Editor’s Note by H.P.B. on an article by Gustave Zorn

[Note: in the article, Zorn relays the story of a 15 year old girl who claimed to have witnessed the deceased father of a young man moving about the mortuary chamber where the young man’s corpse was laid. The girl described seeing the father remove and then return some books from a hidden recess in the room. Later, the girl’s father and others found the recess, and the books hidden therein.]

Editor’s Note. [H.P.B.]—We have the pleasure of personal correspondence with the husband of the “young lady’s” daughter, a gentleman of Odessa, personally known to, and highly respected by, the writer’s friends and near relatives. The facts, as above given, and coming, as they do, from a thoroughly trustworthy source, would seem to checkmate the king on the Theosophical side, and put the doctrines of the Theosophists in an awkward predicament. Nothing of the kind, however, need be confessed to by one capable of looking beneath the surface, although the facts disclosed in the above narrative are not quite sufficient to allow us to come to a definite conclusion. This plea of insufficient data may appear rather strange at first sight, but the strangeness on closer examination will disappear entirely. No information is given above as to the age of the younger brother at the time of the father’s death; nor as to the latter’s feelings and anxieties at the time of death with regard to his motherless boy. We are, in consequence, obliged to make some assumptions, which all the surrounding circumstances most clearly suggest; if, however, they are unwarranted by facts, we beg further particulars will be forwarded to us. It is but natural that the father should have felt unusually strong solicitude for the future of his young son, deprived, at a tender age, of both his parents; and the more so if his apprehensions for the continued honour of the family, of which, like all German aristocrats, he must have been extremely jealous, were roused, by early indications of the vicious habits [i.e. of committing theft] which subsequently developed in his son so strongly. After this, the explanation becomes easy enough. The dying thought of the father, worked up to its highest pitch, under the circumstances described, established a magnetic link between the son and the astral shell of the father in Kamaloka. It is a well known fact that fear or great anxiety for everything left behind on earth is capable of retaining a shell, which must have otherwise dissolved, for a longer period in the earth’s atmosphere than it would in the event of a quiet death. Although the shell when left to itself is incapable of acquiring any fresh impressions, yet, when galvanised, so to say, by rapport with a medium, it is quite capable of living for years a vicarious life and receiving all the impressions of the medium. Another fact must always be borne in mind in seeking for an explanation of the phenomena of mediumship—namely, that the average stay of shells in Kamaloka before final disintegration is sometimes of very long duration. 25 to 30 years would not be too long, with a medium to preserve its vitality. With these preliminary observations, the present problem becomes easy of solution. The young man who met with such a tragic end was probably a medium to his father’s shell, and thereby gave it a knowledge of all the incidents of his wild and sinful career. The mute witness of the shell’s materialisation in the mortuary chamber must also have been a medium herself, and thus helped that phenomenon to take place. The dying young man’s contrition for his vicious life and anxiety to save the honour of the family, were reflected upon the father’s astral shell with all the intensity of dying energy, and gave rise to all that followed.