1. Is the Nebular Theory, as generally held, denied by the Adepts? It seems hard to conceive of the alternate evolution from the sun’s central mass of planets, some of them visible and heavy, others invisible,—and apparently without weight, as they have no influence on the movements of the visible planets.
Answer:—No; they do not deny its general propositions, nor the approximative truths of the scientific hypotheses. They only deny the completeness of the present, as well as the entire error of the many so-called “exploded” old theories, which, during the last century, have followed each other in such rapid succession. For instance: while denying, with Laplace, Herschel and others, that the variable patches of light perceived on the nebulous background of the galaxy ever belonged to remote worlds in the process of formation; and agreeing with modern science that they proceed from no aggregation of formless matter, but belong simply to clusters of “stars” already formed; they yet add that many of such clusters, that pass in the opinion of the astro-physicists for stars and worlds already evoluted, are in fact but collections of the various materials made ready for future worlds. Like bricks already baked, of various qualities, shapes and colour, that are no longer formless clay but have become fit units of a future wall, each of them having a fixed and distinctly assigned space to occupy in some forthcoming building, are these seemingly adult worlds. The astronomer has no means of recognizing their relative adolescence, except perhaps by making a distinction between the star clusters with the usual orbital motion and mutual gravitation, and those termed, we believe, irregular star-clusters of very capricious and changeful appearances. Thrown together as though at random, and seemingly in utter violation of the law of symmetry, they defy observation: such, for instance, are 5 M. Lyrae, 52 M. Cephei, Dumb-Bell, and some others. Before an emphatic contradiction of what precedes is attempted, and ridicule offered perchance, it would not be amiss to ascertain the nature and character of those other so-called “temporary “stars, whose periodicity, though never actually proven, is yet allowed to pass unquestioned. What are these stars which, appearing suddenly in matchless magnificence and splendour, disappear as mysteriously as unexpectedly, without leaving a single trace behind? Whence do they appear? Whither are they engulfed? In the great cosmic deep—we say. The bright “brick” is caught by the hand of the mason—directed by that Universal Architect which destroys but to rebuild. It has found its place in the cosmic structure and will perform its mission to its last Manvantaric hour.
Another point most emphatically denied by the “Adepts” is, that there exist in the whole range of visible heavens any spaces void of starry worlds. There are stars, worlds and systems within as without the systems made visible to man, and even within our own atmosphere, for all the physicist knows. The “Adept” affirms in this connection that orthodox, or so-called official science, uses very often the word “infinitude” without attaching to it any adequate importance; rather as a flower of speech than a term implying an awful, a most mysterious Reality. When an astronomer is found in his Reports “gauging infinitude,” even the most intuitional of his class is but too often apt to forget that he is gauging only the superficies of a small area and its visible depths, and to speak of these as though they were merely the cubic contents of some known quantity. This is the direct result of the present conception of a three-dimensional space. The turn of a four-dimensional world is near, but the puzzle of science will ever continue until their concepts reach the natural dimensions of visible and invisible space—in its septenary completeness. “The Infinite and the Absolute are only the names for two counter-imbecilities of the human (uninitiated) mind;” and to regard them as the transmuted “properties of the nature of things—of two subjective negatives converted into objective affirmatives,” as Sir W. Hamilton puts it, is to know nothing of the infinite operations of human liberated spirit, or of its attributes, the first of which is its ability to pass beyond the region of our terrestrial experience of matter and space. As an absolute vacuum is an impossibility below, so is it a like impossibility above. But our molecules, the infinitesimals of the vacuum “below,” are replaced by the giant-atom of the Infinitude “above.” When demonstrated, the four-dimensional conception of space may lead to the invention of new instruments to explore the extremely dense matter that surrounds us as a ball of pitch might surround—say, a fly, but which, in our extreme ignorance of all its properties save those we find it exercising on our earth, we yet call the clear, the serene, and the transparent atmosphere. This is no psychology, but simply occult physics, which can never confound “substance” with “centres of Force,” to use the terminology of a Western science which is ignorant of Maya. In less than a century, besides telescopes, microscopes, micrographs and telephones, the Royal Society will have to offer a premium for such an etheroscope.
