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Amor Hereos, or how one brother was visited by an invisible being: lived spirituality among Russian freemasons in the 1810s.

There was nothing else for it; I got down to those books which had now been found; so imagine me, a 19th-century man, poring over huge folios and assiduously reading their content: on prime matter, on elemental electricity, on the soul of the sun, on northern dampness, on stellar spirits and all sorts of things like that. It is amusing, and tedious, and interesting.

--V.F. Odoevskii, The Sylph

The spirits' realm is easy to tear open, They lie there waiting under a thin cover, And, hearing quietly, they storm aloft.

--F. Schiller, The Maid of Orleans

In a folder of Masonic papers from the archive of Sergei Stepanovich Lanskoi and Stepan Vasil'evich Ieshevskii, which contains accounts of mysterious events from the lives of late 18th-/early 19th-century Russian freemasons, I found a curious correspondence between two elder Masons regarding a third, more junior one, who had entered into physical contact with an invisible being. (1) This being, as the brother admitted to his guide, had been visiting him constantly since the summer of 1819, generally entering his body through his belly and causing him incomparable spiritual and physical pleasure. He felt "at first a kind of gentle envelopment take hold of him, which strove toward his breast and was always directed toward his heart." Then the "contact occasionally became livelier and quite palpable, to the point where his whole body was suffused with a kind of fire, more delightful than painful," and, "having finally entered him, this being took rest in him, luxuriated, and generally made its presence felt in the most delightful manner, never arousing in him any kind of evil thoughts or carnal desires." These visitations could take place at any time of the day or night and in any situation, but more often than not they took place when the brother was in bed.

This brother's mentor turned to a certain authoritative Moscow addressee with the question of what this being was and what to do in case of such contact. In his letter, he gave a detailed description of the character of the sensations experienced by his apprentice, the external circumstances of the visitations, their consequences, the measures taken by the brethren, and the character and biography of this Mason. It was specially noted that according to the brother, the visitations did not elicit in him any carnal desires but, quite the contrary, were accompanied by pious thoughts. Meanwhile, "once, during his sleep (late at night), he was given a kiss so tangible that he awoke and could still feel its sweetness. It seemed to him that he had been kissed upon the lips and tongue. After this, the usual visitations continued."

In his short reply the Moscow Mason indicated that this was an exceptionally important event, and he supposed that the brother in question had entered into contact with one of the elemental spirits of the female sex, the good or evil nature of which could be ascertained only by means of careful inquiries and prayers; until then he needed to take care and not betray the being with any other woman. In the answer that concluded the correspondence, the mentor wrote that his apprentice had tearfully confessed that some of the visitations by the being "had concluded in an impure manner, i.e., with physical arousal and even ejaculation." This revelation frightened his brethren, and they demanded that he refuse communication with this dangerous guest. He obeyed, but he "grew bored and cold." After some time, however, the being visited him again, spoke with him for the first time, and called herself his beloved and friend. With that the correspondence, dated by its authors December 1819-March 1820, breaks off.

This manuscript consists of two "parts," written on paper of different formats: the first two letters (the inquiry of the Petersburg Mason and the reply with the instructions of his Moscow correspondent) are on four large sewn sheets of grayish paper; (2) the third letter (the new message of the Petersburg Mason, entitled "Continuation") is on two sheets of a smaller size with paper watermarks from 1818. (3) The first and third letters are in the handwriting of a single scribe. The second letter, "In Answer to the Remarks Made by This Brother's Guide," is in a different hand. By this same hand, an "NB" is noted in the margin of the preceding letter of inquiry. The third letter is marked off with a large wavy line, which indicates the end of the document. Indeed, the manuscript represents a completely finished text (with its own hero and subject matter), possibly meant for circulation at meetings of members of the higher degrees. Together with other, similar reports of supernatural appearances, this manuscript wound up in the archive of the Provincial Grand Lodge, preserved by a leading Russian Mason of the first quarter of the 19th century, Sergei Lanskoi (1787-1862). (4) From 1818 to 1820, he led the Petersburg lodge "Elizabeth of Virtue" and devoted particular attention to theosophical and mystical questions. (5) It is significant that the concluding letter of the correspondence is written on the same kind of paper that was used for the reports of this St. Petersburg lodge in 1817-20.

This erotico-esoteric story about the communion of a human being with a mysterious spirit is not only of historical interest regarding the occult and the practices of Russian Masonry at the beginning of the century; (6) it also has literary-historical interest as a "real" commentary on what was, in romantic fiction, a popular theme--love for an elemental spirit, which occurs in the works of E. T. A. Hoffmann, Friedrich de la Motte Fouque, Honore de Balzac, John Keats, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Vladimir Odoevskii, Vasilii Zhukovskii, Aleksandr Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol', and many others. The closest and most illustrative example here is the naturphilasaphisch novella by Prince Vladimir Odoevskii, The Sylph (1837), which tells of the love of a female air spirit for a human being, a work conceived as part of an unrealized cycle of "[n]ovellas about how dangerous it is for man to engage nature spirits." (7) The correspondence published here is likewise interesting to literary historians from a theoretical point of view, for it allows us to investigate the relationship of a mystical document to its literary "imitation"--that is, the problem of the literary transposition of a mystical text or occult and romantic anthropology--as well as the peculiarities of the reception of the literary genre of the fantastic novella in the context of the religious and mystical experiences and expectations of readers in the first third of the 19th century, that is, the problem of reader reception. Finally, the correspondence is a unique cultural and psychological document that illustrates the--literally-spiritual world of Russian Masonry in the 1810s and can be historically and ideologically decoded.

Stories of mysterious apparitions held an important place in the spiritual practice of Russian Masonry at the beginning of the 19th century. The brothers told one another about them in their letters, which circulated within the lodge; and they discussed them in conversations among the theoretical degrees, basing themselves on the writings of Paracelsus, the Abbe de Villars, Retzel, Swedenborg, Jung-Stilling, and other authoritative mystical writers. From a formal point of view one can discern several types of stories: first-person accounts of supernatural events (prophetic dreams, spirit appearances), (8) stories of mysterious apparitions experienced by other brothers and commoners, (9) and finally, descriptions of supernatural apparitions accompanied by attempts at theosophic or scientific interpretation. (10) Our correspondence most closely resembles the last group, but it has a more complex structure. We have before us a small "lyrical-physiological" epistolary novella in which the "voice" of the protagonist is absent or, more exactly, manifests itself only indirectly in the form of the exposition of his confession to his mentor. This constitutes the document's fundamental distinction from a literary-fantastic novella, where the mystical experience of the protagonist would be told by himself (in epistolary or diary form) or by an omniscient narrator who can see into the spiritual world of his character (such as in Hoffmann's "Golden Pot").

