isis unveiled: xiii (alchemy)

“In his work on Anthropology, Professor J. R. Buchanan notes the tendency of the natural gestures to follow the direction of the phrenological organs; the attitude of combativeness being downward and backward; that of hope and spirituality upward and forward; that of firmness upward and backward; and so on.

The adepts of Hermetic science know this principle so well that they explain the levitation of their own bodies, whenever it happens unawares, by saying that the thought is so intently fixed upon a point above them, that when the body is thoroughly imbued with the astral influence, it follows the mental aspiration and rises into the air as easily as a cork held beneath the water rises to the surface when its buoyancy is allowed to assert itself.

The giddiness felt by certain persons when standing upon the brink of a chasm is explained upon the same principle. Young children, who have little or no imagination, and in whom experience has not had sufficient time to develop fear, are seldom, if ever, giddy; but the adult of a certain mental temperament, seeing the chasm and picturing in his imaginative fancy the consequences of a fall, allows himself to be drawn by the attraction of the earth, and unless the spell of fascination be broken, his body will follow his thought to the foot of the precipice. That this giddiness is purely a temperamental affair, is shown in the fact that some persons never experience the sensation, and inquiry will probably reveal the fact that such are deficient in the imaginative faculty.

We have a case in view, a gentleman who in 1858, had so firm a nerve that he horrified the witnesses by standing upon the coping of the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, with folded arms, and his feet half over the edge; but, having since become short-sighted, was taken with a panic upon attempting to cross a plank-walk over the courtyard of a hotel, where the footway was more than two feet and a half wide, and there was no danger. He looked at the flag below, gave his fancy free play, and would have fallen had he not quickly sat down.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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