« PrécédentContinuer »
Science," Book v., Coptic copy.) In a kind of "Manual" of Elementary Occultism, it is said: "To make a bewitched object (fetich) harmless, its parts have to be reduced to atoms (broken), and the whole buried in damp soil"-(follow instructions, unnecessary in a publication).*
That which is called "vital spirits" is the astral body. "Souls, whether united or separated from their bodies, have a corporeal substance inherent to their nature," says St. Hilarion ("Comm. in Matth." C. v. No. 8). Now the astral body of a living person, of one unlearned in occult sciences, may be forced (by an expert in magic) to animate, or be drawn to, and then fixed within any object, especially into anything made in his likeness, a portrait, a statue, a little figure in wax, &c. And as whatever hits or affects the astral reacts by repercussion on the physical body, it becomes logical and stands to reason that, by stabbing the likeness in its vital parts-the heart, for instance the original may be sympathetically killed, without any one being able to detect the cause of it. The Egyptians, who separated man (exoterically) into three divisions or groups-"mind body" (pure spirit, our 7th and 6th prin.); the spectral soul (the 5th, 4th, and 3rd principles); and the gross body (prana and sthula sarira), called forth in their theurgies and evocations (for divine white magical purposes, as well as for those of the black art) the "spectral soul," or astral body, as we call it.
"It was not the soul itself that was evoked, but its simulacrum that the Greeks called Eidolon, and which was the middle principles between soul and body. That doctrine came from the East, the cradle of all learning. The Magi of Chaldea as well as all other followers of Zoroaster, believed that it was not the divine soul alone (spirit) which would participate in the glory of celestial light, but also the sensitive soul." ("Psellus, in Scholiis, in Orac.")
Translated into our Theosophical phraseology, the above refers to Atma and Buddhi-the vehicle of spirit. The Neo-Platonics, and even Origen,-"call the astral body Augoeides and Astroeides, i. e., one having the brilliancy of the stars" ("Sciences Occultes," by Cte. de Resie, Vol. ii, p. 598-9.)
Generally speaking, the world's ignorance on the nature of the human phantom and vital principle, as on the functions of all man's principles, is deplorable. Whereas science denies them all-an easy way of cutting the gordian knot of the difficulty-the churches have evolved the fanciful dogma of one solitary principle, the Soul, and neither of the two will stir from its respective preconceptions, notwithstanding the evidence of all antiquity and its most intellectual writers. Therefore, before the question can be
The author of "A Fallen Idol," whether through natural intuition or study of occult laws it is for him to say-shows knowledge of this fact by making Nebelsen say that the spirit or the tirthankar was paralyzed and torpid during the time his idol had been buried in India. That Eidolon or Elementary could do nothing. See p. 295.
argued with any hope of lucidity, the following points have to be settled and studied by our Theosophists-those, at any rate, who are interested in the subject:
1. The difference between a physiological hallucination and a psychic or spiritual clairvoyance and clairaudience.
2. Spirits, or the entities of certain invisible beings-whether ghosts of once living men, angels, spirits, or elementals, have they, or have they not, a natural though an ethereal and to us invisible body? Are they united to, or can they assimilate some fluidic substance that would help them to become visible to men?
3. Have they, or have they not, the power of so becoming infused among the atoms of any object, whether it be a statue (idol), a picture, or an amulet, as to impart to it their potency and virtue, and even to animate it?
4. Is it in the power of any Adept, Yogi on Initiate, to fix such entities, whether by White or Black magic, in certain objects?
5. What are the various conditions (save Nirvana and Avitchi) of good and bad men after death? etc., etc.
All this may be studied in the literature of the ancient classics, and especially in Aryan literature. Meanwhile, I have tried to explain and have given the collective and individual opinions thereon of all the great philosophers of antiquity in my "Secret Doctrine." I hope the book will now very soon appear. Only, in order to counteract the effects of such humoristical works as "A Fallen Idol" on weak-minded people, who see in it only a satire upon our beliefs, I thought best to give here the testimony of the ages to the effect that such past-mortem pranks as played by Mr. Anstey's sham ascetic, who died a sudden death, are of no rare occurrence in nature.
