C. Jinarajadasa (1875-1953)
(From: “Occult Investigations,” by C. Jinarajadasa, published in 1938).
Occult Chemistry in 1895
One work of research made by Dr. Besant and Bishop Leadbeater is outstanding. It is the research into the nature of the atom. We know that not even the most powerful ultra-microscope can actually show the structure of the atom. All the theories about the atom are built upon photographic records on the sensitized plate, as the atom is driven hither and thither, or broken up by powerful currents of electricity or magnetism. But no scientist dreams that it is possible ever to see the atom in puris naturalibus. How is such a thing possible? Curiously enough, there has always been a tradition in Indian occultism that it is possible by Yoga to develop a power which is described as making oneself infinitesimally small or as large as the earth.
The rationale of this is fairly clear. Our conception of size depends upon our conception of ourselves. I who am 5 ft. 3½ inches naturally consider a man who is 6 ft. as very tall, while one who is six feet would think of another who is 6 feet 4 inches as only slightly taller than himself. Similarly, we say that we put a book down on the table, but a cat will say that he has to jump up on to the table. Similarly, too, is it with regard to size. It is our standard of measure which gives us our scale of long or short, large or small, light or heavy. Now, one of the faculties developed by Yoga is to make oneself so infinitesimally small as the observer that by comparison to him the atom is large. This is the technique of magnification which is adopted in clairvoyance. The object itself is not magnified, but the observer is minimized.
The first investigations into Occult Chemistry were at the
time when there was much talk in the London papers about the discovery of Argon by Lord Rayleigh and Professor
Ramsay. There was also at the time much speculation about the gas Helium, which was known to exist in the Sun,
but whose presence had not then been detected on the earth.
Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen
Our occult investigators looked into the atmosphere round them and saw various objects by their clairvoyant magnification. Naturally these objects bore no labels, and therefore could not be declared as Oxygen, Hydrogen or Nitrogen. But a very active element was noted, which answered to the chemical descriptions of Oxygen. Then by counting the units of which Oxygen was composed, two other elements, Hydrogen and Nitrogen, were located by counting their units, taking Hydrogen as the unit of weight. Each atom was in very rapid movement, and before it could be examined, its movement had to be slowed down by the exercise of will power. Then a diagram in two dimensions was made of it.
U.P.A. -- the “Ultimate Physical Atom”
This investigation involved also the examination of the ultimate indivisible particle, which was then found not to be the chemical atom but something smaller still. Our investigators saw that the ultimate unit, which they called “ultimate physical atom” was a very complex object, not made up of “matter” at all, but composed of a series of forces in a very intricate spiral formation.
The moment they saw this, they were reminded of a drawing of the atom which appeared in the work, The Principles of Light and Color by E. D. Babbitt in 1878. I was once informed that this work was the result of spiritualistic communications. If so, it is the first time that a discarnate entity has done something “worth while” with regard to science. A picture of the ultimate physical atom is given, but Babbitt says that it has only three orders of spirals, whereas our investigators noted seven orders of spirals. There is, however, one radical mistake in Babbitt, and that is when he makes the atoms go one into the other, touching head to tail. According to Chemistry no two atoms can ever really touch, and the distance between any two atoms is considerable, compared to their size. This was found to be perfectly correct on clairvoyant examination. Furthermore our investigators saw two variants of the atoms, a positive and a negative; each was the looking-glass image of the other, with their spirals in reverse direction. Babbitt has no idea of this dual nature of the atom. He makes one end of his atom negative and the other positive. Babbitt' s atom was also too elongated.
After the three gases, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen, were examined, the next work was to find out how they came to be constructed out of the ultimate physical atoms. This was done by pushing each gas into a higher state, when it was found that the gas disintegrated into smaller units, and then pushing it still higher and higher till the units were no longer divisible. The last unit is the “ultimate physical atom”, lately christened “Anu”, the Sanskrit word for the smallest particle of matter. Dr. Besant wrote the description of the work done, and published her article with a diagram in Lucifer, November 1895.
Elements No. 2 and No. 3
I have mentioned that there was much talk at the time about Helium. The atomic weight of Helium had not then been determined. Our investigators saw a very light gas in the air, and a drawing was made of it, but it was not incorporated into the article by Dr. Besant on Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen, as the investigators were not quite certain if it was Helium. The diagram, however, which I drew at the time bears the label “Helium.” Later, when the investigations were resumed in 1907, the weight of Helium had been ascertained by chemists; this unusual gas, whose weight is 3, is a different element. It is curious that this element has not yet been discovered by chemists. When the articles on the second series of investigations were published, I christened the element “Occultum”, as two occultists were its discoverers. Similarly, in 1934, there was found in the stratosphere an element with weight 2. As the work was done at Adyar, I christened it “Adyarium”, and published its diagram.18 (18. The Theosophist, December 1932.)
