The Black Magician … by the Theosophists

Revised and reposted from 1 December 2013

Dear Ones,

Sometimes spiritual adepts use black magic for the advancement of their religious organization, or to improve their standing among their peers. Personal results of this misuse of third eye-point energy are quaintly laid out below. Enough to give me the willies!

Here are excerpts from “The Causal Body and the Ego,” (1) by Arthur E. Powell, along with my comments in blue font.

THE BLACK MAGICIAN … excerpts from “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell (1)

“The most disastrous catastrophe which can occur to an ego [in this context, ‘ego’ corresponds to the popular notion of ‘Soul’. –Alice] is that in which the personality captures the part of the ego which is put down [extended down from the Soul to the world of matter], and actually causes it to break away. Such cases are exceedingly rare, but they have happened.

“This time the hand (c) instead of repelling the arm (b), and driving it gradually back into the body (a), by degrees absorbs the arm (b) and detaches it from the body (a) [The letters in parentheses refer to Diagram XXVI, below. The terms ‘body’, ‘arm’ and ‘hand’ refer to successively smaller portions of the Soul field that have dipped down into the material world. See diagram XXVI below. –Alice]


Image: “Diagram XXVI.–The Causal Body as a Chalice,” in “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XXV. The Ego and His ‘Investment’,” page 176, . This public domain book is also available for sale here: ..

Image: “Diagram XXVI.–The Causal Body as a Chalice,” in “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XXV. The Ego and His ‘Investment’,” page 176, . This public domain book is also available for sale here: ..

“Diagram XXVIIIC illustrates such a case….


Image: “Diagram XXVIII.–The Ego and His Investment (II),” in “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XXV. The Ego and His ‘Investment’,” page 181, . This public domain book is also available for sale here: ..

Image: “Diagram XXVIII.–The Ego and His Investment (II),” in “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XXV. The Ego and His ‘Investment’,” page 181, . This public domain book is also available for sale here: ..

“This could be accomplished only by determined persistence in deliberate evil, in short, by black magic. Continuing the analogy, this is equivalent to amputation at the shoulder, or to the loss by the ego of nearly all his available capital. Fortunately for him, he cannot lose everything, because the arm… and the hand… together are only a small proportion of the body…, and behind … is the great undeveloped portion of the ego,on the first and second mental sub-planes. Mercifully a man, however incredibly foolish or wicked, cannot completely wreck himself, for he cannot bring that higher part of the causal body into activity, until he has reached a level at which such evil is unthinkable.

“There are certain men, who deliberately set them selves in opposition to nature and, instead of working for unity, towards which the whole force of the universe is pressing, they debase every faculty they possess for purely selfish ends. They spend their lives striving for separateness, and for a long time they attain it : it is said that the sensation of being utterly alone in space is the most awful fate that can ever befall a man.

“This extraordinary development of selfishness is, of course, the characteristic of the black magician, and it is among their ranks only that men can be found who are in danger of this terrible fate. Many and loathsome as are their varieties, they may all be classed in one or other of two great divisions. Both classes use such occult arts as they possess for selfish purposes, but these purposes differ.

“In the commoner and less formidable type, the object pursued is the gratification of sensual desire of some sort: naturally, the result of such a life is to centre the man’s energy in his astral body.

“Having succeeded in killing out from himself every unselfish or affectionate feeling, every spark of higher impulse, nothing is left but a remorseless, ruthless monster of lust,who finds himself after death neither able nor desiring to rise above the lowest subdivisions, of the astral plane. The whole of such mind as he has is absolutely in the grip of desire, and, when the struggle takes place, the ego can recover none of it, and in consequence finds himself seriously weakened.

“For the time being he has cut himself off from the current of evolution, and so, until he can return to incarnation, he stands – or so it seems to him -outside that evolution, in the condition of avichi, the waveless. Even when he does return to incarnation, it cannot be among those whom he has known before, for he has not enough available capital left, to provide ensoulment for a mind and body at his previous level. He must now be content, therefore, to occupy vehicles of a far less evolved type, belonging to some earlier race. He has thus thrown himself far back in evolution, and must climb over again many rungs of the ladder.

“He will probably be born as a savage, but will most likely be a chief among them, as he will still have some intellect. It has been said that he may even throw himself so far back that he may be unable to find in the world, in its present condition, any type of human body low enough for the manifestation which he now requires, so that he may be incapacitated from taking any further part in the Scheme of evolution, and may therefore have … to wait, in a kind of condition of suspended animation, for the commencement of another.

“Meanwhile, the amputated personality, having broken the ‘silver thread that binds it to the Master’, is, of course, no longer a permanent evolving entity, but remains full of vigorous and wholly evil life, entirely without remorse or responsibility. As it is destined to disintegrate amidst the unpleasant surroundings of the ‘eighth sphere’, it tries to maintain some sort of existence on the physical plane as long as possible. The sole means of prolonging its baneful existence is vampirism of some sort: when that fails, it has been known to seize upon any available body, driving out the lawful owner.