In the context of Masonic literature, this story has a practical application and can be read on different levels. Above all, it illustrates a variety of attitudes characteristic of mystical Masonry and accessible to the understanding of ordinary brothers. The world of spirits exists, and thus our soul and body are penetrable to a spirit's influence, which can be equally good or evil. Therefore it is important to be very careful, not to attempt on one's own to comprehend the mysteries of nature without sufficient preparation, and, if such a communion should take place, to carry out all the directives and advice of the elder brothers with the goal of identifying the agent of the intervention and developing an appropriate response.

We should note the text's peculiarly detective-like and hieratic character (it is traditional in occult practice to seek the essence of an apparition through interrogation and by reference to authoritative works and opinions), as well as the hierarchical nature of this investigation (the mystery can be solved only by brothers who have greater seniority in the order and possess the key to the riddle of nature), (11) It has its own dynamic, which, of course, sparks the interest of the reader. In the Petersburg Mason's first letter to the Muscovite, the being is called "it." The expert recognizes in the mysterious visitor an elemental spirit of the female sex and translates the story onto a philosophical-erotic level. But only the recipient of the visitation can discover the true nature of the entity by way of experiments upon himself: the suppression of his will, directed questions in a form proper for communication with spirits, and a readiness to resist should the good intentions of the entity be in doubt. Overall, the tension of the plot consists not in the choice between realistic and miraculous interpretations of the event--Tsvetan Todorov's theory of the fantastic, as in The Queen of Spades or The Double (12)--but between suppositions about whether this being appears from without or within and is good or evil, and whether its love is pure and brings salvation or doom. (13) The hero here appears to be at once the chosen and the victim of mysterious powers penetrating his body.

Meanwhile, the mystery of the being thus remains unsolved, and this creates a peculiar situation for the reception of the text: the reader is initiated into the secret and the path to its solution is indicated, but it is not followed to the end; mystical learning continues, but it is accessible only to the initiated. In this way, the very process of reading this text serves as a metaphor for mystical hermeneutics.

A few words about the emblematic character and historical background of the main hero of the correspondence. It is said that "until about age 28" he was a hardworking merchant "under the direction of one considered by his circle to be an honest man." After the death of his employer, he made use of his "fatal fleeting freedom and was excessive, as he himself confessed, in his interest in the female sex and in his indulgence in food and drink; he was at the same time angry and he made enrichment the main goal of his life." About seven years later he began to feel disgust at his lack of self-control and came to like "reading more serious books, but indiscriminately (Arndt and Stilling)." Finally, he joined the brethren in January 1818, and since that time he led the "most chaste kind of life," for "carnal communion had become for him completely uninteresting and disgusting." In reward for his meekness, obedience, and faithfulness to the work of the order, he had been presented for acceptance into the third or master's degree. It is indicated that in 1819 he was "about 38 years old."

In other words, the subject of our story is portrayed as a reformed sinner, grown chaste under the influence of serious reading and wise mentors. He is pious, conscientious, shy, and obedient and constantly looks to his elders for help and admonition. At the same time, despite the "hagiographic" character of the narrative, one notes a kind of "protopsychologism" that anticipates the subsequent literary development of this kind of story. (14) Consider the elements that later became typical in literature: the quest for self-perfection; confusion; terror and curiosity; joy at attaining the beloved; and despair caused by the imposed forsaking of her visitation. (The most colorful literary example is the abovementioned Sylph by Prince Odoevskii.) (15) The loss of the beloved is so tormenting to him that even his mentor sympathizes. But at the same time it is evident that the protagonist's sufferings are for the correspondents only a symbolic text that confirms hieratic book knowledge accessible only to select wise men. It is another matter that the book interpretations contradict one another and thus lead to a metaphysical dead end and terror.

Lastly, the precision of the date and the St. Petersburg location endowed the mystical events with an aura of reality and even ordinariness; this device was commonly used in fiction as well. This story had importance for the Masons not only because, as we will see, it touched upon core theosophic and mystical problems, but also because the "mysterious adventure" it described took place here and now, in the Petersburg lodge in the late 1810s.

Furthermore, the guide's letter contains sufficient information to establish with a high degree of certainty the identity of the anonymous hero of the correspondence and the name of his mentor. In the Russian-language Petersburg lodges of the late 1810s there were few Masons from the merchant class who had received the master's degree by the end of 1819. Apparently the unnamed merchant who entered the lodge in January 1818, received the third (master's) degree in December 1819, and meticulously attended all meetings of the lodge was Petr Ivanovich Maklakov. He was a Petersburg merchant of the second guild and member of the lodge of Elizabeth of Virtue from 12 January 1818, (16) was elevated to the second degree "by virtue of his time in service" on 5 October 1818, (17) and became a master of the lodge on 20 December 1819. (18) According to lodge documents, Maklakov regularly attended its meetings and fulfilled the directives of the Masonic leadership. (19) From the description of Maklakov's ceremony of initiation into the Masons, it appears that he was born on 28 June 1784 in Nezhin, Chernigov province (that is, he was 35 and a half years old at the end of 1819, not "near 38"), "belongs to the Greco-Russian Orthodox Church," and "is of the commercial class," and "his sincere motivations and his desire to better himself attract him to the O[rder of] F[reemasons]." (20)

According to the record, Brother Maklakov's recommender was the orator of the lodge, Stepan Grigor'evich Volkhovskii (1787-1858), who in 1819-20 was performing the duties of the second overseer of the Lodge of Elizabeth of Virtue. "In conclusion" of the ritual of initiation, the grand master of the lodge, Sergei Lanskoi, appointed Volkhovskii to be Maklakov's guide. (21) Thus he, apparently, is the author of the letters to a certain Moscow Mason, an elder of the order. Most likely, the mentor's letters were meant for discussion at the meetings of one of two "theoretical degree" circles, renewed in Moscow in the spring of 1819 under the direction of the main supervisor F. P. Kliucharev and N. A. D'iakov. (22)

Afterwards Maklakov himself went as far as a "theoretical" degree and took part in secret discussions of the Moscow and Petersburg circles in the late 1820s and early 1830s. (23) In the 1830s, he lived in Petersburg with A. N. Shakhmatov, who was a fellow brother in the order, in the house of Madame Roginskaia "near the Lithuanian Castle." His letters of the late 1820s to mid-1830s to one of the leaders of Russian Masonry, A. I. Maslov, survive. (24) Most interesting are Maklakov's "deeply sad reflections about himself" from the late 1830s, which deal with the painful complications of uniting man with Spirit:
   Pentecost [Dukhov den'] ... what a great Word! It is the
   celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to
   Earth! The closest link of the Divine with humanity! The union of
   God with man! The deification of human nature! What a comfort for
   the poor, despairing, fallen nature of man! Thus we can rejoice in
   this great event only in the hope of making use of the means made
   available to us by the H[oly] Or[der] and [rejoice in] preparing
   ourselves through improvement and purification, because even in the
   Second Degree [i.e., theoretical degree] we are instructed to ask
   the Holy Spirit; why do we not ask and why do we not already have?
   We can see for ourselves that we are not improving, are not
   purifying ourselves, so we are not prepared and are not worthy,
   thus we have not yet achieved the essence of the Second D[egree].

