Worlds within Worlds


David Pratt


Matter and energy
Ether and fields
Other worlds vs. empty abstractions


Theosophy teaches that universal nature is a unity in diversity: there is one infinite divine essence – boundless consciousness-life-substance – manifesting in an endless variety of forms, on an endless variety of scales, and in infinitely varying degrees of materiality and ethereality, forming an unending series of interblending, interacting worlds within worlds. This paper examines a number of scientific theories and ideas in the light of this philosophy and reviews some of the evidence for it.

Matter and energy

Materialistic scientists seek to reduce everything to the workings of physical matter-energy. Energy is officially defined as ‘the capacity for doing work’, and in this sense it is a purely abstract quantity, though a very useful one. Electricity, magnetism, light, heat, and motion can all be made to do work and are therefore all forms of energy. If the nuclear forces locked up in the atom are unleashed, a small quantity of mass can be made to do an immense amount of work; hence mass (or matter) is regarded as concentrated energy. Particles of matter are said to interact by exchanging force particles, which are another form of energy. It’s thought that all types of matter and force will become unified at higher energies. The idea is that if all these different particles can be smashed together violently enough, they’ll merge into one – this is typical of orthodox science’s heavy-handed approach to unification.

Scientific textbooks tell us that although energy is often associated with the movement of material bodies, it can also exist independent of matter, in the form of radiant energy – i.e. electromagnetic radiation or light. Although electromagnetic radiation can exchange energy and momentum with matter, and colliding matter particles can disappear in a shower of radiant energy, many scientists deny that electromagnetic energy itself is a form of substance (a notable exception is Murray Gell-Mann1). However, it makes much more sense to regard radiant energy as a manifestation of a subtler, nonphysical grade of substance. From this point of view, physical matter is concentrated energy not only in the sense that it can be made to do work, but also in the sense that it is congealed radiation or crystallized light.

The late physicist David Bohm proposed that subatomic particles are produced by patterns of movement at some deeper, implicate level of reality, so that their rest mass can be thought of as inner, reflecting, oscillating movement.2 But this raises a vital question: movement of what? Movement is just an empty abstraction unless it is movement of something, and something, by definition, is substance, though it might seem like intangible energy to us. We can regard matter particles of one grade as temporary, relatively stable forms generated by motion in an underlying medium, which is composed of subtler particles produced by motion in a deeper substantial medium, and so on, ad infinitum. So in a sense, substance is motion, but you can’t have actual motion without something that moves – that is, without substance. In other words, substance and motion are inseparable and coeval. Furthermore, in theosophy, substance and consciousness are fundamentally one; this means that all forms of matter are not only conscious, but are crystallized consciousness, the relative degree of materiality or ethereality depending on the rate of vibration.

We can see why Mahatma KH writes: ‘Spirit, life and matter, are not natural principles existing independently of each other, but the effects of combinations produced by eternal motion in Space ...’3 He also says: ‘Motion is eternal because spirit is eternal. But no modes of motion can ever be conceived unless they be in connection with matter’4 – whether physical or nonphysical. And H.P. Blavatsky, referring to the boundless and eternal ‘substance-principle’ mentioned in the first fundamental proposition in The Secret Doctrine, says that its ‘one absolute attribute’ is ‘eternal, ceaseless Motion’.5 To put it another way: the ultimate reality is pure, homogeneous consciousness-substance in never-ending motion. But all we, or any other finite beings, will ever encounter during our eternal evolutionary journey are modified, composite, finite, and impermanent manifestations of this imperishable unitary essence.

Although we can detect only about 100 octaves of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from radio waves through visible light to x-rays and gamma rays, the electromagnetic spectrum covers an infinite range of frequencies – or at least we have no reason to believe otherwise. An important property of electromagnetic energy is that waves of sufficiently different frequencies do not interfere or interact. If matter is condensed energy, it seems reasonable to suppose that the infinite spectrum of energy gives rise to infinite grades of matter, and that grades of matter of sufficiently differing densities or rates of vibration can pass through one another without noticeably interacting. From this point of view, our physical universe could be just one octave in an infinite spectrum of matter-energy, and be interpenetrated by innumerable other worlds, both denser and more ethereal than our own, but beyond our range of perception.6 The concept of worlds within worlds is therefore thoroughly plausible if we pursue some of the basic concepts of science to their logical conclusion.

