LOTUSBLÜTEN (JOURNAL)



Lotusblüten “Blue Lotus” (1893-1900) and Neue Lotusblüten “New Blue Lotus” (1908-1913) were two theosophical magazines published by Franz Hartmann.





LOTUSBLÜTEN

It was a monthly journal containing articles and selected translations. The first edition appeared in March 1893 in Leipzig, the last in September 1900, thus there were altogether 96 editions. Franz Hartmann not only functioned as a publisher, but wrote also most of the published articles. The total number of pages of all editions during 1893 to 1900 was approx. 7300 pages, of this 6300 pages were written by Hartmann.

  • Table of contents in English in this (link)
  • All the volumes in German in this (link)




NEUE LOTUSBLÜTEN

It was now a bimonthly journal. The first edition appeared in June/July 1908 in Leipzig and Berlin, the last probably in November/December 1915. During the secured six years of existence of the magazine until 1913, the total number of pages was approximately 2400 pages. The edition of 1913, was published, because of Hartmann's death on 7 August 1912, by Paul Harald Grävell von Jostenoode (1856-1932). The new Lotusblüten did not reach the same level of quality as the first Lotusblüten.

  • Table of contents in English in this (link)
  • Unfortunately, this magazine has not yet been digitized.




A MODERN CASE OF VAMPIRISM by Franz Hartmann




In the night of December 31st, 1888, Mr. and Mrs. Rose (the names in this story are pseudonyms, but the facts are true) went to bed as poor people and on the morning of January 1st, 1889, they woke up, finding themselves rich.

An uncle to whom they owed their poverty because he kept them from coming into the legal possession of their rightful property, had died during that night.  There are some occurrences of an occult character, connected with this event, which will be interesting to those who wish to find practical proofs and demonstrations in their investigations of the “night-side of nature.”

Mr. Rose is a young, but very clever, professional man in this city, who being at the beginning of his career has, therefore, only an exceedingly limited number of clients.  His young wife is one of the most amiable ladies whom it has been my good fortune to meet; a spiritually minded woman and more of a poetess than an economist.  She had been brought up under the most affluent circumstances, her father being very rich, and she was the only and therefore the pet child in her luxurious home.

It would be too complicated a task to tell how it happened that the property which she inherited fell first into the hands of her uncle, a spiteful and avaricious man. Sufficient to say that this man, whom we will call Helleborus, had by his intrigues and law suits managed to keep Mrs. Rose’s property in his hands; giving her and her husband no support whatever. More than once they were forced to borrow money from their friends, in order to keep themselves from starvation.

As “Uncle Helleborus” was in the last stage of consumption their only hope was that his death would soon put an end to his law-suits, and bring them into possession of what rightfully belonged to them.

Uncle Helleborus, however, did not seem inclined to die.  Year after year he kept on coughing and expectorating; but with all that he outlived many who had predicted his death.  After making to Mr. and Mrs. Rose a proposal of a settlement, which would have left him in possession of nearly all the property and given to them only a pittance, he went to Meran, last autumn, to avoid the cold climate of Vienna.

Under their embarrassing circumstances, they were much inclined to accept the settlement; but they concluded to first consult about it a friend, an eminent lawyer; and this gentleman (whom we will call Mr. Tulip as everybody in Vienna knows his real name) advised them to the contrary.  This enraged Helleborus against Tulip; and, starting into a blind rage, he swore that if he found an opportunity for killing Tulip, he would surely do so.

Mr. Tulip was an extraordinarily strong, well-built and healthy man; but at the beginning of December last, soon after Mr. Helleborus’ departure for Meran, he suddenly failed in health.  The doctors could not locate his disease, and he grew rapidly thinner and weaker, complaining of nothing but extreme lassitude, and feeling like a person who was daily bled.  Finally, on the 20th day of December last, all Vienna was surprised to hear that Mr. Tulip had died.

Post-mortem examination showing all the organs in a perfectly normal condition, the doctors found nothing better but to register death from Marasmus (emaciation), as the cause of this extraordinary event.

Strange to say, during the last days of his disease (if it can be so called), when his mind became flighty, he often imagined that a stranger was troubling him, and the description which he gave of that invisible personage fitted Mr. Helleborus with perfect accuracy.

During Mr. Tulip’s sickness, news came from Meran that Mr. Helleborus was rapidly gaining strength and recovering from his illness in a most miraculous manner; but there were some people who expressed grave doubts as to whether this seeming recovery would be lasting.

On the day of Mr. Tulip’s funeral, a prominent Fellow of the Theosophical Society, now in Austria, remarked to Mrs. Rose:

-      “You will see that now that Mr. Tulip is dead, his vampire will die too.”

