Human Animals Part 33

O thou which enterest, do not enter into any of the members of the deceased! O thou which killest, do not kill him with thyself!

O thou which entwinest, do not entwine thyself round him!

In another incantation, which was directed against various noxious animals, the man who wished to obtain shelter from their attacks invoked the aid of a god, as being himself a god.

Come to me, O lord of Gods!

Drive far from me the lions coming from the earth, The crocodiles issuing from the river; Do not wave thy tail; Do not work thy two arms; Do not open thy mouth; Stop crocodile Mako, Son of Set!

In a third formula the enchanter entreats the support of Isis and Nephthys

In order that the jaws of the lions and hyaenas may be sealed, The head of all the animals with long tails, Who eat flesh and drink blood; That they may fascinate (me) To lift up their hearing; To hold me in darkness To render me invisible Instantly in the night!

These magical words did not communicate divine virtue alone to man; animals could also participate in them for the protection of man, as they caused an invincible power to dwell in creatures, like, for instance, the watch-dog, to increase his strength by enchantment, the formula for which commences:

Stand up! wicked dog!

Come! that I may direct thee what to do to-day: Thou wast fastened up, art thou not untied?

It is Horus who has ordered thee to do this: May thy face be open to heaven!

May thy jaw be pitiless![189]

Through solemn incantations, through desire and by will power it may thus be possible to strengthen animal-qualities for purposes best known to those who employ such means. A modern writer on occult matters explains the existence of wer-wolves and vampires on some such psychic basis.

"The popular legends about them," he says,[190] "are probably often considerably exaggerated, but there is nevertheless a terribly serious substratum of truth beneath the eerie stories which pass from mouth to mouth among the peasantry of Central Europe.... All readers of Theosophical literature are familiar with the idea that it is possible for a man to live a life so absolutely degraded and selfish, so utterly wicked and brutal, that the whole of his lower Manas may become entirely unmeshed in Kama, and finally separated from its spiritual source in the higher Ego.... To attain the appalling pre-eminence in evil which thus involves the entire loss of a personality and the weakening of the developing individuality behind, a man must stifle every gleam of unselfishness or spirituality and must have absolutely no redeeming points whatever. And when we remember how often, even in the worst of villains there is to be found something not wholly bad, we shall realize that the abandoned personalities must always be a very small minority. Still comparatively few though they be, they do exist and it is from their ranks that the still rarer vampire is drawn...."

The wer-wolf, though equally horrible, is the product of a somewhat different Karma, and indeed ought perhaps to have found a place under the first instead of the second division of the human inhabitants of Kamaloka, since it is always during a man's lifetime that he first manifests under this form. It invariably implies some knowledge of magical arts--sufficient at any rate to be able to project the astral body. When a perfectly cruel and brutal man does this, there are certain circumstances under which the body may be seized upon by other astral entities and materialised, not in the human form but into that of some wild animal, usually the wolf; and in that condition it will range the surrounding country killing the animals and even human beings, thus satisfying not only its own craving for blood, but that of the fiends who drive it on. In this case, as so often with the ordinary astral body, any wound inflicted upon the animal materialisation will be reproduced upon the human physical body by the extraordinary phenomenon of repercussion....

"The vast majority of animals have not as yet acquired permanent individualisation and when one of them dies the Monadic essence which has been manifesting through it flows back again into the particular stratum from which it came.... The Kamic aura of the animal forms itself into a Kamarupa ... and the animal has a real existence on the astral plane, the length of which, though never great, varies according to the intelligence which it has developed."[191]

There is, says J. C. Street in "The Hidden Way Across the Threshold,"

an electro-magnetic invisible liquid in which we all float like fish in water. We are living continually immersed in this ethereal fluid, which is always in motion in a whirling vibration. "A cat-like soul-force can only find satisfaction in a cat-like body, a dog-like soul-force in a dog-like body. In every case the soul-force, or essence shadow, has a corresponding material body. An ape soul-force could no more mould and clothe itself in a human body than a mouse soul-force could do the same with an elephant body,[192] "yet the elements that go to make up the human, animal, or floral envelopes or bodies, are held in solution in the atmosphere, and can _through a knowledge of the laws governing it_, be utilised to construct instantaneously any of the multitudinous forms that exist in Nature."

Further than this it is impossible at the present moment to explain or to grasp this strange theory of transformation which has held a place in human thought since the earliest times, as is proved by the foregoing collection of traditional phenomena.


