Archive for the 'Psychology & The Mind' Category

Scientists throughout history unlocking the secrets of the occult…

Even science-minded folks are intrigued by the unknown. Curiosity is the realm of intelligence.

 

 

A seance held by Eusapia Palladino at the home of astronomer Camille Flammarion in France on November 25, 1898. Photo by H. Mairet, via Musees de la Ville de Strasbourg.

 

 

10 Famous Scientists Who Held Surprising Supernatural Beliefs
by Lauren Davis (io9.com)

 

While we typically hold up scientists, especially those who have made important discoveries, as paragons of rationality, numerous scientists have had fascinations with cryptids, psychic phenomena, and other aspects of the occult. And what some of these particular people believed may surprise you.


1. Sir Isaac Newton and His Belief in the Occult

 

It may surprise folks who are familiar only with Sir Issac Newton’s mathematical and scientific contributions that Newton was profoundly interested in the occult. Newton was a devout Anglican and an alchemist — neither of which was unusual for an English scientist in the 17th and 18th centuries. (Although many of Newton’s particular religious beliefs, particularly his anti-Trinitarianism, would have been considered heretical at the time.) Still, it’s can be difficult for some modern readers to reconcile Newton’s mathematical descriptions of the universe with his obsessions with Biblical numerology, astrology, and a quest for the Philosopher’s Stone.

 

Newton made no distinction between the scientific and the mystical. He believed that the world could be understood through mathematics as well as through secrets hidden in the Bible. Based on his interpretations of the Scriptures, he even estimated the date of the end of the world. (He pegged it at around 2060, although he was himself suspicious of people who thought they had the exact year down.) He thought he could divine the size of the Earth by studying the geometry of Solomon’s Temple. He conducted numerous experiments in his quest to create the fabled Philosopher’s Stone. And his work in religion and alchemy was just as detailed as his work in what we would today consider science.

 

There are some writers who believe that Newton made such powerful contributions to our understanding of the world not in spite of his more mystical beliefs, but because of them. His studies on optics had their foundations in alchemy. In trying to describe the behavior of the cosmos, he was trying to unlock the secrets of God’s mechanisms. He simply used whatever tools he could find: mathematics, the Bible, alchemy, and other “sciences” we would now consider occult. Some of them worked out better than others.


2.
Carl Linnaeus’ Mermaids

 

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Enigmatic black.

Meditations on the color black…

 

Robert Fludd’s black square representing the nothingness that was prior to the universe, from his Utriusque Cosmi (1617) – Source: Wellcome Library.

Robert Fludd’s black square representing the nothingness that was prior to the universe, from his Utriusque Cosmi (1617) – Source: Wellcome Library.

 

Black on Black

 

(The Public Domain Review)

 

“Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd’s attempt to picture nothingness, Eugene Thacker reflects* on some of the ways in which blackness has been used and thought about through the history of art and philosophical thought.

 

Some time ago I was doing research for a seminar I planned to offer on “media and magic”. I was interested in the concept of magic as it existed in the Renaissance, and in particular with the so-called occult philosophy of thinkers like Marsilio Ficino, Giordano Bruno, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa and Robert Fludd. It was while reading about Fludd that I discovered a startling image. It was from his major work, an ambitious, multi-volume, syncretic theory-of-everything with the cumbersome title The Metaphysical, Physical, and Technical History of the Two Worlds, the Major as well as the Minor. Fludd published his work between 1617 and 1621, and each volume is generously supplied with diagrams, tables and images. The image that jumped out at me is quite simple. In a section discussing the origin of the universe, Fludd was compelled to speculate on what existed prior to the universe, which he describes as an empty nothingness, a sort of “pre-universe” or “un-universe”. He chose to represent this with a simple black square…”

 

For the rest click here to visit The Public Domain Review.

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The Magic 8 Ball, revealed

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 11.10.23 AM

 

The history and genius behind an iconic toy that appeals to the desire in us all to tell our fortunes and futures…

 

 

Why the Magic 8 Ball Still Holds Our Fascination
Can a classic toy stay relevant? Signs point to yes

By Robert Klara

 

“Abe Bookman’s toy was a flop. He should have seen it coming. After all, the toy was a fortune-telling device.

 

It was 1950, and for the previous four years, Bookman’s company Alabe Crafts had tried to market the Syco-Seer. Sold as a “miracle home fortune teller,” the toy was a cylinder filled with dark liquid containing a pair of floating dice, their surfaces scribed with fateful predictions. Users would ask a question, shake up the Syco-Seer and then wait for the device to give them the answer. Only there weren’t many users, and Alabe’s nesting the cylinder inside a crystal ball in 1948 hadn’t helped.

 

Then Brunswick Billiards called in search of a promotional toy. Would Alabe consider putting its fortune teller inside of a big eight ball? Alabe said sure. And the rest is toy history….”

 

For the rest click here to go to adweek.com.

 

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