THEOSOPHY, Vol. 28, No. 9, July, 1940
(Pages 394-403; Size: 45K)
(Number 7 of an 8-part series)
[Compiler's Note: All 8 articles have the same name.]
THE ASTRAL BODY
HISTORICAL STUDIES: VIIA New concept appears in physics, the most important invention since Newton's time: The field. It needed great scientific imagination to realize that it is not the charges nor the particles but the field in space between the charges and the particles which is essential for the description of physical phenomena....AGAIN, physics has pointed out the way to biology. "Field physics," Dr. H. S. Burr, anatomist of Yale University, told the National Academy of Sciences in an address in April of last year, "centers theory and experimentation upon the medium in which the system as a whole is imbedded and upon its structure." The physical doctrine of the field, together with certain facts of embryology, Dr. Burr said, caused him and his colleague, Dr. F. S. C. Northrop, Yale professor of Philosophy,(2) to formulate the "electro-dynamic theory of life." In 1935, the anatomist, Dr. Burr, working with a physicist, Dr. Cecil T. Lane, and a physiologist, Dr. Leslie F. Nims, all of Yale, developed an instrument capable of measuring electrical changes in the body as small as five-millionths of a volt. With this sensitive device they studied the subtle electrical variations which accompany all growth processes and physiological changes. In November, 1936, Waldemar Kaempffert, science editor of the New York Times, reported on the early experiments with the "vacuum-tube microvoltmeter," as the measuring instrument is called. He wrote:
In the beginning, the field concept was no more than a means of facilitating the understanding of phenomena from the mechanical point of view.... The recognition of the new concept grew steadily, until substance was overshadowed by the field. It was realized that something of great importance had happened in physics. A new reality was created, a new concept for which there was no place in the mechanical description. Slowly and by a struggle the field concept established for itself a leading place in physics and has remained as one of the basic physical concepts. The electromagnetic field is, for the modern physicist, as real as the chair on which he sits.(1)
--ALBERT EINSTEIN.Thousands of tests already made show that living creatures all generate electricity in measurable amounts and that each species has its characteristic, rather stable electrical pattern. The pattern changes minutely and thus reflects variations in the process of living....In April, 1939 -- something less than three "years hence" -- Drs. Burr and Northrop presented the epoch-making results of their research, and the conclusion: "The simplest assumption with which to explain all the evidence so far gathered is that of the existence in the living organism of an electro-dynamic field." This field, Dr. Burr added, is the "true" architect of the organism.(4) Following are some of the findings of the Yale experiments, as reported in the press:
They [Drs. Burr and Northrop] saw that living things are amazingly constant. Flesh is cut open and bleeds and heals; tissues fall a prey to disease but cure themselves. Somehow the integrity of the whole organism is never lost.
No one knows why this should be so. In the field, thinks Prof. Burr, may lie the causative factor that gives meaning to the unity of nature and that explains why wholes tend to remain wholes and atoms to form wholes, whether bits of wood or men....
Some years hence it may turn out that this instrument has revealed a crucial element or pattern in the design of living things. So it will be possible to explain how an animal grows from a single egg into a complex man with arms, legs, a brain and heart, and possible, also, to explain how the chromosomes in the cell determine why our faces are what they are and why eyes are blue, brown or black. In a word, "animal electricity," scoffed at since Galvani's time, may manifest itself as life.(3)In the growing embryo, the electrical pattern develops hand in hand with the development of the whole organism. All else in the body undergoes constant change; the individual cells of which the body is made, excepting the germ cells, grow old and die, to be replaced by other cells, but the electrical architect remains the only constant throughout life, building new cells and organizing them after the same pattern of the original cells, and thus, in a literal sense, recreating the body....According to another account of the Yale investigations:
The experimental evidence shows, according to Dr. Burr, that each species of animal and very likely also the individuals within the species have their characteristic electrical field, analogous to the lines of force in a magnet. This electric field, having its own pattern, fashions all the protoplasmic clay of life that comes within its sphere of influence after its image, thus personifying itself in the living flesh as the sculptor personifies his idea in stone....