Occult Chemistry in 1907
It is with the second series of investigations into Occult Chemistry that I was closely identified, for I was a kind of “general manager” to arrange the work. In 1907, a party consisting of Mrs. Ursula M. Bright and Miss Esther Bright, Mrs. A Van Hook and Hubert Van Hook rented rooms in a house at Weisser Hirsch, near Dresden for the summer. The plan was that Dr. Besant, Bishop Leadbeater and I should join the party. When the party was complete, every afternoon when the weather was fine our two investigators and their assistants went off into the woods with rugs and cushions. The two investigated, while the others listened or read. It was then that the lives of Arcor and Bee were investigated.
But the most important investigation was to continue the work begun in 1895. We had for our guidance the general conception of the Periodic Law, which Crookes had formulated in his pendulum diagram. Crookes was known to the investigators, as he was a member of the “senior inner group” of the London Lodge of the Society. His diagram gave a clear idea of the theory propounded by him of the formation of the chemical elements from an original substance which he termed protyle. Crookes propounded a rhythmical and periodical manner of formation which, to him, explained the various mysteries involved in valency and in dia- and para-magnetism, and also the positivity and negativity of the elements.
Several of the elements in the table of elements like Iron, Sulphur, Carbon, are readily procurable, but there are others which are very rare, or not easily found except in laboratories. Such, for instance, is Sodium, which, with the combination of Chlorine, makes the particle of salt, but pure Sodium is only kept in laboratories. More difficult to obtain was Scandium, and a request was sent to Crookes for this. It was, however, soon found that it was not necessary to have an element in its pure condition. Provided an element was found as a component in a chemical compound, it was possible, by dissociating the bonds which held its radicals in combination with the radicals of other elements, to make its radicals unite again to re-become the element by itself alone.
Even then, however, there were certain elements which existed in compounds which were only in rare minerals. My part of the work then was to note where the elements were to be found in compounds, and to locate these latter in various minerals in the Dresden Museum. I made a preliminary expedition with lists and located in what cases were the minerals. Then in a second expedition, Bishop Leadbeater came to the Museum and looked at the minerals, and got a fair idea of what the element which was being hunted was like.
Bishop Leadbeater's Contribution
This work of investigation of the elements was done in two departments, and here the differing temperaments of the two investigators came into play. Bishop Leadbeater was extremely scientific and meticulous in observation. He never ventured to form any kind of a hypothesis unless he had examined many instances of one kind, so that on the whole there was probably little liability to error. As an instance of his care in observation, he wrote to Dr. Besant with reference to his striking article on “The Aether of Space”, where he described the Anu or the “ultimate physical atom”:
"Yes, I counted all those 1680 turns in the wire of the atom, not once, but
many times. I tried altogether 135 different specimens, taken from all sorts of substances, organic and
inorganic, because I wanted to be reasonably sure that there were no variations. It was a wearisome task, but it
had to be done."
Dr. Besant's Contribution
But Dr. Besant was very impatient of this detailed cataloguing work. Knowing that she could rely upon him to attend to that department of the work, she concentrated on splitting up the elements into their component parts upon the etheric, super-etheric and sub-atomic planes. Not only did she do this, but she mapped out the flow of forces within each sub-group. I have greatly regretted that, at the beginning of this work, none of us realized what it would later develop into, and that I did not then have blank diagrams ready, of a sphere, so that Dr. Besant could map the force as it moved in three dimensions. But, there was little time to organize details of work; the party was to disperse after three weeks, and both the investigators had much other work to do. Her diagrams are drawn on a plane, so that when now we desire to understand in detail whether the forces flowed above the plane of the paper or below, we are left in the dark.
Day after day, each afternoon the party moved out to the forest and there the investigations were done. Fortunately, the weather was mostly fine. Dr. Besant's drawings in pencil are still at Adyar, mounted in a special book. So, too, are what Bishop Leadbeater drew of the elements, with all relevant correspondence.
Since each element seemed to follow a certain geometrical construction according to the system of the Platonic solids, it was not necessary to draw every part of it. The drawing of the centre and of one “funnel” or “spike” was quite enough; we could tell from its place in the Periodic Law, and by noting the number of funnels, that it belonged to such and such a family, and so built in a particular way.