Ether and fields

Materialists of course refuse to go this far. In their view, there is only one basic type of substance – physical matter, existing in the four states known to science: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. These correspond to the four elements of the ancients: earth, water, air, and fire – which were followed by the fifth element: ether. In the 19th century, scientists generally accepted the existence of a universal medium or ether, composed of a subtler kind of matter, through which lightwaves propagated, forces were transmitted, and – according to some theories – out of which matter was made. G. de Purucker says that the ether of science can be regarded as physical matter in its three highest states, beyond which lie astral, mental, and spiritual realms.1 However, in the early part of the 20th century, the ether was officially abolished by science.

Etheric matter cannot be detected directly by physical or chemical means. However, scientists reasoned that if the earth moves through a stationary ether, there should be an appreciable ‘ether wind’ blowing over the earth, which should produce slight variations in the speed of light in different directions. The first experiments to test this hypothesis were conducted in 1881 and 1887 by Albert Michelson and Edward Morley. However, the experimental design they used failed to detect an ether wind of the size expected. No scientist at the time concluded that the ether did not exist. Michelson himself drew the conclusion that the earth drags a portion of the ether along with it as it orbits the sun, so that it is surrounded by its own etheric envelope or etherosphere. Hendrick Lorentz and others proposed an alternative explanation: that as a result of motion through a fixed ether, objects contract slightly in the direction of motion by just the right amount to prevent detection of the ether. However, no length contraction has ever been measured experimentally.

Blavatsky predicted back in 1888 that the ether would be rejected, and she warned that scientists could not abandon it ‘without incurring the risk ... of pulling down the pillars of the Temple of Science, and getting buried under its roof’.2 In his 1905 paper on special relativity, Einstein did indeed banish the ether. He argued that it was ‘superfluous’, and replaced it with the fiction of ‘empty space’. However, it took well over a decade before his theory won general acceptance and supplanted the original theory of relativity, developed during the first five years of the century by Poincaré and Lorentz, which was firmly based on the existence of an ether.

A series of experiments since the early 20th century have demonstrated that, contrary to the dogmas of standard, etherless relativity theory, rotation is an ‘absolute’ state of motion that affects the speed of light.3 In 1913 Georges Sagnac, an ardent opponent of relativity theory, showed that if light is sent in opposite directions round a rotating platform, the velocity of light decreases for the beam travelling in the direction of rotation and increases for the beam travelling in the opposite direction, the increase or decrease being equal to the rotational velocity of the apparatus. The relativists were so shocked by this result that they dismissed and ridiculed it for nearly three decades.

Today the ‘Sagnac effect’ is well established and has been confirmed by numerous experiments with extreme precision. In fact, it forms the basis for the modern ring-laser gyroscope, which is widely used for navigation by ships, submarines, aircraft, and satellites. In 1925 Michelson, Gale, and Pearson carried out a larger-scale experiment that detected a variation in the speed of light caused by the earth’s own rotation. This result, too, has since been verified with high resolution. Attempts by orthodox relativists to explain away these findings by invoking ‘time dilation’ and the ‘dragging of spacetime’ are contrived and unconvincing, and nowadays they tend to avoid any mention of them.

Planetary Sagnac experiments have also been carried out, using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite relay system, and show that electromagnetic signals travel slightly faster around the planet from west to east than from east to west. All the experimental evidence is consistent with the model of a dynamic ether originally proposed by Wilhelm Reich: our planet is embedded in an etherosphere which spins slightly faster than the earth, which causes the earth to rotate and carries it forward in its orbit around the sun.4 The claim found in numerous textbooks and encyclopaedias that the existence of an ether has been disproved, is therefore a gross distortion of the truth.

