Ancient and Modern Physics

Thomas E. Willson
Ancient and Modern Physics

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Title: Ancient and Modern Physics
Author: Thomas E. Willson
Release Date: January 21, 2004 [EBook #10773]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Jake Jaqua

by Thomas E. Willson

Preface I. Physical Basis of Metaphysics II. The Two Kinds of Perception III. Matter and
Ether IV. What a Teacher Should Teach V. The Four Manifested Planes VI. One Place on
Earth VII. The Four Globes VIII. The Battle Ground IX. The Dual Man X. The Septenary
World XI. Stumbling blocks in Eastern Physics

The Editor of the Theosophical Forum in April, 1901, noted the death of Mr. Thomas E.
Willson in the previous month in an article which we reproduce for the reason that we
believe many readers who have been following the chapters of "Ancient and Modern
Physics" during the last year will like to know something of the author. In these
paragraphs is said all that need be said of one of our most devoted and understanding
In March, 1901, The Theosophical Forum lost one of its most willing and unfailing
contributors. Mr. T.E. Willson died suddenly, and the news of his death reached me when
I actually was in the act of preparing the concluding chapter of his "Ancient and Modern

Physics" for the April number.
Like the swan, who sings his one song, when feeling that death is near, Mr. Willson gave
his brother co-workers in the Theosophical field all that was best, ripest and most
suggestive in his thought in the series of articles the last of which is to come out in the
same number with this.
The last time I had a long talk with T.E. Willson, he said"
"For twenty years and more I was without a hearing, yet my interest and my faith in what
I had to say never flagged, the eagerness of my love for my subject never diminished."
This needs no comment. The quiet and sustained resistance to indifference and lack of
appreciation, is truly the steady ballast which has prevented our Theosophical ship from
aimless and fatal wanderings, though of inclement weather and adverse winds we had
For many long years Mr. Willson was the librarian of the New York "World." In the
afternoons he was too busy to see outsiders, but, beginning with five o'clock in the
afternoon until he went home somewhere in the neighbourhood of midnight, he always
was glad to see his friends. He had a tiny little room of his own, very near the top of the
tremendous building, his one window looking far above the roofs of the tallest houses in
the district. There he sat at his desk, generally in his shirt sleeves, if the weather was at all
warm, always busy with some matter already printed, or going to be, a quiet, yet
impressive and dignified figure.
The elevated isolation, both figuratively and literally speaking, in which T.E. Willson
lived and worked, in the midst of the most crowded thoroughfares of New York, always
made me think of Professor Teufelsdrockh on the attic floor of "the highest house in the
Wahngasse." The two had more than one point of resemblance. They shared the loftiness
of their point of view, their sympathetic understanding of other folks, their loneliness, and,
above all, their patient, even humorous resignation to the fact of this loneliness.
Yet in his appearance Mr. Willson was not like the great Weissnichtwo philosopher. In
fact, in the cast of his features and in his ways, Mr. Willson never looked to me like a
white man. In British India I have known Brahmans of the better type exactly with the
same sallow complexion, same quick and observant brown eye, same portly figure and
same wide-awakeness and agility of manner.
Last summer I heard, on good authority, that Mr. Willson had thought himself into a most
suggestive way of dealing with the problems of matter and spirit, a way which, besides
being suggestive, bore a great resemblance to some theories of the same nature, current in
ancient India. Consequently Mr. Willson was offered, for the first time in his life, a
chance of expressing his views on matter and spirit in as many articles and in as extensive
a shape as he chose. The way he received this tardy recognition of the fact that he had
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