The Universe is a manifestation of Divine Wisdom and thought is an action of Mind. The Mind in which Wisdom can bring a universe into existence must be a Universal Mind, embracing in its totality all the individual minds that ever existed, and containing the germs of everything that will ever come into existence.
Ideas are states of mind, and the thoughts of the Universal Mind stored up in the Astral Light, after their representative forms have dissolved, grow again into visible forms, by being clothed with matter.
Man remembers his thoughts; that is to say, he enters again into one of his previous mental states. To remember a thing is to read it in the mind. The Astral Light is the book of memory, in which every thought is engraved and every event recorded, and the more intense the thought the deeper will it be engraved, and the longer will the picture remain.
Thought is a force, and its products remain in the Astral Light long after the person who gave them form has ceased to live. As the images of things which exist in the Astral Light remain there for ages, they may be seen by the clairvoyant. Such images are formed of thought, and as thought is something substantial, it is even possible for the Occultist to reproduce books, writings, &c., which have existed thousands of years ago.
Men do not create thought; the ideas existing in the Astral Light flow into their minds, and there they transform themselves into other shapes, combining with other ideas, consciously or unconsciously, according to the laws that control the correlations, interrelations, and associations of thought. A great mind can grasp a great idea, a narrow mind is only capable of holding narrow ideas. Thoughts are existing things and are sometimes grasped contemporaneously by several receptive minds. Some great discoveries have been made almost simultaneously by several minds.*
* There are three claimants for the discovery of chloroform, two for the discovery of Uranus, two for the Bell telephone, &c.
Ideas contained in the imagination of nature throw their reflections upon the minds of men, and, according to the capacities of the latter to receive ideas, they come to their consciousness, clear or distorted, plain or shadowy, like images of pictures reflected in living mirrors, that are either clear or rendered dim by the accumulation of dust. In those living mirrors they are remodelled and transformed into new pictures, to people the currents of the Astral Light with new images, and to give rise to new forms of thought. Therefore a spiritually strong person who lives in solitude and silence may do a great work, by evolving ideas, which will remain impressed upon the Astral Light and come to the cognisance of those who are capable to grasp them.
The thoughts of men impress themselves upon the Astral Light, and every event that takes place on the physical plane is recorded in the memory of nature. Every stone, every plant, every animal as well as every man, has a sphere in which is recorded every event of its existence. They all have a little world of their own, made of thought, and whenever they move, they think; for their motions are motions of thought.
In the Astral Light of each is stored up every event of its past history and of the history of its surroundings; so that everything, no matter how insignificant it may be, can give an account of its daily life, from the beginning of its existence as to form up to the present, to him who is able to read. A piece of lava from Pompeii will give to the Psychometer a true description of the volcanic eruption that devastated that town and buried it under its ashes, where it remained hidden for nearly two thousand years; a floating timber carried by the Gulf Stream to the far North can give to the inhabitants of the North a true picture of tropical life; and a piece of bone of a Mastodon teach the vegetable and animal life of antediluvian periods.*
* Prof. Wm. Denton: "Soul of Things." [Archive.Org]
The pictures impressed in the Astral Light react upon the mental spheres of individual minds and can create in them emotional disturbances, even if these pictures do not come to the full consciousness of their minds. Deeds committed with a great concentration of thought call living powers in the Astral Light into existence, tempting others to commit similar acts.**
** A case is known, for instance, in which a prisoner hung himself in his cell, and several other persons that were successively shut up in the same cell hung themselves also without any apparent cause. At another place a sentinel killed himself at his post, and several soldiers mounting guard after him did likewise, so that the post had to be deserted. Many similar examples may be cited. Crimes of a certain character often become epidemic in places where a criminal has been executed; murder becomes epidemic like measles or scarlatina.
Man does not know the influences which cause him to think and to act, as long as he does not know his own nature. He is therefore not a responsible being, except to the extent of his wisdom and power to control his own nature. Wisdom and strength can only be attained in life by experience and by the exercise of the power of overcoming temptation.
If the true nature of the constitution of man were properly understood, capital punishment would soon be abandoned as perfectly useless, unjust, and contrary to the law of nature. That which commits a murder or any other crime is a conscious and invisible power, which cannot be killed and which does not improve in character by being separated from its external form. The body is innocent, it is merely an instrument in the hands of the invisible culprit, the astral man. The face of even a criminal bears an expression of peace when the soul has departed.
By severing the bonds between this vicious power and the physical form, we do not change its tendency to act evil; but while during the life of the body the action of that power was restricted to only one form, having been liberated, it now incites numerous other weak-minded people to perform the same crimes for which the body was executed. Thus by capital punishment evil is not abolished, but its sphere of action increased.
