isis unveiled: xii (forbidden ground)

“Professor Balfour Stewart pays a very high tribute to the philosophical intuition of Herakleitus, the Ephesian, who lived five centuries before our era; the “crying” philosopher who declared that “fire was the great cause, and that all things were in a perpetual flux.” “It seems clear”, says the professor, “that Herakleitus must have had a vivid conception of the innate restlessness and energy of the universe, a conception ailed in character to, and only less precise than that of modern philosophers who regard matter as essentially dynamical.”

He considers the expression fire as very vague; and quite naturally, for the evidence is wanting to show that either Professor Balfour Stewart (who seems less inclined to materialism than some of his colleagues) or any of his contemporaries understand in what sense the word fire was used.

His opinions about the origin of things were the same as those of Hippocrates. Both entertained the same views of a supreme power, and, therefore, if their notions of primordial fire, regarded as a material force, in short, as one akin to Leibnitz’s dynamism, were “less precise” than those of modern philosophers, a question which remains to be settled yet, on the other hand their metaphysical views of it were far more philosophical and rational than the one-sided theories of our present-day scholars.

Their ideas of fire were precisely those of the later “fire-philosophers”, the Rosicrucians, and the earlier Zoroastrians. They affirmed that the world was created of fire, the divine spirit of which was an omnipotent and omniscient GOD. Science has condescended to corroborate their claims as to the physical question.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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