All that remains of the old ether theory is the concept of ‘force fields’. But whereas fields had earlier been understood as currents of ether, the modern theory offers only a mathematical description, and has no satisfactory explanation of what they are or how they can act at a distance.* In addition to electric, magnetic, and gravitational fields, particle physicists postulate an all-pervading ‘Higgs field’ to account for the origin of mass. And quantum theory predicts that the vacuum of space is teeming with normally undetectable ‘zero-point’ energy, in the form of electromagnetic radiation fields (the zero-point field) and short-lived ‘virtual’ particles (the ‘Dirac sea’).5 Most physicists simply ignore this vast ocean of energy, or ‘quantum vacuum’, but various experiments have been carried out which confirm that some kind of underlying energy field does exist. Some physicists are investigating the possibility that mass, inertia, and gravity are all connected with the fluctuating electromagnetic energy of the zero-point field,6 and NASA is studying the possibility of harnessing zero-point energy for spacecraft propulsion.

*In quantum field theory, forces are understood in terms of the exchange of messenger particles. The electromagnetic force is said to be carried by virtual photons, the weak nuclear force by three W and Z particles, the strong nuclear force by eight gluons, and the gravitational force by the graviton. Particles with the energies predicted for W and Z particles have been detected, but the others are entirely hypothetical. Particle exchange could explain a repulsive force (since matter particles would recoil when emitting or absorbing force-particles), but there seems to be no way that this simplistic mechanism could account for an attractive force.

The zero-point field can definitely not be equated with the ether (or rather ethers) of theosophy. Some scientists, for example, believe that the electromagnetic zero-point field is generated by matter. The ether, on the other hand, is a preexisting substrate that generates matter and electromagnetic forces. Mainstream science is certainly not about to return to the older – and wiser – view that electromagnetic radiation is associated with wave disturbances transmitted through the ether, that electric, magnetic, and gravitational forces are flows of ether, and that physical matter is generated by vorticular motion in the ether. However, there have always been a minority of individual scientists and researchers who have kept the tradition of ether science alive.7

Other worlds vs. empty abstractions

A major problem with the 19th-century concept of the ether was that it had to be assigned contradictory properties in order to account for all the phenomena it was supposed to explain. Blavatsky pointed out that such inconsistencies were inevitable if scientists persisted in trying to understand it in purely materialistic and mechanistic terms.1 The ether has also often been assigned abstract properties that it could not possibly possess in reality. Sir Oliver Lodge, for example, insisted that it must be a perfectly homogeneous, continuous, incompressible fluid, because if it consisted of moving particles, we would then have to postulate further ethers to fill up the empty space between them – and as far as he was concerned one ether was enough.2 Alternatively, he could have accepted the existence of ‘empty space’, but he quite rightly rejected the idea.

‘Empty space’ is a central belief of modern mainstream science, which has scrapped the ether altogether, so that ‘empty’ space now contains only physical matter, energy, and fields. However, the concept of empty space makes no sense whatsoever. If space were sheer nothingness, it would not exist, and nothing could be located in it or move through it. Logically, space must have some kind of structure and must therefore consist of substance, and, as already stated, unless we assign this substance impossible, abstract properties, such as absolute, structureless homogeneity, there is no way to avoid the conclusion that space must consist of infinite, interpenetrating levels of energy-substance. In other words, boundless space is the infinite totality of worlds within worlds.

In addition to the theory of empty space, there are many other scientific theories today which illustrate that the only alternative to the idea of superphysical levels of reality is to take refuge in hollow abstractions and illogical absurdities. For example, orthodox scientists claim that matter consists of elementary building blocks, which are described as either zero-dimensional point particles or – according to the latest craze – one-dimensional strings vibrating in 10 or 11-dimensional spacetime. They find such mathematical fictions preferable to the idea that matter-energy is infinitely divisible and infinitely aggregative and can exist in numberless different states. Strings are believed to be billion-trillion-trillionth of a centimetre (10-33 cm) long, which is supposedly the smallest distance possible in nature – though whether nature is aware of this is another matter.

