For centuries, there has been a secret, occult, tradition that has developed in parallel with science. In their earliest forms both traditions were identical, a singular approach to reality that included both the outer, physical world and the inner world of thoughts and ideas. Indeed, for these early “natural philosophers” mind and matter were simply aspects of a deeper reality and both were investigated using experimentation and observation.
However whereas the physical objects that existed in three-dimensional space could be manipulated, broken apart and analysed using systematic techniques, the inner world of thoughts and dreams could not be understood using this method.
Natural philosophy began to follow two separate paths. For a time a person could be part of both traditions, Isaac Newton for example. But as science began to define itself it found that only the physical world was willing to open up its secrets to those willing to interrogate it. Natural philosophy split into two seemingly conflicting world-views; the Physical and the Magical. The former developed into a process of understanding in which objects in the physical wold were systematically broken down into their constituent parts (or elements). This technique, known as materialist-reductionism, has become the corner-stone of all the physical sciences. The only thing that exists are variations on matter and energy and everything that is perceived is simply interactions between these two states. By understanding the relationships of the constituent elements any physical system could be understood. In this materialist-reductionist world view there was no place for anything that could not be measured or quantified.
The Magical world view took a different approach. Its adherents believed that the world worked through the relationship of both objects and thought. Unlike Physical science, Magic proposed a model in which the physical universe was simply a manifestation of a deeper, non-physical reality and by controlling these deeper forces the material world could be controlled and manipulated. In other words for the magicians thought was prime and physical reality was secondary.
From the time of Isaac Newton materialist-reductionism was in the ascendancy. Its process of understanding-by- breaking-down was startlingly successful. Not only did this technique explain much of the physical world but it also allowed scientists to create technologies by which that physical world could be harnessed for the greater good of all. From steam engines to medicine and from electricity to chemistry the power of materialist reductionism was self-evident. However, there were a handful of small issues that could not be explained by reductionism, issues that worried the scientists of the late 19th century. It was these small mysteries that were to bring about the greatest revolution in scientific knowledge. These mysteries were known as; Black-Body Radiation, the Photo-Electric Effect and the Emission Spectrum of Hydrogen. By 1905, Max Planck and Albert Einstein had explained these mysteries and, in doing so, had created a new model of science that reflected more closely the Magical than the Physical. This model became known as quantum mechanics.
Over one hundred year later the discoveries opened up by the pioneering work of Planck, Einstein, Bohr, Born and Heisenberg have created a universe in which consciousness and the “act of observation” seem central. We now know that “mind” is an integral, not periphery, part of how reality functions. Recent discoveries have suggested the existence of a “quantum vacuum”, a place in which everything that is observed is encoded as information. There is also startling evidence that the universe is one huge hologram in which each part contains the whole. But the most staggering disclosure of modern science is that the universe needs an “observer” to continue to exist and that each “observer” may be responsible for their own sub-universe.
This is magic masquerading as science.
What is now needed is a novel that brings together our new understanding of science with the old beliefs of magic; a Dennis Wheatley novel for the 21st century. This is exactly what Dr. Gary Vasey achieves in this incredible book. Gary tells a classic tale of mystery and suspense but weaves within it a series of themes that would be at home in any modern physics text book. He masterfully uses his own extensive knowledge of modern magical rituals to create a tale that is both mysterious and intriguing. However, the mystery soon gives way to something far more sinister and terrifying, a terror that explodes into a finale of epic proportions in which the fate of the universe itself is at stake.
Once started this book cannot be put down and once finished you may just find yourself checking the shadows to catch a glimpse of the Lord of the Elements.