I beg you to again allow me a little space for the further elucidation of a very important question that of the "Elementals" "and the "Elementaries." It is a misfortune that our European languages do not contain a nomenclature expressive of the various grades and conditions of spiritual beings. But surely I cannot be blamed for either the above linguistic deficiency, or because some people do not choose, or are unable, to understand my meaning! I cannot too often repeat that in this matter I claim no originality. My teachings are but the substance of what many Kabalists have said before me, which to-day I mean to prove, with your kind permission.
I am accused (1) of "turning somersaults" and jumping from one idea to another. The defendant pleads not guilty. (2) Of coining not only words but Philosophies out of the depths of my consciousness. Defendant enters the same plea. (3) Of having repeatedly asserted that "intelligent Spirits other than those who have passed through an earth experience in a human body were concerned in the manifestations known as the phenomena of Spiritualism." True, and defendant repeats the assertion. (4) Of having advanced, in my bold and unwarranted theories, "beyond the great Éliphas Lévi himself." Indeed? Were I to go even as far as he (see his Science des Esprits),I would deny that a single so-called spiritual manifestation is more than hallucination, produced by soulless Elementals, whom he calls "Elementaries" (see Rituel de la Haute Magie).
I am asked: "What proof is there of the existence of the Elementals?" In my turn I will enquire: "What proof is there of diakkas, guides, bands and controls?" And yet these terms are all current among Spiritualists. The unanimous testimony of innumerable observers and competent experimenters furnishes the proof. If Spiritualists cannot, or will not, go to those countries where they are living and these proofs are accessible, they, at least, have no right to give the lie direct to those who have seen both the Adepts and the proofs. My witnesses are living men teaching and exemplifying the Philosophy of hoary ages; theirs, these very "guides" and "controls," who up to the present time are at best hypothetical, and whose assertions have been repeatedly found, by Spiritualists themselves, contradictory and false.
If my present critics insist that since the discussion of this matter began, a disembodied soul has never been described as an "Elementary," I merely point to the number of the London Spiritualist for Feb. 18th, 1876, published nearly two years ago, in which a correspondent, who has certainly studied the Occult Sciences, says:
Note two things: that human Elementaries are recognized as existing, apart from the Gnomes, Sylphs, Undines and Salamanders beings purely elemental; and that annihilation of the soul is regarded as potential.
Says Paracelsus, in his Philosophia Sagax:
And Éliphas Lévi:
"Yes, yes," he remarks (op. cit., vol. i. p. 164):
Note that we have here described to us more or less "intelligent Spirits, other than those who have passed through an earth experience in a human body." If not intelligent, they would not know how to make the attempt to incarnate themselves. Vicious Elementals, or Elementaries, are attracted to vicious parents; they bask in their atmosphere, and are thus afforded the chance, by the vices of the parents, to perpetuate in the child the paternal wickedness. The unintellectual Elementals are drawn in unconsciously to themselves, and, in the order of Nature, as component parts of the grosser astral body or soul, determine the temperament. They can as little resist as the animalcules can avoid entering into our bodies in the water we swallow. Of a third class, out of hundreds that the Eastern philosophers and Kabalists are acquainted with, Éliphas Lévi, discussing spiritistic phenomena, says:
These he regards as the sole agents in all the meaningless and useless physical phenomena at séances.Such phenomena will be produced unless they be dominated "by wills more powerful than their own." Such a will may be that of a living Adept, or, as there are none such at Western spiritual séances, these ready agents are at the disposal of every strong, vicious, earth-bound, human Elementary who has been attracted to the place. By such they can be used in combination with the astral emanations of the circle and medium, as stuff out of which to make materialized Spirits.
So little does Lévi concede the possibility of Spirit-return in objective form, that he says:
Henry Kunrath was a most learned Kabalist, and the greatest authority among mediæval Occultists. He gives, in one of the clavicles of his Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ Æternæ, illustrative engravings of the four great classes of elementary Spirits, as they presented themselves during an evocation of ceremonial Magic, before the eyes of the Magus, when, after passing the threshold, he lifted the "Veil of Isis." In describing them, Kunrath corroborates Éliphas Lévi. He tells us they are disembodied, vicious men, who have parted with their divine Spirits and become Elementaries. They are so termed, because attracted by the earthly atmosphere and surrounded by the earths elements. Here Kunrath applies the term " Elementary" to doomed human souls, while Lévi uses it, as we have seen, to designate another class of the same great family Gnomes, Sylphs, Undines, etc. sub-human entities.
I have before me a manuscript, intended originally for publication, but withheld for various reasons. The author signs himself "Zeus," and is a Kabalist of more than twenty-five years standing. This experienced Occultist, a zealous devotee of Kunrath, expounding the doctrine of the latter, also says that the Kabalists divided the Spirits of the elements into four classes, corresponding to the four temperaments in man.
It is charged against me as a heinous offence that I aver that some men lose their souls and are annihilated. But this last-named authority, "Zeus," is equally culpable, for he says:
To return to Lévi, he remarks (La Haute Magie, vol. i. p.319):
The Kabalists represent Adam as the Tree of Life, of which the trunk is Humanity; the various races, the branches; and individual men, the leaves. Every leaf has its individual life, and is fed by the one sap; but it can live only through the branch, as the branch itself draws its life through the trunk. Says the Kabalah:
My friend, Miss Emily Kislingbury, of London, secretary of the British National Association of Spiritualists, who is honoured, trusted and beloved by all who know her, sends me a spirit-communication obtained, in April, 1877, through a young lady, who is one of the purest and most truthful of her sex. The following extracts are singularly à propos to the subject under discussion.
Finally, I am asked: "Who are the trained Seers?" They are those, I answer, who have been trained from their childhood, in the Pagodas, to use their spiritual sight; those whose accumulated testimony has not varied for thousands of years as to the fundamental facts of Eastern Philosophy; the testimony of each generation corroborating that of each preceding one. Are these to be trusted more, or less, than the communications of "bands" each of whom contradicts the other as completely as the various religious sects, which are ready to cut each others throats and of mediums, even the best of whom are ignorant of their own nature, and unsubjected to the wise direction and restraint of an Adept in Psychological Science?
No comprehensive idea of Nature can be obtained except by applying the Law of Harmony and analogy in the spiritual as well as in the physical world. "As above, so below," is the old Hermetic axiom. If Spiritualists would apply this to the subject of their own researches they would see the philosophical necessity of there being in the world of Spirit, as well as the world of Matter, a law of the survival of the fittest.
[From The Religio-Philosophical Journal, Jan. 26th, 1878.]
H. P. Blavatsky