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Editorial Appendix

From H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles, Vol. III.


Articles by HPB

[In his article, "The Aryan-Arhat Esoteric Tenets on the Sevenfold Principle in Man," in the Theosophist for January 1882, Subba Row made statements which drew comment from H.P.B., printed as the Notes of an editorial appendix following his article. Before each of these five Notes by H.P.B., we give in brackets the statement by Subba Row to which it applied.]


[SUBBA ROW: Now it is extremely difficult to show whether the Tibetans derived their doctrine from the ancient Rishis of India, or the ancient Brahmans 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.]

In this connection it will be well to draw the reader's attention, to the fact that the country called "Si-dzang" by the Chinese, and Tibet by Western geographers, is mentioned in the oldest books preserved in the province of Fo-kien (the chief head-quarters of the aborigines of China)--as the great seat of occult learning in the archaic ages. According to these records, it was inhabited by the "Teachers of Light," the "Sons of Wisdom," and the "Brothers of the Sun." The Emperor Yu the "Great" (2207 B.C.), a pious mystic, is credited with having obtained his occult wisdom and the system of theocracy established by him--for he was the first one to unite in China ecclesiastical power with temporal authority--from Si-dzang. That system was the same as with the old Egyptians and the Chaldees; that which we know to have existed in the Brahmanical period in India, and to exist now in Tibet: namely, all the learning, power, the temporal as well as the secret wisdom were concentrated within the hierarchy of the priests and limited to their caste. Who were the aborigines of Tibet is a question which no ethnographer is able to answer correctly at present. They practise the Bhon religion, their sect is a pre- and anti-Buddhistic one, and they are to be found mostly in the province of Kam--that is all that is known of them. But even that would justify the supposition that they are the greatly degenerated descendants of mighty and wise forefathers. Their ethnical type shows that they are not pure Turanians, and their rites--now those of sorcery, incantations, and nature-worship, remind one far more of the popular rites of the Babylonians, as found in the records preserved on the excavated cylinders, than of the religious practices of the Chinese sect of Tao-sse--(a religion based upon pure reason and spirituality)--as alleged by some. Generally, little or no difference is made even by the Kyelang missionaries who mix greatly with these people on the borders of British Lahoul--and ought to know better--between the Bhons and the two rival Buddhist sects, the Yellow Caps and the Red Caps. The latter of these have opposed the reform of Tzongka-pa from the first and have always adhered to old Buddhism so greatly mixed up now with the practices of the Bhons. Were our Orientalists to know more of them, and compare the ancient Babylonian Bel or Baal worship with the rites of the Bhons, they would find an undeniable connection between the two. To begin an argument here, proving the origin of the aborigines of Tibet as connected with one of the three great races which superseded each other in Babylonia, whether we call them the Akkadians (invented by F. Lenormant), or the primitive Turanians, Chaldees and Assyrians--is out of question. Be it as it may, there is reason to call the trans-Himalayan esoteric doctrine Chaldeo-Tibetan. And, when we remember that the Vedas came--agreeably to all traditions--from the Manssorowa Lake in Tibet, and the Brahmins themselves from the far North, we are justified in looking on the esoteric doctrines of every people who once had or still has it--as having proceeded from one and the same source; and, to thus call it the "Aryan-Chaldeo-Tibetan" doctrine, or Universal WISDOM Religion. "Seek for the LOST WORD among the hierophants of Tartary, China and Tibet," was the advice of Swedenborg, the seer.


[SUBBA ROW: Your assertion in "Isis Unveiled" that Sanskrit was the language of the inhabitants of the said continent (Atlantis), may induce one to suppose that the Vedas had probably their origin there,--wherever else might be the birthplace of the Aryan esotericism.]

Not necessarily--we say. The Vedas, Brahmanism, and along with these, Sanskrit, were importations into what we now regard as India. They were never indigenous to its soil. There was a time when the ancient nations of the West included under the generic name of India many of the countries of Asia now classified under other names. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, even during the comparatively late period of Alexander; and Persia--Iran is called Western India in some ancient classics. The countries now named Tibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary were considered by them as forming part of India. When we say, therefore, that India has civilized the world and was the Alma Mater of the civilizations, arts and sciences of all other nations (Babylonia, and perhaps even Egypt, included) we mean archaic, prehistoric India. India of the time when the great Gobi was a sea and the lost "Atlantis" formed part of an unbroken continent which began at the Himalayas and ran down over Southern India Ceylon, Java, to far-away Tasmania.


[SUBBA ROW: . . . the knowledge of the occult powers of nature possessed by the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis was, learned by the ancient adepts of India and was appended by them to the esoteric doctrine taught by the residents of the sacred Island.]

To ascertain such disputed questions, one has to look into and study well the Chinese sacred and historical records--a people whose era begins nearly 4,600 years back (2697 B.C.). A people so accurate and by whom some of the most important inventions of modern Europe and its so much boasted modern science, were anticipated--such as the compass, gun-powder, porcelain, paper, printing, &c.--known, and practised thousands of years before these were rediscovered by the Europeans--ought to receive some trust for their records. And from Lao-tze down to Hiouen-Thsang their literature is filled with allusions and references to that island and the wisdom of the Himalayan adepts. In the Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese by the Rev. Samuel Beal, there is a chapter "On the TIAN-TA'I School of Buddhism" (pp. 244-258) which our opponents ought to read. Translating the rules of that most celebrated and holy school and sect in China founded by Chin-che-Khae, called Che-chay (the wise one) in the year 575 of our era, when coming to the sentence which reads: "That which relates to the one garment (seamless) worn by the GREAT TEACHERS OF THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS, the school of the Haimavatas" (p. 256) the European translator places after the last sentence a sign of interrogation, as well he may. The statistics of the school of the "Haimavatas" or of our Himalayan Brotherhood, are not to be found in the General Census Records of India. Further, Mr. Beal translates a Rule relating to "the great professors of the higher order who live in mountain depths remote from men," the Aranyakas, or hermits.

