D. D. Palmer
The following is an answer to a 17-page article
in the California Eclectic Journal, by Dr. E. P. Bailey of Los Angeles,
He says in part, “Lucky, indeed, shall we be if ever
we succeed in throwing a gleam of light upon the modus operandi with which
sense-impressions are communicated to the intellect, and transformed into
thought or consciousness. The marvel does not exist in our having
eyes and ears, but in our being able to see and hear. Explain this
and perhaps you explain everything else that has hitherto puzzled our benighted
“And yet the whole mystery may admit of an explanation
so simple that, when discovered, it will occasion universal surprise why
nobody thought of it before.”
Nerve vibration is associated with consciousness.
Without it there would be no sensational intelligence, no activity which
we recognize as life.
The phenomena of sound is produced by vibrations
of the atmosphere. The vibrations impinge against the tympanum and
continue inward over the acoustic, or auditory nerve. The tension
of the tympanic membrane is not fixed as are stationary membranes; it is
as well adapted for the reception of one vibration as another. In
the absence of vibration a condition of relaxation exists. Our knowledge
of unlimited variations of sound is recognized by the infinite diversity
of nerve vibrations. Consciousness is determined by and must accord
with acoustic vibrations.
Thought transference by speech is accomplished by
and through the medium of atmospheric vibration. We recognize the
volume and quantity of vibration focussed by the external ear and conducted
to the acoustic nerve. The principles involved in the telephone and
the ear are very similar; the phenomena of each are controlled by the same
law. We recognize individual voices because of the difference in
the vibratory movements. This is true whether conducted by the telephone
wire or the atmosphere. We recognize the faces of individuals because
of their disssimilarity, thus it is with voices. Faces and voices
may be so distorted as to be unrecognizable. The combining of many
voices, or that of many musical instruments, are blended into one vibration.
Each instrument, or any combination of instruments, are presented and recognized
by its peculiar vibration. The molecules of the atmosphere and those
of the wire of the telephone transmit the vibratory movement. The
diaphragm and the wire of the telephone perform the same office as does
the tympanum and the auditory nerve of the ear. The vibration of
the transmitting diaphragm are carried over the connecting wire, while
those of the ear are vibrated over the cochlear and vestibular nerves,
the two which form the auditory nerve, the eighth cranial. Nerve
vibrations create consciousness. The vibrations of the atmosphere
are impinged against the tympanum of the ear, transferred to the auditory
nerve, and we recognize those vibratory movements.
The disagreeable popping of gas engines may be rendered
noiseless by a set of discs so arranged as to deflect the vibrations causing
them to whirl similar to the water in an eddy. Echo, a repetition
of a sound. The reiteration is the oscillating waves of the atmosphere
reflected. The energy expended in the rebound is sooner or later
A stick of timber fifty feet long, more or less,
is struck at one end, the vibratory movement of the molecules are transmitted
from the end struck to all portions, even to every atom.
The particles of a tuning fork vibrate when struck.
Its vibration is determined by the force of the stroke. Not only
the particles of the fork vibrate, but the prongs move in a wave-like motion.
This double movement of the atoms may be likened to waves of water which
consist of an enormous amount of molecules, the drops of which move freely
with each other, a good illustration of molecular oscillation. The
vibrations of the tuning fork are communicated to the atmosphere, impinge
against the tympanum of the ear, the mucous membrane is well supplied with
the tympanum plexus of the glossopharyngeal nerve; these vibrations continue
over the auditory nerve, are recognized by consciousness. The tuning
fork is used to tune instruments, to get the pitch. Pitch is the
rate of vibration. The vibrations of the voice is made to harmonize
with those of the tuning fork.
I have just said that there are two separate and
distinctly different movements of the atoms or molecules of substances.
The movement of one atom against another, or others, for it touches all
those which surround it, creates heat. The movement of a great number
of these body atoms create within us consciousness.
Gould’s Dictionary says, “Temperature, the degree
of intensity of heat or molecular vibration.”
Heat is a form of energy, this energy is created
by motion. It is manifested in the effects of fire, the sun’s rays
and friction. The molecules (the smallest known particles of matter
which move about as a whole) of all matter vibrate, that is, move to and
fro, in a similar manner as the pendulum of a clock, or the balance wheel
of a watch which vibrtates four times in a second. The various degrees
of temperature of iron are due to the amount of movement of the molecules
of which it is composed. The varying temperature between that of
70 degrees and zero are due to molecular change (vibration) of its atoms.
Energy traveling in the form of radiation is sometimes called radiant heat.
Radiation, however, is not heat, it is the kinetic energy of vibrations
of ether. By an increase or decrease in the movement of its particles
the color and temperature are modified. The color of iron may be
changed from black to that of red. By still increasing the movement
of its particles the red color may be changed to that of white, and, by
a yet greater agitation of its atoms the color becomes blue. The
greater the vibration, the more active the molecules, the greater the heat.
When a resonant bar of metal is struck, made to respond
to a certain amount of vibration, waves rush through the substance which
are unlike in character to those vibrations going on all the time among
the molecules. The molecular vibration of nerve tissue and wave motion
differ in that the former is the movement of particles and the latter is
of the whole.
