuse Majesties and Highnesses have passed away; and most of these graceless individuals had more wisdom at the bottoms of their hunches and at their fingers’ ends, than all their royal masters put together had in their brainless heads. They alone had the inestimable privilege of speaking truth at the Courts, and those truths have always been laughed at. . . .

This is a digression; but such works as the Count de Gabalis have to be quietly analyzed and their true character shown, lest they should be made to serve as a sledge hammer to pulverize those works which do not assume a humorous tone in speaking of mysterious, if not altogether sacred, things, and say what they have to. And it is most positively maintained that there are more truths uttered in the witty railleries and gasconades of that "satire," full of pre-eminently occult and actual facts, than most people, and Spiritualists especially, would care to learn.

One single fact instanced, and shown to exist now, at the present moment among the Mediums will be sufficient to prove that we are right.

It has been said elsewhere, that white magic differed very little from practices of sorcery except in effects and resultsgood or bad motive being everything. Many of the preliminary rules and conditions to enter societies of adepts, whether of the Right or the Left Path, are also identical in many things. Thus Gabalis says to the author: "The Sages will never admit you into their society if you do not renounce from this very present a Thing which cannot stand in competition with Wisdom. You must renounce all carnal Commerce with Women" (p. 27).

This is a sine quâ non with practical Occultists—Rosicrucians or Yogis, Europeans or Asiatics. But it is also one with the Dugpas and Fadoos of Bhutan and India, one with the Voodoos and


Nagals of New Orleans and Mexico,4 with an additional clause to it, however, in the statutes of the latter. And this is to have carnal commerce with male and female Djins, Elementals, or Demons, call them by whatever names you will.5

"I am making known nothing to you but the Principles of the Ancient Cabal," explains de Gabalis to his pupil. And he informs him that the Elementals (whom he calls Elementaries), the inhabitants of the four Elements, namely, the Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders, and Gnomes, live many Ages, but that their souls are not immortal. "In respect of Eternity . . . . they must finally resolve into nothing." . . . . "Our Fathers, the philosophers," goes on the soi-disant Rosicrucian, "speaking to God Face to Face, complained to him of the Unhappiness of these People (the Elementals), and God, whose Mercy is without Bounds, revealed to them that it was not impossible to find out a Remedy for this Evil. He inspired them, that by the same means as Man, by the Alliance which he contracted with God, has been made Partaker of the Divinity: the Sylphs, the Gnomes, the Nymphs, and the Salamanders, by the Alliance which they might Contract with Man, might be made Partakers of Immortality. So a she-Nymph or a Sylphide becomes Immortal and capable of the Blessing to which we aspire, when they shall be so happy as to be married to a Sage; a Gnome or a Sylphe ceases to be Mortal from the moment that he Espouses one of our Daughters."

Having delivered himself of this fine piece of advice on practical sorcery, the "Sage" closes as follows:

"No, no! Our Sages have never erred so as to attribute the Fall of the first Angels to their love of women, no more than they have put Men under the Power of the Devil. . . . There was nothing criminal in all that. They were Sylphs which endeavored to become Immortal. Their innocent Pursuits, far enough from being able to scandalize the Philosophers, have appeared so Just to us that we are all resolved by common consent utterly to Renounce Women; and entirely to give ourselves to Immortalizing of the Nymphs and Sylphs" (p. 33).

And so are certain mediums, especially those of America and France, who boast of Spirit husbands and wives. We know such

4 We speak here of the well-known ancient statutes in the Sorcery of the Asiatics as in the Demonology of Europe. The Witch had to renounce her husband, the Wizard his marital rights over his legitimate human wife, as the Dugpa renounces to this day commerce with living women; and, as the New Orleans’ Voodoo does, when in the exercise of his powers. Every Kabalist knows this.

5 The Jewish Kabalist of Poland and Galicia calls the female Spirit of Nergal, when bent on revenge, to his help and to infuse into him power. The Mussulman Sorcerer a female Djini; a Russian Koldoon a deceased Witch (Vyedma). The Chinese maleficer has a female Houen in his house at his command. The above intercourse is said to give magic powers and Supernal Force.


mediums personally, men and women, and it is not those of Holland who will deny the fact, with a recent event among their colleagues and co-religionists fresh in their memory, concerning some who escaped death and madness only by becoming Theosophists. It is only by following our advice that they got finally rid of their spiritual consorts of both sexes.

Shall we be told in this case also, that it is a calumny and an invention? Then let those outsiders who are inclined to see, with the Spiritualists, nought but a holy, an innocent pastime at any rate, in that nightly and daily intercourse with the so-called "Spirits of the Dead," watch. Let those who ridicule our warnings and doctrine and make merry over them—explain after analysing it dispassionately, the mystery and the rationale of such facts as the existence in the minds of certain Mediums and Sensitives of their actual marriage with male and female Spirits. Explanations of lunacy and hallucination will never do, when placed face to face with the undeniable facts of SPIRIT-MATERIALIZATIONS. If there are "Spirits" capable of drinking tea and wine, of eating apples and cakes, of kissing and touching the visitors of Séance rooms, all of which facts have been proven as well as the existence of those visitors themselves—why should not those same Spirits perform matrimonial duties as well? And who are those "Spirits" and what is their nature? Shall we be told by the Spiritists that the spooks of Mme. de Sévigné or of Delphine —, —one of which authoresses we abstain from naming out of regard to the surviving relatives—that they are the actual "Spirits" of those two deceased ladies; and that the latter felt a "Spiritual affinity" for an idiotic, old, and slovenly Canadian medium and thus became his happy wife as he boasts publicly, the result of which union is a herd of "spiritual" children bred with this holy Spirit? And who is the astral husband—the nightly consort of a well-known New York lady medium whom the writer knows personally? Let the reader get every information he can about this last development of Spiritual (?!) intercourse. Let him think seriously over this, and then read the "Count de Gabalis," especially the Appendix to it, with its Latin portions; and then perchance he will be better able to appreciate the full gravity of the supposed chaff, in the work in question,6 and understand the true value of the raillery in it. He

6 "Sub-Mundanes; or The Elementaries of the Cabala": with an illustrative Appendix from the work "Demoniality" or "Incubi and Succubi," by the Rev. Father Sinistrari, of Amando. The answer given (p. 133) by an alleged devil, to St. Anthony respecting the corporiety of the Incubi and Succubi would do as well now, perhaps: "The blessed St. Anthony" having inquired who he was, the little dwarf of the woods answered: "I am a mortal, and one of the inhabitants of the Wilderness, whom gentility, under its varied delusions, worships under the names of Fauns, Satyrs and Incubi" or "Spirits of the Dead" might have added this Elemental, the vehicle of some Elementary. This is a narrative of St. Hieronymus, who fully believed in it, and so do we, with certain amendments.


will then see clearly the ghastly connexion there is between the Fauns, Satyrs and Incubi of St. Hieronymus, the Sylphs and Nymphs of the Count de Gabalis, the "Elementaries" of the Kabalists—and all those poetical, spiritual "Lillies" of the "Harris Community," the astral "Napoleons," and other departed Don Juans from the "Summer-Land," the "spiritual affinities from beyond the grave" of the modern world of mediums.

Notwithstanding this ghastly array of facts, we are told week after week in the Spiritual journals that, at best, we know not what we are talking about. "Platon"—(a presumptuous pseudonym to assume, by the bye) a dissatisfied ex-theosophist, tells the Spiritualists (see Light, Jan. 1, 1887) that not only is there no re-incarnation—because the astral "spirit" of a deceased friend told him so (a valuable and trustworthy evidence indeed), but that all our philosophy is proved worthless by that very fact! Karma, we are notified, is tom-foolery. "Without Karma re-incarnation cannot stand," and, since his astral informant "has inquired in the realm of his present existence as to the theory of re-incarnation, and he says he cannot get one fact or a trace of one as to the truth of it. . . . " this "astral" informant has to be believed. He cannot lie. For "a man who has studied chemistry has a right to an opinion, and earned a right to speak upon its various theories and facts . . . . especially if he, during earth-life, was respected and admired for his researches into the mysteries of nature, and for his truthfulness."7

Let us hope that the "astrals" of such eminent chemists as Messrs. Crookes and Butlerof—when disembodied, will abstain from returning too often to talk with mortals. For having studied chemistry so much and so well, their post mortem communications would acquire a reputation for infallibility more than would be good, perhaps, for the progress of mankind, and the development of its intellectual powers. But the proof is sufficiently convinc-

7 The arguments and evidence brought to bear against the philosophy of the East are curious. Surely this is a good proof that the Occultists are right in saying that most of those "Spirits" are not even "lying" Spirits, but simply empty, senseless shells talking sense only with the help of the brains of the sitters and the brain of the medium as a connecting link.


ing, no doubt for the present generation of Spiritualists, since the name assumed by the "astral control of a friend" was that of a truthful and honorable man. It thus appears that an experience of over forty years with Spirits, who lied more than they told truth, and did far more mischief than good—goes for nought. And thus the "spirit-husbands and wives" must be also believed when they say they are this or that. Because, as "Platon" justly argues: "There is no progress without knowledge, and the knowledge of truth founded upon fact is progress of the highest degree, and if astrals progress, as this spirit says they do, the philosophy of Occultism in regard to re-incarnation is wrong upon this point; and how do we know that the many other points are correct, as they are without proof?"

This is high philosophy and logic. "The end of wisdom is consultation and deliberation"—with "Spirits," Demosthenes might have added, had he known where to look for them—but all this leaves still the question, "who are those spirits"—an open one. For, "where doctors disagree," there must be room for doubt. And besides the ominous fact that Spirits are divided in their views upon reincarnation—just as Spiritualists and Spiritists are, "every man is not a proper champion for the truth, nor fit to take up the gauntlet in the cause of verity," says Sir T. Browne. This is no disrespectful cut at "Platon," whoever he may be, but an axiom. An eminent man of science, Prof. W. Crookes, gave once a very wise definition of Truth, by showing how necessary it is to draw a distinction between truth and accuracy. A person may be very truthful—he observed—that is to say, may be filled with the desire both to receive truth and to teach it; but unless that person have great natural powers of observation, or have been trained by scientific study of some kind to observe, note, compare, and report accurately and in detail, he will not be able to give a trustworthy, accurate and therefore true account of his experiences. His intentions may be honest, but if he have a spark of enthusiasm, he will be always apt to proceed to generalizations, which may be both false and dangerous. In short as another eminent man of science, Sir John Herschell, puts it, "The grand and, indeed, the only character of truth, is its capability of enduring the test of universal experience, and coming unchanged out of every possible form of fair discussion."

Now very few Spiritualists, if any, unite in themselves the


precious qualities demanded by Prof. Crookes; in other words their truthfulness is always tempered by enthusiasm; therefore, it has led them into error for the last forty years. In answer to this we may be told and with great justice, it must be confessed, that this scientific definition cuts both ways; i.e., that Theosophists are, to say the least, in the same box with the Spiritualists; that they are enthusiastic, and therefore also credulous. But in the present case the situation is changed. The question is not what either Spiritualists or Theosophists think personally of the nature of Spirits and their degree of truthfulness; but what the "universal experience," demanded by Sir John Herschell, says. Spiritualism is a philosophy (if one, which so far we deny) of but yesterday. Occultism and the philosophy of the East, whether true absolutely, or relatively, are teachings coming to us from an immense antiquity: and since— whether in the writings and traditions of the East; in the numberless Fragments, and MSS. left to us by the Neo-Platonic Theosophists; in the life observations of such philosophers as Porphyry and Iamblichus; in those of the mediæval Theosophists and so on, ad infinitum;—since we find in all these, the same identical testimony as to the extremely various, and often dangerous nature of all those Genii, Demons, Gods, Lares, and "Elementaries," now all confused into one heap under the name of "Spirits"; we cannot fail to recognize in all this something "enduring the test of universal experience," and "coming unchanged" out of every possible form of observation and experience.

Theosophists give only the product of an experience hoary with age; Spiritualists hold to their own views, born some forty years ago, and based on their unflinching enthusiasm and emotionalism. But let any impartial, fair minded witness to the doings of the "Spirits" in America, one that is neither a Theosophist nor a Spiritualist, be asked: "What may be the difference between the vampire-bride from whom Apollonius of Tyana is said to have delivered a young friend of his, whom the nightly succubus was slowly killing, and the Spirit-wives and husbands of the mediums?" Surely none— would be the correct answer. Those who do not shudder at this hideous revival of mediæval Demonology and Witchcraft, may, at any rate, understand the reason why of all the numerous enemies of Theosophy—which unveils the mysteries of the "Spirit World" and unmasks the Spirits masquerading under eminent names—none are so bitter and so implacable as the Spir-


itualists of Protestant, and the Spiritists of Roman Catholic countries.

"Monstrum horrendum informe cui lumen ademptum" . . . . is the fittest epithet to be applied to most of the "Lillies" and "Joes" of the Spirit World. But we do not mean at all—following in this the example of Spiritualists, who are determined to believe in no other "Spirits" than those of the "dear departed" ones—to maintain that save Nature Spirits or Elementals, Shells, or Elementaries, and "Gods" and genii, there are no other Spirits from the invisible realms; or no really holy and grand Spirits—who communicate with mortals. For it is not so. What the Occultists and Kabalists said all along, and the Theosophists now repeat, is, that holy Spirits will not visit promiscuous séance-rooms, nor will they intermarry with living men and women.

Belief in the existence of invisible but too often present visitants from better and worse worlds than our own, is too deeply rooted in men’s hearts to be easily torn out by the cold hand of Materialism, or even of Science. Charges of superstition, coupled with ridicule, have at best served to breed additional hypocrisy and social cant, among the educated classes. For there are few men, if any, at the bottom of whose souls belief in such superhuman and supersensous creatures does not lie latent, to awaken into existence at the first good opportunity. Many are those Men of Science who, having abandoned with their nursery pinafores belief in Kings of Elves and Fairy Queens, and who would blush at being accused of believing in witchcraft, have, nevertheless, fallen victims to the wiles of "Joes," and "Daisies," and other spooks and "controls." And once they have crossed the Rubicon, they fear ridicule no longer. These Scientists defend as desperately the reality of materialized and other Spirits, as if these were a mathematical law. Those soul-aspirations that seem innate in human nature, and that slumber only to awaken to intensified activity; those yearnings to cross the boundary of matter that make many a hardened sceptic turn into a rabid believer at the first appearance of that which to him is undeniable proof—all these complete psychological phenomena of human temperament—have our modern physiologists found a key to them? Will the verdict remain "non compos mentis" or "victim to fraud and psychology"? &c., &c. When we say with regard to unbelievers that they are "a handful" the statement is no undervaluation; for it is not those who shout the loudest against degrading superstitions, the "Occult craze" and


so on, who are the strongest in their scepticism. At the first opportunity, they will be foremost amongst those who fall and surrender. And when one counts seriously the ever-increasing millions of the Spiritualists, Occultists, and Mystics in Europe and America, one may well refuse to lament with Carrington over the "Departure of the Fairies." They are gone, says the poet:

. . . They are flown,
Beautiful fictions of our fathers, wove
In Superstition’s web when Time was young,
And fondly loved and cherished—they are flown,
Before the Wand of Science! . . . .

We maintain that they have done nothing of the kind; and that on the contrary it is these "Fairies"—the beautiful, far more than the hideous—who are seriously threatening under their new masks and names to disarm Science and break its "Wand."

Belief in "Spirits" is legitimate, because it rests on the authority of experiment and observation, it vindicates, moreover, another belief, also regarded as a superstition: namely, Polytheism. The latter is based upon a fact in nature: Spirits mistaken for Gods, have been seen in every age by men—hence, belief in many and various Gods. Monotheism, on the other hand, rests upon a pure abstraction. Who has seen GOD—that God we mean, the Infinite and the Omnipotent, the one about whom Monotheists talk so much? Polytheism—once man claims the right of divine interference on his behalf— is logical and consistent with the philosophies of the East, all of which, whether Pantheistic or Deistic, proclaim the ONE an infinite abstraction, an absolute Something which utterly transcends the conception of the finite. Surely such a creed is more philosophical than that religion, whose theology, proclaiming in one place God, a mysterious and even Incomprehensible Being, whom "no man shall see and live" (Exodus xxxiii. 20), shows him at the same time so human and so petty a God as to concern himself with the breeches8 of his chosen people, while neglecting to say anything definite about the immortality of their souls, or their survival after death!

Thus, belief in a Host and Hosts of Spiritual entities, dwelling on various planes and spheres in the Universe, in conscious intra-Kosmic Beings, in fact, is logical and reasonable, while belief in

8 "And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness, from their loins even unto their thighs they shall reach" (Exodus xxviii, 42 et seq.). GOD a linen-draper and a tailor!!


an extra-Kosmic God is an absurdity. And if Jehovah, who was so jealous about his Jews and commanded that they should have no other God save himself, was generous enough to bestow upon Pharaoh Moses ("See I have made thee a God to Pharaoh, and Aaron . . . . thy prophet" Exodus vii. 7) as the Egyptian monarch’s deity, why should not "Pagans" be allowed the choice of their own Gods? Once we believe in the existence of our Egos, we may well believe in Dhyan Chohans. As Hare has it: "man is a mixed being made up of a spiritual and of a fleshly body; the angels are pure Spirits, herein nearer to God, only that they are created and finite in all respects, whereas God is infinite and uncreated." And if God is the latter, then God is not a "Being" but an incorporeal Principle, not to be blasphemously anthropomorphized. The angels or Dhyan Chohans are the "Living Ones"; that Principle the "Self-Existent," the eternal, and all pervading CAUSE of all causes, is only the abstract noumenon of the "River of Life," whose ever rolling waves create angels and men alike, the former being simply "men of a superior kind," as Young intuitionally remarks.

The masses of mankind are thus well justified in believing in a plurality of Gods; nor is it by calling them now, spirits, angels, and demons, that Christian nations are less polytheistic than their Pagan brethren. The twenty or thirty millions of the now existing Spiritualists and Spiritists, minister to their dead as jealously as the modern Chinamen and the Hindus minister to their Houen,9 Bhoots, and Pisachas—the Pagan, however, only to keep them quiet from post-mortem mischief.

Although these Gods are said to be "superior to man in some respects," it must not be concluded that the latent potencies of the human spirit are at all inferior to those of the Devas. Their faculties are more expanded than those of ordinary man; but with the ultimate effect of prescribing a limit to their expansion, to which the human spirit is not subjected. This fact has been well symbolised in the Mahâbhârata by the single-handed victory of Arjuna, under the name of Nara (a man) over the whole host of Devas and Deva-yonis (the lower Elementals). And we find reference to the same power in man in the Bible, for St. Paul distinctly says to

9 The Houen in China, is "the second Soul, or human Vitality, the principle, which animates the ghost" as explained by missionaries from China; simply the astral. The Houen, however, is as distinct from the "Ancestor" as the Bhoots are from the Pitris in India.


his audience "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" (I Corinth, vi., 3.,) and speaks of the astral body of man, the soma psychikon, and the spiritual body, soma pneumatikon, which "hath not flesh and bones," but has still an external form.

The order of Beings called the Devas—whose variety is so great that no description of it can be attempted here—is given in some Occult treatises. There are high Devas and lower ones, higher Elementals and those far below man and even animals. But all these have been or will be men, and the former will again be reborn on higher planets and in other manvantaras. One thing may, however, be mentioned. The Pitris, or our "lunar ancestors," and the communication of mortals with them, have been several times mentioned by Spiritualists as an argument that Hindoos do believe in, and even worship "Spirits." This is a great mistake. It is not the Pitris individually that were ever consulted, but their stored wisdom collectively; that wisdom being shown mystically and allegorically on the bright side of the moon.

What the Brahmans invoke are not "the spirits" of the departed ancestors—the full significance of which name will be found in Vol. II. of the "Secret Doctrine," where the genesis of man is given. The most highly developed human spirit will always declare, while leaving its tenement of clay "nacha purarâvarti"—"I shall not come back"—and is thus placed beyond the reach of any living man. But to comprehend fully the nature of the "lunar" ancestors and their connection with the "moon" would necessitate the revelation of occult secrets which are not intended for public hearing. Therefore no more will be given than the few hints that follow.

One of the names of the moon in Sanskrit is Soma, which is also the name, as is well known, of the mystic drink of the Brahmans and shows the connection between the two. A "soma-drinker" attains the power of placing himself in direct rapport with the bright side of the moon, thus deriving inspiration from the concentrated intellectual energy of the blessed ancestors. This "concentration," and the moon being a store-house of that Energy, is the secret, the meaning of which must not be revealed, beyond the mere fact of mentioning the continuous pouring out upon the earth from the bright side of the orb of a certain influence.

This which seems one stream (to the ignorant) is of a dual nature—one giving life and wisdom, the other being lethal. He


who can separate the former from the latter, as Kalahamsa separated the milk from the water, which was mixed with it, thus showing great wisdom—will have his reward. The word Pitri does mean, no doubt, the ancestor; but that which is invoked is the lunar wisdom esoterically, and not the "Lunar ancestor." It is this Wisdom that was invoked by Qu-ta-my, the Chaldean, in the "Nabathean Agriculture," who wrote down "the revelations of the Moon." But there is the other side to this. If most of the Brahmanical religious ceremonials are connected with the full moon, so do the dark ceremonials of the sorcerers take place at the new moon and its last quarter. For similarly when the lost human being, or sorcerer, attains the consummation of his depraved career, all the evil Karma, and the evil inspiration, comes down upon him as a dark incubus of iniquity from "the dark side of the moon," which is a terra incognita to Science, but a well explored land to the Adept. The Sorcerer, the Dugpa, who always performs his hellish rites on the day of the new moon, when the benignant influence of the Pitris is at its lowest ebb, crystallizes some of the Satanic energy of his predecessors in evil, and turns it to his own vile ends; while the Brahman, on the other hand, pursues a corresponding benevolent course with the energy bequeathed him by his Pitris . . . . Therefore, this is the true Spiritualism of which the heart and soul have been entirely missed by the modern Spiritualists. When the day of the full revelation comes, it will be seen that the so-called "superstitions" of Brahmanism and the ancient Pagans in general were merely natural and psychical sciences, veiled from the profane eyes of the ignorant multitudes, for fear of desecration and abuse, by allegorical and symbolical disguises that modern science has failed to discover.

We maintain then that no Theosophist has ever believed in, or helped to spread "degrading superstitions," any more than has any other philosophical or scientific Society. The only difference between the "Spirits" of other Societies, Sects and Bodies, and ours lies in their names, and in dogmatic assertions with regard to their natures. In those whom the millions of Spiritualists call the "Spirits of the Dead," and in whom the Roman Church sees the devils of the Host of Satan—we see neither. We call them, Dhyan Chohans, Devas, Pitris, Elementals high and low—and know them as the "Gods" of the Gentiles, imperfect at times, never wholly. Each order has its name, its place, its functions assigned to it in


nature; and each host is the complement and crown of its own particular sphere as man is the complement and crown of his globe; hence, a natural and logical necessity in Kosmos.

Lucifer, May, 1890Η. Ρ. B.


Whatsoever quits the Laya (homogeneous) state, becomes active conscious life. Individual consciousness emanates from, and returns into Absolute consciousness, which is eternal MOTION.
(Esoteric Axioms.)

Whatever that be which thinks, which understands, which wills, which acts, it is something celestial and divine, and upon that account must necessarily be eternal.

EDISON’S conception of matter was quoted in our March editorial article. The great American electrician is reported by Mr. G. Parsons Lathrop in Harper’s Magazine as giving out his personal belief about the atoms being "possessed by a certain amount of intelligence," and shown indulging in other reveries of this kind. For this flight of fancy the February Review of Reviews takes the inventor of the phonograph to task and critically remarks that "Edison is much given to dreaming," his "scientific imagination" being constantly at work.

Would to goodness the men of science exercised their "scientific imagination" a little more and their dogmatic and cold negations a little less. Dreams differ. In that strange state of being which, as Byron has it, puts us in a position "with seal’d eyes to see," one often perceives more real facts than when awake. Imagination is, again, one of the strongest elements in human nature, or in the words of Dugald Stewart it "is the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of human improvement. . . . Destroy the faculty, and the condition of men will become as stationary as that of brutes." It is the best guide of our blind senses, without which the latter could never lead us beyond matter and its illusions. The greatest discoveries of modern science are due to the imaginative faculty of the discoverers. But when has anything new been postulated, when a theory clashing with and contradicting a comfortably settled predecessor put forth, without orthodox science first sitting on it, and trying to crush it out of


existence? Harvey was also regarded at first as a "dreamer" and a madman to boot. Finally, the whole of modern science is formed of "working hypotheses," the fruits of "scientific imagination" as Mr. Tyndall felicitously called it.

Is it then, because consciousness in every universal atom and the possibility of a complete control over the cells and atoms of his body by man, have not been honored so far with the imprimatur of the Popes of exact science, that the idea is to be dismissed as a dream? Occultism gives the same teaching. Occultism tells us that every atom, like the monad of Leibnitz, is a little universe in itself; and that every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers. The idea of Universal Life composed of individual atomic lives is one of the oldest teachings of esoteric philosophy, and the very modern hypothesis of modern science, that of crystalline life, is the first ray from the ancient luminary of knowledge that has reached our scholars. If plants can be shown to have nerves and sensations and instinct (but another word for consciousness), why not allow the same in the cells of the human body? Science divides matter into organic and inorganic bodies, only because it rejects the idea of absolute life and a life-principle as an entity: otherwise it would be the first to see that absolute life cannot produce even a geometrical point, or an atom inorganic in its essence. But Occultism, you see, "teaches mysteries" they say; and mystery is the negation of common sense, just as again metaphysics is but a kind of poetry, according to Mr. Tyndall. There is no such thing for science as mystery; and therefore, as a Life-Principle is, and must remain for the intellects of our civilized races for ever a mystery on physical lines—they who deal in this question have to be of necessity either fools or knaves.

Dixit. Nevertheless, we may repeat with a French preacher: "mystery is the fatality of science." Official science is surrounded on every side and hedged in by unapproachable, for ever impenetrable mysteries. And why? Simply because physical science is self-doomed to a squirrel-like progress around a wheel of matter limited by our five senses. And though it is as confessedly ignorant of the formation of matter, as of the generation of a simple cell; though it is as powerless to explain what is this, that, or the other, it will yet dogmatize and insist on what life, matter and the rest are not. It comes to this: the words of Father Felix addressed fifty


years ago to the French academicians have nearly become immortal as a truism. "Gentlemen," he said, "you throw into our teeth the reproach that we teach mysteries. But imagine whatever science you will; follow the magnificent sweep of its deductions. . . . and when you arrive at its parent source you come face to face with the unknown!"

Now to lay at rest once for all in the minds of Theosophists this vexed question, we intend to prove that modern science, owing to physiology, is itself on the eve of discovering that consciousness is universal—thus justifying Edison’s "dreams." But before we do this, we mean also to show that though many a man of science is soaked through and through with such belief, very few are brave enough to openly admit it, as the late Dr. Pirogoff of St. Petersburg has done in his posthumous Memoirs. Indeed that great surgeon and pathologist raised by their publication quite a howl of indignation among his colleagues. How then? the public asked: He, Dr. Pirogoff, whom we regarded as almost the embodiment of European learning, believing in the superstitions of crazy alchemists? He, who in the words of a contemporary:—

was the very incarnation of exact science and methods of thought; who had dissected hundreds and thousands of human organs, making himself as acquainted with all the mysteries of surgery and anatomy as we are with our familiar furniture; the savant for whom physiology had no secrets and who, above all men, was one to whom Voltaire might have ironically asked whether he had not found immortal soul between the bladder and the blind gut,—that same Pirogoff is found after his death devoting whole chapters in his literary Will to the scientific demonstration. . . . Novoye Vremya of 1887.

—Of what? Why, of the existence in every organism of a distinct "VITAL FORCE" independent of any physical or chemical process. Like Liebig he accepted the derided and tabooed homogeneity of nature—a Life Principle—that persecuted and hapless teleology, or the science of the final causes of things, which is as philosophical as it is unscientific, if we have to believe imperial and royal academies. His unpardonable sin in the eyes of dogmatic modern science, however, was this: The great anatomist and surgeon, had the "hardihood" to declare in his Memoirs, that:—

We have no cause to reject the possibility of the existence of organisms endowed with such properties that would make of them—the direct embodiment of the universal mind—a perfec-


tion inaccessible to our own (human) mind. . . . Because, we have no right to maintain that man is the last expression of the divine creative thought.

Such are the chief features of the heresy of one, who ranked high among the men of exact science of this age. His Memoirs show plainly that not only he believed in Universal Deity, divine Ideation, or the Hermetic "Thought divine," and a Vital Principle, but taught all this, and tried to demonstrate it scientifically. Thus he argues that Universal Mind needs no physico-chemical, or mechanical brain as an organ of transmission. He even goes so far as to admit it in these suggestive words:—

Our reason must accept in all necessity an infinite and eternal Mind which rules and governs the ocean of life. . . . Thought and creative ideation, in full agreement with the laws of unity and causation, manifest themselves plainly enough in universal life without the participation of brain-slush. . . . Directing the forces and elements toward the formation of organisms, this organizing life-principle becomes self-sentient, self-conscious, racial or individual. Substance, ruled and directed by the life-principle, is organised according to a general defined plan into certain types. . . .

He explains this belief by confessing that never, during his long life so full of study, observation, and experiments, could he—

acquire the conviction, that our brain could be the only organ of thought in the whole universe; that everything in this world, save that organ, should be unconditioned and senseless, and that human thought alone should impart to the universe a meaning and a reasonable harmony in its integrity.

And he adds à propos of Moleschott’s materialism:—

Howsoever much fish and peas I may eat, never shall I consent to give away my Ego into durance vile of a product casually extracted by modern alchemy from the urine. If, in our conceptions of the Universe it be our fate to fall into illusions, then my "illusion" has, at least, the advantage of being very consoling. For, it shows to me an intelligent Universe and the activity of Forces working in it harmoniously and intelligently; and that my "I" is not the product of chemical and histological elements but an embodiment of a common universal Mind. The latter, I sense and represent to myself as acting in free will and consciousness in accordance with the same laws which are traced for the guidance of my own mind, but only exempt from that restraint which trammels our human conscious individuality.


For, as remarks elsewhere this great and philosophic man of Science:—

The limitless and the eternal, is not only a postulate of our mind and reason, but also a gigantic fact, in itself. What would become of our ethical or moral principle were not the everlasting and integral truth to serve it as a foundation!

The above selections translated verbatim from the confessions of one who was during his long life a star of the first magnitude in the fields of pathology and surgery, show him imbued and soaked through with the philosophy of a reasoned and scientific mysticism. In reading the Memoirs of that man of scientific fame, we feel proud of finding him accepting, almost wholesale, the fundamental doctrines and beliefs of Theosophy. With such an exceptionally scientific mind in the ranks of mystics, the idiotic grins, the cheap satires and flings at our great Philosophy by some European and American "Freethinkers," become almost a compliment. More than ever do they appear to us like the frightened discordant cry of the night-owl hurrying to hide in its dark ruins before the light of the morning Sun.

The progress of physiology itself, as we have just said, is a sure warrant that the dawn of that day when a full recognition of a universally diffused mind will be an accomplished fact, is not far off. It is only a question of time.

For, notwithstanding the boast of physiology, that the aim of its researches is only the summing up of every vital function in order to bring them into a definite order by showing their mutual relations to, and connection with, the laws of physics and chemistry, hence, in their final form with mechanical laws—we fear there is a good deal of contradiction between the confessed object and the speculations of some of the best of our modern physiologists. While few of them would dare to return as openly as did Dr. Pirogoff to the "exploded superstition" of vitalism and the severely exiled life-principle, the principium vitæ of Paracelsus—yet physiology stands sorely perplexed in the face of its ablest representatives before certain facts. Unfortunately for us, this age of ours is not conducive to the development of moral courage. The time for most to act on the noble idea of "principia non homines," has not yet come. And yet there are exceptions to the general rule, and physiology—whose destiny it is to become the handmaiden of Occult truths—has not let the latter remain without their witnesses. There are those who


are already stoutly protesting against certain hitherto favorite propositions. For instance, some physiologists are already denying that it is the forces and substances of so-called "inanimate" nature, which are acting exclusively in living beings. For, as they well argue:—

The fact that we reject the interference of other forces in living things, depends entirely on the limitations of our senses. We use, indeed, the same organs for our observations of both animate and inanimate nature; and these organs can receive manifestations of only a limited realm of motion. Vibrations passed along the fibres of our optic nerves to the brain reach our perceptions through our consciousness as sensations of light and color; vibrations affecting our consciousness through our auditory organs strike us as sounds; all our feelings, through whichever of our senses, are due to nothing but motions.

Such are the teachings of physical Science, and such were in their roughest outlines those of Occultism, æons and millenniums back. The difference, however, and most vital distinction between the two teachings, is this: official science sees in motion simply a blind, unreasoning force or law; Occultism, tracing motion to its origin, identifies it with the Universal Deity, and calls this eternal ceaseless motion—the "Great Breath."1

Nevertheless, however limited the conception of Modern Science about the said Force, still it is suggestive enough to have forced the following remark from a great Scientist, the present professor of physiology at the University of Basle,2 who speaks like an Occultist.

It would be folly in us to expect to be ever able to discover, with the assistance only of our external senses, in animate nature that something which we are unable to find in the inanimate.

And forthwith the lecturer adds that man being endowed "in addition to his physical senses with an inner sense," a perception which gives him the possibility of observing the states and phenomena of his own consciousness, "he has to use that in dealing with animate nature"—a profession of faith verging suspiciously on the borders of Occultism. He denies, moreover, the assumption, that the states and phenomena of consciousness represent in substance the same manifestations of motion as in the external world, and bases his denial by the reminder that not all of such states and manifestations have necessarily a spatial extension. According to

1 Vide "Secret Doctrine," vol. i, pp. 2 and 3.

2 From a paper read by him some time ago at a public lecture.


him that only is connected with our conception of space which has reached our consciousness through sight, touch, and the muscular sense, while all the other senses, all the effects, tendencies, as all the interminable series of representations, have no extension in space but only in time.

Thus he asks:—

Where then is there room in this for a mechanical theory? Objectors might argue that this is so only in appearance, while in reality all these have a spatial extension. But such an argument would be entirely erroneous. Our sole reason for believing that objects perceived by the senses have such extension in the external world, rests on the idea that they seem to do so, as far as they can be watched and observed through the senses of sight and touch. With regard, however, to the realm of our inner senses even that supposed foundation loses its force and there is no ground for admitting it.

The winding up argument of the lecturer is most interesting to Theosophists. Says this physiologist of the modern school of Materialism:—

Thus, a deeper and more direct acquaintance with our inner nature unveils to us a world entirely unlike the world represented to us by our external senses, and reveals the most heterogeneous faculties, shows objects having nought to do with spatial extension, and phenomena absolutely disconnected with those that fall under mechanical laws.

Hitherto the opponents of vitalism and "life-principle," as well as the followers of the mechanical theory of life, based their views on the supposed fact, that, as physiology was progressing forward, its students succeeded more and more in connecting its functions with the laws of blind matter. All those manifestations that used to be attributed to a "mystical life-force," they said, may be brought now under physical and chemical laws. And they were, and still are loudly clamoring for the recognition of the fact that it is only a question of time when it will be triumphantly demonstrated that the whole vital process, in its grand totality, represents nothing more mysterious than a very complicated phenomenon of motion, exclusively governed by the forces of inanimate nature.

But here we have a professor of physiology who asserts that the history of physiology proves, unfortunately for them, quite the contrary; and he pronounces these ominous words:—

I maintain that the more our experiments and observations are


exact and many-sided, the deeper we penetrate into facts, the more we try to fathom and speculate on the phenomena of life, the more we acquire the conviction, that even those phenomena that we had hoped to be already able to explain by physical and chemical laws, are in reality unfathomable. They are vastly more complicated, in fact; and as we stand at present, they will not yield to any mechanical explanation.

This is a terrible blow at the puffed-up bladder known as Materialism, which is as empty as it is dilated. A Judas in the camp of the apostles of negation—the "animalists"! But the Basle professor is no solitary exception, as we have just shown; and there are several physiologists who are of his way of thinking; indeed some of them going so far as to almost accept free-will and consciousness, in the simplest monadic protoplasms!

One discovery after the other tends in this direction. The works of some German physiologists are especially interesting with regard to cases of consciousness and positive discrimination—one is almost inclined to say thought—in the Amœbas. Now the Amœbas or animalculæ are, as all know, microscopical protoplasms—as the Vampyrella Sirogyra for instance, a most simple elementary cell, a protoplasmic drop, formless and almost structureless. And yet it shows in its behavior something for which zoologists, if they do not call it mind and power of reasoning, will have to find some other qualification, and coin a new term. For see what Cienkowsky3 says of it. Speaking of this microscopical, bare, reddish cell he describes the way in which it hunts for and finds among a number of other aquatic plants one called Spirogyra, rejecting every other food. Examining its peregrinations under a powerful microscope, he found it when moved by hunger, first projecting its pseudopodiæ (false feet) by the help of which it crawls. Then it commences moving about until among a great variety of plants it comes across a Spirogyra, after which it proceeds toward the cellulated portion of one of the cells of the latter, and placing itself on it, it bursts the tissue, sucks the contents of one cell and then passes on to another, repeating the same process. This naturalist never saw it take any other food, and it never touched any of the numerous plants placed by Cienkowsky in its way. Mentioning another Amœba—the Colpadella Pugnax—he says that he found it showing the same predilection for the Chlamydomonas on which it feeds exclusively; "having

3 L. Cienkowsky. See his work Beitraege zur Kentniss der Monaden, Archiv f. mikroskop, Anatomie.


made a puncture in the body of the Chlamydomonas it sucks its chlorophyl and then goes away," he writes, adding these significant words: "The way of acting of these monads during their search for and reception of food, is so amazing that one is almost inclined to see in them consciously acting beings!"

Not less suggestive are the observations of Th. W. Engelman (Beitraege zur Physiologie des Protoplasm), on the Arcella, another unicellular organism only a trifle more complex than the Vampyrella. He shows them in a drop of water under a microscope on a piece of glass, lying so to speak, on their backs, i.e., on their convex side, so that the pseudopodiæ, projected from the edge of the shell, find no hold in space and leave the Amœba helpless. Under these circumstances the following curious fact is observed. Under the very edge of one of the sides of the protoplasm gas-bubbles begin immediately to form, which, making that side lighter, allow it to be raised, bringing at the same time the opposite side of the creature into contact with the glass, thus furnishing its pseudo or false feet means to get hold of the surface and thereby turning over its body to raise itself on all its pseudopodiæ. After this, the Amœba proceeds to suck back into itself the gas-bubbles and begins to move. If a like drop of water is placed on the lower extremity of the glass, then, following the law of gravity the Amœbæ will find themselves at first at the lower end of the drop of water. Failing to find there a point of support, they proceed to generate large bubbles of gas, when, becoming lighter than the water, they are raised up to the surface of the drop.

In the words of Engelman:—

If having reached the surface of the glass they find no more support for their feet than before, forthwith one sees the gas-globules diminishing on one side and increasing in size and number on the other, or both, until the creatures touch with the edge of their shell the surface of the glass, and are enabled to turn over. No sooner is this done than the gas-globules disappear and the Arcellae begin crawling. Detach them carefully by means of a fine needle from the surface of the glass and thus bring them down once more to the lower surface of the drop of water; and forthwith they will repeat the same process, varying its details according to necessity and devising new means to reach their desired aim. Try as much as you will to place them in uncomfortable positions, and they find means to extricate themselves from them, each time, by one device or the other; and no sooner have they succeeded than the gas-bubbles disappear! It is im-


possible not to admit that such facts as these point to the presence of some Psychic process in the protoplasm.4

Among hundreds of accusations against Asiatic nations of degrading superstitions, based on "crass ignorance," there exists no more serious denunciation than that which accuses and convicts them of personifying and even deifying the chief organs of, and in, the human body. Indeed, do not we hear these "benighted fools" of Hindus speaking of the small-pox as a goddess—thus personifying the microbes of the variolic virus? Do we not read about Tantrikas, a sect of mystics, giving proper names to nerves, cells and arteries, connecting and identifying various parts of the body with deities, endowing functions and physiological processes with intelligence, and what not? The vertebræ, fibers, ganglia, the cord, etc., of the spinal column; the heart, its four chambers, auricle and ventricle, valves and the rest; stomach, liver, lungs and spleen, everything has its special deific name, is believed to act consciously and to act under the potent will of the Yogi, whose head and heart are the seats of Brahmâ and the various parts of whose body are all the pleasure grounds of this or another deity!

This is indeed ignorance. Especially when we think that the said organs, and the whole body of man are composed of cells, and these cells are now being recognised as individual organisms and—quien sabe—will come perhaps to be recognized some day as an independent race of thinkers inhabiting the globe, called man! It really looks like it. For was it not hitherto believed that all the phenomena of assimilation and sucking in of food by the intestinal canal, could be explained by the laws of diffusion and endosmosis? And now, alas, physiologists have come to learn that the action of the intestinal canal during the act of absorbing, is not identical with the action of the non-living membrane in the dialyser. It is now well demonstrated that—

this wall is covered with epithelium cells, each of which is an organism per se, a living being, and with very complex functions. We know further, that such a cell assimilates food— by means of active contractions of its protoplasmic body—in a manner as mysterious as that which we notice in the independent Amœba and animalcules. We can observe on the intestinal epithelium of the cold-blooded animals how these cells project shoots— pseudopodiae—out of their contractive, bare, protoplasmic bodies—which pseudopodiae, or false feet, fish out of the food

4 Loc. cit, Pfluger’s Archiv. Bd. II, S. 387.


drops of fat, suck them into their protoplasm and send it further, toward the lymph-duct. . . . The lymphatic cells issuing from the nests of the adipose tissue, and squeezing themselves through the epithelium cells up to the surface of the intestines, absorb therein the drops of fat and loaded with their prey, travel homeward to the lymphatic canals. So long as this active work of the cells remained unknown to us, the fact that while the globules of fat penetrated through the walls of the intestines into lymphatic channels, the smallest of pigmental grains introduced into the intestines did not do so,—remained unexplained. But to-day we know, that this faculty of selecting their special food—of assimilating the useful and rejecting the useless and the harmful—is common to all the unicellular organisms.5

And the lecturer queries, why, if this discrimination in the selection of food exists in the simplest and most elementary of the cells, in the formless and structureless protoplasmic drops—why it should not exist also in the epithelium cells of our intestinal canal. Indeed, if the Vampyrella recognises its much beloved Spirogyra, among hundreds of other plants as shown above, why should not the epithelium cell, sense, choose and select its favorite drop of fat from a pigmental grain? But we will be told that "sensing, choosing, and selecting" pertain only to reasoning beings, at least to the instinct of more structural animals than is the protoplasmic cell outside or inside man. Agreed; but as we translate from the lecture of a learned physiologist and the works of other learned naturalists, we can only say, that these learned gentlemen must know what they are talking about; though they are probably ignorant of the fact that their scientific prose is but one degree removed from the ignorant, superstitious, but rather poetical "twaddle" of the Hindu Yogis and Tantrikas.

Anyhow, our professor of physiology falls foul of the materialistic theories of diffusion and endosmosis. Armed with the facts of the evident discrimination and a mind in the cells, he demonstrates by numerous instances the fallacy of trying to explain certain physiological processes by mechanical theories; such for instance as the passing of sugar from the liver (where it is transformed into glucose) into the blood. Physiologists find great difficulty in explaining this process, and regard it as an impossibility to bring it under the endosmosic laws. In all probability the lymphatic cells play just as active a part during the absorption of

5 From the paper read by the Professor of physiology at the University of Basle, previously quoted.


alimentary substances dissolved in water, as the peptics do, a process well demonstrated by F. Hofmeister.6 Generally speaking, poor convenient endosmose is dethroned and exiled from among the active functionaries of the human body as a useless sinecurist. It has lost its voice in the matter of glands and other agents of secretion, in the action of which the same epithelium cells have replaced it. The mysterious faculties of selection, of extracting from the blood one kind of substance and rejecting another, of transforming the former by means of decomposition and synthesis, of directing some of the products into passages which will throw them out of the body and redirecting others into lymphatic and blood vessels—such is the work of the cells. "It is evident that in all this there is not the slightest hint at diffusion or endosmose," says the Basle physiologist. "It becomes entirely useless to try and explain these phenomena by chemical laws."

But perhaps physiology is luckier in some other department? Failing in the laws of alimentation, it may have found some consolation for its mechanical theories in the question of the activity of muscles and nerves, which it sought to explain by electric laws? Alas, save in a few fishes—in no other living organisms, least of all in the human body, could it find any possibility of pointing out electric currents as the chief ruling agency. Electrobiology on the lines of pure dynamic electricity has egregiously failed. Ignorant of "Fohat" no electrical currents suffice to explain to it either muscular or nervous activity!

But there is such a thing as the physiology of external sensations. Here we are no longer on terra incognita, and all such phenomena have already found purely physical explanations. No doubt, there is the phenomenon of sight, the eye with its optical apparatus, its camera obscura. But the fact of the sameness of the reproduction of things in the eye, according to the same laws of refraction as on the plate of a photographic machine, is no vital phenomenon. The same may be reproduced on a dead eye. The phenomenon of life consists in the evolution and development of the eye itself. How is this marvellous and complicated work produced? To this physiology replies, "We do not know"; for, toward the solution of this great problem—

6 Untersuchungen ueber Resorption u. Assimilation der Naehrstoffe (Archiv. f. Experimentalle Pathologie und Pharmakologie, Bd. XIX, 1885).


Physiology has not yet made one single step. True, we can follow the sequence of the stages of the development and formation of the eye, but why it is so and what is the causal connection, we have absolutely no idea. The second vital phenomenon of the eye is its accommodating activity. And here we are again face to face with the functions of nerves and muscles—our old insoluble riddles. The same may be said of all the organs of sense. The same also relates to other departments of physiology. We had hoped to explain the phenomena of the circulation of the blood by the laws of hydrostatics or hydrodynamics. Of course the blood moves in accordance with the hydrodynamical laws: but its relation to them remains utterly passive. As to the active functions of the heart and the muscles of its vessels, no one, so far, has ever been able to explain them by physical laws.

The underlined words in the concluding portion of the able Professor’s lecture are worthy of an Occultist. Indeed, he seems to be repeating an aphorism from the "Elementary Instructions" of the esoteric physiology of practical Occultism:—

The riddle of life is found in the active functions of a living organism,7 the real perception of which activity we can get only through self-observation, and not owing to our external senses; by observations on our will, so far as it penetrates our consciousness, thus revealing itself to our inner sense. Therefore, when the same phenomenon acts only on our external senses, we recognize it no longer. We see everything that takes place around and near the phenomenon of motion, but the essence of that phenomenon we do not see at all, because we lack for it a special organ of receptivity. We can accept that esse in a mere hypothetical way, and do so, in fact, when we speak of "active functions." Thus does every physiologist, for he cannot go on without such hypothesis; and this is a first experiment of a psychological explanation of all vital phenomena. . . . And if it is demonstrated to us that we are unable with the help only of physics and chemistry to explain the phenomena of life, what may we expect from other adjuncts of physiology, from the sciences of morphology, anatomy, and histology? I maintain that these can never help us to unriddle the problem of any of the mysterious phenomena of life. For, after we have succeeded with the help of scalpel and microscope in dividing the organisms into their most elementary compounds, and reached the simplest of cells, it is just here that we find ourselves face to face with the greatest problem of all. The simplest monad, a microscopical point of protoplasm, form-

7 Life and activity are but two different names for the same idea, or, what is still more correct, they are two words with which the men of science connect no definite idea whatever. Nevertheless, and perhaps just for that, they are obliged to use them, for they contain the point of contact between the most difficult problems over which, in fact, the greatest thinkers of the materialistic school have ever tripped.


less and structureless, exhibits yet all the essential vital functions, alimentation, growth, breeding, motion, feeling and sensuous perception, and even such functions which replace "consciousness"—the soul of the higher animals!