So, with respect to the traditions concerning this island, and apart from the (to them) historical records of this preserved in the Chinese and Tibetan Sacred Books: the legend is alive to this day among the people of Tibet. The fair Island is no more, but the country where it once bloomed remains there still, and the spot is well known to some of the "great teachers of the snowy mountains," however much convulsed and changed its topography by the awful cataclysm. Every seventh year, these teachers are believed to assemble in SCHAM-CHA-LO, the "happy land." According to the general belief it is situated in the north-west of Tibet. Some place it within the unexplored central regions, inaccessible even to the fearless nomadic tribes; others hem it in between the range of the Gangdisri Mountains and the northern edge of the Gobi Desert, South and North, and the more populated regions of Khoondooz and Kashmir, of the Gya-Pheling (British-lndia), and China, West and East, which affords to the curious mind a pretty large latitude to locate it in. Others still place it between Namur Nur and the Kuen-Lun Mountains--but one and all firmly believe in Scham-bha-la, and speak of it as a fertile, fairy-like land, once an island, now an oasis of incomparable beauty, the place of meeting of the inheritors of the esoteric wisdom of the god-like inhabitants of the legendary Island.

In connection with the archaic legend of the Asian Sea and the Atlantic Continent, is it not profitable to note a fact known to all modern geologists--that the Himalayan slopes afford geological proof, that the substance of those lofty peaks was once a part of an ocean floor?


[SUBBA ROW: You said that in cases where tendencies of a man's mind are entirely material, and all spiritual aspirations and thoughts were altogether absent from his mind, the seventh principle leaves him either before or at the time of death, and the sixth principle disappears with it. Here, the very proposition that the tendencies of the particular individual's mind are entirely material, involves the assertion that there is no spiritual intelligence or spiritual Ego in him. You should then have said that, whenever spiritual intelligence should cease to exist in any particular individual the seventh principle ceases to exist for that particular individual for all purposes. Of course, it does not fly off anywhere. There can never be anything like a change of position in the case of Brahmam.]

True--from the standpoint of Aryan Esotericism, and the Upanishads; not quite so in the case of the Arahat or Tibetan esoteric doctrine; and it is only on this one solitary point that the two teachings disagree, as far as we know. The difference is very trifling though, resting, as it does, solely upon the two various methods of viewing the one and the same thing from two different aspects.

We have already pointed out that, in our opinion, the whole difference between Buddhistic and Vedantic philosophies was that the former was a kind of Rationalistic Vedantism, while the latter might be regarded as transcendental Buddhism. If the Aryan esotericism applies the term jívátma to the seventh principle, the pure and per se unconscious spirit--it is because the Vedanta postulating three kinds of existence--(1) the pâramârthika--(the true, the only real one), (2) the vyavahârika (the practical), and (3) the pratibhâsika (the apparent or illusory life)--makes the first life or jiva, the only truly existent one. Brahma or the ONE'S SELF is its only representative in the universe, as it is the universal Life in toto while the other two are but its "phenomenal appearances," imagined and created by ignorance, and complete illusions suggested to us by our blind senses. The Buddhists, on the other hand, deny either subjective or objective reality even to that one Self-Existence. Buddha declares that there is neither Creator nor an ABSOLUTE Being. Buddhist rationalism was ever too alive to the insuperable difficulty of admitting one absolute consciousness, as in the words of Flint--"wherever there is consciousness there is relation, and wherever there is relation there is dualism." The ONE LIFE is either "MUKTA" (absolute and unconditioned) and can have no relation to anything nor to any one; or it is "BADDHA" (bound and conditioned), and then it cannot be called the ABSOLUTE; the limitation, moreover, necessitating another deity as powerful as the first to account for all the evil in this world. Hence, the Arahat secret doctrine on cosmogony, admits but of one absolute, indestructible, eternal, and uncreated UNCONSCIOUSNESS (so to translate), of an element (the word being used for want of a better term) absolutely independent of everything else in the universe; a something ever present or ubiquitous, a Presence which ever was, is, and will be, whether there is a God, gods, or none; whether there is a universe, or no universe; existing during the eternal cycles of Maha Yugs, during the Pralayas as during the periods of Manvantara: and this is SPACE, the field for the operation of the eternal Forces and natural Law, the basis (as our correspondent rightly calls it) upon which take place the eternal intercorrelations of Akása-Prakriti, guided by the unconscious regular pulsations of Sakti--the breath or power of a conscious deity, the theists would say--the eternal energy of an eternal, unconscious Law, say the Buddhists. Space then, or "Fan, Bar-nang" (Mâha Sûnyatâ) or, as it is called by Lao-tze, the "Emptiness" is the nature of the Buddhist Absolute. (See Confucius' "Praise of the Abyss.") The word jiva then, could never be applied by the Arahats to the Seventh Principle, since it is only through its correlation or contact with matter that Fo-hat (the Buddhist active energy) can develop active conscious life; and that to the question "how can Unconsciousness generate consciousness?" the answer would be: "Was the seed which generated a Bacon or a Newton self-conscious?"


[SUBBA ROW: The term Jivatma is generally applied by our philosophers to the seventh principle when it is distinguished from Paramatma or Parabrahmam.]

The impersonal Parabrahmam thus being made to merge or separate itself into a personal "jivatma," or the personal god of every human creature. This is, again, a difference necessitated by the Brahmanical belief in a God whether personal or impersonal, while the Buddhist Arahats, rejecting this idea entirely, recognise no deity apart from man.

To our European readers: Deceived by the phonetic similarity, it must not be thought that the name "Brahman" is identical in this connection with Brahma or Iswara--the personal God. The Upanishads--the Vedanta Scriptures--mention no such God and, one would vainly seek in them any allusions to a conscious deity. The Brahmam, or Parabrahm, the ABSOLUTE of the Vedantins, is neuter and unconscious, and has no connection with the masculine Brahmâ of the Hindu Triad, or Trimûriti. Some Orientalists rightly believe the name derived from the verb "Brih," to grow or increase, and to be, in this sense, the universal expansive force of nature, the vivifying and spiritual principle, or power, spread throughout the universe and which in its collectivity is the one Absoluteness, the one Life and the only Reality.

