NATURE-SPIRITS OR ELEMENTALS
reprinted from “Theosophical Siftings” Volume - 1 - 1889
is one all-pervading principle, and even the thing that
seems to die
and putrify but engenders new life and changes to new forms of matter.
Reasoning, then, by analogy — il not a leaf, if not a drop of water,
but is, no less than yonder star, a habitable and breathing world,
common sense would suffice to teach that the circumfluent Infinite,
which you call space — the boundless Impalpable which divides
the earth from the moon and stars — is filled also with its
correspondent and appropriate life." — ZANONI.
[Page 3] Within the last fifty years the human mind has been awakening slowly to the fact that there is a world, invisible to ordinary powers of vision, existing in close juxtaposition to the world cognised by our material senses. This world, or condition of existence for more etherial beings, has been variously called — Spirit-world, Summer-land, Astral-world, Hades, Kama-loca, or Desire-world, etc. Slowly and with difficulty do ideas upon the nature and characteristics of this world dawn upon the modern mind. The imagination, swayed by pictures of sensuous life, revels in the fantastic imagery it attributes to this unknown and dimly conceived state of existence, more often picturing what is false than what is true. Generally speaking, the most crude conceptions are entertained; these embrace but two conditions of life, the embodied and disembodied, for which there are only the earth and heaven, or hell, with that intermediate state accepted by Roman Catholics, called Purgatory. There is, therefore, for such minds, only two orders of beings, i.e., mankind, and angels or devils, categorically termed "spirits"; but what would be the mode of life of those "spirits", is a subject upon which ordinary intellects can throw no light at all. Their ideas are walled in by an impenetrable darkness, and not a ray of light glimmers across the unfathomable gulf lying beyond the grave; that portal of death which, for them, opens upon unknown darkness, and closes upon the light, vivacity, and gaiety of the earth.
The idea that the beings we would term disembodied do actually inhabit bodies of an aerial substance, invisible to our grosser senses, in a world exactly suited to their needs, surpasses the comprehension of an ordinary understanding, which can conceive only of gross matter, visible and tangible. Yet science begins to talk of mind-stuff, or soul-substance, in reality that etherial substance which ranks next to dense matter, and which it wears as an external, more hardened shell. For there is space within [Page 4] space. Once realising the existence of an inner world, we shall find that all our ideas concerning space, time, and every particular of our existence, and the world we live in must become entirely revolutionised.
The principal source of knowledge which has been opened in modern times concerning the next state of existence has revealed itself in a manner homogeneous to itself. It has come by an interior method — a revelation from within acting upon the without. The inner world, although always acting upon and through its external covering, in a hidden or veiled way, as from an inscrutable cause, has manifested itself in a manner more overt and cognisable by the bodily senses of man. At least that which has usually been termed, with more or less awe, the "supernatural", the "ghostly", has impinged upon the mental incrassation of sensual man as a thing to be reckoned with in daily life; no longer to be relegated to the region of vague darkness d'outre tombe. Hence the human mind is being awakened to study and dive into the depths of that life within life, wherein dwell the disembodied, the so-called dead, the angels, and, per contra, the devils. Those hidden aerial and etherial regions, wherein the souls of things, and beings, draw life from the bosom of Nature: wherein they find their active habitat: wherein Nature keeps a store of objects more wonderful, and infinitely more varied, than serve for her regions of dense matter: wherein man can discern the occult causes and beginnings of all things, even of his own thoughts; and whereupon he learns, at length, that he possesses the power of projecting by thought-creation forms more or less endued with life and intelligence, which compose his mental world, and with which he, as it were, "peoples space". He finds the sphere of his responsibilities immensely enlarged by this new knowledge, of which he is taking the first honeyed sips, delighted with the self-importance which the heretofore unsuspected power of diving into the unseen seems to bestow. If hitherto he has had to hold himself responsible for the consequences of his external actions, that they should not militate against the order of society as regards the laws of morality and virtue, he has at least acted upon the impression that his secret thoughts were his own, and remained with him, affecting no one but himself; were incognisable in their veiled chambers, and of which it was not necessary to take any notice: the transitory, evanescent, spontaneous workings of mind, unknown, and inscrutable, which begin and end like the flight of a bird, whence coming and where going it is impossible to know.
