The unseen entities said to inhabit the four elements; they are composed of the finest essence of each element. The creatures of the AIR are called sylphs; of the EARTH= gnomes; of fire, salamanders; and of water, nymphs or undines. The Abbé de Villars (1635-ca. 1673) is often cited as an authority on the subject, since he published a treatise entitled Comte de Gabalis (1670), from which a good deal of what follows is drawn. Other like the creature of minerals and metal are part of the EARTH but stronger . That’s why The native and old cultures believe that everything have a spirit some low and other high frequency level and they are here to help human, and the universe itself as part of God kingdom to hold things in balance . Some of them are mixed of one , two, three, or four elements.
According to this work, before THE FALL, the creatures of the elements were subject to Adam in all things. By means of certain performances this ancient communication may be restored, and man may once more have at his command the elementary spirits. The abbot gives a brief sketch of the nature of these spirits.
The air, he says, is filled with a great number of sylphs, beings of human form, somewhat fierce in appearance, but really of a docile nature. They are interested in the sciences and are subtle. They are officious toward the sages and hostile toward the foolish and the ignorant. Their wives and daughters are of a masculine type of beauty, such as that of the Amazons.
The seas and rivers are inhabited as well as the air, and the beings dwelling there are designated undines, or nymphs, by the sages. The female population much exceeds the male, the women being so exceedingly beautiful that among the daughters of men there is none to equal them.
The EARTH is filled almost to the center with gnomes, beings of small stature that guard subterranean treasure, minerals, and precious stones. They are ingenious, friendly toward men, and easy to command. They provide the children of the sages with all the money they require, asking no other reward for their services than the glory of performing them. The gnomides, their wives, are small of stature but very good-looking, and they dress very curiously.
As for the salamanders, the inhabitants of the region of fire, they serve the philosophers, but are not overanxious for their company. Their daughters and wives are rarely seen. Their women are very beautiful, beyond all the other elementals, since they dwell in a purer element. Their habits, mode of life, manners, and laws are admirable, and their mental brilliance is even greater than their physical beauty. They know and religiously adore the Supreme Being, but have no hope of eternal enjoyment of him, since their souls are mortal. Being composed of the purest parts of the elements wherein they dwell, and having no contrary qualities, they can live for several centuries, yet they are much troubled because of their mortal nature.
It was revealed to the philosophers, however, that an elementary spirit could attain immortality by marrying a human being. The children born of such unions are more noble and heroic than the children of human men and women, and some of the greatest figures of antiquity, Zoroaster, Alexander, Hercules, and Merlin, to mention a few—are declared to have been the children of elementary spirits. The kurd also used to be called the children of the Jinn.
The salamanders, the Comte de Gabalis goes on to say, are composed of the most subtle particles of the sphere of fire, conglobated and organized by the action of the Universal Fire, so called because it is the principle of all the motions of nature. The sylphs are composed of the purest atoms of the air; the nymphs, of the most delicate particles of water; the gnomes, of the finest essence of earth. Adam was in complete accord with these creatures because, being composed of that which was purest in the four elements, he contained in himself the perfections of these four species and was their natural king. But since by reason of his sin he was cast into the excrements of the elements, there no longer existed the harmony between him, so impure and gross, and these fine and ethereal substances.
The abbot goes on to give instructions on how this state of things can be remedied and the ancient order restored. To attain this end mankind must purify and exalt the element of fire that is within all humans. All that is necessary is to concentrate the fire of the world, by means of concave mirrors, in a globe of glass. There will then be formed within the globe a solar powder that, having purified itself from the mixture of other elements, will become in a very short time a sovereign means of exalting the fire within us and make us, so to speak, of an igneous nature. Thereafter, the creatures of the fire will become our inferiors, and, delighted at the restoration of mutual harmony between themselves and the human race, they will show toward man all the goodwill they have for their own kind.
Sylphs, gnomes, and nymphs are more familiar with humans than are the salamanders, on account of their shorter term of life, and it is therefore easier to get in touch with them. To restore its dominion over the sylphs, gnomes, or nymphs, the human race must close a glass full of air, earth, or water and expose it to the sun for a month, after which its various elements must be separated according to science. This process is easiest in the case of water and earth. “Thus,” states the Comte, “without characters, without ceremonies, without barbarous words, it is possible to rule absolutely over these peoples.”
