[Lucifer, Vol. XII, No. 72, August, 1893, pp. 537-48; Vol. XIII,
Nos. 73-74, September and October, 1893, pp. 30-39 and 111-121,
[As seen from the above references, this very lengthy article was published in three installments quite a long time after the passing of H. P. B. It was prefaced by an editorial comment to the effect that this material was intended to form a portion of a revised edition of Isis Unveiled, and that passages from that work have been utilized by H. P. B. in writing this article. No date was even approximately suggested as to when it may have been written.
At the conclusion of the article, the Editors of Lucifer stated that, with the last paragraph, it “comes to an abrupt termination—whether it was ever finished or whether some of the MS was lost, it is impossible to say.”
However, most careful and detailed analysis of this material discloses the fact that it is merely a compilation made by H. P. B. from various portions of Isis Unveiled. At least 23 pages out of approximately 32 pages of text are direct quotations from Isis, with only occasional and very minor alterations. These quotations are strung together with short passages which appear to be specially written for that purpose. In the first installment there are some five pages, more or less, of what might be considered as new material. It is in this first installment that a clue can be found by means of which the approximate date when H. P. B. gathered this material together can be roughly ascertained. In order to do so, we must briefly review certain facts concerning the planned revision of Isis Unveiled.
It appears from remarks made by Col. H. S. Olcott (Old Diary Leaves, II, 89-90) that H. P. B. began writing a “new book on Theosophy” as early as May, 1879, in other words very soon after her arrival in India. There seems to have been no continuity of effort at first, many new activities occupying her time. Col. Olcott says that a Preface was written and finished on June 4, 1879. Much later, namely in August, 1882, we find Master K. H. writing to A. P. Sinnett (Mahatma Letters, p. 130):“. . . . it [Isis Unveiled] really ought to be re-written for the sake of the family honour.” Still later, approximately in January, 1884, but a short time before leaving for Europe, H. P. B. wrote from Adyar to A. P. Sinnett (The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, p. 64) as follows: “. . . And now the outcome of it is,
that I, crippled down and half dead, am to sit up nights again and rewrite the whole of Isis Unveiled, calling it The Secret Doctrine and making three if not four volumes out of the original two, Subba Row helping me and writing most of the commentaries and explanations . . . .”
In January, 1884, there appeared for the first time in the Journal of The Theosophical Society (Supplement to The Theosophist), Vol. I, No. 1, the Publisher’s Announcement of The Secret Doctrine—A New Version of Isis Unveiled, as it was called. It was intended to issue the first installment of 77 pages in March, 1884. Various circumstances prevented this plan from being carried out; it was postponed many times, and finally abandoned in its original form.
H. P. B. was still at work re-writing Isis Unveiled while in Paris, in the spring and early summer of 1884. At that time William Quan Judge was actively helping her, having stayed in Paris on his way to India, as directed by his Teacher, to assist H. P. B. in her task. (The Word, New York, Vol. XV, April, 1912, pp. 19 & 21). She must have worked on it until the end of 1884.
According to Col. Olcott’s Diaries, preserved in the Archives at Adyar, it was on January 9, 1885, that H. P. B., then back from Europe, was given by Master M. the plan for her Secret Doctrine; she then began working on different lines, the attempt to re-write Isis Unveiled having been entirely abandoned.
As will be seen below, in the course of the first installment of the article on “Elementals,” there occurs a footnote which states that “of late, some narrow-minted critics—unable to understand the high philosophy of the above doctrine [regarding the Moon and the fate of human souls after death], the Esoteric meaning of which reveals when solved the widest horizons in astro-physical as well as 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’.”
“Of late” has reference to a Letter addressed by Dr. George Wyld of London to the Spiritualistic Journal Light (published in Vol. III, No. 133, July 21, 1883, pp. 329, 333-34) wherein, writing in a sneering and undignified manner regarding the Masters and the teachings of Theosophy, he calls the moon a “dust-bin.”
