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He was, too, the first to accept the existence of imaginary numbers, which are the square roots of negative numbers. In so doing, Brooks argues, he laid the necessary foundations for modern quantum theory. The literary conceit here is that periodically throughout the text Brooks himself a trained physicist speaks directly to his subject, visiting Cardano in his cell where, now an old man, he is held by the Inquisition. These are punctuated with vividly described cloak-and-dagger scenes involving senators who cheat at cards, women who poison their brothers or viciously ungrateful offspring.

While doing all this, Brooks also patiently explains things to the reader, in characteristically stylish fashion. He shows clearly how imaginary numbers can crop up in surprisingly simple mathematics and turn out to be concretely useful. The scandal is that electrons, photons et al are somehow both at the same time — or even more scandalously, that they cunningly decide to behave as one or the other depending on what experiment is being conducted.

Among the many incidental pleasures in this short but idea-rich book is a terrific discussion of public maths contests in early modern Europe, when two rival mathematicians would set each other difficult puzzles — to the solution of which only they held, or so they hoped, the secret key. It sounds rather like the east Asian tradition of martial artists challenging one another to public fights — and the maths battles enjoyed a similar level of public interest and engagement. It sounds even better than Twitter. Popular historians of science often condescend to figures from the past, portraying them as groping more or less ineffectually towards what we splendid moderns today understand perfectly.

In , for example, the Islamic scholar Ibn al-Haytham used a camera obscura to prove that light travels in a straight line to the eyes. For sure, staggering advances in knowledge and technology have been made, but about fundamental questions such as the nature of time and space, and reality itself, we are no less confused.

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It turns out that this is really a book about intellectual humility, and how we have not advanced as far beyond our forebears as triumphalist pop science often likes to pretend. The problem is, the book shows, that quantum mechanics enables us to predict things very well and engineer cool stuff such as smartphones, but it says nothing about what the universe is really like.

Is reality fundamentally undetermined until we look at it, or is there an infinite number of abstract universes, or are all the particles in the universe entangled with one another, or can information flow backwards in time?

She wrote on religious themes, including Christianity , though her writings are fundamentally different from many aspects of Christianity or other orthodox religions. Her vision of a unified society included a global "spirit of religion" different from traditional religious forms and including the concept of the Age of Aquarius.

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Bailey was born to a wealthy middle class British family and, as a member of the Anglican Church , received a thorough Christian education. Her autobiography states that at the age 15, on June 30, , Bailey was visited by a stranger, " Together they moved to America where Evans became an Episcopalian priest. She left with their three children after formal separation in Then followed a difficult period in which she worked in a sardine factory to support herself and the children.

The Theosophical Society states that Bailey became involved in Campbell notes, "She quickly rose to a position of influence in the American Section of the Adyar society, moving to its headquarters at Krotona in Hollywood. She became editor of its magazine, The Messenger, and member of the committee responsible for Krotona. They married in The Theosophist published the first few chapters of her first work, Initiation, Human and Solar, [2] [15] p. Foster Bailey".

According to historian of religion Olav Hammer , Bailey's early writings of communications with the Tibetan were well received within the society, but society president Annie Besant questioned Bailey's claims of communications with "the Tibetan" and allowed the Baileys to be expelled from the organization.

Alice and Foster Bailey founded the Lucis Trust in Its activities include the Arcane School, World Goodwill, Triangles, a quarterly magazine called The Beacon, and a publishing company primarily intended to publish Bailey's many books. The Arcane School gives instruction and guidance in meditation, via correspondence, based on the ideas in Bailey's books. World Goodwill is intended to promote better human relations through goodwill which they define as "love in action".

That "action" included support of the United Nations. The "Triangles" are groups of three people who agree to link up in thought each day and to meditate on right human relations, visualizing light and love pouring into human minds and hearts, followed by the use of the Great Invocation. It is not necessary for each person to link in thought at the same time each day and need only take a few moments of time. This school provides educational correspondence, meditation instruction, and guided study based on her writings. Bailey continued to work up to the time of her death in Bailey's writings includes a detailed exposition of the "seven rays" which are presented as the fundamental energies that are behind and exist throughout all manifestation.

They are seen as the basic creative forces of the universe and emanations of Divinity that underlie the evolution of all things.


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The concept of the seven rays can be found in Theosophical works. The esoteric astrologers who follow the teachings of Bailey typically base their work on her five-volume Treatise on the Seven Rays , particularly volume three which focuses on astrology. Her esoteric astrology deals with the evolution of soul consciousness and the obstacles to that evolution.

Bailey's teaching on healing primarily concerns the relationship of soul to personality, of the spiritual to the material nature. In her view, all disease has its ultimate root in some type of blocked or inhibited soul life. Therefore, healing consists of releasing the soul, that is the establishing of a right relation between the soul and the personality where the personality is defined as the instrument of soul expression.

Eliminating obstructions and congestion, the source of a major part of disease. The whole process of healing is directed by thought, the mind of the healer and sometimes emotional synergy to inhibit causes of disease. Healing becomes automatic where the practitioner no longer is directed by energies, currents, centers, that include the nadis as one area of focus, the abstract is related back to the practices where appropriate but healing is directed without effort. In line with previous Theosophical teachings, [29] Bailey taught that man consists of.

