I. In order to form a correct judgment of the more subtle motions in our organism, and of the more invisible contremiscences, and in order to show where life really resides, let us consider the testimony of the greater undulations in our body. The origins of the lesser ones, and the beginnings of tremulations can be found only in undulations. The lungs, in the first place, are the fountain of a multitude of motions; here the external air is first received; the inflated Organ makes greater or smaller expansions and communicates its motions to everything in its connection, and these motions are undulations, which are nothing but a grosser degree of tremulation. The heart, also, has its own motion: wringing and twisting itself in and out, it propels the blood through the arteries into the veins, and thus, by its pressure, it effects the circulation throughout all those blood vessels and channels of which the body chiefly consists. While it is true that this rising, motion of the heart cannot properly be called an undulation, yet, so far as the circulation is a reflected movement, going and rebounding to and fro, even though by a circular course, it may still be named an undulatory or vibratory motion, like the motion of a horizontal pendulum, though here somewhat by a spiral. horizontal pendulum, though here somewhat by a spiral. The braise similarly possesses a reciprocal or undulatory motion, which accommodates itself to the wringing motions of the heart, or it may be that the latter moves in obedience to the undulation of the brain; moreover, it has been discovered in our own age that the medullas, both the oblongata and the spinalis, vibrate and respire and rise and fall as if in fermentation. If n hypotheses be allowed to mingle with anatomical experience, we may easily suppose that these undulations propel a fluid into the nerves (just as takes place with the blood in its more open and hollow vessels), and thus to the extremities or membranes; these membranes reciprocally returning the fluid through the nerves back to the meninges of the brain, over which expanses the tremulation flows in the first instance. The brain, therefore, is a fountain, whence flows a fluid ; through the nerves to the membranes, keeping the latter expanded and in proper condition. This, then, goes to show that nature is everywhere endeavoring to communicate life by means of a circulation, and especially by means of undulations, that is, by greater or lesser motions of tremulation.
As was said, nature, and consequently all that is living in us, is in the effort to proceed by help of tremulations. As a proof we may first adduce the testimony of what is visible. Consider speech, for instance: words are to be expressed and sound is to be communicated, by distinct articulation, to the hearing and understanding of another person;-this, then, is effected by little atmospheric vibrations which are formed between the folds of the tongue and by means of the air being strained or filtered among these folds, as also through other turnings and twistings, all of which make the tremulations distinct and articulate. If the sound of A is to be expressed, the palate and the whole formation of the mouth know at once how to open the way to let the sound flow forth in a different manner than if a B or another sound is to be produced; these being some of those twenty or more varieties of tremulation which,can be formed in our mouth. This is therefore a proof that tremulation produces everything of speech.
Tremulation, moreover, often shows itself throughout the whole nervous system, to such a degree that it is called tremor, shivering, convulsion; these are really nothing but coarse tremulatory motions in the whole nervous system, showing that the nervous body is disposed to permit the tremulation to play freely over its field, and that there is such a conjunctive comascation between all the parts that a tremullation is distributed over a who e system as soon as a sing e nerve is touched. It has been observed that this kind of tremulations shows itself when the membranes become empty of blood, or when something in the nerve becomes torpid, so that the fluid cannot play in proper freedom, or if a membrane or nerve is injured or loses its usual tension and becomes slack. Hence it is evident that a single tremulation may in a moment spread over entire systems,and thus over that whole part or body which is in a state of tension.
Tremulation is exhibited in a somewhat less degree in the periostea, and is often noticed as a delightful contremiscence beneath the pericranium, as it were; this is occasioned by some pleasantness which plays and titillates in the mind, producing an harmonic motion with such a decree of excitation that it makes itself felt even in the membranes of the external brain(see Pavlov's "irradiation"); the same, also, is often occasioned by a sudden feeling of astonishment which is mixed with a certain degree of fear, when one may consciously feel how the tremulation flows over certain membranes like a wave of cold water, and over the head like the most delicate undulations beneath the roots of the hair, which then often feel as though they were rising and standing on end; whence there is distributed over the whole body a tremor or passion often growing into a greater trembling. This sensible contremiscence must necessarily accompany the motion which is taking place within the dura mater itself, for the pericranium is known to be so joined with the interior meninges by little fibrils and tendons, that whatever takes place in the interior, must become sensible also in the exterior. Such a sensation, therefore, is often the alternate of a passion which proceeds by a tremulation, gradually increasing, distributing itself over the matres in the body, and consequently communicating itself to the nervous system and to the membranes of the periosteum.
The tremulation, in a still less degree, may be felt by a person who falls into a passion, no matter of what kind: (laughing, screaming, jogging, dancing) when the passion has cooled off, there follows a contremiscence in the whole nervous body; but if the mind is to be able to reflect properly upon this subject, it must not continue in the disturbed state which necessarily prevents the tremulation from becoming sensible, but it must fall into a state of tranquil thought, and then in each finger, and in each limb, there will be felt an internal tremulation over the whole body, as will be described more particularly toward the end of this treatise. All this, therefore, is a sensible proof that the tremulation endeavors to ultimate itself in the whole nervous system, or rather, in the whole body and it shows that nature must express itself by means of tremulation, as in the greatest things, so in the leasts.
