THEOSOPHY, Vol. 16, No. 2, December, 1927
(Pages 59-62; Size: 14K)
(Number 6 of a 103-part series)
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
VIMr. Robert Ward, discussing the questions of Heat and Light in the November Journal of Science, 1881, shows us how utterly ignorant is Science about one of the commonest facts of nature -- the heat of the sun. He says:-- "The question of the temperature of the sun has been the subject of investigation with many scientists: ... All have believed themselves successful, and have formulated their results with great confidence. The following, in the chronological order of the publication of the results, are the temperatures (in centigrade degrees) found by each of them: Newton, 1,699,300deg.; Pouillet, 1,461deg.; Tollner, 102,200deg.; Secchi, 5,344,840deg.; Ericsson, 2,726,700deg.; Fizeau, 7,500deg.; Waterston, 9,000,000deg.; Spoëren, 27,000deg.; Deville, 9,500deg.; Soret, 5,801,846deg.; Vicaire, 1,500deg.; Rosetti, 20,000deg. The difference is as 1,400deg. against 9,000,000deg., or no less than 8,998,600deg.!! ..." (Secret Doctrine, I, 484).IT would be humanly impossible for all astronomers of that day to have overlooked or made light of such extravagant contradictions; nevertheless the few who laid stress upon them, protesting against the dogmatic assurances of science regarding the "contraction" and "combustion" theories of solar heat, were regarded with suspicion, distrust, or derision, much as an anti-vaccinationist M.D. is regarded in our day. The function of Theosophy in purely physical science has been peculiar. H. P. Blavatsky advanced but few physical doctrines which were not at least suspected by the discredited minority in science. What was new in her work was the promulgation of cosmic principles, few but basic, which tied together the discrepancies and pointed out the ultimate triumph of the few rebels. Their accuracy is attested by the fact that she never espoused a minority cause which has not been victorious when finally put to the test; so much can be said for no other being, nor for any branch or school of science.
Thus, it remained for H.P.B. only to complete with an explanation the doubts and questionings of such as Ward, Herschell, Compte, Hunt, and others, in order also to resolve the bewilderment of the science of 1927 as expressed by Donald H. Menzel of Lick Observatory. Writing in Science for April 29, 1927, Mr. Menzel analyzes one of the latest theories to account for solar heat -- that of pressure decomposition -- finding that this could give life to the sun for only 60,000,000 years, while the presently accepted age of the earth itself is 1,000,000,000 years. He therefore very logically thinks the theory accounts only for a small part of solar radiation.
Following this up in the same periodical for May 6, 1927, he passes in review five different theories, discarding the first four as too notoriously invalid to require repetition of their defects. They are:
1. Original heat.
3. Gravitational: (a) meteoric, (b) contraction.
5. Transmutation of matter into energy.
The last he questions because the rate of energy transformation is found to be less in the giant stars than in the denser and supposedly hotter dwarf stars -- an anomaly. Finally he favors the new and little-known theory of Prof. Jeans, to the effect that there must exist in the sun and like stars a certain amount of unknown "super-radioactive" material.
Theosophical teachings and deductions drawn therefrom would place the above theories as follows:
1. A very slight contribution of electromagnetic waves, not "heat" at their origin, but impinging upon the earth as such.
2. Nothing definite, except the hint that it is to the chemistry and "meta-chemistry" of the future that the men of science must look for further progress.
3. A small amount; substantially as scientifically taught at present.
4 and 5. Forms of "Nitya Pralaya." (See Theosophical Glossary in particular.) It is likely that these would only contribute to the heat of the sun in like proportion to mass, as the radio-activity of the earth contributes to its own heat.
Yet here is much truth. For all matter alternately radiates itself away into energy, and is reintegrated into matter -- another illustration of the Second Fundamental Principle of the Secret Doctrine....the idea of the amount of "transformable energy" in our little system coming to an end is based purely on the fallacious conception of a "white-hot, incandescent Sun" perpetually radiating away his heat without compensation into Space. To this we reply that nature runs down and disappears from the objective plane, only to re-emerge after a time of rest out of the subjective and to reascend once more. (S.D. I, 149).But it is Prof. Jeans who is almost at one with Eastern Cosmogony. Substitute for his "unknown super-radioactive element," Prakriti, animated by Fohat, inexhaustible, because infinite and eternal -- the Soul of the Universe, the "all-permeant Sarvaga" -- and the doctrines are fundamentally identical.The real substance of the concealed (Sun) is a nucleus of Mother substance. It is the heart and the matrix of all the living and existing Forces in our solar universe. It is the Kernel from which proceed to spread on their cyclic journeys all the Powers that set in action the atoms in their functional duties, and the focus within which they again meet in their SEVENTH ESSENCE every eleventh year ... (S.D., I, 290).No wonder that solar forces whose playground is the Universe, and which manifest but a trifle of their potentiality through our visible sun, should seem like an "unknown super-radioactive element!" That description is the Ultima Thule of material speculation; no shame to Prof. Jeans that he could go no farther. The difficulty is an unsuspected commission of the "Great Heresy;" a separation of sun-force from Cosmic Force; it reacts upon cosmogonic science precisely as the separation of the soul of man from Cosmic Oversoul -- in theory -- reacts upon our so-called ethics and religion.