By the first faint gleams of the light of hidden wisdom, which are beginning to dawn upon his mind, he now perceives that responsibility does not end upon the plane of earth, but extends into the aerial regions of that inner world where his thoughts are no longer secret, and where they affect the astral currents, acting for the good or detriment of others to almost infinite extent, That he may act upon the ambient atmospheres, not only [Page 5] of the outer but inner planes of life, like a plant of poisonous exhalations, if his thoughts be not pure and good; peopling unseen space with the outcome of a debased mind, in the shape of hideous and maleficent creatures. He becomes responsible, therefore, for the consequences of his mental actions and thought-life, as well as those actions carefully prepared to pass unchallenged before this world's gaze.
Diving into the unseen by the light of the new spiritual knowledge now radiating into all minds, we learn that there are three degrees of life in man, the material, the aerial, and the etherial, corresponding to body, soul, and spirit; and that there are three corresponding planes of existence inhabited by beings suited to them.
The subject of our paper will limit us at present to the aerial, or soul-plane — the next contiguous, or astral world. The beings that more especially live in this realm of the soul, have by common consent been termed "Elementals". Nature in illimitable space teems with life in forms etherial, evanescent as thought itself, or more objectively condensed and solidified, according to the inherent attraction which holds them together; enduring according to the force, energy, or power which gave them birth; intelligent, or non-intelligent, from the same source, which is mental. These spirits of the soul-world are possessed of aerial bodies, and their world has its own firmament, its own atmosphere and conditions of existence, its own objects, scenes, habitations. Yet their world and the world of man intermingle, interpenetrate, and "throw their shadows upon each other", says Paracelsus. Again, he says: "As there is in our world water and fire, harmonies and contrasts, visible bodies and invisible essences, likewise these beings are varied in their constitution, and have their own peculiarities, for which human beings have no comprehension".
Matter, as known to men in bodies, is seen and felt by means of the physical senses; but to beings not provided with such senses, the things of our world are as invisible and intangible as things of more etherial substance are to our grosser senses. Elementals which find their habitat in the interior of the earth's shell, usually called "gnomes" are not conscious of the density of the element of earth as we perceive it; but breathe in a free atmosphere, and behold objects of which we cannot form the remotest conception. In like manner exist the Undines in water, Sylphs in air, and Salamanders in fire". The Elementals of the Air, Sylphs, are said to be friendly towards man; those of the water, Undines, are malicious. The Salamanders can, but rarely do, associate with man, "on account of the fiery nature of the element they inhabit". The Pigmies (gnomes) are friendly; but as they are the guardians of treasure they usually oppose the approach of man, baffling by many mysterious arts the selfish greed of seekers for buried wealth. We, however, read of their alluring miners either by stroke of pick, or hammer, or [Page 6] by floating lights to the best mineral " leads." Paracelsus says of these subterranean elementals that they build houses, vaults, and strange-looking edifices of certain immaterial substances unknown to us. " They have some kind of alabaster, marble, cement, etc., but these substances are as different from ours as the web of a spider is different from our linen".
These inhabitants of the elements, or "nature-spirits", may, or may not be, conscious of the existence of man; oftentimes feeling him merely as a force which propels, or arrests them; for by his will and by his thought, he acts upon the astral currents of the aerial world in which they live; and. by the use of his hands he sways the material elements of earth, fire, and water wherein they are established. They perceive the soul-essence of man with its "currents and forms", and they also are capable of reading such thoughts as do not spiritually transcend their powers of discernment. They perceive the states of feeling and emotions of men by the "colours and impressions produced in their auras", and may thus irresistibly be drawn into overt action upon man's plane of life. They are the invisible stone-throwers we hear of so frequently, supposed to be human spirits; the perpetrators of mischief, such as destruction of property in the habitations of men, noises, and mysterious nocturnal annoyances.
Of all writers upon occult subjects to whose works we have as yet gained access, Paracelsus throws the greatest light upon these tricky sprites celebrated in the realm of poesy, and inhabiting that disputed land popularly termed Fairydom. From open vision, and that wonderful insight of the "master" or adept into the secrets of nature, Paracelsus is able to give us the most positive information concerning their bodily formation, the nature of their existence, and other extraordinary particulars, which prove that he has actually seen and observed them, and doubtless also employed them as the obedient servants of his purified will: a power into which the spiritual man ascends by a species of right, when he has thrown off, or conquered, the thraldom of matter in his own body, and stands open-eyed at "the portals of his deep within".
