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A Treatise on White Magic - Introductory Remarks
Man's Three Aspects

One of the main means whereby man arrives at an understanding of that great sum total we, call the Macrocosm - God, functioning through a solar system - is by an understanding of himself, and the Delphic injunction "Man, know thyself" was an inspired utterance, intended to give man the clue to the mystery of deity. Through the Law of Analogy, or correspondences, the cosmic processes, and the nature of the cosmic principles are indicated in the functions, structure, and characteristics of a human being. They are indicated but not explained or elaborated. They serve simply as sign posts, directing man along the path whereon future sign posts may be found and more definite indications noted.

The comprehension of that triplicity of spirit, soul, and body lies as yet beyond man's achievement, but an idea as to their relationship and their general coordinated function may be indicated by a consideration of man from the physical side, and his objective functioning.

There are three aspects of man's organism which are symbols, and symbols only, of the three aspects of being.

1. The energy, or activating principle, which withdraws mysteriously at death, partially withdraws in the hours of sleep or of unconsciousness, and which seems to use the brain as its main seat of activity and from there to direct the functioning of the organism. This energy has a primary direct relation with the three parts of the organism which we call the brain, the heart, and the breathing apparatus. This is the microcosmic symbol of spirit.

2. The nervous system, with its complexities of nerves, nerve centers and that multiplicity of interrelated and sensitive parts which serve to coordinate the organism, [19] to produce the sensitive response which exists between the many organs and parts which form the organism as a whole, and which serve also to make the man aware of, and sensitive to, his environment. This entire sensory apparatus is that which produces the organized awareness and coordinated sensitivity of the entire human being, first, within itself as a unit, and secondly, its responsiveness and sensitive reaction to the world within which it plays its part. This nervous structure, coordinating, correlating, and producing an outer and inner group activity demonstrates primarily through the three parts of the nervous system.

  1. Cerebro-spinal system.
  2. Sensory system of nerves.
  3. Peripheral system of nerves.

It is closely associated with the energy aspect, being the apparatus utilized by that energy to vitalize the body, to produce its coordinated activity and functioning, and to bring about an intelligent rapport with the world in which it has to play its part. It lies back, if one might use such an expression, of the body-nature proper, back of the mass of the flesh and bone and muscle. It in its turn, is motivated by and controlled by two factors:

  1. The sum total of the energy which is the individual quota of vital energy.
  2. The energy of the environment in which the individual finds himself and within which he has to function and to play his part.

This coordinating nervous system, this network of interrelating and sensitive nerves is the symbol in man of the soul, and an outer and visible form of an inner spiritual reality.

3. There is finally what might be described as the body, the sum total of flesh, of muscle, and of bone which the [20] man carries around, correlated by the nervous system and energized by what we vaguely call his "life".

In these three, the life, the nervous system and the body mass we find the reflection and the symbol of the greater whole, and by a close study of these, and a comprehension of their functions and group relation, we can arrive at an understanding of some of the laws and principles which direct the activities of "God in nature" - a phrase, sublimely true and equally finitely false.

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