Other authorities prescribe other means of obtaining dominion over the spirits of the elements. The occultist Éliphas Lévi, for instance, stated that anyone desiring to subjugate the elementals must first perform “the four trials of antique initiation,” but as the original trials are no longer known, similar ones must be substituted. Thus, he who would control the sylphs must walk fearlessly on the edge of a precipice; he who would win the service of the salamanders must take his stand in a burning building, and so on, the point of the ordeals being that the man should show himself unafraid of the elements whose inhabitants he desires to rule.
In medieval times the evocation and exorcism of elementary spirits was practiced extensively, the crystal being a favorite means of evoking them. The exorcism of earth was performed by means of breathing, sprinkling water, burning incense, and repeating a certain prayer to the gnomes. Air was exorcised by breathing toward the four cardinal points and by reciting prayers to the air spirits (sylphs). Casting salt, incense, sulphur, camphor, and white resin into a fire was considered efficacious in exorcising that element. In the case of water, breathing and laying on of hands, repeating formulas, mixing salt and ashes of incense, and other ceremonies were to be observed. In every instance, a special consecration of the four elements was a primary and essential part of the proceedings.
As stated, it was thought possible for a human being to confer immortality on an elementary spirit through marriage. This does not always occur, however. Sometimes the reverse is the case, and the elementals share their mortality with their human mate. In literature, at all events, countless stories relate how men have risked and lost their immortality by marrying a sylph or an undine. According to the Comte de Gabalis, however, it would seem to be a matter of choice whether a man confers his immortality on his ethereal partner or whether he partakes of her mortal nature, for it suggests that those who have not been predestined to eternal happiness would do well to marry an elemental and thus spare themselves an eternity of woe.
Not every authority has painted so attractive a picture of the creatures of the elements as has the Abbé de Villars. Some have contended that there are innumerable degrees among these beings, the highest resembling the lower angels, while the lowest may often be mistaken for demons, which they are not. Not only do multitudinous variations of form and disposition characterize the elementals of this planet, the other planets and the stars are also the abode of countless hosts of elementary spirits, differing from those of our world perhaps more than the latter differ from one another.
All the forms of beasts, insects, and reptiles, as well as strange combinations of the shapes of different animals, may be taken by the lower elementals of Earth. The inhabitants of each element have their peculiar virtues and vices that serve to distinguish them. The sylphs are capricious and inconstant, but agile and active; the undines, jealous and cold, but observant; the salamanders, hot and hasty, but energetic and strong; and the gnomes, greedy of gold and treasures, but nevertheless hardworking, good-tempered, and patient. Anyone who would seek dominion over any of these must practice their virtues but carefully avoid their faults, thus conquering them, as it were, on their own ground.
Each species can dwell only in its own proper element. Thus a sylph may not invade the sphere of a salamander, or vice versa, while both would be decidedly out of their element in the regions of the nymphs or the gnomes.
Four rulers have been set over the four species—Gob, ruler of the gnomes; Paralda, of the sylphs; Djinn, of the salamanders; and Necksa, of the nymphs. The dwellers in each element are assigned a point of the compass, which is where their special kingdom lies.
To the gnomes is given the north, to the salamanders, the south, to the sylphs, the east, and to the undines, the west. The gnomes influence those of a melancholic disposition, because they dwell in the gloom of subterranean caverns. The salamanders have an effect on those of sanguine temperament, because their home is in the fire. The undines influence the phlegmatic, and the sylphs those of a bilious temperament. Although the elementals are invisible to human eyes, they may on occasion become visible to those who invoke them, to the sages and philosophers, and even to the multitude.
It is said that in the reign of King Pépin, Zedekiah’s, a ninth-century physician, suggested to the sylphs that they should appear to men, whereupon the air was seen to be full of them, sometimes ranged in battle, or in an aerial army. It was said by the people that they were sorcerers—an opinion to which Charlemagne and his son Louis the Débonnaire subscribed, the latter at least imposing heavy penalties on the supposed sorcerers. To witness the admirable institutions of the sylphs, certain men were raised up in the air, and while descending were seen by their fellowmen on Earth. The latter regarded them as stragglers of the aerial army of sorcerers and thought that they had come to poison the fruits and fountains. These unfortunate persons were thereupon put to death, along with many others suspected of ties to the sorcerers.
