For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword: it penetrates to the separation of soul and spirit, constitutions and brains, and judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb. 4.12)
And your spirit and soul and body in all integrity may be preserved without blemish at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 5:23)
We begin our discussion of the relationship between body, soul and spirit from afar. Until the end of the 19th century, the system of exact sciences amazed with the clarity and accuracy of everything they interpret. Until recently, unconditional belief in the basic tenets of science reigned, and only a select few minds saw cracks in the majestic edifice of classical natural science. And now the great scientific discoveries at the very end of the last and at the beginning of this century unexpectedly shattered the very foundations of this building and forced to revise the basic ideas of physics and mechanics. Principles that seemed to have the most reliable mathematical basis are now being challenged by scientists. Books like Henri Poincaré’s profound Science and Hypothesis provide evidence on every page. This famous mathematician showed that even mathematics lives on a multitude of hypotheses and conventions. One of his most prominent colleagues at the Institute of Mathematics, Emil Picker, in one of his works shows how incoherent the principles of classical mechanics – this basic science that claims to formulate the general laws of the Universe.
Ernst Mach, in his History of Mechanics, expresses a similar opinion: The fundamentals of mechanics, apparently the simplest, are in fact extremely complex; they are based on unrealizable experiments, and in no case can they be regarded as mathematical truths. Physicist Lucien Poincaré writes: There are no more great theories, recognized by all, about which there would still be a unanimous agreement of researchers; a certain anarchy reigns in the field of natural sciences, no law seems to be truly necessary. We are witnessing the breaking up of old concepts, not the completion of scientific work. Ideas that seemed to their predecessors to be the most solidly substantiated are subject to revision. Now they give up the idea that all phenomena can be explained mechanically. The very foundations of mechanics are contested;
But if 30 40 years ago it was possible to say that physics (and mechanics) plunged into a state of anarchy, now this is no longer true. The revolutionary breakdown of basic physical principles and concepts led to the creation of new concepts, deeper and more accurate than the previous ones. Moreover, these concepts not only reject the old classical mechanics, but consider it as an approximate theory that has its own well-defined limits of applicability. So, for example, it turned out that in the world of the smallest objects known to us – molecules, atoms, electrons, etc. – classical mechanics ceases to be fair and must give way to a more accurate, although at the same time more complex and more abstract theory – quantum mechanics. At the same time, quantum mechanics is not something completely contrary to classical mechanics: it includes the latter as a kind of approximation, suitable when considering objects with a sufficiently large mass. On the other hand, for processes characterized by high speeds of motion approaching the speed of light, classical mechanics also ceases to be valid and must be replaced by a more rigorous theory – relativistic mechanics based on Einstein’s theory of relativity.
The laws of the immutability of elements no longer exist, for the transformation of some elements into others has been irrevocably proven.
It was found that there are elements with the same atomic weights, but different chemical properties. A similar phenomenon a few years ago would have caused ridicule among chemists (T. Svedberg).
There are hopes of proving the complex nature of atoms; therefore, there is no longer any doubt that heavy atoms are built from lighter ones. It is even possible that all the elements are ultimately built from hydrogen. The helium atom, according to this hypothesis, consists of four very closely spaced hydrogen atoms. In turn, the hydrogen atom consists of two particles – an electron and a proton.
The atom has ceased to be the primary unit of matter, because it has been established that its structure is very complex. The smallest particles of matter known at the present time are electrons and positrons. Both those and others have exactly the same mass, but differ in electric charges: the electron is negatively charged, and the positron is positively.
In addition to these particles, there are heavier particles – protons and neutrons, which are part of the nuclei. Their masses are also about the same (1,840 times the mass of an electron), but while the proton is charged with positive electricity, the neutron carries no charge whatsoever.
Recently, in the composition of cosmic rays that enter our atmosphere from interstellar space, a whole series of new particles have been discovered, the mass of which varies over a very large range (from 100 to 30,000 electron masses). These particles have different names: mesons (or mesatrons), varitrons, etc. It has also been established that all these particles are not absolutely invariable. Protons can convert to neutrons, and vice versa; electrons, combining with positrons, can cease to exist in the form of particles, turning into electromagnetic radiation. On the other hand, under certain conditions, the electromagnetic field can “generate” an electron-positron pair. The particles found in cosmic rays can greatly change their mass in the process of interacting with atoms of the atmosphere.
In modern physics literature, the transformation of an electron-positron pair into radiation is often called “annihilation” (destruction) of matter; the reverse process is called “materialization”.
Consistent materialists consider such terminology to be only conditionally permissible, but idealistically distorting the actual state of affairs. They say that there is no transformation of energy into mass and vice versa, since mass and energy belong to some reality – matter, and the emerging particles have energy, and energy – mass.
This last statement for us, brought up on the old physical concepts, is completely new. However, we are very far from triumphant over materialism.
We have neither the right nor the impulse to object to the very important achievements of modern physics. From the fact that particles can change their mass, as has recently been established relatively new to science particles discovered in cosmic rays, or simply cease to exist in the form of particles, turning into electromagnetic radiation (“annihilation” of electrons and protons), it is impossible to draw conclusions about the disappearance of matter; another form of matter must be considered the electromagnetic field.
Both of these forms can transform one into another, just as a liquid body can transform into a solid or gaseous. Such transformations can, however, occur only if the laws of conservation of energy are observed. Energy cannot disappear or be created out of nothing. It can only change its material shell, quantitatively remaining the same.