The problem—for Materialism—is a terrible one, indeed! Shall our cells, and infinitesimal monads in nature, do for us that which the arguments of the greatest Pantheistic philosophers have hitherto failed to do? Let us hope so. And if they do, then the "superstitious and ignorant" Eastern Yogis, and even their exoteric followers, will find themselves vindicated. For we hear from the same physiologist that—

A large number of poisons are prevented by the epithelium cells from penetrating into lymphatic spaces, though we know that they are easily decomposed in the abdominal and intestinal juices. More than this. Physiology is aware that by injecting these poisons directly into the blood, they will separate from, and reappear through the intestinal walls, and that in this process the lymphatic cells take a most active part.

If the reader turns to Webster’s Dictionary he will find therein a curious explanation at the words "lymphatic" and "Lymph." Etymologists think that the Latin word lympha is derived from the Greek nymphe, "a nymph or inferior Goddess," they say. "The Muses were sometimes called nymphs by the poets. Hence (according to Webster) all persons in a state of rapture, as seers, poets, madmen, etc., were said to be caught by the nymphs."

The Goddess of Moisture (the Greek and Latin nymph or lymph, then) is fabled in India as being born from the pores of one of the Gods, whether the Ocean God, Varuna, or a minor "River God" is left to the particular sect and fancy of the believers. But the main question is, that the ancient Greeks and Latins are thus admittedly known to have shared in the same "superstitions" as the Hindus. This superstition is shown in their maintaining to this day that every atom of matter in the four (or five) Elements is an emanation from an inferior God or Goddess, himself or herself an earlier emanation from a superior deity; and, moreover, that each of these atoms—being Brahmâ, one of whose names is Anu, or atom—no sooner is it emanated than it becomes endowed with consciousness, each of its kind, and free-will, acting within the limits of law. Now, he who knows that the kosmic trimurti (trinity) composed of Brahmâ, the Creator; Vishnu, the Preserver; and Siva, the Destroyer, is a most magnificent and scientific symbol of the material Universe


and its gradual evolution; and who finds a proof of this, in the etymology of the names of these deities,8 plus the doctrines of Gupta Vidya, or esoteric knowledge—knows also how to correctly understand this "superstition." The five fundamental titles of Vishnu— added to that of Anu (atom) common to all the trimurtic personages—which are, Bhutâtman, one with the created or emanated materials of the world; Pradhanâtman, "one with the senses;" Paramâtman, "Supreme Soul"; and Atman, Kosmic Soul, or the Universal Mind—show sufficiently what the ancient Hindus meant by endowing with mind and consciousness every atom and giving it a distinct name of a God or a Goddess. Place their Pantheon, composed of 30 crores (or 300 millions) of deities within the macrocosm (the Universe), or inside the microcosm (man), and the number will not be found overrated, since they relate to the atoms, cells, and molecules of everything that is.

This, no doubt, is too poetical and abstruse for our generation, but it seems decidedly as scientific, if not more so, than the teachings derived from the latest discoveries of Physiology and Natural History.

Lucifer, April, 1890

8 Brahmâ comes from the root brih, "to expand," to "scatter"; Vishnu from the root vis or vish (phonetically) "to enter into," "to pervade" the universe, of matter. As to Siva—the patron of the Yogis, the etymology of his name would remain incomprehensible to the casual reader.


On the Constitution of the Inner Man and Its Division

M. Of course it is most difficult, and, as you say, "puzzling" to understand correctly and distinguish between the various aspects, called by us the "principles" of the real EGO. It is the more so as there exists a notable difference in the numbering of those principles by various Eastern schools, though at the bottom there is the same identical substratum of teaching in all of them.

X. Are you thinking of the Vedantins. They divide our seven "principles" into five only, I believe?

M. They do; but though I would not presume to dispute the point with a learned Vedantin, I may yet state as my private opinion that they have an obvious reason for it. With them it is only that compound spiritual aggregate which consists of various mental aspects that is called Man at all, the physical body being in their view something beneath contempt, and merely an illusion. Nor is the Vedanta the only philosophy to reckon in this manner. Lao-Tze in his Tao-te-King, mentions only five principles, because he, like the Vedantins, omits to include two principles, namely, the spirit (Atma) and the physical body, the latter of which, moreover, he calls "the cadaver." Then there is the Taraka Rajà Yogà School. Its teaching recognizes only three "principles" in fact; but then, in reality, their Sthulopadhi, or the physical body in its jagrata or waking conscious state, their Sukshmopadhi, the same body in svapna or the dreaming state, and their Karanopadhi or "causal body," or that which passes from one incarnation to another, are all dual in their aspects, and thus make six. Add to this Atma, the impersonal divine principle or the immortal element in Man, undistinguished from the Universal Spirit, and you have the same seven, again, as in the esoteric division.1

X. Then it seems almost the same as the division made by mystic Christians: body, soul and spirit?

M. Just the same. We could easily make of the body the vehicle of the "vital Double"; of the latter the vehicle of Life or Prana;

1 See "Secret Doctrine" for a clearer explanation.


of Kamarupa or (animal) soul, the vehicle of the higher and the lower mind, and make of this six principles, crowning the whole with the one immortal spirit. In Occultism, every qualificative change in the state of our consciousness gives to man a new aspect, and if it prevails and becomes part of the living and acting EGO, it must be (and is) given a special name, to distinguish the man in that particular state from the man he is when he places himself in another state.

X. It is just that which is so difficult to understand.

M. It seems to me very easy, on the contrary, once that you have seized the main idea, i.e., that man acts on this, or another plane of consciousness, in strict accordance with his mental and spiritual condition. But such is the materialism of the age that the more we explain, the less people seem capable of understanding what we say. Divide the terrestrial being called man into three chief aspects, if you like; but, unless you make of him a pure animal, you cannot do less. Take his objective body; the feeling principle in him—which is only a little higher than the instinctual element in the animal—or the vital elementary soul; and that which places him so immeasurably beyond and higher than the animal—i.e., his reasoning soul or "spirit." Well, if we take these three groups or representative entities, and subdivide them, according to the occult teaching, what do we get?

First of all Spirit (in the sense of the Absolute, and therefore indivisible ALL) or Atma. As this can neither be located nor conditioned in philosophy, being simply that which is, in Eternity, and as the ALL cannot be absent from even the tiniest geometrical or mathematical point of the universe of matter or substance, it ought not to be called, in truth, a "human" principle at all. Rather, and at best, it is that point in metaphysical Space which the human Monad and its vehicle man, occupy for the period of every life. Now that point is as imaginary as man himself, and in reality is an illusion, a maya; but then for ourselves as for other personal Egos, we are a reality during that fit of illusion called life, and we have to take ourselves into account—in our own fancy at any rate if no one else does. To make it more conceivable to the human intellect, when first attempting the study of Occultism, and to solve the ABC of the mystery of man, Occultism calls it the seventh principle, the synthesis of the six, and gives it for vehicle the Spiritual Soul, Buddhi. Now the latter conceals a mystery, which is never given to anyone with


the exception of irrevocably pledged chelas, those at any rate, who can be safely trusted. Of course there would be less confusion, could it only be told; but, as this is directly concerned with the power of projecting one’s double consciously and at will, and as this gift like the "ring of Gyges" might prove very fatal to men at large and to the possessor of that faculty in particular, it is carefully guarded. Alone the adepts, who have been tried and can never be found wanting, have the key of the mystery fully divulged to them . . . Let us avoid side issues, however, and hold to the "principles." This divine soul or Buddhi, then, is the Vehicle of the Spirit. In conjunction, these two are one, impersonal, and without any attributes (on this plane, of course), and make two spiritual "principles." If we pass on to the Human Soul (manas, the mens) everyone will agree that the intelligence of man is dual to say the least: e.g., the high-minded man can hardly become low-minded; the very intellectual and spiritual-minded man is separated by an abyss from the obtuse, dull and material, if not animal-minded man. Why then should not these men be represented by two "principles" or two aspects rather? Every man has these two principles in him, one more active than the other, and in rare cases, one of these is entirely stunted in its growth; so to say paralysed by the strength and predominance of the other aspect, during the life of man. These, then, are what we call the two principles or aspects of Manas, the higher and the lower; the former, the higher Manas, or the thinking, conscious EGO gravitating toward the Spiritual Soul (Buddhi); and the latter, or its instinctual principle attracted to Kama, the seat of animal desires and passions in man. Thus, we have four "principles" justified; the last three being (1) the "Double" which we have agreed to call Protean, or Plastic Soul; the vehicle of (2) the life principle; and (3) the physical body. Of course no Physiologist or Biologist will accept these principles, nor can he make head or tail of them. And this is why, perhaps, none of them understand to this day either the functions of the spleen, the physical vehicle of the Protean Double, or those of a certain organ on the right side of man, the seat of the above mentioned desires, nor yet does he know anything of the pineal gland, which he describes as a horny gland with a little sand in it, and which is the very key to the highest and divinest consciousness in man—his omniscient, spiritual and all embracing mind. This seemingly useless appendage is the pendulum which, once the clock-work of the inner man is wound up,


carries the spiritual vision of the EGO to the highest planes of perception, where the horizon open before it becomes almost infinite. . . .

X. But the scientific materialists assert that after the death of man nothing remains; that the human body simply disintegrates into its component elements, and that what we call soul is merely a temporary self-consciousness produced as a by-product of organic action, which will evaporate like steam. Is not theirs a strange state of mind?

M. Not strange at all, that I see. If they say that self-consciousness ceases with the body, then in their case they simply utter an unconscious prophecy. For once that they are firmly convinced of what they assert, no conscious after-life is possible for them.

X. But if human self-consciousness survives death as a rule, why should there be exceptions?

M. In the fundamental laws of the spiritual world which are immutable, no exception is possible. But there are rules for those who see, and rules for those who prefer to remain blind.

X. Quite so, I understand. It is an aberration of a blind man, who denies the existence of the sun because he does not see it. But after death his spiritual eyes will certainly compel him to see?

M. They will not compel him, nor will he see anything. Having persistently denied an after-life during this life, he will be unable to sense it. His spiritual senses having been stunted, they cannot develop after death, and he will remain blind. By insisting that he must see it, you evidently mean one thing and I another. You speak of the spirit from the Spirit, or the flame from the Flame—of Atma in short—and you confuse it with the human soul—Manas. You do not understand me, let me try to make it clear.

The whole gist of your question is to know whether, in the case of a downright materialist, the complete loss of self-consciousness and self-perception after death is possible? Isn’t it so? I say: It is possible. Because, believing firmly in our Esoteric Doctrine, which refers to the Post-mortem period, or the interval between two lives or births as merely a transitory state, I say:—Whether that interval between two acts of the illusionary drama of life lasts one year or a million, that post-mortem state may, without any breach of the fundamental law, prove to be just the same state as that of a man who is in a dead swoon.

X. But since you have just said that the fundamental laws of the after-death state admit of no exceptions, how can this be?


Μ. Nor do I say now that they admit of exceptions. But the spiritual law of continuity applies only to things which are truly real. To one who has read and understood Mundakya Upanishad and Vedanta-Sara all this becomes very clear. I will say more: it is sufficient to understand what we mean by Buddhi and the duality of Manas to have a very clear perception why the materialist may not have a self-conscious survival after death: because Manas, in its lower aspect, is the seat of the terrestrial mind, and, therefore, can give only that perception of the Universe which is based on the evidence of that mind, and not on our spiritual vision. It is said in our Esoteric school that between Buddhi and Manas, or Iswara and Pragna,2 there is in reality no more difference than between a forest and its trees, a lake and its waters, just as Mundakya teaches. One or hundreds of trees dead from loss of vitality, or uprooted, are yet incapable of preventing the forest from being still a forest. The destruction or post-mortem death of one personality dropped out of the long series, will not cause the smallest change in the Spiritual divine Ego, and it will ever remain the same EGO. Only, instead of experiencing Devachan it will have to immediately reincarnate.

X. But as I understand it, Ego-Buddhi represents in this simile the forest and the personal minds the trees. And if Buddhi is immortal, how can that which is similar to it, i.e., Manas-taijasi,3 lose entirely its consciousness till the day of its new incarnation? I cannot understand it.

M. You cannot, because you will mix up an abstract representation of the whole with its casual changes of form; and because you confuse Manas-taijasi, the Buddhi-fit human soul, with the latter, animalized. Remember that if it can be said of Buddhi that it is unconditionally immortal, the same cannot be said of Manas, still less of taijasi, which is an attribute. No post-mortem consciousness or Manas-Taijasi, can exist apart from Buddhi, the divine soul, because the first (Manas) is, in its lower aspect, a qualificative attribute of the terrestrial personality, and the second (taijasi) is identical with the first, and that it is the same Manas only with the light of

2 Iswara is the collective consciousness of the manifested deity, Brahmâ, i.e., the collective consciousness of the Host of Dhyan Chohans; and Pragna is their individual wisdom.

3 Taijasi means the radiant in consequence of the union with Buddhi of Manas, the human, illuminated by the radiance of the divine soul. Therefore Manas-taijasi may be described as radiant mind; the human reason lit by the light of the spirit; and Buddhi-Manas is the representation of the divine plus the human intellect and self-consciousness.


Buddhi reflected on it. In its turn, Buddhi would remain only an impersonal spirit without this element which it borrows from the human soul, which conditions and makes of it, in this illusive Universe, as it were something separate from the universal soul for the whole period of the cycle of incarnation. Say rather that Buddhi-Manas can neither die nor lose its compound self-consciousness in Eternity, nor the recollection of its previous incarnations in which the two— i.e., the spiritual and the human soul, had been closely linked together. But it is not so in the case of a materialist, whose human soul not only receives nothing from the divine soul, but even refuses to recognize its existence. You can hardly apply this axiom to the attributes and qualifications of the human soul, for it would be like saying that because your divine soul is immortal, therefore the bloom on your cheek must also be immortal; whereas this bloom, like taijasi, or spiritual radiance, is simply a transitory phenomenon.

X. Do I understand you to say that we must not mix in our minds the noumenon with the phenomenon, the cause with its effect?

Μ. I do say so, and repeat that, limited to Manas or the human soul alone, the radiance of Taijasi itself becomes a mere question of time; because both immortality and consciousness after death become for the terrestrial personality of man simply conditioned attributes, as they depend entirely on conditions and beliefs created by the human soul itself during the life of its body. Karma acts incessantly; we reap in our after-life only the fruit of that which we have ourselves sown, or rather created, in our terrestrial existence.

X. But if my Ego can, after the destruction of my body, become plunged in a state of entire unconsciousness, then where can be the punishment for the sins of my past life?

M. Our philosophy teaches that Karmic punishment reaches the Ego only in the next incarnation. After death it receives only the reward for the unmerited sufferings endured during its just past existence.4 The whole punishment after death, even for the mate-

4 Some Theosophists have taken exception to this phrase, but the words are those of the Masters, and the meaning attached to the word "unmerited" is that given above. In the T.P.S. pamphlet No. 6, a phrase, criticised subsequently in Lucifer was used, which was intended to convey the same idea. In form however it was awkward and open to the criticism directed against it; but the essential idea was that men often suffer from the effects of the actions done by others, effects which thus do not strictly belong to their own Karma, but to that of other people—and for these sufferings they of course deserve compensation. If it is true to say that nothing that happens to us can be anything else than Karma—or the direct or indirect effect of a cause—it would be a great error to think that every evil or good which befalls us is due only to our personal Karma. (Vide further on.)


rialist, consists therefore in the absence of any reward and the utter loss of the consciousness of one’s bliss and rest. Karma—is the child of the terrestrial Ego, the fruit of the actions of the tree which is the objective personality visible to all, as much as the fruit of all the thoughts and even motives of the spiritual "I"; but Karma is also the tender mother, who heals the wounds inflicted by her during the preceding life, before she will begin to torture this Ego by inflicting upon him new ones. If it may be said that there is not a mental or physical suffering in the life of a mortal, which is not the fruit and consequence of some sin in this, or a preceding existence, on the other hand, since he does not preserve the slightest recollection of it in his actual life, and feels himself not deserving of such punishment, but believes sincerely he suffers for no guilt of his own, this alone is quite sufficient to entitle the human soul to the fullest consolation, rest and bliss in his post-mortem existence. Death comes to our spiritual selves ever as a deliverer and friend. For the materialist, who, notwithstanding his materialism, was not a bad man, the interval between the two lives will be like the unbroken and placid sleep of a child; either entirely dreamless, or with pictures of which he will have no definite perception. For the believer it will be a dream as vivid as life and full of realistic bliss and visions. As for the bad and cruel man, whether materialist or otherwise, he will be immediately reborn and suffer his hell on earth. To enter Avitchi is an exceptional and rare occurrence.

X. As far as I remember, the periodical incarnations of Sutratma5 are likened in some Upanishad to the life of a mortal which oscillates periodically between sleep and waking. This does not seem to me very clear, and I will tell you why. For the man who awakes, another day commences, but that man is the same in soul and body as he was the day before; whereas at every new incarnation a full change takes place not only in his external envelope, sex and personality, but even in his mental and psychic capacities. Thus the simile does not seem to me quite correct. The man who arises from sleep remembers quite clearly what he has done yesterday, the day before, and even months and years ago. But none of us has the

5 Our immortal and reincarnating principle in conjunction with the Manasic recollections of the preceding lives is called Sutratma, which means literally the Thread-Soul; because like the pearls on a thread so is the long series of human lives strung together on that one thread. Manas must become taijasi, the radiant, before it can hang on the Sutratma as a pearl on its thread, and so have full and absolute perception of itself in the Eternity. As said before, too close association with the terrestrial mind of the human soul alone causes this radiance to be entirely lost.


slightest recollection of a preceding life or any fact or event concerning it. . . . I may forget in the morning what I have dreamed during the night, still I know that I have slept and have the certainty that I lived during sleep; but what recollection have I of my past incarnation? How do you reconcile this?

M. Yet some people do recollect their past incarnations. This is what the Arhats call Samma-Sambuddha—or the knowledge of the whole series of one’s past incarnations.

X. But we ordinary mortals who have not reached Samma-Sambuddha, how can we be expected to realize this simile?

M. By studying it and trying to understand more correctly the characteristics of the three states of sleep. Sleep is a general and immutable law for man as for beast, but there are different kinds of sleep and still more different dreams and visions.

X. Just so. But this takes us from our subject. Let us return to the materialist who, while not denying dreams, which he could hardly do, yet denies immortality in general and the survival of his own individuality especially.

M. And the materialist is right for once, at least; since for one who has no inner perception and faith, there is no immortality possible. In order to live in the world to come a conscious life, one has to believe first of all in that life during one’s terrestrial existence. On these two aphorisms of the Secret Science all the philosophy about the post-mortem consciousness and the immortality of the soul is built. The Ego receives always according to its deserts. After the dissolution of the body, there commences for it either a period of full clear consciousness, a state of chaotic dreams, or an utterly dreamless sleep indistinguishable from annihilation; and these are the three states of consciousness. Our physiologists find the cause of dreams and visions in an unconscious preparation for them during the waking hours; why cannot the same be admitted for the post-mortem dreams? I repeat it, death is sleep. After death begins, before the spiritual eyes of the soul, a performance according to a programme learnt and very often composed unconsciously by ourselves; the practical carrying out of correct beliefs or of illusions which have been created by ourselves. A Methodist, will be Methodist, a Mussulman, a Mussulman, of course, just for a time—in a perfect fool’s paradise of each man’s creation and making. These are the post-mortem fruits of the tree of life. Naturally, our belief or unbelief in the fact of conscious immortality is unable to


influence the unconditioned reality of the fact itself, once that it exists; but the belief or unbelief in that immortality, as the continuation or annihilation of separate entities, cannot fail to give colour to that fact in its application to each of these entities. Now do you begin to understand it?

X. I think I do. The materialist, disbelieving in everything that cannot be proven to him by his five senses or by scientific reasoning, and rejecting every spiritual manifestation, accepts life as the only conscious existence. Therefore, according to their beliefs so will it be unto them. They will lose their personal Ego, and will plunge into a dreamless sleep until a new awakening. Is it so?

M. Almost so. Remember the universal esoteric teaching of the two kinds of conscious existence: the terrestrial and the spiritual. The latter must be considered real from the very fact that it is the region of the eternal, changeless, immortal cause of all; whereas the incarnating Ego dresses itself up in new garments entirely different from those of its previous incarnations, and in which all except its spiritual prototype is doomed to a change so radical as to leave no trace behind.

X. Stop! . . . Can the consciousness of my terrestrial Egos perish not only for a time, like the consciousness of the materialist, but in any case so entirely as to leave no trace behind?

M. According to the teaching, it must so perish and in its fulness, all except that principle which, having united itself with the Monad, has thereby become a purely spiritual and indestructible essence, one with it in the Eternity. But in the case of an out and out materialist, in whose personal "I" no Buddhi has ever reflected itself, how can the latter carry away into the infinitudes one particle of that terrestrial personality? Your spiritual "I" is immortal; but from your present Self it can carry away into after life but that which has become worthy of immortality, namely, the aroma alone of the flower that has been mown by death.

X. Well, and the flower, the terrestrial "I"?

M. The flower, as all past and future flowers which blossomed and died, and will blossom again on the mother bough, the Sutratma, all children of one root of Buddhi, will return to dust. Your present "I," as you yourself know, is not the body now sitting before me, nor yet is it what I would call Manas-Sutratma—but Sutratma-Buddhi.


X. But this does not explain to me at all, why you call life after death immortal, infinite, and real, and the terrestrial life a simple phantom or illusion; since even that post-mortem life has limits, however much wider they may be than those of terrestrial life.

M. No doubt. The spiritual Ego of man moves in Eternity like a pendulum between the hours of life and death. But if these hours marking the periods of terrestrial and spiritual life are limited in their duration, and if the very number of such stages in Eternity between sleep and awakening, illusion and reality, has its beginning and its end, on the other hand the spiritual "Pilgrim" is eternal. Therefore are the hours of his post-mortem life—when, disembodied he stands face to face with truth and not the mirages of his transitory earthly existences during the period of that pilgrimage which we call "the cycle of rebirths"—the only reality in our conception. Such intervals, their limitation not withstanding, do not prevent the Ego, while ever perfecting itself, to be following un-deviatingly, though gradually and slowly, the path to its last transformation, when that Ego having reached its goal becomes the divine ALL. These intervals and stages help towards this final result instead of hindering it; and without such limited intervals the divine Ego could never reach its ultimate goal. This Ego is the actor, and its numerous and various incarnations the parts it plays. Shall you call these parts with their costumes the individuality of the actor himself? Like that actor, the Ego is forced to play during the Cycle of Necessity up to the very threshold of Para-nirvana, many parts such as may be unpleasant to it. But as the bee collects its honey from every flower, leaving the rest as food for the earthly worms, so does our spiritual individuality, whether we call it Sutratma or Ego. It collects from every terrestrial personality into which Karma forces it to incarnate, the nectar alone of the spiritual qualities and self-consciousness, and uniting all these into one whole it emerges from its chrysalis as the glorified Dhyan Chohan. So much the worse for those terrestrial personalities from which it could collect nothing. Such personalities cannot assuredly outlive consciously their terrestrial existence.

X. Thus then it seems, that for the terrestrial personality, immortality is still conditional. Is then immortality itself not unconditional?

M. Not at all. But it cannot touch the non-existent. For all that which exists as SAT, ever aspiring to SAT, immortality and


Eternity are absolute. Matter is the opposite pole of spirit and yet the two are one. The essence of all this, i.e., Spirit, Force and Matter, or the three in one, is as endless as it is beginningless; but the form acquired by this triple unity during its incarnations, the externality, is certainly only the illusion of our personal conceptions. Therefore do we call the after-life alone a reality, while relegating the terrestrial life, its terrestrial personality included, to the phantom realm of illusion.

X. But why in such a case not call sleep the reality, and waking the illusion, instead of the reverse?

M. Because we use an expression made to facilitate the grasping of the subject, and from the standpoint of terrestrial conceptions it is a very correct one.

X. Nevertheless, I cannot understand. If the life to come is based on justice and the merited retribution for all our terrestrial suffering, how, in the case of materialists many of whom are ideally honest and charitable men, should there remain of their personality nothing but the refuse of a faded flower!

M. No one ever said such a thing. No materialist, if a good man, however unbelieving, can die forever in the fulness of his spiritual individuality. What was said is, that the consciousness of one life can disappear either fully or partially; in the case of a thorough materialist, no vestige of that personality which disbelieved remains in the series of lives.

X. But is this not annihilation to the Ego?

M. Certainly not. One can sleep a dead sleep during a long railway journey, miss one or several stations without the slightest recollection or consciousness of it, awake at another station and continue the journey recollecting other halting places, till the end of that journey, when the goal is reached. Three kinds of sleep were mentioned to you: the dreamless, the chaotic, and the one so real, that to the sleeping man his dreams become full realities. If you believe in the latter why can’t you believe in the former? According to what one has believed in and expected after death, such is the state one will have. He who expected no life to come will have an absolute blank amounting to annihilation in the interval between the two rebirths. This is just the carrying out of the programme we spoke of, and which is created by the materialist himself. But there are various kinds of materialists, as you say. A selfish wicked Egoist, one who


never shed a tear for anyone but himself, thus adding entire indifference to the whole world to his unbelief, must drop at the threshold of death his personality forever. This personality having no tendrils of sympathy for the world around, and hence nothing to hook on to the string of the Sutratma, every connection between the two is broken with the last breath. There being no Devachan for such a materialist, the Sutratma will reincarnate almost immediately. But those materialists who erred in nothing but their disbelief, will oversleep but one station. Moreover, the time will come when the ex-materialist will perceive himself in the Eternity and perhaps repent that he lost even one day, or station, from the life eternal.

X. Still, would it not be more correct to say that death is birth into a new life, or a return once more to the threshold of eternity?

M. You may if you like. Only remember that births differ, and that there are births of "still-born" beings, which are failures. Moreover, with your fixed Western ideas about material life, the words "living" and "being" are quite inapplicable to the pure subjective state of post-mortem existence. It is just because of such ideas—save in a few philosophers who are not read by the many and who themselves are too confused to present a distinct picture of it—that all your conceptions of life and death have finally become so narrow. On the one hand, they have led to crass materialism, and on the other, to the still more material conception of the other life which the Spiritualists have formulated in their Summer-land. There the souls of men eat, drink and marry, and live in a Paradise quite as sensual as that of Mohammed, but even less philosophical. Nor are the average conceptions of the uneducated Christians any better, but are still more material, if possible. What between truncated Angels, brass trumpets, golden harps, streets in paradisiacal cities paved with jewels, and hell-fires, it seems like a scene at a Christmas pantomime. It is because of these narrow conceptions that you find such difficulty in understanding. And, it is also just because the life of the disembodied soul, while possessing all the vividness of reality, as in certain dreams, is devoid of every grossly objective form of terrestrial life, that the Eastern philosophers have compared it with visions during sleep.

Lucifer, January, 1889


NOTHING that takes place, no manifestation however rapid or weak, can ever be lost from the Skandhic record of a man’s life. Not the smallest sensation, the most trifling action, impulse, thought, impression, or deed, can fade or go out from, or in the Universe. We may think it unregistered by our memory, unperceived by our consciousness, yet it will still be recorded on the tablets of the astral light. Personal memory is a fiction of the physiologist. There are cells in our brain that receive and convey sensations and impressions, but this once done, their mission is accomplished. These cells of the supposed "organ of memory" are the receivers and conveyors of all the pictures and impressions of the past, not their retainers. Under various conditions and stimuli, they can receive instantaneously the reflection of these astral images back again, and this is called memory, recollection, remembrance; but they do not preserve them. When it is said that one has lost his memory, or that it is weakened, it is only a faҫοn de parler; it is our memory-cells alone that are enfeebled or destroyed. The window glass allows us to see the sun, moon, stars, and all the objects outside clearly; crack the pane and all these outside images will be seen in a distorted way; break the windowpane altogether and replace it with a board, or draw the blind down, and the images will be shut out altogether from your sight. But can you say because of this, that all these images—sun, moon, and stars—have disappeared, or that by repairing the window with a new pane, the same will not be reflected again into your room? There are cases on record of long months and years of insanity, of long days of fever when almost everything done or said, was done and said unconsciously. Yet when the patients recovered they remembered occasionally their words and deeds and very fully. Unconscious cerebration is a phenomenon on this plane and may hold good so far as the personal mind is concerned. But the Universal Memory preserves every motion, the slightest wave and feeling that ripples the waves of differentiated nature, of man or of the Universe.

Lucifer, October, 1891


WHAT is Life? Hundreds of the most philosophical minds, scores of learned well-skilled physicians, have asked themselves the question, but to little purpose. The veil thrown over primordial Kosmos and the mysterious beginnings of life upon it, has never been withdrawn to the satisfaction of earnest, honest science. The more the men of official learning try to penetrate through its dark folds, the more intense becomes that darkness, and the less they see, for they are like the treasure-hunter, who went across the wide seas to look for that which lay buried in his own garden.

What is then this Science? Is it biology, or the study of life in its general aspect? No. Is it physiology, or the science of organic function? Neither; for the former leaves the problem as much the riddle of the Sphinx as ever; and the latter is the science of death far more than that of life. Physiology is based upon the study of the different organic functions and the organs necessary to the manifestations of life, but that which science calls living matter, is, in sober truth, dead matter. Every molecule of the living organs contains the germ of death in itself, and begins dying as soon as born, in order that its successor-molecule should live only to die in its turn. An organ, a natural part of every living being, is but the medium for some special function in life, and is a combination of such molecules. The vital organ, the whole, puts the mask of life on, and thus conceals the constant decay and death of its parts. Thus, neither biology nor physiology are the science, nor even branches of the Science of Life, but only that of the appearances of life. While true philosophy stands Oedipus-like before the Sphinx of life, hardly daring to utter the paradox contained in the answer to the riddle propounded, materialistic science, as arrogant as ever, never doubting its own wisdom for one moment, biologises itself and many others into the belief that it has solved the awful problem of existence. In truth, however, has it even so much as approached its threshold? It is not, surely, by attempting to deceive itself and the unwary in saying that life is but the result of molecular complexity, that it can ever


hope to promote the truth. Is vital force, indeed, only a "phantom," as Du-Bois Reymond calls it? For his taunt that "life," as something independent, is but the asylum ignorantiae of those who seek refuge in abstractions, when direct explanation is impossible, applies with far more force and justice to those materialists who would blind people to the reality of facts, by substituting bombast and jaw-breaking words in their place. Have any of the five divisions of the functions of life, so pretentiously named— Archebiosis, Biocrosis, Biodiaeresis, Biocaenosis and Bioparodosis1, ever helped a Huxley or a Haeckel to probe more fully the mystery of the generations of the humblest ant—let alone of man? Most certainly not. For life, and everything pertaining to it, belongs to the lawful domain of the metaphysician and psychologist, and physical science has no claim upon it. "That which hath been, is that which shall be; and that which hath been is named already—and it is known that it is MAN"—is the answer to the riddle of the Sphinx. But "man" here, does not refer to physical man—not in its esoteric meaning, at any rate. Scalpels and microscopes may solve the mystery of the material parts of the shell of man: they can never cut a window into his soul to open the smallest vista on any of the wider horizons of being.

It is those thinkers alone, who, following the Delphic injunction, have cognized life in their inner selves, those who have studied it thoroughly in themselves, before attempting to trace and analyze its reflection in their outer shells, who are the only ones rewarded with some measure of success. Like the fire-philosophers of the Middle Ages, they have skipped over the appearances of light and fire in the world of effects, and centred their whole attention upon the producing arcane agencies. Thence, tracing these to the one abstract cause, they have attempted to fathom the MYSTERY, each as far as his intellectual capacities permitted him. Thus they have ascertained that (1) the seemingly living mechanism called physical man, is but the fuel, the material, upon which life feeds, in order to manifest itself; and (2) that thereby the inner man receives as his wage and reward the possibility of accumulating additional experiences of the terrestrial illusions called lives.

One of such philosophers is now undeniably the great Russian novelist and reformer, Count Lef N. Tolstoi. How near his views are to the esoteric and philosophical teachings of higher Theosophy

1 Or Life-origination, Life-fusion, Life-division, Life-renewal and Life-transmission.


will be found on the perusal of a few fragments from a lecture delivered by him at Moscow before the local Psychological Society.

Discussing the problem of life, the Count asks his audience to admit, for the sake of argument, an impossibility. Says the lecturer:

Let us grant for a moment that all that which modern science longs to learn of life, it has learnt, and now knows; that the problem has become as clear as day; that it is clear how organic matter has, by simple adaptation, come to be originated from inorganic material; that it is as clear how natural forces may be transformed into feelings, will, thought, and that finally, all this is known, not only to the city student, but to every village schoolboy, as well.

I am aware, then, that such and such thoughts and feelings originate from such and such motions. Well, and what then? Can I, or cannot I, produce and guide such motions, in order to excite within my brain corresponding thoughts? The question—what are the thoughts and feelings I ought to generate in myself and others, remains still, not only unsolved, but even untouched.

Yet it is precisely this question which is the one fundamental question of the central idea of life.

Science has chosen as its object a few manifestations that accompany life; and mistaking2 the part for the whole, called these manifestations the integral total of life. . . .

The question inseparable from the idea of life is not whence life, but how one should live that life: and it is only by first starting with this question that one can hope to approach some solution in the problem of existence.

The answer to the query "How are we to live?" appears so simple to man that he esteems it hardly worth his while to touch upon it.

. . . One must live the best way one can—that’s all. This seems at first sight very simple and well known to all, but it is by far neither as simple nor as well known as one may imagine. . . .

The idea of life appears to man in the beginning as a most simple and self-evident business. First of all, it seems to him that life is in himself, in his own body. No sooner, however, does one commence his search after that life, in any one given spot of the said body,

2 "Mistaking" is an erroneous term to use. The men of science know but too well that what they teach concerning life is a materialistic fiction contradicted at every step by logic and fact. In this particular question science is abused, and made to serve personal hobbies and a determined policy of crushing in humanity every spiritual aspiration and thought. "Pretending to mistake" would be more correct.—H.P.B.


than one meets with difficulties. Life is not in the hair, nor in the nails; neither is it in the foot nor the arm, which may both be amputated; it is not in the blood, it is not in the heart, and it is not in the brain. It is everywhere and it is nowhere. It comes to this: Life cannot be found in any of its dwelling-places. Then man begins to look for life in Time; and that, too, appears at first a very easy matter. . . . Yet again, no sooner has he started on his chase than he perceives that here also the business is more complicated than he had thought. Now, I have lived fifty-eight years, so says my baptismal church record. But I know that out of these fifty-eight years I slept over twenty. How then? have I lived all these years, or have I not? Deduct the months of my gestation, and those I passed in the arms of my nurse, and shall we call this life, also? Again, out of the remaining thirty-eight years, I know that a good half of that time I slept while moving about; and thus, I could no more say in this case, whether I lived during that time or not. I may have lived a little, and vegetated a little. Here again, one finds that in time, as in the body, life is everywhere, yet nowhere. And now the question naturally arises, whence, then, that life which I can trace to nowhere? Now—will I learn. . . . But it so happens that in this direction also, what seemed to me so easy at first, now seems impossible. I must have been searching for something else, not for my life, assuredly. Therefore, once we have to go in search of the whereabouts of life—if search we have to—then it should be neither in space nor in time, neither as cause nor effect, but as a something which I cognize within myself as quite independent from Space, time and causality.

That which remains to do now is to study self. But how do I cognize life in myself?

This is how I cognize it. I know, to begin with, that I live; and that I live wishing for myself everything that is good, wishing this since I can remember myself, to this day, and from morn till night. All that lives outside of myself is important in my eyes, but only in so far as it co-operates with the creation of that which is productive of my welfare. The Universe is important in my sight only because it can give me, pleasure.

Meanwhile, something else is bound up with this knowledge in me of my existence. Inseparable from the life I feel, is another cognition allied to it; namely, that besides myself, I am surrounded with a whole world of living creatures, possessed, as I am myself,


of the same instinctive realization of their exclusive lives; and that all these creatures live for their own objects, which objects are foreign to me; that those creatures do not know, nor do they care to know, anything of my pretensions to an exclusive life, and that all these creatures, in order to achieve success in their objects, are ready to annihilate me at any moment. But this is not all. While watching the destruction of creatures similar in all to myself, I also know that for me too, for that precious ME in whom alone life is represented, a very speedy and inevitable destruction is lying in wait.

It is as if there were two "I’s" in man; it is as if they could never live in peace together; it is as if they were eternally struggling, and ever trying to expel each other.

One "I" says, "I alone am living as one should live, all the rest only seems to live. Therefore, the whole raison d’etre for the universe is in that I may be made comfortable."

The other "I" replies, "The universe is not for thee at all, but for its own aims and purposes, and it cares little to know whether thou art happy or unhappy."

Life becomes a dreadful thing after this!

One "I" says, "I only want the gratification of all my wants and desires, and that is why I need the universe."

The other "I" replies, "All animal life lives only for the gratification of its wants and desires. It is the wants and desires of animals alone that are gratified at the expense and detriment of other animals; hence the ceaseless struggle between the animal species. Thou art an animal, and therefore thou hast to struggle. Yet, however successful in thy struggle, the rest of the struggling creatures must sooner or later crush thee."

Still worse! life becomes still more dreadful. . . .

But the most terrible of all, that which includes in itself the whole of the foregoing, is that:—

One "I" says, "I want to live, to live for ever."

And that the other "I" replies, "Thou shalt surely, perhaps in a few minutes, die; as also shall die all those thou lovest, for thou and they are destroying with every motion your lives, and thus approaching ever nearer suffering, death, all that which thou so hatest, and which thou fearest above anything else."

This is the worst of all. . . .


To change this condition is impossible. . . . One can avoid moving, sleeping, eating, even breathing, but one cannot escape from thinking. One thinks, and that thought, my thought, is poisoning every step in my life, as a personality.

No sooner has man commenced a conscious life than that consciousness repeats to him incessantly without respite, over and over the same thing again. "To live such life as you feel and see in your past, the life lived by animals and many men too, lived in that way, which made you become what you are now—is no longer possible. Were you to attempt doing so, you could never escape thereby the struggle with all the world of creatures which live as you do—for their personal objects; and then those creatures will inevitably destroy you.". . .

To change this situation is impossible. There remains but one thing to do, and that is always done by him who, beginning to live, transfers his objects in life outside of himself, and aims to reach them. . . . But, however far he places them outside his personality, as his mind gets clearer, none of these objects will satisfy him.

Bismarck, having united Germany, and now ruling Europe—if his reason has only thrown any light upon the results of his activity —must perceive, as much as his own cook does who prepares a dinner that will be devoured in an hour’s time, the same unsolved contradiction between the vanity and foolishness of all he has done, and the eternity and reasonableness of that which exists for ever. If they only think of it, each will see as clearly as the other; firstly, that the preservation of the integrity of Prince Bismarck’s dinner, as well as that of powerful Germany, is solely due: the preservation of the former—to the police, and the preservation of the latter— to the army; and that, so long only as both keep a good watch. Because there are famished people who would willingly eat the dinner, and nations which would fain be as powerful as Germany. Secondly, that neither Prince Bismarck’s dinner, nor the might of the German Empire, coincide with the aims and purposes of universal life, but that they are in flagrant contradiction with them. And thirdly, that as he who cooked the dinner, so also the might of Germany, will both very soon die, and that so shall perish, and as soon, both the dinner and Germany. That which shall survive alone is the Universe, which will never give one thought to either dinner or Germany, least of all to those who have cooked them.

As the intellectual condition of man increases, he comes to the


idea that no happiness connected with his personality is an achievement, but only a necessity. Personality is only that incipient state from which begins life, and the ultimate limit of life. . . .

Where, then, does life begin, and where does it end, I may be asked? Where ends the night, and where does day commence? Where, on the shore, ends the domain of the sea, and where does the domain of land begin?

There is day and there is night; there is land and there is sea; there is life and there is no life.

Our life, ever since we became conscious of it, is a pendulum-like motion between two limits.

One limit is, an absolute unconcern for the life of the infinite Universe, an energy directed only toward the gratification of one’s own personality.

The other limit is a complete renunciation of that personality, the greatest concern with the life of the infinite Universe, in full accord with it, the transfer of all our desires and good will from one’s self, to that infinite Universe and all the creatures outside of us.3

The nearer to the first limit, the less life and bliss, the closer to the second, the more life and bliss. Therefore, man is ever moving from one end to the other; i.e., he lives. THIS MOTION IS LIFE ITSELF.

And when I speak of life, know that the idea of it is indissolubly connected in my conceptions with that of conscious life. No other life is known to me except conscious life, nor can it be known to anyone else.

We call life, the life of animals, organic life. But this is no life at all, only a certain state or condition of life manifesting to us.

But what is this consciousness or mind, the exigencies of which exclude personality and transfer the energy of man outside of him and into that state which is conceived by us as the blissful state of love?

What is conscious mind? Whatsoever we may be defining, we have to define it with our conscious mind. Therefore, with what shall we define mind? . . .

If we have to define all with our mind, it follows that conscious mind cannot be defined. Yet all of us, we not only know it, but it is

3 This is what the Theosophists call "living the life"—in a nut-shell.—H.P.B.


the only thing which is given to us to know undeniably. . . .

It is the same law as the law of life, of everything organic, animal or vegetable, with that one difference that we see the consummation of an intelligent law in the life of a plant. But the law of conscious mind, to which we are subjected, as the tree is subjected to its law, we see it not, but fulfil it. . . .

We have settled that life is that which is not our life. It is herein that lies hidden the root of error. Instead of studying that life of which we are conscious within ourselves, absolutely and exclusively—since we can know of nothing else—in order to study it, we observe that which is devoid of the most important factor and faculty of our life, namely, intelligent consciousness. By so doing, we act as a man who attempts to study an object by its shadow or reflection does.

If we know that substantial particles are subjected during their transformation to the activity of the organism; we know it not because we have observed or studied it, but simply because we possess a certain familiar organism united to us, namely the organism of our animal, which is but too well known to us as the material of our life; i.e. that upon which we are called to work and to rule by subjecting it to the law of reason. . . . No sooner has man lost faith in life, no sooner has he transferred that life into that which is no life, than he becomes wretched, and sees death. . . . A man who conceives life such as he finds it in his consciousness, knows neither misery, nor death: for all the good in life for him is in the subjection of his animal to the law of reason, to do which is not only in his power, but takes place unavoidably in him. The death of particles in the animal being, we know. The death of animals and of man, as an animal, we know; but we know nought about the death of conscious mind, nor can we know anything of it, just because that conscious mind is the very life itself. And Life can never be Death. . . .

The animal lives an existence of bliss, neither seeing nor knowing death, and dies without cognizing it. Why then should man have received the gift of seeing and knowing it, and why should death be so terrible to him that it actually tortures his soul, often forcing him to kill himself out of sheer fear of death? Why should it be so? Because the man who sees death is a sick man, one who has broken the law of his life, and lives no longer a conscious existence. He has become an animal himself, an animal which also has broken the law of life.


The life of man is an aspiration to bliss, and that which he aspires to is given to him. The light lit in the soul of man is bliss and life, and that light can never be darkness, as there exists—verily there exists for man—only this solitary light which burns within his soul.

We have translated this rather lengthy fragment from the Report of Count Tolstoi’s superb lecture, because it reads like the echo of the finest teachings of the universal ethics of true theosophy. His definition of life in its abstract sense, and of the life every earnest theosophist ought to follow, each according to, and in the measure of, his natural capacities—is the summary and the Alpha and the Omega of practical psychic, if not spiritual life. There are sentences in the lecture which, to the average theosophist, will seem too hazy, and perhaps incomplete. Not one will he find, however, which could be objected to by the most exacting, practical occultist. It may be called a treatise on the Alchemy of Soul. For that "solitary" light in man, which burns for ever, and can never be darkness in its intrinsic nature, though the "animal" outside us may remain blind to it—is that "Light" upon which the Neo-Platonists of the Alexandrian school, and after them the Rosecroix and especially the Alchemists, have written volumes, though to the present day their true meaning is a dark mystery to most men.

True, Count Tolstoi is neither an Alexandrian nor a modern theosophist; still less is he a Rosecroix or an Alchemist. But that which the latter have concealed under the peculiar phraseology of the Fire-philosophers, purposely confusing cosmic transmutations with Spiritual Alchemy, all that is transferred by the great Russian thinker from the realm of the metaphysical unto the field of practical life. That which Schelling would define as a realization of the identity of subject and object in the man’s inner Ego, that which unites and blends the latter with the universal Soul—which is but the identity of subject and object on a higher plane, or the unknown Deity—all that Count Tolstoi has blended together without quitting the terrestrial plane. He is one of those few elect who begin with intuition and end with quasi-omniscience. It is the transmutation of the baser metals—the animal mass—into gold and silver, or the philosopher’s stone, the development and manifestation of man’s higher SELF which the Count has achieved. The alcahest of the inferior Alchemist is the All-geist, the all-pervading Divine Spirit


of the higher Initiate; for Alchemy was, and is, as very few know to this day, as much a spiritual philosophy as it is a physical science. He who knows nought of one, will never know much of the other. Aristotle told it in so many words to his pupil, Alexander: "It is not a stone," he said, of the philosopher’s stone. "It is in every man and in every place, and at all seasons, and is called the end of all philosophers," as the Vedanta is the end of all philosophies.

To wind up this essay on the Science of Life, a few words may be said of the eternal riddle propounded to mortals by the Sphinx. To fail to solve the problem contained in it, was to be doomed to sure death, as the Sphinx of life devoured the unintuitional, who would live only in their "animal." He who lives for Self, and only for Self, will surely die, as the higher "I" tells the lower "animal" in the Lecture. The riddle has seven keys to it, and the Count opens the mystery with one of the highest. For, as the author on "Hermetic Philosophy" beautifully expressed it: "The real mystery most familiar and, at the same time, most unfamiliar to every man, into which he must be initiated or perish as an atheist, is himself. For him is the elixir of life, to quaff which, before the discovery of the philosopher’s stone, is to drink the beverage of death, while it confers on the adept and the epopt, the true immortality. He may know truth as it really is—Aletheia, the breath of God, or Life, the conscious mind in man."

This is "the Alcahest which dissolves all things," and Count Tolstoi has well understood the riddle.

Lucifer, November, 1887


GREAT is the self-satisfaction of modern science, and unexampled its achievements. Pre-christian and mediaeval philosophers may have left a few landmarks over unexplored mines: but the discovery of all the gold and priceless jewels is due to the patient labours of the modern scholar. And thus they declare that the genuine, real knowledge of the nature of the Kosmos and of man is all of recent growth. The luxuriant modern plant has sprung from the dead weeds of ancient superstitions.

