Science stage of the development of truth – Evolutionary truth forces its sway – Nature's revelations mark the epochs of civilization – Nature's universal sympathy – Omnipresence, etc., of the Deity scientifically a simple truth – Natural law is inviolable – Whistling of birds, and all sounds, are proofs of aerial telephones.
THERE is nothing useless or merely ornamental in Nature. She has no forces which are not at the service of man, nor is there any secret about the working of her laws into which he may not successfully inquire without presumption. No scientific research for truth is, in itself, a presumption; and in no case can its true course lead to ideas of infidelity, or to anything derogatory to the highest interests of man. Science has recently, with extraordinary success, provided lever, fulcrum, and power to raise civilization such as no other stage of its development has supplied. The first dark whispers of geology, being insuppressible, now I loudly attest the truth. The truths announced by Darwin stand boldly out as no mere insinuation can stand, while his side-lights of what seemed true, but are not have already vanished like a Will-o'-the-wisp. The works of great men in their laboratories, by the revelation of quondam secrets, have exalted truth as Moses raised the brazen serpent. Just as sure as there is any provision made for created beings, just as sure are the preservation, development, evolution and dominance of truth, by law, provided for; and no agent of progress has done more towards this highest evolution than science has with dry, hard, matter-of-fact revolutionary revelations.
There are things hidden in Nature which are not invisible in the sense that they cannot be seen. Visible trees have necessarily hidden roots, and there is just as much wrong â€” and no more â€” done by an inquiring mind examining these hidden roots as there is in researching the hidden truths of Nature. If it be wrong to inquire into any truth whatever, however lofty, then it is wrong for man to make a natural use of his strongest natural gifts, and the chief complaint against him at last must be that he has not hid his talents away in a napkin. He is not only permitted, but expected, to know the truth. Perfection awaits humanity at its final goal, but before that goal is reached all truth must be the common property of the race; and if man does not acquire that enviable attainment by his own means (as he is capable of doing), then it will be forced upon him by a natural development brought about in strict accordance with fixed laws, whose gradations of evolution may seem slow, but are certainly unfailing and unflagging. Whether there be truth in the evolution of man or any other animal, it is as clear as historical facts can bear record that the knowledge of truth has been an evolutionary development through periods of long and slow but steadily progressive stages, with ages, or times, when war, religion, superstition, literature, science, etc., have been the specially predominant agents of advancement. Now this, now that civilizing power has seemed to obliterate the facts of some former power; yet each and all have left their age a little in advance of the predecessor on the upward march. The lamentation about present decay, and the mourning over the good old but dead past, however genuine, does not affect the fact that the human race is progressing even when nations are decaying. No stage of the evolutionary progress of truth has been so rapidly traversed as that in which science has triumphantly led the way. Science, although it has already done a giant's work, is only in its infancy in the work of revealed truth, and although in the opinion of many it has been the matrix of infidelity, yet, in fact, religion has never had a better co-worker. No knowledge that reveals truth can ever be antagonistic to true religion, for truth can never be antagonistic to itself. Science has revealed many of the powers of many of the latent forces in Nature, as well as the laws that govern the universe, and the elucidation of these powers and laws throws an electric light upon the Divine part of our human lives that enables us to prove with scientific demonstration what formerly were mysteries of our being. Through the indisputable discoveries of science it is now made most manifestly clear that there is necessarily a connecting link between mind and matter, between the creature and his Creator, and that in this connecting medium the ordinary laws in Nature, everywhere protected by the most subtle and powerful latent forces, are universally and continually working out the great evolutionary problem of creation, satisfactorily in the highest degree to common-sense and to science.
When the proper end of a sounding pitchfork is placed on the teeth, the musical vibration is distinctly heard and felt in the head, the sound being much greater than in the free air. When the great organ is played in a large hall, the transmission of musical vibrations along the wooden floor is so strong as to be felt by the feet while the seat shudders or vibrates without moving. Examples, familiar to all, of vibrations being transmitted through solid bodies might be given endlessly. Surely no one is under the impression that the atoms in such solid transmitting bodies are rattled together like dice in a box by the generating musical sound. It is difficult to think that anyone could believe that the solid body actually trembles or undulates like waves of the sea, or like a pliable rope. The vibration is not communicated through the so-called atoms at all, but through the ether lying between the interstitial spaces between the atoms and disintegrated atoms. The channel of conductivity for such vibratory currents is cut out from the solids, but the current matter itself is ether, and the vibration of the ether produces as a resultant the musical sound. So all sounds, from the loudest thunder in the heavens down to the most minute conceivable one on a finely adjusted microphone, be they harmonious or discordant, are the resultants of vibrations. So, too, every mental, moral, and spiritual sound, as all such emotions may justly be called, is the resultant of the vibration of the most subtle, universal, and volatile substance in creation; for the laws in Nature are not territorial, but universal, in their action.
Every remarkable step of advancing civilization has been made with the utilization of some new-discovered truth or law in Nature, and, therefore, the progress of mankind is evidently regulated by man's knowledge of Nature, and his use of that knowledge. As the hidden stores of latent forces have come to light and to his services, his high position in life has become more clearly defined and certain. While the lowest savages are utterly ignorant of the forces and laws of Nature as such, these forces and laws are the commonplace servants of the highest ranks of civilization. Savagery, superstition and science are three widely different stages of the human existence, and yet not one of them can reasonably be said to be the normal condition of the race, and it is clear, according to our own ideas of humanity, that the scientific acquirements of this age are only bringing us nearer to what we imagine is the naturally normal condition of man embracing mind and soul. The knowledge of Nature exalts man in the highest and noblest sense, and makes him a true lover of all that is beautiful, good and true.