We will quote certain extracts from the pages of this wonderful interpreter of Nature. "There are two kinds of flesh. One that comes from Adam, and another that does not come from Adam. The former is gross material, visible and tangible for us; the other one is not tangible and not made from earth. If a man who is a descendant from Adam wants to pass through a wall, he will have first to make a hole through it; but a being who is not descended from Adam needs no hole nor door, but may pass through matter that appears solid to us without causing any damage to it. The beings not descended from Adam, as well as those descended from him, are organised and have substantial bodies; but there is as much difference between the substance composing their bodies as there is between Matter and Spirit. Yet the Elementals are not Spirits, because they have flesh, [Page 7] blood, and bones; they live and propagate offspring; they eat and talk, act and sleep, etc., and consequently they cannot be properly called 'spirits'. They are beings occupying a place between man and spirits, resembling men and women in their organization and form, and resembling spirits in the rapidity of their locomotion. They are intermediary beings or Composita, formed out of two parts joined into one; just as two colours mixed together will appear as one colour, resembling neither one nor the other of the two original ones. The Elementals have no higher principles; they are therefore not immortal, and when they die they perish like animals. Neither water nor fire can injure them, and they cannot be locked up in our material prisons. They are, however, subject to diseases. Their costumes, actions, forms, ways of speaking, etc., are not very unlike those of human beings; but there are a great many varieties. They have only animal intellects, and are incapable of spiritual development".
In saying the Elementals have "no higher principles", and "When they die they perish like animals", Paracelsus does not stop to explain that the higher principles in them are absolutely latent, as in plants; and that animals in "perishing" are not destroyed, but the psychical or soul-part of the animal passes, by the processes of evolution, into higher forms.
"Each species moves only in the element to which it belongs, and neither of them can go out of its appropriate element, which is to them as the air is to us, or the water to fishes; and none of them can live in the element belonging to another class. To each elemental being the element in which it lives is transparent, invisible, and respirable, as the atmosphere is to ourselves". "As far as the personalities of the Elementals are concerned, it may be said that those belonging to the element of water resemble human beings of either sex; those of the air are greater and stronger; the Salamanders are long, lean, and dry; the Pigmies (Gnomes) are the length of about two spans, but they may extend or elongate their forms until they appear like giants".
"Nymphs (undines, or naiads) have their residences and palaces in the element of water; Sylphs and Salamanders have no fixed dwellings. Salamanders have been seen in the shape of fiery balls, or tongues of fire running over the fields or appearing in houses", or at physical séances as starry lights, darting and dancing about.
"There are certain localities where large numbers of Elementals live together, and it has occurred that a man has been admitted into their communities and lived with them for a while, and that they have become visible and tangible to him".
Poets, in their moments of exaltation, have an unconscious soul-vision before which Nature's invisible worlds lie like an open volume, and they translate her secrets into language of mystic meanings whose harmonies are re-interpreted by sympathetic minds. The poet Hogg, in his "Rapture of Kilmeny", [Page 8] would seem to have had a vision of some such visit as that described above, into the fairyland of pure, peaceful Elementals.
"Bonny Kilmeny gaed up the glen" — and is represented as having fallen asleep. During this sleep she is transported to " a far countrye," whose gentle, lovely inhabitants receive her with delight. The following lines reveal the poet's power of inner vision, as will be seen by the words italicised. They are in wonderful accord with the descriptions given by Paracelsus from the actual observation of a conscious seer: —
"They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away,
And she walk'd in the light of a sunless day;
The sky was a dome of crystal bright,
The fountain of vision and fountain of light;
The emerald fields were of dazzling glow,
And the flowers of everlasting blow."
It needs but a brushing away of the films of flesh, which occurs in moments of rapt inspiration, for the soul, escaping from its prison-house, to revel in the innocent, peaceful scenes of its own inner world, and give a true description of what it beholds. The inner meanings of things, the symbolical correspondences are revealed in a flash of light, and the poet-soul becomes revelator and prophet all in one. He sets it down to imagination and fancy, when he returns into his normal state, and it is what we call "a flight of genius", — the power of the soul to enter its own appropriate world. Certainly "les âmes de boue" have no such power. It is, however, a proof that world exists, if we will but understand it aright.
