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IT is a trite saying that There is Nothing New under the Sun!" Like many other familiar phrases, this is frequently uttered without any real perception of its scope-nothing new, indeed, and yet the world moves ever onward! then what is Progress, or is there any thing or any idea, to which the word Progress can be applied ? Every now and then the world is electrified by some new idea, or some new discovery! then, lo! some delver in ancient lore, some seeker in forgotten mines, shows that the new idea is ages old, the new discovery'' nearly as old as the world itself. Facts are ascertained, demonstrated, taught, learned and - forgotten; Theories, vague and uncertain even in the minds of their weavers, are accepted for Science! then, lo! the old-forgotten Facts spring again to view and the Theories flee to be forgotten in their turn, only with this difference that there is no resurrection for them!
It is not very many generations since, the world knew nothing of the Solar System and its marvelous revolutions and the laws that govern its Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets - Sir Isaac Newton made some astounding discoveries and there was doubt, astonishment, consternation; the world was not unwilling to believe, but unable. To-day, men look back and wonder how any one ever believed otherwise than in accord with the now accepted Science of Astronomy, which has made such acquisitions of facts since Newton assigned our Sun his rightful place and authority in the System that Astronomy is almost an Exact Science. Since Newton's day, it has been ascertained that many centuries before, even in the sixth century before the Era of "the Sun of Righteousness," the famous Ionian Philosopher, Anaximander, the first systematic writer on Philosophy, had an inkling of some of the marvelous facts of Astronomy; strangely mixed up with wild theories, were the ideas of the Solar centre with the earth and heavenly bodies revolving around it. Then we learn that the wonderful Pythagoras actually knew all the chief facts concerning the movements of the Sun, the Stars, the Planets - he even knew that the Stars were Suns of other Systems like ours, and that the Planets were worlds cheered and animated with life similar to, if not like, ours; he knew, too, the two Physical Forces, Attraction and Repulsion; nay, he knew, what modern Science has not yet fully rediscovered, that the visible Suns were emanations from and dependent upon an invisible original Central Sun, the Sun of the Universe, the Celestial Power whence the forces of Nature were derived. We learn that there were others, from time to time, who knew more or less of the truth, until Copernicus who knew nearly all, and Galileo who had to answer to the Roman hierarchy for knowing more than the Church. Indeed, so much of the Newtonian Philosophy do we find in the ancient, that we cannot doubt he had been exploring the old mines of Kabbalistic lore, and had arrived at his great discoveries by following up clews gained therefrom.
As we shall show, the old Kabbala, with its curious and comprehensive symbol language, is at once an elaborate System of Natural Philosophy and a profound system of Theology - an illuminated exposition of the mysterious truths of Nature and of that higher Science which the Book of Nature unfolds to the enlightened eye of the Soul, the Science of Religion. Our readers would be slow to realize, many of them even unwilling to recognize, the fact that the grand old Kabbalistic Theosophy was the native root, the central trunk, whence all the religions the world has ever known sprang, as shoots and branches from a parent-tree - yet this is absolutely true. The Holy Bible is a translation into words of the symbols of the Kabbala. The reader would be astonished if he could read the Sacred Book in the Light of the Kabbala; first, to discover their close accordance; second, to find internal evidences, so clear as to be irrefragable, that the Book of Nature (Science) and the written Word are one in source and significance; and third, to learn that the Bible is not the book of enigmas, mysteries, concealments that ordinary commentaries would make us believe, with their forced, incongruous, mysterious definitions and elucidations, but that the Bible is absolutely the written revelation of God's work, will, purposes and ultimate purpose in creation and redemption, and of His essential character and attributes as well.
Our scope in this work, and its specific design, will not permit us to set forth and make plain, in detail, the noble, incomparable Kabbala, but we have in contemplation the publication of a large, full, candid exhibit of what the Kabbala is, has done, is doing and shall do, for the world. We may, however, declare our honest conviction here, and show hereafter the grounds upon which that conviction is based, that a just appreciation and knowledge of the Kabbala would stop the terrible Infidelity that is defiantly stalking through the world, uprooting, tearing down, razing, actually burying, Faith in God and His salvation. Few intelligent men are inclined to adopt the absurdities of Infidelity, many yield a quasi acceptance, and consent not to believe the Bible, because they do not understand its glorious truths and are not satisfied with the explanations and elucidations offered by unenlightened commentators - THE KABBALA IS AN AUTHORIZED, DIVINELY ILLUMINATED COMMENTARY ON NATURE AND THE BIBLE, WHICH MAKES BOTH SO PLAIN AND INTELLIGIBLE THAT "THE WAYFARING MEN, THOUGH FOOLS, SHALL NOT ERR THEREIN." It is only "The fool that hath said in his heart, There is no God!" many others say so with their lips who would accept the truth if they could but understand it. It is an error, and the prolific source of Infidelity, to maintain that men endowed by God with reason must believe what is not revealed to their reason - the Bible is the Revelation, not the Concealment, of God, and all that is revealed therein may be comprehended by the illuminated reason! and we shall show that this illumination is not restricted to a few, but is within the reach of every man who will diligently and devoutly cultivate the Subjective, Godlike Faculties of his Soul; these Faculties, "Self-Consciousness, Conscience, Sanctified Intuition and Imagination, and Prescience," are implanted by God in every Human Soul, and only the Man who cultivates these can receive the high gift of inward illumination - only those who are "born again" from the death of sin can become "children of Light." But, of this we shall speak at some length and more than once, in the ensuing pages. It is very probable that, as before intimated, we shall publish a larger volume especially devoted to the discussion of the Kabbala and Kabbalistic Literature, in the course of a few months - a work that thirty years' patient, conscientious study has perhaps fitted us to undertake.
