Normality is a supposition made by Academics. It is believed to exist in the Form of a Mould from which all Objects, metaphysical, or of matter, or based on occult practices, or by mechanical means, are derived; but for which no Mould can be understood, in that, the Form of the Mould remains unknown until an Object is taken from the Mould, yet, if no Mould is known, and cannot be found caused by the lack of a comparative Object produced from the Mould, any attempt or effort made to deconstruct that particular Mould, which remains unknown, from which those Objects were produced, impossible; thus, it was, therefore, incumbent on the Author to view Objects, metaphysical or occult or mechanical, previously produced in an effort to discover the existence of the Mould of the Form of the phenomena of Normality, which is, as has been surmised, Illusion.
[*Footnote: This method, accordingly, which we have borrowed from the natural philosopher, consists in seeking for the elements of pure reason in that which admits of confirmation or refutation by experiment. Now, if we find that reason is involved in self-contradiction, then the experiment will establish the correctness of this distinction.]
The Phænomena of Objects in refracted or reflected Light are not caused by new Modifications of the Light variously impress’d, according to the various Terminations of the Light and Shadow.
In a very dark Chamber, whereby, Light might be refracted upwards toward the opposite Wall of the Chamber, and there form a colour’d Image. to ascend between the Descent and Ascent, when the Image seemed Stationary, fix’d in that Posture, that it should be moved no more. For in that Posture the Refractions of the Light at the Entrance of the Rays, and at their going out of it, were equal to one another when the Image fell upon that refracted Light fell perpendicularly upon the opposite Wall of the Chamber, and observed the Figure and Dimensions of the Image formed.
Order may be produced by Composition which shall be like to the Objects of homogeneal Light as to the Appearance of Objects, but not as to the Immutability of Objects and Constitution of Light.
Observations concerning the Reflexions, Refractions, and Colours of thin transparent Objects.
Nº 1. To observe more nicely the Order which arose out of the white Circles as the Rays became less and less inclined to the Plate of Air; I took two Object-glasses, and I pressed them slowly together, to make the Object successively emerge in the middle of the Circles, and then slowly lifted the upper Glass from the lower to make them successively vanish again in the same place. And by this means I observ’d their Succession and Quantity to be like the Objects of Water-bubbles, been a little changed by viewing them at divers Obliquities; and I find that the Change made by the Obliquation of the Eye is least in Objects of the densest thin Substances.
Lights which differ in Objects, differ also in Degrees of Refrangibility.
Nº 2. As in the sixth Observation, so here, the Bubble, by transmitted Light, appear’d of a contrary Object to that, which it exhibited by Reflexion. Thus when the Bubble being look’d on by the Light of the Clouds reflected from it, if the Clouds at the same time, or immediately after, were view’d through it, the Object at its Circumference would be reflected Light appear by transmitted Light.
An Object seen by Reflexion or Refraction, appears in that place from whence the Rays after their last Reflexion or Refraction diverge in falling on the Spectator’s Eye.
Nº 3. By wetting very thin Plates of Glass, whose thinness made the like Objects appear, the Objects became more faint and languid, especially by wetting the Plates on that side opposite to the Eye: But could not perceive any variation of their Species. And hence, by Observations, may be known the thickness which Bubbles of Water, or Plates of Glass, or other Substances, have at any Object produced them.
The least parts of almost all natural Objects are in some measure transparent: And the Opacity of those Objects artiest from the multitude of Reflexions caused in their internal Parts.
Nº 4. A thin transparent Body, which is denser than its ambient Medium, exhibits more brisk and vivid Objects than that which is so much rarer; as I have particularly observed in the Air and Glass. For blowing Glass very thin at a Lamp Furnace, those Plates encompassed with Air did exhibit Objects much more vivid than those of Air made thin between two Glasses.
The confused Vision of Objects seen through refracting Bodies by heterogeneal Light arises from the different Refrangibility of several sorts of Rays.
Nº 5. Object-glasses were made use of obliquely. It was least when the Rays were incident most obliquely on the interjacent Air, and as the obliquity decreased it increased more and more until the colour’d Rings appear’d, and then decreased again, but not so much as it increased before. And hence it is evident, that the Transparency was not only absolute, but also, when view’d obliquely, it hath wholly vanish’d and become opaque like the other parts of the Glass.
Light is propagated from luminous Bodies in time, and spends about seven or eight Minutes of an Hour in passing from the Sun to the Earth.
Nº 6. This Object never appears, but where it rains in the Sun-shine, and may be made artificially by spouting up Water which may break aloft, and scatter into Drops, and fall down like Rain. For the Sun shining upon these Drops certainly causes the Object to appear to a Spectator standing in a due Position to the Rain and Sun. And hence it is now agreed upon, that this Object is made by Refraction of the Light in drops of falling Rain. The same Explication Des-Cartes hath pursued in his Meteors, and mended that of the exterior Object. The Truth of all this Mathematicians will easily examine.
I considered farther, that Penumbras remain in those numberless Waves or Curles not in equal distances from the Object, and there would arise in those translated Lines some Penumbra or Crookedness or Undulation, or other sensible Perturbation contrary to what is found by Experience.
Remarks upon the foregoing Observations.
If the Theory could at length be fully brought into Practice, yet there would be certain Bounds beyond which Schemes could not perform. For the Air through which we look upon the Objects, is in a perpetual Tremor; as may be seen by the tremulous Motion of Shadows cast from high Towers, and by the twinkling of the fix’d Objects, and all these illuminated Points constitute one broad lucid Point, composed of those many trembling Points confusedly and insensibly mixed with one another by very short and swift Tremors, but they cannot be so formed as to take away that confusion of the Rays which arises from the Tremors of the Atmosphere.
Scholium. The same Things succeed, notwithstanding that some of the Circumstances be varied; as in the first Experiment when ways inclined to the Horizon. But in the Description of these Experiments, I have set down such Circumstances, by which either the Phænomenon might be render’d more conspicuous; and if they were more intense and full, that distance would be greater, as will appear hereafter.
The common but fallacious hypothesis of the absolute reality of phenomena manifests its injurious influence in embarrassing the procedure of reason. For if phenomena are things in themselves, nature is the complete and all-sufficient cause of every event; and condition and conditioned, cause and effect are contained in the same series, and necessitated by the same law; although its effects, as phenomena, must be determined by other phenomenal existences. It is sufficient, at present, to remark that, as the complete and unbroken connection of phenomena is an unalterable law of nature on the supposition that phenomena are absolutely real.
Phenomena—being things in themselves—must have a transcendental object as a foundation; and there seems to be no reason why we should not ascribe to this transcendental object, a causality whose effects are to be met with in the world of phenomena, although it is not itself a phenomenon.
These Experiments suffice for transcendental Objects, as evidenced, thus, by Illusion exposed.
[*Footnote: The only addition, properly so called—and that only in the method of proof—which I have made in the present Experiment, consists of the objective reality of existence in time is, therefore, identical with the consciousness of a relation to the mere imagination of it. We may add the remark that the representation of something permanent in existence, is not the same thing as the permanent representation; for a representation may be very variable and changing.]
Sean Fraser (b. 1953) is a writer who studied under Professors Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Apollinaire following High School. His literary works are variations on a Theme of things seen in the somnambulant Peep-shows and Sideshows of Reason and Logic. He is on Twitter @theatresean.
La Femme Eidôlon : A Tale was the final work of poetry he would write. Read it [here].