The dynamistograph – a tool that enables communication with the spirit world

by yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru

Although the spiritual and the material do not seem to interact directly, they in fact do and in an invisible and mysterious way. We are here in front of an ancient human concern, the relationship between spirit and matter, the possibility that something material like the brain interacts with consciousness, which is immaterial. This possibility exists due to the presence of a subtle force, of a vital, ethereal or even astral nature, which allows the communication between spirit and matter, its role being of intermediation, just as analogically speaking, electricity needs the presence of a conducting medium to be transmitted, causing effects perceivable to the physical eye.
This concern led two Dutch researchers, Dr. J.L.W.P. Matla and Dr. G.J. Zaalberg van Zelst from Hague, to achieve on the threshold of the nineteenth century a series of scientific experiments which culminated in the creation of a remarkable device that they called dynamistograph. Matla and Zelst were famous in the Dutch occult spirits circles, being famous for their original work on high frequency currents, liquid air and gas compression. From a scientific point of view they were well documented for the task they had assumed. Their final conclusions, presented in a voluminous work, entitled The Mystery of Death, published in Holland in 1913, were preceded by twenty-two years of work.
Let’s look first at the assumptions underlying the initiation of such experiments.

The constitution of the human being – the subtle bodies

The human being is not made up of the clothes they wear, or just the flesh and bones of the body, but mainly of the subtle part of their inner self. So it is not totally devoid of truth to say that in this life we seldom see a man as he really is, noticing most of the times, only what he manifests externally as his real “self” is beyond the capacity of perception of our ordinary senses.

In the yoga tradition, the human being is seen as consisting of a hierarchical system of successive bodies or successive vehicles (KOSHA-s) more and more subtle, each vibrating with a certain dominant frequency. The specific frequency of vibration of each body (KOSHA) is what gives a less or greater degree of subtlety. At the lowest frequency of vibration there is ANNAMAYA KOSHA (KOSHA = “body, cover” = MAYA “(illusion) made of” ANNA = “food”, “provisions”), the illusory “sheath” consisting of the key components contained in the food ingested and assimilated by man, while at the highest level of vibration is the universal body of the transcendent reality ANANDAMAYA KOSHA, which is Pure Existence, Pure Consciousness and endless Pure Beatitude surrounding the Immortal Divine Self (Atman). Between these two extremes – the gross physical body (ANNAMAYA KOSHA) and the beatitude body (ANANDAMAYA KOSHA) – there is a range of intermediary “vehicles” that are perceptible only through clairvoyance: the vital-emotional body (PRANAMAYA KOSHA), psycho-mental body (MANOMAYA KOSHA) and the supra mental body (VIJNANAMAYA KOSHA). Except for the authentic initiates and advanced yogis, they are not accessible and cannot normally be acknowledged, in an ordinary man’s state of consciousness, but their existence can sometimes be inferred from their specific functions.