Such, however, is not the view of the students of Theosophy. And they say that it is not sufficient to speak contemptuously of "the untenable conceptions of an uncultivated past," as Mr. Tyndall and others have done, to hide the intellectual quarries out of which the reputations of so many modern philosophers and scientists have been hewn. How many of our distinguished scientists have derived honour and credit by merely dressing up the ideas of those old philosophers, whom they are ever ready to disparage, is left to an impartial posterity to say. But conceit and self-opinionatedness have fastened like two hideous cancers on the brains of the average man of learning; and this is especially the case with the Orientalists—Sanskritists, Egyptologists and Assyriologists. The former are guided (or perhaps only pretend to be guided) by post-Mahâbhâratan commentators; the latter by arbitrarily interpreted papyri, collated with what this or the other Greek writer said, or passed over in silence, and by the cuneiform inscriptions on half-destroyed clay tablets copied by the Assyrians from "Accado-" Babylonian records. Too many of them are apt to forget, at every convenient opportunity, that the numerous changes in language, the allegorical phraseology and evident secretiveness of old mystic writers, who were generally under the obligation never to divulge the solemn secrets of the sanctuary, might have sadly misled both translators and commentators. Most of our Orientalists will rather allow their conceit to run away with their logic and reasoning powers than admit their ignorance, and they will proudly claim like Professor Sayce1

1 See the Hibbert Lectures for 1887, pages 14-17, on the origin and growth of the religion of the ancient Babylonians, where Prof. A. H. Sayce says that though "many of


that they have unriddled the true meaning of the religious symbols of old, and can interpret esoteric texts far more correctly than could the initiated hierophants of Chaldæa and Egypt. This amounts to saying that the ancient hierogrammatists and priests, who were the inventors of all the allegories which served as veils to the many truths taught at the Initiations, did not possess a clue to the sacred texts composed or written by themselves. But this is on a par with that other illusion of some Sanskritists, who, though they have never even been in India, claim to know Sanskrit accent and pronunciation, as also the meaning of the Vedic allegories, far better than the most learned among the greatest Brahmânical pundits and Sanskrit scholars of India.

After this who can wonder that the jargon and blinds of our mediaeval alchemists and Kabalists are also read literally by the modern student; that the Greek and even the ideas of Aeschylus are corrected and improved upon by the Cambridge and Oxford Greek scholars, and that the veiled parables of Plato are attributed to his "ignorance." Yet if the students of the dead languages know anything, they ought to know that the method of extreme necessitarianism was practiced in ancient as well as in modern philosophy; that from the first ages of man, the fundamental truths of all that we are permitted to know on earth were in the safe keeping of the Adepts of the sanctuary; that the difference in creeds and religious practice was only external; and that those guardians of the primitive divine revelation, who had solved every problem that is within the grasp of human intellect, were bound together by a universal freemasonry of science and philosophy, which formed one unbroken chain around the globe. It is for philology and the Orientalists to endeavour to find the end of the thread. But if they will persist in seeking it in one direction only, and that the wrong one, truth and fact will never be discovered. It thus remains the duty of psychology and Theosophy to help the world to arrive at them. Study the Eastern religions by the light of Eastern—not Western—philosophy, and if you

the sacred texts were so written as to be intelligible only to the initiated [italics mine] . . . provided with keys and glosses," nevertheless, as many of the latter, he adds, "are in our hands," they (the Orientalists) have "a clue to the interpretation of these documents which even the initiated priests did not possess," (p. 17.) This "clue" is the modern craze, so dear to Mr. Gladstone, and so stale in its monotony to most, which consists in perceiving in every symbol of the religions of old a solar myth, dragged down, whenever opportunity requires, to a sexual or phallic emblem. Hence the statement that while "Gisdhubar was but a champion and conqueror of old times," for the Orientalists, who "can penetrate beneath the myths" he is but a solar hero, who was himself but the transformed descendant of a humbler God of Fire (loc. cit., p. 17).


happen to relax correctly one single loop of the old religious systems, the chain of mystery may be disentangled. But to achieve this, one must not agree with those who teach that it is unphilosophical to enquire into first causes, and that all that we can do is to consider their physical effects. The field of scientific investigation is bounded by physical nature on every side; hence, once the limits of matter are reached, enquiry must stop and work be re-commenced. As the Theosophist has no desire to play at being a squirrel upon its revolving wheel, he must refuse to follow the lead of the materialists. He, at any rate, knows that the revolutions of the physical world are, according to the ancient doctrine, attended by like revolutions in the world of intellect, for the spiritual evolution in the universe proceeds in cycles, like the physical one. Do we not see in history a regular alternation of ebb and flow in the tide of human progress? Do we not see in history, and even find this within our own experience, that the great kingdoms of the world, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, descend again, in accordance with the same law by which they ascended? till, having reached the lowest point, humanity reasserts itself and mounts up once more, the height of its attainment being, by this law of ascending progression by cycles, somewhat higher than the point from which it had before descended. Kingdoms and empires are under the same cyclic laws as plants, races and everything else in Kosmos.

The division of the history of mankind into what the Hindus call the Sattva, Tretya, Dvâpara and Kali Yugas, and what the Greeks referred to as "the Golden, Silver, Copper, and Iron Ages" is not a fiction. We see the same thing in the literature of peoples. An age of great inspiration and unconscious productiveness is invariably followed by an age of criticism and consciousness. The one affords material for the analyzing and critical intellect of the other. "The moment is more opportune than ever for the review of old philosophies. Archæologists, philologists, astronomers, chemists and physicists are getting nearer and nearer to the point where they will be forced to consider them. Physical science has already reached its limits of exploration; dogmatic theology sees the springs of its inspiration dry. The day is approaching when the world will receive the proofs that only ancient religions were in harmony with nature, and ancient science embraced all that can be known." Once more the prophecy already made in Isis Unveiled twenty-two years ago is reiterated. "Secrets long kept may be revealed; books long forgotten


and arts long time lost may be brought out to light again; papyri and parchments of inestimable importance will turn up in the hands of men who pretend to have unrolled them from mummies, or stumbled upon them in buried crypts; tablets and pillars, whose sculptured revelations will stagger theologians and confound scientists, may yet be excavated and interpreted. Who knows the possibilities of the future? An era of disenchantment and rebuilding will soon begin—nay, has already begun. The cycle has almost run its course; a new one is about to begin, and the future pages of history may contain full evidence, and convey full proof of the above."

Since the day that this was written much of it has come to pass, the discovery of the Assyrian clay tiles and their records alone having forced the interpreters of the cuneiform inscriptions—both Christians and Freethinkers—to alter the very age of the world.2

The chronology of the Hindu Purânas, reproduced in The Secret Doctrine, is now derided, but the time may come when it will be universally accepted. This may be regarded as simply an assumption, but it will be so only for the present. It is in truth but a question of time. The whole issue of the quarrel between the defenders of ancient wisdom and its detractors—lay and clerical—rests (a) on the incorrect comprehension of the old philosophies, for the lack of the keys the Assyriologists boast of having discovered; and (b) on the materialistic and anthropomorphic tendencies of the age. This in no wise prevents the Darwinists and materialistic philosophers from digging into the intellectual mines of the ancients and helping themselves to the wealth of ideas they find in them; nor the divines from discovering Christian dogmas in Plato’s philosophy and calling them "presentiments," as in Dr. Lundy’s Monumental Christianity, and other like modern works.

Of such "presentiments" the whole literature—or what remains of this sacerdotal literature—of India, Egypt, Chaldæa, Persia, Greece and even of Guatemala (Popul Vuh), is full. Based on the same foundation-stone—the ancient Mysteries—the primitive religions, all without one exception, reflect the most important of the once universal beliefs, such, for instance, as an impersonal and universal divine Principle, absolute in its nature, and unknowable to the "brain" intellect, or the conditioned and limited cognition of

2 Sargon, the first "Semitic" monarch of Babylonia, the prototype and original of Moses, is now placed 3,750 years B. C. (p. 21), and the Third Dynasty of Egypt "some 6,000 years ago," hence some years before the world was created, agreeably to Biblical chronology. (Vide Hibbert Lectures on Babylonia, by A. H. Sayce, 1887, pp. 21 and 33.)


man. To imagine any witness to it in the manifested universe, other than as Universal Mind, the Soul of the universe—is impossible. That which alone stands as an undying and ceaseless evidence and proof of the existence of that One Principle, is the presence of an undeniable design in kosmic mechanism, the birth, growth, death and transformation of everything in the universe, from the silent and unreachable stars down to the humble lichen, from man to the invisible lives now called microbes. Hence the universal acceptation of "Thought Divine," the Anima Mundi of all antiquity. This idea of Mahat (the great) Akâshâ or Brahmâ’s aura of transformation with the Hindus, of Alaya, "the divine Soul of thought and compassion" of the trans-Himalayan mystics; of Plato’s "perpetually reasoning Divinity," is the oldest of all the doctrines now known to, and believed in, by man. Therefore they cannot be said to have originated with Plato, nor with Pythagoras, nor with any of the philosophers within the historical period. Say the Chaldæan Oracles: "The works of nature co-exist with the intellectual [νοερῴ], spiritual Light of the Father. For it is the Soul [ѱυχή] which adorned the great heaven, and which adorns it after the Father."

"The incorporeal world then was already completed, having its seat in the Divine Reason," says Philo, who is erroneously accused of deriving his philosophy from Plato.

In the Theogony of Mochus, we find Æther first, and then the air; the two principles from which Ulom, the intelligible [νοητός] God (the visible universe of matter) is born.

In the Orphic hymns, the Eros-Phanes evolves from the Spiritual Egg, which the æthereal winds impregnate, wind being "the Spirit of God," who is said to move in aether, "brooding over the Chaos"— the Divine "Idea." In the Hindu Kathopanishad, Purusha, the Divine Spirit, stands before the original Matter; from their union springs the great Soul of the World, "Mahâ-Âtmâ, Brahm, the Spirit of Life;" these latter appellations are identical with the Universal Soul, or Anima Mundi, and the Astral Light of the Theurgists and Kabalists.

Pythagoras brought his doctrines from the eastern sanctuaries, and Plato compiled them into a form more intelligible than the mysterious numerals of the Sage—whose doctrines he had fully embraced—to the uninitiated mind. Thus, the Kosmos is "the Son" with Plato, having for his father and mother the Divine Thought


and Matter. The "Primal Being" (Beings, with the Theosophists, as they are the collective aggregation of the divine Rays), is an emanation of the Demiurgic or Universal Mind which contains from eternity the idea of the "to be created world" within itself, which idea the unmanifested LOGOS produces of Itself. The first Idea "born in darkness before the creation of the world" remains in the unmanifested Mind; the second is this Idea going out as a reflection from the Mind (now the manifested LOGOS), becoming clothed with matter, and assuming an objective existence.

Lucifer, September, 1896


AT what epoch the dawning intellect of man first accepted the idea of future life, none can tell. But we know that, from the very first, its roots struck so deeply, so entwined about human instincts, that the belief has endured through all generations, and is imbedded in the consciousness of every nation and tribe, civilized, semi-civilized or savage. The greatest minds have speculated upon it; and the rudest savages, though having no name for the Deity, have yet believed in the existence of spirits and worshipped them. If, in Christian Russia, Wallachia, Bulgaria and Greece, the Oriental Church enjoins that upon All-Saints day offerings of rice and drink shall be placed upon the graves; and in "heathen" India, the same propitiatory gifts of rice are made to the departed; so, likewise, the poor savage of New Caledonia makes his sacrifice of food to the skulls of his beloved dead.

According to Herbert Spencer, the worship of souls and relics is to be attributed to "the primitive idea that any property characterizing an aggregate, inheres in all parts of it. . . . The soul, present in the body of the dead man preserved entire, is also present in the preserved parts of his body. Hence, the faith in relics." This definition, though in logic equally applicable to the gold-enshrined and bejewelled relic of the cultured Roman Catholic devotee, and to the dusty, time-worn skull of the fetish worshipper, might yet be excepted to by the former, since he would say that he does not believe the soul to be present in either the whole cadaver, skeleton, or part, nor does he, strictly speaking, worship it. He but honours the relic as something which, having belonged to one whom he deems saintly, has by the contact acquired a sort of miraculous virtue. Mr. Spencer’s definition, therefore, does not seem to cover the whole ground. So also Professor Max Müller, in his Science of Religion, after having shown to us, by citing numerous instances, that the human mind had, from the beginning, a "vague hope of a future life," explains no more than Herbert Spencer whence or how came originally such a hope. But merely points to an inherent faculty in uncultivated nations of changing the forces of nature into gods and demons. He closes his lecture upon the Turanian legends and the universality of


this belief in ghosts and spirits, by simply remarking that the worship of the spirits of the departed is the most widely spread form of superstition all over the world.

Thus, whichever way we turn for a philosophical solution of the mystery; whether we expect an answer from theology which is itself bound to believe in miracles, and teach supernaturalism; or ask it from the now dominant schools of modern thought— the greatest opponents of the miraculous in nature; or, again, turn for an explanation to that philosophy of extreme positivism which, from the days of Epicurus down to the modern school of James Mill, adopting for its device the glaring sciolism "nihil in intellectu quod non ante fuerit in sensu," makes intellect subservient to matter—we receive a satisfactory reply from none!

If this article were intended merely for a simple collation of facts, authenticated by travellers on the spot, and concerning but "superstitions" born in the mind of the primitive man, and now lingering only among the savage tribes of humanity, then the combined works of such philosophers as Herbert Spencer might solve our difficulties. We might remain content with his explanation that in the absence of hypothesis "foreign to thought in its earliest stage . . . primitive ideas, arising out of various experiences, derived from the inorganic world"—such as the actions of wind, the echo, and man’s own shadow—proving to the uneducated mind that there was "an invisible form of existence which manifests power," were all sufficient to have created a like "inevitable belief" (see Spencer’s Genesis of Superstition). But we are now concerned with something nearer to us, and higher than the primitive man of the stone age; the man who totally ignored "those conceptions of physical causation which have arisen only as experiences, and have been slowly organized during civilization." We are now dealing with the beliefs of twenty millions of modern Spiritualists; our own fellow men, living in the full blaze of the enlightened 19th century. These men ignore none of the discoveries of modern science; nay, many among them are themselves ranked high among the highest of such scientific discoverers. Notwithstanding all this, are they any the less addicted to the same, "form of superstition," if superstition it be, than the primitive man? At least their interpretations of the physical phenomena, whenever accompanied by those coincidences which carry to their minds the conviction of an intelligence behind the physical Force—are often precisely the same as those which presented themselves to the apprehen-


sion of the man of the early and undeveloped ages.

What is a shadow? asks Herbert Spencer. By a child and a savage "a shadow is thought of as an entity." Bastian says of the Benin negroes, that "they regard men’s shadows as their souls" . . . thinking "that they . . . watch all their actions, and bear witness against them." According to Crantz, among the Greenlanders a man’s shadow is one of his two souls—the one which goes away from his body at night." By the Feejeeans, the shadow is called "the dark spirit, as distinguished from another which each man possesses." And the celebrated author of the "Principles of Psychology" explains that "the community of meaning, hereafter to be noted more fully, which various unallied languages betray between shade and spirit, show us the same thing."

What all this shows us the most clearly however, is that, wrong and contradicting as the conclusions may be, yet the premises on which they are based are no fictions. A thing must be, before the human mind can think or conceive of it. The very capacity to imagine the existence of something usually invisible and intangible, is itself evidence that it must have manifested itself at some time. Sketching in his usual artistic way the gradual development of the soul-idea, and pointing out at the same time how "mythology not only pervades the sphere of religion . . . but, infects more or less the whole realm of thought," Professor Müller in his turn tells us that, when men wished for the first time to express "a distinction between the body, and something else within him distinct from the body . . . the name that suggested itself was breath, chosen to express at first the principle of life as distinguished from the decaying body, afterwards the incorporeal . .

. immortal part of man—his soul, his mind, his self . . . when a person dies, we, too, say that he has given up the ghost, and ghost, too, meant originally spirit, and spirit meant breath." As instances of this, narratives by various missionaries and travellers are quoted. Questioned by Father R. de Bobadilla, soon after the Spanish conquest, as to their ideas concerning death, the Indians of Nicaragua told him that "when men die, there comes forth from their mouth something which resembles a person and is called Julio (in Aztec yuli ‘to live’—explains M. Müller). This being is like a person, but does not die and the corpse remains here. . . ." In one of his numerous works, Andrew Jackson Davis, whilom considered the greatest American clairvoyant and known as the "Poughkeepsie Seer," gives us what is a perfect illustration of the belief of the


Nicaragua Indians. This book (Death and the After Life) contains an engraved frontispiece, representing the death-bed of an old woman. It is called the "Formation of the Spiritual Body." Out of the head of the defunct, there issues a luminous appearance—her own rejuvenated form.1

Among some Hindus the spirit is supposed to remain for ten days seated on the eaves of the house where it parted from the body. That it may bathe and drink, two plantain leaf-cups are placed on the eaves, one full of milk and the other of water. "On the first day the dead is supposed to get his head; on the second day his ears, eyes, and nose; on the third, his hands, breast, and neck; on the fourth, his middle parts; on the fifth, his legs and feet; on the sixth, his vitals; on the seventh, his bones, marrow, veins and arteries; on the eighth, his nails, hair, and teeth; on the ninth, all the remaining limbs, organs, and manly strength; and, on the tenth, hunger and thirst for the renewed body." (The Pátáne Prabhus, by Krishnanáth Raghunáthji; in the Government Bombay Gazeteer, 1879.)

Mr. Davis’s theory is accepted by all the Spiritualists, and it is on this model that the clairvoyants now describe the separation of the "incorruptible from the corruptible." But here, Spiritualists and the Aztecs branch off into two paths; for, while the former maintain that the soul is in every case immortal and preserves its individuality throughout eternity, the Aztecs say that "when the deceased has lived well, the julio goes up on high with our gods; but when he has lived ill, the julio perishes with the body, and there is an end of it."

Some persons might perchance find the "primitive" Aztecs more consistent in their logic than our modern Spiritualists. The Laponians and Finns also maintain that while the body decays, a new one is given to the dead, which the Shaman can alone see.

1 "Suppose a person is dying," says the Poughkeepsie Seer: "The clairvoyant sees right over the head what may be called a magnetic halo—an ethereal emanation, in appearance golden and throbbing as though conscious. . . . The person has ceased to breathe, the pulse is still, and the emanation is elongated and fashioned in the outline of the human form! Beneath it, is connected the brain. . . . owing to the brain’s momentum. I have seen a dying person, even at the last feeble pulse-beat, rouse impulsively and rise up in bed to converse, but the next instant he was gone— his brain being the last to yield up the life-principles. The golden emanation. . . . is connected with the brain by a very fine life-thread. When it ascends, there appears something white and shining like a human head; next, a faint outline of the face divine; then the fair neck and beautiful shoulders; then, in rapid succession come all parts of the new body, down to the feet—a bright shining image, a little smaller than the physical body, but a perfect prototype . . . in all except its disfigurements. The fine life-thread continues attached to the old brain. The next thing is the withdrawal of the electric principle. When this thread snaps, the spiritual body is free (!) and prepared to accompany its guardian to the Summer Land."


"Though breath, or spirit, or ghost," says further on Professor Müller, "are the most common names . . . we yet speak of the shades of the departed, which meant originally their shadows. Those who first introduced this expression—and we find it in the most distant parts of the world—evidently took the shadow as the nearest approach to what they wished to express; something that should be incorporeal, yet closely connected with the body. The Greek eidolon, too, is not much more than the shadow . . . but the curious part is this that people who speak of the life or soul as the shadow of the body, have brought themselves to believe that a dead body casts no shadow, because the shadow has departed from it; that it becomes, in fact, a kind of Peter Schlemihl." ("The Science of Religion.")

Do the Amazulu and other tribes of South Africa only thus believe? By no means; it is a popular idea among Slavonian Christians. A corpse which is noticed to cast a shadow in the sun is deemed a sinful soul rejected by heaven itself. It is doomed henceforth to expiate its sins as an earth-bound spirit, till the Day of the Resurrection.

Both Lander and Catlin describe the savage Mandans as placing the skulls of their dead in a circle. Each wife knows the skull of her former husband or child, and there seldom passes a day that she does not visit it, with a dish of the best cooked food. . . . There is scarcely an hour in a pleasant day but more or less of these women may be seen sitting or lying by the skulls of their children or husbands—talking to them in the most endearing language that they can use (as they were wont to do in former days) "and seemingly getting an answer back." (Quoted by Herbert Spencer in Fetish-worship.)

What these poor, savage Mandan mothers and wives do, is performed daily by millions of civilized Spiritualists, and but the more proves the universality of the conviction that our dead hear and can answer us. From a theosophical, magnetic,— hence in a certain sense a scientific—standpoint, the former have, moreover, far better reasons to offer than the latter. The skull of the departed person, so interrogated, has surely closer magnetical affinities and relations to the defunct, than a table through the tippings of which the dead ones answer the living; a table, in most cases, which the spirit while embodied had never seen nor touched. But the Spiritualists are not the only ones to vie with the Mandans. In every part of Russia,


whether mourning over the yet fresh corpse or accompanying it to the burying ground, or during the six weeks following the death, the peasant women as well as those of the rich mercantile classes, go on the grave to shout, or in Biblical phraseology to "lift up their voices." Once there, they wail in rhythm, addressing the defunct by name, asking of him questions, pausing as if for an answer.

Not only the ancient and idolatrous Egyptian and Peruvian had the curious notion that the ghost or soul of the dead man was either present in the mummy, or that the corpse was itself conscious, but there is a similar belief now among the orthodox Christians of the Greek and Roman churches. We reproach the Egyptians with placing their embalmed dead at the table; and the heathen Peruvians with having carried around the fields the dried-up corpse of a parent, that it might see and judge of the state of the crops. But what of the Christian Mexican of today, who under the guidance of his priest, dresses up his corpses in finery; bedecks them with flowers, and in case of the defunct happening to be a female—even paint its cheeks with rouge. Then seating the body in a chair placed on a large table, from which the ghastly carrion presides, as it were, over the mourners seated around the table, who eat and drink the whole night and play various games of cards and dice, consult the defunct as to their chances. On the other hand, in Russia, it is a universal custom to crown the deceased person’s brow with a long slip of gilt and ornamented paper, called Ventchik (the crown), upon which a prayer is printed in gaudy letters. This prayer is a kind of a letter of introduction with which the parish priest furnishes the corpse to his patron Saint, recommending the defunct to the Saint’s protection.2 The Roman Catholic Basques write letters to their deceased friends and relatives, addressing them to either Paradise, Purgatory or—Hell, according to the instructions given by the Father confessor of the late addressees—and, placing them in the coffins of the newly departed, ask the latter to safely deliver them in the other world, promising as a fee to the messenger, more or less masses for the repose of his soul.

At a recent séance, held by a well known medium in America,— (see Banner of Light, Boston, June 14th, 1879).

Mercedes, late Queen of Spain, announced herself, and came forth in full bridal array— a magnificent profusion of lace and

2 It runs in this wise: "St. Nicholas, (or St. Mary So-and-so) holy patron of—(follow defunct’s full name and title) receive the soul of God’s servant, and intercede for remission of his (or her) sins."


jewels, and spoke in several different tongues with a linguist present. Her sister, the Princess Christina, came also just after in much plainer costume, and with a timid school-girl air.

Thus, we see that not only can the dead people deliver letters, but, even returning from their celestial homes, bring back with them their "lace and jewels." As the ancient pagan Greek peopled his Olympian heaven with feasting and flirting deities; and the American red Indian has his happy hunting-grounds where the spirits of brave chiefs bestride their ghostly steeds, and chase their phantom game; and the Hindu his many superior lokas, where their numerous gods live in golden palaces, surrounded with all manner of sensual delights; and the Christian his New Jerusalem with streets of "pure gold, as it were transparent glass," and the foundations of the wall of the city "garnished

. . . with precious stones"; where bodiless chirping cherubs and the elect, with golden harps, sing praises to Jehovah; so the modern Spiritualist has his "Summer Land Zone within the milky way,"3 though somewhat higher than the celestial territories of other people.4 There, amid cities and villages abounding in palaces, museums, villas, colleges and temples, an eternity is passed. The young are nurtured and taught, the undeveloped of the earth matured, the old rejuvenated, and every individual taste and desire gratified; spirits flirt, get married, and have families of children.5

Verily, verily we can exclaim with Paul, "O death where is thy sting; O grave, where is thy victory!" Belief in the survival of the ancestors is the oldest and most time honoured of all beliefs.

Travellers tell us all the Mongolian, Tartar, Finnish, and Tungusic tribes, besides the spirits of nature, deify also their ancestral spirits. The Chinese historians, treating of the Turanians, the Huns and the Tukui—the forefathers of the modern Turks—show them as worshipping "the spirits of the sky, of the earth, and the spirits of

3 See "Stellar key to the Summer Land" by Andrew Jackson Davis.

4 In the same author’s work—"The Spiritual Congress," Galen says through the clairvoyant seer: "Between the Spirit Home and the earth, there are, strewn along the intervening distance . . . more than four hundred thousand planets, and fifteen thousand solar bodies of lesser magnitude."

5 The latest intelligence from America is that of the marriage of a spirit daughter of Colonel Eaton, of Leavenworth, Kansas, a prominent member of the National Democratic Committee. This daughter, who died at the age of three weeks, grew in some twenty odd years in the Summer-Land, to be a fine young lady and now is wedded to the spirit son of Franklin Pierce, late President of the U.S. The wedding, witnessed by a famous clairvoyant of New York, was gorgeous. The "spirit bride" was "arrayed in a dress of mild green." A wedding supper was spread by the spirit’s order, with lights and bouquets, and plates placed for the happy couple. The guests assembled, and the wedded ghosts fully "materialized" themselves and sat at table with them. (New York Times, June 29th, 1879.)


the departed." Medhurst enumerates the various classes of the Chinese spirits thus: The principal are the celestial spirits (tien shin); the terrestrial (ti-ki); and the ancestral or wandering spirits (jin kwei). Among these, the spirits of the late Emperors, great philosophers, and sages, are revered the most. They are the public property of the whole nation, and are a part of the state religion, "while each family has, besides this, its own manes, which are treated with great regard; incense is burned before their relics, and many superstitious rites performed."

But if all nations equally believe in, and many worship, their dead, their views as to the desirability of a direct intercourse with these late citizens differ widely. In fact, among the educated, only the modern Spiritualists seek to communicate constantly with them. We will take a few instances from the most widely separated peoples. The Hindus, as a rule, hold that no pure spirit, of a man who died reconciled to his fate, will ever come back bodily to trouble mortals. They maintain that it is only the bhutas—the souls of those who depart this life, unsatisfied, and having their terrestrial desires unquenched, in short, bad, sinful men and women—who become "earth-bound." Unable to ascend at once to Moksha, they have to linger upon earth until either their next transmigration or complete annihilation; and thus take every opportunity to obsess people, especially weak women. So undesirable is to them the return or apparition of such ghosts, that they use every means to prevent it. Even in the case of the most holy feeling—the mother’s love for her infant—they adopt measures to prevent her return to it. There is a belief among some of them that whenever a woman dies in childbirth, she will return to see and watch over her child. Therefore, on their way back from the ghaut, after the burning of the body,—the mourners thickly strew mustard seeds all along the road leading from the funeral pile to the defunct’s home. For some unconceivable reasons they think that the ghost will feel obliged to pick up, on its way back, every one of these seeds. And, as the labor is slow and tedious, the poor mother can never reach her home before the cock crows, when she is obliged—in accordance with the ghostly laws—to vanish, till the following night, dropping back all her harvest. Among the Tchuvashes, a tribe inhabiting Russian domains (Castren’s "Finaische Mythologie," p. 122), a son, whenever offering sacrifice to the spirit of his father, uses the following exorcism: "We honour thee with a feast; look, here is bread for thee, and


various kinds of food; thou hast all thou canst desire: but do not trouble us, do not come back near us." Among the Lapps and Finns, those departed spirits, which make their presence visible and tangible, are supposed to be very mischievous and "the most mischievous are the spirits of the priests." Everything is done to keep them away from the living. The agreement we find between this blind popular instinct and the wise conclusions of some of the great philosophers, and even modern specialists, is very remarkable. "Respect the spirits and—keep them at a distance" said Confucius, six centuries B.C. Nine centuries later, Porphyry, the famous anti-theurgist, writing upon the nature of various spirits, expressed his opinion upon the spirits of the departed by saying that he knew of no evil which these pestilent demons would not be ready to do. And, in our own century, a kabalist, the greatest magnetizer living, Baron Dupotet, in his "Magie Devoilee," warns the spiritists not to trouble the rest of the dead. For "the evoked shadow can fasten itself upon, follow, and for ever afterwards influence you; and we can appease it but through a pact which will bind us to it—till death!"

But all this is a matter of individual opinion; what we are concerned with now is merely to learn how the basic fact of belief in soul-survival could have so engrafted itself upon every succeeding age,—despite the extravagances woven into it—if it be but a shadowy and unreal intellectual conception originating with "primitive man." Of all modern men of science, although he does his best in the body of the work to present the belief alluded to as a mere "superstition"—the only satisfactory answer is given by Prof. Max Müller, in his "Introduction to the Science of Religion." And by his solution we have to abide for want of a better one. He can only do it, however, by overstepping the boundaries of comparative philology, and boldly invading the domain of pure metaphysics; by following, in short, a path forbidden by exact science. At one blow he cuts the Gordian knot which Herbert Spencer and his school have tied under the chariot of the "Unknowable." He shows us that: "there is a philosophical discipline which examines into the conditions of sensuous or intuitional knowledge," and "another philosophical discipline which examines into the conditions of rational or conceptual knowledge"; and then defines for us a third faculty. . . . "The faculty of apprehending the Infinite, not only in religion but in all things; a power independent of sense and reason, a power in a certain sense contradicted by sense and reason, but yet a very real power, which


has held its own from the beginning of the world, neither sense nor reason being able to overcome it, while it alone is able to overcome both reason and sense."

The faculty of Intuition—that which lies entirely beyond the scope of our modern biologists—could hardly be better defined. And yet, when closing his lecture upon the superstitious rites of the Chinese, and their temples devoted to the worship of the departed ancestors, our great philologist remarks: "All this takes place by slow degrees; it begins with placing a flower on the tomb; it ends—with worshipping the Spirits "

Theosophist, December, 1879


IN a most admirable lecture by Mr. T. Subba Row on the Bhagavad-Gita, published in the February number of the Theosophist, the lecturer deals, incidentally as I believe, with the question of septenary "principles" in the Kosmos and Man. The division is rather criticized, and the grouping hitherto adopted and favoured in theosophical teachings is resolved into one of Four.

This criticism has already given rise to some misunderstanding, and it is argued by some that a slur is thrown on the original teachings. This apparent disagreement with one whose views are rightly held as almost decisive on occult matters in our Society is certainly a dangerous handle to give to opponents who are ever on the alert to detect and blazon forth contradictions and inconsistencies in our philosophy. Hence I feel it my duty to show that there is in reality no inconsistency between Mr. Subba Row’s views and our own in the question of the septenary division; and to show (a) that the lecturer was perfectly well acquainted with the septenary division before he joined the Theosophical Society; (b) that he knew it was the teaching of old "Aryan philosophers who have associated seven occult powers with the seven principles" in the Macrocosm and the Microcosm (see the end of this article); and (c) that from the beginning he had objected—not to the classification but to the form in which it was expressed. Therefore, now, when he calls the division "unscientific and misleading," and adds that "this sevenfold classification is almost conspicuous by its absence in many (not all?) of our Hindu books," etc., and that it is better to adopt the time-honoured classification of four principles, Mr. Subba Row must mean only some special orthodox books, as it would be impossible for him to contradict himself in such a conspicuous way.

A few words of explanation, therefore, will not be altogether out of place. For the matter of being "conspicuous by its absence" in Hindu books, the said classification is as conspicuous by its absence in Buddhist books. This, for a reason transparently clear: it was always esoteric; and as such, rather inferred than openly taught. That it is "misleading" is also perfectly true; for the great feature of the day—materialism—has led the minds of our Western theos-


ophists into the prevalent habit of viewing the seven principles as distinct and self-existing entities, instead of what they are—namely, upadhis and correlating states— three upadhis, basic groups, and four principles. As to being "unscientific," the term can be only attributed to a lapsus linguae, and in this relation let me quote what Mr. Subba Row wrote about a year before he joined the Theosophical Society in one of his ablest articles, "Brahmanism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man," the best review that ever appeared of the Fragments of Occult Truth—since embodied in Esoteric Buddhism. Says the author:—

"I have carefully examined it (the teaching) and find that the results arrived at (in the Buddhist doctrine) do not differ much from the conclusions of our Aryan philosophy, though our mode of stating the arguments may differ in form." Having enumerated, after this, the "three primary causes" which bring the human being into existence—i.e., Parabrahmam, Sakti and Prakriti—he explains: "Now, according to the Adepts of ancient Aryavarta, seven principles are evolved out of these three primary entities. Algebra teaches us that the number of combinations of things, taken one at a time, two at a time, three at a time, and so forth = 2n – 1. Applying this formula to the present case, the number of entities evolved from different combinations of these three primary causes amount to 23 – 1 = 8 – 1 = 7. As a general rule, whenever seven entities are mentioned in the ancient occult sciences of India in any connection whatsoever, you must suppose that these seven entities come into existence from the three primary entities; and that these three entities, again, are evolved out of a single entity or MONAD." (See Five Years of Theosophy, p. 160.)

This is quite correct, from the occult standpoint, and also kabbalistically, when one looks into the question of the seven and ten Sephiroths, and the seven and ten Rishis, Manus, etc. It shows that in sober truth there is not, nor can there be any fundamental disagreement between esoteric philosophy of the Trans- and Cis-Himalayan Adepts. The reader is referred, moreover, to the earlier pages of the above mentioned article, in which it is stated that "the knowledge of the occult powers of nature possessed by the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis was learnt by the ancient Adepts of India, and was appended by them to the esoteric doctrine taught by the residents of the sacred island (now the Gobi desert).1 The Tibetan

1 See Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, pp. 598-9, and the appendices by the Editor to the above quoted article in Five Years of Theosophy.


Adepts, however (their precursors of Central Asia), have not accepted the addition" (pp. 155-156). But this difference between the two doctrines does not include the septenary division, as it was universal after it had originated with the Atlanteans, who, as the Fourth Race, were of course an earlier race than the Fifth—the Aryan.

Thus, from the purely metaphysical standpoint, the remarks made on the Septenary Division in the "Bhagavad-Gita" Lecture hold good today, as they did five or six years ago in the article, "Brahmanism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man," their apparent discrepancy notwithstanding. For purposes of purely theoretical esotericism, they are as valid in Buddhist as they are in Brahmanical philosophy. Therefore, when Mr. Subba Row proposes to hold to "the time-honoured classification of four principles" in a lecture on a Vedanta work—the Vedantic classification, however, dividing man into five "kosas" (sheaths) and the Atma (the sixth nominally, of course),2 he simply shows thereby that he desires to remain strictly within theoretical and metaphysical, and also orthodox computations of the same. This is how I understand his words, at any rate. For the Taraka Raj-Yoga classification is again three upadhis, the Atma being the fourth principle, and no upadhi, of course, as it is one with Parabrahm. This is again shown by himself in a little article called "Septenary Division in Different Indian Systems."3

Why then should not "Buddhist" Esotericism, so-called, resort to such a division? It is perhaps "misleading"—that is admitted; but surely it cannot be called "unscientific." I will even permit myself to call that adjective a thoughtless expression, since it has been shown to be on the contrary very "scientific" by Mr. Subba Row himself; and quite mathematically so, as the afore-quoted algebraic demonstration of the same proves it. I say that the division is due to nature herself pointing out its necessity in kosmos and man; just because the number seven is "a power, and a spiritual force" in its combination of three and four, of the triangle and the quaternary. It is no doubt far more convenient to adhere to the fourfold classification in a metaphysical and synthetical sense, just as I have adhered to the threefold classification—of body, soul and spirit—in Isis Unveiled, because had I then adopted the septenary division,

2 This is the division given to us by Mr. Subba Row. See Five Years of Theosophy, p. 136, article signed T.S.

3 Ibid., p. 185.


as I have been compelled to do later on for purposes of strict analysis, no one would have understood it, and the multiplication of principles, instead of throwing light upon the subject, would have introduced endless confusion. But now the question has changed, and the position is different. We have unfortunately—for it was premature— opened a chink in the Chinese wall of esotericism, and we cannot now close it again, even if we would. I for one had to pay a heavy price for the indiscretion, but I will not shrink from the results.

I maintain then, that when once we pass from the plane of pure subjective reasoning on esoteric matters to that of practical demonstration in Occultism, wherein each principle and attribute has to be analysed and defined in its application to the phenomena of daily and especially of post-mortem life, the sevenfold classification is the right one. For it is simply a convenient division which prevents in no wise the recognition of but three groups—which Mr. Subba Row calls "four principles associated with four upadhis, and which are associated in their turns with four distinct states of consciousness."4 This is the Bhagavad-Gita classification, it appears; but not that of the Vedanta, nor—what the Raj-Yogis of the pre-Aryasanga schools and of the Mahayana system held to, and still hold beyond the Himalayas, and their system is almost identical with the Taraka Raj-Yoga,—the difference between the latter and the Vedanta classification having been pointed out to us by Mr. Subba Row in his little article on the "Septenary Division in Different Indian Systems." The Taraka Raj-Yogis recognize only three upadhis in which Atma may work, which, in India, if I mistake not, are the Jagrata, or waking state of consciousness (corresponding to Sthulopadhi); the Swapna, or dreaming state (in Sukshmopadhi); and the Sushupti, or causal state, produced by, and through Karanopadhi, or what we call Buddhi. But then, in transcendental states of Samadhi, the body with its linga sarira, the vehicle of the life-principle, is entirely left out of consideration: the three states of consciousness are made to refer only to the three (with Atma the fourth) principles which remain after death. And here lies the real key to the septenary division of

4 A crowning proof of the fact that the division is arbitrary and varies with the schools it belongs to, is in the words published in "Personal and Impersonal God" by Mr. Subba Row, where he states that "we have six states of consciousness, either objective or subjective . . . and a perfect state of unconsciousness, etc." (See Five Years of Theosophy pp. 200 and 201.) Of course those who do not hold to the old school of Aryan and Arhat Adepts are in no way bound to adopt the septenary classification.


man, the three principles coming in as an addition only during his life.

As in the Macrocosm, so in the Microcosm: analogies hold good throughout nature. Thus the universe, our solar system, our earth down to man, are to be regarded as all equally possessing a septenary constitution—four superterrestrial and superhuman, so to say;—three objective and astral. In dealing with the special case of man, only, there are two standpoints from which the question may be considered. Man in incarnation is certainly made up of seven principles, if we so term the seven states of his material, astral, and spiritual framework, which are all on different planes. But if we classify the principles according to the seat of the four degrees of consciousness, these upadhis may be reduced to four groups.5 Thus his consciousness, never being centered in the second or third principles—both of which are composed of states of matter (or rather of "substance") on different planes, each corresponding on one of the planes and principles in kosmos—is necessary to form links between the first, fourth and fifth principles, as well as subserving certain vital and psychic phenomena. These latter may be conveniently classified with the physical body under one head, and laid aside during trance (Samadhi), as after death, thus leaving only the traditional exoteric and metaphysical four. Any charge of contradictory teaching, therefore, based on this simple fact, would obviously be wholly invalid; the classification of principles as septenary or quaternary depending wholly on the stand-point from which they are regarded, as said. It is purely a matter of choice which classification we adopt. Strictly speaking, however, occult—as also profane—physics would favour the septenary one for these reasons.6

5 Mr. Subba Row’s argument that in the matter of the three divisions of the body "we may make any number of divisions, and may as well enumerate nerve-force, blood and bones," is not valid, I think. Nerve-force—well and good, though it is one with the life-principle and proceeds from it: as to blood, bones, etc., these are objective material things, and one with, and inseparable from the human body; while all the other six principles are in their Seventh—the body—purely subjective principles, and therefore all denied by material science, which ignores them.

6 In that most admirable article of his—"Personal and Impersonal God"—one which has attracted much attention in the Western Theosophical circles, Mr. Subba Row says, "Just as a human being is composed of seven principles, differentiated matter in the solar system exists in seven different conditions. These do not all come within the range of our present objective consciousness, but they can be perceived by the spiritual ego in man. Further, Pragna, or the capacity of perception, exists in seven different aspects, corresponding to the seven conditions of matter. Strictly speaking there are six states of differentiated pragna, the seventh state being a condition of perfect unconsciousness (or absolute consciousness). By differentiated pragna I mean the condition in which pragna is split up into various states of consciousness. Thus we have six states of consciousness, etc., etc." (Five Years of Theosophy, pp. 200 and 201.) This is precisely our Trans-Himalayan Doctrine.


There are six Forces in nature: this in Buddhism as in Brahmanism, whether exoteric or esoteric, and the seventh—the all-Force, or the absolute Force, which is the synthesis of all. Nature again in her constructive activity strikes the key-note to this classification in more than one way. As stated in the third aphorism of "Sankhya karika" of Prakriti— "the root and substance of all things," she (Prakriti, or nature) is no production, but herself a producer of seven things, "which, produced by her, become all in their turn producers." Thus all the liquids in nature begin, when separated from their parent mass, by becoming a spheroid (a drop); and when the globule is formed, and it falls, the impulse given to it transforms it, when it touches ground, almost invariably into an equilateral triangle (or three), and then into an hexagon, after which out of the corners of the latter begin to be formed squares or cubes as plane figures. Look at the natural work of nature, so to speak, her artificial, or helped production—the prying into her occult work-shop by science. Behold the coloured rings of a soap-bubble, and those produced by polarized light. The rings obtained, whether in Newton’s soap-bubble, or in the crystal through the polarizer, will exhibit invariably, six or seven rings—"a black spot surrounded by six rings, or a circle with a plane cube inside, circumscribed with six distinct rings," the circle itself the seventh. The "Noremberg" polarizing apparatus throws into objectivity almost all our occult geometrical symbols, though physicists are none the wiser for it. (See Newton’s and Tyndall’s experiments.7)

The number seven is at the very root of occult Cosmogony and Anthropogony. No symbol to express evolution from its starting to its completion points would be possible without it. For the circle produces the point; the point expands into a triangle, returning after two angles upon itself, and then forms the mystical Tetraktis—the plane cube; which three when passing into the manifested world of effects, differentiated nature, become geometrically and numerically 3 + 4 = 7. The best kabbalists have been demonstrating this for ages ever since Pythagoras, and down to the modern mathematicians and symbologists, one of whom has succeeded in wrenching forever one of the seven occult keys, and has proven his victory by a volume of figures. Set any of our theosophists interested in the question to read the wonderful work called "The Hebrew Egyptian

7 One need only open Webster’s Dictionary and examine the snow flakes and crystals at the word "Snow" to perceive nature’s work. "God geometrizes," says Plato.


Mystery, the Source of Measures"; and those of them who are good mathematicians will remain aghast before the revelations contained in it. For it shows indeed the occult source of the measure by which were built kosmos and man, and then by the latter the great Pyramid of Egypt, as all the towers, mounds, obelisks, cave-temples of India, and pyramids in Peru and Mexico, and all the archaic monuments; symbols in stone of Chaldea, both Americas, and even of the Eastern Islands—the living and solitary witness of a submerged prehistoric continent in the midst of the Pacific Ocean. It shows that the same figures and measures for the same esoteric symbology existed throughout the world; it shows in the words of the author that the kabbala is a "whole series of developments based upon the use of geometrical elements; giving expression in numerical values, founded on integral values of the circle" (one of the seven keys hitherto known but to the Initiates), discovered by Peter Metius in the 16th century, and re-discovered by the late John A Parker.8 Moreover, that the system from whence all these developments were derived "was anciently considered to be one resting in nature (or God), as the basis or law of the exertions practically of creative design"; and that it also underlies the Biblical structures, being found in the measurements given for Solomon’s temple, the ark of the Covenant, Noah’s ark, etc., etc.,—in all the symbolical myths, in short, of the Bible.

And what are the figures, the measure in which the sacred Cubit is derived from the esoteric Quadrature, which the Initiates know to have been contained in the Tetraktis of Pythagoras? Why, it is the universal primordial symbol. The figures found in the Ansated Cross of Egypt, as (I maintain) in the Indian Swastika, "the sacred sign" which embellishes the thousand heads of Sesha, the Serpent-cycle of eternity, on which rests Vishnu, the deity in Infinitude; and which also may be pointed out in the threefold (treta) fire of Pururavas, the first fire in the present Manvantara, out of the forty-nine (7 X 7) mystic fires. It may be absent from many of the Hindu books, but the Vishnu and other Puranas teem with this symbol and figure under every possible form, which I mean to prove in "THE SECRET DOCTRINE." The author of the Source of Measures does not, of course, himself know as yet, the whole scope of what he has discovered. He applies his key, so far, only to the esoteric language

8 Of Newark, in his work The Quadrature of the Circle, his "problem of the three revolving bodies" (N.Y., John Wiley and Son).


and the symbology in the Bible, and the Books of Moses especially. The great error of the able author, in my opinion, is, that he applies the key discovered by him chiefly to post-Atlantean and quasi-historical phallic elements in the world religions; feeling, intuitionally, a nobler, a higher, a more transcendental meaning in all this—only in the Bible,—and a mere sexual worship in all other religions. This phallic element, however, in the older pagan worship related, in truth, to the physiological evolution of the human races, something that could not be discovered in the Bible, as it is absent from it (the Pentateuch being the latest of all the old Scriptures). Nevertheless, what the learned author has discovered and proved mathematically, is wonderful enough, and sufficient to make our claim good: namely, that the figures Circle, Triangle and Cube and 3 + 4 = 7, are at the very basis, and are the soul of cosmogony and the evolution of mankind.

To whosoever desires to display this process by way of symbol, says the author speaking of the ansated cross, the Tau Tau with an inverted crescent on top of the Egyptians and the Christian cross—"it would be by the figure of the cube unfolded in connection with the circle whose measure is taken off on to the edges of the cube. The cube unfolded becomes in superficial display a cross proper, or of the tau form, and the attachment of the circle to this last, gives the ansated cross of the Egyptians with its obvious meaning of the Origin of Measures.9 Because this kind of measure was also made to co-ordinate with the idea of the origin of life, it was made to assume the type of the hermaphrodite, and in fact it is placed by representation to cover this part of the human person in the Hindu form. . . ." [It is "the hermaphrodite Indranse Indra, the nature goddess, the Issa of the Hebrews, and the Isis of the Egyptians," as the author calls them in another place.] ". . . It is very observable, that while there are but six faces to a cube, the representation of the cross as the cube unfolded as to the cross bars displays one face of the cube as common to two bars, counted as belonging to either; then, while the faces originally represented are but six, the use of the two bars counts the square as four for the upright and three for the cross bar, making seven in all. Here we have the famous four, three and seven again, the four and three on the factor members of the Parker (quad-

9 And, by adding to the cross proper Cross the symbol of the four cardinal points and infinity at the same time, thus, Swastika , the arms pointing above, below, and right, and left, making six in the circle—the Archaic sign of the Yomas—it would make of it the Swastike, the "sacred sign" used by the order of "Ishmael masons," which they call the Universal Hermetic Cross, and do not understand its real wisdom, nor know its origin.


rature and of the ‘three revolving bodies’) problem". . . . (pp. 50 and 51).

