Article by H. P. Blavatsky

I      II      III    Elementals  R

    THE Universal Ęther was not, in the eyes of the ancients, simply a tenantless something, stretching throughout the expanse of heaven; it was for them a boundless ocean, peopled like our familiar earthly seas, with Gods, Planetary Spirits, monstrous and minor creatures, and having in its every molecule the germs of life from the potential up to the most developed. Like the finny tribes which swarm in our oceans and familiar bodies of water, each kind having its habitat in some spot to which it is curiously adapted, some friendly, and some inimical to man, some pleasant and some frightful to behold, some seeking the refuge of quiet nooks and land-locked harbours, and some traversing great areas of water; so the various races of the Planetary, Elemental, and other Spirits, were believed by them to inhabit the different portions of the great ethereal ocean, and to be exactly adapted to their respective conditions.

    According to the ancient doctrines, every member of this varied ethereal population, from the highest "Gods" down to the soulless Elementals, was evolved by the ceaseless motion inherent in the astral light. Light is force, and the latter is produced by the will. As this will proceeds from an intelligence which cannot err, for it is absolute and immutable and has nothing of the material organs of human thought in it, being the superfine pure emanation of the ONE LIFE itself, it proceeds from the beginning of time, according to immutable laws, to evolve the elementary fabric requisite for subsequent generations of what we term human races. All of the latter, whether belonging to this planet or to some other of the myriads in space, have their earthly bodies evolved in this matrix out of the bodies of a certain class of these elemental beings--the primordial germ of Gods and men--which have passed away into the visible worlds. In the Ancient Philosophy there was no missing link to be supplied by what Tyndall calls an "educated imagination"; no hiatus to be filled with volumes of materialistic speculations made necessary by the absurd attempt to solve an equation with but one set of quantities; our "ignorant" ancestors traced the law of evolution throughout the whole universe. As by gradual progression from the star-cloudlet to the development of the physical body of man, the rule holds good, so from the Universal Ęther to the incarnate human spirit, they traced one uninterrupted series of entities. These evolutions were from the world of Spirit into the world of gross Matter: and through that back again to the source of all things. The "descent of species" was to them a descent from the Spirit, primal source of all, to the "degradation of Matter." In this complete chain of unfoldings the elementary, spiritual beings had as distinct a place, midway between the extremes, as Mr. Darwin's missing-link between the ape and man.

    No author in the world of literature ever gave a more truthful or more poetical description of these beings than Sir E. Bulwer-Lytton, the author of Zanoni. Now, himself "a thing not of matter" but an "idea of joy and light," his words sound more like the faithful echo of memory than the exuberant outflow of mere imagination. He makes the wise Mejnour say to Glyndon:

    Man is arrogant in proportion of his ignorance. For several ages he saw in the countless worlds that sparkle through space like the bubbles of a shoreless ocean, only the petty candles . . . that Providence has been pleased to light for no other purpose but to make the night more agreeable to man. . . . Astronomy has corrected this delusion of human vanity, and man now reluctantly confesses that the stars are worlds, larger and more glorious than his own. . . . Everywhere, in this immense design, science brings new life to light. . . . Reasoning, then, by evident analogy, if not a leaf, if not a drop of water, but is, no less than yonder star, a habitable and breathing world--nay, if even man himself is a world to other lives, and millions and myriads dwell in the rivers of his blood, and inhabit man's frame, as man inhabits earth--common sense (if our schoolmen had it) would suffice to teach that the circumfluent infinite which you call space--the boundless impalpable which divides earth from the moon and stars--is filled also with its correspondent and appropriate life. Is it not a visible absurdity to suppose that being is crowded upon every leaf, and yet absent from the immensities of space! The law of the great system forbids the waste even of an atom; it knows no spot where something of life does not breathe. . . . Well, then, can you conceive that space, which is the infinite itself, is alone a waste, is alone lifeless, is less useful to the one design of universal being . . . than the peopled leaf, than the swarming globule? The microscope shows you the creatures on the leaf; no mechanical tube is yet invented to discover the nobler and more gifted things that hover in the illimitable air. Yet between these last and man is a mysterious and terrible affinity. . . . But first, to penetrate this barrier, the soul with which you listen must be sharpened by intense enthusiasm, purified from all earthly desires. . . . When thus prepared, science can be brought to aid it; the sight itself may be rendered more subtile, the nerves more acute, the spirit more alive and outward, and the element itself--the air, the space--may be made, by certain secrets of the higher chemistry, more palpable and clear. And this, too, is not Magic as the credulous call it; as I have so often said before, Magic (a science that violates Nature) exists not; it is but the science by which Nature can be controlled. Now, in space there are millions of beings, not literally spiritual, for they have all, like the animalculę unseen by the naked eye, certain forms of matter, though matter so delicate, air-drawn, and subtile, that it is, as it were, but a film, a gossamer, that clothes the spirit. . . . Yet, in truth, these races differ most widely . . . some of surpassing wisdom, some of horrible malignity; some hostile as fiends to men, others gentle as messengers between earth and heaven. 1 Bulwer-Lytton, Zanoni.

    Such is the insufficient sketch of Elemental Beings void of Divine Spirit, given by one whom many with reason believed to know more than he was prepared to admit in the face of an incredulous public. We have underlined the few lines than which nothing can be more graphically descriptive. An Initiate, having a personal knowledge of these creatures, could do no better.

    We may pass now to the "Gods," or Daimons, of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, and from these to the Devas and Pitris of the still more ancient Hindū Āryans.

    Who or what were the Gods, or Daimonia, of the Greeks and Romans? The name has since then been monopolized and disfigured to their own use by the Christian Fathers. Ever following in the footsteps of old Pagan Philosophers on the well-trodden highway of their speculations, while, as ever, trying to pass these off as new tracks on virgin soil, and themselves as the first pioneers in a hitherto pathless forest of eternal truths--they repeated the Zoroastrian ruse: to make a clean sweep of all the Hindū Gods and Deities, Zoroaster had called them all Devs, and adopted the name as designating only evil powers. So did the Christian Fathers. They applied the sacred name of Daimonia--the divine Egos of man--to their devils, a fiction of diseased brains, and thus dishonoured the anthropomorphized symbols of the natural sciences of wise antiquity, and made them all loathesome in the sight of the ignorant and the unlearned.

    What the Gods and Daimonia, or Daimons, really were, we may learn from Socrates, Plato, Plutarch, and many other renowned Sages and Philosophers of pre-Christian, as well as post-Christian days. We will give some of their views.

    Xenocrates, who expounded many of the unwritten theories and teachings of his master, and who surpassed Plato in his definition of the doctrine of invisible magnitudes, taught that the Daimons are intermediate beings between the divine perfection and human sinfulness,2 Plutarch, De Isid., ch. xxv, p. 360.   and he divides them into classes, each subdivided into many others. But he states expressly that the individual or personal Soul is the leading guardian Daimon of every man, and that no Daimon has more power over us than our own. Thus the Daimonion of Socrates is the God or Divine Entity which inspired him all his life. It depends on man either to open or close his perceptions to the Divine voice.

    Heracleides, who adopted fully the Pythagorean and Platonic views of the human Soul, its nature and faculties, speaking of Spirits, calls them "Daimons with airy and vaporous bodies," and affirms that Souls inhabit the Milky Way before descending "into generation" or sublunary existence.

    Again, when the author of Epinomis locates between the highest and lowest Gods (embodied Souls) three classes of Daimons, and peoples the universe with invisible beings, he is more rational than either our modern Scientists, who make between the two extremes one vast hiatus of being, the playground of blind forces, or the Christian Theologians, who call every pagan God, a dęmon, or devil. Of these three classes the first two are invisible; their bodies are pure ether and fire (Planetary Spirits); the Daimons of the third class are clothed with vapoury bodies; they are usually invisible, but sometimes, making themselves concrete, become visible for a few seconds. These are the earthly spirits, or our astral souls.

    The fact is, that the word Daimon was given by the ancients, and especially by the Philosophers of the Alexandrian school, to all kinds of spirits, whether good or bad, human or otherwise, but the appellation was often synonymous with that of Gods or angels. For instance, the "Samothraces" was a designation of the Fane-gods; worshipped at Samothracia in the Mysteries. They are considered as identical with the Cabeiri, Dioscuri, and Corybantes. Their names were mystical--denoting Pluto, Ceres or Proserpina, Bacchus, and Ęsculapius or Hermes, and they were all referred to as Daimons.

    Apuleius, speaking in the same symbolical and veiled language, of the two Souls, the human and the divine, says:

    The human soul is a demon that our language may name genius. She is an immortal god, though in a certain sense she is born at the same time as the man in whom she is. Consequently, we may say that she dies in the same way that she is born.

    Eminent men were also called Gods by the ancients. Deified during life, even their "shells" were reverenced during a part of the Mysteries. Belief in Gods, in Larvę and Umbrę, was a universal belief then, as it is fast becoming--now. Even the greatest Philosophers, men who have passed to posterity as the hardest Materialists and Atheists--only because they rejected the grotesque idea of a personal extra-cosmic God--such as Epicurus, for instance, believed in Gods and invisible beings. Going far back into antiquity, out of the great body of Philosophers of the pre-Christian ages, we may mention Cicero, as one who can least be accused of superstition and credulity. Speaking of those whom he calls Gods and who are either human or atmospheric spirits, he says:

    We know that of all livings beings man is the best formed, and, as the gods belong to this number, they must have a human form. . . . I do not mean to say that the gods have body and blood in them; but I say that they seem as if they had bodies with blood in them. . . . Epicurus, for whom hidden things were as tangible as if he had touched them with his finger, teaches us that gods are not generally visible, but that they are intelligible; that they are not bodies having a certain solidity . . . but that we can recognize them by their passing images; that as there are atoms enough in the infinite space to produce such images, these are produced before us . . . and make us realize what are these happy, immortal beings.3 3 De Natura Deorum, lib. i. Cap. xviii.

    If, turning from Greece and Egypt to the cradle of universal civilization, India, we interrogate the Brāhmans and their most admirable Philosophies, we find them calling their Gods and their Daimonia by such a number and variety of appellations, that the thirty-three millions of these Deities would require a whole library to contain only their names and attributes. We will choose for the present time only two names out of the Pantheon. These groups are the most important as well as the least understood by the Orientalists--their true nature having been all along wrapped in obscurity by the unwillingness of the Brāhmans to divulge their philosophical secrets. We will speak of but the Devas and the Pitris.

    The former aerial beings are some of them superior, others inferior, to man. The term means literally the Shining Ones, the resplendent; and it covers spiritual beings of various degrees, including entities from previous planetary periods, who take active part in the formation of new solar systems and the training of infant humanities, as well as unprogressed Planetary Spirits, who will, at spiritualistic séances, simulate human deities and even characters on the stage of human history.

    As to the Deva Yonis, they are Elementals of a lower kind in comparison with the Kosmic "Gods," and are subjected to the will of even the sorcerer. To this class belong the gnomes, sylphs, fairies, djins, etc. They are the Soul of the elements, the capricious forces in Nature, acting under one immutable Law, inherent in these Centres of Force, with undeveloped consciousness and bodies of plastic mould, which can be shaped according to the conscious or unconscious will of the human being who puts himself en rapport with them. It is by attracting some of the beings of this class that our modern spiritualistic mediums invest the fading shells of deceased human beings with a kind of individual force. These beings have never been, but will, in myriads of ages hence, be evolved into men. They belong to the three lower kingdoms, and pertain to the Mysteries on account of their dangerous nature.

    We have found a very erroneous opinion gaining ground not only among Spiritualists--who see the spirits of their disembodied fellow creatures everywhere--but even among several Orientalists who ought to know better. It is generally believed by them that the Sanskrit term Pitris means the spirits of our direct ancestors; of disembodied people. Hence the argument of some Spiritualists that fakirs, and other Eastern wonder-workers, are mediums; that they themselves confess to being unable to produce anything without the help of the Pitris, of whom they are the obedient instruments. This is in more than one sense erroneous, the error being first started, we believe, by M. L. Jacolliot, in his Spiritisme dans le Monde, and Govinda Swami; or, as he spells it, "the fakir Kovindasami's" phenomena. The Pitris are not the ancestors of the present living men, but those of the human kind or primitive race; the spirits of human races which, on the great scale of descending evolution, preceded our races of men, and were physically, as well as spiritually, far superior to our modern pigmies. In Mānava-Dharma-Shāstra they are called the Lunar Ancestors. The Hindū--least of all the proud Brāhman--has no such great longing to return to this land of exile after he has shaken off his mortal coil, as has the average Spiritualist; nor has death for him any of the great terrors it has for the Christian. Thus, the most highly developed minds in India will always take care to declare, while in the act of leaving their tenements of clay, "Nachapunarāvarti," "I shall not come back," and by this very declaration is placed beyond the reach of any living man or medium. But, it may be asked, what then is meant by the Pitris? They are Devas, lunar and solar, closely connected with human evolution, for the Lunar Pitris are they who gave their Chhāyās as the models of the First Race in the Fourth Round, while the Solar Pitris endowed mankind with intellect. Not only so, but these Lunar Devas passed through all the kingdoms of the terrestrial Chain in the First Round, and during the Second and Third Rounds "lead and represent the human element." 4
 4 Let the student consult The Secret Doctrine on this matter, and he will there find full explanations.

