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Before the Veil

is the Greek name for walking or being lifted in the air; levitation, so
called, among modern spiritualists. It may be either conscious or unconscious; in the one
case, it is magic; in the other, either disease or a power which requires a few words of
A symbolical explanation of aethrobacy is given in an old Syriac manuscript which was
translated in the fifteenth century by one Malchus, an alchemist. In connection with the
case of Simon Magus, one passage reads thus:
"Simon, laying his face upon the ground, whispered in her ear, 'O mother Earth, give me,
I pray thee, some of thy breath; and I will give thee mine; let me loose, O mother, that I
may carry thy words to the stars, and I will return faithfully to thee after a while.' And the
Earth strengthening her status, none to her detriment, sent her genius to breathe of her
breath on Simon, while he breathed on her; and the stars rejoiced to be visited by the
mighty One."
The starting-point here is the recognized electro-chemical principle that bodies similarly
electrified repel each other, while those differently electrified mutually attract. "The most
elementary knowledge of chemistry," says Professor Cooke, "shows that, while radicals
of opposite natures combine most eagerly together, two metals, or two closely-allied
metalloids, show but little affinity for each other."
The earth is a magnetic body; in fact, as some scientists have found, it is one vast magnet,
as Paracelsus affirmed some 300 years ago. It is charged with one form of electricity --
let us call it positive -- which it evolves continuously by spontaneous action, in its interior
or centre of motion. Human bodies, in common with all other forms of matter, are
charged with the opposite form of electricity -- negative. That is to say, organic or
inorganic bodies, if left to themselves will constantly and involuntarily charge themselves
with, and evolve the form of electricity opposed to that of the earth itself. Now, what is
weight? Simply the attraction of the earth. "Without the attractions of the earth you would
have no weight," says Professor Stewart;* "and if you had an earth twice as heavy as this,
you would have double the attraction." How then, can we get rid of this attraction?
According to the electrical law above stated, there is an attraction between our planet and
the organisms upon it, which holds them upon the surface of the ground. But the law of
gravitation has been counteracted in many instances, by levitations of persons and
inanimate objects; how account for this?

The condition of our physical systems, say theurgic philosophers, is largely
dependent upon the action of our will. If well-regulated, it can produce "miracles";
among others a change of this electrical polarity from negative to positive; the man's
relations with the earth-magnet would then become repellent, and "gravity" for him
would have ceased to exist. It would then be as natural for him to rush into the air until
the repellent force had exhausted itself, as, before, it had been for him to remain upon the
ground. The altitude of his levitation would be measured by his ability, greater or less, to
charge his body with positive electricity. This control over the physical forces once
obtained, alteration of his levity or gravity would be as easy as breathing.
The study of nervous diseases has established that even in ordinary somnambulism, as
well as in mesmerized somnambulists, the weight of the body seems to be diminished.
Professor Perty mentions a somnambulist, Koehler, who when in the water could not
sink, but floated. The seeress of Prevorst rose to the surface of the bath and could not be
kept seated in it. He speaks of Anna Fleisher, who being subject to epileptic fits, was
often seen by the Superintendent to rise in the air; and was once, in the presence of two
trustworthy witnesses (two deans) and others, raised two and a half yards from her bed in
a horizontal position. The similar case of Margaret Rule is cited by Upham in his History
of Salem Witchcraft. "In ecstatic subjects," adds Professor Perty, "the rising in the air
occurs much more frequently than with somnambulists. We are so accustomed to
consider gravitation as being a something absolute and unalterable, that the idea of a
complete or partial rising in opposition to it seems inadmissible; nevertheless, there are
phenomena in which, by means of material forces, gravitation is overcome. In several
diseases -- as, for instance, nervous fever -- the weight of the human body seems to be
increased, but in all ecstatic conditions to be diminished. And there may, likewise, be
other forces than material ones which can counteract this power."
A Madrid journal, El Criterio Espiritista, of a recent date, reports the case of a young
peasant girl near Santiago, which possesses a peculiar interest in this connection. "Two
bars of magnetized iron held over her horizontally, half a metre distant, was sufficient to
suspend her body in the air."
Were our physicians to experiment on such levitated subjects, it would be found that they
are strongly charged with a similar form of electricity to that of the spot, which,
according to the law of gravitation, ought to attract them, or rather prevent their
levitation. And, if some physical nervous disorder, as well as spiritual ecstasy produce
unconsciously to the subject the same effects, it proves that if this force in nature were
properly studied, it could be regulated at will.

From Al and Chemi, fire, or the god and patriarch, Kham, also, the
name of Egypt. The Rosicrucians of the middle ages, such as Robertus de Fluctibus
(Robert Fludd), Paracelsus, Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius Philalethes), Van Helmont, and
others, were all alchemists, who sought for the hidden spirit in every inorganic matter.
Some people -- nay, the great majority -- have accused alchemists of charlatanry and
false pretending. Surely such men as Roger Bacon, Agrippa, Henry Kunrath, and the
Arabian Geber (the first to introduce into Europe some of the secrets of chemistry), can
hardly be treated as impostors -- least of all as fools. Scientists who are reforming the
science of physics upon the basis of the atomic theory of Demokritus, as restated by John
Dalton, conveniently forget that Demokritus, of Abdera, was an alchemist, and that the
mind that was capable of penetrating so far into the secret operations of nature in one
direction must have had good reasons to study and become a Hermetic philosopher.
Olaus Borrichias says, that the cradle of alchemy is to be sought in the most distant times.

The same as the sidereal light of Paracelsus and other Hermetic
philosophers. Physically, it is the ether of modern science. Metaphysically, and in its
spiritual, or occult sense, ether is a great deal more than is often imagined. In occult
physics, and alchemy, it is well demonstrated to enclose within its shoreless waves not
only Mr. Tyndall's "promise and potency of every quality of life," but also the realization
of the potency of every quality of spirit. Alchemists and Hermetists believe that their
astral, or sidereal ether, besides the above properties of sulphur, and white and red
magnesia, or magnes, is the anima mundi, the workshop of Nature and of all the cosmos,
spiritually, as well as physically. The "grand magisterium" asserts itself in the
phenomenon of mesmerism, in the "levitation" of human and inert objects; and may be
called the ether from its spiritual aspect.
The designation astral is ancient, and was used by some of the Neoplatonists. Porphyry
describes the celestial body which is always joined with the soul as "immortal, luminous,
and star-like." The root of this word may be found, perhaps, in the Scythic aist-aer --
which means star, or the Assyrian Istar, which, according to Burnouf has the same sense.
As the Rosicrucians regarded the real, as the direct opposite of the apparent, and taught
that what seems light to matter, is darkness to spirit, they searched for the latter in the
astral ocean of invisible fire which encompasses the world; and claim to have traced the
equally invisible divine spirit, which overshadows every man and is erroneously called
soul, to the very throne of the Invisible and Unknown God.

