Chapter 12, 13.


ʺYou never hear the really philosophical defenders of the doctrine of uniformity speaking of impossibilities in nature. They never say what they are constantly charged with saying, that it is impossible for the Builder of the universe to alter his work. . . .

No theory upsets them (the English clergy). . . . Let the most destructive hypothesis be stated only in the language current among gentlemen, and they look it in the face.ʺ

TYNDALL, Lecture on the Scientific Use of the Imagination

ʺThe world will have a religion of some kind, even though it should fly for it to the intellectual whoredom of Spiritualism.ʺ

TYNDALL, Fragments of Science

ʺBut first on earth as vampires sent

Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent. . . .

And suck the blood of all thy race.ʺ



WE are now approaching the hallowed precincts of that Janus‐god — the molecular Tyndall. Let us enter them barefoot. As we pass the sacred adyta of the temple of learning, we are nearing the blazing sun of the Huxleyocentric system. Let us cast down our eyes, lest we be blinded.


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We have discussed the various matters contained in this book, with such moderation as we could command in view of the attitude which the scientific and theological world have maintained for centuries toward those from whom they have inherited the broad foundations of all the actual knowledge which they possess. When we stand at one side, and, as a spectator, see how much the ancients knew, and how much the moderns think they know, we are amazed that the unfairness of our contemporary schoolmen should pass undetected.

Every day brings new admissions of scientists themselves, and the criticisms of well‐informed lay observers. We find the following illustrative paragraph in a daily paper:

ʺIt is curious to note the various opinions which prevail among scientific men in regard to some of the most ordinary natural phenomena. The aurora is a notable case in point. Descartes considered it a meteor falling from the upper regions of the atmosphere. Halley attributed it to the magnetism of the terrestrial globe, and Dalton agreed with this opinion. Coates supposed that the aurora was derived from the fermentation of a matter emanating from the earth. Marion held it to be a consequence of a contact between the bright atmosphere of the sun and the atmosphere of our planet. Euler thought the aurora proceeded from the vibrations of the ether among the particles of the terrestrial atmosphere. Canton and Franklin regarded it as a purely electrical phenomenon, and Parrot attributed it to the conflagration of hydrogen‐carbonide escaping from the earth

in consequence of the putrefaction of vegetable substances, and considered the shooting stars as the initial cause of such conflagration. De la Rive and Oersted concluded it to be an electro‐magnetic phenomenon, but purely terrestrial. Olmsted suspected that a certain nebulous body revolved around the sun in a certain time, and that when this body came into the neighborhood of the earth, a part of its gaseous material mixed with our atmosphere, and that this was the origin of the phenomenon of the aurora.ʺ And so we might say of every branch of science.

Thus, it would seem that even as to the most ordinary natural phenomena, scientific opinion is far from being unanimous. There is not an experimentalist or theologian, who, in dealing with the subtile relations between mind and matter, their genesis and ultimate, does not draw a magical circle, the plane of which he calls forbidden ground. Where faith permits a clergyman to go, he goes; for, as Tyndall says, ʺthey do not lack the positive element — namely, the love of truth; but the negative element, the fear of error, preponderates.ʺ But the trouble is, that their dogmatic creed weighs down the nimble feet of their intellect, as the ball and chain does the prisoner in the trenches.

As to the advance of scientists, their very learning, moreover, is impeded by these two causes — their constitutional incapacity to understand the spiritual side of nature, and their dread of public opinion. No one has said a sharper thing against them than Professor Tyndall, when he remarks, ʺin fact, the greatest cowards of the present day are


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not to be found among the clergy, but within the pale of science itself.ʺ* If there had been the slightest doubt of the applicability of this degrading epithet, it was removed by the conduct of Professor Tyndall himself; for, in his Belfast address, as President of the British Association, he not only discerned in matter ʺthe promise and potency of every form and quality of life,ʺ but pictured science as ʺwresting from theology the entire domain of cosmological theoryʺ; and then, when confronted with an angry public opinion, issued a revised edition of the address in which he had modified his expression, substituting for the words ʺevery form and quality of life,ʺ all terrestrial life. This is more than cowardly — it is an ignominious surrender of his professed principles. At the time of the Belfast meeting, Mr. Tyndall had two pet aversions — Theology and Spiritualism. What he thought of the former has been shown; the latter he called ʺa degrading belief.ʺ When hard pressed by the Church for alleged atheism, he made haste to disclaim the imputation, and sue for peace; but, as his agitated ʺnervous centresʺ and ʺcerebral moleculesʺ had to equilibrate by expanding their force in some direction, he turns upon the helpless, because pusillanimous, spiritualists, and in his Fragments of Science insults their belief after this fashion: ʺThe world will have a religion of some kind, even though it should fly for it to the intellectual whoredom of Spiritualism.ʺ What a monstrous anomaly, that some millions of intelligent persons should permit themselves to be thus reviled by a leader in science,

who, himself, has told us that ʺthe thing to be repressed both in science and out of it is ʹdogmatism!ʹ ʺ

We will not encroach upon space by discussing the etymological value of the epithet. While expressing the hope that it may not be adopted in future ages by science as a Tyndallism, we will simply remind the benevolent gentleman of a very characteristic feature in himself. One of our most intelligent, honorable, and erudite spiritualists, an author of no small renown,† has pointedly termed this feature as ʺhis (Tyndallʹs) simultaneous coquetry with opposite opinions.ʺ If we are to accept the epithet of Mr. Tyndall in all its coarse signification, it applies less to spiritualists, who are faithful to their belief, than to the atheistical scientist who quits the loving embraces of materialism to fling himself in the arms of a despised theism; only because he finds his profit in it.

We have seen how Magendie frankly confesses the ignorance of physiologists as to some of the most important problems of life, and how Fournie agrees with him. Professor Tyndall admits that the evolution‐hypothesis does not solve, does not profess to solve, the ultimate mystery.

We have also given as much thought as our natural powers will permit to Professor Huxleyʹs celebrated lecture

On the Physical Basis of Life, so that what we may say in this volume as to the tendency of modern scientific thought may be free from ignorant misstatement. Compressing his theory within the closest possible limits, it may be formulated thus:

* ʺOn the Scientific Use of the Imagination.ʺ † Epes Sargent. See his pamphlet, ʺDoes Matter Do It All?ʺ


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Out of cosmic matter all things are created; dissimilar forms result from different permutations and combinations of this matter; matter has ʺdevoured spirit,ʺ hence spirit does not exist; thought is a property of matter; existing forms die that others may take their place; the dissimilarity in organism is due only to varying chemical action in the same life‐matter — all protoplasm being identical.

As far as chemistry and microscopy goes, Professor Huxleyʹs system may be faultless, and the profound sensation caused throughout the world by its enunciation can be readily understood. But its defect is that the thread of his logic begins nowhere, and ends in a void. He has made the best possible use of the available material. Given a universe crowded with molecules, endowed with active force, and containing in themselves the principle of life, and all the rest is easy; one set of inherent forces impel to aggregate into worlds, and another to evolve the various forms of plant and animal organism. But what gave the first impulse to those molecules and endowed them with that mysterious faculty of life? What is this occult property which causes the protoplasms of man, beast, reptile, fish, or plant, to differentiate, each ever evolving its own kind, and never any other? And after the physical body gives up its constituents to the soil and air, ʺwhether fungus or oak, worm or man,ʺ what becomes of the life which once animated the frame?

Is the law of evolution, so imperative in its application to the method of nature, from the time when cosmic molecules are floating, to the time when they form a human brain, to be

cut short at that point, and not allowed to develop more perfect entities out of this ʺpreëxistent law of formʺ? Is Mr. Huxley prepared to assert the impossibility of manʹs attainment to a state of existence after physical death, in which he will be surrounded with new forms of plant and animal life, the result of new arrangements of now sublimated matter?*

He acknowledges that he knows nothing about the phenomena of gravitation; except that, in all human experience, as ʺstones, unsupported, have fallen to the ground, there is no reason for believing that any stone so circumstanced will not fall to the ground.ʺ But, he utterly repels any attempt to change this probability into a necessity, and in fact says: ʺI utterly repudiate and anathematize the intruder. Facts I know, and Law I know; but what is this necessity, save an empty shadow of my own mindʹs throwing?ʺ It is this, only, that everything which happens in nature is the result of necessity, and a law once operative will continue to so operate indefinitely until it is neutralized by an

* In his ʺEssay on Classificationʺ (sect. xvii., pp. 97‐99), Louis Agassiz, the great zoölogist, remarks, ʺMost of the arguments in favor of the immortality of man apply equally to the permanency of this principle in other living beings. May I not add that a future life in which man would be deprived of that great source of enjoyment and intellectual and moral improvement, which results from the contemplation of the harmonies of an organic world would involve a lamentable loss? And may we not look to a spiritual concert of the combined worlds and all their inhabitants in the presence of their creator as the highest conception of paradise?ʺ


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opposing law of equal potency. Thus, it is natural that the stone should fall to the ground in obedience to one force, and it is equally natural that it should not fall, or that having fallen, it should rise again, in obedience to another force equally potent; which Mr. Huxley may, or may not, be familiar with. It is natural that a chair should rest upon the floor when once placed there, and it is equally natural (as the testimony of hundreds of competent witnesses shows) that it should rise in the air, untouched by any visible, mortal hand. Is it not Mr. Huxleyʹs duty to first ascertain the reality of this phenomenon, and then invent a new scientific name for the force behind it?


ʺFacts I know,ʺ says Mr. Huxley, ʺand Law I know.ʺ Now, by what means did he become acquainted with Fact and Law? Through his own senses, no doubt; and these vigilant servants enabled him to discover enough of what he considers truth to construct a system which he himself confesses ʺappears almost shocking to common sense.ʺ If his testimony is to be accepted as the basis for a general reconstruction of religious belief, when they have produced only a theory after all, why is not the cumulative testimony of millions of people as to the occurrence of phenomena which undermine its very foundations, worthy of a like respectful consideration? Mr. Huxley is not interested in these phenomena, but these millions are; and while he has been digesting his ʺbread and mutton‐protoplasms,ʺ to gain

strength for still bolder metaphysical flights, they have been recognizing the familiar handwriting of those they loved the best, traced by spiritual hands, and discerning the shadowy simulacra of those who, having lived here, and passed through the change of death, give the lie to his pet theory.

So long as science will confess that her domain lies within the limits of these changes of matter; and that chemistry will certify that matter, by changing its form ʺfrom the solid or liquid, to the gaseous condition,ʺ only changes from the visible to the invisible; and that, amid all these changes, the same quantity of matter remains, she has no right to dogmatize. She is incompetent to say either yea or nay, and must abandon the ground to persons more intuitional than her representatives.

High above all other names in his Pantheon of Nihilism, Mr. Huxley writes that of David Hume. He esteems that philosopherʹs great service to humanity to be his irrefragable demonstration of ʺthe limits of philosophical inquiry,ʺ outside which lie the fundamental doctrines ʺof spiritualism,ʺ and other ʺisms.ʺ It is true that the tenth chapter of Humeʹs

Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding was so highly esteemed by its author, that he considered that ʺwith the wise and learnedʺ it would be an ʺeverlasting check to all kinds of superstitious delusion,ʺ which with him was simply a convertible term to represent a belief in some phenomena previously unfamiliar and by him arbitrarily classified as miracle. But, as Mr. Wallace justly observes, Humeʹs apothegm, that ʺa miracle is a violation of the laws of nature,ʺ


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is imperfect; for in the first place it assumes that we know all the laws of nature; and, second, that an unusual phenomenon is a miracle. Mr. Wallace proposes that a miracle should be defined as: ʺany act or event necessarily implying the existence and agency of superhuman intelligences.ʺ Now Hume himself says that ʺa uniform experience amounts to a proof,ʺ and Huxley, in this famous essay of his, admits that all we can know of the existence of the law of gravitation is that since, in all human experience, stones unsupported have fallen to the ground, there is no reason for believing that the same thing will not occur again, under the same circumstances, but, on the contrary, every reason to believe that it will.

If it were certain that the limits of human experience could never be enlarged, then there might be some justice in Humeʹs assumption that he was familiar with all that could happen under natural law, and some decent excuse for the contemptuous tone which marks all of Huxleyʹs allusions to spiritualism. But, as it is evident from the writings of both these philosophers, that they are ignorant of the possibilities of psychological phenomena, too much caution cannot be used in according weight to their dogmatic assertions. One would really suppose that a person who should permit himself such rudeness of criticism upon spiritualistic manifestations had qualified himself for the office of censor by an adequate course of study; but, in a letter addressed to the London Dialectical Society, Mr. Huxley, after saying that he had no time to devote to the subject, and that it does not

interest him, makes the following confession, which shows us upon what slight foundation modern scientists sometimes form very positive opinions. ʺThe only case of spiritualism,ʺ he writes, ʺI ever had the opportunity of examining into for myself, was as gross an imposture as ever came under my notice.ʺ

What would this protoplasmic philosopher think of a spiritualist who, having had but one opportunity to look through a telescope, and upon that sole occasion had had some deception played upon him by a tricky assistant at the observatory, should forthwith denounce astronomy as a ʺdegrading beliefʺ? This fact shows that scientists, as a rule, are useful only as collectors of physical facts; their generalizations from them are often feebler and far more illogical than those of their lay critics. And this also is why they misrepresent ancient doctrines.

Professor Balfour Stewart pays a very high tribute to the philosophical intuition of Herakleitus, the Ephesian, who lived five centuries before our era; the ʺcryingʺ philosopher who declared that ʺfire was the great cause, and that all things were in a perpetual flux.ʺ ʺIt seems clear,ʺ says the professor, ʺthat Herakleitus must have had a vivid conception of the innate restlessness and energy of the universe, a conception allied in character to, and only less precise than that of modern philosophers who regard matter as essentially dynamical.ʺ He considers the expression fire as very vague; and quite naturally, for the evidence is wanting to show that either Prof. Balfour Stewart (who seems less inclined to materialism than some of his colleagues) or any of his


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contemporaries understand in what sense the word fire was used.


His opinions about the origin of things were the same as those of Hippocrates. Both entertained the same views of a supreme power,* and, therefore, if their notions of primordial fire, regarded as a material force, in short, as one akin to Leibnitzʹs dynamism, were ʺless preciseʺ than those of modern philosophers, a question which remains to be settled yet, on the other hand their metaphysical views of it were far more philosophical and rational than the one‐sided theories of our present‐day scholars. Their ideas of fire were precisely those of the later ʺfire‐philosophers,ʺ the Rosicrucians, and the earlier Zoroastrians. They affirmed that the world was created of fire, the divine spirit of which was an omnipotent and omniscient GOD. Science has condescended to corroborate their claims as to the physical question.

Fire, in the ancient philosophy of all times and countries, including our own, has been regarded as a triple principle. As water comprises a visible fluid with invisible gases lurking within, and, behind all the spiritual principle of nature, which gives them their dynamic energy, so, in fire, they recognized: 1st. Visible flame; 2d. Invisible, or astral fire — invisible when inert, but when active producing heat, light, chemical force, and electricity, the molecular powers; 3d. Spirit. They applied

* ʺDiog. in Vita.ʺ

the same rule to each of the elements; and everything evolved from their combinations and correlations, man included, was held by them to be triune. Fire, in the opinion of the Rosicrucians, who were but the successors of the theurgists, was the source, not only of the material atoms, but also of the forces which energize them. When a visible flame is extinguished it has disappeared, not only from the sight but also from the conception of the materialist, forever. But the Hermetic philosopher follows it through the ʺpartition‐world of the knowable, across and out on the other side into the unknowable,ʺ as he traces the disembodied human spirit, ʺvital spark of heavenly flame,ʺ into the Æthereum, beyond the grave.†

This point is too important to be passed by without a few words of comment. The attitude of physical science toward the spiritual half of the cosmos is perfectly exemplified in her gross conception of fire. In this, as in every other branch of science, their philosophy does not contain one sound plank: every one is honeycombed and weak. The works of their own authorities teeming with humiliating confessions, give us the right to say that the floor upon which they stand is so unstable, that at any moment some new discovery, by one of their own number, may knock away the props and let them all fall in a heap together. They are so anxious to drive spirit out of their conceptions that, as Balfour Stewart says: ʺThere is a tendency to rush into the opposite extreme, and to work

† See the works of Robertus de Fluctibus; and the ʺRosicrucians,ʺ by Hargrave Jennings.


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physical conceptions to an excess.ʺ He utters a timely warning in adding: ʺLet us be cautious that, in avoiding Scylla, we do not rush into Charybdis. For the universe has more than one point of view, and there are possibly regions which will not yield their treasures to the most determined physicists, armed only with kilogrammes and meters and standard clocks.ʺ* In another place he confesses: ʺWe know nothing, or next to nothing, of the ultimate structure and properties of matter, whether organic or inorganic.ʺ

As to the other great question — we find in Macaulay, a still more unreserved declaration: ʺThe question what becomes of man after death — we do not see that a highly educated European, left to his unassisted reason, is more likely to be in the right than a Blackfoot Indian. Not a single one of the many sciences in which we surpass the Blackfoot Indians throws the smallest light on the state of the soul after the animal life is extinct. In truth, all the philosophers, ancient and modern, who have attempted, without the help of revelation, to prove the immortality of man, from Plato down to Franklin, appear to us to have failed deplorably.ʺ

There are revelations of the spiritual senses of man which may be trusted far more than all the sophistries of materialism. What was a demonstration and a success in the eyes of Plato and his disciples is now considered the overflow of a spurious philosophy and a failure. The scientific methods are reversed. The testimony of the men of old, who were

nearer to truth, for they were nearer to the spirit of nature — the only aspect under which the Deity will allow itself to be viewed and understood — and their demonstrations, are rejected. Their speculations — if we must believe the modern thinkers — are but the expression of a redundance of the unsystematic opinions of men unacquainted with the scientific method of the present century. They foolishly based the little they knew of physiology on well‐demonstrated psychology, while the scholar of our day bases psychology — of which he confesses himself utterly ignorant — on physiology, which to him is as yet a closed book, and has not even a method of its own, as Fournie tells us. As to the last objection in Macaulayʹs argument, it was answered by Hippocrates centuries ago: ʺAll knowledge, all arts are to be found in nature,ʺ he says ; “if we question her properly she will reveal to us the truths to pertain to each of these and to ourselves. What is nature in operation but the very divinity itself manifesting its presence ? How are we to interrogate her ; and how is she to answer us? We must proceed with faith, with the firm assurance of discovering at last the whole of the truth ; and nature will let us know her answer, through our inner sense, which with the help of our knowledge of a certain art or science, reveals to us the truth so clearly that further doubt becomes impossible.”†

* Professor B. Stewart, ʺConservation of Energy.ʺ † Cabanis, “Histoire de la Medecine.”


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Thus, in the case in hand, the instinct of Macaulay’s Blackfoot Indian is more to be trusted than the most instructed and developed reason, as regards man’s inner sense which assures him of his immortality. Instinct is the universal endowment of nature by the Spirit of the Deity itself; reason the slow development of our physical constitution, an evolution of our adult material brain. Instinct, as a divine spark, lurks in the unconscious nerve‐centre of the ascidian mollusk, and manifests itself at the first stage of action of its nervous system as what the physiologist terms the reflex action. It exists in the lowest classes of. the acephalous animals as well as in those that have distinct heads; it grows and develops according to the law of the double evolution, physically and spiritually; and entering upon its conscious stage of development and progress in the cephalous species already endowed with a sensorium and symmetrically‐arranged ganglia, this reflex action, whether men of science term it automatic, as in the lowest species, or instinctive, as in the more complex organisms which act under the guidance of the sensorium and the stimulus originating in distinct sensation, is still one and the same thing. It is the divine instinct in its ceaseless progress of development. This instinct of the animals, which act from the moment of their birth each in the confines prescribed to them by nature, and which know how, save in accident proceeding from a higher instinct than their own, to take care of

themselves unerringly—this instinct may, for the sake of exact definition, be termed automatic ; but it must have either within the animal which possesses it or without, something’s or some one’s intelligence to guide it.

This belief, instead of clashing with the doctrine of evolution and gradual development held by eminent men of our day, simplifies and completes it, on the contrary. It can readily dispense with special creation for each species; for, where the first place must be allowed to form less spirit, form and material substance are of a secondary importance. Each perfected species in the physical evolution only affords more scope to the directing intelligence to act within the improved nervous system.

The artist will display his waves of harmony better on a royal Erard than he could have done on a spinet of the sixteenth century. Therefore whether this instinctive impulse was directly impressed upon the nervous system of the first insect, or each species has gradually had it developed in itself by instinctively mimicking the acts of its like, as the more perfected doctrine of Herbert Spencer has it, is immaterial to the present subject. The question concerns spiritual evolution only. And if we reject this hypothesis as unscientific and undemonstrated, then will the physical aspect of evolution have to follow it to the ground in its turn, because the one is as undemonstrated as the other, and the spiritual intuition of man is not allowed to dovetail the two, under the pretext that it is ʺunphilosophical.ʺ Whether we wish it or not, we will have to fall back on the old query of Plutarchʹs Symposiacs,


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whether it was the bird or the egg which first made its appearance.

Now that the Aristotelean authority is shaken to its foundations with that of Plato; and our men of science reject every authority — nay hate it, except each his own; and the general estimate of human collective wisdom is at the lowest discount, mankind, headed by science itself, is still irrepressibly drawing back to the starting‐point of the oldest philosophies. We find our idea perfectly expressed by a writer in the Popular Science Monthly. ʺThe gods of sects and specialities,ʺ says Osgood Mason, ʺmay perhaps be failing of their accustomed reverence, but, in the mean time, there is dawning on the world, with a softer and serener light, the conception, imperfect though it still may be, of a conscious, originating, all‐pervading active soul — the ʹOver‐Soul,ʹ the Cause, the Deity; unrevealed through human form or speech, but filling and inspiring every living soul in the wide universe according to its measure: whose temple is Nature, and whose worship is admiration.ʺ This is pure Platonism, Buddhism, and the exalted but just views of the earliest Aryans in their deification of nature. And such is the expression of the ground‐thought of every theosophist, kabalist, and occultist in general; and if we compare it with the quotation from Hippocrates, which precedes the above, we will find in it exactly the same thought and spirit.

To return to our subject. The child lacks reason, it being as yet latent in him; and meanwhile he is inferior to the animal as to instinct proper. He will burn or drown himself before he

learns that fire and water destroy and are dangerous for him; while the kitten will avoid both instinctively. The little instinct the child possesses fades away as reason, step by step, develops itself. It may be objected, perhaps, that instinct cannot be a spiritual gift, because animals possess it in a higher degree than man, and animals have no souls. Such a belief is erroneous and based upon very insecure foundations. It came from the fact that the inner nature of the animal could be fathomed still less than that of man, who is endowed with speech and can display to us his psychological powers.

But what proofs other than negative have we that the animal is without a surviving, if not immortal, soul? On strictly scientific grounds we can adduce as many arguments pro as contra. To express it clearer, neither man nor animal can offer either proof or disproof of the survival of their souls after death. And from the point of view of scientific experience, it is impossible to bring that which has no objective existence under the cognizance of any exact law of science. But Descartes and Bois‐Raymond have exhausted their imaginations on the subject, and Agassiz could not realize such a thing as a future existence not shared by the animals we loved, and even the vegetable kingdom which surrounds us. And it is enough to make oneʹs feelings revolt against the claimed justice of the First Cause to believe that while a heartless, cold‐blooded villain has been endowed with an immortal spirit, the noble, honest dog, often self‐ denying unto death; that protects the child or master he loves


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at the peril of his life; that never forgets him, but starves himself on his grave; the animal in whom the sense of justice and generosity are sometimes developed to an amazing degree, will be annihilated! No, away with the civilized reason which suggests such heartless partiality. Better, far better to cling to oneʹs instinct in such a case, and believe with the Indian of Pope, whose ʺuntutored mindʺ can only picture to himself a heaven where

ʺ. . . admitted to that equal sky, His faithful dog shall bear him company.ʺ

Space fails us to present the speculative views of certain ancient and mediæval occultists upon this subject. Suffice it that they antedated Darwin, embraced more or less all his theories on natural selection and the evolution of species, and largely extended the chain at both ends. Moreover, these philosophers were explorers as daring in psychology as in physiology and anthropology. They never turned aside from the double parallel‐path traced for them by their great master Hermes. ʺAs above, so below,ʺ was ever their axiom; and their physical evolution was traced out simultaneously with the spiritual one.

On one point, at least, our modern biologists are quite consistent: unable, as yet, to demonstrate the existence of a distinct individual soul in animals, they deny it to man. Reason has brought them to the brink of Tyndallʹs ʺimpassable chasm,ʺ between mind and matter; instinct alone can teach them to bridge it. When in their despair of ever being able to fathom the mystery of life, they will have come

to a dead stop, their instinct may reassert itself, and take them across the hitherto fathomless abyss. This is the point which Professor John Fiske and the authors of the Unseen Universe seem to have reached; and Wallace, the anthropologist and ex‐materialist, to have been the first to courageously step over. Let them push boldly on till they discover that it is not spirit that dwells in matter, but matter which clings temporarily to spirit; and that the latter alone is an eternal, imperishable abode for all things visible and invisible.

Esoteric philosophers held that everything in nature is but a materialization of spirit. The Eternal First Cause is latent spirit, they said, and matter from the beginning. ʺIn the beginning was the word . . . and the word was God.ʺ While conceding the idea of such a God to be an unthinkable abstraction to human reason, they claimed that the unerring human instinct grasped it as a reminiscence of something concrete to it though intangible to our physical senses. With the first idea, which emanated from the double‐sexed and hitherto‐inactive Deity, the first motion was communicated to the whole universe, and the electric thrill was instantaneously felt throughout the boundless space. Spirit begat force, and force matter; and thus the latent deity manifested itself as a creative energy.

When; at what point of the eternity; or how? the question must always remain unanswered, for human reason is unable to grasp the great mystery. But, though spirit‐matter was from all eternity, it was in the latent state; the evolution of our visible universe must have had a beginning. To our feeble


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intellect, this beginning may seem so remote as to appear to us eternity itself — a period inexpressible in figures or language. Aristotle argued that the world was eternal, and that it will always be the same; that one generation of men has always produced another, without ever having had a beginning that could be determined by our intellect. In this, his teaching, in its exoteric sense, clashed with that of Plato, who taught that ʺthere was a time when mankind did not perpetuate itselfʺ; but in spirit both the doctrines agreed, as Plato adds immediately: ʺThis was followed by the earthly human race, in which the primitive history was gradually forgotten and man sank deeper and deeperʺ; and Aristotle says: ʺIf there has been a first man he must have been born without father or mother — which is repugnant to nature. For there could not have been a first egg to give a beginning to birds, or there should have been a first bird which gave a beginning to eggs; for a bird comes from an egg.ʺ The same he held good for all species, believing, with Plato, that everything before it appeared on earth had first its being in spirit.


This mystery of first creation, which was ever the despair of science, is unfathomable, unless we accept the doctrine of the Hermetists. Though matter is coëternal with spirit, that matter is certainly not our visible, tangible, and divisible matter, but its extreme sublimation. Pure spirit is but one remove higher. Unless we allow man to have been evolved

out of this primordial spirit‐matter, how can we ever come to any reasonable hypothesis as to the genesis of animate beings? Darwin begins his evolution of species at the lowest point and traces upward. His only mistake may be that he applies his system at the wrong end. Could he remove his quest from the visible universe into the invisible, he might find himself on the right path. But then, he would be following in the footsteps of the Hermetists.

That our philosophers — positivists — even the most learned among them, never understood the spirit of the mystic doctrines taught by the old philosophers — Platonists

— is evident from that most eminent modern work, Conflict between Religion and Science. Professor Draper begins his fifth chapter by saying that ʺthe Pagan Greeks and Romans believed that the spirit of man resembles his bodily form, varying its appearance with his variations, and growing with his growth.ʺ What the ignorant masses thought is a matter of little consequence, though even they could never have indulged in such speculations taken a la lettre. As to Greek and Roman philosophers of the Platonic school, they believed no such thing of the spirit of man, but applied the above doctrine to his soul, or psychical nature, which, as we have previously shown, is not the divine spirit.