Subatomic events generally have no discernible physical cause, but rather than think in terms of nonphysical causes, acting from within, most scientists prefer to believe that such events have no cause at all and that absolute indeterminism or chance reigns at the quantum level. Similarly, rather than admit the existence of nonphysical forces and energies that can travel faster than light, many scientists prefer to believe that particles can sometimes communicate absolutely instantaneously or ‘nonlocally’, without the transfer of any kind of energy; such a concept of ‘action at a distance’, without any connecting medium, is, as G. de Purucker says, utterly illogical.3

You may think that nothing can come from nothing – but official science knows better. We’re told that virtual particles are constantly being created from nothing and vanishing into nothing. In fact, some cosmologists (or comedians, depending on your point of view) claim that the whole universe – all matter and energy, and even space itself – exploded into being out of ‘literally nothing’. Big bangers also believe that if there is enough matter in the universe space should curve back upon itself so that it is finite and yet has no boundaries; to get space to perform this remarkable contortion, advanced mathematical acrobatics are required. In general relativity theory, gravity is said to be caused by ‘curved spacetime’ – a theory which De Purucker called a ‘mathematical pipe-dream’; he also called the idea of ‘expanding space’ a ‘scientific fairy-tale’.4

Any scientific theory or model is a simplification, an approximation, and there’s no reason why abstractions should not play a useful role in them. The problem arises when we start treating abstractions as if they were concrete things which can directly influence matter and explain physical events. As De Purucker puts it:

The Occidental mind loves abstractions, loves to entify abstractions, to look upon them as concrete realities; and this psychological bias or habit is the cause of most of the philosophic and psychological confusion so noteworthy in the West at the present time.5

In an infinite, eternal universe there can be no ultimate explanations, because everything is part of an infinite web of causation. But if we want to find the direct causes of events, we have to look to real substances, real forces, and real entities, whether physical or nonphysical. Nothing that is capable of acting on the material world can be absolutely nonmaterial because it would then be nonexistent.

A growing number of scientists are giving serious consideration to the possibility of nonphysical realities and causal factors. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake, for example, proposes that, beyond the fields known to science, there are various types of ‘morphic fields’, which, he says, are needed to explain how organisms grow from a seed or egg, how they maintain their form, and the origin of instinctual and selfconscious behaviour.6 He rejects the idea of an ether, but unless his morphic fields are pure nothingness, they must surely be associated with more ethereal grades of energy-substance. David Bohm, through his interpretation of quantum physics, developed the idea that our physical or explicate world is guided by an ‘implicate’ order and also a ‘superimplicate’ order, and he held that may be an infinite number of deeper implicate orders, each having both a matter aspect and a consciousness aspect.7 And the late astronomer Tom Van Flandern proposed that in addition to a light-carrying medium and gravity medium, there is an infinite number of other media spanning an infinite range of scales, and that even what to us are galaxies may be particles in a medium on a super-cosmic scale.8

These ideas begin to approach the philosophy of the ancient wisdom, which teaches that there are no limits to the number of interlocking, interliving worlds within worlds, or to the scale of space and time on which they exist, and that each of them is just as material to its respective inhabitants, relatively speaking, as our own world is to us.

There are several scientific theories that speak of other ‘universes’ and ‘dimensions’, but they generally bear no more than a very superficial resemblance to the theosophical teaching of inner worlds of spirit-substance. Stephen Hawking, for example, theorizes that countless trillions upon trillions of ‘baby universes’ are popping into existence all around us every second, but that they are hidden away in a separate realm of ‘imaginary time’ – which he defines as a direction of time at right angles to real time.9 Another wild theory is the many-worlds interpretation of quantum physics, which claims that whenever an event takes place, the universe splits, so that every possible outcome occurs – but in different universes. This means that an infinity of new universes are generated every instant, each containing a slightly different version of ourselves. In this theory, too, all the other branches of reality are said to be inaccessible to us.