    A brief examination of the part they play will prevent all future confusion in the student's mind between the Pitris and the Elementals. In the Rig Veda, Vishnu (or the pervading Fire, Ęther) is shown first striding through the seven regions of the World in three steps, being a manifestation of the Central Sun. Later on, he becomes a manifestation of our solar energy, and is connected with the septenary form and with the Gods, Agni, Indra and other solar deities. Therefore, while the "Sons of Fire," the primeval Seven of our System, emanate from the primordial Flame, the "Seven Builders" of our Planetary Chain are the "Mind-born Sons" of the latter, and--their instructors likewise. For, though in one sense they are all Gods and are all called Pitris (Pitara, Patres, Fathers), a great though very subtle distinction (quite Occult) is made which must be noticed. In the Rig Veda they are divided into two classes--the Pitris Agni-dagdha ("Fire-givers"), and the pitris Anagni-dagdha ("non-Fire-givers")5
5 In order to create a blind, or throw a veil upon the mystery of primordial evolution, the later Brāhmans, with a view also to serve orthodoxy, explained the two, by an invented fable; the first Pitris were "sons of God" and offended Brahmā by refusing to sacrifice to him, for which crime, the Creator cursed them to become fools, a curse they could escape only by accepting their own sons as instructors and addressing them as their Fathers--Pitris. This is the exoteric version.
i.e., as explained exoterically--Pitris who sacrificed to the Gods and those who refused to do so at the "fire-sacrifice." But the Esoteric and true meaning is the following. The first or primordial Pitris, the "Seven Sons of Fire" or of the Flame, are distinguished or divided into seven classes (like the Seven Sephiroth, and others, see Vāyu Purāna and Harivamsha, also Rig Veda); three of which classes are Arūpa, formless, "composed of intellectual not elementary substance," and four are corporeal. The first are pure Agni (fire) or Sapta-jiva ("seven lives," now become Sapta-jihva, seven-tongued, as Agni is represented with seven tongues and seven winds as the wheels of his car). As a formless, purely spiritual essence, in the first degree of evolution, they could not create that, the prototypical form of which was not in their minds, as this is the first requisite. They could only give birth to "mind-born" beings, their "Sons," the second class of Pitris (or Prajāpati, or Rishis, etc.), one degree more material; these, to the third--the last of the Arūpa class. It is only this last class that was enabled with the help of the Fourth principle of the Universal Soul (Aditi, Ākāsha) to produce beings that became objective and having a form.6
We find an echo of this in the Codex Nazaręus. Bahak-Zivo, the "father of Genii" (the seven) is ordered to construct creatures. But, as he is "ignorant of Orcus" and unacquainted with "the consuming fire which is wanting in light," he fails to do so and calls in Fetahil, a still purer spirit, to his aid, who fails still worse and sits in the mud (Ilus, Chaos, Matter) and wonders why the living fire is so changed. It is only when the "Spirit" (Soul) steps on the stage of creation (the feminine Anima Mundi of the Nazarenes and Gnostics) and awakens Karabtanos--the spirit of matter and concupiscence--who consents to help his mother, that the "Spiritus" conceives and bring forth "Seven Figures," and again "Seven" and once more "Seven" (the Seven Virtues, Seven Sins and Seven Worlds). Then Fetahil dips his hand in the Chaos and creates our planet. (See Isis Unveiled, vol. i. 298-300 et seq.)
    But when these came to existence, they were found to possess such a small proportion of the divine immortal Soul or Fire in them, that they were considered failures. "The third appealed to the second, the second to the first, and the Three had to become Four (the perfect square or cube representing the 'Circle Squared' or immersion of pure Spirit), before the first could be instructed" (Sansk. Comment.). Then only, could perfect Beings--intellectually and physically--be shaped. This, though more philosophical, is still an allegory. But its meaning is plain, however absurd may seem the explanation from a scientific standpoint. The Doctrine teaches the Presence of a Universal Life (or motion) within which all is, and nothing outside of it can be. This is pure Spirit. Its manifested aspect is cosmic primordial Matter coeval with, since it is, itself. Semi-spiritual in comparison to the first, this vehicle of the Spirit-Life is what Science calls Ether, which fills the boundless space, and it is in this substance, the world-stuff, that germinates all the atoms and molecules of what is called matter. However homogeneous in its eternal origin, this Universal Element, once that its radiations were thrown into the space of the (to be) manifested Universe, the centripetal and centrifugal forces of perpetual motion, of attraction and repulsion, would soon polarize its scattered particles, endowing them with peculiar properties now regarded by Science as various elements distinct from each other. As a homogeneous whole, the world-stuff in its primordial state is perfect; disintegrated, it loses its property of conditionless creative power; it has to associate with its contraries. Thus, the first worlds and Cosmic Beings, save the "Self-Existent"--a mystery no one could attempt to touch upon seriously, as it is a mystery perceived by the divine eye of the highest Initiates, but one that no human language could explain to the children of our age--the first worlds and Beings were failures; inasmuch as the former lacked that inherent creative force in them necessary for their further and independent evolution, and that the first orders of Beings lacked the immortal soul. Part and parcel of Anima Mundi in its Prākritic aspect, the Purusha element in them was too weak to allow of any consciousness in the intervals (entr' actes) between their existences during the evolutionary period and the cycle of Life. The three orders of Beings, the Pitri-Rishis, the Sons of Flame, had to merge and blend together their three higher principles with the Fourth (the Circle), and the Fifth (the microcosmic) principle before the necessary union could be obtained and result therefrom achieved. "There were old worlds, which perished as soon as they came into existence; were formless, as they were called sparks. These sparks are the primordial worlds which could not continue because the Sacred Aged had not as yet assumed the form"7 7 Idra Suta, Zohar, iii. 292b.
 (of perfect contraries not only in opposite sexes but of cosmical polarity). "Why were these primordial worlds destroyed? Because," answers the Zohar, "the man represented by the ten Sephiroth was not as yet. The human form contains everything {spirit, soul and body}, and as it did not as yet exist the worlds were destroyed."

    Far removed from the Pitris, then, it will readily be seen are all the various feats of Indian fakirs, jugglers and others, phenomena a hundred times more various and astounding than are ever seen in civilized Europe and America. The Pitris have naught to do with such public exhibitions, nor are the "spirits of the departed" concerned in them. We have but to consult the lists of the principal Daimons or Elemental Spirits to find that their very names indicate their professions, or, to express it clearly, the tricks for which each variety is best adapted. So we have the Mādan, a generic name indicating wicked elemental spirits, half brutes, half monsters, for Mādan signifies one that looks like a cow. He is the friend of the malicious sorcerers and helps them to effect their evil purposes of revenge by striking men and cattle with sudden illness and death.

    The Shudāla-Mādan, or graveyard fiend, answers to our ghouls. He delights where crime and murder were committed, near burial-spots and places of execution. He helps the juggler in all the fire phenomena as well as Kutti Shāttan, the little juggling imps. Shudāla, they say, is a half-fire, half-water demon, for he received from Shiva permission to assume any shape he chose, to transform one thing into another; and when he is not in fire, he is in water. It is he who blinds people "to see that which they do not see." Shūla Mādan is another mischievous spook. He is the furnace-demon, skilled in pottery and baking. If you keep friends with him, he will not injure you; but woe to him who incurs his wrath. Shūla likes compliments and flattery, and as he generally keeps underground it is to him that a juggler must look to help him raise a tree from a seed in a quarter of an hour and ripen its fruit.

    Kumil-Mādan, is the undine proper. He is an Elemental Spirit of the water, and his name means blowing like a bubble. He is a very merry imp, and will help a friend in anything relative to his department; he will shower rain and show the future and the present to those who will resort to hydromancy or divination by water.

    Poruthū Mādan is the "wrestling" demon; he is the strongest of all; and whenever there are feats shown in which physical force is required, such as levitations, or taming of wild animals, he will help the performer by keeping him above the soil, or will over-power a wild beast before the tamer has time to utter his incantation. So, every "physical manifestation" has its own class of Elemental Spirits to superintend it. Besides these there are in India the Pisāchas, Daimons of the races of the gnomes, the giants and the vampires; the Gandharvas, good Daimons, celestial seraphs, singers; and Asuras and Nāgas, the Titanic spirits and the dragon or serpent-headed spirits.

    These must not be confused with Elementaries, the souls and shells of departed human beings; and here again we have to distinguish between what has been called the astral soul, i.e., the lower part of the dual Fifth Principle, joined to the animal, and the true Ego. For the doctrine of the Initiates is that no astral soul, even that of a pure, good, and virtuous man, is immortal in the strictest sense, "from elements it was formed--to elements it must return." We may stop here and say no more: every learned Brāhman, every Chelā and thoughtful Theosophist will understand why. For he knows that while the soul of the wicked vanishes, and is absorbed without redemption, that of every other person, even moderately pure, simply changes its ethereal particles for still more ethereal ones; and, while there remains in it a spark of the Divine, the god-like man, or rather, his individual Ego, cannot die. Says Proclus:

    After death, the soul (the spirit) continueth to linger in the aėrial body (astral form), till it is entirely purified from all angry and voluptuous passions . . . then doth it put off by a second dying the aėrial body as it did the earthly one. Whereupon, the ancients say that there is a celestial body always joined with the soul, which is immortal, luminous, and star-like--while the purely human soul or the lower part of the Fifth Principle is not. The above explanations and the meaning and the real attributes and mission of the Pitris, may help to better understand this passage of Plutarch:

    And of these souls the moon is the element, because souls resolve into her, as the bodies of the deceased do into earth. Those, indeed, who have been virtuous and honest, living a quiet and philosophical life, without embroiling themselves in troublesome affairs, are quickly resolved; being left by the nous (understanding) and no longer using the corporeal passions, they incontinently vanish away.8
  8 Of late, some narrow-minded critics--unable to understand the high philosophy of the above doctrine, the Esoteric meaning of which reveals when solved the widest horizons in astro-physical as well as in psychological sciences--chuckled over and pooh-poohed the idea of the eighth sphere, that could discover to their minds, befogged with old and mouldy dogmas of an unscientific faith, nothing better than our "moon in the shape of a dust-bin to collect the sins of men!"

    The ancient Egyptians, who derived their knowledge from the Āryans of India, pushed their researches far into the kingdoms of the "elemental" and "elementary" beings. Modern archęologists have decided that the figures found depicted on the various papyri of The Book of the Dead, or other symbols relating to other subjects painted upon their mummy cases, the walls of their subterranean temples and sculptured on their buildings, are merely fanciful representations of their Gods on the one hand, and on the other, a proof of the worship by the Egyptians of cats, dogs, and all manner of creeping things. This modern idea is wholly wrong, and arises from ignorance of the astral world and its strange denizens.

    There are many distinct classes of "Elementaries" and "Elementals." The highest of the former in intelligence and cunning are the so-called "terrestrial spirits." Of these it must suffice to say, for the present, that they are the Larvę, or shadows of those who have lived on earth, alike of the good and of the bad. They are the lower principles of all disembodied beings, and may be divided into three general groups. The first are they who having refused all spiritual light, have died deeply immersed in the mire of matter, and from whose sinful Souls the immortal Spirit has gradually separated itself. These are, properly, the disembodied Souls of the depraved; these Souls having at some time prior to death separated themselves from their divine Spirits, and so lost their chance of immortality. Eliphas Levi and some other Kabalists make little, if any, distinction between Elementary Spirits who have been men, and those beings which people the elements, and are the blind forces of nature. Once divorced from their bodies, these Souls (also called "astral bodies"), especially those of purely materialistic persons, are irresistibly attracted to the earth, where they live a temporary and finite life amid elements congenial to their gross natures. From having never, during their natural lives, cultivated their spirituality, but subordinated it to the material and gross, they are now unfitted for the lofty career of the pure, disembodied being, for whom the atmosphere of earth is stifling and mephitic. Its attractions are not only away from earth, but it cannot, even if it would, owing to its Devachanic condition, have aught to do with earth and its denizens consciously. Exceptions to this rule will be pointed out later on. After a more or less prolonged period of time these material souls will begin to disintegrate, and finally, like a column of mist, be dissolved, atom by atom, in the surrounding elements.

    These are the "shells" which remain the longest period in the Kāma Loka; all saturated with terrestrial effluvia, their Kāma Rūpa (body of desire) thick with sensuality and made impenetrable to the spiritualizing influence of their higher principles, endures longer and fades out with difficulty. We are taught that these remain for centuries sometimes, before the final disintegration into their respective elements.

    The second group includes all those, who, having had their common share of spirituality, have yet been more or less attached to things earthly and terrestrial life, having their aspirations and affections more centred on earth than in heaven; the stay in Kāma Loka of the reliquię of this class or group of men, who belonged to the average human being, is of a far shorter duration, yet long in itself and proportionate to the intensity of their desire for life.

    Remains, as a third class, the disembodied souls of those whose bodies have perished by violence, and these are men in all save the physical body, till their life-span is complete.

