<< A CHAPTER IN GEOLOGY >>
RISE OF THE FLOATING VEGETATIVE LAND. The primordial sea bubbling from its depth was the mother of primal chemical elements and combinations ; the crystalline liquor of all rocks, the chyme of all organisms. In its deeps above the primal rock salt layer, the newly dissolving salt gave the ramental particles for the first hydro-carbons of the world formation ; which, as a very chyle and milk of vegetative births ascended continually through the sea to its surface in bubbling, organizing, oily foams. All along its ascending path, if anywhere detained, there began to shape the new born masses and filaments of vegetative formation, close to the borders of the inorganic. On the surface of the sea the collecting layer of the oily ether foams, under the heat of the brooding sun, panted and palpitated in all its bubbles to the rhythms of light and heat; and at each expansion the Living Infinite within and around, acted with enlarged scope,* to touch, order, and hold together the microscopic bubbles of the floating foams into forms of simplest vegetative use. Thus the first low vegetative organisms took form, ramified, matted together; and from this beginning grew the vast floating islands, continent wide, of interknit vegetable growths. For age after age, so long as the continually dissolving salt of the crystalline bed of the ocean fed them with streams of fresh carbonaceous aliment from below, they would continue to grow, until, Swedenborg says, a floating vegetative land, a mile in thickness, covered over the surface of the breeding sea, like a great crust; then, grown almost too heavy to sustain itself longer, it settled, submerging, breaking toward collapse and subsidence to the ocean bed. Thus, on the surface of the sea, in that early epoch, the immense vegetative growth of the carboniferous layers of geological record, began to exist, were nourished from below, and at length submerged, and, thus were preserved for the use of after ages.
FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE NITROGEN FAMILY OR THE AMMONIAS AND THE PHOSPHATES ORIGINATING IN THE PRIMORDIAL SEA. The bubbling streams of displaced ether, encompassed and coated by ramental fragments from the newly dissolving salt in the depths of the ocean bed, presents the generation and actual making of the first hydrocarbons for the use of the nascent world and almost its whole future store of carbon. In addition, along with those ascending streams of hydro-carbons there would seem necessarily to have been intermingled also the first nitrogen compounds, probably in the form of ammonium compounds, and also the first forms of phosphorus ; thus the primal ocean would itself supply the first members of the nitrogen-phosphorus family of the periodic system. For, according to Swedenborg, the inner constitution of the nitrogen compounds closely pattern that of the hydro-carbons or oils. It also presents a volume of ether enclosed and crusted around with angular particles derived from dissolving salts. Only, in the case of the nitrogens, such particles are not ramental, or scale-like fragments, but are of the finest triangular form. Such finest trigons would result abundantly in the depths of the primal ocean, both by the comminution of the large triangular acid particles through the action of vegetation or otherwise ; as also by a breaking off of the sharp triangular corners of the ramental particles. Thus the simple nitrogen compounds, (probably of ammonium), would certainly seem to have had their primal generation and start in the depths of the sea, for certain ammonium compounds are classed with the mineral oils in the chapter on the constitutional form of oils and spirits. And the motion of the waves of the sea emitting phosphoric light from the breaking up of the finest invisible particles of salt in solution, would seem to indicate the sea as the primal source also of the primitives of phosphorus.
The simple nitrogen compounds thus arising would furnish the supply of nitrogen necessary as the mother stuff, to compound the flesh and substance of forms of animate life all through the sea ; and the ascending current would, together with the carbons, year after year, continue to supply streams of fresh nutriment, like streams of new blood, to the roots of the floating vegetative world above it All such particles not actually detained and used by the growing vegetation, would finally arise higher, into the elementary realm above the vegetative crust, and by the breaking of the carrier bubbles, vapor like, be dispersed into the interstices of the bullae of the surrounding ether volume, — there to add their quota to the collecting store of the atmospheric nitrogen, slowly accumulating through the ages from sundry sources. For the sources of origin of nitrogen are more than one, the two chief sources being, first, the stores of the primal sea, and second, the play of lightning, tearing the ether bullae with its darts, and casting down the disrupted envelopes, as a loose contexture of fourth finites.
