Chapter 7 Magnetism as Universal Force and source of Magic
The title to this chapter (The Elements, Elementals, and Elementaries) is quite baffling to me; this chapter deals quite clearly with magnetism. Even though the digressions defending ancient science versus modern are a little long, this chapter is one the tighter ones. The following writers on Magnetism are surveyed:
1- Survey of Authors on Magnetism (p.206)
Henry More on Subtle bodies 206/ Henry More, René Descartes, Pierre Poiret Naude, Dr. Hufeland, Tenzel Wirdig, Johannes Kepler, Baptista Porta 207-209
Finally, he throws out many valuable hints as to its “spiritual meaning.” In 1643, there appeared among the mystics a monk, Father Kircher, who taught a complete philosophy of universal magnetism. His numerous works*** embrace many of the subjects merely hinted at by Paracelsus. His definition of magnetism is very original, for he contradicted Gilbert’s theory that the earth was a great magnet. He asserted that although every particle of matter, and even the intangible invisible “powers” were magnetic, they did not themselves constitute a magnet. There is but one MAGNET in the universe, and from it proceeds the magnetization of everything existing. This magnet is of course what the kabalists term the central Spiritual Sun, or God.
The sun, moon, planets, and stars he affirmed are highly magnetic; but they have become so by induction from living in the universal magnetic fluid — the Spiritual light. He proves the mysterious sympathy existing between the bodies of the three principal kingdoms of nature, and strengthens his argument by a stupendous catalogue of instances. Many of these were verified by naturalists, but still more have remained unauthenticated; therefore, according to the traditional policy and very equivocal logic of our scientists, they are denied. For instance, he shows a difference between mineral magnetism and zoomagnetism, or animal magnetism. He demonstrates it in the fact that except in the case of the lodestone all the minerals are magnetized by the higher potency, the animal magnetism, while the latter enjoys it as the direct emanation from the first cause — the Creator. (209)
2- Universal Attraction (209)
Universal Magnetism 209/Modern Society Detrimental to Spiritual Influences 212/Three Souls 213/Magic Power of Inner Man 213/Occult powers of hidden eastern adepts 214
Kircher accounts for every feeling in human nature as results of changes in our magnetic condition. Anger, jealousy, friendship, love, and hatred, are all modifications of the magnetic atmosphere which is developed in us and constantly emanates from us. Love is one of the most variable, and therefore the aspects of it are numberless. Spiritual love, that of a mother for her child, of an artist for some particular art, love as pure friendship, are purely magnetic manifestations of sympathy in congenial natures. The magnetism of pure love is the originator of every created thing. In its ordinary sense love between the sexes is electricity, and he calls it amor febris species, the fever of species.
There are two kinds of magnetic attraction: sympathy and fascination; the one holy and natural, the other evil and unnatural. To the latter, fascination, we must attribute the power of the poisonous toad, which upon merely opening its mouth, forces the passing reptile or insect to run into it to its destruction. The deer, as well as smaller animals, are attracted by the breath of the boa, and are made irresistibly to come within its reach. The electric fish, the torpedo, repels the arm with a shock that for a time benumbs it. To exercise such a power for beneficent purposes, man requires three conditions: 1, nobility of soul; 2, strong will and imaginative faculty; 3, a subject weaker than the magnetizer; otherwise he will resist. A man free from worldly incentives and sensuality, may cure in such a way the most “incurable” diseases, and his vision may become clear and prophetic. (210)
3- Magnetism and Healing (215)
Healing Powers of Sound 215/Healing requires purity 218
Healing, to deserve the name, requires either faith in the patient, or robust health united with a strong will, in the operator. With expectancy supplemented by faith, one can cure himself of almost any morbific condition. The tomb of a saint; a holy relic; a talisman; a bit of paper or a garment that has been handled by the supposed healer; a nostrum; a penance, or a ceremonial; the laying on of hands, or a few words impressively pronounced — either will do. It is a question of temperament, imagination, self-cure. In thousands of instances, the doctor, the priest, or the relic has had credit for healings that were solely and simply due to the patient’s unconscious will. The woman with the bloody issue who pressed through the throng to touch the robe of Jesus, was told that her “faith” had made her whole.
