isis unveiled: xi (magical history)

“There are not a few well-meaning men in the present century who, desiring to avenge the memory of such martyrs of science as Agrippa, Palissy, and Cardan, nevertheless fail, through lack of means, to understand their ideas rightly. They erroneously believe that the Neo-Platonists gave more attention to transcendental philosophy than to exact science.

“The failures that Aristotle himself so often exhibits”, remarks Professor Draper, “are no proof of the unreliability of his method, but rather of its trustworthiness. They are failures arising from want of a sufficiency of facts.”

What facts? we might inquire. A man of science cannot be expected to admit that these facts can be furnished by occult science, since he does not believe in the latter. Nevertheless, the future may demonstrate this verity.

Aristotle has bequeathed his inductive method to our scientists; but until they supplement it with “the universals of Plato”, they will experience still more “failures” than the great tutor of Alexander. The universals are a matter of faith only so long as they cannot be demonstrated by reason and based on uninterrupted experience.

Who of our present-day philosophers can prove by this same inductive method that the ancients did not possess such demonstrations as a consequence of their esoteric studies? Their own negations, unsupported as they are by proof, sufficiently attest that they do not always pursue the inductive method they so much boast of.

Obliged as they are to base their theories, nolens volens, on the groundwork of the ancient philosophers, their modern discoveries are but the shoots put forth by the germs planted by the former. And yet even these discoveries are generally incomplete, if not abortive. Their cause is involved in obscurity and their ultimate effect unforeseen.

“We are not”, says Professor Youmans, “to regard these past theories as mere exploded errors, nor present theories as final. The living and growing body of truth has only mantled its old integuments in the progress to a higher and more vigorous state.”

This language, applied to modern chemistry by one of the first philosophical chemists and most enthusiastic scientific writers of the day, shows the transitional state in which we find modern science; but what is true of chemistry is true of all its sister sciences.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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