The Word Foundation



Vol. 25 AUGUST, 1917. No. 5

Copyright, 1917, by H. W. PERCIVAL.


Ghosts That Become Men

NATURE ghosts, the ghosts that never were men, must, in the course of evolution, become men.

Ghosts, as all things and creatures below man’s state, are urged on and toward developing into men. For through the state of man all must pass to become beings in higher states. The highest of the beings connected with evolution, as far as man can at all conceive of them, are intelligences. They are entities which have become perfect, some of them at the end of previous evolutions, the others during the present period. In their hands lies the guidance in all the worlds, of the beings beneath them. Man is a mind and stands between the entities without mind and the highest intelligences. Even the highest of the beings without mind, that is, the highest ghosts that never were men, must exist as men before they can become intelligences.

The subject of ghosts that never were men falls under two broad divisions: one, elementals in the elemental worlds; the other, their relations to man and man’s duty toward them. He is conscious of them or of their relation to him, only in exceptional cases, as when simple and close to nature, he becomes aware of some of their doings while his senses are not yet dulled by civilization, or when he performs magic; or when he is a natural psychic. Nature ghosts are beings in the elements. Through these beings work nature forces. A force is the active side of an element, an element the negative side of a force. These elemental beings share in the double aspect of element force, of which they are. There are worlds within the physical and beyond it, four such worlds. The lowest of these is the earth world, and man knows nothing beyond some aspects of the manifested side of it. The manifested and the unmanifested side of the earth world are encompassed in the next higher world, the world of water; that world is in the world of air; all three are in the world of fire. These four worlds are spoken of as the spheres of their respective elements. The four spheres penetrate each other within the sphere of earth. The elemental beings of these four spheres are known to man only as they appear, if at all, in the sphere of earth. Each being in these elements partakes of the nature of the other three elements; but its own nature of force and element dominates the others in it. Therefore in the earth sphere the earth element tells on the others with its greater power. The elemental beings are innumerable, their kinds varied beyond words. All these worlds with their innumerable beings are worked on a plan which eventually lowers all beings into the crucible of the manifested side of the earth sphere, and thence allows their ascent in evolution to the realms of mind.

Each sphere is to be understood under two aspects, one of nature and the other of mind. A sphere, as force-element, is ruled by a great elemental god, under which are lesser deities. All the elementals in that sphere are, while they exist, in hierarchies under and in and of this great god, diminishing in power and importance infinitesimally. In the elementals the element takes form; when they lose that they are again of the element. This great elemental and its hosts are of nature. Over this elemental god is the intelligence of the sphere, with hierarchies of lesser degrees. Some of these are the perfected minds of this and previous evolutions who remain to guide and rule man and the ghosts that never were men, in involution and evolution of the present cycles. As far as humanity may know, the intelligences have the plan of the earth and its processes, and are the givers of law, and that law, once it is given, the elemental entities are bound to execute as what is called operations of nature, destiny, ways of Providence, karma. From the revolution of the planet and the succession of the seasons to the formation of a summer cloud, from the bloom of a flower to the birth of a man, from prosperity to pests and calamities, all is carried on by elementals under their rulers, to whom, however, limits are set by the intelligences. Thus interact the matter, the forces and the beings of nature, and mind.

The elements and forces of outer nature have centers in the body of man. His body is a part of nature, is made up of elementals of the four classes, and thus the means by which, he as a mind, comes into contact with nature through nature ghosts. The tendency of all ghosts is toward the body of man. For in its own element no ghost is capable of development. It can advance only when it comes into contact with the other elements while they commingle, as ghosts, in the body of man. As to the nature of elementals, they have only desire and life, no mind. The lower order of elementals seek sensation and fun, nothing more. The more advanced seek to associate with man, and to have themselves a human body, that therein they may be lit up by a mind, be the vehicle of a mind, and in the end become a mind.