It was stated elsewhere ... that Occult philosophy denies that the Sun is a globe in combustion, but defines it simply as a world, a glowing sphere, the real Sun being hidden behind, and the visible being only its reflection, its shell. The Nasmyth willow leaves ... are the reservoirs of solar vital energy, "the vital electricity that feeds the whole system ... The Sun in abscondito being thus the storehouse of our little Kosmos, self-generating its vital fluid, and ever receiving as much as it gives out," and the visible Sun only a window cut into the real Solar palace and presence, which reflects, however, faithfully the interior work. (S.D., I, 541).
A like separation is made in orthodox circles between terrestrial phenomena and solar activities; though happily this has been much ameliorated of late by Dr. Abbott and Father Ricard between them.
Should the remarkable phenomenon described by Louis A. Bauer, of the Carnegie Institute,(1) be energetically followed up in the light of a few rays from the Secret Doctrine, the connection will become far more striking. We refer to the surprising results found by Dr. S. F. Mauchly regarding the daily variation of electric atmospheric potential over the surface of the earth. Regardless of the position of the station, that potential is highest when the sun is on the meridian of the north magnetic pole, and lowest when it is on that of the south magnetic pole. Moreover, between October and March, when the sun is nearer the earth than at other times, the maxima are higher.
Astronomical science is frankly at a total loss to explain the matter. But since Theosophy teaches that the magnetic poles are the channels of influx and efflux of the solar forces, the north being positive, south negative, it is clear as day that the north pole receives the greatest inflow for general terrestrial distribution, when the sun strikes it most strongly; and conversely with the south. The polar axis is thus simply the circulatory system of the earth, a part of that of the solar system of which the sun is the real heart.(Quoting Robert Hunt, F. R. S.) "May the pulsing of vital matter in the central Sun of our System be the source of all that life which crowds the earth, and without doubt overspreads the other planets, to which the Sun is the mighty Minister?"And, says the Secret Doctrine, "every beneficent (astral and cosmic) action comes from the North; every lethal influence from the South Pole." Also:
Occultism answers this in the affirmative; and Science will find this to be the case, one day ...
Thus, we have an important scientific corroboration for one of our fundamental dogmas -- namely, that (a) the Sun is the store-house of Vital Force, which is the Noumenon of Electricity; and (b) that it is from its mysterious, never-to-be-fathomed depths, that issue those life currents which thrill through Space, as through the organisms of every living thing on Earth. (S.D., I, 530-531).
"The Sun is the heart of the Solar World (System) and its brain is hidden behind the (visible) Sun. From thence, sensation is radiated into every nerve-centre of the great body, and the waves of the life-essence flow into each artery and vein ... the planets are its limbs and pulses ..." (S.D., I, 541).Perhaps the above will be regarded as archaic nonsense, but it will be better comprehended, if the reader remembers the Aurora Borealis and Australis, both of which take place at the very centres of terrestrial and electric and magnetic forces. The two poles are said to be the store-houses, the receptacles and liberators, at the same time, of Cosmic and terrestrial Vitality (Electricity); from the surplus of which the Earth, had it not been for these two natural "safety-valves," would have been rent to pieces long ago. At the same time it is now a theory that has lately become an axiom, that the phenomenon of polar lights is accompanied by, and productive of, strong sounds, like whistling, hissing, and cracking. (S.D., I, 205).It is definitely taught that human vitality depends upon the electric solar forces, both known and unknown. Dr. Mauchly's observations would therefore indicate that races living on the meridian of the north magnetic pole, whose noontide would coincide with their greatest access to solar vital forces, would occupy a very advantageous position relatively to all other peoples -- and vice versa.
Now, it so happens that the meridian of the north magnetic pole passes through the heart of North America, scene of the most feverish and diversified physical and mental energy known to historical times -- as though the corresponding egos had for ages waited the discovery and population of this land before incarnating to inaugurate this astonishing, though as yet chaotic, civilization.
And the meridian of the south magnetic pole? Touches only one inhabited land of any importance -- the extreme east coast of Australia, whose native forms without exception, from man to the earthworm, are hopelessly weak, decadent, and moribund.Australia is one of the oldest lands now above the waters, and in the senile decrepitude of old age, its "virgin soil" notwithstanding. It can produce no new forms, unless helped by new and fresh races, and artificial cultivation and breeding. (S.D., II, 197).
SCIENCE AND THE SECRET DOCTRINE
(Part 7 of a 103-part series)
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(1) Science, April 1, 1927
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