the principles of natural law, ... the reader must keep in mind the fundamental
propositions of the Oriental philosophy which we have successively elucidated.
Let us recapitulate very briefly:
1st. There is
no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law -- eternal, immutable,
ever active. Apparent miracle is but the operation of forces antagonistic
to what Dr. W.B. Carpenter, F.R.S. -- a man of great learning but little
knowledge -- calls "the well-ascertained laws of nature." Like many of
his class, Dr. Carpenter ignores the fact that there may be laws once 'known,'
now unknown to science.
2nd. Nature is
triune: there is a visible, objective nature; an invisible, indwelling,
energizing nature, the exact model of the other, and its vital principle;
and, above these two, spirit, source of all forces, alone eternal, and
indestructible. The lower two constantly change; the higher third does
3rd. Man is also
triune: he has his objective, physical body, his vitalizing astral body
(or soul), the real man; and these two are brooded over and illuminated
by the third -- the sovereign, the immortal spirit. When the real man succeeds
in merging himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal entity.
4th. Magic, as
a science, is the knowledge of these principles, and of the way by which
the omniscience and omnipotence of the spirit and its control over nature's
forces may be acquired by the individual while still in the body. Magic,
as an art, is the application of this knowledge in practice.
5th. Arcane knowledge
misapplied, is sorcery; beneficently used, true magic or WISDOM.
is the opposite of adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of foreign
influences, the adept actively controls himself and all inferior potencies.
7th. All things
that ever were, that are, or that will be, having; their record upon the
astral light, or tablet of the unseen universe, the initiated adept, by
using the vision of his own spirit, can know all that has been known or
can be known.
8th. Races of
men differ in spiritual gifts as in color, stature, or any other external
quality; among some peoples seership naturally prevails, among others mediumship.
Some are addicted to sorcery, and transmit its secret rules of practice
from generation to generation, with a range of psychical phenomena, more
or less wide, as the result.
9th. One phase
of magical skill is the voluntary and conscious withdrawal of the inner
man (astral form) from the outer man (physical body). In the cases of some
mediums withdrawal occurs, but it is unconscious and involuntary. With
the latter the body is more or less cataleptic at such times; but with
the adept the absence of the astral form would not be noticed, for the
physical senses are alert, and the individual appears only as though in
a fit of abstraction -- 'a brown study', as some call it.
To the movements
of the wandering astral form neither time nor space offer obstacles. The
thaumaturgist, thoroughly skilled in occult science, can cause himself
(that is, his physical body) to seem to disappear, or to apparently take
on any shape that he may choose. He may make his astral form visible, or
he may give it protean appearances. In both cases these results will be
achieved by a mesmeric hallucination of the senses of all witnesses, simultaneously
brought on. This hallucination is so perfect that the subject of it would
stake his life that he saw a reality, when it is but a picture in his own
mind, impressed upon his consciousness by the irresistible will of the
But, while the
astral form can go anywhere, penetrate any obstacle, and be seen at any
distance from the physical body, the latter is dependent upon ordinary
methods of transportation. It may be levitated under prescribed magnetic
conditions, but not pass from one locality to another except in the usual
way. Hence we discredit all stories of the aerial flight of mediums in
body, for such would be miracle, and miracle we repudiate. Inert matter
may be, in certain cases and under certain conditions, disintegrated. passed
through walls, and recombined, but living animal organisms cannot.
believe and arcane science teaches that the abandonment of the living body
by the soul frequently occurs, and that we encounter every day, in every
condition of life, such living corpses. Various causes, among them overpowering
fright, grief, despair, a violent attack of sickness, or excessive sensuality
may bring this about. The vacant carcass may be entered and inhabited by
the astral form of an adept sorcerer, or an elementary (an earth-bound
disembodied human soul), or, very rarely, an elemental. Of course, an adept
of white magic has the same power, but unless some very exceptional and
great object is to be accomplished, he will never consent to pollute himself
by occupying the body of an impure person. In insanity, the patient's astral
being is either semi-paralyzed, bewildered, and subject to the influence
of every passing spirit of any sort, or it has departed forever, and the
body is taken possession of by some vampirish entity near its own disintegration,
and clinging desperately to earth, whose sensual pleasures it may enjoy
for a brief season longer by this expedient.
10th. The corner-stone
of MAGIC is an intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity,
their qualities, correlations, and potencies. Especially necessary is a
familiarity with their effects in and upon the animal kingdom and man.
There are occult properties in many other minerals, equally strange with
that in the lodestone, which all practitioners of magic must know, and
of which so-called exact science is wholly ignorant. Plants also have like
mystical properties in a most wonderful degree, and the secrets of the
herbs of dreams and enchantments arc only lost to European science, and
useless to say, too, are unknown to it, except in a few marked instances,
such as opium and hashish. Yet, the psychical effects of even these few
upon the human system arc regarded as evidences of a temporary mental disorder.
The women of Thessaly and Epirus, the female hierophants of the rites of
Sabazius, did not carry their secrets away with the downfall of their sanctuaries.
They are still preserved, and those who are aware of the nature of Soma,
know the properties of other plants as well.
To sum up all
in a few words, MAGIC is spiritual WISDOM; nature, the material ally, pupil
and servant of the magician. One common vital principle pervades all things,
and this is controllable by the perfected human will. The adept can stimulate
the movements of the natural forces in plants and animals in a preternatural
degree. Such experiments are not obstructions of nature, but quickenings;
the conditions of intenser vital action are given.
The adept can
control the sensations and alter the conditions of the physical and astral
bodies of other persons not adepts; he can also govern and employ, as he
chooses, the spirits of the elements. He cannot control the immortal spirit
of any human being, living; or dead, for all such spirits are alike sparks
of the Divine Essence, and not subject to any foreign domination.
Unveiled, ii 587-590 H. P. BLAVATSKY
As one progresses
in Jnana Yoga one finds conceptions arising which, though one is conscious
of them, one cannot express nor yet formulate into any sort of mental picture.
As time goes on these conceptions will form into mental pictures. This
is a time to be on guard and and refuse to be deluded with the idea that
the new-found and wonderful picture must represent reality. It does not.
As one works on, one finds the once admired picture growing dull and unsatisfying
and finally fading out or being thrown away. This is another danger point,
because for the moment one is left in a void without any conception to
support one, and one may be tempted to revive the cast-off picture for
want of a better to cling to. The true student will, however, work on unconcerned,
and presently further formless gleams come, which again in time give rise
to a larger and more beautiful picture than the last. But the learner will
now know that no picture will ever represent the truth. This last splendid
picture will grow dull and fade like the others. And so the process goes
on, until at last the mind and its pictures are transcended and the learner
enters and dwells in the world of no-form, but of which all forms are narrowed