[A letter was recently received by the Editor from one of our most eminent Australasian Fellows, asking some questions in science of such importance that the replies are, with permission, copied for the edification of our readers. The writer is a Chela who has a certain familiarity with the terminology of Western science. If we mistake not this is the first time that the rationale of the control exercised by an Adept Occultist over the relations of atoms, and of the phenomena of the "passage of matter through matter," has been so succinctly and yet clearly explained.--Ed., Theosophist.]
(1) The Phenomenon of "osmosing" (extracting. Ed.) your note from the sealed envelope in which it was sewn with thread, and substituting for it his own reply, without breaking either seal or thread, is to be considered first. It is one of those complete proofs of the superior familiarity with and control over atomic relations among our Eastern Adepts as compared with modern Western men of science, to which custom has made me familiar. It was the same power as that employed in the formation of the letter in the air of your room at __________ ; in the case of many other air-born letters; of showers of roses; of the gold ring which leaped from the heart of a moss-rose while held in _________'s hand; of a sapphire ring doubled for a lady of high position here, a short time ago, and of other examples. The solution is found in the fact that the "attraction of cohesion" is a manifestation of the Universal Divine Force, and can be interrupted and again set up as regards any given group of atoms in the relation of substance by the same Divine power as that localised in the human monad. Atma, the eternal spiritual principle in man, has the same quality of power over brute force as has the Universal Principle of which it is a part. Adeptship is but the crown of spiritual self-evolution, and the powers of spirit develop themselves successively in the ratio of the aspirant's progress upward, morally and spiritually. This you see is to place our modern Evolution Theory upon a truly noble basis, and to give it the character of a lofty spiritual, instead of a debasing materialistic, philosophy. I have always felt sure of the warm approval of the most intuitional of your Western men of science when they should come to take this view of our Aryan Arhat Science.
You should not find much difficulty in drawing the line between the "Spook" and the "Adept." The latter is a living man often fit to stand as the grandest ideal of human perfectibility; the former is but undissolved congeries of atoms recently associated in a living person as his lower--or better, his coarser, and more materialistic--corporeal envelopes; which during life were confined in the outermost shell, the body, and after death released to linger for a while in the astral (Etheric or Akasic) strata nearest the earth's surface. The law of magneto-vital affinities explains the attraction of these "shells" to places and persons; and if you can postulate to yourself a scale of psychic specific gravity, you may realise how the greater density of a "soul" weighted with the matter of base (or even unspiritua1, yet not animal) feelings would tend to impede its rising to the clear realm of spiritual existence. Though I am conscious of the imperfection of my scientific exegesis, I feel that your superior capacity for apprehending natural laws, when a hint has been given, will fill all lacunæ.
Note that no Adept even can disintegrate and reform any organism above the stage of vegetable: the Universal Manas has in the anima1 begun and in man completed its differentiation into individual entities: in the vegetable it is still an undifferentiated universal spirit, informing the whole mass of atoms which have progressed beyond the inert mineral stage, and are preparing to differentiate. There is movement even in the mineral, but it is rather the imperceptible quiver of that Life of life, than its active manifestation in the production of form--a ramification which attains its maximum not, as you may suppose, in the stage of physical man, but in the higher one of the Dhyan Chohans, or Planetary Spirits, i.e., once human beings who have run through the scale of evolution, but are not yet reunited, or coalesced with Parabrahma, the Universal Principle.
Before closing, a word more about the "passage of matter through matter." Matter may be defined as condensed Akasa (Ether); and in atomizing, differentiates, as the watery particles differentiate from superheated steam when condensed. Restore the differentiated matter to the state ante of undifferentiated matter, and there is no difficulty in seeing how it can pass through the interstices of a substance in the differentiated state, as we easily conceive of the travel of electricity and other forces through their conductors. The profound art is to be able to interrupt at will and again restore the atomic relations in a given substance: to pull the atoms so far apart as to make them invisible, and yet hold them in polaric suspense, or within the attractive radius, so as to make them rush back into their former cohesive affinities, and re-compose the substance. And since we have had a thousand proofs that this knowledge and power is possessed by our Adept Occultists, who can blame us for regarding as we do those Adepts as the proper masters in science of the cleverest of our modern authorities? And then, as I above remarked, the outcome of this Philosophy of the Aryan Sages is to enable humanity to refresh the moral and awaken the spiritual nature of man, and to erect standards of happiness higher and better than those by which we now govern ourselves.
Theosophist, October, 1883