Chapter 3, 4, 5.


ʺThe mirror of the soul cannot reflect both earth and heaven; and the one vanishes from its surface, as the other is glassed upon its deep.ʺ


ʺQui, donc, tʹa donne la mission dʹannoncer au peuple que la Divinite nʹexiste pas — quel avantage trouves tu a persuader a lʹhomme quʹune force aveugle preside a ses destinees et frappe au hasard le crime et la vertu?ʺ


May 7, 1794

We believe that few of those physical phenomena which are genuine are caused by disembodied human spirits. Still, even those that are produced by occult forces of nature, such as happen through a few genuine mediums, and are consciously employed by the so‐called ʺjugglersʺ of India and Egypt, deserve a careful and serious investigation by science; especially now that a number of respected authorities have testified that in many cases the hypothesis of fraud does not hold. No doubt, there are professed ʺconjurorsʺ who can perform cleverer tricks than all the American and English ʺJohn Kingsʺ together. Robert Houdin unquestionably could, but this did not prevent his laughing outright in the face of the academicians, when they desired him to assert in the


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newspapers, that he could make a table move, or rap answers to questions, without contact of hands, unless the table was a prepared one.* The fact alone, that a now notorious London juggler refused to accept a challenge for £1,000 offered him by Mr. Algernon Joy,† to produce such manifestations as are usually obtained through mediums, unless he was left unbound and free from the hands of a committee, negatives his expose of the occult phenomena. Clever as he may be, we defy and challenge him to reproduce, under the same conditions, the ʺtricksʺ exhibited even by a common Indian juggler. For instance, the spot to be chosen by the investigators at the moment of the performance, and the juggler to know nothing of the choice; the experiment to be made in broad daylight, without the least preparations for it; without any confederate but a boy absolutely naked, and the juggler to be in a condition of semi‐nudity. After that, we should select out of a variety three tricks, the most common among such public jugglers, and that were recently exhibited to some gentlemen belonging to the suite of the Prince of Wales: 1. To transform a rupee — firmly clasped in the hand of a skeptic — into a living cobra, the bite of which would prove fatal, as an examination of its fangs would show. 2. To cause a seed chosen at random by the spectators, and planted in the first semblance of a flower‐pot, furnished by the same skeptics, to

* See de Mirvilleʹs ʺQuestion des Esprits,ʺ and the works on the
ʺPhenomenes Spirites,ʺ by de Gasparin.

† Honorary Secretary to the National Association of Spiritualists of London.

grow, mature, and bear fruit in less than a quarter of an hour. 3. To stretch himself on three swords, stuck perpendicularly in the ground at their hilts, the sharp points upward; after that, to have removed first one of the swords, then the other, and, after an interval of a few seconds, the last one, the juggler remaining, finally, lying on nothing — on the air, miraculously suspended at about one yard from the ground. When any prestidigitateur, to begin with Houdin and end with the last trickster who has secured gratuitous advertisement by attacking spiritualism, does the same, then

— but only then — we will train ourselves to believe that mankind has been evolved out of the hind‐toe of Mr. Huxleyʹs Eocene Orohippus.


We assert again, in full confidence, that there does not exist a professional wizard, either of the North, South or West, who can compete with anything approaching success, with these untutored, naked sons of the East. These require no Egyptian Hall for their performances, nor any preparations or rehearsals; but are ever ready, at a momentʹs notice, to evoke to their help the hidden powers of nature, which, for European prestidigitateurs as well as for scientists, are a closed book. Verily, as Elihu puts it, ʺgreat men are not always wise; neither do the aged understand judgment.ʺ‡ To repeat the remark of the English divine, Dr. Henry More, we

‡ Job.


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may well say: ʺ. . . indeed, if there were any modesty left in mankind, the histories of the Bible might abundantly assure men of the existence of angels and spirits.ʺ The same eminent man adds, ʺI look upon it as a special piece of Providence that

. . . fresh examples of apparitions may awaken our benumbed and lethargic minds into an assurance that there are other intelligent beings besides those that are clothed in heavy earth or clay . . . for this evidence, showing that there are bad spirits, will necessarily open a door to the belief that there are good ones, and lastly, that there is a God.ʺ The instance above given carries a moral with it, not only to scientists, but theologians. Men who have made their mark in the pulpit and in professorsʹ chairs, are continually showing the lay public that they really know so little of psychology, as to take up with any plausible schemer who comes their way, and so make themselves ridiculous in the eyes of the thoughtful student. Public opinion upon this subject has been manufactured by jugglers and self‐styled savants, unworthy of respectful consideration.


The development of psychological science has been retarded far more by the ridicule of this class of pretenders, than by the inherent difficulties of its study. The empty laugh of the scientific nursling or of the fools of fashion, has done more to keep man ignorant of his imperial psychical powers, than the obscurities, the obstacles and the dangers that cluster about the subject. This is especially the case with spiritualistic

phenomena. That their investigation has been so largely confined to incapables, is due to the fact that men of science, who might and would have studied them, have been frightened off by the boasted exposures, the paltry jokes, and the impertinent clamor of those who are not worthy to tie their shoes. There are moral cowards even in university chairs. The inherent vitality of modern spiritualism is proven in its survival of the neglect of the scientific body, and of the obstreperous boasting of its pretended exposers. If we begin with the contemptuous sneers of the patriarchs of science, such as Faraday and Brewster, and end with the professional

(?) exposes of the successful mimicker of the phenomena, —, of London, we will not find them furnishing one single, well‐ established argument against the occurrence of spiritual manifestations. ʺMy theory is,ʺ says this individual, in his recent soi‐disant ʺexpose,ʺ ʺthat Mr. Williams dressed up and personified John King and Peter. Nobody can prove that it wasnʹt so.ʺ Thus it appears that, notwithstanding the bold tone of assertion, it is but a theory after all, and spiritualists might well retort upon the exposer, and demand that he should prove that it is so.

But the most inveterate, uncompromising enemies of Spiritualism are a class very fortunately composed of but few members, who, nevertheless, declaim the louder and assert their views with a clamorousness worthy of a better cause. These are the pretenders to science of young America — a mongrel class of pseudo‐philosophers, mentioned at the opening of this chapter, with sometimes no better right to be


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regarded as scholars than the possession of an electrical machine, or the delivery of a puerile lecture on insanity and mediomania. Such men are — if you believe them — profound thinkers and physiologists; there is none of your metaphysical nonsense about them; they are Positivists — the mental sucklings of Auguste Comte, whose bosoms swell at the thought of plucking deluded humanity from the dark abyss of superstition, and rebuilding the cosmos on improved principles. Irascible psychophobists, no more cutting insult can be offered them than to suggest that they may be endowed with immortal spirits. To hear them, one would fancy that there can be no other souls in men and women than ʺscientificʺ or ʺunscientific soulsʺ; whatever that kind of soul may be.*

Some thirty or forty years ago, in France, Auguste Comte

— a pupil of the Ecole Polytechnique, who had remained for years at that establishment as a repetiteur of Transcendant Analysis and Rationalistic Mechanics — awoke one fine morning with the very irrational idea of becoming a prophet. In America, prophets can be met with at every street‐corner; in Europe, they are as rare as black swans. But France is the land of novelties. Auguste Comte became a prophet; and so infectious is fashion, sometimes, that even in sober England he was considered, for a certain time, the Newton of the nineteenth century.

* See Dr. F. R. Marvinʹs ʺLectures on Mediomania and Insanity.ʺ

The epidemic extended, and for the time being, it spread like wildfire over Germany, England, and America. It found adepts in France, but the excitement did not last long with these. The prophet needed money: the disciples were unwilling to furnish it. The fever of admiration for a religion without a God cooled off as quickly as it had come on; of all the enthusiastic apostles of the prophet, there remained but one worthy of any attention. It was the famous philologist Littre, a member of the French Institute, and a would‐be member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, but whom the archbishop of Orleans maliciously prevented from becoming one of the ʺImmortals.ʺ†

The philosopher‐mathematician — the high‐priest of the ʺreligion of the futureʺ — taught his doctrine as do all his brother‐prophets of our modern days. He deified ʺwoman,ʺ and furnished her with an altar; but the goddess had to pay for its use. The rationalists had laughed at the mental aberration of Fourier; they had laughed at the St. Simonists; and their scorn for Spiritualism knew no bounds. The same rationalists and materialists were caught, like so many empty‐headed sparrows, by the bird‐lime of the new prophetʹs rhetoric. A longing for some kind of divinity, a craving for the ʺunknown,ʺ is a feeling congenital in man; hence the worst atheists seem not to be exempt from it. Deceived by the outward brilliancy of this ignus fatuus, the

† Vapereau, ʺBiographie Contemporaine,ʺ art. Littre; and Des Mousseaux,

ʺLes Hauts Phenomenes de la Magie,ʺ ch. 6.


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disciples followed it until they found themselves floundering in a bottomless morass.

Covering themselves with the mask of a pretended erudition, the Positivists of this country have organized themselves into clubs and committees with the design of uprooting Spiritualism, while pretending to impartially investigate it.

Too timid to openly challenge the churches and the Christian doctrine, they endeavor to sap that upon which all religion is based — manʹs faith in God and his own immortality. Their policy is to ridicule that which affords an unusual basis for such a faith — phenomenal Spiritualism.

Attacking it at its weakest side, they make the most of its lack of an inductive method, and of the exaggerations that are to be found in the transcendental doctrines of its propagandists. Taking advantage of its unpopularity, and displaying a courage as furious and out of place as that of the errant knight of La Mancha, they claim recognition as philanthropists and benefactors who would crush out a monstrous superstition.

Let us see in what degree Comteʹs boasted religion of the future is superior to Spiritualism, and how much less likely its advocates are to need the refuge of those lunatic asylums which they officiously recommend for the mediums whom they have been so solicitous about. Before beginning, let us call attention to the fact that three‐fourths of the disgraceful features exhibited in modern Spiritualism are directly

traceable to the materialistic adventurers pretending to be spiritualists. Comte has fulsomely depicted the ʺartificially‐ fecundatedʺ woman of the future. She is but elder sister to the Cyprian ideal of the free‐lovers. The immunity against the future offered by the teachings of his moonstruck disciples, has inoculated some pseudo‐spiritualists to such an extent as to lead them to form communistic associations. None, however, have proved long‐lived. Their leading feature being generally a materialistic animalism, gilded over with a thin leaf of Dutch‐metal philosophy and tricked out with a combination of hard Greek names, the community could not prove anything else than a failure.

Plato, in the fifth book of the Republic, suggests a method for improving the human race by the elimination of the unhealthy or deformed individuals, and by coupling the better specimens of both sexes. It was not to be expected that the ʺgenius of our century,ʺ even were he a prophet, would squeeze out of his brain anything entirely new.

Comte was a mathematician. Cleverly combining several old utopias, he colored the whole, and, improving on Platoʹs idea, materialized it, and presented the world with the greatest monstrosity that ever emanated from a human mind!

We beg the reader to keep in view, that we do not attack Comte as a philosopher, but as a professed reformer. In the irremediable darkness of his political, philosophical and religious views, we often meet with isolated observations and remarks in which profound logic and judiciousness of thought rival the brilliancy of their interpretation. But then,


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these dazzle you like flashes of lightning on a gloomy night, to leave you, the next moment, more in the dark than ever. If condensed and repunctuated, his several works might produce, on the whole, a volume of very original aphorisms, giving a very clear and really clever definition of most of our social evils; but it would be vain to seek, either through the tedious circumlocution of the six volumes of his Cours de Philosophie Positive, or in that parody on priesthood, in the form of a dialogue — The Catechism of the Religion of Positivism

— any idea suggestive of even provisional remedies for such evils. His disciples suggest that the sublime doctrines of their prophet were not intended for the vulgar. Comparing the dogmas preached by Positivism with their practical exemplifications by its apostles, we must confess the possibility of some very achromatic doctrine being at the bottom of it. While the ʺhigh‐priestʺ preaches that ʺwoman must cease to be the female of the manʺ;* while the theory of the positivist legislators on marriage and the family, chiefly consists in making the woman the ʺmere companion of man by ridding her of every maternal functionʺ;† and while they are preparing against the future a substitute for that function by applying ʺto the chaste womanʺ ʺa latent force,ʺ‡ some of its lay priests openly preach polygamy, and others affirm that their doctrines are the quintessence of spiritual philosophy.

* A. Comte, ʺSysteme de Politique Positive,ʺ vol. i., p. 203, etc.
† Ibid.

‡ Ibid.

In the opinion of the Romish clergy, who labor under a chronic nightmare of the devil, Comte offers his ʺwoman of the futureʺ to the possession of the ʺincubi.ʺ§ In the opinion of more prosaic persons, the Divinity of Positivism, must henceforth be regarded as a biped broodmare. Even Littre, made prudent restrictions while accepting the apostleship of this marvellous religion. This is what he wrote in 1859: ʺM. Comte not only thought that he found the principles, traced the outlines, and furnished the method, but that he had deduced the consequences and constructed the social and religious edifice of the future. It is in this second division that we make our reservations, declaring, at the same time, that we accept as an inheritance, the whole of the first.ʺ**

Further, he says: ʺM. Comte, in a grand work entitled the

System of the Positive Philosophy, established the basis of a philosophy [?] which must finally supplant every theology and the whole of metaphysics. Such a work necessarily contains a direct application to the government of societies; as it has nothing arbitrary in it [?] and as we find therein a real science [?], my adhesion to the principles involves my adhesion to the essential consequences.ʺ

M. Littre has shown himself in the light of a true son of his prophet. Indeed the whole system of Comte appears to us to have been built on a play of words. When they say

ʺPositivism,ʺ read Nihilism; when you hear the word chastity,

§ See des Mousseaux, ʺHauts Phenomenes de la Magie,ʺ chap. 6.

** Littre, ʺParoles de Philosophie Positive.ʺ


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know that it means impudicity; and so on. Being a religion based on a theory of negation, its adherents can hardly carry it out practically without saying white when meaning black!

ʺPositive Philosophy,ʺ continues Littre, ʺdoes not accept atheism, for the atheist is not a really‐emancipated mind, but is, in his own way, a theologian still; he gives his explanation about the essence of things; he knows how they began! . . .

Atheism is Pantheism; this system is quite theological yet, and thus belongs to the ancient party.ʺ*

It really would be losing time to quote any more of these paradoxical dissertations. Comte attained to the apotheosis of absurdity and inconsistency when, after inventing his philosophy, he named it a ʺReligion.ʺ And, as is usually the case, the disciples have surpassed the reformer — in absurdity. Supposititious philosophers, who shine in the American academies of Comte, like a lampyris noctiluca beside a planet, leave us in no doubt as to their belief, and contrast ʺthat system of thought and lifeʺ elaborated by the French apostle with the ʺidiocyʺ of Spiritualism; of course to the advantage of the former. ʺTo destroy, you must replaceʺ; exclaims the author of the Catechism of the Religion of Positivism, quoting Cassaudiere, by the way, without crediting him with the thought; and his disciples proceed to show by what sort of a loathsome system they are anxious to replace Christianity, Spiritualism, and even Science.

ʺPositivism,ʺ perorates one of them, ʺis an integral doctrine. It rejects completely all forms of theological and metaphysical belief; all forms of supernaturalism, and thus — Spiritualism. The true positive spirit consists in substituting the study of the invariable laws of phenomena for that of their so‐called causes, whether proximate or primary. On this ground it equally rejects atheism; for the atheist is at bottom a theologian,ʺ he adds, plagiarizing sentences from Littreʹs works: ʺthe atheist does not reject the problems of theology, only the solution of these, and so he is illogical. We Positivists reject the problem in our turn on the ground that it is utterly inaccessible to the intellect, and we would only waste our strength in a vain search for first and final causes. As you see, Positivism gives a complete explanation [?] of the world, of man, his duty and destiny . . . . ʺ!†

Very brilliant this; and now, by way of contrast, we will quote what a really great scientist, Professor Hare, thinks of this system. ʺComteʹs positive philosophy,ʺ he says, ʺafter all, is merely negative. It is admitted by Comte, that he knows nothing of the sources and causes of natureʹs laws; that their origination is so perfectly inscrutable as to make it idle to — take up time in any scrutiny for that purpose. . . . Of course his doctrine makes him avowedly a thorough ignoramus, as to the causes of laws, or the means by which they are established, and can have no basis but the negative argument above stated, in objecting to the facts ascertained in relation to

* Littre, ʺParoles de Philosophie Positive,ʺ vii., 57. † ʺSpiritualism and Charlatanism.ʺ


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the spiritual creation. Thus, while allowing the atheist his material dominion, Spiritualism will erect within and above the same space a dominion of an importance as much greater as eternity is to the average duration of human life, and as the boundless regions of the fixed stars are to the habitable area of this globe.ʺ*

In short, Positivism proposes to itself to destroy Theology, Metaphysics, Spiritualism, Atheism, Materialism, Pantheism, and Science, and it must finally end in destroying itself. De Mirville thinks that according to Positivism, ʺorder will begin to reign in the human mind only on the day when psychology will become a sort of cerebral physics, and history a kind of social physics.ʺ The modern Mohammed first disburdens man and woman of God and their own soul, and then unwittingly disembowels his own doctrine with the too sharp sword of metaphysics, which all the time he thought he was avoiding, thus letting out every vestige of philosophy.

In 1864, M. Paul Janet, a member of the Institute, pronounced a discourse upon Positivism, in which occur the following remarkable words:

ʺThere are some minds which were brought up and fed on exact and positive sciences, but which feel nevertheless, a sort of instinctive impulse for philosophy. They can satisfy this instinct but with elements that they have already on hand. Ignorant in psychological sciences, having studied only the rudiments of metaphysics, they nevertheless are determined

* Prof. Hare, ʺOn Positivism,ʺ p. 29.

to fight these same metaphysics as well as psychology, of which they know as little as of the other. After this is done, they will imagine themselves to have founded a Positive Science, while the truth is that they have only built up a new mutilated and incomplete metaphysical theory. They arrogate to themselves the authority and infallibility properly belonging alone to the true sciences, those which are based on experience and calculations; but they lack such an authority, for their ideas, defective as they may be, nevertheless belong to the same class as those which they attack. Hence the weakness of their situation, the final ruin of their ideas, which are soon scattered to the four winds.ʺ†

The Positivists of America have joined hands in their untiring efforts to overthrow Spiritualism. To show their impartiality, though, they propound such novel queries as follows: ʺ . . . how much rationality is there in the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception, the Trinity and Transubstantiation, if submitted to the tests of physiology, mathematics, and chemistry?ʺ and they ʺundertake to say, that the vagaries of Spiritualism do not surpass in absurdity these eminently respectable beliefs.ʺ Very well. But there is neither theological absurdity nor spiritualistic delusion that can match in depravity and imbecility that positivist notion of ʺartificial fecundation.ʺ Denying to themselves all thought on primal and final causes, they apply their insane theories to the construction of an impossible woman for the worship of

† ʺJournal des Debats,ʺ 1864. See also des Mousseauxʹs ʺHauts Phen. de la Magie.ʺ


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future generations; the living, immortal companion of man they would replace with the Indian female fetich of the Obeah, the wooden idol that is stuffed every day with serpentsʹ eggs, to be hatched by the heat of the sun!

And now, if we are permitted to ask in the name of common‐sense, why should Christian mystics be taxed with credulity or the spiritualists be consigned to Bedlam, when a religion embodying such revolting absurdity finds disciples even among Academicians? — when such insane rhapsodies as the following can be uttered by the mouth of Comte and admired by his followers: ʺMy eyes are dazzled; — they open each day more and more to the increasing coincidence between the social advent of the feminine mystery, and the mental decadence of the eucharistical sacrament. Already the Virgin has dethroned God in the minds of Southern Catholics! Positivism realizes the Utopia of the mediæval ages, by representing all the members of the great family as the issue of a virgin mother without a husband. . . .ʺ And again, after giving the modus operandi: ʺThe development of the new process would soon cause to spring up a caste without heredity, better adapted than vulgar procreation to the recruitment of spiritual chiefs, or even temporal ones, whose authority would then rest upon an origin truly superior, which would not shrink from an investigation.ʺ*

To this we might inquire with propriety, whether there has ever been found in the ʺvagaries of Spiritualism,ʺ or the

* ʺPhilosophie Positive,ʺ Vol. iv., p. 279.

mysteries of Christianity, anything more preposterous than this ideal ʺcoming race.ʺ If the tendency of materialism is not grossly belied by the behavior of some of its advocates, those who publicly preach polygamy, we fancy that whether or not there will ever be a sacerdotal stirp so begotten, we shall see no end of progeny, — the offspring of ʺmothers without husbands.ʺ

How natural that a philosophy which could engender such a caste of didactic incubi, should express through the pen of one of its most garrulous essayists, the following sentiments: ʺThis is a sad, a very sad age,† full of dead and dying faiths; full of idle prayers sent out in vain search for the departing gods. But oh! it is a glorious age, full of the golden light which streams from the ascending sun of science! What shall we do for those who are shipwrecked in faith, bankrupt in intellect, but . . . who seek comfort in the mirage of spiritualism, the delusions of transcendentalism, or the will oʹ the wisp of mesmerism? . . .ʺ

The ignis fatuus, now so favorite an image with many dwarf philosophers, had itself to struggle for recognition. It is not so long since the now familiar phenomenon was stoutly denied by a correspondent of the London Times, whose assertions carried weight, till the work of Dr. Phipson, supported by the testimony of Beccaria, Humboldt, and other naturalists, set the question at rest.‡ The Positivists should

† Dr. F. R. Marvin, ʺLecture on Insanity.ʺ

‡ See Howitt, ʺHistory of the Supernatural,ʺ vol. ii.


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choose some happier expression, and follow the discoveries of science at the same time. As to mesmerism, it has been adopted in many parts of Germany, and is publicly used with undeniable success in more than one hospital; its occult properties have been proved and are believed in by physicians, whose eminence, learning, and merited fame, the self‐complacent lecturer on mediums and insanity cannot well hope to equal.

We have to add but a few more words before we drop this unpleasant subject. We have found Positivists particularly happy in the delusion that the greatest scientists of Europe were Comtists. How far their claims may be just, as regards other savants, we do not know, but Huxley, whom all Europe considers one of her greatest scientists, most decidedly declines that honor, and Dr. Maudsley, of London, follows suit. In a lecture delivered by the former gentleman in 1868, in Edinburgh, on The Physical Basis of Life, he even appears to be very much shocked at the liberty taken by the Archbishop of York, in identifying him with Comteʹs philosophy. ʺSo far as I am concerned,ʺ says Mr. Huxley, ʺthe most reverend prelate might dialectically hew Mr. Comte in pieces, as a modern Agag, and I would not attempt to stay his hand. In so far as my study of what specially characterizes the positive philosophy has led me, I find, therein, little or nothing of any scientific value, and a great deal which is as thoroughly antagonistic to the very essence of science as anything in ultramontane Catholicism. In fact, Comteʹs philosophy in practice might be compendiously described as Catholicism

minus Christianity.ʺ Further, Huxley even becomes wrathful, and falls to accusing Scotchmen of ingratitude for having allowed the Bishop to mistake Comte for the founder of a philosophy which belonged by right to Hume. ʺIt was enough,ʺ exclaims the professor, ʺto make David Hume turn in his grave, that here, almost within earshot of his house, an interested audience should have listened, without a murmur, whilst his most characteristic doctrines were attributed to a French writer of fifty years later date, in whose dreary and verbose pages we miss alike the vigor of thought and the clearness of style. . . .ʺ*

Poor Comte! It appears that the highest representatives of his philosophy are now reduced, at least in this country, to ʺone physicist, one physician who has made a specialty of nervous diseases, and one lawyer.ʺ A very witty critic nicknamed this desperate trio, ʺan anomalistic triad, which, amid its arduous labors, finds no time to acquaint itself with the principles and laws of their language.ʺ†

To close the question, the Positivists neglect no means to overthrow Spiritualism in favor of their religion. Their high priests are made to blow their trumpets untiringly; and though the walls of no modern Jericho are ever likely to

* Prof. Huxley, ʺPhysical Basis of Life.ʺ

† Reference is made to a card which appeared some time since in a New York paper, signed by three persons styling themselves as above, and assuming to be a scientific committee appointed two years before to investigate spiritual phenomena. The criticism on the triad appeared in the ʺNew Eraʺ magazine.


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tumble down in dust before their blast, still they neglect no means to attain the desired object. Their paradoxes are unique, and their accusations against spiritualists irresistible in logic. In a recent lecture, for instance, it was remarked that: ʺThe exclusive exercise of religious instinct is productive of sexual immorality. Priests, monks, nuns, saints, media, ecstatics, and devotees are famous for their impurities.ʺ*

We are happy to remark that, while Positivism loudly proclaims itself a religion, Spiritualism has never pretended to be anything more than a science, a growing philosophy, or rather a research in hidden and as yet unexplained forces in nature. The objectiveness of its various phenomena has been demonstrated by more than one genuine representative of science, and as ineffectually denied by her ʺmonkeys.ʺ Finally, it may be remarked of our Positivists who deal so unceremoniously with every psychological phenomenon, that they are like Samuel Butlerʹs rhetorician, who

ʺ. . . . could not ope

His mouth, but out there flew a trope.ʺ

We would there were no occasion to extend the criticʹs glance beyond the circle of triflers and pedants who improperly wear the title of men of science. But it is also undeniable that the treatment of new subjects by those whose rank is high in the scientific world but too often passes unchallenged, when it is amenable to censure. The cautiousness bred of a fixed habit of experimental research,

* Dr. Marvin, ʺLecture on Insanity,ʺ N. Y., 1875.

the tentative advance from opinion to opinion, the weight accorded to recognized authorities — all foster a conservatism of thought which naturally runs into dogmatism. The price of scientific progress is too commonly the martyrdom or ostracism of the innovator. The reformer of the laboratory must, so to speak, carry the citadel of custom and prejudice at the point of the bayonet. It is rare that even a postern‐door is left ajar by a friendly hand. The noisy protests and impertinent criticisms of the little people of the antechamber of science, he can afford to let pass unnoticed; the hostility of the other class is a real peril that the innovator must face and overcome. Knowledge does increase apace, but the great body of scientists are not entitled to the credit. In every instance they have done their best to shipwreck the new discovery, together with the discoverer. The palm is to him who has won it by individual courage, intuitiveness, and persistency. Few are the forces in nature which, when first announced, were not laughed at, and then set aside as absurd and unscientific. Humbling the pride of those who had not discovered anything, the just claims of those who have been denied a hearing until negation was no longer prudent, and then — alas for poor, selfish humanity! these very discoverers too often became the opponents and oppressors, in their turn, of still more recent explorers in the domain of natural law! So, step by step, mankind move around their circumscribed circle of knowledge, science constantly correcting its mistakes, and readjusting on the following day the erroneous theories of the preceding one. This has been the case, not merely with


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questions pertaining to psychology, such as mesmerism, in its dual sense of a physical and spiritual phenomenon, but even with such discoveries as directly related to exact sciences, and have been easy to demonstrate.

