isis unveiled: xiii (alchemy)

“To the theologian the case offers greater difficulties, for in his view, death cuts asunder the tie which binds soul and body, and the one can no more be returned into the other without miracle, than the born infant can be compelled to resume its foetal life after parturition and the severing of the umbilicus.

But the Hermetic philosopher stands between these two irreconcilable antagonists, master of the situation. He knows the nature of the soul, a form composed of nervous fluid and atmospheric ether, and knows how the vital force can be made active or passive at will, so long as there is no final destruction of some necessary organ.

The claims of Gaffarilus, which by the bye, appeared so preposterous in 1650, were later corroborated by science. He maintained that every object existing in nature, provided it was not artificial, when once burned still retained its form in the ashes, in which it remained till raised again. Du Chesne, an eminent chemist, assured himself of the fact. Kircher, Digby, and Vallemont have demonstrated that the forms of plants could be resuscitated from their ashes.

At a meeting of naturalists in 1834, at Stuttgart, a receipt for producing such experiments was found in a work of Oetinger. Ashes of burned plants contained in vials, when heated, exhibited again their various forms. “A small obscure cloud gradually rose in the vial, took a defined form, and presented to the eye the flower or plant the ashes consisted of.” “The earthly husk”, wrote Oetinger, “remains in the retort, while the volatile essence ascends, like a spirit, perfect in form, but void of substance.”

And if the astral form of even a plant when its body is dead still lingers in the ashes, will skeptics persist in saying that the soul of man, the inner ego, is after the death of the grosser form at once dissolved, and is no more?

“At death”, says the philosopher, “the one body exudes from the other, by osmose and through the brain; it is held near its old garment by a double attraction, physical and spiritual, until the latter decomposes; and if the proper conditions are given the soul can re-inhabit it and resume the suspended life. It does it in sleep; it does it more thoroughly in trance; most surprisingly at the command and with the assistance of the Hermetic adept.

Iamblichus declared that a person endowed with such resuscitating powers is ‘full of God.’ All the subordinate spirits of the upper spheres are at his command, for he is no longer a mortal, but himself a god. In his Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul remarks that ‘the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.'””

H. P. Blavatsky

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