They who follow "the path that leads thro' darkness up to God," find on their way distinctive turning points. Thus, we realize that in Theosophical literature another plane has been reached. The thought-leaders have passed from the proof of reason to the proof of clear vision; and experiments conducted by the inner perceptions now form a scientific basis for a practical knowledge of transcendental, yet natural laws. The London band of highly gifted and accurately trained seers reveal to us worlds invisible, objectify thought-forms and describe from actual observation the nature and evolution of atoms, while here, at the Gates of the Setting Sun, other students endowed with a rare combination of keen inner sight and a scientific habit of mind, give to the world the results of their work on the Human Aura, and that of plants, tracing the auric correlations with principles and forces so clearly that all may understand.

For nearly half a century the existence of the aura has been known even to the uninitiated; students of psychic force have theorized upon it, clairvoyants and sensitives have spoken of it familiarly; nevertheless, the general knowledge of this invisible part of "self" has been of a vague delusive character. A clear and well-classified study on the aura has, therefore, become an imperative necessity to every student of man and nature, and just such a study will be found in this work.

Today we like theories, but we demand facts, — and facts this author gives. Dr. Marques claims no authority save that of experience, — experience confirmed by repeated experiments, the results of which have been subjected to critical analysis. It has been my privilege to see a little of that the method followed in this study by Dr. Marques, and I can truly say the personal equation has been carefully eliminated, and a severe scientific judgment passed upon every observation. No conclusion is forced, no dogma formulated; on the contrary, the author emphasizes the idea that the work is tentative, — more a suggestion for further investigation than an exhaustive and complete work in itself. But the book is really far more than tentative, and the reader who hospitably receives its message will find herein a synthetic conception of the aura, which will serve as a foundation and framework for all future building on the subject. Whoever reads it will want to build, to investigate; he will want to verify and to know for himself this unseen "I" now objectified in form and color, with all the links that moor it to dewdrop and crystal, to star dust and flower petal, to light, sound, form and color, to the very central sun itself. As he reads, consciousness deepens and expands, the sphere of microcosmic energy, called man, is better known: the insignificance of the visible, the mightiness of the invisible, the power of human thought to change, to build, to destroy, become realized facts. The listening ear catches echoes of the soul's diapason evolving, even through discords, the "lost chord" of a perfected humanity.

However, the Human Aura does not appeal solely to mystics and those transcendently inclined, it has a very practical bearing upon the ills of life; for it prepares the way to a medical system based upon the true nature of the individual and his correlation with the planetary forces crystallized in herb and mineral, and which are most closely akin to that nature. Apart from the promise it contains of another special work on the matter, the passage relating to Disease Auras merits thorough study. It is full of clews, which, carried out to complete development, will reveal the cause of disease; and he who knows the true cause knows also the cure.

Moreover the "Human Aura" gives the reason why of the cures effected by the many schools of Mental Science, and the basis is laid for a rationalized system of "Mind Cure", that all advanced thinkers will be able to understand, accept and practice.

To all readers, therefore, this book carries a message. Some will find in it words of might, quickening into active life latent powers; some will find in it a key to unlock mysteries. May all find it a help in the acquisition of true knowledge.

Marie A. Walsh.

November 14, 1896.

Author's Preface.

Before submitting the following essay to public appreciation, the writer wishes to invite criticism, more on the substance than on the form. For the obvious deficiencies of the latter, he begs to observe:

1st.   That he is a foreigner;

2nd.   That the essay was originally intended merely as a lecture to the groups of Theosophists of the Aloha Branch, Honolulu, and of the Golden Gate Lodge, San Francisco, who had made the request for it, and who insisted on its publication;

3rd.   That the printing of it in its present shape, has been hurried, the writer having no time to attend to literary chiseling.

With this apology, the writer hopes that at least food for useful thought will be found in the subject treated, and his earnest desire is that his efforts may induce some one, better fitted than himself, to complete the study.

San Francisco, November 30th, 1896.

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