Thus not only was the primal ocean a great cosmic source of nitrogen; but each flash of lightning in the sky actually begets a new volume of it into the air. Indeed the soil itself is now nourished by such new heaven-born particles caught on vapor bullae and descending to the earth in showers, as, primally, at the epoch of greatest vegetative growth, it was nourished from the depths of the ocean upon the bosom of which it was afloat.
SILICON AND CARBON, TWIN SUBSTANCES, OF ONE FAMILY, TYPE, AND ORIGIN. The first carbon created in the nascent world made its appearance not as pure separate elemental carbon, but in the form of a compound, — the mineral hydro-carbons originating in the deep sea, — their constitution presenting to Swedenborg the structure-type characterizing "oils and spirits." namely, bullae or bubbles consisting interiorly of a minute volume of ether, enveloped and enclosed by ramental or curving wing-like fragments broken from the edges of the primordial crystalline "salts." — like ramental fragments enveloping bulLne of water vapor apparently forming carbonic acid. Now there exists strong ground to class silicon directly with carbon as possessing a like structure-type; their place and time of origin being one, and the production of both taking place by means of the ramental particles of the newly dissolving salts ; silicon as well as carbon being first evolved in the nascent world not as a pure element, but in the form of a compound — the colloidal hydrate of silicon. The chief distinction between the primal carbon and the silicon compounds would be that the ramental fragments appropriated to the hydrate of silicon were broken off from the heavier thicker side of the original curving wing-like ramenta, the more delicate lighter edges being appropriated to the constitution of the hydro-carbon bullae.
Silicon is one of the most abundant chemical elements in the earth's crust, being largely constitutive of all rocks produced by aqueo-thermal metamorphosis of the silicious oozes and sediments originally posited on the deep sea bottom, — such as our granites and flints. Silicon is, indeed, a characteristic constituent both of the greater portion of the minerals of sea origin, and of all the vegetative forms which live and grow in the sea, from least to greatest. The glass sponges are a lovely instance of the latter, common to all our museums. In itself, as a chemical substance, silicon has been found to stand in the nearest possible relation to carbon in the periodic system ; carbon and silicon being the first two members of the fourth periodic family, silicon carrying the greater atomic weight. Their closeness of constitutive factor and pattern is marked not alone in likeness of chemical reactions and affinities apparent in laboratory experiment, but in obvious physical states and properties ; and in a physiological interchangeability in sundry simple forms of vegetative use and life. Like carbon, silicon is easily capable of existing in a colloidal or vitreous state, — gelatine like, plastic and mutable. The colloidal constitution is characteristic of all the plastic elements of organized bodies. Hydrate of silica, as the geysers bring it up from the depths of the earth, is first deposited as an oozy gelatinous substance, like a soft jelly-glass, hardening by time. Moreover mineral form.s of silicic acid, such as flint, are known to have passed during the geologic ages of their existence from the vitreous or colloidal into the crystalline condition. In addition, carbon is directly replaceable by silicon in the case of certain fungi, which grow as well when nourished by fresh colloidal silicon as by carbon. Moreover, spiral fibre masses, Sarcina-like bodies, and fungi, will develop de novo in colloidal silica, prepared under conditions which preclude the existence or the entrance of particles of living matter — "germs" — to initiate their growth. Such a thing implies that the very type of molecular aggregation marking the vitreous or colloidal state, such as characterizes both hydrate of silicon and the carbo-hydrates, must itself per se be physically an aggregation of least "matrices," or a mass of molecular bullae, or bubble cells. The envelopes of such bubble-cells like most impalpable shells close around and include small volumes of the ever present active ether, so as to form flexible closed bubbles, capable of reacting plastically and serviceably to the motions and impulsions of the life communicating ever ordinating ether which presents the Divine in Use or Operation. That all substances in the colloidal or vitreous state do actually possess such an interior molecular arrangement and massing into grosser, bullular forms, corresponding to those of the fine bullular ether, (which ether, indeed, probably forms the whole nuclear center of the grosser bullae) can be directly affirmed. We deduce this from Swedenborg's statement that the state of vitrification itfelf consists in a transposition of the particles of the substance into bullae or bubbles, and the conjunction of the same.
