As I have explained, the kahuna system gives us three units or measures of magic; first, the consciousness at work in any given operation; second, the force used; and third, the invisible substance through which the force operates—through which this electrical type of energy is conducted and brought into play.
We have seen the three spirits or selves in the composition of a man, each self having its own peculiar mental powers, and each using its own particular voltage of vital force.
If to this we add THREE INVISIBLE ASTRAL—ETHERIC—GHOST bodies, the picture will be fairly complete—at least as I now am able to see it.
In Theosophy, as borrowed from the religionists of India, we have a strong resemblance to the kahuna idea of the three bodies which are made of invisible substance, and which serve each of man’s three spirits as a ghostly body or vehicle presumably before the birth of the physical body, and after its death. I have used the terms astral and etheric, borrowing from Theosophy, for the want of better English words. The Hawaiian word is kino (body) aka (shadowy). Each of our three spirits has a shadowy body, but that of the conscious spirit is finer and thinner than that of the subconscious. That of the superconscious is the finest and thinnest of the three.
The word aka has also the meaning of a luminous extension away from the body or a halo of light around the moon or sun, or a circle of light extending from the moon or sun before it rises above the horizon.
The shadowy bodies of the conscious and subconscious spirits blend with the living physical body (they can come and go), interpenetrating it. The shadowy body of the subconscious interpenetrates the entire body, being a mold of every tiny cell and tissue of it. The shadowy body of the conscious spirit centers around the fore-brain and is pictured in the mediaeval paintings of the saints as the inner circle of the halo around the head. (Or, perhaps it was the shadowy body of the superconscious of the saint which was intended.) In the early Greek religious writings we have, according to James Morgan Pryse in his Restored New Testament introduction, a belief in two invisible bodies: a sun body, a moon body, and then also, the physical. In the Upanishads of India we find two invisible bodies, the “causal” and the “subtile” (kārana sharīra and sūkshma sharīra) as well as the gross physical.
In book after book, one reads the conclusions of learned men who have searched for the truth behind religion and psychology. They put into words whit Thornton Wilder called the “vast, vague intimations” of religion. In these intimations one can, once he is familiar with the kahuna system, begin to pick out a few cold and substantial facts. Let me quote a typical paragraph from the work of Pryse:
“Semi-latent within this (the) pneumatic ovum (of the aura) is the paraklete, the Light of the Logos, which in energizing becomes what may be described as living, conscious electricity, of incredible voltage and hardly comparable to the form of electricity known to the physicist.… The solar body, so called because in its visible appearance it is self-luminous like the sun, has a golden radiance. This solar body is of atomic, non-molecular substance.… The psyche, or lunar body, through which the Nous acts in the psychic world, is molecular in structure, but of a far finer substance than the elements composing the gross physical form, to whose organism it closely corresponds, having organs of sight, hearing and the rest. In appearance it has a silvery lustre, tinged with delicate violet; and its aura is of the palest blue, with an interchanging play of all the prismatic colors, rendering it iridescent.”
In Egypt, as we might expect after learning from the Berber kahuna the legendary history of the stay of the kahunas on the Nile, there are very definite traces of the kahuna system to be found.
