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The Newton You Never Knew: Isaac Newton’s Esotericism Revealed

The Newton You Never Knew: Isaac Newton’s Esotericism Revealed 1

The Newton You Never Knew: Isaac Newton’s Esotericism Revealed

© Brendan D. Murphy

 [Truth is] the offspring of silence and unbroken meditation. –Isaac Newton

The man, the myth

History, as any real researcher (as opposed to “conspiracy theorist”) will be able to tell you, has been sanitized in order to present the facts, myths, and overarching worldview most convenient for the so-called powers that be. This should be a pragmatic, if not novel proposition, given that those who have power will obviously desire to retain that power. Isaac Newton’s publically known legacy largely belongs to the mythology of sanitized mainstream “Science.” Official history has sanitized his story to remove elements that were embarrassing to modern rationalists and the version of Newton and the history of science they wished to present to the world—and the modern “Newtonian materialists” (an oxymoron, in truth) have, for the most part, lapped it up without question, putting Newton on a pedestal, virtually deifying him, and with him, the mechanistic worldview his ‘politically correct’ work went so far to creating.


In his fascinating biography of Newton (1642–1727), Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer, Michael White informs us that, “More than any other scientist in history, Newton’s image has been protected by his disciples and by generations of biographers who have produced inaccurate and sometimes totally false accounts of his life.”[1]

It was only in the 1930s that data revealing the real Isaac Newton began to materialize from the mists of history so that we could begin to understand the psyche of a man oft thought of as a one-dimensional “pure scientist,” a mathematical prodigy and an unparalleled scientific genius who (along with Leibniz) brought us calculus and so much more. A vision of Newton as something akin to a god is inculcated in the Western mind—and in this vision, of course, Newton is made more or less in the image of the rationalist, someone impeccably empirical who doesn’t believe in the unseen or seemingly unmeasurable. And yet, Newton’s worldview had relatively little in common with that of today’s rationalists. Unlike so many of today’s “Newtonians,” Newton was a pioneering civilizer mind—a trailblazer and innovator—rather than merely a creature of enculturation and indoctrination (a “culture mind,” as Dane Rudhyar would have said).[2]

The man, the mystic, the Christian

While mechanistic thinking was reportedly all the rage in Newton’s time, thanks largely to the philosophies and logic of Descartes (1596–1650), Newton’s worldview was, in reality, largely informed by mystical, magical, and animistic thought. Newton believed in the existence of animal spirits in the human body, and described them as being of an ethereal nature—“subtle enough to flow through animal voices as freely as the magnetic effluvia flow through glass. For him, all animal motions resulted from this spirit flowing into the motor nerves and moving the muscles by inspiration.”[3]

Ironically, since Newton’s time, all notions of forces somehow transcending time or space were considered to be in violation of Newton’s Laws, despite the fact that the great man himself saw neither his laws as sacrosanct, nor as the limits of a universe which—in opposition to today’s fawning atheistic worshipers of Newton—he saw as God’s creation! Newton’s God however, was not nearly as anthropomorphic as many Christians of lesser intellect. Newton demonstrated a good deal of insight when he wrote:

He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity: he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done…He endures forever and is everywhere present; and by existing always and everywhere, he constitutes duration and space…He is all similar, all eye, all ear, all brain, all arm, all power to perceive, to understand, and to act; but in a manner not at all human, in a manner not at all corporeal, in a manner utterly unknown to us.[4]

Thus, the gravitational force, for instance, was an expression of God’s being and “his” will. Newton’s purpose, in his mind, was to unfurl the mysteries of his God’s creation, to enunciate the principles according to which it functioned, thus rendering greater glory unto his infinite and eternal Creator.

Newton was a devout Arian, thoroughly Christian, but belonging to a stream that rendered him a heretic. Arians were named for their support of the early presbyter, Arius, a man recognised as being knowledgeable and who rejected the belief that Christ was Homoousious, or, “of the substance of the Father.” The Alexandrian priest argued that Christ, although still divine, was created by God as the first creature, and therefore was nonexistent prior to that (unlike God, Christ had to have a beginning). However, when the now infamous Council of Nicaea was convened by Emperor Augustine in 325 AD, Arius and his supporters were bitterly opposed by the rabble present, and the council ultimately voted (by a narrow margin) to fuse the identities of Judas Khrestus and Rabbi Jesus in order to create the new deity Jesus Christ. Constantine declared Christ and God of the one substance, and a new god was born.[5] Perhaps it is appropriate that these fiery and reportedly farcical debates appear to have spawned the Santa Claus legend—as well as providing the new deity which solidified the power and control of the Roman state over its people by unifying them under the manufactured, state-approved belief system. Arianism was declared heretical in 325 AD,[6] and yet, Isaac Newton—quite rightly it would appear—had taken the “right” side, albeit over 1,300 years later.

