The Word Foundation



Vol. 20 MARCH, 1915. No. 6

Copyright, 1915, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


Ghosts That Never Were Men.

AN elementary being, a god, a spirit, a ghost, rules each of the four spheres. There is the earth god, which is the spirit or ghost of the earth, and the god of the sphere of water, and the god of the sphere of air, and the god of the sphere of fire—all of them elementary beings, none of them an intelligence. The god of the sphere of earth and the god of the sphere of water are conceived in terms of the senses. The god of the sphere of the air and the god of the sphere of fire are not conceived and not conceivable in terms of the senses. Each is worshipped by the elementary beings of his sphere, according to the state of their development. Man may and often does worship these elemental gods. Man worships these ghosts according to his mental development. If he worships through the senses, he generally worships an elemental ghost. The beings other than man may not have mind, and they worship and obey simply according to their development, similarly as animals act according to their instinct.

Many a subordinate ghost desires and brings pressure to bear on his devotees that he be worshipped as the Supreme Being. The status and character of each god, however, can be seen in the homage and worship paid him and the acts done for his glorification.

Every subordinate god is comprehended in the Supreme Ghost of that sphere. It may be truly said by the beings in each of the spheres, with regard to the supreme god of that sphere: “In him we live and move and have our being.” All the worshippers of any ghost are contained in the body of their ghost.

In the god of the earth sphere, the ghost of the earth, are included all other subordinate earth ghosts; and they are more numerous than is generally known or even supposed. National gods, racial gods, and tribal gods are among the number, no matter by what name they are called.

Man is a mind, an intelligence. It is his mind that worships. It can worship according to its development only. But whatever the development of the mind, and whichever of the elemental gods it worships, each mind worships its own particular god as the Supreme Being. If man has a plurality of gods, then the Supreme Being is to him the most powerful of his gods, as Zeus among the Olympian gods was for many Greeks.

Whether the man worships the Supreme Being as the Universal Intelligence without form and not in sensuous terms, or worships it as a ghost, anthromorphized and endowed with human qualities no matter how excellent and all-comprehensive, or worships elemental ghosts or mere images, will be known by the terms in which he addresses or speaks of his ghosts.

There is the Supreme Intelligence, ruling over all the four spheres. What the Supreme Intelligence is cannot be described nor understood in terms of sense. To say that it is the Supreme Intelligence, is as much as is necessary to enable man to reach it by his individual intelligence. Over the four great elemental gods of the spheres, are intelligences, that is, minds. They are the Four Intelligences of the Spheres.

Within the spheres and under the great gods, as distinguished from the intelligences of the spheres, there are elemental beings. All elemental beings are beings without mind. The element of each sphere is the elemental of the whole sphere. These elementals are also worshipped as gods, and not only by the lower elemental beings within that sphere but by men.

There is then, in the sphere of fire, the element of fire, and the intelligence of the sphere. The element is the elemental of the sphere. That elemental is a great fire being, a great fire ghost, the Great Breath. The fire sphere as a whole is that being, and within it are lesser fire beings. The sphere of air is a great being. It is life as a whole; within it are lesser lives, beings. An intelligence is the giver of the law here, as is the intelligence of the sphere of fire in that sphere. So, likewise, is the sphere of water a great elemental being, a great form, containing within itself lesser elementals, forms; and an intelligence is the law-giver. The sphere of earth is a great elemental being, in which are lesser elementals. The great elemental being, which is the earth ghost, is the spirit of sex. There is an Intelligence of the Sphere of Earth which gives the law in the sphere of earth and carries out in the seen and unseen earth the laws of the other spheres.

The spirit of sex gives sex to the entities coming into the sphere of earth from the sphere of water. The spirit of form gives form to the entities coming from the sphere of air into the sphere of water. The spirit of life gives life to the entities coming from the sphere of the fire into the sphere of air. The breath gives movement and produces change in all.

The foregoing is necessary to understand what will be said about Ghosts That Never Were Men, and to see the distinction between the intelligences in the four spheres and the elemental beings or ghosts in these spheres, and to see that man may come into contact with only those parts of the spheres and the elemental beings therein, which are blended with the sphere of earth, and at the utmost, if man has a sufficient psychic development, with those that blend into certain parts of the sphere of water.

This outline shows the plan according to which the spheres are as they are in themselves and are in relation to each other. The part here relevant to the subject of Ghosts That Never Were Men, concerns the sphere of the earth in its unmanifested and manifested sides. But it is to be remembered that the entities from the other three spheres penetrate this sphere of earth. The sphere of fire and the sphere of air take form in the sphere of water if they manifest in the sphere of earth, and they must manifest in the sphere of earth if physical man perceives them through one or more of his five physical senses.

The names under which the four classes of elementals were spoken of by the alchemists and Rosicrucians were, salamanders for the fire elementals, sylphs for the air elementals, undines for the water elementals, and gnomes for the earth elementals. The word “salamander” applied by the alchemists to designate fire ghosts, is an arbitrary alchemical term, and is not limited to any lizard-like shape. In treating here of certain elementals, the terminology of the fire philosophers will not be applied. Their terms are applicable and understood under the conditions prevailing when these men lived, but unless the student of today is able to put himself into touch with the spirit of the times of the alchemists, he will not be able to follow their thought as expressed in their peculiar cryptic language, nor to get into touch with the ghosts those writers referred to.