The Yale scientists have succeeded in revealing the master architect at work, and even to catch the first outlines of his configuration in space, showing him to be in absolute control of the organism as a whole and of its parts, and at all times correlating the workings of the parts with the whole.(5)Electrical potentials in the living body build up at an extremely rapid rate when it is in the embryonic state and during the first third of the life span. Measurements made on mice indicated, Dr. Burr said, that the electrical potentials increased during the first third of life, remained stationary during the middle third and then declined during the latter third.In the light of these researches, it is safe for the theosophist to conclude that the "field" concept will one day replace altogether the mechanical theories of modern biologists in their attempts to solve the mystery of form. Particle physics is now subordinated to field physics. We may look forward to a future time when the "particle" biology of chemo-physical theory will yield to concentrated study of the "fields" of life.
The electrical potentials are found in the human body as well as in the lower animals and their alterations from normal indicates fundamental changes taking place in the body.(6)
The vital forces which become manifest within these fields are but the tools and final means for the accomplishment of the purposes of Nature, acting periodically, and apparently mechanically in some respects, through an inward impulse mixed up with, but beyond their material nature. The key to understanding biological field phenomena is given by H. P. Blavatsky. She wrote in The Secret Doctrine in 1888:There is a purpose in every important act of Nature, whose acts are all cyclic and periodical. But spiritual Forces having been usually confused with the purely physical, the former are denied by, and therefore, have to remain unknown to Science, because left unexamined. Men of science will say: We deny, because nothing of the kind has ever come within the scope of our experience. But, as argued by Charles Richet, the physiologist: "So be it, but have you at least demonstrated the contrary? ... Do not, at any rate, deny a priori. Actual Science is not sufficiently advanced to give you such right."(7)While "spiritual Forces," scientists may say, are beyond our ken, it is impossible for modern biology to deny, in the face of its own data, that abundant evidence of the forces called astral in Theosophy is now within the scope of scientific experience. A statement from William Q. Judge will be found to integrate the new biological knowledge of form far better than any of the current scientific hypotheses. According to The Ocean of Theosophy, published in 1893:...the astral body precedes the material one.Taking together the discoveries at Yale and the facts of development in embryonic growth and in regeneration, it seems just to say that modern biology acknowledges an electro-magnetic principle of formation which guides the differentiation of the organism. This principle, whether it be called "morphogenetic field," "organizer," or "metastructure," is the astral body of Theosophic teaching. When a biologist speaks of the development of organs as "the expression of an already existing but invisible structural organization," he describes the nature and function of the astral body in almost the same words as those used by Mr. Judge.
The astral body is made of matter of very fine texture as compared with the visible body, and has a great tensile strength, so that it changes but little during a lifetime, while the physical alters every moment.... The matter of which it is composed is electrical and magnetic in its essence,...
The astral body is the guiding model for the physical one, and all the other kingdoms have the same astral model. Vegetables, minerals, and animals have the ethereal double, and this theory is the only one which will answer the question how it is that the seed produces its own kind and all sentient beings bring forth their like. Biologists can only say that the facts are as we know them, but can give no reason why the acorn will never grow anything but an oak except that no man ever knew it to be otherwise....
