Page:Eureka; a prose poem (1848).djvu/55

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49
THE UNIVERSE.

Whether we reach the idea of absolute Unity as the source of All Things, from a consideration of Simplicity as the most probable characteristic of the original action of God;—whether we arrive at it from an inspection of the universality of relation in the gravitating phænomena;—or whether we attain it as a result of the mutual corroboration afforded by both processes;—still, the idea itself, if entertained at all, is entertained in inseparable connection with another idea—that of the condition of the Universe of stars as we now perceive it—that is to say, a condition of immeasurable diffusion through space. Now a connection between these two ideas—unity and diffusion—cannot be established unless through the entertainment of a third idea—that of irradiation. Absolute Unity being taken as a centre, then the existing Universe of stars is the result of irradiation from that centre.

Now, the laws of irradiation are known. They are part and parcel of the sphere. They belong to the class of indisputable geometrical properties. We say of them, "they are true—they are evident." To demand why they are true, would be to demand why the axioms are true upon which their demonstration is based. Nothing is demonstrable, strictly speaking; but if anything be, then the properties—the laws in question are demonstrated.

But these laws—what do they declare? Irradiation—how—by what steps does it proceed outwardly from a centre?

From a luminous centre, Light issues by irradiation; and the quantities of light received upon any given plane, supposed to be shifting its position so as to be now nearer