Isis Unveiled: chapter I (an axiom of hermetic philosophy)

“Indeed, the ancient philosophers seem to be generally held, even by the least prejudiced of our modern critics, to have lacked that profundity and thorough knowledge in the exact sciences of which our century is so boastful.

 
It is even questioned whether they understood that basic scientific principle: ex nihilo nihil fit (nothing comes from nothing). If they suspected the indestructibility of matter at all – say these commentators – it was not in consequence of a firmly established formula but only through an intuitional reasoning and by analogy.

 
We hold to the contrary opinion. The speculation of these philosophers upon matter were open to public criticism: but their teachings in regard to spiritual things were profoundly esoteric.

 
Being thus sworn to secrecy and religious silence upon abstruse subjects involving the relations of spirit and matter, they rivaled each other in their ingenious methods for concealing their real opinions.

 
The doctrine of Metempsychosis has been abundantly ridiculed by men of science and rejected by theologians, yet if it had been properly understood in its application to the indestructibility of matter and the immortality of spirit, it would have been perceived that it is a sublime conception.

 
Should we not first regard the subject from the stand-point of the ancients before venturing to disparage its teachers?”

 
H. P. Blavatsky

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