isis unveiled: chapter xv (knowledge is power)

“New York, Feb. 7, 1877.

“I cheerfully obey your request for a written statement of what I related to you orally, as having been witnessed by me in Paris, last summer, at the house of a highly respectable physician, whose name I have no authority to use, but whom, after the usual French fashion of anonymizing, I will call Dr. X.

I was introduced there by an English friend, well-known in the Spiritualist circles in London – Mr. Gledstanes. Some eight or ten other visitors were present, of both sexes. We were seated in fauteuils, occupying half of a long drawing room, flush, with a spacious garden. In the other half of the room was a grand piano, a considerable open space between it and us, and a couple of fauteuils in that space, evidently placed there to be occupied by other sitters. A door near them opened into the private apartments.

Dr. X. came in, and discoursed to us for about twenty minutes with rapid and vehement French eloquence, which I could not undertake to report. He had, for over twenty-five years, investigated occult mysteries, of which he was about to exhibit some phenomena. His object was to attract his brethren of the scientific world, but few or none of them came to see for themselves. He intended before long to publish a book.

He presently led in two ladies, the younger one his wife, the other, (whom I will call Madame Y.), a medium or sensitive, with whom he had worked through all that period in the persecution of these studies, and who had devoted and sacrificed her whole life to this work with him. Both these ladies had their eyes closed, apparently in trance.

He stood them at the opposite ends of the long grand piano, (which was shut), and directed them to put their hands upon it. Sounds soon began to issue from its chords, marching, galloping, drums, trumpets, rolling musketry, cannon, cries, and groans – in one word, a battle. This lasted, I should say, some five to ten minutes.

I should have mentioned that before the two mediums were brought in I had written in pencil, on a small bit of paper (by direction of Mr. Gledstanes, who had been there before), the names of three objects, to be known to myself alone, viz., some musical composer, deceased, a flower, and a cake. I chose Beethoven, a Marguerite (daisy), and a kind of French cake called plombieres, and rolled the paper into a pellet, which I kept in my hand, without letting even my friend know its contents.

When the battle was over, he placed Mme. Y., in one of the two fauteuils, Mme. X. being seated apart at one side of the room, and I was asked to hand my folded, or rolled, paper to Mme. Y. She held it, unopened, between her fingers, on her lap. She was dressed in white merino, flowing from her neck and gathered in at the waist, under a blaze of light from chandeliers on the right and left.

After a while she dropped the little roll of paper to the floor, and I picked it up. Dr. X. then raised her to her feet and told her to make “the evocation of the dead.” He withdrew the fauteuils and placed in her hand a steel rod of about four and a half or five feet in length, the top of which was surmounted with a short cross-piece – the Egyptian Tau.

With this she traced a circle around herself, as she stood, of about six feet in diameter. She did not hold the cross-piece as a handle, but, on the contrary, she held the rod at the opposite end. She presently handed it back to Dr. X. There she stood for some time, her hands hanging down and folded together in front of her, motionless, and with her eyes directed slightly upward toward one of the opposite corners of the long salon.

Her lips presently began to move, with muttered sounds, which after a while became distinct in articulation, in short broken sentences or phrases, very much like the recitation of a litany. Certain words, seeming to be names would recur from time to time. It sounded to me somewhat as I have heard Oriental languages sound. Her face was very earnest and mobile with expression, with sometimes a slight frown on the brow. I suppose it lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes, amidst the motionless silence of all the company, as we gazed on the weird scene.

Her utterance finally seemed to increase in vehemence and rapidity. At last she stretched forth one arm toward the space on which her eyes had been fixed, and, with a loud cry, almost a scream, she exclaimed: ‘BEETHOVEN!’; and fell backward, prostrate on the floor.”” (letter to be continued…)

H. P. Blavatsky

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