Franz Hartmann MD Magic, White and Black

The Science of Finite and Infinite Life

(1888) 4th edition

Franz Hartmann, MD


"Everything that exists upon the Earth has its ethereal counterpart above the Earth, and there is nothing, however insignificant it may appear in the world, which is not depending on something higher; so that if the lower part acts, its presiding higher part reacts upon it."

Sohar Wajecae, Fol. 156, 6.

MAGIC, White & Black


The Science of Finite and Infinite Life


Practical Hints for Students of Occultism



"For in our searching are fulfilled all our desires, and we obtain the victory over all worlds." -- Khand. Upanishad

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Frontispiece as described in text

Description of the Frontispiece

AT the foot of the picture is a sleeping Sphinx, whose upper part (representing the higher principles) is human; while the lower parts (symbolising the lower principles) are of an animal nature. She is dreaming of the solution of the great problem of the construction of the Universe and of the nature and destiny of Man, and her dream takes the shape of the figure above her, representing the Macrocosm and the Microcosm and their mutual interaction.

Above, around, and within all, without beginning and without an end, penetrating and pervading all, from the endless and unimaginable periphery to the invisible and incomprehensible centre is Parabrahm, the unmanifested Absolute, the supreme source of every power that ever manifested or may in the future manifest itself as a "thing," and by whose activity the world was thrown into existence, being projected by the power of His own will and imagination.

The Omega (and the Alpha in the centre) represent the "Son," the Absolute having become manifest as the Universal Logos or The Christ, also called Buddhi, or the sixth principle, the cause of the beginning and the end of every created thing. It is One with the "father," being manifested as a Trinity in a Unity, the cause of what we call Space, Motion, and Substance. Its highest manifestation is Self-consciousness, by which it may come to the comprehension of Man. The spiritual man whose matrix is his own physical body, draws his nutriment from this universal spiritual principle as the physical foetus is nourished by means of the womb of the mother, his soul being formed from the astral influences or the soul of the world.

Out of the Universal Logos proceeds the "invisible Light" of the Spirit, the Truth, the Law, and the Life, embracing and penetrating the Cosmos and becoming manifest in the illuminated soul of Man, while the visible light of Nature is only its most material aspect or mode of manifestation, in the same sense as the visible sun is the reflex of its divine prototype, the invisible centre of power or the great spiritual Sun.

The circle with the twelve signs of the Zodiac, enclosing the space in which the planets belonging to our solar system are represented, symbolises the Cosmos, filled with the planetary influences pervading the Astral Light, and which are caused by the interaction of the astral emanations of the cosmic bodies and their inhabitants.

The activity in the Cosmos is represented by the interlaced triangle. The two outer ones represent the great powers of creation, preservation, and destruction, or Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, acting upon the elements of Fire, Water, and Earth -- that is to say, upon the original principles out of which ethereal, fluid and solid material substances and forms are produced.

The two inner interlaced triangles refer more especially to the development of Man. B, C, and D represent Knowledge, the Knower, and the Known, which trinity constitutes Self-knowledge. E, F, and G represent the Physical Man, the Ethereal or Inner Man, and the Spiritual Man. The centre represents the divine Atma, being identical with the Universal Logos. It is, like the latter, a Trinity in a Unity.* It is the spiritual seed implanted in the soul of man, through whose growth immortal life is attained. Its light is the Rose of the Cross that is formed by Wisdom and Power. But below all is the realm of Illusion, of the most gross and heavy materialised thoughts, sinking into Darkness and Death, where they decompose and putrefy, and are resolved again into the elements out of which the Universe came into existence.

* Of the three interlaced A's only one is distinctly drawn in the figure.

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Preface to the Fourth Edition

This book was originally written for the purpose of disenchanting certain credulous inquirers, who fancied that the exercise of spiritual powers could be taught by teaching them certain incantations and formulas. It was to prove that spiritual powers must be developed before they can be exercised, and to explain the conditions necessary for their development.

Since the appearance of the previous edition, a little additional knowledge, gained by the experiences of my own inner life, has enabled me to make certain corrections; to sift out much of what was irrelevant, and to remodel a great deal of what was incorrectly expressed. Moreover in this edition an attempt has been made to answer the numerous questions which have been addressed to me by the readers of "Magic."

The most serious objection which has been made against this book has been on account of its title; but the causes which induced me to select such a title were suggested by the purpose for which the book was intended; nor would I at present be able to find one more appropriate for it, for "Magic" means that divine art or exercise of spiritual power by which the awakened spirit in man controls the invisible living elements in the soul-substance of the universe; but, above all, those in his own soul, which are the ones nearest to him.

