isis unveiled: chapter xv (knowledge is power)

“Recapitulating the evidence contained in this work, if we begin with the archaic and unknown ages of the Hermetic Pimander, and come down to 1876, we find that one universal belief in magic has run through all these centuries. We have presented the ideas of Trismegistus in his dialogue with Asclepius; and without mentioning the thousand and one proofs of the prevalence of this belief in the first centuries of Christianity, to achieve our purpose we have but to quote from an ancient and a modern author.

The first will be the great philosopher Porphyry, who several thousand years after the days of Hermes, remarks in relation to the prevailing skepticism of his century, the following:

“We need not be amazed in seeing the vulgar masses perceive in statues merely stone and wood. Thus, it is generally with those who, ignorant in letters, find naught in stylae covered with inscriptions but stone, and in written books naught but the tissue of the papyrus.”

And 1,500 years later, we see Mr. Sergeant Cox, in stating the case of the shameful prosecution of a medium by just such a blind materialist, thus expressing his ideas:

“Whether the medium is guilty or guiltless…certain it is that the trial has had the unlooked-for effect of directing the attention of the whole public to the fact that the phenomena are asserted to exist, and by a great number of competent investigators, are declared to be true; and of the reality of which every person may, if he pleases, satisfy himself by actual inspection, thus sweeping away, thus and forever, the dark and debasing doctrines of the materialists.”

Still, in harmony with Porphyry and other theurgists, who affirmed the different natures of the manifesting “spirits” and the personal spirit or will of man, Mr. Sergeant Cox adds, without committing himself any further to a personal decision:

“True, there are differences of opinions…and perhaps ever will be, as to the sources of the power that is exhibited in these phenomena; but whether they are the product of the psychic force of the circle…or, if spirits of the dead be the agents, as others say, or elemental spirits, (whatever it may be), as asserted by a third party, this fact at least is established – that man is not wholly material, that the mechanism of man is moved and directed by some non-material – that is, some non-molecular structure, which possesses not merely intelligence, but can exercise also a force upon matter, that something to which, for a lack of a better title, we have given the name of soul. These glad tidings have by this trial been borne to thousands and tens of thousands, whose happiness here, and hopes of a hereafter, have been blighted by the materialists, who have preached so persistently that soul was but a superstition, man but an automation, mind but a secretion, present existence purely animal, and the future, a blank.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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