When Bishop Leadbeater drew the centre and the funnel or spike, and said how many of each of these latter composed the element, he passed the diagram to me, and I did the necessary arithmetic and labelled the element.
C. Jinarajadasa as Draftsman
After the preliminary drawing of each element by Bishop Leadbeater, my second task began, which was to draw the final diagram. Day by day, and sometimes in the evenings, I worked at the diagrams, mapping them out as clearly as possible. I had had no experience in geometrical drawing, but managed somehow to make fairly decent drawings, which Dr. Besant used when she published the articles in The Theosophist , Jan.-Dec. 1908.
I recall one interesting incident. If anyone will look at the diagram of the inert gases Helium, Neon and Argon in the book, he will note that Neon is placed unusually in the diagram, squeezed in a curious way. What happened was that only one variety of Neon was found, curious way. What happened was that only one variety of Neon was found, while two varieties were discovered of Argon, Krypton, Xenon, and “Kalon.” So I drew the diagram, labelling as Neon what is marked in the diagram as Meta-Neon. But after the diagram was finished, the true Neon was discovered. There was no time to draw another diagram and place the meta variety by its side, as done with Argon. So, as the new Neon diagram was small, I squeezed it into the completed diagram, and changed the old label Neon to Meta-Neon.
The mapping out of each new element was always an exciting adventure to me, because of the manner in which the conception of the operation of the Third Logos developed in my mind. It was like the watching by a horticulturist of the opening of some exquisite new flower from the bud, with all the revelation of beauty which it contained.
The investigations at Weisser Hirsch were published by Dr. Besant on her return to India. The drawings of the elements were those which I did, but she found some draftsman in Madras to draw in black and white from her pencilled drawings of the disintegrations. I had by then left for U.S.A. and so could not look at the proofs before the publication in The Theosophist. Several errors, therefore, appeared which could have been avoided with closer supervision than Dr. Besant could give at the time. 56 elements and 6 isotopes were described. A novel idea which develops from an examination of the diagrams of bivalent, trivalent and tetravalent elements is that each valency is a duad of two half-valencies. Hydrogen can split up its valency into two halves, and even into six of one sixth each.
While the articles were appearing, there was much talk about Radium. It was stated that Radium could be found in pitchblende. I procured that and some other minerals and sent them to Bishop Leadbeater, who by that time had come to reside again at Adyar. He had, however, seen the Radium atom before my material reached him. He sent me its diagram, and I drew it for illustration, as before I had done the others, and sent it to Dr. Besant.
Occult Chemistry in 1909
In The Theosophist for July 1909, is a long article of 14 pages, describing the additional work done on Occult Chemistry. Twenty-six more elements are described, and the type and weight of each is given.
It is a pity that when the second edition of Occult Chemistry was issued, under the editorship of Mr. A. P. Sinnett in 1919, that this material of July 1909 was not incorporated. I was astonished that Dr. Besant gave Mr. Sinnett, who practically knew nothing of the work done, the preparation of the second edition. As a matter of fact, except for an introductory chapter by Mr. Sinnett, of little value, nothing was added to the book to bring it up to date, nor to correct the typographical errors. On my enquiring, Dr. Besant said that Mr. Sinnett, who for a considerable time had had a grievance against her and her management of the Society, had changed and become more friendly, and she desired, therefore, to give him this work to please him, though she knew he was not very competent, as his knowledge was so slight on the details of Occult Chemistry.
Isotopes discovered in 1907
One noteworthy fact recorded in these investigations was the existence of isotopes. It was in 1913 that isotopes were discovered by chemists, and before that there was no thought whatsoever that such duplicates of an element ever existed. But already, in 1907, isotopes were recorded, and diagrams given, of the isotopes of the inert gases, argon, neon, xenon, and krypton. It was at this time that another inert gas, heavier than krypton, was noted, and I christened it “kalon”, “the beautiful”, and also drew its isotope. This gas, however, has not yet been discovered. An isotope of Platinum was described; it is probably what was discovered in Canada a few years ago, and labelled Canadium. But it had not yet been officially recognized.