If we desire to master any forces whatever, it is, above all, necessary to know what they are and how they originate, and as we have no better means to study the qualities of any internal forces, than by observing those which are active within ourselves, the perception of the processes going on within our own psychic organism, will be the means to accomplish our object. The art Magic is the exercise of spiritual power, to be obtained by practising self-control, and this power cannot be acquired in any other way; nor is it possible to teach any one how to exercise a power which he does not possess, because he has not developed it; we can only indicate the way in which the psychic powers latent in every human constitution may be developed. The constitutions of all men are fundamentally the same, and in each human being are contained magical powers germinally or in a latent condition; but they cannot be said to exist before they become active and manifest themselves, first interiorly, and afterwards in an outward direction.

It was not my object, in composing this book, to write merely a code of ethics, and thereby to increase the already existing pile of moral precepts, but to assist the student of Occultism in studying the elements of which his own soul is composed, and to learn to know his own psychical organism. I want to give an impulse to the study of a science, which may be called the "anatomy and physiology of the soul" which investigates the elements of which the organism of the soul is composed, and the source from which man's desires and emotions spring.

Physical science has advanced with great strides in the realm of superficial phenomena and external illusions, but the science of the real interior and invisible man is still very little known. The mechanical and chemical forces of nature have been made subservient to physical science. She has laid the yoke upon the neck of the giant Steam and chained Electricity to her triumphal chariot; she made mechanical motion, heat, and light, and magnetism the obedient slaves of men; she made discoveries which make man to a certain extent independent of the conditions imposed upon him by space and time; she succeeded in realising certain ideas and to put them into practical execution, ideas which a century ago were believed to belong merely to the realm of the fancies of the visionary and the dreamer.

Why should we stop here? Why should it not be possible for us to advance still further, and to enchain those semi-conscious and conscious forces which pervade our own soul, and also the soul of the world? Why should it be impossible to condense into forms by the omnipotent power of Will the living but formless Elementals; to concentrate and give shape to living and universal principles, which, although they are at present invisible for us, nevertheless exist? Such things have been accomplished by the Eastern sages thousands of years ago, and may be accomplished by ourselves, provided we attain the same state of perfection which characterises these Adepts.

To arrive at this end the merely superficially intellectual reading of books on Occultism is entirely insufficient. The divine mysteries of nature are above and beyond the power of conception of the limited intellect. They must be grasped by the power of the spirit. If we cannot by our own soul perception perceive a spiritual truth with the eye of the spirit, intellectual reasoning and book learning will not enable us to perceive it clearly. Books, dealing with such subjects, should not be masters to us; they should merely be our assistants. They are merely useful to describe the details of things which we already know in the depths of our soul; they are merely servants to hold up before our eyes magnifying mirrors, wherein we see the truths whose presence we feel in ourselves.

Jackob Boehme, the great theosoph, says in regard to the study of Occultism: "If you desire to investigate the divine mysteries of nature, investigate first your own mind, and ask yourself about the purity of your purpose. Do you desire to put the good teachings which you may receive into practice for the benefit of humanity? Are you ready to renounce all selfish desires, which cloud your mind and hinder you to see the clear light of eternal truth? Are you willing to become an instrument for the manifestation of Divine Wisdom? Do you know what it means to become united with your own higher Self, to get rid of your illusive Self, to become one with the living universal power of Good and to die to your own shadowy insignificant terrestrial personality? Or do you merely desire to obtain great knowledge, so that your curiosity may be gratified, and that you may be proud of your science, and believe yourself to be superior to the rest of mankind? Consider, that the depths of Divinity can only be searched by the divine spirit itself, which is active within you. Real knowledge must come from our own interior, not merely from externals, and they who seek for the essence of things merely in externals may find the artificial colour of a thing, but not the true thing itself."

Again this self-taught philosopher says: "The intellect should be developed, but above all the heart. We should attempt to understand intellectually the laws of everything; but our own still fallible intellect should not be made the starting-point in our investigations. Man should not be governed by his reasoning from appearances; but he should govern his mind, so that the light of divine wisdom may illuminate his intellect. If our judgment becomes free of all selfish taint, and the vibrations of our soul are made to vibrate in harmony with the eternal spirit, our perishable intellect will be penetrated by the imperishable light of divine wisdom; and we will be able to perceive and to solve the deepest problems of nature. If our desire and reason cling to the sphere of self, we shall see merely the illusions which we ourselves have created; but if we become free by being obedient to the universal law, we will become one with the law and see the truth in its purity."

And to this we will add, as a warning to all inquirers, that a scientific investigation of the occult mysteries of nature, without that firm foundation furnished by the development of true spirituality, is exceedingly dangerous and leads to deplorable consequences. The perception of things which belong to the spirit is a faculty of the spiritually developed man and not within the reach of the semi-material mind. He who continually pores over things which he cannot comprehend lives in the realm of his dreams; he becomes an unpractical person, incapable to fulfil his duties in life, and often insanity and suicide is the result. The school of the occultist is only for those who have graduated in the school of terrestrial life.