While the rise and progress of civilization have invariably been accompanied by the new acquirement of some natural truth, the downfall of great nations has been in direct disregard of truth in Nature. All blood-stained, epoch-making revolutions of the world have been caused by the opposition given to the inflowing influences of Nature at the time; so, too, have the silent revolutions of peace been caused by acquiescence to Nature's silent dominance. Fighting for the faith in the Church, or for political principles in the country, has originated in the finding out of some new light in Nature. The butcheries of Neros, the massacres of St. Bartholomew, and all martyrdoms, have been vain efforts to keep back the rising waves of revealed truth. Kings and kingdoms have been overthrown because they have not yielded to the irresistible power of the revealed truth of their time; and subjects, ignorant of all the sympathetic influences of Nature, have been trodden under foot by ruling tyrants who have been wise in their generation. Deaths of kings are not the historical dates of the world, nor are the epochs of time the rise and fall of nations. Each new evolutionary revelation of natural truth is an epoch in creation, a landmark in time, a new starting point for fresh progress. Some are great, some are small, but all are influential for human good and Divine glory. By the explorations of science most of the recently discovered powers in Nature have been unearthed. Earth, air, and water have discovered themselves to science, in the interests of revealed truth, more freely and more substantially than ever they have done to philosophy or religion. The birth of truth may be retarded, but truth itself can never be injured by any investigation whatever, and to science all humanity owes a debt of gratitude.
All animals when in trouble seek the most sympathetic company to be found, and in the case of wild herds that destroy their sickly members the troubled ones seek solitude, not through fear, but through sympathy. Men seek the solitudes of Nature for health of body soundness of mind, and inspiration of soul. Within hearing of the ceaseless sound of the ocean, in the deep silence of the sheltered valleys, and in the life-giving ozone of the wind-swept mountains, the solitary thinker rejoices to know that Nature speaks to him as never man spake. To the ill-conditioned person whose mind is laden with a knowledge of guilt, the society of solitary Nature is simply unbearable, because she has no sympathy with what is wrong or unnatural. She has health for the weak, consolation for the oppressed, joy for the sad, truth for the inquirer, harmony for all natural life, and discord for all unnatural. The more her acquaintance is cultivated, the more liberally she bestows her boundless bounties.
Even at the very fountain-head of purity it is easy to make the clear stream muddy and revolting in appearance, but that is only by adding to the water qualities which it does not naturally possess. So, too, Nature does not always speak with soothing sympathy because of the mingling of corrupt human thoughts with her purity of language. Nature, in her own speech, ministers to every mind, and if any mind seek an over-indulgence, that is, an unnatural and abnormal supply, then Nature will give it even to satiety, which is the true beginning of disappointment in life. Retribution comes from Nature by an overdose of one's own desires â€” not gratifications â€” perhaps the hardest moral punishment conceivable. Nature's laws are congenial to all true nature, but woe betide all opposition, or even connivance at restraint. Her secret forces may all be used by man as she uses them, but not otherwise.
Everybody knows that Nature is continually making some mysterious speech-like communication, apparently in sympathy with each one's feelings at the time, yet no attempt has been made to account for or interpret her system of language, and so it is loosely and wrongly concluded she has no system. Such a belief is most inconsistent in this most systematically arranged creation. One may not understand the system, but that ignorance cannot alter the fact. Although I do not understand a foreign language, still, I am capable of being made to understand it, and although that language may be as Greek to the Hindoo, it is not Greek to everybody. Comparatively few people can, by name, distinguish one musical note from another, although the composed notes may strike with most effective harmony on the heart strings. Many intelligent persons could not name more than, perhaps, half a dozen of the ordinary colours, although they could easily distinguish a difference between the others. These are parallel and analogous cases with the conditions of Nature, whose language is known to some extent by everyone. According to the laws that govern the evolution of truth, this language of Nature could not have been studied successfully until now, when Science has cleared a way with her accepted physical demonstrations of the actions and truth of the laws of vibrations, etc.
That there are incomprehensible (?) uncertainties in life all acknowledge, but that they are part of the Divine plan is impossible of belief. If such uncertainties be Divinely designed, then man's existence has all the appearance of being less enviable than that of the blind mole. If they be ordained, then the highest and the lowest classes of creatures are equal in that they both grovel in impenetrable darkness, but man must ever carry the palm of degradation, because his darkness must exceed all others in proportion to his endowment of reason to show him what a vile unfinished foundling he is. Compared with the life of such a man, the life of a dog is sublime. The idea of man being such a waif and stray is repulsive, and is found to be untenable by true researchers for truth, although those who have made shipwreck of their lives by their opposition to Nature do entertain such notions as a kind of conscience-clause of probabilities. In all creation, as far as man has been able to ascertain, there is nothing but simple perfection of architecture, supreme wisdom, providential consideration, and immeasurable affection from the Creator to the creature. Why should there be any imperfection in regard to man alone? There is no imperfection; man is practically his own master, with Nature and all her laws and elements at his service; and he is capable of actually walking and talking with the Universal Creator. Science herself provides us with the physical demonstrations of the realities of this natural human condition.
