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CHAPTER VI

LATENT POWERS IN MATTER

Obscure and difficult to know as is the Self, still more intricate is the study of matter. Today, matter is being investigated by many men of science as though it consisted of form only. But occultism asserts that form is but one-half of an inseparable combination of Life and Form, Spirit-Matter. The Secret Doctrine claims that every particle of matter in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious; that is, it is endowed with a consciousness of its own kind on its own plane of perception. In the study of the Healing Power we must understand the dual part which spirit-matter performs in the healing. We may well give thought to the statement of Mrs. Annie Besant, the President of the Theosophical Society, who says that the relation between consciousness and matter, life and form, is magnetic, and the two are not really separate but only polarized.
(A Study in Consciousness, by Annie Besant, p. 35)

It is generally believed that we are on the verge of great discoveries concerning matter; but, put briefly, it is by Science tentatively stated to be:

  • (a) Composed of electrons, which are described as probably "knots or twists or vortices, or some sort of either static or kinetic modification of the ether of space;"
    (Life and Matter, by Sir Oliver Lodge, p. 15.)

  • (b) That matter has various properties, such as polarity, radiation, magnetic qualities, odor, taste, etc.

    The occultist, whose trained vision sees the details of the life side as well as form side of atomic workings, states: That the atomic side of matter, the universal ether, is eternal throughout the limitless expanse of space, existing from before the time when the Logos selected the location for and enclosed within a circle, within this space, His Solar System. Into this selected area of Virgin Matter He poured an aspect of Himself, a life-giving, vitalizing breath which filled the pre-existing atomic matter with new powers and possibilities of attraction and repulsion, thus polarizing every atom. Into this now vitalized atomic matter He breathed a second outpouring of Divine Life which was of the nature of Monadic or elemental living essence, with infinite possibilities of molecular adaption and combination and responsiveness to vibration, and this living essence became the ensouling, combining life in every atom and every molecule.

    This elemental essence is not a homogeneous mass. Under a fixed law of nature, each planet in our solar system contributes its own type of elemental essence to the earth; that is to say, we recognize seven main planets radiates out its own type of essence, each of these seven types embodying the principal qualities characteristic of its own planetary hierarchy.

    Each planet, also is pouring out its own higher and lower rates of vibration upon our earth, and receiving ours in return. This ancient view of planetary interchange of vibration has recently been corroborated by an eminent physicist, Professor K. Birkland, who, speaking before the Academy of Sciences of Kristiania, Norway, stated that he had found that there is a radiation from each planet, and that the electrification varies, some planets having greater radiating power, some less, that from the sun itself being rated at 600,000,000 volts. The occultist knows that every vibration and every ray is alive with the activities of invisible beings and living essence, and that this side of matter has to be reckoned with in everything.

    Not alone science, but the popular mind even, is looking more or less studiously into the question of planetary effects upon health. Mars, the war god, the fire element, is recognized as a factor in fevers and all inflammations; various mental disorders, even confirmed lunacy, are associated with the moon; cold, phlegmatic, obscure diseases, of a chronic nature, are traced directly to Saturn's influences. Immunity from one or another form of disease is due to there being a negligible quantity of that special type of essence in that particular human body.

    The elemental essence, whose evolution consists in learning to respond to all vibrations, is that strange,half-intelligent life which surrounds us in all directions, vivifying all the matter of the physical, the astral, and the mental planes. All independent groupings of particles, all separated forms of every kind, of every type, are ensouled by an intelligence, ranging from the loftiest Intelligence of the spiritual region to the lowest sub-conscious elementals of the physical world, or any of the countless hosts that range between. No form exists which is not thus ensouled.