Such a bullular or foam-like and plastic interior constitution is characteristic of the oils, both of the mineral oils and the organic oils, the animal spirit and spirituous fluids, (the life-formative fluids) which are as higher oils. Its general type is illustrated in chapter XIV of the Chemistry, and further defined in E. A. K. part I. no. 75, and it is characteristic of all protoplasms.
In the Chemistry, as we have noted, this form is given as first originating in the deep sea, and produced by means of the ramental or wing-like fragments broken from the edges of the fresh dissolving salt. The form of these ramental fragments is slightly curving, a sickle-shaped particle : the concave edge being thin and keen, and the convex edge be- ing markedly thicker. Swedenborg notes that the original ramental fragments have lines of easy fracture ; and that by concussion of friction the thinner, lighter portion of the ramental scales is readily separable from the heavier; and that thus arise stores of ramental fragments of differing size and weight.
Now on comparing carbon with silicon as to properties, uses, and localities of most abundant store, the indications would seem to be that the ramental fragments of lighter weight, enveloping about the volumes of displaced ether, or of water vapor, constituted the lighter bullular foams composing the mineral hydro-carbons and carbonic acid, the bubbles of which, being light, ascended easily from the profound depths of the sea to its very surface, along with the ammonia compounds, there to lend their foam mass, palpitant in the warm sun's heat to form the body of the endlessly springing vegetable forms, the vast preserved store of which constitutes the carboniferous strata, the store houses of the primal superabundance of carbon for use of future ages. The heavier ramental fragments derived from the same original ramenta, but by reason of weight not so apt to rise lightly to the surface of the sea, formed with displaced ether bubbles bullae of like type as the hydro-carbons. All such bullae, loaded with weightier ramental fragments, probably never were able to rise far out of the zone of their original creation, but there in those sea depths came to analogous uses as the colloidal carbons. For what we term silicon, as has been said, stands in the nearest relation to carbon of any known substance. Its chemical affinities, relations, values, parallel those of carbon, only it is of greater atomic weight. Like carbon it is distinguished in its aptitude, its tendency, to form colloidal or jelly-like solutions and combinations. It is interchangeable with carbon in the growth of certain fungi, and sub-vital organized growths spring de novo in its fresh solutions. Moreover, it is present almost as universally and characteristically in submarine vegetation and microscopic and low forms of life as carbon alone is with relation to sub-aerial vegetation. It is indeed so abundant in many rock strata, known to have been primarily posited as sediments on the deep ocean bed, that Le Conte speaks of whole vast classes of minerals as for the most part existing in a sort of magma of the simple fused alkaline silicates. This would be what would naturallv follow if the original ramental fragments abundant in the primal sea were rebroken into a lighter and heavier portion, and the lighter fragments formed bullae able easily to rise to the surface and found stored for the most part in the carbonaceous remains of vegetative life known to be of sub-aerial growth. But the bullae formed from the heavier ramental particles remained beneath the surface of the water, and are found stored in the vegetative and other forms of sub-aqueous life. Moreover, silica would be almost invariably characteristic of strata known to have been originally posited in the bed of the sea.
Now we know from Swedenborg that the first evolution of carbon on the earth must have been in the compound form of the mineral hydro-carbons, — and perhaps carbonic acid also — arising from the salt beds in the deeps of the primeval sea. There certainly seems presumptive evidence also, from a connection of Swedenborg's principles with the various facts cited relative to silicon, to conclude that the known evolution of carbon gives us a clue also to the evolution of silicon, its nearest chemical relative. Silicon would seem, therefore, to have been first evolved on earth in its hydrate compound, in the depths of the sea , at the same time that primal carbon compounds were in formation. The heavier edges of the ramental fragments broken from the primal salts bear the same relation in their constitution to the primal silicon compounds, that the lighter ramental fragments do in the constitution of the allied carbon compounds; and the place of their greatest abundance and use is, naturally, in the water near the place of their origination, as befitted their heavy inaptitude to rise ; while the lighter weighted carbon-compound rose to a place of uses where sea and air joined.