Aristotle, in his philosophical deduction On Dreams, shows this doctrine of the twofold soul, or soul and spirit, very plainly. ʺIt is necessary for us to ascertain in what portion of the soul dreams appear,ʺ he says. All the ancient Greeks believed not only a double, but even a triple soul to exist in


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man. And even Homer we find terming the animal soul, or the astral soul, called by Mr. Draper ʺspirit,ʺ quvmoʺ , and the divine one nouʺ — the name by which Plato also designated the higher spirit.

The Hindu Jainas conceive the soul, which they call Jiva, to have been united from all eternity to even two sublimated ethereal bodies, one of which is invariable and consists of the divine powers of the higher mind; the other variable and composed of the grosser passions of man, his sensual affections, and terrestrial attributes. When the soul becomes purified after death it joins its Vaycarica, or divine spirit, and becomes a god. The followers of the Vedas, the learned Brahmins, explain the same doctrine in the Vedanta. The soul, according to their teaching, as a portion of the divine universal spirit or immaterial mind, is capable of uniting itself with the essence of its highest Entity. The teaching is explicit; the Vedanta affirms that whoever attains the thorough knowledge of his god becomes a god while yet in his mortal body, and acquires supremacy over all things.

Quoting from the Vedaic theology the verse which says: ʺThere is in truth but one Deity, the Supreme Spirit; he is of the same nature as the soul of man,ʺ Mr. Draper shows the Buddhistic doctrines as reaching Eastern Europe through Aristotle. We believe the assertion unwarranted, for Pythagoras, and after him Plato, taught them long before Aristotle. If subsequently the later Platonists accepted in their dialectics the Aristotelean arguments on emanation, it was merely because his views coincided in some respect with

those of the Oriental philosophers. The Pythagorean number of harmony and Platoʹs esoteric doctrines on creation are inseparable from the Buddhistic doctrine of emanation; and the great aim of the Pythagorean philosophy, namely, to free the astral soul from the fetters of matter and sense, and make it thereby fit for an eternal contemplation of spiritual things, is a theory identical with the Buddhistic doctrine of final absorption. It is the Nirvana, interpreted in its right sense; a metaphysical tenet that just begins to be suspected now by our latest Sanscrit scholars.

If the doctrines of Aristotle have exercised on the later Neo‐platonists such a ʺdominating influence,ʺ how is it that neither Plotinus, nor Porphyry, nor Proclus ever accepted his theories on dreams and prophetic soul‐visions? While Aristotle held that most of those who prophesy have ʺdiseases of madnessʺ* — thus furnishing some American plagiarists and specialists with a few reasonable ideas to disfigure — the views of Porphyry, hence those of Plotinus, were quite the reverse. In the most vital questions of metaphysical speculations Aristotle is constantly contradicted by the Neo‐platonists. Furthermore, either the Buddhistic Nirvana is not the nihilistic doctrine, as it is now represented to be, or the Neo‐platonists did not accept it in this sense. Surely Mr. Draper will not take upon himself to affirm that either Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, or any other philosopher of their mystic school, did not believe in the

* ʺDe Vatibus in Problemate,ʺ sect. 21.


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soulʹs immortality? To say that either of them sought ecstasy as a ʺforetaste of absorption into the universal mundane soul,ʺ in the sense in which the Buddhist Nirvana is understood by every Sanscrit scholar, is to wrong these philosophers. Nirvana is not, as Mr. Draper has it, a ʺreabsorption in the Universal Force, eternal rest, and blissʺ; but, when taken literally by the said scholars, means the blowing out, the extinction, complete annihilation, and not absorption.* No one, so far as we know, has ever taken upon himself to ascertain the true metaphysical meaning of this word, which is not to be found, even in the Lankâvatâra,† which gives the different interpretations of the Nirvana by the Brahmans‐Tirthakas. Therefore, for one who reads this passage in Mr. Draperʹs work, and bears in mind but the usually‐accepted meaning of the Nirvana, will naturally suppose that Plotinus and Porphyry were nihilists. Such a page in the Conflict gives us a certain right to suppose that either 1, the learned author desired to place Plotinus and Porphyry on the same plane with Giordano Bruno, of whom he makes, very erroneously, an atheist; or, 2, that he never took the trouble of studying the lives of these philosophers and their views.


* See Max Müller, ʺThe Meaning of Nirvana.ʺ

† ʺThe Lankâvatâra,ʺ transl. by Burnouf, p. 514.

Now, for one who knows Professor Draper, even by reputation, the latter supposition is simply absurd. Therefore, we must think, with deep regret, that his desire was to misrepresent their religious aspirations. It is decidedly an awkward thing for modern philosophers, whose sole aim seems to be the elimination of the ideas of God and the immortal spirit from the mind of humanity, to have to treat with historical impartiality the most celebrated of the Pagan Platonists. To have to admit, on the one hand, their profound learning, their genius, their achievements in the most abstruse philosophical questions, and therefore their sagacity; and, on the other, their unreserved adhesion to the doctrine of immortality, of the final triumph of spirit over matter, and their implicit faith in God and the gods, or spirits; in the return of the dead, apparitions, and other ʺspiritualʺ matters, is a dilemma from which academical human nature could not reasonably be expected to extricate itself so easily.

The plan resorted to by Lemprière,‡ in such an emergency as the above, is coarser than Professor Draperʹs, but equally effective. He charges the ancient philosophers with deliberate falsehood, trickery, and credulity. After painting to his readers Pythagoras, Plotinus, and Porphyry as marvels of learning, morality, and accomplishments; as men eminent for personal dignity, purity of lives, and self‐abnegation in the pursuit of divine truths, he does not hesitate to rank ʺthis celebrated philosopherʺ (Pythagoras) among impostors; while

‡ ʺClassical Dictionary.ʺ


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to Porphyry he attributes ʺcredulity, lack of judgment, and dishonesty.ʺ Forced by the facts of history to give them their just due in the course of his narrative, he displays his bigoted prejudice in the parenthetical comments which he allows himself. From this antiquated writer of the last century we learn that a man may be honest, and at the same time an impostor; pure, virtuous, and a great philosopher, and yet dishonest, a liar, and a fool!


We have shown elsewhere that the ʺsecret doctrineʺ does not concede immortality to all men alike. ʺThe eye would never see the sun, if it were not of the nature of the sun,ʺ said Plotinus. Only ʺthrough the highest purity and chastity we shall approach nearer to God, and receive in the contemplation of Him, the true knowledge and insight,ʺ writes Porphyry. If the human soul has neglected during its life‐time to receive its illumination from its Divine Spirit, our personal God, then it becomes difficult for the gross and sensual man to survive for a great length of time his physical death. No more than the misshapen monster can live long after its physical birth, can the soul, once that it has become too material, exist after its birth into the spiritual world. The viability of the astral form is so feeble, that the particles cannot cohere firmly when once it is slipped out of the unyielding capsule of the external body. Its particles, gradually obeying the disorganizing attraction of universal space, finally fly asunder beyond the possibility of

reaggregation. Upon the occurrence of such a catastrophe, the individual ceases to exist; his glorious Augoeides has left him. During the intermediary period between his bodily death and the disintegration of the astral form, the latter, bound by magnetic attraction to its ghastly corpse, prowls about, and sucks vitality from susceptible victims. The man having shut out of himself every ray of the divine light, is lost in darkness, and, therefore, clings to the earth and the earthy.

No astral soul, even that of a pure, good, and virtuous man, is immortal in the strictest sense; ʺfrom elements it was formed — to elements it must return.ʺ Only, while the soul of the wicked vanishes, and is absorbed without redemption, that of every other person, even moderately pure, simply changes its ethereal particles for still more ethereal ones; and, while there remains in it a spark of the Divine, the individual man, or rather, his personal ego, cannot die. ʺAfter death,ʺ says Proclus, ʺthe soul (the spirit) continueth to linger in the aërial body (astral form), till it is entirely purified from all angry and voluptuous passions . . . then doth it put off by a second dying the aërial body as it did the earthly one. Whereupon, the ancients say that there is a celestial body always joined with the soul, and which is immortal, luminous, and star‐like.ʺ

But, we will now turn from our digression to further consider the question of reason and instinct. The latter, according to the ancients, proceeded from the divine, the former from the purely human. One (the instinct) is the product of the senses, a sagaciousness shared by the lowest


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animals, even those who have no reason — it is the ais zhtikon ; the other is the product of the reflective faculties — nohtikovn , denoting judiciousness and human intellectuality. Therefore, an animal devoid of reasoning powers has in its inherent instinct an unerring faculty which is but that spark of the divine which lurks in every particle of inorganic matter

— itself materialized spirit. In the Jewish Kabala, the second and third chapters of Genesis are explained thus: When the second Adam is created ʺout of the dust,ʺ matter has become so gross that it reigns supreme. Out of its lusts evolves woman, and Lilith has the best of spirit. The Lord God, ʺwalking in the garden in the cool of the dayʺ (the sunset of spirit, or divine light obscured by the shadows of matter) curses not only them who have committed the sin, but even the ground itself, and all living things — the tempting serpent‐matter above all.

Who but the kabalists are able to explain this seeming act of injustice? How are we to understand this cursing of all created things, innocent of any crime? The allegory is evident. The curse inheres in matter itself. Henceforth, it is doomed to struggle against its own grossness for purification; the latent spark of divine spirit, though smothered, is still there; and its invincible attraction upward compels it to struggle in pain and labor to free itself. Logic shows us that as all matter had a common origin, it must have attributes in common, and as the vital and divine spark is in manʹs material body, so it must lurk in every subordinate species. The latent mentality which, in the lower kingdoms is recognized as semi‐

consciousness, consciousness, and instinct, is largely subdued in man. Reason, the outgrowth of the physical brain, develops at the expense of instinct — the flickering reminiscence of a once divine omniscience — spirit. Reason, the badge of the sovereignty of physical man over all other physical organisms, is often put to shame by the instinct of an animal. As his brain is more perfect than that of any other creature, its emanations must naturally produce the highest results of mental action; but reason avails only for the consideration of material things; it is incapable of helping its possessor to a knowledge of spirit. In losing instinct, man loses his intuitional powers, which are the crown and ultimatum of instinct. Reason is the clumsy weapon of the scientists — intuition the unerring guide of the seer. Instinct teaches plant and animal their seasons for the procreation of their species, and guides the dumb brute to find his appropriate remedy in the hour of sickness. Reason — the pride of man — fails to check the propensities of his matter, and brooks no restraint upon the unlimited gratification of his senses. Far from leading him to be his own physician, its subtile sophistries lead him too often to his own destruction.

Nothing is more demonstrable than the proposition that the perfection of matter is reached at the expense of instinct. The zoophyte attached to the submarine rock, opening its mouth to attract the food that floats by, shows, proportionately with its physical structure, more instinct than the whale. The ant, with its wonderful architectural, social, and political abilities, is inexpressibly higher in the scale than


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the subtile royal tiger watching its prey. ʺWith awe and wonder,ʺ exclaims du Bois‐Raymond, ʺmust the student of nature regard that microscopic molecule of nervous substance which is the seat of the laborious, constructive, orderly, loyal, dauntless soul of the ant!ʺ

Like everything else which has its origin in psychological mysteries, instinct has been too long neglected in the domain of science. ʺWe see what indicated the way to man to find relief for all his physical ailings,ʺ says Hippocrates. ʺIt is the instinct of the earlier races, when cold reason had not as yet obscured manʹs inner vision. . . . Its indication must never be disdained, for it is to instinct alone that we owe our first remedies.ʺ* Instantaneous and unerring cognition of an omniscient mind, instinct is in everything unlike the finite reason; and in the tentative progress of the latter, the god‐like nature of man is often utterly engulfed, whenever he shuts out from himself the divine light of intuition. The one crawls, the other flies; reason is the power of the man, intuition the prescience of the woman!

Plotinus, the pupil of the great Ammonius Saccas, the chief founder of the Neo‐platonic school, taught that human knowledge had three ascending steps: opinion, science, and illumination. He explained it by saying that ʺthe means or instrument of opinion is sense, or perception; of science, dialectics; of illumination, intuition (or divine instinct). To the

* See Cabanis, ʺHistoire de la Medecine.ʺ

last, reason is subordinate; it is absolute knowledge founded on the identification of the mind with the object known.ʺ

Prayer opens the spiritual sight of man, for prayer is desire, and desire develops WILL; the magnetic emanations proceeding from the body at every effort — whether mental or physical — produce self‐magnetization and ecstasy. Plotinus recommended solitude for prayer, as the most efficient means of obtaining what is asked; and Plato advised those who prayed to ʺremain silent in the presence of the divine ones, till they remove the cloud from thy eyes, and enable thee to see by the light which issues from themselves.ʺ Apollonius always isolated himself from men during the ʺconversationʺ he held with God, and whenever he felt the necessity for divine contemplation and prayer, he wrapped himself, head and all, in the drapery of his white woolen mantle. ʺWhen thou prayest enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father in secret,ʺ says the Nazarene, the pupil of the Essenes.

Every human being is born with the rudiment of the inner sense called intuition, which may be developed into what the Scotch know as ʺsecond sight.ʺ All the great philosophers, who, like Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus employed this faculty, taught the doctrine. ʺThere is a faculty of the human mind,ʺ writes Iamblichus, ʺwhich is superior to all which is born or begotten. Through it we are enabled to attain union with the superior intelligences, to being transported beyond the scenes of this world, and to partaking the higher life and peculiar powers of the heavenly ones.ʺ


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Were there no inner sight or intuition, the Jews would never have had their Bible, nor the Christians Jesus. What both Moses and Jesus gave to the world was the fruit of their intuition or illumination. What their subsequent elders and teachers allowed the world to understand was — dogmatic misrepresentations, too often blasphemy.

To accept the Bible as a ʺrevelationʺ and nail belief to a literal translation, is worse than absurdity — it is a blasphemy against the Divine majesty of the ʺUnseen.ʺ If we had to judge of the Deity, and the world of spirits, by its human interpreters, now that philology proceeds with giant‐ strides on the fields of comparative religions, belief in God and the soulʹs immortality could not withstand the attacks of reason for one century more. That which supports the faith of man in God and a spiritual life to come is intuition; that divine outcome of our inner‐self, which defies the mummeries of the Roman Catholic priest, and his ridiculous idols; the thousand and one ceremonies of the Brahman and his idols; and the jeremiads of the Protestant preacher, and his desolate and arid creed, with no idols, but a boundless hell and damnation hooked on at the end. Were it not for this intuition, undying though often wavering because so clogged with matter, human life would be a parody and humanity a fraud. This ineradicable feeling of the presence of some one outside and inside ourselves is one that no dogmatic contradictions, nor external form of worship can destroy in humanity, let scientists and clergy do what they may. Moved by such thoughts of the boundlessness and impersonality of the

Deity, Gautama‐Buddha, the Hindu Christ, exclaimed: ʺAs the four rivers which fall in the Ganges lose their names as soon as they mingle their waters with the holy river, so all who believe in Buddha cease to be Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras!ʺ

The Old Testament was compiled and arranged from oral tradition; the masses never knew its real meaning, for Moses was ordered to impart the ʺhidden truthsʺ but to his seventy elders on whom the ʺLordʺ put of the spirit which was upon the legislator. Maimonides, whose authority and whose knowledge of the sacred history can hardly be rejected, says: ʺWhoever shall find out the true sense of the book of Genesis ought to take care not to divulge it. . . . If a person should discover the true meaning of it by himself, or by the aid of another, then he ought to be silent; or, if he speaks of it, he ought to speak of it but obscurely and in an enigmatical manner.ʺ

This confession, that what is written in the Holy Writ is but an allegory, was made by other Jewish authorities besides Maimonides; for we find Josephus stating that Moses ʺphilosophizedʺ (spoke riddles in figurative allegory), when writing the book of Genesis. Therefore modern science, by neglecting to unriddle the true sense of the Bible, and by allowing the whole of Christendom to go on believing in the dead letter of the Jewish theology, tacitly constitutes herself the confederate of the fanatical clergy. She has no right to ridicule the records of a people who never wrote them with the idea that they would receive such a strange interpretation


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at the hands of an inimical religion. That their holiest texts should be turned against them and that the dead menʹs bones could have smothered the spirit of truth, is the saddest feature of Christianity!

ʺThe gods exist,ʺ says Epicurus, ʺbut they are not what the rabble, hoi polloi , suppose them to be.ʺ And yet Epicurus, judged as usual by superficial critics, is set down and paraded as a materialist.

But neither the great First Cause nor its emanation — human, immortal spirit — have left themselves ʺwithout a witness.ʺ Mesmerism and modern spiritualism are there to attest the great truths. For over fifteen centuries, thanks to the blindly‐brutal persecutions of those great vandals of early Christian history, Constantine and Justinian, ancient WISDOM slowly degenerated until it gradually sank into the deepest mire of monkish superstition and ignorance. The Pythagorean ʺknowledge of things that areʺ; the profound erudition of the Gnostics; the world and time‐honored teachings of the great philosophers; all were rejected as doctrines of Antichrist and Paganism, and committed to the flames. With the last seven wise men of the Orient, the remnant group of the Neo‐platonists, Hermias, Priscianus, Diogenes, Eulalius, Damaskius, Simplicius and Isidorus, who fled from the fanatical persecutions of Justinian, to Persia, the reign of wisdom closed. The books of Thoth, or (Hermes Trismegistus), which contain within their sacred pages the spiritual and physical history of the creation and progress of our world, were left to mould in oblivion and contempt for

ages. They found no interpreters in Christian Europe; the Philaletheians, or wise ʺlovers of the truth,ʺ were no more; they were replaced by the light‐fleers, the tonsured and hooded monks of Papal Rome, who dread truth, in whatever shape and from whatever quarter it appears, if it but clashes in the least with their dogmas.


As to skeptics — this is what Professor Alexander Wilder remarks of them and their followers, in his sketches on Neo‐ platonism and Alchemy: ʺA century has passed since the compilers of the French Encyclopædia infused skepticism into the blood of the civilized world, and made it disreputable to believe in the actual existence of anything that cannot be tested in crucibles or demonstrated by critical reasoning. Even now, it requires candor as well as courage to venture to treat upon a subject which has been for many years discarded and contemned, because it has not been well or correctly understood. The person must be bold who accounts the Hermetic philosophy to be other than a pretense of science, and so believing, demands for its enunciation a patient hearing. Yet its professors were once the princes of learned investigation, and heroes among common men. Besides, nothing is to be despised which men have reverently believed; and disdain for the earnest convictions of others is itself the token of ignorance, and of an ungenerous mind.ʺ

And now, encouraged by these words from a scholar who is neither a fanatic nor a conservative, we will recall a few


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things reported by travellers as having been seen by them in Thibet and India, and which are treasured by the natives as practical proofs of the truth of the philosophy and science handed down by their forefathers.

First we may consider that most remarkable phenomenon as seen in the temples of Thibet and the accounts of which have reached Europe from eye‐witnesses other than Catholic missionaries — whose testimony we will exclude for obvious reasons. Early in the present century a Florentine scientist, a skeptic and a correspondent of the French Institute, having been permitted to penetrate in disguise to the hallowed precincts of a Buddhist temple, where the most solemn of all ceremonies was taking place, relates the following as having been seen by himself. An altar is ready in the temple to receive the resuscitated Buddha, found by the initiated priesthood, and recognized by certain secret signs to have reincarnated himself in a new‐born infant. The baby, but a few days old, is brought into the presence of the people and reverentially placed upon the altar. Suddenly rising into a sitting posture, the child begins to utter in a loud, manly voice, the following sentences: ʺI am Buddha, I am his spirit; and I, Buddha, your Dalai‐Lama, have left my old, decrepit body, at the temple of . . . and selected the body of this young babe as my next earthly dwelling.ʺ Our scientist, being finally permitted by the priests to take, with due reverence, the baby in his arms, and carry it away to such a distance from them as to satisfy him that no ventriloquial deception is being practiced, the infant looks at the grave academician with eyes

that ʺmake his flesh creep,ʺ as he expresses it, and repeats the words he had previously uttered. A detailed account of this adventure, attested with the signature of this eye‐witness, was forwarded to Paris, but the members of the Institute, instead of accepting the testimony of a scientific observer of acknowledged credibility, concluded that the Florentine was either suffering under an attack of sunstroke, or had been deceived by a clever trick of acoustics.

Although, according to Mr. Stanislas Julien, the French translator of the sacred Chinese texts, there is a verse in the Lotus* which says that ʺA Buddha is as difficult to be found as the flowers of Udumbara and Palâça,ʺ if we are to believe several eye‐witnesses, such a phenomenon does happen. Of course its occurrence is rare, for it happens but on the death of every great Dalai‐Lama; and these venerable old gentlemen live proverbially long lives.

The poor Abbé Huc, whose works of travel in Thibet and China are so well‐known, relates the same fact of the resuscitation of Buddha. He adds, furthermore, the curious circumstance that the baby‐oracle makes good his claim to being an old mind in a young body by giving to those who ask him, ʺand who knew him in his past life, the most exact details of his anterior earthly existence.ʺ

It is worthy of notice, that des Mousseaux, who expatiates at length on the phenomenon, attributing it as a matter of course to the Devil, gravely remarks of the Abbé himself, that

* ʺLe Lotus de la bonne Loi,ʺ by E. Burnouf, translated from the Sanscrit.


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the fact that he had been unfrocked (defroqué) ʺis an accident which I (he) confess scarcely tends to strengthen our confidence.ʺ In our humble opinion this little circumstance strengthens it all the more.

The Abbé Huc had his work placed on the Index for the truth he told about the similarity of the Buddhistical rites with the Roman Catholic ones. He was moreover suspended in his missionary work for being too sincere.

If this example of infant prodigy stood alone, we might reasonably indulge in some hesitation as to accepting it; but, to say nothing of the Camisard prophets of 1707, among whom was the boy of fifteen months described by Jacques Dubois, who spoke in good French ʺas though God were speaking through his mouthʺ; and of the Cevennes babies, whose speaking and prophesying were witnessed by the first savants of France — we have instances in modern times of quite as remarkable a character. Lloydʹs Weekly Newspaper, for March, 1875, contained an account of the following phenomenon: ʺAt Saar‐Louis, France, a child was born. The mother had just been confined, the midwife was holding forth garrulously ʹon the blessed little creature,ʹ and the friends were congratulating the father on his luck, when somebody asked what time it was. Judge of the surprise of all, on hearing the new‐born babe reply distinctly ʹTwo oʹclock!ʹ But this was nothing to what followed. The company were looking on the infant, with speechless wonder and dismay, when it opened its eyes, and said: ʹI have been sent into the world to tell you that 1875 will be a good year, but

that 1876 will be a year of blood.ʹ Having uttered this prophecy it turned on its side and expired, aged half‐an‐ hour.ʺ

We are not aware that this prodigy has received official authentication by the civil authority — of course we should look for none from the clergy, since no profit or honor was to be derived from it — but even if a respectable British commercial journal was not responsible for the story, the result has given it special interest. The year 1876, just passed (we write in February, 1877) was emphatically, and, from the standpoint of March, 1875, unexpectedly — a year of blood. In the Danubian principalities was written one of the bloodiest chapters of the history of war and rapine — a chapter of outrages of Moslem upon Christian that has scarcely been paralleled since Catholic soldiers butchered the simple natives of North and South America by tens of thousands, and Protestant Englishmen waded to the Imperial throne of Delhi, step by step, through rivers of blood. If the Saar‐Louis prophecy was but a mere newspaper sensation, still the turn of events elevated it into the rank of a fulfilled prediction; 1875 was a year of great plenty, and 1876, to the surprise of everybody, a year of carnage.

But even if it should be found that the baby‐prophet never opened its lips, the instance of the Jencken infant still remains to puzzle the investigator. This is one of the most surprising cases of mediumship. The childʹs mother is the famous Kate Fox, its father H. D. Jencken, M.R.I., Barrister‐at‐law, in London. He was born in London, in 1873, and before he was


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three months old showed evidences of spirit‐mediumship. Rappings occurred on his pillow and cradle, and also on his fatherʹs person, when he held the child in his lap and Mrs. Jencken was absent from home. Two months later, a communication of twenty words, exclusive of signature, was written through his hand. A gentleman, a Liverpool solicitor, named J. Wason, was present at the time, and united with the mother and nurse in a certificate which was published in the London Medium and Daybreak of May 8th, 1874. The professional and scientific rank of Mr. Jencken make it in the highest degree improbable that he would lend himself to a deception. Moreover, the child was within such easy reach of the Royal Institution, of which his father is a member, that Professor Tyndall and his associates had no excuse for neglecting to examine and inform the world about this psychological phenomenon.

The sacred baby of Thibet being so far away, they find their most convenient plan to be a flat denial, with hints of sunstroke and acoustical machinery. As for the London baby, the affair is still easier; let them wait until the child has grown up and learned to write, and then deny the story point‐blank!

In addition to other travellers, the Abbé Huc gives us an account of that wonderful tree of Thibet called the Kounboum; that is to say, the tree of the 10,000 images and characters. It will grow in no other latitude, although the experiment has sometimes been tried; and it cannot even be multiplied from cuttings. The tradition is that it sprang from the hair of one of the Avatars (the Lama Son‐Ka‐pa) one of the incarnations of

Buddha. But we will let the Abbé Huc tell the rest of the story: ʺEach of its leaves, in opening, bears either a letter or a religious sentence, written in sacred characters, and these letters are, of their kind, of such a perfection that the type‐ foundries of Didot contain nothing to excel them. Open the leaves, which vegetation is about to unroll, and you will there discover, on the point of appearing, the letters or the distinct words which are the marvel of this unique tree! Turn your attention from the leaves of the plant to the bark of its branches, and new characters will meet your eyes! Do not allow your interest to flag; raise the layers of this bark, and still OTHER CHARACTERS will show themselves below those whose beauty had surprised you. For, do not fancy that these superposed layers repeat the same printing. No, quite the contrary; for each lamina you lift presents to view its distinct type. How, then, can we suspect jugglery? I have done my best in that direction to discover the slightest trace of human trick, and my baffled mind could not retain the slightest suspicion.ʺ

We will add to M. Hucʹs narrative the statement that the characters which appear upon the different portions of the Kounboum are in the Sansar (or language of the Sun), characters (ancient Sanscrit); and that the sacred tree, in its various parts, contains in extenso the whole history of the creation, and in substance the sacred books of Buddhism. In this respect, it bears the same relation to Buddhism as the pictures in the Temple of Dendera, in Egypt, do to the ancient faith of the Pharaohs. The latter are briefly described by


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Professor W. B. Carpenter, President of the British Association, in his Manchester Lecture on Egypt. He makes it clear that the Jewish book of Genesis is nothing more than an expression of the early Jewish ideas, based upon the pictorial records of the Egyptians among whom they lived. But he does not make it clear, except inferentially, whether he believes either the Dendera pictures or the Mosaic account to be an allegory or a pretended historical narrative. How a scientist who had devoted himself to the most superficial investigation of the subject can venture to assert that the ancient Egyptians had the same ridiculous notions about the worldʹs instantaneous creation as the early Christian theologians, passes comprehension! How can he say that because the Dendera picture happens to represent their cosmogony in one allegory, they intended to show the scene as occurring in six minutes or six millions of years? It may as well indicate allegorically six successive epochs or æons, or eternity, as six days. Besides, the Books of Hermes certainly give no color to the charge, and the Avesta specifically names six periods, each embracing thousands of years, instead of days. Many of the Egyptian hieroglyphics contradict Dr. Carpenterʹs theory, and Champollion has avenged the ancients in many particulars. From what is gone before, it will, we think, be made clear to the reader that the Egyptian philosophy had no room for any such crude speculations, if the Hebrews themselves ever believed them; their cosmogony viewed man as the result of evolution, and his progress to be

marked by immensely lengthened cycles. But to return to the wonders of Thibet.


