New facts are continually being discovered and old facts brought into new relations which cannot at all be accounted for or explained by materialistic theories. New theories are constantly being advanced. Old ideas and concepts are changing. Some of the oldest and most firmly established theories of physical science are tottering on their bases. A great practical chemist recently said:
“The position has been reached before in single sciences, but it is the first time in the known history of the world that all the sciences have come to the same conclusion together-that their old ideas are absolutely wrong”.
Stanley Jevons (Principles of Science,” page 9), says: “Before a vigorous logical scrutiny, the Reign of Law will prove to be an unverified hypothesis, the uniformity of nature an ambiguous expression the certainly of our scientific inferences to a great extent a delusion”.
In view of thee and innumerable similar expressions of great thinker today and the recent past which might be quoted, what are we to think of the cock-sureness of some of the little fellows who call themselves scientists and assume that there are no longer any mysteries in science?.
Of the theories which have been upset or seriously called in question only two or three of the most important need be mentioned:
1. The Theory of Gravitation, which Einsteins Theory of Relativity, if it be verified, as seems probable, will practically mutify.
2.The Ether Theory, which is full of paradoxes and is being abandoned. Is the earth, for example (a solid globe of dense matter) flying, as stated, at the rate of over a thousand miles a minute, through a substance the density of which is estimated to be about four hundred and eighty times greater than that of the densest matter on the earth? Here is a mystery of no small proportions, involving a dozen other theories in equal mystery.
3.The Theory of the Indestructibility of Matter. Among the questions the answers to which will not “stay put” one is so prominent as the question, What is Matter” “Matter, “says W. W. Rouse Ball (and many others), “cannot be defined.” Up to a few years ago the indestructibility of matter, with all its tremendous implications, was accepted as a scientific axiom. To question it was to set ones self down as an ignoramus.
Then Heydweiler, and long experimentation, proved that there is an actual loss of matter in every chemical change. His experiments were later repeated and confirmed by LeBon, who says: “Contrary to the principle laid down as the basis of chemistry by Lavoisier, we do not recover in a chemical combination the total weight of the substances employed to bring about this combination.” (“The Evolution of Matter,” page 161.).
Professor Osborne Reynolds (Owens College, Manchester), proved mathematically, after twenty years work, that matter is a non-reality, and no one has arisen to prove his data or his calculations incorrect. This led to the conclusions of LeBon (“The Evolutions of Forces”) part of which are formulated as follows).
“1.Matter, hitherto deemed indestructible, slowly vanishes by the continuous dissociation of its component atoms”.
5.Force and matter are two different forms of one and the same thing.,” (What is that “thing”? No longer can we confidently say “Ether.”).
“6.Matter, therefore, is continuously transformed into energy. (But-“But we no buts”but look:
“8.Energy is no more indestructible than the matter from which it emanates.” And then this most modern of modern scientists goes on to prove this latter starting proposition. First it was ether, then matter. Now “force” or “energy” is being over thrown!.
Is the material universe doomed, therefore, to destruction? Are matter and force or ether all there is, or is there something else?.
Lord Kelvin said: “Matter is made up of thought forces”.
Carpenter said: “The source of all power is mind”. Huxley said: “If the hypothetical substance of mind is possessed of energy, I for my part am unable to see how it is to be discriminated from the hypothetical substance of matter. The more completely the materialistic is admitted the easier it is to show that the idealistic position is unassailable, if the idealist confines himself within the limits of positive knowledge.” . . . . . “And therefore,” Huxley concludes, “if I am obliged to choose between materialism and absolute idealism, I should feel compelled to accept the latter alternative”.
John Fiske wrote: “It was long ago shown that all the qualities of matter are what the mid makes them,and have no existence as such apart from the mind. In the deepest sense all that we really know is mind, and as Clifford would say, what we call the material universe is simply an imperfect picture in our minds of a real universe of mind-stuff.” (“The Idea of God,” page 15.).
Professors Stuart and Tait said: “There was gradually dawned upon the minds of scientific men the conviction that there is something besides matter of stuff in the physical universe, something which has at least as much claim to recognition as on objective reality, though, of course, afar less obvious to our sense as such, and therefore much later in being detected.
Professor Larkin, the astronomer, says: “Science now imperatively demands a Conscious Power within protoplasm-the only living substance, and Science knows that this power is mental”.
In these passages is seen the sense of mystery which the profoundest thinkers of the age have felt and the glimpses which some of them have had of the solution. What is the answer?.
The primary substance, power or principle which science has glimpsed is Mind-Infinite, Universal or Cosmic Mind-Life_Spirit-a part of which in the process of evolution is individualized and incorporated in every created form in the universe, animate or inanimate.
Here, then, it appears, are a few “old words, old ideas, old phrases,” embodying and concentrating the wisdom of the ages, handed down from generation to generation by the deepest thinkers among men,which still lend themselves to new facts, forms and combination as true science reveals new aspects of the universe. They are imperishable and irremovable. No newly invented words can ever supplant or replace them, although new words may help top make their meaning more clear. Let our young men of science invent as many new words as they please to express the new facts which they think they have discovered. In the end they will find that there is “new thing under the sun.” Only the young men are “new” and some of them are “fresh” -very fresh!.
It would be more to the purpose if they devoted less time to inventing new words and acquainted themselves with the real meaning of some of the old words which they deride. A little time seriously spent with a good standard dictionary would solve half the problems that perplex the present-day “scientist”!.
Take the word “spirit,” which seemingly aroused the ire of Mr. Kettering, as it has that of others who do not take the trouble to inform themselves of its origin and scientific meaning; and bear in mind, please,that this word stands for something which is no more mysterious than is energy, force, electricity, magnetism or gravitation, with which in the last analysis, it is synonymous.
Spirit is authoritatively defined as: 1.”The principle of life and vital energy,especially when regarded as separable from the material organism, mysterious in nature, and ascribable to a divine origin . . . In the Bible, soul and spirit are sometimes synonymous; something the latter appears a subordinated to the former; but finally spirit comes to stand for the more truly divine and permanent principle in the complex nature of man.” (Is there not such a principle in man?).
2.”Specifically, the invisible and incorporeal principle in man; the principle of self-consciousness, self-activity, and of rational power in general; that which signifies a likeness in man to the Divine Being, whether as now or formerly associated with a human body; personality”.
For the words as correctly used in Hahnemanns time, we may go back to “Walkers Dictionary” (1732-1807), first published in 1791,and held as an authority for more than fifty years, passing through more than thirty editions.
Walker, following Johnson, defines spirit by derivation as “Breath, wind in motion; an immaterial substance; the soul of man;anything eminently pure and refined; that which hath power or energy.” “Spiritual,” Walker defines as: District from matter, immaterial, incorporeal, mental, intellectual, not grows, refined from external things, relative only to the mind ; not temporal, relating to the things of heaven” (that is, eternal, permanent things).
Will Mr. Kettering please invent a better or more understandable word? Or will he obliterate the truly scientific concept for which it has stood so long?.
Take next the word “principle,” frequently used and misused in scientific and philosophical discussion:
Principle is defined as !.”A source or cause from which a thing proceeds; a power that acts continuously or uniformly; a permanent or fundamental cause that naturally or necessarily produces certain results, as the regulative principle in nature; the vital principle.