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The Law and the Word by Thomas Troward online


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The Law and the Word by Thomas Troward

In the preceding chapters we have found certain definite facts,--that all known matter is formed out of one primordial Universal Substance,--that the ether spreading throughout limitless space is a Universal Medium, through which it is possible to convey force by means of vibrations,--and that vibrations can be started by the power of Sound. These we have found to be well established facts of ordinary science, and taking them as our starting-point, we may now begin to speculate as to the possible workings of the known laws under unknown conditions.

One of the first things that naturally attract our attention is the question,--How did Life originate? On this point I may quote two leading men of science. Tyndall says: "I affirm that no shred of trustworthy experimental testimony exists, to prove that life in our day has ever appeared independently of antecedent life"; and Huxley says: "The doctrine of biogenesis, or life only from life, is victorious along the whole line at the present time." Such is the testimony of modern science to the old maxim "Omne vivum exvivo." "All life proceeds from antecedent life." Think it out for yourself and you will see that it could not possibly be otherwise.

Whatever may be our theory of the origin of life on the physical plane, whether we regard it as commencing in a vivified slime at the bottom of the sea, which we call protoplasm, or in any other way, the question of how life got there still remains unanswered. The protoplasm being material substance, must have its origin like all other material substances, in the undifferentiated etheric Universal Substance, no particle of which has any power of operating upon any other particle until some initial vibration starts the movement; so that, on any theory whatever, we are always brought back to the same question: What started the condensation of the ether into the beginnings of a world-system? So whether we consider the life which characterizes organized matter, or the energy which characterizes inorganic matter, we cannot avoid the conclusion, that both must have their source in some Original Power to which we can assign no antecedent. This is the conclusion which has been reached by all philosophic and religious systems that have really tried to get at the root of the matter, simply because it is impossible to form any other conception.

This Living Power is what we mean when we speak of the All-Originating Spirit. The existence of this Spirit is not a theological invention, but a logical and scientific ultimate, without predicating which, nothing else can be accounted for. The word "Spirit" comes from the Latin "spiro" "I breathe," and so means "The Breath," as in Job xxxiii, 4,--"The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life"; and again in Ps. xxxiii, 6--"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth."

In the opening chapter of Genesis, we are told that "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." The words rendered "the Spirit of God" are, in the original Hebrew "rouah Ćlohim," which is literally "the Breathing of God"; and similarly, the ancient religious books of India, make the "Swára" or Great Breath the commencement of all life and energy. The word "rouah" in Genesis is remarkable. According to rabbinical teaching, each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a certain symbolic significance, and when examined in this manner, the root from which this word is derived conveys the idea of Expansive Movement. It is the opposite of the word "hoshech," translated "darkness" in the same passage of our Bible, which is similarly derived from a root conveying the idea of Hardening and Compressing. It is the same idea that is personified in the Zendavesta, the sacred book of the ancient Persians, under the names of Ormuzd, the Spirit of Light; and Ahriman, the Spirit of Darkness; and similarly in the old Assyrian myth of the struggle between the Sun-God and Tiámat, the goddess of darkness.