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vol. 1, p. 128
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< Col. Olcott on a Relic from the Grave (continued from page 1-127) >




MAN, AS COMMONLY understood by the outer world, is merely an animal with a greater amount of intelligence than that of any other member of the animal kingdom, and has been described as an animal that cooks his food, and makes bargains. That he has a Soul with an independent entity distinct and separate from the ordinary intelligence exercised in the usual avocations of life, many of course believe implicitly; but most have at best, a misty, confused notion, parroted from others; but have not a shadow of a definite or tangible idea of what the soul really is, or in what it consists; while others again, because of their special education being of a strictly objective or material kind, will not believe there is such a thing as a Soul in existence as distinct from the ordinary worldly intelligence of our minds, and the reason is obvious for there is no school now-a-days, lay or clerical, that we can go to for an elucidation of the soul principle within us, and its powers, which in ancient times were taught as exactly as are Euclid's Elements at present, as is instanced in the enormous number of Cabalistic books and manuscripts which were burned in 296 by Dioclesian, by Caesar who burned 700,000 rolls at Alexandria and Lo Isaurus 300,000 at Constantinople in the 8th Century, and about the same time the Mahometans began to destroy literature at its chief sources, because this science ran counter to the worldly ambitions of the ruling powers who apply might against right.

That this worldly war waged against Soul-Science teaching, has been but too sucessful for the time, we have only to cast a look around us to discover, in spite of the great impetus given to it by Christ and his followers, who taught Cabalism or Soul-Science in the plainest possible terms, and so distinctly too, that any one possessed of ordinary intelligence almost, might understand, if he had the least conception of a Soul within him; but wanting that, man is of no account in creation, being soulless and worse than the brutes who have souls of a kind. Cabalism is to him a dead letter, because he is dead himself.

“By their works ye shall know them,” and “even greater works than these shall ye do,” refer to the signs or tests by which a true Cabalist is known, for “are ye not all sons of God?” Christ illustrated from these that he expressed only a fraction of that power which he actually possessed, and which he taught his apostles how to acquire; yet with all his teachings, and which such a large mass of mankind now profess to believe, Cabalism is a dead letter in the Christian Churches so called; therefore Christianity is a dead letter in the world. We have the house with a show of fairness or cleanness, but it is a whited sepulchre, all is blackness, rottenness or putrification within. “If ye loved me ye would keep my commandments;” namely, obey implicitly his instructions by which to arrive at a knowledge of the Absolute. What self-styled Christian does it?

Cabalism is truly a divine knowledge of the Soul and the Soul-power in man. It is the grandest and most sublime, yet most joyful revelation it is possible for the highest Intellect to conceive. The power when got through the highest motive, is deifically creative and spiritually ravishing in its action. All our greatest discoverers of new inventions and improvements, which have for their object the amelioration and advancement of the human race, can understand the sensations of exquisite pleasure which is felt when the mind, after a steady perseverance of will, and love for the object to be attained, has accomplished the long-looked for and much desired end; so it is with the attainment of the great Hermetic Work by the Cabalistic Initiate after he enters the Adytum, his senses are enthralled by the discovery of the god-power within him, the things of earth fade into nothingness, and he revels in the Eternity of the Absolute; and as has been said in “The Hermetic Mystery,” —

“He to whom the whole course of nature lies open rejoiceth not so much that he can make Gold and Silver; or the Devils to become subject to him, as that he sees the Heavens open, the Angels of God ascending and descending, and that his own name is fairly written in the Book of Life. * * * Nor are their inward virtues more than their outward beauties for the Solar part is of so resplendent transparent lustre that the Eye of Man is scarce able to endure it; and if the Lunar part be exposed abroad in a dark night, Birds will repair to (and circulate about) it as a Fly round a candle, and submit themselves to the Captivity of the Hand.

“By the Stone it is possible to discover any Person in what part of the world soever, although never so secretly concealed or hid in Chambers, Closets, or Caverns of the Earth. * * * In a word, it fairly presents to your view, the whole World wherein to behold, hear or see your Desire. * * * It hath a Divine power, Celestial and invisible above the rest, and enbues the possessor with Divine Gifts. It affords the Apparition of Angels and gives a power of conversing with them, * * nor dare any evil spirit approach the Place where it lodgeth. Because it is a Quintessence wherein there is no corruptible thing, and where the Elements are not corrupt no Devil can stay or abide.

“Dunstan calls it the Food of Angels. And by others it is termed the Heavenly Viaticum, The Tree of Life, and is undoubtedly (next under God) the true Alchochadon or Giver of Years, for by it Man’s body is preserved from corruption, being thereby enabled to live a long time without food. Nay, tis made a question whether any man can die that uses it, etc. * * * The whole wisdom of Nature may be grasped. And there are yet greater things than these, for we have seen but few of his works. Norton says: —

“For few (saith he), or scarcely one

In 15 Kingdoms hath our Red Stone.”

Our Red Stone or Soul freed from the Earth's Psychological trammels constituted as our Guide or Hermetic Intelligencer in all things then, is the greatest desideratum of the philosopher, and which the ancient sages sought so much after and many achieved, thereby becoming notorious as teachers and leaders of the age in all that was great and good, noble and intellectual. These were God’s aristocracy. The real kings and princes of Earth and Heaven. On them sat the efflorescent blazing crowns of life, light and glory.

Having thoroughly mastered the evil within themselves, they became Masters of the spirit-world by inherent right through this same Eternal Intelligencer, the Soul, which being allied to the Infinite, in knowledge and wisdom, bears rule as a spiritual lever-power of an extraordinary kind, not that miracles are performed, for with them there is nothing done that is not in Nature already, no matter how extraordinary it may appear to the outer world, we have only to apply our mind and will to do it; but like the gardner who engrafts a new stock to an old tree, so our Initiate or Artist engrafts his

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Editor's notes

  1. Occultism by unknown author (signed as Lex et Lex), Spiritual Scientist, v. 3, No. 19, January 13, 1876, pp. 224-5