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Nikola Tesla’s Words on the Grandeur of Nature and the Power of Thought

There’s many ways to consider the idea that our universe is interconnected. Sometimes this idea is interpreted through the lens of religion, sometimes through the combination of butterflies and chaos theory, and sometimes, as Brian Cox shows us,  through quantum mechanics.

Nikola Tesla was intrigued by this philosophy in the late 19th century, and the idea percolated through his work. In an address given before the Franklin Institute in 1893, Tesla considered the complexity of the eye. Those words are set to stunning imagery in the video above from Olafur Haraldsson, where beams of light travel through our world in fairy-like fashion.

Tesla understood that while some may view the intricate structures of the eye as so complex that they must have been designed by a higher power, it operates according to the same set of universal laws of nature that even the smallest atoms must obey. He wondered whether any man would ever completely describe the nature by which the eye translated impressions into thoughts, and the great thinkers of his time had just begun to (correctly) implicate electricity in the eye’s operation.

How amazing that it is the device by which humans have gathered all of our knowledge, yet it is subject to the most basic laws of nature. Those laws which are beyond our control, down to the very machinery that converts light energy to nerve impulses. Here is where the grandeur of nature is most evident: That the smallest units of our universe, the photons, could affect some of the most complex, humans … subject to the same laws at every scale.

I recommend checking out the full speech, available here via Google Books.

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