Let, therefore, those who wish to acquire spiritual or divine power, follow this advice: let them rise spiritually into the highest regions of thought and remain therein as its permanent residents. Let them cultivate their physical bodies and their mental constitutions in such a manner that the matter of which they are composed will become less gross and more penetrable to the divine light of the spirit. Then will the veils that separate them from the invisible world become thinner; then will they become aware of the fact that the circle which limits their terrestrial and phenomenal existence is merely a small segment of that grand circle wherein their existence as self-conscious beings on the spiritual plane is enclosed, and as they increase in transcendental knowledge they will grow in spiritual power, until, by the understanding of the divine laws of the universe, they will become the co-operators of God, and God will perform his miracles in and through them.

The following pages are an attempt to show the way how Man may become an instrument of the Divine Power whose product is Nature; they constitute a book which may properly bear the title of "Magic," for if the readers succeed in practically following its teachings, they will be able to witness the greatest of all magical feats, the spiritual regeneration of Man.

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OUR age is the age of opinions. The majority of our educated people live, so to say, in their heads, and the claims of the heart are neglected. Vanity is king, and wisdom is only permitted to speak when it does not come into conflict with selfish considerations. The guardians of a narrow limited science delude themselves with a belief of being capable to bring the infinite truth within the grasp of their finite understanding, and whatever they fail to comprehend is asserted not to exist. Our speculative philosophers refuse to recognise the eternal power of universal love whose light is reflected in the human soul; they wish to examine eternal truths by the flickering candle-light of their logic, reasoning from the basis of sensual observations; they forget that Humanity is a Unity, and that one individual cannot encompass the All; and the ignorant asks scientific reasons why man should be faithful and true, and why he should not consider his own personal interests above those of the rest of mankind.

It is universally admitted that man's final destiny cannot depend on the theories which he may have formed in his mind regarding Cosmology, Pneumatology, plans of salvation, &c., and as long as he possesses no real knowledge, one set of beliefs or opinions may perhaps be as good as another; but it cannot be denied, that the sooner man frees himself of the erroneous opinions of others and opening his own eyes recognises the real truth, the less will he. be impeded by the obstacles which are in the way of his higher evolution, and the sooner will he reach the summit of his final perfection.

The most important question seems, therefore, to be: "Is it possible that a man should actually know anything transcending his sensual perception, unless it is told to him by some supposed authority? Can the power of intuition be developed to such an extent as to become actual knowledge without any possibility of error, or shall we always be doomed to depend on hearsay and opinions? Can any individual man possess powers transcending those which are admitted to exist by modern science, and how can such transcendental powers be acquired?"

The following pages were written for the purpose of attempting to answer such questions, by calling the attention of those who desire to know the truth to a consideration of the true nature of Man and of his position in the Universe. Those who already know these things of course will not need the instructions which these pages contain, but to those who desire to know they may be of some use, and to the latter we recommend the advice given by Gautama Buddha to his disciples: "Believe nothing which is unreasonable, and reject nothing as unreasonable without proper examination."

This book was not written for the purpose of convincing sceptics of the fact that phenomena of an occult character have taken place in the past and are occurring at present; though an attempt has been made to prove the possibility of mystic occurrences, by offering some explanation in regard to the laws by which they may be produced. No space has been devoted to lengthy illustrative examples of phenomena. Those who require them will find such evidence in the books whose titles have been given at the foot of the pages.

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Comments by TAT Foundation



It is not a book of parlor tricks, or sensational sleight of hand. It is not a book dedicated to the production of miracles or homunculi, nor to the casting of spells, communication with spirits or the souls of dead men, nor is it dedicated to the pursuit of selfish talismanic magic.

This book has to do with wisdom. This is its first great value. The author courageously lays down certain truths without compromise and without any appeal to the reader for the reader's agreement. The reader soon perceives that the author possesses a great mental quantum, or else might mistakenly judge the author to be a fanatic. The reader who has previously understood the concept of an illusory life and world, will eagerly read on, waiting for the real magic of additional revelations.

This book has also to do with the magic which is often spelled as Magick. It gives the reader the priceless formula for mental power and spiritual achievement. The nebulous structures of soul and mind created by guessing or blind belief are dissolved by the straightforward explanation of the relations between body and soul, and between Essence and Essence-Projections which are largely illusions.

No publisher has ever manufactured this book believing it to be a best seller. It will always be chosen because it is one of the great books of all time, dedicated to Truth rather than popularity and to Mankind rather than to fame or profit.

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