“Plotinus, when asked to attend public worship of the gods, is said to have proudly answered: “It is for them (the spirits) to come to me.” Iamblichus asserted and proved in his own case, that our soul can attain communion with the highest intelligences, with “natures loftier than itself”, and carefully drove away from his theurgical ceremonies every inferior spirit, or bad daemon, which he taught his disciples to recognize.
Proclus, who “elaborated the entire theosophy and theurgy of his predecessors into a complete system”, according to Professor Wilder, “believed with Iamblichus in the attaining of a divine power, which, overcoming the mundane life, rendered the individual an organ of the Deity.” He even taught that there was a “mystic password that would carry a person from one order of spiritual beings to another, higher and higher, till he arrived at the absolute divine.”
Apollonius spurned the sorcerers and “common soothsayers”, and declared that it was his “peculiar abstemious mode of life” which “produced such an acuteness of the senses and created other faculties, so that the greatest and most remarkable things can take place.”
Jesus declared man the lord of the Sabbath, and at his command the terrestrial and elementary spirits fled from their temporary abodes; a power which was shared by Apollonius and many of the Brotherhood of the Essenes of Judea and Mount Carmel.
It is undeniable that there must have been some good reasons why the ancients persecuted unregulated mediums. Otherwise why, at the time of Moses and David and Samuel, should they have encouraged prophecy and divination, astrology and soothsaying, and maintained schools and colleges in which these natural gifts were strengthened and developed, while witches and those who divined by the spirit of Ob were put to death?
Even at the time of Christ, the poor oppressed mediums were driven to the tombs and waste places without the city walls. Why this apparent gross injustice? Why should banishment, persecution, and death be the portion of the physical mediums of those days, and whole communities of thaumaturgists, like the Essenes, be not merely tolerated but revered?
It is because the ancients, unlike ourselves, could “try” the spirits and discern the difference between the good and the evil ones, the human and the elemental. They also knew that unregulated spirit intercourse brought ruin upon the individual and disaster to the community.
This view of mediumship may be novel and perhaps repugnant to many modern spiritualists; but still it is the view taught in the ancient philosophy, and supported by the experience of mankind from time immemorial.”
H. P. Blavatsky