And they are the factor members in the building of the Universe and MAN. Wittoba— an aspect of Krishna and Vishnu—is therefore the "man crucified in space," or the "cube unfolded," as explained (see Moore’s Pantheon, for Wittoba). It is the oldest symbol in India, now nearly lost, as the real meaning of Vishvakarina and Vikkarttana (the "sun shorn of his beams") is also lost. It is the Egyptian ansated cross, and vice versa, and the latter—even the sistrum, with its cross bars—is simply the symbol of the Deity as man—however phallic it may have become later, after the submersion of Atlantis. The ansated cross Tau Unfolded Cube is of course, as Professor Seyfforth has shown—again the six with its head—the seventh. Seyfforth says "It is the skull with the brains, the seat of the soul with the nerves extending to the spine, back, and eyes and ears. For the Tanis stone thus translates it repeatedly by anthropos (man); and we have the Coptic ank, (vita, life) properly anima, which corresponds with the Hebrew anosh, properly meaning anima. The Egyptian anki signifies "my soul."10

It means in its synthesis, the seven principles, the details coming later. Now the ansated cross, as given above, having been discovered on the backs of the gigantic statues found on the Easter Isles (mid-Pacific Ocean) which is a part of the submerged continent; this remnant being described as "thickly studded with cyclopean statues, remnants of the civilization of a dense and cultivated people";—and Mr. Subba Row having told us what he had found in the old Hindu books, namely, that the ancient Adepts of India had learned occult powers from the Atlanteans (vide supra)—the logical inference is that they had their septenary division from them, just as our Adepts from the "Sacred Island" had. This ought to settle the question.

And this Tau cross is ever septenary, under whatever form—it has many forms, though the main idea is always one. What are the Egyptian oozas (the eyes), the amulets called the "mystic eye," but symbols of the same? There are the four eyes in the upper row and the three smaller ones in the lower. Or again, the ooza with the seven luths hanging from it, "the combined melody of which

10 Quoted in "Source of Measures."


creates one man," say the hieroglyphics. Or again, the hexagon formed of six triangles, whose apices converge to a point—thus the symbol of the Universal creation, which Kenneth Mackenzie Hexagon tells us "was worn as a ring by the Sovereign Princes of the Royal Secret"—which they never knew by the bye. If seven has nought to do with the mysteries of the universe and men, then indeed from the Vedas down to the Bible all the archaic Scriptures—the Puranas, the Avesta and all the fragments that have reached us—have no esoteric meaning, and must be regarded as the orientalists regard them—as a farrago of childish tales.

It is quite true that the three upadhis of the Taraka Raj Yoga are, as Mr. Subba Row explains in his little article, "The Septenary Division in Different Indian Systems," "the best and the simplest"— but only in purely contemplative Yoga. And he adds: "Though there are seven principles in man there are but three distinct upadhis, in each of which his Atma may work independently of the rest. These three upadhis can be separated by the Adept without killing himself. He cannot separate the seven principles from each other without destroying his constitution" (Five Years of Theosophy, p. 185). Most decidedly he cannot. But this again holds good only with regard to his lower three principles—the body and its (in life) inseparable prana and linga sarira. The rest can be separated, as they constitute no vital, but rather a mental and spiritual necessity. As to the remark in the same article objecting to the fourth principle being "included in the third kosa, as the said principle is but a vehicle of will-power, which is but an energy of the mind," I answer, Just so! But as the higher attributes of the fifth (Manas), go to make up the original triad, and it is just the terrestrial energies, feelings and volitions which remain in the Kama loka, what, is the vehicle, the astral form, to carry them about as bhoota until they fade out— which may take centuries to accomplish? Can the "false" personality, or the pisacha, whose ego is made up precisely of all those terrestrial passions and feelings, remain in Kama loka, and occasionally appear, without a substantial vehicle, however ethereal? Or are we to give up the seven principles, and the belief that there is such a thing as an astral body, and a bhoot, or spook?

Most decidedly not. For Mr. Subba Row himself once more explains how, from the Hindu stand-point, the lower fifth, or Manas can reappear after death, remarking very justly, that it is absurd to call it a disembodied spirit. (Five Years of Theosophy, p. 174.) As


he says: "It is merely a power, or force, retaining the impressions of the thoughts or ideas of the individual into whose composition it originally entered. It sometimes summons to its aid the Kamarupa power, and creates for itself some particular, ethereal form."

Now that which "sometimes summons" Kamarupa, and the "power" of that name make already two principles, two "powers"—call them as you will. Then we have Atma and its vehicle—Buddhi—which make four. With the three which disappeared on earth this will be equivalent to seven. How can we, then, speak of modern Spiritualism, of its materializations and other phenomena, without resorting to the Septenary?

To quote our friend and much respected brother for the last time, since he says that "our (Aryan) philosophers have associated seven occult powers with the seven principles (in men and in the kosmos), which seven occult powers correspond in the microcosm with, or are counterparts of, occult powers in the macrocosm,"11—quite an esoteric sentence,—it does seem almost a pity that words pronounced in an extempore lecture, though such an able one, should have been published without revision.


Theosophist, April, 1887

11 "Brahmanism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man."


IN the May Theosophist (1887), I find the first part of a long explanatory article, by Mr. Subba Row, in which the able author has gone to the trouble of dissecting almost every thing I have written for the last ten years, upon the subject under review.

My first thought was, to leave his "answer" without reply. Upon reading it carefully over, however, I have come to the conclusion that perhaps it would not be safe to do so. The article in question is a manifesto. I am not allowed to labour any longer under the impression that it was only an apparent disagreement. Those members and ex-members of our Society who had rejoiced at Mr. Subba Row’s remarks were consequently right in their conclusions, and I—wrong. As I do not admit—in our case, at any rate—that "a house divided against itself" must fall, for the Theosophical Society can never fall so long as its foundation is very strong, I regard the disagreement, even if real, as of no great or vital importance. Yet, were I to fail to answer the strictures in question, it would be immediately inferred that I was silenced by the arguments; or, worse, that I had expounded a tenet which had no basis.

Before I say anything further upon the main subject, however, I must express my surprise at finding the learned author referring to me continually as his "critic." I have never criticized him, nor his teachings, whether orally, or in print. I had simply expressed regret at finding in the Theosophist words calculated, as I then thought, to create false impressions. The position assumed by the lecturer on the Gita was as unexpected as it was new to me, and my remarks were meant to be as friendly as I could make them. Nor am I actuated even now by any other feelings. I can only regret, and nothing more, that such new developments of ideas should occur just now, after nearly seven years of tacit, if not actual, agreement.

Nor do I find on page 450 of the April Theosophist in my footnote* anything that should imply, even remotely, least of all "probably," that I endorse the views that "a slur was thrown on the original

* See "Classification of Principles."


teaching." I had said that "some (Theosophists) argued that it looked like a slur." As for myself, I have too much reverence for the "original" TEACHERS to ever admit that anything said or done, could ever be "a slur" upon their teachings. But if I, personally, am made out "the original expounder," there can be no slur whatever. It is, at the worst, a disagreement in personal views. Every one is free in the Theosophical Society to give full expression to his own ideas,—I among the rest; especially when I know that those views are those of trans-Himalayan esotericism, if not of cis-Himalayan esoteric Brahmanism, as I am now told squarely—for the first time. The words written by me in the foot-note, therefore—"Of course those who do not hold to the old school of Aryan and Arhat adepts are in no way bound to adopt the septenary classification"—were never meant for Mr. Subba Row. They applied most innocently, and as I thought liberally, to every and each member of our Association. Why my friend, Mr. T. Subba Row, should have applied them to himself is one of those mysterious combinations— evolved by my own karma, no doubt—which pass my comprehension. To expect a Brahmin, a Vedantin (whether an occultist or otherwise) to accept in their dead-letter the tenets of Buddhist (even if Aryan) adepts, is like expecting a western Kabbalist, an Israelite by birth and views, to adhere to our Lord Buddha instead of to Moses. To charge me on such grounds with dogmatism and a desire to evolve "an orthodox creed" out of tenets I have tried to explain to those who are interested in Buddhistic occultism, is rather hard. All this compels me to explain my past as well as my present position. As the second portion of Mr. Subba Row’s reply can hardly contain stronger charges than I find in the first, I ask permission to state that:—

  1. Neither the original "Fragments of Occult Truths" nor yet Esoteric Buddhism, were ever meant to expound Brahminical philosophy, but that of the trans-Himalayan Arhats, as very correctly stated by Mr. Subba Row in his "Brahminism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man"—"it is extremely difficult to show (to the profane, H.P.B.!) whether the Tibetans derived their doctrine from the ancient Rishis of India, or the ancient Brahmins learned their occult science from the adepts of Tibet: or again, whether the adepts of both countries professed originally the same doctrine and derived it from a common source. . . . However that may be, the knowledge of the occult powers of nature possessed by the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis, was learnt by the ancient adepts of India, and was appended
  1. by them to their esoteric doctrine taught by the residents of the sacred island (Sham-bha-la). The Tibetan adepts, however, have not accepted this addition to their esoteric doctrine." . . . Thus, the readers of the Theosophist were told from the first (in 1882) that they "should expect to find a difference between the two doctrines." One of the said "differences" is found in the exoteric exposition, or form of presentation, of the sevenfold principle in man.
  2. Though the fundamental doctrines of Occultism and Esoteric philosophy are one and the same the world over, and that is the secret meaning under the outward shell of every old religion—however much they may conflict in appearance—[since each] is the outcome of, and proceeds from, the universal WISDOM-RELIGION—the modes of thought and of its expression must necessarily differ. There are Sanskrit words used— "Jiva," for one—by trans-Himalayan adepts, whose meaning differs greatly in verbal applications, from the meaning it has among the Brahmins in India.
  3. I have never boasted of any knowledge of Sanskrit, and, when I came to India last, in 1879, knew very superficially the philosophies of the six schools of Brahminism. I never pretended to teach Sanskrit or explain Occultism in that language. I claimed to know the esoteric philosophy of the trans-Himalayan Occultists and no more. What I knew again, was that the philosophy of the ancient Dwijas and Initiates did not, nor could it, differ essentially from the esotericism of the "Wisdom-religion," any more than ancient Zoroastrianism, Hermetic philosophy, or Chaldean Kabbala could do so. I have tried to prove it by rendering the technical terms used by the Tibetan Arhats of things and principles, as adopted in trans-Himalayan teaching (and which when given to Mr. Sinnett and others without their Sanskrit or European equivalents, remained to them unintelligible, as they would to all in India)—in terms used in Brahmanical philosophy. I may have failed to do so correctly, very likely I have, and made mistakes,—I never claimed infallibility—but this is no reason why the seven-fold division should be regarded as "unscientific." That it was puzzling I had already admitted, yet, once properly explained, it is the right one, though, in transcendental metaphysics, the quaternary may do as well. In my writings in the Theosophist I have always consulted learned and (even not very learned) Sanskrit-speaking Brahmins, giving credit to every one of them for knowing the value of Sanskrit terms better than I did. The question then is not, whether I may or may not have made use of
  1. wrong Sanskrit terms, but whether the occult tenets expounded through me are the right ones—at any rate those of the "Aryan-Chaldeo-Tibetan doctrine" as we call the "universal Wisdom-religion." (See Five Years of Theosophy, 1st note to Mr. Subba Row’s "Brahminism on the Seven-fold Principle in Man," pp. 177-9.)
  2. When saying that the seven-fold classification of principles is absolutely necessary to explain post-mortem phenomena, I repeat only that which I had always said and that which every mystic will understand. "Once we pass from the plane of pure subjective (or metaphysical, hence purely theoretical) reasoning on esoteric matters to that of practical demonstration in occultism, wherein each (lower) principle and attribute has to be analyzed and defined in its application . . . to post-mortem life (that of spooks and pisachas), the sevenfold classification is the right one." These are my words, which every spiritualist will understand. Vedantin metaphysicians, denying as they do objective reality or importance even to our physical body, are not likely to lose their time in dividing the lower principles in man, the compound aspects and nature of the phantom of that body. Practical occultism does; and it is one of the duties of those Theosophists who study occultism to warn their brethren of the dangers incurred by those who know nothing of the real nature of those apparitions: to warn them that a shell is not "spirit." This statement of mine I find qualified as "simply absurd." Having never regarded as absurd anything said or written by Mr. Subba Row, I could not retaliate even if I would, I can only pronounce the epithet, let us say—unkind, and demur to the qualification. Had the author to face "practical demonstration" in spiritual phenomena and "materializations of spirits," so called, he would soon find that his four principles never could cover the ground of this kind of phenomena. Even the lower aspect of the principle of manas (physical brain, or its post-mortem auric survival) and of kama rupa are hardly sufficient to explain the seemingly intelligent and spiritual principles (bhut or elements) that manifest through mediums.
  3. It is not consistent with fact and truth to charge me, "the original (?) exponent herself," with changing my conceptions about the nature of principles. "I have never changed them, nor could I do so." In this I claim my right too, as Mr. Subba Row does, to my evidence being "the best and the most direct evidence available as regards my own states of consciousness." I may have used wrong Sanskrit expressions (and even wrong and clumsily put English
  1. sentences, for the matter of that)—while trying to blend the Arhat with the Brahmanical occult tenets. As to those conceptions, my "four principles" have to disintegrate and vanish in the air, before any amount of criticism can make me regard my ten fingers as only four; although metaphysically, I am fully prepared to admit that they exist only in my own mayavic perceptions and states of consciousness.
  2. Mr. Subba Row, taking hold of Esoteric Buddhism, the "Elixir of Life," and Man, is pleased to father all their sins of omission and commission on the "Original Expounder." This is hardly fair. The first work was written absolutely without my knowledge, and as the author understood those teachings from letters he had received, what have I to do with them? The "Elixir of Life" was written by its author under direct dictation, or inspection, in his own house, in a faraway country, in which I had never been till two years later. Finally, Man was entirely rewritten by one of the two "chelas" and from the same materials as those used by Mr. Sinnett for Esoteric Buddhism; the two having understood the teachings, each in his own way. What had I to do with the "states of consciousness" of the three authors, two of whom wrote in England while I was in India? He may attribute to the lack of scientific precision in the "original teachings," there being "a jumble." No one would accuse Mr. Subba Row’s Bhagavad Gita lectures of any such defects. Yet, I have already heard three or four intelligent persons among our members expounding the said three lectures (those which have already appeared)—in three different and diametrically opposite ways.

This will do, I believe. The Secret Doctrine will contain, no doubt, still more heterodox statements from the Brahminical view. No one is forced to accept my opinions or teaching in the Theosophical Society, one of the rules of which enforces only mutual tolerance for religious views. Our body is entirely unsectarian and "only exacts from each member that toleration of the beliefs of others which he desires . . . in regard to his own faith."

Most of us have been playing truants to this golden rule as to all others: more’s the pity.

Theosophist, August, 1887Η. P. Blavatsky


[In an article titled "Hierosophy and Theosophy" which appeared in the Theosophist for July, 1883, William Oxley, F.T.S., referred briefly to the mummification practiced by the ancient Egyptians in order to support his speculation about "atoms" and "souls." To this passage H.P.B. appended a critical footnote. Then, in the succeeding August issue, a correspondent, "N.D.K.," asked some questions about statements made by H.P.B. in this footnote. Here we print the July footnote, followed by a summary of N.D.K.’s questions, and then the article of the above title, which gave H.P.B.’s replies.—Editors.]

MR. Oxley will permit us to correct him. He looks at the objective terrestrial and empty shell—the "mummy," and forgets that there may be hidden under the crude allegory a great scientific and occult truth. We are taught that for 3,000 years at least the "mummy" notwithstanding all the chemical preparations goes on throwing off to the last invisible atoms, which from the hour of death re-entering the various vortices of being go indeed "through every variety of organized life forms." But it is not the soul, the 5th, least of all the 6th, principle, but the life atoms of the jiva the 2nd principle. At the end of the 3,000 years, sometimes more, and sometimes less, after endless transmigrations all these atoms are once more drawn together, and are made to form the new outer clothing or the body of the same monad (the real soul) which had already been clothed with two or three thousands of years before. Even in the worst case that of the annihilation of the conscious personal principle the monad or individual soul is ever the same as are also the atoms of the lower principles which regenerated and renewed in this ever flowing river of being are magnetically drawn together owing to their affinity, and are once more re-incarnated together. Such was the true occult theory of the Egyptians.

[In his letter to the Editor, N.D.K. remarks that H.P.B.’s footnote constitutes "a new installment of occult teaching" suggesting a basis of truth in the doctrine of transmigration. "What then," he asks, "is meant by the life atoms, and their going


through endless transmigrations?" Also, do "both the invisible atoms of the Jiva after going through various life-atoms return again to re-form the physical body, and the Jiva of the entity that has reached the end of its Devachanic state and is ready to be re-incarnated again?" Further, "does the term ‘lower principles’ include the ‘Kama rupa’ also, or only the lower triad of body, Jiva, and Lingasarira?" Finally, "do the atoms of the 4th principle (Kama rupa) and lower portion of the 5th, which cannot be assimilated by the 6th . . . also re-form—after going through various transmigrations, to constitute over again the 4th and lower 5th of the next incarnation?"]

We would, to begin with, draw our correspondent’s attention to the closing sentence of the foot-note under his review. "Such was the true occult theory of the Egyptians"— the word "true" being used there in the sense of its being the doctrine they really believed in, as distinct from both the tenets fathered upon them by some Orientalists and quoted by Mr. Oxley, and that which the modern occultists may be now teaching. It does not stand to reason that, outside those occult truths that were known to, and revealed by, the great Hierophants during the final initiation, we should accept all that either the Egyptians or any other people may have regarded as true. The Priests of Isis were the only true initiates, and their occult teachings were still more veiled than those of the Chaldeans. There was the true doctrine of the Hierophants of the inner Temple; then the half-veiled Hieratic tenets of the Priest of the outer Temple; and finally, the vulgar popular religion of the great body of the ignorant who were allowed to reverence animals as divine. As shown correctly by Sir Gardner Wilkinson, the initiated priests taught that—"dissolution is only the cause of reproduction . . . nothing perishes which has once existed, but things which appear to be destroyed only change their natures and pass into another form." In the present case, however, the Egyptian doctrine of atoms coincides with our own occult teachings.

The just criticism of our observing brother, who takes naturally enough the sentence—"The life-atoms of the Jiva" in its literal sense, reminds us at the same time, more than ever, of that most important fact that one can never take too much care to express clearly new ideas while writing on metaphysical subjects. In penning the words under review, no thought was given in fact, that the idea was "a new installment," and, therefore, its incompleteness gave rise to a fresh misunderstanding. Without any doubt


Jiva or Prana is quite distinct from the atoms it animates. The latter belong to the lowest or grossest state of matter—the objectively conditioned; the former—to its highest state: that state which the uninitiated, ignorant of its nature, would call the "objectively finite," but which, to avoid any future misunderstanding, we may, perhaps, be permitted to call the Subjectively Eternal, though at the same time, and in one sense the subsistent existence—however paradoxical and unscientific the term may appear.1

Life, the occultist says, is the eternal uncreated energy, and it alone represents in the infinite universe, that which the physicists have agreed to name the principle, or the law of continuity, though they apply it only to the endless development of the conditioned. But since modern science admits through her most learned professors that "energy has as much claim to be regarded as an objective reality as matter itself,"2 and that life, according to the occult doctrine,—is the one energy acting Proteus-like under the most varied forms, the occultists have a certain right to use such a phraseology. Life is ever present in the atom or matter, whether organic or inorganic, conditioned or unconditioned—a difference that the occultists do not accept. Their doctrine is that life is as much present in the inorganic as in the organic matter: when life-energy is active in the atom, that atom is organic; when dormant or latent, then the atom is inorganic. Therefore, the expression "life-atom" though apt in one sense to mislead the reader, is not incorrect after all, since occultists do not recognise that anything in nature can be inorganic and know of no "dead atoms," whatever meaning science may give to the adjective.

The alleged law of Biogenesis is the result of the ignorance of the man of science of occult physics. It is accepted because the man of science was hitherto unable to find the necessary means to awaken into activity dormant life in what he terms an inorganic atom: hence the fallacy that a living thing can only be produced from a living thing, as though there ever was such a thing as dead matter in Nature! At this rate, and to be consistent, a mule ought to be

1 Though there is a distinct term for it in the language of the adepts, how can one translate it into a European language? What name can be given to that which is objective yet immaterial in its finite manifestations, subjective yet substantive (though not in our sense of substance) in its eternal existence? Having explained it the best we can, we leave the task of finding a more appropriate term for it to our learned English occultists. —Ed.

2 Unseen Universe.


also classed with inorganic matter, since it is unable to reproduce itself, and generate life.

We lay so much stress upon the above to answer at once any future objection to the idea that a mummy several thousand years old, can be throwing off atoms. Nevertheless the sentence may perhaps have been more clearly expressed by saying instead of the "life-atoms of Jiva," the atoms "animated by dormant Jiva or life energy." Again, the sentence quoted by our correspondent from Fragment No. 1,* though quite correct on the whole, might be more fully, if not more clearly, expressed. The "Jiva," or life principle which animates man, beast, plant or even a mineral, certainly is "a form of force, indestructible," since this force is the one life, or anima mundi, the universal living soul, and that the various modes in which the various objective things appear to us in nature in their atomic aggregations, such as minerals, plants, animals, etc., are all the different forms or states in which this force manifests itself. Were it to become, we will not say absent, for this is impossible, since it is omnipresent, but for one single instant inactive, say in a stone, the particles of the latter would lose instantly their cohesive property and disintegrate as suddenly—though the force would still remain in each of its particles, but in a dormant state. Thus the continuation of the sentence which states that, when this indestructible force is "disconnected with one set of atoms, it becomes attracted immediately by others" does not imply that it abandons entirely the first set, but only that it transfers its vis viva or living power, the energy of motion, to another set. But because it manifests itself in the next set as what is called Kinetic energy, it does not follow that the first set is deprived of it altogether; for it is still in it, as potential energy, or life latent.3 This is a cardinal and basic truth of occultism, on the perfect knowledge of which depends the production of every phenomenon. Unless we admit this point, we should have to give up all the other truths

* From "Fragments of Occult Truth—I" (Theosophist III, 18; see THEOSOPHY 2:100). The full sentence reads: "The Vital principle (or Jiv-atma), a form of force, indestructible, and when disconnected with one set of atoms, becoming attracted immediately by others."

3 We feel constrained to make use of terms that have become technical in modern science— though they do not always fully express the idea to be conveyed—for want of better words. It is useless to hope that the occult doctrine may be ever thoroughly understood—even the few tenets that can be safely given to the world at large—unless a glossary of such words is edited; and, what is of a still more primary importance—until the full and correct meaning of the terms therein taught is thoroughly mastered.—Ed.


of occultism. Thus what is "meant by the life-atom going through endless transmigration" is simply this: we regard and call in our occult phraseology those atoms that are moved by Kinetic energy as "life-atoms," while those that are for the time being passive, containing but invisible potential energy, we call "sleeping atoms," regarding at the same time those two forms of energy as produced by the one and same force, or life. We have to beg our readers’ indulgence: we are neither a man of science, nor an English scholar. Forced by circumstances to give out the little we know, we do the best we can and explain matters to the best of our ability. Ignorant of Newton’s laws, we claim to know something only of the Occult Laws of motion. And now to the Hindu doctrine of Metempsychosis.

It has a basis of truth; and, in fact, it is an axiomatic truth—but only in reference to human atoms and emanations, and that not only after a man’s death, but during the whole period of his life. The esoteric meaning of the Laws of Manu (Sec. XII, 3, and XII, 54 and 55), of the verses that state that "every act, either mental, verbal or corporeal, bears good or evil fruit (Karma), the various transmigrations of men (not souls) through the highest, middle, and lowest stages, are produced by his actions"; and again that "A Brahman-killer enters the body of a dog, bear, ass, camel, goat, sheep, bird, etc.," bears no reference to the human Ego, but only to the atoms of his body, of his lower triad, and his fluidic emanations.

It is all very well for the Brahmins to distort in their own interest, the real meaning contained in these laws, but the words as quoted never meant what they were made to yield from the above verses later on. The Brahmins applied them selfishly to themselves, whereas by "Brahman," man’s seventh principle, his immortal monad and the essence of the personal Ego were allegorically meant. He who kills or extinguishes in himself the light of Parabrahm, i.e., severs his personal Ego from the Atman and thus kills the future Devachanee, becomes a "Brahman-killer." Instead of facilitating, through a virtuous life and spiritual aspirations the mutual union of the Buddhi and the Manas, he condemns by his own evil acts every atom of his lower principles to become attracted and drawn, in virtue of the magnetic affinity thus created by his passions, into the forming bodies of lower animals or brutes.


This is the real meaning of the doctrine of Metempsychosis. It is not that such amalgamation of human particles with animal or even vegetable atoms can carry in it any idea of personal punishment per se, for of course it does not. But it is a cause created, the effects of which may manifest themselves throughout the next rebirths— unless the personality is annihilated. Otherwise, from cause to effect, every effect becoming in its turn a cause, they will run along the cycle of rebirths, the once-given impulse expending itself only at the threshold of Pralaya. But of this anon.

Notwithstanding their esoteric meaning, even the words of the grandest and noblest of all the adepts, Gautama Buddha, are misunderstood, distorted and ridiculed in the same way. The Hina-yana, the lowest form of transmigration of the Buddhist, is as little comprehended as the Maha-yana, its highest form, and, because Sakya Muni is shown to have once remarked to his Bhikkus, while pointing out to them a broom, that "it had formerly been a novice who neglected to sweep out" the Council room, hence was reborn as a broom (!), therefore, the wisest of all of the world’s sages stands accused of idiotic superstition. Why not try and find out, before accusing, the true meaning of the figurative statement? Why should we scoff before we understand?

Is or is not that which is called magnetic effluvia a something, a stuff, or substance, invisible, and imponderable though it be? If the learned authors of "The Unseen Universe" object to light, heat and electricity being regarded merely as imponderables, and show that each of these phenomena has as much claim to be recognized as an objective reality as matter itself—our right to regard the mesmeric or magnetic fluid which emanates from man to man or even from man to what is termed an inanimate object, is far greater. It is not enough to say that this fluid is a species of molecular energy like heat, for instance, for it is vastly more. Heat is produced whenever visible energy is transformed into molecular energy, we are told, and it may be thrown out by any material composed of sleeping atoms or inorganic matter as it is called: whereas the magnetic fluid projected by a living human body is life itself. "Indeed it is life-atoms" that a man in a blind passion throws off, unconsciously, and though he does it quite as effectively as a mesmeriser who transfers them from himself to any object consciously and under the guidance of his will. Let any man give way to any in-


tense feeling, such as anger, grief, etc., under or near a tree, or in direct contact with a stone; and many thousands of years after that any tolerable Psychometer will see the man and sense his feelings, from one single fragment of that tree or stone that he had touched. Hold any object in your hand, and it will become impregnated with your life atoms, indrawn and outdrawn, changed and transferred in us at every instant of our lives. Animal heat is but so many life atoms in molecular motion. It requires no adept knowledge, but simply the natural gift of a good clairvoyant subject to see them passing to and fro, from man to objects and vice versa like a bluish lambent flame.

Why then should not a broom, made of a shrub, which grew most likely in the vicinity of the building where the lazy novice lived, a shrub, perhaps, repeatedly touched by him while in a state of anger, provoked by his laziness and distaste to his duty,—why should not a quantity of his life atoms have passed into the materials of the future besom and therein have been recognised by Buddha, owing to his superhuman (not supernatural) powers? The processes of nature are acts of incessant borrowing and giving back. The materialistic sceptic, however, will not take anything in any, save in a literal, dead-letter sense. We would invite those Christian Orientalists who chuckle at this record of Buddha’s teachings to compare it with a certain passage in the Gospels—a teaching of Christ. To his disciples’ query "who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"—the answer they received was—"neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him." (John ix. 2-3.)

Now Gautama’s statement has a scientific and philosophic meaning for every occultist at least, if it lacks a clear meaning for the profane; while the answer put (probably centuries later4) into the mouth of the founder of Christianity by his over-zealous and ignorant biographers has not even that esoteric meaning, which so many of the sayings of Jesus are pregnant with. This alleged teaching is an uncalled-for and blasphemous insult to their own God, implying, as it clearly does, that for the pleasure of manifesting his power, the Deity had foredoomed an innocent man to the tor-

4 And probably by, or under, the inspiration of Irenæus—since the sentence is found in the 4th Gospel, that of John, that did not exist yet at the time of his quarrels with the Gnostics.—Ed.


ture of a life-long blindness. As well accuse Christ of being the author of the 39 Articles!

To conclude our too long answer, the "lower principles" mentioned in the foot-note are—the 1st, 2nd and 3rd. They cannot include the Kamarupa, for this "rupa" belongs to the middle, not the lower principles. And, to our correspondent’s further query, "do the atoms of these (the 4th and the 5th) also re-form after going through various transmigrations to constitute over again the 4th and the lower 5th of the next incarnation"—we answer—"they do." The reason why we have tried to explain the doctrine of the "life atoms" at such length, is precisely in connection with this last question, and with the object of throwing out one more valuable hint. We do not feel at liberty at present, however, to give any further details.

Theosophist, July, August, 1883


A FEW years back a very interesting controversy raged between several scientists of reputation. Some of these held that spontaneous generation was a fact in nature, whilst others proved the contrary; to the effect that, as far as experiments went, there was found to be biogenesis, or generation of life from previously existing life, and never the production of any form of life from non-living matter.

An erroneous assumption was made in the first instance that heat, equal to the boiling point of water, destroyed all life organisms; but by taking hermetically sealed vessels containing infusions, and subjecting them to such or a greater degree of heat, it was shown that living organisms did appear even after the application of so much heat. By more careful experiments, the following fact was brought to light, that spores of Bacteria, and other animalculae, which generally float in the air, can, when dry, withstand a greater degree of heat, and that when the experiments are made in optically pure air, no life ever appears, and the infusions never putrefy.

Along with the fact of biogenesis, we must note, however, Mr. Huxley’s caution, when he says, "that with organic chemistry, molecular physics, and physiology yet in their infancy, and every day making prodigious strides, it would be the height of presumption for any man to say that the conditions under which matter assumes the qualities called vital, may not some day be artificially brought together"; and, again, "that as a matter not of proof, but of probability, if it were given me to look beyond the abyss of geologically recorded time, to the still more remote period, when the earth was passing through chemical and physical conditions which it can never see again, I should expect to be a witness of the evolution of living protoplasms from non-living matter."

Tracing inorganic matter upwards to the form which approaches most nearly to vital organisms, we come to those complex substances called "colloids," which are something like the white of an egg, and form the last stage of the ascending line from inorganic matter to organic life.


Tracing life downwards we ultimately reach "protoplasm," called by Huxley "the physical basis of life," a colourless, jelly-like substance, absolutely homogeneous without parts or structure. Protoplasm is evidently the nearest approach of life to matter; and if life ever originated from atomic and molecular combinations, it was in this form.

Protoplasm in its substance is a nitrogenous carbon compound, differing only from other similar compounds of the albuminous family of colloid by the extremely complex composition of its atoms. Its peculiar qualities, including life, are not the result of any new and peculiar atom added to the known chemical compounds of the same family, but of the manner of grouping and motions of these elements.1 Life in its essence is manifested by the faculties of nutrition, sensation, movement, and reproduction, and every speck of protoplasm develops organisms which possess these faculties. The question has been asked whether this primitive speck of protoplasm can be artificially manufactured by chemical processes. Science has answered in the negative, as it knows as yet of no process by which any combination of inorganic matter could be vivified.

The law of evolution has now been satisfactorily proved to pervade the whole of the Universe, but there are several missing links, and, doubtless, the discoveries of modern science will in course of time bring many new facts to light on these obscure points which at present defy all search. Far more important than the question of the origin of species is the great problem of the development of life from what is looked upon as the inanimate mineral kingdom.

Every discovery of science, however limited it may be, affords food for thought, and enables us to understand how far we are to believe on the ground of observation and experiment, and how far we theorize in the right direction.

Science has not been able to prove the fact of "spontaneous generation" by experiment, but the best of scientists think it safe to believe that there must have been spontaneous generation2 at one time. Thus far, scientific thought is in accord with esoteric teachings.

1 Vide Mr. Samuel Laing’s new book "A Modern Zoroastrian." The whole of the work is well worth study, as it is as interesting as it is scientific. Several quotations have been made in this article from that excellent volume.—N.D.K.

Notwithstanding its excellency, it is a very materialistic work.—(ED.)

2 Esoteric Science, holding that nothing in nature is inorganic, but that every atom is a "life," does not agree with "Modern Science" as to the meaning attached to "Spontaneous Generation." We may deal with this later.—(ED.)


Occult philosophy has it, that motion, cosmic matter, duration, space, are everywhere. Motion is the imperishable life, and is conscious or unconscious, as the case may be. It exists as much during the active period of the Universe, as during Pralaya, or dissolution, when the unconscious life still maintains the matter3 it animates in sleepless and unceasing motion.

Life is ever present in the atom or matter, whether organic or inorganic—a difference that occultists do not accept. When the life energy is active in the atom, that atom is organic; when dormant or latent, the atom is inorganic. The Jiva, or life principle, which animates man, beast, plant, and even a mineral, is a form of force indestructible since this force is the one life, or anima mundi, the universal living soul, and since the various modes in which objective things appear to us in nature in their atomic aggregations, such as minerals, plants, animals, etc., are all the different forms or states in which this force manifests itself. Were it to become for one single instant inactive, say in a stone, the particles of the latter would lose instantly their cohesive property, and disintegrate as suddenly, though the force would still remain in each of its particles, but in a dormant state.4 When the life force is disconnected with one set of atoms it becomes immediately attracted by others; but in doing so, it does not abandon entirely the first set, but only transfers its vis viva, or living power—the energy of motion—to another set. But because it manifests itself in the next set as what is called Kinetic energy, it does not follow that the first set is deprived of it altogether; for it is still in it, as potential energy, or life latent.

More than any other, the life principle in man is one with which we are most familiar, and yet are so hopelessly ignorant as to its nature. Matter and force are ever found allied. Matter without force, and force without matter, are inconceivable. In the mineral kingdom the universal life energy is one and unindividualized; it begins imperceptibly to differentiate in the vegetable kingdom, and from the lower animals to the higher animals, and man, the differentiation increases at every step in complex progression.

When once the life-principle has commenced to differentiate, and has become sufficiently individualized, does it keep to organisms of the same kind, or does it after the death of one organism go and vivify an organism of another kind? For instance, after the death of a man, does the Kinetic energy which kept him alive up to a cer-

3 Esoteric Science does not admit of the "existence" of "matter," as such, in Pralaya. In its noumenal state, dissolved in the "Great Breath," or its "laya" condition, it can exist only potentially. Occult philosophy, on the contrary, teaches that, during Pralaya, "Naught is. All is ceaseless eternal Breath."—(ED.)

4 "Five Years of Theosophy," page 535.


tain time go after death and attach itself to a protoplasmic speck of the human kind, or does it go and vivify some animal or vegetable germ?5

After the death of a man, the energy of motion which vitalized his frame is said to be partly left in the particles of the dead body in a dormant state, while the main energy goes and unites itself with another set of atoms. Here a distinction is drawn between the dormant life left in the particles of the dead body and the remaining Kinetic energy, which passes off elsewhere to vivify another set of atoms. Is not the energy that becomes dormant6 life in the particles of the dead body a lower form of energy than the Kinetic energy, which passes off elsewhere; and although during the life of a man they appear mixed up together, are they not two distinct forms of energy, united only for the time being?

A student of occultism writes as follows:

Jiva, or the life-principle, is subtle super-sensuous matter, permeating the entire physical structure of the living being, and when it is separated from such structure life is said to be extinct. A particular set of conditions is necessary for its connection with an animal structure, and when those conditions are disturbed it is attracted by other bodies presenting suitable conditions.7

5 As far as the writer knows, Occultism does not teach that the LIFE-PRINCIPLE— which is per se immutable, eternal, and as indestructible as the one causeless cause, for it is THAT in one of its aspects—can ever differentiate individually. The expression in Five Years of Theosophy must be misleading, if it led to such an inference. It is only each body—whether man, beast, plant, insect, bird, or mineral—which, in assimilating more or less the life principle, differentiates it in its own special atoms, and adapts it to this or another combination of particles, which combination determines the differentiation. The monad partaking in its universal aspect of the Parabrahmic nature, unites with its monas on the plane of differentiation to constitute an individual. This individual, being in its essence inseparable from Parabrahm, also partakes of the Life-Principle in its Parabrahmic or Universal Aspect. Therefore, at the death of a man or an animal, the manifestation of life or the evidences of Kinetic energy are only withdrawn to one of those subjective planes of existence which are not ordinarily objective to us. The amount of Kinetic energy to be expended during life by one particular set of physiological cells is allotted by Karma—another aspect of the Universal Principle—consequently when this is expended the conscious activity of man or animal is no longer manifested on the plane of those cells, and the chemical forces which they represent are disengaged and left free to act in the physical plane of their manifestation. Jiva—in its universal aspect—has, like Prakriti, its seven forms, or what we have agreed to call "principles." Its action begins on the plane of the Universal Mind (Mahat) and ends in the grossest of the Tanmatric five planes—the last one, which is ours. Thus though we may, repeating after Sankhya philosophy, speak of the seven prakritis (or "productive productions") or after the phraseology of the Occultists of the seven jivas—yet, both Prakriti and Jiva are indivisible abstractions, to be divided only out of condescension for the weakness of our human intellect. Therefore, also, whether we divide it into four, five or seven principles matters in reality very little.—(ED.)

6 A dormant energy is no energy.

7 "Five Years of Theosophy," page 512.


Every atom has contained within it its own life, or force, and the various atoms which make up the physical frame always carry with them their own life wherever they travel. The human or animal life-principle, however, which vitalizes the whole being, appears to be a progressed, differentiated, and individualized energy of motion, which seems to travel from organism to organism at each successive death. Is it really, as quoted above, "subtle super-sensuous matter," which is something distinct from the atoms that form the physical body? (1)

If so, it becomes a sort of a monad, and would be something akin to the higher human soul which transmigrates from body to body.

Another and more important question is:—Is the life-principle, or Jiva, something different from the higher or spiritual soul? Some Hindoo Philosophers hold that these two principles are not distinct, but one and the same. (2)

To make the question plainer, it may be enquired whether occultism knows of cases in which human beings have been known to live quite separated from their spiritual soul? (3)

A correct comprehension of the nature, qualities, and mode of action of the principle, called "Jiva," is very essential for a proper understanding of the very first principles of Esoteric Science, and it is with a view to elicit further information from those who have kindly promised to give help to the Editors of LUCIFER on deep questions of the science, that this feeble attempt has been made to formulate a few questions which have been puzzling almost every student of Theosophy.



  1. Modern Science, tracing all vital phenomena to the molecular forces of the original protoplasm, disbelieves in a Vital Principle, and in its materialistic negation laughs, of course, at the idea. Ancient Science, or Occultism, disregarding the laugh of ignorance, asserts it as a fact. THE ONE LIFE—is deity itself, immutable, omnipresent, eternal. It is "subtle, super-sensuous matter" on this lower plane of ours, whether we call it one thing or the other; whether we trace it to the "Sun-force"—a theory by B. W. Richardson, F.R.S.—or call it this, that, or the other. The learned Dr. Richardson—an eminent authority—goes further than words, for
  1. he speaks of the life-principle as of "a form of MATTER"(!!) Says the great man of science: "I speak only of a veritable material agent, refined, but actual and substantial; an agent having quality of weight and of volume; an agent susceptible of chemical combination, and thereby of change of physical state and condition; an agent passive in its action, moved always, i.e., by influences apart from itself, obeying other influences; an agent possessing no initiative power, no vis or energia naturae, but still playing a most important, if not a primary part in the production of the phenomena resulting from the action of the energia upon visible matter" (p. 379). As one sees, the Doctor plays at blind man’s buff with occultism, and describes admirably the passive, "life elementals" used—say—by great sorcerers to animate their homunculi. Still the F.R.S. describes one of the countless aspects of our "subtle, super-sensuous-matter-life-principle."
  2. And the Hindu philosophers are right. It is here that we have real need of the divisions of everything—Prakriti, Jiva, etc.—into principles to enable us to explain the action of Jiva on our low planes without degrading it. Thence, while the Vedantin philosopher may be content with four principles in his universal Kosmogony, we occultists need at least seven to enable ourselves to understand the difference of the Protean nature of the life-principle once it acts on the five lower spheres or planes.

    Our readers, enamoured with Modern Science, at the same time as with the occult doctrines—have to choose between the two views of the nature of the Life Principle, which are the most accepted now, and—the third view—that of the occult doctrines. The three may be described as follows:—

    1. That of the scientific "molecularists" who assert that life is the resultant of the interplay of ordinary molecular forces.
    2. That which regards "living organisms" as animated by an independent "vital principle," and declares "inorganic" matter to be lacking this.
    3. The Occultist or Esoteric standpoint, which looks upon the distinction between organic and inorganic matter as fallacious and nonexistent in nature. For it says that matter in all its phases being merely a vehicle for the manifestation through it of LIFE—The Parabrahmic Breath—in its physically pantheistic aspect (as Dr. Richardson would say, we
    1. suppose) it is a super-sensuous state of matter itself the vehicle of the ONE LIFE, the unconscious purposiveness of Parabrahm.
  1. It is just this. A human being can "live" quite separated from his Spiritual Soul— the 7th and 6th principles of the ONE LIFE or "Atma-Buddhi"; but no being—whether human or animal—can live separated from its physical Soul, Nephesh or the Breath of Life (in genesis). These "seven souls" or lives (that which we call Principles), are admirably described in the Egyptian Ritual and the oldest papyri. Chabas has unearthed curious papyri and Mr. Gerald Massey has collected priceless information upon this doctrine; and though his conclusions are not ours, we may yet in a future number quote the facts he gives, and thus show how the oldest philosophy known to Europe—the Egyptian—corroborates our esoteric teachings.

Lucifer, March, 1888


A Conversation Between A Great Eastern Teacher, Η. Ρ. B., Colonel Olcott and an Indian Reported by Η. P. Blavatsky

MASTER," said Narayan to Thakur, in the midst of a very hot dispute with the poor Babu, "what is it he is saying, and can one listen to him without being disgusted? He says that nothing remains of the man after he is dead, but that the body of the man simply resolves itself into its component elements, and that what we call the soul, and he calls the temporary consciousness, separates itself, disappearing like the steam of hot water as it cools."

"Do you find this so very astonishing?" said the Master. "The Babu is a Chârvâka1 and he tells you only that which every other Chârvâka would have told you."

"But the Chârvâka are mistaken. There are many people who believe that the real man is not his physical covering, but dwells in the mind, in the seat of consciousness. Do you mean to say that in any case the consciousness may leave the soul after death?"

"In his case it may," answered Thakur quietly: "because he firmly believes in what he says."

Narayan cast an astonished and even frightened look at Thakur, and the Babu—who always felt some restraint in the presence of the latter—looked at us with a victorious smile.

"But how is this?" went on Narayan. "The Vedânta teaches us that the spirit of the spirit is immortal, and that the human soul does not die in Parabrahman. Are there any exceptions?"

"In the fundamental laws of the spiritual world there can be no exceptions; but there are laws for the blind and laws for those who see."

"I understand this, but in this case, as I have told him already, his full and final disappearance of consciousness is nothing but the aberration of a blind man, who, not seeing the sun, denies its existence, but all the same he will see the sun with his spiritual sight after he is dead."

"He will not see anything," said the Master. "Denying the existence of the sun now, he could not see it on the other side of the grave."

1 A sect of Bengali Materialists.


Seeing that Narayan looked rather upset, and that even we, the Colonel and myself, stared at him in the expectation of a more definite answer, Thakur went on reluctantly:

"You speak about the spirit of the spirit, that is to say about the Atma, confusing this spirit with the soul of the mortal, with Manas. No doubt the spirit is immortal, because being without beginning it is without end; but it is not the spirit that is concerned in the present conversation. It is the human, self-conscious soul. You confuse it with the former, and the Babu denies the one and the other, soul and spirit, and so you do not understand each other."

"I understand him," said Narayan.

"But you do not understand me," interrupted the Master. "I will try to speak more clearly. What you want to know is this. Whether the full loss of consciousness and self-feeling is possible after death, even in the case of a confirmed Materialist. Is that it?"

Narayan answered: "Yes; because he fully denies everything that is an undoubted truth for us, that in which we firmly believe."

"All right," said the Master. "To this I will answer positively as follows, which, mind you, does not prevent me from believing as firmly as you do in our teaching, which designates the period between two lives as only temporary. Whether it is one year or a million that this entr’acte lasts between the two acts of the illusion of life, the posthumous state may be perfectly similiar to the state of a man in a very deep fainting-fit, without any breaking of the fundamental rules. Therefore the Babu in his personal case is perfectly right."

"But how is this?" said Colonel Olcott; "since the rule of immortality does not admit of any exceptions, as you said."

"Of course it does not admit of any exceptions, but only in the case of things that really exist. One who like yourself has studied Mândukya Upanishad and Vedânta-sara ought not to ask such questions," said the Master with a reproachful smile.

"But it is precisely Mândukya Upanishad " timidly observed Narayan, "which teaches us that between the Buddhi and the Manas, as between the Ȋshvara and Prajnâ, there is no more difference in reality than between a forest and its trees, between a lake and its waters."

"Perfectly right," said the Master, "because one or even a hundred trees which have lost their vital sap, or are even uprooted,


cannot prevent the forest from remaining a forest."

"Yes," said Narayan, "but in this comparison, Buddhi is the forest, and Manas Taijasi the trees, and if the former be immortal, then how is it possible for the Manas Taijasi, which is the same as Buddhi, to lose its consciousness before a new incarnation? That is where my difficulty lies."

"You have no business to have any difficulties," said the Master, "if you take the trouble not to confuse the abstract idea of the whole with its casual change of form. Remember that if in talking about Buddhi we may say that it is unconditionally immortal, we cannot say the same either about Manas, or about Taijasi. Neither the former nor the latter have any existence separated from the Divine Soul, because the one is an attribute of the terrestrial personality, and the second is identically the same as the first, only with the additional reflection in it of the Buddhi. In its turn, Buddhi would be an impersonal spirit without this element, which it borrows from the human soul, and which conditions it and makes out of it something which has the appearance of being separate from the Universal Soul, during all the cycle of the man’s incarnations. If you say therefore that Buddhi-Manas cannot die, and cannot lose consciousness either in eternity or during the temporary periods of suspension, you would be perfectly right; but to apply this axiom to the qualities of Buddhi-Manas is the same as if you were arguing that as the soul of Colonel Olcott is immortal the red on his cheeks is also immortal. And so it is evident you have mixed up the reality, Sat, with its manifestation. You have forgotten that united to the Manas only, the luminosity of Taijasi becomes a question of time, as the immortality and the posthumous consciousness of the terrestrial personality of the man become conditional qualities, depending on the conditions and beliefs created by itself during its lifetime. Karma acts unceasingly, and we reap in the next world the fruit of that which we ourselves have sown in this life."

