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vol. 1, p. 131
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< A Theory of Spiritual Evolution (continued from page 1-130) >

When this double evolution has reached a certain point, it is possible for the third principle to come into the union, that it, the immortal spirit (soul), which makes of man the Triad.

As these emanations were given off, so at the proper time they are drawn back again into the vortex of evolution, and the elementary, dying in the astral light, goes to make the j human being—the foetus—the grosser portions furnishing the germ of its body, and its finer ones its astral body, the peri-sprit of Kardec, or the spirit. Then, after the body of the foetus is prepared to receive it, at the fourth hour (read the Nuetemeron of El. Levi) comes in the influx of the Divine breath.

You will doubtless observe the analogy between this giving off of astral emanations, their concentration into elementaries, and return to physical nature, and the evaporation of watery vapor, its condensation into clouds, and return to the earth as rain or snow. Modern scientific research demon strates this ebb and flow of influences and matter to be going on throughout the whole cosmos, and, therefore, unless we were to admit the absurd theory of special creation and miracle, we must see that this philosophy of the evolution of species by flux and reflux from matter to spirit and back again is the only true one, . . the whole trouble of Kardec and other reincarnationists, lies in their misunderstanding the hermetic philosophy upon this point. While it is true that there is a reincarnation in one sense, in the other it is untrue. Nay, more, it is absurd and unphilosophical, doing violence to the law of evolution, which is constantly carrying matter and spirit upward towards perfection. When the elementary dies out of one state of existence he is born into a higher one, and when man dies out of the world of gross matter he is born into one more ethereal; so on from sphere to sphere, man never losing his trinity, for at each birth a new and more perfect astral body is evolved out of elementaries of a correspondingly higher order, while his previous astral body takes the place of the antecedent, external earthly body. Man’s soul (or Divine spirit, for you must not confound the Divine with the astral spirit) constantly entering into new astral bodies, there is an actual reincarnation; but that when it has once passed through any sphere into a higher one, it should re-enter the lower sphere and pass through other bodies similar to the one it has just quitted, is as unphilosophical as to fancy that the human foetus could go back into the elementary condition, or the child after birth re-enter its mother's womb.

The eastern Kabbalah embraces the Pythagorean philosophy; the western, or Rosicrucian, did not. But the metempsychosis of Pythagoras was an exoteric expression to cover the esoteric meaning, and his commentators, who had not the key, have misunderstood him as grossly as they have misunderstood everything else written by those of the Neo-Platonics, who, like Porphyry, Iamblicus, and Plotinus, have been adopting and elaborating his precepts.

The spirits upon whose communications the reincarnationist school base their theory, have simply given back the opinions which they found in the heads or brains of their mediums and the circle about them. Reincarnationist spirits never insist upon their doctrines to any but reincarnationist mediums, and the troops of soldiers seen about Prince Wittgenstein are simply pretty pictures made in the astral light, for the delectation of those who are ready to gobble them.

The magician, when he evokes human spirits, furnishes them with such a condition in his own pure atmosphere—a spiritual atmosphere, untainted with gross matter—that they can approach and manifest themselves. The sorcerer, as well as the impure medium, are but necromaneers. They are surrounded by such a fetid atmosphere, that only elementary and gross human spirits of their own class—whose very grossness keeps them closely attracted to the earth—can either approach them or be evoked to help them in their wicked designs. Both magician and sorcerer can produce phenomena by the power of their own will and their own spirit, unaided by any other either elementary or human; but the impure medium, who is but the football tossed from one influence to another, can do nothing but passively obey. Pure and sincere-minded people, who accept mediumship for the sake of instruction from superior spirits, keep the elementary at bay by virtue of their own purity, and the pure atmosphere of the spirits surrounding them. And still they cannot call them at will, until they have become adepts of the divine science, and learned to combine the Ineffable Name.


On regimen. By Lex et Lux.

