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Yoga origins and history, peace of mind and natural health

Yoga  is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India.

 

There is a broad variety of Yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic and śramaṇa movements. The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist Pāli Canon, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.

Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.

Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease.

Etymology

In Vedic Sanskrit, yoga  means “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach” in its most common literal sense. By figurative extension from the yoking or harnessing of oxen or horses, the word took on broader meanings such as “employment, use, application, performance” . All further developments of the sense of this word are post-Vedic. More prosaic moods such as “exertion”, “endeavour”, “zeal”, and “diligence” are also found in Indian epic poetry.

There are very many compound words containing yoga in Sanskrit. Yoga can take on meanings such as “connection”, “contact”, “union”, “method”, “application”, “addition” and “performance”. In simpler words, Yoga also means “combined”. For example, guṇáyoga means “contact with a cord”; chakráyoga has a medical sense of “applying a splint or similar instrument by means of pulleys “; chandráyoga has the astronomical sense of “conjunction of the moon with a constellation”; puṃyoga is a grammatical term expressing “connection or relation with a man”, etc. Thus, bhaktiyoga means “devoted attachment” in the monotheistic Bhakti movement. The term kriyāyoga has a grammatical sense, meaning “connection with a verb”. But the same compound is also given a technical meaning in the Yoga Sutras, designating the “practical” aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the “union with the supreme” due to performance of duties in everyday life

According to Pāṇini, a 6th-century BCE Sanskrit grammarian, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga  or yuj samādhau . In accordance with Pāṇini, Vyasa who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras, states that yoga means samādhi .

According to Dasgupta, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga  or yuj samādhau . Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi  or yogini .

Goals

The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha, although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated.

According to Jacobsen, “Yoga has five principal meanings:

According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the core principles of “yoga” were more or less in place, and variations of these principles developed in various forms over time:

# Yoga, is a meditative means of discovering dysfunctional perception and cognition, as well as overcoming it for release from suffering, inner peace and salvation; illustration of this principle is found in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Yogasutras, in a number of Buddhist Mahāyāna works, as well as Jain texts;

# Yoga, as the raising and expansion of consciousness from oneself to being coextensive with everyone and everything; these are discussed in sources such as in Hinduism Vedic literature and its Epic Mahābhārata, Jainism Praśamaratiprakarana, and Buddhist Nikaya texts;

# Yoga, as a path to omniscience and enlightened consciousness enabling one to comprehend the impermanent  and permanent  reality; examples are found in Hinduism Nyaya and Vaisesika school texts as well as Buddhism Mādhyamaka texts, but in different ways;

# Yoga, as a technique for entering into other bodies, generating multiple bodies, and the attainment of other supernatural accomplishments; these are, states White, described in Tantric literature of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the Buddhist Sāmaññaphalasutta; James Mallinson, however, disagrees and suggests that such fringe practices are far removed from the mainstream Yoga’s goal as meditation-driven means to liberation in Indian religions.

White clarifies that the last principle relates to legendary goals of “yogi practice”, different from practical goals of “yoga practice,” as they are viewed in South Asian thought and practice since the beginning of the Common Era, in the various Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophical schools.

Schools

The term “yoga” has been applied to a variety of practices and methods, including Jain and Buddhist practices. In Hinduism these include Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Laya Yoga and Hatha Yoga.

The so-called Raja Yoga refers to Ashtanga Yoga, the eight limbs to be practiced to attain samadhi, as described in the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali. The term raja yoga originally referred to the ultimate goal of yoga, which is usually samadhi, but was popularised by Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga.

Hinduism

Classical yoga

Yoga is considered as a philosophical school in Hinduism. Yoga, in this context, is one of the six āstika schools of Hinduism .

Due to the influence of Vivekananda, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are nowadays considered as the foundational scripture of classical yoga, a status which it only acquired in the 20th century. Before the twentieth century, other works were considered as the most central works, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Vasistha, while Tantric Yoga and Hatha Yoga prevailed over Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga yoga

Yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali refers to Ashtanga yoga. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is considered as a central text of the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy, It is often called “Rāja yoga”, “yoga of the kings,” a term which originally referred to the ultimate, royal goal of yoga, which is usually samadhi, but was popularised by Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga yoga incorporates epistemology, metaphysics, ethical practices, systematic exercises and self-development techniques for body, mind and spirit. the Yoga school of Hinduism accepts the concept of a “personal, yet essentially inactive, deity” or “personal god”. Along with its epistemology and metaphysical foundations, the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy incorporates ethical precepts  and an introspective way of life focused on perfecting one’s self physically, mentally and spiritually, with the ultimate goal being kaivalya .

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga, also called hatha vidyā, is a kind of yoga focusing on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism:

# Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Svātmārāma

# Shiva Samhita, author unknown

# Gheranda Samhita by Gheranda

Many scholars also include the preceding Goraksha Samhita authored by Gorakshanath of the 11th century in the above list.

Vajrayana Buddhism, founded by the Indian Mahasiddhas, has a series of asanas and pranayamas, such as tummo  See also ‘tantra’ below.

Buddhism

Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concentration, supramundane powers, tranquility, and insight.

Core techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment and Nirvana. The closest words for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism are bhāvanā and jhāna/dhyāna.

Jainism

Jain meditation has been the central practice of spirituality in Jainism along with the Three Jewels. Meditation in Jainism aims at realizing the self, attain salvation, take the soul to complete freedom. It aims to reach and to remain in the pure state of soul which is believed to be pure conscious, beyond any attachment or aversion. The practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer . Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to the auspicious Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana and inauspicious Artta and Raudra Dhyana.

Tantra

Samuel states that Tantrism is a contested concept. Tantra yoga may be described, according to Samuel, as practices in 9th to 10th century Buddhist and Hindu  texts, which included yogic practices with elaborate deity visualizations using geometrical arrays and drawings, fierce male and particularly female deities, transgressive life stage related rituals, extensive use of chakras and mantras, and sexual techniques, all aimed to help one’s health, long life and liberation.

History

The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Suggested origins are the Indus Valley Civilization  and pre-Vedic Eastern India, the Vedic period, and the śramaṇa movement. According to Gavin Flood, continuities may exist between those various traditions:

Pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE. Between 200 BCE–500 CE philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge. The Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid 19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy.

Pre-Vedic India

Yoga may have pre-Vedic elements. Some state yoga originated in the Indus Valley Civilization. Marshall, Eliade According to Geoffrey Samuel, “Our best evidence to date suggests that  practices developed in the same ascetic circles as the early sramana movements, probably in around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE.”

According to Zimmer, Yoga philosophy is reckoned to be part of the non-Vedic system, which also includes the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, Jainism and Buddhism: ” does not derive from Brahman-Aryan sources, but reflects the cosmology and anthropology of a much older pre-Aryan upper class of northeastern India  – being rooted in the same subsoil of archaic metaphysical speculation as Yoga, Sankhya, and Buddhism, the other non-Vedic Indian systems.”

Textual references

The first use of the root of word “yoga” is in hymn 5.81.1 of the Rig Veda, a dedication to rising Sun-god in the morning, where it has been interpreted as “yoke” or “yogically control”.

Rigveda, however, does not describe yoga and there is little evidence as to what the practices were.

Vedic ascetic practices

Ascetic practices, concentration and bodily postures used by Vedic priests to conduct yajna, might have been precursors to yoga. Vratya, a group of ascetics mentioned in the Atharvaveda, emphasized on bodily postures which may have evolved into yogic asanas. Techniques for controlling breath and vital energies are mentioned in the Brahmanas  and the Atharvaveda. Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda suggests the presence of an early contemplative tradition.

Preclassical era

Yoga concepts begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE such as the Pali Canon, the middle Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata.

Upanishads

The first known appearance of the word “yoga”, with the same meaning as the modern term, is in the Katha Upanishad, where it is defined as the steady control of the senses, which along with cessation of mental activity, leading to a supreme state. It is the earliest literary work that highlights the fundamentals of yoga. White states:

The hymns in Book 2 of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, another late first millennium BCE text, states a procedure in which the body is held in upright posture, the breath is restrained and mind is meditatively focussed, preferably inside a cave or a place that is simple, plain, of silence or gently flowing water, with no noises nor harsh winds.

In addition to the Yoga discussion in above Principal Upanishads, twenty Yoga Upanishads as well as related texts such as Yoga Vasistha, composed in 1st and 2nd millennium CE, discuss Yoga methods.

Sutras of Hindu philosophies

Yoga is discussed in the ancient foundational Sutras of Hindu philosophy. The Vaiśeṣika Sūtra of the Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, dated to have been composed sometime between 6th and 2nd century BCE discusses Yoga. According to Johannes Bronkhorst, an Indologist known for his studies on early Buddhism and Hinduism and a professor at the University of Lausanne, Vaiśeṣika Sūtra describes Yoga as “a state where the mind resides only in the soul and therefore not in the senses”.

Similarly, Brahma sutras – the foundational text of the Vedanta school of Hinduism, discusses yoga in its sutra 2.1.3, 2.1.223 and others. and its sutras assert that yoga is a means to gain “subtlety of body” and other powers. The Nyaya sutras – the foundational text of the Nyaya school, variously estimated to have been composed between the 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE, discusses yoga in sutras 4.2.38–50. This ancient text of the Nyaya school includes a discussion of yogic ethics, dhyana, samadhi, and among other things remarks that debate and philosophy is a form of yoga.

Macedonian historical texts

Alexander the Great reached India in the 4th century BCE. Along with his army, he took Greek academics with him who later wrote memoirs about geography, people and customs they saw. One of Alexander’s companion was Onesicritus, quoted in Book 15, Sections 63–65 by Strabo, who describes yogins of India. Onesicritus claims those Indian yogins  practiced aloofness and “different postures – standing or sitting or lying naked – and motionless”.

Onesicritus also mentions his colleague Calanus trying to meet them, who is initially denied audience, but later invited because he was sent by a “king curious of wisdom and philosophy”. He notes: Early known Buddhist sources like the Majjhima Nikāya mention meditation, while the Anguttara Nikāya describes Jhāyins  that resemble early Hindu descriptions of Muni, Kesins and meditating ascetics, but these meditation-practices are not called yoga in these texts. The earliest known specific discussion of yoga in the Buddhist literature, as understood in modern context, is from the third- to fourth-century CE scriptures of the Buddhist Yogācāra school and fourth- to fifth-century Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosa.

A yoga system that predated the Buddhist school is Jain yoga. But since Jain sources postdate Buddhist ones, it is difficult to distinguish between the nature of the early Jain school and elements derived from other schools.

The early Buddhist texts describe meditative practices and states, some of which the Buddha borrowed from the śramaṇa tradition. The Pali canon contains three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the palate for the purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage. However, there is no mention of the tongue being inserted into the nasopharynx as in true khecarī mudrā. The Buddha used a posture where pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, similar to even modern postures used to stimulate Kundalini.

Uncertainty with chronology

Alexander Wynne, author of The Origin of Buddhist Meditation, observes that formless meditation and elemental meditation might have originated in the Upanishadic tradition. The earliest reference to meditation is in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of the oldest Upanishads.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, uses the term “yoga” extensively in a variety of ways. In addition to an entire chapter  dedicated to traditional yoga practice, including meditation, it introduces three prominent types of yoga:

Karma yoga: The yoga of action.

Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion.

The Gita consists of 18 chapters and 700 shlokas, Some scholars divide the Gita into three sections, with the first six chapters with 280 shlokas dealing with Karma yoga, the middle six containing 209 shlokas with Bhakti yoga, and the last six chapters with 211 shlokas as Jnana yoga; however, this is rough because elements of karma, bhakti and jnana are found in all chapters.

Mahabharata

Description of an early form of yoga called nirodhayoga  is contained in the Mokshadharma section of the 12th chapter  of the Mahabharata. The verses of the section are dated to c. 300–200 BCE. Nirodhayoga emphasizes progressive withdrawal from the contents of empirical consciousness such as thoughts, sensations etc. until purusha  is realized. Terms like vichara, viveka  and others which are similar to Patanjali’s terminology are mentioned, but not described. There is no uniform goal of yoga mentioned in the Mahabharata. Separation of self from matter, perceiving Brahman everywhere, entering into Brahman etc. are all described as goals of yoga. Samkhya and yoga are conflated together and some verses describe them as being identical.

Mahabharata defines the purpose of yoga as the experience of uniting the individual ātman with the universal Brahman that pervades all things.

Classical era

This period witnessed many texts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism discussing and systematically compiling yoga methods and practices. Of these, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are considered as a key work.

Classical yoga

During the period between the Mauryan and the Gupta era  philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge.

Samkhya

Many traditions in India began to adopt systematic methodology by about first century CE. Of these, Samkhya was probably one of the oldest philosophies to begin taking a systematic form. Patanjali systematized Yoga, building them on the foundational metaphysics of Samkhya. In the early works, the Yoga principles appear together with the Samkhya ideas. Vyasa’s commentary on the Yoga Sutras, also called the Samkhyapravacanabhasya, describes the relation between the two systems. The two schools have some differences as well. Yoga accepted the conception of “personal god”, while Samkhya developed as a rationalist, non-theistic/atheistic system of Hindu philosophy. Sometimes Patanjali’s system is referred to as Seshvara Samkhya in contradistinction to Kapila’s Nirivara Samkhya.

The parallels between Yoga and Samkhya were so close that Max Müller says that “the two philosophies were in popular parlance distinguished from each other as Samkhya with and Samkhya without a Lord.”

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

In Hindu philosophy, yoga is the name of one of the six orthodox  philosophical schools. Karel Werner, author of Yoga And Indian Philosophy, believes that the process of systematization of yoga which began in the middle and Yoga Upanishads culminated with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

There are numerous parallels in the concepts in ancient Samkhya, Yoga and Abhidharma Buddhist schools of thought, particularly from 2nd century BCE to 1st century AD, notes Larson. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is a synthesis of these three traditions. From Samkhya, Yoga Sutras adopt the “reflective discernment”  of prakrti and purusa, its metaphysical rationalism, as well its three epistemic methods to gaining reliable knowledge. The verses of Yoga Sutras are terse. Many later Indian scholars studied them and published their commentaries, such as the Vyasa Bhashya . Patanjali’s yoga is also referred to as Raja yoga. Patanjali defines the word “yoga” in his second sutra:

– Yoga Sutras 1.2

This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskrit terms. I. K. Taimni translates it as “Yoga is the inhibition  of the modifications  of the mind “. Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as “Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff  from taking various forms .” Edwin Bryant explains that, to Patanjali, “Yoga essentially consists of meditative practices culminating in attaining a state of consciousness free from all modes of active or discursive thought, and of eventually attaining a state where consciousness is unaware of any object external to itself, that is, is only aware of its own nature as consciousness unmixed with any other object.”

If the meaning of yoga is understood as the practice of nirodha, then its goal is “the unqualified state of niruddha “, according to Baba Hari Dass. In that context, “yoga  implies duality ; the result of yoga is the nondual state”, and “as the union of the lower self and higher Self. The nondual state is characterized by the absence of individuality; it can be described as eternal peace, pure love, Self-realization, or liberation.”

Patanjali’s writing also became the basis for a system referred to as “Ashtanga Yoga” . This eight-limbed concept is derived from the 29th Sutra of the Book 2 of Yoga Sutras. They are:

# Yama : Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, and Aparigraha . Santosha, Tapas, Svādhyāya, and Ishvara-Pranidhana . Yoga disputes the monism of Advaita Vedanta.