EVOLUTION OF THE HALOGENS AND THE ALKALINE AND EARTHY METALS. SWEDENBORG'S INTERPRETATION OF THE SUCCESSION OF EARLY GEOLOGICAL STRATA. The evolution of the halogens and of the alkaline metals has already been given in the history of the formation of the rock salts constituting the compressed crystalline floor of the primal sea. Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine, all the halogen family, made their advent among the few substances of the nascent world, united in compounds with the alkaline and allied metals, in that great basic formation of the salt layers of the depths of the sweet water sea. As the salt dissolved in the water above, and the sea grew salt, the halogens and alkaline metals were dissociated, and the metals, potassium, sodium, calcium set free, to furnish necessary material not only for the sub-vital growths of corals, but for the shells of lowest, most minute forms of life, such as exist today in the deep sea ooze ; and, in the very early ages of geologic record, these accumulated on the floor of the ocean in such abundance that they prepared material for the present strata of chalk, sometimes a thousand feet thick ; while the silicious ooze has left remains in layers of rock, even more abundant.
So far as the history has gone, we have followed the making of the primal unsalted sea, and the sequent evolution of the halogens and the alkaline metals, in the form* of their compounds or salts, framed in the depths of the sea from the spherical water particles. In this formation the metallic hydrogen of the water particle was compressed and cast from the spherical into the cubic form, characterizing the alkaline metals, as sodium, potassium, etc., and the spherical oxygen crust of the water particles was pressed and cast into the mould of the triangular particles of the acid halogens ; and both, (by aid of the uncrushed particles of the water of crystallization present), were fitted together on the crystalline model. Of such units the great crystalline layer of rock salt was framed as the floor of the sea.
The second epoch, according to Swedenborg's system of substance and world making, was ushered in with the beginning of the solution of the rock salt layer in the sea. In the process of this solution, the units of the alkaline metals and of the halogens which compounded the salt, were dissociated and set free for new combinations and services. The fresh ramental fragments, — thin wing-like, curving scales — were broken from the edges of the angular forms built into the crystalline salt, and, later, were themselves broken. The third ether, displaced from the interstices of the round water particles by the particles of the dissolving salt, ascended through the sea; and around it as it arose, the ramental particles were attracted, gathered and grouped. The lighter ramental particles were lightly borne by the streams of ascending ether to the upper air, together with the lighter triangular fragments broken off; and through all this age we may imagine that the sea bubbled from its very depths with the rising bullae of the mineral hydro-carbons and carbonic acid intermingled with the simplest ammonical compounds. On the warm surface of the sea this rising material served life as a mother or matrix stuff ; and of this first union of the ether and the inert particles shaped in the sea, the first vegetative protoplasms took form as the beginnings of a floating land, and stores of carbon. The heavier ramental particles left behind, clinging to and gathering around the like ether bubbles, weighted and detained them in the volume of the sea ; and there they also came to their use, as coadjutors of the carbons, in serving the Infinite Life for a mother matrix and body of simple forms of vegetative and obscure life; and there in the sea depths the remains of such life were chiefly stored, to frame the strata of our rock-bound coasts.
This epoch was long. Its accumulations were on an immense scale. Swedenborg says the floating continents framed of pure vegetation, formed on the surface of the primal sea, attained to the thickness of a mile and formed an immense crust of vegetation and the debris of vegetative growth almost compassing the circuit of the world-enveloping sea. The marine vegetation below the floating crust, and the deposits of silicious and calcareous ooze accumulating from the remains of the minutest vegetative and animate creatures toward the bottom of the sea, must have been of commensurate thickness; to say nothing of the sediment silting down from the upper floating lands.
One thing in Swedenborg's system of chemical and geological evolution is of especial note just here. He reads the succession of early geological strata not as implying successive ages of formation, but as implying layers of coincident formation or preparation, at different depths in the ocean ; that is, he reads the geological record in leaves, from the bottom of the ocean up. Thus according to his theory, the growth of the great floating islands of vegetation of the carboniferous age, would be going on at the top of the sea, coincidently with the formation of the submarine vegetation lower down and the deposition of the strata of sediment and the calcareous and silicious oozes in the depths of the sea. Thus, according to him, one and the same age would cover the formation and simultaneous existence of all these layers. And the vegetative crust over the sea, the submarine vegetative world, the lower zones of the deep sediments and calcareous oozes, collecting just above the basic dissolving thinning sheet of rock salt, flooring the sea, would, all, be the offspring of one epoch.
