Conversations on Occultism
Student.- I am very much puzzled about the present age. Some theosophists seem to abhor it as if wishing to be taken away from it altogether, inveighing against modern inventions such as the telegraph, railways, machinery, and the like, and bewailing the disappearance of former civilizations. Others take a different view, insisting that this is a better time than any other, and hailing modern methods as the best. Tell me, please, which of these is right, or, if both are wrong, what ought we to know about the age we live in.
Sage.- The teachers of Truth know all about this age. But they do not mistake the present century for the whole cycle. The older times of European history, for example, when might was right and when darkness prevailed over Western nations, was as much a part of this age, from the standpoint of the Masters, as is the present hour, for the Yuga - to use a Sanskrit word - in which we are now had begun many thousands of years before. And during that period of European darkness, although this Yuga had already begun, there was much light, learning, and civilization in India and China. The meaning of the words "present age" must therefore be extended over a far greater period than is at present assigned. In fact, modern science has reached no definite conclusion yet as to what should properly be called "an age," and the truth of the Eastern doctrine is denied. Hence we find writers speaking of the "Golden Age," the "Iron Age," and so on, whereas they are only parts of the real age that began so far back that modern archaeologists deny it altogether.
Student.- What is the Sanskrit name for this age, and what is its meaning?
Sage.- The Sanskrit is "Kali," which added to Yuga gives us "Kali-Yuga." The meaning of it is "Dark Age." Its approach was known to the ancients, its characteristics are described in the Indian poem the Mahabharata. As I said that it takes an immense period of the glorious part of Indian history, there is no chance for anyone to be jealous and to say that we are comparing the present hour with that wonderful division of Indian development.
Student.- What are the characteristics to which you refer, by which Kali-Yuga may be known?
Sage.- As its name implies, darkness is the chief. This of course is not deducible by comparison at all. The present century is certainly ahead of the middle ages, but as compared with the preceding Yuga it is dark. To the Occultist, material advancement is not the quality of light, and he finds no proof of progress in merely mechanical contrivances that give comfort to a few of the human family while the many are in misery. For the darkness he would have to point but to one nation, even the great American Republic. Here he sees a mere extension of the habits and life of the Europe from which it sprang; here a great experiment with entirely new conditions and material was tried; here for many years very little poverty was known; but here to-day there is as much grinding poverty as anywhere, and as large a criminal class with corresponding prisons as in Europe, and more than in India. Again, the great thirst for riches and material betterment, while spiritual life is to a great extend ignored, is regarded by us as darkness. The great conflict already begun between the wealthy classes and the poorer is a sign of darkness. Were spiritual light prevalent, the rich and the poor would still be with us, for Karma cannot be blotted out, but the poor would know how to accept their lot and the rich how to improve the poor; now, on the contrary, the rich wonder why the poor do to go to the poorhouse, meanwhile seeking in the laws for cures for strikes and socialism, and the poor continually growl at fate and their supposed oppressors. All this is of the quality of spiritual darkness.
Student.- Is it wise to inquire as to the periods when the cycle changes, and to speculate on the great astronomical or other changes that herald a turn?
Sage.- It is not. There is an old saying that the gods are jealous about these things, not wishing mortals to know them. We may analyze the age, but it is better not to attempt to fix the hour of a change of cycle. Besides that, you will be unable to settle it, because a cycle does not begin one day or year clear of any other cycle; they interblend, so that, although the wheel of one period is still turning, the initial point of another has already arrived.
Student.- Are these some of the reasons why Mr. Sinnett was not given certain definite periods of years about which he asked?
Student.- Has the age in which one lives any effect on the student; and what is it?
Sage.- It has an effect on everyone, but the student after passing along his development feels the effect more than the ordinary man. Were it otherwise, the sincere and aspiring students all over the world would advance at once to those heights towards which they strive. It takes a very strong soul to hold back the age's heavy hand, and it is all the more difficult because that influence, being a part of the student's larger life, is not so well understood by him. It operates in the same way as a structural defect in a vessel. All the inner as well as the outer fibre of the man is the result of the long centuries of earthly lives lived here by his ancestors. These sow seeds of thought and physical tendencies in a way that you cannot comprehend. All those tendencies affect him. Many powers once possessed are hidden so deep as to be unseen, and he struggles against obstacles constructed ages ago. Further yet are the peculiar alterations brought about in the astral world. It, being at once a photographic plate, so to say, and also a reflector, has become the keeper of the mistakes of ages past which it continually reflects upon us from a plane to which most of us are strangers. In that sense therefore, free as we suppose ourselves, we are walking about completely hypnotized by the past, acting blindly under the suggestions thus cast upon us.
