Nikola Tesla

Man’s Greatest Achievement – Nikola Tesla on Akashic engineering and the future of humanity

The maverick genius Nikola Tesla was a Cosmist, a pre-transhumanist thinker, and an early proponent of a synthesis of Eastern mysticism and Western can-do engineering spirit. Tesla boldly dared to imagine “Akashic engineering” and Man’s “most complete triumph over the physical world, his crowning achievement which would place him beside his Creator and fulfill his ultimate destiny.”

In 1900 Tesla wrote an article titled “The Onward Movement of Man,” which clearly establishes him as a Cosmist, pre-transhumanist thinker. “Inherent in the structure matter, as seen in the growth of crystals, is a life-forming principle,” Marc Seifer writes in “Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla” about Tesla’s article. “This organized matrix of energy, as Tesla comprehended it, when it reaches a certain stage of complexity, becomes biological life. Now, the next step in the evolution of the planet was to construct machines so that they could think for themselves… Life-forms need not be made out of flesh and blood.”

In “The Akashic Experience: Science and the Cosmic Memory Field” Ervin Laszlo noted that “[Nikola Tesla] spoke of an “original medium” that fills space and compared it to Akasha, the light-carrying ether. In his unpublished 1907 paper “Man’s greatest achievement,” Tesla wrote that this original medium, a kind of force field, becomes matter when Prana, or cosmic energy, acts on it, and when the action ceases, matter vanishes and returns to Akasha.”

I found this interesting and searched for the sources. The Tesla Memorial Society has a story on Tesla’s article, written on May 13th, 1907, and probably inspired by Tesla’s association with Swami Vivekananda.

“Man’s greatest achievement” was published on July 13, 1930, in The Milwaukee Sentinel. The full text is reproduced below.

Man’s Greatest Achievement
by Nikola Tesla
The Milwaukee Sentinel, July 13, 1930

When a child is born its sense-organs are brought in contact with the outer world.

The waves of sound, heat, and light beat upon its feeble body, its sensitive nerve-fibres quiver, the muscles contract and relax in obedience: a gasp, a breath, and in this act a marvelous little engine, of inconceivable delicacy and complexity of construction, unlike any on earth, is hitched to the wheel-work of the Universe.

The little engine labors and grows, performs more and more involved operations, becomes sensitive to ever subtler influences and now there manifests itself in the fully developed being – Man – a desire mysterious, inscrutable and irresistible: to imitate nature, to create, to work himself the wonders he perceives.

Inspired in this task he searches, discovers and invents, designs and constructs, and enriches with monuments of beauty, grandeur and awe, the star of his birth.

He descends into the bowels of the globe to bring forth its hidden treasures and to unlock its immense imprisoned energies for its use.

He invades the dark depths of the ocean and the azure regions of the sky.

He peers into the innermost nooks and recesses of molecular structure and lays bare to his gaze worlds infinitely remote. He subdues and puts to his service the fierce, devastating spark of Prometheus, the titanic forces of the waterfall, the wind and the tide.

He tames the thundering bolt of Jove and annihilates time and space. He makes the great Sun itself his obedient toiling slave.

Such is the power and might that the heavens reverberate and the whole earth trembles by the mere sound of his voice.

What has the future in store for this strange being, born of a breath, of perishable tissue, yet immortal, with his powers fearful and divine? What magic will be wrought by him in the end? What is to be his greatest deed, his crowning achievement?

Long ago he recognized that all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, of a tenuity beyond conception and filling all space – the Akasha or luminiferous ether – which is acted upon by the life-giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles, all things and phenomena.

The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding, the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary substance.

Can Man control this grandest, most awe-inspiring of all processes in nature? Can he harness her inexhaustible energies to perform all their functions at his bidding, more still – can he so refine his means of control as to put them in operation simply by the force of his will?

If he could do this he would have powers almost unlimited and supernatural. At his command, with but a slight effort on his part, old worlds would disappear and new ones of his planning would spring into being.

He could fix, solidify and preserve the ethereal shapes of his imagining, the fleeting visions of his dreams. He could express all the creations of his mind, on any scale, in forms concrete and imperishable.

He could alter the size of this planet, control its seasons, guide it along any path he might choose through the depths of the Universe.

He could make planets collide and produce his suns and stars, his heat and light. He could originate and develop life in all its infinite forms.

To create and annihilate material substance, cause it to aggregate in forms according to his desire, would be the supreme manifestation of the power of Man’s mind, his most complete triumph over the physical world, his crowning achievement which would place him beside his Creator and fulfill his ultimate destiny.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

  • spud100

    I was actually going to post this link to the previous akashic concept of physics you have proposed. Now that I think about this, you propose is what physicists have called digital physics, and what philosophers call computationalism. Its the same thing. Your akashic hypothesis stirred my tiny brain for the last several days, and got me geared to view the akashic record as analogous to a relational database, or a block chain database that evolved, naturally (conways life) or designed by someone. I went back to Paola Zizzi’s papers from several years ago, which concerned computationalism at the Planck Length. She clearly hasn’t pursued this line of analysis for quite some time, but it did lead me to revisit the hographic theory. Interest has picked up on this proposal and seems to have gained some momentum, along the way. My question to utilizing the holographic principle is, what would perform as a read-write mechanism with holographic physics?