Let us move now to an examination of this correspondence in the relevant interpretive context. The mystical books and authors referred to in the manuscript serve as coordinates of sorts to mark the interpretive space of the narrated story. Thus it is clearly no accident that we are told that the invisible being began to visit the brother at a time "when he was attempting to pursue his internal return, as recommended in the book Means of Praying." The book in question is the famous quietist tract by Madame Guyon (16481717), The Short and Easy Method of Prayer, which contains an explanation of the theory and practice of inner prayer as a means toward man's liberation from all earthly passions and his full communion with God: "The means ... consist in the soul turning completely inward into itself and focusing on the presence of God within its depth. By the very act of directing all its strength into itself, it takes leave of all feeling; in thus using all its strength to be inside itself, it leaves the human being in a kind of dead inactivity ... and in this way approaches God. (26)

In line with the central thesis of the Christian mystical tradition, represented in this case by Guyon, the very body of the one praying is transformed when grace descends upon it and the "inner word" begins to resonate in the soul. In this ecstatic condition, according to M. O. Gershenzon, "man is completely reborn, he is, so to speak, formed anew: everything sinful is repulsive to him, everything good attracts him, and mysteries unknown to reason become visible to his spiritual eye." (27)

In other words, the indication that the brother is following Guyon's instructions introduces into the story about the mysterious being the theme of initiation and a supposed bodily transfiguration, that very physical sensation of a "breakthrough of grace" (Durchbruch der Gnade) about which the Russian Pietists and mystics had spoken so much at the beginning of the 19th century. According to Guyon, such a condition can be achieved through long prayerful practice; she does allow, however, that there are people capable of experiencing it immediately and repeatedly. It would seem that the subject of this correspondence was striving toward just such a condition. The result, however, turned out to be unexpected for both him and his superiors.

It is significant that according to the brother-mentor, the being first visited his apprentice at a time when he was immersed in reading the second part of the book Life and Death of our Lord J. C. The exact title of this book is The Death and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Truly and In Detail Described, or the Wondrous Figure of Christ, Worthy of Notice, Astonishment, Sympathy, and Imitation by Every Christian to Whom Reading Gives Pleasure. (28) The book's second chapter is called "About How Christ Starts upon His Way to Death from the Garden." The ideological link between this chapter and the tract by Guyon is clear. Here one also finds the passionate call to inner prayer and constant vigilance: "Keep your eyes, your ears, and your thoughts in check; guard against error, carelessness, and corruption during prayer; watch how your body is positioned during prayer. Does it not more often resemble a playing than a praying body?"

The theme of the chapter--the symbolic meaning of Jesus' bloody sweat--also draws the attention of the reader to mystical anthropology, but now we are introduced to the motif of the fire of grace that agonizingly transfigures the body: "The great fire of the struggling soul of the Savior opened and weakened the bodily pores from which gushed forth not the usual water, but blood. Oh, what a wondrous disgrace!" (29)

It was when he was immersed in reading this chapter that the brother felt the "gentle envelopment" and "special warmth" (30) that we noted earlier: "as if an unusual kind of being had entered him and was residing within him." "In all these visitations," the mentor continues, "he felt the most pleasurable peace for his body, or a kind of oblivion: his soul was filled with the best desires--to strive toward true goodness, to love God above all, and all people equally; the spirit enchanted him to the extreme: all earthly things seem to him insignificant and he held it as nothing to take leave of this earthly life."

Thus the hero experienced a condition of mystical and erotic ecstasy, the source of which was not yet clear to him or his mentors. Suspecting the activity of the blood or an overexcited imagination, they performed tests on the brother. In particular, "they read to him the second meditation from the book The Light of Grace [Luch blagodati] about the abode of the saints and about the world that is high, subtle, and false [vysoko-tonko-lozhnyi]."

The Light of Grace is a collection of letters and lessons by the prominent 18th-century Mason Nikolai Alekseevich Kraevich (1756-90), collected by his follower Prince Ivan Vladimirovich Lopukhin (1756-1816), one of the leaders of the Russian Martinists. Kraevich, according to Lopukhin, "had a genuinely B6hme-inspired education." His Revelations, translated from the Russian, were printed by Lopukhin in the book Les fruits de la Grace along with the French-language Idees diverses by Prince N. V. Repin. (31) (Lopukhin erected an urn in Kraevich's memory in his memorial park at Savinskoe.)

Their resort to Kraevich's theosophical "meditations" reflects the orientation of the mentors' inquiries: Does this being represent divine revelation or evil temptation? Speaking of the inner path to Christ, Kraevich (apparently following Guyon) outlines three "degrees of return": (1) the "calling" (prizyvanie); (2) the "active" degree (deiatel'naia, when oral prayer is replaced by active or creative prayer); and (3) the final and "supreme" degree (verkhovnaia) of return, when "without any compulsion ... in a state of inertia (muteness, paralysis) yet drawn by God Himself, the soul enters into Him with incomprehensible freedom and entrancing terror." (32) In his programmatic tract, Kraevich warns of the danger of a "peripheral" knowledge of the mysteries of nature. The center of the universe, the theosophist postulates, is the kingdom of the Light of Love. However, Satan also beholds the mysteries of the heavens, but "from his own vantage point." From his "peripheral knowledge" he "has constituted for himself his particular wisdom and his own light, with which he can reveal even to us (God help us!) the greatest mysteries of nature." "From this light which is high, subtle, and false--and this wisdom will come pseudoprophets, pseudoapostles, pseudoteachers of Christian doctrine, and even martyrs and miracle-workers, and they will create an anti-Christian church." (33)

