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Sir Isaac Newton’s Secret Quest for the God Engine

Sir Isaac Newton’s Secret Quest for the God Engine

Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor and natural philosopher was one of the most influential and accomplished scientists in history. After Newton died, however, he caused great embarrassment to the scientific community when it was discovered that he was Europe’s leading alchemist. But just how many of his paradigm shifting scientific achievements resulted from his quest for the ‘Philosopher's Stone’ and his translation of the ‘Emerald Tablet of Hermes’?

Copy of a portrait of Sir Isaac Newton by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1689)

Newton’s Secret Treasure Acquired by John Maynard Keynes

In July 1936, economist John Maynard Keynes returned from Sotheby’s auction house in London with a chest full of unpublished hand-written papers, laboratory books, diagrams and over a million unpublished words by Sir Isaac Newton. Contrary to expectations, Newton’s hitherto unseen papers did not illustrate his musings on celestial mechanics, calculus, optics or mathematical theory, but his personal work on esoteric theology and his alchemical laboratory notes. While Isaac Newton was regarded a towering sentinel of the scientific method on a global platform, he was secretly a deeply mystical, magical and animistic thinker.

The Newton Project website provides scans of papers written by John Maynard Keynes, offering researchers insights into Newton’s inner thoughts, for example: “the universe was a cryptogram set by The Almighty.” Newton set out to: “read the riddle of the Godhead, of past and future events divinely foreordained” and according to Keynes, Newton turned to the early philosophical works of the 16th century European intellectuals who formed the mystical secret society - The Ancient & Mystical Order Rosae Crucis, better known as the Rosicrucians.

The Temple of the Rose Cross, by Teophilus Schweighardt Constantiens (1618) ( Public Domain)

Deeply religious and anti-Catholic, just like Newton, the Rosicrucians strived to create a liquid called the Elixir Vitae and a substance called the ‘Philosopher's Stone’, required to produce limitless amounts gold. Michael White’s 1999 book Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer tells us Newton owned: “169 books on alchemy,” including a highly annotated English translation of Thomas Vaughan’s Rosicrucian Manifestos; The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity R.C. and Themis Aurea by Michael Maier, a classic early work on the origins of Gnosticism and the Rosicrucian movement.

A quote by Keynes, published in Sir Isaac Newton, The Last Sorcerer perfectly summarizes the importance Newton assigned to alchemy in his quest for universal truths: "Newton was motivated by a deep-rooted commitment to the notion that alchemical wisdom extended back to ancient times


10 Strange Stories From Isaac Newton’s Descent Into Madness

At his peak, Isaac Newton had one of the most rational minds in human history. His was a brain unlike any other, one that allowed him to develop the fundamental laws of gravity and physics as well as make significant contributions to calculus, the latter of which he did in less time than it takes most people to learn it.

But every exceptional mind is an unusual one, and none were more so than the mind of Isaac Newton. As Newton&rsquos life dragged on, his grip on sanity slowly started to slip, and his interests twisted away from the scientific and into the mystical.

Newton wrote ten million words throughout his life, but most of them had nothing to do with science. The overwhelming majority of the thoughts he put to paper were about alchemy, prophecies, and ancient mysticism&mdasha strange, little-known side to one of the greatest scientific minds in human history.


Contents

The tablet states its author as Hermes Trismegistus ("Hermes the Thrice-Greatest"), a legendary Hellenistic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the ancient Egyptian god Thoth. [2] Like most other works attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, the Emerald Tablet is very hard to date with any precision, but generally belongs to the late antique period (between c. 200 and c. 800). [3] The oldest known source of the text is the Sirr al-khalīqa wa-ṣanʿat al-ṭabīʿa (The Secret of Creation and the Art of Nature, also known as the Kitāb al-ʿilal or The Book of Causes), an encyclopedic work on natural philosophy falsely attributed to Apollonius of Tyana (c. 15–100, Arabic: Balīnūs or Balīnās). [4] This book was compiled in Arabic in the late eighth or early ninth century, [5] but it was most likely based on (much) older Greek and/or Syriac sources. [6] In the frame story of the Sirr al-khalīqa, Balīnūs tells his readers that he discovered the text in a vault below a statue of Hermes in Tyana, and that, inside the vault, an old corpse on a golden throne held the emerald tablet. [7]

Slightly different versions of the Emerald Tablet also appear in the Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss al-thānī (The Second Book of the Element of the Foundation, c. 850–950) attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan, [8] in the longer version of the Sirr al-asrār (The Secret of Secrets, a tenth century compilation of earlier works that was falsely attributed to Aristotle), [9] and in the Egyptian alchemist Ibn Umayl's (ca. 900 – 960) Kitāb al-māʾ al-waraqī wa-l-arḍ al-najmiyya (Book of the Silvery Water and the Starry Earth). [10]

The Emerald Tablet was first translated into Latin in the twelfth century by Hugo of Santalla as part of his translation of the Sirr al-khalīqa. [11] It was again translated into Latin along with the thirteenth century translation of the longer version of the pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrār (Latin: Secretum secretorum). [12] However, the Latin translation which formed the basis for all later versions (the so-called 'vulgate') was originally part of an anonymous compilation of commentaries on the Emerald Tablet variously called Liber Hermetis de alchimia, Liber dabessi, or Liber rebis (twelfth or thirteenth century). [13]

From pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana's Sirr al-khalīqa (c. 750–850) Edit

The earliest known version of the Emerald Tablet on which all later versions were based is found in pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana's Sirr al-khalīqa wa-ṣanʿat al-ṭabīʿa (The Secret of Creation and the Art of Nature). [14]


حق لا شك فيه صحيح
إن الأعلى من الأسفل والأسفل من الأعلى
عمل العجائب من واحد كما كانت الأشياء كلها من واحد بتدبير واحد
أبوه الشمس ، أمه القمر
حملته الريح في بطنها، غذته الأرض
أبو الطلسمات، خازن العجائب، كامل القوى
نار صارت أرضا اعزل الأرض من النار
اللطيف أكرم من الغليظ
برفق وحكم يصعد من الأرض إلى السماء وينزل إلى الأرض من السماء
وفيه قوة الأعلى والأسفل
لأن معه نور الأنوار فلذلك تهرب منه الظلمة
قوة القوى
يغلب كل شيء لطيف، يدخل في كل شيء غليظ
على تكوين العالم الأكبر تكوّن العمل
فهذا فخري ولذلك سمّيت هرمس المثلّث بالحكمة [15]