    When one gains even an intellectual conception of the possibilities in the evolution of Matter, one can test it in many ways. It will explain, for one thing, why "thoughts are things," and how every impulse sent out by man, whether of feeling or thought, becomes for the time a kind of living creature. A thought-form is a mental image, moulded by the mind out of subtle matter of the higher psychic plane, where the creative faculty of mind works. This form, composed of the rapidly vibrating atoms of the matter of that region, sets up vibrations all around it, and these vibrations, passing outward, thrill out as a singing-color in every direction, and call to the thought-form the Elementals belonging to that color.

    "The hue of the singing-color depends on the nature of the motive inspiring the generator of the thought-form. If the motive be pure, loving, beneficent in its character, the color produced will summon to the thought-form an Elemental, which will take on the characteristics impressed on the form by the motive, and act along the line thus traced; this Elemental enters into the thought-form, playing to it the part of a soul, and thus an independent entity is made in the astral world, an entity of a beneficent character."
    (Karma, by Annie Besant, p. 15.)

    If the motive be impure, revengeful, maleficent in its character, the color produced by that vibration will summon an Elemental which will take on the evil characteristics of the thought-form, thus making of it an active evil entity. Each human being "peoples his current in space with a world of its own, crowded with the offspring of his fancies, desires, impulses and passions," and it is the reaction of these thought-forms upon the maker of them that causes a vast number of the obscure diseases of today.

    The study of the life side in Spirit-Matter has recently received great impulse. Professor J. C. Bose, of Calcutta University, in his lectures upon and scientific demonstrations of Plant Response, given at Chicago University, U. S. A., and at Oxford University, England, has fully proved that life can be shown in its manifestation. He demonstrated the mechanical response in the plant to outside impact, in that the excitatory wave produced in a small radish by the prick of a pin was accompanied by molecular derangement and recovery; that it required time for such a disturbance to travel to other parts of the plant; that there were differences in the power of resistance and of recovery, the cauliflower showing fatigue much more quickly and reacting less readily than the radish. The internal electrical response of the life was shown to be quite independent of the external mechanical response. Even though the latter might be feeble or scarcely apparent, the internal response continued. This response of the life within the plant, its expression of its own life powers when its form was disturbed from without, demonstrates the Unity of Life. So long as a unified electric life remained within the body of the plant, so long did the power of internal response remain. Too much heat, too great cold, poisons, too long privation of light separated the life from its plant form.

    It is reasonable that life and form should equally receive consideration when viewed by those who can examine them. Baron von Reichenbach, in 1840, claimed that he had found that every object, every form had within it and sent out from it, radiations of force which could be felt and in some instances seen by sensitive persons. This force he called Od. He said it was polar, and in the radiations were all the colors of the rainbow, varying according to the nature of the body radiating them. His observations, made no doubt on occult lines, are receiving confirmation now. Professor J. Joly, in his recent Huxley lecture at the University of Birmingham, England, after demonstrating the existence of a definite halo in certain minerals, said that he believed that the halos were due to infinitesimal specks of radio-active matter entangled within the particles of the minerals.

    M. Baraduc of Paris has recently caught in his photographs the swirl of magnetic currents in the ether which are produced by thinking. The Röntgen Ray, and the still finer N Ray, seem to be connected with the ethers of the air, and we may reasonably expect the discovery of these finer types of matter in water, fire and earth. May it not be possible that Science, already practically admitting the fact of radio-active matter, and the existence of life in minerals, may take the next logical step and investigate what radio-active matter is? It may be that it is closely connected with elemental essence, working in etheric or astral matter.

    The elemental essence, cramped in its power to respond while working through the mineral kingdom, becomes much more active in the vegetable matter, and increasingly so as it works up through the animal kingdom. In human bodies, according to Theosophical investigators, who have penetrated deeply into the nature of spirit-matter, and have studied this essence, it works actively in three distinct grades; the finest is that which groups matter of the grade in which many-sided thought expresses itself in the outerworld; the second, less radiant, groups itself in the matter in which the different feelings and emotions act; and the third, the etheric physical, interpenetrates the dense physical body of action in which the essence is more limited in power and expression, but is still marvelously beautiful,radio-active and shining.

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