But, the special purpose of this volume is to promote the well-being of mankind in this probationary world, by advocating Light and its Rays as the best remedial means for the Human Organism, when from any cause, internal or external, the equilibrium of health is disturbed, and disease wastes the body aud deranges the mind - nay, even when there is no clearly defined disease, but only the feebleness and indisposition for physical or mental effort. Of course, to apply any remedy successfully, it is essential to know the characteristics and qualities of the remedy itself and the features and functions of the Organism in the condition of health ; there are idiosyncrdsies or differences in individuals, but the Human Organism, in health, is much the same not only throughout each race but even throughout the family of Man, and, while some Medicines act promptly and effectively in some cases, refuse to act in others, and act injuriously in still others, where the symptoms are identical, yet Light and its Rays will be found exceptional in this: that they seldom fail to effect just what they are designed to effect, when rightly administered - we have, in fact, seldom found them to fail in our practice. We attribute this exceptional efficacy to the fact that Light is essentially and especially Nature's remedy, and, therefore, peculiarly adapted to assist Nature in banishing disease and restoring health.
In the ensuing chapters, we believe we shall follow the natural order in the discussion, first, of Light as known and taught in Ancient Philosophy; secondly, as we view it - our views being based upon study, experiments and observation; thirdly, as manifested in Electricity and Magnetism; and fourthly, as manifested in Vital Dynamics - in Life. Then, we shall define the true doctrine of Development, or Evolution, showing that Light is the Developer or Evolver of material forms, and that the purpose of Material Development or Evolution is simply to provide bodies for the Objective or visible manifestation of Light as Life. And then, we shall show that in Man's Organism the highest possible Material Development is attained, and that within that form are implanted certain Subjective Faculties that distinguish Man and place him on a plane higher than the highest Animal - far higher than the highest Animal as compared with the worm, is Man as compared with it, simply because in him the Life-principle that pervades all life is Individualized and Personified into a responsible, "Living Soul.'' We shall then proceed to show the characteristics and functional constitution of the Human body.
With the foundation thus laid, in the explanation of Light and its Rays in all their manifestations and operations, and of the Human Organism in its material composition and organic arrangement, we shall proceed to explain how the one can be best applied to the other, citing illustrative cases in which we have successfully applied the Red and Blue rays.
This will conclude our special subject, but, as considerable attention has lately been evoked to the applicability of Light-rays in the propagation of Fruits, Vegetables, etc., we shall add a chapter on "Light in the Vegetable Kingdom."
It will be observed, that we follow no one individual thinker or class of thinkers in our views - we accept the established facts of Science, but take issue with some of the almost universally accepted theories for example, we cannot accept the "Undulatory" or "Wave Theory" of the transmission of Light, and we shall freely reject it. More important than this, however, is our dissent from all the "accepted" definitions of Light - we believe that Light is the Power or Force of Nature, whence are derived all forces, Physical and Vital, and, therefore, we believe that "The True Science of Light " comprehends all other Natural Sciences or Philosophies. But we ask no one to accept our views without investigation, and we shall state the grounds upon which we rest them frankly and in detail, so far as the design and scope of this work will permit.
The reader will observe, also, that we accord to General Pleasonton the merit and honor of having made an exceedingly important discovery, but it must be borne in mind that others in this couutry and in Europe have long been experimenting with Light and Light-rays; some have failed, but others, especially in the direction of therapeutic application of the rays, have had most encouraging success. We have been studying, investigating and experimenting in this direction for more than thirty years, and we believe our successes have been such that we dare claim the merit and honor of determining the positive, absolute applicability of Light, and especially of the Red and Blue rays, in the treatment of Disease of almost every type, but notably in Diseases that have their rise, or localize themselves in their influences, in the Nervous System. We have studied, as we write, purely in the interest of Suffering Humanity to whose welfare we dedicated our time, talents and all that we have and are, when we adopted the profession of Medicine.
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