Chapter 1, 2.


ʺEgo sum qui sum.ʺ—

An axiom of Hermetic Philosophy

ʺWe commenced research where modern conjecture closes its faithless wings. And with us, those were the common elements of science which the sages of to‐day disdain as wild chimeras, or despair of as unfathomable mysteries.ʺ —



THERE exists somewhere in this wide world an old Book — so very old that our modern antiquarians might ponder over its pages an indefinite time, and still not quite agree as to the nature of the fabric upon which it is written. It is the only original copy now in existence. The most ancient Hebrew document on occult learning — the Siphra Dzeniouta — was compiled from it, and that at a time when the former was already considered in the light of a literary relic. One of its

illustrations represents the Divine Essence emanating from ADAM* like a luminous arc proceeding to form a circle; and then, having attained the highest point of its circumference, the ineffable Glory bends back again, and returns to earth, bringing a higher type of humanity in its vortex. As it approaches nearer and nearer to our planet, the Emanation becomes more and more shadowy, until upon touching the ground it is as black as night. A conviction, founded upon seventy thousand years of experience,† as they allege, has been entertained by hermetic philosophers of all periods that matter has in time become, through sin, more gross and dense than it was at manʹs first formation; that, at the beginning, the human body was of a half‐ethereal nature; and that, before the fall, mankind communed freely with the now unseen universes. But since that time matter has become the formidable barrier between us and the world of spirits. The oldest esoteric traditions also teach that, before the mystic Adam, many races of human beings lived and died out, each giving place in its turn to another. Were these precedent types more perfect? Did any of them belong to the winged race of men mentioned by Plato in Phædrus? It is the special province of science to solve the problem. The caves of France and the relics of the stone age afford a point at which to begin.

* The name is used in the sense of the Greek word ανθροπος.

† The traditions of the Oriental Kabalists claim their science to be older than that. Modern scientists may doubt and reject the assertion. They cannot prove it false.


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As the cycle proceeded, manʹs eyes were more and more opened, until he came to know ʺgood and evilʺ as well as the Elohim themselves. Having reached its summit, the cycle began to go downward. When the arc attained a certain point which brought it parallel with the fixed line of our terrestrial plane, the man was furnished by nature with ʺcoats of skin,ʺ and the Lord God ʺclothed them.ʺ

This same belief in the pre‐existence of a far more spiritual race than the one to which we now belong can be traced back to the earliest traditions of nearly every people. In the ancient Quiche manuscript, published by Brasseur de Bourbourg — the Popol Vuh — the first men are mentioned as a race that could reason and speak, whose sight was unlimited, and who knew all things at once. According to Philo Judæus, the air is filled with an invisible host of spirits, some of whom are free from evil and immortal, and others are pernicious and mortal. ʺFrom the sons of EL we are descended, and sons of EL must we become again.ʺ And the unequivocal statement of the anonymous Gnostic who wrote The Gospel according to John, that ʺas many as received Him,ʺ i.e., who followed practically the esoteric doctrine of Jesus, would ʺbecome the sons of God,ʺ points to the same belief. (i., 12.) ʺKnow ye not, ye are gods?ʺ exclaimed the Master. Plato describes admirably in Phædrus the state in which man once was, and what he will become again: before, and after the ʺloss of his wingsʺ; when ʺhe lived among the gods, a god himself in the airy world.ʺ From the remotest periods religious philosophies taught that the whole universe was filled with divine and spiritual beings

of divers races. From one of these evolved, in the course of time, ADAM, the primitive man.

The Kalmucks and some tribes of Siberia also describe in their legends earlier creations than our present race. These beings, they say, were possessed of almost boundless knowledge, and in their audacity even threatened rebellion against the Great Chief Spirit. To punish their presumption and humble them, he imprisoned them in bodies, and so shut in their senses. From these they can escape but through long repentance, self‐purification, and development. Their Shamans, they think, occasionally enjoy the divine powers originally possessed by all human beings.



The Astor Library of New York has recently been enriched by a facsimile of an Egyptian Medical Treatise, written in the sixteenth century B.C. (or, more precisely, 1552 B.C.), which, according to the commonly received chronology, is the time when Moses was just twenty‐one years of age. The original is written upon the inner bark of Cyperus papyrus, and has been pronounced by Professor Schenk, of Leipsig, not only genuine, but also the most perfect ever seen. It consists of a single sheet of yellow‐brown papyrus of finest quality, three‐ tenths of a metre wide, more than twenty metres long, and forming one roll divided into one hundred and ten pages, all carefully numbered. It was purchased in Egypt, in 1872‐3, by


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the archæologist Ebers, of ʺa well‐to‐do Arab from Luxor.ʺ The New York Tribune, commenting upon the circumstance, says: The papyrus ʺbears internal evidence of being one of the six Hermetic Books on Medicine, named by Clement of Alexandria.ʺ

The editor further says: ʺAt the time of Iamblichus, A.D. 363, the priests of Egypt showed forty‐two books which they attributed to Hermes (Thuti). Of these, according to that author, thirty‐six contained the history of all human knowledge; the last six treated of anatomy, of pathology, of affections of the eye, instruments of surgery, and of medicines.* The Papyrus Ebers is indisputably one of these ancient Hermetic works.ʺ

If so clear a ray of light has been thrown upon ancient Egyptian science, by the accidental (?) encounter of the German archæologist with one ʺwell‐to‐do Arabʺ from Luxor, how can we know what sunshine may be let in upon the dark crypts of history by an equally accidental meeting between some other prosperous Egyptian and another enterprising student of antiquity!

The discoveries of modern science do not disagree with the oldest traditions which claim an incredible antiquity for our race. Within the last few years geology, which previously had only conceded that man could be traced as far back as the tertiary period, has found unanswerable proofs that human existence

* Clement of Alexandria asserted that in his day the Egyptian priests possessed forty‐two Canonical Books.

antedates the last glaciation of Europe — over 250,000 years! A hard nut, this, for Patristic Theology to crack; but an accepted fact with the ancient philosophers.

Moreover, fossil implements have been exhumed together with human remains, which show that man hunted in those remote times, and knew how to build a fire. But the forward step has not yet been taken in this search for the origin of the race; science comes to a dead stop, and waits for future proofs. Unfortunately, anthropology and psychology possess no Cuvier; neither geologists nor archæologists are able to construct, from the fragmentary bits hitherto discovered, the perfect skeleton of the triple man — physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Because the fossil implements of man are found to become more rough and uncouth as geology penetrates deeper into the bowels of the earth, it seems a proof to science that the closer we come to the origin of man, the more savage and brute‐like he must be. Strange logic! Does the finding of the remains in the cave of Devon prove that there were no contemporary races then who were highly civilized? When the present population of the earth have disappeared, and some archæologist belonging to the ʺcoming raceʺ of the distant future shall excavate the domestic implements of one of our Indian or Andaman Island tribes, will he be justified in concluding that mankind in the nineteenth century was ʺjust emerging from the Stone Ageʺ?

It has lately been the fashion to speak of ʺthe untenable conceptions of an uncultivated past.ʺ As though it were possible to hide behind an epigram the intellectual quarries out of which the


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reputations of so many modern philosophers have been carved! Just as Tyndall is ever ready to disparage ancient philosophers — for a dressing‐up of whose ideas more than one distinguished scientist has derived honor and credit — so the geologists seem more and more inclined to take for granted that all of the archaic races were contemporaneously in a state of dense barbarism. But not all of our best authorities agree in this opinion. Some of the most eminent maintain exactly the reverse. Max Müller, for instance, says: ʺMany things are still unintelligible to us, and the hieroglyphic language of antiquity records but half of the mindʹs unconscious intentions. Yet more and more the image of man, in whatever clime we meet him, rises before us, noble and pure from the very beginning; even his errors we learn to understand, even his dreams we begin to interpret. As far as we can trace back the footsteps of man, even on the lowest strata of history, we see the divine gift of a sound and sober intellect belonging to him from the very first, and the idea of a humanity emerging slowly from the depths of an animal brutality can never be maintained again.ʺ*


As it is claimed to be unphilosophical to inquire into first causes, scientists now occupy themselves with considering their physical effects. The field of scientific investigation is therefore bounded by physical nature. When once its limits

* ʺChips from a German Work‐shop,ʺ vol. ii., p. 7. ʺComparative Mythology.ʺ

are reached, enquiry must stop, and their work be recommenced. With all due respect to our learned men, they are like the squirrel upon its revolving wheel, for they are doomed to turn their ʺmatterʺ over and over again. Science is a mighty potency, and it is not for us pigmies to question her. But the ʺscientistsʺ are not themselves science embodied any more than the men of our planet are the planet itself. We have neither the right to demand, nor power to compel our ʺmodern‐day philosopherʺ to accept without challenge a geographical description of the dark side of the moon. But, if in some lunar cataclysm one of her inhabitants should be hurled thence into the attraction of our atmosphere, and land, safe and sound, at Dr. Carpenterʹs door, he would be indictable as recreant to professional duty if he should fail to set the physical problem at rest.

For a man of science to refuse an opportunity to investigate any new phenomenon, whether it comes to him in the shape of a man from the moon, or a ghost from the Eddy homestead, is alike reprehensible.

Whether arrived at by the method of Aristotle, or that of Plato, we need not stop to inquire; but it is a fact that both the inner and outer natures of man are claimed to have been thoroughly understood by the ancient andrologists. Notwithstanding the superficial hypotheses of geologists, we are beginning to have almost daily proofs in corroboration of the assertions of those philosophers.

They divided the interminable periods of human existence on this planet into cycles, during each of which mankind gradually


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reached the culminating point of highest civilization and gradually relapsed into abject barbarism. To what eminence the race in its progress had several times arrived may be feebly surmised by the wonderful monuments of old, still visible, and the descriptions given by Herodotus of other marvels of which no traces now remain. Even in his days the gigantic structures of many pyramids and world‐famous temples were but masses of ruins. Scattered by the unrelenting hand of time, they are described by the Father of History as ʺthese venerable witnesses of the long bygone glory of departed ancestors.ʺ He ʺshrinks from speaking of divine things,ʺ and gives to posterity but an imperfect description from hearsay of some marvellous subterranean chambers of the Labyrinth, where lay — and now lie — concealed, the sacred remains of the King‐Initiates.

We can judge, moreover, of the lofty civilization reached in some periods of antiquity by the historical descriptions of the ages of the Ptolemies, yet in that epoch the arts and sciences were considered to be degenerating, and the secret of a number of the former had been already lost. In the recent excavations of Mariette‐Bey, at the foot of the Pyramids, statues of wood and other relics have been exhumed, which show that long before the period of the first dynasties the Egyptians had attained to a refinement and perfection which is calculated to excite the wonder of even the most ardent admirers of Grecian art. Bayard Taylor describes these statues in one of his lectures, and tells us that the beauty of the heads, ornamented with eyes of precious stones and copper eyelids,

is unsurpassed. Far below the stratum of sand in which lay the remains gathered into the collections of Lepsius, Abbott, and the British Museum, were found buried the tangible proofs of the hermetic doctrine of cycles which has been already explained.

Dr. Schliemann, the enthusiastic Hellenist, has recently found, in his excavations in the Troad, abundant evidences of the same gradual change from barbarism to civilization, and from civilization to barbarism again. Why then should we feel so reluctant to admit the possibility that, if the antediluvians were so much better versed than ourselves in certain sciences as to have been perfectly acquainted with important arts, which we now term lost, they might have equally excelled in psychological knowledge? Such a hypothesis must be considered as reasonable as any other until some countervailing evidence shall be discovered to destroy it.

Every true savant admits that in many respects human knowledge is yet in its infancy. Can it be that our cycle began in ages comparatively recent? These cycles, according to the Chaldean philosophy, do not embrace all mankind at one and the same time. Professor Draper partially corroborates this view by saying that the periods into which geology has ʺfound it convenient to divide the progress of man in civilization are not abrupt epochs which hold good simultaneously for the whole human raceʺ; giving as an instance the ʺwandering Indians of America,ʺ who ʺare only at the present moment emerging from the stone age.ʺ Thus more than once scientific


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men have unwittingly confirmed the testimony of the ancients.


Any Kabalist well acquainted with the Pythagorean system of numerals and geometry can demonstrate that the metaphysical views of Plato were based upon the strictest mathematical principles. ʺTrue mathematics,ʺ says the Magicon, ʺis something with which all higher sciences are connected; common mathematics is but a deceitful phantasmagoria, whose much‐praised infallibility only arises from this — that materials, conditions, and references are made its foundation.ʺ Scientists who believe they have adopted the Aristotelian method only because they creep when they do not run from demonstrated particulars to universals, glorify this method of inductive philosophy, and reject that of Plato, which they treat as unsubstantial. Professor Draper laments that such speculative mystics as Ammonius Saccas and Plotinus should have taken the place ʺof the severe geometers of the old museum.ʺ* He forgets that geometry, of all sciences the only one which proceeds from universals to particulars, was precisely the method employed by Plato in his philosophy. As long as exact science confines its observations to physical conditions and proceeds Aristotle‐like, it certainly cannot fail. But notwithstanding that the world of matter is boundless for us, it still is finite;

and thus materialism will turn forever in this vitiated circle, unable to soar higher than the circumference will permit. The cosmological theory of numerals which Pythagoras learned from the Egyptian hierophants, is alone able to reconcile the two units, matter and spirit, and cause each to demonstrate the other mathematically.

The sacred numbers of the universe in their esoteric combination solve the great problem and explain the theory of radiation and the cycle of the emanations. The lower orders before they develop into higher ones must emanate from the higher spiritual ones, and when arrived at the turning‐point, be reabsorbed again into the infinite.

Physiology, like everything else in this world of constant evolution, is subject to the cyclic revolution. As it now seems to be hardly emerging from the shadows of the lower arc, so it may be one day proved to have been at the highest point of the circumference of the circle far earlier than the days of Pythagoras.

Mochus, the Sidonian, the physiologist and teacher of the science of anatomy, flourished long before the Sage of Samos; and the latter received the sacred instructions from his disciples and descendants. Pythagoras, the pure philosopher, the deeply‐versed in the profounder phenomena of nature, the noble inheritor of the ancient lore, whose great aim was to free the soul from the fetters of sense and force it to realize its powers, must live eternally in human memory.

* ʺConflict between Religion and Science,ʺ ch. i.


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The impenetrable veil of arcane secrecy was thrown over the sciences taught in the sanctuary. This is the cause of the modern depreciating of the ancient philosophies. Even Plato and Philo Judæus have been accused by many a commentator of absurd inconsistencies, whereas the design which underlies the maze of metaphysical contradictions so perplexing to the reader of the Timæus, is but too evident. But has Plato ever been read understandingly by one of the expounders of the classics? This is a question warranted by the criticisms to be found in such authors as Stalbaum, Schleirmacher, Ficinus (Latin translation), Heindorf, Sydenham, Buttmann, Taylor and Burges, to say nothing of lesser authorities. The covert allusions of the Greek philosopher to esoteric things have manifestly baffled these commentators to the last degree. They not only with unblushing coolness suggest as to certain difficult passages that another phraseology was evidently intended, but they audaciously make the changes! The Orphic line:

ʺOf the song, the order of the sixth race closeʺ —

which can only be interpreted as a reference to the sixth race evolved in the consecutive evolution of the spheres,* Burges says: ʺ. . . was evidently taken from a cosmogony where man was feigned to be created the last.ʺ†— Ought not one who undertakes to edit anotherʹs works at least understand

* In another place, we explain with some minuteness the Hermetic philosophy of the evolution of the spheres and their several races.

† J. Burges, ʺThe Works of Plato,ʺ p. 207, note.

what his author means? Indeed, the ancient philosophers seem to be generally held, even by the least prejudiced of our modern critics, to have lacked that profundity and thorough knowledge in the exact sciences of which our century is so boastful. It is even questioned whether they understood that basic scientific principle: ex nihilo nihil fit. If they suspected the indestructibility of matter at all, — say these commentators — it was not in consequence of a firmly‐ established formula but only through an intuitional reasoning and by analogy. We hold to the contrary opinion. The speculations of these philosophers upon matter were open to public criticism: but their teachings in regard to spiritual things were profoundly esoteric. Being thus sworn to secrecy and religious silence upon abstruse subjects involving the relations of spirit and matter, they rivalled each other in their ingenious methods for concealing their real opinions. The doctrine of Metempsychosis has been abundantly ridiculed by men of science and rejected by theologians, yet if it had been properly understood in its application to the indestructibility of matter and the immortality of spirit, it would have been perceived that it is a sublime conception. Should we not first regard the subject from the stand‐point of the ancients before venturing to disparage its teachers? The solution of the great problem of eternity belongs neither to religious superstition nor to gross materialism. The harmony and mathematical equiformity of the double evolution — spiritual and physical

— are elucidated only in the universal numerals of Pythagoras, who built his system entirely upon the so‐called


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ʺmetrical speechʺ of the Hindu Vedas. It is but lately that one of the most zealous Sanskrit scholars, Martin Haug, undertook the translation of the Aitareya Brahmana of the Rig‐ Veda. It had been till that time entirely unknown; these explanations indicate beyond dispute the identity of the Pythagorean and Brahmanical systems. In both, the esoteric significance is derived from the number: in the former, from the mystic relation of every number to everything intelligible to the human mind; in the latter, from the number of syllables of which each verse in the Mantras consists. Plato, the ardent disciple of Pythagoras, realized it so fully as to maintain that the Dodecahedron was the geometrical figure employed by the Demiurgus in constructing the universe. Some of these figures had a peculiarly solemn significance. For instance four, of which the Dodecahedron is the trine, was held sacred by the Pythagoreans. It is the perfect square, and neither of the bounding lines exceeds the other in length, by a single point. It is the emblem of moral justice and divine equity geometrically expressed. All the powers and great symphonies of physical and spiritual nature lie inscribed within the perfect square; and the ineffable name of Him, which name otherwise, would remain unutterable, was replaced by this sacred number 4 the most binding and solemn oath with the ancient mystics — the Tetractys.

If the Pythagorean metempsychosis should be thoroughly explained and compared with the modern theory of evolution, it would be found to supply every ʺmissing linkʺ in the chain of the latter. But who of our scientists would

consent to lose his precious time over the vagaries of the ancients. Notwithstanding proofs to the contrary, they not only deny that the nations of the archaic periods, but even the ancient philosophers had any positive knowledge of the Heliocentric system. The ʺVenerable Bedes,ʺ the Augustines and Lactantii appear to have smothered, with their dogmatic ignorance, all faith in the more ancient theologists of the pre‐ Christian centuries. But now philology and a closer acquaintance with Sanskrit literature have partially enabled us to vindicate them from these unmerited imputations. In the Vedas, for instance, we find positive proof that so long ago as 2000 B.C., the Hindu sages and scholars must have been acquainted with the rotundity of our globe and the Heliocentric system. Hence, Pythagoras and Plato knew well this astronomical truth; for Pythagoras obtained his knowledge in India, or from men who had been there, and Plato faithfully echoed his teachings. We will quote two passages from the Aitareya Brahmana:

In the ʺSerpent‐Mantra,ʺ* the Brahmana declares as follows: that this Mantra is that one which was seen by the Queen of the Serpents, Sarpa‐râjni; because the earth (iyam) is the Queen of the Serpents, as she is the mother and queen of all that moves (sarpat). In the beginning she (the earth) was but one head (round), without hair (bald), i.e., without vegetation. She then perceived this Mantra which confers upon him who knows it, the power of assuming any form which he might

* From the Sanskrit text of the Aitareya Brahmanam. Rig‐Veda, v., ch. ii., verse 23.


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desire. She ʺpronounced the Mantra,ʺ i.e., sacrificed to the gods; and, in consequence, immediately obtained a motley appearance; she became variegated, and able to produce any form she might like, changing one form into another. This Mantra begins with the words: ʺAyam gaûh prisʹnir akramitʺ

(x., 189).

The description of the earth in the shape of a round and bald head, which was soft at first, and became hard only from being breathed upon by the god Vayu, the lord of the air, forcibly suggests the idea that the authors of the sacred Vedic books knew the earth to be round or spherical; moreover, that it had been a gelatinous mass at first, which gradually cooled off under the influence of the air and time. So much for their knowledge about our globeʹs sphericity; and now we will present the testimony upon which we base our assertion, that the Hindus were perfectly acquainted with the Heliocentric system, at least 2000 years B.C.

