Vril - Fact or Fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mysterious earth energy, Vril, is the central concept of The Salamander Stone. This concept has an intriguing history.
 
In 1871 Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton published a novel entitled Vril: The Power Of The Coming Race about a subterranean civilization able to utilise a powerful force or earth energy called 'Vril'. This energy could be used for good or ill, to heal or to destroy.

Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton 


The novel was a huge success in its time, and is credited with giving rise to the Science Fiction Genre. However, it is rarely read today, Lytton's prose style being incompatible with modern taste. This can be seen from an annual competition, run by a Californian University, known as 'The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest'. The one condition  of entry is 'to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels'.

Joke-worthy as the book may be now, its influence at the time cannot be downplayed. And it was Bulwer-Lytton's professed interest in all things occult that led to speculation that this work of fiction was really based on fact, i.e. that Vril is a real force or energy. The Theosophists developed this idea attracting interest from such notables as Sir George Bernard Shaw. Soon Vril became the centre of  secret societies devoted to its study, the most remarkable arising in pre second-world-war Germany. 


 

 

Even Hitler was rumoured to belong to the 'Luminous Lodge' or the 'Vril Society'. Some believe that Hitler's scientists fell behind in nuclear research because the Fuhrer ordered valuable resources be diverted to the study of Vril.

 

 
  

Whatever the truth of the Nazi connection, 'Vril' as a concept entered the lexicon and came to be associated with vitality and life-enhancing energy. The most notable remnant of this association today is in the name of a food product: Bovril (Bovine+Vril=Bovril=energy)


 

Polarised beliefs about Vril - whether it is fact or fiction - continue undiminished to this day. A cursory dip into the internet throws up the weird, the wacky, the wrong, but also the wonderful ideas surrounding this concept. 

Wikipedia is the best place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vril  Then just follow the links and enjoy.