    Among Elementaries are also reckoned by Kabalists what we have called psychic embryos, the "privation" of the form of the child that is to be. According to Aristotle's doctrine there are three principles of natural bodies: privation, matter, and form. These principles may be applied in this particular case. The "privation" of the child which is to be, we locate in the invisible mind of the Universal Soul, in which all types and forms exist from eternity--privation not being considered in the Aristotelic philosophy as a principle in the composition of bodies, but as an external property in their production; for the production is a change by which the matter passes from the shape it has not to that which it assumes. Though the privation of the unborn child's form, as well as of the future form of the unmade watch, is that which is neither substance nor extension nor quality as yet, nor any kind of existence, it is still something which is, though its outlines, in order to be, must acquire an objective form--the abstract must become concrete, in short. Thus, as soon as this privation of matter is transmitted by energy to universal Ęther, it becomes a material form, however sublimated. If modern Science teaches that human thought "affects the matter of another universe simultaneously with this," how can he who believes in a Universal Mind deny that the divine thought is equally transmitted, by the same law of energy, to our common mediator, the universal Ęther--the lower World-Soul? Very true, Occult Philosophy denies it intelligence and consciousness in relation to the finite and conditioned manifestations of this phenomenal world of matter. But the Vedāntin and Buddhist Philosophies alike, speaking of it as of Absolute Consciousness, show thereby that the form and progress of every atom of the conditioned universe must have existed in it throughout the infinite cycles of Eternity. And, if so, then it must follow that once there, the Divine Thought manifests itself objectively, energy faithfully reproducing the outlines of that whose "privation" is already in the divine mind. Only it must not be understood that this Thought creates matter, or even the privations. No; it develops from its latent outline but the design for the future form; the matter which serves to make this design having always been in existence, and having been prepared to form a human body, through a series of progressive transformations, as the result of evolution. Forms pass; ideas that created them and the material which gave them objectiveness, remain. These models, as yet devoid of immortal spirits, are "Elementals"--better yet, psychic embryos--which, when their time arrives, die out of the invisible world, and are born into this visible one as human infants, receiving in transitu that Divine Breath called Spirit which completes the perfect man. This class cannot communicate, either subjectively or objectively, with men.

    The essential difference between the body of such an embryo and an Elemental proper is that the embryo--the future man--contains in himself a portion of each of the four great kingdoms, to wit: fire, air, earth and water; while the Elemental has but a portion of one of such kingdoms. As for instance, the salamander, or the fire Elemental, which has but a portion of the primordial fire and none other. Man, being higher than they, the law of evolution finds its illustration of all four in him. It results therefore, that the Elementals of the fire are not found in water, nor those of air in the fire kingdom. And yet, inasmuch as a portion of water is found not only in man but also in other bodies, Elementals exist really in and among each other in every substance just as the spiritual world exists and is in the material. But the last are the Elementals in their most primordial and latent state.


    Another class are those elemental beings which will never evolve into human beings in the present Manvantara, but occupy, as it were, a specific step of the ladder of being, and, by comparison with the others, may properly be called nature-spirits, or cosmic agents of nature, each being confined to its own element and never transgressing the bounds of others. These are what Tertullian called the "princes of the powers of the air."

    In the teachings of Eastern Kabalists, and of the Western Rosicrucians and Alchemists, they are spoken of as the creatures evolved in and from the four kingdoms of earth, air, fire and water, and are respectively called gnomes, sylphs, salamanders and undines. Forces of nature, they will either operate effects as the servile agents of general law, or may be employed, as shown above, by the disembodied spirits--whether pure or impure--and by living adepts of magic and sorcery, to produce desired phenomenal results. Such beings never become men.9
9 Persons who believe in clairvoyant power, but are disposed to discredit the existing of any other spirits in nature than disembodied human spirits, will be interested in an account of certain clairvoyant observations which appeared in the London Spiritualist of June 29th, 1877. A thunderstorm approaching, the seeress 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 are the Maruts of the Vedas.

    The well-known lecturer, author, and clairvoyant, Mrs. Emma Hardinge Britten, has published accounts of her frequent experiences with these elemental spirits. If Spiritualists will accept her "spiritual" experience they can hardly reject her evidence in favour of the occult theories.

    Under the general designation of fairies, and fays, these spirits of the elements appear in the myths, fables, traditions, or poetry of all nations, ancient and modern. Their names are legion--peris, devs, djins, sylvans, satyrs, fauns, elves, dwarfs, trolls, norns, nisses, kobolds, brownies, necks, stromkarls, undines, nixies, goblins, ponkes, banshees, kelpies, pixies, moss people, good people, good neighbours, wild women, men of peace, white ladies--and many more. They have been seen, feared, blessed, banned, and invoked in every quarter of the globe and in every age. Shall we then concede that all who have met them were hallucinated?

    These Elementals are the principal agents of disembodied but never visible "shells" taken for spirits at séances, and are, as shown above, the producers of all the phenomena except the subjective.

    In the course of this article we will adopt the term "Elemental" to designate only these nature-spirits, attaching it to no other spirit or monad that has been embodied in human form. Elementals, as said already, have no form, and in trying to describe what they are, it is better to say that they are "centres of force" having instinctive desires, but no consciousness, as we understand it. Hence their acts may be good or bad indifferently.

    This class is believed to possess but one of the three chief attributes of man. They have neither immortal spirits nor tangible bodies; only astral forms, which partake, to a distinguishing degree, of the element to which they belong and also of the ether. They are a combination of sublimated matter and a rudimental mind. Some remain throughout several cycles changeless, but still have no separate individuality, acting collectively, so to say. Others, of certain elements and species, change form under a fixed law which Kabalists explain. The most solid of their bodies is ordinarily just immaterial enough to escape perception by our physical eyesight, but not so unsubstantial but that they can be perfectly recognized by the inner or clairvoyant vision. They not only exist and can all live in ether, but can handle and direct it for the production of physical effects, as readily as we can compress air or water for the same purpose by pneumatic and hydraulic apparatus; in which occupation they are readily helped by the "human elementaries," or the "shells." More than this; they can so condense it as to make for themselves tangible bodies, which by their Protean powers they can cause to assume such likeness as they choose, by taking as their models the portraits they find stamped in the memory of the persons present. It is not necessary that the sitter should be thinking at the moment of the one represented. His image may have faded many years before. The mind receives indelible impression even from chance acquaintances or persons encountered but once. As a few seconds' exposure of the sensitized photograph plate is all that is requisite to preserve indefinitely the image of the sitter, so is it with the mind.

    According to the doctrine of Proclus, the uppermost regions from the Zenith of the Universe to the Moon belonged to the Gods or Planetary Spirits, according to their hierarchies and classes. The highest among them were the twelve Huper-ouranioi, or Super-celestial Gods, with whole legions of subordinate Daimons at their command. They are followed next in rank and power by the Egkosmioi, the Inter-cosmic Gods, each of these presiding over a great number of Daimons, to whom they impart their power and change it from one to another at will. These are evidently the personified forces of nature in their mutual correlation, the latter being represented by the third class, or the Elementals we have just described.

    Further on he shows, on the principle of the Hermetic axiom--of types, and prototypes--that the lower spheres have their subdivisions and classes of beings as well as the upper celestial ones, the former being always subordinate to the higher ones. He held that the four elements are all filled with Daimons, maintaining with Aristotle that the universe is full, and that there is no void in nature. The Daimons of the earth, air, fire, and water are of an elastic, ethereal, semi-corporeal essence. It is these classes which officiate as intermediate agents between the Gods and men. Although lower in intelligence than the sixth order of the higher Daimons, these beings preside directly over the elements and organic life. They direct the growth, the inflorescence, the properties, and various changes of plants. They are the personified ideas or virtues shed from the heavenly Hylź into the inorganic matter; and, as the vegetable kingdom is one remove higher than the mineral, these emanations from the celestial Gods take form and being in the plant, they become its soul. It is that which Aristotle's doctrine terms the form in the three principles of natural bodies, classified by him as privation, matter, and form. His philosophy teaches that besides the original matter, another principle is necessary to complete the triune nature of every particle, and this is form; an invisible, but still, in an ontological sense of the word, a substantial being, really distinct from matter proper. Thus, in an animal or a plant--besides the bones, the flesh, the nerves, the brains, and the blood, in the former; and besides the pulpy matter, tissues, fibres, and juice in the latter, which blood and juice, by circulating' through the veins and fibres, nourishes all parts of both animal and plant; and besides the animal spirits, which are the principles of motion, and the chemical energy which is transformed into vital force in the green leaf--there must be a substantial form, which Aristotle called in the horse, the horse's soul; Proclus, the daimon of every mineral, plant, or animal, and the medięval philosophers, the elementary spirits of the four kingdoms.

    All this is held in our century as "poetical metaphysics" and gross superstition. Still on strictly ontological principles, there is, in these old hypotheses, some shadow of probability, some clue to the perplexing missing links of exact science. The latter has become so dogmatic of late, that all that lies beyond the ken of inductive science is termed imaginary; and we find Professor Joseph Le Conte stating that some of the best scientists "ridicule the use of the term 'vital force,' or vitality, as a remnant of superstition.''10
Correlation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces, by J. Le Conte.
     De Candolle suggests the term "vital movement," instead of vital force;11  11 Archives des Sciences, xiv. 345, December, 1872.
 thus preparing for a final scientific leap which will transform the immortal, thinking man, into an automaton with clock-work inside him. "But," objects Le Conte, "can we conceive of movement without force? And if the movement is peculiar, so also is the form of force."

    In the Jewish Kabalah, the nature-spirits were known under the general name of Shedim, and divided into four classes. The Hindūs call them Bhūtas and Devas, and the Persians called them all Devs; the Greeks indistinctly designated them as Daimons; the Egyptians knew them as Afrites. The ancient Mexicans, says Kaiser, believed in numerous spirit-abodes, into one of which the shades of innocent children were placed until final disposal; into another, situated in the sun, ascended the valiant souls of heroes; while the hideous spectres of incorrigible sinner were sentenced to wander and despair in subterranean caves, held in the bonds of the earth-atmosphere, unwilling and unable to liberate themselves. This proves pretty clearly that the "ancient" Mexicans knew something of the doctrines of Kāma Loka. These passed their time in communicating with mortals, and frightening those who could see them. Some of the African tribes know them as Yowahoos. In the Indian Pantheon, as we have often remarked, there are no less than 330,000,000 of various kinds of spirits, including Elementals, some of which were termed by the Brāhmans, Daityas. These beings are known by the adepts to be attracted toward certain quarters of the heavens by something of the same mysterious property which makes the magnetic needle turn toward the north, and certain plants to obey the same attraction If we will only bear in mind the fact that the rushing of planets through space must create as absolute a disturbance in the plastic and attenuated medium of the ether, as the passage of a cannon shot does in the air, or that of a steamer in the water, and on a cosmic scale, we can understand that certain planetary aspects, admitting our premises to be true, may produce much more violent agitation and cause much stronger currents to flow in a given direction than others. We can also see why, by such various aspects of the stars, shoals of friendly or hostile Elementals might be poured in upon our atmosphere, or some particular portion of it, and make the fact appreciable by the effects which ensue. If our royal astronomers are able, at times, to predict cataclysms, such as earthquakes and inundations, the Indian astrologers and mathematicians can do so, and have so done, with far more precision and correctness, though they act on lines which to the modern sceptic appear ridiculously absurd. The various races of spirits are also believed to have a special sympathy with certain human temperaments, and to more readily exert power over such than others. Thus, a bilious, lymphatic, nervous, or sanguine person would be affected favourably or otherwise by conditions of the astral light, resulting from the different aspects of the planetary bodies. Having reached this general principle, after recorded observations extending over an indefinite series of years, or ages, the adept astrologer would require only to know what the planetary aspects were at a given anterior date, and to apply his knowledge of the succeeding changes in the heavenly bodies, to be able to trace, with approximate accuracy, the varying fortunes of the personage whose horoscope was required, and even to predict the future. The accuracy of the horoscope would depend, of course, no less upon the astrologer's astronomical erudition than upon his knowledge of the occult forces and races of nature.

    Pythagoras taught that the entire universe is one vast series of mathematically correct combinations. Plato shows the Deity geometrizing. The world is sustained by the same law of equilibrium and harmony upon which it was built. The centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres; all forms are the product of this dual force in nature. Thus, to illustrate our case, we may designate the spirit as the centrifugal, and the soul as the centripetal, spiritual energies. When in perfect harmony, both forces produce one result; break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the center which attracts it; arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, and the harmony of the whole, which was its life, is destroyed. Individual life can only be continued if sustained by this two-fold force. The least deviation from harmony damages it; when it is destroyed beyond redemption, the forces separate and the form is gradually annihilated. After the death of the depraved and the wicked, arrives the critical moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner self to reunite itself with the faintly-glimmering ray of its divine monad is neglected; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions, and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere of the Kāma Loka. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in what the ancients termed Hades, and we--Avichī. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps; for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul of the personality being formed of elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation, the Yin-youan of the Buddhist initiates.