The nature of these spirits was collated in the Comte de Gabalis with the oracles of antiquity, and even with the classic pantheons of Greece and Rome . Pan, for example, was the first and oldest of the nymphs, and the news of his death, communicated by the people of the air to the inhabitants of the waters, was proclaimed by them in a voice that was heard sounding over all the rivers of Italy—”The great Pan is dead!”
The scholar of occultism and mysticism A. E. Waite considered the “angels” evoked in medieval magic, as well as the “devils” of the witchcraft sabbat, to be higher or lower elementals. Others see in the brownies and domestic spirits of folklore some resemblance to the subjugated elementary spirits. Even the familiar poltergeist, when not clearly identified as the spirit of a deceased person, may be regarded as an elemental. Spiritualists believe that elementals occasionally manifest as mischievous or evil spirits at séances.
Although the book Comte de Gabalis is probably an imaginative or allegorical work, it brings together preexisting legends of elementary spirits in an entertaining and philosophical format.
In Leibnitz’s Monads, I think we may see the very substance of the astral sphere, in which the elementary spirits “wrap themselves,” according to a statement in the Kabbala. We may even see more, we may even look upon them as the Elementals themselves.
If Leibnitz’s Monads may be considered not only as Elementals, but also the very substance of the astral sphere, and if it be so, that according to the Zohar, “the spirits, when they come down clothe themselves with air, or wrap themselves in elements,” then it becomes a subject of the greatest importance to us how or by what means we may influence the astral sphere, or in other words, it becomes very important by what kind of Monads we are surrounded.
As a help to the proper consideration of this momentous question, I shall offer some information regarding the natural auras or objective spheres, that surround us, and also some historic facts regarding the use of aromatic vapors, odors, &c.
Having come so far with my paper, I shall say a few words about our power over the elementals “clothed with air and wrapped in elements,” by defining the power of Mind and by describing those — almost unknown — small nerve centres of the human hand, called the Pacinian corpuscles.
I shall only stop to define these two tools, the head and the hand, and leave out, for the present, the third of the human trinity, the heart.
Having defined the power of mind and the hand, I shall come to a close with a few suggestions as to the use of these powers regarding the subject under consideration.
Elementary Spirits are defined in “Isis Unveiled” to be “the disembodied souls. The depraved souls have at some time prior to death separated from themselves their divine spirits, and so lost their chance for immortality. Eliphas Levi and some other Kabbalists make little distinction between elementary spirits who have been men, and those beings which people the elements, and are the blind forces of nature.”
The points to mark in this definition are these: (1) Elementary Spirits are disembodied souls; (2) they are disembodied souls of the good, and (3) of the depraved, i.e., of those, in whom the higher principles have never been developed, nor even born into light. They are the shades of those who, by their sins and moral misery, have closed the most interior principles of the constitution of man, and having closed the door against them, have no part in life, but sooner or later become dissolved and disintegrated in the surrounding elements.
In the manifestations common among Spiritualists, these Elementary Spirits play the most prominent parts. The Elementals do not. We shall concern ourselves mainly with the Elementals.
Elementals are defined in “Isis Unveiled” as “the creatures evolved in the four kingdoms of earth, air, fire, and water, and called by the Kabbalists gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines. They may be termed the forces of nature, and will either operate effects as the servile agents of general law, or may be employed by the disembodied spirits — whether pure or impure — and by living adepts of magic and sorcery, to produce desired phenomenal results. Such beings never become men.”
They are in popular mythology and folktales called by a great many names, peris, fauns, elves, brownies, pixies, Fairies,&c., &c.
They are not disembodied human spirits, but distinct Creations. They have their homes in the astral sphere but are found commonly on earth.
The definition already given from “Isis Unveiled” I will amplify by a few lines I have extracted and translated from the various works of Paracelsus:
“All elements have a soul and are living. The inhabitants of the elements are named Saganes (Saganae), i.e., elements. They are not inferior to men; they differ from men by having no immortal soul. They are the powers of Nature, i.e., they are the ones who do that which is usually ascribed to Nature. We may call them beings, but they are not of Adam’s kin. They eat and drink such substances as in their element serve for eating and drinking. They are clothed, they marry and multiply themselves. They can not be incarcerated, and die like the animals.