The person afflicted by mystical curiosity, according to Kraevich, shows "baptismal immaturity" (krestnaia nesozrelost')," "that is, human egoism," which "feeds on him [i.e., man], grows within him, spreads, and bears many fruits of the enemy spirit." These people can appear and consider themselves pious and even holy, they can teach other people and prophesy, but they are in fact agents of the evil spirit. (Kraevich included among these agents Emanuel Swedenborg and other visionaries, in whose writings "many passages reek of human flesh." (34) In the 1810s, this view was also shared by the leader of the Russian Rosicrucians, N. I. Novikov.) We should note that even before being admitted to the lodge, the protagonist of this correspondence had been reading widely and indiscriminately, mixing Johann Arndt's theosophical books with writings by Jung-Stilling that inflamed his idle imagination with its pictures of the afterlife. (35)

The brother's mentor reports that after listening to Kraevich's "piece" (piesa), the brother "appeared greatly bewildered and wished to know whether it was a dark spirit that was troubling him." He was advised to "reflect within himself on all he had heard and ask God to grant him the light of understanding." This final piece of advice is none other than a citation from the finale of Kraevich's "piece": "O, God! By this make wise your worshipper and let him behold the truth!" (Sim vrazumi chtushchaga i dazhd' semu zreti istinu siiu).

Finally, the choice of this "meditation" by Kraevich as edifying reading was evidently linked to a small autobiographical "note" that immediately follows the treatise on the abode of God and explains its content. Once during morning prayers, Kraevich tells us:
   someone incited me to try to find out, by undertaking various
   spiritual exercises that I directed toward a belief in the
   invisible creatures of inner worlds, whether I, too, could see
   those things in reality that I had seen here and there only as they
   were depicted by the pen of the Author.... I welcomed this thought
   as a most pleasant and gracious guest and at that very moment ...
   began to transform myself.... Madman! I wounded my conscience with

      Day has not yet dawned. I lay on the couch and began tearfully to
   repent for all that I had done. In my repentance I imagined my full
   vileness and reproached myself for coveting the sacred object that
   it is forbidden to give to dogs. The more I, seeing my extreme
   impurity, submitted, repented ... the more I suddenly began to feel
   a certain inspiration in me of a good, meek, peaceful, and
   ineffably pleasant warmth. This warmth, as it increased, created in
   me a kind of spiritual unbending; and the more I straightened out
   (humbled myself) and stretched myself, as if I descended from my
   curled-up twistedness, the more I was warmed by it. Finally, it
   seems, I was smoothed out into infantile innocence ... and felt
   nothing but a supreme, indescribable innocence and humility. In
   this condition the warmth poured itself upon me such that I, being
   completely alert, felt with intense keenness how it drew up the
   warmth of [my] bodily life and absorbed it, and made it sensible,
   alive, and quick inside me and outward from me. In what a
   harmonious and, I might say, immortal condition of my body I was
   ... through this supreme spiritual revelation, it was revealed to
   me how death is consumed by life and darkness by light. (36)

Kraevich illustrates from his own experience the Masonic-quietist practice of inner prayer that leads, through repentance and self-reproach, to a "supernatural condition" replete with illumination, transfiguration, and spiritual communion with Christ. Within "theoretical" Masonry, particular "mystical means and formulas for the attainment of this condition" as well as the psychophysical exercises indicated by Kraevich were discussed. (37) Nevertheless, the praying person's initial temptation with secret knowledge forbidden to mortals is a significant point in Kraevich's description of the theodicy of the soul.

Here we see in full force the problem presented by the metaphysical duality of mystical experience. In the case of the enlightened Kraevich, everything ends in the receiving of grace, which leads not only to inner harmony but also to divinely inspired mystical insight. But who was it that had entered into ongoing communion with our brother? Theosophical-quietistic tradition offered no answer regarding the nature of this contact, and the brother's mentor turned to the Muscovite addressee with three questions: What being was visiting his apprentice? Should he name it? And should he accept this visitation or reject it? (To the third question he added: "this would cause him some grief, as he was quite sad when this was suggested during his examination. But, out of obedience, he is prepared to undertake anything.")

The question of spirits and communion with them was of the utmost importance for the Rosicrucians. One entire part of the Theoretical Degree of Solornon's Knowledge, one of the order's main books, was devoted to it under the title "Of Elemental Things and Lastly of Spirits." Here we find the following classification of spirits:
   Elemental things are essences that originate from the elements and
   have some qualities in common with them. They are either spiritual
   or physical ....

      Spirits are usually divided into higher and lower. The higher
   have their abode in heaven and are divided into two classes:
   archangels; and angels and celestial spirits (solar, lunar,
   mercurial, saturnial, and the like) ....

      Evil spirits spring from chaos .... [They] infect both spiritual
   and physical beings with their harmful poison.

"Everything good in the course of nature," claims this theoretical catechism, "comes from good spirits, and evil comes from evil rejected spirits." (38) This was a constant topic of conversation among Russian Rosicrucians. Thus in one theoretical speech on elemental spirits one finds mention of the "triple nature" of man: "Man in his body corresponds to the elemental world, in his reason to the celestial world, and in his heart to the spiritual world." He "has in his inner depths the very Kingdom of God," and "accordingly, he is in harmony with whatever type of spirit corresponds to the principle that rules within him, and as he is a microcosm of the whole, so everything has influence over him." (39)

Among other spiritualistic writings cultivated by the Rosicrucians we should note the works of John Pordage (especially his "Fourth Tract on the Dark World") and of his admirer, Thomas Bromley ("On the Union and Communication with Spirits"). According to these authors, the activity of good spirits is facilitated when man conquers his own will--the inner dragon or "fiery nature" of his soul.

In his conclusion, the Muscovite "theoretician" takes his cue primarily from the Naturphilosophie tradition of Rosicrucianism. (40) The mysterious being, he claims, is an elemental spirit (i.e., of water, air, or fire); (41) it is female, "perhaps benign," and passionately in love with the brother. We "should not" name it, "for we don't know" who it is. The visitations "can be rejected, and no one forbids the brother to pray, not even this very spirit." However, the brother "must certainly.., guard against doing anything untoward with earthly women, although he is not yet in a public union of marriage and thus is without obligations."

