isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter i (the church)

“Since the day that modern science gave what may be considered the death-blow to dogmatic theology, by assuming the ground that religion was full of mystery, and mystery is unscientific, the mental state of the educated class has presented a curious aspect. Society seems from that time to have been ever balancing itself upon one leg, on an unseen tightrope stretched from our visible universe into the invisible one; uncertain whether the end hooked on faith in the latter might not suddenly break and hurl it into final annihilation.

The great body of nominal Christians may be divided into three unequal portions: materialists, spiritualists, and Christians proper. The materialists and spiritualists make common cause against the hierarchical pretensions of the clergy, who, in retaliation, denounce both with equal acerbity. The materialists are as little in harmony as the Christian sects themselves – the Comtists, or, as they call themselves, the positivists, being despised and hated to the last degree by the schools of thinkers, one which Maudsley honorably represents in England.

Positivism, be it remembered, is that “religion” of the future about whose founder even Huxley has made himself wrathful in his famous lecture, The Physical Basis of Life; and Maudsley felt obliged, in behalf of modern science, to express himself thus:

“It is no wonder that scientific men should be anxious to disclaim Comte as their law-giver, and to protest against such a king being set up to reign over them. Not conscious of any personal obligation to his writings – conscious how much, in some respects, he has misrepresented the spirit and pretensions of science – they repudiate the allegiance which his enthusiastic disciples would force upon them, and which popular opinion is fast coming to think a natural one. They do well in thus making a timely assertion of independence; for if it be not done soon, it will soon be too late to be done well.”

When a materialistic doctrine is repudiated so strongly by two such materialists as Huxley and Maudsley, then we must think indeed that it is absurdity itself.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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