Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Cora Tappan’s Address – Part 3

The true and entire basis of life is that which, predicating its existence upon the infinite, moves from the infinite outward, and disentangles the sophisms and webs of metaphysical life. Under this direct line of thought we arrive at the innermost, we find the cause. We are not ashamed to confess that the Godhead is revealed to every living spirit that seeks that Godhead within. We are not ashamed to confess that the divinity is revealed to every human soul from within and not from without, and that the only office of the external province of reason, or of science, or of human knowledge, is an elaboration of that intuition of which man is the epitome. Therefore, when we state that the spiritual is governed by as unalterable laws as the material, you will understand that we refer not only to those laws that are discovered by man, but to those that are yet undiscovered, since every age proves to the human mind that his supposed scientific truths are only approximate truths; and since, in every epoch, man must unlearn what he has learned in the previous epoch. As the ancients placed their earth upon the back of a tortoise, and the tortoise upon a serpent, and had stars revolving in crystal grooves, so science has its tortoise and its serpent, which it is bound to unlearn with the next cycle of scientific development.

You do not forget that the Copernican system of astronomy is of recent growth, and that all the revelations of geology and chemistry overthrow the learning of the ancient alchemists and the scientific savans of past ages. You do not forget also, that today you are obliged to discard some of the theories of the first portion of this century, and that scientific truth is so far in its infancy, that save mathematics alone, there is no scientific finality in the world today. The science of mathematics was just as perfect 2000 or 6000 years ago as it is today in the principles of it. You must not forget therefore, that when we refer to natural laws, we mean natural laws, not man’s comprehension of them. You must not forget that we mean all those underlying principles of which the present discoveries in human science are but the results and not the causes, those fundamental bases of the vis animus of life which constitutes all there is of being. Therefore we say the spiritual firmament is governed also by laws, and that from God to man, manifest in the human form, is a direct succession of spiritual causes and results as absolute and potent and undeviating in their course as the development of the flower from the germ which is planted in the soil; and that this spiritual scale is as perfect as the highest conceptions of harmonics or the loftiest blending of hue and colour in the undivided ray of white light, and that these are as capable of being revealed, understood, known, demonstrated, and by man and to man as any process of outward science or any formula of technical learning.

For the first or outermost state in that revelation is man’s visible, palpable contact with matter; the innermost revelation is man’s idea of divinity. Between these two lie all the intermediate stages of spiritual life, spheres and circles of being as palpable in their nature and as perfect in their own sway as any spheres of external life can possibly be. Therefore, when we state that around every planet and between all worlds there is no space unfilled, and no portion of the universe unoccupied, it is not even in contradiction to science; but if it were so, it would nevertheless be equally true. As science abhors a vacuum, so the spirit abhors space, and there is no space. That which you move in and call the outer air is known to contain the most subtle and vitalising properties of existence more necessary to being than rock and tree and plant and soil. The atmosphere is vital; within the atmosphere, as within the stone and tree, is another vitality, an innermost essence, without which there can be no outer, as there could be no flower without the germ, no fruit without the seed. This atmosphere, which you think immeasurable void, is therefore peopled with vitality; and that space, which is only space to your outward sense, and because of the grosser substances of the physical body, is filled with infinitesimal refining substances. These substances constitute all there is of what is known as the interstellar spaces.

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