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Having been a professional actor since my early youth, I am perfectly familar with all the mechanical devices we use upon the stage to produce the illusive effects that are so often the wonder and admiration of the public. Possessing this knowledge gained by years of experience, and being perfectly familiar with the methods and paraphernalia used by magicians in their exhibitions of legerdemain I am, beyond doubt, competent to judge whether there was, or was not, deception of such a kind in the house where I beheld wonders almost too stupendous for belief, and I assert most positively that no deception of any kind was practised.
It is not my intention to give in this article a detailed account of the many haunted houses with which I am familiar, but rather to confine myself to the one in which I lived, and in which I had such a strange and startling experience. It is to my explanation of the cause of this particular haunted house that I shall direct the Reader's attention. However, before gi my explanation of haunted houses in general, it will be necessary to state that, in the house where my terrible experience occurred, horrors in forms too monstrous for belief, lurked within the atmosphere; the kindling of mysterious fires struck terror to the hearts of all; the trembling and shaking of the house, and the breaking of its walls; the fearful poundings and other weird noises, as if made by invisible sledge-hammers upon the roof, walls and floor; the strange actions of the household furniture, which moved about in the broad light of day; the shrill and awful voices in the air; and a terrifying legend written upon the wall, were all unquestionably the result of the action of a mysterious, intelligent power existing within the atmosphere, and I claim that the power producing these weird results was, in the instance that caine under my personal observation, nothing more nor less than ghosts of the dead; and I also believe that houses in the past have been haunted by ghosts of the dead, and that, at a subsequent day, when houses so infested shall have been properly investigated by scientists using my hypothesis as the basis of their explanation, their verdict will attest my theory, as to the cause and explanation of haunted houses, a truth to be believed in future ages, solving for all time the great problem, is there another world and a life hereafter.
In these days of agnostics and iconoclasts, all infidels and atheists who have read thus far will doubtless consider all that I have written as but the senseless wanderings of a weird or irreverent imagination, which has conjured up the alleged superstitions of the dark ages. But, to those readders who believe in the divine origin of the Bible, my explanation will perhaps be of interest, and I hope of value.
As hundreds of thousands of persons, otherwise of the very highest attainments in science, literature, and art, do not know that they possess astral bodies, I must explain, as part of my hppothesis, that the astral body of a human being is born of, or derived from, the astral bodies of his or her parents, just as truly as his or her physical body is born of, or derived from, their physical bodies. I claim that this fact is established by the many recorded cases of “marking,” in which the influence of the mother's emotions so affects her unborn offspring as to forever stamp it with distinct traits of character, and, in some instances, with peculiar physical appearance. Now, as there is no neural connection between the mother and fætus, how can it be possible that a mother, or in fact either parent, should in any way transmit mental characteristics, unless the offspring is born of its parents' astral bodies. Any other hypothesis must seem
preposterous, when accounting for mental characteristics ; for it is a wellknown fact in heredity that many persons resemble their mother physically, and yet possess their father's mental structure, and vice versa, without possessing any of those abnormal traits known to come from emotional, prenatal influences.
Furthermore, I claim that it is the astral body of a human being that becomes a ghost in the other world, after it has been released from this by death, and that, during our life on earth, it is this astral body that gives form to the physical body, and to each of its members, head, face, hands, arms, legs, feet, and so on; hence it follows that the ghosts of the dead are identical in appearence with the physical forms which they cast off at death.
As to the existence of the astral body, it is a fact that any person can ascertain for himself by asking a man who has lost a limb, or a portion of one, if he ever feels the actual presence of the severed member. He will
“ Yes, I do sometimes," and the reason he feels its presence obvious. * The astral -- or ghostly limb — or portion of it, is still there, and under certain vito-magnetic conditions hereafter fully explained - its actual presence is manifest. From what knowledge I have acquired on the subject, and what I have seen and heard in haunted houses, I am fully convinced that there is another world, and a life hereafter, and that it is the men, women and children who die in this world that actually live in the other world, — the world of ghosts.
Also, that to these ghosts their world is just as material as our world is to us ; that they are just as substantial beings to each other as ghosts, as we are to each other as men; and that what is a solid substance to us as men, is to the ghosts but a liquid or vapor ; while what to them is solid substance is to us but air.
Or, to put it more comprehensively, perhaps: the two existing together in the atmosphere, are each as material and real as the other to the inhabitants of their own environment, whether they be ghosts or men.
[To be continued.]
THE PERFECT DAY.
face a look expectant wears :
* In the continuation of this article the usual anatomical explanation of this phenomenon is given, so that reference need not here be made to it.
When the storm-windows of your eyes are raised,
THE ESOTERIC COLLEGE. NEARLY every mail brings us inquiries concerning the College Enterprise, and to all we are compelled to return the same answer, namely nothing definite must yet be given you, either with regard to the location, or as to the progress thus far made. Rest assured, however, that the leaders in this great movement are conscientiously and unselfishly laboring for the ultimation of that object which is now so familiar to all readers of this magazine.
In his lecture, " The Ultimate For Which We Are Laboring,” delivered before the Society Esoteric in March '87, and published in the first number of The ESOTERIC, — Prof. Butler made use of the following words:
Every time there is a need, Mother Nature is ready with a supply. But what is our need now? Is there any intelligent man in Boston, or elsewhere, but what is conscious of pressing needs? Was there ever a time in the history of the world when mankind was so oppressed and burdened ? I do not believe that the children of Israel even, were so oppressed and burdened as the people of to-day. Their task-masters made them work hard, it is true, but they had the opportunity to work, which many do not have to-day, and they got plenty to eat, as they themselves testified when in the wilderness. Though they had to work hard they did not lack for food, and are there not thousands upon thousands of whom that is not true to-day? How many are crying, “ The burden is greater than I can bear!”
