The science of the "Rosy Cross," we read about in Bulwers
"Zanoni," and in various histories ancient and modern. Of late its study has
received a fresh impetus.
that a brotherhood of occultists has existed and still exists, reaching
perfection in the far East; hating black magic and encouraging white; that Jesus belonged
to it and initiated into it John, who wrote the Apocalypse; that Jesus died at forty-seven
instead of thirty-three; that he was an Essene and studied pure magic in India; that in
the fraternitys archives are preserved grand records of truths about men and nature,
which shall be revealed to the world when it righteously hungers therefor; that
Rosicrucians can work what are falsely called miracles, by their knowledge of the true
essence of things; that in Siamese temple-worship the dead are brought to life, the young
grow suddenly old and the old young, women dance in the air; that some of the Rosicrucian
disciples never die, having the elixir of life; that they possess the philosophers
stone; that gold rings can be brought today, and are, from rose-buds; that human bodies
can disappear and reappear at will; that they can float in the air; that flying is as easy
as to dream it; that the fraternity, seen and unseen, control the fate of nations; that
its members directed Washington through his few degrees of freemasonry; that they paid the
six milliard Prussian war debt of France; that they control the Carbonari, (secret
society), of Italy; that all nature is subject to their decrees through their knowledge of
divine laws. These claims are set forth in print, as is also
THE ROSICRUCIAN PHILOSOPHY.
God dwells alone and is unapproachable. Souls pre-exist. They enter bodies
at birth for developing discipline. It is the operation of the undeveloped spirits who
have not yet been born into this world and have no consciences, that make the vagaries of
Spiritualism and their demonized revelations. Only by conformity to Gods law can
truth be reached. Only the pure are entitled to it. Prestidigitateurs like Houdin and
Hermann have not the true power, but Magicians have it in the farther east.
OCCULTISM AMONG US.
It is a little startling to find oneself associating with those who
possess, or claim to possess, such powers, and are linked with Count St. Germain,
Cagliostro, Philalethes, Flood, Roger Bacon and a hundred ancient astrologers and
worthies, and to hear of superiors and inferiors in the brotherhood. Yet there are the
statements put forward by those who constitute what may be called the aristocracy of
Spiritualism. Of late Rosicrucianism has been brought to the front by the advent in the
States of a Russian baroness, Madame H. P. De Blavatsky. It was just after Col
Olcotts astounding stories in the Sun about the floral gifts received from
the spirits through a Boston medium, that I was kindly bidden by my friend Mr. Sotheran,
of the American Bibliopolist, to meet both Madame and the Colonel the following
evening in Irving Place; with permission to bring some friends.
Col. Olcott is well known as the author of "People from Another
World," and its account of the Eddy manifestations at Chittenden, Vt. His experience
as a lawyer and a war detective might be supposed to guard him against deception, and he
stands newspaperial fire nobly. (1)
Il Conte, the Secretary once of Mazzini, a representative of
Italys needs and wrongs, commands interest by his fund of general information.
Mr. Sotheran harmonized the elements.
Judge M., of New Jersey, represented the judicial mind, and his poetic
wife graces any gathering.
There was present also a Boston gentleman whose name has figured in Col.
Olcotts reports. Mr. M. has been in many lands, travelled miles by the hundred
thousand, is a practical scientist, served his country in the suppression of the African
Coast slave trade before the war, journeyed with Livingstone, loves his many flowers,
which love him back again, and brings a store of things new from his treasury. It was for
him that the heather had been brought spiritually from Scotland, and it was pleasant to
hear the story from him. The centre of the group was
MADAME DE BLAVATSKY,
who is certainly a most original and interesting woman to meet. The
journals have complained of her cigarettes, but Orientation fastens many habits upon
tourists. Madame speaks English with a strong accent, but with remarkable fluency and
accuracy, distinguishing nicely its delicacies and quickly understanding its allusions.
She wears the military jewel described by Col. Olcott --- brought, as is averred, from her
fathers Russian tomb to her through a spirit who talked Russian, in presence of the
Eddys. She said she valued it more than any ornament except her fantastic Rosicrucian
jewel which she wore about her neck. She is perhaps forty years old, strong-built, brusque
and generous appearing. Interesting were the stories she had to relate about her residence
in Asia and Africa --- like Lady Mary Wortley Montague, living long away from the sight of
European women. Marvellous were her narratives of her attempts at commerce, selling a
cargo for cocoanuts which the unseaworthy ship could not bring away. Strange sights had
she seen among the tribes of sorcerers in Africa; a negro, who, by black art, could submit
to seventeen shots while the muzzle touched his body, causing each bullet to describe a
triangle, spin into the air and finally bury itself in the earth; and a child whirled
about in the air by invisible hands.
It would be discourteous to detail the minutiae of a friendly conversation
where there was no attempt at publicity or magic display; or offer notions about it. The
Phallic element in religions; the souls of flowers; recent wonders among the mediums;
history; Italian character; the strangenesses of travel; chemistry; poetry; Natures
duality; Romanism; Gravitation; the Carbonari; jugglery; Crooks new discoveries
about the force of light; the literature of magic --- were among the topics of animated
discussion lasting till after midnight.
If Madame Blavatsky can indeed bring order out of the chaos of modern
spiritism she will do the world a service. Col. Olcott declares that till he met her he
had no philosophy which could adequately explain the contradictory phenomena he witnessed,
but now he sees "confusion, order in his path."
Meanwhile occurs this suggestion. If Siam and Hindostan have possessed
this sacred truth, why are they so behind the age in their progress? Without it, behold
what the Anglo Saxon has done for the earth and himself. Nor does it require a profound
observance of the moral and humane condition of the Occident as compared with the Orient,
to conclude that whatever we may lack in metaphysics, we are in no wise behind in the
practices of the domestic virtues and philanthropy. Yet far be it from any mind to doubt
that there may yet be something more to learn; "more things in heaven and earth than
are dreamt of in our philosophy."