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

“As Prof. Draper truly remarks:   “Long-continued and close observations were necessary before some of these astronomical results that have reached our times could have been ascertained.

Thus, Babylonians had fixed the length of a tropical year within twenty-five seconds of the truth; their estimate of the sidereal year was barely two minutes in excess. They had detected the precession of the equinoxes.  They knew the cause of eclipses, and, by the aid of their cycle, called saros, could predict them. Their estimate of the value of that cycle, which is more than 6,585, was within nineteen and a half minutes of the truth.”

“Such facts furnish incontrovertible proof of the patience and skill with which astronomy had been cultivated in Mesopotamia, and that, with very inadequate instrumental means, it had reached no inconsiderable perfection.

These old observers had made a catalogue of the stars, had divided the zodiac into twelve signs; they had parted the day into twelve hours, the night into twelve.

They had, as Aristotle says, for a long time devoted themselves to observations of star-occultations by the moon. They had correct views of the structure of the solar system, and knew the order of emplacement of the planets. They constructed sundials, clepsydras, astrolabes, gnomons.”

Speaking of the world of eternal truths that lies “within the world of transient delusions and unrealites”, Professor Draper says:  “That world is not to be discovered through the vain traditions that have brought down to us the opinion of men who lived in the morning of civilization, nor in the dreams of mystics who though that they were inspired. It is to be discovered by the investigations of geometry, and by the practical interrogations of nature.”

Precisely. The issue could not be better stated. This eloquent writer tells us a profound truth. He does not, however, tell us the whole truth, because he does not know it. He has not described the nature or extent of the knowledge imparted in the Mysteries.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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