Yoga Yajnavalkya

The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical treatise on yoga attributed to the Vedic sage Yajnavalkya. It takes the form of a dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Gargi, a renowned philosopher. The text contains 12 chapters and its origin has been traced to the period between the second century BCE and fourth century CE. Many yoga texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Yoga Kundalini and the Yoga Tattva Upanishads have borrowed verses from or make frequent references to the Yoga Yajnavalkya. The Yoga Yajnavalkya discusses eight yoga Asanas – Swastika, Gomukha, Padma, Vira, Simha, Bhadra, Mukta and Mayura, numerous breathing exercises for body cleansing, and meditation.

Jainism

According to Tattvarthasutra, 2nd century CE Jain text, yoga is the sum of all the activities of mind, speech and body. as well as one of the essentials—samyak caritra—in the path to liberation. Acarya Haribhadra and Acarya Hemacandra mention the five major vows of ascetics and 12 minor vows of laity under yoga. This has led certain Indologists like Prof. Robert J. Zydenbos to call Jainism, essentially, a system of yogic thinking that grew into a full-fledged religion. The five yamas or the constraints of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali bear a resemblance to the five major vows of Jainism, indicating a history of strong cross-fertilization between these traditions.

Mainstream Hinduism’s influence on Jain yoga is noticed as Haribhadra founded his eightfold yoga and aligned it with Patanjali’s eightfold yoga.

Yogacara school

In the late phase of Indian antiquity, on the eve of the development of Classical Hinduism, the

Yogacara movement arises during the Gupta period .

Yogacara received the name as it provided a “yoga,” a framework for engaging in the practices that lead to the path of the bodhisattva. The yogacara sect teaches “yoga” as a way to reach enlightenment.

Middle Ages

Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Hatha yoga emerged in this period.

Bhakti movement

The Bhakti movement was a development in medieval Hinduism which advocated the concept of a personal God . The movement was initiated by the Alvars of South India in the 6th to 9th centuries, and it started gaining influence throughout India by the 12th to 15th centuries. Shaiva and Vaishnava bhakti traditions integrated aspects of Yoga Sutras, such as the practical meditative exercises, with devotion. Bhagavata Purana elucidates the practice of a form of yoga called viraha  bhakti. Viraha bhakti emphasizes one pointed concentration on Krishna.

Tantra

Tantra is a genre of yoga that arose in India no later than the 5th century CE. George Samuel states, “Tantra” is a contested term, but may be considered as a school whose practices appeared in mostly complete form in Buddhist and Hindu texts by about 10th century CE. Over its history, some ideas of Tantra school influenced the Hindu, Bon, Buddhist, and Jain traditions. Elements of Tantric yoga rituals were adopted by and influenced state functions in medieval Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in East and Southeast Asia.

By the turn of the first millennium, hatha yoga emerged from tantra. They were later translated into Chinese and other Asian languages, helping spread ideas of Tantric Buddhism. The Buddhist text Hevajra Tantra and Caryāgiti introduced hierarchies of chakras. Yoga is a significant practice in Tantric Buddhism.

Hatha Yoga

The earliest references to hatha yoga are in Buddhist works dating from the eighth century. The earliest definition of hatha yoga is found in the 11th century Buddhist text Vimalaprabha, which defines it in relation to the center channel, bindu etc. Hatha yoga synthesizes elements of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with posture and breathing exercises. It marks the development of asanas  into the full body ‘postures’ now in popular usage and, along with its many modern variations, is the style that many people associate with the word yoga today.

Sikhism

Various yogic groups had become prominent in Punjab in the 15th and 16th century, when Sikhism was in its nascent stage. Compositions of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, describe many dialogues he had with Jogis, a Hindu community which practiced yoga. Guru Nanak rejected the austerities, rites and rituals connected with Hatha Yoga. He propounded the path of Sahaja yoga or Nama yoga  instead. The Guru Granth Sahib states:

Modern history

Reception in the West

Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid-19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy. In the context of this budding interest, N. C. Paul published his Treatise on Yoga Philosophy in 1851.

The first Hindu teacher to actively advocate and disseminate aspects of yoga to a western audience, Swami Vivekananda, toured Europe and the United States in the 1890s. The reception which Swami Vivekananda received built on the active interest of intellectuals, in particular the New England Transcendentalists, among them R. W. Emerson, who drew on German Romanticism and the interest of philosophers and scholars like G.W.F. Hegel, the brothers August Wilhelm Schlegel  and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel, Max Mueller, Arthur Schopenhauer  and others who had  interests in things Indian.

Theosophists also had a large influence on the American public’s view of Yoga. Esoteric views current at the end of the 19th century provided a further basis for the reception of Vedanta and of Yoga with its theory and practice of correspondence between the spiritual and the physical. The reception of Yoga and of Vedanta thus entwined with each other and with the  currents of religious and philosophical reform and transformation throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. M. Eliade, himself rooted in the Romanian currents of these traditions, brought a new element into the reception of Yoga with the strong emphasis on Tantric Yoga in his seminal book: Yoga: Immortality and Freedom. With the introduction of the Tantra traditions and philosophy of Yoga, the conception of the “transcendent” to be attained by Yogic practice shifted from experiencing the “transcendent”  in the mind to the body itself.

The American born yogi by the name of Pierre Arnold Bernard, after his travels through the lands of Kashmir and Bengal, founded the Tantrik Order of America in 1905. His teachings gave many westerners their first glimpse into the practices of yoga and tantra.

The modern scientific study of yoga began with the works of N. C. Paul and Major D. Basu in the late 19th century, and then continued in the 20th century with Sri Yogendra  and Swami Kuvalayananda. Western medical researchers came to Swami Kuvalayananda’s Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center, starting in 1928, to study Yoga as a science.

The West, in the early 21st century typically associates the term “yoga” with Hatha yoga and its asanas  or as a form of exercise. During the 1910s and 1920s in the USA, yoga suffered a period of bad publicity due largely to the backlash against immigration, a rise in puritanical values, and a number of scandals. In the 1930s and 1940s yoga began to gain more public acceptance as a result of celebrity endorsement. In the 1950s the United States saw another period of paranoia against yoga,

Teachers of Hatha yoga who were active in the west in this period included B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, Swami Vishnu-devananda, and Swami Satchidananda . Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to the United States in 1969. Comprehensive, classical teachings of Ashtanga Yoga, Samkhya, the subtle body theory, Fitness Asanas, and tantric elements were included in the yoga teachers training by Baba Hari Dass, in the United States and Canada.

A second “yoga boom” followed in the 1980s, as Dean Ornish, a follower of Swami Satchidananda, connected yoga to heart health, legitimizing yoga as a purely physical system of health exercises outside of counter-culture or esotericism circles, and unconnected to any religious denomination.

Since 2001, the popularity of yoga in the USA has risen constantly. The number of people who practiced some form of yoga has grown from 4 million  to 20 million . It has drawn support from world leaders such as Barack Obama who stated, “Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual exercise in the United States, crossing many lines of religion and cultures,… Every day, millions of people practice yoga to improve their health and overall well-being. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to take part in PALA, so show your support for yoga and answer the challenge”.

The American College of Sports Medicine supports the integration of yoga into the exercise regimens of healthy individuals as long as properly-trained professionals deliver instruction. The College cites yoga’s promotion of “profound mental, physical and spiritual awareness” and its benefits as a form of stretching, and as an enhancer of breath control and of core strength.

Exercise and health applications

Yoga has been studied and is increasingly recommended to promote relaxation, reduce stress and some medical conditions such as premenstrual syndrome in Europe as well as in the United States.

In 2015 the Australian Government’s Department of Health published the results of a review of alternative therapies that sought to determine if any were suitable for being covered by health insurance; Yoga was one of 17 practices evaluated for which no clear evidence of effectiveness was found, with the caveat that “Reviewers were limited in drawing definite conclusions, not only due to a lack of studies for some clinical conditions, but also due to the lack of information reported in the reviews and potentially in the primary studies.”

While the practice of yoga continues to rise in contemporary American culture, sufficient and adequate knowledge of the practice’s origins does not. According to Andrea R. Jain, Yoga is being marketed as a supplement to a cardio routine with health benefits, but in Hinduism it is more than exercise and incorporates meditation with spiritual benefits.

Potential benefits for adults

While much of the medical community regards the results of yoga research as significant, others point to many flaws which undermine results. Much of the research on yoga has taken the form of preliminary studies or clinical trials of low methodological quality, including small sample sizes, inadequate blinding, lack of randomization, and high risk of bias. Long-term yoga users in the United States have reported musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics. There is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice increases brain GABA levels, and yoga has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically-matched exercises, such as walking. The three main focuses of Hatha yoga  make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease. Overall, studies of the effects of yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood-pressure, improve symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors. For chronic low back pain, specialist Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has been found 30% more beneficial than usual care alone in a UK clinical trial. Other smaller studies support this finding. The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs programme is the dominant treatment for society  due to 8.5 fewer days off work each year. A research group from Boston University School of Medicine also tested yoga’s effects on lower-back pain. Over twelve weeks, one group of volunteers practiced yoga while the control group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain for yoga participants decreased by one third, while the standard treatment group had only a five percent drop. Yoga participants also had a drop of 80% in the use of pain medication.

There has been an emergence of studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer patients. Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to decrease depression, insomnia, pain, and fatigue and to increase anxiety control. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction  programs include yoga as a mind-body technique to reduce stress. A study found that after seven weeks the group treated with yoga reported significantly less mood disturbance and reduced stress compared to the control group. Another study found that MBSR had showed positive effects on sleep anxiety, quality of life, and spiritual growth in cancer patients.

Yoga has also been studied as a treatment for schizophrenia. Some encouraging, but inconclusive, evidence suggests that yoga as a complementary treatment may help alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia and improve health-related quality of life.

Yoga has been shown in a study to have some cognitive functioning  acute benefit.

A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found no evidence that yoga was effective for metabolic syndrome.

Physical injuries

A small percentage of yoga practitioners each year suffer physical injuries analogous to sports injuries; Yoga has been criticized for being potentially dangerous and being a cause for a range of serious medical conditions including thoracic outlet syndrome, degenerative arthritis of the cervical spine, spinal stenosis, retinal tears, damage to the common fibular nerve, “Yoga foot drop,” etc. An exposé of these problems by William Broad published in January, 2012 in The New York Times Magazine resulted in controversy within the international yoga community. Broad, a science writer, yoga practitioner, and author of The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards, had suffered a back injury while performing a yoga posture. Torn muscles, knee injuries, and headaches are common ailments which may result from yoga practice.

An extensive survey of yoga practitioners in Australia showed that about 20% had suffered some physical injury while practicing yoga. In the previous 12 months 4.6% of the respondents had suffered an injury producing prolonged pain or requiring medical treatment. Headstands, shoulder stands, lotus and half lotus, forward bends, backward bends, and handstands produced the greatest number of injuries.

Some yoga practitioners do not recommend certain yoga exercises for women during menstruation, for pregnant women, or for nursing mothers. However, meditation, breathing exercises, and certain postures which are safe and beneficial for women in these categories are encouraged.

Among the main reasons that experts cite for causing negative effects from yoga are beginners’ competitiveness and instructors’ lack of qualification. As the demand for yoga classes grows, many people get certified to become yoga instructors, often with relatively little training. Not every newly certified instructor can evaluate the condition of every new trainee in their class and recommend refraining from doing certain poses or using appropriate props to avoid injuries. In turn, a beginning yoga student can overestimate the abilities of their body and strive to do advanced poses before their body is flexible or strong enough to perform them.

Acetabular labral tears, damage to the structure joining the femur and the hip, have been reported to have resulted from yoga practice.

Pediatrics

It is claimed that yoga can be an excellent training for children and adolescents, both as a form of physical exercise and for breathing, focus, mindfulness, and stress relief: many school districts have considered incorporating yoga into their P.E. programs. The Encinitas, California school district gained a San Diego Superior Court Judge’s approval to use yoga in P.E., holding against the parents who claimed the practice was intrinsically religious and hence should not be part of a state funded program.

Physiology

Over time, an extended yoga physiology developed, especially within the tantric tradition and hatha yoga. It pictures humans as composed of three bodies or five sheaths which cover the atman. The three bodies are described within the Mandukya Upanishad, which adds a fourth state, turiya, while the five sheaths  are described in the Taittiriya Upanishad. They are often integrated:

# Sthula sarira, the Gross body, comprising the Annamaya Kosha

Within the subtle body energy flows through the nadis or channels, and is concentrated within the chakras.

Yoga and specialized meditation

Zen Buddhism

Zen, the name of which derives from the Sanskrit “dhyāna” via the Chinese “ch’an” is a form of Mahayana Buddhism. The Mahayana school of Buddhism is noted for its proximity with yoga. In the west, Zen is often set alongside yoga; the two schools of meditation display obvious family resemblances. This segregation deserves attention because yogic practices integrally exist within the Zen Buddhist school. Certain essential elements of yoga are important both for Buddhism in general and for Zen in particular. The last six are described as “yoga yanas”: “Kriya yoga”, “Upa yoga,” “Yoga yana,” “Mahā yoga,” “Anu yoga” and the ultimate practice, “Ati yoga.” The Sarma traditions also include Kriya, Upa, and Yoga, with the Anuttara yoga class substituting for Mahayoga and Atiyoga.

Other tantra yoga practices include a system of 108 bodily postures practiced with breath and heart rhythm. The Nyingma tradition also practices Yantra yoga, a discipline that includes breath work, meditative contemplation and precise dynamic movements to centre the practitioner. The body postures of Tibetan ancient yogis are depicted on the walls of the Dalai Lama’s summer temple of Lukhang. A semi-popular account of Tibetan yoga by Chang  refers to caṇḍalī, the generation of heat in one’s own body, as being “the very foundation of the whole of Tibetan yoga.” Chang also claims that Tibetan yoga involves reconciliation of apparent polarities, such as prana and mind, relating this to theoretical implications of tantrism.

Reception in other religions

Christianity

Some Christians integrate yoga and other aspects of Eastern spirituality with prayer and meditation. This has been attributed to a desire to experience God in a more complete way. In 2013, Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, servicing Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, having worked for over 23 years with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, said that for his Meditation, a Christian can learn from other religious traditions, quoting Aspects of Christian meditation: “Just as “the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions,” neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian conception of prayer, its logic and requirements are never obscured. It is within the context of all of this that these bits and pieces should be taken up and expressed anew.” Previously, the Roman Catholic Church, and some other Christian organizations have expressed concerns and disapproval with respect to some eastern and New Age practices that include yoga and meditation.

In 1989 and 2003, the Vatican issued two documents: Aspects of Christian meditation and “A Christian reflection on the New Age,” that were mostly critical of eastern and New Age practices. The 2003 document was published as a 90-page handbook detailing the Vatican’s position. The Vatican warned that concentration on the physical aspects of meditation “can degenerate into a cult of the body” and that equating bodily states with mysticism “could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral deviations.” Such has been compared to the early days of Christianity, when the church opposed the gnostics’ belief that salvation came not through faith but through a mystical inner knowledge. but maintains the idea that “there must be some fit between the nature of  prayer and Christian beliefs about ultimate reality.”

Another view holds that Christian meditation can lead to religious pluralism. This is held by an interdenominational association of Christians that practice it. “The ritual simultaneously operates as an anchor that maintains, enhances, and promotes denominational activity and a sail that allows institutional boundaries to be crossed.”

