“Scholastic skeptics, as well as ignorant materialists, have greatly amused themselves for the last two centuries over the absurdities attributed to Pythagoras by his biographer, Iamblichus. The Samian philosopher is said to have persuaded a she-bear to give up eating human flesh; to have forced a white eagle to descend to him from the clouds, and to have subdued him by stroking him gently with the hand, and by talking to him. On another occasion, Pythagoras actually persuaded an ox to renounce eating beans, by merely whispering in the animal’s ear!
Oh, ignorance and superstition of our forefathers, how ridiculous they appear in the eyes of our enlightened generations! Let us, however, analyze the absurdity. Every day we see unlettered men, proprietors of strolling menageries, taming and completely subduing the most ferocious animals, merely by the power of their irresistible will.
Nay, we have at the present moment in Europe several young and physically weak girls, under twenty years of age, fearlessly doing the same thing. Every one has either witnessed or heard of the seemingly magical power of some mesmerizers and psychologists. They are able to subjugate their patients for any length of time.
Regazzoni, the mesmerist who excited such wonder in France and London, has achieved far more extraordinary feats than what is above attributed to Pythagoras.”
H. P. Blavatsky