As far as the theory of influencing other would-be criminals with fear, by making an example of one, and thus to prevent others from committing crimes, is concerned; it is well known that criminals do not look upon any punishment as being something which they have deserved for their deeds, but as being a consequence of having been so careless as to allow themselves to be caught, and they usually make up their minds, that if they were permitted to escape, they would be more careful – not to be caught again.
Life is a school through which every one must pass for the purpose of acquiring experience, strength of character, and self-knowledge. To rob a person of this opportunity is a great crime if it is done knowingly. The fool who kills another man has little responsibility, because he has no actual knowledge of the nature of his deed; but the lawgiver who institutes legal murder is the true criminal.
A lock of hair, a piece of clothing, the handwriting of a person or any article he may have touched, handled, or worn, can indicate to an intuitive mind that person's state of health, his physical, emotional, intellectual, and moral attributes and qualifications. The picture of a murderer may be impressed on the retina of his victim, and reproduced by means of photography; it is impressed on all the surroundings of the place where the deed occurred, and can there be detected by the psychometer who, thus coming en rapport with the criminal, can follow him and hunt him down just as the bloodhound traces the steps of a fugitive slave.*
* Emma Hardinge Britten: "Ghost Land." [Archive.Org] The case cited in this book, in which a clairvoyant followed the tracks of a murderer through several towns and caught him at last, is quoted in several German publications of the last century.
This tendency of the Astral Light to inhere in material bodies gives amulets their power and invests keepsakes and relics with certain occult properties. A ring, a lock of hair, or a letter from a friend, can not only conjure up that friend's picture in a person's memory, but bring him en rapport with the peculiar mental state of which that person was or is a representation. If you wish to forget a person, or free yourself from his magnetic attraction, part from everything that reminds you of him, or select only such articles as call up disagreeable memories and are therefore repulsive. Articles belonging to a person bring us in sympathy with that person, and this circumstance is sometimes used for purposes of black magic.
Paracelsus in his writings about the Mumia and the transplantation of diseases gives many illustrations of this theory. The existence of a power, by which a disease may be transferred upon a healthy person, even in "non-contagious" cases, by means of some article belonging to the sick person, is generally believed in by the people in various countries. It must, however, be remembered that in making such experiments the success depends on the amount of "faith" which the magician can employ. Without that faith, which is soul-knowledge, nothing can be accomplished in any department of life.
As every form is the representation of a certain mental state, every object has such attributes as always belong to that state, and therefore every substance has its sympathies and its antipathies; the loadstone attracts iron, and iron the oxygen of the air; hygroscopic bodies attract water, affinities exist between certain bodies, some substances change their colours under certain coloured rays, while others remain unaffected, &c. These phenomena are all nothing else but the various manifestations of the One Life, in which the principle of Love is active and seeks to unite whatever is harmonious.
Every material object is condensed and solidified force. Looked at in this light, it does not seem impossible that the ancients should have attributed certain virtues to certain precious stones, and believed that the Garnet was conducive to joy, the Chalcedony to courage, the Topaz promoting chastity, the Amethyst assisting reason, and the Sapphire intuition.
A spiritual force, to be effective, requires a sensitive object to act upon. In an age which tends to extreme materialism, spiritual influence ceases to be perceived, but if a person cannot feel the occult influences of nature, it does not necessarily follow that they do not exist, and that there are not others able to perceive them because their impressional capacities are greater.
Only the fool believes that he knows everything. What is really known is only like a grain of sand on the shore of the ocean in comparison to what is still unknown.
Physiologists know that certain plants and chemicals have certain powers, and they explain their effects. They know that Digitalis decreases the quickness of the pulse by paralysing the heart; that Belladonna dilates the pupil by paralysing the muscular fibres of the Iris; that Opium in small doses produces sleep by causing anaemia of the brain, while large doses produce coma by causing congestion, &c.; but why these substances have such effects, or why some chemical compound of Nitrogen, Oxygen, Carbon, and Hydrogen is poisonous in one chemical combination, while the same substances, if combined in a different stoechio-metrical proportion, may be used as food, neither chemistry nor physiology can tell us at present.
If we, however, look upon all forms as symbols of mental states, it will not be more difficult to imagine why strychnine is poisonous, than why hate can kill, or fear paralyse the heart.
A simple idea which is once firmly rooted in the mind cannot be changed. If an idea is complicated it is less difficult to modify it in its details, so that gradually an entirely different compound will be the result. In physical chemistry the law is analogous. Compound bodies may be easily changed into other combinations, but single bodies cannot be changed. There are, however, indications that even these so-called single bodies are the results of combinations of still more primitive elements.