On January 1st, 1889, Mr. Rose dreamed that he saw Uncle Helleborus looking perfectly healthy.  He expressed his surprise about it, when a voice, as if coming from a long distance, said:

-      “Uncle Helleborus is dead!”

The voice sounded a second time, and this once far more powerfully, repeating the same sentence; and this time Mr. Rose awoke, with the sound of that voice still ringing in his ears, and communicated to his wife the happy news that “Uncle Helleborus was dead.”

Two hours afterwards a telegram came from Meran, announcing the demise of “Uncle Helleborus” which had occurred on that very night, and calling upon Mr. Rose to come and attend to the funeral.  It was found that Mr. Helleborus had begun to grow rapidly worse from the day when Mr. Tulip died.

The only rational explanation of such cases, I have found in Paracelsus. Perhaps the editor of the Lucifer revue can throw some additional light on the subject.


(Revue Lucifer, May 1889, p.241-242)




VAMPIRISM explained by Franz Hartmann





A class of phenomena which has given rise to many strange and horrible occurrences is that of vampirism, or the preying upon the vitality of a person and abstracting from him nervous force.

This kind of vampirism we meet every day and are ourselves often subjected to it. We often meet people whose very presence draws upon our strength and causes fatigue.

Sensitive, hysterical or mediumistic persons always vampirize each other. To magnetize, hypnotize or influence a person is a kind of obsession; to absorb the thought, magnetism or influence of another is a kind of vampirism, and there are persons who can live entirely upon the vitality of others.

I have already mentioned in a previous paper on "Metathesis” in this Occult Review (see link) the case of the “wonder girl" at Radein, who for seven years lived without food or drink, being nevertheless in good health. Instead of taking food she withdrew vitality from the children that were brought to her for the purpose of receiving her blessing.

Some of these children sickened, some wasted away and died. She did not do this consciously and willingly; for she was a very pious person and, owing to her long fasting, even considered a saint.


Many other persons of that kind are known in history; accounts of such sometimes appear in the papers, but they are soon hushed up, because our scientists cannot explain them; their science being still only superficially acquainted with certain natural laws.

Still, popular opinion claims that it is not healthy for young children to sleep with old people in their beds, and medical science silently approves of this view.

In the Bible it is claimed that when David grew old, a young girl was given to him to supply him with vitality, and not very many years ago certain institutions, based upon this principle, were existing in France. Young girls were supplied to old men or women as bedfellows.

Usually the old person (after having had to submit to certain precautionary measures) had to sleep between two girls, a fair-haired and a dark one; for which privilege he had to pay a certain sum. All of these girls soon lost vitality; some of them died; and these establishments were finally closed by order of the police.

~ * ~

This type of vampirism is called "Vampirism among the living”; but there is another kind of vampirism; namely, vampirism exercised by black magic, or sorcery, and the vampirism of the grave.





Vampirism exercised by black magic

Of vampirism exercised by witchcraft, the following may serve as an instance:

1) A miller hired a young man to labor in his mill. The boy was healthy and strong; but after a while he began to look pale and emaciated, and his strength grew less from day to day.

The miller asked him about his ailment; but the boy pretended not to know. At last, however, he confessed to him that every night near midnight something heavy, of the shape of a large-sized egg, was pressing upon his breast, causing a distressing nightmare, and rendering him unable to breathe or to move.

The miller thereupon watched at the bedside of the boy, and made him promise to give him a certain sign when he felt the presence of the vampire. The boy gave the sign, and the miller grasped with both hands that egg-shaped thing, which, although being invisible, seemed to the touch as if it were made of gelatin.

He carried it to the chimney and threw it into the fire, and the boy, after that time, was troubled no more. This story has been told to me by a relative who lived at the said mill when this occurrence took place.


2) The following is an extract from one of the numerous letters concerning such subjects which I often receive:

« Vienna, April 23, 1907.

     Dear Sir,

Permit me to ask your advice in regard to the following mysterious case: A woman in my neighborhood, a widow, is the mother of four children, of whom the two oldest ones are twins.

One of these, a beautiful girl, is fearfully troubled by what seems to me a mysterious invisible something, which almost every night presses upon her breast, drawing the vitality out of her, the body of the child growing cold and rigid as a corpse.

The vampire, or whatever it may be called, announces its coming by raps, moving of furniture and noises of various kinds. I may say that a year ago, shortly before the trouble began, the mother of the child had to dismiss a thieving servant woman, whereupon that woman pronounced a curse, and said she would be revenged upon the child.

