Among H Spencer Lewis' many talents was that of designer and builder of unusual electrical inventions and prototypes for the purpose of demonstrating the mystical principles and natural law found in the teachings. If he were alive today he would probably be called a hardware hacker in the best sense of the term.
When the first AMORC Rosicrucian Temple was opened in 1915 in New York City it had a 'wireless' radio with HSL often putting on headphones and scanning the airwaves to hear what was out there.
Indeed, part of the description of a Rosicrucian throughout the ages is a mystic who can embrace new technologies to help spread the Light. Modern Rosicrucians have adapted the new Internet technology in much the same way to stay in touch, participate in forums, distribute materials, get research help, learn about local activities and visit web sites like this one.
So, with the goal of inspiring others to find new ways to use new technologies to spread the Light I offer for your entertainment this collection of strange devices from the night gallery of the occult.
Luxatone - The Color Organ
The Color Organ was a device that converted portions of the audio spectrum into portions of the color light spectrum. The microphone was used to input speech or music and the display screen would display the colors and their intensity in sync. The man on the left is Ralph M. Lewis before he became the 2nd Imperator of AMORC.
It's primary use was to demonstrate the Cosmic Keyboard as taught by AMORC that there are octaves of manifestation and that each musical note has a harmonic correspondence to a specific color in a higher octave.
The design principle was fairly simple though innovative for it's time. The screen was a triangular box with a translucent piece of glass on the front. Within the box in each corner was a red, blue or green colored light bulb whose light would glow and be visible through the glass viewing screen.
Within the console itself was a complex circuit built from vacuum tubes and radio components. There was one primary detection channel or circuit. When a sound frequency was detected via the microphone the circuit would measure the frequency and power the colored light bulbs in combination to mix the desired color. The three light bulbs represented the three primary colors from which all other colors could be mixed by lighting the bulbs in varying intensity with the blended color appearing in the center of the triangular display.
The guts of the Luxatone with vacuum tubes and a hefty power transformer.
After the Luxatone was demonstrated with success this booklet was published and sent out to members of the Order and the newspapers. Here's scans of the complete booklet.
If you were in college in the 1960's or 70's you may have owned a modern version of the Luxatone sold by Radio Shack that connected to the speaker terminals of your stereo and blinked colored lights in rhythm with the music. Far out, man! And a very entertaining scientific demonstration of the Cosmic Keyboard principles.
One other thing..... the Luxatone built by H Spencer Lewis bears a surprising resemblance to the 'Interoscitor', a communications device built by space aliens in the 1950's sci-fi classic movie This Island Earth. Take a look and see what you think! :-)
The Cosmic Ray Coincidence Counter
The Cosmic Ray Coincidence Counter appears to have been a very early prototype of a Geiger counter to detect and register ambient levels of radioactivity which at that time in the 1930's was still an largely unknown frequency spectrum and scientific mystery.
Just as radio had years earlier proven that speech and music could be transmitted via an unseen and wireless 'ether' it could now use that same radio technology to contact and demonstrate the existence of an even high rate of vibration that was closer still to the divine vibration of creation.
The two long tubes on the front were used as transducers to detect the Cosmic Ray particles just like a radio antenna or sensor probe of a giggler counter. These were rotated and adjusted along with the dials to set the frequency range and detection sensitivity.
Now if you look carefully at the photos showing the rear of the unit you'll see a vacuum tube driven radio receiver and audio amplifier connected to a round speaker from which the audience could actually hear the Cosmic Ray particles. The metal box on the bottom shelf was the AC power supply.
This device was used for demonstration purpose at conventions and RCU during the late 1930's to early 1940's to demonstrate the existence of higher frequency manifestations and the ability to contact these forces through the use of the principles of attunement.
Sympathetic Vibration Harp
One of the keystone teachings of AMORC was the principle of resonance or sympathetic vibration which simply states that one object vibrating at a particular frequency with resonate with another object that is also tuned to the same frequency.
H. Spencer Lewis built a simple harp from wood with 12 strings tuned to the 12 musical notes of the scale. You would then strike one of the tuning forks and hold it close to the strings so the one string tuned to that note would sound. Pitch pipes were also used as were violin bows stroked against a pane of glass (see above).