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Speaking of pictures, the one described by Huc as hanging in a certain Lamasery may fairly be regarded as one of the most wonderful in existence. It is a simple canvas without the slightest mechanical apparatus attached, as the visitor may prove by examining it at his leisure. It represents a moon‐lit landscape, but the moon is not at all motionless and dead; quite the reverse, for, according to the abbé, one would say that our moon herself, or at least her living double, lighted the picture. Each phase, each aspect, each movement of our satellite, is repeated in her fac‐simile, in the movement and progress of the moon in the sacred picture. ʺYou see this planet in the painting ride as a crescent, or full, shine brightly, pass behind the clouds, peep out or set, in a manner corresponding in the most extraordinary way with the real luminary. It is, in a word, a most servile and resplendent reproduction of the pale queen of the night, which received the adoration of so many people in the days of old.ʺ

When we think of the astonishment that would inevitably be felt by one of our self‐complacent academicians at seeing such a picture — and it is by no means the only one, for they have them in other parts of Thibet and Japan also, which represent the sunʹs movements — when we think, we say, of his embarrassment at knowing that if he ventured to tell the unvarnished truth to his colleagues, his fate would probably be like that of poor Huc, and he flung out of the academical

chair as a liar or a lunatic, we cannot help recalling the anecdote of Tycho‐Brahe, given by Humboldt in his Cosmos.*

ʺOne evening,ʺ says the great Danish astronomer, ʺas, according to my usual habit, I was considering the celestial vault, to my indescribable amazement, I saw, close to the zenith, in Cassiopea, a radiant star of extraordinary size. Struck with astonishment, I knew not whether I could believe my own eyes. Some time after that, I learned that in Germany, cartmen, and other persons of the lower classes had repeatedly warned the scientists that a great apparition could be seen in the sky; which fact afforded both the press and public one more opportunity to indulge in their usual raillery against the men of science, who, in the cases of several antecedent comets, had not predicted their appearance.ʺ

From the days of the earliest antiquity, the Brahmans were known to be possessed of wonderful knowledge in every kind of magic arts. From Pythagoras, the first philosopher who studied wisdom with the Gymnosophists, and Plotinus, who was initiated into the mystery of uniting oneʹs self with the Deity through abstract contemplation, down to the modern adepts, it was well known that in the land of the Brahmans and Gautama‐Buddha the sources of ʺhiddenʺ wisdom are to be sought after. It is for future ages to discover this grand truth, and accept it as such, whereas now it is degraded as a low superstition. What did any one, even the

* ʺCosmos,ʺ vol. iii., part i., p. 168.


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greatest scientists, know of India, Thibet, and China, until the last quarter of this century? That most untiring scholar, Max Müller, tells us that before then not a single original document of the Buddhist religion had been accessible to European philologists; that fifty years ago ʺthere was not a single scholar who could have translated a line of the Veda, a line of the Zend‐Avesta, or a line of the Buddhist Tripitaka,ʺ let alone other dialects or languages. And even now, that science is in possession of various sacred texts, what they have are but very incomplete editions of these works, and nothing, positively nothing of the secret sacred literature of Buddhism. And the little that our Sanscrit scholars have got hold of, and which at first was termed by Max Müller a dreary ʺjungle of religious literature — the most excellent hiding‐place for Lamas and Dalai‐Lamas,ʺ is now beginning to shed a faint light on the primitive darkness. We find this scholar stating that that which appeared at the first glance into the labyrinth of the religions of the world, all darkness, self‐deceit, and vanity begin to assume another form. ʺIt sounds,ʺ he writes, ʺlike a degradation of the very name of religion, to apply it to the wild ravings of Hindu Yogins, and the blank blasphemies of Chinese Buddhists. . . . But, as we slowly and patiently wend our way through the dreary prisons, our own eyes seem to expand, and we perceive a glimmer of light, where all was darkness at first.ʺ*

As an illustration of how little even the generation which directly preceded our own was competent to judge the religions and beliefs of the several hundred million Buddhists, Brahmans, and Parsees, let the student consult the advertisement of a scientific work published in 1828 by a Professor Dunbar, the first scholar who has undertaken to demonstrate that the Sanscrit is derived from the Greek. It appeared under the following title:

ʺAn Inquiry into the structure and affinity of the Greek and Latin languages; with occasional comparisons of the Sanscrit and Gothic; with an Appendix, in which THE DERIVATION OF THE SANSCRIT FROM THE GREEK is endeavoured to be established. By George Dunbar, F.R.S.E., and Professor of Greek in the University of Edinburgh. Price, 18s.ʺ†

Had Max Müller happened to fall from the sky at that time, among the scholars of the day, and with his present knowledge, we would like to have compiled the epithets which would have been bestowed by the learned academicians upon the daring innovator! One who, classifying languages genealogically, says that ʺSanscrit, as compared to Greek and Latin, is an elder sister . . . the earliest deposit of Aryan speech.ʺ

And so, we may naturally expect that in 1976, the same criticisms will be justly applied to many a scientific discovery, now deemed conclusive and final by our scholars. That which is now termed the superstitious verbiage and gibberish of

* ʺLecture on the Vedas.ʺ † ʺThe Classical Journal,ʺ vol. iv., pp. 107, 348.


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mere heathens and savages, composed many thousands of years ago, may be found to contain the master‐key to all religious systems. The cautious sentence of St. Augustine, a favorite name in Max Müllerʹs lectures, which says that ʺthere is no false religion which does not contain some elements of truth,ʺ may yet be triumphantly proved correct; the more so as, far from being original with the Bishop of Hippo, it was borrowed by him from the works of Ammonius Saccas, the great Alexandrian teacher.

This ʺgod‐taughtʺ philosopher, the theodidaktos, had repeated these same words to exhaustion, in his numerous works some 140 years before Augustine. Acknowledging Jesus as ʺan excellent man, and the friend of God,ʺ he always maintained that his design was not to abolish the intercourse with gods and demons (spirits), but simply to purify the ancient religions; that ʺthe religion of the multitude went hand in hand with philosophy, and with her had shared the fate of being by degrees corrupted and obscured with mere human conceits, superstition, and lies: that it ought therefore to be brought back to its original purity by purging it of this dross and expounding it upon philosophical principles; and that the whole which Christ had in view was to reinstate and restore to its primitive integrity the wisdom of the ancients.ʺ*

It was Ammonius who first taught that every religion was based on one and the same truth; which is the wisdom found in the Books of Thoth (Hermes Trismegistus), from which

books Pythagoras and Plato had learned all their philosophy. And the doctrines of the former he affirmed to have been identical with the earliest teachings of the Brahmans — now embodied in the oldest Vedas. ʺThe name Thoth,ʺ says Professor Wilder, ʺmeans a college or assembly,ʺ† and ʺit is not improbable that the books were so named as being the collected oracles and doctrines of the sacerdotal fraternity of Memphis. Rabbi Wise had suggested a similar hypothesis in relation to the divine utterances recorded in the Hebrew Scripture. But the Indian writers assert, that during the reign of king Kansa, Yadus (Judeans?) or sacred tribe left India and migrated to the West, carrying the four Vedas with them. There was certainly a great resemblance between the philosophical doctrines and religious customs of the Egyptians and Eastern Buddhists; but whether the Hermetic books and the four Vedas were identical, is not now known.ʺ

But one thing is certainly known, and that is, that before the word philosopher was first pronounced by Pythagoras at the court of the king of the Philasians, the ʺsecret doctrineʺ or wisdom was identical in every country. Therefore it is in the oldest texts — those least polluted by subsequent forgeries — that we have to look for the truth. And now that philology has possessed itself of Sanscrit texts which may be boldly affirmed to be documents by far antedating the Mosaic Bible, it is the duty of the scholars to present the world with truth, and nothing but the truth. Without regard to either skeptical or

* See ʺMosheim.ʺ † ʺNew Platonism and Alchemy.ʺ


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theological prejudice, they are bound to impartially examine both documents — the oldest Vedas and the Old Testament, and then decide which of the two is the original Sruti or Revelation, and which but the Smriti, which, as Max Müller shows, only means recollection or tradition.

Origen writes that the Brahmans were always famous for the wonderful cures which they performed by certain words;* and in our own age we find Orioli, a learned corresponding member of the French Institute,† corroborating the statement of Origen in the third century, and that of Leonard de Vair of the sixteenth, in which the latter wrote: ʺThere are also persons, who upon pronouncing a certain sentence — a charm, walk bare‐footed on red, burning coals, and on the points of sharp knives stuck in the ground; and, once poised on them, on one toe, they will lift up in the air a heavy man or any other burden of considerable weight. They will tame wild horses likewise, and the most furious bulls, with a single word.ʺ‡

This word is to be found in the Mantras of the Sanscrit Vedas, say some adepts. It is for the philologists to decide for themselves whether there is such a word in the Vedas. So far as human evidence goes, it would seem that such magic words do exist.

* Origen, ʺContra Celsum.ʺ
† ʺFatti relativi al Mesmerismo,ʺ pp. 88, 93, 1842.

‡ ʺLeonard de Vair,ʺ 1. ii., ch. ii.; ʺLa Magie au 19me Siècle,ʺ p. 332.

It appears that the reverend fathers of the Order of Jesuits have picked up many such tricks in their missionary travels. Baldinger gives them full credit for it. The tschamping — a Hindu word, from which the modern word shampooing is derived — is a well‐known magical manipulation in the East Indies. The native sorcerers use it with success to the present day, and it is from them that the father Jesuits derived their wisdom.

Camerarius, in his Horæ Subscecivæ, narrates that once upon a time there existed a great rivalry of ʺmiraclesʺ between the Austin Friars and the Jesuits. A disputation having taken place between the father‐general of the Austin Friars, who was very learned, and the general of the Jesuits, who was very unlearned, but full of magical knowledge, the latter proposed to settle the question by trying their subordinates, and finding out which of them would be the readiest to obey his superiors. Thereupon, turning to one of his Jesuits, he said: ʺBrother Mark, our companions are cold; I command you, in virtue of the holy obedience you have sworn to me, to bring here instantly out of the kitchen fire, and in your hands, some burning coals, that they may warm themselves over your hands.ʺ Father Mark instantly obeyed, and brought in both his hands a supply of red, burning coals, and held them till the company present had all warmed themselves, after which he took them back to the kitchen hearth. The general of the Austin Friars found himself crestfallen, for none of his subordinates would obey him so far as that. The triumph of the Jesuits was thus accomplished.


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If the above is looked upon as an anecdote unworthy of credence, we will inquire of the reader what we must think of some modern ʺmediums,ʺ who perform the same while entranced. The testimony of several highly respectable and trustworthy witnesses, such as Lord Adair and Mr. S. C. Hall, is unimpeachable. ʺSpirits,ʺ the spiritualists will argue. Perhaps so, in the case of American and English fire‐proof mediums; but not so in Thibet and India. In the West a ʺsensitiveʺ has to be entranced before being rendered invulnerable by the presiding ʺguides,ʺ and we defy any ʺmedium,ʺ in his or her normal physical state to bury the arms to the elbows in glowing coals. But in the East, whether the performer be a holy lama or a mercenary sorcerer (the latter class being generally termed ʺjugglersʺ) he needs no preparation or abnormal state to be able to handle fire, red‐ hot pieces of iron, or melted lead. We have seen in Southern India these ʺjugglersʺ keep their hands in a furnace of burning coals until the latter were reduced to cinders. During the religious ceremony of Siva‐Râtri, or the vigil‐night of Siva, when the people spend whole nights in watching and praying, some of the Sivaites called in a Tamil juggler, who produced the most wonderful phenomena by simply summoning to his help a spirit whom they call Kutti‐Sâttan — the little demon. But, far from allowing people to think he was guided or ʺcontrolledʺ by this gnome — for it was a gnome, if it was anything — the man, while crouching over his fiery pit, proudly rebuked a Catholic missionary, who took his opportunity to inform the bystanders that the miserable

sinner ʺhad sold himself to Satan.ʺ Without removing his hands and arms from the burning coals within which he was coolly refreshing them, the Tamil only turned his head and gave one arrogant look at the flushed missionary. ʺMy father and my fatherʹs father,ʺ he said, ʺhad this ʹlittle oneʹ at their command. For two centuries the Kutti is a faithful servant in our home, and now, Sir, you would make people believe that he is my master! But they know better.ʺ After this, he quietly withdrew his hands from the fire, and proceeded with other performances.

As for the wonderful powers of prediction and clairvoyance possessed by certain Brahmans, they are well known to every European resident of India. If these upon their return to ʺcivilizedʺ countries, laugh at such stories, and sometimes even deny them outright, they only impugn their good faith, not the fact. These Brahmans live principally in ʺsacred villages,ʺ and secluded places, principally on the western coast of India. They avoid populated cities, and especially Europeans, and it is but rarely that the latter can succeed in making themselves intimate with the ʺseers.ʺ It is generally thought that the circumstance is due to their religious observance of the caste; but we are firmly convinced that in many cases this is not so. Years, perhaps centuries, will roll away before the real reason is ascertained.

As to the lower castes, some of which are termed by the missionaries devil‐worshippers, notwithstanding the pious efforts on the part of the Catholic missionaries to spread in Europe heart‐rending reports of the misery of these people


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ʺsold to the Arch‐Enemyʺ; and like efforts, perhaps only a trifle less ridiculous and absurd, of Protestant missionaries, the word devil, in the sense understood by Christians, is a nonentity for them. They believe in good and bad spirits; but they neither worship nor dread the Devil. Their ʺworshipʺ is simply a ceremonial precaution against ʺterrestrialʺ and human spirits, whom they dread far more than the millions of elementals of various forms. They use all kinds of music, incense, and perfumes, in their efforts to drive away the ʺbad spiritsʺ (the elementary). In this case, they are no more to be ridiculed than the well‐known scientist, a firm spiritualist, who suggested the keeping of vitriol and powdered nitre in the room to keep away ʺunpleasant spiritsʺ; and no more than he, are they wrong in so doing; for the experience of their ancestors, extending over many thousands of years has taught them how to proceed against this vile ʺspiritual horde.ʺ That they are human spirits is shown by the fact that very often they try to humor and propitiate the ʺlarvaeʺ of their own daughters and relatives, when they have reason to suspect that the latter did not die in the odor of sanctity and chastity. Such spirits they name ʺKanni,ʺ bad virgins. The case was noticed by several missionaries; Rev. E. Lewis,* among others. But these pious gentlemen usually insist upon it that they worship devils, whereas, they do nothing of the sort; for they merely try to remain on good terms with them in order to be left unmolested. They offer them cakes and fruit, and various kinds of food which they liked while alive, for many

of them have experienced the wickedness of these returning ʺdead ones,ʺ whose persecutions are sometimes dreadful. On this principle likewise they act toward the spirits of all wicked men. They leave on their tombs, if they were buried, or near the place where their remains were burnt, food and liquors, with the object of keeping them near these places, and with the idea that these vampires will be prevented thereby from returning to their homes. This is no worship; it is rather a spiritualism of a practical sort. Until 1861, there prevailed a custom among the Hindus of mutilating the feet of executed murderers, under the firm belief that thereby the disembodied soul would be prevented from wandering and doing more mischief. Subsequently, they were prohibited, by the police, from continuing the practice.

Another good reason why the Hindus should not worship the ʺDevilʺ is that they have no word to convey such a meaning. They call these spirits ʺpûttâm,ʺ which answers rather to our ʺspook,ʺ or malicious imp; another expression they use is ʺpeyʺ and the Sanscrit pesâsu, both meaning ghosts or ʺreturning onesʺ — perhaps goblins, in some cases. The pûttâm are the most terrible, for they are literally ʺhaunting spooks,ʺ who return on earth to torment the living. They are believed to visit generally the places where their bodies were burnt. The ʺfireʺ or ʺSiva‐spiritsʺ are identical with the Rosicrucian gnomes and salamanders; for they are pictured as dwarfs of a fiery appearance, living in earth and fire. The Ceylonese demon called Dewel is a stout smiling female

* ʺThe Tinnevelly Shanars,ʺ p. 43.


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figure with a white Elizabethan frill around the neck and a red jacket.

As Dr. Warton justly observes: ʺThere is no character more strictly Oriental than the dragons of romance and fiction; they are intermixed with every tradition of early date and of themselves confer a species of illustrative evidence of origin.ʺ In no writings are these characters more marked, than in the details of Buddhism; these record particulars of the Nagas, or kingly snakes, inhabiting the cavities under the earth, corresponding with the abodes of Tiresias and the Greek seers, a region of mystery and darkness, wherein revolves much of the system of divination and oracular response, connected with inflation, or a sort of possession, designating the spirit of Python himself, the dragon‐serpent slain by Apollo. But the Buddhists no more believe in the devil of the Christian system — that is, an entity as distinct from humanity as the Deity itself — than the Hindus. Buddhists teach that there are inferior gods who have been men either on this or another planet, but still who were men. They believe in the Nagas, who had been sorcerers on earth, bad people, and who give the power to other bad and yet living men to blight all the fruit they look upon, and even human lives. When a Cinghalese has the reputation that if he looks on a tree or on a person both will wither and die, he is said to have the Naga‐Raja, or king‐serpent on him. The whole endless catalogue of bad spirits are not devils in the sense the Christian clergy wants us to understand, but merely spiritually incarnated sins, crimes, and human thoughts, if we

may so express it. The blue, green, yellow, and purple god‐ demons, like the inferior gods of Jugandere, are more of the kind of presiding genii, and many are as good and beneficient as the Nat deities themselves, although the Nats reckon in their numbers, giants, evil genii, and the like which inhabit the desert of Mount Jugandere.

The true doctrine of Buddha says that the demons, when nature produced the sun, moon, and stars, were human beings, but, on account of their sins, they fell from the state of felicity. If they commit greater sins, they suffer greater punishments, and condemned men are reckoned by them among the devils; while, on the contrary, demons who die (elemental spirits) and are born or incarnated as men, and commit no more sin, can arrive at the state of celestial felicity. Which is a demonstration, remarks Edward Upham, in his History and Doctrine of Buddhism, that all beings, divine as well as human, are subject to the laws of transmigration, which are operative on all, according to a scale of moral deeds. This faith then, is a complete test of a code of moral enactments and motives, applied to the regulation and government of man, an experiment, he adds, ʺwhich renders the study of Buddhism an important and curious subject for the philosopher.ʺ


The Hindus believe, as firmly as the Servians or Hungarians, in vampires. Furthermore, their doctrine is that of Pierart, the famous French spiritist and mesmerizer, whose school flourished some dozen years ago. ʺThe fact of a spectre


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returning to suck human blood,ʺ says this Doctor,* ʺis not so inexplicable as it seems, and here we appeal to the spiritualists who admit the phenomenon of bicorporeity or soul‐duplication. The hands which we have pressed . . . these ʹmaterializedʹ limbs, so palpable . . . prove clearly how much is possible for astral spectres under favorable conditions.ʺ

The honorable physician expresses the theory of the kabalists. The Shadim are the lowest of the spiritual orders. Maimonides, who tells us that his countrymen were obliged to maintain an intimate intercourse with their departed ones, describes the feast of blood they held on such occasions. They dug a hole, and fresh blood was poured in, over which was placed a table; after which the ʺspiritsʺ came and answered all their questions.†

Pierart, whose doctrine was founded on that of the theurgists, exhibits a warm indignation against the superstition of the clergy which requires, whenever a corpse is suspected of vampirism, that a stake should be driven through the heart. So long as the astral form is not entirely liberated from the body there is a liability that it may be forced by magnetic attraction to reënter it. Sometimes it will be only half‐way out, when the corpse, which presents the appearance of death, is buried. In such cases the terrified astral soul violently reënters its casket; and then, one of two things happens — either the unhappy victim will writhe in

* Pierart, ʺRevue Spiritualiste,ʺ chapter on ʺVampirism.ʺ

† Maimonides, ʺAbodah Sarah,ʺ 12 Absh, 11 Abth.

the agonizing torture of suffocation, or, if he had been grossly material, he becomes a vampire. The bicorporeal life begins; and these unfortunate buried cataleptics sustain their miserable lives by having their astral bodies rob the life‐blood from living persons. The ethereal form can go wherever it pleases; and so long as it does not break the link which attaches it to the body, it is at liberty to wander about, either visible or invisible, and feed on human victims. ʺAccording to all appearance, this ʹspiritʹ then transmits through a mysterious and invisible cord of connection, which perhaps, some day may be explained, the results of the suction to the material body which lies inert at the bottom of the tomb, aiding it, in a manner, to perpetuate the state of catalepsy.ʺ‡

Brierre de Boismont gives a number of such cases, fully authenticated, which he is pleased to term ʺhallucinations.ʺ A recent inquest, says a French paper, ʺhas established that in 1871 two corpses were submitted to the infamous treatment of popular superstition, at the instigation of the clergy . . . O blind prejudice!ʺ But Dr. Pierart, quoted by des Mousseaux, who stoutly adheres to vampirism, exclaims: ʺBlind, you say? Yes, blind, as much as you like. But whence sprang these prejudices? Why are they perpetuated in all ages, and in so many countries? After a crowd of facts of vampirism so often proved, should we say that there are no more and that they never had a foundation? Nothing comes of nothing. Every belief, every custom springs from facts and causes which

‡ Pierart, ʺRevue Spiritualiste.ʺ


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gave it birth. If one had never seen appear, in the bosom of families of certain countries, beings clothing themselves in the shape of the familiar dead, coming thus to suck the blood of one or of several persons, and if the death of the victims by emaciation had not followed, they would never have gone to disinter the corpses in cemeteries; we would never have had attested the incredible fact of persons buried for several years being found with the corpse soft, flexible, the eyes open, with rosy complexions, the mouth and nose full of blood, and of the blood running in torrents under blows, from wounds, and when decapitated.ʺ*

One of the most important examples of vampirism figures in the private letters of the philosopher, the Marquis dʹArgens; and, in the Revue Britannique, for March, 1837, the English traveller Pashley describes some that came under his notice in the island of Candia. Dr. Jobard, the anti‐Catholic and anti‐spiritual Belgian savant, testifies to similar experiences.†

ʺI will not examine,ʺ wrote the Bishop dʹAvranches Huet, ʺwhether the facts of vampirism, which are constantly being reported, are true, or the fruit of a popular error; but it is certain that they are testified to by so many authors, able and trustworthy, and by so many eye‐witnesses, that no one ought to decide upon the question without a good deal of caution.ʺ‡

* Dr. Pierart, ʺRevue Spiritualiste,ʺ vol. iv., p. 104.
† See ʺHauts Phen.,ʺ p. 199.

‡ ʺHuetiana,ʺ p. 81.

The chevalier, who went to great pains to collect materials for his demonological theory, brings the most thrilling instances to prove that all such cases are produced by the Devil, who uses graveyard corpses with which to clothe himself, and roams at night sucking peopleʹs blood. Methinks we could do very well without bringing this dusky personage upon the scene. If we are to believe at all in the return of spirits, there are plenty of wicked sensualists, misers, and sinners of other descriptions — especially suicides, who could have rivalled the Devil himself in malice in his best days. It is quite enough to be actually forced to believe in what we do see, and know to be a fact, namely spirits, without adding to our Pantheon of ghosts the Devil — whom nobody ever saw.

Still, there are interesting particulars to be gathered in relation to vampirism, since belief in this phenomenon has existed in all countries, from the remotest ages. The Slavonian nations, the Greeks, the Wallachians, and the Servians would rather doubt the existence of their enemies, the Turks, than the fact that there are vampires. The broucolâk, or vourdalak, as the latter are called, are but too familiar guests at the Slavonian fireside. Writers of the greatest ability, men as full of sagacity as of high integrity, have treated of the subject and believed in it. Whence, then, such a superstition? Whence that unanimous credence throughout the ages, and whence that identity in details and similarity of description as to that one particular phenomenon which we find in the testimony — generally sworn evidence — of peoples foreign to each other and differing widely in matters concerning other superstitions.


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ʺThere are,ʺ says Dom Calmet, a skeptical Benedictine monk of the last century, ʺtwo different ways to destroy the belief in these pretended ghosts. . . . The first would be to explain the prodigies of vampirism by physical causes. The second way is to deny totally the truth of all such stories; and the latter plan would be undoubtedly the most certain, as the most wise.ʺ*

The first way — that of explaining it by physical, though occult causes, is the one adopted by the Pierart school of mesmerism. It is certainly not the spiritualists who have a right to doubt the plausibility of this explanation. The second plan is that adopted by scientists and skeptics. They deny point‐blank. As des Mousseaux remarks, there is no better or surer way, and none exacts less of either philosophy or science.

The spectre of a village herdsman, near Kodom, in Bavaria, began appearing to several inhabitants of the place, and either in consequence of their fright or some other cause, every one of them died during the following week. Driven to despair, the peasants disinterred the corpse, and pinned it to the ground with a long stake. The same night he appeared again, plunging people into convulsions of fright, and suffocating several of them. Then the village authorities delivered the body into the hands of the executioner, who carried it to a neighboring field and burned it. ʺThe corpse,ʺ

* Dom Calmet, ʺApparitions,ʺ etc. Paris, 1751, vol. ii., p. 47; ʺHauts Phen.

de la Magie,ʺ 195.

says des Mousseaux, quoting Dom Calmet, ʺhowled like a madman, kicking and tearing as if he had been alive. When he was run through again with sharp‐pointed stakes, he uttered piercing cries, and vomited masses of crimson blood. The apparitions of this spectre ceased only after the corpse had been reduced to ashes.ʺ†

Officers of justice visited the places said to be so haunted; the bodies were exhumed, and in nearly every case it was observed that the corpse suspected of vampirism looked healthy and rosy, and the flesh was in no way decaying. The objects which had belonged to these ghosts were observed moving about the house without any one touching them. But the legal authorities generally refused to resort to cremation and beheading before they had observed the strictest rules of legal procedure. Witnesses were summoned to appear, and evidence was heard and carefully weighed. After that the exhumed corpses were examined; and if they exhibited the unequivocal and characteristic signs of vampirism, they were handed over to the executioner.

ʺBut,ʺ argues Dom Calmet,‡ ʺthe principal difficulty consists in learning how these vampires can quit their tombs, and how they reënter them, without appearing to have disturbed the earth in the least; how is it that they are seen with their usual clothing; how can they go about, and walk, and eat? . . . If this is all imagination on the part of those who

† ʺHauts Phen.,ʺ p. 196.

‡ Ibid.


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believe themselves molested by such vampires, how happens it that the accused ghosts are subsequently found in their graves . . . exhibiting no signs of decay, full of blood, supple and fresh? How explain the cause of their feet found muddy and covered with dirt on the day following the night they had appeared and frightened their neighbors, while nothing of the sort was ever found on other corpses buried in the same cemetery?* How is it again that once burned they never reappear? and that these cases should happen so often in this country that it is found impossible to cure people from this prejudice; for, instead of being destroyed, daily experience only fortifies the superstition in the people, and increases belief in it.ʺ†

There is a phenomenon in nature unknown, and therefore rejected by physiology and psychology in our age of unbelief. This phenomenon is a state of half‐death. Virtually, the body is dead; and, in cases of persons in whom matter does not predominate over spirit and wickedness not so great as to destroy spirituality, if left alone, their astral soul will disengage itself by gradual efforts, and, when the last link is broken, it finds itself separated forever from its earthly body. Equal magnetic polarity will violently repulse the ethereal man from the decaying organic mass. The whole difficulty lies in that 1, the ultimate moment of separation between the two is believed to be that when the body is declared dead by

* See the same sworn testimony in official documents, ʺDe lʹInspir. des Camis,ʺ H. Blanc, 1859. Plon, Paris.

