Cosmological Constant - were Einstein and
Early this century Einstein proposed a force like gravity but repulsive
rather than attractive. He coined the term "cosmological constant"
as the name for this factor where it appeared in his equations. Subsequently
he recanted and called his proposal of the cosmological constant the biggest
blunder he had ever made. Earlier, in 1888, Madame Blavatsky had written
in the Secret Doctrine (a book read by Einstein) about the definite
existence of a repulsive aspect of "gravity".
To be more specific, she said we entirely misunderstood gravity and when
we do come to understand gravity our conception of it will be more like
that of magnetism (which has attraction and repulsion naturally as part
of its dual nature).
This causes students of theosophy to become alert each time the cosmological
constant is revived for consideration by science. And now the Tuesday Science
section in the April 21, 1998 New York Times reports a seemingly very strong
indication that a cosmological constant is indeed correct.
The Times reports:
Finally, the two teams believe that they are closing in on the answer.
Recent observations by D. Perlmutter's team and another one, led by Dr.
Brian Schmidt of the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatiory in Australia,
have awakened astronomers to the prospect of a cosmic surprise. The whiff
of success has intensified their sense of the challenge and excitment of
being on the verge of a potentially transforming discovery. Each stride
forward by one group quickens the pace of the other.
Preliminary measurements strongly suggest that there must be less -
and perhaps more - to the universe than previously imagined by cosmologists:
That is less mass in ordinary or exotic matter, which could mean the universe
will expand forerver. And perhaps more of something else, some mysterious
force that seems to be speeding up the universe's expansion, contrary to
"This has our minds swimming,"
said Dr. Richard A. Muller, an astrophysicist at the University of California
at Berkeley, who is not a member of either team. "This is one of the top astronomy discoveries of the century,
certainly of the decade. It's worthy of a Nobel Prize." ...
Even more important, the announcement forced cosmologists to reconsider
ideas once considered unthinkable. Perhaps, after all, there is another
force, in addition to gravity, playing a dominant role in the universe's
expansion. This could be a pervasive repulsive
force, known as the cosmological constant, that presumably is
a quantum phenomen of enery in empty space.
Also the Times notes:
Some scientists looking on raise a note of caution, saying the astronomers
have not eliminated all possibilities for erors in the data and these could
be yielding misleading results.
We should observe, though, that the validity of the findings is strengthened
by the earnest but still friendly competition between two different research
teams each finding the same results.
Basically, they have confirmed our results," Dr. Goldhaber, said,
referring to the accelerating-expansion findings. "They only had 14
supernovas, and we had 40. But they won the first point in the publicity
Now here is the way Blavatsky puts it in her masterwork, The Secret
Doctrine, Vol I:
Astronomers who see in gravitation an easy-going solution for many things,
and an Universal force which allows them to calculate thereby planetary
motions, care little about the Cause of Attraction. They call Gravity a
law, a cause in itself. We call the forces acting under that name
effects, and very secondary effects, too. One day it will be found
that the scientific hypothesis does not answer after all; and then it will
follow the corpuscular theory of light and be consigned to rest for many
scientific aeons in the archives of all exploded speculations. p. 490.
Blavatsky observes that, in general, forces are the manifestation on
this plane, of intelligent Individualities on a metaphysical plane - a proposition
of course quite beyond science of today. She says:
When an Occultist speaks of Fohat - the energising and guiding intelligence
in the Universal Electric or Vital Fluid, - he is laughed at. Whithal,
as now shown, neither the nature of electricity, nor of Life nor even of
Light, are to this day understood. The occultist sees in the manifestation
of every force in Nature, the action of the quality, or the special characteristic
of its noumenon; which noumenon is a distinct and intelligent Individuality
on the other side of the manifested mechancal Universe. p 493.
Blavatsky asserts that electromagnetic effects are much more significant
than science claims in explaining the cosmos. (Electromagnetic forces are
clearly of both a positive and negative kind - two electrons repel each
other while an electron and a proton attract each other.) We can see this
in her references to Fohat in the early pages of The Secret Doctrine,
a principle that she sometimes refers to as cosmic electricity.
And her final statement:
But Kepler gave a pretty fair description of cosmic magnetism. That such magnetism exists in nature, is as certain
as that gravitation does not; not at any rate, in the way in
which it is taught by Science, which never took into consideration the
different modes in which the dual Force - that Occultism calls attraction and repulsion - may act within
our solar system, the earth's atmosphere, and beyond in the Kosmos. p 49l7.
William Q. Judge in 1893 wrote in The Ocean of Theosophy,
Levitation of the body in apparent defiance of gravitation is a thing
to be done with ease when the process is completely mastered. It contravenes
no law. Gravitation is only half of a law. The Oriental sage admits gravity,
if one wishes to adopt that term; but the
real term is attraction, the other half of the law being expressed by the
word repulsion, and both being governed by the great laws of electrical
force. Weight and stability depend on polarity, and when the
polarity of an object is altered in respect to the earth immediately underneath
it, then the object may rise. ... (page 136-7)
So this latest "Nobel Prize" data on the cosmological constant
is no surprise to a Theosophist. Science appears headed in the right direction
but there is a long way still to go - with perhaps a few more reversals
- before reaching the full views that Blavatsky expressed above.
Reed Carson 4/30/98