Astral or subtle body – SUKSHMA SHARIRA – consists of three subtle bodies:
1) VIJNANAMAYA KOSHA (supra mental body or higher intellect), which contains the five essences or basic principles (TANMATRA) and superior intellect, BUDDHI
2) MANOMAYA KOSHA (mental-emotional body), which contains the whole assembly of the individual consciousness AHAMKARA – MANAS – CHITTA
3) PRANAMAYA KOSHA (ethereal or vital body), which includes instruments of knowledge (JNANENDRIYA), instruments of action (KARMENDRIYA) and the five subtle airs (VAYU).
Only from the level of VIJNANAMAYA KOSHA we can properly apply the term “SHARIRA”, which is interpreted by some spiritual schools of Hinduism as meaning “addicted to the six principles”, i.e. to the higher intellect (BUDDHI) and five elementary essences (TANMATRA).
In 1912, L. Lefranc carried out a study of the astral body: “Even if it has legs, since it has human form, the astral body of a living being does not use them because it moves instantly to the point where it wants to go. If there is an obstacle in its path, it rises vertically, and then resumes its walking in a straight line. It moves one kilometer every 15 seconds when it departs from the subject from which it emanates, but this speed is tripled and sometimes quadrupled when it returns to the material body…” In his experiments, Lefranc acted on the astral body of a living being, united with the physical body through a link, which even if fluid, markedly bothered his movements. But as the astral body distances from the body, the feeling of embarrassment is reduced greatly and, accordingly, its translational velocity increases proportionally. For astral bodies that are not linked to a material body, the translational speed is similar to electricity. That being so, legs are no longer needed in the astral plane… The same happens with arms that have no utility for this astral body disconnected from the matter. There remain the sensory organs, i.e. all the senses, even that of touch. Lefranc’s experiments lead to the conclusion that the five senses of the astral body of a living being are more refined than in the physical body. Thus, the eye perceives not only the normal color spectrum, but also the ultraviolet and infrared radiation with a wavelength of up to 5 micrometers and distinguishes the main colors.
Smell and taste are also more intense. Hearing, which can normally perceive only the seven octaves of the piano, can perceive fourteen. For the astral body, the area of producing the sensation is localized easily, but has a peculiarity: it is distributed all over the body.In the astral body of a defunct being, all the senses merge into one which we can call “astral sense” and which serves as a hearing, sight, smell and touch, not to mention other senses that do not exist normally but which reveal themselves, for example, during hypnosis. And this is logical, scientifically speaking, since our senses are organized only to perceive each a certain amount of vibration, it is easy to conceive that there is a whole new sense which perceives vibrations. But how can we prove that there is continuity of consciousness even after destruction of the physical body? We can do it in one way only – to get in touch with that consciousness, if any, and to obtain from it the evidence of its existence. As the existence of argon in the atmosphere was demonstrated, isolating it, in the same way we have to prove the existence of this consciousness by isolating it and making it prove us “its personal identity”, and it must be done just as was happening on Earth, namely, providing us facts that only that consciousness knows. Even some form of survival proves the existence of a personal identity. This demonstration can be done in two ways: by mental events, grouped into which we include the so-called automatic writing and speech, visions, “posts” and the whole class of mental phenomena known to those who study the occult sciences, the other way being the physical manifestations – materializations, photographs, voices, noises, etc. – that indicate the presence of intelligence. Also the telegraph, telephone and other devices were used. The question is whether these instruments are handled directly by some external intelligence (spirit) and if so, how? If the identity of the spirit can be proven, we face a direct communication through a tool with the spiritual world! It is a tremendous thought! Let’s see what progress has been made in this direction.
Initial experiments
 Initial experiments were quite primitive. They built a small room with a solid concrete floor, so that earth vibrations were stopped as much as possible, with the dimensions of 2.1 m to 1.8 m. The windows were covered with a black thick material, and the door containing a small window was blocked with blinds.
The researchers were outside the room from where they were watching the fluctuations of the instruments during the experiment. So they were not at all in that room during the experiments.
In this room they placed a cardboard cylinder with a height of approximately 50 cm and a capacity of about 22 liters, meaning two-fifths of a human body. The cylinder was covered with sheets of tinfoil covering it completely. They made a small hole on top of the cylinder through which they introduced a flexible rubber tube, thus connecting the interior of the cylinder with a pressure gauge, a kind of a thermometer that was placed on one side and which containing a drop of alcohol which in normal conditions occupied the central position of the glass tube. If any solid object had been inserted into the cylinder, then of course some of the air it contained would have been replaced and this drop of alcohol would climb up on the scale up to the correct figure, indicating thus the amount of air replaced. Initially, the instrument was tested in several ways and gave accurate values.
The researchers then withdrew and asked the “human force”, as they called the “spirit” that had to manifest, not wanting to call it on its name, to enter the cylinder and replace some of the air content. They wrote down how much the volume of air in the cylinder changed. Upon request, the drop of alcohol was made to climb up and down several times. Thus the coincidence factor was excluded.
They soon noticed that the cylinder was too small. So they built another cylinder with a capacity of 40, 50, 55 and 60 liters. After many observations, doctors Zelst and Matla reached the following conclusion: the capacity of the body that occupied the cylinder was about 53 liters and its weight of 69.5 grams. These results were verified using a second cylinder having the role of “control”.
Experiments were then made to provide other features of the unusual “body”, getting to the following conclusions:
– the body would shrink and expand at the spirit’s will
– its specific weight was about 12.24 mg, lighter than hydrogen and 176.5 times lighter than air
– the will acted mechanically on the body, causing it to expand (to rise) or shrink (to descend). So it still obeyed to the action of gravity.
– the atoms that made up the body were small and heavy, with large spaces between them that separate them. Body density was close to that of outdoor air.
The dynamistograph
 These calculations were based on early experiments of the two researchers. Because the instructions they received from spirits they communicated with, the Dutch researchers Matla and Zelst took the initiative to build a very elaborate and ingenious device called by them the dynamistograph. We need a description of this device, one of the most elaborate devices ever built for direct communication with the spirit world.
Dynamistograph is an electromechanical device consisting of three main parts: (1) key (2) indicator, and (3) recording device.
The indicator consists of a disk with 28 equidistant marked spaces.
In these spaces the alphabet letters, a point and a blank space are marked. This disc is driven by an independent engine so as to produce the twenty-eighth part of its rotation in five seconds, meaning to indicate a letter every five seconds. This letter appeared through a small opening and if the key was pressed then, the letter would print by the recording device.

The recording device consisted of a hammer which was attached to a magnet. At the closure of the electrical contact (as a result of pressing the key) the magnet was attracted, the hammer would strike the ink ribbon under which there was the corresponding letter indicated on the disk. In this way, the letter was instantly recorded on a paper tape similar to those used today for cash registers. The key was a very complex piece, which the spirit was asked to press when the appropriate letter appeared the disk. The key consists of a set of levers, membranes, rings and propellers that made that its finest touch to be registered. Thus, no matter how gently it would have been touched, the hammer would record the letter indicated at that time. Electricity was supplied by a Wilmshurst generator. The light in the room came from the acetylene lamp that the researchers had considered to be more effective. The key membrane had a width of 38 cm. The entire apparatus was placed in an enclosed space and was maintained at constant temperature in a dry atmosphere.

The experiments or “communications” made by dynamistograph were made over a period of one year, during which they received messages every day. The experimenters claimed that the spirit weight gradually decreases as time goes on, a 100-year-old spirit weighing only weighs a quarter of what one of ten years old does! So it is obvious that there is a slow disintegration. They also argued that the spaces between the molecules that make up the spirit body are 176 times bigger than those between the air molecules. The whole body of this unusual entity is filled with air and is not separated by the atmosphere through any protective impervious coating. They felt that the being was able to pass through solid objects through a kind of osmosis, its molecules being small enough and sufficiently spaced to allow this. It was found that a determining role for the character of the events was held by the weather conditions, for the phenomena were happening with greater frequency and clarity in spring and summer than autumn and winter, seasons that in the Netherlands are very rainy. This suggested some connection with the atmospheric electricity and the link seems even more obvious when we consider that at high altitudes and dry climates, different physical phenomena are usually more intense.

What is very special for this device is that through it, the spirits can manifest directly, without mediation of a medium, which previously was considered impossible.
Even if the findings of the experiments conducted by the two researchers do not have a sense of infallibility, they provide concrete results in a field whose existence could not be until then objectified, measured and stated firmly: the world beyond.

Article taken from the Book of the Holiday Spiritual Yoga Camp Costineşti 2011, vol II

November 2012


Also available in: Română

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