"But if my Ego may find itself after the destruction of my body in a state of complete unconsciousness, then where is the punishment for the sins committed by me in my lifetime?" asked the Colonel, pensively stroking his beard.

"Our Philosophy teaches us," answered Thakur, "that the punishment reaches the Ego only in its next incarnation, and that immediately after our death we meet only the rewards for the sufferings of the terrestrial life, sufferings that were not deserved by us.


So, as you may see, the whole of the punishment consists in the absence of reward, in the complete loss of the consciousness of happiness and rest. Karma is the child of the terrestrial Ego, the fruit of the acts of his visible personality, even of the thoughts and intentions of the spiritual I. But at the same time it is a tender mother, who heals the wounds given in the preceding life before striking this Ego and giving him new ones. In the life of a mortal there is no mishap or sorrow which is not a fruit and direct consequence of a sin committed in his preceding incarnation; but not having preserved the slightest recollection of it in his present life, and not feeling himself guilty, and therefore suffering unjustly, the man deserves consolation and full rest on the other side of the grave. For our spiritual Ego Death is always a redeemer and a friend. It is either the peaceful sleep of a baby, or a sleep full of blissful dreams and reveries."

"As far as I remember, the periodical incarnations of Sûtrâtmâ2 are compared in the Upanishads to the terrestrial life which is spent, term by term, in sleeping and waking. Is that so?" I asked, wishing to renew the first question of Narayan.

"Yes, it is so; that is a very good comparison."

"I do not doubt it is good," I said, "but I hardly understand it. After the awakening, the man merely begins a new day, but his soul, as well as his body, are the same as they were yesterday; whereas in every new incarnation not only his exterior, sex, and even personality, but, as it seems to me, all his moral qualities, are changed completely. And then, again, how can this comparison be called true, when people, after their awakening, remember very well not only what they were doing yesterday, but many days, months, and even years ago, whereas, in their present incarnations, they do not preserve the slightest recollection about any past life, whatever it was. Of course a man, after he is awakened, may forget what he has seen in his dreams, but still he knows that he was sleeping and that during his sleep he lived. But about our previous life we cannot say even that we lived. What do you say to this?"

"There are some people who do remember some things," enig-

2 In the Vedânta, Buddhi, in its combinations with the moral qualities, consciousness, and the notions of the personalities in which it was incarnated, is called Sûtrâtmâ, which literally means the "thread soul," because a whole long row of human lives is strung on this thread like the pearls of a necklace. The Manas must become Taijasi in order to reach and to see itself in eternity, when united to Sûtrâtmâ. But often, owing to sin and associations with the purely terrestrial reason, this very luminosity disappears completely.


matically answered Thakur, without giving a straight answer to my question.

"I have some suspicions on this point," I answered, laughingly, "but it cannot be said about ordinary mortals. Then how are we, who have not reached as yet the Samma Sambuddha,3 to understand this comparison?"

"You can understand it when you better understand the characteristics of the three kinds of what we call sleep."

"This is not an easy task you propose to us," said the Colonel, laughingly. "The greatest of our physiologists got so entangled in this question that it became only more confused."

"It is because they have undertaken what they had no business to undertake, the answering of this question being the duty of the psychologist, of whom there are hardly any among your European scientists. A Western psychologist is only another name for a physiologist, with the difference that they work on principles still more material. I have recently read a book by Maudsley which showed me clearly that they try to cure mental diseases without believing in the existence of the soul."

"All this is very interesting," I said, "but it leads us away from the original object of our questions, which you seem reluctant to clear for us, Thakur Sahib. It looks as if you were confirming and even encouraging the theories of the Babu. Remember that he says he disbelieves the posthumous life, the life after death, and denies the possibility of any kind of consciousness exactly on the grounds of our not remembering anything of our past terrestrial life."

"I repeat again that the Babu is a Chârvâka, who only repeats what he was taught. It is not the system of the Materialists that I confirm and encourage, but the truth of the Babu’s opinions in what concerns his personal state after death."

"Then do you mean to say that such people as the Babu are to be excepted from the general rule?"

"Not at all. Sleep is a general and unchangeable law for man as well as for every other terrestrial creature, but there are various sleeps and still more various dreams."

"But it is not only the life after death and its dreams that he denies. He denies the immortal life altogether, as well as the im-

3 The knowledge of one’s past incarnations. Only Yogis and Adepts of the Occult Sciences possess this knowledge, by the aid of the most ascetic life.


mortality of his own spirit."

"In the first instance he acts according to the canons of modern European Science, founded on the experience of our five senses. In this he is guilty only with respect to those people who do not hold his opinions. In the second instance again he is perfectly right. Without the previous interior consciousness and the belief in the immortality of the soul, the soul cannot become Buddhi Taijasi. It will remain Manas.4 But for the Manas alone there is no immortality. In order to live a conscious life in the world on the other side of the grave, the man must have acquired belief in that world, in this terrestrial life. These are the two aphorisms of the Occult Science, on which is constructed all our Philosophy in respect to the posthumous consciousness and immortality of the Soul. Sûtrâtmâ gets only what it deserves. After the destruction of the body there begins for the Sûtrâtmâ either a period of full awakening, or a chaotic sleep, or a sleep without reveries or dreams. Following your physiologists who found the causality of dreams in the unconscious preparation for them in the waking state, why should not we acknowledge the same with respect to the posthumous dreams? I repeat what Vedânta Sara teaches us: Death is sleep. After death, there begins before our spiritual eyes a representation of a programme that was learned by heart by us in our lifetime, and was sometimes invented by us, the practical realization of our true beliefs, or of illusions created by ourselves. These are the posthumous fruit of the tree of life. Of course the belief or disbelief in the fact of conscious immortality cannot influence the unconditioned actuality of the fact itself once it exists. But the belief or disbelief of separate personalities cannot but condition the influence of this fact in its effect on such personalities. Now I hope you understand."

"I begin to understand. The Materialists, disbelieving everything that cannot be controlled by their five senses and their so-called scientific reason and denying every spiritual phenomenon, point to the terrestrial as the only conscious existence. Accordingly

4 Without the full assimilation with the Divine Soul, the terrestrial soul, or Manas, cannot live in eternity a conscious life. It will become Buddhi-Taijasi, or Buddhi-Manas, only in case its general tendencies during its lifetime lead it towards the spiritual world. Then full of the essence and penetrated by the light of its Divine Soul, the Manas will disappear in Buddhi, will assimilate itself with Buddhi, still preserving a spiritual consciousness of its terrestrial personality; otherwise Manas, that is to say, the human mind, founded on the five physical senses, our terrestrial or our personal soul, will be plunged into a deep sleep without awakening, without dreams, without consciousness, till a new reincarnation. [In this article Sûtrâtmâ is used for the principle later called the Higher Manas, and Manas for that later called the Lower Manas, or Kâma-Manas.— EDS.]


they will get only what they have deserved. They will lose their personal I; they will sleep the unconscious sleep until a new awakening. Have I understood rightly?"

"Nearly. You may add to that that the Vedântins, acknowledging two kinds of conscious existence, the terrestrial and the spiritual, point only to the latter as an undoubted actuality. As to the terrestrial life, owing to its changeability and shortness, it is nothing but an illusion of our senses. Our life in the spiritual spheres must be thought an actuality because it is there that lives our endless, never-changing immortal I, the Sûtratma. Whereas in every new incarnation it clothes itself in a perfectly different personality, a temporary and short-lived one, in which everything except its spiritual prototype is doomed to traceless destruction."

"But excuse me, Thakur. Is it possible that my personality, my terrestrial conscious I, is to perish tracelessly?"

"According to our teachings, not only is it to perish, but it must perish in all its fullness, except this principle in it which, united to Buddhi, has become purely spiritual and now forms an inseparable whole. But in the case of a hardened Materialist it may happen that neither consciously nor unconsciously has anything of its personal I ever penetrated into Buddhi. The latter will not take away into eternity any atom of such a terrestrial personality. Your spiritual I is immortal, but from your present personality it will carry away only that which has deserved immortality, that is to say only the aroma of the flowers mowed down by death."

"But the flower itself, the terrestrial I?"

"The flower itself, as all the past and future flowers which have blossomed and will blossom after them on the same maternal branch, Sûtrâtmâ, children of the same root, Buddhi, will become dust. Your real I is not, as you ought to know yourself, your body that now sits before me, nor your Manas Sûtrâtmâ, but your Sûtrâtmâ-Buddhi."

"But this does not explain to me why you call our posthumous life immortal, endless, and real, and the terrestrial one a mere shadow. As far as I understand, according to your teaching, even our posthumous life has its limits, and being longer than the terrestrial life, still has its end."

"Most decidedly. The spiritual Ego of the man moves in eternity like a pendulum between the hours of life and death, but if these


hours, the periods of life terrestrial and life posthumous, are limited in their continuation, and even the very number of such breaks in eternity between sleep and waking, between illusion and reality, have their beginning as well as their end, the spiritual Pilgrim himself is eternal. Therefore the hours of his posthumous life, when unveiled he stands face to face with truth and the short-lived mirages of his terrestrial existences are far from him, compose or make up, in our ideas, the only reality. Such breaks, in spite of the fact that they are finite, do double service to the Sûtrâtmâ, which, perfecting itself constantly, follows without vacillation, though very slowly, the road leading to its last transformation, when, reaching its aim at last, it becomes a Divine Being. They not only contribute to the reaching of this goal, but without these finite breaks Sûtrâtmâ-Buddhi could never reach it. Sûtrâtmâ is the actor, and its numerous and different incarnations are the actor’s parts. I suppose you would not apply to these parts, and so much the less to their costumes, the term of personality. Like an actor the soul is bound to play, during the cycle of births up to the very threshold of Paranirvana, many such parts, which often are disagreeable to it, but like a bee, collecting its honey from every flower, and leaving the rest to feed the worms of the earth, our spiritual individuality, the Sûtrâtmâ, collecting only the nectar of moral qualities and consciousness from every terrestrial personality in which it has to clothe itself, forced by Karma, unites at last all these qualities in one, having then become a perfect being, a Dhyân Chohan. So much the worse for such terrestrial personalities from whom it could not gather anything. Of course, such personalities cannot outlive consciously their terrestrial existence."

"Then the immortality of the terrestrial personality still remains an open question, and even the very immortality is not unconditioned?"

"Oh no, you misunderstand me," said the Master. "What I mean is that immortality does not cover the non-existing; for everything that exists in Sat, or has its origin in Sat, immortality as well as infinity, are unconditioned. Mulaprakriti is the reverse of Parabrahman, but they are both one and the same. The very essence of all this, that is to say, spirit, force and matter, have neither end nor beginning, but the shape acquired by this triple unity during its incarnations, their exterior so to speak, is nothing but a mere illusion of personal conceptions. This is why we call the posthumous


life the only reality, and the terrestrial one, including the personality itself, only imaginary."

"Why in this case should we call the reality sleep, and the phantasm waking?"

"This comparison was made by me to facilitate your comprehension. From the standpoint of your terrestrial notions it is perfectly accurate."

"You say that the posthumous life is founded on a basis of perfect justice, on the merited recompense for all the terrestrial sorrows. You say that Sûtrâtmâ is sure to seize the smallest opportunity of using the spiritual qualities in each of its incarnations. Then how can you admit that the spiritual personality of our Babu, the personality of this boy, who is so ideally honest and noble, so perfectly kind, in spite of all his disbeliefs, will not reach immortality, and will perish like the dust of a dried flower?"

"Who, except himself," answered the Master, "ever doomed him to such a fate? I have known the Babu from the time he was a small boy, and I am perfectly sure that the harvest of the Sûtrâtmâ in his case will be very abundant. Though his Atheism and Materialism are far from being feigned, still he cannot die for ever in the whole fullness of his individuality."

"But, Thakur Sahib, did not you yourself confirm the rectitude of his notions as to his personal state on the other side of the grave, and do not these notions consist in his firm belief that after his death every trace of consciousness will disappear?"

"I confirmed them, and I confirm them again. When travelling in a railway train you may fall asleep and sleep all the time, while the train stops at many stations; but surely there will be a station where you will awake, and the aim of your journey will be reached in full consciousness. You say you are dissatisfied with my comparison of death to sleep, but remember, the most ordinary of mortals knows three different kinds of sleep—dreamless sleep, a sleep with vague chaotic dreams, and at last a sleep with dreams so very vivid and clear that for the time being they become a perfect reality for the sleeper. Why should not you admit that exactly the analogous case happens to the soul freed from its body? After their parting there begins for the soul, according to its deserts, and chiefly to its faith, either a perfectly conscious life, a life of semi-consciousness, or a dreamless sleep which is equal to the state of non-being. This is the realization of the programme of which I spoke, a programme pre-


viously invented and prepared by the Materialist. But there are Materialists and Materialists. A bad man, or simply a great egotist, who adds to his full disbelief a perfect indifference to his fellow beings, must unquestionably leave his personality for ever at the threshold of death. He has no means of linking himself to the Sûtrâtmâ, and the connection between them is broken for ever with his last sigh; but such Materialists as our Babu will sleep only one station. There will be a time when he will recognize himself in eternity, and will be sorry he has lost a single day of the life eternal. I see your objections—I see you are going to say that hundreds and thousands of human lives, lived through by the Sûtrâtmâ, correspond in our Vedântin notions to a perfect disappearance of every personality. This is my answer. Take a comparison of eternity with a single life of a man, which is composed of so many days, weeks, months, and years. If a man has preserved a good memory in his old age he may easily recall every important day or year of his past life, but even in case he has forgotten some of them, is not his personality one and the same through all his life? For the Ego every separate life is what every separate day is in the life of a man."

"Then, would it not be better to say that death is nothing but a birth for a new life, or, still better, a going back to eternity?"

"This is how it really is, and I have nothing to say against such a way of putting it. Only with our accepted views of material life the words ‘live’ and ‘exist’ are not applicable to the purely subjective condition after death; and were they employed in our Philosophy without a rigid definition of their meanings, the Vedântins would soon arrive at the ideas which are common in our times among the American Spiritualists, who preach about spirits marrying among themselves and with mortals. As amongst the true, not nominal Christians, so amongst the Vedântins—the life on the other side of the grave is the land where there are no tears, no sighs, where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, and where the just realize their full perfection."

Lucifer, October, 1892


By Η. P. Blavatsky

OVER and over again the abstruse and mooted question of Rebirth or Reincarnation has crept out during the first ten years of the Theosophical Society’s existence. It has been alleged on prima facie evidence, that a notable discrepancy was found between statements made in Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, 351-2,

and later teachings from the same pen and under the inspiration of the same master.1

In Isis, it was held, reincarnation is denied. An occasional return, only of "depraved spirits" is allowed. "Exclusive of that rare and doubtful possibility, Isis allows only three cases—abortion, very early death, and idiocy—in which reincarnation on this earth occurs." ("C.C.M." in Light, 1882.)

The charge was answered then and there as every one who will turn to the Theosophist of August, 1882, can see for himself. Nevertheless, the answer either failed to satisfy some readers or passed unnoticed. Leaving aside the strangeness of the assertion that reincarnationi.e., the serial and periodical rebirth of every individual monad from pralaya to pralaya2 is denied in the face of the fact that the doctrine is part and parcel and one of the fundamental features of Hinduism and Buddhism, the charge amounted virtually to this: the writer of the present, a professed admirer and student of Hindu philosophy, and as professed a follower of Buddhism years before Isis was written, by rejecting reincarnation must necessarily reject KARMA likewise! For the latter is the very cornerstone of Esoteric philosophy and Eastern religions; it is the grand and one pillar on which hangs the whole philosophy of rebirths, and once the latter is denied, the whole doctrine of Karma falls into meaningless verbiage.

Nevertheless, the opponents without stopping to think of the evident "discrepancy" between charge and fact, accused a Buddhist by profession of faith of denying reincarnation hence also by implication—Karma. Adverse to wrangling with one who was a friend,

1 See charge and answer, in Theosophist, August, 1882.

2 The cycle of existence during the manvantara—period before and after the beginning and completion of which every such "monad" is absorbed and reabsorbed in the ONE soul, anima mundi.


and undesirous at the time to enter upon a defence of details and internal evidence—a loss of time indeed—the writer answered merely with a few sentences. But it now becomes necessary to well define the doctrine. Other critics have taken the same line, and by misunderstanding the passages to that effect in Isis they have reached the same rather extraordinary conclusions.

To put an end to such useless controversies, it is proposed to explain the doctrine more clearly.

Although, in view of the later more minute renderings of the esoteric doctrines, it is quite immaterial what may have been written in Isis—an encyclopedia of occult subjects in which each of these is hardly sketched—let it be known at once, that the writer maintains the correctness of every word given out upon the subject in my earlier volumes. What was said in the Theosophist of August, 1882, may now be repeated here. The passage quoted from it may be, and is, most likely "incomplete, chaotic, vague, perhaps clumsy, as are many more passages in that work, the first literary production of a foreigner who even now can hardly boast of her knowledge of the English language." Nevertheless it is quite correct so far as that collateral feature of reincarnation is therein concerned.

I will now give extracts from Isis and proceed to explain every passage criticized, wherein it was said that "a few fragments of this mysterious doctrine of reincarnation as distinct from metempsychosis"—would be then presented. Sentences now explained are in italics.

Reincarnation i.e., the appearance of the same individual, or rather of his astral monad, twice on the same planet is not a rule in nature, it is an exception, like the teratological phenomenon of a two-headed infant. It is preceded by a violation of the laws of harmony of nature, and happens only when the latter seeking to restore its disturbed equilibrium, violently throws back into earth-life the astral monad which had been tossed out of the circle of necessity by crime or accident. Thus in cases of abortion, of infants dying before a certain age, and of congenital and incurable idiocy, nature’s original design to produce a perfect human being, has been interrupted. Therefore, while the gross matter of each of these several entities is suffered to disperse itself at death, through the vast realm of being, the immortal spirit and astral monad of the individualthe latter having been set apart to animate a frame and the former to shed its divine light on the corporeal organization—must try a second time to carry out the purpose of the creative intelligence. (Isis I, 351.)


Here the "astral monad" or body of the deceased personality— say of John or Thomas—is meant. It is that which, in the teachings of the Esoteric philosophy of Hinduism, is known under its name of bhoot; in the Greek philosophy is called the simulacrum or umbra, and in all other philosophies worthy of the name is said, as taught in the former, to disappear after a certain period more or less prolonged in Kama-loka— the Limbus of the Roman Catholics, or Hades of the Greeks.3 It is "a violation of the laws of harmony of nature," though it be so decreed by those of Karma—every time that the astral monad, or the simulacrum of the personality—of John or Thomas— instead of running down to the end of its natural period of time in a body—finds itself

(a) violently thrown out of it by whether early death or accident; or (b) is compelled in consequence of its unfinished task to re-appear (i.e., the same astral body wedded to the same immortal monad) on earth again, in order to complete the unfinished task. Thus "it must try a second time to carry out the purpose of creative intelligence" or law.

If reason has been so far developed as to become active and discriminative there is no4 (immediate) reincarnation on the earth, for the three parts of the triune man have been united together, and he is capable of running the race. But when the new being has not passed beyond the condition of Monad, or when, as in the idiot, the trinity has not been completed on earth and therefore cannot be so after death, the immortal spark which illuminates it has to re-enter on the earthly plane as it was frustrated in its first attempt. Otherwise, the mortal or astral, and the immortal or divine souls, could not progress in unison and pass onward to the sphere above5 (Devachan). Spirit follows a line parallel with that of matter; and the spiritual evolution goes hand in hand with the physical.

The Occult Doctrine teaches that:

  1. There is no immediate reincarnation on Earth for the Monad, as falsely taught by the Reincarnationist Spiritists; nor is there any second incarnation at all for the "personal" or false Ego—the perisprit—save the exceptional cases mentioned. But that

    (a) there are rebirths, or periodical reincarnations for the immortal

3 Hades has surely never been meant for Hell. It was always the abode of the sorrowing shadows of astral bodies of the dead personalities. Western readers should remember Kama-loka is not Karma-loka, for Kama means desire, and Karma does not.

4 Had this word "immediate" been put at the time of publishing Isis between the two words "no" and "reincarnation" there would have been less room for dispute and controversy.

5 By "sphere above," of course "Devachan" was meant.

  1. Ego—("Ego" during the cycle of re-births, and non-Ego, in Nirvana or Moksha when it becomes impersonal and absolute); for that Ego is the root of every new incarnation, the string on which are threaded, one after the other, the false personalities or illusive bodies called men, in which the Monad-Ego incarnates itself during the cycle of births; and (b) that such reincarnations take place not before 1,500, 2,000 and even 3,000 years of Devachanic life.
  2. That Manas—the seat of Jiv, that spark which runs the round of the cycle of birth and rebirths with the Monad from the beginning to the end of a Manvantara—is the real Ego. That (a) the Jiv follows the divine monad that gives it spiritual life and immortality into Devachan—that therefore, it can neither be reborn before its appointed period, nor reappear on Earth visibly or invisibly in the interim; and (b) that, unless the fruition, the spiritual aroma of the Manas, or all these highest aspirations and spiritual qualities and attributes that constitute the higher SELF of man become united to its monad, the latter becomes as Non existent; since it is in esse "impersonal" and per se Ego-less, so to say, and gets its spiritual colouring or flavour of Ego-tism only from each Manas during incarnation and after it is disembodied, and separated from all its lower principles.
  3. That the remaining four principles, or rather the 2½—as they are composed of the terrestrial portion of Manas, of its Vehicle Kama-Rupa and Lingha Sarira—the body dissolving immediately, and prana or the life principle along with it—that these principles having belonged to the false personality are unfit for Devachan. The latter is the state of Bliss, the reward for all the undeserved miseries of life,6 and that which prompted man to sin, namely his terrestrial passionate nature, can have no room in it.

Therefore the reincarnating* principles are left behind in Kama-

6 The reader must bear in mind that the esoteric teaching maintains that save in cases of wickedness when man’s nature attains the acme of Evil, and human terrestrial sin reaches Satanic universal character, so to say as some Sorcerers do—there is no punishment for the majority of mankind after death. The law of retribution as Karma, awaits man at the threshold of his new incarnation. Man is at best a wretched tool of evil, unceasingly forming new causes and circumstances. He is not always (if ever) responsible. Hence a period of rest and bliss in Devachan, with an utter temporary oblivion of all the miseries and sorrows of life. Avitchi is a spiritual state of the greatest misery and is only in store for those who have devoted consciously their lives to doing injury to others and have thus reached its highest spirituality of EVIL.

* The following "Important Correction," by Mme. Blavatsky, and editorial note by Mr. Judge, appeared in the Path for January, 1887.


In the November number of Path in my article "Theories about Reincarnation and


loka, firstly as a material residue, then later on as a reflection on the mirror of Astral light. Endowed with illusive action, to the day when having gradually faded out they disappear, what is it but the Greek Eidolon and the simulacrum of the Greek and Latin poets and classics?

What reward or punishment can there be in that sphere of disembodied human entities for a fœtus or a human embryo which had not even time to breathe on this earth, still less an opportunity to exercise the divine faculties of its spirit? Or, for an irresponsible infant, whose senseless monad remaining dormant within the astral and physical casket, could as little prevent him from burning himself as any other person to death? Or again for one idiotic from birth, the number of whose cerebral circumvolutions is only from twenty to thirty per cent of those of sane persons, and who therefore is irresponsible for either his disposition, acts, or for the imperfections of his vagrant, half-developed intellect. (Isis I, 352.)

These are, then, the "exceptions" spoken of in Isis, and the doctrine is maintained now as it was then. Moreover, there is no "discrepancy" but only incompleteness— hence, misconceptions arising from later teachings. Then again, there are several important mistakes in Isis which, as the plates of the work had been stereotyped, were not corrected in subsequent editions.

One of such is on page 346, and another in connection with it and as a sequence on page 347.

The discrepancy between the first portion of the statement and the last, ought to have suggested the idea of an evident mistake. It

Spirits," the entire batch of elaborate arguments is upset and made to fall flat owing to the mistake of either copyist or printer. On page 235, the last paragraph is made to begin with these words: "Therefore the reincarnating principles are left behind in Kama-loka, etc.," whereas it ought to read "Therefore the NON-reincarnating principles (the false personality) are left behind in Kama-loka, etc.," a statement fully corroborated by what follows, since it is stated that those principles fade out and disappear.

There seems to be some fatality attending this question. The spiritualists will not fail to see in it the guiding hand of their dear departed ones from "Summerland"; and I am inclined to share that belief with them in so far that there must be some mischevous spook between me and the printing of my articles. Unless immediately corrected and attention drawn to it, this error is one which is sure to be quoted some day against me and called a contradiction.

Yours truly,
Η. P. Blavatsky

November 20th, 1886.

NOTE.—The MS. for the article referred to was written out by some one for Mme. Blavatsky and forwarded to us as it was printed, and it is quite evident that the error was the copyist’s, and not ours nor Madame’s; besides that, the remainder of the paragraph clearly shows a mistake. We did not feel justified in making such an important change on our own responsibility, but are now glad to have the author do it herself. Other minor errors probably also can be found in consequence of the peculiar writing of the amanuensis, but they are very trivial in their nature.—[ED. Path]


is addressed to the spiritists, reincarnationists who take the more than ambiguous words of Apuleius as a passage that corroborates their claims for their "spirits" and reincarnation. Let the reader judge7 whether Apuleius does not justify rather our assertions. We are charged with denying reincarnation and this is what we said there and then in Isis!

The philosophy teaches that nature never leaves her work unfinished; if baffled at the first attempt, she tries again. When she evolves a human embryo, the intention is that a man shall be perfected —physically, intellectually, and spiritually. His body is to grow, mature, wear out, and die; his mind unfold, ripen, and be harmoniously balanced; his divine spirit illuminate and blend easily with the inner man. No human being completes its grand cycle, or the "circle of necessity," until all these are accomplished. As the laggards in a race struggle and plod in their first quarter while the victor darts past the goal, so, in the race of immortality, some souls outspeed all the rest and reach the end, while their myriad competitors are toiling under the load of matter, close to the starting point. Some unfortunates fall out entirely and lose all chance of the prize; some retrace their steps and begin again.

Clear enough this, one should say. Nature baffled tries again. No one can pass out of this world (our earth) without becoming perfected "physically, morally, and spiritually." How can this be done, unless there is a series of rebirths required for the necessary perfection in each department—to evolute in the "circle of necessity," can surely never be found in one human life? and yet this sentence is followed without any break by the following parenthetical statement: "This is what the Hindu dreads above all things — transmigration and reincarnation; only on other and inferior planets, never on this one!!!"

The last "sentence" is a fatal mistake and one to which the writer pleads "not guilty." It is evidently the blunder of some "reader" who had no idea of Hindu philosophy and who was led into a subsequent

7 Says Apuleius: "The soul is born in this world upon leaving the soul of the world (anima mundi) in which her existence precedes the one we all know (on earth). Thus, the Gods who consider her proceedings in all the phases of various existences and as a whole, punish her sometimes for sins committed during an anterior life. She dies when she separates herself from a body in which she crossed this life as in a frail bark. And this is, if I mistake not, the secret meaning of the tumulary inscription, so simple for the initiate: "To the Gods manes who lived." But this kind of death does not annihilate the soul, it only transforms (one portion of it) it into a lemure. "Lemures" are the manes, or ghosts, which we know under the name lares. When they keep away and show us a beneficent protection, we honour in them the protecting divinities of the family hearth; but if their crimes sentence them to err, we call them larvæ. They become a plague for the wicked, and the vain terror of the good." ("Du Dieu de Socrate" Apul. class, pp. 143-145.)


mistake on the next page, wherein the unfortunate word "planet" is put for cycle. Isis was hardly, if ever, looked into after its publication by its writer, who had other work to do; otherwise there would have been an apology and a page pointing to the errata and the sentence made to run: "The Hindu dreads transmigration in other inferior forms, on this planet."

This would have dove-tailed with the preceding sentence, and would show a fact, as the Hindu exoteric views allow him to believe and fear the possibility of reincarnation— human and animal in turn by jumps, from man to beast and even a plant—and vice versa; whereas esoteric philosophy teaches that nature never proceeding backward in her evolutionary progress, once that man has evoluted from every kind of lower forms— the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms—into the human form, he can never become an animal except morally, hence—metaphorically. Human incarnation is a cyclic necessity, and law; and no Hindu dreads it—however much he may deplore the necessity. And this law and the periodical recurrence of man’s rebirth is shown on the same page (346) and in the same unbroken paragraph, where it is closed by saying that:

But there is a way to avoid it. Buddha taught it in his doctrine of poverty, restriction of the senses, perfect indifference to the objects of this earthly vale of tears, freedom from passion, and frequent intercommunication with the Atma—soul-contemplation. The cause of reincarnation8 is ignorance of our senses, and the idea that there is any reality in the world, anything except abstract existence. From the organs of sense comes the "hallucination" we call contact: "from contact, desire; from desire, sensation (which also is a deception of our body); from sensation, the cleaving to existing bodies; from this cleaving, reproduction; and from reproduction, disease, decay and death."

This ought to settle the question and show there must have been some carelessly unnoticed mistake, and if this is not sufficient, there is something else to demonstrate it, for it is further on:

Thus, like the revolutions of a wheel, there is a regular succession of death and birth, the moral cause of which is the cleaving to existing objects, while the instrumental cause is Karma (the power which controls the universe, prompting it to activity), merit and demerit. It is therefore the greatest desire of all beings who would be released from the sorrows of successive birth, to seek the destruction of the moral cause, the cleaving to existing objects, or evil desire.

8 "The cause of reincarnation is ignorance"—therefore there is "reincarnation" once the writer explained the causes of it.


They in whom evil desire is entirely destroyed are called Arhats. Freedom from evil desire insures the possession of a miraculous power. At his death, the Arhat is never reincarnated; he invariably attains nirvana—a word, by the by, falsely interpreted by the Christian scholar and skeptical commentators. Nirvana is the world of cause, in which all deceptive effects or delusions of our senses disappear. Nirvana is the highest attainable sphere. The pitris (the pre-Adamic spirits) are considered as reincarnated by the Buddhistic philosopher, though in a degree far superior to that of the man of earth. Do they not die in their turn? Do not their astral bodies suffer and rejoice, and feel the same curse of illusionary feelings as when embodied?

And just after this we are again made to say of Buddha and his Doctrine of "Merit and Demerit," or Karma:

But this former life believed in by the Buddhists, is not a life on this planet for, more than any other people, the Buddhistical philosopher appreciated the great doctrine of cycles.

Correct "life on this planet" by "life in the same cycle" and you will have the correct reading: for what would have appreciation of "the great doctrine of cycles" to do with Buddha’s philosophy, had the great sage believed but in one short life on this Earth and in the same cycle. But to return to the real theory of reincarnation as in the esoteric teaching and its unlucky rendering in Isis.

Thus, what was really meant therein, was that, the principle which does not reincarnate—save the exceptions pointed out—is the false personality, the illusive human Entity defined and individualized during this short life of ours, under some specific form and name; but that which does and has to reincarnate nolens volens under the unflinching, stern rule of Karmic law—is the real EGO. This confusing of the real immortal Ego in man, with the false and ephemeral personalities it inhabits during its Manvantaric progress, lies at the root of every such misunderstanding. Now what is the one, and what is the other? The first group is—

  1. The immortal Spirit—sexless, formless (arupa), an emanation from the One universal BREATH.
  2. Its Vehicle—the divine Soul—called the "Immortal Ego," the "Divine monad," etc., etc., which by accretions from Manas in which burns the ever existing Jiv—the undying spark—adds to itself at the close of each incarnation the essence of that individuality that was, the aroma of the culled flower that is no more.

What is the false personality? It is that bundle of desires, aspirations, affection and hatred, in short of action, manifested by a hu-


man being on this earth during one incarnation and under the form of one personality.9 Certainly it is not all this, which as a fact for us, the deluded, material, and materially thinking lot—is Mr. So and So, or Mrs. somebody else—that remains immortal, or is ever reborn.

All that bundle of Egotism, that apparent and evanescent "I " disappears after death, as the costume of the part he played disappears from the actor’s body, after he leaves the theatre and goes to bed. That actor re-becomes at once the same "John Smith" or Gray, he was from his birth and is no longer the Othello or Hamlet that he had represented for a few hours. Nothing remains now of that "bundle" to go to the next incarnation, except the seed for future Karma that Manas may have united to its immortal group, to form with it—the disembodied Higher Self in "Devachan." As to the four lower principles, that which becomes of them is found in most classics, from which we mean to quote at length for our defense. The doctrine of the perisprit, the "false personality," or the remains of the deceased under their astral form—fading out to disappear in time, is terribly distasteful to the spiritualists, who insist upon confusing the temporary with the immortal EGO.

Unfortunately for them and happily for us, it is not the modern Occultists who have invented the doctrine. They are on their defense. And they prove what they say, i.e., that no "personality" has ever yet been "reincarnated" "on the same planet" (our earth, this once there is no mistake) save in the three exceptional cases above cited. Adding to these a fourth case, which is the deliberate, con-

9 A proof of how our theosophical teachings have taken root in every class of Society and even in English literature may be seen by reading Mr. Norman Pearson’s article "Before Birth" in the Nineteenth Century for August, 1886. Therein, theosophical ideas and teachings are speculated upon without acknowledgement or the smallest reference to theosophy, and among others, we see with regard to the author’s theories on the Ego the following: "How much of the individual personality is supposed to go to heaven or hell? Does the whole of the mental equipment, good and bad, noble qualities and unholy passions, follow the soul to its hereafter? Surely not. But if not, and something has to be stripped off, how and when are we to draw the line? If, on the other hand, the Soul is something distinct from all our mental equipment, except the sense of self, are we not confronted by the incomprehensible notion of a personality without any attributes?"

To this query the author answers as any true theosophist would: "The difficulties of the question really spring from a misconception of the true nature of these attributes. The components of our mental equipment— appetites, aversions, feelings, tastes and qualities generally—are not absolute but relative existences. Hunger and thirst for instance are states of consciousness which arise in response to the stimuli of physical necessities. They are not inherent elements of the soul and will disappear or become modified, etc." (pp. 356 and 357). In other words, the theosophical doctrine is adopted, Atma and Buddhi having culled off the Manas the aroma of the personality or human soul—go into Devachan; while the lower principles, the astral simulacrum or false personality void of its Divine monad or spirit, will remain in the Kamaloka—the "Summerland."


scious act of adeptship; and that such an astral body belongs neither to the body nor the soul still less to the immortal spirit of man, the following is brought forward and proofs cited.

Before one brings out on the strength of undeniable manifestations, theories as to what produces them and claims at once on prima facie evidence that it is the spirits of the departed mortals that revisit us, it behooves one to first study what antiquity has declared upon the subject. Ghosts and apparitions, materialized and semi-material "SPIRITS" have not originated with Allan Kardec, nor at Rochester. If those beings whose invariable habit it is to give themselves out for souls and the phantoms of the dead, choose to do so and succeed, it is only because the cautious philosophy of old is now replaced by an a priori conceit, and unproven assumptions. The first question is to be settled—"Have spirits any kind of substance to clothe themselves with?" Answer: That which is now called perisprit in France, and a "materialized Form" in England and America, was called in days of old peri-psyche, and peri-nous, hence was well known to the old Greeks. Have they a body whether gaseous, fluidic, etherial, material or semi-material? No; we say this on the authority of the occult teachings the world over. For with the Hindus atma or spirit is Arupa, bodiless, and with the Greeks also. Even in the Roman Catholic Church the angels of Light as those of Darkness are absolutely incorporeal: "meri spiritus, omnes corporis expertes," and in the words of The Secret Doctrine, primordial. Emanations of the undifferentiated Principle, the Dhyan Chohans of the ONE (First) category or pure Spiritual Essence, are formed of the Spirit of the one Element; the second category, of the second Emanation of the Soul of the Elements; the third have a "mind body" to which they are not subject, but that they can assume and govern as a body, subject to them, pliant to their will in form and substance. Parting from this (third) category, they (the spirits, angels, Devas or Dhyan Chohans) have BODIES, the first rupa group of which is composed of one element Ether; the second, of two—ether and fire; the third, of three—Ether, fire and water; the fourth, of four— Ether, air, fire and water. Then comes man, who, besides the four elements, has the fifth that predominates in him—Earth: therefore he suffers. Of the Angels, as said by St. Augustine and Peter Lombard, "their bodies are made to act, not to suffer. It is earth and water, humor et humus, that gives an aptitude for suffering and passivity, ad patientiam, and Ether and Fire for action."


The spirits or human monads, belonging to the first, or undifferentiated essence, are thus incorporeal; but their third principle (or the human Fifth—Manas) can in conjunction with its vehicle become Kama rupa and Mayavi rupa—body of desire or "illusion body." After death, the best, noblest, purest qualities of Manas or the human soul ascending along with the divine Monad into Devachan whence no one emerges from or returns, except at the time of reincarnation—what is that then which appears under the double mask of the spiritual Ego or soul of the departed individual? The Kama rupa element with the help of elementals. For we are taught that those spiritual beings that can assume a form at will and appear, i.e., make themselves objective and even tangible—are the angels alone (the Dhyan Chohans) and the nirmanakaya10 of the adepts, whose spirits are clothed in sublime matter. The astral bodies—the remnants and dregs of a mortal being which has been disembodied, when they do appear, are not the individuals they claim to be, but only their simulachres. And such was the belief of the whole of antiquity, from Homer to Swedenborg; from the third race down to our own day.

More than one devoted spiritualist has hitherto quoted Paul as corroborating his claim that spirits do and can appear. "There is a natural and there is a spiritual body," etc., etc., (I Cor. xv:44); but one has only to study closer the verses preceding and following the one quoted, to perceive that what St. Paul meant was quite different from the sense claimed for it. Surely there is a spiritual body, but it is not identical with the astral form contained in the "natural" man. The "spiritual" is formed only by our individuality unclothed and transformed after death; for the apostle takes care to explain in Verses 51 and 52, "Immut abimur sed non omnes." Behold, I tell you a mystery, we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed. This corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.

But this is no proof except for the Christians. Let us see what the old Egyptians and the Neo-Platonists—both "theurgists" par excellence, thought on the subject: They divided man into three prin-

10 Nirmanakaya is the name given to the astral forms (in their completeness) of adepts, who have progressed too high on the path of knowledge and absolute truth, to go into the state of Devachan: and have, on the other hand, deliberately refused the bliss of nirvana, in order to help Humanity by invisibly guiding and helping on the same path of progress elect men. But these astrals are not empty shells, but complete monads made up of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th principles. There is another order of nirmanakaya, however, of which much will be said in the Secret Doctrine.——H.P.B.


cipal groups subdivided into principles as we do: pure immortal spirit; the "Spectral Soul" (a luminous phantom) and the gross material body. Apart from the latter, which was considered as the terrestrial shell, these groups were divided into six principles; (1) Kha "vital body"; (2) Khaba "astral form," or shadow; (3) Khou "animal soul"; (4) Akh "terrestrial intelligence"; (5) Sa "the divine soul" (or Buddhi)·, and (6) Sah or mummy, the functions of which began after death. Osiris was the highest uncreated spirit, for it was, in one sense, a generic name, every man becoming after his translation Osirified, i.e., absorbed into Osiris—Sun or into the glorious divine state. It was Khou, with the lower portions of Akh or Kama rupa with the addition of the dregs of Manas remaining all behind in the astral light of our atmosphere—that formed the counterparts of the terrible and so much dreaded bhoots of the Hindus (our "elementaries"). This is seen in the rendering made of the so-called "Harris Papyrus on magic" (papyrus magique, translated by Chabas) who calls them Kouey or Khou, and explains that according to the hieroglyphics they were called Khou or the "revivified dead," the "resurrected shadows."11

When it was said of a person that he "had a Khou" it meant that he was possessed by a "Spirit." There were two kinds of Khous—the justified ones—who after living for a short time a second life (nam onh) faded out, disappeared; and those Khous who were condemned to wandering without rest in darkness after dying for a second time—mut, em, nam—and who were called the H’ou—metre ("second time dead") which did not prevent them from clinging to a vicarious life after the manner of Vampires. How dreaded they were is explained in our Appendices on Egyptian Magic and "Chinese Spirits" (Secret Doctrine). They were exorcised by Egyptian priests as the evil spirit is exorcised by the Roman Catholic curé; or again the Chinese houen, identical with the Khou and the "Elementary," as also with the lares or larvæ—a word derived from the former by Festus, the grammarian; who explains that they were "the shadows of the dead who gave no rest in the house they were in either to the Masters or the servants." These creatures when evoked during theurgic, and especially necromantic rites, were regarded, and are so regarded still, in China—as neither the

11 Placing these parallel with the division in esoteric teaching we see that (1) Osiris is Atma; (2) Sa is Buddhi; (3) Akh is Manas; (4) Khou is Kama-rupa, the seat of terrestrial desires; (5) Khaba is Lingha Sarira; (6) Kha is Pranatma (vital principle); (7) Sah is mummy or body.


Spirit, Soul nor anything belonging to the deceased personality they represented, but simply, as his reflection—simulacrum.

"The human soul," says Apuleius, "is an immortal God" (Buddhi) which nevertheless has his beginning. When death rids it (the Soul), from its earthly corporeal organism, it is called lemure. There are among the latter not a few which are beneficent, and which become the gods or demons of the family, i.e., its domestic gods: in which case they are called lares. But they are vilified and spoken of as larvæ when sentenced by fate to wander about, they spread around them evil and plagues, (Inane terriculamentum, ceterum noxium malis); or if their real nature is doubtful they are referred to as simply manes (Apuleius, see—Du Dieu de Socrate, pp. 143-145. Edit. Niz.). Listen to Yamblichus, Proclus, Porphyry, Psellus, and to dozens of other writers on these mystic subjects.

The Magi of Chaldea believed and taught that the celestial or divine soul would participate in the bliss of eternal light, while the animal or sensuous soul would, if good, rapidly dissolve, and if wicked, go on wandering about in the Earth’s sphere. In this case, "it (the soul) assumes at times the forms of various human phantoms and even those of animals." The same was said of the Eidolon of the Greeks, and of their Nepesh by the Rabbins. (See Sciences Occultes, Count de Resie. V. 11.) All the Illuminati of the middle ages tell us of our astral Soul, the reflection of the dead or his spectre. At Natal death (birth) the pure spirit remains attached to the intermediate and luminous body but as soon as its lower form (the physical body) is dead, the former ascends heavenward, and the latter descends into the nether worlds, or the Kama loka.

Homer shows us the body of Patroclus—the true image of the terrestrial body lying killed by Hector—rising in its spiritual form, and Lucretius shows old Ennius representing Homer himself, shedding bitter tears, amidst the shadows and the human simulachres on the shores of Acherusia "where live neither our bodies nor our souls," but only our images.

". . . Esse Acherusia templa,
. . . Quo neque permanent anima, neque corpora nostra,
Sed quædam simulacra. . . ."

Virgil called it imago "image" and in the Odyssey (I. XI) the author refers to it as the type, the model, and at the same time the copy of the body; since Telemachus will not recognize Ulysses and seeks to drive him off by saying—"No thou art not my father; thou


art a demon,—trying to seduce me!" (Odys. I. XVI. v. 194.) "Latins do not lack significant proper names to designate the varieties of their demons; and thus they called them in turn, lares, lemures, genii and manes." Cicero, in translating Plato’s Timæus, translates the word daimones by lares; and Festus the grammarian, explains that the inferior or lower gods were the souls of men, making a difference between the two as Homer did, and between anima bruta and anima divina (animal and divine souls). Plutarch (in Proble. Rom.) makes the lares preside and inhabit the (haunted) houses, and calls them cruel, exacting, inquisitive, etc., etc. Festus thinks that there are good and bad ones among the lares. For he calls them at one time præstites as they gave occasionally and watched over things carefully (direct apports), and at another— hostileos.12 "However it may be," says in his queer old French, Leloyer, "they are no better than our devils, who, if they do appear helping sometimes men, and presenting them with property, it is only to hurt them the better and the more later on. Lemures are also devils and larvæ for they appear at night in various human and animal forms, but still more frequently with features that THEY borrow from dead men." (Livre des Spectres. V. IV, p. 15 and 16.)

After this little honour rendered to his Christian preconceptions, that see Satan everywhere, Leloyer speaks like an Occultist, and a very erudite one too.

"It is quite certain that the genii and none other had mission to watch over every newly born man, and that they were called genii, as says Censorius, because they had in their charge our race, and not only they presided over every mortal being but over whole generations and tribes, being the genii of the people."

The idea of guardian angels of men, races, localities, cities, and nations, was taken by the Roman Catholics from the pre-christian occultists and pagans. Symmachus (Epistol, I. X) writes: "As souls are given to those who are born, so genii are distributed to the nations. Every city had its protecting genius, to whom the people sacrificed." There is more than one inscription found that reads: Genio civitates—"to the genius of the city."

Only the ancient profane, never seemed sure any more than the modern whether an apparition was the eidolon of a relative or the genius of the locality. Enneus while celebrating the anniversary of the name of his father Anchises, seeing a serpent crawling on his

12 Because they drove the enemies away.


tomb knew not whether that was the genius of his father or the genius of the place (Virgil). "The manes"13 were numbered and divided between good and bad; those that were sinister, and that Virgil calls numina larva, were appeased by sacrifices that they should commit no mischief, such as sending bad dreams to those who despised them, etc.

Tibullus shows by his line:

Ne tibi neglecti mittant insomnia manes. (Eleg., I, II.)

"Pagans thought that the lower Souls were transformed after death into diabolical aerial spirits." (Leloyer, p. 22.)

The term Eteroprosopos when divided into its several compound words will yield a whole sentence, "an other than I under the features of my person."

It is to this terrestrial principle, the eidolon, the larva, the bhoot—call it by whatever name—that reincarnation was refused in Isis.14

The doctrines of Theosophy are simply the faithful echoes of Antiquity. Man is a Unity only at his origin and at his end. All the Spirits, all the Souls, gods and demons emanate from and have for their root-principle the SOUL OF THE UNIVERSE—says Porphyry (De Sacrifice). Not a philosopher of any notoriety who did not believe (1) in reincarnation (metempsychosis), (2) in the plurality of principles in man, or that man had two Souls of separate and quite different natures; one perishable, the Astral Soul, the other incorruptible and immortal; and (3) that the former was not the man whom it represented—"neither his spirit nor his body, but his reflection at best." This was taught by Brahmins, Buddhists, Hebrews, Greeks, Egyptians and Chaldeans; by the postdiluvian heirs of the prediluvian Wisdom, by Pythagoras and Socrates, Clemens Alexandrinus, Synesius, and Origen, the oldest Greek poets as much as the Gnostics, whom Gibbon shows as the most refined, learned and enlightened men of all ages (See "Decline and Fall," etc.). But the rabble was the same in every age: superstitious, self-opinionated, materializing every most spiritual and noble idealistic conception and dragging it down to its own low level, and—ever adverse to philosophy.

But all this does not interfere with that fact, that our "fifth Race"

13 From manus—"good," an antiphrasis, as Festus explains.

14 Page 12, Vol. I, of Isis Unveiled, belief in reincarnation is asserted from the very beginning, as forming part and parcel of universal beliefs. "Metempsychosis" (or transmigration of souls) and reincarnation being after all the same thing.


man, analyzed esoterically as a septenary creature, was ever exoterically recognized as mundane, sub-mundane, terrestrial and supra mundane, Ovid graphically describing him as—

Bis duo sunt hominis; manes, caro, spiritus, umbra
Quatuor ista loca bis duo suscipiunt.
Terra tegit carnem, tumulum circumvolat umbra,
Orcus habet manes, spiritus estra petit.