    This class of spirits are called the "terrestrial," or "earthly elementaries," in contradistinction to the other classes, as we have shown in the beginning. But there is another and still more dangerous class. In the East, they are known as the "Brothers of the Shadow," living men possessed by the earth-bound elementaries; at times--their masters, but ever in the long run falling victims to these terrible beings. In Sikkhim and Tibet they are called Dugpas (red-caps), in contradistinction to the Geluk-pas (yellow-caps), to which latter most of the adepts belong. And here we must beg the reader not to misunderstand us. For though the whole of Būtan and Sikkhim belongs to the old religion of the Bhons, now known generally as the Dug-pas, we do not mean to have it understood that the whole of the population is possessed, en masse, or that they are all sorcerers. Among them are found as good men as anywhere else, and we speak above only of the élite of their Lamaseries, of a nucleus of priests, "devil-dancers," and fetish worshippers, whose dreadful and mysterious rites are utterly unknown to the greater part of the population. Thus there are two classes of these terrible "Brothers of the Shadow"--the living and the dead. Both cunning, low, vindictive, and seeking to retaliate their sufferings upon humanity, they become, until final annihilation, vampires, ghouls, and prominent actors at séances. These are the leading "stars," on the great spiritual stage of "materialization," which phenomenon they perform with the help of the more intelligent of the genuine-born "elemental" creatures, which hover around and welcome them with delight in their own spheres. Henry Kunrath, the great German Kabalist, in his rare work, Amphitheatrum Sapientę Ęternę has a plate with representations of the four classes of these human "elementary spirits." Once past the threshold of the sanctuary of initiation, once that an adept has lifted the "Veil of Isis," the mysterious and jealous Goddess, he has nothing to fear; but till then he is in constant danger.

    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 Bhūtan 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
Mr. Cromwell F. Varley, the well-known electrician of the Atlantic Cable Company, communicates the result of his observations, in the course of a debate at the Psychological Society of Great Britain, which is reported in the Spiritualist (London, April 14th, 1876, pp. l74, 175).

    He thought that the effect of free nitric acid in the atmosphere was able to drive away what he calls "unpleasant spirits." He thought that those who were troubled by unpleasant spirits at home, would find relief by pouring one ounce of vitriol upon two ounces of finely-powdered nitre in a saucer and putting the mixture under the bed. Here is a scientist, whose reputation extends over two continents, who gives a recipe to drive away bad spirits! And yet the general public mocks at as a "superstition" the herbs and incenses employed by Hindus, Chinese, Africans, and other races to accomplish the self-same purpose,  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 Larvę, degraded human spirits, that the ancient Kabalists entertained a hope of reļncarnation. 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
13 "Of Sacrifices to Gods and Daimons," chap. ii.

    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.14  14 Odyssey, vii.

    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 spirits.

    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 will not dare commit. One day they will employ brute force; another, cunning.15   15 Porphyry, "Of Sacrifices to Gods and Daimons," chap. ii.

    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 16 Ibid.

    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  17 Iamblichus, De Mysteriis Egyptorum.

    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  18 Ibid., "On the Difference between the Daimons, the Souls," etc.

    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 evil. 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
We give the spelling and words of this Kabalist, who lived and published his works in the seventeenth century. Generally he is considered as one of the most famous alchemists among the Hermetic philosophers.
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
20 The most positive of materialistic philosophers agree that all that exists was evolved from ether; hence, air, water, earth, and fire, the four primordial elements must also proceed from ether and chaos the first duad; all the imponderables, whether now known or unknown, proceed from the same source. Now, if there is a spiritual essence in matter, and that essence forces it to shape itself into millions of individual forms, why is it illogical to assert that each of these spiritual kingdoms in nature is peopled with beings evolved out of its own material? Chemistry teaches us that in man's body there are air, water, earth, and heat, or fire--air is present in its components; water in the secretions; earth in the inorganic constituents; and fire in the animal heat. The Kabalist knows by experience that an elemental spirit contains only one of these, and that each one of the four kingdoms has its own peculiar elemental spirits; man being higher than they, the law of evolution finds its illustration in the combination of all four in him.

    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 aėrial 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 Hindūs who had personified their Ākāsha, and made of it a deific entity, the Greeks and Latins had deified Ęther. Virgil calls Zeus, Pater Omnipotens Ęther,21  21 Virgil, Georgica. book ii.

    Magnus, the Great God, Ether.

    These beings, the elemental spirits of the Kabalists,22
Porphyry and other philosophers explain the nature of the dwellers They are mischievous and deceitful, though some of them are perfectly gentle and harmless, but so weak as to have the greatest difficulty in communicating with mortals whose company they seek incessantly. The former are not wicked through intelligent malice. The law of spiritual evolution not having yet developed their instinct into intelligence, whose highest light belongs but to immortal spirits, their powers of reasoning are in a latent state, and, therefore, they themselves, irresponsible.

    But the Latin Church contradicts the Kabalists. St. Augustine has even a discussion on that account with Porphyry, the Neoplatonist. "These spirits," he says, "are deceitful, not by their nature, as Porphyry, the theurgist, will have it, but through malice. They pass themselves off for gods and for the souls of the defunct" (Civit. Det, x. 2). So far Porphyry agrees with him; "but they do not claim to be demons [read devils], for they are such in reality!"--adds the Bishop of Hippo. So far, so good, and he is right there, But then, under what class should we place the men without heads, whom Augustine wishes us to believe he saw himself; or the satyrs of St. Jerome, which he asserts were exhibited for a considerable length of time at Alexandria? They were, he tells us, "men with the legs and tails of goats"; and, if we may believe him, one of these satyrs was actually pickled and sent in a cask to the Emperor Constantine!!!

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 necessary. 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 nature. 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 hydrometer.

    Görres, describing a conversation he had with some Hindūs 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 bhūts [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    23 Görres, Mystique, iii; 63.

    Porphyry presents to us some hideous facts whose verity is substantiated in the experience of every student of magic. He writes:
The ancients called the spirits of bad people "souls"; the soul was the "larva" and "lemure." Good human spirits became "gods."
 having even after death a certain affection for its body, art 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
24  The soul.
Porphyry, De Sacrificiis. Chapter on the true Cultus.

    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
26 Chap. lxxx. vv. 19, 20. "And when the Egyptians hid themselves on account of the swarm [one of the plagues alleged to have been brought on by Moses] . . . they locked their doors after them, and God ordered the Sulanuth . . . [a sea-monster, naively explains the translator, in a foot-note] which was then in the sea, to come up and go into Egypt . . . and she had long arms, ten cubits in length . . . and she went upon the roofs and uncovered the rafting and cut them . . . and stretched forth her arm into the house and removed the lock and the bolt and opened the houses of Egypt . . . and the swarm of animals destroyed the Egyptians, and it grieved them exceedingly."

    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  27 Strom., vi. 17, § 159.   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  28 Ibid., vi. 3, §30.  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 materialized. 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 medięval 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 Kāma Rūpa--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 Āvīchi, 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.

    This specialization has been in all ages the stumbling-block of metaphysicians. The whole esotericism of the Buddhistic philosophy is based on this mysterious teaching, understood by so few persons, and so totally misrepresented by many of the most learned scholars. Even metaphysicians are too inclined to confound the effect with the cause. A person may have won his immortal life, and remain the same inner self he was on earth, throughout eternity; but this does not imply necessarily that he must either remain the Mr. Smith or Brown he was on earth, or lose his individuality. Therefore, the astral soul, i.e., the personality, like the terrestrial body and the lower portion of the human soul of man, may, in the dark hereafter, be absorbed into the cosmical ocean of sublimated elements, and cease to feel its personal individuality, if it did not deserve to soar higher, and the divine spirit, or spiritual individuality, still remain an unchanged entity, though this terrestrial experience of his emanations may be totally obliterated at the instant of separation from the unworthy vehicle.

    If the "spirit," or the divine portion of the soul, is preėxistent as a distinct being from all eternity, as Origen, Synesius, and other Christian fathers and philosophers taught, and if it is the same, and nothing more than the metaphysically-objective soul, how can it be otherwise than eternal? And what matters it in such a case, whether man leads an animal or a pure life, if, do what he may, he can never lose his personality? This doctrine is as pernicious in its consequences as that of vicarious atonement. Had the latter dogma, in company with the false idea that we are all personally immortal, been demonstrated to the world in its true light, humanity would have been bettered by its propagation. Crime and sin would be avoided, not for fear of earthly punishment, or of a ridiculous hell, but for the sake of that which lies the most deeply rooted in our nature--the desire of a personal and distinct life in the hereafter, the positive assurance that we cannot win it unless we "take the kingdom of heaven by violence," and the conviction that neither human prayers nor the blood of another man will save us from personal destruction after death, unless we firmly link ourselves during our terrestrial life with our own immortal spirit--our only personal God.

    Pythagoras, Plato, Timęus of Locris, and the whole Alexandrian School derived the soul from the universal World-Soul; and a portion of the latter was, according to their own teachings--ether; something of such a fine nature as to be perceived only by our inner sight. Therefore, it cannot be the essence of the Monas, or Cause,29 --
As says Krishna--who is at the same time Purusha and Prakriti in its totality, and the seventh principle, the divine spirit in man--in the Bhagavad Gita: "I am the Cause. I am the production and dissolution of the whole of Nature. On me is all the Universe suspended as pearls upon a string." (Ch. vii.) "Even though myself unborn, of changeless essence, and the Lord of all existence, yet in presiding over Nature (Prakriti) which is mine, I am born but through my own Māyā [the mystic power of Self-ideation, the Eternal Thought in the Eternal Mind]." (Ch. iv.) -- because the Anima Mundi is but the effect, the objective emanation of the former. Both the divine spiritual soul and the human soul are preėxistent. But, while the former exists as a distinct entity, an individualization, the soul (the vehicle of the former) exists only as preėxisting matter, an unscient portion of an intelligent whole. Both were originally formed from the Eternal Ocean of Light; but as the Theosophists expressed it, there is a visible as well as invisible spirit in fire. They made a difference between the Anima Bruta and the Anima Divina. Empedocles firmly believed all men and animals to possess two souls; and in Aristotle we find that he calls one the reasoning soul, Nous, and the other, the animal soul, Psuche. According to these philosophers, the reasoning soul comes from without the Universal Soul (i.e., from a source higher than the Universal Soul--in its cosmic sense; it is the Universal Spirit, the seventh principle of the Universe in its totality), and the other from within. This divine and superior region, in which they located the invisible and supreme deity, was considered by them (by Aristotle himself, who was not an initiate) as a fifth element--whereas it is the seventh in the Esoteric Philosophy, or Mūlaprakriti--purely spiritual and divine, whereas the Anima Mundi proper was considered as composed of a fine, igneous, and ethereal nature spread throughout the Universe, in short--Ether.30
 30 Ether is the Ākāsha of the Hindus. Ākāsha is Prakriti, or the totality of the manifested Universe, while Purusha is the Universal Spirit, higher than the Universal Soul.
The Stoics, the greatest materialists of ancient days, excepted the Divine Principle and Divine Soul from any such a corporeal nature. Their modern commentators and admirers, greedily seizing the opportunity, built on this ground the supposition that the Stoics believed in neither God nor soul, the essence of matter. Most certainly Epicurus did not believe in God or soul as understood by either ancient or modern theists. But Epicurus, whose doctrine (militating directly against the agency of a Supreme Being and Gods, in the formation or government of the world) placed him far above the Stoics in atheism and materialism, nevertheless taught that the soul is of a fine, tender essence formed from the smoothest, roundest, and finest atoms--which description still brings us to the same sublimated ether. He further believed in the Gods. Arnobius, Tertullian, Irenęus, and Origen, notwithstanding their Christianity, believed, with the more modern Spinoza and Hobbes, that the soul was corporeal, though of a very fine nature--an anthropomorphic and personal something, i.e., corporeal, finite and conditioned. Can it under such conditions become immortal? Can the mutable become the immutable?

    This doctrine of the possibility of losing one's soul and, hence, individuality, militates with the ideal theories and progressive ideas of some spiritualists, though Swedenborg fully adopts it. They will never accept the kabalistic doctrine which teaches that it is only through observing the law of harmony that individual life hereafter can be obtained; and that the farther the inner and outer man deviate from this fount of harmony, whose source lies in our divine spirit, the more difficult it is to regain the ground.

    But while the spiritualists and other adherents of Christianity have little, if any, perception of this fact of the possible death and obliteration of the human personality by the separation of the immortal part from the perishable, some Swedenborgians--those, at least, who follow the spirit of a philosophy, not merely the dead letter of a teaching--fully comprehend it. One of the most respected ministers of the New Church, the Rev. Chauncey Giles, D.D., of New York, recently elucidated the subject in a public discourse as follows. Physical death, or the death of the body, was a provision of the divine economy for the benefit of man, a provision by means of which he attained the higher ends of his being. But there is another death which is the interruption of the divine order and the destruction of every human element in man's nature, and every possibility of human happiness. This is the spiritual death which takes place before the dissolution of the body. "There may be a vast development of man's natural mind without that development being accompanied by a particle of the divine love, or of unselfish love of man." When one falls into a love of self and love of the world, with its pleasures, losing the divine love of God and of the neighbour, he falls from life to death. The higher principles which constitute the essential elements of his humanity perish, and he lives only on the natural plane of his faculties. Physically he exists, spiritually he is dead. To all that pertains to the higher and the only enduring phase of existence he is as much dead as his body becomes dead to all the activities, delights, and sensations of the world when the spirit has left it. This spiritual death results from disobedience of the laws of spiritual life, which is followed by the same penalty as the disobedience of the laws of the natural life. But the spiritually dead have still their delights; they have their intellectual endowments, and power, and intense activities. All the animal delights are theirs, and to multitudes of men and women these constitute the highest ideal of human happiness. The tireless pursuit of riches, of the amusements and entertainments of social life; the cultivation of graces of manner, of taste in dress, of social preferment, of scientific distinction, intoxicate and enrapture these dead-alive; but, the eloquent preacher remarks, "these creatures, with all their graces, rich attire, and brilliant accomplishments, are dead in the eye of the Lord and the angels, and when measured by the only true and immutable standard have no more genuine life than skeletons whose flesh has turned to dust."