The intelligences have the plan of the earth, and these elemental beings build according to the plan. The builders have no intelligence; they carry out the plans of the intelligences. Where the plans come from and what laws furnish them the plans is not spoken of here. The subject has already caused almost too much of an enlargement in order to know the relative position of Ghosts That Never Were Men.

All the functions of nature are performed by these elementals, here called ghosts that never were men. Nature cannot act without the elementals; they make up her body as a whole; they are the active side of nature. This physical world is the field on which are worked out the involutions and evolutions of nature. The body of man is made up of, maintained and destroyed, by elementals.

The purpose of the involution and evolution of the four elements is for the nature elementals to become human elementals, that is, co-ordinating formative principles of human physical bodies, over which the light of intelligence shines. The human elemental carries on the involuntary functions of the organs in the body and of the body as a whole, independently of the mind. It does it naturally, but the mind may interfere with it, and often does so interfere.

It is due to the intermingling of the three spheres into the sphere of earth, that the states of physical matter are changed from the solid to the liquid and gaseous and radiant, and back. All changes in the appearances which things have on earth are due to the action, of the four occult elements. (It will be understood that these statements relate to the action of the four occult elements, acting within the earth sphere on the physical earth). The four states of physical matter are the effects of the intermingling of the three elements in the sphere of earth. The processes and the causes are unseen; the effects only are sensuously perceptible. To produce a physical appearance, called a physical object, the four elements must be tied and held together in certain proportions as that object. They disappear as the elements when they appear as the object. When they are untied, when the combination is dissolved, then the object disappears and the elements which composed it reappear in their own spheres.

The elements are combined and tied together in the body of a man within that man’s own world. Man has within and acting through the physical appearance called man, a portion of each of the four occult spheres. These portions are his; they belong to the individual man. They are his for the whole series of his incarnations. They are elementals. Each of the four is an elemental. So a man’s physical body is the visible, of the invisible four ghosts, of fire, air, water, and earth. Each of these four elementals contains other elementals. The gods act on man, and he reacts on these gods, through the elementals of his body.

Similarly is the physical earth made up of the four great occult elements, which circulate through the visible physical, appearing from the invisible while they pass and repass through the line or surface of the visible earth world; they are invisible after they pass into the interior and repass into the exterior of the earth world.

The ghosts in each of the four spheres are divided into four races: the fire race, the air race, the water race, and the earth race. So that in the sphere of fire there is the fire race, the air race, the water race, the earth race, of the sphere of fire. In the sphere of air is a fire race, an air race, a water race, and an earth race, of that sphere. In the sphere of water is a fire race, an air race, a water race, and an earth race. In the sphere of earth is a fire race, an air race, a water race, an earth race, of the sphere of earth. Each of these races has numerous subdivisions.

Every elemental when acting in the physical world of man partakes in some degree of the other three elemental races of the earth sphere. So an earth elemental of the earth sphere has in it something of the fire and of the air and of the water race; but the earth element predominates.

Light, sound, form, and body are elementals. They are beings, strange though this may seem to some people. Whenever a man sees anything, he sees by virtue of a fire elemental, but he does not see the fire elemental. The elemental in him, active as seeing, enables him to get the perception of the object seen. The elemental of sound cannot be seen nor heard by man, but it enables the elemental active as, by what the man calls hearing, to hear the object. The elemental of form cannot itself be seen nor felt by man, but it enables him, through an elemental active in him, to perceive form. Here might seem to be a lack of clarity in the relation of form to the sense elemental through which form is perceived. Apparently form is perceived through seeing, or hearing or feeling, but without the water elemental, which, in the body of man, acts as taste, the perception of form is impossible. So man is enabled, through the elemental active in him as tasting, to perceive form. The elemental of solidity outside is perceived through an elemental on the inside active in smelling, through which man perceives the solid object.

The sense of feeling does not belong to anyone of these four classes of elementals.

The use of one of these four senses—which, it will be remembered, are elementals—invokes the activity of the other senses. When we see an apple, then the crispness of the sound while it is being bitten into, the taste, the odor and solidity, are perceived or imaged at the same time. That is so because the action of one of the elementals summons and involves the other sense elementals.

Sense and the object of sensuous perception, are aspects of the same element. The sense is the element represented by an elemental in man; the object is the element outside of man. The sense is the personal, human aspect of the element. What in nature is an element, is in the body of man a sense; and what in man is a sense, is in nature an element. However, in the sense of feeling there is something different from the four elementals.

In the earth sphere are four kingdoms of the elementals corresponding to what is known to man as the mineral, vegetable, animal, and human kingdoms. In the first three kingdoms, the actions of the elementals of those kingdoms would not be recognized as those of ghosts. Yet they belong to the class of ghosts that never were men. They would, if man should become aware of them, appear or act as bursts of fire, or fiery wheels, lines of colors, strange sounds, indistinct, vapory shapes, and as odors, pleasant or otherwise. Clairvoyant or clairaudient persons may perceive them as an ordinary occurrence, but the every-day man does not perceive them, unless a special circumstance brings on the manifestation.

In that kingdom of the elementals, which corresponds to the human kingdom, the forms taken by the ghosts when they appear to man, are human or have human semblance. Such apparitions have the upper portion human and the lower of a goat or deer or fish, or have human features elongated, distorted, or horns added to them, or have human shapes, but with appendages like wings. These are a few examples of the many variations.

(To be continued.)