From the Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss al-thānī (ca. 850–950) attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan Edit

A somewhat shorter version is quoted in the Kitāb Usṭuqus al-uss al-thānī (The Second Book of the Element of the Foundation) attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan. [8] Lines 6, 8, and 11–15 from the version in the Sirr al-khalīqa are missing, while other parts seem to be corrupt. [16] Jabir's version was translated by Eric J. Holmyard:

حقا يقينا لا شك فيه
إن الأعلى من الأسفل والأسفل من الأعلى
عمل العجائب من واحد كما كانت الأشياء كلها من واحد
وأبوه الشمس وأمه القمر
حملته الأرض في بطنها وغذته الريح في بطنها
نار صارت أرضا
اغذوا الأرض من اللطيف
بقوة القوى يصعد من الأرض إلى السماء
فيكون مسلطا على الأعلى والأسفل

Truth! Certainty! That in which there is no doubt!
That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above,
working the miracles of one [thing]. As all things were from One.
Its father is the Sun and its mother the Moon.
The Earth carried it in her belly, and the Wind nourished it in her belly,
as Earth which shall become Fire.
Feed the Earth from that which is subtle,
with the greatest power. It ascends from the earth to the heaven
and becomes ruler over that which is above and that which is below.

From the pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrār (tenth century) Edit

A still later version is found in the pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrār (Secret of Secrets, tenth century). [17]


حقا يقينا لا شك فيه
أن الأسفل من الأعلى والأعلى من الأسفل
عمل العجائب من واحد بتدبير واحد كما نشأت الأشياء من جوهر واحد
أبوه الشمس وأمه القمر
حملته الريح في بطنها، وغذته الأرض بلبانها
أبو الطلسمات، خازن العجائب، كامل القوى
فان صارت أرضا اعزل الأرض من النار اللطيف
أكرم من الغليظ
برفق وحكمة تصعد من الأرض إلى السماء وتهبط إلى الأرض
فتقبل قوة الأعلى والأسفل
لأن معك نور الأنوار فلهذا تهرب عنك الظلمة
قوة القوى
تغلب كل شيء لطيف يدخل على كل شيء كثيف
على تقدير العالم الأكبر
هذا فخري ولهذا سمّيت هرمس المثلّث بالحكمة اللدنية [18]

From the Latin translation of pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana's Sirr al-khalīqa (De secretis nature) Edit

The tablet was first translated into Latin in the twelfth century by Hugo of Santalla as part of his translation of the Sirr al-khalīqa (The Secret of Creation, original Arabic above).


Superiora de inferioribus, inferiora de superioribus,
prodigiorum operatio ex uno, quemadmodum omnia ex uno eodemque ducunt originem, una eademque consilii administratione.
Cuius pater Sol, mater vero Luna,
eam ventus in corpore suo extollit: Terra fit dulcior.
Vos ergo, prestigiorum filii, prodigiorum opifices, discretione perfecti,
si terra fiat, eam ex igne subtili, qui omnem grossitudinem et quod hebes est antecellit, spatiosibus, et prudenter et sapientie industria, educite.
A terra ad celum conscendet, a celo ad terram dilabetur,
superiorum et inferiorum vim continens atque potentiam.
Unde omnis ex eodem illuminatur obscuritas,
cuius videlicet potentia quicquid subtile est transcendit et rem grossam, totum, ingreditur.
Que quidem operatio secundum maioris mundi compositionem habet subsistere.
Quod videlicet Hermes philosophus triplicem sapientiam vel triplicem scientiam appellat. [19]

From the Latin translation of the pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrār (Secretum secretorum) Edit

The tablet was also translated into Latin as part of the longer version of the pseudo-Aristotelian Sirr al-asrār (Latin: Secretum Secretorum, original Arabic above). It differs significantly both from the translation by Hugo of Santalla (see above) and the vulgate translation (see below).

Veritas ita se habet et non est dubium,
quod inferiora superioribus et superiora inferioribus respondent.
Operator miraculorum unus solus est Deus, a quo descendit omnis operacio mirabilis.
Sic omnes res generantur ab una sola substancia, una sua sola disposicione.
Quarum pater est Sol, quarum mater est Luna.
Que portavit ipsam naturam per auram in utero, terra impregnata est ab ea.
Hinc dicitur Sol causatorum pater, thesaurus miraculorum, largitor virtutum.
Ex igne facta est terra.
Separa terrenum ab igneo, quia subtile dignius est grosso, et rarum spisso.
Hoc fit sapienter et discrete. Ascendit enim de terra in celum, et ruit de celo in terram.
Et inde interficit superiorem et inferiorem virtutem.
Sic ergo dominatur inferioribus et superioribus et tu dominaberis sursum et deorsum,
tecum enim est lux luminum, et propter hoc fugient a te omnes tenebre.
Virtus superior vincit omnia.
Omne enim rarum agit in omne densum.
Et secundum disposicionem majoris mundi currit hec operacio,
et propter hoc vocatur Hermogenes triplex in philosophia. [12]

Vulgate (from the Liber Hermetis de alchimia or Liber dabessi) Edit

The most widely distributed Latin translation (the so-called 'vulgate') is found in an anonymous compilation of commentaries on the Emerald Tablet variously called Liber Hermetis de alchimia, Liber dabessi, or Liber rebis (twelfth or thirteenth century). [20] Again, it differs significantly from the other two early Latin versions.

Verum sine mendacio, certum, certissimum.
Quod est superius est sicut quod inferius, et quod inferius est sicut quod est superius.
Ad preparanda miracula rei unius.
Sicut res omnes ab una fuerunt meditatione unius, et sic sunt nate res omnes ab hac re una aptatione.
Pater ejus sol, mater ejus luna.
Portavit illuc ventus in ventre suo. Nutrix ejus terra est.
Pater omnis Telesmi tocius mundi hic est.
Vis ejus integra est.
Si versa fuerit in terram separabit terram ab igne, subtile a spisso.
Suaviter cum magno ingenio ascendit a terra in celum. Iterum descendit in terram,
et recipit vim superiorem atque inferiorem.
Sicque habebis gloriam claritatis mundi. Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas.
Hic est tocius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis,
quia vincet omnem rem subtilem, omnemque rem solidam penetrabit.
Sicut hic mundus creatus est.
Hinc erunt aptationes mirabiles quarum mos hic est.
Itaque vocatus sum Hermes, tres tocius mundi partes habens sapientie.
Et completum est quod diximus de opere solis ex libro Galieni Alfachimi.