It is also necessary in connection with the question under reply that “An English F. T. S.” should know that the “Adepts” of the Good Law reject gravity as at present explained. They deny that the so-called “impact theory” is the only one that is tenable in the gravitation hypothesis. They say, that if all efforts made by the physicists to connect it with ether, in order to explain electric and magnetic distance-action have hitherto proved complete failures, it is again due to the race ignorance of the ultimate states of matter in Nature, and, foremost of all, of the real nature of the solar stuff. Believing but in the law of mutual magneto-electric attraction and repulsion, they agree with those who have come to the conclusion that “Universal gravitation is a weak force,” utterly incapable of accounting for even one small portion of the phenomena of motion. In the same connection they are forced to suggest that science may be wrong in her indiscriminate postulation of centrifugal force, which is neither a universal nor a consistent law. To cite but one instance this force is powerless to account for the spheroidal oblateness of certain planets. For if the bulge of planetary equators and the shortening of their polar axes is to be attributed to centrifugal force, instead of being simply the result of the powerful influence of solar electro-magnetic attraction, “balanced by concentric rectification of each planet’s own gravitation achieved by rotation on its axis,” to use an astronomer’s phraseology (neither very clear nor correct, yet serving our purpose to show the many flaws in the system), why should there be such difficulty in answering the objection that the differences in the equatorial rotation and density of various planets are directly in opposition to this theory? How long shall we see even great mathematicians bolstering up fallacies to supply an evident hiatus! The “Adepts” have never claimed superior or any knowledge of Western astronomy and other sciences. Yet turning even to the most elementary textbooks used in the schools of India, they find that the centrifugal theory of Western birth is unable to cover all the ground. That, unaided, it can neither account for every spheroid oblate, nor explain away such evident difficulties as are presented by the relative density of some planets. How indeed can any calculation of centrifugal force explain to us, for instance, why Mercury, whose rotation is, we are told, only “about one-third that of the Earth, and its density only about one-fourth greater than the Earth,” should have a polar compression more than ten times greater than the latter? And again, why Jupiter, whose equatorial rotation is said to be “twenty-seven times greater, and its density only about one-fifth that of the Earth,” should have its polar compression seventeen times greater than that of the Earth? Or, why Saturn, with an equatorial velocity fifty-five times greater than Mercury for centrifugal force to contend with, should have its polar compression only three times greater than Mercury’s? To crown the above contradictions, we are asked to believe in the Central Forces as taught by modern science, even when told that the equatorial matter of the sun, with more than four times the centrifugal velocity of the earth’s equatorial surface and only about one-fourth part of the gravitation of the equatorial matter, has not manifested any tendency to bulge out at the solar equator, nor shown the least flattening at the poles of the solar axis. In other and clearer words, the sun, with only one-fourth of our earth’s density for the centrifugal force to work upon, has no polar compression at all! We find this objection made by more than one astronomer, yet never explained away satisfactorily so far as the “Adepts” are aware.
Therefore do they say that the great men of science of the West, knowing nothing or next to nothing either about cometary matter, centrifugal and centripetal forces, the nature of the nebulæ, or the physical constitution of the sun, stars, or even the moon, are imprudent to speak so confidently as they do about the “central mass of the sun” whirling out into space planets, comets, and whatnot. Our humble opinion being wanted, we maintain: that it evolutes out, but the life principle, the soul of these bodies, giving and receiving it back in our little solar system, as the “Universal Life-giver,” the ONE LIFE gives and receives it in the Infinitude and Eternity; that the Solar System is as much the Microcosm of the ONE Macrocosm, as man is the former when compared with his own little solar cosmos.
What are the proofs of science? The solar spots (a misnomer, like much of the rest)? But these do not prove the solidity of the “central mass,” any more than the storm-clouds prove the solid mass of the atmosphere behind them. Is it the non-coextensiveness of the sun’s body with its apparent luminous dimensions, the said “body” appearing “a solid mass, a dark sphere of matter confined within a fiery prison-house, a robe of fiercest flames?” We say that there is indeed a “prisoner” behind, but that having never yet been seen by any physical, mortal eye, what he allows to be seen of him is merely a gigantic reflection, an illusive phantasma of “solar appendages of some sort,” as Mr. Proctor honestly calls it. Before saying anything further, we will consider the next interrogatory.
[Note: for further replies in this series, see “Some Inquiries Suggested by Mr. Sinnett’s ‘Esoteric Buddhism’”]