Nikola Tesla’s Thoughts On the Soul and Life After Death
Tesla’s reasoning are the thoughts of a practical man of science, who has not only conducted experiments, but deep mental consideration to the question of immortality. Tesla was destined by his parents at an early age to enter the clergy, but the inventive genius, inherited from his mother, took him into the realm of science. Most of his life was spent in deep meditation to the question of the soul and life after death. His conclusions on the subjects will most definitely not run parallel with most others, but are indeed food for thought.
Here are 6 quotes made by Nikola Tesla:
1. When a child is born, its sense organs are brought in contact with the outer world. The waves of sound, heat and light beat against its feeble body, its sensitive nerve fibres quiver, the muscles contract and relax in obedience—a gasp, a breath, and in this act a wonderful little engine, of structure, is hitched to the wheelwork or the universe. Left to itself the engine stops; it has no power to draw energy from Nature’s inexhaustible store.
“The little engine moves and works, changes size and shape, performs more and more varied operations, becomes sensitive to more and more different influences, and now there begins to manifest itself in it a mysterious force. It becomes capable of responding to stimuli of a more subtle nature and of drawing, for its own use, energy from the environment. Gradually the engine has been transformed into a being possessed of intelligence, which perceives, discerns, does like others of its kind.
“The experiences multiply, the knowledge increases, the discernment becomes keener, the human being responding to the faintest influences, is awakened to the consciousness of Nature and its grandeur, and in its breast there is kindled a desire to imitate Nature, to create, to work itself the wonders it perceives.
”But the exercise of this power does not satisfy the mind, which rises to still higher, undefinable perceptions, not of this world, and inspired by them the artist, the inventor and the man of science give expression to the longing of the soul.
(“Shows How Men Of The Future May Become As Gods.” NEW YORK HERALD . December 30, 1900.)
2. “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.)
3. “Since time immemorial the most profound thinkers have tried to lift the veil that hides the beyond. I have read thousands of volumes of literature and thought for years in the hope that I might get some kind of evidence to show that death is not the end. But all in vain. To me the universe is simply a marvelous mechanism, and the most complex forms of human life, as human beings, are nothing else but automatic engines, controlled by external influence. Through incessant observation I have so convinced myself of the truth of this that I cannot perform any act or even conceive a thought without locating at once the external stimulus that prompted it.
“A forceful argument in support of the existence of a creative agent is made of the law, order and harmony perceptible everywhere. But it must not be forgotten that Kant’s reasoning and conclusion in this respect are irrefutable. According to this philosopher, the conception of fitness has been created in the speculative mind of men, which thus admires a miracle wrought by itself.
“Granted a planetary system, it is absolutely inevitable that in the course of eons such organized beings as we are will evolve. The cooling of the hot masses results in a precipitation of water, and under the influence of the sun’s rays heliotropic action takes place and life is started. Through chemical and other agents and continuous adjustment complex mechanisms come into being, and these ultimately develop into structures of marvelous complexity with capacities of response to the faintest stimulae from the environment.
“When we realize this as a fact we begin to grasp the great idea of Buddha–that self is an illusion. Indeed, we are nothing but waves in space and time which when dissolved exist no more.
“There is this to be said, however, that science without hope is not satisfactory, and unless one has some ideals he cannot achieve happiness. The religious is the most lofty ideal, and it seems that the great reformers who, ages ago, laid down rules of conduct were right in their conclusions that a peaceful existence and a continued onward march of man on this globe is essentially dependent on the conception of a God.
“I have read Mr. Burbank’s statement in which he expresses an opinion shared by most natural philosophers, but one must not be too rash in contradicting the conclusions reached by countless men of genius who spent their lives in endeavors to ascertain the destiny of the human race. A single individual, however well informed and capable, may be partially unaware of if not utterly blind to evidences of a certain kind, which might be quite sufficient for others. This is the reason why I am distrustful of my own findings. Possibly Mr. Ford, who I understand is accepting old traditions, may be closer to the truth than such men as Burbank and myself.
“I have searched during many years for some process or means to test the possibility of future existence by scientific experiment, and I have devised one, which, to my great disappointment, has failed. But perhaps some more skillful experimenter might succeed if I suggest to him the course. To put it briefly, it is this:
“Our bodies are composed of molecules of various elements, harmoniously united. Do these molecules retain any after-effect when the body is dissolved? To ascertain this take, say, two molecules of hydrogen from the body of an individual and also one molecule of oxygen. Furthermore, provide another molecule of oxygen taken from some other body. Now place the two molecules of hydrogen so they can combine with the oxygen, and if they prefer that molecule of oxygen with which they were previously united, then reincarnation is proved. For, though it may take ages and ages, ultimately the molecules which constituted that body will get together again, just as in a vast city individuals from a distant land finally meet and establish close contact.”
(“After Death — WHAT?” Lima News, Lima, Ohio, March 14, 1926.)
4. “We are all automatons obeying external influences. We are entirely under the control of agents that beat on our senses from all directions of the outside world. Being merely receivers from the outside, it is a very important question how good the receivers are—some are sensitive and receive accurately. Others are sluggish and their reception is blurred. The individual who is a better machine has so much greater chance of achieving success and happiness. An individual who is an offender of law is a machine in which one or another organ has been deranged, so that the responses are no longer accurate.
“There is no chance in nature, although the modern theory of indeterminacy attempts to show scientifically that events are governed by chance. I positively deny that. The causes and effects, however complex, are intimately linked, and the result of all inferences must be inevitably fixed as by a mathematical formula.
“I also absolutely deny the existence of individuality. It took me not less than twenty years to develop a faculty to trace every thought or act of mine to an external influence. We are just waves in time and space, changing continuously, and the illusion of individuality is produced through the concatenation of the rapidly succeeding phases of existence. What we define as likeness is merely the result of the symmetrical arrangement of molecules which compose our body.”
“How about the soul – the spirit?” he was asked.
“Ah,” he exclaimed, “but there is no soul or spirit. These are merely expressions of the functions of the body. These life functions cease with death and so do soul and spirit.
“What humanity needs is ideals. Idealism is the force that will free us from material fetters.”
(“Tesla Seeks to Send Power to Planets.” New York Times, July 11, 1931.)
5. “One of the most fundamental and also one of the saddest facts in human life is well brought out in a French proverb which, freely translated, means:
‘If Youth had the knowledge and Old Age the strength of doing.’
Our condition of body and mind in old age is merely a certificate of how we have spent our youth. The secret of my own strength and vitality today is that in my youth I led what you might call a virtuous life.
“I have never dissipated. When I was a young man I understood well the significance of that old French proverb, although I doubt that I had even heard it then. But I seemed to have a clear understanding while still young that I must control my passions and appetites if I wanted to make some of my dreams come true.
(“Tremendous New Power Soon To Be Released.” By Carol Bird. Charleston Daily Mail, Charleston, West Virginia, Page 40. September 10, 1933.)
6. “To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine. Nothing enters our minds or determines our actions which is not directly or indirectly a response to stimuli beating upon our sense organs from without. Owing to the similarity of our construction and the sameness of our environment, we respond in like manner to similar stimuli, and from the concordance of our reactions, understanding is barn. In the course of ages, mechanisms of infinite complexity are developed, but what we call “soul ” or “spirit,” is nothing more than the sum of the functionings of the body. When this functioning ceases, the “soul” or the “spirit” ceases likewise.“
(“A Machine to End War.” Liberty Magazine, February 9, 1935.)