The lowest savages may have a more reasonable, more natural and truer idea of the Deity than the daily Bible-reading Christian, because with savages the belief is purely and simply a question of inherited faith that causes no friction with their worldly wisdom or ignorance, whereas the Christian of to-day justly boasts of his reasoning faculties, free will, scientific attainments and higher-grade civilization, and yet believes, or persuades himself that he believes, what must be to him physical impossibilities. The savage knows no science, and to him blind faith is enough, and so he takes his spiritual food without bolting the impossibilities which the modern Christian must swallow, whilst knowing well the spiritual indigestion that awaits him. For instance, the personality and omnipresence of the Deity presents no difficulty to the undeveloped mind of the simple savage, but to scientific civilization its literal truth is a practical impossibility: yet the virtual truth is simplicity itself, provable by scientific demonstration and the physical necessities of the situation. This virtual truth is the same in regard to all the great attributes of the Deity, so thus His seeing and hearing all, and being everywhere, etc., are physical simplicities. Blind, ignorant worship cannot be desired by an omniscient Deity, yet the greatest happiness of the greatest number more nearly affects His Divine love than His majesty is affected by the partial ignorance of His fallible creatures, and therefore He accepts their homage according to their motives and knowledge, and grants indulgence to the wise and ignorant, knowing that He Himself will by His unbreakable, established laws, and the natural evolution of revelation, show in His own time the scientific truth to all.
The wisest living man knows little compared with the vast amount left unknown, but the partial scientist who has an extra high opinion of himself and his knowledge must consider a Christian a simpleton when, in the agony of his soul, with an inaudible voice, he makes known his supplications to the Great Unknown, or when, in public, with his human voice that cannot reach the outside of his church, he prays to Him who dwells in heaven. To him the belief in theological dogmas may seem a mere quibble about words, but physical facts are barriers which cannot possibly be got over. Happily, Science herself shows that these barriers do not exist. The Deity has not created mysteries, but man, as a cloak to his own ignorance, has determined that He shall be recognised as a mysterious God, and the evolution of truth can alone withdraw this monstrous delusion from the human mind. The laws that govern the universe are His, but they are also at the service of man, therefore it is for man's highest interest to study them and to understand them. His being is not apart from that of man's, nor has He some mysterious method of existence altogether different from man's. As He is so are we. We are capable of knowing all about the latent forces in Nature, and He already knows all. Of knowledge He is the Master, while we are the pupils who are able to know all things. We are in constant communication with Him, directly and indirectly, for as rays of light converge to the sun, so do the universal etheric chords, the telepath of all knowledge, converge at the Deity, the Source of truth and Centre of life. The language which He uses on this telepath is the language of Nature, known to all, the language in which all our human senses are addressed, the language of universal vibratory signals.
There would be little majesty in the sea but for its great tempests, yet it is ignorantly called a cruel and greedy ocean when its overwhelming power devours the insufficiently protected lives of men. If there be any blame at all, surely it is attachable only to men who risk themselves and their fortunes on seas that again and again have declared their nature, and shown man that he must not oppose the action of the laws that control them. Who would think of blaming a fire for burning a child's finger, because the child averred that it did not know before that fire would burn a finger ? If a king and a beggar fall into a river both will get wet. If lightning were to strike an innocent child, the effect would be the same as when it struck some notorious blackguard. Nature is so consistent in all things that she is never out of harmony with herself, even to the extent of bringing calamity to the evil and the good. She spares no violators, and does not determine innocence and guilt by ignorance and knowledge. With her it is simply a question of guilty or not guilty: she considers no extenuating circumstances, and that ought to be seen as simply just, as it is seen to be simple justice that fire should burn a finger intruded in ignorance or knowledge. In the normal condition there is no discord in Nature. Every law is harmonious in itself, and works in harmony with every other law; but the calling into action of any latent force, like the throwing of a stone into a still pool, causes commotion in proportion to the action of that force, and this new-begotten commotion or discord may still be said to be harmonious, inasmuch as its action is invariable and never out of place. In fact, Nature's law cannot do wrong (much less the Law-maker). It is bound to do the inevitable, and what is the inevitable resultant of certain actions cannot be called wrong or unjust. It must come, and it cannot come in unawares. Evil is the inevitable resultant of breaking the laws in Nature which are the laws of God, therefore He is not unjust or wrong in permitting evil, the inevitable resultant of breaking His law. With all reverence be it said, the Deity cannot help Himself from permitting existent evils except by breaking His own laws, which could only produce greater inevitable evils. All evil is the resultant of law-breaking, wilfully or unwilfully, and the Deity Himself could not prevent this evil without breaking His own law and thus creating greater evil still, just as surely as the damming of an undesirable river would cause an overflow at the banks. All evil is discord in the harmony of Nature, from the slightest tinge of conscience to the agonies of hell. All discord is the resultant of interference with the action of some law.
