The history of magic - PDF book by Joseph Ennemoser (1854)

The history of magic 

The history of magic

From the introduction
This book is beyond the familiar, everyday history of nature. Before the discovery of magnetism, it was believed that science had already exhausted the world and that the human mind had noted down on the map of natural and inner life everything that could and could not exist in heaven and earth. Magnetism itself stood in the background; it was looked upon as something that is nothing and cannot exist. 

Such obsolete dusty charts are still often found hanging over the desks of zealous champions, who, in a knightly manner, fight boldly against deceit and destruction for the beautiful pre- pared possession. '

Now, however. Magnetism, not content with its manifold wonders, leads the way back into the mysterious domain of exploded magic, gathers up old tales and long-forgotten laws of mysterious action, from a transcendental world, which estimates, on one hand, the present standard of science as valueless, and on the other, orthodox dogmas as the work of the devil. 

Whilst the former thus fears to be led back into the gloom of the mystical twilight of the past by such attempts as are described in this book, where only the phantasms of faith in miracles play their wild game, the latter resist boldly, in the anxious fear lest all miracles should cease to be miraculous.

 Thus, if it should appear that the author's intention had been only to ridicule the understanding and wisdom of the times, collecting merely show and glitter instead of materials for true science, or to disturb the comfortable peace of pious minds by seeking to vulgarise the Sacred and to degrade the Divine, or even to open the door to Atheism, it is the more necessary to give the reader some preparatory notion of the construction and tendency of this work, which is probably still a stranger to most of them. 

Whilst many of our contemporaries, unused to, or in- capable of, deep reflection, feel no desire or impulse to pursue serious researches on the singular phenomena of nature and the action of the soul, others perceive, or even comprehend, the most hidden springs of mysterious action, but will not place these on the theatre of earthly common-place, fearing the desecration of the impious world.

 There are also false critics, who, like false prophets, rather accuse the whole former world of folly and deceit than confess that they do not know how to deal with undeniable facts, and who with their own statutes and foolish imap^i nations fall far short of the prudent simplicity of old, which taup^lit harmony and a regular correspondence betw^een the visible and invisible world, 

 It may, however, if it does not interest, at least not be generally displeasing, as the author seeks everywhere with complete impartiality only the historical traces of true facts, and the phenomena connected with them; compares these, and endeavours to lead them back to certain laws of nature, which, in truth, may be considered as something more than mere polluted pools, or decayed pillars. If sime things which are discussed do not always bear the impress of infallible truth, or even if some principles on which they are based be not the firmest, still it cannot easily be said that they are invented, or that it is all a deception.

 Even if they were really true, of which, indeed, we have many proofs, we may here and there find occasion to give them more consideration and to test the utility of their application, in order, perhaps, to succeed in discovering constant forces, even amid more infrequent actions, in clearing away many difficulties which general science does not solve, and in opening a wider field of operations for human activity, so that it may attain at last the exalted end of spiritual destiny. As such, at least, is the aim of this novice sent among strangers, it hopes to meet, iv 'author's preface. if not with protection and shelter, at least with a fair hearing. 

This book appeared, indeed, about twenty years ago, but in another garb, and then bore, contrary to the desire of its author, a somewhat unsuitable title; it was headed by the suspicious word " Scientific." At that time the clerks and general controllers of all knowledge, lying in wait at all corners and paths, seized hold of the unpolished stranger with merciless severity, declared his passport forged, found not a single good point about him, and asserted that he had nothing but damaged or contraband goods.

If natural philosophy has of late represented magnetism not only as tellurian but as a general cosmical power of nature, and if she confirms this by physical reasons founded on observation, and not mere metaphysical speculation, the assertion of that magnetic seeress is no longer so absurd when she calls Magnetism something more universal and higher than what is generally understood by it.

 "Magnetism, she said, is even capable of setting free the original bright nature of man, in its various parts, powers, and relations, which can then express itself in many ways and in different degrees: the power of magnetizing lies in everyone, but there must exist the power combined with the wisdom to apply it. Meanwhile, men speak of it as they do of the wind, of which they know not whence it comes nor whither it goes. Man can also make wind, but only such as has no life in it."

 As the author had the opportunity of hearing such decisions of magnetic seers, and of making himself acquainted with the higher natural philosophy, he has endeavoured to collect in this work everything that appeared to him to belong to the province of magnetism, and to be susceptible of enlightenment by the torch of natural philosophy.

The reader must, therefore, be requested to follow with a certain tolerance and resignation into the
magical land, even if he should sometimes be led too far, and into strange places.  can invariably, and especially on such unknown ground, always attain the right goal? On the other hand, instead of a complete systematic filling up and philosophic enlightening, often only hints of the probable direction are given.

the book details :
  • Author: Joseph Ennemoser - who was a South Tyrolean physician and stubborn late proponent of Franz Mesmer's theories of animal magnetism. He became known to English readers through Mary Howitt's translation of his History of Magic.
  • Translator: William Howitt and Mary Howitt
  • Publication date:  1854
  • Company: London: H.G. Bohn

  • Download The history of magic  - Volume 1  -- 37.4 MB


    Download The history of magic  - Volume 2  -- 28 MB

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