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Even in matters of faith and religion Newton was politically incorrect, but more correct than the majority would—or could—have admitted. Regardless, his Arianism Newton kept to himself, since at the time, in such an orthodox religious climate, to proclaim it would have meant the likely ruination of his career.

As well as being an Arian, Newton was also a Creationist. He believed in the Biblical Creation story—that God made the heavens and the earth in seven days—but he qualified this quite ingeniously. Since it is not specified in the Scriptures that all seven days were of equal length—because there was no Earth during the first two days, and thus, no twenty-four-hour day based upon planetary rotation—the length of a day could have been anything the good Lord desired. Newton also managed to calculate a date for the second coming of Christ—some time during 1948.[7] (Unless rock god Ozzy Osborne was Jesus reborn, Newton appears to have missed the mark.) Prophecy and Biblical interpretation occupied Newton even in the last weeks of his life. Trying to ascertain when the Day of Judgement would come was, for Newton, an irresistible intellectual puzzle to be solved by one who was worthy of the challenge.

As a devout Arian, Newton detested the notion of materialism since it denied the independent existence of the human soul, which he firmly believed in. As it turns out, somewhat ironically, Newton was right about there being an “afterlife” (as I show beyond all rational doubt in the yet-to-be-released sequel to my recent book The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science and Spirituality), and he was also smart enough to have rejected the farcical notion of the Devil—an obvious control mechanism if ever there was one—deciding it was the result of human imagination. It is unfortunate that Newton’s discoveries about the level of reality we occupy in the physical sense were taken and employed in formulating a science (or more accurately, a widely adopted “scientific attitude”) that was dogmatically reductionist and materialistic—something that he emphatically was not.

The alchemist

It was a collection of works found posthumously in Newton’s library, papers and note books which revealed that Newton had spent more of his life immersed in studies of alchemy (as well as theology, Bible chronology and natural magic) than he had spent working on “pure science.” In 1936 a collection of Newton’s papers, amazingly regarded as of “no scientific value” when offered to Cambridge university some fifty years earlier, was purchased at Sotheby’s by the respected economist and Newton scholar John Maynard Keynes.[8] Originally left in a stack by Newton when he left his post as the director of the London mint in 1696, these documents had somehow fortuitously escaped the burning of Newton’s personal writings arranged after his death—and were discovered two centuries later.[9]


Insert by the Editor

“Lapis Philosphicus” from a manuscript 416 by Sir Isaac Newton.


View our image “Philosophers Stone” (1024×768 GIF, 82KB) inspired by the above manuscript by Sir Isaac Newton.


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Having won the auction for them at Sotheby’s in 1936, Keynes then studied these papers, no doubt relishing their historical import. Afterwards, he gave a lecture to the Royal Society in which he declared: “Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians…[and] the last wonder-child to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.”[10]

Newton had, according to White, written over one million words on the subject of alchemy and that doesn’t include the works of his that were lost in a fire while he lived. Consider that a normal sized book of about three hundred pages today might contain roughly 100,000 words. According to Loup Verlet, Newton’s known work consists of 1.4 million words on theology, 550,000 on alchemy, 150,000 relating to finance, and one million on scientific matters.[11]

Indeed, White proclaims that Newton’s alchemical research was crucial to his world-changing scientific discoveries. The two realms were inextricably linked.[12] However, by hiding the alchemical, hermetic, and esoteric aspects of his studies and thought, Newton shrouded the very fields that elucidated his research. “From this point of view, victorious Science made its complex matrix disappear,” writes Bauer.[13] Thus, Newton contributed to the very sanitization of scientific history we are trying to recover from.

As White comments, it was likely Newton’s impassioned and obsessive forays into alchemy that had led, at least in part, to his theory of gravity, perhaps providing the initial inspiration for it. White reminds us that, in spite of its reputation, the efforts of some alchemists did produce much of value, including distillation equipment and gun powder—which was likely developed by Chinese alchemists around the sixth or seventh centuries.[14] Even ignoring the role alchemy played in inspiring Newton’s discoveries, alchemy sped the arrival of the Industrial Revolution as much as any orthodox science.[15]

Picknett and Prince have written that every major character in the Scientific Revolution was steeped in Hermeticism, including Copernicus, Kepler, Tycho Brahe, William Gilbert, William Harvey, and Newton’s nemesis Leibniz. In fact, all of Copernicus’ “radical” notions—especially the heliocentric concept—are to be found in the Hermetica[16]—which originated from 2nd or 3rd century Alexandria, but which contain ideas that reach back to far antiquity. They were believed to contain the wisdom of Egypt’s pyramid builders—a compelling notion indeed, given the many suggestions of advanced knowledge known to the builders of the Sphinx and, later, the Great Pyramid.