When the mysteries of former times have become revealed truths, they have been seen to be as simple as the truth that no rivers run up hill, or can do other than run down. The unknown is neither necessarily unknowable nor mysterious. There has not been a single physical discovery of late years that was not formerly considered past finding out. Man has been the creator of mystery, not the Deity, whose transcendent order of architecture is conspicuously simple when understood. The results of every scientific research prove this. Works of art of the highest order imitate this sublime simplicity, and nowhere in revealed religion or in evolutionary truth has reason been found for believing that the Deity has aimed at the mysterious. His wonders are not meant to be past finding out. All will yet become plain, not by any cataclysm or unnatural revolution, but by the simple and natural evolution of truth. The evolutions in Nature are as peaceful and harmonious as her changes from one season to another, and all great and permanent changes in the conditions of humanity are as harmonious in their unostentatious but powerful evolutions.
There is no such thing as calamity, either in nations or individuals, if by calamity be meant some evil that comes out of the natural course of events. When an avalanche sweeps away an Alpine village, it is wrong to lay it as an unforeseen or improbable evil at the door of Nature or Deity. If calamities be brought about by supernatural agencies, then the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius was not a calamity, nor was the destruction of Lisbon by an earthquake. It has been shown that the ravages of plagues can be controlled by giving proper attention to sanitary laws, and therefore the scourges of plagues are unjustly called an evil visitation of Providence. The overthrow of great nations whose inhabitants have given themselves up to indulgence in luxurious living, and so degenerated their race, cannot be called a calamity brought about by the will of the gods. Honest poverty has no disgrace, but the starvation of masses of people who might be the backbone of their nation is an evil permitted by God, but is produced by man â€” not necessarily by the immediate sufferer. All violent outbreaks from volcanoes, earthquakes and floods are natural resultants of given conditions, and in no case can it be said that the Deity does anything outside the lines of established law, neither to bring evil nor to bring good. As far as man has found out, there is no visible symptom of Divine interference with the operation of Nature's laws, so as to make them act contrary to their own principles. But to influence them to more or less action is a different matter. All intelligence that passes through our physical senses to the intellect is conveyed by vibrations, and the action of the laws that govern these vibrations is never interfered with by the Deity, so as to make the action untrue to its law. There is no room for a man to doubt the stability of the law. He can never say the result differs from day to day. The infallibility of the law is an insurance against doubt. The laws of vibrations are fixed and universal. All ideas suggested by Nature to the mind are by them transmitted, and there is no evidence to show their action is obstructed by Divine power so as to frustrate their lawful results. Why should knowledge not be so conveved to the soul by this universal system of vibration? Where is the necessity for introducing a new system in opposition to the Universal one understood by every living creature and being? Evil and calamity as such are not created, but are misfortunes that naturally befall man under given conditions, that might be avoided by knowledge of laws in Nature whose destructive action under the given conditions might be evaded.
Beliefs are not inherited like blood and disease, but transmitted by education that begins at birth, when parents, etc., rear around the natural growth of the intellect scaffoldings of accepted superstitions, prejudices, and dogmas to nurse or buttress what is believed to be naturally and necessarily a weak, unhealthy, unfinished, and gangrenous germ of Divine creation. Whatever be the origin of ideas, it is a fact that they do get into the human mind and there perform certain work, and this alone, if there were no other proof, is sufficient to show that the human mind is an organism worked and regulated by fixed laws. We know much about the action of nutriment taken into the human system, and we know how steam operates an engine. Every organism that we do understand is worked on the most common-sense principles; why, then, should this mental organism not work on the same common-sense principle, whether the idea be fostered from the latent germ innate in the mind, or whether it be transmitted there from another mind? There is certain work to be done in the organs of the mental mechanism. This work must be done on, or in, something, for science will not permit faith to say work can be done on, or in, nothing; that something must be material, however attenuated. Now, the idea that is admitted into the mind is knowledge; but knowledge is communicated language, whether that language be in word, symbol, picture, etc., therefore there must be a language of the mind, and that language can only be communicated through the material organism of the mind. All known language of Nature is in symbolic vibrations, and the only vibratory material in the mind is presumably the ether. How is it possible to evade the belief that ideas in the mind are code-signals of variations of vibrations of the ether?
In speaking through a telephone there is no sound except at the speaker's end, although the hearer may think he is listening to the sound in his own ear. There is simply a vibratory indication in his ear that certain disturbances are being made on the wave-line that enters his ear. When a bird sings on a distant tree, the singing may be heard all round, but the whistling sound is not all round. There is no sound between the bird and the hearing ear, just as there is no sound on the telephone wire between the speaker and the hearer. The air is vibrated, and the vibrations enter the ear; but the sound is not reproduced there, as in the case from an echo on a rock, else it would be possible for others to hear the singing of the bird in the hearer's ear. There is no sound in the intervening air, but simply certain vibratory signals produced by the whistling of the bird, and received into the ear, the most perfect instrument for receiving and reproducing vibrations, but not the sound; for when the sound is reproduced in the ear, there must be something very far wrong with that organ. So, when a colour is seen in the distance, the ray from that colour to the eye affects the organ of sight with certain fixed variations of vibrations, and the colour is known by the indicating signals, yet there is no colour between the object and the eye, nor is there any colour in the eye; the very same thing happens with all the senses, no matter where the object may be that originates the vibrations, and what is true in the physical is true in the spiritual and mental worlds. Between the creature and the Creator the most solemn communications may be made â€” communications sacred to the hearer and secret to the world â€” and yet there be nothing in the least remarkable or mysterious about the physical transaction, which is merely the action of the most commonplace law.
