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Mar 31, 2002 10:50 AM
by dalval14



by H P B. ( Lucifer august 1893)



Magi and theurgic philosophers objected most severely to the
"evocation of souls." "Bring her (the soul) not forth, lest in
departing she retain something," says Psellus. "It becomes you
not to behold them before your body is initiated, since, by
always alluring, they seduce the souls of the uninitiated"--says
the same philosopher, in another passage.

They objected to it for several good reasons.

1. "It is extremely difficult to distinguish a good Daimon
from a bad one," says Iamblichus.

2. If the shell of a good man succeeds in penetrating the
density of the earth's atmosphere--always oppressive to it, often
hateful--still there is a danger that it cannot avoid; the soul
is unable to come into proximity with the material world without
that on "departing, she retains something," that is to say, she
contaminates her purity, for which she has to suffer more or less
after her departure.

Therefore, the true theurgist will avoid causing any more
suffering to this pure denizen of the higher sphere than is
absolutely required by the interests of humanity. It is only the
practitioners of black magic--such as the Dugpas of Bhûtan and
Sikkhim--who compel the presence, by the powerful incantations of
necromancy, of the tainted souls of such as have lived bad lives,
and are ready to aid their selfish designs.

Of intercourse with the Augœides, through the mediumistic powers
of subjective mediums, we elsewhere speak.


The theurgists employed chemicals and mineral substances to chase
away evil spirits. Of the latter, a stone called Mnizurin was one
of the most powerful agents. "When you shall see a terrestrial
Daimon approaching, exclaim, and sacrifice the stone
Mnizurin"--exclaims a Zoroastrian Oracle (Psel., 40).

These "Daimons" seek to introduce themselves into the bodies of
the simple-minded and idiots, and remain there until dislodged
therefrom by a powerful and pure will. Jesus, Apollonius, and
some of the apostles, had the power to cast out "devils," by
purifying the atmosphere within and without the patient, so as to
force the unwelcome tenant to flight.

Certain volatile salts are particularly obnoxious to them;
Zoroaster is corroborated in this by Mr. C. F. Varley, and
ancient science is justified by modern. The effect of some
chemicals used in a saucer and placed under the bed, by Mr.
Varley, of London, 12 for the purpose of keeping away some
disagreeable physical phenomena at night, are corroborative of
this great truth.

Pure or even simply inoffensive human spirits fear nothing, for
having rid themselves of terrestrial matter, terrestrial
compounds can affect them in no wise; such spirits are like a
breath. Not so with the earth-bound souls and the nature-spirits.

It is for these carnal terrestrial Larvæ, degraded human spirits,
that the ancient Kabalists entertained a hope of reïncarnation.
But when, or how? At a fitting moment, and if helped by a sincere
desire for his amendment and repentance by some strong,
sympathizing person, or the will of an adept, or even a desire
emanating from the erring spirit himself, provided it is powerful
enough to make him throw off the burden of sinful matter. Losing
all consciousness, the once bright monad is caught once more into
the vortex of our terrestrial evolution, and repasses the
subordinate kingdoms, and again breathes as a living child. To
compute the time necessary for the completion of this process
would be impossible. Since there is no perception of time in
eternity, the attempt would be a mere waste of labour.

Speaking of the elementary, Porphyry says:

"These invisible beings have been receiving from men honours as
gods; . . . a universal belief makes them capable of becoming
very malevolent; it proves that their wrath is kindled against
those who neglect to offer them a legitimate worship." 13

Homer describes them in the following terms:

"Our gods appear to us when we offer them sacrifice . . . sitting
themselves at our tables, they partake of our festival meals.
Whenever they meet on his travels a solitary Phœnician, they
serve to him as guides, and otherwise manifest their presence. We
can say that our piety approaches us to them as much as crime and
bloodshed unite the Cyclopes and the ferocious race of Giants."

The latter proves that these Gods were kind and beneficent
Daimons, and that, whether they were disembodied spirits or
elemental beings, they were no "devils."

