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Newton and Leibniz

        German inventor, Orffyreus longed for perpetual motion with an infinite desire.  He united himself so closely to perpetual motion that neither angel nor man, nor any creature in heaven or on earth, could separate him from it.  The bond between them is indissoluble; their union is eternal.  Never, the perpetual motion without Orffyreus; or, Orffyreus - without the perpetual motion. It was because all his journeying, all his eagerness, all his pursuits, all his desires were directed towards the perpetual motion and because to die in its embrace was for him the very height of glory and success.


Throughout his life, he eagerly sought after the perpetual motion.     Like a thirsting deer, he hastened from village to village, from town to town; with giant strides, he pursued his way towards his destination.


It is a very long and messy story that I have told you in the previous pages.  Many books could be written about it and in fact, many have appeared recently.  The point of the story is that perpetual motion is possible.  Unfortunately, it is a heresy in the orthodoxy of science.  Nevertheless, the record indicates that Orffyreus (Bessler) built many over balancing wheels that successfully worked.  Careful to hide its mechanism, he demonstrated it convincingly to critically qualified observers who were suitably impressed, though still unwilling to take it at face value.  His object was simply to sell the secret rather than reveal it for nothing so that he could run a institute “Fortress of the God”; but he could find no one interested enough to pay his price, so on 12 November 1712 he eventually destroyed the machine at the Castle of Weissenstein..


Orffyreus was passionate about his case.  Some people called him obsessed.  He called it his campaign for justice.  When he took support of Leibniz, others called it campaign against Newton.  Orffyreus intensity about the case soon alienated many of those who would otherwise have been his supporters.  He complained to the Gravesande who reported his case to Newton, and consequently every thing ended in a tragic manner.  He destroyed his machine.  It could be said that he was his own worst enemy.


Meditating on the majestic art of perpetual motion, one of the greatest handiworks of God, Orffyreus alone found grace with God for himself.  No patriarch or prophet or any   other holy person of the Old Law could manage to find this    grace.    Poor people and little children followed him everywhere    seeing him as one of their own.  The simplicity, the kindliness, the humble courtesy, and the charity they witnessed    in Orffyreus made them press close about him.  One day when he was demonstrating his wheel at his home in Gera, the children, who were usually about him, pressed upon him from behind.  The watchmakers who were nearest to Orffyreus pushed them back.  On seeing this    Orffyreus rebuked watch makers and said to them, "Do not keep the   children away from me"

Evaluation of Orffyreus 

In his rare work, we find culmination of a new mechanics that aimed at producing power from nothing.  Through it, he attempted to reconcile his Catholic faith and the new worldview based on perpetual motion.


Orffyreus boldly echoed the confidence of his contemporary Jesuits by proclaiming that his “new world created from nothing” as revealed by his perpetual motion was "the best of all possible worlds.”  We must remember also that we are living in Orffyreus 's universe.  Once universe begins it is subject to the law of perpetual motion.  Orffyreus assumed  that the universe is not a clock that needs rewinding but like a grand perpetual motion machine with hidden distinct parts, ultimately intelligible to us, it runs forever.  Our job is to observe the external motions of the machine and deduce the hidden details and imitate them for the benefit of mankind. The world is a synergistic whole, which consists of separate things, and these things consist of parts; our job is to figure out how the parts all fit and how the forces that bind the parts interact and make them move.

Orffyreus also condemned the practice; the way we produce power by destruction of things like wood, coal etc is erroneous as it creates pollution. To create power by perpetual motion is in harmony with nature therefore most natural.  


He believed that perpetual motion is a perfect science that provides fertile ground for incredible scenarios and the floodgates of the strange are opened.  You can create energy from nothing, and from energy, you can create rest of the things. Perpetual motion puts us closer to God and his powers.


Orffyreus was usually as critical-minded as a modern experimentalist. He did not rely on any authority, and always tested reports of others by his own experiments.  The writings both of the Scholastics and the Renaissance philosophers on the nature of gravity abounded with occult, superstitious stories and magic.  Orffyreus rejected all that with unswerving criticism and based his findings on experience and experiment only. His spirit of observing and experimenting was taken over not from scholars but from manual workers.  This attitude is so exceptional in his period that the question arises where it originates.  Since critical minded experimentalists appear more and more frequently among the scholars a few decades after Orffyreus, a satisfactory answer would at the same time contribute to the solution of the problem of the origin of modern science in general.

He worked hard to bring the earth down to scale, to show that perpetual motion is a natural law among others, and to demonstrate the pervasiveness and simplicity of natural law of perpetual motion (that there is, for instance, a behavior pattern common to planetary motion and motion of particles in atom) he constructed and exhibited various perpetual motion wheels as we have already studied. But more important than Orffyreus's conclusions was the method by which he reached them. He was a true scientist as his work on gravity was one of the first attempts to use experiment, not merely to illustrate conclusions reached by play of mathematics, but to test hypotheses by experiment and so to extend knowledge. But, he was unscrupulous in describing everything he did in such a way that it would not be easily possible for others to check his findings. 

