vol. 3, p. 192
from Adyar archives of the International Theosophical Society
vol. 3 (1875-1878)


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The Beginning


In the Beginning was the Word ! What matchless power,
Shaping itself through Chaos with the swiftest thought !
Behold ! God in his place
Spoke unto Chaos face to face,
In the Beginning.
And the worlds by that mighty breath
Blossomed in space,
From Chaos and from Death,
In the Beginning.
And the germ s’eeping all silently, became a flower
With voting immortality.

The Word was Law. And atoms kindled into light,
And light became a song, for song is law
And harmony which sweep along,
In octaves through the spheres.
And lo ! God vibrant, with eternal hand,
Smote Chaos with a song of law.
Behold ! The world, without a flaw,
Traced upon leaf, or tree, or star, or man ;
One thought—one primal will—revealing
God's great plan,

Even now, as then, He stands within the space
Apart, and consecrated to the grace
Of God's good word.
Behold ! It issues thence,
Each thought becomes a recompense,
And like Creation in its cosmic sphere,
You hold the universe within your heart, and hear
The sigh, the moan.
These are but echoes of the ante-natal groan.

In the Beginning was the Word !
And by the primal law, and power,
And thought He shaped, the world was born—
The rock—the flower.
And man through the successive ages of his life
Resonant with song, with care, with strife,
Is but the subject of that primal Word
Which pierces, even as a pointed sword,
The depths of matter.

Lo ! The primal thought !
How pure and white it is !
Its rays are caught along the prism of life,
Turned red and grey by human strife.
Even now, as then, God speaks in primal word,
One song of harmony is ever heard.


Extracts from the Masque of Pandora


Death takes us by surprise,
And stays our hurrying feet ;
The great design unfinished lies,
Our lives are incomplete. 

But in the dark unknown
Perfect their circles seem,
Even as a bridge's arch of stone
Is rounded in the stream. 

Alike are life and death,
When life in death survives,
And the uninterrupted breath
Inspires a thousand lives. 

Were a star quenched on high,
For ages would its light,
Still travelling downward from the sky,
Shine on our mortal sight. 

So when a great man dies,
For years beyond our ken,
The light he leaves behind him lies
Upon the paths of men.


River, that stealest with such silent pace
Around the City of the Dead, where lies
A friend who bore thy name, and whom these eyes
Shall see no more in his accustomed place,
Linger and fold him in thy soft embrace,
And say good night, for now the western skies
Are red with sunset, and gray mists arise
Like damps that gather on a dead man's face.
Good night ! good night! as we so oft have said
Beneath this roof at midnight in the days
That are no more, and shall no more return.
Thou hast but taken thy lamp and gone to bed ;
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn.

<Untitled> (To us invisible, or)

To us invisible, or ...
In these thy lowest, works ; yet these declare
Thy goodness beyond thought and power divine.

<Untitled> (A knife in some countries is an unlucky present)

A knife in some countries is an unlucky present, and a pair of scissors is equally malapropos. It is remarkable that no Arab will take knife or scissors from the hands of any one, as it is considered very unlucky ; but they require that the instrument should first be laid upon the ground, whence they readily take it up without fear.

Lord Bacon a Spiritualist

From “Proof Palpable of Immortality."

Bacon's theory of the soul is like that of nearly all the great seers and mediums. He, too, regards man as a trinity of earth-body, spirit-body, and spirit. As is God, so also, according to Bacon, is the spirit (spiraculum), which God has breathed into man, scientifically incognizable ; only the physical soul, which is a thin, warm, material substance, is an object of scientific knowledge.

Two different emanations of souls,” says Bacon, “are manifest in the first creation, the one proceeding from the breath of God, the other from the elements.” No knowledge of the rational soul (the spirit) can be had from philosophy ; but in the doctrine of the sensitive, or produced soul (the spiritual body), even its substance, says Bacon, may be justly inquired into. “The sensitive soul must be allowed a corporeal substance, attenuated by heat rendered invisible, as a subtle breath, or aura, of a flamy and airy nature, and diffused through the whole body.”

Thoroughly acquainted with the spiritual phenomena of his day, and of antecedent times, Bacon teaches unequivocally the doctrine of the spiritual body and of the three-fold nature of terrestrial man. He says : “ But how the compressions, dilatations and agitation of the spirit, which, doubtless is the spring of motion, should guide and rule the corporeal and gross mass of the parts, has not yet been diligently searched into and treated.”

“And no wonder,” he adds, “since the sensitive soul itself,” by which he means the spirit body, “has been hitherto taken for a principle of motion, and a function, rather than a substance. But as it is now known to be material, it becomes necessary to inquire by what effort so subtle and minute a breath can put such gross and solid bodies in motion.”

“This spirit of which we speak,” continues Bacon, “is plainly a body, rare and invisible, quantitative, real, not withstanding it is circumscribed by space.”

Bacon admits the fact of clairvoyance, or divination, and distinguishes between that proceeding from the internal power of the soul, as “in sleep, ecstasies, and the near approach of death,” and that which comes from influx through “a secondary illumination, from the foreknowledge of God and spirits.”

Never was I more impressed by Bacon’s greatness as a sagacious interpreter of natural facts, than when I found him thus anticipating the highest conclusions of Modern Spiritualism, both on the subject of the spiritual body and on the distinction between the knowledge that is explicable by a theory of psysic force, and that knowledge which must come from “the illumination of God and spirits.”

The questions raised by Dr. Rogers, Count Gasparin, Serjeant Cox and others, as to whether odic force or psychic force may not explain all the phenomena of Spiritualism, are here with the discrimination of one who had studied all the facts of divination, and who speaks with unquestionable authority, decided in conformity with the views of Spiritualists.

It is true that Bacon adopts or reannounces opinions on this subject that may be found in Plutarch ; but this does not detract from his merit as an original observer. He had verified the facts which Plutarch knew. In regard to mediumship, Plutarch explains how the violent ecstacy of inspiration results from the contest of two opposite emotions, the higher divine or spiritual emotion communicated to the medium, and the natural one proper to the medium himself ; just as an uneasy strgugle between the natural and the communicated motion is produced in bodies to which, while by their nature they gravitate to the earth, a gyratory movement has been communicated.

“Everything pertaining to the Deity,” says Plutarch, “in and by itself, is beyond our power of perception, and when it reveals itself to us through some other agent (or medium), it mixes itself up with the proper nature of that medium.”

Here we have it explained why Swedenborg, Harris, Davis, and all other mediums, as well as inferior spirits, mix up errors with their communications of truth. Were it otherwise (could we accept any teacher as really infallible), would not our mental freedom be impaired, and much intellectual effort paralyzed ?

Editor's notes

  1. The Beginning by Tappan, Cora L.V.
  2. Extracts from the Masque of Pandora by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
  3. To us invisible, or by unknown author. Looks like an accedent fragment overlaped by another newspaper cut.
  4. A knife in some countries is an unlucky present by unknown author
  5. Lord Bacon a Spiritualist by Sargent, Epes