In the same treatise the Hotar, (priest), is taught how the Shastras should be repeated, and how the phenomena of sunrise and sunset are to be explained. It says: ʺThe Agnishtoma is that one (that god) who burns. The sun never sets nor rises. When people think the sun is setting, it is not so; they are mistaken. For after having arrived at the end of the day, it produces two opposite effects, making night to what is below, and day to what is on the other side. When they (the people) believe it rises in the morning, the sun only does thus: having reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below, and night

to what is on the other side. In fact the sun never sets; nor does it set for him who has such a knowledge. . .ʺ* This sentence is so conclusive, that even the translator of the Rig‐ Veda, Dr. Haug, was forced to remark it. He says this passage contains ʺthe denial of the existence of sunrise and sunset,ʺ and that the author supposes the sun ʺto remain always in its high position.ʺ†

In one of the earliest Nivids, Rishi Kutsa, a Hindu sage of the remotest antiquity, explains the allegory of the first laws given to the celestial bodies. For doing ʺwhat she ought not to do,ʺ Anahit (Anaitis or Nana, the Persian Venus), representing the earth in the legend, is sentenced to turn round the sun. The Sattras, or sacrificial sessions‡ prove undoubtedly that so early as in the eighteenth or twentieth century B.C., the Hindus had made considerable progress in astronomical science. The Sattras lasted one year, and were ʺnothing but an imitation of the sunʹs yearly course. They were divided, says Haug, into two distinct parts, each consisting of six months of thirty days each; in the midst of both was the Vishuvan (equator or central day), cutting the whole Sattras into two halves, etc.ʺ§ This scholar, although he ascribes the composition of the bulk of the Brahmanas to the period 1400‐1200 B.C., is of opinion that the oldest of the hymns may be placed at the very commencement of Vedic

* Aitareya Brahmanam, book iii., c. v., 44.
† Ait. Brahm., vol. ii., p. 242.
‡ Ait. Brahm., book iv.

§ Septenary Institutions, ʺStone him to Death,ʺ p. 20.


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literature, between the years 2400‐2000, B.C. He finds no reason for considering the Vedas less ancient than the sacred books of the Chinese. As the Shu‐King or Book of History, and the sacrificial songs of the Shi‐King, or Book of Odes, have been proved to have an antiquity as early as 2200, B.C., our philologists may yet be compelled before long to acknowledge, that in astronomical knowledge, the antediluvian Hindus were their masters.

At all events, there are facts which prove that certain astronomical calculations were as correct with the Chaldeans in the days of Julius Cæsar as they are now. When the calendar was reformed by the Conqueror, the civil year was found to correspond so little with the seasons, that summer had merged into the autumn months, and the autumn months into full winter. It was Sosigenes, the Chaldean astronomer, who restored order into the confusion, by putting back the 25th of March ninety days, thus making it correspond with the vernal equinox; and it was Sosigenes, again, who fixed the lengths of the months as they now remain.

In America, it was found by the Montezuman army, that the calendar of the Aztecs gave an equal number of days and weeks to each month. The extreme accuracy of their astronomical calculations was so great, that no error has been discovered in their reckoning by subsequent verifications; while the Europeans, who landed in Mexico in 1519, were, by the Julian calendar, nearly eleven days in advance of the exact time.

It is to the priceless and accurate translations of the Vedic Books, and to the personal researches of Dr. Haug, that we are indebted for the corroboration of the claims of the hermetic philosophers. That the period of Zarathustra Spitama (Zoroaster) was of untold antiquity, can be easily proved. The Brahmanas, to which Haug ascribes four thousand years, describe the religious contest between the ancient Hindus, who lived in the pre‐Vedic period, and the Iranians. The battles between the Devas and the Asuras — the former representing the Hindus and the latter the Iranians — are described at length in the sacred books. As the Iranian prophet was the first to raise himself against what he called the ʺidolatryʺ of the Brahmans, and to designate them as the Devas (devils), how far back must then have been this religious crisis?


ʺThis contest,ʺ answers Dr. Haug, ʺmust have appeared to the authors of the Brahmanas as old as the feats of King Arthur appear to English writers of the nineteenth century.ʺ

There was not a philosopher of any notoriety who did not hold to this doctrine of metempsychosis, as taught by the Brahmans, Buddhists, and later by the Pythagoreans, in its esoteric sense, whether he expressed it more or less intelligibly. Origen and Clemens Alexandrinus, Synesius and Chalcidius, all believed in it; and the Gnostics, who are unhesitatingly proclaimed by history as a body of the most


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refined, learned, and enlightened men,* were all believers in metempsychosis. Socrates entertained opinions identical with those of Pythagoras; and both, as the penalty of their divine philosophy, were put to a violent death. The rabble has been the same in all ages. Materialism has been, and will ever be blind to spiritual truths. These philosophers held, with the Hindus, that God had infused into matter a portion of his own Divine Spirit, which animates and moves every particle. They taught that men have two souls, of separate and quite different natures: the one perishable — the Astral Soul, or the inner, fluidic body — the other incorruptible and immortal — the Augoeides, or portion of the Divine Spirit; that the mortal or Astral Soul perishes at each gradual change at the threshold of every new sphere, becoming with every transmigration more purified. The astral man, intangible and invisible as he might be to our mortal, earthly senses, is still constituted of matter, though sublimated. Aristotle, notwithstanding that for political reasons of his own he maintained a prudent silence as to certain esoteric matters, expressed very clearly his opinion on the subject. It was his belief that human souls are emanations of God, that are finally re‐absorbed into Divinity. Zeno, the founder of the Stoics, taught that there are ʺtwo eternal qualities throughout nature: the one active, or male; the other passive, or female: that the former is pure, subtile ether, or Divine Spirit; the other entirely inert in itself till united with the active principle. That the Divine Spirit acting upon matter produced

* See Gibbonʹs ʺDecline and Fall of the Roman Empire.ʺ

fire, water, earth, and air; and that it is the sole efficient principle by which all nature is moved. The Stoics, like the Hindu sages, believed in the final absorption. St. Justin believed in the emanation of these souls from Divinity, and Tatian, the Assyrian, his disciple, declared that ʺman was as immortal as God himself.ʺ†


That profoundly significant verse of the Genesis, ʺAnd to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, I gave a living soul, . .

. .ʺ should arrest the attention of every Hebrew scholar capable of reading the Scripture in its original, instead of following the erroneous translation, in which the phrase reads, ʺwherein there is life.ʺ‡

From the first to the last chapters, the translators of the Jewish Sacred Books misconstrued this meaning. They have even changed the spelling of the name of God, as Sir W. Drummond proves. Thus El, if written correctly, would read Al, for it stands in the original la— Al, and, according to Higgins, this word means the god Mithra, the Sun, the preserver and savior. Sir W. Drummond shows that Beth‐El means the House of the Sun in its literal translation, and not of God. ʺEl, in the composition of these Canaanite names,

† See Turner; also G. Higginsʹs ʺAnacalypsis.ʺ

‡ Genesis, i, 30.


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does not signify Deus, but Sol.ʺ* Thus Theology has disfigured ancient Theosophy, and Science ancient Philosophy.†

For lack of comprehension of this great philosophical principle, the methods of modern science, however exact, must end in nullity. In no one branch can it demonstrate the origin and ultimate of things. Instead of tracing the effect from its primal source, its progress is the reverse. Its higher types, as it teaches, are all evolved from antecedent lower ones. It starts from the bottom of the cycle, led on step by step in the great labyrinth of nature by a thread of matter. As soon as this breaks and the clue is lost, it recoils in affright from the Incomprehensible, and confesses itself powerless. Not so did Plato and his disciples. With him the lower types were but the concrete images of the higher abstract ones. The soul, which is immortal, has an arithmetical, as the body has a geometrical, beginning. This beginning, as the reflection of the great universal ARCHÆUS, is self‐moving, and from the centre diffuses itself over the whole body of the microcosm.

* Sir William Drummond, ʺŒdipus Judicus,ʺ p. 250.

† The absolute necessity for the perpetration of such pious frauds by the early fathers and later theologians becomes apparent, if we consider that if they had allowed the word Al to remain as in the original, it would have become but too evident — except for the initiated — that the Jehovah of Moses and the sun were identical. The multitudes, which ignore that the ancient hierophant considered our visible sun but as an emblem of the central, invisible, and spiritual Sun, would have accused Moses — as many of our modern commentators have already done — of worshipping the planetary bodies; in short, of actual Zabaism.

It was the sad perception of this truth that made Tyndall confess how powerless is science, even over the world of matter. ʺThe first marshalling of the atoms, on which all subsequent action depends, baffles a keener power than that of the microscope.ʺ ʺThrough pure excess of complexity, and long before observation can have any voice in the matter, the most highly trained intellect, the most refined and disciplined imagination, retires in bewilderment from the contemplation of the problem. We are struck dumb by an astonishment which no microscope can relieve, doubting not only the power of our instrument, but even whether we ourselves possess the intellectual elements which will ever enable us to grapple with the ultimate structural energies of nature.ʺ

The fundamental geometrical figure of the Kabala — that figure which tradition and the esoteric doctrines tell us was given by the Deity itself to Moses on Mount Sinai‡ — contains in its grandiose, because simple combination, the key to the universal problem. This figure contains in itself all the others. For those who are able to master it, there is no need to exercise imagination. No earthly microscope can be compared with the keenness of the spiritual perception. And even for those who are unacquainted with the GREAT SCIENCE, the description given by a well‐trained child‐ psychometer of the genesis of a grain, a fragment of crystal, or any other object — is worth all the telescopes and microscopes of ʺexact science.ʺ

‡ Exodus, xxv., 40.


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There may be more truth in the adventurous pangenesis of Darwin — whom Tyndall calls a ʺsoaring speculatorʺ — than in the cautious, line‐bound hypothesis of the latter; who, in common with other thinkers of his class, surrounds his imagination ʺby the firm frontiers of reason.ʺ The theory of a microscopic germ which contains in itself ʺa world of minor germs,ʺ soars in one sense at least into the infinite. It oversteps the world of matter, and begins unconsciously busying itself in the world of spirit. If we accept Darwinʹs theory of the development of species, we find that his starting‐point is placed in front of an open door. We are at liberty with him, to either remain within, or cross the threshold, beyond which lies the limitless and the incomprehensible, or rather the Unutterable. If our mortal language is inadequate to express what our spirit dimly foresees in the great ʺBeyondʺ — while on this earth — it must realize it at some point in the timeless Eternity.

Not so with Professor Huxleyʹs theory of the ʺPhysical Basis of Life.ʺ Regardless of the formidable majority of ʺnaysʺ from his German brother‐scientists, he creates a universal protoplasm and appoints its cells to become henceforth the sacred founts of the principle of all life. By making the latter identical in living man, ʺdead mutton,ʺ a nettle‐sting, and a lobster; by shutting in, in the molecular cell of the protoplasm, the life‐principle, and by shutting out from it the divine influx which comes with subsequent evolution, he closes every door against any possible escape. Like an able tactician he converts his ʺlaws and factsʺ into sentries whom

he causes to mount guard over every issue. The standard under which he rallies them is inscribed with the word ʺnecessityʺ; but hardly is it unfurled when he mocks the legend and calls it ʺan empty shadow of my own imagination.ʺ*

The fundamental doctrines of spiritualism, he says, ʺlie outside the limits of philosophical inquiry.ʺ We will be bold enough to contradict this assertion, and say that they lie a great deal more within such inquiry than Mr. Huxleyʹs protoplasm. Insomuch that they present evident and palpable facts of the existence of spirit, and the protoplasmic cells, once dead, present none whatever of being the originators or the bases of life, as this one of the few ʺforemost thinkers of the dayʺ wants us to believe.†

The ancient Kabalist rested upon no hypothesis till he could lay its basis upon the firm rock of recorded experiment.

But the too great dependence upon physical facts led to a growth of materialism and a decadence of spirituality and faith. At the time of Aristotle, this was the prevailing tendency of thought. And though the Delphic commandment was not as yet completely eliminated from Grecian thought; and some philosophers still held that ʺin order to know what man is, we ought to know what man wasʺ — still materialism had already begun to gnaw at the root of faith. The Mysteries themselves had degenerated in a very great degree into mere

* ʺThe Physical Basis of Life,ʺ a Lecture by T. H. Huxley.

† Huxley, ʺPhysical Basis of Life.ʺ


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priestly speculations and religious fraud. Few were the true adepts and initiates, the heirs and descendants of those who had been dispersed by the conquering swords of various invaders of Old Egypt.

The time predicted by the great Hermes in his dialogue with Æsculapius had indeed come; the time when impious foreigners would accuse Egypt of adoring monsters, and naught but the letters engraved in stone upon her monuments would survive — enigmas incredible to posterity. Their sacred scribes and hierophants were wanderers upon the face of the earth. Obliged from fear of a profanation of the sacred mysteries to seek refuge among the Hermetic fraternities — known later as the Essenes — their esoteric knowledge was buried deeper than ever. The triumphant brand of Aristotleʹs pupil swept away from his path of conquest every vestige of a once pure religion, and Aristotle himself, the type and child of his epoch, though instructed in the secret science of the Egyptians, knew but little of this crowning result of millenniums of esoteric studies.

As well as those who lived in the days of the Psammetics, our present‐day philosophers ʺlift the Veil of Isisʺ — for Isis is but the symbol of nature. But, they see only her physical forms. The soul within escapes their view; and the Divine Mother has no answer for them. There are anatomists, who, uncovering to sight no indwelling spirit under the layers of muscles, the network of nerves, or the cineritious matter, which they lift with the point of the scalpel, assert that man

has no soul. Such are as purblind in sophistry as the student, who, confining his research to the cold letter of the Kabala, dares say it has no vivifying spirit. To see the true man who once inhabited the subject which lies before him, on the dissecting table, the surgeon must use other eyes than those of his body. So, the glorious truth covered up in the hieratic writings of the ancient papyri can be revealed only to him who possesses the faculty of intuition — which, if we call reason the eye of the mind, may be defined as the eye of the soul.

Our modern science acknowledges a Supreme Power, an Invisible Principle, but denies a Supreme Being, or Personal God.* Logically, the difference between the two might be questioned; for in this case the Power and the Being are identical.

Human reason can hardly imagine to itself an Intelligent Supreme Power without associating it with the idea of an Intelligent Being. The masses can never be expected to have a clear conception of the omnipotence and omnipresence of a supreme God, without investing with those attributes a gigantic projection of their own personality. But the kabalists have never looked upon the invisible EN‐SOPH otherwise than as a Power.

So far our modern positivists have been anticipated by thousands of ages, in their cautious philosophy. What the hermetic adept claims to demonstrate is, that simple common sense precludes the possibility that the universe is the result

* Prof. J. W. Draper, ʺConflict Between Religion and Science.ʺ


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of mere chance. Such an idea appears to him more absurd than to think that the problems of Euclid were unconsciously formed by a monkey playing with geometrical figures.

Very few Christians understand, if indeed they know anything at all, of the Jewish Theology. The Talmud is the darkest of enigmas even for most Jews, while those Hebrew scholars who do comprehend it do not boast of their knowledge. Their kabalistic books are still less understood by them; for in our days more Christian than Jewish students are engrossed in the elimination of their great truths. How much less is definitely known of the Oriental, or the universal Kabala! Its adepts are few; but these heirs elect of the sages who first discovered ʺthe starry truths which shone on the great Shemaia of the Chaldean loreʺ* have solved the ʺabsoluteʺ and are now resting from their grand labor. They cannot go beyond that which is given to mortals of this earth to know; and no one, not even these elect, can trespass beyond the line drawn by the finger of the Divinity itself. Travellers have met these adepts on the shores of the sacred Ganges, brushed against them in the silent ruins of Thebes, and in the mysterious deserted chambers of Luxor. Within the halls upon whose blue and golden vaults the weird signs attract attention, but whose secret meaning is never penetrated by the idle gazers, they have been seen but seldom recognized. Historical memoirs have recorded their presence in the brilliantly illuminated salons of European aristocracy.

They have been encountered again on the arid and desolate plains of the Great Sahara, as in the caves of Elephanta. They may be found everywhere, but make themselves known only to those who have devoted their lives to unselfish study, and are not likely to turn back.

Maimonides, the great Jewish theologian and historian, who at one time was almost deified by his countrymen and afterward treated as a heretic, remarks, that the more absurd and void of sense the Talmud seems the more sublime is the secret meaning. This learned man has successfully demonstrated that the Chaldean Magic, the science of Moses and other learned thaumaturgists was wholly based on an extensive knowledge of the various and now forgotten branches of natural science. Thoroughly acquainted with all the resources of the vegetable, animal, and mineral kingdoms, experts in occult chemistry and physics, psychologists as well as physiologists, why wonder that the graduates or adepts instructed in the mysterious sanctuaries of the temples, could perform wonders, which even in our days of enlightenment would appear supernatural? It is an insult to human nature to brand magic and the occult science with the name of imposture. To believe that for so many thousands of years, one‐half of mankind practiced deception and fraud on the other half, is equivalent to saying that the human race was composed only of knaves and incurable idiots. Where is the country in which magic was not practised? At what age was it wholly forgotten?

* Bulwerʹs ʺZanoni.ʺ


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In the oldest documents now in our possession — the Vedas and the older laws of Manu — we find many magical rites practiced and permitted by the Brahmans.* Thibet, Japan and China teach in the present age that which was taught by the oldest Chaldeans. The clergy of these respective countries, prove moreover what they teach, namely: that the practice of moral and physical purity, and of certain austerities, developes the vital soulpower of self‐illumination. Affording to man the control over his own immortal spirit, it gives him truly magical powers over the elementary spirits inferior to himself. In the West we find magic of as high an antiquity as in the East. The Druids of Great Britain practised it in the silent crypts of their deep caves; and Pliny devotes many a chapter to the ʺwisdomʺ† of the leaders of the Celts. The Semothees, — the Druids of the Gauls, expounded the physical as well as the spiritual sciences. They taught the secrets of the universe, the harmonious progress of the heavenly bodies, the formation of the earth, and above all — the immortality of the soul.‡ Into their sacred groves — natural academies built by the hand of the Invisible Architect

— the initiates assembled at the still hour of midnight to learn about what man once was and what he will be.§ They needed no artificial illumination, nor life‐drawing gas, to light up their temples, for the chaste goddess of night beamed her

* See the Code published by Sir William Jones, chap. ix., p. 11.
† Pliny, ʺHist. Nat.,ʺ xxx. I: Ib., xvi., 14; xxv., 9, etc.
‡ Pomponius ascribes to them the knowledge of the highest sciences.

§ Cæsar, iii., 14.

most silvery rays on their oak‐crowned heads; and their white‐robed sacred bards knew how to converse with the solitary queen of the starry vault.**

On the dead soil of the long by‐gone past stand their sacred oaks, now dried up and stripped of their spiritual meaning by the venomous breath of materialism. But for the student of occult learning, their vegetation is still as verdant and luxuriant, and as full of deep and sacred truths, as at that hour when the arch‐druid performed his magical cures, and waving the branch of mistletoe, severed with his golden sickle the green bough from its mother oak‐tree. Magic is as old as man. It is as impossible to name the time when it sprang into existence as to indicate on what day the first man himself was born. Whenever a writer has started with the idea of connecting its first foundation in a country with some historical character, further research has proved his views groundless. Odin, the Scandinavian priest and monarch, was thought by many to have originated the practice of magic some seventy years B.C. But it was easily demonstrated that the mysterious rites of the priestesses called Voïlers, Valas, were greatly anterior to his age.†† Some modern authors were bent on proving that Zoroaster was the founder of magic, because he was the founder of the Magian religion. Ammianus Marcellinus, Arnobius, Pliny, and other ancient historians demonstrated conclusively that he was but a

** Pliny, xxx.

†† Munter, on the most ancient religion of the North before the time of Odin. Memoires de la Société des Antiquaires de France. Tome ii., p. 230.


