REAL MAGIC: Really for the Science, and ‘Psi-ence,’ Minded


real_magic coverAncient Wisdom, Modern Science, and a Guide to the Secret Power of the Universe

Written by: Dean Radin PhD
Read by: Mark Bramhall
8 Hours and 9 Minutes
PRHA| Imprint: Random House Audio
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit – Parapsychology –
General Release Date: April 10, 2018

I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.



The chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) turns a critical eye toward such practices as telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis. Are such powers really possible? Science says yes.

According to noted scientist and bestselling author of The Conscious Universe, Dean Radin, magic is a natural aspect of reality, and each of us can tap into this power with diligent practice.

But wait, aren’t things like ESP and telepathy just wishful thinking and flights of the imagination? Not according to the author, who worked on the US government’s top secret psychic espionage program known as Stargate. Radin has spent the last forty years conducting controlled experiments that demonstrate that thoughts are things, that we can sense others’ emotions and intentions from a distance, that intuition is more powerful than we thought, and that we can tap into the power of intention (think The Secret, only on a more realistic and scientific level). These dormant powers can help us to lead more interesting and fulfilling lives.

Beginning with a brief history of magic over the centuries (what was called magic two thousand years ago is turning out to be scientific fact today), a review of the scientific evidence for magic, a series of simple but effective magical techniques (the key is mental focus, something elite athletes know a lot about), Radin then offers a vision of a scientifically-informed magic and explains why magic will play a key role in frontiers of science.


My Take Oblong Shaped


Are you a scientist?  I was trained in the scientific method, but I would have found a lecture without visual aids and print reference (even my own notes) would be necessary to hear this as more than “Magic is real and we’ve proved it with science!”  This book, on audio, is like being in a lecture hall, a dark lecture hall without power to the lights or video.

What makes what Radin’s science real and susceptible to scientific study is that the magic the professor speaks of,  “psi,” is not the witches of Macbeth, the student body and faculty of Harry Potter, or Samantha and Tabitha of the 1960s and 1970s.  He talks about the smaller magics: force of will, divination, and theurgy as well as its foundations, attention and intention.

His case is good, but we have so long been trained to reject that which are not  physics, chemistry, math, biology, or any of the other things we recognize as ‘science.’

When I was being trained in science were were told that “All science was once considered as magic.”  This brings up the idea that what we don’t understand is magic simply because we don’t understand it; do not have the language to describe it, yet. That which we cannot understand is still derided, as in millennia past.  Only today we destroy people by stripping them of credibility rather than burning them at the stake. Radin even points to one editor of a scientific journal rejecting a paper in religious terms.

Radin’s work is important though, both in how he makes magic accessible and real, and in how he reminds us that we haven’t uncovered all the mysteries of the universe and we don’t know everything.  Even with the evidence presented and a general belief that we don’t know how much we don’t know, I remained skeptical and then skeptical of my own skepticism. In listening, I found myself predisposed to not believe Radin even as he laid out evidence from study after study. It was only sitting down to write this up that I realized that the work Radin cites, assuming he is reporting correctly and honestly, is pretty credible.

Bramhall does a great job breathing as much life as possible into a plumped-up-for-civilians article that is, at heart, a scholarly piece.  However, it is not best served as an audiobook, or at least not an audiobook for casual listening.

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