In April 1908, again Bishop Leadbeater noted the possibility of isotopes, for writing to Dr. Besant, he said, “It is quite possible that, this [Radium] being a heavy element, there may be two or three forms of it differing only by a few atoms in each spike or funnel.” He also sensed the possibility, which has later become one of the accepted facts, that the speed of a particle may change its mass. For in the same letter he writes, “As to the matter of atomic weight, it occurs to me that that may not always depend entirely on the number of ultimate atoms. May it not conceivably be affected by their arrangement and the direction and rapidity of their motion? I do not know enough of mechanics to be sure about this; but it seems to me that two atoms revolving round a common centre of gravity, something like the two balls in the ` governor' of a machine, might exert a pull at right angles to their motion against ordinary gravity which would mean a diminution of weight. Besides, we do not yet know that positive and negative atoms are exactly equal in weight.” Today the mass of the proton is known to be far greater than that of the electron. In the investigations of 1909, two isotopes, one of Mercury which is solid, and another of Illinium, were mentioned, and their diagrams filed. Illinium has not yet been officially adopted-- it is not in the Atomic Weights Commission' s list of 1937-- but in 1909 both it and an isotope of it, as also Actinium then not known, were drawn and filed.
A Fourth Inter-Periodic Group
One interesting series of three elements is a fourth inter-periodic group. According to Mendeléeff's arrangement of the Periodic Law, there are three groups of inter-periodics, (1) Iron, Cobalt, Nickel; (2) Ruthenium, Rhodium, Palladium; (3) Osmium, Iridium, Platinum. As one looks at the arrangement of the Periodic Law, there is a gap where properly speaking another inter-periodic group should exist, between the 2nd and 3rd groups mentioned above. It is strange that this discrepancy in the Periodic Law has not been noted and emphasized. But such omissions of observation happen now and then, even among the most careful observers in scientific investigations. We know that, as a matter of fact, even as long ago as 1785, Cavendish had noted a residuary gas in Nitrogen. He recorded the details of his experiments and concluded that the residuum was something other than Nitrogen. Subsequent investigators knew that Nitrogen from the air was heavier than Nitrogen liberated from compounds; but nobody particularly thought it worth while to follow up the matter till 1894, when Lord Raleigh and Professor Ramsay took it up. Then it was found that the heavy residuum was not Nitrogen but a new gas, Argon.
In the same kind of way, one of these days when the curious gap in the Periodic Law is recognized, possibly a special hunt will be made for the new interperiodic group. The difficulty lies in that they come among the “rare earths” of which there is so little to be obtained for experimental purposes.
C. Jinarajadasa's Forecast
However, when I had completed the diagrams for the three inter-periodic
groups, (1) Iron, Cobalt, Nickel; (2) Ruthenium, Rhodium, Palladium, and (3) Osmium, Iridium, Platinum, it
occurred to me by a close study of the diagrams that surely another inter-periodic group of three elements must
exist between the second and third groups. I worked out a theory of their construction, and sent my theoretical
diagrams, with weights according to my calculations, calling the elements X, Y, Z. My calculations were:
I stated then that probably they came among the rare earths. In the rare earth material which I sent from U.S.A., Bishop Leadbeater did find the three new inter-periodics.
What was interesting was that the diagrams which I suggested were nearly
accurate, and my inaccuracies were due to the fact that whenever the human mind conceives, the Mind of the Third
Logos has something more ingenious still. Out of the three weights which I suggested, the last was accurate, so
that while I suggested that the number of ultimate physical atoms in the three were 2590,2618 and 2646, they
were in reality 2646, 2674 and 2702.
99 Elements, not 92
As mentioned above, these three inter-periodics have yet to be discovered, but when they are found, the rhythmic periodicity of the law will be complete. On the other hand, these three elements, with Adyarium, Occultum, Canadium (which is really not an isotope of platinum but a new metal), and Kalon necessitate a new formulation of Moseley's law of atomic numbers. There are 99 elements, not counting isotopes, according to Occult Chemistry. Chemistry is positive that there can be only 92.
C. Jinarajadasa's model
In Crookes' lecture at the Royal Institution in 1887, he presented a model of the Periodic Law with two lemniscates slowly descending. It occurred to me to construct a new model with four lemniscates. I made this model, which was a large one, and for several years it was in my office, and for a while in the Adyar Library. It gave far more beautifully than the model of Crookes the idea of the Periodic Law. But very few seemed to be interested in it, and as the model was in the way, I have taken it to pieces and put it away in a box-room to await more propitious days.