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reformer of Magic as practiced by the Chaldeans and Egyptians.*

The greatest teachers of divinity agree that nearly all ancient books were written symbolically and in a language intelligible only to the initiated. The biographical sketch of Apollonius of Tyana affords an example. As every Kabalist knows, it embraces the whole of the Hermetic philosophy, being a counterpart in many respects of the traditions left us of King Solomon. It reads like a fairy story, but, as in the case of the latter, sometimes facts and historical events are presented to the world under the colors of a fiction. The journey to India represents allegorically the trials of a neophyte. His long discourses with the Brahmans, their sage advice, and the dialogues with the Corinthian Menippus would, if interpreted, give the esoteric catechism. His visit to the empire of the wise men, and interview with their king Hiarchas, the oracle of Amphiaraus, explain symbolically many of the secret dogmas of Hermes. They would disclose, if understood, some of the most important secrets of nature. Eliphas Levi points out the great resemblance which exists between King Hiarchas and the fabulous Hiram, of whom Solomon procured the cedars of Lebanon and the gold of Ophir. We would like to know whether modern Masons, even ʺGrand Lecturersʺ and the most intelligent craftsmen belonging to important lodges, understand who the Hiram is whose death they combine together to avenge?

Putting aside the purely metaphysical teachings of the Kabala, if one would devote himself but to physical occultism, to the so‐called branch of therapeutics, the results might benefit some of our modern sciences; such as chemistry and medicine. Says Professor Draper: ʺSometimes, not without surprise, we meet with ideas which we flatter ourselves originated in our own times.ʺ This remark, uttered in relation to the scientific writings of the Saracens, would apply still better to the more secret Treatises of the ancients. Modern medicine, while it has gained largely in anatomy, physiology, and pathology, and even in therapeutics, has lost immensely by its narrowness of spirit, its rigid materialism, its sectarian dogmatism. One school in its purblindness sternly ignores whatever is developed by other schools; and all unite in ignoring every grand conception of man or nature, developed by Mesmerism, or by American experiments on the brain — every principle which does not conform to a stolid materialism. It would require a convocation of the hostile physicians of the several different schools to bring together what is now known of medical science, and it too often happens that after the best practitioners have vainly exhausted their art upon a patient, a mesmerist or a ʺhealing mediumʺ will effect a cure! The explorers of old medical literature, from the time of Hippocrates to that of Paracelsus and Van Helmont, will find a vast number of well‐attested physiological and psychological facts and of measures or medicines for healing the sick which modern physicians

* Ammianus Marcellinus, xxvi., 6.


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superciliously refuse to employ.* Even with respect to surgery, modern practitioners have humbly and publicly confessed the total impossibility of their approximating to anything like the marvellous skill displayed in the art of bandaging by ancient Egyptians. The many hundred yards of ligature enveloping a mummy from its ears down to every separate toe, were studied by the chief surgical operators in Paris, and, notwithstanding that the models were before their eyes, they were unable to accomplish anything like it.

In the Abbott Egyptological collection, in New York City, may be seen numerous evidences of the skill of the ancients in various handicrafts; among others the art of lace‐making; and, as it could hardly be expected but that the signs of womanʹs vanity should go side by side with those of manʹs strength, there are also specimens of artificial hair, and gold ornaments of different kinds. The New York Tribune,

* In some respects our modern philosophers, who think they make new discoveries can be compared to ʺthe very clever, learned, and civil gentlemanʺ whom Hippocrates having met at Samos one day, describes very good‐naturedly. ʺHe informed me,ʺ the Father of Medicine proceeds to say, ʺthat he had lately discovered an herb never before known in Europe or Asia, and that no disease, however malignant or chronic, could resist its marvellous properties. Wishing to be civil in turn, I permitted myself to be persuaded to accompany him to the conservatory in which he had transplanted the wonderful specific. What I found was one of the commonest plants in Greece, namely, garlic — the plant which above all others has least pretensions to healing virtues.ʺ Hippocrates, ʺDe optima prædicandi ratione item judicii operum magni.ʺ I.

reviewing the contents of the Ebers Papyrus, says: — ʺVerily, there is no new thing under the sun. . . . Chapters 65, 66, 79, and 89 show that hair invigorators, hair dyes, pain‐killers, and flea‐powders were desiderata 3,400 years ago.ʺ

How few of our recent alleged discoveries are in reality new, and how many belong to the ancients, is again most fairly and eloquently though but in part stated by our eminent philosophical writer, Professor John W. Draper. His

Conflict between Religion and Science — a great book with a very bad title — swarms with such facts. At page 13, he cites a few of the achievements of ancient philosophers, which excited the admiration of Greece. In Babylon was a series of Chaldean astronomical observations, ranging back through nineteen hundred and three years, which Callisthenes sent to Aristotle. Ptolemy, the Egyptian king‐astronomer possessed a Babylonian record of eclipses going back seven hundred and forty‐seven years before our era. As Prof. Draper truly remarks: ʺLong‐continued and close observations were necessary before some of these astronomical results that have reached our times could have been ascertained. Thus, the Babylonians had fixed the length of a tropical year within twenty‐five seconds of the truth; their estimate of the sidereal year was barely two minutes in excess. They had detected the precession of the equinoxes. They knew the causes of eclipses, and, by the aid of their cycle, called saros, could predict them. Their estimate of the value of that cycle, which is more than 6,585 days, was within nineteen and a half minutes of the truth.ʺ


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ʺSuch facts furnish incontrovertible proof of the patience and skill with which astronomy had been cultivated in Mesopotamia, and that, with very inadequate instrumental means, it had reached no inconsiderable perfection. These old observers had made a catalogue of the stars, had divided the zodiac into twelve signs; they had parted the day into twelve hours, the night into twelve. They had, as Aristotle says, for a long time devoted themselves to observations of star‐ occultations by the moon. They had correct views of the structure of the solar system, and knew the order of emplacement of the planets. They constructed sundials, clepsydras, astrolabes, gnomons.ʺ

Speaking of the world of eternal truths that lies ʺwithin the world of transient delusions and unrealities,ʺ Professor Draper says: ʺThat world is not to be discovered through the vain traditions that have brought down to us the opinion of men who lived in the morning of civilization, nor in the dreams of mystics who thought that they were inspired. It is to be discovered by the investigations of geometry, and by the practical interrogations of nature.ʺ

Precisely. The issue could not be better stated. This eloquent writer tells us a profound truth. He does not, however, tell us the whole truth, because he does not know it. He has not described the nature or extent of the knowledge imparted in the Mysteries. No subsequent people has been so proficient in geometry as the builders of the Pyramids and other Titanic monuments, antediluvian and postdiluvian. On

the other hand, none has ever equalled them in the practical interrogation of nature.

An undeniable proof of this is the significance of their countless symbols. Every one of these symbols is an embodied idea, — combining the conception of the Divine Invisible with the earthly and visible. The former is derived from the latter strictly through analogy according to the hermetic formula — ʺas below, so it is above.ʺ Their symbols show great knowledge of natural sciences and a practical study of cosmical power.

As to practical results to be obtained by ʺthe investigations of geometry,ʺ very fortunately for students who are coming upon the stage of action, we are no longer forced to content ourselves with mere conjectures. In our own times, an American, Mr. George H. Felt, of New York, who, if he continues as he has begun, may one day be recognized as the greatest geometer of the age, has been enabled, by the sole help of the premises established by the ancient Egyptians, to arrive at results which we will give in his own language. ʺFirstly,ʺ says Mr. Felt, ʺthe fundamental diagram to which all science of elementary geometry, both plane and solid, is referable; to produce arithmetical systems of proportion in a geometrical manner; to identify this figure with all the remains of architecture and sculpture, in all which it had been followed in a marvellously exact manner; to determine that the Egyptians had used it as the basis of all their astronomical calculations, on which their religious symbolism was almost entirely founded; to find its traces among all the remnants of art and architecture of the Greeks; to discover its traces so


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strongly among the Jewish sacred records, as to prove conclusively that it was founded thereon; to find that the whole system had been discovered by the Egyptians after researches of tens of thousands of years into the laws of nature, and that it might truly be called the science of the Universe.ʺ Further it enabled him ʺto determine with precision problems in physiology heretofore only surmised; to first develop such a Masonic philosophy as showed it to be conclusively the first science and religion, as it will be the lastʺ; and we may add, lastly, to prove by ocular demonstrations that the Egyptian sculptors and architects obtained the models for the quaint figures which adorn the facades and vestibules of their temples, not in the disordered fantasies of their own brains, but from the ʺviewless races of the air,ʺ and other kingdoms of nature, whom he, like them, claims to make visible by resort to their own chemical and kabalistical processes.

Schweigger proves that the symbols of all the mythologies have a scientific foundation and substance.* It is only through recent discoveries of the physical electro‐magnetical powers of nature that such experts in Mesmerism as Ennemoser, Schweigger and Bart, in Germany, Baron Du Potet and Regazzoni, in France and Italy, were enabled to trace with almost faultless accuracy the true relation which each Theomythos bore to some one of these powers. The Idæic finger, which had such importance in the magic art of

healing, means an iron finger, which is attracted and repulsed in turn by magnetic, natural forces. It produced, in Samothrace, wonders of healing by restoring affected organs to their normal condition.

Bart goes deeper than Schweigger into the significations of the old myths, and studies the subject from both its spiritual and physical aspects. He treats at length of the Phrygian Dactyls, those ʺmagicians and exorcists of sickness,ʺ and of the Cabeirian Theurgists. He says: ʺWhile we treat of the close union of the Dactyls and magnetic forces, we are not necessarily confined to the magnetic stone, and our views of nature but take a glance at magnetism in its whole meaning. Then it is clear how the initiated, who called themselves Dactyls, created astonishment in the people through their magic arts, working as they did, miracles of a healing nature. To this united themselves many other things which the priesthood of antiquity was wont to practice; the cultivation of the land and of morals, the advancement of art and science, mysteries, and secret consecrations. All this was done by the priestly Cabeirians, and wherefore not guided and supported by the mysterious spirits of nature?ʺ† Schweigger is of the same opinion, and demonstrates that the phenomena of ancient Theurgy were produced by magnetic powers ʺunder the guidance of spirits.ʺ

Despite their apparent Polytheism, the ancients — those of the educated class at all events — were entirely

* Schweigger, ʺIntroduction to Mythology through Natural History.ʺ † Ennemoser, ʺHistory of Magic,ʺ i, 3.


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monotheistical; and this, too, ages upon ages before the days of Moses. In the Ebers Papyrus this fact is shown conclusively in the following words, translated from the first four lines of Plate I.: ʺI came from Heliopolis with the great ones from Het‐ aat, the Lords of Protection, the masters of eternity and salvation. I came from Sais with the Mother‐goddesses, who extended to me protection. The Lord of the Universe told me how to free the gods from all murderous diseases.ʺ Eminent men were called gods by the ancients. The deification of mortal men and supposititious gods is no more a proof against their monotheism than the monument‐building of modern Christians, who erect statues to their heroes, is proof of their polytheism. Americans of the present century would consider it absurd in their posterity 3,000 years hence to classify them as idolaters for having built statues to their god Washington. So shrouded in mystery was the Hermetic Philosophy that Volney asserted that the ancient peoples worshipped their gross material symbols as divine in themselves; whereas these were only considered as representing esoteric principles. Dupuis, also, after devoting many years of study to the problem, mistook the symbolic circle, and attributed their religion solely to astronomy. Eberhart (Berliner Monatschrift ) and many other German writers of the last and present centuries, dispose of magic most unceremoniously, and think it due to the Platonic mythos of the Timæus. But how, without possessing a knowledge of the mysteries, was it possible for these men or any others not endowed with the finer intuition of a Champollion, to discover the esoteric half

of that which was concealed, behind the veil of Isis, from all except the adepts?

The merit of Champollion as an Egyptologist none will question. He declares that everything demonstrates the ancient Egyptians to have been profoundly monotheistical. The accuracy of the writings of the mysterious Hermes Trismegistus, whose antiquity runs back into the night of time, is corroborated by him to their minutest details. Ennemoser also says: ʺInto Egypt and the East went Herodotus, Thales, Parmenides, Empedocles, Orpheus, and Pythagoras, to instruct themselves in Natural Philosophy and Theology.ʺ There, too, Moses acquired his wisdom, and Jesus passed the earlier years of his life.

Thither gathered the students of all countries before Alexandria was founded. ʺHow comes it,ʺ Ennemoser goes on to say, ʺthat so little has become known of these mysteries? through so many ages and amongst so many different times and people? The answer is that it is owing to the universally strict silence of the initiated. Another cause may be found in the destruction and total loss of all the written memorials of the secret knowledge of the remotest antiquity.ʺ Numaʹs books, described by Livy, consisting of treatises upon natural philosophy, were found in his tomb; but they were not allowed to be made known, lest they should reveal the most secret mysteries of the state religion. The senate and the


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tribune of the people determined that the books themselves should be burned, which was done in public.*


Magic was considered a divine science which led to a participation in the attributes of Divinity itself. ʺIt unveils the operations of nature,ʺ says Philo Judæus, ʺand leads to the contemplation of celestial powers.ʺ† In later periods its abuse and degeneration into sorcery made it an object of general abhorrence. We must therefore deal with it only as it was in the remote past, during those ages when every true religion was based on a knowledge of the occult powers of nature. It was not the sacerdotal class in ancient Persia that established magic, as it is commonly thought, but the Magi, who derive their name from it. The Mobeds, priests of the Parsis — the ancient Ghebers — are named, even at the present day,

Magoï, in the dialect of the Pehlvi.‡ Magic appeared in the world with the earlier races of men. Cassien mentions a treatise, well‐ known in the fourth and fifth centuries, which was accredited to Ham, the son of Noah, who in his turn was reputed to have received it from Jared, the fourth generation from Seth, the son of Adam.§

* ʺHist. of Magic,ʺ vol. i, p. 3.
† Philo Jud., ʺDe Specialibus Legibus.ʺ

‡ Zend‐Avesta, vol. ii., p. 506. § Cassian, ʺConference,ʺ i., 21.


Moses was indebted for his knowledge to the mother of the Egyptian princess, Thermuthis, who saved him from the waters of the Nile. The wife of Pharaoh,** Batria, was an initiate herself, and the Jews owe to her the possession of their prophet, ʺlearned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and mighty in words and deeds.ʺ†† Justin Martyr, giving as his authority Trogus Pompeius, shows Joseph as having acquired a great knowledge in magical arts with the high priests of Egypt.‡‡

The ancients knew more concerning certain sciences than our modern savants have yet discovered. Reluctant as many are to confess as much, it has been acknowledged by more than one scientist. ʺThe degree of scientific knowledge existing in an early period of society was much greater than the moderns are willing to admitʺ; says Dr. A. Todd Thomson, the editor of Occult Sciences, by Salverte; ʺbut,ʺ he adds, ʺit was confined to the temples, carefully veiled from the eyes of the people and opposed only to the priesthood.ʺ Speaking of the Kabala, the learned Franz von Baader remarks that ʺnot only our salvation and wisdom, but our science itself came to us from the Jews.ʺ But why not complete the sentence and tell the reader from whom the Jews got their wisdom? Origen, who

** ʺDe Vita et Morte Mosis,ʺ p. 199.
†† Acts of the Apostles, vii., 22.

‡‡ Justin, xxxvi., 2.


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had belonged to the Alexandrian school of Platonists, declares that Moses, besides the teachings of the covenant, communicated some very important secrets ʺfrom the hidden depths of the lawʺ to the seventy elders. These he enjoined them to impart only to persons whom they found worthy.

St. Jerome names the Jews of Tiberias and Lydda as the only teachers of the mystical manner of interpretation. Finally, Ennemoser expresses a strong opinion that ʺthe writings of Dionysius Areopagita have palpably been grounded on the Jewish Kabala.ʺ When we take in consideration that the Gnostics, or early Christians, were but the followers of the old Essenes under a new name, this fact is nothing to be wondered at. Professor Molitor gives the Kabala its just due. He says:

ʺThe age of inconsequence and shallowness, in theology as well as in sciences, is past, and since that revolutionary rationalism has left nothing behind but its own emptiness, after having destroyed everything positive, it seems now to be the time to direct our attention anew to that mysterious revelation which is the living spring whence our salvation must come. . . the Mysteries of ancient Israel, which contain all secrets of modern Israel, would be particularly calculated to . . . found the fabric of theology upon its deepest theosophical principles, and to gain a firm basis to all ideal sciences. It would open a new path . . . to the obscure labyrinth of the myths, mysteries and constitutions of primitive nations. . .In these traditions alone are contained the system of the schools of the prophets, which the prophet

Samuel did not found, but only restored, whose end was no other than to lead the scholars to wisdom and the highest knowledge, and when they had been found worthy, to induct them into deeper mysteries. Classed with these mysteries was magic, which was of a double nature — divine magic, and evil magic, or the black art. Each of these is again divisible into two kinds, the active and seeing; in the first, man endeavors to place himself en rapport with the world to learn hidden things; in the latter he endeavors to gain power over spirits; in the former, to perform good and beneficial acts; in the latter to do all kinds of diabolical and unnatural deeds.ʺ*

The clergy of the three most prominent Christian bodies, the Greek, Roman Catholic, and Protestant, discountenance every spiritual phenomenon manifesting itself through the so‐called ʺmediums.ʺ A very brief period, indeed, has elapsed since both the two latter ecclesiastical corporations burned, hanged, and otherwise murdered every helpless victim through whose organism spirits — and sometimes blind and as yet unexplained forces of nature — manifested themselves. At the head of these three churches, pre‐eminent stands the Church of Rome. Her hands are scarlet with the innocent blood of countless victims shed in the name of the Moloch‐ like divinity at the head of her creed. She is ready and eager to begin again. But she is bound hand and foot by that nineteenth century spirit of progress and religious freedom which she reviles and blasphemes daily. The Græco‐Russian

* Molitor, ʺPhilosophy of History and Traditions,ʺ Howittʹs Translation, p.



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Church is the most amiable and Christ‐like in her primitive, simple, though blind faith. Despite the fact that there has been no practical union between the Greek and Latin Churches, and that the two parted company long centuries ago, the Roman Pontiffs seem to invariably ignore the fact. They have in the most impudent manner possible arrogated to themselves jurisdiction not only over the countries within the Greek communion but also over all Protestants as well. ʺThe Church insists,ʺ says Professor Draper, ʺthat the state has no rights over any thing which it declares to be within its domain, and that Protestantism being a mere rebellion, has no rights at all; that even in Protestant communities the Catholic bishop is the only lawful spiritual pastor.ʺ* Decrees unheeded, encyclical letters unread, invitations to ecumenical councils unnoticed, excommunications laughed at — all these have seemed to make no difference. Their persistence has only been matched by their effrontery. In 1864, the culmination of absurdity was attained when Pius IX. excommunicated and fulminated publicly his anathemas against the Russian Emperor, as a ʺschismatic cast out from the bosom of the Holy Mother Church.ʺ† Neither he nor his ancestors, nor Russia since it was Christianized, a thousand years ago, have ever consented to join the Roman Catholics. Why not claim ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Buddhists of Thibet, or the shadows of the ancient Hyk‐Sos?

* ʺConflict between Religion and Science,ʺ p. 329.

† See ʺGazette du Midi,ʺ and ʺLe Monde,ʺ of 3 May, 1864.

The mediumistic phenomena have manifested themselves at all times in Russia as well as in other countries. This force ignores religious differences; it laughs at nationalities; and invades unasked any individuality, whether of a crowned head or a poor beggar.

Not even the present Vice‐God, Pius IX., himself, could avoid the unwelcome guest. For the last fifty years his Holiness has been known to be subject to very extraordinary fits. Inside the Vatican they are termed Divine visions; outside, physicians call them epileptic fits; and popular rumor attributes them to an obsession by the ghosts of Peruggia, Castelfidardo, and Mentana!

ʺThe lights burn blue: it is now dead midnight, Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh,

Methought the souls of all that I caused to be murdered Came. . . . ʺ‡

The Prince of Hohenlohe, so famous during the first quarter of our century for his healing powers, was himself a great medium. Indeed, these phenomena and powers belong to no particular age or country. They form a portion of the psychological attributes of man — the Microcosmos.

For centuries have the Klikouchy,§ the Yourodevoÿ,** and other miserable creatures been afflicted with strange

‡ Shakespere, ʺRichard III.ʺ
§ Literally, the screaming or the howling ones.

** The half‐demented, the idiots. But such is not always the case, for some among these beggars make a regular and profitable trade of it.


