Science and mysticism

See also Mathematics and mysticism and Relationship between religion and science

Science and mysticism intersect in a manner reflected by the following collection of quotations.

QuotesEdit

  • "True science has no belief," says Dr. Fenwick, in Bulwer-Lytton's Strange Story; "true science knows but three states of mind: denial, conviction, and the vast interval between the two, which is not belief, but the suspension of judgment." Such, perhaps, was true science in Dr. Fenwick's days. But the true science of our modern times proceeds otherwise; it either denies point-blank, without any preliminary investigation, or sits in the interim, between denial and conviction, and, dictionary in hand, invents new Graeco-Latin appellations for non-existing kinds of hysteria! Chapter VII
    • H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Volume I The "Infallibility" of Modern Science (1877)
  • To be at the height of their calling, men of Science have to reject the very possibility of Materialistic doctrines having aught to do with the Atomic Theory; and we find that Lange, Butlerof, Du Bois Reymond—the last probably unconsciously—and several others, have proved it. And this is, furthermore, demonstrated by the fact, that Kanâda in India, and Leucippus and Democritus in Greece, and after them Epicurus—the earliest Atomists in Europe—while propagating their doctrine of definite proportions, believed in Gods or supersensuous Entities, at the same time. Their ideas upon Matter thus differed from those now prevalent... the Atomic Theory kills Materialism.
  • Modern Physics, in borrowing from the Ancients their Atomic Theory, forgot one point, the most important point of the doctrine; hence they have got only the husks and will never be able to get the kernel. In adopting physical Atoms, they omitted the suggestive fact that, from Anaxagoras to Epicurus, to the Roman Lucretius, and finally even to Galileo, all these Philosophers believed more or less in animated Atoms, not in invisible specks of so-called “brute” matter. According to them, rotatory motion was generated by larger... Atoms forcing other Atoms downwards; the lighter ones being simultaneously thrust upward... No Ancient Philosopher, not even the Jewish Kabalists, ever dissociated Spirit from Matter, or Matter from Spirit.
    • H. P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, Section X. On the Elements and Atoms, p. 621 (1888)
  • It is nineteen centuries since, as we are told, the night of Heathenism and Paganism was first dispelled by the divine light of Christianity; and two-and-a-half centuries since the bright lamp of Modern Science began to shine on the darkness of the ignorance of the ages. Within these respective epochs, we are required to believe, the true moral and intellectual progress of the race has occurred. The ancient philosophers were well enough for their respective generations, but they were illiterate as compared with modern men of science. The ethics of Paganism perhaps met the wants of the uncultivated people of antiquity, but not until the advent of the luminous "Star of Bethlehem," was the true road to moral perfection and the way to salvation made plain... Now, the dullest may read the will of God in His revealed word; men have every incentive to be good, and are constantly becoming better.
    This is the assumption; what are the facts? On the one hand an unspiritual, dogmatic, too often debauched clergy... On the other hand, scientific hypotheses built on sand; no accord upon a single question; rancorous quarrels and jealousy; a general drift into materialism. A death-grapple of Science with Theology for infallibility — "a conflict of ages."
  • Between these two conflicting Titans — Science and Theology — is a bewildered public, fast losing all belief in man's personal immortality, in a deity of any kind, and rapidly descending to the level of a mere animal existence. Such is the picture of the hour, illumined by the bright noonday sun of this Christian and scientific era!... The whole question of phenomena rests on the correct comprehension of old philosophies. Whither, then, should we turn, in our perplexity, but to the ancient sages, since, on the pretext of superstition, we are refused an explanation by the modern? Let us ask them what they know of genuine science and religion; not in the matter of mere details, but in all the broad conception of these twin truths — so strong in their unity, so weak when divided. Besides, we may find our profit in comparing this boasted modern science with ancient ignorance; this improved modern theology with the "Secret doctrines" of the ancient universal religion. Perhaps we may thus discover a neutral ground whence we can reach and profit by both. It is the Platonic philosophy, the most elaborate compend of the abstruse systems of old India, that can alone afford us this middle ground.
