As Above So Below Magic Modern Magic

Modern Magic

Modern Magic
Catalog # SKU3605
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name M. Schele De Vere
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


Modern Magic

M. Schele De Vere

The main purpose of our existence on earth-aside from the sacred and paramount duty of securing our salvation-is undoubtedly to make ourselves masters of the tangible world around us, as it stands revealed to our senses, and as it was expressly made subject to our will by the Creator.

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We are, however, at the same time, not left without information about the existence of certain laws and the occurrence of certain phenomena, which belong to a world not accessible to us by means of our ordinary senses, and which yet affect seriously our intercourse with Nature and our personal welfare. This knowledge we obtain sometimes, by special favor, as direct revelation, and at other times, for reasons as yet unknown, at the expense of our health and much suffering. By whatever means it may reach us, it cannot be rejected; to treat it with ridicule or to decline examining it, would be as unwise as unprofitable.

The least that we can do is to ascertain the precise nature of these laws, and, after stripping these phenomena of all that can be proved to be merely incidental or delusive, to compare them with each other, and to arrange them carefully according to some standard of classification. The main interest in such a task lies in the discovery of the grain of truth which is often found concealed in a mass of rubbish, and which, when thus brought to light, serves to enlarge our knowledge and to increase our power. The difficulty lies in the absence of all scientific investigation, and in the innate tendency of man to give way, wantonly or unconsciously, to mental as well as to sensual delusion.

The aim of this little work is, therefore, limited to the gathering of such facts and phenomena as may serve to throw light upon the nature of the magic powers with which man is undoubtedly endowed. Its end will be attained if it succeeds in showing that he actually does possess powers which are not subject to the general laws of nature, but more or less independent of space and time, and which yet make themselves known partly by appeals to the ordinary senses and partly by peculiar phenomena, the result of their activity. These higher powers, operating exclusively through the spirit of man, are part of his nature, which has much in common with that of the Deity, since he was created by God "in His own image," and the Lord "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul."

This soul is not, as materialists maintain, merely the sum of all perceptions obtained by the collective activity of bodily organs-a conclusion which would finally make it the product of mere material atoms, subject to constant physical and chemical changes. Even if it were possible-which we deny-to reduce our whole inner life, including memory, imagination, and reason, to a system of purely physical laws, and thus to admit its destruction at the moment of death, there would still remain the living soul, coming directly from the Most High, and destined to continue throughout eternity. This soul is, hence, independent of time. Nor is it bound by space, except so far as it can commune with the outer world only by means of the body, with which it is united in this life. The nature of this union is a mystery as yet unfathomed, but precisely because it is such a mystery, we have no right to assume that it is altogether indissoluble during life; or, that it ceases entirely at the moment of death. There is, on the contrary, overwhelming evidence that the soul may, at times, act independently of the body, and the forces developed on such occasions we have, for the sake of convenience rather than on account of the special fitness of the term, preferred to call magic powers.

There is no evidence whatever before us as to the mutual relations of soul and body after death. Here, necessarily, all must be mere speculation. Nothing more, therefore, will be claimed for the following suggestions. When the body becomes unfit to serve any longer as an abode and an instrument to the soul, the tie which was formed before or at the moment of birth is gradually loosened. The soul no longer receives impressions from the outer world such as the body heretofore conveyed to it, and with this cessation of mutual action ends, also, the community of sensation. The living soul-in all probability-becomes conscious of its separation from the dead body and from the world; it continues to exist, but in loneliness and self-dependence. Its life, however, becomes only the more active and the more self-conscious as it is no longer consumed by intercourse with the world, nor disturbed by bodily disorders and infirmities. The soul recalls with ease all long-forgotten or much-dimmed sensations. What it feels most deeply at first is, we may presume, the double grief at being separated from the body, with which it has so long been closely connected, and at the sins it has committed during life.

This repentance will be naturally all the heartier, as it is no longer interrupted by sensual impressions. After a while this grief, like all sorrows, begins to moderate, and the soul returns to a state of peace: sooner, of course, in the case of persons who in their earthly life already had secured peace by the only means revealed to man; later, by those who had given themselves entirely up to the world and their passions. At the same time the living soul enters into communion with other souls, retaining, however, its individuality in sex, character, and temper, and, possibly, proceeds on a course of gradual purification, till it reaches the desired haven in perfect reconciliation with God. During this intermediate time there is nothing known to us which would absolutely forbid the idea that these living souls continue to maintain some kind of intercourse with the souls of men on earth, with whom they share all that constitutes their essential nature, save only the one fact of bondage to the body. Nor is there any reason why the soul in man should not be able, by its higher powers, to perceive and to consort with souls detached from mortal bodies, although this intercourse must needs be limited and imperfect because of the vast difference between a free soul and one bound to an earthly, sinful body. For man, when he dies, leaves behind in this world the body, dead and powerless, a corpse.

He continues, however, to live, a soul, with all the peculiar powers which make up our spiritual organism; that is to say, the true man, in the higher sense of the word, exists still, though he dwell in another world. This soul has now no longer earthly organs of sense to do its bidding, but it still controls nature which was made subject to its will; it has, moreover, a new set of powers which represent in the higher world its higher body, and the character of its new active life will be all the more elevated, as these organs are more spiritual. Man cannot but continue to develop, to grow, and to ripen, in the next world as he did in this; his nature and his destiny are alike incompatible with sudden transitions and with absolute rest. The soul must become purer and more useful; its organs more subtle and more powerful, and it is of this life of gradual improvement and purification that we may occasionally obtain glimpses by that communion which no doubt still exists between earth-bound souls and souls freed from such bondage.

496 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover

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