To conclude, the reader may be reminded that if the astral body of man is no superstition founded on mere hallucinations, but a reality in nature, then it becomes only logical that such an eidôlon, whose individuality is all centred after death in his personal Eco-should be attracted to the remains of the body that was his, during life;* and in case the latter was burnt and the ashes buried, that it should seek to prolong its existence vicariously by either possessing itself of some living body (a medium's), or, by attaching itself to his own statue, picture, or some familiar object in the house or locality that it inhabited. The "vampire” theory, can hardly be a superstition altogether. Throughout all Europe, in Germany, Styria, Moldavia, Servia, France and Russia, those bodies of the deceased who are believed to have become vampires, have special exorcismal rites established for them by their respective Churches. Both the Greek and Latin religions think it beneficent to have such bodies dug out and transfixed to the earth by a pole of aspen-tree wood.
* Even burning does not affect its interference or prevent it entirely-since it can avail itself of the ashes. Earth alone will make it powerless.
However it may be, whether truth or superstition, ancient philosophers and poets, classics and lay writers, have believed as we do now, and that for several thousand years in history, that man had within him his astral counterpart, which would appear by separating itself or oozing out of the gross body, during life as well as after the death of the latter. Till that moment the "spectral soul" was the vehicle of the divine soul and the pure spirit. But, as soon as the flames had devoured the physical envelope, the spiritual soul, separating itself from the simulacrum of man, ascended to its new home of unalloyed bliss (Devachan or Swarga), while the spectral eidôlon descended into the regions of Hades (limbus, purgatory, or Kama loka). "I have terminated my earthly career," exclaims Dido, "my glorious spectre (astral body), the IMAGE of my person, will now descend into the womb of the earth.*
"Et nunc magna mei sub terras ibit imago" ("Eneid," lib. iv, 654.)
Sabinus and Servius Honoratus (a learned commentator of Virgil of the VIth cent.) have taught, as shown by Delris, the demonlogian (lib. ii, ch. xx and xxv, p. 116) that man was composed, besides his soul, of a shadow (umbra) and a body. The soul ascends to heaven, the body is pulverized, and the shadow is plunged in Hades. This phantom-umbra seu simulacrum-is not a real body, they say: it is the appearance of one, that no hand can touch, as it avoids contact like a breath. Homer shows this same shadow in the phantom of Patroclus, who perished, killed by Hector, and yet "Here he is-it is his face, his voice, his blood still flowing from his wounds!" (See "Iliad,” xxiii, and also "Odyssey," i, xi.) The ancient Greeks and Latins had two souls-anima bruta and anima divina, the first of which is in Homer the animal soul, the image and the life of the body, and the second, the immortal and the divine.
As to our Kama loka, Ennius, says Lucrecius-"has traced the picture of the sacred regions in Acherusia, where dwell neither our bodies nor our souls, but only our simulacres, whose pallidity is dreadful to behold!" It is amongst those shades that divine Homer appeared to him, shedding bitter tears as though the gods had created that honest man for eternal sorrow only. It is from the midst of that world (Kama loka), which seeks with avidity communication with our own, that this third (part) of the poet, his phantom-explained to him the mysteries of
Which is not the interior of the earth, or hell, as taught by the anti-geological theologians, but the cosmic matrix of its region-the astral light of our atmosphere.
Pythagoras and Plato both divided soul into two representative parts, independent of each other-the one, the rational soul, or Aoyov, the other, irrational, aλoyov-the latter being again subdivided into two parts or aspects, the θυμιχὸν and the ἐπιθυμιχὸν, which, with the divine soul and its spirit and the body, make the seven principles of Theosophy. What Virgil calls imago, "image," Lucretius names-simulacrum, "similitude" (See "De Nat. rerum 1), but they are all names for one and the same thing, the astral body.