H. P Blavatsky

Theosophist, January, 1882

Eighth Wonder

From H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles, Vol. III.


Articles by HPB

(Written in 1889)

JUST back from under the far-reaching shadow of the eighth wonder of the World--the gigantic iron carrot that goes by the name of the Eiffel Tower. Child of its country, wondrous in its size, useless in its object, as shaky and vacillating as the Republican soil upon which it is built, it has not one single moral feature of its seven ancestors, not one trait of atavism to boast of. The architectural Leviathan of 1889 is not even--in the question of usefulness--on a par with the New York statue of Liberty, that-would-be rival of the ancient Pharos. It is simply one of the latest fungi of modern commercial enterprise, grown on the soil of cunning speculation, in order to attract numberless flies--in the shape of tourists from the four points of the world--which it very conscientiously does. Even its splendid engineering does not add to its usefulness, but forces even an "unpopular philosopher" to exclaim, "Vanitas vanitatum; omnia vanitas." Shall modern civilization still lift its nose and sneer at its ancient and elder sister?

The wonders of the world, the seven marvels of the Pagans, ill never be replaced in our days. M. de Lesseps' admirers may look contemptuously back on the causeway built by Dexiphanes, three centuries before our conceited era, but the astral atoms of himself, as those of his son, Sostratus the Cnidian, may rest undisturbed and need feel no jealousy. The architecture of the marble tower of Pharos erected "to the gods, the Saviours, for the benefit of sailors" has hitherto remained unrivalled, in the public good derived from it, at all events. And this we may say, despite a creation of the Long Island statue of Liberty.

For verily, all the wonders of our age are destined to become but the ephemera of the century that is slowly approaching us, while they remain but the dreams and often the nightmares of the present era. All this will surely pass away and be no more. A seismic breath in Egypt may occur tomorrow and the earth will then "open her mouth" and swallow the waters of the Cana1 of Suez, and it will become an impassable bog. A Terremotos, or worse still a succussatore, as they are called in South America, may lift the Long Island with its "Liberty" and toss them both a hundred feet high in the blue air, but to drop them down, covering their watery grave with the never-drying salt tears of the Atlantic Ocean. Who can tell? "Non Deus prœvidet tantum sed et divini ingenii viri" saith sly Cicero in his De Divinatione, treating of cosmic phenomena. And the same thing threatens Lutetia that was, or Paris that is, and our own British Isles. No; never has God predicted as much as has the divine intellect of man; surely not. Nor would Cicero's feelings change, had he ever read the War Cry in his day or entertained a couple of Adventists. And what would be Cicero, after all, in the presence of a modem Materialist? How would he feel? I asked myself. Would he confess himself non-plussed, or would he remark--as Job did to the new philosopher, his persecutor--"Hast thou not poured (modern) wisdom out as milk and curdled it like cheese," enough to show us what it is?

Where are ye, O relics of the departed Pagan glories! Shall we suspect in you solar myths, or hope that we see a reincarnation of the hanging gardens of Babylon in the glass and iron whale and its two gigantic glass umbrella sticks named the Crystal Palace building? Avaunt such insulting thoughts. The restless eidolon--if any be left--of haughty Semiramis can still admire her work in the astral gallery of eternal images, and call it "unparalleled." The Mausoleum of Artemisia remains unrivalled by that of the proudest raised only "to the gods of the Stock-Exchange, the Destroyers of mutual capital."

Fane of the Ephesian Diana, what temple shall ever equal thee in poetry! Modern statues, whether equestrian or pedestrian, that now fill the halls of the French Exhibition, which of you can ever put to blush the astral eidolon of the Olympian Jupiter by Phidias? To which of the sculptors or painters of our proud era shall a modern Philippus of Thessalonica address the words spoken to the divine Greek artist: "O Phidias, either the God has descended from heaven on earth to show himself to thee, or it is thou who hast ascended to contemplate the God!"

"No doubt but we are (not) the people, and Wisdom was (not) born with us," nor shall it die with us, let us add.

Long rows of pottery and bronzes, of cunning weapons, toys and shoes and other wares are daily inspected by admiring crowds on the Exhibition grounds. Well, the "unpopular philosopher" would unhesitatingly exchange all these for a glance at the collection of Mr. Flinders Petrie now to be viewed at Oxford Mansions. Those unique treasures have been just exhumed on the site of the Kahun, of the twelfth dynasty. Between the industry of the XIXth century A.D., and that of the XXVIth B.C. (accepting, to avoid a quarrel, the chronology of the modern antiquarians and excavators) the palm must be awarded to the latter, and it is easy to show why. All these weapons, domestic and agricultural implements, foreign weights, necklaces, toys, coloured threads, textiles, and shoes now on view, have that unique feature about them that they carry us back to the days of Enoch and Methuselah, on the authority of Biblical chronology. The exhibits, we are told, relate to the twelfth dynasty 2,600 years B.C., if we have to believe archaeological calculations, i.e., they show to us what kind of shoes were worn 250 years before the deluge. The idea alone that one may be gazing at the very sandals that have, perhaps, dropped from the feet of the first Grand Master and Founder of Masonry, Enoch, when "God took him," must fill the heart of every Masonic believer in Genesis with reverential delight. Before such a grand possibility, into what pale insignificance dwindles down the pleasure of inhaling the smell of Russian leather, in the shoe gallery at the Paris Exhibition. No believer in "godly Enoch, the first born of Cain-Seth-Jared," Khanoch the Initiator, no true Mason ought to run over to gay Paris, with such a treasure within his reach.