    Although we do not believe in "the Lord and the angels"--not, at any rate, in the sense given to these terms by Swedenborg and his followers, we nevertheless admire these feelings and fully agree with the reverend gentleman's opinions.

    A high development of the intellectual faculties does not imply spiritual and true life. The presence in one of a highly developed human, intellectual soul (the fifth principle, or Manas), is quite compatible with the absence of Buddhi, or the spiritual soul. Unless the former evolves from and develops under the beneficent and vivifying rays of the latter, it will remain for ever but a direct progeny of the terrestrial, lower principles, sterile in spiritual perceptions; a magnificent, luxurious sepulchre, full of the dry bones of decaying matter within. Many of our greatest scientists are but animate corpses--they have no spiritual sight because their spirits have left them, or, rather, cannot reach them. So we might go through all ages, examine all occupations, weigh all human attainments, and investigate all forms of society, and we would find these spiritually dead everywhere.

    Although Aristotle himself, anticipating the modern physiologists, regarded the human mind as a material substance, and ridiculed the hylozoļsts, nevertheless he fully believed in the existence of a "double" soul, or soul plus spirit, as one can see in his De Generat. et Corrupt. (Lib. ii.). He laughed at Strabo for believing that any particles of matter, per se, could have life and intellect in themselves sufficient to fashion by degrees such a multiform world as ours.31 31 De Part., i. 1.

Aristotle is indebted for the sublime morality of his Nichomachean Ethics to a thorough study of the Pythagorean Ethical Fragments; for the latter can be easily shown to have been the source at which he gathered his ideas, though he might not have sworn "by him who the Tetraktys found."32  32 A Pythagorean oath. The Pythagoreans swore by their Master.
 But indeed our men of science know nothing certain about Aristotle. His philosophy is so abtruse that he constantly leaves his reader to supply by the imagination the missing links of his logical deductions. Moreover, we know that before his works ever reached our scholars, who delight in his seemingly atheistical arguments in support of his doctrine of fate, they passed through too many hands to have remained immaculate. From Theophrastus, his legator, they passed to Neleus, whose heirs kept them mouldering in subterranean caves for nearly 150 years; after which, we learn that his manuscripts were copied and much augmented by Appelicon of Theos, who supplied such paragraphs as had become illegible, by conjectures of his own, probably many of these drawn from the depths of his inner consciousness. Our scholars of the nineteenth as anxious to imitate him practically as they are to throw his inductive method and materialistic theories at the heads of the Platonists. We invite them to collect facts as carefully as he did, instead of denying those they know nothing about.

    What we have said here and elsewhere of the variety of "spirits" and other invisible beings evolved in the astral light, and what we now mean to say of mediums and the tendency of their mediumship, is not based upon conjecture, but upon actual experience and observation. There is scarcely one phase of mediumship, of either kind, that we have not seen exemplified during the past thirty-five years, in various countries. India, Tibet, Borneo, Siam, Egypt, Asia Minor, America (North and South), and other parts of the world, have each displayed to us its peculiar phase of mediumistic phenomena and magical power. Our varied experience has fully corroborated the teachings of our Masters and of The Secret Doctrine, and has taught us two important truths, viz., that for the exercise of "mediumship" personal purity and the exercise of a trained and indomitable will-power are indispensable; and that spiritualists can never assure themselves of the genuineness of mediumistic manifestations unless they occur in the light and under such reasonable test conditions as would make an attempted fraud instantly noticed.

    For fear of being misunderstood, we would remark that while, as a rule, physical phenomena are produced by the nature-spirits, of their own motion and under the impulse of the elementaries, still genuine disembodied human spirits, may, under exceptional circumstances--such as the aspiration of a pure, loving heart, or under the influence of some intense thought or unsatisfied desire, at the moment of death--manifest their presence, either in dream, or vision, or even bring about their objective appearance--if very soon after physical death. Direct writing may be produced in the genuine handwriting of the "spirit," the medium being influenced by a process unknown as much to himself as to the modern spiritualists, we fear. But what we maintain and shall maintain to the last is, that no genuine human spirit can materialize, i.e., clothe his monad with an objective form. Even for the rest it must be a mighty attraction indeed to draw a pure, disembodied spirit from its radiant, Devachanic state--its home--into the foul atmosphere from which it escaped upon leaving its earthly body.

    When the possible nature of the manifesting intelligences, which science believes to be a "psychic force," and spiritualists the identical "spirits of the dead," is better known, then will academicians and believers turn to the old philosophers for information. They may in their indomitable pride, that becomes so often stubbornness and arrogance, do as Dr. Charcot, of the Salpźtričre of Paris, has done: deny for years the existence of Mesmerism and its phenomena, to accept and finally preach it in public lectures--only under the assumed name, Hypnotism.

    We have found in spiritualistic journals many instances where apparitions of departed pet dogs and other animals have been seen. Therefore, upon spiritualistic testimony, we must think that such animal "spirits" do appear although we reserve the right of concurring with the ancients that the forms are but tricks of the elementals. Notwithstanding every proof and probability the spiritualists will, nevertheless, maintain that it is the "spirits" of the departed human beings that are at work even in the "materialization" of animals. We will now examine with their permission the pro and con of the mooted question. Let us for a moment imagine an intelligent orang-outang or some African anthropoid ape disembodied, i.e., deprived of its physical and in possession of an astral, if not an immortal body. Once open the door of communication between the terrestrial and the spiritual world, what prevents the ape from producing physical phenomena such as he sees human spirits produce? And why may not these excel in cleverness and ingenuity many of those which have been witnessed in spiritualistic circles? Let spiritualists answer. The orang-outang of Borneo is little, if any, inferior to the savage man in intelligence. Mr. Wallace and other great naturalists give instances of its wonderful acuteness, although its brains are inferior in cubic capacity to the most undeveloped of savages. These apes lack but speech to be men of low grade. The sentinels placed by monkeys; the sleeping chambers selected and built by orang-outangs; their prevision of danger and calculations, which show more than instinct; their choice of leaders whom they obey; and the exercise of many of their faculties, certainly entitle them to a place at least on a level with many a flat-headed Australian. Says Mr. Wallace, "The mental requirements of savages, and the faculties actually exercised by them, are very little above those of the animals."

    Now, people assume that there can be no apes in the other world, because apes have no "souls." But apes have as much intelligence, it appears, as some men; why, then, should these men, in no way superior to the apes, have immortal spirits, and the apes none? The materialists will answer that neither the one nor the other has a spirit, but that annihilation overtakes each at physical death. But the spiritual philosophers of all times have agreed that man occupies a step one degree higher than the animal, and is possessed of that something which it lacks, be he the most untutored of savages or the wisest of philosophers. The ancients, as we have seen, taught that while man is a septenary trinity of body, astral spirit, and immortal soul, the animal is but a duality--i.e., having but five instead of seven principles in him, a being having a physical body with its astral body and life-principle, and its animal soul and vehicle animating it. Scientists can distinguish no difference in the elements composing the bodies of men and brutes; and the Kabalists agree with them so far as to say that the astral bodies (or, as the physicists would call it, the "life-principle") of animals and men are identical in essence. Physical man is but the highest development of animal life. If, as the scientists tell us, even thought is matter, and every sensation of pain or pleasure, every transient desire is accompanied by a disturbance of ether; and those bold speculators, the authors of the Unseen Universe believe that thought is conceived "to affect the matter of another universe simultaneously with this"; why, then, should not the gross, brutish thought of an orang-outang, or a dog, impressing itself on the ethereal waves of the astral light, as well as that of man, assure the animal a continuity of life after death, or a "future state"?

    The Kabalists held, and now hold, that it is unphilosophical to admit that the astral body of man can survive corporeal death, and at the same time assert that the astral body of the ape is resolved into independent molecules. That which survives as an individuality after the death of the body is the astral soul, which Plato, in the Timęus and Gorgias, calls the mortal soul, for, according to the Hermetic doctrine, it throws off its more material particles at every progressive change into a higher sphere.

    Let us advance another step in our argument. If there is such a thing as existence in the spiritual world after corporeal death, then it must occur in accordance with the law of evolution. It takes man from his place at the apex of the pyramid of matter, and lifts him into a sphere of existence where the same inexorable law follows him. And if it follows him, why not everything else in nature? Why not animals and plants, which have all a life-principle, and whose gross forms decay like his, when that life-principle leaves them? If his astral body becomes more ethereal upon attaining the other sphere, why not theirs? *
    * The article here comes to an abrupt termination--whether it was ever finished or whether some of the MS. was lost, it is impossible to say.--EDS. [Lucifer].


Lucifer, August, 1893




    The universe is worked and guided from within outwards. As above so it is below, as in heaven so on earth; and man -- the microcosm and miniature copy of the macrocosm -- is the living witness to this Universal Law and to the mode of its action. We see that every external motion, act, gesture, whether voluntary or mechanical, organic or mental, is produced and preceded by internal feeling or emotion, will or volition, and thought or mind. . . . The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who -- whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels -- are 'messengers' in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws. They vary infinitely in their respective degrees of consciousness and intelligence. . . . Man . . . being a compound of the essences of all those celestial Hierarchies may succeed in making himself, as such, superior, in one sense, to any hierarchy or class, or even combination of them.

The Secret Doctrine i, 274-276


    The metaphysical basis of the doctrine of elementals is essential to understanding the relationship of man to the world. Both Man and Nature are composed of a complex congeries of elemental entities endowed with character and perceptible form by continuous streams of ideation originating in Universal Mind. Virtually everything perceived by man, virtually every faculty of action, is such an aggregate of elementals. All the various modes and modulations of active and passive intelligence in man exist and subsist within these fields of elementals, and no aspect of human life is comprehensible without some grasp of elemental existence. Sensation, for example, which is ordinarily thought of in a purely external way, has another side to it when seen from the standpoint of the immortal soul, and this involves the intimate presence of hosts of elementals composing the very organs of sensation and mind.

The entire quest for enlightenment and self-conscious immortality cannot be understood without careful examination of the relationship of human beings to elementals. It is necessary to know where elementals reside and how their inherent modes of activity relate to the different principles in man. Sometimes people who speculate about the hidden side of Nature and human life, either inspired by folklore or a dabbling in the occult, develop a fascination with elementals and inadequately theorize about them. Usually they do not see any significance to elementals beyond their connection with the prana principle; this, however, is grossly inadequate and unhelpful, if not downright dangerous, particularly when coupled with lower yogic practices or mediumistic tendencies.

An authentic approach to the doctrine of elementals must be motivated by a desire to regenerate oneself on behalf of all. Both wisdom and compassion are needed if one would master the ways in which a human being may work upon elementals and also be acted upon by them. In practice, this is an extremely intimate and detailed enquiry involving all the most basic activities of daily life. The real nature of home and possessions, of eating and sleeping, and of every other aspect of life is bound up with elementals. Naturally, this includes questions of physical and psychological disease and health, with all the fads and fancies, popular and private, that accompany them. Problems of drugs and depression, along with the other ailments of the age for which there are no available remedies, are bound up with the interactions of the human and elemental worlds. No amount of mechanistic manipulation by doctors, therapists, specialists or religious counsellors will be of any avail in curing these ills of individuals and society; all ignore the fundamental nature of human malaise.

    Real human welfare and well-being proceed from within without, beginning in the mind and heart and enacted through responsibility in thought and speech before they are reflected in outward action. The collective regeneration of society, therefore, depends upon the efforts of individuals to regenerate themselves fundamentally -- first at the level of their basic self-consciousness, and later in relation to their vestures. Working outward from what one thinks of oneself, this regeneration must involve existing elementals in one's own being and will have definite effects upon everything with which one has contact and relationship. One must do this without falling into increasing self-obsession. One must sustain a universal motive. Merely building a fortress around one's own virtue is incompatible with teaching elementals and giving them the sort of beneficial impress that makes them a healing force in society. To avoid this moralistic delusion and still carry out the work of self-regeneration, one must insert the effort to overcome one's own sins and failings into the most universal context of human suffering. One must feel one's own pain as inseparable from the pain of every atom, every elemental and every human being involved in the collective human pilgrimage. Instead of hiding in fear or withdrawing from it, one must remain sensitive to that universal pain and so become as wide awake as Buddha.

    Metaphysically, the doctrine of elementals encompasses the wide range of devas and devatas, gods and demigods, on seven different planes of differentiated cosmic substance. Extending far beyond medieval lore about gnomes, sylphs, salamanders and undines, the true teaching of elementals begins with the root processes by which thought impresses matter with form through fohat. Much of this teaching is secret, but any aspirant seeking aid in the acquisition of self-mastery will find considerable help in the sacred texts of all the authentic spiritual traditions of the world. These, however, must be approached from the standpoint of the philosophy of perfectibility and the science of spirituality, with no quarter given to blind superstition and stale dogmatism. At the most fundamental philosophical level, the doctrine of elementals is indeed magical and mystical, but this magic is noetic and akashic. It has nothing to do with the morass of grey psychic practices that pass for magic among pseudo-occultists. Instead, one must begin with meditation upon the abstract Point and the Zero Principle. (See Hermes, February 1986.) Without a firmer grasp of principles and without a true mental confrontation with fundamental ideas, it is impossible to understand and use the teaching of elementals for the benefit of the world. Without these rigorous basics, one can only fall prey to secondary and tertiary emanations and so become coiled in nefarious practices and sorcery.