2. Touching the geometry of tremulation, it is to be observed that there are various degrees of this motion, greater and smaller, just as in local motion there are degrees as to swiftness and slowness. Local motions can be so slow that the sense of sight cannot observe any changes as to distances, except through a long period of time; such motions, for instance, as those of the hands on a watch, which point out the hours, and measure days and months. It is the same with those local motions which the stars and planets are making before our eyes by their orbits in the universe; unless we calculate such motions by the help of time, our senses might imagine that these bodies had no motion whatever. Local motion may, on the other hand, be so subtle and swift that it vanishes from our sensation, as in the case of a bullet which travels through the air and traverses our sight so swiftly that we can make no observation of its course. And yet both the slow and the swift are local motions.
Our tremulatory motions possess similar degrees of swiftness. The most sensible and visible, which is the first degree, is undulation. This, as has been said before, is exhibited in the greater motions of our body, which are the motive springs of the minor motions which may be designated tremulations. All this may be compared to a great wheel governing a thousand minor wheels by which it effects the motion of the whole machinery. (Integrated electrochemical motions)
The same greatest degree of tremulation, which is named undulation when its swinging motion may be distinctly seen, can be observed in many other things: a ship's mast, resting on its keelson and with the other end in the air, will undulate from the least cause, seeking to regain its rest or balance, which was about to be lost by the weight or overbalancing of the top; if an elastic ball is thrown against the floor, it will rebound and make undulatory reflections up and down, these reflections gradually growing smaller and smaller, until finally, by increasing efforts, the ball returns to its own rest and balance; a pendulum, which is left to move freely in the wind, will also make a vibration or a horizontal undulation, and this motion is altogether of the same character as a tremulation, as will be described in what follows, for the better understanding of the nature of tremulation. If an element, such as water, comes into a state of undulation, it drives out waves and rings on all sides round about, and makes circular oscillations further and further from the center, presenting a visible tremulation, similar to the motion in the air which produces sound. The latter, as has been said, flows up and down, making smaller and smaller waves, until an equilibrium has been restored and an even quietude reestablished. From all this it may be seen, that the tremulatory motion, no less than local motion, possesses a greatest degree of slowness, and that it is this degree which is termed undulation.
The second degree of this motion commences at the boundary in which the undulation terminates. As soon as an undulation begins to become audible however coarse or dull be the sound then begins that swifter degree of undulatory motion which is properly termed tremulation, and which embraces all that sphere of vibrations (visible/audible spectrums) that is produced by sounds and chords. For it is the greater or lesser swiftness of the motion that causes the sound in the air to be heard, or makes the tremulation to reverberate in the air, communicating it to the tympanum and the other membranes; a less degree of swiftness produces the grosser and duller sounds, while a greater degree makes the finer sounds, until the swiftness vanishes in such a subtlety that the tremulatory motion again escapes the observation of the organ of hearing, just as the local motion finally escapes the organ of sight, as was said above. Within this degree of tremulation we must, therefore, include all sounds, from the deepest to the highest; by certain experiments it may be observed that at least one hundred and fifty vibrations in a second make the highest c in a piano, while thirty or forty vibrations produce the lowest c; certain tremulations, of the most slow or undulatory character, may even be noticed by the eye, like a mist around the string, but the finest tremulations of the string escape the eye and finally also the ear.
The third degree of tremulation begins, therefore, where the vocal or harmonic vibration ceases or vanishes from sight and hearing, and this degree should be termed contremiscence or sensation. Commencing when the vibration becomes more rapid than two hundred in the second, it may increase in swiftness until it reaches one or two thousand within the same time, when it is no longer to be followed by the sight or hearing; the other senses, therefore, such as taste, smell, and touch, must then assist in order to comprehend the sphere of this degree of tremulation and to apply it to our motive life-force, as shall be further developed in what follows.
3. Our conclusion is, therefore, that our whole living and moving nature endeavors to itself by means of tremulations. The greater of these motions keep all the grosser parts of the body in an even movement, as also in a state of tension and expansion for the reception of the minor motions; the latter, again, are in themselves new motive forces and the sources of the motions of the finer parts of the body, and of the most delicate degree of tremulations. This may be illustrated by a clockwork, in which a hundred different little wheels are set in motions by the motion of one greater wheel, or even by a single vibration of the pendulum. It is the same in our body, in which the lungs, the medullas, or the cerebrum all of which possess an undulatory motion act as the motive force for all the grosser corporeal parts, preparing the way for the harmonic flow of the finer tremulations. This shows, therefore, that the grosser motions of life consist in grosser tremulations, and that, imitating these, the finer motions consist in finer tremulations.