But we have still the Pyramids of Egypt left to us to admire and unravel--if we can. The pyramid of Cheops is the sphinx and wonder of our century, as it was that of the age of Herodotus. We see only its skeleton, whereas the "Father of History" examined it with its outer coating of immaculate marble. It was defiled, however, with the record of 1,600 talents1 [ Footnote: 1. £444,000 in English money.  ] spent only in radishes, onions and garlic for the workmen. Let us pause, before we turn our olfactory organ from the emanations of such unpoetical food. For with the ancients was wisdom, though it passeth now our understanding. Let us hesitate before we pass judgment lest we should be caught in our own craftiness. The said onions and garlic may be as symbolical as the Pythagorean beans. Let us humbly wait till better understanding descends upon us. Quien sabe? The beautiful outer casing of both the pyramids--of Cheops and Sendaophis--has disappeared, engulfed in the palaces of Cairo and other cities. And with them are gone inscriptions and engraved records and cunning hieratic symbols. Does not the "Father of History" confess his dislike to speaking of things divine, and does he not avoid dwelling on symbology? Let us seek light and help from the great learned Orientalists, the artificers of Greek Speech and Akkadian Lampesuk. We have hitherto learnt many a strange story. Perchance we may be yet told that these "radishes, onions and garlic" are but so many "solar myths" and--blush for our ignorance.

But what was the fate of the last of the Seven Wonders of the World? Where are we to look for the relics of the brazen giant, the Colossus of Rhodes, whose mighty feet trod upon the two moles which formed the gate of the harbour and between whose legs ships passed full sail, and sailors hurried with their votive offerings? History tells us that the chef d'œuvre of the disciple of Lysippus, who passed twelve years in making it, was partially destroyed by an earthquake 224 B.C. It remained for about 894 years in ruins. Historians are not in the habit of telling people what became of the remains of the six wonders; nor that every great nation possessed its seven wonders--witness China, which had its Porcelain Tower of Nankin,2 [Footnote: 2. Gutzlaff, Hist. China, Vol. 1, p. 372 ] now, as says a writer, only "found piecemeal in walls of peasants' huts." Yet it is rumoured in some old chronicles that the poor Colossus was sold to a Jew.

Queer volumes may be found at times in the shops of old Russian dissenters at Moscow. One of such is a thick infoglio in the Slavonian language called," The acts, clerical and lay, from the Chronicles of Baronius, collected in old monasteries; translated from the Polish and printed in the metropolis of Moscow, in the year of the Lord 1791." In this very curious volume full of archaic facts and statements, historical and long forgotten records beginning with the year 1, one can read under the year A.D. 683, on page 706, the following:

"The Saracen having destroyed and despoiled the Roman land ceaseth not his wicked depredation even on the sea.3 [Footnote: 3. The original of this passage being written in old Church Slavonian can hardly be translated in all its originality, which is very queer. ] Their leader Maguvius, strong and terrible, returneth to Rhodos the island, marcheth to the brazen idol, whose name was Colossus (sic), the idol exalted as the seventh World-Wonder, and which stood over the Rhodos harbour. His height was twenty-and-one-hundred feet (stopa).4  [Footnote: 4. Some classics give it only 105 feet or 70 cubits. ] Soil-covered and moss-grown was the idol since its upper part fell to the ground, but he had remained otherwise whole to that very day. Maguvius overthrew the trunk less legs and sold them with the rest to a Jew. Sad was the end of that world wonder "

And elsewhere the chronographer adds that the Jew's name was Aaron of Edessa. He is not the only one to volunteer the information. Other old writers add that the Jew having broken up the Colossus, with the help of the Saracen warriors, into pieces, loaded 900 camels with them. The value of the brass material reached £36,000 English money in the Eastern markets. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Before the Jew and the Mussulman, moreover, the Rhodians themselves are said to have received large sums of money from pious donors to repair and put up the Colossus anew. But they cheated their gods and their fellow-men. They divided the money, the honest trustees, and put an end to legal enquiry by throwing the blame on the Delphic oracle, which had forbidden them, as they averred, to restore the Colossus from its ruins. And thus ended the last of the Wonders of the old Pagan world, to make room for the wonder of the Christian era--the ever-speculating, money-making Jew. There is a legend in Slavonian Folklore--or shall we say a prophecy?--that after the lapse of untold ages, when our globe will have become decrepit and old through wear and tear, underground speculation and geological zeal, this "best of the worlds possible"--in Dr. Pangloss' estimation--shall be bought at auction by the Jews--broken up for old metal, pounded into a formless heap, and rolled into balls as shares. After which the sons of Jacob and Abraham will squat around the sorry relics on their haunches, and hold counsel as to the best means of transferring it to the next Jewish bazaar and palming off the defunct globe on some innocent Christian in search of a second-hand planet. Such is the legend.

Se non e vero é ben trovato. At any rate the prophecy is suggestive even if allegorical. For indeed, if the Colossus of Rhodes could be sold for old brass to one Jew with such facility, then every crowned Colossus in Europe has reason to tremble for his fate. Why should not every Sovereign thus pass, one after the other, into the hands of the Jew in general, since they have been in that clutching grasp for some time already? If the reader shakes his head and remarks on this that the royal Colossi are not made of brass, but occupy their respective thrones "by the Grace of God" and are "God's anointed"--he will be meekly told that as "the Lord giveth, so the Lord taketh" and that he is "no respecter of persons." Besides which there is somehow or somewhere Karma involved in that business. Few are those Potentates who do not find themselves head over ears--golden thrones and breadless subjects--in debt with one or other king of Jewry. After all, the "Lord," by whose grace they are all enthroned, from the late King Soulouk to the latest Prince of Bulgaria, is the same El-Shadài, the omnipotent, the mighty Jehovah-Izabaoth, the god whom they, or their fathers--which is all one to him "to whom a thousand |years are as one day"--have unlawfully carried off from his "Holy of Holies" and confined in their own altars. The sons of Israel are, in fact and justice, his legitimate children, his "chosen people." Hence it would only be a piece of retributive justice, a kind of tardy Nemesis, should the day come when the Jew, claiming his own, shall carry off as old material the last of the kings, before he proceeds to paint afresh, as new goods, the globe itself.