To return specifically to Newton once more, the cute little tale (originating from Newton) about seeing an apple fall from a tree and thereupon falling into a “deep meditation” on the nature of gravity some time in the summer of 1666 is obviously a politically correct and safe enough version of events that would have served to protect Newton’s image from his secret obsession with alchemy and esotericism. In reality, his alchemical creation in 1670 of the prized Star Regulus of Antimony (a step on the way to producing the Philosopher’s Stone) was probably one of many factors that fed into Newton’s theory of gravity as it ultimately appeared in the Principia of 1687. Due to its radiating shard-like crystals, the Regulus could be viewed as symbolic of the way gravity (or aether) flows into the centre of a celestial body.[17] Besides being anathema to traditional science and society in general, the attempted transmutation of base metals into gold was also a capital offence. Newton needed to hide his pursuits in order to remain on the side of legality as well as to preserve his image and reputation as history’s greatest scientist. Still, as Picknett and Prince state: “Newton didn’t make his great discoveries despite his occult beliefs, but because of them.”[18]

Many of Newton’s modern day fans might cringe at this esoteric statement he made in Opticks: “Are not gross bodies and light convertible into one another; and may not bodies receive much of their activity from the particles of light which enter into their composition? The changing of bodies into light, and light into bodies, is very conformable to the course of Nature, which seems delighted with transmutations.”[19]

Etymologically, alchemyderives from the Arabic al (the) and khame (blackness) and could be seen as the science ofcreating light out of darkness. Alchemy’s real goal is not to turn lead into gold but to transform human biology into a physiology of golden light. Alternatively stated, “alchemy’s primary objective is biospiritual enlightenment,”[20] or the creation of what has beencalled the lightbody or merkaba, a geometric energetic formation consisting of two interlaced tetrahedra which, once constructed, envelops the human form. As the tetrahedra spin in opposite directions to one another, a torsion/morphic field is created that plugs the human into the very fabric of all existence itself, though torsion fields and auric fields are topics beyond our scope here. The point to note here would be that through systematic DNA activation,[21] it may be possible to gradually stimulate our DNA into “building” the merkaba/light body. (See TGI 1 for more on this.) Thus the dull lead of the unawakened man is transmuted into the brilliant gold of the awakened light body.

Newton’s statement about light possessed a level of prescience I have come to expect from history’s mystics and occultists as a result of my research. The science to verify such sentiments did not exist in Newton’s time, and yet, today it is increasingly well recognized that so-called “physical matter” is actually standing waves, “congealed light,” or as noted physicist David Bohm referred to it, “frozen light” moving in patterns back and forth at less than the speed of light. This is the conclusion reached by Dr. Richard Gerber in Vibrational Medicine—that matter is “frozen light”—and Dr. Len Horowitz reaches precisely the same conclusion, stating that humans are ‘crystallized or precipitated light.’[22]

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As I show in TGI, many occult notions have only become verifiable since the advent of quantum mechanics and with the maturation of modern physics at large. By the time he died, Newton owned 169 books on alchemy and chemistry, and was considered at the time to have harboured the finest and most extensive collection of alchemical texts thus far accumulated.[23]

The Freemason

Freemasonry is a brotherhood/fraternity which seeks to preserve the wisdom of the ancients, including those who built the pyramids. At this point it should surprise no one to learn that Newton was an initiate into the Mysteries—he was a Freemason (the term is apparently a contraction of the words freestone mason). Knowing that Newton was an initiate makes a lot of sense of the material above, and why, as he matured, he became increasingly entrenched in esotericism and moved further away from a Cartesian mechanistic worldview, which he loathed. Initiates know the universe is not run by a “blind watchmaker.” (It is interesting to note that Descartes was educated by the Jesuits, the Vatican’s military arm, and yet his books were placed on the Catholic Index of Forbidden Books. Descartes originated the mind-matter dualism as a result of a turf deal with the church. Science would deal with “matter” and religion with mind or “spirit stuff.”[24])

Newton may have been initiated around the mid-1670s soon after he began interacting with the Cambridge scholars who created the Invisible College in 1645, the forerunner of what became the prestigious Royal Society in 1660 (which he was invited to join in 1671). The forging of the original links between Masonry and the Royal Society may have been achieved by the Scotsman Robert Moray (born in 1607), possibly the first non-mason to garner acceptance into a lodge. His initiation precedes that of Elias Ashmole (born in 1617) by six years, and together, they went on to create the Royal Society, whose founding members included physicist Robert Boyle and architect and professor of astronomy Sir Christopher Wren.[25] Ashmole was a physicist and astrologer, and, like Newton, who would join the society later and serve as President from 1703 until his death in March of 1727, Ashmole was a passionate collector of alchemical texts. For his part, Newton’s thinking was clearly influenced by these other learned students of Hermeticism, although he had already begun his studies into alchemy at least as early as 1669, four years after the Great Plague of 1665.

