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The Fusion of Science and Magic

Jan. 20, 2023. 10 min. read. Interactions

Is magic a misunderstood science, or will science eventually empower us to master magic?
Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Atlantis is thought by most historians to be just a myth, but if evidence of its existence in the past is discovered, precedents of the same nature would make such discovery less surprising to me.

One example of such precedents was the discovery of the city of Troy. Troy, the setting of an epic battle described in the Iliad and in other ancient Greek literature, was also thought to be just a myth. However, in the 19th century, excavations done at Hisarlik, Turkey, changed the general agreement on this, and Troy passed from myth to history 1 In the second edition of his In Search of the Trojan War, Michael Wood notes developments that were made in the intervening ten years since his first edition was published. Scholarly skepticism about Schliemann’s identification has been dispelled by the more recent archaeological discoveries, linguistic research, and translations of clay-tablet records of contemporaneous diplomacy. Wood, Michael (1998). “Preface”. In Search of the Trojan War (2 ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-520-21599-0. Now, more than ever, in the 125 years since Schliemann put his spade into Hisarlik, there appears to be a historical basis to the tale of Troy 2 Rutter, Jeremy B. “Troy VII and the Historicity of the Trojan War”. (https://sites.dartmouth.edu/aegean-prehistory/lessons/lesson-27-narrative/) .

Trojan Horse – the wooden horse supposedly used by the Greeks, to enter the city of Troy and win the war (Credit: Pexels)

In the same way, there are ancient descriptions of Atlantis, as an extremely old, lost civilization. Will we find evidence of it someday? 

Atlantis is described in Plato’s Timaeus and Critias as a very advanced civilization, inhabited by gods, and ruled by Poseidon.

It has been speculated that the survivors of the cataclysm that supposedly destroyed Atlantis spread throughout the world, and became seeds of new civilizations, and sources of technological and occult knowledge (there was no distinction between the two at the time).

In ancient Indian texts there are also descriptions of high-tech devices and machines, for example the Vimanas, flying palaces and vehicles, notably mentioned and characterized in the Pushpaka Vimana of Ravana.

Rama being welcomed back to Ayodhya (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Baghdad Batteries discovered in Iraq, and thought to be from the time of the Parthian or the Sasanian Empire, are also examples of possible technology that existed in the distant past, then lost, only to be rediscovered later.

Another example is hypnosis, thought to be practiced effectively by ancient Egyptian priests in temples to heal people and for other purposes. This knowledge was lost, and was rediscovered much later in Europe in the 18th century, being mainly promoted by Franz Mesmer, thought at the time to be a charlatan, while hypnosis was seen as fake (e.g., Zilboorg 1941 3 A History of Medical Psychology. Zilboorg, G. and Henry, G.W.. Published by New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1941. ).

All this can lead us to think of the ancient times as eras when technology and magic were seen and being similar, and even in the not so distant past, we know how great scientists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, or Isaac Newton, were involved in mystical disciplines like Kabbalah, Alchemy, or Hermeticism.

Artist depiction of the sunken Atlantis (Credit: Pixabay)

I have been personally involved in the study and practice of occultism for little less than a decade. I started getting involved after a long period of great suffering in my life (which I interpret as the beginning of my Dark Night of the Soul 4 The term “Dark Night of the Soul” has its origin in Roman Catholic spirituality, and describes a spiritual crisis in the journey toward union with God, like that described by St. John of the Cross. In other spiritual traditions, similar phenomena are described, and given other names, such as Dukkha Nanas (Buddhism). ), and before this, as an atheist, I never imagined I would become a mystic or esotericist.

The suffering that I went through made me become detached from life, and in my thirst for meaning and purpose, I ended up finding that Scripture is not to be interpreted literally, that there are many treasures buried in ancient texts, and that “magic” is real! Magic is not something irrational or illogical, but a body of knowledge and technology that doesn’t largely contradict official science, and rather just adds to it. (I used to say that, in the past, Science was my religion, but nowadays, Religion is my Science).

In my own definition, Magic is the knowledge and utilization of paths of cause and effect, unknown to official science or to the general public.

Through this insight, I can say that a distant past, or a distant future, where Techno-Science and Magic are one, or where Magic is not occulted, enabling miracles to happen, is not inconceivable at all.

As Arthur C. Clarke once said «Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

What power could such hidden knowledge bring, and how can Magic work?

I’ll leave some insights about this next, stay with me.

