THEOSOPHY, Vol. 21, No. 7, May, 1933
(Pages 323-326; Size: 13K)
(Number 46 of a 103-part series)



THAT the perceptive faculties of the inner man are, in the objective world, helpless prisoner within the periphery of the outer sense-organs, is certainly a physical fact. But there is an inner compass, an inner balance, which makes itself known in the sense of consistency, of relativity. Some truth must come through from the outside in every perception; some truth arises from within to meet it, to check its direction. The soul, oriented ever toward its parent-realm, knows the direction, and enables the awakened man to move truly therein, as a logger, leaping from one pitching stick to another in the whirling, ever-changing currents, balances the one motion against the other and achieves an accurate course. But for that accuracy, not merely the sense of direction, but the sense of sight, is required. Dependence upon one sense alone is fatal. To a man born blind the world is -- what? Only such unfortunates can know; but it is no world like unto ours. Reliance upon forms plus ignorance of the principles of formation conceals from us the analogical or identical processes by which seemingly diverse material objects come into being, and so blinds us as to identity of governing laws.

To the layman, gazing with casually interested perplexity and some little amusement upon the scientist entangled in the puzzles of his light-rays and cosmic distances, it seldom occurs that all this is anything more than a magnificent game, played by these fortunate ones thus elevated above the miseries of the world in their observatory domes. No more does the astronomer himself suspect that in his most remote and recondite findings lie clues bearing intimately upon the nature, the origin, fate, and true duty of his kind.

Fortunately, perhaps; otherwise the accumulating conundrums arising from the use of one sense only in sounding the depths of space would be harrowing. The insufficiency of the one sense, sight, which the brain of the earth, the mind of man, employs for outer contact, was exposed by Madame Blavatsky:

"The essence of cometary matter and of that which composes the stars is totally different from any of the chemical or physical characteristics with which Western Science is now acquainted. While the spectroscope has shown the probable similarity (owing to the chemical action of terrestrial light upon the intercepted rays) of earthly and sidereal substance, the chemical actions, peculiar to the variously progressed orbs of space, have not been detected, nor proven to be identical with those observed on our own planet" -- say the Teachers. Mr. Crookes says almost the same in the fragment quoted from his lecture, "Elements and Meta-Elements." (Secret Doctrine, 1888, I, 597).
This has been suspected from time to time by science and is now becoming admitted, largely due to extravagant and hasty theories erected upon the "red shift." It has been found that light spectra from distant stars show a shift of the band toward the red end. The most facile answer to this was that the stars were moving away from us. It was moreover discovered that according to this the star was departing the faster, the farther away it was; and this astonishing theory, giving a picture of a universe exploding -- for the outer velocities were of inconceivable magnitude -- and exploding at an accelerating rate, was actually accepted.

There was no deterrent in the patent fact that the origin of such an explosion, and its continued acceleration, could by no means be either discovered or imagined. Sundry mathematical equations were then erected; and a sigh of relief was heaved when certain jugglers proved by figures that the explosion periodically reversed itself and became a contraction. We opine that such a result when truly analyzed will be found due to an alternating function of mathematics, not necessarily corresponding to reality at all. The fact that a law governing a purely theoretical explosion which reverses itself can be found, is no evidence that such an equation corresponds to any real cosmic process. There is in existence many an equation of the fourth dimension; but no man was ever able to walk into it, paper in hand, by that equation.

The simplest explanation of all finally began to dawn -- that the light rays were altered by some barrier through which they must pass. The "Heaviside Layer" is an ionized stratum of the upper atmosphere which proves to be of considerable opacity in some ways. It has a vital effect on radio signals, varying with its height and thickness, which in turn depend on solar sunspot action.(1) It is in fact so substantial that the Leonid shower of meteors of 1931, by knocking holes in it, caused a heavy fogging of radio signals.(2)

It is known that space is filled with great clouds of calcium and sodium; this was discovered by their effect upon starlight in its passage.(3) Dr. Trumpler, of Lick Observatory, finds that thirty-nine percent of starlight is absorbed in each "parsec" distance of travel -- although Dr. Harlow Shapley, of equal or greater fame, concludes that no appreciable absorption takes place.(4) The highly inaccurate parallax system of determining star distance -- which in some cases gave a negative result meaning that the body was less than no distance away, has been supplanted by light determination.

