The Key of the Mysteries

Part III

The Mysteries of Nature


First Book

Magnetic Mysteries

It is this original substance to which the hieratic recital of Genesis refers when the word of Elohim creates light by commanding it to exist.


Mesmer rediscovered the secret science of Nature; he did not invent it.
The first unique and elementary substance whose existence he proclaims in his aphorisms, was known by Hermes and Pythagoras.
Synesius, who sings it in his hymns, had found it revealed in the Platonistic records of the School of Alexandria:

Μια παγα μια ριζα Τριφαησ ελαμπε μορφα
. . . . . . .
Περι γαρ σπαρεισα πνοια Χθονοσ εζωωσε μοιρασ Πολυδαιδαλ οισι μοραισ

"A single source, a single root of light, jets out and spreads itself into three branches of splendour. A breath blows round the earth, and vivifies in innumerable forms all parts of animated substance." (Hymn II —Synesius.)

Mesmer saw in elementary matter a substance indifferent to movement as to rest. Submitted to movement, it is volatile; fallen back into rest, it is fixed; and he did not understand that movement is inherent in the first substance; that it results, not from its indifference, but from its aptitude, combined with a movement and a rest which are equilibrated the one by the other; that absolute rest is nowhere in universal living matter, but that the fixed attracts the volatile in order to fix it; while the volatile attacks the fixed in order to volatilize it. That the supposed rest of particles apparently fixed, in nothing but a more desperate struggle and a greater tension of their fluidic forces. which by neutralizing each other make themselves immobile. It is thus that, as Hermes says, that which is above is like that which is below; the same force which expands steam, contracts and hardens the icicle; everything obeys the laws of life which are inherent in the original substance; this substance attracts and repels, in coagulates itself and dissolves itself, with a constant harmony; it is double; it is androgynous; it embraces itself, and fertilizes itself, it struggles, triumphs, destroys, renews; but never abandons itself to inertia, because inertia, for it, would be death.
The Elohim said, "Let there be light!" and there was light.
This light, whose Hebrew name is אור, aour, is the fluidic and living gold of the hermetic philosophy. Its positive principle is their sulphur; its negative principle, their mercury; and its equilibrated principles form what they call their salt.
One must then, in place of the sixth aphorism of Mesmer which reads thus: "Matter is indifferent as to whether it is in movement or at rest," establish this proposition: "The universal matter is compelled to movement by its double magnetization, and its fate is to seek equilibrium."
Whence one may deduce these corollaries:
Regularity and variety in movement result from the different combinations of equilibrium.
A point equilibrated on all sides remains at rest, for the very reason that it is endowed with motion.
Fluid consists of rapidly moving matter, always stirred by the variation of the balancing forces.
A solid is the same matter in slow movement, or at apparent rest because it is more or less solidly balanced.
There is no solid body which would not immediately be pulverized, vanish in smoke, and become invisible if the equilibrium of its molecules were to cease suddenly.
There is no fluid which would not instantly become harder than the diamond, if one could equilibrate its constituent molecules.
To direct the magnetic forces is then to destroy or create forms; to produce to all appearance, or to destroy bodies; it is to exercise the almighty power of Nature.
Our plastic medium is a magnet which attracts or repels the astral light under the pressure of the will. It is a luminous body which reproduces with the greatest ease forms corresponding to ideas.
It is the mirror of the imagination. This body is nourished by astral light just as the organic body is nourished by the products of the earth. During slumber, it absorbs the astral light by immersion, and during waking, by a kind of somewhat slow respiration. When the phenomena of natural somnambulism are produced, the plastic medium is surcharged with ill-digested nourishment. The will, although bound by the torpor of slumber, repels instinctively the medium towards the organs in order to disengage it, and a reaction, of mechanical nature, takes place, which with the movement of the body equilibrates the light of the medium. It is for that reason that it {is} so dangerous to wake somnambulists suddenly, for the gorged medium may then withdraw itself suddenly towards the common reservoir, and abandon the organs altogether; these are then separated from the soul, and death is the result.
The state of somnambulism, whether natural or artificial, is then extremely dangerous, because in uniting the phenomena of the waking state and the state of slumber, it constitutes a sort of straddle between two worlds. The soul moves the springs of the particular life while bathing itself in the universal life, and experiences an inexpressible sense of well-being; it will then willingly let go the nervous branches which hold it suspended above the current. In ecstasies of every kind the situation is the same. If the will plunges into it with a passionate effort, or even abandons itself entirely to it, the subject may become insane or paralysed, or even die.
Hallucinations and vision result from wounds inflicted on the plastic medium, and from its local paralysis. Sometimes it ceases to give forth rays, and substitutes images condensed somehow or other to realities shown by the light; sometimes it radiates with too much force, and condense itself outside and around some chance and irregulated nucleus, as blood does in some bodily growths. Then the chimeras of our brain take on a body, and seem to take on a soul; we appear to ourselves radiant or deformed according to the image of the ideal of our desires, or our fears.
