PROGRESS OF THE AGE.
Universal Ether and Telepathy.
This nineteenth century is a period of marvelous unfoldment for the human race. Its onward movement in mechanical improvements and mathematical acquirements, is a magnificent example of the achievements which are possible to the human intellect. The limit of improvement in mechanical invention has not yet been reached, however, in any field of discovery, and soil both new and fruitful will be turned for centuries to come. Neither has the individual mind yet reached its limit of comprehension in spiritual matters: vastly greater strides in mental development are yet to be made during this century.
The extraordinary progress now being made may, perhaps, be considered as a culmination of all the enlightened acquirements of the past centuries, in preparation for a grand effulgence of illumination on the intellectual and spiritual side of human nature during the twentieth century, when progressive changes far beyond present comprehension are in store for the race. If this be doubted, we should remember that our immediate ancestors confidently declared impossible, improvements which are today the easy achievements of even a novice, and which any intelligent child now recognizes as established facts.
On the physical plane, this progress is perhaps best illustrated by the changes, with constant increase of power and efficiency, in methods of artificial lighting - from the dismal, smoky pineknot of earlier centuries to the brilliant electric light of today. The progress made during the last three decades has developed for common use lights so many times more powerful than any dreamed of in our childhood, that even predictions of their possibility would have been derided as the vaporings of a visionary. But electricity as a medium for lighting is now an established fact, and will soon supersede all other methods of lighting, increasing in efficiency, and preparing the way to a still higher, purer and more effective light in the near future. For the end is not yet; the next step in this direction will be one in which light many times more effective will be produced without sensible combustion, and machines many times more powerful, because more simple in construction, will run without fuel, while waste, noise or danger, to any such degree as now prevails, will be considered barbarous.
One interesting feature of this subject is especially worthy of notice. Every step forward in the development of artificial lighting has been a step up and away from a considerable proportion of the gross material consumed in producing the inferior light.
The pineknot, coarse and crude in material, burned with much smoke, shedding little light.
Next came the grease lamp in which fat was burned through a common wick; here the material used was finer than the pineknot, yet a better and clearer light resulted from its combustion. The tallow candle is an example of this method, consuming still less crude material and giving a steadier light, while spermaceti, more refined, burns brighter than tallow.
Oil lamps, for burning fish and animal oils, came next in order, with a similar proportion of increase in power and brilliancy of the light, as the crude materiality of the medium decreases. Refinement of material gives refinement in result, with corresponding increase of effectiveness.
Following these, in natural progression, we find the various mineral oils, kerosene, naphtha and their numerous preparations, in which the grossness of material has largely disappeared, and light many times more brilliant results, together with the development of powerful explosive qualities.
The succeeding step is the discovery of illuminating gas which is so much finer in substance that to three of the five physical senses it is nonexistent; for it can not be seen, heard or touched, yet the volume and brilliancy of its light renders insignificant all previous means of lighting.
Utilization of the lightproducing power of electricity, however, proves a still greater advancement and develops a volume of light, possessing such power of penetration, brilliancy, softness and purity that we are tempted to exclaim in ecstasy - now, surely, we have reached the ultimate 1 But there is need of caution lest we fasten ourselves to the same stake of limited comprehension based upon senseevidence, which has held others before us in bondage. There is no ultimate within human comprehension: there is always a beyond, an above, a higher than has yet been reached; and he who would recognize the everbroadening horizon of intelligent comprehension, must always remain with open eyes and freedom of thought, ready to perceive the first glimmer of the brighter light beyond his present vision. Reality is infinite; the only existing limit is that of individual comprehension, and this is susceptible of continuous expansion. All permanent activity is in everwidening circles, and the action of every circle is in the endless progression of a continuous expansion, which necessitates perpetual development. This is real life.
All progress in the production of artificial light has been up from and out of materiality, and away from senseevidence, until now we have a light that is immeasurably greater than any other, produced apparently from a physical element that cannot be directly recognized by the exercise of any of the five physical senses. Always - the greatest degree of power is generated from the smallest proportion of crude material. Why? If molecular matter, which appeals to the physical senses, is the only reality of the universe, or even more real than its other components, then why is it not a fact that the more material the medium for combustion, the more powerful and better the light produced? Can it be that the less reality there is employed the more real will be the result obtained? Or, must we consider light and power unreal? The indisputable fact that power increases in inverse ratio to the grossness of the material, in every powerproducing medium, gives rise to the suggestion which has been followed out and proved true, - that power does not exist in matter itself but that it subsists in Intelligence, which is the foundation of real substance, and a perpetually active force of the universal Spirit Nature, shared by every individual in proportion to his intelligent realization of its qualities.