H. P. Blavatsky
Lucifer, October, 1891



From H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles, Vol. II.


Articles by HPB


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 visible 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 [Footnote: 1. Bulwer-Lytton, Zanoni. ]

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 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 [Footnote: 2. Plutarch, De Isid., ch. xxv, p. 360. ] 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 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 [Footnote: 3. De Natura Deorum, lib. i. Cap. xviii. ]

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

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 they are divided into two classes--the Pitris Agni-dagdha ("Fire-givers"), and the pitris Anagni-dagdha ("non-Fire-givers") 5 [Footnote: 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.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 [Footnote: 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 bring 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.) ] 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--intellectually 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 [Footnote: 7. Idra Suta, Zohar, iii. 292b. ] (of perfect contraries not only in opposite sexes but of cosmical polarity). "Why were these primordial worlds destroyed? Because," 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." Shûla 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. Shûla 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.

Poruthû 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 over-power 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 [Footnote: 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!"  ]

The ancient Egyptians, who derived their knowledge from the Âryans 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 "E1ementals." 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 Levi 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 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 [Footnote: 9. Persons who believe in clairvoyant power, but are disposed to discredit the existing 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.  ]

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 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 Super-celestial 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 [Footnote: 10.  Correlation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces, by J. Le Conte. ] De Candolle suggests the term "vital movement," instead of vital force;11 [Footnote: 11. Archives des Sciences, xiv. 345, December, 1872. ] 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 sinner 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 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--Avichî. 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 Dugpas (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 "materialization," 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 Sapientæ 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 Dugpas 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 [Footnote: 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. l74, 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! ] 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 [Footnote: 13. Of Sacrifices to Gods and Daimons," chap. ii.  ]

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 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 [Footnote: 14. Odyssey, vii. ]

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 win not tare commit. One day they will employ brute force; another, cunning.15 [Footnote: 15. Porphyry, "Of Sacrifices to Gods and Daimons," chap. ii.  ]

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 [Footnote: 16. Ibid. ]

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 [Footnote: 17. Iamblichus, De Mysteriis Egyptorum. ]

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 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 {footnote: 18. Ibid., "On the Difference between the Daimons, the Souls," etc.  ]

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 moyst 19 [footnote: 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.  ] 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 [Footnote: 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. ]

The spirit of harmony and union will depart from the elements, 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 he 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 [Footnote: 21. Virgil, Georgica. book ii.  ] Magnus, the Great God, Ether.

These beings, the elemental spirits of the Kabalists, 22 [Footnote: 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. Det, 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!!!] 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 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 [Footnote: 23. Görres, Mystique, iii; 63. ]

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

The soul, 24 [Footnote: 24. The ancients called the spirits of bad people "souls"; the soul was the "larva" and "lemure." Good human spirits became "gods." ] having even after death a certain affection for its body, art 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. [Footnote: 25. Porphyry, De Sacrificiis. Chapter on the true Cultus. ]

Though spiritualists discredit them ever so much, these nature-spirits--as much as the "elementaries," the "empty shells," as the Hindus 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 [Footnote: 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." ]

The Christians are very wrong to treat them indiscriminately, as "devils," "imps of Satan," and to give them like characteristics 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 an Neoplatonist, and thus argued upon good authority, remarks, that it is absurd to call them devils, 27 [Footnote: 27. Strom., vi. 17, § 159. ] 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 [Footnote: 28. Ibid., vi. 3, §30. ] Origen, who before he became a 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 Rûpa--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 [Footnote: 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 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.) ] 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 [Footnote: 30. Ether is the Âkâsha of the Hindus. Âkâshais Prakriti, or the totality of the manifested Universe, while Purusha is the Universal Spirit, higher than the Universal Soul. ] 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, 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 [Footnote: 31. De Part., i. 1. ] Aristotle is indebted for the sublime morality of his Nichomachean Ethics to a thorough study of the Pythagorean 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 [Footnote: 32. Pythagorean oath. The Pythagoreans swore by their Master. ] But indeed our men of science know nothing certain about Aristotle. His philosophy is so abtruse 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 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.

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?* [Footnote: *. 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]. ]

H. P. Blavatsky

Lucifer, August, 1893



The Electric and Magnetic Affinities 
Between Man and Nature

From H. P. Blavatsky Theosophical Articles, Vol. II.


Articles by HPB

Without going too deeply ito certain vexed questions based upon what the orthodox men of science please to term the "hypothetical" conclusions of the Psychological School, whenever we meet with discoveries made by the former, coinciding perfectly with the teachings of the later, we think ourselves entitled to make them known to the world of skeptics. For instance, this psychological, or spiritual, school holds that "every being and naturally-formed object is in its beginning, a spiritual or monadial entity" which, having its origin in the spiritual or monadial plane of existence, must necessarily have as many relations with the latter as it has with the material or sensuous plane in which it physically develops itself. That "each, according to the species, evolves from its monadial centre an essential aura, which has positive and negative magnetoid relations with the essential aura of every other, and that, mesmeric attention and repulsion exhibiting a strong analogy with magnetic attraction and repulsion, this analogous attraction and repulsion obtains not only between individuals of the same, but of different species, not only in animate but in inanimate nature." (Clairvoyance, Hygienic and Medical, by Jacob Dixon, L.S.A.L.)