    A secure beginning can be found in the recognition that a fully self-conscious sevenfold being is unique. Such a being is the crown of creation, the full embodiment of the macrocosm in the microcosm. In a very specific sense man is, at the essential core of his being, a pure and immaculate crystallized ray of light-energy. This light ultimately represents the radiation of universal self-consciousness, the light that brings together all the gods and all the hierarchies. It goes beyond all colours and numbers to the one clear white light, the secondless light hidden in the divine darkness and silence. Thus man is one with the rootless root of the cosmos, a differentiated being compounded of every conceivable element in every one of the kingdoms of Nature. All the seven kingdoms are in a human being. This, of course, involves not only the physical body, but a series of vestures or upadhis on several different planes. In all the vestures of the human being, there is not a single element of any of the kingdoms of Nature, or any of the elemental forces, that is not already present.

    This complexity in human nature, spanning the unmanifest and the manifest, is the basis of the paradox that man is both the potential crown of creation and its curse. In the whole of creation, sevenfold man is the unique possessor of the pristine light which precedes, differentiates and integrates, but also transcends, the entire spectrum of colours, sounds, forces, energies and vibrations. At the very core, man is deific and divine. Yet this does not make man sublime or spiritual in a way that stones and animals are not, for the deific breath and the divine afflatus of the One Life is everywhere and in everything. What is crucial about Man is that he is the possessor of self-consciousness through the gift of the Manasas and Agnishvatta Pitris, a particular class of the highest gods involving the second and third of the four classes below the first. Man is thus able to synthesize and transcend all the elementals.

    Since man at the core possesses a thread of self-consciousness antedating embodied life, man is the integrator of all life. This is, in a sense, what contemporary astronomy and cosmology have come to recognize in studying the hosts of stars and galaxies. They have begun to speak of an anthropic principle in Nature. This is not to be confused with the outdated and parochial notion of an anthropocentric universe. Rather, it is the recognition that one cannot understand life, even at the level of physical chemistry, or in reference to primordial matter on distant planets, without seeing it as part of a vast chain that must ultimately culminate in what we call the human being. Naturally, what is called 'human' on this earth is not necessarily the only possible mode of human being. There could be examples of other, vastly more developed, types of human being on other planets. Indeed, when one takes into account the possible variations in consciousness connected with the possible modes of human existence, there could be human beings existing not only on other planets, but on other planes of matter, perhaps even now invisibly present on this earth.

    To say that man is the microcosm of the macrocosm, whilst having the power of integration that accommodates the maximum diversity of elements throughout Nature, means that man is in fact a cosmos. Whilst that cosmos is deific at the core, it is also so vast that it would be hardly surprising if, at some stage, that cosmos were mostly chaotic. Man is a victim of his inability to master this cosmic complexity within himself. This task demands so high a degree of dignity, integrity, fidelity and control rooted in self-conscious awareness that most people flee at the mere thought of it. They would rather go to sleep or forget about it, exchanging their human prerogative for daydreams, contributing tamasic elementals to hapless rocks and stones. Hence the paradox of the human condition. When man resigns from the difficult work of self-mastery, he abandons his essential place in Nature. The illustrious Pico della Mirandola called man the pivot of Nature. This idea, sadly neglected or falsely interpreted since then, was central to the seven-century cycle of the Theosophical Movement initiated by Tsong-Kha-Pa in Tibet. That cycle has now returned to its original point, and the future unfoldment of spiritual humanity rests upon the restoration of the true dignity of man.

If man, who is the pivot of Nature, abdicates his role, he becomes a curse upon creation, more hellish and demonic than anything that exists in the external realms of Nature, or anything depicted by Hieronymus Bosch and the tankas of Tibet. Even the most ghastly tales of goblins, monsters, giants and fiends cannot compare with the actual evil that can exist within a human being. Certainly, one will never find anything in visible and invisible Nature that outdoes the terrifying evil of which human beings are capable. This does not, however, make man into a weak, miserable worm; it makes him into a depraved being, damned of human evolution, and a veritable devil. Deific at the core, man inhabits a cosmos which all too easily becomes a chaos. The most appalling aspects of the demonic side of man have to do with the larger story of lost continents and vanished races, eras when spiritual powers were deliberately misused. Every time a failed human being becomes an elementary, he becomes, as a disembodied entity, an agent responsible for more harm on earth than anything else that exists. This is an invisible but real and terrifying fact of modern civilization, involving all the victims of wars and all the bitter, frustrated victims of accidents, murders, executions and suicides.

If this is metaphysically true, however frightening, it is important to understand what will stimulate and give incentive and motive to a human being to rediscover divinity and dignity. What will strengthen a person, so that he will not abdicate responsibility? First of all, he must relinquish one of the greatest fictions besetting contemporary human beings: the Cartesian belief in an abyss between mind and matter. Brahma Vidya teaches that spirit is sublimated matter and matter is condensed spirit. There is no point in space where there is not a spark of universal spirit, and there is not a set of particles derived from primordial substance which is not alive with divine intelligence. The seeming gap between mind and matter is an illusion created by the sensorium. In one sense, this illusion is the cost of physical incarnation: human beings are imprisoned, and indeed self-entombed, in a body, according to the old Orphic and Platonic accounts. To some degree, this is an inevitable result of taking birth in a limited body, even though the best available in natural evolution. Nonetheless, it is not required by the programme of Nature that human beings become so inextricably caught up in the sensorium that they succumb to a fragmentation of themselves and the world. It is not necessary that their minds become so cluttered with nouns that they forget verbs, and lose through language all sense of their spiritual vitality. This corruption of thought through language has led most human beings to create a false sense of identity which is actually a dominant elemental. This offspring of pseudo self-consciousness is made up of the lower four elements -- earth, air, fire and water, both gross and astral -- and it goes by the name of Mr. X or Ms. Y. The tragedy is that the souls who have conjured these elementals out of their identification with the sensorium mistake them for their own real natures, and confuse the elemental apparitions created by other souls for real human beings.

    It is difficult for souls to wake up from this collectively reinforced delusion and recognize these elemental projections for what they are. It is especially hard at this time, when people have nothing but a fugitive sense of clinging to a personality and when the once-compelling names and forms of the past mean so little. The elementals people mistake for themselves know only one law and one language -- that of survival at any cost and of self before all else. When one adds to this the competitiveness and callousness of modern society, one gets an elemental of truly monstrous proportions. No amount of external makeup will hide the hideousness of that elemental. It is part of the humbug of our time that behind the so-called 'beautiful people' lie some of the ugliest specimens of inhumanity and pseudo-humanity that have ever walked this earth. Most cities and centres of modern 'civilization' really amount to central places for manufacturing and cloning these monstrous elementals.

    Such an elemental form, as Buddha taught, is ultimately a composite entity that must be broken up. It has no enduring existence but belongs to the false, parasitic and derivative 'I'. Only by denying a sense of 'I' to this elemental can one release the true sense of 'I-am-I' consciousness in the universal light, at the same time releasing these elementals from the torture of bondage to the delusions and modes of selfishness. Even though human beings may torture elementals for a while, they cannot do so indefinitely. In the long run, they are stronger and more powerful than their captor, who is actually the weak pseudo-man or pseudo-'I', full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. Such a nature lacks the strength of genuine human thought. It is inherently cowardly, unable to do anything against the elementals; the elementals will get their revenge over a period of time. All elementals are themselves specialized completely within one or other of the elements. This fact, which could work to the advantage of the higher sovereign spirit in man as the integrator of all the elements, becomes the exact opposite in the case of the delusive ego struggling for self-perpetuation. Such a being falls prey to a pathetic and impotent enslavement to elementals that are more intelligent, precise and concentrated than itself. Because these elementals are pure in their fiery, watery, airy or earthy nature, they have an integrity of action that cannot be diverted for long by the twisted deceptions of the false ego. They will eventually wreak their revenge for having been misappropriated on behalf of separative delusions through one form or another of ill health, mental sickness or depression.

Whilst the insecure will fixate on this predicament merely as it applies to them, the rectification of wrongs involving the elemental kingdoms is actually an enormous process encompassing the globe. At this time, owing to the Avataric impulse, all the hosts of elementals have been immensely stirred up and hastened in precipitating their revenge on their torturers. The object is to get these people off the face of the earth, so that there will no longer be such a preponderance of selfish beings. This may be the only alternative to nuclear annihilation if the earth is to be repopulated by real human beings, beings who know how to breathe gratefully just for the privilege of the air. This is an extraordinary time, calling for the reversal of long ages of degradation of the idea of Man and the freeing of Nature from an intolerable regime of domination by selfishness. Put in Christian terms, this means the reversal of the corrupt doctrines of original sin and vicarious atonement, which have obscured the true teaching of Jesus about the perfectibility of man. To understand this reversing process, one has to bring in the invisible world of devils and demons, the idea of a personal god and much else. This is a much older story than the brief history of Christianity and it has happened to every religion.

    To come into line with the forward movement of spiritual humanity, individuals must bring about in themselves a fundamental transformation of mind. Through an irreversible metanoia, they must calmly and surely overcome the dichotomy between mind and matter, rooting their consciousness in that which is beyond all differentiation. That is why meditation is no longer a luxury, but has become a necessity for survival. Simply recognizing this, however, does not mean that it will be easy or that it will work. If the only meditation one knows is on one's lower self -- the elemental -- how can one expect that elemental to forget itself? That is impossible. For such beings it is not merely difficult to meditate; it is actually to ask for too much too soon in cases that are too far gone. But even though they seem to be many, they are still a microscopic minority of the whole of the human family. They are powerful because their poisonous pollution can spread fast and wide, weakening lukewarm, irresolute people in the middle who are not really doing any thinking. They can fool themselves for a while, fudging the issue of choice and responsibility, but they are eventually going to be sucked into the vortex of the times and go one way or the other.

    All of this should be understood as following from the metaphysical basis of the doctrine of elementals. It is a crucial, if painful, part of its practical application to the psychological and meta-psychological life of incarnated human souls. Yet there is much more to the teaching of elementals than its application to the lower principles of human nature. Elementals, at the highest level, are the most etheric, divine elements that exist. They are sparks of divine flame. This is a part of the secret teachings that is only comprehensible through initiation. Yet one can understand theoretically that the Sons of Agni, the divine flame, are the highest beings in evolution, and that they released myriads of sparks of fiery intelligence which then, pari passu with the differentiation of primordial substance, became the elemental world of Nature. This process included the creation of a kind of elemental prototype of the human being, but one that will not consolidate or become self-conscious by itself. This must await the descent of the Manasas. Still other elementals remain permanently in the rarefied realm of akasha, higher than the ether, let alone the lower astral light. It is these hosts that Shelley intimated in his poetry. They are invulnerable, all-powerful and omnipresent.

    Elementals reach out to the highest aspects of existence, which is why it is extremely misleading to link elementals merely to one principle, such as prana, in sevenfold man. All life-energy works through all life-atoms; there is, therefore, a life-current existing in human nature which may be called prana. It is a sort of sum-total or quantum of life-energy within the metabolic system of the human body or, more correctly, within the astral body. It flows in that body like a fluidic current, and one might say that the elementals participate actively in it, as if swimming in an ocean of pranic life-energy. This is where they get their life. They are repeatedly refreshed by it, especially during sleep, and this is how they regenerate themselves. Nonetheless, the elementals belong to each and every one of the human principles except the atman.

    Only if one understands this can one appreciate the enormous breadth of the doctrine of elementals. At the highest end, it includes what are called the gods in exoteric theologies, hosts of the finest beings in existence, though they are not self-conscious human beings. If they were self-conscious human beings in a previous manvantara, they have gone beyond that and only have a collective function, like that ascribed to the dhyani buddhas and archangels. At the same time, elementals include the three kingdoms below the mineral kingdom. Paracelsus gave, perhaps, the best summation of the metaphysics of elementals and their connection with man when he said, "Man lives in the exterior elements, and the Elementals live in the interior elements." Through the mind turning outward, man becomes fragmented and abdicates his throne. Becoming totally caught up in the external details of life, man is living, so to speak, outside his own true home. In this sense he is an exile. His body is no longer his temple, for he has cast himself out of it. In truth all the elementals live within that temple, in the interior elements.

