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Theosophy Cardiff Programme





Studies in Occultism


H P Blavatsky


A Collection of Articles from Lucifer,

H P Blavatsky's magazine,

between 1887-1891




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Searchable Full Text of

The Secret Doctrine by H P Blavatsky





Practical Occultism

Occultism versus the Occult Arts

The Blessings of Publicity


Black Magic in Science

The Signs of the Times

Psychic and Noetic Action

Kosmic Mind

The Dual Aspect of Wisdom

The Esoteric Character of the Gospels

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |

Astral Bodies, or Doppelgangers

Constitution of the Inner Man.


Practical Occultism

Important to Students

As some of the letters in the CORRESPONDENCE of this month show, there are many people

who are looking for practical instruction in Occultism. It becomes necessary, therefore, to state

once for all: --

(a) The essential difference between theoretical and practical Occultism; or what

is generally known as Theosophy on the one hand, and Occult science on the

other, and: --

(b) The nature of the difficulties involved in the study of the latter.

It is easy to become a Theosophist. Any person of average intellectual capacities, and a leaning

toward the metaphysical; of pure, unselfish life, who finds more joy in helping his neighbor than

in receiving help himself; one who is ever ready to sacrifice his own pleasures for the sake of

other people; and who loves Truth, Goodness and Wisdom for their own sake, not for the benefit

they may confer -- is a Theosophist.

But it is quite another matter to put oneself upon the path which leads to the knowledge of what

is good to do, as to the right discrimination of good from evil; a path which also leads a man to

that power through which he can do the good he desires, often without even apparently lifting a


Moreover, there is one important fact with which the student should be made acquainted.

Namely, the enormous, almost limitless, responsibility assumed by the teacher for the sake of the

pupil. From the Gurus of the East who teach openly or secretly, down to the few Kabalists in

Western lands who undertake to teach the rudiments of the Sacred Science to their disciples --

those western Hierophants being often themselves ignorant of the danger they incur -- one and

all of these "Teachers" are subject to the same inviolable law. From the moment they begin

really to teach, from the instant they confer any power -- whether psychic, mental or physical --

on their pupils, they take upon themselves all the sins of that pupil, in connection with the Occult

Sciences, whether of omission or commission, until the moment when initiation makes the pupil

a Master and responsible in his turn. There is a weird and mystic religious law, greatly

reverenced and acted upon in the Greek, half-forgotten in the Roman Catholic, and absolutely

extinct in the Protestant Church. It dates from the earliest days of Christianity and has its basis in

the law just stated, of which it was a symbol and an expression. This is the dogma of the absolute

sacredness of the relation between the god-parents who stand sponsors for a child. (1) These

tacitly take upon themselves all the sins of the newly baptized child -- (anointed, as at the

initiation, a mystery truly!) -- until the day when the child becomes a responsible unit, knowing

good and evil. Thus it is clear why the "Teachers" are so reticent, and why "Chelas" are required.

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to serve a seven years probation to prove their fitness, and develop the qualities necessary to the

security of both Master and pupil.

Occultism is not magic. It is comparatively easy to learn the trick of spells and the methods of

using the subtler, but still material, forces of physical nature; the powers of the animal soul in

man are soon awakened; the forces which his love, his hate, his passion, can call into operation,

are readily developed. But this is Black Magic -- Sorcery. For it is the motive, and the motive

alone, which makes any exercise of power become black, malignant, or white, beneficent Magic.

It is impossible to employ spiritual forces if there is the slightest tinge of selfishness remaining

in the operator. For, unless the intention is entirely unalloyed, the spiritual will transform itself

into the psychic, act on the astral plane, and dire results may be produced by it. The powers and

forces of animal nature can equally be used by the selfish and revengeful, as by the unselfish and

the all-forgiving; the powers and forces of spirit lend themselves only to the perfectly pure in

heart -- and this is DIVINE MAGIC.

What are then the conditions required to become a student of the "Divine Sapientia"? For let it be

known that no such instruction can possibly be given unless these certain conditions are

complied with, and rigorously carried out during the years of study. This is a sine qua non. No

man can swim unless he enters deep water. No bird can fly unless its wings are grown, and it has

space before it and courage to trust itself to the air. A man who will wield a two edged sword,

must be a thorough master of the blunt weapon, if he would not injure himself -- or what is worse

-- others, at the first attempt.

To give an approximate idea of the conditions under which alone the study of Divine Wisdom

can be pursued with safety, that is without danger that Divine will give place to Black Magic, a

page is given from the "private rules," with which every instructor in the East is furnished. The

few passages which follow are chosen from a great number and explained in brackets.


1. The place selected for receiving instruction must be a spot calculated not to distract the mind,

and filled with "influence-evolving" (magnetic) objects. The five sacred colors gathered in a

circle must be there among other things. The place must be free from any malignant influences

hanging about in the air.

[The place must be set apart, and used for no other purpose. The five "sacred

colors" are the prismatic hues arranged in a certain way, as these colors are very

magnetic. By "malignant influences" are meant any disturbances through strife,

quarrels, bad feelings, etc., as these are said to impress themselves immediately

on the astral light, i.e., in the atmosphere of the place, and to hang "about in the

air." This first condition seems easy enough to accomplish, yet -- on further

consideration, it is one of the most difficult ones to obtain.]

2. Before the disciple shall be permitted to study "face to face," he has to acquire preliminary

understanding in a select company of other lay upasaka (disciples), the number of whom must be


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["Face to face," means in this instance a study independent or apart from others,

when the disciple gets his instruction face to face either with himself (his higher,

Divine Self) or -- his guru. It is then only that each receives his due of

information, according to the use he has made of his knowledge. This can happen

only toward the end of the cycle of instruction.]

3. Before thou (the teacher) shalt impart to thy Lanoo (disciple) the good (holy) words of

LAMRIN, or shall permit him "to make ready" for Dubjed, thou shalt take care that his mind is

thoroughly purified and at peace with all, especially with his other Selves. Other wise the words

of Wisdom and of the good Law, shall scatter and be picked up by the winds.

["Lamrin" is a work of practical instructions, by Tson-kha-pa, in two portions,

one for ecclesiastical and esoteric purposes, the other for esoteric use. "To make

ready" for Dubjed, is to prepare the vessels used for seership, such as mirrors and

crystals. The "other selves," refers to the fellow students. Unless the greatest

harmony reigns among the learners, no success is possible. It is the teacher who

makes the selections according to the magnetic and electric natures of the

students, bringing together and adjusting most carefully the positive and the

negative elements.]

4. The upasaka while studying must take care to be united as the fingers on one hand. Thou shalt

impress upon their minds that whatever hurts one should hurt the others, and if the rejoicing of

one finds no echo in the breasts of the others, then the required conditions are absent, and it is

useless to proceed.

[This can hardly happen if the preliminary choice made was consistent with the

magnetic requirements. It is known that chelas otherwise promising and fit for the

reception of truth, had to wait for years on account of their temper and the

impossibility they felt to put themselves in tune with their companions. For -- ]

5. The co-disciples must be tuned by the guru as the strings of a lute (vina), each different from

the others, yet each emitting sounds in harmony with all. Collectively they must form a key-board

answering in all its parts to thy lightest touch (the touch of the Master). Thus their minds

shall open for the harmonies of Wisdom, to vibrate as knowledge through each and all, resulting

in effects pleasing to the presiding gods (tutelary or patron-angels) and useful to the Lanoo. So

shall Wisdom be impressed forever on their hearts and the harmony of the law shall never be


6. Those who desire to acquire the knowledge leading to the Siddhis (occult powers) have to

renounce all the vanities of life and of the world (here follows enumeration of the Siddhis).

7. None can feel the difference between himself and his fellow-students, such as "I am the

wisest," "I am more holy and pleasing to the teacher, or in my community, than my brother,"

etc., -- and remain an upasaka. His thoughts must be predominantly fixed upon his heart, chasing

therefrom every hostile thought to any living being. It (the heart) must be full of the feeling of its

non-separateness from the rest of beings as from all in Nature; otherwise no success can follow..

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8. A Lanoo (disciple) has to dread external living influence alone (magnetic emanations from

living creatures). For this reason while at one with all, in his inner nature, he must take care to

separate his outer (external) body from every foreign influence: none must drink out of, or eat in

his cup but himself. He must avoid bodily contact (i.e., being touched or touch) with human, as

with animal being.

[No pet animals are permitted and it is forbidden even to touch certain trees and

plants. A disciple has to live, so to say, in his own atmosphere in order to

individualize it for occult purposes.]

9. The mind must remain blunt to all but the universal truths in nature, lest the "Doctrine of the

Heart" should become only the "Doctrine of the Eye," (i.e., empty esoteric ritualism).

10. No animal food of whatever kind, nothing that has life in it, should be taken by the disciple.

No wine, no spirits, or opium should be used: for these are like the Lhamayin (evil spirits), who

fasten upon the unwary, they devour the understanding.

[Wine and Spirits are supposed to contain and preserve the bad magnetism of all

the men who helped in their fabrication; the meat of each animal, to preserve the

psychic characteristics of its kind.]

11. Meditation, abstinence in all, the observation of moral duties, gentle thoughts, good deeds

and kind words, as good will to all and entire oblivion of Self, are the most efficacious means of

obtaining knowledge and preparing for the reception of higher wisdom.

12. It is only by virtue of a strict observance of the foregoing rules that a Lanoo can hope to

acquire in good time the Siddhis of the Arhats, the growth which makes him become gradually

One with the UNIVERSAL ALL.


These twelve extracts are taken from amongst some seventy-three rules, to enumerate which

would be useless, as they would be meaningless in Europe. But even these few are enough to

show the immensity of the difficulties which beset the path of the would-be "Upasaka," who has

been born and bred in Western lands. (2)

All Western, and especially English, education is instinct with the principle of emulation and

strife; each boy is urged to learn more quickly, to outstrip his companions, and to surpass them in

every possible way. What is miscalled "friendly rivalry" is assiduously cultivated, and the same

spirit is fostered and strengthened in every detail of life.

With such ideas "educated into" him from his childhood, how can a Westerner bring himself to

feel towards his co-students "as the fingers on one hand"? Those co-students, too, are not of his

own selection, or chosen by himself from personal sympathy and appreciation. They are chosen

by his teacher on far other grounds, and he who would be a student must first be strong enough.

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to kill out in his heart all feelings of dislike and antipathy to others. How many Westerners are

ready even to attempt this in earnest?

And then the details of daily life, the command not to touch even the hand of one's nearest and

dearest. How contrary to Western notions of affection and good feeling! How cold and hard it

seems. Egotistical too, people would say, to abstain from giving pleasure to others for the sake of

one's own development. Well, let those who think so defer, till another lifetime, the attempt to

enter the path in real earnest. But let them not glory in their own fancied unselfishness. For, in

reality, it is only the seeming appearances which they allow to deceive them, the conventional

notions, based on emotionalism and gush, or so-called courtesy, things of the unreal life, not the

dictates of Truth.

But even putting aside these difficulties, which may be considered "external," though their

importance is none the less great, how are students in the West to "attune themselves" to

harmony as here required of them? So strong has personality grown in Europe and America, that

there is no school of artists even whose members do not hate and are not jealous of each other.

"Professional" hatred and envy have become proverbial; men seek each to benefit himself at all

costs, and even the so-called courtesies of life are but a hollow mask covering these demons of

hatred and jealousy.

In the East the spirit of "non-separateness" is inculcated as steadily from childhood up, as in the

West the spirit of rivalry. Personal ambition, personal feelings and desires, are not encouraged to

grow so rampant there. When the soil is naturally good, it is cultivated in the right way, and the

child grows into a man in whom the habit of subordination of one's lower to one's higher Self is

strong and powerful. In the West men think that their own likes and dislikes of other men and

things are guiding principles for them to act upon, even when they do not make of them the law

of their lives and seek to impose them upon others.

Let those who complain that they have learned little in the Theosophical Society lay to heart the

words written in an article in the Path for last February: "The key in each degree is the aspirant

himself." It is not "the fear of God" which is "the beginning of Wisdom," but the knowledge of


How grand and true appears, thus, to the student of Occultism who has commenced to realize

some of the foregoing truths, the answer given by the Delphic Oracle to all who came seeking

after Occult Wisdom -- words repeated and enforced again and again by the wise Socrates: --



Chelaship has nothing whatever to do with means of subsistence or anything of the kind, for a

man can isolate his mind entirely from his body and its surroundings. Chelaship is a state of

mind, rather than a life according to hard and fast rules on the physical plane. This applies

especially to the earlier, probationary period, while the rules given in Lucifer for April last

pertain properly to a later stage, that of actual occult training and the development of occult.

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powers and insight. These rules indicate, however, the mode of life which ought to be followed

by all aspirants so far as practicable, since it is the most helpful to them in their aspirations.

It should never be forgotten that Occultism is concerned with the inner man who must be

strengthened and freed from the dominion of the physical body and its surroundings, which must

become his servants. Hence the first and chief necessity of Chelaship is a spirit of absolute

unselfishness and devotion to Truth; then follow self-knowledge and self-mastery. These are all-important;

while outward observance of fixed rules of life is a matter of secondary moment. -- H.

P. Blavatsky, Lucifer IV, 348n

1. So holy is the connection thus formed deemed in the Greek Church, that a marriage between

god-parents of the same child is regarded as the worst kind of incest, is considered illegal and is

dissolved by law; and this absolute prohibition extends even to the children of one of the

sponsors as regards those of the other. (return to text)

2. Be it remembered that all "Chelas," even lay disciples, are called Upasaka until after their first

initiation, when they become lanoo-Upasaka. To that day, even those who belong to Lamaseries

and are set apart, are considered as "laymen." (return to text)

Occultism versus the Occult Arts

I oft have heard, but ne'er believed till now,

There are, who can by potent magic spells,

Bend to their crooked purpose Nature's laws. -- MILTON

In this month's "Correspondence" several letters testify to the strong impression produced on

some minds by our last month's article "Practical Occultism." Such letters go far to prove and

strengthen two logical conclusions.

(a) There are more well-educated and thoughtful men who believe in the

existence of Occultism and Magic (the two differing vastly) than the modern

materialist dreams of; and --

(b) That most of the believers (comprising many theosophists) have no definite

idea of the nature of Occultism and confuse it with the Occult sciences in general,

the "Black art" included.

Their representations of the powers it confers on upon man, and of the means to be used to

acquire them are as varied as they are fanciful. Some imagine that a master in the art, to show the

way, is all that is needed to become a Zanoni. Others, that one has but to cross the Canal of Suez.

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and go to India to bloom forth as Roger Bacon or even a Count St. Germain. Many take for their

ideal Margrave with his ever-renewing youth, and care little for the soul as the price paid for it.

Not a few, mistaking "Witch-of-Endorism" pure and simple, for Occultism -- "through the

yawning Earth from Stygian gloom, call up the meager ghost to walks of light," and want, on the

strength of this feat, to be regarded as full-blown Adepts. "Ceremonial Magic" according to the

rules mockingly laid down by Eliphas Levi, is another imagined alter-ego of the philosophy of

the Arhats of old. In short, the prisms through which Occultism appears, to those innocent of the

philosophy, are as multicolored and varied as human fancy can make them.

Will these candidates to Wisdom and Power feel very indignant if told the plain truth? It is not

only useful, but it has now become necessary to disabuse most of them and before it is too late.

This truth may be said in a few words: There are not in the West half-a-dozen among the fervent

hundreds who call themselves "Occultists," who have even an approximately correct idea of the

nature of the Science they seek to master. With a few exceptions, they are all on the highway to

Sorcery. Let them restore some order in the chaos that reigns in their minds, before they protest

against this statement. Let them first learn the true relation in which the Occult Sciences stand to

Occultism, and the difference between the two, and then feel wrathful if they still think

themselves right. Meanwhile, let them learn that Occultism differs from Magic and other secret

Sciences as the glorious sun does from a rush-light, as the immutable and immortal Spirit of Man

-- the reflection of the absolute, causeless and unknowable ALL -- differs from the mortal clay --

the human body.

In our highly civilized West, where modern languages have been formed, and words coined, in

the wake of ideas and thoughts -- as happened with every tongue -- the more the latter became

materialized in the cold atmosphere of Western selfishness and its incessant chase after the goods

of this world, the less was there any need felt for the production of new terms to express that

which was tacitly regarded as absolute and exploded "superstition." Such words could answer

only to ideas which a cultured man was scarcely supposed to harbor in his mind. "Magic," a

synonym for jugglery, "Sorcery," an equivalent for crass ignorance, and "Occultism," the sorry

relic of crack-brained, mediaeval Fire-philosophers, of the Jacob Boehmes and the St. Martins,

are expressions believed more than amply sufficient to cover the whole field of "thimble-rigging."

They are terms of contempt, and used generally only in reference to the dross and

residues of the dark ages and the preceding aeons of paganism. Therefore have we no terms in

the English tongue to define and shade the difference between such abnormal powers, or the

sciences that lead to the acquisition of them, with the nicety possible in the Eastern languages --

pre-eminently the Sanskrit. What do the words "miracle" and "enchantment" (words identical in

meaning after all, as both express the idea of producing wonderful things by breaking the laws of

nature [!!] as explained by the accepted authorities) convey to the minds of those who hear, or

pronounce them? A Christian -- breaking "of the laws of nature," notwithstanding -- while

believing firmly in the miracles, because said to have been produced by God through Moses, will

either scout the enchantments performed by Pharaoh's magicians, or attribute them to the devil. It

is the latter whom our pious enemies connect with Occultism, while their impious foes, the

infidels, laugh at Moses, Magicians and Occultists, and would blush to give one serious thought

to such "superstitions." This, because there is no term in existence to show the difference; no

words to express the lights and shadows and draw the line of demarcation between the sublime

and the true, the absurd and the ridiculous. The latter are the theological interpretations which.

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teach the "breaking of the laws of Nature" by man, God, or devil; the former -- the scientific

"miracles" and enchantments of Moses and the Magicians in accordance with natural laws, both

having been learned in all the Wisdom of the Sanctuaries, which were the "Royal Societies" of

those days -- and in true OCCULTISM. This last word is certainly misleading, translated as it

stands from the compound word Gupta-Vidya, "Secret Knowledge." But the knowledge of what?

Some of the Sanskrit terms may help us.

There are four (out of the many others) names of the various kinds of Esoteric Knowledge or

Sciences given, even in the exoteric Puranas. There is (1) Yajna-Vidya,* knowledge of the occult

powers awakened in Nature by the performance of certain religious ceremonies and rites. (2)

Mahavidya, the "great knowledge," the magic of the Kabalists and the Tantrika worship, often

Sorcery of the worst description. (3) Guhya-Vidya, knowledge of the mystic powers residing in

Sound (Ether), hence in the Mantras (chanted prayers or incantations) and depending on the

rhythm and melody used; in other words, a magical performance based on Knowledge of the

forces of Nature and their correlation; and (4) ATMA-VIDYA, a term which is translated simply

"Knowledge of the Soul," true Wisdom by the Orientalists, but which means far more.

This last is the only kind of Occultism that any theosophist who admires "Light on the Path," and

who would be wise and unselfish, ought to strive after. All the rest is some branch of the "Occult

Sciences,", i.e. arts based on the knowledge of the ultimate essence of all things in the Kingdoms

of Nature -- such as minerals, plants and animals -- hence of things pertaining to the realm of

material nature, however invisible that essence may be, and howsoever much it has hitherto

eluded the grasp of Science. Alchemy, Astrology, Occult Physiology, Chiromancy, exist in

Nature and the exact Sciences -- perhaps so called, because they are found in this age of

paradoxical philosophies the reverse -- have already discovered not a few of the secrets of the

above arts. But clairvoyance, symbolized in India as the "Eye of Siva," called in Japan, "Infinite

Vision," is not Hypnotism, the illegitimate son of Mesmerism, and is not to be acquired by such

arts. All the others may be mastered and results obtained, whether good, bad, or indifferent; but

Atma-Vidya sets small value on them. It includes them all and may even use them occasionally,

but it does so after purifying them of their dross, for beneficent purposes, and taking care to

deprive them of every element of selfish motive. Let us explain: Any man or woman can set

himself or herself to study one or all of the above specified "Occult Arts" without any great

previous preparation, and even without adopting any too restraining mode of life. One could

even dispense with any lofty standard of morality. In the last case, of course, ten to one the

student would blossom into a very decent kind of sorcerer, and tumble down headlong into black

magic. But what can this matter? The Voodoos and Dugpas eat, drink and are merry over

hecatombs of victims of their infernal arts. And so do the amiable gentlemen vivisectionists and

the diplomaed "Hypnotizers" of the Faculties of Medicine; the only difference between the two

classes being that the Voodoos and Dugpas are conscious, and the Charcott-Richet crew

unconscious, Sorcerers. Thus, since both have to reap the fruits of their labors and achievements

in the black art, the Western practitioners should not have the punishment and reputation without

the profits and enjoyments they may get therefrom. For we say it again, hypnotism and

vivisection as practised in such schools, are Sorcery pure and simple, minus a knowledge that the

Voodoos and Dugpas enjoy, and which no Charcott-Richet can procure for himself in fifty years

of hard study and experimental observation. Let then those who will dabble in magic, whether

they understand its nature or not, but who find the rules imposed upon students too hard, and.

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who, therefore, lay Atma-Vidya or Occultism aside -- go without it. Let them become magicians

by all means, even though they do become Voodoos and Dugpas for the next ten incarnations.

But the interest of our readers will probably center on those who are invincibly attracted towards

the "Occult," yet who neither realize the true nature of what they aspire towards, nor have they

become passion-proof, far less truly unselfish.

How about these unfortunates, we shall be asked, who are thus rent in twain by conflicting

forces? For it has been said too often to need repetition, and the fact itself is patent to any

observer, that when once the desire for Occultism has really awakened in a man's heart, there

remains for him no hope of peace, no place of rest and comfort in all the world. He is driven out

into the wild and desolate spaces of life by an ever-gnawing unrest he cannot quell. His heart is

too full of passion and selfish desire to permit him to pass the Golden Gate; he cannot find rest or

peace in ordinary life. Must he then inevitably fall into sorcery and black magic, and through

many incarnations heap up for himself a terrible Karma? Is there no other road for him?

Indeed there is, we answer. Let him aspire to no higher than he feels able to accomplish. Let him

not take a burden upon himself too heavy for him to carry. Without ever becoming a "Mahatma,"

a Buddha or a Great Saint, let him study the philosophy and the "Science of the Soul," and he

can become one of the modest benefactors of humanity, without any "super-human" powers.

Siddhis (or the Arhat powers) are only for those who are able to "lead the life," to comply with

the terrible sacrifices required for such a training, and to comply with them to the very letter. Let

them know at once and remember always, that true Occultism or Theosophy is the "Great

Renunciation of SELF," unconditionally and absolutely, in thought as in action. It is

ALTRUISM, and it throws him who practices it out of calculation of the ranks of the living

altogether. "Not for himself, but for the world, he lives," as soon as he has pledged himself to the

work. Much is forgiven during the first years of probation. But, no sooner is he "accepted" than

his personality must disappear, and he has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature. There

are two poles for him after that, two paths, and no midward place of rest. He has either to ascend

laboriously, step by step, often through numerous incarnations and no Devachanic break, the

golden ladder leading to Mahatmaship (the Arhat or Bodhisattva condition), or -- he will let

himself slide down the ladder at the first false step, and roll down into Dugpaship. . . .

All this is either unknown or left out of sight altogether. Indeed, one who is able to follow the

silent evolution of the preliminary aspirations of the candidates, often finds strange ideas quietly

taking possession of their minds. There are those whose reasoning powers have been so distorted

by foreign influences that they imagine that animal passions can be so sublimated and elevated

that their fury, force, and fire can, so to speak, be turned inwards; that they can be stored and

shut up in one's breast, until their energy is, not expended, but turned toward higher and more

holy purposes: namely, until their collective and unexpended strength enables their possessor to

enter the true Sanctuary of the Soul and stand therein in the presence of the Master -- the

HIGHER SELF! For this purpose they will not struggle with their passions nor slay them. They

will simply, by a strong effort of will, put down the fierce flames and keep them at bay within

their natures, allowing the fire to smolder under a thin layer of ashes. They submit joyfully to the

torture of the Spartan boy who allowed the fox to devour his entrails rather than part with it. Oh,

poor blind visionaries!.

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As well hope that a band of drunken chimney-sweeps, hot and greasy from their work, may be

shut up in a Sanctuary hung with pure white linen, and that instead of soiling and turning it by

their presence into a heap of dirty shreds, they will become masters in and of the sacred recess,

and finally emerge from it as immaculate as that recess. Why not imagine that a dozen of skunks

imprisoned in the pure atmosphere of a Dgon-pa (a monastery) can issue out of it impregnated

with all the perfumes of the incenses used?....Strange aberration of the human mind. Can it be

so? Let us argue.

The "Master" in the Sanctuary of our souls is "the Higher Self" -- the divine spirit whose

consciousness is based upon and derived solely (at any rate during the mortal life of the man in

whom it is captive) from the Mind, which we have agreed to call the Human Soul (the "Spiritual

Soul" being the vehicle of the Spirit). In its turn the former (the personal or human soul) is a

compound in its highest form, of spiritual aspirations, volitions, and divine love; and in its lower

aspects, of animal desires and terrestrial passions imparted to it by its associations with its

vehicle, the seat of all these. It thus stands as a link and a medium between the animal nature of

man which its higher reason seeks to subdue, and his divine spiritual nature to which it

gravitates, whenever it has the upper hand in its struggle with the inner animal. The latter is the

instinctual "animal Soul" and is the hotbed of those passions, which, as just shown, are lulled

instead of being killed, and locked up in their breasts by some imprudent enthusiasts. Do they

still hope to turn thereby the muddy stream of the animal sewer into the crystalline waters of

life? And where, on what neutral ground can they be imprisoned so as not to affect man? The

fierce passions of love and lust are still alive and they are allowed to still remain in the place of

their birth -- that same animal soul; for both the higher and the lower portions of the "Human

Soul" or Mind reject such inmates, though they cannot avoid being tainted with them as

neighbors. The "Higher Self" or Spirit is as unable to assimilate such feelings as water to get

mixed with oil or unclean liquid tallow. It is thus the mind alone, the sole link and medium

between the man of earth and the Higher Self -- that is the only sufferer, and which is in the

incessant danger of being dragged down by those passions that may be re-awakened at any

moment, and perish in the abyss of matter. And how can it ever attune itself to the divine

harmony of the highest Principle, when that harmony is destroyed by the mere presence, within

the Sanctuary in preparation, of such animal passions? How can harmony prevail and conquer,

when the soul is stained and distracted with the turmoil of passions and the terrestrial desires of

the bodily senses, or even of the "Astral man"?

For this "Astral" -- the shadowy "double" (in the animal as in man) is not the companion of the

divine Ego but of the earthly body. It is the link between the personal SELF, the lower

consciousness of Manas and the Body, and is the vehicle of transitory, not of immortal life. Like

the shadow projected by man, it follows the movements and impulses slavishly and

mechanically, and leans therefore to matter without ever ascending to Spirit. It is only when the

power of the passions is dead altogether, and when they have been crushed and annihilated in the

retort of an unflinching will; when not only all the lusts and longings of the flesh are dead, but

also the recognition of the personal Self is killed out and the "astral" has been reduced in

consequence to a cipher, that the Union with the "Higher Self" can take place. Then when the

"Astral" reflects only the conquered man, the still living but no more the longing, selfish

personality, then the brilliant Augoeides, the divine SELF, can vibrate in conscious harmony with

both the poles of the human Entity -- the man of matter purified, and the ever pure Spiritual Soul.

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-- and stand in the presence of the MASTER SELF, the Christos of the mystic Gnostic, blended,

merged into, and one with IT for ever.**

How then can it be thought possible for a man to enter the "straight gate" of occultism when his

daily and hourly thoughts are bound up with worldly things, desires of possession and power,

with lust, ambition and duties, which, however honorable, are still of the earth earthy? Even the

love of wife and family -- the purest as the most unselfish of human affections -- is a barrier to

real occultism. For whether we take as an example the holy love of a mother for her child, or that

of a husband for his wife, even in these feelings, when analyzed to the very bottom, and

thoroughly sifted, there is still selfishness in the first, and an egoisme a deux in the second

instance. What mother would not sacrifice without a moment's hesitation hundreds and

thousands of lives for that of the child of her heart? and what lover or true husband would not

break the happiness of every other man and woman around him to satisfy the desire of one whim

he loves? This is but natural, we shall be told. Quite so; in the light of the code of human

affections; less so, in that of divine universal love. For, while the heart is full of thoughts for a

little group of selves, near and dear to us, how shall the rest of mankind fare in our souls? What

percentage of love and care will there remain to bestow on the "great orphan"? And how shall the

"still small voice" make itself heard in a soul entirely occupied with its own privileged tenants?

What room is there left for the seeds of Humanity en bloc to impress themselves upon, or even

receive a speedy response? And yet, he who would profit by the wisdom of the universal mind,

has to reach it through the whole of Humanity without distinction of race, complexion, religion or

social status. It is altruism, not ego-ism even in its most legal and noble conception, that can lead

the unit to merge its little Self in the Universal Selves. It is to these needs and to this work that

the true disciple of Occultism has to devote himself, if he would obtain theo-sophy, divine

Wisdom and Knowledge.

The aspirant has to choose absolutely between the life of the world and the life of Occultism. It is

useless and vain to endeavor to unite the two, for no one can serve two masters and satisfy both.

No one can serve his body and the higher Soul, and do his family duty and his universal duty,

without depriving either one or the other of its rights; for he will either lend his ear to the "still

small voice" and fail to hear the cries of his little ones, or, he will listen but to the wants of the

latter and remain deaf to the voice of Humanity. It would be a ceaseless, a maddening struggle

for almost any married man, who would pursue true practical Occultism, instead of its

theoretical philosophy. For he would find himself ever hesitating between the voice of the

impersonal divine love of Humanity, and that of the personal, terrestrial love. And this could

only lead him to fail in one or the other, or perhaps in both his duties. Worse than this. For,

whoever indulges after having pledged himself to OCCULTISM in the gratification of a

terrestrial love or lust, must feel an almost immediate result; that of being irresistibly dragged

from the impersonal divine state down to the lower plane of matter. Sensual, even mental self-gratification,

involves the immediate loss of the powers of spiritual discernment; the voice of the

MASTER can no longer be distinguished from that of one's passions or even that of a Dugpa; the

right from wrong; sound morality from mere casuistry. The Dead Sea fruit assumes the most

glorious mystic appearance, only to turn to ashes on their lips, and to gall in the heart resulting

in: --.

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Depth ever deepening, darkness darkening still;

Folly for wisdom, guilt for innocence;

Anguish for rapture, and for hope despair.

And once being mistaken and having acted on their mistakes, most men shrink from realizing

their error, and thus descend deeper and deeper into the mire. And, although it is the intention

that decides primarily whether white or black magic is exercised, yet the results even of

involuntary, unconscious sorcery cannot fail to be productive of bad Karma. Enough has been

said to show that sorcery is any kind of evil influence exercised upon other persons, who suffer,

or make other persons to suffer, in consequence. Karma is a heavy stone splashed in the quiet

waters of Life; and it must produce ever widening circles of ripples, carried wider and wider,

almost ad infinitum. Such causes produced have to call forth effects, and these are evidenced in

the just laws of Retribution.

Much of this may be avoided if people will only abstain from rushing into practices neither the

nature nor importance of which they understand. No one is expected to carry a burden beyond

his strength and powers. There are "natural-born magicians"; Mystic and Occultists by birth, and

by right of direct inheritance from a series of incarnations and aeons of suffering and failures.

These are passion-proof, so to say. No fires of earthy origin can fan into a flame any of their

senses; no human voice can find response in their souls, except the great cry of Humanity. These

only may be certain of success. But they can be met only far and wide, and they pass through the

narrow gates of Occultism because they carry no personal luggage of human transitory

sentiments along with them. They have got rid of the feelings of the lower personality, paralyzed

thereby the "astral" animal, and the golden, but narrow gate is thrown open before them. Not so

with those who have to carry yet for several incarnations the burden of sins committed in

previous lives, and even in their present existence. For such, unless they proceed with great

caution, the golden gate of Wisdom may get transformed into the wide gate and the broad way

"that leadeth unto destruction," and therefore "many be they that enter in thereby." This is the

Gate of the Occult arts, practised for selfish motives and in the absence of the restraining and

beneficent influence of ATMA-VIDYA. We are in the Kali Yuga and its fatal influence is a

thousandfold more powerful in the West than it is in the East.; hence the easy preys made by the

Powers of the Age of Darkness in this cyclic struggle, and the many delusions under which the

world is now laboring. One of these is the relative facility with which men fancy they can get at

the "Gate" and cross the threshold of Occultism without any great sacrifice. It is the dream of

most Theosophists, one inspired by desire for Power and personal selfishness, and it is not such

feelings that can ever lead them to the coveted goal. For, as well said by one believed to have

sacrificed himself for Humanity -- "narrow is the gate and straitened the way that leadeth unto

life" eternal, and therefore "few be they that find it." So straight indeed, that at the bare mention

of some of the preliminary difficulties the affrighted Western candidates turn back and retreat

with a shudder. . . .