Student.- Was that why Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do"?
Sage.- That was one meaning. In one aspect they acted blindly, impelled by the age, thinking they were right.
Regarding these astral alterations, you will remember how in the time of Julian the seers reported that they could see the gods, but they were decaying, some headless, others flaccid, others minus limbs, and all appearing weak. The reverence for these ideals was departing, and their astral pictures had already begun to fade.
Student.- What mitigation is there about this age? Is there nothing at all to relieve the picture?
Sage.- There is one thing peculiar to the present Kali-Yuga that may be used by the Student. All causes now bring about their effects much more rapidly than in any other or better age. A sincere lover of the race [H.P.B. means present day humanity, also see explanations] can accomplish more in three incarnations under Kali-Yuga's reign than he could in a much greater number in any other age. Thus by bearing all the manifold troubles of this Age and steadily triumphing, the object of his efforts will be more quickly realized, for, while the obstacles seem great, the powers to be invoked can be reached more quickly.
Student.- Even if this is, spiritually considered, a Dark Age, is it not in part redeemed by the increasing triumphs of mind over matter, and by the effects of science in mitigating human ills, such as the causes of disease, disease itself, cruelty, intolerance, bad laws, etc.?
Sage.- Yes, these are mitigations of the darkness in just the same way that a lamp gives some light at night but does not restore daylight. In this age there are great triumphs of science, but they are nearly all directed to effects and do not take away the causes of the evils. Great strides have been made in the arts and in cure of diseases, but in the future, as the flower of our civilization unfolds, new diseases will arise and more strange disorders will be known, springing from causes that lie deep in the minds of men and which can only be eradicated by spiritual living.
Student.- Admitting all you say, are not we, as Theosophists, to welcome every discovery of truth in any field, especially such truth as lessens suffering or enlarges the moral sense?
Sage.- That is our duty. All truths discovered must be parts of the one Absolute Truth, and so much added to the sum of our outer knowledge. There will always be a large number of men who seek for these parts of truth, and others who try to alleviate present human misery. They each do a great and appointed work that no true Theosophist should ignore. And it is also the duty of the latter to make similar efforts when possible, for Theosophy is a dead thing if it is not turned into the life. At the same time, no one of us may be the judge of just how much or how little our brother is doing in that direction. If he does all that he can and knows how to do, he does his whole present duty.
Student.- I fear that a hostile attitude by Occult teachers towards the learning and philanthropy of the time may arouse prejudice against Theosophy and Occultism, and needlessly impede the spread of Truth. May it not be so?
Sage.- The real Occult Teachers have no hostile attitude towards these things. If some persons, who like theosophy and try to spread it, take such a position, they do not thereby alter the one assumed by the real Teachers who work with all classes of men and use every possible instrument for good. But at the same time we have found that an excess of the technical and special knowledge of the day very often acts to prevent men from apprehending the truth.
Student.- Are there any causes, other than the spread of Theosophy, which may operate to reverse the present drift towards materialism?
Sage.- The spread of the knowledge of the laws of Karma and Reincarnation and of a belief in the absolute spiritual unity of all beings will alone prevent this drift. The cycle must, however, run its course, and until that is ended all beneficial causes will of necessity act slowly and not to the extent they would in a brighter age. As each student lives a better life and by his example imprints upon the world, he thus aids souls of advanced development to descend from other spheres where the cycles are so dark that they can no longer stay there.
Student.- Accept my thanks for your instruction.
Sage.- May you reach the terrace of enlightenment.
