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A Treatise on White Magic - Introductory Remarks
Man knows himself to be a living being and calls death that mysterious process wherein something which he [30] commonly designates as the breath of life is withdrawn. On its withdrawal, the form disintegrates. The cohesive vitalizing force is gone and this produces a falling apart into its essential elements of that which has hitherto been regarded as the body.

This life principle, this basic essential of Being, and this mysterious elusive factor is the correspondence in man of that which we call spirit or life in the macrocosm. Just as the life in man holds together, animates, vitalizes and drives into activity the form and so makes of him a living being, so the life of God - as the Christian calls it, - performs the same purpose in the universe and produces that coherent, living, vital ensemble which we call a solar system.

This life principle in man manifests ill a triple manner:

  1. As the directional will, purpose, basic incentive. This is the dynamic energy which sets his being functioning, brings him into existence, fixes the term of his life, carries him through the years, long or short, and abstracts itself at the close of his life cycle. This is the spirit in man, manifesting as the will to live, to be, to act, to pursue, to evolve. In its lowest aspect this works through the mental body or nature, and in connection with the dense physical makes itself felt through the brain.
  2. As the coherent force. It is that significant essential quality which makes each man different, which produces that complex manifestation of moods, desires, qualities, complexes, inhibitions, feelings, and characteristics which produce a man's peculiar psychology. This is the result of the interplay between the spirit or energy aspect and the matter or body nature. This is the distinctive subjective, man, his coloring, or individual note; this it is which sets the [31] rate of vibratory activity of his body, produces his particular type of form, is responsible for the condition and nature of his organs, his glands, and his outer aspects. This is the soul and - in its lowest aspect - is to be seen working through the emotional or astral nature and, in connection with the dense physical body, through the heart.
  3. As the activity of the atoms and cells of which the physical body is composed. It is the sum total of those little lives of which the human organs, comprising the entire man, are composed. These have a life of their own and a consciousness which is strictly individual and identified. This aspect of the life principle works through the etheric or vital body and, in connection with the solid mechanism of the tangible form, through the spleen.
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