...the model for the growing child in the womb is the astral body already perfect in shape before the child is born. It is on this the molecules arrange themselves until the child is complete, and the presence of the ethereal design-body will explain how the form grows into shape, how the eyes push themselves out from within to the surface of the face, and many other mysterious matters in embryology which are passed over by medical men with a description but with no explanation. This will also explain, as nothing else can, the cases of marking of the child in the womb, sometimes denied by physicians but well known by those who care to watch, to be a fact of frequent occurrence. The growing physical form is subject to the astral model; it is connected with the imagination of the mother by physical and psychical organs; the mother makes a strong picture from horror, fear, or otherwise, and the astral model is then similarly affected. In the case of marking by being born legless, the ideas and strong imagination of the mother act so as to cut off or shrivel up the astral leg, and the result is that the molecules, having no model of leg to work on, make no physical leg whatever; and similarly in all such cases. But where we find a man who still feels the leg which the surgeon has cut off, or perceives the fingers that were amputated, then the astral member has not been interfered with, and hence the man feels as if it were still on his person. For knife or acid will not injure the astral model, but in the first stages of its growth ideas and imagination have the power of acid and sharpened steel.(8)
The next step, obviously, is a recognition of the relation between thought and all patterns of form, which would make thorough-going Platonic realists of scientific investigators. The phenomena of development are scientifically as well as philosophically inexplicable without some conception of noumenal forms. The world of noumena, however -- the world of Ideas as causes -- is for modern scientists unknown, unconsidered, and save in a few exceptional instances, wholly unsuspected. That is the reason why the facts which support the Theosophical teachings on this phase of the subject are ignored by the workers in research. The facts are there, but they confirm no current theory and upset materialistic preconceptions; hence, they receive no attention.
Mind can, visibly, mold the form of matter, and those desiring to investigate thoroughly this occult proposition should read Isis Unveiled.(9) Here, as a striking single instance of the power of the mother's imagination over the physical form of her unborn infant, a recent wonder of the medical world may be cited. In Manila, on August 7 of last year, a child was born with its heart exposed on the outside of its chest. The heart was abnormal in size, and was covered only with a thin, transparent layer of pericardial tissue, making the entire organ clearly visible. The hope that an operation might place the heart in its normal bodily cavity had to be abandoned because X-ray photographs showed that no cavity existed. Why was the heart outside the body, and why did the growing embryo provide no normal cavity? This extraordinary malformation is absolutely without explanation from the medical point of view, but is easily understood in the light of Theosophy. According to a United Press dispatch, the mother was a devout Catholic, a Filipino woman who had been bed-ridden for three months prior to the child's birth. During that time she gazed constantly at two pictures on the wall, one of the Virgin Mary, the other of Jesus Christ with heart exposed!
In Isis Unveiled, H. P. Blavatsky quotes from Dr. Henry More's Immortality of the Soul (1659) to show the potency of the human mind on the subtle forces of nature. She says:The author, Dr. More, views the foetus as if it were a plastic substance, which can be fashioned by the mother to an agreeable or disagreeable shape, to resemble some person or in part several persons, and to be stamped with the effigies, or as we might more properly call it, the astrograph, of some object vividly presented to her imagination. These effects may be produced by her voluntarily or involuntarily, consciously or unconsciously, feebly or forcibly, as the case may be. It depends upon her ignorance or knowledge of the profound mysteries of nature.(10)The fact that the mother can control the appearance of her unborn child was so well known among the ancients that it was the custom among wealthy Greeks to place fine statues near the bed, so that she might have a perfect model constantly before her eyes. The laws governing this process are described in Isis Unveiled. In illustration of the principle to be detailed, H.P.B. cites the case of a boy who was killed by lightning. Upon stripping his body, she says, "there was found imprinted upon his breast the faithful picture of a tree which grew near the window which he was facing at the time of the catastrophe, and which was also felled by the lightning."