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Babbage, Charles - The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise



Type of spiritual experience


This amazing quote was actually hidden away in the appendix almost as a sort of after thought.

In order to understand it we need to have in our minds that microsocosm matches macrocosm, the universe and the atom are identical, that eveything is a mirror of the egg from universe to person down to the atom, the difference is only the level of aggregation.

If we take this exactly as it is described, this really does mean our entire model of atoms is wrong and that every atom is made of spirit that consists of a  'skin' [the earth layer] on the outside, with a 'fluid' level [water] next, then the 'atmosphere' [air] and the central 'point' [aether].  He allows for two 'atmospheres' - fire and air - which is where he considers the systems related to heat light, solidity [aggregation] malleability and so on might reside.

In effect one finds various systems at various levels within the atom/egg and that where these systems is found is largely fixed - predictable.


A description of the experience

from The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise: A fragment - Charles Babbage

[we might conceive of all matter to be made up of atoms] each having a central point with an 'atmosphere' surrounding it, and this 'atmosphere' again enclosed within another and larger one.

Under such circumstances, the outer atmosphere might give rise to heat and light, to solidity and fluidity and the gaseous condition; to capillarity, to elasticity, tenacity and malleability [he also mentions electricity - electromagnetic radiation and chemical laws at this level]........ the pressure of the external [level] might take liquid form..... all these with their atmospheres would be enclosed in an 'atmosphere' of the outer kind which might be nearly spherical....

......the reader should bear in mind that these hints are thrown out only as objects of reflection and enquiry and that nothing but a profound mathematical investigation can establish them.....


The source of the experience

Babbage, Charles

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