The Path – March 1890

ASTRAL AND PHYSICAL LAW — H. S. B.

This article was suggested by reading "To Those Who Suffer," in the January number of the PATH, and an article on "Physical Fields," in Science for Dec. 27th, 1889.

The writer in Science, one of the leading scientists in the matter of physical research, formulated a common law governing the different classes of "fields." The article referred to reads as follows:

"When the physical state of a body re-acts upon the medium that surrounds it so as to produce in the medium a state of stress or motion, or both, the space within which such effects are produced is called the "field" of the body. When a body is made to assume two or more physical states simultaneously, each state produces its own state independent of the existence of the others; hence two or more fields may co-exist in the same space. For instance: if a magnet be electrified, both the magnetic and the electric fields occupy the same space, and each as if the other did not exist.

PROPERTY OF VARIOUS FIELDS.

I. The Electric Field. — Suppose a glass rod be electrified with silk or cat skin. It is experimentally known that other bodies in its neighborhood are physically affected by its mere presence without contact, and various motions result which are commonly attributed to electric attraction and repulsion. The phenomena are explained as due to the stress into which the neighboring ether is thrown by the electrified body, the stress re-acting upon other bodies, and moving them this way or that as the stress is greater here or there. Suppose an electrified mass of matter remote from any other matter, in free space. The field, or the stress that constitutes it, is found to vary in strength inversely as the square of the distance from the body in every direction about it, which shows that the effect upon the ether is uniform in all directions, and that for such a stress under such conditions the ether is isotropic. If this assumed electrified mass of matter were the only matter in the universe, then its electric field would be as extensive as the universe, and any electric change in the mass would ultimately re-act upon the whole of space, and be uniform in every direction. If, however, there be another mass of matter in proximity to the first, the disposition of the stress is altogether different; for instead of being disposed radially, as in the first case, the field is distorted by the re-action of the stressed ether upon the second body. The so-called "lines of force" bend more or less toward the second body, and the field stress becomes denser between the bodies at the expense of the field more remote. If this advancing stress in the ether from an electrified body be called radiation, and it seems to be an action of this kind, then it appears that the direction of such radiation depends upon the existence of other bodies in the ether. It is truly rectilinear no further than the shortest distance between the two bodies.

The electric field thus produced, and thus re-acting upon another body, develops in the latter an electrical condition, that is to say, it electrifies it; and the process we call "electric induction," to distinguish it from the transference of the electrification by contact, which is called "conduction." In the process called induction there are two transformations: in conduction there is simply a transference, and no transformation. The experimental fact is this: an electrified body sets up in the ether a stress of such a nature that, by its re-action upon another body, the latter is brought into a condition similar to that of the first; that is, it electrifies it."

II. The author then describes a magnetic field, and says; "A magnet then sets up such a condition in the ether that its re-action upon another body brings the latter into a condition similar to that of the first; that is, it magnetizes it."

III. Of a thermal field, he says that "in a similar way the first body heats the second."

IV. Of an acoustic field, he remarks that "a sounding body sets up in the medium about it such a physical condition as, by its re-action upon another body, brings the latter into a state like the first." He concludes with the generalization, "when a mass of matter acts upon the medium that is about it, the latter is thrown into such a physical condition or state that its re-action upon another body always induces in the second body a state similar to that of the first body. This has a much wider application than most physical laws; for it embraces phenomena in mechanics, heat, light, electricity, and magnetism."

To these four examples, why not add a fifth; the Psychic Field ? While not so tangible, nor so readily observed by the students of modern physical science, it seems none the less to follow the same law.

V. The Psychic Field. — Suppose a person's psychic organism is in a state of Love, in the higher sense, or else of Anger. It is experimentally and otherwise known that other psychic organisms in its neighborhood are psychically affected by its mere presence without contact, and various emotions result which are commonly attributed to attraction or repulsion. One often hears the phrase "such a person attracts me," or vice versa. These phenomena may be explained as due to the stress into which the neighboring ether (Astral Light) is thrown by the acting organism, the stress re-acting upon other organisms and moving them this way or that as the stress is greater here or there. Suppose such an organism to be alone in space. The field, or stress that constitutes it, would extend uniformly in every direction and occupy the whole of space. If, however, another organism be brought into proximity with the first, the "lines of force" are distorted as in the case of an electric field. This would offer an explanation of why, as sometimes stated in occult works (see "Occult World"), persons communicating psychically often find such communication difficult, or even impossible for a time; the radiation is no longer rectilinear, but twisted, or even interrupted.

The point in view is; that a psychic organism always sets up such a condition in the surrounding ether (Astral Light), that its re-action upon another organism brings the latter into a state similar to that of the first, that is, it psychologizes it.

By extending the same considerations to the behavior of the Spiritual Organism in the Celestial Light, we have a sixth field; that is the Spiritual Field. Many other points of coincidence will suggest themselves, and it is not difficult to recognize a fragment of the Great Law of the Universe — the Unity of all Beings.


The Path

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