We know nothing except by relations—comparisons. We can, therefore, radically understand nothing at all. Thus, with light and darkness we do not really know what light is, but we know, or rather experience, that darkness exists when there is space without light. And but for the condition, when there is space, we should at once conclude that darkness is a nothing; as it is, one must be content with the statement that darkness is a phenomenon—a negative. Yet, in a sense, it is indeed a nothing. For with obstructions—walls, blinds, etc., light can be shut out, but not darkness. When light recedes, darkness enters, or rather is left in the vacancy. Similarly, when light enters, darkness disappears, having itself no substance or reality to oppose to light.
Now good and evil correspond to light and darkness. So that evil is a phenomenon which occurs when there is life with absence more or less of good, but has no power itself to enter and force out good. No; but when by the free-will of a person any virtue has left him, the vacant place is at once occupied by evil, with all its terrible phenomena. So also, by the way, is sickness the phenomenon consequent upon existence with a minimum of health.
But what is the state of a man who appears thoroughly evil? Is he really devoid of good? (How can there be life without good?) Is good really absent, or is it merely dormant?
If the following simile be a just one, a man is never devoid of good, but the good in him has become dormant, waiting for some influence to bring it into action again:—
Contact between two dissimilar metals in an electric battery determines a difference of potential between them. And the higher (positive) will at once fall to the lower (negative); so that the potentials are equalized, and the electric current ceases to flow. But if the two metals be immersed in a conducting-fluid, the positive potential will be kept in repeated efforts to fall, and a perpetual current will flow. Now the conducting-fluid must be such that one of its elements has the greatest possible affinity for the positive metal, and another the least possible affinity for the negative.
There is no need to expound this. Suffice it to say, that the "conducting fluid" corresponds to that Supernal Influence from within, which is the only source of real life.
More Articles by This Author Edward Harold Physick
- Born on July 20th, 1878 in Ealing, London, United Kingdom and died on August 30th, 1972
- English writer
- Used the pseudonym E. H. Visiak