isis unveiled: chapter xv (knowledge is power)

“Not many years ago, one of the worst of superstitions, scientists held to be that of believing that the murderer’s portrait remained impressed on the eye of the murdered person, and that the former could be easily recognized by examining carefully the retina. The “superstition” asserted that the likeness could be made still more striking by subjecting the murdered man to certain old women’s fumigations, and the like gossip.

And now an America newspaper, of March 26, 1877, says: “A number of years ago attention was attracted to a theory which insisted that the last effort of vision materialized itself and remained as an object imprinted on the retina of the eye after death. This has been proved a fact by an experiment tried in the presence of Dr. Gamgee, F. R. S., of Birmingham, England, and Prof. Bunsen, the subject being a living rabbit. The means taken to prove the merits of the question were most simple, the eyes being placed near an opening in a shutter, and retaining the shape of the same after the animal had been deprived of life.”

If, from the regions of idolatry, ignorance, and superstition, as India is termed by some missionaries, we turn to the so-called centre of civilization – Paris, we find the same principles of magic exemplified there under the name of occult Spiritualism. The Honorable John L. O’Sullivan, Ex-Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to Portugal, has kindly furnished us with the strange particulars of a semi-magical séance, which he recently attended with several other eminent men, at Paris. Having his permission to that effect, we print his full letter.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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