Elemental

From Theosophy Wiki
(Redirected from Elementals)
Jump to: navigation, search

An Elemental is a spirit embodying one of the elements of antiquity (earth, water, air, and fire). Anthropological records of indigenous beliefs and practices throughout the world show that the belief in Elementals predates all the major religions.

General description

Mme. Blavatsky states:

There are different classes [of elementals] for each plane, and division of plane, of nature. Many can never be recognized by men. And those pertaining to one plane do not act in another.[1]
In the Theosophical literature there is mention to three elemental kingdoms, which are evolving in the direction of humanity. Mme. Blavatsky wrote that "the inferior, semi-intelligent and non-intelligent Elementals—are all future men".[2] However, in Isis Unveiled she wrote that "such beings never become men".[3] The discrepancy may be explained if we interpret this last quote only in terms of the present manvantara.

Elementals are devoid of any sense of morality:

As to the moral character of elementals, they have none: they are colourless in themselves—except some classes—and merely assume the tint, so to speak, of the person using them.[4]

The elementals are formless, but may assume different shapes:

The shape given to or assumed by any elemental is always subjective in its origin. It is produced by the person who sees, and who, in order to be more sensible of the elemental’s presence, has unconsciously given it a form. Or it may be due to a collective impression on many individuals, resulting in the assumption of a definite shape which is the result of the combined impressions.[5]

Elementals may be employed "by living adepts of magic and sorcery, to produce desired phenomenal results".[6]

In The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett there is a mention to two kinds of elementals: the "Asuras", which have human form, and the "Beasts", which are animal elementals. They both are to become men in a future manvantara.[7]

Nature Spirits

Mme. Blavatsky defined elementals as follows:

Elementals. Spirits of the Elements. The creatures evolved in the four Kingdoms or Elements—earth, air, fire, and water. They are called by the Kabbalists, Gnomes (of the earth), Sylphs (of the air), Salamanders (of the fire), and Undines (of the water). Except a few of the higher kinds, and their rulers, they are rather forces of nature than ethereal men and women. These forces, as the servile agents of the Occultists, may produce various effects; but if employed by ”Elementaries” (q.v.) in which case they enslave the mediums—they will deceive the credulous. All the lower invisible beings generated on the 5th, 6th, and 7th planes of our terrestrial atmosphere, are called Elementals: Peris, Devs, Djins, Sylvans, Satyrs, Fauns, Elves, Dwarfs, Trolls, Kobolds, Brownies, Nixies, Goblins, Pinkies, Banshees, Moss People, White Ladies, Spooks, Fairies, etc., etc., etc.[8]

An early modern reference to this class of elementals appears in the 16th century alchemical works of Paracelsus. His works grouped the Elementals into four of the elements as follows:

  • Gnome: Earth Elemental.
  • Undines (also known as Nymph): Water Elemental.
  • Sylph: Air Elemental.
  • Salamander: Fire Elemental.

Elementals and thoughts

Mme. Blavatsky described the elementals as "centres of force or energy which are acted on by us while thinking and in other bodily motions. We also act on them and give them form."[9] Elementals "are constantly assuming the impression conveyed by the acts and thoughts of that person, and therefore, if he sets up a strong current of thought, he attracts elementals in greater numbers.[10]

In his first letter to A. O. Hume, Master K.H. wrote:

Every thought of man upon being evolved passes into the inner world and becomes an active entity by associating itself . . . with an elemental; that is to say with one of the semi-intelligent forces of the kingdoms. It survives as an active intelligence, a creature of the mind's begetting, for a longer or shorter period proportionate with the original intensity of the cerebral action which generated it. Thus, a good thought is perpetuated as an active beneficent power; an evil one as a maleficent demon. And so man is continually peopling his current in space with a world of his own, crowded with the offsprings of his fancies, desires, impulses, and passions, a current which reacts upon any sensitive or and nervous organisation which comes in contact with it in proportion to its dynamic intensity. . . . the Adept evolves these shapes consciously, other men throw them off unconsciously.[11]

For this reason, The Voice of the Silence states:

Ere thou canst near that goal . . . thou must have mustered all the mental changes in thy Self and slain the army of the thought sensations that, subtle and insidious, creep unasked within the Soul's bright shrine.
If thou would'st not be slain by them, then must thou harmless make thy own creations, the children of thy thoughts, unseen, impalpable, that swarm round humankind, the progeny and heirs to man and his terrestrial spoils.[12]

Elementals and Karma

Master K.H., when explaining to Mr. Hume how our thoughts and actions attract elementals, stated that "the Buddhist calls this his 'Skandha', the Hindu gives it the name of 'Karma'."[13] Mme. Blavatsky elaborated this concept further saying:

The elemental world has become a strong factor in the Karma of the human race. . . . In the earlier ages, when we may postulate that man had not yet begun to make bad Karma, the elemental world was more friendly to man because it had not received unfriendly impressions. But so soon as man began to become ignorant, unfriendly to himself and the rest of creation, the elemental world began to take on exactly the same complexion and return to humanity the exact pay, so to speak, due for the actions of humanity. . . . Being unconscious and only acting according to the natural laws of its being, the elemental world is a powerful factor in the workings of Karma. And so long as mankind does not cultivate brotherly feeling and charity towards the whole of creation, just so long will the elementals be without the impulse to act for our benefit. But so soon and wherever man or men begin to cultivate brotherly feeling and love for the whole of creation, there and then the elementals begin to take on the new condition.[14]
Elementals . . . are able, or rather it is possible for them, to enter into the sphere of unprotected persons, and especially those persons who are engaged in the study of occultism. And then they become agents in concentrating the karma of those persons, producing troubles and disasters often, or other difficulties which otherwise might have been so spread over a period of time as to be not counted more than the ordinary vicissitudes of life.[15]

Elementals and human constitution

Mme. Blavatsky explained that in the case of a person whose thoughts are consistent, he attracts elementals of the same kind, which can be regarded collectively as one elemental:

It is one mass of elementals similarly vibrating or electrified and colored, and in that sense may be called one elemental, in just the same way that we know one man as Jones, although for years he has been giving off and taking on new atoms of gross matter.[16]

Annie Besant and C. W. Leadbeater, working on similar lines, talked about the collection of elementals on the physical, emotional and mental levels as constituting three units of elementals.

Physical elemental

Desire-elemental

In his first letter to A. O. Hume, Master K.H. wrote:

Earth is the battle ground of moral no less than of physical forces; and the boisterousness of animal passions under the stimulus of the rude energies of the lower group of etheric agents, always tends to quench spirituality.[17]

Mental elemental

Online resources

Articles and pamphlets

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 105.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 277.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), xxix.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 110.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 400-A.
  6. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled vol. I, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1972), xxix.
  7. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence No. 68 (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 196.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 111-112.
  9. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 104.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 105.
  11. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence Appendix I (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 472.
  12. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Voice of the Silence (Adyar, Madras: Theosophical Publishing House, 1992), 55.
  13. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence Appendix I (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 472.
  14. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 111.
  15. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 111-112.
  16. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Collected Writings vol. IX (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1974), 105.
  17. Vicente Hao Chin, Jr., The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett in chronological sequence Appendix I (Quezon City: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 474.