There has never existed a poet with a truer conception of "elemental life" than Shakspeare. What more exquisite creation of the poet's fancy, which might be every word of it true, for in no particular does it surpass the truth, than that of Ariel, whom the "foul witch Sycorax", "by help of her more potent ministers, and in her most unmitigable rage", did confine "into a cloven pine”; for Ariel, the good "elemental", was "a spirit too delicate to act her earthly and abhorred commands". When Prospero, the Adept and White Magician, arrived upon the scene, by his superior art he liberated the delicate Ariel, who afterwards becomes his ministering servant for good, not for evil.
In the "Midsummer Night's Dream"” Titania transports a human child into her elemental world, where she keeps him with so jealous a love as to refuse to yield him even to her "fairy lord", as Puck calls him. Puck himself is almost as exquisite a realisation of "elemental" life as Ariel. As Shakespeare unfolds the lovely, innocent tale of the occupations, sports and pranks of this aerial people, he introduces us to the elementals of his own beautiful thought world; and, although indulging in the "sports of fancy"; there is so broad a foundation of truth, that, being enlightened by the revelations of Paracelsus, we no longer think we are merely entertained by the poetical [Page 9] inventions of a master of his art, but may well believe we have been witnesses of a charming reality beheld through the "rift in the veil" of the poet's unconscious inner sight. Indeed, one of the tenets of occult science is that there is nothing on earth, nor that the mind of man can conceive, which is not already existent in the unseen world.
We reflect in the translucence, or "diaphane" of our mental world those concrete images of things which we attract by the irresistible magnetism of desire working through the thought. It is a spontaneous, unconscious mental process with us; but there is no reason why it should not become a perfectly conscious process regulated by a divine wisdom to functions of harmony with nature's laws, and to productions of beauty and beneficence for the good of the whole world. As the world is the concreted emanation of Divine Thought, so it is by thought that man, the microcosm, creates upon his petty, finite plane. Given the desire — even if it be only as the lightest breath of a summer zephyr upon the sleeping bosom of the ocean, scarcely ruffling its surface — it becomes a centre of attraction for suitable molecules of thought-substance floating in space, which immediately "agglomerate round the idea proceeding to reveal itself", by means of clothing itself in substance. By these silent processes in the invisible world wherein our souls draw the breath of life, we form our mental world, our personal character, even our very physical bodies. The perisprit, or astral body, the vehicle for formless spirit, is essentially built up from the mental life, and grows by the accretion of those atoms or molecules of thought-substance which are assimilable by the mind. Hence a good man a man of lofty aspirations, forms, as the nearest external clothing of his inner spirit, a beautiful soul-body, which irradiates through and beautifies the physical body. The man of low and grovelling mind will, on the contrary, attract the depraved and poisoned substances of the lower astral world; the malarial emanations thrown off by other equally depraved beings, by which his mind becomes embruted, his soul diseased, whilst his physical form presents in a concrete image the ugliness of his inner nature. Such a man never ascends above the dense, mephitic vapours of the sin-laden world, nor takes into his soul the slightest breath of pure, vitalising air. He is diseased by invisible astral microbes, being most effectually self-inoculated with them by the operation of desires which never transcend the earth. Did we lift the veil which shrouds from mortal sight the elemental world of such a moral pervert, we should behold a world teeming with hideous forms, and as actively working as the bacteria of fermentation revealed by a powerful microscope, elementals of destruction, death, and decay, which must pass out into other forms for the purification of the spiritual atmosphere; creatures produced by the man's own thoughts, living upon and in him, and reflecting, like mirrors, his hideousness back again to himself. It is from the presence of innumerable foci of evil of this kind that [Page 10] the world is befouled, and the moral atmosphere of our planet tainted.' They emit poisoned astral currents, from which none are safe but those who are in the positive condition of perfect moral health.