THE SUB-SALINE LAYER, AND ITS CONNECTION WITH THE UPHEAVAL OF MOUNTAINS, THE ACTION OF VOLCANOES, AND THE FORMATION OF MAGNETIC ORES. Hitherto we have treated of the formalion of the several strata of organizing life, and the evolution of new substances taking place above the basic rock salt layer. Of the primal formation of that layer we treated somewhat fully in a previous chapter.
But there is one stratum, one layer, which we have not yet mentioned, although it is of the greatest importance. It figures as one of the two agencies which combine in the upheaval of mountain chains, in the elevation of lands and of islands. Its substance forms the core of mountain chains. It furnishes part of the inner baking heat which metamorphoses the plastic sediment of the ocean bed, when elevated into mountain cones, — into the stuff of our more refractory rocks. In it is the spring of all volcanic rise and overflow; and among conditions existent in it alone, the magnetic ores take their original shaping.
All these several and great uses it enters into, and is an indispensable part and party to. Yet it constitutes probably a layer of no great thickness relatively to the deep rock salt stratum as originally formed above it. It is the sub-saline layer, lying as an intermediate layer in unstable equilibrium, semi-liquid, held between the firm crystalline strata which are vaulting above it on the one hand, and on the other the inner rigid, round core of the globe itself which is the most dense solid substance created, wound of ordered lines of fourth finites: cold and dark and firm forever.
The formation of this sub-saline layer was coeval with the formation of the rock salt layer itself. In fact, the lowermost portions of the rock salt stratum pass into it by imperceptible graduations ; as the pressure becomes so great the delicate crystalline units themselves are disintegrated or imperfectly formed. But although it was brought into exist- tence so early in the series of world evolution, the potencies of this intermediate stratum waited to come to their realization and unlocking in use, until that far later world-time arrived when the enormous islands of floating vegetation had become from the accumulation of ages so dense that their mile-deep crust was grown too thick and heavy to sustain itself longer afloat upon the surface of the sea ; and vast areas of that vegetative crust, continent wide, broke off here and there, and settled down; at first little by little and slowly, and then swiftly and with heavy vacuum rush, to the floor of the sea. Then the immense body of ocean water displaced, swirled upward, in vast wave, and poured itself in powerful cataract current over the submerging land, till equilibrium was restored and a peaceful sea. And the old story began again, until some new collapse and catastrophe occurred unlocking mighty agencies. The grounds of our certainty as to the existence of a sub-saline stratum, pasty and unstable, lying between the crystalline floor of the sea and the central rigid ball of the globe, are very simple. The condition of the formation of crystalline or rock salt is, that not all the water particles shall be crushed into the new angular forms, but only a certain proportion of them. The uninjured water molecules of a certain amount of water of crystalization are necessary for crystalline formation. In fact, they were necessary for the shaping of the very angular particles of the salt, since those angular particles were moulded to the interstices of the water particles.
Now this implies a nice adjustment of the pressure to the work to be done. With too little pressure, salt would not be produced at all. With too much pressure its delicate crystalline shapes would equally fail to be produced. In the latter case there would ensue — not the new form of delicate angular masses, finer than any microscope can hope to see, — beautiful and without break or crushing, modelled into the interstices of the uninjured round molecules of the water of crystalization, by which Ševerywhere they were at once moulded into and sustained in their new shape, — but there would ensue a crushing disintegration of all the water particles, and by consequence the angular forms of the salts would fail to be formed; and the result would be -only a pasty, more or less inchoate mass of the various grades of simple component finites. Thus the rock-salt layer with its perfect crystallization could come to birth only in that particular lower zone of the ocean depths where there existed an equilibrium between the pressures and the conservation of the percentage of intermingled water molecules necessary as moulds for the new and angular forms. Now, in the lowermost ocean deeps, when the universal sea rested immediately upon the rigid planetary core of the grosser metallic finites, at a depth so great that the bullae of the interfluent third ether were no longer present, but the second or magnetic auj^a, and the primal aura, alone could be present and ordinative, then, Swedenborg says, the very water particles and the forms as yet created were crushed down and disintegrated even to the point of a disintegration of the larger component finites — or corpuscles — into their own finer constituents; from which would result a layer presenting a sort of pasty mass of intermingled finites, crushed from the materia of the superincumbent sea, just around the original rigid, resistant core of the planet.