What can we do? Shall we recall the disagreeable past? Shall we point to mediæval scholars conniving with the clergy to deny the Heliocentric theory, for fear of hurting an ecclesiastical dogma? Must we recall how learned conchologists once denied that the fossil shells, found scattered over the face of the earth, were ever inhabited by living animals at all? How the naturalists of the eighteenth century declared these but mere fac‐similes of animals? And how these naturalists fought and quarrelled and battled and called each other names, over these venerable mummies of the ancient ages for nearly a century, until Buffon settled the question by proving to the negators that they were mistaken? Surely an oyster‐shell is anything but transcendental, and ought to be quite a palpable subject for any exact study; and if the scientists could not agree on that, we can hardly expect them to believe at all that evanescent forms, — of hands, faces, and whole bodies sometimes — appear at the seances of spiritual mediums, when the latter are honest.


There exists a certain work which might afford very profitable reading for the leisure hours of skeptical men of science. It is a book published by Flourens, the Perpetual Secretary of the French Academy, called Histoire des

Recherches de Buffon. The author shows in it how the great naturalist combated and finally conquered the advocates of the fac‐simile theory; and how they still went on denying everything under the sun, until at times the learned body fell into a fury, an epidemic of negation. It denied Franklin and his refined electricity; laughed at Fulton and his concentrated steam; voted the engineer Perdormet a strait‐jacket for his offer to build railroads; stared Harvey out of countenance; and proclaimed Bernard de Palissy ʺas stupid as one of his own pots!ʺ

In his oft‐quoted work, Conflict between Religion and Science, Professor Draper shows a decided propensity to kick the beam of the scales of justice, and lay all such impediments to the progress of science at the door of the clergy alone. With all respect and admiration due to this eloquent writer and scientist, we must protest and give every one his just due. Many of the above‐enumerated discoveries are mentioned by the author of the Conflict. In every case he denounces the bitter resistance on the part of the clergy, and keeps silent on the like opposition invariably experienced by every new discoverer at the hands of science. His claim on behalf of science that ʺknowledge is powerʺ is undoubtedly just. But abuse of power, whether it proceeds from excess of wisdom or ignorance is alike obnoxious in its effects. Besides, the clergy are silenced now. Their protests would at this day be scarcely noticed in the world of science. But while theology is kept in the background, the scientists have seized the sceptre of despotism with both hands, and they use it, like the


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cherubim and flaming sword of Eden, to keep the people away from the tree of immortal life and within this world of perishable matter.

The editor of the London Spiritualist, in answer to Dr. Gullyʹs criticism of Mr. Tyndallʹs fire‐mist theory, remarks that if the entire body of spiritualists are not roasting alive at Smithfield in the present century, it is to science alone that we are indebted for this crowning mercy. Well, let us admit that the scientists are indirectly public benefactors in this case, to the extent that the burning of erudite scholars is no longer fashionable. But is it unfair to ask whether the disposition manifested toward the spiritualistic doctrine by Faraday, Tyndall, Huxley, Agassiz, and others, does not warrant the suspicion that if these learned gentlemen and their following had the unlimited power once held by the Inquisition, spiritualists would not have reason to feel as easy as they do now? Even supposing that they should not roast believers in the existence of a spirit‐world — it being unlawful to cremate people alive — would they not send every spiritualist they could to Bedlam? Do they not call us ʺincurable monomaniacs,ʺ ʺhallucinated fools,ʺ ʺfetich‐worshippers,ʺ and like characteristic names? Really, we cannot see what should have stimulated to such extent the gratitude of the editor of the London Spiritualist, for the benevolent tutelage of the men of science. We believe that the recent Lankester‐ Donkin‐Slade prosecution in London ought at last to open the eyes of hopeful spiritualists, and show them that stubborn

materialism is often more stupidly bigoted than religious fanaticism itself.

One of the cleverest productions of Professor Tyndallʹs pen is his caustic essay upon Martineau and Materialism. At the same time it is one which in future years the author will doubtless be only too ready to trim of certain unpardonable grossnesses of expression. For the moment, however, we will not deal with these, but consider what he has to say of the phenomenon of consciousness. He quotes this question from Mr. Martineau: ʺA man can say ʹI feel, I think, I loveʹ; but how does consciousness infuse itself into the problem?ʺ And thus answers: ʺThe passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a definite thought and a molecular action in the brain occur simultaneously; we do not possess the intellectual organ nor apparently any rudiments of the organ, which would enable us to pass by a process of reasoning from one to the other. They appear together, but we do not know why. Were our minds and senses so expanded, strengthened and illuminated, as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be; and were we intimately acquainted with the corresponding states of thought and feeling, we should be as far as ever from the solution of the problem, ʹHow are these physical processes connected with the facts of consciousness?ʹ


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The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually impassable.ʺ*

This chasm, as impassable to Professor Tyndall as the fire‐ mist where the scientist is confronted with his unknowable cause, is a barrier only to men without spiritual intuitions. Professor Buchananʹs Outlines of Lectures on the Neurological System of Anthropology, a work written so far back as 1854, contains suggestions that, if the sciolists would only heed them, would show how a bridge can be thrown across this dreadful abyss. It is one of the bins in which the thought‐seed of future harvests is stored up by a frugal present. But the edifice of materialism is based entirely upon that gross sub‐ structure — the reason. When they have stretched its capabilities to their utmost limits, its teachers can at best only disclose to us an universe of molecules animated by an occult impulse. What better diagnosis of the ailment of our scientists could be asked than can be derived from Professor Tyndallʹs analysis of the mental state of the Ultramontane clergy by a very slight change of names. For ʺspiritual guidesʺ read ʺscientists,ʺ for ʺprescientific pastʺ substitute ʺmaterialistic present,ʺ say ʺspiritʺ for ʺscience,ʺ and in the following paragraph we have a life portrait of the modern man of science drawn by the hand of a master:

ʺ . . . Their spiritual guides live so exclusively in the prescientific past, that even the really strong intellects among them are reduced to atrophy as regards scientific truth. Eyes

* Tyndall, ʺFragments of Science.ʺ

they have and see not; ears they have and hear not; for both eyes and ears are taken possession of by the sights and sounds of another age. In relation to science, the Ultramontane brain, through lack of exercise, is virtually the undeveloped brain of the child. And thus it is that as children in scientific knowledge, but as potent wielders of spiritual power among the ignorant, they countenance and enforce practices sufficient to bring the blush of shame to the cheeks of the more intelligent among themselves.ʺ† The Occultist holds this mirror up to science that it may see how it looks itself.

Since history recorded the first laws established by man, there never was yet a people, whose code did not hang the issues of the life and death of its citizens upon the testimony of two or three credible witnesses. ʺAt the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death,ʺ‡ says Moses, the first legislator we meet in ancient history. ʺThe laws which put to death a man on the deposition of one witness are fatal to freedomʺ — says Montesquieu. ʺReason claims there should be two witnesses.ʺ§

Thus the value of evidence has been tacitly agreed upon and accepted in every country. But the scientists will not accept the evidence of the million against one. In vain do

† Tyndall, Preface to ʺFragments of Science.ʺ
‡ Deuteronomy, chap. xvii., 6.

§ Montesquieu, Esprit des Lois I., xii., chap. 3.


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hundreds of thousands of men testify to facts. Oculos habent et non vident! They are determined to remain blind and deaf. Thirty years of practical demonstrations and the testimony of some millions of believers in America and Europe are certainly entitled to some degree of respect and attention. Especially so, when the verdict of twelve spiritualists, influenced by the evidence testified to by any two others, is competent to send even a scientist to swing on the gallows for a crime, perhaps committed under the impulse supplied by a commotion among the cerebral molecules unrestrained by a consciousness of future moral RETRIBUTION.

Toward science as a whole, as a divine goal, the whole civilized world ought to look with respect and veneration; for science alone can enable man to understand the Deity by the true appreciation of his works. ʺScience is the understanding of truth or facts,ʺ says Webster; ʺit is an investigation of truth for its own sake and a pursuit of pure knowledge.ʺ If the definition be correct, then the majority of our modern scholars have proved false to their goddess. ʺTruth for its own sake!ʺ And where should the keys to every truth in nature be searched for, unless in the hitherto unexplored mystery of psychology? Alas! that in questioning nature so many men of science should daintily sort over her facts and choose only such for study as best bolster their prejudices.

Psychology has no worse enemies than the medical school denominated allopathists. It is in vain to remind them that of the so‐called exact sciences, medicine, confessedly, least deserves the name. Although of all branches of medical

knowledge, psychology ought more than any other to be studied by physicians, since without its help their practice degenerates into mere guess‐work and chance‐intuitions, they almost wholly neglect it. The least dissent from their promulgated doctrines is resented as a heresy, and though an unpopular and unrecognized curative method should be shown to save thousands, they seem, as a body, disposed to cling to accepted hypotheses and prescriptions, and decry both innovator and innovation until they get the mint‐stamp of regularity. Thousands of unlucky patients may die meanwhile, but so long as professional honor is vindicated, this is a matter of secondary importance.

Theoretically the most benignant, at the same time no other school of science exhibits so many instances of petty prejudice, materialism, atheism, and malicious stubbornness as medicine. The predilections and patronage of the leading physicians are scarcely ever measured by the usefulness of a discovery. Bleeding, by leeching, cupping, and the lancet, had its epidemic of popularity, but at last fell into merited disgrace; water, now freely given to fevered patients, was once denied them, warm baths were superseded by cold water, and for a while hydropathy was a mania. Peruvian bark — which a modern defender of biblical authority seriously endeavors to identify with the paradisiacal ʺTree of Life,ʺ* and which was brought to Spain in 1632 — was neglected for years. The Church, for once, showed more

* C. B. Warring.


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discrimination than science. At the request of Cardinal de Lugo, Innocent X. gave it the prestige of his powerful name.


In an old book entitled Demonologia, the author cites many instances of important remedies which being neglected at first afterward rose into notice through mere accident. He also shows that most of the new discoveries in medicine have turned out to be no more than ʺthe revival and readoption of very ancient practices.ʺ During the last century, the root of the male fern was sold and widely advertised as a secret nostrum by a Madame Nouffleur, a female quack, for the effective cure of the tapeworm. The secret was bought by Louis XV. for a large sum of money; after which the physicians discovered that it was recommended and administered in that disease by Galen. The famous powder of the Duke of Portland for the gout, was the diacentaureon of Cælius Aurelianus. Later it was ascertained that it had been used by the earliest medical writers, who had found it in the writings of the old Greek philosophers. So with the eau medicinale of Dr. Husson, whose name it bears. This famous remedy for the gout was recognized under its new mask to be the Colchicum autumnale, or meadow saffron, which is identical with a plant called Hermodactylus, whose merits as a certain antidote to gout were recognized and defended by Oribasius, a great physician of the fourth century, and Ætius Amidenus, another eminent physician of Alexandria (fifth century). Subsequently it was abandoned and fell into

disfavor only because it was too old to be considered good by the members of the medical faculties that flourished toward the end of the last century!

Even the great Magendie, the wise physiologist, was not above discovering that which had already been discovered and found good by the oldest physicians. His proposed remedy against consumption, namely, the use of prussic acid, may be found in the works of Linnæus, Amenitates Academicæ, vol. iv., in which he shows distilled laurel water to have been used with great profit in pulmonary consumption. Pliny also assures us that the extract of almonds and cherry‐pits had cured the most obstinate coughs. As the author of Demonologia well remarks, it may be asserted with perfect safety that ʺall the various secret preparations of opium which have been lauded as the discovery of modern times, may be recognized in the works of ancient authors,ʺ who see themselves so discredited in our days.

It is admitted on all hands that from time immemorial the distant East was the land of knowledge. Not even in Egypt were botany and mineralogy so extensively studied as by the savants of archaic Middle Asia. Sprengel, unjust and prejudiced as he shows himself in everything else, confesses this much in his Histoire de la Medicine. And yet, notwithstanding this, whenever the subject of magic is discussed, that of India has rarely suggested itself to any one, for of its general practice in that country less is known than among any other ancient people. With the Hindus it was and is more esoteric, if possible, than it was even among the


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Egyptian priests. So sacred was it deemed that its existence was only half admitted, and it was only practiced in public emergencies. It was more than a religious matter, for it was considered divine. The Egyptian hierophants, notwithstanding the practice of a stern and pure morality, could not be compared for one moment with the ascetical Gymnosophists, either in holiness of life or miraculous powers developed in them by the supernatural adjuration of everything earthly. By those who knew them well they were held in still greater reverence than the magians of Chaldea. Denying themselves the simplest comforts of life, they dwelt in woods, and led the life of the most secluded hermits,* while their Egyptian brothers at least congregated together. Notwithstanding the slur thrown by history on all who practiced magic and divination, it has proclaimed them as possessing the greatest secrets in medical knowledge and unsurpassed skill in its practice. Numerous are the volumes preserved in Hindu convents, in which are recorded the proofs of their learning. To attempt to say whether these Gymnosophists were the real founders of magic in India, or whether they only practiced what had passed to them as an inheritance from the earliest Rishis†— the seven primeval sages — would be regarded as a

* Ammianus Marcellinus, xxiii., 6.

† The Rishis were seven in number, and lived in days anteceding the Vedic period. They were known as sages, and held in reverence like demigods. Haug shows that they occupy in the Brahmanical religion a position answering to that of the twelve sons of Jacob in the Jewish Bible. The Brahmans claim to descend directly from these Rishis.

mere speculation by exact scholars. ʺThe care which they took in educating youth, in familiarizing it with generous and virtuous sentiments, did them peculiar honor, and their maxims and discourses, as recorded by historians, prove that they were expert in matters of philosophy, metaphysics, astronomy, morality, and religion,ʺ says a modern writer. They preserved their dignity under the sway of the most powerful princes, whom they would not condescend to visit, or to trouble for the slightest favor. If the latter desired the advice or the prayers of the holy men, they were either obliged to go themselves, or to send messengers. To these men no secret power of either plant or mineral was unknown. They had fathomed nature to its depths, while psychology and physiology were to them open books, and the result was that science or machagiotia that is now termed, so superciliously, magic.

While the miracles recorded in the Bible have become accepted facts with the Christians, to disbelieve which is regarded as infidelity, the narratives of wonders and prodigies found in the Atharva‐Veda,‡ either provoke their contempt or are viewed as evidences of diabolism. And yet, in more than one respect, and notwithstanding the unwillingness of certain Sanscrit scholars, we can show the identity between the two. Moreover, as the Vedas have now been proved by scholars to antedate the Jewish Bible by many ages, the inference is an easy one that if one of them has

‡ The fourth Veda.


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borrowed from the other, the Hindu sacred books are not to be charged with plagiarism.

First of all, their cosmogony shows how erroneous has been the opinion prevalent among the civilized nations that Brahma was ever considered by the Hindus their chief or Supreme God. Brahma is a secondary deity, and like Jehovah is ʺa mover of the waters.ʺ He is the creating god, and has in his allegorical representations four heads, answering to the four cardinal points. He is the demiurgos, the architect of the world. ʺIn the primordiate state of the creation,ʺ says Polierʹs Mythologie des Indous, ʺthe rudimental universe, submerged in water, reposed in the bosom of the Eternal. Sprang from this chaos and darkness, Brahma, the architect of the world, poised on a lotus‐leaf floated (moved?) upon the waters, unable to discern anything but water and darkness.ʺ This is as identical as possible with the Egyptian cosmogony, which shows in its opening sentences Athtor* or Mother Night (which represents illimitable darkness) as the primeval element which covered the infinite abyss, animated by water and the universal spirit of the Eternal, dwelling alone in Chaos. As in the Jewish Scriptures, the history of the creation opens with the spirit of God and his creative emanation — another Deity.† Perceiving such a dismal state of things, Brahma soliloquizes in consternation: ʺWho am I? Whence came I?ʺ Then he hears a voice: ʺDirect your prayer to

* Orthography of the ʺArchaic Dictionary.ʺ

† We do not mean the current or accepted Bible, but the real Jewish one explained kabalistically.

Bhagavant — the Eternal, known, also, as Parabrahma.ʺ Brahma, rising from his natatory position, seats himself upon the lotus in an attitude of contemplation, and reflects upon the Eternal, who, pleased with this evidence of piety, disperses the primeval darkness and opens his understanding. ʺAfter this Brahma issues from the universal egg — (infinite chaos) as light, for his understanding is now opened, and he sets himself to work; he moves on the eternal waters, with the spirit of God within himself; in his capacity of mover of the waters he is Narayana.ʺ

The lotus, the sacred flower of the Egyptians, as well as the Hindus, is the symbol of Horus as it is that of Brahma. No temples in Thibet or Nepaul are found without it; and the meaning of this symbol is extremely suggestive. The sprig of lilies placed in the hand of the archangel, who offers them to the Virgin Mary, in the pictures of the ʺAnnunciation,ʺ have in their esoteric symbolism precisely the same meaning. We refer the reader to Sir William Jones.‡ With the Hindus, the lotus is the emblem of the productive power of nature, through the agency of fire and water (spirit and matter). ʺEternal!ʺ says a verse in the Bhagavad Gita, ʺI see Brahma the creator enthroned in thee above the lotus!ʺ and Sir W. Jones shows that the seeds of the lotus contain — even before they germinate — perfectly‐formed leaves, the miniature shapes of what one day, as perfected plants, they will become; or, as the author of The Heathen Religion, has it — ʺnature thus giving us

‡ ʺDissertations Relating to Asia.ʺ


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a specimen of the preformation of its productionsʺ; adding further that ʺthe seed of all phœnogamous plants bearing proper flowers, contain an embryo plantlet ready formed.ʺ*


With the Buddhists, it has the same signification. Maha‐ Maya, or Maha‐Deva, the mother of Gautama Buddha, had the birth of her son announced to her by Bhodisat (the spirit of Buddha), who appeared beside her couch with a lotus in his hand. Thus, also, Osiris and Horus are represented by the Egyptians constantly in association with the lotus‐flower.

These facts all go to show the identical parentage of this idea in the three religious systems, Hindu, Egyptian and Judaico‐Christian. Wherever the mystic water‐lily (lotus) is employed, it signifies the emanation of the objective from the concealed, or subjective — the eternal thought of the ever‐ invisible Deity passing from the abstract into the concrete or visible form. For as soon as darkness was dispersed and ʺthere was light,ʺ Brahmaʹs understanding was opened, and he saw in the ideal world (which had hitherto lain eternally concealed in the Divine thought) the archetypal forms of all the infinite future things that would be called into existence, and hence become visible. At this first stage of action, Brahma had not yet become the architect, the builder of the universe, for he had, like the architect, to first acquaint himself with the

* Dr. Gross, p. 195.

plan, and realize the ideal forms which were buried in the bosom of the Eternal One, as the future lotus‐leaves are concealed within the seed of that plant. And it is in this idea that we must look for the origin and explanation of the verse in the Jewish cosmogony, which reads: ʺAnd God said, Let the earth bring forth . . . the fruit‐tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself.ʺ In all the primitive religions, the ʺSon of the Fatherʺ is the creative God — i.e., His thought made visible; and before the Christian era, from the Trimurti of the Hindus down to the three kabalistic heads of the Jewish‐explained scriptures, the triune godhead of each nation was fully defined and substantiated in its allegories. In the Christian creed we see but the artificial engrafting of a new branch upon the old trunk; and the adoption by the Greek and Roman churches of the lily‐symbol held by the archangel at the moment of the Annunciation, shows a thought of precisely the same metaphysical significance.

The lotus is the product of fire (heat) and water, hence the dual symbol of spirit and matter. The God Brahma is the second person of the Trinity, as are Jehovah (Adam‐Kadmon) and Osiris, or rather Pimander, or the Power of the Thought Divine, of Hermes; for it is Pimander who represents the root of all the Egyptian Sun‐gods. The Eternal is the Spirit of Fire, which stirs up and fructifies and develops into a concrete form everything that is born of water or the primordial earth, evolved out of Brahma; but the universe is itself Brahma, and he is the universe. This is the philosophy of Spinoza, which he derived from that of Pythagoras; and it is the same for


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which Bruno died a martyr. How much Christian theology has gone astray from its point of departure, is demonstrated in this historical fact. Bruno was slaughtered for the exegesis of a symbol that was adopted by the earliest Christians, and expounded by the apostles! The sprig of water‐lilies of Bhodisat, and later of Gabriel, typifying fire and water, or the idea of creation and generation, is worked into the earliest dogma of the baptismal sacrament.

Brunoʹs and Spinozaʹs doctrines are nearly identical, though the words of the latter are more veiled, and far more cautiously chosen than those to be found in the theories of the author of the Causa Principio et Uno, or the Infinito Universo e Mondi. Both Bruno, who confesses that the source of his information was Pythagoras, and Spinoza, who, without acknowledging it as frankly, allows his philosophy to betray the secret, view the First Cause from the same stand‐point. With them, God is an Entity totally per se, an Infinite Spirit, and the only Being utterly free and independent of either effects or other causes; who, through that same Will which produced all things and gave the first impulse to every cosmic law, perpetually keeps in existence and order everything in the universe. As well as the Hindu Swâbhâvikas, erroneously called Atheists, who assume that all things, men as well as gods and spirits, were born from Swabhâva, or their own nature,* both Spinoza and Bruno

* Brahma does not create the earth, Mirtlok, any more than the rest of the universe. Having evolved himself from the soul of the world, once separated from the First Cause, he emanates in his turn all nature out of

were led to the conclusion that God is to be sought for within nature and not without. For, creation being proportional to the power of the Creator, the universe as well as its Creator must be infinite and eternal, one form emanating from its own essence, and creating in its turn another. The modern commentators affirm that Bruno, ʺunsustained by the hope of another and better world, still surrendered his life rather than his convictionsʺ; thereby allowing it to be inferred that Giordano Bruno had no belief in the continued existence of man after death. Professor Draper asserts most positively that Bruno did not believe in the immortality of the soul. Speaking of the countless victims of the religious intolerance of the Popish Church, he remarks: ʺThe passage from this life to the next, though through a hard trial, was the passage from a transient trouble to eternal happiness. . . . On his way through the dark valley, the martyr believed that there was an invisible hand that would lead him. . . . For Bruno there was no such support. The philosophical opinions, for the sake of which he surrendered his life, could give him no consolation.ʺ†

But Professor Draper seems to have a very superficial knowledge of the true belief of the philosophers. We can leave Spinoza out of the question, and even allow him to

himself. He does not stand above it, but is mixed up with it; and Brahma and the universe form one Being, each particle of which is in its essence Brahma himself, who proceeded out of himself. [Burnouf, ʺIntroduction,ʺ p. 118.]

† ʺConflict between Religion and Science,ʺ 180.


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remain in the eyes of his critics an utter atheist and materialist; for the cautious reserve which he placed upon himself in his writings makes it extremely difficult for one who does not read him between the lines, and is not thoroughly acquainted with the hidden meaning of the Pythagorean metaphysics, to ascertain what his real sentiments were. But as for Giordano Bruno, if he adhered to the doctrines of Pythagoras he must have believed in another life, hence, he could not have been an atheist whose philosophy offered him no such ʺconsolation.ʺ His accusation and subsequent confession, as given by Professor Domenico Berti, in his Life of Bruno, and compiled from original documents recently published, proved beyond doubt what were his real philosophy, creed and doctrines. In common with the Alexandrian Platonists, and the later Kabalists, he held that Jesus was a magician in the sense given to this appellation by Porphyry and Cicero, who call it the divina sapientia (divine knowledge), and by Philo Judæs, who described the Magi as the most wonderful inquirers into the hidden mysteries of nature, not in the degrading sense given to the word magic in our century. In his noble conception, the Magi were holy men, who, setting themselves apart from everything else on this earth, contemplated the divine virtues and understood the divine nature of the gods and spirits, the more clearly; and so, initiated others into the same mysteries, which consist in one holding an uninterrupted intercourse with these invisible beings during life. But we will show Brunoʹs inmost philosophical

convictions better by quoting fragments from the accusation and his own confession.

