[Fragment in H.P.B.’s handwriting from the Adyar Archives. — Compiler. ]
Paracelsus and others certainly did teach that “Fire was the last and only to be known God”; but, the subtle sense of their meaning generally escaped their critics. We need hardly say then that by “fire” they did not mean the material, visible fire, but that subtle invisible Spirit of the flame, the quintessence of all the attributes of fire which has, and ever will escape analysis and detection by “chemical processes”; though it may be sometimes experienced by the superphysical light of the spiritually trained mind. To the modern student of experimental sciences, in whose eyes even Reichenbach’s aura of “Odyle Force” is a pure hallucination, and hence remains absent from the scientific nomenclature, the above words must appear void of all sense. But for the student of psychology who knows anything of the properties of animal magnetism and—Mesmerism, the meaning will be clear. For such a student is acquainted with the theory of the “Soul of Things”; and for him, this Hermetic, Divine “Fire” is the quintessence of life, that Spiritual and intangible Spirit which starts from, and is
immediately reabsorbed into matter; the ultimate essence of every atom whether pertaining to animate or inanimate, organic or inorganic substance; the Spirit invisible to all but the eyes of another immortal Spirit . . . And here, perhaps, an illustration from the physical sciences will not be amiss.
It is a well known fact that as long as the real bearing of the mechanical theory of heat upon the phenomena of the “Voltaic” battery was imperfectly understood, the necessity for a two-celled battery for the developing of heat in the decomposition of water had not struck the physicists, and they could not produce with one cell that which they can now easily produce with two. May not the same perchance be required in biology? As the scientific man, according to their own confession stood perplexed, and unable for a long time to solve the enigma why a single cell should not decompose water, so the biologists and the psychologists (of exact science) stand helpless before certain phenomena of mind. They are unable to perceive the true bearing of that Hermetic Divine “Fire” already adverted to, upon the phenomena of the human Voltaic battery known as the brain; a “fire” which may sometimes be generated and developed on the same principle as one of its correlations—heat (as in the case of artificial mesmeric development of clairvoyance). And if increased to its utmost powers it can liberate the spirit from its fetters, and lifting high the bodiless over the earthy, allow man to see with his spiritual eyes that which he would never be able to perceive with the physical senses. Hence—the phraseology of the Hermetic philosophers and Alexandrian theurgists seems naturally obscure and meaningless to the uninitiated.