**Science Between Space
and Counterspace**

**by Nick Thomas**

Reviewed by Ron Jarman

This book contains the results of research into the Science of
the Spirit as illumined by the methods of modern projective
geometry. In his scientific lecture courses of the early 1920s
Rudolf Steiner developed the qualitative path of 7 stages leading
from Earth through Water, Air, Warmth, Light and Chemistry to
Life. The individual characteristics of each of them (elements
and ethers) have to be grasped through medi-tative thinking. This
is what Nick Thomas has undertaken. Without meditative (i.e.
clear) thinking the reader will find it difficult to understand
his book. Also he stresses that the re-search described is by no
means complete and invites anyone who can to join in further
research. We no longer live in an age when scientific riddles are
solved by single people. Co-operative efforts are needed in
scientific progress just as much as they are in social progress
generally.

The contrast between centric and peripheral forces is a vital
theme in the book. Rudolf Steiner remarked in his "Light
Course" that what exists in Nature (including inorganic
na-ture) can never be explained by centric forces alone. Save for
artificial things made by human beings, cosmic (or peripheral)
and centric forces are always flowing together. Steiner went on
to assert that such a truth was profoundly clear to Goethe.

Today we can be enheartened by new impulses in Goethean-ism, for
example by the efforts of Margaret Colquhoun and the Life Science
Trust in which the essential Imagination is de-veloped; also by
the fine book "How the leopard changed its spots" by
Brian Goodwin. But a further step is needed (Inspiration) -
capital I's refer to the spiritual technical terms of Steiner -
to pursue the 7 elements-ether path. It was also in the
"Light Course" that Steiner declared "We are not
credu-lous believers in the physics of today, nor need we be of
Go-ethe. Goethe died in 1832. What we now seek is a further
evolution and development of what he brought." The rose
cross meditation described in Steiner's "Occult
Science" also has 2 stages. In the second (Inspiration)
stage the hard won living pictures of the first (Imagination)
stage have to be sac-rificed and washed away before the new
experience sounds through us, when not mental pictures but pure
concepts supply the ground above which one builds.

Naturally in a penetrating presentation at this deeper level the
author has to assume that many of the elementary facets of
projective geometry are familiar to the reader, although
refer-ences are given whereby the reader may acquire this
familiar-ity. He needs to be sure, for example, of how statements
can develop like the following: (i) A line and a point not on it
de-termine a unique plane, (ii) If two distinct planes have a
point in common, they also have in common a unique line through
that point, (iii) If the unique line is without position (a line
at infinity) in positive space the planes are parallel, (iv) If
the unique point is without position in negative space, the
planes and line are infinite elements in that negative space.

Often advanced mathematics is used to express the clarity
required (e.g. some tensor calculus), but there is still much
that the layman can grasp through inspired imagination. One could
wish for several large coloured geometrical drawings in the book
to illustrate the way of thinking needed to become at home with
the behaviour of this or that element or ether. Quite apart from
the much increased price the book would then have to carry, this
task is also for the motivated reader to provide either on paper
for his physical eyes or in his representations for his mind's
eye.

A brief survey of some of the main themes of Nick Thomas' book is
given below.

Radically different ways of thinking about the world are needed
today free of the standard Euclidean metric; scientists like Bohm
and Penrose support this. The unsatisfactory nature of models and
the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum theory are discussed.

Collineations, correlations and cross ratios in space and
counterspace are focused upon. Area and volume are shown to be
quite independent concepts. The 4 stages or types of ge-ometry
called pure projective, affine, special affine and Euclidean are
shown to relate first to the 4 elements (Warmth down to Earth)
and then in their polar geometrical (cosmic,peripheral) aspects
to the 4 ethers (going upwards to Life ether). The polar
counterparts of area and volume are developed.

Everything is affected by both positive and negative space,
giving rise to "strain", which in turn leads to active
"stress". So, for example, affine stress varies
directly as the rate of change of affine strain. The concepts of
"turn" and "shift" are introduced, the former
a vector, the latter not. Surprisingly perhaps we find that time
is inversely proportional to radial turn. This awakened for me
the memory that atomic weight is inversely proportional to
specific heat and one wonders if yet deeper relationships may be
discoverable at the purely Intui-tive level.

Gravity, both at the Newtonian and Einsteinian level are gone
into but whereas gravity only applies to crystalline and other
homogeneous bodies, different concepts apply above that state and
the idea of black holes would seem in need of drastic revision.

Special chapters are given to heat (not as simple and
predict-able as may be thought from first considerations of the
prime 7 states - elements and ethers), chemistry, light and life.
Phe-nomena of reflection, refraction, interference etc. are
looked at anew and where life is concerned the author declares
that it certainly is not merely a product of the laws governing
sub-stances but is integral to an organism ab initio. What makes
an organism is that its presence is inside every cell where
counterspace is concerned.

Nick Thomas' book is certainly difficult for those unfamiliar
with modern maths and projective geometry. It is a book which
could be of considerable interest to a modern physicist or
biologist and could be recommended or given as a birthday present
to friends of that ilk. It is a high ranking piece of sci-entific
research. Ron Jarman, 11 Feb 1999

Science Between Space and Counterspace by Nick Thomas, New Science Books (Temple Lodge Publications), January 1999, ISBN 0 902636 02 3, £17.95