It has been observed that when lightning has struck gilded ornaments they have become blackened, and it has been found, on analysing the blackened matter, that the presence of sulphur was distinctly indicated. Unless sulphur exists in the lightning it must have existed in the gold, and have been evolved by the action of lightning. We may then fairly assume that gold contains the elements of sulphur, and this is no anomaly in the case of gold, as other metals have also been proved to contain the elements of sulphur, * and the dreams of physical Alchemy may have some foundation, after all.
* David Low, F.R.S.E: "Simple Bodies in Chemistry."
But sulphur is supposed to be related to nitrogen, and the elements of nitrogen are believed to be hydrogen and carbon, and if we go still further, we find that even on the physical plane all bodies are only modifications of one primordial element, which is not of a sufficiently material nature to be detected by physical means, and that in this primordial element the germs of all other secondary principles must be contained.
Will and Imagination
The power to receive, preserve, and transform ideas, is the power of Will and Imagination. If an idea enters into the mind, the imagination clothes it into a form, with or without a conscious exercise of the will. We step upon a piece of rope in the dark and immediately imagine that we have stepped upon a snake. This is called passive imagination; while, if we determine to give a certain form to an idea, it is called active imagination; but in both cases the will is active; only in the former instance it is exercised instinctively, and in the latter this is done with intent and deliberation.
The will is, therefore, the active power, and it forms the basis of all artistic and magical operations. Art and magic are closely related together; both give objective form to subjective ideas. The artist exercises this power when he mentally projects the picture formed in his mind upon the canvas and chains it there by the use of his pencil or brush; the sculptor shapes the picture of a form on his mind and embodies it in the marble. He then employs mechanical force to free the ideal from all that is foreign to it, and raises it from the tomb, a materialisation of thought.
In the regeneration of man the will is entirely inactive as far as the creation of an ideal is concerned; but it is highly active in keeping away all the influences which will prevent the realisation of the ideal. God does not need the co-operation of man, his will alone is sufficient; he only requires that the will of man shall not prevent him in the performance of his work. The magician forms an image on his mind and makes it perceptible to others by projecting it into their mental spheres. Uniting his own mental sphere with theirs, they are made to participate of his imagination, and they see that as a reality what he chooses to fancy and think.
By this law many of the feats performed by Indian fakirs can be explained. They cause tigers and elephants to appear before a multitude, by forming the images of such things in the sphere of their mind. What the spectators see on such occasions is nothing else but the thoughts of the conjuror, rendered objective and visible by the latter.*
* The fact, that what the spectators on such occasions believe to see does not actually take place, has been proved by means of photography.
In the case of an artist, mechanical labour executes the work; in the case of a magician, the will. But the greatest amount of labour will not enable a person who is not an artist to produce a real work of art, and the greatest concentration of thought will not enable a person who has no spiritual power to perform a true magical feat.
The "will" to which we refer is a spiritual self-conscious power, unknown to modern psychology. A person may be an excellent anatomist and know nothing whatever about living spiritual principles; he may be a splendid chemist and know-nothing whatever about Alchemy; he may have perfect control over the mechanical forces of nature acting on the physical plane and know nothing whatever about the chemistry of the soul.
For this reason the mysteries of Alchemy will for ever remain mysteries to a scientist who has no spiritual power at his command. This spiritual power is the spiritual will. Without this power he can only separate the substances of compound bodies and recombine them again as is done in Chemistry, but not employ the principle of life.
The processes of nature are alchemical processes; because, without the principle of life acting upon the chemical substances of the earth, no growth would result. If the force of attraction and repulsion were entirely equal, everything would be at a standstill. If growth and decay would go hand in hand, nothing could grow, because a cell would begin to decay as soon as it would begin to form.
The chemist may take earth, and water, and air, and separate them into their constituent elements, and recombine them again, and at the end of his work he will be where he began. But the Alchemy of nature takes water, and earth, and air, and infuses into them the fire of life, forming them into trees and producing flowers and fruits.
Nature could not give her life-imparting influence to her children if she did not possess it; the chemist, having no life-principle at his command, or not knowing how to employ it, cannot perform the wonders of Alchemy. The reason why we have at present very few alchemists, is because we have very few persons endowed with the life of the spirit.
There are three aspects of Alchemy. It deals with the physical substances of things, more especially with their souls, and in its highest aspect with their spiritual centres. In its physical processes it requires physical means, and from the study of these modern chemistry has taken its rise. By the developed powers of his soul the Alchemist may act upon the souls of material substances, and if he can change their qualities, the character of the physical form may be changed.