As the great cause must always remain invisible and imponderable, they could prove their
assertions merely by demonstration of its effects in this world of matter, by calling them
forth from the unknowable down into the knowable universe of effects. That this astral
light permeates the whole cosmos, lurking in its latent state even in the minutest particle
of rock, they demonstrate by the phenomenon of the spark from flint and from every
other stone, whose spirit when forcibly disturbed springs to sight spark-like, and
immediately disappears in the realms of the unknowable.
Paracelsus named it the sidereal light, taking the term from the Latin. He regarded the
starry host (our earth included) as the condensed portions of the astral light which "fell
down into generation and matter," but whose magnetic or spiritual emanations kept
constantly a never-ceasing intercommunication between themselves and the parent-fount
of all -- the astral light. "The stars attract from us to themselves, and we again from them
to us," he says. The body is wood and the life is fire, which comes like the light from the
stars and from heaven. "Magic is the philosophy of alchemy," he says again.* Everything
pertaining to the spiritual world must come to us through the stars, and if we are in
friendship with them, we may attain the greatest magical effects.
"As fire passes through an iron stove, so do the stars pass through man with all their
properties and go into him as the rain into the earth, which gives fruit out of that same
rain. Now observe that the stars surround the whole earth, as a shell does the egg;
through the shell comes the air, and penetrates to the centre of the world." The human
body is subjected as well as the earth, and planets, and stars, to a double law; it attracts
and repels, for it is saturated through with double magnetism, the influx of the astral light.
Everything is double in nature; magnetism is positive and negative, active and passive,
male and female. Night rests humanity from the day's activity, and restores the
equilibrium of human as well as of cosmic nature. When the mesmerizer will have
learned the grand secret of polarizing the action and endowing his fluid with a bisexual
force he will have become the greatest magician living. Thus the astral light is androgyne,
for equilibrium is the resultant of two opposing forces eternally reacting upon each other.
The result of this is LIFE. When the two forces are expanded and remain so long
inactive, as to equal one another and so come to a complete rest, the condition is

A human being can blow either a hot or a cold breath; and can absorb either
cold or hot air. Every child knows how to regulate
the temperature of his breath; but how to protect one's self from either hot or cold air, no
physiologist has yet learned with certainty. The astral light alone, as the chief agent in
magic, can discover to us all secrets of nature. The astral light is identical with the Hindu
akasa, a word which we will now explain.

Literally the word means in Sanscrit sky, but in its mystic sense it signifies
the invisible sky; or, as the Brahmans term it in the Soma-sacrifice (the Gyotishtoma
Agnishtoma), the god Akasa, or god Sky. The language of the Vedas shows that the
Hindus of fifty centuries ago ascribed to it the same properties as do the Thibetan lamas
of the present day; that they regarded it as the source of life, the reservoir of all energy,
and the propeller of every change of matter. In its latent state it tallies exactly with our
idea of the universal ether; in its active state it became the Akasa, the all-directing and
omnipotent god. In the Brahmanical sacrificial mysteries it plays the part of Sadasya, or
superintendent over the magical effects of the religious performance, and it had its own
appointed Hotar (or priest), who took its name. In India, as in other countries in ancient
times, the priests are the representatives on earth of different gods; each taking the name
of the deity in whose name he acts.
The Akasa is the indispensable agent of every Kritya (magical performance) either
religious or profane. The Brahmanical expression "to stir up the Brahma" -- Brahma
jinvati -- means to stir up the power which lies latent at the bottom of every such magical
operation, for the Vedic sacrifices are but ceremonial magic. This power is the Akasa or
the occult electricity; the alkahest of the alchemists in one sense, or the universal solvent,
the same anima mundi as the astral light. At the moment of the sacrifice, the latter
becomes imbued with the spirit of Brahma, and so for the time being is Brahma himself.
This is the evident origin of the Christian dogma of transubstantiation. As to the most
general effects of the Akasa, the author of one of the most modern works on the occult
philosophy, Art-Magic, gives for the first time to the world a most intelligible and
interesting explanation of the Akasa in connection with the phenomena attributed to its
influence by the fakirs and lamas.

The science of man; embracing among other things:
Physiology, or that branch of natural science which discloses the mysteries of the organs
and their functions in men, animals, and plants; and also, and especially,
Psychology, or the great, and in our days, so neglected science of the
soul, both as an entity distinct from the spirit and in its relations with the spirit and body.
In modern science, psychology relates only or principally to conditions of the nervous
system, and almost absolutely ignores the psychical essence and nature. Physicians
denominate the science of insanity psychology, and name the lunatic chair in medical
colleges by that designation.

CHALDEANS, or Kasdim
At first a tribe, then a caste of learned kabalists. They were
the savants, the magians of Babylonia, astrologers and diviners. The famous Hillel, the
precursor of Jesus in philosophy and in ethics, was a Chaldean. Franck in his Kabbala
points to the close resemblance of the "secret doctrine" found in the Avesta and the
religious metaphysics of the Chaldees.

DACTYLS (daktulos, a finger)
A name given to the priests attached to the worship of
Kybele (Cybele). Some archaeologists derive the name from [[daktulos]], finger, because
they were ten, the same in number as the fingers of the hand. But we do not believe the
latter hypothesis is the correct one.

A name given by the ancient people, and especially the philosophers of
the Alexandrian school, to all kinds of spirits, whether good or bad, human or otherwise.
The appellation is often synonymous with that of gods or angels. But some philosophers
tried, with good reason, to make a just distinction between the many classes.