Let them stop here and attempt no more in their great weakness. For if, while turning their backs

on the narrow gate, they are dragged by their desire for the Occult one step in the direction of the

broad and more inviting Gates of that golden mystery which glitters in the light of illusion, woe

to them! It can lead only to Dugpa-ship, and they will be sure to find themselves very soon

landed on that Via Fatale, over whose portal Dante read the words: --.

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Per me si va nella citta dolente

Per me si va nell'eterno dolore

Per me si va tra la perduta gente. . .


* "The Yajna," say the Brahmans, "exists from eternity, for it proceeded forth from the Supreme

One . . . in whom it lay dormant from 'no beginning.' It is the key to the TRAIVIDYA, the thrice

sacred science contained in the Rig verses, which teaches the Yajus or sacrificial mysteries. 'The

Yajna' exists as an invisible thing at all time; it is like the latent power of electricity in an

electrifying machine, requiring only the operation of a suitable apparatus in order to be elicited.

It is supposed to extend from the Ahavaniya or sacrificial fire to the heavens, forming a bridge or

ladder by means of which the sacrificer can communicate with the world of gods and spirits, and

even ascend when alive to their abodes." -- Martin Haug's Aitareya Brahmana.

"This Yajna is again one of the forms of the Akasa; and the mystic word calling it into existence

and pronounced mentally by the initiated Priest is the Lost Word receiving impulse through

WILL POWER." -- Isis Unveiled, Vol. I. Introduction. See Aitareya Brahmana, Haug. (return to


** Those who would feel inclined to see three Egos in one man will show themselves unable to

perceive the metaphysical meaning. Man is a trinity composed of Body, Soul and Spirit; but man

is nevertheless one and is surely not his body. It is the latter which is the property, the transitory

clothing of the man. The three "Egos" are MAN in his three aspects on the astral, intellectual or

psychic, and Spiritual planes, or states. (return to text)

The Blessings of Publicity

A well-known public lecturer, a distinguished Egyptologist, said, in one of his lectures against

the teachings of Theosophy, a few suggestive words, which are now quoted and must be


"It is a delusion to suppose there is anything in the experience or wisdom of the

past, the ascertained results of which can only be communicated from beneath the

cloak and mask of mystery. . . . Explanation is the Soul of Science. They will tell

you we cannot have their knowledge without living their life. . . . Public

experimental research, the printing press, and a free-thought platform, have.

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abolished the need of mystery. It is no longer necessary for science to take the

veil, as she was forced to do for security in times past. . . .

This is a very mistaken view in one aspect. "Secrets of the purer and profounder life" not only

may but must be made universally known. But there are secrets that kill in the arcana of

Occultism, and unless a man lives the life he cannot be entrusted with them.

The late Professor Faraday had very serious doubts whether it was quite wise and reasonable to

give out to the public at large certain discoveries of modern science. Chemistry had led to the

invention of too terrible means of destruction in our century to allow it to fall into the hands of

the profane. What man of sense -- in the face of such fiendish applications of dynamite and other

explosive substances as are made by those incarnations of the Destroying Power, who glory in

calling themselves Anarchists and Socialists -- would not agree with us in saying: -- Far better

for mankind that it should never have blasted a rock by modern perfected means, than that it

should have shattered the limbs of one per cent even of those who have been thus destroyed by

the pitiless hand of Russian Nihilists, Irish Fenians and Anarchists. That such discoveries, and

chiefly their murderous application, ought to have been withheld from public knowledge may be

shown on the authority of statistics and commissions appointed to investigate and record the

result of the evil done. The following information gathered from public papers will give an

insight into what may be in store for wretched mankind.

England alone -- the center of civilization -- has 21,268 firms fabricating and selling explosive

substances. (1) But the centers of the dynamite trade, of infernal machines, and other such results

of modern civilization, are chiefly at Philadelphia and New York. It is in the former city of

"Brotherly Love" that the now most famous manufacturer of explosives flourishes. It is one of

the well-known respectable citizens -- the inventor and manufacturer of the most murderous

"dynamite toys" -- who, called before the Senate of the United States anxious to adopt means for

the repression of a too free trade in such implements, found an argument that ought to become

immortalized for its cynical sophistry: "My machines," that expert is reported to have said -- "are

quite harmless to look at; as they may be manufactured in the shape of oranges, hats, boats, and

anything one likes. . . . Criminal is he who murders people by means of such machines, not he

who manufactures them. The firm refuses to admit that were there no supply there would be no

incentive for demand on the market; but insists that every demand should be satisfied by a supply

ready at hand."

That "supply" is the fruit of civilization and of the publicity given to the discovery of every

murderous property in matter. What is it? As found in the Report of the Commission appointed

to investigate the variety and character of the so-called "infernal machines," so far the following

implements of instantaneous human destruction are already on hand. The most fashionable of all

among the many varieties fabricated by Mr. Holgate, are the "Ticker," the "Eight Day Machine,"

the "Little Exterminator," and the "Bottle Machine." The "Ticker" is in appearance like a piece of

lead, a foot long and four inches thick. It contains an iron or steel tube, full of a kind of

gunpowder invented by Holgate himself. That gunpowder, in appearance like any other common

stuff of that name, has, however, an explosive power two hundred times stronger than common

gunpowder; the "Ticker" containing thus a powder which equals in force two hundred pounds of

the common gunpowder. At one end of the machine is fastened an invisible clock-work meant to.

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regulate the time of the explosion, which time may be fixed from one minute to thirty-six hours.

The spark is produced by means of a steel needle which gives a spark at the touch-hole, and

communicates thereby the fire to the whole machine.

The "Eight Day Machine" is considered the most powerful, but at the same time the most

complicated, of all those invented. One must be familiar with handling it before a full success

can be secured. It is owing to this difficulty that the terrible fate intended for London Bridge and

its neighborhood was turned aside by the instantaneous killing instead of the two Fenian

criminals. The size and appearance of that machine changes, Proteus-like, according to the

necessity of smuggling it in, in one or another way, unperceived by the victims. It may be

concealed in bread, in a basket of oranges, in a liquid, and so on. The Commission of Experts is

said to have declared that its explosive power is such as to reduce to atoms instantly the largest

edifice in the world.

The "Little Exterminator" is an innocent-looking plain utensil having the shape of a modest jug.

It contains neither dynamite nor powder, but secretes, nevertheless, a deadly gas, and has a

hardly perceptible clock-work attached to its edge, the needle of which points to the time when

that gas will effect its escape. In a shut-up room this new "vril" of lethal kind, will smother to

death, nearly instantaneously, every living being within a distance of a hundred feet, the radius

of the murderous jug. With these three "latest novelties" in the high season of Christian

civilization, the catalogue of the dynamiters is closed; all the rest belongs to the old "fashion" of

the past years. It consists of hats, porte cigars, bottles of ordinary kind, and even ladies' smelling

bottles, filled with dynamite, nitro-glycerine, etc., etc. -- weapons, some of which, following

unconsciously Karmic law, killed many of the dynamiters in the last Chicago revolution. Add to

this the forthcoming long-promised Keely's vibratory force, capable of reducing in a few seconds

a dead bullock to a heap of ashes, and then ask yourself if the Inferno of Dante as a locality can

ever rival earth in the production of more hellish engines of destruction!

Thus, if purely material implements are capable of blowing up, from a few corners, the greatest

cities of the globe, provided the murderous weapons are guided by expert hands -- what terrible

dangers might not arise from magical occult secrets being revealed, and allowed to fall into the

possession of ill-meaning persons! A thousand times more dangerous and lethal are these,

because neither the criminal hand, nor the immaterial, invisible weapon used, can ever be


The congenital black magicians -- those who, to an innate propensity towards evil, unite highly-developed

mediumistic natures -- are but too numerous in our age. It is nigh time then that

psychologists and believers, at least, should cease advocating the beauties of publicity and

claiming knowledge of the secrets of nature for all. It is not in our age of "suggestion" and

"explosives" that Occultism can open wide the doors of its laboratories except to those who do

live the life.

1. Nitro-glycerine has found its way even into medical compounds. Physicians and

druggists are vying with the Anarchists in their endeavors to destroy the surplus of

mankind. The famous chocolate tablets against dyspepsia are said to contain nitro-glycerine!

They may save, but they can kill still more easily..

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Hypnotism, and Its Relations to Other Modes of Fascination

We are asked by "H.C." and other Fellows, to answer the several queries hereafter propounded.

We do so, but with a reservation: our replies must be made from the standpoint of Occultism

alone, no consideration being given to such hypotheses of modern (another name for

"materialistic") Science, as may clash with esoteric teachings.

Q. What is Hypnotism: how does it differ from Animal Magnetism (or Mesmerism) ?

ANS. Hypnotism is the new scientific name for the old ignorant "superstition" variously called

"fascination" and "enchantment." It is an antiquated lie transformed into a modern truth. The fact

is there, but the scientific explanation of it is still wanting. By some it is believed that Hypnotism

is the result of an irritation artificially produced on the periphery of the nerves; that this irritation

reacting upon, passes into the cells of the brain-substance, causing by exhaustion a condition

which is but another mode of sleep (hypnosis, or hupnos); by others that it is simply a self-induced

stupor, produced chiefly by imagination, etc., etc. It differs from animal magnetism

where the hypnotic condition is produced by the Braid method, which is a purely mechanical

one, i.e., the fixing of the eyes on some bright spot, a metal or a crystal. It becomes "animal

magnetism" (or mesmerism), when it is achieved by "mesmeric" passes on the patient, and for

these reasons. When the first method is used, no electro-psychic, or even electro-physical

currents are at work, but simply the mechanical, molecular vibrations of the metal or crystal

gazed at by the subject. It is the eye -- the most occult organ of all, on the superficies of our body

-- which, by serving as a medium between that bit of metal or crystal and the brain, attunes the

molecular vibrations of the nervous centers of the latter into unison (i.e., equality in the number

of their respective oscillations) with the vibrations of the bright object held. And, it is this unison

which produces the hypnotic state. But in the second case, the right name for hypnotism would

certainly be "animal magnetism" or that so much derided term "mesmerism." For, in the

hypnotization by preliminary passes, it is the human will -- whether conscious or otherwise -- of

the operator himself, that acts upon the nervous system of the patient. And it is again through the

vibrations -- only atomic, not molecular -- produced by that act of energy called WILL in the

ether of space (therefore, on quite a different plane) that the super-hypnotic state (i.e.,

"suggestion," etc.) is induced. For those which we call "will-vibrations" and their aura, are

absolutely distinct from the vibrations produced by the simply mechanical molecular motion, the

two acting on two separate degrees of the cosmo-terrestrial planes. Here, of course, a clear

realization of that which is meant by will in Occult Sciences, is necessary.

Q. In both (hypnotism and animal magnetism) there is an act of will in the operator, a transit of

something from him to his patient, an effect upon the patient. What is the "something"

transmitted in both cases?

ANS. That which is transmitted has no name in European languages, and if we simply describe it

as will, it loses all its meaning. The old and very much tabooed words, "enchantment,"

"fascination," "glamour," and "spell," and especially the verb "to bewitch," expressed far more

suggestively the real action that took place during the process of such a transmission, than the

modern and meaningless terms, "psychologize" and "biologize." Occultism calls the force

transmitted, the "auric fluid," to distinguish it from the "auric light"; the "fluid" being a.

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correlation of atoms on a higher plane, and a descent to this lower one, in the shape of

impalpable and invisible plastic Substances, generated and directed by the potential Will; the

"auric light," or that which Reichenbach calls Od, a light that surrounds every animate and

inanimate object in nature, is, on the other hand, but the astral reflection emanating from objects;

its particular color and colors, the combinations and varieties of the latter, denoting the state of

the gunas, or qualities and characteristics of each special object and subject -- the human being's

aura being the strongest of all.

Q. What is the rationale of "Vampirism"?

ANS. If by this word is meant the involuntary transmission of a portion of one's vitality, or life-essence,

by a kind of occult osmosis from one person to another -- the latter being endowed, or

afflicted rather, with such vampirizing faculty, then, the act can become comprehensible only

when we study well the nature and essence of the semi-substantial "auric fluid" spoken of just

now. Like every other occult form [force?] in Nature, this end- and exosmosic process may be

made beneficent or maleficent, either unconsciously or at will. When a healthy operator

mesmerizes a patient with a determined desire to relieve and cure him, the exhaustion felt by the

former is proportionate to the relief given: a process of endosmose has taken place, the healer

having parted with a portion of his vital aura to benefit the sick man. Vampirism, on the other

hand, is a blind and mechanical process, generally produced without the knowledge of either the

absorber, or the vampirized party. It is conscious or unconscious black magic, as the case may

be. For in the case of trained adepts and sorcerers, the process is produced consciously and with

the guidance of the Will. In both cases the agent of transmission is a magnetic and attractive

faculty, terrestrial and physiological in its results, yet generated and produced on the four-dimensional

plane -- the realm of atoms.

Q. Under what circumstances is hypnotism "black magic"?

ANS. Under those just discussed, but to cover the subject fully, even by giving a few instances,

demands more space than we can spare for these answers. Sufficient to say that whenever the

motive which actuates the operator is selfish, or detrimental to any living being or beings, all

such acts are classed by us as black magic. The healthy vital fluid imparted by the physician who

mesmerizes his patient, can and does cure; but too much of it will kill.

[This statement receives its explanation in our answer to Question 6, when showing that the

vibratory experiment shatters a tumbler to pieces.]

Q. Is there any difference between hypnosis produced by mechanical means, such as revolving

mirrors, and that produced by the direct gaze of the operator (fascination)?

ANS. This difference is, we believe, already pointed out in the answer to Question 1. The gaze of

the operator is more potent, hence more dangerous, than the simple mechanical passes of the

Hypnotizer, who, in nine cases out of ten, does not know how, and therefore cannot will. The

students of Esoteric Science must be aware by the very laws of the occult correspondences that

the former action is performed on the first plane of matter (the lowest), while the latter, which.

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necessitates a well-concentrated will, has to be enacted, if the operator is a profane novice, on the

fourth, and if he is anything of an occultist on the fifth plane.

Q. Why should a bit of crystal or a bright button, throw one person into the hypnotic state and

affect in no way another person? An answer to this would, we think, solve more than one


ANS. Science has offered several varied hypotheses upon the subject, but has not, so far,

accepted any one of these as definite. This is because all such speculations revolve in the vicious

circle of materio-physical phenomena with their blind forces and mechanical theories. The "auric

fluid" is not recognized by the men of Science, and therefore, they reject it. But have they not

believed for years in the efficacy of metallo-therapeuty, the influence of these metals being due

to the action of their electric fluids or currents on the nervous system? And this, simply because

an analogy was found to exist between the activity of this system and electricity. The theory

failed, because it clashed with the most careful observation and experiments. First of all, it was

contradicted by a fundamental fact exhibited in the said metallo-therapeuty, whose characteristic

peculiarity showed (a) that by no means every metal acted on every nervous disease, one patient

being sensitive to some one metal, while all others produced no effect upon him; and (b) that the

patients affected by certain metals were few and exceptional. This showed that "electric fluids"

operating on and curing diseases existed only in the imagination of the theorists. Had they had

any actual existence, then all metals would affect in a greater or lesser degree, all patients, and

every metal, taken separately, would affect every case of nervous disease, the conditions for

generating such fluids being, in the given cases, precisely the same. Thus Dr. Charcot having

vindicated Dr. Burke, the once discredited discoverer of metallo-therapeuty, Shiff and others

discredited all those who believed in electric fluids, and these seem now to be given up in favor

of "molecular motion," which now reigns supreme in physiology -- for the time being, of course.

But now arises a question: "Are the real nature, behavior and conditions of 'motion' known any

better than the nature, behavior and conditions of the 'fluids'?" It is to be doubted. Anyhow

Occultism is audacious enough to maintain that electric or magnetic fluids (the two being really

identical) are due in their essence and origin to that same molecular motion, now transformed

into atomic energy, (1) to which every other phenomenon in nature is also due. Indeed, when the

needle of a galvano- or electro-meter fails to show any oscillations denoting the presence of

electric or magnetic fluids, this does not prove in the least that there are none such to record; but

simply that having passed on to another and higher plane of action, the electrometer can no

longer be affected by the energy displayed on a plane with which it is entirely disconnected.

The above had to be explained, in order to show that the nature of the Force transmitted from one

man or object to another man or object, whether in hypnotism, electricity, metallo-therapeuty or

"fascination," is the same in essence, varying only in degree, and modified according to the sub-plane

of matter it is acting on; of which sub-planes, as every Occultist knows, there are seven on

our terrestrial plane as there are on every other.

Q. Is Science entirely wrong in its definition of the hypnotic phenomena?

ANS. It has no definition, so far. Now if there is one thing upon which Occultism agrees (to a

certain degree) with the latest discoveries of physical Science, it is that all the bodies endowed.

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with the property of inducing and calling metallo-therapeutic and other analogous phenomena,

have, their great variety not withstanding, one feature in common. They are all the fountain

heads and the generators of rapid molecular oscillations, which, whether through transmitting

agents or direct contact, communicate themselves to the nervous system, changing thereby the

rhythm of nervous vibrations -- on the sole condition, however, of being what is called, in

unison. Now "unison" does not always imply the sameness of nature, or of essence, but simply

the sameness of degree, a similarity with regard to gravity and acuteness, and equal potentialities

for intensity of sound or motion: a bell may be in unison with a violin, and a flute with an animal

or a human organ. Moreover, the rate of the number of vibrations -- especially in an organic

animal cell or organ, changes in accordance with the state of health, and general condition.

Hence the cerebral nervous centers of a hypnotic subject, while in perfect unison, in potential

degree and essential original activity, with the object he gazes at, may yet, owing to some

organic disturbance, be at the given moment at logger-heads with it, in respect to the number of

their respective vibrations. In such case no hypnotic condition ensues; or no unison at all may

exist between his nervous cells and the cells of the crystal or metal he is made to gaze at, in

which case that particular object can never have any effect upon him. This amounts to saying

that to ensure success in a hypnotic experiment, two conditions are requisite; (a) as every organic

or "inorganic" body in nature is distinguished by its fixed molecular oscillations, it is necessary

to find out which are those bodies which will act in unison with one or another human nervous

system; and (b) to remember that the molecular oscillations of the former can influence the

nervous action of the latter, only when the rhythms of their respective vibrations coincide, i.e.,

when the number of their oscillations is made identical; which, in the cases of hypnotism induced

by mechanical means, is achieved through the medium of the eye.

Therefore, though the difference between hypnosis produced by mechanical means, and that

induced by the direct gaze of the operator, plus his will, depends on the plane on which the same

phenomenon is produced, still the "fascinating" or subduing agent is created by the same force at

work. In the physical world and its material planes, it is called MOTION; in the worlds of

mentality and metaphysics it is known as WILL -- the many-faced magician throughout all


As the rate of vibrations (molecular motion) in metals, woods, crystals, etc., alters under the

effect of heat, cold, etc., so do the cerebral molecules change their rate, in the same way: i.e.,

their rate is raised or lowered. And this is what really takes place in the phenomenon of

hypnotism. In the case of gazing, it is the eye -- the chief agent of the Will of the active operator,

but a slave and traitor when this Will is dormant -- that, unconsciously to the patient or subject,

attunes the oscillations of his cerebral nervous centers to the rate of the vibrations of the object

gazed at by catching the rhythm of the latter and passing it on to the brain. But in the case of

direct passes, it is the Will of the operator radiating through his eye that produces the required

unison between his will and the will of the person operated upon. For, out of two objects attuned

in unison -- as two chords, for instance -- one will always be weaker than the other, and thus

have mastery over the other and even the potentiality of destroying its weaker "co-respondent."

So true is this, that we can call upon physical Science to corroborate this fact. Take the "sensitive

flame" as a case in hand. Science tells us that if a note be struck in unison with the ratio of the

vibrations of the heat molecules, the flames will respond immediately to the sound (or note

struck), that it will dance and sing in rhythm with the sounds. But Occult Science adds, that the.

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flame may also be extinguished if the sound is intensified (vide Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, 606 and

607). Another proof. Take a wine-glass or tumbler of very fine and clear glass; produce, by

striking it gently with a silver spoon, a well-determined note; after which reproduce the same

note by rubbing its rim with a damp finger, and, if you are successful, the glass will immediately

crack and be shattered. Indifferent to every other sound, the glass will not resist the great

intensity of its own fundamental note, for that particular vibration will cause such a commotion

in its particles, that the whole fabric will fall in pieces.

Q. What becomes of diseases cured by hypnotism; are they really cured or are they postponed,

or do they appear in another form? Are diseases Karma; and, if so, is it right to attempt to cure


ANS. Hypnotic suggestion may cure for ever, and it may not. All depends on the degree of

magnetic relations between the operator and the patient. If Karmic, they will be only postponed,

and return in some other form, not necessarily of disease, but as a punitive evil of another sort. It

is always "right" to try and alleviate suffering whenever we can, and to do our best for it.

Because a man suffers justly imprisonment, and catches cold in his damp cell, is it a reason why

the prison-doctor should not try to cure him of it?

Q. Is it necessary that the hypnotic "suggestions" of the operator should be spoken? Is it not

enough for him to think them, and may not even HE be ignorant or unconscious of the bent he is

impressing on his subject?

ANS. Certainly not, if the rapport between the two is once for all firmly established. Thought is

more powerful than speech in cases of a real subjugation of the will of the patient to that of his

operator. But, on the other hand, unless the "suggestion" made is for the good only of the subject,

and entirely free from any selfish motive, a suggestion by thought is an act of black magic still

more pregnant with evil consequences than a spoken suggestion. It is always wrong and unlawful

to deprive a man of his free-will, unless for his own or Society's good; and even the former has to

be done with great discrimination. Occultism regards all such promiscuous attempts as black

magic and sorcery, whether conscious or otherwise.

Q. Do the motive and character of the operator affect the result, immediate or remote?

ANS. In so far as the hypnotizing process becomes under his operation either white or black

magic, as the last answer shows.

Q. Is it wise to hypnotize a patient not only out of disease, but out of a habit, such as drinking or


ANS. It is an act of charity and kindness, and this is next to wisdom. For, although the dropping

of his vicious habits will add nothing to his good Karma (which it would, had his efforts to

reform been personal, of his own free will, and necessitating a great mental and physical

struggle), still a successful "suggestion" prevents him from generating more bad Karma, and

adding constantly to the previous record of his transgressions..

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Q. What is it that a faith-healer, when successful, practises upon himself; what tricks is he

playing with his principles and with his Karma?

ANS. Imagination is a potent help in every event of our lives. Imagination acts on Faith, and

both are the draughtsmen who prepare the sketches for Will to engrave, more or less deeply, on

the rocks of obstacles and opposition with which the path of life is strewn. Says Paracelsus:

"Faith must confirm the imagination, for faith establishes the will . . . Determined will is the

beginning of all magical operations. . . . It is because men do not perfectly imagine and believe

the result, that the arts (of magic) are uncertain, while they might be perfectly certain." This is all

the secret. Half, if not two-thirds of our ailings and diseases are the fruit of our imagination and

fears. Destroy the latter and give another bent to the former, and nature will do the rest. There is

nothing sinful or injurious in the methods per se. They turn to harm only when belief in his

power becomes too arrogant and marked in the faith-healer, and when he thinks he can will away

such diseases as need, if they are not to be fatal, the immediate help of expert surgeons and



l. In Occultism the word atom has a special significance, different from the one given to it by

Science. See editorial, Psychic and Noetic Action, in the two last numbers. (return to text)

Black Magic in Science

Commence research where modern conjecture closes its faithless wings --

Bulwer's Zanoni.

The flat denial of yesterday has become the scientific axiom of to-day -- Common

Sense Aphorisms.

Thousands of years ago the Phrygian Dactyls, the initiated priests, spoken of as the "magicians

and exorcists of sickness," healed diseases by magnetic processes. It was claimed that they had

obtained these curative powers from the powerful breath of Cybele, the many-breasted goddess,

the daughter of Coelus and Terra. Indeed, her genealogy and the myths attached to it show

Cybele as the personification and type of the vital essence, whose source was located by the

ancients between the Earth and the starry sky, and who was regarded as the very fons vitae of all

that lives and breathes. The mountain air being placed nearer to that fount fortifies health and

prolongs man's existence; hence, Cybele's life, as an infant, is shown in her myth as having been

preserved on a mountain. This was before that Magna and Bona Dea, the prolific Mater, became

transformed into Ceres-Demeter, the patroness of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Animal magnetism (now called Suggestion and Hypnotism) was the principal agent in theurgic

mysteries as also in the Asclepieia -- the healing temples of Aesculapius, where the patients once

admitted were treated, during the process of "incubation," magnetically, during their sleep.

This creative and life-giving Force -- denied and laughed at when named theurgic magic,

accused for the last century of being principally based on superstition and fraud, whenever.

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referred to as mesmerism -- is now called Hypnotism, Charcotism, Suggestion, "psychology,"

and what not. But, whatever the expression chosen, it will ever be a loose one if used without a

proper qualification. For when epitomized with all its collateral sciences -- which are all sciences

within the science -- it will be found to contain possibilities the nature of which has never been

even dreamt of by the oldest and most learned professors of the orthodox physical science. The

latter, "authorities" so-called, are no better, indeed, than innocent bald infants, when brought face

to face with the mysteries of antediluvian "mesmerism." As stated repeatedly before, the

blossoms of magic, whether white or black, divine or infernal, spring all from one root. The

"breath of Cybele" -- Akasa tattwa, in India -- is the one chief agent, and it underlay the so-called

"miracles" and "supernatural" phenomena in all ages, as in every clime. As the parent-root or

essence is universal, so are its effects innumerable. Even the greatest adepts can hardly say

where its possibilities must stop.

The key to the very alphabet of these theurgic powers was lost after the last gnostic had been

hunted to death by the ferocious persecution of the Church; and as gradually Mysteries,

Hierophants, Theophany and Theurgy became obliterated from the minds of men until they

remained in them only as a vague tradition, all this was finally forgotten. But at the period of the

Renaissance, in Germany, a learned Theosophist, a Philosopher per ignem, as they called

themselves, rediscovered some of the lost secrets of the Phrygian priests and of the Asclepieia. It

was the great and unfortunate physician-Occultist, Paracelsus, the greatest Alchemist of the age.

That genius it was, who during the Middle Ages was the first to publicly recommend the action

of the magnet in the cure of certain diseases. Theophrastus Paracelsus -- the "quack" and

"drunken impostor" in the opinion of the said scientific "bald infants" of his day, and of their

successors in ours -- inaugurated among other things in the seventeenth century, that which has

become a profitable branch in trade in the nineteenth. It is he who invented and used for the cure

of various muscular and nervous diseases magnetized bracelets, armlets, belts, rings, collars and

leglets; only his magnets cured far more efficaciously than do the electric belts of to-day. Van

Helmont, the successor of Paracelsus, and Robert Fludd, the Alchemist and Rosicrucian, also

applied magnets in the treatment of their patients. Mesmer in the eighteenth, and the Marquis de

Puysegur in the nineteenth century only followed in their footsteps.

In the large curative establishment founded by Mesmer at Vienna, he employed, besides

magnetism, electricity, metals and a variety of woods. His fundamental doctrine was that of the

Alchemists. He believed that metals, as also woods and plants have all an affinity with and bear a

close relation to, the human organism. Everything in the Universe has developed from one

homogeneous primordial substance differentiated into incalculable species of matter, and

everything is destined to return thereinto. The secret of healing, he maintained, lies in the

knowledge of correspondences and affinities between kindred atoms. Find that metal, wood,

stone, or plant that has the most correspondential affinity with the body of the sufferer; and,

whether through internal or external use, that particular agent imparting to the patient additional

strength to fight disease -- (developed generally through the introduction of some foreign

element into the constitution) -- and to expel it, will lead invariably to his cure. Many and

marvelous were such cures effected by Anton Mesmer. Subjects with heart-disease were made

well. A lady of high station, condemned to death, was completely restored to health by the

application of certain sympathetic woods. Mesmer himself, suffering from acute rheumatism,

cured it completely by using specially-prepared magnets..

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In 1774 he too happened to come across the theurgic secret of direct vital transmission; and so

highly interested was he, that he abandoned all his old methods to devote himself entirely to the

new discovery. Henceforward he mesmerized by gaze and passes, the natural magnets being

abandoned. The mysterious effects of such manipulations were called by him -- animal

magnetism. This brought to Mesmer a mass of followers and disciples. The new force was

experimented with in almost every city and town of Europe and found everywhere an actual fact.

About 1780, Mesmer settled in Paris, and soon the whole metropolis, from the Royal family

down to the last hysterical bourgeoise, were at his feet. The clergy got frightened and cried --

"the Devil"! The licensed "leeches" felt an ever-growing deficit in their pockets; and the

aristocracy and the Court found themselves on the verge of madness from mere excitement. No

use repeating too well-known facts, but the memory of the reader may be refreshed with a few

details he may have forgotten.

It so happened that just about that time the official Academical Science felt very proud. After

centuries of mental stagnation in the realm of medicine and general ignorance, several

determined steps in the direction of real knowledge had finally been made. Natural sciences had

achieved a decided success, and chemistry and physics were on a fair way to progress. As the

Savants of a century ago had not yet grown to that height of sublime modesty which

characterizes so pre-eminently their modern successors -- they felt very much puffed up with

their greatness. The moment for praiseworthy humility, followed by a confession of the relative

insignificance of the knowledge of the period -- and even of modern knowledge for the matter of

that -- compared to that which the ancients knew, had not yet arrived. Those were days of naive

boasting of the peacocks of science displaying in a body their tails, and demanding universal

recognition and admiration. The Sir Oracles were not as numerous as they are now, yet their

number was considerable. And indeed, had not the Dulcamaras of public fairs been just visited

with ostracism? Had not the leeches well nigh disappeared to make room for diplomaed

physicians with royal licenses to kill and bury a piacere ad libitum? Hence, the nodding

"Immortal" in his academical chair was regarded as the sole competent authority in the decision

of questions he had never studied, and for rendering verdicts about that which he had never heard

of. It was the REIGN OF REASON, and of Science -- in its teens; the beginning of the great

deadly struggle between Theology and Facts, Spirituality and Materialism. In the educated

classes of Society too much faith had been succeeded by no faith at all. The cycle of Science-worship

had just set in, with its pilgrimages to the Academy, the Olympus where the "Forty

Immortals" are enshrined, and its raids upon every one who refused to manifest a noisy

admiration, a kind of juvenile calf's enthusiasm, at the door of the Fane of Science. When

Mesmer arrived, Paris divided its allegiance between the Church which attributed all kinds of

phenomena except its own divine miracles to the Devil, and the Academy, which believed in

neither God nor Devil, but only in its own infallible wisdom.

But there were minds which would not be satisfied with either of these beliefs. Therefore, after

Mesmer had forced all Paris to crowd to his halls, waiting hours to obtain a place in the chair

round the miraculous baquet, some people thought that it was time real truth should be found

out. They had laid their legitimate desires at the royal feet, and the King forthwith commanded

his learned Academy to look into the matter. Then it was, that awakening from their chronic nap,

the "Immortals" appointed a committee of investigation, among which was Benjamin Franklin,.

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and chose some of the oldest, wisest and baldest among their "Infants" to watch over the

Committee. This was in 1784. Every one knows what was the report of the latter and the final

decision of the Academy. The whole transaction looks now like a general rehearsal of the play,

one of the acts of which was performed by the "Dialectical Society" of London and some of

England's greatest Scientists, some eighty years later.

Indeed, notwithstanding a counter report by Dr. Jussieu, an Academician of the highest rank, and

the Court physician D'Eslon, who, as eye-witnesses to the most striking phenomena, demanded

that a careful investigation should be made by the Medical Faculty of the therapeutic effects of

the magnetic fluid -- their demand fell through. The Academy disbelieved her most eminent

Scientists. Even Sir B. Franklin, so much at home with cosmic electricity, would not recognize

its fountain head and primordial source, and along with Bailly, Lavoisier, Magendie, and others,

proclaimed Mesmerism a delusion. Nor had the second investigation which followed the first --

namely in 1825 -- any better results. The report was once more squashed (vide Isis Unveiled, vol.

I, pp. 171-176).

Even now when experiment has amply demonstrated that "Mesmerism" or animal magnetism,

now known as hypnotism (a sorry effect, forsooth, of the "Breath of Cybele") is a fact, we yet

get the majority of scientists denying its actual existence. Small fry as it is in the majestic array

of experimental psycho-magnetic phenomena, even hypnotism seems too incredible, too

mysterious, for our Darwinists and Haeckelians. One needs too much moral courage, you see, to

face the suspicion of one's colleagues, the doubt of the public, and the giggling of fools.

