[Lucifer, Vol. IV, No. 21, May, 1889, pp. 250, 261]
[In relation to objections raised against alleged Theosophical assertions; the argument being as follows: “You postulate your principles a priori, hence you make them arbitrary. Starting from this, you deduce your conclusions which, supposing them to be strictly logical, have yet no scientific value, since they err by their very basis.” To this H.P.B. remarks:]
We strongly suspect this method of being precisely that of orthodox science, and not at all the theosophical. While their conclusions are always strictly correct and logical, their major premise is generally a hypothesis, and often not true in nature. The syllogisms of science run somewhat in this manner:
The catarrhine ape is dumb, and lost its tail (Haeckel); Speech arose from crude animal sounds, and early man had a tail (Darwin).
Therefore, the two had a common ancestor.
It is for the Darwino-Haeckelians, evidently, that it has been said that, “If the premises are not true and the syllogism is regular, the reason is valid, and the conclusion, whether true or false, is correctly derived.”
[On the “sterile efforts to determine the attributes of God, which would amount to seeking to define the infinite.”]
Leaving aside that trifling difficulty in philosophy, which shows to us that to postulate attributes, which are by their very nature finite, to the infinite, is like trying to square the circle.
[Concerning people, mostly in rural Russia, who can “talk away” very effectually all sorts of ailments.]
This is the literal translation of the popular and mystic term “Zagovarivat’,” in Russia. For the good men and women in towns and villages who play at local medicine-men (and the people will have no others) literally “talk away,” by means of some strange words which no one understands but themselves, and by breathing on the water, all kinds of diseases and ailments most effectively.