Credit: Tesfu Assefa

Magic, known by this name in the tradition I’m mostly involved with, the Western Tradition of Hermeticism 5 Hermeticism is thought to have emerged in the Greco-Egyptian culture of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, at a later stage in the progression of Greek Paganism. (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hermetic-writings#ref1199) Its name references Hermes Trismegistus, who some believe was an ancient Egyptian priest, who became a god known as Hermes in Greece, and Thoth in Egypt. Some attribute to him the body of texts known as Corpus Hermeticum. , includes a description of the Universe which is different from that of official science. One can say that it is based on the observation of the Universe from another perspective, perhaps more like from the top to the bottom, rather than from the bottom to the top.

Hermeticism offers a map of the Universe that is much more simplified in its essential structure, and because of that, provides the means for much more power and understanding.

One can make an analogy with programming languages. While official science would be akin to C, or perhaps even Assembly, Hermeticism would offer us Java or C#. The first are low level, much closer to Matter (or Hardware), while the latter is much closer to Spirit (or Software). It is possible to program everything in the behavior of the computer with both types of programming languages, just as it is possible to do everything in the Universe with both Scientific approaches, but with Hermeticism and high level programming languages, it becomes much easier to work miracles.

One example of the power of the Hermetic mapping of Existence is the Philosophy of the Elements.

The Philosophy of the Elements offers a Key by which one may much more easily and powerfully manipulate reality, given enough time, training and effort.

The four elements described in Hermeticism are Fire, Water, Air and Earth. These are obviously not literal fire, water, air or earth, but abstract Universal Principles which are given those names for their analogous features to the physical entities that symbolize them.

According to Hermeticism, they are the four building blocks of everything in existence, and one can manage to perceive them, and then manipulate them, through spiritual practices such as meditation, visualization, and ritual.

God Himself, known as The All in Hermeticism, can be characterized through this simplified and powerful mapping.

To Fire is attributed God’s Omnipotence, all action.

To Water His Infinitude.

To Air His Omniscience.

To Earth His Omnipresence and Immortality.

Magic can, and should, not only be used for material benefits, but also for self-improvement, to raise one’s consciousness in the level of abstraction towards the Spirit, towards God, to merge with Him, or to become a god-Man.

This path usually takes many lifetimes, but according to the mystics of various traditions, it is the path of every being in Existence, an eternal path towards Absolute Perfection, where one never reaches his destination, each level bringing about new transcendent horizons.

Many believe that the Tarot symbolically describes the path of Hermeticism (Credit: Pexels)

And death, as many understand it, doesn’t exist. It is nothing more than the disintegration of the elements in a lower level, merging into the world around us, leading our consciousness to rise to a more essential, high level of ourselves, only to return again to expand the scope of that essence more and more.

For who are we? We are not the body, for we perceive it, nor even the mind, or thoughts, or emotions, for they too are objects of our observation. Since we observe them, we can’t be them; subject and object are different. Consciousness is the closest to our true identity, one may call it the soul.

The same way that Platonic Forms, or abstract ideas, like numbers, are eternal and ever existent, beyond Time and Space, so is our soul immortal, and almost unchanging.

Hermeticism describes the Law of Analogy in the Emerald Tablet 6 The Emerald Tablet of Hermes is an essential text of Hermeticism, regarded by alchemists as the basis for their art. through this maxim:
«That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above»

Or more simply:

«As above, so bellow»

This maxim embodies the fact that the abstract is a reflection of the concrete, and vice versa. Everything that exists on the physical level has an aspect on the abstract level, and the other way around.

A number, like ‘2’, is present in everything with bilateral symmetry, in every set of two things, in every sequence of two sounds, etc. All these things are the physical parallel of the number. Just because any of these physical, concrete manifestations eventually dissolves, the number ‘2’ itself will not vanish.

In the same way, we can imagine a calculator performing a mathematical operation, such as the addition of the sequence of natural numbers. There is the physical calculator, with all its electronics in action, and then, connected with it, or manifesting through it, is the actual mathematical abstract process. Once the calculator is destroyed with a hammer, its constituents spread out, it disintegrates, and stops its function, but may I ask; what about the mathematical abstract process (?), will it be gone too, or will it simply move on where it stopped to another physical vehicle, such as another calculator, a computer, or a brain?

Thus why our soul, even higher, may also go on after our body and our mind disintegrate.

Ancient Egypt is thought by some to have been the source of Hermeticism (Credit: Pexels)

So, in conclusion, will Science and Magic one day fuse into one, and bring about a world of miracles, where philosophies like these will be better understood, used and put into practice?

It looks like so, specially in light of the coming Technological Singularity 7 The Technological Singularity is the hypothetical point in time when Artificial General Intelligence emerges and changes the world drastically, in a difficult way to predict. , when AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) may expose all these hidden insights, and bring about a new Atlantis, the perfect civilization described and idealized by Plato, populated by gods with magical powers.

