"Oh, thou beautiful And unimaginable ether! and Ye multiplying masses of increased And still increasing lights! What are ye? What Is this blue wilderness of interminable Air, where ye roll along as I have seen The leaves along the limpid streams of Eden?"
"First the flaming red Sprang void forth; the tawny orange next, And next delicious yellow; by whose side Fell the kind beams of all-refreshing green. Then the pure blue that swells autumnal skies, Ethereal played; and then, of sadder hue Emerged the deeper indigo (as when The heavy-skirted evening droops with frost), While the last gleamings of refracted light Died in the fainting violet away." - Thomson.
Man is living in a universe of ceaseless vibration, but is conscious physically of such vibration only in a minute way. He is affected through his sense of hearing by something over ten octaves of sound vibration, and through his sense of sight by one octave of light and colour vibration. There are countless billions of vibratory waves of electricity, heat, light, and colour, etc., that apparently make no impression whatever upon either his senses or his physical body. Billions of vibratory waves are constantly passing through his body, yet he is all unconscious of what is taking place. With his mind he may determine mathematically the number of these vibratory waves, but apparently he is only slightly attuned to them and feels comparatively little of their action in his physical life. Vibration on every plane of being differs in degree but not in kind; no matter whether we call it molecular, atomic, or spiritual. All three may differ in degree, but not in kind. It is the same vibration from the highest spiritual plane of being to the lowest plane of form. All vibration is the result of energy in motion. Energy in rhythmic, vibratory motion has produced every form in the universe; and energy in discordant motion is destructive of all form. Different degrees of vibration affect us in various ways and degrees. Eighteen hundred volts of electricity will destroy human life, while two million volts passing through the body of man seem to produce no harmful effect.
In the act of hearing, somewhere between twenty-five and forty per second of molecular vibratory waves marks the beginning of the average man's power to hear; and somewhere between thirty and forty thousand waves per second marks the end where the limit of hearing is reached. It is to be noted, however, that some people are more delicately attuned to both sound and colour vibration than others. They begin to hear at a lower rate of vibration and continue to hear the higher sounds, and see more wonder of colour long after others have ceased to sense them. There is no question that the great painter sees far more colour in the varying hues, tints, and shades that he uses than the person who is not in sympathetic relation to them; or, I might say, than the one who is not so highly attuned to them. Some writer has said, that "colour is sound made visible and that sound is colour made audible." Just as musical sounds differ in sound, pitch, and quality, so do colours differ in three respects - hue, tint, and shade; although sound is the result of molecular vibration while colour is the result either of atomic or electron vibration. The scientific theory of molecular vibration is that it is not the air which is moved, but the molecules in the atmosphere - that any vibratory body causes them to vibrate in the same manner. Perhaps a bell will illustrate the meaning: when the gong of a bell strikes, there is a vibration set up which disturbs all the molecules in the bell; these, in turn, produce a vibration of those outside, and these, in turn, impinge upon other molecules farther away from the bell, and thus vibratory waves are set up, which undoubtedly extend far beyond the power of the ear to hear them. The vibratory waves set up in the bell radiate, as do the rays of the sun, in every possible direction. Each molecule communicates the impulse it has received to the next, and, having done this, returns to its normal state of repose. With electricity, heat, and light, the same process takes place, but in different degrees. A molecule is an aggregation of atoms. Until recently the belief has been that the atom was the smallest conceivable particle of substance in the universe; that the whole visible universe was a grand aggregation of atoms. With the discovery of radium there came a deeper unfolding of the secrets of life, and the electron took its place as underlying the atom, and man went one step farther toward unravelling the mysteries of life. It is to be noticed in all such steps, however, that the tendency of science is from the visible toward the invisible. Energy in motion produces all vibration, but we do not know what causes the energy or what sets it in motion. All atomic or electron vibration is set up by the activities of the sun, but of the causes lying back of these activities we know comparatively nothing. We know that electricity, heat, and light are the result of energy in motion, and we believe that this energy produces atomic waves, and that the different degrees of these set up among the atoms produce the phenomena of all three and the different degrees of length and velocity of these waves produce the three different phases of the phenomena of electricity, heat, and light. Doubtless, we shall yet come to know that besides molecular and atomic, there is also electron vibration; but what the latter vibration may produce no man can as yet definitely say. We know so little about the whole subject of vibration and the various phenomena produced by it, and there is so much yet to be known, that the deeper we go into the matter the more wonderful does it all become. Vibration, from first to last, is a unity of motion and must be considered as such, although in its manifestation it becomes a trinity of molecular, atomic, and electron vibration producing varying degrees of wave lengths and differing in velocity of movement. There is so much to be observed in common between sound waves and colour waves that eventually it will become a thoroughly accepted scientific belief that there is a continuation by varying octaves from the lowest to the highest sound, and from that on, from the first colour - red - to the last one of bright violet. It will consequently be found that the vibration continued beyond the bright violet (when man has become attuned to a higher rate of vibration) will disclose itself as the beginning of a new octave of colour, and that man's hearing will also be able to translate into music the higher sounds which, as yet, have not become musical to his ear; still further octaves of sound will be added to his hearing, and further octaves of colour to his seeing.