A "radionic apparatus" is a system, mechanical or otherwise, developed for the purpose of receiving and transmitting subtle forms of energy through an earnest practitioner into a subject. Since the early 1900's, some developers of such technologies have been using the word radionic to describe devices used mainly for purposes of healing.
Mr. Laurie's book provides a through and fascinating account of the history of this little known and much-maligned field. He suggests that outside of the medical and scientific communities, not only are radionic phenomena heartily accepted, they have been functioning effectively for thousands of years at the hands of shamans, artists, and musicians.
Mr. Laurie's thesis is that radionics, while by no means a lost art, may be a slightly-misplaced one - the ideas behind it have been discounted by those unable to appreciate the power of forces that cannot be quantified. When presented as science or medicine, radionics is easily challenged. Introduce it as a powerful creative tool, however, and radionics becomes "The Secret Art".
We take for granted that all human beings are inherently capable of experiencing intangible, unquantifiable sensations such as intention, intuition, inspiration, and other emotional states. Technologies for accessing and working with these invisible forces have been cultivated by shamans, artists, and holy people since the dawn of time. That a work of art or a piece of music can be found "moving" or "transformative" comes as no surprise. Why, then, is it such shock (to the western mind, at least) when a force we find "mysterious" serves as the catalyst for physical transformation? Because our in our culture we have come to look to the scientific method as an all-purpose evaluation tool - if something doesn't measure up scientifically, we tend to discount it as useless or non-existent.
But as we hurl ever forward into an age of new quantum-techno-science, old paradigms begin to break down. We encounter tangible evidence of the power of the invisible every day as information that arrives via internet and wireless technology routinely shapes our lives. Research into quantum physics alludes to the existence of strange micro-realms that work behind and within the scenes to compose our macro reality.
Ironically, discovery of the structure of DNA, holographic imaging, and other modern scientific breakthroughs are only serving to help lend insight into why many established "intuitive" technologies, such as prayer, shamanic and Tibetan Buddhist ritual, and radionics, actually work.
"The Secret Art" is an invitation to consider that the power of intangible forces and our relationships with them may hold keys to the ways we shape ourselves and our world. Mr. Laurie suggests that it could be artists, unfettered by limiting beliefs and already consciously attuned to subtle energy, who may be best equipped to combine traditional systems with contemporary research to generate powerful new technologies. The book is a radionic device in itself, a call-to-action for those willing to work with phenomena that we are aware of through our senses, but that are yet to be classified by science.