More than four centuries b.c., Leucippus and his disciple Democritus - who expounded the atomic theory of his master-introduced the doctrine of indivisible atoms, possessing within themselves a principle of energy. Democritus, it is said, travelling in search of wisdom, visited the Gymnosophists of India (who, by leading ascetic lives, thought they could effect a reunion of the spiritual nature of man, with the divine essence of Deity), and in so doing incurred the risk of being deprived of the rites of sepulture by his "waste of patrimony," there being a law in Abdera to that effect.
Anexagoras, Heraclitus, Empedocles and other philosophers, had taught that matter was indefinitely divisible, but Leucippus and Decmocritus were the first to assert that these particles or atoms were originally destitute of all qualities except form and energy; and they are, therefore, called the originators of the atomic philosophy; which is the basis of Keely's system of sympathetic physics.
Sympathetic physics teaches that light is an etheric evolution, propagated by sympathetic conflict between celestial and terrestrial outflows: solar tensions as against terrestrial condensation. True luminosity cannot be induced in any other way. The high order of triple vibration, that induces (progressively) molecular and intermolecular separation, shows luminous results which, when thus mechanically produced, are virtually on a small scale, a facsimile of nature's operations. "All such experiments that I have made," writes Keely, "resulted in vortex motion invariably, both sympathetically and otherwise. Vortex motion follows nature in all corpuscular action.
"The undulatory theory, regarding light, I have not been able to reconcile myself to, as anything but hypothetical. The conditions which govern electro-magnetic radiations, disprove the theory in many particulars. The vortex action induced in space, by the differential conflict between the low and high tenuous shows up results that harmonize with the conditions accompanying the dissociation of hydrogen and oxygen, in disintegrating water: viz., vortex action of the highest order, but peripheral only. If it were not so, the ether could not be held in suspension, neither in the molecular nor atomic envelopes. Undulatory effects are produced by certain conditions of sound; and by other conditions quite opposite effects. In organ pipes, of a certain calibre, very sensitive waves occur at intervals; as according to the character of the sound evolved; but on a combination of resonators composed of brass tubes of more than nine in number, a wave of sound, induced by certain chords passing over them, produces high vortex action of the air enclosed in them. The vibration of tuning forks induces alternate condition of the air that surrounds them, if in open atmosphere; but quite a different action presents itself when the forks are exercised in resonating tubes, set to thirds of the mass chord they represent. Then high vortex action is the instant result. Vibrators cannot be set promiscuously in tubes, and get such results, any more than a musician can render a musical composition on the violin before tuning it. The conditions under which light is evolved negatize whatever is associated with undulation, as this word is understood by physicists. Aqueous undulations there are, but not etheric undulations.
"The mighty forces latent in corpuscular matter (atoms), by which we are surrounded, are all held in oscillating vortex action by the Infinite Designer of workings hidden from us, until the time is ripe for their disclosure. This latent, registered power interchanges sympathetically with the celestial radiating streams, whereby light, heat, electricity, magnetism and galvanic action are propagated in their different orders, vitalizing all nature with their life-giving principles. When this great scientific and religious truth has been made known, and established by demonstration, all controversy as to the source of energy will be for ever silenced. If I am the chosen instrument to develop this knowledge, and to make known the conditions which surround this pure truth, it is only that I may hand the key to those who will use it to enter the doorway that opens into the inaudible, and thus gain an insight into the now invisible region of the operation of Nature's most powerful governing forces, in the control over terrestrial mind by celestial matter."