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.