THEOSOPHY, Vol. 87, Issue 2
January-February, 1999
(Pages 62-65; Size: 8K)

CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES
ON THE OBJECTS

[2nd article in this series]

The third object of the Theosophical Movement makes it clear that "the unexplained laws of nature" move through the living fabric of human beings. Students strive to gain an understanding of this intimate connection by studying the vital principles involved. The following update of events bearing on this investigation, including a brief historical perspective, was sparked by a coverup revealed in a recent article.
THE HYPOTHETICAL ETHER
OF MODERN SCIENCE

FOR YEARS empirical science used the concept of an unseen "hypothetical ether" to help explain some of the mysteries it encountered in observing the workings of nature. When Albert Einstein was expanding the existing theories on gravity in the early part of the 20th century, he provided evidence that matter and energy were two facets of the same thing. At this point, support for this "mysterious ethereal medium" began to wane. A number of scientists, in fact the majority, reasoned that "ether" was no longer needed to explain the influences that occur between objects at a distance. Yet from time to time the idea that there is such a need continues to resurface. This comes as no surprise to students of Theosophy.

The Secret Doctrine speaks of a continuous medium between spirit and matter that serves as the agent of transmission for all of nature's forces. It moves through the seven planes of being and animates matter. It binds particles together. And as the "lining of akasa" it also conveys the impressions sent by sensory organs. And there is more.

In 1888, The Secret Doctrine commented:

Ether, this hypothetical Proteus, one of the "representative Fictions" of modern Science -- which, nevertheless, was so long accepted -- is one of the lower "principles" of what we call PRIMORDIAL SUBSTANCE (Akâsa, in Sanskrit), one of the dreams of old, and which has now become again the dream of modern science. It is the greatest, just as it is the boldest, of the surviving speculations of ancient philosophers. For the Occultists, however, both ETHER and the Primordial Substance are a reality. To put it plainly, ETHER is the Astral Light, and the Primordial Substance is AKÂSA, the Upadhi of DIVINE THOUGHT. (S.D. I, 326.)
With the advent of Albert Einstein's E=MC2, scientists came to the almost universal conclusion that the hypothetical ether was an exploded superstition. Yet there is a curious coverup regarding the Michelson-Morley experiment on the speed of light that was supposed to have disproved the hypothetical ether. We have reason to hope for something a little better with science.

The 21st Century Science and Technology magazine devoted much of its Spring 1998 issue to an article by Maurice Allais entitled the "Michelson-Morley-Miller Cover-up." The common idea prevailing today is that the Michelson-Morley experiment failed to detect a difference in the speed of light in different directions -- that is, that the experiment produced a null result. However this is not so. Reading Michelson's words exactly he did not say it produced a null result. He said the result must be smaller than the expected amount. If this were generally known, most scientists would want to know why. They know that disproving one faulty assumption does not prove its opposite. The concept of ether was not correctly postulated by material science and can be metaphysically defended in the same way that living atoms are called the souls of material molecules and should not be compared to "billiard balls."

Michelson's and Morley's work was superseded by the work of Dayton C. Miller. From 1902 to 1933 Miller performed many experiments along the lines of Michelson-Morley but with equipment producing more accurate measurements. His results were distinctly not null. The difference could not be explained by such peripheral problems as temperature change or vibration. Patterns and meaningful measurements definitely do emerge from his work; so much so that he capped his long line of experimentation with a paper in 1933: "The Ether-Drift and the Determination of the Absolute Motion of the Earth," (i.e., the speed with which the earth is moving not on its axis, not around the sun, but through the galaxy).

Albert Einstein was not only aware of Miller's work but he visited him on May 25, 1921, urging further experimentation.

Allais, the writer for the 21st Century Science and Technology, himself a Nobel prize winner in Economic Science who has done much research in related physics, sums up his views in a second article entitled "Should the Laws of Gravitation Be Reconsidered?":

It is startling that the findings published in Miller's paper in 1933 should have been ignored.... The outright pigeonholing of Miller's paper strikes me as one of the scandals of contemporary physics.

COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:

There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced -- but it is there. 


--Light on the Path

Next article:
CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES ON THE OBJECTS
[3rd article in this series]
"THE VANISHING LINE"

Back to
THE "THREE OBJECTS" OF THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT
complete list of articles.

Back to the full listing containing all of the
"Additional Categories of Articles".



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