Student.- If I understand you, an elemental is a centre of force, without intelligence, without moral character or tendencies, but capable of being directed in its movements by human thoughts, which may, consciously or not, give it any form, and to a certain extent intelligence; in its simplest form it is visible as a disturbance in a transparent medium, such as would be produced by "a glass fish, so transparent as to be invisible, swimming through the air of the room," and leaving behind him a shimmer, such as hot air makes when rising from a stove. Also, elementals, attracted and vitalized by certain thoughts, may effect a lodgment in the human system (of which they then share the government of the ego), and are very hard to get out.
Sage.- Correct, in general, except as to their "effecting a lodgment." Some classes of elementals, however, have an intelligence of their own and a character, but they are far beyond our comprehension and ought perhaps to have some other name.
That class which has most to do with us answers the above description. They are centres of force or energy which are acted on by us while thinking and in other bodily motions. We also act on them and give them form by a species of thought which we have no register of. As, one person might shape and elemental so as to seem like an insect, and not be able to tell whether he had thought of such a thing or not. For there is a vast unknown country in each human being which he does not himself understand until he has tried, and then only after many initiations.
That "elementals ... may effect a lodgment in the human system, of which they then share the government, and are very hard to get out" is, as a whole, incorrect. It is only in certain cases that any one or more elementals are attracted to and "find lodgment in the human system." In such cases special rules apply. We are not considering such cases. The elemental world interpenetrates this, and is therefore eternally present in the human system.
As it (the elemental world) is automatic and like a photographic plate, all atoms continually arriving at and departing from the "human system" are constantly assuming the impression conveyed by the acts and thoughts of that person, and therefore, if he sets up a strong current of thought, he attracts elementals in greater numbers, and they all take on one prevailing tendency of colour, so that all new arrivals find a homogeneous colour or image which they instantly assume. On the other hand, a man who has many diversities of thought and meditation is not homogeneous, but, so to say, parti-coloured, and so the elementals may lodge in that part which is different from the rest and go away in like condition. In the first case it is one mass of elementals similarly vibrating or electrified and coloured, and in that sense may be called one elemental in just the same way that we know one man as Jones, although for years he has been giving off and taking on new atoms of gross matter.
Student.- If they are attracted and repelled by thoughts, do they move with the velocity of thought, say from here to the planet Neptune?
Sage.- They move with the velocity of thought. In their world there is no space or time as we understand those terms. If Neptune be within the astral sphere of this world, then they go there with that velocity, otherwise not; but that "if" need not be solved now.
Student.- What determines their movements besides thought, - e.g. when they are floating about the room.
Sage.- Those other classes of thoughts above referred to; certain exhalations of beings; different rates and ratios of vibration among beings; different changes of magnetism caused by present causes or by the mood and the year; different polarities; changes of sound; changes of influences from other minds at a distance.
Student.- When so floating, can they be seen by anyone, or only by those persons who are clairvoyant?
Sage.- Clairvoyance is a poor word. They can be seen by partly clairvoyant people. By all those who can see thus; by more people, perhaps, than are aware of the fact.
Student.- Can they be photographed, as the rising air from the stove can?
Sage.- Not to my knowledge yet. It is not impossible, however.
Student.- Are they the lights, seen floating about a dark sťance room by clairvoyant people?
Sage.- In the majority of cases these lights are produced by them.
Student.- Exactly what is their relation to light, that makes it necessary to hold sťances in the dark?
Sage.- It is not their relation to light that makes darkness necessary, but the fact that light causes constant agitation and alteration in the magnetism of the room. All these things can be done just as well in the light of day.
If I should be able to make clear to you "exactly what is their relation to light," then you would know what has long been kept secret, the key to the elemental world. This is kept guarded because it is a dangerous secret. No matter how virtuous you are, you could not - once you knew the secret - prevent the knowledge getting out into the minds of others who would not hesitate to use it for bad purposes.
Student.- I have noticed that attention often interferes with certain phenomena; thus a pencil will not write when watched, but answers at once when covered; or a mental question cannot be answered till the mind has left it and gone to something else. Why is this?
Sage.- This kind of attention creates confusion. In these things we use desire, will, and knowledge. The desire is present, but knowledge is absent. When the desire is well formed and attention is withdrawn, the thing is often done; but when our attention is continued we only interrupt, because we posses only half attention. In order to use attention, it must be of that sort which can hold itself to the point of a needle for an indefinite period of time.
