XV. Terrestrial Magnetism and Terrestrial Od
If the stratification of the od-light colouration takes place in accordance with the direction of the heavens, us you have learnt from my last letter, the fact must have something in itself which stands in close relationship with od. If a pocket-magnet can influence these things in virtue of its odic content, it is evident at first glance that magnetism emanating from such a mighty container as the whole sphere of the earth, that is, terrestrial magnetism, must similarly exercise the greatest influence on each and every odic phenomenon within our sphere. This influence is none other than that of the od which is everywhere allied with magnetism, that is consequently also associated with the magnetic poles of the earth, and, starting from them, is in action over the entire planet. It might be referred to congruously as terrestrial od.
You have seen how the pole of the magnet which yields odic coolness to the left hand, as all electrically negative bodies do, turns to the N. when it receives freedom of action in the binnacle-box; we should consequently, then, recognize it as negative, and also the od associated with it. And, as the terrestrial pole which attracts it in this direction can only be on unlike one, it follows that the north pole of our earth must be odpositive and the south pole odnegative. It follows further, from that, that the whole northern hemisphere of the earth must be odpositive in its action, and the whole southern hemisphere odnegative.
We should like now to make a nearly related application of this fact to our daily life. I drew your attention in the first of these letters to the fact that all sensitives cannot sleep upon the left, but only on the right, side. I can trust myself with all confidence to express the opinion that this will not be the case in New Holland, in Chile, or in Buenos Aires, but that, on the contrary, all the sensitives in those parts will only like sleeping on their left. In the neighbourhood of the equator it will be a matter of indifference to them whether they sleep on the left or the right.
It must surely be so. The northern surface of the earth is odically positive. Turn the left or odpositive side of a sensitive to it and you have a like pairing; and this he cannot endure. It has a disagreeably lukewarm, disturbing, sleep-banishing, effect upon him. But now lay your sensitive friend on his odnegative right, and the trouble is removed: unlike pairing comes in; negative side and positive earth-surface are turned to each other, and the reign of peace and comfort commences. The sensitive falls asleep without more ado. In the southern hemisphere the case is vice versa. There you have the deep-laid reason of an apparently very superficial matter, which pathology may make a note of.
I want now to take in en passant a similar fact, and one even more native still to our argument. I have said nothing to you so far—in order to save space—as to the odic character of the longitudinal axis in man. Omitting proofs, then, I wish to make you briefly aware of the fact that I have ascertained the human subject to be odnegative in the upper half from the brain downwards, and odpositive in the lower half from the waist downwards. With this as premise, I ask you to place four chairs in the centre of a room, turning the back of one to the (magnetic) north, that of another to the west, that of the third to the south, and that of the fourth to the east. Now ask a good sensitive if it would be a matter of indifference to him on which of the four seats he should be compelled to remain for some time. When he has tried all of them in turn, he will decide that he feels most comfortable on the one in which he turns his back to the north and his face to the south, and most uncomfortable on the one in which he turns his back to the west and his face to the east.
From the qualities he attributes to the other seats, I shall hurry on to invite you to extend the experiment you have made with your sensitive’s seats to his bed. Get him to lie down on it, and then move him and bed together with the head turned towards the four quarters of the globe in rotation. He will soon let you know that he feels most comfortable in the position in which he has his head to the north and his feet to the south. The explanation is to hand at once. The upper half of his body, in relation to the axis of length, is odnegative, the north pole of the earth odpositive. When the two are turned towards each other, the result is an unlike, that is, an acceptable, pairing. The lower half of his body is odpositive, and makes an unlike contrast with the negative south pole of the earth. Every other position, sitting or lying, is less suitable, and more or less -unpleasant, distasteful, disquieting.