The charges in the denunciation of Mocenigo, his accuser, are expressed in the following terms:

ʺI, Zuane Mocenigo, son of the most illustrious Ser Marcantonio, denounce to your very reverend fathership, by constraint of my conscience and by order of my confessor, that I have heard say by Giordano Bruno, several times when he discoursed with me in my house, that it is great blasphemy in Catholics to say that the bread transubstantiates itself into flesh; that he is opposed to the Mass; that no religion pleases him; that Christ was a wretch (un tristo), and that if he did wicked works to seduce the people he might well predict that He ought to be impaled; that there is no distinction of persons in God, and that it would be imperfection in God; that the world is eternal, and that there are infinite worlds, and that God makes them continually, because, he says, He desires all He can; that Christ did apparent miracles and was a magician, and so were the apostles, and that he had a mind to do as much and more than they did; that Christ showed an unwillingness to die, and shunned death all He could; that there is no punishment of sin, and that souls created by the operation of nature pass from one animal to another, and that as the brute animals are born of corruption, so also are men when after dissolution they come to be born again.ʺ

Perfidious as they are, the above words plainly indicate the belief of Bruno in the Pythagorean metempsychosis, which, misunderstood as it is, still shows a belief in the


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survival of man in one shape or another. Further, the accuser says:

ʺHe has shown indications of wishing to make himself the author of a new sect, under the name of ʹNew Philosophy.ʹ He has said that the Virgin could not have brought forth, and that our Catholic faith is all full of blasphemies against the majesty of God; that the monks ought to be deprived of the right of disputation and their revenues, because they pollute the world; that they are all asses, and that our opinions are doctrines of asses; that we have no proof that our faith has merit with God, and that not to do to others what we would not have done to ourselves suffices for a good life, and that he laughs at all other sins, and wonders how God can endure so many heresies in Catholics. He says that he means to apply himself to the art of divination, and make all the world run after him; that St. Thomas and all the Doctors knew nothing to compare with him, and that he could ask questions of all the first theologians of the world that they could not answer.ʺ

To this, the accused philosopher answered by the following profession of faith, which is that of every disciple of the ancient masters:

ʺI hold, in brief, to an infinite universe, that is, an effect of infinite divine power, because I esteemed it a thing unworthy of divine goodness and power, that being able to produce besides this world another and infinite others, it should produce a finite world. Thus I have declared that there are infinite particular worlds similar to this of the earth, which, with Pythagoras, I understand to be a star similar in nature

with the moon, the other planets, and the other stars, which are infinite; and that all those bodies are worlds, and without number, which thus constitute the infinite universality in an infinite space, and this is called the infinite universe, in which are innumerable worlds, so that there is a double kind of infinite greatness in the universe, and of a multitude of worlds. Indirectly, this may be understood to be repugnant to the truth according to the true faith.

ʺMoreover, I place in this universe a universal Providence, by virtue of which everything lives, vegetates and moves, and stands in its perfection, and I understand it in two ways; one, in the mode in which the whole soul is present in the whole and every part of the body, and this I call nature, the shadow and footprint of divinity; the other, the ineffable mode in which God, by essence, presence, and power, is in all and above all, not as part, not as soul, but in mode inexplicable.

ʺMoreover, I understand all the attributes in divinity to be one and the same thing. Together with the theologians and great philosophers, I apprehend three attributes, power, wisdom, and goodness, or, rather, mind, intellect, love, with which things have first, being, through the mind; next, ordered and distinct being, through the intellect; and third, concord and symmetry, through love. Thus I understand being in all and over all, as there is nothing without participation in being, and there is no being without essence, just as nothing is beautiful without beauty being present; thus nothing can be free from the divine presence, and thus by


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way of reason, and not by way of substantial truth, do I understand distinction in divinity.

ʺAssuming then the world caused and produced, I understand that, according to all its being, it is dependent upon the first cause, so that it did not reject the name of creation, which I understand that Aristotle also has expressed, saying, ʹGod is that upon whom the world and all nature depends,ʹ so that according to the explanation of St. Thomas, whether it be eternal or in time, it is, according to all its being, dependent on the first cause, and nothing in it is independent.

ʺNext, in regard to what belongs to the true faith, not speaking philosophically, to come to individuality about the divine persons, the wisdom and the son of the mind, called by philosophers intellect, and by theologians the word, which ought to be believed to have taken on human flesh. But I, abiding in the phrases of philosophy, have not understood it, but have doubted and held it with inconstant faith, not that I remember to have shown marks of it in writing nor in speech, except indirectly from other things, something of it may be gathered as by way of ingenuity and profession in regard to what may be proved by reason and concluded from natural light. Thus, in regard to the Holy Spirit in a third person, I have not been able to comprehend, as ought to be believed, but, according to the Pythagoric manner, in conformity to the manner shown by Solomon, I have understood it as the soul of the universe, or adjoined to the universe according to the saying of the wisdom of Solomon: ʹThe spirit of God filled all

the earth, and that which contains all things,ʹ all which conforms equally to the Pythagoric doctrine explained by Virgil in the text of the Æneid:

Principio coelum ac terras camposque liquentes,
Lucentemque globum Lunæ, Titaniaque astra
Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus
Mens agitat molem;

and the lines following.

ʺFrom this spirit, then, which is called the life of the universe, I understand, in my philosophy, proceeds life and soul to everything which has life and soul, which, moreover, I understand to be immortal, as also to bodies, which, as to their substance, are all immortal, there being no other death than division and congregation, which doctrine seems expressed in Ecclesiastes, where it is said that ʹthere is nothing new under the sun; that which is is that which was.ʹ ʺ

Furthermore, Bruno confesses his inability to comprehend the doctrine of three persons in the godhead, and his doubts of the incarnation of God in Jesus, but firmly pronounces his belief in the miracles of Christ. How could he, being a Pythagorean philosopher, discredit them? If, under the merciless constraint of the Inquisition, he, like Galileo, subsequently recanted, and threw himself upon the clemency of his ecclesiastical persecutors, we must remember that he spoke like a man standing between the rack and the fagot, and human nature cannot always be heroic when the corporeal frame is debilitated by torture and imprisonment.


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But for the opportune appearance of Bertiʹs authoritative work, we would have continued to revere Bruno as a martyr, whose bust was deservedly set high in the Pantheon of Exact Science, crowned with laurel by the hand of Draper. But now we see that their hero of an hour is neither atheist, materialist, nor positivist, but simply a Pythagorean who taught the philosophy of Upper Asia, and claimed to possess the powers of the magicians, so despised by Draperʹs own school! Nothing more amusing than this contretemps has happened since the supposed statue of St. Peter was discovered by irreverent archæologists to be nothing else than the Jupiter of the Capitol, and Buddhaʹs identity with the Catholic St. Josaphat was satisfactorily proven.

Thus, search where we may through the archives of history, we find that there is no fragment of modern philosophy — whether Newtonian, Cartesian, Huxleyian or any other — but has been dug from the Oriental mines. Even Positivism and Nihilism find their prototype in the exoteric portion of Kapilaʹs philosophy, as is well remarked by Max Müller. It was the inspiration of the Hindu sages that penetrated the mysteries of Pragnâ Pâramitâ (perfect wisdom); their hands that rocked the cradle of the first ancestor of that feeble but noisy child that we have christened



ʺI choose the nobler part of Emerson, when, after various disenchantments, he exclaimed, ʹI covet Truth.ʹ The gladness of true heroism visits the heart of him who is really competent to say this.ʺ

ʺA testimony is sufficient when it rests on:

1st. A great number of very sensible witnesses who agree in having seen well.

2d. Who are sane, bodily and mentally.

3d. Who are impartial and disinterested. 4th. Who unanimously agree.
5th. Who solemnly certify to the fact.ʺ


Dictiannaire Philosophique

THE Count Agenor de Gasparin is a devoted Protestant. His battle with des Mousseaux, de Mirville and other fanatics who laid the whole of the spiritual phenomena at the door of Satan, was long and fierce. Two volumes of over fifteen hundred pages are the result, proving the effects, denying the cause, and employing superhuman efforts to invent every other possible explanation that could be suggested rather than the true one.


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The severe rebuke received by the Journal des Debats from M. de Gasparin, was read by all civilized Europe.* After that gentleman had minutely described numerous manifestations that he had witnessed himself, this journal very impertinently proposed to the authorities in France to send all those who, after having read the fine analysis of the ʺspiritual hallucinationsʺ published by Faraday, should insist on crediting this delusion, to the lunatic asylum for Incurables. ʺTake care,ʺ wrote de Gasparin in answer, ʺthe representatives of the exact sciences are on their way to become . . . the Inquisitors of our days. . . . Facts are stronger than Academies. Rejected, denied, mocked, they nevertheless are facts, and do exist.ʺ†


The following affirmations of physical phenomena, as witnessed by himself and Professor Thury, may be found in de Gasparinʹs voluminous work.


ʺThe experimenters have often seen the legs of the table glued, so to say, to the floor, and, notwithstanding the excitement of those present, refuse to be moved from their place. On other occasions they have seen the tables levitated in quite an energetic way. They heard, with their own ears,

* ʺDes Tables,ʺ vol. i, p. 213.

† Ibid., 216.

loud as well as gentle raps, the former threatening to shatter the table to pieces on account of their violence, the latter so soft as to become hardly perceptible. . . . As to LEVITATIONS WITHOUT CONTACT, we found means to produce them easily, and with success. . . . And such levitations do not pertain to isolated results. We have reproduced them over THIRTY times.‡ . . . One day the table will turn, and lift its legs successively, its weight being augmented by a man weighing eighty‐seven kilogrammes seated on it; another time it will remain motionless and immovable, notwithstanding that the person placed on it weighs but sixty.§. . . On one occasion we willed it to turn upside down, and it turned over, with its legs in the air, notwithstanding that our fingers never touched it once.ʺ**


ʺIt is certain,ʺ remarks de Mirville, ʺthat a man who had repeatedly witnessed such a phenomenon, could not accept the fine analysis of the English physicist.ʺ††

Since 1850, des Mousseaux and de Mirville, uncompromising Roman Catholics, have published many volumes whose titles are cleverly contrived to attract public attention. They betray on the part of the authors a very

‡ ʺDes Tables,ʺ vol. i., p. 48. § Ibid., p. 24.
** Ibid., p. 35.

†† De Mirville, ʺDes Esprits,ʺ p. 26.


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serious alarm, which, moreover, they take no pains to conceal. Were it possible to consider the phenomena spurious, the church of Rome would never have gone so much out of her way to repress them.

Both sides having agreed upon the facts, leaving skeptics out of the question, people could divide themselves into but two parties: the believers in the direct agency of the devil, and the believers in disembodied and other spirits. The fact alone, that theology dreaded a great deal more the revelations which might come through this mysterious agency than all the threatening ʺconflictsʺ with Science and the categorical denials of the latter, ought to have opened the eyes of the most skeptical. The church of Rome has never been either credulous or cowardly, as is abundantly proved by the Machiavellism which marks her policy. Moreover, she has never troubled herself much about the clever prestidigitateurs whom she knew to be simply adepts in juggling. Robert Houdin, Comte, Hamilton and Bosco, slept secure in their beds, while she persecuted such men as Paracelsus, Cagliostro, and Mesmer, the Hermetic philosophers and mystics — and effectually stopped every genuine manifestation of an occult nature by killing the mediums.

Those who are unable to believe in a personal devil and the dogmas of the church must nevertheless accord to the clergy enough of shrewdness to prevent the compromising of her reputation for infallibility by making so much of manifestations which, if fraudulent, must inevitably be some

day exposed. But the best testimony to the reality of this force was given by Robert Houdin himself, the king of jugglers, who, upon being called as an expert by the Academy to witness the wonderful clairvoyant powers and occasional mistakes of a table, said: ʺWe jugglers never make mistakes, and my second‐sight never failed me yet.ʺ


The learned astronomer Babinet was not more fortunate in his selection of Comte, the celebrated ventriloquist, as an expert to testify against the phenomena of direct voices and the rappings. Comte, if we may believe the witnesses, laughed in the face of Babinet at the bare suggestion that the raps were produced by ʺunconscious ventriloquism!ʺ The latter theory, worthy twin‐sister of ʺunconscious cerebration,ʺ caused many of the most skeptical academicians to blush. Its absurdity was too apparent.

ʺThe problem of the supernatural,ʺ says de Gasparin, ʺsuch as it was presented by the middle ages, and as it stands now, is not among the number of those which we are permitted to despise; its breadth and grandeur escape the notice of no one. . . . Everything is profoundly serious in it, both the evil and the remedy, the superstitious recrudescency, and the physical fact which is destined to conquer the latter.ʺ*

* ʺAvant propos,ʺ pp. 12 and 16.


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Further, he pronounces the following decisive opinion, to which he came, conquered by the various manifestations, as he says himself — ʺThe number of facts which claim their place in the broad daylight of truth, has so much increased of late, that of two consequences one is henceforth inevitable: either the domain of natural sciences must consent to expand itself, or the domain of the supernatural will become so enlarged as to have no bounds.ʺ*

Among the multitude of books against spiritualism emanating from Catholic and Protestant sources, none have produced a more appalling effect than the works of de Mirville and des Mousseaux: La Magie au XIXme Siecle — Mœurs et Pratiques des Demons — Hauts Phénoménes de la Magie

— Les Mediateurs de la Magie — Des Esprits et de leurs Manifestations, etc. They comprise the most cyclopædic biography of the devil and his imps that has appeared for the private delectation of good Catholics since the middle ages.


According to the authors, he who was ʺa liar and murderer from the beginning,ʺ was also the principal motor of spiritual phenomena. He had been for thousands of years at the head of pagan theurgy; and it was he, again, who, encouraged by the increase of heresies, infidelity, and atheism, had

reappeared in our century. The French Academy lifted up its voice in a general outcry of indignation, and M. de Gasparin even took it for a personal insult. ʺThis is a declaration of war, a ʹlevée of shieldsʹ ʺ — wrote he in his voluminous book of refutations. ʺThe work of M. de Mirville is a real manifesto. . . .

I would be glad to see in it the expression of a strictly individual opinion, but, in truth, it is impossible. The success of the work, these solemn adhesions, the faithful reproduction of its theses by the journals and writers of the party, the solidarity established throughout between them and the whole body of catholicity . . . everything goes to show a work which is essentially an act, and has the value of a collective labor. As it is, I felt that I had a duty to perform. . . . I felt obliged to pick up the glove. . . . and lift high the Protestant flag against the Ultramontane banner.ʺ†

The medical faculties, as might have been expected, assuming the part of the Greek chorus, echoed the various expostulations against the demonological authors. The

Medico‐Psychological Annals, edited by Drs. Brierre de Boismont and Cerise, published the following: ʺOutside these controversies of antagonistical parties, never in our country did a writer dare to face, with a more aggressive serenity, . . .

the sarcasms, the scorn of what we term common sense; and, as if to defy and challenge at the same time thundering peals of laughter and shrugging of shoulders, the author strikes an attitude, and placing himself with effrontery before the

* Vol. i., p. 244. † Vol. ii., p. 524.


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members of the Academy . . . addresses to them what he modestly terms his Memoire on the Devil!ʺ*

That was a cutting insult to the Academicians, to be sure; but ever since 1850 they seem to have been doomed to suffer in their pride more than most of them can bear. The idea of asking the attention of the forty ʺImmortalsʺ to the pranks of the Devil! They vowed revenge, and, leaguing themselves together, propounded a theory which exceeded in absurdity even de Mirvilleʹs demonolatry! Dr. Royer and Jobart de Lamballe — both celebrities in their way — formed an alliance and presented to the Institute a German whose cleverness afforded, according to his statement, the key to all the knockings and rappings of both hemispheres. ʺWe blushʺ

— remarks the Marquis de Mirville — ʺto say that the whole of the trick consisted simply in the reiterated displacement of one of the muscular tendons of the legs. Great demonstration of the system in full sitting of the Institute — and on the spot .

. . expressions of Academical gratitude for this interesting communication, and, a few days later, a full assurance given to the public by a professor of the medical faculty, that, scientists having pronounced their opinion, the mystery was at last unravelled!ʺ†

But such scientific explanations neither prevented the phenomenon from quietly following its course, nor the two writers on demonology from proceeding to expound their

* ʺMedico‐Psychological Annals,ʺ Jan. 1, 1854.

† De Mirville, ʺDes Esprits,ʺ ʺConstitutionnel,ʺ June 16, 1854.

strictly orthodox theories. Denying that the Church had anything to do with his books, des Mousseaux gravely gave the Academy, in addition to his Memoire, the following interesting and profoundly philosophical thoughts on Satan:

ʺThe Devil is the chief pillar of Faith. He is one of the grand personages whose life is closely allied to that of the church; and without his speech which issued out so triumphantly from the mouth of the Serpent, his medium, the fall of man could not have taken place. Thus, if it was not for him, the Saviour, the Crucified, the Redeemer, would be but the most ridiculous of supernumeraries, and the Cross an insult to good sense!ʺ‡

This writer, be it remembered, is only the faithful echo of the church, which anathematizes equally the one who denies God and him who doubts the objective existence of Satan. But the Marquis de Mirville carries this idea of Godʹs partnership with the Devil still further. According to him it is a regular commercial affair, in which the senior ʺsilent partnerʺ suffers the active business of the firm to be transacted as it may please his junior associate, by whose audacity and industry he profits. Who could be of any other opinion, upon reading the following?

ʺAt the moment of this spiritual invasion of 1853, so slightingly regarded, we had dared to pronounce the word of a ʹthreatening catastrophe.ʹ The world was nevertheless at peace, but history showing us the same symptoms at all

‡ Chevalier des Mousseaux, ʺMoeurs et Pratiques des Demons,ʺ p. x.


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disastrous epochs, we had a presentiment of the sad effects of a law which Goerres has formulated thus: [vol. v., p. 356.] ʹThese mysterious apparitions have invariably indicated the chastening hand of God on earth.ʹ ʺ*

These guerilla‐skirmishes between the champions of the clergy and the materialistic Academy of Science, prove abundantly how little the latter has done toward uprooting blind fanaticism from the minds of even very educated persons. Evidently science has neither completely conquered nor muzzled theology. She will master her only on that day when she will condescend to see in the spiritual phenomenon something besides mere hallucination and charlatanry. But how can she do it without investigating it thoroughly? Let us suppose that before the time when electro‐magnetism was publicly acknowledged, the Copenhagen Professor Oersted, its discoverer, had been suffering from an attack of what we call psychophobia, or pneumatophobia. He notices that the wire along which a voltaic current is passing shows a tendency to turn the magnetic needle from its natural position to one perpendicular to the direction of the current. Suppose, moreover, that the professor had heard much of certain superstitious people who used that kind of magnetized needles to converse with unseen intelligences. That they received signals and even held correct conversations with them by means of the tippings of such a needle, and that in consequence he suddenly felt a scientific horror and disgust

for such an ignorant belief, and refused, point‐blank, to have anything to do with such a needle. What would have been the result? Electro‐magnetism might not have been discovered till now, and our experimentalists would have been the principal losers thereby.

Babinet, Royer, and Jobert de Lamballe, all three members of the Institute, particularly distinguished themselves in this struggle between skepticism and supernaturalism, and most assuredly have reaped no laurels. The famous astronomer had imprudently risked himself on the battlefield of the phenomenon. He had explained scientifically the manifestations. But, emboldened by the fond belief among scientists that the new epidemic could not stand close investigation nor outlive the year, he had the still greater imprudence to publish two articles on them. As M. de Mirville very wittily remarks, if both of the articles had but a poor success in the scientific press, they had, on the other hand, none at all in the daily one.

M. Babinet began by accepting a priori, the rotation and movements of the furniture, which fact he declared to be ʺhors de doute.ʺ ʺThis rotation,ʺ he said, ʺbeing able to manifest itself with a considerable energy, either by a very great speed, or by a strong resistance when it is desired that it should stop.ʺ†

Now comes the explanation of the eminent scientist. ʺGently pushed by little concordant impulsions of the hands laid upon it, the table begins to oscillate from right to left. . . .

* De Mirville, ʺDes Esprits,ʺ p. 4. † Ibid., ʺRevue des Deux Mondes,ʺ January 15, 1854, p. 108.


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At the moment when, after more or less delay, a nervous trepidation is established in the hands and the little individual impulsions of all the experimenters have become harmonized, the table is set in motion.ʺ*

He finds it very simple, for ʺall muscular movements are determined over bodies by levers of the third order, in which the fulcrum is very near to the point where the force acts. This, consequently, communicates a great speed to the mobile parts for the very little distance which the motor force has to run. . . . Some persons are astonished to see a table subjected to the action of several well‐disposed individuals in a fair way to conquer powerful obstacles, even break its legs, when suddenly stopped; but that is very simple if we consider the power of the little concordant actions. . . . Once more, the physical explanation offers no difficulty.ʺ†

In this dissertation, two results are clearly shown: the reality of the phenomena proved, and the scientific explanation made ridiculous. But M. Babinet can well afford to be laughed at a little; he knows, as an astronomer, that dark spots are to be found even in the sun.

There is one thing, though, that Babinet has always stoutly denied, viz.: the levitation of furniture without contact. De Mirville catches him proclaiming that such levitation is

* This is a repetition and variation of Faradayʹs theory.

† ʺRevue des Deux Mondes,ʺ p. 410.

impossible: ʺsimply impossible,ʺ he says, ʺas impossible as perpetual motion.ʺ‡


Who can take upon himself, after such a declaration, to maintain that the word impossible pronounced by science is infallible? But the tables, after having waltzed, oscillated and turned, began tipping and rapping. The raps were sometimes as powerful as pistol‐detonations. What of this? Listen: ʺThe witnesses and investigators are ventriloquists!ʺ

De Mirville refers us to the Revue des Deux Mondes, in which is published a very interesting dialogue, invented by M. Babinet speaking of himself to himself, like the Chaldean En‐Soph of the Kabalists: ʺWhat can we finally say of all these facts brought under our observation? Are there such raps produced? Yes. Do such raps answer questions? Yes. Who produces these sounds? The mediums. By what means? By the ordinary acoustic method of the ventriloquists. But we were given to suppose that these sounds might result from the cracking of the toes and fingers? No; for then they would always proceed from the same point, and such is not the fact.ʺ§

ʺNow,ʺ asks de Mirville, ʺwhat are we to believe of the Americans, and their thousands of mediums who produce the same raps before millions of witnesses?ʺ ʺVentriloquism, to be

‡ ʺRevue des Deux Mondes,ʺ January, 1854, p. 414.

§ ʺRevue des Deux Mondes,ʺ May 1, 1854, p. 531.


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sure,ʺ answers Babinet. ʺBut how can you explain such an impossibility?ʺ The easiest thing in the world; listen only: ʺAll that was necessary to produce the first manifestation in the first house in America was, a street‐boy knocking at the door of a mystified citizen, perhaps with a leaden ball attached to a string, and if Mr. Weekman (the first believer in America) (?)* when he watched for the third time, heard no shouts of laughter in the street, it is because of the essential difference which exists between a French street‐Arab, and an English or Trans‐Atlantic one, the latter being amply provided with what we call a sad merriment, ʺgaité triste.ʺ†

Truly says de Mirville in his famous reply to the attacks of de Gasparin, Babinet, and other scientists: ʺand thus according to our great physicist, the tables turn very quickly, very energetically, resist likewise, and, as M. de Gasparin has proved, they levitate without contact. Said a minister: ʹWith three words of a manʹs handwriting, I take upon myself to have him hung.ʹ With the above three lines, we take upon ourselves, in our turn, to throw into the greatest confusion the physicists of all the globe, or rather to revolutionize the world — if at least, M. de Babinet had taken the precaution of suggesting, like M. de Gasparin, some yet unknown law or force. For this would cover the whole ground.ʺ‡

* We translate verbatim. We doubt whether Mr. Weekman was the first investigator.
† Babinet, ʺRevue des Deux Mondes,ʺ May 1, 1854, p. 511.

‡ De Mirville, ʺDes Esprits,ʺ p. 33.

But it is in the notes embracing the ʺfacts and physical theories,ʺ that we find the acme of the consistency and logic of Babinet as an expert investigator on the field of Spiritualism.

It would appear, that M. de Mirville in his narrative of the wonders manifested at the Presbytere de Cideville, § was much struck by the marvellousness of some facts. Though authenticated before the inquest and magistrates, they were of so miraculous a nature as to force the demonological author himself to shrink from the responsibility of publishing them.

These facts were as follows: ʺAt the precise moment predicted by a sorcererʺ — case of revenge — ʺa violent clap of thunder was heard above one of the chimneys of the presbytery, after which the fluid descended with a formidable noise through that passage, threw down believers as well as skeptics (as to the power of the sorcerer) who were warming themselves by the fire; and, having filled the room with a multitude of fantastic animals, returned to the chimney, and having reascended it, disappeared, after producing the same terrible noise. ʺAs,ʺ adds de Mirville, ʺwe were already but too rich in facts, we recoiled before this new enormity added to so many others.ʺ§

But Babinet, who in common with his learned colleagues had made such fun of the two writers on demonology, and who was determined, moreover, to prove the absurdity of all

§ Notes, ʺDes Esprits,ʺ p. 38.


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like stories, felt himself obliged to discredit the above‐ mentioned fact of the Cideville phenomena, by presenting one still more incredible. We yield the floor to M. Babinet, himself.

The following circumstance which he gave to the Academy of Sciences, on July 5, 1852, can be found without further commentary, and merely as an instance of a sphere‐like lightning, in the ʺŒuvres de F. Arago,ʺ vol. i., p. 52. We offer it verbatim.

