Chapter 9, 10, 11.


ʺThou canʹst not call that madness of which thou art proved to know nothing.ʺ


ʺThis is not a matter of to‐day,

Or yesterday, but hath been from all times; And none hath told us whence it came or how!ʺ


ʺBelief in the supernatural is a fact natural, primitive, universal, and constant in the life and history of the human race. Unbelief in the supernatural begets materialism; materialism, sensuality; sensuality, social convulsions, amid whose storms man again learns to believe and pray.ʺ


ʺIf any one think these things incredible, let him keep his opinions to himself, and not contradict those who, by such events, are incited to the study of virtue.ʺ



FROM the Platonic and Pythagorean views of matter and force, we will now turn to the kabalistic philosophy of the origin of man, and compare it with the theory of natural selection enunciated by Darwin and Wallace. It may be that


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we shall find as much reason to credit the ancients with originality in this direction as in that which we have been considering. To our mind, no stronger proof of the theory of cyclical progression need be required than the comparative enlightenment of former ages and that of the Patristic Church, as regards the form of the earth, and the movements of the planetary system. Even were other evidence wanting, the ignorance of Augustine and Lactantius, misleading the whole of Christendom upon these questions until the period of Galileo, would mark the eclipses through which human knowledge passes from age to age.

The ʺcoats of skin,ʺ mentioned in the third chapter of Genesis as given to Adam and Eve, are explained by certain ancient philosophers to mean the fleshy bodies with which, in the progress of the cycles, the progenitors of the race became clothed. They maintained that the god‐like physical form became grosser and grosser, until the bottom of what may be termed the last spiritual cycle was reached, and mankind entered upon the ascending arc of the first human cycle. Then began an uninterrupted series of cycles or yugas; the precise number of years of which each of them consisted remaining an inviolable mystery within the precincts of the sanctuaries and disclosed only to the initiates. As soon as humanity entered upon a new one, the stone age, with which the preceding cycle had closed, began to gradually merge into the following and next higher age. With each successive age, or epoch, men grew more refined, until the acme of perfection possible in that particular cycle had been reached. Then the

receding wave of time carried back with it the vestiges of human, social, and intellectual progress. Cycle succeeded cycle, by imperceptible transitions; highly‐civilized flourishing nations, waxed in power, attained the climax of development, waned, and became extinct; and mankind, when the end of the lower cyclic arc was reached, was replunged into barbarism as at the start. Kingdoms have crumbled and nation succeeded nation from the beginning until our day, the races alternately mounting to the highest and descending to the lowest points of development. Draper observes that there is no reason to suppose that any one cycle applied to the whole human race. On the contrary, while man in one portion of the planet was in a condition of retrogression, in another he might be progressing in enlightenment and civilization.

How analogous this theory is to the law of planetary motion, which causes the individual orbs to rotate on their axes; the several systems to move around their respective suns; and the whole stellar host to follow a common path around a common centre! Life and death, light and darkness, day and night on the planet, as it turns about its axis and traverses the zodiacal circle representing the lesser and the greater cycles.* Remember the Hermetic axiom: — ʺAs above, so below; as in heaven, so on earth.ʺ

* Orpheus is said to have ascribed to the grand cycle 120,000 years of duration, and Cassandrus 136,000. See Censorinus, ʺDE NATAL. DIEʺ;



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Mr. Alfred R. Wallace argues with sound logic, that the development of man has been more marked in his mental organization than in his external form. Man, he conceives to differ from the animal, by being able to undergo great changes of conditions and of his entire environment, without very marked alterations in bodily form and structure. The changes of climate he meets with a corresponding alteration in his clothing, shelter, weapons, and implements of husbandry. His body may become less hairy, more erect, and of a different color and proportions; ʺthe head and face is immediately connected with the organ of the mind, and as being the medium, expressing the most refined motions of his nature,ʺ alone change with the development of his intellect. There was a time when ʺhe had not yet acquired that wonderfully‐developed brain, the organ of the mind, which now, even in his lowest examples, raises him far above the highest brutes, at a period when he had the form, but hardly the nature of man, when he neither possessed human speech nor sympathetic and moral feelings.ʺ Further, Mr. Wallace says that ʺMan may have been — indeed, I believe must have been, once a homogeneous race . . . in man, the hairy covering of the body has almost entirely disappeared.ʺ Of the cave men of Les Eyzies, Mr. Wallace remarks further ʺ . . . the great breadth of the face, the enormous development of the ascending ramus of the lower jaw . . . indicate enormous muscular power and the habits of a savage and brutal race.ʺ


Such are the glimpses which anthropology affords us of men, either arrived at the bottom of a cycle or starting in a new one. Let us see how far they are corroborated by clairvoyant psychometry. Professor Denton submitted a fragment of fossilized bone to his wifeʹs examination, without giving Mrs. Denton any hint as to what the article was. It immediately called up to her pictures of people and scenes which he thinks belonged to the stone age. She saw men closely resembling monkeys, with a body very hairy, and ʺas if the natural hair answered the purpose of clothing.ʺ ʺI question whether he can stand perfectly upright; his hip‐ joints appear to be so formed, he cannot,ʺ she added. ʺOccasionally I see part of the body of one of those beings that looks comparatively smooth. I can see the skin, which is lighter colored . . . I do not know whether he belongs to the same period. . . . At a distance the face seems flat; the lower part of it is heavy; they have what I suppose would be called prognathous jaws. The frontal region of the head is low, and the lower portion of it is very prominent, forming a round ridge across the forehead, immediately above the eyebrows. .

. . Now I see a face that looks like that of a human being, though there is a monkey‐like appearance about it. All these seem of that kind, having long arms and hairy bodies.ʺ*

* W. and E. Denton, ʺTHE SOUL OF THINGS,ʺ vol. i.


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Whether or not the men of science are willing to concede the correctness of the Hermetic theory of the physical evolution of man from higher and more spiritual natures, they themselves show us how the race has progressed from the lowest observed point to its present development. And, as all nature seems to be made up of analogies, is it unreasonable to affirm that the same progressive development of individual forms has prevailed among the inhabitants of the unseen universe? If such marvellous effects have been caused by evolution upon our little insignificant planet, producing reasoning and intuitive men from some higher type of the ape family, why suppose that the boundless realms of space are inhabited only by disembodied angelic forms? Why not give place in that vast domain to the spiritual duplicates of these hairy, long‐armed and half‐ reasoning ancestors, their predecessors, and all their successors, down to our time? Of course, the spiritual parts of such primeval members of the human family would be as uncouth and undeveloped as were their physical bodies. While they made no attempt to calculate the duration of the ʺgrand cycle,ʺ the Hermetic philosophers yet maintained that, according to the cyclic law, the living human race must inevitably and collectively return one day to that point of departure, where man was first clothed with ʺcoats of skinʺ; or, to express it more clearly, the human race must, in accordance with the law of evolution, be finally physically spiritualized. Unless Messrs. Darwin and Huxley are prepared to prove that the man of our century has attained,

as a physical and moral animal, the acme of perfection, and evolution, having reached its apex, must stop all further progress with the modern genus Homo, we do not see how they can possibly confute such a logical deduction.


In his lecture on The Action of Natural Selection on Man, Mr. Alfred R. Wallace concludes his demonstrations as to the development of human races under that law of selection by saying that, if his conclusions are just, ʺit must inevitably follow that the higher — the more intellectual and moral — must displace the lower and more degraded races; and the power of ʹnatural selection,ʹ still acting on his mental organization, must ever lead to the more perfect adaptation of manʹs higher faculties to the condition of surrounding nature, and to the exigencies of the social state. While his external form will probably ever remain unchanged, except in the development of that perfect beauty . . . refined and ennobled by the highest intellectual faculties and sympathetic emotions, his mental constitution may continue to advance and improve, till the world is again inhabited by a single, nearly homogeneous race, no individual of which will be inferior to the noblest specimens of existing humanity.ʺ Sober, scientific methods and cautiousness in hypothetical possibilities have evidently their share in this expression of the opinions of the great anthropologist. Still, what he says above clashes in no way with our kabalistic assertions. Allow to ever‐progressing nature, to the great law of the ʺsurvival of


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the fittest,ʺ one step beyond Mr. Wallaceʹs deductions, and we have in future the possibility — nay, the assurance of a race, which, like the Vril‐ya of Bulwer‐Lyttonʹs Coming Race, will be but one remove from the primitive ʺSons of God.ʺ

It will be observed that this philosophy of cycles, which was allegorized by the Egyptian Hierophants in the ʺcircle of necessity,ʺ explains at the same time the allegory of the ʺFall of man.ʺ According to the Arabian descriptions, each of the seven chambers of the Pyramids — those grandest of all cosmic symbols — was known by the name of a planet. The peculiar architecture of the Pyramids shows in itself the drift of the metaphysical thought of their builders. The apex is lost in the clear blue sky of the land of the Pharaohs, and typifies the primordial point lost in the unseen universe from whence started the first race of the spiritual prototypes of man. Each mummy, from the moment that it was embalmed, lost its physical individuality in one sense; it symbolized the human race. Placed in such a way as was best calculated to aid the exit of the ʺsoul,ʺ the latter had to pass through the seven planetary chambers before it made its exit through the symbolical apex. Each chamber typified, at the same time, one of the seven spheres, and one of the seven higher types of physico‐spiritual humanity alleged to be above our own. Every 3,000 years, the soul, representative of its race, had to return to its primal point of departure before it underwent another evolution into a more perfected spiritual and physical transformation. We must go deep indeed into the abstruse metaphysics of Oriental mysticism before we can

realize fully the infinitude of the subjects that were embraced at one sweep by the majestic thought of its exponents. Starting as a pure and perfect spiritual being, the Adam of the second chapter of Genesis, not satisfied with the position allotted to him by the Demiurgus (who is the eldest first‐ begotten, the Adam‐Kadmon), Adam the second, the ʺman of dust,ʺ strives in his pride to become Creator in his turn. Evolved out of the androgynous Kadmon, this Adam is himself an androgyn; for, according to the oldest beliefs presented allegorically in Platoʹs Timæus, the prototypes of our races were all enclosed in the microcosmic tree which grew and developed within and under the great mundane or macrocosmic tree. Divine spirit being considered a unity, however numerous the rays of the great spiritual sun, man has still had his origin like all other forms, whether organic or otherwise, in this one Fount of Eternal Light. Were we even to reject the hypothesis of an androgynous man, in connection with physical evolution, the significance of the allegory in its spiritual sense, would remain unimpaired. So long as the first god‐man, symbolizing the two first principles of creation, the dual male and female element, had no thought of good and evil he could not hypostasize ʺwoman,ʺ for she was in him as he was in her.

It was only when, as a result of the evil hints of the serpent, matter, the latter condensed itself and cooled on the spiritual man in its contact with the elements, that the fruits of the man‐tree — who is himself that tree of knowledge — appeared to his view. From this moment the androgynal


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union ceased, man evolved out of himself the woman as a separate entity. They have broken the thread between pure spirit and pure matter. Henceforth they will create no more spiritually, and by the sole power of their will; man has become a physical creator, and the kingdom of spirit can be won only by a long imprisonment in matter. The meaning of Gogard, the Hellenic tree of life, the sacred oak among whose luxuriant branches a serpent dwells, and cannot be dislodged,* thus becomes apparent. Creeping out from the primordial ilus, the mundane snake grows more material and waxes in strength and power with every new evolution.

The Adam Primus, or Kadmon, the Logos of the Jewish mystics, is the same as the Grecian Prometheus, who seeks to rival with the divine wisdom; he is also the Pymander of Hermes, or the POWER OF THE THOUGHT DIVINE, in its most spiritual aspect, for he was less hypostasized by the Egyptians than the two former. These all create men, but fail in their final object. Desiring to endow man with an immortal spirit, in order that by linking the trinity in one, he might gradually return to his primal spiritual state without losing his individuality, Prometheus fails in his attempt to steal the divine fire, and is sentenced to expiate his crime on Mount Kazbeck. Prometheus is also the Logos of the ancient Greeks, as well as Herakles. In the Codex Nazaræus† we see Bahak‐ Zivo deserting the heaven of his father, confessing that

* See the ʺCosmogony of Pherecydes.ʺ
† See a few pages further on the quotation from the ʺCodex of the


though he is the father of the genii, he is unable to ʺconstruct creatures,ʺ for he is equally unacquainted with Orcus as with ʺthe consuming fire which is wanting in light.ʺ And Fetahil, one of the ʺpowers,ʺ sits in the ʺmudʺ (matter) and wonders why the living fire is so changed.

All of these Logoi strove to endow man with the immortal spirit, failed, and nearly all are represented as being punished for the attempt by severe sentences. Those of the early Christian Fathers who like Origen and Clemens Alexandrinus, were well versed in Pagan symbology, having begun their careers as philosophers, felt very much embarrassed. They could not deny the anticipation of their doctrines in the oldest myths. The latest Logos, according to their teachings, had also appeared in order to show mankind the way to immortality; and in his desire to endow the world with eternal life through the Pentecostal fire, had lost his life agreeably to the traditional programme. Thus was originated the very awkward explanation of which our modern clergy freely avail themselves, that all these mythic types show the prophetic spirit which, through the Lordʹs mercy, was afforded even to the heathen idolaters! The Pagans, they assert, had presented in their imagery the great drama of Calvary —hence the resemblance. On the other hand, the philosophers maintained, with unassailable logic, that the pious fathers had simply helped themselves to a ready‐made groundwork, either finding it easier than to exert their own imagination, or because of the greater number of ignorant proselytes who were attracted to the new doctrine by such an


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extraordinary resemblance with their mythologies, at least as far as the outward form of the most fundamental doctrines goes.


The allegory of the Fall of man and the fire of Prometheus is also another version of the myth of the rebellion of the proud Lucifer, hurled down to the bottomless pit — Orcus. In the religion of the Brahmans, Moisasure, the Hindu Lucifer, becomes envious of the Creatorʹs resplendent light, and at the head of a legion of inferior spirits rebels against Brahma, and declares war against him. Like Hercules, the faithful Titan, who helps Jupiter and restores to him his throne, Siva, the third person of the Hindu trinity, hurls them all from the celestial abode in Honderah, the region of eternal darkness. But here the fallen angels are made to repent of their evil deed, and in the Hindu doctrine they are all afforded the opportunity to progress. In the Greek fiction, Hercules, the Sun‐god, descends to Hades to deliver the victims from their tortures; and the Christian Church also makes her incarnate god descend to the dreary Plutonic regions and overcome the rebellious ex‐archangel. In their turn the kabalists explain the allegory in a semi‐scientific way. Adam the second, or the first‐created race which Plato calls gods, and the Bible the Elohim, was not triple in his nature like the earthly man: i.e., he was not composed of soul, spirit, and body, but was a compound of sublimated astral elements into which the ʺFatherʺ had breathed an immortal, divine spirit. The latter,

by reason of its godlike essence, was ever struggling to liberate itself from the bonds of even that flimsy prison; hence the ʺsons of God,ʺ in their imprudent efforts, were the first to trace a future model for the cyclic law. But, man must not be ʺlike one of us,ʺ says the Creative Deity, one of the Elohim ʺintrusted with the fabrication of the lower animal.ʺ* And thus it was, when the men of the first race had reached the summit of the first cycle, they lost their balance, and their second envelope, the grosser clothing (astral body), dragged them down the opposite arc.

This kabalistic version of the sons of God (or of light) is given in the Codex Nazaræus. Bahak‐Zivo, the ʺfather of genii, is ordered to ʹconstruct creatures.ʹ ʺ But, as he is ʺignorant of Orcus,ʺ he fails to do so and calls in Fetahil a still purer spirit to his aid, who fails still worse.

Then steps on the stage of creation the ʺspiritʺ† (which properly ought to be translated ʺsoul,ʺ for it is the anima mundi, and which with the Nazarenes and the Gnostics was feminine), and perceiving that for Fetahil,‡ the newest man (the

* See Platoʹs ʺTimæus.ʺ

† On the authority of Irenæus, Justin Martyr, and the ʺCodexʺ itself, Dunlap shows that the Nazarenes treated their ʺspirit,ʺ or rather soul, as a female and Evil Power. Irenæus, accusing the Gnostics of heresy, calls Christ and the Holy Ghost ʺthe gnostic pair that produce the Æonsʺ (Dunlap, ʺSod, the Son of the Man,ʺ p. 52, footnote).

‡ Fetahil was with the Nazarenes the king of light, and the Creator; but in this instance he is the unlucky Prometheus, who fails to get hold of the Living Fire, necessary for the formation of the divine soul, as he is


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latest), the splendor was ʺchanged,ʺ and that for splendor existed ʺdecrease and damage,ʺ awakes Karabtanos,* ʺwho was frantic and without sense and judgment,ʺ and says to him: ʺArise; see, the splendor (light) of the newest man (Fetahil) has failed (to produce or create men), the decrease of this splendor is visible. Rise up, come with thy MOTHER (the spiritus) and free thee from limits by which thou art held, and those more ample than the whole world.ʺ After which follows the union of the frantic and blind matter, guided by the insinuations of the spirit (not the Divine breath, but the Astral spirit, which by its double essence is already tainted with matter) and the offer of the MOTHER being accepted the Spiritus conceives ʺSeven Figures,ʺ which Irenæus is disposed to take for the seven stellars (planets) but which represent the seven capital sins, the progeny of an astral soul separated from its divine source (spirit) and matter, the blind demon of concupiscence. Seeing this, Fetahil extends his hand toward the abyss of matter, and says: ʺLet the earth exist, just as the abode of the powers has existed.ʺ Dipping his hand in the chaos, which he condenses, he creates our planet.† Then the Codex proceeds to tell how Bahak‐Zivo was separated from the Spiritus, and the genii, or angels, from the rebels.‡ Then

ignorant of the secret name (the ineffable or incommunicable name of the kabalists).

* The spirit of matter and concupiscence.
† See Franckʹs ʺCodex Nazaræusʺ and Dunlapʹs ʺSod, the Son of the Man.ʺ

‡ ʺCodex Nazaraeus,ʺ ii. 233.

Mano§ (the greatest), who dwells with the greatest FERHO, calls Kebar‐Zivo (known also by the name of Nebat‐Iavar bar Iufin‐Ifafin), Helm and Vine of the food of life** he being the third life, and, commiserating the rebellious and foolish genii, on account of the magnitude of their ambition, says: ʺLord of the genii†† (Æons), see what the genii, the rebellious angels do, and about what they are consulting.‡‡ They say, ʺLet us call forth the world, and let us call the ʹpowersʹ into existence. The genii are the Principes, the ʹsons of Light,ʹ but thou art the

ʹMessenger of Life.ʹʺ§§

And in order to counteract the influence of the seven ʺbadly disposedʺ principles, the progeny of Spiritus, CABAR ZIO, the mighty Lord of Splendor, procreates seven other lives (the cardinal virtues) who shine in their own form and light ʺfrom on highʺ*** and thus reestablishes the balance between good and evil, light and darkness. But this creation of beings, without the requisite influx of divine pure breath in them, which was known among the kabalists as the ʺLiving Fire,ʺ produced but creatures of matter and astral light.††† Thus

§ This Mano of the Nazarenes strangely resembles the Hindu Manu, the heavenly man of the ʺRig‐Vedas.ʺ

** ʺI am the true vine and my Father is the husbandmanʺ (John xv. 1).

†† With the Gnostics, Christ, as well as Michael, who is identical in some respects with him, was the ʺChief of the Æons.ʺ

‡‡ ʺCodex Nazaraeus,ʺ i. 135. §§ Ibid.

*** ʺCodex Nazaræus,ʺ iii. 61.

††† The Astral Light, or anima mundi, is dual and bisexual. The male part of it is purely divine and spiritual; it is the Wisdom; while the


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were generated the animals which preceded man on this earth. The spiritual beings, the ʺsons of light,ʺ those who remained faithful to the great Ferho (the First Cause of all), constitute the celestial or angelic hierarchy, the Adonim, and the legions of the never‐embodied spiritual men. The followers of the rebellious and foolish genii, and the descendants of the ʺwitlessʺ seven spirits begotten by ʺKarabtanosʺ and the ʺspiritus,ʺ became, in course of time, the ʺmen of our planet,ʺ* after having previously passed through every ʺcreationʺ of every one of the elements. From this stage of life they have been traced by Darwin, who shows us how our highest forms have been evolved out of the lowest. Anthropology dares not follow the kabalist in his metaphysical flights beyond this planet, and it is doubtful if its teachers have the courage to search for the missing link in the old kabalistic manuscripts.

Thus was set in motion the first cycle, which in its rotations downward, brought an infinitesimal part of the created lives to

female portion (the spiritus of the Nazarenes) is tainted, in one sense, with matter, and therefore is evil already. It is the life‐principle of every living creature, and furnishes the astral soul, the fluidic perisprit to men, animals, fowls of the air, and everything living. Animals have only the germ of the highest immortal soul as a third principle. It will develop but through a series of countless evolutions; the doctrine of which evolution is contained in the kabalistic axiom: ʺA stone becomes a plant; a plant a beast; a beast a man; a man a spirit; and the spirit a god.ʺ

* See Commentary on ʺIdra Suta,ʺ by Rabbi Eleashar. § Sod means a religious Mystery. Cicero mentions the sod, as constituting a portion of the Idean Mysteries. ʺThe members of the Priest‐Colleges were called Sodales,ʺ says Dunlap, quoting Freundʹs ʺLatin Lexicon,ʺ iv. 448.

our planet of mud. Arrived at the lowest point of the arc of the cycle which directly preceded life on this earth, the pure divine spark still lingering in the Adam made an effort to separate itself from the astral spirit, for ʺman was falling gradually into generation,ʺ and the fleshy coat was becoming with every action more and more dense.

And now comes a mystery, a Sod ; § a secret which Rabbi Simeon† imparted but to very few initiates. It was enacted once every seven years during the Mysteries of Samothrace, and the records of it are found self‐printed on the leaves of the Thibetan sacred tree, the mysterious KOUNBOUM, in the Lamasery of the holy adepts.‡


In the shoreless ocean of space radiates the central, spiritual, and Invisible sun. The universe is his body, spirit and soul; and after this ideal model are framed ALL THINGS. These three emanations are the three lives, the three degrees of the gnostic Pleroma, the three ʺKabalistic Faces,ʺ for the ANCIENT of the ancient, the holy of the aged, the great En‐ Soph, ʺhas a form and then he has no form.ʺ The invisible ʺassumed a form when he called the universe into existence,ʺ§ says the Sohar, the Book of splendor. The first

† The author of the ʺSohar,ʺ the great kabalistic work of the first century B.C.
‡ See Abbé Hucʹs works.

§ ʺThe Sohar,ʺ iii. 288; ʺIdra Suta.ʺ


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light is His soul, the Infinite, Boundless, and Immortal breath; under the efflux of which the universe heaves its mighty bosom, infusing Intelligent life throughout creation. The second emanation condenses cometary matter and produces forms within the cosmic circle; sets the countless worlds floating in the electric space, and infuses the unintelligent, blind life‐principle into every form. The third, produces the whole universe of physical matter; and as it keeps gradually receding from the Central Divine Light its brightness wanes and it becomes DARKNESS and the BAD — pure matter, the ʺgross purgations of the celestial fireʺ of the Hermetists.

When the Central Invisible (the Lord Ferho) saw the efforts of the divine Scintilla, unwilling to be dragged lower down into the degradation of matter, to liberate itself, he permitted it to shoot out from itself a monad, over which, attached to it as by the finest thread, the Divine Scintilla (the soul) had to watch during its ceaseless peregrinations from one form to another. Thus the monad was shot down into the first form of matter and became encased in stone; then, in course of time, through the combined efforts of living fire and living water, both of which shone their reflection upon the stone, the monad crept out of its prison to sunlight as a lichen. From change to change it went higher and higher; the monad, with every new transformation borrowing more of the radiance of its parent, Scintilla, which approached it nearer at every transmigration. For ʺthe First Cause, had willed it to proceed in this orderʺ and destined it to creep on higher until its physical form became once more the Adam of

dust, shaped in the image of the Adam Kadmon. Before undergoing its last earthly transformation, the external covering of the monad, from the moment of its conception as an embryo, passes in turn, once more, through the phases of the several kingdoms.

In its fluidic prison it assumes a vague resemblance at various periods of the gestation to plant, reptile, bird, and animal, until it becomes a human embryo.* At the birth of the future man, the monad, radiating with all the glory of its immortal parent which watches it from the seventh sphere, becomes senseless.† It loses all recollection of the past, and returns to consciousness but gradually, when the instinct of childhood gives way to reason and intelligence. After the separation between the life‐principle (astral spirit) and the body takes place, the liberated soul — Monad, exultingly rejoins the mother and father spirit, the radiant Augoeides, and the two, merged into one, forever form, with a glory proportioned to the spiritual purity of the past earth‐life, the Adam who has completed the circle of necessity, and is freed from the last vestige of his physical encasement. Henceforth, growing more and more radiant at each step of his upward progress, he mounts the shining path that ends at the point from which he started around the GRAND CYCLE.

The whole Darwinian theory of natural selection is included in the first six chapters of the Book of Genesis. The

* Everard, ʺMysteres Physiologiques,ʺ p. 132.

† See Platoʹs ʺTimæus.ʺ


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ʺManʺ of chapter i. is radically different from the ʺAdamʺ of chapter ii., for the former was created ʺmale and femaleʺ — that is, bi‐sexed — and in the image of God; while the latter, according to verse seven, was formed of the dust of the ground, and became ʺa living soul,ʺ after the Lord God ʺbreathed into his nostrils the breath of life.ʺ Moreover, this Adam was a male being, and in verse twenty we are told that ʺthere was not found a helpmeet for him.ʺ The Adonai, being pure spiritual entities, had no sex, or rather had both sexes united in themselves, like their Creator; and the ancients understood this so well that they represented many of their deities as of dual sex. The Biblical student must either accept this interpretation, or make the passages in the two chapters alluded to absurdly contradict each other. It was such literal acceptance of passages that warranted the atheists in covering the Mosaic account with ridicule, and it is the dead letter of the old text that begets the materialism of our age. Not only are these two races of beings thus clearly indicated in Genesis, but even a third and a fourth one are ushered before the reader in chapter iv., where the ʺsons of Godʺ and the race of ʺgiantsʺ are spoken of.

As we write, there appears in an American paper, The Kansas City Times, an account of important discoveries of the remains of a prehistorical race of giants, which corroborates the statements of the kabalists and the Bible allegories at the same time. It is worth preserving:

ʺIn his researches among the forests of Western Missouri, Judge E. P. West has discovered a number of conical‐shaped

mounds, similar in construction to those found in Ohio and Kentucky. These mounds are found upon the high bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, the largest and more prominent being found in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Until about three weeks ago it was not suspected that the mound builders had made this region their home in the prehistoric days; but now it is discovered that this strange and extinct race once occupied this land, and have left an extensive graveyard in a number of high mounds upon the Clay County bluffs.

ʺAs yet, only one of these mounds has been opened. Judge West discovered a skeleton about two weeks ago, and made a report to other members of the society. They accompanied him to the mound, and not far from the surface excavated and took out the remains of two skeletons. The bones are very large — so large, in fact, when compared with an ordinary skeleton of modern date, they appear to have formed part of a giant. The head bones, such as have not rotted away, are monstrous in size. The lower jaw of one skeleton is in a state of preservation, and is double the size of the jaw of a civilized person. The teeth in this jawbone are large, and appear to have been ground down and worn away by contact with roots and carnivorous food. The jaw‐bone indicates immense muscular strength. The thigh‐bone, when compared with that of an ordinary modern skeleton, looks like that of a horse. The length, thickness, and muscular development are remarkable. But the most peculiar part about the skeleton is the frontal bone. It is very low, and differs radically from any


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ever seen in this section before. It forms one thick ridge of bone about one inch wide, extending across the eyes. It is a narrow but rather heavy ridge of bone which, instead of extending upward, as it does now in these days of civilization, receded back from the eyebrows, forming a flat head, and thus indicates a very low order of mankind. It is the opinion of the scientific gentlemen who are making these discoveries that these bones are the remains of a prehistoric race of men. They do not resemble the present existing race of Indians, nor are the mounds constructed upon any pattern or model known to have been in use by any race of men now in existence in America. The bodies are discovered in a sitting posture in the mounds, and among the bones are found stone weapons, such as flint knives, flint scrapers, and all of them different in shape to the arrow‐heads, war‐hatchets, and other stone tools and weapons known to have been in use by the aboriginal Indians of this land when discovered by the whites. The gentlemen who have these curious bones in charge have deposited them with Dr. Foe, on Main street. It is their intention to make further and closer researches in the mounds on the bluffs opposite this city. They will make a report of their labors at the next meeting of the Academy of Science, by which time they expect to be able to make some definite report as to their opinions. It is pretty definitely settled, however, that the skeletons are those of a race of men not now in existence.ʺ

The author of a recent and very elaborate work* finds some cause for merriment over the union of the sons of God with the ʺdaughters of men,ʺ who were fair, as alluded to in Genesis, and described at great length in that wonderful legend, the Book of Enoch. More is the pity, that our most learned and liberal men do not employ their close and merciless logic to repair its one‐sidedness by seeking the true spirit which dictated these allegories of old. This spirit was certainly more scientific than skeptics are yet prepared to admit. But with every year some new discovery may corroborate their assertions, until the whole of antiquity is vindicated.

One thing, at least, has been shown in the Hebrew text, viz.: that there was one race of purely physical creatures, another purely spiritual. The evolution and ʺtransformation of speciesʺ required to fill the gap between the two has been left to abler anthropologists. We can only repeat the philosophy of men of old, which says that the union of these two races produced a third — the Adamite race. Sharing the natures of both its parents, it is equally adapted to an existence in the material and spiritual worlds. Allied to the physical half of manʹs nature is reason, which enables him to maintain his supremacy over the lower animals, and to subjugate nature to his uses. Allied to his spiritual part is his conscience, which will serve as his unerring guide through the besetments of the senses; for conscience is that instantaneous

* ʺSupernatural Religion; an Inquiry into the Reality of Divine Revelation,ʺ

vol. ii. London, 1875.


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perception between right and wrong, which can only be exercised by the spirit, which, being a portion of the Divine Wisdom and Purity, is absolutely pure and wise. Its promptings are independent of reason, and it can only manifest itself clearly, when unhampered by the baser attractions of our dual nature.

Reason being a faculty of our physical brain, one which is justly defined as that of deducing inferences from premises, and being wholly dependent on the evidence of other senses, cannot be a quality pertaining directly to our divine spirit. The latter knows — hence, all reasoning which implies discussion and argument would be useless. So an entity, which, if it must be considered as a direct emanation from the eternal Spirit of wisdom, has to be viewed as possessed of the same attributes as the essence or the whole of which it is a part. Therefore, it is with a certain degree of logic that the ancient theurgists maintained that the rational part of manʹs soul (spirit) never entered wholly into the manʹs body, but only overshadowed him more or less through the irrational or astral soul, which serves as an intermediatory agent, or a medium between spirit and body. The man who has conquered matter sufficiently to receive the direct light from his shining Augoeides, feels truth intuitionally; he could not err in his judgment, notwithstanding all the sophisms suggested by cold reason, for he is ILLUMINATED. Hence, prophecy, vaticination, and the so‐called Divine inspiration are simply the effects of this illumination from above by our own immortal spirit.

Swedenborg, following the mystical doctrines of the Hermetic philosophers, devoted a number of volumes to the elucidation of the ʺinternal senseʺ of Genesis. Swedenborg was undoubtedly a ʺnatural‐born magician,ʺ a seer; he was not an adept. Thus, however closely he may have followed the apparent method of interpretation used by the alchemists and mystic writers, he partially failed; the more so, that the model chosen by him in this method was one who, albeit a great alchemist, was no more of an adept than the Swedish seer himself, in the fullest sense of the word. Eugenius Philalethes had never attained ʺthe highest pyrotechny,ʺ to use the diction of the mystic philosophers. But, although both have missed the whole truth in its details, Swedenborg has virtually given the same interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis as the Hermetic philosophers. The seer, as well as the initiates, notwithstanding their veiled phraseology, clearly show that the first chapters of Genesis relate to the regeneration, or a new birth of man, not to the creation of our universe and its crown work — MAN. The fact that the terms of the alchemists, such as salt, sulphur, and mercury are transformed by Swedenborg into ens, cause, and effect,* does not affect the underlying idea of solving the problems of the Mosaic books by the only possible method — that used by the Hermetists — that of correspondences.

His doctrine of correspondence, or Hermetic symbolism, is that of Pythagoras and of the kabalists — ʺas above, so

* See ʺHeavenly Arcana.ʺ


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below.ʺ It is also that of the Buddhist philosophers, who, in their still more abstract metaphysics, inverting the usual mode of definition given by our erudite scholars, call the invisible types the only reality, and everything else the effects of the causes, or visible prototypes — illusions. However contradictory their various elucidations of the Pentateuch may appear on their surface, every one of them tends to show that the sacred literature of every country, the Bible as much as the Vedas or the Buddhist Scriptures, can only be understood and thoroughly sifted by the light of Hermetic philosophy. The great sages of antiquity, those of the mediæval ages, and the mystical writers of our more modern times also, were all Hermetists. Whether the light of truth had illuminated them through their faculty of intuition, or as a consequence of study and regular initiation, virtually, they had accepted the method and followed the path traced to them by such men as Moses, Gautama‐Buddha, and Jesus. The truth, symbolized by some alchemists as dew from heaven, had descended into their hearts, and they had all gathered it upon the tops of mountains, after having spread CLEAN linen cloths to receive it; and thus, in one sense, they had secured, each for himself, and in his own way, the universal solvent.

How much they were allowed to share it with the public is another question. That veil, which is alleged to have covered the face of Moses, when, after descending from Sinai, he taught his people the Word of God, cannot be withdrawn at the will of the teacher only. It depends on the listeners, whether they will also remove the veil which is ʺupon their

hearts.ʺ Paul says it plainly; and his words addressed to the Corinthians can be applied to every man or woman, and of any age in the history of the world. If ʺtheir minds are blindedʺ by the shining skin of divine truth, whether the Hermetic veil be withdrawn or not from the face of the teacher, it cannot be taken away from their heart unless ʺit shall turn to the Lord.ʺ But the latter appellation must not be applied to either of the three anthropomorphized personages of the Trinity, but to the ʺLord,ʺ as understood by Swedenborg and the Hermetic philosophers — the Lord, who is Life and MAN.

