By Dean Dominic De Lucia
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?' "
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Down, down, down. There was nothing else to do, so Alice soon began talking
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?'
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.
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?
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
defined the action of gravity over a distance,
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
(if the theory is wrong ...
?). 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.
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.
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
the behavior of
the tides show us.
diminishing gravity effects. Because of diminishing gravity effects, her rate of fall
diminished with depth;
so much so that,
eventually, at a certain depth, she came in for a soft landing.
had other unusual, even zany experiences in Wonderland: she ran across talking
animals which exhibited abstractive intelligence
- not much, but some.
She ran across
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
was a dreamland, but dreams are not false; they take place on a subtle,
ethereal/astral plane, on the mental platform. On that plane, the objects of desires
in front of us,
simply by thinking, feeling and willing,
through no extraneous endeavors,
the mind operates at its own speed, free of inertia.
Think of the
talking rabbit with the pocket watch,
wearing a waist-coat. (On the surface, rabbits don't wear waist-coats)
Was he also a manifestation of Alice’s
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!
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