2003 History Book of the Year Award Finalist, ForeWord Magazine
[P.D. Ouspensky’s] yearning for a transcendent, timeless reality—one that cancels out physical disintegration and death—figures into science at some fundamental level.
Einstein found solace in his theory of relativity, which suggested to him that events are ever-present in the space-time continuum. When his friend Michele Besso passed on shortly before his own death, he wrote: 'For us believing physicists the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, even if a stubborn one.'" —from Magic, Mystery, and Science
The triumph of science would appear to have routed all other explanations of reality. No longer does astrology or alchemy or magic have the power to explain the world to us. Yet at one time each of these systems of belief, like religion, helped shed light on what was dark to our understanding. Nor have the occult arts disappeared. We humans have a need for mystery and a sense of the infinite.
Magic, Mystery, and Science presents the occult as a "third stream" of belief, as important to the shaping of Western civilization as Greek rationalism or Judeo-Christianity. The occult seeks explanations in a world that is living and intelligent—quite unlike the one supposed by science. By taking these beliefs seriously, while keeping an eye on science, this book aims to capture some of the power of the occult. Readers will discover that the occult has a long history that reaches back to Babylonia and ancient Egypt. It proceeds alongside, and frequently mingles with, religion and science. From the Egyptian Book of the Dead to New Age beliefs, from Plato to Adolf Hitler, occult ways of knowing have been used—and hideously abused—to explain a world that still tempts us with the knowledge of its dark secrets.