Well, I just re-released my first book, Scientific Magic. Let me take a moment here to describe what it is.
I wrote the book as a response to the Dawkins/deGrasse Tyson type of pseudoscience. Don’t get me wrong: these guys are real scientists, and I have a lot of respect for the genuine scientific work they have done. I believe that Dawkins’ pioneering work in memetics will one day be regarded as a modern On the Origin of Species. I love the new Cosmos, and think deGrasse Tyson has done wonderful work firing up the imaginations and love of science that all kids have.
But when it comes to understanding philosophy and how science itself works, these guys unfortunately resort to the worst sort of pseudoscientific babbling, like that they complain of in Fundies. Neither of them seems to have a clue as to what philosophy actually is, and as such they keep screwing up their applications of the scientific method.
The practice of magic has long been looked at askance. With good reason. It has suffered from two major image problems: Descartes’ idiot dualism, and ridiculous fantasy books and games. Both of these things have firmly entrenched a belief in the public mind, that magic is some kind of undiscovered force that is responsive to the mind, yet escapes all forms of technological, experimental investigation. It is pictured as something nonphysical, that follows no rules of physics yet can somehow mysteriously affect the physical world.
This is, indeed, a ridiculous idea. Descartes’ dualism is logically indefensible. The model of the practice of magic that was based on it, and used for most fantasy books, movies, and games, is asinine. Science has shown that this theory is incredibly unlikely.
But that ignores the fact that this was never a definition of magic, or shamanism, or spirituality, that any culture that actually practiced it used. Yes, that’s right: Western science made up their own explanation, based on their own flawed philosophy, proved that it was BS, and so dismissed the whole subject as delusion. That is not science, that is simply asinine.
So I wrote this book to provide a more accurate, historical view of the subject. It presents the practice of magic from the traditional monistic idealism point of view, which eliminates all of the pseudoscientific objections held by people like Dawkins. It presents the practice of magic as a series of lessons in achieving extreme mind/body control and unlocking unusual mental and physical abilities. I present it as something much like the practices of the Bene Gesserit, the Mentats, and the Remembrancers from Dune and Neverness. Something scientific, logical, and based on simple biological, physical facts.
No, I am not a materialist. I am not an atheist. I hold a genuine ancient philosophical position that makes these distinctions meaningless. In Scientific Magic I try to present these ancient practices from the traditional point of view, the modern materialist point of view, and explain how there is no actual contradictions between the two, when seen from the proper traditional point of view. Above all, I concentrate on practicality. Believe my philosophy or reject it, this book will teach you techniques to improve many areas of your life in many different practical ways.