The less we trust the evidence of the physical senses, the less we place dependence upon molecular matter, the more receptive we become to the real force of Spiritual Essence which pervades all space, and the more actual power we realize. This axiom has been demonstrated by every important mechanical advancement made in any of the sciences and in every powerproducing medium, from the muscular exertion of the animal up through all grades of molecular action in water, air and steam to that marvelous force, electricity, which in the winking of an eye, bores through solid masonry or through metal plates without visible implement or evident means.
Steam also is invisible; and, if the inside of a steamchest be examined without admitting atmosphere, at the time when the greatest amount of power is concentrated within, an empty chamber is all the eye reports. On mingling with the atmosphere, steam reassumes its coarser form, again becoming visible as vapor, but in the change its power as steam is lost. Water must become invisible in order that the greater power, Steam, may be developed from it. So material element must become intangible that the greatest of physical powers may be demonstrated through electrical action.
Electricity is the lowest degree of the molecular motion of the universal element now recognized as Ether, an infinitely fine and volatile fluid which pervades all the space of the material Universe, exactly as the atmosphere permeates all parts of this earth.
In some form or other all the fundamental elements of the earth are presented in every substance. All possible chemical combinations of elements are not embodied in any separate object, but the fundamentals are invariably present in some form. Each coarser material is entirely permeated by particles of the element next finer in constitution.
An object which seems to be solid, without either particles or interstices, when examined under the microscope proves to be all particles and interstices, without real solidity or continuous substance.
3 These interstices may be permeated by any element composed of finer particles. They usually are filled with several finer elements, each within the other.
A piece of granite appears solid, while in fact it is exceedingly porous. Sufficient pressure will crowd it into smaller limits and force water from its pores. This is equally true of every solid and liquid constituent of the earth.
The water which fills the pores of the stone is composed of particles, and the spaces between these are occupied with still finer elements of a gaseous nature. In this manner air permeates water, the two varying in proportion according to temperature and local conditions.
The constituents of the earth are described as solids, liquids and gases. Each appears in some degree less solid than the next coarser in construction. Each is composed of particles separated by spaces which are filled with finer elements. There is, therefore, no empty space, in the literal meaning of the term; because, be the space ever so small, there is some element so small, so fine in construction, as to find an abiding place within its chamber. Neither is there in matter any absolutely solid substance. Each element is saturated with every finer substance, all uniting in one volatile fluid which perpetually changes, never becoming actually fixed in either position or condition. All
seeming solidity is an illusion of the physical senses.
For every material substance there are elements finer in construction, the particles of which enter its interstices, forcing molecules further apart, until that element ceases to exist as an aggregation of particles or a molecular mass, whereupon it vanishes from sight.
No material substance is sufficiently solid to escape this universal interaction which is constantly taking place in all bodies and in all elements.
The diamond is the hardest substance in common use; yet, "heated in oxygen gas, it burns to pure carbonic acid, which at ordinary pressure and temperature is a colorless, transparent fluid."This change becomes possible only through the power of the finer molecules of oxygen gas to enter the interstices and force apart the particles of carbon which constitute the diamond.
A finer may always be found within the coarser - not necessarily embodied in its elemental construction, but occupying the spaces not occupied by the other. The finer element passes unobstructed through the coarser substance, as persons pass from room to room of a building. A communication may be passed through the building, either by a messenger, or by voice transmitted in atmospheric vibrations. In a corresponding manner, communication may be established between intelligent beings through every physical element, by means of the finer vibrations. Knowledge of the nature of that element is the only requirement. Its modes of undulation and vibration are the physical means of communication.
The recognized solids of the earth are permeated with liquids, of which water is the principal constituent. All liquids are permeated by air, and by gases which are of still finer construction, and gases are pervaded by finer bodies of their own nature.
Higher chemical experiments show that nothing in the material world stands separate, independent and alone. This proves a unity of construction, even in the most changeable planet of the universe. The principle of Udity therein expressed makes every portion of the universe an integral part of the whole, therefore each part bears some relation to every other part. When this relation is understood, power to deal with related elements is developed, which makes the operator master of the situation.
This fact is forcibly demonstrated in chemistry, the simplest principles of which reveal a power over the elements which astonishes the novice.
Through the principle of Unity expressed in the permeating and intermingling of all the elements of the earth, the intelligent mind gains access to every part of the planet, unobstructed by element, action or distance. The water with which the stone is saturated permits transmission through its body of vibrations more delicate than could possibly be carried by the mass of the stone itself. The air con tained in a body of water makes undulations possible which could not exist in drops devoid of air. Certain finer forces which pervade the atmosphere render simple and easy the transmission of light in vibrations too infinitely fine to travel by means of particles or molecules of atmosphere alone.
