[From Dadalus Hyperboreus, No. VI., October, 1718.]
ARGUMENTS SHOWING THAT OUR VITAL FORCE CONSISTS MOSTLY OF LITTLE VIBRATIONS, THAT IS,
BY ASSESSOR EMAN. SWEDBORG.
Before what is unusual and unknown cap be made credible, it is necessary to establish some
fixed and in dubitable rules, according to which the theory may be proved.
THE FIRST RULE OF TREMULATION.
Anything of a firm end hard nature, such as wood, stone, rock, metal, etc., is
subjected to great tremulations even by a slight touch.
This is evident from buildings and cities: houses and streets are known to
tremble and reverberate from a wagon passing by; a whole rock trembles at the knock of a
hammer; a bell vibrates and even produces sound from the touch of a small needle; a person
at one end of a long pole or mast may know what another person is writing or drawing on
the other end; if poles were joined one with the other to the length of a mile, or in the
tube of a draught-engine, a blow would be noticed
from one end to the other; nay, even if only one end should touch a stringed instrument,
the vibration would at once be communicated to the other end; a cannon-shot, a
mountain-slide, a subterranean cave-in may be heard twenty to thirty miles round about,
causing houses and cities to tremble and shake. From this it may be concluded that a small
cause is able to effect a great vibration.
THE SECOND RULE.
An expanded membrane is the best medium of tremulation.
It is known that a membranous string is the best medium
of sound, that is, of tremulation. By a membrane is meant anything most external or the
surface of a solid substance, which surface receives the tremulation before it is received
in the body itself, which consists of continuous membranes and surfaces; and this in the
same ratio as that of the square to the cube.
THE THIRD RULE.
Next to membranes, the best media of tremulation are such bodies as are hard
and elastic; softer bodies,are less suitable.
The most brittle and hard metals, such as iron and steel, or copper and tin
together, are the ones that give a ringing sound; the more plastic metals, such as gold
and lead, give less sound; softer substances, such as sand, clay, or feathers, give no
THE FOURTH RULE.
7he tremulation of a string will canse a synthetic vioration in another string;
a membrane similarly affects another membrane; that is, if both are tuned in the same key.
If the string of a lute is touched, it will cause a
vibration in the other strings which are tuned in the same key. An outside
sound will often cause a vibration in a whole musical instrument, as also a whole gallery
will vibrate from the sound in the pipe of an organ, that is, if they are in the same key
or tune. A glass may break from its own sound.
THE FIFTH RULE.
Tremulations in the air make rings and circles, and are heard on all sides
round the center of the motion; that is, if the vahole mass is not being moved.
If a stone is thrown into the water, it will make rings round about. So also, in
the air, a cry or sound is heard on all sides round about.
THE SIXTH RULE.
The heavier the atmosphere, the slower is the tremulation, but the lighter the
air, the swifter is the motion.
The tremulatory circle moves slowly in the water; in the air it moves more
quickly; in the finer air, which, is called the ether, it is still swifter; in the solar
substance it moves from the sun to us in an instant; in the very finest atmosphere
there is probably no time which can correspond to the undulation. non-Einsteinian
THE SEVENTH RULE.
One tremulation does not interfere with another, simultaneous one.
This may be best tried in water, where ten or twenty circles may oscillate the
one within the other, without interfering with one another, but each one proceeds on its
way without obstruction. Similarly in the air: the sound of one string of an instrument
does not interfere with the sound of another string, nor one word with another. The reason
of this will be shown separately.
THE EIGHTH RULE.
In all tremulations the angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence.
The oscillating circles in the water are reflected
according to the angles of incidence. In a round vessel full of water they return to the
center; in an oblong channel they go forward and backward; a rope, hanging in a
mining-shaft, moves itself up and down in serpentine coils; the same takes place in a
musical chord; an echo propels the sound forward and backward; thus also does the
substance of the sun move the particles of our sight.
THE NINTH RULE.