This erotic interpretation of the communion of a nature spirit with a human being no doubt comes from the philosophy of nature of Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus yon Hohenheim) and its literary rendering in Comte de Gabalis by Montfaucon de Villars; (42) both authors were well regarded by the "theoreticians." According to Paracelsus, the water, fire, earth, and air spirits can fall in love with humans because they seek immortality through a relationship with them. ("To win man's love and enter into communion with him, they come to him diligently and secretly ... [they] seek the love of man in order to be in a union with man.") (43) But man is obliged to follow faithfully the spirit that has entered into union with him, otherwise the spirit may take revenge: "[it] will come to him and cause his death." (44) Paracelsus is clearly also the source for the Muscovite "theoretician's" claim that "unnatural loathing [toward women] in a man so devoted to voluptuousness is instilled by the same spirit being with whom he is now in communion." (Note that the brother's report of the delightful kiss he received on the lips and tongue is consistent with the mystical conception of a "chaste caress" that leads to magical conception.) (45)

According to Paracelsus, elemental spirits can reveal to their chosen ones the mysteries of nature (especially salamanders, who "know all that is hidden in the future and the present").4C' The Moscow "theoretician" asks to learn from the brother "what kind of mental conversations would begin and what their result would be, because this affair is worthy of particular regard." In this case, the physical love of an elemental being is an allegory of the mystical knowledge of the world.

The higher-degree brothers found a more detailed explanation of the metaphysical nature of spirits in the hermetic writings of Georg Friedrich Retzel with the long title A Short Instruction about an Invisible Being and Good and Evil Creatures in Immeasurable Spaces, as well as Celestial and Elemental Spirits, about the Origin of Spirits, Their Essence and Actions, about Dreams and All Kinds of Fantasies, also about Ghosts and Magical Forces, and Other Things of This Kind, Drawn from the Study of Nature and in Accordance with the Holy Scriptures and with the Common Sense of Reason. The seventh chapter of this text, printed in a secret printing house as an appendix to the Secret Meaning of the Six-Day Creation of This World by the same author (1787), illuminates the theoretical meaning of the correspondence about the unknown being. (47) Here we read of "elemental and celestial spirits, which within this world live and reside beneath the firmament; from where they have their origin and how all kinds of dreams can be received through their activity." Departing from Paracelsus's mystical philosophy of nature, Retzel claims that "the spirits that live and roam in this elemental world are partly evil and partly good; partly they are both good and evil, depending on the character of their origins and the essence of the elements from which they originate and where they prevail, and that is why they differ in their kind and qualities." (48)

Elemental spirits can "give men access to much knowledge, presented to them either as dreams or as otherwise intelligible and knowable ideas." (49) (Similarly, the Moscow "theoretician" writes: "this being is outside of him and he mentally hears inspiration from outside himself, as your description of these wondrous adventures shows.") So, for example, fire spirits can "interfere with the natural fire of a man's life, and through this combination can give such a man much knowledge of many hidden things." (50) The mystical author continues, however: "Yet another kind of unclean spirit comes forth out of the essence of the darkness of the elements at the creation of this world. These can still enjoy the shining of the light of the world in this time, but they are in their essence dark and evil, and thus unclean spirits. They are those who, where they find a place, eagerly inhabit the tincture of the blood, and from it physically possess creatures." (51)

So, to what genus and class did the being visiting the brother belong? What was its metaphysical nature, and hence its mission? The Moscow correspondent indicated that it was above all necessary to know where on the body the "orifice" through which it penetrated was located: under the diaphragm or below the intestines? (In the occult system of correspondences, the diaphragm was associated with water spirits, the intestines with earth spirits or unclean spirits.) Only the recipient of the visitation, however, could resolve with finality the puzzle of this being--if, of course, he could manage "quietly" to interrogate or examine it. This is what he was instructed to do. Significantly, this anonymous interpreter of mystical communications hinted to his correspondent about secrets that he could not reveal at this time: "At present this cannot be discussed further."

As we already know, the third letter reports that the brother admitted, weeping with shame, to the sensual character of the sensations he had experienced, which had gone as far as ejaculation. The frightened guide demanded that he cease to allow the being to approach him and instead take refuge "in prayer and serious activity, thereby to avoid and drive away at once any suspicious thought." Although he had "eagerly" followed these instructions, the brother had since turned "depressed and cold." (52) In the meantime, "instructions arrived on how to proceed in making inquiries about the being's identity. A few days later, his guide asked him how he was. He answered, 'not well,' because the unknown being had wished to approach him again but he did not allow this, in exact accordance with the instructions, and each time he felt a great burden. Then the guide carefully repeated his earlier advice, that is, that the brother not reject the being, but only under the condition that at the slightest physical arousal, he force himself to return to prayer and serious thoughts."

Many days went by until one evening, while he was working, the brother heard "as though outside myself" the advice to "stop working." To the question, who was speaking with him, came the answer, "Your beloved [tvoia liubeznaia], your friend." But he was unable to learn anything more from her.

In the meantime, according to the brother's mentor, "before the start of the fifth week of Lent he felt a strong desire to fast, whereas he normally fasts during Holy Week." Obeying this inner urge, "he completed his fasting obligation in a genuine spirit of humility." The letter ends with the mentor's report that at the present time, "this brother continues his duties in the brotherhood with great zeal and does not miss a single meeting or discussion .... [He] has already reached the third degree" and leads a life "most sober and pure."

On this note the manuscript ends. The new communication from the mentor, however, provides support for further conclusions along the lines of Paracelsus's mystical anthropology, which served, as we have seen, as the theoretical source for the Moscow Rosicrucian. According to him, the brother's inflamed imagination and ejaculation might bear witness to his entrance into an unnatural communion with a succuba--an astral materialization of suppressed sexual desire (in this case, lust). (53) We should recall that there was mention in the first letter of this brother's earlier voluptuousness. He had become chaste upon his entry into the lodge and over several years had not known women. Reference to the sexual nature of his vision--his sensations' sensual character--is found also in the Moscow expert's response, but inasmuch as the original communication reported the effect of the visitations on the unseen guest to be merely pious thoughts and feelings, the Moscow Rosicrucian had suggested that she might be a "benign lover." The new information had the potential radically to change this picture. According to Paracelsus, the erotic imagination
   is what gives rise to incubi and succubae and fluidic larvae.
   Incubi are male, succubae female creations. They are outgrowths of
   the lewd and intense imagination of men or women.... They are
   formed of the sperm found in the imagination of those who commit
   the unnatural sin of Onan in thought and desire. Forming ... as it
   does from the imagination alone, it is not real sperm, but only a
   corrupted salt (essence).... This sperm that arises from the
   imagination is born in Amor Hereos. This means a form of love in
   which a man may imagine a woman, or a woman a man, in order to
   perform the sexual act with an image created in the sphere of the
   mind. From this results an expulsion of useless ethereal fluid,
   impotent to generate a child but capable of bringing larvae into
   existence. Such an imagination is the mother of debauchery. (54)

Thus the story of the brother visited by an invisible being is an allegory of a lovesick imagination (amor hereos) that leads the erotically overcharged subject to masturbation and consequently enthrallment to an astral succuba.