Hallucinations, being the dreams of waking persons, always imply a state analogous to somnambulism. But in a contrary sense; somnambulism is slumber borrowing its phenomena from waking; hallucination is waking still partially subjected to the astral intoxication of slumber.
Our fluidic bodies attract and repulse each other following laws similar to those of electricity. It is this which produces instinctive sympathies and antipathies. They thus equilibrate each other, and for this reason hallucinations are often contagious; abnormal projections change the luminous currents; the perturbation caused by a sick person wins over to itself the more sensitive natures; a circle of illusions is established, and a whole crowd of people is easily dragged away thereby. Such is the history of strange apparitions and popular prodigies. Thus are explained the miracles of the American mediums and the hysterics of table-turners, who reproduce in our own times the ecstasies of whirling dervishes. The sorcerers of Lapland with their magic drums, and the conjurer medicine-men of savages arrive at similar results by similar proceedings; their gods or their devils have nothing to do with it.
Madmen and idiots are more sensitive to magnetism than people of sound minds; it should be easy to understand the reason of that: very little is required to turn completely the head of a drunken man, and one more easily acquires a disease when all the organs are predisposed to submit to its impressions, and manifest its disorders.
Fluidic maladies have their fatal crises. Every abnormal tension of the nervous apparatus ends in the contrary tension, according to the necessary laws of equilibrium. An exaggerated love changes to aversion, and every exalted hate comes very near to love; the reaction happens suddenly with the flame and violence of the thunderbolt. Ignorance then laments it or exclaims against it; science resigns itself, and remains silent.
There are two loves, that of the heart, and that of the head: the love of the heart never excites itself, it gathers itself together, and grows slowly by the path of ordeal and sacrifice; purely nervous and passionate cerebral love lives only on enthusiasm, dashes itself against all duties, treats the beloved object as a prize of conquest, is selfish, exacting, restless, tyrannical, and is fated to drag after it either suicide as the final catastrophe, or adultery as a remedy. These phenomena are constant like nature, inexorable as fatality.
A young artist full of courage, with her future all before her, had a husband, an honest man, a seeker after knowledge, a poet, whose only fault was an excess of love for her; she outraged him and left him, and has continued to hate him ever since. Yet she, too, is a decent woman; the pitiless world, however, judges and condemns her. And yet, this was not her crime. Her fault, if one may be permitted to reproach her with one, was that, at first, she madly and passionately loved her husband.
"But," you will say, "is not the human soul, then, free?" No, it is no longer free when it has abandoned itself to the giddiness caused by passion. It is only wisdom which is free; disordered passions are the kingdom of folly, and folly is fatality.
What we have said of love may equally well be said of religion, which is the most powerful, but also the most intoxicating, of all loves. Religious passion has also its excesses and its fatal reactions. One may have ecstasies and stigmata like St. Francis of Assisi, and fall afterwards into abysses of debauch and impiety.
Passionate natures are highly charged magnets; they attract or repel with violence.
It is possible to magnetize in two ways: first, in acting by will upon the plastic medium of another person, whose will and whose acts are, in consequence, subordinated to that action.
Secondly, in acting through the will of another, either by intimidation, or by persuasion, so that the influenced will modifies at our pleasure the plastic medium and the acts of that person.
One magnetizes by radiation, by contact, by look, or by word.
The vibrations of the voice modify the movement of the astral light, and are a powerful vehicle of magnetism.
The warm breath magnetizes positively, and the cold breath negatively.
A warm and prolonged insufflation upon the spinal column at the base of the cerebellum may occasion erotic phenomena.
If one puts the right hand upon the head and the left hand under the feet of a person completely enveloped with wool or silk, one causes the magnetic spark to pass completely through the body, and one may thus occasion a nervous revolution in his organism with the rapidity of lightning.
Magnetic passes only serve to direct the will of the magnetizer in confirming it by acts. They are signs and nothing more. The act of the will is expressed and not operated by these signs.
Powdered charcoal absorbs and retains the astral light. This explains the magic mirror of Dupotet.
Figures traced in charcoal appear luminous to a magnetized person, and take, for him, following the direction indicated by the will of the magnetizer, the most gracious or the most terrifying forms.
The astral light, or rather the vital light, of the plastic medium, absorbed by the charcoal, becomes wholly negative; for this reason animals which are tormented by electricity, as for example, cats, love to roll themselves upon coal. One day, medicine will make use of this property, and nervous persons will find great relief from it.
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