Such a result evidently is consequent on a degree of pressure greater than that which gives rise to the crystalline layer of salt formed at the bottom of the primal shoreless sea, the solution of which in the water above, gives rice to the ascending bubbles of displaced ether as described. Its site is therefore lower or nearer to the earth's center than the layer of rock salt. Indeed the crystalline layer of the original salt bed, flooring the sea, where it abuts on the rigid earth core, may be assumed to lose its perfect firm crystalline type and gradually merge into the postulated inchoate semifluent mass of pure finites; and is only kept from passing out of its pasty relatively cold state, and fusing and flowing and running into the fiery incandescent state, by reason of the strict limits into which it is coerced by the pressure above it, and the resistance below.
Thus under the solid floor of the primal ocean with its great rock salt layer, and its weight of heaping sediments and swarming life — between that solid floor and the rigid metallic core of the globe, itself compressed from the homogeneous planetary mass into a solidly wound ball of threads of fourth finites alone, — we may assume an intermediate pasty or semifluid layer consisting of heterogeneous finites of various degrees, originally compressed from the lowermost layers of the water of the sea and from the salt itself. Between the core of the earth, which is a rigid solid globe, and the floor of the ocean with its strata of crystalline salt and the sedimentary strata of the ages, there existed from the first and exists now, a fluent or semifluent inchoate layer of great instability, held down and together by the pressures and the resistances on either side: — ^but on the least relief of pressure liable to instant fusion, and the rise of temperature to incandescence.
This layer is the source of the energy of seismic disturbance; it is the spring of volcanic overflow; and its liability to fusion with rise of temperature on the least relief or variation of the coercing pressures was and is one of the two agencies concerned in all upheavals of land or ocean bottom, the elevation of mountain chains, and the sudden appearance, temporary or permanent, of islands in the sea.
The first mountain upheaval of all, the very first lift of the floor of the sea with all its strata upon it into great cone-like ridges, took place in swift sequence upon the subsidence of the first great area of the upper floating vegetative crust to the floor of the sea. Then the weight of that crust was localized upon the portion of sea floor upon which it rested; and coincidently the water mass it displaced seeking place and sucked upward by the vacuum the falling mass created, flowed in great upward currents, rising all about the edges of the fallen continent, — relatively lessening the pressure there — while the weight of the subsided mass increased the pressure on the sea floor over the area upon which it rested. The sea floor yielded and bent down under the weight of the broad stratum of the fallen upper crust, and at the same moment all around the borders of the depressed area, it lifted and waved upward. To this relative fluctuation of pressure above it, the potencies of the semifluent layer lying between the salt bed and the rigid core of the globe instantly responded, and where the pressure was momentarily lessened, there it fused, flowed, glowed, and upheaved the ocean bed with all its strata on it, into a vast rim bordering the submerged area, and rising higher and higher until a new equilibrium of pressure was reached. This was the formation of the first mountain chain, and this is why mountain ranges border continents, for continents generally consist of interior basins with coast chain rims.
After a new equilibrium of pressure and forces had ceased, the fused mass of the pasty subsaline layer, although it had no more spring and freedom to rise higher, was able to hold its first rise, and cooled, solidified, crystallized as it stood, the original mass being partly sublimed, partly fused, in its upheaval, as the gaseous and glassy inclusions show. This cooled mass is the igneous granite of which the cores of all mountain ranges consist.
The fiery heat of that great release and fusion acted upon the partially plastic strata of the ocean bed upheaved with the rise of the subsaline layer and lying around and about it, as the heat of the brick kiln acts on the vault of piled brick within which it glows. The nearest layers are fused; all according to their relative distance, are hardened, altered, baked. Thus also the sedimentary strata nearest the igneous rock were literally fused, the silicious into the metamorphic granite, with their evidence of sedimentary origin and crystallization from an aqueous-thermal state, as their liquid inclusions of carbonic acid testify, while the chalks changed into marble. Moreover, all through the metamorphic strata, carboniferous remains and the mineral oils detained still in the deep sea sediment tended, as the mass reached fusion heats, to be sublimated and precipitated, as veins of pure graphite, characteristic of such rock.
