Re: Einstein, Edison, and Tesla.
Mar 06, 2002 09:14 PM
Einstein: "The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself
particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and
Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and
The above statement by Einstein is from 5 February 1921, and although
it is not impossible that he could have read something about
Theosophy out of curiosity, there is nowhere a statement from him
that he ever changed his mind about the above.
Although if we go back to the 19th century when the TS just started,
there was indeed among the many scientists at least Edison that had
an interest in Spiritualism and Theosophy.
Edison wrote in his private papers about spiritual entities that
control our minds and bodies. "They fight out their differences, and
the stronger group takes charge," he declared. "If the minority is to
be disciplined and to conform, there is harmony. But the minorities
sometimes say 'to hell with this place, let's get out of here.'
They refuse to do the appointed work in the man's body, he sickens
and dies, and the minority gets out, as does too of course the
majority. They are all set free to seek new experience somewhere
else". (Thomas Alva Edison, "The Diary and Sundry Observations", New
York 1948, pp. 212-213.)
Towards the end of his life , Edison talked of a machine he claimed
to have designed that could allow the living to hear the voices of
the dead. "I have been at work for some time on building an apparatus
to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth
to communicate with us", he told one journalist. (Thomas Huxley to W.
Sharpley, October 13, 1862, Sharpley Correspondence MSS Ad. 227,
University College London Library.)
Nicola Tesla on the other hand hated talk about the occult, and
although he put his name to endless articles about the strangest
ideas , he shunned anything that was not scientifically valid. Yet
even today Edison is viewed as the empiricist, the grand old man of
American science, while Tesla, if remembered at all, is often
identified with pseudo science.
The rivalry between Thomas Edison and Tesla centered on the dynamo
(or generator) and the electric motor. Edison worked almost
exclusively with dynamos and generators that used a form of
electricity called direct current (DC), and Tesla was an advocate of
AC, or alternating current. Direct current is a form of electricity
that flows continuously, whereas AC constantly changes direction,
backward and forward. Most important, until Tesla's work, no one was
able to build an AC motor because AC kept changing the direction of
the rotating arm or driveshaft of the motor.
Both men lived to reach old age. Edison maintained an honored
position in the world of science. He was responsible for inventing
the first film projector and worked with George Eastman to produce
the earliest motion pictures. He remained financially comfortable,
and his undoubted business acumen served him well. He died in 1931,
at the age of eighty-four.
Tesla's reputation peaked with the introduction of AC, then
plummeted to the point where he was completely ignored by the
scientific community. In 1934, at the age of eighty-seven, he died in
poverty in a hotel room shared with dozens of pigeons he habitually
coaxed in from his window ledge.
Lesser known is that Tesla at least during part of his life, as
evidenced by recently discovered letters, was involved with Advaita
--- In theos-talk@y..., "Bill Meredith" <bilmer@s...> wrote:
> Hi Adelasie. Yes I agree with you about the same mind being of
> opinions at different times given different contexts,
> points of view. Although, when a mind is radically changed I'm not
> can call it the same mind. :) What do you think Einstein intended
> phrase 'so-called Theosophy' instead of just 'theosophy'?
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "adelasie" <adelasie@s...>
> To: <theos-talk@y...>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 05, 2002 11:32 PM
> Subject: Re: Theos-World understanding or attacking Theosophy?
> > Dear Bill,
> > It is interesting indeed. It seems that great minds can entertain
> > different opinions at different times. I can relate to that, and
> > not even a great mind. It suggests that even diametrically opposed
> > opinions can both be true, given differences of context,
> > circumstances, points of view. What do you think?
> > Adelasie
> > On 4 Mar 2002 at 14:16, Bill Meredith wrote:
> > > Hi Adelasie, here is yet another view from Einstein which you
> > > interesting:
> > >
> > >
> > > In Berlin in February 1921 Einstein received from a woman in
> > > letter imploring him to tell her if he had formed an opinion as
> > > whether the soul exists and with it personal, individual
> > > after death. There were other questions of a similar sort. On 5
> > > February 1921 Einstein answered at some length. Here in part is
> > > he said:
> > >
> > > The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly
> > > rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is
> > > no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion.
> > >
> > > Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and
> > > of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body
> > > me to be empty and devoid of meaning.
> > >
> > > Albert Einstein: The Human Side,
> > > Selected and Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman,
> > > Princeton University Press, 1979. p. 40
> > >
> > > copied here from:
> > >
> > > regards,
> > > Bill
> > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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