Then in the progress of ordinary research the discovery of radium by Madame Curie in the year 1902 put an entirely new face upon the subject of electrons. The beta particles emanating from radium were soon identified with the electrons of the cathode ray. Then followed the discovery that the gas helium, previously treated as a separate element, evolved itself as one consequence of the disintegration of radium. Transmutation, till then laughed at as a superstition of the alchemist, passed quietly into the region of accepted natural phenomena, and the chemical elements were seen to be bodies built up of electrons in varying number and probably in varying arrangements. So at last ordinary science had reached one important result of the occult research carried on seven years earlier. It has not yet reached the finer results of the occult research—the structure of the hydrogen atom with its eighteen etheric atoms and the way in which the atomic weights of all elements are explained by the number of etheric atoms entering into their constitution.
The ether of space, though defying instrumental examination, comes within scope of the clairvoyant faculty, and profoundly interesting discoveries were made during what I have called the early research in connexion with that branch of the inquiry. Etheric atoms combine to form molecules in many different ways, but combinations involving fewer atoms than the eighteen which give rise to hydrogen, make no impression on the physical senses nor on physical instruments of research. They give rise to varieties of molecular ether, the comprehension of which begins to illuminate realms of natural mystery as yet entirely untrodden by the ordinary physicist. Combinations below 18 in number give rise to three varieties of molecular ether, the functions of which when they come to be more fully studied will constitute a department of natural knowledge on the threshold of which we already stand. Some day we may perhaps be presented with a volume on Occult Physics as important in its way as the present dissertation on Occult Chemistry.
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Details of the early research.
The article detailing the results of the research carried on in the year 1895 (see the November issue for that year of the magazine then called Lucifer), began with some general remarks about the clairvoyant faculty, already discussed in the preceding chapter. The original record then goes on as follows:—