† Dom Calmet, ʺApparit.,ʺ vol. ii., chap. xliv., p. 212.

science; and 2, a prevailing unbelief in the existence of either soul or spirit in man, by the same science.

Pierart tries to demonstrate that in every case it is dangerous to bury people too soon, even though the body may show undoubted signs of putrefaction. ʺPoor dead cataleptics,ʺ says the doctor, ʺburied as if quite dead, in cold and dry spots where morbid causes are incapable to effect the destruction of their bodies, their (astral) spirit enveloping itself with a fluidic body (ethereal) is prompted to quit the precincts of its tomb, and to exercise on living beings acts peculiar to physical life, especially that of nutrition, the result of which, by a mysterious link between soul and body, which spiritualistic science will explain some day, is forwarded to the material body lying still in its tomb, and the latter thus helped to perpetuate its vital existence.ʺ‡ These spirits, in their ephemeral bodies, have been often seen coming out from the graveyard; they are known to have clung to their living neighbors, and have sucked their blood. Judicial inquiry has established that from this resulted an emaciation of the victimized persons, which often terminated in death.

Thus, following the pious advice of Dom Calmet, we must either go on denying, or, if human and legal testimonies are worth anything, accept the only explanation possible. ʺThat souls departed are embodied in aerial or ætherial vehicles is most fully and plainly proved by those excellent men, Dr. C. and Dr. More,ʺ says Glanvil, ʺand they have largely shown

‡ Pierart, ʺRevue Spiritualiste,ʺ vol. iv., p. 104.


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that this was the doctrine of the greatest philosophers and most ancient and aged fathers.ʺ*

Gorres, the German philosopher, says to the same effect, that ʺGod never created man as a dead corpse, but as an animal full of life. Once He had thus produced him, finding him ready to receive the immortal breath, He breathed him in the face, and thus man became a double masterpiece in His hands. It is in the centre of life itself that this mysterious insufflation took place in the first man (race?); and thence were united the animal soul issued from earth, and the spirit emanating from heaven.ʺ†

Des Mousseaux, in company with other Roman Catholic writers, exclaims: ʺThis proposition is utterly anti‐Catholic! ʺWell, and suppose it is? It may be archi‐anti‐Catholic, and still be logic, and offer a solution for many a psychological puzzle. The sun of science and philosophy shines for every one; and if Catholics, who hardly number one‐seventh part of the population of the globe, do not feel satisfied, perhaps the many millions of people of other religions who outnumber them, will.

And now, before parting with this repulsive subject of vampirism, we will give one more illustration, without other voucher than the statement that it was given to us by apparently trustworthy witnesses.

* ʺSadducismus Triumphatus,ʺ vol. ii., p. 70.

† Görres, ʺComplete Works,ʺ vol. iii., ch. vii., p. 132.

About the beginning of the present century, there occurred in Russia, one of the most frightful cases of vampirism on record. The governor of the Province of Tch—— was a man of about sixty years, of a malicious, tyrannical, cruel, and jealous disposition. Clothed with despotic authority, he exercised it without stint, as his brutal instincts prompted. He fell in love with the pretty daughter of a subordinate official. Although the girl was betrothed to a young man whom she loved, the tyrant forced her father to consent to his having her marry him; and the poor victim, despite her despair, became his wife. His jealous disposition exhibited itself. He beat her, confined her to her room for weeks together, and prevented her seeing any one except in his presence. He finally fell sick and died. Finding his end approaching, he made her swear never to marry again; and with fearful oaths, threatened that, in case she did, he would return from his grave and kill her. He was buried in the cemetery across the river; and the young widow experienced no further annoyance, until, nature getting the better of her fears, she listened to the importunities of her former lover, and they were again betrothed.

On the night of the customary betrothal‐feast, when all had retired, the old mansion was aroused by shrieks proceeding from her room. The doors were burst open, and the unhappy woman was found lying on her bed, in a swoon. At the same time a carriage was heard rumbling out of the courtyard. Her body was found to be black and blue in places, as from the effect of pinches, and from a slight


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puncture on her neck drops of blood were oozing. Upon recovering, she stated that her deceased husband had suddenly entered her room, appearing exactly as in life, with the exception of a dreadful pallor; that he had upbraided her for her inconstancy, and then beaten and pinched her most cruelly. Her story was disbelieved; but the next morning, the guard stationed at the other end of the bridge which spans the river, reported that, just before midnight, a black coach and six had driven furiously past them, toward the town, without answering their challenge.

The new governor, who disbelieved the story of the apparition, took nevertheless the precaution of doubling the guards across the bridge.

The same thing happened, however, night after night; the soldiers declaring that the toll‐bar at their station near the bridge would rise of itself, and the spectral equipage sweep by them despite their efforts to stop it. At the same time every night, the coach would rumble into the courtyard of the house; the watchers, including the widowʹs family, and the servants, would be thrown into a heavy sleep; and every morning the young victim would be found bruised, bleeding, and swooning as before. The town was thrown into consternation. The physicians had no explanations to offer; priests came to pass the night in prayer, but as midnight approached, all would be seized with the terrible lethargy. Finally, the archbishop of the province came, and performed the ceremony of exorcism in person, but the following

morning the governorʹs widow was found worse than ever. She was now brought to deathʹs door.

The governor was finally driven to take the severest measures to stop the ever‐increasing panic in the town. He stationed fifty Cossacks along the bridge, with orders to stop the spectre‐carriage at all hazards. Promptly at the usual hour, it was heard and seen approaching from the direction of the cemetery. The officer of the guard, and a priest bearing a crucifix, planted themselves in front of the toll‐bar, and together shouted: ʺIn the name of God, and the Czar, who goes there?ʺ Out of the coach‐window was thrust a well‐ remembered head, and a familiar voice responded: ʺThe Privy Councillor of State and Governor, C——!ʺ At the same moment, the officer, the priest, and the soldiers were flung aside as by an electric shock, and the ghostly equipage passed by them, before they could recover breath.

The archbishop then resolved, as a last expedient, to resort to the time‐honored plan of exhuming the body, and pinning it to the earth with an oaken stake driven through its heart. This was done with great religious ceremony in the presence of the whole populace. The story is that the body was found gorged with blood, and with red cheeks and lips. At the instant that the first blow was struck upon the stake, a groan issued from the corpse, and a jet of blood spurted high into the air. The archbishop pronounced the usual exorcism, the body was reïnterred, and from that time no more was heard of the vampire.


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How far the facts of this case may have been exaggerated by tradition, we cannot say. But we had it years ago from an eye‐witness; and at the present day there are families in Russia whose elder members will recall the dreadful tale.

As to the statement found in medical books that there are frequent cases of inhumation while the subjects are but in a cataleptic state, and the persistent denials of specialists that such things happen, except very rarely, we have but to turn to the daily press of every country to find the horrid fact substantiated. The Rev. H. R. Haweis, M.A., author of Ashes to Ashes,* enumerates in his work, written in advocacy of cremation, some very distressing cases of premature burial. On page forty‐six occurs the following dialogue: ʺBut do you know of many cases of premature burial?ʺ ʺUndoubtedly I do. I will not say that in our temperate climate they are frequent, but they do occur. Hardly a graveyard is opened but coffins are found containing bodies not only turned, but skeletons contorted in the last hopeless struggle for life underground. The turning may be due to some clumsy shaking of the coffin, but not the contortion.ʺ

After this he proceeds to give the following recent cases: ʺAt Bergerac (Dordogne), in 1842, the patient took a sleeping draught . . . but he woke not. . . . They bled him, and he woke not. . . . At last they declared him to be dead, and buried him. After a few days, remembering the sleeping draught, they opened the grave. The body had turned and struggled.ʺ

* ʺAshes to Ashes,ʺ London: Daldy, Isbister & Co., 1875.

ʺThe Sunday Times, December 30, 1838, relates that at Tonneins, Lower Garonne, a man was buried, when an indistinct noise proceeded from the coffin; the reckless grave‐ digger fled. . . . The coffin was hauled up and burst open. A face stiffened in terror and despair, a torn winding‐sheet, contorted limbs, told the sad truth — too late.ʺ

ʺThe Times, May, 1874, states that in August of 1873, a young lady died soon after her marriage. . . . Within a year the husband married again, and the mother of his first bride resolved to remove her daughterʹs body to Marseilles. They opened the vault and found the poor girlʹs body prostrate, her hair dishevelled, her shroud torn to pieces.ʺ† As we will have to refer to the subject once more in connection with Bible miracles, we will leave it for the present, and return to magical phenomena. If we were to give a full description of the various manifestations which take place among adepts in India and other countries, we might fill volumes, but this would be profitless, as there would remain no space for explanation. Therefore we select in preference such as either find their parallels in modern phenomena or are authenticated by legal inquiry. Horst tried to present an idea of certain Persian spirits to his readers, and failed; for the bare mention of some of them is calculated to set the brains of a believer in a whirl. There are the Devs and their specialities; the Darwands and their gloomy tricks; the Shadim and Djinnas; the whole vast legion of spirits, demons, goblins, and

† The author refers all those who may doubt such statements to G. A. Walkerʹs ʺGatherings from Graveyards,ʺ pp. 84‐193, 194, etc.


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elves of the Persian calendar; and, on the other hand, the Jewish Seraphim, Cherubim, Izeds, Amshaspands, Sephiroth, Malachim, Elohim; and, adds Horst, ʺthe millions of astral and elementary spirits, of intermediary spirits, ghosts, and imaginary beings of all races and colors.ʺ*


But the majority of these spirits have naught to do with the phenomena consciously and deliberately produced by the Eastern magicians. The latter repudiate such an accusation and leave to sorcerers the help even of elemental spirits and the elementary spooks. The adept has an unlimited power over both, but he rarely uses it. For the production of physical phenomena he summons the nature‐spirits as obedient powers, not as intelligences.

As we always like to strengthen our arguments by testimonies other than our own, it may be well to present the opinion of a daily paper, the Boston Herald, as to phenomena in general and mediums in particular. Having encountered sad failures with some dishonest persons, who may or may not be mediumistic, the writer went to the trouble of ascertaining as to some wonders said to be produced in India, and compares them with those of modern thaumaturgy.

ʺThe medium of the present day,ʺ he says, ʺbears a closer resemblance, in methods and manipulations, to the well‐ known conjurer of history, than any other representative of

* Horst, ʺZauber Bibliothek,ʺ vol. v., p. 52.

the magic art. How far short he still remains of the performances of his prototypes is illustrated below. In 1615 a delegation of highly‐educated and distinguished men from the English East India Company visited the Emperor Jehangire. While on their mission they witnessed many most wonderful performances, almost causing them to discredit their senses, and far beyond any hint even of solution. A party of Bengalese conjurers and jugglers, showing their art before the emperor, were desired to produce upon the spot, and from seed, ten mulberry trees. They immediately planted ten seeds, which, in a few minutes produced as many trees. The ground divided over the spot where a seed was planted, tiny leaves appeared, at once followed by slender shoots, which rapidly gained elevation, putting out leaves and twigs and branches, finally spreading wide in the air, budding, blossoming and yielding fruit, which matured upon the spot, and was found to be excellent. And this before the beholder had turned away his eyes. Fig, almond, mango, and walnut trees were at the same time under like conditions produced, yielding the fruit which belonged to each. Wonder succeeded wonder. The branches were filled with birds of beautiful plumage flitting about among the leaves and singing sweet notes. The leaves turned to russet, fell from their places, branches and twigs withered, and finally the trees sank back into the earth, out of which they had all sprung within the hour.

ʺAnother had a bow and about fifty steel‐pointed arrows. He shot an arrow into the air, when, lo! the arrow became


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fixed in space at a considerable height. Another and another arrow was sent off, each fixing itself in the shaft of the preceding, until all formed a chain of arrows in the air, excepting the last shot, which, striking the chain, brought the whole to the ground in detachments.

ʺThey set up two common tents facing each other, and about a bow‐shot apart. These tents were critically examined by the spectators, as are the cabinets of the mediums, and pronounced empty. The tents were fastened to the ground all around. The lookers‐on were then invited to choose what animals or birds they would have issue from these tents to engage in a battle. Khaun‐e‐Jahaun incredulously asked to see a fight between ostriches. In a few minutes an ostrich came out from each tent rushed to combat with deadly earnestness, and from them the blood soon began to stream; but they were so nearly matched that neither could win the victory, and they were at last separated by the conjurers and conveyed within the tents. After this the varied demands of the spectators for birds and animals were exactly complied with, always with the same results.

ʺA large cauldron was set, and into it a quantity of rice thrown. Without the sign of fire this rice soon began to boil, and out from the cauldron was taken more than one hundred platters of cooked rice, with a stewed fowl at the top of each. This trick is performed on a smaller scale by the most ordinary fakirs of the present day.

ʺBut space fails to give opportunity for illustrating, from the records of the past, how the miserably tame performances

— by comparison — of the mediums of the present day were pale and overshadowed by those of other days and more adroit peoples. There is not a wonderful feature in any of the so‐called phenomena or manifestations which was not, nay, which is not now more than duplicated by other skilful performers, whose connection with earth, and earth alone, is too evident to be doubted, even if the fact was not supported by their own testimony.ʺ

It is an error to say that fakirs or jugglers will always claim that they are helped by spirits. In quasi‐religious evocations, such as Jacolliotʹs Kovindasami is described to have produced before this French gentleman, when the parties desire to see real ʺspiritualʺ manifestations, they will resort to Pitris, their disembodied ancestors, and other pure spirits. These they can evoke but through prayer. As to all other phenomena, they are produced by the magician and fakir at will. Notwithstanding the state of apparent abjectness in which the latter lives, he is often an initiate of the temples, and is as well acquainted with occultism as his richer brethren.

The Chaldeans, whom Cicero counts among the oldest magicians, placed the basis of all magic in the inner powers of manʹs soul, and by the discernment of magic properties in plants, minerals, and animals. By the aid of these they performed the most wonderful ʺmiracles.ʺ Magic, with them, was synonymous with religion and science. It is but later that the religious myths of the Magdean dualism, disfigured by Christian theology and euhemerized by certain fathers of the Church, assumed the disgusting shape in which we find them


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expounded by such Catholic writers as des Mousseaux. The objective reality of the mediæval incubus and succubus, that abominable superstition of the middle ages which cost so many human lives, advocated by this author in a whole volume, is the monstrous production of religious fanaticism and epilepsy. It can have no objective form; and to attribute its effects to the Devil is blasphemy: implying that God, after creating Satan, would allow him to adopt such a course. If we are forced to believe in vampirism, it is on the strength of two irrefragable propositions of occult psychological science: 1. The astral soul is a separable distinct entity of our ego, and can roam far away from the body without breaking the thread of life. 2. The corpse is not utterly dead, and while it can yet be reëntered by its tenant, the latter can gather sufficient material emanations from it to enable itself to appear in a quasi‐terrestrial shape. But to uphold, with des Mousseaux and de Mirville, that the Devil, whom the Catholics endow with a power which, in antagonism, equals that of the Supreme Deity, transforms himself into wolves, snakes, and dogs, to satisfy his lust and procreate monsters, is an idea within which lie hidden the germs of devil‐worship, lunacy, and sacrilege. The Catholic Church, which not only teaches us to believe in this monstrous fallacy, but forces her missionaries to preach such a dogma, need not revolt against the devil‐worship of some Parsee and South India sects. Quite the reverse; for when we hear the Yezides repeat the well‐ known proverb: ʺKeep friends with the demons; give them your property, your blood, your service, and you need not

care about God — He will not harm you,ʺ we find him but consistent with his belief and reverential to the Supreme; his logic is sound and rational; he reveres God too deeply to imagine that He who created the universe and its laws is able to hurt him, poor atom; but the demons are there; they are imperfect, and therefore he has good reasons to dread them.

Therefore, the Devil, in his various transformations, can be but a fallacy. When we imagine that we see, and hear, and feel him, it is but too often the reflection of our own wicked, depraved, and polluted soul that we see, hear, and feel. Like attracts like, they say; thus, according to the mood in which our astral form oozes out during the hours of sleep, according to our thoughts, pursuits, and daily occupations, all of which are fairly impressed upon the plastic capsule called the human soul, the latter attracts around itself spiritual beings congenial to itself. Hence some dreams and visions that are pure and beautiful, others fiendish and beastly. The person awakes, and either hastens to the confessional, or laughs in callous indifference at the thought. In the first case, he is promised final salvation, at the cost of some indulgences (which he has to purchase from the church), and perhaps a little taste of purgatory, or even of hell. What matter? is he not safe to be eternal and immortal, do what he may? It is the Devil. Away with him, with bell, book, and holy sprinkler! But the ʺDevilʺ comes back, and often the true believer is forced to disbelieve in God, when he clearly perceives that the Devil has the best of his Creator and Master. Then he is left to the second emergency. He remains indifferent, and gives himself up


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entirely to the Devil. He dies, and the reader has learned the sequel in the preceding chapters.

The thought is beautifully expressed by Dr. Ennemoser: ʺReligion did not here [Europe and China] strike root so deeply as among the Hindus,ʺ says he, arguing upon this superstition. ʺThe spirit of the Greeks and Persians was more volatile. . . . The philosophical idea in the good and bad principle, and of the spiritual world . . . must have assisted tradition in forming visions of heavenly and hellish shapes, and the most frightful distortions, which in India were much more simply produced by a more enthusiastic fanaticism; there the seer received by divine light; here he lost himself in a multitude of outward objects, with which he confounded his own identity. Convulsions, accompanied by the mindʹs absence from the body, in distant countries, were here common, for the imagination was less firm, and also less spiritual.

ʺThe outward causes are also different; the modes of life, geographical position, and artificial means producing various modifications. The mode of life in Western countries has always been very variable, and therefore disturbs and distorts the occupation of the senses, and the outward life is therefore reflected upon the inner dream‐world. The spirits, therefore, are of endless varieties of shape, and incline men to gratify their passions, showing them the means of so doing, and descending even to the minutest particulars, which was so far below the elevated natures of Indian seers.ʺ

Let the student of occult sciences make his own nature as pure and his thoughts as elevated as those of these Indian seers, and he may sleep unmolested by vampire, incubus, or succubus. Around the insensible form of such a sleeper the immortal spirit sheds a power divine that protects it from evil approaches, as though it were a crystal wall.

ʺHæc murus æneus esto: nil conscire sibi, nulla pallascere culpa.ʺ


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ʺALCHYMIST. Thou always speakest riddles. Tell me if thou art that fountain of which Bernard Lord Trevigan writ?

ʺMERCURY. I am not that fountain, but I am the water. The fountain compasseth me about.ʺ

SANDIVOGIUS, New Light of Alchymy

ʺAll that we profess to do is this; to find out the secrets of the human frame, to know why the parts ossify and the blood stagnates, and to apply continual preventatives to the effects of time. This is not magic; it is the art of medicine rightly understood.ʺ


ʺLo, warrior! now the cross of Red Points to the grave of the mighty dead; Within it burns a wondrous light,

To chase the spirits that love the night. That lamp shall burn unquenchably Until the eternal doom shall be.ʺ
ʺNo earthly flame blazed eʹer so bright.ʺ


THERE are persons whose minds would be incapable of appreciating the intellectual grandeur of the ancients, even in physical science, were they to receive the most complete demonstration of their profound learning and achievements. Notwithstanding the lesson of caution which more than one

unexpected discovery has taught them, they still pursue their old plan of denying, and, what is still worse, of ridiculing that which they have no means of either proving or disproving. So, for instance, they will pooh‐pooh the idea of talismans having any efficacy one way or the other. That the seven spirits of the Apocalypse have direct relation to the seven occult powers in nature, appears incomprehensible and absurd to their feeble intellects; and the bare thought of a magician claiming to work wonders through certain kabalistic rites convulses them with laughter. Perceiving only a geometrical figure traced upon a paper, a bit of metal, or other substance, they cannot imagine how any reasonable being should ascribe to either any occult potency. But those who have taken the pains to inform themselves know that the ancients achieved as great discoveries in psychology as in physics, and that their explorations left few secrets to be discovered.


For our part, when we realize that a pentacle is a synthetic figure which expresses in concrete form a profound truth of nature, we can see nothing more ridiculous in it than in the figures of Euclid, and nothing half so comical as the symbols in a modern work on chemistry. What to the uninitiated reader can appear more absurd than that the symbol NA2CO3

— means soda! and that C2H6O is but another way of writing alcohol! How very amusing that the alchemists should


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express their Azoth, or creative principle of nature (astral light), by the symbol

which embraces three things: 1st, The divine hypothesis; 2d, The philosophical synthesis; 3d, The physical synthesis — that is to say, a belief, an idea, and a force. But how perfectly natural that a modern chemist who wishes to indicate to the students in his laboratory the reaction of a sodic‐carbonate with cream‐of‐tartar in solution, should employ the following symbol:

( Na2CO3 + 2HKC4H4O6 + Aq )=
( 2NaKC4H4O6 + H2O + Aq ) + CO2

If the uninspired reader may be pardoned for looking aghast at this abracadabra of chemical science, why should not its teachers restrain their mirth until they have learned the philosophical value of the symbolism of the ancients? At least they might spare themselves from being as ridiculous as Monsieur de Mirville, who, confounding the Azoth of the Hermetic philosophers with the azote of the chemists,

asserted that the former worshipped nitrogen gas!* Apply a piece of iron to a magnet, and it becomes imbued with its subtile principle and capable of imparting it to other iron in its turn. It neither weighs more nor appears different from what it was before. And yet, one of the most subtile potencies of nature has entered into its substance. A talisman, in itself perhaps a worthless bit of metal, a scrap of paper, or a shred of any fabric, has nevertheless been imbued by the influence of that greatest of all magnets, the human will, with a potency for good or ill just as recognizable and as real in its effects as the subtile property which the iron acquired by contact with the physical magnet. Let the bloodhound snuff an article of clothing that has been worn by the fugitive, and he will track him through swamp and forest to his hiding‐place. Give one of Professor Buchananʹs ʺpsychometersʺ a manuscript, no matter how old, and he will describe to you the character of the writer, and perhaps even his personal appearance. Hand a clairvoyant a lock of hair or some article that has been in contact with the person of whom it is desired to know something, and she will come into sympathy with him so intimate that she may trace him through his whole life.

Breeders tell us that young animals should not be herded with old ones; and intelligent physicians forbid parents to have young children occupy their own beds. When David was old and feeble his vital forces were recruited by having a young person brought in close contact with him so that he

* See Eliphas Levi, ʺLa Science des Esprits.ʺ


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could absorb her strength. The late Empress of Russia, the sister of the present German Emperor, was so feeble the last years of her life that she was seriously advised by her physicians to keep in her bed at night a robust and healthy young peasant‐girl. Whoever has read the description given by Dr. Kerner of the Seeress of Prevorst, Mme. Hauffe, must well remember her words. She repeatedly stated that she supported life merely on the atmosphere of the people surrounding her and their magnetic emanations, which were quickened in an extraordinary way by her presence. The seeress was very plainly a magnetic vampire, who absorbed by drawing to herself the life of those who were strong enough to spare her their vitality in the shape of volatilized blood. Dr. Kerner remarks that these persons were all more or less affected by this forcible loss.

With these familiar illustrations of the possibility of a subtile fluid communicated from one individual to another, or to substances which he touches, it becomes less difficult to understand that by a determined concentration of the will an otherwise inert object may become imbued with protective or destructive power according to the purpose directing.

A magnetic emanation, unconsciously produced, is sure to be overpowered by any stronger one with which it may come into opposition. But when an intelligent and powerful will directs the blind force, and concentrates it upon a given spot, the weaker emanation will often master the stronger. A human will has the same effect on the Akâsa.

Upon one occasion, we witnessed in Bengal an exhibition of will‐power that illustrates a highly interesting phase of the subject. An adept in magic made a few passes over a piece of common tin, the inside of a dish‐cover, that lay conveniently by, and while regarding it attentively for a few moments, seemed to grasp the imponderable fluid by handfuls and throw it against the surface. When the tin had been exposed to the full glare of light for about six seconds, the bright surface was suddenly covered as with a film. Then patches of a darker hue began coming out on its surface; and when in about three minutes the tin was handed back to us, we found imprinted upon it a picture, or rather a photograph, of the landscape that stretched out before us; faithful as nature itself, and every color perfect. It remained for about forty‐ eight hours and then slowly faded away.

This phenomenon is easily explained. The will of the adept condensed upon the tin a film of akâsa which made it for the time being like a sensitized photographic plate. Light did the rest.

Such an exhibition as this of the potency of the will to effect even objective physical results, will prepare the student to comprehend its efficacy in the cure of disease by imparting the desired virtue to inanimate objects which are placed in contact with the patient. When we see such psychologists as Maudsley* quoting, without contradiction, the stories of some miraculous cures effected by Swedenborgʹs father —

* Henry Maudsley, ʺBody and Mind.ʺ


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stories which do not differ from hundreds of other cures by other ʺfanaticsʺ — as he calls them — magicians, and natural healers, and, without attempting to explain their facts, stooping to laugh at the intensity of their faith, without asking himself whether the secret of that healing potency were not in the control given by that faith over occult forces

— we grieve that there should be so much learning and so little philosophy, in our time.

Upon our word, we cannot see that the modern chemist is any less a magician than the ancient theurgist or Hermetic philosopher, except in this: that the latter, recognizing the duality of nature, had twice as wide a field for experimental research as the chemist. The ancients animated statues, and the Hermetists called into being, out of the elements, the shapes of salamanders, gnomes, undines, and sylphs, which they did not pretend to create, but simply to make visible by holding open the door of nature, so that, under favoring conditions, they might step into view. The chemist brings into contact two elements contained in the atmosphere, and by developing a latent force of affinity, creates a new body — water. In the spheroidal and diaphanous pearls which are born of this union of gases, come the germs of organic life, and in their molecular interstices lurk heat, electricity, and light, just as they do in the human body. Whence comes this life into the drop of water just born of the union of two gases? And what is the water itself? Have the oxygen and hydrogen undergone some transformation which obliterates their qualities simultaneously with the obliteration of their form?

Here is the answer of modern science: ʺWhether the oxygen and hydrogen exist as such, in the water, or whether they are produced by some unknown and unconceived transformation of its substance, is a question about which we may speculate, but in regard to which we have no knowledge.ʺ* Knowing nothing about so simple a matter as the molecular constitution of water, or the deeper problem of the appearance of life within it, would it not be well for Mr. Maudsley to exemplify his own principle, and ʺmaintain a calm acquiescence in ignorance until light comesʺ?†

The claims of the friends of esoteric science, that Paracelsus produced, chemically, homunculi from certain combinations as yet unknown to exact science, are, as a matter of course, relegated to the storehouse of exploded humbugs. But why should they? If the homunculi were not made by Paracelsus they were developed by other adepts, and that not a thousand years ago. They were produced, in fact, upon exactly the same principle as that by which the chemist and physicist calls to life his animalcula. A few years ago, an English gentleman, Andrew Crosse, of Somersetshire produced acari in the following manner: ʺBlack flint burned to redness and reduced to powder was mixed with carbonate of potash, and exposed to a strong heat for fifteen minutes; and the mixture was poured into a blacklead crucible in an air furnace. It was reduced to powder while warm, mixed with boiling water; kept boiling for some minutes, and then

* Josiah Cooke, Jr., ʺThe New Chemistry.ʺ

† Henry Maudsley, ʺThe Limits of Philosophical Inquiry,ʺ p. 266.


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hydrochloric acid was added to supersaturation. After being exposed to voltaic action for twenty‐six days, a perfect insect of the acari tribe made its appearance, and in the course of a few weeks about a hundred more. The experiment was repeated with other chemical fluids with like results.ʺ A Mr. Weeks also produced the acari in ferrocyanide of potassium.

This discovery produced a great excitement. Mr. Crosse was now accused of impiety and aiming at creation. He replied, denying the implication and saying he considered ʺto create was to form a something out of a nothing.ʺ*

Another gentleman, considered by several persons as a man of great science, has told us repeatedly that he was on the eve of proving that even unfructified eggs could be hatched by having a negative electric current caused to pass through them.

