Comments on Keely's Theories

Keely offers a philosophy, seemingly supported by his discoveries, that is coherent and elegant in its simplicity. In effect what he is saying is that the whole universe is but a manifestation of the Holy Trinity and can be understood through that principle alone.

No wonder the theosophists loved him.

How much of Keely's theories are an attempt to keep his funding going by telling theosophists what the wanted to hear is anyone's guess.

His theories, though interesting and attractive, should not be taken too literally. The proof of a good theory, however transient, lies in its ability to lead to further knowledge and discovery.

In over 120 years Keely's theories, though studied by thousands of earnest researchers, have led to nothing.

That in itself is telling.

If Keely's achievements are real, as I am endeavouring to show, we must look first and foremost at his machines and analyse what he has to say about his experiments and his results.

In places it is helpful to look at what Keely thought had happened, but let us not focus on the religious aspect of his explanations and consider that his penultimate truth.

There is no such thing as a "Sacred Science", there is only science.

Keely's achievements will never be understood through his theories alone, for a start we do not know what they were. Keely's writings have mysteriously disappeared, his machines can no longer be examined, all we have are a few photographs and a few newspaper articles that can be credited with any degree of objectivity, the rest are second hand accounts by theosophists who, by their own admission, judged Keely's discoveries too dangerous to be made public. The role of the Theosophical Society is covered in my chapter on Keely and Theosophy.

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Hans von Lieven, copyright 2007