“Of all the endless variety of phenomena which nature presents to our senses, there is none that fills our minds with greater wonder than that inconceivably complex movement which, in its entirety, we designate as human life; Its mysterious origin is veiled in the forever impenetrable mist of the past, its character is rendered incomprehensible by its infinite intricacy, and its destination is hidden in the unfathomable depths of the future. Whence does it come? What is it? Whither does it tend? are the great questions which the sages of all times have endeavored to answer.
“Modern science says: The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future. From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom. Lord Kelvin, in his profound meditations, allows us only a short span of life, something like six million years, after which time the suns bright light will have ceased to shine, and its life giving heat will have ebbed away, and our own earth will be a lump of ice, hurrying on through the eternal night. But do not let us despair. There will still be left upon it a glimmering spark of life, and there will be a chance to kindle a new fire on some distant star. This wonderful possibility seems, indeed, to exist, judging from Professor Dewar’s beautiful experiments with liquid air, which show that germs of organic life are not destroyed by cold, no matter how intense; consequently they may be transmitted through the interstellar space. Meanwhile the cheering lights of science and art, ever increasing in intensity, illuminate our path, and marvels they disclose, and the enjoyments they offer, make us measurably forgetful of the gloomy future.
“Though we may never be able to comprehend human life, we know certainly that it is a movement, of whatever nature it be. The existence of movement unavoidably implies a body which is being moved and a force which is moving it. Hence, wherever there is life, there is a mass moved by a force. All mass possesses inertia, all force tends to persist.Owing to this universal property and condition, a body, be it at rest or in motion, tends to remain in the same state, and a force, manifesting itself anywhere and through whatever cause, produces an equivalent opposing force, and as an absolute necessity of this it follows that every movement in nature must be rhythmical. Long ago this simple truth was clearly pointed out by Herbert Spencer, who arrived at it through a somewhat different process of reasoning. It is borne out in everything we perceive—in the movement of a planet, in the surging and ebbing of the tide, in the reverberations of the air, the swinging of a pendulum, the oscillations of an electric current, and in the infinitely varied phenomena of organic life. Does not the whole of human life attest to it? Birth, growth, old age, and death of an individual, family, race, or nation, what is it all but a rhythm? All life-manifestation, then, even in its most intricate form, as exemplified in man, however involved and inscrutable, is only a movement, to which the same general laws of movement which govern throughout the physical universe must be applicable.”
“The Problem of Increasing Human Energy.”Century Illustrated Magazine, June, 1900.
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“That an aggregation of impressions, thoughts and feelings having no materiality, and vaguely designated as mind, or soul, should be substance susceptible of quantitative determination is altogether too absurd for discussion.
“The change however, which takes place in the human body during its awful transition from life to death is a great subject for scientific investigation which may possibly lead to important results. If the experiments of Massachusetts physicians are to be at all seriously considered, it is only in this respect.
“I could not help being struck by the fact that men of a scientific caliber sufficiently large to undertake measurements requiring the greatest delicacy and skill, should not be correspondingly resourceful in devising the apparatus for the purpose. A scale responding to the weight of one tenth of an ounce is not a fit instrument for weighing the human soul.
“It is not less astonishing that such trained observer should have overlooked a trivial cause responsible for the seeming lightening of the body. I use this term designedly, for accepting the exudations which have been taken into consideration there was no loss of substance in death.
“When the rigor mortis sets in there is an increase of volume for various reasons. Just to give a rough idea I shall assume that the living body, weighing a hundred and sixty pounds, had filled a space of three cubic feet. The air in a sick room may weigh about fourteen ounces per cubic feet. Half an ounce of the air would consequently occupy a space of sixty-two cubic inches, and that would be only one percent of the original volume of three cubic feet. As will readily be seen, a very slight general deformation of the body, scarcely perceptible, is adequate to explain the puzzling observation. The sudden tipping of the scale demonstrates nothing except the coarseness of the instrument. Had the balance been very sensitive, owing to the resistance of the air, the platform would have ascended slowly.“
“Scientists Doubt The Human Soul Was Weighed.” New York World, March 17, 1907.
“There is no one who does not speculate about the questions of his existence, asking whence he comes, whither he is going and what in reality he is. Soul and matter and their relations have eternal interest for human beings. On the other side, there is always the desire to comprehend the marvelous manifestations of nature in all its phases.”
“Tesla’s Visit to Chicago.” Western Electrician, May 20, 1899.