Islam

In early 11th century, the Persian scholar Al Biruni visited India, lived with Hindus for 16 years, and with their help translated several significant Sanskrit works into Arabic and Persian languages. One of these was Patanjali’s Yogasutras. Al Biruni’s translation preserved many of the core themes of Patañjali ‘s Yoga philosophy, but certain sutras and analytical commentaries were restated making it more consistent with Islamic monotheistic theology. Al Biruni’s version of Yoga Sutras reached Persia and Arabian peninsula by about 1050 AD. Later, in the 16th century, the hath yoga text Amritakunda was translated into Arabic and then Persian. Yoga was, however, not accepted by mainstream Sunni and Shia Islam. Minority Islamic sects such as the mystic Sufi movement, particularly in South Asia, adopted Indian yoga practises, including postures and breath control. Muhammad Ghawth, a Shattari Sufi and one of the translators of yoga text in 16th century, drew controversy for his interest in yoga and was persecuted for his Sufi beliefs.

Malaysia’s top Islamic body in 2008 passed a fatwa, prohibiting Muslims from practicing yoga, saying it had elements of Hinduism and that its practice was blasphemy, therefore haraam. Some Muslims in Malaysia who had been practicing yoga for years, criticized the decision as “insulting.” Sisters in Islam, a women’s rights group in Malaysia, also expressed disappointment and said yoga was just a form of exercise. This fatwa is legally enforceable. However, Malaysia’s prime minister clarified that yoga as physical exercise is permissible, but the chanting of religious mantras is prohibited.

In 2009, the Council of Ulemas, an Islamic body in Indonesia, passed a fatwa banning yoga on the grounds that it contains Hindu elements. These fatwas have, in turn, been criticized by Darul Uloom Deoband, a Deobandi Islamic seminary in India. Similar fatwas banning yoga, for its link to Hinduism, were issued by the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa in Egypt in 2004, and by Islamic clerics in Singapore earlier.

In Iran, as of May 2014, according to its Yoga Association, there were approximately 200 yoga centres in the country, a quarter of them in the capital Tehran, where groups can often be seen practising in parks. This has been met by opposition among conservatives. In May 2009, Turkey’s head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Ali Bardakoğlu, discounted personal development techniques such as reiki and yoga as commercial ventures that could lead to extremism. His comments were made in the context of reiki and yoga possibly being a form of proselytization at the expense of Islam.

International Day of Yoga

On 11 December 2014, The 193-member United Nations General Assembly approved by consensus, a resolution establishing 21 June as ‘International Day of Yoga’.

The declaration of this day came after the call for the adoption of 21 June as International Day of Yoga by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on 27 September 2014. In suggesting 21 June, which is one of the two solstices, as the International Day of Yoga, Narendra Modi had said that the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

The first International Day of Yoga was observed world over on 21 June 2015. About 35000 people, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a large number of dignitaries, performed 21 Yoga asanas  for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi. The day devoted to Yoga was observed by millions across the world.

The event at Rajpath established two Guinness records – largest Yoga Class with 35985 people and the record for the most nationalities participating in it- eighty four.

See also

Yoga physiology

List of asanas

List of yoga schools

Yoga series

Yogis

Notes

References

Sources

Reprint edition; Originally published under the title of “The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy.”

Worthington, Vivian . . Routledge. ISBN 0-7100-9258-X.

Wynne, Alexander  Routledge, 2007, ISBN 1-134-09741-7.

Bollingen Series XXVI; Edited by Joseph Cambell.

Zydenbos, Robert. Jainism Today and Its Future. München: Manya Verlag, 2006. p. 66

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The science, physics and history of pendulums

A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When a pendulum is displaced sideways from its resting, equilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back toward the equilibrium position. When released, the restoring force combined with the pendulum’s mass causes it to oscillate about the equilibrium position, swinging back and forth. The time for one complete cycle, a left swing and a right swing, is called the period. The period depends on the length of the pendulum and also to a slight degree on the amplitude, the width of the pendulum’s swing.

From the first scientific investigations of the pendulum around 1602 by Galileo Galilei, the regular motion of pendulums was used for timekeeping, and was the world’s most accurate timekeeping technology until the 1930s. The pendulum clock invented by Christian Huygens in 1658 became the world’s standard timekeeper, used in homes and offices for 270 years, and achieved accuracy of about one second per year before it was superseded as a time standard by quartz clocks in the 1930s. Pendulums are also used in scientific instruments such as accelerometers and seismometers. Historically they were used as gravimeters to measure the acceleration of gravity in geophysical surveys, and even as a standard of length. The word “pendulum” is new Latin, from the Latin pendulus, meaning ‘hanging’.

The simple gravity pendulum is an idealized mathematical model of a pendulum. This is a weight  on the end of a massless cord suspended from a pivot, without friction. When given an initial push, it will swing back and forth at a constant amplitude. Real pendulums are subject to friction and air drag, so the amplitude of their swings declines.

Period of oscillation

The period of swing of a simple gravity pendulum depends on its length, the local strength of gravity, and to a small extent on the maximum angle that the pendulum swings away from vertical, θ0, called the amplitude. It is independent of the mass of the bob.  If the amplitude is limited to small swings, the period T of a simple pendulum, the time taken for a complete cycle, is:

 

where L is the length of the pendulum and g is the local acceleration of gravity.

For small swings the period of swing is approximately the same for different size swings: that is, the period is independent of amplitude. This property, called isochronism, is the reason pendulums are so useful for timekeeping. Successive swings of the pendulum, even if changing in amplitude, take the same amount of time.

For larger amplitudes, the period increases gradually with amplitude so it is longer than given by equation . For example, at an amplitude of θ0   23° it is 1% larger than given by . The period increases asymptotically  as θ0 approaches 180°, because the value θ0   180° is an unstable equilibrium point for the pendulum. The true period of an ideal simple gravity pendulum can be written in several different forms  ), one example being the infinite series:

 

T   2\pi \sqrt \left

The difference between this true period and the period for small swings  above is called the circular error. In the case of a typical grandfather clock whose pendulum has a swing of 6° and thus an amplitude of 3°, the difference between the true period and the small angle approximation  amounts to about 15 seconds per day.

For small swings the pendulum approximates a harmonic oscillator, and its motion as a function of time, t, is approximately simple harmonic motion:

Compound pendulum

The length L used to calculate the period of the ideal simple pendulum in eq.  above is the distance from the pivot point to the center of mass of the bob. Any swinging rigid body free to rotate about a fixed horizontal axis is called a compound pendulum or physical pendulum. The appropriate equivalent length L for calculating the period of any such pendulum is the distance

from the pivot to the center of oscillation. This point is located under the center of mass at a distance from the

pivot traditionally called the radius of oscillation, which depends on the mass distribution of the pendulum. If most of the mass is concentrated in a relatively small bob compared to the pendulum length, the center of oscillation is close to the center of mass.

The radius of oscillation or equivalent length L of any physical pendulum can be shown to be

 

where I is the moment of inertia of the pendulum about the pivot point,

m is the mass of the pendulum, and R is the distance between the pivot point and the center of mass.

Substituting this expression in  above, the period T of a compound pendulum is given by

 

for sufficiently small oscillations.

A rigid uniform rod of length L pivoted about either end has moment of inertia I   mL2.

The center of mass is located at the center of the rod, so R   L/2. Substituting these values into the above equation gives T   2π. This shows that a rigid rod pendulum has the same period as a simple pendulum of 2/3 its length.

Christiaan Huygens proved in 1673 that the pivot point and the center of oscillation are interchangeable. This means if any pendulum is turned upside down and swung from a pivot located at its previous center of oscillation, it will have the same period as before and the new center of oscillation will be at the old pivot point. In 1817 Henry Kater used this idea to produce a type of reversible pendulum, now known as a Kater pendulum, for improved measurements of the acceleration due to gravity.

History

One of the earliest known uses of a pendulum was a 1st-century seismometer device of Han Dynasty Chinese scientist Zhang Heng. Its function was to sway and activate one of a series of levers after being disturbed by the tremor of an earthquake far away. Released by a lever, a small ball would fall out of the urn-shaped device into one of eight metal toad’s mouths below, at the eight points of the compass, signifying the direction the earthquake was located. claim that the 10th-century Egyptian astronomer Ibn Yunus used a pendulum for time measurement, but this was an error that originated in 1684 with the British historian Edward Bernard.

During the Renaissance, large pendulums were used as sources of power for manual reciprocating machines such as saws, bellows, and pumps. Leonardo da Vinci made many drawings of the motion of pendulums, though without realizing its value for timekeeping.

1602: Galileo’s research

Italian scientist Galileo Galilei was the first to study the properties of pendulums, beginning around 1602. The earliest extant report of his research is contained in a letter to Guido Ubaldo dal Monte, from Padua, dated November 29, 1602. His biographer and student, Vincenzo Viviani, claimed his interest had been sparked around 1582 by the swinging motion of a chandelier in the Pisa cathedral. Galileo discovered the crucial property that makes pendulums useful as timekeepers, called isochronism; the period of the pendulum is approximately independent of the amplitude or width of the swing. He also found that the period is independent of the mass of the bob, and proportional to the square root of the length of the pendulum. He first employed freeswinging pendulums in simple timing applications. His physician friend, Santorio Santorii, invented a device which measured a patient’s pulse by the length of a pendulum; the pulsilogium. The pendulum was the first harmonic oscillator used by man. This was a great improvement over existing mechanical clocks; their best accuracy was increased from around 15 minutes deviation a day to around 15 seconds a day. Pendulums spread over Europe as existing clocks were retrofitted with them.

The English scientist Robert Hooke studied the conical pendulum around 1666, consisting of a pendulum that is free to swing in two dimensions, with the bob rotating in a circle or ellipse. He used the motions of this device as a model to analyze the orbital motions of the planets. Hooke suggested to Isaac Newton in 1679 that the components of orbital motion consisted of inertial motion along a tangent direction plus an attractive motion in the radial direction. This played a part in Newton’s formulation of the law of universal gravitation. Robert Hooke was also responsible for suggesting as early as 1666 that the pendulum could be used to measure the force of gravity. In 1687, Isaac Newton in Principia Mathematica showed that this was because the Earth was not a true sphere but slightly oblate  from the effect of centrifugal force due to its rotation, causing gravity to increase with latitude. Portable pendulums began to be taken on voyages to distant lands, as precision gravimeters to measure the acceleration of gravity at different points on Earth, eventually resulting in accurate models of the shape of the Earth.

1673: Huygens’ Horologium Oscillatorium

In 1673, Christiaan Huygens published his theory of the pendulum, Horologium Oscillatorium sive de motu pendulorum. Marin Mersenne and René Descartes had discovered around 1636 that the pendulum was not quite isochronous; its period increased somewhat with its amplitude. Huygens analyzed this problem by determining what curve an object must follow to descend by gravity to the same point in the same time interval, regardless of starting point; the so-called tautochrone curve. By a complicated method that was an early use of calculus, he showed this curve was a cycloid, rather than the circular arc of a pendulum, confirming that the pendulum was not isochronous and Galileo’s observation of isochronism was accurate only for small swings. Huygens also solved the problem of how to calculate the period of an arbitrarily shaped pendulum, discovering the center of oscillation, and its interchangeability with the pivot point.

The existing clock movement, the verge escapement, made pendulums swing in very wide arcs of about 100°. Huygens showed this was a source of inaccuracy, causing the period to vary with amplitude changes caused by small unavoidable variations in the clock’s drive force. To make its period isochronous, Huygens mounted cycloidal-shaped metal ‘chops’ next to the pivots in his clocks, that constrained the suspension cord and forced the pendulum to follow a cycloid arc. This solution didn’t prove as practical as simply limiting the pendulum’s swing to small angles of a few degrees. The realization that only small swings were isochronous motivated the development of the anchor escapement around 1670, which reduced the pendulum swing in clocks to 4°–6°.

1721: Temperature compensated pendulums

During the 18th and 19th century, the pendulum clock’s role as the most accurate timekeeper motivated much practical research into improving pendulums. It was found that a major source of error was that the pendulum rod expanded and contracted with changes in ambient temperature, changing the period of swing. This was solved with the invention of temperature compensated pendulums, the mercury pendulum in 1721 and the gridiron pendulum in 1726, reducing errors in precision pendulum clocks to a few seconds per week. which used this principle, making possible very accurate measurements of gravity. For the next century the reversible pendulum was the standard method of measuring absolute gravitational acceleration.

1851: Foucault pendulum

In 1851, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault showed that the plane of oscillation of a pendulum, like a gyroscope, tends to stay constant regardless of the motion of the pivot, and that this could be used to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. He suspended a pendulum free to swing in two dimensions  from the dome of the Panthéon in Paris. The length of the cord was . Once the pendulum was set in motion, the plane of swing was observed to precess or rotate 360° clockwise in about 32 hours.

This was the first demonstration of the Earth’s rotation that didn’t depend on celestial observations, and a “pendulum mania” broke out, as Foucault pendulums were displayed in many cities and attracted large crowds.

1930: Decline in use

Around 1900 low-thermal-expansion materials began to be used for pendulum rods in the highest precision clocks and other instruments, first invar, a nickel steel alloy, and later fused quartz, which made temperature compensation trivial. Precision pendulums were housed in low pressure tanks, which kept the air pressure constant to prevent changes in the period due to changes in buoyancy of the pendulum due to changing atmospheric pressure.

The timekeeping accuracy of the pendulum was exceeded by the quartz crystal oscillator, invented in 1921, and quartz clocks, invented in 1927, replaced pendulum clocks as the world’s best timekeepers. Pendulum gravimeters were superseded by “free fall” gravimeters in the 1950s, but pendulum instruments continued to be used into the 1970s.

Use for time measurement

For 300 years, from its discovery around 1581 until development of the quartz clock in the 1930s, the pendulum was the world’s standard for accurate timekeeping. In addition to clock pendulums, freeswinging seconds pendulums were widely used as precision timers in scientific experiments in the 17th and 18th centuries. Pendulums require great mechanical stability: a length change of only 0.02%, 0.2 mm in a grandfather clock pendulum, will cause an error of a minute per week.

Clock pendulums

Pendulums in clocks  are usually made of a weight or bob  suspended by a rod of wood or metal . To reduce air resistance  the bob is traditionally a smooth disk with a lens-shaped cross section, although in antique clocks it often had carvings or decorations specific to the type of clock. In quality clocks the bob is made as heavy as the suspension can support and the movement can drive, since this improves the regulation of the clock . A common weight for seconds pendulum bobs is . Instead of hanging from a pivot, clock pendulums are usually supported by a short straight spring  of flexible metal ribbon. This avoids the friction and ‘play’ caused by a pivot, and the slight bending force of the spring merely adds to the pendulum’s restoring force. A few precision clocks have pivots of ‘knife’ blades resting on agate plates. The impulses to keep the pendulum swinging are provided by an arm hanging behind the pendulum called the crutch,, which ends in a fork,  whose prongs embrace the pendulum rod. The crutch is pushed back and forth by the clock’s escapement, .

Each time the pendulum swings through its centre position, it releases one tooth of the escape wheel . The force of the clock’s mainspring or a driving weight hanging from a pulley, transmitted through the clock’s gear train, causes the wheel to turn, and a tooth presses against one of the pallets, giving the pendulum a short push. The clock’s wheels, geared to the escape wheel, move forward a fixed amount with each pendulum swing, advancing the clock’s hands at a steady rate.