We gather thus two points from the ancients entirely corroborative of our esoteric philosophy: (a) the astral or materialized figure of the dead is neither the soul, nor the spirit, nor the body of the deceased personage, but simply the shadow thereof, which justifies our calling it a "shell;" and (b) unless it be an immortal God (an angel) who animates an object, it can never be a spirit, to wit, the SOUL, or real, spiritual ego of a once living man; for these ascend, and an astral shadow (unless it be of a living person) can never be higher than a terrestrial, earth-bound ego, or an irrational shell. Homer was therefore right in making Telemachus exclaim, on seeing Ulysses, who reveals himself to his son: "No, thou art not my father, thou art a demon, a spirit who flatters and deludes me!"
Οὐσύγ ̓ Οδυσσεύσ ἐσσι πατὴρ ἐμὸσ ἀλλάμε δαίμων
("Odyssey," xvi, 194.)
It is such illusive shadows, belonging to neither Earth nor Heaven, that are used by sorcerers and other adepts of the Black Art, to help them in persecutions of victims; to hallucinate the minds of very honest and well meaning persons occasionally, who fall victims to the mental epidemics aroused by them for a purpose; and to oppose in every way the beneficent work of the guardians of mankind, whether divine or-human.
For the present, enough has been said to show that the Theosophists have the evidence of the whole of antiquity in support of the correctness of their doctrines.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.
SECRET DOCTRINE TEACHINGS*
The Occultists, having most perfect faith in their own exact records, astronomical and mathematical, calculate the age of Humanity, and assert that the latter (as separate sexes) has existed in this Round just 18,618,727 years, as the Brahmanical teachings and even some Hindu calendars declare.
*From the Original Edition Vol. I, p. 150, foot note; see Vol. I, p. 174, Third Edition.
THE IDEA OF BEING
HE word "being" is the present participle of the verb to be, that is, to have the potentiality of action, for it is to be remembered that a "verb" does not necessarily denote action: it may also signify "being, or the state of being." Some think the essence of a verb is predication, or the affirmation that is action, but a little reflection will convince one that the essence lies in the potentiality; action is the opposed phase of the verb to potentiality. and is wrapped up in the potentiality, as the lotus is enfolded in the seed; ard "state of being" implies what is essential to action, that is to say, the subject who or which acts, and the mechanism of action. For without the subject there is neither action nor state of being, and without the mechanism there is only the subject and the potentiality.
Further, the present participle is that form of the verb which most clearly partakes and is indicative of the threefold nature of the verb. In it are alike the presence of the subject, the subsistence of the action, and the modification or limitation that all acuon requires for its predication. And still further, the present participle implies the perfect participle, and also the predicated future. "Perfect," it is well to remember, always relates to what is past, to what is finished, so that when we speak of "perfection," and speak accurately, we are never referring to what is being or is to be enacted, but in fact to a state, the fruit of actions of the past. If we say, "he, or it, is perfect," we really imply that the stage of ripeness has been already arrived at, action of growth has ceased, and the "state of being" exists. So when we mention Masters as "perfect" or "perfected" men, we ought to realize that They no longer act as men, but are a ripened state, which to us is only a predicated future. Mahatmaship is the continuance of the state of the perfected being, the ever-present subsistence of the subject with the potentiality of any and all modifications, or actions. He is no longer in form, but all forms of action are in Him.
With the old Romans, and indeed with all the elder or "perfected" nations, language had a fineness, a sensitiveness, a delicacy, because a precision of use, that to us is only a potentiality because it appertains to the future; it is a predication, a possibility. Our language is still of action, because it is still growing; theirs, to us, is a past thing, a thing perfected and finished, but to them, in their employment of it, it was a present structure, a mechanism for the action of thought, complex but complete, and almost entirely devoid of duplicities. Our word "verb" is a shard taken from the crumbling ceramics in which the old Romans enclosed their thought, but much of the Latin content of verbum has evaporated from our patched vessel of language.
Verbum meant indifferently a word, a name, a verb, depending on how it was used. When used as a word merely, there was im