There are some of my sensitives who, since imbibing this teaching from me, always take a compass with them when they travel, and in every hotel they stop at set their bedstead by the magnetic needle. I have known high-sensitives incapable of getting proper rest in any other than the N. to S. position. But even medium-sensitives and sensitives of a low degree of sensitivity, such as Mr. Delhez for instance, the French language teacher in Vienna, are so powerfully influenced by the position of their bed that it is a deciding factor not only in the matter of their night’s rest, but also, and consequently, in that of their general condition of health. A sensitive in good health should therefore note it as a dietetic rule always to have the head of his bed turned to the north; but a sick patient who is a sensitive simply must, and before everything else, be brought into this orientation; without it every other effort made for his cure, and all medical treatment, are well nigh in vain.
I can now return with you to the church, where I left you in my first letter by the side of the people who had fainted. We have adopted as a rule of ecclesiastical architecture a custom we have inherited from our heathen ancestors, namely, to set the altar at the east end of the building, and the nave consequently points to the end opposite. In consequence of this arrangement the congregation sit facing the altar with their backs towards tin- west. But, as we saw, that is exactly the orientation the sensitive is least of all able to endure. His odpositive left is turned thereby to the odpositive terrestrial north pole, and his odnegative right at the same time to the odnegative south pole. He is sitting consequently in a position subjected to a double action of like pairings, and this it is not in his power to hold out against. If it lasts for a considerable time, such as the time taken to sit through a whole church service, and his degree of sensitivity is not low, one discomfort befalls him after another, he gets hot, feels restless and ill at ease, is troubled by migraine or sickness of the stomach, then by stomach-ache, and if he is not able to slip out, he ends up by falling down in a swoon. This is what we see taking place in great churches every day, and there is nothing else to blame for it but the inappropriate orientation of the building.
But the matter extends also to the daily life we lead in our homes. No chair, or sofa, or seat of any description, should be so placed that any sensitive, Liking it, has to turn his back to the west. Even.standing with his back to the west he finds insufferable.
Major Philippi, of the Engineers, who is a good medium-sensitive and an experienced seaman, never needs a compass when he is on board ship to be able to tell the four quarters of the heavens; he has only to turn slowly round as he stands, and he soon feels out clearly the direction of the north and the west. Any sailor who is a sensitive will soon learn to do the same, and find out the pole by the same law as that by which the sensitive dowser felt out the running water.
These things are so mixed up with our everyday life that they should decide, for instance, in the matter of placing a piece of furniture, a machine, or a piano. A lady who was a sensitive used often to play the piano in my home. But she never felt comfortable when she was at it, and could not tell how it was that a feeling of not being up to the mark used to come over her whenever she sat down to my instrument, which, apart from this, was quite a good one. After thinking the matter over for a little, I reflected at last that the sides of the piano, a grand, were set along the meridian, and the lady, when playing, sat at their south pole, with her back turned to the south. That meant that she was sitting with her face towards the odpositive poles of just so many long magnets as there were steel wires stretched in her direction. Against such a combination she had no power of resistance, and, had she remained seated thus for a considerable time, she would have fallen from her chair in a swoon.
I turned the keyboard round, so that she sat at the north end of the instrument and simply faced the northward poles of the magnets. Now everything went well in a trice, and she played with comfort and pleasure. A grand pianoforte, consequently, should never be set so that the performer has to sit south or west of it; no sensitive could feel well with it that way.
I know a man who was once a fine manager of a household and an industrious weaver, and was at the same time endowed with a considerable degree, of sensitivity. He moved to another house, and from that hour had no longer any affection for his loom. He could never sit down upon his weaving-stool without getting the fidgets, took to the tavern and the beershop, neglected his work, and went to ruin. In his old home the loom stood in the northerly direction for the worker’s back, in the new in the westerly; this last position he was not proof against. The odic trouble, the reason of which he knew not, but whose disagreeable gnawings he had no power to withstand, brought the poor man to destruction. Thousands who have to earn their livelihood in a sedentary position, artisans, sempstresses, writers, officials, artists—particularly painters, who let the north light fall upon their work and then sit with their backs to the west, and are in this way bereft of all pleasure in their work—have fallen innocent victims to the hitherto prevailing ignorance of these mysterious physical conditions.