The pendulum always has a means of adjusting the period, usually by an adjustment nut  under the bob which moves it up or down on the rod. Moving the bob up decreases the pendulum’s length, causing the pendulum to swing faster and the clock to gain time. Some precision clocks have a small auxiliary adjustment weight on a threaded shaft on the bob, to allow finer adjustment. Some tower clocks and precision clocks use a tray attached near to the midpoint of the pendulum rod, to which small weights can be added or removed. This effectively shifts the centre of oscillation and allows the rate to be adjusted without stopping the clock.

The pendulum must be suspended from a rigid support. During operation, any elasticity will allow tiny imperceptible swaying motions of the support, which disturbs the clock’s period, resulting in error. Pendulum clocks should be attached firmly to a sturdy wall.

The most common pendulum length in quality clocks, which is always used in grandfather clocks, is the seconds pendulum, about long.  In mantel clocks, half-second pendulums, long, or shorter, are used. Only a few large tower clocks use longer pendulums, the 1.5 second pendulum, long, or occasionally the two-second pendulum,  which is used in Big Ben.

Temperature compensation

The largest source of error in early pendulums was slight changes in length due to thermal expansion and contraction of the pendulum rod with changes in ambient temperature. This was discovered when people noticed that pendulum clocks ran slower in summer, by as much as a minute per week . Thermal expansion of pendulum rods was first studied by Jean Picard in 1669. A pendulum with a steel rod will expand by about 11.3 parts per million  with each degree Celsius increase, causing it to lose about 0.27 seconds per day for every degree Celsius increase in temperature, or 9 seconds per day for a change. Wood rods expand less, losing only about 6 seconds per day for a change, which is why quality clocks often had wooden pendulum rods. The wood had to be varnished to prevent water vapor from getting in, because changes in humidity also affected the length.

Mercury pendulum

The first device to compensate for this error was the mercury pendulum, invented by George Graham To improve thermal accommodation several thin containers were often used, made of metal. Mercury pendulums were the standard used in precision regulator clocks into the 20th century.

Gridiron pendulum

The most widely used compensated pendulum was the gridiron pendulum, invented in 1726 by John Harrison. which achieved accuracy of 15 milliseconds per day. Suspension springs of Elinvar were used to eliminate temperature variation of the spring’s restoring force on the pendulum. Later fused quartz was used which had even lower CTE. These materials are the choice for modern high accuracy pendulums.

Atmospheric pressure

The effect of the surrounding air on a moving pendulum is complex and requires fluid mechanics to calculate precisely, but for most purposes its influence on the period can be accounted for by three effects:

By Archimedes’ principle the effective weight of the bob is reduced by the buoyancy of the air it displaces, while the mass  remains the same, reducing the pendulum’s acceleration during its swing and increasing the period. This depends on the air pressure and the density of the pendulum, but not its shape.

The pendulum carries an amount of air with it as it swings, and the mass of this air increases the inertia of the pendulum, again reducing the acceleration and increasing the period. This depends on both its density and shape.

Viscous air resistance slows the pendulum’s velocity. This has a negligible effect on the period, but dissipates energy, reducing the amplitude. This reduces the pendulum’s Q factor, requiring a stronger drive force from the clock’s mechanism to keep it moving, which causes increased disturbance to the period.

Increases in barometric pressure increase a pendulum’s period slightly due to the first two effects, by about 0.11 seconds per day per kilopascal . and by 1900 the highest precision clocks were mounted in tanks that were kept at a constant pressure to eliminate changes in atmospheric pressure. Alternatively, in some a small aneroid barometer mechanism attached to the pendulum compensated for this effect.

Gravity

Pendulums are affected by changes in gravitational acceleration, which varies by as much as 0.5% at different locations on Earth, so pendulum clocks have to be recalibrated after a move. Even moving a pendulum clock to the top of a tall building can cause it to lose measurable time from the reduction in gravity.

Accuracy of pendulums as timekeepers

The timekeeping elements in all clocks, which include pendulums, balance wheels, the quartz crystals used in quartz watches, and even the vibrating atoms in atomic clocks, are in physics called harmonic oscillators. The reason harmonic oscillators are used in clocks is that they vibrate or oscillate at a specific resonant frequency or period and resist oscillating at other rates. However, the resonant frequency is not infinitely ‘sharp’.  Around the resonant frequency there is a narrow natural band of frequencies, called the resonance width or bandwidth, where the harmonic oscillator will oscillate. In a clock, the actual frequency of the pendulum may vary randomly within this resonance width in response to disturbances, but at frequencies outside this band, the clock will not function at all.

Q factor

The measure of a harmonic oscillator’s resistance to disturbances to its oscillation period is a dimensionless parameter called the Q factor equal to the resonant frequency divided by the resonance width. The higher the Q, the smaller the resonance width, and the more constant the frequency or period of the oscillator for a given disturbance. The reciprocal of the Q is roughly proportional to the limiting accuracy achievable by a harmonic oscillator as a time standard.

The Q is related to how long it takes for the oscillations of an oscillator to die out. The Q of a pendulum can be measured by counting the number of oscillations it takes for the amplitude of the pendulum’s swing to decay to 1/e   36.8% of its initial swing, and multiplying by 2π.

In a clock, the pendulum must receive pushes from the clock’s movement to keep it swinging, to replace the energy the pendulum loses to friction. These pushes, applied by a mechanism called the escapement, are the main source of disturbance to the pendulum’s motion. The Q is equal to 2π times the energy stored in the pendulum, divided by the energy lost to friction during each oscillation period, which is the same as the energy added by the escapement each period. It can be seen that the smaller the fraction of the pendulum’s energy that is lost to friction, the less energy needs to be added, the less the disturbance from the escapement, the more ‘independent’ the pendulum is of the clock’s mechanism, and the more constant its period is. The Q of a pendulum is given by:

 

where M is the mass of the bob, ω   2π/T is the pendulum’s radian frequency of oscillation, and Γ is the frictional damping force on the pendulum per unit velocity.

ω is fixed by the pendulum’s period, and M is limited by the load capacity and rigidity of the suspension. So the Q of clock pendulums is increased by minimizing frictional losses . Precision pendulums are suspended on low friction pivots consisting of triangular shaped ‘knife’ edges resting on agate plates. Around 99% of the energy loss in a freeswinging pendulum is due to air friction, so mounting a pendulum in a vacuum tank can increase the Q, and thus the accuracy, by a factor of 100.

The Q of pendulums ranges from several thousand in an ordinary clock to several hundred thousand for precision regulator pendulums swinging in vacuum. A quality home pendulum clock might have a Q of 10,000 and an accuracy of 10 seconds per month. The most accurate commercially produced pendulum clock was the Shortt-Synchronome free pendulum clock, invented in 1921. Its Invar master pendulum swinging in a vacuum tank had a Q of 110,000 The most accurate escapements, such as the deadbeat, approximately satisfy this condition.

Gravity measurement

The presence of the acceleration of gravity g in the periodicity equation  for a pendulum means that the local gravitational acceleration of the Earth can be calculated from the period of a pendulum.  A pendulum can therefore be used as a gravimeter to measure the local gravity, which varies by over 0.5% across the surface of the Earth. The pendulum in a clock is disturbed by the pushes it receives from the clock movement, so freeswinging pendulums were used, and were the standard instruments of gravimetry up to the 1930s.

The difference between clock pendulums and gravimeter pendulums is that to measure gravity, the pendulum’s length as well as its period has to be measured. The period of freeswinging pendulums could be found to great precision by comparing their swing with a precision clock that had been adjusted to keep correct time by the passage of stars overhead. In the early measurements, a weight on a cord was suspended in front of the clock pendulum, and its length adjusted until the two pendulums swung in exact synchronism. Then the length of the cord was measured. From the length and the period, g could be calculated from equation .

The seconds pendulum

The seconds pendulum, a pendulum with a period of two seconds so each swing takes one second, was widely used to measure gravity, because most precision clocks had seconds pendulums.  By the late 17th century, the length of the seconds pendulum became the standard measure of the strength of gravitational acceleration at a location. By 1700 its length had been measured with submillimeter accuracy at several cities in Europe. For a seconds pendulum, g is proportional to its length:

 

Early observations

1620: British scientist Francis Bacon was one of the first to propose using a pendulum to measure gravity, suggesting taking one up a mountain to see if gravity varies with altitude.

1644: Even before the pendulum clock, French priest Marin Mersenne first determined the length of the seconds pendulum was, by comparing the swing of a pendulum to the time it took a weight to fall a measured distance.

1669: Jean Picard determined the length of the seconds pendulum at Paris, using a copper ball suspended by an aloe fiber, obtaining .

1672: The first observation that gravity varied at different points on Earth was made in 1672 by Jean Richer, who took a pendulum clock to Cayenne, French Guiana and found that it lost minutes per day; its seconds pendulum had to be shortened by lignes  shorter than at Paris, to keep correct time. In 1687 Isaac Newton in Principia Mathematica showed this was because the Earth had a slightly oblate shape  caused by the centrifugal force of its rotation, so gravity increased with latitude. He used a copper pendulum bob in the shape of a double pointed cone suspended by a thread; the bob could be reversed to eliminate the effects of nonuniform density. He calculated the length to the center of oscillation of thread and bob combined, instead of using the center of the bob. He corrected for thermal expansion of the measuring rod and barometric pressure, giving his results for a pendulum swinging in vacuum. Bouguer swung the same pendulum at three different elevations, from sea level to the top of the high Peruvian altiplano. Gravity should fall with the inverse square of the distance from the center of the Earth. Bouguer found that it fell off slower, and correctly attributed the ‘extra’ gravity to the gravitational field of the huge Peruvian plateau. From the density of rock samples he calculated an estimate of the effect of the altiplano on the pendulum, and comparing this with the gravity of the Earth was able to make the first rough estimate of the density of the Earth.

1747: Daniel Bernoulli showed how to correct for the lengthening of the period due to a finite angle of swing θ0 by using the first order correction θ02/16, giving the period of a pendulum with an extremely small swing. He compared his measurements to an estimate of the gravity at his location assuming the mountain wasn’t there, calculated from previous nearby pendulum measurements at sea level. His measurements showed ‘excess’ gravity, which he allocated to the effect of the mountain. Modeling the mountain as a segment of a sphere in diameter and high, from rock samples he calculated its gravitational field, and estimated the density of the Earth at 4.39 times that of water. Later recalculations by others gave values of 4.77 and 4.95, illustrating the uncertainties in these geographical methods.

Kater’s pendulum

The precision of the early gravity measurements above was limited by the difficulty of measuring the length of the pendulum, L . L was the length of an idealized simple gravity pendulum, which has all its mass concentrated in a point at the end of the cord. In 1673 Huygens had shown that the period of a real pendulum  was equal to the period of a simple pendulum with a length equal to the distance between the pivot point and a point called the center of oscillation, located under the center of gravity, that depends on the mass distribution along the pendulum. But there was no accurate way of determining the center of oscillation in a real pendulum.

To get around this problem, the early researchers above approximated an ideal simple pendulum as closely as possible by using a metal sphere suspended by a light wire or cord. If the wire was light enough, the center of oscillation was close to the center of gravity of the ball, at its geometric center. This “ball and wire” type of pendulum wasn’t very accurate, because it didn’t swing as a rigid body, and the elasticity of the wire caused its length to change slightly as the pendulum swung.

However Huygens had also proved that in any pendulum, the pivot point and the center of oscillation were interchangeable. representing a precision of gravity measurement of 7×10−6 . Kater’s measurement was used as Britain’s official standard of length  from 1824 to 1855.

Reversible pendulums  employing Kater’s principle were used for absolute gravity measurements into the 1930s.

Later pendulum gravimeters

The increased accuracy made possible by Kater’s pendulum helped make gravimetry a standard part of geodesy. Since the exact location  of the ‘station’ where the gravity measurement was made was necessary, gravity measurements became part of surveying, and pendulums were taken on the great geodetic surveys of the 18th century, particularly the Great Trigonometric Survey of India.

Invariable pendulums: Kater introduced the idea of relative gravity measurements, to supplement the absolute measurements made by a Kater’s pendulum. Comparing the gravity at two different points was an easier process than measuring it absolutely by the Kater method. All that was necessary was to time the period of an ordinary  pendulum at the first point, then transport the pendulum to the other point and time its period there. Since the pendulum’s length was constant, from  the ratio of the gravitational accelerations was equal to the inverse of the ratio of the periods squared, and no precision length measurements were necessary. So once the gravity had been measured absolutely at some central station, by the Kater or other accurate method, the gravity at other points could be found by swinging pendulums at the central station and then taking them to the nearby point. Kater made up a set of “invariable” pendulums, with only one knife edge pivot, which were taken to many countries after first being swung at a central station at Kew Observatory, UK.

Airy’s coal pit experiments: Starting in 1826, using methods similar to Bouguer, British astronomer George Airy attempted to determine the density of the Earth by pendulum gravity measurements at the top and bottom of a coal mine. The gravitational force below the surface of the Earth decreases rather than increasing with depth, because by Gauss’s law the mass of the spherical shell of crust above the subsurface point does not contribute to the gravity. The 1826 experiment was aborted by the flooding of the mine, but in 1854 he conducted an improved experiment at the Harton coal mine, using seconds pendulums swinging on agate plates, timed by precision chronometers synchronized by an electrical circuit. He found the lower pendulum was slower by 2.24 seconds per day. This meant that the gravitational acceleration at the bottom of the mine, 1250 ft below the surface, was 1/14,000 less than it should have been from the inverse square law; that is the attraction of the spherical shell was 1/14,000 of the attraction of the Earth. From samples of surface rock he estimated the mass of the spherical shell of crust, and from this estimated that the density of the Earth was 6.565 times that of water. Von Sterneck attempted to repeat the experiment in 1882 but found inconsistent results.

Repsold-Bessel pendulum: It was time-consuming and error-prone to repeatedly swing the Kater’s pendulum and adjust the weights until the periods were equal. Friedrich Bessel showed in 1835 that this was unnecessary. As long as the periods were close together, the gravity could be calculated from the two periods and the center of gravity of the pendulum. So the reversible pendulum didn’t need to be adjustable, it could just be a bar with two pivots. Bessel also showed that if the pendulum was made symmetrical in form about its center, but was weighted internally at one end, the errors due to air drag would cancel out. Further, another error due to the finite diameter of the knife edges could be made to cancel out if they were interchanged between measurements. Bessel didn’t construct such a pendulum, but in 1864 Adolf Repsold, under contract by the Swiss Geodetic Commission made a pendulum along these lines.  The Repsold pendulum was about 56 cm long and had a period of about second. It was used extensively by European geodetic agencies, and with the Kater pendulum in the Survey of India. Similar pendulums of this type were designed by Charles Pierce and C. Defforges.

Von Sterneck and Mendenhall gravimeters: In 1887 Austro-Hungarian scientist Robert von Sterneck developed a small gravimeter pendulum mounted in a temperature-controlled vacuum tank to eliminate the effects of temperature and air pressure. It used a “half-second pendulum,” having a period close to one second, about 25 cm long. The pendulum was nonreversible, so the instrument was used for relative gravity measurements, but their small size made them small and portable. The period of the pendulum was picked off by reflecting the image of an electric spark created by a precision chronometer off a mirror mounted at the top of the pendulum rod. The Von Sterneck instrument, and a similar instrument developed by Thomas C. Mendenhall of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1890, were used extensively for surveys into the 1920s.

