The Golden Star
“There are possibilities of a real spirit’s presence at a séance, however, either preceding or directly following physical death, especially in the case of sudden death. In such instances the body may be quite dead, and even buried, and yet the brain may preserve a latent spark of will or desire, connected with some predominating feeling in life, which will have the effect of sending out a magnetic current of attraction to the Astral shell of the dead body. Although the brain has ceased to function in such cases, and physical death has become a fact, this is no certain indication that the spiritual life of the brain is equally dead, as the activity of the lower mind remains to the last. The final physical function of the brain can thus send out a kind of post-mortem energy to the bewildered Astral shell, and so cause it to continue a dynamic, seemingly conscious, action even for a few days after bodily death.
“During the life the body, or lower mind, is dependent on, and quite subservient to, the will of the Mind via the physical brain. It acts automatically and according to the currents of thought-energy set up in the brain by the mind. And so—when sudden death takes place—these thought-currents involuntarily flow forth as lower mind sensations, and may reach a séance room, and, by means of the sensitive medium, find expression and result in a sort of message; often disconnected, as are the words heard or spoken in a dream. Or, these thoughts may reach a loved one, who possibly will hear the Astral echo of the deceased’s voice; or see a living picture of the same. In the latter case it would be an Astral reflection of the atmospheric waves. There is the well-known case of a patient who spent nine years in a room of a mental institution. Eventually he was cured and sent home. Shortly afterwards his ‘ghost’ began to appear in that room and wild cries were heard in the same voice as that of the previous tenant.
“Doctors and nurses heard these cries and all came to the conclusion that the man must have died and that his ‘spirit’ haunted its old abode. The news of these hauntings spread and eventually reached the ears of the old patient himself, who was quietly living with his family in another part of the country. He at once decided to put a stop to all these rumours by returning to the mental home and investigating the matter. His family doctor accompanied him, and when they arrived, the two—after much opposition from the resident doctor—were permitted to spend a night together in the old room. No sooner were they installed than the ‘ghost’ appeared and the cries were louder than ever. When, at dawn, the room was entered by the resident physician, the old patient was once more a raving lunatic, and his friend lay in a deadly swoon—completely overcome by the terrible and inexplicable happenings during the night. This is a true illustration of the mechanism of astral echoes and astral reflections upon the atmosphere, and in similar ways the machinery operating in all sorts of ‘haunted’ places may be understood.”
“What is the difference between Spiritism and Spiritualism, dear Messenger?” asked Ma-uti.
“Spiritism differs from Spiritualism mainly because Spiritism includes among its tenets the doctrine of reincarnation, to which Spiritualism is opposed. The word ‘Spiritist’ is sometimes applied to one who seeks only the physical phenomena and neglects the religious and philosophic aspect of Spiritualism.”
“Under what names are the Elementals known who appear at the séance or in other places?” asked Ma-u.
“Their names are legion, my son. They may be peris, devs, djins, sylvans, satyrs, fauns, elves, dwarves, trolls, norns, nisses, kobolds, brownies, necks, stromkarls, pixies, piskies, moss people, good people, good neighbours, wild women, men of peace, white ladies, sylphs, undines, salamanders, and very many more. In the London Spiritualist of June 29th, 1877, for instance, is the account of a seeress, who, on the approach of a thunderstorm, saw ‘a bright spirit emerge from a dark cloud and pass with lightning speed across the sky, and, a few minutes after, a diagonal line of dark spirits in the clouds.’ These beings are called Maruts in the Vedas, as you may read in Max Müller’s translation of the Rig-Veda Sanhita. There are thousands and untold thousands of such descriptions of spirits who are very real indeed, and not the results of diseased imaginations. It needs clairvoyant faculties to see these beings, but then there are and always have been a great number of persons who possess such faculties. When a medium, or seer, describes happenings beyond the ordinary range of vision, this can be ascribed to an extension of consciousness, to projection of the Astral Body, together with the Higher Mind, or to transmural vision; in the latter case, for instance, when a person enclosed in a room without windows having access to the street, describes something that happens in that street without leaving the room. The seer, or seeress, seems to be looking through a chink into the astral, or the terrestrial world, and it depends on the acuteness of the clairvoyant’s spiritual sight to see more or less through that chink. The gates are partially ajar, but only at death do they fly wide open and permit the soul and mind to behold the wonders of reality or imagination in the higher realms or in the astral worlds. Clairvoyant vision