In 6th century BCE the concept that matter is composed of discrete and not infinitely reducible units developed in India. Around 460 B.C. the Greek Democritus named these fundamental and irreducible bits of matter átomos, meaning “uncuttable.” Notions of this kind were at this point in history, more than anything, matters of pure Philosophy. As such, when the big daddy Aristotle weighed in and rejected the idea as worthless, “the atom” was pretty much stopped in its tracks. It would be a couple thousand years before Science picked up where Philosophy had left off. But before Science made its first excited indirect observations of electrons and protons and managed to put forward a widely acceptable model for the structure of the atom, another group stepped forward to ply their trade in the service of atomic knowledge. They were theosophists, known collectively as the Occult Chemists, and their goal was nothing less than “direct observation of atoms through clairvoyance.”
In 1878 one Dr. Edwin D. Babbitt, proponent of “chroma therapy,” (and granddad of the current duck’s nest of “color therapy") created for his book Principles of Light and Color and Religion As Revealed by the Material and Spiritual Universe a visualization of the atom which, lunatic and fictional though it may be, is, I must admit, pretty stunning.
A wild concoction of spirals and vortexes which ties up Babbit’s arguments on bonding, heat, electricity, light, color, friction, and psychic power all in a single unmistakably heart-shaped package. Love it. As it happens the Occult Chemists did not.
Quote: “The illustrations there given of atomic combination are entirely wrong and misleading, but if the stovepipe run through the centre of the single atom be removed, the picture may be taken as correct, and will give some idea of the complexity of this fundamental unit of the physical universe.” -Mrs. Besant, 1909.
They called their vastly different fundamental particle the Anu, which they revealed in the 1909 publication titled, Occult Chemistry, a series of Clairvoyant Observations on the Chemical Elements. The Anu looked like this-
Though ye of the untrained (third) eye might want to yell out, “Hey! that looks, like, exactly the same!” rest assured it is totally different.
Anyhow, this Anu was only the tip of the iceberg as the group went on the describe and visualize a plethora of elements, delving into the structures and relationships in gloriously delusional detail. They were not mere reporters either, their investigations yielded information on matter hitherto unknown! For instance, the element they observed, having an atomic weight of 3 and taking a place on the periodic table between Hydrogen and Helium, which they named… wait for it… Occultum.
Indeed these were the trailblazers of second-sight microscopy.
Below, for your educational edification and viewing pleasure I’ve reproduced a sampling of their findings. Keep in mind when perusing these, however, that…
Quote: “It is, of course, impossible to convey by words the clear conceptions that are gained by direct vision of the objects of study, and the accompanying diagram—cleverly drawn from the description given by the investigators—is offered as a substitute, however poor, for the lacking vision of the readers.” -Mrs. Besant, 1909.
We poor bastards lacking in vision will just have to suffice I suppose.
So? Do you believe them? I don’t think they much expected you to. Being occult scientists they were fully aware of the importance of repeatability and in as much leave the corroboration to you.
Quote: “The method of examination employed was that of clairvoyance; there were only two observers - Mr. Leadbeater and myself - and it is very desirable that our results should be tested by others who can use the same extension of physical sight. The researches being carried on upon the physical plane - the forms examined being gaseous and etheric only - a very slight intensification of ordinary vision is all that is necessary, and many should, therefore, be able to test our observations. They cannot be regarded as established, by the outside world, until others have corroborated them; and we put them forward in the hope of stimulating work along this line, and of thus bringing to science, when its instruments fail it, the old, old instrument of enlarged human vision.” -Mrs. Besant, 1909.
Yes indeed. Better get to work ay?
I ought to say that initially I intended to do a lengthy write-up on this subject and its protagonists, but as tends to be the case when attempting to delve into the more arcane founts of knowledge, after about 20 minutes the whole mess just starts reading like brain-sapping gobbledygook. So I hope you feel satisfied with this illustrated, albiet very shallow, surface scratching. Anyone brave, brain damaged, or patient enough can of course delve deeper on their own.
For many more images, some context, and much more specific information see the following:
Serious Scientific Lessons from Direct Observation of Atoms through Clairvoyance by J. Michael McBride, Yale University.
Occult CHemistry, Investigations by Clairvoyant Magnification into the Structure of the Atoms of the Periodic Table and Some Compounds by C. W. Leadbeater & Annie Besant.
Occult Chemistry by Anad Gholap.
Religion as Revealed by the Material and Spiritual Universe By Edwin Dwight Babbitt.
What does an atom look like?, from Hydrogenlab.de
Until next time.