Here the subject turns from the elementals in the elemental worlds to the second division, man’s relation to elementals. Man’s senses are elementals. Each sense is a humanized, impersoned aspect of an element, whereas the objects outside are parts of the impersonal element. Man may contact nature because, the sense and the object of its perception are parts of the same element, and each organ of his body is an impersoned part of the impersonal element without, and the general manager of his body is his human elemental made up personally of the four elements. It stands nearest to and is in line of evolution to become a mind. The aim of all nature is to become a human elemental, and if that is not possible at least become a sense, an organ, a part in a human elemental. The human elemental is the ruler of the body and corresponds to the elemental ruler of a sphere. Within it are the lesser and least elementals of the body, as the infinitude of the lesser elementals are in and of the god of the sphere. All lesser elementals are driven towards the state of a human elemental. The flow of involution and the stream of evolution turn around the human elemental. There contact is made between nature and mind. Man has built his own elemental during ages innumerable and is perfecting it during his incarnations, to raise it till it becomes conscious as a mind. This is his privilege as well as his task.

The kinds of elementals with which man may come into touch, are limited to those in the sphere of earth. One kind of these, called the Upper Elementals, is of an ideal nature. They are of the unmanifested side of the earth, and do not usually come into contact with men. If they do they appear as angels or half gods. To them the plan of the world is outlined by intelligences, and they administer the law and give out the plan and the directions to other kinds of elementals, called the Lower Elementals, for execution. These lower are of three groups, the causal, formal and portal, each having in it elementals of the fire, air, water and earth. All material things are produced, maintained, changed, destroyed, reproduced by them. The less advanced swarm around and through man, they urge him to all manner of excess and excitement, and through him they experience sensation, whether in his pleasure or his trouble. The more advanced, the better orders of the lower elementals, shun humans.

The body of every man then is a focus. Into this continually nature ghosts are drawn from their elements, and out of this as steadily swept back to their elements. They go through those elementals which are the senses, systems, organs, in the body of man. While they are passing through they are impressed with their environment. Borne through the body they are stamped with the disease or well being of its nature, with the viciousness or naturalness of the desire, with the state and development of the mind, and with the underlying motive in life, they contact. All of this permits changes of the ground plan, dependent upon the right of choice man has, to use his mind in the way he wills. Thus he, consciously or unconsciously and with the cyclic retrogression and progression, helps to carry on the evolution of himself, of his elemental, and of the ghosts that never were men. The first channel and the last and the only one is the human elemental. Of these relations between the elementals and himself the human is usually unconscious, for the reasons that he does not sense nature ghosts, his senses being so attuned that they reach surfaces only and not the interior and the essence of things, and because partitions separate the human and the elemental worlds.

However, men may be conscious of relations with elementals. Some of these relationships belong to the realm of magic. That is the name given to the operation of bending natural processes to one’s will. This work ultimately comes back to the interference with external nature through organs and systems of one’s own human elemental and one’s physical body. In the range of such magic are the curing of diseases, breaking and carrying and composing huge rocks into structures, rising into the air, making precious stones, prophecying future events, making magic mirrors, locating treasures, making one’s self invisible, and the practice of black magic, and devil worship. Under the head of magic fall further the science of signatures and seals, of letters and names, amulets and talismans, and of how comes their power to bind, hold and compel elementals. All this, however, is within the limits of the supreme law of karma, which also watches over the acts of elementals in carrying out curses and blessings. Other instances of ghost magic are: the binding of elementals to inanimate objects and commanding these ghosts to work, and so cause brooms to sweep, boats to move, wagons to go; the creation of familiars by alchemists for personal service and aid in their alchemical processes; the use of sympathy and antipathy of the elements, for healing or bedeviling.

Relations with nature ghosts further exist in cases where no magical operations are intended, and the ghosts work following the desires and the opportunities offered them by humans. Such are the actions of ghosts making dreams, cases of incubi and succubi, of obsession, and of good luck ghosts and bad luck ghosts. Of course, dangers and liabilities attend the acceptance of service and of gifts from ghosts even upon a mere wish, though the hazard is less than in cases of holding the thought in “affirmation” or “denial,” and of the practice of magic. Such are some of the possible relations between humans and elementals. The facts underlying legends about association and physical sexual union of humans and elementals, lead to the point of how ghosts that never were men become men.