The everlasting conflict between the world‐religions — Christianity, Judaism, Brahmanism, Paganism, Buddhism, proceeds from this one source: Truth is known but to the few; the rest, unwilling to withdraw the veil from their own hearts, imagine it blinding the eyes of their neighbor. The god of every exoteric religion, including Christianity, not withstanding its pretensions to mystery, is an idol, a fiction, and cannot be anything else. Moses, closely‐veiled, speaks to the stiff‐necked multitudes of Jehovah, the cruel, anthropomorphic deity, as of the highest God, burying deep in the bottom of his heart that truth which cannot be ʺeither spoken of or revealed.ʺ Kapila cuts with the sharp sword of his sarcasms the Brahman‐Yoggins, who in their mystical visions pretend to see the HIGHEST one. Gautama‐Buddha conceals, under an impenetrable cloak of metaphysical subtilties, the verity, and is regarded by posterity as an atheist. Pythagoras, with his allegorical mysticism and


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metempsychosis, is held for a clever impostor, and is succeeded in the same estimation by other philosophers, like Apollonius and Plotinus, who are generally spoken of as visionaries, if not charlatans. Plato, whose writings were never read by the majority of our great scholars but superficially, is accused by many of his translators of absurdities and puerilities, and even of being ignorant of his own language;* most likely for saying, in reference to the Supreme, that ʺa matter of that kind cannot be expressed by words, like other things to be learnedʺ;† and making Protagoras lay too much stress on the use of ʺveils.ʺ We could fill a whole volume with names of misunderstood sages, whose writings — only because our materialistic critics feel unable to lift the ʺveil,ʺ which shrouds them — pass off in a current way for mystical absurdities. The most important feature of this seemingly incomprehensible mystery lies perhaps in the inveterate habit of the majority of readers to judge a work by its words and insufficiently‐expressed ideas, leaving the spirit of it out of the question. Philosophers of quite different schools may be often found to use a multitude of different expressions, some dark and metaphorical — all figurative, and yet treating of the same subject. Like the thousand divergent rays of a globe of fire, every ray leads, nevertheless, to the central point, so every mystic philosopher, whether he be a devotedly pious enthusiast like Henry More; an irascible alchemist, using a Billingsgate

* Burges, Preface.

† ʺSeventh Letter.ʺ

phraseology — like his adversary, Eugenius Philalethes; or an atheist (?) like Spinoza, all had one and the same object in view — MAN. It is Spinoza, however, who furnishes perhaps the truest key to a portion of this unwritten secret. While Moses forbids ʺgraven imagesʺ of Him whose name is not to be taken in vain, Spinoza goes farther. He clearly infers that God must not be so much as described. Human language is totally unfit to give an idea of this ʺBeingʺ who is altogether unique. Whether it is Spinoza or the Christian theology that is more right in their premises and conclusion, we leave the reader to judge for himself. Every attempt to the contrary leads a nation to anthropomorphize the deity in whom it believes, and the result is that given by Swedenborg. Instead of stating that God made man after his own image, we ought in truth to say that ʺman imagines God after his image,ʺ‡ forgetting that he has set up his own reflection for worship.


Where, then, lies the true, real secret so much talked about by the Hermetists? That there was and there is a secret, no candid student of esoteric literature will ever doubt. Men of genius — as many of the Hermetic philosophers undeniably were — would not have made fools of themselves by trying to fool others for several thousand consecutive years. That this great secret, commonly termed ʺthe philosopherʹs stone,ʺ had a spiritual as well as a physical meaning attached to it,

‡ ʺThe True Christian Religion.ʺ


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was suspected in all ages. The author of Remarks on Alchemy and the Alchemists very truly observes that the subject of the Hermetic art is MAN, and the object of the art is the perfection of man.* But we cannot agree with him that only those whom he terms ʺmoney‐loving sots,ʺ ever attempted to carry a purely moral design (of the alchemists) into the field of physical science. The fact alone that man, in their eyes, is a trinity, which they divide into Sol, water of mercury, and sulphur, which is the secret fire, or, to speak plain, into body, soul, and spirit, shows that there is a physical side to the question. Man is the philosopherʹs stone spiritually — ʺa triune or trinity in unity,ʺ as Philalethes expresses it. But he is also that stone physically. The latter is but the effect of the cause, and the cause is the universal solvent of everything — divine spirit. Man is a correlation of chemical physical forces, as well as a correlation of spiritual powers. The latter react on the physical powers of man in proportion to the development of the earthly man. ʺThe work is carried to perfection according to the virtue of a body, soul, and spirit,ʺ says an alchemist; ʺfor the body would never be penetrable were it not for the spirit, nor would the spirit be permanent in its supra‐perfect tincture, were it not for the body; nor could these two act one upon another without the soul, for the spirit is an invisible thing, nor doth it ever appear without another GARMENT, which garment is the SOUL.ʺ†

The ʺphilosophers by fireʺ asserted, through their chief, Robert Fludd, that sympathy is the offspring of light, and ʺantipathy hath its beginning from darkness.ʺ Moreover, they taught, with other kabalists, that ʺcontrarieties in nature doth proceed from one eternal essence, or from the root of all things.ʺ Thus, the first cause is the parent‐source of good as well as of evil. The creator — who is not the Highest God — is the father of matter, which is bad, as well as of spirit, which, emanating from the highest, invisible cause, passes through him like through a vehicle, and pervades the whole universe. ʺIt is most certain,ʺ remarks Robertus di Fluctibus (Robert Fludd), ʺthat, as there are an infinity of visible creatures, so there is an endless variety of invisible ones, of divers natures, in the universal machine. Through the mysterious name of God, which Moses was so desirous of him (Jehova) to hear and know, when he received from him this answer, Jehova is my everlasting name. As for the other name, it is so pure and simple that it cannot be articulated, or compounded, or truly expressed by manʹs voice . . . all the other names are wholly comprehended within it, for it contains the property as well of Nolunty as volunty, of privation as position, of death as life, of cursing as blessing, of evil as good (though nothing ideally is bad in him), of hatred and discord, and consequently of sympathy and antipathy.ʺ‡

* E. A. Hitchcock, ʺSwedenborg, a Hermetic Philosopher.ʺ
† ʺRipley Revived,ʺ 1678. ‡ ʺMosaicall Philosophy,ʺ p. 173. 1659.


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Lowest in the scale of being are those invisible creatures called by the kabalists the ʺelementary.ʺ There are three distinct classes of these. The highest, in intelligence and cunning, are the so‐called terrestrial spirits, of which we will speak more categorically in other parts of this work. Suffice to say, for the present, that they are the larvæ, or shadows of those who have lived on earth, have refused all spiritual light, remained and died deeply immersed in the mire of matter, and from whose sinful souls the immortal spirit has gradually separated. The second class is composed of the invisible antitypes of the men to be born. No form can come into objective existence — from the highest to the lowest — before the abstract ideal of this form — or, as Aristotle would call it, the privation of this form — is called forth. Before an artist paints a picture every feature of it exists already in his imagination; to have enabled us to discern a watch, this particular watch must have existed in its abstract form in the watchmakerʹs mind. So with future men.

According to Aristotleʹs doctrine, there are three principles of natural bodies: privation, matter, and form. These principles may be applied in this particular case. The privation of the child which is to be we will locate in the invisible mind of the great Architect of the Universe — privation not being considered in the Aristotelic philosophy as a principle in the composition of bodies, but as an external property in their production; for the production is a change

by which the matter passes from the shape it has not to that which it assumes. Though the privation of the unborn childʹs form, as well as of the future form of the unmade watch, is that which is neither substance nor extension nor quality as yet, nor any kind of existence, it is still something which is, though its outlines, in order to be, must acquire an objective form — the abstract must become concrete, in short. Thus, as soon as this privation of matter is transmitted by energy to universal ether, it becomes a material form, however sublimated. If modern science teaches that human thought ʺaffects the matter of another universe simultaneously with this,ʺ how can he who believes in an Intelligent First Cause, deny that the divine thought is equally transmitted, by the same law of energy, to our common mediator, the universal ether — the world‐soul? And, if so, then it must follow that once there the divine thought manifests itself objectively, energy faithfully reproducing the outlines of that whose ʺprivationʺ was first born in the divine mind. Only it must not be understood that this thought creates matter. No; it creates but the design for the future form; the matter which serves to make this design having always been in existence, and having been prepared to form a human body, through a series of progressive transformations, as the result of evolution. Forms pass; ideas that created them and the material which gave them objectiveness, remain. These models, as yet devoid of immortal spirits, are ʺelementals,ʺ — properly speaking, psychic embryos — which, when their time arrives, die out of the invisible world, and are born into this visible one as


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human infants, receiving in transitu that divine breath called spirit which completes the perfect man. This class cannot communicate objectively with men.


The third class are the ʺelementalsʺ proper, which never evolve into human beings, but occupy, as it were, a specific step of the ladder of being, and, by comparison with the others, may properly be called nature‐spirits, or cosmic agents of nature, each being confined to its own element and never transgressing the bounds of others. These are what Tertullian called the ʺprinces of the powers of the air.ʺ

This class is believed to possess but one of the three attributes of man. They have neither immortal spirits nor tangible bodies; only astral forms, which partake, in a distinguishing degree, of the element to which they belong and also of the ether. They are a combination of sublimated matter and a rudimental mind. Some are changeless, but still have no separate individuality, acting collectively, so to say. Others, of certain elements and species, change form under a fixed law which kabalists explain. The most solid of their bodies is ordinarily just immaterial enough to escape perception by our physical eyesight, but not so unsubstantial but that they can be perfectly recognized by the inner, or clairvoyant vision. They not only exist and can all live in ether, but can handle and direct it for the production of physical effects, as readily as we can compress air or water for the same purpose by pneumatic and hydraulic apparatus;

in which occupation they are readily helped by the ʺhuman elementary.ʺ More than this; they can so condense it as to make to themselves tangible bodies, which by their Protean powers they can cause to assume such likeness as they choose, by taking as their models the portraits they find stamped in the memory of the persons present. It is not necessary that the sitter should be thinking at the moment of the one represented. His image may have faded many years before. The mind receives indelible impression even from chance acquaintance or persons encountered but once. As a few seconds exposure of the sensitized photograph plate is all that is requisite to preserve indefinitely the image of the sitter, so is it with the mind.

According to the doctrine of Proclus, the uppermost regions from the zenith of the universe to the moon belonged to the gods or planetary spirits, according to their hierarchies and classes. The highest among them were the twelve ŭper‐ ouranioi, or supercelestial gods, having whole legions of subordinate demons at their command. They are followed next in rank and power by the egkosmioi, the intercosmic gods, each of these presiding over a great number of demons, to whom they impart their power and change it from one to another at will. These are evidently the personified forces of nature in their mutual correlation, the latter being represented by the third class or the ʺelementalsʺ we have just described.


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Further on he shows, on the principle of the Hermetic axiom — of types, and prototypes — that the lower spheres have their subdivisions and classes of beings as well as the upper celestial ones, the former being always subordinate to the higher ones. He held that the four elements are all filled with demons, maintaining with Aristotle that the universe is full, and that there is no void in nature. The demons of the earth, air, fire, and water are of an elastic, ethereal, semi‐ corporeal essence. It is these classes which officiate as intermediate agents between the gods and men. Although lower in intelligence than the sixth order of the higher demons, these beings preside directly over the elements and organic life. They direct the growth, the inflorescence, the properties, and various changes of plants. They are the personified ideas or virtues shed from the heavenly ulê into the inorganic matter; and, as the vegetable kingdom is one remove higher than the mineral, these emanations from the celestial gods take form and being in the plant, they become its soul. It is that which Aristotleʹs doctrine terms the form in the three principles of natural bodies, classified by him as privation, matter, and form. His philosophy teaches that besides the original matter, another principle is necessary to complete the triune nature of every particle, and this is form; an invisible, but still, in an ontological sense of the word, a substantial being, really distinct from matter proper. Thus, in an animal or a plant, besides the bones, the flesh, the nerves,

the brains, and the blood, in the former, and besides the pulpy matter, tissues, fibres, and juice in the latter, which blood and juice, by circulating through the veins and fibres, nourishes all parts of both animal and plant; and besides the animal spirits, which are the principles of motion; and the chemical energy which is transformed into vital force in the green leaf, there must be a substantial form, which Aristotle called in the horse, the horseʹs soul; Proclus, the demon of every mineral, plant, or animal, and the mediæval philosophers, the elementary spirits of the four kingdoms.

All this is held in our century as metaphysics and gross superstition. Still, on strictly ontological principles, there is, in these old hypotheses, some shadow of probability, some clew to the perplexing ʺmissing linksʺ of exact science. The latter has become so dogmatical of late, that all that lies beyond the ken of inductive science is termed imaginary; and we find Professor Joseph Le Conte stating that some of the best scientists ʺridicule the use of the term ʹvital force,ʹ or vitality, as a remnant of superstition.ʺ* De Candolle suggests the term ʺvital movement,ʺ instead of vital force;† thus preparing for a final scientific leap which will transform the immortal, thinking man, into an automaton with a clock‐work inside him. ʺBut,ʺ objects Le Conte, ʺcan we conceive of movement without force? And if the movement is peculiar, so also is the form of force.ʺ

* ʺCorrelation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces,ʺ by J. Le Conte.

† ʺArchives des Sciences,ʺ vol. xlv., p. 345. December, 1872.


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In the Jewish Kabala, the nature‐spirits were known under the general name of Shedim and divided into four classes. The Persians called them all devs; the Greeks, indistinctly designated them as demons; the Egyptians knew them as afrites. The ancient Mexicans, says Kaiser, believed in numerous spirit‐abodes, into one of which the shades of innocent children were placed until final disposal; into another, situated in the sun, ascended the valiant souls of heroes; while the hideous spectres of incorrigible sinners were sentenced to wander and despair in subterranean caves, held in the bonds of the earth‐atmosphere, unwilling and unable to liberate themselves. They passed their time in communicating with mortals, and frightening those who could see them. Some of the African tribes know them as Yowahoos. In the Indian Pantheon there are no less than 330,000,000 of various kinds of spirits, including elementals, which latter were termed by the Brahmans the Daityas. These beings are known by the adepts to be attracted toward certain quarters of the heavens by something of the same mysterious property which makes the magnetic needle turn toward the north, and certain plants to obey the same attraction. The various races are also believed to have a special sympathy with certain human temperaments, and to more readily exert power over such than others. Thus, a bilious, lymphatic, nervous, or sanguine person would be affected favorably or otherwise by conditions of the astral light, resulting from the different aspects of the planetary bodies. Having reached this

general principle, after recorded observations extending over an indefinite series of years, or ages, the adept astrologer would require only to know what the planetary aspects were at a given anterior date, and to apply his knowledge of the succeeding changes in the heavenly bodies, to be able to trace, with approximate accuracy, the varying fortunes of the personage whose horoscope was required, and even to predict the future. The accuracy of the horoscope would depend, of course, no less upon the astrologerʹs knowledge of the occult forces and races of nature, than upon his astronomical erudition.

Eliphas Levi expounds with reasonable clearness, in his

Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, the law of reciprocal influences between the planets and their combined effect upon the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, as well as upon ourselves. He states that the astral atmosphere is as constantly changing from day to day, and from hour to hour, as the air we breathe. He quotes approvingly the doctrine of Paracelsus that every man, animal, and plant bears external and internal evidences of the influences dominant at the moment of germinal development. He repeats the old kabalistic doctrine, that nothing is unimportant in nature, and that even so small a thing as the birth of one child upon our insignificant planet has its effect upon the universe, as the whole universe has its own reactive influence upon him.

ʺThe stars,ʺ he remarks, ʺare linked to each other by attractions which hold them in equilibrium and cause them to move with regularity through space. This network of light


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stretches from all the spheres to all the spheres, and there is not a point upon any planet to which is not attached one of these indestructible threads. The precise locality, as well as the hour of birth, should then be calculated by the true adept in astrology; then, when he shall have made the exact calculation of the astral influences, it remains for him to count the chances of his position in life, the helps or hindrances he is likely to encounter . . . and his natural impulses toward the accomplishment of his destiny.ʺ He also asserts that the individual force of the person, as indicating his ability to conquer difficulties and subdue unfavorable propensities, and so carve out his fortune, or to passively await what blind fate may bring, must be taken into account.

A consideration of the subject from the standpoint of the ancients, affords us, it will be seen, a very different view from that taken by Professor Tyndall in his famous Belfast address. ʺTo supersensual beings,ʺ says he, ʺwhich, however potent and invisible, were nothing but species of human creatures, perhaps raised from among mankind, and retaining all human passions and appetites, were handed over the rule and governance of natural phenomena.ʺ

To enforce his point, Mr. Tyndall conveniently quotes from Euripides the familiar passage in Hume: ʺThe gods toss all into confusion, mix everything with its reverse, that all of us, from our ignorance and uncertainty, may pay them the more worship and reverence.ʺ Although enunciating in Chrysippus several Pythagorean doctrines, Euripides is considered by every ancient writer as heterodox, therefore the

quotation proceeding from this philosopher does not at all strengthen Mr. Tyndallʹs argument.

As to the human spirit, the notions of the older philosophers and mediæval kabalists while differing in some particulars, agreed on the whole; so that the doctrine of one may be viewed as the doctrine of the other. The most substantial difference consisted in the location of the immortal or divine spirit of man. While the ancient Neo‐ platonists held that the Augoeides never descends hypostatically into the living man, but only sheds more or less its radiance on the inner man — the astral soul — the kabalists of the middle ages maintained that the spirit, detaching itself from the ocean of light and spirit, entered into manʹs soul, where it remained through life imprisoned in the astral capsule. This difference was the result of the belief of Christian kabalists, more or less, in the dead letter of the allegory of the fall of man. The soul, they said, became, through the fall of Adam, contaminated with the world of matter, or Satan. Before it could appear with its enclosed divine spirit in the presence of the Eternal, it had to purify itself of the impurities of darkness. They compared ʺthe spirit imprisoned within the soul to a drop of water enclosed within a capsule of gelatine and thrown in the ocean; so long as the capsule remains whole the drop of water remains isolated; break the envelope and the drop becomes a part of the ocean — its individual existence has ceased. So it is with the spirit. As long as it is enclosed in its plastic mediator, or soul, it has an individual existence. Destroy the capsule, a


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result which may occur from the agonies of withered conscience, crime, and moral disease, and the spirit returns back to its original abode. Its individuality is gone.ʺ

On the other hand, the philosophers who explained the ʺfall into generationʺ in their own way, viewed spirit as something wholly distinct from the soul. They allowed its presence in the astral capsule only so far as the spiritual emanations or rays of the ʺshining oneʺ were concerned. Man and soul had to conquer their immortality by ascending toward the unity with which, if successful, they were finally linked, and into which they were absorbed, so to say. The individualization of man after death depended on the spirit, not on his soul and body. Although the word ʺpersonality,ʺ in the sense in which it is usually understood, is an absurdity, if applied literally to our immortal essence, still the latter is a distinct entity, immortal and eternal, per se; and, as in the case of criminals beyond redemption, when the shining thread which links the spirit to the soul, from the moment of the birth of a child, is violently snapped, and the disembodied entity is left to share the fate of the lower animals, to gradually dissolve into ether, and have its individuality annihilated — even then the spirit remains a distinct being. It becomes a planetary spirit, an angel; for the gods of the Pagan or the archangels of the Christian, the direct emanations of the First Cause, notwithstanding the hazardous statement of Swedenborg, never were or will be men, on our planet, at least.

This specialization has been in all ages the stumbling‐ block of metaphysicians. The whole esoterism of the

Buddhistical philosophy is based on this mysterious teaching, understood by so few persons, and so totally misrepresented by many of the most learned scholars. Even metaphysicians are too inclined to confound the effect with the cause. A person may have won his immortal life, and remain the same inner‐self he was on earth, throughout eternity; but this does not imply necessarily that he must either remain the Mr. Smith or Brown he was on earth, or lose his individuality. Therefore, the astral soul and terrestrial body of man may, in the dark Hereafter, be absorbed into the cosmical ocean of sublimated elements, and cease to feel his ego, if this ego did not deserve to soar higher; and the divine spirit still remain an unchanged entity, though this terrestrial experience of his emanations may be totally obliterated at the instant of separation from the unworthy vehicle.

If the ʺspirit,ʺ or the divine portion of the soul, is preëxistent as a distinct being from all eternity, as Origen, Synesius, and other Christian fathers and philosophers taught, and if it is the same, and nothing more than the metaphysically‐objective soul, how can it be otherwise than eternal? And what matters it in such a case, whether man leads an animal or a pure life, if, do what he may, he can never lose his individuality? This doctrine is as pernicious in its consequences as that of vicarious atonement. Had the latter dogma, in company with the false idea that we are all immortal, been demonstrated to the world in its true light, humanity would have been bettered by its propagation. Crime and sin would be avoided, not for fear of earthly


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punishment, or of a ridiculous hell, but for the sake of that which lies the most deeply rooted in our inner nature — the desire of an individual and distinct life in the hereafter, the positive assurance that we cannot win it unless we ʺtake the kingdom of heaven by violence,ʺ and the conviction that neither human prayers nor the blood of another man will save us from individual destruction after death, unless we firmly link ourselves during our terrestrial life with our own immortal spirit — our GOD.


Pythagoras, Plato, Timæus of Locris, and the whole Alexandrian school derived the soul from the universal World‐Soul; and the latter was, according to their own teachings — ether; something of such a fine nature as to be perceived only by our inner sight. Therefore, it cannot be the essence of the Monas, or cause, because the anima mundi is but the effect, the objective emanation of the former. Both the human spirit and soul are preëxistent. But, while the former exists as a distinct entity, an individualization, the soul exists as preexisting matter, an unscient portion of an intelligent whole. Both were originally formed from the Eternal Ocean of Light; but as the theosophists expressed it, there is a visible as well as invisible spirit in fire. They made a difference between the anima bruta and the anima divina. Empedocles firmly believed all men and animals to possess two souls; and in Aristotle we find that he calls one the reasoning soul — nouʹʺ , and the other, the animal soul — Yuchv . According to these

philosophers, the reasoning soul comes from without the universal soul, and the other from within. This divine and superior region, in which they located the invisible and supreme deity, was considered by them (by Aristotle himself) as a fifth element, purely spiritual and divine, whereas the anima mundi proper was considered as composed of a fine, igneous, and ethereal nature spread throughout the universe, in short — ether.

The Stoics, the greatest materialists of ancient days, excepted the Invisible God and Divine Soul (Spirit) from any such a corporeal nature. Their modern commentators and admirers, greedily seizing the opportunity, built on this ground the supposition that the Stoics believed in neither God nor soul. But Epicurus, whose doctrine militating directly against the agency of a Supreme Being and gods, in the formation or government of the world, placed him far above the Stoics in atheism and materialism, taught, nevertheless, that the soul is of a fine, tender essence, formed from the smoothest, roundest, and finest atoms, which description still brings us to the same sublimated ether. Arnobius, Tertullian, Irenæus, and Origen, notwithstanding their Christianity, believed, with the more modern Spinoza and Hobbes, that the soul was corporeal, though of a very fine nature.

This doctrine of the possibility of losing oneʹs soul and, hence, individuality, militates with the ideal theories and progressive ideas of some spiritualists, though Swedenborg fully adopts it. They will never accept the kabalistic doctrine


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which teaches that it is only through observing the law of harmony that individual life hereafter can be obtained; and that the farther the inner and outer man deviate from this fount of harmony, whose source lies in our divine spirit, the more difficult it is to regain the ground.

But while the spiritualists and other adherents of Christianity have little if any perception of this fact of the possible death and obliteration of the human personality by the separation of the immortal part from the perishable, the Swedenborgians fully comprehend it. One of the most respected ministers of the New Church, the Rev. Chauncey Giles, D.D., of New York, recently elucidated the subject in a public discourse as follows: Physical death, or the death of the body, was a provision of the divine economy for the benefit of man, a provision by means of which he attained the higher ends of his being. But there is another death which is the interruption of the divine order and the destruction of every human element in manʹs nature, and every possibility of human happiness. This is the spiritual death, which takes place before the dissolution of the body. ʺThere may be a vast development of manʹs natural mind without that development being accompanied by a particle of love of God, or of unselfish love of man.ʺ When one falls into a love of self and love of the world, with its pleasures, losing the divine love of God and of the neighbor, he falls from life to death. The higher principles which constitute the essential elements of his humanity perish, and he lives only on the natural plane of his faculties. Physically he exists, spiritually he is dead. To

all that pertain to the higher and the only enduring phase of existence he is as much dead as his body becomes dead to all the activities, delights, and sensations of the world when the spirit has left it.

This spiritual death results from disobedience of the laws of spiritual life, which is followed by the same penalty as the disobedience of the laws of the natural life. But the spiritually dead have still their delights; they have their intellectual endowments and power, and intense activities. All the animal delights are theirs, and to multitudes of men and women these constitute the highest ideal of human happiness. The tireless pursuit of riches, of the amusements and entertainments of social life; the cultivation of graces of manner, of taste in dress, of social preferment, of scientific distinction, intoxicate and enrapture these dead‐alive; but, the eloquent preacher remarks, ʺthese creatures, with all their graces, rich attire, and brilliant accomplishments, are dead in the eye of the Lord and the angels, and when measured by the only true and immutable standard have no more genuine life than skeletons whose flesh has turned to dust.ʺ A high development of the intellectual faculties does not imply spiritual and true life. Many of our greatest scientists are but animate corpses — they have no spiritual sight because their spirits have left them. So we might go through all ages, examine all occupations, weigh all human attainments, and investigate all forms of society, and we would find these spiritually dead everywhere.


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Pythagoras taught that the entire universe is one vast system of mathematically correct combinations. Plato shows the deity geometrizing. The world is sustained by the same law of equilibrium and harmony upon which it was built. The centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres; all forms are the product of this dual force in nature. Thus, to illustrate our case, we may designate the spirit as the centrifugal, and the soul as the centripetal, spiritual energies. When in perfect harmony, both forces produce one result; break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the centre which attracts it; arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, and the harmony of the whole, which was its life, is destroyed. Individual life can only be continued if sustained by this two‐fold force. The least deviation from harmony damages it; when it is destroyed beyond redemption the forces separate and the form is gradually annihilated. After the death of the depraved and the wicked, arrives the critical moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner‐self to reunite itself with the faintly‐glimmering ray of its divine parent is neglected; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions, and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in

what the ancients termed Hades. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps; for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul being formed of elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation, the Yin‐youan of the Buddhists.

This class of spirits are called the ʺterrestrialʺ or ʺearthly elementary,ʺ in contradistinction to the other classes, as we have shown in the introductory chapter. In the East they are known as the ʺBrothers of the Shadow.ʺ Cunning, low, vindictive, and seeking to retaliate their sufferings upon humanity, they become, until final annihilation, vampires, ghouls, and prominent actors. These are the leading ʺstarsʺ on the great spiritual stage of ʺmaterialization,ʺ which phenomena they perform with the help of the more intelligent of the genuine‐born ʺelementalʺ creatures, which hover around and welcome them with delight in their own spheres. Henry Kunrath, the great German kabalist, has on a plate of his rare work, Amphitheatri Sapientiæ Æternæ , representations of the four classes of these human ʺelementary spirits.ʺ Once past the threshold of the sanctuary of initiation, once that an adept has lifted the ʺVeil of Isis,ʺ the mysterious and jealous goddess, he has nothing to fear; but till then he is in constant danger.

Although Aristotle himself, anticipating the modern physiologists, regarded the human mind as a material substance, and ridiculed the hylozoists, nevertheless he fully believed in the existence of a ʺdoubleʺ soul, or spirit and


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soul.* He laughed at Strabo for believing that any particles of matter, per se, could have life and intellect in themselves sufficient to fashion by degrees such a multiform world as ours.† Aristotle is indebted for the sublime morality of his Nichomachean Ethics to a thorough study of the Pythagoric Ethical Fragments; for the latter can be easily shown to have been the source at which he gathered his ideas, though he might not have sworn ʺby him who the tetractys found.ʺ‡ Finally, what do we know so certain about Aristotle? His philosophy is so abstruse that he constantly leaves his reader to supply by the imagination the missing links of his logical deductions. Moreover, we know that before his works ever reached our scholars, who delight in his seemingly atheistical arguments in support of his doctrine of fate, these works passed through too many hands to have remained immaculate. From Theophrastus, his legator, they passed to Neleus, whose heirs kept them mouldering in subterranean caves for nearly 150 years;§ after which, we learn that his manuscripts were copied and much augmented by Apellicon of Theos, who supplied such paragraphs as had become illegible, by conjectures of his own, probably many of these drawn from the depths of his inner consciousness. Our scholars of the nineteenth century might certainly profit well by Aristotleʹs example, were they as anxious to imitate him

* Aristotle, ʺDe Generat. et Corrupt.,ʺ lib. ii.
† ʺDe Part.,ʺ an. lib. i., c. I.

‡ A Pythagorean oath. The Pythagoreans swore by their master. § See Lempriere, ʺClassical Dictionary.ʺ

practically as they are to throw his inductive method and materialistic theories at the head of the Platonists. We invite them to collect facts as carefully as he did, instead of denying those they know nothing about.

What we have said in the introductory chapter and elsewhere, of mediums and the tendency of their mediumship, is not based upon conjecture, but upon actual experience and observation. There is scarcely one phase of mediumship, of either kind, that we have not seen exemplified during the past twenty‐five years, in various countries. India, Thibet, Borneo, Siam, Egypt, Asia Minor, America (North and South), and other parts of the world, have each displayed to us its peculiar phase of mediumistic phenomena and magical power. Our varied experience has taught us two important truths, viz.: that for the exercise of the latter personal purity and the exercise of a trained and indomitable will‐power are indispensable; and that spiritualists can never assure themselves of the genuineness of mediumistic manifestations, unless they occur in the light and under such reasonable test conditions as would make an attempted fraud instantly noticed.

For fear of being misunderstood, we would remark that while, as a rule, physical phenomena are produced by the nature‐spirits, of their own motion and to please their own fancy, still good disembodied human spirits, under exceptional circumstances, such as the aspiration of a pure heart or the occurrence of some favoring emergency, can manifest their presence by any of the phenomena except personal


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materialization. But it must be a mighty attraction indeed to draw a pure, disembodied spirit from its radiant home into the foul atmosphere from which it escaped upon leaving its earthly body.

Magi and theurgic philosophers objected most severely to the ʺevocation of souls.ʺ ʺBring her (the soul) not forth, lest in departing she retain something,ʺ says Psellus *

ʺIt becomes you not to behold them before your body is initiated, Since, by always alluring, they seduce the souls of the uninitiated,ʺ

says the same philosopher, in another passage.†

They objected to it for several good reasons. 1. ʺIt is extremely difficult to distinguish a good dæmon from a bad one,ʺ says Iamblichus. 2. If a human soul succeeds in penetrating the density of the earthʹs atmosphere — always oppressive to her, often hateful — still there is a danger the soul is unable to come into proximity with the material world without that she cannot avoid; ʺdeparting, she retains something,ʺ that is to say, contaminating her purity, for which she has to suffer more or less after her departure. Therefore, the true theurgist will avoid causing any more suffering to this pure denizen of the higher sphere than is absolutely required by the interests of humanity. It is only the practitioner of black magic who compels the presence, by the powerful incantations of necromancy, of the tainted souls of

* Psel. in Alieb, ʺChaldean Oracles.ʺ

† Proc. in 1 ʺAlieb.ʺ

such as have lived bad lives, and are ready to aid his selfish designs. Of intercourse with the Augoeides, through the mediumistic powers of subjective mediums, we elsewhere speak. The theurgists employed chemicals and mineral substances to chase away evil spirits. Of the latter, a stone called Mnizourin was one of the most powerful agents.

ʺWhen you shall see a terrestrial demon approaching,

Exclaim, and sacrifice the stone Mnizurin,ʺ

exclaims a Zoroastrian oracle (Psel., 40).

And now, to descend from the eminence of theurgico‐ magian poetry to the ʺunconsciousʺ magic of our present century, and the prose of a modern kabalist, we will review it in the following: In Dr. Morinʹs Journal de Magnêtisme, published a few years since in Paris, at a time when the ʺtable‐turningʺ was raging in France, a curious letter was published.

ʺBelieve me, sir,ʺ wrote the anonymous correspondent, ʺthat there are no spirits, no ghosts, no angels, no demons enclosed in a table; but, all of these can be found there, nevertheless, for that depends on our own wills and our imaginations. . . . This MENSAbulism‡ is an ancient phenomenon . . . misunderstood by us moderns, but natural, for all that, and which pertains to physics and psychology; unfortunately, it had to remain incomprehensible until the

‡ From the Latin word mensa — table. This curious letter is copied in full in ʺLa Science des Esprits,ʺ by Eliphas Levi.


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discovery of electricity and heliography, as, to explain a fact of spiritual nature, we are obliged to base ourselves on a corresponding fact of a material order. . . .

ʺAs we all know, the daguerreotype‐plate may be impressed, not only by objects, but also by their reflections. Well, the phenomenon in question, which ought to be named mental photography, produces, besides realities, the dreams of our imagination, with such a fidelity that very often we become unable to distinguish a copy taken from one present, from a negative obtained of an image. . . . ʺThe magnetization of a table or of a person is absolutely identical in its results; it is the saturation of a foreign body by either the intelligent vital electricity, or the thought of the magnetizer and those present.ʺ

Nothing can give a better or a more just idea of it than the electric battery gathering the fluid on its conductor, to obtain thereof a brute force which manifests itself in sparks of light, etc. Thus, the electricity accumulated on an isolated body acquires a power of reaction equal to the action, either for charging, magnetizing, decomposing, inflaming, or for discharging its vibrations far away. These are the visible effects of the blind, or crude electricity produced by blind elements — the word blind being used by the table itself in contradistinction to the intelligent electricity. But there evidently exists a corresponding electricity produced by the cerebral pile of man; this soul‐electricity, this spiritual and universal ether, which is the ambient, middle nature of the metaphysical universe, or rather of the incorporeal universe, has

to be studied before it is admitted by science, which, having no idea of it, will never know anything of the great phenomenon of life until she does.

ʺIt appears that to manifest itself the cerebral electricity requires the help of the ordinary statical electricity; when the latter is lacking in the atmosphere — when the air is very damp, for instance — you can get little or nothing of either tables or mediums. . . . ʺThere is no need for the ideas to be formulated very precisely in the brains of the persons present; the table discovers and formulates them itself, in either prose or verse, but always correctly; the table requires time to compose a verse; it begins, then it erases a word, corrects it, and sometimes sends back the epigram to our address . . . if the persons present are in sympathy with each other, it jokes and laughs with us as any living person could. As to the things of the exterior world, it has to content itself with conjectures, as well as ourselves; it (the table) composes little philosophical systems, discusses and maintains them as the most cunning rhetorician might. In short, it creates itself a conscience and a reason properly belonging to itself, but with the materials it finds in us. . . .

