Blavatsky Collected Writings, Volume 7 Page 209


[These notes correspond to the respective superior numbers
in the text of “Chinese Spirits”]

1 Reference is here made to Father Joseph-Marie Amiot, and the work entitled Mémoires concernant l’histoire, les sciences, les arts, les mœurs, les usages, etc. des Chinois, par les Missionaires de Pékin [J. Amiot, C. Bourgeois, Cibot, Ko, Poirot, A. Gaubil]. Edited by C. Batteux, L. G. Oudart Feudrix de Bréquigny, J. de Guignes, and A. I. Silvestre de Sacy. 16 volumes. Paris, 1776-1814. 4to. An earlier ed. is mentioned as of 1776-89, in 15 vols. Paris: Nyon aîné.

In describing Chinese ideas regarding the human soul, H.P.B. summarizes various passages from pp. 212, 223-24, and quotes from pp. 221-22, of Vol. XV of the above-mentioned work. The subject is treated therein in a section entitled: “Extrait d’une Lettre de M. Amiot, Missionnaire, écrite de Pékin, le 16 octobre 1787. Sur la secte des Tao-sée.”

2 These verses are also quoted by H.P.B. in her essay on “Theories about Reincarnation and Spirits,” where she credits them to Ovid. They are also brought in, in a somewhat incomplete form, in Isis Unveiled, I, 362, where they are attributed to Lucretius who is supposed to portray old Ennius as saying these words. The two last lines only occur again in Isis Unveiled, I, 37, where they are attributed to Ovid.

In spite of an exhaustive search having been made, no such verses have been found either in Lucretius or in Ovid.

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3 It is not known what particular edition of Henry Cornelius Agrippa’s work this passage is quoted from. The Latin text, as quoted, seems to contain a number of errors. For this reason, rather than to correct the text, we give below the Latin original as it occurs in the 1533 edition (Beringo Fratres, Lugduni) of De occulta philosophia libri tres, by Agrippa of Nettesheim, namely in Vol. III, Chapter xlii, p. 304:

“Ex his quae iam dicta sunt patet, quod animae illae que post mortem adhuc relicta corpora diligut, quemadmodu sunt animae corporum sepultum debita carentiu, seu que corpus suum violenta morte reliquerunt, & adhuc in turbido illo humidoq; spiritu circa cadavera sua oberrant, tanq circa cognatum aliquod eas alliciens, cognitis his mediis per quae quondam suis coiungebantur corporibus, per consimiles vapores, liquores nidoresq; facile evocari & allici possunt, adhibitis etia certis artificialibus luminibus, catibus, sonis & huiusmodi, que ipsam animae imaginativa spiritalemq. . .”

In the English translation by J. F., published in London in 1650, under the title of Three Books of Occult Philosophy, the above passage received the following rendering:

“By the things which have been already spoken, it is manifest that souls after death do as yet love their body which they left, as those souls do whose bodies want a due burial or have left their bodies by violent death, and as yet wander about their carcass as in a troubled and moist spirit, being as it were allured by something that hath an affinity with them; the means being known by the which in times past they were joined to their bodies, they may easily be called forth & allured by the like vapours, liquors and savours, certain artificial lights being also used, songs, sounds and such like, which do move the imaginative and spiritual Harmony of the soul. . .” (pp. 488-89.)

As to Le Fantôme Humain, this appears to be only a subtitle for the later chapters of the work by des Mousseaux entitled Les médiateurs et les moyens de la magie, and not a separate work by that author.

With regard to Porphyry’s De sacrificio et magia, a mediaeval condensation of his De abstinentia carnis, a passage similar to what H.P.B. mentions, but not identical with it, occurs in Book II, 47. Vide Thomas Taylor’s Select Works of Porphyry, p. 82.

4 H.P.B. makes reference here to a very rare work by Petrus Thyraeus (1546-1601), entitled Loca infesta, hoc est, de infestis ob molestantus daemoniorum et defunctorum hominum spiritus locis . . . Accessit ejusdem libellus de Terriculamentis nocturnis, etc. Coloniae Agrippinae, 1598, 4to; also Lugduni, 1625. Both editions are in the British Museum.

Apart from the fact that A. J. Caillet mentions him (in his Manuel Bibliographique des Science Psychiques ou Occultes. Paris: Lucien Dorbon,

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1912. 3 vols.) under the name of Thiresus of Nuys, Diocese of Cologne, and says he was a Jesuit, nothing else seems to be readily available concerning this writer.

5 The translation in the Loeb Classical Series does not seem to convey this meaning, however. It runs as follows:
“The Soul of man, he says, is divided into three parts, intelligence (nous), reason (phren), and passion (thumos). Intelligence and passion are possessed by other animals as well, but reason by man alone. The seat of the soul extends from the heart to the brain; the part of it which is in the heart is passion, while the parts located in the brain are reason and intelligence. The senses are distillations from these.”

6 Reference is here made to Petrus Binsfeldius and his Tractatus de Confessionibus Maleficorum et Sagarum recognitus et auctus, etc. An et quanta fides iis adhibenda sit? Augustae Trevirorum, excudebat H. Bock, 1591. 8-vo. 633 pp. Also 1605, 8-vo. 767 pp.; 1596 (British Museum: 8630. c. II.), and 1623. German translation, Trier, 1590.

