Go Ask Alice!

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it,
'and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice 'without pictures or conversation?'"

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy- chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘ Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!' (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural);
but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves; here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs.

She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labeled `ORANGE MARMALADE', but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.

`Well!' thought Alice to herself, ‘ after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they'll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn't say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house! '  (Which was very likely true.)

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?' she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down , I think--' (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `--yes, that's about the right distance--but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?' (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)

 Presently she began again. 'I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth! How funny it'll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I think--' (she was rather glad there was no one listening, this time, as it didn't sound at all the right word) --but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know. Please, Ma' am, is this New Zealand or Australia?'  (and she tried to curtsey as she spoke-- fancy curtseying as you're falling through the air! Do you think you could manage it?) 'And what an ignorant little girl she'll think me for asking! No, it'll never do to ask: perhaps I shall see it written up somewhere.'

Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking again. 'Dinah'll miss me very much to-night, I should think!' (Dinah was the cat) 'I hope they'll remember her saucer of milk at tea-time. Dinah my dear! I wish you were down here with me! There are no mice in the air, I'm afraid, but you might catch a bat, and that's very like a mouse, you know. But do cats eat bats, I wonder?'

And here Alice began to get rather sleepy, and went on saying to herself, in a dreamy sort of way, 'Do cats eat bats? Do cats eat bats?' and sometimes, `Do bats eat cats?' for, you see, as she couldn't answer either question, it didn't much matter which way she put it. She felt that she was dozing off, and had just begun to dream that she was walking hand in hand with Dinah, and saying to her very earnestly, 'Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: did you ever eat a bat?'

When suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over.

Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead; before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a corner, 'Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it's getting!' She was close behind it when she turned the corner, but the Rabbit was no longer to be seen: she found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof.”

Of course, we don’t take Alice’s fall too seriously; had she really fallen such a distance, she would have fallen faster and faster, and would have had a hard landing due to the force of gravity. In short, her fall of diminishing speed and intensity defies the laws of physics as we know them. And there’s the rub- “ as we know them.” What if Alice fell under the jurisdiction of natural laws which are different from those which we observe on the surface of the planet?

On the surface we equate gravity with the density of mass, an observation which holds largely true (we’ll graciously exclude the floating behavior of clouds, even the wintertime ones whose water particle components are frozen solid). But science does not define what actually causes gravity, nor has science any direct perception of how gravity acts in the deep strata below the surface of our planet. Even seismographs have to be interpreted according to theory, they by no means constitute direct perception. So if we have no direct perception of  how gravity functions in the deep strata of our planet, we cannot truly negate the deceleration of Alice’s fall, nor the soft landing.

The idea of gravity effects caused by an electromagnetic radiation, though, corresponds very well to the description of Alice’s fall. Gravity would diminish with depth in such a case because the radiation producing the gravitational force could not be uniformly nor completely penetrating through the Earth’s shell. The behavior of tides corresponds to this concept. Two bodies which  receive the same acceleration cannot exhibit different accelerations-  the gravitational force of the Moon affects the surface differently than it does the rest of the planet, which shows us that gravity is not uniformly nor completely penetrating, it diminishes with depth, as Alice's fall shows us. For this reason, her rate of fall diminished with depth and eventually, at a certain depth, she came in for a soft landing.

Alice had other unusual, even zany experiences in Wonderland: she ran across talking animals which exhibited abstractive intelligence- not much, but some; a Cheshire cat which could fade in and fade out at will; what to speak of mushrooms, pills and fairy food which all seemed equally magical. Wonderland seemed more like a dreamland, and it it along these lines of thought that we may best come to understand the meaning behind  Carroll’s writing.

Wonderland was a dreamland, but dreams are not false- they take place on a subtle, astral plane, on the mental platform. On that plane, the objects of desires  manifest simply by thinking, feeling and willing; through no extraneous endeavors; the mind operates at its own speed, free of inertia. This is different from our experience in the physical world. In the physical realm, our bodies are bound by gravity and travel slowly. Growth of our bodies, and even our brain’s development are commensurate in relation to the inertia of our world.

But how to access the subtle, astral plane? Why not always? On the surface of our planet  -and of any planet-  positive matter is influenced by gravity effects more than it is by the thoughts of the mind as transmitted through ethereal medium. The mind acts on matter within the confines of the body with which it has direct contact, but the mind's radiations cannot compete with the inertia of the gravity-inducing radiations out in the open, over distance. But deep within the depths below, largely beyond the penetrating restraint of gravity’s radiation,  the mind is much more able to not only act out its will on matter, but to participate in its own astral realm-  perhaps this is what was depicted in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

And what about the talking rabbit with the pocket watch? Was he also a manifestation of Alice’s  mind-over-matter-free-of-the-restraints of gravity? Maybe the best answer comes by way of a rhetorical question-  how is an animal’s mind going to develop in such a realm, free from the restraints of gravity? Maybe enough to develop some abstract intelligence, at least enough to converse. This would give new meaning to Ramayanic and Puranic descriptions of talking animals such as Jatayu the bird, Hanuman the simian and Jambhavan the gorilla, who was found by Shree Krishna in his very deep cavern home. It would also vindicate cryptic reports of talking animals.

Some books are written in the form of fiction in order to introduce certain concepts without disturbing the minds of those who are inclined to believe otherwise. Was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland just such a book? 

Go ask Alice-  when she’s ten feet tall!

Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit.mp3

 

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