Student.- I have been told that but few people can go to a sťance without danger to themselves, either of some spiritual or astral contamination, or of having their vitality depleted for the benefit of the spooks, who suck the vital force out of the circle through the medium, as if the former were a glass of lemonade and the latter a straw. How is this?
Sage.- Quite generally this happens. It is called Bhut worship by the Hindus.
Student.- Why are visitors at a sťance often extremely and unaccountably tired the next day?
Sage.- Among other reasons, because mediums absorb the vitality for the use of the "spooks," and often vile vampire elementaries are present.
Student.- What are some of the dangers at sťances?
Sage.- The scenes visible - in the Astral - at sťances are horrible, inasmuch as these "spirits" - bhuts - precipitate themselves upon sitters and mediums alike; and as there is no sťance without having present some or many bad elementaries - half dead human beings, - there is much vampirising going on. These things fall upon the people like a cloud or a big octopus, and disappear within them as if sucked in by a sponge. That is one reason why it is not well to attend them in general.
Elementaries are not all bad, but, in a general sense, they are not good. They are shells, no doubt of that. Well, they have much automatic and seemingly intelligent action left if they are those of strong material people who died attached to the things of life. If of people of an opposite character, they are not so strong. Then there is a class which are really not dead, such as suicides, and sudden deaths, and highly wicked people. They are powerful. Elementals enter into all of them, and thus get a fictitious personality and intelligence wholly the property of the shell. They galvanize the shell into action, and by its means can see and hear as if beings themselves, like us. The shells are, in this case, just like a sleep-walking human body. They will through habit exhibit the advancement they got while in the flesh. Some people, you know, do not impart to their bodily molecules the habit of their minds to as great [an] extent as others. We thus see why the utterances of these so-called "spirits" are never ahead of the highest point of progress attained by living human beings, and why they take up the ideas elaborated day-by-day by their votaries. This sťance worship is what is called in Old India the worship of Pretas and Bhuts and Pisachas and Ghandarvas.
I do not think any elementary capable of motive had ever any other than a bad one; the rest are nothing, they have no motive and are only the shades refused passage by Charon.
Student.- What is the relation between sexual force and phenomena?
Sage.- It is at the bottom. This force is vital, creative, and a sort of reservoir. It may be lost by mental action as well as by physical. In fact its finer part is dissipated by mental imaginings, while physical acts only draw off the gross part, that which is the "carrier" (upadhi) for the finer.
Student.- Why do so many mediums cheat, even when they can produce real phenomena?
Sage.- It is the effect of the use of that which in itself is sublimated cheating, which, acting on an irresponsible mind, causes the lower form of cheat, of which the higher is any illusionary form whatever. Besides, a medium is of necessity unbalanced somewhere.
They deal with these forces for pay, and that is enough to call to them all the wickedness of time. They use the really gross sorts of matter, which causes inflammation in corresponding portions of the moral character, and hence divagations from the path of honesty. It is a great temptation. You do not know, either, what fierceness there is in those who "have paid" for a sitting and wish "for the worth of their money."
Student.- When a clairvoyant, as a man did here a year ago, tells me that, "he sees a strong band of spirits about me," and among them an old man who says he is a certain eminent character, what does he really see? Empty and senseless shells? If so, what brought them there? Or elementals which have got their form from my mind or his?
Sage.- Shells, I think, and thoughts, and old astral pictures. If, for instance, you once saw that eminent person and conceived great respect or fear for him, so that his image was graven in your astral sphere in deeper lines than other images, it would be seen for your whole life by seers, who, if untrained, - as they all are here, - could not tell whether it was an image or reality; and then each sight of it is a revivification of the image.
Besides, not all would see the same thing. Fall down, for instance, and hurt your body, and that will bring up all similar events and old forgotten things before any seer's eye.
The whole astral world is a mass of illusion; people see into it, and then, through the novelty of the thing and the exclusiveness of the power, they are bewildered into thinking they actually see true things, whereas they have only removed one thin crust of dirt.
Student.- Accept my thanks for your instruction.
Sage.- May you reach the terrace of enlightenment.
Student.- Permit met to ask you again, are elementals beings?