Every participant in this little occultist erotic drama had his own conception of the events which fit, as mentioned earlier, into the multilayered Masonic theory of knowledge. The contents of the last letter allow us to reconstruct the experiences of the main character, who had decided, according to his mentor, to fast on the eve of the fifth week of Lent--that is, during the time to repent for sins committed over the course of the entire year. The brother's fast during the fourth ("cross-venerating") and fifth weeks bears witness not merely to his quest to fortify himself through the completion of the fast and to his hope for help from the Heavenly Intercessor in his struggle against unseen enemies. Jesus, who drove the deaf and mute spirit from the possessed man, taught that the grace of fasting and prayer banishes diabolical power: "This [diabolical] kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting" (Mark 9:29). Most likely, our brother interpreted what was happening to and in him as a test of his faith and a struggle for his soul. The way in which the conclusion of the correspondence coincides with the Paschal cycle is clearly not fortuitous (note that the brother dated the beginning of the visitations from the time of his reading of books about the passion and death of Jesus): the entire story fits into the Christological plan relevant for a third-stage Mason and is presented as an allegory of spiritual struggle and bodily transfiguration.

In this case there appears to be a close connection between the Christian calendar and the historical one. The very date of the "mysterious adventure" (1819 to early 1820) would have sounded solemn and ominous to contemporaries. In the 1810s, the German mystics then popular in Russia, above all the extremely authoritative Johann Heinrich Jung-Stilling, claimed that "the Last Judgment is close at hand," and that in 1816 or 1819, "6,000 years will have passed since the creation of the world." (55) "In the end times everything hidden will be revealed," wrote one prophet of the era, Karl von Eckartshausen, "but it is also foretold that many false prophets will arise in these times and the believer is commanded not to trust every spirit, but rather to test whether the spirits are from God." (56) "Everything is moving toward this moment," according to the Russian translation of Stilling's 1818 Das Heimweh; "Faith will yet be destroyed more than once.... The abomination of desolation will appear in a holy place and we have already witnessed the signs of this approach. The man of sin is to appear: and the matter from which this idol took form is already prepared, and the spirit that will give it life is already about." (57) The secret fear that is palpable in the reaction of the subject of the correspondence and his brethren can be explained by the eschatological foreboding characteristic of the time--the fear of the supernatural conception of the man of sin that Stilling had prophesied. In this way and in the eyes of the mystics, the events of the summer and winter of 1819 could have taken on a providential meaning.

The story of this brother's mysterious encounter with an elemental spirit seemed important to Russian mystics in the 1810s for a number of reasons. First, it confirmed and symbolically represented that what the secret books described was really possible--humans could discover the secrets of nature with the help of elemental spirits. Second, it showed that at a profound level the human body was connected with, and dependent upon, the invisible spirit world; it was thus an allegory of mystical love or the dangers of the erotic imagination. Third, in the manner of a mystery play it developed the notion that mystical experience was agonizingly ambiguous, for even the best thoughts were incapable of guaranteeing salvation and the soul's path to the light proved full of danger; in this sense it was an allegory of a spiritual trial. Fourth, the subject of the story was a contemporary and compatriot, and the coincidence of the mysterious visitations with the year 1819 gave it an apocalyptic dimension.

Clearly, since the central conflict was not resolved, none of the possible interpretations can be considered exhaustive and definitive. The mysterious being remained unknown, and the body of its (or her) chosen or creator remained the object of intense interest from rank-and-file brethren of the order as well as sages who were initiated into occult knowledge. This lack of resolution was explained ontologically, for "the main causes of these creatures' existence is hidden from us." (58) To all appearances, however, the witnesses to this Petersburg story believed that they would not have to wait much longer for a resolution, because "at the end of the world, when it approaches, everything will be revealed, from the smallest to the greatest" and "whatever is in the world will be discovered and revealed." (59) So far, however, all that has been revealed is the correspondence published in the appendix to this article.


Letter 1


Letter 2


Letter 3


(1) This concerns the famous tract by Madame Guyon (1648-1717), The Short and Easy Method of Prayer, which circulated widely in Russian lodges in the early 19th century long before its first full publication in 1821. The inner return to Christ is the central theme of this quietistic composition (see above all chapters 10, 11, and 22).

(2) The second chapter of this mystical book, translated from the Latin, is called "O tom, chto Khristos griadyi na smert', nachalo smerti svoeia ot vertograda nachinaet" (About How Christ Starts upon His Way to Death from the Garden) and in a form of ecstatic tension tells about the symbolic meaning of the bloody sweat of Jesus. The Death and Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ elicited persecution from the authorities, and 406 copies of it were confiscated from Moscow bookstores in 1787.

(3) This concerns The Light of Grace, or the Writings of N. A. K., a collection (prepared by I. V. Lopukhin) of edifying letters and exhortations by the noted Freemason N. A. Kraevich (1756-90), published at the beginning of the 19th century; a copy of this work is preserved in the Masonic Arsen'ev Archive (NIOR RGB f. 14, ed. khr. 573). The "Second Piece" about the abode of the saints and the "high, subtle, and false light and wisdom" sets forth Kraevich's theosophical views and his criticism of "twisted" fantasizing and false wisdom regarding the mysteries of nature.

Translated by Gerald McCausland

Dept. of Slavic Languages

University of Pennsylvania

745 Williams Hall

255 South 36th Street

Philadephia, PA 19104-6305 USA

(1) Nauchno-issledovatel'skii otdel rukopisei Rossiiskoi gosudarstvennoi biblioteki (NIOR RGB) f. 147, ed. khr. 148, ll. 41-46 ob.

(2) Ibid., ll. 41-44 ob.

(3) Ibid., ll. 45-46 ob.

(4) Among other manuscripts I found the following: "The adventures of the late Reverend Antonii, archbishop of Astrakhan' and Stavropol', described by himself, which happened to him on the first day of April in the year 1781 in the city of Saratov..."; "About the peasant to whom the spiritual world was revealed during his illness"; "Of the wondrous healing in Nizhnii Novgorod of the maiden Gulimova'; the story of E. I. K., written by himself; and the "Report by Lord Williams to the Secret Committee of the Leaders of the Order, According to the Strict-Observante [sic] System" (all in ibid.).