“The body chosen might very probably be that of a child, both because it might be expected to last longer, and because an ego, which had not yet really taken hold, could be more easily dispossessed.

“In spite of its frenzied efforts, its power seems soon to fail, and it is said there is no instance on record of its successfully stealing a second body, after its first theft is worn out. The creature is a demon of the most terrible type, a monster for whom there is no permanent place in the scheme of evolution to which we belong.

“Its natural tendency, therefore, is to drift out of this evolution and to be drawn into that astral cesspool known as the ‘eighth sphere’, because what passes into it stands outside the ring of our seven worlds, or globes, and cannot return, into their evolution. There, surrounded by loathsome relics of all the concentrated vileness of the ages that are past, burning ever with desire, yet without the possibility of satisfaction, this monstrosity slowly decays, its mental and causal matter being thus at last set free. Such matter will never rejoin the ego from which it has torn itself, but will be distributed among the other matter of the plane, to enter gradually into fresh combinations, and so be put to better uses. Such entities are, as already stated,… exceedingly rare: and, moreover, they have power to seize only those who have in their nature pronounced defects of a kindred type.”

“The other type of black magician, in outward appearance more respectable, is yet really even more dangerous, because more powerful. This is the man who, instead of giving himself up altogether to sensuality, sets before himself the goal of a more refined but not less unscrupulous selfishness. His object is the acquisition of occult power higher and wider, but still to be used always for his own gratification and advancement, to further his own ambition, or satisfy his own revenge.

“In order to gain this, he adopts the most rigid asceticism as regards mere fleshly desires, and starves out the grosser particles of his astral body, as perseveringly as does the pupil of the Great White Brotherhood. But, though it is only a less material kind of desire, with which he will allow his mind to become entangled, the centre of his energy is none the less entirely in his personality.

“When therefore, the separation, at the end of the astral life, takes place, the ego is unable to recover any of his investment. For this man the result is, therefore, much the same as in the former case, except that he will remain in touch with the personality much longer, and will to some extent share its experiences, so far as it is possible for an ego to share them.

“The fate of that personality, however, is very different. The comparatively tenuous, astral integument is not strong enough to hold it for any length of time on the astral plane, and yet it has entirely lost touch with the heaven-world, which should have been its habitat. For the whole effort of the man’s life has been to kill out such thoughts as naturally find their result at that level. His one endeavour has been to oppose natural evolution, to separate himself from the great whole, and to war against it ; and, as far as the personality is concerned, he has succeeded. It is cut off from the light and life of the solar system,: … all that is left to it is the sense of absolute isolation, of being alone in the universe.

“Thus, in this rare case, the lost personality practically shares the fate of the ego from which it is in process of detaching itself. But, in the case of the ego, such an experience is only temporary, although it may last for what we would call a very long time, and the end of it will be reincarnation, and a fresh opportunity.

“For the personality, however, the end is disintegration – the invariable end, of course, of that which has cut itself off from its source.

“In a case of this kind, involving the loss of an entire personality, the ego does no evil intentionally. He has let the personality get out of hand, and for that he is responsible. He is therefore responsible for weakness, rather than for direct evil. Whilst the ego has fallen back terribly, yet he does go on: probably not immediately, because he seems to be stunned at first.

“After such an experience, an ego would always be peculiar. He would be dissatisfied, and would have recollections of something higher and greater than now he could reach. It is a fearful condition, but still the ego has to take the karma of it, and realise that he has brought it upon himself.

“It is reported that there is another even more remote possibility. Just as the hand (c) may absorb the arm (b) and revolt against the body (a), setting up on its own account and breaking away altogether, it is (or at any rate has been in the past) just possible that the disease of separateness and selfishness may infect the body (a) also. even it is then absorbed into the monstrous growth of evil, and may be torn away from the undeveloped portion of the ego, so that hte causal body itself may be hardened and carried away, instead of only the personality. Diagram XXVIIID illustrates this case.

“This class of case would correspond, not to an amputation, but to an entire destruction of the body. Such an ego could not reincarnate in the human race; ego though it be, it would fall into the depths of animal life, and would need at least a whole Chain period to regain the status which it had lost. This, though theoretically possible, is practically scarcely conceivable. It will be noted, however, that even in this case the undeveloped part of the ego remains as the vehicle of the monad.” –the above text is from (1) pp 180-6

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars


(1) “The Causal Body and the Ego,” by Arthur E. Powell, “Ch XXV. The Ego and His ‘Investment’,” . This public domain book is also available for sale here: ..

[paragraphing and bracketed editorial comments are mine. –Alice]

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. For instance, the excerpts from “The Causal Body and the Ego” are in the public domain.


black magic, Theosophy, dark network, ego, Arthur E. Powell, black magician, Soul, psychic powers, Theosophy, spiritual adepts, Arthur E. Powell, black magician,

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