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vol. 1, p. 199
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 1 (1874-1876)


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< Ghost Land (continued from page 1-198) >

and by repeated arguments and conversations with his friend the Professor. We have not space for one in fifty of the many strange views that are advanced in this way, many of which arc worthy of careful attention and deep thought. The lodge, while in session, receives a message from another in Germany, by means of a “flying spirt,” and here we are treated to a graphic description of the ceremonies attending this method of communication.

Another character is soon introduced that plays an important part in the romance. Constance, a female clairvoyant used by another section of the lodge in their studies, makes the acquaintance of Louis. At this time he is already under the darker influences that might reasonably be supposed to attend a body holding the views of the Berlin Brotherhood. He “falls in love” with her and endeavors to dissuade her from entering on this path, but she seems to be possessed; with a desire to attain the state of a “dreamer.” He, knowing the effect on his own health and also having the clairvoyant power developed, knows that she goes to her death, and a sadness falls upon him. Often he meets her “flying spirit” while she lives, when it has been liberated at one of the seances and had not taken the path prescribed By the will of the liberator. At times she tells him of the higher spheres she has visited and that she knows the spirit is immortal. In proof of her assertion she promises to revisit him when; death shall release her from the body and their power.

Studies call him away to England and one evening her spirit appears to him, and he notices the difference in her appearance while she tells him of the manner of her death, and gives him many details to serve as “tests” of her identity. She leaves him, and in a conversation with his friend the Professor, are admirably presented arguments that may be advanced by Spiritualists against the views of those who doubt the fact of a future existence. When they both return to their home they visit the house where Constance died and the result is a triumph for the Spiritual theories.

From this time Constance appears as the bright spirit that would lead Louis up from the gloomy depths into which he is cast by the chilling arguments of the Professor and the Berlin Brotherhood. Were we not assured by the editor that the experience is that of a living gentleman the work would take high rank as a symbolical representation of the beauties of Spiritualism in contrast to the teachings of annihilation.

In company with the Professor Louis travels in England and we hear from him of some of the marvels of clairvoyance. Louis, himself, sees many things which are on the animal plane of Spiritual creation; but when released from the Professor and left to himself comes the ministrations of the spirit Constance. The contrast between the two states is very marked, and there is a dramatic effect in the disposal of the characters yet there is nothing unreal in the scenes, indeed it is a well written description of the beauties of spirit appearance.

Obsession, its cause and how they may be removed receives the attention of the author in the same interesting style as the other theories are served. They might be dry in detail but when under his pen they become attractive. Magicians, Invocations, Planetaries, Mirrors, Christals, Fairies, all figure in the romance.

A singular statement is found in the seventh chapter, to the effect that personifications in a Spiritual form of plagues and diseases have been seen through a telescope by several persons at one and the same time. If it could be substantiated in the manner indicated in the work it would be a fact worthy of closer attention than it now will receive from many who will look upon it as a flight of fancy. Others will see the possibility of such an event and it will direct the thought into new channels.

The Gipsies make a pretty background for a conversation concerning them between the Professor, Louis, and a gipsey queen. The camp life of these singular people and their habits, passions, and prejudices lends a scenic effect to the adventures of two persons who sought a closer acquaintance with them.

Louis becomes separated from the Professor and one day while reclining in the woods, overburdened by an influence that seemed a forewarning for the news that was to follow, he sees the Professor, who tells him to read the letter that he had confided to his care to be read after his death. Louis then knows that it is the spirit he has seen, and after reading the letter hastens to the lodgings of the Professor, finds his clairvoyant perceptions to be true, and then in an agony for his loss, that completely overpowers him, he rushes away, farther and yet farther he knows not where, taking neither food nor drink. Finally he is in a starving condition and tells of the visions that come to him. He visits the spheres and returns to earth.

One of the mystic lodges, presided over by a friend of Louis and the Professor’s, is startled by the entrance of the latter, who is supposed to be flesh and blood, until the melting away and disappearance without passing (through closed, locked and guarded doors, satisfies them that it is his spirit. He tells of Louis, his starving condition, gives directions how he may be found, and at the close of a subsequent meeting directs through one of the clairvoyants, the movements of the officers who go in search.

The insensible body is brought to the home of one of the latter who appear in the romance as John Cavendish Dudley. He keeps a diary and from this the blank in Louis’s life is filled out. When the body awakens, after many weeks, it is found that it is animated by the spirit of Professor Yon Marx; his spirit in Louis’s body. After a series of experiences all of them possibilities, conditions enable Louis to again take possession of the body and he soon after sails for India, having in the meantime become a firm friend to the family and regarded as such by them.

In India he sees and relates many wonderful things concerning the secret societies in that country. The magicians and jugglers receive a share of his notice. The uses and abuses of occultism are treated of, and one may here gain a clear idea of the relations of Spiritualism to this much discussed subject.

Mr. Dudley, having written to Louis to accompany his daughter, who is a spiritual medium, when she returns from Calcutta, he has an opportunity to renew his acquaintance with her, which ultimates in marriage. Previous to this event, there appears on the scene a Russian Princess, Mdme. Helene dc Laval, who is given the title of enchantress. She is learned in the occult arts, which she uses against the Lady Blanche. Louis wile. Then follows the contest between black and white magic, and we see the power of each. Spells, charms, angels and evil spirits, Vaudooism, and the arts, powers and possibilities of sorcery are minutely portrayed. The professional novelist wonld have made the good triumphant. The author says:

The effect of will or psychological impress depends upon is uninterrupted action. So long as it can reach its subject without the intervention of cross-magnetism or opposing cur rents, it will surely succeed.

Blind force is inexorable, whether it be directed in the interests of vice or virtue. Let us not mistake law for principles. The law of psychological effect is the law of strength, of magnetic potency, of positive and negative reciprocity

Our best safeguard against evil powers and evil machinations in general, is to cultivate a pure and innocent nature, which in itself is a repelling force against evil. But when that pure and innocent nature has become the subject of magnetic influence, it is imperative for us to deal no longer with moral but with magnetic laws, and there, as I have frequently alleged before, act upon principles of their own which do not regard morals at all.

The true safeguard against all occult influence of an adverse or malignant character, is an understanding of its nature and existence, the laws t at govern it and the means of thwarting and overruling its effects.

Knowledge is Power, Ignorance is Imbecility.

He was obliged to pass through a fearful ordeal. The magic arts of the enchantress who had conceived a passion for Louis were turned against the Lady Blanche and her unborn child. Louis was away on business, and the conditions were favorable for the success of the hellish design. He was deaf to the impressions that called him home, until they fully controlled him, and then, travelling without an interval of rest, he arrives in time to see her die, the child having previously been born dead.

The feelings of mingled grief and a desire for revenge, his visiting the house where the black art was worked, tearing down and burning the paraphernalia, challenging and frightfully wounding the brother of the enchantress, then the fever which followed, and finally his reconciliation with his fate, and the joy which possessed him when he finds that she, in the spirit world, is as real to him as when on earth, are told in the same graphic manner which marks the book throughout.

In closing, we can not do better than re-echo the words in the author's preface:

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