ONCE more, the goings on in the whole universe present themselves under the workings of nature and of mind. Nature is composed of the four elements. The mind is not of the elements. Everything is either a part of nature or of mind. All that does not act with at least some degree of intelligence is nature; all that acts with some degree of intelligence is of mind. Nature is a reflection of mind. In another sense nature is a shadow of mind. (See The Word, Vol. 13, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.) Nature is involutionary, not evolutionary; mind is evolutionary. All that in nature acts in contact with mind, is evolutionary, that is, constantly evolving from lower, into higher forms. Matter is thereby refined from stage to stage, until it is possible to light that matter up with mind. This is done first by association of the matter with mind, then by the incarnation of a mind into a form fashioned of that matter, with which it had for ages associated during its reincarnations. With such a body the mind dwells and works on nature. Nature involves into form and is acted on and raised by the mind, all in a human body. Mind does this work through a human body. Therein it works on nature, that is, on the elements, while nature circulates in space, and cycles in time.

The process of the circulation of the elements cannot be understood unless the idea of size of the elementals is eliminated. Large and small are relative. The small can become large, the large small. That which alone is permanent and essential are the ultimate units. The elements from the four worlds acting through the manifested side of the earth sphere pour in on man’s body in a steady stream, from the time that body is conceived until its death. The elements enter through the sunlight he absorbs, the air he breathes and the liquid and solid foods. These elements as elementals come also through the various systems in his body; the generative, respiratory, circulatory and digestive being the main channels where he works on these elementals. They come also through the senses and through all the organs of his body. They come and they go. While passing through the body for a short or long time, they receive impressions from the mind. The mind does not impress them directly, as they cannot come directly into contact with the mind. They are impressed through the human elemental. Pleasure, excitement, pain, anxiety, affect the human elemental; that connects with the mind; the action of the mind comes back to the human elemental; and that impresses the lesser elementals on their passage through it. The elementals then leave the human elemental and circulate in combination with other elementals or alone through the earth, water, air and fire worlds, through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, back to the subtle elements and again through the kingdoms, sometimes bound in food, sometimes free, as in air or sunlight, but always in a stream of everflowing nature, until they come back to a human. They carry the impressions from the humans along all their courses of circulation through the elements and through the kingdoms of nature and through humans, other than the one who gave them the original impression. This circulation of the elements goes on throughout the ages.

The manner in which the elements circulate is as elementals. The matter of the elements takes form as elementals. The forms may last a moment or two or for ages, but are eventually broken up and dissipated. All that remains is the ultimate unit; that cannot be broken up nor dissolved nor at all destroyed. The difference between the ultimate unit of an elemental and the ultimate unit of a human is, that that of the human rebuilds its form from its own seed, but that of the elemental leaves no seed from which a form can be rebuilt. An elemental must have its form given to it. That which persists is the ultimate unit.

The circulation then of the elements goes on, largely in the forms of elementals. These forms are after a time dissolved, the elementals are absorbed into their elements, without leaving a germ or even a trace of themselves. There could be no progress, no involution, no evolution, if it were not for another factor. What is the connecting link between the elemental forms? It is the ultimate unit around which the matter was formed as the elemental. (See The Word, Vol. 15, Living Forever, pp. 15- 19.)

