A SERBIAN MAGICIAN
is a long road from the sacrifice of the Rose-Cross to plague-stricken
Serbia, but that is the road you take with me this morning.
There is a reason why that country has been most susceptible to
the astral germs of disease, that a loathsome being of which I wrote you in
a former letter spewed forth into the upper world.
Long ago in the mountains of Serbia there dwelt an evil
magician, a man whose studies in the deeper sciences were undertaken solely
for the intellectual and selfish pleasure which he found in them. He had
progressed so far beyond the normal human consciousness that he had no
worldly ambitions. To him the world was but a despicable place to escape
from, and the people of the world were insects beneath his notice, save only
as he could use them for his purposes.
He considered himself a kind of god, and so
diligent were his selfish labors that had he devoted his knowledge to the
good of the human race from which he sprang, he might really have become a
kind of god. But selfish and evil beings need never aspire to godship. At
most they can take but a step beyond the human. The grub may become a
butterfly, but if it hates the sunlight and the air of the higher regions,
its wings had better not have grown.
This man, this selfish magician, had learned that by certain
magical formulś he could call to himself beings of the elements, and that by
the aid of these invisibles he could create astral beings which, while
themselves soulless, he could energize with his own force.
Now the turn for real and active evil which marked a certain
stage in his life, came about in this way:
He had found what seemed to him a secure retreat among the
mountains, he had prepared and magnetized the neighborhood of his hut so
that it was a centre of astral force, and his right to the undivided
possession of that spot was one of the ideas which he energized for his own
Now the owner of the mountain where the
magician lived discovered that the neighborhood of his hut was a good place
for hunting the wild animals of that region, and soon the quiet of the
magicianís studies was broken by the reports of the guns of the hunters, who
even crossed with their despised bodies the very circle which the magician
had prepared for his own use.
This proved that he was not a very high magician, for had he
made that centre for a work having as object the benefit of humanity,
members of that humanity could not have profaned it. The retreats of the
Masters of Compassion are secure against intrusion.
In his rage and disappointment he called down curses upon the
hunters and upon all the region roundabout, and by his evil magic he created
beings who should execute his curses. He created them upon the earth and in
the air above and in the region below the surface of the earth, and to each
he allotted a task with fearful penalties for disobedience. His use of the
power he had gained was a use positively forbidden by the Law under
which the real Masters work.
It really caused the hunters to go away
from that neighborhood, but the beings he had called and the beings he had
created remained there; for he had not sufficient knowledge, or maybe not a
sufficient sense of responsibility for his nefarious work, to make him
destroy or banish them himself.
And when he died, at the ripe age of one hundred and twelve
years, and his will was removed from them, they still remained in a state of
semi-animation in the lower regions of the astral world.
Then, a century or more afterwards, when the great war wave
broke over Europe, and the evil hosts of the unseen came clamoring for their
prey and their satisfaction, these old astral monsters awoke out of their
sleep and joined themselves to them, and the whole neighborhood which the
evil magician had cursed became an infected place, from the exhalations of
those beings whose raison dí Ítre had been a manís hatred of the
people who had disturbed him in his selfish labors.
I am not going to describe the process by
which he had created them and laid an evil spell upon a whole neighborhood,
for I am determined not to bestow upon a selfish world any knowledge that it
can use to make more trouble in future. But I want you to realize that
Serbia is really a dangerous place. That is why it was chosen as the
focusing point for the evil onslaught of war.
The people of Serbia are brave and innocent of all this astral
evil which has come upon them. They were used because the evil forces
could get at them through this region already under a curse from of old.
The time has come when the men of the new race must know that
there are things to be avoided in the astral world. If certain teachers had
told less, this warning might not be necessary; but the world has acquired
already so clear a perception that there is another world within and outside
their own, that their natural curiosity must be protected by warnings not to
fool with the unseen, until they have acquired such a selfless devotion to
their fellow-beings that they may explore it without being themselves
infected by the poison of the snake that nestles there among the flowers.
The old magician has passed on into that
sphere where selfish scholars pursue their investigations unhampered by the
limitations of gross matter; but the full responsibility for his actions in
those Serbian hills when he was last on earth will wait for him at the door
of rebirth. When he comes to the world again it will be in a body which is
itself a victim of all the plagues which he let loose there, in the
determined effort to protect himself against others who had as good a
right there as he had.
Stay out of Serbia until it has been cleansed of plague, you
whose work is not connected with the specialty of plague-destruction. But
those doctors and other scientists who are devotedly going thither to save
the race from the horror that threatens itĖĖto them shall be accorded all
the honors and glories of war and of peace, for they have consented,
their higher selves have consented, that they be used in the service of the
I have said before that the evil elemental beings fear the
scientist; and though the scientists fight this plague with material means,
yet the force of their will and of their unselfish purpose acts beyond the
material base of their operations, extending its influence even into the
invisible world of which their objective minds have no knowledge, purifying
it with vital air.
Yes, all honor to the scientists!