Discovery at a Distance
Another interesting fact is that Bishop Leadbeater soon found that it was not necessary for him to have an element before him for investigation, provided he knew where that element was to be located. Thus, for instance, in connection with the investigations at Adyar in 1933, one element hunted for was Masurium. It seemed likely that this new element might be found among Rubidium salts, but I had no Rubidium salts, and at the moment of investigation I could not procure any in Madras, not even in the laboratory of the chief College in Madras. It was therefore necessary to look for it elsewhere. I had with me several chemicals procured from Hilger & Co. Their address was on the samples, in Rochester Place, Camden Road, London. Bishop Leadbeater could find this street easily, and from Adyar he located the laboratories of Hilger & Co. He then saw where all the chemicals were stored in bottles on shelves. The next thing was to find out where were the bottles containing Rubidium salts, and for this he had to tap the mind of one of the assistants who was working among the bottles; he then located the salts, but Masurium was not among them. He promised to take up the investigation at night during sleep, and to see if he could locate Masurium among the chemicals at the Dresden Museum, which he had visited in 1907.
However, I went at once to the Library of the Madras University and searched in various volumes, and finally found a volume of Chemical Abstract, which referred to the original German paper which recorded the first investigation into Masurium. Fortunately the Library had the German paper also, and there I found that Masurium was discovered in certain oxides. These oxides were among the rare earths which I had procured from Hilger & Co.
Another instance of the way that an examination could be carried on at a distance was in the case of the Radium emanations. Of course we had no Radium at Adyar, but we knew that some was kept in Madras Hospital. Bishop Leadbeater did not feel up to the task of wandering about the various corridors of the Hospital to go to the place where Radium was kept, nor as a matter of fact was it necessary, provided I went. I procured the necessary introduction, and saw the needles of Radium in the lead cabinet. When I got back, the picture in my mind of the room and the cabinet was sufficient, and he then watched the Radium emanations. For various causes, this particular investigation into Radium went no further.
Occult Chemistry in 1919
As I have noted above, the Occult Chemistry investigators to the end of 1909 had examined 86 elements. Soon after this period, both the investigators became absorbed in many duties, and I myself was not with them, as my work was then in the United States. I was with them again at the end of 1911, but that was the time when there was much anxiety concerning the welfare of Krishnamurti and his brother, owing to the hostile attitude of their father. Furthermore, in February 1912, Dr. Besant put the two boys in my charge, and I was away in England with them till the end of 1913, when again I returned to India. At this time Dr. Besant became absorbed in her political work, and two months after I took up residence in Adyar, Bishop Leadbeater left for Java and Australia.
In the development of events after the war, by which time I had become Vice-President of The Theosophical Society, I had to go to Australia in 1919. Bishop Leadbeater was then residing in Sydney; he was affected with diabetes, and was an invalid with a weak heart which kept him a great deal of each day in bed. However, I knew that he was always keen on Occult Chemistry, and so made my preparations to use any opportunity that might arise to ask him to investigate.
Not knowing how many years he might live, my plan was, not to complete the remaining elements of the Periodic Table, but rather to ask for investigations into compounds. No compound had been examined in the investigations; while Hydrogen and Oxygen had been described, there was no mapping out of the molecule of water. As chemistry was not a subject I had taken up for any examination, though I had done some physics, I arranged for a very rapid course on theoretical chemistry with a teacher of Sydney University, so as to prepare myself for the next stage in the investigations. I began to collect various compounds to offer to Bishop Leadbeater.
Models of the Molecules of Water and Salt
I recall quite an exciting afternoon in Sydney, when he telephoned over to me to say that he had made models of water and of salt. The model for the first was made with a candle through which several lady' s hat pins were struck, and similarly the model of salt had as its centre an apple through which the pins were skewered. In the investigations that followed in Australia, in the years 1920 and 1922, wherever possible I arranged for Bishop Leadbeater's secretary, Miss V. K. Maddox, to take down verbatim the conversation between him and me, as we discussed operations. I have published in The Theosophist19 (19. The Theosophist, from March 1924 to August 1933, in various issues.) many diagrams of various compounds, though still there remain a good many which are only in the stage of rough diagrams. One that interests me greatly is Indigo, whose formula is C16 H10 N2 O2 I have long waited to make the model.
This work of Occult Chemistry has always been to me one of intensest fascination, because every element and compound investigated revealed the inspiring quality of that divine work which the Platonists described as “God geometrizes”. I was always impregnated with a sense of beauty as I watched these diagrams as they were drawn one by one. For, not only is the Mind of the Third Logos wonderfully exquisite in ingenuity, but it possesses a quality of beautiful building which thrills me. The sense of beauty is something like what one has when watching the Woolworth Building in New York from a distance. As it rises from story to story, there is a combined majesty and a beauty. In the same way, as one takes the elements of one family one after another, and notes their structure, from the lightest of the family to the heaviest, one feels like singing a psalm in glorification of the work of the wonderful Divine Mind.