Orffyreus, a man, whose dominant motive was power from nothing; and the good things of this life that power brings in its train taught us method of harnessing gravity by simple mechanical arrangments . What distinguished Orffyreus from other scientist was his discovery that science is a road to power."

His worldview was characteristically modern, pragmatic, and utilitarian.  He was a pole apart from the contemporary scientist, both in his conception of perpetual motion and in his conception of the means to achieve it. By perpetual motion, he desired to bring a total reconstruction of the sciences, arts and all human knowledge.

It is to be stressed here how this view, while so familiar to perpetual motion inventors as to be "intuitively obvious," nonetheless sharply contrasts with the scientific attitudes towards such knowledge as meaningless in its own sake.

Saint Augustine (354 – 430) said: “Where there is no faith, there is no knowledge, no truth.”  Orffyreus believed that every object has a life, as it is part of a vibrant and lively universe, a unified whole.  The inherent faith that everything is endowed with life kept on catalyzing Orffyreus' thinking to the point that he finally miraculously discovered perpetual motion and made dead matter alive into a vibrant perpetual motion machine by incorporating principle of perpetual motion. Thus he proved that perpetual motion is also possible at terrestrial level like celestial and atomic domains.  

Deva Ramananda remarks here:

“If Orffyreus had not already had this hypothesis that he wanted to check, it would never have occurred to him to conceive perpetual motion and set up his perpetual motion machine. Before the movement of perpetual motion machine could be significant, Orffyreus had to know what he was looking for.  This suggests that one of the differences between mere observation and experiment is that in the latter we observe only after we have constructed a situation with a particular hypothesis in mind.” 

Leibniz and Orffyreus

Orffyreus wanted to do much for the cause of science by his example as well as by his perpetual motion machine. He decided that by living a plain but honest life, declining magnificent offers of positions from royal patrons, at the same time refusing to grovel before nobility, he would set a worthy example to other philosophers whose cringing and pusillanimous attitude towards persons of wealth or position had hitherto earned them the contempt of the upper classes.

But he could not stick to his ideals. When he met to Leibniz he could not reject offer of sponsorship from Count Karl.

His Worldview

Leibniz strove to develop a science of nature based on the Aristotelian notion of a teleological (i.e., goal driven) force inherent in all nature.  His system proposed a nature that was autonomous but dynamic, driven by immanent laws towards rational goals. 

Leibniz announced that we are obviously living in the best of all possible worlds, and the physicist Laplace alleged that God's omniscience (if such a supreme intelligence existed) could be given a scientific definition. Everything made sense -- almost everything.

Newton’s God created a universe capable of existing for many ages but not for eternity as it was seen as being a universe that needed reform every now and again.  Not by chance, Newton’s God in Leibniz’s opinion was a poor watchmaker.  Instead of making a perfect timepiece, God had made one that needed frequent maintenance: "I hope – Leibniz wrote – that there are not many people in England who hold the same point of view as Mr. Newton regarding philosophy and that they don’t appreciate this imperfection in the universe that obliges God to re-assemble it now and again. Their philosophy is in my opinion no way worthy of the wisdom and greatness of the Creator of all things".

David Kubrin* contends that Newton was led to his speculations regarding the cosmogony of the universe by his refusal of the thesis of the eternal world.  In antithesis with that idea, he was in accord with many of his contemporaries regarding the thesis of a progressive decline of power and of the regularity of the cosmos.  In 1675 Newton had delegated the task of renewing the movement and activity of the cosmos to an "ethereal material". In the Principia of 1686, he entrusted this same task to the comets. Newton wrote:


“I believe that that spirit which constitutes a minimal, most subtle and good part of our air originates principally in the comets”.


In his Queries (in 1706) in the Latin edition of Optica, Newton described the decay of the universe and of the necessities of the active principles that preserve it in life emerges in close up.


 Newton wrote:


“As we see that the variety of movement that we find in the world is always decreasing, it is necessary to preserve and renew it by means of active principles”.


Orffyreus believed that God is not a duty bound mechanic who periodically rewinds his clocks to run it forever but he knows greater arts.  He is a perfect perpetual motionist who sets his world perpetual motion machine to run forever to do all useful work without any necessity to expend any effort on his part once it is started.

Deva Ramananda remarks:


“St. Thomas Aquinas likened God to an artisan, an artist who had expertly designed his handiwork and then continued to work along with his appointed agents on earth to perfect his handiwork. Orffyreus was disappointed to see that the clock metaphor captured the imagination of the best minds in Europe. Philosophers and poets, scientists, and theologians projected the language of the clock onto the universe, as they knew nothing about the truth of perpetual motion that could better describe the world freeing God from his duty of rewinding.