Sage.- It is not easy to convey to you an idea of the constitution of elementals; strictly speaking, they are not, because the word elementals has been used in reference to a class of them that have no being such as mortals have. It would be better to adopt the terms used in Indian books, such as Ghandarvas, Bhuts, Pisaches, Devas, and so on. Many things well known about them cannot be put into ordinary language.
Student.- Do you refer to their being able to act in the fourth dimension of space?
Sage.- Yes, in a measure. Take the tying in an endless cord of many knots, - a thing often done at spiritual sťances. That is possible to him who knows more dimensions of space than three. No three-dimensional being can do this; and as you understand "matter," it is impossible for you to conceive how such a knot can be tied or how a solid ring can be passed through the matter of another solid one. These things can be done by elementals.
Student.- Are they not all of one class?
Sage.- No. There are different classes for each plane, and division of plane, of nature. Many can never be recognized by men. And those pertaining to our plane do not act in another. You must remember, too, that these "planes" of which we are speaking interpenetrate each other.
Student.- Am I to understand that a clairvoyant or clairaudient has to do with or is affected by a certain special class or classes of elementals?
Sage.- Yes. A clairvoyant can only see the sights properly belonging to the planes his development reaches to or has opened. And the elementals in those planes show to the clairvoyant only such pictures as belong to their plane. Other parts of the idea or thing pictured may be retained in planes not yet open to the seer. For this reason few clairvoyants know the whole truth.
Student.- Is there not some connection between the Karma of man and elementals?
Sage.- A very important one. The elemental world has become a strong factor in the Karma of the human race. Being unconscious, automatic, and photographic, it assumes the complexion of the human family itself. In the earlier ages, when we may postulate that man had not yet begun to make bad Karma, the elemental world was more friendly to man because it had not received unfriendly impressions. But so soon as man began to become ignorant, unfriendly to himself and the rest of creation, the elemental world began to take on exactly the same complexion and return to humanity the exact pay, so to speak, due for the actions of humanity. Or, like a donkey, which, when he is pushed against, will push against you. Or, as a human being, when anger or insult is offered, feels inclined to return the same. So the elemental world, being unconscious force, returns or reacts upon humanity exactly as humanity acted towards it, whether the actions of men were done with the knowledge of these laws or not. So in these times it has come to be that the elemental world has the complexion and action which is the exact result of all the actions and thoughts and desires of men from the earliest times. And, being unconsciously and only acting according to the natural laws of its being, the elemental world is a powerful factor in the workings of Karma. And so long as mankind does not cultivate brotherly feeling and charity towards the whole of creation, just so long will the elementals be without the impulse to act for our benefit. But so soon and wherever man or men begin to cultivate brotherly feeling and love for the whole of creation, there and then the elementals begin to take on the new condition.
Student.- How then about the doing of phenomena by adepts?
Sage.- The production of phenomena is not possible without either the aid or disturbance of elementals. Each phenomenon entails the expenditure of great force, and also brings on a correspondingly great disturbance in the elemental world, which disturbance is beyond the limit natural to ordinary human life. It then follows that, as soon as the phenomenon is completed, the disturbance occasioned begins to be compensated for. The elementals are in greatly excited motion, and precipitate themselves in various directions. They are not able to affect those who are protected. But they are able, or rather it is possible for them, to enter into the sphere of unprotected persons, and especially those persons who are engaged in the study of occultism. And then they become agents in concentrating the karma of those persons, producing troubles and disasters often, or other difficulties which otherwise might have so spread over a period of time as to be not counted more than the ordinary vicissitudes of life. This will go to explain the meaning of the statement that an Adept will not do a phenomenon unless he sees the desire in the mind of another lower or higher Adept or student; for then there is a sympathetic relation established, and also a tacit acceptance of the consequences which may ensue. It will also help to understand the peculiar reluctance often of some persons, who can perform phenomena, to produce them in cases where we may think their production would be beneficial; and also why they are never done in order to compass worldly ends, as is natural for worldly people to suppose might be done, - such as procuring money, transferring objects, influencing minds, and so on.
Student.- Accept my thanks for your instruction.
Sage.- May you reach the terrace of enlightenment.
Student.- Is there any reason why you do not give me a more detailed explanation of the constitution of elementals and the modes by which they work?