Men at all times have cried, â€œGive us a sign,â€ whilst they are continually surrounded and filled with signs. It is like calling for a sign that the grass will grow, or that the sun will shine. The signs are too simple and numerous for mystery-making man. Something like a worldstar must come in at his little human window with revealed truth written over it in his native tongue in order to be a satisfactory sign to him of the existence of â€œour Father which art in heaven.â€
The instantaneousness of the intelligible communication through the ether ought to be no matter of surprise, considering the innumerable opportunities we have of familiarities with such occurrences. A reader, no matter how quickly he reads, unconsciously spells every word; this almost instantaneous action is acquired by mere practice, yet is slow when compared with the instantaneous results attained by the natural operations of vibrations in commonplace decisions. For example, the instant that one looks at a leaf he discerns the colour, and yet all the operations of millions of vibrations have affected the sense of sight in the immeasurably short time. The same may be said about any of the decisions in connection with any of the senses. As quick as thought, a photograph, with every detail, is impressed upon the sensitized plate of the camera obscura. Even instruments of human construction, with the laws of Nature in their harness, work what our fathers would have called wonders, and, indeed, are so, although they are immeasurably beneath the purely mechanical results taking place in Nature continuously before our eyes and in our minds. On the lowest ground of knowledge, what is constantly being almost imperceptibly done around and in us is mechanical work of the highest order without any trace of miracle, although, through superstition, the salt of our sentimental life, a thick veil of glamour has covered our human eyes with what seems a natural colour-blindness, but which, in reality, is only that hypochondriacal morbidness of opinion that sticks with unalterable faith to the inherited prejudices of the race as a mollusc does to the rock.
Innumerable conditions of everyday familiarity are wonderful, very wonderful, yet are neither miraculous nor supernatural in the true sense, but are simply mechanical operations in physics. Forcing fruit to maturity long before its natural time, the quickening of a dead seed into a living plant, ay, even the regeneration of the soul, are such wonders. The belief in Christ and in the Christian Gospel produces a higher and holier spiritual environment, just as washing the skin improves the physical health of the body, yet in neither case is there a miracle, but only a natural resultant.
Nature abhors a vacuum, therefore mind, matter and spirit must be connected â€” Ether is the nerve-connecting link of the universe â€” Vibrations in nerves and in ether â€” Universal code-signals â€” Effect of full knowledge of etheric vibrations â€” Physiological and psychological senses similarly affected â€” Sympathetic connection between body, mind and spirit.
SCIENTISTS believe in atoms and elements; they also believe that Nature abhors a vacuum, and that atoms cannot be packed together without interstitial spaces, which, according to them, are neither vacuous nor yet filled up by any of the recognised elements. There must be something between, and that of a material nature. That material something that is the connecting link between one atom and another is here called ether.
There cannot be a wide gulf between any one part of creation and another, because such a condition would be a scientific and physical impossibility; and this is true of atoms and worlds, and of mind and matter. Dissociation of mind and matter is an impossibility, according to this scientific basis. The interstices between mind and matter cannot be vacuities. The same scientific truth holds good about mind and spirit. Mind, matter, and spirit can have no vacuum between them. There must be a non-vacuum-making connection. As one atom cannot join itself to another and yet remain an atom, so mind and matter cannot amalgamate and yet remain mind and matter. In fact, they do remain mind and matter as distinctly as atoms remain atoms, and yet scientifically and physically they must be connected. The junction is a physical necessity, although material atoms are similar, whereas mind and matter are dissimilar. The connecting link is ether â€” the name is a small matter, but the fact of connection a great one â€” and while similar atoms of matter are connected with an ether of equal density, yet ether is a volatile and spiritual-like substance, capable of attenuation, extending from a material to a spiritual condition, and so in the physically imperceptible distance between mind and matter, the connecting link of ether may be graduated from a material to a mental tenuity.
Mind and spirit are likewise so connected by this element, and so are mind, matter, and spirit. There is no such thing as isolation in men, minds, world, or Deity. Created and uncreated beings are, as a physical necessity, connected. All are connected by this universal element, which is the great nerve system of creation, by which all truth is communicated like news upon a telegraph wire, to every individual station in the universe, whether that truth be interpreted or misinterpreted. The human hearts and spiritual aspirations of men and women are joined by it, and their sympathies and antipathies conveyed by it. It is the telegraph by which is written on the face of man the character of truth, the medium that when properly touched makes all the world feel kin. Through its medium hilarity and melancholy become contagious and sympathetic: smiles of one drive away the dull care of another. By it the weakened body conveys infectious depression to the mind, and the disordered mind upsets the healthy condition of the body. When man has carnally violated some law in Nature, his disturbed mind rouses the spiritual part of him to appeal to the Deity, and all the intelligence or intercomrnunication, from the breaking of the law on earth to the appeal at the throne of grace and the reply, is, as by the annihilation of time and space, through the medium of this ether, as on a material telegraph-wire, transmitted instantly, and inaudibly to others, through matter, mind, and spirit. By this element, every atom of the universe, including its Creator, is in constant and inseparable connection and communication with every other atom.