True it is, without falsehood, certain and most true.
That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above,
to accomplish the miracles of one thing.
And as all things were by contemplation of one, so all things arose from this one thing by a single act of adaptation.
The father thereof is the Sun, the mother the Moon.
The wind carried it in its womb, the earth is the nurse thereof.
It is the father of all works of wonder throughout the whole world.
The power thereof is perfect.
If it be cast on to earth, it will separate the element of earth from that of fire, the subtle from the gross.
With great sagacity it doth ascend gently from earth to heaven. Again it doth descend to earth,
and uniteth in itself the force from things superior and things inferior.
Thus thou wilt possess the glory of the brightness of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly far from thee.
This thing is the strong fortitude of all strength,
for it overcometh every subtle thing and doth penetrate every solid substance.
Thus was this world created.
Hence will there be marvellous adaptations achieved, of which the manner is this.
For this reason I am called Hermes Trismegistus, because I hold three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.
That which I had to say about the operation of Sol is completed.

Latin (Nuremberg, 1541) Edit

Despite some small differences, the 16th century Nuremberg edition of the Latin text remains largely similar to the vulgate (see above). A translation by Isaac Newton is found among his alchemical papers that are currently housed in King's College Library, Cambridge University:

Verum sine mendacio, certum, et verissimum.
Quod est inferius, est sicut quod est superius.
Et quod est superius, est sicut quod est inferius, ad perpetranda miracula rei unius.
Et sicut res omnes fuerunt ab uno, meditatione unius, sic omnes res natae ab hac una re, adaptatione.
Pater eius est Sol, mater eius est Luna.
Portavit illud ventus in ventre suo.
Nutrix eius terra est.
Pater omnis telesmi [21] totius mundi est hic.
Vis eius integra est, si versa fuerit in terram.
Separabis terram ab igne, subtile ab spisso, suaviter cum magno ingenio.
Ascendit a terra in coelum, iterumque descendit in terram, et recipit vim superiorum et inferiorum.
Sic habebis gloriam totius mundi.
Ideo fugiet a te omnis obscuritas.
Haec est totius fortitudinis fortitudo fortis, quia vincet omnem rem subtilem, omnemque solidam penetrabit.
Sic mundus creatus est.
Hinc erunt adaptationes mirabiles, quarum modus hic est.
Itaque vocatus sum Hermes Trismegistus, habens tres partes philosophiae totius mundi.
Completum est, quod dixi de operatione Solis.

Tis true without lying, certain and most true.
That which is below is like that which is above and that which is above is like that which is below
to do the miracle of one only thing
And as all things have been and arose from one by the mediation of one: so all things have their birth from this one thing by adaptation.
The Sun is its father, the moon its mother,
the wind hath carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse.
The father of all perfection in the whole world is here.
Its force or power is entire if it be converted into earth.
Separate thou the earth from the fire,
the subtle from the gross
sweetly with great industry.
It ascends from the earth to the heaven and again it descends to the earth
and receives the force of things superior and inferior.
By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.
Its force is above all force,
for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing.
So was the world created.
From this are and do come admirable adaptations where of the means is here in this.
Hence I am called Hermes Trismegist, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.

In its several Western recensions, the Tablet became a mainstay of medieval and Renaissance alchemy. Commentaries and/or translations were published by, among others, Trithemius, Roger Bacon, Michael Maier, Albertus Magnus, and Isaac Newton. The concise text was a popular summary of alchemical principles, wherein the secrets of the philosopher's stone were thought to have been described. [22]

The fourteenth century alchemist Ortolanus (or Hortulanus) wrote a substantial exegesis on The Secret of Hermes, which was influential on the subsequent development of alchemy. Many manuscripts of this copy of the Emerald Tablet and the commentary of Ortolanus survive, dating at least as far back as the fifteenth century. Ortolanus, like Albertus Magnus before him saw the tablet as a cryptic recipe that described laboratory processes using deck names (or code words). This was the dominant view held by Europeans until the fifteenth century. [23]

By the early sixteenth century, the writings of Johannes Trithemius (1462–1516) marked a shift away from a laboratory interpretation of the Emerald Tablet, to a metaphysical approach. Trithemius equated Hermes' one thing with the monad of pythagorean philosophy and the anima mundi. This interpretation of the Hermetic text was adopted by alchemists such as John Dee, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, and Gerhard Dorn. [23]

In the time travel television series Dark, the mysterious priest Noah has a large image of the Emerald Tablet tattooed on his back. The image also appears on a metal door in the caves that are central to the plot. Several characters are shown looking at copies of the text. [24] A line from the Latin version, "Sic mundus creatus est", plays a prominent thematic role in the series and is the title of the sixth episode of the first season. [25]

In 1974, Brazilian singer Jorge Ben Jor recorded a studio album under the name A Tábua de Esmeralda ("The Emerald Tablet"), quoting from the Tablet's text and from alchemy in general in several songs. The album has been defined as an exercise in "musical alchemy" and celebrated as Ben Jor's greatest musical achievement, blending together samba, jazz and rock rhythms. [26]


9. Determined the Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms

Newton loved numbers, order, and ancient civilizations. What better a hobby for the man than calculating the dates when biblical and mythical events occurred and when civilizations of antiquity reigned? In 1728, Newton’s The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms was posthumously published in London. It is an 87,000-word treatise (think 87 Toptenz articles) in which Newton meticulously interprets Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Biblical texts to form a cohesive account of advanced human history. He compiled nearly 500 sources to back his claims. This work is often lumped with Newton’s occult studies because of the nature of the chronology. He includes mythical characters like Hercules and Oedipus as real people and legendary locations like Troy and Atlantis as real locations. Plus he weaves seemingly disparate religious figures into his chronology as if to say that Greek gods, Moses, and Zoroaster are all part of a single, very real timeline. The full text is available here.


Alexander Bogdanov

Alexander Bogdanov was a Russian man born with many talents. He was Soviet physician, philosopher, writer and a revolutionary. We were well known for his work in blood transfusion and believe that he had found a way to maintain eternal youth or immortality through blood transfusion.