The Structure of Benzene, Naphthalene and Anthracene
An instance of this beautiful building is the structure of benzene. Its structure is still one of the disputed points amongst chemists. Benzene is composed of 6 Carbon atoms in a “ring”, and to each of them a Hydrogen atom is linked. Now in 1895 the structure of Hydrogen was described, and that of Carbon in 1907. When benzene as seen by clairvoyance was described in 1922, one saw in it the wonder of the Divine Thought, which combined the 6 Carbon and 6 Hydrogen atoms. That sense of wonder increased with naphthalene, the second of the ring series. The mode of structure of the “benzene ring” is so clear, that then I went on to build a model of anthracene, the third member of the series, though it was not examined clairvoyantly, and the beauty of its structure is most impressive. So, too, but to a lesser degree of exquisiteness, is the building of the aliphatic or open chain series.
The Structure of Diamond
One event of excitement was the building of the molecule of diamond. Bishop Leadbeater put on to the task of making 594 paper octahedra the group of young people who were then living at The Manor in Sydney. All these octahedra were stuck to make the diamond model, which was then despatched to me. A box arrived with the model inside. The diagrams describing the diamond, including one plate in colour, appeared duly in The Theosophist 20 (20. The Theosophist, September 1925.). Of course the model was most interesting, but it was something of a white elephant, for I could only hang it from the ceiling. In a couple of years the dampness of the climate of Adyar slowly made the model fall into pieces.
Crookes's Astral Laboratory
Another interesting incident in connection with these investigations was the help which Sir William Crookes gave. He knew in 1907 of the work begun of clairvoyant investigation. In 1933 at Adyar, there was the need to find some compound which would have the element Radon. This is one of the inert gases, and the next heavier of the family after “Kalon”. As there seemed to be no way of finding the source of the element, finally it occurred to Bishop Leadbeater to ask Sir William Crookes, who is still on the astral plane. He is continuing his old work of research, and has a laboratory of his own. He has all the radio-active elements kept in especially strong receptacles of etheric matter. Sir William Crookes knew what was wanted, and he had just one single atom of the element. It seems to be so rare that in all the seas of Tuscarora Deep, he had found only this single specimen. Whether the Radon, which is a product of Radium Emanation, and is what might be termed an alchemical product, is a “star” of the inert gases group or not, was not investigated, for want of a specimen.
Artificial and Natural Erbium
Bishop Leadbeater could investigate at any time, provided his brain was not tired. Several of the investigations in 1933 took place in the evening while he was lying on a sofa, and a masseur was working upon his legs and feet. This did not interfere with his clairvoyant observations. One particular evening while the old masseur was pounding him, we were trying to locate Erbium. Now, in 1909 Gadolinium had been mapped out. Erbium is of the same family but heavier. Though we could not get at any substance at the moment which had Erbium, he thought that he would make an experiment. He put together the parts that appeared in the central rod of Gadolinium, this time three of them and not two, to see if they would cohere. They would not; but when the connecting rod of Silver of 19 was placed in the middle of the three, there was not only perfect cohesion but also a very great vitality. Then the funnels of Gadolinium were stuck on; everything held. This seemed to show that the experiment was a success, and that what was put together was really an atom of Erbium.
But obviously this was not enough, and so the search was continued. What was to be done next? We knew that Iodine exists in the sea. Immediately-- and this while he was being massaged-- it occurred to him to look into the sea for Erbium, which is of the same family as Iodine and Gadolinium. Having constructed Erbium alchemically, he got into touch with a sea nature spirit, a triton, who he knew lived in the sea near Adyar beach. He asked the triton if he knew anything of the kind in the sea, and showed him the alchemical Erbium. The creature answered, “Yes, we will bring it”, and quickly brought a handful of natural Erbium. The atoms of Erbium which the triton produced were like spiculae, or a handful of tiny pencils held in the hand. The triton was curious to know why Bishop Leadbeater should want to see them, but of course could not understand for what reason he was asked to produce what were to him little toys.
Another instance when nature spirit scouts were used by Bishop Leadbeater was when he investigated Polonium in August 1933. We found in the Encyclopaedia Britannica that Polonium exists in pitchblende. I had sent some pitchblende in 1909 from U.S.A., and there was still a few bits of powder left. But the Polonium that existed in it had departed from the powder when it was examined in 1933. The Encyclopaedia stated that pitchblende existed in some mines in Ceylon, in the district of Sabaragamuwa. Bishop Leadbeater had been in that Province in the early years of his work in Ceylon; so that night, while asleep, he went to Ceylon and located the mines. But to find an atom in a mine is like trying to locate some small star in the Milky Way. However, he arranged for some nature spirits to act as scouts and look for the element. Of course it was a kind of game to the creatures. At last, in all the mines in that region, he found only three Polonium atoms.
