In the Beginning was the Word ! What matchless power,
Extracts from the Masque of Pandora
Death takes us by surprise,
River, that stealest with such silent pace
<Untitled> (To us invisible, or)
To us invisible, or ...
<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
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 ?
- The Beginning by Tappan, Cora L.V.
- Extracts from the Masque of Pandora by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
- To us invisible, or by unknown author. Looks like an accedent fragment overlaped by another newspaper cut.
- A knife in some countries is an unlucky present by unknown author
- Lord Bacon a Spiritualist by Sargent, Epes