 

Gulf gravimeter: One of the last and most accurate pendulum gravimeters was the apparatus developed in 1929 by the Gulf Research and Development Co. It used two pendulums made of fused quartz, each in length with a period of 0.89 second, swinging on pyrex knife edge pivots, 180° out of phase. They were mounted in a permanently sealed temperature and humidity controlled vacuum chamber. Stray electrostatic charges on the quartz pendulums had to be discharged by exposing them to a radioactive salt before use. The period was detected by reflecting a light beam from a mirror at the top of the pendulum, recorded by a chart recorder and compared to a precision crystal oscillator calibrated against the WWV radio time signal. This instrument was accurate to within ×10−7 . Enlightenment scientists argued for a length standard that was based on some property of nature that could be determined by measurement, creating an indestructible, universal standard. The period of pendulums could be measured very precisely by timing them with clocks that were set by the stars. A pendulum standard amounted to defining the unit of length by the gravitational force of the Earth, for all intents constant, and the second, which was defined by the rotation rate of the Earth, also constant. The idea was that anyone, anywhere on Earth, could recreate the standard by constructing a pendulum that swung with the defined period and measuring its length.

Virtually all proposals were based on the seconds pendulum, in which each swing  takes one second, which is about a meter  long, because by the late 17th century it had become a standard for measuring gravity . By the 18th century its length had been measured with sub-millimeter accuracy at a number of cities in Europe and around the world.

The initial attraction of the pendulum length standard was that it was believed  that gravity was constant over the Earth’s surface, so a given pendulum had the same period at any point on Earth. So a pendulum length standard had to be defined at a single point on Earth and could only be measured there. This took much of the appeal from the concept, and efforts to adopt pendulum standards were abandoned.

Early proposals

One of the first to suggest defining length with a pendulum was Flemish scientist Isaac Beeckman who in 1631 recommended making the seconds pendulum “the invariable measure for all people at all times in all places”. Marin Mersenne, who first measured the seconds pendulum in 1644, also suggested it. The first official proposal for a pendulum standard was made by the British Royal Society in 1660, advocated by Christiaan Huygens and Ole Rømer, basing it on Mersenne’s work, and Huygens in Horologium Oscillatorium proposed a “horary foot” defined as 1/3 of the seconds pendulum. Christopher Wren was another early supporter. The idea of a pendulum standard of length must have been familiar to people as early as 1663, because Samuel Butler satirizes it in Hudibras:

 

In 1671 Jean Picard proposed a pendulum defined ‘universal foot’ in his influential Mesure de la Terre. Gabriel Mouton around 1670 suggested defining the toise either by a seconds pendulum or a minute of terrestrial degree. A plan for a complete system of units based on the pendulum was advanced in 1675 by Italian polymath Tito Livio Burratini. In France in 1747, geographer Charles Marie de la Condamine proposed defining length by a seconds pendulum at the equator; since at this location a pendulum’s swing wouldn’t be distorted by the Earth’s rotation. James Steuart  and George Skene Keith were also supporters.

By the end of the 18th century, when many nations were reforming their weight and measure systems, the seconds pendulum was the leading choice for a new definition of length, advocated by prominent scientists in several major nations. In 1790, then US Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson proposed to Congress a comprehensive decimalized US ‘metric system’ based on the seconds pendulum at 38° North latitude, the mean latitude of the United States. No action was taken on this proposal. In Britain the leading advocate of the pendulum was politician John Riggs Miller. When his efforts to promote a joint British–French–American metric system fell through in 1790, he proposed a British system based on the length of the seconds pendulum at London. This standard was adopted in 1824 .

The metre

In the discussions leading up to the French adoption of the metric system in 1791, the leading candidate for the definition of the new unit of length, the metre, was the seconds pendulum at 45° North latitude. It was advocated by a group led by French politician Talleyrand and mathematician Antoine Nicolas Caritat de Condorcet. This was one of the three final options considered by the French Academy of Sciences committee. However, on March 19, 1791 the committee instead chose to base the metre on the length of the meridian through Paris. A pendulum definition was rejected because of its variability at different locations, and because it defined length by a unit of time.  A possible additional reason is that the radical French Academy didn’t want to base their new system on the second, a traditional and nondecimal unit from the ancien regime.

Although not defined by the pendulum, the final length chosen for the metre, 10−7 of the pole-to-equator meridian arc, was very close to the length of the seconds pendulum, within 0.63%. Although no reason for this particular choice was given at the time, it was probably to facilitate the use of the seconds pendulum as a secondary standard, as was proposed in the official document. So the modern world’s standard unit of length is certainly closely linked historically with the seconds pendulum.

Britain and Denmark

Britain and Denmark appear to be the only nations that  based their units of length on the pendulum. In 1821 the Danish inch was defined as 1/38 of the length of the mean solar seconds pendulum at 45° latitude at the meridian of Skagen, at sea level, in vacuum. The British parliament passed the Imperial Weights and Measures Act in 1824, a reform of the British standard system which declared that if the prototype standard yard was destroyed, it would be recovered by defining the inch so that the length of the solar seconds pendulum at London, at sea level, in a vacuum, at 62 °F was 39.1393 inches. This also became the US standard, since at the time the US used British measures. However, when the prototype yard was lost in the 1834 Houses of Parliament fire, it proved impossible to recreate it accurately from the pendulum definition, and in 1855 Britain repealed the pendulum standard and returned to prototype standards.

Other uses

Seismometers

A pendulum in which the rod is not vertical but almost horizontal was used in early seismometers for measuring earth tremors. The bob of the pendulum does not move when its mounting does, and the difference in the movements is recorded on a drum chart.

Schuler tuning

As first explained by Maximilian Schuler in a 1923 paper, a pendulum whose period exactly equals the orbital period of a hypothetical satellite orbiting just above the surface of the earth  will tend to remain pointing at the center of the earth when its support is suddenly displaced. This principle, called Schuler tuning, is used in inertial guidance systems in ships and aircraft that operate on the surface of the Earth. No physical pendulum is used, but the control system that keeps the inertial platform containing the gyroscopes stable is modified so the device acts as though it is attached to such a pendulum, keeping the platform always facing down as the vehicle moves on the curved surface of the Earth.

Coupled pendulums

In 1665 Huygens made a curious observation about pendulum clocks. Two clocks had been placed on his mantlepiece, and he noted that they had acquired an opposing motion. That is, their pendulums were beating in unison but in the opposite direction; 180° out of phase. Regardless of how the two clocks were started, he found that they would eventually return to this state, thus making the first recorded observation of a coupled oscillator.

The cause of this behavior was that the two pendulums were affecting each other through slight motions of the supporting mantlepiece. This process is called entrainment or mode locking in physics and is observed in other coupled oscillators. Synchronized pendulums have been used in clocks and were widely used in gravimeters in the early 20th century. Although Huygens only observed out-of-phase synchronization, recent investigations have shown the existence of in-phase synchronization, as well as “death” states wherein one or both clocks stops.

Religious practice

Pendulum motion appears in religious ceremonies as well. The swinging incense burner called a censer, also known as a thurible, is an example of a pendulum. Pendulums are also seen at many gatherings in eastern Mexico where they mark the turning of the tides on the day which the tides are at their highest point. See also pendulums for divination and dowsing.

See also

Notes

The value of g reflected by the period of a pendulum varies from place to place. The gravitational force varies with distance from the center of the Earth, i.e. with altitude – or because the Earth’s shape is oblate, g varies with latitude.

A more important cause of this reduction in g at the equator is because the equator is spinning at one revolution per day, reducing the gravitational force there.

References

 

Further reading

  1. L. Baker and J. A. Blackburn . The Pendulum: A Case Study in Physics .
  2. Gitterman . The Chaotic Pendulum .

Michael R. Matthews, Arthur Stinner, Colin F. Gauld The Pendulum: Scientific, Historical, Philosophical and Educational Perspectives, Springer

Michael R. Matthews, Colin Gauld and Arthur Stinner  The Pendulum: Its Place in Science, Culture and Pedagogy. Science & Education, 13, 261-277.

Schlomo Silbermann, “Pendulum Fundamental; The Path Of Nowhere”

  1. P. Pook . Understanding Pendulums: A Brief Introduction .

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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Reiki and the power of the soul and quartz / amethyst pointers

Reiki

is a form of alternative medicine developed in 1922 by Japanese Buddhist Mikao Usui. Since originating in Japan, Reiki has been adapted into varying cultural traditions across the world. Reiki practitioners use a technique they call palm healing or hands-on healing by which a “universal energy” is allegedly transferred through the palms of the practitioner to a patient in order to encourage healing.

Reiki is considered pseudoscience. Clinical research has not shown Reiki to be effective as a medical treatment for any medical condition. The American Cancer Society, state that Reiki should not be a replacement for conventional treatment.

Etymology

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English alternative medicine word reiki or Reiki is etymologically from Japanese reiki  “mysterious atmosphere, miraculous sign”, combining rei “soul, spirit” and ki “vital energy”—the Sino-Japanese reading of Chinese língqì  “numinous atmosphere”. The earliest recorded English usage dates to 1975.

The Japanese reiki is commonly written as レイキ in katakana syllabary or as 霊気 in shinjitai “new character form” kanji. It compounds the words rei  and ki . Ki is additionally defined as “… spirits; one’s feelings, mood, frame of mind; temperament, temper, disposition, one’s nature, character; mind to do something, intention, will; care, attention, precaution”. Some reiki translation equivalents from Japanese-English dictionaries are: “feeling of mystery”, “an atmosphere  of mystery”, and “an ethereal atmosphere ;  a spiritual  presence.” Besides the usual Sino-Japanese pronunciation reiki, these kanji 霊気 have an alternate Japanese reading, namely ryōge, meaning “demon; ghost” .

Chinese língqì 靈氣 was first recorded in the  Neiye “Inward Training” section of the Guanzi, describing early Daoist meditation techniques. “That mysterious vital energy within the mind: One moment it arrives, the next it departs. So fine, there is nothing within it; so vast, there is nothing outside it. We lose it because of the harm caused by mental agitation.” Modern Standard Chinese língqì is translated by Chinese-English dictionaries as: ” spiritual influence or atmosphere”; “1. intelligence; power of understanding; 2. supernatural power or force in fairy tales; miraculous power or force”; and “1. spiritual influence ; 2. ingeniousness; cleverness”.

Origins

According to the inscription on his memorial stone, Usui taught his system of Reiki to more than 2,000 people during his lifetime. While teaching Reiki in Fukuyama, Usui suffered a stroke and died on 9 March 1926.

Research, critical evaluation, and controversy

Basis and effectiveness

Reiki’s teachings and adherents claim that qi is physiological and can be manipulated to treat a disease or condition. The existence of qi has not been established by medical research. Most research on Reiki is poorly designed and prone to bias. There is no reliable empirical evidence that Reiki is helpful for treating any medical condition, although some physicians have said it might help promote general well-being.

Scholarly evaluation

Reiki is used as an illustrative example of pseudoscience in scholarly texts and academic journal articles. Emily Rosa became the youngest person to publish in the medical literature at 11 years old when her school science project was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrating that Reiki pracitioners could not detect the alleged “life force” under experimental conditions.

Rhonda McClenton states, “The reality is that Reiki, under the auspices of pseudo-science, has begun the process of becoming institutionalized in settings where people are already very vulnerable.” Ferraresi et al. state, “In spite of its  diffusion, the baseline mechanism of action has not been demonstrated…” Wendy Reiboldt states about Reiki, “Neither the forces involved nor the alleged therapeutic benefits have been demonstrated by scientific testing.” Several authors have pointed to the vitalistic energy which Reiki is claimed to treat. Larry Sarner states, “Ironically, the only thing that distinguishes Reiki from Therapeutic Touch is that it involves actual touch.”

A guideline published by the American Academy of Neurology, the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine, and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation states, “Reiki therapy should probably not be considered for the treatment of PDN .” Canadian sociologist Susan J. Palmer has listed Reiki as among the pseudoscientific healing methods used by cults in France to attract members.

Hospital usage

In April 2016 Reiki treatments were being made available at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. Utah. “We have two reiki masters if this is something patients are interested in,” said Rachel King, the hospital’s marketing coordinator.

Issues in the literature

One systematic review of 9 randomized clinical trials conducted by Lee, Pittler, and Ernst  found several issues in the literature on Reiki. First, several of these studies are actually funded by the US National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Second, depending on the tools used to measure depression and anxiety, the results varied and didn’t appear to have much reliability or validity. Furthermore, the scientific community has had issues in replicating the findings of studies that support Reiki. The authors of the review also found issues in reporting methodology in some of the literature, in that often there were parts left out completely or not clearly described. Frequently in these studies, sample sizes are not calculated and adequate allocation and conceal procedures were also not followed. In their review, Lee, Pittler, and Ernst  found that studies without double-blind procedures tended to exaggerate treatment effects as well. Additionally, there was no control for differences in experience of the Reiki administers and they found that even the same healer could produce different outcomes in different studies. None of the studies in the review provided rationale for the treatment duration in such that there is a need for an optimal dosage of Reiki to be established for further research. Another questionable issue with the Reiki research included in this systematic review was that no study reported any adverse effects. It is clear that this area of research requires further studies to be conducted that follow proper scientific method, especially since the main theory on which the therapy is based has never been scientifically proven.

Safety

Safety concerns for Reiki sessions are very low and are akin to those of many complementary and alternative medicine practices. Some physicians and health care providers however believe that patients may unadvisedly substitute proven treatments for life-threatening conditions with unproven alternative modalities including Reiki, thus endangering their health.

Catholic Church concerns

In March 2009, the Committee on Doctrine of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the document Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki as an Alternative Therapy, in which they declared that the practice of Reiki was superstition, being neither truly faith healing nor science-based medicine. Since this announcement, some Catholic lay people have continued to practice reiki, but it has been removed from many Catholic hospitals and other institutions.

See also

Energy medicine

Glossary of alternative medicine

Laying on of hands

List of ineffective cancer treatments

Shinto

Vibrational medicine

References

Bibliography

External links

 

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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Jewellery online buy necklaces, earrings, quartz, moonstone, mineral, amethyst, gold, silver…

Jewellery or jewelry  consists of small decorative items worn for personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Jewellery may be attached to the body or the clothes, and the term is restricted to durable ornaments, excluding flowers for example. For many centuries metal, often combined with gemstones, has been the normal material for jewellery, but other materials such as shells and other plant materials may be used. It is one of the oldest type of archaeological artefact – with 100,000-year-old beads made from Nassarius shells thought to be the oldest known jewellery. The basic forms of jewellery vary between cultures but are often extremely long-lived; in European cultures the most common forms of jewellery listed above have persisted since ancient times, while other forms such as adornments for the nose or ankle, important in other cultures, are much less common. Historically, the most widespread influence on jewellery in terms of design and style have come from Asia.

Jewellery may be made from a wide range of materials. Gemstones and similar materials such as amber and coral, precious metals, beads, and shells have been widely used, and enamel has often been important. In most cultures jewellery can be understood as a status symbol, for its material properties, its patterns, or for meaningful symbols. Jewellery has been made to adorn nearly every body part, from hairpins to toe rings, and even genital jewellery. The patterns of wearing jewellery between the sexes, and by children and older people can vary greatly between cultures, but adult women have been the most consistent wearers of jewellery; in modern European culture the amount worn by adult males is relatively low compared with other cultures and other periods in European culture.