The mandrakes (dudim or love‐fruit) found in the field by Reuben, Jacobʹs son, which excited the fancy of Rachel, was the kabalistic mandragora, notwithstanding denial; and the verses which refer to it belong to the crudest passages, in their esoteric meaning, of the whole work. The mandrake is a plant having the rudimentary shape of a human creature; with a head, two arms, and two legs forming roots. The superstition that when pulled out of the ground it cries with a human voice, is not utterly baseless. It does produce a kind of squeaking sound, on account of the resinous substance of its root, which it is rather difficult to extract; and it has more

* ʺScientific American,ʺ August 12, 1868.

than one hidden property in it perfectly unknown to the botanist.


The reader who would obtain a clear idea of the commutation of forces and the resemblance between the life‐ principles of plants, animals, and human beings, may profitably consult a paper on the correlation of nervous and mental forces by Professor Alexander Bain, of the University of Aberdeen. This mandragora seems to occupy upon earth the point where the vegetable and animal kingdoms touch, as the zoophites and polypi do in the sea; the boundary being in each case so indistinct as to make it almost imperceptible where the one ceases and the other begins. It may seem improbable that there should be homunculi, but will any naturalist, in view of the recent expansion of science, dare say it is impossible? ʺWho,ʺ says Bain, ʺis to limit the possibilities of existence?ʺ

The unexplained mysteries of nature are many and of those presumably explained hardly one may be said to have become absolutely intelligible. There is not a plant or mineral which has disclosed the last of its properties to the scientists. What do the naturalists know of the intimate nature of the vegetable and mineral kingdoms? How can they feel confident that for every one of the discovered properties there may not be many powers concealed in the inner nature of the plant or stone? And that they are only waiting to be brought in relation with some other plant, mineral, or force of


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nature to manifest themselves in what is termed a ʺsupernatural manner.ʺ Wherever Pliny, the naturalist, Ælian, and even Diodorus, who sought with such a laudable perseverance to extricate historical truth from its medley of exaggerations and fables, have attributed to some plant or mineral an occult property unknown to our modern botanists and physicists, their assertions have been laid aside without further ceremony as absurd, and no more referred to.

It has been the speculation of men of science from time immemorial what this vital force or life‐principle is. To our mind the ʺsecret doctrineʺ alone is able to furnish the clew. Exact science recognizes only five powers in nature — one molar, and four molecular; kabalists, seven; and in these two additional ones is enwrapped the whole mystery of life. One of these is immortal spirit, whose reflection is connected by invisible links even with inorganic matter; the other, we leave to every one to discover for himself. Says Professor Joseph Le Conte: ʺWhat is the nature of the difference between the living organism and the dead organism? We can detect none, physical or chemical. All the physical and chemical forces withdrawn from the common fund of nature, and embodied in the living organism, seem to be still embodied in the dead, until little by little it is returned by decomposition. Yet the difference is immense, is inconceivably great. What is the nature of this difference expressed in the formula of material science? What is that that is gone, and whither is it gone? There is something here that science cannot yet understand.

Yet it is just this loss which takes place in death, and before decomposition, which is in the highest sense vital force!ʺ


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Difficult, nay impossible, as it seems to science to find out the invisible, universal motor of all — Life, to explain its nature, or even to suggest a reasonable hypothesis for the same, the mystery is but half a mystery, not merely for the great adepts and seers, but even for true and firm believers in a spiritual world. To the simple believer, unblessed with a personal organism, the delicate, nervous sensitiveness of which would enable him — as it enables a seer — to perceive the visible universe reflected as in a clear glass in the Invisible one, and, as it were, objectively, there remains divine faith. The latter is firmly rooted in his inner senses; in his unerring intuition, with which cold reason has naught to do, he feels it cannot play him false. Let human‐born, erroneous dogmas, and theological sophistry contradict each other; let one crowd off the other, and the subtile casuistry of one creed fell to the ground the crafty reasoning of another one; truth remains one, and there is not a religion, whether Christian or heathen, that is not firmly built upon the rock of ages — God and immortal spirit.

Every animal is more or less endowed with the faculty of perceiving, if not spirits, at least something which remains for the time being invisible to common men, and can only be discerned by a clairvoyant. We have made hundreds of experiments with cats, dogs, monkeys of various kinds, and, once, with a tame tiger. A round black mirror, known as the ʺmagic crystal,ʺ was strongly mesmerized by a native Hindu

gentleman, formerly an inhabitant of Dindigul, and now residing in a more secluded spot, among the mountains known as the Western Ghauts. He had tamed a young cub, brought to him from the Malabar coast, in which part of India the tigers are proverbially ferocious; and it is with this interesting animal that we made our experiments.

Like the ancient Marsi and Psylli, the renowned serpent‐ charmers, this gentleman claimed to be possessed of the mysterious power of taming any kind of animal. The tiger was reduced to a chronic mental numbness, so to say; he had become as inoffensive and harmless as a dog. Children could tease and pull him by the ears, and he would only shake himself and howl like a dog. But whenever forced to look into the ʺmagic mirror,ʺ the poor animal was instantly excited to a sort of frenzy. His eyes became full of a human terror; howling in despair, unable to turn away from the mirror to which his gaze seemed riveted as by a magnetic spell, he would writhe and tremble till he convulsed with fear at some vision which to us remained unknown. He would then lie down, feebly groaning but still gazing in the glass. When it was taken away from him, the animal would lie panting and seemingly prostrated for about two hours. What did he see? What spirit‐picture from his own invisible, animal‐world, could produce such a terrific effect on the wild and naturally ferocious and daring beast? Who can tell? Perhaps he who produced the scene.

The same effect on animals was observed during spiritual seances with some holy mendicants; the same when a Syrian,


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half‐heathen and half‐Christian, from Kunankulam (Cochin State), a reputed sorcerer, who was invited to join us for the sake of experimenting.

We were nine persons in all — seven men and two women, one of the latter a native. Besides us, there were in the room, the young tiger, intensely occupied on a bone; a wânderoo, or lion‐monkey, which, with its black coat and snow‐white goatee and whiskers, and cunning, sparkling eyes, looked the personification of mischief; and a beautiful golden oriole, quietly cleaning its radiant‐colored tail on a perch, placed near a large window of the veranda. In India, ʺspiritualʺ seances are not held in the dark, as in America; and no conditions, but perfect silence and harmony, are required. It was in the full glare of daylight streaming through the opened doors and windows, with a far‐away buzz of life from the neighboring forests, and jungles sending us the echo of myriads of insects, birds, and animals. We sat in the midst of a garden in which the house was built, and instead of breathing the stifling atmosphere of a seance‐room, we were amid the fire‐colored clusters of the erythrina — the coral tree

— inhaling the fragrant aromas of trees and shrubs, and the flowers of the bignonia, whose white blossoms trembled in the soft breeze. In short, we were surrounded with light, harmony, and perfumes. Large nosegays of flowers and shrubs, sacred to the native gods, were gathered for the purpose, and brought into the rooms. We had the sweet basil, the Vishnu‐flower, without which no religious ceremony in Bengal will ever take place; and the branches of the Ficus

religiosa, the tree dedicated to the same bright deity, intermingling their leaves with the rosy blossoms of the sacred lotos and the Indian tuberose, profusely ornamented the walls.

While the ʺblessed oneʺ — represented by a very dirty, but, nevertheless, really holy fakir — remained plunged in self‐contemplation, and some spiritual wonders were taking place under the direction of his will, the monkey and the bird exhibited but few signs of restlessness. The tiger alone visibly trembled at intervals, and stared around the room, as if his phosphorically‐shining green orbs were following some invisible presence as it floated up and down. That which was as yet unperceived by human eyes, must have therefore been objective to him. As to the wânderoo, all its liveliness had fled; it seemed drowsy, and sat crouching and motionless. The bird gave few, if any, signs of uneasiness. There was a sound as of gently‐flapping wings in the air; the flowers went travelling about the room, displaced by invisible hands; and, as a glorious azure‐tinted flower fell on the folded paws of the monkey, it gave a nervous start, and sought refuge under its masterʹs white robe. These displays lasted for an hour, and it would be too long to relate all of them; the most curious of all, being the one which closed that season of wonders. Somebody complaining of the heat, we had a shower of delicately‐perfumed dew. The drops fell fast and large, and conveyed a feeling of inexpressible refreshment, drying the instant after touching our persons.


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When the fakir had brought his exhibition of white magic to a close, the ʺsorcerer,ʺ or conjurer, as they are called, prepared to display his power. We were treated to a succession of the wonders that the accounts of travellers have made familiar to the public; showing, among other things, the fact that animals naturally possess the clairvoyant faculty, and even, it would seem, the ability to discern between the good and the bad spirits. All of the sorcererʹs feats were preceded by fumigations. He burned branches of resinous trees and shrubs, which sent up volumes of smoke. Although there was nothing about this calculated to affright an animal using only his natural eyes, the tiger, monkey, and bird exhibited an indescribable terror. We suggested that the animals might be frightened at the blazing brands, the familiar custom of burning fires round the camp to keep off wild beasts, recurring to our mind. To leave no doubt upon this point, the Syrian approached the crouching tiger with a branch of the Bael‐tree* (sacred to Siva), and waved it several times over his head, muttering, meanwhile, his incantations. The brute instantly displayed a panic of terror beyond description. His eyes started from their sockets like blazing fire‐balls; he foamed at the mouth; he flung himself upon the floor, as if seeking some hole in which to hide himself; he uttered scream after scream, that awoke a hundred responsive echoes from the jungle and the woods. Finally, taking a last look at the spot from which his eyes had never wandered, he made a desperate plunge, which snapped his

* The wood‐apple.

chain, and dashed through the window of the veranda, carrying a piece of the frame‐work with him. The monkey had fled long before, and the bird fell from the perch as though paralyzed. We did not ask either the fakir or sorcerer for an explanation of the method by which their respective phenomena were effected. If we had, unquestionably they would have replied as did a fakir to a French traveller, who tells his story in a recent number of a New York newspaper, called the Franco‐American, as follows: ʺMany of these Hindu jugglers who live in the silence of the pagodas perform feats far surpassing the prestidigitations of Robert Houdin, and there are many others who produce the most curious phenomena in magnetism and catalepsy upon the first objects that come across their way, that I have often wondered whether the Brahmans, with their occult sciences, have not made great discoveries in the questions which have recently been agitated in Europe.

ʺOn one occasion, while I and others were in a café with Sir Maswell, he ordered his dobochy to introduce the charmer. In a few moments a lean Hindu, almost naked, with an ascetic face and bronzed color entered. Around his neck, arms, thighs, and body were coiled serpents of different sizes. After saluting us, he said, ʹGod be with you, I am Chibh‐ Chondor, son of Chibh‐Gontnalh‐Mava.ʹ

ʺ ʹWe desire to see what you can do,ʹ said our host.

ʺ ʹI obey the orders of Siva, who has sent me here,ʹ replied the fakir, squatting down on one of the marble slabs.


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ʺThe serpents raised their heads and hissed, but without showing any anger. Then taking a small pipe, attached to a wick in his hair, he produced scarcely audible sounds, imitating the tailapaca, a bird that feeds upon bruised cocoanuts. Here the serpents uncoiled themselves, and one after another glided to the floor. As soon as they touched the ground they raised about one‐third of their bodies, and began to keep time to their masterʹs music. Suddenly the fakir dropped his instrument and made several passes with his hands over the serpents, of whom there were about ten, all of the most deadly species of Indian cobra. His eye assumed a strange expression. We all felt an undefinable uneasiness, and sought to turn away our gaze from him. At this moment a small shocra* (monkey) whose business was to hand fire in a small brasier for lighting cigars, yielded to his influence, lay down, and fell asleep. Five minutes passed thus, and we felt that if the manipulations were to continue a few seconds more we should all fall asleep. Chondor then rose, and making two more passes over the shocra, said to it: ʹGive the commander some fire.ʹ The young monkey rose, and without tottering, came and offered fire to its master. It was pinched, pulled about, till there was no doubt of its being actually asleep. Nor would it move from Sir Maswellʹs side till ordered to do so by the fakir.


* Incorrect; the Hindustani word for monkey is rūkh‐charhā. Probably chokra, a little native servant is meant.

ʺWe then examined the cobras. Paralyzed by magnetic influence, they lay at full length on the ground. On taking them up we found them stiff as sticks. They were in a state of complete catalepsy. The fakir then awakened them, on which they returned and again coiled themselves round his body. We inquired whether he could make us feel his influence. He made a few passes over our legs, and instantly we lost the use of these limbs; we could not leave our seats. He released us a easily as he had paralyzed us. ʺChibh‐Chondor closed his seance by experimenting upon inanimate objects. By mere passes with his hands in the direction of the object to be acted upon, and without leaving his seat, he paled and extinguished lights in the furthest parts of the room, moved the furniture, including the divans upon which we sat, opened and closed doors. Catching sight of a Hindu who was drawing water from a well in the garden, he made a pass in his direction, and the rope suddenly stopped in its descent, resisting all the efforts of the astonished gardener. With another pass the rope again descended.

ʺI asked Chibh‐Chondor: ʹDo you employ the same means in acting upon inanimate objects that you do upon living creatures?ʹ

ʺHe replied, ʹI have only one means.ʹ

ʺ ʹWhat is it?ʹ

ʺ ʹThe will. Man, who is the end of all intellectual and material forces, must dominate over all. The Brahmans know nothing besides this.ʹ ʺ


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ʺSanang Setzen,ʺ says Colonel Yule,* ʺenumerates a variety of the wonderful acts which could be performed through the Dharani (mystic Hindu charms). Such were sticking a peg into solid rock; restoring the dead to life; turning a dead body into gold; penetrating everywhere as air does (in astral form); flying; catching wild beasts with the hand; reading thoughts; making water flow backward; eating tiles; sitting in the air with the legs doubled under, etc.ʺ Old legends ascribe to Simon Magus precisely the same powers. ʺHe made statues to walk; leaped into the fire without being burned; flew in the air; made bread of stones; changed his shape; assumed two faces at once; converted himself into a pillar; caused closed doors to fly open spontaneously; made the vessels in a house move of themselves, etc.ʺ The Jesuit Delrio laments that credulous princes, otherwise of pious repute, should have allowed diabolical tricks to be played before them, ʺas for example, things of iron, and silver goblets, or other heavy articles, to be moved by bounds, from one end of the table to the other, without the use of a magnet, or of any attachment.ʺ† We believe WILL‐POWER the most powerful of magnets. The existence of such magical power in certain persons is proved, but the existence of the Devil is a fiction, which no theology is able to demonstrate.

ʺThere are certain men whom the Tartars honor above all in the world,ʺ says Friar Ricold, ʺviz., the Baxitæ, who are a kind of idol‐priests. These are men from India, persons of

* ʺBook of Ser Marco Polo,ʺ vol. i., pp. 306, 307.

† Delrio, ʺDisquis. Magic,ʺ pp. 34, 100.

deep wisdom, well‐conducted and of the gravest morals. They are usually with magic arts . . . they exhibit many illusions, and predict future events. For instance, one of eminence among them was said to fly; but the truth, however, was as it proved, that he did not fly, but did walk close to the surface of the ground without touching it; and would seem to sit down without having any substance to support him.‡ This last performance was witnessed by Ibn Batuta, at Delhi,ʺ adds Colonel Yule, who quotes the friar in the Book of Ser Marco Polo, ʺin the presence of Sultan Mahomet Tughlak; and it was professedly exhibited by a Brahman at Madras in the present century, a descendant doubtless of those Brahmans whom Apollonius saw walking two cubits from the ground. It is also described by the worthy Francis Valentyn, as a performance known and practiced in his own day in India. It is related, he says, that ʹa man will first go and sit on three sticks put together so as to form a tripod; after which, first one stick, then a second, then a third shall be removed from under him, and the man shall not fall but shall still remain sitting in the air! Yet I have spoken with two friends who had seen this at one and the same time; and one of them, I may add, mistrusting his own eyes, had taken the trouble to feel about with a long stick if there were nothing on which the body rested; yet, as the gentleman told me, he could neither feel nor see any such thing.ʹ ʺ We have stated elsewhere that the same thing was accomplished last year, before the Prince of Wales and his suite.

‡ Col. H. Yule, ʺThe Book of Ser Marco Polo,ʺ vol. i., p. 308.


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Such feats as the above are nothing in comparison to what is done by professed jugglers; ʺfeats,ʺ remarks the above‐ quoted author, ʺwhich might be regarded as simply inventions if told by one author only, but which seem to deserve prominent notice from being recounted by a series of authors, certainly independent of one another, and writing at long intervals of time and place. Our first witness is Ibn Batuta, and it will be necessary to quote him as well as the others in full, in order to show how closely their evidence tallies. The Arab traveller was present at a great entertainment at the court of the Viceroy of Khansa. ʹThat same night a juggler, who was one of the Khanʹs slaves, made his appearance, and the Amir said to him, ʺCome and show us some of your marvels.ʺ Upon this he took a wooden ball, with several holes in it, through which long thongs were passed, and laying hold of one of these, slung it into the air. It went so high that we lost sight of it altogether. . . . (We were in the middle of the palace‐court.) There now remained only a little of the end of a thong in the conjurerʹs hand, and he desired one of the boys who assisted him to lay hold of it and mount. He did so, climbing by the thong, and we lost sight of him also! The conjurer then called to him three times, but, getting no answer, he snatched up a knife as if in a great rage, laid hold of the thong, and disappeared also! By and bye, he threw down one of the boyʹs hands, then a foot, then the other hand, and then the other foot, then the trunk, and last of all the head!


Then he came down himself, puffing and panting, and with his clothes all bloody kissed the ground before the Amir, and said something to him in Chinese. The Amir gave some order in reply, and our friend then took the ladʹs limbs, laid them together in their places, and gave a kick, when, presto! there was the boy, who got up and stood before us! All this astonished me beyond measure, and I had an attack of palpitation like that which overcame me once before in the presence of the Sultan of India, when he showed me something of the same kind. They gave me a cordial, however, which cured the attack. The Kaji Afkharuddin was next to me, and quoth he, ʺWallah! ʹt is my opinion there has been neither going up nor coming down, neither marring, nor mending! ʹT is all hocus‐pocus!ʺ ʹ ʺ

And who doubts but that it is a ʺhocus‐pocus,ʺ an illusion, or Maya, as the Hindus express it? But when such an illusion can be forced on, say, ten thousand people at the same time, as we have seen it performed during a public festival, surely the means by which such an astounding hallucination can be produced merits the attention of science! When by such magic a man who stands before you, in a room, the doors of which you have closed and of which the keys are in your hand, suddenly disappears, vanishes like a flash of light, and you see him nowhere but hear his voice from different parts of the room addressing you and laughing at your perplexity, surely such an art is not unworthy either of Mr. Huxley or Dr.


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Carpenter. Is it not quite as well worth spending time over, as the lesser mystery — why barnyard cocks crow at midnight?

What Ibn Batuta, the Moor, saw in China about the year 1348, Colonel Yule shows Edward Melton, ʺan Anglo‐Dutch traveller,ʺ witnessing in Batavia about the year 1670: ʺOne of the same gangʺ (of conjurers), says Melton,* ʺtook a small ball of cord, and grasping one end of the cord in his hand slung the other up into the air with such force that its extremity was beyond reach of our sight. He then climbed up the cord with indescribable swiftness. . . . I stood full of astonishment, not conceiving where he had disappeared; when lo! a leg came tumbling down out of the air. A moment later a hand came down, etc. . . . In short, all the members of the body came successively tumbling from the air and were cast together by the attendant into the basket. The last fragment of all was the head, and no sooner had that touched the ground than he who had snatched up all the limbs and put them in the basket, turned them all out again topsy turvy. Then straightway we saw with these eyes all those limbs creep together again, and, in short, form a whole man, who at once could stand and go just as before without showing the least damage! . . . Never in my life was I so astonished . . . and I doubted now no longer that these misguided men did it by the help of the Devil.ʺ

* Edward Melton, ʺEngelsch Edelmans, Zeldzaame en Gedenkwaardige Zee

en Land Reizen, etc.,ʺ p. 468. Amsterdam, 1702.

In the memoirs of the Emperor Jahangire, the performances of seven jugglers from Bengal, who exhibited before him, are thus described: ʺNinth. They produced a man whom they divided limb from limb, actually severing his head from the body. They scattered these mutilated members along the ground, and in this state they lay some time. They then extended a sheet over the spot, and one of the men putting himself under the sheet, in a few minutes came from below, followed by the individual supposed to have been cut into joints, in perfect health and condition. . . . Twenty‐third. They produced a chain of fifty cubits in length, and in my presence threw one end of it toward the sky, where it remained as if fastened to something in the air. A dog was then brought forward and being placed at the lower end of the chain, immediately ran up, and reaching the other end, immediately disappeared in the air. In the same manner a hog, a panther, a lion, and a tiger were successively sent up the chain, and all equally disappeared at the upper end of the chain. At last they took down the chain, and put it into the bag, no one ever discovering in what way the different animals were made to vanish into the air in the mysterious manner above described.ʺ†

We have in our possession a picture painted from such a Persian conjurer, with a man, or rather the various limbs of what was a minute before a man, scattered before him. We

† ʺMemoirs of the Emperor Jahangire,ʺ pp. 99, 102.


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have seen such conjurers, and witnessed such performances more than once and in various places.

Bearing ever in mind that we repudiate the idea of a miracle and returning once more to phenomena more serious, we would now ask what logical objection can be urged against the claim that the reanimation of the dead was accomplished by many thaumaturgists? The fakir described in the Franco‐Americain, might have gone far enough to say that this will‐power of man is so tremendously potential that it can reanimate a body apparently dead, by drawing back the flitting soul that has not yet quite ruptured the thread that through life had bound the two together. Dozens of such fakirs have allowed themselves to be buried alive before thousands of witnesses, and weeks afterward have been resuscitated. And if fakirs have the secret of this artificial process, identical with, or analogous to, hibernation, why not allow that their ancestors, the Gymnosophists, and Apollonius of Tyana, who had studied with the latter in India, and Jesus, and other prophets and seers, who all knew more about the mysteries of life and death than any of our modern men of science, might have resuscitated dead men and women? And being quite familiar with that power — that mysterious something ʺthat science cannot yet understand,ʺ as Professor Le Conte confesses — knowing, moreover, ʺwhence it came and whither it was going,ʺ Elisha, Jesus, Paul, and Apollonius, enthusiastic ascetics and learned initiates, might have recalled to life with ease any man who ʺwas not dead but sleeping,ʺ and that without any miracle.

If the molecules of the cadaver are imbued with the physical and chemical forces of the living organism,* what is to prevent them from being set again in motion, provided we know the nature of the vital force, and how to command it? The materialist can certainly offer no objection, for with him it is no question of reinfusing a soul. For him the soul has no existence, and the human body may be regarded simply as a vital engine — a locomotive which will start upon the application of heat and force, and stop when they are withdrawn. To the theologian the case offers greater difficulties, for, in his view, death cuts asunder the tie which binds soul and body, and the one can no more be returned into the other without miracle than the born infant can be compelled to resume its fœtal life after parturition and the severing of the umbilicus. But the Hermetic philosopher stands between these two irreconcilable antagonists, ʺmaster of the situation. He knows the nature of the soul — a form composed of nervous fluid and atmospheric ether — and knows how the vital force can be made active or passive at will, so long as there is no final destruction of some necessary organ. The claims of Gaffarilus — which, by the bye, appeared so preposterous in 1650†— were later corroborated by science.

He maintained that every object existing in nature, provided it was not artificial, when once burned still retained

* J. Hughes Bennett, ʺText Book of Physiology,ʺ Lippincottʹs American Edition, pp. 37‐50.

† ʺCuriosites Inouïes.ʺ


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its form in the ashes, in which it remained till raised again. Du Chesne, an eminent chemist, assured himself of the fact. Kircher, Digby, and Vallemont have demonstrated that the forms of plants could be resuscitated from their ashes. At a meeting of naturalists in 1834, at Stuttgart, a receipt for producing such experiments was found in a work of Oetinger.* Ashes of burned plants contained in vials, when heated, exhibited again their various forms. ʺA small obscure cloud gradually rose in the vial, took a defined form, and presented to the eye the flower or plant the ashes consisted of.ʺ ʺThe earthly husk,ʺ wrote Oetinger, ʺremains in the retort, while the volatile essence ascends, like a spirit, perfect in form, but void of substance.ʺ†

And, if the astral form of even a plant when its body is dead still lingers in the ashes, will skeptics persist in saying that the soul of man, the inner ego, is after the death of the grosser form at once dissolved, and is no more? ʺAt death,ʺ says the philosopher, ʺthe one body exudes from the other, by osmose and through the brain; it is held near its old garment by a double attraction, physical and spiritual, until the latter decomposes; and if the proper conditions are given the soul can reinhabit it and resume the suspended life. It does it in sleep; it does it more thoroughly in trance; most surprisingly at the command and with the assistance of the Hermetic adept. Iamblichus declared that a person endowed with such resuscitating powers is ʹfull of God.ʹ All the subordinate

* ʺThoughts on the Birth and Generation of Things.ʺ

† C. Crowe, ʺNight‐Side of Nature,ʺ p. 111.

spirits of the upper spheres are at his command, for he is no longer a mortal, but himself a god. In his Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul remarks that ʹthe spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.ʹ ʺ

Some persons have the natural and some the acquired power of withdrawing the inner from the outer body, at will, and causing it to perform long journeys, and be seen by those whom it visits. Numerous are the instances recorded by unimpeachable witnesses of the ʺdoublesʺ of persons having been seen and conversed with, hundreds of miles from the places where the persons themselves were known to be. Hermotimus, if we may credit Pliny and Plutarch,‡ could at will fall into a trance and then his second soul proceeded to any distant place he chose.


The Abbé Tritheim, the famous author of Steganographie, who lived in the seventeenth century, could converse with his friends by the mere power of his will. ʺI can make my thoughts known to the initiated,ʺ he wrote, ʺat a distance of many hundred miles, without word, writing, or cipher, by any messenger. The latter cannot betray me, for he knows nothing. If needs be, I can dispense with the messenger. If any correspondent should be buried in the deepest dungeon, I could still convey to him my thoughts as clearly and as

‡ Pliny, ʺHist. Nat.,ʺ vii., c. 52; and Plutarch, ʺDiscourse concerning

Socratesʹ Dæmon,ʺ 22.


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frequently as I chose, and this quite simply, without superstition, without the aid of spirits.ʺ Cordanus could also send his spirit, or any messages he chose. When he did so, he felt ʺas if a door was opened, and I myself immediately passed through it, leaving the body behind me.ʺ* The case of a high German official, a counsellor Wesermann, was mentioned in a scientific paper.† He claimed to be able to cause any friend or acquaintance, at any distance, to dream of every subject he chose, or see any person he liked. His claims were proved good, and testified to on several occasions by skeptics and learned professional persons. He could also cause his double to appear wherever he liked; and be seen by several persons at one time. By whispering in their ears a sentence prepared and agreed upon beforehand by unbelievers, and for the purpose, his power to project the double was demonstrated beyond any cavil.

According to Napier, Osborne, Major Lawes, Quenouillet, Nikiforovitch, and many other modern witnesses, fakirs are now proved to be able, by a long course of diet, preparation, and repose, to bring their bodies into a condition which enables them to be buried six feet under ground for an indefinite period. Sir Claude Wade was present at the court of Rundjit Singh, when the fakir, mentioned by the Honorable Captain Osborne, was buried alive for six weeks, in a box

* ʺDe Res. Var.,ʺ v. iii., i., viii., c. 43. Plutarch, ʺDiscourse concerning Socratesʹ Dæmon,ʺ 22.

