FOOTNOTES TO “A SUICIDE’S AFTER-STATE”
[The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 10, July, 1881, p. 212]
[Describing the state of suicides after death, the writer, Éliphas Lévi, says among other things: “You may help the poor deserter of life, with ‘prayer’—but that prayer must be one of action, not words. See whether he has not left something undone, . . . and then try to accomplish the deed for him, and in his name.” To this H. P. B. remarks:]
The Kabalistic theory is, that a man having so many years, days and hours to live upon earth and not one minute less than the period allotted to him by fate, whenever the Ego gets consciously and deliberately rid of its body before the hour marked, it must still live even as a disembodied suffering soul. The Ego, or the sentient individual soul is unable to free itself from the attraction of the earth and has to vegetate and suffer all the torments of the mythical hell in it. It becomes an Elementary Spirit; and when the hour of deliverance strikes, the soul having learned nothing, and in its mental torture lost the remembrance of the little it knew on earth, it is violently ejected out of the earth’s atmosphere and carried adrift, a prey to the blind current which forces it into some new reincarnation which the soul itself is unable to select as it otherwise might with the help of its good actions. . . .
[“The souls disenthralled from their earthly fetters elevate our own to themselves; and in our turn our souls can attract them down, through a power similar to that of the magnet.”]
It would be an error to infer from the above that Éliphas Lévi believed in the so-called Spiritualism. He derided
both the Spiritualistic and the Spiritist theory of the return of the disembodied souls or spirits in an objective or materialized form on earth. Teaching the Kabalistic doctrine of the subjective intercommunication between the embodied and the disembodied spirits, and the mutual influence exercised by those souls, that influence is limited by him to purely psychological and moral effects, and lasts but so long as the pure soul slumbers in its transitory state in the ether, or the sinful one (the Elementary Spirit) is kept in bondage in the earthly regions.
[“But the sinful souls suffer two kinds of torture. One is the result of their imperfect disenthrallment from the terrestrial bonds which keep them down chained to our planet; the other is owing to a lack of ‘celestial magnet’.”]
Celestial magnet means here that spiritual buoyancy (the absence of sinful deeds and thoughts supposed to be possessed of a material heaviness) which alone is enabled to carry the disembodied soul to higher or rather purer regions.