Thus, if we give our attention but to the electric and magnetic fluids in men and animals, and the existing mysterious but undoubted interrelation between those two, as well as between both of them and plants and minerals, we will have an inexhaustible field of research, which may lead us to understand more easily the production of certain phenomena. The modification of the peripheral extremities of nerves by which electricity is generated and discharged in certain general of fishes, is of the most wonderful character, and yet, to this very day its nature remains a mystery to exact science. For when it has told us that the electric organs of the fish generate the electricity which is rendered active by nervous influence, it has given us an explanation as hypothetical as that of the psychologists whose theories it rejects in toto. The horse has nerves and muscles as well as a fish, and even more so; the existence of animal electricity is a well-established fact, and the presence of muscular currents has been found in the undivided as well as in the divided muscles of all the animals, and even in those of man. And yet by the simple lashing of its feeble tail a small electrical fish prostrates a strong horse! Whence this electric power, and what is the ultimate nature and essence of the electric fluid? Whether as a cause or effect, a primary agent or a correlation, the reason for each of its manifestations is yet hypothetical. How much, or how little has it to do with vital power? Such are the ever-recurring and always unanswerable queries. One thing we know, though, and that is, that the phenomena of electricity as well as those of heat and phosphorescence, within the animal body, depend on chemical actions; and that these take place in the system just as they would in a chemist's laboratory; ever modified by and subjected to this same mysterious Proteus - the Vital Principle of which science can tell us nothing.

The quarrel between Galvani and Volta is well known. One was backed by no less an authority than Alexander Humboldt, the other by the subsequent discoveries of Matteucci, Dubois Reymond, Brown-Sequard, and others. By their combined efforts, it was positively established that a production of electricity was constantly going on in all the tissues of the living animal economy; that each elementary bundle of fibrils in a muscle was like a couple in a galvanic battery; and that the longitudinal surface of a muscle acts like the positive pole of a pile, or galvanic battery, while the transverse surface acts like the negative pole. The latter was discovered by one of the greatest physiologists of our century - Dubois Reynolds: who, nevertheless, was the greatest opponent of Baron Reichenback, the discoverer of the Od Force, and ever showed himself the most fierce and irreconcilable enemy of transcendental speculation, or what is best known as the study of the occult, i.e., the yet undiscovered forces in nature.

Every newly-discovered power, each hitherto unknown correlation of that great and unknown Force of the Primal Cause of all, which is no less hypothetical to skeptical science than to the common credulous mortals, was, previous to its discovery, an occult power of nature. Once on the track of a new phenomenon science gives an exposition of the facts - first independent of any hypothesis as to the causes of this manifestation; then - finding their account incomplete and unsatisfactory to the public, its votaries begin to invent generalizations, to present hypotheses based upon a certain knowledge of principles alleged to be at work by reasserting the laws of their mutual connection and dependence. They have not explained the phenomenon; they have but suggested how it might be produced, and offered more or less valid reasons to show how it could not be produced, and yet a hypothesis from their opponents' camp, that of the Transcendentalists, the Spiritualists and Psychologists, is generally laughed down by them before almost these latter have opened their mouths. We will notice a few of the newly-discovered electro-magnetic phenomena which are still awaiting an explanation.

In the systems of certain people the accumulation and secretion of electricity, reach under certain conditions, to a very high degree. This phenomenon is especially observed in cold and dry climates, like Canada, for instance; as well as in hot, but at the same time, dry countries. Thus - on the authority of that well-known medical journal, the Lancet - one can frequently meet with people who have but to approach their index fingers to a gas-beak from which a stream of gas is issuing, to light the gas as if a burning match had been applied to it. The noted American physiologist, Dr. J. H. Hammond, possesses this abnormal faculty upon which he discourses at length in his scientific articles. The African explorer and traveller Mitchison informs us of a still more marvelous fact. While in the western part of Central Africa, he happened at various times in a fit of passion and exasperation at the natives, to deal with his whip a heavy blow to a negro. To his intense astonishment the blow brought out a shower of sparks from the body of the victim; the traveller's amazement being intensified by his remarking that the phenomenon provoked no comments, nor seemed to excite any surprise among the other native who witnessed the fact. They appeared to look upon it as something quite usual and in the ordinary run of things. It was by a series of experiments that the ascertained at last, that under certain atmospheric conditions and especially during the slightest mental excitement it was possible to extract from the ebony-black body of nearly every negro of these regions a mass of electric sparks; in order to achieve the phenomenon it sufficed to gently stroke his skin, or even touch it with the hand. When the negroes remained calm and quiet no sparks could be obtained from their bodies.

In the American Journal of Science, Professor Loomis shows that "persons, especially children, wearing dry slippers with thin soles, and a silk or woolen dress, in a warm room heated to at least 70°, and covered with a thick velvet carpet, often become so electrically excited by skipping across the room with a shuffling motion, and rubbing the shoes across the carpet, that sparks are produced on their coming in contact with other bodies, and on their presenting a finger to a gas-burner, the gas may be ignited. Sulphuric ether has been thus inflamed, and in dry, cold weather sparks, half an inch in length, have been given forth by young ladies who had been dancing, and pulverized resin has been thus inflamed." So much for electricity generated by human beings. But this force is ever at work throughout the all nature; and we are told by Livingstone in his Travels in South Africa, that the hot wind which blows during the dry seasons over the desert from north to south "is in such an electric state that a bunch of ostrich feathers, held a few seconds against it, becomes as strongly charged as if attached to a powerful electric machine, and clasps the advancing hand with a sharp crackling sound... By a little friction the fur of the mantles worn by the natives gives out a luminous appearance. It is produced even by the motion communicated in riding; and a rubbing with the hand causes sparks and distinct crepitations to be emitted."

From some facts elicited by M. J. Jones, of Peckham, we find them analogous to the experiments of Dr. Reichenbach. We observe that "a magnetoid relation subsists between subjects of a nervous temperament and shells - the outgrowth of living entities, and which, of course, determined the dynamical qualities of their natural coverings." The experimenter verified the results upon four different sensitive subjects. He says that he "was first drawn to the enquiry by the fact of a lady looking at a collection of shells, complaining of pain while holding one of them. His method of experimenting was simply to place a shell in the subject's hand; the purpura chocolatum, in about four minutes, produced contraction of the fingers, and painful rigidity of the arm, which effects were removed by quick passes, without contact, from the shoulders off at the fingers."

Again, he experimented with about thirty shells, of which he tried twelve, on May 9, 1853; one of these causing acute pain in the arm and head followed by insensibility.

