Dialogue On The Mysteries Of The After Life

On The Constitution Of The Inner Man M.     Of course it is most difficult, and, as you say, “puzzling” to understand correctly and distinguish between the various aspects, called by us the “principles” of the real EGO. It is the more so as there exists a notable difference in the numbering of those principles by various Eastern schools, though at the bottom there is the same identical substratum of teaching in all of them. X.     Are you thinking of the Vedantins. They divide our seven “principles” into five only, I believe? M.     They do; but though I would not presume to dispute the point with a learned Vedantin, I may yet state as my private opinion that they have an obvious reason for it. With them it is only that compound spiritual aggregate which consists of various mental aspects that is called Man at all, the physical body being […] Read More

Stray Thoughts On Death And Satan

Stray Thoughts On Death And Satan TO THE EDITOR OF THE THEOSOPHIST Madam, – Since you have published a posthumous letter of my Master and beloved friend, the late Éliphas Lévi, I think it would be agreeable to you to publish, if judged suitable, a few extracts of the many manuscripts in my possession, written expressly for, and given to, me by my ever-regretted MASTER. To begin, I send you – “Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan” from his pen. I cannot close this letter without expressing the deep indignation aroused in me by the base diatribes published in the London Spiritualist against your Society and its members. Every honest heart is irritated at such unfair treatment, especially when proceeding from a man of honour as Mr. Harrison (Editor of the Spiritualist) who admits in his journal anonymous contributions that are tantamount to libels. With the utmost respect, I […] Read More

1879: The Drift Of Western Spiritualism

Late advices from various parts of the world seem to indicate that, while there is an increasing interest in the phenomena of spiritualism, especially among eminent men of science, there is also a growing desire to learn the views of the Theosophists. The first impulse of hostility has nearly spent itself, and the moment approaches when a patient hearing will be given to our arguments. This was foreseen by us from the beginning. The founders of our Society were mainly veteran Spiritualists, who had outgrown their first amazement at the strange phenomena, and felt the necessity to investigate the laws of mediumship to the very bottom. Their reading of mediaeval and ancient works upon the occult sciences had shown them that our modern phenomena were but repetitions of what had been seen, studied, and comprehended in former epochs. In the biographies of ascetics, mystics, theurgists, prophets, ecstatics; of astrologers, […] Read More

1887: The Signs Of The Times

It is intensely interesting to follow season after season the rapid evolution and change of public thought in the direction of the mystical. The educated mind is most undeniably attempting to free itself from the heavy fetters of materialism. The ugly caterpillar is writhing in the agonies of death, under the powerful efforts of the psychic butterfly to escape from its science-built prison, and every day brings some new glad tidings of one or more such mental births to light. As the New York “Path” truly remarks in its September issue, when “Theosophical and kindred topics . . . are made the texts for novels,” and, we may add, scientific essays and brochures, “the implication is that interest in them has become diffused through all social ranks.” That kind of literature is “paradoxically proof that Occultism has passed beyond the region of careless amusement and entered that of serious […] Read More