H. P. Blavatsky on Magic and why people fall
Mar 06, 2009 10:31 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
My views are:
So nobody among the wellknown theosophists fell on the Path?
H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her Key to theosophy, Woordbook:
"Magic. The "great" Science. According to Deveria and other Orientalists, "Magic was considered as a sacred science inseparable from religion" by the oldest and most civilised and learned nations. The Egyptians, for instance, were a most sincerely religious nation, as were, and are still, the Hindus. "Magic consists of, and is acquired by, the worship of the gods," says Plato. Could, then, a nation which, owing to the irrefragable evidence of inscriptions and papyri, is proved to have firmly believed in magic for thousands of years, have been deceived for so long a time? And is it likely that generations upon generations of a learned and pious hierarchy, many among whom led lives of self-martyrdom, holiness and asceticism, would have gone on deceiving themselves and the people (or even only the latter) for the pleasure of perpetuating belief in "miracles"? Fanatics, we are told, will do anything to enforce belief in their god or idols. To this we reply: - In such cases Brahmans and Egyptian Rekhget-amens or Hierophants, would not have popularised the belief in the power of man by magic practices, to command the services of the gods: which gods are in truth but the occult powers or potencies of Nature, personified by the learned priests themselves, who reverenced only in them the attributes of the one unknown and nameless Principle. As Proclus, the Platonist, ably puts it: "Ancient priests, when they considered that there is a certain alliance and sympathy in natural things to each other, and of things manifest to occult powers, and discovered that all things subsist in all, fabricated a sacred science from this mutual sympathy and similarity. . . . and applied for occult purposes both celestial and terrene natures, by means of which, through a certain similitude, they deduced divine natures into this inferior abode." Magic is the science of communicating with, and directing supernal supramundane potencies, as well as commanding those of lower spheres; a practical knowledge of the hidden mysteries of nature which are known only to the few, because they are so difficult to acquire without falling into sin against the law. Ancient and mediaeval mystics divided magic into three classes - Theurgia, Goetia and Natural Magic. "Theurgia has long since been appropriated as the peculiar sphere of the Theosophists and metaphysicians," says Kenneth Mackenzie. "Goetia is black magic, and 'natural' or white magic has risen with healing in its wings to the proud position of an exact and progressive study." The remarks added by our late learned brother are remarkable: "The realistic desires of modern times have contributed to bring magic into disrepute and ridicule. . . . Faith (in one's own self) is an essential element in magic, and existed long before other ideas which presume its pre-existence. It is said that it takes a wise man to make a fool; and a man's idea must be exalted almost to madness, i. e., his brain susceptibilities must be increased far beyond the low miserable status of modern civilisation, before he can become a true magician, for a pursuit of this science implies a certain amount of isolation and an abnegation of self." A very great isolation certainly, the achievement of which constitutes a wonderful phenomenon, a miracle in itself. Withal, magic is not something supernatural. As explained by Iamblichus, "they, through the sacerdotal theurgy, announce that they are able to ascend to more elevated and universal essences, and to those that are established above fate, viz., to god and the demiurgos: neither employing matter, nor assuming any other things besides, except the observation of a sensible time." Already some are beginning to recognise the existence of subtle powers and influences in nature, in which they have hitherto known nought. But, as Dr. Carter Blake truly remarks, "the nineteenth century is not that which has observed the genesis of new, nor the completion of old, methods of thought"; to which Mr. Bonwick adds, that "if the Ancients knew but little of our mode of investigation into the secrets of Nature, we know still less of their mode of research." "
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H. P. Blavatsky wrote in her Key to theosophy, p. 292-293:
"ENQUIRER. This is very interesting. Tell me, have the Adepts thus inspired or dictated to many of your Theosophists?
THEOSOPHIST. No, on the contrary, to very few. Such operations require special conditions. An unscrupulous but skilled Adept of the Black Brotherhood ("Brothers of the Shadow," and Dugpas, we call them) has far less difficulties to labour under. For, having no laws of the Spiritual kind to trammel his actions, such a Dugpa "sorcerer" will most unceremoniously obtain control over any mind, and subject it entirely to his evil powers. But our Masters will never do that. They have no right, except by falling into Black Magic, to obtain full mastery over anyone's immortal Ego, and can therefore act only on the physical and psychic nature of the subject, leaving thereby the free will of the latter wholly undisturbed. Hence, unless a person has been brought into psychic relationship with the Masters, and is assisted by virtue of his full faith in, and devotion to, his Teachers, the latter, whenever transmitting their thoughts to one with whom these conditions are not fulfilled, experience great difficulties in penetrating into the cloudy chaos of that person's sphere. But this is no place to treat of a subject of this nature. Suffice it to say, that if the power exists, then there are Intelligences (embodied or disembodied) which guide this power, and living conscious instruments through whom it is transmitted and by whom it is received. We have only to beware of black magic.
ENQUIRER. But what do you really mean by "black magic"?
THEOSOPHIST. Simply abuse of psychic powers, or of any secret of nature; the fact of applying to selfish and sinful ends the powers of Occultism. A hypnotiser, who, taking advantage of his powers of "suggestion," forces a subject to steal or murder, would be called a black magician by us. The famous "rejuvenating system" of Dr. Brown-Sequard, of Paris, through a loathsome animal injection into human blood - a discovery all the medical papers of Europe are now discussing - if true, is unconscious black magic."
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W. Q. Judge - Esoteric Section - 1891
"The student may now learn why no one can properly or with safety enter on the study of Practical Occultism, in the real sense of the word, unless he or she is a celibate"
"The Spinal Cord puts into connection the Brain and the Generative Organs, and this connection is further strengthened by the Sympathetic System. The Cord, however, gives an open passage, which opens into the important cavities of the Brain. Excitement of the Generative Organs sends up impulses and subtle essences to the Brain by way of the spinal canals. Now the three vital airs are ruled by the Will, and Will and Desire are the higher and lower aspects of one and the same thing. These airs, as said, play in the canals, and hence the importance of their absolute purity. For if they soil the vital airs energized by the Will, disease results at the best, Black Magic at the worst. Therefore all sexual intercourse is forbidden to the students of Practical Occultism.
For instruction in Practical Occultism it is necessary to have acquired power of concentration, and then to receive certain definite directions."
Also here many diagrams on the study of the Esoteric...
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