(11) This electrical photography furnishes an analogy by which we may understand how the mental images of the mother are transmitted to the unborn child. H.P.B. explains:...a pregnant woman is physically and mentally in a highly impressible state.... her intellectual faculties are weakened, and ... she is affected to an unusual degree by the most trifling events.... Her pores are opened; she exudes an odic emanation which is but another form of the akasa, the electricity, or life-principle,... Magnetic currents develop themselves into electricity upon their exit from the body. An object making a violent impression on the mother's mind, its image is instantly projected into the astral light, or the universal ether,... the repository of the spiritual images of all forms, and even human thoughts. Her magnetic emanations attract and unite themselves with the descending current which already bears the image upon it. It rebounds, and re-percussing more or less violently, impresses itself upon the foetus, according to the very formula of physiology which shows how every maternal feeling reacts on the offspring.... As Phidias, gathering together the loose particles of clay and moistening them with water, could give plastic shape to the sublime idea evoked by his creative faculty, so the mother who knows her power can fashion the coming child into whatever form she likes. Ignorant of his powers, the sculptor produces only an inanimate though ravishing figure of inert matter; while the soul of the mother, violently affected by her imagination, blindly projects into the astral light an image of the object which impressed it, and, by re-percussion, that is stamped upon the foetus.(12)This law explains not only cases of the marking or malformation of unborn children, but also the stigmata which sometimes appear on the bodies of religious enthusiasts who think much of the sufferings of Christ. Nearly one hundred cases of stigmatization are reviewed in the Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition), most of which have occurred among residents in religious houses, after the austerities of Lent, usually on Good Friday. In modern times there is the case of Theresa Neumann, of Konnersreuth, Germany, whose wounds on hand, foot, and brow have been acknowledged as genuine, and without medical explanation, by such eminent physicians as Baron Doctor von Aretin.(13)
If deviations from the normal, as in the case of the malformation of children, can thus be shown to be the result of thought, then it is natural to conclude that the normal is likewise a reflection of idea. This is the universal principle on which Theosophical explanation of all forms is based. In the words of H.P.B.:
There can be no objective form on Earth (nor in the Universe either), without its astral prototype being first formed in Space. From Phidias down to the humblest workman in the ceramic art -- a sculptor has had to create first of all a model in his mind, then sketch it in one and two dimensional lines, and then only can he reproduce it in a three dimensional or objective figure. And if human mind is a living demonstration of such successive stages in the process of evolution -- how can it be otherwise when NATURE'S MIND and creative powers are concerned?(14)It is at this point that occult science must part company with lagging pedestrian follower, modern empirical research, for where is the "experiment" that will be accepted as proving the formative power of the mind in nature? To the unprejudiced eye, all nature itself is such a demonstration, incomprehensible except on the theory that every form unfolds from an ideal existence on higher planes, but to the scientific mind, schooled in the study of minute particulars, this evidence is far too "universal" to be admitted. And because the universal proposition is denied, such particular instances of the process as are available for scientific examination have been uniformly ignored, from the day of Paracelsus to the present century.
"Spontaneous generation" is the phrase used by science to describe the hypothetical origin of forms of life on earth. Thomas Huxley, in an address intended to show that the emergence of living forms from so-called "inanimate" matter had not been demonstrated to his satisfaction, nevertheless affirmed his own philosophic faith in "the evolution of living protoplasm from not living matter."(15) But whenever a scientist has described experiments which seem to demonstrate the reality of this process, he has been totally ignored. The Scientific American for August 12, 1868, reported the production of acari by Andrew Crosse, of England, in the following manner:Black flint burned to redness and reduced to powder was mixed with carbonate of potash, and exposed to a strong heat for fifteen minutes; and the mixture was poured into a blacklead crucible in an air furnace. It was reduced to powder while warm, mixed with boiling water; kept boiling for some minutes, and then hydrochloric acid was added to supersaturation. After being exposed to voltaic action for twenty-six days, a perfect insect of the acari tribe made its appearance, and in the course of a few weeks about a hundred more. The experiment was repeated with other chemical fluids with like results.(16)A French scientist of the same period, Antonie Béchamp, on whose researches Pasteur rose to fame, described observations of similar import, and the English physician, H. Charlton Bastian, performed experiments showing that various microscopic organisms -- Bacilli, Bacteria, Vibriones, Torulae and other fungus germs -- will appear in sterile colloidal solutions after the latter have been variously treated.