The language of Porphyry, who was himself a direct disciple of
Plotinus, is still more explicit as to the nature of these

"Daimons are invisible; but they know how to clothe themselves
with forms and configurations subjected to numerous variations,
which can be explained by their nature having much of the
corporeal in itself. Their abode is in the neighbourhood of the
earth . . . and when they can escape the vigilance of the good
Daimons, there is no mischief they win not tare commit. One day
they will employ brute force; another, cunning." 15

Further, he says:

"It is a child's play for them to arouse in us vile passions, to
impart to societies and nations turbulent doctrines, provoking
wars, seditions, and other public calamities, and then tell you
"that all of these are the work of the gods." . . . These spirits
pass their time in cheating and deceiving mortals, creating
around them illusions and prodigies; their greatest ambition is
to pass as gods and souls (disembodied spirits)." 16

Iamblichus, the great theurgist of the Neoplatonic school, a man
skilled in sacred magic, teaches that:

"Good Daimons appear to us in reality, while the bad ones can
manifest themselves but under the shadowy forms of phantoms."

Further, he corroborates Porphyry, and tells how that:

"The good ones fear not the light, while the wicked ones require
darkness . . . The sensations they excite in us make us believe
in the presence and reality of things they show, though these
things be absent." 17

Even the most practised theurgists sometimes found danger in
their dealings with certain elementaries, and we have Iamblichus
stating that:

"The gods, the angels, and the Daimons, as well as the souls, may
be summoned through evocation and prayer . . . But when, during
theurgic operations, a mistake is made, beware! Do not imagine
that you are communicating with beneficent divinities, who have
answered your earnest prayer; no, for they are bad Daimons, only
under the guise of good ones! For the elementaries often clothe
themselves with the similitude of the good, and assume a rank
very much superior to that they really occupy. Their boasting
betrays them." 18


The ancients, who named but four elements, made of ether a fifth.
On account of its essence being made divine by the unseen
presence, it was considered as a medium between this world and
the next. They held that when the directing intelligences retired
from any portion of ether, one of the four kingdoms which they
are bound to superintend, the space was left in possession of


An adept who prepared to converse with the "invisibles," had to
know his ritual well, and be perfectly acquainted with the
conditions required for the perfect equilibrium of the four
elements in the astral light.

First of all, he must purify the essence, and within the circle
in which he sought to attract the pure spirits, equilibrize the
elements, so as to prevent the ingress of the Elementals into
their respective spheres. But woe to the imprudent enquirer who
ignorantly trespasses upon forbidden ground; danger will beset
him at every step. He evokes powers that he cannot control; he
arouses sentries which allow only their masters to pass. For, in
the words of the immortal Rosicrucian:

"Once that thou hast resolved to become a coöperator with the
spirit of the living God, take care not to hinder Him in His
work; for, if thy heat exceeds the natural proportion, thou hast
stirr'd the wrath of the moyst 19 natures, and they will stand up
against the central fire, and the central fire against them, and
there will be a terrible division in the chaos." 20

The spirit of harmony and union will depart from the elements,
disturbed by the imprudent hand; and the currents of blind forces
will become immediately infested by numberless creatures of
matter and instinct--the bad demons of the theurgists, the devils
of theology; the gnomes, salamanders, sylphs, and undines will
assail the rash performer under multifarious aërial forms.

Unable to invent anything, they will search your memory to its
very depths; hence the nervous exhaustion and mental oppression
of certain sensitive natures at spiritual circles. The Elementals
will bring to light long-forgotten remembrances of the past;
forms, images, sweet mementoes, and familiar sentences, long
since faded from our own remembrance, but vividly preserved in
the inscrutable depths of our memory and on the astral tablets of
the imperishable "Book of Life."

The author of the Homoiomerian system of philosophy, Anaxagoras
of Clazomene, firmly believed that the spiritual prototypes of
all things, as well as their elements, were to be found in the
boundless ether, where they were generated, whence they evolved,
and whither they returned from earth. In common with the Hindûs
who had personified their Âkâsha, and made of it a deific entity,
the Greeks and Latins had deified Æther. Virgil calls Zeus, Pater
Omnipotens Æther, 21 Magnus, the Great God, Ether. These beings,
the elemental spirits of the Kabalists, 22 are those whom the
Christian clergy denounce as "devils," the enemies of mankind!