    Looked at in this way, elementals may be seen to be close to the essential aspects of a human being, in every one of the senses, on every plane and in every vesture. The human mind has its own elementals, which one may call mental elementals if one likes, though in fact they are airy elementals. On the physical plane, man has mostly earthy elementals. Within each principle, there are further subdivisions, so that there are earthy-fire elementals, airy-fire elementals and so on. Even this traditional language of the elements is awkward and misleading at best, since the true meanings of these divisions and subdivisions cannot be correlated with merely visual data, much less with the ever-changing atomic language of modern science. Whatever the linguistic problem, however, there should be no difficulty in seeing that one is really speaking of a vast, shoreless, boundless etheric field populated by billions of elementals. This is the true population of the cosmos, far more numerous than human beings or any other organic beings in any of the kingdoms of Nature. This being so, there is no way that one can even begin to understand human life apart from elementals. All daily activities of human life thus take on a fresh colouration and vitality, a magical potency involved with invisible, interior kingdoms. Every thought, every breath, every feeling and especially every word is filled with magic. Every instant, one either blesses or curses, elevates or degrades, hosts of elementals; every moment, one either sinks downward towards the demonic or soars upward towards the company and presence of the Blessed.

    If thou would'st not be slain by them, then must thou harmless make thy own creations, the children of thy thoughts, unseen, impalpable, that swarm round humankind, the progeny and heirs to man and his terrestrial spoils. Thou hast to study the voidness of the seeming full, the fullness of the seeming void. O fearless Aspirant, look deep within the well of thine own heart, and answer. Knowest thou of Self the powers, O thou perceiver of external shadows?

The Voice of the Silence

The Healing of Elementals


"How did you come here, O King, on foot or in a chariot?"
"I did not come, sir, onfoot. I came in a chariot. "
"If you came in a chariot, explain to me what that is. Is it the pole that is the chariot?"
"Certainly not."
"Is it the wheels, or the frame, or the ropes, or the yoke, or the spokes or the goad that is the chariot?"
To all of these King Milinda still answered no.
"Then is it all these parts that is the chariot?"
"No, Nagasena."
"But is there anything outside them that is the chariot?"
And still he answered no.
"Then, ask as I may, I can discover no chariot. 'Chariot' is a mere empty sound. What, then, is this 'chariot' you say you came in? Your Majesty has spoken a falsehood, an untruth! There is no such thing as a 'chariot'! You are king over all India, a mighty monarch. Of whom, then, are you afraid that you speak untruth?"

Questions of King Milinda


    Human beings commonly conceive of themselves as privileged subjects active in an outer world of objects, and acted upon by a host of forces and pressures. Though they assign a stable reality to themselves as subjects and to these objects, they are generally confused about the dynamic connection between the two. Typically, they picture objects as having a sort of mechanistic persistence and variability, markedly different from the kind of vital energy they ascribe to themselves. No such sharp distinction can succeed, however, in accounting for the essential facts of human life. Much that is deemed to be subjective displays the same inveterate and stark routinization held to characterize the so-called external world of mechanical objects. And supposedly inert objects often reveal dynamic qualities ranging from the perverse to the poetic. The nexus or network of this perplexing condition is centred in the human body itself, which is continually affected alike by seemingly subjective and objective forces.

    The arcane mystery surrounding embodied consciousness has been the fertile source of much philosophical speculation, largely bound up with Cartesian dualism and the so-called 'mind-body problem'. Having severed form and consciousness from each other at a fundamental level, most thinkers, like "all the king's horses and all the king's men", have been unable to put them back together again. Nor does radical objective materialism or extreme subjective idealism yield a consistent resolution of the problem. This philosophical quandary reflects a broader malaise in human understanding and self-consciousness with vital implications in arenas such as medicine and health, education and therapy, and the crucial connection of individual moral choices with the collective social and political order. Notions like 'psychosomatic illness', 'ego-transference' and 'political charisma' point to lacunae in our basic categories, and provide more heat than light, with few, if any, clues to responsible action. As a result, the well-intentioned find themselves unable to instantiate their ideals, and it is small compensation that the perverse and malicious are also rather impotent in imposing on the world their malign schemes for universal degradation.

    From the standpoint of Gupta Vidya, this entire dualistic approach is rooted in a fundamental philosophical error. Instead of viewing differentiated form and consciousness as two radically separate modes of being, it sees them only as manifesting aspects of a single undifferentiated substance-principle. That rootless root is pre-cosmic ideation as well as pre-cosmic matter, both absolute consciousness and absolute unconsciousness, it being impossible to attribute any finite or formal character to this primordial, pre-genetic Ground. Thus the common-sense distinctions between mind and matter, between body and soul, are merely relative and conceptual, helpful in characterizing different functions and faculties within living beings, but systematically misleading if taken as suggesting any strict dichotomy in the ontological bases of these diverse powers and principles. Further, this singular and sole origin of all consciousness and form implies that there is no unbridgeable gap between modes of manifestation of form and consciousness in various kingdoms of Nature, ranging from the least and lowest to the most metaphysically exalted. All alike are ensouled by one universal and ramifying divine Intelligence, and all are equally embodiments of one supreme and homogeneous light-essence.

These two aspects -- mahat and daiviprakriti -- unfold and enfold all the possibilities of differentiated existence throughout the complex realms of visible and invisible Nature, from the highest radiations of Logoic or cosmic intelligence to the subphysical species of elementals -- the salamanders, sylphs, undines and gnomes of alchemical and popular folklore. At every successive level, grosser emanations mirror the specific modes of activity and intelligence of their more subtle 'parents' but with diminishing ranges of action on every descending plane of existence, until finally the extreme limit of differentiation in a particular cycle of manifestation is reached. The entire web of Nature vibrates and resonates with the pulsations of the Logoic heart, expressing the One Life in myriad modes of manifest sensitivity and action. Throughout, the law of universal harmony reigns unbroken, continually adjusting the relations of all the parts within the impartite sovereign presence and provenance of the One. Its intelligence is behind their intelligence, and as they are drawn together or driven apart in successive communities and aggregations, as they suffer various transformations and transmutations of capability, all this is directly and immediately an expression of the infinite potential inherent in the Logoic root.

    Seen in this light, embodied human existence is no different from any other mode of existence, subhuman or superhuman. Indeed, the worlds of devas, men and gods are alike guided by one identical Law. Yet each type in Nature carries the potency of its specific divine antetype, one of the seven primal Dhyan Chohanic radiations that make up the living body of the Logos. Each ray represents a fundamental note in the scale of specialized possibilities in Nature. From a certain perspective, it could be said that the human kingdom is specifically connected with the ray that expresses itself in man as the creative and synthesizing power of manas or self-consciousness. At the same time, all the seven rays have their scintillating expressions in all the kingdoms of Nature above, below and in man. Furthermore, within the human family there are complex cycles of evolutionary development wherein all the seven rays and their subdivisions predominate for periods of illusory 'time' in the manvantaric pilgrimage. Consequently, human life is continually immersed in a vast ocean of life populated by hosts of greater and lesser beings, all of whom share the same archetypal set of potentialities, though clearly exhibiting very different actualized potencies.

    Every human activity, each breath and thought, affects and is affected by this universal kinship. The energies of man qua man may be manasic in essence, but they are as subject to the laws of universal harmony as any other energies, both in origin and in their effect. Depending upon the quality of man's inspiration, motive and aspiration, his noetic and psychic activities draw to a greater or lesser degree upon the pure divine Intelligence of his Manasa ancestors. In the same proportion, all his conscious and semi-conscious activity exerts influence for good or ill on every aggregate of subhuman lives that comes within the scope and influence of human action, individual and collective.

    The ceaseless interaction of man with subhuman Nature is ordinarily understood only at the level of gross interaction with animal and vegetable life, but even at this mundane level man clearly carries a sacred responsibility for the preservation and extinction of the hosts of species cohabiting the earth with him. Yet, partly because human beings fail to comprehend the nature of their own noetic individuality as manasic beings -- and thus tend to ascribe a spurious pseudo-individuality to animals and plants -- human beings are largely unaware of their far more intimate and decisive relationship to the hosts of the submineral elemental kingdoms. If lack of self-knowledge blinds human perception to the ubiquitous presence of these denizens of the fourfold elements, this itself is only a consequence of past misuse and abuse of human energies. Affecting the elemental make-up of the astral and physical body, this blindness and deafness to Nature's invisible sprites is the inevitable karmic compensation for past failures to treat these lesser modes of evolving life with the compassion and respect they deserve.

    Whether man is aware of it or not, nonetheless every exertion of his psyche, every thought, feeling, word or breath, attracts and repels specific classes of elementals, charging and magnetizing them with an unerring exactitude on an incredible scale. One may compare this to the action of a magnet upon iron filings, though the number of elementals polarized and impressed by even seemingly trivial thoughts is surprisingly vast. Once these congeries of elementals have been impressed, they either lodge in one's vestures or move on. They themselves are really moving under certain infallible laws of attraction and repulsion. These laws are integral aspects of the universal forces of attraction and repulsion, ultimately the most fundamental laws of all evolution and existence.

    'Attraction' and 'repulsion' should not be thought of perfunctorily here, either in a narrow Newtonian sense or in an anthropomorphic and romantically indulgent manner. 'Positive' and 'negative' are meant in senses that far transcend the myriad examples one could freely take from the external world. These laws are so basic to the cosmic process that there is no way the Seven Sons of the Flame could, by a progressive descent through a second class of mind-born sons and a third class of Builders, give rise to the whole cosmos without becoming both agents as well as victims of the process of differentiation, which subsequently acquires an inexorable logic of its own. Through centripetal and centrifugal patterns and by polar movements, it breathes in and out, swelling from within without and from without within, back and forth ceaselessly forever, until the time comes for the great sleep of the whole cosmos -- the pralaya that succeeds each manvantara.

    Until that awesome moment is reached, nothing can still or sway the process or prevent it from going on "without let or hindrance". This is the metaphysical sense in which karma is supreme as to cause but not as to effect. From this it follows that there can be no quick remedy or simple panacea to the long-standing problems of human life and spiritual evolution. Certainly, all pseudo-doctrines of vicarious atonement, instant satori or deathbed moksha - deceiving the docile and fearful into thinking they could be saved by proxy or by doing nothing -- were costly death-traps for human beings over thousands of years. Equally, modern notions of self-reliance and the self-made man are disastrous evasions, deluding people into thinking that the entire globe is here merely to be exploited for private pleasure or personal profit. The hollow pretensions of the typical self-made man are all too evident to his spouse, children and parents, and the same could be said for the self-made woman. It is truly sad that so many are caught up to such an extent in clutching the costly illusion that one has "done it all myself". This standpoint simply will not wash, any more than a desperate immersion in the Ganges, and it is too late in human evolution for souls to be so apathetically forgetful of the time-honoured laws of continuity and transmission, much less the primordial facts of origin and cessation as taught by Buddha.

Anything which takes attention away from these primary facts and the primary obligations they entail is a disastrous mistake. No human being can incarnate on earth without complex, inexorable chains of causation requiring myriads of lives over millions of years to work out. To think that one can mix up fantasy with fact, day-dreaming with spiritual mountain climbing, just because one has received pristine Teachings from those at the summit of evolution, is fatal. That is why there will be recurring as well as instantaneous ethical examinations in the Aquarian Age into which all humanity is entering. No more fooling and kidding will be allowed. Even if one were to screen a collection of people, carefully selecting those who do not have these simian tendencies, chaos would result if one were to put them in a room.

    This happens everywhere in contemporary society -- in all institutions, offices, committees and classrooms -- unless one can keep people quiet. The Quakers tried this in America, but they largely gave up about twenty-five years ago, not because they did not believe in their sovereign method of silence, but because they were not finding enough patient practitioners in America who were willing to come and sit quietly for three hours. What worked in England for the Quakers could not work in contemporary America, but this is only a minor incident in a global malaise caused by Dostoievskian hyper-consciousness which is going to take a radical Tolstoyan shift before it is resolved. That is why the Avatar is pioneering, among small groups of responsive and courageous souls, the creation of a new modulus of the ancient sanghas so that, within a hundred years, it will actually be safe for three human beings to be in the same room -- safe for them to sit quietly, be wide awake and say something meaningful. This is going to take some time, and long beforehand it will be necessary to handle a number of hard cases in the seats of pseudo-government and the dens of pseudo-revolution, severely traumatised by inane ideologies, ethnic terrorism, ersatz religion, pseudo-psychiatry and behaviouristic nonsense.

    The immense difficulty of bringing about such seemingly simple reforms points to the enormity of the gap between disintegrating societies and the ageless Teachings of Divine Wisdom. Yet, if any Aquarian pioneer wishes to begin to learn how to exercise a calming, controlling influence over masses of disturbed elementals -- while eating, sleeping and going about the daily round -- the first thing to focus upon is silence. A simple rule would be to talk little, if at all, during meals. Whether or not one mutters words of grace, it is most important to eat food calmly and gratefully without words. That would be a definite step forward for most people. Indeed, most health problems arise not because of what people eat, but because of the way they eat it. Whether people pick trash from bins, like homeless tramps or pseudo-hippies, or are given the finest foods on outrageous expense accounts, they are often the worst enemies of their own health so long as they chatter and character-assassinate during meals. To recommend silence at meals may seem a hard measure, but without silence there will be no gratitude, no thinking of the forgotten persons who planted the seeds and took trouble to raise the food, much less any thought of sun and soil, winds or rain. Long before one can sanctify eating, there must be silence during meals.

    Similarly, silence as preparation for sleep is important, and so too is silence upon awakening. This must be internal, not merely external, silence. Most people have great difficulty in winding down at the end of the day. They have got to find a way to stop it, whether by music, by yogurt, by telling a nursery tale, by humming or by listening to white noise. One has to find a way to calm down so that one can enter into sleep cheerfully and calmly. One must enter sleep as if one is ready to commune with the divine, to seek true refreshment and the richest spiritual privacy. One should go into sleep as if it were a very great privilege, and then come out of it with as much gratitude and quiet alertness as possible.