(5) See A. I. Serkov, "Sud'ba masonskikh sobranii v Rossii," 500 Years of Gnosis in Europe (Amsterdam: In De Pelikaan, 1993), 29; and Serkov, Istoriia russkogo masonstvaXIXveka (St. Petersburg: Izdatel'stvo imeni N. I. Novikova, 2000), 66-67.

(6) Compare in this regard the well-known publication and historical-cultural description by A. N. Pypin of the alchemical tract "O filosofskikh chelovechkakh, kto oni sut' v samorn dele i kak ikh rozhdat'?" in his Russkoe masonstvo (XVIII ipervaia chetvert") (IX v. (Petrograd: Ogni, 1916), 482-97. It is interesting that this very publication had a secondary influence on modernist literature through the works of Aleksandr Blok and Mikhail Kuzmin; N. A. Bogomolov, Russkaia l#eratura nachala XX veka i okkul'tizm: Issledovaniia i materialy (Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, 1999), 154-59.

(7) P. N. Sakulin, Iz istorii russkogo idealizma: Kn. V. F. Odoevskii. Myslitel'. Pisatel', 2 vols. (Moscow: Sabashnikovye, 1913), 2: 68-69. It should be noted that the author, a major expert in the occult sciences, was married to the sister of the abovementioned S. S. Lanskoi, in whose papers the correspondence discussed here was found.

(8) Compare: "I spent almost the entire period of Lent in luxury and idleness or in carnal enjoyment, from which I suffered an increase in blood and a clogging of the stomach," and visions began to appear "sent to me through the wrath of God" ("The adventures of the late Reverend Antonii, archbishop of Astrakhan" and Stavropol', described by himself, which happened to him on the first day of April in the year 1781 in the city of Saratov ..." (NIOR RGB f. 147, ed. khr. 148, 11. 1-14).

(9) Compare: "Recently a naval officer died in Kronstadt. Two days before his death ... he was telling his friend .... that there were voices speaking in both his ears and answering all his questions. The sick man asked them who they were and they answered: 'There are six of us in your left ear and three in your right ...' To the questions of whether he would recover from his illness, they replied, 'you would have recovered long ago if you didn't drink.' ... One more day passed before the officer died" (ibid., 1.65).

(10) "An event taking place in the year 1815--***"(an anonymous doctor's description of the revelations of a demon-possessed maiden; ibid., 1.17).

(11) We have here an illustration of the three levels of learning, which correspond to the triple nature of man as understood by Masonic belief. The pious mentors know more than their young brother, who is limited by his empirical experience, but the wise Muscovite knows more than the mentor who is writing to him.

(12) Cf. Prince Odoevskii's The Sylph, in which the reader is offered two mutually exclusive points of view on the event: that of the visionary protagonist and that of his doctor. Where the former sees a revelation of the higher truth and beauty of the world, the latter sees evidence of mental disturbance. "All that is understandable...," repeated the physician. "You know that we distinguish various forms of insanity--vesaniae. All kinds of madness belong to the first kind, but this does not apply to our friend. The second kind contains: first, a predisposition to ghosts--hallucinationes; and second, a confidence in communion with spirits--demonomania. It is very understandable that our friend is by nature susceptible to hypochondria. In the village, alone, without any distractions, he immersed himself in all kinds of nonsensical reading and that reading had an effect on his nervous system" (V. F. Odoevskii, Poslednii kvartet Betkhovena: Povesti, rasskazy, ocherki. Odoevskii v zhizni, ed. V. Murav'ev [Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1989], 208).

(13) A dilemma that received its classical literary expression in Jacques Cazotte's Devilin Love (1772).

(14) As S. Zenkin justifiably writes, in occult literature the "process of mystical experience is personalized," presented not as an anonymous "course of instruction" but as the "personal and sometimes dramatic fate" of the hero who finds himself in search of "his own identity and, consistent with that, an ideal partner in love, because it is in love relationships that a person best comes to know himself" ("O sakral'nom--dlia profanov," Inostrannaia literatura, no. 6 (1997), available at

(15) In the words of M. A. Tur'ian, in Odoevskii's Sylph, "the hero was chosen, and achieved the secret of existence through the wisdom of medieval mystics and love for a nature spirit, the Sylph, a messenger from another, bright and harmonious world that revealed itself only to one of the chosen" (Strannaia moia sud'ba: O zhizni Vladimira Fedorovicha Odoevskogo [Moscow: Kniga, 1991], 305).

(16) NIOR RGB f. 147, ed. khr. 38, II. 18 ob. 19.

(17) Ibid., ed. khr. 17, l. 377.

(18) Ibid., ed. khr. 62, l. 88.

(19) Ibid., ed. khr. 51.

(20) Ibid., ed. khr. 43, ll 38 ob.-39.

(21) Ibid., 1.40 ob.

(22) Serkov, Istariia russkogo masonstva XIX veka, 229-32. A. P. Rimskii-Korsakov wrote to M. Iu. Viel'gorskii and S. S. Lanskoi in 1817 about N. A. D'iakov: "he speaks of many interesting things, but too hermetically," and "among the pupils and comrades he speaks about the Spirit of nature, about quintesssence, about genius, about Count Gabalis, about the Platonic ring, and such similar matters" (ibid., 232).

(23) Ibid., 245-90; A. I. Serkov, Russkoe masonstvo 1731-2000: Entsiklopedicheskii slovar" (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2001), 511, 1058.

(24) I would like to sincerely thank A. I. Serkov for generously allowing me the opportunity to familiarize myself with these letters.

(25) "Maklakov P. I. Pis'ma k Maslovu Andreiu Ivanovichu" (NIOR RGB f. 128 [file in process of being catalogued, hence not yet numbered], l. 4 ob.).

(26) Madame Guyon, Kratkii i legchaishii sposob molit'sia, koim kazhdyi legko mozhetpriobresti vnutrenniuiu serdechnuiu Molitvu i dostignut" chrez to vysokogo sovershenstva (St. Petersburg, 1821), 42.

(27) M. O. Gershenzon, Griboedovskaia Moskva: P. Ia. Chaadaev. Ocherki proshlogo (Moscow: Moskovskii rabochii, 1989), 125.