Sage.- Yes. There are many reasons. Among others is your inability, shared by most of the people of the present day, to comprehend a description of things that pertain to a world with which you are not familiar and for which you do not yet possess terms of expression. Were I to put forth these descriptions, the greater part would seem vague and incomprehensible on one hand, while on the other many of them would mislead you because of the interpretation put on them by yourself. Another reason is that, if the constitution, field of action, and method of action of elementals were given out, there are some minds of a very inquiring and peculiar bent who soon could find out how to come into communication with these extraordinary beings, with results disadvantageous to the community as well as the individuals.
Student.- Why so? Is it not well to increase the sum of human knowledge, even respecting most recondite parts of nature; or can it be that the elementals are bad?
Sage.- It is wise to increase the knowledge of nature's laws, but always with proper limitations. All things will become known some day. Nothing can be kept back when men have reached the point where they can understand. But at this time it would not be wise to give them, for the asking, certain knowledge that would not be good for them. That knowledge relates to the elementals, and it can for the present be kept back from the scientists of today. So long as it can be retained from them, it will be, until they and their followers are of a different stamp.
As to the moral character of elementals, they have none: they are colourless in themselves - except some classes - and merely assume the tint, so to speak, of the person using them.
Student.- Will our scientific men one day, then, be able to use these beings, and, if so, what will be the manner of it? Will their use be confined to only the good men of the earth?
Sage.- The hour is approaching when all this will be done. But the scientists of to-day are not the men to get this knowledge. They are only pigmy forerunners who sow seed and delve blindly in no thoroughfares. They are too small to be able to grasp these mighty powers, but they are not wise enough to see that their methods will eventually lead to Black Magic in centuries to come when they shall be forgotten.
When elemental forces are used similarly as we now see electricity and other natural energies adapted to various purposes, there will be "war in heaven." Good men will not alone possess the ability to use them. Indeed, the sort of man you now call "good" will not be the most able. The wicked will, however, pay liberally for the power of those who can wield such forces, and at last the Supreme Masters, who now guard this knowledge from children, will have to come forth. Then will ensue a dreadful war, in which, as has ever happened, the Masters will succeed and the evil doers be destroyed by the very engines, principalities, and powers prostituted to their own purposes during years of intense selfish living. But why dilate on this; in these days it is only a prophecy.
Student.- Could you give me some hints as to how the secrets of the elemental plane are preserved and prevented from being known? Do these guardians of whom you speak occupy themselves in checking elementals, or how? Do they see much danger in divulgement likely in those instances where elemental action is patent to the observer?
Sage.- As to whether they check elementals or not need not be inquired into, because, while that may be probable, it does not appear very necessary where men are unsuspicious of the agency causing the phenomena. It is much easier to throw a cloud over the investigator's mind and lead him off to other results of often material advantage to himself and men, while at the same time acting as a complete preventive or switch which turns his energies and application into different departments.
It might be illustrated thus: Suppose that a number of trained occultists are set apart to watch the various sections of the world where the mental energies are in fervid operation. It is quite easy for them to see in a moment any mind that is about reaching a clue into the elemental world; and, besides, imagine that trained elementals themselves constantly carry information of such events. Then, by superior knowledge and command over this peculiar world, influences presenting various pictures are sent out to that inquiring mind. In one case it may be a new moral reform, in another a great invention is revealed, and such is the effect that the man's whole time and mind are taken up by this new thing which he fondly imagines is his own. Or, again, it would be easy to turn his thoughts into a certain rut leading far from the dangerous clue. In fact, the methods are endless.
Student.- Would it be wise to put into the hands of truly good, conscientious men who now use aright what gifts they have, knowledge of and control over elementals, to be used on the side of right?
Sage.- The Masters are the judges of what good men are to have this power and control. You must not forget that you cannot be sure of the character at bottom of those whom you call "truly good and conscientious men." Place them in the fire of the tremendous temptation which such power and control would furnish, and most of them would fail. But the Masters already know the characters of all who in any way approach to a knowledge of these forces, and They always judge whether such a man is to be aided or prevented. They are not working to make these laws and forces known, but to establish right doctrine, speech, and action, so that the characters and motives of men shall undergo such radical changes as to fit them for wielding power in the elemental world. And that power is not now lying idle, as you infer, but is being always used by those who will never fail to rightly use it.
