Chemistry And Evolution
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
As an explanation of the evolutionary process, there is nothing in all literature to compare with the chapter entitled "The Genesis of Physical Life" in Harmonics of Evolution, from which the following quotation is made :
"The science of Chemistry is based upon those affinities which inhere in Electro-Magnetism and the Vito-Chemical Life Element.
"All cosmic physical substance is either positively or receptively charged with Electro-Magnetism. A distinct cleavage exists throughout the mineral kingdom. The one part, the positive, is in a highly active state. The other part, though equally potent, is simply receptive to the demands of the positive side. Between the two parts exists a universal attraction or affinity.
"This attraction or affinity as between the two parts is, however, maintained through and by the individual at-tractions of the atoms which compose those parts.
"This affinity between mineral atoms is governed by THAT PRINCIPLE IN NATURE WHICH IMPELS EVERY ENTITY TO SEEK VIBRATORY CORRESPONDENCE WITH ANOTHER LIKE ENTITY OF OPPOSITE POLARITY.
"The result of this attraction between individuals is union. When such union establishes a perfect vibratory correspondence an equilibrium of forces obtains. The result is a permanent cohesion, chemically considered. When such union fails to establish vibratory correspondence 'repulsion' occurs and the divorced atoms seek union else-where in pursuance of the law of chemical affinity.
"The result of these individual efforts for an individual equilibrium is a ceaseless combining and •recombining of mineral substances. By and through these individual efforts for individual adjustment new unions of mineral sub-stances are being continually formed. Gradually these individuals establish permanent unions, after which the same law operates to attract and unite whole groups of individuals. These combinations we term `chemical compounds.'
"These compounds are the offspring of the Electro-Magnetic energies in nature.
"Thus was our whole earth gradually solidified from its incandescent and gaseous stages.
"Moved by this universal principle of affinity, that en-tire gaseous and liquid mass finally settled into a solid globe in the order of its individual affinities. The law of affinity, however, was not suspended with the crystallization of the mineral gases. On the. contrary, it continues to operate through the solid as well as the gaseous and liquid substances. The result of this ceaseless activity of mineral substances is :
"1. Reduction in the size of the individual atom.
"2. Increased vibratory action of that atom in the compound.
"In consequence, mineral substance is universally (though not simultaneously) refined as a whole and keyed to higher vibrations in nature. There comes a time when a portion of this mineral substance is raised to certain ratios of correspondence with the vibratory action of a second and higher Life Element in nature:
"This next higher element of Vito-Chemical Life lies universally and coextensively in time and space with the lower element of Electro-Magnetism (as far as science knows).
"When the mineral atom has been thus raised to the harmonic relation necessary, it becomes susceptible to the essence and activity of the Vito-Chemical Life Element. Impregnation occurs. The higher Life Element is in-ducted into mineral substance and the mineral atom be-comes a vegetable particle, endowed with Vito-Chemical or vegetable life.
"By this process and under this principle is all life generated upon this planet.
"The phenomena of the vegetable kingdom are analogous to those of the mineral. Moved by the same principle of polarity or affinity, the Vito-Chemical Life Element operates through and upon vegetable substance as positive and receptive energy. In consequence all vegetable substance is either positively or receptively conditioned. A distinct cleavage obtains throughout the vegetable kingdom. One part represents the highly active, or positive energies of the Vito-Chemical Life Element ; the other, though equally potent, represents the receptive or absorbing energies of the same element.
"Between these two parts, oppositely charged or polarized, there exists a universal and involuntary attraction or affinity. This attraction or affinity of the whole is maintained through and by the individual affinities of entities composing the whole.
"The affinity between individual vegetable particles is governed by THAT PRINCIPLE IN NATURE WHICH IMPELS EVERY ENTITY TO SEEK VIBRATORY CORRESPONDENCE WITH ANOTHER LIKE ENTITY OF OPPOSITE POLARITY.
"The result of this attraction or affinity between individual particles is union. In the temporary correspondence between individual particles, the powers of generation obtain and reproduction of vegetable cells occurs.
"These reproductions represent the positive male energies of Vito-Chemical Life acting upon the receptive, absorbing, feminine energies of the same element.
"The progeny of these combined powers is, therefore, but an incidental result of the effort made by two vegetable particles for vibratory correspondence.
"The same natural law of affinity operates to draw individual pairs into definite groups or into definite forms. As a result we have a whole kingdom representing the processes of the Vito-Chemical Life Element, from the simplest lichen to plant, bush, vine and tree.
