Most people today are familiar with the quote from Arthur C. Clarke, his third self-described “law” which says: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”…
But what I find increasingly strange, is that while so many people seem to resonate with the truth of this addage, we do not at the same time seem to take it backwards to it’s inevitable conclusion, back to the implications this would seem to have about the origins of science and technology themselves.
Would most people react as favorably to a type of inverted version of this quote? Would they also agree with a preposition such as “Any primatively developed magic is indistinguishable from science…?”
Anyhow, I’m waffling a bit here, but the point is that the more we continue digging into the development of modern science or rather Scientism, with it’s rather glaringly false foundational philosophical assumptions such as Evolution & Copernicanism, and perhaps now Atomism as well, the more it really begs the broader historical question as to how in the heck we ever got to this point.
In the Western World, many of grew up in a culture and an educational system which for the most part, has regarded the development of scientific knowledge as largely the product of some vague concept of the Judeo/Christian belief system, this generic idea that it was the Christianized nations of Europe and their colonial offshoots which, because they had the Theistic foundation which taught that a rationale Creator made the world in an orderly way, that could be studied and understood, enjoyed the intellectual climate most preferable for scientific study and development, producing such great scientific minds such as Isaac Newton, Galileo, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstien, etc. All those genius folks we learn about in school…
However this worldview does not hold up well at all to any decent scrutiny of the history of scientific thinking.
Not surprisingly it seems to be the Christian culture today that is the most blind in this matter, preferring to cling to this mythology about the Christian roots of Science, because it plays such a large role in the current approach to Christian apologetics, in familiar subjects such as Creationism, where so many sciences such as geology or astronomy are turned to in hopes of vindicating the Genesis account in favor of the Darwinian paradigm.
But when we listen to secular historians expound upon things that pertain to this development, the fuller picture is really not that difficult to begin to realize, especially if you’re willing to lay down a lot of those rosy-colored, Christian-slanted views of scientific history in Europe, America and the West…
In previous pieces I have delved a fair amount into the roles of both Alchemy and the Kabbala in the development of things like chemistry and atomic theory as well as the development of Copernican astronomy and cosmology, in tracing the Occult, Mystery School roots of what today we may refer to generically as the religion of Scientism, but there is another strand of Occultism which played a hugely signficant role in the progression of Scientism, and that strand was the introduction of Hermetic philosophy into Europe towards the beginning of what we now refer to as, the Renaissance…
The figure of Hermes himself, as well as the documents which bore his name, sheds an incredible amount of light as to how ancient esoteric teachings penetrated Europe and gave rise to the periods known as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and finally the Scientific and Industrial revolutions.
It is rather astounding to learn just how highly regarded the figure of Hermes Trismegistus to the European Renaissance mind was. He was considered by scholars from Augustine to Thomas Aquinas, to be not just a literal figure of history, but a pagan Egyptian priest, who, somehow, apparently because he was believed to be more or less a contemporary of Moses, was viewed as sort of this quasi-patriarchal figure. They really elevated him essentially to the same level as Moses or Abraham, but as this kind of extra-biblical prophet, who they argued gave credence to Christian doctrines such as the Trinity, though coming from a clearly non-Hebrew origin.
So, here we have the figure of Hermes, the quintessential magus, this pagan magician from antiquity, who somehow comes to receive this incredibly favorable treatment by European Christian theologians and scholars, alongside Europeans who are of course much more deeply attracted to the Occult elements of this tradition. And so in the 15th century, we have the Italian scholar, a Catholic Priest, Marsilio Ficino, who had been commisioned by the wealthy Medeci family to translate the works of Plato, and yet when the Medeci’s suddenly came into the possession of a greek manuscript said to be the writings of the magnificent Hermes, Ficino was ordered to halt all work on Plato and translate the Hermetic text with the utmost priority.
What resulted was the work known thereafter as the Corpus Hermeticum, and this volume, along with other works such as the Asclepius, began to be spread around Europe among scholars and Renaissance thinkers, being regarded as quite harmonious with the increasingly popular Kabbalistic writings, (and rightfully so, since they are derived from the same Occult origins) and all of which quite plainly was fairly inseperable from the spread of Copernicanism in Europe.
