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vol. 1, p. 141
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< The Russian Investigation (continued from page 1-139) >

first offer made by M. Mendeleyeff, nor will they satisfy those who certify to the existence of such manifestations. The committee forgets that the mediumistic power has its origin, force and support in domestic circles and in their own experiments against which the policy of negation and fraud is powerless. Such questions which have attained a social importance, can not be solved by negation and an ignorance of them. Let Science and knowledge be on the side of the negators and skeptics, but upon the other side we have the conviction in the reality of facts; which conviction we have obtained by the evidence of our senses and by reason.

A. Aksakoff.

St. Petersburg, March 4, 1876


What is Occultism?

by Buddha, of California.
“What’s in a Name?”

I believe Occultism to be essentially a re-incarnation of ancient paganism, a revocation of the Pythagorean philosophy; not the senseless ceremonies and spiritless forms of those ancient religions, but the Spirit of the Truth which animated those grand old systems which held the world spell bound in awe and reverence long after the spirit had departed, and nothing was left but the dead decaying body.

Occultism asserts the eternal individuality of the soul, the imperishable force which is the cause and sustaining power of all organization, that death is only the casting off of a worn out garment in order to procure a new and better one.

“So death, so called, can but the form deface.
The immortal soul flies out in empty space,
To seek her fortune in another plaice.”

Occultism, in its efforts to penetrate the arcana of dynamic forces and primordial power, sees in all things an unity, an unbroken chain extending from the lowest organic form to the highest, and concludes that this unity is based upon an unity of ascending scale of organic forms of being, the Jacob’s ladder of spiritual organic experience, up which every soul must travel before it can again sing praises before the face of the Father.

It perceives a duality in all things, a physical and spiritual nature, closely interwoven in each others embrace, interdependent upon each other and yet independent of each other. And as there is in spirit-life a central individuality, the soul, so there is in the physical, the atom; each eternal, unchangeable, and self-existent. These centres, physical and spiritual, are surrounded by their own respective atmospheres, the intersphering of which results in aggregation and organization. This idea is not limited to terrestial life, but is extended to worlds and systems of worlds.

Physical existence is subservient to the spiritual, and alphysical improvement and progress are only the auxiliaries of spiritual progress without which there could be no physical progress. Physical organic progress is effected through hereditary transmission, spiritual organic progress by transmigration.

Occultism has divided spiritual progress into three divisions—the elementary, which corresponds with the lower organizations; the astral, which relates to the human: and the celestial, which is divine. “Elementary spirits,” whether they belong to “earth, water, air or fire,” are spirits not yet human, but are attracted to the human by certain congenialities. As many physical diseases are due to the presence of parasites, attracted or produced by uncleanness and other causes, so parasitic spirits are attracted by immorality or spiritual uncleanness thereby inducing spiritual diseases and consequent physical ailments. They who live on the animal plane must attract spirits of that plane who seek for borrowed embodiments where the most congeniality exists in the highest form. Thus the ancient doctrine of obsession challenges recognition, and the exorcism of devils as legitimate as the expelling of a tapeworm, or the curing of the itch. It was also believed that these spiritual beings sustained their spiritual existence, by certain emanations from physical bodies, especially when newly slain; thus in sacrificial offerings, the priests received the physical part, and the gods the spiritual, they being content with a “sweet smelling savor.” It was further thought that wars were instigated by these demons, so that they might feast on the slain. But vegetable food also held a place in spiritual estimation, for incense and fumigations were powerful instruments in the hands of the expert magician.

Above the elementary spheres were the seven planetary spheres. and as the elementary spheres were the means of progress for the lower animals, so were the planetary spheres the means of progress for spirits advanced from the elementary—for human spirits. The human spirit at death, went to its associative star, till ready for a new incarnation, and its birth partakes of the nature of the planet from whence it came, and whose rays illumine the ascendant; the central idea of astrology. When the lessons of a planetary sphere were fully mastered the spirit rose to the next sphere to proceed as before. The character of these spheres corresponded to the “seven ages of man.” But not always did the spirit return to the astral spheres. Suicides; those from whom life had been taken suddenly, before fully ripe; those whose affections were inordinately attached to earthly things, &c., were held to the earth till certain conditions were fulfilled, and some whose lives had fitted them for such disposal were remanded to the elementary spheres, to be incarnated as lower animals corresponding to the nature of their lives. Such were the perturbed spirits who sometimes disturbed the peace of sensitive mortals in the oars gone by—perhaps now.

Transcending the planetary spheres were the three Divine spheres where the process of apotheosis took place, where <... continues on page 1-142 >

Editor's notes

  1. image by unknown author. Caravan
  2. What is Occultism? by unknown author (signed as Buddha), Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 10, May 11, 1876, pp. 109-10
    Published in "A Modern Panarion", p. 75, under its ... title.. – Archivist