(Comments by Max Freedom Long, F.H.F.)

(The paragraphs have been selected by the Editor from Mr. Long's highly instructive correspondence, by permission, but Mr. Long is not responsible for the choice and sequence of the material.)

"I gathered as scientific a group as I could find in reach, and watched a fire-eater in Honolulu do his work. He let a welding torch play its steel-cutting flame on his teeth, tongue, and throat, repeatedly, and with us within arm's reach doing our suspicious investigating. He did other less spectacular work. In private he explained as well as he could the nature of the psychic element involved in his performance. Please note (a) there was no 'insulating ash' on the flame of the welding torch; (b) there was no 'too short contact to burn' element in his demonstration (nor when he chewed up live coals and held red-hot iron bars in his teeth and bent them; and, (c) he gave a very definite account of the occult or psychic power and the special state of mind required for such demonstrations."

"If I were financially able I would publish a BOOK so dry it would stick in the throats of all the suspicious ones. In it I would make the most god-awful detailed and tiresome explanations of now the Kahunas thought and believed, as exhibited through (a) the names they gave things, and (b) the things they did... If ever a word gave a magnificent and detailed description of the subconscious entity, the Hawaiian word unihipili does, in its several overlapping roots. (As to the missionary translation) the missionaries did their work some fifty years before the birth of modern psychology; I rise to ask how in the name of a name their translation could be full or correct ... (As to mana-mana) the dictionary translates as 'the branch out or spread, as limbs of a tree, or as fingers, to be divided.' This is a symbol meaning, the like of which fills the language, and certainly indicates a stronger variety of mana, and a dividing of the basic mana to 'branch out', so that the middle and High entities can have and use the basic mana supply."

"It is bitterly and painfully true, that in order to get to the secret that the confounded Kahunas kept so somberly, one can now do nothing better than pry into the meanings of their words. IN doing this, not knowing what to look for, one is forced to make guesses and stretching meanings. These battered items make the forest which cannot be seen because of the trees, and make a tangle which is marked with apparently significant sign-posts - but beneath which the paths cross, running in all directions. If glib critics would bestir their lazy selves and assist in exploring this new field, they might help.

"I can take, and welcome criticisms, objections, and flat contradictions from men who are qualified to work in this field, and with its incomplete and brittle materials, but heaven save us from the pupils [13] of our modern university professors, who seem to have learned the patter of psychology, and nothing of what should lie behind the one startling phenomenon of human consciousness.

"One cannot stop every whipstitch in writing on this subject, and say 'This is the best I can do on this point at present, and I may be wrong.' It would seem that the Kahunas, in the dim past, when making their language fit the concepts of their SECRET, were aware that there were endless things which they had not yet fully understand. They couldn't have known modern mechanics, physiology, or electricity. So, what do we find? Only indicators of what they came to know enough of the mighty mystery of things to be able to evolve a system that worked.

"If one insists on a Kahuna definition of the 'i' or 'I' or 'I', let us recall that there are three of these entities under discussion in Huna when one says man - and the High I is a sex duad, and the middle I may be on the way to something of that kind.

"What if the Kahunas didn't define the pure quill of consciousness if and when it could be isolated from tenuous matter and basic vital force? Didn't they have a sufficiently workable knowledge of consciousness to enable them to fire-walk as no modern savant could do?

"My understanding of Huna seems to indicate a three-ply training. We should take the low self in hand and train it to stand up from all fours, and to react like a tame animal instead of the wild one. But we would reward it with its due ration of sensory pleasures. The mental self of the middle ward we would teach to use its will and mental abilities, standing slightly clear of the low self and its emotional monkey-wrench throwing. We would teach it, in advanced training, to try to imagine for moments at a time, that it is aspiring to try to live and be an d act as it will one day do when it graduates to a High-Selfhood. The Three Justices would be observed, the Three Moralities, and the three needful ambitions and objections. Modern occult and New Thought training in this category tries to bunch the three selves and teach them all the same advanced lessons - which is the wrong approach, patently.

"This reminds me that the Bhagavad is the most interesting exhibit in this corner of the field. In the Judge translation, Ch. 1, p. 5: 'Now, O Krishna, I have beheld my kindred thus standing anxious for the fight, my members fail me... When I have destroyed my kindred, shall I look longer for happiness?' This would well fit the man about to take the low self into the wood shed for a little drastic paddle instruction. 'What if they whose minds are depraved by the list of power, see no sin in the extirpation of their race...' and so on - which fits the naial self of man neatly as a low justice description.

"On page 9 we read 'Abandon, o tormentor of thy foes, this despicable weakness of thy heart' (low self?) 'and stand up!' This business of 'stand up' is found in the Kahuna prayers as a symbol of great significance (if I guess rightly). Their formula for the beginning of a work of magic was Rise. Rise to a sitting (or kneeling position). Rise to your feet. Stand in an even rank. This symbol of rising from the animal crouch, and by three stages, gives the picture that is 'worth [14] a thousand words' of the processes of growth, thru the three self-conditions, to the grace of the High Self. In work of magic the rising to the contract with the High Self, and an alignment in 'even rows' of the three selves, so that the work that has to be done thru the mechanism of the dense low astral and cord and low mana, can be successfully accomplished.

(Esoteric Qabalists, Theosophists, and Rosicrucians alike should find these concepts of Huna completely intelligible and acceptable, tho of course with variations of terminology and detail. A magical operation consists in "drawing power down the planes;" the mind-body complex of the magician is the channel of manifestation; this channel has to be cleared - that is, the subconsciousness has to be drained of its complexed of moral guilt. Whether this guilt is 'real' or imaginary makes no difference, so long as the subconsciousness (low self) believes in it. The basic values in the Christian doctrines of prayer and repentance are easily discerned here also, tho the western theology has so hopelessly befogged the concepts that people of intelligence can make little use of them... We cannot repeat this point of view too often, for people who persist in inquiring why we 'want to start a new religion?' The 'new' element in Huna is simply a new clarity, a return to basic simplicities, to workable psychological concepts and a true and practicable magic for the needs of the common man. Ed.)

The famous stanza on page 18, "A man is said to be confirmed in spiritual knowledge when he forsaketh every desire that enterth into his heart, and is happy and content with the Self thru the Self", etc., is easily translated into Huna terms as the course of study for the middle entity, thru which it can be trained to see the difference between the desires of the instinct-guided man (the low self) and its own rather colorless self. The middle self is a poor fish in the measure of the red-blooded low self. Its loves and even its hates are transparent and carry no weight. The best thing it does, aside from exerting its will to half-boss the low self, is to whimper and keep up a constant state of discontent with conditions as they are. The low self, if let alone, would be content to lie down and chew its cud after a full meal, but the middle self is like a nagging fish-wife in never being contented. It lives in the future if by force or habit; its nature is to reason ahead and depict a better state for itself and for the low self whose pleasures it shares. However, there is a rare joy attained now and then, when the low self and the future are alike forgotten, and the moment filled with contemplation of the state we suppose related to the High Self. Or is it a momentary contact with the High Self and its higher state in which it has reached shining contentment? Can it be that it is this high state for which we unreasoningly yearn, day and night? Is it this we want, and is it nothing less than that utter union of selves, male-female, which our love-gnawings indicate as the goal. "I am the beginning, the middle, and the end," says Krishna. Is it only the end state which will give the middle state its complete satisfaction?.... Yes, some day I must do an article, perhaps captioned "What the Devil is it We Want, Anyway?", or perhaps "What the Devil does Which Entity want of Whom?"