Here is the circle of science: ascending from the visible to the invisible in theory, and descending from the invisible to the visible in practice. It is the ancient symbol of the serpent which bites its tail.
Because the circle is closed – not in the sense of the circle’s dimension, since it can grow indefinitely, but rather in the sense that it is always will be a circle without opening (in contrast to the spiral, which is an “open circle”).
The forces of warmth, magnetism, electricity and nuclear forces are thus discovered – and a series of other forces, more hidden and still more subtle, can be discovered – but only forces are discovered, ie, the causes of mechanical movement. It is in that this circle is closed that it is why – without intervention from outside of it, such as that of Teilhard de Chardin – it is a prison and captivity for the spirit.
What is true of natural science is also true of personal or arbitrary magic. The latter proceeds exactly as the former – ascending in theory and descending in practice. Modern authors on magic are perfectly right in advancing the thesis that magic is a science and that it has nothing to do with miracles as such:
Magic is the study and practice of the control of Nature’s secert forces. It is a science – pure, or dangerous – like all sciences….(Papus).
We have to add here only that this is true, and also that “Nature’s secret forces” are secret only for a limited time, notably until their discovery by natural science – which simply discovers and renders controllable the “secret forces” of Nature one after the other. It is therefore only a question of time until the pursuit of magic and that of natural science coincide and become identical.
But, on the other hand, it is also true that the closed circle of science, which is a prison and captivity for the spirit, applies also to personal magic. Magic, in so far as it is a science – and it is one – has the same fate as science, ie, captivity in a closed circle. And when Papus says further on in the introduction to his Traite methodique de magie practique that, “Magic, we could say, is the materialism of the future knights of Christ….”
He admits with this statement the fact of the captivity of magic as such – in a closed circle of a single aspect of the world, which he names “materialism”. And he gives expression to his hope that in the future there will be an intervention from beyond this closed circle by future magicians (“knights of Christ”)…in other words, that future Teilhard de Chardins will do for magic what he has done for science: that they will open the closed circle and transform it into a spiral.
Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter XVII, The Star