† Nasse, ʺZeitschrift fur Psychische Aerzte,ʺ 1820.

placed in a cell three feet below the floor of the room.‡ To prevent the chance of deception, a guard comprising two companies of soldiers had been detailed, and four sentries ʺwere furnished and relieved every two hours, night and day, to guard the building from intrusion. . . . On opening it,ʺ says Sir Claude, ʺwe saw a figure enclosed in a bag of white linen fastened by a string over the head . . . the servant then began pouring warm water over the figure . . . the legs and arms of the body were shrivelled and stiff, the face full, the head reclining on the shoulder like that of a corpse. I then called to the medical gentleman who was attending me, to come down and inspect the body, which he did, but could discover no pulsation in the heart, the temples, or the arm. There was, however, a heat about the region of the brain, which no other part of the body exhibited.ʺ

Regretting that the limits of our space forbid the quotation of the details of this interesting story, we will only add, that the process of resuscitation included bathing with hot water, friction, the removal of wax and cotton pledgets from the nostrils and ears, the rubbing of the eyelids with ghee or clarified butter, and, what will appear most curious to many, the application of a hot wheaten cake, about an inch thick ʺto the top of the head.ʺ After the cake had been applied for the third time, the body was violently convulsed, the nostrils became inflated, the respiration ensued, and the limbs assumed a natural fulness; but the pulsation was still faintly

‡ Osborne, ʺCamp and Court of Rundjit Singhʺ; Braid, ʺOn Trance.ʺ


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perceptible. ʺThe tongue was then anointed with ghee; the eyeballs became dilated and recovered their natural color, and the fakir recognized those present and spoke.ʺ It should be noticed that not only had the nostrils and ears been plugged, but the tongue had been thrust back so as to close the gullet, thus effectually stopping the orifices against the admission of atmospheric air. While in India, a fakir told us that this was done not only to prevent the action of the air upon the organic tissues, but also to guard against the deposit of the germs of decay, which in case of suspended animation would cause decomposition exactly as they do in any other meat exposed to air. There are also localities in which a fakir would refuse to be buried; such as the many spots in Southern India infested with the white ants, which annoying termites are considered among the most dangerous enemies of man and his property. They are so voracious as to devour everything they find except perhaps metals. As to wood, there is no kind through which they would not burrow; and even bricks and mortar offer but little impediment to their formidable armies. They will patiently work through mortar, destroying it particle by particle; and a fakir, however holy himself, and strong his temporary coffin, would not risk finding his body devoured when it was time for his resuscitation.

Then, here is a case, only one of many, substantiated by the testimony of two English noblemen — one of them an army officer — and a Hindu Prince, who was as great a skeptic as themselves. It places science in this embarrassing

dilemma: it must either give the lie to many unimpeachable witnesses, or admit that if one fakir can resuscitate after six weeks, any other fakir can also; and if a fakir, why not a Lazarus, a Shunamite boy, or the daughter of Jairus?*

And now, perhaps, it may not be out of place to inquire what assurance can any physician have, beyond external evidence, that the body is really dead? The best authorities agree in saying that there are none. Dr. Todd Thomson, of London,† says most positively that ʺthe immobility of the body, even its cadaverous aspect, the coldness of surface, the absence of respiration and pulsation, and the sunken state of the eye, are no unequivocal evidences that life is wholly extinct.ʺ Nothing but total decomposition is an irrefutable proof that life has fled for ever and that the tabernacle is tenantless. Demokritus asserted that there existed no certain signs of real death.‡ Pliny maintained the same.* Asclepiades,

* Mrs. Catherine Crowe, in her ʺNight‐Side of Nature,ʺ p. 118, gives us the particulars of a similar burial of a fakir, in the presence of General Ventura, together with the Maharajah, and many of his Sirdars. The political agent at Loodhiana was ʺpresent when he was disinterred, ten months after he had been buried.ʺ The coffin, or box, containing the fakir ʺbeing buried in a vault, the earth was thrown over it and trod down, after which a crop of barley was sown on the spot, and sentries placed to watch it. ʺThe Maharajah, however, was so skeptical that in spite of all these precautions, he had him, twice in the ten months, dug up and examined, and each time he was found to be exactly in the same state as when they had shut him up.ʺ

† Todd, Appendix to ʺOccult Science,ʺ vol. i.

‡ ʺA Cornel. Cels.,ʺ lib. ii., cap. vi.


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Asclepiades, a learned physician and one of the most distinguished men of his day, held that the assurance was still more difficult in the cases of women than in those of men.

Todd Thomson, above quoted, gives several remarkable cases of such a suspended animation. Among others he mentions a certain Francis Neville, a Norman gentleman, who twice apparently died, and was twice in the act of being buried. But, at the moment when the coffin was being lowered in the grave, he spontaneously revived. In the seventeenth century, Lady Russell, to all appearance died, and was about to be buried, but as the bell was tolling for her funeral, she sat up in her coffin and exclaimed, ʺIt is time to go to church!ʺ Diemerbroeck mentions a peasant who gave no signs of life for three days, but when placed in his coffin, near the grave, revived and lived many years afterward. In 1836, a respectable citizen of Brussels fell into a profound lethargy on a Sunday morning. On Monday, as his attendants were preparing to screw the lid of the coffin, the supposed corpse sat up, rubbed his eyes, and called for his coffee and a newspaper.†

Such cases of apparent death are not very infrequently reported in the newspaper press. As we write (April, 1877), we find in a London letter to the New York Times, the following paragraph: ʺMiss Annie Goodale, the actress, died three weeks ago. Up to yesterday she was not buried. The

* ʺHist. Nat.,ʺ lib. vii., cap. lii.

† ʺMorning Herald,ʺ July 21, 1836.

corpse is warm and limp, and the features as soft and mobile as when in life. Several physicians have examined her, and have ordered that the body shall be watched night and day. The poor lady is evidently in a trance, but whether she is destined to come to life it is impossible to say.ʺ

Science regards man as an aggregation of atoms temporarily united by a mysterious force called the life‐ principle. To the materialist, the only difference between a living and a dead body is, that in the one case, that force is active, in the other latent. When it is extinct or entirely latent the molecules obey a superior attraction, which draws them asunder and scatters them through space.

This dispersion must be death, if it is possible to conceive such a thing as death, where the very molecules of the dead body manifest an intense vital energy. If death is but the stoppage of a digesting, locomotive, and thought‐grinding machine, how can death be actual and not relative, before that machine is thoroughly broken up and its particles dispersed? So long as any of them cling together, the centripetal vital force may overmatch the dispersive centrifugal action. Says Eliphas Levi: ʺChange attests movement, and movement only reveals life. The corpse would not decompose if it were dead; all the molecules which compose it are living and struggle to separate. And would you think that the spirit frees itself first of all to exist no more? That thought and love can die when the grossest forms of matter do not die? If the change should be called death, we


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die and are born again every day, for every day our forms undergo change.ʺ*

The kabalists say that a man is not dead when his body is entombed. Death is never sudden; for, according to Hermes, nothing goes in nature by violent transitions. Everything is gradual, and as it required a long and gradual development to produce the living human being, so time is required to completely withdraw vitality from the carcass. ʺDeath can no more be an absolute end, than birth a real beginning. Birth proves the preëxistence of the being, as death proves immortality,ʺ says the same French kabalist.

While implicitly believing in the restoration of the daughter of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, and in other Bible‐miracles, well‐educated Christians, who otherwise would feel indignant at being called superstitious, meet all such cases as that of Apollonius and the girl said by his biographer to have been recalled to life by him, with scornful skepticism. Diogenes Laërtius, who mentions a woman restored to life by Empedocles, is treated with no more respect; and the name of Pagan thaumaturgist, in the eyes of Christians, is but a synonym for impostor. Our scientists are at least one degree more rational; they embrace all Bible prophets and apostles, and the heathen miracle‐doers in two categories of hallucinated fools and deceitful tricksters.


But Christians and materialists might, with a very little effort on their part, show themselves fair and logical at the same time. To produce such a miracle, they have but to consent to understand what they read, and submit it to the unprejudiced criticism of their best judgment. Let us see how far it is possible. Setting aside the incredible fiction of Lazarus, we will select two cases: the rulerʹs daughter, recalled to life by Jesus, and the Corinthian bride, resuscitated by Apollonius. In the former case, totally disregarding the significant expression of Jesus — ʺShe is not dead but sleepeth,ʺ the clergy force their god to become a breaker of his own laws and grant unjustly to one what he denies to all others, and with no better object in view than to produce a useless miracle. In the second case, notwithstanding the words of the biographer of Apollonius, so plain and precise that there is not the slightest cause to misunderstand them, they charge Philostratus with deliberate imposture. Who could be fairer than he, who less open to the charge of mystification, when, in describing the resuscitation of the young girl by the Tyanian sage, in the presence of a large concourse of people, the biographer says, ʺshe had seemed to die.ʺ

In other words, he very clearly indicates a case of suspended animation; and then adds immediately, ʺas the rain fell very fast on the young girl,ʺ while she was being carried to the pile, ʺwith her face turned upwards, this, also,

* ʺLa Science des Esprits.ʺ


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might have excited her senses.ʺ* Does this not show most plainly that Philostratus saw no miracle in that resuscitation? Does it not rather imply, if anything, the great learning and skill of Apollonius, ʺwho like Asclepiades had the merit of distinguishing at a glance between real and apparent deathʺ?†

A resuscitation, after the soul and spirit have entirely separated from the body, and the last electric thread is severed, is as impossible as for a once disembodied spirit to reïncarnate itself once more on this earth, except as described in previous chapters. ʺA leaf, once fallen off, does not reättach itself to the branch,ʺ says Eliphas Levi. ʺThe caterpillar becomes a butterfly, but the butterfly does not again return to the grub. Nature closes the door behind all that passes, and pushes life forward. Forms pass, thought remains, and does not recall that which it has once exhausted.ʺ‡

Why should it be imagined that Asclepiades and Apollonius enjoyed exceptional powers for the discernment of actual death? Has any modern school of medicine this knowledge to impart to its students? Let their authorities answer for them. These prodigies of Jesus and Apollonius are so well attested that they appear authentic. Whether in either or both cases life was simply suspended or not, the important fact remains that by some power, peculiar to themselves, both

* ʺVit. Apollon. Tyan.,ʺ lib. iv., ch. xvi.
† Salverte, ʺSciences Occultes,ʺ vol. ii.

‡ ʺLa Science des Esprits.ʺ

the wonder‐workers recalled the seemingly dead to life in an instant.§

Is it because the modern physician has not yet found the secret which the theurgists evidently possessed that its possibility is denied?

Neglected as psychology now is, and with the strangely chaotic state in which physiology is confessed to be by its most fair students, certainly it is not very likely that our men of science will soon rediscover the lost knowledge of the ancients. In the days of old, when prophets were not treated as charlatans, nor thaumaturgists as impostors, there were colleges instituted for teaching prophecy and occult sciences in general. Samuel is recorded as the chief of such an institution at Ramah; Elisha, also, at Jericho. The schools of hazim, prophets or seers, were celebrated throughout the country. Hillel had a regular academy, and Socrates is well known to have sent away several of his disciples to study manticism. The study of magic, or wisdom, included every branch of science, the metaphysical as well as the physical, psychology and physiology in their common and occult

§ It would be beneficial to humanity were our modern physicians possessed of the same inestimable faculty; for then we would have on record less horrid deaths after inhumation. Mrs. Catherine Crowe, in the ʺNight‐Side of Nature,ʺ records in the chapter on ʺCases of Trancesʺ five such cases, in England alone, and during the present century. Among them is Dr. Walker of Dublin and a Mr. S——, whose stepmother was accused of poisoning him, and who, upon being disinterred, was found lying on his face.


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phases, and the study of alchemy was universal, for it was both a physical and a spiritual science. Therefore why doubt or wonder that the ancients, who studied nature under its double aspect, achieved discoveries which to our modern physicists, who study but its dead letter, are a closed book?

Thus, the question at issue is not whether a dead body can be resuscitated — for, to assert that would be to assume the possibility of a miracle, which is absurd — but, to assure ourselves whether the medical authorities pretend to determine the precise moment of death. The kabalists say that death occurs at the instant when both the astral body, or life‐ principle, and the spirit part forever with the corporeal body. The scientific physician who denies both astral body and spirit, and admits the existence of nothing more than the life‐ principle, judges death to occur when life is apparently extinct. When the beating of the heart and the action of the lungs cease, and rigor mortis is manifested, and especially when decomposition begins, they pronounce the patient dead. But the annals of medicine teem with examples of ʺsuspended animationʺ as the result of asphyxia by drowning, the inhalation of gases and other causes; life being restored in the case of drowning persons even after they had been apparently dead for twelve hours.

In cases of somnambulic trance, none of the ordinary signs of death are lacking; breathing and the pulse are extinct; animal‐heat has disappeared; the muscles are rigid, the eye glazed, and the body is colorless. In the celebrated case of Colonel Townshend, he threw himself into this state in the

presence of three medical men; who, after a time, were persuaded that he was really dead, and were about leaving the room, when he slowly revived. He describes his peculiar gift by saying that he ʺcould die or expire when he pleased, and yet, by an effort, or somehow he could come to life again.ʺ

There occurred in Moscow, a few years since, a remarkable instance of apparent death. The wife of a wealthy merchant lay in the cataleptic state seventeen days, during which the authorities made several attempts to bury her; but, as decomposition had not set in, the family averted the ceremony, and at the end of that time she was restored to life.

The above instances show that the most learned men in the medical profession are unable to be certain when a person is dead. What they call ʺsuspended animation,ʺ is that state from which the patient spontaneously recovers, through an effort of his own spirit, which may be provoked by any one of many causes. In these cases, the astral body has not parted from the physical body; its external functions are simply suspended; the subject is in a state of torpor, and the restoration is nothing but a recovery from it.

But, in the case of what physiologists would call ʺreal death,ʺ but which is not actually so, the astral body has withdrawn; perhaps local decomposition has set in. How shall the man be brought to life again? The answer is, the interior body must be forced back into the exterior one, and vitality reawakened in the latter. The clock has run down, it must be wound. If death is absolute; if the organs have not only ceased to act, but have lost the susceptibility of renewed


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action, then the whole universe would have to be thrown into chaos to resuscitate the corpse — a miracle would be demanded. But, as we said before, the man is not dead when he is cold, stiff, pulseless, breathless, and even showing signs of decomposition; he is not dead when buried, nor afterward, until a certain point is reached. That point is, when the vital organs have become so decomposed, that if reänimated, they could not perform their customary functions; when the mainspring and cogs of the machine, so to speak, are so eaten away by rust, that they would snap upon the turning of the key. Until that point is reached, the astral body may be caused, without miracle, to reënter its former tabernacle, either by an effort of its own will, or under the resistless impulse of the will of one who knows the potencies of nature and how to direct them. The spark is not extinguished, but only latent — latent as the fire in the flint, or the heat in the cold iron.

In cases of the most profound cataleptic clairvoyance, such as obtained by Du Potet, and described very graphically by the late Prof. William Gregory, in his Letters on Animal Magnetism, the spirit is so far disengaged from the body that it would be impossible for it to reënter it without an effort of the mesmerizerʹs will. The subject is practically dead, and, if left to itself, the spirit would escape forever. Although independent of the torpid physical casing, the half‐freed spirit is still tied to it by a magnetic cord, which is described by clairvoyants as appearing dark and smoky by contrast with the ineffable brightness of the astral atmosphere through which they look. Plutarch, relating the story of Thespesius,

who fell from a great height, and lay three days apparently dead, gives us the experience of the latter during his state of partial decease. ʺThespesius,ʺ says he, ʺthen observed that he was different from the dead by whom he was surrounded. . . .

They were transparent and environed by a radiance, but he seemed to trail after him a dark radiation or line of shadow.ʺ His whole description, minute and circumstantial in its details, appears to be corroborated by the clairvoyants of every period, and, so far as this class of testimony can be taken, is important. The kabalists, as we find them interpreted by Eliphas Levi, in his Science des Esprits, say that, ʺWhen a man falls into the last sleep, he is plunged at first into a sort of dream, before gaining consciousness in the other side of life. He sees, then, either in a beautiful vision, or in a terrible nightmare, the paradise or hell, in which he believed during his mortal existence. This is why it often happens, that the affrighted soul breaks violently back into the terrestrial life it has just left, and why some who were really dead, i.e., who, if left alone and quiet, would have peaceably passed away forever in a state of unconscious lethargy, when entombed too soon, reawake to life in the grave.ʺ

In this connection, the reader may perhaps recall the well‐ known case of the old man who had left some generous gifts in his will to his orphaned nieces; which document, just before his death, he had confided to his rich son, with injunctions to carry out his wishes. But, he had not been dead more than a few hours before the son, finding himself alone with the corpse, tore the will and burned it. The sight of this


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impious deed apparently recalled the hovering spirit, and the old man, rising from his couch of death, uttered a fierce malediction upon the horror‐stricken wretch, and then fell back again, and yielded up his spirit — this time forever. Dion Boucicault makes use of an incident of this kind in his powerful drama Louis XI.; and Charles Kean created a profound impression in the character of the French monarch, when the dead man revives for an instant and clutches the crown as the heir‐apparent approaches it.

Levi says that resuscitation is not impossible while the vital organism remains undestroyed, and the astral spirit is yet within reach. ʺNature,ʺ he says, ʺaccomplishes nothing by sudden jerks, and eternal death is always preceded by a state which partakes somewhat of the nature of lethargy. It is a torpor which a great shock or the magnetism of a powerful will can overcome.ʺ He accounts in this manner for the resuscitation of the dead man thrown upon the bones of Elisha. He explains it by saying that the soul was hovering at that moment near the body; the burial party, according to tradition, were attacked by robbers; and their fright communicating itself sympathetically to it, the soul was seized with horror at the idea of its remains being desecrated, and ʺreëntered violently into its body to raise and save it.ʺ Those who believe in the survival of the soul can see in this incident nothing of a supernatural character — it is only a perfect manifestation of natural law. To narrate to the materialist such a case, however well attested, would be but an idle talk; the theologian, always looking beyond nature for

a special providence, regards it as a prodigy. Eliphas Levi says: ʺThey attributed the resuscitation to the contact with the bones of Elisha; and worship of relics dates logically from his epoch.ʺ

Balfour Stewart is right — scientists ʺknow nothing, or next to nothing, of the ultimate structure and properties of matter, whether organic or inorganic.ʺ

We are now on such firm ground, that we will take another step in advance. The same knowledge and control of the occult forces, including the vital force which enabled the fakir temporarily to leave and then reënter his body, and Jesus, Apollonius, and Elisha to recall their several subjects to life, made it possible for the ancient hierophants to animate statues, and cause them to act and speak like living creatures. It is the same knowledge and power which made it possible for Paracelsus to create his homunculi; for Aaron to change his rod into a serpent and a budding branch; Moses to cover Egypt with frogs and other pests; and the Egyptian theurgist of our day to vivify his pigmy Mandragora, which has physical life but no soul. It was no more wonderful that upon presenting the necessary conditions Moses should call into life large reptiles and insects, than that, under like favoring conditions, the physical scientist should call into life the small ones which he names bacteria.

And now, in connection with ancient miracle‐doers and prophets, let us bring forward the claims of the modern mediums. Nearly every form of phenomena recorded in the sacred and profane histories of the world we find them


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claiming to reproduce in our days. Selecting, among the variety of seeming wonders, levitation of ponderable inanimate objects as well as of human bodies, we will give our attention to the conditions under which the phenomenon is manifested. History records the names of Pagan theurgists, Christian saints, Hindu fakirs, and spiritual mediums who have been thus levitated, and who remained suspended in the air, sometimes for a considerable time. The phenomenon has not been confined to one country or epoch, but almost invariably the subjects have been religious ecstatics, adepts in magic, or, as now, spiritual mediums.

We assume the fact to be so well established as to require no labored effort on our part at this time to furnish proof that unconscious manifestations of spirit‐power, as well as conscious feats of high magic, have happened in all countries, in all ages, and with hierophants as well as through irresponsible mediums. When the present perfected European civilization was yet in an inchoate state, occult philosophy, already hoary with age, speculated upon the attributes of man by analogy with those of his Creator. Individuals later, whose names will remain forever immortal, inscribed on the portal of the spiritual history of man, have afforded in their persons examples of how far could be developed the god‐like powers of the microcosmos. Describing the Doctrines and Principal Teachers of the Alexandrian School,

Professor A. Wilder says: ʺPlotinus taught that there was in the soul a returning impulse, love, which attracted it inward toward its origin and centre, the eternal good. While the

person who does not understand how the soul contains the beautiful within itself will seek by laborious effort to realize beauty without, the wise man recognizes it within himself, develops the idea by withdrawal into himself, concentrating his attention, and so floating upward toward the divine fountain, the stream of which flows within him. The infinite is not known through the reason . . . but by a faculty superior to reason, by entering upon a state in which the individual, so to speak, ceases to be his finite self, in which state divine essence is communicated to him. This is ECSTASY.ʺ

Of Apollonius, who asserted that he could see ʺthe present and the future in a clear mirror,ʺ on account of his abstemious mode of life, the professor very beautifully observes: ʺThis is what may be termed spiritual photography. The soul is the camera in which facts and events, future, past, and present, are alike fixed; and the mind becomes conscious of them. Beyond our every‐day world of limits, all is as one day or state, the past and future comprised in the present.ʺ*


Were these God‐like men ʺmediums,ʺ as the orthodox spiritualists will have it? By no means, if by the term we understand those ʺsick‐sensitivesʺ who are born with a peculiar organization, and who in proportion as their powers are developed become more and more subject to the irresistible influence of miscellaneous spirits, purely human,

* A. Wilder, ʺNeo‐Platonism and Alchemy.ʺ


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elementary, or elemental. Unquestionably so, if we consider every individual a medium in whose magnetic atmosphere the denizens of higher invisible spheres can move, and act, and live. In such a sense every person is a medium. Mediumship may be either 1st, self‐developed; 2d, by extraneous influences; or 3d, may remain latent throughout life. The reader must bear in mind the definition of the term, for, unless this is clearly understood, confusion will be inevitable.

Mediumship of this kind may be either active or passive, repellent or receptive, positive or negative. Mediumship is measured by the quality of the aura with which the individual is surrounded. This may be dense, cloudy, noisome, mephitic, nauseating to the pure spirit, and attract only those foul beings who delight in it, as the eel does in turbid waters, or, it may be pure, crystalline, limpid, opalescent as the morning dew. All depends upon the moral character of the medium.

About such men as Apollonius, Iamblichus, Plotinus, and Porphyry, there gathered this heavenly nimbus. It was evolved by the power of their own souls in close unison with their spirits; by the superhuman morality and sanctity of their lives, and aided by frequent interior ecstatic contemplation. Such holy men pure spiritual influences could approach. Radiating around an atmosphere of divine beneficence, they caused evil spirits to flee before them. Not only is it not possible for such to exist in their aura, but they cannot even remain in that of obsessed persons, if the thaumaturgist exercises his will, or even approaches them. This is

MEDIATORSHIP, not mediumship. Such persons are temples in which dwells the spirit of the living God; but if the temple is defiled by the admission of an evil passion, thought or desire, the mediator falls into the sphere of sorcery. The door is opened; the pure spirits retire and the evil ones rush in. This is still mediatorship, evil as it is; the sorcerer, like the pure magician, forms his own aura and subjects to his will congenial inferior spirits.

But mediumship, as now understood and manifested, is a different thing. Circumstances, independent of his own volition, may, either at birth or subsequently, modify a personʹs aura, so that strange manifestations, physical or mental, diabolical or angelic, may take place. Such mediumship, as well as the above‐mentioned mediatorship, has existed on earth since the first appearance here of living man. The former is the yielding of weak, mortal flesh to the control and suggestions of spirits and intelligences other than oneʹs own immortal demon. It is literally obsession and possession; and mediums who pride themselves on being the faithful slaves of their ʺguides,ʺ and who repudiate with indignation the idea of ʺcontrollingʺ the manifestations, ʺcould not very well deny the fact without inconsistency. This mediumship is typified in the story of Eve succumbing to the reasonings of the serpent; of Pandora peeping in the forbidden casket and letting loose on the world, sorrow and evil, and by Mary Magdalene, who from having been obsessed by ʹseven devilsʹ was finally redeemed by the triumphant struggle of her immortal spirit, touched by the


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presence of a holy mediator, against the dweller.ʺ This mediumship, whether beneficent or maleficent, is always passive. Happy are the pure in heart, who repel unconsciously, by that very cleanness of their inner nature, the dark spirits of evil. For verily they have no other weapons of defense but that inborn goodness and purity. Mediumism, as practiced in our days, is a more undesirable gift than the robe of Nessus.

ʺThe tree is known by its fruits.ʺ Side by side with passive mediums in the progress of the worldʹs history, appear active mediators. We designate them by this name for lack of a better one. The ancient witches and wizards, and those who had a ʺfamiliar spirit,ʺ generally made of their gifts a trade; and the Obeah woman of En‐Dor, so well defined by Henry More, though she may have killed her calf for Saul, accepted hire from other visitors. In India, the jugglers, who by the way are less so than many a modern medium, and the Essaoua or sorcerers and serpent‐charmers of Asia and Africa, all exercise their gifts for money. Not so with the mediators, or hierophants. Buddha was a mendicant and refused his fatherʹs throne. The ʺSon of Man had not where to lay his headʺ; the chosen apostles provided ʺneither gold, nor silver, nor brass in their purses.ʺ

Apollonius gave one half of his fortune to his relatives, the other half to the poor; Iamblichus and Plotinus were renowned for charity and self‐denial; the fakirs, or holy mendicants, of India are fairly described by Jacolliot; the Pythagorean Essenes and Therapeutæ believed their hands

defiled by the contact of money. When the apostles were offered money to impart their spiritual powers, Peter, notwithstanding that the Bible shows him a coward and thrice a renegade, still indignantly spurned the offer, saying: ʺThy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.ʺ These men were mediators, guided merely by their own personal spirit, or divine soul, and availing themselves of the help of spirits but so far as these remain in the right path.

Far from us be the thought of casting an unjust slur on physical mediums. Harassed by various intelligences, reduced by the overpowering influence — which their weak and nervous natures are unable to shake off — to a morbid state, which at last becomes chronic, they are impeded by these ʺinfluencesʺ from undertaking other occupation. They become mentally and physically unfit for any other. Who can judge them harshly when, driven to the last extremity, they are constrained to accept mediumship as a business? And heaven knows, as recent events have too well proved, whether the calling is one to be envied by any one! It is not mediums, real, true, and genuine mediums that we would ever blame, but their patrons, the spiritualists.

Plotinus, when asked to attend public worship of the gods, is said to have proudly answered: ʺIt is for them (the spirits) to come to me.ʺ Iamblichus asserted and proved in his own case, that our soul can attain communion with the highest intelligences, with ʺnatures loftier than itself,ʺ and carefully drove away from his theurgical ceremonies * every inferior


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spirit, or bad dæmon, which he taught his disciples to recognize. Proclus, who ʺelaborated the entire theosophy and theurgy of his predecessors into a complete system,ʺ* according to Professor Wilder, ʺbelieved with Iamblichus in the attaining of a divine power, which, overcoming the mundane life, rendered the individual an organ of the Deity.ʺ He even taught that there was a ʺmystic password that would carry a person from one order of spiritual beings to another, higher and higher, till he arrived at the absolute divine.ʺ Apollonius spurned the sorcerers and ʺcommon soothsayers,ʺ and declared that it was his ʺpeculiar abstemious mode of lifeʺ which ʺproduced such an acuteness of the senses and created other faculties, so that the greatest and most remarkable things can take place.ʺ Jesus declared man the lord of the Sabbath, and at his command the terrestrial and elementary spirits fled from their temporary abodes; a power which was shared by Apollonius and many of the Brotherhood of the Essenes of Judea and Mount Carmel.