The child was taken to the hospital, where they said it was “hysteria”; but they could do no good. While she was at the hospital the noises at the residence continued, and the mother received pinches, which caused swellings that remained visible for several days. Thanking you in advance for your answer.

Yours sincerely,
E. S. »



Explication

There are two obstacles in the way of understanding the nature of such cases:

Namely, the ignorance of the fact that vitality is not a product of the cellular activity of the natural body; but, on the contrary, the vitality of the body is a manifestation of the activity of life, which is a power as universal as magnetism or electricity.

And furthermore, there is the ignorance of the fact that this power can be attracted and employed, unconsciously by the majority of people and consciously by those who are acquainted with its laws.

I am often asked to advise some remedy against the influence of black magic or vampirism, and I know of no other than to restore the health of the body, and to render it thus impermeable to such influences. In regard to counteracting such influences, magic powers can be counteracted only by “magic,” i.e. spiritual power.

The best remedy, therefore, is the power of the true faith; namely, confidence in one's own divine self, by means of which a protective “astral" shell is formed around us, through which no evil influence can penetrate. By this means we may protect ourselves and even another, if we surround him with our aura.

This power, however, is at the present time not in everybody’s possession; those who can drive out demons are now as rarely to be found as at the time of Jesus of Nazareth; and it will probably be some time before the healing by the power of the Holy Spirit will become generally practiced by the medical fraternity as a whole.




The vampires of the grave

The vampires of the grave belong to another order; but such cases seem to be at present of very rare occurrence in civilized countries. They constitute a disgusting subject, which hardly needs to be discussed in this paper.

Some such cases, where the astral body of the dead kept the physical body in the grave in a state of preservation by supplying it with vitality obtained by vampirizing the living, are reported in Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled. I myself have no experience in this line.


(The Occult Review, May 1908, p.256-258, “Vampires”)




OBSERVATION

And I would add another type of vampirism, which is the energetic vampirism that the entities of the astral plane exert on the living humans that are in the physical plane and which probably is the most frequent. I detail more in this other article (What are the astral parasites?).






JOHN PORDAGE, A FORGOTTEN MYSTIC AND OCCULTIST




Very little seems to be at present known about John Pordage, a celebrated mystic of the sixteenth century, and I do not know whether any of his writings in English exist.  Nevertheless his views, as far as we know them, are well worthy our attention, for it appears that for a time he occupied about the same position in England in regard to mysticism, as Jacob Bohme did in Germany.

Their views were identical with only this difference, that Jacob Bohme was an illiterate shoemaker and his mode of expression is therefore somewhat difficult to understand, while John Pordage was a doctor of medicine, a highly educated person, a prominent physician, and a theologian at the same time, and consequently better able to express his thoughts in comprehensible language.

He lived at a time when there was quite an epidemic of witchcraft and sorcery and when the burning of witches was an everyday occurrence.  His views about the doings of the witches and their supposed meetings with devils are very interesting, as they throw some light not only upon the popular beliefs of those times, but upon certain occult events, whose actuality can hardly be doubted.

Pordage himself was led to the investigation of spiritual things by certain manifestations of occult and apparently demoniacal and magical powers, which took place at his home in the presence of his family and the neighbors, and annoyed them for many months.  Hosts of ugly demons appeared in bodily shapes and were seen by everybody present.  They were diffusing most terrible stenches; the whole neighborhood was disturbed and tormented by horrible and disgusting sights, insupportable noises, ghostly yells and screams and various painful sensations and horrors unequalled in the history of modern spiritism.

Thus, for instance, there appeared to him once at night a devil in the shape of a terrible dragon, with which he had to battle, and the combat lasted for two hours.  The dragon was so materialized and visible that it was also seen by Dr. Pordage's wife, who was present during the fight.  These tribulations lasted for several months; but finally the powers of darkness were conquered, the trouble ceased, and then a period of interior divine revelations began.

I am not acquainted with any of the writings of Dr. Pordage in English, and do not know whether any such can be found, but I have before me a very rare work, consisting of three volumes of about 800-900 pages each, which is a German translation of his English manuscripts, which seem never to have been published in English.

   The title is as follows:

Göttliche and Wahre Metaphysica Oder Wunderbare und Durch Erfahrung erlangte Wissenschaft Der ewigen and unsichtbaren Dinge Entdeckt durch Dr. Joh. Pordaedsche. Frankfurth and Leipzig i. 7, i. 5. (1)

It is quite interesting to hear how Dr. Pordage arrived at his superior knowledge, and it is remarkable that his exposition of the principles in the constitution of man corresponds to that which we find in the modern theosophical teachings as given out by H. P. Blavatsky.