In developing a correct worldview that Orffyreus based on his perpetual motion machine, he was far ahead to all of those leading philosophers and scientist of his time who were debating a clockwork universe and struggling hard to reconcile it with basic tenets of Christianity.    Orffyreus looked to the heavens and saw the same principles at work as could be found in the workings of his perpetual motion machine. Just as a beautifully designed perpetual motion machine runs forever by a prearranged, prefixed set of principles and rules without demand of energy, so, too, does the perpetual motion based world and everything in it.  According to him, God was a master perpetual motionist who designed the world perpetual motion machine and started it to run forever without further demand of any rewinding. On the other hand, even the best talents in the world before and after him failed to conceive perpetual motion and instead they relied on clock to describe the working of the world.".” 


          In this cosmology God is not separate from His creation, or transcendent, to use philosophical terminology.  God is "in the very design of perpetual motion " in this universe in a very intimate way. The intelligence of Gods that designs perpetual motion is in the universe in a sense.  It runs the universe and by it universe is in perpetual motion.  The purpose for the design he has for every object is the continual, sustaining cause of all motion.  God does not mechanically push things around.  Each object upon its creation by God is given a purpose and it moves the way it does because it is striving in an alive, somewhat conscious way to always fulfill that purpose.  Everything in this universe is alive to some extent.  Even a rock has a goal. If you pick it up and drop it, it will fall down because it "wants" to return to its natural state of rest “nothing” the Grand Void.

Thus, there was no need to explain rewinding of clock further in this cosmology.  Perpetual motion, which is also circular motion around a geometric center of a force, was considered a natural motion; it was an explanation in itself.  Perpetual motion, as the most perfect motion from the geometric point of view of God, nothing further needed to be said.


Thus, we find a direct conceptual connection between the rejection of a teleological explanation for planetary motion, the idea of a greater God and an infinite universe, and the ultimate solution of Orffyreus: a quantitative representation of the force of gravity.


The German inventor Orffyreus (1680-1745) was the first inventor-philosopher to take these strains of thought and organize them into a comprehensive, influential worldview.  For Orffyreus, the originator of Gravity perpetual motion machine and what is referred to today as an over-balancing wheel, the universe was a huge mechanical perpetual motion machine full of material atoms or "corpuscles," and all change could be explained by the free self-movement of these particles of matter and collisions between them.


Orffyreus argued that biblical scripture should be interpreted in the light of perpetual motion machine, rather than the traditional, authoritative ideas, traces of ancient explanations and scientific discoveries, and he also stressed the importance of observation, quantitative measurement, and experiment in perpetual motion in  the pursuit of the understanding God's creation. 


Orffyreus believed that planets move the way they do, because they are part of a perpetual motion, which demands a specific design to meet a specific purpose in the plan of the universe.  For this reason “Close Path” provided by rotational motion is very important.  For this reason, having circular paths for the planets is very important, and it was so even for Copernicus.  He attempted to preserve the notion of a circular motion as a natural motion, but as we have seen, his system required circular motion around invisible points that in turn revolved around other central points, and very few of his contemporaries failed to see major problems with such a scheme.  With Kepler's conception of an ellipse it was no longer possible to maintain that the motion of the planets was a natural motion requiring no explanation. Now a physical mechanism that moved the planets and kept them in their orbits was needed, and the lack of such a mechanism could no longer be swept under an old cosmological rug.

Orffyreus supplied the answer with his invention of gravity perpetual motion machine and unified celestial and terrestrial events into one comprehensive explanation. There would no longer be two realms, a celestial and terrestrial reality with different substances and laws.  With Orffyreus, there would be only one and gravity would apply universally throughout, responsible for the motions of the planets as well as motion of gravity perpetual motion machine.


Orffyreus was indeed a great inventor, but he was also a human being and one with a rather large ego. Orffyreus was poor and almost always in need of a job.


Leibniz once said “Orffyreus is my friend”, historians on perpetual motion often gloss over this event as a great collaboration between two objective scientists in the pursuit of truth. Their personalities and their philosophy, however, clashed massively. Leibniz loved to party, he fought with Newton; Orffyreus was an introverted hermit.  Leibniz had assumed that he would be shown all of Orffyreus' superior data on the perpetual motion machine., but Orffyreus was afraid that Leibniz  would be too successful. So he only gave him parts here and there. Leibniz tried to manipulate Orffyreus to reveal some great understanding. Leibniz had intended to use Orffyreus for political purposes; he now realized that Orffyreus had used him for his own interest. Leibniz then spent long time trying to view Orffyreus’ data if Newton’s theory can be toppled, but it never happened, as Newton’s jealous heirs also did not want Leibniz to gain fame at the expense of Newton’s reputation.