Further notes:

Recommended books about the article’s subjects are The Kybalion by The Three Initiates, and Initiation into Hermetics by Franz Bardon

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  • 1
    In the second edition of his In Search of the Trojan War, Michael Wood notes developments that were made in the intervening ten years since his first edition was published. Scholarly skepticism about Schliemann’s identification has been dispelled by the more recent archaeological discoveries, linguistic research, and translations of clay-tablet records of contemporaneous diplomacy. Wood, Michael (1998). “Preface”. In Search of the Trojan War (2 ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-520-21599-0. Now, more than ever, in the 125 years since Schliemann put his spade into Hisarlik, there appears to be a historical basis to the tale of Troy
  • 2
    Rutter, Jeremy B. “Troy VII and the Historicity of the Trojan War”. (https://sites.dartmouth.edu/aegean-prehistory/lessons/lesson-27-narrative/)
  • 3
    A History of Medical Psychology. Zilboorg, G. and Henry, G.W.. Published by New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1941.
  • 4
    The term “Dark Night of the Soul” has its origin in Roman Catholic spirituality, and describes a spiritual crisis in the journey toward union with God, like that described by St. John of the Cross. In other spiritual traditions, similar phenomena are described, and given other names, such as Dukkha Nanas (Buddhism).
  • 5
    Hermeticism is thought to have emerged in the Greco-Egyptian culture of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, at a later stage in the progression of Greek Paganism. (https://www.britannica.com/topic/Hermetic-writings#ref1199) Its name references Hermes Trismegistus, who some believe was an ancient Egyptian priest, who became a god known as Hermes in Greece, and Thoth in Egypt. Some attribute to him the body of texts known as Corpus Hermeticum.
  • 6
    The Emerald Tablet of Hermes is an essential text of Hermeticism, regarded by alchemists as the basis for their art.
  • 7
    The Technological Singularity is the hypothetical point in time when Artificial General Intelligence emerges and changes the world drastically, in a difficult way to predict.

About the Writer

Nicodemus Aidos

4.04552 MPXR

Nicodemus is a computer scientist and designer from Portugal. He's also a strong supporter of Transhumanism since a young age, and an autodidact in several areas, including Esotericism, specially Western Esotericism.

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2 thoughts on “The Fusion of Science and Magic

  1. People are and have always been looking for explanations. Before the Age of Enlightenment the explanations were usually mostly bad explanations such as ‘one supernatural character did this and the other got angry and responded with that’ etc. The scientific and technological progress was negligible during a person’s lifetime. For example a physicist David Deutsch discusses this extensively in his book “The Beginning Of Infinity”).After scientific processes evolved, people began to find increasingly good explanations for different phenomena. Things changed radically and enabled the accelerating development we are seeing today. However, having knowledge about something through empiricism, heuristics or by any available means or process, doesn’t require a good explanation to be real or useful. Having high confidence in some cause – effect relationship may be extremely beneficial without knowing why. One doesn’t need a deep knowledge of neurobiology to understand that, at the moment of disagreement, compassionate behavior and friendly words result in better conversation than hostile blaming. Unfortunately there are sometimes perverse incentives to create confusion around the topic and claim how something cannot be true because it is not scientifically proved. It is making people think that absence of evidence is evidence of absence.You are doing excellent work at presenting these concepts, especially regarding the reflections of abstract and concrete. For example, the calculator example is very powerful at demonstrating its point. Thanks for taking time to write all of this and pointing out some extra reading. I’ll take a look at
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  2. People are and have always been looking for explanations. Before the Age of Enlightenment the explanations were usually mostly bad explanations such as 'one supernatural character did this and the other got angry and responded with that' etc. The scientific and technological progress was negligible during a person's lifetime. For example a physicist David Deutsch discusses this extensively in his book "The Beginning Of Infinity"). After scientific processes evolved, people began to find increasingly good explanations for different phenomena. Things changed radically and enabled the accelerating development we are seeing today. However, having knowledge about something through empiricism, heuristics or by any available means or process, doesn't require a good explanation to be real or useful. Having high confidence in some cause - effect relationship may be extremely beneficial without knowing why. One doesn't need a deep knowledge of neurobiology to understand that, at the moment of disagreement, compassionate behavior and friendly words result in better conversation than hostile blaming. Unfortunately there are sometimes perverse incentives to create confusion around the topic and claim how something cannot be true because it is not scientifically proved. It is making people think that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. You are doing excellent work at presenting these concepts, especially regarding the reflections of abstract and concrete. For example, the calculator example is very powerful at demonstrating its point. Thanks for taking time to write all of this and pointing out some extra reading. I'll take a look at them.
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    Share
    Reply

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