ʺThe Americans are persuaded that they talk with their dead; some think (more truly) that these are spirits; others take them for angels; others again for devils . . . (the intelligence) assuming the shape which fits the conviction and preconceived opinion of every one; so did the initiates of the temples of Serapis, of Delphi, and other theurgico‐medical establishments of the same kind. They were convinced


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beforehand that they would communicate with their gods; and they never failed.

ʺWe, who well know the value of the phenomenon . . . are perfectly sure that after having charged the table with our magnetic efflux, we have called to life, or created an intelligence analogous to our own, which like ourselves is endowed with a free will, can talk and discuss with us, with a degree of superior lucidity, considering that the resultant is stronger than the individual, or rather the whole is larger than a part of it. . . . We must not accuse Herodotus of telling us fibs when he records the most extraordinary circumstances, for we must hold them to be as true and correct as the rest of historical facts which are to be found in all the Pagan writers of antiquity.

ʺThe phenomenon is as old as the world. . . . The priests of India and China practiced it before the Egyptians and the Greeks. The savages and the Esquimaux know it well. It is the phenomenon of Faith, sole source of every prodigy,ʺ and it will be done to you according to your faith. The one who enunciated this profound doctrine was verily the incarnated word of Truth; he neither deceived himself, nor wanted to deceive others; he expounded an axiom which we now repeat, without much hope of seeing it accepted.

ʺMan is a microcosm, or a little world; he carries in him a fragment of the great All, in a chaotic state. The task of our half‐gods is to disentangle from it the share belonging to them by an incessant mental and material labor. They have their task to do, the perpetual invention of new products, of

new moralities, and the proper arrangement of the crude and formless material furnished them by the Creator, who created them in His own image, that they should create in their turn and so complete here the work of the Creation; an immense labor which can be achieved only when the whole will become so perfect, that it will be like unto God Himself, and thus able to survive to itself. We are very far yet from that final moment, for we can say that everything is to be done, to be undone, and outdone as yet on our globe, institutions, machinery, and products.

ʺMens non solum agitat sed creat molem.”

ʺWe live in this life, in an ambient, intellectual centre, which entertains between human beings and things a necessary and perpetual solidarity; every brain is a ganglion, a station of a universal neurological telegraphy in constant rapport with the central and other stations by the vibrations of thought.

ʺThe spiritual sun shines for souls as the material sun shines for bodies, for the universe is double and follows the law of couples. The ignorant operator interprets erroneously the divine dispatches, and often delivers them in a false and ridiculous manner. Thus study and true science alone can destroy the superstitions and nonsense spread by the ignorant interpreters placed at the stations of teaching among every people in this world. These blind interpreters of the Verbum, the WORD, have always tried to impose on their pupils the obligation to swear to everything without examination in verba magistri.


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ʺAlas! we could wish for nothing better were they to translate correctly the inner voices, which voices never deceive but those who have false spirits in them. ʹIt is our duty,ʹ they say, ʹto interpret oracles; it is we who have received the exclusive mission for it from heaven, spiritus flat ubi vult, and it blows on us alone. . . .ʹ

ʺIt blows on every one, and the rays of the spiritual light illuminate every conscience; and when all the bodies and all the minds will reflect equally this dual light, people will see a great deal clearer than they do now.ʺ

We have translated and quoted the above fragments for their great originality and truthfulness. We know the writer; fame proclaims him a great kabalist, and a few friends know him as a truthful and honest man.

The letter shows, moreover, that the writer has well and carefully studied the chameleon‐like nature of the intelligences presiding over spiritual circles. That they are of the same kind and race as those so frequently mentioned in antiquity, admits of as little doubt as that the present generation of men are of the same nature as were human beings in the days of Moses. Subjective manifestations proceed, under harmonious conditions, from those beings which were known as the ʺgood demonsʺ in days of old. Sometimes, but rarely, the planetary spirits — beings of another race than our own — produce them; sometimes the spirits of our translated and beloved friends; sometimes nature‐spirits of one or more of the countless tribes; but most

frequently of all terrestrial elementary spirits, disembodied evil men, the Diakka of A. Jackson Davis.


We do not forget what we have elsewhere written about subjective and objective mediumistic phenomena. We keep the distinction always in mind. There are good and bad of both classes. An impure medium will attract to his impure inner self, the vicious, depraved, malignant influences as inevitably as one that is pure draws only those that are good and pure. Of the latter kind of medium where can a nobler example be found than the gentle Baroness Adelma von Vay, of Austria (born Countess Wurmbrandt), who is described to us by a correspondent as ʺthe Providence of her neighborhoodʺ? She uses her mediumistic power to heal the sick and comfort the afflicted. To the rich she is a phenomenon; but to the poor a ministering angel. For many years she has seen and recognized the nature‐spirits or cosmic elementaries, and found them always friendly. But this was because she was a pure, good woman. Other correspondents of the Theosophical Society have not fared so well at the hands of these apish and impish beings. The Havanna case, elsewhere described, is an example.

Though spiritualists discredit them ever so much, these nature‐spirits are realities. If the gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines of the Rosicrucians existed in their days, they must exist now. Bulwer‐Lyttonʹs Dweller of the Threshold, is a modern conception, modelled on the ancient


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type of the Sulanuth* of the Hebrews and Egyptians, which is mentioned in the Book of Jasher.†

The Christians call them ʺdevils,ʺ ʺimps of Satan,ʺ and like characteristic names. They are nothing of the kind, but simply creatures of ethereal matter, irresponsible, and neither good nor bad, unless influenced by a superior intelligence. It is very extraordinary to hear devout Catholics abuse and misrepresent the nature‐spirits, when one of their greatest authorities, Clement the Alexandrian, disposed of them, by describing these creatures as they really are. Clement, who perhaps had been a theurgist as well as a Neo‐platonist, thus arguing upon good authority, remarks, that it is absurd to call them devils,‡ for they are only inferior angels, ʺthe powers which inhabit elements, move the winds and distribute showers, and as such are agents and subject to God.ʺ§ Origen, who before he became a Christian also belonged to the

* The Sulanuth is described in chap. lxxx., vers. 19, 20, of ʺJasher.ʺ

† ʺAnd when the Egyptians hid themselves on account of the swarmʺ (one of the plagues alleged to have been brought on by Moses) ʺ. . . they locked their doors after them, and God ordered the Sulanuth . . .ʺ (a sea‐ monster, naively explains the translator, in a foot‐note) ʺwhich was then in the sea, to come up and go into Egypt . . . and she had long arms, ten cubits in length . . . and she went upon the roofs and uncovered the rafting and cut them . . . and stretched forth her arm into the house and removed the lock and the bolt and opened the houses of Egypt . . . and the swarm of animals destroyed the Egyptians, and it grieved them exceedingly.ʺ

‡ ʺStrom,ʺ vi., 17, § 159.

§ Ibid., vi., 3, § 30.

Platonic school, is of the same opinion. Porphyry describes these dæmons more carefully than any one else.

When the possible nature of the manifesting intelligences, which science believes to be a ʺpsychic force,ʺ and spiritualists the identical spirits of the dead, is better known, then will academicians and believers turn to the old philosophers for information.

Let us for a moment imagine an intelligent orang‐outang or some African anthropoid ape disembodied, i.e., deprived of its physical and in possession of an astral, if not an immortal body. We have found in spiritual journals many instances where apparitions of departed pet dogs and other animals have been seen. Therefore, upon spiritualistic testimony, we must think that such animal ʺspiritsʺ do appear although we reserve the right of concurring with the ancients that the forms are but tricks of the elementals. Once open the door of communication between the terrestrial and the spiritual world, what prevents the ape from producing physical phenomena such as he sees human spirits produce. And why may not these excel in cleverness of ingenuity many of those which have been witnessed in spiritual circles? Let spiritualists answer. The orang‐outang of Borneo is little, if any, inferior to the savage man in intelligence. Mr. Wallace and other great naturalists give instances of its wonderful acuteness, although its brains are inferior in cubic capacity to the most undeveloped of savages. These apes lack but speech to be men of low grade. The sentinels placed by monkeys; the sleeping chambers selected and built by orang‐outangs; their


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prevision of danger and calculations, which show more than instinct; their choice of leaders whom they obey; and the exercise of many of their faculties, certainly entitle them to a place at least on a level with many a flat‐headed Australian. Says Mr. Wallace, ʺThe mental requirements of savages, and the faculties actually exercised by them, are very little above those of the animals.ʺ

Now, people assume that there can be no apes in the other world, because apes have no ʺsouls.ʺ But apes have as much intelligence, it appears, as some men; why, then, should these men, in no way superior to the apes, have immortal spirits, and the apes none? The materialists will answer that neither the one nor the other has a spirit, but that annihilation overtakes each at physical death. But the spiritual philosophers of all times have agreed that man occupies a step one degree higher than the animal, and is possessed of that something which it lacks, be he the most untutored of savages or the wisest of philosophers. The ancients, as we have seen, taught that while man is a trinity of body, astral spirit, and immortal soul, the animal is but a duality — a being having a physical body and an astral spirit animating it. Scientists can distinguish no difference in the elements composing the bodies of men and brutes; and the kabalists agree with them so far as to say that the astral bodies (or, as the physicists would call it, ʺthe life‐principleʺ) of animals and men are identical in essence. Physical man is but the highest development of animal life. If, as the scientists tell us, even thought is matter, and every sensation of pain or

pleasure, every transient desire is accompanied by a disturbance of ether; and those bold speculators, the authors of the Unseen Universe believe that thought is conceived ʺto affect the matter of another universe simultaneously with thisʺ; why, then, should not the gross, brutish thought of an orang‐outang, or a dog, impressing itself on the ethereal waves of the astral light, as well as that of man, assure the animal a continuity of life after death, or ʺa future stateʺ?

The kabalists held, and now hold, that it is unphilosophical to admit that the astral body of man can survive corporeal death, and at the same time assert that the astral body of the ape is resolved into independent molecules. That which survives as an individuality after the death of the body is the astral soul, which Plato, in the Timæus and Gorgias, calls the mortal soul, for, according to the Hermetic doctrine, it throws off its more material particles at every progressive change into a higher sphere. Socrates narrates to Callicles* that this mortal soul retains all the characteristics of the body after the death of the latter; so much so, indeed, that a man marked with the whip will have his astral body ʺfull of the prints and scars.ʺ The astral spirit is a faithful duplicate of the body, both in a physical and spiritual sense. The Divine, the highest and immortal spirit, can be neither punished nor rewarded. To maintain such a doctrine would be at the same time absurd and blasphemous, for it is not merely a flame lit at the central and inexhaustible fountain of light, but actually

* ʺGorgias.ʺ


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a portion of it, and of identical essence. It assures immortality to the individual astral being in proportion to the willingness of the latter to receive it. So long as the double man, i.e., the man of flesh and spirit, keeps within the limits of the law of spiritual continuity; so long as the divine spark lingers in him, however faintly, he is on the road to an immortality in the future state. But those who resign themselves to a materialistic existence, shutting out the divine radiance shed by their spirit, at the beginning of the earthly pilgrimage, and stifling the warning voice of that faithful sentry, the conscience, which serves as a focus for the light in the soul — such beings as these, having left behind conscience and spirit, and crossed the boundaries of matter, will of necessity have to follow its laws.

Matter is as indestructible and eternal as the immortal spirit itself, but only in its particles, and not as organized forms. The body of so grossly materialistic a person as above described, having been deserted by its spirit before physical death, when that event occurs, the plastic material, astral soul, following the laws of blind matter, shapes itself thoroughly into the mould which vice has been gradually preparing for it through the earth‐life of the individual. Then, as Plato says, it assumes the form of that ʺanimal to which it resembled in its evil waysʺ* during life. ʺIt is an ancient saying,ʺ he tells us, ʺthat the souls departing hence exist in Hades and return hither again and are produced from the dead†

* ʺTimæus.ʺ

† Cory, ʺPhædro,ʺ i. 69.

. . . But those who are found to have lived an eminently holy life, these are they who arrive at the pure abode ABOVE and DWELL ON THE UPPER PARTS of the earthʺ‡ (the ethereal region). In Phædrus, again, he says that when man has ended his first life (on earth), some go to places of punishment beneath the earth.§ This region below the earth, the kabalists do not understand as a place inside the earth, but maintain it to be a sphere, far inferior in perfection to the earth, and far more material.

Of all the modern speculators upon the seeming incongruities of the New Testament, alone the authors of the Unseen Universe seem to have caught a glimpse of its kabalistic truths, respecting the gehenna of the universe.** This gehenna, termed by the occultists the eighth sphere (numbering inversely), is merely a planet like our own, attached to the latter and following it in its penumbra; a kind of dust‐hole, a ʺplace where all its garbage and filth is consumed,ʺ to borrow an expression of the above‐mentioned authors, and on which all the dross and scorification of the cosmic matter pertaining to our planet is in a continual state of remodelling.

The secret doctrine teaches that man, if he wins immortality, will remain forever the trinity that he is in life, and will continue so throughout all the spheres. The astral

‡ Ibid., i. 123.
§ Cory, ʺPhædrasʺ; Coryʹs ʺPlato,ʺ 325.

** See ʺThe Unseen Universe,ʺ pp. 205, 206.


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body, which in this life is covered by a gross physical envelope, becomes — when relieved of that covering by the process of corporeal death — in its turn the shell of another and more ethereal body. This begins developing from the moment of death, and becomes perfected when the astral body of the earthly form finally separates from it. This process, they say, is repeated at every new transition from sphere to sphere. But the immortal soul, ʺthe silvery spark,ʺ observed by Dr. Fenwick in Margraveʹs brain,* and not found by him in the animals, never changes, but remains indestructible ʺby aught that shatters its tabernacle.ʺ The descriptions by Porphyry and Iamblichus and others, of the spirits of animals, which inhabit the astral light, are corroborated by those of many of the most trustworthy and intelligent clairvoyants. Sometimes the animal forms are even made visible to every person present at a spiritual circle, by being materialized. In his People from the Other World, Colonel H. S. Olcott describes a materialized squirrel which followed a spirit‐woman into the view of the spectators, disappeared and reappeared before their eyes several times, and finally followed the spirit into the cabinet.

Let us advance another step in our argument. If there is such a thing as existence in the spiritual world after corporeal death, then it must occur in accordance with the law of

* See Bulwer‐Lytton, ʺStrange Story,ʺ p. 76. We do not know where in literature can be found a more vivid and beautiful description of this difference between the life‐principle of man and that of animals, than in the passages herein briefly alluded to.

evolution. It takes man from his place at the apex of the pyramid of matter, and lifts him into a sphere of existence where the same inexorable law follows him. And if it follows him, why not everything else in nature? Why not animals and plants, which have all a life‐principle, and whose gross forms decay like his, when that life‐principle leaves them? If his astral body becomes more ethereal upon attaining the other sphere, why not theirs? They, as well as he, have been evolved out of condensed cosmic matter, and our physicists cannot see the slightest difference between the molecules of the four kingdoms of nature, which are thus specified by Professor Le Conte:

4. Animal Kingdom.

3. Vegetable Kingdom.

2. Mineral Kingdom.

1. Elements.

The progress of matter from each of these planes to the plane above is continuous; and, according to Le Conte, there is no force in nature capable of raising matter at once from No. 1 to No. 3, or from No. 2 to No. 4, without stopping and receiving an accession of force of a different kind on the intermediate plane.

Now, will any one presume to say that out of a given number of molecules, originally and constantly homogeneous, and all energized by the same principle of evolution, a certain number can be carried through those four kingdoms to the final result of evolving immortal man, and the others not be allowed to progress beyond planes 1, 2, and 3? Why should


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not all these molecules have an equal future before them; the mineral becoming plant, the plant, animal, and the animal, man — if not upon this earth, at least somewhere in the boundless realms of space? The harmony which geometry and mathematics — the only exact sciences — demonstrate to be the law of the universe, would be destroyed if evolution were perfectly exemplified in man alone and limited in the subordinate kingdoms. What logic suggests, psychometry proves; and, as we said before, it is not unlikely that a monument will one day be erected by men of science to Joseph R. Buchanan, its modern discoverer. If a fragment of mineral, fossilized plant, or animal form gives the psychometer as vivid and accurate pictures of their previous conditions, as a fragment of human bone does of those of the individual to which it belonged, it would seem as if the same subtile spirit pervaded all nature, and was inseparable from organic or inorganic substances. If anthropologists, physiologists, and psychologists are equally perplexed by primal and final causes, and by finding in matter so much similarity in all its forms, but in spirit such abysses of difference, it is, perhaps, because their inquiries are limited to our visible globe, and that they cannot, or dare not, go beyond. The spirit of a mineral, plant, or animal, may begin to form here, and reach its final development millions of ages hereafter, on other planets, known or unknown, visible or invisible to astronomers. For, who is able to controvert the theory previously suggested, that the earth itself will, like the living creatures to which it has given birth, ultimately, and

after passing through its own stage of death and dissolution, become an etherealized astral planet? ʺAs above, so belowʺ; harmony is the great law of nature.

Harmony in the physical and mathematical world of sense, is justice in the spiritual one. Justice produces harmony, and injustice, discord; and discord, on a cosmical scale, means chaos — annihilation.

If there is a developed immortal spirit in man, it must be in every thing else, at least in a latent or germinal state, and it can only be a question of time for each of these germs to become fully developed. What gross injustice it would be for an impenitent criminal man, the perpetrator of a brutal murder when in the exercise of his free will, to have all immortal spirit which in time may be washed clean of sin, and enjoying perfect happiness, while a poor horse, innocent of all crime, should toil and suffer under the merciless torture of his masterʹs whip during a whole life, and then be annihilated at death? Such a belief implies a brutal injustice, and is only possible among people taught in the dogma that everything is created for man, and he alone is the sovereign of the universe; — a sovereign so mighty that to save him from the consequences of his own misdeeds, it was not too much that the God of the universe should die to placate his own just wrath.

If the most abject savage, with a brain ʺvery little inferior to that of a philosopherʺ* (the latter developed physically by

* A. R. Wallace, ʺThe Action of Natural Selection on Man.ʺ


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ages of civilization), is still, as regards the actual exercise of his mental faculties, very little superior to an animal, is it just to infer that both he and the ape will not have the opportunity to become philosophers; the ape in this world, the man on some other planet peopled equally with beings created in some other image of God?

Says Professor Denton, when speaking of the future of psychometry: ʺAstronomy will not disdain the assistance of this power. As new forms of organic being are revealed, when we go back to the earlier geologic periods, so new groupings of the stars, new constellations, will be displayed, when the heavens of those early periods are examined by the piercing gaze of future psychometers. An accurate map of the starry heavens during the Silurian period may reveal to us many secrets that we have been unable to discover. . . . Why may we not indeed be able to read the history of the various heavenly bodies . . . their geological, their natural, and, perchance, their human history? . . . I have good reason to believe that trained psychometers will be able to travel from planet to planet, and read their present condition minutely, and their past history.ʺ*

Herodotus tells us that in the eighth of the towers of Belus, in Babylon, used by the sacerdotal astrologers, there was an uppermost room, a sanctuary, where the prophesying priestesses slept to receive communications from the god. Beside the couch stood a table of gold, upon which were laid

* W. Denton, ʺThe Soul of Things,ʺ p. 273.

various stones, which Manetho informs us were all aërolites. The priestesses developed the prophetic vision in themselves by pressing one of these sacred stones against their heads and bosoms. The same took place at Thebes, and at Patara, in Lycia.†

This would seem to indicate that psychometry was known and extensively practiced by the ancients. We have somewhere seen it stated that the profound knowledge possessed, according to Draper, by the ancient Chaldean astrologers, of the planets and their relations, was obtained more by the divination of the betylos, or the meteoric stone, than by astronomical instruments. Strabo, Pliny, Hellanicus

— all speak of the electrical, or electromagnetic power of the betyli. They were worshipped in the remotest antiquity in Egypt and Samothrace, as magnetic stones, ʺcontaining souls which had fallen from heavenʺ; and the priests of Cybelè wore a small betylos on their bodies. How curious the coincidence between the practice of the priests of Belus and the experiments of Professor Denton!

As Professor Buchanan truthfully remarks of psychometry, it will enable us ʺ . . to detect vice and crime. No criminal act . . . can escape the detection of psychometry, when its powers are properly brought forth . . . the sure detection of guilt by psychometry (no matter how secret the act) will nullify all concealment.ʺ‡

† ʺHerodotus,ʺ b. i., c. 181.

‡ ʺAnthropology,ʺ p. 125.


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Speaking of the elementary, Porphyry says: ʺThese invisible beings have been receiving from men honors as gods . . . a universal belief makes them capable of becoming very malevolent: it proves that their wrath is kindled against those who neglect to offer them a legitimate worship.ʺ*

Homer describes them in the following terms: ʺOur gods appear to us when we offer them sacrifice . . . sitting themselves at our tables, they partake of our festival meals.

Whenever they meet on his travels a solitary Phœnician, they serve to him as guides, and otherwise manifest their presence. We can say that our piety approaches us to them as much as crime and bloodshed unite the Cyclopes and the ferocious race of giants.ʺ† The latter proving that these gods were kind and beneficent dæmons, and that, whether they were disembodied spirits or elementary beings, they were no devils.

The language of Porphyry, who was himself a direct disciple of Plotinus, is still more explicit as to the nature of these spirits. ʺDemons,ʺ he says, ʺare invisible; but they know how to clothe themselves with forms and configurations subjected to numerous variations, which can be explained by their nature having much of the corporeal in itself. Their abode is in the neighborhood of the earth . . . and when they can escape the vigilance of the good dæmons, there is no mischief they will not dare commit. One day they will employ brute force; another,

* ʺOf Sacrifices to Gods and Dæmons,ʺ chap. ii.

† ʺOdyssey,ʺ book vii.

cunning.ʺ‡ Further, he says: ʺIt is a childʹs play for them to arouse in us vile passions, to impart to societies and nations turbulent doctrines, provoking wars, seditions, and other public calamities, and then tell you ʹthat all of these is the work of the gods.ʹ . . . These spirits pass their time in cheating and deceiving mortals, creating around them illusions and prodigies; their greatest ambition is to pass as gods and souls

(disembodied spirits).ʺ§


Iamblichus, the great theurgist of the Neo‐platonic school, a man skilled in sacred magic, teaches that ʺgood dæmons appear to us in reality, while the bad ones can manifest themselves but under the shadowy forms of phantoms.ʺ Further, he corroborates Porphyry, and tells that ʺ . . . the good ones fear not the light, while the wicked ones require darkness. . . . The sensations they excite in us make us believe in the presence and reality of things they show, though these things be absent.ʺ**

Even the most practiced theurgists found danger sometimes in their dealings with certain elementaries, and we have Iamblichus stating that, ʺThe gods, the angels, and the dæmons, as well as the souls, may be summoned through evocation and prayer. . . . But when, during theurgic

‡ Porphyry, ʺOf Sacrifices to Gods and Dæmons,ʺ chap. ii.
§ Ibid.

** Iamblichus, ʺDe Mysteriis Egyptorum.ʺ


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

Some twenty years since, Baron Du Potet, disgusted with the indifference of the scientists, who persisted in seeing in the greatest psychological phenomena only the result of clever trickery, gave vent to his indignation in the following terms:

ʺHere am I, on my way, I may truly say, to the land of marvels! I am preparing to shock every opinion, and provoke laughter in our most illustrious scientists . . . for I am convinced that agents of an immense potency exist outside of us; that they can enter in us; move our limbs and organs; and use us as they please. It was, after all, the belief of our fathers and of the whole of antiquity. Every religion admitted the reality of spiritual agents. . . . Recalling innumerable phenomena which I have produced in the sight of thousands of persons, seeing the beastly indifference of official science, in presence of a discovery which transports the mind into the regions of the unknown [sic]; an old man, at the very moment when I ought to be just being born. . . . I am not sure if it would not have been better for me to have shared the common ignorance.

ʺI have suffered calumnies to be written without refuting them. . . . At one time it is simple ignorance which speaks, and I am silent; at another still, superficiality, raising its voice, makes a bluster, and I find myself hesitating whether or not to speak. Is this indifference or laziness? Has fear the power to paralyze my spirit? No; none of these causes affect me; I know simply that it is necessary to prove what one asserts, and this restrains me. For, in justifying my assertions, in showing the living FACT, which proves my sincerity and the truth, I translate OUTSIDE THE PRECINCTS OF THE TEMPLE the sacred inscription, WHICH NO PROFANE EYE SHOULD EVER


ʺYou doubt sorcery and magic? O, truth! thy possession is a heavy burden!ʺ†

With a bigotry which one might search for in vain outside the church in whose interest he writes, des Mousseaux quotes the above language, as proof positive that this devoted savant, and all who share his belief, have given themselves over to the dominion of the Evil One!

Self‐complacency is the most serious obstacle to the enlightenment of the modern spiritualist. His thirty yearsʹ experience with the phenomena seem to him sufficient to have established intermundane intercourse upon an unassailable basis. His thirty years have not only brought to him the conviction that the dead communicate and thus prove the spiritʹs immortality, but also settled in his mind an

* Ibid., ʺOn the Difference between the Dæmons, the Souls, etc.ʺ † Du Potet, ʺLa Magie Devoilée.ʺ


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idea that little or nothing can be learned of the other world, except through mediums.

For the spiritualists, the records of the past either do not exist, or if they are familiar with its gathered treasures, they regard them as having no bearing upon their own experiences. And yet, the problems which so vex them, were solved thousands of years ago by the theurgists, who have left the keys to those who will search for them in the proper spirit and with knowledge. Is it possible that nature has changed her work, and that we are encountering different spirits and different laws from those of old? Or can any spiritualist imagine that he knows more, or even as much about mediumistic phenomena or the nature of various spirits, as a priest‐caste who spent their lives in theurgical practice, which had been known and studied for countless centuries? If the narratives of Owen and Hare, of Edmonds, and Crookes, and Wallace are credible, why not those of Herodotus, the ʺFather of History,ʺ of Iamblichus, and Porphyry, and hundreds of other ancient authors? If the spiritualists have their phenomena under test‐conditions, so had the old theurgists, whose records, moreover, show that they could produce and vary them at will. The day when this fact shall be recognized, and profitless speculations of modern investigators shall give place to patient study of the works of the theurgists, will mark the dawn of new and important discoveries in the field of psychology.


Τῆς δὲ γἁρ ἐκ τριάδος πᾶν πνεῦμα πατἡρ – ἐκέρασε

TAY., Lyd. de Mens., 20

ʺThe more powerful souls perceive truth through themselves, and are of a more inventive nature. Such souls are saved through their own strength, according to the oracle.ʺ


ʺSince the soul perpetually runs and passes through all things in a certain space of time, which being performed, it is presently compelled to run back again through all things, and unfold the same web of generation in the world . . . for as often as the same causes return, the same effects will in like manner be returned.ʺ

FICIN. de Im. An., 129, Chaldean Oracles

ʺIf not to some peculiar end assignʹd, Studyʹs the specious trifling of the mind.ʺ


FROM the moment when the fœtal embryo is formed until the old man, gasping his last, drops into the grave, neither the beginning nor the end is understood by scholastic science; all before us is a blank, all after us chaos. For it there is no evidence as to the relations between spirit, soul, and body, either before or after death. The mere life‐principle itself presents an unsolvable enigma, upon the study of which materialism has vainly exhausted its intellectual powers. In


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the presence of a corpse the skeptical physiologist stands dumb when asked by his pupil whence came the former tenant of that empty box, and whither it has gone. The pupil must either, like his master, rest satisfied with the explanation that protoplasm made the man, and force vitalized and will now consume his body, or he must go outside the walls of his college and the books of its library to find an explanation of the mystery.

It is sometimes as interesting as instructive to follow the two great rivals, science and theology, in their frequent skirmishes. Not all of the sons of the Church are as unsuccessful in their attempts at advocacy as the poor Abbé Moigno, of Paris. This respectable, and no doubt well‐ meaning divine, in his fruitless attempt to refute the free‐ thinking arguments of Huxley, Tyndall, Du Bois‐Raymond, and many others, has met with a sad failure. In his antidotal arguments his success was more than doubtful, and, as a reward for his trouble, the ʺCongregation of the Indexʺ forbids the circulation of his book among the faithful.

It is a dangerous experiment to engage in a single‐handed duel with scientists on topics which are well demonstrated by experimental research. In what they do know they are unassailable, and until the old formula is destroyed by their own hands and replaced by a more newly‐discovered one, there is no use fighting against Achilles — unless, indeed, one is fortunate enough to catch the swift‐footed god by his vulnerable heel. This heel is — what they confess they do not know!

That was a cunning device to which a certain well‐known preacher resorted to reach this mortal part. Before we proceed to narrate the extraordinary though well authenticated facts with which we intend to fill this chapter, it will be good policy to show once more how fallible is modern science as to every fact in nature which can be tested neither by retort nor crucible. The following are a few fragments from a series of sermons by F. Felix, of Notre Dame, entitled Mystery and Science. They are worthy to be translated for and quoted in a work which is undertaken in precisely the same spirit as that exhibited by the preacher. For once the Church silenced for a time the arrogance of her traditional enemy, in the face of the learned academicians. It was known that the great preacher, in response to the general desire of the faithful, and perhaps to the orders of ecclesiastical superiors, had been preparing himself for a great oratorical effort, and the historic cathedral was filled with a monster congregation. Amid a profound silence he began his discourse, of which the following paragraphs are sufficient for our purpose:

ʺA portentous word has been pronounced against us to confront progress with Christianity — SCIENCE. Such is the formidable evocation with which they try to appall us. To all that we can say to base progress upon Christianity, they have always a ready response: that is not scientific. We say revelation; revelation is not scientific. We say miracle; a miracle is not scientific.

ʺThus antichristianism, faithful to its tradition, and now more than ever, pretends to kill us by science. Principle of


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darkness, it threatens us with light. It proclaims itself the light.
. . .

ʺA hundred times I asked myself, What is, then, that terrible science which is making ready to devour us? . . . Is it mathematical science? . . . but we also have our mathematicians. Is it physics? Astronomy? Physiology? Geology? But we number in Catholicism astronomers, physicists, geologists,* and physiologists, who make somewhat of a figure in the scientific world, who have their place in the Academy and their name in history. It would appear that what is to crush us is neither this nor that science, but science in general.

ʺAnd why do they prophesy the overthrow of Christianity by science? Listen: . . we must perish by science because we teach mysteries, and because the Christian mysteries are in radical antagonism with modern science. . . . Mystery is the negation of common sense; science repels it; science condemns it; she has spoken — Anathema!


ʺAh! you are right; if Christian mystery is what you proclaim it, then in the name of science hurl the anathema at it. Nothing is antipathetic to science like the absurd and contradictory. But, glory be to the truth! such is not the mystery of Christianity. If it were so, it would remain for you

* We wonder if Father Felix is prepared to include St. Augustine, Lactantius, and Bede in this category?

to explain the most inexplicable of mysteries: how comes it that, during nearly 2,000 years, so many superior minds and rare geniuses have embraced our mysteries, without thinking to repudiate science or abdicate reason?† Talk as much as you like of your modern science, modern thought, and modern genius, there were scientists before 1789.

ʺIf our mysteries are so manifestly absurd and contradictory, how is it that such mighty geniuses should have accepted them without a single doubt? . . . But God preserve me from insisting upon demonstrating that mystery implies no contradiction with science! . . . Of what use to prove, by metaphysical abstractions, that science can reconcile itself with mystery, when all the realities of creation show unanswerably that mystery everywhere baffles science? You ask that we should show you, beyond doubt, that exact science cannot admit mystery; I answer you decidedly that she cannot escape it. Mystery is the FATALITY of science.

ʺShall we choose our proofs? First, then, look around at the purely material world, from the smallest atom to the most majestic sun. There, if you try to embrace in the unity of a single law all these bodies and their movements, if you seek the word which explains, in this vast panorama of the universe, this prodigious harmony, where all seems to obey the empire of a single force, you pronounce a word to express

† For instance, Copernicus, Bruno, and Galileo? For further particulars see the ʺIndex Expurgatorius.ʺ Verily, wise are such popular sayings, as that, ʺBoldness carries off cities at one shout.ʺ


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it, and say Attraction! . . . Yes, attraction, this is the sublime epitome of the science of the heavenly bodies. You say that throughout space these bodies recognize and attract each other; you say that they attract in proportion to their mass, and in inverse ratio with the squares of their distances. And, in fact, until the present moment, nothing has happened to give the lie to this assertion, but everything has confirmed a formula which now reigns sovereign in the EMPIRE OF HYPOTHESIS, and therefore it must henceforth enjoy the glory of being an invincible truism.

ʺGentlemen, with all my heart I make my scientific obeisances to the sovereignty of attraction. It is not I who would desire to obscure a light in the world of matter which reflects upon the world of spirits. The empire of attraction, then, is palpable; it is sovereign; it stares us in the face!

ʺBut, what is this attraction? who has seen attraction? who has met attraction? who has touched attraction? How do these mute bodies, intelligent, insensible, exercise upon each other unconsciously this reciprocity of action and reaction which holds them in a common equilibrium and unanimous harmony? Is this force which draws sun to sun, and atom to atom, an invisible mediator which goes from one to another? And, in such case what is this mediator? whence comes to itself this force which mediates, and this power which embraces, from which the sun can no more escape than the atom. But is this force nothing different from the elements themselves which attract each other? . . . Mystery! Mystery!

ʺYes, gentlemen, this attraction which shines with such brightness throughout the material world, remains to you at bottom an impenetrable mystery. . . . Well! because of its mystery, will you deny its reality, which touches you, and its domination, which subjugates you? . . . And again, remark if you please, mystery is so much at the foundation of all science that if you should desire to exclude mystery, you would be compelled to suppress science itself. Imagine whatever science you will, follow the magnificent sweep of its deductions . . . when you arrive at its parent source, you come face to face with the unknown.*

ʺWho has been able to penetrate the secret of the formation of a body, the generation of a single atom? What is there I will not say at the centre of a sun, but at the centre of an atom? who has sounded to the bottom the abyss in a grain of sand? The grain of sand, gentlemen, has been studied four thousand years by science, she has turned and returned it; she divides it and subdivides it; she torments it with her experiments; she vexes it with her questions to snatch from it the final word as to its secret constitution; she asks it, with an insatiable curiosity: ʹShall I divide thee infinitesimally?ʹ Then, suspended over this abyss, science hesitates, she stumbles, she feels dazzled, she becomes dizzy, and, in despair says: I


* This statement, neither Herbert Spencer nor Huxley will be likely to traverse. But Father Felix seems insensible of his own debt to science; if he had said this in February, 1600, he might have shared the fate of poor Bruno.