But due to these dust clouds in space -- or elsewhere -- the most gigantic errors have resulted from this also. Dr. Frederick H. Seares, of Mt. Wilson Observatory, says that these clouds have tricked astronomers into overestimating the size of the galaxy of stars five times.(5) Certainly any other branch of science which could not measure a distance within five times its actual magnitude would be considered far from "exact!" Dr. Joel Stebbins, of the University of Wisconsin, using photo-electric cell methods, which are thought to penetrate this star-dust illusion, found that the distances of some of the Milky Way stars were only one-half what they had been thought. "Magna est veritas, et prevalebit!" -- in time.(6)

But in reality are those cosmic clouds, plus the Heaviside Layer, all that interposes? Or -- what constituents belong to the Layer other than electrical particles? Of what is the aerial integument of Earth composed? Dr. Abbot, of the Smithsonian, believes that the effect of solar heat on the earth is not a direct one, but that there is "some intermediate atmospheric effect not yet understood." A Master wrote in 1882:

... Earth's magnetic attraction of meteoric dust, and the direct influence of the latter upon the sudden changes of temperature especially in the matter of heat and cold, is not a settled question to the present day, I believe. It was doubted whether the fact of our earth passing through a region of space in which there are more or less of meteoric masses has any bearing upon the height of our atmosphere being increased or decreased, or even upon the state of weather. But we think we could easily prove it; and since they accept the fact that the relative distribution and proportion of land and water on our globe may be due to the great accumulation upon it of meteoric dust; snow -- especially in our northern regions -- being full of meteoric iron and magnetic particles; and deposits of the latter being found even at the bottom of seas and oceans, I wonder how Science has not hitherto understood that every atmospheric change and disturbance was due to the combined magnetism of the two great masses between which our atmosphere is compressed! I call this meteoric dust a "mass" for it is really one. High above our earth's surface the air is impregnated and space filled with magnetic, or meteoric dust, which does not even belong in our solar system.
And this is the Heaviside Layer recently discovered and many things not yet discovered. It is the physical epidermis of the earth and the barrier to true spacial perception. Light itself is magnetic; and who knows the undiscovered results of its passage through these magnetic layers? And upon those effects our measurements of distances depend.

In fact our whole idea of the construction of the material Universe is in question. There are such contradictions in these matters that astronomers have been mightily moved to ask of themselves and of their comrades, whether after all they were not the common victims of some vast illusion. The exploded Ptolemaic and Copernican astronomical systems fitted all the available mathematical facts, as well as the perceptions of man, perfectly -- until some more facts and some greater perceptions arrived. In future years we may be in for a complete upheaval of our ideas about all these things. The Sun in his own vast enigmatic circle through space, dragging with him the planets, continually traverses regions not before passed in this Manvantara; man, his ideas and his nature are subject to ever-fluctuating cosmic and spacial influences.

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:


The Occult Doctrine rejects the hypothesis born out of the Nebular Theory, that the (seven) great planets have evolved from the Sun's central mass, not of this our visible Sun, at any rate. The first condensation of Cosmic matter of course took place about a central nucleus, its parent Sun; but our sun, it is taught, merely detached itself earlier than all the others, as the rotating mass contracted, and is their elder, bigger brother therefore, not their father. --S.D. I, p. 101.

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(1) Science, Mar. 25, 1932.
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(2) Science, Nov. 27, 1931.
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(3) Science, July 26, 1929.
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(4) Science, Sept. 5, 1930.
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(5) Los Angeles Times, Feb. 19, 1932.
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(6) Los Angeles Record, Nov. 23, 1932.
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