(17) Whence these forms? Either they are miracles having no natural explanation or they represent types which pre-existed on the astral plane. "Spontaneous generation" is simply an expression concealing modern scientific ignorance of the process by which astral prototypes pass into objective physical existence. According to The Secret Doctrine, "there are precise domains wherein the astral merges into physical evolution,"(18) and although "spontaneous generation has changed its methods now, owing perhaps to accumulated material on hand, so as to almost escape detection, it was in full swing in the genesis of terrestrial life."(19) H.P.B. says further:Astral matter, it must be noted, is fourth state matter, having, like our gross matter, its own "protyle." There are several "protyles" in Nature, corresponding to the various planes of matter. The two sub-physical elemental kingdoms, the plane of mind (manas, the fifth state matter), as also that of Buddhi (sixth state matter), are each and all evolved from one of the six "protyles" which constitute the basis of the Object-Universe. The three "states," so-called of our terrestrial matter, known as the "solid," "liquid," and "gaseous," are only, in strict accuracy, SUB-states. As to the former reality of the descent into the physical, which culminated in physiological man and animal, we have a palpable testimony in the fact of the so-called spiritualistic "materializations."Most astonishing of all the modern clues to the "mind" of Nature are the discoveries of an English biochemist, Mr. Morley-Martin, who died in 1938.(21) He reduced a piece of azoic rock to cinders and slag by heating it to 2000-3000 degrees Fahrenheit in an electric furnace. This material was then treated further in a steam-sterilizer, a new substance being obtained which Mr. Morley-Martin called "primordial protoplasm." In crystal form, the latter was observed to give off a liquid which spread throughout the container. When the container and its contents were exposed to X-rays and ultra-violet rays, the crystals condensed, releasing numerous organisms of microscopic dimensions. The formation of multitudes of tiny fish, insects and plants was watched through a microscope of magnifying power of two or three thousand diameters. Perfect sterility was claimed by Morley-Martin for the conditions of his experiments. The results, in the words of Maeterlinck, led the biochemist to believe "that he had proved that life is immortal, universal, indestructible, and that the idea, the image or the prototype exists prior to that which we know as matter."
In all these instances a complete temporary mergence of the astral into the physical takes place.(20)
It seems evident that Morley-Martin hit upon a means of peering into the Anima Mundi,(22) or of establishing under laboratory control some transitional state between the astral and the physical on a microscopic or germinal scale.(23) The forms produced from the piece of azoic rock included tiny replicas of creatures of the archaic past, particularly sea animals. Under the observer's eye they live, move and consume the mother-protoplasm from which they were born, and devour each other. In the one-inch circle of microscopic observation, Morley-Martin counted some 15,000 tiny fish -- apparently the offspring of about forty crystals of his "primordial protoplasm." They were indeed immortal, for if placed in the electric furnace and reduced to ashes they would afterward emerge from the residue and reorganize themselves.
Mr. Morley-Martin's philosophical conclusions are summarized by Maeterlinck:According to Morley-Martin, the creatures which he awoke from their immemorial slumber are the reincarnations of a specific and eternal force. Life is not the expression of the organism, but, on the contrary, the organism is the expression of some prior and indestructible vital force. Nothing ever dies, and even if it should be assimilated by the vegetable kingdom, animal life maintains its identity and its capacity for self-resurrection. Life's opposite is not death, but latency. Indeed, one is compelled to conclude that man himself is latent in the earth's rock. The portion of life that manifests itself bodily is negligible beside that which remains uncorporeal.... one is compelled to ask whether all humanity, past and future is not imprisoned in latent form in the rocks and sands of our terrestrial sphere.(24)We have only to quote in comparison a statement from The Secret Doctrine to see how curiously exact is this materialized reflection of the occult doctrine. H.P.B. wrote:Everything that is, was, and will be, eternally IS, even the countless forms, which are finite and perishable only in their objective, not in their ideal Form. They existed as Ideas, in the Eternity,(*26) and, when they pass away, will exist as reflections. Neither the form of man, nor that of any animal, plant or stone has ever been created, and it is only on this plane of ours that it commenced "becoming," i.e., objectivising into its present materiality, or expanding from within outwards, from the most sublimated and supersensuous essence into its grossest appearance.(25)
[Note: Here are the two items that were referred to by the Editors in the above article. The first one was referred to in footnote number (11), and the second one in footnote number (13). They are from the "On the Lookout" sections of two different issues of THEOSOPHY magazine. Each of these items are only a part of the particular "On the Lookout" section they are in, as each section features and comments on other subjects also, which I have not included. --Compiler.]