can also be made use of under hypnosis, and the French Academy of Medicine published a long report of well-attested therapeutical phenomena as early as the year 1831, in which such phenomena are classified under 34 different paragraphs. The organs of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, are proved to become far acuter in a hypnotized subject than in the normal state, and the mind, disburdened of the shackles of the body, acquires a strength of perception impossible in the strongest and healthiest body when awake. This proves that consciousness is a quality of the mind (and of the soul) and that it can display activity independently of the body. In the History of Miracles by Dr. Figuier, you can read that an epidemic of ‘possession’ broke out in Germany in the middle of the 19th Century, and that people possessed in this way would hang suspended in mid-air without visible means of support; stood on their heads for hours; correctly described distant events—verified later; and that old women climbed perpendicular walls, thirty feet high, with the agility of cats. The medical faculty ascribed all such happenings to ‘hysteria’; a very useful word when the learnéd gentlemen are at a loss for a more correct description or diagnosis. Perhaps an explanation can be found when we consider the feats of the Eastern mercenary sorcerer who can hold his hands in a furnace of live coals until the coals have been reduced to cold cinders. In this case the sorcerer invokes the assistance of what he calls a ‘little demon’; in reality a gnome, whom he knows how to invoke and control. Missionaries watching these performances generally say that the sorcerer has sold his soul to the devil, and that Satan enables the man to perform his juggling tricks!
“This is real superstition on the part of these worthy brethren, and there is something here that neither science nor the exponents of the Christian religion can understand.
“As St. Paul has said: ‘We speak Wisdom among the perfect or initiated, not the wisdom of this world, nor of the archons of this world, but Divine Wisdom in a Mystery, secret—which none of the archons of this world know.’ He referred here to the Basileus of the Eleusinian initiation, who belonged to the staff of the great Hierophant and was an archon of Athens, and as such one of the chief Mystae belonging to the interior Mysteries, to which only a very select few obtained entrance. These were the archons not of this world who did know. These Initiates had reached that Divine state of clairvoyance when everything pertaining to this earth disappears and the earthly sight is paralyzed, and the soul and mind are united, free and pure, and One with the Spirit of God. It sees itself as a perfect whole, unblemished, united with the Divine Essence; thus it knows all. This is the true clairvoyance before which the paltry tricks and experiments of Spiritualism pale into dire insignificance and become as useless as the efforts of a blind man searching for light in a dark cellar. The true clairvoyance is that state which such seers as Plotinus and Apollonius termed the ‘Union to the Deity’; which the ancient Yogîs called ‘Ishvara’; and the modern ones call ‘Samadhi.’ This state is as far above spiritualistic clairvoyance as the stars are above fireflies.
“It is the Initiate alone, rich with the Wisdom collected for him by untold generations of his predecessors, who can direct the inner eye, the ‘Eye of Dangma,’ toward the essence of all things material and spiritual; and who can know the Divine Truth and the secrets of all conditions and actualities without being trapped in the snares of Illusion. He knows the extensions of matter and of the senses; and of motion, colour, taste and smell. By means of the permeability of sight, he enters clairvoyantly into that so-called fourth dimension for which so many thinkers have sought, and beholds eventually the permeability of all things in their extensions beyond the three dimensions of length, breadth and thickness. This means that he is able to liberate himself from the bonds of matter and the shackles of illusion by means of clairvoyance and psychometry of a high order of perfection. He reads the records with which all matter is impregnated, and a million years dissolve in a flash. He knows the true from the false and does not need to grope in ignorance; to him the whole of the Universe and all the inner and outer worlds are as an open book—full of marvels. He has the power of the mirific ineffable name which is the crown of the Shakti. He has conquered the Kingdom of Darkness and bathes in the Eternal Light, and, like Jesus, he has ‘beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven.’ His heart is lifted up because of the beauty and Wisdom which is his lot. He walks in the Garden of God, the anointed cherub, perfect in his ways—omnificent—glorified by purification; merciful and just. He hears the voices of the pure spirits, and they sound like silver bells; or like the tremulous murmur of an Æolian Harp, caressed by Zephyr on a summer’s night. These sounds are full of sacred Wisdom and Love, and, once heard, can never be forgotten. Their voices are not articulated but consist of sweet sounds that kiss the soul with celestial and tender enchantment. Swedenborg compares their voices to a ‘deep suspiration’; a heavenly sigh, communicating God’s Divine Essence; supreme ecstasy.