3 4 D O C U M E N T S 3 9 , 4 0 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 1
39. To Axel Frey Samsioe[1]
[Berlin, after 4 February 1921]
From the standpoint of Lorentz’s theory, one would respond to your
that Foucault’s experiment indicates the rotation against the ether. One can uphold
this statement from the standpoint of the general theory of relativity with a
According to the general theory of relativity one must consider that Foucault’s
pendulum adjusts itself rotation-free against the inertial total mass of the universe.
This mutual influence should not be interpreted as action at a distance, however;
the masses define the metric field of the ’s in space, and this space, the inertial
behavior of the Foucault pendulum’s
A. E.
40. From Lili Halpern-Neuda[1]
Vienna III, 10 Hegergasse [before 5 February
Highly esteemed Professor,
I have been foretold that this letter to the most famous and greatest man of our
times will receive no answer. But I believe otherwise and know better. Precisely
because you are the one, you wonÊt be able to leave this letter unanswered. Psycho-
logically [you] won’t be able to do so. And it is not the undersigned—“a young lady
of Viennese society” who addresses these lines to you. It is the human soul, that in
my likeness clings to you with the most important, frightfully emotive, indeed the
only question of humanity—clings to you with that energy that inner torment lends,
clings to you as one would cling to God if he were more visible to us poor wretches!
Subjected to the helpless solitude of life on Earth, without being able to ask Him
about the tormenting enigma of the universe, I must resort to the highest of men—
and it is to him I turn.
I am, Professor, a deeply perplexed creature. I grasp your hands and beseech
you: Have you formed any belief? Do souls exist and therewith is there such a thing
as personal ones, i.e., an individual, further development after this life? Do you
believe that “the spirit is what builds the body” and that the highest and most impor-
tant thing is this advancement, this salvation of the soul? Do you affirm the theory
(which nowadays already seems to be much more than a theory –) of the od body
or fluidal body, which pervades and fills the physical flesh and bones and is the seat
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