In tremulations there are millions of
How many different sounds are not produced by a
well-tuned piano? how many are not still lacking within an octave ? One sound is different
from the other, is more flowing, broader, duller, or harsher. The sound and pronunciation
of men differ like their faces. Every vowel has its own separate sound. If these
variations are duplicated, it will be seen that there are millions of different kinds of
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS THAT MUCH OF OUR VITAL FORCE CONSISTS IN TREMULATIONS.
From the above rules it can be shown that our mobile
life sensation, or our nature, consists in little vibrations, that is, tremulations. From
the first rule it may be seen that a most minute particle is able to communicate its
motion to all other things in the whole body, is able to bring a certain membrane and
sinew, the blood the life, and the/spirit into the same motion with itself, and thereby:
all contiguous membranes, fibres, and nerves. Speech is nothing but tremulation,
like the sound in a strinHearing is only a concentrated collection of such
tremulations, flowing in through turbinated membranes, and propelling themselves over
hammers and anvils up to the dura and pia mater, which are similarly vibrating; so
that all fibres, nerves, animal spirits, and the blood, thus touched, will come into a motion according to
the preceding rules. If the same tremulation is caught by the membrane by means of the
sympathetic vibration of the teeth or the bones of the head, the sensation of hearing may
be effected independently of the mechanism of the ear. Smelling and taste are similarly
produced by contact with various kinds of particles round, angular, or sharpby which the fibres and nerves are
pulled or drawn, carrying the tremulations to the aura and pia mater. Similarly
with the Sight, which is the most delicate of our senses; the least of color or
light strikes against the minute fibres, and the distended optic nerves communicate it to
the coats of the brain, eEecting sensation and tremulation round about. It is the same
with the motions of the temper,which are derived from a stinging or biting of the bile in
the internal organ; similarly in the case of all external feelings or sensations, because
all things are so connected by threads and sinews, that what is touched in one place is
felt in another, and especially in the membrane of the brain, for all the threads and
nerves terminate there, and into it is collected whatever belongs to the whole body; if,
therefore, the tremulation is first felt in that membrane, it will at once find space and
matter by means of which to communicate itself over the whole body. If now this membrane
becomes slack, or is deprived of its heat, its blood, or its animal spirits, then the
whole man becomes dull, heavy, and dead. Further)
when a relaxation takes place in the nerves of the five senses, after having been in a
state of tension during the entire day, then sleep sets in; and yet, during the sleep, we
have something similar to sight and hearing, etc., which things go to prove that all the
external senses are still kept in internal tremulations. It also frequently happens that a
person falls into the thought of anothet person, that he perceives what another is doing
and thinking, that is, that his membrane trembles from the tremulation of the other
person's cerebral membranes, just as one string is affected by another, if they are tuned
in the same key. It may not be presumptuous to conclude that the thoughts of the
unreasoning animals are tremulations, proceeding from the internal and external sensations
of the body and its senses; so that experience has' taught them what is meant by one kind
of tremulation and what by another, just as we recognize the words, and their meanings
by the different
kind of tremula tion in each sound. That no part of the body can be touched without
communicating the touch to the dura and pia mater, that is, the membrane of
the brain, and that nothing can be touched in this membrane, without communicating it to
the whole bodymay be seen from all those threads which are joined to the sinews,
outwardly; as also from those twenty to thirty nerves which terminate in the cerebral
membrane, and which all are clothed by it. If said membrane is injured, a person is at
once deprived of a sensation; he fails, swoons, loses his thought and his reason. If the
fibres or nerves become slack, a person is similarly deprived of sensation, as takes place
in colds, congestion of the blood, or in sleep. lf the animal spirits are overflowing, as
in intoxication or in anger. then the membrane becomes too much heated and distended, so
that it makes a manifold and wild tremulation instead of the proper and usual one. From
all this it follows, that, by means of so many contacts or impressions, there is in us a
continually moving, tremulatory, and living force, in the feasts as in the greatest,
according to the preceding rules.