ʺAfter a strong clap of thunder,ʺ says M. Babinet, ʺbut not immediately following it, a tailor apprentice, living in the Rue St. Jacques, was just finishing his dinner, when he saw the paper‐screen which shut the fireplace fall down as if pushed out of its place by a moderate gust of wind. Immediately after that he perceived a globe of fire, as large as the head of a child, come out quietly and softly from within the grate and slowly move about the room, without touching the bricks of the floor. The aspect of this fire‐globe was that of a young cat, of middle size . . . moving itself without the use of its paws. The fire‐globe was rather brilliant and luminous than hot or inflamed, and the tailor had no sensation of warmth. This globe approached his feet like a young cat which wishes to play and rub itself against the legs, as is habitual to these animals; but the apprentice withdrew his feet from it, and moving with great caution, avoided contact with the meteor. The latter remained for a few seconds moving about his legs, the tailor examining it with great curiosity and bending over it. After having tried several excursions in opposite

directions, but without leaving the centre of the room, the fire‐globe elevated itself vertically to the level of the manʹs head, who to avoid its contact with his face, threw himself backward on his chair. Arrived at about a yard from the floor the fire‐globe slightly lengthened, took an oblique direction toward a hole in the wall over the fireplace, at about the height of a metre above the mantelpiece.ʺ This hole had been made for the purpose of admitting the pipe of a stove in winter; but, according to the expression of the tailor, ʺthe thunder could not see it, for it was papered over like the rest of the wall. The fire‐globe went directly to that hole, unglued the paper without damaging it, and reasscended the chimney . . .

when it arrived at the top, which it did very slowly . . . at least sixty feet above ground . . . it produced a most frightful explosion, which partly destroyed the chimney, . . .ʺ etc.

ʺIt seems,ʺ remarks de Mirville in his review, ʺthat we could apply to M. Babinet the following remark made by a very witty woman to Raynal, ʹIf you are not a Christian, it is not for lack of faith.ʹ ʺ*

It was not alone believers who wondered at the credulity displayed by M. Babinet, in persisting to call the manifestation a meteor; for Dr. Boudin mentions it very seriously in a work on lightning he was just then publishing. ʺIf these details are exact,ʺ says the doctor, ʺas they seem to be, since they are admitted by MM. Babinet and Arago, it appears very difficult for the phenomenon to retain its

* De Mirville, ʺFaits et Théories Physiques,ʺ p. 46.


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appellation of sphere‐shaped lightning. However, we leave it to others to explain, if they can, the essence of a fire‐globe emitting no sensation of heat, having the aspect of a cat, slowly promenading in a room, which finds means to escape by reascending the chimney through an aperture in the wall covered over with a paper which it unglues without damaging!ʺ*

ʺWe are of the same opinion,ʺ adds the marquis, ʺas the learned doctor, on the difficulty of an exact definition, and we do not see why we should not have in future lightning in the shape of a dog, of a monkey, etc., etc. One shudders at the bare idea of a whole meteorological menagerie, which, thanks to thunder, might come down to our rooms to promenade themselves at will.ʺ

Says de Gasparin, in his monster volume of refutations: ʺIn questions of testimony, certitude must absolutely cease the moment we cross the borders of the supernatural.ʺ†

The line of demarcation not being sufficiently fixed and determined, which of the opponents is best fitted to take upon himself the difficult task? Which of the two is better entitled to become the public arbiter? Is it the party of superstition, which is supported in its testimony by the evidence of many thousands of people? For nearly two years they crowded the country where were daily manifested the

* See Monograph, ʺOf the Lightning considered from the point of view of the history of Legal Medicine and Public Hygiene,ʺ by M. Boudin, Chief Surgeon of the Military Hospital of Boule.

† De Gasparin, vol. i., page 288.

unprecedented miracles of Cideville, now nearly forgotten among other countless spiritual phenomena; shall we believe them, or shall we bow to science, represented by Babinet, who, on the testimony of one man (the tailor), accepts the manifestation of the fire‐globe, or the meteor‐cat, and henceforth claims for it a place among the established facts of natural phenomena?

Mr. Crookes, in his first article in the Quarterly Journal of Science, October 1, 1871, mentions de Gasparin and his work Science v. Spiritualism. He remarks that ʺthe author finally arrived at the conclusion that all these phenomena are to be accounted for by the action of natural causes, and do not require the supposition of miracles, nor the intervention of spirits and diabolical influences! Gasparin considers it as a fact fully established by his experiments, that the will, in certain states of organism, can act at a distance on inert matter, and most of his work is devoted to ascertaining the laws and conditions under which this action manifests itself.ʺ‡

Precisely; but as the work of de Gasparin called forth numberless Answers, Defenses, and Memoirs, it was then demonstrated by his own work that as he was a Protestant, in point of religious fanaticism, he was as little to be relied upon as des Mousseaux and de Mirville. The former is a profoundly pious Calvinist, while the two latter are fanatical Roman Catholics. Moreover, the very words of de Gasparin betray the spirit of partisanship: — ʺI feel I have a duty to

‡ Crookes, ʺPhysical Force,ʺ page 26.


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perform. . . . I lift high the Protestant flag against the Ultramontane banner!ʺ etc.* In such matters as the nature of the so‐called spiritual phenomena, no evidence can be relied upon, except the disinterested testimony of cold unprejudiced witnesses and science. Truth is one, and Legion is the name for religious sects; every one of which claims to have found the unadulterated truth; as ʺthe Devil is the chief pillar of the (Catholic) Church,ʺ so all supernaturalism and miracles ceased, in de Gasparinʹs opinion, ʺwith apostleship.ʺ

But Mr. Crookes mentioned another eminent scholar, Thury, of Geneva, professor of natural history, who was a brother‐investigator with Gasparin in the phenomena of Valleyres. This professor contradicts point‐blank the assertions of his colleague. ʺThe first and most necessary condition,ʺ says Gasparin, ʺis the will of the experimenter; without the will, one would obtain nothing; you can form the chain (the circle) for twenty‐four hours consecutively, without obtaining the least movement.ʺ†

The above proves only that de Gasparin makes no difference between phenomena purely magnetic, produced by the persevering will of the sitters among whom there may be not even a single medium, developed or undeveloped, and the so‐called spiritual ones. While the first can be produced consciously by nearly every person, who has a firm and determined will, the latter overpowers the sensitive very

* De Gasparin, ʺScience versus Spirit,ʺ vol. i., p. 313.

† Ibid., vol. i., p. 313.

often against his own consent, and always acts independently of him. The mesmerizer wills a thing, and if he is powerful enough, that thing is done. The medium, even if he had an honest purpose to succeed, may get no manifestations at all; the less he exercises his will, the better the phenomena: the more he feels anxious, the less he is likely to get anything; to mesmerize requires a positive nature, to be a medium a perfectly passive one. This is the Alphabet of Spiritualism, and no medium is ignorant of it.

The opinion of Thury, as we have said, disagrees entirely with Gasparinʹs theories of will‐power. He states it in so many plain words, in a letter, in answer to the invitation of the count to modify the last article of his mémoire. As the book of Thury is not at hand, we translate the letter as it is found in the résumé of de Mirvilleʹs Defense. Thuryʹs article which so shocked his religious friend, related to the possibility of the existence and intervention in those manifestations ʺof wills other than those of men and animals.ʺ

ʺI feel, sir, the justness of your observations in relation to the last pages of this mémoire: they may provoke a very bad feeling for me on the part of scientists in general. I regret it the more as my determination seems to affect you so much; nevertheless, I persist in my resolution, because I think it a duty, to shirk which would be a kind of treason.

ʺIf, against all expectations, there were some truth in Spiritualism, by abstaining from saying on the part of science, as I conceive it to be, that the absurdity of the belief in the intervention of spirits is not as yet demonstrated scientifically (for


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such is the résumé, and the thesis of the past pages of my mémoire), by abstaining from saying it to those who, after having read my work, will feel inclined to experiment with the phenomena, I might risk to entice such persons on a path many issues of which are very equivocal.

ʺWithout leaving the domain of science, as I esteem it, I will pursue my duty to the end, without any reticence to the profit of my own glory, and, to use your own words, ʹas the great scandal lies there,ʹ I do not wish to assume the shame of it. I, moreover, insist that ʹthis is as scientific as anything else.ʹ If I wanted to sustain now the theory of the intervention of disembodied spirits, I would have no power for it, for the facts which are made known are not sufficient for the demonstration of such a hypothesis. As it is, and in the position I have assumed, I feel I am strong against every one. Willingly or not, all the scientists must learn, through experience and their own errors, to suspend their judgment as to things which they have not sufficiently examined. The lesson you gave them in this direction cannot be lost. ʺGENEVA, 21 December, 1854.ʺ

Let us analyze the above letter, and try to discover what the writer thinks, or rather what he does not think of this new force. One thing is certain, at least: Professor Thury, a distinguished physicist and naturalist, admits, and even scientifically proves that various manifestations take place. Like Mr. Crookes, he does not believe that they are produced by the interference of spirits or disembodied men who have lived and died on earth; for he says in his letter that nothing

has demonstrated this theory. He certainly believes no more in the Catholic devils or demons, for de Mirville, who quotes this letter as a triumphant proof against de Gasparinʹs naturalistic theory, once arrived at the above sentence, hastens to emphasize it by a foot‐note, which runs thus: ʺAt Valleyres — perhaps, but everywhere else!ʺ* showing himself anxious to convey the idea that the professor only meant the manifestations of Valleyres, when denying their being produced by demons.

The contradictions, and we are sorry to say, the absurdities in which de Gasparin allows himself to be caught, are numerous. While bitterly criticizing the pretensions of the learned Faradaysiacs, he attributes things which he declares magical, to causes perfectly natural. ʺIf,ʺ he says, ʺwe had to deal but with such phenomena (as witnessed and explained

(?) by the great physicist), we might as well hold our tongues; but we have passed beyond, and what good can they do now, I would ask, these apparatus which demonstrate that an unconscious pressure explains the whole? It explains all, and the table resists pressure and guidance! It explains all, and a piece of furniture which nobody touches follows the fingers pointed at it; it levitates (without contact), and it turns itself upside down!ʺ†

But for all that, he takes upon himself to explain the phenomena. ʺPeople will be advocating miracles, you say —

* De Mirville pleads here the devil‐theory, of course.

† ʺDes Tables,ʺ vol. i., p. 213.


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magic! Every new law appears to them as a prodigy. Calm yourselves; I take upon myself the task to quiet those who are alarmed. In the face of such phenomena, we do not cross at all the boundaries of natural law.ʺ*

Most assuredly, we do not. But can the scientists assert that they have in their possession the keys to such law? M. de Gasparin thinks he has. Let us see. ʺI do not risk myself to explain anything; it is no business of mine. (?) To authenticate simple facts, and maintain a truth which science desires to smother, is all I pretend to do. Nevertheless, I cannot resist the temptation to point out to those who would treat us as so many illuminati or sorcerers, that the manifestation in question affords an interpretation which agrees with the ordinary laws of science.

ʺSuppose a fluid, emanating from the experimenters, and chiefly from some of them; suppose that the will determined the direction taken by the fluid, and you will readily understand the rotation and levitation of that one of the legs of the table toward which is ejected with every action of the will an excess of fluid. Suppose that the glass causes the fluid to escape, and you will understand how a tumbler placed on the table can interrupt its rotation, and that the tumbler, placed on one of its sides, causes the accumulation of the fluid in the opposite side, which, in consequence of that, is lifted!ʺ

* Vol. i., p. 217.


If every one of the experimenters were clever mesmerizers, the explanation, minus certain important details, might be acceptable. So much for the power of human will on inanimate matter, according to the learned minister of Louis Philippe. But how about the intelligence exhibited by the table? What explanation does he give as to answers obtained through the agency of this table to questions? answers which could not possibly have been the ʺreflections of the brainʺ of those present (one of the favorite theories of de Gasparin), for their own ideas were quite the reverse of the very liberal philosophy given by this wonderful table? On this he is silent. Anything but spirits, whether human, satanic, or elemental.

Thus, the ʺsimultaneous concentration of thought,ʺ and the ʺaccumulation of fluid,ʺ will be found no better than ʺthe unconscious cerebrationʺ and ʺpsychic forceʺ of other scientists. We must try again; and we may predict beforehand that the thousand and one theories of science will prove of no avail until they will confess that this force, far from being a projection of the accumulated wills of the circle, is, on the contrary, a force which is abnormal, foreign to themselves, and supra‐intelligent.

Professor Thury, who denies the theory of departed human spirits, rejects the Christian devil‐doctrine, and shows himself unwilling to pronounce in favor of Crookesʹs theory (the 6th), that of the hermetists and ancient theurgists, adopts


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the one, which, he says in his letter, is ʺthe most prudent, and makes him feel strong against every one.ʺ Moreover, he accepts as little of de Gasparinʹs hypothesis of ʺunconscious will‐power.ʺ This is what he says in his work:

ʺAs to the announced phenomena, such as the levitation without contact, and the displacement of furniture by invisible hands — unable to demonstrate their impossibility, a priori, no one has the right to treat as absurd the serious evidences which affirm their occurrenceʺ (p. 9).

As to the theory proposed by M. de Gasparin, Thury judges it very severely. ʺWhile admitting that in the experiments of Valleyres,ʺ says de Mirville, ʺthe seat of the force might have been in the individual — and we say that it was intrinsic and extrinsic at the same time — and that the will might be generally necessary (p. 20), he repeats but what he had said in his preface, to wit: ʹM. de Gasparin presents us with crude facts, and the explanations following he offers for what they are worth. Breathe on them, and not many will be found standing after this. No, very little, if anything, will remain of his explanations. As to facts, they are henceforth demonstratedʹ ʺ (p. 10).

As Mr. Crookes tells us, Professor Thury refutes ʺall these explanations, and considers the effects due to a peculiar substance, fluid, or agent, pervading in a manner similar to the luminiferous ether of the scientists, all matter, nervous, organic or inorganic, which he terms psychode. He enters into full discussion as to the properties of this state, or form, or matter, and proposes the term ectenic force . . . for the power

exerted when the mind acts at a distance through the influence of the psychode.ʺ*

Mr. Crookes remarks further, that ʺProfessor Thuryʹs ectenic force, and his own ʹpsychic forceʹ are evidently equivalent terms.ʺ

We certainly could very easily demonstrate that the two forces are identical, moreover, the astral or sidereal light as explained by the alchemists and Eliphas Levi, in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie; and that, under the name of AKASA, or life‐principle, this all‐pervading force was known to the gymnosophists, Hindu magicians, and adepts of all countries, thousands of years ago; and, that it is still known to them, and used at present by the Thibetan lamas, fakirs, thaumaturgists of all nationalities, and even by many of the Hindu ʺjugglers.ʺ

In many cases of trance, artificially induced by mesmerization, it is also quite possible, even quite probable, that it is the ʺspiritʺ of the subject which acts under the guidance of the operatorʹs will. But, if the medium remains conscious, and psycho‐physical phenomena occur which indicate a directing intelligence, then, unless it be conceded that he is a ʺmagician,ʺ and can project his double, physical exhaustion can signify nothing more than nervous prostration. The proof that he is the passive instrument of unseen entities controlling occult potencies, seems conclusive. Even if Thuryʹs ectenic and Crookesʹs psychic force are

* Crookes, ʺPsychic Force,ʺ part i., pp. 26‐27.


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substantially of the same derivation, the respective discoverers seem to differ widely as to the properties and potencies of this force; while Professor Thury candidly admits that the phenomena are often produced by ʺwills not human,ʺ and so, of course, gives a qualified endorsement to Mr. Crookesʹs theory No. 6, the latter, admitting the genuineness of the phenomena, has as yet pronounced no definite opinion as to their cause. Thus, we find that neither M. Thury, who investigated these manifestations with de Gasparin in 1854, nor Mr. Crookes, who conceded their undeniable genuineness in 1874, have reached anything definite. Both are chemists, physicists, and very learned men. Both have given all their attention to the puzzling question; and besides these two scientists there were many others who, while coming to the same conclusion, have hitherto been as unable to furnish the world with a final solution. It follows then, that in twenty years none of the scientists have made a single step toward the unravelling of the mystery, which remains as immovable and impregnable as the walls of an enchanted castle in a fairy tale.

Would it be too impertinent to surmise that perhaps our modern scientists have got in what the French term un cercle vicieux? That, hampered by the weight of their materialism, and the insufficiency of what they name ʺthe exact sciencesʺ to demonstrate to them tangibly the existence of a spiritual universe, peopled and inhabited much more than our visible one, they are doomed forever to creep around inside that circle, unwilling rather than unable to penetrate beyond its

enchanted ring, and explore it in its length and breadth? It is but prejudice which keeps them from making a compromise with well‐established facts and seek alliance with such expert magnetists and mesmerizers as were Du Potet and Regazzoni.

ʺWhat, then, is produced from death?ʺ inquired Socrates of Cebes. ʺLife,ʺ was the reply.* . . . ʺCan the soul, since it is immortal, be anything else than imperishable?ʺ† The ʺseed cannot develop unless it is in part consumed,ʺ says Prof. Lecomte; ʺit is not quickened unless it die,ʺ says St. Paul.

A flower blossoms; then withers and dies. It leaves a fragrance behind, which, long after its delicate petals are but a little dust, still lingers in the air. Our material sense may not be cognizant of it, but it nevertheless exists. Let a note be struck on an instrument, and the faintest sound produces an eternal echo. A disturbance is created on the invisible waves of the shoreless ocean of space, and the vibration is never wholly lost. Its energy being once carried from the world of matter into the immaterial world will live for ever. And man, we are asked to believe, man, the living, thinking, reasoning entity, the indwelling deity of our natureʹs crowning masterpiece, will evacuate his casket and be no more! Would the principle of continuity which exists even for the so‐called inorganic matter, for a floating atom, be denied to the spirit, whose attributes are consciousness, memory, mind, LOVE!

* Plato, ʺPhædo,ʺ § 44

† Ibid. § 128.


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Really, the very idea is preposterous. The more we think and the more we learn, the more difficult it becomes for us to account for the atheism of the scientist. We may readily understand that a man ignorant of the laws of nature, unlearned in either chemistry or physics, may be fatally drawn into materialism through his very ignorance; his incapacity of understanding the philosophy of the exact sciences, or drawing any inference by analogy from the visible to the invisible. A natural‐born metaphysician, an ignorant dreamer, may awake abruptly and say to himself: ʺI dreamed it; I have no tangible proof of that which I imagined; it is all illusion,ʺ etc. But for a man of science, acquainted with the characteristics of the universal energy, to maintain that life is merely a phenomenon of matter, a species of energy, amounts simply to a confession of his own incapability of analyzing and properly understanding the alpha and the omega even of that — matter.

Sincere skepticism as to the immortality of manʹs soul is a malady; a malformation of the physical brain, and has existed in every age. As there are infants born with a caul upon their heads, so there are men who are incapable to their last hour of ridding themselves of that kind of caul evidently enveloping their organs of spirituality. But it is quite another feeling which makes them reject the possibility of spiritual and magical phenomena. The true name for that feeling is — vanity. ʺWe can neither produce nor explain it — hence, it does not exist, and moreover, could never have existed.ʺ Such is the irrefutable argument of our present‐day philosophers. Some

thirty years ago, E. Salverte startled the world of the ʺcredulousʺ by his work, The Philosophy of Magic. The book claimed to unveil the whole of the miracles of the Bible as well as those of the Pagan sanctuaries. Its resumé ran thus: Long ages of observation; a great knowledge (for those days of ignorance) of natural sciences and philosophy; imposture; legerdemain; optics; phantasmagoria; exaggeration. Final and logical conclusion: Thaumaturgists, prophets, magicians, rascals, and knaves; the rest of the world, fools.

Among many other conclusive proofs, the reader can find him offering the following: ʺThe enthusiastic disciples of Iamblichus affirmed that when he prayed, he was raised to the height of ten cubits from the ground; and dupes to the same metaphor, although Christians, have had the simplicity to attribute a similar miracle to St. Clare, and St. Francis of Assisi.ʺ*

Hundreds of travellers claimed to have seen fakirs produce the same phenomena, and they were all thought either liars or hallucinated. But it was but yesterday that the same phenomenon was witnessed and endorsed by a well‐ known scientist; it was produced under test conditions; declared by Mr. Crookes to be genuine, and to be beyond the possibility of an illusion or a trick. And so was it manifested many a time before and attested by numerous witnesses, though the latter are now invariably disbelieved.

* ʺPhilosophy of Magic,ʺ English translation, p. 47.


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Peace to thy scientific ashes, O credulous Eusebe Salverte! Who knows but before the close of the present century popular wisdom will have invented a new proverb: ʺAs incredibly credulous as a scientist.ʺ Why should it appear so impossible that when the spirit is once separated from its body, it may have the power to animate some evanescent form, created out of that magical ʺpsychicʺ or ʺectenicʺ or ʺetherealʺ force, with the help of the elementaries who furnish it with the sublimated matter of their own bodies? The only difficulty is, to realize the fact that surrounding space is not an empty void, but a reservoir filled to repletion with the models of all things that ever were, that are, and that will be; and with beings of countless races, unlike our own. Seemingly supernatural facts — supernatural in that they openly contradict the demonstrated natural laws of gravitation, as in the above‐mentioned instance of levitation

— are recognized by many scientists. Every one who has dared to investigate with thoroughness has found himself compelled to admit their existence; only in their unsuccessful efforts to account for the phenomena on theories based on the laws of such forces as were already known, some of the highest representatives of science have involved themselves in inextricable difficulties!

In his Resumé de Mirville describes the argumentation of these adversaries of spiritualism as consisting of five paradoxes, which he terms distractions.

First distraction: that of Faraday, who explains the table phenomenon, by the table which pushes you ʺin consequence of the resistance which pushes it back.ʺ

Second distraction : that of Babinet, explaining all the communications (by raps) which are produced, as he says, ʺin good faith and with perfect conscientiousness, correct in every way and sense — by ventriloquism,ʺ the use of which faculty implies of necessity — bad faith.


Third distraction: that of Dr. Chevreuil, explaining the faculty of moving furniture without contact, by the preliminary acquisition of that faculty.

Fourth distraction: that of the French Institute and its members, who consent to accept the miracles, on condition that the latter will not contradict in any way those natural laws with which they are acquainted.

Fifth distraction: that of M. de Gasparin, introducing as a very simple and perfectly elementary phenomenon that which every one rejects, precisely because no one ever saw the like of it.* While the great, world‐known scientists indulge in such fantastic theories, some less known neurologists find an explanation for occult phenomena of every kind in an abnormal effluvium resulting from epilepsy.† Another would

* De Mirville, ʺDes Esprits,ʺ p. 159.

† See F. Gerry Fairfieldʹs ʺTen Years with Spiritual Mediums,ʺ New York, 1875.


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treat mediums — and poets, too, we may infer — with assafoetida and ammonia,* and declare every one of the believers in spiritual manifestations lunatics and hallucinated mystics.


To the latter lecturer and professed pathologist is commended that sensible bit of advice to be found in the New Testament: ʺPhysician, heal thyself.ʺ Truly, no sane man would so sweepingly charge insanity upon four hundred and forty‐six millions of people in various parts of the world, who believe in the intercourse of spirits with ourselves!

Considering all this, it remains to us but to wonder at the preposterous presumption of these men, who claim to be regarded by right of learning as the high priests of science, to classify a phenomenon they know nothing about. Surely, several millions of their countrymen and women, if deluded, deserve at least as much attention as potato‐bugs or grasshoppers! But, instead of that, what do we find? The Congress of the United States, at the demand of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, enacts statutes for organization of National Insect Commissions; chemists are busying themselves in boiling frogs and bugs; geologists amuse their leisure by osteological surveys of armor‐plated ganoids, and discuss the odontology of the various species of dinichtys; and entomologists suffer their enthusiasm to carry

them to the length of supping on grasshoppers boiled, fried, and in soup.† Meanwhile, millions of Americans are either losing themselves in the maze of ʺcrazy delusions,ʺ according to the opinion of some of these very learned encyclopædists, or perishing physically from ʺnervous disorders,ʺ brought on or brought out by mediumistic diathesis.

At one time, there was reason to hope that Russian scientists would have undertaken the task of giving the phenomena a careful and impartial study. A commission was appointed by the Imperial University of St. Petersburg, with Professor Mendeleyeff, the great physicist, at its head. The advertised programme provided for a series of forty seances to test mediums, and invitations were extended to all of this class who chose to come to the Russian capital and submit their powers to examination. As a rule they refused — doubtless from a prevision of the trap that had been laid for them. After eight sittings, upon a shallow pretext, and just when the manifestations were becoming interesting, the commission prejudged the case, and published a decision adverse to the claims of mediumism. Instead of pursuing dignified, scientific methods, they set spies to peep through the key‐holes. Professor Mendeleyeff declared in a public lecture that spiritualism, or any such belief in our soulsʹ immortality, was a mixture of superstition, delusion, and fraud; adding that every ʺmanifestationʺ of such nature — including mind‐reading, trance, and other psychological phenomena,

* Marvin, ʺLecture on Mediomania.ʺ † ʺScientific American,ʺ N. Y., 1875.


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we must suppose — could be, and was produced by means of clever apparatus and machinery concealed under the clothing of mediums!

After such a public exhibition of ignorance and prejudice, Mr. Butlerof, Professor of Chemistry at the St. Petersburg University, and Mr. Aksakof, Counsellor of State in the same city, who had been invited to assist on the committee for mediums, became so disgusted that they withdrew. Having published their protests in the Russian papers, they were supported by the majority of the press, who did not spare either Mendeleyeff or his officious committee with their sarcasms. The public acted fairly in that case. One hundred and thirty names, of the most influential persons of the best society of St. Petersburg, many of them no spiritualists at all, but simply investigators, added their signatures to the well‐ deserved protest.

The inevitable result of such a procedure followed; universal attention was drawn to the question of spiritualism; private circles were organized throughout the empire; some of the most liberal journals began to discuss the subject; and, as we write, a new commission is being organized to finish the interrupted task.