DEMIURGOS, or Demiurge
Artificer; the Supernal Power which built the universe.
Freemasons derive from this word their phrase of "Supreme Architect." The chief
magistrates of certain Greek cities bore the title.

or the "whirling charmers," as they are called. Apart from the austerities of
life, prayer and contemplation, the Mahometan devotee presents but little similarity with
the Hindu fakir. The latter may become a sannyasi, or saint and holy mendicant; the
former will never reach beyond his second class of occult manifestations. The dervish
may also be a strong mesmerizer, but he will never voluntarily submit to the abominable
and almost incredible self-punishment which the fakir invents for himself with an everincreasing
avidity, until nature succumbs and he dies in slow and excruciating tortures.
The most dreadful operations, such as flaying the limbs alive; cutting off the toes, feet,
and legs; tearing out the eyes; and causing one's self to be buried alive up to the chin in
the earth, and passing whole months in this posture, seem child's play to them. One of the
most common tortures is that of Tshiddy-Parvady.* It consists in suspending the fakir to
one of the mobile arms of a kind of gallows to be seen in the vicinity of many of the temples.
At the
end of each of these arms is fixed a pulley over which passes a rope terminated by an iron
hook. This hook is inserted into the bare back of the fakir, who inundating the soil with
blood is hoisted up in the air and then whirled round the gallows. From the first moment
of this cruel operation until he is either unhooked or the flesh of his back tears out under
the weight of the body and the fakir is hurled down on the heads of the crowd, not a
muscle of his face will move. He remains calm and serious and as composed as if taking
a refreshing bath. The fakir will laugh to scorn every imaginable torture, persuaded that
the more his outer body is mortified, the brighter and holier becomes his inner, spiritual
body. But the Dervish, neither in India, nor in other Mahometan lands, will ever submit
to such operations.

A sacerdotal caste which flourished in Britain and Gaul.

The creatures evolved in the four kingdoms of earth, air, fire,
and water, and called by the kabalists gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines. They
may be termed the forces of nature, and will either operate effects as the servile agents of
general law, or may be employed by the disembodied spirits -- whether pure or impure --
and by living adepts of magic and sorcery, to produce desired phenomenal results. Such
beings never become men.*
Under the general designation of fairies, and fays, these spirits of the elements appear in
the myth, fable, tradition, or poetry of all nations, ancient and modern. Their names are
legion -- peris, devs, djins, sylvans, satyrs, fauns, elves, dwarfs, trolls, norns, nisses,
kobolds, brownies, necks, stromkarls, undines, nixies, salamanders, goblins, ponkes,
banshees, kelpies, pixies, moss people, good people, good neighbors, wild women, men
of peace, white ladies -- and many more. They have been seen, feared, blessed, banned,
and invoked in every quarter of the globe and in every age. Shall we then concede that all
who have met them were hallucinated?

Properly, the disembodied souls of the depraved; these
souls having at some time prior to death separated from themselves their divine spirits,
and so lost their chance for immortality. Eliphas Levi and some other kabalists make little
distinction between elementary spirits who have been men, and those beings which
people the elements, and are the blind forces of nature. Once divorced from their bodies,
these souls (also called "astral bodies") of purely materialistic persons, are irresistibly
attracted to the earth, where they live a temporary and finite life amid elements congenial
to their gross natures. From having never, during their natural lives, cultivated their
spirituality, but subordinated it to the material and gross, they are now unfitted for the
lofty career of the pure, disembodied being, for whom the atmosphere of earth is stifling
and mephitic, and whose attractions are all away from it. After a more or less prolonged
period of time these material souls will begin to disintegrate, and finally, like a column of
mist, be dissolved, atom by atom, in the surrounding elements.

ESSENES -- from Asa, a healer.
A sect of Jews said by Pliny to have lived near the Dead
Sea "per millia saeculorum" -- for thousands of ages. Some have supposed them to be
extreme Pharisees; and others -- which may be the true theory -- the descendants of the
Benim-nabim of the Bible, and think they were "Kenites" and "Nazarites." They had
many Buddhistic ideas and practices; and it is noteworthy that the priests of the Great
Mother at Ephesus, Diana-Bhavani with many breasts, were also so denominated.
Eusebius, and after him De Quincey, declared them to be the same as the early Christians,
which is more than probable. The title "brother," used in the early Church, was Essenean:
they were a fraternity, or a koinobion or community like the early converts. It is
noticeable that only the Sadducees, or Zadokites, the priest-caste and their partisans,
persecuted the Christians; the Pharisees were generally scholastic and mild, and often
sided with the latter. James the Just was a Pharisee till his death; but Paul or Aher was
esteemed a schismatic.

The development of higher orders of animals from the lower. Modern,
or so-called exact science, holds but to a one-sided physical evolution, prudently avoiding
and ignoring the higher or spiritual evolution, which would force our contemporaries to
confess the superiority of the ancient philosophers and psychologists over themselves.
The ancient sages, ascending to the UNKNOWABLE, made their starting-point from the
first manifestation of the unseen, the unavoidable, and from a strict logical reasoning, the
absolutely necessary creative Being,
the Demiurgos of the universe. Evolution began with them from pure spirit, which
descending lower and lower down, assumed at last a visible and comprehensible form,
and became matter. Arrived at this point, they speculated in the Darwinian method, but
on a far more large and comprehensive basis.
In the Rig-Veda-Sanhita, the oldest book of the World* (to which even our most prudent
Indiologists and Sanscrit scholars assign an antiquity of between two and three thousand
years B.C.), in the first book, "Hymns to the Maruts," it is said:
"Not-being and Being are in the highest heaven, in the birthplace of Daksha, in the lap of
Aditi" (Mandala, i, Sukta 166).
"In the first age of the gods, Being (the comprehensible Deity) was born from Not-being
(whom no intellect can comprehend); after it were born the Regions (the invisible), from
them Uttanapada."

"From Uttanapad the Earth was born, the Regions (those that are visible) were born from
the Earth. Daksha was born of Aditi, and Aditi from Daksha" (Ibid.).
Aditi is the Infinite, and Daksha is dakska-pitarah, literally meaning the father of gods,
but understood by Max Muller and Roth to mean the fathers of strength, "preserving,
possessing, granting faculties." Therefore, it is easy to see that "Daksha, born of Aditi and
Aditi from Daksha," means what the moderns understand by "correlation of forces"; the
more so as we find in this passage (translated by Prof. Muller):
"I place Agni, the source of all beings, the father of strength" (iii., 27, 2), a clear and
identical idea which prevailed so much in the doctrines of the Zoroastrians, the Magians,
and the mediaeval fire-philosophers. Agni is god of fire, of the Spiritual Ether, the very
substance of the divine essence of the Invisible God present in every atom of His creation
and called by the Rosicrucians the "Celestial Fire." If we only carefully compare the
verses from this Mandala, one of which runs thus: "The Sky is your father, the Earth your
mother, Soma your brother, Aditi your sister" (i., 191, 6),** with the inscription on the
Smaragdine Tablet of Hermes, we will find the same substratum of metaphysical
philosophy, the identical doctrines!
"As all things were produced by the mediation of one being, so all things were produced
from this one thing by adaptation: 'Its father is the sun; its mother is the moon' . . . etc.
Separate the earth from the
fire, the subtile from the gross. . . . What I had to say about the operation of the sun is
completed" (Smaragdine Tablet).*
Professor Max Muller sees in this Mandala "at last, something like a theogony, though
full of contradictions."** The alchemists, kabalists, and students of mystic philosophy
will find therein a perfectly defined system of Evolution in the Cosmogony of a people
who lived a score of thousands of years before our era. They will find in it, moreover, a
perfect identity of thought and even doctrine with the Hermetic philosophy, and also that
of Pythagoras and Plato.
In Evolution, as it is now beginning to be understood, there is supposed to be in all matter
an impulse to take on a higher form -- a supposition clearly expressed by Manu and other
Hindu philosophers of the highest antiquity. The philosopher's tree illustrates it in the
case of the zinc solution. The controversy between the followers of this school and the
Emanationists may be briefly stated thus: The Evolutionist stops all inquiry at the borders
of "the Unknowable"; the Emanationist believes that nothing can be evolved -- or, as the
word means, unwombed or born -- except it has first been involved, thus indicating that
life is from a spiritual potency above the whole.

