isis unveiled: chapter xv (knowledge is power)

“And now we will bid farewell to thaumatophobia and its advocates and consider thaumatomania under its multifarious aspects. In volume II., we intend to review the “miracles” of Paganism and weigh the evidence in their favor in the same scales with Christian theology. There is a conflict not merely impending but already begun between science and theology, on the one hand, and spirit and its hoary science, magic, on the other. Something of the possibilities of the latter have already been displayed, but more is to come.

The petty, mean world, for whose approving nod scientists and magistrates, priests and Christians compete, have begun their latter-day crusade by sentencing in the same year two innocent men, one in France, the other in London, in defiance of law and justice. Like the apostle of circumcision, they are ever ready to thrice deny an unpopular connection for fear of ostracism by their own fellows.

The Psychomantics and the Psychophobists must soon meet in fierce conflict. The anxiety to have their phenomena investigated and supported by scientific authorities has given place with the former to a frigid indifference. As a natural result of so much prejudice and unfairness as have been exhibited, their respect for scientists is waning fast, and the reciprocal epithets bandied between the two parties are becoming far from complimentary to either. Which of them is right and which wrong, time will soon show, and future generations understand. It is at least safe to prophesy that the Ultima Thule of God’s mysteries, and the key to them are to be sought elsewhere, than in the whirl of Avogadro’s molecules.

People who either judge superficially, or, by reason of their natural impatience would gaze at the blazing sun before their eyes are well fitted to bear lamp-light, are apt to complain of the exasperating obscurity of language which characterizes the works of the ancient Hermetists and their successors. They declare their philosophical treatises on magic incomprehensible.

Over the first class we can afford to waste no time; the second, we would beg to moderate their anxiety, remembering those sayings of Espagnet – “Truth lies hid in obscurity”, and “Philosophers never write more deceitfully than when plainly, nor ever more truly than when obscurely.”

Furthermore, there is a third class, whom it would compliment too much to say that they judge the subject at all. They simply denounce ex-cathedra. The ancients they treat as dreamy fools, and though but physicists and thaumatophobic positivists, they commonly claim a monopoly of spiritual wisdom! We will select Irenaeus Philaletha to answer this latter class.

“In the world our writings shall prove a curious-edged knife; to some they shall carve out dainties, but to others they shall only serve to cut their fingers; yet we are not to be blamed, for we do seriously admonish all who shall attempt this work, that they undertaketh the highest piece of philosophy in nature; and though we write in English, yet our matter will be as hard as Greek to some, who will think, nevertheless, that they understand as well, when they misconstrue our meaning most perversely; for is it imaginable that they who are fools in nature should be wise in books, which are testimonies unto nature?”

The few elevated minds who interrogate nature instead of prescribing laws for her guidance; who do not limit her possibilities by the imperfections of their own powers; and who only disbelieve because they do not know, we would remind of that apothegm of Narada, the ancient Hindu philosopher:

“Never utter these words: ‘I do not know this – therefore it is false.'” “One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge.”

H. P. Blavatsky

(The End Of Volume I)

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