Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/33

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29
THE PLANE OF ETHER
THE PLANE OF ETHER

(Being Further Extracts from the Records of the Astral Camera Club of Alcalde)

By President DAVID STARR JORDAN
STANFORD UNIVERSITY

AT the December meeting of the Astral Camera Club, through the courtesy of Madame Yda Hhatch, of San Diego, vice-president of the American Chirological Society, the club received a rare treat, direct from the fountains of the Orient.

Madame Hhatch is an adept in the science of palmistry and therefore a person of wealth and culture. She is pleased to exercise her gracious prerogative of patronage to scholars of all lands and of all beliefs. By her kindly interest the club was favored with an address by the Swami Earn Telang, of Bombay, from the Congress of Religions in Chicago, the substance of which, omitting the Hindu words I can not understand, I shall try to transfer to these records.

The Swami Ram Telang is a slender, dark-skinned Brahmin, with a delicate moustache and a complexion of varnished leather. His finely cut mouth bears an impress of sweet patience, while his dark soulful eyes have a deep inward expression, as though earthly matters were but a veil, half hiding the light of the inner vision. He wore a white turban after the manner of his class, and his white and purple robes were very becoming to his gentle but manly figure. Madame Hhatch impressed upon us the importance of refraining from all contact with these robes, for a profane touch would soil his aura, besides impressing the severest pain upon his sensitive Nirvanic nature. For like reason he must be sheltered from the odor of cooked meat, while even the slightest approach to a butcher's shop on the street caused him the nausea and shudders. As he himself confessed, the perfection of being which he had attained was not an unmixed blessing, for the' proofs of sorrow and suffering were ever in his sight. "Why hast thou cast Ram," he said sometimes to his Lords of Karma, "into the time of the ever-blind to proclaim thine oracles with the opened sense?" But he was very kind withal and very patient and accepted with kindness our offerings of adulation.

In this, my report, I can do but scant justice to his spoken words, for though I am not without literary taste and facility (though I say this, who should not) there was something in the lofty ideas and perfect