    Then, our descendents might elect to wake us from the “dirt nap,” and we can all have a knowledge exchange of sorts. Upon Tesla, I did know that he once claimed to have the power to split the earth like an apple. In the horror fantasy, Revival, by writer Stephen King, Tesla’s ideas do play a central role, but not in a good way-but that’s horror fantasy for you.



    • Giulio Prisco

      Hi Mitch, I guess some combination of current ideas such as the holographic principle, string theory, loop quantum gravity, Penrose’s ideas, and new ideas yet to be developed, will permit taking the first steps toward understanding how to access the Akasha as a read/write database. What comes after is not to be known yet, but perhaps we will wake up after death and find out.

      A core idea upon which scientists are converging is that conventional space-time is not the fundamental reality (Kant said similar things centuries ago) but can be derived by more fundamental realities.

      I wouldn’t say that Tesla’s ideas play a central role in Stephen King’s Revival, besides the Tesla-like obsession of Jacobs with electricity and hidden dimensions.

  • magnus

    Hello Giulio,

    Tesla was one of this special individuals. Interesting read about his kind of cosmistic thinking. Is anything known about John von Neumnann according to our interests here?

    About string theory and loop quantum gravity, I read, but of course don’t remember where, that the philosofical difference is: String theroies (many) are situated in a space-assume a space (of some or more dimensions), but that loop quantum gravity is foundational even for space-time.

    –> spud00:
    “got me geared to view the akashic record as analogous to a relational database, or a block chain database that evolved, naturally” : Interesting point. That would be something like natural hash functions, and we hope not to cryptographic.

    • Giulio Prisco

      Re string theories vs. loop quantum gravity, yes, loop quantum gravity builds space and time instead of assuming them as a fixed stage, and string theory doesn’t manage to do that yet. However, I guess string theorists would like to import this feature in their theories, and the two approaches could converge someday.

      Re Von Neumann, let’s do some research and report back.

      Re encrypted Akashic records, don’t forget that data compression is a form of (benevolent) encryption – both encrypted and efficiently compressed information looks like noise. I don’t think nature does encryption, but I think it does compression to optimize resources. For example, your genome is an efficiently compressed description of you.

      • magnus

        Re von Neumann: First we know, he was already sort of transhuman himself, without the term. ( I mean in his abilities, his intelligence and I would say his personality, somehow, after watching some documentaries. )

        According to wikipedia (yes, I’m a little embarrased here, but it’s a start) the term s i n g u l a r i t y in the transhuman sence, was used by his friend Stanislaw Ulam in his obituary for von Neumann.

        One thought was to find traces of cosmism/transhumanism in “skilled and accepted” historical persons, as steps to broadening our work out in the dark fields of the dull political correctness. Why ‘convert’? Because we need a lot of resources. (obvious).

        The other train of thought is to follow up your intention to scan papers on useful information about our task, conclusions that we’re not done or outspoken, possibilities for the Akasha. Some of our great minds might really have left some traces in our desireed direction. And it might be simpler to start with their known philosophy and then start reading all the abstracts of their papers. Would it be helpful with some more directed software, or is Google the best?

        About Akasha-records, I wonder about the informational content about the past in our everyday surroundings, on a more ‘high level’ of reality. and the correlation between these fragments, their dependence of each other.

        An example of what I mean ( a tiny tiny fragment of one little part of the future science) is how we can derive anything about the pronunciation of words in the past? Through spelling/wrong spelling it might be possible to say something.
        Or the weather records, the derivations about how the weather makes people feel could put things in their context, or the chemical surrounding and it’s influence on body and thoughts. All such high-level information-far away from making the reconstruction of a personal mind possible, but still a direction in the space of possible past_s.

        I wonder this because there might be methods, developed for “Earth-bound”, scientific disciplines, methods that could be generalised or mutated in some way for our long term goals, serving as methodical inspiration. It is already like that in some degree, but it could be improved, because maybe the scientist hasn’t got the time to dig around here.
        Repeating ideas like the aboves, with small changes and hopefully novelties, is like doing a pilgers travel and like education.

        Well, it’s high level, the hyper-archeology of some kind.

        • Giulio Prisco

          Re “follow up your intention to scan papers on useful information about our task”

          I am preparing a wiki for this project, stay tuned.

          re “An example of what I mean ( a tiny tiny fragment of one little part of the future science) is how we can derive anything about the pronunciation of words in the past? Through spelling/wrong spelling it might be possible to say something. ”

          Very good example! I talked to an expert of Latin who said that many hints about Latin pronunciation can be derived from poetry. If words are meant to rhyme or fit harmoniously in a poem, that says something about their probable original pronunciation.

  • Giulio Prisco

    Related article just published, with many interesting references, thanks Mile LaTorra for sharing: