Transcendental Physics

Johann Carl Friedrich Zollner, Professor of Physical Astronomy at the University of Leipzig died on the morning of April 25, 1882 of a hemorrhage of the brain. He was forty-eight years old, of sound mind and the best of health. Professor Zollner was an ardent believer in spiritualism and wrote the book Transcendental Physics. He had the moral courage to place in print what he felt in his heart and mind, and then was severely criticized. The Atlantic Monthly, September 1881 is one example. Not only was Professor Zollner ridiculed, the article included William Crookes, F.R.S., the discoverer of the radiometer, and the author of a brilliant paper on Radiant Matter; William Edward Weber, Professor of Physics, and one of the first authorities in the subject of electricity and magnetism; Professor Scheibner, of Leipzig, a mathematician; Gustave Theodore Fechner, Professor of Physics at Leipzig; and Lord Lindsay, of Astronomical fame. These scientists were converts to spiritualism because they had tested, seen and witnessed with their own eyes the marvels of spiritualism.

Atlantic Monthly, September 1881 (summary)

One opens this work of Zollner with great interest, with the expectation of something substantial and more edifying than the dreary accounts of table tipping, and the insane conversations of great men who, entering into nirvana, have apparently forgotten all they learned in this world, and have nothing better to do than to move chamber furniture. We must relegate this work on Transcendental Physics to the limbo where we have consigned the physico-physiological researches of Baron Reichenbach. One rises from its perusal with a feeling of sorrow. Is there anything in this book, which purifies the heart? No. Is there anything, which elevates the mind? No. Does the intellectual faculty grow keener by reading it? No. Why, then, should one spend time discussing it? Simply because it is calculated to do harm from the weight of authority of the scientific men who support the utterances in the book, and because it is an evidence of certain states of mind. Zollners investigations begin with a coloring of scientific reasoning. He discovers that the habitat of the spirits is the fourth dimension in space. The scientific gloss is given and it is very thin. There may be beings that have this ability to work in a fourth dimension; perchance there are gnomes beneath the crust of the earth. These suppositions appeal to an audience of children rather than full-grown men. The rest of the book is filled with the usual accounts of spiritualistic manifestations and a jargon of commentary colored with metaphysics. Why do the claims of spiritualists all have such a strange likeness to each other, an unhealthy thinness, and a nightmare atmosphere born of indigestion? It is not logical to call in the aid of the spirits to account for phenomena, which may be peculiar states of mental action, or the impression of the nerve centers of one person by those of another. The first step is to study mental action.

The article goes on to imply that the power of suggestion, the conviction of one man can persuade many to believe what their calmer senses tell them is untrue. The study of the human mind and the peculiar action of the brain should be analyzed and first understood. When the mind of man is better understood, perhaps we shall perceive that what we call spiritualism must necessarily exist…

Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung was influenced by literature, symbolism, religion and the occult. Speaking in 1897 as an undergraduate at Basel University Jung discussed the occult in a lecture to the Zofingia Society, a student club. Jung said the soul does exist, it is intelligent and immortal and not subject to time and space. He declared the reality of spirits and spiritualism, on the evidence of messages of dying people, hypnotism, clairvoyance, telekinesis, second sight and prophetic dreams. Jung gave a lecture at his alma mater in 1905, Basel University, “On Spiritualistic Phenomena” a lengthy discourse on spiritualism in America, England and Europe. Jung had a life long interest in occult phenomena and enough cannot be said to do his life’s work proper justice. Professor Zollners life ended before he could further investigate, research and complete the final arguments and mathematical formulas needed to convince the skeptics of the reality of the fourth dimension and beyond.

excerpt– Slate Writing-Invisible Intelligence


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