The Gate of Knowledge

“The Golden Verses of Pythagoras with an Essay on the Essence and Form of Poetry,” by Fabre d’Olivet. Translated by Nayan Louise Redfield. (Putnam & Son.)

This translation of these famous essays is in all respects excellent. The prose is sonorous and well measured, and the translator has well seized the sense of the original. The only blemishes are occasional idiomatic lapses where Miss Redfield, as it appears to us, imitates the French usage too faithfully. The edition is finely produced, and should form a most valuable addition to any philosophical library.

There is here no space for an extended criticism of Pythagoras or of this interpretation of him. A volume of nearly equal size would be required to do justice in such a manner. We will therefore not dwell upon what appears to be the failure to transcend dualism, beyond remarking that there is only one solution to the problem of evil. That solution is given in the “Book of the Law.” The universe has two phases. One delights in creation and the other in destruction, and the cyclic process serves each in turn. But it is most pertinent to remark that Fabre d’Olivet announces a doctrine which in its essence is singularly harmonious with that of Blavatsky regarding perfectibility. It is indeed the doctrine of the adepts which is here foreshadowed. Fortified by this tradition, this author has managed to do good work in the matter of Eastern religion, despite the dreadful ignorance and misapprehension which prevailed in his time with regard to the purport of oriental doctrines. Those minds in which Truth exists as an inheritance can never be upset by the discovery of new facts; on the contrary, such discoveries confirm them in their Truth. — Therion.

“The Duality of the Bible,” by Sidney C. Tapp.

The mystery is out. We owe our readers a sort of apology for the tone of voice which we used last month in reviewing Mr. Tapp’s other volume. We ought to have known that so unwholesome a mind might imply an unhealthy body. In this present volume Mr. Tapp explains that he suffered when young from certain diseases of the ear, necessitating operations which were evidently partial failures; for we find that he could not write his book with his own hand, owing to a spine injured by these operations.

Mr. Tapp’s views on sex are therefore those of an unfortunate rather than of a wicked person.

(It may be philosophically doubted whether these two things are not one.) However, the point is that for Mr. Tapp to lay down the law on sex is like an oyster lecturing on the disadvantages of being vertebrate. We are extremely sorry for this wreck of humanity, but we shall not take it for our guide, any more than we should listen to the crew of reformed drunkards who tell us that we cannot drink a glass of wine without being dipsomaniacs. One of the worst results of our present policy of preserving the lives of the abnormal and degenerate is that they have worked their way into public affairs till civilization has become a hospital. — A. C.

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