Rosicrucian Writings Online
The Mind, a Human RadioBy Royle Thurston
[From The Mystic Triangle June 1929]
SO much is said in occult and mystical literature about the power of thought and the radiations of mental energy that the student is often misled in understanding just how these radiations manifest themselves and how there really can be any radiations at all.
To thoroughly understand the power of thought without resorting exclusively to psychological principles, we should turn first to physiology and understand that all nerve energy is electrical. This fact immediately opens the doorway to a vast field of research and incidentally to a vaster field of speculation. Too many writers on occult and mystical literature, who are not properly trained in the real principles, delve too deeply and too freely into the field of speculation regarding the nature of nerve energy, and too casually or too superficially into the field of research. In other words, such writers or students are profoundly impressed with the scientific statement that nerve energy is electrical, and with this fact as a premise or starting point begin to speculate wildly and illogically, and therefore come to all sorts of erroneous conclusions. The real conclusions, which should be the result of their proper reasoning, are far more interesting and surprising than the speculative ones.
It was Mesmer who discovered a method of proving the ancient mystical principle that all nerve energy is electrical. Up to his time this principle had been taught in the Rosicrucian teachings, and Mesmer was a deep student of the Rosicrucian work in his country. But, while the Rosicrucians in their laboratories had ways and means of proving that a nerve impulse was an electrical impulse, Mesmer wanted to prove that they caused or set up in the field around them certain vibrations of an electrical or magnetic nature. If Mesmer were living today, he would not have to resort to the involved methods he used to establish the fact that every electrical impulse sets up an electrical or magnetic field of radiations. There are thousands of electrical experiments recorded in the annals of the science of electricity showing that in recent years this fact has been well established. Many wonderful electrical devices now in use depend entirely upon the principle that an electrical field surrounds a point of electrical impulse; and if this were not so, we would have no telephone, radio, or many other things in common use. However, in Mesmer's time the science of electricity was not greatly advanced except in the laboratories of the mystic, the alchemist, and the free-lance investigator who was not bound by traditions or principles of science; therefore, many things now common knowledge in electricity were not known.
Mesmer believed that if the nerve impulse in the human body was electrical in nature, then more than just the physiological manifestation would result from such an impulse, and there would be put into operation some secondary impulse or radiation of the original impulse which would move outside of the human body. In other words, he came to the conclusion that if the nerve energy in the human body was directed and concentrated to points in the fingers, then in addition to merely producing a physiological effect within the finger, a secondary effect in the nature of radiations of that energy would result, and this secondary effect would tend to radiate or move outward from the point or place of the original impulse. This led him to believe that there would be radiations from the ends of the fingers in the form of very subtle waves of power or energy which could be detected by sensitive persons or perhaps sensitive instruments.
It is not my intention to review the experiments of Mesmer, although these will be found intensely interesting to every student of mysticism, especially inasmuch as Mesmer was greatly misunderstood by the average person in his time, and absolutely condemned as a fraud or a person self-deceived by the scientists and those who were not ready to accept his discoveries. It was unfortunate, indeed, that Mesmer's early experiments took on the form of such tests of these radiations as were soothing and quieting to the nervous systems of other persons, and caused them to go to sleep or to go into a quiet, peaceful, relaxed condition. We know today that such conditions as this not only quiet the nerves and cause a sleepiness, but tend to cure nervous troubles and establish a condition of harmonium in the body where disease and pain are lessened. That is the reason why so-called magnetic healers have been able to produce such wonderful effects by the use of their hands, and this explains why many of the great Masters in the past, and especially the Essenes, were able to do such wonderful healing by the laying on of hands. However, the ignorant populace became fearful of this sleeping condition, and compared it to some strange coma or trance condition that might come to the patient. They wrongfully believed that if the "magnetic fluid" which emanated from the ends of the fingers of Mesmer or other persons could produce a light sleep or a peaceful condition, that a little more of such fluid or a continuation of such treatments might cause them to go into a very deep or endless sleep. Such a conclusion was absolutely false and groundless, as we know today, but in Mesmer's day fear and superstitious beliefs, based on ignorance of facts, were always easily developed in the minds of persons and adopted as truths without investigation.
Therefore, Mesmer was accused of having devised a method of inducing trance or deep sleep. This condition was called Mesmerism, and later was likened unto hypnotism, whereas in fact there was no relationship to hypnotic sleep in anything that Mesmer really did. Because his experiments were dubbed and considered wrongly in this manner, the scientific and medical worlds ridiculed him, and his work had to end with disgrace to himself and to the ideas he tried to establish.
Now the whole truth of the matter is that not only is the nerve energy in the human body electrical, but it is like unto electrical energy of the kind we know in connection with all other electrical manifestations. In other words, it is composed of a negative and positive polarity and is a result of the relationship of a negative and positive stress attempting to co-ordinate themselves in a proper flow through a given channel. Therefore, the manifestation of this nerve energy is an alternating manifestation, consisting of phases of rest and action, or inactivity and activity, causing an undulating impulse of such rapid beat or at such a rapid rate as to seem to be a continuous and uninterrupted flow.
I have said that science acknowledges this electrical nature of the nerve energy, and yet I must say that such acknowledgment is of only recent date, and was thoroughly presented only a few years ago in some very complete text books on physiology, written by such eminent authorities as to remove all question of the correctness of the statements. Until this fact of the electrical nature of nerve energy was established, no one knew scientifically what it was; and scientists and physicians especially did not know and did not seem to care, since they were concerned mostly with the flow of the nerve energy and its manifestations.