Religious devotees in East India. They are generally attached to Brahmanical
pagodas and follow the laws of Manu. A strictly religious fakir will go absolutely naked,
with the exception of a small piece of linen called dhoti, around his loins. They wear their
hair long, and it serves them as a pocket, as they stick in it various objects -- such as a
pipe, a small flute called vagudah, the sounds of which throw the serpents into a
cataleptic torpor, and sometimes their bamboo-stick (about one foot long) with the seven
mystical knots on it. This magical stick, or rather rod, the fakir receives from his guru on
the day of his initiation, together with the three mantrams, which are communicated to
him "mouth to ear." No fakir will be seen without this powerful adjunct of his calling. It
is, as they all claim, the divining rod, the cause of every occult phenomenon produced by
*** Philostratus assures us that the Brahmins were able, in his time, to perform the most wonderful cures
by merely pronouncing certain magical words. "The Indian Brahmans carry a staff and a ring, by means of
which they are able to do almost anything." Origenes states the same ("Contra Celsum"). But if a strong
mesmeric fluid -- say projected from the eye, and without any other contact -- is not added, no magical
words would be efficacious.
tirely distinct from the Mussulman mendicant of India, also called fakirs in some parts of
the British territory.

From Hermes, the god of Wisdom, known in Egypt, Syria, and
Phoenicia as Thoth, Tat, Adad, Seth, and Sat-an (the latter not to be taken in the sense
applied to it by Moslems and Christians), and in Greece as Kadmus. The kabalists
identify him with Adam Kadmon, the first manifestation of the Divine Power, and with
Enoch. There were two Hermes: the elder was the Trismegistus, and the second an
emanation, or "permutation" of himself; the friend and instructor of Isis and Osiris.
Hermes is the god of the priestly wisdom, like Mazeus.

Discloser of sacred learning. The Old Man, the Chief of the Adepts at
the initiations, who explained the arcane knowledge to the neophytes, bore this title. In
Hebrew and Chaldaic the term was Peter, or opener, discloser; hence, the Pope, as the
successor of the hierophant of the ancient Mysteries, sits in the Pagan chair of "St. Peter."
The vindictiveness of the Catholic Church toward the alchemists, and to arcane and
astronomical science, is explained by the fact that such knowledge was the ancient
prerogative of the hierophant, or representative of Peter, who kept the mysteries of life
and death. Men like Bruno, Galileo, and Kepler, therefore, and even Cagliostro,
trespassed on the preserves of the Church, and were accordingly murdered.
Every nation had its Mysteries and hierophants. Even the Jews had their Peter -- Tanaim
or Rabbin, like Hillel, Akiba,* and other famous kabalists, who alone could impart the
awful knowledge contained in the Merkaba. In India, there was in ancient times one, and
now there are several hierophants scattered about the country, attached to the principal
pagodas, who are known as the Brahma-atmas. In Thibet the chief hierophant is the
Dalay, or Taley-Lama of Lha-ssa.** Among Christian nations, the Catholics alone have
preserved this "heathen" custom, in the person of their Pope, albeit they have sadly
disfigured its majesty and the dignity of the sacred office.

In times of antiquity, those who had been initiated into the arcane
knowledge taught by the hierophants of the Mysteries; and in our modern days those who
have been initiated by the adepts of mystic lore into the mysterious knowledge, which,
notwithstanding the lapse of ages, has yet a few real votaries on earth.
* Akiba was a friend of Aher, said to have been the Apostle Paul of Christian story.
Both are depicted as having visited Paradise.
Aher took branches from the Tree of Knowledge, and so fell from the true (Jewish)
religion. Akiba came away in peace. See 2d Epistle to the Corinthians, chapter xii.
** Taley means ocean or sea.

an unwritten or oral tradition. The kabalist is a
student of "secret science," one who interprets the hidden meaning of the Scriptures with
the help of the symbolical Kabala, and explains the real one by these means. The Tanaim
were the first kabalists among the Jews; they appeared at Jerusalem about the beginning
of the third century before the Christian era. The Books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Henoch, and
the Revelation of St. John, are purely kabalistical. This secret doctrine is identical with
that of the Chaldeans, and includes at the same time much of the Persian wisdom, or

Buddhist monks belonging to the Lamaic religion of Thibet, as, for instance,
friars are the monks belonging to the Popish or Roman Catholic religion. Every lama is
subject to the grand Taley-Lama, the Buddhist pope of Thibet, who holds his residence at
Lha-ssa, and is a reincarnation of Buddha.

MAGE, or Magian; from Mag or Maha
The word is the root of the word magician. The
Maha-atma (the great Soul or Spirit) in India had its priests in the pre-Vedic times. The
Magians were priests of the fire-god; we find them among the Assyrians and
Babylonians, as well as among the Persian fire-worshippers. The three magi, also
denominated kings, that are said to have made gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh to the
infant Jesus, were fire-worshippers like the rest, and astrologers; for they saw his star.
The high priest of the Parsis, at Surat, is called Mobed, others derived the word from
Megh; Meh-ab signifying something grand and noble. Zoroaster's disciples were called
Meghestom, according to Kleuker.