[185] Scott, R., "The Discoverie of Witchcraft," 1886, p. 493.

[186] 1801.

[187] "The Magus," 1801, p. 120.

[188] "Occult Philosophy," 1651, Vol. I, p. 86 _et seq._

[189] _See_ Lenormant, F., "Chaldean Magic," chapters III and VII.

[190] Leadbeater, C. W., "The Astral Plane: its Inhabitants and Phenomena," 1895, pp. 37-9.

[191] _Ibid._, pp. 51-2.

[192] Street, J. C., "The Hidden Way Across the Threshold," 1896, p.




No completely satisfactory explanation of the phenomena with which this book deals has as yet been formulated, but the elucidation of the problems of transformation, collected from many sources, should be sought primarily in the latent power innate in man which enables him to exert or project thought-forces, but little understood to-day, of which, however, hypnotism and suggestion are the most familiar forms of manifestation. Such power, acting upon the plastic mind-substance of the spiritual world, may, as far as we know, produce forms, animal or otherwise, in accordance with the desire (conscious or subconscious) and the will of the projector. To bring about his purpose and procure manifestation he has to induce a suitable state of mind, and to this end he employs ritual and accessories of various kinds.

To take a single illustrative case in point. The animal masks used in Indian theatrical shows serve as a means of suggestive illusion. In mystical shows anticipatory fear is evoked by such means. Indians are easily brought to a stage of inability to grasp the difference between the real and the suggested wild beast. But Indians and other primitive races are not the only ones to succumb to a strong will bent on producing phenomena. These things affect all kinds of people, even in the so-called higher grades of civilisation, and the effect of auto-suggestion is quite as curious as that of hypnotism. A case has recently come under notice of a woman who acquired the habit of going down on all fours and making a noise of barking, firmly believing that she has been turned into a dog. In how much is she removed from the hyaena-woman of Abyssinia? The cure is much the same, and is brought about by counter-suggestion in one form or another. In such instances, of course, it is not to be supposed that actual transformation has taken place, but spectators may nevertheless be hypnotised into believing what the victim believes. By some such means, too, Nebuchadnezzar may have been made to think himself a subject of boanthropy when "he was driven from men and did eat grass as oxen," continuing this occupation until his body was soaked with the dews of heaven, till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws.

What difference is there between such a belief and that of the spectator who thinks he sees the devil depart from a woman possessed in the shape of a huge black slug? He also may have been influenced by concentrated thought on the subject, and the question arises how far can human credulity be worked upon by the almost limitless and as yet little-understood power of the human mind. Much depends on the nature of the individual, the environment, and the receptivity to the kind of pressure brought to bear. Love of mystery and awe of the unknown are also strong factors in establishing faith, the first principle necessary for producing creative power. Even the wildest superstition enshrines something of reality and a stratum of truth underlies most widespread beliefs.

Research on these psychical subjects should be carried on earnestly and with untiring patience, always with a view to eliminate the false and preserve the true, wherever possible transmuting apparently evil elements and bringing forth the fundamental good. Such methods should make the prospects of discovering scientific facts more and more favourable in the future.

Unfortunately a miscellaneous study of "isms" and "ogonies" is often unproductive. Byron described the state of mind induced by ill-judged efforts in this direction in "Don Juan," Canto IX, 20:

Oh! ye immortal gods! What is Theogony?

Oh! thou, too, mortal man! What is philanthropy?

Oh! World, which was and is, what is cosmogony?

Some people have accused me of misanthropy; And yet I know no more than the mahogany That forms this desk, of what they mean,--Lycanthropy I comprehend, for without transformation Men become wolves on any slight occasion.

The seeker after the facts about animal-metamorphosis, confused by many undigested propositions, might thus also attempt to salve his conscience, for man is certainly sometimes near enough to the animal without physical change, but he would be fleeing to a subterfuge suitable only for the idle and the ignorant. To the earnest student there can be no rest until this obscure branch of occult science is cleared up, though it may be but a side issue leading to more important facts. If in the foregoing chapters a grain of truth lies hidden which will help to elucidate the problem with which they deal, they will have served their purpose in pushing a step or two through the darkness which shrouds so many secrets of Nature.

It is the mystery of the unknown That fascinates us, we are children still, Wayward and wistful; with one hand we cling To the familiar things we call our own, And with the other, resolute of will, Grope in the dark for what the day will bring.

Chapter end

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