From the Fountain of Life we draw in the materials of life, and become, upon our lower plane, other living fountains, which from liberty of choice, and freedom of will, have the power of so muddying the pure stream, that in its turbidness and foulness it becomes death instead of life, and produces hell instead of heaven. When we, by self-purification, and that constant mental discipline which trains us upwards, clinging to our highest ideal by the tendrils of faith, and love, and continual aspiration, as the vine would cling to a rock — have eliminated all that is impure in our thought world, we become fountains of life, and make our own heavens, wherein are reflected only images of divine beauty. The whole elemental world on our immediate astral plane becomes gradually transformed during the progress of our evolution into the higher spiritual grades of being. And as humanity en masse advances, throwing off the moral and spiritual deformity of the selfish, ignorant Ego, the astral atmospheres belonging to our planet world become filled with "elementals" of a peaceful, loving character, of beautiful forms, and of beneficent influences. The currents of evil force which now act with a continually jarring effect upon those striving to maintain the equilibrium of harmony with Nature upon the side of good, would cease. That depression, agitation, and distress which now, from inscrutable causes, assail minds otherwise rejoicing in an innocent happiness, forewarning them of some impending calamity, or of some evil presence it seems impossible to shake off, would become unknown. The horrible demons of War, with which humanity, in its sinful state of separateness, is continually threatening itself, — as if the members of one body were self-opposed, and revolting from that state of agreement that can alone ensure the well-being of the whole — would no longer be held, like ravenous bloodhounds chafing against their leashes, ready to spring, at a word, upon their hellish work; but they will have passed away, like other hideous deformities of evil; and the serene astral atmospheres would no longer reflect ideas of cruel wrongs to fellow-beings, revenge, lust of power, injustice, and ruthless hatred. We are taught that around an "idea" agglomerate the suitable molecules of soul-substance — "Monads" as Leibnitz terms them, until a concrete form stands created, the production of a mind, or minds. All the hideous man-created beings, powers or forces, which now act like ravaging pestilences and storms in the astral atmospheres of our planet will have disappeared like the monstrous phantoms of a frightful dream, when the whole of humanity has progressed into a state of higher spiritual evolution. It is well to reflect that each individual, however humble and apparently insignificant his position in the great human family, can aid by his life, by the silent emanation of his pure and wise thoughts, as well as [Page 11] by his active labours for humanity, in bringing nearer this halcyon period of peace, harmony, and purity — that millennium, in short, we are all looking forward to, as a dream we can never hope to see realised.
In " Man: Fragments of Forgotten History," we read: "Violence was the most baneful manifestation of man's spiritual decadence, and it rebounded upon him from the elemental beings, whom it was his duty to develop"— those sub-mundanes, towards whom man is now learning he incurs responsibilities of which he is at present utterly unconscious, but of which he will indubitably become more and more aware as he ascends the ladder of spiritual evolution.
To continue our extract from "Fragments": "When this duty was ignored, and the separation of interests was accentuated, the natural man forcibly realised an antagonism with the elemental spirits. As violence increased in man, these spirits waxed strong in their way, and, true to their natures, which had been outraged by the neglect of those who were in a sense their guardians, they automatically responded with resentment. No longer could man rely upon the power of love or harmony to guide others, because he himself had ceased to be impelled solely by its influence; distrust had marred the symmetry of his inner self, and beings who could not perceive but only receive impressions projected towards them, quickly adapted themselves to the altered conditions". — (Elementals as "forces", respond to forces, or are swayed by them; man, as a superior force, acts upon them, therefore, injuriously, or beneficially, and they in their turn, poisoned by his baleful influence, when he is depraved, become injurious forces to him by the laws of reaction). — "At once nature itself took on the changed expression; and where all before was gladness and freshness there were now indications of sorrow and decay. Atmospheric influences hitherto unrecognised began to be noted; there was felt a chill in the morning, a dearth of magnetic heat at noon-tide, and a universal deadness at the approach of night, which began to be looked upon with alarm. For a change in the object must accompany every change in the subject. Until this point was reached there was nothing to make man afraid of himself and his surroundings".
"And as he plunged deeper and deeper into matter, he lost his consciousness of the subtler forms of existence, and attributed all the antagonism he experienced to unknown causes. The conflict continued to wax stronger, and, in consequence of his ignorance, man fell a readier victim. There were exceptions among the race then, as there are now, whose finer perceptive faculties outgrew, or kept ahead, of the advancing materialisation; and they alone, in course of events, could feel and recognise the influences of these earliest progeny of the earth."