In 1924, he started performing blood transfusion experiments on himself and many other also volunteered to take part in his experiments. It is believed that he was reaching somewhere with his work because his body was showing positive symptoms after undergoing 11 blood transfusion. His fellow colleague Leonid Krasin wrote letter to his wife that “Bogdanov seems to have become 10 years younger after the operation”. But he died when during one transfusion he took blood of one student who was suffering from Malaria and Tuberculosis.

Well, mystery is he died but the student who was injected with his blood perfectly recovered from the disease.


The Newton You Didn’t Know


Illustration of Isaac Newton (1643–1727) in Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or Universal dictionary of arts, sciences & literature . . . compiled, digested, and arranged by John Wilkes . . . assisted by eminent scholars, London, Adlard, 1810–29. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Isaac Newton (1643–1727) is generally regarded as one of the most significant individuals in the history of science, and he is remembered principally for his work on natural philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy. In addition to articulating the laws of motion that laid the foundation for classical mechanics, Newton was the first person to formulate a law of universal gravitation and also co-invented calculus (at the same time as his nemesis Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz). Indeed, Newton has thus often been portrayed as the incarnation of scientific genius who overturned superstition and ushered in the Age of Reason.

So, when it came to light in the early 20th century that Newton was not only a practicing alchemist but also entertained heterodox interpretations of Christian theology and spent a great deal of time, for instance, attempting to unravel numerological Biblical codes, the understanding of Newton as the icon of modern science was thrown into question. In his 1946 essay "Newton, the Man," the British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946) succinctly captured this sentiment when he wrote that “Newton was not the first of the age of reason: He was the last of the magicians.”

In recent years, however, historians of science have explored the diverse aspects of Newton’s thought to give a more nuanced portrait, and beyond compelling us to reconsider our understanding of Newton the man, this work has been central to a broader rethinking of some of our assumptions about the history of science. Scholars are still untangling the complexities of Newton’s thought, but their work has generally pointed toward a more coherent understanding of Newton where, for example, his alchemical pursuits informed other parts of his natural philosophy.


The alchemical treatise “Praxis,” dated to the 1690s, contains Newton’s attempt to decipher the process of synthesizing the philosophers’ stone from a variety of other alchemical texts. The Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

The Huntington has played an important role in this rethinking of Newton as it is home to the largest collection of Newtoniana in the United States. A majority of our Newton holdings are on loan from Babson College (in Wellesley, Massachusetts), whose founder, Roger Babson, and his spouse, Grace K. Babson, were major collectors. The Babsons’ interest in Newton sprang from the idea that human relations and economic markets were governed by Newton’s law of action and reaction—just as objects in the physical world are. In addition, Roger Babson was an entrepreneur and business theorist whose philosophy, much like Newton’s, both bucked convention and was fiercely ambitious.

Recognizing the importance of the Newton materials to cultural heritage and scholarship, the Babsons committed to preserving the collection and making it available for use, and so in 1995, it was placed on deposit at the Burndy Library of the Dibner Institute at MIT. Then, in 2006, the entire Burndy Library, including the Babson Collection, came to The Huntington, where our preservation and curatorial staff care for the materials, and where scholars from around the world continue to explore Newton’s diverse interests.

Babson’s Newton materials have been featured in the permanent Library exhibition “Beautiful Science” as well as in the current exhibition in the Library’s West Hall, “What Now: Collecting for the Library in the 21st Century, Part 1” (on view through Feb. 17). In addition, The Huntington hosted a conference in 2014 devoted to Newton, titled “All in Pieces? New Insights into the Structure of Newton’s Thought,” which was supported by funds from the Dibner History of Science Program at The Huntington.


This small manuscript has numerous alchemical and astrological drawings in Newton’s own hand. Newton was a voracious reader of alchemical literature, and it is clear that he drew much of the material in this manuscript from other alchemical texts, including, for instance, one that discussed a pseudonymous alchemical author claiming to be Nicolas Flamel (ca. 1330–1418). The Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

William R. Newman, professor at Indiana University and the 2014–15 Eleanor Searle Visiting Professor in the History of Science at Caltech and The Huntington, recently published Newton the Alchemist: Science, Enigma, and the Quest for Nature’s “Secret Fire, a book which drew extensively from the alchemical manuscripts in the Babson Collection. Especially important was the so-called “Praxis” manuscript, which Newman describes as “The most highly developed extant specimen of Newton’s attempt to work out the processes of the adepts.”

Since the Enlightenment, alchemy has often been considered a pseudoscience that hindered scientific progress, but Newton’s alchemical manuscripts show that, just like his work in physics and mathematics, his work in alchemy combined theory and practice, careful reading with hands-on experimentation—and demonstrated his extraordinary attention to detail. Like his physics, it showed what Newton thought to be his best quality: what he called “patient thought.” We also see that Newton was motivated by a profound curiosity and the belief that no intellectual challenge was too daunting to tackle—even unlocking the secrets of the material world. Beyond this, though, Newman is among a group of historians who have shown that the alchemy practiced by Newton and other aspirants to the philosophers’ stone had an important influence on the emergence of modern science, for instance on the development of the theory of atomism and the concept of mass balance, the notion that the input mass of a chemical process must equal the output.


Isaac Newton, A treatise or remarks on Solomon’s Temple. “Prolegomena ad lexici prophetic partem secundam in quibus agitur De forma sancturaii Judaici . . . Commentarium” (after 1690). Newton believed that the architecture of Solomon’s Temple held divine secrets that had long ago been lost. He based his description and this sketch upon detailed comparisons of the biblical Hebrew text with the Septuagint and the Vulgate versions. The Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

The Babson Collection has also been central to the reevaluation of Newton’s religion. Over the course of his extraordinarily productive life, Newton wrote more on religious topics than he did on all of his scientific interests combined. His contemporaries considered him an erudite and astute theologian, but had all of his views been made public, he would undoubtedly have received a more negative appraisal. In short, by the standards of his era, Newton was a heretic. Most egregiously, he denied the trinity and believed that Christ was a creation of God.

Newton was also heavily invested in biblical prophecy, chronology, and even the symbolic interpretation of biblical architecture. The “Solomon’s Temple” manuscript is arguably the most outstanding item in the Babson Collection and was written at a time when the determination of the dimensions of Solomon’s Temple was a major puzzle in theological inquiry. Newton believed that the architecture of the temple held coded ancient secrets about God and the universe, and he was far from alone in this. Science and religion have often been portrayed as bitter antagonists, but the study of individuals like Newton has revealed a much more complicated picture.