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disorders, which the Russian clergy and the populace attribute to possession by the devil. They throng the entrances of the cathedrals, without daring to trust themselves inside, lest their self‐willed controlling demons might fling them on the ground. Voroneg, Kiew, Kazan, and all cities which possess the thaumaturgical relics of canonized saints, abound with such unconscious mediums. One can always find numbers of them, congregating in hideous groups, and hanging about the gates and porches. At certain stages of the celebration of the mass by the officiating clergy, such as the appearance of the sacraments, or the beginning of the prayer and chorus, ʺEjey Cheroúvim,ʺ these half‐maniacs, half‐mediums, begin crowing like cocks, barking, bellowing and braying, and, finally, fall down in fearful convulsions. ʺThe unclean one cannot bear the holy prayer,ʺ is the pious explanation. Moved by pity, some charitable souls administer restoratives to the ʺafflicted ones,ʺ and distribute alms among them. Occasionally, a priest is invited to exorcise, in which event he either performs the ceremony for the sake of love and charity, or the alluring prospect of a twenty‐copeck silver bit, according to his Christian impulses. But these miserable creatures — who are mediums, for they prophesy and see visions sometimes, when the fit is genuine § — are never molested because of their misfortune. Why should the clergy persecute them, or people hate and denounce them as damnable witches or wizards? Common sense and justice surely suggest that if any are to be punished it is certainly not the victims who cannot help themselves, but the demon who

is alleged to control their actions. The worst that happens to the patient is, that the priest inundates him or her with holy water, and causes the poor creature to catch cold. This failing in efficacy, the Klikoucha is left to the will of God, and taken care of in love and pity. Superstitious and blind as it is, a faith conducted on such principles certainly deserves some respect, and can never be offensive, either to man or the true God. Not so with that of the Roman Catholics; and hence, it is they, and secondarily, the Protestant clergy — with the exception of some foremost thinkers among them — that we purpose questioning in this work. We want to know upon what grounds they base their right to treat Hindus and Chinese spiritualists and kabalists in the way they do; denouncing them, in company with the infidels — creatures of their own making — as so many convicts sentenced to the inextinguishable fires of hell.

Far from us be the thought of the slightest irreverence — let alone blasphemy — toward the Divine Power which called into being all things, visible and invisible. Of its majesty and boundless perfection we dare not even think. It is enough for us to know that It exists and that It is all wise. Enough that in common with our fellow creatures we possess a spark of Its essence. The supreme power whom we revere is the boundless and endless one — the grand ʺCENTRAL SPIRITUAL SUNʺ by whose attributes and the visible effects of whose inaudible WILL we are surrounded — the God of the ancient and the God of modern seers. His nature can be studied only in the worlds called forth by his mighty FIAT. His revelation


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is traced with his own finger in imperishable figures of universal harmony upon the face of the Cosmos. It is the only INFALLIBLE gospel we recognize.

Speaking of ancient geographers, Plutarch remarks in Theseus, that they ʺcrowd into the edges of their maps parts of the world which they do not know about, adding notes in the margin to the effect that beyond this lies nothing but sandy deserts full of wild beasts and unapproachable bogs.ʺ Do not our theologians and scientists do the same? While the former people the invisible world with either angels or devils, our philosophers try to persuade their disciples that where there is no matter there is nothing.

How many of our inveterate skeptics belong, notwithstanding their materialism, to Masonic Lodges? The brothers of the Rosie‐Cross, mysterious practitioners of the mediæval ages, still live — but in name only. They may ʺshed tears at the grave of their respectable Master, Hiram Abiff ʺ; but vainly will they search for the true locality, ʺwhere the sprig of myrtle was placed.ʺ The dead letter remains alone, the spirit has fled. They are like the English or German chorus of the Italian opera, who descend in the fourth act of Ernani into the crypt of Charlemagne, singing their conspiracy in a tongue utterly unknown to them. So, our modern knights of the Sacred Arch may descend every night if they choose ʺthrough the nine arches into the bowels of the earth,ʺ — they ʺwill never discover the sacred Delta of Enoch.ʺ The ʺSir Knights in the South Valleyʺ and those in ʺthe North Valleyʺ may try to assure themselves that ʺenlightenment dawns

upon their minds,ʺ and that as they progress in Masonry ʺthe veil of superstition, despotism, tyrannyʺ and so on, no longer obscures the visions of their minds. But these are all empty words so long as they neglect their mother Magic, and turn their backs upon its twin sister, Spiritualism. Verily, ʺSir Knights of the Orient,ʺ you may ʺleave your stations and sit upon the floor in attitudes of grief, with your heads resting upon your hands,ʺ for you have cause to bewail and mourn your fate. Since Philippe le Bel destroyed the Knights‐ Templars, not one has appeared to clear up your doubts notwithstanding all claims to the contrary. Truly, you are ʺwanderers from Jerusalem, seeking the lost treasure of the holy place.ʺ Have you found it? Alas, no! for the holy place is profaned; the pillars of wisdom, strength and beauty are destroyed. Henceforth, ʺyou must wander in darkness,ʺ and ʺtravel in humility,ʺ among the woods and mountains in search of the ʺlost word.ʺ ʺPass on!ʺ — you will never find it so long as you limit your journeys to seven or even seven times seven; because you are ʺtravelling in darkness,ʺ and this darkness can only be dispelled by the light of the blazing torch of truth which alone the right descendants of Ormasd carry. They alone can teach you the true pronunciation of the name revealed to Enoch, Jacob and Moses. ʺPass on! Till your R. S. W. shall learn to multiply 333, and strike instead 666 — the number of the Apocalyptic Beast, you may just as well observe prudence and act ʺsub rosa.ʺ

In order to demonstrate that the notions which the ancients entertained about dividing human history into cycles


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were not utterly devoid of a philosophical basis, we will close this chapter by introducing to the reader one of the oldest traditions of antiquity as to the evolution of our planet.

At the close of each ʺgreat year,ʺ called by Aristotle — according to Censorinus — the greatest, and which consists of six sars* our planet is subjected to a thorough physical revolution. The polar and equatorial climates gradually exchange places; the former moving slowly toward the Line, and the tropical zone, with its exuberant vegetation and swarming animal life, replacing the forbidding wastes of the icy poles. This change of climate is necessarily attended by cataclysms, earthquakes, and other cosmical throes.† As the beds of the ocean are displaced, at the end of every decimillennium and about one neros, a semi‐universal deluge

* Webster declares very erroneously that the Chaldeans called saros, the cycle of eclipses, a period of about 6,586 years, ʺthe time of revolution of the moonʹs node.ʺ Berosus, himself a Chaldean astrologer, at the Temple of Belus, at Babylon, gives the duration of the sar, or sarus, 3,600 years; a neros 600; and a sossus 60. (See, Berosus from Abydenus, ʺOf the Chaldaean Kings and the Deluge.ʺ See also Eusebius, and Coryʹs MS. Ex. Cod. reg. gall. gr. No. 2360, fol. 154.)

† Before scientists reject such a theory — traditional as it is — it would be in order for them to demonstrate why, at the end of the tertiary period, the Northern Hemisphere had undergone such a reduction of temperature as to utterly change the torrid zone to a Siberian climate? Let us bear in mind that the heliocentric system came to us from upper India; and that the germs of all great astronomical truths were brought thence by Pythagoras. So long as we lack a mathematically correct demonstration, one hypothesis is as good as another.

like the legendary Noachian flood is brought about. This year was called the Heliacal by the Greeks; but no one outside the sanctuary knew anything certain either as to its duration or particulars. The winter of this year was called the Cataclysm or the Deluge, — the Summer, the Ecpyrosis. The popular traditions taught that at these alternate seasons the world was in turn burned and deluged. This is what we learn at least from the Astronomical Fragments of Censorinus and Seneca. So uncertain were the commentators about the length of this year, that none except Herodotus and Linus, who assigned to it, the former 10,800, and the latter 13,984, came near the truth.‡ According to the claims of the Babylonian priests, corroborated by Eupolemus,§ ʺthe city of Babylon, owes its foundation to those who were saved from the catastrophe of the deluge; they were the giants and they built the tower which is noticed in history.ʺ** These giants who were great astrologers and had received moreover from their fathers, ʺthe sons of God,ʺ every instruction pertaining to secret matters, instructed the priests in their turn, and left in the temples all the records of the periodical cataclysm that they had witnessed themselves. This is how the high priests came by the knowledge of the great years. When we remember, moreover, that Plato in the Timæus cites the old Egyptian

‡ Censorinus, ʺDe Natal Die.ʺ Seneca, ʺNat. Quæst.,ʺ iii., 29.
§ Euseb., ʺPræp. Evan.ʺ Of the Tower of Babel and Abraham.

** This is in flat contradiction of the Bible narrative, which tells us that the deluge was sent for the special destruction of these giants. The Babylon priests had no object to invent lies.


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priest rebuking Solon for his ignorance of the fact that there were several such deluges as the great one of Ogyges, we can easily ascertain that this belief in the Heliakos was a doctrine held by the initiated priests the world over.

The Neroses, the Vrihaspati, or the periods called yugas or kalpas, are life‐problems to solve. The Satya‐yug and Buddhistic cycles of chronology would make a mathematician stand aghast at the array of ciphers. The Maha‐kalpa embraces an untold number of periods far back in the antediluvian ages. Their system comprises a kalpa or grand period of 4,320,000,000 years, which they divide into four lesser yugas, running as follows:

1st — Satya yug . . . . 1,728,000 years 2d — Tretya yug. . . . 1,296,000 ʺ 3d — Dvapa yug . . . . . 864,000 ʺ 4th —Kali yug . . . . . . . 432,000 ʺ

Total. . . . . . . . 4,320,000

which make one divine age or Maha‐yug; seventy‐one Maha‐ yugs make 306,720,000 years, to which is added a sandhi (or the time when day and night border on each other, morning and evening twilight), equal to a Satya‐yug, 1,728,000, make a manwantara of 308,448,000 years;* fourteen manwantaras make 4,318,272,000 years; to which must be added a sandhi to begin the kalpa, 1,728,000 years, making the kalpa or grand

* Coleman, who makes this calculation, allowed a serious error to escape the proofreader; the length of the manwantara is given at 368,448,000, which is just sixty million years too much.

period of 4,320,000,000 of years. As we are now only in the Kali‐yug of the twenty‐eighth age of the seventh manwantara of 308,448,000 years, we have yet sufficient time before us to wait before we reach even half of the time allotted to the world.

These ciphers are not fanciful, but founded upon actual astronomical calculations, as has been demonstrated by S. Davis.† Many a scientist, Higgins among others, notwithstanding their researches, has been utterly perplexed as to which of these was the secret cycle. Bunsen has demonstrated that the Egyptian priests, who made the cyclic notations, kept them always in the profoundest mystery.‡ Perhaps their difficulty arose from the fact that the calculations of the ancients applied equally to the spiritual progress of humanity as to the physical. It will not be difficult to understand the close correspondence drawn by the ancients between the cycles of nature and of mankind, if we keep in mind their belief in the constant and all‐potent influences of the planets upon the fortunes of humanity. Higgins justly believed that the cycle of the Indian system, of 432,000, is the true key of the secret cycle. But his failure in trying to decipher it was made apparent; for as it pertained to the mystery of the creation, this cycle was the most inviolable of all. It was repeated in symbolic figures only in the Chaldean Book of Numbers, the original of which, if now

† S. Davis, ʺEssay in the Asiatic Researchesʺ; and Higginsʹs ʺAnacalypsisʺ; also see Colemanʹs ʺMythology of the Hindus,ʺ Preface, p. xiii.

‡ Bunsen, ʺEgypte,ʺ vol. i.


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extant, is certainly not to be found in libraries, as it formed one of the most ancient Books of Hermes,* the number of which is at present undetermined.

* The forty‐two Sacred Books of the Egyptians mentioned by Clement of Alexandria as having existed in his time, were but a portion of the Books of Hermes. Iamblichus, on the authority of the Egyptian priest Abammon, attributes 1200 of such books to Hermes, and Manetho 36,000. But the testimony of Iamblichus as a neo‐Platonist and theurgist is of course rejected by modern critics. Manetho, who is held by Bunsen in the highest consideration as a ʺpurely historical personageʺ . . . with whom ʺnone of the later native historians can be compared . . . .ʺ (See ʺEgypte,ʺ i, p. 97), suddenly becomes a Pseudo‐Manetho, as soon as the ideas propounded by him clash with the scientific prejudices against magic and the occult knowledge claimed by the ancient priests. However, none of the archeologists doubt for a moment the almost incredible antiquity of the Hermetic books. Champollion shows the greatest regard for their authenticity and great truthfulness, corroborated as it is by many of the oldest monuments. And Bunsen brings irrefutable proofs of their age. From his researches, for instance, we learn that there was a line of sixty‐one kings before the days of Moses, who preceded the Mosaic period by a clearly‐traceable civilization of several thousand years. Thus we are warranted in believing that the works of Hermes Trismegistus were extant many ages before the birth of the Jewish law‐giver. ʺStyli and inkstands were found on monuments of the fourth Dynasty, the oldest in the world,ʺ says Bunsen. If the eminent Egyptologist rejects the period of 48,863 years before Alexander, to which Diogenes Laertius carries back the records of the priests, he is evidently more embarrassed with the ten thousand of astronomical observations, and remarks that ʺif they were actual observations, they must have extended over 10,000 yearsʺ (p. 14). ʺWe learn, however,ʺ he adds, ʺfrom one of their own old chronological

Calculating by the secret period of the Great Neros and the Hindu Kalpas, some kabalists, mathematicians and archeologists who knew naught of the secret computations made the above number of 21,000 years to be 24,000 years, for the length of the great year, as it was to the renewal only of our globe that they thought the last period of 6,000 years applied. Higgins gives as a reason for it, that it was anciently thought that the equinoxes preceded only after the rate of 2,000, not 2,160, years in a sign; for thus it would allow for the length of the great year four times 6,000 or 24,000 years. ʺHence,ʺ he says, ʺmight arise their immensely‐lengthened cycles; because, it would be the same with this great year as with the common year, till it travelled round an immensely‐ lengthened circle, when it would come to the old point again.ʺ He therefore accounts for the 24,000 in the following manner: ʺIf the angle which the plane of the ecliptic makes with the plane of the equator had decreased gradually and regularly, as it was till very lately supposed to do, the two planes would have coincided in about ten ages, 6,000 years; in ten ages, 6,000 years more, the sun would have been situated relatively to the Southern Hemisphere as he is now to the Northern; in ten ages, 6,000 years more, the two planes would coincide again; and, in ten ages, 6,000 years more, he would be situated as he is now, after a lapse of about twenty‐four or twenty‐five thousand years in all. When the sun arrived at the equator, the ten ages or six thousand years would end, and

works . . . that the genuine Egyptian traditions concerning the mythological period, treated of myriads of years.ʺ (ʺEgypte,ʺ i, p. 15).


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the world would be destroyed by fire; when he arrived at the southern point, it would be destroyed by water. And thus, it would be destroyed at the end of every 6,000 years, or ten neroses.ʺ* This method of calculating by the neroses, without allowing any consideration for the secrecy in which the ancient philosophers, who were exclusively of the sacerdotal order, held their knowledge, gave rise to the greatest errors. It led the Jews, as well as some of the Christian Platonists, to maintain that the world would be destroyed at the end of six thousand years. Gale shows how firmly this belief was rooted in the Jews. It has also led modern scientists to discredit entirely the hypothesis of the ancients. It has given rise to the formation of different religious sects, which, like the Adventists of our century, are always living in the expectation of the approaching destruction of the world.

As our planet revolves once every year around the sun and at the same time turns once in every twenty‐four hours upon its own axis, thus traversing minor circles within a larger one, so is the work of the smaller cyclic periods accomplished and recommenced, within the Great Saros.

The revolution of the physical world, according to the ancient doctrine, is attended by a like revolution in the world of intellect — the spiritual evolution of the world proceeding in cycles, like the physical one.

Thus we see in history a regular alternation of ebb and flow in the tide of human progress. The great kingdoms and

* Higgins, ʺAnacalypsis.ʺ

empires of the world, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, descend again, in accordance with the same law by which they ascended; till, having reached the lowest point, humanity reasserts itself and mounts up once more, the height of its attainment being, by this law of ascending progression by cycles, somewhat higher than the point from which it had before descended.

The division of the history of mankind into Golden, Silver, Copper and Iron Ages, is not a fiction. We see the same thing in the literature of peoples. An age of great inspiration and unconscious productiveness is invariably followed by an age of criticism and consciousness. The one affords material for the analyzing and critical intellect of the other. Thus, all those great characters who tower like giants in the history of mankind, like Buddha‐Siddartha, and Jesus, in the realm of spiritual, and Alexander the Macedonian and Napoleon the Great, in the realm of physical conquests, were but reflexed images of human types which had existed ten thousand years before, in the preceding decimillennium, reproduced by the mysterious powers controlling the destinies of our world. There is no prominent character in all the annals of sacred or profane history whose prototype we cannot find in the half‐ fictitious and half‐real traditions of bygone religions and mythologies. As the star, glimmering at an immeasurable distance above our heads, in the boundless immensity of the sky, reflects itself in the smooth waters of a lake, so does the imagery of men of the antediluvian ages reflect itself in the periods we can embrace in an historical retrospect.


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ʺAs above, so it is below. That which has been, will return again. As in heaven, so on earth.ʺ

The world is always ungrateful to its great men. Florence has built a statue to Galileo, but hardly even mentions Pythagoras. The former had a ready guide in the treatises of Copernicus, who had been obliged to contend against the universally established Ptolemaic system. But neither Galileo nor modern astronomy discovered the emplacement of the planetary bodies. Thousands of ages before, it was taught by the sages of Middle Asia, and brought thence by Pythagoras, not as a speculation, but as a demonstrated science. ʺThe numerals of Pythagoras,ʺ says Porphyry, ʺwere hieroglyphical symbols, by means whereof he explained all ideas concerning the nature of all things.ʺ*

Verily, then, to antiquity alone have we to look for the origin of all things. How well Hargrave Jennings expresses himself when speaking of Pyramids, and how true are his words when he asks: ʺIs it at all reasonable to conclude, at a period when knowledge was at the highest, and when the human powers were, in comparison with ours at the present time, prodigious, that all these indomitable, scarcely believable physical effects — that such achievements as those of the Egyptians — were devoted to a mistake? that the myriads of the Nile were fools laboring in the dark, and that all the magic of their great men was forgery, and that we, in despising that which we call their superstition and wasted

power, are alone the wise? No! there is much more in these old religions than probably — in the audacity of modern denial, in the confidence of these superficial‐science times, and in the derision of these days without faith — is in the least degree supposed. We do not understand the old time. . .

. Thus we see how classic practice and heathen teaching may be made to reconcile — how even the Gentile and the Hebrew, the mythological and the Christian doctrine harmonize in the general faith founded on Magic. That Magic is indeed possible is the moral of this book.ʺ†

It is possible. Thirty years ago, when the first rappings of Rochester awakened slumbering attention to the reality of an invisible world; when the gentle shower of raps gradually became a torrent which overflowed the whole globe, spiritualists had to contend but against two potencies — theology and science. But the theosophists have, in addition to these, to meet the world at large and the spiritualists first of all.

ʺThere is a personal God, and there is a personal Devil!ʺ thunders the Christian preacher. ʺLet him be anathema who dares say nay!ʺ ʺThere is no personal God, except the gray matter in our brain,ʺ contemptuously replies the materialist. ʺAnd there is no Devil. Let him be considered thrice an idiot who says aye.ʺ Meanwhile the occultists and true philosophers heed neither of the two combatants, but keep perseveringly at their work. None of them believe in the

* ʺDe Vite Pythag.ʺ † ʺThe Rosicrucians,ʺ etc., by Hargrave Jennings.


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absurd, passionate, and fickle God of superstition, but all of them believe in good and evil. Our human reason, the emanation of our finite mind, is certainly incapable of comprehending a divine intelligence, an endless and infinite entity; and, according to strict logic, that which transcends our understanding and would remain thoroughly incomprehensible to our senses cannot exist for us; hence, it does not exist. So far finite reason agrees with science, and says: ʺThere is no God.ʺ But, on the other hand, our Ego, that which lives and thinks and feels independently of us in our mortal casket, does more than believe. It knows that there exists a God in nature, for the sole and invincible Artificer of all lives in us as we live in Him. No dogmatic faith or exact science is able to uproot that intuitional feeling inherent in man, when he has once fully realized it in himself.

