A Representation of the Ether which pervades the Universe
The physicist James Clerk Maxwell laid the foundation to the field of electromagnetism and defined the nature of electromagnetic radiation. In doing so he assumed the existence of a hypothetical medium called the “ether” that filled all space and served as the medium through which electromagnetic waves propagate. To the question “Light waves are waves in what?” His answer was “ether.”
The existence of the ether (or aether if you prefer), can be traced back to Aristotle, and was undisputed until the the Michelson-Morley experiment failed to prove the existence of an ether. From that point on, the existence of ether was doubted and the idea of an ether vanished from modern physics.
There are valid criticisms of this experiment, by the way. It assumed that the Earth was moving through a static, stationary ether, which may not be correct. Some have suggested that the ether is a dynamic, fluctuating medium that can affect the propagation of light. Another criticism of the experiment is that it may not have been sensitive enough to detect small variations in the speed of light caused by the motion of the Earth.
Be that as it may, when Gurdjieff published The Tales it was awash with comments about the ether which he called Etherokilno. (Krilno means hidden in several Slavic languages.)
The Tales and Etherokrilno
Below are seven of the nine separate references to Etherokrilno that can be found in The Tales:
- “In the beginning, (before the creation) the whole Universe was empty endless space with the presence of only the prime-source cosmic substance ‘Etherokrilno,’ and the Holy Sun Absolute existed alone in all this empty space,p748
- Atmosphereless space contains only World Etherokrilno p71
- In the creation, the emanations issuing from the Sun Absolute began to act at certain definite points of the space of the Universe upon the prime-source cosmic substance Etherokrilno from which certain definite concentrations began to be concentrated. p756
- Owing to the Law of 7 and Law of 3 ‘crystallizations’ arise from the substance ‘Etherokrilno,’ and from these crystallizations are formed various large and small cosmic definite formations (i.e. cosmoses). p137
- Within and upon these cosmoses, the involution and evolution of already-formed concentrations take place and all the results obtained actualize the ‘exchange-of-matters’ for the purposes of the Most Great common-cosmic Trogoautoegocrat. p137
- During the periods when ‘Djartklom’ proceeds in the Okidanokh, then there is temporarily released from it the proportion of the pure Etherokrilno which unfailingly enters into all cosmic formations and there serves for connecting all the active elements of these formations; and afterwards when its three fundamental parts reblend, then the said proportion of Etherokrilno is re-established. p142
- during certain processes in the cosmic Etherokrilno of interspatial spheres. p270
My main reason for listing all these references to Etherokrilno is simply to demonstrate that Gurdjieff had no doubt whatsoever that there was an ether. (The two references to Etherokrilno not listed here can be found on pages 731 and 758-786.)