This official document, countersigned by Newton, is from his early years as warden of the Royal Mint. It is a certificate of bail in the amount of ₤300—not an insignificant sum—for one John Irish, who was accused of clipping coins. The Grace K. Babson Collection of the Works of Sir Isaac Newton at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Another area of the Babson Collection that scholars have recently explored concerns Newton’s time at the Royal Mint. By the final decade of the 17th century, Newton had garnered significant celebrity for his work in physics and mathematics, and as a result, he was offered the position of warden (1696–1700) and then master (1700–1727) of the Royal Mint. Newton took very seriously what was supposed to have been a formal sinecure at the mint and involved himself in the reform of currency and even the prosecution and punishment of coin clippers and counterfeiters. The Babson Collection has several manuscript documents that were issued by the mint and show that Newton carried out his administrative affairs with the same assiduousness as his physics and mathematics, including the prosecution of these crimes (which were punishable by death).

Newton’s genius is strongly resistant to simple characterization, and while it is now clear that he was neither an Enlightenment rationalist nor an irrational magician, there continue to be many questions about how the diverse areas of his thought worked together. Whatever the answers to these questions reveal, the Babson Collection will undoubtedly continue to help scholars uncover new aspects of Newton and the history of science that we didn’t know.

On Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Rothenberg Hall, Rob Iliffe, professor of the history of science at the University of Oxford, will deliver his Dibner Lecture, titled “The Uses of Evidence in the Newton-Leibniz Priority Dispute.” The 17th-century dispute between mathematicians Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz over who first invented calculus was a major intellectual controversy for decades. Iliffe will discuss two little-known documents that reveal how Newton’s approach to prosecuting contemporary counterfeiters as a warden of the Royal Mint was closely aligned to his strategy for revealing corruption in Christianity. Free reservations required.

Joel A. Klein is the Molina Curator of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences at The Huntington.


Isaac Newton’s burnt ‘Great Pyramid’ notes reveal secret quest to predict the APOCALYPSE

HE'S one of history's greatest thinkers, but while Sir Isaac Newton changed our understanding of the universe, he had some pretty bonkers ideas in his time, too.

Unpublished notes penned by the acclaimed English physicist detail his obsessive quest to unlock the secrets of the Ancient Egyptian pyramids.

Newton believed, according to his 17th Century scribblings, that the structures' measurements could help him predict the apocalypse.

Three pages scrawled by the legendary academic are expected to fetch a six-figure sum in an auction launched by Sotheby's.

They date to the 1680s and feature musings on the Great Pyramid of Egypt, ancient units of measurement, and Biblical prophecy. Bidding ends Tuesday.

According to the online listing, the notes were almost lost forever when they were scorched in a fire said to have erupted when Newton's dog, Diamond, jumped up onto a table and knocked over a candle.

"The pyramids at Giza are not just the greatest architectural marvels that survive of the ancient world: To Newton, as to many others, they were a key that could unlock profound secrets," Sotheby's writes in its listing.

"The Great Pyramid could help him glean an understanding of Biblical prophecy it could lead him to a knowledge of the timing of the Apocalypse.

"He also is likely to have hoped that it could provide the proof for his Theory of Gravity."

In the scorched writings, Newton, who studied the pyramids in the late 17th century while at Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, claimed that unlocking their secrets may help solve other mysteries about the world.

He was feverishly trying to work out the unit of measurement used by the Ancient Egyptians while building the last remaining Wonder of the World.

Newton believed the ancient people knew how to measure the Earth, and by finding out how they measured the pyramids would himself be able to calculate our planet's circumference.

He hoped that this would lead him to other ancient measurements, allowing him to calculate the dimensions of the Temple of Solomon – the setting of the apocalypse.

This, in turn, would supposedly help him predict the end of the world.

Newton is famed for his theories on maths and astronomy, but he also produced many works that would now be classified as occult studies.

Newton kept his views on the supernatural a secret for fear of ruining his glittering career in science and philosophy.

At the time of writing, the leading bid for his "Pyramid papers" sits at £280,000 ($370,000).

"These are really fascinating papers because in them you can see Newton trying to work out the secrets of the pyramids," Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscript specialist, told the Observer.

"The papers take you remarkably quickly straight to the heart of a number of the deepest questions Newton was investigating."

A brief history of Ancient Egypt

Here's everything you need to know.

  • The Ancient Egyptians were an advanced civilisation who at one point ruled over a huge portion of the globe
  • The civilisation was founded about 5,000 years ago when ancient people set up villages along the River Nile
  • It lasted for about 3,000 years and saw the building of complex cities centuries ahead of their time – as well as the famous Great Pyramids
  • The Ancient Egyptians were experts at farming and construction
  • They invented a solar calendar, and one of the world's earliest writing systems: The hieroglyph
  • The Egyptians were ruled by kings and queens called pharaohs
  • Religion and the afterlife were a huge part of Ancient Egyptian culture. They had over 2,000 gods
  • Pharaohs built huge elaborate tombs to be buried in, some of which were pyramids – at the time among the largest structures in the world
  • The Egyptians believed in life after death, and important people's corpses were mummified to preserve their bodies for the afterlife
  • The Ancient Egyptian empire fell in 30BC due to a mix of factors, including wars with other empires and a 100-year period of drought and starvation

Sir Isaac remains a household name almost 300 years on from his death thanks to his groundbreaking scientific ideas.

His theories on gravity and motion changed our understanding of the universe by explaining the movement of objects under everyday conditions.

The physicist is believed to have penned enough papers to fill 150 novel-length books during his decades-long career in the sciences.

He kept his more outlandish papers a secret for fear of retribution from religious leaders, who believed experimental science was akin to heresy.

New documents and other scribbling emerge with surprising frequency, giving historians fresh insight into his seminal work.

Those currently on auction are said to have been discovered in the 1880s, 200 years after Newton is thought to have written them.


Isaac Newton and Natural Philosophy

By Niccolò Guicciardini

The final book you’ve chosen is by Niccolo Guicciardini and it’s called Isaac Newton and Natural Philosophy. It’s a much more recent publication. What does this book add to the picture?

