In reading Volume 3 of the Great Harmonia (1852) by Andrew Jackson Davis, I came upon a section which just startled me. Here Davis talks about many of our modern uses of electricity. He predicts using electricity for vehicle transportation, communication, and music. In fact, he talks about how distances between places will be eliminated because of this type of electrical communications. He also talks about weather control and how we will make our environment a healthy place to live. I was also impressed with his accurate prediction of electronic music. I will let his words speak for themselves and below quote from this volume on pages 18-20.
"The earth’s inhabitants have known the time, when the electric fire played frantically, and wholly uncontrolled, through the heavens, now and then leaping from some lofty peak to the peasant’s door, strewing its eccentric pathway with dying birds, and beasts, and men; but the human MIND has chained the lightning, now keeps it imprisoned in canisters, and when occasion requires, permits it to perform the duties of an errand boy, in a three-minutes’ trip across the continent! When I contemplate what the human MIND has already accomplished with the wood, stone, and physical elements of nature,—when I think of Italy with its clustering palaces and terraced gardens, with its stately convents and insurmountable fortresses—when I think of Egypt with its pyramids—of the architectural magnificence of Rome—of the cities that are springing up in our midst, with their innumerable possessions of art and evidences of human skill,—I can not but be surprised that the conservative and popular theologian has the courage (or ignorance, perhaps) to insist upon man’s innate inability to transcend all obstacles which lie between him and the attainment of future happiness and universal liberty!
The world of science is replete with the evidence of the superiority of the human mind over the gross materials of nature. Man exercises an unlimited control and proprietorship over all below his exalted position; and he is the governor, director, and lord of all subordinate creations; because he is the highest and most perfect combination of all elements and essences which exist in the lower departments and kingdoms of nature. In this sense, man pervades all beneath him. He psychologically impresses the beasts of’ the field and the birds of the air, that he is their lord and superior. Every thing learns instinctively to concede this supremacy to man; because the invisible mind is the source of his sublime powers and abilities, and every thing seems impressed with the consciousness that he is thus exalted and thus endowed.
But need I inform you that man is himself yet ignorant of his latent motive powers—that he does not know how far his mission and powers extend over nature? When I contemplate the mighty works which man is certain to accomplish in the future , on this earth, I start back with the overpowering conviction that he will appear more God-like than human.
The hot deserts of Arabia, now merely seas of sand and desolation, will yet appear, under the well-directed mechanical treatment and skill of man, like the undulating valleys of Italy. Man will yet learn how to create and preserve an equilibrium between the soil and the atmosphere. He will be enabled to instigate, control, and direct the fall of rain over such portions of the land as need moisture; and thus he will elevate much parsimonious soil to the height of richness and abundance and to the bringing forth of pure productions. He will spread civilization over the dominion of the heathen; he will convert the darkest forests into gardens of beauty; and the disagreeable vegetable and animal forms, that now disfigure the face of nature, will be banished; and the lion and lamb will lie down together. The lightning, that now performs the duties of a courier, and which sometimes ventures to declare itself independent of man’s power, will yet be the chief agent of mechanical locomotion—it will drive the engine more rapidly than ever, and bring states into the most intimate relations; because it will almost destroy the time and space which now divide the interests of the people that inhabit the different portions of the land. And electricity will yet be the means (under man’s direction) of conducting sway from unhealthy localities, the pestilential miasm which generates disease among men; and meanwhile, in its concentric gyrations through the broad tracery of conductors in the air, the lightning will emit the most sweet Aeolian music which the mind can possibly imagine.
And then the Winds will no longer retard the flight of the aerial steamer across the hemisphere, because man shall have mastered the tempest; shall direct the tides of the atmosphere; and shall have arisen far above the meager obstructions which now impede his progress. Man has the power to ascend higher and higher in the scale of knowledge; he possesses the concentrated qualities and properties of motion life, sensation, and intelligence within himself; consequently, he can and will put all enemies (to his happiness and progression) beneath his feet, and yet he will never transcend, reverse, or arrest the immutable laws of nature, which are the will of Deity.
All mankind, when mental cultivation and intellectual philosophy become universal, will participate alike in the rich blessings and advantages of improved machinery, and other applications of physical knowledge. And then it will be discovered that there is a very intimate and sympathetic connection between the sciences of the mind and its moral altitudes. Indeed, I feel impressed to affirm, that man’s external condition is so closely and inseparably connected with his internal condition, that, by improving the one, he improves the other. Intellectual progress has uniformly kept pace with all improvements in the art of education. That knowledge which gives man almost unlimited control over the elements of nature, will yet inform him of his more interior and moral powers, and this will lead him directly to true theology and to true religion."
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