Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (August 31, 1821 – September 8, 1894) was a German physician and physicist. He contributed to many fields, including physiology, fluid dynamics, the theory of electricity and magnetism, and thermodynamics. His formulation of the principle of conservation of energy influenced a generation of physicists. He invented the ophthalmoscope, which revolutionized the field of ophthalmology; and he invented a resonator to show the strength of various tones. In his philosophy of physiology, he emphasized experience as important for the formation of perception, although he did not altogether deny pre-existing and innate categories of perception.
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- Helmholtz's brilliant mental capabilities were linked to his God-given spiritual dimension, and also reflected the Creator's intelligence and capabilities. Such capabilities set the human species apart from all other species on Earth. The human desire to engage in scientific and other intellectual pursuits, regardless of their practical benefits, demonstrates that our lives can transcend the day-to-day, survival mode. Moreover, our long-term happiness is linked to going beyond that survival mode.
- God's desire is that all people cultivate and express brilliance of mind far beyond what we think is normally possible. Our deliberate separation from God has dulled our spirits and minds, and we have been trapped into lowering our expectations, in the belief that where we are at (internally) is where we are supposed to be and will always be.
- God works through prepared human beings to raise our thoughts and our standards of life. Thus, leading scientists (such as Helmholtz), as well as major religious leaders, have received inspirations that elevated our understanding of the world around us.
- Ultimately, Helmholtz's work was a service to humanity. As the Unification principle points out, when we live for the sake of others, we substantiate the divine nature God has given us. Based on that, we can establish a world of peace that all humanity can benefit from.