Ostende, Oct., 1886.

Path, November, 1886


THE article on dreams alluded to in the following letter is reprinted with the desired explanatory notes for the information of our readers:—

To the Editor.

The accompanying extract is from an article in a recent issue of Chamber’s Journal. I hope you will reprint the same and kindly give full explanations upon the following subjects:—

  1. Are dreams always real? If so, what produces them; if not real, yet may they not have in themselves some deep significance?
  2. Tell us something about our antenatal state of existence and the transmigration of soul?
  3. Give us anything that is worth knowing about Psychology as suggested by this article?

Your most fraternally and obediently,
Jehangir Cursetji Tarachand, F.T.S.

Bombay, November 10, 1881

Editor’s Answer.

To put our correspondent’s request more exactly, he desires the Theosophist to call into the limits of a column or two the facts embraced within the whole range of all the sublunar mysteries with "full explanations." These would embrace—

  1. The complete philosophy of dreams, as deduced from their physiological, biological, psychological and occult aspects.
  2. The Buddhist Jatakas (re-births and migrations of our Lord Sakya-Muni) with a philosophical essay upon the transmigrations of the 387,000 Buddhas who "turned the wheel of faith," during the successive revelations to the world of the 125,000 other Buddhas, the Saints, who can "overlook and unravel the thousandfold knotted threads of the moral chain of causation," throwing in a treatise upon the Nidhanas, the chain of twelve causes with a complete list of their two millions of results, and copious appendices by some Arahats, "who have attained the stream which floats into Nirvana."
  3. The compounded reveries of the world-famous psychologists; from the Egyptian Hermes, and his Book of the Dead; Plato’s definition of the Soul, in Timæus; and so on, down to the Drawing-Room Nocturnal Chats with a Disembodied Soul, by Rev. Adramelech Romeo Tiberius Toughskin from Cincinnati.

Such is the modest task proposed. Suppose we first give the article which has provoked so great a thirst for philosophical information, and then try to do what we can. It is a curious case—if not altogether a literary fiction:—

Dream-Land and Somnambulism.

"The writer of this article has a brother-in-law who has felt some of his dreams to be of a remarkable and significant character; and his experience shows that there is a strange and inexplicable connexion between such dreams and the state of somnambulism. Before giving in detail some instances of somnambulism as exhibited by him and also by his daughter, I will give an account of one of his dreams, which has been four times repeated in its striking and salient points at uncertain periods, during the past thirty years. He was in his active youth a practical agriculturist, but now lives retired. All his life he has been spare of flesh, active, cheerful, very companionable, and not in any sense what is called a bookworm. His dream was as follows: He found himself alone, standing in front of a monument of very solid masonry, looking vacantly at the north side of it, when to his astonishment, the middle stones on the level of his sight gradually opened and slid down one on another, until an opening was made large enough to uphold a man. All of a sudden, a little man, dressed in black, with a large bald head, appeared inside the opening, seemingly fixed there by reason of his feet and legs being buried in the masonry. The expression of his face was mild and intelligent. They looked at each other for what seemed a long time without either of them attempting to speak, and all the while my brother’s astonishment increased. At length, as the dreamer expressed himself, ‘The little man in black with the bald head and serene countenance’ said: ‘Don’t you know me? I am the man whom you murdered in an ante-natal state of existence; and I am waiting until you come, and shall wait without sleeping. There is no evidence of the foul deed in your state of human existence, so you need not trouble yourself in your mortal life—shut me again in darkness.’

"The dreamer began, as he thought, to put the stones in their original position, remarking as he expressed himself—to the little man:—‘This is all a dream of yours, for there is no ante-natal state of existence.’ The little man who seemed to grow less and less, said: ‘Cover me over and begone.’ At this the dreamer awoke.

"Years passed away, and the dream was forgotten in the common


acceptation of the term, when behold! without any previous thought of the matter, he dreamed that he was standing in the sunshine, facing an ancient garden-wall that belonged to a large unoccupied mansion, when the stones in front of it began to fall out with a gently sliding motion, and soon revealed the self-same mysterious person, and everything pertaining to him, including his verbal utterances as on the first occasion, though an uncertain number of years had passed. The same identical dream has since occurred twice at irregular periods; but there was no change in the facial appearance of the little man in black."

Editor’s Note.—We do not feel competent to pronounce upon the merits or demerits of this particular dream. The interpretation of it may be safely left with the Daniels of physiology who, like W. A. Hammond, M.D., of New York, explain dreams and somnambulism as due to an exalted condition of the spinal cord. It may have been a meaningless, chance-dream, brought about by a concatenation of thoughts which occupy mechanically the mind during sleep—

That dim twilight of the mind,
When Reason’s beam, half hid behind
The clouds of sense, obscurely gilds
Each shadowy shape that fancy builds.

—when our mental operations go on independently of our conscious volition.

Our physical senses are the agents by means of which the astral spirit or "conscious something" within, is brought by contact with the external world to a knowledge of actual existence; while the spiritual senses of the astral man are the media, the telegraphic wires by means of which he communicates with his higher principles, and obtains therefrom the faculties of clear perception of, and vision into, the realms of the invisible world.1 The Buddhist philosopher holds that by the practice of the dhyanas one may reach "the enlightened condition of mind which exhibits itself by immediate recognition of sacred truth, so that on opening the Scriptures (or any books whatsoever?) their true meaning at once flashes into the heart." [Beal’s Catena, &c., p. 255.] If the first time, however, the above dream was meaningless, the three following times it may have recurred by the suddenly awakening of that portion of the brain to which it was due—as in dreaming, or in somnambulism, the brain

1 See Editor’s Note, on the letter that follows this one "Are Dreams but Idle Visions?"


is asleep only in parts, and called into action through the agency of the external senses, owing to some peculiar cause: a word pronounced, a thought, or picture lingering dormant in one of the cells of memory, and awakened by a sudden noise, the fall of a stone, suggesting instantaneously to this half-dreamy fancy of the sleeper walls of masonry, and so on. When one is suddenly startled in his sleep without becoming fully awake, he does not begin and terminate his dream with the simple noise which partially awoke him, but often experiences in his dream, a long train of events concentrated within the brief space of time the sound occupies, and to be attributed solely to that sound. Generally dreams are induced by the waking associations which precede them. Some of them produce such an impression that the slightest idea in the direction of any subject associated with a particular dream may bring its recurrence years after. Tartinia, the famous Italian violinist, composed his "Devil’s Sonata" under the inspiration of a dream. During his sleep he thought the Devil appeared to him and challenged him to a trial of skill upon his own private violin, brought by him from the infernal regions, which challenge Tartinia accepted. When he awoke, the melody of the "Devil’s Sonata" was so vividly impressed upon his mind that he there and then noted it down; but when arriving towards the finale all further recollection of it was suddenly obliterated, and he lay aside the incomplete piece of music. Two years later, he dreamt the very same thing and tried in his dream to make himself recollect the finale upon awakening. The dream was repeated owing to a blind street-musician fiddling on his instrument under the artist’s window. Coleridge composed in a like manner his poem "Kublai Khan," in a dream, which, on awakening, he found so vividly impressed upon his mind that he wrote down the famous lines which are still preserved. The dream was due to the poet falling asleep in his chair while reading in Purcha’s "Pilgrimage" the following words: "Here, the Khan Kublai commanded a palace to be built . . . enclosed within a wall."

The popular belief that among the vast number of meaningless dreams there are some in which presages are frequently given of coming events is shared by many well-informed persons, but not at all by science. Yet there are numberless instances of well-attested dreams which were verified by subsequent events, and which, therefore, may be termed prophetic. The Greek and Latin classics teem with records of remarkable dreams, some of which have become


historical. Faith in the spiritual nature of dreaming was as widely disseminated among the pagan philosophers as among the Christian fathers of the church, nor is belief in soothsaying and interpretations of dreams (oneiromancy) limited to the heathen nations of Asia, since the Bible is full of them. This is what Eliphas Levi, the great modern Kabalist, says of such divinations, visions and prophetic dreams.2

"Somnambulism, premonitions and second sights are but a disposition, whether accidental or habitual, to dream, awake, or during a voluntary, self-induced, or yet natural sleep, i.e., to perceive (and guess by intuition) the analogical reflections of the Astral Light. . . . The paraphernalia and instruments of divinations are simply means for (magnetic) communications between the divinator and him who consults him: they serve to fix and concentrate two wills (bent in the same direction) upon the same sign or object; the queer, complicated, moving figures helping to collect the reflections of the Astral fluid. Thus one is enabled, at times to see in the grounds of a coffee cup, or in the clouds, in the white of an egg, &c., &c., fantastic forms having their existence, but in the translucid (or the seer’s imagination). Vision-seeing in the water is produced by the fatigue of the dazzled optic nerve, which ends by ceding its functions to the translucid, and calling forth a cerebral illusion, which makes to seem as real images the simple reflections of the astral light. Thus the fittest persons for this kind of divination are those of a nervous temperament whose sight is meek [weak?] and imagination vivid, children being the best of all adapted for it. But let no one misinterpret the nature of the function attributed by us to imagination in the art of divination. We see through our imagination doubtless, and that is the natural aspect of the miracle; but we see actual and true things, and it is in this that lies the marvel of the natural phenomenon. We appeal for corroboration of what we say to the testimony of all the adepts "

And now we give room to a second letter which relates to us a dream verified by undeniable events.

To the Editor of the Theosophist.

A few months ago, one Babu Jugut Chunder Chatterjee, a Sub-

2 Riluel de la Haute Magie. Vol. I, p. 356-7.


Deputy Collector of Morshedabad, in Bengal, was stationed pro tem on duty at Kandi— a sub-division of the Morshedabad District. He had left his wife and children at Berhampore, the head-quarters of the District and was staying at Kandi with Babu Soorji Coomar Basakh (Sub-Deputy Collector of the Sub-Division), at the residence of that gentleman.

Having received orders to do some work at a place some ten miles off from Kandi, in the interior, Babu Jugut Chunder made arrangements accordingly to start the next day. During that night he dreams, seeing his wife attacked with cholera, at Berhampore, and suffering intensely. This troubles his mind. He relates the dream to Babu Soorji Coomar in the morning, and both treating the subject as a meaningless dream, proceed without giving it another thought to their respective business.

After breakfast Babu Jugut Chunder retires to take before starting a short rest. In his sleep he dreams the same dream. He sees his wife suffering from the dire disease acutely, witnesses the same scene, and awakes with a start. He now becomes anxious, and arising, relates again dream No. 2, to Babu Soorji, who knows not what to say. It is then decided, that as Babu Jugut Chunder has to start for the place he is ordered to, his friend, Babu Soorji Coomar will forward to him without delay any letters or news he may receive to his address from Berhampore, and having made special arrangements for this purpose, Babu Jugut Chunder departs.

Hardly a few hours after he had left, arrives a messenger from Berhampore with a letter for Babu Jugut. His friend remembering the mood in which he had left Kandi and fearing bad news, opens the letter and finds it a corroboration of the twice-repeated dream. Babu Jugut’s wife was attacked with cholera at Berhampore, on the very night her husband had dreamt of it and was still suffering from it. Having received the news sent on with a special messenger, Babu Jugut returned at once to Berhampore, where immediate assistance being given, the patient eventually recovered.

The above was narrated to me at the house of Babu Lal Cori Mukerjee, at Berhampore, and in his presence, by Babus Jugut Chunder and Soorji Coomar themselves, who had come there on a friendly visit, the story of the dream being thus corroborated by the testimony of one who had been there, to hear of it, at a time when none of them ever thought it would be realized.

The above incident may, I believe, be regarded as a fair instance


of the presence of the ever-watchful astral soul of man with a mind independent of that of his own physical brain. I would, however, feel greatly obliged by your kindly giving us an explanation of the phenomenon. Babu Lal Cori Mukerji is a subscriber to the Theosophist and, therefore, this is sure to meet his eye. If he remembers the dates or sees any circumstance omitted or erroneously stated herein, the writer will feel greatly obliged by his furnishing additional details and correcting, it necessary, any error, I may have made after his consulting with the party concerned.

As far as I can recollect the occurrence took place this year 1881.

Navin K. Sarman Banerjee, F.T.S.

Editor’s Note.—"Dreams are interludes which fancy makes," Dryden tells us; perhaps to show that even a poet will make occasionally his muse subservient to sciolistic prejudice.

The instance as above given is one of a series of what may be regarded as exceptional cases in dreamlife, the generality of dreams, being indeed, but "interludes which fancy makes." And, it is the policy of materialistic, matter-of-fact science to superbly ignore such exceptions, on the ground, perchance, that the exception confirms the rule,—we rather think, to avoid the embarrassing task of explaining such exceptions. Indeed, if one single instance stubbornly refuses classification with "strange co-incidences"—so much in favor with sceptics—then, prophetic, or verified dreams would demand an entire remodelling of physiology. As in regard to phrenology, the recognition and acceptance by science of prophetic dreams—(hence the recognition of the claims of Theosophy and Spiritualism)—would, it is contended, "carry with it a new educational, social, political, and theological science." Result: Science will never recognise either dreams, spiritualism, or occultism.

Human nature is an abyss, which physiology and human science in general, has sounded less than some who have never heard the word physiology pronounced. Never are the high censors of the Royal Society more perplexed than when brought face to face with that insolvable mystery—man’s inner nature. The key to it is—man’s dual being. It is that key that they refuse to use, well aware that if once the door of the adytum be flung open, they will be forced to drop one by one their cherished theories and final conclusions—more than once proved to have been no better than hobbies, false as everything built upon, and starting from false or incomplete


premises. If we must remain satisfied with the half explanations of physiology as regards meaningless dreams, how account, in such case for the numerous facts of verified dreams? To say that man is a dual being; that in man—to use the words of Paul—"There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body"—and that, therefore, he must, of necessity, have a double set of senses—is tantamount in the opinion of the educated sceptic, to uttering an unpardonable, most unscientific fallacy. Yet it has to be uttered—science notwithstanding.

Man is undeniably endowed with a double set: with natural or physical senses—these to be safely left to physiology to deal with; and, with sub-natural or spiritual senses belonging entirely to the province of psychological science. The Latin word "sub," let it be well understood, is used here in a sense diametrically opposite to that given to it— in chemistry, for instance. In our case it is not a preposition, but a prefix as in "sub-tonic" or "sub-bass" in music. Indeed, as the aggregate sound of nature is shown to be a single definite tone, a keynote vibrating from and through eternity; having an undeniable existence per se yet possessing an appreciable pitch but for "the acutely fine ear"3—so the definite harmony or disharmony of man’s external nature is seen by the observant to depend wholly on the character of the keynote struck for the outer by inner man. It is the spiritual EGO or SELF that serves as the fundamental base, determining the tone of the whole life of man—that most capricious, uncertain and variable of all instruments, and which more than any other needs constant tuning; it is its voice alone, which like the sub-bass of an organ underlies the melody of his whole life—whether its tones are sweet or harsh, harmonious or wild, legato or pizzicato.

Therefore, we say, man, in addition to the physical, has also a spiritual brain. If the former is wholly dependent for the degree of its receptivity on its own physical structure and development, it is, on the other hand, entirely subordinate to the latter, inasmuch as it is the spiritual Ego alone, and accordingly as it leans more towards its two highest principles,4 or towards its physical shell that can impress more or less vividly the outer brain with the perception of things purely spiritual or immaterial. Hence it depends on the

3 This tone is held by the specialists to be the middle F of the piano.—Ed. Theosophist.

4 The sixth principle, or spiritual soul, and the seventh—its purely spiritual principle, the "Spirit" or Parabrahm, the emanation from the unconscious ABSOLUTE (See "Fragments of Occult Truth," October number Theosophist, 1881).


acuteness of the mental feelings of the inner Ego, on the degree of spirituality of its faculties, to transfer the impression of the scenes its semi-spiritual brain perceives, the words it hears and what it feels, to the sleeping physical brain of the outer man. The stronger the spirituality of the faculties of the latter, the easier it will be for the Ego to awake the sleeping hemispheres, arouse into activity the sensory ganglia and the cerebellum, and to impress the former—always in full inactivity and rest during the deep sleep of man with the vivid picture of the subject so transferred. In a sensual, unspiritual man, in one, whose mode of life and animal proclivities and passions have entirely disconnected his fifth principle or animal, astral Ego from its higher "Spiritual Soul"; as also in him whose hard, physical labour has so worn out the material body as to render him temporarily insensible to the voice and touch of his Astral Soul—during sleep the brains of both these men remain in a complete state of anæmia or full inactivity. Such persons rarely, if ever, will have any dreams at all, least of all "visions that come to pass." In the former, as the waking time approaches, and his sleep becomes lighter, the mental changes beginning to take place, they will constitute dreams in which intelligence will play no part; his half-awakened brain suggesting but pictures which are only the hazy grotesque reproductions of his wild habits in life; while in the latter— unless strongly preoccupied with some exceptional thought—his ever present instinct of active habits will not permit him to remain in that state of semi-sleep during which consciousness beginning to return we see dreams of various kinds, but will arouse him, at once, and without any interlude to full wakefulness. On the other hand, the more spiritual a man, the more active his fancy, and the greater probability of his receiving in vision the correct impressions conveyed to him by his all-seeing, his ever-wakeful Ego. The spiritual senses of the latter, unimpeded as they are by the interference of the physical senses, are in direct intimacy with his highest spiritual principle; and the latter though per se quasi-unconscious part of the utterly unconscious, because utterly immaterial Absolute5—yet having in itself inherent capabilities of Omniscience, Omnipresence

5 To this teaching every kind of exception will be taken by the Theists and various objections raised by the Spiritualists. It is evident, that we cannot be expected to give within the narrow limits of a short article a full explanation of this highly abstruse and esoteric doctrine. To say that the ABSOLUTE CONSCIOUSNESS is Unconscious of its consciousness, hence to the limited intellect of man must be "ABSOLUTE UNCONSCIOUSNESS," seems like speaking of a square triangle. We hope to develop the proposition more fully in one of the forthcoming numbers of "Fragments of Occult Truth" of which we may


and Omnipotence which as soon as the pure essence comes in contact with pure sublimated and (to us) imponderable matter—imparts these attributes in a degree to the as pure Astral Ego. Hence highly spiritual persons, will see visions and dreams during sleep and even in their hours of wakefulness: these are the sensitives, the natural-born seers, now loosely termed "spiritual mediums," there being no distinction made between a subjective seer, a neurypnological subject, and even an adept—one who has made himself independent of his physiological idiosyncracies and has entirely subjected the outer to the inner man. Those less spiritually endowed, will see such dreams but at rare intervals, the accuracy of the latter depending on the intensity of their feeling in regard to the perceived object.

Had Babu Jugut Chunder’s case been more seriously gone into, we would have learned that for one or several reasons, either he or his wife was intensely attached to the other; or that the question of her life or death was of the greatest importance to either one or both of them. "One soul sends a message to another soul"—is an old saying. Hence, premonitions, dreams, and visions. At all events, and in this dream at least, there were no "disembodied" spirits at work, the warning being solely due to either one or the other, or both of the two living and incarnated Egos.

Thus, in this question of verified dreams, as in so many others, Science stands before an unsolved problem, the insolvable nature of which has been created by her own materialistic stubbornness, and her time-cherished routine-policy. For, either man is a dual being, with an inner Ego6 in him, this Ego "the real" man, distinct from, and independent of the outer man proportionally to the prevalency or weakness of the material body; an Ego the scope of whose senses stretches far beyond the limit granted to the physical senses of man; an Ego which survives the decay of its external covering—at least

publish a series. We will then prove, perhaps, to the satisfaction of the non-prejudiced that the Absolute, or the Unconditioned, and (especially) the unrelated is a mere fanciful abstraction, a fiction, unless we view it from the standpoint and in the light of the more educated pantheist. To do so, we will have to regard the "Absolute" merely as the aggregate of all intelligences, the totality of all existences, incapable of manifesting itself but through the interrelationship of its parts, as It is absolutely incognizable and non-existent outside its phenomena, and depends entirely on its ever-correlating Forces, dependent in their turn on the ONE Great Law.—Ed.

6 Whether with one solitary Ego, or Soul, as the Spiritualists affirm, or with several— i.e., composed of seven principles, as Eastern esoteric[ism] teaches, is not the question at issue for the present. Let us first prove by bringing our joint experience to bear, that there is in man something beyond Buchner’s Force and Matter.—Ed.


for a time, even when an evil course of life has made him fail to achieve a perfect union with its spiritual higher Self, i.e., to blend its individuality with it, (the personality gradually fading out in each case); or—the testimony of millions of men embracing several thousands of years; the evidence furnished in our own century by hundreds of the most educated men—often by the greatest lights of science—all this evidence, we say, goes to naught. With the exception of a handful of scientific authorities, surrounded by an eager crowd of sceptics and sciolists, who having never seen anything, claim, therefore, the right of denying everything—the world stands condemned as a gigantic Lunatic Asylum! It has, however, a special department in it. It is reserved for those, who, having proved the soundness of their mind, must, of necessity be regarded as IMPOSTORS and LIARS. . . .

Has then the phenomenon of dreams been so thoroughly studied by materialistic science, that she has nothing more to learn, since she speaks in such authoritative tones upon the subject? Not in the least. The phenomena of sensation and volition, of intellect and instinct, are, of course, all manifested through the channels of the nervous centers the most important of which is the brain. Of the peculiar substance through which these actions take place—a substance the two forms of which are the vesicular and the fibrous, the latter is held to be simply the propagator of the impressions sent to or from the vesicular matter. Yet while this physiological office is distinguished, or divided by Science into three kinds—the motor, sensitive and connecting—the mysterious agency of intellect remains as mysterious and as perplexing to the great physiologists as it was in the days of Hippocrates. The scientific suggestion that there may be a fourth series associated with the operations of thought has not helped towards solving the problem; it has failed to shed even the slightest ray of light on the unfathomable mystery. Nor will they ever fathom it unless our men of Science accept the hypothesis of DUAL MAN.

Theosophist, January, 1882



Continually soaked with blood, the whole earth is but an immense altar upon which all that lives has to be immolated—endlessly, incessantly. . . .
—COMTE JOSEPH DE MAISTRE (Soirées I. ii, 35)

MANY are the "antiquated religious superstitions" of the East which Western nations often and unwisely deride: but none is so laughed at and practically set at defiance as the great respect of Oriental people for animal life. Flesh-eaters cannot sympathize with total abstainers from meat. We Europeans are nations of civilized barbarians with but a few millenniums between ourselves and our cave-dwelling forefathers who sucked the blood and marrow from uncooked bones. Thus, it is only natural that those who hold human life so cheaply in their frequent and often iniquitous wars, should entirely disregard the death-agonies of the brute creation, and daily sacrifice millions of innocent, harmless lives; for we are too epicurean to devour tiger steaks or crocodile cutlets, but must have tender lambs and golden feathered pheasants. All this is only as it should be in our era of Krupp cannons and scientific vivisectors. Nor is it a matter of great wonder that the hardy European should laugh at the mild Hindu, who shudders at the bare thought of killing a cow, or that he should refuse to sympathize with the Buddhist and Jain, in their respect for the life of every sentient creature—from the elephant to the gnat.

But, if meat-eating has indeed become a vital necessity—"the tyrant’s plea!"—among Western nations; if hosts of victims in every city, borough and village of the civilized world must needs be daily slaughtered in temples dedicated to the deity, denounced by St. Paul and worshipped by men "whose God is their belly":— if all this and much more cannot be avoided in our "age of Iron," who can urge the same excuse for sport? Fishing, shooting, and hunting, the most fascinating of all the "amusements" of civilized


life—are certainly the most objectionable from the standpoint of occult philosophy, the most sinful in the eyes of the followers of these religious systems which are the direct outcome of the Esoteric Doctrine—Hinduism and Buddhism. Is it altogether without any good reason that the adherents of these two religions, now the oldest in the world, regard the animal world—from the huge quadruped down to the infinitesimally small insect—as their "younger brothers," however ludicrous the idea to a European? This question shall receive due consideration further on.

Nevertheless, exaggerated as the notion may seem, it is certain that few of us are able to picture to ourselves without shuddering the scenes which take place early every morning in the innumerable shambles of the so-called civilized world, or even those daily enacted during the "shooting season." The first sun-beam has not yet awakened slumbering nature, when from all points of the compass myriads of hecatombs are being prepared—to salute the rising luminary. Never was heathen Moloch gladdened by such a cry of agony from his victims as the pitiful wail that in all Christian countries rings like a long hymn of suffering throughout nature, all day and every day from morning until evening. In ancient Sparta—than whose stern citizens none were ever less sensitive to the delicate feelings of the human heart—a boy, when convicted of torturing an animal for amusement, was put to death as one whose nature was so thoroughly villainous that he could not be permitted to live. But in civilized Europe—rapidly progressing in all things save Christian virtues—might remains unto this day the synonym of right. The entirely useless, cruel practice of shooting for mere sport countless hosts of birds and animals is nowhere carried on with more fervour than in Protestant England, where the merciful teachings of Christ have hardly made human hearts softer than they were in the days of Nimrod, "the mighty hunter before the Lord." Christian ethics are as conveniently turned into paradoxical syllogisms as those of the "heathen." The writer was told one day by a sportsman that since "not a sparrow falls on the ground without the will of the Father," he who kills for sport— say, one hundred sparrows—does thereby one hundred times over —his Father’s will!

A wretched lot is that of poor brute creatures, hardened as it is into implacable fatality by the hand of man. The rational soul of the human being seems born to become the murderer of the irrational soul of the animal—in the full sense of the word, since


the Christian doctrine teaches that the soul of the animal dies with its body. Might not the legend of Cain and Abel have had a dual signification? Look at that other disgrace of our cultured age— the scientific slaughter-houses called "vivisection rooms." Enter one of those halls in Paris, and behold Paul Bert, or some other of these men—so justly called "the learned butchers of the Institute"—at his ghastly work. I have but to translate the forcible description of an eye-witness, one who has thoroughly studied the modus operandi of those "executioners," a well known French author:

"Vivisection"—he says—"is a specialty in which torture, scientifically economised by our butcher-academicians, is applied during whole days, weeks, and even months to the fibres and muscles of one and the same victim. It (torture) makes use of every and any kind of weapon, performs its analysis before a pitiless audience, divides the task every morning between ten apprentices at once, of whom one works on the eye, another one on the leg, the third on the brain, a fourth on the marrow; and whose inexperienced hands succeed, nevertheless, towards night after a hard day’s work, in laying bare the whole of the living carcass they had been ordered to chisel out, and that in the evening, is carefully stored away in the cellar, in order that early next morning it may be worked upon again if only there is a breath of life and sensibility left in the victim! We know that the trustees of the Grammont law (loi) have tried to rebel against this abomination; but Paris showed herself more inexorable than London and Glasgow."1

And yet these gentlemen boast of the grand object pursued, and of the grand secrets discovered by them. "Horror and lies!"—exclaims the same author. "In the matter of secrets—a few localizations of faculties and cerebral motions excepted—we know but of one secret that belongs to them by rights: it is the secret of torture eternalized, beside which the terrible natural law of autophagy (mutual manducation), the horrors of war, the merry massacres of sport, and the sufferings of the animal under the butcher’s knife—are as nothing! Glory to our men of science! They have surpassed every former kind of torture, and remain now and for ever, without any possible contestation, the kings of artificial anguish and despair!"2

1 De la Resurrection et du Miracle. E. de Mirville.

2 De la Resurrection et du Miracle. E. de Mirville.


The usual plea for butchering, killing, and even for legally torturing animals—as in vivisection—is a verse or two in the Bible, and its ill-digested meaning, disfigured by the so-called scholasticism represented by Thomas Aquinas. Even De Mirville, that ardent defender of the rights of the church, calls such texts—"Biblical tolerances, forced from God after the deluge, as so many others, and based upon the decadence of our strength." However this may be, such texts are amply contradicted by others in the same Bible. The meat-eater, the sportsman and even the vivisector—if there are among the last named those who believe in special creation and the Bible—generally quote for their justification that verse in Genesis, in which God gives dual Adam—"dominion over the fish, fowl, cattle, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth"— (Ch. I., v. 28); hence—as the Christian understands it—power of life and death over every animal on the globe. To this the far more philosophical Brahman and Buddhist might answer; "Not so. Evolution starts to mould future humanities within the lowest scales of being. Therefore, by killing an animal, or even an insect, we arrest the progress of an entity towards its final goal in nature—MAN"; and to this the student of occult philosophy may say "Amen," and add that it not only retards the evolution of that entity, but arrests that of the next succeeding human and more perfect race to come.

Which of the opponents is right, which of them the more logical? The answer depends mainly, of course, on the personal belief of the intermediary chosen to decide the questions. If he believes in special creation—so-called—then in answer to the plain question—"Why should homicide be viewed as a most ghastly sin against God and nature, and the murder of millions of living creatures be regarded as mere sport?"—he will reply:—"Because man is created in God’s own image and looks upward to his Creator and to his birth-place—heaven (os homini sublime dedit); and that the gaze of the animal is fixed downward on its birth-place— the earth; for God said—‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind’." (Genesis I, 24.) Again, "because man is endowed with an immortal soul, and the dumb brute has no immortality, not even a short survival after death."

Now to this an unsophisticated reasoner might reply that if the Bible is to be our authority upon this delicate question, there is not the slightest proof in it that man’s birth-place is in heaven any


more than that of the last of creeping things—quite the contrary; for we find in Genesis that if God created "man" and blessed "them," (Ch. I, v. 27-28) so he created "great whales" and "blessed them" (21, 22). Moreover, "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground" (II, v. 7): and "dust" is surely earth pulverized? Solomon, the king and preacher, is most decidedly an authority and admitted on all hands to have been the wisest of the Biblical sages; and he gives utterances to a series of truths in Ecclesiastes (Ch. III) which ought to have settled by this time every dispute upon the subject. "The sons of men . . . might see that they themselves are beasts" (v. 18) . . . "that which befalleth the sons of men, befalleth the beasts . . . a man has no pre-eminence above a beast,"—(v. 19) "all go into one place; all are of the dust and turn to dust again, (v. 20) . . . "who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upwards, and the spirit of the beast, that goeth downward to the earth? (v. 21.) Indeed, "who knoweth!" At any rate it is neither science nor "school divine."

Were the object of these lines to preach vegetarianism on the authority of Bible or Veda, it would be a very easy task to do so. For, if it is quite true that God gave dual Adam—the "male and female" of Chapter I of Genesis—who has little to do with our henpecked ancestor of Chapter II—"dominion over every living thing," yet we nowhere find that the "Lord God" commanded that Adam or the other to devour animal creation or destroy it for sport. Quite the reverse. For pointing to the vegetable kingdom and the "fruit of a tree yielding seed"—God says very plainly: "to you (men) it shall be for meat." (I, 29.)

So keen was the perception of this truth among the early Christians that during the first centuries they never touched meat. In Octavio Tertullian writes to Minutius Felix: "we are not permitted either to witness, or even hear narrated (novere) a homicide, we Christians, who refuse to taste dishes in which animal blood may have been mixed."

But the writer does not preach vegetarianism, simply defending "animal rights" and attempting to show the fallacy of disregarding such rights on Biblical authority. Moreover, to argue with those who would reason upon the lines of erroneous interpretations would be quite useless. One who rejects the doctrine of evolution will ever find his way paved with difficulties; hence, he will never admit that it is far more consistent with fact and logic to regard physical man merely as the recognized paragon of animals, and


the spiritual Ego that informs him as a principle midway between the soul of the animal and the deity. It would be vain to tell him that unless he accepts not only the verses quoted for his justification but the whole Bible in the light of esoteric philosophy, which reconciles the whole mass of contradictions and seeming absurdities in it—he will never obtain the key to the truth;—for he will not believe it. Yet the whole Bible teems with charity to men and with mercy and love to animals. The original Hebrew text of Chapter XXIV of Leviticus is full of it. Instead of the verses 17 and 18 as translated in the Bible: "And he that killeth a beast shall make it good, beast for beast" in the original it stands:—"life for life," or rather "soul for soul," nephesh tachat nephesh.3 And if the rigour of the law did not go to the extent of killing, as in Sparta, a man’s "soul" for a beast’s "soul"—still, even though he replaced the slaughtered soul by a living one, a heavy additional punishment was inflicted on the culprit.

But this was not all. In Exodus (Ch. XX. 10, and Ch. XXIII. 2 et seq.) rest on the Sabbath day extended to cattle and every other animal. "The seventh day is the sabbath . . . thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy . . . cattle"; and the Sabbath year . . . "the seventh year thou shalt let it (the land) rest and he still . . . that thine ox and thine ass may rest"—which commandment, if it means anything, shows that even the brute creation was not excluded by the ancient Hebrews from a participation in the worship of their deity, and that it was placed upon many occasions on a par with man himself. The whole question rests upon the misconception that "soul," nephesh, is entirely distinct from "spirit"—ruach. And yet it is clearly stated that "God breathed into the nostrils (of man) the breath of life and man became a living soul," nephesh, neither more or less than an animal, for the soul of an animal is also called nephesh. It is by development that the soul becomes spirit, both being the lower and the higher rungs of one and the same ladder whose basis is the UNIVERSAL SOUL or spirit.

This statement will startle those good men and women who, however much they may love their cats and dogs, are yet too much devoted to the teachings of their respective churches ever to admit such a heresy. "The irrational soul of a dog or a frog divine and immortal as our own souls are?"—they are sure to exclaim: but

3 Compare also the difference between the translation of the same verses in the Vulgata, and the texts of Luther and De Wette.


so they are. It is not the humble writer of the present article who says so, but no less an authority for every good Christian than that king of the preachers—St. Paul. Our opponents who so indignantly refuse to listen to the arguments of either modern or esoteric science may perhaps lend a more willing ear to what their own saint and apostle has to say on the matter; the true interpretation of whose words, moreover, shall be given neither by a theosophist nor an opponent, but by one who was as good and pious a Christian as any, namely, another saint—John Chrysostom—he who explained and commented upon the Pauline Epistles, and who is held in the highest reverence by the divines of both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant churches. Christians have already found that experimental science is not on their side; they may be still more disagreeably surprised upon finding that no Hindu could plead more earnestly for animal life than did St. Paul in writing to the Romans. Hindus indeed claim mercy to the dumb brute only on account of the doctrine of transmigration and hence of the sameness of the principle or element that animates both man and brute. St. Paul goes further: he shows the animal hoping for, and living in the expectation of the same "deliverance from the bonds of corruption" as any good Christian. The precise expressions of that great apostle and philosopher will be quoted later on in the present Essay and their true meaning shown.

The fact that so many interpreters—Fathers of the Church and scholastics,—tried to evade the real meaning of St. Paul is no proof against its inner sense, but rather against the fairness of the theologians whose inconsistency will be shown in this particular. But some people will support their propositions, however erroneous, to the last. Others, recognizing their earlier mistake, will, like Cornelius a Lapide, offer the poor animal amende honorable. Speculating upon the part assigned by nature to the brute creation in the great drama of life, he says: "The aim of all creatures is the service of man. Hence, together with him (their master) they are waiting for their renovation"—cum homine renovationem suam expectant.4 "Serving" man, surely cannot mean being tortured, killed, uselessly shot and otherwise misused; while it is almost needless to explain the word "renovation." Christians understand by it the renovation of bodies after the second coming of Christ; and limit it to man, to the exclusion of animals. The

4 Commen. Apocal., ch. v. 137.


students of the Secret Doctrine explain it by the successive renovation and perfection of forms on the scale of objective and subjective being, and in a long series of evolutionary transformations from animal to man, and upward. . . .

This will, of course, be again rejected by Christians with indignation. We shall be told that it is not thus that the Bible was explained to them, nor can it ever mean that. It is useless to insist upon it. Many and sad in their results were the erroneous interpretations of that which people are pleased to call the "Word of God." The sentence "cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren" (Gen. IX, 25),— generated centuries of misery and undeserved woe for the wretched slaves—the negroes. It is the clergy of the United States who were their bitterest enemies in the antislavery question, which question they opposed Bible in hand. Yet slavery is proved to have been the cause of the natural decay of every country; and even proud Rome fell because "the majority in the ancient world were slaves," as Geyer justly remarks. But so terribly imbued at all times were the best, the most intellectual Christians with those many erroneous interpretations of the Bible, that even one of their grandest poets, while defending the right of man to freedom, allots no such portion to the poor animal.

God gave us only over beast, fish, fowl,
Dominion absolute; that right we hold
By his donation; but man over man
He made not lord; such title to himself
Reserving, human left from human free

—says Milton.

But, like murder, error "will out," and incongruity must unavoidably occur whenever erroneous conclusions are supported either against or in favour of a prejudged question. The opponents of Eastern philozoism thus offer their critics a formidable weapon to upset their ablest arguments by such incongruity between premises and conclusions, facts postulated and deductions made.

It is the purpose of the present Essay to throw a ray of light upon this most serious and interesting subject. Roman Catholic writers in order to support the genuineness of the many miraculous resurrections of animals produced by their saints, have made them the subject of endless debates. The "soul in animals" is, in the opinion of Bossuet, "the most difficult as the most important of all philosophical questions."

Confronted with the doctrine of the Church that animals, though


not soulless, have no permanent or immortal soul in them, and that the principle which animates them dies with the body, it becomes interesting to learn how the school-men and the Church divines reconcile this statement with that other claim that animals may be and have been frequently and miraculously resurrected.

Though but a feeble attempt—one more elaborate would require volumes—the present Essay, by showing the inconsistency of the scholastic and theological interpretations of the Bible, aims at convincing people of the great criminality of taking—especially in sport and vivisection—animal life. Its object, at any rate, is to show that however absurd the notion that either man or brute can be resurrected after the life-principle has fled from the body forever, such resurrections—if they were true— would not be more impossible in the case of a dumb brute than in that of a man; for either both are endowed by nature with what is so loosely called by us "soul," or neither the one nor the other is so endowed.


What a chimera is man! what a confused chaos, what a subject of contradiction! a professed judge of all things, and yet a feeble worm of the earth! the great depository and guardian of truth, and yet a mere huddle of uncertainty! the glory and the scandal of the universe!


WE shall now proceed to see what are the views of the Christian Church as to the nature of the soul in the brute, to examine how she reconciles the discrepancy between the resurrection of a dead animal and the assumption that its soul dies with it, and to notice some miracles in connection with animals. Before the final and decisive blow is dealt to that selfish doctrine, which has become so pregnant with cruel and merciless practices toward the poor animal world, the reader must be made acquainted with the early hesitations of the Fathers of the Patristic age themselves, as to the right interpretation of the words spoken with reference to that question by St. Paul.

It is amusing to note how the Karma of two of the most indefatigable defenders of the Latin Church—Messrs. Des. Mousseaux and De Mirville, in whose works the record of the few miracles here noted are found—led both of them to furnish the weapons


now used against their own sincere but very erroneous views.5

The great battle of the Future having to be fought out between the "Creationists" or the Christians, as all the believers in a special creation and a personal god, and the Evolutionists or the Hindus, Buddhists, all the Free-thinkers and last, though not least, most of the men of science, a recapitulation of their respective positions is advisable.

  1. The Christian world postulates its right over animal life: (a) on the afore-quoted Biblical texts and the later scholastic interpretations; (b) on the assumed absence of anything like divine or human soul in animals. Man survives death, the brute does not.
  2. The Eastern Evolutionists, basing their deductions upon their great philosophical systems, maintain it is a sin against nature’s work and progress to kill any living being—for reasons given in the preceding pages.
  3. The Western Evolutionists, armed with the latest discoveries of science, heed neither Christians nor Heathens. Some scientific men believe in Evolution, others do not. They agree, nevertheless, upon one point: namely, that physical, exact research offers no grounds for the presumption that man is endowed with an immortal, divine soul, any more than his dog.

Thus, while the Asiatic Evolutionists behave toward animals consistently with their scientific and religious views, neither the church nor the materialistic school of science is logical in the practical applications of their respective theories. The former, teaching that every living thing is created singly and specially by God, as any human babe may be, and that it finds itself from birth to death under the watchful care of a wise and kind Providence, allows the inferior creation at the same time only a temporary soul. The latter, regarding both man and animal as the soulless production of some hitherto undiscovered forces in nature, yet practically creates an abyss between the two. A man of science, the most determined materialist, one who proceeds to vivisect a living animal with the utmost coolness, would yet shudder at the thought of laming—not to speak of torturing to death—his fellow-man. Nor does one find among those great materialists who were religiously inclined men any who have shown themselves consistent and logical in defining the true moral status of the animal on this earth and the rights of man over it.

5 It is but justice to acknowledge here that De Mirville is the first to recognize the error of the Church in this particular, and to defend animal life, as far as he dares do so.


Some instances must now be brought to prove the charges stated. Appealing to serious and cultured minds it must be postulated that the views of the various authorities here cited are not unfamiliar to the reader. It will suffice therefore simply to give short epitomes of some of the conclusions they have arrived at—beginning with the Churchmen.

As already stated, the Church exacts belief in the miracles performed by her great Saints. Among the various prodigies accomplished we shall choose for the present only those that bear directly upon our subject—namely, the miraculous resurrections of dead animals. Now one who credits man with an immortal soul independent of the body it animates can easily believe that by some divine miracle the soul can be recalled and forced back into the tabernacle it deserts apparently for ever. But how can one accept the same possibility in the case of an animal, since his faith teaches him that the animal has no independent soul, since it is annihilated with the body? For over two hundred years, ever since Thomas of Aquinas, the Church has authoritatively taught that the soul of the brute dies with its organism. What then is recalled back into the clay to reanimate it? It is at this juncture that scholasticism steps in, and—taking the difficulty in hand— reconciles the irreconcilable.

It premises by saying that the miracles of the Resurrection of animals are numberless and as well authenticated as "the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ."6 The Bollandists give instances without number. As Father Burigny, a hagiographer of the 17th century, pleasantly remarks concerning the bustards resuscitated by St. Remi—"I may be told, no doubt, that I am a goose myself to give credence to such ‘blue bird’ tales. I shall answer the joker, in such a case, by saying that, if he disputes this point, then must he also strike out from the life of St. Isidore of Spain the statement that he resuscitated from death his master’s horse; from the biography of St. Nicolas of Tolentino—that he brought back to life a partridge, instead of eating it; from that of St. Francis—that he recovered from the blazing coals of an oven, where it was baking, the body of a lamb, which he forthwith resurrected; and that he also made boiled fishes, which he resuscitated, swim in their sauce; etc., etc. Above all he, the sceptic, will have to charge more than 100,000 eye-witnesses—among whom at least a few ought to be allowed some common sense—with being either liars or dupes."

6 De Beatificatione, etc., by Pope Benedict XIV.


A far higher authority than Father Burigny, namely, Pope Benedict (Benoit) XIV, corroborates and affirms the above evidence. The names, moreover, as eye-witnesses to the resurrections, of Saint Sylvestrus, Francois de Paule, Severin of Cracow and a host of others are all mentioned in the Bollandists. "Only he adds"—says Cardinal de Ventura who quotes him—"that, as resurrection, however, to deserve the name requires the identical and numerical reproduction of the form,7 as much as of the material of the dead creature; and as that form (or soul) of the brute is always annihilated with its body according to St. Thomas’ doctrine, God, in every such case finds himself obliged to create for the purpose of the miracle a new form for the resurrected animal; from which it follows that the resurrected brute was not altogether identical with what it had been before its death (non idem omnino esse.)"8

Now this looks terribly like one of the mayas of magic. However, although the difficulty is not absolutely explained, the following is made clear: the principle, that animated the animal during its life, and which is termed soul, being dead or dissipated after the death of the body, another soul—"a kind of an informal soul"—as the Pope and the Cardinal tell us—is created for the purpose of miracle by God; a soul, moreover, which is distinct from that of man, which is "an independent, ethereal and ever lasting entity."

Besides the natural objection to such a proceeding being called a "miracle" produced by the saint, for it is simply God behind his back who "creates" for the purpose of his glorification an entirely new soul as well as a new body, the whole of the Thomasian doctrine is open to objection. For, as Descartes very reasonably remarks: "if the soul of the animal is so distinct (in its immateriality) from its body, we believe it hardly possible to avoid recognizing it as a spiritual principle, hence—an intelligent one."

The reader need hardly be reminded that Descartes held the living animal as being simply an automaton, a "well wound up clock-work," according to Malebranche. One, therefore, who adopts the Cartesian theory about the animal would do as well to accept at once the views of the modern materialists. For, since that automaton is capable of feelings, such as love, gratitude, etc., and is endowed as undeniably with memory, all such attributes

7 In scholastic philosophy, the word "form" applies to the immaterial principle which informs or animates the body.

8 De Beautificatione, etc. I, IV, c. XI, Art. 6.


must be as materialism teaches us "properties of matter." But if the animal is an "automaton," why not Man? Exact science— anatomy, physiology, etc.,—finds not the smallest difference between the bodies of the two; and who knows—justly enquires Solomon—whether the spirit of man "goeth upward" any more than that of the beast? Thus we find metaphysical Descartes as inconsistent as any one.

But what does St. Thomas say to this? Allowing a soul (anima) to the brute, and declaring it immaterial, he refuses it at the same time the qualification of spiritual. Because, he says: "it would in such case imply intelligence, a virtue and a special operation reserved only for the human soul." But as at the fourth Council of Lateran it had been decided that "God had created two distinct substances, the corporeal (mundanam) and the spiritual (spiritualem), and that something incorporeal must be of necessity spiritual St. Thomas had to resort to a kind of compromise, which can avoid being called a subterfuge only when performed by a saint. He says: "This soul of the brute is neither spirit, nor body; it is of a middle nature."9 This is a very unfortunate statement. For elsewhere, St. Thomas says that "all the souls—even those of plants— have the substantial form of their bodies," and if this is true of plants, why not of animals? It is certainly neither "spirit" nor pure matter, but of that essence which St. Thomas calls "a middle nature." But why, once on the right path, deny it survivance— let alone immortality? The contradiction is so flagrant that De Mirville in despair exclaims, "Here we are, in the presence of three substances, instead of the two, as decreed by the Lateran Council!", and proceeds forthwith to contradict, as much as he dares, the "Angelic Doctor."

