isis unveiled: xi (magical history)

“What is imagination? Psychologists tell us that it is the plastic or creative power of the soul; but materialists confound it with fancy. The radical difference between the two, was however, so thoroughly indicated by Wordsworth, in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads, that it is no longer excusable to interchange the words. Imagination, Pythagoras maintained to be the remembrance of precedent spiritual, mental, and physical states, while fancy is the disorderly production of the material brain.

From whatever aspect we view the question matter, the world-old philosophy that it was vivified and fructified by the eternal idea, or imagination – the abstract outlining and preparing the model for the concrete form – is unavoidable.

If we reject this doctrine, the theory of a cosmos evolving gradually out of its chaotic disorder becomes an absurdity; for it is highly unphilosophical to imagine inert matter, solely moved by blind force, and directed by intelligence, forming itself spontaneously into a universe of such admirable harmony.

If the soul of man is really an outcome of the essence of this universal soul, an infinitesimal fragment of this first creative principle, it must of necessity partake in degree of all the attributes of the demiurgic power. As the creator, breaking up the chaotic mass of dead, inactive matter, shaped it into form, so man, if he knew his powers, could, to a degree, do the same.

As Pheidias, gathering together the loose particles of clay and moistening them with water, could give plastic shape to the sublime idea evoked by his creative faculty, so the mother who knows her power can fashion the coming child into whatever form she likes. Ignorant of his powers, the sculptor produces only an inanimate though ravishing figure of inert matter; while the soul of the mother, violently affected by her imagination, blindly projects into the astral light an image of the object which impressed it, and, by repercussion, that is stamped upon the foetus.

Science tells us that the law of gravitation assures us that any displacement which takes place in the very heart of the earth will be felt throughout the universe, “and we may even imagine that the same thing will hold true of those molecular motions which accompany thought.”

Speaking of the transmission of energy throughout the universal ether or astral light, the same authority says: “Continual photographs of all occurrences are thus produced and retained. A large portion of the energy of the universe may thus be said to be invested in such pictures.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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