isis unveiled: xi (magical history)

“Magendie acknowledges that, despite scientific researches, comparatively little is known of foetal life. At page 518 of the American edition of his Precis Elementaire de Physiologie he instances “a case where the umbilical cord was ruptured and perfectly cicatrized”, and asks “How was the circulation carried on in this organ?”

On the next page, he says: “Nothing is at present known respecting the use of digestion in the foetus”; and respecting its nutrition, propounds this query: “What, then, can we say of the nutrition of the foetus? Physiological works contain only vague conjectures on this point.”

On page 520, the following language occurs: “In consequence of some unknown cause, the different parts of the foetus sometimes develop themselves in a preternatural manner.”

With singular inconsistency with his previous admissions of the ignorance of science upon all these points which we have quoted, he adds: “There is no reason for believing that the imagination of the mother can have any influence in the formation of these monsters; besides, productions of this kind are daily observed in the offspring of other animals and even in plants.”

How perfect an illustration is this of the methods of scientific men!  The moment they pass beyond their circle of observed facts, their judgment seems to become entirely perverted. Their deductions from their own researches are often greatly inferior to those made by others who have to take the facts at second hand.

The literature of science is constantly furnishing examples of this truth; and when we consider the reasoning of materialistic observers upon psychological phenomena, the rule is strikingly manifest. Those who are soul-blind are as constitutionally incapable of distinguishing psychological causes from material effects as the color-blind are to select scarlet from black.

Elam, without being in the least a spiritualist, nay, though an enemy to it, represents the belief of honest scientists in the following expressions: “It is certainly inexplicable how matter and mind can act and react one upon the other; the mystery is acknowledged by all to be insoluble, and will probably ever remain so.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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