His father was a stern but loving Orthodox priest who was also a gifted writer, poet, and linguist. His mother, Ðuka was uneducated but highly intelligent and hard-working, a woman who invented numerous household tools and appliances. Tesla was inspired by his mother to invent:
“My mother descended from one of the oldest families in the country and a line of inventors. Both her father and grandfather 10 11 originated numerous implements for household, agricultural and other uses.”
Tesla was passionate and proud of his heritage and was able to trace his family history to the 1700s. This ability to link one’s lineage through long history is a common trait amongst people of the Balkan Peninsula. They have an inherent necessity to know those brave hearts who, since Illyrian times, lived in the realm of Slavic paganism and later replaced the mythological deities with the holy cross.
His peers and teachers knew him as a dreamer who had a poetic touch but also as a person
with self-discipline and a desire for precision 12
. Nikola had a steady will and knew
that success came from 100 percent intention and a willingness to be guided by the Spirit within. It is no surprise that Tesla developed an
interest in the supernatural.
As the word suggests, the supernatural is super, but more importantly, it is natural.
Tesla compulsively observed the physical environment around him and studied with a staggering appetite 13. He knew by heart the works of Descartes, Goethe, Spencer, and Shakespeare. His father, concerned for his son’s health, forbid Tesla from using candles, so he was unable to read. Undeterred, Tesla made his own candles, sealed the cracks in his room, and continued reading. One of the books that greatly impacted Nikola’s life was Abafi, written by Hungarian writer Miklós Jósika.
"This work somehow awakened my dormant powers of will and I began to practice self-control. At first, my resolutions faded like snow in April, but in a little while I conquered my weakness and felt a pleasure I never knew before - that of doing as I willed."
Nikola’s early signs of genius 14 were discovered when he performed integral calculus without assistance, prompting his teachers to think he was cheating. He was a true magician’s wand in action, concentrated and directed, quickly receiving insights into how to solve problems and issues 15. His father wanted him to enter the priesthood, but young Tesla was passionate about mathematics and science and was determined to become an engineer.
Tesla was near death many times; on one occasion, he contracted cholera which left him bedridden for close to a year. In a moment of desperation, his father aware of Tesla’s desire to study technical sciences 16, agreed to send him to an Austrian Polytechnic School in Graz if he recovered from the illness. As Cancer imagines himself to feel, so shall he actually feel. Tesla recovered, and his wish became a reality.
At the university, professors quickly recognised Tesla's sheer scientific creativity and genius. After Graz, Tesla studied in Maribor, Prague, and Budapest, where he came into contact with the former general representative of the Edison company. From there, he travelled 17 to New York, where he began to work for Thomas Edison, a sharp businessman and genius in his own right. Before emigrating to the United States of America, he suffered another near-death experience. Unoccupied while ill, he read various works, including volumes of new work written by the ‘man in white’ Mark Twain. Twain’s work, in particular, turned Tesla’s spirit and assisted his miraculous recovery:
“Twenty-five years later, when I met Mr Samuel Clemens we formed a friendship between us, and I told him of the experience and was amazed to see that great man of laugher bursts into tears.”
In Edison’s laboratory, Tesla worked tirelessly making improvements to Edison’s inventions. The competition became fierce and the two soon parted ways due to differing personalities. Injustice in all forms angered Tesla and he suffered greatly in his stand against robber barons 18. This humble man highly disliked greed and materialism.
As an environmentalist, he honoured and respected Mother Nature as the great goddess she truly is. He was an individual ahead of his time, who belonged to a world where humankind thinks, feels and acts on a higher, more enlightened level.
"We must be sentimental towards the birds, this is because of their wings, human had them once, the real and visible!"
Soon after his leaving Edison’s company, Tesla embarked on his first solo adventure. With the aid of financial backer J. P. Morgan, Tesla founded Colorado Springs, an experiments laboratory containing high-voltage radio transmission equipment. The lab was equipped with a 200 ft. transmission tower and the highest quality receiving equipment available at the time. On one occasion, when he was alone at Colorado Springs, Tesla observed what he cautiously referred to as signals from outer space:
“I can never forget the first sensations I experienced when it dawned upon me that I had observed something possibly of incalculable consequences to mankind. I felt as though I were present at the birth of a new knowledge or the revelation of a great truth. The changes I noted were taking place periodically and with such a clear suggestion of number and order that they were not traceable to any cause known to me. I was familiar, of course, with such electrical disturbances as are produced by the sun, Aurora Borealis, and earth currents, and I was as sure as I could be of any fact that these variations were due to none of these causes. The nature of my experiments precluded the possibility of the changes being produced by atmospheric disturbances, as has been rashly asserted by some. It was some time afterward when the thought flashed upon my mind that the disturbances, I had observed might be due to an intelligent control. Although I could not at the time decipher their meaning, it was impossible for me to think of them as having been entirely accidental. The feeling is constantly growing one that I had been the first to hear the greeting of one planet to another.”
Tesla never abandoned the idea of communicating with other worlds. In 1931, during an interview for the cover story of Time magazine to celebrate his 75th birthday, he said:
“I think that nothing can be more important than interplanetary communication 19. It will certainly come someday, and the certitude that there are other human beings in the universe, working, suffering, struggling, like ourselves, will produce a magic effect on mankind and will form the foundation of a universal brotherhood that will last as long as humanity itself. 20 ”
Throughout his career, Tesla’s work largely revolved around electricity. He discovered, designed, and developed the AC (alternating-current) electrical system. It quickly became the primary power system of the 20th century and has since remained the worldwide standard. Tesla, with an innate brilliance and desire to improve access to technology, also invented wireless communications, induction motor, fluorescent and neon lights, remote control, and robotics. He also patented the Tesla coil, which laid the foundation for wireless technologies and is still used in radio technology today. To this day, a great deal of Tesla’s secret papers, documents, drawings, and blueprints remain in the U.S. government’s hands and are highly classified.