Books in Brief — Edgar Allan Poe: Eureka
- Read Duration: 2–3 days (It is short but requires attention)
- Author: Edgar Allan Poe
- Year: 1848
- Genre: Non-Fiction
- Sub-Genre: Philosophy. Cosmology. Spirituality.
- Opening sentence: To the few who love me and whom I love, to those who feel rather than think, to the dreamers and those who put their faith in dreams as in the only realities, I offer this book of truths, not in its character of truth-teller, but for the beauty that abounds in its truth, constituting it true. (Preface)
- Top 10 Highlights:
- ‘Now I do not quarrel with these ancients’, continues the letter-writer, ‘so much on account of the transparent frivolity of their logic — which, to be plain, was baseless, worthless, and fantastic altogether — as on account of their pompous and infatuate proscription of all other roads to Truth than the two narrow and crooked paths, the one of creeping and the other of crawling, to which, in their ignorant perversity, they have dared to confine the soul — the soul which loves nothing so well as to soar in those regions of illimitable intuition which are utterly incognisant of “path”.
- ‘Kepler admitted that these laws he guessed — these laws whose investigation disclosed to the greatest British astronomers that principle, the basis of all (existing) physical principles, in going behind which we enter at once the nebulous kingdom of metaphysics. Yes! These vital laws Kepler guessed, that is to say, he imagined them...’
- ‘In concluding this letter, let me have the real pleasure of transcribing them once again: “I care not whether my work be read now or by posterity. I can afford to wait a century for readers when God himself has waited six thousand years for an observer. I triumph. I have stolen the golden secret of the Egyptians. I will indulge my sacred fury.”’
- A diffusion from unity, under the conditions, involves the tendency to return into unity — a tendency ineradicable until satisfied.
- Discarding now the two equivocal terms, ‘gravitation’ and ‘electricity’, let us adopt the more definite expressions, ‘attraction’ and ‘repulsion’. The former is the body, the latter the soul; the one is the material, the other the spiritual principle of the universe. No other principles exist.
- …the tendency to the general centre is not to a centre as such, but because of its being a point in tending towards which each atom tends more directly to its real and essential centre, unity — the absolute and final union of all.
- The wonderfully complex laws of revolution here described, however, are not to be understood as obtaining in our system alone. They prevail everywhere where attraction prevails. They control the universe of stars.
- And that all around them (circular masses of nebulae), on every side, there are volumes of stars, stretching out apparently as if they were rushing towards a great central mass in consequence of the action of some great power.
- With a perfectly legitimate reciprocity, we are now permitted to look at matter as created solely for the sake of this influence — solely to serve the objects of this spiritual ether.
- Existence — self-existence — existence from all time and to all eternity, seems, up to the epoch of manhood, a normal and unquestionable condition. Seems, because it is. But now comes the period at which a conventional world-reason awakes us from the truth of our dream.
Poe searches for the sweetest-spot of Wisdom to look into philosophical questions; he almost does it!