THEOSOPHY, Vol. 39, No. 5, March, 1951
(Pages 210-212; Size: 10K)
(Number 10 of an 11-part series)



IT is an axiom of the occult sciences that there are seven Cosmic Elements, four entirely physical and the fifth (Ether) semi-material, and that "there is no rest or cessation of motion in Nature" (S.D. I, 12, 97). Because of this perpetual becoming of Nature, the elements could not have remained the same since the commencement of evolution in our earth chain of worlds. Only in another life-cycle will the fifth element (Ether) cease to be hypothetical in any sense other than the form in which it is now recognized by ordinary science. For, by then, partial familiarity with the appropriate characteristic of matter -- permeability -- will give place to an acceptance of the additional fifth element, and "permeability will become so manifest a characteristic of matter, that the densest forms of this [matter] will seem to man's perceptions as obstructive to him as a thick fog, and no more" (S.D. I, 258). In all her writings, H. P. Blavatsky made it clear that the characteristics of matter must bear a direct relation to man's senses. Referring to the phrase "the fourth dimension of Space," she stated:

Matter has extension, colour, motion (molecular motion), taste, and smell, corresponding to the existing senses of man, and by the time that it fully develops the next characteristic -- let us call it for the moment PERMEABILITY -- this will correspond to the next sense of man -- let us call it "NORMAL CLAIRVOYANCE;" thus, when some bold thinkers have been thirsting for a fourth dimension to explain the passage of matter through matter, and the production of knots upon an endless cord, what they were really in want of, was a sixth characteristic of matter. The three dimensions belong really but to one attribute or characteristic of matter -- extension; and popular common sense justly rebels against the idea that under any condition of things there can be more than three of such dimensions as length, breadth, and thickness (S.D. I, 251-2).
These observations (made in 1888) have just met with some reinforcement in quite another connection. At the 1950 meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Prof. P. M. S. Blackett, FRS., mentioned that his Manchester University team, working on the Pic du Midi, had reported on the effect of trapping cosmic rays in a "cloud chamber." It appears that certain rays leave tracks which can be photographed, like the V-shaped trails of high-flying aircraft, and that these are able to pass through lumps of lead without deflection, not in the form of radiation, but literally as substance through substance. Prof. Blackett suggested that there must have been a "change of substance," as if a skier tearing down a slope had crashed through a tree and then had gone through a dense wood without another collision. A news report quotes him as saying: "The particle had lost its electric charge and had become a ghost particle." This statement will remind theosophical students of the remark made by H.P.B.: "Those physicists who hold the view that the atomic constitution of matter is consistent with its penetrability, need not go far out of their way to be able to account for the greatest phenomena of Occultism, now so derided by physical scientists and materialists" (S.D. I, 489), that is, action at a distance, by means of Ether or Akasa.

These statements of Prof. Blackett brought a letter to the London Times (September 5, 1950) from Lord Amwell, who is founder and trustee of the Homeopathic Educational Trust of Great Britain. He confessed to his ignorance of these matters, but felt it necessary to ask a question which someone better informed might be able and willing to answer:

Does it mean that the rule we have always taken for granted in the logic of physics that no two "things" can occupy the same space at the same time is now abrogated, and that there is another world of meaning and substance counter-penetrative with our own familiar one? If so, is the scientific world prepared to accept the study of what is loosely called the "occult" as a legitimate function of itself? I ask this because I am sadly aware of the financial and other difficulties besetting independent investigations of paranormal phenomena, and the vast amount of charlatanism and credulity to which official neglect gives rise.
A very fair question; but no answer was forthcoming, in the columns of the sedate Times, at any rate. Yet the literature of the Theosophical Movement is replete with explanations of "another world of meaning and substance counter-penetrative with our own familiar one," and of the laws governing the operation of psychic forces. Not that the scientific world is ready at present to foster the study of the "occult" in this respect. Nevertheless, as William Q. Judge prophesied in The Ocean of Theosophy (1893), it is equally certain that Science will sooner or later admit the proposition that "the human Will is all powerful and the Imagination is a most useful faculty with a dynamic force." Particularly is this the case in applications of what Mr. Judge called a third great law entering into many of the phenomena of East and West:
The power of Cohesion is a distinct power of itself, and not a result as is supposed. This law and its action must be known if certain phenomena are to be brought about, as, for instance, what the writer has seen, the passing of one solid iron ring through another, or a stone through a solid wall. Hence another force is used which can only be called dispersion. Cohesion is the dominating force, for, the moment the dispersing force is withdrawn, the cohesive force restores the particles to their original position.
On this point, Robert Crosbie added an important note for those who study the ramifications of akasha, "the indispensable agent of every Krita (magical performance), religious or profane," and whose attribute is given in the Hindu Puranas as Sound. He said, in his Answers to Questions on The Ocean of Theosophy--
Cohesion works on the particles of a single subject. As now constituted, there is a rate of vibration which represents the combination of the vibrations of the intelligences composing the object. In other words, the object has a mass chord which keeps it in shape. Once you know the mass chord, you can strike a tone higher, and the object will disperse (p. 217).

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:


We must not -- despite all the evidence of its fantastic vileness -- forget its great and honorable traits, revealed in the shape of art, science, the quest for truth, the creation of beauty, the conception of justice. Yes, it is true, we succumb to spiritual death when we show ourselves callous to that great mystery on which we are touching whenever we utter the words "man" and "humanity." 


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(1) NOTE.--H. P. Blavatsky took pains to extend the "theosophical view" as far into the literature, the culture, the science, and the scholarship of the time as impartial investigations in the various fields would permit. Other corroborative testimony appears as new avenues of thought are opened by modern thinkers, and "Extensions of Evidence" aims to scan common grounds whereon the theosophist may meet the race mind. --Editors THEOSOPHY.
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