43 Slices
Medium 9781904658306

XXIX. Towards Christ's Initiation

Sedir, Paul Aeon Books ePub

ANDREAS went into the kitchen to dispose of his load and then pumped water to permit the wine to be refreshed in wet linen. On returning he asked me to take my place at the table.

Stella was an experienced hostess. She believed that one should eat according to the way of a country, with a climate identical to that in which we live. And, because it was very hot that day, she gave us food with strong spices and a lot of curry. During the meal she allowed me to drink only a little water with some light, perfumed brandy, which she had prepared herself. Both of them rivalled each other in pampering me, as if I was a convalescent, and I let them because the cuisine was so exquisite. However, my host and hostess themselves are very little.

I paid my compliments to Stella, but she laughingly answered me: “It was Andréas who gave me these recipes. For quite a while he cooked his own meals, and I had to swallow some most extraordinary dishes; but, please believe me when I say that people eat in the best possible way in North India and now you have had a sample of it.”

See All Chapters
Medium 9781904658306

XIII. The Unity of the Spiritualists

Sedir, Paul Aeon Books ePub

WHEN I returned to Andréas, there was a young tradesman, a saddler, enquiring after the proper means to use so as to achieve unity among the different spiritualist schools, during the famous Congress, about which we spoke previously. Andréas tried to inject some reality into the noble utopias of the enthusiastic mystic.

“Firstly,” he said, “modern spiritualism is still in a sketchy state: even its vocabulary has not yet been established. In every school a technical term can take on a different meaning. The same idea has been given various names, and so earnest prior study is necessary in order to know where one is.”

“Perhaps a dictionary could be published?”

“Yes, if you could find a spiritualist with sufficient authority for everyone to accept his definitions. Otherwise, your dictionary will represent only one school.”

“But what if a doctrine could first be fixed?”

“Go from your room and visit some of the groups of spiritists, magnetizers, astrologers, occultists and theosophists, and bring me back the elements of the body of your doctrine! Nevertheless, all of them claim that they are tolerant. But in every one of those schools, their ‘tolerance’ consists in showing that all the others do not possess more than a part of the truth, while the school in question alone embraces the whole. Even so, this multiplicity of theories is only natural, necessary and useful. Truth has innumerable faces, and one has to know all of them. Further, unity in Nature can flash forth only from multiplicity. Finally, a conflict of ideas and feelings alone can create true tolerance.”

See All Chapters
Medium 9781904658306

XXII. An Avalanche in the Himalayas

Sedir, Paul Aeon Books ePub

ONE evening, on visiting Andréas, I found him assisting his wife to prepare for a journey. An intimate friend, who was sick, needed her and she had immediately to take the Southern Express. We accompanied her to the Austerlitz Station. I noted how much Andréas tried to secure every imaginable comfort for her, as well as the exquisite politeness of his manners, a gracious attitude which I know of in only two or three old noblemen. I also noted that Andréas knew many of the railway personnel, from the chief to the more humble members of the staff.

The express train departed, and Andréas suggested that we make a night trip into the country, which I accepted with enthusiasm. A night of conversation with such a companion was a rare treasure. I suggested that we take a suburban train so as to reach the silence and fresh air of the fields faster. And so, the inhabitants of Villaine, who had not yet fallen asleep by 1 am. could see, in the full moonlight, two shadowy figures walking through the fields to the forest-covered hills, dominating the valley of Bièvre.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781904658306

VII. The Brahman

Sedir, Paul Aeon Books ePub

ALMOST two months had passed since my initial visit to Andréas, and right from those first weeks he had been sending me patients from his suburb. Although it was quite a long way to travel, I voluntarily occupied myself with his sick acquaintances, as this gave me the pretext to call on him again.

So, one morning, after having made my usual rounds, I again directed my steps towards his home. Turning a street-corner, I stopped opposite a laundry, which I patronized and also attended.

Of course, I knew its whole staff of female workers well, those courageous girls, who were frustrating their youth, risking anemia among the faint vapours of linen and the sickening heat from the iron stoves.

This babbling, arch little world, sincere in its harshness, cordially accepted me and therefore from time to time, I was entitled to chat with and buy the girls a few shillings worth of chestnuts. Last week they had told me that the apprentices’ holiday was approaching. So, this morning I walked up to the suburb of Temple and bought a magnificent marcasite ring, gold-plated and set with rubies made from glass, which the jeweller sold me for the ‘sacrificial’ price of only ‘a crown instead of a pound or so’.

See All Chapters
Medium 9781904658306

I. A State of the Soul

Sedir, Paul Aeon Books ePub

I WAS just entering my forties. The busy existence of a suburban doctor had not extinguished all the dreams of my youth. It was a beautiful time, in which I was free to abandon everything in order to find a rare book or to converse with a mystic.

My memories were always directed to my old friend Desiderius, dead these twenty years past, and to those unknown persons whom I had met at his funeral. So, every evening, when tiredness did not prevent me, I delayed sleep for some time and turned over the pages of the books, which my departed friend had left to me, especially the small black one. And always my eyes were attracted, without any apparent reason, to the names of Andréas and Théophane.

A banal accident interrupted the usual monotony of my days. My blundering maid-servant had made a hole in a magnificent embroidered silk wall decoration, which had been bequeathed to me by my late parents.

This splendid panel presented a bouquet of peach branches full of rosy flowers, mixed with snow-white cherry-blossom. The stems, leaves and ethereal petals stood out in relief from the background of the fabric like a multicoloured boss. The half-tints, the transparent shades, the exquisite combinations of colours—all were made with the easy tenderness of a pastel by La Tour.

See All Chapters

See All Slices