Of all the constituents of the earth the atmosphere seems the most nearly universal, for it not only surrounds the globe, extending many miles into space, but it pervades all the space in and between the particles of every object and of every element.
Pure atmosphere is beyond the reach of the senses; no image of atmosphere can be impressed upon the retina of the eye. Objects are seen to move in the wind, therefore we infer that air is in motion, but the wind cannot be seen. Neither does atmosphere appeal directly to the sense of hearing; the vibrations of substances coarser than the atmosphere are transmitted through it and registered upon the drum of the ear, but air itself is not recognized by hearing. Nor does it appeal to smell, taste or touch in direct action. Varying degrees of the density and proportion of its gases are recognized in heat and cold, but these are only physical changes in its elemental composition. Yet, though it is not directly perceivable through senseaction, the atmosphere is a known constituent of the earth, which takes constant and active part in the development and continuance of the planet, as well as of every living thing in it.
Ether is even more pervasive in character and activity than atmosphere, and though further beyond the reach of senseaction, still its existence can be proved in a number of ways as indisputable as those by which the presence of the atmosphere is known. Its modes of activity also may be intelligently studied. Ether is the principal element of all universal objectivity, and the fundamental element of material composition - Matter itself. Ether unites all bodies of the universe in one entire whole of materiality.
This universal element permeates everything material, filling all interstices, even between the atoms of every molecule, however tiny in size or intricate in construction. As the heavings of an earthquake are at once transmitted in vibrations of the coarser rockstrata of the earth, and heavings of the ledge of rock are thence conveyed in undulations through the water, while the beating of the waves and rushing of the waters might be still further transmitted through atmospheric vibrations, and then in turn throb through the Ether itself to stir the inner recesses of the senses; so this infinitely fine, volatile and elastic element transmits, in most delicate rhythm, the finest and most subtle movements engendered by the activity of thought in the individual mind, throughout the extent of the ethereal fluid. And as a vibration established at one end of a telegraphic cable is also felt and understood all along the line and as far as the metallic medium extends, so the rhythmic movements established in the ethereal fluid of the universe will go where directed, and may be understood by that intelligence which receives the communication.
This fact is not only the seeming mystery, but on the material plane it is the manifestation of the Law of Thoughttransference, which is now attracting the attention of the best thinkers in the civilized world. Its scientific name is Telepathy.
Telepathy is a Universal Law, just as simple in operation and as easy to comprehend as those laws with which we are more familiar; but being a comparatively new idea to modern thinkers it is not so well understood. This universal Ether is the medium through which communication on the material plane always has been established in all physical modes of sound, sight and feeling, and it is in this almost unexplored field of action that man has within the last century begun to discover the tremendous power of electricity. When the laws which govern Ether are better understood, electricity will be comparatively a plaything.
The power of conscious thought is not limited in action even to the ethereal plane of activity, but reaches beyond to higher planes where those powers prevail which govern all material movement.
In and through, between and around every atom of the Universal Ether, filling all socalled space in the entire Universe of Universes, is yet another element, as much finer in character, in degree and in action than the Ether itself, as this element is finer than the rockstrata of the earth; so fine in substance and so pure in character that it cannot be measured with the instruments or comprehended by the rules which are employed in even the finest material measurements. This is the element of Spiritual Substance: Intelligence itself - the active principle of the entire Universe - the Soul of the Ethereal Universe. Conscious Thought is the only Instrument which can be employed in its manifestation. With this keen instrument, trained to work in the real laws of pure Intelligence, the human soul breaks the fetters of sensation and soars unrestrained to fields of reality, where Principles and their resulting laws are the only objects of perception.
Thought is wholly immaterial, yet a thousand times more subtle, rapid, clear and powerful in action than the highest material element or agency; for Thought is a Spiritual Activity, and when rightly controlled through knowledge of its laws, it is an agency of, as nearly as may be, unlimited resources.
Without the power of conscious Thought the most brilliant electric light would be but Stygian darkness to any individual, and atomic vibrations would have no existence.
Consciousness is a living reality. Divine Consciousness, in active thought, eternally creates the Universe - an actual entity of spiritual substance, divine in nature and eternal in duration. Physical things are objective projections of particular phases of this Thoughtactivity, and the Material Universe is but the sum total of this projection of conscious thought.
If Divine Consciousness could terminate its thought the Universe would disappear, because the Principles and Qualities of things would have ceased to be.
Conscious, intelligent comprehension of Principle illumines every depth and banishes every doubt.