All Forms of Matter
Science teaches us that all forms of matter are compiled of minute
particles called molecules. A molecule is the smallest particle of
matter that is possible, unless the chemical atoms composing the matter
fly apart and the matter be resolved into its original elements.
For instance, let us take the familiar instance of a drop of water. Let us
divide and subdivide the drop, until at last we get to the smallest
possible particle of water. That smallest possible particle would be a
"molecule" of water. We cannot subdivide this molecule without causing
its atoms of hydrogen and oxygen to fly apart--and then there would be
no _water_ at all.
Well, these molecules manifest a something called
Attraction for each other. They attract other molecules of the same
kind, and are likewise attracted. The operation of this law of
attraction results in the formation of masses of matter, whether those
masses be mountains of solid rock, or a drop of water, or a volume of
gas. All masses of matter are composed of aggregations of molecules,
held together by the law of attraction.
This law of attraction is called Cohesion. This Cohesive Attraction is
not a mere mechanical force, as many suppose, but is an exhibition of Life action,
manifesting in the presence of the molecule of a "like" or "love" for
the similar molecule. And when the Life energies begin to manifest on a
certain plane, and proceed to mould the molecules into crystals, so
that we may see the actual process under way, we begin to realize very
clearly that there is "something at work" in this building up.
But wonderful as this may seem to those unfamiliar with the idea, the
manifestation of Life among the atoms is still more so. The atom, you
will remember, is the chemical unit which, uniting with other atoms,
makes up the molecule. For instance, if we take two atoms of the gas
called hydrogen and one atom of the gas called oxygen, and place them
near each other, they will at once rush toward each other and form a
partnership, which is called a molecule of water.
And so it is with all atoms--they are continually forming partnerships, or dissolving them.
Marriage and divorce is a part of the life of the atoms. These
evidences of attraction and repulsion among the atoms are receiving
much attention from careful thinkers, and some of the most advanced
minds of the age see in this phenomena the corroboration of the old
Yogi idea that there is Life and vital action in the smallest particles
The atoms manifest vital characteristics in their attractions and
repulsions. They move along the lines of their attractions and form
marriages, and thus combining they form the substances with which we
are familiar. When they combine, remember, they do not lose their
individuality and melt into a permanent substance, but merely unite and
yet remain distinct. If the combination be destroyed by chemical
action, electrical discharge, etc., the atoms fly apart, and again live
their own separate lives, until they come in contact with other atoms
with which they have affinities, and form a new union or partnership.
In many chemical changes the atoms divorce themselves, each forsaking
its mate or mates, and seeking some newer affinity in the shape of a
more congenial atom. The atoms manifest a fickleness and will always
desert a lesser attraction for a greater one. This is no mere bit of
imagery, or scientific poetry. It is a scientific statement of the
action of atoms along the lines of vital manifestation.
The great German scientist, Haekel, has said: "I cannot imagine the
simplest chemical and physical processes without attributing the
movement of the material particles to unconscious sensation.
The idea of Chemical Affinity consists in the fact that the various chemical
elements perceive differences in the qualities of other elements, and
experience pleasure or revulsion at contact with them, and execute
their respective movements on this ground." He also says: "We may
ascribe the feeling of pleasure or pain (satisfaction or
dissatisfaction) to all atoms, and thereby ascribe the elective
affinities of chemistry to the attraction between living atoms and
repulsion between hating atoms."
He also says that "the sensations in animal and plant life are connected
by a long series of evolutionary stages with the simpler forms of sensation
that we find in the inorganic elements, and that reveal themselves in chemical affinity."
Naegli says: "If the molecules possess something that is related,
however distantly, to sensation, it must be comfortable for them to be
able to follow their attractions and repulsions, and uncomfortable for
them when they are forced to do otherwise."