Every organized thing in this world, visible as well as
invisible, has an element appropriate to itself. The fish lives
and breathes in the water; the plant consumes carbonic acid,
which for animals and men produces death; some beings are fitted
for rarefied strata of air, others exist only in the densest.
Life to some is dependent on sunlight, to others, upon darkness;
and so the wise economy of nature adapts to each existing
condition some living form. These analogies warrant the
conclusion that, not only is there no unoccupied portion of
universal nature, but also that for each thing that has life,
special conditions are furnished, and, being furnished, they are

Now, assuming that there is an invisible side to the universe,
the fixed habit of nature warrants the conclusion that this half
is occupied, like the other half; and that each group of its
occupants is supplied with the indispensable conditions of
existence. It is as illogical to imagine that identical
conditions are furnished to all, as it would be to maintain such
a theory respecting the inhabitants of the domain of visible

That there are "spirits" implies that there is a diversity of
"spirits"; for men differ, and human "spirits" are but
disembodied men.

To say that all "spirits" are alike, or fitted to the same
atmosphere, or possessed of like powers, or governed by the same
attractions--electric, magnetic, odic, astral, it matters not
which--is as absurd as though one should say that all planets
have the same nature, or that all animals are amphibious, or that
all men can be nourished on the same food.

To begin with, neither the elementals, nor the elementaries
themselves, can be called "spirits" at all. It accords with
reason to suppose that the grossest natures among them will sink
to the lowest depths of the spiritual atmosphere--in other words,
be found nearest to the earth. Inversely, the purest will be
farthest away. In what, were we to coin a word, we should call
the "psychomatics" of Occultism, it is as unwarrantable to assume
that either of these grades of ethereal beings can occupy the
place, or subsist in the conditions, of the other, as it would be
in hydraulics to expect that two liquids of different densities
could exchange their markings on the scale of Beaume's


Görres, describing a conversation he had with some Hindûs of the
Malabar coast, reports that upon asking them whether they had
ghosts among them, they replied:

"Yes, but we know them to be bad bhûts [spirits, or rather, the
"empty" ones, the "shells"], . . . good ones can hardly ever
appear at all. They are principally the spirits of suicides and
murderers, or of those who die violent deaths. They constantly
flutter about and appear as phantoms. Night-time is favourable to
them, they seduce the feeble-minded and tempt others in a
thousand different ways. 23

Porphyry presents to us some hideous facts whose verity is
substantiated in the experience of every student of magic. He

"The soul, 24 having even after death a certain affection for its
body, an affinity proportioned to the violence with which their
union was broken, we see many spirits hovering in despair about
their earthly remains; we even see them eagerly seeking the
putrid remains of other bodies, but above all freshly-spilled
blood, which seems to impart to them for the moment some of the
faculties of life. 25.

Though spiritualists discredit them ever so much, these
nature-spirits--as much as the "elementaries," the "empty
shells," as the Hindus call them--are realities. If the gnomes,
sylphs, salamanders and undines of the Rosicrucians existed in
their days, they must exist now. Bulwer Lytton's "Dweller on the
Threshold" is a modern conception, modelled on the ancient type
of the Sulanuth of the Hebrews and Egyptians, which is mentioned
in the Book of Jasher. 26


The Christians are very wrong to treat them indiscriminately, as
"devils," "imps of Satan," and to give them like characteristics
names. The elementals are nothing of the kind, but simply
creatures of ethereal matter, irresponsible, and neither good nor
bad, unless influenced by a superior intelligence.

It is very extraordinary to hear devout Catholics abuse and
misrepresent the nature-spirits, when one of their greatest
authorities, Clement the Alexandrian, has described these
creatures as they really are. Clement, who perhaps had been a
theurgist as well as an Neoplatonist, and thus argued upon good
authority, remarks, that it is absurd to call them devils, 27 for
they are only inferior angels, "the powers which inhabit
elements, move the winds and distribute showers, and as such are
agents and subject to God." 28

Origen, who before he became a Christian also belonged to the
Platonic school, is of the same opinion. Porphyry, as we have
seen, describes these daimons more carefully than any one else.


