The trouble proceeds from the defective method of reasoning usually adopted — Induction; a method which claims to collect by experiment and observation all the facts within its reach, the former being rather that of collecting and examining experiments and drawing conclusions therefrom; and, according to the author of Philosophical Inquiry, “as this conclusion cannot be extended beyond what is warranted by the experiments, the Induction is an instrument of proof and limitation.” Notwithstanding this limitation is to be found in every scientific inquiry, it is rarely confessed, but hypotheses are constructed for us as though the experimenters had found them to be mathematically-proved theorems, while they are, to say the most, simple approximations.

For a student of occult philosophy, who rejects in his turn the method of induction on account of these perpetual limitations, and fully adopts the Platonic division of causes — namely, the Efficient, the Formal, the Material, and the Final, as well as the Eleatic method of examining any given proposition, it is but natural to reason from the following stand-point of the Neo-platonic school: 1. The subject either is as it is supposed or is not. Therefore we will inquire: Does the universal ether, known by the kabalists as the “astral light,” contain electricity and magnetism, or does it not? The answer must be in the affirmative, for “exact science” herself teaches us that these two convertible agents saturating both the air and the earth, there is a constant interchange of electricity and magnetism between them. The question No. 1 being

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settled, we will have now to examine what happens — 1st. To it with respect to itself. 2d. To it with respect to all other things. 3d. With all other things, with respect to it. 4th. To all other things with respect to themselves.

ANSWERS: 1st. With respect to itself. That inherent properties previously latent in electricity, become active under favoring conditions; and that at one time the form of magnetic force is assumed by the subtile, all-pervading agent; at another, the form of electric force is assumed.

2d. With respect to all other things. By all other things for which it has an affinity, it is attracted, by all others repelled.

3d. With all other things with respect to it. It happens that whenever they come in contact with electricity, they receive its impress in proportion to their conductivity.

4th. To all other things with respect to themselves. That under the impulse received from the electric force, and in proportion to its intensity, their molecules change their relations with each other; that either they are wrenched asunder, so as to destroy the object — organic or inorganic — which they formed, or, if previously disturbed, are brought into equilibrium (as in cases of disease); or the disturbance may be but superficial, and the object may be stamped with the image of some other object encountered by the fluid before reaching them.

To apply the above propositions to the case in point: There are several well-recognized principles of science, as, for instance, that a pregnant woman is physically and mentally in a highly impressible state. Physiology tells us that her intellectual faculties are weakened, and that she is affected to an unusual degree by the most trifling events. Her pores are opened, and she exudes a peculiar cutaneous perspiration; she seems to be in a receptive condition for all the influences in nature. Reichenbach’s disciples assert that her odic condition is very intense. Du Potet warns against incautiously mesmerizing her, for fear of affecting the offspring. Her diseases are imparted to it, and often it absorbs them entirely to itself; her pains and pleasures react upon its temperament as well as its health; great men proverbially have great mothers, and vice versa. “It is true that her imagination has an influence upon the foetus,” admits Magendie, thus contradicting what he asserts in another place; and he adds that “sudden terror may cause the death of the foetus, or retard its growth.”

In the case recently reported in the American papers, of a boy who was killed by a stroke of lightning, upon stripping the body, there was found imprinted upon his breast the faithful picture of a tree which grew

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