Updated: Sep 8, 2020
From the book of The Great Secret or Occultism Unveiled - Eliphas Levi
A universe may be defined as a group of magnetized spheres which attract and repel one another. The beings produced by the different spheres share their special magnetization balanced by the universal magnetism.
Poorly balanced men are disordered or exaggerated magnets which nature weighs one against the other, until the partial error in balance has produced destruction.
Bunsen's spectrum analysis will enable science to distinguish the special features of the magnets and thus supply a scientific reason for the ancient rules of judicial astrology. The different planets of the system certainly exert a magnetic effect on our own globe and on the various constitutions of the living creatures which inhabit it.
We all absorb the celestial aromas mingled with the spirit of earth and born under the influence of diverse stars; we all have a preference for a force characterized by a particular form, for a certain bent and for a certain colour.
The Pythoness of Delphi, seated on a tripod over a crevice in the ground, drew in the astral fluid through her sexual parts, fell into a state of dementia or clairvoyance and uttered incoherent sentences which sometimes turned out to be oracles. All highly-strung natures abandoned to disorders of the passions resemble the Pythoness and breath in Python, that is to say, the evil and fatal spirit of the earth. Then they forcibly project the fluid which has penetrated them, inspiring and absorbing immediately afterwards the vital fluids of other beings; thus they exercise in rotation the malign powers, first of the evil eye and then of the vampire.
If these sick people who are suffering from this deleterious form of inhaling and exhaling take it for a power and wish to increase the accumulation and projection, they express their desires in ceremonies which are called evocations, and hoodoo, and become what were termed in former times necromancers and sorcerers.
Every appeal to some unknown and strange intelligence, whose existence has not been demonstrated, with the object of substituting its guidance for that of our own reason and of our own free will, may be looked on as intellectual suicide, for it is an appeal to folly.
Everything which resigns the will to mysterious forces, everything which makes other voices speak in us than the voices of conscience and reason, belongs to mental derangement.
The insane are static visionaries, a waking vision is a fit of madness. The art of evocation is the art of provoking an artificial fit of madness in oneself.
All visions have the nature of dreams and are illusions of unsound minds. They are clouds from a disordered imagination projected into the astral light; it is we ourselves who appear to ourselves disguised as phantoms, apparitions of the dead or as demons.
Crazed individuals seem to make nature herself delirious, within the circle of their attraction and magnetic projection: the furniture makes rapping noises and moves about, and lightweight articles are attracted or thrown at a distance. Mental specialists are well aware of this but are afraid to admit as much, because official science has not yet acknowledged that human beings can be magnets and that these magnets can be maladjusted out of order. The abbé Vianney, parish priest of Ars, believed he was being continually tormented by a demon's practical jokes; and Berbiguier, of Terre-Neuve du Thym, armed himself with long pins for sticking into goblins.
Now, the point of support exists in the resistance offered to them by undisciplined development. What renders the organization of an army impossible in democracy is that each soldier fancies himself a general. There is only one general with the Jesuits.
Obedience is the gymnastics of liberty, and before one can reach the point of doing always what one wants it is often necessary to learn to do what one does not want. What pleases us is to be in the service of fantasy; doing things we do not like is to exercise the reason and will and make them triumph.
Contraries assert and confirm themselves by contraries. Looking left when one wants to go right is an act of dissembling and prudence; but to throw some weights into the left-hand pan of the scales to make the right-hand pan rise, is to know the laws of dynamics and equilibrium.
It is the resistance which determines the quantity of the force in dynamics; but there is no resistance which cannot be worn down by persistent effort and movement: this is how the mouse gnaws through the rope and the drops of water pierce the rock.