"Mystery and charlatanism go hand in hand," they say; and "self-respect and the dignity of the

profession," as Magendie remarks in his Physiologie Humaine, "demand that the well informed

physician should remember how readily mystery glides into charlatanism." Pity the "well

informed physician" should fail to remember that physiology among the rest is full of mystery --

profound, inexplicable mystery from A to Z -- and ask whether, starting from the above "truism,"

he should not throw overboard Biology and Physiology as the greatest pieces of charlatanry in

modern Science. Nevertheless, a few in the well-meaning minority of our physicians have taken

up seriously the investigation of hypnotism. But even they, having been reluctantly compelled to

confess the reality of its phenomena, still persist in seeing in such manifestations no higher a

factor at work than the purely material and physical forces, and deny these their legitimate name

of animal magnetism. But as the Rev. Mr. Haweis (of whom more presently) just said in the

Daily Graphic . . . "The Charcot phenomena are, for all that, in many ways identical with the

mesmeric phenomena, and hypnotism must properly be considered rather as a branch of

mesmerism than as something distinct from it. Anyhow, Mesmer's facts, now generally accepted,

were at first stoutly denied." And they are still so denied.

But while they deny Mesmerism, they rush into Hypnotism, despite the now scientifically

recognized dangers of this science, in which medical practitioners in France are far ahead of the

English. And what the former say is, that between the two states of mesmerism (or magnetism as

they call it, across the water) and hypnotism "there is an abyss." That one is beneficent, the other

maleficent, as it evidently must be; since, according to both Occultism and modern Psychology,

hypnotism is produced by the withdrawal of the nervous fluid from the capillary nerves, which

being, so to say, the sentries that keep the doors of our senses opened, getting anaesthetized

under hypnotic conditions, allow these to get closed. A. H. Simonin reveals many a wholesome.

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truth in his excellent work, "Solution du probleme de la suggestion hypnotique." (1) Thus he

shows that while "in Magnetism (mesmerism) there occurs in the subject a great development of

moral faculties"; that his thoughts and feelings "become loftier, and the senses acquire an

abnormal acuteness"; in hypnotism, on the contrary, "the subject becomes a simple mirror." It is

Suggestion which is the true motor of every action in the hypnotic: and if, occasionally,

"seemingly marvelous actions are produced, these are due to the hypnotizer, not to the subject."

Again . . . . "In hypnotism instinct, i.e., the animal, reaches its greatest development; so much so,

indeed, that the aphorism 'extremes meet' can never receive a better application than to

magnetism and hypnotism." How true these words, also, as to the difference between the

mesmerized and the hypnotized subjects. "In one, his ideal nature, his moral self -- the reflection

of his divine nature -- are carried to their extreme limits, and the subject becomes almost a

celestial being (un ange). In the other, it is his instincts which develop in a most surprising

fashion. The hypnotic lowers himself to the level of the animal. From a physiological standpoint,

magnetism (Mesmerism) is comforting and curative, and hypnotism, which is but the result of an

unbalanced state, is -- most dangerous."

Thus the adverse Report drawn by Bailly at the end of last century has had dire effects in the

present, but it had its Karma also. Intended to kill the "Mesmeric" craze, it reacted as a death-blow

to the public confidence in scientific decrees. In our day the Non-Possumus of the Royal

Colleges and Academies is quoted on the Stock Exchange of the world's opinion at a price

almost as low as the Non-Possumus of the Vatican. The days of authority whether human or

divine, are fast gliding away; and we see already gleaming on future horizons but one tribunal,

supreme and final, before which mankind will bow -- the Tribunal of Fact and Truth.

Aye, to this tribunal without appeal even liberal clergymen and famous preachers make

obeisance in our day. The parts have now changed hands, and in many instances it is the

successors of those who fought tooth and nail for the reality of the Devil and his direct

interference with psychic phenomena, for long centuries, who come out publicly to upbraid

science. A remarkable instance of this is found in an excellent letter (just mentioned) by the Rev.

Mr. Haweis to the Graphic. The learned preacher seems to share our indignation at the

unfairness of the modern scientists, at their suppression of truth, and ingratitude to their ancient

teachers. His letter is so interesting that its best points must be immortalized in our magazine.

Here are some fragments of it. Thus he asks: --

Why can't our scientific men say: "We have blundered about Mesmerism; it's

practically true"? Not because they are men of science, but simply because they

are human. No doubt it is humiliating when you have dogmatized in the name of

science to say, "I was wrong." But is it not more humiliating to be found out; and

is it not most humiliating, after shuffling and wriggling hopelessly in the

inexorable meshes of serried facts, to collapse suddenly, and call the hated net a

"suitable enclosure," in which forsooth, you don't mind being caught? Now this,

as it seems to me, is precisely what Messrs. Charcot and the French hypnotists

and their medical admirers in England are doing. Ever since Mesmer's death at the

age of eighty, in 1815, the French and English "Faculty," with some honorable

exceptions, have ridiculed and denied the facts as well as the theories of Mesmer,

but now, in 1890, a host of scientists suddenly agree, while wiping out as best.

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they may the name of Mesmer, to rob him of all his phenomena, which they

quietly appropriate under the name of "hypnotism," "suggestion," "Therapeutic

Magnetism," "psychopathic Massage," and all the rest of it. Well, "What's in a


I care more for things than names, but I reverence the pioneers of thought who

have been cast out, trodden under foot, and crucified by the orthodox of all ages,

and I think the least scientists can do for men like Mesmer, Du Potet, Puysegur, or

Mayo and Elliotson, now they are gone, is to "build their sepulchers."

But Mr. Haweis might have added instead, the amateur Hypnotists of Science dig with their own

hands the graves of many a man and woman's intellect; they enslave and paralyze freewill in

their "subjects," turn immortal men into soulless, irresponsible automata, and vivisect their souls

with as much unconcern as they vivisect the bodies of rabbits and dogs. In short, they are fast

blooming into "sorcerers," and are turning science into a vast field of black magic. The rev.

writer, however, lets the culprits off easily; and, remarking that he accepts "the distinction"

[between Mesmerism and Hypnotism] "without pledging himself to any theory," he adds: --

I am mainly concerned with the facts, and what I want to know is why these cures

and abnormal states are trumpeted about as modern discoveries, while the

"faculty" still deride or ignore their great predecessors without having themselves

a theory which they can agree upon or a single fact which can be called new. The

truth is we are just blundering back with toil to work over again the old disused

mines of the ancients; the rediscovery of these occult sciences is exactly matched

by the slow recovery of sculpture and painting in modern Europe. Here is the

history of occult science in a nutshell. (1) Once known. (2) Lost. (3)

Rediscovered. (4) Denied. (5) Reaffirmed, and by slow degrees, under new

names, victorious. The evidence for all this is exhaustive and abundant. Here it

may suffice to notice that Diodorus Siculus mentions how the Egyptian priests,

ages before Christ, attributed clairvoyance induced for therapeutic purposes to

Isis. Strabo ascribes the same to Serapis, while Galen mentions a temple near

Memphis famous for these Hypnotic cures. Pythagoras, who won the confidence

of the Egyptian priests, is full of it. Aristophanes in "Plutus" describes in some

detail a Mesmeric cure -- [kai prota men de tes kephales ephepsato], etc., "and

first he began to handle the head." Caelius Aurelianus describes manipulations

(1569) for disease "conducting the hands from the superior to the inferior parts";

and there was an old Latin proverb -- Ubi dolor ibi digitus, "Where pain, there

finger." But time would fail me to tell of Paracelsus (1462) (2) and his "deep

secret of Magnetism"; of Van Helmont (1644) (3) and his "faith in the power of

the hand in disease." Much in the writings of both these men was only made clear

to the moderns by the experiments of Mesmer, and in view of modern Hypnotists

it is clearly with him and his disciples that we have chiefly to do. He claimed, no

doubt, to transmit an animal magnetic fluid, which I believe the Hypnotists deny..

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They do, they do. But so did the scientists with regard to more than one truth. To deny "an

animal magnetic fluid" is surely no more absurd than to deny the circulation of the blood, as they

have so energetically done.

A few additional details about Mesmerism given by Mr. Haweis may prove interesting. Thus he

reminds us of the answer written by the much wronged Mesmer to the Academicians after their

unfavorable Report, and refers to it as "prophetic words."

"You say that Mesmer will never hold up his head again. If such is the destiny of

the man it is not the destiny of the truth, which is in its nature imperishable, and

will shine forth sooner or later in the same or some other country with more

brilliancy than ever, and its triumph will annihilate its miserable detractors."

Mesmer left Paris in disgust, and retired to Switzerland to die; but the illustrious

Dr. Jussieu became a convert. Lavater carried Mesmer's system to Germany,

while Puysegur and Deleuze spread it throughout provincial France, forming

innumerable "harmonic societies" devoted to the study of therapeutic magnetism

and its allied phenomena of thought-transference, hypnotism, and clairvoyance.

Some twenty years ago I became acquainted with perhaps the most illustrious

disciple of Mesmer, the aged Baron du Potet. (4) Round this man's therapeutic

and mesmeric exploits raged, between 1830 and 1846, a bitter controversy

throughout France. A murderer had been tracked, convicted, and executed solely

on evidence supplied by one of Du Potet's clairvoyants. The Juge de Paix

admitted thus much in open court. This was too much for even sceptical Paris, and

the Academy determined to sit again and, if possible, crush out the superstition.

They sat, but, strange to say, this time they were converted. Itard, Fouquier,

Guersent, Bourdois de la Motte, the cream of the French faculty, pronounced the

phenomena of mesmerism to be genuine -- cures, trances, clairvoyance, thought-transference,

even reading from closed books; and from that time an elaborate

nomenclature was invented, blotting out as far as possible the detested names of

the indefatigable men who had compelled the scientific assent, while enrolling the

main facts vouched for by Mesmer, Du Potet, and Puysegur among the undoubted

phenomena to be accepted, on whatever theory, by medical science. . . .

Then comes the turn of this foggy island and its befogged scientists.

"Meanwhile," [goes on the writer], England was more stubborn. In 1846 the

celebrated Dr. Elliot son, a popular practitioner, with a vast clientele, pronounced

the famous Harveian oration, in which he confessed his belief in Mesmerism. He

was denounced by the doctors with such thorough results that he lost his practice,

and died well-nigh ruined, if not heart-broken. The Mesmeric Hospital in

Marylebone Road has been established by him. Operations were successfully

performed under Mesmerism, and all the phenomena which have lately occurred

at Leeds and elsewhere to the satisfaction of the doctors were produced in

Marylebone fifty-six years ago. Thirty-five years ago Professor Lister did the

same -- but the introduction of chloroform being more speedy and certain as an.

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anaesthetic, killed for a time the mesmeric treatment. The public interest in

Mesmerism died down, and the Mesmeric Hospital in the Marylebone Road,

which had been under a cloud since the suppression of Elliotson, was at last

closed. Lately we know what has been the fate of Mesmer and Mesmerism.

Mesmer is spoken of in the same breath with Count Cagliostro, and Mesmerism

itself is seldom mentioned at all; but, then, we hear plenty of electro-biology,

therapeutic magnetism and hypnotism -- just so. Oh, shades of Mesmer, Puysegur,

Du Potet, Elliotson -- sic vos non vobis! Still, I say Palmam qui meruit ferat.

When I knew Baron du Potet he was on the brink of the grave, and nearly eighty

years old. He was an ardent admirer of Mesmer; he had devoted his whole life to

therapeutic magnetism, and he was absolutely dogmatic on the point that a real

magnetic aura passed from the Mesmerist to the patient. "I will show you this," he

said one day, as we both stood by the bedside of a patient in so deep a trance that

we ran needles into her hands and arms without exciting the least sign or

movement. The old Baron continued: "I will, at the distance of a foot or two,

determine slight convulsions in any part of her body by simply moving my hand

above the part, without any contact." He began at the shoulder, which soon set up

a twitching. Quiet being restored, he tried the elbow, then the wrist, then the knee,

the convulsions increasing in intensity according to the time employed. "Are you

quite satisfied?" I said, "Quite satisfied"; "and," continued he, "any patient that I

have tested I will undertake to operate upon through a brick wall at a time and

place where the patient shall be ignorant of my presence or my purpose. This,"

added Du Potet, "was one of the experiences which most puzzled the

Academicians at Paris. I repeated the experiment again and again under every test

and condition, with almost invariable success, until the most sceptical was forced

to give in."

We have accused science of gliding full sail down to the Maelstrom of Black Magic, by

practising that which ancient Psychology -- the most important branch of the Occult Sciences --

has always declared as Sorcery in its application to the inner man. We are prepared to maintain

what we say. We mean to prove it one of these days, in some future articles, basing ourselves on

facts published and the actions produced by the Hypnotism of Vivisectionists themselves. That

they are unconscious sorcerers does not make away with the fact that they do practice the Black

Art bel et bien. In short the situation is this. The minority of the learned physicians and other

scientists experiment in "hypnotism" because they have come to see something in it; while the

majority of the members of the R.C.P.'s still deny the actuality of animal magnetism in its

mesmeric form, even under its modern mask -- hypnotism. The former -- entirely ignorant of the

fundamental laws of animal magnetism -- experiment at hap-hazard, almost blindly. To remain

consistent with their declarations (a) that hypnotism is not mesmerism, and (b) that a magnetic

aura or fluid passing from the mesmerizer (or hypnotizer) is pure fallacy -- they have no right, of

course, to apply the laws of the older to the younger science. Hence they interfere with, and

awaken to action the most dangerous forces of nature, without being aware of it. Instead of

healing diseases -- the only use to which animal magnetism under its new name can be

legitimately applied -- they often inoculate the subjects with their own physical as well as mental

ills and vices. For this, and the ignorance of their colleagues of the minority, the disbelieving

majority of the Sadducees are greatly responsible. For, by opposing them, they impede free.

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action, and take advantage of the Hypocratic oath, to make them powerless to admit and do much

that the believers might and would otherwise do. But as Dr. A. Teste truly says in his work --

"There are certain unfortunate truths which compromise those who believe in them, and those

especially who are so candid as to avow them publicly." Thus the reason of hypnotism not being

studied on its proper lines is self-evident.

Years ago it was remarked: "It is the duty of the Academy and medical authorities to study

Mesmerism (i.e., the occult sciences in its spirit) and to subject it to trials; finally, to take away

the use and practice of it from persons quite strangers to the art, who abuse this means, and

make it an object of lucre and speculation." He who uttered this great truth was "the voice

speaking in the desert." But those having some experience in occult psychology would go

further. They would say it is incumbent on every scientific body -- nay, on every government --

to put an end to public exhibitions of this sort. By trying the magic effect of the human will on

weaker wills, by deriding the existence of occult forces in Nature -- forces whose name is legion

-- and yet calling out these, under the pretext that they are no independent forces at all, not even

psychic in their nature, but "connected with known physical laws" (Binet and Fere), men in

authority are virtually responsible for all the dire effects that are and will be following their

dangerous public experiments. Verily Karma -- the terrible but just Retributive Law -- will visit

all those who develop the most awful results in the future, generated at those public exhibitions

for the amusement of the profane. Let them only think of dangers bred, of new forms of diseases,

mental and physical, begotten by such insane handling of psychic will! This is as bad on the

moral plane as the artificial introduction of animal matter into the human blood, by the infamous

Brown Sequard method, is on the physical. They laugh at the occult sciences and deride

Mesmerism? Yet this century will not have passed away before they have undeniable proofs that

the idea of a crime suggested for experiment's sake is not removed by a reversed current of the

will as easily as it is inspired. They may learn that if the outward expression of the idea of a

misdeed "suggested" may fade out at the will of the operator, the active living germ artificially

implanted does not disappear with it; that once dropped into the seat of the human -- or, rather,

the animal -- passions, it may lie dormant there for years sometimes, to become suddenly

awakened by some unforeseen circumstance into realization. Crying children frightened into

silence by the suggestion of a monster, a devil standing in the corner, by a foolish nurse, have

been known to become insane twenty or thirty years later on the same subject. There are

mysterious, secret drawers, dark nooks and hiding-places in the labyrinth of our memory, still

unknown to physiologists, and which open only once, rarely twice, in man's lifetime, and that

only under very abnormal and peculiar conditions. But when they do, it is always some heroic

deed committed by a person the least calculated for it, or -- a terrible crime perpetrated, the

reason for which remains for ever a mystery. . . .

Thus experiments in "suggestion" by persons ignorant of the occult laws, are the most dangerous

of pastimes. The action and reaction of ideas on the inner lower "Ego," has never been studied so

far, because that Ego itself is terra incognita (even when not denied) to the men of science.

Moreover, such performances before a promiscuous public are a danger in themselves. Men of

undeniable scientific education who experiment on Hypnotism in public, lend thereby the

sanction of their names to such performances. And then every unworthy speculator acute enough

to understand the process may, by developing by practice and perseverance the same force in

himself, apply it to his own selfish, often criminal, ends..

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Result on Karmic lines: every Hypnotist, every man of Science, however well-meaning and

honorable, once he has allowed himself to become the unconscious instructor of one who learns

but to abuse the sacred science, becomes, of course, morally the confederate of every crime

committed by this means.

Such is the consequence of public "Hypnotic" experiments which thus lead to, and virtually are,



1. See the review of his work in the Journal du Magnetisme, Mai, Juin, 1890, founded in 1845

by Baron du Potet, and now edited by H. Durville, in Paris. (return to text)

2. This date is an error. Paracelsus was born at Zurich in 1493. (return to text)

3. This is the date of Van Helmont's death; he was born in 1577. (return to text)

4. Baron du Potet was for years Honorary member of the Theosophical Society. Autograph

letters were received from him and preserved at Adyar, our Headquarters, in which he deplores

the flippant unscientific way in which Mesmerism (then on the eve of becoming the "hypnotism"

of science) was handled "par les charlatans du jour." Had he lived to see the secret science in its

full travesty as hypnotism, his powerful voice might have stopped its terrible present abuses and

degradation into a commercial Punch and Judy show. Luckily for him, and unluckily for truth,

the greatest adept of Mesmerism in Europe of this century -- is dead. (return to text)

The Signs of the Times

It is intensely interesting to follow season after season the rapid evolution and change of public

thought in the direction of the mystical. The educated mind is most undeniably attempting to free

itself from the heavy fetters of materialism. The ugly caterpillar is writhing in the agonies of

death, under the powerful efforts of the psychic butterfly to escape from its science-built prison,

and every day brings some new glad tidings of one or more such mental births to light.

As the New York "Path" truly remarks in its September issue, when "Theosophical and kindred

topics . . . are made the texts for novels," and, we may add, scientific essays and brochures, "the

implication is that interest in them has become diffused through all social ranks." That kind of

literature is "paradoxically proof that Occultism has passed beyond the region of careless

amusement and entered that of serious enquiry." The reader has but to throw a retrospective

glance at the publications of the last few years to find that such topics as Mysticism, Magic,

Sorcery, Spiritualism, Theosophy, Mesmerism, or, as it is now called, Hypnotism, all the various

branches in short of the Occult side of nature, are becoming predominant in every kind of

literature. They visibly increase in proportion to the efforts made to discredit the movements in

the cause of truth, and strangle enquiry -- whether on the field of theosophy or spiritualism -- by

trying to besmear their most prominent heralds, pioneers and defenders, with tar and feathers..

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The key-note for mystic and theosophic literature was Marion Crawford's Mr. Isaacs. It was

followed by his Zoroaster. Then followed The Romance of Two Worlds, by Marie Corelli; R.

Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; The Fallen Idol, by Anstey; King Solomon's Mines

and the thrice famous She, by Rider Haggard; Affinities and The Brother of the Shadow, by Mrs.

Campbell Praed; Edmund Downey's House of Tears, and many others less noticeable. And now

there comes a fresh outburst in Florence Marryat's Daughter of the Tropics, and F. C. Philips'

Strange Adventures of Lucy Smith. It is unnecessary to mention in detail the literature produced

by avowed theosophists and occultists, some of whose works are very remarkable, while others

are positively scientific, such as S. L. Macgregor Mathers' Kabbalah Unveiled, and Dr. F.

Hartmann's Paracelsus, Magic, White and Black, etc. We have also to note the fact that

theosophy has now crossed the Channel, and is making its way into French literature. La France

publishes a strange romance by Ch. Chincholle, pregnant with theosophy, occultism and

mesmerism, and called La Grande Pretresse, while La Revue politique et litteraire (19 Feb.

1887, et seq.) contained over the signature of Th. Bentzon, a novel called Emancipee, wherein

esoteric doctrines and adepts are mentioned in conjunction with the names of well known

theosophists. A sign of the times!

Literature -- especially in countries free from government censorship -- is the public heart and

pulse. Besides the glaring fact that were there no demand there would be no supply, current

literature is produced only to please, and is therefore evidently the mirror which faithfully

reflects the state of the public mind. True, Conservative editors, and their submissive

correspondents and reporters, still go on slashing occasionally in print the fair faces of mystic

spiritualism and theosophy, and some of them are still found, from time to time, indulging in a

brutal personal attack. But they do no harm on the whole, except perhaps to their own editorial

reputations, as such editors can never be suspected of an exuberance of culture and good taste

after certain ungentlemanly personal attacks. They do good on the contrary. For, while the

theosophists and spiritualists so attacked, may view the Billingsgate poured upon them in a true

Socratean spirit, and console themselves with the knowledge that none of the epithets used can

possibly apply to them, on the other hand, too much abuse and vilification generally ends by

awakening the public sympathy for the victim, in the right-minded and the impartial, at any rate.

In England people seem to like fair play on the whole. It is not bashi-boozook-like actions, the

doughty deeds of those who delight in mutilating the slain and the wounded, that can find

sympathy for any great length of time with the public. If -- as maintained by our lay enemies and

repeated by some naïf and too sanguine missionary organs -- Spiritualism and Theosophy are

"dead as a doornail" (sic! -- vide American Christian periodicals), -- aye, "dead and buried," why,

in such case, good Christian fathers, not leave the dead at rest till "Judgment Day"? And if they

are not, then editors -- the profane as well as the clerical -- why should you still fear? Do not

show yourselves such cowards if you have the truth on your side. Magna est veritas et

prevalebit, and "murder will out," as it always has, sooner or later. Open your columns to free

and fearless discussion, and do as the theosophical periodicals have ever done, and as LUCIFER

is now preparing to do. The "bright Son of the morning" fears no light. He courts it, and is

prepared to publish any inimical contributions (couched, of course, in decent language), however

much at variance with his theosophical views. He is determined to give a fair hearing in any and

every case, to both contending parties and allow things and thoughts to be judged on their

respective merits. For why, or what should one dread when fact and truth are one's only aim? Du.

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choc des opinions jaillit la verite was said by a French philosopher. If Theosophy and

Spiritualism are no better than "gigantic frauds and will-o'-the-wisps of the age" why such

expensive crusades against both? And if they are not, why should Agnostics and searchers after

truth in general, help bigoted and narrow-minded materialists, sectarians and dogmatists to hide

our light under a bushel by mere brutal force and usurped authority? It is easy to surprise the

good faith of the fair-minded. Still easier to discredit that, which by its intrinsic strangeness, is

already unpopular and could hardly be credited in its palmiest days. "We welcome no

supposition so eagerly as one which accords with and intensifies our own prejudices" says, in

Don Jesualdo, a popular author. Therefore, facts become often cunningly concocted "frauds";

and self-evident, glaring lies are accepted as gospel truths at the first breeze of Don Basilio's

Calumnia, by those to whose hard-crusted pre-conceptions such slander is like heavenly dew.

But, beloved enemies, "the light of Lucifer" may, after all, dispel some of the surrounding

darkness. The mighty roaring voice of denunciation, so welcome to those whose little spites and

hates and mental stagnation in the grasp of the social respectability it panders to, may yet be

silenced by the voice of truth -- "the still small voice" -- whose destiny it ever was to first preach

in the desert. That cold and artificial light which still seems to shine so dazzlingly over the

alleged iniquities of professional mediums and the supposed sins of commission and omission of

non-professional experimentalists, of free and independent theosophists, may yet be extinguished

at the height of all its glory. For it is not quite the perpetual lamp of the alchemist philosopher.

Still less is it that "light which never shone on sea or land," that ray of divine intuition, the spark

which glimmers latent in the spiritual, never-erring perceptions of man and woman, and which is

now awakening -- for its time is at hand. A few years more, and the Aladdin's lamp, which called

forth the ministering genius thereof, who, making three salutes to the public, proceeded forthwith

to devour mediums and theosophists, like a juggler who swallows swords at a village fair, will

get out of order. Its light, over which the anti-theosophists are crowing victory to this day, shall

get dim. And then, perhaps, it will be discovered that what was claimed as a direct ray from the

source of eternal truth was no better than a penny rush-light, in whose deceitful smoke and soot

people got hypnotized, and saw everything upside down. It will be found that the hideous

monsters of fraud and imposture had no existence outside the murky and dizzied brains of the

Aladdins on their journey of discovery. And that, finally, the good people who listened to them,

had been all the time seeing sights and hearing things under unconscious and mutual suggestion.

This is a scientific explanation, and requires no black magicians or dugpas at work; for

"suggestion" as now practised by the sorcerers of science is -- dugpaship itself, pur sang. No

Eastern "adept of the left hand" can do more mischief by his infernal art than a grave hypnotizer

of the Faculty of Medicine, a disciple of Charcot, or of any other scientific light of the first

magnitude. In Paris, as in St. Petersburg, crimes have been committed under "suggestion."

Divorces have occurred, and husbands have nearly killed their wives and their supposed

correspondents, owing to tricks played on innocent and respectable women, who have thus had

their fair name and all their future life blasted for ever. A son, under such influence, broke open

the desk of an avaricious father, who caught him in the act, and nearly shot him in a fit of rage.

One of the keys of Occultism is in the hands of science -- cold, heartless, materialistic, and

crassly ignorant of the other truly psychic side of the phenomenon: hence, powerless to draw a

line of demarcation between the physiological and the purely spiritual effects of the disease.

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inoculated, and unable to prevent future results and consequences of which it has no knowledge,

and over which it has, therefore, no control.

We find in the "Lotus" of September, 1887, the following:

A French paper, the Paris, for August 12th, contains a long and excellent article

by G. Montorgueil, entitled, The Accursed Sciences, from which we extract the

following passage, since we are, unfortunately, unable to quote the whole:

"Some months ago, already, in I forget what case, the question of 'suggestion' was

raised and taken account of by the judges. We shall certainly see people in the

dock accused of occult malpractices. But how will the prosecution go to work?

What arguments will it bring to bear? The crime by 'suggestion' is the ideal of a

crime without proof. In such a case the gravest charges will never be more than

presumptions, and fugitive presumptions. On what fragile scaffolding of

suspicions will the charge rest? No examination, but a moral one, will be possible.

We shall have to resign ourselves to hearing the Solicitor-general say to the

accused: 'Accused, it appears from a perquisition made into your brain, etc.'

"Ah, the poor jurymen! it is they who are to be pitied. Taking their task to heart,

they already have the greatest difficulty in separating the true from the false, even

in rough and ready cases, the facts of which are obvious, all the details of which

are tangible and the responsibilities clear. And we are going to ask them on their

soul and conscience to decide questions of black magic! Verily their reason will

not hold out through the fortnight; it will give way before that and sink into


"We move fast. The strange trials for sorcery will blossom anew; somnambules

who were merely grotesque will appear in a tragic light; the coffee grounds,

which so far only risked the police court, will hear their sentence at the assizes.

The evil eye will figure among criminal offences. These last years of the XIXth

century will have seen us step from progress to progress, till we reach at last this

judicial enormity: a second Laubardemont prosecuting another Urbain Grandier."

Serious, scientific, and political papers are full of earnest discussions on the subject. A St.

Petersburg "Daily" has a long feuilleton on the "Bearing of Hypnotic Suggestions upon Criminal

Law." "Cases of Hypnotism with criminal motives have of late begun to increase in an ever

progressing ratio," it tells its readers. And it is not the only newspaper, nor is Russia the only

country where the same tale is told. Careful investigations and researches have been made by

distinguished lawyers and medical authorities. Data have been assiduously collected and have

revealed that the curious phenomenon -- which sceptics have hitherto derided, and young people

have included among their evening petits jeux innocents -- is a new and terrible danger to state

and society.

Two facts have now become patent to law and science:.

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(I) That, in the perceptions of the hypnotized subject, the visionary representations called forth

by "suggestion," become real existing actualities, the subject being, for the moment, the

automatic executor of the will of the hypnotizer; and --

(II) That the great majority of persons experimented upon, is subject to hypnotic suggestion.

Thus Liebeault found only sixty subjects intractable out of the seven hundred he experimented

upon; and Bernheim, out of 1,014 subjects, failed with only twenty-six. The field for the natural-born

jadoo-wala (sorcery-mongers), is vast indeed! Evil has acquired a play-ground on which it

may now exercise its sway upon many a generation of unconscious victims. For crimes undreamt

of in the waking state, and felonies of the blackest dye, are now invited and encouraged by the

new "accursed science." The real perpetrators of these deeds of darkness may now remain for

ever hidden from the vengeance of human justice. The hand which executes the criminal

suggestion is only that of an irresponsible automaton, whose memory preserves no trace of it,

and who, moreover, is a witness who can easily be disposed of by compulsory suicide -- again

under "suggestion." What better means than these could be offered to the fiends of lust and

revenge, to those dark Powers -- called human passions -- ever on the look out to break the

universal commandment: "Thou shalt not steal, nor murder, nor lust after thy neighbor's wife?"

Liebeault suggested to a young girl that she should poison herself with prussic acid, and she

swallowed the supposed drug without one moment's hesitation; Dr. Liegois suggested to a young

woman that she owed him 5,000 francs, and the subject forthwith signed a check for the amount.

Bernheim suggested to another hysterical girl a long and complicated vision with regard to a

criminal case. Two days after, although the hypnotizer had not exercised any new pressure upon

her in the interim, she repeated distinctly the whole suggested story to a lawyer sent to her for the

purpose. Had her evidence been seriously accepted, it would have brought the accused to the


These cases present two dark and terrible aspects. From the moral stand point, such processes

and suggestions leave an indelible stain upon the purity of the subject's nature. Even the innocent

mind of a ten year old child can thus be inoculated with vice, the poison-germ of which will

develop in his subsequent life.

On the judicial aspect it is needless to enter in great detail. Suffice to say that it is this

characteristic feature of the hypnotic state -- the absolute surrender of will and self-consciousness

to the hypnotizer -- which possesses such importance, from its bearing upon

crime, in the eyes of legal authorities. For if the hypnotizer has the subject entirely at his beck

and call, so that he can cause him to commit any crime, acting, so to say, invisibly within him,

then what are not the terrible "judicial mistakes" to be expected? What wonder then, that the

jurisprudence of one country after the other has taken alarm, and is devising, one after the other,

measures for repressing the exercise of hypnotism! In Denmark it has just been forbidden.

Scientists have experimented upon sensitives with so much success that a hypnotized victim has

been jeered and hooted through the streets on his way to commit a crime, which he would have

completed unconsciously, had not the victim been warned beforehand by the hypnotizer.

In Brussels a recent and sad case is well-known to all. A young girl of good family was seduced

while in a hypnotized state by a man who had first subjected her to his influence at a social.

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gathering. She only realized her condition a few months later, when her relatives, who divined

the criminal, forced her seducer to make the only possible reparation -- that of marrying his


The French Academy has just been debating the question: how far a hypnotized subject, from a

mere victim, can become a regular tool of crime. Of course, no jurist or legislator can remain

indifferent to this question; and it was averred that the crimes committed under suggestion are so

unprecedented that some of them can hardly be brought within the scope of the law. Hence the

prudent legal prohibition, just adopted in France, which enacts that no person, save those legally

qualified to exercise the medical profession, shall hypnotize any other person. Even the

physician who enjoys such legal right is permitted to hypnotize a person only in the presence of

another qualified medical man, and with the written permission of the subject. Public séances of

hypnotism are forbidden, and they are strictly confined to medical cliniques and laboratories.

Those who break this law are liable to a heavy fine and imprisonment.

But the keynote has been struck, and many are the ways in which this black art may be used --

laws notwithstanding. That it will be so used, the vile passions inherent in human nature are

sufficient guarantee.

Many and strange will be the romances yet enacted; for truth is often stranger than fiction, and

what is thought fiction is still more often truth.

No wonder then that occult literature is growing with every day. Occultism and sorcery are in the

air, with no true philosophical knowledge to guide the experimenters and thus check evil results.

"Works of fiction," the various novels and romances are called. "Fiction" in the arrangement of

their characters and the adventures of their heroes and heroines -- admitted. Not so, as to the

facts presented. These are no fictions, but true presentiments of what lies in the bosom of the

future, and much of which is already born -- nay corroborated by scientific experiments. Sign of

the times! Close of a psychic cycle! The time for phenomena with, or through mediums, whether

professional or otherwise, is gone by. It was the early season of the blossoming, of the era

mentioned even in the Bible (1); the tree of Occultism is now preparing for "fruiting," and the

Spirit of the Occult is awakening in the blood of the new generations. If the old men only "dream

dreams," the young ones see already visions (2), and -- record them in novels and works of

fiction. Woe to the ignorant and the unprepared, and those who listen to the sirens of

materialistic science! For indeed, indeed, many will be the unconscious crimes committed, and

many will be the victims who will innocently suffer death by hanging and decapitation at the

hands of the righteous judges and the too innocent jurymen, both alike ignorant of the fiendish

power of "SUGGESTION."


1. "It shall come to pass that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; your sons and your

daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams your young men shall see visions"

(Joel ii. 28). (return to text).

