Isis Unveiled: chapter II (A Deeper Philosophy)

“Here it is verbatim: “As to the movements and oscillations alleged to happen with certain tables, they can have no cause other than the invisible and involuntary vibrations of the experimenter’s muscular system; the extended contraction of the muscles manifesting itself at such time by a series of vibrations, and becoming thus a visible tremor which communicates to the object a circumrotary motion.

This rotation is thus enabled to manifest itself with a considerable energy, by a gradually quickening motion, or by a strong resistance, whenever it is required to stop. Hence the physical explanation of the phenomenon becomes clear and does not offer the slightest difficulty.”

None whatever. This scientific hypothesis – or demonstration shall we say? is as clear as one of M. Babinet’s nebulae examined on a foggy night.

And still, clear as it may be, it lacks an important feature, i.e., common sense. We are at a loss to decide whether or not Babinet accepts en desespoir de cause Hartmann’s proposition that “the visible effects of matter are nothing but the effects of a force”, and, that in order to form a clear conception of matter, one must first form one of force.

The philosophy to the school of which belongs Hartmann, and which is partly accepted by several of the greatest German scientists, teaches that the problem of matter can only be solved by that invisible Force, acquaintance with which Schopenhauer terms the “magical knowledge”, and “magical effects or action of Will.”


Thus, we must first ascertain whether the “involuntary vibrations of the experimenter’s muscular system” which are but “actions of matter”, are influenced by a will within the experimenter or without.

In the former case Babinet makes of him an unconscious epileptic; the latter, as we will further see, he rejects altogether, and attributes all intelligent answers of the tipping or rapping tables to “unconscious ventriloquism.””

H. P. Blavatsky

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