He says:

« The Holy Ghost guided my own spirit, after the separation from my mortal body and its sinful soul, into the stillness of eternity. There I stood with my own eternal spirit, as an individual spirit among innumerable individual spirits, such as are in the most holy sanctuary. There I saw, heard, tasted and felt all that I have written concerning the first and primeval world or principle of eternity.

During this change I recognized two men within myself, an external and an internal man. The inner man lives invisibly within the external one. My external self was mortal, but the internal self was immortal, and moreover, I knew that the external man [astral body] had for its dwelling the carnal body [physical form] and was in possession of a mortal soul [kama], but the internal man had an internal soul [buddhi-manas] quite different from the mortal soul, and could not die. These two souls lived the one within the other, as though they were only one soul. They were nevertheless two souls; but the external did not know the internal soul.

Furthermore, I perceived that the external man had an external mortal spirit [kama-manas], which belonged to him and which he had received from the spirit of this (external world). It was born only for this world and doomed to die within a certain time, according to its astral constellations. Furthermore I saw clearly that the eternal soul of my inner man had an eternal immortal spirit [buddhi] born in eternity [atma]; that it was descended from eternity (2), and consequently immortal.

I then clearly observed that this eternal spirit is hidden within the temporal and mortal spirit, living within the same as if they both were only one spirit, although they both differ from each other, and the mortal spirit cannot comprehend the immortal one, although the latter lives and is active within the former. (3)

The outward spirit, belonging to the external man is nothing more than the natural spirit (4); but the eternal spirit, belonging to the inner man is the understanding (5) within the natural spirit. The physical body is being divested of its clothes at bed-time; likewise the natural spirit may divest itself of the visible form of flesh at the time of death, and the eternal spirit, when passing from this world into eternity, always divests itself of the natural spirit and leaves it in the lower world. (6)

Within the realm of eternity all things are perceived, known, and understood in their own essence, such as they are in reality. The eternal spirit has its own understanding within its own mind, and within the mind its own faculty of seeing, its own eye and perception. This spiritual seeing takes place by means of the spirit of faith uniting itself with the understanding of the eternal spirit, and illuminating the mind with a light which cannot err, but which dwells, lives and moves within the eternal mind and reveals to it everything. »


It seems that the dual nature of man has never been better explained than in the above lines.  It makes it clear that it is of the highest importance for us to become conscious of our own higher and immortal Self, the Master in us, whose presence is realized only by few.

Pordage therefore admonishes us, that we ought not to waste our time by striving to attain merely external knowledge, and that we should not fill our minds with images of all kinds, which renders our hearts full of vanity and makes us believe that we have very high knowledge, while in reality we know nothing real.

Our own fancies create the clouds which hinder the light of divine wisdom from entering our minds and revealing the supreme mysteries of Nature.  Only to the pure in heart will they become manifest. (7)

To cultivate the love of God is more serviceable for our progress, than to puzzle our brains.  Never dispute or quarrel with anybody about differences of opinion; but seek to penetrate within yourself to the divine fountain of truth.  However: "it is to our own advantage to give credit to such persons as are known to us to be trustworthy and honest, if they communicate to us the result of their spiritual experience and use their knowledge for our progress in divine love."

We are perfectly willing to apply this rule to the teachings of John Pordage, in so far as they refer to morals and to descriptions of divine and spiritual realms, hell and paradise, their inhabitants, government, bodily shapes, speech and occupations, etc; but when he comes to describe the doings of witches, our credulity falters and gives way to scepticism, because we cannot make up our minds that in those old superstitions, which have been exploded by modern science, there may be a kernel of truth.

He, for instance, claims that the witches used to be transported in their physical material bodies through the air, when they went to their meetings.  However, such transportations of still living persons have actually taken place in our times, and during the Middle Ages conditions may have been still more favorable for such feats.  Such things have recently occurred in Italy; and accounts of it appeared in most of the European daily papers. (8)

He says:

« If any one asks, how is it possible that witches and sorcerers, after having anointed their foreheads and wrists with a certain ointment, may be carried bodily away through the air, flying in a very short time over all houses and steeples?

My answer is: Such a carrying away into far away places is due to their ministering spirits; for they are the wooden horses upon which they ride, and the broomsticks upon which the witches are sitting are only like shadows. Their own devil, dwelling within themselves, is their carrier. If you believe such a thing impossible, you may accuse your own ignorance; because you do not know the nature of a devil or lost spirit.

