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vol. 1, p. 126
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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A Public Loss

It is to be regretted that the two columns in the Boston Herald which for some months past have been devoted to Spiritualism, should now be filled with the bickerings and quarrelings of private individuals, even though they may be prominent Spiritualists. Home, who is the instigator of certain reports, has certainly not the pure record he arrogates to himself. A man who claims to be an instrument of the Divine Spirit, for the purpose of regenerating the world, has very little faith in the power that supports him when he hastens to save his paltry life by swearing allegiance to an earth monarch. He says in his book, “Incidents in my life page 12: —

After two or three weeks of serious deliberations on the part of the authorities, it was decided that I should be received as a member of the church, and I was confirmed. The Princess O——was my godmother, and the Count B—— my godfather on the occasion. I was most kindly received by the Pope, who questioned me much regarding my past life. He pointed to a crucifix which stood near to us, and said, “My child, it is upon what is on that table that we place our faith.” He also gave me a large silver medal, which it has been my misfortune to lose.

This man hastens to attack those who are the avowed enemies of the Roman Catholic Church. He slurs Leymarie, the editor of the French spiritual paper who would not renounce his faith and swear allegiance to the Catholic Church, and is now suffering a year's imprisonment within the walls of Mazas; Eliphaz Levi, who has passed from the material world, is another of his victims; Mme. Blavatsky, who probably knows his history better than any person this side of the Atlantic, Col. Olcott and others come in for a fair share of abuse. What there is spiritual in this crimination and recrimination we fail to see. We wonder that Dr. Bloede has so soon lost his fear of the Roman Catholic Church; a few weeks ago he denounced Mme. Blavatsky as an emissary of the papal power, and now he is in close communication with one who renounced Spiritualism and the spirit-power to kiss the Pope’s toe and receive a blessed medal which he says, “it has been my misfortune to lose.”

Spirits seen in a Chemical Vapor

To the Editor of The Spiritual Scientist:

DEAR SIR: — I have been told by an old Spiritualist of Boston, that his brother-in-law was a chemist, and forty or fifty years ago produced a vapor in which spirits were seen, which so frightened his family that they fled in terror from the room. This gentleman has no sympathy with “Occult ism” or Olcottism.

Spiritualists should not allow themselves to fret and fume at the advent of new ideas, if they have no solid foundation; in fact they cannot do us any great damage. The truth with a fair field has nothing to fear. When we have learned all there is to know on earth or in heaven, it will be soon enough to cry “All hands steady! An eye on the compass and a close watch fore and aft,” as one did recently in the Banner of Light; but if we think there is anything yet to learn let us keep our eyes open ready to receive the light from whatever source. I for one feel the need of more light than I have been able to find after many years of investigation.




Henry Kunrath, in his Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae, gives a (physiognomical description of the forms elementary spirits present to the Magus when he approaches the threshold. Their forms are gossamer-like, and therefore cannot be seen by the physical eye unless aided by Magic Science. Some of them are horribly malignant, some as hostile as fiends, others more gentle and penitent. The latter soon pass from the abode of darkness, or the earth's atmosphere, to that of light, or the celestial spheres. Before the change of location can take place, the subjective faculties must be unfolded, which, we stated in a previous article, should occur, before the spirit passes from the mundane to the spiritual life. The malignancy of elementary spirits has been a terror to Cabalistic Neophites in their initiation, or when they have attempted to approach the threshold in search of knowledge from the causal world. There is no danger, however, attending the ceremonies providing the will is properly schooled and talismanic power is at hand in case of emergency.

A well-known mystic writer states: “He who would establish intercourse with these varying beings resembles a traveller who would penetrate unknown lands. He is exposed to strange dangers and inconjectural terrors. Let those remember that when this intercourse is once gained, there is no security from the chances to which this journey is exposed. No one, unless he is properly educated in mystic philosophy, can traverse paths free from wanderings of the deadliest foes. If he attempts it he must face and hazard all. Amidst the dwellers of this threshold is one, too, surpassing in malignity and hatred of tribes, one whose eyes have paralized the bravest, whose power increases over the Neophite in proportion to his fear and his deficiency of wisdom.”

What is this ruling spirit of darkness, called in common parlance the Devil, when viewed through Cabalistic glasses? It is a blind force guided by misdirected wills; a force placed for a time at the service of error; a force guided by legions of impure spirits; a force that must be combatted and conquered before spirits can free themselves from the chains of the earth. The Devil is not a being—a personality; but a symbol personifying evil or error. Therefore the monster of the threshold is a blind force guided by a chain of wills, which must be controlled by the Magus when he raises the veil of Isis. It was a deficiency of wisdom, ignorance of will power, and fear of the result, that caused Glyndon’s failure, which is so forcibly described by Bulwer in Zanoni.

It is a fearlessfull task for any one to attempt to approach the threshold without the knowledge to conquer the monster of darkness. If he attempts it, his fate will invariably be that of Glyndon. The two-edged sword (truth and error, or light and darkness) guarding the entrance to Paradise, is a beautiful Cabalistic symbol, which the Magus must know how to harmonize before he can enter the world of celestial light or the world of causes, and obtain therefrom supreme wisdom, such as Solomon is said to have possessed and which he describes in one of his clavicles, a part of which we give:

“I, Solomon, King of Israel and Palmyra, have sought and obtained in part the Holy Chocmah, which is the wisdom of Adonia. I have become King of the spirits of heaven and of earth. Master of the inhabitants of the air and the souls of the sea, because I procured the ray of the occult gate of light. I have accomplished great things by the virtue of Schema Hamphorasch and the thirty-two paths of Sepher Jezirah; — Number, Weight and Measure determine the form of things: Substance is one and God created it eternally. Happy is he who knows the letters and numbers: numbers are ideas, and ideas forces, and forces Elohim. The Synthesis of Elohim is Schema; — Schema is one and its pillars are two, Its power is three, its form four. Its reflection gives eight, and eight multiplied by three gives the twenty-four thrones of Wisdom. On each throne rests a crown of three jewels, each jewel bears a name, each name an absolute idea. There are seventy-two names on the twenty-four crowns of Schema. Thou shalt write these names on thirty-six talismans, two on each talisman, one on each side. Thou shalt divide these talismans into four series of nine each, according to the number of the letters of the Schema. On the first scries engrave the Yod (?) figure of the blooming rod of Aaron. On the second series the letter He (?) figure of the cup of Joseph. On the third series the letter Vau (?) figure of the sword of David, my Father, and on the fourth series the letter He (?) figure of the Jewish Shekel. The thirty-six talismans will be a book which will contain all the secrets of wisdom, and by their divers combinations thou wilt move the genii and make angels speak.”

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Editor's notes

  1. A Public Loss by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 2, March 16, 1876, pp. 18-9
  2. Spirits seen in a Chemical Vapor by Munroe, C., Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 2, March 16, 1876, p. 14
  3. Cabalism by unknown author (signed as Zeus), Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 2, March 16, 1876, pp. 13-4