While the Corpus Hermeticum contained a fair amount of more philosophical/ideological content, it also contained descriptions of outright occult rituals, such as how to summon astral energies down from above into stone idols and animate them, and so is quite deserving of the categorization as witchcraft.
One prominant figure within the rise of Copernicanism whose Hermetic influences have been thoroughly documented is the well-traveled figure of Giordana Bruno, who first proposed that stars are distant suns, and was killed by being burned at the stake. Frances Yates, a 20th century historian who specialized in Renaissance history, wrote an entire book on this titled “GIordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition”, which you can now read online for free, see the link below.
Copernicas himself referred to Hermes in this quote abou the sun:
“In the middle of all sits the Sun enthroned. In this most beautiful temple could we place this luminary in any better position from which he can illuminate the whole at once? He is rightly called the Lamp, the Mind, the Ruler of the Universe; Hermes Trismegistus names him the Visible God, Sophocles’ Electra calls him the All-seeing. So the Sun sits as upon a royal throne ruling his children the planets which circle around him.”
Isaac Newton is well known to have been an alchemist and student of Kabbalah, supposedly having endeavored to translate the Emerald Tablets of alchemy, but he too was a student of the Corpus Hermeticum. So, we have Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, all heavily influenced by Hermeticism, and of course, Francis Bacon as well, whose writings would seem to eventually inspire the creation of the first official institution of scientific study, the Royal Society.
There has intrestingly enough been a fair amount of research done by numerous people examining the founding members of the Royal Society and their connections to both Freemasonry and Rocicrucianism. Francis Bacon, the famous occultist who is credited with basically being the father of the scientific method, wrote the well-known utopian novel “New Atlantis”, which described the creation of an ideal college, dedicated to human discovery and knowledge, called “Solomon’s House”…
The Royal Society was in many ways the blueprint for the Science departments for universities in the centuries that followed, and I believe, this is the phase in the historical progression where the Occult roots and influences were successfully white-washed from the enterprise of Science, as it morphed into the more contemporary concepts of Natural philosophy and scientific materialism we are familiar with today.
But, Yates argued, (rather convincingly in my opinion) that without the influx of Hermetic philosophy in the 15th to 17th centuries, there would quite simply have been no Scientific Revolution. Without the magical traditions of Hermeticism, which focuses on the influences of things on each other, on their interconnectedness in nature, and on the practices of observation of these influences, and the classification of phenomena and elements of nature, there’s no such thing as science as we know it today…
One thing that has really startled me, as a Christian myself, is to get to this point where I’ve had to actually stop, and recognize that if these influences of Alchemy, Kabbalism, Hermeticism, (and also Neo-Platonism) hadn’t entered in, then we’re left with a somewhat uncomforable question, as to whether or not the Bible on it’s own would have ever inspired people to the level of scientific study and technological advancement that so rapidly occurred, between the rediscovery of all these ancient Occult teachings (i.e. the “Renaissance” or revival of said Occultism) and the modern day.
Many people have equated Bacon’s “New Atlantis” to the founding of the United States of America, with it’s pervasive Freemasonic origins and all the esoteric symbolism of the streets of Washington DC, and so much more, and, I’d have to say that this theory probably has a lot of truth to it, but at the same time, is probably one a piece of the whole…
If the building of “Solomon’s House” was fundamental to the creation of that Luciferian utopia of the “New Atlantis”, then, I now have to think that in all probability, this massive thing that we call “Scientism” is really almost another term for that same over-arching thing. The re-introduction and re-establishment, of those ancient “sacred sciences”, or “seven liberal arts” of antiquity. In the days of the Early Christian church it was combatted as “Gnosticism”, the heresy of the Mystery School teachings which was constantly trying to embed itself within the orthodox Christian gospel, whereby the aquisition of knowledge, or “Gnosis” was central to humanity learning to save itself.
How is the current understanding of “Science” really any different?
Hermeticism: the nexus between science, philosophy and spirit