Human nature is like universal nature in its abhorrence of a vacuum. It feels an intuitional yearning for a Supreme Power. Without a God, the cosmos would seem to it but like a soulless corpse. Being forbidden to search for Him where alone His traces would be found, man filled the aching void with the personal God whom his spiritual teachers built up for him from the crumbling ruins of heathen myths and hoary philosophies of old. How otherwise explain the mushroom growth of new sects, some of them absurd beyond degree? Mankind have one innate, irrepressible craving, that must be satisfied in any religion that would supplant the dogmatic, undemonstrated and undemonstrable theology of our Christian ages. This is the yearning after the proofs of

immortality. As Sir Thomas Browne has expressed it: . . . . ʺit is the heaviest stone that melancholy can throw at a man, to tell him that he is at the end of his nature, or that there is no future state to come, unto which this seems progressive, and otherwise made in vain.ʺ Let any religion offer itself that can supply these proofs in the shape of scientific facts, and the established system will be driven to the alternative of fortifying its dogmas with such facts, or of passing out of the reverence and affection of Christendom. Many a Christian divine has been forced to acknowledge that there is no authentic source whence the assurance of a future state could have been derived by man. How could then such a belief have stood for countless ages, were it not that among all nations, whether civilized or savage, man has been allowed the demonstrative proof? Is not the very existence of such a belief an evidence that thinking philosopher and unreasoning savage have both been compelled to acknowledge the testimony of their senses? That if, in isolated instances, spectral illusion may have resulted from physical causes, on the other hand, in thousands of instances, apparitions of persons have held converse with several individuals at once, who saw and heard them collectively, and could not all have been diseased in mind?


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The greatest thinkers of Greece and Rome regarded such matters as demonstrated facts. They distinguished the apparitions by the names of manes, anima and umbra: the manes descending after the decease of the individual into the Underworld; the anima, or pure spirit, ascending to heaven; and the restless umbra (earth‐bound spirit), hovering about its tomb, because the attraction of matter and love of its earthly body prevailed in it and prevented its ascension to higher regions.

ʺTerra legit carnem tumulum circumvolet umbra, Orcus habet manes, spiritus astra petit,ʺ

says Ovid, speaking of the threefold constituents of souls.

But all such definitions must be subjected to the careful analysis of philosophy. Too many of our thinkers do not consider that the numerous changes in language, the allegorical phraseology and evident secretiveness of old Mystic writers, who were generally under an obligation never to divulge the solemn secrets of the sanctuary, might have sadly misled translators and commentators. The phrases of the mediæval alchemist they read literally; and even the veiled symbolology of Plato is commonly misunderstood by the modern scholar. One day they may learn to know better, and so become aware that the method of extreme necessarianism was practiced in ancient as well as in modern philosophy; that from the first ages of man, the fundamental

truths of all that we are permitted to know on earth was in the safe keeping of the adepts of the sanctuary; that the difference in creeds and religious practice was only external; and that those guardians of the primitive divine revelation, who had solved every problem that is within the grasp of human intellect, were bound together by a universal freemasonry of science and philosophy, which formed one unbroken chain around the globe. It is for philology and psychology to find the end of the thread. That done, it will then be ascertained that, by relaxing one single loop of the old religious systems, the chain of mystery may be disentangled.

The neglect and withholding of these proofs have driven such eminent minds as Hare and Wallace, and other men of power, into the fold of modern spiritualism. At the same time it has forced others, congenitally devoid of spiritual intuitions, into a gross materialism that figures under various names.

But we see no utility in prosecuting the subject further. For, though in the opinion of most of our contemporaries, there has been but one day of learning, in whose twilight stood the older philosophers, and whose noontide brightness is all our own; and though the testimony of scores of ancient and mediæval thinkers has proved valueless to modern experimenters, as though the world dated from A.D. I , and all knowledge were of recent growth, we will not lose hope or courage. The moment is more opportune than ever for the review of old philosophies. Archæologists, philologists, astronomers, chemists and physicists are getting nearer and


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nearer to the point where they will be forced to consider them. Physical science has already reached its limits of exploration; dogmatic theology sees the springs of its inspiration dry. Unless we mistake the signs, the day is approaching when the world will receive the proofs that only ancient religions were in harmony with nature, and ancient science embraced all that can be known. Secrets long kept may be revealed; books long forgotten and arts long time lost may be brought out to light again; papyri and parchments of inestimable importance will turn up in the hands of men who pretend to have unrolled them from mummies, or stumbled upon them in buried crypts; tablets and pillars, whose sculptured revelations will stagger theologians and confound scientists, may yet be excavated and interpreted. Who knows the possibilities of the future? An era of disenchantment and rebuilding will soon begin — nay, has already begun. The cycle has almost run its course; a new one is about to begin, and the future pages of history may contain full evidence, and convey full proof that

ʺIf ancestry can be in aught believed, Descending spirits have conversed with man, And told him secrets of the world unknown.ʺ



ʺPride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence And fills up all the mighty void of sense. . . . ʺ


ʺBut why should the operations of nature be changed? There may be a deeper philosophy than we dream of — a philosophy that discovers the secrets of nature, but does not alter, by penetrating them, its course.ʺ


Is it enough for man to know that he exists? Is it enough to be formed a human being to enable him to deserve the appellation of MAN? It is our decided impression and conviction, that to become a genuine spiritual entity, which that designation implies, man must first create himself anew, so to speak — i.e., thoroughly eliminate from his mind and spirit, not only the dominating influence of selfishness and other impurity, but also the infection of superstition and prejudice. The latter is far different from what we commonly term antipathy or sympathy. We are at first irresistibly or unwittingly drawn within its dark circle by that peculiar influence, that powerful current of magnetism which emanates from ideas as well as from physical bodies. By this we are surrounded, and finally prevented through moral cowardice — fear of public opinion — from stepping out of it.


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It is rare that men regard a thing in either its true or false light, accepting the conclusion by the free action of their own judgment. Quite the reverse. The conclusion is more commonly reached by blindly adopting the opinion current at the hour among those with whom they associate. A church member will not pay an absurdly high price for his pew any more than a materialist will go twice to listen to Mr. Huxleyʹs talk on evolution, because they think that it is right to do so; but merely because Mr. and Mrs. So‐and‐so have done it, and these personages are THE S — AND S—ʹs.

The same holds good with everything else. If psychology had had its Darwin, the descent of man as regards moral qualities might have been found inseparably linked with that of his physical form. Society in its servile condition suggests to the intelligent observer of its mimicry a kinship between the Simia and human beings even more striking than is exhibited in the external marks pointed out by the great anthropologist.


The many varieties of the ape — ʺmocking presentments of ourselvesʺ — appear to have been evolved on purpose to supply a certain class of expensively‐dressed persons with the material for genealogical trees.

Science is daily and rapidly moving toward the great discoveries in chemistry and physics, organology, and anthropology. Learned men ought to be free from

preconceptions and prejudices of every kind; yet, although thought and opinion are now free, scientists are still the same men as of old. An Utopian dreamer is he who thinks that man ever changes with the evolution and development of new ideas. The soil may be well fertilized and made to yield with every year a greater and better variety of fruit; but, dig a little deeper than the stratum required for the crop, and the same earth will be found in the subsoil as was there before the first furrow was turned.

Not many years ago, the person who questioned the infallibility of some theological dogma was branded at once an iconoclast and an infidel. Væ victis! . . . Science has conquered. But in its turn the victor claims the same infallibility, though it equally fails to prove its right. ʺTempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis,ʺ the saying of the good old Lotharius, applies to the case. Nevertheless, we feel as if we had some right to question the high‐priests of science.

For many years we have watched the development and growth of that apple of discord — MODERN SPIRITUALISM. Familiar with its literature both in Europe and America, we have closely and eagerly witnessed its interminable controversies and compared its contradictory hypotheses. Many educated men and women — heterodox spiritualists, of course — have tried to fathom the Protean phenomena. The only result was that they came to the following conclusion: whatever may be the reason of these constant failures — whether such are to be laid at the door of the investigators themselves, or of the secret Force at work — it is at least


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proved that, in proportion as the psychological manifestations increase in frequency and variety, the darkness surrounding their origin becomes more impenetrable.

That phenomena are actually witnessed, mysterious in their nature — generally and perhaps wrongly termed spiritual — it is now idle to deny. Allowing a large discount for clever fraud, what remains is quite serious enough to demand the careful scrutiny of science. ʺE pur se muove,ʺ the sentence spoken ages since, has passed into the category of household words. The courage of Galileo is not now required to fling it into the face of the Academy. Psychological phenomena are already on the offensive.


The position assumed by modern scientists is that even though the occurrence of certain mysterious phenomena in the presence of the mediums be a fact, there is no proof that they are not due to some abnormal nervous condition of those individuals. The possibility that they may be produced by returning human spirits need not be considered until the other question is decided. Little exception can be taken to this position. Unquestionably, the burden of proof rests upon those who assert the agency of spirits. If the scientists would grapple with the subject in good faith, showing an earnest desire to solve the perplexing mystery, instead of treating it with undignified and unprofessional contempt, they would be open to no censure. True, the great majority of ʺspiritualʺ

communications are calculated to disgust investigators of even moderate intelligence. Even when genuine they are trivial, commonplace, and often vulgar. During the past twenty years we have received through various mediums messages purporting to be from Shakespere, Byron, Franklin, Peter the Great, Napoleon and Josephine, and even from Voltaire. The general impression made upon us was that the French conqueror and his consort seemed to have forgotten how to spell words correctly; Shakespere and Byron had become chronic inebriates; and Voltaire had turned an imbecile. Who can blame men trained to habits of exactitude, or even simply well‐educated persons, for hastily concluding that when so much palpable fraud lies upon the surface, there could hardly be truth if they should go to the bottom? The huckstering about of pompous names attached to idiotic communications has given the scientific stomach such an indigestion that it cannot assimilate even the great truth which lies on the telegraphic plateaux of this ocean of psychological phenomena. They judge by its surface, covered with froth and scum. But they might with equal propriety deny that there is any clear water in the depths of the sea when an oily scum was floating upon the surface. Therefore, if on one hand we cannot very well blame them for stepping back at the first sight of what seems really repulsive, we do, and have a right to censure them for their unwillingness to explore deeper. Neither pearls nor cut diamonds are to be found lying loose on the ground; and these persons act as unwisely as would a professional diver, who should reject an


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oyster on account of its filthy and slimy appearance, when by opening it he might find a precious pearl inside the shell.

Even the just and severe rebukes of some of their leading men are of no avail and the fear on the part of men of science to investigate such an unpopular subject, seems to have now become a general panic. ʺThe phenomena chase the scientists, and the scientists run away from the phenomena,ʺ very pointedly remarks M.A.N. Aksakof in an able article on Mediumism and the St. Petersburg Scientific Committee. The attitude of this body of professors toward the subject which they had pledged themselves to investigate was throughout simply disgraceful. Their premature and prearranged report was so evidently partial and inconclusive as to call out a scornful protest even from unbelievers.

The inconsistency of the logic of our learned gentlemen against the philosophy of spiritualism proper is admirably pointed out by Professor John Fisk — one of their own body. In a recent philosophical work, The Unseen World, while showing that from the very definition of the terms , matter and spirit, the existence of spirit cannot be demonstrated to the senses, and that thus no theory is amenable to scientific tests, he deals a severe blow at his colleagues in the following lines:

ʺThe testimony in such a case,ʺ he says, ʺmust, under the conditions of the present life, be forever inaccessible. It lies wholly outside the range of experience. However abundant it may be, we cannot expect to meet it. And, accordingly, our failure to produce it does not raise even the slightest

presumption against our theory. When conceived in this way, the belief in the future life is without scientific support, but at the same time it is placed beyond the need of scientific support and the range of scientific criticism. It is a belief which no imaginable future advance of physical discovery can in any way impugn. It is a belief which is in no sense irrational, and which may be logically entertained without in the least affecting our scientific habit of mind, or influencing our scientific conclusions.ʺ ʺIf now,ʺ he adds, ʺmen of science will accept the position that spirit is not matter, nor governed by the laws of matter, and refrain from speculations concerning it restricted by their knowledge of material things, they will withdraw what is to men of religion, at present, their principal cause of irritation.ʺ

But, they will do no such thing. They feel incensed at the brave, loyal, and highly commendable surrender of such superior men as Wallace, and refuse to accept even the prudent and restrictive policy of Mr. Crookes.

No other claim is advanced for a hearing of the opinions contained in the present work than that they are based upon many yearsʹ study of both ancient magic and its modern form, Spiritualism. The former, even now, when phenomena of the same nature have become so familiar to all, is commonly set down as clever jugglery. The latter, when overwhelming evidence precludes the possibility of truthfully declaring it charlatanry, is denominated an universal hallucination.

Many years of wandering among ʺheathenʺ and ʺChristianʺ magicians, occultists, mesmerisers; and the tutti


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quanti of white and black art, ought to be sufficient, we think, to give us a certain right to feel competent to take a practical view of this doubted and very complicated question. We have associated with the fakirs, the holy men of India, and seen them when in intercourse with the Pitris. We have watched the proceedings and modus operandi of the howling and dancing dervishes; held friendly communications with the marabouts of European and Asiatic Turkey; and the serpent‐ charmers of Damascus and Benares have but few secrets that we have not had the fortune to study. Therefore, when scientists who have never had an opportunity of living among these oriental jugglers and can judge at the best but superficially, tell us that there is naught in their performances but mere tricks of prestidigitation, we cannot help feeling a profound regret for such hasty conclusions. That such pretentious claims should be made to a thorough analysis of the powers of nature, and at the same time such unpardonable neglect displayed of questions of purely physiological and psychological character, and astounding phenomena rejected without either examination or appeal, is an exhibition of inconsistency, strongly savoring of timidity, if not of moral obliquity.

If, therefore, we should ever receive from some contemporaneous Faraday the same fling that that gentleman made years since, when, with more sincerity than good breeding, he said that ʺmany dogs have the power of coming

to much more logical conclusions than some spiritualists,ʺ* we fear we must still persist. Abuse is not argument, least of all, proof. Because such men as Huxley and Tyndall denominate spiritualism ʺa degrading beliefʺ and oriental magic ʺjugglery,ʺ they cannot thereby take from truth its verity. Skepticism, whether it proceeds from a scientific or an ignorant brain, is unable to overturn the immortality of our souls — if such immortality is a fact — and plunge them into post‐mortem annihilation. ʺReason is subject to error,ʺ says Aristotle; so is opinion; and the personal views of the most learned philosopher are often more liable to be proved erroneous, than the plain common sense of his own illiterate cook. In the Tales of the Impious Khalif, Barrachias‐Hassan‐ Oglu, the Arabian sage holds a wise discourse: ʺBeware, O my son, of self‐incense,ʺ he says. ʺIt is the most dangerous, on account of its agreeable intoxication. Profit by thy own wisdom, but learn to respect the wisdom of thy fathers likewise. And remember, O my beloved, that the light of Allahʹs truth will often penetrate much easier an empty head, than one that is so crammed with learning that many a silver ray is crowded out for want of space; . . . such is the case with our over‐wise Kadi.ʺ

These representatives of modern science in both hemispheres seem never to have exhibited more scorn, or to have felt more bitterly toward the unsolvable mystery, than since Mr. Crookes began the investigation of the phenomena,

* W. Crookes, F.R.S., ʺResearches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism.ʺ


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in London. This courageous gentleman was the first to introduce to the public one of those alleged ʺmaterializedʺ sentries that guard the forbidden gates. Following after him, several other learned members of the scientific body had the rare integrity, combined with a degree of courage, which, in view of the unpopularity of the subject, may be deemed heroic, to take the phenomena in hand.

But, alas! although the spirit, indeed, was willing, the mortal flesh proved weak. Ridicule was more than the majority of them could bear; and so, the heaviest burden was thrown upon the shoulders of Mr. Crookes. An account of the benefit this gentleman reaped from his disinterested investigations, and the thanks he received from his own brother scientists, can be found in his three pamphlets, entitled, Researches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism.

After a while, the members appointed on the Committee of the Dialectical Society and Mr. Crookes, who had applied to his mediums the most crucial tests, were forced by an impatient public to report in so many plain words what they had seen. But what could they say, except the truth? Thus, they were compelled to acknowledge: 1st. That the phenomena which they, at least, had witnessed, were genuine, and impossible to simulate; thus showing that manifestations produced by some unknown force, could and did happen. 2d. That, whether the phenomena were produced by disembodied spirits or other analogous entities, they could not tell; but that manifestations, thoroughly upsetting many preconceived theories as to natural laws, did

happen and were undeniable. Several of these occurred in their own families. 3d. That, notwithstanding all their combined efforts to the contrary, beyond the indisputable fact of the reality of the phenomena, ʺglimpses of natural action not yet reduced to law,ʺ* they, to borrow the expression of the Count de Gabalis, ʺcould make neither head nor tail onʹt.ʺ

Now this was precisely what a skeptical public had not bargained for. The discomfiture of the believers in spiritualism had been impatiently anticipated before the conclusions of Messrs. Crookes, Varley, and the Dialectical Society were announced. Such a confession on the part of their brother‐scientists was too humiliating for the pride of even those who had timorously abstained from investigation. It was regarded as really too much, that such vulgar and repulsive manifestations of phenomena which had always, by common consent of educated people, been regarded as nursery tales, fit only to amuse hysterical servant‐girls and afford revenue to professional somnambulists — that manifestations which had been consigned by the Academy and Institute of Paris to oblivion, should so impertinently elude detection at the hands of experts in physical sciences.

A tornado of indignation followed the confession. Mr. Crookes depicts it in his pamphlet on Psychic Force. He heads it very pointedly with the quotation from Galvani: ʺI am attacked by two very opposite sects — the scientists and the

* W. Crookes, ʺExperiments on Psychic Force,ʺ page 25.


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know‐nothings, yet I know that I have discovered one of the greatest forces in nature. . . . ʺ He then proceeds:

ʺIt was taken for granted that the results of my experiments would be in accordance with their preconceptions. What they really desired was not the truth, but an additional witness in favor of their own foregone conclusions. When they found the facts which that investigation established could not be made to fit those opinions, why,. . . so much the worse for the facts. They try to creep out of their own confident recommendations of the inquiry, by declaring ʹthat Mr. Home is a clever conjurer who has duped us all.ʹ ʹMr. Crookes might, with equal propriety, examine the performances of an Indian juggler.ʹ ʹMr. Crookes must get better witnesses before he can be believed.ʹ ʹThe thing is too absurd to be treated seriously.ʹ ʹIt is impossible, and therefore canʹt be.ʹ. . . (I never said it was impossible, I only said it was true.) ʹThe observers have all been biologized, and fancy they saw things occur which really never took place,ʹ etc., etc., etc.ʺ*

After expending their energy on such puerile theories as ʺunconscious cerebration,ʺ ʺinvoluntary muscular contraction,ʺ and the sublimely ridiculous one of the ʺcracking knee‐jointsʺ (le muscle craqueur); after meeting ignominious failures by the obstinate survival of the new force, and finally, after every desperate effort to compass its

* W. Crookes, ʺSpiritualism Viewed by the Light of Modern Science.ʺ See ʺQuarterly Journal of Science.ʺ

obliteration, these filii diffidentiæ — as St. Paul calls their class

— thought best to give up the whole thing in disgust. Sacrificing their courageously persevering brethren as a holocaust on the altar of public opinion, they withdrew in dignified silence. Leaving the arena of investigation to more fearless champions, these unlucky experimenters are not likely to ever enter it again.† It is easier by far to deny the reality of such manifestations from a secure distance, than find for them a proper place among the classes of natural phenomena accepted by exact science. And how can they, since all such phenomena pertain to psychology, and the latter, with its occult and mysterious powers, is a terra incognita for modern science. Thus, powerless to explain that which proceeds directly from the nature of the human soul itself — the existence of which most of them deny — unwilling at the same time to confess their ignorance, scientists retaliate very unjustly on those who believe in the evidence of their senses without any pretence to science.

