him), of hatred and discord, and consequently of sympathy and antipathy.”
Lowest in the scale of being are those invisible creatures called by the kabalists the “elementary.” There are three distinct classes of these. The highest, in intelligence and cunning, are the so-called terrestrial spirits, of which we will speak more categorically in other parts of this work. Suffice to say, for the present, that they are the larvae, or shadows of those who have lived on earth, have refused all spiritual light, remained and died deeply immersed in the mire of matter, and from whose sinful souls the immortal spirit has gradually separated. The second class is composed of the invisible antitypes of the men to be born. No form can come into objective existence — from the highest to the lowest — before the abstract ideal of this form — or, as Aristotle would call it, the privation of this form — is called forth. Before an artist paints a picture every feature of it exists already in his imagination; to have enabled us to discern a watch, this particular watch must have existed in its abstract form in the watchmaker’s mind. So with future men.
According to Aristotle’s doctrine, there are three principles of natural bodies: privation, matter, and form. These principles may be applied in this particular case. The privation of the child which is to be we will locate in the invisible mind of the great Architect of the Universe — privation not being considered in the Aristotelic philosophy as a principle in the composition of bodies, but as an external property in their production; for the production is a change by which the matter passes from the shape it has not to that which it assumes. Though the privation of the unborn child’s form, as well as of the future form of the unmade watch, is that which is neither substance nor extension nor quality as yet, nor any kind of existence, it is still something which is, though its outlines, in order to be, must acquire an objective form — the abstract must become concrete, in short. Thus, as soon as this privation of matter is transmitted by energy to universal ether, it becomes a material form, however sublimated. If modern science teaches that human thought “affects the matter of another universe simultaneously with this,” how can he who believes in an Intelligent First Cause, deny that the divine thought is equally transmitted, by the same law of energy, to our common mediator, the universal ether — the world-soul? And, if so, then it must follow that once there the divine thought manifests itself objectively, energy faithfully reproducing the outlines of that whose “privation” was first born in the divine mind. Only it must not be understood that this thought creates matter. No; it creates but the design for the future form; the
matter which serves to make this design having always been in existence, and having been prepared to form a human body, through a series of progressive transformations, as the result of evolution. Forms pass; ideas that created them and the material which gave them objectiveness, remain.
These models, as yet devoid of immortal spirits, are “elementals,” — properly speaking, psychic embryos — which, when their time arrives, die out of the invisible world, and are born into this visible one as human infants, receiving in transitu that divine breath called spirit which completes the perfect man. This class cannot communicate objectively with men.
The third class are the “elementals” proper, which never evolve into human beings, but occupy, as it were, a specific step of the ladder of being, and, by comparison with the others, may properly be called nature-spirits, or cosmic agents of nature, each being confined to its own element and never transgressing the bounds of others. These are what Tertullian called the “princes of the powers of the air.”
This class is believed to possess but one of the three attributes of man. They have neither immortal spirits nor tangible bodies; only astral forms, which partake, in a distinguishing degree, of the element to which they belong and also of the ether. They are a combination of sublimated matter and a rudimental mind. Some are changeless, but still have no separate individuality, acting collectively, so to say. Others, of certain elements and species, change form under a fixed law which kabalists explain. The most solid of their bodies is ordinarily just immaterial enough to escape perception by our physical eyesight, but not so unsubstantial but that they can be perfectly recognized by the inner, or clairvoyant vision. They not only exist and can all live in ether, but can handle and direct it for the production of physical effects, as readily as we can compress air or water for the same purpose by pneumatic and hydraulic apparatus; in which occupation they are readily helped by the “human elementary.” More than this; they can so condense it as to make to themselves tangible bodies, which by their Protean powers they can cause to assume such likeness as they choose, by taking as their models the portraits they find stamped in the memory of the persons present. It is not necessary that the sitter should be thinking at the moment of the one represented. His image may have faded many years before. The mind receives indelible impression even from chance acquaintance or persons encountered but once. As a few seconds exposure of the sensitized photograph plate is all that is requisite to preserve indefinitely the image of the sitter, so is it with the mind.