If the spiritual "fire" is awakened within him, he attains the spiritual powers required to act upon the inferior elements. An insufficient degree of heat will not accomplish anything great: he must gradually attain within himself the fire of divine love until he becomes himself the Salamander, able to live in a light in which nothing impure can exist.*
* H. P. Blavatsky says: Everything in this world of effects is made up of three principles and four aspects, each object has an objective exterior, a vital soul, and a divine spark of spiritual fire. By these principles nature acts, and in order to imitate nature, Kriyasakti [or Kriya-Shakti] (the creative will) must be developed in man. This spiritual power is also called the "Word," of which it is written, that there is no need to seek it in distant places; "for it is close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart."
Johannes Tritheim [1462-1516 Wikipedia] says: "The Spiritus Mundi resembles a breath, appearing at first like a fog and afterwards condensing like water. This 'water' (Aakaasa) was in the beginning pervaded by the principle of life, and light was awakened in it by the fiat of the eternal spirit. This spirit of light, called the soul of the world (the Astral Light), is a spiritual substance, which can be made visible and tangible by art; it is a substance, but being invisible, we call it spirit. This 'soul' or corpus is hidden in the centre of everything, and can be extracted by means of the spiritual fire in man, which is identical with the universal spiritual fire, constituting the essence of nature and containing the images and figures of the Universal Mind."
"This Light resides in the Water and is hidden as a Seed in all things. Everything that originated from the spirit of light is sustained by it, and therefore this spirit is omnipresent; the whole of nature would perish and disappear if it were removed from it; it is the principium of all things."**
** J. Tritheim: "Miraculosa," Chap. xiv.
There were true Alchemists during the Middle Ages who knew how to extract that Seed from the soul-essence of the world, and there are some who have the power to perform that process to-day; but those who do not possess that power will not be inclined to admit the possibility of such facts. "It is an eternal truth, that without our secret magical fire nothing can be accomplished in our art. The ignorant will not believe in it because they do not possess that fire, and without this all their labour is useless. Without that fire spirits cannot be bound, much less can they be acted upon by material fire."*
* "I am the Light and the Truth"; but he who spoke those words and speaks them still, cannot be made the servant of those who are not themselves that Light; nor can any "Christian Scientist" turn himself into a Christ by believing himself to be Christ. Real knowledge is attained by nothing less than experience. No one becomes a Christ unless the Christ becomes revealed in him.
Some of the more enlightened modern chemists do not deny the possibility that a metal may be transformed into another; but the most serious objections made against the ancient Alchemists is that their object was to make artificial material gold. Such objections are based upon an entire misconception of alchemistical terms. The sole circumstance that certain planetary constellations in the microcosm were of the utmost importance for the success of alchemical processes is sufficient to show that the Alchemists experimented with the souls of things, of which their material forms are only the external representatives on the physical plane. Gold, the purest and most incorruptible metal, represented Spirit, Magnesia wisdom, and Calcinated Magnesia wisdom attained through suffering. Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt represent the trinity of all things, the fiery, watery, and material elements, and have nothing to do with material substances. They are essentially one, but threefold in their manifestation.**
** Here we are about to divulge one of the secrets of Alchemy, the truth of which will, however, be self-evident. On a preceding page we have explained that in every atom of the body of man are contained all the principles which go to make up the whole organism of man, with all its organs and functions; and likewise, in every atom of matter is contained a principle, which may grow into a whole universe of matter with its great variety of substances. A principle cannot be changed or transformed into another. Principles are eternal. Only the mode of their manifestation may be changed, and the basis of all material things, manifesting itself outwardly as iron or lead, may, under certain conditions, by changing the divine purpose of its existence, be made to manifest itself as silver or gold. The Alchemist does not create any new substance, he merely guides nature, and induces her to grow "the seeds of minerals," in the same sense as a gardener assists nature to grow the seeds of plants, and to develop them into flowers.
The Alchemists, therefore, say: "We cannot make gold out of anything which is not gold. To make material gold, we must have spiritual gold; we can merely cause the spiritual gold which exists already to grow into a visible and material form." This process is taught by the science of Alchemy, but this science is necessarily incomprehensible to him who has not arrived at that stage of spiritual knowledge, in which he can exercise a spiritual will, and a "spiritual will" does not exist in a man whose will is not free of material or personal desires. As the gardener puts the seed into the ground, and supplies it with water and with the necessary temperature, likewise the Alchemist "waters" the seeds of the metals with spiritual influences proceeding from his own divine soul. If a true appreciation of these truths is arrived at, it will at once remove Alchemy from the realm of superstition, and bring it within the limits of an exact spiritual science.
