Voltaire on The First Philosophers
“How precise and true is Plato’s expression, how profound and philosophical his remark on the (human) soul or Ego, when he defined it as “a compound of the same and the other.” And yet how little this hint has been understood, since the world took it to mean that the soul was the breath of God, of Jehovah. It is “the same and the other,” as the great Initiate-Philosopher said; for the Ego (the “Higher Self” when merged with and in the Divine Monad) is Man, and yet the same as the “OTHER”, the Angel in him incarnated, as the same with the universal MAHAT [Intelligence]. The great classics and philosophers felt this truth, when saying that “there must be something within us which produces our thoughts. Something very subtle; it is a breath; it is fire; it is ether; it is quintessence; it is a slender likeness; it is an intellection; it is a number; it is harmony…” (Voltaire).” (Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, pp. 88-89.)
The Original Line from Voltaire
“The first philosophers, whether Chaldean or Egyptians, said: There must be something within us which produces our thoughts; that something must be very subtile; it is a breath; it is fire; it is ether; it is a quintessence; it is a slender likeness; it is an antelechia; it is a number; it is harmony (…) “It is atoms, which think in us,” said Epicurus after Democrites. But my friend, how does an atom think?” (see John Morley’s The Works of Voltaire: A Philosophical Dictionary, Vol. XIII., pg. 311).