"Time came when an occasional appearance was viewed with alarm, and was thought to be an omen of evil, Recognising this fear on the part [Page 12] of man, the elementals ultimately came to realise for him the dangers he apprehended, and they banded together to terrify him". — (They reflected back to him his own fears in a concrete form, sufficiently intelligent, perhaps, to take some malicious pleasure in it, for man in propelling into space a force of any kind is met by a reactionary force, which seems to give exactly what his mind foreshadowed. In the negative coldness of fear, he lays himself open to infesting molecules or atoms which paralyse life, and he falls a victim to his own lack of faith, cheerful courage and hope). "They found strong allies in an order of existence which was generated when physical death made its appearance" (i.e., Elementaries, or Shells); " and their combined forces began to manifest themselves at night, for which man had a dread as being the enemy of his protector, the Sun". [“Fragments of Forgotten History”]
"The elementaries galvanized into activity by the elemental beings began to appear to man under as many varieties of shape as his hopes and fears allowed. And as his ignorance of things spiritual became denser, these agencies brought in an influx of error, which accelerated his spiritual degeneration. Thus, it will be seen that man's neglect of his duty to the nature-spirits is the cause which has launched him into a sea of troubles, that has shipwrecked so many generations of his descendants. Famines, plagues, wars, and other catastrophes are not so disconnected with the agency of nature-spirits as it might appear to the sceptical mind". [Fragments of Forgotten History]
It is therefore evident that the world of man exercises a controlling power over this invisible world of "elementals". Even in the most remote and inaccessible haunts of nature, where we may imagine halcyon days of an innocent bliss elapsing in poetic peace and beauty for the more harmless of these irresponsible, evanescent offspring of nature's teeming bosom, they must inevitably, sooner or later, yield up their peaceful sovereignty to the greater monarch, man; who usually comes with a harsh and discordant influence, like the burning sirocco of the desert, like the overwhelming avalanche from the silent peaks of snow, or the earthquake, convulsing and tearing to atoms the beauty of gardens, palaces, cities. It is said that elementals "die"; it is presumable that at such times they die by myriads, when the whole surface of the earth becomes changed from the unavoidable passing away of nature's wildernesses, the peaceful homes of bird and beast, as the improving, commercial, money-grasping man — that contradiction of God, that industrious destroyer, who lives at war with beauty, peace, and goodness — appears upon the scene. These may be called poetical rhapsodies: yet poetry is, in a mysterious way, closely allied to that hidden truth which has its birth on the soul-plane, and the imagination of man is, according to Eliphas Lévi, a clairvoyant and magical faculty — "the wand of the magician".
To speak of elementals dying, is to use a word which expresses for us [Page 13] change of condition; the passing from one sphere of life to another, or from one plane of consciousness to another. This to the sensual man is "death". But there is no death — it is merely a passing from one phase of existence to another. Hence the elementals lose the forms they once held, changing their plane of consciousness, and appearing in other forms.
We have shown somewhat of the mysterious way in which man acts upon these invisible denizens of his soul-world, and by which he incurs a certain responsibility. By the dynamic power of thought and will it is done — as everything is done. The elementals pushed by man, as by a superior force, off that equilibrium of harmony with pure, innocent nature, which they originally maintained when our planet was young, have been transformed into powers of evil, which man brings upon himself as retribution — the reaction of that force he ignorantly sets in motion when he breaks the beneficent laws of nature. Originally dependant upon him, and capable of aiding him in a thousand ways when he is wise and good, they have become his enemies, who thwart him at every turn, and guard the secrets of their abodes with none the less implacable sternness because they are probably only semi-conscious of the functions they perform. It is nature acting through them — the great Cosmic Consciousness, which forbids that desecrating footsteps shall invade the holy precincts of her stupendous life-secrets. But to the spiritual man — the god — these secrets open of themselves, like a hand laden with gifts, readily unclosing to a favourite and deserving child.
Giving forth a current of evil, and sinking therefrom into a state of bestial ignorance, man has enveloped himself in clouds of darkness which assume monstrous shapes threatening to overwhelm him. A wicked man is generally a coward, because he lives in a state of perpetual dread of the reactionary effect of the evil forces he has set in motion. These are volumes of elemental forms banded together, and swaying like the thunderclouds of a gathering storm.
disperse these, his own spiritual mind must ray forth
the light reflected from the Source of Light — Omniscience.
