Leadbeater: 1901

 

As knowledge increases, the attitude of science towards the things of

the invisible world is undergoing considerable modification. Its

attention is no longer directed solely to the earth with all its variety

of objects, or to the physical worlds around it; but it finds itself

compelled to glance further afield, and to construct hypotheses as to

the nature of the matter and force which lie in the regions beyond the

ken of its instruments. Ether is now comfortably settled in the

scientific kingdom, becoming almost more than a hypothesis. Mesmerism,

under its new name of hypnotism, is no longer an outcast. Reichenbach's

experiments are still looked at askance, but are not wholly condemned.

Röntgen's rays have rearranged some of the older ideas of matter, while

radium has revolutionised them, and is leading science beyond the

borderland of ether into the astral world. The boundaries between

animate and inanimate matter are broken down. Magnets are found to be

possessed of almost uncanny powers, transferring certain forms of

disease in a way not yet satisfactorily explained. Telepathy,

clairvoyance, movement without contact, though not yet admitted to the

scientific table, are approaching the Cinderella-stage. The fact is

that science has pressed its researches so far, has used such rare

ingenuity in its questionings of nature, has shown such tireless

patience in its investigations, that it is receiving the reward of those

who seek, and forces and beings of the next higher plane of nature are

beginning to show themselves on the outer edge of the physical field.

"Nature makes no leaps," and as the physicist nears the confines of his

kingdom he finds himself bewildered by touches and gleams from another

realm which interpenetrates his own. He finds himself compelled to

speculate on invisible presences, if only to find a rational explanation

for undoubted physical phenomena, and insensibly he slips over the

boundary, and is, although he does not yet realise it, contacting the

astral plane.

 

One of the most interesting of the highroads from the physical to the

astral is that of the study of thought. The Western scientist,

commencing in the anatomy and physiology of the brain, endeavours to

make these the basis for "a sound psychology." He passes then into the

region of dreams, illusions, hallucinations; and as soon as he

endeavours to elaborate an experimental science which shall classify and

arrange these, he inevitably plunges into the astral plane. Dr Baraduc

of Paris has nearly crossed the barrier, and is well on the way towards

photographing astro-mental images, to obtaining pictures of what from

the materialistic standpoint would be the results of vibrations in the

grey matter of the brain.

 

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