Hitherto water has been chemically considered the resultant of certain combinations of the two elements hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen has now been shown to be not an element, but a compound, that can itself be disintegrated, and one of the component parts of that compound is this liquid ether. This element, ether, is not a mere glutinous connection between the joints of the atoms of creation, but rather the nerve system running through the whole body of the universe and all that is in it, created or untreated. The uses of the etheric nerves of this universal system are proportionately greater than the uses of the nerves in the human body. The body nerves carry, by a code fixed by Nature, the intelligence of the senses to the mind, and so may be called the connecting link between the mind and matter of one individual; but the ether is the nerve-connecting link between the mind, matter and spirit of the whole universes and the communications made on the etheric chord are made under the same law as governs the corporal nerves; for Nature never requisitions two laws or systems where one is sufficient. If representatives of all nations assembled in one place were simultaneously to have a finger similarly punctured, the nerve of each person would convey, in an exactly similar manner and by exactly the same code, the same information to each individual mind, i.e., there would not be one code for an Englishman, and another for a Hindoo, and yet the physical information would in all cases be the same. So, if the universal body be affected, as it can be in innumerable ways, the information will be flashed to every understanding centre by the same way and by the same code as on the corporal nerve. What are the code and way ?
Vibration is the single answer to the double question, i.e., the method is vibration, but the code depends on the number and variation of vibrations.
To speak of the number of possible vibrations is to speak of the incomprehensible. Our eyes, for instance, are affected by a vibration of seven hundred and seven millions of millions of waves per second before their sense of sight grasps the idea of violet. Vibrations in projecting a ray of light are not less than one hundred thousand billions a second. Heat, light, sound, colour, magnetism, and electricity are only some of the possible resultants of vibrations, and vibrations are not confined to the physical world, but by the vibratory medium of ether the triune creation of mind, matter, and spirit is, by the same law, under the same vibratory influence. The ether wave is the most important and universal vibratory element, and, as the sun's rays convey the vibratory forces, light and heat, so the ether rays conduct all vibratory psychic forces, which may all be included in the one comprehensive force of sympathy, which is as necessary to human and spiritual life as the forces of light and heat are to vegetable life. Sympathy in its widest sense is the resultant of the various vibrations from the minimum to the maximum, within the limits within which all sympathy producing vibrations lie. Truth itself is but a subdivision of this sympathy, and the knowledge of it is the resultant of certain vibrations. By the etheric or nerve system of the universe comes all information in the nature of inspiration, truth, divination, and psychology, etc., and that by vibration of the etheric chords, according to a natural code, the same to all and decipherable by all, although neglected and misinterpreted by most people, on account of their ignorance of the laws of Nature. (See â€œVera Vita - The Philosophy of Sympathyâ€ Published by Digby, Long and Co., Bouverie Street, Fleet Street, London.)
If pain be in one's toe, the knowledge of it is conveyed to the brain by means of a telegraph nerve, and the transmission of the knowledge is not by words, else then the nerves could speak; and not only so, but the nerves of natives of different countries would have to communicate the information in the language which they severally spoke and children that know no language could have no suffering. Moreover, the knowledge of the place where the pain is (as in the toe) is known in the brain before it is felt in the toe. The sequence of events in the case of an injury to the toe is: the injury comes first, the knowledge of it in the brain second, and the feeling of it in the toe third. The knowledge of injury is anterior to the pain. The chief concern here is: How is this knowledge conveyed ? and the answer is, by vibrations of the nerve, according to a natural code, which are registered on the dial-plate of the brain, and there interpreted by the sixth sense, just as the operator at one telegraph station communicates his code message to the receiver at another station. One bell or one violin string will only give one note; that is, when struck, will invariably give the same number of vibrations (striking a different length of string is practically striking a different string, of course). The same number of vibrations on a sounding instrument will invariably produce the same note, and so the same number of vibrations of a nerve will invariably register the same code-signal. This is the law, and yet a strange violation seems to take place in the corporal nerve, which, after all, seems nothing more than a lusus naturae. A nerve that is punctured, say at the toe, will give exactly the same vibrations as an equivalent puncture given to it above the knee, or anywhere short of the toe; that is, the vibrations of a given chord are equal to the vibrations of a part of the chord. The note struck, or code-signal, must be the same in both cases, therefore the registration of code-intelligence given from the one puncture must be exactly the same as the code-registration from the other. This is clearly proved by the fact that a man whose leg has been amputated can distinctly feel pain in his toe when the remainder of the toe nerve is pained. Here there is deception, but Nature is not to blame. The mistake lies not in the registration â€” for Nature never registers wrongly â€” but in the interpretation of the registration. All the errors of life lie not in the registrations or apparent representations of Nature, but in the misunderstanding and misinterpretations of her signs.
As in the nerve system of our human frame, so in the universal body the etheric nerve system is worked by a universal code of signals produced by variations of vibrations of the etheric chords. The quality of the chord is its measure of conductivity. All code-signals are registered on every receiver, and every receiver is naturally capable of interpreting every registration, and yet may, and most frequently does, on account of ignorance of the laws of Nature, false beliefs or prejudices, misinterpret them.
