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Blavatsky Net - Theosophy

This site focuses on Madame Blavatsky and her teaching - Theosophy. It features an introduction to Theosophy, study aids, research tools, original text, supporting evidence, membership, and visitor interaction.

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Cosmological Constant - were Einstein and Blavatsky right?

Early this century Einstein proposed a force like gravity but repulsive rather than attractive. He coined the term "cosmological constant" as the name for this factor where it appeared in his equations. Subsequently he recanted and called his proposal of the cosmological constant the biggest blunder he had ever made. Earlier, in 1888, Madame Blavatsky had written in the Secret Doctrine (a book read by Einstein) about the definite existence of a repulsive aspect of "gravity".

To be more specific, she said we entirely misunderstood gravity and when we do come to understand gravity our conception of it will be more like that of magnetism (which has attraction and repulsion naturally as part of its dual nature).

This causes students of theosophy to become alert each time the cosmological constant is revived for consideration by science. And now the Tuesday Science section in the April 21, 1998 New York Times reports a seemingly very strong indication that a cosmological constant is indeed correct.

The Times reports:

Finally, the two teams believe that they are closing in on the answer. Recent observations by D. Perlmutter's team and another one, led by Dr. Brian Schmidt of the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatiory in Australia, have awakened astronomers to the prospect of a cosmic surprise. The whiff of success has intensified their sense of the challenge and excitment of being on the verge of a potentially transforming discovery. Each stride forward by one group quickens the pace of the other.

Preliminary measurements strongly suggest that there must be less - and perhaps more - to the universe than previously imagined by cosmologists: That is less mass in ordinary or exotic matter, which could mean the universe will expand forerver. And perhaps more of something else, some mysterious force that seems to be speeding up the universe's expansion, contrary to expectations.

"This has our minds swimming," said Dr. Richard A. Muller, an astrophysicist at the University of California at Berkeley, who is not a member of either team. "This is one of the top astronomy discoveries of the century, certainly of the decade. It's worthy of a Nobel Prize." ...

Even more important, the announcement forced cosmologists to reconsider ideas once considered unthinkable. Perhaps, after all, there is another force, in addition to gravity, playing a dominant role in the universe's expansion. This could be a pervasive repulsive force, known as the cosmological constant, that presumably is a quantum phenomen of enery in empty space.

Also the Times notes:

Some scientists looking on raise a note of caution, saying the astronomers have not eliminated all possibilities for erors in the data and these could be yielding misleading results.

We should observe, though, that the validity of the findings is strengthened by the earnest but still friendly competition between two different research teams each finding the same results.

Basically, they have confirmed our results," Dr. Goldhaber, said, referring to the accelerating-expansion findings. "They only had 14 supernovas, and we had 40. But they won the first point in the publicity game."

Now here is the way Blavatsky puts it in her masterwork, The Secret Doctrine, Vol I:

The challenge:

Astronomers who see in gravitation an easy-going solution for many things, and an Universal force which allows them to calculate thereby planetary motions, care little about the Cause of Attraction. They call Gravity a law, a cause in itself. We call the forces acting under that name effects, and very secondary effects, too. One day it will be found that the scientific hypothesis does not answer after all; and then it will follow the corpuscular theory of light and be consigned to rest for many scientific aeons in the archives of all exploded speculations. p. 490.

Blavatsky observes that, in general, forces are the manifestation on this plane, of intelligent Individualities on a metaphysical plane - a proposition of course quite beyond science of today. She says:

When an Occultist speaks of Fohat - the energising and guiding intelligence in the Universal Electric or Vital Fluid, - he is laughed at. Whithal, as now shown, neither the nature of electricity, nor of Life nor even of Light, are to this day understood. The occultist sees in the manifestation of every force in Nature, the action of the quality, or the special characteristic of its noumenon; which noumenon is a distinct and intelligent Individuality on the other side of the manifested mechancal Universe. p 493.

Blavatsky asserts that electromagnetic effects are much more significant than science claims in explaining the cosmos. (Electromagnetic forces are clearly of both a positive and negative kind - two electrons repel each other while an electron and a proton attract each other.) We can see this in her references to Fohat in the early pages of The Secret Doctrine, a principle that she sometimes refers to as cosmic electricity.

And her final statement:

But Kepler gave a pretty fair description of cosmic magnetism. That such magnetism exists in nature, is as certain as that gravitation does not; not at any rate, in the way in which it is taught by Science, which never took into consideration the different modes in which the dual Force - that Occultism calls attraction and repulsion - may act within our solar system, the earth's atmosphere, and beyond in the Kosmos. p 49l7.

William Q. Judge in 1893 wrote in The Ocean of Theosophy,

Levitation of the body in apparent defiance of gravitation is a thing to be done with ease when the process is completely mastered. It contravenes no law. Gravitation is only half of a law. The Oriental sage admits gravity, if one wishes to adopt that term; but the real term is attraction, the other half of the law being expressed by the word repulsion, and both being governed by the great laws of electrical force. Weight and stability depend on polarity, and when the polarity of an object is altered in respect to the earth immediately underneath it, then the object may rise. ... (page 136-7)

So this latest "Nobel Prize" data on the cosmological constant is no surprise to a Theosophist. Science appears headed in the right direction but there is a long way still to go - with perhaps a few more reversals - before reaching the full views that Blavatsky expressed above.

Reed Carson 4/30/98

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