But now — as a matter of course — they will do their duty less than ever. They have a better pretext than they ever had in the pretended exposé of the medium Slade, by Professor Lankester, of London. True, to the evidence of one scientist and his friend, — Messrs. Lankester and Donkin — the accused opposed the testimony of Wallace, Crookes, and a

host of others, which totally nullifies an accusation based merely on circumstantial evidence and prejudice. As the London Spectator very pertinently observes:

ʺIt is really a pure superstition and nothing else to assume that we are so fully acquainted with the laws of nature, that even carefully examined facts, attested by an experienced observer, ought to be cast aside as utterly unworthy of credit, only because they do not, at first sight, seem to be in keeping with what is most clearly known already. To assume, as Professor Lankester appears to do, that because there are fraud and credulity in plenty to be found in connection with these facts — as there is, no doubt, in connection with all nervous diseases — fraud and credulity will account for all the carefully attested statements of accurate and conscientious observers, is to saw away at the very branch of the tree of knowledge on which inductive science necessarily rests, and to bring the whole structure toppling to the ground.ʺ

But what matters all this to scientists? The torrent of superstition, which, according to them, sweeps away millions of bright intellects in its impetuous course, cannot reach them. The modern deluge called spiritualism is unable to affect their strong minds; and the muddy waves of the flood must expend their raging fury without wetting even the soles of their boots. Surely it must be but traditional stubbornness on the part of the Creator that prevents him from confessing what a poor chance his miracles have in our day in blinding professed scientists. By this time even He ought to know and


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take notice that long ago they decided to write on the porticoes of their universities and colleges:

Science commands that God shall not
Do miracles upon this spot!*

Both the infidel spiritualists and the orthodox Roman Catholics seem to have leagued themselves this year against the iconoclastic pretensions of materialism. Increase of skepticism has developed of late a like increase of credulity. The champions of the Bible ʺdivineʺ miracles rival the panegyristʹs mediumistic phenomena, and the middle ages revive in the nineteenth century. Once more we see the Virgin Mary resume her epistolary correspondence with the faithful children of her church; and while the ʺangel friendsʺ scribble messages to spiritualists through their mediums, the ʺmother of Godʺ drops letters direct from heaven to earth. The shrine of Notre Dame de Lourdes has turned into a spiritualistic cabinet for ʺmaterializations,ʺ while the cabinets of popular American mediums are transformed into sacred shrines, into which Mohammed, Bishop Polk, Joan of Arc and other aristocratic spirits from over the ʺdark river,ʺ having descended, ʺmaterializeʺ in full light. And if the Virgin Mary is seen taking her daily walk in the woods about Lourdes in full human form, why not the Apostle of Islam, and the late Bishop of Louisiana? Either both ʺmiraclesʺ are possible, or

* ʺDe par le Roi, defense a Dieu, De faire miracle, en ces lieux.ʺ A satire that was found written upon the walls of the cemetery at the time of the Jansenist miracles and their prohibition by the police of France.

both kinds of these manifestations, the ʺdivineʺ as well as the ʺspiritual,ʺ are arrant impostures. Time alone will prove which; but meanwhile, as science refuses the loan of her magic lamp to illuminate these mysteries, common people must go stumbling on whether they be mired or not.

The recent ʺmiraclesʺ at Lourdes having been unfavorably discussed in the London papers, Monsignor Capel communicates to the Times the views of the Roman Church in the following terms:

ʺAs to the miraculous cures which are effected, I would refer your readers to the calm, judicious work, La Grotte de Lourdes, written by Dr. Dozous, an eminent resident practitioner, inspector of epidemic diseases for the district, and medical assistant of the Court of Justice. He prefaces a number of detailed cases of miraculous cures, which he says he has studied with great care and perseverance, with these words: ʹI declare that these cures effected at the Sanctuary of Lourdes by means of the water of the fountain, have established their supernatural character in the eyes of men of good faith. I ought to confess that without these cures, my mind, little prone to listen to miraculous explanations of any kind, would have had great difficulty in accepting even this fact (the apparition), remarkable as it is from so many points of view. But the cures, of which I have been so often an ocular witness, have given to my mind a light which does not permit me to ignore the importance of the visits of Bernadette to the Grotto, and the reality of the apparitions with which she was favored.ʹ The testimony of a distinguished medical man, who


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has carefully watched from the beginning Bernadette, and the miraculous cures at the Grotto, is at least worthy of respectful consideration. I may add, that the vast number of those who come to the Grotto do so to repent of their sins, to increase their piety, to pray for the regeneration of their country, to profess publicly their belief in the Son of God and his Immaculate Mother. Many come to be cured of bodily ailments; and on the testimony of eye‐witnesses several return home freed from their sickness. To upbraid with non‐ belief, as does your article, those who use also the waters of the Pyrenees, is as reasonable as to charge with unbelief the magistrates who inflict punishment on the peculiar people for neglecting to have medical aid. Health obliged me to pass the winters of 1860 to 1867 at Pau. This gave me the opportunity of making the most minute inquiry into the apparition at Lourdes. After frequent and lengthened examinations of Bernadette and of some of the miracles effected, I am convinced that, if facts are to be received on human testimony, then has the apparition at Lourdes every claim to be received as an undeniable fact. It is, however, no part of the Catholic faith, and may be accepted or rejected by any Catholic without the least praise or condemnation.ʺ

Let the reader observe the sentence we have italicized. This makes it clear that the Catholic Church, despite her infallibility and her liberal postage convention with the Kingdom of Heaven, is content to accept even the validity of divine miracles upon human testimony. Now when we turn to the report of Mr. Huxleyʹs recent New York lectures on

evolution, we find him saying that it is upon ʺhuman historical evidence that we depend for the greater part of our knowledge for the doings of the past.ʺ In a lecture on Biology, he has said ʺ . . . every man who has the interest of truth at heart must earnestly desire that every well‐founded and just criticism that can be made should be made; but it is essential .

. . that the critic should know what he is talking about.ʺ An aphorism that its author should recall when he undertakes to pronounce upon psychological subjects. Add this to his views, as expressed above, and who could ask a better platform upon which to meet him?


Here we have a representative materialist, and a representative Catholic prelate, enunciating an identical view of the sufficiency of human testimony to prove facts that it suits the prejudices of each to believe. After this, what need for either the student of occultism, or even the spiritualist, to hunt about for endorsements of the argument they have so long and so persistently advanced, that the psychological phenomena of ancient and modern thaumaturgists being superabundantly proven upon human testimony must be accepted as facts? Church and College having appealed to the tribunal of human evidence, they cannot deny the rest of mankind an equal privilege. One of the fruits of the recent agitation in London of the subject of mediumistic phenomena, is the expression of some remarkably liberal views on the part of the secular press. ʺIn any case, we are for


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admitting spiritualism to a place among tolerated beliefs, and letting it alone accordingly,ʺ says the London Daily News, in 1876. ʺIt has many votaries who are as intelligent as most of us, and to whom any obvious and palpable defect in the evidence meant to convince must have been obvious and palpable long ago. Some of the wisest men in the world believed in ghosts, and would have continued to do so even though half‐a‐dozen persons in succession had been convicted of frightening people with sham goblins.ʺ

It is not for the first time in the history of the world, that the invisible world has to contend against the materialistic skepticism of soul‐blind Sadducees. Plato deplores such an unbelief, and refers to this pernicious tendency more than once in his works.

From Kapila, the Hindu philosopher, who many centuries before Christ demurred to the claim of the mystic Yogins, that in ecstasy a man has the power of seeing Deity face to face and conversing with the ʺhighestʺ beings, down to the Voltaireans of the eighteenth century, who laughed at everything that was held sacred by other people, each age had its unbelieving Thomases. Did they ever succeed in checking the progress of truth? No more than the ignorant bigots who sat in judgment over Galileo checked the progress of the earthʹs rotation. No exposures whatever are able to vitally affect the stability or instability of a belief which humanity inherited from the first races of men, those, who — if we can believe in the evolution of spiritual man as in that of the physical one — had the great truth from the lips of their

ancestors, the gods of their fathers, ʺthat were on the other side of the flood.ʺ The identity of the Bible with the legends of the Hindu sacred books and the cosmogonies of other nations, must be demonstrated at some future day. The fables of the mythopoeic ages will be found to have but allegorized the greatest truths of geology and anthropology. It is in these ridiculously expressed fables that science will have to look for her ʺmissing links.ʺ

Otherwise, whence such strange ʺcoincidencesʺ in the respective histories of nations and peoples so widely thrown apart? Whence that identity of primitive conceptions which, fables and legends though they are termed now, contain in them nevertheless the kernel of historical facts, of a truth thickly overgrown with the husks of popular embellishment, but still a truth? Compare only this verse of Genesis vi.: ʺAnd it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . . There were giants in the earth in those days,ʺ etc., with this part of the Hindu cosmogony, in the Vedas, which speaks of the descent of the Brahmans. The first Brahman complains of being alone among all his brethren without a wife. Notwithstanding that the Eternal advises him to devote his days solely to the study of the Sacred Knowledge (Veda), the first‐born of mankind insists. Provoked at such ingratitude, the eternal gave Brahman a wife of the race of the Daints, or giants, from whom all the Brahmans maternally descend. Thus the entire


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Hindu priesthood is descended, on the one hand, from the superior spirits (the sons of God), and from Daintany, a daughter of the earthly giants, the primitive men.* ʺAnd they bare children to them; the same became mighty men which were of old; men of renown.ʺ†

The same is found in the Scandinavian cosmogonical fragment. In the Edda is given the description to Gangler by Har, one of the three informants (Har, Jafuhar, and Tredi) of the first man, called Bur, ʺthe father of Bor, who took for wife Besla, a daughter of the giant Bolthara, of the race of the primitive giants.ʺ The full and interesting narrative may be found in the Prose Edda, sects. 4‐8, in Mallettʹs Northern Antiquities.‡

The same groundwork underlies the Grecian fables about the Titans; and may be found in the legend of the Mexicans — the four successive races of Popol‐Vuh. It constitutes one of the many ends to be found in the entangled and seemingly inextricable skein of mankind, viewed as a psychological phenomenon. Belief in supernaturalism would be otherwise inexplicable. To say that it sprang up, and grew and developed throughout the countless ages, without either cause or the least firm basis to rest upon, but merely as an empty fancy, would be to utter as great an absurdity as the

* Polier, ʺMythologie des Indous.ʺ
† Genesis vi., 4.

‡ Mallett, ʺNorthern Antiquities,ʺ Bohnʹs edition, pp. 401‐405.

theological doctrine that the universe sprang into creation out of nothing.

It is too late now to kick against an evidence which manifests itself as in the full glare of noon. Liberal, as well as Christian papers, and the organs of the most advanced scientific authorities, begin to protest unanimously against the dogmatism and narrow prejudices of sciolism. The Christian World, a religious paper, adds its voice to that of the unbelieving London press. Following is a good specimen of its common sense:

ʺIf a medium,ʺ it says,§ ʺcan be shown ever so conclusively to be an impostor, we shall still object to the disposition manifested by persons of some authority in scientific matters, to pooh‐pooh and knock on the head all careful inquiry into those subjects of which Mr. Barrett took note in his paper before the British Association. Because spiritualists have committed themselves to many absurdities, that is no reason why the phenomena to which they appeal should be scouted as unworthy of examination. They may be mesmeric, or clairvoyant, or something else. But let our wise men tell us what they are, and not snub us, as ignorant people too often snub inquiring youth, by the easy but unsatisfactory apothegm, ʹLittle children should not ask questions.ʹ ʺ

§ In the ʺQuarterly Reviewʺ of 1859, Graham gives a strange account of many now deserted Oriental cities, in which the stone doors are of enormous dimensions, often seemingly out of proportion with the buildings themselves, and remarks that dwellings and doors bear all of them the impress of an ancient race of giants.


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Thus the time has come when the scientists have lost all right to be addressed with the Miltonian verse, ʺO thou who, for the testimony of truth, hast borne universal reproach!ʺ Sad degeneration, and one that recalls the exclamation of that ʺdoctor of physicʺ mentioned one hundred and eighty years ago by Dr. Henry More, and who, upon hearing the story told of the drummer of Tedworth and of Ann Walker, ʺcryed out presently, If this be true, I have been in a wrong box all this time, and must begin my account anew.ʺ*

But in our century, notwithstanding Huxleyʹs endorsement of the value of ʺhuman testimony,ʺ even Dr. Henry More has become ʺan enthusiast and a visionary, both of which, united in the same person, constitute a canting madman.ʺ†

What psychology has long lacked to make its mysterious laws better understood and applied to the ordinary as well as extraordinary affairs of life, is not facts. These it has had in abundance. The need has been for their recording and classification — for trained observers and competent analysts. From the scientific body these ought to have been supplied. If error has prevailed and superstition run riot these many centuries throughout Christendom, it is the misfortune of the common people, the reproach of science. The generations have come and gone, each furnishing its quota of martyrs to conscience and moral courage, and psychology is little better

* Dr. More, ʺLetter to Glanvil, author of ʹSaducismus Triumphatus.ʹʺ

† J. S. Y., ʺDemonologia, or Natural Knowledge Revealed,ʺ 1827, p. 219.

understood in our day than it was when the heavy hand of the Vatican sent those brave unfortunates to their untimely doom, and branded their memories with the stigma of heresy and sorcery.


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ʺIch bin der Geist der stets verneint.ʺ (I am the spirit which still denies.)

(Mephisto in FAUST)

ʺThe Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive because it seeth Him not; neither knoweth Him.ʺ
Gospel According to John, xiv, 17

ʺMillions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep.ʺ

ʺMere intellectual enlightenment cannot recognize the spiritual. As the sun puts out a fire, so spirit puts out the eyes of mere intellect.

THERE has been an infinite confusion of names to express one and the same thing.

The chaos of the ancients; the Zoroastrian sacred fire, or the Antusbyrum of the Parsees; the Hermes‐fire; the Elmes‐fire of the ancient Germans; the lightning of Cybelè; the burning torch of Apollo; the flame on the altar of Pan; the inextinguishable fire in the temple on the Acropolis, and in that of Vesta; the fire‐flame of Plutoʹs helm; the brilliant sparks on the hats of the Dioscuri, on the Gorgon head, the helm of Pallas, and the staff of Mercury; the puvr a[sbestoʺ ;

the Egyptian Phtha, or Ra; the Grecian Zeus Cataibates (the descending);* the pentecostal fire‐tongues; the burning bush of Moses; the pillar of fire of the Exodus, and the ʺburning lampʺ of Abram; the eternal fire of the ʺbottomless pitʺ; the Delphic oracular vapors; the Sidereal light of the Rosicrucians; the AKASA of the Hindu adepts; the Astral light of Eliphas Levi; the nerve‐aura and the fluid of the magnetists; the od of Reichenbach; the fire‐globe, or meteor‐ cat of Babinet; the Psychod and ectenic force of Thury; the psychic force of Sergeant Cox and Mr. Crookes; the atmospheric magnetism of some naturalists; galvanism; and finally, electricity, are but various names for many different manifestations, or effects of the same mysterious, all‐ pervading cause — the Greek Archeus, or Arcaiʹoʺ .

Sir E. Bulwer‐Lytton, in his Coming Race, describes it as the VRIL,† used by the subterranean populations, and allowed his readers to take it for a fiction. ʺThese people,ʺ he says, ʺconsider that in the vril they had arrived at the unity in natural energic agenciesʺ; and proceeds to show that Faraday intimated them ʺunder the more cautious term of correlation,ʺ thus:


* Pausanias, ʺEliæ,ʺ lib. i., cap. xiv.

† We apprehend that the noble author coined his curious names by contracting words in classical languages. Gy would come from gune; vril from virile.


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ʺI have long held an opinion, almost amounting to a conviction, in common, I believe, with many other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest, HAVE ONE COMMON ORIGIN; or, in other words, are so directly related and naturally dependent, that they are convertible, as it were, into one another, and possess equivalents of power in their action.ʺ

Absurd and unscientific as may appear our comparison of a fictitious vril invented by the great novelist, and the primal force of the equally great experimentalist, with the kabalistic astral light, it is nevertheless the true definition of this force. Discoveries are constantly being made to corroborate the statement thus boldly put forth. Since we began to write this part of our book, an announcement has been made in a number of papers of the supposed discovery of a new force by Mr. Edison, the electrician, of Newark, New Jersey, which force seems to have little in common with electricity, or galvanism, except the principle of conductivity. If demonstrated, it may remain for a long time under some pseudonymous scientific name; but, nevertheless, it will be but one of the numerous family of children brought forth from the commencement of time by our kabalistic mother, the Astral Virgin. In fact, the discoverer says that, ʺit is as distinct, and has as regular laws as heat, magnetism, or electricity.ʺ The journal which contains the first account of the discovery adds that, ʺMr. Edison thinks that it exists in connection with

heat, and that it can also be generated by independent and as yet undiscovered means.ʺ

Another of the most startling of recent discoveries, is the possibility of annihilating distance between human voices — by means of the telephone (distance‐sounder), an instrument invented by Professor A. Graham Bell. This possibility, first suggested by the little ʺloversʹ telegraph,ʺ consisting of small tin cups with vellum and drug‐twine apparatus, by which a conversation can be carried on at a distance of two hundred feet, has developed into the telephone, which will become the wonder of this age. A long conversation has taken place between Boston and Cambridgeport by telegraph; ʺevery word being distinctly heard and perfectly understood, and the modulations of voices being quite distinguishable,ʺ according to the official report. The voice is seized upon, so to say, and held in form by a magnet, and the sound‐wave transmitted by electricity acting in unison and co‐operating with the magnet.

The whole success depends upon a perfect control of the electric currents and the power of the magnets used, with which the former must co‐operate. ʺThe invention,ʺ reports the paper, ʺmay be rudely described as a sort of trumpet, over the bell‐mouth of which is drawn a delicate membrane, which, when the voice is thrown into the tube, swells outward in proportion to the force of the sound‐wave. To the outer side of the membrane is attached a piece of metal, which, as the membrane swells outward, connects with a magnet, and this, with the electric circuit, is controlled by the operator. By some principle, not yet fully understood, the


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electric current transmits the sound‐wave just as delivered by the voice in the trumpet, and the listener at the other end of the line, with a twin or facsimile trumpet at his ear, hears every word distinctly, and readily detects the modulations of the speakerʹs voice.ʺ


Thus, in the presence of such wonderful discoveries of our age, and the further magical possibilities lying latent and yet undiscovered in the boundless realm of nature, and further, in view of the great probability that Edisonʹs Force and Professor Graham Bellʹs Telephone may unsettle, if not utterly upset all our ideas of the imponderable fluids, would it not be well for such persons as may be tempted to traverse our statements, to wait and see whether they will be corroborated or refuted by further discoveries.

Only in connection with these discoveries, we may, perhaps, well remind our readers of the many hints to be found in the ancient histories as to a certain secret in the possession of the Egyptian priesthood, who could instantly communicate, during the celebration of the Mysteries, from one temple to another, even though the former were at Thebes and the latter at the other end of the country; the legends attributing it, as a matter of course, to the ʺinvisible tribesʺ of the air, which carry messages for mortals. The author of Pre‐Adamite Man quotes an instance, which being given merely on his own authority, and he seeming uncertain whether the story comes from Macrinus or some other writer,

may be taken for what it is worth. He found good evidence, he says, during his stay in Egypt, that ʺone of the Cleopatras

(?) sent news by a wire to all the cities, from Heliopolis to Elephantine, on the Upper Nile.ʺ*

It is not so long since Professor Tyndall ushered us into a new world, peopled with airy shapes of the most ravishing beauty.

ʺThe discovery consists,ʺ he says, ʺin subjecting the vapors of volatile liquids to the action of concentrated sun‐light, or to the concentrated beam of the electric light.ʺ The vapors of certain nitrites, iodides, and acids are subjected to the action of the light in an experimental tube, lying horizontally, and so arranged that the axis of the tube and that of the parallel beams issuing from the lamp are coincident. The vapors form clouds of gorgeous tints, and arrange themselves into the shapes of vases, of bottles and cones, in nests of six or more; of shells, of tulips, roses, sunflowers, leaves, and of involved scrolls. ʺIn one case,ʺ he tells us, ʺthe cloud‐bud grew rapidly into a serpentʹs head; a mouth was formed, and from the cloud, a cord of cloud resembling a tongue was discharged.ʺ Finally, to cap the climax of marvels, ʺonce it positively assumed the form of a fish, with eyes, gills, and feelers. The twoness of the animal form was displayed throughout, and no disk, coil, or speck existed on one side that did not exist on the other.ʺ

* P. B. Randolph, ʺPre‐Adamite Man,ʺ p. 48.


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These phenomena may possibly be explained in part by the mechanical action of a beam of light, which Mr. Crookes has recently demonstrated. For instance, it is a supposable case, that the beams of light may have constituted a horizontal axis, about which the disturbed molecules of the vapors gathered into the forms of globes and spindles. But how account for the fish, the serpentʹs head, the vases, the flowers of different varieties, the shells? This seems to offer a dilemma to science as baffling as the meteor‐cat of Babinet. We do not learn that Tyndall ventured as absurd an explanation of his extraordinary phenomena as that of the Frenchman about his.

Those who have not given attention to the subject may be surprised to find how much was known in former days of that all‐pervading, subtile principle which has recently been baptized THE UNIVERSAL ETHER.

Before proceeding, we desire once more to enunciate in two categorical propositions, what was hinted at before. These propositions were demonstrated laws with the ancient theurgists.

I. The so‐called miracles, to begin with Moses and end with Cagliostro, when genuine, were as de Gasparin very justly insinuates in his work on the phenomena, ʺperfectly in accordance with natural lawʺ; hence — no miracles. Electricity and magnetism were unquestionably used in the production of some of the prodigies; but now, the same as

then, they are put in requisition by every sensitive, who is made to use unconsciously these powers by the peculiar nature of his or her organization, which serves as a conductor for some of these imponderable fluids, as yet so imperfectly known to science. This force is the prolific parent of numberless attributes and properties, many, or rather, most of which, are as yet unknown to modern physics.

II. The phenomena of natural magic to be witnessed in Siam, India, Egypt, and other Oriental countries, bear no relationship whatever to sleight of hand; the one being an absolute physical effect, due to the action of occult natural forces, the other, a mere deceptive result obtained by dexterous manipulations supplemented with confederacy.*

The thaumaturgists of all periods, schools, and countries, produced their wonders, because they were perfectly familiar with the imponderable — in their effects — but otherwise perfectly tangible waves of the astral light. They controlled the currents by guiding them with their will‐power. The wonders were both of physical and psychological character;

* On this point at least we are on firm ground. Mr. Crookesʹs testimony corroborates our assertions. On page 84 of his pamphlet on ʺPhenomenal Spiritualismʺ he says: ʺThe many hundreds of facts I am prepared to attest — facts which to imitate by known mechanics or physical means would baffle the skill of a Houdin, a Bosco, or an Anderson, backed with all the resources of elaborate machinery and the practice of years

— have all taken place in my own house; at times appointed by myself and under circumstances which absolutely precluded the employment of the very simplest instrumental aids.ʺ


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the former embracing effects produced upon material objects, the latter the mental phenomena of Mesmer and his successors. This class has been represented in our time by two illustrious men, Du Potet and Regazzoni, whose wonderful powers were well attested in France and other countries. Mesmerism is the most important branch of magic; and its phenomena are the effects of the universal agent which underlies all magic and has produced at all ages the so‐called miracles.

The ancients called it Chaos; Plato and the Pythagoreans named it the Soul of the World. According to the Hindus, the Deity in the shape of Æther pervades all things. It is the invisible, but, as we have said before, too tangible Fluid. Among other names this universal Proteus — or ʺthe nebulous Almighty,ʺ as de Mirville calls it in derision — was termed by the theurgists ʺthe living fire,ʺ* the ʺSpirit of Light,ʺ and Magnes. This last appellation indicates its magnetic properties and shows its magical nature. For, as truly expressed by one of its enemies — mavgoʺ and mavgnhʺ are two branches growing from the same trunk, and shooting forth the same resultants.

Magnetism is a word for the derivation of which we have to look to an incredibly early epoch. The stone called magnet is believed by many to owe its name to Magnesia, a city or

* In this appellation, we may discover the meaning of the puzzling sentence to be found in the Zend‐Avesta that ʺfire gives knowledge of the future, science, and amiable speech,ʺ as it develops an extraordinary eloquence in some sensitives.

district in Thessaly, where these stones were found in quantity. We believe, however, the opinion of the Hermetists to be the correct one. The word Magh, magus, is derived from the Sanskrit Mahaji, the great or wise (the anointed by the divine wisdom). ʺEumolpus is the mythic founder of the Eumolpidæ (priests); the priests traced their own wisdom to the Divine Intelligence.ʺ† The various cosmogonies show that the Archæal Universal Soul was held by every nation as the ʺmindʺ of the Demiurgic Creator, the Sophia of the Gnostics, or the Holy Ghost as a female principle. As the Magi derived their name from it, so the Magnesian stone or Magnet was called in their honor, for they were the first to discover its wonderful properties. Their temples dotted the country in all directions, and among these were some temples of Hercules,‡— hence the stone, when it once became known that the priests used it for their curative and magical purposes, received the name of the Magnesian or Heraclean

† Dunlap, ʺMusah, His Mysteries,ʺ p. iii.

‡ ʺHercules was known as the king of the Musians,ʺ says Schwab, ii., 44; and Musien was the feast of ʺSpirit and Matter,ʺ Adonis and Venus, Bacchus and Ceres. (See Dunlap, ʺMystery of Adonis,ʺ p. 95.) Dunlap shows, on the authority of Julian and Anthon (67), Æsculapius, ʺthe Savior of all,ʺ identical with Phtha (the creative Intellect, the Divine Wisdom), and with Apollo, Baal, Adonis, and Hercules (ibid., p. 93), and Phtha is the ʺAnima mundi,ʺ the Universal Soul, of Plato, the Holy Ghost of the Egyptians, and the Astral Light of the Kabalists. M. Michelet, however, regards the Grecian Herakles as a different character, the adversary of the Bacchic revellings and their attendant human sacrifices.


