‘Harmonial philosophy’ was explained by its inventor, the American spiritualist Andrew Jackson Davis (1826-1910), as ‘an investigation into the investigative causes of things, which investigation leads the investigator deep into the spiritual origin of all things’ (Great Harmonia, 1851, vol 2, p. 133). Joyce noted the expression in his Circe notesheets (Herring 299), along with ‘table-rapping’, ‘crystal gazing’, ‘psychometry’, ‘Something Within’, and ‘cosmic forces’, and from here introduced it into the Elijah passage of Circe.1
The term had experienced something of a boost just prior to Joyce’s work on the Circe notesheets through the publication of The harmonial philosophy: a compendium and digest of the works of Andrew Jackson Davis [...] including his natural and divine revelations, great harmonia, spiritual intercourse, ‘edited with a preface, biographical summary and notes by a doctor of hermetic science’ (London: William Rider & Son Ltd., 1917). Roughly contemporary with Thomas Jefferson Shelton’s Sunphone Sermons in Oakland, California, we might note the following talk by the First Church of Psycho Science there:
Church Notices ... First Church of Psycho Science. Corinthian Hall, Pacific Bldg., 16th and Jefferson Streets, Oakland, H. Robert Sinclair, Pastor. Sunday, 7:45 P. M. Subject, The Phenomena of Psycho Science, its Vital Necessity to the Harmonial Philosophy, By the Pastor. Bring your friends. Admission free.
Oakland Tribune (California) (1917) 11 August, p. 7
Harald Beck/John Simpson