Bruce Burger
8 min readOct 20, 2020


Revisiting Babbit’s Atom…

Key to the Secret Teachings of All Ages

Babbitt’s Atom: The Key to the Secret Teachings of All Ages

In this essay we look at the work of the father of modern color therapy, the brilliant nineteenth-century metaphysician Edwin D. Babbitt, M.D., L.L.D., In his profound book The Principles of Light and Color, Dr. Babbitt unfolds the “Harmonic Laws of the Universe.” Like the Sanatana Dharma, Babbitt’s atomic theory is based on sacred sound vibration.

Manly P. Hall, has been called the “dean” of American esoteric studies. Centered on the very first page of his magnum opus, The Secret Teachings of All Ages: An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabalistic, Rosicrucian, and Symbolic Philosophy, is an illustration of Babbitt’s atom. In the caption under this illustration he describes Babbitt as a “genius.” This illustration in the center of page one of Hall’s magnum opus, with Babbitt introduced as a genius, indicates that Hall felt…

“…that Babbitt’s atom was the “Rosetta Stone” of Hermetic understanding — and the key to the secret teachings of all ages.”

Babbitt’s Microclairvoyant Vision of Molecular Dynamics!

Babbitt was reputed to have an expanded threshold of perception through which he could see energy fields on an atomic level and observe molecular dynamics. Writing in the 1850s he discussed left and right brain differences and theorized an “atomic bomb.”

Babbitt presided over The New York College of Magnetics, which had branches in California and abroad. The college offered courses in healing based on an exact science of “Magnetic, Electrical, Chemical, Solar and Spiritual Forces which underlie everything.”2 His home study courses in “Chromo Therapeutics” (color therapy) and natural healing had a large following. Through his influence color therapy was widely practiced as a healing modality until its demise under attack by antiquackery laws with the rise of the medical industrial complex.

In his The Principles of Light and Color Babbitt unveils “The Harmonic Laws of the Universe.” He explains:

“The lines of atomic forces, are doubtless not in circles, this being contrary to the general untrammeled movements of nature, as the pathway of missiles, cataracts and planets is in the sections of a cone . . . atoms are in ellipsoids, or rather in the modifications of this form in the ovid . . . One thing in proof of this is in the fact that atoms combine and polarize better by having a smaller end, while, as we have shown, the law of positive and negative action forces one end to be smaller than the other”.

Sound and sympathetic vibration are the keys…

Polar Cohesion of atoms
Babbitt’s understanding parallels the ancient wisdom. In his model sound and sympathetic vibration are the key to the process of the polar cohesion of atoms. He writes:

“Why are ethers drawn from spirals of one atom to the same kind of spirals in a contiguous atom, and why does a certain grade of ether exactly harmonize with, and seek out, a certain size spiral? For the same reason that a tuning-fork or the cord of a piano will be set into vibration by a tone made in its own key. In the case of the piano, a chord vibrates to tones of its own pitch, or in other words, to tones whose waves synchronize with its own vibrations. Let us apply this principle to atoms. The vibratory action of the red spiral throws the current of ether which passes through it into the eddy-like whirl which just harmonizes in size and form to the red spiral of the next atom above it with which it comes into contact, and which must necessarily draw it on. This second atom passes it on to the red spiral of the third, the third to the fourth, and so on through millions of miles, so long as there is a spiral of the right grade to conduct it onward. “

Babbitt’s Atom: “atomic coil or helix”
Babbitt’s atom is based on the principle of polarity. The positive fields are characterized by heat and expansion; the negative are cold and contracting. Babbitt’s model portrays a hierarchy of energy fields.

“This hierarchy includes the “main spiral” which passes around the atom as well as “sub spirals” which encircle the main spiral, called “first spirilla” or little spiral, second spirilla, and third spirilla, following nature’s “law of trinal gradiation,” to use Babbitt’s terms. These all move in the same direction — as above, so below just as the Sun, planets, and Moon move through space in the same direction from east to west. There is also a hierarchy between the coarser more external spirals which Babbitt calls the “extra spirals,” the finer spirals set farther in called the “intra spirals,” and the third level of the hierarchy, the “axial currents” or “atomic vortex” at the core. Babbitt pictures a gradation of three to seven spirals in each hierarchical field.”

Thus, Babbitt’s atom portrays a hierarchy of three fields following his law of trinal gradiation. The triad of resonance facilitates the alignment of atoms through polar cohesion to manifest solidity. In polar cohesion (figure 1.) the ligo (male/protruding and female/receptive connectors) of the upper atom glides into the ligo of the lower, and thus the two atoms become riveted together by the vortex of the axial currents. The more gross extra spirilla keep the upper atom from being drawn into the lower atom.