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stone. Socrates, speaking of it, remarks: ʺEuripides calls it the Magnesian stone, but the common people, the Heraclean.ʺ* It was the country and stone which were called after the Magi, not the Magi after one or the other. Pliny informs us that the wedding‐ring among the Romans was magnetized by the priests before the ceremony. The old Pagan historians are careful to keep silent on certain Mysteries of the ʺwiseʺ (Magi) and Pausanias was warned in a dream, he says, not to unveil the holy rites of the temple of Demeter and Persephoneia at Athens.†

Modern science, after having ineffectually denied animal magnetism, has found herself forced to accept it as a fact. It is now a recognized property of human and animal organization; as to its psychological, occult influence, the Academies battle with it, in our century, more ferociously than ever. It is the more to be regretted and even wondered at, as the representatives of ʺexact scienceʺ are unable to either explain or even offer us anything like a reasonable hypothesis for the undeniable mysterious potency contained in a simple magnet. We begin to have daily proofs that these potencies underlie the theurgic mysteries, and therefore might perhaps explain the occult faculties possessed by ancient and modern thaumaturgists as well as a good many of their most astounding achievements. Such were the gifts transmitted by Jesus to some of his disciples. At the moment of his miraculous cures, the Nazarene felt a power issuing

* Plato, ʺIonʺ (Burgess), vol. iv., p. 294.

† ʺAttica,ʺ i., xiv.

from him. Socrates, in his dialogue with Theages,‡ telling him of his familiar god (demon), and his power of either imparting his (Socratesʹ) wisdom to his disciples or preventing it from benefiting those he associates with, brings the following instance in corroboration of his words: ʺI will tell you, Socrates,ʺ says Aristides, ʺa thing incredible, indeed, by the gods, but true. I made a proficiency when I associated with you, even if I was only in the same house, though not in the same room; but more so, when I was in the same room . . .

and much more when I looked at you. . . But I made by far the greatest proficiency when I sat near you and touched you.ʺ

This is the modern magnetism and mesmerism of Du Potet and other masters, who, when they have subjected a person to their fluidic influence, can impart to them all their thoughts even at a distance, and with an irresistible power force their subject to obey their mental orders. But how far better was this psychic force known to the ancient philosophers! We can glean some information on that subject from the earliest sources. Pythagoras taught his disciples that God is the universal mind diffused through all things, and that this mind by the sole virtue of its universal sameness could be communicated from one object to another and be made to create all things by the sole will‐power of man. With the ancient Greeks, Kurios was the god‐Mind (Nous). ʺNow Koros (Kurios) signifies the pure and unmixed nature of intellect —

‡ Plato, ʺTheages.ʺ Cicero renders this word daimonion, quiddam divinum, a divine something, not anything personal.


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wisdom,ʺ says Plato.* Kurios is Mercury, the Divine Wisdom, and ʺMercury is the Solʺ (Sun),† from whom Thaut — Hermes — received this divine wisdom, which, in his turn, he imparted to the world in his books. Hercules is also the Sun

— the celestial storehouse of the universal magnetism; § or rather Hercules is the magnetic light which, when having made its way through the ʺopened eye of heaven,ʺ enters into the regions of our planet and thus becomes the Creator. Hercules passes through the twelve labors, the valiant Titan! He is called ʺFather of Allʺ and ʺself‐bornʺ ʺ(autophues).ʺ‡ Hercules, the Sun, is killed by the Devil, Typhon,§ and so is Osiris, who is the father and brother of Horus, and at the same time is identical with him; and we must not forget that the magnet was called the ʺbone of Horus,ʺ and iron the ʺbone of Typhon.ʺ He is called ʺHercules Invictus,ʺ only when

* ʺCratylus,ʺ p. 79.

† ʺArnobius,ʺ vi., xii. As we will show in subsequent chapters, the sun was not considered by the ancients as the direct cause of the light and heat, but only as an agent of the former, through which the light passes on its way to our sphere. Thus it was always called by the Egyptians ʺthe eye of Osiris,ʺ who was himself the Logos, the First‐begotten, or light made manifest to the world, ʺwhich is the mind and divine intellect of the Concealed.ʺ It is only that light of which we are cognizant that is the Demiurge, the creator of our planet and everything pertaining to it; with the invisible and unknown universes disseminated through space, none of the sun‐gods had anything to do. The idea is expressed very clearly in the ʺBooks of Hermes.ʺ

‡ ʺOrphic Hymn,ʺ xii.; Hermann, Dunlap, ʺMusah, His Mysteries,ʺ p. 91.

§ Movers, 525. Dunlap, ʺMysteries of Adonis,ʺ 94.

he descends to Hades (the subterranean garden), and plucking the ʺgolden applesʺ from the ʺtree of life,ʺ slays the dragon.** The rough Titanic power, the ʺliningʺ of every sun‐ god, opposes its force of blind matter to the divine magnetic spirit, which tries to harmonize everything in nature.

All the sun‐gods, with their symbol, the visible sun, are the creators of physical nature only. The spiritual is the work of the Highest God — the Concealed, the Central, Spiritual SUN, and of his Demiurge — the Divine Mind of Plato, and the Divine Wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus††— the wisdom effused from Oulom or Kronos.

ʺAfter the distribution of pure Fire, in the Samothracian Mysteries, a new life began.ʺ‡‡ This was the ʺnew birth,ʺ that is alluded to by Jesus, in his nocturnal conversation with Nicodemus. ʺInitiated into the most blessed of all Mysteries, being ourselves pure . . . we become just and holy with wisdom.ʺ§§ ʺHe breathed on them and saith unto them, ʹTake the Holy Pneuma.ʹ ʺ*** And this simple act of will‐power was sufficient to impart vaticination in its nobler and most perfect form if both the initiator and the initiated were worthy of it.

** Preller, ii., 153. This is evidently the origin of the Christian dogma of Christ descending into hell and overcoming Satan.

†† This important fact accounts admirably for the gross polytheism of the masses, and the refined, highly‐philosophical conception of one God, which was taught only in sanctuaries of the ʺpaganʺ temples.
‡‡ Anthon,, ʺCabeiria.ʺ
§§ Plato, ʺPhædrus,ʺ Caryʹs translation.

*** John xx., 22.


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To deride this gift, even in its present aspect, ʺas the corrupt offspring and lingering remains of an ignorant age of superstition, and hastily to condemn it as unworthy of sober investigation, would be as unphilosophical as it is wrong,ʺ remarks the Rev. J. B. Gross. ʺTo remove the veil which hides our vision from the future, has been attempted — in all ages of the world; and therefore the propensity to pry into the lap of time, contemplated as one of the faculties of human mind, comes recommended to us under the sanction of God. . . .

Zuinglius, the Swiss reformer, attested the comprehensiveness of his faith in the providence of the Supreme Being, in the cosmopolitan doctrine that the Holy Ghost was not excluded from the more worthy portion of the heathen world. Admitting its truth, we cannot easily conceive a valid reason why a heathen, thus favored, should not be capable of true prophecy.ʺ*

* ʺHeathen Religion,ʺ 104.


Now, what is this mystic, primordial substance? In the book of Genesis, at the beginning of the first chapter, it is termed the ʺface of the waters,ʺ said to have been incubated by the ʺSpirit of God.ʺ Job mentions, in chap. xxvi., 5, that ʺdead things are formed from under the waters, and inhabitants thereof.ʺ In the original text, instead of ʺdead things,ʺ it is written dead Rephaim (giants, or mighty primitive men), from whom ʺEvolutionʺ may one day trace our present race. In the Egyptian mythology, Kneph the Eternal unrevealed God is represented by a snake‐emblem of eternity encircling a water‐urn, with his head hovering over the waters, which it incubates with his breath. In this case the serpent is the Agathodaimon, the good spirit; in its opposite aspect it is the Kakodaimon — the bad one. In the Scandinavian Eddas, the honey‐dew — the food of the gods and of the creative, busy Yggdrasill — bees — falls during the hours of night, when the atmosphere is impregnated with humidity; and in the Northern mythologies, as the passive principle of creation, it typifies the creation of the universe out of water; this dew is the astral light in one of its combinations and possesses creative as well as destructive properties. In the Chaldean legend of Berosus, Oannes or Dagon, the man‐fish, instructing the people, shows the infant world created out of water and all beings originating from this prima materia. Moses teaches that only earth and water can bring a living soul; and we read in the Scriptures that herbs


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could not grow until the Eternal caused it to rain upon earth. In the Mexican Popol‐Vuh man is created out of mud or clay (terre glaise), taken from under the water. Brahma creates Lomus, the great Muni (or first man), seated on his lotus, only after having called into being, spirits, who thus enjoyed among mortals a priority of existence, and he creates him out of water, air, and earth. Alchemists claim that primordial or pre‐Adamic earth when reduced to its first substance is in its second stage of transformation like clear‐water, the first being the alkahest* proper. This primordial substance is said to contain within itself the essence of all that goes to make up man; it has not only all the elements of his physical being, but even the ʺbreath of lifeʺ itself in a latent state, ready to be awakened. This it derives from the ʺincubationʺ of the Spirit of God upon the face of the waters — chaos; in fact, this substance is chaos itself. From this it was that Paracelsus claimed to be able to make his ʺhomunculiʺ; and this is why Thales, the great natural philosopher, maintained that water was the principle of all things in nature.


What is the primordial Chaos but Æther? The modern Ether; not such as is recognized by our scientists, but such as it was known to the ancient philosophers, long before the time of Moses; Ether, with all its mysterious and occult properties,

* Alkahest, a word first used by Paracelsus, to denote the menstruum or universal solvent, that is capable of reducing all things.

containing in itself the germs of universal creation; Ether, the celestial virgin, the spiritual mother of every existing form and being, from whose bosom as soon as ʺincubatedʺ by the Divine Spirit, are called into existence Matter and Life, Force and Action. Electricity, magnetism, heat, light, and chemical action are so little understood even now that fresh facts are constantly widening the range of our knowledge. Who knows where ends the power of this protean giant — Ether; or whence its mysterious origin? — Who, we mean, that denies the spirit that works in it and evolves out of it all visible forms?

It is an easy task to show that the cosmogonical legends all over the world are based on a knowledge by the ancients of those sciences which have allied themselves in our days to support the doctrine of evolution; and that further research may demonstrate that they were far better acquainted with the fact of evolution itself, embracing both its physical and spiritual aspects, than we are now. With the old philosophers, evolution was a universal theorem, a doctrine embracing the whole, and an established principle; while our modern evolutionists are enabled to present us merely with speculative theoretics; with particular, if not wholly negative theorems. It is idle for the representatives of our modern wisdom to close the debate and pretend that the question is settled, merely because the obscure phraseology of the Mosaic account clashes with the definite exegesis of ʺexact science.ʺ


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One fact at least is proved: there is not a cosmogonical fragment, to whatever nation it may belong, but proves by this universal allegory of water and the spirit brooding over it, that no more than our modern physicists did any of them hold the universe to have sprung into existence out of nothing; for all their legends begin with that period when nascent vapors and Cimmerian darkness lay brooding over a fluid mass ready to start on its journey of activity at the first flutter of the breath of Him, who is the Unrevealed One. Him they felt, if they saw Him not. Their spiritual intuitions were not so darkened by the subtile sophistry of the forecoming ages as ours are now. If they talked less of the Silurian age slowly developing into the Mammalian, and if the Cenozoic time was only recorded by various allegories of the primitive man — the Adam of our race — it is but a negative proof after all that their ʺwise menʺ and leaders did not know of these successive periods as well as we do now.

In the days of Democritus and Aristotle, the cycle had already begun to enter on its downward path of progress. And if these two philosophers could discuss so well the atomic theory and trace the atom to its material or physical point, their ancestors may have gone further still and followed its genesis far beyond that limit where Mr. Tyndall and others seem rooted to the spot, not daring to cross the line of the ʺIncomprehensible.ʺ The lost arts are a sufficient proof that if even their achievements in physiography are now doubted, because of the unsatisfactory writings of their physicists and naturalists, — on the other hand their practical knowledge in

phytochemistry and mineralogy far exceeded our own. Furthermore, they might have been perfectly acquainted with the physical history of our globe without publishing their knowledge to the ignorant masses in those ages of religious Mysteries.

Therefore, it is not only from the Mosaic books that we mean to adduce proof for our further arguments. The ancient Jews got all their knowledge — religious as well as profane — from the nations with

which we see them mixed up from the earliest periods. Even the oldest of all sciences, their kabalistic ʺsecret doctrine,ʺ may be traced in each detail to its primeval source, Upper India, or Turkestan, far before the time of a distinct separation between the Aryan and Semitic nations. The King Solomon so celebrated by posterity, as Josephus the historian says,* for his magical skill, got his secret learning from India through Hiram, the king of Ophir, and perhaps Sheba. His ring, commonly known as ʺSolomonʹs seal,ʺ so celebrated for the potency of its sway over the various kinds of genii and demons, in all the popular legends, is equally of Hindu origin. Writing on the pretentious and abominable skill of the

* Josephus, ʺAntiquities,ʺ vol. viii., c. 2, 5.


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ʺdevil‐worshippersʺ of Travancore, the Rev. Samuel Mateer, of the London Missionary Society, claims at the same time to be in possession of a very old manuscript volume of magical incantations and spells in the Malayalim language, giving directions for effecting a great variety of purposes. Of course he adds, that ʺmany of these are fearful in their malignity and obscenity,ʺ and gives in his work the fac‐simile of some amulets bearing the magical figures and designs on them. We find among them one with the following legend: ʺTo remove trembling arising from demoniacal possession — write this figure on a plant that has milky juice, and drive a nail through it; the trembling will cease.ʺ* The figure is the identical Solomonʹs seal, or double triangle of the Kabalists. Did the Hindu get it from the Jewish kabalist, or the latter from India, by inheritance from their great king‐kabalist, the wise Solomon?† But we will leave this trifling dispute to

* ʺThe Land of Charity,ʺ p. 210.

† The claims of certain ʺadepts,ʺ which do not agree with those of the students of the purely Jewish Kabala, and show that the ʺsecret doctrineʺ has originated in India, from whence it was brought to Chaldea, passing subsequently into the hands of the Hebrew ʺTanaim,ʺ are singularly corroborated by the researches of the Christian missionaries. These pious and learned travellers have inadvertently come to our help. Dr. Caldwell, in his ʺComparative Grammar of the Dravidian Languages,ʺ p. 66, and Dr. Mateer, in the ʺLand of Charity,ʺ p. 83, fully support our assertions that the ʺwiseʺ King Solomon got all his kabalistic lore from India, as the above‐given magical figure well shows. The former missionary is desirous to prove that very old and huge specimens of the baobab‐tree, which is not, as it appears, indigenous to India, but belongs

continue the more interesting question of the astral light, and its unknown properties.

Admitting, then, that this mythical agent is Ether, we will proceed to see what and how much of it is known to science.

With respect to the various effects of the different solar rays, Robert Hunt, F. R. S., remarks, in his Researches on Light in its Chemical Relations, that:

ʺThose rays which give the most light — the yellow and the orange rays — will not produce change of color in the chloride of silverʺ; while ʺthose rays which have the least

to the African soil, and ʺfound only at several ancient sites of foreign commerce (at Travancore), may, for aught we know,ʺ he adds, ʺhave been introduced into India, and planted by the servants of King Solomon.ʺ The other proof is still more conclusive. Says Dr. Mateer, in his chapter on the Natural History of Travancore: ʺThere is a curious fact connected with the name of this bird (the peacock) which throws some light upon Scripture history. King Solomon sent his navy to Tarshish (I Kings, x. 22), which returned once in three years, bringing ʹgold and silver, ivory and apes, and peacocks.ʹ Now the word used in the Hebrew Bible for peacock is ʹtukki,ʹ and as the Jews had, of course, no word for these fine birds till they were first imported into Judea by King Solomon, there is no doubt that ʹtukkiʹ is simply the old Tamil word ʹtoki,ʹ the name of the peacock. The ape or monkey also is, in Hebrew, called ʹkoph,ʹ the Indian word for which is ʹkaphi.ʹ Ivory, we have seen, is abundant in South India, and gold is widely distributed in the rivers of the western coast. Hence the ʹTarshishʹ referred to was doubtless the western coast of India, and Solomonʹs ships were ancient ʹEast Indiamen.ʹ ʺ And hence also we may add, besides ʺthe gold and silver, and apes and peacocks,ʺ King Solomon and his friend Hiram, of masonic renown, got their ʺmagicʺ and ʺwisdomʺ from India.


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illuminating power — the blue and violet — produce the greatest change, and in exceedingly short time. . . . The yellow glasses obstruct scarcely any light; the blue glasses may be so dark as to admit of the permeation of a very small quantity.ʺ

And still we see that under the blue ray both vegetable and animal life manifest an inordinate development, while under the yellow ray it is proportionately arrested. How is it possible to account for this satisfactorily upon any other hypothesis than that both animal and vegetable life are differently modified electrico‐magnetic phenomena, as yet unknown in their fundamental principles?

Mr. Hunt finds that the undulatory theory does not account for the results of his experiments. Sir David Brewster, in his Treatise on Optics, showing that ʺthe colors of vegetable life arise . . . from a specific attraction which the particles of these bodies exercise over the differently‐colored rays of light,ʺ and that ʺit is by the light of the sun that the colored juices of plants are elaborated, that the colors of bodies are changed, etc. . . .ʺ remarks that it is not easy to allow ʺthat such effects can be produced by the mere vibration of an ethereal medium.ʺ And he is forced, he says, ʺby this class of facts, to reason as if light was material (?).ʺ Professor Josiah P. Cooke, of Harvard University, says that he ʺcannot agree . . .

with those who regard the wave‐theory of light as an established principle of science.ʺ* Herschelʹs doctrine, that the intensity of light, in effect of each undulation, ʺis inversely as

* Cooke, ʺNew Chemistry,ʺ p. 22.

the square of the distance from the luminous body,ʺ if correct, damages a good deal if it does not kill the undulatory theory. That he is right, was proved repeatedly by experiments with photometers; and, though it begins to be much doubted, the undulatory theory is still alive.

As General Pleasonton, of Philadelphia, has undertaken to combat this anti‐Pythagorean hypothesis, and has devoted to it a whole volume, we cannot do any better than refer the reader to his recent work on the Blue Ray, etc. We leave the theory of Thomas Young, who, according to Tyndall, ʺplaced on an immovable basis the undulatory theory of light,ʺ to hold its own if it can, with the Philadelphia experimenter.

Eliphas Levi, the modern magician, describes the astral light in the following sentence: ʺWe have said that to acquire magical power, two things are necessary: to disengage the will from all servitude, and to exercise it in control.ʺ

ʺThe sovereign will is represented in our symbols by the woman who crushes the serpentʹs head, and by the resplendent angel who represses the dragon, and holds him under his foot and spear; the great magical agent, the dual current of light, the living and astral fire of the earth, has been represented in the ancient theogonies by the serpent with the head of a bull, a ram, or a dog. It is the double serpent of the caduceus, it is the Old Serpent of the Genesis, but it is also the brazen serpent of Moses entwined around the tau, that is to say, the generative lingha. It is also the goat of the witch‐sabbath, and the Baphomet of the Templars; it is the Hylé of the Gnostics; it is the double‐tail of serpent which forms the legs


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of the solar cock of the Abraxas; finally, it is the Devil of M. Eudes de Mirville. But in very fact it is the blind force which souls have to conquer to liberate themselves from the bonds of the earth; for if their will does not free ʺthem from this fatal attraction, they will be absorbed in the current by the force which has produced them, and will return to the central and eternal fire.ʺ

This last kabalistic figure of speech, notwithstanding its strange phraseology, is precisely the one used by Jesus; and in his mind it could have had no other significance than the one attributed to it by the Gnostics and the Kabalists. Later the Christian theologians interpreted it differently, and with them it became the doctrine of Hell. Literally, though, it simply means what it says — the astral light, or the generator and destroyer of all forms.

ʺAll the magical operations,ʺ continues Levi, ʺconsist in freeing oneʹs self from the coils of the Ancient Serpent; then to place the foot on its head, and lead it according to the operatorʹs will. ʹI will give unto thee,ʹ says the Serpent, in the Gospel myth, ʹall the kingdoms of the earth, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.ʹ The initiate should reply to him, ʹI will not fall down, but thou shalt crouch at my feet; thou wilt give me nothing, but I will make use of thee and take whatever I wish. For I am thy Lord and Master!ʹ This is the real meaning of the ambiguous response made by Jesus to the tempter. . . . Thus, the Devil is not an Entity. It is an errant force, as the name signifies. An odic or magnetic current formed by a chain (a circle) of pernicious wills must create this evil

spirit which the Gospel calls legion, and which forces into the sea a herd of swine — another evangelical allegory showing how base natures can be driven headlong by the blind forces set in motion by error and sin.ʺ*


In his extensive work on the mystical manifestations of human nature, the German naturalist and philosopher, Maximilian Perty, has devoted a whole chapter to the Modern Forms of Magic. ʺThe manifestations of magical life,ʺ he says in his Preface, ʺpartially repose on quite another order of things than the nature in which we are acquainted with time, space, and causality; these manifestations can be experimented with but little; they cannot be called out at our bidding, but may be observed and carefully followed whenever they occur in our presence; we can only group them by analogy under certain divisions, and deduce from them general principles and laws.ʺ Thus, for Professor Perty, who evidently belongs to the school of Schopenhauer, the possibility and naturalness of the phenomena which took place in the presence of Kavindasami, the fakir, and are described by Louis Jacolliot, the Orientalist, are fully demonstrated on that principle. The fakir was a man who, through the entire subjugation of the matter of his corporeal system has attained to that state of purification at

* Eliphas Levi, ʺDogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie.ʺ


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which the spirit becomes nearly freed from its prison,* and can produce wonders. His will, nay, a simple desire of his has become creative force, and he can command the elements and powers of nature. His body is no more an impediment to him; hence he can converse ʺspirit to spirit, breath to breath.ʺ Under his extended palms, a seed, unknown to him (for Jacolliot has chosen it at random among a variety of seeds, from a bag, and planted it himself, after marking it, in a flower pot), will germinate instantly, and push its way through the soil. Developing in less than two hoursʹ time to a size and height which, perhaps, under ordinary circumstances, would require several days or weeks, it grows miraculously under the very eyes of the perplexed experimenter, and mockingly upsets every accepted formula in Botany. Is this a miracle? By no means; it may be one, perhaps, if we take Websterʹs definition, that a miracle is ʺevery event contrary to the established constitution and course of things — a deviation from the known laws of nature.ʺ But are our naturalists prepared to support the claim that what they have once established on observation is infallible? Or that every law of nature is known to them? In this instance, the ʺmiracleʺ is but

* Plato hints at a ceremony used in the Mysteries during the performance of which the neophyte was taught that men are in this life in a kind of prison, and taught how to escape from it temporarily. As usual, the too‐learned translators disfigured this passage, partially because they could not understand it, and partially because they would not. See Phædo § 16, and commentaries on it by Henry More, the well‐known Mystic philosopher and Platonist.

a little more prominent than the now well‐known experiments of General Pleasonton, of Philadelphia. While the vegetation and fruitage of his vines were stimulated to an incredible activity by the artificial violet light, the magnetic fluid emanating from the hands of the fakir effected still more intense and rapid changes in the vital function of the Indian plants. It attracted and concentrated the akasa, or life‐ principle, on the germ.† His magnetism, obeying his will, drew up the akasa in a concentrated current through the plant

† The akasa is a Sanscrit word which means sky, but it also designates the imponderable and intangible life‐principle — the astral and celestial lights combined together, and which two form the anima mundi, and constitute the soul and spirit of man; the celestial light forming his nou;ʺ, pneuma , or divine spirit, and the other his fuch , soul or astral spirit. The grosser particles of the latter enter into the fabrication of his outward form — the body. Akasa is the mysterious fluid termed by scholastic science, ʺthe all‐pervading etherʺ; it enters into all the magical operations of nature, and produces mesmeric, magnetic, and spiritual phenomena. As, in Syria, Palestine, and India, meant the sky, life, and the sun at the same time; the sun being considered by the ancient sages as the great magnetic well of our universe. The softened pronunciation of this word was Ah — says Dunlap, for ʺthe s continually softens to h from Greece to Calcutta.ʺ Ah is Iah, Ao, and Iao. God tells Moses that his name is ʺI amʺ (Ahiah), a reduplication of Ah or Iah. The word ʺAsʺ Ah, or Iah means life, existence, and is evidently the root of the word akasa, which in Hindustan is pronounced ahasa, the life‐principle, or Divine life‐giving fluid or medium. It is the Hebrew ruah, and means the ʺwind,ʺ the breath, the air in motion, or ʺmoving spirit,ʺ according to Parkhurstʹs Lexicon; and is identical with the spirit of God moving on the face of the waters.