ʺA kick from thee, O Jupiter! is sweet,ʺ says the poet Tretiakowsky, in an old Russian tragedy. Rude as those Jupiters of science may be occasionally toward us credulous mortals, their vast learning — in less abstruse questions, we mean — if not their manners, entitles them to public respect. But unfortunately it is not the gods who shout the loudest.

The eloquent Tertullian, speaking of Satan and his imps, whom he accuses of ever mimicking the Creatorʹs works,

† A. Aksakof, ʺPhenomena of Mediumism.ʺ


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denominates them the ʺmonkeys of God.ʺ It is fortunate for the philosophicules that we have no modern Tertullian to consign them to an immortality of contempt as the ʺmonkeys of science.ʺ

But to return to genuine scientists. ʺPhenomena of a merely objective character,ʺ says A. N. Aksakof, ʺforce themselves upon the representatives of exact sciences for investigation and explanation; but the high‐priests of science, in the face of apparently such a simple question . . . are totally disconcerted! This subject seems to have the privilege of forcing them to betray, not only the highest code of morality

— truth, but also the supreme law of science — experiment! . .

. They feel that there is something too serious underlying it. The cases of Hare, Crookes, de Morgan, Varley, Wallace, and Butleroff create a panic! They fear that as soon as they concede one step, they will have to yield the whole ground. Time‐honored principles, the contemplative speculations of a whole life, of a long line of generations, are all staked on a single card!ʺ*

In the face of such experience as that of Crookes and the Dialectical Society, of Wallace and the late Professor Hare, what can we expect from our luminaries of erudition? Their attitude toward the undeniable phenomena is in itself another phenomenon. It is simply incomprehensible, unless we admit the possibility of another psychological disease, as mysterious and contagious as hydrophobia. Although we claim no honor

* A. N. Aksakof, ʺPhenomena of Mediumism.ʺ

for this new discovery, we nevertheless propose to recognize it under the name of scientific psychophobia.

They ought to have learned by this time, in the school of bitter experience, that they can rely on the self‐sufficiency of the positive sciences only to a certain point; and that, so long as there remains one single unexplained mystery in nature, the word ʺimpossibleʺ is a dangerous word for them to pronounce.

In the Researches on the Phenomena of Spiritualism, Mr. Crookes submits to the option of the reader eight theories ʺto account for the phenomena observed.ʺ

These theories run as follows: ʺFirst Theory. — The phenomena are all the result of tricks, clever mechanical arrangements, or legerdemain; the mediums are impostors, and the rest of the company fools. ʺSecond Theory. — The persons at a seance are the victims of a sort of mania, or delusion, and imagine phenomena to occur which have no real objective existence. ʺThird Theory. — The whole is the result of conscious or unconscious cerebral action. ʺFourth Theory. — The result of the spirit of the medium, perhaps in association with the spirits of some or all of the people present. ʺFifth Theory. — The actions of evil spirits, or devils, personifying whom or what they please, in order to undermine Christianity, and ruin menʹs souls. (Theory of our theologians.) ʺSixth Theory. — The actions of a separate order of beings living on this earth, but invisible and immaterial to us. Able, however, occasionally to manifest their presence, known in almost all countries and ages as demons (not


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necessarily bad), gnomes, fairies, kobolds, elves, goblins, Puck, etc. (One of the claims of the kabalists.) ʺSeventh Theory.

— The actions of departed human beings. (The spiritual theory par excellence.) ʺEighth Theory. — (The psychic force) . . .
an adjunct to the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh theories.ʺ

The first of these theories having been proved valid only in exceptional, though unfortunately still too frequent cases, must be ruled out as having no material bearing upon the phenomena themselves. Theories the second and the third are the last crumbling entrenchments of the guerilla of skeptics and materialists, and remain, as lawyers say, ʺAdhuc sub judice lis est.ʺ Thus, we can deal in this work but with the four remaining ones, the last, eighth, theory being according to Mr. Crookesʹs opinion, but ʺa necessary adjunctʺ of the others.

How subject even a scientific opinion is to error, we may see, if we only compare the several articles on spiritual phenomena from the able pen of that gentleman, which appeared from 1870 to 1875. In one of the first we read: . . .

ʺthe increased employment of scientific methods will promote exact observations and greater love of truths among inquirers, and will produce a race of observers who will drive the worthless residuum of spiritualism hence into the unknown limbo of magic and necromancy.ʺ And in 1875, we read, over his own signature, minute and most interesting descriptions of the materialized spirit — Katie King!*

* ʺThe Last of Katie King,ʺ pamphlet iii., p. 119.

It is hardly possible to suppose that Mr. Crookes could be under electro‐biological influence or hallucination for two or three consecutive years. The ʺspiritʺ appeared in his own house, in his library, under the most crucial tests, and was seen, felt, and heard by hundreds of persons.

But Mr. Crookes denies that he ever took Katie King for a disembodied spirit. What was it then? If it was not Miss Florence Cook, and his word is our sufficient guarantee for it

— then it was either the spirit of one who had lived on earth, or one of those that come directly under the sixth theory of the eight the eminent scientist offers to the public choice. It must have been one of the classes named: Fairies, Kobolds, Gnomes, Elves, Goblins, or a Puck.†

Yes; Katie King must have been a fairy — a Titania. For to a fairy only could be applied with propriety the following poetic effusion which Mr. Crookes quotes in describing this wonderful spirit:

ʺRound her she made an atmosphere of life; The very air seemed lighter from her eyes;

They were so soft and beautiful and rife With all we can imagine of the skies;

Her overpowering presence makes you feel It would not be idolatry to kneel!ʺ‡

And thus, after having written, in 1870, his severe sentence against spiritualism and magic; after saying that even at that

† Ibid., pam. i., p. 7.

‡ ʺThe Last of Katie King,ʺ pamp. iii., p. 112.


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moment he believed ʺthe whole affair a superstition, or, at least, an unexplained trick — a delusion of the senses;ʺ* Mr. Crookes, in 1875, closes his letter with the following memorable words: — ʺTo imagine, I say, the Katie King of the last three years to be the result of imposture does more violence to oneʹs reason and common sense than to believe her to be what she herself affirms.ʺ† This last remark, moreover, conclusively proves that : 1. Notwithstanding Mr. Crookesʹs full convictions that the somebody calling herself Katie King was neither the medium nor some confederate, but on the contrary an unknown force in nature, which — like love — ʺlaughs at locksmithsʺ; 2. That that hitherto unrecognized form of Force, albeit it had become with him ʺnot a matter of opinion, but of absolute knowledge,ʺ — the eminent investigator still did not abandon to the last his skeptical attitude toward the question. In short, he firmly believes in the phenomenon, but cannot accept the idea of its being the human spirit of a departed somebody.


It seems to us, that, as far as public prejudice goes, Mr. Crookes solves one mystery by creating a still deeper one: the obscurum per obscurius. In other words, rejecting ʺthe worthless residuum of spiritualism,ʺ the courageous scientist fearlessly

* Ibid., p. 112.

† ʺResearches in the Phenomena of Spiritualism,ʺ p. 45.

plunges into his own ʺunknown limbo of magic and necromancy!ʺ

The recognized laws of physical science account for but a few of the more objective of the so‐called spiritual phenomena. While proving the reality of certain visible effects of an unknown force, they have not thus far enabled scientists to control at will even this portion of the phenomena. The truth is that the professors have not yet discovered the necessary conditions of their occurrence. They must go as deeply into the study of the triple nature of man

— physiological, psychological, and divine — as did their predecessors, the magicians, theurgists, and thaumaturgists of old. Until the present moment, even those who have investigated the phenomena as thoroughly and impartially as Mr. Crookes, have set aside the cause as something not to be discovered now, if ever. They have troubled themselves no more about that than about the first cause of the cosmic phenomena of the correlation of forces, whose endless effects they are at such pains to observe and classify. Their course has been as unwise as that of a man who should attempt to discover the sources of a river by exploring toward its mouth. It has so narrowed their views of the possibilities of natural law that very simple forms of occult phenomena have necessitated their denial that they can occur unless miracles were possible; and this being a scientific absurdity the result has been that physical science has latterly been losing prestige. If scientists had studied the so‐called ʺmiraclesʺ instead of denying them, many secret laws of nature


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comprehended by the ancients would have been again discovered. ʺConviction,ʺ says Bacon, ʺcomes not through arguments but through experiments.ʺ

The ancients were always distinguished — especially the Chaldean astrologers and Magians — for their ardent love and pursuit of knowledge in every branch of science. They tried to penetrate the secrets of nature in the same way as our modern naturalists, and by the only method by which this object can be obtained, namely: by experimental researches and reason. If our modern philosophers cannot apprehend the fact that they penetrated deeper than themselves into the mysteries of the universe, this does not constitute a valid reason why the credit of possessing this knowledge should be denied them or the imputation of superstition laid at their door. Nothing warrants the charge; and every new archæological discovery militates against the assumption. As chemists they were unequalled, and in his famous lecture on The Lost Arts, Wendell Phillips says: ʺThe chemistry of the most ancient period had reached a point which we have never even approached.ʺ The secret of the malleable glass, which, ʺif supported by one end by its own weight, in twenty hours dwindles down to a fine line that you can curve around your wrist,ʺ would be as difficult to rediscover in our civilized countries as to fly to the moon.

The fabrication of a cup of glass which was brought by an exile to Rome in the reign of Tiberius, — a cup ʺwhich he dashed upon the marble pavement, and it was not crushed nor broken by the fall,ʺ and which, as it got ʺdented someʺ

was easily brought into shape again with a hammer, is a historic fact. If it is doubted now it is merely because the moderns cannot do the same. And yet, in Samarkand and some monasteries of Thibet such cups and glass‐ware may be found to this day; nay, there are persons who claim that they can make the same by virtue of their knowledge of the much‐ ridiculed and ever‐doubted alkahest — the universal solvent. This agent that Paracelsus and Van Helmont maintain to be a certain fluid in nature, ʺcapable of reducing all sublunary bodies, as well homogeneous as mixed, into their ens primum, or the original matter of which they are composed; or into an uniform, equable, and potable liquor, that will unite with water, and the juices of all bodies, and yet retain its own radical virtues; and, if again mixed with itself will thereby be converted into pure elementary waterʺ: what impossibilities prevent our crediting the statement? Why should it not exist and why the idea be considered Utopian? Is it again because our modern chemists are unable to produce it? But surely it may be conceived without any great effort of imagination that all bodies must have originally come from some first matter, and that this matter, according to the lessons of astronomy, geology and physics, must have been a fluid. Why should not gold — of whose genesis our scientists know so little — have been originally a primitive or basic matter of gold, a ponderous fluid which, as says Van Helmont, ʺfrom its own nature, or a strong cohesion between its particles, acquired afterward a solid form?ʺ


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There seems to be very little absurdity to believe in a ʺuniversal ens that resolves all bodies into their ens genitale.ʺ Van Helmont calls it ʺthe highest and most successful of all salts; which having obtained the supreme degree of simplicity, purity, subtilty, enjoys alone the faculty of remaining unchanged and unimpaired by the subjects it works upon, and of dissolving the most stubborn and untractable bodies; as stones, gems, glass, earth, sulphur, metals, etc., into red salt, equal in weight to the matter dissolved; and this with as much ease as hot water melts down snow.ʺ

It is into this fluid that the makers of malleable glass claimed, and now claim, that they immersed common glass for several hours, to acquire the property of malleability.

We have a ready and palpable proof of such possibilities. A foreign correspondent of the Theosophical Society, a well‐ known medical practitioner, and one who has studied the occult sciences for upward of thirty years, has succeeded in obtaining what he terms the ʺtrue oil of gold,ʺ i.e., the primal element. Chemists and physicists have seen and examined it, and were driven to confess that they neither knew how it was obtained nor could they do the same. That he desires his name to remain unknown is not to be wondered at; ridicule and public prejudice are more dangerous sometimes than the inquisition of old. This ʺAdamic earthʺ is next‐door neighbor to the alkahest, and one of the most important secrets of the alchemists. No Kabalist will reveal it to the world, for, as he expresses it in the well‐known jargon: ʺit would explain the

eagles of the alchemists, and how the eaglesʹ wings are clipped,ʺ a secret that it took Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius Philalethes) twenty years to learn.

As the dawn of physical science broke into a glaring day‐ light, the spiritual sciences merged deeper and deeper into night, and in their turn they were denied. So, now, these greatest masters in psychology are looked upon as ʺignorant and superstitious ancestorsʺ; as mountebanks and jugglers, because, forsooth, the sun of modern learning shines to‐day so bright, it has become an axiom that the philosophers and men of science of the olden time knew nothing, and lived in a night of superstition. But their traducers forget that the sun of to‐day will seem dark by comparison with the luminary of to‐ morrow, whether justly or not; and as the men of our century think their ancestors ignorant, so will perhaps their descendants count them for know‐nothings. The world moves in cycles. The coming races will be but the reproductions of races long bygone; as we, perhaps, are the images of those who lived a hundred centuries ago. The time will come when those who now in public slander the hermetists, but ponder in secret their dust‐covered volumes; who plagiarize their ideas, assimilate and give them out as their own — will receive their dues. ʺWho,ʺ honestly exclaims Pfaff — ʺwhat man has ever taken more comprehensive views of nature than Paracelsus? He was the bold creator of chemical medicines; the founder of courageous parties; victorious in controversy, belonging to those spirits who have created amongst us a new mode of thinking on the natural existence


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of things. What he scattered through his writings on the philosopherʹs stone, on pigmies and spirits of the mines; on signs, on homunculi, and the elixir of life, and which are employed by many to lower his estimation, cannot extinguish our grateful remembrance of his general works, nor our admiration of his free, bold exertions, and his noble, intellectual life.ʺ*

More than one pathologist, chemist, homoeopathist, and magnetist has quenched his thirst for knowledge in the books of Paracelsus. Frederick Hufeland got his theoretical doctrines on infection from this mediæval ʺquack,ʺ as Sprengel delights in calling one who was immeasurably higher than himself. Hemman, who endeavors to vindicate this great philosopher, and nobly tries to redress his slandered memory, speaks of him as the ʺgreatest chemist of his time.ʺ† So do Professor Molitor,‡ and Dr. Ennemoser, the eminent German psychologist.§ According to their criticisms on the labors of this Hermetist, Paracelsus is the most ʺwondrous intellect of his age,ʺ a ʺnoble genius.ʺ But our modern lights assume to know better, and the ideas of the Rosicrucians about the elementary spirits, the goblins and the

* Pfaffʹs ʺAstrology,ʺ Berl.
† ʺMedico‐Surgical Essays.ʺ
‡ ʺThe Philosophy of Hist.ʺ

§ On Theoph. Paracelsus — Magic.

elves, have sunk into the ʺlimbo of magicʺ and fairy tales for early childhoods.**

We are quite ready to concede to skeptics that one‐half, and even more, of seeming phenomena, are but more or less clever fraud. Recent exposures, especially of ʺmaterializingʺ mediums, but too well prove the fact. Unquestionably numerous others are still in store, and this will continue until tests have become so perfect and spiritualists so reasonable as no longer to furnish opportunity to mediums or weapons to adversaries.

What should sensible spiritualists think of the character of angel guides, who after monopolizing, perhaps for years, a poor mediumʹs time, health and means, suddenly abandon him when he most needs their help? None but creatures without soul or conscience would be guilty of such injustice. Conditions? — Mere sophistry. What sort of spirits must they be who would not summon if necessary an army of spirit‐

** Kemshead says in his ʺInorganic Chemistryʺ that ʺthe element hydrogen was first mentioned in the sixteenth century by Paracelsus, but very little was known of it in any way.ʺ (P. 66.) And why not be fair and confess at once that Paracelsus was the re‐discoverer of hydrogen as he was the re‐discoverer of the hidden properties of the magnet and animal magnetism? It is easy to show that according to the strict vows of secrecy taken and faithfully observed by every Rosicrucian (and especially by the alchemist) he kept his knowledge secret. Perhaps it would not prove a very difficult task for any chemist well versed in the works of Paracelsus to demonstrate that oxygen, the discovery of which is credited to Priestley, was known to the Rosicrucian alchemists as well as hydrogen.


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friends (if such there be) to snatch the innocent medium from the pit dug for his feet? Such things happened in the olden time, such may happen now. There were apparitions before modern spiritualism, and phenomena like ours in every previous age. If modern manifestations are a reality and palpable facts, so must have been the so‐called ʺmiraclesʺ and thaumaturgic exploits of old; or if the latter are but fictions of superstition so must be the former, for they rest on no better testimony.

But, in this daily‐increasing torrent of occult phenomena that rushes from one end of the globe to the other, though two‐thirds of the manifestations are proved spurious, what of those which are proved genuine beyond doubt or cavil? Among these may be found communications coming through non‐professional as well as professional mediums, which are sublime and divinely grand. Often, through young children, and simple‐minded ignorant persons, we receive philosophical teachings and precepts, poetry and inspirational orations, music and paintings that are fully worthy of the reputations of their alleged authors. Their prophecies are often verified and their moral disquisitions beneficent, though the latter is of rarer occurrence. Who are those spirits, what those powers or intelligences which are evidently outside of the medium proper and entities per se? These intelligences deserve the appellation; and they differ as widely from the generality of spooks and goblins that hover around the cabinets for physical manifestations, as day from night.

We must confess that the situation appears to be very grave. The control of mediums by such unprincipled and lying ʺspiritsʺ is constantly becoming more and more general; and the pernicious effects of seeming diabolism constantly multiply. Some of the best mediums are abandoning the public rostrum and retiring from this influence; and the movement is drifting churchward. We venture the prediction that unless spiritualists set about the study of ancient philosophy, so as to learn to discriminate between spirits and to guard themselves against the baser sort, twenty‐five years more will not elapse before they will have to fly to the Romish communion to escape these ʺguidesʺ and ʺcontrolsʺ that they have fondled so long. The signs of this catastrophe already exhibit themselves. At a recent convention at Philadelphia, it was seriously proposed to organize a sect of Christian Spiritualists! This is because, having withdrawn from the church and learned nothing of the philosophy of the phenomena, or the nature of their spirits, they are drifting about on a sea of uncertainty like a ship without compass or rudder. They cannot escape the dilemma; they must choose between Porphyry and Pio Nono.

While men of genuine science, such as Wallace, Crookes, Wagner, Butlerof, Varley, Buchanan, Hare, Reichenbach, Thury, Perty, de Morgan, Hoffmann, Goldschmidt, W. Gregory, Flammarion, Sergeant Cox and many others, firmly believe in the current phenomena, many of the above named reject the theory of departed spirits. Therefore, it seems but logical to think that if the London ʺKatie King,ʺ the only


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materialized something which the public is obliged more or less to credit out of respect to science, — is not the spirit of an ex‐mortal, then it must be the astral solidified shadow of either one of the Rosicrucian spooks — ʺfantasies of superstitionʺ — or of some as yet unexplained force in nature. Be it however a ʺspirit of health or goblin damnʹdʺ it is of little consequence; for if it be once proved that its organism is not solid matter, then it must be and is a ʺspirit,ʺ an apparition, a breath. It is an intelligence which acts outside our organisms and therefore must belong to some existing even though unseen race of beings. But what is it? What is this something which thinks and even speaks but yet is not human; that is impalpable and yet not a disembodied spirit; that simulates affection, passion, remorse, fear, joy, but yet feels neither? What is this canting creature which rejoices in cheating the truthful inquirer and mocking at sacred human feeling? For, if not Mr. Crookesʹs Katie King, other similar creatures have done all these. Who can fathom the mystery? The true psychologist alone. And where should he go for his text‐ books but to the neglected alcoves of libraries where the works of despised hermetists and theurgists have been gathering dust these many years.

