Materialization is a term related to spiritualistic phenomena to refer to the manifestation or appearance of a physical object or a "spirit of the dead". H. P. Blavatsky wrote:
Materialisations. In Spiritualism the word signifies the objective appearance of the so-called "spirits of the dead," who re-clothe themselves occasionally in matter; i. e., they form for themselves out of the materials at hand found in the atmosphere and the emanations of those present, a temporary body bearing the human likeness of the defunct, as he appeared when alive. Theosophists accept the phenomenon of "materialisation," but they reject the theory that it is produced by "Spirits," i. e., the immortal principles of disembodied persons. Theosophists hold that when the phenomena are genuine -- which is a fact of rarer occurrence than is generally believed -- they are produced by the larvae, the eidolons, or Kamalokic "ghosts" of the dead personalities. (See "Kamaloka" and "Kamarupa.") As Kamaloka is on the earth-plane and differs from its degree of materiality only in the degree of its plane of consciousness, for which reason it is concealed from our normal sight, the occasional apparition of such shells is as natural as that of electric balls and other atmospheric phenomena. Electricity as a fluid, or atomic matter (for Occultists hold with Maxwell that it is atomic), is ever, though invisibly, present in the air and manifests under various shapes, but only when certain conditions are present to "materialise" the fluid, when it passes from its own on to our plane and makes itself objective. Similarly with the eidolons of the dead. They are present around us, but being on another plane do not see us any more than we see them. But whenever the strong desires of living men and the conditions furnished by the abnormal constitutions of mediums are combined together, these eidolons are drawn -- nay pulled down from their plane on to ours and made objective. This is necromancy; it does no good to the dead, and great harm to the living, in addition to the fact that it interferes with a law of nature. The occasional materialisation of the "astral bodies" or doubles of living persons is quite another matter. These "astrals" are often mistaken for the apparitions of the dead, since, chameleon-like, our own "elementaries" along with those of the disembodied and cosmic Elementals, will often assume the appearance of those images which are strongest in our thoughts. In short, at the so-called "materialisation seances," it is those present and the medium who create the peculiar apparition. Independent "apparitions" belong to another kind of psychic phenomena.
- ↑ Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 209.