Student.- Is there any illustration at hand showing what the people of the present day would do with these extraordinary energies?
Sage.- A cursory glance at men in these western worlds engaged in the mad rush after money, many of them willing to do anything to get it, and at the strain, almost to warfare, existing between labourers and users of labour, must show you that, were either class in possession of power over the elemental world, they would direct it to the furtherance of the aims now before them. Then look at Spiritualism. It is recorded in the Lodge - photographed, you may say, by the doers of the acts themselves - that an enormous number of persons daily seek the aid of mediums and their "spooks" merely on questions of business. Whether to buy stocks, or engage in mining for gold and silver, to deal in lotteries, or to make new mercantile contracts. Here on one side is a picture of a coterie of men who obtained as a low figure some mining property on the advice of elemental spirits with fictitious names masquerading behind mediums; these mines were then to be put upon the public at high profit, inasmuch as the "spirits" promised metal. Unhappily for the investors, it failed. But such a record is repeated in many cases.
Then there is another where in a great American city - the Karma being favorable - a certain man speculated in stocks upon similar advice, succeeded, and, after having given the medium liberal pay, retired to what is called enjoyment of life. Neither party devoted either himself or the money to the benefiting of humanity.
There is no question of honour involved, nor any as to whether money ought or ought not to be made. It is solely one as to the propriety, expediency, and results of giving suddenly into the hands of a community unprepared and without altruistic aim, such abnormal power. Take hidden treasure, for instance. There is much of it in hidden places, and many men wish to get it. For what purpose? For the sake of ministering to their luxurious wants and leaving it to their equally unworthy descendants. Could they know the mantram controlling the elementals that guard such treasure, they would use it at once, motive or no motive, the sole object being the money in the case.
Student.- Do some sorts of elementals have guard over hidden treasure?
Sage.- Yes, in every instance, whether never found or soon discovered. The causes for the hiding and the thoughts of the hider or loser have much to do with the permanent concealment or subsequent finding.
Student.- What happens when a large sum of money, say, such as Captain Kidd's mythical treasure, is concealed, or when a quantity of coin is lost?
Sage.- Elementals gather about it. They have many and curious modes of causing further concealment. They even influence animals to that end. This class of elementals seldom, if ever, report at your spiritualistic sťances. As time goes on the forces of air and water still further aid them, and sometimes they are able even to prevent the hider from recovering it. Thus in course of years, even when they may have altogether lost their hold on it, the whole thing becomes shrouded in mist, and it is impossible to find anything.
Student.- This in part explains why so many failures are recorded in the search for hidden treasure. But how about the Masters; are they prevented thus by these weird guardians?
Sage.- They are not. The vast quantities of gold hidden in the earth and under the sea are at their disposal always. They can, when necessary for their purposes, obtain such sums of money on whom no living being or descendants of any have the slightest claim, as would appall the senses of your greatest money getter. They have but to command the very elementals controlling it, and They have it. This is the very basis for the story of Aladdin's wonderful lamp, more true than you would believe.
Student.- Of what use then is it to try, like the alchemists, to make gold? With the immense amount of buried treasure thus easily found when you control its guardian, it would seem a waste of time and money to learn transmutation of metals.
Sage.- The transmutation spoken of by the real alchemists was the alteration of the base alloy in man's nature. At the same time, actual transmutation of lead into gold is possible. And many followers of the alchemists, as well as of the pure-souled Jacob Boehme, eagerly sought to accomplish the material transmuting, being led away by the glitter of wealth. But an Adept has no need for transmutation, as I have shown you. The stories told of various men who are said to have produced gold from base metals for different kings in Europe are wrong explanations. Here and there Adepts have appeared, assuming different names, and in certain emergencies they supplied or used large sums of money. But instead of its being the product of alchemical art, it was simply ancient treasure brought to them by elementals in their service and that of the Lodge. Raymond Lully and Robert Flood might have been of that sort, but I forbear to say, since I cannot claim acquaintance with those men.
Student.- I thank you for your instruction.
Sage.- May you reach the terrace of enlightenment!