It is an interesting coincidence that while the recent convention of the Theosophists was in session the Keely Motor Company was reorganized and announcement was made that the motor would soon be tested on a street railway car. We are still inclined to regard with favor our own suggestion, made a few days ago, that the new Mahatma who has taken charge of the occult business of the Theosophical Society, and whose identity is concealed from the world at large and Theosophic rank and file, may be no less a person than Mr. CLAUDE FALLS WRIGHT, the young Secretary, who has been so freely describing the unknown wonder-worker's supernatural powers; but we are not unwilling to consider evidence tending to show that the new Occult Guardian is JOHN E. W. KEELY.
During the recent convention the society exhibited a high regard for KEELY, and we pointed out a few months ago that KEELY was known to be doing business on a mahatmic basis. His "polar-depolar sympathetic force," and 'interchange of polar and depolar sympathy" are clearly the mahatmic "thought waves" under other names, and it is admitted that the "astral" forces or manifestations which are the stock in trade of the Mahatmas. Wherever these personages reside, whether on the tops of the Himalayas or in a New York flat, are to be observed in KEELY'S workshop.
KEELY is also affected by such "conditions" as those which sometimes interrupted the memorable "materializations" which Mme. BLAVATSKY and Col. OLCOTT drew inspiration for the establishment of the Theosophic Society and cult. He said to his inquiring guests in Philadelphia on the 17th day of January last:
"I am always a good deal disturbed when I begin one of these exhibitions, for sometimes, if an unsympathetic person is present, the machines will not work."
And at the same time the most faithful, credulous, and generous of KEELY'S supporters explained that the motive power discovered by the old gentleman was really "the will of God," and that KEELY could move railroad cars merely by looking at them and talking to them, without the aid of any machinery whatever. It is stated now, however, that he prefers to have the assistance of a little box, "eighteen inches long by eight inches wide," fastened to the front platform of the car, but connected in no way with the running gear. It should be said that, as reported by the officers of his company, he has abandoned the vaporic ether system" and now uses the "vibratory" method, which is another name for "the polar-depolar sympathy." This charge, we suppose, could not be avoided, although his followers had expended about $250,000 in perfecting the application of the force now laid aside. But if he can, as he says, "run a street car crowded to the roof with a machine no bigger than your hand," or merely by talking to it, the new "basis" in better than the old one.
At the recent convention KEELY was mentioned with expression of profound respect by leading Theosophist who have been permitted to know the name of the new Mahatma. Dr. J. D. BUCK of Cincinnati, acting President of the society after the death of Mr. JUDGE, and Chairman of the convention, referred as follows to KEELY in a learned paper which he had prepared for the edification of the assembly:
"No one holding firmly to the mechanical theory of the universe has advanced a single step in any real discovery or apprehension of the essential truths of cosmic or human evolution.
"The single exception is J. E. W. KEELY of Philadelphia. J. E. W. KEELY seems to combine the intuitions of the seer with the practical knowledge of mechanics, and is at once a scientist and a philosopher. Though he has nowhere completely formulated the old philosophy to which I have referred, his conception of the constitution of matter and the correlation of force is in complete harmony with it. In his apprehension of the working powers of nature he has no equal in his generation.
"If science would change its working hypothesis, the Keelys of science would doubtless become more numerous. (This seems reasonable.) The Soul of the World, or Universal Spirit, lies at the heart of every atom, guiding and directing it movements. There is thus derived the introductory impulse to motion, to which Mr. KEELY refers, and, as he truly says, beyond which no finite mind can go; further than this, we must fathom the essence of the Supreme Spirit."
It is admitted that the new Mahatma was present in the convention. We have not been able to ascertain whether Mr. KEELY was in this city at the time, but it seems to us that the new Occult Director and honored associate of KOOT HOOMI and MORYA must be either KEELY or young CLAUDE FALLS WRIGHT. Owing to certain mysterious predictions proceeding from the society's group of "chelas," we are now inclined to believe KEELY is the man. It has been stated authoritatively that the new Guardian has a great "opportunity" because "the world will soon have a striking demonstration of the new era," and that "the recent discoveries as to the ethereal character of matter and the material character of ether" make the "beginning of a new cycle." These, we think are veiled allusion to the reorganization of the Keely Motor Company and the impending application of KEELY'S polar and depolar sympathy to street cars.