“They know all that is going on, and do often reveal it to men, who are able to converse with them. But they are very unreliable, and some are very treacherous. They like children and simple minded persons the best. They avoid drunken and beastly men. They reveal more of their nature to the simple minded and innocent ones than to the learned and arrogant ones. They are rather simple minded themselves.”
“There are more women among them than men, and a congregation of women is called a Venus-mount. The fable told about Tannhauser is no mere tale, it is true.”
Thus far, we have, perhaps, no difficulty in following Paracelsus, but when we read further into his revelations, our common sense fails to comprehend the mysteries laid open. Yet, I will say for myself, that though I can not comprehend it, I can readily apprehend such a state of things as that described in the following words:
“They can come to us and mix with our society. They can bear us children; but such children do not belong to them, they belong to us. We may bring these elemental wives to us by faith, pure thinking and our image-making powers. When they enter our sphere of existence and copulate with us, they appear, on account of their strange manners, like gods.”
“Those that live in the water are called Nymphs or Undines and mostly women, that is why water is more than other elements in our body and earth. Once all the universe was made of water ,every thing , no stars no suns and no moons but water and God was over it and commanding the creatures in it. those in the air Sylphs, those of the earth Pygmies or Gnomes, those of the fire Salamanders. Nymphs or Undines look much like human beings, the others differ more or less.”
“It is particularly the Undines or Nymphs that unite with men. When an Undine marries a man, both she and her child become souls.”
From the Kabbalah we can draw many statements corroborating the testimony of Paracelsus. In fact all the most valuable teachings we possess, relative to Elementals, as far as they are printed and given to the public, are derived from the Kabbala. According to it all activity, all events, in History and in Nature, are in the hands of spirits, either Elementals or Elementary. We find them as ministering everywhere, from the Zodiac down to the smallest worm. We find them mentioned by name, those of the sphere of the Shechina as well as those presiding over the four elements.
In Jalkut Chadash it is stated: “There is not a thing in the world, not the least herb, over which is not set a spirit.”
The Kabbalistic work Berith Menucha (by Abraham, a son of Isaac, a Jew from Granada), their names are given:
The spirit that presides over fire is named Jehuel, and under him range seven other spirits. Prince Michael is set over water, and under him rule seven other spirits. Jechiel rules over the wild animals and these rule under him. Anpiel rules over the birds and two princes rule beside him. Hariel controls the cattle and besides him three spirits. Samniel rules the creatures of earth and water and Mesannahel the worms. Deliel together with three princes command the fishes; Ruchiel and three others, the winds; Gabriel, the thunder and also the communications ; Nariel, the hailstorm; Maktuniel, the rocks and Alpiel the fruitful trees, while Saroel, the unfruitful. Sandolfon governs men.
These names are important, as you know, for they are the key to the respective powers of each of these spirits.
As stated in “Isis Unveiled,” Eliphas Levi and other Kabbalists make no or very little distinction between Elementals and Elementary Spirits. This cannot be right by Levi to do. There are essential differences. The Elementals never become men, nor were they ever men. The Elementary spirits as defined by Levi resemble very much such spirits as those we are familiar with in ordinary spiritism. I shall in this paper only give them a passing notice and speak about the Elementals mainly.
From the definition already given, it is evident that the Elementals exist in a great variety of forms, some are mere forces of nature, pure abstract beings; others have some kind of body, at least, when we speak of gnomes, sylphs, undines, &c., we represent them in figures more or less human.
In the Kabbala and other Jewish sacred and secrets books and traditions, the Elementals are represented as a middle race of beings, which, by a general name, the Jews called Schedim (the male Ruchin and the female Lilin). They are really the lowest and the dregs of the spiritual orders. They are divided into four classes: (1) Those of Fire; these cannot be seen with the eye called the jinn in arabic mean the unseen; they mean to do good, and often help men. They understand the Torah and other holy books, and have communion with the angelic world. They are masters of many of nature’s secrets.
Some of them are unfaithful and belong to the demonic forces or sinful spirits with no faith or they pray to stones , stars and animals.
