“Cut off as they are from the accumulation of facts in one-half of the universe, and that the most important, modern scholars are naturally unable to construct a system of philosophy which will satisfy themselves, let alone others.
They are like men in a coal mine, who work all day and emerge only at night, being thereby unable to appreciate or understand the beauty and glory of the sunshine. Life to them measures the term of human activity, and the future presents to their intellectual perception only an abyss of darkness.
No hope of an eternity of research, achievement, and consequent pleasure, softens the asperities of present existence; and no reward is offered for exertion but the bread-earning of today, and the shadowy and profitless fancy that their names may not be forgotten for some years after the grave has closed over their remains. Death to them means extinction of the flame of life, and the dispersion of the fragments of the lamp over the boundless space.
Said Berzelius, the great chemist, at his last hour, as he burst into tears: “Do not wonder that I weep. You will not believe me a weak man, nor think I am alarmed by what the doctor has to announce to me. I am prepared for all. But I have to bid farewell to science; and you ought not to wonder that it costs me dear.”
How bitter must be the reflections of such a great student of nature as this, to find himself forcibly interrupted midway toward the accomplishment of some great study, the construction of some great system, the discovery of some mystery which had baffled mankind for ages, but which the dying philosopher had dared hope that he might solve!
Look at the world of science today, and see the atomic theorists, patching the tattered robes which expose the imperfections of their separate specialties! See them mending the pedestals upon which to set up again the idols which had fallen from the places where they had been worshipped before this revolutionary theory had been exhumed from the tomb of Demokritus by John Dalton!
In the ocean of material science they cast their nets, only to have the meshes broken when some unexpected and monstrous problem comes their way. Its water is like the Dead Sea – bitter to the taste; so dense, that they can scarcely immerse themselves in it, much less dive to its bottom, having no outlet, and no life beneath its waves, or along its margin. It is dark, forbidding, trackless waste; yielding nothing worth the having, because what it yields is without life and without soul.”
H. P. Blavatsky