In the astral atmospheres of the spiritual man, there
are no clouds, and fear is unknown. In the mental world
of the innocent and pure, those are only forms of gracious
beauty, as lovely as the shapes of nature's innocent
embryons, which reveal themselves in the forests, the
running streams, the floating breeze, and in company
with the birds and flowers, to the clairvoyant sight
of those nature-lovers before whom she withdraws her
veils, communing with their souls by an intuitional speech
which fills them with rapturous admiration. It is not
only the learned scientist who may read Nature's marvellous
revelations ; for she whispers them with maternal tenderness
into the open ears of babes, where they remain ever safe
from desecration, and are cherished as the soul's innocent
delights in hours of isolation from the busy, jarring
The spiritual soul is ever looking beneath nature's material veils for correspondences. Every natural object means something else to such penetrating vision — a vision which begins to be spontaneously exercised by the soul when it has fairly reached that stage of spiritual evolution; and to this silent exploration many a secret meaning reveals itself by object-pictures, which awaken reflection and inquiry as to the why and wherefore. Thus the spiritual man drinks, as it were, from nature's own hand the pure waters of an inexhaustible spring — that occult knowledge which feeds his soul, and aids in forming for him a beautiful and powerful astral body. And Nature becomes invested to his penetrating sight with a beauty she never wore before, and which the clay-blinded eyes of animal man can never behold. Such a man would enter the isolated haunts of the purer nature-spirits with gentle footsteps, and loving thoughts. To him the breeze is wafted wooingly, the streams whisper music, and everything wears an aspect of loving joyousness, and inviting confidence. Beside the rigid material forms, he sees their "aromal counterparts”: every thing is life; the very stones live, and have a consciousness suited to their state: and he feels as if every atom of his own body vibrated into unison with the living things about him — as if all were one flesh. To injure a single thing would be impossible to him. Such is the soul-condition of the perfect man, to whom evil has become impossible.
An Adept has written — "Every thought of man upon being evolved passes into another world and becomes an active entity by associating itself — coalescing, we might term it — with an Elemental — that is to say, with one of the semi-intelligent forces of the kingdoms. It survives as an active intelligence — a creature of the mind's begetting — for a longer or shorter period, proportionate with the original intensity of the cerebral action which, generated it. Thus, a good thought is perpetuated as an active, beneficent power, an evil one as a maleficent demon. And so man is continually peopling his current in space with the offspring of his fancies, desires, impulses, and passions: a current which redacts upon any sensitive or nervous organization which comes in contact with it, in proportion to its dynamic intensity. . . . The Adept evolves these shapes consciously, other men throw them off unconsciously".
Therefore, man must be held responsible not only for his outward actions, but his secret thoughts, by which he puts into existence irresponsible entities of more or less maleficent power, if his thoughts be of an evil nature. These are revelations of a deep and abstruse character; but would they have come at all if man had not reached that stage of evolution when it is necessary he should step up into his spiritual kingdom, and rule as a master over his lower self, and as a beneficent god over every department of unintelligent nature ?.
We note the closing words of the Adept's letter; — "The Adept evolves [Page 15] these shapes consciously, other men throw them off unconsciously" In the Adept's soul-world then — the man who has ascended, by self-conquest primarily, into his spiritual kingdom, and who has graduated through years of probation and study in spiritual or occult science — i.e., the White Magician, the Son of God, the inheritor, by spiritual evolution, of divinity — there would reign peace, happiness, beauty, order, absolute harmony with Nature on the side of good. No discordant note, no deformed astral production to embarrass or obstruct the current of divine magnetism he emanates into space — the delicious, soul-purifying, healing, and uplifting aura which radiates from him as from a centre of beneficence to the lower world of struggling humanity. The semi-intelligent forces of nature, the innocent nature spirits, would, in such a soul-world, find an appropriate and harmonious habitat, clustering in waiting obedience upon the behests of a Master, whose every thought-breath would be as an uplifting life.
To such a state and condition of complete harmony with God and Nature must the truly perfect spiritual man ascend by evolution.
N.B.—"Nizida" has quoted from "Man: Fragments of Forgotten History." The T.P.S. desires to say that while some of the statements contained in that work are correct, there is also in it a large admixture of error. Therefore, the T.P.S. does not recommend this work to the attention of students who have not yet learned enough to be able to separate the grain from the husk. The same may be said of "Art-Magic".
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