Page:Eureka; a prose poem (1848).djvu/47

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41
THE UNIVERSE.

Now, although the philosophic cannot be said to err with the vulgar in this matter, they nevertheless permit themselves to be influenced, without knowing it, by the sentiment of the vulgar idea. "Although the Pagan fables are not believed," says Bryant, in his very erudite "Mythology," "yet we forget ourselves continually and make inferences from them as from existing realities." I mean to assert that the merely sensitive perception of gravity as we experience it on Earth, beguiles mankind into the fancy of concentralization or especiality respecting it—has been continually biasing towards this fancy even the mightiest intellects—perpetually, although imperceptibly, leading them away from the real characteristics of the principle; thus preventing them, up to this date, from ever getting a glimpse of that vital truth which lies in a diametrically opposite direction—behind the principle's essential characteristics—those, not of concentralization or especiality—but of universality and diffusion. This "vital truth" is Unity as the source of the phænomenon.

Let me now repeat the definition of gravity:—Every atom, of every body, attracts every other atom, both of its own and of every other body, with a force which varies inversely as the squares of the distances of the attracting and attracted atom.

Here let the reader pause with me, for a moment, in contemplation of the miraculous—of the ineffable—of the altogether unimaginable complexity of relation involved in the fact that each atom attracts every other atom—involved merely in this fact of the attraction, without reference to the law or mode in which the attraction is manifested--