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2. It is curious to note that Mr. Louis Stevenson, one of the most powerful of our imaginative

writers, stated recently to a reporter that he is in the habit of constructing the plots of his tales in

dreams, and among others that of Dr. Jekyll. "I dreamed," he continued, "the story of Olalla . . .

and I have at the present moment two unwritten stories which I have likewise dreamed. . . . Even

when fast asleep I know that it is I who am inventing." . . . But who knows whether the idea of

"invention" is not also "a dream"! (return to text)

Psychic and Noetic Action

. . . I made man just and right,

Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall,

Such I created all th' ethereal powers

And spirits, both them who stood and them who fail'd,

Truly, they stood who stood, and fell who fell . . . -- Milton

. . . The assumption that the mind is a real being, which can be acted upon by the

brain, and which can act on the body through the brain, is the only one compatible

with all the facts of experience. -- George T. Ladd, in the Elements of

Physiological Psychology


A new influence, a breath, a sound -- "as of a rushing mighty wind" -- has suddenly swept over a

few Theosophical heads. An idea, vague at first, grew in time into a very definite form, and now

seems to be working very busily in the minds of some of our members. It is this: if we would

make converts the few ex-occult teachings, which are destined to see the light of publicity,

should be made, henceforward, more subservient to, if not entirely at one with modern science. It

is urged that the so-called esoteric (1) (or late esoteric) cosmogony, anthropology, ethnology,

geology -- psychology and, foremost of all, metaphysics -- having been adapted into making

obeisance to modern (hence materialistic) thought, should never henceforth be allowed to

contradict (not openly, at all events) "scientific philosophy." The latter, we suppose, means the

fundamental and accepted views of the great German schools, or of Mr. Herbert Spencer and

some other English stars of lesser magnitude; and not only these, but also the deductions that

may be drawn from them by their more or less instructed disciples.

A large undertaking this, truly; and one, moreover, in perfect conformity with the policy of the

mediaeval Casuists, who distorted truth and even suppressed it, if it clashed with divine

Revelation. Useless to say that we decline the compromise. It is quite possible -- nay, probable

and almost unavoidable -- that "the mistakes made" in the rendering of such abstruse

metaphysical tenets as those contained in Eastern Occultism, should be "frequent and often

important." But then all such have to be traced back to the interpreters, not to the system itself.

They have to be corrected on the authority of the same Doctrine, checked by the teachings grown

on the rich and steady soil of Gupta Vidya, not by the speculations that blossom forth today, to

die tomorrow -- on the shifting sands of modern scientific guesswork, especially in all that.

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relates to psychology and mental phenomena. Holding to our motto, "There is no religion higher

than truth," we refuse most decidedly to pander to physical science. Yet, we may say this: If the

so-called exact sciences limited their activity only to the physical realm of nature: if they

concerned themselves strictly with surgery, chemistry -- up to its legitimate boundaries, and with

physiology -- so far as the latter relates to the structure of our corporeal frame, then the

Occultists would be the first to seek help in modern sciences, however many their blunders and

mistakes. But once that over-stepping material Nature the physiologists of "animalistic" (2)

school pretend to meddle with, and deliver ex cathedra dicta on, the higher functions and

phenomena of the mind, saying that a careful analysis brings them to a firm conviction that no

more than the animal is man a free-agent, far less a responsible one -- then the Occultist has a far

greater right than the average modern "Idealist" to protest. And the Occultist asserts that no

materialist -- a prejudiced and one-sided witness at best -- can claim any authority in the question

of mental physiology, or that which is now called by him the physiology of the soul. No such

noun can be applied to the word "soul," unless, indeed, by soul only the lower, psychic mind is

meant, or that which develops in man (proportionally with the perfection of his brain) into

intellect, and in the animal into a higher instinct. But since the great Charles Darwin taught that

"our ideas are animal motions of the organ of sense" everything becomes possible to the modern


Thus, to the great distress of our scientifically inclined Fellows, it is once more Lucifer's duty to

show how far we are at loggerheads with exact science, or shall we say, how far the conclusions

of that science are drifting away from truth and fact. By "science" we mean, of course, the

majority of the men of science; the best minority, we are happy to say, is on our side, at least as

far as free will in man and the immateriality of the mind are concerned. The study of the

"Physiology" of the Soul, of the Will in man and of his higher Consciousness from the

standpoint of genius and its manifesting faculties, can never be summarized into a system of

general ideas represented by brief formulae; no more than the psychology of material nature can

have its manifold mysteries solved by the mere analysis of its physical phenomena. There is no

special organ of will, any more than there is a physical basis for the activities of self-consciousness.

"If the question is pressed as to the physical basis for the activities of self-consciousness,

no answer can be given or suggested. . . . From its very nature, that

marvelous verifying actus of mind in which it recognizes the states as its own, can

have no analogous or corresponding material substratum. It is impossible to

specify any physiological process representing this unifying actus; it is even

impossible to imagine how the description of any such process could be brought

into intelligible relation with this unique mental power." (3)

Thus, the whole conclave of psycho-physiologists may be challenged to correctly define

Consciousness, and they are sure to fail, because Self-consciousness belongs alone to man and

proceeds from the SELF, the higher Manas. Only, whereas the psychic element (or Kama-manas)

(4) is common to both the animal and the human being -- the far higher degree of its

development in the latter resting merely on the greater perfection and sensitiveness of his

cerebral cells -- no physiologist, not even the cleverest, will ever be able to solve the mystery of

the human mind, in its highest spiritual manifestation, or in its dual aspect of the psychic and the.

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noetic (or the manasic), (5) or even to comprehend the intricacies of the former on the purely

material plane -- unless he knows something of, and is prepared to admit the presence of this

dual element. This means that he would have to admit a lower (animal), and a higher (or divine)

mind in man, or what is known in Occultism as the "personal" and the "impersonal" Egos. For,

between the psychic and the noetic, between the personality and the individuality, there exists the

same abyss as between a "Jack the Ripper," and a holy Buddha. Unless the physiologist accepts

all this, we say, he will ever be led into a quagmire. We intend to prove it.

As all know, the great majority of our learned "Didymi" reject the idea of free will. Now this

question is a problem that has occupied the minds of thinkers for ages; every school of thought

having taken it up in turn and left it as far from solution as ever. And yet, placed as it is in the

foremost ranks of philosophical quandaries, the modern "psycho-physiologists" claim in the

coolest and most bumptious way to have cut the Gordian knot for ever. For them the feeling of

personal free agency is an error, an illusion, "the collective hallucination of mankind." This

conviction starts from the principle that no mental activity is possible without a brain, and that

there can be no brain without a body. As the latter is, moreover, subject to the general laws of a

material world where all is based on necessity, and where there is no spontaneity, our modern

psycho-physiologist has nolens volens to repudiate any self-spontaneity in human action. Here

we have, for instance, a Lausanne professor of physiology, A. A. Herzen, to whom the claim of

free will in man appears as the most unscientific absurdity. Says this oracle: --

"In the boundless physical and chemical laboratory that surrounds man, organic

life represents quite an unimportant group of phenomena; and amongst the latter,

the place occupied by life having reached to the stage of consciousness, is so

minute that it is absurd to exclude man from the sphere of action of a general law,

in order to allow in him the existence of a subjective spontaneity or a free will

standing outside of that law" -- Psychophysiologie Generale

For the Occultist who knows the difference between the psychic and the noetic elements in man,

this is pure trash, notwithstanding its sound scientific basis. For when the author puts the

question -- if psychic phenomena do not represent the results of an action of a molecular

character whither then does motion disappear after reaching the sensory centers? -- we answer

that we never denied the fact. But what has this to do with a free will? That every phenomenon in

the visible Universe has its genesis in motion, is an old axiom in Occultism; nor do we doubt that

the psycho-physiologist would place himself at loggerheads with the whole conclave of exact

scientists were he to allow the idea that at a given moment a whole series of physical phenomena

may disappear in the vacuum. Therefore, when the author of the work cited maintains that the

said force does not disappear upon reaching the highest nervous centers, but that it is forthwith

transformed into another series, viz., that of psychic manifestations, into thought, feeling, and

consciousness, just as this same psychic force when applied to produce some work of a physical

(e.g., muscular) character gets transformed into the latter -- Occultism supports him, for it is the

first to say that all psychic activity, from its lowest to its highest manifestations, is "nothing but --


Yes; it is MOTION; but not all "molecular" motion, as the writer means us to infer. Motion as

the GREAT BREATH (vide Secret Doctrine, vol. I, sub voce) -- ergo "sound" at the same time --.

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is the substratum of Kosmic-Motion. It is beginningless and endless, the one eternal life, the

basis and genesis of the subjective and the objective universe; for LIFE (or Be-ness) is the fons et

origo of existence or being. But molecular motion is the lowest and most material of its finite

manifestations. And if the general law of the conservation of energy leads modern science to the

conclusion that psychic activity only represents a special form of motion, this same law, guiding

the Occultists, leads them also to the same conviction -- and to something else besides, which

psycho-physiology leaves entirely out of all consideration. If the latter has discovered only in

this century that psychic (we say even spiritual) action is subject to the same general and

immutable laws of motion as any other phenomenon manifested in the objective realm of

Kosmos, and that in both the organic and the inorganic (?) worlds every manifestation, whether

conscious or unconscious, represents but the result of a collectivity of causes, then in Occult

philosophy this represents merely the A, B, C, of its science. "All the world is the Svara; Svara

is the Spirit itself" -- the ONE LIFE or motion, say the old books of Hindu Occult philosophy.

"The proper translation of the word Svara is the current of the life wave," says the author of

Nature's Finer Forces, (6) and he goes on to explain: --

It is that wavy motion which is the cause of the evolution of cosmic

undifferentiated matter into the differentiated universe. . . . From whence does this

motion come? This motion is the spirit itself. The word atma (universal soul) used

in the book (vide infra), itself carries the idea of eternal motion, coming as it does

from the root, AT, or eternal motion; and it may be significantly remarked, that

the root AT is connected with, is in fact simply another form of, the roots AH,

breath, and AS, being. All these roots have for their origin the sound produced by

the breath of animals (living beings). . . . The primeval current of the life-wave is

then the same which assumes in man the form of inspiratory and expiratory

motion of the lungs, and this is the all-pervading source of the evolution and

involution of the universe. . . .

So much about motion and the "conservation of energy" from old books on magic written and

taught ages before the birth of inductive and exact modern science. For what does the latter say

more then these books in speaking, for instance, about animal mechanism, when it says: --

From the visible atom to the celestial body lost in space, everything is subject to

motion . . . kept at a definite distance one from the other, in proportion to the

motion which animates them, the molecules present constant relations, which they

lose only by the addition or the subtraction of a certain quantity of motion. (7)

But Occultism says more than this. While making of motion on the material plane and of the

conservation of energy, two fundamental laws, or rather two aspects of the same omnipresent

law -- Svara, it denies point blank that these have anything to do with the free will of man which

belongs to quite a different plane. The author of Psychophysiologie Generale, treating of his

discovery that psychic action is but motion, and the result of a collectivity of causes -- remarks

that as it is so, there cannot be any further discussion upon spontaneity -- in the sense of any

native internal proneness created by the human organism; and adds that the above puts an end to

all claim for free will! The Occultist denies the conclusion. The actual fact of man's psychic (we

say manasic or noetic) individuality is a sufficient warrant against the assumption; for in the case.

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of this conclusion being correct, or being indeed, as the author expresses it, the collective

hallucination of the whole mankind throughout the ages, there would be an end also to psychic


Now by "psychic" individuality we mean that self-determining power which enables man to

override circumstances. Place half a dozen animals of the same species under the same

circumstances, and their actions while not identical, will be closely similar; place half a dozen

men under the same circumstances and their actions will be as different as their characters, i.e.,

their psychic individuality.

But if instead of "psychic" we call it the higher Self-conscious Will, then having been shown by

the science of psycho-physiology itself that will has no special organ, how will the materialists

connect it with "molecular" motion at all? As Professor George T. Ladd says: --

"The phenomena of human consciousness must be regarded as activities of some

other form of Real Being than the moving molecules of the brain. They require a

subject or ground which is in its nature unlike the phosphorized fats of the central

masses, the aggregated nerve-fibers of nerve-cells of the cerebral cortex. This

Real Being thus manifested immediately to itself in the phenomena of

consciousness, and indirectly to others through the bodily changes, is the Mind

[manas]. To it the mental phenomena are to be attributed as showing what it is by

what it does. The so-called mental 'faculties' are only the modes of the behavior in

consciousness of this real being. We actually find, by the only method available,

that this real being called Mind believes in certain perpetually recurring modes:

therefore, we attribute to it certain faculties. . . . Mental faculties are not entities

that have an existence of themselves. . . . They are the modes of the behavior in

consciousness of the mind. And the very nature of the classifying acts which lead

to their being distinguished, is explicable only upon the assumption that a Real

being called Mind exists, and is to be distinguished from the real being known as

the physical molecules of the brain's nervous mass." (8)

And having shown that we have to regard consciousness as a unit (another occult proposition)

the author adds: --

We conclude, then, from the previous considerations: the subject of all the states

of consciousness is a real unit-being, called Mind; which is of non-material

nature, and acts and develops according to laws of its own, but is specially

correlated with certain material molecules and masses forming the substance of

the Brain." (9)

This "Mind" is manas, or rather its lower reflection, which whenever it disconnects itself, for the

time being, with kama, becomes the guide of the highest mental faculties, and is the organ of the

free will in physical man. Therefore, this assumption of the newest psycho-physiology is

uncalled for, and the apparent impossibility of reconciling the existence of free will with the law

of the conservation of energy is -- a pure fallacy. This was well shown in the "Scientific Letters"

of "Elpay" in a criticism of the work. But to prove it finally and set the whole question definitely.

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at rest, does not even require so high an interference (high for us, at any rate) as the Occult laws,

but simply a little common sense. Let us analyze the question dispassionately.

It is postulated by one man, presumably a scientist, that because "psychic action is found subject

to the general and immutable laws of motion, there is, therefore, no free will in man." The

"analytical method of exact sciences" has demonstrated it, and materialistic scientists have

decreed to "pass the resolution" that the fact should be so accepted by their followers. But there

are other and far greater scientists who thought differently. For instance, Sir William Lawrence,

the eminent surgeon, declared in his lectures (10) that:

The philosophical doctrine of the soul, and its separate existence, has nothing to

do with this physiological question, but rests on a species of proof altogether

different. These sublime dogmas could never have been brought to light by the

labors of the anatomist and physiologist. An immaterial and spiritual being could

not have been discovered amid the blood and filth of the dissecting room.

Now, let us examine on the testimony of the materialist how this universal solvent called the

"analytical method" is applied in this special case. The author of the Psychophysiologie

decomposes psychic activity into its compound elements, traces them back to motion, and,

failing to find in them the slightest trace of free will or spontaneity, jumps at the conclusion that

the latter have no existence in general; nor are they to be found in that psychic activity which he

has just decomposed. "Are not the fallacy and error of such an unscientific proceeding self-evident?"

asks his critic; and then argues very correctly that: --

At this rate, and starting from the standpoint of this analytical method, one would

have an equal right to deny every phenomenon in nature from first to last. For, do

not sound and light, heat and electricity, like all other chemical processes, once

decomposed into their respective elements, lead the experimenter back to the

same motion, wherein all the peculiarities of the given elements disappear leaving

behind them only 'the vibrations of molecules'? But does it necessarily follow that

for all that, heat, light, electricity -- are but illusions instead of the actual

manifestations of the peculiarities of our real world? Such peculiarities are not, of

course, to be found in compound elements, simply because we cannot expect that

a part should contain, from first to last, the properties of the whole. What should

we say of a chemist, who, having decomposed water into its compounds,

hydrogen and oxygen, without finding in them the special characteristics of water

would maintain that such did not exist at all nor could they be found in water?

What of an antiquary who upon examining distributed type and finding no sense

in every separate letter, should assert that there was no such thing as sense to be

found in any printed document? And does not the author of 'Psychophysiology'

act just in this way when he denies the existence of free will or self-spontaneity in

man, on the grounds that this distinctive faculty of the highest psychic activity is

absent from those compound elements which he has analyzed?

Most undeniably no separate piece of brick, of wood, or iron, each of which has once been a part

of a building now in ruins, can be expected to preserve the smallest trace of the architecture of.

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that building -- in the hands of the chemist, at any rate; though it would in those of a

psychometer, a faculty by the bye, which demonstrates far more powerfully the law of the

conservation of energy than any physical science does, and shows it acting as much in the

subjective or psychic worlds as an the objective and material planes. The genesis of sound, on

this plane, has to be traced back to the same motion, and the same correlation of forces is at play

during the phenomenon as in the case of every other manifestation. Shall the physicist, then, who

decomposes sound into its compound element of vibrations and fails to find in them any

harmony or special melody, deny the existence of the latter, And does not this prove that the

analytical method having to deal exclusively with the elements, and nothing to do with their

combinations, leads the physicist to talk very glibly about motion, vibration, and what not, and to

make him entirely lose sight of the harmony produced by certain combinations of that motion or

the "harmony of vibrations"? Criticism, then, is right in accusing Materialistic psycho-physiology

of neglecting these all-important distinctions; in maintaining that if a careful

observation of facts is a duty in the simplest physical phenomena, how much more should it be

so when applied to such complex and important questions as psychic force and faculties? And

yet in most cases all such essential differences are overlooked, and the analytical method is

applied in a most arbitrary and prejudiced way. What wonder, then, if, in carrying back psychic

action to its basic elements of motion, the psycho-physiologist depriving it during the process of

all its essential characteristics, should destroy it, and having destroyed it, it only stands to reason

that he is unable to find that which exists in it no longer. He forgets, in short, or rather purposely

ignores the fact, that though, like all other phenomena on the material plane, psychic

manifestations must be related in their final analysis to the world of vibration ("sound" being the

substratum of universal Akasa), yet, in their origin, they belong to a different and a higher World

of HARMONY. Elpay has a few severe sentences against the assumptions of those he calls

"physico-biologists" which are worthy of note.

Unconscious of their error, the psycho-physiologists identify the compound

elements of psychic activity with that activity itself: hence the conclusion from

the standpoint of the analytical method, that the highest, distinctive speciality of

the human soul -- free will, spontaneity -- is an illusion, and no psychic reality.

But as we have just shown, such identification not only has nothing in common

with exact science, but is simply impermissible, as it clashes with all the

fundamental laws of logic, in consequence of which all these so-called physico-biological

deductions emanating from the said identification vanish into thin air.

Thus to trace psychic action primarily to motion, means in no way to prove the

'illusion of free will.' And, as in the case of water, whose specific qualities cannot

be deprived of their reality although they are not to be found in its compound

gases, so with regard to the specific property of psychic action: its spontaneity

cannot be refused to psychic reality, though this property is not contained in those

finite elements into which the psycho-physiologist dismembers the activity in

question under his mental scalpel.

This method is "a distinctive feature of modern science in its endeavor to satisfy inquiry into the

nature of the objects of its investigation by a detailed description of their development," says G.

T. Ladd. And the author of The Elements of Physiological Psychology adds: --.

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The universal process of 'Becoming' has been almost personified and deified so as

to make it the true ground of all finite and concrete existence. . . . The attempt is

made to refer all the so-called development of the mind to the evolution of the

substance of the brain, under purely physical and mechanical causes. This

attempt, then, denies that any real unit-being called the Mind needs to be assumed

as undergoing a process of development according to laws of its own. . . . On the

other hand, all attempts to account for the orderly increase in complexity and

comprehensiveness of the mental phenomena by tracing the physical evolution of

the brain are wholly unsatisfactory to many minds. We have no hesitation in

classing ourselves among this number. Those facts of experience which show a

correspondence in the order of the development of the body and the mind, and

even a certain necessary dependence of the latter upon the former, are, of course,

to be admitted; but they are equally compatible with another view of the mind's

development. This other view has the additional advantage that it makes room for

many other facts of experience which are very difficult of reconciliation with any

materialistic theory. On the whole, the history of each individual's experiences is

such as requires the assumption that a real unit-being (a Mind) is undergoing a

process of development, in relation to the changing condition or evolution of the

brain, and yet in accordance with a nature and laws of its own (p. 616).

How closely this last "assumption" of science approaches the teachings of the Occult philosophy

will be shown in Part II of this article. Meanwhile, we may close with an answer to the latest

materialistic fallacy, which may be summarized in a few words. As every psychic action has for

its substratum the nervous elements whose existence it postulates, and outside which it cannot

act; as the activity of the nervous elements is only molecular motion, there is therefore no need to

invent a special and psychic Force for the explanation of our brain work. Free-Will would force

Science to postulate an invisible Free-Willer, a creator of that special Force.

We agree: "not the slightest need," of a creator of "that special" or any other Force. Nor has

anyone ever claimed such an absurdity. But between creating and guiding, there is a difference

and the latter implies in no way any creation of the energy of motion, or, indeed, of any special

energy. Psychic mind (in contradistinction to manasic or noetic mind) only transforms this

energy of the "unit-being" according to "a nature and laws of its own" -- to use Ladd's felicitous

expression. The "unit-being" creates nothing but only causes a natural correlation in accordance

with both the psychical laws and laws of its own; having to use the Force, it guides its direction,

choosing the paths along which it will proceed, and stimulating it to action. And, as its activity is

sui generis, and independent, it carries this energy from this world of disharmony into its own

sphere of harmony. Were it not independent it could not do so. As it is, the freedom of man's will

is beyond doubt or cavil. Therefore, as already observed, there is no question of creation, but

simply of guidance. Because the sailor at the wheel does not create the steam in the engine, shall

we say that he does not direct the vessel?

And, because we refuse to accept the fallacies of some psycho-physiologists as the last word of

science, do we furnish thereby a new proof that free will is an hallucination? We deride the

animalistic idea. How far more scientific and logical, besides being as poetical as it is grand, is

the teaching in the Kathopanishad, which, in a beautiful and descriptive metaphor, says that:.

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"The senses are the horses, body is the chariot, mind (kama-manas) is the reins, and intellect (or

free will) the charioteer." Verily, there is more exact science in the less important of the

Upanishads, composed thousands of years ago, than in all the materialistic ravings of modern

"physico-biology" and "psychophysiology" put together!


The knowledge of the past, present, and future, is embodied in Kshetrajna (the

"Self"). -- Occult Axioms

Having explained in what particulars, and why, as Occultists, we disagree with materialistic

physiological psychology, we may now proceed to point out the difference between psychic and

noetic mental functions, the noetic not being recognized by official science.

Moreover, we, Theosophists, understand the terms "psychic" and "psychism" somewhat

differently from the average public, science, and even theology, the latter giving it a significance

which both science and Theosophy reject, and the public in general remaining with a very hazy

conception of what is really meant by the terms. For many, there is little, if any, difference

between "psychic" and "psychological," both words relating in some way to the human soul.

Some modern metaphysicians have wisely agreed to disconnect the word Mind (pneuma) from

Soul (psyche), the one being the rational, spiritual part, the other -- psyche -- the living principle

in man, the breath that animates him (from anima, soul). Yet, if this is so, how in this case refuse

a soul to animals? These are, no less than man, informed with the same principle of sentient life,

the nephesh of the 2nd chapter of Genesis. The Soul is by no means the Mind, nor can an idiot,

bereft of the latter, be called a "soul-less" being. To describe, as the physiologists do, the human

Soul in its relations to senses and appetites, desires and passions, common to man and the brute,

and then endow it with God-Like intellect, with spiritual and rational faculties which can take

their source but in a supersensible world -- is to throw for ever the veil of an impenetrable

mystery over the subject. Yet in modern science, "psychology" and "psychism" relate only to

conditions of the nervous system, mental phenomena being traced solely to molecular action.

The higher noetic character of the Mind-Principle is entirely ignored, and even rejected, as a

"superstition" by both physiologists and psychologists. Psychology, in fact, has become a

synonym in many cases for the science of psychiatry. Therefore, students of Theosophy being

compelled to differ from all these, have adopted the doctrine that underlies the time-honored

philosophies of the East. What it is, may be found further on.

To better understand the foregoing arguments and those which follow, the reader is asked to turn

to the editorial in the September Lucifer ("The Dual Aspect of Wisdom," p. 3), and acquaint

himself with the double aspect of that which is termed by St. James in his Third Epistle at once --

the devilish, terrestrial wisdom and the "wisdom from above." In another editorial, "Kosmic

Mind" (April, 1890), it is also stated, that the ancient Hindus endowed every cell in the human

body with consciousness, giving each the name of a God or Goddess. Speaking of atoms in the

name of science and philosophy, Professor Ladd calls them in his work "supersensible beings."

Occultism regards every atom (11) as an "independent entity" and every cell as a "conscious.

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unit." It explains that no sooner do such atoms group to form cells, than the latter become

endowed with consciousness, each of its own kind, and with free will to act within the limits of

law. Nor are we entirely deprived of scientific evidence for such statements as the two above

named editorials well prove. More than one learned physiologist of the golden minority, in our

own day, moreover, is rapidly coming to the conviction, that memory has no seat, no special

organ of its own in the human brain, but that it has seats in every organ of the body.

"No good ground exists for speaking of any special organ, or seat of memory," writes Professor

G. T. Ladd. (12) "Every organ, indeed, every area, and every limit of the nervous system has its

own memory" (Elements of Physiological Psychology, p. 553).

The seat of memory, then, is assuredly neither here nor there, but everywhere throughout the

human body. To locate its organ in the brain is to limit and dwarf the Universal Mind and its

countless Rays (the Manasaputra) which inform every rational mortal. As we write for

Theosophists, first of all, we care little for the psychophobian prejudices of the Materialists who

may read this and sniff contemptuously at the mention of "Universal Mind" and the Higher

noetic souls of men. But, what is memory, -- we ask. "Both presentation of sense and image of

memory, are transitory phases of consciousness," we are answered. But what is Consciousness

itself? -- we ask again. We cannot define Consciousness, Professor Ladd tells us. (Ibid.) Thus,

that which we are asked to do by physiological psychology is, to content ourselves with

controverting the various states of Consciousness by other people's private and unverifiable

hypotheses; and this, on "questions of cerebral physiology where experts and novices are alike

ignorant," to use the pointed remark of the said author. Hypothesis for hypothesis, then, we may

as well hold to the teachings of our Seers, as to the conjectures of those who deny both such

Seers and their wisdom. The more so, as we are told by the same honest man of science, that "if

metaphysics and ethics cannot properly dictate their facts and conclusions to the science of

physiological psychology . . . in turn this science cannot properly dictate to metaphysics and

ethics the conclusions which they shall draw from facts of Consciousness, by giving out its

myths and fables in the garb of well ascertained history of the cerebral processes" (p.544).

Now, since the metaphysics of Occult physiology and psychology postulate within mortal man

an immortal entity, "divine Mind," or Nous, whose pale and too often distorted reflection is that

which we call "Mind" and intellect in men -- virtually an entity apart from the former during the

period of incarnation -- we say that the two sources of "memory" are in these two "principles."

These two we distinguish as the Higher Manas (Mind or Ego), and the Kama-Manas, i.e., the

rational, but earthly or physical intellect of man, incased in, and bound by, matter, therefore

subject to the influence of the latter: the all-conscious SELF, that which reincarnates periodically

-- verily the WORD made flesh! -- and which is always the same, while its reflected "Double,"

changing with every new incarnation and personality, is, therefore, conscious but for a life-period.

The latter "principle" is the Lower Self, or that, which manifesting through our organic

system, acting on this plane of illusion, imagines itself the Ego Sum, and thus falls into what

Buddhist philosophy brands as the "heresy of separateness. "The former, we term

INDIVIDUALITY, the latter Personality. From the first proceeds all the noetic element, from

the second, the psychic, i.e., "terrestrial wisdom" at best, as it is influenced by all the chaotic

stimuli of the human or rather animal passions of the living body..

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The "Higher EGO" cannot act directly on the body, as its consciousness belongs to quite another

plane and planes of ideation: the "lower" Self does: and its action and behavior depend on its free

will and choice as to whether it will gravitate more towards its parent ("the Father in Heaven") or

the "animal" which it informs, the man of flesh. The "Higher Ego," as part of the essence of the

UNIVERSAL MIND, is unconditionally omniscient on its own plane, and only potentially so in

our terrestrial sphere, as it has to act solely through its alter ego -- the Personal Self. Now,

although the former is the vehicle of all knowledge of the past, the present, and the future, and

although it is from this fountain-head that its "double" catches occasional glimpses of that which

is beyond the senses of man, and transmits them to certain brain cells (unknown to science in

their function), thus making of man a Seer, a soothsayer, and a prophet; yet the memory of

bygone events -- especially of the earth earthy -- has its seat in the Personal Ego alone. No

memory of a purely daily-life function, of a physical, egotistical, or of a lower mental nature --

such as, e.g., eating and drinking, enjoying personal sensual pleasures, transacting business to the

detriment of one's neighbor, etc., etc., has aught to do with the "Higher" Mind or EGO. Nor has it

any direct dealings on this physical plane with either our brain or our heart -- for these two are

the organs of a power higher than the Personality -- but only with our passional organs, such as

the liver, the stomach, the spleen, etc. Thus it only stands to reason that the memory of such-like

events must be first awakened in that organ which was the first to induce the action remembered

afterwards, and conveyed it to our "sense-thought," which is entirely distinct from the

"supersensuous" thought. It is only the higher forms of the latter, the superconscious mental

experience, that can correlate with the cerebral and cardiac centers. The memories of physical

and selfish (or personal) deeds, on the other hand, together with the mental experiences of a

terrestrial nature, and of earthly biological functions, can, of necessity, only be correlated with

the molecular constitution of various Kamic organs, and the "dynamical associations" of the

elements of the nervous system in each particular organ.

Therefore, when Professor Ladd, after showing that every element of the nervous system has a

memory of its own, adds: -- "This view belongs to the very essence of every theory which

considers conscious mental reproduction as only one form or phase of the biological fact of

organic memory" -- he must include among such theories the Occult teaching. For no Occultist

could express such teaching more correctly than the Professor, who says, in winding up his

argument: "We might properly speak, then, of the memory of the end-organ of vision or of

hearing, of the memory of the spinal cord and of the different so-called 'centers' of reflex action

belonging to the chords of the memory of the medulla oblongata, the cerebellum, etc." This is the

essence of Occult teaching -- even in the Tantra works. Indeed, every organ in our body has its

own memory. For if it is endowed with a consciousness "of its own kind," every cell must of

necessity have also a memory of its own kind, as likewise its own psychic and noetic action.

Responding to the touch of both a physical and a metaphysical Force, (12) the impulse given by

the psychic (or psycho-molecular) Force will act from without within; while that of the noetic

(shall we call it Spiritual-dynamical?) Force works from within without. For, as our body is the

covering of the inner "principles," soul, mind, life, etc., so the molecule or the cell is the body in

which dwell its "principles," the (to our sense and comprehension) immaterial atoms which

compose that cell. The cell's activity and behavior are determined by its being propelled either

inwardly or outwardly, by the noetic or the psychic Force, the former having no relation to the

physical cells proper. Therefore, while the latter act under the unavoidable law of the

conservation and correlation of physical energy, the atoms -- being psycho-spiritual, not physical.

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units -- act under laws of their own, just as Professor Ladd's "Unit-Being," which is our "Mind-Ego,"

does, in his very philosophical and scientific hypothesis. Every human organ and each cell

in the latter has a key-board of its own, like that of a piano, only that it registers and emits

sensations instead of sounds. Every key contains the potentiality of good or bad, of producing

harmony or disharmony. This depends on the impulse given and the combinations produced; an

the force of the touch of the artist at work, a "double-faced Unity," indeed. And it is the action of

this or the other "Face" of the Unity that determines the nature and the dynamical character of the

manifested phenomena as a resulting action, and this whether they be physical or mental. For the

whole life of man is guided by this double-faced Entity. If the impulse comes from the "Wisdom

above," the Force applied being noetic or spiritual, the results will be actions worthy of the

divine propeller; if from the "terrestrial, devilish wisdom" (psychic power), man's activities will

be selfish, based solely on the exigencies of his physical, hence animal, nature. The above may

sound to the average reader as pure nonsense; but every Theosophist must understand when told

that there are Manasic as well as Kamic organs in him, although the cells of his body answer to

both physical and spiritual impulses.

Verily that body, so desecrated by Materialism and man himself, is the temple of the Holy Grail,

the Adytum of the grandest, nay, of all, the mysteries of nature in our solar universe. That body is

an Aeolian harp, chorded with two sets of strings, one made of pure silver, the other of catgut.

When the breath from the divine Fiat brushes softly over the former, man becomes like unto his

God -- but the other set feels it not. It needs the breeze of a strong terrestrial wind, impregnated

with animal effluvia, to set its animal chords vibrating. It is the function of the physical, lower

mind to act upon the physical organs and their cells; but, it is the higher mind alone which can

influence the atoms interacting in these cells, which interaction is alone capable of exciting the

brain, via the spinal "center" cord, to a mental representation of spiritual ideas far beyond any

objects on this material plane. The phenomena of divine consciousness have to be regarded as

activities of our mind on another and a higher plane, working through something less substantial

than the moving molecules of the brain. They cannot be explained as the simple resultant of the

cerebral physiological processes, as indeed the latter only condition them or give them a final

form for purposes of concrete manifestation. Occultism teaches that the liver and the spleen-cells

are the most subservient to the action of our "personal" mind, the heart being the organ par

excellence through which the "Higher" Ego acts -- through the Lower Self.

