On Roy Stemman’s Paranormal Review blog there is a fascinating article on cold fusion.
Cold fusion is the idea of creating nuclear fusion—where multiple atomic nuclei join together to form a single heavier nucleus—at or near room temperature. A side effect of this is a massive release of energy. Regular fusion, the physical source of the power of our Sun, normally requires temperatures of many thousands of degrees. If effective cold fusion is discovered, it would revolutionize the world, providing virtually unlimited and safe energy at negligible costs.
In the 1980s, two highly respected and honored researchers at the University of Utah started investigating cold fusion and eventually claimed to have discovered it. There was a huge furor as laboratories all over the world tried to duplicate the experiment. The attempted replications had mixed results, many of which were quite negative. Out came the pseudo-skeptics who loudly and publicly denounced cold fusion. The humiliating attacks by these self-annointed defenders of archaic science resulted in a turning away from even looking at the possibility of cold fusion. Researchers couldn’t get funding to support their work.
So what has this got to do with Magick?
As I have repeatedly stated, magick isn’t something you do, magick is something you are. I am strongly in favor or real skepticism: admitting you don’t the reality of something until it is proven. I think this is a positive attitude for magicians to hold. It prevents you from being taking advantage of by either non-physical entities or physical ones. The study and practice of magick keeps you out of cults and not a simple follower of some charismatic leader.
The pseudo-skeptics, on the other hand, are archetypal cultists. They have a certain set of beliefs and rather than sending soldiers to defend the faith, they send insult and humiliation. Since scientists value their reputations, they will tend to avoid doing anything that could result in an attack by the pseudo-skeptics. They self-censor. Not trying something because it might cause you problems is the very antithesis of what real magicians do. The path of magick is one of bravery.
The path of magick is also one of true skepticism. Some things are chance and not meaningful. But some things that pseudo-skeptics denounce as chance without even investigation are clearly far beyond mere randomness. As magicians we should look at our rituals and rites with a skeptical eye: Is this real? Is it a mere coincidence? Did my ritual cause this to happen or was it just luck? These are legitimate and necessary questions.
This is also one of the reasons magicians keep a magickal record or diary. When you do a magick repeatedly and have a positive result most of the time, it both implies that your magick worked and that your magick is real. The failures, rather than being treated as disproving the effectiveness of magick, should be treated as feedback. What did you do that resulted in failure as opposed to when you succeeded? The answer to this question and discovering a means to overcome them is a way to improve your magickal abilities. Failures shouldn’t be an ending; they can be a key to moving ahead and eventual success.
Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) was a British philosopher primarily known for his unfortunate and, in my opinion, incorrect linking of a tiny aspect of Darwin’s theories to human interaction known as Social Darwinism and the resulting destruction caused by its adherents. Here’s a photo of him (love the sideburns!)
One of the things he wrote has become a favorite of mine:
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
This is what the pseudo-sceptics just don’t understand. If cold fusion can be found and made practical…well…if it had been successful in the 1980s, countries in the Middle East would never have become wealthy from oil money, they could not have supported massive armies, there would have never been a need for the U.S. to become involved in wars there, and the attacks of 9/11 might not have happened. What have the pseudo-skeptics and the knuckling under by many scientists wrought?
You Can’t Keep Real Science Down
Eventually, real scientists will step forward and overcome the pseudo-skeptics. This has always happened and, I hope, always will. Stemman’s blog has a link to Edge Science magazine. In a past issue of the magazine there is an article on cold fusion that reveals information from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) which reveals that researchers “are now claiming paradigm-shifting results, including generation of large amounts of excess heat, nuclear activity and transmutation of elements…Although no current theory exists to explain all the reported phenomena, some scientists now believe quantum-level nuclear reactions may be occurring. DIA assesses with high confidence that if LENR [cold fusion] can produce nuclear-origin energy at room temperature, this disruptive technology could revolutionise energy production and storage, since nuclear reactions release millions of times more energy per unit mass than do any known chemical fuel.”
The article adds, “Japan and Italy are leaders in the field, although Russia, China, Israel and India are devoting significant resources to this work in the hope of finding a new clean energy source.”
And where is the U.S.? Nowhere. This is what the pseudo-skeptics have done. It may be that cold fusion in a practical form will never be found. But to not even look is a non-magickal attitude.
Be a skeptic, yes. Don’t be a pseudo-skept.