String theory and brane theory (or M-theory) illustrate how surreal, if not grotesque, pure mathematical speculation can become. String theory claims that there are six extra spatial dimensions but that they are unobservable because they have somehow shrivelled up into wormholes a billion-trillionth-trillionth of a centimetre across. Brane theory postulates a universe of 11 dimensions, containing zero-dimensional point particles, one-dimensional strings, two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional ‘blobs’, and higher-dimensional objects, up to and including nine dimensions.10 To reintroduce a little sanity at this point, it’s worth quoting what Blavatsky has to say about the number of spatial dimensions. She writes: ‘popular common sense justly rebels against the idea that under any condition of things there can be more than three of such dimensions as length, breadth, and thickness.’11 Strictly speaking, then, the inner worlds of theosophy are not extra ‘dimensions’.

The existence of multiple universes is also implied by the ‘anthropic principle’. The basic idea is that, by some highly improbable accident, the basic properties of our universe are precisely those necessary for the evolution of life and ultimately ourselves, and this implies that there are numerous other universes, most of which, by the same laws of chance, are totally inhospitable to life. This theory is a far cry from the theosophical notion of universal order and causality, and universal life and intelligence.12 Many of the supporters of the anthropic principle apply ‘Occam’s razor’ and cut out all the other universes (on the grounds that they are unobservable), thereby reducing the anthropic principle to what its opponents call an empty tautology – the statement that the universe has the properties necessary for us to exist, because if it didn’t we wouldn’t exist!13

Some scientists speak of a ‘transcendent realm’ beyond the physical world,14 but insist that it is completely different from our own world, so that their theory amounts to an extreme form of dualism: the transcendent realm is said to be beyond all possible conceptions of space and time, devoid of any kind of matter and energy, devoid of motion, populated only by mathematical abstractions such as quantum ‘probability waves’, and which provides absolutely instantaneous ‘nonlocal’ connections between everything. This realm is clearly no more than a blank abstraction, which in no way helps us to understand our own world. The alternative is to follow the law of analogy – as above, so below; and as below, so above – and to postulate infinite planes of consciousness-substance, inhabited by, and in fact composed of, endless hierarchies of living, evolving, conscious entities at every conceivable stage of development. It beats a motley collection of sterile abstractions hands down!


It has been shown above that if we take some of the basic concepts of the scientific worldview – matter, energy, force fields, space – and seek to understand what they really mean, and if we refuse to be fobbed off with empty abstractions, we are forced to the conclusion that there must be deeper levels of reality. Further evidence that points to the same conclusion is surveyed below.

Over the past two hundred years or so, a series of European researchers have independently discovered the existence of a universal life-force. Anton Mesmer called it animal magnetism, Baron Von Reichenbach called it odyle or the odic force, and in the 20th century Wilhelm Reich called it orgone energy. In addition, various researchers and inventors have developed what are called ‘free-energy’ devices, which produce more energy than is required to run them, by tapping into the all-pervading energy of space. Such people include Nikola Tesla, John Keely,1 Henry Moray, Bruce DePalma, Ken Shoulders, Peter and Neal Graneau, Randell Mills, Paulo and Alexandra Correa, and researchers in the field of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) or ‘cold fusion’.2

One of the objections sometimes raised to the idea of interpenetrating, interacting worlds is that their existence would violate the law of the conservation of energy.3 It is certainly true that energy cannot be created from nothing or annihilated into nothing. But materialists interpret this law to mean that the amount of energy in the physical universe must remain absolutely constant. However, this is no more than an unproven and unprovable dogma. Evidence that interchanges of energy with deeper levels of reality do take place is provided by free-energy devices and by many paranormal phenomena. In addition, the theory that the sun is powered exclusively by thermonuclear reactions faces serious problems, and some scientists have suggested that some of the sun’s energy might come from subtler sources. Supernova explosions and galactic core explosions are also very difficult to explain in terms of conventional energy sources.4 It’s interesting to note that whereas science regards the sun as a ball of plasma, or fourth-state matter, theosophy says the sun’s interior consists largely of matter in its fifth, sixth, and seventh states – states unknown to scientists on earth.5

