Pythagoras taught that the entire universe is one vast system of mathematically correct combinations. Plato shows the deity geometrizing. The world is sustained by the same law of equilibrium and harmony upon which it was built. The centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres; all forms are the product of this dual force in nature. Thus, to illustrate our case, we may designate the spirit as the centrifugal, and the soul as the centripetal, spiritual energies. When in perfect harmony, both forces
produce one result; break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the
centre which attracts it; arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, and the harmony of the whole, which was its life, is destroyed. Individual life can only be continued if sustained by this two-fold force. The least deviation from harmony damages it; when it is destroyed beyond redemption the forces separate and the form is gradually annihilated. After the death of the depraved and the wicked, arrives the critical moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner-self to reunite itself with the faintly-glimmering ray of its divine parent is neglected; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions, and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in what the ancients termed Hades. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps; for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul being formed of elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation, the Yin-youan of the Buddhists.
This class of spirits are called the “terrestrial” or “earthly elementary,” in contradistinction to the other classes, as we have shown in the introductory chapter. In the East they are known as the “Brothers of the Shadow.” Cunning, low, vindictive, and seeking to retaliate their sufferings upon humanity, they become, until final annihilation, vampires, ghouls, and prominent actors. These are the leading “stars” on the great spiritual stage of “materialization,” which phenomena they perform with the help of the more intelligent of the genuine-born “elemental” creatures, which hover around and welcome them with delight in their own spheres. Henry Kunrath, the great German kabalist, has on a plate of his rare work, Amphitheatri Sapientiae AEternae, representations of the four classes of these human “elementary spirits.” Once past the threshold of the sanctuary of initiation, once that an adept has lifted the “Veil of Isis,” the mysterious and jealous goddess, he has nothing to fear; but till then he is in constant danger.
Although Aristotle himself, anticipating the modern physiologists, regarded the human mind as a material substance, and ridiculed the hylozoists, nevertheless he fully believed in the existence of a “double” soul, or spirit and soul. He laughed at Strabo for believing that any particles of matter, per se, could have life and intellect in themselves suf-
ficient to fashion by degrees such a multiform world as ours. Aristotle is indebted for the sublime morality of his Nichomachean Ethics to a thorough study of the Pythagoric Ethical Fragments; for the latter can be easily shown to have been the source at which he gathered his ideas, though he might not have sworn “by him who the tetractys found.” Finally, what do we know so certain about Aristotle? His philosophy is so abstruse that he constantly leaves his reader to supply by the imagination the missing links of his logical deductions. Moreover, we know that before his works ever reached our scholars, who delight in his seemingly atheistical arguments in support of his doctrine of fate, these works passed through too many hands to have remained immaculate. From Theophrastus, his legator, they passed to Neleus, whose heirs kept them mouldering in subterranean caves for nearly 150 years; after which, we learn that his manuscripts were copied and much augmented by Apellicon of Theos, who supplied such paragraphs as had become illegible, by conjectures of his own, probably many of these drawn from the depths of his inner consciousness.