I saw in my sleep a cart-horse who, coming to me, conversed with me in what seemed a perfectly simple and natural manner, for it caused me no surprise that he should speak. And this is what he said:—
"Kindness to animals of the gentler orders is the very foundation of civilisation. For it is the cruelty and harshness of men towards the animals under their protection which is the cause of the present low standard of humanity itself. Brutal usage creates brutes; and the ranks of mankind are constantly recruited from spirits already hardened and depraved by a long course of ill-treatment. Nothing developes the spirit so much as sympathy. Nothing cultivates, refines, and aids it in its progress towards perfection so much as kind and gentle treatment. On the contrary, the brutal usage and want of sympathy with which we meet at the hands of men, stunt our development and reverse all the currents of a our nature. We grow coarse with coarseness, vile with reviling, and brutal with the brutality of those who surround us. And when we pass out of this stage we enter on the next depraved and hardened, and with the bent of our dispositions such that we are ready by our nature to do in our turn that which has been done to us. The greater number of us, indeed, know no other or better way. For the spirit learns by experience and imitation, and inclines necessarily to do those things which it has been in the habit of seeing done. Humanity will never become perfected until this doctrine is understood and received and made the rule of conduct."
—Paris, Oct. 28, 1879
* * * * *
I was visited last night in my sleep by one whom I presently recognised as the famous Adept and Mystic of the first century of our era, Apollonius of Tyana, called the " Pagan Christ." He was clad in a grey linen robe with a hood, like that of a monk, and had a smooth, beardless face, and seemed to be between forty and fifty years of age. He made himself known to me by asking if I had heard of his lion.* He commenced by speaking of Metempsychosis, concerning which he informed
————- * This was a tame captive lion, in whom Apollonius is said to have recognised the soul of the Egyptian King Amasis, who had lived 500 years previously. The lion burst into tears at the recognition, and showed much misery. (Author's Note.) —————
me as follows:—"There are two streams or currents, an upward and a downward one, by which souls are continually passing and repassing as on a ladder. The carnivorous animals are souls undergoing penance by being imprisoned for a time in such forms on account of their misdeeds. Have you not heard the story of my lion?" I said yes, but that I did not understand it, because I thought it impossible for a human soul to suffer the degradation of returning into the body of a lower creature after once attaining humanity. At this he laughed out, and said that the real degradation was not in the penance but in the sin. "It is not by the penance, but by incurring the need of the penance, that the soul is degraded. The man who sullies his humanity by cruelty or lust, is already degraded thereby below humanity; and the form which his soul afterwards assumes is the mere natural consequence of that degradation. He may again recover humanity, but only by means of passing through another form than that of the carnivora. When you were told * that certain creatures were redeemable or not redeemable, the meaning was this: They who are redeemable may, on leaving their present form, return directly into humanity. Their penance is accomplished in that form, and in it, therefore, they are redeemed. But they who are not redeemable, are they whose sin has been too deep or too ingrained to suffer them to return until they have passed through other lower forms. They are not redeemable therein, but will be on ascending again. Others, altogether vile and past redemption, sink continually lower and lower down the stream, until at length they burn out. They shall neither be redeemed in the form they now occupy, nor in any other."
—Paris, May 11, 1880
————— * The reference is to an instruction received by her four years previously, but not in sleep, and not from Apollonius, though from a source no less transcendental. (Ed.)
*** Remembering, on being told this dream, that "Eliphas Levi," in his Haute Magic, had described an interview with the phantom of Apollonius, which he had evoked, I referred to the book, and found that he also saw him with a smooth-shaven face, but wearing a shroud (linceul). (Ed.)