Summary and discussion
Isis Unveiled, vol. I
Chapter XIII – Realities and Illusion
Pages : 486 – 487
Mediumship and Mediatorship
These two are important truths of ancient psychology. Those who are attracted to the occult and aspire to acquire yogic knowledge and powers—and their number in legion in every country—will do well to understand thoroughly the principles of spiritual psychology and philosophy of Occultism. Whoever ventures headlong into this study and practice without such a thorough knowledge and a thorough grounding in ethics will invariably destroy himself or herself – in the sense that he will either slide into “irresponsible mediumship,” or find himself landed in “Black Magic” which utterly ruin man.
Relevant to the subject under consideration, the first six of the ten propositions of Oriental Psychology are reproduced below (from Isis, vol. II, pp. 587, 588) A familiarity with these axioms are necessary to correctly appreciate the meaning and sense of what follows.
Proposition I :
There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law—eternal, immutable and ever-active. Apparent miracle is due to operation of natural laws nit generally known. There may be laws once “known,” now unknown to science.
Proposition 2 :
Nature in triune : there is a visible, objective nature; and invisible, indwelling, energizing nature, the exact model of the other, and its vital principle; and, above these two, spirit, the source of all forces, alone eternal, and indestructible. The lower two constantly change, the higher third does not.
Proposition 3 :
Man is also triune : he has his objective, physical body; his vitalizing astral body(or soul), the real man; and these two are brooded over and illuminated by the third—the sovereign, the sovereign, the immortal spirit. When the real man succeeds himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal spirit.
Proposition 4 :
Magic, as a science, is the knowledge of these principles, and of the way by which the omniscience and omnipotence of the spirit and its control over nature’s forces may be acquired by the individual while still in the body. Magic, as an art, is the application of this knowledge in practice.
Proposition 5 :
Arcane knowledge misapplied, is sorcery; beneficently used, true magic or WISDOM.
Propositions 6 :
Mediumship is the opposite of adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of foreign influences, the adept actively controls himself and all inferior potencies.
In the closing part of the previous blog such personages as Jesus, Moses, Paracelsus, Elisha, Apollonius of Tyana exhibited extraordinary knowledge and control over forces of nature that, they were in their days, and even in our times would have been, looked upon as miracles. They revived people apparently dead, produced and filled the air with pests, frogs and other creatures by a knowledge of occult chemistry and exercise of power of their will, animated inanimate statues making them walk and talk like creatures, transformed inanimate rod into serpent and budding branch of a tree, animated mandrogora and produced homunculi and so on.
They were past masters in Magical science and art, some of the principles of which are stated in the foregoing propositions. By Magic is meant Spiritual Wisdom, not the vulgar connotation it has in our day. The basic principle that emerge from a consideration of these propositions is that Man is a Microcosmos, a perfect copy of the great Macrocosmos. All the qualities, faculties, powers and potencies that there are there in the universe is present in man also, such that he is, in fact, a God on earth, there being no other God than man himself. They taught and demonstrated that God-like powers are latent in every man and everyone can develop them to perfection, and become like unto God himself. This is Adeptship.
Great Sages of the Alexandrian school of the 2nd century, such as, Iamblichus, Plotinus, Porphyry etc. were great Adepts and exhibited god-like powers and had risen to super-human sanctity and chastity in their life. Prof. Alexander Wilder, in his work, Doctrines and principles of the Alexandrian School, gives an account of the life and teachings of Plotinus. He taught that there is in the soul a returning impulse, love, which attracted it inward towards its origin and centre, the eternal good, that the soul contains the beautiful within itself, and that the wise man recognizes it and develops it within himself, through laborious discipline and pure aspiration merges his consciousness with the Divine Consciousness in himself and becomes like a god.
“The infinite is not known through reason…but by a faculty superior to reason, by entering upon a state in which the individual, so too speak, ceases to be his finite self, in which state divine essence is communicated to him. This is ECSTASY.” Hindus call it Samadhi. Such is the stature of an Adept, also called Mediators.