Nor can the visions or memory of purely terrestrial events be transmitted directly through the

mental perceptions in the brain -- the direct recipient of the impressions of the heart. All such

recollections have to be first stimulated by and awakened in the organs which were the

originators, as already stated, of the various causes that led to the results, or, the direct recipients

and participators of the latter. In other words, if what is called "association of ideas" has much to

do with the awakening of memory, the mutual interaction and consistent inter-relation between

the personal "Mind-Entity" and the organ of the human body have far more so. A hungry

stomach evokes the vision of a past banquet, because its action is reflected and repeated in the

personal mind. But even before the memory of the personal Self radiates the vision from the

tablets wherein are stored the experiences of one's daily life -- even to the minutest details -- the

memory of the stomach has already evoked the same. And so with all the organs of the body. It

is they which originate according to their animal needs and desires the electro-vital sparks that

illuminate the field of consciousness in the Lower Ego; and it is these sparks which in their turn.

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awaken to function the reminiscences in it. The whole human body is, as said, a vast sounding

board, in which each cell bears a long record of impressions connected with its parent organ, and

each cell has a memory and a consciousness of its kind, or call it instinct if you will. These

impressions are, according to the nature of the organ, physical, psychic, or mental, as they relate

to this or another plane. They may be called "states of consciousness" only for the want of a

better expression -- as there are states of instinctual, mental, and purely abstract, or spiritual

consciousness. If we trace all such "psychic" actions to brain-work, it is only because in that

mansion called the human body the brain is the front-door, and the only one which opens out into

Space. All the others are inner doors, openings in the private building, through which travel

incessantly the transmitting agents of memory and sensation. The clearness, the vividness, and

intensity of these depend on the state of health and the organic soundness of the transmitters. But

their reality, in the sense of trueness or correctness, is due to the "principle" they originate from,

and the preponderance in the Lower Manas of the noetic or the phrenic ("Kamic," terrestrial)


For, as Occultism teaches, if the Higher Mind-Entity -- the permanent and the immortal -- is of

the divine homogeneous essence of "Alaya-Akasa," (13) or Mahat -- its reflection, the Personal

Mind, is, as a temporary "Principle," of the Substance of the Astral Light. As a pure ray of the

"Son of the Universal Mind," it could perform no functions in the body, and would remain

powerless over the turbulent organs of Matter. Thus, while its inner constitution is Manasic, its

"body," or rather functioning essence, is heterogeneous, and leavened with the Astral Light, the

lowest element of Ether. It is a part of the mission of the Manasic Ray, to get gradually rid of the

blind, deceptive element which though it makes of it an active spiritual entity on this plane, still

brings it into so close contact with matter as to entirely becloud its divine nature and stultify its


This leads us to see the difference between the pure noetic and the terrestrial psychic visions of

seership and mediumship. The former can be obtained by one of two means: (a) on the condition

of paralyzing at will the memory and the instinctual, independent action of all the material organs

and even cells in the body of flesh, an act which, once that the light of the Higher Ego has

consumed and subjected for ever the passional nature of the personal, lower Ego, is easy, but

requires an adept; and (b) of being a reincarnation of one, who, in a previous birth, had attained

through extreme purity of life and efforts in the right direction almost to a Yogi-state of holiness

and saintship. There is also a third possibility of reaching in mystic visions the plane of the

higher Manas; but it is only occasional and does not depend on the will of the Seer, but on the

extreme weakness and exhaustion of the material body through illness and suffering. The Seeress

of Prevorst was an instance of the latter case; and Jacob Boehme of our second category. In all

other cases of abnormal seership, of so-called clairaudience, clairvoyance and trances, it is

simply -- mediumship.

Now what is a medium? The term medium, when not applied simply to things and objects, is

supposed to be a person through whom the action of another person or being is either manifested

or transmitted. Spiritualists believing in communications with disembodied spirits, and that these

can manifest through, or impress sensitives to transmit "messages" from them, regard

mediumship as a blessing and a great privilege. We Theosophists, on the other hand, who do not

believe in the "communion of spirits" as Spiritualists do, regard the gift as one of the most.

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dangerous of abnormal nervous diseases. A medium is simply one in whose personal Ego, or

terrestrial mind (psyche), the percentage of "astral" light so preponderates as to impregnate with

it their whole physical constitution. Every organ and cell thereby is attuned, so to speak, and

subjected to an enormous and abnormal tension. The mind is ever on the plane of, and quite

immersed in, that deceptive light whose soul is divine, but whose body -- the light waves on the

lower planes, infernal; for they are but the black and disfigured reflections of the earth's

memories. The untrained eye of the poor sensitive cannot pierce the dark mist, the dense fog of

the terrestrial emanations, to see beyond in the radiant field of the eternal truths. His vision is out

of focus. His senses, accustomed from his birth, like those of a native of the London slums, to

stench and filth, to the unnatural distortions of sights and images tossed on the kaleidoscopic

waves of the astral plane -- are unable to discern the true from the false. And thus, the pale

soulless corpses moving in the trackless fields of "Kama loka," appear to him the living images

of the "dear departed" ones; the broken echoes of once human voices, passing through his mind,

suggest to him well coordinated phrases, which he repeats, in ignorance that their final form and

polish were received in the innermost depths of his own brain-factory. And hence the sight and

the hearing of that which if seen in its true nature would have struck the medium's heart cold

with horror, now fills him with a sense of beatitude and confidence. He really believes that the

immeasurable vistas displayed before him are the real spiritual world, the abode of the blessed

disembodied angels.

We describe the broad main features and facts of mediumship, there being no room in such an

article for exceptional cases. We maintain -- having unfortunately passed at one period of life

personally through such experiences -- that on the whole, mediumship is most dangerous; and

psychic experiences when accepted indiscriminately lead only to honestly deceiving others,

because the medium is the first self-deceived victim. Moreover, a too close association with the

"Old Terrestrial Serpent" is infectious. The odic and magnetic currents of the Astral Light often

incite to murder, drunkenness, immorality, and, as Eliphas Levi expresses it, the not altogether

pure natures "can be driven headlong by the blind forces set in motion in the Light" -- by the

errors and sins imposed on its waves.

And this is how the great Mage of the XIXth century corroborates the foregoing when speaking

of the Astral Light: --

We have said that to acquire magical power, two things are necessary: to

disengage the will from all servitude, and to exercise it in control.

The sovereign will [of the adept] is represented in our symbols by the woman who

crushes the serpent's head, and by the resplendent angel who represses the dragon,

and holds him under his foot and spear; the great magical agent, the dual current

of light, the living and astral fire of the earth, has been represented in the ancient

theogonies by the serpent with the head of a bull, a ram, or a dog. It is the double

serpent of the caduceus, it is the Old Serpent of Genesis, but it is also the brazen

serpent of Moses entwined around the tau, that is to say, the generative lingam. It

is also the goat of the witch-sabbath, and the Baphomet of the Templars; it is the

Hyle of the Gnostics; it is the double-tailed serpent which forms the legs of the

solar cock of die Abraxas; finally, it is the Devil of M. Eudes de Mirville. But in.

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very fact it is the blind force which souls [i.e., the lower Manas or Nephesh] have

to conquer to liberate themselves from the bonds of the earth; for if their will does

not free 'them from this fatal attraction, they will be absorbed in the current by

the force which has produced them, and will return to the central and eternal fire.


The "central and eternal fire" is that disintegrating Force, that gradually consumes and burns out

the Kama-rupa, or "personality," in the Kama-loka, whither it goes after death. And verily, the

Mediums are attracted by the astral light, it is the direct cause of their personal "souls" being

absorbed "by the force which has produced" their terrestrial elements. And, therefore, as the

same Occultist tells us:

All the magical operations consist in freeing one's self from the coils of the

Ancient Serpent; then to place the foot on its head, and lead it according to the

operator's will. 'I will give unto thee,' says the Serpent, in the Gospel myth, 'all the

kingdoms of the earth, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.' The initiated

should reply to him, 'I will not fall down, but thou shalt crouch at my feet; thou

wilt give me nothing, but I will make use of thee and take whatever I wish. For I

am thy Lord and Master!'

And as such, the Personal Ego, becoming at one with its divine parent, shares in the immortality

of the latter. Otherwise . . .

Enough, however. Blessed is he who has acquainted himself with the dual powers at work in the

ASTRAL Light; thrice blessed he who has learned to discern the noetic from the Psychic action

of the "Double-Faced" God in him, and who knows the potency of his own Spirit -- or "Soul



1. We say "so-called," because nothing of what has been given out publicly or in print can any

longer be termed esoteric. (return to text)

2. "Animalism" is quite an appropriate word to use (whoever invented it) as a contrast to Mr.

Tylor's term "animism," which he applied to all the "Lower Races" of mankind who believe the

soul a distinct entity. He finds that the words psyche, pneuma, animus, spiritus, etc., all belong to

the same cycle of superstition in "the lower stages of culture," Professor A. Bain dubbing all

these distinctions, moreover, as a "plurality of souls" and a "double materialism." This is the

more curious as the learned author of Mind and Body speaks as disparagingly of Darwin's

"materialism" in Zoonomia, wherein the founder of modern Evolution defines the word idea as

"contracting a motion, or configuration of the fibers which constitute the immediate organ of

Sense" (Mind and Body, p. 190, Note). (return to text).

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3. Physiological Psychology, etc., p. 545, by George T. Ladd, Professor of Philosophy in Yale

University. (return to text)

4. Or what the Kabalists call Nephesh, the "breath of life." (return to text)

5. The Sanskrit word Manas (Mind) is used by us in preference to the Greek Nous (noetic)

because the latter word having been so imperfectly understood in philosophy, suggests no

definite meaning. (return to text)

6. The Theosophist, Feb. 1888, p. 275, by Rama Prasad, President of the Meerut Theosophical

Society. As the Occult book cited by him says: "It is the Svara that has given form to the first

accumulations of the divisions of the universe; the Svara causes evolution and involution; the

Svara is God, or more properly the Great Power itself (Mahesvara). The Svara is the

manifestation of the impression on matter of that power which in man is known to us as the

power which knows itself [mental and psychic consciousness]. It is to be understood that the

action of this power never ceases. . . . It is unchangeable existence" -- and this is the "Motion" of

the Scientists and the universal Breath of Life of the Occultists. (return to text)

7. Animal Mechanism, a treatise on terrestrial and aerial locomotion. By E. J. Marvey, Professor

at the College of France, and Member of the Academy of Medicine. (return to text)

8. "The higher manas" or "Ego" (Kshetrajna) is the "Silent Spectator," and the voluntary

"sacrificial victim": the lower manas, its representative -- a tyrannical despot, truly. (return to


9. Elements of Physiological Psychology. A treatise of the activities and nature of the mind, from

the Physical and Experimental Point of View, pp. 606 and 613. (return to text)

10. W. Lawrence, Lectures on Comparative Anatomy, Physiology, Zoology, and the Natural

History of Man. 8vo. London, 1848, p.6. (return to text)

11. One of the names of Brahma is anu or "atom." (return to text)

12. We fondly trust this very unscientific term will throw no "Animalist" into hysterics beyond

recovery. (return to text)

13. Another name for the universal mind. (return to text)

14. Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie, quoted in Isis Unveiled, I, 138 (return to text).

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Kosmic Mind

Whatsoever quits the Laya (homogeneous) state, becomes active conscious life.

Individual consciousness emanates from, and returns into Absolute consciousness,

which is eternal MOTION. -- Esoteric Axioms.

Whatever that be which thinks, which understands, which wills, which acts, it is

something celestial and divine, and upon that account must necessarily be eternal.


Edison's conception of matter was quoted in our March editorial article. The great American

electrician is reported by Mr. G. Parsons Lathrop in Harper's Magazine as giving out his

personal belief about the atoms being "possessed by a certain amount of intelligence," and shown

indulging in other reveries of this kind. For this flight of fancy the February Review of Reviews

takes the inventor of the phonograph to task and critically remarks that "Edison is much given to

dreaming," his "scientific imagination" being constantly at work.

Would to goodness the men of science exercised their "scientific imagination" a little more and

their dogmatic and cold negations a little less. Dreams differ. In that strange state of being which,

as Byron has it, puts us in a position "with seal'd eyes to see," one often perceives more real facts

than when awake. Imagination is, again, one of the strongest elements in human nature, or in the

words of Dugald Stewart it "is the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of

human improvement. . . . Destroy the faculty, and the condition of men will become as stationary

as that of brutes." It is the best guide of our blind senses, without which the latter could never

lead us beyond matter and its illusions. The greatest discoveries of modern science are due to the

imaginative faculty of the discoverers. But when has anything new been postulated, when a

theory clashing with and contradicting a comfortably settled predecessor put forth, without

orthodox science first sitting on it, and trying to crush it out of existence? Harvey was also

regarded at first as a "dreamer" and a madman to boot. Finally, the whole of modern science is

formed of "working hypotheses," the fruits of "scientific imagination" as Mr. Tyndall felicitously

called it.

Is it then, because consciousness in every universal atom and the possibility of a complete

control over the cells and atoms of his body by man, have not been honored so far with the

imprimatur of the Popes of exact science, that the idea is to be dismissed as a dream? Occultism

gives the same teaching. Occultism tells us that every atom, like the monad of Leibnitz, is a little

universe in itself; and that every organ and cell in the human body is endowed with a brain of its

own, with memory, therefore, experience and discriminative powers. The idea of Universal Life

composed of individual atomic lives is one of the oldest teachings of esoteric philosophy, and the

very modern hypothesis of modern science, that of crystalline life, is the first ray from the

ancient luminary of knowledge that has reached our scholars. If plants can be shown to have

nerves and sensations and instinct (but another word for consciousness), why not allow the same

in the cells of the human body? Science divides matter into organic and inorganic bodies, only

because it rejects the idea of absolute life and a life-principle as an entity: otherwise it would be

the first to see that absolute life cannot produce even a geometrical point, or an atom inorganic in

its essence. But Occultism, you see, "teaches mysteries" they say; and mystery is the negation of.

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common sense, just as again metaphysics is but a kind of poetry, according to Mr. Tyndall. There

is no such thing for science as mystery; and therefore, as a Life Principle is, and must remain for

the intellects of our civilized races for ever a mystery on physical lines -- they who deal in this

question have to be of necessity either fools or knaves.

Dixit. Nevertheless, we may repeat with a French preacher: "mystery is the fatality of science."

Official science is surrounded on every side and hedged in by unapproachable, for ever

impenetrable mysteries. And why? Simply because physical science is self-doomed to a squirrel-like

progress around a wheel of matter limited by our five senses. And though it is as confessedly

ignorant of the formation of matter, as of the generation of a simple cell; though it is as

powerless to explain what is this, that, or the other, it will yet dogmatize and insist on what life,

matter and the rest are not. It comes to this: the words of Father Felix addressed fifty years ago to

the French academicians have nearly become immortal as a truism. "Gentlemen," he said, "you

throw into our teeth the reproach that we teach mysteries. But imagine whatever science you

will; follow the magnificent sweep of its deductions. . . . and when you arrive at its parent source

you come face to face with the unknown!"

Now to lay at rest once for all in the minds of Theosophists this vexed question, we intend to

prove that modern science, owing to physiology, is itself on the eve of discovering that

consciousness is universal -- thus justifying Edison's "dreams." But before we do this, we mean

also to show that though many a man of science is soaked through and through with such belief,

very few are brave enough to openly admit it, as the late Dr. Pirogoff of St. Petersburg has done

in his posthumous Memoirs. Indeed that great surgeon and pathologist raised by their publication

quite a howl of indignation among his colleagues. How then? the public asked: He, Dr. Pirogoff,

whom we regarded as almost the embodiment of European learning, believing in the

superstitions of crazy alchemists? He, who in the words of a contemporary: --

was the very incarnation of exact science and methods of thought; who had

dissected hundreds and thousands of human organs, making himself as acquainted

with all the mysteries of surgery and anatomy as we are with our familiar

furniture; the savant for whom physiology had no secrets and who, above all men

was one to whom Voltaire might have ironically asked whether he had not found

immortal soul between the bladder and the blind gut, -- that same Pirogoff is

found after his death devoting whole chapters in his literary Will to the scientific

demonstration. . . . (Novoye Vremya of 1887)

-- of what? Why, of the existence in every organism of a distinct "VITAL FORCE" independent

of any physical or chemical process. Like Liebig he accepted the derided and tabooed

homogeneity of nature -- a Life Principle -- that persecuted and hapless teleology, or the science

of the final causes of things, which is as philosophical as it is unscientific, if we have to believe

imperial and royal academies. His unpardonable sin in the eyes of dogmatic modern science,

however, was this: The great anatomist and surgeon, had the "hardihood" to declare in his

Memoirs, that:

We have no cause to reject the possibility of the existence of organisms endowed

with such properties that would make of them -- the direct embodiment of the.

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universal mind -- a perfection inaccessible to our own (human) mind. . . .

Because, we have no right to maintain that man is the last expression of the divine

creative thought.

Such are the chief features of the heresy of one, who ranked high among the men of exact

science of this age. His Memoirs show plainly that not only he believed in Universal Deity,

divine Ideation, or the Hermetic "Thought divine," and a Vital Principle, but taught all this, and

tried to demonstrate it scientifically. Thus he argues that Universal Mind needs no physico-chemical,

or mechanical brain as an organ of transmission. He even goes so far as to admit it in

these suggestive words: --

Our reason must accept in all necessity an infinite and eternal Mind which rules

and governs the ocean of life. . . . Thought and creative ideation, in full agreement

with the laws of unity and causation, manifest themselves plainly enough in

universal life without the participation of brain-slush. . . . Directing the forces and

elements toward the formation of organisms, this organizing life-principle

becomes self-sentient, self-conscious, racial or individual. Substance, ruled and

directed by the life-principle, is organized according to a general defined plan

into certain types. . . .

He explains this belief by confessing that never, during his long life so full of study, observation,

and experiments, could he --

acquire the conviction, that our brain could be the only organ of thought in the

whole universe, that everything in this world, save that organ, should be

unconditioned and senseless, and that human thought alone should impart to the

universe a meaning and a reasonable harmony in its integrity.

And he adds a propos of Moleschott's materialism:

Howsoever much fish and peas I may eat, never shall I consent to give away my

Ego into durance vile of a product casually extracted by modern alchemy from the

urine. If, in our conceptions of the Universe it be our fate to fall into illusions,

then my "illusion" has, at least, the advantage of being very consoling. For, it

shows to me an intelligent Universe and the activity of Forces working in it

harmoniously and intelligently; and that my "I" is not the product of chemical and

histological elements but an embodiment of a common universal Mind. The latter,

I sense and represent to myself as acting in free will and consciousness in

accordance with the same laws which are traced for the guidance of my own

mind, but only exempt from that restraint which trammels our human conscious


For, as remarks elsewhere this great and philosophic man of Science:.

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The limitless and the eternal, is not only a postulate of our mind and reason, but

also a gigantic fact, in itself. What would become of our ethical or moral principle

were not the everlasting and integral truth to serve it as a foundation!

The above selections translated verbatim from the confessions of one who was during his long

life a star of the first magnitude in the fields of pathology and surgery, show him imbued and

soaked through with the philosophy of a reasoned and scientific mysticism. In reading the

Memoirs of that man of scientific fame, we feel proud of finding him accepting, almost

wholesale, the fundamental doctrines and beliefs of Theosophy. With such an exceptionally

scientific mind in the ranks of mystics, the idiotic grins, the cheap satires and flings at our great

Philosophy by some European and American "Freethinkers," become almost a compliment.

More than ever do they appear to us like the frightened discordant cry of the night-owl hurrying

to hide in its dark ruins before the light of the morning Sun.

The progress of physiology itself, as we have just said, is a sure warrant that the dawn of that day

when a full recognition of a universally diffused mind will be an accomplished fact, is not far

off. It is only a question of time.

For, notwithstanding the boast of physiology, that the aim of its researches is only the summing

up of every vital function in order to bring them into a definite order by showing their mutual

relations to, and connection with, the laws of physics and chemistry, hence, in their final form

with mechanical laws -- we fear there is a good deal of contradiction between the confessed

object and the speculations of some of the best of our modern physiologists. While few of them

would dare to return as openly as did Dr. Pirogoff to the "exploded superstition" of vitalism and

the severely exiled life principle, the principium vitae of Paracelsus -- yet physiology stands

sorely perplexed in the face of its ablest representatives before certain facts. Unfortunately for us,

this age of ours is not conducive to the development of moral courage. The time for most to act

on the noble idea of "principia non homines," has not yet come. And yet there are exceptions to

the general rule, and physiology -- whose destiny it is to become the hand-maiden of Occult

truths -- has not let the latter remain without their witnesses. There are those who are already

stoutly protesting against certain hitherto favorite propositions. For instance, some physiologists

are already denying that it is the forces and substances of so-called "inanimate" nature, which are

acting exclusively in living beings. For, as they well argue:

The fact that we reject the interference of other forces in living things, depends

entirely on the limitations of our senses. We use, indeed, the same organs for our

observations of both animate and inanimate nature; and these organs can receive

manifestations of only a limited realm of motion. Vibrations passed along the

fibers of our optic nerves to the brain reach our perceptions through our

consciousness as sensations of light and color; vibrations affecting our

consciousness through our auditory organs strike us as sounds; all our feelings,

through whichever of our senses, are due to nothing but motions.

Such are the teachings of physical Science, and such were in their roughest outlines those of

Occultism, aeons and millenniums back. The difference, however, and most vital distinction

between the two teachings, is this: official science sees in motion simply a blind, unreasoning.

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force or law; Occultism, tracing motion to its origin, identifies it with the Universal Deity, and

calls this eternal ceaseless motion -- the "Great Breath." (1)

Nevertheless, however limited the conception of Modern Science about the said Force, still it is

suggestive enough to have forced the following remark from a great Scientist, the present

professor of physiology at the University of Basle, (2) who speaks like an Occultist.

It would be folly in us to expect to be ever able to discover, with the assistance

only of our external senses, in animate nature that something which we are unable

to find in the inanimate.

And forthwith the lecturer adds that man being endowed "in addition to his physical senses with

an inner sense," a perception which gives him the possibility of observing the states and

phenomena of his own consciousness, "he has to use that in dealing with animate nature" -- a

profession of faith verging suspiciously on the borders of Occultism. He denies, moreover, the

assumption, that the states and phenomena of consciousness represent in substance the same

manifestations of motion as in the external world, and bases his denial by the reminder that not

all of such states and manifestations have necessarily a spatial extension. According to him that

only is connected with our conception of space which has reached our consciousness through

sight, touch, and the muscular sense, while all the other senses, all the effects, tendencies, as all

the interminable series of representations, have no extension in space but only in time.

Thus he asks: --

Where then is there room in this for a mechanical theory? Objectors might argue

that this is so only in appearance, while in reality all these have a spatial

extension. But such an argument would be entirely erroneous. Our sole reason for

believing that objects perceived by the senses have such extension in the external

world, rests on the idea that they seem to do so, as far as they can be watched and

observed through the senses of sight and touch. With regard, however, to the

realm of our inner senses even that supposed foundation loses its force and there

is no ground for admitting it.

The winding up argument of the lecturer is most interesting to Theosophists. Says this

physiologist of the modern school of Materialism --

Thus, a deeper and more direct acquaintance with our inner nature unveils to us a

world entirely unlike the world represented to us by our external senses, and

reveals the most heterogeneous faculties, shows objects having nought to do with

spatial extension, and phenomena absolutely disconnected with those that fall

under mechanical laws.

Hitherto the opponents of vitalism and "life-principle," as well as the followers of the mechanical

theory of life, based their views on the supposed fact, that, as physiology was progressing

forward, its students succeeded more and more in connecting its functions with the laws of blind

matter. All those manifestations that used to be attributed to a "mystical life-force," they said,.

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may be brought now under physical and chemical laws. And they were, and still are loudly

clamoring for the recognition of the fact that it is only a question of time when it will be

triumphantly demonstrated that the whole vital process, in its grand totality, represents nothing

more mysterious than a very complicated phenomenon of motion, exclusively governed by the

forces of inanimate nature.

But here we have a professor of physiology who asserts that the history of physiology proves,

unfortunately for them, quite the contrary; and he pronounces these ominous words:

I maintain that the more our experiments and observations are exact and many-sided,

the deeper we penetrate into facts, the more we try to fathom and speculate

on the phenomena of life, the more we acquire the conviction, that even those

phenomena that we had hoped to be already able to explain by physical and

chemical laws, are in reality unfathomable. They are vastly more complicated, in

fact; and as we stand at present, they will not yield to any mechanical explanation.

This is a terrible blow at the puffed-up bladder known as Materialism, which is as empty as it is

dilated. A Judas in the camp of the apostles of negation -- the "animalists"! But the Basle

professor is no solitary exception, as we have just shown; and there are several physiologists who

are of his way of thinking; indeed some of them going so far as to almost accept free-will and

consciousness, in the simplest monadic protoplasms!

One discovery after the other tends in this direction. The works of some German physiologists

are especially interesting with regard to cases of consciousness and positive discrimination -- one

is almost inclined to say thought -- in the Amoebas. Now the Amoebas or animalculae are, as all

know, microscopical protoplasms -- as the Vampyrella Sirogyra for instance, a most simple

elementary cell, a protoplasmic drop, formless and almost structureless. And yet it shows in its

behavior something for which zoologists, if they do not call it mind and power of reasoning, will

have to find some other qualification, and coin a new term. For see what Cienkowsky (3) says of

it. Speaking of this microscopical, bare, reddish cell he describes the way in which it hunts for

and finds among a number of other aquatic plants one called Spirogyra, rejecting every other

food. Examining its peregrinations under a powerful microscope, he found it when moved by

hunger, first projecting its pseudopodiae (false feet) by the help of which it crawls. Then it

commences moving about until among a great variety of plants it comes across a Spirogyra, after

which it proceeds toward the cellulated portion of one of the cells of the latter, and placing itself

on it, it bursts the tissue, sucks the contents of one cell and then passes on to another, repeating

the same process. This naturalist never saw it take any other food, and it never touched any of the

numerous plants placed by Cienkowsky in its way. Mentioning another Amoeba -- the

Colpadella Pugnax -- he says that he found it showing the same predilection for the

Chlamydomonas on which it feeds exclusively; "having made a puncture in the body of the

Chlamydomonas it sucks its chlorophyl and then goes away," he writes, adding these significant

words: "The way of acting of these monads during their search for and reception of food, is so

amazing that one is almost inclined to see in them consciously acting beings!"

Not less suggestive are the observations of Th. W. Engelman (Beitraege zur Physiologie des

Protoplasm), on the Arcella, another unicellular organism only a trifle more complex than the.

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Vampyrella. He shows them in a drop of water under a microscope on a piece of glass, lying so

to speak, on their backs, i.e., on their convex side, so that the pseudopodiae, projected from the

edge of the shell, find no hold in space and leave the Amoeba helpless. Under these

circumstances the following curious fact is observed. Under the very edge of one of the sides of

the protoplasm gas-bubbles begin immediately to form, which, making that side lighter, allow it

to be raised, bringing at the same time the opposite side of the creature into contact with the

glass, thus furnishing its pseudo or false feet means to get hold of the surface and thereby turning

over its body to raise itself on all its pseudopodiae. After this, the Amoeba proceeds to suck back

into itself the gas-bubbles and begins to move. If a like drop of water is placed on the lower

extremity of the glass, then, following the law of gravity the Amoeba will find themselves at first

at the lower end of the drop of water. Failing to find there a point of support, they proceed to

generate large bubbles of gas, when, becoming lighter than the water, they are raised up to the

surface of the drop.

In the words of Engelman: --

If having reached the surface of the glass they find no more support for their feet

than before, forthwith one sees the gas-globules diminishing on one side and

increasing in size and number on the other, or both, until the creatures touch with

the edge of their shell the surface of the glass, and are enabled to turn over. No

sooner is this done than the gas-globules disappear and the Arcellae begin

crawling. Detach them carefully by means of a fine needle from the surface of the

glass and thus bring them down once more to the lower surface of the drop of

water; and forthwith they will repeat the same process, varying its details

according to necessity and devising new means to reach their desired aim. Try as

much as you will to place them in uncomfortable positions, and they find means

to extricate themselves from them, each time, by one device or the other; and no

sooner have they succeeded than the gas-bubbles disappear! It is impossible not to

admit that such facts as these point to the presence of some PSYCHIC process in

the protoplasm. (4 )

Among hundreds of accusations against Asiatic nations of degrading superstitions, based on

"crass ignorance," there exists no more serious denunciation than that which accuses and

convicts them of personifying and even deifying the chief organs of, and in, the human body.

Indeed, do not we hear these "benighted fools" of Hindus speaking of the small-pox as a goddess

-- thus personifying the microbes of the variolic virus? Do we not read about Tantrikas, a sect of

mystics, giving proper names to nerves, cells and arteries, connecting and identifying various

parts of the body with deities, endowing functions and physiological processes with intelligence,

and what not? The vertebrae, fibers, ganglia, the cord, etc., of the spinal column; the heart, its

four chambers, auricle and ventricle, valves and the rest; stomach, liver, lungs and spleen,

everything has its special deific name, is believed to act consciously and to act under the potent

will of the Yogi, whose head and heart are the seats of Brahma and the various parts of whose

body are all the pleasure grounds of this or another deity!

This is indeed ignorance. Especially when we think that the said organs, and the whole body of

man are composed of cells, and these cells are now being recognized as individual organisms and.

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-- quien sabe -- will come perhaps to be recognized some day as an independent race of thinkers

inhabiting the globe, called man! It really looks like it. For was it not hitherto believed that all

the phenomena of assimilation and sucking in of food by the intestinal canal, could be explained

by the laws of diffusion and endosmosis? And now, alas, physiologists have come to learn that

the action of the intestinal canal during the act of absorbing, is not identical with the action of the

non-living membrane in the dialyser. It is now well demonstrated that --

this wall is covered with epithelium cells, each of which is an organism per se, a

living being, and with very complex functions. We know further, that such a cell

assimilates food -- by means of active contractions of its protoplasmic body -- in a

manner as mysterious as that which we notice in the independent Amoeba and

animalcules. We can observe on the intestinal epithelium of the cold-blooded

animals how these cells project shoots -- pseudopodiae -- out of their contractive,

bare, protoplasmic bodies -- which pseudopodiae, or false feet, fish out of the

food drops of fat, suck them into their protoplasm and send it further, toward the

lymph-duct. . . . The lymphatic cells issuing from the nests of the adipose tissue,

and squeezing themselves through the epithelium cells up to the surface of the

intestines, absorb therein the drops of fat and loaded with their prey, travel

homeward to the lymphatic canals. So long as this active work of the cells

remained unknown to us, the fact that while the globules of fat penetrated through

the walls of the intestines into lymphatic channels, the smallest of pigmental

grains introduced into the intestines did not do so, -- remained unexplained. But

to-day we know, that this faculty of selecting their special food -- of assimilating

the useful and rejecting the useless and the harmful -- is common to all the

unicellular organisms. (5)

And the lecturer queries, why, if this discrimination in the selection of food exists in the simplest

and most elementary of the cells, in the formless and structureless protoplasmic drops -- why it

should not exist also in the epithelium cells of our intestinal canal. Indeed, if the Vampyrella

recognizes its much beloved Spirogyra, among hundreds of other plants as shown above, why

should not the epithelium cell, sense, choose and select its favorite drop of fat from a pigmental

grain? But we will be told that "sensing, choosing, and selecting" pertain only to reasoning

beings, at least to the instinct of more structural animals than is the protoplasmic cell outside or

inside man. Agreed; but as we translate from the lecture of a learned physiologist and the works

of other learned naturalists, we can only say, that these learned gentlemen must know what they

are talking about; though they are probably ignorant of the fact that their scientific prose is but

one degree removed from the ignorant, superstitious, but rather poetical "twaddle" of the Hindu

Yogis and Tantrikas.

Anyhow, our professor of physiology falls foul of the materialistic theories of diffusion and

endosmosis. Armed with the facts of the evident discrimination and a mind in the cells, he

demonstrates by numerous instances the fallacy of trying to explain certain physiological

processes by mechanical theories; such for instance as the passing of sugar from the liver (where

it is transformed into glucose) into the blood. Physiologists find great difficulty in explaining this

process, and regard it as an impossibility to bring it under the endosmosic laws. In all probability

the lymphatic cells play just as active a part during the absorption of alimentary substances.

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dissolved in water, as the peptics do, a process well demonstrated by F. Hofmeister. (6)

Generally speaking, poor convenient endosmose is dethroned and exiled from among the active

functionaries of the human body as a useless sinecurist. It has lost its voice in the matter of

glands and other agents of secretion, in the action of which the same epithelium cells have

replaced it. The mysterious faculties of selection, of extracting from the blood one kind of

substance and rejecting another, of transforming the former by means of decomposition and

synthesis, of directing some of the products into passages which will throw them out of the body

and redirecting others into lymphatic and blood vessels -- such is the work of the cells. "It is

evident that in all this there is not the slightest hint at diffusion or endosmose," says the Basle

physiologist. "It becomes entirely useless to try and explain these phenomena by chemical laws."