Suppose a man to be practically and perfectly acquainted with all the laws in Nature, and especially with this one about etheric vibrations â€” for the trend of civilization is toward perfection, although it is still very far from it â€” what would be his condition ? He could answer the great question, 'What is truth ?' He would understand his fellow-man, and all his most inmost thoughts and motives; he would fully comprehend the mysteries of life as simplicities; not only would he be receptive of every inspiration, but he would understand them all; to him there would be no mystery in life, for he would, as the Son of God, be as God, knowing good and evil. Of all this he is capable, but he must first, before reaching such perfection, know and obey the etheric laws in Nature which are the only media of truth as ordained by Him who is truth, and who uses no new instruments of revelation, for the old are better, and the old instruments are His established laws in Nature.
What nerves are to the body, ether-chords are to the universe, which, it must be borne in mind, includes matter, mind, and spirit, and these etheric nerves are connected with all brain stations, and communications on them are made by Nature - established code-signals of vibrations. There are nerves in connection with all the physical senses, and in no conceivable way can the physical system of man be affected without causing such a vibration of these nerves as will register the intelligence on the brain. So in no way can a man â€” the Ego - be affected externally to himself, without these etheric nerves registering the fact upon him. The Ego cannot be affected by any external mental influence, nor by any external spiritual influence except by the Nature-established etheric nerve system. In this respect the law in the psychological department of Nature, is exactly the same as it is in the physical world, and that which is the established law in the psychological world is also the law in the spiritual; and what is law in the spiritual world is law in the physical world.
Body, mind, and spirit are necessarily in sympathetic connection through this physical element, and a man's physical nerves cannot be vibrated without the vibration being communicated in some degree to his mental condition because of the natural connection â€” etheric â€” between mind and matter. Nor can any vibratory disturbance take place in the mind without being communicated to the body. Mental excitement alone frequently thrills and shakes the physical frame, and must do so, for mind and body are one by etheric connection. In the same way, and for the same reason, spiritual disturbance is communicated to the mind, and thence to the body. An unhealthy disturbance in any one of the three â€” body, mind, spirit â€” may be communicated to the other two. A mental delusion will produce the physical effects of hypochondria and spiritual wreck. As a headache may have its source in the stomach, so a mental weakness may originate in the body or spirit; a spiritual disturbance may have originated in the mind, or the condition of any one of the three â€” matter, mind, spirit â€” may have been produced by the condition of any other one of the three, and the infection, or contagion, rather, been by the medium of the vibratory ether that connects all three. The vibration of electricity on a telegraph wire is not interrupted by registering itself at stations en route. As far as the wire goes the vibration will go â€” must go; so the vibration of ether in the material world cannot stay at the boundary station of matter, but must, by inexorable law, continue as far as the ether wire continues, and that is away through mind and spirit.
Every etheric chord in the nerve system of the universe, like every corporal nerve in its own human system, is a telephonic conductor of intelligible symbolic vibrations to every brain-station on its circuit.
Nature's vibrating code-signals are universal and constant, and are the same to all in operation and interpretation. To those who have given no thought to the subject, it must seem a marvellous fact that nothing more than a mere variation of vibrations makes the difference between heat, light, colour, etc. The variety of notes that strike the ear from a musical (wind) instrument depends on the variety of vibrations given to the column of air in it. The colour we attribute to anything depends on the number of vibrations with which that thing affects our sense of sight. Happily, knowledge of the law is not necessary to the operation and belief of the fact, but for purposes of analogy it is well to bear in mind that light, heat, sound, colour, magnetism, electricity, etc., are only the resultant forces or registrations of various vibrations. In other words, if a vibrating Nature code-signal of seven hundred and seven millions of millions per second be registered on the brain-dial, the sense will at once interpret the fact that the eye is being affected by the colour violet, and the same interpretation for the same number of vibrations is constant, i.e., it does not differ in different people. So it would be with all the interpretations of registered code-signals, and while Nature cannot misrepresent, a man may misinterpret, or, rather, misunderstand the interpreter. Mental impressions are the resultants of vibratory communications, in the same way as physical impressions are made on the senses, only the variations are different, and consequently a difference in the code of signals is required, and this code is well known to the interpreting sense.
"The motion of any matter of less tenuity than the ether cannot affect it any more than atmospheric air could be held under pressure in a perforated chamber. The tenuous flow of a magnet cannot be waived aside by a plate of heavy glass, and yet the magnetic flow is only of an interatomic character and far more crude than the introductory etheric. The etheric element would remain perfectly static under the travel of the most furious cyclone; it would pass through the molecular interstices of any moving projectile with the same facility that atmospheric air would pass through a coarse sieve. Ether could not be affected by the motion of less tenuous matter, but if the matter were of the same tenuous condition, it would sympathetically associate itself with it; consequently there would be no motion, any more than motion accompanies gravity." [Mrs. Moore's Keely and his Discoveries p. 275.]
