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Section 26

26. Their knowledge of our prayers is due to what we may call an enlinking, a determined relation of things fitted into a system; so, too, the fulfillment of the petitions; in the art of magic all looks to this enlinkment: prayer and its answer, magic and its success, depend upon the sympathy of enchained forces.

This seems to oblige us to accord sense-perception to the earth.

But what perception?

Why not, to begin with, that of contact-feeling, the apprehension of part by part, the apprehension of fire by the rest of the entire mass in a sensation transmitted upwards to the earth's leading principle? A corporeal mass [such as that of the earth] may be sluggish but is not utterly inert. Such perceptions, of course, would not be of trifles, but of the graver movement of things.

But why even of them?

Because those gravest movements could not possibly remain unknown where there is an immanent soul.

And there is nothing against the idea that sensation in the earth exists for the sake of the human interests furthered by the earth. They would be served by means of the sympathy that has been mentioned; petitioners would be heard and their prayers met, though in a way not ours. And the earth, both in its own interest and in that of beings distinct from itself, might have the experiences of the other senses also- for example, smell and taste where, perhaps, the scent of juices or sap might enter into its care for animal life, as in the constructing or restoring of their bodily part.

But we need not demand for earth the organs by which we, ourselves, act: not even all the animals have these; some, without ears perceive sound.

For sight it would not need eyes- though if light is indispensable how can it see?

That the earth contains the principle of growth must be admitted; it is difficult not to allow in consequence that, since this vegetal principle is a member of spirit, the earth is primarily of the spiritual order; and how can we doubt that in a spirit all is lucid? This becomes all the more evident when we reflect that, besides being as a spirit lightsome, it is physically illuminated moving in the light of kosmic revolution.

There is, thus, no longer any absurdity or impossibility in the notion that the soul in the earth has vision: we must, further, consider that it is the soul of no mean body; that in fact it is a god since certainly soul must be everywhere good.

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