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ʺBut if you are so fatally ignorant of the genesis and hidden nature of a grain of sand, how should you have an intuition as to the generation of a single living being? Whence in the living being does life come? Where does it commence? What is the life‐principle?ʺ*


Can the scientists answer the eloquent monk? Can they escape from his pitiless logic? Mystery certainly does bound them on every side; and the Ultima Thule, whether of Herbert Spencer, Tyndall, or Huxley, has written upon the closed portals the words INCOMPREHENSIBLE, UNKNOWABLE. For the lover of metaphor, science may be likened to a twinkling star shining with resplendent brightness through rifts in a bank of densely‐black clouds. If her votaries cannot define that mysterious attraction which draws into concrete masses the material particles which form the smallest pebble on the ocean‐beach, how can they define the limits at which the possible stops and the impossible begins?

Why should there be an attraction between the molecules of matter, and none between those of spirit? If, out of the material portion of the ether, by virtue of the inherent restlessness of its particles, the forms of worlds and their species of plants and animals can be evolved, why, out of the spiritual part of the ether, should not successive races of

* ʺLe Mystere et la Science,ʺ conferences, P. Felix de Notre Dame; des

Mousseaux, ʺHauts Phen. Magie.ʺ

beings, from the stage of monad to that of man, be developed; each lower form unfolding a higher one until the work of evolution is completed on our earth, in the production of immortal man? It will be seen that, for the moment, we entirely put aside the accumulated facts which prove the case, and submit it to the arbitrament of logic.

By whatsoever name the physicists may call the energizing principle in matter is of no account; it is a subtile something apart from the matter itself, and, as it escapes their detection, it must be something besides matter. If the law of attraction is admitted as governing the one, why should it be excluded from influencing the other? Leaving logic to answer, we turn to the common experience of mankind, and there find a mass of testimony corroborative of the immortality of the soul, if we judge but from analogies. But we have more than that — we have the unimpeachable testimony of thousands upon thousands, that there is a regular science of the soul, which, notwithstanding that it is now denied the right of a place among other sciences, is a science. This science, by penetrating the arcana of nature far deeper than our modern philosophy ever dreamed possible, teaches us how to force the invisible to become visible; the existence of elementary spirits; the nature and magical properties of the astral light; the power of living men to bring themselves into communication with the former through the latter. Let them examine the proofs with the lamp of experience, and neither the Academy nor the Church, for which Father Felix so persuasively spoke, can deny them.


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Modern science is in a dilemma; it must concede our hypothesis to be correct, or admit the possibility of miracle. To do so, is to say that there can be an infraction of natural law. If this can happen in one case, what assurance have we that it may not be repeated indefinitely, and so destroy that fixity of law, that perfect balance of forces by which the universe is governed. This is a very ancient and an unanswerable argument. To deny the appearance, in our midst, of supersensual beings, when they have been seen, at various times and in various countries, by not merely thousands, but millions of persons, is unpardonable obstinacy; to say that, in any one instance, the apparition has been produced by a miracle, fatal to the fundamental principle of science. What will they do? What can they do, when they shall have awakened from the benumbing stupor of their pride, but collect the facts, and try to enlarge the boundaries of their field of investigations?

The existence of spirit in the common mediator, the ether, is denied by materialism; while theology makes of it a personal god, the kabalist holds that both are wrong, saving that in ether, the elements represent but matter — the blind cosmic forces of nature; and Spirit, the intelligence which directs them. The Hermetic, Orphic, and Pythagorean cosmogonical doctrines, as well as those of Sanchoniathon and Berosus, are all based upon one irrefutable formula, viz.: that the ether and chaos, or, in the Platonic language, mind and matter, were the two primeval and eternal principles of the universe, utterly independent of anything else. The

former was the all‐vivifying intellectual principle; the chaos, a shapeless, liquid principle, without ʺform or sense,ʺ from the union of which two, sprang into existence the universe, or rather, the universal world, the first androgynous deity — the chaotic matter becoming its body, and ether the soul. According to the phraseology of a Fragment of Hermias, ʺchaos, from this union with spirit, obtaining sense, shone with pleasure, and thus was produced the Protogonos (the first‐born) light.ʺ* This is the universal trinity, based on the metaphysical conceptions of the ancients, who, reasoning by analogy, made of man, who is a compound of intellect and matter, the microcosm of the macrocosm, or great universe.

If we now compare this doctrine with the speculations of science, which comes to a full stop at the Borderland of the unknown, and, while incompetent to solve the mystery, will allow no one else to speculate upon the subject; or, with the great theological dogma, that the world was called into existence by a heavenly trick of prestidigitation; we do not hesitate to believe that, in the absence of better proof, the Hermetic doctrine is by far the more reasonable, highly metaphysical as it may appear. The universe is there, and we know that we exist; but how did it come, and how did we appear in it? Denied an answer by the representatives of physical learning, and excommunicated and anathematized for our blasphemous curiosity by the spiritual usurpers, what can we do, but turn for information to the sages who

* Damascius, in the ʺTheogony,ʺ calls it Dis, ʺthe disposer of all things.ʺ

Cory, ʺAncient Fragments,ʺ p. 314.


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meditated upon the subject ages before the molecules of our philosophers aggregated in ethereal space?


This visible universe of spirit and matter, they say, is but the concrete image of the ideal abstraction; it was built on the model of the first divine IDEA. Thus our universe existed from eternity in a latent state. The soul animating this purely spiritual universe is the central sun, the highest deity itself. It was not himself who built the concrete form of his idea, but his first‐begotten; and as it was constructed on the geometrical figure of the dodecahedron,* the first‐begotten ʺwas pleased to employ twelve thousand years in its creation.ʺ The latter number is expressed in the Tyrrhenian cosmogony,† which shows man created in the sixth millennium. This agrees with the Egyptian theory of 6,000 ʺyears,ʺ‡ and with the Hebrew computation. Sanchoniathon,§ in his Cosmogony, declares that when the wind (spirit) became enamored of its own principles (the chaos), an intimate union took place, which connection was called pothos, and from this sprang the seed of all. And the chaos knew not its own production, for it was senseless; but from its embrace with the

* Plato, ʺTimæus.ʺ

† Suidas, v. ʺTyrrhenia.ʺ

‡ The reader will understand that by ʺyearsʺ is meant ʺages,ʺ not mere periods of twelve lunar months each.

§ See the Greek translation by Philo Byblius.

wind was generated mot, or the ilus (mud).** From this proceeded the spores of creation and the generation of the universe.

The ancients, who named but four elements, made of æther a fifth one. On account of its essence being made divine by the unseen presence it was considered as a medium between this world and the next. They held that when the directing intelligences retired from any portion of ether, one of the four kingdoms which they are bound to superintend, the space was left in possession of evil. An adept who prepared to converse with the ʺinvisibles,ʺ had to know well his ritual, and be perfectly acquainted with the conditions required for the perfect equilibrium of the four elements in the astral light. First of all, he must purify the essence, and within the circle in which he sought to attract the pure spirits, equilibrize the elements, so as to prevent the ingress of the elementaries into their respective spheres. But woe to the imprudent inquirer who ignorantly trespasses upon forbidden ground; danger will beset him at every step. He evokes powers that he cannot control; he arouses sentries which allow only their masters to pass. For, in the words of the immortal Rosicrucian, ʺOnce that thou hast resolved to become a cooperator with the spirit of the living God, take care not to hinder Him in His work; for, if thy heat exceeds the natural proportion thou hast stirrʹd the wrath of the

** Cory, ʺAncient Fragments.ʺ


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Moyst* natures, and they will stand up against the central fire, and the central fire against them, and there will be a terrible division in the chaos.ʺ† The spirit of harmony and union will depart from the elements, disturbed by the imprudent hand; and the currents of blind forces will become immediately infested by numberless creatures of matter and instinct — the bad dæmons of the theurgists, the devils of theology; the gnomes, salamanders, sylphs, and undines will assail the rash performer under multifarious aërial forms. Unable to invent anything, they will search your memory to its very depths; hence the nervous exhaustion and mental oppression of

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

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

certain sensitive natures at spiritual circles. The elementals will bring to light long‐forgotten remembrances of the past; forms, images, sweet mementos, and familiar sentences, long since faded from our own remembrance, but vividly preserved in the inscrutable depths of our memory and on the astral tablets of the imperishable ʺBOOK OF LIFE.ʺ

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


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To say that all spirits are alike, or fitted to the same atmosphere, or possessed of like powers, or governed by the same attractions — electric, magnetic, odic, astral, it matters not which — is as absurd as though one should say that all planets have the same nature, or that all animals are amphibious, or all men can be nourished on the same food. It accords with reason to suppose that the grossest natures among the spirits will sink to the lowest depths of the spiritual atmosphere — in other words, be found nearest to the earth. Inversely, the purest would be farthest away. In what, were we to coin a word, we should call the Psychomatics of Occultism, it is as unwarrantable to assume that either of these grades of spirits can occupy the place, or subsist in the conditions, of the other, as in hydraulics it would be to expect that two liquids of different densities could exchange their markings on the scale of Beaumeʹs hydrometer.

Gorres, describing a conversation he had with some Hindus of the Malabar coast, reports that upon asking them whether they had ghosts among them, they replied, ʺYes, but we know them to be bad spirits . . . good ones can hardly ever appear at all. They are principally the spirits of suicides and murderers, or of those who die violent deaths. They constantly flutter about and appear as phantoms. Night‐time is favorable to them, they seduce the feeble‐minded and tempt others in a thousand different ways.ʺ*

* Görres, ʺMystique,ʺ lib. iii., p. 63.

Porphyry presents to us some hideous facts whose verity is substantiated in the experience of every student of magic. ʺThe soul,ʺ† says he, ʺhaving even after death a certain affection for its body, an affinity proportioned to the violence with which their union was broken, we see many spirits hovering in despair about their earthly remains; we even see them eagerly seeking the putrid remains of other bodies, but above all freshly‐spilled blood, which seems to impart to them for the moment some of the faculties of life.ʺ‡


Let spiritualists who doubt the theurgist, try the effect of about half a pound of freshly‐drawn human blood at their next materializing seance!

ʺThe gods and the angels,ʺ says Iamblichus, ʺappear to us among peace and harmony; the bad demons, in tossing everything in confusion. . . . As to the ordinary souls, we can perceive them more rarely, etc.ʺ§

ʺThe human soul (the astral body) is a demon that our language may name genius,ʺ says Apuleius.** ʺShe is an immortal god, though in a certain sense she is born at the same

† The ancients called ʺthe soulʺ the spirits of bad people; the soul was the larva and lemure. Good human spirits became gods.

‡ Porphyry, ʺDe Sacrificiis.ʺ Chapter on the true Cultus. § ʺMysteries of the Egyptians.ʺ

** Second century, A.D. ʺDu Dieu de Socrate,ʺ Apul. class., pp. 143‐145.


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time as the man in whom she is. Consequently, we may say that she dies in the same way that she is born.ʺ

ʺThe soul is born in this world upon leaving another world (anima mundi), in which her existence precedes the one we all know (on earth). Thus, the gods who consider her proceedings in all the phases of various existences and as a whole, punish her sometimes for sins committed during an anterior life. She dies when she separates herself from a body in which she crossed this life as in a frail bark. And this is, if I mistake not, the secret meaning of the tumulary inscription, so simple for the initiate: ʺTo the gods manes who lived.ʺ But this kind of death does not annihilate the soul, it only transforms it into a lemure. Lemures are the manes or ghosts, which we know under the name of lares. When they keep away and show us a beneficient protection, we honor in them the protecting divinities of the family hearth; but, if their crimes sentence them to err, we call them larvæ. They become a plague for the wicked, and the vain terror of the good.ʺ

This language can hardly be called ambiguous, and yet, the Reincarnationists quote Apuleius in corroboration of their theory that man passes through a succession of physical human births upon this planet, until he is finally purged from the dross of his nature. But Apuleius distinctly says that we come upon this earth from another one, where we had an existence, the recollection of which has faded away. As the watch passes from hand to hand and room to room in a factory, one part being added here and another there, until the delicate machine is perfected, according to the design

conceived in the mind of the master before the work was begun; so, according to ancient philosophy, the first divine conception of man takes shape little by little, in the several departments of the universal workshop, and the perfect human being finally appears on our scene.

This philosophy teaches that nature never leaves her work unfinished; if baffled at the first attempt, she tries again. When she evolves a human embryo, the intention is that a man shall be perfected — physically, intellectually, and spiritually. His body is to grow mature, wear out, and die; his mind unfold, ripen, and be harmoniously balanced; his divine spirit illuminate and blend easily with the inner man. No human being completes its grand cycle, or the ʺcircle of necessity,ʺ until all these are accomplished. As the laggards in a race struggle and plod in their first quarter while the victor darts past the goal, so, in the race of immortality, some souls outspeed all the rest and reach the end, while their myriad competitors are toiling under the load of matter, close to the starting point. Some unfortunates fall out entirely, and lose all chance of the prize; some retrace their steps and begin again. This is what the Hindu dreads above all things — transmigration and reincarnation; only on other and inferior planets, never on this one. But there is a way to avoid it, and Buddha taught it in his doctrine of poverty, restriction of the senses, perfect indifference to the objects of this earthly vale of tears, freedom from passion, and frequent intercommunication with the Atma — soul‐contemplation. The cause of reincarnation is ignorance of our senses, and the


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idea that there is any reality in the world, anything except abstract existence. From the organs of sense comes the ʺhallucinationʺ we call contact; ʺfrom contact, desire; from desire, sensation (which also is a deception of our body); from sensation, the cleaving to existing bodies; from this cleaving, reproduction; and from reproduction, disease, decay, and death.ʺ

Thus, like the revolutions of a wheel, there is a regular succession of death and birth, the moral cause of which is the cleaving to existing objects, while the instrumental cause is karma (the power which controls the universe, prompting it to activity), merit and demerit. ʺIt is, therefore, the great desire of all beings who would be released from the sorrows of successive birth, to seek the destruction of the moral cause, the cleaving to existing objects, or evil desire.ʺ They, in whom evil desire is entirely destroyed, are called Arhats*. Freedom from evil desire insures the possession of a miraculous power. At his death, the Arhat is never reincarnated; he invariably attains Nirvana — a word, by the bye, falsely interpreted by the Christian scholars and skeptical commentators. Nirvana is the world of cause, in which all deceptive effects or delusions of our senses disappear. Nirvana is the highest attainable sphere. The pitris (the pre‐Adamic spirits) are considered as reincarnated, by the Buddhistic philosopher, though in a degree far superior to that of the man of earth. Do they not die in their turn? Do not their astral bodies suffer and rejoice,

* ʺEastern Monachism,ʺ p. 9.

and feel the same curse of illusionary feelings as when embodied?

What Buddha taught in the sixth century, B.C., in India, Pythagoras taught in the fifth, in Greece and Italy. Gibbon shows how deeply the Pharisees were impressed with this belief in the transmigration of souls.† The Egyptian circle of necessity is ineffaceably stamped on the hoary monuments of old. And Jesus, when healing the sick, invariably used the following expression: ʺThy sins are forgiven thee.ʺ This is a pure Buddhistical doctrine. ʺThe Jews said to the blind man: Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? The doctrine of the disciples (of Christ) is analogous to the ʹMerit and Demeritʹ of the Buddhists; for the sick recovered, if their sins were forgiven.ʺ‡ But, this former life believed in by the Buddhists, is not a life on this planet, for, more than any other people, the Buddhistical philosopher appreciated the great doctrine of cycles. The speculations of Dupuis, Volney, and Godfrey Higgins on the secret meaning of the cycles, or the kalpas and the yugs of the Brahmans and Buddhists, amounted to little, as they did not have the key to the esoteric, spiritual doctrine therein contained. No philosophy ever speculated on God as an abstraction, but considered Him under His various manifestations. The ʺFirst Causeʺ of the Hebrew Bible, the Pythagorean ʺMonad,ʺ the ʺOne Existenceʺ of the Hindu philosopher, and the kabalistic ʺEn‐Sophʺ — the Boundless — are identical. The Hindu Bhagavant does not

† ʺDecline and Fall of the Roman Empire,ʺ iv. 385.

‡ Hardy, ʺManual of Buddhismʺ; Dunlap, ʺThe Worldʹs Religions.ʺ


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create; he enters the egg of the world, and emanates from it as Brahm, in the same manner as the Pythagorean Duad evolves from the highest and solitary Monas.* The Monas of the Samian philosopher is the Hindu Monas (mind), ʺwho has no

* Lempriere (ʺClassical Dictionary,ʺ art. ʺPythagorasʺ) says that ʺthere is great reason to suspect the truth of the whole narrative of Pythagorasʹ journey into India,ʺ and concludes by saying that this philosopher had never seen either Gymnosophists or their country. If this be so, how account for the doctrine of the metempsychosis of Pythagoras, which is far more that of the Hindu in its details than the Egyptian? But, above all, how account for the fact that the name MONAS, applied by him to the First Cause, is the identical appellation given to that Being in the Sanscrit tongue? In 1792‐7, when Lempriereʹs ʺDictionaryʺ appeared, the Sanscrit was, we may say, utterly unknown; Dr. Haugʹs translation of the ʺAitareya Brahmanaʺ (ʺRig‐Vedasʺ), in which this word occurs, was published only about twenty years ago, and until that valuable addition to the literature of archaic ages was completed, and the precise age of the ʺAitareyaʺ — now fixed by Haug at 2000‐2400 B.C. — was a mystery, it might be suggested, as in the case of Christian symbols, that the Hindus borrowed it from Pythagoras. But now, unless philology can show it to be a ʺcoincidence,ʺ and that the word Monas is not the same in its minutest definitions, we have a right to assert that Pythagoras was in India, and that it was the Gymnosophists who instructed him in his metaphysical theology. The fact alone that ʺSanscrit, as compared with Greek and Latin, is an elder sister,ʺ as Max Müller shows, is not sufficient to account for the perfect identity of the Sanscrit and Greek words MONAS, in their most metaphysical, abstruse sense. The Sanscrit word Deva (god) has become the Latin deus, and points to a common source; but we see in the Zoroastrian ʺZend‐Avestaʺ the same word, meaning diametrically the opposite, and becoming dæva, or evil spirit, from which comes the word devil.

first cause (apûrva, or material cause), nor is liable to destruction.ʺ† Brahma, as Prajâpati, manifests himself first of all as ʺtwelve bodies,ʺ or attributes, which are represented by the twelve gods, symbolizing 1, Fire; 2, the Sun; 3, Soma, which gives omniscience; 4, all living Beings; 5, Vayu, or material Ether; 6, Death, or breath of destruction — Siva; 7, Earth; 8, Heaven; 9, Agni, the Immaterial Fire; 10, Aditya, the immaterial and female invisible Sun; 11, Mind; 12, the great Infinite Cycle, ʺwhich is not to be stopped.ʺ‡ After that, Brahma dissolves himself into the Visible Universe, every atom of which is himself. When this is done, the not‐ manifested, indivisible, and indefinite Monas retires into the undisturbed and majestic solitude of its unity. The manifested deity, a duad at first, now becomes a triad; its triune quality emanates incessantly spiritual powers, who become immortal gods (souls). Each of these souls must be united in its turn with a human being, and from the moment of its consciousness it commences a series of births and deaths. An Eastern artist has attempted to give pictorial expression to the kabalistic doctrine of the cycles. The picture covers a whole inner wall of a subterranean temple in the neighborhood of a great Buddhistic pagoda, and is strikingly suggestive. Let us attempt to convey some idea of the design, as we recall it.

Imagine a given point in space as the primordial one; then with compasses draw a circle around this point; where the beginning and the end unite together, emanation and

† Haug, ʺAitareya Brahmanam.ʺ

‡ Ibid.


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reabsorption meet. The circle itself is composed of innumerable smaller circles, like the rings of a bracelet, and each of these minor rings forms the belt of the goddess which represents that sphere. As the curve of the arc approaches the ultimate point of the semi‐circle — the nadir of the grand cycle — at which is placed our planet by the mystical painter, the face of each successive goddess becomes more dark and hideous than European imagination is able to conceive. Every belt is covered with the representations of plants, animals, and human beings, belonging to the fauna, flora, and anthropology of that particular sphere. There is a certain distance between each of the spheres, purposely marked; for, after the accomplishment of the circles through various transmigrations, the soul is allowed a time of temporary Nirvana, during which space of time the atma loses all remembrance of past sorrows. The intermediate ethereal space is filled with strange beings. Those between the highest ether and the earth below are the creatures of a ʺmiddle natureʺ; nature‐spirits, or, as the kabalists term it sometimes, the elementary.

This picture is either a copy of the one described to posterity by Berosus, the priest of the temple of Belus, at Babylon, or the original. We leave it to the shrewdness of the modern archæologist to decide. But the wall is covered with precisely such creatures as described by the semi‐demon, or half‐god, Oannes, the Chaldean man‐fish,* ʺ . . . hideous

* Berosus, fragment preserved by Alex. Polyhistor; Cory, ʺOf the

Cosmogony and the Deluge.ʺ

beings, which were produced of a two‐fold principleʺ — the astral light and the grosser matter.

Even remains of architectural relics of the earliest races have been sadly neglected by antiquarians, until now. The caverns of Ajunta, which are but 200 miles from Bombay, in the Chandor range, and the ruins of the ancient city of Aurungabad, whose crumbling palaces and curious tombs have lain in desolate solitude for many centuries, have attracted attention but very recently. Mementos of long by‐ gone civilization, they were allowed to become the shelter of wild beasts for ages before they were found worthy of a scientific exploration, and it is only recently that the Observer gave an enthusiastic description of these archaic ancestors of Herculaneum and Pompeii. After justly blaming the local government which ʺhas provided a bungalow where the traveller may find shelter and safety, but that is all,ʺ it proceeds to narrate the wonders to be seen in this retired spot, in the following words:

ʺIn a deep glen away up the mountain there is a group of cave‐temples which are the most wonderful caverns on the earth. It is not known at the present age how many of these exist in the deep recesses of the mountains; but twenty‐seven have been explored, surveyed, and, to some extent, cleared of rubbish. There are, doubtless, many others. It is hard to realize with what indefatigable toil these wonderful caves have been hewn from the solid rock of amygdaloid. They are said to have been wholly Buddhist in their origin, and were used for purposes of worship and asceticism. They rank very


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high as works of art. They extend over 500 feet along a high cliff, and are carved in the most curious manner, exhibiting, in a wonderful degree, the taste, talent, and persevering industry of the Hindu sculptors.


ʺThese cave‐temples are beautifully cut and carved on the outside; but inside they were finished most elaborately, and decorated with a vast profusion of sculptures and paintings. These long‐deserted temples have suffered from dampness and neglect, and the paintings and frescos are not what they were hundreds of years ago. But the colors are still brilliant, and scenes gay and festive still appear upon the walls. Some of the figures cut in the rock are taken for marriage‐ processions and scenes in domestic life that are represented as joyful. The female figures are beautiful, delicate, and fair as Europeans. Every one of these representations is artistic, and all of them are unpolluted by any grossness or obscenity generally so prominent in Brahmanical representations of a similar character.

ʺThese caves are visited by a great number of antiquarians, who are striving to decipher the hieroglyphics inscribed on the walls and determine the age of these curious temples.

ʺThe ruins of the ancient city of Aurungabad are not very far from these caves. It was a walled city of great repute, but is now deserted. There are not only broken walls, but

crumbling palaces. They were built of immense strength, and some of the walls appear as solid as the everlasting hills.

ʺThere are a great many places in this vicinity where there are Hindu remains, consisting of deep caves and rock‐cut temples. Many of these temples are surrounded by a circular enclosure, which is often adorned with statues and columns. The figure of an elephant is very common, placed before or beside the opening of a temple, as a sort of sentinel. Hundreds and thousands of niches are beautifully cut in the solid rock, and when these temples were thronged with worshippers, each niche had a statue or image, usually in the florid style of these Oriental sculptures. It is a sad truth that almost every image here is shamefully defaced and mutilated. It is often said that no Hindu will bow down to an imperfect image, and that the Mahometans, knowing this, purposely mutilated all these images to prevent the Hindus from worshipping them. This is regarded by the Hindus as sacrilegious and blasphemous, awakening the keenest animosities, which every Hindu inherits from his father, and which centuries have not been able to efface.

ʺHere also are the remains of buried cities — sad ruins — generally without a single inhabitant. In the grand palaces where royalty once gathered and held festivals, wild beasts find their hiding‐places. In several places the track of the railway has been constructed over or through these ruins, and the material has been used for the bed of the road. . . .

Enormous stones have remained in their places for thousands of years, and probably will for thousands of years to come.


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These rockcut temples, as well as these mutilated statues, show a workmanship that no work now being done by the natives can equal.* It is very evident that hundreds of years since these hills were alive with a vast multitude, where now it is all utter desolation, without cultivation or inhabitants, and given over to wild beasts.


ʺIt is good hunting ground, and, as the English are mighty hunters, they may prefer to have these mountains and ruins remain without change.ʺ

We fervently hope they will. Enough vandalism was perpetrated in earlier ages to permit us the hope that at least in this century of exploration and learning, science, in its branches of archæology and philology, will not be deprived of these most precious records, wrought on imperishable tablets of granite and rock.

We will now present a few fragments of this mysterious doctrine of reincarnation — as distinct from metempsychosis

— which we have from an authority. Reincarnation, i.e., the appearance of the same individual, or rather of his astral monad, twice on the same planet, is not a rule in nature; it is an exception, like the teratological phenomenon of a two‐

* Some writer has employed a most felicitous expression in describing the majesty of the Hindu archaic monuments, and the exquisite finish of their sculpture. ʺThey built,ʺ says he, ʺlike giants, and finished like jewelers.ʺ

headed infant. It is preceded by a violation of the laws of harmony of nature, and happens only when the latter, seeking to restore its disturbed equilibrium, violently throws back into earth‐life the astral monad which had been tossed out of the circle of necessity by crime or accident. Thus, in cases of abortion, of infants dying before a certain age, and of congenital and incurable idiocy, natureʹs original design to produce a perfect human being, has been interrupted. Therefore, while the gross matter of each of these several entities is suffered to disperse itself at death, through the vast realm of being, the immortal spirit and astral monad of the individual — the latter having been set apart to animate a frame and the former to shed its divine light on the corporeal organization — must try a second time to carry out the purpose of the creative intelligence.

If reason has been so far developed as to become active and discriminative, there is no reincarnation on this earth, for the three parts of the triune man have been united together, and he is capable of running the race. But when the new being has not passed beyond the condition of monad, or when, as in the idiot, the trinity has not been completed, the immortal spark which illuminates it, has to reënter on the earthly plane as it was frustrated in its first attempt. Otherwise, the mortal or astral, and the immortal or divine, souls, could not progress in unison and pass onward to the sphere above. Spirit follows a line parallel with that of matter; and the spiritual evolution goes hand in hand with the physical. As in the case exemplified by Professor Le Conte


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(vide chap. ix.), ʺthere is no force in natureʺ — and the rule applies to the spiritual as well as to the physical evolution — ʺwhich is capable of raising at once spirit or matter from No. 1 to No. 3, or from 2 to 4, without stopping and receiving an accession of force of a different kind on the intermediate plane.ʺ That is to say, the monad which was imprisoned in the elementary being — the rudimentary or lowest astral form of the future man — after having passed through and quitted the highest physical shape of a dumb animal — say an orang‐ outang, or again an elephant, one of the most intellectual of brutes — that monad, we say, cannot skip over the physical and intellectual sphere of the terrestrial man, and be suddenly ushered into the spiritual sphere above. What reward or punishment can there be in that sphere of disembodied human entities for a fœtus or a human embryo which had not even time to breathe on this earth, still less an opportunity to exercise the divine faculties of the spirit? Or, for an irresponsible infant, whose senseless monad remaining dormant within the astral and physical casket, could as little prevent him from burning himself as another person to death? Or for one idiotic from birth, the number of whose cerebral circumvolutions is only from twenty to thirty per cent of those of sane persons;* and who therefore is irresponsible for either his disposition, acts, or the imperfections of his vagrant, half‐developed intellect?

No need to remark that if even hypothetical, this theory is no more ridiculous than many others considered as strictly orthodox. We must not forget that either through the inaptness of the specialists or some other reason, physiology itself is the least advanced or understood of sciences, and that some French physicians, with Dr. Fournié, positively despair of ever progressing in it beyond pure hypotheses.

Further, the same occult doctrine recognizes another possibility; albeit so rare and so vague that it is really useless to mention it. Even the modern Occidental occultists deny it, though it is universally accepted in Eastern countries. When, through vice, fearful crimes and animal passions, a disembodied spirit has fallen to the eighth sphere — the allegorical Hades, and the gehenna of the Bible — the nearest to our earth — he can, with the help of that glimpse of reason and consciousness left to him, repent; that is to say, he can, by exercising the remnants of his will‐power, strive upward, and like a drowning man, struggle once more to the surface. In the Magical and Philosophical Precepts of Psellus, we find one which, warning mankind, says:

ʺStoop not down, for a precipice lies below the earth,
Drawing under a descent of SEVEN steps, beneath which
Is the throne of dire necessity.ʺ†

* ʺAnatomie Cerebrale,ʺ Malacarne, Milan. † Psellus, 6, Plet. 2; Cory, ʺChaldean Oracles.ʺ


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A strong aspiration to retrieve his calamities, a pronounced desire, will draw him once more into the earthʹs atmosphere. Here he will wander and suffer more or less in dreary solitude. His instincts will make him seek with avidity contact with living persons. . . . These spirits are the invisible but too tangible magnetic vampires; the subjective dæmons so well known to mediæval ecstatics, nuns, and monks, to the ʺwitchesʺ made so famous in the Witch‐Hammer; and to certain sensitive clairvoyants, according to their own confessions. They are the blood‐dæmons of Porphyry, the larvæ and lemures of the ancients; the fiendish instruments which sent so many unfortunate and weak victims to the rack and stake. Origen held all the dæmons which possessed the demoniacs mentioned in the New Testament to be human ʺspirits.ʺ It is because Moses knew so well what they were, and how terrible were the consequences to weak persons who yielded to their influence, that he enacted the cruel, murderous law against such would‐be ʺwitchesʺ; but Jesus, full of justice and divine love to humanity, healed instead of killing them. Subsequently our clergy, the pretended exemplars of Christian principles, followed the law of Moses, and quietly ignored the law of Him whom they call their ʺone living God,ʺ by burning dozens of thousands of such pretended ʺwitches.ʺ

Witch! mighty name, which in the past contained the promise of ignominious death; and in the present has but to

be pronounced to raise a whirlwind of ridicule, a tornado of sarcasms! How is it then that there have always been men of intellect and learning, who never thought that it would disgrace their reputation for learning, or lower their dignity, to publicly affirm the possibility of such a thing as a ʺwitch,ʺ in the correct acceptation of the word. One such fearless champion was Henry More, the learned scholar of Cambridge, of the seventeenth century. It is well worth our while to see how cleverly he handled the question.

It appears that about the year 1678, a certain divine, named John Webster, wrote Criticisms and Interpretations of Scripture, against the existence of witches, and other ʺsuperstitions.ʺ Finding the work ʺa weak and impertinent piece,ʺ Dr. More criticised it in a letter to Glanvil, the author of Sadducismus Triumphatus, and as an appendix sent a treatise on witchcraft and explanations of the word witch, itself. This document is very rare, but we possess it in a fragmentary form in an old manuscript, having seen it mentioned besides only in an insignificant work of 1820, on Apparitions, for it appears that the document itself was long since out of print.

The words witch and wizard, according to Dr. More, signify no more than a wise man or a wise woman. In the word wizard, it is plain at the very sight; and ʺthe most plain and least operose deduction of the name witch, is from wit, whose derived adjective might be wittigh or wittich, and by contraction, afterwards witch; as the noun wit is from the verb to weet, which is, to know. So that a witch, thus far, is no


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more than a knowing woman; which answers exactly to the Latin word saga, according to that of Festus, sagæ dictæ anus quae multa sciunt.ʺ

This definition of the word appears to us the more plausible, as it exactly answers the evident meaning of the Slavonian‐Russian names for witches and wizards. The former is called vyedma, and the latter vyèdmak, both from the verb to know, védat or vyedât; the root, moreover, being positively Sanscrit. ʺVeda,ʺ says Max Müller, in his Lecture on the Vedas, ʺmeans originally knowing, or knowledge. Veda is the same word which appears in Greek oi\da , I know [the digamma, vau being omitted], and in the English wise, wisdom, to wit.ʺ* Furthermore, the Sanscrit word vidma, answering to the German wir wissen, means literally ʺwe know.ʺ It is a great pity that the eminent philologist, while giving in his lecture the Sanscrit, Greek, Gothic, Anglo‐Saxon, and German comparative roots of this word, has neglected the Slavonian.

Another Russian appellation for witch and wizard, the former being purely Slavonian, is znâhâr and znâharka (feminine) from the same verb znât to know. Thus Dr. Moreʹs definition of the word, given in 1678, is perfectly correct, and coincides in every particular with modern philology.

ʺUse,ʺ says this scholar, ʺquestionless had appropriated the word to such a kind of skill and knowledge as was out of the common road or extraordinary. Nor did this peculiarity

* See ʺLecture on the Vedas.ʺ

imply any unlawfulness. But there was after a further restriction, in which alone now‐a‐days the words witch and wizard are used. And that is, for one that has the knowledge and skill of doing or telling things in an extraordinary way, and that in virtue of either an express or implicit sociation or confederacy with some bad spirits.ʺ In the clause of the severe law of Moses, so many names are reckoned up with that of witch, that it is difficult as well as useless to give here the definition of every one of them as found in Dr Moreʹs able treatise. ʺThere shall not be found among you any one that useth divination, or an observer of time, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer,ʺ says the text. We will show, further on, the real object of such severity. For the present, we will remark that Dr. More, after giving a learned definition of every one of such appellations, and showing the value of their real meaning in the days of Moses, proves that there is a vast difference between the ʺenchanters,ʺ ʺobservers of time,ʺ etc., and a witch. ʺSo many names are reckoned up in this prohibition of Moses, that, as in our common law, the sense may be more sure, and leave no room to evasion. And that the name of ʹwitchʹ is not from any tricks of legerdemain as in common jugglers, that delude the sight of the people at a market or fair, but that it is the name of such as raise magical spectres to deceive menʹs sight, and so are most certainly witches — women and men who have a bad spirit in them. ʹThou shalt not sufferʹ hpXkm mecassephah, that is, ʹa witch, to live.ʹ Which would be a law of extreme severity, or rather


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cruelty, against a poor hocus‐pocus for his tricks of legerdemain.ʺ

Thus, it is but the sixth appellation, that of a consulter with familiar spirits or a witch, that had to incur the greatest penalty of the law of Moses, for it is only a witch which must not be suffered to live, while all the others are simply enumerated as such with whom the people of Israel were forbidden to communicate on account of their idolatry or rather religious views and learning chiefly. This sixth word is bwa lyaX , shoel aub, which our English translation renders, ʺa consulter with familiar spiritsʺ; but which the Septuagint translates, Engastrimuqoß , one that has a familiar spirit inside him, one possessed with the spirit of divination, which was considered to be Python by the Greeks, and obh by the Hebrews, the old serpent; in its esoteric meaning the spirit of concupiscence and matter; which, according to the kabalists, is always an elementary human spirit of the eighth sphere.