The influence of mind over the body is so powerful that it has effected miracles at all ages.
“How many unhoped-for, sudden, and prodigious cures have been effected by imagination,” says Salverte. “Our medical books are filled with facts of this nature which would easily pass for miracles.”****
But, if the patient has no faith, what then? If he is physically negative and receptive, and the healer strong, healthy, positive, determined, the disease may be extirpated by the imperative will of the operator, which, consciously or unconsciously, draws to and reinforces itself with the universal spirit of nature, and restores the disturbed equilibrium of the patient’s aura. He may employ as an auxiliary, a crucifix — as Gassner did; or impose the hands and “will,” like the French Zouave Jacob, like our celebrated American, Newton, the healer of many thousands of sufferers, and like many others; or like Jesus, and some apostles, he may cure by the word of command. The process in each case is the same. 217
4- Ancient Theories of Spiritualism versus Modern
Porphyry and Iamblichus on the dangers of Spiritualism 218/ Doubtfullness of identity of spirits220/Dogmatism 222
There is good evidence, that of Mr. Crookes for one, to show that many “materialized” spirits talk in an audible voice. Now, we have shown, on the testimony of ancients, that the voice of human spirits is not and cannot be articulated; being, as Emanuel Swedenborg declares, “a deep suspiration.” Who of the two classes of witnesses may be trusted more safely? Is it the ancients who had the experience of so many ages in theurgical practices, or modern spiritualists, who have had none at all, and who have no facts upon which to base an opinion, except such as have been communicated by “spirits,” whose identity they have no means of proving? There are mediums whose organisms have called out sometimes hundreds of these would-be “human” forms. And yet we do not recollect to have seen or heard of one expressing anything but the most commonplace ideas. This fact ought surely to arrest the attention of even the most uncritical spiritualist. If a spirit can speak at all, and if the way is opened to intelligent as well as to unintellectual beings, why should they not sometimes give us addresses in some remote degree approximating in quality to the communications we receive through the “direct writing”? (220-21)
5- Alchemy and Perpetual Lamps (224)
Skepticism and denial of reported testimonies of eastern magic and perpetual lamps by academic scientists. 224/Perpetual Lamps and Alchemy 226
Among the ridiculed claims of alchemy is that of the perpetual lamps. If we tell the reader that we have seen such, we may be asked — in case that the sincerity of our personal belief is not questioned — how we can tell that the lamps we have observed are perpetual, as the period of our observation was but limited? Simply that, as we know the ingredients employed, and the manner of their construction, and the natural law applicable to the case, we are confident that our statement can be corroborated upon investigation in the proper quarter. What that quarter is, and from whom that knowledge can be learned, our critics must discover, by taking the pains we did. Meanwhile, however, we will quote a few of the 173 authorities who have written upon the subject. None of these, as we recollect, have asserted that these sepulchral lamps would burn perpetually, but only for an indefinite number of years, and instances are recorded of their continuing alight for many centuries. It will not be denied that, if there is a natural law by which a lamp can be made without replenishment to burn ten years, there is no reason why the same law could not cause the combustion to continue one hundred or one thousand years. (229)
6- Ancient and Modern explanations of Electro-Magnetic Power (232)
Scientific Skepticism 233/Ancient Mysteries Erect-Haired Pan 235/Ancient Knowledge of Electricity 235
Professor Carpenter vaunts the advanced philosophy of the present day which “ignores no fact however strange that can be attested by valid evidence”; and yet he would be the first to reject the claims of the ancients to philosophical and scientific knowledge, although based upon evidence quite “as valid” as that which supports the pretensions of men of our times to philosophical or scientific distinction. In the department of science, let us take for example the subjects of electricity and electro-magnetism, which have exalted the names of Franklin and Morse to so high a place upon our roll of fame. Six centuries before the Christian era, Thales is said to have discovered the electric properties of amber; and yet the later researches of Schweigger, as given in his extensive works on Symbolism, have thoroughly demonstrated that all the ancient mythologies were based on the science of natural philosophy, and show that the most occult properties of electricity and magnetism were known to the theurgists of the earliest Mysteries recorded in history, those of Samothrace. (235)