The ultimate unit is the link. It is that which enables matter to be grouped as form around it or within it. Size and dimensions are to be eliminated from the conception of an ultimate unit. Once the element takes form and there comes into existence an elemental of the most primitive kind, akin to the unformed element and as to nature hardly distinguishable from it, the matter groups about an ultimate unit. The ultimate unit makes form possible and remains after the form is dissolved and the element is back in its formless, chaotic state. The ultimate unit is changed by what it has gone through. There is no trace of identity in the matter of which the elemental had consisted. Nor has conscious identity been awakened in the ultimate unit. The ultimate unit cannot be destroyed nor dissipated, as was the form of the elemental. After a while other matter groups around it as another instance of force-element in form of an elemental. This form is dissipated after a time, the subtle matter goes to its elements; the ultimate unit is changed, and so is marked another state of its progress. The ultimate unit is gradually and infinitesimally changed by the many groupings of subtle matter around it, that is, by being the ultimate unit in elementals. It travels through the kingdom of the minerals, vegetables, animals, and of man, and is changed as it progresses. It passes as an elemental through lower elemental forms and finally reaches the state of the elementals which are in line to become human. There is during all these changes, during which, however, it remains an ultimate unit, something impressed upon it which drives it on. The driving power lies in its own nature, lies in the active aspect of it, which is spirit. Cosmic desire is the outer energy affecting the inner side, which is spirit. This driving spirit in the ultimate unit is the same that causes lower orders of elementals to seek fun and excitement by gamboling over the human nerves. The same driving spirit causes eventually dissatisfaction or surfeit with this fun and sport, and makes the elementals desire something of the other, to them unattainable, side of man, the immortal side. When the vague desire for immortality awakens in the ultimate unit it is embodied in an elemental of the better classes and this desire puts it in line to become human.

The gradual change in the makeup of the elementals explains the desire. To ghosts in the low stages forms are given; they have no forms of their own. These ghosts are lives. They have life, and are given form. They are moved by the impulse of nature, that is, cosmic desire, as represented by the element of which they are. By circulation through physical bodies of the four kingdoms, the ultimate units in the ghosts progress from the primitive stage to a higher. When the ghosts circulating come into animal bodies they touch desire, and desire is gradually awakened in them, and so in their ultimate units. The desire is of different kinds according to the object of the desire and the nature of the sensation. When the ghosts circulate through a human frame the desires are more accentuated, because in a human are distinctly waves of lower and higher desires which roll over him in cycles. The desires of men effect a classification of the ghosts into lower and better orders, the better are those which are in line to become men; the lower are not yet in line, they seek only sensation and fun. The better are in line because they seek not only sensation, but desire to become immortal. Those in line have a period of existence coextensive with their form. When an end is put to its form an elemental ceases to exist. Therein is seen a difference from a human. For when the form of a man is dissipated at death, something remains which rebuilds of itself another body for itself and for the mind to work through. The elemental in line to become a man desires to get that something, because only through that something can it earn immortality.

Thus the ultimate unit advances and gets to the point where the ordinary human becomes distasteful to it. For ordinary humans can furnish to elementals nothing but sensation and fun. They are sport for elementals. They cannot bring the elementals into touch with thoughts of responsibility and immortality, as the ordinary humans have no such thought, no matter what their professions and blind belief may be. Among the lower elementals a sharp distinction is, therefore, to be made between the elementals there of the lower orders and those of the more advanced. The low orders want only sensation, constant sensation. The better orders long for immortality. They want sensation, but they long at the same time for immortality. Some of these are those mentioned before in the article on children of humans and elementals. Immortality can be had only if the elemental earns the right to exist as a human elemental and so, through service to a mind, will in time be lighted up by that mind and lifted from the elemental races to be itself a mind. Finally the ultimate unit which started as an elemental of a low order, a kin to chaos, has advanced through forms which were given to it from time to time till it has ranged through all spheres and kingdoms, back and forth and becomes an elemental which longs for immortality.


IN line to become men, then are those ghosts in which the ultimate unit has gradually traveled through all phases of elemental life to that stage where the ghosts long for immortality. Their mode of life is not like that of humans, yet not so different as to be beyond comparison as to forms of government, mutual relations, activities.

They live in races of fire, air, water and earth elementals, within the earth sphere. Their actions, their methods of life, are according to certain forms of government. These forms of government are not like those under which man lives. They are of a superior character and are what to aspiring mortals would appear, could they be seen, ideal governments. Men whose minds have been far seeing and clear enough to catch glimpses of or become acquainted with these governments, may have in their writings presented their impressions. Such may be the case of Plato’s Republic, Moore’s Utopia, St. Augustine’s City of God.

These elementals have relationships with each other, closer or more distant. They may be related friendly as father and son, or father and daughter, mother and son, mother and daughter are, but they are not born. This, quite misunderstood and distorted, is the basis of the erroneous notion that children should belong to the state, and may be the product of free love of the parents, with the consent of the state. But this is inapplicable to human affairs, and it is not true of the elementals.