At present, physicists have abandoned the hypothesis of the existence of a certain weightless and, at the same time, absolutely elastic substance – ether, replacing it with the concept of an electromagnetic field. The electromagnetic field is not a substance in the usual mechanical sense of the word. It does not have weight, hardness, elasticity, it does not consist of particles, etc. But it has energy and in this sense it should be considered as one of the forms of existence of matter. It is generated by the movement and interaction of elementary particles – electrons and others. On the other hand, it itself acts on these particles and, under certain conditions, can even generate them.
Instead of weight, hardness and elasticity, etc., the electromagnetic field has other characteristics that determine its properties. These characteristics are the magnitude and direction of electrical and magnetic forces at different points in space. The laws governing the electromagnetic field and its interaction with electric charges are dealt with in a special area of physics – electrodynamics; the laws of motion and interaction of material particles constitute the field of mechanics.
In the end, all products of matter dissociation “leave” in the electromagnetic field. Regardless of the dissociating bodies and the method of dissociation, the products of this dissociation are always the same. Whether it is about the decay of the nuclei of radioactive substances, about the release from any metal under the influence of light, about the release produced by chemical reactions or combustion, etc., the products of these emissions are always the same, although their quality, quantity and speed may be different. The material breaks down into elementary particles – neutrons, protons, mesons, electrons, positrons and others. The movement and interaction of these particles generates an electromagnetic field, magnetic and electrical vibrations of different frequencies of radio waves, infrared rays, visible rays, ultraviolet and gamma rays. Electrical phenomena underlie all chemical reactions,
It has been established that light is also one of the forms of electromagnetic energy, and electricity has a corpuscular or, as some people incorrectly say, an atomic structure (of course, one cannot call atoms those corpuscles – electrons that make up electricity). Millikan defines electricity carefully and quite appropriately. Here are his words: I have not tried to answer the question “What is electricity?” and contented himself with establishing the position that, whatever it is in essence, it is always before us an exact multiple of some definite electrical unit. “Electricity is something more fundamental than material atoms, since it is an essential constituent of these hundred different atoms . In the same way, it is something, like matter, built from separate individuals,
This is a great achievement in theoretical physics, the corpuscular theory of electricity. But one cannot, of course, say that due to its corpuscular structure, it ceased to be energy and became something material. Physicists do not say this either, but only assert that energy has mass, and mass belongs to some reality – matter. This, of course, is not the identification of energy with matter, and electricity, no matter how close in its essence to matter, remains for us energy and at the same time the most important, the main part of atomic energy.
And yet this basis of the physical life of the world became known to us only 300 years ago, from the time of Volta. For thousands of years, electricity remained unknown to people.
Only 50 years ago science was enriched by the knowledge of new, extremely important forms of energy – radio waves, infrared rays, cathode rays, radioactivity and intra-atomic energy. This last energy, unimaginably grandiose and powerful, lying at the heart of all world dynamics, giving rise to the inexhaustible unfading thermal energy of the sun, became known 300 years later than electricity.
But does this give us the right to assume and even assert that there are other forms of energy in the world, unknown to us, which may be much more important for the world than intra-atomic energy?
The invisible part of the solar spectrum is 34%. And only a very insignificant part of these 34% – infrared, ultraviolet, infrared rays – has been studied and the forms that underlie them are understood. But what can be objected to the assumption, even the certainty, that behind the numerous Fraunhofer lines there are many secrets, unknown forms of energy, perhaps even more subtle than electrical energy?
From a material point of view, these, as yet unknown, forms of energy must be special forms of the existence of matter.
Even so, we can not object to this, because we believe in the power of science. But if electricity cannot be called matter, but undoubtedly must be considered energy, into which particles of matter with a certain mass and physical properties can be transferred and generated by it (by an electric field), then do we have the right to assume that such forms of being of matter (or rather, energy), which, in terms of their properties, should be called semi-material with a much greater basis than electricity?
And the very concept of “semi-material” contains the recognition of existence and “immaterial”.
Where is the reason for denying the legitimacy of our faith and confidence in the existence of purely spiritual energy, which we consider to be the primary and primordial parent of all physical forms of energy, and through them, of matter itself?
How do we imagine this spiritual energy?
For us, it is Divine omnipotent love. Love cannot be contained in itself, because its main property is the need to pour out on someone and on something, and this need led to the creation of the world by God.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were established, and by the spirit of her mouth all their strength (Psalm 32: 6).
The energy of love poured out according to the all-good will of God. The Word of God gave rise to all other forms of energy, which, in turn, generated first particles of matter, and then, through them, the entire material world.
In the other direction, the poured out love of God also created the entire spiritual world, the world of intelligent angelic beings, the human mind and the whole world of spiritual psychic phenomena (Ps. 103: 4; 32, 6).
If we do not know many undoubtedly active forms of energy, then this depends on the obvious insufficiency of our poor five senses for the knowledge of the world life of our poor five senses and on the fact that scientific methods and reagents have not yet been found for discovering what is inaccessible to our senses.
But is it true that we have only five senses and there are no other organs and methods of direct perception?
Is it not possible to temporarily exacerbate the ability of these organs to perceive forms of energy adequate to them?
The eagle’s visual acuity and the dog’s sense of smell are vastly superior to the strength of these senses in humans. Pigeons have a sense of direction unknown to us, guiding the infallibility of their flight. It is well known to sharpen the hearing and touch of the blind.
I believe that the undoubted facts of a mental order, which will be discussed further, oblige us not only to admit the possibility of sharpening our five senses, but also to add to them the heart as a special organ of feelings, the focus of emotions and the organ of our knowledge.