This term, once a title of renown and distinction, has come to be wholly
perverted from its true meaning. Once the synonym of all that was honorable and
reverent, of a possessor of learning and wisdom, it has become degraded into an epithet
to designate one who is a pretender and a juggler; a charlatan, in short, or one who has
"sold his soul to the Evil One"; who misuses his knowledge, and employs it for low and
dangerous uses, according to the teachings of the clergy, and a mass of superstitious fools
who believe the magician a sorcerer and an enchanter. But Christians forget, apparently,
that Moses was also a magician, and Daniel, "Master of the magicians, astrologers,
Chaldeans, and soothsayers" (Daniel, v. II).
The word magician then, scientifically speaking, is derived from Magh, Mah, Hindu or
Sanscrit Maha -- great; a man well versed in the secret or esoteric knowledge; properly a

or mantic frenzy. During this state was developed the gift of prophecy.
The two words are nearly synonymous. One was as honored as the other. Pythagoras and
Plato held it in high esteem, and
Socrates advised his disciples to study Manticism. The Church Fathers, who condemned
so severely the mantic frenzy in Pagan priests and Pythiae, were not above applying it to
their own uses. The Montanists, who took their name from Montanus, a bishop of
Phrygia, who was considered divinely inspired, rivalled with the manteis or prophets.
"Tertullian, Augustine, and the martyrs of Carthage, were of the number," says the author
of Prophecy, Ancient and Modern. "The Montanists seem to have resembled the
Bacchantes in the wild enthusiasm that characterized their orgies," he adds. There is a
diversity of opinion as to the origin of the word Manticism. There was the famous Mantis
the Seer, in the days of Melampus and Proetus, King of Argos; and there was Manto, the
daughter of the prophet of Thebes, herself a prophetess. Cicero describes prophecy and
mantic frenzy by saying that "in the inner recesses of the mind is divine prophecy hidden
and confined, a divine impulse, which when it burns more vividly is called furor" (frenzy,
But there is still another etymology possible for the word mantis, and to which we doubt
if the attention of the philologists was ever drawn. The mantic frenzy may, perchance,
have a still earlier origin. The two sacrificial cups of the Soma-mystery used during the
religious rites, and generally known as grahas, are respectively called Sukra and Manti.*
It is in the latter manti or manthi cup that Brahma is said to be "stirred up." While the
initiate drinks (albeit sparingly) of this sacred soma-juice, the Brahma, or rather his
"spirit," personified by the god Soma, enters into the man and takes possession of him.
Hence, ecstatic vision, clairvoyance, and the gift of prophecy. Both kinds of divination --
the natural and the artificial -- are aroused by the Soma. The Sukra-cup awakens that
which is given to every man by nature. It unites both spirit and soul, and these, from their
own nature and essence, which are divine, have a foreknowledge of future things, as
dreams, unexpected visions, and presentiments, well prove. The contents of the other cup,
the manti, which "stirs the Brahma," put thereby the soul in communication not only with
the minor gods -- the well-informed but not omniscient spirits -- but actually with the
highest divine essence itself. The soul receives a direct illumination from the presence of
its "god"; but as it is not allowed to remember certain things, well known only in heaven,
the initiated person is generally seized with a kind of sacred frenzy, and upon recovering
from it, only remembers that which is allowed to him. As to the other kind of seers and
diviners -- those who make a
profession of and a living by it -- they are usually held to be possessed by a gandharva, a
deity which is nowhere so little honored as in India.

A Sanskrit word conveying the same idea as the "Ineffable Name." Some
mantras, when pronounced according to magical formula taught in the Atharva-Veda,
produce an instantaneous and wonderful effect. In its general sense, though, a mantra is
either simply a prayer to the gods and powers of heaven, as taught by the Brahmanical
books, and especially Manu, or else a magical charm. In its esoteric sense, the "word" of
the mantra, or mystic speech, is called by the Brahmans Vach. It resides in the mantra,
which literally means those parts of the sacred books which are considered as the Sruti, or
direct divine revelation.

A Mahometan pilgrim who has been to Mekka; a saint, after whose death
his body is placed in an open sepulchre built on the surface, like other buildings, but in
the middle of the streets and public places of populated cities. Placed inside the small and
only room of the tomb (and several such public sarcophagi of brick and mortar may be
seen to this day in the streets and squares of Cairo), the devotion of the wayfarers keeps a
lamp ever burning at his head. The tombs of some of these marabuts have a great fame
for the miracles they are alleged to perform.

A word employed by spiritualists to indicate the phenomenon
of "a spirit clothing himself with a material form." The far less objectionable term, "formmanifestation,"
has been recently suggested by Mr. Stainton-Moses, of London. When
the real nature of these apparitions is better comprehended, a still more appropriate name
will doubtless be adopted. To call them materialized spirits is inadmissible, for they are
not spirits but animated portrait-statues.

from (Ahura) Mazda. (See Spiegel's Yasna, xl.) They were the ancient
Persian nobles who worshipped Ormazd, and, rejecting images, inspired the Jews with
the same horror for every concrete representation of the Deity. "They seem in
Herodotus's time to have been superseded by the Magian religionists. The Parsis and
Ghebers geberim, mighty men, of Genesis vi. and x. 8) appear to be Magian religionists. .
. . By a curious muddling of ideas, Zoro-Aster (Zero, a circle, a son or priest, Aster,
Ishtar, or Astarte -- in Aryan dialect, a star), the title of the head of the Magians and fireworshippers,
or Surya-ishtara, the sun-worshipper, is often confounded in modern times
with Zara-tustra, the reputed Mazdean apostle" (Zoroaster).

The progress of the soul from one stage of existence to another.
Symbolized and vulgarly believed to be rebirths in animal bodies. A term generally
misunderstood by every class of European and
American society, including many scientists. The kabalistic axiom, "A stone becomes a
plant, a plant an animal, an animal a man, a man a spirit, and a spirit a god," receives an
explanation in Manu's Manava-Dharma-Sastra, and other Brahmanical books.

Greek teletai, or finishings, as analogous to teleuteia or death. They
were observances, generally kept secret from the profane and uninitiated, in which were
taught by dramatic representation and other methods, the origin of things, the nature of
the human spirit, its relations to the body, and the method of its purification and
restoration to higher life. Physical science, medicine, the laws of music, divination, were
all taught in the same manner. The Hippocratic oath was but a mystic obligation.
Hippocrates was a priest of Asklepios, some of whose writings chanced to become
public. But the Asklepiades were initiates of the AEsculapian serpent-worship, as the
Bacchantes were of the Dionysia; and both rites were eventually incorporated with the
Eleusinia. We will treat of the Mysteries fully in the subsequent chapters.

