Can you believe in both Science and Magick?

Science and Magick

As a respected software engineer, people are often shocked and surprised to hear I have a “spiritual side”.  Many consider these two fields to be diametrically opposed. How can someone who espouses critical thinking and scientific inquiry be willing to even contemplate the existence and truth of such “obvious nonsense”.  The accompanying facial expressions are both priceless, and painful to receive.

A long career in Information Technology had left me craving for more in life than just social interactions and work, however fulfilling that work may be for me.  But despite assumptions to the contrary, this didn’t mean I had to leave my mind behind and abandon all reason.

Although many consider science to revolve solely around a bunch of well established and familiar topics, this has never been the case.  Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is “the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”.  There are a thirst and passion for this knowledge, especially in areas that are lesser known.  Gravity – today taken for granted – began with the observation of a powerful, invisible force that affected all objects on Earth, and an obsession to understand it.

So, a good scientist is not limited by prevailing world opinion and norms.  She or he is open-minded and on an endless quest to validate their ideas and find Truth.  This same skill set, it turns out, makes for a great magician or any other kind of Seeker.

Those studying Eastern meditation will attest to the obsessive importance placed on observation, especially observation of ourselves and our minds.  Life is a grand experiment, giving the astute student ample opportunity to observe how he or she behaves in and is affected by various situations, especially those of our own making.  This knowledge can then be exploited to effect radical, positive changes in our lives – at a great advantage to our peers.

One is not expected to take such conclusions at face value, however.  In a world saturated with information – much of it untrue – critical thinking becomes essential to leading a constructive life.  Sometimes we can reason out the truth of something (given sufficient and reputable knowledge), but often we must rely on experimentation and validation through results.

While some spiritual practices may rely on faith alone, certainly none of mine do.  I’ll admit that many were hard to swallow at first. But the proof is in the pudding: whether it’s receiving very specific information that you couldn’t have possibly known any other way; sensing and moving your energy body as acutely as your own limbs; or being witness to undeniable positive changes in your life over time, among many other examples.

It’s a great pity that while most understand and acknowledge the great investment of time and effort in learning physical and intellectual skills, so often people try something spiritual once, don’t feel anything, and immediately conclude it’s not real.  One of my biggest motivators – spiritually – has been to recall the work involved in learning to do a somersault on a trampoline. Hours and hours of practice, beginning with 100% consistent failure, but persevering, and living for the rare, occasional and even partial success, which slowly began to recur more frequently until the act was second nature and guaranteed.  This is exactly how most spiritual techniques work, as we develop, train and exercise our spiritual muscles and senses.

Lastly, I’d like to elaborate a little further on when I said that good scientists and magicians share many of the same skills.  Again, many assume that these are two different worlds, but the truth is surprising. Much of our early science is actually based on magick!  I was very dismissive of this notion the first time I heard it, but it’s a truly interesting subject. Sir Isaac Newton is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time, but his work and passion in the occult and alchemy are seldom mentioned, nor their contribution to some of his most famed “scientific” theories – which he actually considered of lesser importance.

I encourage the interested reader to investigate further… the information is abundant once you know to look for it.  But more so, if you don’t already have a spiritual practice, I encourage you to find something that intrigues you and experiment!  You might just realize that this otherwise mundane world is filled with magic and that each of us has access to incredibly powerful tools to effect radical personal and global transformation… if we’re brave him to learn them!

by Gadi Cohen – Israel