The Theosophical Forum – March 1937


Epidemics are wide-spread prevalence of disease, or of mental or emotional conditions. The causes usually assigned to epidemic diseases are: individual susceptibility; earth conditions of heat, moisture, soil, water, hygiene, and sanitation; and mass movements of people, as in wars and pilgrimages, etc. While all of these factors provide physical and psychological conditions favorable for the spread of certain epidemic diseases and emotional disorders, there remain potent invisible causes to be reckoned with. This fact finds typical expression in the recurrence of several hundred epidemics of influenza on record. It is significant that this disease, which is not contagious, spreads with great rapidity, suddenly appearing in any climate from Arctic regions to remote South Sea Islands, and in all conditions from palace to hovel, in crowded cities and in open country, and in mid-ocean.

H. P. Blavatsky discusses these unusual and serious effects of causes, which she says are cosmical rather than bacterial (Lucifer, V, 448). She explains that all such mysterious epidemics as influenza are due to an exuberance of ozone in the air, where an excess of oxygen has become ozone under the powerful stimulus of electricity. She quotes the scientific teaching that it is an excess of ozone in the air that induces the unaccountable feeling of fear and depression in many nervous persons before a storm. While a certain amount of ozone is necessary for normal breathing and circulation of the blood, too much irritates the respiratory organs, and over one per cent, of it in the air respired is fatal. The role oxygen plays in combustion is related to the fever in influenza; while the depression and vital exhaustion often prove fatal without serious organic disease developing. Even recovery is delayed by a lack of nervous vitality. A peculiar symptom is a vague sense of detachment from one's ordinary interest in, and relation to, familiar conditions and people. The patient's negative mind and body seem to drift along under the sway of forces belonging to some other plane of existence, leaving him indifferent to this plane. The electrical vibrations in the Earth's aura seem focussed upon his vitality which is not equal to the potent charge.

The pranic life-atoms of man's body make an "electrical field" which, permeating his astral-vital-physical constitution, puts him in contact with the natural flow of ethereal currents of electric and magnetic force. These forces emanate from great cosmic entities who are the intelligent agencies for the karmic action of the so-called "laws of Nature." They function in the noumenal realm of causes which are due to appear on earth as phenomena of all kinds. These entities are the regents of the seven sacred planets, who help to build the body and oversee the destiny of both man and the earth. They act automatically and impersonally in harmony with the combined causes and effects of ethereal and terrestrial conditions. The ethereal interference with radio transmission hints that the Universe is invisibly "wired" for the interplay of electro-magnetic wave-lengths or currents of various kinds. The sun, the moon, the planets, the earth, and the human brain are all magnets in contact with a common network of "live" wires of consciousness. The atoms of the Solar System not only change their combining equivalents on every planet, but they undergo a certain change in their rapid passage through our atmosphere. H. P. Blavatsky speaks of

the Spirit, the noumenon of that which becomes in its grossest form oxygen and hydrogen and nitrogen on Earth. . . . Before these gases and fluids become what they are in our atmosphere, they are interstellar Ether; still earlier and on a deeper plane — something else, and so on ad infinitum. — The Secret Doctrine, I, 626

These "fluids and gases," then, have been "stepped down," plane after plane, bringing to us the karmic influences of the hierarchy of entities which compose the Solar organism. They are the tangible carriers of the cosmic electrical fire of divine, spiritual, mental, psychic, astral, and material forces which infill the Universe. Here, in brief are the astrological causative influences in typical epidemics, which are variously operating in other karmic diseases and mental and emotional disorders such as popular uprisings, fanatical movements, waves of crime and vice, etc. Happily, however, the same impersonal agents of the karmic law are equally active and are helpful during human cycles of ethical and spiritual aspiration and progress.

The Theosophical Forum