Prophecy, by Lady Hester Stanhope

The star of prophecy shines in the east. To those nations who were first in the order of creation belongs by right the power of investigating the mysteries of life.

The people of the East have been known in all past history for their gift of prophecy.

As water gravitates to its level, so I gravitated to the East.

I left my native land, and for many years sojourned among the wandering Arabs. This course of action was not understood by my countrymen. They could not see the mystic star that drew me away from their busy haunts. The Magi of the East had stood at my cradle and endowed me with the noble gift of the Seeress.

The power of reading the future does not belong to the Northern people. It is the darkest and deepest well that reflects the star above it; the dark and swarthy East is thus endowed. The pale North cannot give out impressions. I was an exception to this rule.

There are those who at birth are possessed of Eastern spirits—Asiatics. Andrew Jackson Davis is not a Northern man—he is an Asiatic. Look at his olive complexion, his keen eye, his beard and hair of jetty black, his visage,—all betray the race which inspired him.

The faculty of discerning the future belongs only to certain races, and it cannot be universal. Many spirits profess to read the future, but few can do so correctly.

Yet the life of man is mapped out in every particular, even before his birth. Men are like planets. The future of the planet Earth could have been foretold before it was thrown off from the sun and while it was yet in a molten state; so each step in an individual life could be foretold: yet it requires ability to enter into the peculiar magnetic condition in order to obtain the power of foretelling. It may be said if the future of man is thus mapped out, even as was the creation and progression of the earth, it becomes merely a scientific affair to prophesy the future of any given individual. This is true, but the inquirer will observe how many hundreds and hundreds of years science has been engaged in discovering facts concerning this world's history. The eye of prophecy could foresee those facts and foretell them, though it could not lay down any scientific basis in regard to them.

The events which will take place to-morrow may be said to have already transpired.

The water that is rising from yon creek will increase in volume. Conditions which have been for days and weeks in preparation will suddenly conspire, causing the stream to rise to such a height that the city will be overflowed, bridges swept away, and certain individuals submerged by the current and their lives lost.

This disastrous occurrence is governed by a law which the keen observer of nature could have foretold years previous to the event.

As in the natural world the traveller in the desert beholds the mirage of some city which is hundreds of miles distant, suddenly arising upon the sandy waste, so, in the spirit world, the spectrum form is projected, and events which are to take place are made visible before their actual occurrence. But, as in the natural world spectrum forms occur only under certain atmospheric conditions, so in the spirit world it is the conjunction of circumstances and the blending of magnetic currents that make it possible for coming events to be revealed upon the level plane which is set apart for this purpose in the summer land.

Man at the present day is so constituted that a revealment to him of coming events in detail would be injurious; and experience proves that such disclosures, when made to him in dreams or otherwise, are profitless, as he always fails to foil the evil of which he is forewarned.

History and biography show that individuals have time and again, been admonished by their assiduous friends of evils or calamities that were to befall them, yet the admonition, though timely given, seldom enabled them to avoid their fate. Men have been warned of murderous assaults, but they have not evaded them; premonitions have been given of falling buildings, and these have fallen, involving in their destruction the loss of the individual's life at the precise date which his dream foreshadowed.

The time will come in the far future when man will understand prophecy as a science. There are few persons living at the present day, who, looking back upon their past history, would conscientiously wish it had been all revealed to them at the outset of their career.

The withered, faded beauty, at the dawn of her life of youthful triumph could not have endured a vision of the haggard unfortunate wretch which she would represent in the course of a few years.

These remarks apply more especially to the so-called civilized state of society at the present day.

The semi-barbarous nations, so termed, are in closer sympathy with nature. Life and death, prosperity and adversity, are to them as natural effects as the sunshine and rain of the terrestrial globe.

Their equanimity, their perfect repose upon the bosom of nature, causes them to see more clearly into the future than do civilized nations. There is a spirit of prophecy which does not comprehend the detail, and only takes cognizance of the grand events of life.

This prophetic condition is attainable by every being in a certain state of exaltation.

The poet, the painter, the statesman, the preacher, can alike in moments of ecstasy ascend this mount of inspiration, and foretell the advancement of the world in relation to art, science, and spiritual development. But the oracle, the sybil of the East can penetrate a height beyond and above this mount, and can perceive the detail of an individual life in its minutest events.

The Bible prophecy which foretold that "knowledge should cover the earth, even as the waters cover the sea," and that "the wilderness should blossom as the rose," was given in an ecstatic vision, and was simply a spiritual comprehension of the power of soul over matter.

As a knowledge of distance is relative, a keen perception on the part of the prophet revealed to him, as he beheld the birds soaring in air, that the journey to lands beyond the sea was no greater distance to those winged creatures than a few miles would be to him. The prophecy Isaiah made more than eighteen hundred years ago, is fulfilled to-day. Science has annihilated space; knowledge becomes universal, and the wilderness disappears.

The sages of centuries agone are animating the bodies of to-day. The doctrine of pre-existence is not a fable, yet to have lived two lives belongs only to a chosen few, or those whom a fortuitous circumstance has blest.

Napoleon was one of these. The spirit of a great warrior took possession of him at birth.

But the condition of a pre-existing soul taking possession of a body can occur only under peculiar circumstances. The soul principle is male and female, and its perfection depends upon the two sexes as much as the formation of the body depends upon the coalition of the two. In states superinduced by opium or intoxicating liquor upon one party, the spirit principle becomes deadened so that an active immortal spirit may take its place.

This male and female spirit principle, after forming a magnetic relation by the joined bodies, lies inactive in the soul atmosphere of the mother until material birth. If, as is sometimes caused through accident, there is but one spirit principle active, the child when born will be idiotic. If the male or female spirit of the pre-existing intelligence is of superior order, then the child, as its intellectual faculties develop, will display extraordinary abilities, which will be in accordance with the peculiar development of the pre-existent spirit.

The history of individuals thus circumstanced can be more clearly discerned than others. Prophecy in bold and clear characters foretells the events which will transpire in their earth life.

In like manner Jesus, the celebrated child of Bethlehem, had lived a pre-existent life on earth. He had reigned over a people in his previous life, a wise and loving king. Vague remembrances continuously fluttered across his vision and colored the thoughts to which he gave utterance.

When his mother conceived him, she was not conscious; delirium of religious ecstasy, superinduced by priestly influence, rendered her oblivious to events, and enabled this wise, tender, loving king to take the place of the native spirit. Christ never married in this life, because the spirits which possessed him were not male and female.[A]

[Footnote A: The well-known eccentric character of this writer while on earth may partly explain the singular views here set forth. ED.]

The power of foretelling the future is yet in its infancy. Coming events are said to cast their shadows before; and as the barometer indicates to a skilful eye the approach of a storm when no sign is visible in the calm sky above, so the events which will befall an individual are marked upon the delicate spiritual barometer which forms a part of his being, and can be read with unerring precision by the clear and practiced eye of the optimist.