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 28, No. 2, December, 1939
ON THE LOOKOUT
An instance of what H.P.B. in Isis Unveiled (I, 394-5) calls electrical photography, "accomplished by the blind forces of nature," was reported recently by Dr. Rosario Fontaine of Montreal, Canada. He described the perfect imprint of ferns and leaves left on the chest, arms and legs of Ben Oliver, a seventeen-year-old telegraph boy, who was killed when lightning struck near him during a storm on August 7. Dr. Fontaine said: "In all my seventeen years of experience I have never seen such marks. I have heard of them, but never actually seen them." (New York Times, August 9.) In the similar case noted by H.P.B. in Isis, a boy slain by lightning bore on his breast the faithful picture of a tree growing outside the window before which he was standing when the catastrophe occurred. She cites this case to illustrate the following principle:Granting that the universal ether contains electricity and magnetism, these two convertible agents saturating both the air and the earth, and that there is a constant interchange of electricity and magnetism between them, the inherent properties previously latent in electricity will under favoring conditions become active, sometimes assuming the form of magnetic force, sometimes that of electric force. By things for which the force has an affinity, it is attracted, by all others repelled. Objects to which the electric force is attracted receive its impress in proportion to their conductivity. Under the impulse received from the electric force, and in proportion to its intensity, the molecules of such objects change their relations with each other; either they are wrenched asunder, so as to destroy the object -- organic or inorganic -- which they formed, or, if previously disturbed, are brought into equilibrium (as in cases of disease); or the disturbance may be but superficial, and the object may be stamped with the image of some other object encountered by the fluid before reaching them.THE PRINCIPLE APPLIED
From this summary of the operation of electrical and magnetic force it is evident that the same principle is involved in mesmeric healing, in the marking of unborn children with characteristic features, and in the fortuitous "natural photography" accompanying these tragedies caused by lightning. In the latter case, the electric fluid operates as a blind force of nature, while the magnetic effects produced by the mesmerist and the mother are respectively voluntary and involuntary uses of human electricity. In the case of the mother, H.P.B. writes:Her pores are opened; she exudes an odic emanation which is but another form of the akasa, the electricity, or life-principle, and which, according to Reichenbach, produces mesmeric sleep, and consequently is magnetism. Magnetic currents develop themselves into electricity upon their exit from the body. An object making a violent impression on the mother's mind, its image is instantly projected into the astral light, or the universal ether, ... the repository of the spiritual images of all forms, and even human thoughts. Her magnetic emanations attract and unite themselves with the descending current which already bears the image upon it. It rebounds, and re-percussing more or less violently, impresses itself upon the foetus, according to the very formula of physiology which shows how every maternal feeling reacts on the offspring.... As Phidias, gathering together the loose particles of clay and moistening them with water, could give plastic shape to the sublime idea evoked by his creative faculty, so the mother who knows her power can fashion the coming child into whatever form she likes. Ignorant of his powers, the sculptor produces only an inanimate though ravishing figure of inert matter; while the soul of the mother, violently affected by her imagination, blindly projects into the astral light an image of the object which impressed it, and, by re-percussion, that is stamped upon the foetus. (Isis Unveiled I, 395, 397.)OF MICE AND MEN
This is the law which, were it understood by modern biology, would resolve many of the mysteries confronting that science. It explains variations in type, atavism, and shows how mutations in the germ cell can be induced by X-rays and ultra-violet rays. This law will also account for the phenomena of protective coloration and imitation in nature. But scientists, it seems, insist upon learning the "hard way." Recent investigations conducted by Miss Elizabeth Fekete, Hungarian scientist of the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory at Bar Harbor, Maine, have disclosed some "unexpected facts" about heredity which one acquainted with this Theosophic teaching could have easily predicted. She transplanted 100 fertilized ova of mice of one color from their natural mothers to the bodies of female mice of another color, also pregnant. The result was that the white mice gave birth to colored mice in addition to their natural offspring, while colored mice had white mice in their litters. According to the report of these experiments in the New York Times (September 24):One hundred young mice, with colors different from those of their mothers, have been produced to date by Miss Fekete.
