17. After mounting as high as we can, despite our weakness, toward the concealed source whence worlds flow like drops of water in a river, let us consider the march of successive creations, and their serial developments.
Primitive cosmic matter comprises the material fluid and vital elements which unroll the magnificence of all the universes throughout eternity. It is the fruitful mother of all things, the first grandmother, and, still more, the eternal generatrix. It has not disappeared, this substance from which sidereal spheres are produced; it is not dead, this power, for it brings incessantly new creations into light, and incessantly receives the reconstituted principles of worlds which are effaced from the eternal book of life.
Ethereal matter more or less rarefied, which descends among the interplanetary spaces, — this cosmic fluid which fills the world more or less rarefied in immeasurable regions, rich in agglomerations of stars more or less condensed, where astral heavens do not yet shine forth more or less modified by diverse combinations according to locality in space, — is none other than the primal substance in which primitive forces reside, from which nature draws all things. *
* If one inquires what the principle of these forces is, and how it can be even in the substance which produces it, we would reply that mechanics offers us numerous examples. The elasticity which makes a spring unbend, — is not that in the spring itself, and does it not depend upon the mode of the aggregation of molecules? The body which obeys a centrifugal force receives its impulsion from the primitive movement which has been impressed upon it.
18. This fluid which penetrates bodies is like an immense ocean. In it resides the vital principle which gives birth and life to beings, perpetuating it upon every globe according to its condition. It is a principle in a latent state, which slumbers when no existence calls for it. Every mineral, vegetable, animal, or other — for many other natural kingdoms exist, the existence of which you do not suspect — knows how, by virtue of this universal vital principle, to appropriate the conditions of its existence and of its duration.
The molecules of the mineral have their share of this life, as well as the seed and the germ, and group themselves, like an organized being, into symmetrical forms, which constitute individualities.
It is very important to comprehend this idea: that primitive cosmic matter was invested not only with laws which assure the stability of worlds, but also with the universal vital principle which causes spontaneous generations upon every world, in proportion as conditions for the successive existence of beings manifest themselves, when the time comes for the appearance of children of life, during the creative period.
Thus universal creation is accomplished. It is then true to say that, the operations of nature being the expression of the divine will, God has always created, and creates unceasingly, and always will create.
19. Until now we have passed over in silence the subject of the spiritual world, which also is a part of creation, and accomplishes its destiny in accordance with the august decrees of the Master.
I can give only very limited information concerning the mode of the creation of spirits, on account of my own ignorance; and I must still keep silent upon some matters into which I have been permitted to search.
To those who are religiously desirous of obtaining knowledge, and who are humble before God, I will say (while I implore them not to base any one system prematurely on my words), that the spirit does not receive divine illumination until the time when free will and conscience are given him to grasp the idea of his high destiny; i.e., until he has passed through a series of inferior existences, during which the realization of his individuality is slowly elaborated. This only dates from the day when the Lord impresses upon his forehead his august seal; then, the spirit takes rank as human.
Again, I beg of you, do not build upon my words dogmatic theories like those so sadly celebrated in the history of metaphysics. I would a thousand times prefer to keep silent forever concerning questions so far above our ordinary meditations, than expose you to a misconstruction of the sense of my teachings, and so engulf you through my imperfection in the inextricable labyrinths of deism or fatalism.