E. V. Straiton, wrote in Vol. II of The Celestial Ship of the North, glossary, (in describing ancient Egyptian beliefs):
“Many entities were supposed to comprise man, each functioning in a separate life in the tomb with the mummy. Man was thought to consist of the Sahy, the Ka, the Ba, the Khoo, the Khaibit, the Sekhem and the Ren. The Ka was said to come into being when the body to which it belonged was born, and it lived in the body until it died. It was the ethereal projection, the divine image or double of Eternal Being, image of the Spiritual Ego, the glorified second self as a type of the higher mortal self, the genius, depicted as being born with the mortal into this life. It was the perfect likeness, whether as a child, the man or the woman. The Ka separated and united with the body at will, and when uniting or coming to the body, says, ‘Thou hast let my Eternal Soul see my body.’ There was a special chamber [in the tomb] for the Ka.… Ba, the Heart-Soul [was the] most refined and ethereal in substance. The Ba could enter heaven at will. It would revisit the body in the tomb and reanimate it, and like the other entities was thought to decay if not well nourished, so food was supplied it by man or the gods. The Ba could transpose itself.… The Khoo was the Spark of the Divine Fire, the Luminous Spark, and dwelt in heaven as well as in man’s body. It was the translucent Spirit Soul that ascended to heaven.… The Khaibit [or] Shadow was regarded as a part of the human economy. It held an independent existence, and could separate from the body, visiting it at will. It was thought to be always near to or with the soul.… Sekhem, [or] ‘Vital Power’ usually mentioned with the Khoo and the Soul. It also had its existence in heaven. Ren [was] the name, and had its existence and was thought to be in heaven.… All these were said to be indissolubly bound together, although in primeval times they were thought to be separate and independent parts in man’s mortal nature.… The Osiris [or] assembling of the spiritual parts of man. The Osiris of a man attained spiritual bliss after the ceremonies for the dead. These spiritual parts when gathered together resembled him exactly.… The deceased was called the Osiris and continued to be so called until the Roman period.”
In these fragmentary remnants of the older system of the kahunas, one may pick out indications of the tradition of the three spirits of man, the three voltages of mana or vital force and the three aka-s or shadowy bodies. The psychic vision of the seers and mediums all point to the fact that the superconscious self, in its subtle body, and charged with the incredibly high voltage of vital force, appears strongly illuminated as with white light.
In the kahuna lore the “TRUE LIGHT” was the Secret psychology and especially that part of it that had to do with the superconscious, which was called the Light. It was also called the Way or Path. In Christianity there are to be found numerous remnants of the Secret. The rites of baptism with the use of water, the confessional, exorcism, and the ritual forgiving of sin, all had their fuller and more significant counterparts in the magic of the kahunas. This would be natural, if the tradition placing the kahunas in Egypt before the time of Moses is approximately correct. Christianity stems from earlier religions originating in or near Egypt. As no other source of the rituals of the Church of Rome or the Greek branch of the Church has been discovered, with the possible exception of the Mass itself, it is significant, to say the least, to find the kahunas in far Hawaii, who knew the Bible stories of the Old Testament but not a thing of the New Testament, making daily use of rites and ceremonies of the early Church in their healing magic.
It is probable that the kahunas, in the migration to Hawaii from Egypt, passed on to the priests of India some of their basic beliefs. But it is evident that in India a similarly ancient set of doctrines had already developed, and that, in grafting the kahuna beliefs to the native beliefs of India, a greater contamination of kahuna ideas resulted.
For example, take the idea of FORCE as represented in Indian lore by the pranas or pranic energies. While the kahunas recognized but three voltages of mana (note the similarity of the two words for force), the Hindus divided and divided again, giving a special force or pranic energy to each known action of mind and body. This tendency to analyze everything into many fine parts resulted in there being forty-nine pranas in some Indian systems. All modes of thinking and sensing were likewise divided to make “seven times seven,” giving us the dhātus and dharmas as a part of the scheme. The proof of any pudding is always in the eating. Despite the more complicated and more elaborate system evolved in India, their psycho-religious system remained far less practical than that of the kahunas.
Moreover, the doctrines of karma and reincarnation, as held in India, and as applied to man as if he were made up of a single spirit, hindered the use of magic for healing, as it hindered many other normal activities, and as it fostered the oppressive caste system.
We need not quarrel with the strictly religious element in any religious system, but, like modern Psychology (infant though it is), we must, perforce, question the older psychological systems where they are at variance with the recent discoveries.
When I first came upon the meaning of “stickiness” as part of the root (pili) meaning of unihipili, the kahuna word for the subconscious spirit, I could make nothing of it. But, when I had associated the shadowy body or aka with the subconscious spirit, and had considered the several root meanings of a-ka, I discovered that the thing that was “sticky” was the shadowy body. It sticks to anything we contact or see (even to things we contact by hearing, I am inclined to believe). It is like touching fly-paper with a finger and, when the finger is pulled away, a long fine thread of the adhesive substance is drawn out.
