EDITOR’S NOTE TO “NATURE-WORSHIP”
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 4, January, 1880, p. 106]
[In the above-mentioned article, the author, who signs himself “H. H. D.—B. A.,” traces “the birth and growth of the idea among the Aryans of India, as viewed from Rig-Vedic poetry, etc., and a further Transition to Science, as observed historically.” H. P. B. comments on the article as follows:]
We have not been willing to interrupt the rhythmic flow of our correspondent’s language with any commentaries of our own, but must add a word of supplement. The outward phase of the idea of nature-worship he has succinctly and eloquently traced. But he, in common with most modern scholars, completely ignores one chief factor. We allude to the experience, once so common among men, now so comparatively rare, of a world of real beings, whose abode is in the four elements, beings with probable though as yet ill-defined powers, and a perceptible existence. We are sorry for those who will pity us for making this admission; but fact is fact, science or no science. The realization of this inner world of the Elementals dates back to the beginning of our race, and has been embalmed in the verse of poets and preserved in the religious and historical records of the world. Granted that the perception of phenomena developed nature-worship, yet, unless our materialistic friends admit that the range of these phenomena included experiences with the spirits of the elements and the higher and noble realities of Psychology, it would trouble them to account for the universality of belief in the various races of the Unseen Universe.
Why should but one of the elements, namely, earth, be so densely populated, and fire, water, air, etc., be deemed empty voids, uninhabited by their own beings—the “viewless races,” as the great Bulwer-Lytton called them? Is this
partiality of nature a logical hypothesis of science? Who that observes the marvellous adaptations of the organs of sense and the natures of beings to their environment, dares say that these elementals do not exist, until he is well assured that the perceptive faculties of our bodies are capable of apprehending all the secret things of this and other worlds? Why may not the spirits of the kingdoms of earth, air, fire and water be non-existent to us—and we to them—only because neither has the organs to see or feel the other? Another aspect of this subject was treated in our December issue.