The speculative aether scientist

According to Arian doctrine (which was excluded from the Toleration Act of 1689), Christ occupied a place between man and God in the universal hierarchy. As Newton entered his final years, he entertained the notion that Christ had a “spiritual body” constituting an ineffable sort of aether, dispersed among the cosmos, providing the universe with its observable order. It was via this incorporeal body of Christ that God pulled the strings of creation, in Newton’s mind. This way God himself did not have to directly control the forces of gravity keeping the planets in motion, or provide the medium through which gravitation operates.[26]

Newton was right in that there was an ineffable “something” unifying all of creation which can be characterised as an all-pervading, conscious, intelligent, and even loving field of consciousness; the source of ourselves and our reality. Funnily enough, Newton himself wrote in Opticks, “is not infinite space the sensory of a Being incorporeal, living, intelligent, omnipresent?”[27]All these years later science is beginning to nod its assent, vindicating Newton’s mystic side—no doubt to the chagrin of modern day “Newtonians” whose reductionist epistemologies have left them woefully uninformed as to the fundamental nature of reality: infinite consciousness. The only models of reality that have any shot at unifying all forces are fundamentally aetheric, describing the fabric of space as fluid-like.[28]

In a 1675 letter to his friend and Secretary of the Royal Society Henry Oldenburg (and later to Robert Boyle), Newton proposed that “gravity was the result of a condensation causing a flow of ether with a corresponding thinning of the ether density associated with the increased velocity of flow. He also asserted that such a process was consistent with all his other work and Kepler’s Laws of Motion.”[29]

As a student of the Mysteries, Newton was likely exposed to ancient aether-based notions of how the universe was created from a conscious infinite field of potential. In Genesis of the Cosmos, physicist Paul A. LaViolette shows in detail how different ancient cultures (such as that of Egypt) preserved an even more ancient scientific legacy by allegorically depicting an aether-based creation with their own cultural symbolism. LaViolette details how these views are supported by modern scientific discoveries, all of which prove that our space-time reality was created out of this hyperspatial aetheric medium, or “implicate order” if you prefer Bohm’s terminology.

Newton seemingly anticipated the discovery of aetheric torsion/scalar physics with Query 31 in the first Latin edition of his Opticks (1706) when he mused that the small particles of bodies might possess “certain powers, virtues or forces, by which they act at a distance…for producing a great part of the phenomena of Nature,” and that the actions of gravity, magnetism and electricity “make it not improbable but that there may be more attractive powers than these. For Nature is very constant and conformable to herself.”[30]

The initial discovery of a fifth force—separate from gravity and electromagnetism—was reportedly executed in the late 1800s by Russian professor N.P. Myshkin.[31] Dr. Eli Cartan first termed this force “torsion” in 1913 in reference to its twisting movement through the fabric of space-time (and within the flow of gravity), but his important work was virtually buried by the rampant success and notoriety of Einstein’s theories. Russian scientists are reported to have written thousands of papers on torsion research in the 1990s alone, and more recently, award-winning physicist Nassim Haramein has, along with his colleague E.A. Rauscher, re-worked Einstein’s field equations with the inclusion of torque and coriolis effects. In the 1950s—the same decade that Watson and Crick discovered the helical structure of DNA—Russian scientist Nicolai Kozyrev conclusively proved the existence of this energy/force, demonstrating that, like time (and not unlike DNA), it flows in a sacred geometric spiral.[32]

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Torsion waves—also referred to as scalar waves—are the epitome of nonlocal forces that act at a distance—far beyond the speed of light. One of the facets in which they differ from known electromagnetic forces is that, while in electricity or magnetism, like repels like, for torsion waves rippling through the aether, like attracts like. As Newton speculated, everything that spins—meaning every single atom or subatomic particle, as well as every planet—produces torsion waves. Thus there is a cosmic interference pattern containing all the information in the universe lurking in the fabric of space/aether. Torsion waves, as we see in TGI, are produced by all natural phenomena and are vital to many processes in nature and the animal kingdom. They can be harnessed by pyramid-shaped structures in particular—with health-enhancing effects, as has been demonstrated. Perhaps most importantly, they facilitate at least some psi phenomena, for example, telepathic contact, as I detail extensively in TGI 1. Torsion waves, we might say, are carrier waves of consciousness operating in the aetheric medium.


