Front Page Titles (by Subject) Sect. VII.: Seventh System: Worship of the Soul of the World, that is, the element of fire, the vital principle of the universe. - The Ruins: or a Survery of the Revolutions of Empires
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Sect. VII.: Seventh System: Worship of the Soul of the World, that is, the element of fire, the vital principle of the universe. - Constantin-François Chasseboeuf, marquis de Volney, The Ruins: or a Survery of the Revolutions of Empires 
The Ruins: or a Survery of the Revolutions of Empires, 3rd ed. (London: J. Johnson, 1796).
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Seventh System: Worship of theSoulof theWorld,that is, the element of fire, the vital principle of the universe.
“BUT a third set of the theological philosophers, disgusted with the idea of a being at once effect and cause, agent and patient, and uniting in one and the same nature all contrary attributes, distinguished the moving principle from the thing moved; and laying it down as a datum that matter was in itself inert, they pretended that it received its properties from a distinct agent of which it was only the envelope or case. Some made this agent the igneous principle, the acknowledged author of all motion; others made it the fluid called ether, because it was thought to be more active and subtile: now, as they denominated the vital and motive principle in animals, a soul, a spirit; and as they always reasoned by comparison, and particularly by comparison with human existence, they gave to the motive principle of the whole universe the name of soul, intelligence, spirit; and God was the vital spirit, which, diffused through all beings, animated the vast body of the world. This idea was represented sometimes by You-piter, essence of motion and animation, principle of existence, or rather existence itself(76) ; at other times by Vulcan, or Phtha, elementary principle of fire, or by the altar of Vesta, placed centrally in her temple, like the sun in the spheres; and again by Kneph, a human being dressed in deep blue, holding in his hands a sceptre and a girdle (the Zodiac), wearing on his head a cap with feathers, to express the fugacity of thought, and producing from his mouth the great egg(77) .
“As a consequence from this system, every being containing in itself a portion of the igneous or etherial fluid, the universal and common mover, and that fluid, soul of the world, being the Deity, it followed that the souls of all beings were a part of God himself, partaking of all his attributes, that is, being an indivisible, simple, and immortal substance; and hence is derived the whole system of the immortality of the soul, which at first was eternity(78) . Hence also its transmigrations known by the name of metempsychosis, that is to say, passage of the vital principle from one body to another; an idea which sprung from the real transmigration of the material elements. Such, O Indians, Budsoists, Christians, Mussulmans, was the origin of all your ideas of the spirituality of the soul! Such was the source of the reveries of Pythagoras and Plato, your institutors, and who were themselves but the echoes of another, the last sect of visionary philosophers that it is necessary to examine.
[Page 272. (76).]You-piter. This is the true pronunciation of the Jupiter of the Latins. . . . Existence itself. This is the signification of the word You. See Note (84).
[Page 273. (77).]Producing the great egg. See Note (35).
[Page id. (78).]The immortality of the soul, which at first was eternity. In the system of the first spiritualists, the soul was not created with, or at the same time as the body, in order to be inserted in it: its existence was supposed to be anterior and from all eternity. Such, in a few words, is the doctrine of Macrobius on this head. Som. Scip. passim.