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vol. 3, p. 119
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 3 (1875-1878)


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< Occultism (continued from page 3-118) >

cabalistic studies, knowledge and power, attainable in no other way, are to be gained. Only the very fewest have time and means at their disposal to devote to something of which they can know nothing with certainty beforehand.

The value of those branches of knowledge which are open to all may be estimated; but he who enters upon this occult study, determined to give himself up to its requirements, must necessarily come to this decision, through s blind faith in the representations of others. Now this is a blind, or at least, a degree of faith, which, fortunately I think, is rather rare, and what I wish to know is, how those who cannot or will not follow this blind guide, are to be benefited in receiving the assurance that a knowledge, which fs of all things most desirable, exists, but must remain to them forever unattainable? I do not ask this captiously, but as desiring to gain some light on the subject, sod to see for myself, if possible, the value of words which now have little or no useful meaning to my mind.

For most of us, our life work, with the duties involved in it, is pretty clearly decided for us, and to gain light and strength for the satisfactory performance of these duties, is, I take it, of all acquisitions the most really important and valuable. The love of the marvellous, and the desire for power are strong in many, if not in most of us, and anything which promises a fulfilment of these yearnings exerts a claim difficult to resist.

The idea of learning something which is hidden from mankind in general, and of possessing a power through this knowledge peculiar to the Initiated, is very alluring to the imagination. But is this, after all, a noble longing, a desire for real intellectual and moral exaltation, a striving for something which, in making us truly wise will make us better, happier, and more useful men or women? And are those who claim to have gained this occult knowledge, and the power it confers, been proportionally better, happier and more useful in their day and generation?

It seems to me—though I may be in error, and if so, wish to be instructed—that the most genuinely good and desirable things in this life are free to all, and that the open secrets are those best worth knowing. The ability to exert a hidden control over others, to see, it may be, what occurs in our absence and to become aware of what friends or enemies say or do when unconscious of our scrutiny, would invalue, if really attainable by any means known to mortals, temptations so great and responsibilities so heavy, that only the very few could sustain them uninjured. Only the roost immaculate virtue, strong in its stainless purity, would be equal to such a strain.

In the great majority of cases, the temptations and responsibilities of life, as it is, are greater than men can manage wisely and successfully; and how immensely they would be increased by the attainment of magical powers, no one who has not pondered the subject very seriously can imagine, and no one, perhaps, can fully estimate save those who know by experience, what such an abnormal constitution involves.

That knowledge is worth most, that most tends to exalt the individual and the race, and this when rightly used becomes true wisdom, and is priceless. But do most of us who let slip a thousand opportunities for learning truths, taught by those wiser than ourselves so value knowledge, purely for its own sake, that we should be willing to make great sacrifices, and run great risks to obtain it?

If we become, all at once, very eager to know something that is hidden, should we not gravely suspect that an idle curiosity or base selfishness may be spurring us on, and making us unduly anxious to grasp a power, the workings and the real value of which we cannot understand?

Is it expected and desired that Spiritualists generally should become occultists? If so, then the means by which this end is to be attained should be made very much more clear than it has been made hitherto. And, if not, if this result is neither desirable nor practically possible, what is the use of telling all these people how very wise and powerful they would become if they could be initiated into certain mysteries which, in point of fact, must ever be hidden from them?

If the cup presented be one of healing, it is also a Tantalus cup to the many, since not one in a thousand who thirsts in seeing it presented to his lips, and in hearing of its marvellous efficacy, can ever taste the magic draught.

We are taught that “the greatest good to the greatest number” is that which we should regard as most desirable, — now, I would ask what good except, at best, to the elect, the very small number of chosen ones, is occultism expected to do? How are people generally to be benefitted by it?

Acknowledging my inability to conceive of a satisfactory reply to these queries, or to understand why outsiders should be expected to interest themselves in mysteries which they cannot verify and which can never be made intelligible to them, I can only hope that my questionings may not be taken amiss by those whose mission it is to enlighten the ignorance of American Spiritualists.

Louisa Andrews.

Springfield, Mass.