If we had nothing else available to date the article on “Elementals,” we could at least be sure that it had been written or rather collated after July, 1883, and probably within a period of time short enough to warrant the expression “of late.” However, by
consulting a certain letter which H. P. B. wrote to A. P. Sinnett from Paris, we are in a position to determine with greater probability that this article was finished sometime early in the year 1884. This letter is dated April 25, 1884, and the pertinent passage reads as follows:
“. . . . . One chapter at any rate, ‘on the Gods and Pitris, the Devas and the Daïmonia, Elementaries and Elementals, and other like spooks’ is finished. I have found and followed a very easy method given me, and chapter after chapter and part after part will be rewritten very easily. Your suggestion that it must not ‘look like a mere reprint of Isis’ is nowhere in the face of the announcement (which please see in the Theosophist last page). Since it promises only ‘to bring the matter contained in Isis’ within the reach of all; and to explain and show that the ‘later revelations’ i.e. Esot. Buddhism for one, and other things in the Theosophist are not contradictory to the outlines of the doctrine given—however hazy the latter is in that Isis; and to give in the Secret Doctrine all that is important in ‘Isis’ grouping together the materials relating to any given subject instead of leaving them scattered throughout the 2 vol. as they are now—then it follows that I [am] bound to give whole pages from ‘Isis’ only amplifying and giving additional information. And unless I do give numerous reprints from Isis, it will become Osiris or Horus—never what it was originally promised in the ‘Publisher’s Notice’ which—please read.” (The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, pp. 88-89.)
It is true of course that the article mentions in one place The Secret Doctrine in terms which appear to infer a completed work. That work did not appear in print until the fall of 1888. It is most likely, however, that H. P. B. merely meant her forthcoming work which, even at the time, was already partly delineated in her mind. There exist a number of other similar instances when H. P. B. used the title of her future monumental work long before the latter had acquired its final shape even in MSS form.
In accordance with the facts outlined above, we publish in the following pages merely those portions of the article on “Elementals” which appear to be new text written at the time. Close scrutiny has not disclosed any place in Isis Unveiled where it originated. We list also in their proper sequence the passages which H. P. B. inserted from Isis Unveiled in collating this article.—Compiler.]
[The collation opens with lengthy passages from Isis Unveiled, I, 284, 285-86, including a long quotation from Bulwer-Lytton’s Zanoni. Then comes the following text:]
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 Hindû Âryans.
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 Hindû 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 loathsome 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.
[After brief passages from Isis Unveiled, I, xix-xx, xxi, xxii, on Xenocrates, Heracleitus and Plato’s Epinomis, the latter on the three classes of Daimons, the following explanation is given:]
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.
[Brief passages from Isis Unveiled, I, xxxix, 345, and 280, including two quotations from Apuleius, are strung together by the following statement:]
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 Larvae and Umbrae, 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 Atheist—only because they rejected the grotesque idea of a personal extra-cosmic God—such as Epicurus, for instance, believed in Gods and invisible beings.
[This portion of the essay is immediately followed by four and-a-half printed pages of Lucifer containing the main body of the material which appears to be specifically written for this essay, with only a couple of sentences borrowed from Isis Unveiled, I, 139-40, and I, xxxviii, respectively. It is as follows:]
If, turning from Greece and Egypt to the cradle of universal civilization, India, we interrogate the Brâhmans 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 Brâhmans 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 the 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 Louis Jacolliot in his Le 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 Mânava-Dharma-Sâstra they are called the Lunar Ancestors. The Hindû—least of all the proud Brâhman—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, “Nachapunarâvarti,” “I shall not come back,” and by this very declaration is placed beyond the reaching 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 Chhâyâs 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.”*
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, Aether) 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
* Let the student consult The Secret Doctrine on this matter, and he will there find full explanations.
classes—the Pitris Agni-dagdha (“Fire-givers”), and the Pitris Anagni-dagdha (“non-Fire-givers”),* 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 Vâyu Purâna and Harivamśa, also Rig Veda); three of which classes are Arûpa, formless, “composed of intellectual not elementary substance,” and four are corporeal. The first are pure Agni (fire) or Sapta-jîva (“seven lives,” now become Saptajihva, 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 proto-typical 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 Prajâpati, or Rishis, etc.), one degree more material; these, to the third—the last of the Arûpa class. It is only this last class that was enabled with the help of the Fourth principle of the Universal Soul (Aditi, Âkâsha) to produce beings that became objective and having a form.† But when these came to
* In order to create a blind, or throw a veil upon the mystery of primordial Evolution, the later Brâhmans, with a view also to serve orthodoxy, explain the two, by an invented fable; the first Pitris were “Sons of God” and offended Brahmâ 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.