"The effect of this ceaseless activity in vegetable substance is to refine it as to particle and to increase the vibratory action of that particle. As a result vegetable sub-stance is universally (though not simultaneously) refined as a whole and keyed to higher vibrations in nature. There comes a period when a proportion of these vegetable particles is raised to certain ratios of correspondence with the vibratory action of a third and yet higher Life Element.
"This third and higher element is known to science as the Spiritual Life Element. It is supposed to pervade all space, as do the lower elements of Electro-Magnetism and Vito-Chemical Life. When the vegetable cell reaches a given ratio of vibratory correspondence with this higher element it becomes susceptible to the essence and activity of that element.
"As a result the Spiritual Life Element is inducted into the vegetable cell and converts it into the nucleated animal life cell."
Through all the ceaseless motion of universal life there appears to be no diminution of nature's forces. The amount of Energy manifested in so many ways seems fixed as to quantity and intensity. However, there is a vast difference between the forces of nature and their products or temporary manifestations. The products, such as flowers and fruits, soon reach maturity, and if not used as food or preserved by added intelligent means, they soon disintegrate and return to unorganized states.
What we term "death" in the Fall of the year has two aspects. It certainly is death to countless myriads of plant and animal forms; but it is also the "resurrection" or release of the Life Elements. The latter are again freed from matter and become invisible to our eyes. However, we know that the Life Elements of nature are not dead nor even diminished in power. Nature expends energy but has equal powers of recuperation.
Nature is ever producing new forms as old ones decay and disintegrate. The general rule seems to be that the higher the rate of vibration, the more rapidly is nature's purpose accomplished, and the sooner will the particles disintegrate and seek new vibratory correspondences. For instance, every particle of the physical body of man is said to be renewed within seven years but at different rates. The particles of bones, vibrating the slowest, require about seven years for their renewal. The flesh is renewed completely about every year and the brain about every thirty days. Of course the exact time is not susceptible to proof, but it is probable that the rate varies greatly with individuals and even with the same individual, as he may increase or decrease the intensity of his physical or mental life.
All nature is a chemical laboratory. In spite of the number of observers and the openness of her operations, nature still preserves her chemical secrets. From one atmosphere and the same soil, many elements are extracted for innumerable varieties and combinations of colors, per-fumes and flavors. Often have we marvelled that from the black soil of the forest springs unaided the pure white Indian pipe. No finite intelligence can explain the chemistry which extracts such a result from such a soil. Note the variety in flower garden and orchard, the designs, the colors, the perfumes and flavors.
It is worth while to note while studying the Chemistry of nature that while a plant in a pot may increase many pounds in weight there is no proportionate loss of weight in the soil. Whence comes the greater increase of the plant but from the marvelous ability of nature's ethereal Life Elements to extract from the atmosphere many pounds of material which was theretofore entirely invisible to man? Thus all natural history seems to demonstrate three general propositions :
1. Evolution is the expression of intelligent principles.
2. Evolutionary processes conserve an intelligent purpose.
3. Nature seeks to fulfil that purpose under one general process which refines matter and presents it in new forms of greater beauty or utility.
But it is not sufficient for us to understand nature's processes, present attainments and apparent purpose. We should cooperate therewith. Vito-Chemical powers merge with Psychological powers by an invisible development. We have been endowed with faculties, capacities and powers which not only enable us to participate in this evolution but we are compelled to do so if we would truly live and progress.
Like every other department of knowledge, Chemistry soon leads one to contemplate seemingly infinite vistas of possibilities. Notice how the Chemistry of nature soon evolves from transactions with material elements. Plant life absorbs mineral substance. Animal life is sustained by vegetable substances. Intellectual life grows through powers obtained in part from vegetable and animal sustentation. Love grows as intelligence increases.
The profound Chemistry of the transformation of ideas and ideals in personal experience is certainly an interesting and profitable study for every intelligent soul. The power of thought to absorb many thoughts and then to resolve them into one grand, sublime, inclusive concept is beyond the ability of the thinker himself to explain.
Thus, there is a Chemistry of nature which man must learn to control wisely; there is also a Chemistry of nature with which it is wise for him to cooperate. The possible higher uses of forces and processes are of sufficient importance to command the best of time and energy.
It is evident that commensurate with the evolution of the powers of Chemistry, should be an evolution of the Ethics governing their use and the distribution of the results. All the powers of Chemistry should be enlisted in the service of humanity. Such a vast responsibility is fixed upon man by this combination of powers with their latent and their manifest possibilities, that he is compelled to study not only Chemistry but Ethics in order to get the highest good for himself and for the race.