The activities of the elemental races are concerned with affairs in which the humans engage, but the affairs must be of an ideal kind and not of a covetous or impure nature. The elementals are to become human and take an interest in human affairs. They take part in all the activities of the humans, take part in industry, agriculture, mechanics, commerce, religious ceremonies, battles, government, family life, where the activities are not sordid nor unclean. Such are their government, relations, and activities.

In the present age the mass of humanity has been in existence as humans for millions of years. The minds incarnate, or merely contact from time to time human elementals, which have developed each out of a personality germ at conception. Each of these minds, generally speaking, has been associated with its human elemental for ages. The occurrences mentioned in the chapter on Children of Humans and Elementals are now unusual. The present time is not the time for elementals to become human elementals and so enter into close contact with a mind.

There are seasons for all things. The season for elementals to come into the human kingdom has passed. Another period will come. At present the time is unseasonable. A comparison may be made with a class in school. There is the school term; there is a beginning of the term, at that time pupils are entered, after the class is completed no new pupils go in; the class completes its term, those who have finished pass on, those who have not accomplished their tasks remain and start on a new term, and new pupils find their way in to fill up the class. It is the same with elementals finding their way into the human kingdom. There are seasons when they come in masses. Between the seasons only those are received whom special individuals bring. The mass of humanity was formed and entered the school house of the world ages ago.

The manners in which elementals of the better classes, those who are in line to enter humanity become human, vary. One manner has been shown above. That condition of man and woman which at present would make them attractive to one of these elementals, and which is so rare, was the common condition of the humans at the times in the far past when there was a season for entrance of elementals. From that prior state of excellence mankind has degenerated. It has not held the point of advance it had reached. True, it appears, that man has worked up from barbarism to his present civilization, from a stone age to an electric age. But the stone age was not the beginning. It was one of the low stages in cyclic rise and fall.

There are several reasons why the elementals cannot at present enter. One is that the men and women of today cannot produce the physical cells to let in the elementals; that is, cells in which either the positive human energy is active and the negative energy from the elemental might act, or cells in which the negative human agency is active and the positive elemental force might act. Among the reasons, another is that two worlds, the human and the elemental, are each circumscribed and separated by walls, which are at present impenetrable. The senses of the humans are like partitions separating the physical from the astral and psychic worlds. The elementals at the present time do not sense physical things, and the humans do not sense astral and psychical things. The elementals see the astral side of physical man but they do not see his physical side. Man sees the physical side of elementals, but not the astral or truly elemental side. So man sees gold but not the ghost of the gold, he sees a rose but not the fairy of the rose, he sees the human body but not the elemental of the human body. In this way the senses are partitions separating the two worlds. The human has its partition against the elemental, the elemental its wall against the invasion of the human. By such conditions the humans are separated from the elementals at the times which are unseasonable.

Though the elementals do not enter at present, because it is now unseasonable, the principle of their entrance remains the same. Therefore even in recent times exceptional cases may have occurred of issue from elementals and humans, into which issue minds have incarnated.

When it was the season for the entrance of masses of elementals, mankind looked on life differently than it does today. In those days the humans were excellent in body and freer in mind. They were physically fit to bring elementals into the human kingdom, as their bodies were not then afflicted with the ills and infirmities of modern man. The humans could see the elementals. The barrier between the two worlds was not strictly maintained. The elementals in line to become human were attracted and sought the humans for association and union and lived with their human partners. From these unions were born offspring.

These offspring were of two kinds. Each had physical bodies. One kind had mind and the other was without mind. The kind without mind were former elementals which had through association with a human and parentage, gained a personality and at death had left a personality germ. The personality germ was guided by agents of the law, to the new parents, and so this personality germ bonded the union of these parents and then was the child. It was not in the child it was the child, the personality of the child. Therein lies the distinction between a mind which incarnates. The personality developed the powers which it had had as elemental and at the same time partook of the characteristics of the physical body, and had mental activities induced by the action of the minds about it. But it had no mind. In this condition it responded to the mental atmosphere of the mind of the community as readily as to the instincts urged by nature. It was not bothered by reason nor by mental perturbations. At puberty of the elemental a mind could incarnate in it.