† We find an echo of this in the Codex Nazaraeus. 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
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 Being—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 germinate 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
awakens Karabtanos—the spirit of matter and concupiscence—who consents to help his mother, that the “Spiritus” conceives and brings 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, pp. 299-301.)
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 Prâkritic 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”* (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 Mâdan, a generic name indicating wicked elemental spirits, half brutes, half monsters, for Mâdan signifies one that looks like a cow. He is the friend of the malicious sorcerers
* Idra Suta, Zohar, iii, 292b.
and helps them to effect their evil purposes of revenge by striking men and cattle with sudden illness and death.
The Shudalai-Mâdan, 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-Shâttan, the little juggling imps. Shudalai, they say, is a half-fire, half-water demon, for he received from Siva 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.” Shûlai-Mâdan, 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. Shûlai 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-Mâdan, 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.
Poruthu-Mâdan, 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 overpower 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 piśâchas, Daimons of the races of the gnomes, the giants and the vampires; the Gandharvas, good Daimons, celestial seraphs, singers; and Asuras and Nâgas, 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.
[Passages from Isis Unveiled, I, 432, and II, 285, including quotations from Proclus and Plutarch, are followed by this explanation:]
The ancient Egyptians, who derived their knowledge from the Âryans of India, pushed their researches far into the kingdoms of the “elemental” and “elementary” beings. Modern archaeologists 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 of 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.
[To a passage from Isis Unveiled, I, 310, on the subject of Larvae, or the lower principles of all disembodied beings, H. P. B. adds the following explanation, after having stated that they are to be divided into three general groups:]
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. Éliphas Lévi 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 Kâma Loka; all saturated with terrestrial effluvia, their Kâma Rûpa (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 centered on earth than in heaven; the stay in Kâma Loka of the reliquiae 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.
[After two fairly long extracts from Isis Unveiled, I, 310, and I, 310-11, strung together with the following explanation with regard to the concept of 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 Vedântin 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.
[The first installment of the essay is brought to a close by the following statement:]
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.
[The second installment of the essay is largely made up of excerpts from Isis Unveiled. Their sequence is: Vol. I, 311; I, xxix-xxx; I, 311-12, 312-13; I, 284-85; I, 313-14; I, 318-19, 321; I, 356-57; I, 332-33; I, 342 43; I, 158-59. The only brief passages which appear to be original are as follows:]
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.
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 Sikkim and Tibet they are called Dug-pas (red-caps), in contra-distinction 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 Bhûtan and Sikkim 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.
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 third installment of the essay brings together rather long passages from Isis Unveiled, I, 343-44; I, 325-26; I, 328-29; I, 315-18; I, 319-20; I, 320-21, practically without a break, only this passage being original:]
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.
[Then follows the concluding material of the essay in which merely a couple of sentences are identical with Isis Unveiled, I, 186:]
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 Salpêtrière 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” [p. 159]; why, then, should not the gross, brutish thought of an orang-outang, or a dog, impressing itself on
* [Balfour Stewart and Peter Guthrie Tait. Vide Bio-Bibliogr. Index.––Comp.]
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 Timaeus 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?†
* [From the words “physical man is but . . . . . ” to the end of the paragraph, this text can be found in Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 186.––Comp.]
† 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.—Editors, Lucifer.
[The above Editorial footnote is appended at the end of this material. It is curious that the Editors of Lucifer who were very familiar with H. P. B.’s writings, would have been unaware of the fact that this material was no “article” at all, but a compilation of passages from Isis Unveiled strung together with some new matter, very likely put together by H. P. B. at a time when she was still planning to re-write Isis Unveiled. There seems to be no valid reason to suppose that any MS. was lost in this connection; it is more likely to imagine that H. P. B. simply did not proceed any further with this compilation.—Compiler.]