Again, the highly metamorphic rocks, and the igneous rock masses of the mountain cores, as welt as in a more marked degree the output of volcanoes,, are characterized by the presence of the magnetic ores. For only under such conditions and in such localities as preclude the presence of the third or electric ether, while admitting the free entrance of the second or magnetic aura alone, can the magnetic ores or mineral be formed and brought into existence, as in the only matrix appropriate to the production of their peculiar molecular constitution. For the substance of all hard bodies is textured of little bodies, — molecules or least units, — "diversely configurated,, as also diversely perforated" with pores large or pores small according to the nature of the composition. Only such little bodies or forms are magnetic, as, however configurated, are furnished with pores or meatuses so subtle as to be permeable by the magnetic elementary or the second aura, but not by the ether, so that the second aura alone is able to pass through their little fixed pores and openings as blood through a vein. With that flow established, the fine tide of the second aura is able to return outside and perfect a true vortex. Such are the least forms of molecules of all magnetic minerals and of iron. Moreover, masses of such bodies as are magnetic are surrounded by a cloud or molecular sphere of free corpuscles of precisely the same nature, each one the center of a least magnetic vortex, the flow of which passes directly through the channels of its minute interior perforations; the latter were indeed formed and kept open by the flux and reflux of that same element, when its constitutive molecular system was laid for it in the deep womb of the earth. To these molecular vortices and their mutual colligation are due the lines of physical force existing around a magnet, and constituting its magnetic force.
Thus it is sufficiently obvious that the purely magnetic ores can originate, and have their distinctive molecular constitution formed only under circumstances and in a situation, where the presence of the third ether is precluded ; and the delicate intramolecular system of pores characterizing the metal is originally ordinated in the presence and under the action alone of the immensely more fine and high magnetic or second aura.
Another thing is of interest here. The original cone-like upheavals of the ocean floor lose their pristine height; and that not necessarily by subsidence of their igneo-fluent core, nor by exterior erosive or disintegrative agencies, aqueous or subaerial, although the latter may add themselves, and, in time, finish up and perfect what the main agency does with comparative rapidity and at once. The sedimentary strata of the ocean floor — at the time of their first upheaval, and especially in the primal period of the first upheavals that ever occur, — although compacted, are themselves plastic to a very considerable extent. They cannot be otherwise. Such strata if thrust up from below into a great peak-like cone by an agent extraneous to themselves, will begin, as it were, to slowly slide down hill, and subside and settle down on themselves ; each stratum thus widening and spreading out, at the expense of the height of the cone. This process will continue, until arrested by the hardening and metamorphic alteration of substance produced by hill, and subside and settle down on themselves ; by this lateral slip, — combined with the heat conveyed into them from the igneous core. This at once accounts for the fact that strata composing mountains are always thicker than the same strata as they lie out over the plain of the general continent, and obviates any necessity of presuming the endless geologic ages, necessary to account by known 5ub-aerial agencies for the present denudation or wearing of peaks, as high as strata of such original thickness would imply. It also accounts for the fact that the younger or later mountains are the higher and still rising; while earlier mountains as representing upheavals of the original more plastic bed of the sea, are the lower and apparently the most lowered and denuded; since the more plastic the state of the ocean floor at its uplifting, the greater and the faster would be its native slip and subsidence ; thus the greater the spreading out and thickening of strata thus produced at the expense of their first height, the greater the crumbling of the strata, and the greater the heat evolved by the sideways slip and sideways crushing of the mass, with consequent metamorphic result. All these points characterize the strata of the so-called Archaean Era.
DILUVIAL CAUSE OF WHAT IS MISCALLED GLACIAL ACTION AND GLACIAL DRIFT. When any portion of the mile-thick floating crust of the primal sea settled to the sea floor, and the series of events we have outlined followed, (i. e., an uprush of the displaced water with a coincident upheaval of the ocean bed all around the border of the subsiding continent), we have tremendous agencies set afloat, in the mere action of the water.
In the first place, the waves of gravity initiated at any fluctuant drop and lift of the ocean floor, are great enough to drag bottom even in deep sea, and travel with a known velocity of from 370 to 450 miles per hour. That waves of such type would occur, with every such incident in cosmic history, is apparent. There is also to be reckoned the enormous speeding swirl of the ocean currents, swinging in over the swiftly submerging lands. And with both agencies we can figure on the law that the weight of the fragments a current can carry varies as the sixth power of the velocity.