A well-documented anomaly that continues to defy all attempts at explanation is ball lightning. It is thought to consist of glowing spheres of plasma created by natural electromagnetic forces, but no one can explain how such spheres form and preserve their shape, or how so much energy can be concentrated in so small a volume. Ball lightning can pass through glass windows without breaking them, and frequently materializes inside closed rooms and even metal aircraft. Furthermore, ‘It may glide silently and disinterestedly past an observer or it may inquisitively explore a room as if directed by intelligence.’6

Related phenomena include luminous aerial bubbles – ‘large assemblages of colored spheres or bubbles drifting randomly, quickly, almost playfully’.7 Some luminous ‘UFO’ phenomena could also involve various kinds of subtle energy-forms or elemental beings, which are able to manifest visibly under certain conditions.8 Trevor Constable and several other researchers have actually photographed plasmatic lifeforms in the atmosphere in the infrared part of the spectrum; many look like giant pulsating unicellular organisms.9 (Constable has also conducted pioneering work in weather engineering with dramatic results. He developed a series of devices, based on the ‘cloudbuster’ invented by Wilhelm Reich, which are apparently able to influence the etheric forces underlying meteorological phenomena.10)

‘Dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ – the latest fads of big bang cosmologists – deserve a brief mention. They are said to make up 22.7% and 72.8% of the universe respectively. Dark energy is a hypothetical antigravitational force that supposedly causes space to expand at an accelerating rate. And dark matter is said to consist mainly of hypothetical particles which, unlike all other known physical matter, do not emit or absorb light, and can be detected only by their gravitational effects. However, the observational evidence on which these theories are based are open to alternative, more rational explanations.11 Since enormous quantities of dark matter are supposed to be concentrated around galaxies in vast halos, any attempt to identify dark matter with the astral realms – which pervade all space and are densest within and around physical objects – is misconceived.

Research into paranormal phenomena is another major field that points to the existence of unseen worlds. In fact, definitive proof of the existence of inner worlds is available only to those who have developed the supernormal power to send their consciousness into the inner realms and experience them directly. Over the past few decades, parapsychologists have amassed a great deal of evidence for extrasensory perception (ESP), and also for micro-psychokinesis (or micro-PK), which involves the influence of consciousness on atomic particles in electronic devices. Macro-PK involves the movement of larger objects by mental effort, and includes materializations, dematerializations, teleportation, and levitation. Such phenomena pose an even greater challenge to orthodox science, which helps to explain why they receive little official attention today, despite the impressive amount of evidence for them.12 Attempts have been made to explain paranormal phenomena in terms of quantum physics, by invoking the concept of instantaneous, acausal, nonlocal connections, and the theory that human observation can somehow ‘collapse’ abstract ‘probability waves’ into material particles. But such ‘explanations’ are extremely contrived, and are a poor substitute for superphysical forces, states of matter, and living entities.

The truth is that even our normal mental powers are impossible to explain in materialistic terms. Evidence for the existence of subtler bodies and a conscious self distinct from the brain is also provided by research into life fields, bioplasmic fields, and Kirlian photography,13 acupuncture, phantom limbs, multiple personality, hypnotism, transpersonal states of consciousness, and out-of-body and near-death experiences. In addition, powerful evidence for reincarnation has been gathered by the meticulous investigations of Dr Ian Stevenson and his colleagues concerning children who remember past lives – and reincarnation implies the existence of a reincarnating soul, composed of finer grades of spirit-substance than our physical body.14

It’s interesting to note that scientists who are quite happy indulging in fanciful speculations about other universes tucked away in abstract, inaccessible realms, or about ‘hyperspace’ and ‘superspace’ and ‘shrivelled-up’ dimensions, often denounce vigorously, and sometimes rabidly, any talk of the paranormal or life after death, despite the wealth of supporting evidence.15 The reason for this double standard is that abstract mathematical constructs pose no threat to the materialistic worldview whereas concrete other worlds do.

