It seemed confirmed that aether, Radiant Energy, was indeed possessed of strange responses to external action. It actually interacted with receivers of its penetrating force. If allowed to strike distant targets for example, a strange transformation in the otherwise straight path lines could take place. Beams would become tightly constricted at the target, self-focussing themselves into the material. But subsequent movements in targeted matter would cause deflections and undulations in the otherwise straight beam. The influence of the recipient, of the target, could very often work its way back to the source and force a deflection! Aether beams were thus extremely sensitive, and could “track” a target (see figure).
Despite every twist or turn, once an aether beam had constricted into a material target, there was no escaping it. These dynamics were later viewed in a series of celebrated illustrations which Tesla directed and approved. One sees flying craft and ocean vessels drawing power from the one of the World Broadcast Stations, the bright beam “tracking” each target and supplying it with motive power. In this, it was evident that aether streams were ruled by pressure principles, and responded to pressure changes instantaneously. But pressures in what atmosphere?
Additionally, while it was possible for Tesla to direct such beams of aether in any direction, these were not the most powerful manifestations of aether flow in the environment. Tesla had indeed found certain very defined natural aetheric drifts, angles along which aether streams seemed to last much, much longer than usual. It was as if some additional power had been added to the beamrays which he launched. He observed the times required for these artificial aether currents to gradually fade out. Though initially strong when launched, their effects did fade eventually. Regardless of their remarkable continuance, a persistence due to aetheric pliancy and momentum, aether currents anywhere directed did not continue forever. They evidenced a diminution, and this suggested an interfering source. Where was it?
Tesla now perceived a much larger vista. He comprehended the successful operation of his first Transformers in the absence of formal ground connections. In these modes, Impulse Transformers were shunting space sourced aether from aerial routes through aerial routes. These modes exchanged aether streams largely in a horizontal plane. This now was not viewed by Tesla as the most powerful embodiment of the system. Complete efficiency, maximum power, was obtained only in connection with the ground. This arrangement placed the apparatus in conformance with natural processes, vast systems whose dominating activities demanded technological conformity. Tesla had discovered a system which had to be geophysical in order to be efficient, a revolutionary concept for the day. This notion hailed back to archane knowledge which placed technology in subservience to natural process. Unlike the mechanistic science which began with the Eighteenth Century, and which challenged Natural Order with a supposed autonomous technology, Tesla had stumbled onto a great and forgotten truth. Here was a technology which could tap a virtually eternal natural process.
Many other aetheric drifts were measured. Shifting and wandering, these could be measured with changes in seasons and weather patterns. Tesla perceived that whorls, eddies, and laminar flow lines revealed a dynamic aether. This was a theme not widely discussed since Descartes drew his conceptual maps of aetheric whirlpools in space. Here then was not a simple and “homogeneous continuum”, as Victorian Science believed, whose streams smoothly and effortlessly flowed through the terrestrial environment. Tesla discovered the detail which these theories lacked, through the empirical method which so often corrects and finalizes our knowledge. In this quest, he was indebted to his senses, an absolute reliance on the Qualitative Method which affirmed the greater sensitivity of human perceptions. Tesla placed first emphasis always on the inestimable value of perception and the humanly valuable knowledge which it so often brought.
He again recalled the light from his vacuum bulbs and their strong resemblance to natural sunlight. The mere light from these lamps was filled with a component which produced strong pressure effects and additionally, could charge capacitors. So complete were the electrostatic states of capacitors charged in this manner that mica dielectrics often ruptured under the strain. Tesla knew that aetheric particles, his “Radiant Energy”, were being expelled from his single terminal lamps. This produced the pressures felt on the face when exposed to the brilliant light. Entering the metallic layers of the capacitor, these aether particles were manufacturing electrons. This what brought about the electrostatic strain capable of rupturing the dielectrics. There was no electricity in the aether stream per se, the electricity appeared when resisted by appropriate elements. Metals, the good electroconductors, were obviously some of these elements.
But sunshine had these attributes as well. Sunlight contained an aetheric component, previously described by researchers such as Baron Karl von Reichenbach, Gustav Le Bon, and George S. White. Metals in sunlight evidenced absorptions in varieties of response to aetheric penetrations. Dr. Le Bon spoke of his experiments with metals which had been exposed to fo-cussed sunlight, experiments which produced radio activities far in excess of those produced by radium itself. Indeed, there had been those cases where roofing copper, after years of exposure to intense sunlight and natural process, became quite radioactive (Lehr). Exposure to sunlight aether produced bombardments capable of transmuting elements. Additionally, exposure to sunlight produced the same pressure effects as observed in his aether-pulsed vacuum lamps. One often sensed that some energetic component was actually completely penetrating the skin. On the skin surface, academes measured “infrared” and “ultraviolet”, the manufactured products of aether streams passing through bio-organic matter.
When Tesla began publishing his thoughts on aetheric particles from space, what he first termed “cosmic rays”, the academic derision was unbridled and caustic. One of the chief voices in this assault on Tesla was one young Robert Millikan, who had apparently learned that art of “creative skeptical mockery” to gain favor from his mentors. In later years when academic doldrums required some new creative turn, Dr. Millikan now claimed credit for having discovered “cosmic rays”. Had he bothered to read the articles which Tesla had written, and against which he had so very much to say, Millikan would not have been satisfied with his own so-called discoveries. Tesla stated that true cosmic rays were like Radiant Energy, not at all the heavy ions, and gamma rays which Millikan was detecting. In speaking of the prodigious quantities of aether forcibly expelled by the sun and stars, academes of his day thought him quite mad.
- PROLOGUE — Symbols and Models
- CHAPTER 2