“If unwilling to seek for proof or receive information from mediaeval, hermetic philosophy, we may go still further back into antiquity, and select, out of the great body of philosophers of the pre-Christian ages, one who can least be accused of superstition and credulity – Cicero.
Speaking of those whom he calls gods, and who are either human or atmospheric spirits, “We know”, says the old orator, “that of all living beings man is the best formed, and, as the gods belong to this number, they must have a human form….I do not mean to say that the gods have body and blood in them; but I say that they seem as if they had bodies with blood in them….
Epicurus, for whom hidden things were as tangible as if he had touched them with his finger, teaches us that gods are not generally visible, but that they are intelligible; that they are not bodies having a certain solidity…but that we can recognize them by their passing images; that as there are atoms enough in the infinite space to produce such images, these are produced before us…and make us realize what are these happy, immortal beings.”
“When the initiate”, says Levi, in his turn, “has become quite lucid, he communicates and directs at will the magnetic vibrations in the mass of astral light…Transformed in human light at the moment of the conception, it (the light) becomes the first envelope of the soul; by combination with the subtlest fluids it forms an ethereal body, or the sidereal phantom, which is entirely disengaged only at the moment of death.”
To project this ethereal body, at no matter what distance; to render it more objective and tangible by condensing over its fluidic form the waves of the parent essence, is the great secret of the adept-magician.”
H. P. Blavatsky