One incident in all this touches me personally, as it shows that owing to some curious dullness on my part I lost a striking opportunity. The element Masurium was discovered spectroscopically; and when it was found in certain minerals, the announcement was duly made. So we knew that it existed in oxides of columbite, gadolinite and tantalite. The investigation was then easy, as I had already with me these minerals, among the rare earths procured from Hilger & Co. Bishop Leadbeater investigated and gave me the diagram on September 5th, 1932.
Ten days later I found that, as a matter of fact, Masurium, though not under that name, had not only been noted but that also the diagram for it had been drawn in 1909. Among the mass of papers in the Occult Chemistry box, I found a slip with diagrams of three elements, and one was marked “unknown element”. When the diagram for Masurium was made in 1932, it was exactly the same as this forgotten diagram which was drawn in 1909. Had that diagram been then published, our Theosophical investigators could have claimed priority of discovery, as the actual chemical weight of the then unknown element was given, as also its place in the Periodic Table.
In a similar manner, through my want of careful study, I failed to note that Illinium was discovered, mapped out and its place and weight announced, in. July 1909.
These blunders lead us to the strange fact that, whenever we might have given an instance of proof, with regard to occult facts, without any possible challenge, always something happened to prevent the finality in the proof. It is well known that, in the early days of Spiritualism, many striking objects were transported from distances, showing that the spirits were able to use extraordinary powers. But in each such instance there was just one final link in the chain missing. There was always a loophole for doubt. Similarly, in the phenomena done by the Adepts in connection with Madame Blavatsky' s work at Simla, it would have been the easiest thing for Them to have transported the London “Times” of the day to Simla, as was once suggested. But in all cases of phenomena, there was the omission through oversight, or for some other reason, of some important evidential fact.
Why the Adepts refuse to give Proofs
When the Adepts were asked on this matter, we were informed that They purposely prevented any phenomenon which would be absolutely “watertight” in the matter of proof. It is Their plan that, while humanity is at the present stage, where a large number of powerful minds lack an adequate moral development, no opportunity shall be given to these unscrupulous minds to have a complete trust in the existence of occult powers. So long as there is scepticism on the matter, mankind is protected from exploitation by the unscrupulous. We know already how mankind has been exploited economically and industrially by selfish minds controlling the resources of nature. How great a calamity might occur, if these selfish minds were to use occult powers also for exploitation, is not difficult for anyone with a little imagination to conceive.
One great handicap has been that wherever the investigations took place, there was no chemical laboratory, nor a chemist who could perform the necessary experiments. Thus, for instance, none of us had ever been in a laboratory where the mass spectroscope was being used, and so Bishop Leadbeater could not get into touch with that work. There were however, three instances when an actual experiment was made. The first experiment was to watch what happens in catalysis. For chemistry as yet gives no explanation of this phenomenon. It was done in Sydney, when I heated potassium chlorate and mixed it with manganese dioxide. It was then noted that a totally new force, not hitherto noticed in any previous observation, was present to make catalysis. The second experiment was in Adyar, when Mr. Y. Prasad, who was a science teacher, performed the experiment of making water from hydrogen and oxygen in the presence of spongy platinum.
A third interesting experiment was to discover the nature of heavy Hydrogen or Deuterium. Mr. K. Zuurman, Superintendent of our Electrical Department, arranged a simple apparatus to dissociate the water into its constituents of Hydrogen and Oxygen, using the house current. In the process it was found that the curious “double Hydrogen” was formed now and then, while Hydrogen was given off from the cathode terminal. During a period of some two or three minutes, only three double Hydrogen or Deuterium atoms were formed. The reason for the existence of Deuterium is that there are two varieties of Hydrogen, which we have labelled A and B, and one of them is slightly more positive than the other. So one combines with the other to make a new body.
The Last Investigation in 1933
The last investigation was on October 13th, 1933. Once again Mr. Zuurman assisted, and he brought his radio receiving set, for I wanted to see if it was possible to find out what was the electron after all. For it is not our ultimate physical atom, but might possibly be an astral atom. The thermionic valve, which is supposed to be throwing off streams of electrons, was examined. A stenographic report was taken at the time.
Just as this work was suspended, Bishop Leadbeater thought that he had a glimpse of what lay at the back of the nature of positive and negative in electricity. It seemed as if this distinction went as far back as the nature of the “bubble” itself in Koilon. For the first time it seemed as if we might hit upon the greatest of all principles of knowledge, as to what after all is positive and what negative. But he was tired, and next day I left for Brazil.