Lateral Cohesion
Lateral cohesion (see figure above) takes place through the eddies of the external positive spirilla aligning with the negative spirilla. Lateral cohesion is ruled by the thermal expansive positive polarity and is not as strong as the contractive cohesion of the axial current.

Transverse Cohesion of atoms

Babbitt continues:
“We have ascertained . . . that the spiral, itself the most beautiful of continuous forms, is the great leading law of motion in nature. Let us presume, then, that the spiral direction rules in atoms as well as in worlds, especially as, according to the great unity of law, we must judge the unknown by the known. In fact the spiral is a necessity if we are to get any continuous lines around the atom and have it progress regularly so as to cover its whole form and then to convey its force to the next atom. So far, then, we have the external atom clad with spiral lines of force, or rather, a spiral framework, and tube work through which, and over which, this force must vibrate and flow.”

Babbitt’s research leads him to a paradigm which parallels that of the profound ancient samkhya model:

“But from the nature of things there must have been an almost infinitely subtle elastic, infrangible Intersoul, all-penetrating, all quickening, and filling the whole realm of being. This may be termed Spirit or the soul of things. If we should take these two great departments of the universe separately, we should have Spirit on the one side as a limitless, unformulated substance and matter on the other side, as an unpolarized and lifeless mass.”

As below, so above. We can find valuable suggestions for research in energy systems through Babbitt’s model. The law of trinal gradiation is fundamental to the dynamics of Babbitt’s paradigm much as the three gunas are the foundation of cosmogenesis in the Sanatana Dharma.

Synthesizing Babbitt’s model with the Polarity model we find that in the torso the shoulder and hips parallel the “extra spirals” and embody the Fire principle of directed force for external interactions. The internal focus of body building and cleansing parallel Babbitt’s “inter spirals” and the Water principle as an energy system. The “axial current” parallels the ultrasonic core which Babbitt calls the “intersoul.” Thus, the involutionary currents parallel Babbitt’s inter spirals, the evolutionary currents parallel the extra spirals, and ultrasonic core parallels the axial current.

The extra spirals in Babbitt’s atom parallel Polarity’s Fire principle, the intra spirals parallel the Water principle, and the ultrasonic core parallels the axial currents.

Human energy fields are subsystems of the energy of nature and the solar system. The poles of this system are the Sun and the Moon/Earth. Everything in nature grows in entrainment with these forces of rajas and tamas. During involution, superior fields entrain with the centrifugal solar forces, inferior fields with the lunar contracting pole. In evolution the fields reverse polarity with inferior fields expanding centrifugally and superior contracting centripetally. Physical energy fields take on their characteristic heart shape as subsystems within this energy dynamic.

“the ultimate physical atom” seen as a manifestation of pure life force spinning perpetually through itself.

Dr. Annie Besant and Bishop Charles Leadbeater’s clairvoyant picture of the heart of the universe “the ultimate physical atom” seen as a manifestation of pure life force spinning perpetually through itself. This image is remarkably similar to Babbitt’s atom. Occult Chemistry is the report of micro-clairvoyant research which took place between 1895 and 1933 by a group of gifted Theosophists in England and India.

Using microclairvoyant powers, they developed a “Periodic Table of the Elements.” From carbon to uranium, they described and diagramed fifty-seven chemical elements, the basic constituents of matter, and developed a formula for ascertaining their atomic weight. They found ninety-nine distinct elements including a number that were yet to be discovered.

The book published in 1980, Extra Sensory Perception of Quarks(Theosophical Publishing), demonstrates that the research of Dr. Besant and Bishop Leadbeater had indeed been accurate and has been largely confirmed by a half-century of scientific subatomic research.17

This discussion of Babbitt’s atom provides a good foundation for my recent Energy Medicine Class…where I talk about what I believe is the most important contribution of my life’s work to the traditions

of hermetic understanding.

“Creation As Music”

Is it possible that our bodies and all of nature are musical instruments played on a molecular level by the breath of life?

Cross culturally and transhistorically, the science of ancient cultures was based on an understanding of the elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth.

Bruce explains that the “Elements” are best understood as “Elemental Keynotes of vibration” which are fundamental to the organization of Nature.

Bruce offers a vision of the cycle of the breath, modulating the pitch of the tissues in the body and energy fields in Nature and the cosmos as an infinite harmony of sympathetic vibration.

On YouTube…40 minutes… Click link below to enjoy…



Bruce Burger

Bruce Burger, MA,BCPP, is founder of Heartwood Institute and author of Esoteric Anatomy: The Body As Consciousness.