Mesmeric Revelation

Posted by | Zachariah | 26.8.10 | 3 Comments

I've been reading more Edgar Allen Poe, and I found more panpsychist leanings.

The narrator, P, is talking to a man he has just 'mesmerized', Mr. Vankirk:

P. Is not God immaterial?
V. There is no immateriality—it is a mere word. That which is not matter, is not at all—unless qualities are things.
P. Is God, then, material?
V. No. [This reply startled me very much.]
P. What then is he?
V. [After a long pause, and mutteringly.] I see—but it is a thing difficult to tell. [Another long pause.] He is not spirit, for he exists. Nor is he matter, as you understand it. But there are gradations of matter of which man knows nothing; the grosser impelling the finer, the finer pervading the grosser. The atmosphere, for example, impels the electric principle, while the electric principle permeates the atmosphere. These gradations of matter increase in rarity or fineness, until we arrive at a matter unparticled—without particles—indivisible—one; and here the law of impulsion and permeation is modified. The ultimate, or unparticled matter, not only permeates all things but impels all things—and thus is all things within itself. This matter is God. What men attempt to embody in the word "thought," is this matter in motion.
P. The metaphysicians maintain that all action is reducible to motion and thinking, and that the latter is the origin of the former.
V. Yes; and I now see the confusion of idea. Motion is the action of mind—not of thinking. The unparticled matter, or God, in quiescence, is (as nearly as we can conceive it) what men call mind. And the power of self-movement (equivalent in effect to human volition) is, in the unparticled matter, the result of its unity and omniprevalence; how I know not, and now clearly see that I shall never know. But the unparticled matter, set in motion by a law, or quality, existing within itself, is thinking.

Comments

3 Responses to “Mesmeric Revelation”

  1. peter
    26/8/10 08:01

    was that quote from the fall of the house of usher too?

    sounds a lot like spinoza's god to me

    sounds bloody cool too

  2. Chris
    26/8/10 12:51

    Amazing!

  3. Zachariah
    26/8/10 13:26

    It's a short story called 'Mesmeric Revelation' which you can view online through WikiSource here.

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