Isis Unveiled: chapter I (an axiom of hermetic philosophy)

“Many a Christian divine has been forced to acknowledge that there is no authentic source whence the assurance of a future state could have been derived by man. How could then such a belief have stood for countless ages, were it not that among all nations, whether civilized or savage, man has been allowed the demonstrative proof?

 
Is it not the very existence of such a belief an evidence that thinking philosopher and unreasoning savage have both been compelled to acknowledge the testimony of their senses? That if, in isolated instances, spectral illusion may have resulted from physical causes, on the other hand, in thousands of instances, apparitions of persons have held converse with several individuals at once, who saw and heard them collectively, and could not have all been diseased in mind?

 
The greatest thinkers of Greece and Rome regarded such matters as demonstrated facts. They distinguished the apparitions by the names of manes, anima and umbra: the manes descending after the decease of the individual into the Underworld; the anima, or pure spirit, ascending to heaven; and the restless umbra (earth-bound spirit), hovering about its tomb, because the attraction of matter and love of its earthly body prevailed in it and prevented its ascension to higher regions.”

 
H. P. Blavatsky

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