An Instrument of Initiatic Knowledge
Doctor Paschal Beverly Randolph is one of the great, mysterious figures of nineteenth-century occultism. There has been much talk about him, and much heated discussion of his bizarre theories by those not initiated into them, outside of his students and secret adepts. But it has never been possible to reconstruct the personality and intimate life of this American mulatto, who trusted no one and constantly surrounded himself with absolutely impenetrable mystery. Silence was his emblem and the watchword that he imposed on all those who approached him.
Still, the few details, furnished by some of his friends, attest that this man, possessed of an unusual strength of will and a tenacious perseverance, completely mixed his personal life with the work to which he had consecrated himself from his youth. He had only one goal, and never withheld from it the smallest bit of his energy: to know the supreme laws of Life and of the Creation, by means of continual study and experience.
Randolph was the first who fearlessly raised the veil covering the nudity of Isis, and this immense courage allowed him to proudly proclaim that the key to all the mysteries of the Universe is to be found in Sex.
“Sex is the greatest magical power of Nature,” Randolph said, and he demonstrated it to his students.
Randolph had begun his studies in the heart of the secret society known as the H. B. of L. (Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor), whose headquarters were located in Boston, on Boylston Street. But, in about the year 1870, he founded his own initiation circle, E. B. (Eulis Brotherhood), and, together with the doctors Fontaine and Bergevin, he examined occult data in the light of contemporary science--the mysterious, the incomprehensible, were boldly brought to the state of clear truths, controlled by strict laboratory procedures.
This was a true revolution in the occultists’ world, for it took away the most redoubtable weapon of the merchants of mystery.
With science supporting and controlling the miracle, the latter became a concrete reality under certain well-determined conditions, but it looked like humbug and lying when those conditions were not fulfilled.
A ferocious campaign was then directed at Randolph. He was accused of having betrayed the traditions, of having revealed the key of the mystery, reserved for the initiates, of having thrown pearls before swine.
Madame H.-P. Blavatsky fought him violently. Between her and him there was one of those spiritual wars of which we have an example in the well-known case of the conflict between Peladan and Eliphas Levi.
The founder of the Theosophical Society unleashed a sort of occult duel against Randolph, which caused, they say, the premature death of the latter.
But all this agitation, visible and invisible, around the name and work of Randolph made him famous, if not rich. His novels were read and commented upon, although often in a contradictory manner. His Asrotis, his Dhoula-Bell, his Magh-Thesor, his She, and his Master Passion, knew their hour of glory, while his theoretical treatises, such as The Magnetic Mirror, The Ansairetic Mystery, Communication with the Dead, and The Intimate Secrets of the Mysteries of Eulis, got the passionate attention of specialists.
Still, in all the books, light was not shed completely. P. B. Randolph--who in spite of what his detractors said, did not throw pearls before swine, knowing the dangers of too hasty revealing--kept the definitive keys for complete understanding of his work for the members of his circle, the Eulis Brotherhood.
The volume that we offer to the reader today contains some of these keys: magical abstracts and recipes accompanied by explanatory notes, which Randolph’s disciples transcribed in their own handwriting, from the Master’s dictation.
These fragments, infinitely precious because formidably efficacious, have in addition been supplemented by some chapters, taken on the one hand from the theoretical part of the Intimate Secrets of the Mysteries of Eulis, and on the other, from The Magnetic Mirror, notably from the introduction to this work and from its practical part, which has still never been published.
In delivering these keys to the cultivated public of our time, we declare ourselves to be the defenders of Randolph’s work, while rejecting the stupid accusation of black magic.
And anyway, what do those two words mean, that even today so many not-very-enlightened persons pronounce with fear? Nothing, except a superstitious fear, remains of a long period of somber ignorance.
Magic is a science, which differs from the so-called positive sciences due to the psychic and spiritual factors, which it implies just as well for the object as for the subject of the operative act. Magic is never either white or black; but it can be benefic or malefic, according to the purpose for which one makes use of it. Magic is a weapon, and like all weapons, one can make use of it for the good or ill of oneself or another--but because it is powerful, it is obviously dangerous in unskillful hands.
But magic is also a sacred and royal science in the sense that it cannot be acquired by someone who is not worthy of it; and morbid neuroses and often even madness are the share
of those who give themselves to it without the requisite aptitude and preparation.
It is necessary to be armed with patience, with calm, and with a great courage to clear its first threshold, and above all, it is necessary to love this science for itself, and not for the material and personal advantages that it procures.
P. B. Randolph had these qualities and still more; that is why he became a great magician, whom all vaguely feared and envied. If he died young, while his adversary, Madame H.-P. Blavatsky, triumphantly lived to a very advanced age, it is, undoubtedly, because his task on this earth was finished more rapidly than that of the founder of the theosophical movement.
--Maria de Naglowska