The Secret Doctrine vol. 1, Stanza III.2
2. The vibration sweeps along, touching with its swift wing (simultaneously) the whole universe, and the germ that dwelleth in darkness: the darkness that breathes (moves) over the slumbering waters of life (a).
(a) The Pythagorean Monad is also said to dwell in solitude and darkness like the “germ.” The idea of the “breath” of Darkness moving over “the slumbering Waters of life,” which is primordial matter with the latent Spirit in it, recalls the first chapter of Genesis. Its original is the Brahminical Narayana (the mover on the Waters), who is the personification of the eternal Breath of the unconscious All (or Parabrahm) of the Eastern Occultists. The Waters of Life, or Chaos—the female principle in symbolism—are the vacuum (to our mental sight) in which lie the latent Spirit and Matter. This it was that made Democritus assert, after his instructor Leucippus, that the primordial principles of all were atoms and a vacuum, in the sense of space, but not of empty space, as “Nature abhors a vacuum” according to the Peripatetics, and every ancient philosopher.
In all Cosmogonies “Water” plays the same important part. It is the base and source of material existence. Scientists, mistaking the word for the thing, understood by water the definite chemical combination of oxygen and hydrogen, thus giving a specific meaning to a term used by Occultists in a generic sense, and which is used in Cosmogony with a metaphysical and mystical meaning. Ice is not water, neither is steam, although all three have precisely the same chemical composition.