|Vol. 21||SEPTEMBER, 1915.||No. 6|
|Copyright, 1915, by H. W. PERCIVAL.|
Nature Ghosts and Religions.
THERE are places on the surface of the earth which are magical, that is, are naturally favorable to the coming in touch with nature ghosts and natureâ€™s forces. There are times when certain magic can be done more effectively and with less danger than at other times.
The founders of the nature religions and some of the priests who carry on the religious ceremonies of such religions, are acquainted with such places and build their altars and temples, or hold their religious ceremonies there. The forms and times of the ritual will be in conformity with solar aspects, such as the seasons of the year, solstices, equinoxes, and with lunar and stellar times, which all have certain meanings. These nature religions are all based on the positive and negative, the masculine and feminine, forces in nature, the action and work of which are made known to the priests by the Great Earth Ghost or by lesser earth ghosts.
In certain epochs there are more nature religions than in others. At no time will all the nature religions disappear, as the Great Elemental of the Sphere of Earth and the earth ghosts in him desire human recognition and worship. The nature religions are chiefly religions based upon the worship of the fire and of the earth. But whatever be the religion, all the four elements will be found playing a part in it. So fire worship, or the worship of the sun, makes use of air and water, and so the earth religions while they may have sacred stones, mountains, and stone altars, also worship the other elements, in such forms as holy water and sacred fire, dances, processions and chants.
In ages like the present century, religions do not flourish along these lines. People educated under modern scientific views consider the worship of stones, altars, geographical places, water, trees, groves and sacred fire, superstitions of primitive races. The moderns believe they have outlived such notions. Yet nature worship does and will continue after the scientific views have been outgrown. Many a learned man holding the views of positive science and professing at the same time the faith of one of the modern religions, does not stop to consider whether his religion is a nature religion. Were he to inquire into the matter he would find that his religion is indeed a nature religion, by whatever other name it may be called. He will find that thought of the fire, the air, the water, and the earth, is the object in the ceremonies of worship. The use of lighted candles, chants and sounds, holy water and baptismal fonts, stone cathedrals and altars, metals and burning incense, are forms of nature worship. The temples, the cathedrals, the churches, are built on plans and proportions showing the worship of nature, the worship of sex. The entrance to the temple, the aisles, the nave, pillars, pulpits, domes, spires, crypts, windows, arches, vaults, porches, ornaments and priestly garments, conform in shape or proportionate measurements to certain objects worshipped in nature religions. The idea of sex is so firmly rooted in the nature and the mind of man, that he speaks of his gods or his God in terms of sex, whatever he may call his religion. The deities are worshipped as father, mother, son, and man, woman, child.
Religions are necessary for the people. It is impossible for mankind to do without religions. Religions are necessary for the training of the senses in relation to the elements, from which the senses come; and also for the training of the mind in its development through the senses, and conscious growth out of the senses and towards the intelligible world, the world of knowledge. All religions are schools, through which the minds which are incarnated in bodies on the earth pass in their course of education and of training in the senses. When the minds have, through many series of incarnations, taken the course of training offered by the various religions, they begin, by the inherent qualities of the mind, to grow out of those religions after they have been trained through them in the senses.
There are different grades of religions: some grossly sensuous, some mystical, some intellectual. All these grades may be combined in one religious system, to offer sensuous, emotional, and mental nourishment to the worshippers of a religion, according to their individual desire and enlightenment. In this way the ghosts of the fire, the air, the water, and the earth may all receive their tribute from the worshippers of one system, if it is comprehensive enough. Although nature religions are instituted and carried on under the spur of the elemental gods, some of whom are very powerful, yet all religious systems are watched over and checked from the start and during their continuance by the Intelligence of the Sphere of Earth; so that the worshippers cannot exceed the limits of the law, which provides concerning the operation and sphere of religions.
The minds who outgrow religions, worship the Intelligence of the Sphere. Before they are ready to reverence the Intelligence, they declare that the powers and actions of the mind do not satisfy them, as it appears to them to be cold; whereas, the accustomed mode of nature worship gives them the comfort of the senses, by furnishing them something with which they are familiar, something that they can grasp, and which tolerates a personal application to them.
The particular religion or form of worship into which people are born or to which they are later attracted, is determined by the similarity of the elementals in them and the nature ghost worshipped in the religious system. The particular part the worshipper takes in a religion is determined by the development of his mind.
In every reputable religion the opportunity is afforded, and even suggested to the worshipper, of passing beyond mere worship of sensuous objects glorified, on to the worship of the Intelligence of the Sphere. To a man who wishes to go beyond the worship of glorified sensuous objects, the worship of personal gods is unacceptable, and such a man will give reverence to the impersonal Universal Mind. According to the manâ€™s intelligence will this Universal Mind, or by whatever name he prefers to speak of it, be the Intelligence of the Sphere of Earth or a higher Intelligence. Those, however, who hold to nature worship, will desire to be in a holy land, at a sacred shrine, on or in sacred ground, at a holy river, or lake, or spring, or confluence of waters, or at a cave or place where the sacred fire issues from the earth; and after death they want to be in a paradise which has features appealing to the senses.
Sacred Stones and Nature Ghosts.