It was these beings which Solomon employed, according to islamic traditions, in erecting the temple. We are told, (1) that “the male genii to erect various public buildings, among others also, the temple. The female genii he obliged to cook, to bake, to wash, to weave, to spin, to carry water, and to perform other domestic labors. The stuffs they produced Solomon distributed among the poor.”
Much curious information can be had from Islamic and Arabic traditions. Solomon, we are told, once asked an Elemental, who appeared to him in the form of a fish, as to how many there were of that kind, and received the following reply: “There are of my species alone, seventy thousand kinds, the least of which is so large that thou would appear in its body like a grain of sand in the wilderness.”
We are further told, that Solomon, by means of a certain stone, “had dominion over the kingdom of jinn and spirits, which is much greater than that of man and beasts, and fills up the whole space between the earth and heaven. Part of these spirits believe in the only God, but others are unbelieving. Some adore the fire; continually others the sun; others, again, the different stars; and many of them even water.
The first hover round the pious, to preserve them from evil and sin; but the latter seek in every possible manner to torment and to seduce them, which they do the more easily, since they render themselves invisible, or assume any form they please. Solomon desired to see the genii in their original form. An angel rushed like a column of fire through the air, and soon returned with a host of demons and genii, whose appalling appearance filled Solomon, in spite of his dominion over them, with horror. He had no idea that there were such misshapen and frightful beings in the world.
He saw human heads on the necks of horses, with asses’ feet; the wings of eagles on the dromedary’s back; and the horns of the gazelle on the head of the peacock. Astonished at this singular union, he prayed the angel to explain it to him: “This is the consequence,” replied the angel, “of their wicked lives and their shameless intercourse with men, beasts and birds; for their desires know no bounds; and the more they multiply, the more they degenerate.”
(2) The second group consists of those of Fire and Air; they are lower in order than the former, those of Fire, but they are good and wise. They are also invisible. They inhabit, like the former, the upper regions.
(3) The third group consists of those of Fire, Air and Water, they are sometimes visible to our senses.
(4) The fourth class is also made of Fire, Air and Water, but have besides an element of Earth in their constitution. They may be fully seen by human eyes.
This class and those of the third are of a wicked disposition and deceive men, and are glad to do us harm. They have no moral sense at all. Some of them live in the waters, some in the mountains and deserts, and some in filthy places. Some of them are hideous to look upon, and are said to be met with even in open daylight.
The two first classes mentioned stand bodily next to men and are very dangerous. They possess extraordinary powers, standing, as they do, between the visible and the invisible worlds. They have some knowledge of the future and are particularly wise in regard to natural things. Some of these have in the time past been worshipped as gods and national deities. The Kabbala is quite emphatic in warnings against them, saying that they are untrustworthy because “their natural affinities are towards the lower realms of existence, rather than the higher.”
All these elementals, whatever class they belong to are subject to dissolution. Their lives are not centred on an eternal principle. They die — and that is the end of them.
It is also worthy of notice that there is a close parallel between the teachings of the Kabbala on this point with that of the Vishnu Parana regarding the composition of the descending order of emanations. According to the Kabbala, as we have just heard, the Elementals of the first order were pure Fire, those of the next were Fire plus Air, those of the next Fire, Air, and Water, while those of the lowest order consisted of Fire, Air, Water plus Earth. Each of them as they live on a lower plane add a new element to their constitution. The same law is found in the groupings of the elements according to the Vishnu Purana. The purest one is Ether and has only one property, sound. The next is Air which to sound adds touch; the next is Fire, which to sound and touch adds colour; the next is Water, which to the three former adds a fourth, taste; the last is Earth, which to all the former adds smell, thus possessing five properties.
The harmony in the teachings of these two authorities, resting as they do on so different a basis is an additional argument for the truths of their teachings on the main subject. That’s why balance is so important in our body and the 5 senses.
But what about the 6th sense or other senses that we did not discovered yet , that’s why i mentioned the name of ABQAR AND OTHER ELEMENTAL SPIRITS THAT TEACH HUMAN the knowledge and science needed to survive and progress .
I mean the ten Sephiroth.
The Kabbala teaches that the En-Soph (the One without end, the Boundless) is present in the Sephiroth or “intelligences,” by means of which creation is effected. IT IS GOD HIMSELF WHO IS THE the first and the last the alpha and the omega the never ending . His lights can creates these spheres .