To answer the question whether or not any one ever succeeded in making gold grow in this manner, we will say that there is a German book in existence entitled, "Collection of historical accounts regarding some remarkable occurrences in the life of some still living Adepts." It was printed in 1780; and among many most interesting anecdotes about successful attempts of making gold grow, there are copies of the legal documents and decisions of the court at Leipzig in regard to a case where, during the absence of the Count of Erbach in the year 1715, an Adept visited the countess in the castle of Tankerstein, and out of gratitude for an important service which had been rendered to him by the countess, he transformed all the silver she had into gold. When the count returned, who, as it seems, kept his own property separate from that of his wife, he claimed that gold for himself, appealing to a certain statute of the law, according to which, treasures discovered upon or below the surface of a certain piece of land belong to the proprietor of that territory; but the court decided that as the material (the silver) out of which the gold had been made belonged legally to the countess, consequently this gold could not be classified as a hidden treasure, and did not come within the reach of that statute. The count thereupon lost his case, and his wife was permitted to keep the gold.
We have reasons to believe in the genuineness of these documents; and if looked at from the standpoint of Occultism, it does not at all seem improbable that gold can be made in that manner. Moreover, we have some personal experience to support our belief; for there lived about ten years ago a person whose name was Prestel, within a short distance of the town where we are now writing, who was a reputed Rosicrucian and Alchemist. We personally knew this man, and are well acquainted with two of his still living disciples. This man was generally known as an eccentric and mysterious person. He possessed great powers of projecting the images formed in his own mind upon the minds of others, so that they believed to see things which, however, had no objective existence. For instance he was once waylaid by an enemy, and as the latter pounced upon him, he caused him to see a terrible sight of a scaffold and an executioner, so that the person was terrified and ran away; and it was not Prestel who told this story, but the man himself who attacked him: the former kept silent about it.
Now, this man was not a full-fledged Alchemist, and could not make gold and the Elixir of Life, because, as he said, he could not find a woman sufficiently pure, and at the same time willing, to assist him in his labours; for, as it is known to all Alchemists, it requires the co-operation of the male and the female element to accomplish the highest process. This person could therefore not make pure gold; but he could change the nature of metals so that they would obtain certain chemical qualities, differing from substances of the same kind. He could, so to say, ennoble metals, so that, for instance, Iron or Brass would not rust if exposed to air and water; and we are now in possession of a Rosicrucian Cross made of brass, which, although it is over twenty years old, and has been exposed to salt-water air, and to climates where every other inferior metal rusts, is still as bright as it has been when first received, and it never needed any cleaning or polishing.
This person also had the power to cause combustible substances to become incombustible, and he could perform many of the alchemical processes described in the books of T. Tritheim, abbot of Spandau. He insisted that he could have made himself to live a thousand years, if he had found a suitable person to assist him in his alchemical work.
The most important alchemical work is the generation of man; it requires not only the chemical combination of physical substances, but involves the chemistry of the soul and an influence of the spirit, and all must harmoniously act together, if a human being and not a human monster and mental homunculus is to be the result. If the rules of Alchemy were better understood and adhered to, scrofula, cancers, syphilis, tuberculosis, and other inherited diseases would disappear, and a strong and healthy generation of men and women would be the result.
The great alembic [distillation apparatus] in which the passions of men are purified and transformed is the mind. The true magic fire, without which nothing useful can be accomplished, is his self-conscious love, in other words, spiritual recognition of self. Man does not create or originate a thought. Ideas are already in existence. He does not invent ideas, the ideas are already present; he can only collect, elaborate, and modify their expressions.
Thoughts and Ideas
We cannot imagine anything that does not exist, we can only make new combinations of that which is already in existence. We may imagine a snake with the head of a man, because snakes and men do exist; but we cannot imagine the form of an inhabitant of the Sun, because we have no conception of the forms that may be existing under conditions of which we have no experience, and which therefore do not exist for us.
If – as some modern physiologists believe – thoughts were a secretion of the brain, as the bile is a secretion of the liver, a thought would be lost as soon as it was expressed, and we would have to wait for the brain to recuperate its power, and to form and secrete another one like it again, before we could have twice the same thought. We would have to be careful not to express our thought or impart our knowledge to others, as by doing so it would be lost to ourselves. Verily, if we seek for absurdities, we need not look for them in ancient books on Alchemy, but find them sufficiently represented in the works of modern scientific authorities.
Thoughts and ideas are entities, and exist independently of the perception of man; they do not need man for their existence, but man needs them to enable him to think. Thoughts and ideas, set in motion by the Will, move through space; a thought set in motion in the Astral Ether resembles the expanding ripples upon the surface of a lake; a thought projected to a certain destination by the power of an Adept may be compared to an electric current passing with lightning-velocity through space.