Within the innermost solid earth are magnetic currents, which pulse and issue at points on the surface of the outer earth. These magnetic influences and elemental powers which emanate through the surface of the earth affect and charge certain stones. A stone so charged may become the chief center through which the sovereign of the element will act. Such stones may be used by those who have the power to connect the elemental influence with the stone, in the founding of a dynasty or the inaugurating of a new power in governing a people. The center of government will be wherever the stone is taken. This may or may not be known to the people, though it is known to its rulers. To this class of stones may belong the stone called Lid Faile, which is placed under the seat of the Coronation Chair, now in Westminster Abbey, on which the English kings have been crowned since the Lid Faile was brought from Scotland.
If a stone is not naturally charged, one who has the power may charge and connect it with the elemental ruler. The destruction of such a stone would mean the end of the dynasty or power of government, unless prior to the destruction the power had been connected with some other stone or object. Because the destruction of such a stone would mean the end of the power, it does not result that anyone opposed to that power could easily end it by destroying the stone. Such stones are guarded, not only by the ruling family, but by elemental powers, and cannot be destroyed unless karma has decreed the end of the dynasty. Those who attempt to injure or destroy such a stone are likely to challenge their own misfortune.
Dynasties and Ghosts.
Many European dynasties and noble families are supported by elemental powers. If the dynasties turn their opportunities to base ends, they find that the nature ghosts, instead of giving them support, will turn against and extinguish them. It is not so much that the elemental powers are opposed, as that the Intelligence of the Sphere will no longer allow the members of such families to carry on their evil doings. The limits to which they may go against the law are set, and the Intelligence observes them. If the common weal of the nation, or of the world through the nation, is furthered by an existing state of affairs, much of a strain may be put by the sovereigns and nobles on their karma, without precipitating their ruin. The individuals of these families pay their debts in another way.
Initiations and Ghosts.
From the openings in the outer earth, where the occult currents issue from the hidden inner worlds of our planet, come fire, winds, water, and magnetic force. At these openings the priests to be sanctified for the worship or communication with the element, are brought in touch with the nature ghosts of the element, make a compact with them, and receive from them the gift of understanding the workings of some of the nature ghosts, and of commanding some of the elemental forces, and, above all, receive an immunity from dangers which threaten those not sanctified. The neophyte may, for these ends, be placed on a stone through which a magnetic force flows, or he may be immersed in a sacred pool, or he may breathe airs which will envelop him and raise him from the ground, or he may breathe in a flame of fire. He will come out from his experiences unharmed, and will possess a knowledge which he did not have before the initiation and which will give him certain powers. At some initiations it may be necessary for the neophyte to go through all of such experiences at one time, but usually he passes through trials appertaining to and gives allegiance to the ghosts of one of the elements only. If any who are unfit should take part in such ceremonies, then their bodies would be destroyed or seriously harmed.
A nature religion is instituted by men who are specially selected by the ghost of that religion. Those men who are thereafter initiated as priests are accepted, but usually not selected, by the god. Then there is the large number of worshippers, who take certain vows, profess creeds, assume obligations of worship. While these pass through certain ceremonies, few of them pass through or even know of the initiations into the elements, or have powers over lesser elementals given them by the ghost of the element. Those who are initiated into the elements have to pass through a long and severe training to adjust their bodies to the new powers and influences with which they are to come into contact. The time required varies according to the nature and development of the bodies, and the power of the mind to control and bring the elementals in the body into line with the elementals outside in nature.
Occult Societies and Nature Ghosts.
Aside from worshippers of religious systems, there are secret societies in which nature ghosts are worshipped. There are also individuals who want to practice magic, but belong to no society. Some of the societies try to follow certain formulas given in books, or held by traditions. The men in them are often not able to sense or to know the elementals directly, so they have to obey the rules given them to come into contact with elementals.
The groups practicing magic have special places where they meet. The places are selected to permit the action of the elementals with as little hindrance as can be. The room, building, cave, are oriented, and the rulers of the four quarters and elements invoked, according to the given rule. Certain colors, symbols, and things are used. Each of the members may be required to prepare certain tools. Talismans, amulets, stones, jewels, herbs, incense, and metals may be employed in the outfit of the group or the individual. Each member takes a certain part in the work of the group. Sometimes astonishing results are obtained in such groups, but there is much room for self-deception, and the practice of fraud.
The individual who works alone too often deceives himself and tries, perhaps unintentionally, to deceive others as to the results he gets from his magical practices.
Elementals are abroad in the world at all times and at all places. However, the same elementals are not always active at the same place. Time changes the conditions at a place, and provides different conditions for different elementals to act in the same place. While one set of ghosts is present or acts at a given place at one time, another set is present and acts at another time. In the course of twenty-four hours, different elementals are present and act, at a given place. Likewise, the elementals act differently as the months progress and the seasons turn. One can easily notice in himself or others the different sensations produced at dawn, at sunrise, during forenoon, until the sun is at the zenith, and then during the waning day and the twilight, the evening, and at night. The same place is different in the sunshine, under moonbeams, and in darkness. There is a reason for the difference in the sensations produced. The sensation is the influence which the elementals present produce upon the senses.
To be continued.