isis unveiled: chapter chapter VII (thou great first cause)

“Further, the same reviewer shows us many of the identical ideas and all the material requisite to demonstrate the great discoveries of Tyndall and Huxley, in the works of Dr. Joseph Priestley, author of Disquisitions on Matter and Spirit, and even in Herder’s Philosophy of History.

“Priestley”, adds the author, “was not molested by government, simply because he had no ambition to obtain fame by proclaiming his atheistic views from the house-top. This philosopher…was the author of from seventy to eighty volumes, and the discoverer of oxygen.” It is in these works that “he puts forward those identical ideas which have been declared so ‘startling’, ‘bold’, etc., as the utterances of our present-day philosophers.”

“Our readers”, he proceeds to say, “remember what an excitement has been created by the utterances of some of our modern philosophers as to the origin and nature of ideas, but those utterances, like others that preceded and followed them, contain nothing new.” “An idea”, says Plutarch, “is a being incorporeal, which has no subsistence by itself, but gives figure and form unto shapeless matter, and becomes the cause of its manifestation” (De Placito Philosohorum).”

H. P. Blavatsky

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