The word jewellery itself is derived from the word jewel, which was anglicized from the Old French “jouel”, and beyond that, to the Latin word “jocale”, meaning plaything. In British English, Indian English, New Zealand English, Hiberno-English, Australian English, and South African English it is spelled jewellery, while the spelling is jewelry in American English.

as an artistic display

as a carrier or symbol of personal meaning – such as love, mourning, or even luck

Most cultures at some point have had a practice of keeping large amounts of wealth stored in the form of jewellery. Numerous cultures store wedding dowries in the form of jewellery or make jewellery as a means to store or display coins. Alternatively, jewellery has been used as a currency or trade good; an example being the use of slave beads.

Many items of jewellery, such as brooches and buckles, originated as purely functional items, but evolved into decorative items as their functional requirement diminished.

Jewellery can also symbolise group membership  or status .

Wearing of amulets and devotional medals to provide protection or ward off evil is common in some cultures. These may take the form of symbols, stones, plants, animals, body parts, or glyphs .

Materials and methods

In creating jewellery, gemstones, coins, or other precious items are often used, and they are typically set into precious metals. Alloys of nearly every metal known have been encountered in jewellery. Bronze, for example, was common in Roman times. Modern fine jewellery usually includes gold, white gold, platinum, palladium, titanium, or silver. Most contemporary gold jewellery is made of an alloy of gold, the purity of which is stated in karats, indicated by a number followed by the letter K. American gold jewellery must be of at least 10K purity,  and is typically found up to 18K . Higher purity levels are less common with alloys at 22 K, and 24 K  being considered too soft for jewellery use in America and Europe. These high purity alloys, however, are widely used across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Platinum alloys range from 900  to 950 . The silver used in jewellery is usually sterling silver, or 92.5% fine silver. In costume jewellery, stainless steel findings are sometimes used.

Other commonly used materials include glass, such as fused-glass or enamel; wood, often carved or turned; shells and other natural animal substances such as bone and ivory; natural clay; polymer clay; Hemp and other twines have been used as well to create jewellery that has more of a natural feel. However, any inclusion of lead or lead solder will give an English Assay office  the right to destroy the piece, however it is very rare for the assay office to do so.

Beads are frequently used in jewellery. These may be made of glass, gemstones, metal, wood, shells, clay and polymer clay. Beaded jewellery commonly encompasses necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belts and rings. Beads may be large or small; the smallest type of beads used are known as seed beads, these are the beads used for the “woven” style of beaded jewellery. Another use of seed beads is an embroidery technique where seed beads are sewn onto fabric backings to create broad collar neck pieces and beaded bracelets. Bead embroidery, a popular type of handwork during the Victorian era, is enjoying a renaissance in modern jewellery making. Beading, or beadwork, is also very popular in many African and indigenous North American cultures.

Silversmiths, goldsmiths, and lapidaries methods include forging, casting, soldering or welding, cutting, carving and “cold-joining” .

Diamonds

Diamonds were first mined in India. Pliny may have mentioned them, although there is some debate as to the exact nature of the stone he referred to as Adamas; In 2005, Australia, Botswana, Russia and Canada ranked among the primary sources of gemstone diamond production. There are negative consequences of the diamond trade in certain areas. Diamonds mined during the recent civil wars in Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and other nations have been labelled as blood diamonds when they are mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency.

The British crown jewels contain the Cullinan Diamond, part of the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats .

Now popular in engagement rings, this usage dates back to the marriage of Maximilian I to Mary of Burgundy in 1477.

Other gemstones

Many precious and semiprecious stones are used for jewellery. Among them are:

Amber: Amber, an ancient organic gemstone, is composed of tree resin that has hardened over time. The stone must be at least one million years old to be classified as amber, and some amber can be up to 120 million years old.

Amethyst: Amethyst has historically been the most prized gemstone in the quartz family. It is treasured for its purple hue, which can range in tone from light to dark.

Emerald: Emeralds are one of the three main precious gemstones  and are known for their fine green to bluish green colour. They have been treasured throughout history, and some historians report that the Egyptians mined emerald as early as 3500 BC.

Jade: Jade is most commonly associated with the colour green but can come in a number of other colours as well. Jade is closely linked to Asian culture, history, and tradition, and is sometimes referred to as the stone of heaven.

Jasper: Jasper is a gemstone of the chalcedony family that comes in a variety of colours. Often, jasper will feature unique and interesting patterns within the coloured stone. Picture jasper is a type of jasper known for the colours  and swirls in the stone’s pattern.

Quartz: Quartz refers to a family of crystalline gemstones of various colours and sizes. Among the well-known types of quartz are rose quartz, and smoky quartz . A number of other gemstones, such as Amethyst and Citrine, are also part of the quartz family. Rutilated quartz is a popular type of quartz containing needle-like inclusions.

Ruby: Rubies are known for their intense red colour and are among the most highly valued precious gemstones. Rubies have been treasured for millennia. In Sanskrit, the word for ruby is ratnaraj, meaning king of precious stones.

Sapphire: The most popular form of sapphire is blue sapphire, which is known for its medium to deep blue colour and strong saturation. Fancy sapphires of various colours are also available. In the United States, blue sapphire tends to be the most popular and most affordable of the three major precious gemstones .

Turquoise: Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth, and the world’s largest turquoise producing region is the southwest United States. Turquoise is prized for its attractive colour, most often an intense medium blue or a greenish blue, and its ancient heritage. Turquoise is used in a great variety of jewellery styles. It is perhaps most closely associated with southwest and Native American jewellery, but it is also used in many sleek, modern styles. Some turquoise contains a matrix of dark brown markings, which provides an interesting contrast to the gemstone’s bright blue colour.

Some gemstones  are classified as organic, meaning that they are produced by living organisms. Others are inorganic, meaning that they are generally composed of and arise from minerals.

Some gems, for example, amethyst, have become less valued as methods of extracting and importing them have progressed. Some man-made gems can serve in place of natural gems, such as cubic zirconia, which can be used in place of diamond.

Metal finishes

For platinum, gold, and silver jewellery, there are many techniques to create finishes. The most common are high-polish, satin/matte, brushed, and hammered. High-polished jewellery is the most common and gives the metal a highly reflective, shiny look. Satin, or matte finish reduces the shine and reflection of the jewellery, and this is commonly used to accentuate gemstones such as diamonds. Brushed finishes give the jewellery a textured look and are created by brushing a material  against the metal, leaving “brush strokes.” Hammered finishes are typically created by using a rounded steel hammer and hammering the jewellery to give it a wavy texture.

Some jewellery is plated to give it a shiny, reflective look or to achieve a desired colour. Sterling silver jewellery may be plated with a thin layer of 0.999 fine silver  or may be plated with rhodium or gold. Base metal costume jewellery may also be plated with silver, gold, or rhodium for a more attractive finish.

Impact on society

Jewellery has been used to denote status. In ancient Rome, only certain ranks could wear rings; later, sumptuary laws dictated who could wear what type of jewellery. This was also based on rank of the citizens of that time. Cultural dictates have also played a significant role. For example, the wearing of earrings by Western men was considered effeminate in the 19th century and early 20th century. More recently, the display of body jewellery, such as piercings, has become a mark of acceptance or seen as a badge of courage within some groups but is completely rejected in others. Likewise, hip hop culture has popularised the slang term bling-bling, which refers to ostentatious display of jewellery by men or women.

Conversely, the jewellery industry in the early 20th century launched a campaign to popularise wedding rings for men, which caught on, as well as engagement rings for men, which did not, going so far as to create a false history and claim that the practice had medieval roots. By the mid-1940s, 85% of weddings in the U.S. featured a double-ring ceremony, up from 15% in the 1920s. Religion has also played a role in societies influence. Islam, for instance, considers the wearing of gold by men as a social taboo, and many religions have edicts against excessive display. In Christianity, the New Testament gives injunctions against the wearing of gold, in the writings of the apostles Paul and Peter. In Revelation 17, “the great whore” or false religious system, is depicted as being “decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand.”  For Muslims it is considered haraam for a man to wear gold.

History

The history of jewellery is long and goes back many years, with many different uses among different cultures. It has endured for thousands of years and has provided various insights into how ancient cultures worked.

Prehistory

The first signs of jewellery came from the people in Africa. Perforated beads suggesting shell jewellery made from sea snail shells have been found dating to 75,000 years ago at Blombos Cave. In Kenya, at Enkapune Ya Muto, beads made from perforated ostrich egg shells have been dated to more than 40,000 years ago. In Russia, a stone bracelet and marble ring are attributed to a similar age.

Later, the European early modern humans had crude necklaces and bracelets of bone, teeth, berries, and stone hung on pieces of string or animal sinew, or pieces of carved bone used to secure clothing together. In some cases, jewellery had shell or mother-of-pearl pieces.

A decorated engraved pendant dating to around 11,000 BC, and thought to be the oldest Mesolithic art in Britain, was found at the site of Star Carr in North Yorkshire in 2015. In southern Russia, carved bracelets made of mammoth tusk have been found. The Venus of Hohle Fels features a perforation at the top, showing that it was intended to be worn as a pendant.

Around seven-thousand years ago, the first sign of copper jewellery was seen.

Egypt

The first signs of established jewellery making in Ancient Egypt was around 3,000–5,000 years ago. The Egyptians preferred the luxury, rarity, and workability of gold over other metals. In Predynastic Egypt jewellery soon began to symbolise power and religious power in the community. Although it was worn by wealthy Egyptians in life, it was also worn by them in death, with jewellery commonly placed among grave goods.

In conjunction with gold jewellery, Egyptians used coloured glass, along with semi-precious gems. The colour of the jewellery had significance. Green, for example, symbolised fertility. Lapis lazuli and silver had to be imported from beyond the country’s borders.

Egyptian designs were most common in Phoenician jewellery. Also, ancient Turkish designs found in Persian jewellery suggest that trade between the Middle East and Europe was not uncommon. Women wore elaborate gold and silver pieces that were used in ceremonies.

Jewellery in Mesopotamia tended to be manufactured from thin metal leaf and was set with large numbers of brightly coloured stones . Favoured shapes included leaves, spirals, cones, and bunches of grapes. Jewellers created works both for human use and for adorning statues and idols. They employed a wide variety of sophisticated metalworking techniques, such as cloisonné, engraving, fine granulation, and filigree.

Extensive and meticulously maintained records pertaining to the trade and manufacture of jewellery have also been unearthed throughout Mesopotamian archaeological sites. One record in the Mari royal archives, for example, gives the composition of various items of jewellery:

Greece

The Greeks started using gold and gems in jewellery in 1600 BC, although beads shaped as shells and animals were produced widely in earlier times. Around 1500 BC, the main techniques of working gold in Greece included casting, twisting bars, and making wire. Many of these sophisticated techniques were popular in the Mycenaean period, but unfortunately this skill was lost at the end of the Bronze Age. The forms and shapes of jewellery in ancient Greece such as the armring, brooch  and pins, have varied widely since the Bronze Age as well. Other forms of jewellery include wreaths, earrings, necklace and bracelets. A good example of the high quality that gold working techniques could achieve in Greece is the ‘Gold Olive Wreath’, which is modeled on the type of wreath given as a prize for winners in athletic competitions like the Olympic Games. Jewellery dating from 600 to 475 BC is not well represented in the archaeological record, but after the Persian wars the quantity of jewellery again became more plentiful. One particularly popular type of design at this time was a bracelet decorated with snake and animal-heads Because these bracelets used considerably more metal, many examples were made from bronze. By 300 BC, the Greeks had mastered making coloured jewellery and using amethysts, pearl, and emeralds. Also, the first signs of cameos appeared, with the Greeks creating them from Indian Sardonyx, a striped brown pink and cream agate stone. Greek jewellery was often simpler than in other cultures, with simple designs and workmanship. However, as time progressed, the designs grew in complexity and different materials were soon used.

Jewellery in Greece was hardly worn and was mostly used for public appearances or on special occasions. It was frequently given as a gift and was predominantly worn by women to show their wealth, social status, and beauty. The jewellery was often supposed to give the wearer protection from the “Evil Eye” or endowed the owner with supernatural powers, while others had a religious symbolism. Older pieces of jewellery that have been found were dedicated to the Gods.

They worked two styles of pieces: cast pieces and pieces hammered out of sheet metal. Fewer pieces of cast jewellery have been recovered. It was made by casting the metal onto two stone or clay moulds. The two halves were then joined together, and wax, followed by molten metal, was placed in the centre. This technique had been practised since the late Bronze Age. The more common form of jewellery was the hammered sheet type. Sheets of metal would be hammered to thickness and then soldered together. The inside of the two sheets would be filled with wax or another liquid to preserve the metal work. Different techniques, such as using a stamp or engraving, were then used to create motifs on the jewellery. Jewels may then be added to hollows or glass poured into special cavities on the surface.”’

The Greeks took much of their designs from outer origins, such as Asia, when Alexander the Great conquered part of it. In earlier designs, other European influences can also be detected. When Roman rule came to Greece, no change in jewellery designs was detected. However, by 27 BC, Greek designs were heavily influenced by the Roman culture. That is not to say that indigenous design did not thrive. Numerous polychrome butterfly pendants on silver foxtail chains, dating from the 1st century, have been found near Olbia, with only one example ever found anywhere else.

Rome

Although jewellery work was abundantly diverse in earlier times, especially among the barbarian tribes such as the Celts, when the Romans conquered most of Europe, jewellery was changed as smaller factions developed the Roman designs. The most common artefact of early Rome was the brooch, which was used to secure clothing together. The Romans used a diverse range of materials for their jewellery from their extensive resources across the continent. Although they used gold, they sometimes used bronze or bone, and in earlier times, glass beads & pearl. As early as 2,000 years ago, they imported Sri Lankan sapphires and Indian diamonds and used emeralds and amber in their jewellery. In Roman-ruled England, fossilised wood called jet from Northern England was often carved into pieces of jewellery. The early Italians worked in crude gold and created clasps, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. They also produced larger pendants that could be filled with perfume.

Like the Greeks, often the purpose of Roman jewellery was to ward off the “Evil Eye” given by other people. Although women wore a vast array of jewellery, men often only wore a finger ring. Although they were expected to wear at least one ring, some Roman men wore a ring on every finger, while others wore none. Roman men and women wore rings with an engraved gem on it that was used with wax to seal documents, a practice that continued into medieval times when kings and noblemen used the same method. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the jewellery designs were absorbed by neighbouring countries and tribes. The Celts specialised in continuous patterns and designs, while Merovingian designs are best known for stylised animal figures. They were not the only groups known for high quality work. Note the Visigoth work shown here, and the numerous decorative objects found at the Anglo-Saxon Ship burial at Sutton Hoo Suffolk, England are a particularly well-known example.

Renaissance

The Renaissance and exploration both had significant impacts on the development of jewellery in Europe. By the 17th century, increasing exploration and trade led to increased availability of a wide variety of gemstones as well as exposure to the art of other cultures. Whereas prior to this the working of gold and precious metal had been at the forefront of jewellery, this period saw increasing dominance of gemstones and their settings. An example of this is the Cheapside Hoard, the stock of a jeweller hidden in London during the Commonwealth period and not found again until 1912. It contained Colombian emerald, topaz, amazonite from Brazil, spinel, iolite, and chrysoberyl from Sri Lanka, ruby from India, Afghan lapis lazuli, Persian turquoise, Red Sea peridot, as well as Bohemian and Hungarian opal, garnet, and amethyst. Large stones were frequently set in box-bezels on enamelled rings. Notable among merchants of the period was Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who brought the precursor stone of the Hope Diamond to France in the 1660s.

When Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned as Emperor of the French in 1804, he revived the style and grandeur of jewellery and fashion in France. Under Napoleon’s rule, jewellers introduced parures, suites of matching jewellery, such as a diamond tiara, diamond earrings, diamond rings, a diamond brooch, and a diamond necklace. Both of Napoleon’s wives had beautiful sets such as these and wore them regularly. Another fashion trend resurrected by Napoleon was the cameo. Soon after his cameo decorated crown was seen, cameos were highly sought. The period also saw the early stages of costume jewellery, with fish scale covered glass beads in place of pearls or conch shell cameos instead of stone cameos. New terms were coined to differentiate the arts: jewellers who worked in cheaper materials were called bijoutiers, while jewellers who worked with expensive materials were called joailliers, a practice which continues to this day.

Romanticism

Starting in the late 18th century, Romanticism had a profound impact on the development of western jewellery. Perhaps the most significant influences were the public’s fascination with the treasures being discovered through the birth of modern archaeology and a fascination with Medieval and Renaissance art. Changing social conditions and the onset of the Industrial Revolution also led to growth of a middle class that wanted and could afford jewellery. As a result, the use of industrial processes, cheaper alloys, and stone substitutes led to the development of paste or costume jewellery. Distinguished goldsmiths continued to flourish, however, as wealthier patrons sought to ensure that what they wore still stood apart from the jewellery of the masses, not only through use of precious metals and stones but also though superior artistic and technical work. One such artist was the French goldsmith François-Désiré Froment-Meurice. A category unique to this period and quite appropriate to the philosophy of romanticism was mourning jewellery. It originated in England, where Queen Victoria was often seen wearing jet jewellery after the death of Prince Albert, and it allowed the wearer to continue wearing jewellery while expressing a state of mourning at the death of a loved one. Perhaps the grand finalé – and an appropriate transition to the following period – were the masterful creations of the Russian artist Peter Carl Fabergé, working for the Imperial Russian court, whose Fabergé eggs and jewellery pieces are still considered as the epitome of the goldsmith’s art.

18th Century / Romanticism/ Renaissance

Many whimsical fashions were introduced in the extravagant eighteenth century. Cameos that were used in connection with jewelry were the attractive trinkets along with many of the small objects such as brooches, ear-rings and scarf-pins. Some of the necklets were made of several pieces joined with the gold chains were in and bracelets were also made sometimes to match the necklet and the broach. At the end of the Century the jewelry with cut steel intermixed with large crystals was introduced by an Englishman, Matthew Boulton of Birmingham.

Art Nouveau

In the 1890s, jewellers began to explore the potential of the growing Art Nouveau style and the closely related German Jugendstil, British  Arts and Crafts Movement, Catalan Modernisme, Austro-Hungarian Sezession, Italian “Liberty”, etc.

Art Nouveau jewellery encompassed many distinct features including a focus on the female form and an emphasis on colour, most commonly rendered through the use of enamelling techniques including basse-taille, champleve, cloisonné, and plique-à-jour. Motifs included orchids, irises, pansies, vines, swans, peacocks, snakes, dragonflies, mythological creatures, and the female silhouette.

René Lalique, working for the Paris shop of Samuel Bing, was recognised by contemporaries as a leading figure in this trend. The Darmstadt Artists’ Colony and Wiener Werkstätte provided perhaps the most significant input to the trend, while in Denmark Georg Jensen, though best known for his Silverware, also contributed significant pieces. In England, Liberty & Co. and the British arts & crafts movement of Charles Robert Ashbee contributed slightly more linear but still characteristic designs. The new style moved the focus of the jeweller’s art from the setting of stones to the artistic design of the piece itself. Lalique’s dragonfly design is one of the best examples of this. Enamels played a large role in technique, while sinuous organic lines are the most recognisable design feature.

The end of World War I once again changed public attitudes, and a more sober style developed.

Art Deco

Growing political tensions, the after-effects of the war, and a reaction against the perceived decadence of the turn of the 20th century led to simpler forms, combined with more effective manufacturing for mass production of high-quality jewellery. Covering the period of the 1920s and 1930s, the style has become popularly known as Art Deco. Walter Gropius and the German Bauhaus movement, with their philosophy of “no barriers between artists and craftsmen” led to some interesting and stylistically simplified forms. Modern materials were also introduced: plastics and aluminium were first used in jewellery, and of note are the chromed pendants of Russian-born Bauhaus master Naum Slutzky. Technical mastery became as valued as the material itself. In the West, this period saw the reinvention of granulation by the German Elizabeth Treskow, although development of the re-invention has continued into the 1990s. It is based on the basic shapes.

Asia

In Asia, the Indian subcontinent has the longest continuous legacy of jewellery making anywhere, with a history of over 5,000 years. One of the first to start jewellery making were the peoples of the Indus Valley Civilization, in what is now predominately modern-day Pakistan and part of northern and western India. Early jewellery making in China started around the same period, but it became widespread with the spread of Buddhism around 2,000 years ago.

China

The Chinese used silver in their jewellery more than gold. Blue kingfisher feathers were tied onto early Chinese jewellery and later, blue gems and glass were incorporated into designs. However, jade was preferred over any other stone. The Chinese revered jade because of the human-like qualities they assigned to it, such as its hardness, durability, and beauty.

In China, the most uncommon piece of jewellery is the earring, which was worn neither by men nor women. Amulets were common, often with a Chinese symbol or dragon. Dragons, Chinese symbols, and phoenixes were frequently depicted on jewellery designs.

The Chinese often placed their jewellery in their graves. Most Chinese graves found by archaeologists contain decorative jewellery.

Indian subcontinent

The Indian subcontinent  has a long jewellery history, which went through various changes through cultural influence and politics for more than 5,000–8,000 years. Because India had an abundant supply of precious metals and gems, it prospered financially through export and exchange with other countries. While European traditions were heavily influenced by waxing and waning empires, India enjoyed a continuous development of art forms for some 5,000 years. Other pieces that women frequently wore were thin bands of gold that would be worn on the forehead, earrings, primitive brooches, chokers, and gold rings. Although women wore jewellery the most, some men in the Indus Valley wore beads. Small beads were often crafted to be placed in men and women’s hair. The beads were about one millimetre long.

A female skeleton  wears a carlinean bangle  on her left hand. Kada is a special kind of bracelet and is widely popular in Indian culture. They symbolizes animals like peacock, elephant, etc.

According to Hindu belief, gold and silver are considered as sacred metals. Gold is symbolic of the warm sun, while silver suggests the cool moon. Both are the quintessential metals of Indian jewellery. Pure gold does not oxidise or corrode with time, which is why Hindu tradition associates gold with immortality. Gold imagery occurs frequently in ancient Indian literature. In the Vedic Hindu belief of cosmological creation, the source of physical and spiritual human life originated in and evolved from a golden womb  or egg, a metaphor of the sun, whose light rises from the primordial waters.

Jewellery had great status with India’s royalty; it was so powerful that they established laws, limiting wearing of jewellery to royalty. Only royalty and a few others to whom they granted permission could wear gold ornaments on their feet. This would normally be considered breaking the appreciation of the sacred metals. Even though the majority of the Indian population wore jewellery, Maharajas and people related to royalty had a deeper connection with jewellery. The Maharaja’s role was so important that the Hindu philosophers identified him as central to the smooth working of the world. He was considered as a divine being, a deity in human form, whose duty was to uphold and protect dharma, the moral order of the universe.

Navaratna is a powerful jewel frequently worn by a Maharaja . It is an amulet, which comprises diamond, pearl, ruby, sapphire, emerald, topaz, cat’s eye, coral, and hyacinth . Each of these stones is associated with a celestial deity, represented the totality of the Hindu universe when all nine gems are together. The diamond is the most powerful gem among the nine stones. There were various cuts for the gemstone. Indian Kings bought gemstones privately from the sellers. Maharaja and other royal family members value gem as Hindu God. They exchanged gems with people to whom they were very close, especially the royal family members and other intimate allies. “Only the emperor himself, his intimate relations, and select members of his entourage were permitted to wear royal turban ornament. As the empire matured, differing styles of ornament acquired the generic name of sarpech, from sar or sir, meaning head, and pech, meaning fastener.”

India was the first country to mine diamonds, with some mines dating back to 296 BC. India traded the diamonds, realising their valuable qualities. Historically, diamonds have been given to retain or regain a lover’s or ruler’s lost favour, as symbols of tribute, or as an expression of fidelity in exchange for concessions and protection. Mughal emperors and Kings used the diamonds as a means of assuring their immortality by having their names and wordly titles inscribed upon them. Moreover, it has played and continues to play a pivotal role in Indian social, political, economic, and religious event, as it often has done elsewhere. In Indian history, diamonds have been used to acquire military equipment, finance wars, foment revolutions, and tempt defections. They have contributed to the abdication or the decapitation of potentates. They have been used to murder a representative of the dominating power by lacing his food with crushed diamond. Indian diamonds have been used as security to finance large loans needed to buttress politically or economically tottering regimes. Victorious military heroes have been honoured by rewards of diamonds and also have been used as ransom payment for release from imprisonment or abduction.

Today, many of the jewellery designs and traditions are used, and jewellery is commonplace in Indian ceremonies and weddings.

Among the Aztecs, only nobility wore gold jewellery, as it showed their rank, power, and wealth. Gold jewellery was most common in the Aztec Empire and was often decorated with feathers from Quetzal birds and others. In general, the more jewellery an Aztec noble wore, the higher his status or prestige. The Emperor and his High Priests, for example, would be nearly completely covered in jewellery when making public appearances. Although gold was the most common and a popular material used in Aztec jewellery, jade, turquoise, and certain feathers were considered more valuable. In addition to adornment and status, the Aztecs also used jewellery in sacrifices to appease the gods. Priests also used gem-encrusted daggers to perform animal and human sacrifices.

Another ancient American civilization with expertise in jewellery making were the Maya. At the peak of their civilization, the Maya were making jewellery from jade, gold, silver, bronze, and copper. Maya designs were similar to those of the Aztecs, with lavish headdresses and jewellery. The Maya also traded in precious gems. However, in earlier times, the Maya had little access to metal, so they made the majority of their jewellery out of bone or stone. Merchants and nobility were the only few that wore expensive jewellery in the Maya region, much the same as with the Aztecs.

Native American

Native American jewellery is the personal adornment, often in the forms of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, pins, brooches, labrets, and more, made by the Indigenous peoples of the United States. Native American jewellery reflects the cultural diversity and history of its makers. Native American tribes continue to develop distinct aesthetics rooted in their personal artistic visions and cultural traditions. Artists create jewellery for adornment, ceremonies, and trade. Lois Sherr Dubin writes, “n the absence of written languages, adornment became an important element of Indian  communication, conveying many levels of information.” Later, jewellery and personal adornment “…signaled resistance to assimilation. It remains a major statement of tribal and individual identity.”

Metalsmiths, beaders, carvers, and lapidaries combine a variety of metals, hardwoods, precious and semi-precious gemstones, beadwork, quillwork, teeth, bones, hide, vegetal fibres, and other materials to create jewellery. Contemporary Native American jewellery ranges from hand-quarried and processed stones and shells to computer-fabricated steel and titanium jewellery.

Pacific

Jewellery making in the Pacific started later than in other areas because of recent human settlement. Early Pacific jewellery was made of bone, wood, and other natural materials, and thus has not survived. Most Pacific jewellery is worn above the waist, with headdresses, necklaces, hair pins, and arm and waist belts being the most common pieces.

Jewellery in the Pacific, with the exception of Australia, is worn to be a symbol of either fertility or power. Elaborate headdresses are worn by many Pacific cultures and some, such as the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea, wear certain headdresses once they have killed an enemy. Tribesman may wear boar bones through their noses.

Island jewellery is still very much primal because of the lack of communication with outside cultures. Some areas of Borneo and Papua New Guinea are yet to be explored by Western nations. However, the island nations that were flooded with Western missionaries have had drastic changes made to their jewellery designs. Missionaries saw any type of tribal jewellery as a sign of the wearer’s devotion to paganism. Thus many tribal designs were lost forever in the mass conversion to Christianity.

Australia is now the number one supplier of opals in the world. Opals had already been mined in Europe and South America for many years prior, but in the late 19th century, the Australian opal market became predominant. Australian opals are only mined in a few select places around the country, making it one of the most profitable stones in the Pacific.

The New Zealand Māori traditionally had a strong culture of personal adornment, most famously the hei-tiki. Hei-tikis are traditionally carved by hand from bone, nephrite, or bowenite.

Nowadays a wide range of such traditionally inspired items such as bone carved pendants based on traditional fishhooks hei matau and other greenstone jewellery are popular with young New Zealanders of all backgrounds – for whom they relate to a generalized sense of New Zealand identity. These trends have contributed towards a worldwide interest in traditional Māori culture and arts.

Other than jewellery created through Māori influence, modern jewellery in New Zealand is multicultural and varied.

Also, 3D printing as a production technique gains more and more importance. With a great variety of services offering this production method, jewellery design becomes accessible to a growing number of creatives. An important advantage of using 3d printing are the relatively low costs for prototypes, small batch series or unique and personalized designs. Shapes that are hard or impossible to create by hand can often be realized by 3D printing. Popular materials to print include Polyamide, steel and wax . Every printable material has its very own constraints that have to be considered while designing the piece of jewelry using 3d Modelling Software.

Artisan jewellery continues to grow as both a hobby and a profession. With more than 17 United States periodicals about beading alone, resources, accessibility, and a low initial cost of entry continues to expand production of hand-made adornments. Some fine examples of artisan jewellery can be seen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The increase in numbers of students choosing to study jewellery design and production in Australia has grown in the past 20 years, and Australia now has a thriving contemporary jewellery community. Many of these jewellers have embraced modern materials and techniques, as well as incorporating traditional workmanship.

More expansive use of metal to adorn the wearer, where the piece is larger and more elaborate than what would normally be considered jewellery, has come to be referred to by designers and fashion writers as Metal Couture.

Masonic

Freemasons attach jewels to their detachable collars when in Lodge to signify a Brothers Office held with the Lodge. For example, the square represents the Master of the Lodge and the dove represents the Deacon.

Body modification

Jewellery used in body modification can be simple and plain or dramatic and extreme. The use of simple silver studs, rings, and earrings predominates. Common jewellery pieces such as, earrings are a form of body modification, as they are accommodated by creating a small hole in the ear.

Padaung women in Myanmar place large golden rings around their necks. From as early as five years old, girls are introduced to their first neck ring. Over the years, more rings are added. In addition to the twenty-plus pounds of rings on her neck, a woman will also wear just as many rings on her calves. At their extent, some necks modified like this can reach long. The practice has health impacts and has in recent years declined from cultural norm to tourist curiosity. Tribes related to the Paduang, as well as other cultures throughout the world, use jewellery to stretch their earlobes or enlarge ear piercings. In the Americas, labrets have been worn since before first contact by Innu and First Nations peoples of the northwest coast. Lip plates are worn by the African Mursi and Sara people, as well as some South American peoples.

In the late twentieth century, the influence of modern primitivism led to many of these practices being incorporated into western subcultures. Many of these practices rely on a combination of body modification and decorative objects, thus keeping the distinction between these two types of decoration blurred.