7- Ancient knowledge versus Modern (236)
Jowett credits the ancients 239/Defends ancient knowledge 239
In short, the Platonic philosophy was one of order, system, and proportion; it embraced the evolution of worlds and species, the correlation and conservation of energy, the transmutation of material form, the indestructibility of matter and of spirit. Their position in the latter respect being far in advance of modern science, and binding, the arch of their philosophical system with a keystone at once perfect and immovable. If science has made such colossal strides during these latter days — if we have such clearer ideas of natural law than the ancients — why are our inquiries as to the nature and source of life unanswered? If the modern laboratory is so much richer in the fruits of experimental research than those of the olden time, how comes it that we make no step except on paths that were trodden long before the Christian era? How does it happen that the most advanced standpoint that has been reached in our times only enables us to see in the dim distance up the Alpine path of knowledge the monumental proofs that earlier explorers have left to mark the plateaux they had reached and occupied? (239)
8-Magnetism and the Theory of Force Correlation (242)
Matter-Force correlation 242/Primordial point 242/ABC of Occultism – electricity 242/
Gravitation 244/Scientist bullied into silence 246/Universal Sympathy 246
Thus modern philosophers may be said not to have gone one step beyond what the priests of Samothrace, the Hindus, and even the Christian Gnostics well knew. The former have shown it in that wonderfully ingenious mythos of the Dioskuri, or “the sons of heaven”; the twin brothers, spoken of by Schweigger, “who constantly die and return to life together, while it is absolutely necessary that one should die that the other may live.” They knew as well as our physicists, that when a force has disappeared it has simply been converted into another force. Though archaeology may not have discovered any ancient apparatus for such special conversions, it may nevertheless be affirmed with perfect reason and upon analogical deductions that nearly all the ancient religions were based on such indestructibility of matter and force — plus the emanation of the whole from an ethereal, spiritual fire — or the central sun, which is God or spirit, on the knowledge of whose potentiality is based ancient theurgic magic.
In the manuscript commentary of Proclus on magic he gives the following account: “In the same manner as lovers gradually advance from that beauty which is apparent in sensible forms, to that which is divine; so the ancient priests, when they considered that there is a certain alliance and sympathy in natural things to each other, and of things manifest to occult powers, and discovered that all things subsist in all, they fabricated a sacred science from this mutual sympathy and similarity. Thus they recognized things supreme in such as are subordinate, and the subordinate in the supreme; in the celestial regions, terrene properties subsisting in a causal and celestial manner; and in earth celestial properties, but according to a terrene condition.” (244)
9-Universal Belief in Magic (247)
Epidemic of Unbelief 247/Astral Cycles 247/Commonality of customs 247Ideas 248/Epicurus Mutton Protoplasm 252
Formerly, magic was a universal science, entirely in the hands of the sacerdotal savant. Though the focus was jealously guarded in the sanctuaries, its rays illuminated the whole of mankind. Otherwise, how are we to account for the extraordinary identity of “superstitions,” customs, traditions, and even sentences, repeated in popular proverbs so widely scattered from one pole to the other that we find exactly the same ideas among the Tartars and Laplanders as among the southern nations of Europe, the inhabitants of the steppes of Russia, and the aborigines of North and South America? For instance, Tyler shows one of the ancient Pythagorean maxims, “Do not stir the fire with a sword,” as popular among a number of nations which have not the slightest connection with each other. He quotes De Plano Carpini, who found this tradition prevailing among the Tartars so far back as in 1246. A Tartar will not consent for any amount of money to stick a knife into the fire, or touch it with any sharp or pointed instrument, for fear of cutting the “head of the fire.”
The Kamtchadal of North-eastern Asia consider it a great sin so to do. The Sioux Indians of North America dare not touch the fire with either needle, knife, or any sharp instrument. The Kalmucks entertain the same dread; and an Abyssinian would rather bury his bare arms to the elbows in blazing coals than use a knife or axe near them. All these facts Tyler also calls “simply curious coincidences.” Max Muller, however, thinks that they lose much of their force by the fact “of the Pythagorean doctrine being at the bottom of it.” 247