The great Bossuet in his Traite dé la Connaissance de Dieu et de soi même analyses and compares the system of Descartes with that of St. Thomas. No one can find fault with him for giving the preference in the matter of logic to Descartes. He finds the Cartesian "invention"—that of the automaton,—as "getting better out of the difficulty" than that of St. Thomas, accepted fully by the Catholic Church; for which Father Ventura feels indignant against Bossuet for accepting "such a miserable and puerile error." And, though allowing the animals a soul with all its qualities of affection and sense, true to his master St. Thomas, he too

9 Quoted by Cardinal de Ventura in his Philosophic Chretienne, Vol. II, p. 386. See also De Mirville, Résurrections animales.


refuses them intelligence and reasoning powers. "Bossuet," he says, "is the more to be blamed, since he himself has said: Ί foresee that a great war is being prepared against the Church under the name of Cartesian philosophy’." He is right there, for out of the "sentient matter" of the brain of the brute animal comes out quite naturally Locke’s thinking matter, and out of the latter all the materialistic schools of our century. But when he fails, it is through supporting St. Thomas’ doctrine, which is full of flaws and evident contradictions. For, if the soul of the animal is, as the Roman Church teaches, an informal, immaterial principle, then it becomes evident that, being independent of physical organism, it cannot "die with the animal" any more than in the case of man. If we admit that it subsists and survives, in what respect does it differ from the soul of man? And that it is eternal—once we accept St. Thomas’ authority on any subject— though he contradicts himself elsewhere. "The soul of man is immortal, and the soul of the animal perishes," he says (Summa, Vol. V. p. 164),—this, after having queried in Vol. II of the same grand work (p. 256) "are there any beings that re-emerge into nothingness?" and answered himself:—"No, for in the Ecclesiastes it is said: (iii. 14) Whatsoever GOD doeth, it shall be for ever. With God there is no variableness (James I. 17)." "Therefore," goes on St. Thomas, "neither in the natural order of things, nor by means of miracles, is there any creature that re-emerges into nothingness (is annihilated); there is naught in the creature that is annihilated, for that which shows with the greatest radiance divine goodness is the perpetual conservation of the creatures."10

This sentence is commented upon and confirmed in the annotation by the Abbé Drioux, his translator. "No," he remarks—"nothing is annihilated; it is a principle that has become with modern science a kind of axiom."

And, if so, why should there be an exception made to this invariable rule in nature, recognized both by science and theology,—only in the case of the soul of the animal? Even though it had no intelligence, an assumption from which every impartial thinker will ever and very strongly demur.

Let us see, however, turning from scholastic philosophy to natural sciences, what are the naturalist’s objections to the animal having an intelligent and therefore an independent soul in him.

10 Summa—Drioux edition in 8 vols.


"Whatever that be, which thinks, which understands, which acts, it is something celestial and divine; and upon that account must necessarily be eternal," wrote Cicero, nearly two millenniums ago. We should understand well, Mr. Huxley contradicting the conclusion,—St. Thomas of Aquinas, the "king of the metaphysicians," firmly believed in the miracles of resurrection performed by St. Patrick.11

Really, when such tremendous claims as the said miracles are put forward and enforced by the Church upon the faithful, her theologians should take more care that their highest authorities at least should not contradict themselves, thus showing ignorance upon questions raised nevertheless to a doctrine.

The animal, then, is debarred from progress and immortality, because he is an automaton. According to Descartes, he has no intelligence, agreeably to mediæval scholasticism; nothing but instinct, the latter signifying involuntary impulses, as affirmed by the materialists and denied by the Church.

Both Frederic and George Cuvier have discussed amply, however, on the intelligence and the instinct in animals.12 Their ideas upon the subject have been collected and edited by Flourens, the learned Secretary of the Academy of Sciences. This is what Frederic Cuvier, for thirty years the Director of the Zoological Department and the Museum of Natural History at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, wrote upon the subject. "Descartes’ mistake, or rather the general mistake, lies in that no sufficient distinction was ever made between intelligence and instinct. Buffon himself had fallen into such an omission, and owing to it every thing in his Zoological philosophy was contradictory. Recognizing in the animal a feeling superior to our own, as well as the consciousness of its actual existence, he denied it at the same time thought, reflection, and memory, consequently every possibility of having thoughts." (Buffon, Discourse on the Nature of Animals, VII,

11 St. Patrick, it is claimed, has Christianized "the most Satanized country of the globe— Ireland, ignorant in all save magic"—into the "Island of Saints," by resurrecting "sixty men dead years before." Suscitavit sexaginta mortuos (Lectio I. ii, from the Roman Breviary, 1520). In the M.S. held to be the famous confession of that saint, preserved in the Salisbury Cathedral (Descript. Hibern. I. II, C. I), St. Patrick writes in an autograph letter: "To me the last of men, and the greatest sinner, God has, nevertheless, given, against the magical practices of this barbarous people the gift of miracles, such as had not been given to the greatest of our apostles— since he (God) permitted that among other things (such as the resurrection of animals and creeping things) I should resuscitate dead bodies reduced to ashes since many years." Indeed, before such a prodigy, the resurrection of Lazarus appears a very insignificant incident.

12 More recently Dr. Romanes and Dr. Butler have thrown great light upon the subject.


ρ. 57.) But, as he could hardly stop there, he admitted that the brute had a kind of memory, active, extensive and more faithful than our (human) memory (Id. Ibid., p. 77). Then, after having refused it any intelligence, he nevertheless admitted that the animal "consulted its master, interrogated him, and understood perfectly every sign of his will." (Id. Ibid., Vol. X, History of the Dog, p. 2.)

A more magnificent series of contradictory statements could hardly have been expected from a great man of science.

The illustrious Cuvier is right therefore in remarking in his turn, that "this new mechanism of Buffon is still less intelligible than Descartes’ automaton."13

As remarked by the critic, a line of demarcation ought to be traced between instinct and intelligence. The construction of beehives by the bees, the raising of dams by the beaver in the middle of the naturalist’s dry floor as much as in the river, are all the deeds and effects of instinct forever unmodifiable and changeless, whereas the acts of intelligence are to be found in actions evidently thought out by the animal, where not instinct but reason comes into play, such as its education and training calls forth and renders susceptible of perfection and development. Man is endowed with reason, the infant with instinct; and the young animal shows more of both than the child.

Indeed, every one of the disputants knows as well as we do that it is so. If any materialist avoid confessing it, it is through pride. Refusing a soul to both man and beast, he is unwilling to admit that the latter is endowed with intelligence as well as himself, even though in an infinitely lesser degree. In their turn the churchman, the religiously inclined naturalist, the modern metaphysician, shrink from avowing that man and animal are both endowed with soul and faculties, if not equal in development and perfection, at least the same in name and essence. Each of them knows, or ought to know that instinct and intelligence are two faculties completely opposed in their nature, two enemies confronting each other in constant conflict; and that, if they will not admit of two souls or principles, they have to recognize, at any rate, the presence of two potencies in the soul, each having a different seat in the brain, the localization of each of which is well known to them, since they can isolate and temporarily destroy them in turn—according to the organ or part of the organs they

13 Biographie Universelle, Art. by Cuvier on Buffon’s Life.


happen to be torturing during their terrible vivisections. What is it but human pride that prompted Pope to say:

Ask for whose end the heavenly bodies shine;
Earth for whose use? Pride answers, ’Tis for mine.
For me kind nature wakes her genial power,
Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower.
For me the mine a thousand treasures brings;
For me health gushes from a thousand springs;
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;
My footstool earth, my canopy the skies!

And it is the same unconscious pride that made Buffon utter his paradoxical remarks with reference to the difference between man and animal. That difference consisted in the "absence of reflection, for the animal," he says, "does not feel that he feels." How does Buffon know? "It does not think that it thinks," he adds, after having told the audience that the animal remembered, often deliberated, compared and chose!14 Who ever pretended that a cow or a dog could be an idealogist? But the animal may think and know it thinks, the more keenly that it cannot speak, and express its thoughts. How can Buffon or any one else know? One thing is shown however by the exact observations of naturalists and that is, that the animal is endowed with intelligence; and once this is settled, we have but to repeat Thomas Aquinas’ definition of intelligence— the prerogative of man’s immortal soul—to see that the same is due to the animal.

But in justice to real Christian philosophy, we are able to show that primitive Christianity has never preached such atrocious doctrines—the true cause of the falling off of so many of the best men as of the highest intellects from the teachings of Christ and his disciples.


O Philosophy, thou guide of life, and discoverer of virtue!

Philosophy is a modest profession, it is all reality and plain dealing; I hate solemnity and pretence, with nothing but pride at the bottom. —PLINY

THE destiny of man—of the most brutal, animal-like, as well as of the most saintly— being immortality, according to theological teaching; what is the future destiny of the countless hosts of

14 Discours sur la nature des Animaux.


the animal kingdom? We are told by various Roman Catholic writers—Cardinal Ventura, Count de Maistre and many others— that "animal soul is a Force."

"It is well established that the soul of the animal," says their echo De Mirville,— "was produced by the earth, for this is Biblical. All the living and moving souls (nephesh or life principle) come from the earth; but, let me be understood, not solely from the dust, of which their bodies as well as our own were made, but from the power or potency of the earth; i.e., from its immaterial force, as all forces are . . . those of the sea, of the air, etc., all of which are those Elementary Principalities (principautés élementaires) of which we have spoken elsewhere."15

What the Marquis de Mirville understands by the term is, that every "Element" in nature is a domain filled and governed by its respective invisible spirits. The Western Kabalists and the Rosicrucians named them Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders and Gnomes; Christian mystics, like De Mirville, give them Hebrew names and class each among the various kinds of Demons under the sway of Satan—with God’s permission, of course.

He too rebels against the decision of St. Thomas, who teaches that the animal soul is destroyed with the body. "It is a force,"— he says—that "we are asked to annihilate, the most substantial force on earth, called animal soul," which, according to the Reverend Father Ventura, is16 "the most respectable soul after that of man."

He had just called it an immaterial force, and now it is named by him "the most substantial thing on earth."17

But what is this Force? George Cuvier and Flourens the academician tell us its secret.

"The form or the force of the bodies," (form means soul in this case, let us remember,) the former writes,—"is far more essential to them than matter is, as (without being destroyed in its essence) the latter changes constantly, whereas the form prevails eternally." To this Flourens observes: "In everything that has life, the form is more persistent than matter; for, that which constitutes the BEING of the living body, its identity and its sameness, is its form."18

"Being," as De Mirville remarks in his turn, "a magisterial prin-

15 Esprits, 2m. mem. Ch. XII, Cosmolatrie.

16 Ibid.

17 Esprits—p. 158.

18 Longevity, pp. 49 and 52.


ciple, a philosophical pledge of our immortality,"19 it must be inferred that soul—human and animal—is meant under this misleading term. It is rather what we call the ONE LIFE I suspect.

However this may be, philosophy, both profane and religious, corroborates this statement that the two "souls" are identical in man and beast. Leibnitz, the philosopher beloved by Bossuet, appeared to credit "Animal Resurrection" to a certain extent. Death being for him "simply the temporary enveloping of the personality," he likens it to the preservation of ideas in sleep, or to the butterfly within its caterpillar. "For him," says De Mirville, "resurrection20 is a general law in nature, which becomes a grand miracle, when performed by a thaumaturgist, only in virtue of its prematurity, of the surrounding circumstances, and of the mode in which he operates." In this Leibnitz is a true Occultist without suspecting it. The growth and blossoming of a flower or a plant in five minutes instead of several days and weeks, the forced germination and development of plant, animal or man, are facts preserved in the records of the Occultists. They are only seeming miracles; the natural productive forces hurried and a thousandfold intensified by the induced conditions under occult laws known to the Initiate. The abnormally rapid growth is effected by the forces of nature, whether blind or attached to minor intelligences subjected to man’s occult power, being brought to bear collectively on the development of the thing to be called forth out of its chaotic elements. But why call one a divine miracle, the other a Satanic subterfuge or simply a fraudulent performance?

Still as a true philosopher Leibnitz finds himself forced, even in this dangerous question of the resurrection of the dead, to include in it the whole of the animal kingdom in its great synthesis, and to say: "I believe that the souls of the animals are imperishable, . . . and I find that nothing is better fitted to prove our own immortal nature."21

Supporting Leibnitz, Dean, the Vicar of Middleton, published in 1748 two small volumes upon this subject. To sum up his ideas, he says that "the holy scriptures hint in various passages that the brutes shall live in a future life. This doctrine has been supported by several Fathers of the Church. Reason teaching us that the animals have a soul, teaches us at the same time that they shall

19 Resurrections, p. 621.

20 The occultists call it "transformation" during a series of lives and the final nirvanic Resurrection.

21 Leibnitz, Opera philos., etc.


exist in a future state. The system of those who believe that God annihilates the soul of the animal is nowhere supported, and has no solid foundation to it," etc. etc.22

Many of the men of science of the last century defended Dean’s hypothesis, declaring it extremely probable, one of them especially—the learned Protestant theologian Charles Bonnet of Geneva. Now, this theologian was the author of an extremely curious work called by him Palingenesia 23 or the "New Birth," which takes place, as he seeks to prove, owing to an invisible germ that exists in everybody, and no more than Leibnitz can he understand that animals should be excluded from a system, which, in their absence, would not be a unity, since system means "a collection of laws." 24

"The animals," he writes, "are admirable books, in which the creator gathered the most striking features of his sovereign intelligence. The anatomist has to study them with respect, and, if in the least endowed with that delicate and reasoning feeling that characterises the moral man, he will never imagine, while turning over the pages, that he is handling slates or breaking pebbles. He will never forget that all that lives and feels is entitled to his mercy and pity. Man would run the risk of compromising his ethical feeling were he to become familiarised with the suffering and the blood of animals. This truth is so evident that Governments should never lose sight of it. . . . as to the hypothesis of automatism I should feel inclined to regard it as a philosophical heresy, very dangerous for society, if it did not so strongly violate good sense and feeling as to become harmless, for it can never be generally adopted."

"As to the destiny of the animal, if my hypothesis be right, Providence holds in reserve for them the greatest compensations in future states.25 . . . And for me, their resurrection is the consequence of that soul or form we are necessarily obliged to allow them, for a soul being a simple substance, can neither be divided, nor decomposed, nor yet annihilated. One cannot escape such an inference without falling back into Descartes’ automatism; and then from animal automatism one would soon and forcibly arrive at that of man" . . .

22 See vol. XXIX of the Bibliotheque des sciences, ist Trimester of the year I768.

23 From two Greek words—to be born and reborn again.

24 See Vol. II Palingenesis. Also, De Mirville’s Resurrections.

25 We too believe in "future states" for the animal from the highest down to the infusoria—but in a series of rebirths, each in a higher form, up to man and then beyond—in short, we believe in evolution in the fullest sense of the word.


Our modern school of biologists has arrived at the theory of "automaton-man," but its disciples may be left to their own devices and conclusions. That with which I am at present concerned, is the final and absolute proof that neither the Bible, nor its most philosophical interpreters—however much they may have lacked a clearer insight into other questions—have ever denied, on Biblical authority, an immortal soul to any animal, more than they have found in it conclusive evidence as to the existence of such a soul in man—in the old Testament. One has but to read certain verses in Job and the Ecclesiastes (iii. 17 et seq. 22) to arrive at this conclusion. The truth of the matter is, that the future state of neither of the two is therein referred to by one single word. But if, on the other hand, only negative evidence is found in the Old Testament concerning the immortal soul in animals, in the New it is as plainly asserted as that of man himself, and it is for the benefit of those who deride Hindu philozoism, who assert their right to kill animals at their will and pleasure, and deny them an immortal soul, that a final and definite proof is now being given.

St. Paul was mentioned at the end of Part I as the defender of the immortality of all the brute creation. Fortunately this statement is not one of those that can be pooh-poohed by the Christians as "the blasphemous and heretical interpretations of the holy writ, by a group of atheists and free-thinkers." Would that every one of the profoundly wise words of the Apostle Paul—an Initiate whatever else he might have been—was as clearly understood as those passages that relate to the animals. For then, as will be shown, the indestructibility of matter taught by materialistic science; the law of eternal evolution, so bitterly denied by the Church; the omnipresence of the ONE LIFE, or the unity of the ONE ELEMENT, and its presence throughout the whole of nature as preached by esoteric philosophy, and the secret sense of St. Paul’s remarks to the Romans (viii. 18-23), would be demonstrated beyond doubt or cavil to be obviously one and the same thing. Indeed, what else can that great historical personage, so evidently imbued with neo-Platonic Alexandrian philosophy, mean by the following, which I transcribe with comments in the light of occultism, to give a clearer comprehension of my meaning?

The apostle premises by saying (Romans viii. 16, 17) that "The spirit itself" (Paramatma) "beareth witness with our spirit" (atman) "that we are the children of God," and "if children, then heirs"—heirs of course to the eternity and indestructibility of the


eternal or divine essence in us. Then he tells us that:

"The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed." (v. 18.)

The "glory" we maintain, is no "new Jerusalem," the symbolical representation of the future in St. John’s kabalistical Revelations —but the Devachanic periods and the series of births in the succeeding races when, after every new incarnation we shall find ourselves higher and more perfect, physically as well as spiritually; and when finally we shall all become truly the "sons" and "the children of God" at the "last Resurrection"—whether people call it Christian, Nirvanic or Parabrahmic; as all these are one and the same. For truly—

"The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (v. 19.)

By creature, animal is here meant, as will be shown further on upon the authority of St. John Chrysostom. But who are the "sons of God," for the manifestation of whom the whole creation longs? Are they the "sons of God" with whom "Satan came also" (see Job) or the "seven angels" of Revelations? Have they reference to Christians only or to the "sons of God" all over the world?26 Such "manifestation" is promised at the end of every Manvantara27 or world-period by the scriptures of every great Religion, and save in the Esoteric interpretation of all these, in none so clearly as in the Vedas. For there it is said that at the end of each Manvantara comes the pralaya, or the destruction of the world—only one of which is known to, and expected by, the Christians—when there will be left the Sishtas, or remnants, seven Rishis and one warrior, and all the seeds, for the next human "tide-wave of the following Round."28 But the main question with

26 See Isis, Vol. I.

27 What was really meant by the "sons of God" in antiquity is now demonstrated fully in the SECRET DOCTRINE in its Part I (on the Archaic Period)—now nearly ready.

28 This is the orthodox Hindu as much as the esoteric version. In his Bangalore Lecture "What is Hindu Religion?"—Dewan Bahadoor Raghunath Rao, of Madras, says: "At the end of each Manvantara, annihilation of the world takes place; but one warrior, seven Rishis, and the seeds are saved from destruction. To them God (or Brahm) communicates the Statute law or the Vedas . . . as soon as a Manvantara commences these laws are promulgated . . . and become binding ... to the end of that Manvantara. These eight persons are called Sishtas, or remnants, because they alone remain after the destruction of all the others. Their acts and precepts are, therefore, known as Sishtacar. They are also designated ‘Sadachar’ because such acts and precepts are only what always existed."

This is the orthodox version. The secret one speaks of seven Initiates having attained Dhyanchohanship toward the end of the seventh Race on this earth, who are left on earth during its "obscuration" with the seed of every mineral, plant, and animal that had not


which we are concerned is not at present, whether the Christian or the Hindu theory is the more correct; but to show that the Brahmins—in teaching that the seeds of all the creatures are left over, out of the total periodical and temporary destruction of all visible things, together with the "sons of God" or the Rishis, who shall manifest themselves to future humanity—say neither more nor less than what St. Paul himself preaches. Both include all animal life in the hope of a new birth and renovation in a more perfect state when every creature that now "waiteth" shall rejoice in the "manifestation of the sons of God." Because, as St. Paul explains:

"The creature itself (ipsa) also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption," which is to say that the seed or the indestructible animal soul, which does not reach Devachan while in its elementary or animal state, will get into a higher form and go on, together with man, progressing into still higher states and forms, to end, animal as well as man, "in the glorious liberty of the children of God" (v. 21).

And this "glorious liberty" can be reached only through the evolution or the Karmic progress of all creatures. The dumb brute having evoluted from the half sentient plant, is itself transformed by degrees into man, spirit, God—et seq. and ad infinitum! For says St. Paul—

"We know ("we," the Initiates) that the whole creation, (omnis creatura or creature,

in the Vulgate) groaneth and travaileth (in child-birth) in pain until now."29 (v. 22.)

This is plainly saying that man and animal are on a par on earth, as to suffering, in their evolutionary efforts toward the goal and in accordance with Karmic law. By "until now," is meant up to the fifth race. To make it still plainer, the great Christian Initiate explains by saying:

"Not only they (the animals) but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." (v. 23.) Yes, it is we, men, who have the "first-fruits of the Spirit," or the direct Parabrahmic light, our Atma or seventh principle, owing to the perfection of our fifth principle (Manas), which is far less developed in the animal. As a compensation, however, their Karma

time to evolute into man for the next Round or world-period. See Esoteric Buddhism, by A. P. Sinnett, Fifth Edition, Annotations, pp. 146, 147.

29 . . . ingemiscit et parturit usque adhuc in the original Latin translation.


is far less heavy than ours. But that is no reason why they too should not reach one day that perfection that gives the fully evoluted man the Dhyanchohanic form.

Nothing could be clearer—even to a profane, non-initiated critic—than those words of the great Apostle, whether we interpret them by the light of esoteric philosophy, or that of mediæval scholasticism. The hope of redemption, or, of the survival of the spiritual entity, delivered "from the bondage of corruption," or the series of temporary material forms, is for all living creatures, not for man alone.

But the "paragon" of animals, proverbially unfair even to his fellow-beings, could not be expected to give easy consent to sharing his expectations with his cattle and domestic poultry. The famous Bible commentator, Cornelius a Lapide, was the first to point out and charge his predecessors with the conscious and deliberate intention of doing all they could to avoid the application of the word creatura to the inferior creatures of this world. We learn from him that St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Origen and St. Cyril (the one, most likely, who refused to see a human creature in Hypatia, and dealt with her as though she were a wild animal) insisted that the word creatura, in the verses above quoted, was applied by the Apostle simply to the angels! But, as remarks Cornelius, who appeals to St. Thomas for corroboration, "this opinion is too distorted and violent (distorta et violenta); it is moreover invalidated by the fact that the angels, as such, are already delivered from the bonds of corruption." Nor is St. Augustine’s suggestion any happier; for he offers the strange hypothesis that the "creatures," spoken of by St. Paul, were "the infidels and the heretics" of all the ages! Cornelius contradicts the venerable father as coolly as he opposed his earlier brother-saints. "For," says he, "in the text quoted the creatures spoken of by the Apostle are evidently creatures distinct from men:—not only they but ourselves also; and then, that which is meant is not deliverance from sin, but from death to come."30 But even the brave Cornelius finally gets scared by the general opposition and decides that under the term creatures St. Paul may have meant—as St. Ambrosius, St. Hilarius (Hilaire) and others insisted— elements (!!) i.e., the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, etc. etc.

Unfortunately for the holy speculators and scholastics, and very fortunately for the animals—if these are ever to profit by

30 Cornelius, edit. Pelagaud, I. IX, p. 114


polemics—they are over-ruled by a still greater authority than themselves. It is St. John Chrysostomus, already mentioned, whom the Roman Catholic Church, on the testimony given by Bishop Proclus, at one time his secretary, holds in the highest veneration. In fact St. John Chrysostom was, if such a profane (in our days) term can be applied to a saint,—the "medium" of the Apostle to the Gentiles. In the matter of his Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistles, St. John is held as directly inspired by that Apostle himself, in other words as having written his comments at St. Paul’s dictation. This is what we read in those comments on the 3rd Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans.

"We must always groan about the delay made for our emigration (death); for if, as saith the Apostle, the creature deprived of reason (mente, not anima, "Soul")—and speech (nam si hæc creatura mente et verbo carens) groans and expects, the more the shame that we ourselves should fail to do so."31

Unfortunately we do, and fail most ingloriously in this desire for "emigration" to countries unknown. Were people to study the scriptures of all nations and interpret their meaning by the light of esoteric philosophy, no one would fail to become, if not anxious to die, at least indifferent to death. We should then make profitable use of the time we pass on this earth by quietly preparing in each birth for the next by accumulating good Karma. But man is a sophist by nature. And, even after reading this opinion of St. John Chrysostom—one that settles the question of the immortal soul in animals forever, or ought to do so at any rate, in the mind of every Christian,—we fear the poor dumb brutes may not benefit much by the lesson after all. Indeed, the subtle casuist, condemned out of his own mouth, might tell us, that whatever the nature of the soul in the animal, he is still doing it a favour, and himself a meritorious action, by killing the poor brute, as thus he puts an end to its "groans about the delay made for its emigration" into eternal glory.

The writer is not simple enough to imagine, that a whole British Museum filled with works against meat diet, would have the effect of stopping civilized nations from having slaughter-houses, or of making them renounce their beefsteak and Christmas goose. But if these humble lines could make a few readers realize the real value of St. Paul’s noble words, and thereby seriously turn their thoughts to all the horrors of vivisection—then the writer would

31 Homélie XIV. Sur l’Epitre aux Romains.


be content. For verily when the world feels convinced—and it cannot avoid coming one day to such a conviction—that animals are creatures as eternal as we ourselves, vivisection and other permanent tortures, daily inflicted on the poor brutes, will, after calling forth an outburst of maledictions and threats from society generally, force all Governments to put an end to those barbarous and shameful practices.

Theosophist, January, February, and March, 1886Η. P. Blavatsky


Q. Is it possible for me who love the animals to learn how to get more power than I have to help them in their sufferings?

A. Genuine unselfish LOVE combined with WILL, is a "power" in itself. They who love animals ought to show that affection in a more efficient way than by covering their pets with ribbons and sending them to howl and scratch at the prize exhibitions.

Q. Why do the noblest animals suffer so much at the hands of men? I need not enlarge or try to explain this question. Cities are torture places for the animals who can be turned to any account for use or amusement by man! and these are always the most noble.

A. In the Sutras, or the Aphorisms of the Karma-pa, a sect which is an offshoot of the great Gelukpa (yellow caps) sect in Tibet, and whose name bespeaks its tenets— "the believers in the efficacy of Karma," (action, or good works)—an Upasaka inquires of his Master, why the fate of the poor animals had so changed of late? Never was an animal killed or treated unkindly in the vicinity of Buddhist or other temples in China, in days of old, while now, they are slaughtered and freely sold at the markets of various cities, etc. The answer is suggestive:

. . . "Lay not nature under the accusation of this unparalleled injustice. Do not seek in vain for Karmic effects to explain the cruelty, for the Tenbrel Chugnyi (causal connection, Nidâna) shall teach thee none. It is the unwelcome advent of the Peling (Christian foreigner), whose three fierce gods refused to provide for the protection of the weak and little ones (animals), that is answerable for the ceaseless and heartrending sufferings of our dumb companions." . . .

The answer to the above query is here in a nutshell. It may be useful, if once more disagreeable, to some religionists to be told that the blame for this universal suffering falls entirely upon our Western religion and early education. Every philosophical Eastern system, every religion and sect in antiquity—the Brahmanical,


Egyptian, Chinese and finally, the purest as the noblest of all the existing systems of ethics, Buddhism—inculcates kindness and protection to every living creature, from animal and bird down to the creeping thing and even the reptile. Alone, our Western religion stands in its isolation, as a monument of the most gigantic human selfishness ever evolved by human brain, without one word in favor of, or for the protection of the poor animal. Quite the reverse. For theology, underlining a sentence in the Jehovistic chapter of "Creation," interprets it as a proof that animals, as all the rest, were created for man! Ergo—sport has become one of the noblest amusements of the upper ten. Hence—poor innocent birds wounded, tortured and killed every autumn by the million, all over the Christian countries, for man’s recreation. Hence also, unkindness, often cold-blooded cruelty, during the youth of horse and bullock, brutal indifference to its fate when age has rendered it unfit for work, and ingratitude after years of hard labour for, and in the service of man. In whatever country the European steps in, there begins the slaughter of the animals and their useless decimation.

"Has the prisoner ever killed for his pleasure animals?" inquired a Buddhist Judge at a border town in China, infected with pious European Churchmen and missionaries, of a man accused of having murdered his sister. And having been answered in the affirmative, as the prisoner had been a servant in the employ of a Russian colonel, "a mighty hunter before the Lord," the Judge had no need of any other evidence and the murderer was found "guilty"—justly, as his subsequent confession proved.

Is Christianity or even the Christian layman to be blamed for it? Neither. It is the pernicious system of theology, long centuries of theocracy, and the ferocious, ever-increasing selfishness in the Western civilized countries. What can we do?

Lucifer, May, 1888



THE writer in the London Spiritualist for November, who calls the "Fragments of Occult Truth" speculation-spinning, can hardly, I think, apply that epithet to Fragment No. 3, so cautiously is the hypothesis concerning suicide advanced therein. Viewed in its general aspect, the hypothesis seems sound enough, satisfies our instincts of the Moral Law of the Universe, and fits in with our ordinary ideas as well as with those we have derived from science. The inference drawn from the two cases cited, viz., that of the selfish suicide on the one hand, and of the unselfish suicide on the other, is that, although the after-states may vary, the result is invariably bad, the variation consisting only in the degree of punishment. It appears to me that, in arriving at this conclusion, the writer could not have had in his mind’s eye all the possible cases of suicide, which do or may occur. For I maintain that in some cases self-sacrifice is not only justifiable, but also morally desirable, and that the result of such self-sacrifice cannot possibly be bad. I will put one case, perhaps the rarest of all rare cases, but not necessarily on that account a purely hypothetical one, for I KNOW at least one man, in whom I am interested, who is actuated with feelings, not dissimilar to these I shall now describe, and who would be deeply thankful for any additional light that could be thrown on this darkly mysterious subject.—(See Editor’s Note 1.)

Suppose, then, that an individual, whom I shall call M., takes to thinking long and deep on the vexed questions of the mysteries of earthly existence, its aims, and the highest duties of man. To assist his thoughts, he turns to philosophical works: notably those dealing with the sublime teachings of Buddha. Ultimately he arrives at the conclusion that the FIRST and ONLY aim of existence is to be useful to our fellow men; that failure in this constitutes his own worthlessness as a sentient human being, and that by continuing


a life of worthlessness he simply dissipates the energy which he holds in trust, and which, so holding, he has no right to fritter away. He tries to be useful, but—miserably and deplorably fails. What then is his remedy? Remember there is here "no sea of troubles" to "take arms against," no outraged human law to dread, no deserved earthly punishment to escape; in fact, there is no moral cowardice whatever involved in the self-sacrifice. M. simply puts an end to an existence which is useless, and which therefore fails of its own primary purpose. Is his act not justifiable? Or must he also be the victim of that transformation into spook and pisacha, against which Fragment No. 3 utters its dread warning? (2.)

Perhaps, M. may secure at the next birth more favourable conditions, and thus be better able to work out the purpose of Being. Well, he can scarcely be worse; for, in addition to his being inspired by a laudable motive to make way for one who might be more serviceable, he has not, in this particular case, been guilty of any moral turpitude. (3.)

But I have not done. I go a step further and say that M. is not only useless, but positively mischievous. To his incapacity to do good, he finds that he adds a somewhat restless disposition which is perpetually urging him on to make an effort to do good. M. makes the effort—he would be utterly unworthy the name of man if he did not make it—and discovers that his incapacity most generally leads him into errors which convert the possible good into actual evil; that, on account of his nature, birth, and education, a very large number of men become involved in the effects of his mistaken zeal, and that the world at large suffers more from his existence than otherwise. Now, if, after arriving at such results, M. seeks to carry out their logical conclusion, viz., that being morally bound to diminish the woes to which sentient beings on earth are subject, he should destroy himself, and by that means do the only good he is capable of; is there, I ask, any moral guilt involved in the act of anticipating death in such a case? I, for one, should certainly say not. Nay, more, I maintain, subject of course to correction by superior knowledge, that M. is not only justified in making away with himself, but that he would be a villain if he did not, at once and unhesitatingly, put an end to a life, not only useless, but positively pernicious. (4.)

M. may be in error; but supposing he dies cherishing the happy delusion that in death is all the good, in life all the evil he is capable of, are there in his case no extenuating circumstances to


plead strongly in his favour, and help to avert a fall into that horrible abyss with which your readers have been frightened? (5.)

M.’s, I repeat, is no hypothetical case. History teems with instances of worthless and pernicious lives, carried on to the bitter end to the ruin of nations. Look at the authors of the French Revolution, burning with as ardent a love for their fellowmen as ever fired the human breast; look at them crimson with innocent blood, bringing unutterable disasters on their country in Liberty’s sacred name! apparently how strong! in reality how pitifully weak! What a woeful result of incapacity has been theirs? Could they but have seen with M.’s eyes, would they not have been his prototypes? Blessed, indeed, had it been for France, if they had anticipated M.?

Again, look at George III. of England, a well-meaning, yet an incapable Sovereign, who, after reigning for a number of years, left his country distracted and impoverished by foreign wars, torn by internal dissensions, and separated from a kindred race across the Atlantic, with the liberties of his subjects trampled under foot, and virtue prostituted in the Cabinet, in Parliament and on the Hustings. His correspondence with Lord North and others abundantly proves that to his self-sufficiency, well-meaning though it be, must be traced the calamities of Great Britain and Ireland, calamities from the effects of which the United Kingdom has not yet fully recovered. Happy had it been for England if this ruler had, like M., seen the uselessness of his life and nipped it, as M. might do, in the bud of its pernicious career!

An Inquirer


(1.) "Inquirer" is not an Occultist, hence his assertion that in some cases suicide "is not only justifiable, but also morally desirable." No more than murder, is it ever justifiable, however desirable it may sometimes appear. The Occultist, who looks at the origin and the ultimate end of things, teaches that the individual —who affirms that any man, under whatsoever circumstances, is called to put an end to his life,—is guilty of as great an offense and of as pernicious a piece of sophistry, as the nation that assumes a right to kill in war thousands of innocent people under the pretext of avenging the wrong done to one. All such reason-


ings are the fruits of Avidya mistaken for philosophy and wisdom. Our friend is certainly wrong in thinking that the writer of Fragments arrived at his conclusions only because he failed to keep before his mind’s eye all the possible cases of suicide. The result, in one sense, is certainly invariable; and there is but one general law or rule for all suicides. But, it is just because "the after-states" vary ad-infinitum, that it is as erroneous to infer that this variation consists only in the degree of punishment. If the result will be in every case the necessity of living out the appointed period of sentient existence, we do not see whence "Inquirer" has derived his notion that "the result is invariably bad." The result is full of dangers; but there is hope for certain suicides, and even in many cases A REWARD if LIFE WAS SACRIFICED TO SAVE OTHER LIVES and that there was no other alternative for it. Let him read para. 7, page 313, in the September THEOSOPHIST, and reflect. Of course, the question is simply generalized by the writer. To treat exhaustively of all and every case of suicide and their after-states would require a shelf of volumes from the British Museum’s Library, not our Fragments.

(2.) No man, we repeat, has a right to put an end to his existence simply because it is useless. As well argue the necessity of inciting to suicide all the incurable invalids and cripples who are a constant source of misery to their families; and preach the moral beauty of that law among some of the savage tribes of the South Sea Islanders, in obedience to which they put to death, with warlike honours, their old men and women. The instance chosen by "Inquirer" is not a happy one. There is a vast difference between the man who parts with his life in sheer disgust at constant failure to do good, out of despair of ever being useful, or even out of dread to do injury to his fellow-men by remaining alive; and one who gives it up voluntarily to save the lives either committed to his charge or dear to him. One is a half insane misanthrope— the other, a hero and a martyr. One takes away his life, the other offers it in sacrifice to philanthropy and to his duty. The captain who remains alone on board of a sinking ship; the man who gives up his place in a boat that will not hold all, in favour of younger and weaker beings; the physician, the sister of charity, and nurse who stir not from the bed-side of patients dying of an infectious fever; the man of science who wastes his life in brain-work and fatigue and knows he is so wasting it and yet is offering it day


after day and night after night in order to discover some great law of the universe, the discovery of which may bring in its results some great boon to mankind; the mother that throws herself before the wild beast, that attacks her children, to screen and give them the time to fly; all these are not suicides. The impulse which prompts them thus to contravene the first great law of animated nature—the first instinctive impulse of which is to preserve life—is grand and noble. And, though all these will have to live in the Kama Loka their appointed life term, they are yet admired by all, and their memory will live honoured among the living for a still longer period. We all wish that, upon similar occasions, we may have courage so to die. Not so, surely in the case of the man instanced by "Inquirer." Notwithstanding his assertion that "there is no moral cowardice whatever involved" in such self-sacrifice—we call it decidedly "moral cowardice" and refuse it the name of sacrifice.

(3 and 4.) There is far more courage to live than to die in most cases. If "M." feels that he is "positively mischievous," let him retire to a jungle, a desert island; or, what is still better, to a cave or hut near some big city; and then, while living the life of a hermit, a life which would preclude the very possibility of doing mischief to any one, work, in one way or the other, for the poor, the starving, the afflicted. If he does that, no one can "become involved in the effects of his mistaken zeal," whereas, if he has the slightest talent, he can benefit many by simple manual labour carried on in as complete a solitude and silence as can be commanded under the circumstances. Anything is better—even being called a crazy philanthropist—than committing suicide, the most dastardly and cowardly of all actions, unless the felo de se is resorted to, in a fit of insanity.

(5.) "Inquirer" asks whether his "M." must also be victim of that transformation into spook and pisacha! Judging by the delineation given of his character, by his friend, we should say that, of all suicides, he is the most likely to become a séance-room spook. Guiltless "of any moral turpitude," he may well be. But, since he is afflicted with a "restless disposition which is perpetually urging him on to make an effort to do good"— here, on earth, there is no reason we know of, why he should lose that unfortunate disposition (unfortunate because of the constant failure)—in the Kama Loka. A "mistaken zeal" is sure to lead him on to-


ward various mediums. Attracted by the strong magnetic desire of sensitives and spiritualists, "M." will probably feel "morally bound to diminish the woes to which these sentient beings (mediums and believers) are subject on earth," and shall once more destroy, not only himself, but his "affinities" the mediums.

Theosophist, November, 1882


THE articles in your paper headed "Is Suicide a Crime?" have suggested to my mind to ask another question, "Is Fœticide a crime?" Not that I personally have any serious doubts about the unlawfulness of such an act; but the custom prevails to such an extent in the United States that there are comparatively only few persons who can see any wrong in it. Medicines for this purpose are openly advertised and sold; in "respectable families" the ceremony is regularly performed every year, and the family physician who should presume to refuse to undertake the job, would be peremptorily dismissed, to be replaced by a more accommodating one.

I have conversed with physicians, who have no more conscientious scruples to produce an abortion, than to administer a physic; on the other hand there are certain tracts from orthodox channels published against this practice; but they are mostly so overdrawn in describing the "fearful consequences," as to lose their power over the ordinary reader by virtue of their absurdity.

It must be confessed that there are certain circumstances under which it might appear that it would be the best thing as well for the child that is to be born as for the community at large, that its coming should be prevented. For instance, in a case where the mother earnestly desires the destruction of the child, her desire will probably influence the formation of the character of the child and render him in his days of maturity a murderer, a jailbird, or a being for whom it would have been better "if he never had been born."

But if fœticide is justifiable, would it then not be still better to kill the child after it is bom, as then there would be no danger to the mother; and if it is justifiable to kill children before or after they are born then the next question arises: "At what age and under what circumstances is murder justifiable?"

As the above is a question of vast importance for thousands of


people, I should be thankful to see it treated from the theosophical stand-point.

An "M.D." F.T.S.

George Town,
Colorado, U.S.A.

Editor’s Note.—Theosophy in general answers: "At no age as under no circumstance whatever is a murder justifiable!" and occult Theosophy adds:—"yet it is neither from the stand-point of law, nor from any argument drawn from one or another orthodox ism that the warning voice is sent forth against the immoral and dangerous practice, but rather because in occult philosophy both physiology and psychology show its disastrous consequence." In the present case, the argument does not deal with the causes but with the effects produced. Our philosophy goes so far as to say that, if the Penal Code of most countries punishes attempts at suicide, it ought, if at all consistent with itself, to doubly punish fœticide as an attempt to double suicide. For, indeed, when even successful and the mother does not die just then, it still shortens her life on earth to prolong it with dreary percentage in Kama-loka, the intermediate sphere between the earth and the region of rest, a place which is no "St. Patrick’s purgatory," but a fact, and a necessary halting place in the evolution of the degree of life. The crime committed lies precisely in the willful and sinful destruction of life, and interference with the operations of nature, hence —with KARMA—that of the mother and the would-be future human being. The sin is not regarded by the occultists as one of a religious character,— for, indeed, there is no more of spirit and soul, for the matter of that, in a fœtus or even in a child before it arrives at self-consciousness, than there is in any other small animal,—for we deny the absence of soul in either mineral, plant or beast, and believe but in the difference of degree. But fœticide is a crime against nature. Of course the skeptic of whatever class will sneer at our notions and call them absurd superstitions and "unscientific twaddle." But we do not write for skeptics. We have been asked to give the views of Theosophy (or rather of occult philosophy) upon the subject, and we answer the query as far as we know.

Theosophist, August, 1883


TO whatsoever cause it may be due matters little, but the word fetich is given in the dictionaries the restricted sense of "an object selected temporarily for worship," "a small idol used by the African savages," etc., etc.

In his "Des Cultes Anterieurs à l’Idolatrie," Dulaure defines Fetichism as "the adoration of an object considered by the ignorant and the weak-minded as the receptacle or the habitation of a god or genius."

Now all this is extremely erudite and profound, no doubt; but it lacks the merit of being either true or correct. Fetich may be an idol among the negroes of Africa, according to Webster; and there are weak-minded and ignorant people certainly who are fetich worshippers. Yet the theory that certain objects—statues, images, and amulets for example—serve as a temporary or even constant habitation to a "god," "genius" or spirit simply, has been shared by some of the most intellectual men known to history. It was not originated by the ignorant and weak-minded, since the majority of the world’s sages and philosophers, from credulous Pythagoras down to sceptical Lucian, believed in such a thing in antiquity; as in our highly civilized, cultured and learned century several hundred millions of Christians still believe in it, whether the above definitions be correct or the one we shall now give. The administration of the Sacrament, the mystery of Transubstantiation "in the supposed conversion of the bread and wine of the Eucharist into the body and blood of Christ," would render the bread and wine and the communion cup along with them fetiches —no less than the tree or rag or stone of the savage African. Every miracle-working image, tomb and statue of a Saint, Virgin or Christ, in the Roman Catholic and Greek Churches, have thus to be regarded as fetiches; because, whether the miracle is supposed to be wrought by God or an angel, by Christ or a saint, those images or statues do become—if the miracle be claimed as genuine— "the receptacle or dwelling" for a longer or shorter time of God or an "angel of God."


It is only in the "Dictionnaire des Religions" (Article on Fetichsme) that a pretty correct definition may be found: "The word fetich was derived from the Portuguese word fetisso, "enchanted," "bewitched" or "charmed"; whence fatum, "destiny," fatua, "fairy," etc.

Fetich, moreover, was and still ought to be identical with "idol"; and as the author of "The Teraphim of Idolatry" says, "Fetichism is the adoration of any object, whether inorganic or living, large or of minute proportions, in which, or, in connection with which,—any ‘spirit’—good or bad in short—an invisible intelligent power—has manifested its presence."

Having collected for my "Secret Doctrine" a number of notes upon this subject, I may now give some of them apropos of the latest theosophical novel "A Fallen Idol," and thus show that work of fiction based on some very occult truths of Esoteric Philosophy.

The images of all the gods of antiquity, from the earliest Aryans down to the latest Semites—the Jews,—were all idols and fetiches, whether called Teraphim, Urim and Thummim, Kabeiri, or cherubs, or the gods Lares. If, speaking of the teraphim—a word that Grotius translates as "angels," an etymology authorized by Cornelius, who says that they "were the symbols of angelic presence"—the Christians are allowed to call them "the mediums through which divine presence was manifested," why not apply the same to the idols of the "heathen"?

I am perfectly alive to the fact that the modern man of science, like the average sceptic, believes no more in an "animated" image of the Roman Church than he does in the "animated" fetich of a savage. But there is no question, at present, of belief or disbelief. It is simply the evidence of antiquity embracing a period of several thousands of years, as against the denial of the xIxth century —the century of Spiritualism and Spiritism, of Theosophy and Occultism, of Charcot and his hypnotism, of psychic "suggestion," and of unrecognized BLACK MAGIC all round.

Let us Europeans honour the religion of our forefathers, by questioning it on its beliefs and their origin, before placing on its defence pagan antiquity and its grand philosophy; where do we find in Western sacred literature, so-called, the first mention of idols and fetiches? In chapter xxxi (et seq) of Genesis, in Ur of the Chaldees in Mesopotamia, wherein the ancestors of Abraham, Serug and Terah, worshipped little idols in clay which they


called their gods; and where also, in Haran, Rachel stole the images (teraphim) of her father Laban. Jacob may have forbidden the worship of those gods, yet one finds 325 years after that prohibition, the Mosaic Jews adoring "the gods of the Amorites" all the same (Joshua xxiv. 14, 15). The teraphim-gods of Laban exist to this day among certain tribes of Mussulmans on Persian territory. They are small statuettes of tutelary genii, or gods, which are consulted on every occasion. The Rabbis explain that Rachel had no other motive for stealing her father’s gods than that of preventing his learning from them the direction she and her husband Jacob had taken, lest he should prevent them from leaving his home once more. Thus, it was not piety, or the fear of the Lord God of Israel, but simply a dread of the indiscretion of the gods that made her secure them. Moreover, her mandrakes were only another kind of sortilegious and magical implements.

Now what is the opinion of various classical and even sacred writers on these idols, which Hermes Trismegistus calls "statues foreseeing futurity" (Asclepias)?

Philo of Biblos shows that the Jews consulted demons like the Amorites, especially through small statues made of gold, shaped as nymphs which, questioned at any hour, would instruct them what the querists had to do and what to avoid. ("Antiquities.") In "More Nevochim" (1, iii) it is said that nothing resembled more those portative and preserving gods of the pagans (dii portatiles vel Averrunci) than those tutelary gods of the Jews. They were "veritable phylacteries or animated talismans, the spirantia simulacra of Apuleius (Book xi), whose answers, given in the temple of the goddess of Syria, were heard by Lucian personally, and repeated by him. Kircher (the Jesuit Father) shows also that the teraphim looked, in quite an extraordinary way, like the pagan Serapises of Egypt; and Cedrenus seems to corroborate that statement of Kircher (in his Vol. iii, p. 494 "Œdipus," etc.) by showing that the t and the s (like the Sanskrit s and the Zend h) were convertible letters, the Seraphim (or Serapis) and the teraphim, being absolute synonyms.

As to the use of these idols, Maimonides tells us ("More Nevochim," p. 41) that these gods or images passed for being endowed with the prophetic gift, and as being able to tell the people in whose possession they were "all that was useful and salutary for them."


All these images, we are told, had the form of a baby or small child, others were only occasionally much larger. They were statues or regular idols in the human shape. The Chaldeans exposed them to the beams of certain planets for the latter to imbue them with their virtues and potency. These were for purposes of astromagic; the regular teraphim for those of necromancy and sorcery, in most cases. The spirits of the dead (elementaries) were attached to them by magic art, and they were used for various sinful purposes.

Ugolino1 puts in the mouth of the sage Gamaliel, St. Paul’s master (or guru), the following words, which he quotes, he says, from his "Capito," chap, xxxvi: "They (the possessors of such necromantic teraphim) killed a new-born baby, cut off its head, and placed under its tongue, salted and oiled, a little gold lamina in which the name of an evil spirit was perforated; then, after suspending that head on the wall of their chamber, they lighted lamps before it, and prostrate on the ground they conversed with it"

The learned Marquis de Mirville believes that it was just such ex-human fetiches that were meant by Philostratus, who gives a number of instances of the same. "There was the head of Orpheus"—he says—"which spoke to Cyrus, and the head of a priest-sacrificer from the temple of Jupiter Hoplosmius which, when severed from its body, revealed, as Aristotle narrates, the name of its murderer, one called Cencidas; and the head of one Publius Capitanus, which, according to Trallianus, at the moment of the victory won by Acilius the Roman Consul, over Antiochus, King of Asia, predicted to the Romans the great misfortunes that would soon befall them, &c." ("Pn. des Esprits," Vol. iii, 29 Memoir to the Academy, p. 252.)