But perhaps physiology is luckier in some other department? Failing in the laws of alimentation,

it may have found some consolation for its mechanical theories in the question of the activity of

muscles and nerves, which it sought to explain by electric laws? Alas, save in a few fishes -- in

no other living organisms, least of all in the human body, could it find any possibility of pointing

out electric currents as the chief ruling agency. Electro-biology on the lines of pure dynamic

electricity has egregiously failed. Ignorant of "Fohat" no electrical currents suffice to explain to it

either muscular or nervous activity!

But there is such a thing as the physiology of external sensations. Here we are no longer on terra

incognita, and all such phenomena have already found purely physical explanations. No doubt,

there is the phenomenon of sight, the eye with its optical apparatus, its camera obscura. But the

fact of the sameness of the reproduction of things in the eye, according to the same laws of

refraction as on the plate of a photographic machine, is no vital phenomenon. The same may be

reproduced on a dead eye. The phenomenon of life consists in the evolution and development of

the eye itself. How is this marvelous and complicated work produced? To this physiology replies,

"We do not know"; for, toward the solution of this great problem --

Physiology has not yet made one single step. True, we can follow the sequence of

the stages of the development and formation of the eye, but why it is so and what

is the causal connection, we have absolutely no idea. The second vital

phenomenon of the eye is its accommodating activity. And here we are again face

to face with the functions of nerves and muscles -- our old insoluble riddles. The

same may be said of all the organs of sense. The same also relates to other

departments of physiology. We had hoped to explain the phenomena of the

circulation of the blood by the laws of hydrostatics or hydrodynamics. Of course

the blood moves in accordance with the hydrodynamical laws: but its relation to

them remains utterly passive. As to the active functions of the heart and the

muscles of its vessels, no one, so far, has ever been able to explain them by

physical laws.

The underlined words in the concluding portion of the able Professor's lecture are worthy of an

Occultist. Indeed, he seems to be repeating an aphorism from the "Elementary Instructions" of

the esoteric physiology of practical Occultism: --.

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The riddle of life is found in the active functions of a living organism (7), the real

perception of which activity we can get only through self-observation, and not

owing to our external senses; by observations on our will, so far as it penetrates

our consciousness, thus revealing itself to our inner sense. Therefore, when the

same phenomenon acts only on our external senses, we recognize it no longer. We

see everything that takes place around and near the phenomenon of motion, but

the essence of that phenomenon we do not see at all, because we lack for it a

special organ of receptivity. We can accept that esse in a mere hypothetical way,

and do so, in fact, when we speak of "active functions." Thus does every

physiologist, for he cannot go on without such hypothesis; and this is a first

experiment of a psychological explanation of all vital phenomena. . . . And if it is

demonstrated to us that we are unable with the help only of physics and chemistry

to explain the phenomena of life, what may we expect from other adjuncts of

physiology, from the sciences of morphology, anatomy, and histology? I maintain

that these can never help us to unriddle the problem of any of the mysterious

phenomena of life. For, after we have succeeded with the help of scalpel and

microscope in dividing the organisms into their most elementary compounds, and

reached the simplest of cells, it is just here that we find ourselves face to face with

the greatest problem of all. The simplest monad, a microscopical point of

protoplasm, form less and structureless, exhibits yet all the essential vital

functions, alimentation, growth, breeding, motion, feeling and sensuous

perception, and even such functions which replace "consciousness" -- the soul of

the higher animals!

The problem -- for Materialism -- is a terrible one, indeed! Shall our cells, and infinitesimal

monads in nature, do for us that which the arguments of the greatest Pantheistic philosophers

have hitherto failed to do? Let us hope so. And if they do, then the "superstitious and ignorant"

Eastern Yogis, and even their exoteric followers, will find themselves vindicated. For we hear

from the same physiologist that --

A large number of poisons are prevented by the epithelium cells from penetrating

into lymphatic spaces, though we know that they are easily decomposed in the

abdominal and intestinal juices. More than this. Physiology is aware that by

injecting these poisons directly into the blood, they will separate from, and

reappear through the intestinal walls, and that in this process the lymphatic cells

take a most active part.

If the reader turns to Webster's Dictionary he will find therein a curious explanation at the words

"lymphatic" and "Lymph." Etymologists think that the Latin word lympha is derived from the

Greek nymphe, "a nymph or inferior Goddess," they say. "The Muses were sometimes called

nymphs by the poets. Hence (according to Webster) all persons in a state of rapture, as seers,

poets, madmen, etc., were said to be caught by the nymphs."

The Goddess of Moisture (the Greek and Latin nymph or lymph, then) is fabled in India as being

born from the pores of one of the Gods, whether the Ocean God, Varuna, or a minor "River

God" is left to the particular sect and fancy of the believers. But the main question is, that the.

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ancient Greeks and Latins are thus admittedly known to have shared in the same "superstitions"

as the Hindus. This superstition is shown in their maintaining to this day that every atom of

matter in the four (or five) Elements is an emanation from an inferior God or Goddess, himself or

herself an earlier emanation from a superior deity; and, moreover, that each of these atoms --

being Brahma, one of whose names is Anu, or atom -- no sooner is it emanated than it becomes

endowed with consciousness, each of its kind, and free-will, acting within the limits of law. Now,

he who knows that the kosmic trimurti (trinity) composed of Brahma, the Creator; Vishnu, the

Preserver; and Siva, the Destroyer, is a most magnificent and scientific symbol of the material

Universe and its gradual evolution; and who finds a proof of this, in the etymology of the names

of these deities (8), plus the doctrines of Gupta Vidya, or esoteric knowledge -- knows also how

to correctly understand this "superstition." The five fundamental titles of Vishnu -- added to that

of Anu (atom) common to all the trimurtic personages -- which are, Bhutatman, one with the

created or emanated materials of the world; Pradhanatman, "one with the senses;" Paramatman,

"Supreme Soul"; and Atman, Kosmic Soul, or the Universal Mind -- show sufficiently what the

ancient Hindus meant by endowing with mind and consciousness every atom and giving it a

distinct name of a God or a Goddess. Place their Pantheon, composed of 30 crores (or 300

millions) of deities within the macrocosm (the Universe), or inside the microcosm (man), and the

number will not be found overrated, since they relate to the atoms, cells, and molecules of

everything that is.

This, no doubt, is too poetical and abstruse for our generation, but it seems decidedly as

scientific, if not more so, than the teachings derived from the latest discoveries of Physiology

and Natural History.


1. Vide Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, pp. 2 and 3. (return to text)

2. From a paper read by him some time ago at a public lecture. (return to text)

3. L. Cienkowsky. See his work Beitraege zur Kentniss der Monaden, Archiv f. mikroskop,

Anatomie. (return to text)

4. Loc. Cit, Pfluger's Archiv., II. 387. (return to text)

5. From the paper read by the Professor of physiology at the University of Basle, previously

quoted. (return to text)

6. Untersuchungen uber Resorption u. Assimilation der Nahrstoffe (Archiv. f. Experimentale

Pathologie und Pharmakologie, Bd. XIX, 1885). (return to text)

7. Life and activity are but two different names for the same idea, or, what is still more correct,

they are two words with which the men of science connect no definite idea whatever.

Nevertheless, and perhaps just for that, they are obliged to use them, for they contain the point of

contact between the most difficult problems over which, in fact, the greatest thinkers of the

materialistic school have ever tripped. (return to text)

8. Brahma comes from the root brih, "to expand," to "scatter"; Vishnu from the root vis or vish

(phonetically) "to enter into," "to pervade" the universe, of matter. As to Siva -- the patron of the.

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Yogis, the etymology of his name would remain incomprehensible to the casual reader. (return to


The Dual Aspect of Wisdom

No doubt but ye are the people and wisdom shall die with you. -- Job xii, 2

But wisdom is justified of her children. -- Matthew xi, 19

It is the privilege -- as also occasionally the curse -- of editors to receive numerous letters of

advice, and the conductors of Lucifer have not escaped the common lot. Reared in the aphorisms

of the ages they are aware that "he who can take advice is superior to him who gives it," and are

therefore ready to accept with gratitude any sound and practical suggestions offered by friends;

but the last letter received does not fulfill the condition. It is not even his own wisdom, but that

of the age we live in, which is asserted by our adviser, who thus seriously risks his reputation for

keen observation by such acts of devotion on the altar of modern pretensions. It is in defense of

the "wisdom" of our century that we are taken to task, and charged with "preferring barbarous

antiquity to our modern civilization and its inestimable boons," with forgetting that "our own-day

wisdom compared with the awakening instincts of the Past is in no way inferior in philosophic

wisdom even to the age of Plato." We are lastly told that we, Theosophists, are "too fond of the

dim yesterday, and as unjust to our glorious (?) present-day, the bright noon-hour of the highest

civilization and culture"! !

Well, all this is a question of taste. Our correspondent is welcome to his own views, but so are

we to ours. Let him imagine that the Eiffel Tower dwarfs the Pyramid of Ghizeh into a mole-hill,

and the Crystal Palace grounds transform the hanging gardens of Semiramis into a kitchen-garden

-- if he likes. But if we are seriously "challenged" by him to show "in what respect our

age of hourly progress and gigantic thought" -- a progress a trifle marred, however, by our

Huxleys being denounced by our Surgeons, and the University ladies, senior classics and

wranglers, by the "hallelujah lasses" -- is inferior to the ages of, say, a hen-pecked "Socrates and

a cross-legged Buddha," then we will answer him, giving him, of course, our own personal


Our age, we say, is inferior in Wisdom to any other, because it professes, more visibly every day,

contempt for truth and justice, without which there can be no Wisdom. Because our civilization,

built up of shams and appearances, is at best like a beautiful green morass, a bog, spread over a

deadly quagmire. Because this century of culture and worship of matter, while offering prizes

and premiums for every "best thing" under the Sun, from the biggest baby and the largest orchid

down to the strongest pugilist and the fattest pig, has no encouragement to offer to morality; no

prize to give for any moral virtue. Because it has Societies for the prevention of physical cruelty

to animals, and none with the object of preventing the moral cruelty practiced on human beings.

Because it encourages, legally and tacitly, vice under every form, from the sale of whiskey down

to forced prostitution and theft brought on by starvation wages, Shylock-like exaction, rents and

other comforts of our cultured period. Because, finally, this is the age which, although

proclaimed as one of physical and moral freedom, is in truth the age of the most ferocious moral

and mental slavery, the like of which was never known before. Slavery to State and men has.

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disappeared only to make room for slavery to things and Self, to one's own vices and idiotic

social customs and ways. Rapid civilization, adapted to the needs of the higher and middle

classes, has doomed by contrast to only greater wretchedness the starving masses. Having

leveled the two former it has made them the more to disregard the substance in favor of form and

appearance, thus forcing modern man into duress vile, a slavish dependence on things inanimate,

to use and to serve which is the first bounded duty of every cultured man.

Where then is the Wisdom of our modern age?

In truth, it requires but a very few lines to show why we bow before ancient Wisdom, while

refusing absolutely to see any in our modern civilization. But to begin with, what does our critic

mean by the word "wisdom"? Though we have never too unreasonably admired Lactantius, yet

we must recognize that even that innocent Church Father, with all his cutting insults anent the

heliocentric system, defined the term very correctly when saying that "the first point of Wisdom

is to discern that which is false, and the second, to know that which is true." And if so what

chance is there for our century of falsification, from the revised Bible texts down to natural

butter, to put forth a claim to "Wisdom"? But before we cross lances on this subject we may do

well, perchance, to define the term ourselves.

Let us premise by saying that Wisdom is, at best, an elastic word -- at any rate as used in

European tongues. That it yields no clear idea of its meaning, unless preceded or followed by

some qualifying adjective. In the Bible, indeed, the Hebrew equivalent Chockmah (in Greek,

Sophia) is applied to the most dissimilar things -- abstract and concrete. Thus we find "Wisdom"

as the characteristic both of divine inspiration and also of terrestrial cunning and craft; as

meaning the Secret Knowledge of the Esoteric Sciences, and also blind faith; the "fear of the

Lord," and Pharaoh's magicians. The noun is indifferently applied to Christ and to sorcery, for

the witch Sedecla is also referred to as the "wise woman of En-Dor." From the earliest Christian

antiquity, beginning with St. James (iii, 13-17), down to the last Calvinist preacher, who sees in

hell and eternal damnation a proof of "the Almighty's wisdom," the term has been used with the

most varied meanings. But St. James teaches two kinds of wisdom; a teaching with which we

fully concur. He draws a strong line of separation between the divine or noetic "Sophia" -- the

Wisdom from above -- and the terrestrial, psychic, and devilish wisdom (iii, 15). For the true

Theosophist there is no wisdom save the former. Would that such an one could declare with

Paul, that he speaks that wisdom exclusively only among them "that are perfect," i.e., those

initiated into its mysteries, or familiar, at least, with the A B C of the sacred sciences. But,

however great was his mistake, however premature his attempt to sow the seeds of the true and

eternal gnosis on unprepared soil, his motives were yet good and his intention unselfish, and

therefore has he been stoned. For had he only attempted to preach some particular fiction of his

own, or done it for gain, who would have ever singled him out or tried to crush him, amid the

hundreds of other false sects, daily "collections" and crazy "societies"? But his case was

different. However cautiously, still he spoke "not the wisdom of this world" but truth or the

"hidden wisdom . . . which none of the Princes of this World know (I Corinth. ii.) least of all the

archons of our modern science. With regard to "psychic" wisdom, however, which James defines

as terrestrial and devilish, it has existed in all ages, from the days of Pythagoras and Plato, when

for one philosophus there were nine sophistae, down to our modern era. To such wisdom our

century is welcome, and indeed fully entitled, to lay a claim. Moreover, it is an attire easy to put.

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on; there never was a period when crows refused to array themselves in peacock's feathers, if the

opportunity was offered.

But now as then, we have a right to analyze the terms used and inquire in the words of the book

of Job, that suggestive allegory of Karmic purification and initiation rites: "Where shall (true)

wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding?" and to answer again in his words:

"With the ancient is wisdom and in the length of days understanding." (Job xxviii, 12 and xii, 12)

Here we have to qualify once more a dubious term, viz: the word "ancient," and to explain it. As

interpreted by the orthodox churches, it has in the mouth of Job one meaning; but with the

Kabalist, quite another; while in the Gnosis of the Occultist and Theosophist it has distinctly a

third signification, the same which it had in the original Book of Job, a pre-Mosaic work and a

recognized treatise on Initiation. Thus, the Kabalist applies the adjective "ancient" to the

Manifested WORD or LOGOS (Dabar) of the forever concealed and uncognizable deity. Daniel,

in one of his visions, also uses it when speaking of Jahve -- the androgynous Adam Kadmon.

The Church man connects it with his anthropomorphic Jehovah, the "Lord God" of the translated

Bible. But the Eastern Occultist employs the mystic term only when referring to the

reincarnating higher Ego. For, divine Wisdom being diffused throughout the infinite Universe,

and our impersonal HIGHER SELF being an integral part of it, the atmic light of the latter can be

centered only in that which though eternal is still individualized -- i.e., the noetic Principle, the

manifested God within each rational being, or our Higher Manas at one with Buddhi. It is this

collective light which is the "Wisdom that is from above," and which whenever it descends on

the personal Ego, is found "pure, peaceable, gentle." Hence, Job's assertion that "Wisdom is with

the Ancient," or Buddhi-Manas. For the Divine Spiritual "I," is alone eternal, and the same

throughout all births; whereas the "personalities" it informs in succession are evanescent,

changing like the shadows of a kaleidoscopic series of forms in a magic lantern. It is the

"Ancient," because, whether it be called Sophia, Krishna, Buddhi-Manas or Christos, it is ever

the "first-born" of Alaya-Mahat, the Universal Soul and the Intelligence of the Universe.

Esoterically then, Job's statement must read: "With the Ancient (man's Higher Ego) is Wisdom,

and in the length of days (or number of its re-incarnations) is understanding." No man can learn

true and final Wisdom in one birth; and every new rebirth, whether we be reincarnated for weal

or for woe, is one more lesson we receive at the hands of the stern yet ever just schoolmaster --


But the world -- the Western world, at any rate -- knows nothing of this, and refuses to learn

anything. For it, any notion of the Divine Ego or the plurality of its births is "heathen

foolishness." The Western world rejects these truths, and will recognize no wise men except

those of its own making, created in its own image, born within its own Christian era and

teachings. The only "wisdom" it understands and practices is the psychic, the "terrestrial and

devilish" wisdom spoken of by James, thus making of the real Wisdom a misnomer and a

degradation. Yet, without considering her multiplied varieties, there are two kinds of even

"terrestrial" wisdom on our globe of mud -- the real and the apparent. Between the two, there is

even for the superficial observer of this busy wicked world, a wide chasm, and yet how very few

people will consent to see it! The reason for this is quite natural. So strong is human selfishness,

that wherever there is the smallest personal interest at stake, there men become deaf and blind to

the truth, as often consciously as not. Nor are many people capable of recognizing as speedily as.

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is advisable the difference between men who are wise and those who only seem wise, the latter

being chiefly regarded as such because they are very clever at blowing their own trumpet. So

much for "wisdom" in the profane world.

As to the world of the students in mystic lore, it is almost worse. Things have strangely altered

since the days of antiquity, when the truly wise made it their first duty to conceal their

knowledge, deeming it too sacred to even mention before the hoi polloi. While the mediaeval

Rosecroix, the true philosopher, keeping old Socrates in mind, repeated daily that all he knew

was that he knew nothing, his modern self-styled successor announces in our day, through press

and public, that those mysteries in Nature and her Occult laws of which he knows nothing, have

never existed at all. There was a time when the acquirement of Divine Wisdom (Sapientia)

required the sacrifice and devotion of a man's whole life. It depended on such things as the purity

of the candidate's motives, on his fearlessness and independence of spirit; but now, to receive a

patent for wisdom and adept-ship requires only unblushing impudence. A certificate of divine

wisdom is now decreed, and delivered to a self-styled "Adeptus" by a regular majority of votes of

profane and easily caught gulls, while a host of magpies driven away from the roof of the

Temple of Science will herald it to the world in every marketplace and fair. Tell the public that

now, even as of old, the genuine and sincere observer of life and its underlying phenomena, the

intelligent co-worker with nature, may, by becoming an expert in her mysteries thereby become a

"wise" man, in the terrestrial sense of the word, but that never will a materialist wrench from

nature any secret on a higher plane -- and you will be laughed to scorn. Add, that no "wisdom

from above" descends on any one save on the sine qua non condition of leaving at the threshold

of the Occult every atom of selfishness, or desire for personal ends and benefit -- and you will be

speedily declared by your audience a candidate for the lunatic asylum. Nevertheless, this is an

old, very old truism. Nature gives up her innermost secrets and imparts true wisdom only to him,

who seeks truth for its own sake, and who craves for knowledge in order to confer benefits on

others, not on his own unimportant personality. And, as it is precisely to this personal benefit

that nearly every candidate for adept-ship and magic looks, and that few are they, who consent to

learn at such a heavy price and so small a benefit for themselves in prospect -- the really wise

Occultists become with every century fewer and rarer. How many are there, indeed, who would

not prefer the will-o'-the-wisp of even passing fame to the steady and ever-growing light of

eternal, divine knowledge, if the latter has to remain, for all but oneself -- a light under the


The same is the case in the world of materialistic science, where we see a great paucity of really

learned men and a host of skin-deep scientists, who yet demand each and all to be regarded as

Archimedes and Newtons. As above so below. Scholars who pursue knowledge for the sake of

truth and fact, and give these out, however unpalatable, and not for the dubious glory of

enforcing on the world their respective personal hobbies -- may be counted on the fingers of one

hand: while legion is the name of the pretenders. In our day, reputations for learning seem to be

built by suggestion on the hypnotic principle, rather than by real merit. The masses cower before

him who imposes himself upon them: hence such a galaxy of men regarded as eminent in

science, arts and literature; and if they are so easily accepted, it is precisely because of the

gigantic self-opinionated and self-assertion of, at any rate, the majority of them. Once thoroughly

analyzed, however, how many of such would remain who truly deserve the appellation of "wise"

even in terrestrial wisdom? How many, we ask, of the so-called "authorities" and "leaders of.

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men" would prove much better than those of whom it was said -- by one "wise" indeed -- "they

be blind leaders of the blind"? That the teachings of neither our modern teachers nor preachers

are "wisdom from above" is fully demonstrated. It is proved not by any personal incorrectness in

their statements or mistakes in life, for "to err is but human," but by incontrovertible facts.

Wisdom and Truth are synonymous terms, and that which is false or well-known representative

of the Church of England, that the Sermon of the Mount would, in its practical application, mean

utter ruin for his country less than three weeks; and if it is no less true, as asserted by a literary

critic of science, that "the knell of Charles Darwinism is rung in Mr. A. R. Wallace's present

book," (1) an event already predicted by Quatrefages -- then we are left to choose between two

courses. We have either to take both Theology and Science on blind faith and trust; or, to

proclaim both untrue and untrustworthy. There is however, a third course open: to pretend that

we believe in both at the same time, and say nothing, as many do; but this would be sinning

against Theosophy and pandering to the prejudices of Society -- and that we refuse to do. More

than this: we declare openly, quand meme, that not one of the two, neither Theologist nor

Scientist, has the right in the face of this to claim, the one that he preaches that which is divine

inspiration, and the other -- exact science; since the former enforces that, which is on his own

recognition, pernicious to men and states -- i.e. the ethics of Christ; and the other (in the person

of the eminent naturalist, Mr. A. R. Wallace, as shown by Mr. Samuel Butler) teaches Darwinian

evolution, in which he believes no longer; a scheme, moreover, which has never existed in

nature, if the opponents of Darwinism are correct.

Nevertheless, if anyone would presume to call "unwise" or "false" the world-chosen authorities,

or declare their respective policies dishonest, he would find himself promptly reduced to silence.

To doubt the exalted wisdom of the religion of the late Cardinal Newman, of the Church of

England, or again of our great modern scientists, is to sin against the Holy Ghost and Culture.

Woe unto him who refuses to recognize the World's "Elect." He has to bow before one or the

other, though, if one is true, the other must be false; and if the "wisdom" of neither Bishop nor

Scientist is "from above" -- which is pretty fairly demonstrated by this time -- then their

"wisdom" is at best -- "terrestrial, psychic, devilish."

Now our readers have to bear in mind that naught of the above is meant as a sign of disrespect

for the true teachings of Christ, or true science: nor do we judge personalities but only the

systems of our civilized world. Valuing freedom of thought above all things as the only way of

reaching at some future time that Wisdom, of which every Theosophist ought to be enamored,

we recognize the right to the same freedom in our foes as in our friends. All we contend for is

their claim to Wisdom -- as we understand this term. Nor do we blame, but rather pity, in our

innermost heart, the "wise men" of our age for trying to carry out the only policy that will keep

them on the pinnacle of their "authority"; as they could not, if even they would, act otherwise and

preserve their prestige with the masses, or escape from being speedily outcast by their

colleagues. The party spirit is so strong with regard to the old tracks and ruts, that to turn on a

side path means deliberate treachery to it. Thus, to be regarded now-a-days as an authority in

some particular subject, the scientist has to reject nolens volens the metaphysical, and the

theologian to show contempt for the materialistic teachings. All this is worldly policy and

practical common sense, but it is not the Wisdom of either Job or James..

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Shall it be then regarded as too far fetched, if, basing our words on a life-long observation and

experience, we venture to offer our ideas as to the quickest and most efficient means of obtaining

our present World's universal respect and becoming an "authority"? Show the tender regard for

the corns of every party's hobbies, and offer yourself as the chief executioner, the hangman, of

the reputations of men and things regarded as unpopular. Learn, that the great secret of power

consists in the art of pandering to popular prejudices, to the World's likes and dislikes. Once this

principal condition complied with, he who practices it is certain of attracting to himself the

educated and their satellites -- the less educated -- they whose rule it is to place themselves

invariably on the safe side of public opinion. This will lead to a perfect harmony or simultaneous

action. For, while the favorite attitude of the cultured is to hide behind the intellectual bulwarks

of the favorite leaders of scientific thought, and jurare in verba magistri, that of the less cultured

is to transform themselves into the faithful, mechanical telephones of their superiors, and to

repeat like well-trained parrots the dicta of their immediate leaders. The now aphoristical precept

of Mr. Artemus Ward, the showman of famous memory -- "Scratch my back, Mr. Editor, and I

will scratch yours" -- proves immortally true. The "rising Star," whether he be a theologian, a

politician, an author, a scientist, or a journalist -- has to begin scratching the back of public tastes

and prejudices -- a hypnotic method as old as human vanity. Gradually the hypnotized masses

begin to purr, they are ready for "suggestion." Suggest whatever you want them to believe, and

forthwith they will begin to return your caresses, and purr now to your hobbies, and pander in

their turn to anything suggested by theologian, politician, author, scientist, or journalist. Such is

the simple secret of blossoming into an "authority" or a "leader of men"; and such is the secret of

our modern-day wisdom.

And this is also the "secret" and the true reason of the unpopularity of Lucifer and of the

ostracism practiced by this same modern world on the Theosophical Society: for neither Lucifer,

nor the Society it belongs to, has ever followed Mr. Artemus Ward's golden precept. No true

Theosophist, in fact, would consent to become the fetish of a fashionable doctrine, any more than

he would make himself the slave of a decaying dead-letter system, the spirit from which has

disappeared for ever. Neither would he pander to anyone or anything, and therefore would

always decline to show belief in that in which he does not, nor can he believe, which is lying to

his own soul. Therefore there, where others see "the beauty and graces of modern culture," the

Theosophist sees only moral ugliness and the somersaults of the clowns of the so-called cultured

centers. For him nothing applies better to modern fashionable society than Sydney Smith's

description of Popish ritualism: "Posture and imposture, flections and genuflections, bowing to

the right, curtsying to the left, and an immense amount of male (and especially female)

millinery." There may be, no doubt, for some worldly minds, a great charm in modern

civilization; but for the Theosophist all its bounties can hardly repay for the evils it has brought

on the world. These are so many, that it is not within the limits of this article to enumerate these

offspring of culture and of the progress of physical science, whose latest achievements begin

with vivisection and end in improved murder by electricity.

Our answer, we have no doubt, is not calculated to make us more friends than enemies, but this

can be hardly helped. Our magazine may be looked upon as "pessimistic," but no one can charge

it with publishing slanders or lies, or, in fact, anything but that which we honestly believe to be

true. Be it as it may, however, we hope never to lack moral courage in the expression of our

opinions or in defense of Theosophy and its Society. Let then nine-tenths of every population.

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arise in arms against the Theosophical Society wherever it appears -- they will never be able to

suppress the truths it utters. Let the masses of growing Materialism, the hosts of Spiritualism, all

the Church-going congregations, bigots and iconoclasts, Grundy-worshippers, aping-followers

and blind disciples, let them slander, abuse, lie, denounce, and publish every falsehood about us

under the sun -- they will not uproot Theosophy, nor even upset her Society, if only its members

hold together. Let even such friends and advisers as he who is now answered, turn away in

disgust from those whom he addresses in vain -- it matters not, for our two paths in life run

diametrically opposite. Let him keep to his "terrestrial" wisdom: we will keep to that pure ray

"that comes from above," from the light of the "Ancient."

What indeed, has WISDOM, Theosophia -- the Wisdom "full of mercy and good fruits, without

wrangling or partiality and without hypocrisy" (James iii, 17) -- to do with our cruel, selfish,

crafty, and hypocritical world? What is there in common between divine Sophia and the

improvements of modern civilization and science; between spirit and the letter that killeth? The

more so as at this stage of evolution the wisest man on earth, according to the wise Carlyle, is but

a clever infant spelling letters from a hieroglyphical, prophetic book, the lexicon of which lies in



1. See "The Deadlock of Darwinism," by Samuel Butler, in the Universal Review for April,

1890. (return to text)

The Esoteric Character of the Gospels

Part I

". . . . Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy

presence, and of the consummation of the age?" (1) asked the Disciples of the

MASTER, on the Mount of Olives.

The reply given by the "Man of Sorrow," the Chrestos, on his trial, but also on his way to

triumph, as Christos, or Christ (2), is prophetic, and very suggestive. It is a warning indeed. The

answer must be quoted in full. Jesus . . . . said unto them: --

Take heed that no man lead you astray. For many shall come in my name saying, I

am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. And ye shall hear of wars . . . . but the

end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against

kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. But all

these things are the beginning of travail. . . . Many false prophets shall arise, and

shall lead many astray . . . . then shall the end come. . . . when ye see the

abomination of desolation which was spoken through Daniel. . . . Then if any man

shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or there; believe him not. . . . If they

shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the wilderness, go not forth; behold, he is in

the inner chambers, believe them not. For as the lightning cometh forth from the.

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East, and is seen even in the West, so shall be the presence of the Son of Man,

etc., etc.

Two things become evident to all in the above passages, now that their false rendering is

corrected in the revision text: (a) "the coming of Christ," means the presence of CHRISTOS in a

regenerated world, and not at all the actual coming in body of "Christ" Jesus; (b) this Christ is to

be sought neither in the wilderness nor "in the inner chambers," nor in the sanctuary of any

temple or church built by man; for Christ -- the true esoteric SAVIOR -- is no man, but the

DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being. He who strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in

him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the "sepulcher" of his sinful flesh; he who

has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has

the risen Christ in him.(3) The "Son of Man" is no child of the bond-woman -- flesh, but verily

of the free-woman -- Spirit (4), the child of man's own deeds, and the fruit of his own spiritual


On the other hand, at no time since the Christian era, have the precursor signs described in

Matthew applied so graphically and forcibly to any epoch as they do to our own times. When has

nation arisen against nation more than at this time? When have "famines" -- another name for

destitute pauperism, and the famished multitudes of the proletariat -- been more cruel,

earthquakes more frequent, or covered such an area simultaneously, as for the last few years?

Millenarians and Adventists of robust faith, may go on saying that "the coming of (the canalized)

Christ" is near at hand, and prepare themselves for "the end of the world." Theosophists -- at any

rate, some of them -- who understand the hidden meaning of the universally-expected Avatars,

Messiahs, Sosioshes and Christs -- know that it is no "end of the world," but "the consummation

of the age," i.e., the close of a cycle, which is now fast approaching. (5) If our readers have

forgotten the concluding passages of the article, "The Signs of the Times," (6) in LUCIFER for

October last, let them read them over, and they will plainly see the meaning of this particular


Many and many a time the warning about the "false Christs" and prophets who shall lead people

astray has been interpreted by charitable Christians, the worshippers of the dead-letter of their

scripture, as applying to mystics generally, and Theosophists most especially. The recent work

by Mr. Pember, Earth's Earliest Ages, is a proof of it. Nevertheless, it seems very evident that

the words in Matthew's Gospel and others can hardly apply to Theosophists. For these were

never found saying that Christ is "Here" or "There," in wilderness or city, and least of all in the

"inner chamber" behind the altar of any modern church. Whether Heathen or Christian by birth,

they refuse to materialize and thus degrade that which is the purest and grandest ideal -- the

symbol of symbols -- namely, the immortal Divine Spirit in man, whether it be called Horus,

Krishna, Buddha, or Christ. None of them has ever yet said: "I am the Christ"; for those born in

the West feel themselves, so far, only Chrestians (7), however much they may strive to become

Christians in Spirit. It is to those, who in their great conceit and pride refuse to win the right of

such appellation by first leading the life of Chrestos (8); to those who haughtily proclaim

themselves Christians (the glorified, the anointed) by sole virtue of baptism when but a few days

old -- that the above-quoted words of Jesus apply most forcibly. Can the prophetic insight of him

who uttered this remarkable warning be doubted by any one who sees the numerous "false

prophets" and pseudo-apostles (of Christ), now roaming over the world? These have split the one.

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divine Truth into fragments, and broken, in the camp of the Protestants alone, the rock of the

Eternal Verity into three hundred and fifty odd pieces, which now represent the bulk of their

Dissenting sects. Accepting the number in round figures as 350, and admitting, for argument's

sake, that, at least, one of these may have the approximate truth, still 349 must be necessarily

false. (9) Each of these claims to have Christ exclusively in its "inner chamber," and denies him

to all others, while, in truth, the great majority of their respective followers daily put Christ to

death on the cruciform tree of matter -- the "tree of infamy" of the old Romans -- indeed!

The worship of the dead-letter in the Bible is but one more form of idolatry, nothing better. A

fundamental dogma of faith cannot exist under a double-faced Janus form. "Justification" by

Christ cannot be achieved at one's choice and fancy, either by "faith" or by "works" and James,

therefore (ii., 25), contradicting Paul (Heb. xi., 31), and vice versa (10), one of them must be

wrong. Hence, the Bible is not the "Word of God," but contains at best the words of fallible men

and imperfect teachers. Yet read esoterically, it does contain, if not the whole truth, still,

"nothing but the truth," under whatever allegorical garb. Only: Quot homines tot sententiae.

