The chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) turns a critical eye toward such practices as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and psychokinesis. Are such powers really possible? Science says yes. According to noted scientist and best-selling author of The Conscious Universe, Dean Radin, magic is a natural aspect of reality, and each of us can tap into this power with diligent practice. Beginning with a brief history of magic over the centuries (what was called magic 2,000 years ago is turning out to be scientific fact today), a review of the scientific evidence for magic, a series of simple but effective magical techniques (the key is mental focus, something elite athletes know a lot about), Radin then offers a vision of a scientifically informed magic and explains why magic will play a key role in frontiers of science.
Excellent read. This reminded me a lot of Stealing Fire (which I read recently), though it approaches the state of ekstasis (here gnosis, or the state of oneness) from a different perspective. In this book, the underlying principle is that magick (sic) is real, the universe is built on the fundamental basis of a single oneness, and that this oneness pervades all things. “Magick” in this context is defined as the principles and practice of accessing this state (and meditation counts).
The book discusses many experiments that have been done, much of the research that has been published in revered scientific journals, and much of the bad press that is given to magic. This gives the reader an insight into the potential of psy (short form for parapsychological occurrences) at the three levels discussed in the book.
It is enlightening and entertaining but, as it says, if you’re open-minded you’ll buy into it, but if you’re not then you’ll probably see it as hogwash. The closing chapter summarising the nature of magick and human attitudes towards it is notably poignant.
In essence, as we advance scientifically we are scratching the surface of the great unknown that is ‘magick’ or the ‘oneness’ of the universe. Some psy (once thought of purely as magic) has been proven repeatedly (though the scientific community still sidelines it) and much more is documented anecdotally throughout history. A good portion of the research discusses the achievement of the state of gnosis and identifies how this (in part) is packaged in the current movement of purposeful intention about one’s life and circumstances. The methodology for this is covered in other books (such as The Secret et al) but Real Magic discusses the experiments performed. Overall, it feels a little safer than some of the techniques mentioned (but not recommended) in Stealing Fire!