It is undeniable that there must have been some good reasons why the ancients persecuted unregulated mediums. Otherwise why, at the time of Moses and David and Samuel, should they have encouraged prophecy and divination, astrology and soothsaying, and maintained schools and colleges in which these natural gifts were strengthened and developed, while witches and those who divined by the spirit of Ob were put to death? Even at the time of Christ, the poor

* See the ʺSketch of the Eclectic Philosophy of the Alexandrian School.ʺ

oppressed mediums were driven to the tombs and waste places without the city walls. Why this apparent gross injustice? Why should banishment, persecution, and death be the portion of the physical mediums of those days, and whole communities of thaumaturgists — like the Essenes — be not merely tolerated but revered? It is because the ancients, unlike ourselves, could ʺtryʺ the spirits and discern the difference between the good and the evil ones, the human and the elemental. They also knew that unregulated spirit intercourse brought ruin upon the individual and disaster to the community.

This view of mediumship may be novel and perhaps repugnant to many modern spiritualists; but still it is the view taught in the ancient philosophy, and supported by the experience of mankind from time immemorial.

It is erroneous to speak of a medium having powers developed. A passive medium has no power. He has a certain moral and physical condition which induces emanations, or an aura, in which his controlling intelligences can live, and by which they manifest themselves. He is only the vehicle through which they display their power. This aura varies day by day, and, as would appear from Mr. Crookesʹ experiments, even hour by hour. It is an external effect resulting from interior causes. The mediumʹs moral state determines the kind of spirits that come; and the spirits that come reciprocally influence the medium, intellectually, physically, and morally. The perfection of his mediumship is in ratio to his passivity, and the danger he incurs is in equal degree.


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When he is fully ʺdevelopedʺ — perfectly passive — his own astral spirit may be benumbed, and even crowded out of his body, which is then occupied by an elemental, or, what is worse, by a human fiend of the eighth sphere, who proceeds to use it as his own. But too often the cause of the most celebrated crime is to be sought in such possessions.

Physical mediumship depending upon passivity, its antidote suggests itself naturally; let the medium cease being passive. Spirits never control persons of positive character who are determined to resist all extraneous influences. The weak and feeble‐minded whom they can make their victims they drive into vice. If these miracle‐making elementals and disembodied devils called elementary were indeed the guardian angels that they have passed for, these last thirty years, why have they not given their faithful mediums at least good health and domestic happiness? Why do they desert them at the most critical moments of trial when under accusations of fraud? It is notorious that the best physical mediums are either sickly or, sometimes, what is still worse, inclined to some abnormal vice or other. Why do not these healing ʺguides,ʺ who make their mediums play the therapeutists and thaumaturgists to others, give them the boon of robust physical vigor? The ancient thaumaturgist and apostle, generally, if not invariably, enjoyed good health; their magnetism never conveyed to the sick patient any physical or moral taint; and they never were accused of

VAMPIRISM, which a spiritual paper very justly charges upon some medium‐healers.*

If we apply the above law of mediumship and mediatorship to the subject of levitation, with which we opened our present discussion, what shall we find? Here we have a medium and one of the mediator‐class levitated — the former at a seance, the latter at prayer, or in ecstatic contemplation. The medium being passive must be lifted up; the ecstatic being active must levitate himself. The former is elevated by his familiar spirits — whoever or whatever they may be — the latter, by the power of his own aspiring soul. Can both be indiscriminately termed mediums? But nevertheless we may be answered that the same phenomena are produced in the presence of a modern medium as of an ancient saint. Undoubtedly; and so it was in the days of Moses; for we believe that the triumph claimed for him in Exodus over Pharaohʹs magicians is simply a national boast on the part of the ʺchosen people.ʺ That the power which produced his phenomena produced that of the magicians also, who were moreover the first tutors of Moses and instructed him in their ʺwisdom,ʺ is most probable. But even in those days they seemed to have well appreciated the difference between phenomena apparently identical. The tutelar national deity of the Hebrews (who is not the Highest Father)† forbids expressly, in Deuteronomy,* his people ʺto

* See ʺMedium and Daybreak,ʺ July 7, 1876, p. 428.

† In Volume II., we will distinctly prove that the Old Testament mentions the worship of more than one god by the Israelites. The El‐Shadi of


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learn to do after the abominations of other nations. . . . To pass through the fire, or use divination, or be an observer of times or an enchanter, or a witch, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a necromancer.ʺ

What difference was there then between all the above‐ enumerated phenomena as performed by the ʺother nationsʺ and when enacted by the prophets? Evidently, there was some good reason for it; and we find it in Johnʹs First Epistle, iv., which says: ʺbelieve not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world.ʺ

The only standard within the reach of spiritualists and present‐day mediums by which they can try the spirits, is to judge 1, by their actions and speech; 2, by their readiness to manifest themselves; and 3, whether the object in view is worthy of the apparition of a ʺdisembodiedʺ spirit, or can excuse any one for disturbing the dead. Saul was on the eve of destruction, himself and his sons, yet Samuel inquired of him:

Abraham and Jacob was not the Jehovah of Moses, or the Lord God worshipped by them for forty years in the wilderness. And the God of Hosts of Amos is not, if we are to believe his own words, the Mosaic God, the Sinaitic deity, for this is what we read: ʺI hate, I despise your feast‐days . . . your meat‐offerings, I will not accept them. . . . Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? . . . No, but ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun (Saturn), your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. . . . Therefore, will I cause you to go into captivity . . . saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hostsʺ (Amos v. 21‐27).

* Chapter xviii.

ʺWhy hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?ʺ† But the ʺintelligencesʺ that visit the circle‐rooms, come at the beck of every trifler who would while away a tedious hour.

In the number of the London Spiritualist for July 14th, we find a long article, in which the author seeks to prove that ʺthe marvelous wonders of the present day, which belong to so‐called modern spiritualism, are identical in character with the experiences of the patriarchs and apostles of old.ʺ

We are forced to contradict, point‐blank, such an assertion. They are identical only so far that the same forces and occult powers of nature produce them. But though these powers and forces may be, and most assuredly are, all directed by unseen intelligences, the latter differ more in essence, character, and purposes than mankind itself, composed, as it now stands, of white, black, brown, red, and yellow men, and numbering saints and criminals, geniuses and idiots. The writer may avail himself of the services of a tame orang‐ outang or a South Sea islander; but the fact alone that he has a servant makes neither the latter nor himself identical with Aristotle and Alexander. The writer compares Ezekiel ʺlifted upʺ and taken into the ʺeast gate of the Lordʹs house,ʺ‡ with the levitations of certain mediums, and the three Hebrew youths in the ʺburning fiery furnace,ʺ with other fire‐proof

† This word ʺupʺ from the spirit of a prophet whose abode ought certainly to be in heaven and who therefore ought to have said ʺto bring me down,ʺ is very suggestive in itself to a Christian who locates paradise and hell at two opposite points.

‡ Ezekiel iii. 12‐14.


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mediums; the John King ʺspirit‐lightʺ is assimilated with the ʺburning lampʺ of Abraham; and finally, after many such comparisons, the case of the Davenport Brothers, released from the jail of Oswego, is confronted with that of Peter delivered from prison by the ʺangel of the Lordʺ!

Now, except the story of Saul and Samuel, there is not a case instanced in the Bible of the ʺevocation of the dead.ʺ As to being lawful, the assertion is contradicted by every prophet. Moses issues a decree of death against those who raise the spirits of the dead, the ʺnecromancers.ʺ Nowhere throughout the Old Testament, nor in Homer, nor Virgil is communion with the dead termed otherwise than necromancy.

Philo Judæus makes Saul say, that if he banishes from the land every diviner and necromancer his name will survive him.


One of the greatest reasons for it was the doctrine of the ancients, that no soul from the ʺabode of the blessedʺ will return to earth, unless, indeed, upon rare occasions its apparition might be required to accomplish some great object in view, and so bring benefit upon humanity. In this latter instance the ʺsoulʺ has no need to be evoked. It sent its portentous message either by an evanescent simulacrum of itself, or through messengers, who could appear in material form, and personate faithfully the departed. The souls that could so easily be evoked were deemed neither safe nor

useful to commune with. They were the souls, or larvæ rather, from the infernal region of the limbo — the sheol, the region known by the kabalists as the eighth sphere, but far different from the orthodox Hell or Hades of the ancient mythologists. Horace describes this evocation and the ceremonial accompanying it, and Maimonides gives us particulars of the Jewish rite. Every necromantic ceremony was performed on high places and hills, and blood was used for the purpose of placating these human ghouls.*

ʺI cannot prevent the witches from picking up their bones,ʺ says the poet. ʺSee the blood they pour in the ditch to allure the souls that will utter their oracles!ʺ† ʺCruor in fossam confusus, ut inde manes elicirent, animas responsa daturas.ʺ

ʺThe souls,ʺ says Porphyry, ʺprefer, to everything else, freshly‐spilt blood, which seems for a short time to restore to them some of the faculties of life.ʺ‡ As for materializations, they are many and various in the sacred records. But, were they effected under the same conditions as at modern seances? Darkness, it appears, was not required in those days of patriarchs and magic powers. The three angels who appeared to Abraham drank in the full blaze of the sun, for ʺhe sat in the tent‐door in the heat of the day,ʺ§ says the book of Genesis. The spirits of Elias and Moses appeared equally in daytime, as it is not probable that Christ and the Apostles

* William Howitt, ʺHistory of the Supernatural,ʺ vol. ii., ch. i.
† Lib. i., Sat. 8.
‡ Porphyry, ʺOf Sacrifices.ʺ

§ Genesis xviii., i.


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would be climbing a high mountain during the night. Jesus is represented as having appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden in the early morning; to the Apostles, at three distinct times, and generally by day; once ʺwhen the morning was comeʺ (John xxi. 4). Even when the ass of Balaam saw the ʺmaterializedʺ angel, it was in the full light of noon.

We are fully prepared to agree with the writer in question, that we find in the life of Christ — and we may add in the Old Testament, too — ʺan uninterrupted record of spiritualistic manifestations,ʺ but nothing mediumistic, of a physical character though, if we except the visit of Saul to Sedecla, the Obeah woman of En‐Dor. This is a distinction of vital importance.

True, the promise of the Master was clearly stated: ʺAye, and greater works than these shall ye doʺ — works of mediatorship. According to Joel, the time would come when there would be an outpouring of the divine spirit: ʺYour sons and your daughters,ʺ says he, ʺshall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.ʺ The time has come and they do all these things now; Spiritualism has its seers and martyrs, its prophets and healers. Like Moses, and David, and Jehoram, there are mediums who have direct writings from genuine planetary and human spirits; and the best of it brings the mediums no pecuniary recompense. The greatest friend of the cause in France, Leymarie, now languishes in a prison‐cell, and, as he says with touching pathos, is ʺno longer a man, but a numberʺ on the prison register.

There are a few, a very few, orators on the spiritualistic platform who speak by inspiration, and if they know what is said at all they are in the condition described by Daniel: ʺAnd I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep.ʺ* And there are mediums, these whom we have spoken of, for whom the prophecy in Samuel might have been written: ʺThe spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man.ʺ† But where, in the long line of Bible‐wonders, do we read of flying guitars, and tinkling tambourines, and jangling bells being offered in pitch‐dark rooms as evidences of immortality?

When Christ was accused of casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, he denied it, and sharply retorted by asking, ʺBy whom do your sons or disciples cast them out?ʺ Again, spiritualists affirm that Jesus was a medium, that he was controlled by one or many spirits; but when the charge was made to him direct he said that he was nothing of the kind. ʺSay we not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?ʺ daimonion, an Obeah, or familiar spirit in the Hebrew text. Jesus answered, ʺI have not a devil.ʺ‡

* Daniel x. 8.
† I Samuel, x. 6.

‡ Gospel According to John vii. 20.


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The writer from whom we have above quoted, attempts also a parallel between the aërial flights of Philip and Ezekiel and of Mrs. Guppy and other modern mediums. He is ignorant or oblivious of the fact that while levitation occurred as an effect in both classes of cases, the producing causes were totally dissimilar. The nature of this difference we have adverted to already. Levitation may be produced consciously or unconsciously to the subject. The juggler determines beforehand that he will be levitated, for how long a time, and to what height; he regulates the occult forces accordingly. The fakir produces the same effect by the power of his aspiration and will, and, except when in the ecstatic state, keeps control over his movements. So does the priest of Siam, when, in the sacred pagoda, he mounts fifty feet in the air with taper in hand, and flits from idol to idol, lighting up the niches, self‐ supported, and stepping as confidently as though he were upon solid ground. This, persons have seen and testify to. The officers of the Russian squadron which recently circumnavigated the globe, and was stationed for a long time in Japanese waters, relate the fact that, besides many other marvels, they saw jugglers walk in mid‐air from tree‐top to tree‐top, without the slightest support.* They also saw the pole and tape‐climbing feats, described by Colonel Olcott in

* Our informant, who was an eye‐witness, is Mr. N——ff of St. Petersburg, who was attached to the flag‐ship Almaz, if we are not mistaken.

his People from the Other World, and which have been so much called in question by certain spiritualists and mediums whose zeal is greater than their learning. The quotations from Col. Yule and other writers, elsewhere given in this work, seem to place the matter beyond doubt that these effects are produced.

Such phenomena, when occurring apart from religious rites, in India, Japan, Thibet, Siam, and other ʺheathenʺ countries, phenomena a hundred times more various and astounding than ever seen in civilized Europe or America, are never attributed to the spirits of the departed. The Pitris have naught to do with such public exhibitions. And we have but to consult the list of the principal demons or elemental spirits to find that their very names indicate their professions, or, to express it clearly, the tricks to which each variety is best adapted. So we have the Madan, a generic name indicating wicked elemental spirits, half brutes, half monsters, for Madan signifies one that looks like a cow. He is the friend of the malicious sorcerers and helps them to effect their evil purposes of revenge by striking men and cattle with sudden illness and death.

The Shudâla‐Mâdan, or graveyard fiend, answers to our ghouls. He delights where crime and murder were committed, near burial‐spots and places of execution. He helps the juggler in all the fire‐phenomena as well as Kutti Shâttan, the little juggling imps. Shudâla, they say, is a half‐ fire, half‐water demon, for he received from Siva permission to assume any shape he chose, transform one thing into


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another; and when he is not in fire, he is in water. It is he who blinds people ʺto see that which they do not see.ʺ Shûla Mâdan, is another mischievous spook. He is the furnace‐demon, skilled in pottery and baking. If you keep friends with him, he will not injure you; but woe to him who incurs his wrath. Shula likes compliments and flattery, and as he generally keeps underground it is to him that a juggler must look to help him raise a tree from a seed in a quarter of an hour and ripen its fruit.

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

Poruthû Mâdan, is the ʺwrestlingʺ demon; he is the strongest of all; and whenever there are feats shown in which physical force is required, such as levitations, or taming of wild animals, he will help the performer by keeping him above the soil or will overpower a wild beast before the tamer has time to utter his incantation. So, every ʺphysical manifestationʺ has its own class of elemental spirits to superintend them.

Returning now to levitations of human bodies and inanimate bodies, in modern circle‐rooms, we must refer the reader to the Introductory chapter of this work. (See ʺÆthrobasy.ʺ) In connection with the story of Simon the Magician, we have shown the explanation of the ancients as

to how the levitation and transport of heavy bodies could be produced. We will now try and suggest a hypothesis for the same in relation to mediums, i.e., persons supposed to be unconscious at the moment of the phenomena, which the believers claim to be produced by disembodied ʺspirits.ʺ We need not repeat that which has been sufficiently explained before. Conscious æthrobasy under magneto‐electrical conditions is possible only to adepts who can never be overpowered by an influence foreign to themselves, but remain sole masters of their WILL.

Thus levitation, we will say, must always occur in obedience to law — a law as inexorable as that which makes a body unaffected by it remain upon the ground. And where should we seek for that law outside of the theory of molecular attraction? It is a scientific hypothesis that the form of force which first brings nebulous or star matter together into a whirling vortex is electricity; and modern chemistry is being totally reconstructed upon the theory of electric polarities of atoms. The waterspout, the tornado, the whirlwind, the cyclone, and the hurricane, are all doubtless the result of electrical action. This phenomenon has been studied from above as well as from below, observations having been made both upon the ground and from a balloon floating above the vortex of a thunder‐storm.


Observe now, that this force, under the conditions of a dry and warm atmosphere at the earthʹs surface, can accumulate a


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dynamic energy capable of lifting enormous bodies of water, of compressing the particles of atmosphere, and of sweeping across a country, tearing up forests, lifting rocks, and scattering buildings in fragments over the ground. Wildʹs electric machine causes induced currents of magneto‐ electricity so enormously powerful as to produce light by which small print may be read, on a dark night, at a distance of two miles from the place where it is operating.

As long ago as the year 1600, Gilbert, in his De Magnete, enunciated the principle that the globe itself is one vast magnet, and some of our advanced electricians are now beginning to realize that man, too, possesses this property, and that the mutual attractions and repulsions of individuals toward each other may at least in part find their explanation in this fact. The experience of attendants upon spiritualistic circles corroborates this opinion. Says Professor Nicholas Wagner, of the University of St. Petersburg: ʺHeat, or perhaps the electricity of the investigators sitting in the circle, must concentrate itself in the table and gradually develop into motions. At the same time, or a little afterward, the psychical force unites to assist the two other powers. By psychical force, I mean that which evolves itself out of all the other forces of our organism. The combination into one general something of several separate forces, and capable, when combined, of manifesting itself in degree, according to the individuality.ʺ The progress of the phenomena he considers to be affected by the cold or the dryness of the atmosphere. Now, remembering what has been said as to the subtler forms of

energy which the Hermetists have proved to exist in nature, and accepting the hypothesis enunciated by Mr. Wagner that ʺthe power which calls out these manifestations is centred in the mediums,ʺ may not the medium, by furnishing in himself a nucleus as perfect in its way as the system of permanent steel magnets in Wildʹs battery, produce astral currents sufficiently strong to lift in their vortex a body even as ponderable as a human form? It is not necessary that the object lifted should assume a gyratory motion, for the phenomenon we are observing, unlike the whirlwind, is directed by an intelligence, which is capable of keeping the body to be raised within the ascending current and preventing its rotation.

Levitation in this case would be a purely mechanical phenomenon. The inert body of the passive medium is lifted by a vortex created either by the elemental spirits — possibly, in some cases, by human ones, and sometimes through purely morbific causes, as in the cases of Professor Pertyʹs sick somnambules. The levitation of the adept is, on the contrary, a magneto‐electric effect, as we have just stated. He has made the polarity of his body opposite to that of the atmosphere, and identical with that of the earth; hence, attractable by the former, retaining his consciousness the while. A like phenomenal levitation is possible, also, when disease has changed the corporeal polarity of a patient, as disease always does in a greater or lesser degree. But, in such case, the lifted person would not be likely to remain conscious.


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In one series of observations upon whirlwinds, made in 1859, in the basin of the Rocky Mountains, ʺa newspaper was caught up . . . to a height of some two hundred feet; and there it oscillated to and fro across the track for some considerable time, whilst accompanying the onward motion.ʺ* Of course scientists will say that a parallel cannot be instituted between this case and that of human levitation; that no vortex can be formed in a room by which a medium could be raised; but this is a question of astral light and spirit, which have their own peculiar dynamical laws. Those who understand the latter, affirm that a concourse of people laboring under mental excitement, which reacts upon the physical system, throw off electromagnetic emanations, which, when sufficiently intense, can throw the whole circumambient atmosphere into perturbation. Force enough may actually be generated to create an electrical vortex, sufficiently powerful to produce many a strange phenomenon. With this hint, the whirling of the dervishes, and the wild dances, swayings, gesticulations, music, and shouts of devotees will be understood as all having a common object in view — namely, the creation of such astral conditions as favor psychological and physical phenomena. The rationale of religious revivals

* ʺWhat forces were in operation to cause this oscillation of the newspaper?ʺ asks J. W. Phelps, who quotes the case — ʺThese were the rapid upward motion of heated air, the downward motion of cold air, the translatory motion of the surface breeze, and the circular motion of the whirlwind. But how could these combine so as to produce the oscillation?ʺ (Lecture on ʺForce Electrically Explained.ʺ)

will also be better understood if this principle is borne in mind.

But there is still another point to be considered. If the medium is a nucleus of magnetism and a conductor of that force, he would be subject to the same laws as a metallic conductor, and be attracted to his magnet. If, therefore, a magnetic centre of the requisite power was formed directly over him by the unseen powers presiding over the manifestations, why should not his body be lifted toward it, despite terrestrial gravity? We know that, in the case of a medium who is unconscious of the progress of the operation, it is necessary to first admit the fact of such an intelligence, and next, the possibility of the experiment being conducted as described; but, in view of the multifarious evidences offered, not only in our own researches, which claim no authority, but also in those of Mr. Crookes, and a great number of others, in many lands and at different epochs, we shall not turn aside from the main object of offering this hypothesis in the profitless endeavor to strengthen a case which scientific men will not consider with patience, even when sanctioned by the most distinguished of their own body.

As early as 1836, the public was apprised of certain phenomena which were as extraordinary, if not more so than all the manifestations which are produced in our days. The famous correspondence between two well‐known mesmerizers, Deleuze and Billot, was published in France, and the wonders discussed for a time in every society. Billot firmly believed in the apparition of spirits, for, as he says, he


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has both seen, heard, and felt them. Deleuze was as much convinced of this truth as Billot, and declared that manʹs immortality and the return of the dead, or rather of their shadows, was the best demonstrated fact in his opinion. Material objects were brought to him from distant places by invisible hands, and he communicated on most important subjects with the invisible intelligences. ʺIn regard to this,ʺ he remarks, ʺI cannot conceive how spiritual beings are able to carry material objects.ʺ More skeptical, less intuitional than Billot, nevertheless, he agreed with the latter that ʺthe question of spiritualism is not one of opinions, but of facts.ʺ

Such is precisely the conclusion to which Professor Wagner, of St. Petersburg, was finally driven. In the second pamphlet on Mediumistic Phenomena, issued by him in December, 1875, he administers the following rebuke to Mr. Shkliarevsky, one of his materialistic critics: ʺSo long as the spiritual manifestations were weak and sporadic, we men of science could afford to deceive ourselves with theories of unconscious muscular action, or unconscious cerebrations of our brains, and tumble the rest into one heap as juggleries. . . .

But now these wonders have grown too striking; the spirits show themselves in the shape of tangible, materialized forms, which can be touched and handled at will by any learned skeptic like yourself, and even be weighed and measured. We can struggle no longer, for every resistance becomes absurd

— it threatens lunacy. Try then to realize this, and to humble yourself before the possibility of impossible facts.ʺ

Iron is only magnetized temporarily, but steel permanently, by contact with the lodestone. Now steel is but iron which has passed through a carbonizing process, and yet that process has quite changed the nature of the metal, so far as its relations to the lodestone are concerned. In like manner, it may be said that the medium is but an ordinary person who is magnetized by influx from the astral light; and as the permanence of the magnetic property in the metal is measured by its more or less steel‐like character, so may we not say that the intensity and permanency of mediumistic power is in proportion to the saturation of the medium with the magnetic or astral force?

This condition of saturation may be congenital, or brought about in anyone of these ways: — by the mesmeric process; by spirit‐agency; or by self‐will. Moreover, the condition seems hereditable, like any other physical or mental peculiarity; many, and we may even say most great mediums having had mediumship exhibited in some form by one or more progenitors. Mesmeric subjects easily pass into the higher forms of clairvoyance and mediumship (now so called), as Gregory, Deleuze, Puysegur, Du Potet, and other authorities inform us. As to the process of self‐saturation, we have only to turn to the account of the priestly devotees of Japan, Siam, China, India, Thibet, and Egypt, as well as of European countries, to be satisfied of its reality. Long persistence in a fixed determination to subjugate matter, brings about a condition in which not only is one insensible to external impressions, but even death itself may be simulated,


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as we have already seen. The ecstatic so enormously reinforces his will‐power, as to draw into himself, as into a vortex, the potencies resident in the astral light to supplement his own natural store.

The phenomena of mesmerism are explicable upon no other hypothesis than the projection of a current of force from the operator into the subject. If a man can project this force by an exercise of the will, what prevents his attracting it toward himself by reversing the current? Unless, indeed, it be urged that the force is generated within his body and cannot be attracted from any supply without. But even under such an hypothesis, if he can generate a superabundant supply to saturate another person, or even an inanimate object by his will, why cannot he generate it in excess for self‐saturation?

In his work on Anthropology, Professor J. R. Buchanan notes the tendency of the natural gestures to follow the direction of the phrenological organs; the attitude of combativeness being downward and backward; that of hope and spirituality upward and forward; that of firmness upward and backward; and so on. The adepts of Hermetic science know this principle so well that they explain the levitation of their own bodies, whenever it happens unawares, by saying that the thought is so intently fixed upon a point above them, that when the body is thoroughly imbued with the astral influence, it follows the mental aspiration and rises into the air as easily as a cork held beneath the water rises to the surface when its buoyancy is allowed to assert itself. The giddiness felt by certain persons

when standing upon the brink of a chasm is explained upon the same principle. Young children, who have little or no active imagination, and in whom experience has not had sufficient time to develop fear, are seldom, if ever, giddy; but the adult of a certain mental temperament, seeing the chasm and picturing in his imaginative fancy the consequences of a fall, allows himself to be drawn by the attraction of the earth, and unless the spell of fascination be broken, his body will follow his thought to the foot of the precipice.

That this giddiness is purely a temperamental affair, is shown in the fact that some persons never experience the sensation, and inquiry will probably reveal the fact that such are deficient in the imaginative faculty. We have a case in view — a gentleman who, in 1858, had so firm a nerve that he horrified the witnesses by standing upon the coping of the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, with folded arms, and his feet half over the edge; but, having since become short‐sighted, was taken with a panic upon attempting to cross a plank‐walk over the courtyard of a hotel, where the footway was more than two feet and a half wide, and there was no danger. He looked at the flagging below, gave his fancy free play, and would have fallen had he not quickly sat down.

It is a dogma of science that perpetual motion is impossible; it is another dogma, that the allegation that the Hermetists discovered the elixir of life, and that certain of them, by partaking of it, prolonged their existence far beyond the usual term, is a superstitious absurdity. And the claim that the baser metals have been transmuted into gold, and


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that the universal solvent was discovered, excites only contemptuous derision in a century which has crowned the edifice of philosophy with a cope‐stone of protoplasm. The first is declared a physical impossibility; as much so, according to Babinet, the astronomer, as the ʺlevitation of an object without contactʺ;* the second, a physiological vagary begotten of a disordered mind; the third, a chemical absurdity.

Balfour Stewart says that while the man of science cannot assert that ʺhe is intimately acquainted with all the forces of nature, and cannot prove that perpetual motion is impossible; for, in truth, he knows very little of these forces . . . he does think that he has entered into the spirit and design of nature, and therefore he denies at once the possibility of such a machine.ʺ† If he has discovered the design of nature, he certainly has not the spirit, for he denies its existence in one sense; and denying spirit he prevents that perfect understanding of universal law which would redeem modern philosophy from its thousand mortifying dilemmas and mistakes. If Professor B. Stewartʹs negation is founded upon no better analogy than that of his French contemporary, Babinet, he is in danger of a like humiliating catastrophe. The universe itself illustrates the actuality of perpetual motion; and the atomic theory, which has proved such a balm to the exhausted minds of our cosmic explorers, is based upon it. The telescope searching through space, and the microscope

* ʺRevue des Deux Mondes,ʺ p. 414, 1858.

† ʺConservation of Energy,ʺ p. 140.

probing the mysteries of the little world in a drop of water, reveal the same law in operation; and, as everything below is like everything above, who would presume to say that when the conservation of energy is better understood, and the two additional forces of the kabalists are added to the catalogue of orthodox science, it may not be discovered how to construct a machine which shall run without friction and supply itself with energy in proportion to its wastes? ʺFifty years ago,ʺ says the venerable Mr. de Lara, ʺa Hamburg paper, quoting from an English one an account of the opening of the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, pronounced it a gross fabrication; capping the climax by saying, ʹeven so far extends the credulity of the Englishʹ ʺ; the moral is apparent. The recent discovery of the compound called METALLINE, by an American chemist, makes it appear probable that friction can, in a large degree, be overcome. One thing is certain, when a man shall have discovered the perpetual motion he will be able to understand by analogy all the secrets of nature; progress in direct ratio with resistance.