The particles of all matter are always in a state
of vibration. If inanimate matter changes its temperature according
to the amount of its atomic vibration, why not living tissue? That
the amount of nerve-tension determines the quantity of heat is a demonstrated
fact. Bodily temperature may increase after death and run as high
as 106 or even to 108 degrees. The heat of the body, whether normal
temperature, inflammation or fever is a function of nerves. Nerves
heat the body.
An impulse travels over a nerve by waves known as
vibration, similar as a pulse-wave, only more rapid. The speed of
thought (an impulse traveling over a nerve) has been duly measured by the
aid of apparatus in physiological laboratories. In man the normal
rate of vibration is said to be 114 feet per second. Sensory impulses,
which convey sensation inward vary from 168 to 675 feet per second, the
average being 282 feet. The commands, known as impulses, are carried
over the nerves by vibration.
Why does death result from high temperature?
Because excessive vibrations create sufficient heat to liquify tissue,
necrose the web-like structure, render it too soft for normal vibration.
The tripod of life, the vital tripod, the brain, heart and lungs, cease
to innervate the organism through the nervous system, and maintain the
circulation and aeration of the blood. If 200 nerve vibrations are
normal, over that is an excess, heat is augmented, bones, nerves, blood
vessels and other tissue become softened, changed in color from white to
that of reddish-yellow, the vascular system softened, causing hemorrhage
from rupture and performation.
Nerves, like all material substances, are composed
of particles, atoms or molecules, which vibrate, oscillate. When
nerves are in a normal condition, known as tone -- normal tension, normal
elasticity and normal renitency--impulses are transmitted by vibration
in a normal manner with the usual force. The amount of impulsive
force is determined by the rate of transmission, the rate of action upon
the quantity of vibration, and the amount of movement upon tension.
Motor and sensory impulses are transmitted over the nervous system by molecular
vibration. The force of an impulse depends upon its momentum, the
momentum upon the impetus received from nerve vibration during transmission.
If the nervous system is normal in its tension, vibrations are normal and
the degree of temperature is that of 98 to 99 degrees.
Consciousness is associated with nerve vibration;
the external organs focus the vibratory movements, perform the function
of receiving, directing and transmitting vibrations. The retina of
the eye and the tympanum of the ear respond to the vibrations of the atmosphere.
These vibrations pass into the interior by means of the nervous system.
If this means of communication is normal in tension, its vibration and
carrying capacity are also normal. The tension and rigidity of nerve
tissue determines the amount of molecular oscillation.
Petoskey, Mich., Aug. 13. -- Miss Helen Keller, the
noted blind and deaf girl, has heard her first note of music. She
caught the vibrations of a violin string through her teeth, held against
the bridge of the instrument, and, although her eardrums are useless, Prof.
Frans Kohler of Oberlin conservatory declared today that the harmonies
had been communicated to her brain and she had caught the strain. “Like
the voices of singing of angels,” said Miss Keller to Miss Macey, her teacher.
Light is transmitted by the vibration of ether at
the rate of 186,300 miles per second. Vibrations strike the retina
of the eye and are carried inward over the optic nerve. The retina
forwards the vibratory impulses to the nerve which communicates between
the brain and the organ of vision. The X-ray is a good illustration
of light penetrating solid substances by ether vibration, yet it is not
a therapeutical agent.
Air and ether are vibratory transmitting mediums.
Ether interpenetrates the atmosphere, as well as all material substances,
liquid or solid. Etheric vibrations pass freely through opaque bodies
as light penetrates transparent substances, with the same velocity as that
Ether penetrates all substances. Spirit permeates
and inhabits all living bodies. Ether and spirit are not subject
to laws which govern ponderable substances.
Telepathy, mental communication between two persons
at a distance from each other without the aid of spoken or written signs,
is accomplished through and by the transmitting vibratory qualities of
ether. Ether is a medium filling all space, even in that which is
occupied by fluids and solids. Its functions, so far as known, are
the transmitting of light, the production of all phenomena ascribed to
electric, vital and magnetic force. Ether will in the near future
play an important part in the transmission of thought, not only between
individuals of this world, but between astral beings and those of the physical.
Who knows but the way is now being opened for the inhabitants of other
planets to converse with those of our own by the aid of etheric waves?
The transmission of thought from planet to planet would be only an increase
in distance as has been done with wireless telegraphy.
Molecular vibration is a law of the universe, nothing
is exempt from this activity. It is universal in its application.
Progression is an established principle. Spiritual progress towad
perfection is dependent upon physical and spiritual growth.
The universe is composed of spirit and matter.
All living material is animated by spirit. The process of physical
and spiritual growth are so intimately blended that it is difficult to
separate one from the other. Our bodies are animated by spirit through
molecular vibration; without vital force there would be no action guided
Astral spirits composed of supersensitive substance, inhabiting
supersensible spheres are far more refined than the material of this world,
yet they are undergoing a process of advancement analogous to that of individuals
on this earth.