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The human body is a species of polyp colony, a kind of coral island
like those that emerge above the waves of the Pacific, by reason of
the collective efforts of lower organisms.

The most numerous of the compounds of the human aggregate are known to
physiology as microbes, bacteria, and bacilli; but amongst them our
microscopes discover only comparative monsters, "those that are to the
ordinary infinitesimal organisms as the elephant is to the invisible

Each cell is a complete being; its soul is a vital ray of the general
life of our planet; its body consists of molecules that are attracted
and then repelled, whilst the cellular soul remains immutable in the
ceaseless fluctuations of its corporeal elements.

The molecules, too, are animated by a vital soul, connected with the
cellular soul, which, in turn, is subordinate to a higher[85] unit of
the collective life of the human body.

The most infinitesimal of these beings--often called
"lives"--penetrate the body freely; they circulate in the aura[86] and
in each plexus of the organism; there they are subjected to the
incessant impact of the moral, menial, and spiritual forces, and
become impregnated with a spirit of good or of evil, as the case may
be. They enter the cells and leave them with intense rapidity, for
their cycles of activity as well as of passivity are being incessantly

We are all the time emanating millions of "lives," which are at once
drawn into the different kingdoms of Nature to which they carry the
energies they have gathered in us; they impress on their new organisms
the tendencies we have given them, and in this way become ferments of
regeneration or of decay; they aid or retard, pollute or purify, and
it is for this reason that it is not a matter of indifference whether
one lives in town or country, with men or animals, the temperate or
the intemperate, the wicked or the good. The animal gains from
association with human beings, man loses from association with
animals; the disciples of the great schools of initiation, at a
certain stage of their discipline, are carefully isolated from any
inferior contact.

It is these subtle forces that are at play in the physical
accomplishment of an action.[87] "For material sins," says Manu,
"one[88] passes into mineral and vegetable forms." When, at death,
the outer sheath of man disintegrates, these "life atoms" are thrown
back into the general surroundings of the earth, where they are
subjected to the magnetic currents around; these currents either
attract or repel them, and thus bring about that wise selection, which
directs them to organisms in affinity with them.

The doctrine of metempsychosis[89] is true only for the atoms or
emanations sent out by man after death or during the whole course of
life. The hidden meaning of the passage from Manu, where we read that
"he who slays a Brahman enters into the body of a dog, a bear, an ass,
a camel, &c.," does not apply to the human Ego, but only to the atoms
of his body, i.e., to the lower triad[90] and its fluidic
emanations, as H. P. Blavatsky says, and she adds:

"The Hina-yana, the lowest form of transmigration of the Buddhist, is
as little comprehended as the Maha-yana, its highest form, and,
because Sakya Muni--the Buddha--is shown to have once remarked to his
Bhikkus--Buddhist monks--while pointing out to them a broom, that it
had formerly been a novice who neglected to sweep out the Council
room, hence was reborn as a broom,(!) therefore the wisest of all the
world's sages stands accused of idiotic superstition. Why not try and
understand the true meaning of the figurative statement before
criticising? Is or is not that which is called magnetic effluvia a
something, a stuff or a substance, invisible and imponderable though
it be?... The mesmeric or magnetic fluid which emanates from man to
man, or even from man to what is termed an inanimate object, is far
greater. Indeed, it is 'life atoms' that a man in a blind passion
throws off unconsciously. Let any man give way to any intense feeling
such as anger, grief, &c., under or near a tree, or in direct contact
with a stone, and many thousands of years after that any tolerable
psychometrist will see the man and sense his feelings from one single
fragment of that tree or stone that he has touched. Why then should
not a broom, made of a shrub, which grew most likely in the vicinity
of the building where the lazy novice lived--a shrub, perhaps,
repeatedly touched by him while in a state of anger, provoked by his
laziness and distaste of his duty--why should not a quantity of his
life atoms have passed into the materials of the future broom, and
therein have been recognised by Buddha owing to his superhuman (not
supernatural) powers?"[91]

Such is the meaning of the Resurrection of the body, taught in the
Christian church in a form that is repellent to reason, for it kills
the spirit of the doctrine and leaves this latter like a corpse from
which the life has gone.

Next: Metempsychosis

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