Thoughts directed towards an object are like a mountain stream rushing towards that object, and if the wills of several persons combine to direct it, it grows in extension and force, provided their wills are single-minded and without any secondary designs.* If a mountain stream strikes a rock, whose resistance it cannot conquer and which it cannot pass, the waters will swell into a lake, devastating the shore and surging back towards its source.
* This law is said to be well known to certain "Jesuits" and employed for the purpose of influencing minds at a distance.
If a thought-current cannot enter the sphere of mind of the individual towards whom it is directed, it rebounds upon the mind of the individual from whom the impulse came. A person who concentrates the full power of a malicious thought upon another may, if he fails to succeed, be killed by the energy which he has called into action.
An illustration of this law may be seen when a person dies of grief on account of disappointment. The ray of force continually projected by long and intense desire, unable to accomplish its purpose, returns to the heart, producing a sudden revulsion of feeling; it changes love into grief, attraction into repulsion, desire into contempt, it may cause sickness and death.
Light travels through the air with a velocity of over 180,000 miles per second; thoughts pass with a similar velocity through space. A ray of light is seen to flash through the air and is intercepted by some nonconducting material. An idea flashes through space and is intercepted by a receptive mind. A sound is heard by an indefinite number of persons, and an idea may affect the world. As a pebble thrown into water produces concentric waves, which grow wider and wider, but less distinct as distance increases, so a thought affects some person, and spreading from that centre creates a ripple in the family, the town, the country, or all over the world.
A biogenesis of thought-infections and mental epidemics might be written. To such an investigation would belong the histories of all great reformations originating from some central idea; also the history of the crusades, the flagellants, the inquisition, mediaeval witchcraft, and modern materialism, and the absurdities of fashion.
To give presupposes the ability to receive. The possibility to impress a thought upon another mind presupposes the ability of that mind to receive that impression. A person who is sufficiently sensitive and in a passive condition, will without difficulty be brought under the control of the will of another, and be made to act unconsciously in obedience to that will. A sleeping person may be impressed with such dreams as another may call up in his imagination, by projecting a picture formed in his mind into the mind of the sleeper; a person in a mesmeric trance may have his imagination identified with that of the person who mesmerised him, and be made to comply implicitly with the will of the master.
We see in everyday life that one person subjects another one to his will and causes him to obey his commands without putting him to sleep, and even without expressly stating a wish. A general does not need to hypnotise his soldiers to make them obey his orders. The difference between such an obedient person and one in the hypnotic sleep is merely that the former will not and the latter cannot resist.
An impulse created by the will continues until the energy is exhausted. If the first impulse is followed by a series of others acting in the same direction, the effect will be correspondingly greater, and one person may affect the thoughts of another at a distance of thousands of miles by continually directing his thoughts upon him.
It would be impossible to move inanimate bodies at a distance by the mere power of will, if there were no substantial contact between such objects and the person who attempts to move them. Nevertheless such movements take place, and prove that there must be a contact of some kind, even if it is an invisible one. The Aakaasa furnishes that contact, and the developed willpower of a person may act through the substance of his soul upon the soul of the object, and set that object in motion. In this way tables may be made to talk and bells be made to ring. This, however, cannot be accomplished by everybody; to accomplish this an astral organism is required, and it can therefore be done only by such persons as have their astral body developed and are capable to use its organs at will.*
* H. P. Blavatsky writes in a private letter to the author: "I proved that all that mediums can do through 'spirits,' others could do at will without any 'spirits'; that the ringing of bells, thought-reading, raps, and physical phenomena could be achieved by anyone who had the faculty of acting in his physical body through the organs of the astral body, and I had that faculty ever since I was four years old. I could make furniture move and objects fly apparently, and by my astral arms that supported them, which remained invisible; all this before I even knew of the Masters."
The thoughts and consciousness of a person or of a number of persons may be projected and concentrated upon any object or to any place that exists within the sphere of their minds. It may be made to inhere in material objects by entering their astral elements and producing corresponding vibrations. Plants or precious stones may be brought in this manner into sympathetic relation with persons, so that if the person is sick or dies, the plants wither and the stones lose their brilliancy. No object in nature is entirely inanimate, and the life-principle is the same in all, whether it be a man or a stone; only the state of their activities differ.
If we can induce corresponding vibrations in the souls of a lower order of life, their life will be united with us, because all individual forms are only centres in which the Universal Mind has crystallised into forms, and all forms are related together and bound together by the universal cement of Love. A bird may drop down dead when its mate is killed, a mother may feel the pain of an accident happening to her child, twin-brothers have been known to have become affected simultaneously with the same disease and to die at the same time, although their bodies were far apart from each other. No being stands entirely isolated in nature, all are united by divine love, and the more they become conscious of the love that unites them the more do they realise that they are one.