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towards his hands, and by keeping up an unintermitted flow for the requisite space of time, the life‐principle of the plant built up cell after cell, layer after layer, with preternatural activity, until the work was done. The life‐principle is but a blind force obeying a controlling influence. In the ordinary course of nature the plant‐protoplasm would have concentrated and directed it at a certain established rate. This rate would have been controlled by the prevalent atmospheric conditions; its growth being rapid or slow, and, in stalk or head, in proportion to the amount of light, heat, and moisture of the season. But the fakir, coming to the help of nature with his powerful will and spirit purified from the contact with matter,* condenses, so to speak, the essence of plant‐life into its germ, and forces it to maturity ahead of its time. This blind force being totally submissive to his will, obeys it with servility. If he chose to imagine the plant as a monster, it would as surely become such, as ordinarily it would grow in its natural shape; for the concrete image — slave to the subjective model outlined in the imagination of

* Bear in mind that Kavindasami made Jacolliot swear that he would neither approach nor touch him during the time he was entranced. The least contact with matter would have paralyzed the action of the freed spirit, which, if we are permitted to use such an unpoetical comparison, would re‐enter its dwelling like a frightened snail, drawing in its horns at the approach of any foreign substance. In some cases such a brusque interruption and oozing back of the spirit (sometimes it may suddenly and altogether break the delicate thread connecting it with the body) kills the entranced subject. See the several works of Baron du Potet and Puysegur on this question.

the fakir — is forced to follow the original in its least detail, as the hand and brush of the painter follow the image which they copy from his mind. The will of the fakir‐conjurer forms an invisible but yet, to it, perfectly objective matrix, in which the vegetable matter is caused to deposit itself and assume the fixed shape. The will creates; for the will in motion is force, and force produces matter.

If some persons object to the explanation on the ground that the fakir could by no means create the model in his imagination, since he was kept ignorant by Jacolliot of the kind of seed he had selected for the experiment; to these we will answer that the spirit of man is like that of his Creator — omniscient in its essence. While in his natural state the fakir did not, and could not know whether it was a melon‐seed, or seed of any other plant; once entranced, i.e., bodily dead to all outward appearance — the spirit, for which there exist neither distance, material obstacle, nor space of time, experienced no difficulty in perceiving the melon‐seed, whether as it lay deeply buried in the mud of the flower‐pot, or reflected in the faithful picture‐gallery of Jacolliotʹs brain. Our visions, portents, and other psychological phenomena, all of which exist in nature, are corroborative of the above fact.

And now, perhaps, we might as well meet at once another impending objection. Indian jugglers, they will tell us, do the same, and as well as the fakir, if we can believe newspapers and travellersʹ narratives. Undoubtedly so; and moreover these strolling jugglers are neither pure in their modes of


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living nor considered holy by any one; neither by foreigners nor their own people. They are generally FEARED and despised by the natives, for they are sorcerers; men practising the black art. While such a holy man as Kavindasami requires but the help of his own divine soul, closely united with the astral spirit, and the help of a few familiar pitris — pure, ethereal beings, who rally around their elect brother in flesh — the sorcerer can summon to his help but that class of spirits which we know as the elementals. Like attracts like; and greed for money, impure purposes, and selfish views, cannot attract any other spirits than those that the Hebrew kabalists know as the klippoth, dwellers of Asiah, the fourth world, and the Eastern magicians as the afrits, or elementary spirits of error, or the devs.

This is how an English paper describes the astounding trick of plant‐growth, as performed by Indian jugglers:

ʺAn empty flower‐pot was now placed upon the floor by the juggler, who requested that his comrades might be allowed to bring up some garden mould from the little plot of ground below. Permission being accorded, the man went, and in two minutes returned with a small quantity of fresh earth tied up in a corner of his chudder, which was deposited in the flower‐pot and lightly pressed down. Taking from his basket a dry mango‐stone, and handing it round to the company that they might examine it, and satisfy themselves that it was really what it seemed to be, the juggler scooped out a little earth from the centre of the flower‐pot and placed the stone in the cavity. He then turned the earth lightly over it, and,

having poured a little water over the surface, shut the flower‐ pot out of view by means of a sheet thrown over a small triangle. And now, amid a full chorus of voices and rat‐tat‐tat accompaniment of the tabor, the stone germinated; presently a section of the cloth was drawn aside, and gave to view the tender shoot, characterized by two long leaves of a blackish‐ brown color. The cloth was readjusted, and the incantation resumed. Not long was it, however, before the cloth was a second time drawn aside, and it was then seen that the two first leaves had given place to several green ones, and that the plant now stood nine or ten inches high. A third time, and the foliage was much thicker, the sapling being about thirteen to fourteen inches in height. A fourth time, and the little miniature tree, now about eighteen inches in height, had ten or twelve mangoes about the size of walnuts hanging about its branches. Finally, after the lapse of three or four minutes, the cloth was altogether removed, and the fruit, having the perfection of size, though not of maturity, was plucked and handed to the spectators, and, on being tasted, was found to be approaching ripeness, being sweetly acid.ʺ

We may add to this, that we have witnessed the same experiment in India and Thibet, and that more than once we provided the flower‐pot ourselves, by emptying an old tin box of some Liebig extracts. We filled it with earth with our own hands, and planted in it a small root handed to us by the conjurer, and until the experiment was ended never once removed our eyes from the pot, which was placed in our own room. The result was invariably the same as above described.


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Does the reader imagine that any prestidigitator could produce the same manifestation under the same conditions?

The learned Orioli, Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, gives a number of instances which show the marvellous effects produced by the will‐power acting upon the invisible Proteus of the mesmerists. ʺI have seen,ʺ says he, ʺcertain persons, who simply by pronouncing certain words, arrest wild bulls and horses at headlong speed, and suspend in its flight the arrow which cleaves the air.ʺ Thomas Bartholini affirms the same.

Says Du Potet: ʺWhen I trace upon the floor with chalk or charcoal this figure . . . a fire, a light fixes itself on it. Soon it attracts to itself the person who approaches it: it detains and fascinates him . . . and it is useless for him to try to cross the line. A magic power compels him to stand still. At the end of a few moments he yields, uttering sobs. . . . The cause is not in me, it is in this entirely kabalistic sign; in vain would you employ violence.ʺ*

In a series of remarkable experiments made by Regazzoni in the presence of certain well‐known French physicians, at Paris, on the 18th of May, 1856, they assembled on one night together, and Regazzoni, with his finger, traced an imaginary kabalistic line upon the floor, over which he made a few rapid passes. It was agreed that the mesmeric subjects, selected by the investigators and the committee for the experiments, and all strangers to him, should be brought

blindfold into the room, and caused to walk toward the line, without a word being spoken to indicate what was expected of them. The subjects moved along unsuspiciously till they came to the invisible barrier, when, as it is described, ʺtheir feet, as if they had been suddenly seized and riveted, adhere to the ground, while their bodies, carried forward by the rapid impulse of the motion, fall and strike the floor. The sudden rigidity of their limbs was like that of a frozen corpse, and their heels were rooted with mathematical precision upon the fatal line!ʺ†

In another experiment it was agreed that upon one of the physicians giving a certain signal by a glance of the eye, the blindfolded girl should be made to fall on the ground, as if struck by lightning, by the magnetic fluid emitted by Regazzoniʹs will. She was placed at a distance from the magnetizer; the signal was given, and instantly the subject was felled to the earth, without a word being spoken or a gesture made. Involuntarily one of the spectators stretched out his hand as if to catch her; but Regazzoni, in a voice of thunder, exclaimed, ʺDo not touch her! Let her fall; a magnetized subject is never hurt by falling.ʺ Des Mousseaux, who tells the story, says that ʺmarble is not more rigid than was her body; her head did not touch the ground; one of her arms remained stretched in the air; one of her legs was raised

* ʺLa Magie Devoilée,ʺ p. 147. † ʺMagie au XIXme Siècle,ʺ p. 268.


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and the other horizontal. She remained in this unnatural posture an indefinite time. Less rigid is a statue of bronze.ʺ*

All the effects witnessed in the experiments of public lecturers upon mesmerism, were produced by Regazzoni in perfection, and without one spoken word to indicate what the subject was to do. He even by his silent will produced the most surprising effects upon the physical systems of persons totally unknown to him. Directions whispered by the committee in Regazzoniʹs ear were immediately obeyed by the subjects, whose ears were stuffed with cotton, and whose eyes were bandaged. Nay, in some cases it was not even necessary for them to express to the magnetizer what they desired, for their own mental requests were complied with with perfect fidelity.

Experiments of a similar character were made by Regazzoni in England, at a distance of three hundred paces from the subject brought to him. The jettatura, or evil eye, is nothing but the direction of this invisible fluid, charged with malicious will and hatred, from one person to another, and sent out with the intention of harming him. It may equally be employed for a good or evil purpose. In the former case it is magic; in the latter, sorcery.

What is the WILL? Can ʺexact scienceʺ tell? What is the nature of that intelligent, intangible, and powerful something which reigns supreme over all inert matter? The great Universal Idea willed, and the cosmos sprang into existence. I

* Ibid.

will, and my limbs obey. I will, and, my thought traversing space, which does not exist for it, envelops the body of another individual who is not a part of myself, penetrates through his pores, and, superseding his own faculties, if they are weaker, forces him to a predetermined action. It acts like the fluid of a galvanic battery on the limbs of a corpse. The mysterious effects of attraction and repulsion are the unconscious agents of that will; fascination, such as we see exercised by some animals, by serpents over birds, for instance, is a conscious action of it, and the result of thought. Sealing‐wax, glass, and amber, when rubbed, i.e., when the latent heat which exists in every substance is awakened, attract light bodies; they exercise unconsciously, will; for inorganic as well as organic matter possesses a particle of the divine essence in itself, however infinitesimally small it may be. And how could it be otherwise? Notwithstanding that in the progress of its evolution it may from beginning to end have passed through millions of various forms, it must ever retain its germ‐point of that preëxistent matter, which is the first manifestation and emanation of the Deity itself. What is then this inexplicable power of attraction but an atomical portion of that essence that scientists and kabalists equally recognize as the ʺprinciple of lifeʺ — the akasa? Granted that the attraction exercised by such bodies may be blind; but as we ascend higher the scale of the organic beings in nature, we find this principle of life developing attributes and faculties which become more determined and marked with every rung of the endless ladder. Man, the most perfect of organized


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beings on earth, in whom matter and spirit — i.e., will — are the most developed and powerful, is alone allowed to give a conscious impulse to that principle which emanates from him; and only he can impart to the magnetic fluid opposite and various impulses without limit as to the direction. ʺHe wills,ʺ says Du Potet, ʺand organized matter obeys. It has no poles.ʺ

Dr. Brierre de Boismont, in his volume on Hallucinations, reviews a wonderful variety of visions, apparitions, and ecstasies, generally termed hallucinations. ʺWe cannot deny,ʺ he says, ʺthat in certain diseases we see developed a great surexcitation of sensibility, which lends to the senses a prodigious acuteness of perception. Thus, some individuals will perceive at considerable distances, others will announce the approach of persons who are really on their way, although those present can neither hear nor see them coming.ʺ*

A lucid patient, lying in his bed, announces the arrival of persons to see whom he must possess transmural vision, and this faculty is termed by Brierre de Boismont — hallucination. In our ignorance, we have hitherto innocently supposed that in order to be rightly termed a hallucination, a vision must be subjective. It must have an existence only in the delirious brain of the patient. But if the latter announces the visit of a

* Brierre de Boismont, ʺDes Hallucinations, ou Histoire raisonnee des apparitions, des songes, des visions, de lʹextase du Magnetisme,ʺ 1845, p. 301 (French edition). See also Fairfield, ʺTen Years Among the Mediums.ʺ

person, miles away, and this person arrives at the very moment predicted by the seer, then his vision was no more subjective, but on the contrary perfectly objective, for he saw that person in the act of coming. And how could the patient see, through solid bodies and space, an object shut out from the reach of our mortal sight, if he had not exercised his spiritual eyes on that occasion? Coincidence?

Cabanis speaks of certain nervous disorders in which the patients easily distinguished with the naked eye infusoria and other microscopical beings which others could only perceive through powerful lenses. ʺI have met subjects,ʺ he says, ʺwho saw in Cimmerian darkness as well as in a lighted room; . . .ʺ others ʺwho followed persons, tracing them out like dogs, and recognizing by the smell objects belonging to such persons or even such as had been only touched by them, with a sagacity which was hitherto observed only in animals.ʺ† Exactly; because reason, which, as Cabanis says, develops only at the expense and loss of natural instinct, is a Chinese wall slowly rising on the soil of sophistry, and which finally shuts out manʹs spiritual perceptions of which the instinct is one of the most important examples. Arrived at certain stages of physical prostration, when mind and the reasoning faculties seem paralyzed through weakness and bodily exhaustion, instinct — the spiritual unity of the five senses — sees, hears, feels, tastes, and smells, unimpaired by either time or space. What do we know of the exact limits of

† Cabanis, seventh memoir, ʺDe lʹInfluence des Maladies sur la Formation

des Idées,ʺ etc. A respected N. Y. legislator has this faculty.


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mental action? How can a physician take upon himself to distinguish the imaginary from the real senses in a man who may be living a spiritual life, in a body so exhausted of its usual vitality that it actually is unable to prevent the soul from oozing out from its prison?

The divine light through which, unimpeded by matter, the soul perceives things past, present, and to come, as though their rays were focused in a mirror; the death‐dealing bolt projected in an instant of fierce anger or at the climax of long‐ festering hate; the blessing wafted from a grateful or benevolent heart; and the curse hurled at an object — offender or victim — all have to pass through that universal agent, which under one impulse is the breath of God, and under another — the venom of the devil. It was discovered (?) by Baron Reichenbach and called OD, whether intentionally or otherwise we cannot say, but it is singular that a name should have been chosen which is mentioned in the most ancient books of the Kabala.

Our readers will certainly inquire what then is this invisible all? How is it that our scientific methods, however perfected, have never discovered any of the magical properties contained in it? To this we can answer, that it is no reason because modern scientists are ignorant of them that it should not possess all the properties with which the ancient philosophers endowed it. Science rejects many a thing to‐day which she may find herself forced to accept to‐morrow. A little less than a century ago the Academy denied Franklinʹs electricity, and, at the present day, we can hardly find a house

without a conductor on its roof. Shooting at the barn‐door, the Academy missed the barn itself. Modern scientists, by their wilful skepticism and learned ignorance, do this very frequently.

Emepht, the supreme, first principle, produced an egg; by brooding over which, and permeating the substance of it with its own vivifying essence, the germ contained within was developed; and Phtha, the active creative principle proceeded from it, and began his work. From the boundless expanse of cosmic matter, which had formed itself under his breath, or will, this cosmic matter — astral light, æther, fire‐mist, principle of life — it matters not how we may call it, this creative principle, or, as our modern philosophy terms it, law of evolution, by setting in motion the potencies latent in it, formed suns and stars, and satellites; controlled their emplacement by the immutable law of harmony, and peopled them ʺwith every form and quality of life.ʺ In the ancient Eastern mythologies, the cosmogonic myth states that there was but water (the father) and the prolific slime (the mother, Ilus or Hyle), from which crept forth the mundane snake‐ matter. It was the god Phanes, the revealed one, the Word, or logos. How willingly this myth was accepted, even by the Christians who compiled the New Testament, may be easily inferred from the following fact: Phanes, the revealed god, is represented in this snake‐symbol as a protogonos, a being furnished with the heads of a man, a hawk or an eagle, a bull

— taurus, and a lion, with wings on both sides. The heads relate to the zodiac, and typify the four seasons of the year,


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for the mundane serpent is the mundane year, while the serpent itself is the symbol of Kneph, the hidden, or unrevealed deity — God the Father. Time is winged, therefore the serpent is represented with wings. If we remember that each of the four evangelists is represented as having near him one of the described animals — grouped together in Solomonʹs triangle in the pentacle of Ezekiel, and to be found in the four cherubs or sphinxes of the sacred arch — we will perhaps understand the secret meaning, as well as the reason why the early Christians adopted this symbol; and how it is that the present Roman Catholics and the Greeks of the Oriental Church still represent these animals in the pictures of their evangelists which sometimes accompany the four Gospels. We will also understand why Irenæus, Bishop of Lyons, had so insisted upon the necessity of the fourth gospel; giving as a reason that there could not be less than four of them, as there were four zones in the world, and four principal winds coming from the four cardinal points, etc.*

According to one of the Egyptian myths, the phantom‐ form of the isle of Chemmis (Chemi, ancient Egypt), which floats on the ethereal waves of the empyrean sphere, was called into being by Horus‐Apollo, the sun‐god, who caused it to evolve out of the mundane egg.

In the cosmogonical poem of Völuspa (the song of the prophetess), which contains the Scandinavian legends of the very dawn of ages, the phantom‐germ of the universe is

* Irenæus, Book iii., chap. ii., sec. 8.

represented as lying in the Ginnungagap — or the cup of illusion, a boundless and void abyss. In this worldʹs matrix, formerly a region of night and desolation, Nebelheim (the Mist‐place) dropped a ray of cold light (æther), which overflowed this cup and froze in it. Then the Invisible blew a scorching wind which dissolved the frozen waters and cleared the mist. These waters, called the streams of Elivâgar, distilled in vivifying drops which, falling down, created the earth and the giant Ymir, who only had ʺthe semblance of manʺ (male principle). With him was created the cow, Audhumla† (female principle), from whose udder flowed four streams of milk,‡ which diffused themselves throughout space (the astral light in its purest emanation). The cow Audhumla produces a superior being, called Bur, handsome and powerful, by licking the stones that were covered with mineral salt.

Now, if we take into consideration that this mineral was universally regarded by ancient philosophers as one of the chief formative principles in organic creation; by the alchemists as the universal menstruum, which, they said, was

† The cow is the symbol of prolific generation and of intellectual nature. She was sacred to Isis in Egypt; to Christna, in India, and to an infinity of other gods and goddesses personifying the various productive powers of nature. The cow was held, in short, as the impersonation of the Great Mother of all beings, both of the mortals and of the gods, of physical and spiritual generation of things.

‡ In Genesis the river of Eden was parted, ʺand became into four headsʺ (Gen. ii., 5).


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to be wrought from water; and by every one else, even as it is regarded now by science as well as in the popular ideas, to be an indispensable ingredient for man and beast; we may readily comprehend the hidden wisdom of this allegory of the creation of man. Paracelsus calls salt ʺthe centre of water, wherein metals ought to die,ʺ etc., and Van Helmont terms the Alkahest, ʺsummum et felicissimum omnium salium,ʺ the most successful of all salts.

In the Gospel according to Matthew, Jesus says: ʺYe are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?ʺ and following the parable he adds: ʺYe are the light of the worldʺ (v. 14). This is more than an allegory; these words point to a direct and unequivocal meaning in relation to the spiritual and physical organisms of man in his dual nature, and show, moreover, a knowledge of the ʺsecret doctrine,ʺ the direct traces of which we find equally in the oldest ancient and current popular traditions, in both the Old and New Testaments, and in the writings of the ancient and mediæval mystics and philosophers.

But to return to our Edda‐legend. Ymir, the giant, falls asleep, and sweats profusely. This perspiration causes the pit of his left arm to generate out of that place a man and a woman, while his foot produces a son for them. Thus, while the mythic ʺcowʺ gives being to a race of superior spiritual men, the giant Ymir begets a race of evil and depraved men, the Hrimthursen, or frost‐giants. Comparing notes with the Hindu Vedas, we find it then, with slight modifications, the same cosmogonic legend in substance and details. Brahma, as

soon as Bhagaveda, the Supreme God, endows him with creative powers, produces animated beings, wholly spiritual at first. The Dejotas, inhabitants of the Surgʹs (the celestial) region, are unfit to live on earth, therefore Brahma creates the Daints (giants, who become the dwellers of the Patals, the lower regions of space), who are also unfit to inhabit Mirtlok (the earth). To palliate the evil, the creative power evolves from his mouth the first Brahman, who thus becomes the progenitor of our race; from his right arm Brahma creates Raettris, the warrior, and from his left Shaterany, the wife of Raettris. Then their son Bais springs from the right foot of the creator, and his wife Basany from the left. While in the Scandinavian legend Bur (the son of the cow Audhumla), a superior being, marries Besla, a daughter of the depraved race of giants, in the Hindu tradition the first Brahman marries Daintary, also a daughter of the race of the giants; and in Genesis we see the sons of God taking for wives the daughters of men, and likewise producing mighty men of old; the whole establishing an unquestionable identity of origin between the Christian inspired Book, and the heathen ʺfablesʺ of Scandinavia and Hindustan. The traditions of nearly every other nation, if examined, will yield a like result.

What modern cosmogonist could compress within so simple a symbol as the Egyptian serpent in a circle such a world of meaning? Here we have, in this creature, the whole philosophy of the universe: matter vivified by spirit, and the two conjointly evolving out of chaos (Force) everything that was to be. To signify that the elements are fast bound in this


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cosmic matter, which the serpent symbolizes, the Egyptians tied its tail into a knot.

There is one more important emblem connected with the sloughing of the serpentʹs skin, which, so far as we are aware, has never been heretofore noticed by our symbolists. As the reptile upon casting his coat becomes freed from a casing of gross matter, which cramped a body grown too large for it, and resumes its existence with renewed activity, so man, by casting off the gross material body, enters upon the next stage of his existence with enlarged powers and quickened vitality. Inversely, the Chaldean Kabalists tell us that primeval man, who, contrary to the Darwinian theory was purer, wiser, and far more spiritual, as shown by the myths of the Scandinavian Bur, the Hindu Dejotas, and the Mosaic ʺsons of God,ʺ — in short, of a far higher nature than the man of the present Adamic race, became despiritualized or tainted with matter, and then, for the first time, was given the fleshly body, which is typified in Genesis in that profoundly‐significant verse: ʺUnto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skin, and clothed them.ʺ* Unless the commentators would make of the First Cause a celestial tailor, what else can the apparently absurd words mean, but that the spiritual man had reached, through the progress of involution, to that point where matter, predominating over and conquering spirit, had transformed him into the physical man, or the second Adam, of the second chapter of Genesis?

* Genesis iii. 21.

This kabalistical doctrine is much more elaborated in the Book of Jasher.† In chapter vii., these garments of skin are taken by Noah into the ark, he having obtained them by inheritance from Methuselah and Enoch, who had them from Adam and his wife. Ham steals them from his father Noah; gives them ʺin secretʺ to Cush, who conceals them from his sons and brothers, and passes them to Nimrod.

While some Kabalists, and even archæologists say that ʺAdam, Enoch, and Noah might, in outward appearance, be different men, but they were really the selfsame divine person.ʺ‡ Others explain that between Adam and Noah there intervened several cycles. That is to say, that every one of the antediluvian patriarchs stood as the representative of a race which had its place in a succession of cycles; and each of which races was less spiritual than its predecessor. Thus Noah, though a good man, could not have borne comparison with his ancestor, Enoch, who ʺwalked with God and did not die.ʺ Hence the allegorical interpretation which makes Noah have this coat of skin by inheritance from the second Adam and Enoch, but not wear it himself, for if otherwise, Ham

† This is claimed to be one of the missing books of the sacred Canon of the Jews, and is referred to in Joshua and II. Samuel. It was discovered by Sidras, an officer of Titus, during the sack of Jerusalem, and published in Venice in the seventeenth century, as alleged in its preface by the Consistory of Rabbins, but the American edition, as well as the English, is reputed by the modern Rabbis, to be a forgery of the twelfth century.

‡ See Godfrey Higgins, ʺAnacalypsis,ʺ quoting Faber.


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could not have stolen it. But Noah and his children bridged the flood; and while the former belonged to the old and still spiritual antediluvian generation, insomuch as he was selected from all mankind for his purity, his children were post‐diluvian. The coat of skin worn by Cush ʺin secret,ʺ — i.e., when his spiritual nature began to be tainted by the material — is placed on Nimrod, the most powerful and strongest of physical men on this side of the flood — the last remnant of the antediluvian giants.* In the Scandinavian legend, Ymir, the giant, is slain by the sons of Bur, and the streams of blood flowing from his wounds were so copious that the flood drowned the whole race of ice and frost giants, and Bergelmir alone of that race was saved, with his wife, by taking refuge in a bark; which fact permitted him to transmit a new branch of giants from the old stock. But all the sons of Bur remained untouched by the flood.†

When the symbolism of this diluvian legend is unravelled, one perceives at once the real meaning of the allegory. The giant Ymir typifies the primitive rude organic matter, the blind cosmical forces, in their chaotic state, before they received the intelligent impulse of the Divine Spirit which set them into a regular motion dependent on immovable laws. The progeny of Bur are the ʺsons of God,ʺ or the minor gods mentioned by Plato in the Timæus, and who were intrusted, as he expresses it, with the creation of men; for we see them

* See Coryʹs ʺAncient Fragments.ʺ BEROSUS.

† We refer the reader for further particulars to the ʺProse Eddaʺ in Mallettʹs ʺNorthern Antiquities.ʺ

taking the mangled remains of Ymir to the Ginnunga‐gap, the chaotic abyss, and employing them for the creation of our world. His blood goes to form oceans and rivers; his bones, the mountains; his teeth, the rocks and cliffs; his hair, the trees, etc.; while his skull forms the heavenly vault, supported by four pillars representing the four cardinal points. From the eye‐brows of Ymir was created the future abode of man — Midgard. This abode (the earth), says the Edda, in order to be correctly described in all its minute particulars, must be conceived as round as a ring, or as a disk, floating in the midst of the Celestial Ocean (Ether). It is encircled by Yormungand, the gigantic Midgard or Earth Serpent, holding its tail in its mouth. This is the mundane snake, matter and spirit, combined product and emanation of Ymir, the gross rudimental matter, and of the spirit of the ʺsons of God,ʺ who fashioned and created all forms. This emanation is the astral light of the Kabalists, and the as yet problematical, and hardly known, æther, or the ʺhypothetical agent of great elasticityʺ of our physicists.

How sure the ancients were of this doctrine of manʹs trinitarian nature may be inferred from the same Scandinavian legend of the creation of mankind. According to the Voluspa, Odin, Honir, and Lodur, who are the progenitors of our race, found in one of their walks on the ocean‐beach, two sticks floating on the waves, ʺpowerless and without destiny.ʺ Odin breathed in them the breath of life; Honir endowed them with soul and motion; and Lodur with beauty, speech, sight, and hearing. The man they called Askr


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— the ash,* and the woman Embla — the alder. These first men are placed in Midgard (mid‐garden, or Eden) and thus inherit, from their creators, matter or inorganic life; mind, or soul; and pure spirit; the first corresponding to that part of their organism which sprung from the remains of Ymir, the giant‐matter, the second from the Æsir, or gods, the descendants of Bur, and the third from the Vanr, or the representative of pure spirit.