He then removed the patient to the sofa, and the shells to a sideboard. "In a short time," says Mr. Dixon, from whose book we quote the experiment, "to his astonishment the patient, while still insensible, gradually raised her clasped hands, turning them towards the shells on the sideboard, stretching the arms out at full length, and pointing to them. He put down her hands; she raised them again, her head and body gradually following. He had her removed to another room, separated from that containing the shells by a nine-inch wall, a passage, and a lath and plaster wall; the phenomenon, strange to say, was repeated. He then had the shells removed into a back room, and subsequently into other places, one of which was out of the house. At each removal the position of the hands altered to each new position of the shells. The patient continued insensible..for four days. On the third of these days the arm of the hand that had held the shells was swollen, spotted, and dark-coloured. On the morning of the fourth day, these appearances has gone, and a yellow tinge only remained on the hand. The effluence which had acted most potently, in this experiment, proceeded from the cinder murex and the chama macrophylla, which was most wonderful; the others of the twelve were the purpurata cookia, cerethinum orth., pyrula ficordis, sea urchin (Australia), voluta castena, voluta musica, purpura chocolatum, purpura hypocas tanum, melanatria fluminea and monodonta declives."

In a volume entitled "The Natural and the Supernatural" M. Jones reports having tested the magnetoid action of various stones and wood with analogous results; but, as we have not seen the work we can say nothing of the experiment. In the next number we will endeavour to give some more facts and the proceed to compare the "hypotheses" of both the exact and psychological sciences as to the cause of this inter-action between man and nature, the Microcosm and the Macrocosm.

H. P. Blavatksy
Theosophist, February, 1881



From A Modern Panarion


Articles by HPB

[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, Nov. 17th, 1877.]

I PERCEIVE that of late the ostracized subject of the Kabalistic "Elementaries" is beginning to appear in the orthodox spiritualistic papers pretty often. No wonder; Spiritualism and its Philosophy are progressing, and they will progress despite the opposition of some very learned ignoramuses, who imagine the Cosmos rotates within the academic brain. But if a new term is once admitted for discussion, the least we can do is to first clearly ascertain what that term means. We students of the Oriental Philosophy count it a clear gain that spiritualistic journals on both sides of the Atlantic are beginning to discuss the subject of sub-human and earth-bound beings, even though they ridicule the idea. But do those who ridicule know what they are talking about, having never studied the Kabalistic writers? It is evident to me that they are confounding the "Elementaries"—disembodied, vicious, and earth-bound, yet human Spirits—with the "Elementals," or Nature Spirits.

With your permission, then, I will answer an article by Dr. Woldrich which appeared in your Journal of the 27th inst., and to which the author gives the title of "Elementaries." I freely admit that, owing to my imperfect knowledge of English at the time I first wrote upon the Elementaries, I may have myself contributed to the present confusion, and thus brought upon my doomed head the wrath of Spiritualists, mediums, and their "guides" into the bargain. But now I will attempt to make my meaning clear. Éliphas Lévi applies the term " Elementary" equally to earth-bound human Spirits and to the creatures of the elements. This carelessness on his part is due to the fact that as the human Elementaries are considered by the Kabalists as having irretrievably lost every chance of immortality, they therefore, after a certain period of time, become no better than the "Elementals," who never had any souls at all. To disentangle the subject, I have, in my Isis Unveiled, shown that the former should, alone, be called "Elementaries" and the latter "Elementals" (vol. i. p. xxx. "Before the Veil").

Dr. Woldrich, in imitation of Herbert Spencer, attempts to explain the existence of a popular belief in Nature Spirits, demons and mythological deities, as the effect of an imagination untutored by Science, and wrought upon by misunderstood natural phenomena. He attributes the legendary Sylphs, Undines, Salamanders and Gnomes—four great families, which include numberless sub-divisions—to mere fancy; going however to the extreme of affirming that by long practice one can acquire

That power which disembodied spirits have of materializing apparitions by the will.

Granted that "disembodied Spirits" have sometimes that power; but if disembodied why not embodied Spirits also, i.e., a yet living person who has become an Adept in Occultism through study? According to Dr. Woldrich's theory, an embodied Spirit or Magician can create only subjectively, or to quote his words:

He is in the habit of summoning, that is, bringing up to his imagination, his familiar spirits, which, having responded to his will, he considers as real existences.

I will not stop to enquire for the proofs of this assertion, for it would only lead to an endless discussion. If many thousands of Spiritualists in Europe and America have seen materialized objective forms which assure them they were the Spirits of once living persons, millions of Eastern people throughout the past ages have seen the Hierophants of the Temples, and even now see them in India, without being in the least mediums, also evoking objective and tangible forms, which display no pretensions to being the souls of disembodied men. But I will only remark that, though subjective and invisible to others, as Dr. Woldrich tells us, these forms are palpable, hence objective to the clairvoyant; no scientist has yet mastered the mysteries of even the physical sciences sufficiently to enable him to contradict, with anything like plausible or incontrovertible proofs, the assumption that because the clairvoyant sees a form remaining subjective to others, this form is nevertheless neither a "hallucination" nor a fiction of the imagination. Were the persons present endowed with the same clairvoyant faculty, they would every one of them see this creature of "hallucination" as well; hence there would be sufficient proof that it had an objective existence. And this is how the experiments are conducted in certain psychological training schools, as I call such establishments in the East. One clairvoyant is never trusted. The person may be honest, truthful, and have the greatest desire to learn only that which is real, and yet mix the truth unconsciously and accept an Elemental for a disembodied Spirit, and vice versâ. For instance, what guarantee can Dr. Woldrich give us that "Hoki" and "Thalla," the guides of Miss May Shaw, were not simply creatures produced by the power of the imagination? This gentleman may have the word of his clairvoyant for this; he may implicitly and very deservedly trust her honesty when in her normal state; but the fact alone that a medium is a passive and docile instrument in the hands of some invisible and mysterious powers, ought to make her irresponsible in the eves of every serious investigator. It is the Spirit, or these invisible powers, he has to test, not the clairvoyant; and what proof has he of their trustworthiness that he should think himself warranted in coming out as the opponent of a Philosophy based on thousands of years of practical experience, the iconoclast of experiments performed by whole generations of learned Egyptians, Hierophants, Gurus, Brâhmans, Adepts of the Sanctuaries, and a whole host of more or less learned Kabalists, who were all trained Seers? Such an accusation, moreover, is dangerous ground for the Spiritualists themselves. Admit once that a Magician creates his forms only in fancy, and as a result of hallucination, and what becomes of all the guides, spirit friends and the tutti quanti from the sweet "Summer Land," crowding around the trance mediums and Seers? Why these would-be disembodied entities are to be considered more identified with humanity than the Elementals, or as Dr. Woldrich terms them, "Elementaries," of the Magician, is something which would scarcely bear investigation.

