Section XXVII

[I had read something about India as a cradle of races and religions, and something had been said about the subject at one of our meetings. I inquired further.]

What was said is true. India is the source from which is derived much of the religious idea which pervades your faith. From India the chain has been perpetuated through many nations of antiquity. The myths which have centred round the plain truths of revelation owe their origin to India. The Messianic legends date from the earliest days. Men have always pictured to themselves a Saviour of their race, and the best record of your gradual growth is to be found in tracing the early religious history of India. As the study of Indian lore bears much on the scientific aspect of language which you have studied and taught to others, so is the study of the religious aspect of Indian history in the far, dim past, essential for yourself now. Direct your mind to it. We have those with us who can aid you.

India, Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Judea--of these and of God's dealings with them in revealing the Divine Ideal as man has been able to grasp it, it behoves you to know. You must learn how Djeminy and Veda Vyasa were the predecessors of Socrates and Plato. You will be told of this by those who know, and whose earth-life was spent at that epoch. But, first, you must labour to gather up for yourself such knowledge as is stored up. That done, you will be guided further.

You must learn, too, from similar sources how that man in every age has felt his need of a Saviour outside of himself, and how the legends that cluster round these Messiahs repeat themselves from time to time. The mythic source from which many a legend sprang you will find in the story of Chrishna, the miraculous son of the pure virgin Devaki. Hence you will get light on subjects yet dark to you. This is the special information of which we spoke long ago, but which the peculiar attitude of your mind, combined with its blank ignorance on these subjects, compelled us to withhold.

We have still much to clear away before we can build safely. There is much in the mere outlines that will be strange to you, and you must be familiarised with them before we can go into detail. You must know that Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, the great kingdoms of the world, owed their philosophy and religion very largely to India. Manou, the great Indian reformer and teacher, reappears as the Manes of Egypt, the Minos of Greece, the Moses of Hebrew story. The name is impersonal, and is the appellative "man" in its simplest form. The great pioneers of truth to their respective peoples were called, by emphatic eminence, "The Man." They were to their fellows the highest embodiment of human power, dignity, and knowledge.

Manou of India was a learned and erudite scholar, a profound student of philosophy, more than three thousand years before the Christ was born among you. Nay, he in his turn was but a late reformer compared with those whose words are written in the ancient commentaries which belong to venerable Brahminical lore thousands of years before Manou expounded philosophically the mysteries of God, of creation, and of man's destiny.

To him Zarathustra, or Zoroaster, owed whatever of truth he taught of old in Persia. All the sublimest conceptions of God date from him. The influence of India on all ancient races, in legislation, in theology, in philosophy, in science, is as surely proven to you as the fact that the language which you use is the same tongue as that spoken by Manou himself. The adulterations of modern times have so changed it that you can hardly trace the resemblance, yet your learned philologists will tell you that it is the same. The religions of the world bear to a superficial eye no apparent identity with the ideas which are enshrined in Brahminical lore, yet they are derived frequently from those primitive teachings which Manou systemised, which Manes naturalised in Egypt, and which Moses introduced among the Hebrews.

Hindu ideas permeate all systems of philosophy and theology. The Devadassi, the holy virgins who in Hindu temples devoted themselves to the pure worship of the Supreme, according to their idea of Him, have had their successors in the consecrated virgins of the Egyptian temples of Osiris, in the inspired pythonesses of Delphi, in the priestesses of Ceres, in the vestial virgins of later Rome.

This is, indeed, but a solitary instance of what we wish to point out to you. We do but direct your mind; and our bare sketch will be plentifully filled hereafter. You are not yet able to comprehend more than the outline.

Certainly I am ignorant enough. You speak as if man was a mere vehicle for spirit; more or less perfect, and so more or less instructed.

We have told you frequently that all knowledge is from us. With us is the substance, with you the shadow only. Even as in your world they learn most who are most teachable, so in intercourse with ours. We can teach, if you are willing to learn.

Not much merit in man, then?

The merit of obedience and humility. So he best grows in knowledge.

And suppose his teachers teach him wrong?

All truth is mixed with error. The dross will be purged away.

All spirits teach differently. Who, then, is right? What is truth?

It is not so. We teach independently, and so details vary while the broad outline remains the same. You will know one day that evil, as you call it, is but the reverse of good. You can have no unmixed good in your present state. It is an idle dream. Truth to you is relative, and must long remain so. Be content to crawl before you walk, to step before you run, to run before you soar.


[It was at this time that there occured that singular instance of power of a spirit lately released from the body to communicate, which I have recorded in SPIRIT- IDENTITY. A man had met an awful death by being crushed beneath a steamroller used for making a road near Baker Street. I had passed the spot during the day: without, however, being conscious of the event. In the evening I met the Baron Dupotet at Mrs Mackdougall Gregory's, and the spirit manifested its presence. On 23rd Feb., 1874, I inquired about the matter, and the story told by the spirit was confirmed.]

It surprises us much that he should have been able to attach himself to you. It was owing to his being near the place when he met his bodily death. Do not direct your mind strongly to the subject, lest he vex you.

How comes it that he is awake at once, whereas our friend [who passed away recently] is not?

He has not rested after the violent separation from the body. Well for him if he does so. If not he will remain an earthbound spirit for long. Rest is a step to progress in the case of such a spirit. It is to be desired that the poor soul may rest and not haunt the sphere of vice in which his earth life was spent.

Is the spirit, then, unharmed by such a ghastly mutilation?

The mutilation of the body does not harm the spirit, except by the rude shock. And that would stir it into action rather than lull it into repose.

The spirit haunted the place of death? How did it reach me?

It is usual for a spirit so severed from the body to haunt the spot for long after. You passed: and being in a highly sensitive condition attracted any spiritual influences that came within your sphere, as the magnet attracts iron. This power of sympathetic attraction is mysterious to you. Yet it should not be, for you see it in action in a lower degree in your world. Attraction and repulsion operate strongly in daily intercourse. Most are unconscious of the fact, yet all, especially the sensitive, act upon it. This is intensified once the body is done with. The wider methods which it supplies through the avenues of the senses are replaced by this intuitive faculty of sympathy, and its correlative, repulsion.

But do not fix your mind on the subject, or you will find that the law of attraction is set to work again, and you will have drawn to yourself the plague of an undeveloped spirit. There is no reason, seeing that you could not benefit the poor soul.