ʺShoel obh, I conceive,ʺ says Henry More, ʺis to be understood of the witch herself who asks counsel of her or his familiar. The reason of the name obh, was taken first from that spirit that was in the body of the party, and swelled it to a protuberancy, the voice always seeming to come out as from a bottle, for which reason they were named ventriloquists. Ob signifies as much as Pytho, which at first took its name from the pythii vates, a spirit that tells hidden things, or things to come. In Acts xvi. 16, pneuvma pu;zwnoß , when ʺPaul being grieved, turned and said to that spirit, I command thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her, and he came out at

the same hour.ʺ Therefore, the words obsessed or possessed are synonyms of the word witch; nor could this pytho of the eighth sphere come out of her, unless it was a spirit distinct from her. And so it is that we see in Leviticus xx. 27: ʺA man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard (an irresponsible jidegnoni) shall surely be put to death, they shall stone them with stones, their blood shall be upon them.ʺ A cruel and unjust law beyond doubt, and one which gives the lie to a recent utterance of ʺSpirits,ʺ by the mouth of one of the most popular inspirational mediums of the day, to the effect that modern philological research proves that the Mosaic law never contemplated the killing of the poor ʺmediumsʺ or witches of the Old Testament, but that the words, ʺthou shalt not suffer a witch to live,ʺ meant to live by their mediumship, that is, to gain their livelihood! An interpretation no less ingenious than novel. Certainly, nowhere short of the source of such inspiration could we find such philological profundity!*

* In order to avoid being contradicted by some spiritualists we give verbatim the language in question, as a specimen of the unreliability of the oracular utterances of certain ʺspirits.ʺ Let them be human or elemental, but spirits capable of such effrontery may well be regarded by occultists as anything but safe guides in philosophy, exact science, or ethics. ʺIt will be remembered,ʺ says Mrs. Cora V. Tappan, in a public discourse upon the ʺHistory of Occultism and its Relations to Spiritualismʺ

(see ʺBanner of Light,ʺ Aug. 26, 1876), ʺthat the ancient word witchcraft, or the exercise of it, was forbidden among the Hebrews. The translation is that no witch should be allowed to live. That has been supposed to be the literal interpretation; and acting upon that, your very pious and


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ʺShut the door in the face of the dæmon,ʺ says the Kabala, ʺand he will keep running away from you, as if you pursued him,ʺ which means, that you must not give a hold on you to such spirits of obsession by attracting them into an atmosphere of congenial sin. These dæmons seek to introduce themselves into the bodies of the simple‐minded and idiots, and remain there until dislodged therefrom by a powerful and pure will. Jesus, Apollonius, and some of the apostles, had the power to cast out devils, by purifying the atmosphere within and without the patient, so as to force the unwelcome tenant to flight. Certain volatile salts are particularly obnoxious to them; and the effect of the chemicals used in a saucer, and placed under the bed by Mr. Varley, of London,*

devout ancestors put to death, without adequate testimony, numbers of very intelligent, wise, and sincere persons, under the condemnation of witchcraft. It has now turned out that the interpretation or translation should be, that no witches should be allowed to obtain a living by the practice of their art. That is, it should not be made a profession.ʺ May we be so bold as to inquire of the celebrated speaker, through whom or according to what authority such a thing has ever turned out?

* Mr. Cromwell F. Varley, the well‐known electrician of the Atlantic Cable Company, communicates the result of his observations, in the course of a debate at the Psychological Society of Great Britain, which is reported in the ʺSpiritualistʺ (London, April 14, 1876, pp. 174, 175). He thought that the effect of free nitric acid in the atmosphere was able to drive away what he calls ʺunpleasant spirits.ʺ He thought that those who were troubled by unpleasant spirits at home, would find relief by pouring one ounce of vitriol upon two ounces of finely‐powdered nitre in a saucer and putting the mixture under the bed. Here is a scientist, whose reputation extends over two continents, who gives a recipe to

for the purpose of keeping away some disagreeable physical phenomena at night, are corroborative of this great truth. Pure or even simply inoffensive human spirits fear nothing, for having rid themselves of terrestrial matter, terrestrial compounds can affect them in no wise; such spirits are like a breath. Not so with the earth‐bound souls and the nature‐ spirits.


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

drive away bad spirits. And yet the general public mocks as a ʺsuperstitionʺ the herbs and incenses employed by Hindus, Chinese, Africans, and other races to accomplish the self‐same purpose.


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As we have said, but few kabalists believe in it, and this doctrine originated with certain astrologers. While casting up the nativities of certain historical personages renowned for some peculiarities of disposition, they found the conjunction of the planets answering perfectly to remarkable oracles and prophesies about other persons born ages later. Observation, and what would now be termed ʺremarkable coincidences,ʺ added to revelation during the ʺsacred sleepʺ of the neophyte, disclosed the dreadful truth. So horrible is the thought that even those who ought to be convinced of it prefer ignoring it, or at least avoid speaking on the subject.

This way of obtaining oracles was practiced in the highest antiquity. In India, this sublime lethargy is called ʺthe sacred sleep of * * *ʺ It is an oblivion into which the subject is thrown by certain magical processes, supplemented by draughts of the juice of the soma. The body of the sleeper remains for several days in a condition resembling death, and by the power of the adept is purified of its earthliness and made fit to become the temporary receptacle of the brightness of the immortal Augoeides. In this state the torpid body is made to reflect the glory of the upper spheres, as a burnished mirror does the rays of the sun. The sleeper takes no note of the lapse of time, but upon awakening, after four or five days of trance, imagines he has slept but a few moments. What his lips utter he will never know; but as it is the spirit which directs them they can pronounce nothing but divine truth. For the time being the poor helpless clod is made the shrine of the sacred presence, and converted into an oracle a thousand times more

infallible than the asphyxiated Pythoness of Delphi; and, unlike her mantic frenzy, which was exhibited before the multitude, this holy sleep is witnessed only within the sacred precinct by those few of the adepts who are worthy to stand in the presence of the ADONAI.

The description which Isaiah gives of the purification necessary for a prophet to undergo before he is worthy to be the mouthpiece of heaven, applies to the case in point. In customary metaphor he says: ʺThen flew one of the seraphim unto me having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar . . . and he laid it upon my mouth and said, Lo! this hath touched thy lips and thine iniquity is taken away.ʺ

The invocation of his own Augoeides, by the purified adept, is described in words of unparalleled beauty by Bulwer‐Lytton in Zanoni, and there he gives us to understand that the slightest touch of mortal passion unfits the hierophant to hold communion with his spotless soul. Not only are there few who can successfully perform the ceremony, but even these rarely resort to it except for the instruction of some neophytes, and to obtain knowledge of the most solemn importance.

And yet how little is the knowledge treasured up by these hierophants understood or appreciated by the general public! ʺThere is another collection of writings and traditions bearing the title of Kabala, attributed to Oriental scholars,ʺ says the author of Art‐Magic; ʺbut as this remarkable work is of little or no value without a key, which can only be furnished by


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Oriental fraternities, its transcript would be of no value to the general reader.ʺ* And how they are ridiculed by every Houndsditch commercial traveller who wanders through India in pursuit of ʺordersʺ and writes to the Times, and misrepresented by every nimble‐fingered trickster who pretends to show by legerdemain, to the gaping crowd, the feats of true Oriental magicians!

But, notwithstanding his unfairness in the Algerian affair, Robert Houdin, an authority on the art of prestidigitation, and Moreau‐Cinti, another, gave honest testimony in behalf of the French mediums. They both testified, when cross‐ examined by the Academicians, that none but the ʺmediumsʺ could possibly produce the phenomena of table‐rapping and levitation without a suitable preparation and furniture adapted for the purpose. They also showed that the so‐called ʺlevitations without contactʺ were feats utterly beyond the power of the professional juggler; that for them, such levitations, unless produced in a room supplied with secret machinery and concave mirrors, was impossible. They added moreover, that the simple apparition of a diaphanous hand, in a place in which confederacy would be rendered impossible, the medium having been previously searched, would be a demonstration that it was the work of no human agency, whatever else that agency might be. The Siècle, and other Parisian newspapers immediately published their

* ʺArt‐Magic,ʺ p. 97.

suspicions that these two professional and very clever gentlemen had become the confederates of the spiritists!

Professor Pepper, director of the Polytechnic Institute of London, invented a clever apparatus to produce spiritual appearances on the stage, and sold his patent in 1863, in Paris, for the sum of 20,000 francs. The phantoms looked real and were evanescent, being but an effect produced by the reflection of a highly‐illuminated object upon the surface of plateglass. They seemed to appear and disappear, to walk about the stage and play their parts to perfection. Sometimes one of the phantoms placed himself on a bench; after which, one of the living actors would begin quarrelling with him, and, seizing a heavy hatchet, would part the head and body of the ghost in two. But, joining his two parts again, the spectre would reappear, a few steps off, to the amazement of the public. The contrivance worked marvellously well, and nightly attracted large crowds. But to produce these ghosts required a stage‐apparatus, and more than one confederate. There were nevertheless some reporters who made this exhibition the pretext for ridiculing the spiritists — as though the two classes of phenomena had the slightest connection!

What the Pepper ghosts pretended to do, genuine disembodied human spirits, when their reflection is materialized by the elementals, can actually perform. They will permit themselves to be perforated with bullets or the sword, or to be dismembered, and then instantly form themselves anew. But the case is different with both cosmic and human elementary spirits, for a sword or dagger, or even


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a pointed stick, will cause them to vanish in terror. This will seem unaccountable to those who do not understand of what a material substance the elementary are composed; but the kabalists understand perfectly. The records of antiquity and of the middle ages, to say nothing of the modern wonders at Cideville, which have been judicially attested for us, corroborate these facts.

Skeptics, and even skeptical spiritualists, have often unjustly accused mediums of fraud, when denied what they considered their inalienable right to test the spirits. But where there is one such case, there are fifty in which spiritualists have permitted themselves to be practiced upon by tricksters, while they neglected to appreciate genuine manifestations procured for them by their mediums. Ignorant of the laws of mediumship, such do not know that when an honest medium is once taken possession of by spirits, whether disembodied or elemental, he is no longer his own master. He cannot control the actions of the spirits, nor even his own. They make him a puppet to dance at their pleasure while they pull the wires behind the scenes. The false medium may seem entranced, and yet be playing tricks all the while; while the real medium may appear to be in full possession of his senses, when in fact he is far away, and his body is animated by his ʺIndian guide,ʺ or ʺcontrol.ʺ Or, he may be entranced in his cabinet, while his astral body (double) or doppelganger, is walking about the room moved by another intelligence.

Among all the phenomena, that of re‐percussion, closely allied with those of bi‐location and aërial ʺtravelling,ʺ is the

most astounding. In the middle ages it was included under the head of sorcery. De Gasparin, in his refutations of the miraculous character of the marvels of Cideville, treats of the subject at length; but these pretended explanations were all in their turn exploded by de Mirville and des Mousseaux, who, while failing in their attempt to trace the phenomena back to the Devil, did, nevertheless, prove their spiritual origin.

ʺThe prodigy of re‐percussion,ʺ says des Mousseaux, ʺoccurs when a blow aimed at the spirit, visible or otherwise, of an absent living person, or at the phantom which represents him, strikes this person himself, at the same time, and in the very place at which the spectre or his double is touched! We must suppose, therefore, that the blow is re‐ percussed, and that it reaches, as if rebounding, from the image of the living person — his phantasmal* duplicate — the original, wherever he may be, in flesh and blood.

ʺThus, for instance, an individual appears before me, or, remaining invisible, declares war, threatens, and causes me to be threatened with obsession. I strike at the place where I perceive his phantom, where I hear him moving, where I feel somebody, something which molests and resists me. I strike; the blood will appear sometimes on this place, and occasionally a scream may be heard; he is wounded — perhaps, dead! It is done, and I have explained the fact.ʺ†

* This phantom is called Scin Lecca. See Bulwer‐Lyttonʹs ʺStrange Story.ʺ

† In the Strasbourg edition of his works (1603), Paracelsus writes of the wonderful magical power of manʹs spirit. ʺIt is possible,ʺ he says, ʺthat


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ʺNotwithstanding that, at the moment I struck him, his presence in another place is authentically proved; . . . I saw — yes, I saw plainly the phantom hurt upon the cheek or shoulder, and this same wound is found precisely on the living person, re‐percussed upon his cheek or shoulder. Thus, it becomes evident that the facts of re‐percussion have an intimate connection with those of bi‐location or duplication, either spiritual or corporeal.ʺ

The history of the Salem witchcraft*, as we find it recorded in the works of Cotton Mather, Calef, Upham, and others, furnishes a curious corroboration of the fact of the double, as it also does of the effects of allowing elementary spirits to have their own way. This tragical chapter of American history has never yet been written in accordance with the truth. A party of four or five young girls had become ʺdevelopedʺ as mediums, by sitting with a West Indian negro

my spirit, without the help of the body, and through a fiery will alone, and without a sword, can stab and wound others. It is also possible that I can bring the spirit of my adversary into an image, and then double him up and lame him . . . the exertion of will is a great point in medicine. . . . Every imagination of man comes through the heart, for this is the sun of the microcosm, and out of the microcosm proceeds the imagination into the great world (universal ether) . . . the imagination of man is a seed which is material.ʺ (Our atomical modern scientists have proved it; see Babbage and Professor Jevons.) ʺFixed thought is also a means to an end. The magical is a great concealed wisdom, and reason is a great public foolishness. No armor protects against magic, for it injures the inward spirit of life.ʺ

* ʺSalem Witchcraft; With an Account of Salem Village,ʺ by C. W. Upham.

woman, a practitioner of Obeah. They began to suffer all kinds of physical torture, such as pinching, having pins stuck in them, and the marks of bruises and teeth on different parts of their bodies. They would declare that they were hurt by the spectres of various persons, and we learn from the celebrated Narrative of Deodat Lawson (London, 1704), that ʺsome of them confessed that they did afflict the sufferers (i.e., these young girls), according to the time and manner they were accused thereof; and, being asked what they did to afflict them, some said that they pricked pins into poppets, made with rags, wax, and other materials. One that confessed after the signing of her death‐warrant, said she used to afflict them by clutching and pinching her hands together, and wishing in what part and after what manner she would have them afflicted, and it was done.ʺ

Mr. Upham tells us that Abigail Hobbs, one of these girls, acknowledged that she had confederated with the Devil, who ʺcame to her in the shape of a man,ʺ and commanded her to afflict the girls, bringing images made of wood in their likeness, with thorns for her to prick into the images, which she did; whereupon, the girls cried out that they were hurt by her.ʺ

How perfectly these facts, the validity of which was proven by unimpeachable testimony in court, go to corroborate the doctrine of Paracelsus. It is surpassingly strange that so ripe a scholar as Mr. Upham should have accumulated into the 1,000 pages of his two volumes such a mass of legal evidence, going to show the agency of earth‐


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bound souls and tricksy nature‐spirits in these tragedies, without suspecting the truth.

Ages ago, the old Ennius was made by Lucretius to say:

ʺBis duo sunt homines, manes, caro, spiritus umbra; Quatuor ista loci bis duo suscipirent;

Terra tegit carnem; — tumulum circumvolat umbra, Orcus habet manes.ʺ

In this present case, as in every similar one, the scientists, being unable to explain the fact, assert that it cannot exist. But we will now give a few historical instances going to show that some daimons, or elementary spirits, are afraid of sword, knife, or any thing sharp. We do not pretend to explain the reason. That is the province of physiology and psychology. Unfortunately, physiologists have not yet been able to even establish the relations between speech and thought, and so, have handed it over to the metaphysicians, who, in their turn, according to Fournié, have done nothing. Done nothing, we say, but claimed everything. No fact could be presented to some of them, that was too large for these learned gentlemen to at least try to stuff into their pigeon‐holes, labelled with some fancy Greek name, expressive of everything else but the true nature of the phenomenon. ʺAlas, alas! my son!ʺ exclaims the wise Muphti, of Aleppo, to his son Ibrahim, who choked himself with the head of a huge fish. ʺWhen will you realize that your stomach is smaller than the ocean?ʺ Or, as Mrs. Catherine Crowe remarks in her Night‐Side of Nature, when will our scientists admit that ʺtheir intellects are no measure of God Almightyʹs designs?ʺ

We will not ask which of the ancient writers mention facts of seemingly‐supernatural nature; but rather which of them does not? In Homer, we find Ulysses evoking the spirit of his friend, the soothsayer Tiresias. Preparing for the ceremony of the ʺfestival of blood,ʺ Ulysses draws his sword, and thus frightens away the thousands of phantoms attracted by the sacrifice. The friend himself, the so‐long‐expected Tiresias, dares not approach him so long as Ulysses holds the dreaded weapon in his hand.* Æneas prepares to descend to the kingdom of the shadows, and as soon as they approach its entrance, the Sibyl who guides him utters her warning to the Trojan hero, and orders him to draw his sword and clear himself a passage through the dense crowd of flitting forms:


ʺTuque invade viam, vaginâque eripe ferrum.ʺ†

Glanvil gives a wonderful narrative of the apparition of the ʺDrummer of Tedworth,ʺ which happened in 1661; in which the scin‐lecca, or double, of the drummer‐sorcerer was evidently very much afraid of the sword. Psellus, in his work,‡ gives a long story of his sister‐in‐law being thrown into a most fearful state by an elementary daimon taking possession of her. She was finally cured by a conjurer, a foreigner named Anaphalangis, who began by threatening

* ʺOdyssey,ʺ A. 82.
† ʺÆneid,ʺ book vi., 260.

‡ ʺDe Dæmon,ʺ cap. ʺQuomodo dæm occupent.ʺ


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the invisible occupant of her body with a naked sword, until he finally dislodged him. Psellus introduces a whole catechism of demonology, which he gives in the following terms, as far as we remember:

ʺYou want to know,ʺ asked the conjurer, ʺwhether the bodies of the spirits can be hurt by sword or any other weapon?* Yes, they can. Any hard substance striking them can make them sensible to pain; and though their bodies be made neither of solid nor firm substance, they feel it the same, for in beings endowed with sensibility it is not their nerves only which possess the faculty of feeling, but likewise also the spirit which resides in them . . . the body of a spirit can be sensible in its whole, as well as in each one of its parts. Without the help of any physical organism the spirit sees, hears, and if you touch him feels your touch. If you divide him in two, he will feel the pain as would any living man, for he is matter still, though so refined as to be generally invisible to our eye. . . . One thing, however, distinguishes him from the living man, viz.: that when a manʹs limbs are once divided, their parts cannot be reunited very easily. But, cut a demon in two, and you will see him immediately join himself together. As water or air closes in behind a solid body§ passing through it, and no trace is left, so does the body of a demon condense itself again, when the penetrative weapon is

* Numquid dæmonum corpora pulsari possunt? Possunt sane, atque dolere solido quodam percussa corpore.

§ Ubi secatur, mox in se iterum recreatur et coalescit . . . dictu velocius dæmonicus spiritus in se revertitor.

withdrawn from the wound. But every rent made in it causes him pain nevertheless. That is why daimons dread the point of a sword or any sharp weapon. Let those who want to see them flee try the experiment.ʺ

One of the most learned scholars of his century, Bodin, the Demono logian, held the same opinion, that both the human and cosmical elementaries ʺwere sorely afraid of swords and daggers.ʺ It is also the opinion of Porphyry, Iamblichus, and Plato. Plutarch mentions it several times. The practicing theurgists knew it well and acted accordingly; and many of the latter assert that ʺthe demons suffer from any rent made in their bodies.ʺ Bodin tells us a wonderful story to this effect, in his work On the Dæmons, p. 292.

ʺI remember,ʺ says the author, ʺthat in 1557 an elemental demon, one of those who are called thundering, fell down with the lightning, into the house of Poudot, the shoemaker, and immediately began flinging stones all about the room. We picked up so many of them that the landlady filled a large chest full, after having securely closed the windows and doors and locked the chest itself. But it did not prevent the demon in the least from introducing other stones into the room, but without injuring any one for all that. Latomi, who was then Quarter‐President,† came to see what was the matter. Immediately upon his entrance, the spirit knocked the cap off his head and made him run away. It had lasted for over six days, when M. Jean Morgnes, Counsellor at the Presidial,

† A magistrate of the district.


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came to fetch me to see the mystery. When I entered the house, some one advised the master of it to pray to God with all his heart and to wheel round a sword in the air about the room; he did so. On that following day the landlady told us, that from that very moment they did not hear the least noise in the house; but that during the seven previous days that it lasted they could not get a momentʹs rest.ʺ

The books on the witchcraft of the middle ages are full of such narratives. The very rare and interesting work of Glanvil, called Sadducismus Triumphatus, ranks with that of Bodin, above mentioned, as one of the best. But we must give space now to certain narratives of the more ancient philosophers, who explain at the same time that they describe.


And first in rank for wonders comes Proclus. His list of facts, most of which he supports by the citation of witnesses

— sometimes well‐known philosophers — is staggering. He records many instances in his time of dead persons who were found to have changed their recumbent positions in the sepulchre, for one of either sitting or standing, which he attributes to their being larvae, and which he says ʺis related by the ancients of Aristius, Epimenides, and Hermodorus.ʺ He gives five such cases from the history of Clearchus, the disciple of Aristotle. 1. Cleonymus, the Athenian. 2. Polykritus, an illustrious man among the Æolians. It is related by the historian Nomachius, that Polykritus died, and

returned in the ninth month after his death. ʺHiero, the Ephesian, and other historians,ʺ says his translator, Taylor, ʺtestify to the truth of this.ʺ 3. In Nicopolis, the same happened to one Eurinus. The latter revived on the fifteenth day after his burial, and lived for some time after that, leading an exemplary life. 4. Rufus, a priest of Thessalonica, restored to life the third day after his death, for the purpose of performing certain sacred ceremonies according to promise; he fulfilled his engagement, and died again to return no more. 5. This is the case of one Philonæa, who lived under the reign of Philip. She was the daughter of Demostratus and Charito of Amphipolos. Married against her wish to one Kroterus, she died soon after. But in the sixth month after her death, she revived, as Proclus says: ʺthrough her love of a youth named Machates, who came to her father Demostratus, from Pella.ʺ She visited him for many nights successively, but when this was finally discovered, she, or rather the vampire that represented her, died of rage. Previous to this she declared that she acted in this manner according to the will of terrestrial demons. Her dead body was seen at this second death by every one in the town, lying in her fatherʹs house. On opening the vault, where her body had been deposited, it was found empty by those of her relatives, who being incredulous upon that point, went to ascertain the truth. The narrative is corroborated by the Epistles of Hipparchus and those of Arridæus to Philip.*

* This appalling circumstance was authenticated by the Prefect of the city, and the Proconsul of the Province laid the report before the


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Says Proclus: ʺMany other of the ancients have collected a history of those that have apparently died, and afterward revived. Among these is the natural philosopher Demokritus. In his writings concerning Hades, he affirms that [in a certain case under discussion] death was not, as it seemed, an entire desertion of the whole life of the body, but a cessation caused by some blow, or perhaps a wound; but the bonds of the soul yet remained rooted about the marrow, and the heart contained in its profundity the empyreuma of life; and this remaining, it again acquired the life, which had been extinguished, in consequence of being adapted to animation.ʺ

He says again, ʺThat it is possible for the soul to depart from and enter into the body, is evident from him, who, according to Clearchus, used a soul‐attracting wand on a sleeping boy; and who persuaded Aristotle, as Clearchus relates in his Treatise on Sleep, that the soul may be separated from the body, and that it enters into a body and uses it as a lodging. For, striking the boy with the wand, he drew out, and, as it were, led his soul, for the purpose of evincing that the body was immovable when the soul (astral body) was at a distance from it, and that it was preserved uninjured; but the soul being again led into the body by means of the wand, after its entrance, narrated every particular. From this circumstance, therefore, both the spectators and Aristotle were persuaded that the soul is separate from the body.ʺ

Emperor. The story is modestly related by Mrs. Catherine Crowe (see

ʺNight‐Side of Nature,ʺ p. 335).

It may be considered quite absurd to recall so often the facts of witchcraft, in the full light of the nineteenth century. But the century itself is getting old; and as it gradually approaches the fatal end, it seems as if it were falling into dotage; not only does it refuse to recollect how abundantly the facts of witchcraft were proven, but it refuses to realize what has been going on for the last thirty years, all over the wide world. After a lapse of several thousand years we may doubt the magic powers of the Thessalonian priests and their ʺsorceries,ʺ as mentioned by Pliny;* we may throw discredit upon the information given us by Suidas, who narrates Medeaʹs journey through the air, and thus forget that magic was the highest knowledge of natural philosophy; but how are we to dispose of the frequent occurrence of precisely such journeys ʺthrough the airʺ when they happen before our own eyes, and are corroborated by the testimony of hundreds of apparently sane persons? If the universality of a belief be a proof of its truth, few facts have been better established than that of sorcery. ʺEvery people, from the rudest to the most refined, we may also add in every age, have believed in the kind of supernatural agency, which we understand by this term,ʺ says Thomas Wright, the author of Sorcery and Magic, and a skeptical member of the National Institute of France. ʺIt was founded on the equally extensive creed, that, besides our own visible existence, we live in an invisible world of spiritual beings, by which our actions and even our thoughts are often guided, and which have a certain degree of power

* Pliny, xxx., 1.


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over the elements and over the ordinary course of organic life.ʺ Further, marvelling how this mysterious science flourished everywhere, and noticing several famous schools of magic in different parts of Europe, he explains the time‐ honored belief, and shows the difference between sorcery and magic as follows: ʺThe magician differed from the witch in this, that, while the latter was an ignorant instrument in the hands of the demons, the former had become their master by the powerful intermediation of Science, which was only within reach of the few, and which these beings were unable to disobey.ʺ* This delineation, established and known since the days of Moses, the author gives as derived from ʺthe most authentic sources.ʺ

If from this unbeliever we pass to the authority of an adept in that mysterious science, the anonymous author of Art‐ Magic, we find him stating the following: ʺ The reader may inquire wherein consists the difference between a medium and a magician? . . . The medium is one through whose astral spirit other spirits can manifest, making their presence known by various kinds of phenomena. Whatever these consist in, the medium is only a passive agent in their hands. He can neither command their presence, nor will their absence; can never compel the performance of any special act, nor direct its nature. The magician, on the contrary, can summon and dismiss spirits at will; can perform many feats of occult power through his own spirit; can compel the presence and assistance of spirits of lower grades of being than himself,

and effect transformations in the realm of nature upon animate and inanimate bodies.ʺ†

This learned author forgot to point out a marked distinction in mediumship, with which he must have been entirely familiar. Physical phenomena are the result of the manipulation of forces through the physical system of the medium, by the unseen intelligences, of whatever class. In a word, physical mediumship depends on a peculiar organization of the physical system; spiritual mediumship, which is accompanied by a display of subjective, intellectual phenomena, depends upon a like peculiar organization of the spiritual nature of the medium. As the potter from one lump of clay fashions a vessel of dishonor, and from another a vessel of honor, so, among physical mediums, the plastic astral spirit of one may be prepared for a certain class of objective phenomena, and that of another for a different one. Once so prepared, it appears difficult to alter the phase of mediumship, as when a bar of steel is forged into a certain shape, it cannot be used for any other than its original purpose without difficulty. As a rule, mediums who have been developed for one class of phenomena rarely change to another, but repeat the same performance ad infinitum.

Psychography, or the direct writing of messages by spirits, partakes of both forms of mediumship. The writing itself is an objective physical fact, while the sentiments it contains may be of the very noblest character. The latter depend entirely on

* T. Wright, M.A., F.S.A., etc., ʺSorcery and Magic,ʺ vol. iii. † ʺArt‐Magic,ʺ pp. 159, 160.


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the moral state of the medium. It does not require that he should be educated, to write philosophical treatises worthy of Aristotle, nor a poet, to write verses that would reflect honor upon a Byron or a Lamartine; but it does require that the soul of the medium shall be pure enough to serve as a channel for spirits who are capable of giving utterance to such lofty sentiments.

In Art‐Magic, one of the most delightful pictures presented to us is that of an innocent little child‐medium, in whose presence, during the past three years, four volumes of MSS., in the ancient Sanscrit, have been written by the spirits, without pens, pencils, or ink. ʺIt is enough,ʺ says the author, ʺto lay the blank sheets on a tripod, carefully screened from the direct rays of light, but still dimly visible to the eyes of attentive observers. The child sits on the ground and lays her head on the tripod, embracing its supports with her little arms. In this attitude she most commonly sleeps for an hour, during which time the sheets lying on the tripod are filled up with exquisitely formed characters in the ancient Sanscrit.ʺ This is so remarkable an instance of psychographic mediumship, and so thoroughly illustrates the principle we have above stated, that we cannot refrain from quoting a few lines from one of the Sanscrit writings, the more so as it embodies that portion of the Hermetic philosophy relating to the antecedent state of man, which elsewhere we have less satisfactorily described.

ʺMan lives on many earths before he reaches this. Myriads of worlds swarm in space where the soul in rudimental states

performs its pilgrimages, ere he reaches the large and shining planet named the Earth, the glorious function of which is to confer self‐consciousness. At this point only is he man; at every other stage of his vast, wild journey he is but an embryonic being — a fleeting, temporary shape of matter — a creature in which a part, but only a part, of the high, imprisoned soul shines forth; a rudimental shape, with rudimental functions, ever living, dying, sustaining a flitting spiritual existence as rudimental as the material shape from whence it emerged; a butterfly, springing up from the chrysalitic shell, but ever, as it onward rushes, in new births, new deaths, new incarnations, anon to die and live again, but still stretch upward, still strive onward, still rush on the giddy, dreadful, toilsome, rugged path, until it awakens once more — once more to live and be a material shape, a thing of dust, a creature of flesh and blood, but now — a man.ʺ*


We witnessed once in India a trial of psychical skill between a holy gossein† and a sorcerer,‡ which recurs to us in this connection. We had been discussing the relative powers of the fakirʹs Pitris, — pre‐Adamite spirits, and the jugglerʹs invisible allies. A trial of skill was agreed upon, and the writer was chosen as a referee. We were taking our noon‐day

* ʺArt‐Magic,ʺ p. 28.
† Fakir, beggar.

‡ A juggler so called.


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rest, beside a small lake in Northern India. Upon the surface of the glassy water floated innumerable aquatic flowers, and large shining leaves. Each of the contestants plucked a leaf. The fakir, laying his against his breast, folded his hands across it, and fell into a momentary trance. He then laid the leaf, with its surface downward, upon the water. The juggler pretended to control the ʺwater‐master,ʺ the spirit dwelling in the water; and boasted that he would compel the power to prevent the Pitris from manifesting any phenomena upon the fakirʹs leaf in their element. He took his own leaf and tossed it upon the water, after going through a form of barbarous incantation. It at once exhibited a violent agitation, while the other leaf remained perfectly motionless. After the lapse of a few seconds, both leaves were recovered. Upon that of the fakir were found — much to the indignation of the juggler — something that looked like a symmetrical design traced in milk‐white characters, as though the juices of the plant had been used as a corrosive writing fluid. When it became dry, and an opportunity was afforded to examine the lines with care, it proved to be a series of exquisitely‐formed Sanscrit characters; the whole composed a sentence embodying a high moral precept. The fakir, let us add, could neither read nor write. Upon the jugglerʹs leaf, instead of writing, was found the tracing of a most hideous, impish face. Each leaf, therefore, bore an impression or allegorical reflection of the character of the contestant, and indicated the quality of spiritual beings with which he was surrounded. But, with deep regret, we must once more leave India, with its blue sky

and mysterious past, its religious devotees and its weird sorcerers, and on the enchanted carpet of the historian, transport ourselves back to the musty atmosphere of the French Academy.

To appreciate the timidity, prejudice, and superficiality which have marked the treatment of psychological subjects in the past, we propose to review a book which lies before us. It is the Histoire du Merveilleux dans les Temps Modernes. The work is published by its author, the learned Dr. Figuier, and teems with quotations from the most conspicuous authorities in physiology, psychology, and medicine. Dr. Calmeil, the well‐known director‐in‐chief of Charenton, the famous lunatic asylum of France, is the robust Atlas on whose mighty shoulders rests this world of erudition. As the ripe fruit of the thought of 1860 it must forever keep a place among the most curious of works of art. Moved by the restless demon of science, determined to kill superstition — and, as a consequence, spiritism — at one blow, the author affords us a summary view of the most remarkable instances of mediumistic phenomena during the last two centuries.

The discussion embraces the Prophets of Cevennes, the Camisards, the Jansenists, the Abbé Paris, and other historical epidemics, which, as they have been described during the last twenty years by nearly every writer upon the modern phenomena, we will mention as briefly as possible. It is not facts that we desire to bring again under discussion, but merely the way in which such facts were regarded and treated by those who, as physicians and recognized


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authorities, had the greater responsibility in such questions. If this prejudiced author is introduced to our readers at this time, it is only because his work enables us to show what occult facts and manifestations may expect from orthodox science. When the most world‐renowned psychological epidemics are so treated, what will induce a materialist to seriously study other phenomena as well authenticated and as interesting, but still less popular? Let it be remembered that the reports made by various committees to their respective academies at that time, as well as the records of the judicial tribunals, are still in existence, and may be consulted for purposes of verification. It is from such unimpeachable sources that Dr. Figuier compiled his extraordinary work. We must give, at least, in substance, the unparalleled arguments with which the author seeks to demolish every form of super‐ naturalism, together with the commentaries of the demonological des Mousseaux, who, in one of his works,* pounces upon his skeptical victim like a tiger upon his prey.

Between the two champions — the materialist and the bigot — the unbiassed student may glean a good harvest.

