“Everything that exists upon the Earth has its ethereal counterpart above the Earth, and there is nothing, however insignificant it may appear in the world, which is not depending on something higher; so that if the lower part acts, its presiding higher part reacts upon it.”
Sohar Wajecae, Fol. 156, 6.
“For in our searching are fulfilled all our desires, and we obtain the victory over all worlds.” –Khand. Upanishad.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION
THE favour with which “Magic” has been received by those who are interested in the study of the hidden mysteries of Nature, made it expedient to publish a third edition of this book. From an insignificant pamphlet, written originally for the purpose of demonstrating to a few inexperienced inquirers, that the study of the occult side of nature was not identical with the vile practices of sorcery, “Magic” grew into a book of respectable dimensions, and now this new edition is to be still more enlarged, and I hope will also become still more useful.
The most serious objection which has been made against this book has been on account of its title; but the causes which induced me to select such a title were suggested by the purpose for which the book was intended; nor would I at present be able to find one more appropriate for it, for “Magic” –in my opinion– means that divine art or exercise of spiritual power by which the awakened spirit in man may control the invisible living elements in the soul-substance of the universe; but above all those in his own soul, which are the ones nearest to him; for a person who cannot control the elements within his own sphere or organism, will not be able to control those identical forces existing beyond his own sphere in the organism of the universal soul, or the souls of others.
But if we desire to master any forces whatever, either within or beyond our own sphere, it is above all necessary to know what these forces are which we desire to control, and how they originate, and as we have no better means to study the qualities of internal forces, than by observing those which are active within ourselves, the perception of the processes going on within our own psychic organism, and the acquirement of self-knowledge and power over oneself will be the means to accomplish our object. The art Magic is the exercise of spiritual power, which may be obtained by practising self-control, and this power cannot be acquired in any other way; nor is it possible to teach any one how to exercise a power which he does not possess, because he has not developed it. The constitutions of all men are fundamentally the same, and in each human being are magical powers germinally or in latent condition; but they cannot be said to exist before they become active and manifest themselves, first interiorly, and afterwards in an outward direction.
It was not my object, in composing this book, to write merely a code of ethics, and thereby to increase the already existing enormous mountain of unread moral precepts, but to assist the student of Occultism in studying the elements of which his own soul is composed, and to learn to know his own psychical organism. I want to give an impulse to the study of a science, which may be called the “anatomy and physiology of the soul,” which investigates the elements of which the soul is composed, and the source from which man’s desires and emotions spring.
Physical science has advanced with great strides in the realm of superficial phenomena and external illusions, but the science of the real interior and invisible man is still very little known. The mechanical and chemical forces of nature have been made subservient to physical science. She has laid the yoke upon the neck of the giant Steam and chained Electricity to her triumphal chariot; she made mechanical motion, heat, and light, and magnetism the obedient slaves of men; she made discoveries which make man to a certain extent independent of the conditions imposed upon him by space and time; she succeeded in realising certain ideas and to put them into practical execution, ideas which a century ago were believed to belong merely to the realm of the fancies of the visionary and the dreamer.
Why should we stop here? Why should it not be possible for us to advance still further, and to enchain those semi-conscious and conscious forces which pervade our own soul, and also the soul of the world? Why should it be impossible to condense into forms the living but formless Elementals to concentrate and give shape to living and universal principles, which although they are invisible for us, nevertheless exist, as has been demonstrated by those who have acquired the power to perceive and control them? Such things have been accomplished by the Eastern sages thousands of years ago, and may be accomplished by ourselves, provided we attain the same state of perfection which characterises these Adepts, and become like them, not merely learned, but wise.
To arrive at this end the merely superficially intellectual reading of books on Occultism is entirely insufficient. The divine mysteries of nature are above and beyond the power of conception of the semi-animal intellect. They must be intuitively grasped by the power of the spirit, which enters into the substance of which the world is formed. If we cannot perceive a spiritual truth with the eyes of the spirit, intellectual reasoning and book learning will not enable us to perceive it clearly. Books, dealing with such subjects, should not be masters to us to whom we must blindly follow; they should merely be our assistants. They are merely useful to describe the details of things which we already—although perhaps indistinctly—see with our spiritual perception; they are merely servants to hold up before our eyes magnifying mirrors, wherein we see the truths, whose presence we feel in our own soul.
Jacob Boehme, the great theosophist, says in regard to the study of Occultism: “If you desire to investigate the divine mysteries of nature, investigate first your own mind, and ask yourself about the purity of your purpose. Do you desire to put the good teachings which you may receive into practice for the benefit of humanity? Are you ready to renounce all selfish desires, which cloud your mind and hinder you to see the clear light of eternal truth? Are you willing to become an instrument for the manifestation of Divine Wisdom? Do you know what it means to become united with your own higher Self, to get rid of your lower Self, to become one with the living universal power of Good and to die to your insignificant terrestrial personality? Or do you merely desire to obtain great knowledge, so that your curiosity may be gratified, and that you may be proud of your science, and believe yourself to be superior to the rest of mankind? Consider, that the depths of Divinity can only be searched by the divine spirit itself, which is active within you. Real knowledge must come from our own interior, not merely from externals, and they who seek for the essence of things merely in externals, may find the artificial colour of a thing, but not the true thing itself.”
Again this self-taught philosopher says: “The intellect should be developed, but above all the heart. We should attempt to understand intellectually the laws of everything; but our own still fallible intellect should not be made the starting-point in our investigations. Man should not be governed by his intellectual speculations; but he should govern his intellect, so that the light of divine reason may shine through the former. If our judgement becomes free of all selfish taint, and the vibrations of our soul are made to vibrate in harmony with the eternal spirit, our perishable intellect will be penetrated by the imperishable light of divine wisdom; and we will be able to perceive and to solve the deepest problems of nature. If our desire and reason cling to the sphere of self, we shall see merely the illusions which we ourselves have created; but if we become free by being obedient to the universal law, we will become one with the law and see the truth in its purity.”
Let therefore those who wish to acquire “magic,” i.e., spiritual or divine power, follow this advice: let them rise mentally into the highest regions of thought and remain therein as its permanent residents. Let them cultivate their physical bodies and their mental constitutions in such a manner that the matter of which they are composed will become less gross and more movable and penetrable to the divine light of the spirit. Then will the veils that seperate them from the invisible world become thinner; then will they become aware of the fact that the circle which limits their terrestrial and phenomenal existence is merely a small segment of that grand circle wherein their existence as self-conscious beings on the spiritual plane is enclosed, and as they increase in transcendental knowledge they will grow in spiritual power, until, by the understanding of the divine laws of the universe, they will become co-operators of God, and God will co-operate with them.
The following pages are an attempt to show the way how Man may become a co-operator of the Divine Power whose product is Nature; they constitute a book which may properly bear the title of “Magic,” for if the readers succeed in practically following its teachings they will be able to perform the greatest of all magical feats, the spiritual regeneration of Man.
This passage is from a book titled MAGIC WHITE AND BLACK The Science of Finite and Infinite Life by Dr. Franz Hartmann M. D. (1888) You can download the entire book for free here.