"All illustrations in this book are photographs of MENTAL PICTURES"
As a boy, Charles Littlefield ("author, scientist, physician") had a wounded foot miraculously healed when a man called George Washburn recited a "certain passage of scripture, with some substitutions". This experience led Littlefield in adult life to investigate how such charms did their work.
Drawing on the (uncredited) work of the quack Schuessler, Littlefield's researches gave him the idea that mineral salts in the body could respond to mental transmissions. They would do so by forming images of mystical import (the "mental pictures" mentioned above), visible through the microscope, which could not merely stop bleedings but were actually the root of life.
"... while making some experiments with the twelve mineral salts of the blood, endeavouring to discover the relation between mental states and those salts that produce clotting in case of hemorrhage, a living octopus was produced."
The discovery of these strange microscopic phenomena might have made an interesting account in itself, but Littlefield goes much further. At first, the images he saw were somewhat limited in nature, coming simply from his own experience or the Bible:
... the mental images were either those of of [the writer's] own creation such as the "fowl" and the "overshot water-wheel saw-mill", or those taken from The Book, such as "the Holy Spirit in Creation" and "Mount Zion".
But then, he says, he experienced a series of visions in which he was initiated into occult secrets by no less a trio of personages than "the three Wise Men who visited the new-born King of the Jews in Bethlehem of Judea". This is only fitting for one who is, as he immodestly implies in another passage, "a true prophet or seer", just like those of the Old Testament.
These three Masters who initiated him are simultaneously themselves Old Testament figures. In time-honoured mystical tradition, Littlefield does not let the bounds of time and space constrain his visionary purpose. The first of the three is Ezekiel, who admits to being rather older than he looks, as he says of himself:
"The continent of Atlantis was the place of my last manifestation in the flesh. This was centuries before the building of the Great Pyramid. The language my people spoke was Zansar, very similar indeed to our present English, It was then a universal language, and as such had nothing in common with any modern dialect."
The second master was Enoch, who looks as though he was suffering from a bad cold in Littlefield's picture.
He was probably six feet tall and well proportioned. He wore a veil. Anyone might mistake him for a present-day banker, a prosperous merchant or a captain of industry.
(If they overlooked the veil, presumably.)
The third was Melchizedek, who being "not less than eight feet tall" would make a desirable addition to any basketball team. He also seems a little leaky:
While studying this third Master the writer noticed a small pool of clear water gather near where he stood.
Melchizedek is in fact a sort of walking oasis, as well as being exceptionally ancient:
"My first breath was at midnight at the time now known as the Vernal Equinox, March 21, 53,770 years B. C. It was on this date that the lines were laid upon the earth for the foundation of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh."
The three Masters pass on their revelations in a style that will be familiar to students of crank literature, with references to the Kabbalah, Yoga and astrology all mixed together in an indigestible gumbo, of which this example is typical:
"We shall now illustrate how the tabulated system of Higher Hieroglyphics, as presented in the first initiation in Tibet aids us in the development of superconsciousness in relation to the constant renewal of the body," the Master resumed, "and the limiting of extreme old age within the range of the laws of nutrition."
This is the prelude to a bewildering account of how numerology enables the Masters to live so long, which is too boring to reproduce here. But this magic is not limited in its application to the longevity of superior beings, as Littlefield shows in a chapter called "Practical Instruction", in which he recounts the charming story of how a woman who wanted a piano achieved her desire by the simple expedient of reciting the powerful mantra "I have a lovely brown piano" over and over, until she was given one by a total stranger.
It is a credit to Littlefield's eclectic crackpottery that this book could have been filed under several of the different sections of this site. If he had been writing a few decades later I am sure he'd have managed to incorporate UFOs into the mix, too. Needless to say, despite the clear signs of psychosis in his writings and the unconvincing character of his microscope photographs, there are still some today who cite him as a pioneer.