  • At Berlin — one of the great seats of learning — professors of modern exact sciences, turning their backs on the boasted results of enlightenment of the post-Galileonian period, are quietly snuffing out the candle of the great Florentine; seeking, in short, to prove the heliocentric system, and even the earth's rotation, but the dreams of deluded scientists, Newton a visionary, and all past and present astronomers but clever calculators of unverifiable problems.
    Between these two conflicting Titans — Science and Theology — is a bewildered public, fast losing all belief in man's personal immortality, in a deity of any kind, and rapidly descending to the level of a mere animal existence. Such is the picture of the hour, illumined by the bright noonday sun of this Christian and scientific era!
    • H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Volume I The "Infallibility" of Modern Science (1877)
  • The discoveries of modern science do not disagree with the oldest traditions which claim an incredible antiquity for our race. Chapter I
    • H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Volume I The "Infallibility" of Modern Science (1877)
  • Science tells us that heat may be shown to develop electricity, electricity produce heat; and magnetism to evolve electricity, and vice versa. Motion, they tell us, results from motion itself, and so on, ad infinitum. This is the A B C of occultism and of the earliest alchemists. The indestructibility of matter and force being discovered and proved, the great problem of eternity is solved. Chapter VII
    • H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Volume I The "Infallibility" of Modern Science (1877)
  • Evidently Proclus does not advocate here simply a superstition, but science; for notwithstanding that it is occult, and unknown to our scholars, who deny its possibilities, magic is still a science. It is firmly and solely based on the mysterious affinities existing between organic and inorganic bodies, the visible productions of the four kingdoms, and the invisible powers of the universe. Chapter VII
    • H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Volume I The "Infallibility" of Modern Science (1877)
  • That which science calls gravitation, the ancients and the mediaeval hermetists called magnetism, attraction, affinity. It is the universal law, which is understood by Plato and explained in Timaeus as the attraction of lesser bodies to larger ones, and of similar bodies to similar, the latter exhibiting a magnetic power rather than following the law of gravitation. Chapter VII
    • H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Volume I The "Infallibility" of Modern Science (1877)
  • The discoveries of modern science do not disagree with the oldest traditions which claim an incredible antiquity for our race. Within the last few years geology, which previously had only conceded that man could be traced as far back as the tertiary period, has found unanswerable proofs that human existence antedates the last glaciation of Europe — over 250,000 years! A hard nut, this, for Patristic Theology to crack; but an accepted fact with the ancient philosophers. Moreover, fossil implements have been exhumed together with human remains, which show that man hunted in those remote times, and knew how to build a fire.
  • The forward step has not yet been taken in this search for the origin of the race; science comes to a dead stop, and waits for future proofs. Unfortunately, anthropology and psychology possess no Cuvier; neither geologists nor archaeologists are able to construct, from the fragmentary bits hitherto discovered, the perfect skeleton of the triple man — physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Because the fossil implements of man are found to become more rough and uncouth as geology penetrates deeper into the bowels of the earth, it seems a proof to science that the closer we come to the origin of man, the more savage and brute-like he must be. Strange logic! Does the finding of the remains in the cave of Devon prove that there were no contemporary races then who were highly civilized? When the present population of the earth have disappeared, and some archaeologist belonging to the "coming race" of the distant future shall excavate the domestic implements of one of our Indian or Andaman Island tribes, will he be justified in concluding that mankind in the nineteenth century was "just emerging from the Stone Age"?
  • Science, dimly perceiving the truth, may find Bacteria and other infinitesimals in the human body, and see in them but occasional and abnormal visitors to which diseases are attributed. Occultism -- which discerns a life in every atom and molecule, whether in a mineral or human body, in air, fire or water -- affirms that our whole body is built of such lives, the smallest bacteria under the microscope being to them in comparative size like an elephant to the tiniest infusoria.

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