At the meeting of two persons through whom similar etheric rays pass they would at once feel that they were so sympathetically attached as to have the same thoughts in common. The ether in the one person, being similar in tenuity to the ether in the other, would at once sympathetically associate itself with it; the two ethers would become one, and the etheric communications made to the one individual would be the same to the other; any communication made from the world by the ether would be received by the other; for the time being the two would be so far mentally joined into one person. Such two persons, by this established aerial telepath, could read each other's thoughts, and frequently the one would take the word out of the other's mouth; that is, the one would speak the very thought the other was about to express, although it had no connection with any previous conversation or with any idea that might reasonably be considered to have been led up to. The simple explanation is that the vibrations of the connecting etheric chord are simultaneously registered on each brain-dial, and the code-signal there is simultaneously interpreted by both. If two persons could be found who were acted upon by exactly the same etheric waves, they would be found to have exactly the same thoughts; but there are not even two blades of grass alike, and the multiplicity of ether-chords that pass through one person are never the same as those that pass through another. Yet every human being is etherically connected by somewhat similar ether vibratory nerves, just as different species of the same plant give off similar variations of vibrations without being exactly the same; or as all forms of heat are more or less similarly vibrated.
As two people can be so etherically joined together, so may three or more, but our strong sympathetic nerve of ether may be weakened in its influence by numerous discordant nerves that tend to dissociate the members of a company by attracting them to, or connecting them with, other objects. Sympathy and antipathy are etherically communicated. The more closely the tenuity of the ether of the one person resembles the tenuity of the others,the more closely will be the sympathetic alliance of the ether, and consequently of the people. If two or three be gathered together so as to be etherically connected, the same current of sympathy will pass through the ether-connected group, just as an electric shock is passed through a properly arranged string of people. Each of the group will be similarly influenced by the etheric chord of sympathy, for the vibrations of the chord will be the same to all; the registration will be the same, and the interpretation will be the same. These three â€” vibration, registration, and interpretation â€” cannot fail, for they are governed by a law of Nature that cannot fail. There is no such thing as failure or mistake in the conduct of a law in Nature. Such a thing is a physical impossibility, for Nature is governed by inviolable law. All the mistakes, and chances and changes, of this mortal life take place in the free-will province of man (not in the lawbound sphere of Nature), where the laws in Nature are not understood, although man is made capable of understanding them. These laws of etheric vibration can no more fail in their duty than can the planets cease to roll in their courses. In fact, there is no law in Nature more important or more inviolable than another. All laws in Nature are inviolable in their action and inexorable in their effects; they must do their work, and fixed effects must follow. Thus, with the above assumed people etherically grouped, being under the same conditions, they must receive the same vibratory effects, just as all stations on a telegraph circuit receive the same communications. On this same law and principle the harmony of family gatherings centres. The members of the family are of one mind because they are united for the time being by the same etheric chord. The ether of each sympathetically associates with the ether of the other, and there can be no discord as long as the tenuity of the ether is unvaried. The same law would hold good were the meeting composed of the most depraved assassins, met for the most villainous purposes, for there would be, and could be, no discord in their harmony (?) whilst the vibrations of their ether uniformly registered even the deepest designs of human hatred.
Society, with its circles within circles answering to similar etheric pulsations, is welded into a homogeneous whole by the sympathetic operation of these etheric chords. A community or mass of people becomes united in action by first being etherically united. As the individual man is a union of mind, matter and spirit, materially connected by ether, so a community etherically joined is, for the time being, an individual mass leavened by the compounding individual parts, and is governed by the vibrating impulse received through the chord that for the time being binds the parts together, and is consequently for the time the power dominating the mass. The law that governs that vibrating force is the law that for the time governs that community or mass of people, and if no other inharmonious force connects itself with that community or mass of people, then it is for the time entirely under the influence or government of that law that governs the dominant force. This influence may be good or bad, and whilst the government lasts the individuals of the community or mass of people will be, as it were, inspired by the same good or bad idea.
Individual, family, social, and national telepathy are similar in their telephonic action, being conveyed by vibratory signals of the connecting ether. Patriotism, or love of one's native land, may be weak in the individual, and yet the national sentiment be strong, and that because the many small quantities of ether sympathetically assimilate themselves until the whole mass is welded into one solid national lump which is pulsated by the same etheric vibrations. The force called patriotism in this ether may be dormant or be a latent power in it, just as the explosive force of gunpowder lies latent until fire is applied to it to liberate it. The vibrations required to liberate or fire the latent patriotism would no sooner be applied than a national explosion would necessarily follow. To the sympathetically assimilated ether, a stimulus is given here and there by historical remembrances or by the abnormal patriotic enthusiasm of some living native who is simply a generator of vibrations. The body or interests of the country cannot be touched at any one point without every individual feeling the touch through the national nerve. As atoms, separated from each other by the ether, move freely within one atom, and are individually affected by whatever affects the encircling atom, so the patriotic inhabitants of a country are free and yet indissolubly bound by that material ether that forbids the very possibility of vacuity in mind, matter or spirit, and binds the three into one solid universal whole. Sounds made at one end of a telephone are instantly and correctly heard at the other end (the conversation so carried on is but a series of vibrations), and yet this telephone is but the imperfect work of man; but the invisible ether is the conducting wire of Nature that has no imperfections, and every discordant touch made on its extremity or elsewhere on the national mass sends a thrill of awakening displeasure throughout the whole patriotic system, and there is unity of action if need be, for, in such a case, though swords be a thousand, hearts are but one. The national etheric nerve system is a mere extension of the same thing in the individual, the family, party, or the small community. All are physically welded by the same element, and they are sympathetic in their emotion, sentiment and life because the same etheric vibrations make them naturally unanimous even in thought, word and deed if no discordant vibrations influence the common nerve.