Separation and differentiation exists only in regard to the form, the fundamental power is one, and those who have united their minds with that principle know that they are one, and distance forms no impediment to the actions of their minds. Spirit is substance, inseparable, impenetrable, indivisible, and eternal; form is an aggregate, separate, penetrable, divisible and subject to continual change.
The "communion of the saints" is a reality, for they are all one in the spirit. Light is only one. A number of lights in a room are as one light composed of that number. There is only one "Sound" but many expressions. If an orchestra is played in a room, each instrument produces sound, the sound of each fills the whole room and is heard according to its intensity. One instrument may sound louder than another; one light may shine brighter than the rest; but they do not annihilate or extinguish each other. Sound is one, and Light is one, and Spirit is one, only their manifestations differ in quality and in strength.
Love is one, but it manifests itself in various ways. Love unites all. Love is a state of the Will. Thought is directed by will, but the will to be powerful must be pure. If we desire two things at the same time, the will acts in two different directions: but division causes weakness, only in unity is strength. Will is one. The will is an universal principle and not confined within a form. If we concentrate our will and thought united upon a cloud in the sky, we can cause that cloud to dissolve, and the rapidity with which it dissolves will be proportionate to the strength of our concentration of mind.*
* There will be very few of our readers who have never noticed, that if they pass a certain person in the street, and then turn around to look after him or her, it very often happens that the latter turns at the same time to look after them. This happens so frequent, to be a mere matter of coincidence, and is caused by the fact that the impulse of will of one person can communicate itself to another person. But if one desires to make a person turn around by the effort of his will, and for the purpose of seeing whether he can do so, he will probably fail; because the desire to gratify his curiosity weakens the force of his will; he desires two things at once, and he fails.
As all forms are only external expressions of thought, if we could hold on to a thought and project it, we could create a form. But men do not control thought, they are the victims of it; they do not think what they choose, but what they are forced to think, by the thoughts flying into their minds.
To obtain magic power the first requirement is to learn how to control thought; to command our own moods of mind, and to allow only such ideas to enter the mind as we voluntarily choose to admit. Whoever has for the first time attempted to command a thought, and to hold on to it for five minutes, will have experienced the difficulty, and yet without this first requirement no progress in magic will ever be made.
Before one can become a magician he must learn to control his own mind; for mind is the substance with which the magician acts, and the power to control it is the beginning of magic. No one can control the mind of another as long as he cannot control his own. The will acts outwardly from within the centre of the heart, and no one can make it act beyond the periphery of his body as long as he has not become strong enough to guide it within the body. The neophyte must learn first to control his own emotions before he can control the emotions of others, he must know how to master his thoughts before he can make them objective.
But the mind cannot control its own self, it cannot rise above its own nature. To control the action of the mind a Master is required; this Master is the spirit of man. But spirit without substance is without power; without an organism through which to act, it is merely a spirit. That which controls the mind is the spiritually awakened inner man, the divine nature in man, which is superior to his terrestrial mind.
To change a form we change the state of mind, of which the form is an expression. Certain states of mind find their expressions in certain attitudes, and these attitudes induce corresponding mental states. A proud man will walk erect, a coward will creep, a continually practised creeping walk will develop a cowardly nature, and a habitually erect posture will make a man proud or conscious of his dignity. An actor who can identify himself fully with the personality whose part he plays, need not study attitudes to appear natural; an angry person who forces himself to smile lessens his anger; a person with a continual scowl on the face will find it difficult to be gay. It is on account of the desire to facilitate the entering into certain mental states that certain attitudes have been prescribed in religious ceremonies and acts of devotion.
If the Mind were its own Master, if the actions of the Universal Mind were not subject to the eternal divine law of cause and effect, but guided by the arbitrary whims and notions of some invisible power constituted of Mind without wisdom, the most extraordinary results were liable to follow and the age of actual miracles would begin. The earth would perhaps stand still for a day or a year and begin to revolve again the next; sometimes it might turn fast and at other times slow, and there is no end to the absurdities which might take place; especially if this imaginary power could be induced to follow the advices of its worshippers.
To the superficial observer the processes of nature seem to be the results of chance. The sun shines and the rain falls upon the land of the pious as well as upon that of the wicked; storms and fires rage, careless whether they destroy the life and property of the learned or that of the ignorant, because they are the necessary results of the law of cause and effect. The interest of individuals cannot control the welfare of the whole. While the welfare of the human body seems to be, to a certain extent, under the control of the will of the individual, the processes of nature, as a whole, appear to be unguided by the reason of the Universal Mind.