No “Next Year”
The last words of the stenographic report are what I said as the work was suspended: “We will now adjourn till next year.” But next March, Bishop Leadbeater passed away at the age of eighty-seven, and so there was no “next year.”
Third Edition of “Occult Chemistry”
I have mentioned that the second edition under the editorship of Mr. Sinnett was nothing more than a reprint of the first, and did not incorporate the material that had accumulated between the two editions. Since that second edition, there have been many important researches. I have given a summary of the work done in The Theosophist of July, 1933.
The material for the third edition is ready. The work will require at least a year's close attention, and I am waiting for the time when I can be freed from other and more urgent work. The book will be quarto size, quite different in format from the two previous editions. The size can be seen by consulting the large diagram already published in The Theosophist, October, 1932. I am hoping for the assistance of others to supervise several sections of the work, as the new material is considerable. When the third edition is published, it should contain about three times the material published in the other editions.
As I was the organizer and recorder, my aim was to arrange for the investigations to cover as wide a field as possible, so as to leave material for study for future generations. I am certainly profoundly glad that all the elements have been mapped out, and that the Periodic Table is complete; but when the work was resumed in Australia in 1920, I put aside the completion of the work upon the elements, and directed the investigations into compounds. I was also anxious to have a few crystals mapped out. All this work is of course only like the scratching of one small corner of a large field. But it is a new kind of study of Nature, and my aim, in which my two leaders heartily co-operated, was to draw, as it were, the outlines of a great continent, and leave the lands to be filled in by succeeding generations.
Is there any Corroboration?
Often the question is asked, what corroboration is there from present day chemistry of these investigations? We know that at the moment much work is being done on the nucleus of the atom. But there is no bridge as yet between the work of the clairvoyant investigators and the work done by the chemists and physicists with the mass spectroscope. The two groups of investigators are working from two different standpoints. The clairvoyant investigator watches the atom as it is in its normal condition, not in any way affected by electrical or other forces. The laboratory investigator throws into the atom currents of high voltage, and produces results from which he deduces the nature of the atom. Since all atoms behave alike under electricity according to certain laws, the description of the atom from the laboratory is a correct indication of its nature, but of the atom under exceptional circumstances. It is as if some scientist from Mars, desiring to know the behaviour of human beings, were to come in an airship and drop bombs on London at stated intervals. He would discover that the inhabitants lived in tunnels, which are the “Tube” stations; and if they were being periodically bombed, that they were living all the time under the earth. But his scientific observations would not describe the life of London. It was Professor Whittaker who gave an accurate commentary on the work done by physicists in the laboratory when he said, “Something unknown is doing we do not know what; that is what our theory amounts to.” I would not like in any way to imply that the work done by the scientists is not accurate or valuable. I think it a most wonderful testimony to what the scientific imagination and ingenuity are capable of, under rigorous scientific training. But the two kinds of research, through clairvoyance and though the spectroscope, are very much like the work done in tunnelling a mountain for a railway. The work is done from both sides of the mountain, and slowly the two groups of tunnellers come nearer and nearer, and at last meet. As the situation stands now, the occult investigators and the laboratory investigators are not likely to meet for several generations.
The Aims of the Investigators
I would like, since Dr. Besant and Bishop Leadbeater are no longer with us, to explain on their behalf and for myself our motives in all this work. None of us ever dreamed of any kind of fame accruing to us from these researches. We have never planned for recognition. Always our aim was to know just a little more of the way that the Divine Mind manifests in Nature. There was never any thought of proving the truth of these researches to anybody. The investigators, with all the accuracy at their command, recorded what they saw. They left it at that. Whether anyone disbelieved or scoffed never counted with them, for they were first and foremost Theosophists who knew the significance of the phrase “the Divine Wisdom”. They had already received so much inspiration for noble living and service from what they knew of Theosophy, that they desired to know more of the Wisdom. It might well be said that their motto was, “To the glory of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, and for the perfecting of Humanity.”
The Face of the Grand Geometrician
I, however, who have been so inspired and broadened in my outlook by this work, and have also followed the work of scientists, know that the investigations into Occult Chemistry will be the most lasting contribution to knowledge which the Theosophists of these generations will have made. For, as the generations pass, our main Theosophical ideas will be professed by the whole world. But there will always remain, as a wonder for centuries to come, this magnificent work, which lifts a tiny corner of the veil which hides from man the Face of the Grand Geometrician.