The "Christ principle," the awakened and glorified Spirit of Truth, being universal and eternal,

the true Christos cannot be monopolized by any one person, even though that person has chosen

to arrogate to himself the title of the "Vicar of Christ," or of the "Head" of that or another State-religion.

The spirits of "Chrest" and "Christ" cannot be confined to any creed or sect, only

because that sect chooses to exalt itself above the heads of all other religions or sects. The name

has been used in a manner so intolerant and dogmatic, especially in our day, that Christianity is

now the religion of arrogance par excellence, a stepping-stone for ambition, a sinecure for

wealth, sham and power; a convenient screen for hypocrisy. The noble epithet of old, the one

that made Justin Martyr say that "from the mere name, which is imputed to us as a crime, we are

the most excellent," (11) is now degraded. The missionary prides himself with the so-called

conversion of a heathen, who makes of Christianity ever a profession, but rarely a religion, a

source of income from the missionary fund, and a pretext, since the blood of Jesus has washed

them all by anticipation, for every petty crime, from drunkenness and lying up to theft. That

same missionary, however, would not hesitate to publicly condemn the greatest saint to eternal

perdition and hell fires if that holy man has only neglected to pass through the fruitless and

meaningless form of baptism by water with accompaniment of lip prayers and vain ritualism.

We say "lip prayer" and "vain ritualism" knowingly. Few Christians among the laymen are aware

even of the true meaning of the word Christ; and those of the clergy who happen to know it (for

they are brought up in the idea that to study such subjects is sinful) keep the information secret

from their parishioners. They demand blind, implicit faith, and forbid inquiry as the one

unpardonable sin, though nothing of that which leads to the knowledge of the truth can be aught

else than holy. For what is "Divine Wisdom," or Gnosis, but the essential reality behind the

evanescent appearances of objects in nature -- the very soul of the manifested LOGOS? Why

should men who strive to accomplish union with the one eternal and absolute Deity shudder at

the idea of prying into its mysteries -- however awful? Why, above all, should they use names

and words the very meaning of which is a sealed mystery to them a mere sound? Is it because an

unscrupulous, power-seeking Establishment called a Church has cried "wolf" at every such

attempt, and, denouncing-it as "blasphemous," has ever tried to kill the spirit of inquiry? But

Theosophy, the "divine Wisdom," has never heeded that cry, and has the courage of its opinions..

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The world of sceptics and fanatics may call it, one -- an empty "ism" -- the other "Satanism":

they can never crush it. Theosophists have been called Atheists, haters of Christianity, the

enemies of God and the gods. They are none of these. Therefore, they have agreed this day to

publish a clear statement of their ideas, and a profession of their faith -- with regard to

monotheism and Christianity, at any rate -- and to place it before the impartial reader to judge

them and their detractors on the merits of their respective faiths. No truth-loving mind would

object to such honest and sincere dealing, nor will it be dazzled by any amount of new light

thrown upon the subject, howsoever much startled otherwise. On the contrary, such minds will

thank LUCIFER, perhaps, while those of whom it was said "qui vult decipi decipiatur" -- let

them be deceived by all means!

The editors of this magazine propose to give a series of essays upon the hidden meaning or

esotericism of the "New Testament." No more than any other scripture of the great world-religions

can the Bible be excluded from that class of allegorical and symbolical writings which

have been, from the pre-historic ages, the receptacle of the secret teachings of the Mysteries of

Initiation, under a more or less veiled form. The primitive writers of the Logia (now the Gospels)

knew certainly the truth, and the whole truth; but their successors had, as certainly, only dogma

and form, which lead to hierarchical power at heart, rather than the spirit of the so-called Christ's

teachings. Hence the gradual perversion. As Higgins truly said, in the Christologia of St. Paul

and Justin Martyr, we have the esoteric religion of the Vatican, a refined Gnosticism for the

cardinals, a more gross one for the people. It is the latter, only still more materialized and

disfigured, which has reached us in our age.

The idea of writing this series was suggested to us by a certain letter published in our October

issue, under the heading of "Are the Teachings ascribed to Jesus contradictory?" Nevertheless,

this is no attempt to contradict or weaken, in any one instance, that which is said by Mr. Gerald

Massey in his criticism. The contradictions pointed out by the learned lecturer and author are too

patent to be explained by any "Preacher" or Bible champion; for what he has said -- only in more

terse and vigorous language -- is what was said of the descendant of Joseph Pandira (or Panthera)

in Isis Unveiled (vol. II., p. 201), from the Talmudic Sepher Toldos Jeshu. His belief with regard

to the spurious character of the Bible and New Testament, as now edited, is therefore, also the

belief of the present writer. In view of the recent revision of the Bible, and its many thousands of

mistakes, mistranslations, and interpolations (some confessed to, and others withheld), it would

ill become an opponent to take any one to task for refusing to believe in the authorized texts.

But the editors would object to one short sentence in the criticism under notice. Mr. Gerald

Massey writes: --

"What is the use of taking your 'Bible oath' that the thing is true, if the book you are sworn upon

is a magazine of falsehoods already exploded, or just going off?"

Surely it is not a symbologist of Mr. Massey's powers and learning who would call the Book of

the Dead, or the Vedas, or any other ancient Scripture, "a magazine of falsehoods.'' (12) Why not

regard in the same light as all the others, the Old, and, in a still greater measure, the New


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All of these are "magazines of falsehoods," if accepted in the exoteric dead-letter interpretations

of their ancient, and especially their modern, theological glossarists. Each of these records has

served in its turn as a means for securing power and of supporting the ambitious policy of an

unscrupulous priesthood. All have promoted superstition, all made of their gods bloodthirsty and

ever-damning Molochs and fiends, as all have made nations to serve the latter more than the God

of Truth. But while cunningly-devised dogmas and intentional misinterpretations by scholiasts

are beyond any doubt, "falsehoods already exploded," the texts themselves are mines of universal

truths. But for the world of the profane and sinners, at any rate -- they were and still are like the

mysterious characters traced by "the fingers of a man's hand" on the wall of the Palace of

Belshazzar: they need a Daniel to read and understand them.

Nevertheless, TRUTH has not allowed herself to remain without witnesses. There are, besides

great Initiates into scriptural symbology, a number of quiet students of the mysteries or archaic

esotericism, of scholars proficient in Hebrew and other dead tongues, who have devoted their

lives to unriddle the speeches of the Sphinx of the world-religions. And these students, though

none of them has yet mastered all the "seven keys" that open the great problem, have discovered

enough to be able to say: There was a universal mystery-language, in which all the World

Scriptures were written, from Vedas to Revelation, from the Book of the Dead to the Acts. One of

the keys, at any rate -- the numerical and geometrical key (13) to the Mystery Speech is now

rescued; an ancient language, truly, which up to this time remained hidden, but the evidences of

which abundantly exist, as may be proven by undeniable mathematical demonstrations. If,

indeed, the Bible is forced on the acceptance of the world in its dead-letter meaning, in the face

of the modern discoveries by Orientalists and the efforts of independent students and kabalists, it

is easy to prophesy that even the present new generations of Europe and America will repudiate

it, as all the materialists and logicians have done. For, the more one studies ancient religious

texts, the more one finds that the ground-work of the New Testament is the same as the ground-work

of the Vedas, of the Egyptian theogony, and the Mazdean allegories. The atonements by

blood -- blood-covenants and blood-transferences from gods to men, and by men, as sacrifices to

the gods -- are the first keynote struck in every cosmogony and theogony; soul, life and blood

were synonymous words in every language, pre-eminently with the Jews; and that blood-giving

was life-giving. "Many a legend among (geographically) alien nations ascribes soul and

consciousness in newly-created mankind to the blood of the god-creators." Berosus records a

Chaldean legend ascribing the creation of a new race of mankind to the admixture of dust with

the blood that flowed from the severed head of the god Belus. "On this account it is that men are

rational and partake of divine knowledge," explains Berosus. (14) And Lenormant has shown

(Beginnings of History, p. 52, note) that "the Orphics . . . . said that the immaterial part of man,

his soul (his life) sprang from the blood of Dionysius Zagreus, whom . . . . Titans tore to pieces."

Blood "revivifies the dead" -- i.e., interpreted metaphysically, it gives conscious life and a soul to

the man of matter or clay -- such as the modern materialist is now. The mystic meaning of the

injunction, "Verily I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood,

ye have not life in yourselves," etc., can never be understood or appreciated at its true occult

value, except by those who hold some of the seven keys, and yet care little for St. Peter. (15)

These words, whether said by Jesus of Nazareth, or Jeshua Ben-Panthera, are the words of an

INITIATE. They have to be interpreted with the help of three keys -- one opening the psychic

door, the second that of physiology, and the third that which unlocks the mystery of terrestrial

being, by unveiling the inseparable blending of theogony with anthropology. It is for revealing a.

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few of these truths, with the sole view of saving intellectual mankind from the insanities of

materialism and pessimism, that mystics have often been denounced as the servants of

Antichrist, even by those Christians who are most worthy, sincerely pious and respectable men.

The first key that one has to use to unravel the dark secrets involved in the mystic name of

Christ, is the key which unlocked the door to the ancient mysteries of the primitive Aryans,

Sabeans and Egyptians. The Gnosis supplanted by the Christian scheme was universal. It was the

echo of the primordial wisdom-religion which had once been the heirloom of the whole of

mankind; and, therefore, one may truly say that, in its purely metaphysical aspect, the Spirit of

Christ (the divine logos) was present in humanity from the beginning of it. The author of the

Clementine Homilies is right; the mystery of Christos -- now supposed to have been taught by

Jesus of Nazareth -- "was identical" with that which from the first had been communicated "to

those who were worthy," as quoted in another lecture. (16) We may learn from the Gospel

according to Luke, that the "worthy" were those who had been initiated into the mysteries of the

Gnosis, and who were "accounted worthy" to attain that "resurrection from the dead" in this life .

. . . "those who knew that they could die no more, being equal to the angels as sons of God and

sons of the Resurrection." In other words, they were the great adepts of whatever religion; and

the words apply to all those who, without being Initiates, strive and succeed, through personal

efforts to live the life and to attain the naturally ensuing spiritual illumination in blending their

personality -- (the "Son") with (the "Father,") their individual divine Spirit, the God within them.

This "resurrection" can never be monopolized by the Christians, but is the spiritual birth-right of

every human being endowed with soul and spirit, whatever his religion may be. Such individual

is a Christ-man. On the other hand, those who choose to ignore the Christ (principle) within

themselves, must die unregenerate heathens -- baptism, sacraments, lip-prayers, and belief in

dogmas notwithstanding.

In order to follow this explanation, the reader must bear in mind the real archaic meaning of the

paronomasia involved in the two terms Chrestos and Christos. The former means certainly more

than merely "a good," and "excellent man," while the latter was never applied to any one living

man, but to every Initiate at the moment of his second birth and resurrection. (17) He who finds

Christos within himself and recognizes the latter as his only "way," becomes a follower and an

Apostle of Christ, though he may have never been baptized, nor even have met a "Christian," still

less call himself one.


1. Matthew xxiv, 3, et seq. The sentences italicized are those which stand corrected in the New

Testament after the recent revision in 1881 of the version of 1611; which version is full of errors,

voluntary and involuntary. The word "presence," for "coming," and "the consummation of the

age," now standing for "the end of the world," have altered, of late, the whole meaning, even for

the most sincere Christians, if we exempt the Adventists. (return to text)

2. He who will not ponder over and master the great difference between the meaning of the two.

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Greek words -- [chrestos] and [christos] must remain blind for ever to the true esoteric meaning

of the Gospels; that is to say, to the living Spirit entombed in the sterile dead-letter of the texts,

the very Dead Sea fruit of lip-Christianity. (return to text)

3. For ye are the temple ("sanctuary" in the revised N. T.) of the living God. (2 Cor. vi., 16.)

(return to text)

4. Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, was feminine with the Jews, as with most ancient peoples, and it

was so with the early Christians. Sophia of the Gnostics and the third Sephiroth Binah (the

female Jehovah of the Kabalists), are feminine principles -- "Divine Spirit," or Ruach. "Achath

Ruach Elohim Chiim." "One is She, the Spirit of the Elohim of Life," is said in Sepher Yezirah.

(return to text)

5. There are several remarkable cycles that come to a close at the end of this century. First, the

5,000 years of the Kaliyug cycle; again the Messianic cycle of the Samaritan (also Kabalistic)

Jews of the man connected with Pisces (Ichthys or "Fish-man" Dag). It is a cycle, historic and

not very long, but very occult, lasting about 2,155 solar years, but having a true significance only

when computed by lunar months. It occurred 2410 and 255 B.C., or when the equinox entered

into the sign of the Ram, and again into that of Pisces. When it enters, in a few years, the sign of

Aquarius, psychologists will have some extra work to do, and the psychic idiosyncrasies of

humanity will enter on a great change. (return to text)

6. See Volume II. p. 381. (return to text)

7. The earliest Christian author, Justin Martyr, calls, in his first Apology, his co-religionists

Chrestians, [Chrestianoi] -- not Christians. (return to text)

8. "Clemens Alexandrinus, in the second century, founds a serious argument on this paranomasia

(lib. iii., cap. xvii., 53 et circa), that all who believed in Chrest (i.e., "a good man") both are, and

are called Chrestians, that is, good men," (Strommata, lib. ii. "Higgins' Anacalypsis"). And

Lactantius (lib. iv., cap. vii.) says that it is only through ignorance that people call themselves

Christians, instead of Chrestians: "qui proper ignorantium errorem cum immutata litera

Chrestum solent dicere." (return to text)

9. In England alone, there are over 239 various sects. (See Whitaker's Almanac.) In 1883, there

were 186 denominations only, and now they steadily increase with every year, an additional 53

sects having sprung up in only four years! (return to text)

10. It is but fair to St. Paul to remark that this contradiction is surely due to later tampering with

his Epistles. Paul was a Gnostic himself, i.e., a "Son of Wisdom," and an Initiate into the true

mysteries of Christos, though he may have thundered (or was made to appear to do so) against

some Gnostic sects, of which, in his day, there were many. But his Christos was not Jesus of

Nazareth, nor any living man, as shown so ably in Mr. Gerald Massey's lecture, "Paul, the

Gnostic Opponent of Peter." He was an Initiate, a true "Master-Builder" or adept, as described in

Isis Unveiled, Vol. II., pp. 90-91. (return to text)

11. [hoson te ek tou kategoreumenou hemon onomatos chrestotatoi huparchomen] (First

Apology). (return to text)

12. The extraordinary amount of information collated by that able Egyptologist shows that he has

thoroughly mastered the secret of the production of the New Testament. Mr. Massey knows the

difference between the spiritual, divine and purely metaphysical Christos, and the made-up "lay

figure" of the canalized Jesus. He knows also that the Christian canon, especially the Gospels,

Acts and Epistles, are made up of fragments of gnostic wisdom, the ground-work of which is pre-Christian

and built on the MYSTERIES of Initiation. It is the mode of theological presentation.

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and the interpolated passages -- such as in Mark xvi. from verse 9 to the end -- which make of

the Gospels a "magazine of (wicked) falsehoods," and throw a slur on CHRISTOS. But the

Occultist who discerns between the two currents (the true gnostic and the pseudo Christian)

knows that the passages free from theological tampering belong to archaic wisdom, and so does

Mr. Gerald Massey, though his views differ from ours. (return to text)

13. "The key to the recovery of the language, so far as the writer's efforts have been concerned,

was found in the use, strange to say, of the discovered integral ratio in numbers of diameter to

circumference of a circle," by a geometrician. "This ratio is 6,561 for diameter and 20,612 for

circumference." (Cabalistic MSS.) In one of the future numbers of "LUCIFER" more details will

be given, with the permission of the discoverer. -- ED. (See The Secret Doctrine, I, 313 et seq.)

(return to text)

14. Cory's Anc. Frag., p. 59, f. So do Sanchoniaton and Hesiod, who both ascribe the vivifying of

mankind to the spilt blood of the gods. But blood and soul are one (nephesh), and the blood of

the gods means here the informing soul. (return to text)

15. The existence of these seven keys is virtually admitted, owing to deep research in the

Egyptological lore, by Mr. G. Massey again. While opposing the teachings of "Esoteric

Buddhism" -- unfortunately misunderstood by him in almost every respect -- in his Lecture on

"The Seven Souls of Man," he writes (p. 21): --

"This system of thought, this mode of representation, this septenary of powers, in

various aspects, had been established in Egypt, at least, seven thousand years ago,

as we learn from certain allusions to Atum (the god 'in whom the fatherhood was

individualized as the begetter of an eternal soul,' the seventh principle of the

Theosophists), found in the inscriptions lately discovered at Saqqarah. I say in

various aspects, because the gnosis of the Mysteries was, at least, sevenfold in its

nature -- it was Elemental, Biological, Elementary (human), Stellar, Lunar, Solar

and Spiritual -- and nothing short of a grasp of the whole system can possibly

enable us to discriminate the various parts, distinguish one from the other, and

determinate the which and the what, as we try to follow the symbolical Seven

through their several phases of character." (return to text)

16. "Gnostic and Historic Christianity." (return to text)

17. "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of

God." (John iii. 4.) Here the birth from above, the spiritual birth, is meant, achieved at the

supreme and last initiation. (return to text)

The Esoteric Character of the Gospels

Part II

The word Chrestos existed ages before Christianity was heard of. It is found used, from the fifth

century B.C., by Herodotus, by Aeschylus and other classical Greek writers, the meaning of it

being applied to both things and persons.

Thus in Aeschylus (Cho. 901) we read of pythochresta the "oracles delivered by a Pythian God"

(Greek-English Lexicon) through a pythoness; and Pythochrestos is the nominative singular of an.

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adjective derived from chrao (Eurip. Ion, 1218). The later meanings coined freely from this

primitive application, are numerous and varied. Pagan classics expressed more than one idea by

the verb [chraomai] "consulting an oracle"; for it also means "fated," doomed by an oracle, in the

sense of a sacrificial victim to its decree, or -- "to the WORD"; as chresterion is not only "the

seat of an oracle" but also "an offering to, or for, the oracle.'' (18) Chrestes is one who expounds

or explains oracles, "a prophet, a soothsayer;" (19) and chresterios is one who belongs to, or is

in the service of, an oracle, a god, or a "Master" (20); this Canon Farrar's efforts


All this is evidence that the terms Christ and Christians, spelt originally Chrest and Chrestians

[chrestianoi] (22) were directly borrowed from the Temple terminology of the Pagans, and

meant the same thing. The God of the Jews was now substituted for the Oracle and the other

gods; the generic designation "Chrestos" became a noun applied to one special personage; and

new terms such as Chrestianoi and Chrestodoulos "a follower or servant of Chrestos" -- were

coined out of the old material. This is shown by Philo Judaeus, a monotheist, assuredly, using

already the same term for monotheistic purposes. For he speaks of theochrestos "God-declared,"

or one who is declared by god, and of logia theochresta "sayings delivered by God" -- which

proves that he wrote at a time (between the first century B. C., and the first A. D.) when neither

Christians nor Chrestians were yet known under these names, but still called themselves the

Nazarenes. The notable difference between the two words [chrao] -- "consulting or obtaining

response from a god or oracle" (chreo being the Ionic earlier form of it), and chrio "to rub, to

anoint" (from which the name Christos), has not prevented the ecclesiastical adoption and coin

age from Philo's expression [Theochrestos] of that other term [Theochristos] "anointed by God."

Thus the quiet substitution of the letter, [i] for [e] for dogmatic purposes, was achieved in the

easiest way, as we now see.

The secular meaning of Chrestos runs throughout the classical Greek literature pari passu with

that given to it in the mysteries. Demosthenes' saying [o Chreste] (330, 27), means by it simply

"you nice fellow"; Plato (in Phaed. 264 B) has [chrestos ei hoti hegei] -- "you are an excellent

fellow to think . . ." But in the esoteric phraseology of the temples "chrestos," (23) a word which,

like the participle chrestheis, is formed under the same rule, and conveys the same sense -- from

the verb [chraomai] ("to consult a god") -- answers to what we would call an adept, also a high

chela, a disciple. It is in this sense that it is used by Euripides (Ion. 1320) and by Aeschylus (l.

c.). This qualification was applied to those whom the god, oracle, or any superior had proclaimed

this, that, or anything else. An instance may be given in this case.

The words [chresen oikistera] used by Pindar (pp. 4-10) mean "the oracle proclaimed him the

colonizer." In this case the genius of the Greek language permits that the man so proclaimed

should be called Chrestos. Hence this term was applied to every Disciple recognized by a

Master, as also to every good man. Now, the Greek language affords strange etymologies.

Christian theology has chosen and decreed that the name Christos should be taken as derived

from [chrio, chriso], "anointed with scented unguents or oil." But this word has several

significances. It is used by Homer, certainly, as applied to the rubbing with oil of the body after

bathing (Il. 23, 186; also in Od., 4, 252) as other ancient writers do. Yet the word Christes means

rather a white-washer, while the word Chrestes means priest and prophet, a term far more

applicable to Jesus, than that of the "Anointed," since, as Nork shows on the authority of the.

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Gospels, he never was anointed, either as king or priest. In short, there is a deep mystery

underlying all this scheme, which, as I maintain, only a thorough knowledge of the Pagan

mysteries is capable of unveiling. (24) It is not what the early Fathers, who had an object to

achieve, may affirm or deny, that is the important point, but rather what is now the evidence for

the real significance given to the two terms Chrestos and Christos by the ancients in the pre-Christian

ages. For the latter had no object to achieve, therefore nothing to conceal or disfigure,

and their evidence is naturally the more reliable of the two. This evidence can be obtained by

first studying the meaning given to these words by the classics, and then their correct

significance searched for in mystic symbology.

Now Chrestos, as already said, is a term applied in various senses. It qualifies both Deity and

Man. It is used in the former sense in the Gospels, and in Luke (vi., 35), where it means "kind,"

and "merciful." [chrestos estin epi tous] . . .; in I Peter (ii., 3), where it is said, "Kind is the

Lord," [Chrestos o Kurios]. On the other hand, it is explained by Clemens Alexandrinus as

simply meaning a good man; i.e., "All who believe in Chrest (a good man) both are, and are

called Chrestians, that is good men." (Strom. lib. ii.) The reticence of Clemens, whose

Christianity, as King truly remarks in his Gnostics, was no more than a graft upon the congenial

stock of his original Platonism, is quite natural. He was an Initiate, a new Platonist, before he

became a Christian, which fact, however much he may have fallen off from his earlier views,

could not exonerate him from his pledge of secrecy. And as a Theosophist and a Gnostic, one

who knew, Clemens must have known that Christos was "the WAY," while Chrestos was the

lonely traveler journeying on to reach the ultimate goal through that "Path," which goal was

Christos, the glorified Spirit of "TRUTH," the reunion with which makes the soul (the Son) ONE

with the (Father) Spirit. That Paul knew it, is certain, for his own expressions prove it. For what

do the words [palin odino, achris ou morphothei Christos], or as given in the authorized

translations, "I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you" mean, but what we give in its

esoteric rendering, i.e., "until you find the Christos within yourselves as your only 'way'." (Vide

Galatians iv., 19 and 20.)

Thus Jesus, whether of Nazareth or Lud (25), was a Chrestos, as undeniably as that he never was

entitled to the appellation of Christos, during his life-time and before his last trial. It may have

been as Higgins thinks, who surmises that the first name of Jesus was, perhaps, [chreistos], the

second, [chrestos], and the third [christos]. "The word [chreistos] was in use before the H (cap.

eta) was in the language." But Taylor (in his answer to Pye Smith, p. 113) is quoted saying "The

complimentary epithet Chrest . . . . signified nothing more than a good man."

Here again a number of ancient writers may be brought for ward to testify that Christos (or

Chreistos, rather) was, along with [chrestos] = Chrestos, an adjective applied to Gentiles before

the Christian era. In Philopatris it is said [ei tuchoi chrestos kai en ethnesin], i.e., "if chrestos

chance to be even among the Gentiles," etc.

Tertullian denounces in the 3rd chapter of his Apologia the word "Christianus" as derived by

"crafty interpretation" (26); Dr. Jones, on the other hand, letting out the information,

corroborated by good sources, that "Chrestos ([chrestos]) was the name given to Christ by the

Gnostics, and even by unbelievers," assures us that the real name ought to be [christos] or

Christos -- thus repeating and supporting the original "pious fraud" of the early Fathers, a fraud.

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which led to the carnalizing of the whole Christian system. (27) But I propose to show as much

of the real meaning of all these terms as lies within my humble powers and knowledge. Christos,

or the "Christ condition," was ever the synonym of the "Mahatmic-condition," i.e., the union of

the man with the divine principle in him. As Paul says (Ephes. iii. 17) "[katoikesai ton Christon

dia tes pisteos en tais kardiais humon]." "That you may find Christos in your inner man through

knowledge" not faith, as translated; for Pistis is "knowledge," as will be shown further on.

There is still another and far more weighty proof that the name Christos is pre-Christian. The

evidence for it is found in the prophecy of the Erythrean Sybil. We read it in [IESOUS

CHREISTOS THEOU HUIOS SOTER STAUROS]. Read esoterically, this string of meaningless

detached nouns, which has no sense to the profane, contains a real prophecy -- only not referring

to Jesus -- and a verse from the mystic catechism of the Initiate. The prophecy relates to the

coming down upon the Earth of the Spirit of Truth (Christos), after which advent -- that has once

more nought to do with Jesus -- will begin the Golden Age; the verse refers to the necessity

before reaching that blessed condition of inner (or subjective) theophany and theopneusty, to

pass through the crucifixion of flesh or matter. Read exoterically, the words "Iesous Chreistos

theou yios soter stauros," meaning literally "Iesus, Christos, God, Son, Savior, Cross," are most

excellent handles to hang a Christian prophecy on, but they are pagan, not Christian.

If called upon to explain the names IESOUS CHREISTOS, the answer is: study mythology, the

so-called "fictions" of the ancients, and they will give you the key. Ponder over Apollo, the solar

god, and the "Healer," and the allegory about his son Janus (or Ion), his priest at Delphos,

through whom alone could prayers reach the immortal gods, and his other son Asclepios, called

the Soter, or Savior. Here is a leaflet from esoteric history written in symbolical phraseology by

the old Grecian poets.

The city of Chrisa (28) (now spelt Crisa), was built in memory of Kreusa (or Creusa), daughter

of King Erechtheus and mother of Janus (or Ion) by Apollo, in memory of the danger which

Janus escaped. (29) We learn that Janus, abandoned by his mother in a grotto "to hide the shame

of the virgin who bore a son," was found by Hermes, who brought the infant to Delphi, nurtured

him by his father's sanctuary and oracle, where, under the name of Chresis Janus became first a

Chrestis (a priest, soothsayer, or Initiate), and then very nearly a Chresterion, "a sacrificial

victim," (30) ready to be poisoned by his own mother who knew him not, and who, in her

jealousy, mistook him, on the hazy intimation of the oracle, for a son of her husband. He pursued

her to the very altar with the intention of killing her -- when she was saved through the

pythoness, who divulged to both the secret of their relationship. In memory of this narrow

escape, Creusa, the mother, built the city of Chrisa, or Krisa. Such is the allegory, and it

symbolizes simply the trials of Initiation. (31)

Finding then that Janus, the solar God, and son of Apollo, the Sun, means the "Initiator" and the

"Opener of the Gate of Light," or secret wisdom of the mysteries; that he is born from Krisa

(esoterically Chris), and that he was a Chrestos through whom spoke the God; that he was finally

Ion, the father of the Ionians, and, some say, an aspect of Asclepios, another son of Apollo, it is

easy to get hold of the thread of Ariadne in this labyrinth of allegories. It is not the place here to

prove side issues in mythology, however. It suffices to show the connection between the

mythical characters of hoary antiquity and the later fables that marked the beginning of our era of.

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civilization. Asclepios (Esculapius) was the divine physician, the "Healer," the "Savior," [Soter]

as he was called, a title also given to Janus of Delphi; and IASO, the daughter of Asclepios, was

the goddess of healing, under whose patronage were all the candidates for initiation in her

father's temple, the novices or chrestoi, called "the sons of Iaso." (Vide for name, Plutus, by

Aristoph. 701).

Now, if we remember, firstly, that the names of IESUS in their different forms, such as Iasius,

Iasion, Jason and Iasus, were very common in ancient Greece, especially among the descendants

of Jasius (the Jasides), as also the number of the "sons of Iaso," the Mystoi and future Epoptai

(Initiates), why should not the enigmatical words in the Sibylline Book be read in their legitimate

light, one that had nought to do with a Christian prophecy? The secret doctrine teaches that the

first two words [IESOUS CHREISTOS] mean simply "son of Iaso, a Chrestos," or servant of the

oracular God. Indeed IASO is in the Ionic dialect IESO and the expression Iesous -- in its archaic

form, [IESOUS] -- simply means "the son of Iaso or Ieso, the "healer," i.e., [ho Iesous] ([uios]).

No objection, assuredly, can be taken to such rendering, or to the name being written Ieso instead

of Iaso, since the first form is attic, therefore incorrect, for the name is Ionic. "Ieso" from which

"Ho Iesous" (son of Ieso) -- i.e., a genitive, not a nominative -- is Ionic and cannot be anything

else, if the age of the Sibylline book is taken into consideration. Nor could the Sibyl of Erythrea

have spelt it originally otherwise, as Erythrea, her very residence, was a town in Ionia (from Ion

or Janus) opposite Chios; and that the Ionic preceded the attic form.

Leaving aside in this case the mystical signification of the now famous Sibylline sentence, and

giving its literal interpretation only, on the authority of all that has been said, the hitherto

mysterious words would stand; "Son of IASO, CHRESTOS (the priest or servant) (of the) SON

of (the) GOD (Apollo) the SAVIOR from the CROSS" -- (of flesh or matter). (32) Truly,

Christianity can never hope to be understood until every trace of dogmatism is swept away from

it, and the dead letter sacrificed to the eternal Spirit of Truth, which is Horus, which is Crishna,

which is Buddha, as much as it is the Gnostic Christos and the true Christ of Paul.

In the Travels of Dr. Clarke, the author describes a heathen monument found by him.

Within the sanctuary, behind the altar, we saw the fragments of a marble

cathedra, upon the back of which we found the following inscription, exactly as it

is here written, no part of it having been injured or obliterated, affording perhaps

the only instance known of a sepulchral inscription upon a monument of this

remarkable form.


ETON IH]; or, "Chrestos, the first, a Thessalonian from Larissa, Pelasgiot 18 years old Hero."

Chrestos the first (protos), why? Read literally the inscription has little sense; interpreted

esoterically, it is pregnant with meaning. As Dr. Clarke shows, the word Chrestos is found on the

epitaphs of almost all the ancient Larissians; but it is preceded always by a proper name. Had the

adjective Chrestos stood after a name, it would only mean "a good man," a posthumous

compliment paid to the defunct, the same being often found on our modern tumular epitaphs. But

the word Chrestos, standing alone and the other word, "protos," following it, gives it quite

another meaning, especially when the deceased is specified as a "hero." To the mind of an.

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Occultist, the defunct was a neophyte, who had died in his 18th year of neophytism (33), and

stood in the first or highest class of discipleship, having passed his preliminary trials as a "hero";

but had died before the last mystery, which would have made of him a "Christos," an anointed,

one with the spirit of Christos or Truth in him. He had not reached the end of the "Way," though

he had heroically conquered the horrors of the preliminary theurgic trials.

We are quite warranted in reading it in this manner, after learning the place where Dr. Clarke

discovered the tablet, which was, as Godfrey Higgins remarks, there, where "I should expect to

find it, at Delphi, in the temple of the God IE," who, with the Christians became Jah, or Jehovah,

one with Christ Jesus. It was at the foot of Parnassus, in a gymnasium, "adjoining the Castalian

fountain, which flowed by the ruins of Crisa, probably the town called Crestona," etc. And again:

"In the first part of its course from the (Castalian) fountain, it (the river) separates the remains of

the gymnasium . . . from the valley of Castro," as it probably did from the old city of Delphi --

the seat of the great oracle of Apollo, of the town of Krisa (or Kreusa) the great center of

initiations and of the Chrestoi of the decrees of the oracles, where the candidates for the last

labor were anointed with sacred oils (34) before being plunged into their last trance of forty-nine

hours' duration (as to this day, in the East), from which they arose as glorified adepts or


In the Clementine Recognitions it is announced that the father anointed his son

with "oil that was taken from the wood of the Tree of Life, and from this

anointing he is called the Christ": whence the Christian name. This again is

Egyptian. Horus was the anointed son of the father. The mode of anointing him

from the Tree of Life, portrayed on the monuments, is very primitive indeed; and

the Horus of Egypt was continued in the Gnostic Christ, who is reproduced upon

the Gnostic stones as the intermediate link betwixt the Karest and the Christ, also

as the Horus of both sexes. ("The name and nature of the Christ." -- Gerald

Massey )

Mr. G. Massey connects the Greek Christos or Christ with the Egyptian Karest, the "mummy

type of immortality," and proves it very thoroughly. He begins by saying that in Egyptian the

"Word of Truth" is Ma-Kheru, and that it is the title of Horus. Thus as he shows, Horus preceded

Christ as the Messenger of the Word of Truth, the Logos or the manifestor of the divine nature in

humanity. In the same paper he writes as follows:

The Gnosis had three phases -- astronomical, spiritual, and doctrinal, and all three

can be identified with the Christ of Egypt. In the astronomical phase the

constellation Orion is called the Sahu or mummy. The soul of Horus was

represented as rising from the dead and ascending to heaven in the stars of Orion.

