isis unveiled: xii (forbidden ground)

“This point is too important to be passed by without a few words of comment. The attitude of physical science toward the spiritual half of the cosmos is perfectly exemplified in her gross conception of fire. In this, as in every other branch of science, their philosophy does not contain one second plank; every one is honeycombed and weak.

The works of their own authorities teeming with humiliating confessions, give us the right to say that the floor upon which they stand is so unstable, that at any moment some new discovery, by one of their own number, may knock away the props and let them all fall in a heap together. They are so anxious to drive spirit out of their conceptions that, as Balfour Stewart says: “There is a tendency to rush into the opposite extreme, and to work physical conceptions to an excess.”

He utters a timely warning in adding: “Let us be cautious that, in avoiding Scylla, we do not rush into Charybdis. For the universe has more than one point of view, and there are possibly regions which will not yield their treasures to the most determined physicists, armed only with kilogrammes and meters and standard clocks.” In another place he confesses: “We know nothing, or next to nothing, of the ultimate structure and properties of matter, whether organic or inorganic.”

As to the other great question – we find in Macaulay, a still more unreserved declaration: “The question what becomes of man after death – we do not see that a highly educated European, left to his unassisted reason, is more likely to be in the right than a Blackfoot Indian. Not a single one of the many sciences in which we surpass the Blackfoot Indian throws the smallest light on the state of the soul after the animal life is extinct. In truth, all the philosophers, ancient and modern, who have attempted, without the help of revelation, to prove the immortality of man, from Plato down to Franklin, appear to us to have failed deplorably.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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