These Sephiroth, these “intelligences” or spheres, as they also have been called, these spiritual substances are emanations from the En-Soph in which they existed from all eternity. They are emanations, not creations. A creation implies diminution of strength, but an emanation does not, hence the ten Sephiroth form among themselves, and with the En-Soph, a strict unity. They are in fact only differing from the En-Soph in the same way as light differs from its source, the fire. They are boundless on one side of their being, but finite manifestations on the other. They are both infinite and finite.
It has been stated that the whole world is like a gigantic tree full of branches and leaves, the root of which is the spiritual world of the Sephiroth; or it is like an immense sea, which is constantly filled by a spring everlastingly gushing forth its streams. That which thus has been said about the world applies equally to the Sephiroth. They are like trees rooted in the En-Soph, but blossoming and bearing fruit in the world. They are open within but closed without. Though they partake of the divine nature, they are on the outer side the garments of the Most High. This their outer side is their bodily form, and it is with this we may come in contact.
It is almost blasphemy to call the outer side of the Sephiroth bodily — for body is to us something very low. Let us, therefore, beware of attaching anything low or mean to Body, when we speak of the Sephiroth. Let us bow down and revere, for we are in the presence of the Holy, even when we in thought rise to the bodily form of the Sephiroth.
The Sephiroth, through the divine power immanent in them, uphold the World. They are the Elemental Forces of the World. Through them flows all Power and all Mercy. Yea, the En-Soph is revealed through the Sephiroth, and becomes incarnate in them. It is stated in the Kabbala that the En-Soph, through various Sephiroth, became incarnate in Abraham as love, in Isaac as power, in Jacob as beauty, in Moses as firmness, in Aaron as splendor, in Joseph as foundation, in jesus as miracle, and in mohammed as final warning to man kind etc.
The soul, notwithstanding its connection with the body, if it remain uncontaminated and pure, is able to ascend to the Kingdom of the Sephiroth and to “command them”. But great mysteries surround the secrets connected with this power, and but few have they been who have been pious enough and strong enough to be admitted.
That the Sephiroth are powers, “Elementals,” and not individual beings is evident from their division into three groups, intelligence, animation and matter.
Each of the three groups is again subdivided, the first into (1) the Crown or the inscrutable Height, (2) the creative Wisdom, (3) the conceiving Intellect. The result of the combination of the latter two: the creative Wisdom and the conceiving Intellect, is in the Kabbala called knowledge (= Logos), which certainly shows these three Sephiroth to be spiritual substances, rather than individualities according to the common acceptation of the term. But it is not enough that we escape the mistakes which we would fall into if we regarded the Sephiroth as individualities, we must also beware of regarding them as mere abstractions, which the terms wisdom and intellect might lead us into. We shall never arrive at the truth, much less the power of associating with these celestials, until we return to the simplicity and fearlessness of the primitive ages, when men mixed freely with the gods, and the gods descended among men and guided them in truth and holiness.
The first group of the Sephiroth rests in so sublime an atmosphere and so near the Deity, that we can know nothing of their nature or activity.
The second group of the Sephiroth exercises its power over the moral world, and consists of (1) infinite Grace, (2) divine Justice, and (3) Beauty, which is the connecting link between Grace and Justice.
Here again we have to do neither with mere moral states nor with abstractions, but with embodiments of living and moving realities. Human eyes can, however, neither see them, nor can human hands touch them, for they are far removed from them, existing as they do on another plane of existence. Yet, he who keeps his virtue, and who knows the key to the chain of existences, can bring them out from their own realm and into his own and cause them to act.
The third group of the Sephiroth stands in relation to Matter in the same way as the other two stand to the Mind and the Heart, and may be called Elementals par excellence. They are called Firmness, Splendor, primary Foundation and Kingdom. —
I now wish to engage your attention by describing to you Leibnitz’s Monads. His monads have all the characteristics of Elementals, at the same time, that they seem to be purely physical molecules. But this very duplicity is an argument for my theory, that Leibnitz’s monad is a faithful definition of an Elemental. If it should be proved that they are not Elementals, and I doubt that that can be proved, they will at least serve as illustrations as to what an Elemental is.