Although you do not understand how these things are performed, nevertheless the witch will be carried away bodily and with her clothing, and not merely as a spirit that left its body behind. It is no dream nor phantasy, but an actual carrying away in a magical manner. The anointing in such cases is not essential: it is merely a ceremony for the purpose of deluding the witches and giving support to their faith. The witches themselves do not know more about the way in which they are carried off than the broom stick upon which they ride. »


We may laugh at such theories, but within the last few years a great many things which heretofore were considered impossible have been discovered to be actual facts.  "Old superstitions" some times become scientific realities when they appear in new form and are given new names.  Perhaps the next discovery will be that our astral form is our real body and our material appearance only its shadowy form; the spiritual world, the real one; our visible world a passing illusion.

There is no doubt that during the medieval age many thousands of people accused of witchcraft were tortured to death or lost their lives by fire at the stake.  Some were merely victims of clerical greed or jealousy, others were unfortunate mediums; but there were also those who willfully gave over their bodies to the possession of evil spirits and thus made a compact with them.  Modern progress has thrown overboard a great many uncracked nuts with shells made of superstitions, without discovering the kernels contained therein.

Superficially considered, the writings of Pordage may appear to be occasionally tainted by the orthodox views of those times; but the attentive reader will find them quite different.  He does not insist upon the necessity of a belief in the historical existence of a human personality called the Christ; but teaches the presence of the essential Christ within ourselves and everywhere.

He says:

« Christ in us is nothing else but the essential Christ of God, the eternal Word of the Father (clothed in his sanctified humanity), of which Paul testifies that it is a hidden mystery (to the profane) but manifests in his saints. Therefore Christ in us is called the spirit of Christ; because it is to be understood as being a supremely holy divine power, emanating from the God-Man Christ (the Divinity in Humanity), and having selected its seat within our own heart, as centre for its manifestation.

Thus the eternal Word, (whether outside of us or within us), is our redeemer in no other way but by assuming human nature, and the God-Man the Christ, inside and outside, is one and the same, and our only means for becoming divine and entering into communion with God.

The hidden mystery of Christ is his being born in us, his death in us, his resurrection and ascension in us. Thus the essential Christ has been within his saints at all times and before his visible appearance in a body of flesh. He has been the same, yesterday and to day and in all eternity has he (the Divinity in Humanity) been born, suffered, died, resurrected and ascended to heaven within (the hearts of) his saints. » (9)


« The great mystery does not consist in believing in a glorified Christ in a far away heaven, or in a dead and crucified Christ in a tomb. The Word is near to ourselves, it is in our hearts, and this Word is the same that was in the beginning with God. How mistaken are those bigots, who teach that all the heathen and others, who do not believe in the Christ as a historical person, are doomed to perdition, although they never heard of that person!

All the saints before the advent of Christianity have had the Christ, the mystery of the Father (the consciousness of Divine Being), within themselves. This secret has not been discovered merely by some mystical writers among the Germans (10); but many of our English nation (Parker, Dayton and others) have also most seriously and with a great deal of courage maintained its truth. »


« A real Christian is one who is reborn in the spirit of Christ. This is a great mystery; consider it well; because upon this depends your salvation. If thy spirit grasps this secret, thou wilt be free of thy selfhood; if it grasps it not, thou wilt still be chained to the illusion of Self. All the (orthodox) teaching about vicarious atonements, which makes the people believe that the historical Christ once and for all suffered and died and that one needs nothing else but to believe in that history, is pure Babel and a mere form.

You will for ever remain excluded from Christ, in spite of what he may have done for you, unless you will die to your adopted selfhood and become a child of divine grace. No one in his selfhood can by the power of his self-will inherit the state of eternal being, because wherever there are two kinds of will there is enmity, and if any one desires to live in the will of God, he must conform his will to the divine will and to the Word that speaks within the heart. »


But it is not within the scope of this article to enter into a detailed exposition of the teachings of Pordage. To do him justice it would be necessary to translate and comment on all of these three volumes. This will perhaps be done by somebody at a time when the world has become more enlightened and more capable of receiving spiritual truth.


FRANZ HARTMANN, M. D.



Notes

  1. Divine and true Metaphysics, or wonderful experimental science regarding eternal and invisible things, discovered by Dr. John Pordage.
  2. This is the doctrine of Reincarnation.
  3. “Two souls alas! Are dwelling in my breast.” – Goethe's Faust.
  4. The intellectual reasoning man.
  5. Spiritual consciousness.
  6. This may explain the platitude of most of the so-called spirit communications.
  7. Comp. The Word. Vol. iv., No. 6., New York.
  8. See “Magical Metathesis” in the Occult Review, Vol. iv., London, July, 1906.
  9. Vol. III., Tr. V., Chap. X. § i-ii.
  10. Refers to J. Bohme.


(The Theosophist, April 1909, vol. 30, p.22-27)