From the standpoint of certain Buddhist Schools, your correspondent may be right. Their Philosophy teaches that even our visible Universe assumed an objective form as a result of the fancy followed by the volition or the will of the Unknown and Supreme Adept, differing, however, from Christian theology, inasmuch as they teach that instead of calling out our Universe from nothingness, He had to exercise His will upon preëxisting Matter, eternal and indestructible as to invisible Substance, though temporary and ever-changing as to forms. Some higher and still more subtle metaphysical Schools of Nepaul even go so far as to affirm—on very reasonable grounds, too—that this preexisting and self-existent Substance or Matter (Svabhâvat) is itself without any other creator or ruler; when in the state of activity it is Pravritti, a universal creating principle; when latent and passive they call this force Nirvritti. As for something eternal and infinite, for that which had neither beginning nor end there can be neither past nor future, but everything that was and will be, IS; therefore there never was an action or even thought, however simple, that is not impressed in imperishable records on this Substance, called by the Buddhists Svabhâvat, by the Kabalists Astral Light. As in a faithful mirror, this Light reflects every image, and no human imagination could see anything outside that which exists impressed somewhere on the eternal Substance. To imagine that a human brain can conceive of anything that was never conceived of before by the "universal brain," is a fallacy and a conceited presumption. At best, the former can catch now and then stray glimpses of the "Eternal Thought" after this has assumed some objective form, either in the world of the invisible, or visible, Universe. Hence the unanimous testimony of trained Seers goes to prove that there are such creatures as the Elementals; and that though the Elementaries have been at some time human Spirits, they, having lost every connection with the purer immortal world, must be recognized by some special term which would draw a distinct line of demarcation between them and the true and genuine disembodied souls, which have henceforth to remain immortal. To the Kabalists and the Adepts, especially in India, the difference between the two is all-important, and their tutored minds will never allow them to mistake the one for the other; to the untutored medium they are all one.

Spiritualists have never accepted the suggestion and sound advice of certain of their seers and mediums. They have regarded Dr. Peebles' "Gadarenes" with indifference; they have shrugged their shoulders at the "Rosicrucian" fantasies of P. B. Randolph, and his Ravalette has made none of them the wiser; they have frowned and grumbled at A. Jackson Davis' "Diakka"; and finally, lifting high the banner, have declared a murderous war of extermination against the Theosophists and Kabalists. What are now the results?

A series of exposures of fraudulent mediums that have brought mortification to their endorsers and dishonour upon the cause; identification by genuine seers and mediums of pretended Spirit-forms that were afterwards found to be mere personations by lying cheats, go to prove that in such instances at least, outside of clear cases of confederacy, the identifications were due to illusion on the part of the said seers; spirit-babes discovered to be battered masks and bundles of rags; obsessed mediums driven by their guides to drunkenness and immortality of conduct; the practices of free-love endorsed and even prompted by alleged immortal Spirits; sensitive believers forced to the commission of murder, suicide, forgery, embezzlement and other crimes; the over-credulous led to waste their substance in foolish investments and the search after hidden treasures; mediums fostering ruinous speculations in stocks; free-loveites parted from their wives in search of other female affinities; two continents flooded with the vilest slanders, spoken and sometimes printed by mediums against other mediums; incubi and succubi entertained as returning angel-husbands or wives; mountebanks and jugglers protected by scientists and the clergy, and gathering large audiences to witness imitations of the phenomena of cabinets, the reality of which genuine mediums themselves and Spirits are powerless to vindicate by giving the necessary test conditions; séances still held in Stygian darkness, where even genuine phenomena can readily be mistaken for the false, and false for the real; mediums left helpless by their angel guides, tried, convicted, and sent to prison, and no attempt made to save them from their fate by those who, if they are Spirits having the power of controlling mortal affairs, ought to have enlisted the sympathy of the heavenly hosts on behalf of their mediums in the face of such crying injustice; other faithful spiritualistic lecturers and mediums broken down in health and left unsupported by those calling themselves their patrons and protectors—such are some of the features of the present situation; the black spots of what ought to become the grandest and noblest of all religious Philosophies freely thrown by the unbelievers and Materialists into the teeth of every Spiritualist. No intelligent person of the latter class need go outside of his own personal experience to find examples like the above. Spiritualism has not progressed and is not progressing and will not progress, until its facts are viewed in the light of the Oriental Philosophy.

Thus, Mr. Editor, your esteemed correspondent, Dr. Woldrich, may be found guilty of an erroneous proposition. In the concluding sentence of his article he says:

I know not whether I have succeeded in proving the Elementary a myth, but at least I hope that I have thrown some more light upon the subject to some of the readers of the journal.

To this I would answer: (1) He has not proved at all the "Elementary a myth," since the Elementaries are, with a few exceptions, the earth-bound guides and Spirits in which he believes, together with every other Spiritualist. (2) Instead of throwing light upon the subject, the Doctor has but darkened it the more. (3) Such explanations and careless exposures do the greatest harm to the future of Spiritualism, and greatly serve to retard its progress by teaching its adherents that they have nothing more to learn.

Sincerely hoping that I have not trespassed too much on the columns of your esteemed journal, allow me to sign myself, dear sir,

Yours respectfully,
Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society.
New York.


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