Clearly, the material we have covered here vis-a-vis Newton and his beliefs (he also studied sacred geometry and numerology[33]), are facts that many “Newtonians” would prefer us to ignore. Yet Edward Harrison noted that “if Newton had lacked a mystical outlook there could not have been a Newtonian universe. We always write history in such a way that its events are rational to us rather than the [historical figures involved].”[34] (emphasis added)

Newton’s disciples wanted to paint a picture of a clear-sighted man who was hewn from the rock of “pure” reason (their version of reason), but we can see this clearly is misleading. This is a man who, as an only child born on the 25th of December, likened himself to The Messiah. He was a misunderstood, temperamental youth who would grow into an eccentric, somewhat socially maladjusted, obsessive, slightly narcissistic and brooding man (who, it has been speculated, may have suffered from Asperger’s syndrome).

In 1693, about six years after publishing the Principia, Newton’s delicate and obsessive personality, along with several disparate emotional factors, actually combined with a prolonged lack of sleep to cause something of a psychotic break in which he wrote bizarre and nonsensical letters to two friends, Samuel Pepys and John Locke (the more disturbing of the two going to Locke).[35] Each of these men none the less eagerly forgave their friend, the man who held the prestigious Lucasian Chair at Cambridge, and the incident was eventually forgotten, as Newton returned to his usual—though still emotionally fragile—self.

With Newton’s esotericism, fundamentalism, and fragile emotional makeup included in our vision of Newton the genius and scientific pioneer, he stands, as White puts it in The Last Sorcerer, “divested but undiminished.” It is ironic that we have come to associate a mechanistic, deterministic, and atheistic worldview with Newton. In fact, he abhorred the materialist philosophy and was a deeply religious initiate into the Mysteries; a man possessed by the pursuit of the Philosopher’s Stone for the glorification of his deity; an introspective seeker of deep truth who ultimately devoted more time to alchemy and religion than to the “pure” science he became famous for and which was so instrumental in triggering the Industrial Revolution.


A co-founder of Global Freedom Movement, Brendan D. Murphy is a leading Australian author, researcher, and thinker, and a contributing writer for several popular magazines and websites. His acclaimed non-fiction epic The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science & Spirituality – Book 1 is out now! Get it at “A masterpiece…The Grand Illusion is mind-blowing.”—Sol Luckman, author of Potentiate Your DNA.


  1. M. White, Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer, Basic Books, 1997, 1.
  2. I discuss these ideas in more detail in The Grand Illusion – Book 1.
  3. J. Mishlove, The Roots of Consciousness.
  4. Quoted in Sheldrake, Rupert, The Presence of the Past, HarperCollinsPublishers, 1994, 29.
  5. See T. Bushby, The Bible Fraud, The Pacific Blue Group Inc., 2001, 210–17.
  6. I. Vayro, God Save Us from Religion, Joshua Books, 2007, 196.
  7. White, op cit., 156–7.
  8. See ibid.
  9. A. Bauer, Isaac Newton’s Freemasonry, Inner Traditions, 2007, 59.
  10. White, op cit., 2–3
  11. Bauer, op cit., 60.
  12. White, op cit., 5.
  13. Bauer, op cit., 60.
  14. White, op cit., 112.
  15. Ibid., 123.
  16. Picknett and Prince, From Ancient Egypt to Modern Science, New Dawn No. 129.
  17. White, op cit., 144–6.
  18. See Picknett and Prince, op cit.
  20. Luckman, DNA Activation, Healing & Enlightenment. Sep., 2007.
  21. See Luckman, Potentiate Your DNA, Crow Rising, 2011.
  22. Luckman, Conscious Healing, Booklocker Publishing, 2006, 106.
  23. White, op cit., 119.
  24. See D. Yurth, Seeing Past the Edge, 1997, 49.
  25. Bauer, op cit., 40–1, 46–8.
  26. White, op cit., 351.
  27. E. Harrison, Masks of the Universe, Macmillan, 1985, 98.
  28. See my article, Where Did the Aether Go?
  29. Henry C. Warren Jr., The Entrained Spatial Medium Gravitational Sink Model.
  31. Yurth, Torsion Field Mechanics.
  32. See Murphy, The Grand Illusion, Chapter 6.
  33. Baigent, Lee, Lincoln, Holy Blood, Holy Grail, Delacorte Press, 2005.
  34. Harrison, op cit., 95.
  35. See White, op cit., 248–52.

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