isis unveiled: xi (magical history)

“According to Demokritus, the soul results from the aggregation of atoms, and Plutarch describes his philosophy as follows:

“That there are substances infinite in number, indivisible, undisturbed, which are without differences, without qualities, and which move in space, where they are disseminated; that when they approach each other, they unite, interlock, and form by their aggregation water, fire, a plant, or a man. That all these substances, which he calls atoms by reason of their solidity, can experience neither change nor alteration. But”, adds Plutarch, “we cannot make a color of that which is colorless, nor a substance or soul of that which is without soul and without quality.”

Professor Balfour Stewart says that this doctrine, in the hands of John Dalton, “has enabled the human mind to lay hold of the laws which regulate chemical changes, as well as to picture to itself what is there taking place.”

After quoting, with approbation, Bacon’s idea that men are perpetually investigating the extreme limits of nature, he then erects a standard which he and his brother philosophers would do well to measure their behavior by.

“Surely we ought”, says he, “to be very cautious before we dismiss any branch of knowledge or train of thought as essentially unprofitable.”

Brave words, these. But how many are the men of science who put them into practice?”

H. P. Blavatsky

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