10. There is an ethereal fluid which pervades space and penetrates bodies. This fluid is ether, or primitive cosmic matter, generatrix of the world and beings. There are inherent forces in ether which preside at the metamorphoses of matter — the necessary and immutable laws which rule the world. These multiple forces, indefinitely varied according to the combinations of matter, localized according to masses or bulk, diversified in their modes of action according to circumstances and places, are known upon Earth under the names of weight, cohesion, affinity, attraction, magnetism, and active electricity; the agent of the vibratory movements, those of sound, light, heat, etc. In other worlds they are presented under other aspects, offer other characters unknown in this, and in the immense extent of the heavens an indefinite number of forces are developed upon an unimaginable ladder, the grandeur of which we are as incapable of estimating as the crustacean animal in the depth of the ocean is of understanding the universality of terrestrial phenomena. *
Now, just as there is but one simple primitive substance generatrix of all bodies, but diversified in its combinations, even as all forces depend upon a universal law diversified in its effects, and which in the eternal decrees has been everywhere imposed upon creation in order to constitute harmony and permanent stability.
*Should we bring to this all that we know, we should not comprehend more fully that which escapes our senses than the blind man so born comprehends the effects of light and the use of eyes. Therefore, there can be in other places properties of cosmic fluid and combinations, of which we have no idea, of effects appropriated to needs unknown to us, giving place to new and other modes of perception. We do not, for example, comprehend how we can see without bodily eyes and without light; but who says that there exist no other agents than the light affecting special organisms? The somnambulic sight, which neither distance, material obstacles, nor darkness can arrest, offers us an example? Let us suppose that in some world the inhabitants are normally that which our somnambulists are exceptionally, they will have no need of the light or of eyes like ours, and they will see that which we cannot see. It is the same with all other sensations: the conditions of vitality and perceptibility, sensations and needs vary according to places.