Pardon, Agathos, the weakness of a spirit new-fledged with
You have spoken nothing, my Oinos, for which pardon is to be
demanded. Not even here is knowledge a thing of intuition.
For wisdom, ask of the angels freely, that it may be given!
But in this existence I dreamed that I should be at once
cognizant of all things, and thus at once happy in being
cognizant of all.
Ah, not in knowledge is happiness, but in the acquisition of
knowledge! In forever knowing, we are forever blessed; but
to know all, were the curse of a fiend.
But does not The Most High know all?
That (since he is The Most Happy) must be still the
one thing unknown even to HIM.
But, since we grow hourly in knowledge, must not at last
all things be known?
Look down into the abysmal distances!—attempt to force
the gaze down the multitudinous vistas of the stars, as we
sweep slowly through them thus—and thus—and
thus! Even the spiritual vision, is it not at all points
arrested by the continuous golden walls of the
universe?—the walls of the myriads of the shining
bodies that mere number has appeared to blend into unity?
I clearly perceive that the infinity of matter is no dream.
There are no dreams in Aidenn—but it is here whispered
that, of this infinity of matter, the sole purpose is
to afford infinite springs at which the soul may allay the
thirst to know which is forever unquenchable within
it—since to quench it would be to extinguish the
soul’s self. Question me then, my Oinos, freely and without
fear. Come! we will leave to the left the loud harmony of
the Pleiades, and swoop outward from the throne into the
starry meadows beyond Orion, where, for pansies and violets,
and heart’s-ease, are the beds of the triplicate and triple-
And now, Agathos, as we proceed, instruct me!—speak to
me in the earth’s familiar tones! I understand not what you
hinted to me just now of the modes or of the methods of what
during mortality, we were accustomed to call Creation. Do
you mean to say that the Creator is not God?
I mean to say that the Deity does not create.
In the beginning only, he created. The seeming creatures
which are now throughout the universe so perpetually
springing into being can only be considered as the mediate
or indirect, not as the direct or immediate results of the
Divine creative power.
Among men, my Agathos, this idea would be considered
heretical in the extreme.
Among the angels, my Oinos, it is seen to be simply true.
I can comprehend you thus far—that certain operations
of what we term Nature, or the natural laws, will, under
certain conditions, give rise to that which has all the
appearance of creation. Shortly before the final
overthrow of the earth, there were, I well remember, many
very successful experiments in what some philosophers were
weak enough to denominate the creation of animalculae.
The cases of which you speak were, in fact, instances of the
secondary creation, and of the only species of
creation which has ever been since the first word spoke into
existence the first law.
Are not the starry worlds that, from the abyss of nonentity,
burst hourly forth into the heavens—are not these
stars, Agathos, the immediate handiwork of the King?
Let me endeavor, my Oinos, to lead you, step by step, to the
conception I intend. You are well aware that, as no thought
can perish, so no act is without infinite result. We moved
our hands, for example, when we were dwellers on the earth,
and in so doing we gave vibration to the atmosphere which
engirdled it. This vibration was indefinitely extended till
it gave impulse to every particle of the earth’s air, which
thenceforward, and forever, was actuated by the one
movement of the hand. This fact the mathematicians of our
globe well knew. They made the special effects, indeed,
wrought in the fluid by special impulses, the subject of
exact calculation—so that it became easy to determine
in what precise period an impulse of given extent would
engirdle the orb, and impress (forever) every atom of the
atmosphere circumambient. Retrograding, they found no
difficulty; from a given effect, under given conditions, in
determining the value of the original impulse. Now the
mathematicians who saw that the results of any given impulse
were absolutely endless—and who saw that a portion of
these results were accurately traceable through the agency
of algebraic analysis—who saw, too, the facility of
the retrogradation—these men saw, at the same time,
that this species of analysis itself had within itself a
capacity for indefinite progress—that there were no
bounds conceivable to its advancement and applicability,
except within the intellect of him who advanced or applied
it. But at this point our mathematicians paused.
And why, Agathos, should they have proceeded?
Because there were some considerations of deep interest
beyond. It was deducible from what they knew, that to a
being of infinite understanding—one to whom the
perfection of the algebraic analysis lay unfolded—
there could be no difficulty in tracing every impulse given
the air—and the ether through the air—to the
remotest consequences at any even infinitely remote epoch of
time. It is indeed demonstrable that every such impulse
given the air, must in the end impress every
individual thing that exists within the
universe;—and the being of infinite
understanding—the being whom we have imagined—
might trace the remote undulations of the impulse—
trace them upward and onward in their influences upon all
particles of all matter—upward and onward forever in
their modifications of old forms—or, in other words,
in their creation of new—until he found them
reflected—unimpressive at last—back from
the throne of the Godhead. And not only could such a being
do this, but at any epoch, should a given result be afforded
him—should one of these numberless comets, for
example, be presented to his inspection—he could have
no difficulty in determining, by the analytic
retrogradation, to what original impulse it was due. This
power of retrogradation in its absolute fulness and
perfection—this faculty of referring at all
epochs, all effects to all causes—is of
course the prerogative of the Deity alone—but in every
variety of degree, short of the absolute perfection, is the
power itself exercised by the whole host of the Angelic
But you speak merely of impulses upon the air.
In speaking of the air, I referred only to the earth: but
the general proposition has reference to impulses upon the
ether—which, since it pervades, and alone pervades all
space, is thus the great medium of creation.
Then all motion, of whatever nature, creates?
It must: but a true philosophy has long taught that the
source of all motion is thought—and the source of all
I have spoken to you, Oinos, as to a child, of the fair
Earth which lately perished—of impulses upon the
atmosphere of the earth.
And while I thus spoke, did there not cross your mind some
thought of the physical power of words? Is not every
word an impulse on the air?
But why, Agathos, do you weep—and why, oh, why do your
wings droop as we hover above this fair star—which is
the greenest and yet most terrible of all we have
encountered in our flight? Its brilliant flowers look like a
fairy dream—but its fierce volcanoes like the passions
of a turbulent heart.
They are!—they are!—This wild
star—it is now three centuries since, with clasped
hands, and with streaming eyes, at the feet of my
beloved—I spoke it—with a few passionate
sentences—into birth. Its brilliant flowers are
the dearest of all unfulfilled dreams, and its raging
volcanoes are the passions of the most turbulent and
unhallowed of hearts!