Each of the three aspects of the lower nature is described as a "body" or aura of energy and seen as partial expression of the real self or soul.

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The soul is regarded as the reflection of the real self that works through or uses the three aspects of personality. The mind and emotional nature are seen as auras. The Great Invocation is a mantra given in by Bailey. The mantra begins with "From the point of Light within the Mind of God, let light stream forth into the minds of men It is well known by some followers of the New Age movement, where it is widely used as part of meditation, particularly in groups.

In response to the September 11 attacks , the Great Invocation was used as a central element of a new daily program at Findhorn known as the "Network of Light meditations for peace". Alice Bailey's writings have a theme that generally advocates replacement of the old with the new and this occurs in connection with the Great Invocation as follows: "This new Invocation, if given widespread distribution, can be to the new world religion what the Lord's Prayer has been to Christianity and the 23rd Psalm has been to the spiritually minded Jew.

Researcher Hannah Newman described what she found to be an antisemitic element in the Great Invocation. According to Newman, "the Plan" named in the invocation refers to the plan authored by "the Hierarchy", that Newman states places "high priority on removing all Jewish presence and influence from human consciousness, a goal to be achieved by eliminating Judaism.

Bailey's writings downplayed traditional devotional and religious aspects of the spiritual life, in favor of a life of meditation, service to humanity, and cooperation with "the Plan of the Hierarchy". It is the outstanding characteristic of the soul, just as desire is the outstanding characteristic of the lower nature Ross describes Bailey's teachings as emphasizing the "underlying unity of all forms of life", and the "essential oneness of all religions, of all departments of science, and of all the philosophies".

Theosophists are divided on their assessment of Alice Bailey's writings. For instance, the noted contemporary Theosophical writer Geoffrey Hodson wrote a highly favorable review of one her books, saying, "Once more Alice Bailey has placed occult students in her debt. Soon, however, her claims to be recipient of ageless wisdom from the Masters met with opposition. Below the surface was a hidden controversy regarding Alice's work with the Tibetan.


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Campbell writes that Bailey's books are a reworking of major Theosophical themes, with some distinctive emphases, and that they present a comprehensive system of esoteric science and occult philosophy, cognizant of contemporary social and political developments. Sutcliffe points out that both Bailey and Blavatsky's work evoke a picture of Tibet as the spiritual home of the Masters and that Bailey claimed a more-or-less direct lineage to Blavatsky. He describes Bailey as a 'post-Theosophical' theorist, reporting that Bailey received instruction from "former personal pupils of Blavatsky" and notes that her third book A Treatise on Cosmic Fire not only reproduces Blavatsky's apocryphal Stanzas of Dzyan but is dedicated to Blavatsky, as well.

Parallels between Theosophy and Bailey are many, for instance, one principle of Theosophy, the Law of Attraction was discussed in esoteric writings by Blavatsky, [48] Annie Besant , [49] William Quan Judge , [50] and others; [51] [52] and was also discussed in the writings of Alice Bailey, including a whole chapter in one of her books. Bailey inherited from Blavatsky and Leadbeater a predilection for profuse details and complex classificatory schemes. Her books have also introduced shifts in emphasis as well as new doctrinal elements. Some Theosophical critics have contended that there are major differences between Bailey's ideas and the Theosophy of Blavatsky, such as Bailey's embrace of some mystical Christian terms and concepts and her acceptance of Charles Webster Leadbeater.

Nicholas Weeks, writing for the Theosophical magazine Fohat in , felt Bailey's assertion that " Her books are in fact "rooted in the pseudo-theosophy pioneered by C. This contrasts with the Theosophy of Blavatsky, he says, which emphasizes reliance on "the Christos principle within each person".

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Bailey described a concept of racial differentiation that posited a division of humanity into races that are on different levels in a "ladder of evolution". These '"races" do not represent a national or physical type but a stage of evolution. For example, she states that the Aryan root race or '5th race' , is an "emerging new race" and so a relative new evolutionary phenomena. The term "Aryan" as used by her has a different meaning than a separative or racist use of the word. She stated that this newer type is forming in every land but primarily in lands where Caucasian peoples are found and indicates a culture where thought or intellect is dominant.

Bailey considered the Aryan race to be determined by a state of consciousness rather than by genetic or racial traits. She stated that as evolution proceeds, things are accelerated and humanity will soon be predominantly distinguished by the Aryan consciousness.

In her book Education in the New Age , Bailey made predictions about the use of this esoteric racial concept in the schools of the future and that these schools would incorporate the idea of "root races". These "races" are a way of conceptualizing evolution as it occurs over vast prehistoric spans of time, and during which humanity developed body Lemurian , emotion Atlantean , and mind Aryan.

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She states that there is now being developed a "new race" with a spiritual dimension that expresses as "group qualities and consciousness and idealistic vision". In her The Destiny of the Nations , Bailey described a process by which this "new race" will evolve, after which "very low grade human bodies will disappear, causing a general shift in the racial types toward a higher standard.

follow site She believed that the influences of religions, philosophies, sciences, educational movements, and human culture in general are the result of this relationship.