Leibnitz (2) formulates his conception of substance in direct opposition to Spinozism. To Spinoza substance is dead and inactive, but to Leibnitz’s penetrating powers of mind everything is living activity and active energy. In holding this view he comes infinitely nearer the Orient than any other thinker of his day or after him. His discovery that an active energy forms the essence of substance is a principle that places him in direct relationship to the seers of the East.
This fact, that the chief points of Leibnitz’s philosophy are derived from this conception of an active energy forming the essence of substance, places it at once in our confidence.
From Leibnitz’s Monadology I translate the following paragraphs:
§1. “The Monad is a simple substance, entering into those which are compound; simple, that is to say, without parts.”
§2. “Monads are the veritable Atoms of Nature, in one word, the elements of things.”
When Leibnitz speaks of atoms it must not be understood that he is a materialist. He is far from it. Indeed, his system has been called a spiritualistic atomistic. Atoms and Elements to him are Substance not Matter. They are centres of force or better “spiritual beings, whose very nature it is to act.” These elementary particles are vital forces, not acting mechanically, but from an internal principle. They are incorporeal or spiritual units, inaccessible to all change from without, but only subject to internal movement. They are indestructible by any external force. Leibnitz’s monads differ from atoms in the following particulars, which are very important for us to remember, otherwise we shall not be able to see the difference between Elementals and mere matter.
Atoms are not distinguished from each other, they are qualitatively alike, but one monad differs from every other monad, qualitatively; and every one is a peculiar world to itself. Not so with the atoms; they are absolutely alike quantitatively and qualitatively and possess no individuality of their own. Again, the atoms of materialistic philosophy can be considered as extended and divisible, while the monads are mere “metaphysical points” and indivisible. Finally, and this is a point where these monads of Leibnitz closely resemble the Elementals of mystic philosophy, these monads are representative beings. Every monad reflects every other. Every monad is a living mirror of the universe, within its own sphere. And mark this, for upon it depends the power possessed by these monads, and upon it depends the work they can do for us: in mirroring the world, the monads are not mere passive reflective agents, but spontaneously self-active; they produce the images spontaneously, as the soul does a dream. In every monad, therefore, the adept may read everything, even the future. Every monad — or elemental — is a looking-glass that can speak.
The monads may from one point of view be called force, from another matter. To occult science force and matter are only two sides of the same substance.
Such a doctrine is of course much objected to by people of the modern age, who pretend to possess very fine analytical powers, and yet are unable to conceive of matter under any other conditions than those cognizable by our coarse senses.
Those who have intellectual difficulties in seeing that Brahm is everything and everything is Brahm must take this doctrine on faith for awhile. A little earnest practice will lead them to see that truth is not attained through reflection, but through immediate intuition.
If we should desire to look upon these monads as matter, I know of no better comparison than with that which has been called Matter in a Fourth state or condition, a condition as far removed from the state of gas as a gas is from a liquid.
If we should desire to look upon these monads as force, I know of no better comparison than with that which Faraday called “Radiant Matter” and which by Crooke’s experiments has been shown to be so much like mere force, or matter completely divested of all the characteristics of bodies that its physical properties have been so modified that it has changed nature and appears under the form of force.
In §8 of the Monadology Leibnitz declares that “The Monads have qualities — otherwise they would not even be entities.” The qualities attributed to them make them appear very much like living rational beings. I am disposed to look upon them as upon those little beings represented by Raphael, as heads resting upon a pair of wings: pure intelligence, or spirits who have not yet attained to bodily life. If they have not a thinking soul, they are at least forces that resemble life. Continuing, Leibnitz (§11) says: “We might give the name of Perfection (Entelechies) to all monads inasmuch as there is in them a certain Completeness or Perfection. There is a sufficiency which makes them the sources of their own internal actions, and, as it were, incorporeal automata.” Says Leibnitz: (§19) “If we choose to give the name of soul to all that has perceptions and desires, in the general sense which I have just indicated, all simple substances or monads may be called souls.”
You see these infinitesimal beings are regarded by the great philosopher very much like intelligent existences; and yet they are very far removed from our conceptions of soul-life and existence. They are like the Elemental of the Kabbala: they never become men.