Guicciardini’s is the first synthetic book that really tries to incorporate what you could call the new Newton scholarship. He has read and analysed Newton and the Origin of Civilization, Buchwald and Feingold’s work. He’s also quite familiar with Iliffe’s work. He knows some of my work on Newton’s alchemy and he really does try to come to a new synthesis. You get a picture of Newton not so much as a kind of psychopath—that you get in Manuel and to some degree Westfall—but rather Newton as a kind of ‘Caltech geek,’ as Mordechai Feingold has put it. He is somebody who’s on the spectrum, but is not outright crazy.

To what extent did Newton’s achievements in natural philosophy lead him or others to dismiss the views he held on biblical literalism and chronology?

I would say that Newton’s influence in natural philosophy ultimately led away from the very things that he was trying to push not just in chronology, but also in religion more generally. For example, the second edition of the Principia, his major work on gravitation and so forth, includes something called the “General Scholium”, which is an attempt to argue for the necessity of God as the being that orders the universe. That’s absent from the first edition of the Principia. Newton was clearly worried that his natural philosophical work was going to lead, if not directly to atheism, then to a kind of disregard for religion. So you see him inserting these attempts to link his natural philosophical ideas to the necessity of religion in various different works of his.

Another example would be in the 1717 edition of the Optics. The Optics contains so-called “queries” that are hypothetical and Newton frames them in the form of questions. The last query makes a strong argument against Descartes’s idea that there is a fixed amount of motion in the universe, that motion is just getting transferred from one microscopic corpuscle to another, and so that motion could go on forever. Newton argues directly against that and for the necessity of what he calls “active principles”, which ultimately clearly go back to God. He thinks there’s an active principle behind gravity, that there’s an active principle behind magnetism and that there’s an active principle behind electricity. Clearly he’s trying to link these natural phenomena back to the necessity for the existence of a divinity.

So he was very worried about this and he was right to be so. Ultimately the Newtonian world picture did make it unnecessary to invoke direct divine causation. This is one of the reasons why Newton doesn’t like Descartes, because he felt that Cartesianism would lead to atheism. But ultimately the same thing could be said of his own natural philosophy.

Did he address that directly?

In the “General Scholium” he argues very clearly not only that there is a God, but that God is the Lord, the ruler of all. He has a very Old Testament view of God, which is obviously related to his unitarianism. He thinks that Jesus was the son of God, but Jesus nonetheless is not part of God in the way that the trinitarians believe.

There’s another issue that is worth mentioning and that is the issue of compartmentalization of Newton’s thought, a topic that Iliffe discusses. Newton was essentially brilliant at everything that he undertook seriously. Obviously, he was particularly successful in the realm of natural philosophy, what we would call physics, but the same can be said of his religious writings. They really are highly original and extremely ingenious, even if you don’t believe them. The same can be said of his alchemical writing. He was making compounds that people may or may not have discovered even today.

This leads to a different question, which is, how did all of these different pursuits integrate or did they? I hinted at this earlier with the issue of chronology and alchemy and the interpretation of mythology, and how it seems that Isaac Newton was keeping the alchemical and the historical interpretations of mythology quite distinct.

The issue of compartmentalization has really come to the fore as a result of more and more rigorous scholarship on these different aspects of Newton’s thought. These works that I’ve recommended to you, in particular Buchwald and Feingold and Iliffe, are carrying out research on particular aspects of Isaac Newton’s thought in more and more detail. And so the question of how to deal with all of these different sides of Newton has become really very problematic. Guicciardini deals with this I think rather successfully, but nonetheless questions remain as to how you approach this extreme compartmentalization. Is there a relationship between Newton’s ideas on physics and his ideas on alchemy, for example, and if so, what is its precise character?

Even if Newton hadn’t found the unifying factor amongst all these things, Newton must have thought there must be some coherence between them.

I’m not sure that’s right. I don’t know. The problem is you have this guy who is clearly an out-of-control genius. Isaac Newton gets interested in something and he pursues it to the nth degree. He almost can’t control himself. It’s like he can’t turn his brain off. So he just happens to be incredibly good at almost anything he does. Let me give you a parallel example from personal experience. I had a colleague years ago, at Indiana University, who was a brilliant philosopher of science. He was also an Epicurean cook and he also was so good at playing the French horn that he was able to play it in an orchestra in a major city. Did he think all those things were connected? I’m not so sure.

If someone believes in a God who’s the author of the universe, then it implies there must be a coherence between all areas of knowledge. I suppose that’s why I thought he must he must have felt there was some sort of coherence between all these things—some underlying laws.

I think that’s true, but at such an abstract and general level that it might not even touch Isaac Newton’s actual work. For instance, Newton’s view of Christianity ultimately boiled down to very general precepts such as ‘Love thy neighbour,’ ‘Profess the reality of Jesus Christ as the Son of the Father,’ and that kind of thing. So all of the incredibly detailed work that he did in interpreting prophecy, for example, or in writing against the Trinity, may not really have interacted with those very general precepts in any significant way. Isaac Newton was a virtuoso at practically everything he undertook, and virtuosity in multiple areas of endeavour need not imply their interconnectedness.

The problem of assuming an underlying unity to Isaac Newton’s thought also emerges from an examination of his alchemy. The issue with alchemy is problematic because alchemical writings are often filled with references to God. And the reason for that I think is because alchemists themselves were constantly under threat of being accused of counterfeiting and so forth. So they tried to build up the picture of themselves as extremely religious people. I really think that’s the case. When [the Newton historian] Betty Jo Dobbs interpreted that material in his manuscripts she came to the conclusion that, ‘Yes, of course, this is really all about Isaac Newton’s religion.’ Yet there’s actually very little evidence to support Dobbs’s view, because if you look at the work Isaac Newton wrote on theology, there are practically no references to alchemy. In reality it appears that he kept these topics in fairly watertight compartments. So as historians we have to be very, very careful not to make assumptions. Typically we want to say all of these things are related, but maybe not. They may simply reflect virtuoso performances in a variety of unrelated or only loosely related areas rather than manifestations of a single underlying quest for unity.


The Madness of Sir Isaac Newton

In his painting ‘Newton’, the British poet and painter, William Blake, represents Newton as a divine geometer. He is sitting naked on a rock at the bottom of the ocean leaning over a scroll, and measuring the symbol of the Trinity.