We will begin with the Convulsionnaires of Cevennes, the epidemic of whose astounding phenomena occurred during the latter part of 1700. The merciless measures adopted by the French Catholics to extirpate the spirit of prophecy from an entire population, is historical, and needs no repetition here. The fact alone that a mere handful of men, women, and

* ʺMœurs et Pratiques des Demons.ʺ

children, not exceeding 2,000 persons in number, could withstand for years kingʹs troops, which, with the militia, amounted to 60,000 men, is a miracle in itself. The marvels are all recorded, and the procès verbaux of the time preserved in the Archives of France until this day. There is in existence an official report among others, which was sent to Rome by the ferocious Abbé Chayla, the prior of Laval, in which he complains that the Evil One is so powerful, that no torture, no amount of inquisitory exorcism, is able to dislodge him from the Cevennois. He adds, that he closed their hands upon burning coals, and they were not even singed; that he had wrapped their whole persons in cotton soaked with oil, and had set them on fire, and in many cases did not find one blister on their skins; that balls were shot at them, and found flattened between the skin and clothes, without injuring them, etc., etc.


Accepting the whole of the above as a solid ground‐work for his learned arguments, this is what Dr. Figuier says: ʺToward the close of the seventeenth century, an old maid imports into Cevennes the spirit of prophecy. She communicates it (?) to young boys and girls, who transpire it in their turn, and spread it in the surrounding atmosphere. . .

. Women and children become the most sensitive to the infectionʺ (vol. ii., p. 261). ʺMen, women, and babies speak under inspiration, not in ordinary patois, but in the purest French — a language at that time utterly unknown in the country. Children of twelve months, and even less, as we


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learn from the procès verbaux, who previously could hardly utter a few short syllables, spoke fluently, and prophesied.ʺ ʺEight thousand prophets,ʺ says Figuier, ʺwere scattered over the country; doctors and eminent physicians were sent for.ʺ Half of the medical schools of France, among others, the Faculty of Montpellier, hastened to the spot. Consultations were held, and the physicians declared themselves ʺdelighted, lost in wonder and admiration, upon hearing young girls and boys, ignorant and illiterate, deliver discourses on things they had never learned.ʺ* The sentence pronounced by Figuier against these treacherous professional brethren, for being so delighted with the young prophets, is that they ʺdid not understand, themselves, what they saw.ʺ† Many of the prophets forcibly communicated their spirit to those who tried to break the spell.‡ A great number of them were between three and twelve years of age; still others were at the breast, and spoke French distinctly and correctly.§ These discourses, which often lasted for several hours, would have been impossible to the little orators, were the latter in their natural or normal state.**

ʺNow,ʺ asks the reviewer, ʺwhat was the meaning of such a series of prodigies, all of them freely admitted in Figuierʹs book? No meaning at all! It was nothing,ʺ he says, ʺexcept the

* ʺHistoire du Merveilleux dans les Temps Modernes,ʺ vol. ii., p. 262.
† Ibid.
‡ Ibid., p. 265.
§ Ibid., pp. 267, 401, 402.

** Ibid., pp. 266, etc., 400.

effect of a ʹmomentary exaltation of the intellectual faculties.ʹ ʺ†† ʺThese phenomena,ʺ he adds, ʺare observable in many of the cerebral affections.ʺ

ʺMomentary exaltation, lasting for many hours in the brains of babies under one year old, not weaned yet, speaking good French before they had learned to say one word in their own patois! Oh, miracle of physiology! Prodigy ought to be thy name!ʺ exclaims des Mousseaux.

ʺDr. Calmeil, in his work on insanity,ʺ remarks Figuier, ʺwhen reporting on the ecstatic theomania of the Calvinists, concludes that the disease must be attributed in the simpler cases to HYSTERIA, and in those of more serious character to epilepsy. . . . We rather incline to the opinion,ʺ says Figuier, ʺthat it was a disease sui generis, and in order to have an appropriate name for such a disease, we must be satisfied with the one of the Trembling Convulsionaires of Cevennes.ʺ‡‡

Theomania and hysteria, again! The medical corporations must themselves be possessed with an incurable atomomania; otherwise why should they give out such absurdities for science, and hope for their acceptance? ʺSuch was the fury for exorcising and roasting,ʺ continues Figuier, ʺthat monks saw possessions by demons everywhere when they felt in need of

†† Ibid., p. 403.

‡‡ ʺHistoire du Merveilleux,ʺ vol. i., p. 397.


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miracles to either throw more light on the omnipotency of the Devil, or keep their dinner‐pot boiling at the convent.ʺ*

For this sarcasm the pious des Mousseaux expresses a heartfelt gratitude to Figuier; for, as he remarks, ʺhe is in France one of the first writers whom we find, to our surprise, not denying the phenomena which have been made long since undeniable. Moved by a sense of lofty superiority and even disdain for the method used by his predecessors, Dr. Figuier desires his readers to know that he does not follow the same path as they. ʹWe will not reject,ʹ says he, ʹas being unworthy of credit, facts only because they are embarrassing for our system. On the contrary, we will collect all of the facts that the same historical evidence has transmitted to us . . . and which, consequently, are entitled to the same credence, and it is upon the whole mass of such facts that we will base the natural explanation, which we have to offer, in our turn, as a sequel to those of the savants who have preceded us on this subject.ʹ ʺ† Thereupon, Dr. Figuier proceeds.‡ He takes a few steps, and, placing himself right in the midst of the Convulsionaires of St. Medard, he invites his readers to scrutinize, under his direction, prodigies which are for him but simple effects of nature.

But before we proceed, in our turn, to show Dr. Figuierʹs opinion, we must refresh the readerʹs memory as to what the

* Ibid., pp. 26‐27.
† Ibid., p.238.

‡ Des Mousseaux, ʺMagie au XIXme Siecle,ʺ p. 452.

Jansenist miracles comprised, according to historical evidence.

Abbé Paris was a Jansenist, who died in 1727. Immediately after his decease the most surprising phenomena began to occur at his tomb. The churchyard was crowded from morning till night. Jesuits, exasperated at seeing heretics perform wonders in healing, and other works, got from the magistrates an order to close all access to the tomb of the Abbé. But, notwithstanding every opposition, the wonders lasted for over twenty years. Bishop Douglas, who went to Paris for that sole purpose in 1749, visited the place, and he reports that the miracles were still going on among the Convulsionaires. When every endeavor to stop them failed, the Catholic clergy were forced to admit their reality, but screened themselves, as usual, behind the Devil. Hume, in his Philosophical Essays, says: ʺThere surely never was so great a number of miracles ascribed to one person as those which were lately said to have been wrought in France upon the tomb of the Abbé Paris. The curing of the sick, giving hearing to the deaf and sight to the blind, were everywhere talked of as the effects of the holy sepulchre. But, what is more extraordinary, many of the miracles were immediately proved upon the spot, before judges of unquestioned credit and distinction, in a learned age, and on the most eminent theatre that is now in the world . . . nor were the Jesuits, though a learned body, supported by the civil magistrates, and determined enemies to those opinions in whose favor the miracles were said to have been wrought, ever able distinctly


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to refute or detect them . . . such is historic evidence.ʺ* Dr. Middleton, in his Free Enquiry, a book which be wrote at a period when the manifestations were already decreasing, i.e., about nineteen years after they had first begun, declares that the evidence of these miracles is fully as strong as that of the wonders recorded of the Apostles.

The phenomena so well authenticated by thousands of witnesses before magistrates, and in spite of the Catholic clergy, are among the most wonderful in history. Carre de Montgeron, a member of parliament and a man who became famous for his connection with the Jansenists, enumerates them carefully in his work. It comprises four thick quarto volumes, of which the first is dedicated to the king, under the title: ʺLa Verité des Miracles operés par lʹIntercession de M. de Paris, demontrée contre lʹArcheveque de Sens. Ouvrage dedie au Roi, par M. de Montgeron, Conseiller au Parlement.ʺ The author presents a vast amount of personal and official evidence to the truthfulness of every case. For speaking disrespectfully of the Roman clergy, Montgeron was thrown into the Bastille, but his work was accepted.

And now for the views of Dr. Figuier upon these remarkable and unquestionably historical phenomena. ʺA Convulsionary bends back into an arc, her loins supported by the sharp point of a peg,ʺ quotes the learned author, from the procès verbaux. ʺThe pleasure that she begs for is to be pounded by a stone weighing fifty pounds, and suspended

* Hume, ʺPhilosophical Essays,ʺ p. 195.

by a rope passing over a pulley fixed to the ceiling. The stone, being hoisted to its extreme height, falls with all its weight upon the patientʹs stomach, her back resting all the while on the sharp point of the peg. Montgeron and numerous other witnesses testified to the fact that neither the flesh nor the skin of the back were ever marked in the least, and that the girl, to show she suffered no pain whatever, kept crying out, ʹStrike harder — harder!ʹ

ʺJeanne Maulet, a girl of twenty, leaning with her back against a wall, received upon her stomach one hundred blows of a hammer weighing thirty pounds; the blows, administered by a very strong man, were so terrible that they shook the wall. To test the force of the blows, Montgeron tried them on the stone wall against which the girl was leaning. . . . He gets one of the instruments of the Jansenist healing, called the ʹGRAND SECOURS.ʹ At the twenty‐fifth blow,ʺ he writes, ʺthe stone upon which I struck, which had been shaken by the preceding efforts, suddenly became loose and fell on the other side of the wall, making an aperture more than half a foot in size.ʺ When the blows are struck with violence upon an iron drill held against the stomach of a Convulsionnaire (who, sometimes, is but a weak woman), ʺit seems,ʺ says Montgeron, ʺas if it would penetrate through to the spine and rupture all the entrails under the force of the blowsʺ (vol. i., p. 380). ʺBut, so far from that occurring, the Convulsionnaire cries out, with an expression of perfect rapture in her face, ʹOh, how delightful! Oh, that does me good! Courage, brother; strike twice as hard, if you can!ʹ It


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now remains,ʺ continues Dr. Figuier, ʺto try to explain the strange phenomena which we have described.ʺ

ʺWe have said, in the introduction to this work, that at the middle of the nineteenth century one of the most famous epidemics of possession broke out in Germany: that of the Nonnains, who performed all the miracles most admired since the days of St. Medard, and even some greater ones; who turned summersaults, who CLIMBED DEAD WALLS, and spoke


The official report of the wonders, which is more full than that of Figuier, adds such further particulars as that ʺthe affected persons would stand on their heads for hours together, and correctly describe distant events, even such as were happening in the homes of the committee‐men; as it was subsequently verified. Men and women were held suspended in the air, by an invisible force, and the combined efforts of the committee were insufficient to pull them down. Old women climbed perpendicular walls thirty feet in height with the agility of wild cats, etc., etc.ʺ

Now, one should expect that the learned critic, the eminent physician and psychologist, who not only credits such incredible phenomena but himself describes them minutely, and con amore, so to say, would necessarily startle the reading public with some explanation so extraordinary that his scientific views would cause a real hegira to the unexplored fields of psychology. Well, he does startle us, for

to all this he quietly observes: ʺRecourse was had to marriage to bring to a stop these disorders of the Convulsionnaires!ʺ†

For once des Mousseaux had the best of his enemy: ʺMarriage, do you understand this?ʺ he remarks. ʺMarriage cures them of this faculty of climbing dead‐walls like so many flies, and of speaking foreign languages. Oh! the curious properties of marriage in those remarkable days!ʺ

ʺIt should be added,ʺ continues Figuier, ʺthat with the fanatics of St. Medard, the blows were never administered except during the convulsive crisis; and that, therefore, as Dr. Calmeil suggests, meteorism of the abdomen, the state of spasm of the uterus of women, of the alimentary canal in all cases, the state of contraction, of erethism, of turgescence of the carneous envelopes of the muscular coats which protect and cover the abdomen, chest, and principal vascular masses and the osseous surfaces, may have singularly contributed toward reducing, and even destroying, the force of the blows!ʺ

ʺThe astounding resistance that the skin, the areolar tissue, the surface of the bodies and limbs of the Convulsionnaires offered to things which seem as if they ought to have torn or crushed them, is of a nature to excite more surprise. Nevertheless, it can be explained. This resisting force, this insensibility, seems to partake of the extreme changes in sensibility which can occur in the animal economy during a time of great exaltation. Anger, fear, in a word, every passion,

* ʺHistoire du Merveilleux,ʺ p. 401. † Ibid.


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provided that it be carried to a paroxysmal point, can produce this insensibility.ʺ*

ʺLet us remark, besides,ʺ rejoins Dr. Calmeil, quoted by Figuier, ʺthat for striking upon the bodies of the Convulsionnaires use was made either of massive objects with flat or rounded surfaces, or of cylindrical and blunt shapes.† The action of such physical agents is not to be compared, in respect to the danger which attaches to it, with that of cords, supple or flexible instruments, and those having a sharp edge. In fine, the contact and the shock of the blows produced upon the Convulsionnaires the effect of a salutary shampooing, and reduced the violence of the tortures of HYSTERIA.ʺ

The reader will please observe that this is not intended as a joke, but is the sober theory of one of the most eminent of French physicians, hoary with age and experience, the Director‐in‐Chief of the Government Insane Asylum at Charenton. Really, the above explanation might lead the reader to a strange suspicion. We might imagine, perhaps, that Dr. Calmeil has kept company with the patients under his care a few more years than was good for the healthy action of his own brain.

Besides, when Figuier talks of massive objects, of cylindrical and blunt shapes, he surely forgets the sharp swords, pointed iron pegs, and the hatchets, of which he

* Ibid., vol. ii., pp. 410, 411.

† Ibid., p. 407.

himself gave a graphic description on page 409 of his first volume. The brother of Elie Marion is shown by him striking his stomach and abdomen with the sharp point of a knife, with tremendous force, ʺhis body all the while resisting as if it were made of iron.ʺ

Arrived at this point, des Mousseaux loses all patience, and indignantly exclaims:

ʺWas the learned physician quite awake when writing the above sentences? . . . If, perchance, the Drs. Calmeil and Figuier should seriously maintain their assertions and insist on their theory, we are ready to answer them as follows: ʹWe are perfectly willing to believe you. But before such a superhuman effort of condescension, will you not demonstrate to us the truth of your theory in a more practical manner? Let us, for example, develop in you a violent and terrible passion; anger — rage if you choose. You shall permit us for a single moment to be in your sight irritating, rude, and insulting. Of course, we will be so only at your request and in the interest of science and your cause. Our duty under the contract will consist in humiliating and provoking you to the last extremity. Before a public audience, who shall know nothing of our agreement, but whom you must satisfy as to your assertions, we will insult you; . . . we will tell you that your writings are an ambuscade to truth, an insult to common sense, a disgrace which paper only can bear; but which the public should chastise. We will add that you lie to science, you lie to the ears of the ignorant and stupid fools gathered around you, open‐mouthed, like the crowd around


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a peddling quack. . . . And when, transported beyond yourself, your face ablaze, and anger tumefying, you shall have displaced your fluids; when your fury has reached the point of bursting, we will cause your turgescent muscles to be struck with powerful blows; your friends shall show us the most insensible places; we will let a perfect shower, an avalanche of stones fall upon them . . . for so was treated the flesh of the convulsed women whose appetite for such blows could never be satisfied. But, in order to procure for you the gratification of a salutary shampooing — as you deliciously express it — your limbs shall only be pounded with objects having blunt surfaces and cylindrical shapes, with clubs and sticks devoid of suppleness, and, if you prefer it, neatly turned in a lathe.ʹ ʺ

So liberal is des Mousseaux, so determined to accommodate his antagonists with every possible chance to prove their theory, that he offers them the choice to substitute for themselves in the experiment their wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, ʺsince,ʺ he says, ʺyou have remarked that the weaker sex is the strong and resistant sex in these disconcerting trials.ʺ

Useless to remark that des Mousseauxʹs challenge remained unanswered.


ʺStrange condition of the human mind, which seems to require that it should long exercise itself in ERROR, before it dare approach the TRUTH.ʺ


ʺLa verite que je defends est empreinte sur tous les monuments du passe Pour comprendre lʹhistoire, il faut etudier les symboles anciens, les signes sacres du sacerdoce, et lʹart de guerir dans les temps primitifs, art oublie aujourdʹhui.ʺ


ʺIt is a truth perpetually, that accumulated facts, lying in disorder, begin to assume some order if an hypothesis is thrown among them.ʺ


AND now we must search Magical History for cases similar to those given in the preceding chapter. This insensibility of the human body to the impact of heavy blows, and resistance to penetration by sharp points and musket‐bullets, is a phenomenon sufficiently familiar in the experience of all times and all countries. While science is entirely unable to give any reasonable explanation of the mystery, the question appears to offer no difficulty to mesmerists, who have well studied the properties of the fluid. The man, who by a few passes over a limb can produce a local paralysis so as to render it utterly insensible to burns, cuts, and the prickings of


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needles, need be but very little astonished at the phenomena of the Jansenists. As to the adepts of magic, especially in Siam and the East Indies, they are too familiar with the properties of the akasa, the mysterious life‐fluid, to even regard the insensibility of the Convulsionnaires as a very great phenomenon. The astral fluid can be compressed about a person so as to form an elastic shell, absolutely nonpenetrable by any physical object, however great the velocity with which it travels. In a word, this fluid can be made to equal and even excel in resisting‐power, water and air.

In India, Malabar, and some places of Central Africa, the conjurers will freely permit any traveller to fire his musket or revolver at them, without touching the weapon themselves or selecting the balls. In Laingʹs Travels among Timanni, the Kourankos, and the Soulimas, occurs a description by an English traveller, the first white man to visit the tribe of the Soulimas, near the sources of the Dialliba, of a very curious scene. A body of picked soldiers fired upon a chief who had nothing to defend himself with but certain talismans. Although their muskets were properly loaded and aimed, not a ball could strike him. Salverte gives a similar case in his Philosophy of Occult Sciences: ʺIn 1568, the Prince of Orange condemned a Spanish prisoner to be shot at Juliers; the soldiers tied him to a tree and fired, but he was invulnerable. They at last stripped him to see what armor he wore, but found only an amulet. When this was taken from him, he fell dead at the first shot.ʺ


This is a very different affair from the dexterous trickery resorted to by Houdin in Algeria. He prepared balls himself of tallow, blackened with soot, and by sleight of hand exchanged them for the real bullets, which the Arab sheiks supposed they were placing in the pistols. The simple‐ minded natives, knowing nothing but real magic, which they had inherited from their ancestors, and which consists in each case of some one thing that they can do without knowing why or how, and seeing Houdin, as they thought, accomplish the same results in a more impressive manner, fancied that he was a greater magician than themselves. Many travellers, the writer included, have witnessed instances of this invulnerability where deception was impossible. A few years ago, there lived in an African village, an Abyssinian who passed for a sorcerer. Upon one occasion a party of Europeans, going to Soudan, amused themselves for an hour or two in firing at him with their own pistols and muskets, a privilege which he gave them for a trifling fee. As many as five shots were fired simultaneously, by a Frenchman named Langlois, and the muzzles of the pieces were not above two yards distant from the sorcererʹs breast. In each case, simultaneously with the flash, the bullet would appear just beyond the muzzle, quivering in the air, and then, after describing a short parabola, fall harmlessly to the ground. A German of the party, who was going in search of ostrich feathers, offered the magician a five‐franc piece if he would allow him to fire his gun with the muzzle touching his body.


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The man at first refused; but, finally, after appearing to hold conversation with somebody inside the ground, consented. The experimenter carefully loaded, and pressing the muzzle of the weapon against the sorcererʹs body, after a momentʹs hesitation, fired . . . the barrel burst into fragments as far down as the stock, and the man walked off unhurt.

This quality of invulnerability can be imparted to persons both by living adepts and by spirits. In our own time several well‐known mediums have frequently, in the presence of the most respectable witnesses, not only handled blazing coals and actually placed their face upon a fire without singeing a hair, but even laid flaming coals upon the heads and hands of bystanders, as in the case of Lord Lindsay and Lord Adair. The well‐known story of the Indian chief, who confessed to Washington that at Braddockʹs defeat he had fired his rifle at him seventeen times at short range without being able to touch him, will recur to the reader in this connection. In fact, many great commanders have been believed by their soldiers to bear what is called ʺa charmed lifeʺ; and Prince Emile von Sayn‐Wittgenstein, a general of the Russian army, is said to be one of these.


This same power which enables one to compress the astral fluid so as to form an impenetrable shell around one, can be used to direct, so to speak, a bolt of the fluid against a given object, with fatal force. Many a dark revenge has been taken in that way; and in such cases the coronerʹs inquest will never

disclose anything but sudden death, apparently resulting from heart‐disease, an apoplectic fit, or some other natural, but still not veritable cause. Many persons firmly believe that certain individuals possess the power of the evil eye. The malʹocchio, or jettatura is a belief which is prevalent throughout Italy and Southern Europe. The Pope is held to be possessed — perchance unconsciously — of that disagreeable gift. There are persons who can kill toads by merely looking at them, and can even slay individuals. The malignance of their desire brings evil forces to a focus, and the death‐ dealing bolt is projected, as though it were a bullet from a rifle.

In 1864, in the French province of Le Var, near the little village of Brignoles, lived a peasant named Jacques Pelissier, who made a living by killing birds by simple will‐power. His case is reported by the well‐known Dr. dʹAlger, at whose request the singular hunter gave exhibitions to several scientific men, of his method of proceeding. The story is told as follows: ʺAt about fifteen or twenty paces from us, I saw a charming little meadow‐lark which I showed to Jacques. ʹWatch him well, monsieur,ʹ said he, ʹhe is mine.ʹ Instantly stretching his right hand toward the bird, he approached him gently. The meadow‐lark stops, raises and lowers his pretty head, spreads his wings, but cannot fly; at last he cannot make a step further and suffers himself to be taken, only moving his wings with a feeble fluttering. I examine the bird, his eyes are tightly closed and his body has a corpse‐like stiffness, although the pulsations of the heart are very


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distinct; it is a true cataleptic sleep, and all the phenomena incontestably prove a magnetic action. Fourteen little birds were taken in this way, within the space of an hour; none could resist the power of Master Jacques, and all presented the same cataleptic sleep; a sleep which, moreover, terminates at the will of the hunter, whose humble slaves these little birds have become.

ʺA hundred times, perhaps, I asked Jacques to restore life and movement to his prisoners, to charm them only half way, so that they might hop along the ground, and then again bring them completely under the charm. All my requests were exactly complied with, and not one single failure was made by this remarkable Nimrod, who finally said to me: ʹIf you wish it, I will kill those which you designate without touching them.ʹ I pointed out two for the experiment, and, at twenty‐five or thirty paces distance, he accomplished in less than five minutes what he had promised.ʺ*


A most curious feature of the above case is, that Jacques had complete power only over sparrows, robins, goldfinches, and meadow‐larks; he could sometimes charm skylarks, but, as he says, ʺthey often escape me.ʺ

This same power is exercised with greater force by persons known as wild beast tamers. On the banks of the Nile, some

* Villecroze, ʺLe Docteur H. dʹAlger,ʺ 19 Mars, 1861. Pierrart, vol. iv., pp. 254‐257.

of the natives can charm the crocodiles out of the water, with a peculiarly melodious, low whistle, and handle them with impunity; while others possess such powers over the most deadly snakes. Travellers tell of seeing the charmers surrounded by multitudes of the reptiles which they dispatch at their leisure.

Bruce, Hasselquist, and Lempriere,† testify to the fact that they have seen in Egypt, Morocco, Arabia, and especially in the Senaar, some natives utterly disregarding the bites of the most poisonous vipers, as well as the stings of scorpions. They handle and play with them, and throw them at will into a state of stupor. ʺIn vain do the Latin and Greek writers,ʺ says Salverte, ʺassure us that the gift of charming venomous reptiles was hereditary in certain families from time immemorial, that in Africa the same gift was enjoyed by the Psylli; that the Marses in Italy, and the Ophiozenes in Cyprus possessed it.ʺ The skeptics forget that, in Italy, even at the commencement of the sixteenth century, men, claiming to be descended from the family of Saint Paul, braved, like the Marses, the bites of serpents.ʺ‡

ʺDoubts upon this subject,ʺ he goes on to say, ʺwere removed forever at the time of the expedition of the French into Egypt, and the following relation is attested by

† Bruce, ʺTravels to Discover the Sources of the Nile,ʺ vol. x., pp. 402‐447; Hasselquist, ʺVoyage in the Levant,ʺ vol. i., pp. 92‐100; Lempriere, ʺVoyage dans lʹEmpire de Maroc, etc., en 1790,ʺ pp. 42‐43.

‡ Salverte, ʺLa Philosophie de la Magie. De lʹInfluence sur les Animaux,ʺ vol. i.


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thousands of eye‐witnesses. The Psylli, who pretended, as Bruce had related, to possess that faculty . . . went from house to house to destroy serpents of every kind. . . . A wonderful instinct drew them at first toward the place in which the serpents were hidden; furious, howling, and foaming, they seized and tore them asunder with their nails and teeth.ʺ

ʺLet us place,ʺ says Salverte, inveterate skeptic himself, ʺto the account of charlatanism, the howling and the fury; still, the instinct which warned the Psylli of the presence of the serpents, has in it something more real.ʺ In the Antilles, the negroes discover, by its odor, a serpent which they do not see.* ʺIn Egypt, the same tact, formerly possessed, is still enjoyed by men brought up to it from infancy, and born as with an assumed hereditary gift to hunt serpents, and to discover them even at a distance too great for the effluvia to be perceptible to the dull organs of a European. The principal fact above all others, the faculty or rendering dangerous animals powerless, merely by touching them, remains well verified, and we shall, perhaps, never understand better the nature of this secret, celebrated in antiquity, and preserved to our time by the most ignorant of men.ʺ†

Music is delightful to every person. Low whistling, a melodious chant, or the sounds of a flute will invariably attract reptiles in countries where they are found. We have witnessed and verified the fact repeatedly. In Upper Egypt,

* Thibaut de Chanvallon, ʺVoyage a la Martinique.ʺ

† Salverte, ʺPhilosophy of Magic.ʺ

whenever our caravan stopped, a young traveller, who believed he excelled on the flute, amused the company by playing. The camel‐drivers and other Arabs invariably checked him, having been several times annoyed by the unexpected appearance of various families of the reptile tribe, which generally shirk an encounter with men. Finally, our caravan met with a party, among whom were professional serpent‐charmers, and the virtuoso was then invited, for experimentʹs sake, to display his skill. No sooner had he commenced, than a slight rustling was heard, and the musician was horrified at suddenly seeing a large snake appear in dangerous proximity with his legs. The serpent, with uplifted head and eyes fixed on him, slowly, and, as if unconsciously, crawled, softly undulating its body, and following his every movement. Then appeared at a distance another one, then a third, and a fourth, which were speedily followed by others, until we found ourselves quite in a select company. Several of the travellers made for the backs of their camels, while others sought refuge in the cantinierʹs tent. But it was a vain alarm. The charmers, three in number, began their chants and incantations, and, attracting the reptiles, were very soon covered with them from head to foot. As soon as the serpents approached the men, they exhibited signs of torpor, and were soon plunged in a deep catalepsy. Their eyes were half closed and glazed, and their heads drooping. There remained but one recalcitrant, a large and glossy black fellow, with a spotted skin. This meloman of the desert went on gracefully nodding and leaping, as if it had danced on its


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tail all its life, and keeping time to the notes of the flute. This snake would not be enticed by the ʺcharmingʺ of the Arabs, but kept slowly moving in the direction of the flute‐player, who at last took to his heels. The modern Psyllian then took out of his bag a half‐withered plant, which he kept waving in the direction of the serpent. It had a strong smell of mint, and as soon as the reptile caught its odor, it followed the Arab, still erect upon its tail, but now approaching the plant. A few more seconds, and the ʺtraditional enemyʺ of man was seen entwined around the arm of his charmer, became torpid in its turn, and the whole lot were then thrown together in a pool, after having their heads cut off.


Many believe that all such snakes are prepared and trained for the purpose, and that they are either deprived of their fangs, or have their mouths sewed up. There may be, doubtless, some inferior jugglers, whose trickery has given rise to such an idea. But the genuine serpent‐charmer has too well established his claims in the East, to resort to any such cheap fraud. They have the testimony on this subject of too many trustworthy travellers, including some scientists, to be accused of any such charlatanism. That the snakes, which are charmed to dance and to become harmless, are still poisonous, is verified by Forbes. ʺOn the music stopping too suddenly,ʺ says he, ʺor from some other cause, the serpent, who had been dancing within a circle of country‐people, darted among the spectators, and inflicted a wound in the

throat of a young woman, who died in agony, in half an hour afterward.ʺ*

According to the accounts of many travellers the negro women of Dutch Guiana, the Obeah women, excel in taming very large snakes called amodites, or papa; they make them descend from the trees, follow, and obey them by merely speaking to them.†

We have seen in India a small brotherhood of fakirs settled round a little lake, or rather a deep pool of water, the bottom of which was literally carpeted with enormous alligators. These amphibious monsters crawl out, and warm themselves in the sun, a few feet from the fakirs, some of whom may be motionless, lost in prayer and contemplation. So long as one of these holy beggars remains in view, the crocodiles are as harmless as kittens. But we would never advise a foreigner to risk himself alone within a few yards of these monsters. The poor Frenchman Pradin found an untimely grave in one of these terrible Saurians, commonly called by the Hindus Moudela .‡ (This word should be nihang or ghariyāl.) When Iamblichus, Herodotus, Pliny, or some other ancient writer tells us of priests who caused asps to come forth from the altar of Isis, or of thaumaturgists taming with a glance the most ferocious animals, they are considered liars and ignorant imbeciles. When modern travellers tell us of the

* Forbes, ʺOriental Memoirs,ʺ vol. i., p. 44; vol ii., p. 387.
† Stedmann, ʺVoyage in Surinam,ʺ vol. iii., pp. 64, 65.

‡ See ʺEdinburgh Review,ʺ vol. lxxx., p. 428, etc.


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same wonders performed in the East, they are set down as enthusiastic jabberers, or untrustworthy writers.

But, despite materialistic skepticism, man does possess such a power, as we see manifested in the above instances. When psychology and physiology become worthy of the name of sciences, Europeans will be convinced of the weird and formidable potency existing in the human will and imagination, whether exercised consciously or otherwise. And yet, how easy to realize such power in spirit, if we only think of that grand truism in nature that every most insignificant atom in it is moved by spirit, which is one in its essence, for the least particle of it represents the whole; and that matter is but the concrete copy of the abstract idea, after all. In this connection, let us cite a few instances of the imperial power of even the unconscious will, to create according to the imagination or rather the faculty of discerning images in the astral light.

We have but to recall the very familiar phenomenon of stigmata, or birth‐marks, where effects are produced by the involuntary agency of the maternal imagination under a state of excitement. The fact that the mother can control the appearance of her unborn child was so well known among the ancients, that it was the custom among wealthy Greeks to place fine statues near the bed, so that she might have a perfect model constantly before her eyes. The cunning trick by which the Hebrew patriarch Jacob caused ring‐streaked and speckled calves to be dropped, is an illustration of the law among animals; and Aricante tells ʺof four successive

litters of puppies, born of healthy parents, some of which, in each litter, were well formed, whilst the remainder were without anterior extremities and had harelip.ʺ The works of Geoffroi St. Hilaire, Burdach, and Elam, contain accounts of great numbers of such cases, and in Dr. Prosper Lucasʹs important volume, Sur lʹHeredité Naturelle, there are many. Elam quotes from Prichard an instance where the child of a negro and white was marked with black and white color upon separate parts of the body. He adds, with laudable sincerity, ʺThese are singularities of which, in the present state of science, no explanation can be given.ʺ* It is a pity that his example was not more generally imitated. Among the ancients Empedocles, Aristotle, Pliny, Hippocrates, Galen, Marcus Damascenus, and others give us accounts quite as wonderful as our contemporary authors.

* Elam, ʺA Physicianʹs Problems,ʺ p. 25.


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In a work published in London, in 1659,* a powerful argument is made in refutation of the materialists by showing the potency of the human mind upon the subtile forces of nature. The author, Dr. More, views the fœtus as if it were a plastic substance, which can be fashioned by the mother to an agreeable or disagreeable shape, to resemble some person or in part several persons, and to be stamped with the effigies, or as we might more properly call it, astrograph, of some object vividly presented to her imagination. These effects may be produced by her voluntarily or involuntarily, consciously or unconsciously, feebly or forcibly, as the case may be. It depends upon her ignorance or knowledge of the profound mysteries of nature. Taking women in the mass, the marking of the embryo may be considered more accidental than the result of design; and as each personʹs atmosphere in the astral light is peopled with the images of his or her immediate family, the sensitive surface of the fœtus, which may almost be likened to the collodionized plate of a photograph, is as likely as not to be stamped with the image of a near or remote ancestor, whom the mother never saw, but which, at some critical moment, came as it were into the focus of natureʹs camera. Says Dr. Elam, ʺNear me is seated a visitor from a distant continent, where she was born and educated. The portrait of a remote ancestress, far back in the last century,

* The ʺImmortality of the Soul,ʺ by Henry More, Fellow of Christʹs College, Cambridge.

hangs upon the wall. In every feature, one is an accurate presentment of the other, although the one never left England, and the other was an American by birth and half parentage.ʺ

The power of the imagination upon our physical condition, even after we arrive at maturity, is evinced in many familiar ways. In medicine, the intelligent physician does not hesitate to accord to it a curative or morbific potency greater than his pills and potions. He calls it the vis medicatrix naturæ, and his first endeavor is to gain the confidence of his patient so completely, that he can cause nature to extirpate the disease. Fear often kills; and grief has such a power over the subtile fluids of the body as not only to derange the internal organs but even to turn the hair white. Ficinus mentions the signature of the fœtus with the marks of cherries and various fruits, colors, hairs, and excrescences, and acknowledges that the imagination of the mother may transform it into a resemblance of an ape, pig, or dog, or any such animal. Marcus Damascenus tells of a girl covered with hair and, like our modern Julia Pastrana, furnished with a full beard; Gulielmus Paradinus, of a child whose skin and nails resembled those of a bear; Balduinus Ronsæus of one born with a turkeyʹs wattles; Pareus, of one with a head like a frog; and Avicenna, of chickens with hawksʹ heads. In this latter case, which perfectly exemplifies the power of the same imagination in animals, the embryo must have been stamped at the instant of conception when the henʹs imagination saw a hawk either in fact or in fancy. This is evident, for Dr. More,


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who quotes this case on the authority of Avicenna, remarks very appropriately that, as the egg in question might have been hatched a hundred miles distant from the hen, the microscopic picture of the hawk impressed upon the embryo must have enlarged and perfected itself with the growth of the chicken quite independently of any subsequent influence from the hen.