The self-initiated, that is, spiritually initiated, ancients and many modern ones also, as in the case of Jacob Boehme, arrived at the climax of soul government after a fearful amount of perseverance and under very disadvantageous circumstances, especially in their Regimen. Poverty undoubtedly prevented undue surfeiting of the organism in his case, but he must have had the seeds of organic disease hereditarily as well as been often deprived of the bare necessaries of life, during a great part of his existence, for we see him dying a natural death about fifty—quite young for a Cabalist, not killed by violence nor taken away by his own desire. Hence I infer that Boehme had not got a correct knowledge of the value of food, and may have gone on the old principle of absolute starvation or lasting from all foods. It is the animal only we are to avoid and to keep free from surfeiting by using the fruits of the earth in moderation; these mankind quietly submits to and accepts as intended for all at all seasons, at least as a part of our food.

This knowledge of food contributes immensely to accelerate the best form of soul regeneration; for that is under true conditions, after all but a question of time with any one with a Witt so disposed. Drugs, chemicals, tobacco, yeast, and all alcoholic drinks must be scrupulously avoided.

Lex et Lux

P.S. I am delighted to see LZeus's article in Spiritual Scientist of Feb. 17; he certainly comprehends the spirit of Cabalism closer than any I have met, except one or two perhaps.

I differ slightly with him in the “animal passions’’ being “essential for this life.” That they are inseparable from a life in the sensual world is undoubted; but the fact that we make laws to restrain them is a proof that even man, as he now is, admits that they are out of place and that he would be better without them. The fact is that the great work cannot be accomplished until all the animal passions are completely silenced. It is this that occupies the time for the intellect or Will to effectually overcome and obliterate every shallow of prompting to evil thoughts—which will keep cropping up long after the hard line of duty to your neighbor has been laid down and carried out rigidly, and so prevent the influx of the soul.

I quite agree with Leus that we have a great advantage over the spirit-world in Cabalism, at least with all I have been permitted to come in contact with through mediums.

Mrs. Denton's Reply to Berkley

Dear Sir: — When your correspondent Berkley shall ask of Barnum’s Talking Machine, “Who are you?” and its black leathery tongue shall slowly and solemnly answer him, “Gen. Grant," I shall not dispute his right to accept his testimony, nor that other right of his to exercise the prerogative of masculine superiority and vote accordingly. So I shall not dispute his right to accept every claim imposed upon him in regard to “mediumistic emanations,” whether of mind or matter, if he prefers this method to the more laborious one of using his common sense for purposes of investigation while adhering to a firm resolve to accept nothing but the truth.

That there is a truth underlying this mountain of rubbish, I am glad to believe. But that it will require time and labor and perhaps long and patient effort, so to bring our minds to a conception of that truth as to render it practically available to the race, I am also satisfied. Shall we then prepare ourselves for the effort? or shall we adopt Berkley’s method, and folding our hands in sweet content, accept as demonstrated that of which we have no proof?

Yours for investigation, and a refusal to believe without proof, all claims which contravene the known laws of matter and of mind.

Elizabeth M. F. Denton.

Startling Facts in Modern Spiritualism,” is the title of a book of 543 pages, handsomely bound, and containing an account of startling and significant phenomena which have occurred in the presence of the author, N. B. Wolfe, M. D. of Cincinnati. He deals with facts and arranges these facts for the critical inspection of the minds eye. The author expresses freely his personal opinions, shows where fraud may be perpetrated, advances and discusses theories and in general it may be said that the subject is handled in so masterly a manner that the book will always remain as it is at present, — A Standard Work on Modern Spiritualism. For sale at the office, 18 Exchange St., Boston, Mass. Price $2.00.

Editor's notes

  1. Cabalism by unknown author (signed as Lex et Lux), Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 5, April 6, 1876, p. 57
  2. Mrs. Denton's Reply to Berkley by Denton, Elizabeth M. F., Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 5, April 6, 1876, p. 57