The article below was published in 1962 in the "The Searcher" magazine.
"Human Consciousness" by Daniel W. Fry
In the study of parapsychology, as in every other study on research program designed to advance the frontiers of human understanding, many controversies have arisen concerning the exact point at which the line should be drawn between what is usually described as the "real," and the unreal; the material, and the etheric; the physical, and the metaphysical. Some of these controversies have caused serious dissension among the ranks of the investigators, and of study groups.
Every individual tends, consciously or unconsciously, to draw a line which defines the boundaries of his reality, and to assume that every object, event or phenomenon must be placed upon one side of this line or upon the other. He feels that an object or a manifestation must be real, or else it is unreal; it must be material, or else it is etheric; physical or else it is metaphysical. The average person, and even many advanced students, draw this line rather sharply and precisely, and yet this writer has never known any two persons who drew the line at exactly the same place. Actually, of course, the line has no existence or significance whatever, except to indicate the area of consciousness which has been achieved by the individual.
The layman and the beginning student usually draw the line of demarcation very near to the point where the five physical senses begin to fail. They reason that if an object or phenomenon cannot be seen, felt, heard, smelled or tasted that it can have no 'real' existance. The more advanced student on the other hand, has begun to realize that the physical senses are capable of response, only to a very small segment of the spectrum of reality. If we consider the electro-magnetic spectrum, for instance, we find that the human eye responds to only seven basic frequencies in a tiny portion of this spectrum. We call these frequencies 'colors,' and name them -- violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. Just below the frequency of red light there is another which we call Infrared. The human eye cannot perceive this light at all, yet that fact does not make it any the less real, for the camera lens, and the photographic plate can 'see' this light and with it can make a photograph which is just as sharp and clear as any made with visible light.
Above the frequency of violet light there is another band which is called Ultra-violet. This light cannot be detected by any of the human senses, yet prolonged exposure of human tissue to these rays may cause severe damage, even though the victim may be completely unaware of their presence.
The portion of the sonic spectrum to which the human ear responds, is also exceedingly small. For the average person it is approximately the range between 19 cycles and 16 kilocycles per second. According to the usual standards of the materialists, a dog whistle would have to be considered as a 'metaphysical' instrument because it does not make any sound which he can hear. To the dog, who can hear it, however, the sound is just as real and as normal as any of the other frequencies within his auditory range.
An individual who arbitrarily restricts his reality to an area covered by five senses has confined himself within a tight little prison, in which there is no possibility of development, and from which there can be no possibility of escape.
During the last few years of his research in physics, Dr. Einstein was questioned several times concerning his attitude toward the study of metaphysics. His reply in each case was the same, "Anyone who pursues physics far enough, is eventually forced into metaphysics because, if we examine matter closely enough, it disappears, and leaves us with nothing but a frequency of vibration."
If we are to make any substantial progress in the understanding of ourselves or of the universe about us, we must begin with the realization, 1. That there is no essential difference between the study of physics and that of metaphysics, except that the latter constitutes the frontier and the proving ground of the former. Ninety percent of all the concepts found in physics books today, would have been considered as metaphysics a few generations ago. In fact, if we examine the biographies of the men who first propounded these concepts, we will find that in virtually every case, the men who, in our present text books are listed as 'great physicists,' were considered by their contemporaries to be metaphysicians, and in many cases were thought to be out and out crackpots. 2. We must come to realize that the only difference between the 'material plans' and the 'etheric plane,' is one of energy level, as manifested by the frequency, or rate of vibration which exists upon that level, and that the spectrum of reality extends continuously from the lowest point of one to the highest point of the other.
When these two simple facts become firmly established in the consciousness and understanding of every researcher we will find that most of the controversies between investigative groups will dissolve, and that all human understanding will take a tremendous stride forward.
A word about copyright - Because this issue of "The Searcher" was published before the December 31st, 1963 deadline, it is now public domain.