The first kind of issue had mind. The mind had a personality germ and caused it to bond the union between the human and the elemental. The course of reproduction was followed, as it obtains today. The mind at or after the birth of the body incarnated in it.

The elementals of the better classes, which had first associated and afterwards united with a human and become the parent of human offspring, were in a later generation themselves embodied in the offspring of a similar parentage. They had clean, strong, wholesome, human bodies, which possessed freshness and elemental powers of nature, such as clairvoyance, ability to fly in the air or live under water. They had command over the elements and could do things which today seem incredible. The minds who incarnated in these bodies were clean, clear, frank and vigorous. The elemental responded readily to the guidance of the mind, its divine teacher, for whom it had longed for ages. Many present day men and women come from this ancestry. When they are thought of in their present immundicity, viscidity, weakness, unnaturalness, hypocrisy, this statement of their bright ancestry seems too extravagant for belief. Nevertheless, they have descended and degenerated from that former high state.

Such was for many people on earth today the beginning of the relationship of mind and elemental body, the direct and intimate relation of mind with a part of nature impersoned in a human body. The mind had the power at that time to do as it willed, keep the human elemental up to the high elemental order from which that elemental had come, and itself to progress in the course of its own development and complete its own incarnations in knowledge and wisdom. It had the power to do all this both for the elemental and for itself. But on two conditions. Namely, that it caused the elemental to do what it, the mind, at the time knew should be done, and further that it should not be too much taken up with nor pay undue attention to the senses and sensations, which the elemental afforded. Some minds used their power. They themselves finished their term and became perfected minds, and their elementals were by them raised and are actually minds. But millions of humanity on the earth today did not follow that course. They neglected to do what they knew to be best; they gave way to the charm of the senses which the elemental and the elemental powers afforded. They exercised the powers of the elementals and delighted in the senses. They used the elemental powers to gratify sensuous delights. The minds looked out from their circles of light, into the elemental world, and followed where they looked. The minds should have been the guides of the elementals, but they followed where the elementals led. The elementals, not having mind, could lead only back into nature through the senses.

The mind should have been as a parent to a child, should have guided, trained, disciplined the elemental, so that it would have taken the estate of the mind, matured into a mind. Instead, the mind became infatuated with its ward, and took pleasure in giving way to the joyousness and frolics of the elemental ward. The elemental remained untrained. Naturally it wanted to be guided and controlled and disciplined and trained, though it did not know how that was to be done, any more than a child knows what it should learn. When the mind failed to rule, and gave away to the natural impulses, the impulses of mindless nature, the elemental felt that it had no master, and, like a petulant and spoiled child, it balked at restraint and tried to dominate the mind and succeded. It has dominated the mind ever since.

The result today is that many of the minds are in the condition of parents who are controlled by their spoiled, petulant and passionate children. Natural desires have been allowed to become vices. Humans long for physical change, excitement, amusement, possession, fame and power. To obtain these they oppress, cheat and corrupt. They dispense with virtue, justice, self-restraint and regard for others. They cloak themselves in hypocrisy and deceit. They are surrounded by darkness, they live in ignorance, and the light of the mind is shut out. Thus they bring on themselves their innumerable troubles. They have lost faith in themselves and in others. Desire and fear drive them on. However, the mind remains the mind. To whatever depths it may sink, it cannot be lost. There is an awakening of some minds, and many now make efforts to control what they call themselves, but which is the human elemental. If they persist they will in time bring the elemental out of its present state and light it up with mind. So the ghosts which were eager to become human, and by association with a mind have become human elementals, have descended from their bright worlds and have sunk into the low condition of ordinary humanity.

Man has a duty to these elementals as well as a duty to himself. The duty to himself is to discipline the mind, bring it back to its high state and increase its knowledge, and to use that knowledge to be just and do right. Man owes it to the elemental to restrain its outbursts, and train it that it will grow to become a mind.

(To be continued.)