The Word Foundation



Vol. 20 FEBRUARY, 1915. No. 5

Copyright, 1915, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


Ghosts That Never Were Men.

THE spiritual world and the mental world and the psychic world generally spoken of, are only those parts thereof which blend into the sphere of earth. The ordinary man does not reach and does not even think beyond the sphere of earth. The physical man depends for his continued physical existence, upon his physical organs. The four elements are not perceived nor understood, nor appropriated in their pure states, but only as they are affected by the medium of the physical. The solid, liquid, airy and radiant states of the physical world are the intermediaries, through which come and from which are extracted the four elements from the spheres of fire, air, water, earth, needed for the creation and nourishment of all physical bodies.

The various physical bodies have organs by which they extract from the solid, fluid, airy and radiant parts of the physical earth, what they are in need of for their existence. The sphere of fire appears in our physical world—that is, on the four lower planes of the sphere of earth—as light.

The earth beings are made up of the elements of all four spheres. But the element of the sphere of earth largely preponderates in all earth beings. The four aspects or states of man are nourished by solid food, liquid food, airy food, and fiery food. The sphere of earth represented by the solid food and the sphere of water represented by the liquid food are perceived in those forms, because they belong to the worlds of the senses, the psychic and the physical worlds. Air and light, representative of the mental and spiritual worlds, are not perceived through the senses, because the sphere of fire and the sphere of air are beyond sense perception.

It is the mind within the senses which perceives the elements of fire and of air operating through our physical sphere of earth. The element of air operating through our physical sphere of earth is perceived by the mind, acting through the senses, to be the gases of chemistry. Light is not seen by the senses. Light is representative of fire. Light makes things visible, but is itself invisible to sense. The mind perceives light, the senses do not. Man’s physical body needs the gross earth element represented by solid food, the liquid earth element represented by water, the airy earth element represented by the atmosphere, and the fiery earth element represented by light. Each of these earth elements is a medium for the transfer of the corresponding pure element from the sphere of fire, air, water, earth, into man’s physical organization. His body has certain systems which are used for the coming-in and going-out of those elements. The digestive system is for the solid, the earth element. The circulatory system is for the liquid, the water element. The respiratory system is for the air element. The generative system for the fire element.

Man, then, has in him the four elements. He does not touch them in their pure states, but only in so far as the four elements are tangible within the manifested portion—which is only a small portion thereof—of the sphere of earth. Man does not even there contact the elements in their pure states; the elements, nevertheless, maintain their pure states, though he is not conscious of that, for the reason that they are not sensible to his five senses as at present developed.

The sphere of fire maintains its character throughout the sphere of air, water, and earth; but it disappears in these spheres to the beings of these spheres, because the beings are not able to perceive the fire in its own state. They are able to perceive it only when the invisible fire is in combination with the elements they can perceive in their spheres. The same is true of the sphere of air and the sphere of water active within the sphere of earth, which are therefore imperceptible and unknown in their pure states to human beings on earth.

The element of fire is the least changing of all elements. The sphere of fire is the spirit, origin, cause and support of the other spheres. By its presence in them it is the primal cause of the changes in them, while in itself the least changeable in the manifestations of those spheres. The Fire is not the change, it is the primal cause of change in the other spheres. The sphere of air is the vehicle and the body in which the Fire clothes itself in involution.

The element of air is life. All beings in the sensuous world receive their life from this world. Sound, time, and life are the three characteristics of the sphere of air. This sound is not vibration; it is the substratum of vibration. Vibration is perceived in the watery and earthy worlds. The sphere of air is the link, medium, and passage between the sphere of fire and the sphere of water.

The sphere of water is the formative element. It is the element in and through which the finer elements of fire and air above it, and the grosser element of earth below it commingle and blend. They commingle; but the commingling is not caused by the sphere of water; the cause of the commingling is the fire. In this sphere those three elements take form. Mass, vibration, gravity, cohesion and form are characteristic of the sphere of water.

The sphere of earth, of which, it will be remembered, only a part is manifested and sensible to man, is the grossest of the spheres. Into it the grossest parts of the other spheres precipitate and condense. The four occult spheres of the universe are then known to man only in the gross aspects they have when clouded and obscured in their appearance in the physical world, and that only to the degree in which his five senses can give him contact and cognizance.

And yet, in this humble world, there is made by the Fire the adjustment of the disturbances in all the spheres. Here the counteractions are started. The balance on which the compensation is started and made, is the body of man.

All these spheres are necessary for the existence of our universe as it is. If the sphere of earth were withdrawn, which is the same as saying, if the element of earth were withdrawn, the physical world would disappear. The elements known to chemistry are only specializations of the sphere of earth. If the sphere of water were withdrawn, the sphere of earth would necessarily be dissolved, as there would be no cohesion and no form, and no channel through which to transmit life. If the sphere of air were withdrawn, then the spheres below it could have no life; they would die. When the sphere of Fire withdraws itself, the universe disappears and is resolved into the Fire, which it is. Even the gross aspects on earth of the occult elements will illustrate these propositions. If the light were withdrawn from the atmosphere, breathing would be impossible, because men cannot breathe immovable air. If the air were withdrawn from the water, all the beings in water would cease to exist, because the air transmits to the water oxygen, which the water animals, by means of gills or other organs, draw in for their sustenance. If the water were withdrawn from the earth, the earth would not hold together; its particles would crumble and fall apart, since water is necessary to all forms on earth, and is even in the hardest rock.

These four elements may be found, in some respects, and to a certain degree represented in theosophical terminology as the four “rounds” mentioned by Madame Blavatsky. The first round is comprehended in the element here spoken of as the sphere of Fire; the second round in the element of air; the third round in the element of water; and the fourth round is the present evolution in which the universe is, in the element of the earth. Two rounds are to be included in each sphere, except the fourth round, which is related to a single sphere. According to the theosophical teaching of Madame Blavatsky, three rounds are yet to come. The fifth, sixth, and seventh rounds to come correspond to the intelligent or evolutionary states of the spheres of water, of air, and of fire.

As to the seven theosophical principles, atma, buddhi, manas, and kama, prana, linga sharira, physical body, they, of course, refer to man in his present state in the sphere of earth and in the sphere of water. Atma-Buddhi does not manifest as such, any more than does the Fire, the Eternal. Manas, the intelligent principle, is of the sphere of fire; kama belongs to the line of evolution of the sphere of water. Prana belongs to the sphere of air; the linga sharira to the sphere of water.

(To be continued.)