Another important line of enquiry is research into the origin and evolution of life. To explain the stunning diversity, creativity, and ingenuity of life, many scientists feel compelled to invoke all sorts of new ‘laws’ and ‘organizing principles’. Physicist Paul Davies, for example, says that in addition to the laws of physics, there are ‘general organizing principles that supervise the behavior of complex systems at higher organizational levels’.16 Systems theorist Fritjof Capra says that there is an ‘inherent tendency’ in nature towards the ‘spontaneous’ emergence of order and complexity.17 And biologist Lyall Watson believes that there is a ‘hidden principle’ at work, and that, instead of acting blindly, chance seems to have ‘a pattern and a reason of its own’.18

However, ‘laws of nature’ and ‘organizing principles’ and ‘inherent tendencies’ are purely descriptive and explain nothing. From a theosophical standpoint, these vague, general terms denote the habits, the instinctual activities, of a whole spectrum of nonphysical forces and entities, ranging from elementals to spiritual intelligences. Capra dismisses such an idea as ‘vitalism’, Davies regards it as ‘bizarre’, and Watson rejects anything ‘otherworldly’. But the idea that there are paraphysical energies and entities at work surely makes more sense than the belief that there are abstract ‘laws’ and ‘principles’ floating around, magically creating order out of chaos, or that chance and spontaneity just happen to be creative. According to theosophy, at any rate, the universe and everything within it grow and work and are guided from within outwards.


Honest and open-minded investigation and contemplation of the world around us, and the world within us, will inevitably lead us beyond the physical and towards the metaphysical. We can then either remain stranded in an abstract wonderland tacked on to the physical world, or we can follow the law of analogy and recognize that consciousness-life-substance manifests in an endless variety of interblending, interacting worlds within worlds, in accordance with the principle that within the all-embracing unity of nature there is infinite diversity.

A growing number of people are rejecting the materialistic and theological dogmas of the past, and are seeking a broader and more meaningful philosophy of life. Many will undoubtedly be attracted to the mind-expanding vision of the ageless wisdom, in which science and religion fuse into one. For as Mahatma KH put it: ‘The era of blind faith is gone; that of enquiry is here.’1


Matter and energy

  1. Murray Gell-Mann, The Quark and the Jaguar, Abacus, 1995, p. 124
  2. David Bohm, The Special Theory of Relativity, Addison-Wesley, 1979 (1965), pp. 116-20.
  3. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, TUP, 2nd ed., 1926, p. 159 / TPH, chron. ed., 1993, p. 317.
  4. Ibid., 2nd ed., p. 142 / chron. ed., p. 283.
  5. The Secret Doctrine, TUP, 1977 (1888), 1:2, 14, 273.
  6. See G. de Purucker, The Esoteric Tradition, TUP, 2nd ed., 1940, pp. 731-5; Dialogues of G. de Purucker, TUP, 1948, 3:380-6.

Ether and fields

  1. G. de Purucker, Studies in Occult Philosophy, TUP, 1945, pp. 440-2; The Esoteric Tradition, pp. 421-6, 901-2fn. See The theosophical ether,
  2. The Secret Doctrine, 1:331, 587.
  3. See Space, time, and relativity, section 3,
  4. See Aetherometry and gravity: an introduction, section 6,
  5. R.L. Forward, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 10, no. 3, 1996, pp. 328-33.
  6. B. Haisch, A. Rueda, H.E. Puthoff, ‘Beyond E=mc2’, The Sciences, v. 34, no. 6, 1994, pp. 26-31.
  7. See e.g.: Paul LaViolette, Genesis of the Cosmos: The ancient science of continuous creation, Bear and Company, 2004; Paulo and Alexandra Correa,; Harold Aspden,; M. Barone & F. Selleri (eds.), Frontiers of Fundamental Physics, Plenum, 1994, pp. 107-14 (S.V.M. Clube), pp. 171-9 (H.E. Wilhelm), pp. 203-8 (T. Morris), pp. 209-16 (A. Martin & C.R. Keys), pp. 217-22 (J. Czerniawski); Bahram Katirai, Revolution in Physics, Noor Publishing Co., 1993.

