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Re: Rare Pamphlet Account by WT Brown

Apr 21, 2012 10:45 AM
by Mark Jaqua

      'Interesting article.  One of the most unique things I seen in the area is Sri Aurobindo's chapter "Opposition of the Hostile Forces" near the end of his "Yoga II, Tome Two," Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India, 1958.  I don't know if it is online or not.
                              - jake. j.

>1b. Re: Rare Pamphlet Account by WT Brown
    Posted by: "Cass Silva" silva_cass
    Date: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:50 pm ((PDT))

>Recently found this piece
>It was after Madame Blavatsky's departure from Ithaca that there fell upon Professor Corson, the Spiritualist, the full weight of what his son calls The Theosophical Society's "pronounced antagonism to spiritualism as it was at that time constituted in this country and in England." The Professor received by mail his printed copy of Colonel Olcott's Inaugural Address. As Dr. Corson observes, "Olcott stressed this opposition in his inaugural address, and there was at once a great reaction, an uproar from the entire body of spiritualists, and from the Press generally a biting ridicule. . . . Now this was not all Olcott, of course; H.P.B. had much to do with it. Both in her spoken words and in her writings she continually stressed the point of the danger of the ordinary seance except under the most rigid conditions of the medium and the surroundings. We must admit that the modern critical attitude and methods of psychical research are
 along the same lines of her caution and warnings." (19)

>But it was not merely that this Address should express the unwelcome truth about "imposture, tricky mediums, lying spirits, and revolting theories" or recognize that "many immoral people have fastened upon the cause. . . ." It also contained the provocative assertion that "Occultists. . . recognize in most of the physical phenomena called spiritual the agency of elementary spirits who often falsely personate persons not communicating with the circles, answer the thoughts which lie visible to them. . . and echo and respond to every fanciful vagary which agitates the questioner's mind."

>This was a startling explanation to be given to the public fifty years before the foremost European authorities in Psychical Research, Professor Enrico Morselli, Dr. Gustave Geley, and the Baron Dr. von Schrenck Notzing, through their pioneering, unprejudiced experiments in the psycho-kinetic and teleplasmic phenomena of the seance room, were to discover independently much of the same truth, each discarding the "spirit" theory though without fully comprehending the totality of the informing mechanism of these psychic simulations. Dr. Nandor Fodor in his standard work, Encyclopaedia of Psychic Science (1933, with Preface by Sir Oliver Lodge, O.M.), translates from the latter's Physikalische Phenomene des Mediumismus as concluding: "The telekinetic and teleplasmic phenomena are only different degrees of the same animistic process, they depend in the end upon physical manifestations in the subconscious sphere of the medium. 
 >The soi-distant occult intelligences which manifest and materialise themselves in the seance, never display any higher spiritual faculty than is owned by the medium and the sitters; they are wholly of oneiric type, dream personifications that correspond to detached memories, to beliefs, to all the miscellaneous things that lie dormant in the minds of the participants. It is not on a foundation of extra-corporeal beings one will find the secret of the psycho-dynamical phenomena of these subjects, but rather through consideration of hitherto unknown transformations of the bio-physical forces of the medium's organism."

>"The bio-physical forces of the medium's organism" are simply the "astral body" of the Occultists' teachings, whether or not assisted by "elementary spirits" as part of its components. Seeking to refine the common term, "elementary," Madame Blavatsky in 1877 noted that it had been used by Eliphas Levi, the French Kabalist, "to cover" both "human spirits" that had "lost every connection with a purer immortal world" ("the disembodied souls of the depraved" who had "sometime prior to death separated themselves from their divine spirits") and the "nature-spirits" ("evolved in the four kingdoms of earth, air, fire, and water and called by the Kabalists gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines"). Reserving for the former the "special term" elementary, H.P.B. was the first to call the latter elementals (with a result that the term now has entered accepted usage. See Merriam-Webster's Third
 New International Dictionary, page 734: "Elemental. . . Spirit, spectre, wraith"). She described the elementals as "centers of force," responsive to the human will, changeable and plastic in appearance, taking on varying forms modeled by human imagination, conscious or unconscious.

>These "elementals" --- or what earlier, in Col. Olcott's Inaugural Address, had been called "the elementary spirits" --- were regarded by Occultists, H.P.B. noted, as the "sole agents in all the meaningless physical phenomena at seances." Such phenomena, she added, "will be produced unless they be dominated by wills more powerful than their own. Such a will may be that of a living adept, or as there are none such at Western spiritualist seances, these ready agents are at the disposal of every strong, vicious, earth-bound, human elementary who has been attracted to the place. By such they can be used in connection with the astral emanations of the circle and medium, as stuff out of which to make materialized spirits." These "spirits, spectres, wraiths," she called "portrait-statues" of the dead or living; and maintained that these "pictures in the Astral Light" were palpably objectified through the Linga Sharira,
 the Astral Body, of the medium who "assimilat(es), unconsciously to himself, the pictures of the dead relatives and friends from the aura of the sitters." Thus, "The unintellectual 'elementals' are drawn in unconsciously . . . as component parts of the grosser astral body. . . ." (20)

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