A Lively Seance

Mrs. Seaver, a medium at 133 Ellot street, held a seance on Tuesday evening, at which several spirits were materialized. Among them was a little infant, whom a woman in the audience immediately recognized as a little one whom she had lost some months before. But, alas for Mrs. S., there was a young man from a rival shop in the company, who “went for” this materialized baby to discover it to be nothing but a rag baby. Then there was trouble in that circle, the conductor of the show smote the inquisitive young man on the ear, and a general scene of confusion ensued, necessitating the presence of an officer to preserve the peace. It is perhaps needless to add that the harmony of that circle was broken, and “Conditions” were not right for further materialization that evening.

By Zeus

(S. Pancoast)

Kabolism gives us a knowledge of the spiritual world or the world of causes. The material is developed from the spiritual, which has been demonstrated and proven by those acquainted with alchemical science. We thus have two distinct forms of science, Subjective and objective. The former was studied almost exclusively by the Kabolists, hence their wonderful knowledge of Nature. The forces governing the subjective are very different from those governing the objective, but their modes of action are similar. The soul of the spiritual world consists of ponderable matter; it is that chaotic substance in which God manifested himself when he said “Let there be light.” The substance of chaos was known to the ancient sages, also the process by which creation was unfolded from it.

The soul of the world corresponds with the soul of man, and the spirit of the world with the spirit of man. The world, therefore, as well as man, is threefold, consisting of body, soul and spirit. The body is the gross, material covering of the soul which is essential for its mundane existence. The soul is the receptacle of the spirit, and therefore the intermediate between the spirit and the physical organism. The soul per se is as inactive as the material body per se; both consist of atomic matter, and each polarized by two distinct forces. The spirit of the universe bears the same relationship to the causal world as our sun does to the material world. The former is the unfolding force of the soul, while our sun is the unfolding force of the material world. Therefore spirit is not material any more than the light of the sun. Prof. Crookes has endeavored to demonstrate that light la not only a universal and primary motor, but that it possesses ponderosity, that it can be weighed in the balance. If he would turn him attention to Kabolism he might probably find something accompanying light that gives it a materiality. This substance and light are inseparably connected. Therefore it was not light that be weighed, but the substance which accompanies it. Our sun is not what scientists regard it, an immense body of fire, replenished with fuel from the planetary system. It is a self-luminous body, requiring nothing from the material world for its support. The influence it imparts to the planetary system to which it belongs is by impulse. It has not increased nor diminished from its first inception to the present day. The planets are its children, born and afterwards nourished by it. Harmony is the unique law by which God governs the universe. If this law should be suspended one moment, forms would disappear by matter crumbling into atoms, and chaotic darkness reign supreme. The disturbances occurring in the external world correspond to diseased action in the human organism, and are the result of the disturbance of the harmony existing between the subjective and objective forces. If this disharmony should extend too far, the balance is lost, and the relationship between these two classes of forces is broken up, which constitutes physical death, and disintegration of the physical structure. When diseased action of the physical organism it viewed in this aspect, and the proper remedy obtained to correct them, the health problem will be solved, and the physical sufferings of the human family wonderfully ameliorated. The cause of physical disturbances was known to the ancient sages, and they endeavored to procure a universal remedy by which the harmony could be restored, life prolonged and the bloom of youth retained even in old age. This has been regarded as a myth, but there is more truth in it than fiction. These hints are thrown out for those interested in Occultism to ponder over. They are the outward expression of sublime truths; when obtained will give the recipient a knowledge of the laws and forces of nature unknown to the scientist who dwells exclusively on the outward plane, and whose reasoning is exclusively inductive. The subject of this article was prompted by reading Hudson Tuttle’s review of Dr. Diedemann, in the Spiritual Scientist of March 30.

Editor's notes

  1. A Lively Seance by unknown author, Spiritual Scientist, v. 2, No. 18, July 8, 1875, p. 214. From the Boston Globe
  2. By Zeus by Pancoast, S., Spiritual Scientist, v. 4, No. 13, June 1, 1876, pp. 152-53