Some unexpected facts are beginning to appear. While these double-mothered young always look exactly like the race of mothers which conceived them, they appear to have taken on new characters from the mothers that bore them. Only what they received from the conception mothers is true heredity, and all the rest from the second mothers is environment.
By means of this living mouse laboratory the whole question of heredity and environment may be tested to answer many of the questions of human mothers about prenatal influences at work on their own babies.
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 26, No. 9, July, 1938
ON THE LOOKOUT
A MODERN MIRACLE
While not officially sponsored by the Catholic Church, the marvels displayed by Therese Neumann, a woman of forty living in Konnersreuth, Germany, have attracted thousands of pilgrims to her home. (New York World-Telegram, March 2.) After lying six years in helpless agony, blind, deaf, dumb, the result of a spinal injury received when she was twenty, on May 17, 1925 this woman saw "a great light," and suddenly she could see and walk. The day of her recovery was the anniversary of the canonization of St. Therese. In the following year she began to have visions, and on Easter Friday, during an ecstatic trance, she developed the stigmata of the crucifixion, blood coming from her hands, feet and eyes. The wounds, which became permanent, are red marks the size of a nickel on the palms, and back of her hands, below her heart and hidden below her hair on the upper forehead. For twelve years, at regular intervals, the "miracle of the stigmata" has taken place. While in her abnormal state Therese experiences visions and acquires strange powers. According to the account:Learned men brought to Konnersreuth are said to have verified that while in this state Fraulein Neumann speaks fluently in Aramaic, a long-dead dialect language of ancient Palestine, and also in Latin and Hebrew, languages of which in her normal state she is absolutely ignorant.EXPLANATIONS -- SCIENTIFIC AND THEOSOPHICAL
While the faithful may see in Therese Neumann but another reason to believe that Catholic dogma is of divine origin, to the theosophist her phenomena are a valuable illustration of psychical laws. The ease with which the stigmata of the passion may be produced by hypnotic suggestion is made clear in Isis Unveiled (II, 634), and the explanation given by H.P.B. of teratological phenomena would indicate that the wounds displayed by more than one Catholic Saint may be developed by autosuggestion as well. So long ago as 1888 it was known to the medical profession that a "sanguineous perspiration" may be produced by hypnosis. A writer in the English Journal of Mental Science of that year (p. 144) describes the findings of Prof. H. Beaunis of the faculty of medicine at Nancy, who with other witnesses saw a nasal hemorrhage caused by suggestion. It is well established, the writer says, "that in some susceptible persons analogous results follow emotional excitement directed in a certain channel without hypnotism." Arthur Conan Doyle cites a related phenomenon in his History of Spiritualism. Charles H. Foster, an American medium, was able to make initials and names appear in blood-red letters on his skin. He was, according to Doyle, a friend of Bulwer-Lytton and became the original of Margrave in A Strange Story. As to Fraulein Neumann's capacity to speak ancient languages, similar cases are described in The Key to Theosophy (p. 131-133, original edition). With the paralysis of the personality in trance, the higher powers of the mind are free from the trammels of matter, so that the Ego may exhibit a quasi omniscience. Something of the enormous range and mystery of psychic phenomena is indicated by H.P.B. in an article reprinted in THEOSOPHY, IX, 218 [Note: A link to the article referred to is at the end of this excerpt from it. --Compiler.]:...a medium may know the sources from which the influence comes, or in more explicit terms, "the nature of the being, whose action is transmitted through him," or he may not know it. He may be under the influence of his own seventh principle and imagine to be in communication with a personal Jesus Christ, or a saint; he may be in rapport with the "intellectual" ray of Shakespeare and write Shakespearean poetry, and at the same time imagine that the personal spirit of Shakespeare is writing through him, and the simple fact of his believing this or that, would make his poetry neither better nor worse. He may be influenced by some adept to write a great scientific work and be entirely ignorant of the source of his inspiration, or perhaps imagine that it was the "spirit" of Faraday or Lord Bacon that is writing through him, while all the while he would be acting as a "Chela," although ignorant of the fact. [Note: The excerpt is taken from the 9th of the 10 paragraphs in this article: "Are Chelas 'Mediums'?" --Compiler.]
