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John Cowper Powys

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One of the curious psychological facts, in connection with the various ways in which various minds function, is the fact that when in these days we seek to visualize, in some pictorial manner, our ultimate view of life, the images which are called up are geometrical or chemical rather than anthropomorphic. It is probable that even the most rational and logical among us as soon as he begins to philosophize at all is compelled by the necessity of things to form in the mind some vague pictorial representation answering to his conception of the universe.
Most minds see the universe of their mental conception as something quite different from the actual stellar universe upon which we all gaze. Even the most purely rational minds who find the universe in "pure thought" are driven against their rational will to visualize this "pure thought" and to give it body and form and shape and movement.
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Chapter I

 
John Cowper Powys

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Let me specially apply this general conception of the impossibility of predicting what secrets the universe may still hold, what agencies undivined may habitually be at work around us.
Telepathy, the transmission of thought and images directly from one mind to another without the agency of the recognized organs of sense, is a conception new and strange to science. To judge from the comparative slowness with which the accumulated evidence of our society penetrates the scientific world, it is, I think, a conception even scientifically repulsive to many minds. We have supplied striking experimental evidence; but few have been found to repeat our experiments, We have offered good evidence in the observation of spontaneous cases, as apparitions at the moment of death and the like, but this "evidence has failed to impress the scientific world in the same way as evidence less careful and less coherent has often done before. Our evidence is not confronted and refuted; it is shirked and evaded as though there were some great a priori improbability which absolved the world of science from considering it. I at least see no a priori improbability whatever. Our alleged facts might be true in all kinds of ways without contradicting any truth already known. I will dwell now on only one possible line of explanation, not that I see any way of elucidating all the new phenomena I regard as genuine, but because it seems probable I may shed a light on some of those phenomena. All the phenomena of the universe are presumably in some way continuous; and certain facts, plucked as it were from the very heart of nature, are likely to be of use in our gradual discovery of facts which lie deeper still.

 
William Crookes
 

This is what fascinates Shaw: this enormous force that ignores our human preferences, our logic and intellect. It fascinates him because to be suddenly gripped by it is to see that human beings are not the accidental products of a mechanical universe that they are not 'alone'. As social animals, we live in a narrow but apparently logical world with a well-defined identity and position. But man is the satellite of a double-star; there is also an inner-world that seems to have a completely different set of laws from the rational universe. And in fact, if we judge this 'rational universe' by its own laws, we see that it is not self-complete and self-explanatory; space must end somewhere, time must have a stop; but the alternative propositions sound equally 'logical': space is infinite; time has neither beginning nor end. The answer to these paradoxes must be that the outer universe is not self-complete; it is only half a universe. The inner world is the other half. But at present we know very little about this inner world. It is only within the present century that its existence has been clearly recognized by psychology.

 
Colin Wilson
 

"Hence when the man of science says, 'There is no God,' he only gives voice to the feeling of the inadequacy of the old anthropomorphic conception, in the presence of the astounding facts of the universe.

 
John Burroughs
 

They also say that God is an animal immortal, rational, perfect, and intellectual in his happiness, unsusceptible of any kind of evil, having a foreknowledge of the universe and of all that is in the universe; however, that he has not the figure of a man; and that he is the creator of the universe, and as it were the Father of all things in common, and that a portion of him pervades everything.

 
Diogenes Laertius
 

There is no conflict between the ideal of religion and the ideal of science, but science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is barn. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call "soul " or "spirit," is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the "soul" or the "spirit" ceases likewise.

 
Nikola Tesla
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