(28) Smert' i stradaniia Gospoda nashego lisusa Khrista, istinno i obstoiatel'no izobrazhennye: Ili Chudnyi obraz Khristov, dostoinyi zamechaniia, udivleniia, zhalosti i podrazhaniia vsiakomu khristianinu chteniem uslazhdaiushchemusia (Moscow: F. Gippius, 1784). This was a translation of Jean Bourgeois, Vitae, passionis et mortis Jesu Christi Domini nostri mysteria . .. exposita per P. Joannem Bourghesium . .. Figuris aeneis expressa per Boetium a Bolswert (Antwerp: Apud H. Aertssium, 1622).

(29) Smert' i stradaniia Gospoda nashego Iisusa Khrista, 32.

(30) Warmth--one of the most important positive characteristics of mystical sensations--stood in equal opposition to fiery heat (a manifestation of egoism) and spiritual coldness.

(31) Although the teaching of Kraevich has already attracted the attention of A. N. Pypin (Russkoe masonstvo, 359-68) and G. V. Vernadskii (Russkoe masonstvo v tsarswovanie Ekateriny II [St. Petersburg: Izdatel'stvo imeni N. I. Novikova, 1999], 482), it certainly deserves separate scholarly treatment.

(32) "Luch blagodati, ili pisaniia N. A. K[raevicha]" (NIOR RGB f. 14, ed. khr. 573, 1.31).

(33) Ibid.

(34) Ibid., 1. 22.

(35) A hunger for reading mystical authors, according to Kraevich, "is not a sign of a good foundation." It is essential to work on the soul "and not feed the imagination with elevated-but, to us, dead--images of things beyond this world" (11.32 ob.-33).

(36) Kraevich, "Luch blagodati," 11.48-52.

(37) Pypin, Russkoe masonstvo, 368.

(38) "Teoreticheskii gradus Solomonovykh nauk" (NIOR RGB f. 147, ed. khr. 101, II. 43-45).

(39) NIOR RGB f. 237, ed. khr. 24, 1.7.

(40) Most likely, one of the senior Rosicrucians of the time around 1820 (N. A. D'iakov or even F. P. Kliucharev).

(41) He does not mention earth spirits, i.e., gnomes.

(42) That is, the books by Paracelsus, On Nymphs, Sylphs, Pigmies, and Salamanders, and by the Abbe de Villars, Comte de Gabalis, or Conversations about Secret Knowledge. See "Graf Gabalis ill razgovory o tainykh naukakh: Sochinenie abbata Villara. V dvukh knigakh" (NIOR RGB f. 14, ed. khr. 880).

(43) "Kniga Feofrasta Paratsel'sa o nimfakh, sil'fakh, pigmeiakh i salamandrakh, tak zhe i o drugikh tvoreniiakh sego roda" (ibid., ed. khr. 1195, 1.26 ob.).

(44) "Kniga Feofrasta Paratsel'sa," 1. 34. As is well known, this motif is the basis for the famous "Undine" by de la Motte Fouque (1811), later put into verse by V. A. Zhukovskii (1837); it is curious that the Russian poet first turned to this tale in the same year in which our correspondence took place, 1819. On the use of images of elemental spirits in German Romantic literature, see Oswald Floeck, Die Elementargeister bei Fouque und anderen Dichtern der romantischen und nachromantischen Zeit (Heidelberg: Carl Winter's Universitatsbuchhandlung, 1909).

(45) Pypin, Russkoe masonstvo, 36Z Compare this same motif in Odoevskii's Sylph: "Look, is there suffering in my kiss: in it is no time--it continues in eternity: and each moment for us is a new delight!... O, do not betray me! Do not betray yourself! Guard against the temptations of your crude, despicable nature!" By this time the conception of the terrible kiss of the succuba had gained currency in literature, e.g., Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus or Cazotte's The Devil in Love.

(46) "Kniga Feofrasta Paratsel'sa," 1.27 ob.

(47) This book, translated by I. V. Lopukhin, was recommended reading for the master's degree.

(48) "Kratkoe izveshchenie o nevidimom sushchestve i nakhodiashchikhsia v neizmerimykh prostranstvakh tvariakh dobrykh i zlykh, takzhe zvezdnykh i stikhiinykh dukhakh, o proiskhozhdenii dukhov, sushchestve i deistvii ikh; o snakh i vsiakikh fantaziiakh, takzhe o privideniiakh, i volshebnykh silakh, i inykh eshche k tomu prinadlezhashchikh veshchakh; iz estestvennogo poznaniia sobrannoe, i so sviashchennym pisaniem i so zdravymi zakliucheniiami razuma soglashennoe" (NIOR RGB f. 147, op. 1, ed. khr. 219, 1. 237).

(49) Ibid., 1. 242 ob.

(50) Ibid., 1. 261.

(51) Ibid.

(52) By comparison, in the literary reworking of this motif in Odoevskii's Sylph, the loss of the elemental spirit amounts to a loss of vital poetic consciousness.

(53) Medieval literature is full of stories about sexual contact between humans and succubae and incubi, whom theologians considered a diabolical breed. In the symbolical language of the kabbalists, incubi and succubae come from the semen spilled by Adam (carnal man), entering into a relation with his first wife Lilith (signifying an unhealthy imagination). See Franz Hartmann, The Life of Philippes Theophrastus, Bombast of Hohenheim, known by the name of Paracelsus, and the Substance of His Teachings (London: George Redway, 1887), 89. There is a large body of literature on the medieval and Renaissance polemics around the subject of incubi and succubae and the distinguishing characteristics of elemental spirits in the nature philosophy of Paracelsus. See, in particular, the chapter "Counterpoints to a Tradition: The Incubus from Paracelsus to Pope," in Nicolas Kiessling, Thelncubus in English Literature: Provenance and Progeny (Spokane: University of Washington Press, 1977).

(54) Hartmann, The Life of Philippes Theophrastus, Bombast of Hohenheim, Known by the Name of Paracelsus, 89-90. Hence Paracelsus recommended that anyone unable to keep himself pure and innocent in thought and desire not remain alone.

(55) I. G. lung-Shtilling [Johann Jung-Stilling], Toska po otchizne, trans. F. P. Lubianovskii, 5 vols. (St. Petersburg, 1817-18), 4: 68, 103.

(56) Karl Ekkartsgauzen [Karl yon Eckartshausen], Oblako nad sviatilishchem, ili Nechto takoe, o chem gordaia filosofiia i grezit'ne smeet (St. Petersburg, 1804), 73.

(57) Iung-Shtilling, Toska po otchizne, 4: 359.

(58) "Kniga Feofrasta ParatseI'sa" (NIOR RGB f. 14, ed. khr. 1195, 1.49 ob.).

(59) Ibid.
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