Thus we can estimate the enormous waves and currents of the sea, set up at every greater subsidence of portions of the floating upper crust ; their violence, their power to tear off even mountains and slide them along over the passing bed of their irresistible flow, boring and graving the strata beneath in correspondent channels and flutings as if they carried graving tools ; while lesser rocks, borne from their far native place, as sediments and finest pebbles are borne by quieter, slower streams, were posited in heaps and drifts, along their flow. The piles of such remains of successive diluvial disturbances, appear as the scattered rock drift of our lands to-day.
METALS AND METALLIC ORES, PRODUCED THROUGH THE IMPREGNATION OR INFILLING OF FORMS ALREADY CREATED, BY FREE METALLIC FINITES. RELATION OF THIS TO THE APPEARANCE OF METALLIC PROPERTIES IN THE HEAVIER MEMBERS OF ALL FAMILIES OF THE PERIODIC SYSTEM OF CHEMICAL ELEMENTS. In addition to the creation of the lighter alkaline metals in the salt of the sea, and the formation of the heavier magnetic metals, chiefly in and around mountains where the third ether is barred out and the igneous and metamorphic traits are most marked, there occurred a later, very widespread infiltration and interpenetration of free metallic particles or primitives into the very corpuscles of forms already created. Thus three
geometrical types of forms ( rendered as it were metallized, more inert, and heavier), resulted from this action in the course of time.
If by an accession of free third finites, the fifth finites composing the envelope of the water particle were entered, and as it were infilled and fixed, then would result a globular metallic form, called the mercurial globule, and also the metallic oil globule.
A comparison with Principia, part III. chap. VIII, (where it is noted that the third finites, free and active, cannot be in the same space as fifth finites, without disturbing their motion and so interpenetrating them as to cause them to become non-active; nor the second finite, free and active, with the fourth), suggests the condition of the fifth finites composing the envelope of the water particles, when interpenetrated and incited by an accession of third Unites free and active. In such an impregnation and infilling of the fifth finites as produces the round metallic particle called the mercurial globule, it is evident that the water particle becomes transformed, and the fifth finites heavier and more inert. A like infiltration or impregnation of the angular salt particles takes place, — fifth finites of salt particle being infilled by free third finites, and the fourth finites being infilled by second finites. In the case of the cubic particle, — the alkaline metal, — of the salt, this apparently produces the heavier members of the alkaline and earthy metal family ; all more inert, of greater atomic weight, and of physical characteristics more obviously those we associate with the term metal.
In the case of the triangular or acid particles of the salt, this metallic impregnation of the original form seems to result in the constitution of the heavier, more inert later members of the various periodic families concerned, and probably accounts for the fact that even those periodic families which in their first most active and lightest members show no slightest trace of metallic characteristic, do show such characteristics markedly in their later members all of which possess also greater chemical inertia and greater atomic weight.
The constitution of lead, Swedenborg says, is framed both of such metallic round particles or globules, and of the infilled metallic cubes. That being so, the presumption would be that comparatively quiet and undisturbed sedimentary strata would be most likely to afford the necessary matrix of perfect cubes, and perfect round water particles, in the orderly juxtaposition. This, perhaps, is the cause of the fact that while the ore deposits of other metals are formed chiefly in the vicinage of mountains characterized by metamorphic features, lead is an exception to the general rule, being associated largely with quiet sedimentary strata; its formation probably belonging to rather later eras.
Such, according to Swedenborg's system, is an outline of the cosmic causes and effects of the successive diluvial catastrophes; and such their gracious use in the Divine Providence "that all that was hidden in the bowels of the earth and all that the planet had gained by successive series of changes and multiplied events, in this manner should be made available to the use of mortals, which it seems could not have been the case had not the terraqueous globe been forced to submit to disruption, and to the oppression of the deluge. ... In this way matrices and ores were carried to the coldest regions of the earth; which results would probably have been impossible unless the planet had been violently treated in the way above described , and made patulous in various places, and so had received throughout its surface an insemination of fit materials.
Author: Lillian G. Beekman From AN OUTLINE OF SWEDENBORG'S COSMOLOGY (1907)