Other worlds vs. empty abstractions

  1. The Secret Doctrine, 1:482-9.
  2. Sir Oliver Lodge, The Ether of Space, Harper & Brothers, 1909, p. 90.
  3. The Esoteric Tradition, pp. 901-2fn.
  4. Ibid., pp. 861-2; G. de Purucker, Esoteric Teachings, PLP, 1987, 3:28-9; Fountain-Source of Occultism, TUP, 1974, pp. 80-1.
  5. Dialogues of G. de Purucker, 3:324.
  6. Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past: Morphic resonance and the habits of nature, Vintage, 1989; Rupert Sheldrake: a theosophical appraisal,
  7. See Consciousness, causality, and quantum physics, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 11, no. 1, 1997, pp. 69-78,
  8. Tom Van Flandern, Dark Matter, Missing Planets & New Comets, North Atlantic Books, 1993, pp. 24-6, 38, 41-2, 328; Meta Research Bulletin, 3:1, March 1994, p. 9,
  9. Stephen Hawking, Black Holes and Baby Universes, Bantam Books, 1993, p. 112.
  10. See The farce of modern physics, section 4,
  11. The Secret Doctrine, 1:252; G. de Purucker, Esoteric Teachings, 3:30-1.
  12. See Life on other worlds,
  13. See W.J. ReMine, The Biotic Message, St. Paul Science, 1993, pp. 58-66.
  14. E.g. F. David Peat, The Philosopher’s Stone, Bantam Books, 1991; Amit Goswami, The Self-Aware Universe, Tarcher/Putnam, 1993.


  1. The Secret Doctrine, 1:554-66; Theo Paijmans, Free Energy Pioneer: John Worrell Keely, IllumiNet Press, 1998.
  2. Jeane Manning & Joel Garbon, Breakthrough Power: How quantum-leap new energy inventions can transform our world, Amber Bridge Books, 2009; Keith Tutt, The Search for Free Energy: A scientific tale of jealousy, genius and electricity, Simon & Schuster, 2001. See The farce of modern physics, section 6, and The energy future, section 7,
  3. The Self-Aware Universe, pp. 10, 51, 151.
  4. Genesis of the Cosmos, pp. 318-29.
  5. Fountain-Source of Occultism, pp. 293-8.
  6. W.R. Corliss (comp.), Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, Sourcebook Project, 1982, pp. 54-91.
  7. Ibid., pp. 107-10.
  8. Paul Devereux, Earth Light Revelation: UFOs and mystery lightform phenomena, Blandford, 1990.
  9. Trevor J. Constable, The Cosmic Pulse of Life, Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, 1990. See UFOs: the psychic dimension,
  10. Loom of the Future: The weather engineering work of Trevor James Constable, an interview conducted by Thomas J. Brown, BSRF, 1994.
  11. See Trends in cosmology,
  12. See Psychic powers and Visitors from the twilight zone,
  13. Peter Tompkins & Christopher Bird, The Secret Life of Plants, Harper & Row, 1973, pp. 178-213; S. Ostrander & L. Schroeder, Psi: Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, Abacus, 1973, pp. 208-42.
  14. See Life beyond death: evidence for survival,
  15. William A. Tiller, ‘What are subtle energies?’, Journal of Scientific Exploration, v. 7, no. 3, 1993, pp. 293-304.
  16. Paul Davies, The Mind of God, Simon & Schuster, 1992, pp. 182, 192.
  17. Fritjof Capra, The Web of Life, HarperCollins, 1996, pp. 25, 107, 217, 222.
  18. Lyall Watson, Supernature II, Sceptre, 1987, pp. 24, 46, 160, 307.


  1. Margaret Conger, Combined Chronology, TUP, 1973, p. 37; The Mahatma Letters, chron. ed., p. 475.

Last revised: April 2012. Original talk given at the Theosophy and Modern Science Conference, Pasadena, 30-31 May 1998.

The theosophical ether

Space, time, and relativity

The farce of modern physics

Trends in cosmology

UFOs: the psychic dimension