Those initiated. But in the mediaeval and later periods the term was
applied to men like Boehmen the Theosophist, Molinos the Quietist, Nicholas of Basle,
and others who believed in a direct interior communion with God, analogous to the
inspiration of the prophets.

Seership, soothsaying. This oldest and most respected of mystic phenomena,
is the name given to prophecy in the Bible, and is correctly included among the spiritual
powers, such as divination, clairvoyant visions, trance-conditions, and oracles. But while
enchanters, diviners, and even astrologers are strictly condemned in the Mosaic books,
prophecy, seership, and nabia appear as the special gifts of heaven. In early ages they
were all termed Epoptai, the Greek word for seers, clairvoyants; after which they were
designated as Nebim, "the plural of Nebo, the Babylonian god of wisdom." The kabalist
distinguishes between the seer and the magician; one is passive, the other active;
Nebirah, is one who looks into futurity and a clairvoyant; Nebi-poel, he who possesses
magic powers. We notice that Elijah and Apollonius resorted to the same means to isolate
themselves from the disturbing influences of the outer world, viz.: wrapping their heads
entirely in a woolen mantle; from its being an electric non-conductor we must suppose.

One who studies the various branches of occult science. The term is
used by the French kabalists (See Eliphas Levi's works). Occultism embraces the whole
range of psychological, physiological, cosmical, physical, and spiritual phenomena. From
the word occult, hidden or secret; applying therefore to the study of the Kabala,
astrology, alchemy, and all arcane sciences.

This term gods is erroneously understood by most of the reading
public, to mean idols. The idea attached to them is not that of something objective or
anthropomorphical. With the exception of occasions when "gods" mean either divine
planetary entities (angels), or disembodied spirits of pure men, the term simply conveys
to the mind of the mystic -- whether Hindu Hotar, Mazdean Mage, Egyptian hierophant,
or disciple of the Greek philosophers -- the idea of a visible or cognized manifestation of
an invisible potency of nature. And such occult potencies are invoked under the
appellation of various gods, who, for the time being, are personating these powers. Thus
every one of the numberless deities of the Hindu, Greek, and Egyptian Pantheons, are
simply Powers of the "Unseen Universe." When the officiating Brahman invokes Aditya
-- who, in her cosmic character, is the goddess-sun -- he simply commands that potency
(personified in some god), which, as he asserts, "resides in the Mantra, as the sacred
Vach." These god-powers are allegorically regarded as the divine Hotars of the Supreme
One; while the priest (Brahman) is the human Hotar who officiates on earth, and
representing that particular Power becomes, ambassador-like, invested with the very
potency which he personates.

It is generally believed that the Hindu term Pitris means the spirits of our
direct ancestors; of disembodied people. Hence the argument of some spiritualists that
fakirs, and other Eastern wonder-workers, are mediums; that they themselves confess to
being unable to produce anything without the help of the Pitris, of whom they are the
obedient instruments. This is in more than one sense erroneous. The Pitris are not the
ancestors of the present living men, but those of the human kind or Adamic race; the
spirits of human races which, on the great scale of descending evolution, preceded our
races of men, and were physically, as well as spiritually, far superior to our modern
pigmies. In Manava-Dharma-Sastra they are called the Lunar ancestors.

PYTHIA, or Pythones
Webster dismisses the word very briefly by saying that it was
the name of one who delivered the oracles at the Temple of Delphi, and "any female
supposed to have the spirit of divination in her -- a witch," which is neither
complimentary, exact, nor just. A Pythia, upon the authority of Plutarch, Iamblichus,
Lamprias, and others, was a nervous sensitive; she was chosen from among the poorest
class, young and pure. Attached to the temple, within whose precincts she had a room,
secluded from every other, and to which no one but the priest, or seer, had admittance,
she had no communications with the outside world, and her life was more strict and
ascetic than that of a Catholic nun. Sitting on a tripod of brass placed over a fissure in the
ground, through which arose intoxicating vapors, these subterranean
exhalations penetrating her whole system produced the prophetic mania. In this abnormal
state she delivered oracles. She was sometimes called ventriloqua vates,* the
The ancients placed the astral soul of man, [[psuche]], or his self-consciousness, in the pit
of the stomach. The Brahmans shared this belief with Plato and other philosophers. Thus
we find in the fourth verse of the second Nabhanedishtha Hymn it is said: "Hear, O sons
of the gods (spirits) one who speaks through his navel (nabha) for he hails you in your
Many of the Sanscrit scholars agree that this belief is one of the most ancient among the
Hindus. The modern fakirs, as well as the ancient gymnosophists, unite themselves with
their atman and the Deity by remaining motionless in contemplation and concentrating
their whole thought on their navel. As in modern somnambulic phenomena, the navel was
regarded as "the circle of the sun," the seat of internal divine light.** Is the fact of a
number of modern somnambulists being enabled to read letters, hear, smell, and see,
through that part of their body to be regarded again as a simple "coincidence," or shall we
admit at last that the old sages knew something more of physiological and psychological
mysteries than our modern Academicians? In modern Persia, when a "magician" (often
simply a mesmerizer) is consulted upon occasions of theft and other puzzling
occurrences, he makes his manipulations over the pit of his stomach, and so brings
himself into a state of clairvoyance. Among the modern Parsis, remarks a translator of the
Rig-vedas, there exists a belief up to the present day that their adepts have a flame in their
navel, which enlightens to them all darkness and discloses the spiritual world, as well as
all things unseen, or at a distance. They call it the lamp of the Deshtur, or high priest; the
light of the Dikshita (the initiate), and otherwise designate it by many other names.

A designation of the Fane-gods worshipped at Samothracia in the
Mysteries. They are considered as identical with the Kabeiri, Dioskuri, and Korybantes.
Their names were mystical -- denoting Pluto, Ceres or Proserpina, Bacchus, and
AEsculapius or Hermes.

SHAMANS, or Samaneans
An order of Buddhists among the Tartars, especially those
of Siberia. They are possibly akin to the philosophers
* See Pantheon: "Myths," p. 31; also Aristophanes in "Voestas," i., reg. 28.
** The oracle of Apollo was at Delphos, the city of the [[delphus]], womb or abdomen; the place of the
temple was denominated the omphalos or navel. The symbols are female and lunary; reminding us that the
Arcadians were called Proseleni, pre-Hellenic or more ancient than the period when Ionian and Olympian
lunar worship was introduced.
anciently known as Brachmanes, mistaken sometimes for Brahmans.* They are all
magicians, or rather sensitives or mediums artificially developed. At present those who
act as priests among the Tartars are generally very ignorant, and far below the fakirs in
knowledge and education. Both men and women may be Shamans.