The Secret Doctrine teaches that man, if he wins immortality,
will remain for ever the septenary trinity that he is in life,
and will continue so throughout all the spheres. The astral body,
which in this life is covered by a gross physical envelope,
becomes--when relieved of that covering by the process of
corporeal death--in its turn the shell of another and more
ethereal body.

This begins developing from the moment of death, and becomes
perfected when the astral body of the earthly form finally
separates from it. This process, they say, is repeated at every
new transition from sphere to sphere of life. But the immortal
soul, the "silvery spark," observed by Dr. Fenwick in Margrave's
brain (in Bulwer Lytton's Strange Story), and not found by him in
the animals, never changes, but remains indestructible "by aught
that shatters its tabernacle."


The descriptions by Porphyry and Iamblichus and others, of the
spirits of animals, which inhabit the astral light, are
corroborated by those of many of the most trustworthy and
intelligent clairvoyants. Sometimes the animal forms are even
made visible to every person at a spiritual circle, by being

In his People from the Other World, Colonel H. S. Olcott
describes a materialized squirrel which followed a spirit-woman
into the view of the spectators, disappeared and reappeared
before their eyes several times, and finally followed the spirit
into the cabinet. The facts given in modern spiritualistic
literature are numerous and many of them are trustworthy.

As to the human spirit, the notions of the older philosophers and
mediæval Kabalists while differing in some particulars, agreed on
the whole; so that the doctrine of one may be viewed as the
doctrine of the other. The most substantial difference consisted
in the location of the immortal or divine spirit of man.


While the ancient Neoplatonists held that the Augœides never
descends hypostatically into the living man, but only more or
less sheds its radiance on the inner man--the astral soul--the
Kabalists of the middle ages maintained that the spirit,
detaching itself from the ocean of light and spirit, entered into
man's soul, where it remained through life imprisoned in the
astral capsule. This difference was the result of the belief of
Christian Kabalists, more or less, in the dead letter of the
allegory of the fall of man. The soul, they said, became, through
the "fall of Adam," contaminated with the world of matter, or
Satan. Before it could appear with its enclosed divine spirit in
the presence of the Eternal, it had to purify itself of the
impurities of darkness.

They compared-- The spirit imprisoned within the soul to a drop
of water enclosed within a capsule of gelatine and thrown in the
ocean; so long as the capsule remains whole the drop of water
remains isolated; break the envelope and the drop becomes a part
of the ocean--its individual existence has ceased. So it is with
the spirit. As long as it is enclosed in its plastic mediator, or
soul, it has an individual existence. Destroy the capsule, a
result which may occur from the agonies of withered conscience,
crime, and moral disease, and the spirit returns back to its
original abode. Its individuality is gone.


On the other hand, the philosophers who explained the "fall into
generation" in their own way, viewed spirit as something wholly
distinct from the soul. They allowed its presence in the astral
capsule only so far as the spiritual emanations or rays of the
"shining one" were concerned. Man and his spiritual soul or the
monad--i.e., spirit and its vehicle--had to conquer their
immortality by ascending toward the unity with which, if
successful, they were finally linked, and into which they were
absorbed, so to say. The individualization of man after death
depended on the spirit, not on his astral or human soul--Manas
and its vehicle Kâma Rûpa--and body.

Although the word "personality," in the sense in which it is
usually understood, is an absurdity, if applied literally to our
immortal essence, still the latter is a distinct entity, immortal
and eternal, per se; and when (as in the case of criminals beyond
redemption) the shining thread which links the spirit to the
soul, from the moment of the birth of a child, is violently
snapped, and the disembodied personal entity is left to share the
fate of the lower animals, to gradually dissolve into ether, fall
into the terrible state of Âvîchi, or disappear entirely in the
eighth sphere and have its complete personality annihilated--even
then the spirit remains a distinct being. It becomes a planetary
spirit, an angel; for the gods of the Pagan or the archangels of
the Christian, the direct emanations of the One Cause,
notwithstanding the hazardous statement of Swedenborg, never were
nor will they be men, on our planet, at least.


Continued in Part IV


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