    It is precisely such simple moves that will do the most good. Telling people to sanctify breathing and eating is too much too soon, especially in an age in which one grows up thoughtlessly, misuses every object, and is totally utilitarian, whilst fudging ethical and even economic accounting. This goes on everywhere all the time, and the massacre of elementals is horrendous, shaming even the Herods of our time. People use all sorts of aids and gadgets in their work and jobs, and when they are finished and do not need these tools any more, they discard them or leave them lying about. This is cruelty and carelessness to the elementals involved, and it negates whatever good intentions one might have had and whatever value and dignity there might have been in one's labours.

It is better to spend half an hour clearing up, and then three hours working, than to spend eight hours working and not one second clearing up. That way, one shows no gratitude to the elementals which have made it possible to accomplish anything. But most people leave messes after themselves and do not even thank those who come along and clean up later. Nobody ever taught them to be grateful, and now it is too late to learn because the habits are too entrenched. Thus, people constantly undo the good they do, since it never occurs to them that they themselves are largely collections of elementals, surrounded by oceans of elementals, for which they are trustees and which they must treat gently. To toss a simple paper clip aside is to incur the wrath of Nature. It is better to have human beings arrayed against one in a court of law than to confront the fury of a cast-off paper clip.

    The wisest people in any community are often those who collect the garbage. They are the overlooked toilers who pick up the stuff contemptuously thrown away by others. Cheerful and wise, they help in Nature's work. Incredible though it may be from a middle-class perspective, high beings may well come into this society in the future by entering the families of these people and taking jobs gathering garbage. This is the best protection for high beings because it gives one quiet, privacy and the chance to assist Nature. But what of the people who thoughtlessly create the garbage? Their future is too awful to contemplate. Some are rebellious souls who have lived as the most inconsiderately uncouth beings in villages and towns all over the world for scores of lives, but that is no excuse for an incurably discontented life, coupled with an ingrained contempt for what they use.

    Clearly, this Teaching is too difficult for such people, who have good reasons for believing in only one life (as the ads proclaim), and it is definitely not given for their own sake. True Spiritual Teachers do not make such mistakes. It is given for the sake of the millions of elementals which are constantly passing through such people. The more restless they are, the more elementals are affected. They come and go like grey storm clouds, symbolic of the breakdown in society, amidst the dark purple of the night and soft light of dawn. Once impressed, one can count on them to go on doing their irresistible magic, not just once, but again and again. Repetition is the law of life for all classes of elementals, ranging from nature spirits to the presiding constituents of the four elements, as well as the whole host of three hundred and thirty million devas and devatas, the 'nerves of Nature', whose impresses are indelibly recorded upon 'Nature's infinite negative'. Once they are graciously given that which will benefit them, they will endlessly give it back, such is the richness and generosity of Nature. But once one violates the laws of gratitude and misuses elementals, no amount of hocus-pocus will prevent one from getting retributive karma life after life.

    That is why Buddha came to teach the Law, which is meta-mathematical and inexorable. The greatest beings are those who work with and appreciate that Law. They are fearful of nothing, because they know that there is nothing stronger on earth than the power of concentrated benevolence. There is nothing more beautiful than a man who casts no shadow and leaves no footprints. Above all, they know the sacred mark of the twice-born, the truly initiated exemplars and helpers of all humanity. Therefore, they are constantly hoping that human beings will emerge out of the great mass who can procreate with great reverence, humility and gratitude -- using a sacred pair of temples and making them one even if for a few moments -- for the purpose of aiding these high beings to come into this world. Even if hiding as garbage collectors, they can start to take over the earth and spell out the ethics of the new Aquarian Age, which will be an age of sacred speech, quiet and honest work, effortless cooperation and spontaneous solidarity.

That will mark a tremendously different time from the present, and in this raucous transition one cannot expect one's home to become what it really should be -- a centre of light, warmth and love. In fact, one is more in danger at home than one will ever be in the outside world. One must rid oneself of the illusion that hiding behind a set of walls is the same as being alone. On the contrary, that is exactly when one is closest to all the invisible residents of the invisible world. When one is out at the office and working, by contrast, one has more protection, because one is among a lot of human beings who are keeping busy. The privacy of one's own home -- be it an apartment, condominium or family residence -- is an illusion.

    It is perfectly true that the abode of the authentic homeless wanderer, the sannyasin, is the sphere of light around him. But one can emulate this only if one can find the true centre of one's consciousness in the divine ray that is prior to the prism. Within that sphere, one will have a home without walls and there will be no problem of separation. This home is open on every side to every entity and elemental. The moment anything comes closer to it, it behaves like the marvellous dogs found outside Tibetan monasteries which, even today after all the horrors of what has happened there, behave as calmly as monks, if not more so. Such animals most easily reflect and mirror what is real in the states of consciousness of cheerfully self-disciplined human beings around them. In the presence of the divine Teachings, even a cat may come forward to receive them, feeling he or she deserves them more than many of the human beings present. At that level, Nature never fails.

    If individuals who are faced with numerous stresses and are affected by the surrounding atmosphere of breakdown, gloom and doom would begin to reflect deeply upon these Teachings, they would soon see that there is no trick they can use to avoid depression. No drug or pill, potion or panacea, will help. Instead, they must come to see the central meaning of the Zero Principle (Hermes, February 1986) for their lives; everything they need already exists in abundance within their own sphere of light, and no external aids are needed. There is nothing which one does not already have, if one can centre oneself. Thus the moment one grasps an adventitious aid, one is running away from the problem. External aids may work temporarily as a palliative, but they will not, as the best doctors and psychologists know, effect a cure. Instead, one must look calmly at what one is depressed about, and consider the plight of beings worse off than oneself. One should think through what one proposes to do about the problem -- and the less one passes it on to others, the better.

    Depressed elementals that have come into one's vestures must be welcomed and treated with compassion. They must be told that they are taking themselves too seriously. They should not be ridiculed, but should be put in place and sent off, cleansed, out into the world. This can be done by sitting calmly in a chair and facing the problem honestly. Anything that prevents one from taking responsibility will never get one out of the woods, but will only plunge one much more deeply into difficulty after death. Anyone who sees this clearly will want to take responsibility promptly, without depending upon external aids. This is not to say that one cannot use common sense. If one has a lot of bad habits, one can improve them or replace them with better ones. If one has eaten a lot of junk, one can find an herb shop and get some good herbs. In the end, however, one must not depend upon what is outside. Even if one takes a healing herb, one's mental relation to it, one's faith in it and one's love and gratitude towards it make all the difference in the world. Unless one breathes these subjectively from within without into the herb, it will not release its healing essence.

Nothing, in fact, works automatically or mechanically in living Nature. At most, as in Christian Science, certain semi-occult techniques can work on the physical plane to push problems onto the astral plane, where they will get back at one much more viciously in the future. Rather than ensuring that one's problems bear such compound interest, it is much better to come to terms with them, catching them the moment they start. If one was kept quiet as a child and not encouraged to move one's hands around, and if one has been loved, not so much as a mutable object, but as an immortal soul, one will find it easier to quieten one's elementals. But even if one has become nervous and insecure, and is stuck with a persistent restlessness, one does not want to pass this along to one's elementals all the time. If one does, there will be no place to hide. As an adolescent, one may have gotten away from one's parents, but there is no way one will ever get away from one's elementals.

    As the camel insinuated its nose under the edge of the Arab's tent before claiming sole ownership, one will discover, rather unexpectedly, that one's whole vesture is taken over. One will even, alas, become so soulless that no amount of make-up or posturing will hide the fact that the soul is gone. There will merely be one more mediumistic victim for the evil magicians of this earth, caught in the holocaust they instigate. Tragically, there has never been a better time for them to do this, because there are so many people compulsively repudiating the ABCs of living. Too few are willing, when they have enough to eat and enough to live on, to insert themselves into Nature and proceed quietly from middle age to death. In the name of pseudo-democracy, everyone has started using his tongue endlessly in the cause of ego aggrandizement.

    The inevitable massacre of innocents has been horrendous. Universal unhappiness, ubiquitous rudeness and pervasive misanthropy, universal ill health, widespread pollution and collective depression have been engendered to a degree that passes beyond belief and all understanding. The elementals are having their riot of rapacious vengeance. They will continue to do so, and be welcome to do so, until the balance of Nature is restored. Indeed, like wise physicians who recognize that a disease must reach and pass through a crisis before there can be healing, those who truly care for the future of humanity look forward to the worsening symptoms with secretly cherished and consecrated hope. On the other hand, those courageous souls who are willing to forget themselves even a little bit, insert themselves into the whole a little bit, and begin to develop the powers of listening and silence will flourish.

    There are many fine souls in our society and throughout the world who still know what it is to live quietly, humbly and responsibly. They may be unimportant, but they have learnt how to live in accordance with Nature. Nor are they purchasing the notion that they are useless because they did not go to college and did not study pseudo-psychology or an ethnically and sexually biased mixture of sociology and anthropology. Though many such people exist, others, despite their miseducation and their misanthropy, must go back to the basics (the eternal verities) and learn to speak the language of responsibility and practise the etiquette of silence and reverence. Ultimately, the soul must learn the sacred language of cosmic and theurgic sacrifice, which is the basis of all spiritual alchemy and noetic magic in Nature. In essence and at the root, nothing else exists but intelligent or involuntary participation in universal cosmic sacrifice. This is the Teaching of adhiyajna, the secret and sovereign remedy hidden, as if inside a series of Chinese boxes, within the words of the Bhagavad Gita. It is the noblest teaching, and the most difficult. There is no way to jump to it from the realm of moral and mental chaos, for there are many necessary steps in between.

    That is why Light on the Path says that one must first learn to observe sensation, and learn from it the true laws of life. Then one can set one's foot on the first rung of the ladder. The moment a person goes back to the ABCs, to the fundamentals of the perennial philosophy of Gupta Vidya, and learns what it is to set one's foot on the first step of the ladder, one will attract cheerful, learning elementals. There are plenty of them, actually, millions more than the perverse and malicious elementals, but they will not be attracted unless one is childlike, grateful and wide-eyed. If one does not mean what one says, or does not do what one says one will do, they will be repelled. They are characterized by utter fidelity, and are so chaste, virginal and faithful that they can never be attracted to someone who is unfaithful, fickle or anxious. There is no getting away from the basics -- from fidelity, honesty with oneself, internal credibility, chastity of thought, chastity of feeling and conduct, boundless compassion, unconditional love, impeccable integrity and inextinguishable courage. So long as these are present, vast numbers of learning elementals will be attracted, especially during the still hours of the night and at sunrise and sunset.

    Sadly, the very times which are most auspicious for the arrival and congregation of these elementals are also the times when people make the most raucous noise, pretending to go to work or come home. To reverse all this radically requires extraordinary patience and mountainous firmness, because one must invite and invoke enough elementals responsive to the basics of the divine art of being human to counter the perverse elementals. It is to be hoped, hoping against all hope, that they will come as a wondrous host, under the same laws of attraction and repulsion, when one is sufficiently armed with the good elementals to engage in the healing of all tortured elementals. Typically, the way people live, they become wide open to the raucous bad elementals, and they create mental walls and barriers before the good pixie-like elementals, either in the name of pseudo-sophistication or some other pretentious nonsense that is altogether against Nature and life. This actually creates walls between them and the Avataric light, between them and the Mahatmas, as well as between them and their companions. Self-immured, they finally become virtual zombies succumbing before the astral light and its noxious pollution.

    If one is tough enough to attempt a decisive change in the tonality and tangible quality of one's way of living, one must appreciate the wisdom of considering the arcane and accredited Teachings about elementals. In them one will find the seeds needed for planting fresh resolves in clean soil. Fundamentally, one must learn to see the universal and undivided diffusion of life in all of cosmic Nature, invisible and visible. This means understanding that there is nothing more powerful on earth than the paramatman, the Highest Self, and its perpetual buddhic radiance, the Holy Ghost, the light of daiviprakriti, the voice of Brahma Vach. The Father-Atman, the Mother-Buddhiand the Son- Manas in man, as in the cosmos, are omnipotent. No demon, no illness, no malicious entity, no paranoid ism or ideology, can touch the man or woman who truly lives in the atman. Many lazy, shallow and worldly neo-Vedantins thought that they could skip the ladder of growth by saying "I am brahman", but they were only fooling themselves so vainly that Gautama Buddha came and told them to be quiet, to become monks and to observe rules of gentleness and honesty. This is an old story, and it is happening all over again.

    What needs to be done can be done, but it will only be done when one feels that it is the single most important thing in one's life. High seriousness immediately arouses and attracts the higher classes of elementals. When one is serious and concentrated -- what Emerson termed "man thinking" -- and in earnest, one attracts refined grades of elementals. When one is vacillating, loquacious, weak-willed or contradictory, the worst elementals are inexorably drawn to one. Put simply, one must clean out one's house and temple. Turn to the God within and lock the doors to the demons without. Open your eyes to the stars, your ears to the music of the divine spheres, and your heart to the pulse-beat of humanity. Then, very quietly, walk alone in a new direction.