Absurd as this may sound at first telling, that is exactly the way the kahunas found the shadowy body of the subconscious worked.
The idea of an aka thread or cord is closely related to the idea of a flow of mana or vital force. The root ka means a cord, and also means a vine which branches out. The vine is the symbol of mana, as is water.
The astral cord is described in Theosophical literature as a cord of invisible stuff which connects the spirit in one of its thin bodies to the gross physical body when the spirit leaves it at the time of death, or during a condition of trance.
Modern Psychology has no slightest hint of such a thing as a shadowy body which is connected to things once touched by thousands and thousands of tiny invisible threads, but here and there in the reports of the Psychical Research records and writings of mediums, one meets evidence of the existence of such threads or cords. They can be seen and fel psychically. When heavily charged with vital force, they seem to become solid enough to feel with the fingers.
Before going on to show the part these invisible threads play in magic, let me mention a kahuna belief that all things, be they men, animals, flowers, chairs or THOUGHTS, have shadowy bodies, and these remain after the thing in its gross physical form has been destroyed. At this point we are particularly interested in the theory that thoughts have shadowy bodies—that they are substantial and enduring things, although microscopic and invisible, as are the shadowy threads.
When we think thoughts, the kahunas believed, we make thought forms. As most thoughts come in a train and in relation to other thoughts, the thought shadowy bodies or “thought forms” (recognized by Theosophists), form clusters. These clusters are likened by the kahuna system to bunches of grapes (a symbol of such clusters of thoughts in their shadowy bodies).
One of the most common uses of magic is that of sending messages by telepathy. Close friends, relatives, husbands and wives, frequently find that they get telepathic impressions one from another.
As before mentioned, Dr. Rhine of Duke University has done splendid service in studying telepathy under laboratory conditions. In fact, so well has telepathy been demonstrated that few deny its possibility.
In recent years telepathic messages were sent out by an arctic explorer almost daily, and were recorded by his friend in New York. The messages were accurately received over a distance of half way around the globe.
It is well known that the theory of radio broadcasting of mental messages from mind to mind will not hold water. Such a broadcast would depend upon an electrical discharge to carry the message, and as the power of such a discharge varies inversely as the square of the distance, a telepathic message sent half way around the world would be necessarily very much fainter than one sent across the street. The experimental studies have proved that distance makes no appreciable difference in the strength or clearness of the messages. As this cancels all modern theories made in an attempt to explain the mechanism of telepathy, we must fall back on the kahuna explanation.
This is a simple and logical explanation. It is that the threads of shadowy body substance connecting friends who send telepathic messages back and forth, are perfect conductors of vital electrical force.
In physics we know of no perfect conductors of electricity. All metals offer resistance to the passage of a current and the farther the current travels along a wire, the weaker it becomes. The higher the voltage of the current, the less the loss seems to be.
Through late experiments with “body waves” and “mind waves,” we have come to know that vital force is electrical in nature and that it is flowing or leaping in infinitesimally small charges along our nerves and from cell to cell in the body. The voltage was reported by Drs. Libet and Gerard of the University of Chicago to be a millionth of a volt or less in the brain cell interchanges, but the action of the charges that of “million volt potentials of current.”
Not only did the kahunas believe that the vital force passed unimpeded over aka threads, they believed that on the flow of the current there could be carried back and forth the thought forms which were clustered together to make complete messages or impressions.
As the subconscious spirit has control of all threads of shadowy body substance, all thought forms after they are created in the course of “thinking,” and of all flows of the low mana or “body electricity,” we cannot send and receive telepathic messages at will. We must give the subconscious a mental order to do the sending and receiving for us, then relax and wait for it to set to work. We can tell it what messages to send, but we can only wait for it to receive messages and push them to the center of consciousness so that we can become aware of them—the process is similar to that of recalling a memory, in so far as any sensation accompanying the receiving of a message is concerned.
Little by little, thanks to the recovered knowledge of the kahunas, we can see the explanation of telepathy take form. This explanation would mean little or nothing to us, however, were we not advanced in modern sciences to the point of being able to understand the ancient lore and the mechanisms described by it.