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XXVI
THE SAME, CONTINUED

BEHOLD us, then, in the infinity of those worlds, the stellar infinity, the infinity of the heavens, which assuredly veils other things from our eyes, but could never be a total illusion. It seems to us to be peopled only with objects  –  planets, suns, stars, nebulæ, atoms, imponderous fluids  –  which move, unite and separate, repel and attract one another, which shrink and expand, displace one another incessantly and never arrive, which measure space in that which has no limit and number the hours in that which has no term. In a word, we are in an infinity that seems to have almost the same character, the same habits as that power in the midst of which we breathe and which, upon our earth, we call nature or life.

What will be our fate in that infinity? It is not vain to ask one's self the question, even if we should mingle with it after losing all consciousness, all notion of the ego, even if our existence should be no more than a little substance without name, soul or matter  –  one cannot tell  –  suspended in the equally nameless abyss that replaces time and space. It is not vain to ask one's self the question, for we are concerned with the history of the worlds or of the universe; and this history, far more than that of our petty existence, is our own great history, in which perhaps something of ourselves or something incomparably better and vaster will end by finding us again some day.


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