Creation; Or, The Transmutation Of Energy -- By: Jacob Cooper
BSac 55:218 (April 1898) p. 213
Creation; Or, The Transmutation Of Energy
The origin of the world is a problem in philosophy first both in time and importance. For its reality appeals to the senses with a certainty, which, however much denied by speculation, returns in all its original vigor in the common consciousness, and forces equally explicit testimony from the idealist who denies it in theory, by his invariable conduct in practice. So the world of spirit, be it in the form of Intellect, Force, Energy, or whatever name we choose to call that which acts, moves, and causes material things to be full of life, is equally patent to consciousness. The existence of something which causes the phenomenon is as certain as it, and is absolutely necessary to its production. As there cannot be an effect without an adequate cause, so there must be a force or energy to produce movement, change, or sensible phenomena. There can be no shadow without a substance to produce it; neither can there be any internal or external manifestation without a “sufficient reason” for its existence.
The earliest thinker who reflected upon what appealed to his senses felt the problem of the origin of things with
BSac 55:218 (April 1898) p. 214
as much force as does the modern scientist or speculator. Perhaps he felt it even more, because his mind was more at leisure for original thought. He was untrammeled by theory, and not perplexed by the ultimate consequences of his speculations. He thought with greater originality because more naively. He was face to face with Nature, and felt the throbbings of that reality which had not become hackneyed through the use of words for things which they imperfectly express. But the origin of the world, which to the earliest philosophers was the universe, while it constantly appealed to them for solution, remained an unanswered riddle. Their thoughts rebounded from this Gordian knot of philosophy in helpless impotence. No other conclusion seemed possible to them than that the world was eternal; for absolute creation is unthinkable even by “Plato’s brain,” and, if made known at all, must be disclosed by a Being of higher powers than man.
Hence, every cosmogony, whether Indian, Chinese, Egyptian, or Greek, assumes, as an acknowledged fact, that there never was, or could be, the production of something out of nothing. Therefore, the primordial elements had existed eternally, and creation was simply growth or evolution from these as materials. These might be one or four; they might be in constant flux, or forever at rest, and their motions only apparent. The constant flux changes form, but not reality. The original substance could not be known to us except through the attributes, which, while they do not constitute its esse...
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