He also wrote Commentarius intitulum Codicis de Maleficis (same city and publisher, 1591, 8-vo), which is a supplement to the first-mentioned work, and is often bound together with it.

The Latin original is as follows:

“Nam fuerat mortuus quidam homo nocturno tempore, & nescie batur a quo: Attamen multi erant suspecti de morte sua, & quidam homo senex dixit mihi: Domine gubernator, si vultis scire veritate huius homicidij, faciatis cora! vobis portare cadauer illuis mortui, postea faciatis vocare illos, suspecti sunt de illo homicidio, & veniat unus post alium, ubi est cadauer illud, tunc cum superuenit verus homicida, vulnera ipsius fluent sanguinem de nouo: Quo audito feci coram me portare illud cadauer, & feci vocare illos suspectos de uno in unum, & cum superuenit verus homicida, vulnera illius cadaueris inceperunt effluere, & emittere sanguinem, de quo summe sui admiratus . . .”

7 H. P. B. gives here a rather free translation of a passage from a French letter dated Moncy-de-Fou, 25 September, 1851, and entitled “Missions de la Chine. Lettre de M. Delaplace, Missionnaire Lazariste, à un Prêtre du diocèse de Sens.” The Annales (Lyon, France) in which it was published are described as a periodical devoted to the publication of Letters from Bishops and Missionaries of various Old and New World Missions, as well as of documents concerning Missions and the dissemination of the faith.

The French text is as follows:

“. . . . chaque homme a trois houen . . . . . houen sera quelque chose de vague comme esprit, génie, vitalité. Chaque individue a donc trois houen. A la mort de leur possesseur, un de ces houen transmigre dans un corps. Un autre reste dans la famille; c’est comme le

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houen domestique. Enfin le troisième repose sur la tombe. À cedernier on brûle des papiers (sorte de sacrifice). Au houen domestiquc qui siège sur la tablette, au milieu des caractères qui y sont gravés, on brûle des hiang (bâtons d’odeur), on offre des repas funèbres, etc. Ces honneurs rendus, on est tranquille: les houens sont apaisés; qu’y a-t-il à craindre?

8 This sentence is from Chapter xxii, page 252, of the edition of De occulta philosophia from which we have already quoted above. The chapter is entitled “That there is a threefold keeper in man, and from whence each of them proceeds” The sentence, in its more complete form, is as follows:

“Triplex unicuique homini daemon bonus est proprius custos, unus quidem sacer, alter geniture, tertius professionis. . .”

which, in the translation of J.F., is rendered as:

“Every man hath a threefold good Demon, as a proper keeper, or preserver, the one whereof is holy, another of the nativity, and the other of profession. . .” (p. 410.)

9 The passages seem to have a number of inaccuracies and a considerable amount of text is left out, as indicated by dots. It is from Chapter xliii, pages 306 and 308. The Latin text is as follows:

Anima humana constat mente, ratione & idolo: mens illuminat rationem, ratio fluit in idolum, omnia una est anima. Ratio nisi per mentem illuminatur, ab errore no est immunis: Mens autem lumen rationi non praebet, nisi lucescente deo, primo videlicet lumine: prima enim lux in deo est supereminens omne intellectu: qua propter non potest lux intelligibilis vocari, sed lux illa quando infunditurmenti, fit intellectualis atque intelligi potest: deinde quando per metem infunditur rationi, fit rationalis, ac potest non solum intelligi, sed etiam cogitari . . . . . . . [p. 306] Idolum autem animae in fato est, supra naturam, quae corporis & animae quodammodo nodus est, sub fato, supra corpus: iccirco coelestium corporum influxibus immutatur, rerumq; naturalium & corporalium qualitatibus afficitur. Dico autem animae idolum, potentiam illam vivificativam et rectricem corporis, sensuum originem, per quam ipsa anima in hoc corporeuires explicat sentiendi: sentit corporalia per corpus, movit corpus per locum. regit in loco, alitq; in torpore corpus. . . . . [p. 308]”

which is rendered by the translator, J.F., as follows:

“Man’s soul consisteth of a mind, reason and imagination; the mind illuminates reason, reason floweth into the imagination: All is one soul. Reason unless it be illuminated by the mind, is not free from errour: but the mind giveth not light to reason, unless God enlighten, viz. the first light; for the first light is in God very far exceeding all understanding: wherefore it cannot be called an intelligible light; but this when it is infused into the mind, is made

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intellectual, and can be understood: then when it is infused by the mind to the reason, it is made rational, and cannot only be understood but also considered. . . . . [p. 492] . . . . But the sensitiveness of the soul is in fate, above nature, which is in a certain manner the knot of the body and soul, and under fate, above the body; therefore it is changed by the influences of the heavenly bodies, and affected by the qualities of natural and corporeal things: now I call the sensitiveness of the soul, that vivifying and rectifying power of the body, the original of the senses; the soul itself doth manifest in this body it sensitive powers and perceiveth corporeal things by the body, and locally moveth the body, and governeth it in his place, and nourisheth it in a body. . . . . [pp. 494-95]”

10 Le Monde Magique does not seem to be a separate work by des Mousseaux, but only a running-head at the top of the pages of his work entitled Les médiateurs et les moyens de la magie.