The concept is essentially an attempt at a reunification of disparate disciplines. In ancient times, the fields today known as science, philosophy, art and magic were joined together by a unifying structure; holistically inter-linked into a continuum of all knowledge and studied by scholars who of necessity and by their earliest training were inter-disciplinary in their outlook. The great thinkers of the ancient civilisations termed this holistic structure “Natural Science”, realised that by the very nature of the world all aspects of life were interconnected, and so expected no less than that a scientist would also be an artist, or vice versa.
This holistic approach fell into disfavour in Western Europe at the end of the Renaissance period. Although Newton, Descartes, Liebnitz and Bruno were all champions of an interconnected continuum of study, those who followed began to espouse a reductionist and separatist method of study as the number of areas which could be subjected that study grew and deepened. This became the paradigm for modern Western science, which in short order ousted religion, esotericism and artistic temperament to become the only accepted touchstone for truth. The hermeticist of old had become a hard-nosed scientist, with a tight focus only upon his own realm, and soon this attitude became the norm in all fields of human endeavour. Driven by necessity as our civilisations broadened and deepened their understanding, humanity became as specialised as insects.
However, our global civilisation is now entering a Third Wave economy where knowledge is the only powerful force; replacing the drones of the satanic mills with de-massed production by small, erratically brilliant clusters who network to share expertise. Our greatest thinkers are reaching a stage where they truly feel in sight of the base levels of their chosen fields. Interdisciplinary studies are providing new and exiting breakthroughs in computers, genetics, maths, physics and many other disciplines. And yet, our reductionist paradigm prevents us from making the most of these currents. Inertia and intellectual cliques hamper any burgeoning growth of mental freedom, restricting them to fringe areas of academia. As usual, business leads the way but even there, we find an inability to think outside certain long-term boxes. The explosion of intellectual creativity that the web and other modern information-age wonders promise to us still seems a long way off.
We now have an opportunity for a new paradigm to fit that information age, and that paradigm is a return to the ancient sense that all things are interconnected. The primary new development is that within that paradigm, the language of the modern world can be put to use to describe that connectedness and its immediate ramifications upon our studies and our lives. When we do this, we describe in modern, sensible ways a field that originally was the connecting force between all others, the field of magic. As we describe how magic is structured and operates, using modern terms and language, we will find that we are evolving a metamagic. By this I mean an understanding of the deep forces of nature and consciousness that allows us to make sense of the unified field of all human endeavour for the first time in our history as thinking beings.
This is a bold project, but one in which the underlying principles have been understood for some time. Firstly, we must translate these principles into a single common language that can be understood by scientist, magician or artist. We shall be helped in this by the ongoing spread of the modern information culture. Then, we must show that these principles can provide a platform for deeper understanding in many different fields and so show a method for applying our new paradigm in other, as yet unexplored areas. If we can do both of these things, then we will have turned the world on its head and reintroduced magic as a field of human study worthy of everyone’s serious attention – a change of paradigm indeed.