The intellect, being unreasonable, is disposed to gauge the absolute reason of the Universal Mind by the relative understanding of comparatively microscopic man. By the same right might the insect crawling in the dust doubt the intelligence of the wanderer, by whose foot it is maimed or killed without consideration and without remorse; such an insect, if capable of reasoning, would discover no intellect in that foot, and yet the man, whose foot is the destroyer, may be highly intellectual.
The cause, why we cannot comprehend the eternal principle of reason in nature, is because it acts according to law, being one with the law; while our intellect, being filled with considerations of self-interests, is not free of desire, and therefore always inclined to act contrary to the law.
Invisible causes produce visible effects, and the same cause, acting under similar conditions, will always produce similar results. Whenever a certain amount of energy has been accumulated, the time will arrive when it will be expended. The accumulated tension between the particles of explosives finds its equilibrium at the approach of a spark; the electric tension established in the upper regions of the air finds its relief in lightning; accumulated emotions will be equilibrised by an outburst of passion; accumulated energies in the soul of the earth produce earthquakes in the body of the earth, in the same manner as an outburst of grief causes the human form to tremble and to shake.
Man's reason may prevent an outburst of his emotions; but where is the personal god to control the emotions of the soul of the world? God does not prevent the growth of warts, or cancers, or tumours; God being the law cannot act in contradiction with himself. His blessings are accompanied by curses. Man's foot crushes the insect, because man's perception and intelligence does not pervade his feet; God does not prevent the growth of a stone in the bladder, because the high cannot manifest itself in the low, wisdom cannot be active in an unconscious form; the means must be adapted to the end.
When universal Man will have so far perfected himself as to be a self-conscious sphere of wisdom without any material parts, then will nature itself be a god. The music that can be made with a harp cannot be made with a stick. The absolute intelligence of the Universal Mind can only manifest itself relatively through instruments adapted to intellectual manifestation. Consciousness can manifest itself as relative consciousness only in conscious forms.
Wisdom is not a product of the organisation of man. It is eternal and universal. It finds its expression in the fundamental laws upon which the universe with all its forms is constructed. It is expressed in the shape of a leaf, in the body of an animal, in the organism of man. Its action can be found everywhere in nature, as long as the beings in nature live according to natural law.
There are no diseases in nature, which have not been originally created by powers which acted contrary to the laws of nature and became therefore unnatural. Outward appearances seem to contradict this assertion; because we find animals affected with diseases, and epidemic diseases are even of frequent occurrence in the vegetable kingdom.
But a deeper investigation into the occult laws of nature will go to show that all the forms of nature, minerals, vegetables, and animals, are merely states or expressions of the Universal Mind of Universal Man. They are the products of the imagination of Nature, and as the imagination of Nature is acted on, influenced and modified by the imagination of man, a morbid imagination of man is followed by a morbid state of Nature, and morbid results follow again on the physical plane. This law explains why periods of great moral depravity, sensuality, superstition, and materialism are always followed by plagues, epidemics, famine, wars, &c., and it would be worth the while to collect statistics to show that such has invariably been the case.
The elementary forces of nature are blind and obey the law that controls them. A motion originated by an impulse continues until the original energy is expended. Stones have no intelligence, because they have no organisation through which intelligence can become manifest, but if an intelligent power sets them into motion, they obey the law of its nature. As the organisms rise in the scale of evolution and development of form, their consciousness becomes more manifest. Consciousness becomes manifest as instinct in the animal creation. It teaches the bird to fly, the fish to swim, the ants to build their houses, the swallows to make their nests. Acting through the nerve centres and the spinal cord it induces the actions of the heart and lungs and other organic and involuntary actions of the body.
As the spinal cord, in the course of evolution, develops into a brain, the principle of consciousness obtains a more perfect instrument for its manifestation. Intellectual power takes the place of instinct, and the Universal Mind begins to think through the individual brain of man, in the same sense as universal nature uses his body for manifesting her powers.
With the highest development of the human brain, the most perfect instrument for the external manifestation of mind is attained. But the essential man is a spirit, and with the development of the most perfect physical form the climax of his spiritual evolution is not reached. The essential man is a spirit and requires a spiritual organisation for the display of his powers. He has within himself the latent power to realise his own divine and universal existence, and to awaken this power hidden within his psychical constitution another light than the light of nature is required.
This Light is the light of Divine Wisdom, one and infinite, and beyond the conception of the brain. It is itself the one eternal Life into which man must enter, if he desires to realise his own immortal existence. To realise that divine universal existence, an organised soul as wide as the universe is required. This soul belongs to the divine man, the Divinity in Humanity, whose material body is the world and whose self-consciousness is Divine Wisdom, the self-recognition of Truth, the Redeemer of All.