Cornelius Gemma tells of a child that was born with his forehead wounded and running with blood, the result of his fatherʹs threats toward his mother ʺ . . . with a drawn sword which he directed toward her foreheadʺ; Sennertius records the case of a pregnant woman who, seeing a butcher divide a swineʹs head with his cleaver, brought forth her child with his face cloven in the upper jaw, the palate, and upper lip to the very nose. In Van Helmontʹs De Injectis Materialibus, some very astonishing cases are reported: The wife of a tailor at Mechlin was standing at her door and saw a soldierʹs hand cut off in a quarrel, which so impressed her as to bring on premature labor, and her child was born with only one hand, the other arm bleeding. In 1602, the wife of Marcus Devogeler, a merchant of Antwerp, seeing a soldier who had just lost his arm, was taken in labor and brought forth a daughter with one arm struck off and bleeding as in the first case. Van Helmont gives a third example of another woman who witnessed the beheading of thirteen men by order of the Duc dʹAlva. The horror of the spectacle was so overpowering that she ʺsuddainly fell into labour and brought forth a perfectly‐formed infant, only the head was wanting, but the

neck bloody as their bodies she beheld that had their heads cut off. And that which does still advance the wonder is, that the hand, arme, and head of these infants were none of them to be found.ʺ*

If it was possible to conceive of such a thing as a miracle in nature, the above cases of the sudden disappearance of portions of the unborn human body might be designated. We have looked in vain through the latest authorities upon human physiology for any sufficient theory to account for the least remarkable of fœtal signatures. The most they can do is to record instances of what they call ʺspontaneous varieties of type,ʺ and then fall back either upon Mr. Proctorʹs ʺcurious coincidencesʺ or upon such candid confessions of ignorance as are to be found in authors not entirely satisfied with the sum of human knowledge. Magendie acknowledges that, despite scientific researches, comparatively little is known of fœtal life. At page 518 of the American edition of his Precis Elementaire de Physiologie he instances ʺa case where the umbilical cord was ruptured and perfectly cicatrizedʺ; and asks ʺHow was the circulation carried on in this organ?ʺ On the next page, he says: ʺNothing is at present known respecting the use of digestion in the fœtusʺ; and respecting its nutrition, propounds this query: ʺWhat, then, can we say of the nutrition of the fœtus? Physiological works contain only vague conjectures on this point.ʺ On page 520, the following language occurs: ʺIn consequence of some unknown

* Dr. H. More, ʺImmortality of the Soul,ʺ p. 393.


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cause, the different parts of the fœtus sometimes develop themselves in a preternatural manner.ʺ With singular inconsistency with his previous admissions of the ignorance of science upon all these points which we have quoted, he adds: ʺThere is no reason for believing that the imagination of the mother can have any influence in the formation of these monsters; besides, productions of this kind are daily observed in the offspring of other animals and even in plants.ʺ How perfect an illustration is this of the methods of scientific men! — the moment they pass beyond their circle of observed facts, their judgment seems to become entirely perverted. Their deductions from their own researches are often greatly inferior to those made by others who have to take the facts at second hand.

The literature of science is constantly furnishing examples of this truth; and when we consider the reasoning of materialistic observers upon psychological phenomena, the rule is strikingly manifest. Those who are soul‐blind are as constitutionally incapable of distinguishing psychological causes from material effects as the color‐blind are to select scarlet from black.

Elam, without being in the least a spiritualist, nay, though an enemy to it, represents the belief of honest scientists in the following expressions: ʺit is certainly inexplicable how matter and mind can act and react one upon the other; the mystery is acknowledged by all to be insoluble, and will probably ever remain so.ʺ

The great English authority upon the subject of malformation is The Science and Practice of Medicine, by Wm. Aitken, M. D., Edinburgh, and Professor of Pathology in the Army Medical School; the American edition of which, by Professor Meredith Clymer, M. D., of the University of Pennsylvania, has equal weight in the United States. At page 233 of vol. i. we find the subject treated at length. The author says, ʺThe superstition, absurd notions, and strange causes assigned to the occurrence of such malformations, are now fast disappearing before the lucid expositions of those famous anatomists who have made the development and growth of the ovum a subject of special study. It is sufficient to mention here the names, J. Muller, Ratlike, Bischoff, St. Hilaire, Burdach, Allen Thompson, G. & W. Vrolick, Wolff, Meckel, Simpson, Rokitansky, and Von Ammon as sufficient evidence that the truths of science will in time dispel the mists of ignorance and superstition.ʺ One would think, from the complacent tone adopted by this eminent writer that we were in possession if not of the means of readily solving this intricate problem at least of a clew to guide us through the maze of our difficulties. But, in 1872, after profiting by all the labors and ingenuity of the illustrious pathologists above enumerated, we find him making the same confession of ignorance as that expressed by Magendie in 1838. ʺNevertheless,ʺ says he, ʺmuch mystery still enshrouds the origin of malformation; the origin of them may be considered in two main issues, namely: 1, are they due to original malformation of the germ? 2, or, are they due to subsequent


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deformities of the embryo by causes operating on its development? With regard to the first issue, it is believed that the germ may be originally malformed, or defective, owing to some influence proceeding either from the female, or from the male, as in case of repeated procreation of the same kind of malformation by the same parents, deformities on either side being transmitted as an inheritance.ʺ

Being unsupplied with any philosophy of their own to account for the lesions, the pathologists, true to professional instinct, resort to negation. ʺThat such deformity may be produced by mental impressions on pregnant women there is an absence of positive proof,ʺ they say. ʺMoles, mothersʹ marks, and cutaneous spots as ascribed to morbid states of the coats of the ovum. . . . A very generally‐recognized cause of malformation consists in impeded development of the fœtus, the cause of which is not always obvious, but is for the most part concealed. . . . Transient forms of the human fœtus are comparable to persistent forms of many lower animals.ʺ Can the learned professor explain why? ʺHence malformations resulting from arrest of development often acquire an animal‐like appearance.ʺ

Exactly; but why do not pathologists inform us why it is so? Any anatomist who has made the development and growth of the embryo and fœtus ʺa subject of special study,ʺ can tell, without much brain‐work, what daily experience and the evidence of his own eyes show him, viz.: that up to a certain period, the human embryo is a fac‐simile of a young batrachian in its first remove from the spawn — a tadpole.

But no physiologist or anatomist seems to have had the idea of applying to the development of the human being — from the first instant of its physical appearance as a germ to its ultimate formation and birth — the Pythagorean esoteric doctrine of metempsychosis, so erroneously interpreted by critics. The meaning of the kabalistic axiom: ʺA stone becomes a plant; a plant a beast; a beast a man, etc.,ʺ was mentioned in another place in relation to the spiritual and physical evolution of man on this earth. We will now add a few words more to make the idea clearer.

What is the primitive shape of the future man? A grain, a corpuscle, say some physiologists; a molecule, an ovum of the ovum, say others. If it could be analyzed — by the spectroscope or otherwise — of what ought we to expect to find it composed? Analogically, we should say, of a nucleus of inorganic matter, deposited from the circulation at the germinating point, and united with a deposit of organic matter. In other words, this infinitesimal nucleus of the future man is composed of the same elements as a stone — of the same elements as the earth, which the man is destined to inhabit. Moses is cited by the kabalists as authority for the remark, that it required earth and water to make a living being, and thus it may be said that man first appears as a stone.

At the end of three or four weeks the ovum has assumed a plant‐like appearance, one extremity having become spheroidal and the other tapering, like a carrot. Upon dissection it is found to be composed, like an onion, of very


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delicate laminæ or coats, enclosing a liquid. The laminæ approach each other at the lower end, and the embryo hangs from the root of the umbilicus almost like a fruit from the bough. The stone has now become changed, by metempsychosis, into a plant. Then the embryonic creature begins to shoot out, from the inside outward, its limbs, and develops its features. The eyes are visible as two black dots; the ears, nose, and mouth form depressions, like the points of a pineapple, before they begin to project. The embryo develops into an animal‐like fœtus — the shape of a tadpole

— and like an amphibious reptile lives in water, and develops from it. Its monad has not yet become either human or immortal, for the kabalists tell us that that only comes at the ʺfourth hour.ʺ One by one the fœtus assumes the characteristics of the human being, the first flutter of the immortal breath passes through his being; he moves; nature opens the way for him; ushers him into the world; and the divine essence settles in the infant frame, which it will inhabit until the moment of physical death, when man becomes a spirit.

This mysterious process of a nine‐months formation the kabalists call the completion of the ʺindividual cycle of evolution.ʺ As the fœtus develops from the liquor amnii in the womb, so the earths germinate from the universal ether, or astral fluid, in the womb of the universe. These cosmic children, like their pigmy inhabitants, are first nuclei; then ovules; then gradually mature; and becoming mothers in their turn, develop mineral, vegetable, animal, and human

forms. From centre to circumference, from the imperceptible vesicle to the uttermost conceivable bounds of the cosmos, these glorious thinkers, the kabalists, trace cycle merging into cycle, containing and contained in an endless series. The embryo evolving in its pre‐natal sphere, the individual in his family, the family in the state, the state in mankind, the earth in our system, that system in its central universe, the universe in the cosmos, and the cosmos in the First Cause: — the Boundless and Endless. So runs their philosophy of evolution:

ʺAll are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is; and God the Soul.ʺ ʺWorlds without number

Lie in this bosom like children.ʺ

While unanimously agreeing that physical causes, such as blows, accidents, and bad quality of food for the mother, affect the fœtus in a way which endangers its life; and while admitting again that moral causes, such as fear, sudden terror, violent grief, or even extreme joy, may retard the growth of the fœtus or even kill it, many physiologists agree with Magendie in saying, ʺthere is no reason for believing that the imagination of the mother can have any influence in the formation of monstersʺ; and only because ʺproductions of this kind are daily observed in the production of other animals and even in plants.ʺ

In this opinion he is supported by the leading teratologists of our day. Although Geoffroi St. Hilaire gave its name to the new science, its facts are based upon the exhaustive


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experiments of Bichat, who, in 1802, was recognized as the founder of analytical and philosophical anatomy. One of the most important contributions to teratological literature is the monograph of G. J. Fisher, M.D., of Sing Sing, N. Y., entitled

Diploteratology; an Essay on Compound Human Monsters. This writer classifies monstrous fœtal growths into their genera and species, accompanying the cases with reflections suggested by their peculiarities. Following St. Hilaire, he divides the history of the subject into the fabulous, the positive, and the scientific periods.

It suffices for our purpose to say that in the present state of scientific opinion two points are considered as established: 1, that the maternal, mental condition has no influence in the production of monstrosities; 2, that most varieties of monstrosity may be accounted for on the theory of arrest and retardation of development. Says Fisher, ʺBy a careful study of the laws of development and the order in which the various organs are evolved in the embryo, it has been observed that monsters by defect or arrest of development, are, to a certain extent, permanent embryos. The abnormal organs merely represent the primitive condition of formation as it existed in an early stage of embryonic or fœtal life.ʺ* With physiology in so confessedly chaotic a state as it is at present, it seems a little like hardihood in any teratologist, however great his achievements in anatomy, histology, or embryology, to take so dangerous a position as that the mother has no influence

* ʺTransactions of the Medical Society of N. Y.,ʺ 1865‐6‐7.

upon her offspring. While the microscopes of Haller and Prolik, Dareste and Laraboulet have disclosed to us many interesting facts concerning the single or double primitive traces on the vitelline membrane, what remains undiscovered about embryology by modern science appears greater still. If we grant that monstrosities are the result of an arrest of development — nay, if we go farther, and concede that the fœtal future may be prognosticated from the vitelline tracings, where will the teratologists take us to learn the antecedent psychological cause of either? Dr. Fisher may have carefully studied some hundreds of cases, and feel himself authorized to construct a new classification of their genera and species; but facts are facts, and outside the field of his observation it appears, even if we judge but by our own personal experience, in various countries, that there are abundant attainable proofs that the violent maternal emotions are often reflected in tangible, visible, and permanent disfigurements of the child. And the cases in question seem, moreover, to contradict Dr. Fisherʹs assertion that monstrous growths are due to causes traceable to ʺthe early stages of embryonic or fœtal life.ʺ One case was that of a Judge of an Imperial Court at Saratow, Russia, who always wore a bandage to cover a mouse‐mark on the left side of his face. It was a perfectly‐formed mouse, whose body was represented in high relief upon the cheek, and the tail ran upward across the temple and was lost in his hair. The body seemed glossy, gray, and quite natural. According to his own account, his mother had an unconquerable repugnance to


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mice, and her labor was prematurely brought on by seeing a mouse jump out from her workbox.

In another instance, of which the writer was a witness, a pregnant lady, within two or three weeks of her accouchement, saw a bowl of raspberries, and was seized with an irresistible longing for some, but denied. She excitedly clasped her right hand to her neck in a somewhat theatrical manner, and exclaimed that she must have them. The child born under our eyes, three weeks later, had a perfectly‐defined raspberry on the right side of his neck; to this day, when that fruit ripens, his birth‐mark becomes of a deep crimson, while, during the winter, it is quite pale.

Such cases as these, which are familiar to many mothers of families, either in their personal experience or that of friends, carry conviction, despite the theories of all the teratologists of Europe and America. Because, forsooth, animals and plants are observed to produce malformations of their species as well as human beings, Magendie and his school infer that the human malformations of an identical character are not at all due to maternal imagination, since the former are not. If physical causes produce physical effects in the subordinate kingdoms, the inference is that the same rule must hold with ourselves.

But an entirely original theory was broached by Professor Armor, of the Long Island Medical College, in the course of a discussion recently held in the Detroit Academy of Medicine. In opposition to the orthodox views which Dr. Fisher represents, Professor Armor says that malformations result

from either one of two causes — 1, a deficiency or abnormal condition in the generative matter from which the fœtus is developed, or 2, morbid influences acting on the fœtus in utero. He maintains that the generative matter represents in its composition every tissue, structure, and form, and that there may be such a transmission of acquired structural peculiarities as would make the generative matter incapable of producing a healthy and equally‐developed offspring. On the other hand, the generative matter may be perfect in itself, but being subjected to morbid influences during the process of gestation, the offspring will, of necessity, be monstrous.

To be consistent, this theory must account for diploteratological cases (double‐headed or double‐membered monsters), which seems difficult. We might, perhaps, admit that in defective generative matter, the head of the embryo might not be represented, or any other part of the body be deficient; but, it hardly seems as if there could be two, three, or more representatives of a single member. Again, if the generative matter have hereditary taint, it seems as if all the resulting progeny should be equally monstrous; whereas the fact is that in many cases the mother has given birth to a number of healthy children before the monster made its appearance, all being the progeny of one father. Numerous cases of this kind are quoted by Dr. Fisher; among others he cites the case of Catherine Corcoran,* a ʺvery healthy woman, thirty years of age and who, previously to giving birth to this

* ʺDublin Quarterly Journal of Medical Science,ʺ vol. xv., p. 263, 1853.


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monster had born five well‐formed children, no two of which were twins . . . it had a head at either extremity, two chests, with arms complete, two abdominal and two pelvic cavities united end to end, with four legs placed two at either side, where the union between the two occurred.ʺ Certain parts of the body, however, were not duplicated, and therefore this cannot be claimed as a case of the growing together of twins.

Another instance is that of Maria Teresa Parodi.* This woman, who had previously given birth to eight well‐formed children, was delivered of a female infant the upper part of which only was double. Instances in which before and after the production of a monster the children were perfectly healthy are numerous, and if, on the other hand, the fact that monstrosities are as common with animals as they are with mankind is a generally‐accepted argument against the popular theory that these malformations are due to the imagination of the mother; and that other fact — that there is no difference between the ovarian cell of a mammifer and man, be admitted, what becomes of Professor Armorʹs theory? In such a case an instance of an animal‐malformation is as good as that of a human monster; and this is what we read in Dr. Samuel L. Mitchellʹs paper On two‐headed Serpents: ʺA female snake was killed, together with her whole brood of young ones, amounting to 120, of these three were monsters. One with two distinct heads; one with a double head and only three eyes; and one with a double skull, furnished with

three eyes, and a single lower jaw; this last had two bodies.ʺ† Surely the generative matter which produced these three monsters was identical with that which produced the other 117? Thus the Armor theory is as imperfect as all the rest.

The trouble proceeds from the defective method of reasoning usually adopted — Induction; a method which claims to collect by experiment and observation all the facts within its reach, the former being rather that of collecting and examining experiments and drawing conclusions therefrom; and, according to the author of Philosophical Inquiry, ʺas this conclusion cannot be extended beyond what is warranted by the experiments, the Induction is an instrument of proof and limitation.ʺ Notwithstanding this limitation is to be found in every scientific inquiry, it is rarely confessed, but hypotheses are constructed for us as though the experimenters had found them to be mathematically‐proved theorems, while they are, to say the most, simple approximations.

For a student of occult philosophy, who rejects in his turn the method of induction on account of these perpetual limitations, and fully adopts the Platonic division of causes — namely, the Efficient, the Formal, the Material, and the Final, as well as the Eleatic method of examining any given proposition, it is but natural to reason from the following stand‐point of the Neo‐platonic school: 1. The subject either is as it is supposed or is not. Therefore we will inquire: Does the universal ether, known by the kabalists as the ʺastral light,ʺ

* ʺRecherches dʹAnatomie transcendante et Pathologique, etc.,ʺ Paris, 1832. † ʺSillimanʹs Journal of Science and Art,ʺ vol. x., p. 48.


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contain electricity and magnetism, or does it not? The answer must be in the affirmative, for ʺexact scienceʺ herself teaches us that these two convertible agents saturating both the air and the earth, there is a constant interchange of electricity and magnetism between them. The question No. 1 being settled, we will have now to examine what happens — 1st. To it with respect to itself. 2d. To it with respect to all other things. 3d. With all other things, with respect to it. 4th. To all other things with respect to themselves.

ANSWERS: 1st. With respect to itself. That inherent properties previously latent in electricity, become active under favoring conditions; and that at one time the form of magnetic force is assumed by the subtile, all‐pervading agent; at another, the form of electric force is assumed.

2d. With respect to all other things. By all other things for which it has an affinity, it is attracted, by all others repelled.

3d. With all other things with respect to it. It happens that whenever they come in contact with electricity, they receive its impress in proportion to their conductivity.

4th. To all other things with respect to themselves. That under the impulse received from the electric force, and in proportion to its intensity, their molecules change their relations with each other; that either they are wrenched asunder, so as to destroy the object — organic or inorganic — which they formed, or, if previously disturbed, are brought into equilibrium (as in cases of disease); or the disturbance may be but superficial, and the object may be stamped with

the image of some other object encountered by the fluid before reaching them. To apply the above propositions to the case in point: There are several well‐recognized principles of science, as, for instance, that a pregnant woman is physically and mentally in a highly impressible state. Physiology tells us that her intellectual faculties are weakened, and that she is affected to an unusual degree by the most trifling events. Her pores are opened, and she exudes a peculiar cutaneous perspiration; she seems to be in a receptive condition for all the influences in nature. Reichenbachʹs disciples assert that her odic condition is very intense. Du Potet warns against incautiously mesmerizing her, for fear of affecting the offspring. Her diseases are imparted to it, and often it absorbs them entirely to itself; her pains and pleasures react upon its temperament as well as its health; great men proverbially have great mothers, and vice versa. ʺIt is true that her imagination has an influence upon the fœtus,ʺ admits Magendie, thus contradicting what he asserts in another place; and he adds that ʺsudden terror may cause the death of the fœtus, or retard its growth.ʺ*

In the case recently reported in the American papers, of a boy who was killed by a stroke of lightning, upon stripping the body, there was found imprinted upon his breast the faithful picture of a tree which grew near the window which he was facing at the time of the catastrophe, and which was also felled by the lightning. Now, this electrical photography,

* ʺPrecis Elementaire de Physiologie,ʺ p. 520.


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which was accomplished by the blind forces of nature, furnishes an analogy by which we may understand how the mental images of the mother are transmitted to the unborn child. Her pores are opened; she exudes an odic emanation which is but another form of the akasa, the electricity, or life‐ principle, and which, according to Reichenbach, produces mesmeric sleep, and consequently is magnetism. Magnetic currents develop themselves into electricity upon their exit from the body. An object making a violent impression on the motherʹs mind, its image is instantly projected into the astral light, or the universal ether, which Jevons and Babbage, as well as the authors of the Unseen Universe, tell us is the repository of the spiritual images of all forms, and even human thoughts. Her magnetic emanations attract and unite themselves with the descending current which already bears the image upon it. It rebounds, and re‐percussing more or less violently, impresses itself upon the fœtus, according to the very formula of physiology which shows how every maternal feeling reacts on the offspring. Is this kabalistic theory more hypothetical or incomprehensible than the teratological doctrine taught by the disciples of Geoffroi St. Hilaire? The doctrine, of which Magendie so justly observes, ʺis found convenient and easy from its vagueness and obscurity,ʺ and which ʺpretends to nothing less than the creation of a new science, the theory of which reposes on certain laws not very intelligible, as that of arresting, that of

retarding, that of similar or eccentric position, especially the great law, as it is called, of self for self.ʺ*

Eliphas Levi, who is certainly one of the best authorities on certain points among kabalists, says: ʺPregnant women are, more than others, under the influence of the astral light, which assists in the formation of their child, and constantly presents to them the reminiscences of forms with which it is filled. It is thus that very virtuous women deceive the malignity of observers by equivocal resemblances. They often impress upon the fruit of their marriage an image which has struck them in a dream, and thus are the same physiognomies perpetuated from age to age.

ʺThe kabalistic use of the pentagram can therefore determine the countenance of unborn infants, and an initiated woman might give to her son the features of Nereus or Achilles, as well as those of Louis XV. or Napoleon.ʺ†

If it should confirm another theory than that of Dr. Fisher, he should be the last to complain, for as he himself makes the confession, which his own example verifies:‡ ʺOne of the most formidable obstacles to the advancement of science . . .

has ever been a blind submission to authority. . . . To untrammel the mind from the influence of mere authority, that it may have free scope in the investigation of facts and laws which

* Ibid., p. 521.
† ʺDogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie,ʺ p. 175.

‡ ʺTransactions of Medical Society, etc.,ʺ p. 246.


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exist and are established in nature, is the grand antecedent necessary to scientific discovery and permanent progress.ʺ

If the maternal imagination can stunt the growth or destroy the life of the fœtus, why cannot it influence its physical appearance? There are some surgeons who have devoted their lives and fortunes to find the cause for these malformations, but have only reached the opinion that they are mere ʺcoincidences.ʺ It would be also highly unphilosophical to say that animals are not endowed with imagination; and, while it might be considered the acme of metaphysical speculation to even formulate the idea that members of the vegetable kingdom — say the mimosas and the group of insect‐catchers — have an instinct and even rudimentary imagination of their own, yet the idea is not without its advocates. If great physicists like Tyndall are forced to confess that even in the case of intelligent and speaking man they are unable to bridge the chasm between mind and matter, and define the powers of the imagination, how much greater must be the mystery about what takes place in the brain of a dumb animal.

What is imagination? Psychologists tell us that it is the plastic or creative power of the soul; but materialists confound it with fancy. The radical difference between the two, was however, so thoroughly indicated by Wordsworth, in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads, that it is no longer excusable to interchange the words. Imagination, Pythagoras maintained to be the remembrance of precedent spiritual, mental, and physical

states, while fancy is the disorderly production of the material brain.

From whatever aspect we view and question matter, the world‐old philosophy that it was vivified and fructified by the eternal idea, or imagination — the abstract outlining and preparing the model for the concrete form — is unavoidable. If we reject this doctrine, the theory of a cosmos evolving gradually out of its chaotic disorder becomes an absurdity; for it is highly unphilosophical to imagine inert matter, solely moved by blind force, and directed by intelligence, forming itself spontaneously into a universe of such admirable harmony. If the soul of man is really an outcome of the essence of this universal soul, an infinitesimal fragment of this first creative principle, it must of necessity partake in degree of all the attributes of the demiurgic power. As the creator, breaking up the chaotic mass of dead, inactive matter, shaped it into form, so man, if he knew his powers, could, to a degree, do the same. As Pheidias, gathering together the loose particles of clay and moistening them with water, could give plastic shape to the sublime idea evoked by his creative faculty, so the mother who knows her power can fashion the coming child into whatever form she likes. Ignorant of his powers, the sculptor produces only an inanimate though ravishing figure of inert matter; while the soul of the mother, violently affected by her imagination, blindly projects into the astral light an image of the object which impressed it, and, by re‐percussion, that is stamped upon the fœtus. Science tells us that the law of gravitation assures us that any displacement


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which takes place in the very heart of the earth will be felt throughout the universe, ʺand we may even imagine that the same thing will hold true of those molecular motions which accompany thought.ʺ* Speaking of the transmission of energy throughout the universal ether or astral light, the same authority says: ʺContinual photographs of all occurrences are thus produced and retained. A large portion of the energy of the universe may thus be said to be invested in such pictures.ʺ

Dr. Fournié, of the National Deaf and Dumb Institute of France, in chapter ii. of his work,† in discussing the question of the fœtus, says that the most powerful microscope is unable to show us the slightest difference between the ovarian cell of a mammifer and a man; and, respecting the first or last movement of the ovule, asks: ʺWhat is it? has it particular characters which distinguish it from every other ovule?ʺ and justly answers thus: ʺUntil now, science has not replied to these questions, and, without being a pessimist, I do not think that she ever will reply; from the day when her methods of investigation will permit her to surprise the hidden mechanism of the conflict of the principle of life with matter, she will know life itself, and be able to produce it.ʺ If our author had read the sermon of Pere Felix, how appropriately he might utter his Amen! to the priestʹs exclamation — MYSTERY! MYSTERY!

* Fournié, ʺPhysiologie du Système Nerveux, Cerebro‐spinal,ʺ Paris, 1872.

† Ibid.

Let us consider the assertion of Magendie in the light of recorded instances of the power of imagination in producing monstrous deformities, where the question does not involve pregnant women. He admits that these occur daily in the offspring of the lower animals; how does he account for the hatching of chickens with hawk‐heads, except upon the theory that the appearance of the hereditary enemy acted upon the henʹs imagination, which, in its turn, imparted to the matter composing the germ a certain motion which, before expanding itself, produced the monstrous chicks? We know of an analogous case, where a tame dove, belonging to a lady of our acquaintance, was frightened daily by a parrot, and in her next brood of young there were two squabs with parrotsʹ heads, the resemblance even extending to the color of the feathers. We might also cite Columella, Youatt, and other authorities, together with the experience of all animal breeders, to show that by exciting the imagination of the mother, the external appearance of the offspring can be largely controlled. These instances in no degree affect the question of heredity, for they are simply special variations of type artificially caused.

Catherine Crowe discusses at considerable length the question of the power of the mind over matter, and relates, in illustration, many well‐authenticated instances of the same.‡ Among others, that most curious phenomenon called the stigmata have a decided bearing upon this point. These marks

‡ ʺNight‐Side of Nature,ʺ by Catherine Crowe, p. 434, et seq.


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come upon the bodies of persons of all ages, and always as the result of exalted imagination. In the cases of the Tyrolese ecstatic, Catherine Emmerich, and many others, the wounds of the crucifixion are said to be as perfect as nature. A certain Mme. B. von N. dreamed one night that a person offered her a red and a white rose, and that she chose the latter. On awaking, she felt a burning pain in her arm, and by degrees there appeared the figure of a rose, perfect in form and color; it was rather raised above the skin. The mark increased in intensity till the eighth day, after which it faded away, and by the fourteenth, was no longer perceptible. Two young ladies, in Poland, were standing by an open window during a storm; a flash of lightning fell near them, and the gold necklace on the neck of one of them was melted. A perfect image of it was impressed upon the skin, and remained throughout life. The other girl, appalled by the accident to her companion, stood transfixed with horror for several minutes, and then fainted away. Little by little the same mark of a necklace as had been instantaneously imprinted upon her friendʹs body, appeared upon her own, and remained there for several years, when it gradually disappeared.

Dr. Justinus Kerner, the distinguished German author, relates a still more extraordinary case. ʺAt the time of the French invasion, a Cossack having pursued a Frenchman into a cul‐de‐sac, an alley without an outlet, there ensued a terrible conflict between them, in which the latter was severely wounded. A person who had taken refuge in this close, and could not get away, was so dreadfully frightened, that when

he reached home there broke out on his body the very same wounds that the Cossack had inflicted on his enemy!ʺ

In this case, as in those where organic disorders, and even physical death result from a sudden excitement of the mind reacting upon the body, Magendie would find it difficult to attribute the effect to any other cause than the imagination; and if he were an occultist, like Paracelsus, or Van Helmont, the question would be stripped of its mystery. He would understand the power of the human will and imagination — the former conscious, the latter involuntary — on the universal agent to inflict injury, physical and mental, not only upon chosen victims, but also, by reflex action, upon oneʹs self and unconsciously. It is one of the fundamental principles of magic, that if a current of this subtile fluid is not impelled with sufficient force to reach the objective point, it will react upon the individual sending it, as an India‐rubber ball rebounds to the throwerʹs hand from the wall against which it strikes without being able to penetrate it. There are many cases instanced where would‐be sorcerers fell victims themselves. Van Helmont says: ʺThe imaginative power of a woman vividly excited produces an idea, which is the connecting medium between the body and spirit. This transfers itself to the being with whom the woman stands in the most immediate relation, and impresses upon it that image which the most agitated herself.ʺ

Deleuze has collected, in his Bibliothèque du Magnetisme Animal, a number of remarkable facts taken from Van Helmont, among which we will content ourselves with


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quoting the following as pendants to the case of the bird‐ hunter, Jacques Pelissier. He says that ʺmen by looking steadfastly at animals oculis intentis for a quarter of an hour may cause their death; which Rousseau confirms from his own experience in Egypt and the East, as having killed several toads in this manner. But when he at last tried this at Lyons, the toad, finding it could not escape from his eye, turned round, blew itself up, and stared at him so fiercely, without moveing its eyes, that a weakness came over him even to fainting, and he was for some time thought to be dead.ʺ

But to return to the question of teratology. Wierus tells, in his De Præstigiis Demonum, of a child born of a woman who not long before its birth was threatened by her husband, he saying that she had the devil in her and that he would kill him. The motherʹs fright was such that her offspring appeared ʺwell‐shaped from the middle downward, but upward spotted with blackened red spots, with eyes in his forehead, a mouth like a Satyr, ears like a dog, and bended horns on its head like a goat.ʺ In a demonological work by Peramatus, there is a story of a monster born at St. Lawrence, in the West Indies, in the year 1573, the genuineness of which is certified to by the Duke of Medina‐Sidonia. The child, ʺbesides the horrible deformity of its mouth, ears, and nose, had two horns on the head, like those of young goats, long hair on his body, a fleshy girdle about his middle, double, from whence hung a piece of flesh like a purse, and a bell of flesh in his left hand like those the Indians use when they

dance, white boots of flesh on his legs, doubled down. In brief, the whole shape was horrid and diabolical, and conceived to proceed from some fright the mother had taken from the antic dances of the Indians.ʺ* Dr. Fisher rejects all such instances as unauthenticated and fabulous.

But we will not weary the reader with further selections from the multitude of teratological cases to be found recorded in the works of standard authors; the above suffice to show that there is reason to attribute these aberrations of physiological type to the mutual reaction of the maternal mind and the universal ether upon each other. Lest some should question the authority of Van Helmont, as a man of science, we will refer them to the work of Fournié, the well‐ known physiologist, where (at page 717) the following estimate of his character will be found: ʺVan Helmont was a highly distinguished chemist; he had particularly studied aëriform fluids, and gave them the name of gaz; at the same time he pushed his piety to mysticism, abandoning himself exclusively to a contemplation of the divinity. . . . Van Helmont is distinguished above all his predecessors by connecting the principle of life, directly and in some sort experimentally, as he tells us, with the most minute movements of the body. It is the incessant action of this entity, in no way associated by him with the material elements, but forming a distinct individuality, that we cannot

* Henry More, ʺImmortality of the Soul,ʺ p. 399.


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understand. Nevertheless, it is upon this entity that a famous school has laid its principal foundation.ʺ

Van Helmontʹs ʺprinciple of life,ʺ or archæus, is neither more nor less than the astral light of all the kabalists, and the universal ether of modern science. If the more unimportant signatures of the fœtus are not due to the imagination of the mother, to what other cause would Magendie attribute the formation of horny scales, the horns of goats and the hairy coats of animals, which we have seen in the above instances marking monstrous progeny? Surely there were no latent germs of these distinguishing features of the animal kingdom capable of being developed under a sudden impulse of the maternal fancy. In short, the only possible explanation is the one offered by the adepts in the occult sciences.

Before leaving the subject, we wish to say a few words more respecting the cases where the head, arm, and hand were instantly dissolved, though it was evident that in each instance the entire body of the child had been perfectly formed. Of what is a childʹs body composed at its birth? The chemists will tell us that it comprises a dozen pounds of solidified gas, and a few ounces of ashy residuum, some water, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbonic acid, a little lime, magnesia, phosphorus, and a few other minerals; that is all! Whence came they? How were they gathered together? How were these particles which Mr. Proctor tells us are drawn in from ʺthe depths of space surrounding us on all sides,ʺ formed and fashioned into the human being? We have seen that it is useless to ask the dominant school of which

Magendie is an illustrious representative; for he confesses that they know nothing of the nutrition, digestion, or circulation of the fœtus; and physiology teaches us that while the ovule is enclosed in the Graafian vesicle it participates — forms an integral part of the general structure of the mother. Upon the rupture of the vesicle, it becomes almost as independent of her for what is to build up the body of the future being as the germ in a birdʹs egg after the mother has dropped it in the nest. There certainly is very little in the demonstrated facts of science to contradict the idea that the relation of the embryonic child to the mother is much different from that of the tenant to the house, upon whose shelter he depends for health, warmth, and comfort.

According to Demokritus, the soul* results from the aggregation of atoms, and Plutarch describes his philosophy as follows: ʺThat there are substances infinite in number, indivisible, undisturbed, which are without differences, without qualities, and which move in space, where they are disseminated; that when they approach each other, they unite, interlock, and form by their aggregation water, fire, a plant, or a man. That all these substances, which he calls atoms by reason of their solidity, can experience neither change nor alteration. But,ʺ adds Plutarch, ʺwe cannot make a color of that which is colorless, nor a substance or soul of that

* By the word soul, neither Demokritus nor the other philosophers understood the nous or pneuma, the divine immaterial soul, but the psyche, or astral body; that which Plato always terms the second mortal soul.