This Hindu sacred beverage answers to the Greek ambrosia or nectar, drunk by
the gods of Olympus. A cup of kykeon was also quaffed by the mysta at the Eleusinian
initiation. He who drinks it easily reaches Bradhna, or place of splendor (Heaven). The
soma-drink known to Europeans is not the genuine beverage, but its substitute; for the
initiated priests alone can taste of the real soma; and even kings and rajas, when
sacrificing, receive the substitute. Haug shows by his own confession, in his Aytareya
Brahmanan, that it was not the Soma that he tasted and found nasty, but the juice from
the roots of the Nyagradha, a plant or bush which grows on the hills of Poona. We were
positively informed that the majority of the sacrificial priests of the Dekkan have lost the
secret of the true soma. It can be found neither in the ritual books nor through oral
information. The true followers of the primitive Vedic religion are very few; these are the
alleged descendants from the Rishis, the real Agnihotris, the initiates of the great
Mysteries. The soma-drink is also commemorated in the Hindu Pantheon, for it is called
the King-Soma. He who drinks of it is made to participate in the heavenly king, because
he becomes filled with it, as the Christian apostles and their converts became filled with
the Holy Ghost, and purified of their sins. The soma makes a new man of the initiate; he
is reborn and transformed, and his spiritual nature overcomes the physical; it gives the
divine power of inspiration, and develops the clairvoyant faculty to the utmost.
According to the exoteric explanation the soma is a plant, but, at the same time it is an
angel. It forcibly connects the inner, highest "spirit" of man, which spirit is an angel like
the mystical soma, with his "irrational soul," or astral body, and thus united by the power
of the magic drink, they soar together above physical nature, and participate during life in
the beatitude and ineffable glories of Heaven.
Thus the Hindu soma is mystically, and in all respects the same that the Eucharistic
supper is to the Christian. The idea is similar. By
means of the sacrificial prayers -- the mantras -- this liquor is supposed to be transformed
on the spot into real soma -- or the angel, and even into Brahma himself. Some
missionaries have expressed themselves very indignantly about this ceremony, the more
so, that, generally speaking, the Brahmans use a kind of spirituous liquor as a substitute.
But do the Christians believe less fervently in the transubstantiation of the communionwine
into the blood of Christ, because this wine happens to be more or less spirituous? Is
not the idea of the symbol attached to it the same? But the missionaries say that this hour
of soma-drinking is the golden hour of Satan, who lurks at the bottom of the Hindu
sacrificial cup.*

The lack of any mutual agreement between writers in the use of this word has
resulted in dire confusion. It is commonly made synonymous with soul; and the
lexicographers countenance the usage. This is the natural result of our ignorance of the
other word, and repudiation of the classification adopted by the ancients. Elsewhere we
attempt to make clear the distinction between the terms "spirit" and "soul." There are no
more important passages in this work. Meanwhile, we will only add that "spirit" is the
[[nous]] of Plato, the immortal, immaterial, and purely divine principle in man -- the
crown of the human Triad; whereas,
SOUL is the [[psuche]], or the nephesh of the Bible; the vital principle, or the breath of
life, which every animal, down to the infusoria, shares with man. In the translated Bible it
stands indifferently for life, blood, and soul. "Let us not kill his nephesh," says the
original text: "let us not kill him," translate the Christians (Genesis xxxvii. 21), and so on.

In the mediaeval ages it was the name by which were known the
disciples of Paracelsus of the sixteenth century, the so-called fire-philosophers or
Philosophi per ignem. As well as the Platonists they regarded the soul [[psuche]] and the
divine spirit, nous, as a particle of the great Archos -- a fire taken from the eternal ocean
of light.
The Theosophical Society, to which these volumes are dedicated by the author as a mark
of affectionate regard, was organized at New York in 1875. The object of its founders
was to experiment practically in the occult powers of Nature, and to collect and
disseminate among Christians information about the Oriental religious philosophies.
Later, it has determined to spread among the "poor benighted heathen" such evi-
[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------
* In their turn, the heathen may well ask the missionaries what sort of a spirit lurks at the bottom of the
sacrificial beer-bottle. That evangelical New York journal, the "Independent," says: "A late English
traveller found a simple-minded Baptist mission church, in far-off Burmah, using for the communion
service, and we doubt not with God's blessing, Bass's pale ale instead of wine." Circumstances alter cases,
it seems!
dences as to the practical results of Christianity as will at least give both sides of the story
to the communities among which missionaries are at work. With this view it has
established relations with associations and individuals throughout the East, to whom it
furnishes authenticated reports of the ecclesiastical crimes and misdemeanors, schisms
and heresies, controversies and litigations, doctrinal differences and biblical criticisms
and revisions, with which the press of Christian Europe and America constantly teems.
Christendom has been long and minutely informed of the degradation and brutishness
into which Buddhism, Brahmanism, and Confucianism have plunged their deluded
votaries, and many millions have been lavished upon foreign missions under such false
representations. The Theosophical Society, seeing daily exemplifications of this very
state of things as the sequence of Christian teaching and example -- the latter especially --
thought it simple justice to make the facts known in Palestine, India, Ceylon, Cashmere,
Tartary, Thibet, China, and Japan, in all which countries it has influential correspondents.
It may also in time have much to say about the conduct of the missionaries to those who
contribute to their support.