Blake’s depiction of Newton’s persona is symbolic, but it is closer to the real Newton than any other artistic rendition. Much of what we know about Newton is based on his extraordinary contributions to science such as the three major laws of motion (the principles of inertia, force, action and reaction), the law of gravitation, and his discoveries in optics, astronomy, and mathematics. Newton’s laws enabled measurements of actual distances, speeds, and weights to be calculated, laying the foundation of modern inventions from the steam engine to the space rocket. In large part because of Newton, the empirical approach, based on the rule that you must try out ideas by testing them, became the norm.

However, there is a part of Newton’s life that is less talked about, the part that concerns his character and its connection to his discoveries.

Newton’s biography is a catalog of the symptoms of bipolar (or manic depressive) disorder, an illness he suffered from most of his life. Romantic writers often called manic depression ‘a disease of men of genius’, while others considered it an essential element for creativity. It was argued that depression made one a perfectionist and mania led to intense periods of productivity, faith in ones own talent, and the need to prove oneself right.

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Newton exhibited signs of bipolar disorder early in life he was a solitary child who didn’t engage in games with other children. He spent most of his time alone, building miniature mills, machines, carts, and other inventions. He was high strung, egotistical, and dominant. He experienced attacks of rage, which he directed toward his friends and family. He later recalled ‘threatening my father and mother to burn them and the house over them.’

Newton also had intense moments of remorse, when he made long lists of his ‘sins’ or wrongdoings. His list recorded ‘striking many’, ‘punching my sister’, ‘peevishness with my mother’. His violent temper made him unpopular and his peers and the servants rejoiced when Newton left home for Cambridge.

At Cambridge, Newton made only one friend among his fellow students. His notebooks on his college years document anxiety, sadness, fear, a low opinion of himself, and suicidal thoughts.

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After his appointment as Fellow of the University in Cambridge, Newton continued to have manic episodes, often forgetting to eat. Such events were usually followed by a collapse into depression, and he would become enraged by any criticism of his work. As a result, he would withdraw from the scientific community and refuse to continue his research.

Despite his success and recognition, Newton was afraid to expose his work to the criticism of fellow scientists. He kept his calculus secret until Leibniz made a claim of discovering it first. And if it wasn’t for his astronomer-friend, Edmund Halley’s encouragement, he probably wouldn’t have published his most important work, the Principia.

Newton avoided the company of others. When he had to interact with people, he contributed little to conversations. His relationships with other scientists were tyrannical. He would refuse to speak to those who dared to disagree with him. Newton sought quarrels with friends and foes alike.

There were two people in Newton’s life whom he loved. One was his niece, Catherine Barton, who became her uncle’s housekeeper in London, and the other was a Swiss mathematician – Fatio de Duillier, who was only 25 years old when he met Newton. Because of the great emotional intensity of their relationship, and the fact that neither man ever married, some of Newton’s biographers suspect their relationship was homosexual in nature, but there is no proof.


Sir Isaac Newton’s Secret Quest for the God Engine - History

"In science, the search is only for the physical root and source of things whereas through Torah, one can discern the spiritual root.

In this way, one can also know the purpose of this object's creation, in accordance with the divine will as He revealed it to us in His Torah." - The Rebbe, Mind Over Matter, p.171

I just received your email about Newton and thought I would share this dvar Torah I gave last year at my (Chabad) shul in Atlanta, Ga.

Samuel Silver .

Dear Readers,

Here's an extract of that fascinating and enlightening talk Reb Sam gave in honor of his fathers Yartzeit. AG

  • By age 22, Newton was the greatest mathematician in the history of the world, although he kept this secret and didn't publish his invention of Calculus for another 40 years. His Calculus and other mathematical creations are still used today.
  • In the field of Optics, Newton (using a prism) established the heterogeneity of light and developed our understanding of color. Everything we know about light and color, from the color of the sky, to the formation of rainbows, to color vision is based on Newton. He also invented the reflecting telescope which is still today the basis for almost all large land and space based telescopes.
  • Anyone who has studied physics has learned Newton's three laws of motion, still fundamental to our understanding of the physical world.
    • Law of Inertia
    • Law of Acceleration
    • Law of reciprocal actions: For every action force there is an equal, but opposite, reaction force .

    What drove Newton to understand the physical world? This was a man who studied, usually alone 18 hours a day, 7 days a week for most of his life. What was he looking for?

    It is only in recent years that we are learning Newton's great secret - a secret that would have destroyed his career during his lifetime and is not being favorably received by modern secularists.

    Upon his death in 1727, a big box of unusual papers was discovered in his room. Bishop Samuel Horsley, who was also a scientist, "was asked to inspect the box with view to publication. He saw the contents with horror and slammed the lid. " shut.[1]

    Newton left these papers to his niece, and they sat in the family home unread for two centuries. None of the great universities or libraries was interested. Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, and the British Library all turned down offers for a donation. They were eventually sold at public auction in 1936 where they were spread around the world, but three main collections remained together:

    • John Maynard Keynes, the British great economist, eventually donated his to Kings College at Cambridge.
    • The Babson family in America, donated to MIT.[2]
    • And Israeli Professor Avraham Shalom Yahuda's collection, now at the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem.

    It's only in the past 20-25 years that these manuscripts have been made available, and scholars are still working on them. Unfortunately many others have not yet been found and may have been destroyed or lost forever.

    The first and for many years only public statement about these papers was from Keynes, who in 1946 after reading through the papers he had bought, wrote that Newton was "a Judaic monotheist of the school of Maimonides. He arrived at this conclusion, not on so-to-speak rational or sceptical grounds, but entirely on the interpretation of ancient authority. He was persuaded that the revealed documents give no support to the Trinitarian doctrines which were due to late falsification. The revealed G-d was one G-d."[3]

    For Newton, the "ancient authority" in the "revealed documents" was our guide to the ultimate truth of the physical world, of what he called "true religion," and of the one true G-d that not only created the universe, but "rules all things. as the Lord of all."[4]

    Like Thomas Jefferson after him, Newton was a Unitarian, a controversial Christian who rejected the concept of the Trinity.