Says Henry More, the revered English Platonist, in his answer to an attack on the believers of spiritual and magic phenomena by a skeptic of that age, named Webster:* ʺAs for

* ʺLetter to J. Glanvil, chaplain to the king and a fellow of the Royal Society.ʺ Glanvil was the author of the celebrated work on Apparitions and Demonology entitled ʺSadducismus Triumphatus, or a full and plain

that other opinion, that the greater part of the reformed divines hold, that it was the Devil that appeared in Samuelʹs shape, it is beneath contempt; for though I do not doubt but that in many of these necromantic apparitions, they are ludicrous spirits, not the souls of the deceased that appear, yet I am clear for the appearing of the soul of Samuel, and as clear that in other necromancies, it may be such kinds of spirits, as Porphyrius above describes, ʹthat change themselves into omnifarious forms and shapes, and one while act the parts of dæmons, another while of angels or gods, and another while of the souls of the departed.ʹ And I confess such a spirit as this might personate Samuel here, for anything Webster alleged to the contrary, for his arguments indeed are wonderfully weak and wooden.ʺ

When such a metaphysician and philosopher as Henry More gives such testimony as this, we may well assume our point to have been well taken. Learned investigators, all very skeptical as to spirits in general and ʺdeparted human spiritsʺ in particular, during the last twenty years have taxed their brains to invent new names for an old thing. Thus, with Mr. Crookes and Sergeant Cox, it is the ʺpsychic force.ʺ Professor Thury of Geneva calls it the ʺpsychodeʺ or ectenic force; Professor Balfour Stewart, the ʺelectro‐biological powerʺ; Faraday, the ʺgreat master of experimental philosophy in physics,ʺ but apparently a novice in psychology,

evidence concerning witches and apparitions,ʺ in two parts, ʺproving partly by Scripture, and partly by a choice collection of modern relations, the real existence of apparitions, spirits and witches.ʺ — 1700.


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superciliously termed it an ʺunconscious muscular action,ʺ an ʺunconscious cerebration,ʺ and what not? Sir William Hamilton, a ʺlatent thoughtʺ; Dr. Carpenter, ʺthe ideo‐motor principle,ʺ etc., etc. So many scientists — so many names.

Years ago the old German philosopher, Schopenhauer, disposed of this force and matter at the same time; and since the conversion of Mr. Wallace, the great anthropologist has evidently adopted his ideas. Schopenhauerʹs doctrine is that the universe is but the manifestation of the will. Every force in nature is also an effect of will, representing a higher or lower degree of its objectiveness. It is the teaching of Plato, who stated distinctly that everything visible was created or evolved out of the invisible and eternal WILL, and after its fashion. Our Heaven — he says — was produced according to the eternal pattern of the ʺIdeal World,ʺ contained, as everything else, in the dodecahedron, the geometrical model used by the Deity.* With Plato, the Primal Being is an emanation of the Demiurgic Mind (Nous), which contains from the eternity the ʺideaʺ of the ʺto be created worldʺ within itself, and which idea he produces out of himself.† The laws of nature are the established relations of this idea to the forms of its manifestations; ʺthese forms,ʺ says Schopenhauer, ʺare time, space, and causality. Through time and space the idea varies in its numberless manifestations.ʺ These ideas are far from being new, and even with Plato they were not original.

* Plato, ʺTimæus Soerius,ʺ 97.

† See Moversʹ ʺExplanations,ʺ 268.

This is what we read in the Chaldean Oracles:‡ ʺThe works of nature co‐exist with the intellectual [ noe;rw ], spiritual Light of the Father. For it is the soul [ Yuch ] which adorned the great heaven, and which adorns it after the Father.ʺ ʺThe incorporeal world then was already completed, having its seat in the Divine Reason,ʺ says Philo§ who is erroneously accused of deriving his philosophy from Platoʹs. In the Theogony of Mochus, we find Æther first, and then the air; the two principles from which Ulom, the intelligible [ nohvtoß ] God (the visible universe of matter) is born.** In the Orphic hymns, the Eros‐Phanes evolves from the Spiritual Egg, which the Æthereal winds impregnate, Wind†† being ʺthe spirit of God,ʺ who is said to move in Æther, ʺbrooding over the Chaosʺ — the Divine ʺIdea.ʺ In the Hindu Katakopanisad, Purusha, the Divine Spirit, already stands before the original matter, from whose union springs the great Soul of the World, ʺMaha = Atma, Brahm, the Spirit of Lifeʺ;‡‡ these latter appellations are identical with the Universal Soul, or Anima Mundi, and the Astral Light of the theurgists and kabalists. Pythagoras brought his doctrines from the eastern sanctuaries, and Plato compiled them into a form more intelligible than the mysterious numerals of the sage — whose doctrines he had fully embraced — to the uninitiated

‡ Cory, ʺChaldean Oracles,ʺ 243.

§ Philo Judæus, ʺOn the Creation,ʺ x. ** Movers, ʺPhoinizer,ʺ 282.
†† K. O. Müller, 236.

‡‡ Weber, ʺAkad. Vorles,ʺ 213, 214, etc.


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mind. Thus, the Cosmos is ʺthe Sonʺ with Plato, having for his father and mother the Divine Thought and Matter.* ʺThe Egyptians,ʺ says Dunlap,† ʺdistinguish between an older and younger Horus, the former the brother of Osiris, the latter the son of Osiris and Isis.ʺ The first is the Idea of the world remaining in the Demiurgic Mind, ʺborn in darkness before the creation of the world.ʺ The second Horus is this ʺIdeaʺ going forth from the Logos, becoming clothed with matter, and assuming an actual existence.‡ ʺThe mundane God, eternal, boundless, young and old, of winding form,ʺ§ say the

Chaldean Oracles.

This ʺwinding formʺ is a figure to express the vibratory motion of the Astral Light, with which the ancient priests were perfectly well acquainted, though they may have differed in views of ether, with modern scientists; for in the Æther they placed the Eternal Idea pervading the Universe, or the Will which becomes Force, and creates or organizes matter.


ʺThe will,ʺ says Van Helmont, ʺis the first of all powers. For through the will of the Creator all things were made and put in motion. . . . The will is the property of all spiritual

* Plutarch, ʺIsis and Osiris,ʺ i., vi.
† ʺSpirit History of Man,ʺ p. 88.
‡ Movers, ʺPhoinizer,ʺ 268.

§ Cory, ʺFragments,ʺ 240.

beings, and displays itself in them the more actively the more they are freed from matter.ʺ And Paracelsus, ʺthe divine,ʺ as he was called, adds in the same strain: ʺFaith must confirm the imagination, for faith establishes the will. . . . Determined will is a beginning of all magical operations. . . . Because men do not perfectly imagine and believe the result, is that the arts are uncertain, while they might be perfectly certain.ʺ

The opposing power alone of unbelief and skepticism, if projected in a current of equal force, can check the other, and sometimes completely neutralize it. Why should spiritualists wonder that the presence of some strong skeptics, or of those who, feeling bitterly opposed to the phenomenon, unconsciously exercise their will‐power in opposition, hinders and often stops altogether the manifestations? If there is no conscious power on earth but sometimes finds another to interfere with or even counterbalance it, why wonder when the unconscious, passive power of a medium is suddenly paralyzed in its effects by another opposing one, though it also be as unconsciously exercised? Professors Faraday and Tyndall boasted that their presence at a circle would stop at once every manifestation. This fact alone ought to have proved to the eminent scientists that there was some force in these phenomena worthy to arrest their attention. As a scientist, Prof. Tyndall was perhaps pre‐eminent in the circle of those who were present at the seance; as a shrewd observer, one not easily deceived by a tricking medium, he was perhaps no better, if as clever, as others in the room, and if the manifestations were but a fraud so ingenious as to


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deceive the others, they would not have stopped, even on his account. What medium can ever boast of such phenomena as were produced by Jesus, and the apostle Paul after him? Yet even Jesus met with cases where the unconscious force of resistance overpowered even his so well directed current of will. ʺAnd he did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.ʺ

There is a reflection of every one of these views in Schopenhauerʹs philosophy. Our ʺinvestigatingʺ scientists might consult his works with profit. They will find therein many a strange hypothesis founded on old ideas, speculations on the ʺnewʺ phenomena, which may prove as reasonable as any, and be saved the useless trouble of inventing new theories. The psychic and ectenic forces, the ʺideo‐motorʺ and ʺelectro‐biological powersʺ; ʺlatent thoughtʺ and even ʺunconscious cerebrationʺ theories, can be condensed in two words: the kabalistic ASTRAL LIGHT.

The bold theories and opinions expressed in Schopenhauerʹs works differ widely with those of the majority of our orthodox scientists. ʺIn reality,ʺ remarks this daring speculator, ʺthere is neither matter nor spirit. The tendency to gravitation in a stone is as unexplainable as thought in human brain. . . . If matter can — no one knows why — fall to the ground, then it can also — no one knows why — think. . . . As soon, even in mechanics, as we trespass beyond the purely mathematical, as soon as we reach the inscrutable, adhesion, gravitation, and so on, we are faced by phenomena which are to our senses as mysterious as the

WILL and THOUGHT in man — we find ourselves facing the incomprehensible, for such is every force in nature. Where is then that matter which you all pretend to know so well; and from which — being so familiar with it — you draw all your conclusions and explanations, and attribute to it all things? That, which can be fully realized by our reason and senses, is but the superficial: they can never reach the true inner substance of things. Such was the opinion of Kant. If you consider that there is in a human head some sort of a spirit, then you are obliged to concede the same to a stone. If your dead and utterly passive matter can manifest a tendency toward gravitation, or, like electricity, attract and repel, and send out sparks — then, as well as the brain, it can also think. In short, every particle of the so‐called spirit, we can replace with an equivalent of matter, and every particle of matter replace with spirit. . . . Thus, it is not the Cartesian division of all things into matter and spirit that can ever be found philosophically exact; but only if we divide them into will and manifestation, which form of division has naught to do with the former, for it spiritualizes every thing: all that, which is in the first instance real and objective — body and matter — it transforms into a representation, and every manifestation into will.ʺ*

These views corroborate what we have expressed about the various names given to the same thing. The disputants are battling about mere words. Call the phenomena force, energy,

* ʺParerga,ʺ ii., pp. 111, 112.


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electricity or magnetism, will, or spirit‐power, it will ever be the partial manifestation of the soul, whether disembodied or imprisoned for a while in its body — of a portion of that intelligent, omnipotent, and individual WILL, pervading all nature, and known, through the insufficiency of human language to express correctly psychological images, as —


The ideas of some of our schoolmen about matter are, from the kabalistic standing‐point, in many a way erroneous. Hartmann calls their views ʺan instinctual prejudice.ʺ Furthermore, he demonstrates that no experimenter can have anything to do with matter properly termed, but only with the forces into which he divides it. The visible effects of matter are but the effects of force. He concludes thereby, that that which is now called matter is nothing but the aggregation of atomic forces, to express which the word matter is used: outside of that, for science matter is but a word void of sense. Notwithstanding many an honest confession on the part of our specialists — physicists, physiologists and chemists — that they know nothing whatever of matter,* they deify it. Every new phenomenon which they find themselves unable to explain, is triturated, compounded into incense, and burned on the altar of the goddess who patronizes modern scientists.

No one can better treat his subject than does Schopenhauer in his Parerga. In this work he discusses at

* See Huxley, ʺPhysical Basis of Life.ʺ

length animal magnetism, clairvoyance, sympathetic cures, seership, magic, omens, ghost‐seeing, and other spiritual matters. ʺAll these manifestations,ʺ he says, ʺare branches of one and the same tree, and furnish us with irrefutable proofs of the existence of a chain of beings which is based on quite a different order of things than that nature which has at its foundation laws of space, time and adaptability. This other order of things is far deeper, for it is the original and the direct one; in its presence the common laws of nature, which are simply formal, are unavailing; therefore, under its immediate action neither time nor space can separate any longer the individuals, and the separation impendent on these forms presents no more insurmountable barriers for the intercourse of thoughts and the immediate action of the will. In this manner changes may be wrought by quite a different course than the course of physical causality, i.e., through an action of the manifestation of the will exhibited in a peculiar way and outside the individual himself. Therefore the peculiar character of all the aforesaid manifestations is the visio in distante et actio in distante (vision and action at a distance) in its relation to time as well as in its relation to space. Such an action at a distance is just what constitutes the fundamental character of what is called magical; for such is the immediate action of our will, an action liberated from the causal conditions of physical action, viz., contact.ʺ

ʺBesides that,ʺ continues Schopenhauer, ʺthese manifestations present to us a substantial and perfectly logical contradiction to materialism, and even to naturalism,


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because in the light of such manifestations, that order of things in nature which both these philosophies seek to present as absolute and the only genuine, appears before us on the contrary purely phenomenal and superficial, and containing at the bottom of it a substance of things à parte and perfectly independent of its own laws. That is why these manifestations — at least from a purely philosophical point of view — among all the facts which are presented to us in the domain of experiment, are beyond any comparison the most important. Therefore, it is the duty of every scientist to acquaint himself with them.ʺ*


To pass from the philosophical speculations of a man like Schopenhauer to the superficial generalizations of some of the French Academicians, would be profitless but for the fact that it enables us to estimate the intellectual grasp of the two schools of learning. What the German makes of profound psychological questions, we have seen. Compare with it the best that the astronomer Babinet and the chemist Boussingault can offer by way of explaining an important spiritualistic phenomenon. In 1854‐5 these distinguished specialists presented to the Academy a memoire, or monograph, whose evident object was to corroborate and at the same time make clearer Dr. Chevreuilʹs too complicated

theory in explanation of the turning‐tables, of the commission for the investigation of which he was a member. Here it is verbatim: ʺAs to the movements and oscillations alleged to happen with certain tables, they can have no cause other than the invisible and involuntary vibrations of the experimenterʹs muscular system; the extended contraction of the muscles manifesting itself at such time by a series of vibrations, and becoming thus a visible tremor which communicates to the object a circumrotary motion. This rotation is thus enabled to manifest itself with a considerable energy, by a gradually quickening motion, or by a strong resistance, whenever it is required to stop. Hence the physical explanation of the phenomenon becomes clear and does not offer the slightest difficulty.ʺ†

None whatever. This scientific hypothesis — or demonstration shall we say? — is as clear as one of M. Babinetʹs nebulæ examined on a foggy night.

And still, clear as it may be, it lacks an important feature, i.e., common sense. We are at a loss to decide whether or not Babinet accepts en desespoir de cause Hartmannʹs proposition that ʺthe visible effects of matter are nothing but the effects of a force,ʺ and, that in order to form a clear conception of matter, one must first form one of force. The philosophy to the school of which belongs Hartmann, and which is partly accepted by several of the greatest German scientists, teaches that the problem of matter can only be solved by that invisible Force,

* Schopenhauer, ʺParerga.ʺ Art. on ʺWill in Nature.ʺ † ʺRevue des Deux Mondes,ʺ Jan. 15, 1855, p. 108.


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acquaintance with which Schopenhauer terms the ʺmagical knowledge,ʺ and ʺmagical effect or action of Will.ʺ Thus, we must first ascertain whether the ʺinvoluntary vibrations of the experimenterʹs muscular system,ʺ which are but ʺactions of matter,ʺ are influenced by a will within the experimenter or without. In the former case Babinet makes of him an unconscious epileptic; the latter, as we will further see, he rejects altogether, and attributes all intelligent answers of the tipping or rapping tables to ʺunconscious ventriloquism.ʺ

We know that every exertion of will results in force, and that, according to the above‐named German school, the manifestations of atomic forces are individual actions of will, resulting in the unconscious rushing of atoms into the concrete image already subjectively created by the will. Democritus taught, after his instructor Leucippus, that the first principles of all things contained in the universe were atoms and a vacuum. In its kabalistic sense, the vacuum means in this instance the latent Deity, or latent force, which at its first manifestation became WILL, and thus communicated the first impulse to these atoms — whose agglomeration, is matter. This vacuum was but another name for chaos, and an unsatisfactory one, for, according to the Peripatetics ʺnature abhors a vacuum.ʺ

That before Democritus the ancients were familiar with the idea of the indestructibility of matter is proved by their allegories and numerous other facts. Movers gives a definition of the Phœnician idea of the ideal sun‐light as a spiritual influence issuing from the highest God, IAO, ʺthe

light conceivable only by intellect — the physical and spiritual Principle of all things; out of which the soul emanates.ʺ It was the male Essence, or Wisdom, while the primitive matter or Chaos was the female. Thus the two first principles — co‐eternal and infinite, were already with the primitive Phœnicians, spirit and matter. Therefore the theory is as old as the world; for Democritus was not the first philosopher who taught it; and intuition existed in man before the ultimate development of his reason. But it is in the denial of the boundless and endless Entity, possessor of that invisible Will which we for lack of a better term call GOD, that lies the powerlessness of every materialistic science to explain the occult phenomena. It is in the rejection a priori of everything which might force them to cross the boundary of exact science and step into the domain of psychological, or, if we prefer, metaphysical physiology, that we find the secret cause of their discomfiture by the manifestations, and their absurd theories to account for them. The ancient philosophy affirmed that it is in consequence of the manifestation of that Will — termed by Plato the Divine Idea — that everything visible and invisible sprung into existence. As that Intelligent Idea, which, by directing its sole will‐power toward a centre of localized forces called objective forms into being, so can man, the microcosm of the great Macrocosm, do the same in proportion with the development of his will‐power. The imaginary atoms — a figure of speech employed by Democritus, and gratefully seized upon by the materialists — are like automatic workmen moved inwardIy by the influx of


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that Universal Will directed upon them, and which, manifesting itself as force, sets them into activity. The plan of the structure to be erected is in the brain of the Architect, and reflects his will; abstract as yet, from the instant of the conception it becomes concrete through these atoms which follow faithfully every line, point and figure traced in the imagination of the Divine Geometer.

As God creates, so man can create. Given a certain intensity of will, and the shapes created by the mind become subjective. Hallucinations, they are called, although to their creator they are real as any visible object is to any one else. Given a more intense and intelligent concentration of this will, and the form becomes concrete, visible, objective; the man has learned the secret of secrets; he is a MAGICIAN.

The materialist should not object to this logic, for he regards thought as matter. Conceding it to be so, the cunning mechanism contrived by the inventor; the fairy scenes born in the poetʹs brain; the gorgeous painting limned by the artistʹs fancy; the peerless statue chiselled in ether by the sculptor; the palaces and castles built in air by the architect — all these, though invisible and subjective, must exist, for they are matter, shaped and moulded. Who shall say, then, that there are not some men of such imperial will as to be able to drag these air‐drawn fancies into view, enveloped in the hard casing of gross substance to make them tangible?

If the French scientists reaped no laurels in the new field of investigation, what more was done in England, until the day when Mr. Crookes offered himself in atonement for the

sins of the learned body? Why, Mr. Faraday, some twenty years ago, actually condescended to be spoken to once or twice upon the subject. Faraday, whose name is pronounced by the anti‐spiritualists in every discussion upon the phenomena, as a sort of scientific charm against the evil‐eye of Spiritualism, Faraday, who ʺblushedʺ for having published his researches upon such a degrading belief, is now proved on good authority to have never sat at a tipping table himself at all! We have but to open a few stray numbers of the Journal des Debats, published while a noted Scotch medium was in England, to recall the past events in all their primitive freshness. In one of these numbers, Dr. Foucault, of Paris, comes out as a champion for the eminent English experimenter. ʺPray, do not imagine,ʺ says he, ʺthat the grand physicist had ever himself condescended so far as to sit prosaically at a jumping table.ʺ Whence, then, came the ʺblushesʺ which suffused the cheeks of the ʺFather of Experimental Philosophyʺ? Remembering this fact, we will now examine the nature of Faradayʹs beautiful ʺIndicator,ʺ the extraordinary ʺMedium‐Catcher,ʺ invented by him for the detection of mediumistic fraud. That complicated machine, the memory of which haunts like a nightmare the dreams of dishonest mediums, is carefully described in Comte de Mirvilleʹs Question des Esprits.

The better to prove to the experimenters the reality of their own impulsion, Professor Faraday placed several card‐board disks, united to each other and stuck to the table by a half‐soft glue, which, making the whole adhere for a time together,


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would, nevertheless, yield to a continuous pressure. Now, the table having turned — yes, actually having dared to turn before Mr. Faraday, which fact is of some value, at least — the disks were examined; and, as they were found to have gradually displaced themselves by slipping in the same direction as the table, it thus became an unquestionable proof that the experimenters had pushed the tables themselves.