From [[theos]], god, and [[ergon]], work. The first school of practical
theurgy in the Christian period was founded by Iamblichus among the Alexandrian
Platonists; but the priests attached to the temples of Egypt, Assyria, and Babylonia, and
who took an active part in the evocations of the gods during the Sacred Mysteries, were
known by this name from the earliest archaic period. The purpose of it was to make
spirits visible to the eyes of mortals. A theurgist was one expert in the esoteric learning of
the Sanctuaries of all the great countries. The Neoplatonists of the school of Iamblichus
were called theurgists, for they performed the so-called "ceremonial magic," and evoked
the "spirits" of the departed heroes, "gods," and Daimonia ([[daimonia]], divine, spiritual
entities). In the rare cases when the presence of a tangible and visible spirit was required,
the theurgist had to furnish the weird apparition with a portion of his own flesh and blood
-- he had to perform the theopoea, or the "creation of gods," by a mysterious process well
known to the modern fakirs and initiated Brahmans of India. This is what is said in the
Book of Evocations of the pagodas. It shows the perfect identity of rites and ceremonial
between the oldest Brahmanic theurgy and that of the Alexandrian Platonists:
"The Brahman Grihasta (the evocator) must be in a state of complete purity before he
ventures to call forth the Pitris."
After having prepared a lamp, some sandal, incense, etc., and having traced the magic
circles taught to him by the superior guru, in order to keep away bad spirits, he "ceases to
breathe, and calls the fire to his
help to disperse his body." He pronounces a certain number of times the sacred word, and
"his soul escapes from his body, and his body disappears, and the soul of the evoked
spirit descends into the double body and animates it." Then "His (Grihasta's) soul reenters
into his body, whose subtile particles have again been aggregating, after having formed
of their emanations an aerial body to the spirit he evoked."
And now, that he has formed for the Pitri a body with the particles the most essential and
pure of his own, the grihasta is allowed, after the ceremonial sacrifice is over, to
"converse with the souls of the ancestors and the Pitris, and offer them questions on the
mysteries of the Being and the transformations of the imperishable."
"Then after having blown out his lamp he must light it again, and set at liberty the bad
spirits shut out from the place by the magical circles, and leave the sanctuary of the
The school of Iamblichus was distinct from that of Plotinus and Porphyry, who were
strongly against ceremonial magic and practical theurgy as dangerous, though these two
eminent men firmly believed in both. "The theurgic or benevolent magic, the Goetic, or
dark and evil necromancy, were alike in preeminent repute during the first century of the
Christian era."** But never have any of the highly moral and pious philosophers, whose
fame has descended to us spotless of any evil deed, practiced any other kind of magic
than the theurgic, or benevolent, as Bulwer-Lytton terms it. "Whoever is acquainted with
the nature of divinely luminous appearances [[phasmata]] knows also on what account it
is requisite to abstain from all birds (animal food), and especially for him who hastens to
be liberated from terrestrial concerns and to be established with the celestial gods," says
Though he refused to practice theurgy himself, Porphyry, in his Life of Plotinus, mentions
a priest of Egypt, who, "at the request of a certain friend of Plotinus (which friend was
perhaps Porphyry himself, remarks T. Taylor), exhibited to Plotinus, in the temple of Isis
at Rome, the familiar daimon, or, in modern language, the guardian angel of that
The popular, prevailing idea was that the theurgists, as well as the magicians, worked
wonders, such as evoking the souls or shadows of the heroes and gods, and doing other
thaumaturgic works by supernatural powers.

The Yajna," say the Brahmans, exists from eternity, for
[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------
* "Book of Brahmanical Evocations," part iii.
** Bulwer-Lytton: "Last Days of Pompeii," p. 147.
*** "Select Works," p. 159.
**** Ibid., p. 92.
it proceeded forth from the Supreme One, the Brahma-Prajapati, 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 Yagus or sacrificial mysteries. "The
Yajna" exists as an invisible thing at all times; 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.*
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.
To complete the list, we will now add that in the course of the following chapters,
whenever we use the term Archaic, we mean before the time of Pythagoras; when
Ancient, before the time of Mahomet; and when Mediaeval, the period between Mahomet
and Martin Luther. It will only be necessary to infringe the rule when from time to time
we may have to speak of nations of a pre-Pythagorean antiquity, and will adopt the
common custom of calling them "ancient."
Before closing this initial chapter, we venture to say a few words in explanation of the
plan of this work. Its object is not to force upon the public the personal views or theories
of its author; nor has it the pretensions of a scientific work, which aims at creating a
revolution in some department of thought. It is rather a brief summary of the religions,
philosophies, and universal traditions of human kind, and the exegesis of the same, in the
spirit of those secret doctrines, of which none -- thanks to prejudice and bigotry -- have
reached Christendom in so unmutilated a form, as to secure it a fair judgment. Since the
days of the unlucky mediaeval philosophers, the last to write upon these secret doctrines
of which they were the depositaries, few men have dared to brave persecution and
prejudice by placing their knowledge upon record. And these few have never, as a rule,
written for the public, but only for those of their own and succeeding times who
possessed the key to their jargon. The multitude, not understanding them or their
doctrines, have been accustomed to regard them en masse as either charlatans or
dreamers. Hence the unmerited contempt into which the study of the noblest of sciences -
- that of the spiritual man -- has gradually fallen.
In undertaking to inquire into the assumed infallibility of Modern Science and Theology,
the author has been forced, even at the risk of being thought discursive, to make constant
comparison of the ideas, achievements, and pretensions of their representatives, with
those of the ancient philosophers and religious teachers. Things the most widely
separated as to time, have thus been brought into immediate juxtaposition, for only thus
could the priority and parentage of discoveries and dogmas be determined. In discussing
the merits of our scientific contemporaries, their own confessions of failure in
experimental research, of baffling mysteries, of missing links in their chains of theory, of
inability to comprehend natural phenomena, of ignorance of the laws of the causal world,
have furnished the basis for the present study. Especially (since Psychology has been so
much neglected, and the East is so far away that few of our investigators will ever get
there to study that science where alone it is understood), we will review the speculations
and policy of noted authorities in connection with those modern psychological
phenomena which began at Rochester and have now overspread the world. We wish to
show how inevitable were their innumerable failures, and how they must continue until
these pretended authorities of the West go to the Brahmans and Lamaists of the far
Orient, and respectfully ask them to impart the alphabet of true science. We have laid no
charge against scientists that is not supported by their own published admissions, and if
our citations from the records of antiquity rob some of what they have hitherto viewed as
well-earned laurels, the fault is not ours but Truth's. No man worthy of the name of
philosopher would care to wear honors that rightfully belong to another.
Deeply sensible of the Titanic struggle that is now in progress between materialism and
the spiritual aspirations of mankind, our constant endeavor has been to gather into our
several chapters, like weapons into armories, every fact and argument that can be used to
aid the latter in defeating the former. Sickly and deformed child as it now is, the
materialism of To-Day is born of the brutal Yesterday. Unless its growth is arrested, it
may become our master. It is the bastard progeny of the French Revolution and its
reaction against ages of religious bigotry and repression. To prevent the crushing of these
spiritual aspirations, the blighting of these hopes, and the deadening of that intuition
which teaches us of a God and a hereafter, we must show our false theologies in their
naked deformity, and distinguish between divine religion and human dogmas. Our voice
is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement from all tyranny,
whether of SCIENCE or THEOLOGY.


Copyright - Fred Batt - Darkforce Limited - 2008/09