“To apply the above propositions to the case in point: There are several well-recognized principles of science, as, for instance, that a pregnant woman is physically and mentally in a highly impressible state. Physiology tells us that her intellect faculties are weakened, and that she is affected to an unusual degree by the most trifling events. Her pores are opened, and she exudes a peculiar cutaneous perspiration; she seems to be in a receptive condition for all the influences in nature.
Reichenbach’s disciples assert that her odic condition is very intense. Du Potet warns against incautiously mesmerizing her, for fear of affecting the offspring. Her diseases are imparted to it, and often it absorbs them entirely to itself; her pains and pleasures react upon its temperament as well as its health; great men proverbially have great mothers, and vice versa.
“It is true that her imagination has an influence upon the foetus”, admits Magendie, thus contradicting what he asserts in another place; and he adds that, “sudden terror may cause the death of the foetus, or retard its growth.”
In the case recently reported in the American papers, of a boy who was killed by a stroke of lightning, upon stripping the body, there was found imprinted upon his breast the faithful picture of a tree which grew near the window which he was facing at the time of the catastrophe, and which was also felled by the lightning.
Now, this electrical photography, which was accomplished by the blind forces of nature, furnishes an analogy by which we may understand how the mental images of the mother are transmitted to the unborn child. Her pores are opened; she exudes an odic emanation which is but another form of the akasa, the electricity, or life-principle, and which, according to Reichenbach, produces mesmeric sleep, and consequently is magnetism.
Magnetic currents develop themselves into electricity upon their exit from the body. An object making a violent impression on the mother’s mind, its image is instantly projected into the astral light, or the universal ether, which Jevons and Babbage, as well as the authors of the Unseen Universe, tell us is the repository of the spiritual images of all forms, and even human thoughts.
Her magnetic emanations attract and unite themselves with the descending current which already bears the image upon it. It rebounds, and repercussing more or less violently, impresses itself upon the foetus, according to the very formula of physiology which shows how every maternal feeling reacts on the offspring.
Is this kabalistic theory more hypothetical or incomprehensible than the teratological doctrine taught by the disciples of Geoffroi St. Hilaire? The doctrine, of which Magendie so justly observes, “is found convenient and easy from its vagueness and obscurity”, and which “pretends to nothing less than the creation of a new science, the theory of which reposes on certain laws not very intelligible, as that of arresting, that of retarding, that of similar or eccentric position, especially the great law, as it is called, of self for self.””
H. P. Blavatsky