The psychological axioms say that when the real (inner) man succeeds in merging himself with the Spirit, he becomes immortal and partakes of the omniscience and omnipotence of spirit and its control over forces of nature. Such are called Adepts. They have self-mastery and mastery over forces of nature. They transcend time, space and causality, and know past, present and future. Apollonius is known to have this power, and for him the present and future were visible as in a clear mirror. This is called spiritual photography. The soul is the camera in which facts, events, future, past and the present, are alike fixed. This is because of his abstimonious mode of life and purity. This is MEDIATORSHIP, as such an one consciously mediates between this world and the higher planes of existence and causes wondrous phenomena to transpire.
But the above (Mediatorship) is not Mediumship, which is the very antithesis of Adeptship. Mediums are generally sick people and of highly nervous, passive and sensitive nature, who are controlled and moved by forces and influences extraneous to them, over which they have no control. Miscellaneous spirits of all kinds—human, elementary and elemental—use them, and produce various physical and psychological phenomena
There is normal mediumship and abnormal mediumship. All and everyone, for that matter, is a medium, as no one is so impervious to outside influences as not to feel for and sympathise with others. But this is normal mediumship. In the aura of every person external influences can enter, live and move. But if abnormal mediumship is developed outside influences control the medium who becomes a passive instrument of them.
How is mediumship developed ?
It may be self-developed.
- It may develop by extraneous influences.
- It may be latent throughout life.
The first of the kind may develop in people who for long periods indulge in wrong meditational and yogic practices—“sitting for development,” as they call it—especially in those in which the practitioner resorts to passive mental condition, or, keeping the mind blank. Subjecting oneself to hypnosis renders one weak in will power, weak in mental strength and prone to suggestions of every kind. They fall into mediumship. Attending séances in order to communicate with so-called spirits of the dead lay one open to developing undesirable mediumship.
Kinds of Mediumship
Mediumship is measured by the quality of person’s aura with which the individual is surrounded. It may be dense, cloudy, mephitic, noisme, nauseating to the pure spirit and attract only foul beings who delight in such atmosphere, like eel does in turbid waters. Such mediumship is undesirable and leads to person’s ruin.
In case of pure mediums their aura will be pure, crystalline, limpid, opalescent as the morning dew. All depends on the moral character of the medium.
Mediumship is antagonistic to Adeptship (or Mediatorship)
Such holy men as Ammonius, Iambliches, Plotinus, Porhyry there gathered about them heavenly nimbus. It was evolved by the power of their own souls in close union with their spirits; by the superhuman morality and sanctity of their livcs, aided by frequent interior ecstatch contemplation. Such holy men pure spiritual influences could approach. They radiated an atmosphere of divine beneficence. They caused evil spirits would flee before them, and left the persons whom they were possessing and obsessing and fled when such holy men approached the victims. This is Mediatorship and not Mediumship. Such men are temples in which dwells the spirit of the living God.
If the temple is defiled by admission of an evil thought or desire, the mediator falls into the sphere of sorcery. This is still mediatorship, but of evil sort. Sorcerer forms his own aura and subjects to his will congenial inferior spirits.
Mediatorship and Mediumship both have existed on earth since the appearance of man on earth. Mediumship is yielding of weak mortal flesh to the control and suggestions of spirits and intelligences other than one’s own immortal Daemon. It is literally obsession and possession.
How many crimes have not been committed by individuals whose minds were implanted with the idea of the crime by evil influences from the Astral Light ! Such carry out the deed suggested to them like automatons. Such is the horror of developing undesirable mediumship.
Happy are the pure in heart, who repel unconsciously, by the very cleanness of their inner nature, the dark spirits of evil. They have no other weapons of defence but that inborn goodness and purity. Meidumhip as practiced in our day is more undesirable gift than the robe of Nessus.
The discussion on Mediatorship and Mediumship will be continued in the next week’s study.