The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 56

of adamant
or of iron.

_V._ Your objection is answered with an ease which is nearly in the
ratio of its apparent unanswerability.--As regards the progress of the
star, it can make no difference whether the star passes through the
ether _or the ether through it_. There is no astronomical error more
unaccountable than that which reconciles the known retardation of the
comets with the idea of their passage through an ether: for, however
rare this ether be supposed, it would put a stop to all sidereal
revolution in a very far briefer period than has been admitted by those
astronomers who have endeavored to slur over a point which they found
it impossible to comprehend. The retardation actually experienced is, on
the other hand, about that which might be expected from the _friction_
of the ether in the instantaneous passage through the orb. In the one
case, the retarding force is momentary and complete within itself--in
the other it is endlessly accumulative.

_P._ But in all this--in this identification of mere matter with God--is
there nothing of irreverence? [_I was forced to repeat this question
before the sleep-waker fully comprehended my meaning_.]

_V._ Can you say _why_ matter should be less reverenced than mind? But
you forget that the matter of which I speak is, in all respects, the
very "mind" or "spirit" of the schools, so far as regards its high
capacities, and is, moreover, the "matter" of these schools at the
same time. God, with all the powers attributed to spirit, is but the
perfection of matter.

_P._ You assert, then, that the unparticled matter, in motion, is

_V._ In general, this motion is the universal thought of the universal
mind. This thought creates. All created things are but the thoughts of

_P._ You say, "in general."

_V._ Yes. The universal mind is God. For new individualities, _matter_
is necessary.

_P._ But you now speak of "mind" and "matter" as do the metaphysicians.

_V._ Yes--to avoid confusion. When I say "mind," I mean the unparticled
or ultimate matter; by "matter," I intend all else.

_P._ You were saying that "for new individualities matter is necessary."

_V._ Yes; for mind, existing unincorporate, is merely God. To create
individual, thinking beings, it was necessary to incarnate portions
of the divine mind. Thus man is individualized. Divested of corporate
investiture, he were God. Now, the particular motion of the incarnated
portions of the unparticled matter is the thought of man; as the motion
of the whole is that of God.

_P._ You say that divested of the body man will be God?

_V._ [_After much hesitation._] I could not have said this;

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Text Comparison with The Raven

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" Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you"--here I opened wide the door-- Darkness there and nothing more.
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Then the ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore-- Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" .
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" Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-- Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never--nevermore.
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" Quoth the Raven,.
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