Another version of the Edda makes our visible universe spring from beneath the luxuriant branches of the mundane tree — the Yggdrasill, the tree with the three roots. Under the first root runs the fountain of life, Urdar; under the second is the famous well of Mimer, in which lie deeply buried Wit and Wisdom. Odin, the Alfadir, asks for a draught of this water; he gets it, but finds himself obliged to pledge one of his eyes for it; the eye being in this case the symbol of the Deity revealing itself in the wisdom of its own creation; for Odin leaves it at the bottom of the deep well. The care of the mundane tree is intrusted to three maidens (the Norns or Parcæ, Urdhr, Verdandi, and Skuld — or the Present, the Past, and the Future. Every morning, while fixing the term of human life, they draw water from the Urdar‐fountain, and sprinkle with it the roots of the mundane tree, that it may live. The exhalations of the ash, Yggdrasill, condense, and falling down upon our earth call into existence and change of

* It is worthy of attention that in the Mexican ʺPopol‐Vuhʺ the human race is created out of a reed, and in Hesiod out of the ash‐tree, as in the Scandinavian narrative.

form every portion of the inanimate matter. This tree is the symbol of the universal Life, organic as well as inorganic; its emanations represent the spirit which vivifies every form of creation; and of its three roots, one extends to heaven, the second to the dwelling of the magicians — giants, inhabitants of the lofty mountains — and at the third, under which is the spring Hvergelmir, gnaws the monster Nidhogg, who constantly leads mankind into evil. The Thibetans have also their mundane tree, and the legend is of an untold antiquity. With them it is called Zampun. The first of its three roots also extends to heaven, to the top of the highest mountains; the second passes down to the lower region; the third remains midway, and reaches the east. The mundane tree of the Hindus is the Aswatha.† Its branches are the components of the visible world; and its leaves the Mantras of the Vedas, symbols of the universe in its intellectual or moral character.

Who can study carefully the ancient religious and cosmogonic myths without perceiving that this striking similitude of conceptions, in their exoteric form and esoteric spirit, is the result of no mere coincidence, but manifests a concurrent design? It shows that already in those ages which are shut out from our sight by the impenetrable mist of tradition, human religious thought developed in uniform sympathy in every portion of the globe. Christians call this adoration of nature in her most concealed verities — Pantheism. But if the latter, which worships and reveals to us

† See Kanneʹs ʺPantheum der Æltesten Philosophie.ʺ


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God in space in His only possible objective form — that of visible nature — perpetually reminds humanity of Him who created it, and a religion of theological dogmatism only serves to conceal Him the more from our sight, which is the better adapted to the needs of mankind?


Modern science insists upon the doctrine of evolution; so do human reason and the ʺsecret doctrine,ʺ and the idea is corroborated by the ancient legends and myths, and even by the Bible itself when it is read between the lines. We see a flower slowly developing from a bud, and the bud from its seed. But whence the latter, with all its predetermined programme of physical transformation, and its invisible, therefore spiritual forces which gradually develop its form, color, and odor? The word evolution speaks for itself. The germ of the present human race must have preexisted in the parent of this race, as the seed, in which lies hidden the flower of next summer, was developed in the capsule of its parent‐flower; the parent may be but slightly different, but it still differs from its future progeny. The antediluvian ancestors of the present elephant and lizard were, perhaps, the mammoth and the plesiosaurus; why should not the progenitors of our human race have been the ʺgiantsʺ of the Vedas, the Völuspa, and the Book of Genesis? While it is positively absurd to believe the ʺtransformation of speciesʺ to have taken place according to some of the more materialistic views of the evolutionists, it is but natural to think that each

genus, beginning with the mollusks and ending with monkey‐man, has modified from its own primordial and distinctive form. Supposing that we concede that ʺanimals have descended from at most only four or five progenitorsʺ;* and that even a la rigueur ʺall the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial formʺ;† still no one but a stone‐blind materialist, one utterly devoid of intuitiveness, can seriously expect to see ʺin the distant future . . . psychology based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation.ʺ‡

Physical man, as a product of evolution, may be left in the hands of the man of exact science. None but he can throw light upon the physical origin of the race. But, we must positively deny the materialist the same privilege as to the question of manʹs psychical and spiritual evolution, for he and his highest faculties cannot be proved on any conclusive evidence to be ʺas much products of evolution as the humblest plant or the lowest worm.ʺ§

Having said so much, we will now proceed to show the evolution‐hypothesis of the old Brahmans, as embodied by them in the allegory of the mundane tree. The Hindus

* ʺOrigin of Species,ʺ p. 484.

† Ibid. Which latter word we cannot accept unless that ʺprimordial formʺ is conceded to be the primal concrete form that spirit assumed as the revealed Deity.
‡ Ibid., p. 488.

§ Lecture by T. H. Huxley, F.R.S., ʺDarwin and Hæckel.ʺ


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represent their mythical tree, which they call Aswatha, in a way which differs from that of the Scandinavians. It is described by them as growing in a reversed position, the branches extending downward and the roots upward; the former typifying the external world of sense, i.e., the visible cosmical universe, and the latter the invisible world of spirit, because the roots have their genesis in the heavenly regions where, from the worldʹs creation, humanity has placed its invisible deity. The creative energy having originated in the primordial point, the religious symbols of every people are so many illustrations of this metaphysical hypothesis expounded by Pythagoras, Plato, and other philosophers. ʺThese Chaldeans,ʺ says Philo,* ʺwere of opinion that the Kosmos, among the things that exist, is a single point, either being itself God (Theos) or that in it is God, comprehending the soul of all the things.ʺ

The Egyptian Pyramid also symbolically represents this idea of the mundane tree. Its apex is the mystic link between heaven and earth, and stands for the root, while the base represents the spreading branches, extending to the four cardinal points of the universe of matter. It conveys the idea that all things had their origin in spirit — evolution having originally begun from above and proceeded downward, instead of the reverse, as taught in the Darwinian theory. In other words, there has been a gradual materialization of forms until a fixed ultimate of debasement is reached. This

* ʺMigration of Abraham,ʺ § 32.

point is that at which the doctrine of modern evolution enters into the arena of speculative hypothesis. Arrived at this period we will find it easier to understand Hæckelʹs Anthropogeny, which traces the pedigree of man ʺfrom its protoplasmic root, sodden in the mud of seas which existed before the oldest of the fossiliferous rocks were deposited,ʺ according to Professor Huxleyʹs exposition. We may believe man evolved ʺby gradual modification of a mammal of ape‐ like organizationʺ still easier when we remember that (though in a more condensed and less elegant, but still as comprehensible, phraseology) the same theory was said by Berosus to have been taught many thousands of years before his time by the man‐fish Oannes or Dagon, the semi‐demon of Babylonia.† We may add, as a fact of interest, that this ancient theory of evolution is not only embalmed in allegory and legend, but also depicted upon the walls of certain temples in India, and, in a fragmentary form, has been found in those of Egypt and on the slabs of Nimroud and Nineveh, excavated by Layard.

But what lies back of the Darwinian line of descent? So far as he is concerned nothing but ʺunverifiable hypotheses.ʺ For, as he puts it, he views all beings ʺas the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited.ʺ‡ He does not attempt to show us who these ʺfew beingsʺ were. But it answers our purpose quite as well, for in the admission of their existence

† Cory, ʺAncient Fragments.ʺ

‡ ʺOrigin of Species,ʺ pp. 448, 489, first edition.


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at all, resort to the ancients for corroboration and elaboration of the idea receives the stamp of scientific approbation. With all the changes that our globe has passed through as regards temperature, climate, soil, and — if we may be pardoned, in view of recent developments — its electromagnetic condition, he would be bold indeed who dare say that anything in present science contradicts the ancient hypothesis of ante‐ Silurian man. The flint‐axes first found by Boucher de Perthes, in the valley of the Somme, prove that men must have existed at a period so remote as to be beyond calculation. If we believe Buchner, man must have lived even during and before the glacial epoch, a subdivision of the quaternary or diluvial period probably extending very far back in it. But who can tell what the next discovery has in store for us?

Now, if we have indisputable proof that man has existed so long as this, there must have been wonderful modifications of his physical system, corresponding with the changes of climate and atmosphere. Does not this seem to show by analogy that, tracing backward, there may have been other modifications, which fitted the most remote progenitors of the ʺfrost‐giantsʺ to live even contemporaneously with the Devonian fishes or the Silurian mollusks? True, they left no flint‐hatchets behind them, nor any bones or cave‐deposits; but, if the ancients are correct, the races at that time were composed not only of giants, or ʺmighty men of renown,ʺ but also of ʺsons of God.ʺ If those who believe in the evolution of spirit as firmly as the materialists believe in that of matter are

charged with teaching ʺunverifiable hypotheses,ʺ how readily can they retort upon their accusers by saying that, by their own confession, their physical evolution is still ʺan unverified, if not actually an unverifiable hypothesis.ʺ* The former have at least the inferential proof of legendary myth, the vast antiquity of which is admitted by both philologists and archæologists; while their antagonists have nothing of a similar nature, unless they help themselves to a portion of the ancient picture‐writings, and suppress the rest.

It is more than fortunate that, while the works of some men of science — who have justly won their great reputations

— will flatly contradict our hypotheses, the researches and labors of others not less eminent seem to fully confirm our views. In the recent work of Mr. Alfred R. Wallace, The Geographical Distribution of Animals, we find the author seriously favoring the idea of ʺsome slow process of developmentʺ of the present species from others which have preceded them, his idea extending back over an innumerable series of cycles. And if animals, why not animal man, preceded still farther back by a thoroughly ʺspiritualʺ one — a ʺson of Godʺ?

And now, we may once more return to the symbolology of the olden times, and their physico‐religious myths. Before we close this work, we hope to demonstrate more or less successfully how closely the conceptions of the latter were allied with many of the achievements of modern science in

* Huxley, ʺDarwin and Hæckel.ʺ


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physics and natural philosophy. Under the emblematical devices and peculiar phraseology of the priesthood of old lie latent hints of sciences as yet undiscovered during the present cycle. Well acquainted as may be a scholar with the hieratic writing and hieroglyphical system of the Egyptians, he must first of all learn to sift their records. He has to assure himself, compasses and rule in hand, that the picture‐writing he is examining fits, to a line, certain fixed geometrical figures which are the hidden keys to such records, before he ventures on an interpretation.

But there are myths which speak for themselves. In this class we may include the double‐sexed first creators, of every cosmogony. The Greek Zeus‐Zen (æther), and Chthonia (the chaotic earth) and Metis (the water), his wives; Osiris and Isis‐Latona — the former god representing also ether — the first emanation of the Supreme Deity, Amun, the primeval source of light; the goddess earth and water again; Mithras,* the rock‐born god, the symbol of the male mundane‐fire, or the personified primordial light, and Mithra, the fire‐goddess, at once his mother and his wife; the pure element of fire (the active, or male principle) regarded as light and heat, in conjunction with earth and water, or matter (female or passive elements of cosmical generation). Mithras is the son

* Mithras was regarded among the Persians as the Theos ek petros — god of the rock.

of Bordj, the Persian mundane mountain† from which he flashes out as a radiant ray of light. Brahma, the fire‐god, and his prolific consort; and the Hindu Unghi, the refulgent deity, from whose body issue a thousand streams of glory and seven tongues of flame, and in whose honor the Sagniku Brahmans preserve to this day a perpetual fire; Siva, personated by the mundane mountain of the Hindus — the Meru (Himalaya). This terrific fire‐god, who is said in the legend to have descended from heaven, like the Jewish Jehovah, in a pillar of fire, and a dozen of other archaic, double‐sexed deities, all loudly proclaim their hidden meaning. And what can these dual myths mean but the physico‐chemical principle of primordial creation? The first revelation of the Supreme Cause in its triple manifestation of spirit, force, and matter; the divine correlation, at its starting‐point of evolution, allegorized as the marriage of fire and water, products of electrifying spirit, union of the male active principle with the female passive element, which become the parents of their tellurian child, cosmic matter, the prima materia, whose spirit is ether, the ASTRAL LIGHT!

Thus all the world‐mountains and mundane eggs, the mundane trees, and the mundane snakes and pillars, may be shown to embody scientifically demonstrated truths of natural philosophy. All of these mountains contain, with very trifling variations, the allegorically‐expressed description of

† Bordj is called a fire‐mountain — a volcano; therefore it contains fire, rock, earth, and water — the male and active, and the female or passive elements. The myth is suggestive.


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primal cosmogony; the mundane trees, that of subsequent evolution of spirit and matter; the mundane snakes and pillars, symbolical memorials of the various attributes of this double evolution in its endless correlation of cosmic forces. Within the mysterious recesses of the mountain — the matrix of the universe — the gods (powers) prepare the atomic germs of organic life, and at the same time the life‐drink, which, when tasted, awakens in man‐matter the man‐spirit. The soma, the sacrificial drink of the Hindus, is that sacred beverage. For, at the creation of the prima materia, while the grossest portions of it were used for the physical embryo‐ world, the more divine essence of it pervaded the universe, invisibly permeating and enclosing within its ethereal waves the newly‐born infant, developing and stimulating it to activity as it slowly evolved out of the eternal chaos.

From the poetry of abstract conception, these mundane myths gradually passed into the concrete images of cosmic symbols, as archæology now finds them. The snake, which plays such a prominent part in the imagery of the ancients, was degraded by the absurd interpretation of the serpent of the Book of Genesis into a synonym of Satan, the Prince of Darkness, whereas it is the most ingenious of all the myths in its various symbolisms. For one, as agathodaimon, it is the emblem of the healing art and of the immortality of man. It encircles the images of most of the sanitary or hygienic gods. The cup of health, in the Egyptian Mysteries, was entwined by serpents. As evil can only arise from an extreme in good, the serpent, under some other aspects, became typical of matter;

which, the more it recedes from its primal spiritual source, the more it becomes subject of evil. In the oldest Egyptian imagery, as in the cosmogonic allegories of Kneph, the mundane snake, when typifying matter, is usually represented as contained within a circle; he lies straight across its equator, thus indicating that the universe of astral light, out of which the physical world evolved, while bounding the latter, is itself bound by Emepht, or the Supreme First Cause. Phtha producing Ra, and the myriad forms to which he gives life, are shown as creeping out of the mundane egg, because it is the most familiar form of that in which is deposited and developed the germ of every living being. When the serpent represents eternity and immortality, it encircles the world, biting its tail, and thus offering no solution of continuity. It then becomes the astral light. The disciples of the school of Pherecydes taught that ether (Zeus or Zen) is the highest empyrean heaven, which encloses the supernal world, and its light (the astral) is the concentrated primordial element.

Such is the origin of the serpent, metamorphosed in Christian ages into Satan. It is the Od, the Ob, and the Aour of Moses and the Kabalists. When in its passive state, when it acts on those who are unwittingly drawn within its current, the astral light is the Ob, or Python. Moses was determined to exterminate all those who, sensitive to its influence, allowed themselves to fall under the easy control of the vicious beings which move in the astral waves like fish in the water; beings who surround us, and whom Bulwer‐Lytton calls in Zanoni


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ʺthe dwellers of the threshold.ʺ It becomes the Od, as soon as it is vivified by the conscious efflux of an immortal soul; for then the astral currents are acting under the guidance of either an adept, a pure spirit, or an able mesmerizer, who is pure himself and knows how to direct the blind forces. In such cases even a high Planetary Spirit, one of the class of beings that have never been embodied (though there are many among these hierarchies who have lived on our earth), descends occasionally to our sphere, and purifying the surrounding atmosphere enables the subject to see, and opens in him the springs of true divine prophecy. As to the term Aour, the word is used to designate certain occult properties of the universal agent. It pertains more directly to the domain of the alchemist, and is of no interest to the general public.

The author of the Homoiomerian system of philosophy, Anaxagoras of Clazomene, firmly believed that the spiritual prototypes of all things, as well as their elements, were to be found in the boundless ether, where they were generated, whence they evolved, and whither they returned from earth. In common with the Hindus who had personified their Akasʹa (sky or ether) and made of it a deific entity, the Greeks and Latins had deified Æther. Virgil calls Zeus, pater omnipotens æther* Magnus, the great god, Ether.

* Virgil, ʺGeorgica,ʺ book ii.

These beings above alluded to are the elemental spirits of the Kabalists,† whom the Christian clergy denounce as ʺdevils,ʺ the enemies of mankind.

ʺAlready Tertullian,ʺ gravely remarks Des Mousseaux, in his chapter on the devils, ʺhas formally discovered the secret of their cunning.ʺ

A priceless discovery, that. And now that we have learned so much of the mental labors of the holy fathers and their achievements in astral anthropology, need we be surprised at

† Porphyry and other philosophers explain the nature of the dwellers. They are mischievous and deceitful, though some of them are perfectly gentle and harmless, but so weak as to have the greatest difficulty in communicating with mortals whose company they seek incessantly. The former are not wicked through intelligent malice. The law of spiritual evolution not having yet developed their instinct into intelligence, whose highest light belongs but to immortal spirits, their powers of reasoning are in a latent state and, therefore, they themselves, irresponsible. But the Latin Church contradicts the Kabalists. St. Augustine has even a discussion on that account with Porphyry, the Neo‐platonist. ʺThese spirits,ʺ he says, ʺare deceitful, not by their nature, as Porphyry, the theurgist, will have it, but through malice. They pass themselves off for gods and for the souls of the defunctʺ (ʺCivit. Dei,ʺ book x., ch. 2). So far Porphyry agrees with him; ʺbut they do not claim to be demons [read devils], for they are such in reality!ʺ adds the Bishop of Hippo. But then, under what class should we place the men without heads, whom Augustine wishes us to believe he saw himself? or the satyrs of St. Jerome, which he asserts were exhibited for a considerable length of time at Alexandria? They were, he tells us, ʺmen with the legs and tails of goatsʺ; and, if we may believe him, one of these Satyrs was actually pickled and sent in a cask to the Emperor Constantine!


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all, if, in the zeal of their spiritual explorations, they have so far neglected their own planet as at times to deny not only its right to motion but even its sphericity?

And this is what we find in Langhorne, the translator of Plutarch: Dionysius of Halicarnassus [L. ii.] is of opinion that Numa built the temple of Vesta in a round form, to represent the figure of the earth, for by Vesta they meant the earth.ʺ Moreover Philolaus, in common with all other Pythagoreans, held that the element of fire was placed in the centre of the universe; and Plutarch, speaking on the subject, remarks of the Pythagoreans that ʺthe earth they suppose not to be without motion, nor situated in the centre of the world, but to make its revolution round the sphere of fire, being neither one of the most valuable, nor principal parts of the great machine.ʺ Plato, too, is reported to have been of the same opinion. It appears, therefore, that the Pythagoreans anticipated Galileoʹs discovery.

The existence of such an invisible universe being once admitted — as seems likely to be the fact if the speculations of the authors of the Unseen Universe are ever accepted by their colleagues — many of the phenomena, hitherto mysterious and inexplicable, become plain. It acts on the organism of the magnetized mediums, it penetrates and saturates them through and through, either directed by the powerful will of a mesmerizer, or by unseen beings who achieve the same result. Once that the silent operation is performed, the astral or sidereal phantom of the mesmerized subject quits its paralyzed, earthly casket, and, after having roamed in the

boundless space, alights at the threshold of the mysterious ʺbourne.ʺ For it, the gates of the portal which marks the entrance to the ʺsilent land,ʺ are now but partially ajar; they will fly wide open before the soul of the entranced somnambulist only on that day when, united with its higher immortal essence, it will have quitted forever its mortal frame. Until then, the seer or seeress can look but through a chink; it depends on the acuteness of the clairvoyantʹs spiritual sight to see more or less through it.

The trinity in unity is an idea which all the ancient nations held in common. The three Dejotas — the Hindu Trimurti; the Three Heads of the Jewish Kabala.* ʺThree heads are hewn in one another and over one another.ʺ The trinity of the Egyptians and that of the mythological Greeks were alike representations of the first triple emanation containing two male and one female principles. It is the union of the male Logos, or wisdom, the revealed Deity, with the female Aura or

Anima Mundi — ʺthe holy Pneuma,ʺ which is the Sephira of the Kabalists and the Sophia of the refined Gnostics — that produced all things visible and invisible. While the true metaphysical interpretation of this universal dogma remained within the sanctuaries, the Greeks, with their poetical instincts, impersonated it in many charming myths. In the Dionysiacs of Nonnus, the god Bacchus, among other allegories, is represented as in love with the soft, genial

* ʺTria capita exsculpta sunt, una intra alterum, et alterum supra alterumʺ — (Sohar; ʺIdra Suta,ʺ sectio vii.)


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breeze (the Holy Pneuma), under the name of Aura Placida.* And now we will leave Godfrey Higgins to speak: ʺWhen the ignorant Fathers were constructing their calendar, they made out of this gentle zephyr two Roman Catholic saints!! ʺ SS. Aura and Placida; — nay, they even went so far as to transfer the jolly god into St. Bacchus, and actually show his coffin and relics at Rome. The festival of the two ʺblessed saints,ʺ Aura and Placida, occurs on the 5th of October, close to the festival of St. Bacchus.†

How far more poetical, and how much greater the religious spirit to be found in the ʺheathenʺ Norse legends of creation! In the boundless abyss of the mundane pit, the Ginnunga‐gap, where rage in blind fury and conflict cosmic matter and the primordial forces, suddenly blows the thaw‐ wind. It is the ʺunrevealed God,ʺ who sends his beneficent breath from Muspellheim, the sphere of empyreal fire, within whose glowing rays dwells this great Being, far beyond the limits of the world of matter; and the animus of the Unseen, the Spirit brooding over the dark, abysmal waters, calls order out of chaos, and once having given the impulse to all creation the FIRST CAUSE retires, and remains for evermore in statu abscondito!‡

There is both religion and science in these Scandinavian songs of heathendom. As an example of the latter, take the

* Gentle gale (lit.)
† Higgins, ʺAnacalypsisʺ; also ʺDupuis.ʺ

‡ Mallett, ʺNorthern Antiquities,ʺ pp. 401‐406, and ʺThe Songs of a Voluspaʺ in the Edda.

conception of Thor, the son of Odin. Whenever this Hercules of the North would grasp the handle of his terrible weapon, the thunderbolt or electric hammer, he is obliged to put on his iron gantlets. He also wears a magical belt known as the ʺgirdle of strength,ʺ which, whenever girded about his person, greatly augments his celestial power. He rides upon a car drawn by two rams with silver bridles, and his awful brow is encircled by a wreath of stars. His chariot has a pointed iron pole, and the spark‐scattering wheels continually roll over rumbling thunder‐clouds. He hurls his hammer with resistless force against the rebellious frost‐giants, whom he dissolves and annihilates. When he repairs to the Urdar fountain, where the gods meet in conclave to decide the destinies of humanity, he alone goes on foot, the rest of the deities being mounted. He walks, for fear that in crossing Bifrost (the rainbow), the many‐hued Æsirbridge, he might set it on fire with his thunder‐car, at the same time causing the Urdar waters to boil.

Rendered into plain English, how can this myth be interpreted but as showing that the Norse legend‐makers were thoroughly acquainted with electricity? Thor, the euhemerization of electricity, handles his peculiar element only when protected by gloves of iron, which is its natural conductor. His belt of strength is a closed circuit, around which the isolated current is compelled to run instead of diffusing itself through space. When he rushes with his car through the clouds, he is electricity in its active condition, as the sparks scattering from his wheels and the rumbling


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thunder of the clouds testify. The pointed iron pole of the chariot is suggestive of the lightning‐rod; the two rams which serve as his coursers are the familiar ancient symbols of the male or generative power; their silver bridles typify the female principle, for silver is the metal of Luna, Astarte, Diana. Therefore in the ram and his bridle we see combined the active and passive principles of nature in opposition, one rushing forward, and the other restraining, while both are in subordination to the world‐permeating, electrical principle, which gives them their impulse. With the electricity supplying the impulse, and the male and female principle combining and recombining in endless correlation, the result is — evolution of visible nature, the crown‐glory of which is the planetary system, which in the mythic Thor is allegorized by the circlet of glittering orbs which bedeck his brow. When in his active condition, his awful thunderbolts destroy everything, even the lesser other Titanic forces. But he goes afoot over the rainbow bridge, Bifrost, because to mingle with other less powerful gods than himself, he is obliged to be in a latent state, which he could not be in his car; otherwise he would set on fire and annihilate all. The meaning of the Urdar‐fountain, that Thor is afraid to make boil, and the cause of his reluctance, will only be comprehended by our physicists when the reciprocal electro‐magnetic relations of the innumerable members of the planetary system, now just suspected, shall be thoroughly determined. Glimpses of the truth are given in the recent scientific essays of Professors Mayer and Sterry Hunt. The ancient philosophers believed

that not only volcanos, but boiling springs were caused by concentrations of underground electric currents, and that this same cause produced mineral deposits of various natures, which form curative springs. If it be objected that this fact is not distinctly stated by the ancient authors, who, in the opinion of our century were hardly acquainted with electricity, we may simply answer that not all the works embodying ancient wisdom are now extant among our scientists. The clear and cool waters of Urdar were required for the daily irrigation of the mystical mundane tree; and if they had been disturbed by Thor, or active electricity, they would have been converted into mineral springs unsuited for the purpose. Such examples as the above will support the ancient claim of the philosophers that there is a logos in every mythos, or a ground‐work of truth in every fiction.