Difference between Mediums and Adepts

Dr. Fairfield's deduction that the fluttering phantom-hand is an emanation from the medium is logical, and it is correct. The test of the horse-shoe magnet proves in a scientific way what every kabalist would affirm upon the authority of experience, no less than philosophy. The "force concerned in the phenomenon" is the will of the medium, exercised unconsciously to the outer man, which for the time is semi-paralyzed and cataleptic; the phantom-hand an extrusion of the man's inner or astral member. This is that real self whose limbs the surgeon cannot amputate, but remain behind after the outer casing is cut off, and (all theories of exposed or compressed nerve termini to the contrary, notwithstanding) have all the sensations the physical parts formerly experienced. This is that spiritual (astral) body which "is raised in incorruption." It is useless to argue that these are spirit-hands; for, admitting even that at every seance human spirits of many kinds are attracted to the medium, and that they do guide and produce some manifestations, yet to make hands or faces objective they are compelled to use either the astral limbs of the medium, or the materials furnished them by the elementals, or yet the combined aural emanations of all persons present. Pure spirits will not and cannot show themselves objectively; those that do are not pure spirits, but elementary and impure. Woe to the medium who falls a prey to such!

The same principle involved in the unconscious extrusion of a phantom limb by the cataleptic medium, applies to the projection of his entire "double" or astral body. This may be withdrawn by the will of the medium's own inner self, without his retaining in his physical brain any recollection of such an intent — that is one phase of man's dual capacity. It may also be effected by elementary and elemental spirits, to whom he may stand in the relation of mesmeric subject. Dr. Fairfield is right in one position taken in his book, viz.: mediums are usually diseased, and in many if not most cases the children or near connections of mediums. But he is wholly wrong in attributing all psychical phenomena to morbid physiological conditions. The adepts of Eastern magic are uniformly in perfect mental and bodily health, and in fact the voluntary and independent production of phenomena is impossible to any others. We have known many, and never a sick man among them. The adept retains perfect consciousness; shows no change of bodily temperature, or other sign of morbidity; requires no "conditions," but will do his feats anywhere and everywhere; and instead of being passive and in subjection to a foreign influence, rules the forces with iron will. But we have elsewhere shown that the medium and the adept are as opposed as the poles. We will only add here that the body, soul, and spirit of the adept are all conscious and working in harmony, and the body of the medium is an inert clod, and even his soul may be away in a dream while its habitation is occupied by another.

An adept can not only project and make visible a hand, a foot, or any other portion of his body, but the whole of it. We have seen one do this, in full day, while his hands and feet were being held by a skeptical friend whom he wished to surprise.* Little by little the whole astral body oozed out like a vapory cloud, until before us stood two forms, of which the second was an exact duplicate of the first, only slightly more shadowy.

The medium need not exercise any will-power. It suffices that she or he shall know what is expected by the investigators. The medium's "spiritual" entity, when not obsessed by other spirits, will act outside the will or consciousness of the physical being, as surely as it acts when within the body during a fit of somnambulism. Its perceptions, external and internal, will be acuter and far more developed, precisely as they are in the sleep-walker. And this is why "the materialized form sometimes knows more than the medium," + for the intellectual perception of the astral entity is proportionately as much higher than the corporeal

* The Boulogne (France) correspondent of an English journal says that he knows of a gentleman who has had an arm amputated at the shoulder, "who is certain that he has a spiritual arm, which he sees and actually feels with his other hand. He can touch anything, and even pull up things with the spiritual or phantom arm and hand." The party knows nothing of spiritualism. We give this as we get it, without verification, but it merely corroborates what we have seen in the case of an Eastern adept. This eminent scholar and practical kabalist can at will project his astral arm, and with the hand take up, move, and carry objects, even at a considerable distance from where he may be sitting or standing. We have often seen him thus minister to the wants of a favorite elephant.

f Answer to a question at "The National Association of Spiritualists," May 14th, 1877.

intelligence of the medium in its normal state, as the spirit entity is finer than itself. Generally the medium will be found cold, the pulse will have visibly changed, and a state of nervous prostration succeeds the phenomena, bunglingly and without discrimination attributed to disembodied spirits; whereas, but one-third of them may be produced by the latter, another third by elementals, and the rest by the astral double of the medium himself.

But, while it is our firm belief that most of the physical manifestations, i.e., those which neither need nor show intelligence nor great discrimination, are produced mechanically by the scin-lecca (double) of the medium, as a person in sound sleep will when apparently awake do things of which he will retain no remembrance. The purely subjective phenomena are but in a very small proportion of cases due to the action of the personal astral body. They are mostly, and according to the moral, intellectual, and physical purity of the medium, the work of either the elementary, or sometimes very pure human spirits. Elementals have naught to do with subjective manifestations. In rare cases it is the divine spirit of the medium himself that guides and produces them.

As Baboo Peary Chand Mittra says, in a letter* to the President of the National Association of Spiritualists, Mr. Alexander Calder,+ "a spirit is an essence or power, and has

* "A Buddhist's Opinions of the Spiritual States." f See the "London Spiritualist," May 25, 1877, p. 246.

no form. . . . The very idea of form implies 'materialism.' The spirits [astral souls, we should say] . . . can assume forms for a time, but form is not their permanent state. The more material is our soul, the more material is our conception of spirits."

Epimenides, the Orphikos, was renowned for his "sacred and marvellous nature," and for the faculty his soul possessed of quitting its body " as long and as often as it pleased." The ancient philosophers who have testified to this ability may be reckoned by dozens. Apollonius left his body at a moment's notice, but it must be remembered Apollonius was an adept — a "magician." Had he been simply a medium, he could not have performed such feats at will. Empedocles of Agrigentum, the Pythagorean thaumaturgist, required no conditions to arrest a waterspout which had broken over the city. Neither did he need any to recall a woman to life, as he did. Apollonius used no darkened room in which to perform his ethrobatic feats. Vanishing suddenly in the air before the eyes of Domitian and a whole crowd of witnesses (many thousands), he appeared an hour after in the grotto of Puteoli. But investigation would have shown that his physical body having become invisible by the concentration of akasa about it, he could walk off unperceived to some secure retreat in the neighborhood, and an hour after his astral form appear at Puteoli to his friends, and seem to be the man himself.

No more did Simon Magus wait to be entranced to fly off in the air before the apostles and crowds of witnesses. "It requires no conjuration and ceremonies; circle-making and incensing are mere nonsense and juggling," says Paracelsus. The human spirit "is so great a thing that no man can express it; as God Himself is eternal and unchangeable, so also is the mind of man. If we rightly understood its powers, nothing would be impossible to us on earth. The imagination is strengthened and developed through faith in our will. Faith must confirm the imagination, for faith establishes the will."

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  • morven
    How spiritual adepts switch physical bodies?
    4 years ago

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