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idea that we live in a responsive, ordered universe, and that we are not simply the chance outcome of purposeless, chemical combinations. ey remind us, too, of the age old spiritual principle which tells us that life is lived from the inside out, that we create our own reality, and that by changing our thoughts we can change our life. It’s not as easy to do as these authors suggest, but since our churches rarely preach this message – even though it is clearly taught in the Christian scriptures (see, for example, Mark 11:12-25), and since it doesn’t seem to be readily available anywhere else, we should be glad that a simpli ed and diluted version of it is being disseminated via the Body Mind and Spirit section of the bookstore.

via the Body Mind and Spirit section of the bookstore. Bill Darlison Indra’s Net: Alchemy and

Bill Darlison

Indra’s Net:

Alchemy and Chaos eory as Models for Transformation, Robin Robertson, Quest Books,

196pp,

$16.95/£16.50

Quantum physics has provided fertile ground for spiritual speculation. Works like the Tao of Physics and the Dancing Wu Li Masters and a host of successors have drawn on the role of the observer, and thus of consciousness, in quantum physics experiments, and the decidedly un- clockwork approach to matter that emerges, to make comparison to spiritual tradition. Now, Robin Robertson draws analogies between chaos theory, alchemy and modern spiritual transformation, particularly based on Jungian psychology in Indra’s Net.

The Gnostic

Robertson sees connections between alchemy and chaos science in the repetition of alchemical processes, the tail-swallowing Ouroboros and the fundamental importance of feedback in chaos science. Robertson has a de touch. His descriptions of both alchemy and chaos science are extremely clear. He manages to delineate each discipline clearly without compromising the dignity of either the ancient or modern science. As the subtitle suggests, these are treated as models, not as fundamental truths, and Robertson is able to use each of them as paradigms of transformation without resorting to any kind of dishonesty. His account of the essentials of chaos theory is elegant and to the point and is the clearest I’ve encountered. Likewise, his summation of the various operations, stages and materials of the alchemical process is sketched out beautifully. He clari es without simplifying. For instance, he acknowledges that various alchemical texts give di erent sequences of operations and stages. e personal spiritual aspect of the book is very much focused on Jungian psychology. e book’s title, Indra’s Net, is used only for a single example and seems the least necessary aspect of the book. But the image of a net of jewels, each of which re ects the other jewels on its polished surface, is again used clearly and honestly. In short, this is a beautiful and insightful book, and in itself a model of how to make use of science as an analogy to spirituality with integrity.

Andrew Phillip Smith