THE ASTRAL BODY
HISTORICAL STUDIES: VIII
(Part 8 of an 8-part series)
"THE ASTRAL BODY: HISTORICAL STUDIES"
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TWENTY-SIX (26) FOOTNOTES LISTED BELOW:
(1) Einstein and Infeld, The Evolution of Physics (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1938), pp. 157-8, 259.
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(2) See THEOSOPHY XXV, pp. 162 and 211, for a review of Science and First Principles by Dr. Northrop. [Note: The two-part article referred to here are numbers 68 and 69 in the 103-part series entitled "Science and The Secret Doctrine", which is found in the above "Additional Categories of Articles" link. --Compiler.]
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(3) New York Times, November 15, 1936.
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(4) New York Times, April 25, 1939.
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(6) New York Herald Tribune, April 25, 1939.
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(7) Op. cit., 640.
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(8) Op. cit., p. 39-41.
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(9) Particularly Volume I, 385-400.
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(10) Op. cit., I, 385.
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(11) Ibid., 394-5. See the similar case noted in THEOSOPHY for December, 1939 (XXVIII, 90-1). [Note: A copy of this item, from the "On the Lookout" section, is found at the end of this article. --Compiler.]
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(12) Ibid., 394-7.
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(13) See THEOSOPHY, XXVI, 428-9. [Note: A copy of this item, from the "On the Lookout" section, is found at the end of this article, right after the one from footnote number (11). --Compiler.]
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(14) The Secret Doctrine II, 660 fn.
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(15) Discourses and Biological Essays (New York: D. Appleton, 1896), pp. 255-7.
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(16) Quoted in Isis I, 465 (See also Theosophist VI, 5, for further details of this experiment).
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(17) See The Origin of Life, by Dr. Bastian (New York: Putnam's Sons, 1911), and E. Douglas Hume, Béchamp or Pasteur (London: C. W. Daniel Co., 1932); also the Pamphlet, The Laws of Healing, pp. 32-7.
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(18) S.D. II, 257.
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(19) Ibid., 151.
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(20) Ibid., 737.
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(21) His experiments are described in a recent book by Maurice Maeterlinck, The Great Door (Paris: Charpentier), a portion of which is translated in the Magazine Digest for July, 1939.
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(22) The lower aspect of the Anima Mundi, H.P.B. says, "is the life-principle of every living creature, and furnishes the astral soul, the fluidic perisprit, to men, animals, fowls of the air, and everything living." (S.D. I, 196-7.)
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(23) Dr. Bastian spoke of the "germinality" of his colloidal preparations (Op. cit., pp. 17-23).
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(24) Magazine Digest, July, 1939.
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(25) Op. cit., I, 282.
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(*26) Occultism teaches that no form can be given to anything, either by nature or by man, whose ideal type does not already exist on the subjective plane. More than this; that no such form or shape can possibly enter man's consciousness, or evolve in his imagination, which does not exist in prototype, at least as an approximation.
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