Continuing his definitions, he says (§60): “The monads are limited, not in the object, but in the mode of their knowledge of the object.” That is the objective would have no power over them, but they themselves have only a limited knowledge of the objectivity, hence also a limited power. But that does not preclude the possibility of their being the means of the greatest influence upon the objective world — in the hands, namely, of an intelligent human being or spirit. “They all”, says Leibnitz, “tend (confusedly) to the infinite, to the whole; but they are limited and distinguished by the degrees of distinctness in their perception.”
Now I quote (§62) a sentence that reechoes the most beautiful philosophy of the Orient. Leibnitz has seen as distinctly as the old nature worshippers of the early Aryans, that “every monad represents the entire universe.” This short sentence is the key to all mystical philosophy and to all magic; it is only second to such sentences as these: “God dwells in all things in His fullness,” (Vemana verse), and “The world is the image of God,” (Sufi philosophy).
It is a common mistake in the world to believe that God and his truth is only to be found in the Grand, in the Large, in the infinitely large.
In opposition to this, much of our mystical and esoteric philosophy points to the infinitely Small, declaring, that if we can become humble enough to descend to nature’s workshop, we shall learn more from the “atoms in space” upon which God let fall a “beam of his glory,” than from all the magnificent systems of the learned. Hear what Leibnitz himself says, though he is not a mystic. He ought to have been, for his insight was truly remarkable. He declares (§66) “There is a world of creatures, of living things, of animals, of Perfection of souls, in the minutest portion of matter.” (§67) “Every particle of matter may be conceived as a garden of plants, or as a pond full of fishes — all swarming with life!”
Keep this in mind, that I am not talking about atoms of matter, but of atoms of substance, real unities, the first principles in the composition of things. Leibnitz himself, besides calling these corpuscular units Monads, has also called them Metaphysical points, and Scaliger called them seeds of eternity, and a Persian poet has put it very clearly before us, that an atom is not a unit, by saying, “Cleave an atom, and you will find in it a Sun.” Here is the kernel of our subject, the substance of an atom in space is the storehouse of the immanent forces to which elementals, and elementary spirits to some extent, have access, and by means of which they work.
This view is fully corroborated by a representative of modern science, Sir John F. W. Herschel, who has approached very near to the teachings of occult science by declaring the presence of mind in atoms. In the Fortnightly Review of 1865, Sir John Herschel stated as follows: “All that has been predicated of Atoms, ‘the dear little creatures,’ as Hermione said, all their hates and loves, their attractions and repulsions, according to the primary laws of their being, only becomes intelligible when we assume the presence of Mind.”
These various definitions of the Monads as given by Leibnitz, answer in many important points exactly to what we find in occult teachings about the Elementals, and I can see no good reason why we should not look upon Leibnitz’s Monadology as a work on Elementals.
We are really done with him as far as our subject is concerned, but before dismissing him to turn to other wisdom, permit me to quote a few more passages, though they do not bear directly upon the subjects of monads. He says (§83-86): “Among other differences which distinguish spirits from ordinary souls, there is also this: ‘That souls in general are living mirrors, or images of the universe of creatures, but spirits are, furthermore, images of Divinity itself, or of the Author of Nature, capable of recognizing the system of the universe, and of imitating something of it by architectonic experiments, each spirit being, as it were, a little divinity in its own department. — Hence spirits are able to enter into a kind of fellowship with God. — All spirits constitute the City of God — that is to say, the most perfect state possible under the most perfect of monarchs. — The City of God, this truly universal monarchy, is a moral world within the natural; and it is the most exalted and the most divine among the works of God.”
2. Leibnitz was born 1646 at Leipzig, and died 1716. According to Schwegler Hist. of Phil. he was, next to Aristotle, the most highly gifted scholar that ever lived, and according to F. Papillon (“Nature and Life”) modern students in various departments of science and philosophy have verified his ideas and endorsed them to a large extent
Barrett, Francis. The Magus. London: Lackington, Allen, 1801. Reprint, New N.Y.: University Books, 1967.
De Villars, l’Abbé de Montfaucon. Comte de Gabalis. 1670. Reprint,: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1922.
Lévi, Éliphas. Transcendental Magic. London: Redway, 1896. Reprint, Samuel Weiser, 1970.
Waite, Arthur Edward. The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts Including the Mysteries of Goëtic Theurgy, Sorcery, and Infernal Necromancy. London: George Redway, 1898. Revised as The Book of Ceremonial Magic. New, N.Y.: University Books, 1961.
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