We may say the same of the elixir of life, by which is understood physical life, the soul being of course deathless only by reason of its divine immortal union with spirit. But continual or perpetual does not mean endless. The kabalists have never claimed that either an endless physical life or unending motion is possible. The Hermetic axiom maintains that only the First Cause and its direct emanations, our spirits (scintillas from the eternal central sun which will be reabsorbed by it at the end of time) are incorruptible and


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eternal. But, in possession of a knowledge of occult natural forces, yet undiscovered by the materialists, they asserted that both physical life and mechanical motion could be prolonged indefinitely. The philosophersʹ stone had more than one meaning attached to its mysterious origin. Says Professor Wilder: ʺThe study of alchemy was even more universal than the several writers upon it appear to have known, and was always the auxiliary of, if not identical with, the occult sciences of magic, necromancy, and astrology; probably from the same fact that they were originally but forms of a spiritualism which was generally extant in all ages of human history.ʺ

Our greatest wonder is, that the very men who view the human body simply as a ʺdigesting machine,ʺ should object to the idea that if some equivalent for metalline could be applied between its molecules, it should run without friction. Manʹs body is taken from the earth, or dust, according to Genesis; which allegory bars the claims of modern analysts to original discovery of the nature of the inorganic constituents of human body. If the author of Genesis knew this, and Aristotle taught the identity between the life‐principle of plants, animals, and men, our affiliation with mother earth seems to have been settled long ago.


Elie de Beaumont has recently reasserted the old doctrine of Hermes that there is a terrestrial circulation comparable to that of the blood of man. Now, since it is a doctrine as old as

time, that nature is continually renewing her wasted energies by absorption from the source of energy, why should the child differ from the parent? Why may not man, by discovering the source and nature of this recuperative energy, extract from the earth herself the juice or quintessence with which to replenish his own forces? This may have been the great secret of the alchemists. Stop the circulation of the terrestrial fluids and we have stagnation, putrefaction, death; stop the circulation of the fluids in man, and stagnation, absorption, calcification from old age, and death ensue. If the alchemists had simply discovered some chemical compound capable of keeping the channels of our circulation unclogged, would not all the rest easily follow? And why, we ask, if the surface‐waters of certain mineral springs have such virtue in the cure of disease and the restoration of physical vigor, is it illogical to say that if we could get the first runnings from the alembic of nature in the bowels of the earth, we might, perhaps, find that the fountain of youth was no myth after all. Jennings asserts that the elixir was produced out of the secret chemical laboratories of nature by some adepts; and Robert Boyle, the chemist, mentions a medicated wine or cordial which Dr. Lefevre tried with wonderful effect upon an old woman.

Alchemy is as old as tradition itself. ʺThe first authentic record on this subject,ʺ says William Godwin, ʺis an edict of Diocletian, about 300 years after Christ, ordering a diligent search to be made in Egypt for all the ancient books which treated of the art of making gold and silver, that they might


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be consigned to the flames. This edict necessarily presumes a certain antiquity to the pursuit; and fabulous history has recorded Solomon, Pythagoras, and Hermes among its distinguished votaries.ʺ

And this question of transmutation — this alkahest or universal solvent, which comes next after the elixir vitæ in the order of the three alchemical agents? Is the idea so absurd as to be totally unworthy of consideration in this age of chemical discovery? How shall we dispose of the historical anecdotes of men who actually made gold and gave it away, and of those who testify to having seen them do it? Libavius, Geberus, Arnoldus, Thomas Aquinas, Bernardus Comes, Joannes, Penotus, Quercetanus Geber, the Arabian father of European alchemy, Eugenius Philalethes, Baptista Porta, Rubeus, Dornesius, Vogelius, Irenæus Philaletha Cosmopolita, and many mediæval alchemists and Hermetic philosophers assert the fact. Must we believe them all visionaries and lunatics, these otherwise great and learned scholars? Francesco Picus, in his work De Auro, gives eighteen instances of gold being produced in his presence by artificial means; and Thomas Vaughan,* going to a goldsmith to sell 1,200 marks worth of gold, when the man suspiciously remarked that the gold was too pure to have ever come out of a mine, ran away, leaving the money behind him. In a preceding chapter we have brought forward the testimony of a number of authors to this effect.

* Eugenius Philalethes.

Marco Polo tells us that in some mountains of Thibet, which he calls Chingintalas, there are veins of the substance from which Salamander is made: ʺFor the real truth is, that the salamander is no beast, as they allege in our parts of the world, but is a substance found in the earth.ʺ† Then he adds that a Turk of the name of Zurficar, told him that he had been procuring salamanders for the Great Khan, in those regions, for the space of three years. ʺHe said that the way they got them was by digging in that mountain till they found a certain vein. The substance of this vein was then taken and crushed, and, when so treated, it divides, as it were, into fibres of wool, which they set forth to dry. When dry, these fibres were pounded and washed, so as to leave only the fibres, like fibres of wool. These were then spun. . . . When first made, these napkins are not very white, but, by putting them into the fire for a while, they come out as white as snow.ʺ

Therefore, as several authorities testify, this mineral substance is the famous Asbestos,‡ which the Rev. A. Williamson says is found in Shantung. But, it is not only incombustible thread which is made from it. An oil, having several most extraordinary properties, is extracted from it, and the secret of its virtues remains with certain lamas and Hindu adepts. When rubbed into the body, it leaves no external stain or mark, but, nevertheless, after having been so rubbed, the part can be scrubbed with soap and hot or cold

† ʺBook of Ser Marco Polo,ʺ vol. i., p. 215.

‡ See Sageʹs ʺDictionnaire des Tissus,ʺ vol. ii., pp. 1‐12.


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water, without the virtue of the ointment being affected in the least. The person so rubbed may boldly step into the hottest fire; unless suffocated, he will remain uninjured. Another property of the oil is that, when combined with another substance, that we are not at liberty to name, and left stagnant under the rays of the moon, on certain nights indicated by native astrologers, it will breed strange creatures. Infusoria we may call them in one sense, but then these grow and develop. Speaking of Kashmere, Marco Polo observes that they have an astonishing acquaintance with the devilries of enchantment, insomuch that they make their idols to speak.

To this day, the greatest magian mystics of these regions may be found in Kashmere. The various religious sects of this country were always credited with preternatural powers, and were the resort of adepts and sages. As Colonel Yule remarks, ʺVambery tells us that even in our day, the Kasmiri dervishes are preëminent among their Mahometan brethren for cunning, secret arts, skill in exorcisms and magic.ʺ*

But, all modern chemists are not equally dogmatic in their negation of the possibility of such a transmutation. Dr. Peisse, Desprez, and even the all‐denying Louis Figuier, of Paris, seem to be far from rejecting the idea. Dr. Wilder says: ʺThe possibility of reducing the elements to their primal form, as they are supposed to have existed in the igneous mass from which the earth‐crust is believed to have been formed, is not considered by physicists to be so absurd an idea as has been

intimated. There is a relationship between metals, often so close as to indicate an original identity. Persons called alchemists may, therefore, have devoted their energies to investigations into these matters, as Lavoisier, Davy, Faraday, and others of our day have explained the mysteries of chemistry.ʺ† A learned Theosophist, a practicing physician of this country, one who has studied the occult sciences and alchemy for over thirty years, has succeeded in reducing the elements to their primal form, and made what is termed ʺthe pre‐Adamite earth.ʺ It appears in the form of an earthy precipitate from pure water, which, on being disturbed, presents the most opalescent and vivid colors.

ʺThe secret,ʺ say the alchemists, as if enjoying the ignorance of the uninitiated, ʺis an amalgamation of the salt, sulphur, and mercury combined three times in Azoth, by a triple sublimation and a triple fixation.ʺ

ʺHow ridiculously absurd!ʺ will exclaim a learned modern chemist. Well, the disciples of the great Hermes understand the above as well as a graduate of Harvard University comprehends the meaning of his Professor of Chemistry, when the latter says: ʺWith one hydroxyl group we can only produce monatomic compounds; use two hydroxyl groups, and we can form around the same skeleton a number of diatomic compounds.

* ʺBook of Ser Marco Polo,ʺ vol. i., p. 230. † ʺAlchemy, or the Hermetic Philosophy,ʺ p. 25.


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. . . Attach to the nucleus three hydroxyl groups, and there result triatomic compounds, among which is a very familiar substance Glycerine.ʺ

ʺAttach thyself,ʺ says the alchemist, ʺto the four letters of the tetragram disposed in the following manner: The letters of the ineffable name are there, although thou mayest not discern them at first. The incommunicable axiom is kabalistically contained therein, and this is what is called the magic arcanum by the masters.ʺ The arcanum — the fourth emanation of the Akâsa, the principle of LIFE, which is

represented in its third transmutation by the fiery sun, the eye of the world, or of Osiris, as the Egyptians termed it. An eye tenderly watching its youngest daughter, wife, and sister

— Isis, our mother earth. See what Hermes, the thrice‐great master, says of her: ʺHer father is the sun, her mother is the moon.ʺ It attracts and caresses, and then repulses her by a projectile power. It is for the Hermetic student to watch its

motions, to catch its subtile currents, to guide and direct them with the help of the athanor, the Archimedean lever of the alchemist. What is this mysterious athanor? Can the physicist tell us — he who sees and examines it daily? Aye, he sees; but does he comprehend the secret‐ciphered characters traced by the divine finger on every sea‐shell in the oceanʹs deep; on every leaf that trembles in the breeze; in the bright star, whose stellar lines are in his sight but so many more or less luminous lines of hydrogen? ʺGod geometrizes,ʺ said Plato.* ʺThe laws of nature are the thoughts of Godʺ; exclaimed Oërsted, 2,000 years later. ʺHis thoughts are immutable,ʺ repeated the solitary student of Hermetic lore, ʺtherefore it is in the perfect harmony and equilibrium of all things that we must seek the truth.ʺ And thus, proceeding from the indivisible unity, he found emanating from it two contrary forces, each acting through the other and producing equilibrium, and the three were but one, the Pythagorean Eternal Monad. The primordial point is a circle; the circle squaring itself from the four cardinal points becomes a

* See Plutarch, ʺSymposiacs,ʺ viii. 2. ʺDiogenianas began and said: ʹLet us admit Plato to the conference and inquire upon what account he says — supposing it to be his sentence — that God always plays the geometer.ʹ I said: ʹThis sentence was not plainly set down in any of his books; yet there are good arguments that it is his, and it is very much like his expression.ʹ Tyndares presently subjoined: ʹHe praises geometry as a science that takes off men from sensible objects, and makes them apply themselves to the intelligible and Eternal Nature — the contemplation of which is the end of philosophy, as a view of the mysteries of initiation into holy rites.ʹ ʺ


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quaternary, the perfect square, having at each of its four angles a letter of the mirific name, the sacred TETRAGRAM. It is the four Buddhas who came and have passed away; the Pythagorean tetractys — absorbed and resolved by the one eternal NO‐BEING. Tradition declares that on the dead body of Hermes, at Hebron, was found by an Isarim, an initiate, the tablet known as the Smaragdine. It contains, in a few sentences, the essence of the Hermetic wisdom. To those who read but with their bodily eyes, the precepts will suggest nothing new or extraordinary, for it merely begins by saying that it speaks not fictitious things, but that which is true and most certain. ʺWhat is below is like that which is above, and what is above is similar to that which is below to accomplish the wonders of one thing. ʺAs all things were produced by the mediation of one being, so all things were produced from this one by adaptation. ʺIts father is the sun, its mother is the moon. ʺIt is the cause of all perfection throughout the whole earth. ʺIts power is perfect if it is changed into earth.

ʺSeparate the earth from the fire, the subtile from the gross, acting prudently and with judgment. ʺAscend with the greatest sagacity from the earth to heaven, and then descend again to earth, and unite together the power of things inferior and superior; thus you will possess the light of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly away from you.

ʺThis thing has more fortitude than fortitude itself, because it will overcome every subtile thing and penetrate every solid thing.

ʺBy it the world was formed.ʺ This mysterious thing is the universal, magical agent, the astral light, which in the correlations of its forces furnishes the alkahest, the philosopherʹs stone, and the elixir of life. Hermetic philosophy names it Azoth, the soul of the world, the celestial virgin, the great Magnes, etc., etc. Physical science knows it as ʺheat, light, electricity, and magnetismʺ; but ignoring its spiritual properties and the occult potency contained in ether, rejects everything it ignores. It explains and depicts the crystalline forms of the snow‐flakes, their modifications of an hexagonal prism which shoot out an infinity of delicate needles. It has studied them so perfectly that it has even calculated, with the most wondrous mathematical precision, that all these needles diverge from each other at an angle of 60°. Can it tell us as well the cause of this ʺendless variety of the most exquisite forms,ʺ* each of which is a most perfect geometrical figure in itself? These frozen, starlike and flower‐ like blossoms, may be, for all materialistic science knows, a shower of messages snowed by spiritual hands from the worlds above for spiritual eyes below to read.

The philosophical cross, the two lines running in opposite directions, the horizontal and the perpendicular, the height and breadth, which the geometrizing Deity divides at the intersecting point, and which forms the magical as well as the scientific quaternary, when it is inscribed within the perfect square, is the basis of the occultist. Within its mystical

* Prof. Ed. L. Youmans, ʺDescriptive Chemistry.ʺ


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precinct lies the master‐key which opens the door of every science, physical as well as spiritual. It symbolizes our human existence, for the circle of life circumscribes the four points of the cross, which represent in succession birth, life, death, and IMMORTALITY. Everything in this world is a trinity completed by the quaternary,* and every element is divisible on this same principle. Physiology can divide man ad infinitum, as physical science has divided the four primal and principal elements in several dozens of others; she will not succeed in changing either. Birth, life, and death will ever be a trinity completed only at the cyclic end. Even were science to change the longed‐for immortality into annihilation, it still will ever be a quaternary; for God ʺgeometrizes!ʺ

Therefore, perhaps alchemy will one day be allowed to talk of her salt, mercury, sulphur, and azoth, her symbols and mirific letters, and repeat, with the exponent of the Synthesis of Organic Compounds, that ʺit must be remembered that the grouping is no play of fancy, and that a good reason can be given for the position of every letter.ʺ†

Dr. Peisse, of Paris, wrote in 1863, the following:

ʺOne word, a propos, of alchemy. What must we think of the Hermetic art? Is it lawful to believe that we can transmute metals, make gold? Well, positive men, esprits forts of the nineteenth century, know that Mr. Figuier, doctor of science

* In ancient nations the Deity was a trine supplemented by a goddess — the arba‐il, or fourfold God.

† Josiah Cooke, ʺThe New Chemistry.ʺ

and medicine, chemical analyst in the School of Pharmacy, of Paris, does not wish to express himself upon the subject. He doubts, he hesitates. He knows several alchemists (for there are such) who, basing themselves upon modern chemical discoveries, and especially on the singular circumstance of the equivalents demonstrated by M. Dumas, pretend that metals are not simple bodies, true elements in the absolute sense, and that in consequence they may be produced by the process of decomposition. . . . This encourages me to take a step further, and candidly avow that I would be only moderately surprised to see some one make gold. I have only one reason to give, but sufficient it seems; which is, that gold has not always existed; it has been made by some chemical travail or other in the bosom of the fused matter of our globe;‡ perhaps some of it may be even now in process of formation.

The pretended simple bodies of our chemistry are very probably secondary products, in the formation of the terrestrial mass. It has been proved so with water, one of the most respectable elements of ancient physics. To‐day, we create water. Why should we not make gold? An eminent experimentalist, Mr. Desprez, has made the diamond. True, this diamond is only a scientific diamond, a philosophical diamond, which would be worth nothing; but, no matter, my position holds good. Besides, we are not left to simple conjectures. There is a man living, who, in a paper addressed

‡ Prof. Sterry Huntʹs theory of metalliferous deposits contradicts this; but is it right?


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to the scientific bodies, in 1853, has underscored these words

— I have discovered the method of producing artificial gold, I have made gold. This adept is Mr. Theodore Tiffereau, ex‐ preparator of chemistry in the École Professionelle et Superieure of Nantes.ʺ* Cardinal de Rohan, the famous victim of the diamond necklace conspiracy, testified that he had seen the Count Cagliostro make both gold and diamonds. We presume that those who agree with Professor T. Sterry Hunt, F.R.S., will have no patience with the theory of Dr. Peisse, for they believe that all of our metalliferous deposits are due to the action of organic life. And so, until they do come to some composition of their differences, so as to let us know for a certainty the nature of gold, and whether it is the product of interior volcanic alchemy or surface segregation and filtration, we will leave them to settle their quarrel between themselves, and give credit meanwhile to the old philosophers.

Professor Balfour Stewart, whom no one would think of classing among illiberal minds; who, with far more fairness and more frequently than any of his colleagues admits the failings of modern science, shows himself, nevertheless, as biassed as other scientists on this question. Perpetual light being only another name for perpetual motion, he tells us, and the latter being impossible because we have no means of equilibrating the waste of combustible material, a Hermetic light is, therefore, an impossibility.† Noting the fact that a

* Peisse, ʺLa Medecine et les Medecins,ʺ vol. i., pp. 59, 283.

† ʺThe Conservation of Energy.ʺ

ʺperpetual light was supposed to result from magical powers,ʺ and remarking further that such a light is ʺcertainly not of this earth, where light and all other forms of superior energy are essentially evanescent,ʺ this gentleman argues as though the Hermetic philosophers had always claimed that the flame under discussion was an ordinary earthly flame, resulting from the combustion of luminiferous material. In this the philosophers have been constantly misunderstood and misrepresented.

How many great minds — unbelievers from the start — after having studied the ʺsecret doctrine,ʺ have changed their opinions and found out how mistaken they were. And how contradictory it seems to find one moment Balfour Stewart quoting some philosophical morals of Bacon — whom he terms the father of experimental science — and saying ʺ . . .

surely we ought to learn a lesson from these remarks . . . and be very cautious before we dismiss any branch of knowledge or train of thought as essentially unprofitable,ʺ and then dismissing the next moment, as utterly impossible, the claims of the alchemists! He shows Aristotle as ʺentertaining the idea that light is not any body, or the emanation of any body, and that therefore light is an energy or actʺ; and yet, although the ancients were the first to show, through Demokritus, to John Dalton the doctrine of atoms, and through Pythagoras and even the oldest of the Chaldean oracles, that of ether as a universal agent, their ideas, says Stewart, ʺwere not prolific.ʺ He admits that they ʺpossessed great genius and intellectual power,ʺ but adds that ʺthey were deficient in physical


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conceptions, and, in consequence, their ideas were not prolific.ʺ*

The whole of the present work is a protest against such a loose way of judging the ancients. To be thoroughly competent to criticise their ideas, and assure oneʹs self whether their ideas were distinct and ʺappropriate to the facts,ʺ one must have sifted these ideas to the very bottom. It is idle to repeat that which we have frequently said, and that which every scholar ought to know; namely, that the quintessence of their knowledge was in the hands of the priests, who never wrote them, and in those of the ʺinitiatesʺ who, like Plato, did not dare write them.

Therefore, those few speculations on the material and spiritual universes, which they did put in writing, could not enable posterity to judge them rightly, even had not the early Christian Vandals, the later crusaders, and the fanatics of the middle ages destroyed three parts of that which remained of the Alexandrian library and its later schools. Professor Draper shows that the Cardinal Ximenes alone ʺdelivered to the flames in the squares of Granada, 80,000 Arabic manuscripts, many of them translations of classical authors.ʺ In the Vatican libraries, whole passages in the most rare and precious treatises of the ancients were found erased and blotted out, for the sake of interlining them with absurd psalmodies!

Who then, of those who turn away from the ʺsecret doctrineʺ as being ʺunphilosophicalʺ and, therefore,

unworthy of a scientific thought, has a right to say that he studied the ancients; that he is aware of all that they knew, and knowing now far more, knows also that they knew little, if anything. This ʺsecret doctrineʺ contains the alpha and the omega of universal science; therein lies the corner and the keystone of all the ancient and modern knowledge; and alone in this ʺunphilosophicalʺ doctrine remains buried the absolute in the philosophy of the dark problems of life and death.

ʺThe great energies of Nature are known to us only by their effects,ʺ said Paley. Paraphrasing the sentence, we will say that the great achievements of the days of old are known to posterity only by their effects. If one takes a book on alchemy, and sees in it the speculations on gold and light by the brothers of the Rosie Cross, he will find himself certainly startled, for the simple reason that he will not understand them at all. ʺThe Hermetic gold,ʺ he may read, ʺis the outflow of the sunbeam, or of light suffused invisibly and magically into the body of the world. Light is sublimated gold, rescued magically by invisible stellar attraction, out of material depths. Gold is thus the deposit of light, which of itself generates. Light in the celestial world is subtile, vaporous, magically exalted gold, or ʹspirit of flame.ʹ Gold draws inferior natures in the metals, and intensifying and multiplying, converts into itself.ʺ†

Nevertheless, facts are facts; and, as Billot says of spiritualism, we will remark of occultism generally and of

* Ibid., p. 136. † Extracts from Robertus di Fluctibus in ʺThe Rosicrucians.ʺ


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alchemy in particular — it is not a matter of opinion but of facts, men of science call an inextinguishable lamp an impossibility, but nevertheless persons in our own age as well as in the days of ignorance and superstition have found them burning bright in old vaults shut up for centuries; and other persons there are who possess the secret of keeping such fires for several ages. Men of science say that ancient and modern spiritualism, magic, and mesmerism, are charlatanry or delusion; but there are 800 millions on the face of the globe, of perfectly sane men and women, who believe in all these. Whom are we to credit?

ʺDemokritus,ʺ says Lucian,* ʺbelieved in no (miracles) . . .

he applied himself to discover the method by which the theurgists could produce them; in a word, his philosophy brought him to the conclusion that magic was entirely confined to the application and the imitation of the laws and the works of nature.ʺ

Now, the opinion of the ʺlaughing philosopherʺ is of the greatest importance to us, since the Magi left by Xerxes, at Abdera, were his instructors, and he had studied magic, moreover, for a considerably long time with the Egyptian priests.† For nearly ninety years of the one hundred and nine of his life, this great philosopher had made experiments, and noted them down in a book, which, according to Petronius,‡

* ʺPhilopseud.ʺ
† Diog. Laert. in ʺDemokrit. Vitæ.ʺ

‡ ʺSatyric. Vitrus D. Architect,ʺ lib. ix., cap. iii.

treated of nature — facts that he had verified himself. And we find him not only disbelieving in and utterly rejecting miracles, but asserting that every one of those that were authenticated by eye‐witnesses, had, and could have taken place; for all, even the most incredible, was produced according to the ʺhidden laws of nature.ʺ§

ʺThe day will never come, when any one of the propositions of Euclid will be denied,ʺ** says Professor Draper, exalting the Aristoteleans at the expense of the Pythagoreans and Platonists. Shall we, in such a case, disbelieve a number of well‐informed authorities (Lempriere among others), who assert that the fifteen books of the Elements are not to be wholly attributed to Euclid; and that many of the most valuable truths and demonstrations contained in them owe their existence to Pythagoras, Thales, and Eudoxus? That Euclid, notwithstanding his genius, was the first who reduced them to order, and only interwove theories of his own to render the whole a complete and connected system of geometry? And if these authorities are right, then it is again to that central sun of metaphysical science — Pythagoras and his school, that the moderns are indebted directly for such men as Eratosthenes, the world‐ famous geometer and cosmographer, Archimedes, and even Ptolemy, notwithstanding his obstinate errors. Were it not for the exact science of such men, and for fragments of their works that they left us to base Galilean speculations upon, the

§ Pliny, ʺHist. Nat.ʺ

** ʺConflict between Religion and Science.ʺ


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great priests of the nineteenth century might find themselves, perhaps, still in the bondage of the Church; and philosophizing, in 1876, on the Augustine and Bedean cosmogony, the rotation of the canopy of heaven round the earth, and the majestic flatness of the latter.

The nineteenth century seems positively doomed to humiliating confessions. Feltre (Italy) erects a public statue

ʺto Panfilo Castaldi, the illustrious inventor of movable printing types,ʺ and adds in its inscription the generous confession that Italy renders to him ʺthis tribute of honor too long deferred.ʺ But no sooner is the statue placed, than the Feltreians are advised by Colonel Yule to ʺburn it in honest lime.ʺ He proves that many a traveller besides Marco Polo had brought home from China movable wooden types and specimens of Chinese books, the entire text of which was printed with such wooden blocks.* We have seen in several Thibetan lamaseries, where they have printing‐offices, such blocks preserved as curiosities. They are known to be of the greatest antiquity, inasmuch as types were perfected, and the old ones abandoned contemporaneously with the earliest records of Buddhistic lamaism. Therefore, they must have existed in China before the Christian era.

Let every one ponder over the wise words of Professor Roscoe, in his lecture on Spectrum Analysis. ʺThe infant truths must be made useful. Neither you nor I, perhaps, can see the how or the when, but that the time may come at any moment,

* ʺBook of Ser Marco Polo,ʺ vol. i., pp. 133‐135.

when the most obscure of natureʹs secrets shall at once be employed for the benefit of mankind, no one who knows anything of science, can for one instant doubt. Who could have foretold that the discovery that a dead frogʹs legs jump when they are touched by two different metals, should have led in a few short years to the discovery of the electric telegraph?ʺ

Professor Roscoe, visiting Kirchhoff and Bunsen when they were making their great discoveries of the nature of the Fraunhoffer lines, says that it flashed upon his mind at once that there is iron in the sun; therein presenting one more evidence to add to a million predecessors, that great discoveries usually come with a flash, and not by induction. There are many more flashes in store for us. It may be found, perhaps, that one of the last sparkles of modern science — the beautiful green spectrum of silver — is nothing new, but was, notwithstanding the paucity ʺand great inferiority of their optical instruments,ʺ well known to the ancient chemists and physicists. Silver and green were associated together as far back as the days of Hermes. Luna, or Astarte (the Hermetic silver), is one of the two chief symbols of the Rosicrucians. It is a Hermetic axiom, that ʺthe cause of the splendor and variety of colors lies deep in the affinities of nature; and that there is a singular and mysterious alliance between color and sound.ʺ The kabalists place their ʺmiddle natureʺ in direct relation with the moon; and the green ray occupies the centre point between the others, being placed in the middle of the spectrum. The Egyptian priests chanted the seven vowels as a


Isis Unveiled

hymn addressed to Serapis;* and at the sound of the seventh vowel, as at the ʺseventh rayʺ of the rising sun, the statue of Memnon responded. Recent discoveries have proved the wonderful properties of the blue‐violet light — the seventh ray of the prismatic spectrum, the most powerfully chemical of all, which corresponds with the highest note in the musical scale. The Rosicrucian theory, that the whole universe is a musical instrument, is the Pythagorean doctrine of the music of the spheres. Sounds and colors are all spiritual numerals; as the seven prismatic rays proceed from one spot in heaven, so the seven powers of nature, each of them a number, are the seven radiations of the Unity, the central, spiritual SUN.

ʺHappy is he who comprehends the spiritual numerals, and perceives their mighty influence!ʺ exclaims Plato. And happy, we may add, is he who, treading the maze of force‐ correlations, does not neglect to trace them to this invisible Sun!

Future experimenters will reap the honor of demonstrating that musical tones have a wonderful effect upon the growth of vegetation. And with the enunciation of this unscientific fallacy, we will close the chapter, and proceed to remind the patient reader of certain things that the ancients knew, and the moderns think they know.

* ʺDionysius of Halicarnassus.ʺ