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Theories Of Alternative Dimensions” by JP Standwell (1878)
The cover of this small book is much worn at the edges, with the gilt letters faded and flaking. The paper is high quality, though the edges are brown with age.
The publishing information on the first page, indicates that the author paid for publication, through “Roman Brothers Printing” in Charleston, South Carolina.
There is a picture of the author – a severe looking man with a busy beard, about 60 years old.
The majority of the book is text, with only a few diagrams. Those seem to be star charts, and reproductions of early French engravings showing scientific experimentation. There is a small fold out map of the east coast of the United States with lines printed across it.
The subject matter of the book starts out with explaining simple equations and how they work. These equations are high school level, but were probably considered higher math for the era. Most of this you can skim through pretty quickly.
After a follow up chapter showing how these equations can be applied to solve every day problems (how many beans will a basket hold) – the book takes an odd right turn.
It veers off into philosophy with religion and spiritualism (spirits speaking through mediums) all rolled together. This section purports to prove that Astral Travel is not just a consciousness wandering away from the body. But rather a mode of traveling that is done by finding/ recognizing thin places where the “Other World” connects to ours. Passing through these thin places takes one to the “In Between” – a sort of null-space where all locations and all time connects. From this space (and with the help of those previous equations), one can calculate exactly how to go to a desired location.
There are of course all sorts of dire warnings. Everything from getting lost, to being eaten by demons, to corruption of the soul, to seeing the face of God is mentioned.