    To quote Jose Faur, a Jewish scholar who has studied Newton's papers: "The papers reveal that Newton was a strict monotheist. He saw no need for a new revelation and rebuffed the Christian notion of atonement and salvation. Siding with Rabbinic tradition and contra Christian doctrine, he maintained that the Noahide precepts alone suffice for salvation, and thus there is no need for J----' expiatory death. . Newton was resolute in his belief that the Law of Moses was not abrogated with the advent of Christianity. Therefore, the Christian Scripture must be understood in light of the Hebrew Scripture, and not the other way around."[5]

    Now you can understand why the Bishop slammed shut the lid on that box![6]

    Professor Bernard Cohen, probably the foremost authority on Newton in the United States, sums up his interpretation of Newton by declaring: "Of course, Newton had a real secret, and concerning it he did his best to keep the world in ignorance." He intended to uphold the theology and cosmology of the medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides. Cohen argues that this medieval synthesis of biblical religion with the philosophy of Aristotle constituted the ideal of Newton.

    Newton's library contained far more books on theology than on any other subject. He was not as expert in Hebrew as other British scholars such as one of his sources, John Selden, or to a lesser degree his friend John Locke so many of his books were Latin translations of Jewish works, most notable Maimonides' Mishne Torah and other seforim such as Seder Olam and Abravanel's commentary on Leviticus. He also studied Kaballah, but through secondary sources.[7]

    Jose Faur also tells us that: "Newton's knowledge of Rabbinics was neither casual nor superficial. To illustrate, when expounding the apocalyptic conflict of Gog and Magog, Newton refers to the Targum or Aramaic Version of Esther, as well as to Vayikra Rabba, and the commentaries of Se'adya Gaon and Ibn `Ezra. In a discussion of a Rabbinic passage, Newton records the opinion of R. Aharon ha-Levi, the supposed author of Sefer ha-Hinnukh, and his disagreement with Rashi on the matter at hand.' He also refers to the. Sifra as well as to the position of R. Aharon ibn Hayyim (born c. 1560), the author of Qorban Aharon. Later on, he discusses Seder Ma'amadot (the participation of the Israelites in the daily sacrifices) and quotes the opinion of Bertinoro on the Mishna Yoma (7:1). There are extensive copies inNewton's own hand of passages from the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmud in Latin."[8]

    While it appears that he did not have a complete translation of Moreh Nevuchim, one of his most "dog eared" volumes is a Latin commentary on Maimonides that includes many references to the Moreh which was Maimonides' attempt to reconcile Torah with science and the philosophy of Aristotle.

    Most people have no idea how influential Rambam and Jewish thought were in the development of western civilization, especially after the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century. For example, Newton along with other 17th Century scholars such as John Selden and Hugo Grotius who were the founders of International Law, accepted the seven Noachide Laws as the basis for civilization and all quote Rambam as their source.

    I need to point out that Newton was not a crypto-Jew nor probably even philo-Semitic. As far as we know, he never even met a living Jew, even though they began returning to England during his lifetime.[9]

    His study of and admiration for Jewish thought was a result of his belief in the validity of Biblical Scripture and Prophecy. As a Newton expert states, "Newton's pursuit of the truths hidden in Nature is what made him famous, but his pursuit of truths hidden in Scripture was at least as important to him both conceal aspects of the same truth."[10] "The Key Element in all Newton's theological pursuits is the action of the Supreme G-d's Providence in history, particularly that of the ancient Jews and the Christian church which emerged from them."[11]

    One of Newton's main areas of study was the physical dimensions and configuration of the Mishkan and Temples. He especially focused on the third Temple using the book of Yechezkel - Ezekiel, which contains detailed prophecies related to the third Temple to be built in Messianic times.

    Newton looked at the Mishkan and the Temples as the Jews did - a representation of the universe as created by G-d. In manuscript after manuscript he made detailed analyses and drawings trying to understand the hidden meanings.


    He worked out an analysis of the amah or cubit, titled, "A Dissertation upon the Sacred Cubit of the Jews and Cubits of the several Nations."[12] Newton was especially interested in the cubit as he thought it would allow him to determine the exact circumference of the earth in his studies on gravity. He believed that the Great Pyramid at Giza was built using the cubit as its basic unit of measurement, and he believed the Egyptians had learned the secret of Solomon's Temple from Hiram the Phoenician king of Tyre who Solomon hired to assist in the construction.[13]

    He also believed Jewish ideas were the basis for Greek mathematics and philosophy. In his Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended, he studied world history and determined that the Greeks had falsely predated their history by 300-400 years to cover-up that they had received their ideas in mathematics and philosophy from the Jews. For example, he hypothesized that Plato traveled to Egypt where he made contact with Jews.

    In the introduction to his Chronology, Newton stated that "The Greek Antiquities are full of poetical fictions, because the Greeks wrote nothing in Prose, before the conquest of Asia by Cyrus the Persian." He also points out what he calls "uncertainties" in the chronology of the Romans.

    One of the fascinating conclusions of Newton was that the configuration of the Temple with the altar as a central point "was a reflection of the cosmic, heliocentric harmony of G-d's universe."[14] He believed the ancient Jews knew the sun was the center of the Solar System!

    Newton's friend John Locke reported a conversation where Newton explained the creation of matter by G-d as a process of drawing back - what we know as tzimtzum. Newton's view of Kabbalah is still being debated by scholars, but it appears he believed the original Kabbalah had been corrupted by the idolatrous Egyptians in their contact with the Jews, and this corruption led to mistakes in Greek philosophy and especially Christianity where he attributed the erroneous idea of the Trinity to kabbalistic concepts of emanation,[15] neither of which I understand nor can explain.

    Another interesting point is that Newton believed G-d created and continues to create all matter, constantly and everywhere. Some have attributed his source to Kabbalah, but it appears he developed it without recourse to Kabbalah, and in the secret manuscripts he blames Kabbalists for confusing this point - leading to a belief in primordial matter instead of Creation from nothing.

    How today's secularists and strident atheists will deal with the idea of the world's greatest scientist being such a devout believer in G-d and divinely revealed scripture is still to be determined. But already, in G-d is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens attacks Newton as a religious fool who dabbled in alchemy.[16] What Hitchens omits is that serious scientists are now recreating Newton's experiments which he indeed called alchemy. Instead of a mystical quest to create a "philosopher's stone" to turn lead into gold, these scientists believe Newton was using ancient texts to develop a theory of matter, and his experiments anticipated modern chemistry.[17]

    In summary, it is interesting that arguably the greatest scientist of all time, devoted his life to uncovering the secrets of Creation provided by G-d. Along with Rambam, he saw no conflict between science and G-d's revealed Truth in scripture, providence, and the physical world.


    Watch the video: Isaac Newton - Sixty Symbols (October 2021).