In many cultures, jewellery is used as a temporary body modifier; in some cases, with hooks or other objects being placed into the recipient’s skin. Although this procedure is often carried out by tribal or semi-tribal groups, often acting under a trance during religious ceremonies, this practice has seeped into western culture. Many extreme-jewellery shops now cater to people wanting large hooks or spikes set into their skin. Most often, these hooks are used in conjunction with pulleys to hoist the recipient into the air. This practice is said to give an erotic feeling to the person and some couples have even performed their marriage ceremony whilst being suspended by hooks. the largest jewellery market is the United States with a market share of 30.8%, Japan, India, China, and the Middle East each with 8–9%, and Italy with 5%. The authors of the study predict a dramatic change in market shares by 2015, where the market share of the United States will have dropped to around 25%, and China and India will increase theirs to over 13%. The Middle East will remain more or less constant at 9%, whereas Europe’s and Japan’s marketshare will be halved and become less than 4% for Japan, and less than 3% for the biggest individual European countries, Italy and the UK.

See also

Art jewelry

Estate jewelry

Heirloom

List of jewellery types

Live insect jewelry

Gemology

Jewellery cleaning

Wire sculpture

Jewelry Television

Jewellery Quarter

Bronze and brass ornamental work

List of topics characterized as pseudoscience

References

Further reading

Borel, F. 1994. The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry: from the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection. New York: H.N. Abrams .

Evans, J. 1989. A History of Jewellery 1100–1870 .

Nemet-Nejat, Karen Rhea 1998. Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press .

Tait, H. 1986. Seven Thousand Years of Jewellery. London: British Museum Publications .

External links

 

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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Tibetan bowls and the power of sound and vibration in chakras and health

Singing bowls  are a type of bell, specifically classified as a standing bell. Rather than hanging inverted or attached to a handle, singing bowls sit with the bottom surface resting, and the rim vibrates to produce sound characterized by a fundamental frequency  and usually two audible harmonic overtones .

Singing bowls are used worldwide for meditation, music, relaxation, and personal well-being. Singing bowls were historically made throughout Asia, especially Nepal, China and Japan. They are closely related to decorative bells made along the Silk Road from the Near East to Western Asia. Today they are made in Nepal, India, Japan, China and Korea.

Origins, history and usage

In some Buddhist practices, singing bowls are used as a signal to begin and end periods of silent meditation. Some practitioners  use the singing bowl to accompany the wooden fish during chanting, striking it when a particular phrase is chanted. In Japan and Vietnam, singing bowls are similarly used during chanting and may also mark the passage of time or signal a change in activity, for example changing from sitting to walking meditation. In Japan, singing bowls are used in traditional funeral rites and ancestor worship. Every Japanese temple holds a singing bowl. Singing bowls are found on altars and in meditation rooms worldwide.

There aren’t any traditional texts about singing bowls so far as we know. All known references to them are strictly modern. However, a few pieces of art dating from several centuries ago depict singing bowls in detail, including Tibetan paintings and statues. Some Tibetan rinpoches and monks use singing bowls in monasteries and meditation centers today. Singing bowls from at least the 15th century are found in private collections. Bronze bells from Asia have been discovered as early as the 8th–10th century BC and singing bowls are thought to go back in the Himalayas to the 10th-12th century AD.

Singing bowls are played by striking the rim of the bowl with a padded mallet. They can also be played by the friction of rubbing a wood, plastic, or leather wrapped mallet around the rim of the bowl to emphasize the harmonic overtones and a continuous ‘singing’ sound.

Both antique and new bowls are widely used as an aid to meditation. They are also used in yoga, music therapy, sound healing, religious services, performance and for personal enjoyment. A randomised controlled clinical study did not find a difference in pain relief between treatments with singing bowls and a placebo treatment, while both provided significant positive effect in comparison with untreated controls.

Antique singing bowls

Antique singing bowls produce harmonic overtones creating an effect that is unique to the instrument. The subtle yet complex multiple harmonic frequencies are a special quality caused by variations in the shape of the hand made singing bowls. They may display abstract decorations like lines, rings and circles engraved into the surface. Decoration may appear outside the rim, inside the bottom, around the top of the rim and sometimes on the outside bottom.

Modern development

Singing bowls are still manufactured today in the traditional way as well as with modern manufacturing techniques. New bowls may be plain or decorated. They sometimes feature religious iconography and spiritual motifs and symbols, such as the Tibetan mantra Om mani padme hum, images of Buddhas, and Ashtamangala .

New singing bowls are made in two processes. Hand hammering is the traditional method of creating singing bowls which is still used to make new bowls. The modern method is by sand casting and then machine lathing. Machine lathing can be done only with brass, so machine lathed singing bowls are made with modern techniques and modern brass alloy.

See also

Gong

Faraday wave

Harmonic series

Sound symbolism

References

Further reading

de Leon, Emile  The Mastery Book of Himalayan Singing Bowls: A Musical, Spiritual, and Healing Perspective  Temple Sounds Publishing / ISBN 9780988266100 / Library of Congress Control Number: 2012948143

Müller-Ebeling, Claudia, Christian Rätsch, Surendra Bahadur Shahi . Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas. Trans. by Annabel Lee. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions.

Shrestha, Suren . How to Heal with Singing Bowls: Traditional Tibetan Healing Methods . Sentient Publications. ISBN 978-1-59181-087-2.

Jansen, Eva Rudy . Singing Bowls. A Practical Handbook of Instruction and Use. New Age Books, New Delhi. ISBN 81-7822-103-9.

External links

 

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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Orgone and orgonite for energy regulation

Orgone is a pseudoscientific and spiritual concept described as an esoteric energy or hypothetical universal life force, originally proposed in the 1930s by Wilhelm Reich. Orgone was seen as a massless, omnipresent substance, similar to luminiferous aether, but more closely associated with living energy than with inert matter. It could allegedly coalesce to create organization on all scales, from the smallest microscopic units—called “bions” in orgone theory—to macroscopic structures like organisms, clouds, or even galaxies.

Reich stated that deficits or constrictions in bodily orgone were at the root of many diseases, much as deficits or constrictions in the libido could produce neuroses in Freudian theory. Reich founded the Orgone Institute ca. 1942

to pursue research into orgone energy after he immigrated to the US in 1939, and used it to publish literature and distribute material relating to the topic for more than a decade. Reich designed special “orgone accumulators”—devices ostensibly collecting and storing orgone energy from the environment—for improvement of general health or even for weather control. but this was not enough to stop the action.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health lists orgone as a type of “putative energy”.

There is no empirical support for the concept of orgone in medicine or the physical sciences, He was expelled from the Institute of Psycho-analysis because of these disagreements over the nature of the libido and his increasingly political stance. He was forced to leave Germany very soon after Hitler came to power.

Reich took an increasingly bioenergetic view of libido, perhaps influenced by his tutor Paul Kammerer and another biologist, Otto Heinrich Warburg. In the early 20th century, when molecular biology was in its infancy, developmental biology in particular still presented mysteries that made the idea of a specific life energy respectable, as was articulated by theorists such as Hans Driesch. As a psycho-analyst Reich aligned such theories with the Freudian libido, while as a materialist he believed such a life-force must be susceptible to physical experiment.

He wrote in his best known book, The Function of the Orgasm: “Between 1919 and 1921, I became familiar with Driesch’s ‘Philosophie des Organischen’ and his ‘Ordnungslehre’… Driesch’s contention seemed incontestable to me. He argued that, in the sphere of the life function, the whole could be developed from a part, whereas a machine could not be made from a screw….. However, I couldn’t quite accept the transcendentalism of the life principle. Seventeen years later I was able to resolve the contradiction on the basis of a formula pertaining to the function of energy. Driesch’s theory was always present in my mind when I thought about vitalism. The vague feeling I had about the irrational nature of his assumption turned out to be justified in the end. He landed among the spiritualists.”

The concept of orgone was the result of this work in the psycho-physiology of libido. After his migration to the US, Reich began to speculate about biological development and evolution, and then branched out into much broader speculations about the nature of the universe.

For Reich, neurosis became a physical manifestation he called “body armor”—deeply seated tensions and inhibitions in the physical body that were not separated from any mental effects that might be observed. He developed a therapeutic approach he called vegetotherapy that was aimed at opening and releasing this body armor so that free instinctive reflexes—which he considered a token of psychic well-being—could take over.

Evaluation

Orgone was closely associated with sexuality: Reich, following Freud, saw nascent sexuality as the primary energetic force of life. The term itself was chosen to share a root with the word orgasm, which both Reich and Freud took to be a fundamental expression of psychological health. This focus on sexuality, while acceptable in the clinical perspective of Viennese psychoanalytic circles, scandalized the conservative American public even as it appealed to countercultural figures like William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.

In at least some cases, Reich’s experimental techniques do not appear to have been very careful, or to have taken precautions to remove experimental bias. Reich was concerned with experimental verification from other scientists. Albert Einstein agreed to participate, but thought Reich’s research lacked scientific detachment and experimental rigor; and concluded that the effect was simply due to the temperature gradient inside the room. “Through these experiments I regard the matter as completely solved,” he wrote to Reich on 7 February 1941. Upon further correspondence from Reich, Einstein replied that he could not devote any further time to the matter and asked that his name not be misused for advertising purposes.

Orgone and its related concepts were quickly denounced in the post-World War II American press. Reich and his students were seen as a “cult of sex and anarchy,” at least in part because orgone was linked with the title of his book The Function of the Orgasm, and this led to numerous investigations as a communist and denunciation under a wide variety of other pretexts. He was, as the New York Times later put it, “much maligned”. The psychoanalytical community of the time saw his approach to healing diseases as quackery of the worst sort, partly because of his comments about UFOs. In 1954, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration successfully sought an injunction to prevent Reich from making medical claims relating to orgone, which  prevented him from shipping “orgone devices” across state lines.

Some of Reich’s observations have been replicated by other researchers. Stefan Müschenich, in his Master’s thesis, demonstrated effects of orgone accumulators on test subjects in keeping with Reich’s original descriptions, while subjects exposed to a known “dummy box” showed no such effects. As of 2007, the National Institutes of Health database PubMed, and the Web of Science database, contained only 4 or 5 peer-reviewed scientific papers published  dealing with orgone therapy.

Some psychotherapists and psychologists practicing various kinds of Body Psychotherapy and Somatic Psychology have continued to use Reich’s proposed emotional-release methods and character-analysis ideas.

In popular culture

Orgone was used in the writings of several prominent beat generation authors, who were fascinated by both its purported curative and sexual aspects. To that extent, it is heavily associated with the 1950s counterculture movement, though it did not carry over into the more extensive movements of the 1960s.

William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs was a major proponent of orgone research, who often included it as part of the surreal imagery in his novels. Orgone interested Burroughs particularly because he believed that it could be used to ease or alleviate “junk sickness”—a popular term for heroin withdrawal. This fitted well in the context of his novels, which were usually narrative recreations of his own experiences with narcotics and the Beat life.

Burroughs explicitly compares “kicking the habit” to cancer in the novel Junky, and ties it to the use of orgone accumulators. He writes:

At the time that Burroughs was writing, orgone accumulators were only available from Reich’s Orgone Institute in New York, offered for a ten dollar per month donation. Burroughs built his own instead, substituting rock wool for the sheet iron, but believed it still achieved the desired effect. Burroughs writes about what occurred once he started using the accumulator:

Jack Kerouac

In Jack Kerouac’s popular novel On the Road, the orgone accumulator was treated more as another type of drug than as a medical device: primarily a stimulant, with strong sexual overtones. When Sal Paradise visits Old Bull Lee in the novel, Lee’s orgone accumulator is described as follows:

The 2012 film of Kerouac’s novel includes the scene described above, but adds a small window in the accumulator and a funnel to breathe through.

J.D. Salinger

According to his daughter, J.D. Salinger would sometimes use an orgone accumulator, among an assortment of other alternative health regimens.

Orson Bean

Noted American actor and raconteur Orson Bean was once a proponent of orgone therapy and published a well-received book about it entitled Me and the Orgone.

Dušan Makavejev

Dušan Makavejev opened his 1971 satirical film W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism with documentary coverage of Reich and his development of orgone accumulators, combining this with other imagery and a fictional sub-plot in a collage mocking sexual and political authorities. Scenes include one of only “ten or fifteen orgone boxes left in the country” at that time.

Hawkwind

British space rockers Hawkwind released the track “Orgone Accumulator” as the first track on side three of the 1972 live album, Space Ritual.

Woody Allen

Woody Allen’s 1973 comedy science fiction movie Sleeper features an orgasmatron—a cylinder big enough to hold one or two people, containing some future technology that rapidly induces orgasms. This is required as almost all people in the movie’s universe are impotent or frigid, although males of Italian descent are considered the least impotent of all groups. It has been suggested that the orgasmatron was a parody of Reich’s orgone accumulator.

Kate Bush

The song “Cloudbusting” by British singer Kate Bush describes Reich’s arrest and incarceration through the eyes of his son, Peter. The 1985 video, in which Donald Sutherland plays Wilhelm Reich during his research and subsequent arrest, features a Foucault pendulum as an alternative method of demonstrating the rotational motion of the earth to prove the heretical view that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe. The Foucault pendulum in this video simultaneously connects and contrasts the disgraced Wilhelm Reich to both of the respected Foucaults, the scientist, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault and the philosopher, Michel Foucault, who had died one year prior to the video in 1984.

Devo

The new wave ’80s band Devo claimed that their iconic energy dome design was used to recycle the wasted orgone energy that flows from a person’s head. Devo cofounder Mark Mothersbaugh has said:

Evelyn Waugh

An orgone accumulator plays an important role in the semi-autobiographical Evelyn Waugh novel The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. A neighbour to Mr. Pinfold owns a box, and with it he experiments on Mr Pinfold’s wife. Later, in a hallucinatory state, Mr Pinfold imagines that his problems have originated from that box.

Warren Leight

Warren Leight’s play, Side Man, contains a scene where Gene and Terry receive an orgone box that Gene’s friend’s wife made him get rid of.

Hal Duncan

In Hal Duncan’s book Ink, one of alternative realities is orgone-based, i.e. orgone  is used as primary energy source.

Peep Show

In the Channel 4 comedy series Peep Show episode “Mark’s Women”, Jeremy joins a cult, Spiritual Wellness, which defines Orgones as “the invisible molecules of universal life energy which govern our moods and our actions”, with negative Orgones being the sources of all the problems in the world. Mark is concerned that Jeremy has joined a cult, and tries to explain that this is an over simplistic view of the world.

Lupin the Third

In episode 11 of the Lupin III television specials, the enemy wants the secrets of the Columbus Files and the Columbus Egg, which involve the mysterious Orgone energy.

Redline

Orgone energy features prominently in the science-fiction world of video game Redline, released in 1999.

Captain Earth

In the anime series Captain Earth, Orgone energy is the source of power and sustenance for the invading aliens, the Kill-T-Gang, who plan to harvest it from the libidos of all humanity. It is also the power behind the Livlaster guns used by the protagonists.

See also

Alexander Gurwitsch

Ark of the Covenant

Animal magnetism of Franz Anton Mesmer

Energy

Energy medicine

Fringe science

List of ineffective cancer treatments

Odic force of Carl Reichenbach

Rupert Sheldrake

Vitalism

References

External links

This video shows a fringe viewpoint on orgone, reflecting the personal views of James DeMeo.

Institutions investigating orgone

, Argentinian site on Orgonomy

 

 

Bibliography:

Wikipedia

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