CHAPTER XLIX.

OSCILLATING THROUGH SPACE.- EARTH'S SHELL ABOVE ME?.

Continued my companion:
" We have just now crossed the line of gravitation. We were drawn downward until at a certain point, to which I called your attention at the time, we recently crossed the curved plane of perfect rest, where gravity ceases, and by our momentum are now passing beyond that plane, and are now pressing against the bond of gravitation again. This shell in which gravity centers is concentric with that of the earth's exterior, and is about seven hundred miles below its surface. Each moment of time will now behold us carried farther from this sphere of attraction, and thus the increasing distance increases the force, of the restraining influence. Our momentum is thus retarded, and consequently the rapidity of our motion is continually decreasing. At last when the forces of gravitation and mass motion neutralize each other, we will come to a state of rest again. When our motion in this direction ceases, however, gravitation, imperishable, continues to exert its equalizing influence, the result being a start in the opposite direction, and we will then reverse our course, and retrace our path, crossing again the central band of attraction, to retreat and fly to the opposite side of the power of greater attraction, into the expanse from which we came, and that is now above us."

" Can this oscillation ever end? Are we to remain thus, as an unceasing pendulum, traversing space, to and fro across this invisible shell of attraction from now until the end of time?"

" No; there are influences to prevent such an experience; one being the friction of the attenuated atmosphere into which we plunge each time that we cross the point of greater gravity, and approach the crust of the earth. Thus each succeeding vibration is in shorter lines, and at last we will come to a state of perfect rest at the center of gravity."

" I can only acquiesce in meek submission, powerless even to argue, for I perceive that the foundations for my arguments must be based on those observed conditions of natural laws formerly known to me, and that do not encompass us here; I accept, therefore, your statements as I have several times heretofore, because I can not refute them. I must close my eyes to the future, and accept it on faith; I cease to mourn the past, I can not presage the end."

" Well spoken," he replied; " and while we are undergoing this necessary delay, this oscillating motion, to which we must both submit before we can again continue our journey, I will describe some conditions inherent in the three spheres of which the rind of the earth is composed, for I believe that you are now ready to receive and profit by facts that heretofore you would have rejected in incredulity.

" The outer circle, coat, or contour, of which you have heard others besides myself speak, is the surface crust of our globe, the great sphere of land and water on which man is at present an inhabitant. This is the exposed part of the Earth, and is least desirable as a residence. It is affected by grievous atmospheric changes, and restless physical conditions, such as men, in order to exist in, must fortify against at the expense of much bodily and mental energy, which leads them, necessarily, to encourage the animal at the expense of the ethereal. The unmodified rays of the sun produce aerial convulsions that are marked by thermal contrasts, and other meteorological variations, during which the heat of summer and the cold of winter follow each other periodically and unceasingly. These successive solar pulsations generate winds, calms, and storms, and in order to protect himself against such exposures and changes in material surroundings, man toils, suffers, and comes to believe that the doom, if not the object, of life on earth is the preservation of the earthy body. All conditions and phases of nature on this outer crust are in an angry struggle, and this commotion envelops the wretched home, and governs the life of man. The surrounding cyclones of force and matter have distorted the peaceful side of what human nature might be until the shortened life of man has become a passionate, deplorable, sorrowful struggle for physical existence, from the cradle to the grave. Of these facts man is practically ignorant, although each individual is aware he is not satisfied with his condition. If his afflictions were obvious to himself, his existence would be typical of a life of desolation and anguish. You know full well that the condition of the outer sphere is, as I have described it, a bleak, turbulent surface, the roof of the earth on which man exists, as a creeping parasite does on a rind of fruit, exposed to the fury of the ever-present earth storms.

The central circle, or medial sphere, the shell, or layer of gravitation, lies conformably to the outer configuration of the, globe, about seven hundred miles towards its center. It stretches beneath the outer circle ( sphere ) as a transparent sheet, a shell of energy, the center of gravitation. The material crust of the earth rests on this placid sphere of vigor, excepting in a few places, where, as in the crevice we have entered, gaps, or crevices, in matter exist, beginning from near the outer surface and extending diagonally through the medial and inner spheres into the intra-earth space beyond. This medial sphere is a form of pure force, a disturbance of motion, and although without weight it induces, or conserves, gravity. It is invisible to mortal eyes, and is frictionless, but really is the bone of the earth. On it matter, the retarded energy of space, space dust, has arranged itself as dust collects on a bubble of water. This we call matter. The material portion of the earth is altogether a surface film, an insignificant skin over the sphere of purity, the center of gravitation. Although men naturally imagine that the density and stability of the earth are dependent on the earthy particles, of which his own body is a part, such is not the case ... Earth, as man upon the outer surface can now know it, is an aggregation of material particles, a shell resting on this globular sphere of medial force, which attracts solid matter from both the outer and inner surfaces of earth, forming thereby the middle of the three concentric spheres. This middle sphere is the reverse of the outer, or surface, layer in one respect, for, while it attracts solids, gases are repelled by it, and thus the atmosphere becomes less dense as we descend from the outer surfaces of the earth.