In world of science, Orffyreus work was lost in this fight forever.


Let me quote Deva Ramanada here:    


“Through his martyrdom, the perpetual motion of ignominy has become so glorious, its poverty and starkness so enriching, its sorrows so agreeable, its austerity so attractive, and now an object to be adored by angels and by   men.”

Deva Ramananda’s Devotion To Orffyreus

During his whole life, our master Ramananda has remained occupied in meditating on the perpetual motion.  We already know, how when he learnt about Orffyreus, his   heart was filled with wonder and he meditated on marvels of perpetual motion.


Deva Ramananda wrote:  "Whenever I used to contemplate perpetual motion, the beauty, modesty, and wisdom of nature, my heart was filled with joy and then more often I remembered Orffyreus.”

Denying bluntly all historical evidence, scientist still maintain that perpetual motion is impossible but our common sense indicates that it is silly to consider perpetual motion as something impossible when we have so much evidence from history. 

For the distinct character of Orffyreus’ contribution, together with his overwhelming influence on perpetual motion enthusiast to date, Ramananda has dubbed the entire episode as  "the Orffyrean revolution."


My master Deva Ramananda remarks:

“ If they (scientist) could understand what the Orffyreus added to the knowledge of mechanics, they shall be obliged to own that they have not the least right to despise him. Pity those who know nothing of him, nor have ever read him; and who give the strongest proofs of their own ignorance and pride, in the manner wherein they presume to treat perpetual motion as something will o wisp or a fraud in spite of wonderful evidence furnished by Orffyreus wheel.

Orffyreus stands like a solid rock between renaissance and dawn of science.  Ramananda calls him a man of admirable sagacity, who laid the foundation of perpetual motion, which his  book on perpetual motion glories in having brought to perfection.  In reality, what a glorious light he diffused over the nature of gravity from a utilitarian aspect, in his attempt to construct an overbalancing wheel, and in discovering the properties of gravity as an inexhaustible source of energy.  On this web site, I have produced proofs of the fecundity of genius belonging to this celebrated man.


This is common practice that   we admire martyrs and    how they triumphed over the cruelest sufferings.  Ramananda will spend the rest of his life visiting the places that had been hallowed by Orffyreus presence and by his sufferings.  There, he will meditate on his boundless love and on his terrible passion with perpetual motion.  Ramananda tells us that this will also be the devotion of the   scholars in the coming times.  From all over the world perpetual motion lovers will go to the Germany to offer homage, to engrave more deeply on their hearts a great love and remembrance of Orffyreus by seeing the places and things he had made, his work, his sufferings, and his death.  

I shall end this article with following remarks from Deva Ramananda.*


“Invention of Orffyreus will remain a monumental achievement in the history of human civilization.  My admiration at the surprising invention of this great man carries me to conceive of him as a person, who not only must raise the glory of the country, which gave him birth but also bring glory to mankind.  By having transcended the greatest and noblest of our faculties to solve the hoariest headed problem, he has done great honor to the human nature.  Until, he attempted to solve, perpetual motion appeared to be a great riddle to all, wholly beyond the reach of limited capacities of great men of science and man who steadfastly struggled to find the solution to it, who lived before and after him.  Perpetual motion is one of the most magnificent pieces of mechanism of the Nature as it is revealed in her eternal dance of all objects in macrocosmic as well as microcosmic world. Incessant motion of the planets around the sun in our solar system, motion of galaxies and motion of elementary particles in the atom- all display perpetual motion as basic principle Nature.

  Duplication of this mechanism at the level of human existence, which lies between the microcosm and macrocosm, is certainly the proof of our human capacities that can do miracles!!!

  Today Orffyreus is forgotten, but sooner or later, truth has to prevail.  In times to come, a student of the history of science and technology will assign Orffyreus a further place and importance, which the average man today can hardly appreciate.  He will see in the German genius a leading figure in engineering of perpetual motion that belonged to a period when even basic mechanical science was in its infancy.  He gave birth to perpetual motion, added a new meaning to it, guided it to solve practical problems of the life, and made it fundamental categories of the men's thinking.  Perpetual motion not only gives a solution to our energy problems but also makes us better acquainted with the Nature, its unity and harmony and raises our hopes for further penetrating the new secrets. It puts us closer to God.”


Perpetual motion is possible. With so much abundant energy from perpetual motion machines, the world will be no longer a discomforting place. Do not believe what science says about perpetual motion. Go on trying to invent perpetual motion machine.


* (See Philip R. Sloan, "Natural History, 1670-1802," in Olby and others, 302 ff.)

* Ramananda’s book – “The Secret Doctrine of Perpetual Motion Revealed” 


                                      Copyright 2005 Dr. Ramesh Menaria all rights reserved.