Friday, February 20

Why Great Minds Think Alike

Aluminium coincidence

Aluminium: there's something I never thought I would write about on this blog! But now I've discovered a coincidence regarding aluminium.

First, a brief history about the metal. In 1825 a Danish scientist, Hans Christian Oersted. became aware of aluminium while working in his laboratory. Around 1845 a German scientist, Frederich Wohler learned how to make it, but only in very small quantities and at a very expensive cost.

So the production of aluminium wasn't a viable proposition until, that is ...

In the February of 1886, when two things happened simultaneously, on opposite sides of the Atlantic.

Charles Martin Hall, the son of a minister, was working in a woodshed laboratory in Ohio, USA on an experiment that had seemingly intrigued him for many years.

At the same time, in a makeshift laboratory, in a corner of his father's tannery in Paris Paul Heroult was doing the same thing.

Both men were 23 years old.

Working independently of each other, and with no knowledge that the other existed, they each worked away through the challenges that had defied earlier attempts to make aluminium commercially viable. Then, at the same time, they both succeeded. It became the birth of an important international aluminium industry.

The interesting bit is how often similar 'coincidences' like this happen with many new inventions. Often there are disputes as to who actually invented something or other. How does this happen?

The occult explanation is that there are currents of thought in the sea of consciousness, and we can attach ourselves either consciously or unconsciously to these currents. To quote Richard Ingalese from his book The History and Power of Mind;

"When you or I are thinking along the same general line we are in a current of thought, which is one of those in the Universal Consciousness; and because your mind and mine are attached to this current, we are for the time being receiving in unison the same ideas. Plagiarism may be often explained in this manner.

... Inventors often get into the same current of thought, and work along similar lines, and then suddenly startle the public with inventions of a like nature, each inventor declares himself the sole discoverer of the thing invented."

Now imagine if we could consciously attach ourselves to such currents of thought - the world would be our oyster. Well maybe not oyster as I'm vegetarian, but you get the general idea.

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  1. Interesting, and I think oysters are vegetarian too. (smile)

  2. There're a lot of examples of this kind of thing, but I'd never heard the aluminum story! Creativity is certainly one venue for synchronicity.