The greater degree of attraction for gases belongs, therefore, to the earth's exterior surface."

" Exactly at the earth's exterior surface ?" I asked.

" Practically so. The greatest density of the air is found a few miles below the surface of the ocean; the air becomes more attenuated as we proceed in either direction from that point. Were this not the case, the atmosphere that surrounds the earth would be quickly absorbed into its substance, or expand into space and disappear."

" Scientific men claim that the atmosphere is forty-five geographical miles in depth over the earth's surface," I said.

" If the earth is eight thousand miles in diameter, how long
would such an atmosphere, a skin only, over a great ball, resist
such attraction, and remain above the globe? Were it really
attracted towards its center- it would disappear as a film of water sinks into a sponge."

" Do you know," I interrupted, " that if these statements were made to men they would not be credited? Scientific men have calculated the weights of the planets, and have estimated therefrom the density of the earth, showing it to be solid, and knowing its density, they would, on this consideration alone, discredit your story concerning the earth shell."

" You mistake, as you will presently see. It is true that man's ingenuity has enabled him to ascertain the weights and densities of the planets, but do you mean to say that these scientific results preclude the possibility of a hollow interior of the heavenly bodies?"

" I confess, I do."

" You should know then, that what men define as density of the earth, is but an average value, which is much higher than that exhibited by materials in the surface layers of the earth crust, such as come within the scrutiny of man. This fact allows mortals of upper earth but a vague conjecture as to the nature of the seemingly much heavier substances that exist in the interior of the earth. Have men any data on hand to show exactly how matter is distributed below the limited zone that is accessible to their investigations?"

" I think not."

" You may safely accept, then, that the earth shell I have described to you embraces in a compact form the total weight of the earth. Even though men take for granted that matter fills out the whole interior of our planet, such material would not, if distributed as on Earth's surface, give the earth the density he has determined for it."

" I must acquiesce in your explanations."

" Let us now go a step further in this argument. What do you imagine is the nature of those heavier substances whose existence deep within the Earth is suggested by the exceedingly high total density observed by man on upper Earth?"

" I am unable to explain, especially as the materials surrounding us here, seemingly, do not differ much from those with which my former life experience has made me acquainted."

" Your observation is correct, there is no essential difference in this regard. But as we are descending into the interior of this globe, and are approaching the central seat of the shell of energy, the opposing force into which we plunge becomes correspondingly stronger, and as a consequence, matter pressed within it becomes really lighter. Your own experience about your weight gradually disappearing during this journey should convince you of the correctness of this fact."

" Indeed, it does," I admitted.

" You will then readily understand, that the heavy material to which surface-bred mortals allude as probably constituting the interior of the earth, is, in fact, nothing but the manifestation of a matter-supporting force, as exemplified in the sphere of attractive energy, the seat of which we are soon to encounter on our journey. Likewise the mutual attraction of the heavenly bodies is not a property solely of their material part, but an expression in which both the force-spheres and the matter collected thereon take part.

" Tell me more of the sphere in which gravitation is intensest."

" Of that you are yet to judge," he replied. " When we come to a state of rest in the stratum of greater gravity, we will then traverse this crevice in the sheet of energy until we reach the edge of the earth crust, after which we will ascend towards the interior of the earth, until we reach the inner crust, which is, as before explained, a surface of matter that lies comformably with the external crust of the earth, and which is the interior surface of the solid part of the earth. There is a concave world beneath the outer convex world."

" I can not comprehend you. You speak of continuing our journey towards the center of the earth, and at the same time you say that after leaving the Median Circle, we will then ascend, which seems contradictory."

" I have endeavored to show you that matter is resting in or on a central sphere of energy, which attracts solid bodies towards its central plane. From this fundamental and permanent seat of gravity we may regard our progress as up-hill, whether we proceed towards the hollow center or towards the outer surface of the globe. If a stick weighted on one end is floated upright in water, an insect on the top of the stick above the water will fall to the surface of the liquid, and yet the same insect will rise to the surface of the water if liberated beneath the water at the bottom of the stick. This comparison is not precisely applicable to our present position, for there is no change in medium here, but it may serve as an aid to thought and may indicate to you that which I wish to convey when I say ` we ascend' in both directions as we pull against Gravity. The terms up and down are not absolute, but relative."

Thus we continued an undefined period in mind conversation; and of the information gained in my experience of that delightful condition, I have the privilege now to record but a small portion, and even this statement of facts appears, as I glance backward into my human existence, as if it may seem to others to border on the incredible. During all that time- I know not how long the period may have been- we were alternately passing and repassing through the partition of division ( the sphere of gravity ) that separated the inner from the outer substantial crust of earth. With each vibration our line of travel became shorter and shorter, like the decreasing oscillations of a pendulum, and at last I could no longer perceive the rushing motion of a medium like the air. Finally my guide said that we were at perfect rest at a point in that mysterious medial sphere which, at a distance of about seven hundred miles below the level of the sea, concentrates in its encompassing curvature, the mighty power of gravitation. We were fixed seven hundred miles from the outer surface of the globe, but more than three thousand from the center.