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which is without soul and without quality.ʺ Professor Balfour Stewart says that this doctrine, in the hands of John Dalton, ʺhas enabled the human mind to lay hold of the laws which regulate chemical changes, as well as to picture to itself what is there taking place.ʺ After quoting, with approbation, Baconʹs idea that men are perpetually investigating the extreme limits of nature, he then erects a standard which he and his brother philosophers would do well to measure their behavior by. ʺSurely we ought,ʺ says he, ʺto be very cautious before we dismiss any branch of knowledge or train of thought as essentially unprofitable.ʺ*

Brave words, these. But how many are the men of science who put them into practice?

Demokritus of Abdera shows us space crammed with atoms, and our contemporary astronomers allow us to see how these atoms form into worlds, and afterward into the races, our own included, which people them. Since we have indicated the existence of a power in the human will, which, by concentrating currents of those atoms upon an objective point, can create a child corresponding to the motherʹs fancy, why is it not perfectly credible that this same power put forth by the mother, can, by an intense, albeit unconscious reversal of those currents, dissipate and obliterate any portion or even the whole of the body of her unborn child? And here comes in the question of false pregnancies, which have so often completely puzzled both physician and patient. If the head,

arm, and hand of the three children mentioned by Van Helmont could disappear, as a result of the emotion of horror, why might not the same or some other emotion, excited in a like degree, cause the entire extinction of the fœtus in so‐called false pregnancy? Such cases are rare, but they do occur, and moreover baffle science completely. There certainly is no chemical solvent in the motherʹs circulation powerful enough to dissolve her child, without destroying herself. We commend the subject to the medical profession, hoping that as a class they will not adopt the conclusion of Fournie, who says: ʺIn this succession of phenomena we must confine ourselves to the office of historian, as we have not even tried to explain the whys and wherefores of these things, for there lie the inscrutable mysteries of life, and in proportion as we advance in our exposition, we will be obliged to recognize that this is to us forbidden ground.ʺ†

Within the limits of his intellectual capabilities the true philosopher knows no forbidden ground, and should be content to accept no mystery of nature as inscrutable or inviolable.

No student of Hermetic philosophy, nor any spiritualist, will object to the abstract principle laid down by Hume that a miracle is impossible; for to suppose such a possibility would make the universe governed through special instead of general laws. This is one of the fundamental contradictions between science and theology. The former, reasoning upon

* Balfour Stewart, LL.D., F.R.S., ʺThe Conservation of Energy,ʺ p. 133. † Fournié, ʺPhysiologie du Système Nerveux,ʺ p. 16.


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universal experience, maintains that there is a general uniformity of the course of nature, while the latter assumes that the Governing Mind can be invoked to suspend general law to suit special emergencies. Says John Stuart Mill,* ʺIf we do not already believe in supernatural agencies, no miracle can prove to us their existence. The miracle itself, considered merely as an extraordinary fact, may be satisfactorily certified by our senses or by testimony; but nothing can ever prove that it is a miracle.

There is still another possible hypothesis, that of its being the result of some unknown natural cause; and this possibility cannot be so completely shut out as to leave no alternative but that of admitting the existence and intervention of a being superior to nature.ʺ

This is the very point which we have sought to bring home to our logicians and physicists. As Mr. Mill himself says, ʺWe cannot admit a proposition as a law of nature, and yet believe a fact in real contradiction to it. We must disbelieve the alleged fact, or believe that we were mistaken in admitting the supposed law.ʺ Mr. Hume cites the ʺfirm and unalterable experienceʺ of mankind, as establishing the laws whose operation ipso facto makes miracles impossible. The difficulty lies in his use of the adjective which is Italicized, for this is an assumption that our experience will never change, and that, as a consequence, we will always have the same experiments and observations upon which to base our judgment. It also

* ʺA System of Logic.ʺ Eighth ed., 1872, vol. ii., p. 165.

assumes that all philosophers will have the same facts to reflect upon. It also entirely ignores such collected accounts of philosophical experiment and scientific discovery as we may have been temporarily deprived of. Thus, by the burning of the Alexandrian Library and the destruction of Nineveh, the world has been for many centuries without the necessary data upon which to estimate the real knowledge, esoteric and exoteric, of the ancients. But, within the past few years, the discovery of the Rosetta stone, the Ebers, dʹAubigney, Anastasi, and other papyri, and the exhumation of the tile‐ libraries, have opened a field of archæological research which is likely to lead to radical changes in this ʺfirm and unalterable experience.ʺ The author of Supernatural Religion justly observes that ʺa person who believes anything contradictory to a complete induction, merely on the strength of an assumption which is incapable of proof, is simply credulous; but such an assumption cannot affect the real evidence for that thing.ʺ

In a lecture delivered by Mr. Hiram Corson, Professor of Anglo‐Saxon Literature at the Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y., before the alumni of St. Johnʹs College, Annapolis, in July, 1875, the lecturer thus deservedly rebukes science:

ʺThere are things,ʺ he says, ʺwhich Science can never do, and which it is arrogant in attempting to do. There was a time when Religion and the Church went beyond their legitimate domain, and invaded and harried that of Science, and imposed a burdensome tribute upon the latter; but it would seem that their former relations to each other are undergoing


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an entire change, and Science has crossed its frontiers and is invading the domain of Religion and the Church, and instead of a Religious Papacy, we are in danger of being brought under a Scientific Papacy — we are in fact already brought under such a Papacy; and as in the sixteenth century a protest was made, in the interests of intellectual freedom, against a religious and ecclesiastical despotism, so, in this nineteenth century, the spiritual and eternal interests of man demand that a protest should be made against a rapidly‐developing scientific despotism, and that Scientists should not only keep within their legitimate domain of the phenomenal and the conditioned, but should ʹreëxamine their stock in trade, so that we may make sure how far the stock of bullion in the cellar — on the faith of whose existence so much paper has been circulating — is really the solid gold of Truth.ʹ

ʺIf this is not done in science as well as in ordinary business, scientists are apt to put their capital at too high a figure, and accordingly carry on a dangerously‐inflated business. Even since Prof. Tyndall delivered his Belfast Address, it has been shown, by the many replies it has elicited, that the capital of the Evolution‐School of Philosophy to which he belongs, is not nearly so great as it was before vaguely supposed to be by many of the non‐scientific but intelligent portion of the world. It is quite surprising to a non‐ scientific person to be made aware of the large purely hypothetical domain which surrounds that of established science, and of which scientists often boast, as a part of their settled and available conquests.ʺ

Exactly; and at the same time denying the same privilege to others. They protest against the ʺmiraclesʺ of the Church, and repudiate, with as much logic, modern phenomena. In view of the admission of such scientific authorities as Dr. Youmans and others that modern science is passing through a transitional period, it would seem that it is time that people should cease to consider certain things incredible only because they are marvellous, and because they seem to oppose themselves to what we are accustomed to consider universal laws. There are not a few well‐meaning men in the present century who, desiring to avenge the memory of such martyrs of science as Agrippa, Palissy, and Cardan, nevertheless fail, through lack of means, to understand their ideas rightly. They erroneously believe that the Neo‐ platonists gave more attention to transcendental philosophy than to exact science.

ʺThe failures that Aristotle himself so often exhibits,ʺ remarks Professor Draper, ʺare no proof of the unreliability of his method, but rather of its trustworthiness. They are failures arising from want of a sufficiency of facts.ʺ*

What facts? we might inquire. A man of science cannot be expected to admit that these facts can be furnished by occult science, since he does not believe in the latter. Nevertheless, the future may demonstrate this verity. Aristotle has bequeathed his inductive method to our scientists; but until they supplement it with ʺthe universals of Plato,ʺ they will

* Draper, ʺConflict between Religion and Science,ʺ p. 22.


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experience still more ʺfailuresʺ than the great tutor of Alexander. The universals are a matter of faith only so long as they cannot be demonstrated by reason and based on uninterrupted experience. Who of our present‐day philosophers can prove by this same inductive method that the ancients did not possess such demonstrations as a consequence of their esoteric studies? Their own negations, unsupported as they are by proof, sufficiently attest that they do not always pursue the inductive method they so much boast of. Obliged as they are to base their theories, nolens volens, on the groundwork of the ancient philosophers, their modern discoveries are but the shoots put forth by the germs planted by the former. And yet even these discoveries are generally incomplete, if not abortive. Their cause is involved in obscurity and their ultimate effect unforeseen. ʺWe are not,ʺ says Professor Youmans, ʺto regard past theories as mere exploded errors, nor present theories as final. The living and growing body of truth has only mantled its old integuments in the progress to a higher and more vigorous state.ʺ* This language, applied to modern chemistry by one of the first philosophical chemists and most enthusiastic scientific writers of the day, shows the transitional state in which we find modern science; but what is true of chemistry is true of all its sister sciences.

Since the advent of spiritualism, physicians and pathologists are more ready than ever to treat great

* Edward L. Youmans, M.D., ʺA Class‐book of Chemistry,ʺ p. 4.

philosophers like Paracelsus and Van Helmont as superstitious quacks and charlatans, and to ridicule their notions about the archæus, or anima mundi, as well as the importance they gave to a knowledge of the machinery of the stars. And yet, how much of substantial progress has medicine effected since the days when Lord Bacon classed it among the conjectural sciences?

Such philosophers as Demokritus, Aristotle, Euripides, Epicurus, or rather his biographer, Lucretius, Æschylus, and other ancient writers, whom the materialists so willingly quote as authoritative opponents of the dreamy Platonists, were only theorists, not adepts. The latter, when they did write, either had their works burned by Christian mobs or they worded them in a way to be intelligible only to the initiated. Who of their modern detractors can warrant that he knows all about what they knew? Diocletian alone burned whole libraries of works upon the ʺsecret artsʺ; not a manuscript treating on the art of making gold and silver escaped the wrath of this unpolished tyrant. Arts and civilization had attained such a development at what is now termed the archaic ages that we learn, through Champollion, that Athothi, the second king of the first dynasty, wrote a work on anatomy, and the king Necho on astrology and astronomy. Blantasus and Cynchrus were two learned geographers of those pre‐Mosaic days. Ælian speaks of the Egyptian Iachus, whose memory was venerated for centuries for his wonderful achievements in medicine. He stopped the progress of several epidemics, merely with certain


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fumigations. A work of Apollonides, surnamed Orapios, is mentioned by Theophilus, patriarch of Antioch, entitled the Divine Book, and giving the secret biography and origin of all the gods of Egypt; and Ammianus Marcellinus speaks of a secret work in which was noted the precise age of the bull Apis

— a key to many a mystery and cyclic calculation. What has become of all these books, and who knows the treasures of learning they may have contained? We know but one thing for a certainty, and that is, that Pagan and Christian Vandals destroyed such literary treasures wherever they could find them; and that the emperor Alexander Severus went all over Egypt to collect the sacred books on mysticism and mythology, pillaging every temple; and that the Ethiopians — old as were the Egyptians in arts and sciences — claimed a priority of antiquity as well as of learning over them; as well they might, for they were known in India at the earliest dawn of history. We also know that Plato learned more secrets in Egypt than he was allowed to mention; and that, according to Champollion, all that is really good and scientific in Aristotleʹs works — so prized in our day by our modern inductionists — is due to his divine Master; and that, as a logical sequence, Plato having imparted the profound secrets he had learned from the priests of Egypt to his initiated disciples orally — who in their turn passed it from one generation to another of adepts — the latter know more of the occult powers of nature than our philosophers of the present day.

And here we may as well mention the works of Hermes Trismegistus. Who, or how many have had the opportunity to read them as they were in the Egyptian sanctuaries? In his Egyptian Mysteries, Iamblichus attributes to Hermes 1,100 books, and Seleucus reckons no less than 20,000 of his works before the period of Menes. Eusebius saw but forty‐two of these ʺin his time,ʺ he says, and the last of the six books on medicine treated on that art as practiced in the darkest ages;* and Diodorus says that it was the oldest of the legislators Mnevis, the third successor of Menes, who received them from Hermes.


* Sprengel, in his ʺHistory of Medicine,ʺ makes Van Helmont appear as if disgusted with the charlatanry and ignorant presumption of Paracelsus. ʺThe works of this latter,ʺ says Sprengel, ʺwhich he (Van Helmont) had attentively read, aroused in him the spirit of reformation; but they alone did not suffice for him, because his erudition and judgment were infinitely superior to those of that author, and he despised this mad egoist, this ignorant and ridiculous vagabond, who often seemed to have fallen into insanity.ʺ This assertion is perfectly false. We have the writings of Helmont himself to refute it. In the well‐known dispute between two writers, Goclenius, a professor in Marburg, who supported the great efficacy of the sympathetic salve discovered by Paracelsus, for the cure of every wound, and Father Robert, a Jesuit, who condemned all these cures, as he attributed them to the Devil, Van Helmont undertook to settle the dispute. The reason he gave for interfering was that all such disputes ʺaffected Paracelsus as their discoverer and himself as his discipleʺ (see ʺDe Magnetica Vulner.,ʺ and 1. c., p. 705).


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Of such manuscripts as have descended to us, most are but Latin retranslations of Greek translations, made principally by the Neo‐platonists from the original books preserved by some adepts. Marcilius Ficinus, who was the first to publish them in Venice, in 1488, has given us mere extracts, and the most important portions seemed to have been either overlooked, or purposely omitted as too dangerous to publish in those days of Auto da fé. And so it happens now, that when a kabalist who has devoted his whole life to studying occultism, and has conquered the great secret, ventures to remark that the Kabala alone leads to the knowledge of the Absolute in the Infinite, and the Indefinite in the Finite, he is laughed at by those who because they know the impossibility of squaring the circle as a physical problem, deny the possibility of its being done in the metaphysical sense.

Psychology, according to the greatest authorities on the subject, is a department of science hitherto almost unknown. Physiology, according to Fournié, one of its French authorities, is in so bad a condition as to warrant his saying in the preface to his erudite work Physiologie du Système Nerveux, that ʺwe perceive at last that not only is the physiology of the brain not worked out, but also that no physiology whatever of the nervous system exists.ʺ Chemistry has been entirely remodelled within the past few years; therefore, like all new sciences, the infant cannot be considered as very firm on its legs. Geology has not yet been able to tell anthropology how long man has existed. Astronomy, the most exact of sciences,

is still speculating and bewildered about cosmic energy, and many other things as important. In anthropology, Mr. Wallace tells us, there exists a wide difference of opinion on some of the most vital questions respecting the nature and origin of man. Medicine has been pronounced by various eminent physicians to be nothing better than scientific guess‐ work. Everywhere incompleteness, nowhere perfection. When we look at these earnest men groping around in the dark to find the missing links of their broken chains, they seem to us like persons starting from a common, fathomless abyss by divergent paths. Each of these ends at the brink of a chasm which they cannot explore.

On the one hand they lack the means to descend into its hidden depths, and on the other they are repulsed at each attempt by jealous sentries, who will not let them pass. And so they go on watching the lower forces of nature and from time to time initiating the public into their great discoveries. Did they not actually pounce upon vital force and catch her playing in her game of correlation with chemical and physical forces? Indeed they did. But if we ask them whence this vital force? How is it that they who had so firmly believed, but a short time since, that matter was destructible and passed out of existence, and now have learned to believe as firmly that it does not, are unable to tell us more about it? Why are they forced in this case as in many others to return to a doctrine taught by Demokritus twenty‐four centuries ago?* Ask them,

* Demokritus said that, as from nothing, nothing could be produced, so there was not anything that could ever be reduced to nothing.


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and they will answer: ʺCreation or destruction of matter, increase or diminution of matter, lies beyond the domain of science . . . her domain is confined entirely to the changes of matter . . . the domain of science lies within the limits of these changes — creation and annihilation lie outside of her domain.ʺ* Ah! no, they lie only outside the grasp of materialistic scientists. But why affirm the same of science? And if they say that ʺforce is incapable of destruction, except by the same power which created it,ʺ then they tacitly admit the existence of such a power, and have therefore no right to throw obstacles in the way of those who, bolder than themselves, try to penetrate beyond, and find that they can only do so by lifting the Veil of Isis.

But, surely among all these inchoate branches of science, there must be some one at least complete! It seems to us that we heard a great clamor of applause, ʺas the voice of many waters,ʺ over the discovery of protoplasm. But, alas! when we turned to read Mr. Huxley, the learned parent of the new‐ born infant is found saying: ʺIn perfect strictness, it is true that chemical investigation can tell us little or nothing, directly, of the composition of living matter, and . . . it is also in strictness, true, that WE KNOW NOTHING about the composition of any body whatever, as it is!ʺ

This is a sad confession, indeed. It appears, then, that the Aristotelian method of induction is a failure in some cases,

* J. Le Conte, ʺCorrelation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces,ʺ


after all. This also seems to account for the fact that this model philosopher, with all his careful study of particulars before rising to universals, taught that the earth was in the centre of the universe; while Plato, who lost himself in the maze of Pythagorean ʺvagaries,ʺ and started from general principles, was perfectly versed in the heliocentric system. We can easily prove the fact, by availing ourselves of the said inductive method for Platoʹs benefit. We know that the Sodalian oath of the initiate into the Mysteries prevented his imparting his knowledge to the world in so many plain words. ʺIt was the dream of his life,ʺ says Champollion, ʺto write a work and record in it in full the doctrines taught by the Egyptian hierophants; he often talked of it, but found himself compelled to abstain on account of the ʹsolemn oath.ʹʺ

And now, judging our modern‐day philosophers on the vice versa method — namely, arguing from universals to particulars, and laying aside scientists as individuals to merely give our opinion of them, viewed as a whole — we are forced to suspect this highly respectable association of extremely petty feelings toward their elder, ancient, and archaic brothers. It really seems as if they bore always in mind the adage, ʺPut out the sun, and the stars will shine.ʺ

We have heard a French Academician, a man of profound learning, remark, that he would gladly sacrifice his own reputation to have the record of the many ridiculous mistakes and failures of his colleagues obliterated from the public memory. But these failures cannot be recalled too often in considering our claims and the subject we advocate. The time


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will come when the children of men of science, unless they inherit the soul‐blindness of their skeptical parents, will be ashamed of the degrading materialism and narrow‐ mindedness of their fathers. To use an expression of the venerable William Howitt, ʺThey hate new truths as the owl and the thief hate the sun. . . . Mere intellectual enlightenment cannot recognize the spiritual. As the sun puts out a fire, so spirit puts out the eyes of mere intellect.ʺ

It is an old, old story. From the days when the preacher wrote, ʺthe eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing,ʺ scientists have deported themselves as if the saying were written to describe their own mental condition. How faithfully Lecky, himself a rationalist, unconsciously depicts this propensity in men of science to deride all new things, in his description of the manner in which ʺeducated menʺ receive an account of a miracle having taken place! ʺThey receive it,ʺ says he, ʺwith an absolute and even derisive incredulity, which dispenses with all examination of the evidences!ʺ Moreover, so saturated do they become with the fashionable skepticism after once having fought their way into the Academy, that they turn about and enact the role of persecutors in their turn. ʺIt is a curiosity of science,ʺ says Howitt, ʺthat Benjamin Franklin, who had himself experienced the ridicule of his countrymen for his attempts to identify lightning and electricity, should have been one of the Committee of Savants, in Paris, in 1778, who examined the

claims of mesmerism, and condemned it as absolute quackery!ʺ*

If men of science would confine themselves to the discrediting of new discoveries, there might be some little excuse for them on the score of their tendency to a conservatism begotten of long habits of patient scrutiny; but they not only set up claims to originality not warranted by fact, but contemptuously dismiss all allegations that the people of ancient times knew as much and even more than themselves. Pity that in each of their laboratories there is not suspended this text from Ecclesiastes: ʺIs there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.ʺ† In the verse which follows the one here quoted, the wise man says, ʺThere is no remembrance of former thingsʺ; so that this utterance may account for every new denial. Mr. Meldrum may exact praise for his meteorological observation of Cyclones in the Mauritius, and Mr. Baxendell, of Manchester, talk learnedly of the convection‐currents of the earth, and Dr. Carpenter and Commander Maury map out for us the equatorial current, and Professor Henry show us how the moist wind deposits its burden to form rivulets and rivers, only to be again rescued from the ocean and returned to the hill‐tops — but hear what Koheleth says: ʺThe wind goeth toward the south,

* The date is incorrect; it should be 1784.

† Ecclesiastes i. 10.


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and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.ʺ*

ʺAll the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full: unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.ʺ†

The philosophy of the distribution of heat and moisture by means of ascending and descending currents between the equator and the poles, has a very recent origin; but here has the hint been lying unnoticed in our most familiar book, for nearly three thousand years. And even now, in quoting it, we are obliged to recall the fact that Solomon was a kabalist, and in the above texts, simply repeats what was written thousands of years before his time.

Cut off as they are from the accumulation of facts in one‐ half of the universe, and that the most important, modern scholars are naturally unable to construct a system of philosophy which will satisfy themselves, let alone others. They are like men in a coal mine, who work all day and emerge only at night, being thereby unable to appreciate or understand the beauty and glory of the sunshine. Life to them measures the term of human activity, and the future presents to their intellectual perception only an abyss of darkness. No hope of an eternity of research, achievement, and consequent pleasure, softens the asperities of present existence; and no reward is offered for exertion but the bread‐earning of to‐day,

* Ibid., i. 6.

† Ibid., i. 7.

and the shadowy and profitless fancy that their names may not be forgotten for some years after the grave has closed over their remains. Death to them means extinction of the flame of life, and the dispersion of the fragments of the lamp over boundless space. Said Berzelius, the great chemist, at his last hour, as he burst into tears: ʺDo not wonder that I weep. You will not believe me a weak man, nor think I am alarmed by what the doctor has to announce to me. I am prepared for all. But I have to bid farewell to science; and you ought not to wonder that it costs me dear.ʺ‡

‡ Siljeström, ʺMinnesfest öfver Berzelius,ʺ p. 79.


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How bitter must be the reflections of such a great student of nature as this, to find himself forcibly interrupted midway toward the accomplishment of some great study, the construction of some great system, the discovery of some mystery which had baffled mankind for ages, but which the dying philosopher had dared hope that he might solve! Look at the world of science to‐day, and see the atomic theorists, patching the tattered robes which expose the imperfections of their separate specialties! See them mending the pedestals upon which to set up again the idols which had fallen from the places where they had been worshipped before this revolutionary theory had been exhumed from the tomb of Demokritus by John Dalton! In the ocean of material science they cast their nets, only to have the meshes broken when some unexpected and monstrous problem comes their way. Its water is like the Dead Sea — bitter to the taste; so dense, that they can scarcely immerse themselves in it, much less dive to its bottom, having no outlet, and no life beneath its waves, or along its margin. It is a dark, forbidding, trackless waste; yielding nothing worth the having, because what it yields is without life and without soul.

There was a period of time when the learned Academics made themselves particularly merry at the simple enunciation of some marvels which the ancients gave as having occurred under their own observations. What poor dolts — perhaps liars, these appeared in the eyes of an

enlightened century! Did not they actually describe horses and other animals, the feet of which presented some resemblance to the hands and feet of men? And in A.D. 1876, we hear Mr. Huxley giving learned lectures in which the protohippus, rejoicing in a quasi‐human fore‐arm, and the orohippus with his four toes and Eocene origin, and the hypothetical pedactyl equus, maternal grand‐uncle of the present horse, play the most important part. The marvel is corroborated! Materialistic Pyrrhonists of the nineteenth century avenge the assertions of superstitious Platonists; the antediluvian gobe‐mouches. And before Mr. Huxley, Geoffroi St. Hilaire has shown an instance of a horse which positively had fingers separated by membranes.* When the ancients spoke of a pigmy race in Africa, they were taxed with falsehood. And yet, pigmies like these were seen and examined by a French scientist during his voyage in the Tenda Maia, on the banks of the Rio Grande in 1840;† by Bayard Taylor at Cairo, in 1874; and by M. Bond, of the Indian Trigonometrical Survey, who discovered a wild dwarfish race, living in the hill‐jungles of the western Galitz, to the southwest of the Palini Hills, a race, though often heard of, no trace of which had previously been found by the survey. ʺThis is a new pigmy race, resembling the African Obongos of du Chaillu, the Akkas of Schweinfurth, and the Dokos of Dr. Krapf, in their size, appearance, and habits.ʺ†

* ʺSeance de lʹAcademie de Paris,ʺ 13 Aout, 1807.

† Mollien, ʺVoyage dans lʹinterieur de lʹAfrique,ʺ tome ii., p. 210.


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Herodotus was regarded as a lunatic for speaking of a people who he was told slept during a night which lasted six months. If we explain the word ʺsleptʺ by an easy misunderstanding it will be more than easy to account for the rest as an allusion to the night of the Polar Regions.* Pliny has an abundance of facts in his work, which until very recently, were rejected as fables. Among others, he mentions a race of small animals, the males of which suckle their young ones. This assertion afforded much merriment among our savants. In his

Report of the Geological Survey of the Territories, for 1872, Mr. C. H. Merriam describes a rare and wonderful species of rabbit (Lepus Bairdi) inhabiting the pine‐regions about the head‐ waters of the Wind and Yellowstone Rivers, in Wyoming.† Mr. Merriam secured five specimens of this animal, ʺwhich . .

. are the first individuals of the species that have been brought before the scientific world. One very curious fact is that all the males have teats, and take part in suckling their young! . . . Adult males had large teats full of milk, and the hair around the nipple of one was wet, and stuck to it, showing that, when taken, he had been engaged in nursing his young.ʺ In the Carthaginian account of the early voyages of Hanno,‡ was found a long description of ʺsavage people . . . whose bodies were hairy and whom the interpreters called gorillæʺ; a[nqrwpoi a[grioi , as the text reads, clearly implying thereby that these wild men were monkeys. Until our present

* ʺThe Popular Science Monthly,ʺ May, 1876, p. 110.
† Malte‐Brun, pp. 372, 373; Herodotus.

‡ ʺThe Popular Science Monthly,ʺ Dec., 1874, p. 252, New York.

century, the statement was considered an idle story, and Dodwell rejected altogether the authenticity of the manuscript and its contents.§ The celebrated Atlantis is attributed by the latest modern commentator and translator of Platoʹs works to one of Platoʹs ʺnoble lies.ʺ** Even the frank admission of the philosopher, in the Timæus, that ʺthey say, that in their time . . . the inhabitants of this island (Poseidon) preserved a tradition handed down by their ancestors concerning the existence of the Atlantic island of a prodigious magnitude . . . etc.ʺ†† does not save the great teacher from the imputation of falsehood, by the ʺinfallible modern school.ʺ

§ The original was suspended in the temple of Saturn, at Carthage. Falconer gave two dissertations on it, and agrees with Bougainville in referring it to the sixth century before the Christian era. See Coryʹs

ʺAncient Fragments.ʺ ** Professor Jowett.
†† ʺOn the Atlantic Island (from Marcellus) Ethiopic History.ʺ


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Among the great mass of peoples plunged deep in the superstitious ignorance of the mediæval ages, there were but a few students of the Hermetic philosophy of old, who, profiting by what it had taught them, were enabled to forecast discoveries which are the boast of our present age; while at the same time the ancestors of our modern high‐ priests of the temple of the Holy Molecule, were yet discovering the hoof‐tracks of Satan in the simplest natural phenomenon. Says Professor A. Wilder: ʺRoger Bacon (thirteenth century), in his treatise on the Admirable Force of Art and Nature, devotes the first part of his work to natural facts. He gives us hints of gunpowder and predicts the use of steam as a propelling power. The hydraulic press, the diving bell and kaleidoscope are all described.ʺ* The ancients speak of waters metamorphosed into blood; of blood‐rain, of snow‐ storms during which the earth was covered to the extent of many miles with snow of blood. This fall of crimson particles has been proved, like everything else, to be but a natural phenomenon. It has occurred at different epochs, but the cause of it remains a puzzle until the present day.

De Candolle, one of the most distinguished botanists of this century, sought to prove in 1825, at the time when the waters of the lake of Morat had apparently turned into a thick

* ʺAlchemy, or the Hermetic Philosophy.ʺ

blood, that the phenomenon could be easily accounted for. He attributed it to the development of myriads of those half‐ vegetable, half‐infusory animals which he terms Oscellatoria rubescens, and which form the link between animal and vegetable organisms.† Elsewhere we give an account of the red snow which Captain Ross observed in the Arctic regions. Many memoirs have been written on the subject by the most eminent naturalists, but no two of them agree in their hypotheses. Some call it ʺpollen powder of a species of pineʺ; others, small insects; and Professor Agardt confesses very frankly that he is at a loss to either account for the cause of such phenomena, or to explain the nature of the red substance.‡

The unanimous testimony of mankind is said to be an irrefutable proof of truth; and about what was ever testimony more unanimous than that for thousands of ages among civilized people as among the most barbarous, there has existed a firm and unwavering belief in magic? The latter implies a contravention of the laws of nature only in the minds of the ignorant; and if such ignorance is to be deplored in the ancient uneducated nations, why do not our civilized and highly‐educated classes of fervent Christians, deplore it also in themselves? The mysteries of the Christian religion have been no more able to stand a crucial test than biblical miracles. Magic alone, in the true sense of the word, affords a clew to the wonders of Aaronʹs rod, and the feats of the magi

† See ʺRevue Encyclopédique,ʺ vol. xxxiii., p. 676.

‡ ʺBulletin de la Soc. Geograph.,ʺ vol. vi., pp. 209‐220.


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of Pharaoh, who opposed Moses; and it does that without either impairing the general truthfulness of the authors of the Exodus, or claiming more for the prophet of Israel than for others, or allowing the possibility of a single instance in which a ʺmiracleʺ can happen in contravention of the laws of nature. Out of many ʺmiracles,ʺ we may select for our illustration that of the ʺriver turned into blood.ʺ The text says: ʺTake thy rod and stretch out thine hand (with the rod in it) upon the waters, streams, etc. . . . that they may become blood.ʺ

We do not hesitate to say that we have seen the same thing repeatedly done on a small scale, the experiment not having been applied to a river in these cases. From the time of Van Helmont, who, in the seventeenth century, despite the ridicule to which he exposed himself, was willing to give the true directions for the so‐called production of eels, frogs, and infusoria of various kinds, down to the champions of spontaneous generation of our own century, it has been known that such a quickening of germs is possible without calling in the aid of miracle to contravene natural law. The experiments of Pasteur and Spallanzani, and the controversy of the panspermists with the heterogenists — disciples of Buffon, among them Needham — have too long occupied public attention to permit us to doubt that beings may be called into existence whenever there is air and favorable conditions of moisture and temperature. The records of the

official meetings of the Academy of Sciences of Paris* contain accounts of frequent appearances of such showers of blood‐ red snow and water. These blood‐spots were called lepra vestuum, and were but these lichen‐infusoria. They were first observed in 786 and 959, in both of which years occurred great plagues. Whether these zoocarps were plants or animals is undetermined to this day, and no naturalist would risk stating as a certainty to what division of the organic kingdom of nature they belong. No more can modern chemists deny that such germs can be quickened, in a congenial element, in an incredibly short space of time. Now, if chemistry has, on the one hand, found means of depriving the air of its floating germs, and under opposite conditions can develop, or allow these organisms to develop, why could not the magicians of Egypt do so ʺwith their enchantmentsʺ? It is far easier to imagine that Moses, who, on the authority of Manetho, had been an Egyptian priest, and had learned all the secrets of the land of Chemia, produced ʺmiraclesʺ according to natural laws, than that God Himself violated the established order of His universe.

We repeat that we have seen this sanguification of water produced by Eastern adepts. It can be done in either of two ways: In one case the experimenter employed a magnetic rod strongly electrified, which he passed over a quantity of water in a metallic basin, following a prescribed process, which we have no right to describe more fully at present; the water

* See ʺRevue Encyclopédique,ʺ vols. xxxiii. and xxxiv., pp. 676‐395.


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threw up in about ten hours a sort of reddish froth, which after two hours more became a kind of lichen, like the lepraria kermasina of Baron Wrangel. It then changed into a blood‐red jelly, which made of the water a crimson liquid that, twenty‐ four hours later, swarmed with living organisms. The second experiment consisted in thickly strowing the surface of a sluggish brook, having a muddy bottom, with the powder of a plant that had been dried in the sun and subsequently pulverized. Although this powder was seemingly carried off by the stream, some of it must have settled to the bottom, for on the following morning the water thickened at the surface and appeared covered with what de Candolle describes as Oscellatoria rubescens, of a crimson‐red color, and which he believes to be the connecting link between vegetable and animal life.

Taking the above into consideration, we do not see why the learned alchemists and physicists — physicists, we say — of the Mosaic period should not also have possessed the natural secret of developing in a few hours myriads of a kind of these bacteria, whose spores are found in the air, the water, and most vegetable and animal tissues. The rod plays as important a part in the hands of Aaron and Moses as it did in all so‐called ʺmagic mummeriesʺ of kabalist‐magicians in the middle ages, that are now considered superstitious foolery and charlatanism. The rod of Paracelsus (his kabalistic trident) and the famous wands of Albertus Magnus, Roger Bacon, and Henry Kunrath, are no more to be ridiculed than the graduating‐rod of our electro‐magnetic physicians.

Things which appeared preposterous and impossible to the ignorant quacks and even learned scientists of the last century, now begin to assume the shadowy outlines of probability, and in many cases are accomplished facts. Nay, some learned quacks and ignorant scientists even begin to admit this truth.

In a fragment preserved by Eusebius, Porphyry, in his Letter to Anebo, appeals to Chœremon, the ʺhierogrammatist,ʺ to prove that the doctrine of the magic arts, whose adepts ʺcould terrify even the gods,ʺ was really countenanced by Egyptian sages.* Now, bearing in mind the rule of historical evidence propounded by Mr. Huxley, in his Nashville address, two conclusions present themselves with irresistible force: First, Porphyry, being in such unquestioned repute as a highly moral and honorable man, not given to exaggeration in his statements, was incapable of telling a lie about this matter, and did not lie; and second, that being so learned in every department of human knowledge about which he treats,† it was most unlikely that he should be imposed upon as regards the magic ʺarts,ʺ and he was not imposed upon. Therefore, the doctrine of chances supporting the theory of

* Porphyry, ʺEpistola ad Anebo., ap. Euseb. Præp. Evangel,ʺ v. 10; Iamblichus, ʺDe Mysteriis Ægypt.ʺ; Porphyrii, ʺEpistola ad Anebonem Ægyptium.ʺ

† ʺPorphyry,ʺ says the ʺClassical Dictionaryʺ of Lemprière, ʺwas a man of universal information, and, according to the testimony of the ancients, he excelled his contemporaries in the knowledge of history, mathematics, music, and philosophy.ʺ


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Professor Huxley, compels us to believe, 1, That there was really such a thing as magic ʺartsʺ; and, 2, That they were known and practiced by the Egyptian magicians and priests, whom even Sir David Brewster concedes to have been men of profound scientific attainments.