Another of the so‐called scientific tests, so useful in a phenomenon alleged to be either spiritual or psychical, consisted of a small instrument which immediately warned the witnesses of the slightest personal impulsion on their part, or rather, according to Mr. Faradayʹs own expression, ʺit warned them when they changed from the passive to the active state.ʺ This needle which betrayed the active motion proved but one thing, viz.: the action of a force which either emanated from the sitters or controlled them. And who has ever said that there is no such force? Every one admits so much, whether this force passes through the operator, as it is generally shown, or acts independently of him, as is so often the case. ʺThe whole mystery consisted in the disproportion of the force employed by the operators, who pushed because they were forced to push, with certain effects of rotation, or rather, of a really marvellous race. In the presence of such prodigious effects, how could any one imagine that the Lilliputian experiments of that kind could have any value in this newly discovered Land of Giants?ʺ*

Professor Agassiz, who occupied in America nearly the same eminent position as a scientist which Mr. Faraday did in England, acted with a still greater unfairness. Professor J. R. Buchanan, the distinguished anthropologist, who has treated Spiritualism in some respects more scientifically than any one else in America, speaks of Agassiz, in a recent article, with a very just indignation. For, of all other men, Professor Agassiz ought to believe in a phenomenon to which he had been a subject himself. But now that both Faraday and Agassiz are themselves disembodied, we can do better by questioning the living than the dead.

Thus a force whose secret powers were thoroughly familiar to the ancient theurgists, is denied by modern skeptics. The antediluvian children — who perhaps played with it, using it as the boys in Bulwer‐Lyttonʹs Coming Race, use the tremendous ʺvrilʺ — called it the ʺWater of Phthaʺ; their descendants named it the Anima Mundi, the soul of the universe; and still later the mediæval hermetists termed it ʺsidereal light,ʺ or the ʺMilk of the Celestial Virgin,ʺ the ʺMagnes,ʺ and many other names. But our modern learned men will neither accept nor recognize it under such appellations; for it pertains to magic, and magic is, in their conception, a disgraceful superstition.

Apollonius and Iamblichus held that it was not ʺin the knowledge of things without, but in the perfection of the soul within, that lies the empire of man, aspiring to be more than

* Comte de Mirville, ʺQuestion des Esprits.ʺ


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men.ʺ* Thus they had arrived at a perfect cognizance of their godlike souls, the powers of which they used with all the wisdom, outgrowth of esoteric study of the hermetic lore, inherited by them from their forefathers. But our philosophers, tightly shutting themselves up in their shells of flesh, cannot or dare not carry their timid gaze beyond the comprehensible. For them there is no future life; there are no godlike dreams, they scorn them as unscientific; for them the men of old are but ʺignorant ancestors,ʺ as they express it; and whenever they meet during their physiological researches with an author who believes that this mysterious yearning after spiritual knowledge is inherent in every human being, and cannot have been given us utterly in vain, they regard him with contemptuous pity.

Says a Persian proverb: ʺThe darker the sky is, the brighter the stars will shine.ʺ Thus, on the dark firmament of the mediæval ages began appearing the mysterious Brothers of the Rosie Cross. They formed no associations, they built no colleges; for, hunted up and down like so many wild beasts, when caught by the Christian Church, they were unceremoniously roasted. ʺAs religion forbids it,ʺ says Bayle, ʺto spill blood,ʺ therefore, ʺto elude the maxim, Ecclesia non novit sanguinem, they burned human beings, as burning a man does not shed his blood!ʺ

Many of these mystics, by following what they were taught by some treatises, secretly preserved from one

* Bulwer‐Lytton, ʺZanoni.ʺ

generation to another, achieved discoveries which would not be despised even in our modern days of exact sciences. Roger Bacon, the friar, was laughed at as a quack, and is now generally numbered among ʺpretendersʺ to magic art; but his discoveries were nevertheless accepted, and are now used by those who ridicule him the most. Roger Bacon belonged by right if not by fact to that Brotherhood which includes all those who study the occult sciences. Living in the thirteenth century, almost a contemporary, therefore, of Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, his discoveries — such as gunpowder and optical glasses, and his mechanical achievements — were considered by every one as so many miracles. He was accused of having made a compact with the Evil One.

In the legendary history of Friar Bacon, as ʺwell as in an old play written by Robert Green, a dramatist in the days of Queen Elizabeth, it is recounted, that, having been summoned before the king, the friar was induced to showʺ some of his skill before her majesty the queen. So he waved his hand (his wand, says the text), and ʺpresently was heard such excellent music, that they all said they had never heard the like.ʺ Then there was heard a still louder music and four apparitions suddenly presented themselves and danced until they vanished and disappeared in the air. Then he waved his wand again, and suddenly there was such a smell ʺas if all the rich perfumes in the whole world had been there prepared in the best manner that art could set them out.ʺ Then Roger Bacon having promised a gentleman to show him his


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sweetheart, he pulled a hanging in the kingʹs apartment aside and every one in the room saw ʺa kitchen‐maid with a basting‐ladle in her hand.ʺ The proud gentleman, although he recognized the maiden who disappeared as suddenly as she had appeared, was enraged at the humiliating spectacle, and threatened the friar with his revenge. What does the magician do? He simply answers: ʺThreaten not, lest I do you more shame; and do you take heed how you give scholars the lie again!ʺ

As a commentary on this, the modern historian* remarks: ʺThis may be taken as a sort of exemplification of the class of exhibitions which were probably the result of a superior knowledge of natural sciences.ʺ No one ever doubted that it was the result of precisely such a knowledge, and the hermetists, magicians, astrologers and alchemists never claimed anything else. It certainly was not their fault that the ignorant masses, under the influence of an unscrupulous and fanatical clergy, should have attributed all such works to the agency of the devil. In view of the atrocious tortures provided by the Inquisition for all suspected of either black or white magic, it is not strange that these philosophers neither boasted nor even acknowledged the fact of such an intercourse. On the contrary, their own writings prove that they held that magic is ʺno more than the application of natural active causes to passive things or subjects; by means

* T. Wright, ʺNarratives of Sorcery and Magic.ʺ

thereof, many tremendously surprising but yet natural effects are produced.ʺ

The phenomena of the mystic odors and music, exhibited by Roger Bacon, have been often observed in our own time. To say nothing of our personal experience, we are informed by English correspondents of the Theosophical Society that they have heard strains of the most ravishing music, coming from no visible instrument, and inhaled a succession of delightful odors produced, as they believed, by spirit‐agency. One correspondent tells us that so powerful was one of these familiar odors — that of sandal‐wood — that the house would be impregnated with it for weeks after the seance. The medium in this case was a member of a private family, and the experiments were all made within the domestic circle. Another describes what he calls a ʺmusical rap.ʺ The potencies that are now capable of producing these phenomena must have existed and been equally efficacious in the days of Roger Bacon. As to the apparitions, it suffices to say that they are evoked now in spiritualistic circles, and guaranteed by scientists, and their evocation by Roger Bacon is thus made more probable than ever.

Baptista Porta, in his treatise on Natural Magic, enumerates a whole catalogue of secret formulæ for producing extraordinary effects by employing the occult powers of nature. Although the ʺmagiciansʺ believed as firmly as our spiritualists in a world of invisible spirits, none of them claimed to produce his effects under their control or through their sole help. They knew too well how difficult it is to keep


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away the elementary creatures when they have once found the door wide open. Even the magic of the ancient Chaldeans was but a profound knowledge of the powers of simples and minerals. It was only when the theurgist desired divine help in spiritual and earthly matters that he sought direct communication through religious rites, with pure spiritual beings. With them, even, those spirits who remain invisible and communicate with mortals through their awakened inner senses, as in clairvoyance, clairaudience and trance, could only be evoked subjectively and as a result of purity of life and prayer. But all physical phenomena were produced simply by applying a knowledge of natural forces, although certainly not by the method of legerdemain, practiced in our days by conjurers.

Men possessed of such knowledge and exercising such powers patiently toiled for something better than the vain glory of a passing fame. Seeking it not, they became immortal, as do all who labor for the good of the race, forgetful of mean self. Illuminated with the light of eternal truth, these rich‐poor alchemists fixed their attention upon the things that lie beyond the common ken, recognizing nothing inscrutable but the First Cause, and finding no question unsolvable. To dare, to know, to will, and REMAIN SILENT, was their constant rule; to be beneficent, unselfish, and unpretending, were, with them, spontaneous impulses. Disdaining the rewards of petty traffic, spurning wealth, luxury, pomp, and worldly power, they aspired to knowledge as the most satisfying of all acquisitions. They

esteemed poverty, hunger, toil, and the evil report of men, as none too great a price to pay for its achievement. They, who might have lain on downy, velvet‐covered beds, suffered themselves to die in hospitals and by the wayside, rather than debase their souls and allow the profane cupidity of those who tempted them to triumph over their sacred vows. The lives of Paracelsus, Cornelius Agrippa, and Philalethes are too well known to repeat the old, sad story.


If spiritualists are anxious to keep strictly dogmatic in their notions of the ʺspirit‐world,ʺ they must not set scientists to investigate their phenomena in the true experimental spirit. The attempt would most surely result in a partial re‐ discovery of the magic of old — that of Moses and Paracelsus. Under the deceptive beauty of some of their apparitions, they might find some day the sylphs and fair Undines of the Rosicrucians playing in the currents of psychic and odic force.

Already Mr. Crookes, who fully credits the being, feels that under the fair skin of Katie, covering a simulacrum of heart borrowed partially from the medium and the circle, there is no soul! And the learned authors of The Unseen Universe, abandoning their ʺelectro‐biologicalʺ theory, begin to perceive in the universal ether the possibility that it is a photographic album of EN‐SOPH — the Boundless.

We are far from believing that all the spirits that communicate at circles are of the classes called ʺElemental,ʺ


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and ʺElementary.ʺ Many — especially among those who control the medium subjectively to speak, write, and otherwise act in various ways — are human, disembodied spirits. Whether the majority of such spirits are good or bad, largely depends on the private morality of the medium, much on the circle present, and a great deal on the intensity and object of their purpose. If this object is merely to gratify curiosity and to pass the time, it is useless to expect anything serious. But, in any case, human spirits can never materialize themselves in propria personâ. These can never appear to the investigator clothed with warm, solid flesh, sweating hands and faces, and grossly‐material bodies. The most they can do is to project their æthereal reflection on the atmospheric waves, and if the touch of their hands and clothing can become upon rare occasions objective to the senses of a living mortal, it will be felt as a passing breeze gently sweeping over the touched spot, not as a human hand or material body. It is useless to plead that the ʺmaterialized spiritsʺ that have exhibited themselves with beating hearts and loud voices (with or without a trumpet) are human spirits. The voices — if such sound can be termed a voice at all — of a spiritual apparition once heard can hardly be forgotten. That of a pure spirit is like the tremulous murmur of an Æolian harp echoed from a distance; the voice of a suffering, hence impure, if not utterly bad spirit, may be assimilated to a human voice issuing from an empty barrel.

This is not our philosophy, but that of the numberless generations of theurgists and magicians, and based upon

their practical experience. The testimony of antiquity is positive on this subject: Daimoniwʹn fwnai; a&narqroi eijsiv. .

. .* The voices of spirits are not articulated. The spirit‐voice consists of a series of sounds which conveys the impression of a column of compressed air ascending from beneath upward, and spreading around the living interlocutor. The many eye‐ witnesses who testified in the case of Elizabeth Eslinger, namely:† the deputy‐governor of the prison of Weinsberg, Mayer, Eckhart, Theurer, and Knorr (sworn evidence), Duttenhofer, and Kapff, the mathematician, testified that they saw the apparition like a pillar of clouds. For the space of eleven weeks, Doctor Kerner and his sons, several Lutheran ministers, the advocate Fraas, the engraver Duttenhofer, two physicians, Siefer and Sicherer, the judge Heyd, and the Baron von Hugel, with many others, followed this manifestation daily. During the time it lasted, the prisoner Elizabeth prayed with a loud voice uninterruptedly; therefore, as the ʺspiritʺ was talking at the same time, it could be no ventriloquism; and that voice, they say, ʺhad nothing human in it; no one could imitate its sounds.ʺ

Further on we will give abundant proofs from ancient authors concerning this neglected truism. We will now only again assert that no spirit claimed by the spiritualists to be human was ever proved to be such on sufficient testimony. The influence of the disembodied ones can be felt, and communicated subjectively by them to sensitives. They can

* See Des Mousseauxʹs ʺDodone,ʺ and ʺDieu et les dieux,ʺ p. 326.

† ʺApparitions,ʺ translated by C. Crowe, pp. 388, 391, 399.


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produce objective manifestations, but they cannot produce themselves otherwise than as described above. They can control the body of a medium, and express their desires and ideas in various modes well known to spiritualists; but not materialize what is matterless and purely spiritual — their divine essence. Thus every so‐called ʺmaterializationʺ — when genuine — is either produced (perhaps) by the will of that spirit whom the ʺappearanceʺ is claimed to be but can only personate at best, or by the elementary goblins themselves, which are generally too stupid to deserve the honor of being called devils. Upon rare occasions the spirits are able to subdue and control these soulless beings, which are ever ready to assume pompous names if left to themselves, in such a way that the mischievous spirit ʺof the air,ʺ shaped in the real image of the human spirit, will be moved by the latter like a marionette, and unable to either act or utter other words than those imposed on him by the ʺimmortal soul.ʺ But this requires many conditions generally unknown to the circles of even spiritualists most in the habit of regularly attending seances. Not every one can attract human spirits who likes. One of the most powerful attractions of our departed ones is their strong affection for those whom they have left on earth. It draws them irresistibly, by degrees, into the current of the Astral Light vibrating between the person sympathetic to them and the Universal Soul. Another very important condition is harmony, and the magnetic purity of the persons present.

If this philosophy is wrong, if all the ʺmaterializedʺ forms emerging in darkened rooms from still darker cabinets, are spirits of men who once lived upon this earth, why such a difference between them and the ghosts that appear unexpectedly — ex abrupto — without either cabinet or medium? Who ever heard of the apparitions, unrestful ʺsouls,ʺ hovering about the spots where they were murdered, or coming back for some other mysterious reasons of their own, with ʺwarm handsʺ feeling like living flesh, and but that they are known to be dead and buried, not distinguishable from living mortals? We have well‐attested facts of such apparitions making themselves suddenly visible, but never, until the beginning of the era of the ʺmaterializations,ʺ did we see anything like them. In the Medium and Day Break, of September 8, 1876, we read a letter from ʺa lady travelling on the continent,ʺ narrating a circumstance that happened in a haunted house. She says: ʺ. . . A strange sound proceeded from a darkened corner of the library . . . on looking up she perceived a cloud or column of luminous vapor; . . .the earth‐ bound spirit was hovering about the spot rendered accursed by his evil deed. . .ʺ As this spirit was doubtless a genuine elementary apparition, which made itself visible of its own free will — in short, an umbra — it was, as every respectable shadow should be, visible but impalpable, or if palpable at all, communicating to the feeling of touch the sensation of a mass of water suddenly clasped in the hand, or of condensed but cold steam. It was luminous and vapory; for aught we can tell it might have been the real personal umbra of the ʺspirit,ʺ


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persecuted, and earth‐bound, either by its own remorse and crimes or those of another person or spirit. The mysteries of after‐death are many, and modern ʺmaterializationsʺ only make them cheap and ridiculous in the eyes of the indifferent.

To these assertions may be opposed a fact well known among spiritualists: The writer has publicly certified to having seen such materialized forms. We have most assuredly done so, and are ready to repeat the testimony. We have recognized such figures as the visible representations of acquaintances, friends, and even relatives. We have, in company with many other spectators, heard them pronounce words in languages unfamiliar not only to the medium and to every one else in the room, except ourselves, but, in some cases, to almost if not quite every medium in America and Europe, for they were the tongues of Eastern tribes and peoples. At the time, these instances were justly regarded as conclusive proofs of the genuine mediumship of the uneducated Vermont farmer who sat in the ʺcabinet.ʺ But, nevertheless, these figures were not the forms of the persons they appeared to be. They were simply their portrait statues, constructed, animated and operated by the elementaries. If we have not previously elucidated this point, it was because the spiritualistic public was not then ready to even listen to the fundamental proposition that there are elemental and elementary spirits. Since that time this subject has been broached and more or less widely discussed. There is less hazard now in attempting to launch upon the restless sea of criticism the hoary philosophy of the ancient sages, for there has been some

preparation of the public mind to consider it with impartiality and deliberation. Two years of agitation have effected a marked change for the better.

Pausanias writes that four hundred years after the battle of Marathon, there were still heard in the place where it was fought, the neighing of horses and the shouts of shadowy soldiers. Supposing that the spectres of the slaughtered soldiers were their genuine spirits, they looked like ʺshadows,ʺ not materialized men. Who, then, or what, produced the neighing of horses? Equine ʺspiritsʺ? And if it be pronounced untrue that horses have spirits — which assuredly no one among zoologists, physiologists or psychologists, or even spiritualists, can either prove or disprove — then must we take it for granted that it was the ʺimmortal soulsʺ of men which produced the neighing at Marathon to make the historical battle scene more vivid and dramatic? The phantoms of dogs, cats, and various other animals have been repeatedly seen, and the world‐wide testimony is as trustworthy upon this point as that with respect to human apparitions. Who or what personates, if we are allowed such an expression, the ghosts of departed animals? Is it, again, human spirits? As the matter now stands, there is no side issue; we have either to admit that animals have surviving spirits and souls as well as ourselves, or hold with Porphyry that there are in the invisible world a kind of tricky and malicious demons, intermediary beings between living men and ʺgods,ʺ spirits that delight in


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appearing under every imaginable shape, beginning with the human form, and ending with those of multifarious animals.*


Before venturing to decide the question whether the spectral animal forms so frequently seen and attested are the returning spirits of dead beasts, we must carefully consider their reported behavior. Do these spectres act according to the habits and display the same instincts, as the animals during life? Do the spectral beasts of prey lie in wait for victims, and timid animals flee before the presence of man; or do the latter show a malevolence and disposition to annoy, quite foreign to their natures? Many victims of these obsessions — notably, the afflicted persons of Salem and other historical witchcrafts

— testify to having seen dogs, cats, pigs, and other animals, entering their rooms, biting them, trampling upon their sleeping bodies, and talking to them; often inciting them to suicide and other crimes. In the well‐attested case of Elizabeth Eslinger, mentioned by Dr. Kerner, the apparition of the ancient priest of Wimmenthal† was accompanied by a large black dog, which he called his father, and which dog in the presence of numerous witnesses jumped on all the beds of the prisoners. At another time the priest appeared with a lamb, and sometimes with two lambs. Most of those accused at Salem were charged by the seeresses with consulting and

* ʺDe Abstinentia,ʺ etc.

† C. Crowe, ʺOn Apparitions,ʺ p. 398.

plotting mischief with yellow birds, which would sit on their shoulder or on the beams overhead.‡ And unless we discredit the testimony of thousands of witnesses, in all parts of the world, and in all ages, and allow a monopoly of seership to modern mediums, spectre‐animals do appear and manifest all the worst traits of depraved human nature, without themselves being human. What, then, can they be but elementals?

Descartes was one of the few who believed and dared say that to occult medicine we shall owe discoveries ʺdestined to extend the domain of philosophyʺ; and Brierre de Boismont not only shared in these hopes but openly avowed his sympathy with ʺsupernaturalism,ʺ which he considered the universal ʺgrand creed.ʺ ʺ. . . We think with Guizot,ʺ he says, ʺthat the existence of society is bound up in it. It is in vain that modern reason, which, notwithstanding its positivism, cannot explain the intimate cause of any phenomena, rejects the supernatural; it is universal, and at the root of all hearts. The most elevated minds are frequently its most ardent disciples.ʺ§

Christopher Columbus discovered America, and Americus Vespucius reaped the glory and usurped his dues. Theophrastus Paracelsus rediscovered the occult properties of the magnet — ʺthe bone of Horusʺ which, twelve centuries before his time, had played such an important part in the

‡ Upham, ʺSalem Witchcraft.ʺ

§ Brierre de Boismont, ʺOn Hallucinations,ʺ p. 60.


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theurgic mysteries — and he very naturally became the founder of the school of magnetism and of mediæval magico‐ theurgy. But Mesmer, who lived nearly three hundred years after him, and as a disciple of his school brought the magnetic wonders before the public, reaped the glory that was due to the fire‐philosopher, while the great master died in a hospital!

So goes the world: new discoveries, evolving from old sciences; new men — the same old nature!