The relationship of this nerve energy to thinking is interesting. We know that the brain is the control board of the human nervous system, and it is, therefore, the control board of the electrical system of the human body. All impulses that move along the nerves of the human body do so electrically, as though moving along electric wires. When we put our fingers upon some things, the contact with a different substance causes them to receive an electrical or reflex contact with matter having a different polarity or potentiality than that of the human nervous system. The result is that that contact or impulse is transmitted electrically along the nervous system to the human brain, and there it is transmuted or translated into an impression, and we have a consciousness of what we have touched. It is like the present-day dial system on the telephones; by moving the dial and allowing it to swing backward to position, we cause a wheel to rotate that gives off a certain number of electrical impulses as it returns to its rest position. These impulses, from one to nine in number, are carried along an electrical wire to the control board of the dial system, which is like the control board of the human brain, where they register themselves by making the same number of impulses as they had at the dial. The impulses are transmuted into action, which sets other electrical devices into action, and thus the circuit is completed. In the human nervous system, a similar operation takes place. A certain number of vibrations travelling along the nervous system to the brain and registering themselves there create impressions or thought forms which are realized by the consciousness.
Now we see by this that thoughts are thought forms, and thought forms are electrical impulses. A note on a violin string is composed of a certain number of vibrations and the difference between one note and another is a difference in vibrations. The difference between one color and another is a difference in the rate of vibrations. And the difference between the sensation of a substance that is hard and a substance that is soft is a difference in the rate of vibrations started at our finger tips and transmuted to our brain control board. Therefore, at the human brain centers the nerves of our body are constantly impressing and registering impulses of various rates of vibrations, which in turn produce thought forms.
As I dictate this article, my eyes wander about my room, and I am receiving numerous impressions by sight, all of them being transmitted by vibrations to the brain centers, where they are translated into thought forms of pictures. I hear my own voice speaking, and my stenographer hears my words. The words which I speak are transmitted, by vibrations of an electrical nature, through space to the nerves attached to the drums of her ears, and there through the impulses received on the ear drum send forth vibrations again along the nervous system to the centers of her brain, where such vibrations register themselves and create thought forms which become sounds. The same is true of tasting and smelling. During our waking consciousness as we move about, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and feeling, we are probably having thousands of impressions transmitted to our brain every second, and these are rapidly translated into thought forms and realized as such by the translating process of our consciousness.
I am passing over the other phenomena of the nervous system that deal with the transmission of impulses from the brain centers to various parts of the body, as for instance, when one is writing, the brain sends out vibrations along the nerves to the hand and the fingers, which cause pulsations of muscle energy, causing the muscles to retract and expand and thereby move the hand and fingers in the process of writing. The same is true in the process of walking, breathing, eating, and doing any of the other hundreds of things which result from the operation of nerve energy upon the muscles of the human body.
Going back again, however, to the thought forms produced in the human mind by the radiations of the electrical impulses there, we should understand one additional manifestation of these thought forms or impulses which general science does not take into consideration, because it is outside of its fields of experimentation and research. The mystic contends and demonstrates, through various applications of natural law, that every time an electrical or vibratory impulse at the brain centers causes a thought form to be created, the impact upon the consciousness of that thought form and the directing to it of the higher vibrations of consciousness, cause that thought form to radiate vibrations of itself outwardly into space. These vibrations radiate like the vibrations from the antenna of a transmitting broadcasting station. They will go into space and impinge themselves upon the receptive nerve centers of other human beings who may or may not be conscious of the reception. But just as a receiving station or a receiving set must attune itself by proper balance and by the proper harmony of its capacity and induction, so that the slightest change of polarity coming upon it will be quite manifest, so must the human consciousness and nerve system become attuned to the incoming vibrations of thoughts. That is why there are so many experiments in the work of the Rosicrucian teachings intended to aid us in balancing, toning, and tuning our nervous system and especially the psychic part of the nerve system which has to deal with the higher rates of vibrations like those sent off by thought forms.
This brings me to the concluding and important point regarding thought form. During the process of translating the low vibrations of the nerve energy of the nervous system in the human body to thought forms which will be recognized by the human consciousness, the vibrations of these nerve impulses must be increased or stepped up to the higher rates so that they will be within the scale of vibrations of human consciousness. The human consciousness is a part of the soul energy, and the vibratory rate of this energy is so much higher than the vibrations of the nerve energy that the two sets of vibrations are in entirely different periods of the scale of vibrations. The soul consciousness vibrates in the highest octaves of the scale, while the electrical nerve impulses of the nerve system are in one of the lower octaves of the scale. The human nervous system is designed to recognize and sense all the impulses of the lower octaves, but it is the nerves of the sympathetic nervous system that are sensitive to the vibrations of the higher octaves. That is why thought waves make very little impression upon our nervous system, if at all. But it is also the reason why we must develop the sympathetic or psychic nervous system to a keen perception of the vibrations which it has not learned to notice, or which it misunderstands if it receives them at all.
Therefore, psychic development in one sense means the development of the sympathetic nervous system to such high attunement that it becomes more and more sensitive to all higher rates of vibrations from within and from without the human body. As soon as this development is underway, we become more and more sensitive to external impressions of all kinds, and we become like a very fine radio receiving set that is susceptible to close and sharp tuning, covering a wide scale of frequency. If we stop to realize that the human mind is always, even from childhood, a potential radiating station of thoughts and thought forms, we will be more careful of what we think and what forms of thought we allow to develop in our consciousness so that we may always transmit, as we will always want to receive, only the best, the kindest, and most loving thoughts.
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