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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

68                      Vibrations

I do not say that thought actually passes into substance,
or mind into matter, by way of actionóI do not know what
thought isóbut every thought involves bodily change, i.e.
action, and every action involves thought, conscious or un-
conscious. The action is the point of juncture between bodily
change, visible and otherwise sensible, and mental change
which is invisible except as revealed through action. So that
action is the material symbol of certain states of mind. It
translates the thought into a corresponding bodily change.

ii

When the universal substance is at rest, that is, not
vibrating at all, it is absolutely imperceptible whether by
itself or anything else. It is to all intents and purposes
fast asleep or, rather, so completely non-existent that you
can walk through it, or it through you, and it knows neither
time nor space but presents all the appearance of perfect
vacuum. It is in an absolutely statical state. But when it
is not at rest, it becomes perceptible both to itself and others;
that is to say, it assumes material guise such as makes it
perceptible both to itself and others. It is then tending
towards rest, i.e. in a dynamical state. The not being at
rest is the being in a vibratory condition. It is the disturbance
of the repose of the universal, invisible and altogether im-
perceptible substance by way of vibration which constitutes !
matter at all; it is the character of the vibrations which
constitutes the particular kind of matter. (May we imagine
that some vibrations vibrate with a rhythm which has a
tendency to recur like the figures in a recurring decimal, and
that here we have the origin of the reproductive system ?)

We should realise that all space is at all times full of a
stuff endowed with a mind and that both stuff and mind are
immaterial and imperceptible so long as they are undisturbed,
but the moment they are disturbed the stuff becomes material
and the mind perceptible. It is not easy to disturb them,
for the atmosphere protects them. So long as they are un-
disturbed they transmit light, etc., just as though they were
a rigid substance, for, not being disturbed, they detract
nothing from any vibration which enters them.

What will cause a row will be the hitting upon some plan
for waking up the ether. It is here that we must look for