“ And so the time has come when the divine mandate for an unselfish life must be enforced. Love thy neighbor as thyself ’ is the great panacea; but how can we bring it about when every man is struggling, and thinking only of himself ?"
We wish at this time to bring before our readers, more forcibly than they have yet been able to realize, the fact that we are working for a pur pose. Our leaders, although silent for a time, are faithfully considering
our true interests, and those who remain loyal in the support of the noble souls who have long since lost sight of personal ease or ambition in the greater and nobler desire for a general advance up the ladder of human progress, will surely experience the blessing which only the tried and true can know.
We have from the lips of him who never yet has sought to lead us astray, the promise that “ The College will be built.” Let us, therefore, have full confidence in the success of this, the most unselfish project the age has seen. Meanwhile, we may fully employ our days in the faithful discharge of those duties which crowd constantly upon us, ever remembering that the more conscientiously these apparently trivial affairs are dealt with, in the inharmonious surroundings of the world, the better fitted will we become for the refined environments and associates of the “ Ideal City."
We do not wish our readers to infer from the above that little or no progress has been made in the location and establishment of the College. Our advices inform us that such is far from being the case. Necessity has imposed a great degree of secrecy upon all connected with this movement; but yet we feel that it is no more than just to inform those most deeply interested that they may be sent for at no very distant day. We would that we could be more minute, but the loyal will see, from experience in past instances, that silence is our only safeguard against the unscrupulous onslaught of besotted enemies. In view of this fact, we must ask our friends to be patient yet a little longer, remembering “ Everything comes to him who can wait." Those who have gone " to prepare a place for you," and have suffered such contumely for your sake, shall not rest, be assured, till they have rescued you from the labyrinth of flesh, and led you into the palatial halls, which, as children of the Father, are your rightful heritage.
Would you assist in your emancipation ? Be prayerful then and patient, for,
“They also serve who only stand and wait.” Fraternally yours,
ESOTERIC PUBLISHING COMPANY.
HIUMAN PRONENESS TO BLUNDER.
It has been truthfully said that “ man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward ;" and, admitting its truthfulness, we ask the reason why? Is it not solely because of his gift, so to speak, of blundering. Trouble does not arise out of the dust. No circumstance springs into existence, no action ever transpires, without having its own, adequate, productive
We do not ask — is it so? but at once affirm from an overflow. ing consciousness that we know it is so.
Among the many blunders imperfect men commit, is that of supposing that the more concentrated the nutriment supplied to the human body, the more certainly will that body be vigorous and capable of the enjoyment of life, and of rendering efficient service to others. This will not bear looking into. As a matter of fact the body is a congeries of important organs, individually performing different functions, the full and perfect action of each and every one in its own place or sphere being essential to the health and well-being of the whole. Efforts made to separate the essential nutriment contained in food from its vehicular surroundings, compel inaction
when such concentrated nutriment is partaken of, on the part of certainorgans, and said inaction leads to degeneration and partial decay. One inactive member or organ in the human body exercises an infectious influence of its own upon the rest, and so imperils their healthfulness and activity. If man contrives to prevent the teeth from getting full and proper exercise, his act is resented by their degeneracy and decay ; then the stomach feels oppressed with work which it is not fitted to accomplish, and the digestion is impaired; next the nutriment contained within the food taken into
is not extracted, and every part of the body suffers. It was an act of supposed wisdom and intended kindness that began the mischief. And it is yet to be seen that many of the most mischievous human blunders man's history has furnished have had just such an origin.
Man is greatly indebted to his body, and the workings of its many parts, for instruction concerning themes relating to higher phases of his being. The body is filling its most important function by far, as a whole, when it is made use of as a wondrously perfect correspondence or type pointing to the working details of the higher life. “Man, know thyself” is an oracle fraught with wisdom of as high a character as it is possible to conceive. Did man accurately know himself, and then know how to make full and proper application of that knowledge, he would thereby be enabled to rise into all the fullness of the higher life, and so to attain .to the wondrous possibilities of his perfected manhood.
But now to make application of the illustration we have furnished relative to bodily nutriment, on man's higher plane of being. One wondrously perfect law fills every sphere of life and being alike; hence, as Paul declares in Rom. I, 20 : “ The invisible things of God are clearly seen, being made intelligible by the things that are made, so leaving man without excuse." In the verse preceding this, the same important truth is uttered in these words : that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath manifested it unto them.” The body then is a perfect divine enlightener regarding matters of the higher, unseen state, and it is made so lovingly, intentionally, especially, and wisely.
This being so, the higher life is clearly brought into life and being, and nourished and developed to its highest possibilities, on lines corresponding all through exactly to those of the physical body. Those who read the Scriptures, or the pages of human history, in the light of God, will see the truth we are now expressing everywhere unmistakably manifested. That being the case, if it be a mistake, and a fatal one, to attempt to separate the essential elements of nutrition from the vehicles in which they are carried, and then to supply that concentrated nutriment to the sustenance of the human body directly; if this, we repeat, be a mistake, what about the efforts men are ever fond of making to extract the essential truth from the vehicle carrying it, and so to apply the naked truth in its essence to the accomplishment of work for the higher spiritual man ? If the invisible things of God are rendered lucid and intelligible by the things that are made, it follows, as the night the day, that whatever we bide, God has in His wisdom seen fit to employ to carry nutrition to the higher parts of human nature: that very vehicle is just as essential and indispensable a portion of the perfect scheme, as is that nutriment which the vehicle conceals, but conveys. For the body to live a healthy life, and harmoniously discharge all its functions, it must have nutriment supplied by means of a vehicle, and must find its own activity and energy maintained by fulfilling