Updated: Sep 8, 2020
IN proportion as an art or science is lost or forgotten, the very name by which it was called becomes misunderstood, misapplied, and finally forgotten. In proportion as men become unspiritual and material, they will grow incapable of comprehending the power of spirit. There are many persons even to-day who deny the existence of spirit, or of anything that transcends the power of perception of their physical senses. One example of the degradation of terms is the meaning which is at present commonly attributed to the word magic. The true significance of that term is the application of spiritual knowledge, or Wisdom, in contradistinction to that science which sees only the material aspect of Nature. But the vulgar have come to believe "magic" to mean only sleight-of-hand performances, or perhaps conjuring or dealings with the devil, or with the spirits of the dead. True magic is the greatest of all natural sciences, because it includes a true knowledge of visible and invisible Nature. It is not only a science, but also an art, because it cannot be learned out of books, but must be acquired by practical experience.
To acquire that spiritual experience is to become spiritual; it is to perceive and know the true natur'e of the visible and invisible elements that compose the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, and to possess the art to direct and employ the invisible powers of Nature. Divine knowledge and divine powers do not belong to the personal self. Therefore he who desires to know and to use the powers of magic must rise above the delusion of self, and become impersonal in the spirit.
He must learn to distinguish between that which is divine and eternal and that which is animal and selfish in him. But there is also another art, called "black magic" or sorcery, which consists, not in acting in and through the power of God, which commands the elemental forces of Nature, but by propitiating the evil elementals, and in asking favours of them, becoming their slave.
Paracelsus says : " Magic and sorcery are two entirely different things, and there is as much difference between them as there is between light and darkness, and between white and black. Magic is the greatest wisdom and the knowledge of supernatural powers. A knowledge of spiritual things cannot be obtained by merely reasoning logically from external appearances existing on the physical plane, but it will be acquired by obtaining more spirituality, and making one's self capable to feel and to see the things of the spirit. It would be well if our clergymen, who are called spiritual guides, would know more of spiritual things than what they have read in their books, and if they had some practical experience in divine wisdom, instead of merely repeating the opinions of the other people believed to have been divine."
"Therefore not surprising that in an age in which the very meaning of the term ' spiritual ' became incomprehensible to the learned, the meaning of 'magic' has become also a mystery."
" The wisdom which man ought to have does not come from the earth, nor from the astral spirit, but from the fifth essence the Spirit of Wisdom. Therefore man is superior to the stars and the constellation, provided he lives in the power of that superior wisdom. Such a person, being the master over heaven and earth, by means of his freewill, is called a Magus, and therefore Magic is not sorcery, but supreme wisdom " (De Peste). " Christ and the prophets and the apostles had magical powers, acquired less by their learning than by their holiness. They were able to heal the sick by the laying on of their hands, and to perform many other wonderful but natural things. Our clergymen talk a great deal about such things ; but where is the priest of to-day who can do like Him ? It has been said by Christ that His true followers would do the same things and still greater ones ; but it would be difficult to find at present one Christian minister who can do anything as Christ did. But if any one who is not a man-made minister comes and cures the sick by the power of Christ acting through him, they call him a sorcerer and a child of the devil, and are willing to burn him upon a stake." The first requirement for the study of Magic is a thorough knowledge of Nature. But there is a false and a true natural science. A science may be perfectly logical in all its deductions, but nevertheless false, if its fundamental doctrines are based upon a misunderstanding of spiritual truths, which a cold, unspiritual intellect is unable to grasp. The true science of Nature draws its logical conclusions from fundamental truths, which it knows to be true, because it perceives them by the power of the mind illuminated by wisdom.
The will is only free when it is free from the delusion of self and its desires.
All sciences are false if they are godless ; that is, if they seek for the first origin of anything anywhere else but in divine truth.
False science bases its conclusions in regard to spiritual things upon external appearances caused by the illusion of the senses; true science rests in the faculty of the higher regions of the human soul to grasp spiritual truths which are beyond the power of perception of the semi-animal intellect.
Magic is a power which teaches the true nature of the inner man, as well as the organisation of his outward body. The superficial reasoner can comprehend nothing but what he can perceive by his external senses; but the inner man has perceptive faculties transcending those of his body. The spirit of man is not bound to any locality ; it is as free as the wind which blows over the sea. If spiritual consciousness has once been attained, spiritual perception follows. During sleep the spirit is capable to move more freely, and to visit distant places.
" You should know that man has the capability (latent or active) to foresee future events, and to read the future from the books of the past and from those of the present Man also possesses a power by which he may see his friends and the circumstances by which they are surrounded, although such persons may be a thousand miles away from him at that time. This art is taught by Gdbalis (the spiritual perception of man). It is a power which may become especially active in dreams, and that which is seen in such dreams is the reflection of the light of wisdom and prophecy in man. If a man in his waking state knows nothing of such things, the cause of his ignorance is, that he does not understand how to search in himself for the powers that are given to him by God, and by which he can arrive at all the Wisdom, Reason, and Knowledge concerning everything that exists, whether it be near him or far away."