Diodorus tells the world how such idols were fabricated for magical purposes in days of old. "Semele, the daughter of Cadmus, having, in consequence of a fright given premature birth to a child of seven months, Cadmus, in order to follow the custom of his country and to give it (the babe) a supermundane origin which would make it live after death, enclosed its body within a gold statue, and made of it an idol for which a special cult and rites were established." (Diodorus, lib. i. p. 48.)

As Freret, in his article in the "Memoires de 1‘Academie des Inscriptions," Vol. xxiii,

p. 247—pointedly remarks, when com-

1 Ugolino—"Thesaur"—Vol. xxiii, p. 475.


menting upon the above passage: "A singular thing, deserving still more attention, is that the said consecration of Semele’s baby, which the Orphics show as having been the custom of Cadmus’ ancestors—is precisely the ceremony described by the Rabbis, as cited by Seldenus, with regard to the teraphim or household gods of the Syrians and the Phœnicians. There is little probability, however, that the Jews should have been acquainted with the Orphics."

Thus, there is every reason to believe that the numerous drawings in Father Kircher’s Œdipus, little figures and heads with metallic laminas protruding from under their tongues, which hang entirely out of the heads’ mouths, are real and genuine teraphims

—as shown by de Mirville. Then again in Le Blanc’s "Religions," (Vol. iii, p. 277), speaking of the Phœnician teraphim, the author compares them to the Greco-Phrygian palladium, which contained human relics. "All the mysteries of the apotheosis, of orgies, sacrifices and magic, were applied to such heads. A child young enough to have his innocent soul still united with the Anima Mundi—the Mundane Soul—was killed," he says; "his head was embalmed and its soul was fixed in it, as it is averred, by the power of magic and enchantments." After which followed the usual process, the gold lamina, etc., etc.

Now this is terrible BLACK MAGIC, we say; and none but the dugpas of old, the villainous sorcerers of antiquity, used it. In the Middle Ages only several Roman Catholic priests are known to have resorted to it; among others the apostate Jacobin priest in the service of Queen Catherine of Medici, that faithful daughter of the Church of Rome and the author of the "St. Bartholomew Massacre." The story is given by Bodin, in his famous work on Sorcery "Le Demonomanie, ou Traité des Sorciers" (Paris, 1587); and it is quoted in "Isis Unveiled" (Vol. ii, p. 56). Pope Sylvester II was publicly accused by Cardinal Benno of sorcery, on account of his "Brazen Oracular Head." These heads and other talking statues, trophies of the magical skill of monks and bishops, were fac-similes of the animated gods of the ancient temples. Benedict IX, John XX, and the Vlth and Vllth Popes Gregory are all known in history as sorcerers and magicians. Notwithstanding such an array of facts to show that the Latin Church has despoiled the ancient Jews of all—aye, even to their knowledge of black art inclusively—one of their advocates of modern times, namely, the


Marquis de Mirville, is not ashamed to publish against the modern Jews, the most terrible and foul of accusations!

In his violent polemics with the French symbologists, who try to find a philosophical explanation for ancient Bible customs and rites, he says: "We pass over the symbolic significations that are sought for to explain all such customs of the idolatrous Jews, (their human teraphim and severed baby-heads), because we do not believe in them (such explanations) at all. But we do believe, for one, that ‘the head’ consulted by the Scandinavian Odin in every difficult affair was a teraphim of the same (magic) class. And that in which we believe still more, is, that all those mysterious disappearances and abductions of small (Christian) children, practised at all times and even in our own day by the Jews—are the direct consequences of those ancient and barbarous necromantic practices . . . Let the reader remember the incident of Damas and Father Thomas." ("Pneum des Esprits," Vol. iii, p. 254.)

Quite clear and unmistakeable this. The unfortunate, despoiled Israelites are plainly charged with abducting Christian children to behead and make oracular heads with them, for purposes of sorcery! Where will bigotry and intolerance with their odium theologicum land next, I wonder?

On the contrary, it seems quite evident that it is just in consequence of such terrible malpractices of Occultism that Moses and the early ancestors of the Jews were so strict in carrying out the severe prohibition against graven images, statues and likenesses in any shape, of either "gods" or living men. This same reason was at the bottom of the like prohibition by Mohammed and enforced by all the Mussulman prophets. For the likeness of any person, in whatever form and mode, of whatever material, may be turned into a deadly weapon against the original by a really learned practitioner of the black art. Legal authorities during the Middle Ages, and even some of 200 years ago, were not wrong in putting to death those in whose possession small wax figures of their enemies were found, for it was murder contemplated, pure and simple. "Thou shalt not draw the vital spirits of thy enemy, or of any person into his simulacrum," for "this is a heinous crime against nature." And again: "Any object into which the fiat of a spirit has been drawn is dangerous, and must not be left in the hands of the ignorant. . . . An expert (in magic) has to be called


to purify it." ("Pract. Laws of Occult Science," Book v, Coptic copy.)

In a kind of "Manual" of Elementary Occultism, it is said: "To make a bewitched object (fetich) harmless, its parts have to be reduced to atoms (broken), and the whole buried in damp soil"—(follow instructions, unnecessary in a publication).2

That which is called "vital spirits" is the astral body. "Souls, whether united or separated from their bodies, have a corporeal substance inherent to their nature," says St. Hilarion. ("Comm, in Matth." C. v. No. 8.) Now the astral body of a living person, of one unlearned in occult sciences, may be forced (by an expert in magic) to animate, or be drawn to, and then fixed within any object, especially into anything made in his likeness, a portrait, a statue, a little figure in wax, &c. And as whatever hits or affects the astral reacts by repercussion on the physical body, it becomes logical and stands to reason that, by stabbing the likeness in its vital parts—the heart, for instance—the original may be sympathetically killed, without any one being able to detect the cause of it. The Egyptians, who separated man (exoterically) into three divisions or groups— "mind body" (pure spirit, our 7th and 6th prin.); the spectral soul (the 5th, 4th, and 3rd principles); and the gross body (prana and sthula sarira), called forth in their theurgies and evocations (for divine white magical purposes, as well as for those of the black art) the "spectral soul," or astral body, as we call it.

"It was not the soul itself that was evoked, but its simulacrum that the Greeks called Eidôlon, and which was the middle principles between soul and body. That doctrine came from the East, the cradle of all learning. The Magi of Chaldea as well as all other followers of Zoroaster, believed that it was not the divine soul alone (spirit) which would participate in the glory of celestial light, but also the sensitive soul." ("Psellus, in Scholiis, in Orac.")

Translated into our Theosophical phraseology, the above refers to Atma and Buddhi—the vehicle of spirit. The Neo-Platonics, and even Origen,—"call the astral body Augoeides and Astroeides, i.e., one having the brilliancy of the stars." ("Sciences Occultes," by Cte. de Resie, Vol. ii, p. 598-9.)

Generally speaking, the world’s ignorance on the nature of the

2 The author of "A Fallen Idol,"—whether through natural intuition or study of occult laws it is for him to say—shows knowledge of this fact by making Nebelsen say that the spirit of the tirthankar was paralyzed and torpid during the time his idol had been buried in India. That Eidôlon or Elementary could do nothing. See p. 295.


human phantom and vital principle, as on the functions of all man’s principles, is deplorable. Whereas science denies them all —an easy way of cutting the gordian knot of the difficulty—the churches have evolved the fanciful dogma of one solitary principle, the Soul, and neither of the two will stir from its respective preconceptions, notwithstanding the evidence of all antiquity and its most intellectual writers. Therefore, before the question can be argued with any hope of lucidity, the following points have to be settled and studied by our Theosophists—those, at any rate, who are interested in the subject:

  1. The difference between a physiological hallucination and a psychic or spiritual clairvoyance and clairaudience.
  2. Spirits, or the entities of certain invisible beings—whether ghosts of once living men, angels, spirits, or elementals,—have they, or have they not, a natural though an ethereal and to us invisible body? Are they united to, or can they assimilate some fluidic substance that would help them to become visible to men?
  3. Have they, or have they not, the power of so becoming infused among the atoms of any object, whether it be a statue (idol), a picture, or an amulet, as to impart to it their potency and virtue, and even to animate it?
  4. Is it in the power of any Adept, Yogi or Initiate, to fix such entities, whether by

    White or Black magic, in certain objects?

  5. What are the various conditions (save Nirvana and Avitchi) of good and bad men after death? etc., etc.

All this may be studied in the literature of the ancient classics, and especially in Aryan literature. Meanwhile, I have tried to explain and have given the collective and individual opinions thereon of all the great philosophers of antiquity in my "Secret Doctrine." I hope the book will now very soon appear. Only, in order to counteract the effects of such humoristical works as "A Fallen Idol" on weak-minded people, who see in it only a satire upon our beliefs, I thought best to give here the testimony of the ages to the effect that such post-mortem pranks as played by Mr. Anstey’s sham ascetic, who died a sudden death, are of no rare occurrence in nature.

To conclude, the reader may be reminded that if the astral body of man is no superstition founded on mere hallucinations, but a reality in nature, then it becomes only logical that such an eidôlon, whose individuality is all centered after death in his personal EGO


—should be attracted to the remains of the body that was his, during life;3 and in case the latter was burnt and the ashes buried, that it should seek to prolong its existence vicariously by either possessing itself of some living body (a medium’s), or, by attaching itself to his own statue, picture, or some familiar object in the house or locality that it inhabited. The "vampire" theory, can hardly be a superstition altogether. Throughout all Europe, in Germany, Styria, Moldavia, Servia, France and Russia, those bodies of the deceased who are believed to have become vampires, have special exorcismal rites established for them by their respective Churches. Both the Greek and Latin religions think it beneficent to have such bodies dug out and transfixed to the earth by a pole of aspen-tree wood.

However it may be, whether truth or superstition, ancient philosophers and poets, classics and lay writers, have believed as we do now, and that for several thousand years in history, that man had within him his astral counterpart, which would appear by separating itself or oozing out of the gross body, during life as well as after the death of the latter. Till that moment the "spectral soul" was the vehicle of the divine soul and the pure spirit. But, as soon as the flames had devoured the physical envelope, the spiritual soul, separating itself from the simulacrum of man, ascended to its new home of unalloyed bliss (Devachan or Swarga), while the spectral eidôlon descended into the regions of Hades (limbus, purgatory, or Kama loka). "I have terminated my earthly career," exclaims Dido, "my glorious spectre (astral body), the IMAGE of my person, will now descend into the womb of the earth.4

"Et nunc magna mei sub terras ibit imago" ("Eneid," lib. iv, 654).

Sabinus and Servius Honoratus (a learned commentator of Virgil of the vIth cent.) have taught, as shown by Delris, the demonlogian (lib. ii, ch. xx and xxv, p. 116), that man was composed, besides his soul, of a shadow (umbra) and a body. The soul ascends to heaven, the body is pulverized, and the shadow is plunged in Hades. . . . This phantom—umbra seu simulacrum—is not a real body, they say: it is the appearance of one, that no hand can touch, as it avoids contact like a breath. Homer shows this same

3 Even burning does not affect its interference or prevent it entirely—since it can avail itself of the ashes. Earth alone will make it powerless.

4 Which is not the interior of the earth, or hell, as taught by the anti-geological-theologians, but the cosmic matrix of its region—the astral light of our atmosphere.


shadow in the phantom of Patroclus, who perished, killed by Hector, and yet "Here he is—it is his face, his voice, his blood still flowing from his wounds!" (See "Iliad," xxiii, and also "Odyssey," i, xi.) The ancient Greeks and Latins had two souls—anima bruta and anima divina, the first of which is in Homer the animal soul, the image and the life of the body, and the second, the immortal and the divine.

As to our Kama loka, Ennius, says Lucrecius—"has traced the picture of the sacred regions in Acherusia, where dwell neither our bodies nor our souls, but only our simulacres, whose pallidity is dreadful to behold!" It is amongst those shades that divine Homer appeared to him, shedding bitter tears as though the gods had created that honest man for eternal sorrow only. It is from the midst of that world (Kama loka), which seeks with avidity communication with our own, that this third (part) of the poet, his phantom—explained to him the mysteries of nature. . . .5

Pythagoras and Plato both divided soul into two representative parts, independent of each other—the one, the rational soul, or λογον, the other, irrational, αλογον—the latter being again subdivided into two parts or aspects, the ϑυμιχον, and the επιθυμιχον, which, with the divine soul and its spirit and the body, make the seven principles of Theosophy. What Virgil calls imago, "image," Lucretius names—simulacrum, "similitude" (See "De Nat. rerum" I), but they are all names for one and the same thing, the astral body.

We gather thus two points from the ancients entirely corroborative of our esoteric philosophy: (a) the astral or materialized figure of the dead is neither the soul, nor the spirit, nor the body of the deceased personage, but simply the shadow thereof, which justifies our calling it a "shell"; and (b) unless it be an immortal God (an angel) who animates an object, it can never be a spirit, to wit, the SOUL, or real, spiritual ego of a once living man; for these ascend, and an astral shadow (unless it be of a living person) can never be higher than a terrestrial, earth-bound ego, or an irrational shell. Homer was therefore right in making Telemachus exclaim, on seeing Ulysses, who reveals himself to his

5. . . . Esse Acherusia templa
Quo neque permanent animte, neque corpora nostra,
Sed quœdam simulacra
, modis pallentia miris,
Unde sibi exortam semper florentis Homeri
Commemorat speciem lacrymas et fundere salsas
Cœpisse, et rerum naturam, expandere dictis.


son: "No, thou art not my father, thou art a demon, a spirit who flatters and deludes me!"

Ουσυγ Οδυσσευσ εσσι πατηρ εμοσ αλλαμε δαιμων
θελγει "Odyssey," xvi, 194

It is such illusive shadows, belonging to neither Earth nor Heaven, that are used by sorcerers and other adepts of the Black Art, to help them in persecutions of victims; to hallucinate the minds of very honest and well meaning persons occasionally, who fall victims to the mental epidemics aroused by them for a purpose; and to oppose in every way the beneficent work of the guardians of mankind, whether divine or—human.

For the present, enough has been said to show that the Theosophists have the evidence of the whole of antiquity in support of the correctness of their doctrines.


Note.—As a corroboration of the theory that a great volume of psychic force may be concentrated in an object of worship, we may add the following biblical narrative of the overthrow of the image of the idol Dagon, in its own temple, by the superior power of the Hebraic ark. It runs thus:

When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon, and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.
(I Sam. v. 3 and 4.)


Theosophist, November, 1886


THE following notes have been collected partly from an old work by a French missionary who lived in China for over forty years; some from a very curious unpublished work by an American gentleman who has kindly lent the writer his notes; some from information given by the Abbé Hue to the Chevalier Des Mousseaux and the Marquis De Mirville—for these the last two gentlemen are responsible. Most of our facts, however, come from a Chinese gentleman residing for some years in Europe.

Man, according to the Chinaman, is composed of four root-substances and three acquired "semblances." This is the magical and universal occult tradition, dating from an antiquity which has its origin in the night of time. A Latin poet shows the same source of information in his country, when declaring that:

Bis duo sunt hominis: manes, caro, spiritus, umbra:
Quatuor ista loca bis duo suscipiunt.
Terra tegit carnem, tumulum circumvolat umbra,
Orcus habet manes, spiritus astra petit.

The phantom known and described in the Celestial Empire is quite orthodox according to occult teachings, though there exist several theories in China upon it.

The human soul, says the chief (temple) teaching, helps man to become a rational and intelligent creature, but it is neither simple (homogeneous) nor spiritual; it is a compound of all that is subtle in matter. This "soul" is divided by its nature and actions into two principal parts: the LING and the HOUEN. The ling is the better adapted of the two for spiritual and intellectual operations, and has an "upper" ling or soul over it which is divine. Moreover, out of the union of the lower ling and houen is formed, during man’s life, a third and mixed being, fit for both intellectual and physical processes, for good and evil, while the houen is absolutely bad. Thus we have four principles in these two "substances," which correspond, as is evident, to our Buddhi, the divine "upper" ling; to Manas, the lower ling, whose twin, the houen, stands for Kama-rupa—the body of passion, desire and evil; and then we


have in the "mixed being" the outcome or progeny of both ling and houen—the "Mayavi," the astral body.

Then comes the definition of the third root-substance. This is attached to the body only during life, the body being the fourth substance, pure matter; and after the death of the latter, separating itself from the corpse—but not before its complete dissolution—it vanishes in thin air like a shadow with the last particle of the substance that generated it. This is of course Prâna, the life-principle or vital form. Now, when man dies, the following takes place:—the "upper" ling ascends heavenward—into Nirvâna, the paradise of Amitâbha, or any other region of bliss that agrees with the respective sect of each Chinaman—carried off by the Spirit of the Dragon of Wisdom (the seventh principle); the body and its principle vanish gradually and are annihilated; remain the ling-houen and the "mixed being." If the man was good, the "mixed being" disappears also after a time; if he was bad and was entirely under the sway of houen, the absolutely evil principle, then the latter transforms his "mixed being" into koueïs—which answers to the Catholic idea of a damned soul1—and, imparting to it a terrible vitality and power, the koueïs becomes the alter ego and the executioner of houen in all his wicked deeds. The houen and koueïs unite into one shadowy but strong entity, and may, by separating at will, and acting in two different places at a time, do terrible mischief.

The koueïs is an anima damnata according to the good missionaries, who thus make of the milliards of deceased "unbaptized" Chinamen an army of devils, who, considering they are of a material substance, ought by this time to occupy the space between our earth and the moon and feel themselves as much at ease as closely packed-up herrings in a tin-box. "The koueïs, being naturally wicked," says the Memoire, "do all the evil they can. They hold the middle between man and the brute and participate of the faculties of both. They have all the vices of man and every dangerous instinct of the animal. Sentenced to ascend no higher than our atmosphere, they congregate around the tombs and in the vicinity of mines, swamps, sinks and slaughter-houses, everywhere wherein rottenness and decay are found. The emanations of the latter are their favourite food, and it is with the help

1 The spiritual portion of the ling becomes chen (divine and saintly), after death, to become hien—an absolute saint (a Nirvanee when joined entirely with the "Dragon of Wisdom").


of those elements and atoms, and of the vapours from corpses, that they form for themselves visible and fantastic bodies to deceive and frighten men with. . . . These miserable spirits with deceptive bodies seek incessantly the means for preventing men from getting salvation" (read, being baptized), ". . . and of forcing them to become damned as they themselves are" (p. 222, Memoires concernant l’histoire, les sciences, les arts, les mœurs, etc., des Chinois, par les Missionaires de Pekin, 1791).2

This is how our old friend, the Abbé Hue, the Lazarist, unfrocked for showing the origin of certain Roman Catholic rites in Tibet and China, describes the houen. "What is the houen is a question to which it is difficult to give a clear answer. . . . It is, if you so like it, something vague, something between a spirit, a genii, and vitality" (see Huc’s Voyage à la Chine, vol. II, p. 394). He seems to regard the houen as the future operator in the business of resurrection, which it will effect by attracting to itself the atomic substance of the body, which will be thus re-formed on the day of resurrection. This answers well enough the Christian idea of one body and merely one personality to be resurrected. But if the houen has to unite on that day the atoms of all the bodies the Monad had passed through and inhabited, then even that "very cunning creature" might find itself not quite equal to the occasion. However, as while the ling is plunged in felicity, its ex-houen is left behind to wander and suffer, it is evident that the houen and the "elementary" are identical. As it is also undeniable that had disembodied man the faculty of being at one and the same time in Devachan and in Kama-loka, whence he might come to us, and put in an occasional appearance in a séance- room or elsewhere— then man—as just shown by the ling or

2 According to the most ancient doctrines of magic, violent deaths and leaving the body exposed, instead of burning or burying it—led to the discomfort and pain of its astral (Linga Sarira), which died out only at the dissolution of the last particle of the matter that had composed the body. Sorcery or black magic, it is said, had always availed itself of this knowledge for necromantic and sinful purposes. "Sorcerers offer to unrestful souls decayed remnants of animals to force them to appear" (see Porphyry, Sacrifice). St. Athanasius was accused of the black art, for having preserved the hand of Bishop Arsenius for magical operations. "Patet quod animæ illæ quæ, post mortem, adhuc, relicta corpora diligunt, quemadmodum animæ sepultura carentium, et adhuc in turbido illo humidoque spiritu [the spiritual or fluidic body, the houen] circa cadavera sua oberrant, tanquam circa cognatum aliquod eos alliciens," etc. See Cornelius Agrippa De Occulta Philosophia, pp. 354-5; Le Fantóme Humain by Des Mousseaux. Homer and Horace have described many a time such evocations. In India it is practised to this day by some Tântrikas. Thus modern sorcery, as well as white magic, occultism and spiritualism, with their branches of mesmerism, hypnotism, etc., show their doctrines and methods linked to those of the highest antiquity, since the same ideas, beliefs and practices are found now as in old Aryavarta, Egypt and China, Greece and Rome. Read the treatise, careful and truthful as to facts, however erroneous as to the author’s conclusions, by P. Thyrée, Loca Infesta, and you will find that the localities most favourable for the evocations of spirits are those where a murder has been committed, a burying ground, deserted places, etc.


houen—would be possessed of the double faculty of experiencing a simultaneous and distinct feeling of two contraries—bliss and torture. The ancients understood so well the absurdity of this theory, knowing that no absolute bliss could have place wherein there was the smallest alloy of misery, that while supposing the higher Ego of Homer to be in Elysium, they showed the Homer weeping by the Acherusia as no better than the simulacrum of the poet, his empty and deceptive image, or what we call the "shell of the false personality."3

There is but one real Ego in each man and it must necessarily be either in one place or in another, in bliss or in grief.4

The houen, to return to it, is said to be the terror of men; in China, "that horrid spectre" troubles the living, penetrates into houses and closed objects, and takes possession of people, as "spirits" are shown to do in Europe and America—the houens of children being of still greater malice than the houens of adults. This belief is so strong in China that when they want to get rid of a child they carry it far away from home, hoping thereby to puzzle the houen and make him lose his way home.

As the houen is the fluidic or gaseous likeness of its defunct body, in judicial medicine experts use this likeness in cases of suspected murders to get at the truth. The formulae used to evoke the houen of a person dying under suspicious circumstances are officially accepted and these means are resorted to very often, according to Huc, who told Des Mousseaux (see Les Mediateurs de la Magie, p. 310) that the instructing magistrate after having recited the evocation over the corpse, used vinegar mixed with some mysterious ingredients, as might any other necromancer. When the houen has appeared, it is always in the likeness of the

3 See Lucretius De Nat. Rerum I, I, who calls it a simulacrum.

4 Though antiquity (like esoteric philosophy) seems to divide soul into the divine and the animal, anima divina and anima bruta, the former being called nous and phren, yet the two were but the double aspect of a unity. Diogenes Laërtius (De Vit. Clar. Virc. I., 8, 30) gives the common belief that the animal soul, phren— ϕρην, generally the diaphragm—resided in the stomach, Diogenes calling the anima bruta ϑυμος. Pythagoras and Plato also make the same division, calling the divine or rational soul λογον and the irrational αλογον. Empedocles gives to men and animals a dual soul, not two souls as is believed. The Theosophists and Occultists divide man into seven principles and speak of a divine and animal soul; but they add that Spirit being one and indivisible, all these "souls" and principles are only its aspects. Spirit alone is immortal, infinite, and the one reality—the rest is all evanescent and temporary, illusion and delusion. Des Mousseaux is very wroth with the late Baron Dupotet, who places an intelligent "spirit" in each of our organs, simply because he is unable to grasp the Baron’s idea.


victim as it was at the moment of its death. If the body has been burned before judicial enquiry, the houen reproduces on its body the wounds or lesions received by the murdered man—the crime is proven and justice takes note of it. The sacred books of the temples contain the complete formulæ of such evocations, and even the name of the murderer may be forced from the complacent houen. In this the Chinamen were followed by Christian nations however. During the Middle Ages the suspected murderer was placed by the judges before the victim, and if at that moment blood began to flow from the open wounds, it was held as a sign that the accused was the criminal. This belief survives to this day in France, Germany, Russia, and all the Slavonian countries. "The wounds of a murdered man will re-open at the approach of his murderer" says a jurisprudential work (Binsfeld, De Conf. Malef., p. 136).

"The houen can neither be buried underground nor drowned; he travels above the ground and prefers keeping at home."

In the province of Ho-nan the teaching varies. Delaplace, a bishop in China5, tells of the "heathen Chinee" most extraordinary stories with regard to this subject. "Every man, they say, has three houens in him. At death one of the houens incarnates in a body he selects for himself; the other remains in, and with, the family, and becomes the lar; and the third watches the tomb of its corpse. Papers and incense are burnt in honour of the latter, as a sacrifice to the manes; the domestic houen takes his abode in the family record-tablets amidst engraved characters, and sacrifice is also offered to him, hiangs (sticks made of incense) are burnt in his honour, and funeral repasts are prepared for him; in which case the two houens will keep quiet"—if they are those of adults, nota bene.

Then follows a series of ghastly stories. If we read the whole literature of magic from Homer down to Dupotet we shall find everywhere the same assertion: Man is a triple, and esoterically a septenary, compound of mind, of reason, and of an eidolon, and these three are (during life) one. "I call the soul’s idol that power which vivifies and governs the body, whence are derived the senses, and through which the soul displays the strength of the senses and FEEDS A BODY WITHIN ANOTHER BODY" (Magie Dévoilée, Dupotet, p. 250).

5 Annales de la propagation de la foi, No. 143; July, 1852.


"Triplex unicuique homini dæmon, bonus est proprius custos," said Cornelius Agrippa, from whom Dupotet had the idea about the "soul’s idol." For Cornelius says: "Anima humana constat mente, ratione et idolo. Mens illuminat rationem; ratio fluit in idolum; idolum autem animæ est supra naturam quæ corporis et animæ quodam modo nodus est. Dico autem animæ idolum, potentiam illam VIVICATIVAM et rectricem corporis sensuum originem, per quam . . . alit in corpore corpus" (De Occulta Philos., pp. 357, 358).

This is the houen of China, once we divest him of the excrescence of popular superstition and fancy. Nevertheless the remark of a Brahman made in the review of "A Fallen Idol" (Theosophist, Sept., 1886, p. 793)—whether meant seriously or otherwise by the writer—that "if the rules [or mathematical proportions and measurements] are not accurately followed in every detail, an idol is liable to be taken possession of by some powerful evil spirit"—is quite true. And as a moral law of nature—a counterpart to the mathematical—if the rules of harmony in the world of causes and effects are not observed during life, then our inner idol is as liable to turn out a maleficent demon (a bhoot) and to be taken possession of by other "evil" spirits, which are called by us "Elementaries" though treated almost as gods by sentimental ignoramuses.

Between these and those who, like Des Mousseaux and De Mirville, write volumes— a whole library!—to prove that with the exception of a few Biblical apparitions and those that have favoured Christian saints and good Catholics, there never was a phantom, ghost, spirit, or "god," that had appeared that was not a ferouer, an impostor, a usurpator—Satan, in short, in one of his masquerades—there is a long way and a wide margin for him who would study Occult laws and Esoteric philosophy. "A god who eats and drinks and receives sacrifice and honour can be but an evil spirit" argues De Mirville. "The bodies of the evil spirits who were angels have deteriorated by their fall and partake of the qualities of a more condensed air" [ether?], teaches Des Mousseaux (Le Monde magique, p. 287). "And this is the reason of their appetite when they devour the funeral repasts the Chinese serve before them to propitiate them; they are demons."

Well, if we go back to the supposed origin of Judaism and the Israelite nation, we find angels of light doing just the same—if


"good appetite" be a sign of Satanic nature. And it is the same Des Mousseaux who, unconsciously, lays, for himself and his religion, a trap. "See," he exclaims, "the angels of God descend under the green trees near Abraham’s tent. They eat with appetite the bread and meat, the butter and the milk prepared for them by the patriarch" (Gen. xviii, 2, et seq). Abraham dressed a whole "calf tender and good" and "they did eat" (v. 7 and 8); and baked cakes and milk and butter besides. Was their "appetite" any more divine than that of a "John King" drinking tea with rum and eating toast in the room of an English medium, or than the appetite of a Chinese houen?

The Church has the power of discernment, we are assured; she knows the difference between the three, and judges by their bodies. Let us see. "These [the Biblical] are real, genuine spirits"! Angels, beyond any doubt (certes), argues Des Mousseaux. "Theirs are bodies which, no doubt, in dilating could, in virtue of the extreme tenuity of the substance, become transparent, then melt away, dissolve, lose their colour, become less and less visible, and finally disappear from our sight" (p. 388).

So can a "John King" we are assured, and a Pekin houen no doubt. Who or what then can teach us the difference if we fail to study the uninterrupted evidence of the classics and the Theurgists, and neglect the Occult sciences?

Lucifer, November, 1891Η. P. B.


IF any of us now-a-days ventures to relate some weird experience or seemingly incomprehensible phenomenon, two classes of objectors try to stop his mouth with the same gag. The scientist cries—"I have unravelled all Nature’s skein, and the thing is impossible; this is no age for miracles!" The Hindu bigot says—"This is the Kali Yug, the spiritual night-time of humanity; miracles are no longer possible." Thus the one from conceit, the other from ignorance reaches the same conclusion, viz., that nothing that smacks of the supernatural is possible in these latter days. The Hindu, however, believes that miracles did once occur, while the scientist does not. As for the bigoted Christians, this is not a Kali Yug but—if one might judge by what they say—a golden era of light, in which the splendour of the Gospel is illuminating humanity and pushing it onward towards greater intellectual triumphs. And as they base all their faith upon miracles, they pretend that miracles are being wrought now by God and the Virgin—principally the latter—just as in ancient times. Our own views are well-known—we do not believe a "miracle" ever did occur or ever will; we do believe that strange phenomena, falsely styled miraculous, always did occur, are occurring now, and will to the end of time; that these are natural; and that when this fact filters into the consciousness of materialistic skeptics, science will go at leaps and bounds towards that ultimate Truth she has so long been groping after. It is a wearisome and disheartening experience to tell any one about the phenomena of the less familiar side of nature. The smile of incredulity is too often followed by the insulting challenge of one’s veracity or the attempted impugnment of one’s character. An hundred impossible theories will be broached to escape accepting the only right one. Your brain must have been sur-excited, your nerves are hallucinated, a "glamour" has been cast over you. If the phenomenon has left behind a positive, tangible, undeniable proof then comes the sceptic’s last resource —confederacy, involving an amount of expenditure, time and trouble totally incommensurate with the results to be hoped for,


and despite the absence of the least possible evil motive.

If we lay down the proposition that everything is the result of combined force and matter, science will approve; but when we move on and say that we have seen phenomena and account for them under this very law, this presumptuous science having never seen your phenomenon denies both your premise and conclusion, and falls to calling you harsh names. So it all comes back to the question of personal credibility as a witness, and the man of science, until some happy accident forces the new fact upon his attention, is like the child who screams at the veiled figure he takes for a ghost, but which is only his nurse after all. If we but wait with patience we shall see some day a majority of the professors coming over to the side where Hare, De Morgan, Flammarion, Crookes, Wallace, Zöllner, Weber, Wagner, and Butlerof have ranged themselves, and then, though "miracles" will be considered as much an absurdity as now, yet occult phenomena will be duly taken inside the domain of exact science and men will be wiser. These circumscribing barriers are being vigorously assaulted just now at St. Petersburg. A young girl-medium is "shocking" all the wiseacres of the University.

For years mediumship seemed to be represented in the Russian metropolis but by American, English and French mediums on flying visits, with great pecuniary pretensions and, except Dr. Slade, the New York medium, with powers already waning. Very naturally the representatives of science found a good pretext to decline. But now all excuses are futile. Not far from Petersburg, in a small hamlet inhabited by three families of German colonists, a few years ago a widow, named Margaret Beetch, took a little girl from the House of Foundlings into her service. The little Pelagueya was liked in the family from the first for her sweet disposition, her hard-working zeal, and her great truthfulness. She found herself exceedingly happy in her new home, and for several years no one ever had a cross word for her. Pelagueya finally became a good-looking lass of seventeen, but her temper never changed. She loved her masters fondly and was beloved in the house. Notwithstanding her good looks and sympathetic person, no village lad ever thought of offering himself as a husband. The young men said she "awed" them. They looked upon her as people look in those regions upon the image of a saint. So at least say the Russian papers and the Police Gazette from


which we quote the report of the District Police Officer sent to investigate certain facts of diablerie. For this innocent young creature has just become the victim of "the weird doings of some incomprehensible, invisible agency," says the report.

November 3, 1880, accompanied by a farm-servant, she descended into the cellar under the house to get some potatoes. Hardly had they opened the heavy door, when they found themselves pelted with the vegetable. Believing some neighbor’s boy must have hidden himself on the wide shelf on which the potatoes were heaped, Pelagueya, placing the basket upon her head, laughingly remarked, "whoever you are, fill it with potatoes and so help me!" In an instant the basket was filled to the brim. Then the other girl tried the same, but the potatoes remained motionless. Climbing upon the shelf, to their amazement the girls found no one there. Having notified the widow Beetch of the strange occurrence, the latter went herself, and unlocking the cellar which had been securely locked by the two maids on leaving, found no one concealed in it. This event was but the precursor of a series of others. During a period of three weeks they succeeded each other with such a rapidity that if we were to translate the entire official Report it might fill this whole issue of the Theosophist. We will cite but a few.

From the moment she left the cellar the invisible "power" which had filled her basket with potatoes, began to assert its presence incessantly, and in the most varied ways. Does Pelagueya Nikolaef prepare to lay wood in the oven—the billets rise in the air and like living things jump upon the fire-place; hardly does she apply a match to them when they blaze already as if fanned by an invisible hand. When she approaches the well, the water begins rising, and soon overflowing the sides of the cistern runs in torrents to her feet; does she happen to pass near a bucket of water—the same thing happens. Hardly does the girl stretch out her hand to reach from the shelf some needed piece of crockery, than the whole of the earthenware, cups, tureens and plates, as if snatched from their places by a whirlwind, begin to jump and tremble, and then fall with a crash at her feet. No sooner does an invalid neighbor place herself for a moment’s rest on the girl’s bed, than the heavy bedstead is seen levitating towards the very ceiling, then turns upside down and tosses off the impertinent intruder; after which it quietly resumes its former position.


One day, having gone to the shed to do her usual evening work of feeding the cattle, Pelagueya, after performing her duty, was preparing to leave it with two other servants, when the most extraordinary scene took place. All the cows and pigs seemed to become suddenly possessed. The former, frightening the whole village with the most infuriating bellowing, tried to climb up the mangers, while the latter knocked their heads against the walls, running round as if pursued by some wild animal. Pitchforks, shovels, benches and feeding trough, snatching away from their places, pursued the terrified girls, who escaped within an inch of their lives by violently shutting and locking the door of the stables. But, as soon as this was done every noise ceased inside as if by magic.

All such phenomena took place not in darkness or during night, but in the daytime, and in the full view of the inhabitants of the little hamlet; moreover, they were always preceded by an extraordinary noise, as if of a howling wind, a cracking in the walls, and raps in the window-frames and glass. A real panic got hold of the household and the inhabitants of the hamlet, which went on increasing at every new manifestation. A priest was called of course—as though priests knew anything of magnetism!—but with no good results: a couple of pots danced a jig on the shelf, an oven-fork went stamping and jumping on the floor, and a heavy sewing-machine followed suit. The news about the young witch and her struggle with the invisible imps ran round the whole district. Men and women from neighboring villages flocked to see the marvels. The same phenomena, often intensified, took place in their presence. Once when a crowd of men upon entering, placed their caps upon the table, every one of these jumped from it to the floor, and a heavy leather glove, circling round, struck its owner a pretty sound thump on his face and rejoined the fallen caps. Finally, notwithstanding the real affection the widow Beetch felt for the poor orphan, towards the beginning of December, Pelagueya and her boxes were placed upon a cart, and after many a tear and warm expression of regret, she was sent off to the Superintendent of the Foundling Hospital—the Institution in which she was brought up. This gentleman, returning with the girl on the following day, was made a witness to the pranks of the same force, called in the Police, and, after a careful inquest, had a proces verbal signed by the authorities, and departed.


This case having been narrated to a spiritist, a rich nobleman residing at St. Petersburg, the latter betook himself immediately after the young girl and carried her away with him to town.

The above officially-noted facts are being reprinted in every Russian daily organ of note. The prologue finished, we are put in a position to follow the subsequent development of the power in this wonderful medium, as we find them commented upon in all the serious and arch-official papers of the metropolis.

"A new star on the horizon of spiritism has suddenly appeared at St. Petersburg— one Mlle. Pelagueya"—thus speaketh an editorial in the Novoye Vremya, January 1, 1881. "The manifestations which have taken place in her presence are so extraordinary and powerful that more than one devout spiritualist seems to have been upset by them— literally and by the agency of a heavy table." "But," adds the paper, "the spiritual victims do not seem to have felt in the least annoyed by such striking proofs. On the contrary, hardly had they picked themselves up from the floor (one of them before being able to resume his perpendicular position had to crawl out from beneath a sofa whither he had been launched by a heavy table) than, forgetting their bruises, they proceeded to embrace each other in rapturous joy, and with eyes overflowing with tears, congratulate each other upon this new manifestation of the mysterious force."

In the St. Petersburg Gazette, a merry reporter gives the following details:—"Miss Pelagueya is a young girl of about nineteen, the daughter of poor but dishonest parents (who had thrust her in the Foundling Hospital, as given above), not very pretty, but with a sympathetic face, very uneducated but intelligent, small in stature but kind at heart, well-proportioned—but nervous. Miss Pelagueya has suddenly manifested most wonderful mediumistic faculties. She is a 'first class Spiritistic Star' as they call her. And, indeed, the young lady seems to have concentrated in her extremities a phenomenal abundance of magnetic aura; thanks to which, she communicates instantaneously to the objects surrounding her hitherto unheard and unseen phenomenal motions. About five days ago, at a séance at which were present the most noted spiritualists and mediums of the St. Petersburg grand monde,1 occurred the following. Having placed themselves with Pelagueya

1 We seriously doubt whether there ever will be more than there are now believers in Spiritualism among the middle and lower classes of Russia. These are too sincerely devout, and believe too fervently in the devil to have any faith in "spirits."


around a table, they (the spiritists) had barely time to sit down, when each of them received what seemed an electric shock. Suddenly, the table violently upset chairs and all, scattering the enthusiastic company to quite a respectable distance. The medium found herself on the floor with the rest, and her chair began to perform a series of such wonderful aërial jumps that the terrified spiritists had to take to their heels and left the room in a hurry."

Most opportunely, while the above case is under consideration, there comes from America the account of a lad whose system appears to be also abnormally charged with vital magnetism. The report, which is from the Catholic Mirror, says that the boy is the son of a Mr. and Mrs. John C. Collins, of St. Paul, in the state of Minnesota. His age is ten years and it is only recently that the magnetic condition has developed itself—a curious circumstance to be noted. Intellectually he is bright, his health is perfect, and he enters with zest into all boyish sports. His left hand has become "a wonderfully strong magnet. Metal articles of light weight attach themselves to his hand so that considerable force is required to remove them. Knives, pins, needles, buttons, etc., enough to cover his hand, will thus attach themselves so firmly that they cannot be shaken off. Still more, the attraction is so strong that a common coalscuttle can be lifted by it, and heavier implements have been lifted by stronger persons taking hold of his arm. With heavy articles, however, the boy complains of sharp pains darting along his arm. In a lesser degree his left arm and the whole left side of his body exerts the same power, but it is not at all manifest on his right side."

The only man who has thrown any great light upon the natural and abnormal magnetic conditions of the human body is the late Baron von Reichenbach of Vienna, a renowned chemist and the discoverer of a new force which is called Odyle. His experiments lasted more than five years, and neither expense, time nor trouble were grudged to make them conclusive. Physiologists had long observed, especially among hospital patients, that a large proportion of human beings can sensibly feel a peculiar influence, or aura, proceeding from the magnet when downward passes are made along their persons but without touching them. And it was also observed that in such diseases as St. Vitus’s dance (chorea), and various forms of paralysis, hysteria, &c., the patients showed this sensitiveness in a peculiar degree. But though the great Ber-


zelius and other authorities in science had urged that men of science should investigate it, yet this most important field of research had been left almost untrodden until Baron Reichenbach undertook his great task. His discoveries were so important that they can only be fully appreciated by a careful reading of his book, Researches on Magnetism, Electricity, Heat, Light, Crystallization, and Chemical Attraction, in their relations to the Vital Force;—unfortunately out of print, but of which copies may be occasionally procured in London, second-hand.

For the immediate purpose in view, it needs only be said that he proves that the body of man is filled with an aura, "dynamide," "fluid," vapour, influence or whatever we may choose to call it; that it is alike in both sexes; that it is specially given off at the head, hands, and feet; that, like the aura from the magnet, it is polar; that the whole left side is positive, and imparts a sensation of warmth to a sensitive to whom we may apply our left hand, while the whole right side of the body is negative, and imparts a feeling of coolness. In some individuals this vital magnetic (or, as he calls it, Odylic) force is intensely strong. Thus, we may fearlessly consider and believe any phenomenal case such as the two above-quoted without fear of outstepping the limits of exact science, or of being open to the charge of superstition or credulity. It must at the same time be noted that Baron Reichenbach did not find one patient whose aura either deflected a suspended magnetic needle, or attracted iron objects like lodestone. His researches, therefore, do not cover the whole ground; and of this he was himself fully aware. Persons magnetically surcharged, like the Russian girl and the American boy, are now and then encountered, and among the class of mediums there have been a few famous ones. Thus, the medium Slade’s finger, when passed either way over a compass, will attract the needle after it to any extent. The experiment was tried by Professors Zöllner and W. Weber (Professor of Physics, founder of the doctrine of Vibration of Forces) at Leipzig. Professor Weber "placed on the table a compass, enclosed in glass, the needle of which we could all observe very distinctly by the bright candlelight, while we had our hands joined with those of Slade" which were over a foot distant from the compass. So great was the magnetic aura discharging from Slade’s hands, however, that "after about five minutes the needle began to swing violently in arcs of from 40° to 60° till at length it


several times turned completely round." At a subsequent trial, Professor Weber succeeded in having a common knitting-needle, tested with the compass just before the experiment and found wholly unmagnetized, converted into a permanent magnet. "Slade laid this needle upon a slate, held the latter under the table . . . and in about four minutes, when the slate with the knitting-needle was laid again upon the table, the needle was so strongly magnetised at one end (and only at one end) that iron shavings and sewing-needles stuck to this end; the needle of the compass could be easily drawn round in a circle. The originated pole was a south pole, inasmuch as the north pole of the (compass) needle was attracted, the south pole repelled."2

Baron Reichenbach’s first branch of inquiry was that of the effect of the magnet upon animal nerve; after which he proceeded to observe the effect upon the latter of a similar aura or power found by him to exist in crystals. Not to enter into details—all of which, however, should be read by every one pretending to investigate Aryan science—his conclusion he sums up as follows: "With the magnetic force, as we are acquainted with it in the lodestone and the magnetic needle, that force ("Odyle"—the new force he discovered) is associated, with which, in crystals, we have become acquainted." Hence: "The force of the magnet is not, as has been hitherto taken for granted, one single force, but consists of two, since, to that long known, a new hitherto unknown, and decidedly distinct one, must be added, the force, namely, which resides in crystals." One of his patients was a Mlle. Nowotny, and her sensitiveness to the auras of the magnet and crystal was phenomenally acute. When a magnet was held near her hand it was irresistibly attracted to follow the magnet wherever the Baron moved it. The effect upon her hand "was the same as if some one had seized her hand, and by means of this drawn or bent her body towards her feet." (She was lying in bed, sick, and the magnet was moved in that direction.) When approached close to her hand "the hand adhered so firmly to it, that when the magnet was raised, or moved sidewards, backwards, or in any direction whatever, her hands stuck to it, as if attached in the way in which a piece of iron would have been." This, we see, is the exact reverse of the phenomenon in the American boy Collins’ case, for, instead of his hand being attracted to anything, iron objects, light and heavy, seem attracted irresistibly to his hand,

2 Transcendental Physics, p. 47.


and only his left hand. Reichenbach naturally thought of testing Mile. Nowotny’s magnetic condition. He says: "To try this, I took filings of iron, and brought her finger over them. Not the smallest particle adhered to the finger, even when it had just been in contact with the magnet. . . . A magnetic needle finely suspended, to the poles of which I caused her to approach her finger alternately, and in different positions, did not exhibit the slightest tendency to deviation or oscillation."

Did space permit, this most interesting analysis of the accumulated facts respecting the occasional abnormal magnetic surcharge of human beings might be greatly prolonged without fatiguing the intelligent reader. But we may at once say that since Reichenbach3 proves magnetism to be a compound instead of a simple force, and that every human being is charged with one of these forces, Odyle; and since the Slade experiments, and the phenomena of Russia and St. Paul, show that the human body does also at times discharge the true magnetic aura, such as is found in the lodestone; therefore the explanation is that in these latter abnormal cases the individual has simply evolved an excess of the one instead of the other of the forces which together form what is commonly known as magnetism. There is, therefore, nothing whatever of supernatural in the cases. Why this happens is, we conceive, quite capable of explanation, but as this would take us too far afield in the less commonly known region of occult science it had better be passed over for the present.

Theosophist, April, 1881

3 Reichenbach, op. cit., pp. 25, 46, 210.



CAN any of the numerous readers of the Theosophist enlighten me as to the influence that acted on me on the occasion alluded to below? I certainly emphatically deny that there was a spirit manifestation, but there was beyond doubt some singular agency at work, which I have not up to this time been able to comprehend or explain.

After having been in a certain school with another boy of about the same age as myself we parted, and only met again after the lapse of about thirty-five years. It was at Agra, where he was a Deputy Collector and I, head-clerk in the same office. Our friendship was renewed, and we soon became very much attached to each other; in fact, we had no secrets between us. Thus we continued to be for several years, and almost every day saw each other. I had occasion during the Dasara Holidays to visit my brother-in-law, an opulent land-holder at Meerut, and on my return related to my friend the festivities that had been observed there. My friend promised that, if he could possibly manage, he would also accompany me to my brother-in-law’s at the next Dasara vacation. In the interval, and particularly when the vacation approached, we repeatedly discussed our plans, and when the time drew near we made all arrangements for fulfilling our engagement. But on the last working day in the office when I asked my friend to meet me that evening at the appointed time at the railway station with his luggage, to my utter astonishment and disappointment he told me that he was very sorry for being unable to go with me in consequence of his family having been recommended for a change, and he was going with them to Rambagh (a sanitarium on the other side of Agra). On parting he shook hands with me and again expressed his sorrow, and said that "though absent in body he would be present in thought and spirit with me." On our way in the train I arranged with my wife to go to Meerut first, and after remaining four days there to go off to Delhi where she had never been, stop a couple of days there, and on our return to pass a day at Allyghur with a relation, and then to return home to Agra a day prior to the


opening of my office. The programme was finally settled between us. The two days after our arrival at my brother-in-law’s were spent most pleasantly. Early on the morning of the third day after partaking of some refreshments we sat together to think of amusements for the night, when all of a sudden a curious sensation came over me, I felt dull and melancholy, and told my brother