The mummy-image was the preserved one, the saved, therefore a portrait of the

Savior, as a type of immortality. This was the figure of a dead man, which, as

Plutarch and Herodotus tell us, was carried round at an Egyptian banquet, when

the guests were invited to look on it and eat and drink and be happy, because,

when they died, they would become what the image symbolized -- that is, they

also would be immortal! This type of immortality was called the Karest, or

Karust, and it was the Egyptian Christ. To Kares means to embalm, anoint, to.

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make the Mummy as a type of the eternal; and, when made, it was called the

Karest; so that this is not merely a matter of name for name, the Karest for the


This image of the Karest was bound up in a woof without a seam, the proper

vesture of the Christ! No matter what the length of the bandage might be, and

some of the mummy-swathes have been unwound that were 1,000 yards in length,

the woof was from beginning to end without a seam. . . . Now, this seamless robe

of the Egyptian Karest is a very tell-tale type of the mystical Christ, who becomes

historic in the Gospels as the wearer of a coat or chiton, made without a seam,

which neither the Greek nor the Hebrew fully explains, but which is explained by

the Egyptian Ketu for the woof, and by the seamless robe or swathing without

seam that was made for eternal wear, and worn by the Mummy-Christ, the image

of immortality in the tombs of Egypt.

Further, Jesus is put to death in accordance with the instructions given for making

the Karest. Not a bone must be broken. The true Karest must be perfect in every

member. "This is he who comes out sound; whom men know not is his name."

In the Gospels Jesus rises again with every member sound, like the perfectly-preserved

Karest, to demonstrate the physical resurrection of the mummy. But, in

the Egyptian original, the mummy transforms. The deceased says: "I am

spiritualized. I am become a soul. I rise as a God." This transformation into the

spiritual image, the Ka, has been omitted in the Gospel.

This spelling of the name as Chrest or Chrest in Latin is supremely important,

because it enables me to prove the identity with the Egyptian Karest or Karust,

the name of the Christ as the embalmed mummy, which was the image of the

resurrection in Egyptian tombs, the type of immortality, the likeness of the Horus,

who rose again and made the pathway out of the sepulcher for those who were his

disciples or followers. Moreover, this type of the Karest or Mummy-Christ is

reproduced in the Catacombs of Rome. No representation of the supposed historic

resurrection of Jesus has been found on any of the early Christian monuments.

But, instead of the missing fact, we find the scene of Lazarus being raised from

the dead. This is depicted over and over again as the typical resurrection where

there is no real one! The scene is not exactly in accordance with the rising from

the grave in the Gospel. It is purely Egyptian, and Lazarus is an Egyptian

mummy! Thus Lazarus, in each representation, is the mummy-type of the

resurrection; Lazarus is the Karest, who was the Egyptian Christ, and who is

reproduced by Gnostic art in the Catacombs of Rome as a form of the Gnostic

Christ, who was not and could not become an historical character.

Further, as the thing is Egyptian, it is probable that the name is derived from

Egyptian. If so, Laz (equal to Ras) means to be raised up, while aru is the

mummy by name. With the Greek terminal s this becomes Lazarus. In the course

of humanizing the mythos the typical representation of the resurrection found in.

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the tombs of Rome and Egypt would become the story of Lazarus being raised

from the dead. This Karest type of the Christ in the Catacombs is not limited to


By means of the Karest type the Christ and the Christians can both be traced in

the ancient tombs of Egypt. The mummy was made in this likeness of the Christ.

It was the Christ by name, identical with the Chrestoi of the Greek Inscriptions.

Thus the honored dead, who rose again as the followers of Horus-Makheru, the

Word of Truth, are found to be the Christians, on the Egyptian monuments. Ma-Kheru

is the term that is always applied to the faithful ones who win the crown of

life and wear it at the festival which is designated 'Come thou to me' -- an

invitation by Horus the Justifier to those who are the 'Blessed ones of his father,

Osiris' -- they who, having made the Word of Truth the law of their lives, were

the Justified -- [hoi chrestoi], the Christians, on earth.

In a fifth century representation of the Madonna and child from the cemetery of

St. Valentinus, the new-born babe lying in a box or crib is also the Karest, or

mummy-type, further identified as the divine babe of the solar mythos by the disk

of the sun and the cross of the equinox at the back of the infant's head. Thus the

child-Christ of the historic faith is born, and visibly begins in the Karest image of

the dead Christ, which was the mummy-type of the resurrection in Egypt for

thousands of years before the Christian era. This doubles the proof that the Christ

of the Christian Catacombs was a survival of the Karest of Egypt.

Moreover, as Didron shows, there was a portrait of the Christ who had his body

painted red! (35) It was a popular tradition that the Christ was of a red

complexion. This, too, may be explained as a survival of the Mummy-Christ. It

was an aboriginal mode of rendering things tapu by coloring them red. The dead

corpse was coated with red ochre -- a very primitive mode of making the mummy,

or the anointed one. Thus the God Ptah tells Rameses II that he has "re-fashioned

his flesh in vermilion." This anointing with red ochre is called Kura by the Maori,

who likewise made the Karest or Christ.

We see the mummy-image continued on another line of descent when we learn

that among other pernicious heresies and deadly sins with which the Knights

Templars were charged, was the impious custom of adoring a Mummy that had

red eyes. Their Idol, called Baphomet, is also thought to have been a mummy. . . .

The Mummy was the earliest human image of the Christ.

I do not doubt that the ancient Roman festivals called the Charistia were

connected in their origin with the Karest and the Eucharist as a celebration in

honor of the manes of their departed kith and kin, for whose sakes they became

reconciled at the friendly gathering once a year. It is here, then, we have to seek

the essential connection between the Egyptian Christ, the Christians, and the

Roman Catacombs. These Christian Mysteries, ignorantly explained to be

inexplicable, can be explained by Gnosticism and Mythology, but in no other.

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way. It is not that they are insoluble by human reason, as their incompetent,

howsoever highly paid, expounders now-a-days pretend. That is but the puerile

apology of the unqualified for their own helpless ignorance -- they who have

never been in possession of the gnosis or science of the Mysteries by which alone

these things can be explained in accordance with their natural genesis. In Egypt

only can we read the matter to the root, or identify the origin of the Christ by

nature and by name, to find at last that the Christ was the Mummy-type, and that

our Christology is mummified mythology." -- Agnostic Annual

The above is an explanation on purely scientific evidence, but, perhaps, a little too materialistic,

just because of that science, notwithstanding that the author is a well-known Spiritualist.

Occultism pure and simple finds the same mystic elements in the Christian as in other faiths,

though it rejects as emphatically its dogmatic and historic character. It is a fact that in the terms

[Iesous ho Christos] (See Acts v. 42, ix. 34; I Corinth. iii. 11, etc.), the article [ho] designating

"Christos," proves it simply a surname, like that of Phocion, who is referred to as [Phokion ho

chrestos] (Plut. v.). Still, the personage (Jesus) so addressed -- whenever he lived -- was a great

Initiate and a "Son of God."

For, we say it again, the surname Christos is based on, and the story of the Crucifixion derived

from, events that preceded it. Everywhere, in India as in Egypt, in Chaldea as in Greece, all these

legends were built upon one and the same primitive type; the voluntary sacrifice of the logoi --

the rays of the one LOGOS, the direct manifested emanation from the One ever-concealed

Infinite and Unknown -- whose rays incarnated in mankind. They consented to fall into matter,

and are, therefore, called the "Fallen Ones." This is one of those great mysteries which can

hardly be touched upon in a magazine article, but shall be noticed in a separate work of mine,

The Secret Doctrine, very fully.

Having said so much, a few more facts may be added to the etymology of the two terms.

[Christos] being the verbal adjective in Greek of [chrio] "to be rubbed on," as ointment or salve,

and the word being finally brought to mean "the Anointed One," in Christian theology; and Kri,

in Sanskrit, the first syllable in the name of Krishna, meaning "to pour out, or rub over, to cover

with," (36) among many other things, this may lead one as easily to make of Krishna, "the

anointed one." Christian philologists try to limit the meaning of Krishna's name to its derivation

from Krish, "black"; but if the analogy and comparison of the Sanskrit with the Greek roots

contained in the names of Chrestos, Christos, and Chrishna, are analyzed more carefully, it will

be found that they are all of the same origin. (37)

"In Bockh's Christian Inscriptions, numbering 1287, there is no single instance of an earlier date

than the third century, wherein the name is not written Chrest or Chreist." "The Name and

Nature of the Christ," by G. Massey, The Agnostic Annual.)

Yet none of these names can be unriddled, as some Orientalists imagine, merely with the help of

astronomy and the knowledge of zodiacal signs in conjunction with phallic symbols. Because,

while the sidereal symbols of the mystic characters or personifications in Puranas or Bible, fulfill

astronomical functions, their spiritual anti-types rule invisibly, but very effectively, the world.

They exist as abstractions on the higher plane, as manifested ideas on the astral, and become.

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males, females and androgyne powers on this lower plane of ours. Scorpio, as Chrestos-Meshiac,

and Leo, as Christos-Messiah antedated by far the Christian era in the trials and triumphs of

Initiation during the Mysteries, Scorpio standing as symbol for the latter, Leo for the glorified

triumph of the "sun" of truth. The mystic philosophy of the allegory is well understood by the

author of the Source of Measures; who writes:

One (Chrestos) causing himself to go down into the pit (of Scorpio, or incarnation

in the womb) for the salvation of the world; this was the Sun, shorn of his golden

rays, and crowned with blackened (38) ones (symbolizing this loss) as the thorns;

the other was the triumphant Messiah, mounted up to the summit of the arch of

heaven, personated as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. In both instances he had the

Cross; once in humiliation (as the son of copulation), and once holding it in his

control, as the law of creation, he being Jehovah --

in the scheme of the authors of dogmatic Christianity. For, as the same author shows further,

John, Jesus and even Apollonius of Tyana were but epitomizers of the history of the Sun "under

differences of aspect or condition." (39) The explanation, he says,

is simple enough, when it is considered that the names Jesus, Hebrew [JSH] and

Apollonius, or Apollo, are alike names of the Sun in the heavens, and, necessarily,

the history of the one, as to his travels through the signs, with the personifications

of his sufferings, triumphs and miracles, could be but the history of the other,

where there was a wide-spread, common method of describing those travels by


The fact that the Secular Church was founded by Constantine, and that it was a part of his decree

"that the venerable day of the Sun should be the day set apart for the worship of Jesus Christ as

Sun-day," shows that they knew well in that "Secular Church" "that the allegory rested upon an

astronomical basis," as the author affirms. Yet, again, the circumstance that both Puranas and

Bible are full of solar and astronomical allegories, does not militate against that other fact that all

such scriptures in addition to these two are closed books to the scholars "having authority." (!)

Nor does it affect that other truth, that all those systems are not the work of mortal man, nor are

they his invention in their origin and basis.

Thus "Christos," under whatever name, means more than Karest, a mummy, or even the

"anointed" and the elect of theology. Both of the latter apply to Chrestos, the man of sorrow and

tribulation, in his physical, mental, and psychic conditions, and both relate to the Hebrew

Mashiac (from whence Messiah) condition, as the word is etymologized (40) by Fuerst, and the

author of The Source of Measures, p. 255. Christos is the crown of glory of the suffering

Chrestos of the mysteries, as of the candidate to the final UNION, of whatever race and creed.

To the true follower of the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, it matters little, therefore, whether Jesus, as man

and Chrestos, lived during the era called Christian, or before, or never lived at all. The Adepts,

who lived and died for humanity, have existed in many and all the ages, and many were the good

and holy men in antiquity who bore the surname or title of Chrestos before Jesus of Nazareth,

otherwise Jesus (or Jehoshua) Ben Pandira was born. (41) Therefore, one may be permitted to

conclude, with good reason, that Jesus, or Jehoshua, was like Socrates, like Phocian, like.

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Theodorus, and so many others surnamed Chrestos, i.e., the "good, the excellent," the gentle, and

the holy Initiate, who showed the "way" to the Christos condition, and thus became himself "the

Way" in the hearts of his enthusiastic admirers. The Christians, as all the "Hero-worshippers"

have tried to throw into the background all the other Chrestoi, who have appeared to them as

rivals of their Man-God. But if the voice of the MYSTERIES has become silent for many ages in

the West, if Eleusis, Memphis, Antium, Delphi, and Cresa have long ago been made the tombs of

a Science once as colossal in the West as it is yet in the East, there are successors now being

prepared for them. We are in 1887 and the nineteenth century is close to its death. The twentieth

century has strange developments in store for humanity, and may even be the last of its name.


18. The word [chreon] is explained by Herodotus (7,11,7,) as that which an oracle declares, and

[to chreon] is given by Plutarch (Nich. 14.) as "fate," "necessity." Vide Herodotus, 7, 215; 5, 108;

and Sophocles, Phil. 437. (return to text)

19. See Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon. (return to text)

20. Hence of a Guru, "a teacher," and chela, a "disciple," in their mutual relations. (return to text)

21. In his recent work -- The Early Days of Christianity, Canon Farrar remarks: -- "Some have

supposed a pleasant play of words founded on it, as . . . . between Chrestos ('sweet' Ps. xxx., iv.,

8) and Christos (Christ)," (I. p. 158, footnote). But there is nothing to suppose, since it began by

a "play of words," indeed. The name Christus was not "distorted into Chrestus," as the learned

author would make his readers believe (p. 19), but it was the adjective and noun Chrestos which

became distorted into Christus, and applied to Jesus. In a footnote on the word "Chrestian,"

occurring in the First Epistle of Peter (chap. iv., 16), in which in the revised later MSS. the word

was changed into Christian, Canon Farrar remarks again, "Perhaps we should read the ignorant

heathen distortion, Chrestian." Most decidedly we should; for the eloquent writer should

remember his Master's command to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. His dislike

notwithstanding, Mr. Farrar is obliged to admit that the name Christian was first INVENTED, by

the sneering, mocking Antiochians, as early as A.D. 44, but had not come into general use before

the persecution by Nero. "Tacitus," he says, "uses the word Christians with something of

apology. It is well known that in the N. T. it only occurs three times, and always involves a

hostile sense (Acts xi. 26, xxvi. 28 as it does in iv. 16)." It was not Claudius alone who looked

with alarm and suspicion on the Christians, so nicknamed in derision for their carnalizing a

subjective principle or attribute, but all the pagan nations. For Tacitus, speaking of those whom

the masses called "Christians," describes them as a set of men detested for their enormities and

crimes. No wonder, for history repeats itself. There are, no doubt, thousands of noble, sincere,

and virtuous Christian-born men and women now. But we have only to look at the viciousness

of Christian "heathen" converts; at the morality of those proselytes in India, whom the

missionaries themselves decline to take into their service, to draw a parallel between the converts

of 1800 years ago, and the modern heathens "touched by grace." (return to text)

22. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Lactantius, Clemens Alexandrinus, and others spelt it in this way.

(return to text).

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23. Vide Liddell and Scott's Greek and English Lexicon. Chrestos is really one who is

continually warned, advised, guided, whether by oracle or prophet. Mr. G. Massey is not correct

in saying that " . . . . The Gnostic form of the name Chrest, or Chrestos, denotes the Good God,

not a human original," for it denoted the latter, i.e., a good, holy man; but he is quite right when

he adds that "Chrestianus signifies . . . . 'Sweetness and Light'." 'The Chrestoi, as the Good

People, were pre-extant. Numerous Greek inscriptions show that the departed, the hero, the

saintly one -- that is, the 'Good' -- was styled Chrestos, or the Christ; and from this meaning of

the 'Good' does Justin, the primal apologist, derive the Christian name. This identifies it with the

Gnostic source, and with the 'Good God' who revealed himself according to Marcion -- that is,

the Un-Nefer or Good-opener of the Egyptian theology." -- (Agnostic Annual.) (return to text)

24. Again I must bring forward what Mr. G. Massey says (whom I quote repeatedly because he

has studied this subject so thoroughly and so conscientiously).

"My contention, or rather explanation," he says, "is that the author of the Christian name is the

Mummy-Christ of Egypt, called the Karest, which was a type of the immortal spirit in man, the

Christ within (as Paul has it), the divine offspring incarnated, the Logos, the Word of Truth, the

Makheru of Egypt. It did not originate as a mere type! The preserved mummy was the dead body

of any one that was Karest, or mummified, to be kept by the living; and, through constant

repetition, this became a type of the resurrection from (not of!) the dead." See the explanation of

this further on. (return to text)

25. Or Lydda. Reference is made here to the Rabbinical tradition in the Babylonian Gemara,

called Sepher Toledoth Jeshu, about Jesus being the son of one named Pandira, and having lived

a century earlier than the era called Christian, namely, during the reign of the Jewish king

Alexander Jannaeus and his wife Salome, who reigned from the year 106 to 79 B.C. Accused by

the Jews of having learned the magic art in Egypt, and of having stolen from the Holy of Holies

the Incommunicable Name, Jehoshua (Jesus) was put to death by the Sanhedrin at Lud. He was

stoned and then crucified on a tree, on the eve of Passover. The narrative is ascribed to the

Talmudistic authors of Sota and Sanhedrin, p. 19, Book of Zechiel. See Isis Unveiled, II. 201;

Arnobius, Adv. Gentes, I, 43; Eliphas Levi's Science des Esprits, and "The Historical Jesus and

Mythical Christ," a lecture by G. Massey. (return to text)

26. "Christianus quantum interpretatione de unctione deducitas. Sed ut cum preferam

Chrestianus pronunciatus a vobis (nam nec nominis certa est notitia penes vos) de suavitate vel

benignitate compositum est." Canon Farrar makes a great effort to show such lapsus calami by

various Fathers as the results of disgust and fear. "There can be little doubt," he says (in the

Early Days of Christianity) "that the . . . . name Christian . . . . was a nick-name due to the wit of

the Antiochians . . . . It is clear that the sacred writers avoided the name (Christians) because it

was employed by their enemies (Tac. Ann. xv. 44). It only became familiar when the virtues of

Christians had shed luster upon it " This is a very lame excuse, and a poor explanation to give for

so eminent a thinker as Canon Farrar. As to the "virtues of Christians" ever shedding luster upon

the name, let us hope that the writer had in his mind's eye neither Bishop Cyril, of Alexandria,

nor Eusebius, nor the Emperor Constantine, of murderous fame, nor yet the Popes Borgia and the

Holy Inquisition. (return to text)

27. Quoted by G. Higgins. (See Vol. I., pp. 569-573.) (return to text)

28. In the days of Homer, we find this city, once celebrated for its mysteries, the chief seat of

Initiation and the name of Chrestos used as a title during the mysteries. It is mentioned in the

Iliad. ii., 520 as "Krisa." Dr. Clarke suspected its ruins under the present site of Krestona, a small.

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town, or village rather, in Phocis, near the Crissaean Bay. (See E. D. Clarke, 4th ed., Vol. viii, p.

239, "Delphi.") (return to text)

29. The root of Chrestos and Chrestos is one and the same; [chrao] which means "consulting the

oracle," in one sense, but in another one "consecrated," set apart, belonging to some temple, or

oracle, or devoted to oracular services. On the other hand, the word [chre (chreo)] means

"obligation," a "bond, duty," or one who is under the obligation of pledges, or vows taken.

(return to text)

30. The adjective [chrestos] was also used as an adjective before proper names as a compliment,

as in Plat. Theaet, p. 166A, "[Houtos ho Sokrates ho chrestos]"; (here Socrates is the Chrestos),

and also as a surname, as shown by Plutarch (V. Phocion), who wonders how such a rough and

dull fellow as Phocion could be surnamed Chrestos. (return to text)

31. There are strange features, quite suggestive, for an Occultist, in the myth (if one) of Janus.

Some make of him the personification of Kosmos, others, of Coelus (heaven), hence he is "two-faced"

because of his two characters of spirit and matter; and he is not only "Janus Bifrons" (two-faced),

but also Quadrifrons -- the perfect square, the emblem of the Kabbalistic Deity. His

temples were built with four equal sides, with a door and three windows on each side.

Mythologists explain it as an emblem of the four seasons of the year, and three months in each

season, and in all of the twelve months of the year. During the mysteries of Initiation, however,

he became the Day-Sun and the Night-Sun. Hence he is often represented with the number 300

in one hand, and in the other 65, or the number of days of the Solar year. Now Chanoch (Kanoch

and Enosh in the Bible) is, as may be shown on Kabalistic authority, whether son of Cain, son of

Seth, or the son of Methuselah, one and the same personage. As Chanoch (according to Fuerst),

"he is the Initiator, Instructor -- of the astronomical circle and solar year," as son of Methuselah,

who is said to have lived 365 years and been taken to heaven alive, as the representative of the

Sun (or God). (See Book of Enoch.) This patriarch has many features in common with Janus,

who, exoterically, is Ion but IAO kabalistically, or Jehovah, the "Lord God of Generations," the

mysterious Yod, or ONE (a phallic number). For Janus or Ion is also Consivius, a conserendo,

because he presided over generations. He is shown giving hospitality to Saturn (Kronos "time"),

and is the Initiator of the year, or time divided into 365. (return to text)

32. Stauros became the cross, the instrument of crucifixion, far later, when it began to be

represented as a Christian symbol and with the Greek letter T, the Tau. (Luc. Jud. Voc.) Its

primitive meaning was phallic, a symbol for the male and female elements; the great serpent of

temptation, the body which had to be killed or subdued by the dragon of wisdom, the seven-voweled

solar chnouphis or Spirit of Christos of the Gnostics, or, again, Apollo killing Python.

(return to text)

33. Even to this day in India, the candidate loses his name and as also in Masonry, his age

(monks and nuns also changing their Christian names at their taking the order or veil), and

begins counting his years from the day he is accepted a chela and enters upon the cycle of

initiations. Thus Saul was "a child of one year," when he began to reign, though a grown-up

adult. See 1 Samuel ch. xiii. 1, and Hebrew scrolls, about his initiation by Samuel. (return to


34. Demosthenes, De Corona, 313, declares that the candidates for initiation into the Greek

mysteries were anointed with oil. So they are now in India, even in the initiation the Yogi

mysteries --various ointments or unguents being used. (return to text)

35. Because he is kabalistically the new Adam, the celestial man, and Adam was made of red

earth. (return to text).

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36. Hence the memorializing of the doctrine during the MYSTERIES. The pure monad, the

"god" incarnating and becoming Chrestos, or man, on his trial of life, a series of those trials led

him to the crucifixion of flesh, and finally into the Christos condition. (return to text)

37. On the best authority the derivation of the Greek Christos is shown from the Sanskrit root

ghrish = "rub"; thus: ghrish-a-mi-to, "to rub," and ghrish-ta-s "flayed, sore." Moreover, Krish,

which means in one sense to plough and make furrows, means also to cause pain, "to torture to

torment," and ghrsh-ta-s "rubbing"-- all these terms relating to Chrestos and Christos conditions.

One has to die in Chrestos, i.e., kill one's personality and its passions, to blot out every idea of

separateness from one's "Father," the Divine Spirit in man; to become one with the eternal and

absolute Life and Light (SAT) before one can reach the glorious state of Christos, the regenerated

man, the man in spiritual freedom. (return to text)

38. The Orientalists and Theologians are invited to read over and study the allegory of

Visvakarman, the "Omnificent," the Vedic God, the architect of the world, who sacrificed

himself to himself or the world, after having offered up all worlds, which are himself, in a "Sarva

Madha" (general sacrifice) -- and ponder over it. In the Puranic allegory, his daughter Yoga-siddha

"Spiritual consciousness," the wife of Surya, the Sun, complains to him of the too great

effulgence of her husband; and Visvakarma, in his character of Takshaka, "wood cutter and

carpenter," placing the Sun upon his lathe cuts away a part of his brightness. Surya looks, after

this, crowned with dark thorns instead of rays, and becomes Vikarttana ("shorn of his rays"). All

these names are terms which were used by the candidates when going through the trials of

Initiation. The Hierophant-Initiator personated Visvakarman; the father, and the general artificer

of the gods (the adepts on earth), and the candidate -- Surya, the Sun, who had to kill all his fiery

passions and wear the crown of thorns while crucifying his body before he could rise and be re-born

into a new life as the glorified "Light of the World"--Christos. No Orientalist seems to have

ever perceived the suggestive analogy, let alone to apply it! (return to text)

39. The author of the Source of Measures thinks that this "serves to explain why it has been that

the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus, has been so carefully kept back from translation

and popular reading." Those who have studied it in the original have been forced to the comment

that either the "Life of Apollonius has been taken from the New Testament, or that New

Testament narratives have been taken from the Life of Apollonius, because of the manifest

sameness of the means of construction of the narrative." (p. 260). (return to text)

40. "The word shiach, is in Hebrew the same word as a verbal, signifying to go down into the pit.

As a noun, place of thorns, pit. The hifil participle of this word is Messiach, or the Greek

Messias, Christ, and means "he who causes to go down into the pit" (or hell, in dogmatism). In

esoteric philosophy, this going down into the pit has the most mysterious significance. The Spirit

"Christos" or rather the "Logos" (read Logoi), is said to "go down into the pit," when it

incarnates in flesh, is born as a man. After having robbed the Elohim (or gods) of their secret,

the pro-creating "fire of life," the Angels of Light are shown cast down into the pit or abyss of

matter, called Hell, or the bottomless pit, by the kind theologians. This, in Cosmogony and

Anthropology. During the Mysteries, however, it is the Chrestos, neophyte, (as man), etc., who

had to descend into the crypts of Initiation and trials; and finally, during the "Sleep of Siloam" or

the final trance condition, during the hours of which the new Initiate has the last and final

mysteries of being divulged to him. Hades, Scheol, or Patala, are all one. The same takes place in

the East now, as took place 2,000 years ago in the West, during the MYSTERIES. (return to text)

41. Several classics bear testimony to this fact. Lucian, c. 16 says [Phokion ho chrestos], and.

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[Phokion ho epiklen] ([legomenos], surnamed) [chrestos]. In Phaedr. p. 226 E; it is written, "you

mean Theodorus the Chrestos." "[Ton chreston legeis Theodoron]." Plutarch shows the same;

and [Chrestos] -- Chrestus, is the proper name (see the word in Thesaur. Steph.) of an orator and

disciple of Herodes Atticus. (return to text)

The Esoteric Character of the Gospels

Part III

No one can be regarded as a Christian unless he professes, or is supposed to profess, belief in

Jesus, by baptism, and in salvation, "through the blood of Christ." To be considered a good

Christian, one has, as a conditio sine qua non, to show faith in the dogmas expounded by the

Church and to profess them; after which a man is at liberty to lead a private and public life on

principles diametrically opposite to those expressed in the Sermon on the Mount. The chief point

and that which is demanded of him is, that he should have -- or pretend to have -- a blind faith in,

and veneration for, the ecclesiastical teachings of his special Church.

"Faith is the key of Christendom,"

saith Chaucer, and the penalty for lacking it is as clearly stated as words can make it, in St.

Mark's Gospel, Chapter xvi., verse 16th:

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

It troubles the Church very little that the most careful search for these words in the oldest texts

during the last centuries remained fruitless; or, that the recent revision of the Bible led to a

unanimous conviction in the truth-seeking and truth-loving scholars employed in that task, that

no such un-Christ-like sentence was to be found, except in some of the latest, fraudulent texts.

The good Christian people had assimilated the consoling words, and they had become the very

pith and marrow of their charitable souls. To take away the hope of eternal damnation, for all

others except themselves, from these chosen vessels of the God of Israel, was like taking their

very life. The truth-loving and God-fearing revisers got scared; they left the forged passage (an

interpolation of eleven verses, from the 9th to the 20th), and satisfied their consciences with a

foot-note remark of a very equivocal character, one that would grace the work and do honor to

the diplomatic faculties of the craftiest Jesuits. It tells the "believer" that: --

The two oldest Greek MSS. and some other authorities OMIT from verse 9 to the

end. Some authorities have a different ending to the Gospel, (42)

-- and explains no further.

But the two "oldest Greek MSS." omit the verses nolens volens, as these have never existed. And

the learned and truth-loving revisers know this better than any of us do; yet the wicked falsehood

is printed at the very seat of Protestant Divinity, and it is allowed to go on, glaring into the faces

of coming generations of students of theology and, hence, into those of their future parishioners.

Neither can be, nor are they deceived by it, yet both pretend belief in the authenticity of the cruel.

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words worthy of a theological Satan. And this Satan-Moloch is their own God of infinite mercy

and justice in Heaven, and the incarnate symbol of love and charity on Earth -- blended in one!

Truly mysterious are your paradoxical ways, Oh -- Churches of Christ!

I have no intention of repeating here stale arguments and logical exposés of the whole

theological scheme; for all this has been done, over and over again, and in a most excellent way,

by the ablest "Infidels" of England and America. But I may briefly repeat a prophecy which is a

self-evident result of the present state of men's minds in Christendom. Belief in the Bible

literally, and in a canalized Christ, will not last a quarter of a century longer. The Churches will

have to part with their cherished dogmas, or the 20th century will witness the downfall and ruin

of all Christendom, and with it, belief even in a Christos, as pure Spirit. The very name has now

become obnoxious, and theological Christianity must die out, never to resurrect again in its

present form. This, in itself, would be the happiest solution of all, were there no danger from the

natural reaction which is sure to follow: crass materialism will be the consequence and the result

of centuries of blind faith, unless the loss of old ideals is replaced by other ideals, unassailable,

because universal, and built on the rock of eternal truths, instead of the shifting sands of human

fancy. Pure immateriality must replace, in the end, the terrible anthropomorphism of those ideals

in the conceptions of our modern dogmatists. Otherwise, why should Christian dogmas -- the

perfect counterpart of those belonging to other exoteric and pagan religions -- claim any

superiority? The bodies of all these were built upon the same astronomical and physiological (or

phallic) symbols. Astrologically, every religious dogma the world over, may be traced to, and

located in, the Zodiacal signs and the Sun. And so long as the science of comparative symbology

or any theology has only two keys to open the mysteries of religious dogmas -- and these two

only very partially mastered, how can a line of demarcation be drawn, or any difference made

between the religions of say, Chrishna and Christ, between salvation through the blood of the

"first-born primeval male" of one faith, and that of the "only begotten Son" of the other, far

younger, religion?

Study the Vedas; read even the superficial, often disfigured writings of our great Orientalists, and

think over what you will have learnt. Behold Brahmans, Egyptian Hierophants, and Chaldean

Magi, teaching several thousand years before our era that the gods themselves had been only

mortals (in previous births) until they won their immortality by offering their blood to their

Supreme God or chief. The Book of the Dead, teaches that mortal man "became one with the

gods through an interflow of a common life in the common blood of the two." Mortals gave the

blood of their first-born sons in sacrifice to the Gods. In his Hinduism, p. 35, Professor Monier

Williams, translating from the Taitiriya Brahmana, writes: -- "By means of the sacrifice the gods

obtained heaven." And in the Tandya Brahmana: -- "The lord of creatures offered himself a

sacrifice for the gods." . . . And again in the Satapatha Brahmana: -- "He who, knowing this,

sacrifices with the Purusha-medha or the sacrifice of the primeval male, becomes everything."

Whenever I hear the Vedic rites discussed and called "disgusting human sacrifices," and

cannibalism (sic.), I feel always inclined to ask, where's the difference? Yet there is one, in fact;

for while Christians are compelled to accept the allegorical (though, when understood, highly

philosophical) drama of the New Testament Crucifixion, as that of Abraham and Isaac literally

(43), Brahmanism -- its philosophical schools at any rate -- teaches its adherents, that this.

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(pagan) sacrifice of the "primeval male" is a purely allegorical and philosophical symbol. Read

in their dead-letter meaning, the four gospels are simply slightly altered versions of what the

Church proclaims as Satanic plagiarisms (by anticipation) of Christian dogmas in Pagan

religions. Materialism has a perfect right to find in all of them the same sensual worship and

"solar" myths as anywhere else. Analyzed and criticized superficially and on its dead-letter face,

Professor Joly ("Man before Metals," pp. 189-190) finding in the Svastika, the crux ansata, and

the cross pure and simple, mere sexual symbols -- is justified in speaking as he does. Seeing that

"the father of the sacred fire (in India) bore the name of Twashtri, that is the divine carpenter

who made the Swastika and the Pramantha, whose friction produced the divine child Agni, in

Latin Ignis; that his mother was named Maya; he himself, styled Akta (anointed, or Christos)

after the priests had poured upon his head the spirituous soma and on his body butter purified by

sacrifice"; seeing all this he has a full right to remark that:

The close resemblance which exists between certain ceremonies of the worship of

Agni and certain rites of the Catholic religion may be explained by their common

origin. Agni in the condition of Akta, or anointed, is suggestive of Christ; Maya,

Mary, his mother; Twashtri, St. Joseph, the carpenter of th