One of the most controversial aspects of radionics is the use of “symbolic circuits”. This refers to practices built around the idea that a drawing or other symbolic version (such as a software simulation) of a radionics circuit works just as effectively as an actual wired circuit. It appears that through general usage the term “psionics” has come to refer to the use of symbolic circuitry, whereas the term “radionics” is reserved to describe actual instead of virtual components. This is even though the proper definition of “psionics” is a general term that encompasses both symbolic and actual devices. And the line between the virtual and actual can be very blurry indeed.
What role the physical trappings of Radionics practice actually fulfill is therefore open to question. Early radionicists such as Albert Abrams and Hieronymus theorized that whatever is being transmitted and received (which Hieronymus dubbed “Eloptic Energy”) is capable of being directed by the same materials that conduct electromagnetic fields, therefore certain kinds of physical electrical and optical devices can be used to manipulate it (hence the term “Eloptic”.) Components such as amplifiers, condensers, resistors, coils, and antennas, and/or prisms, lenses, mirrors and crystals have effects on Eloptic fields that are symbolically similar to the effects the same components have on physical electromagnetic waves like electricity and light. Certain materials either conduct or insulate Eloptic energy, though these materials are not always the same ones as conduct or block electricity or light. For example, conductors include metals, brown
bakelite, graphite, and pyrex glass, while insulators include dry wood, polyethylene and vinyl plastics.
The whole idea of using a symbolic circuit seems to have been originated in the mid-20th century by science-fiction publisher John W. Campbell. Campbell was a ‘follower’ of Dr. T. Galen Hieronymus, and touted the effectiveness his amazing radionics machines in his publications.
One day Campbell unplugged his Hieronymus machine from it’s power source, and found that the machine still worked. Then he took it a step further: he drew a block diagram of the Machine with india ink on paper, connected with thread and wired to a single dial, and claimed that the ‘symbolic’ machine worked as well as the real one.
Campbell wrote: “I have a model of your analytical machine, simplified and streamlined to the ultimate. It consists solely of the circuit diagram; I have a symbol of a prism, not a real prism, mounted on a National Velvet Vernier dial; that, and a small copper loop, alone appear on the front surface of the panel. Back of the panel, the circuit diagram is drawn in India ink on standard drafting paper; the prism-symbol rotates in its appropriate place in the circuit diagram. The spiral coil is drawn in India ink on paper glued to the back of the panel; it is connected with the symbolized vacuum tube plate through a condenser-symbol by means of a nylon thread; the other end of the coil drawing is connected to the symbolized vacuum tube cathode by a second nylon thread from my wife’s sewing kit. The machine works beautifully; the consistency of performance is excellent… We’re working with magic – and magic doesn’t depend on matter, but on ‘form’ – on ‘pattern’ rather than substance.”
Unsurprisingly, this is a subject of heated debate within the radionics community.
Hieronymus seems to have been less enthusiastic about the whole idea of virtual machines, and the correspondence between the two men shows that this was often a contentious point between them. While Campbell wanted to turn the scientific world upside-down with the incredible reality of radionics, Hieronymus seemed inclined to live more quietly, run his business and spend his life healing people, animals and crops.
The Psionics theory is that radionics devices and procedures are simply symbols, no more or less than the regalia and rituals of magicians and shamans. Radionic tools and procedures resonate with the Modern mind, just as the staffs, daggers, robes and candles of ancient wizards did with people of the era in which they arose. Radionic devices simply aid the radionicist in “spellcasting” the magical intent of their own psyche.
This idea is supported by Psionic researchers who claim that actual mechanical devices are not required – that similar effects can be obtained by using graphic representations of the devices (e.g drawings of schematic diagrams, cardboard boxes with mock “dials” mounted on them, etc.) Some of the most prolific and well-known experts on the subject of radionics, past and present, fully embrace the virtual psionic concept, such as David Tansley and Charles “Uncle Chuckie” Cosimano. Others say that the use of such things as actual coils and prisms has a definite useful effect on these energies, and cannot be effectively replaced with line drawings and pictures.
I tend to agree with those who say there is a difference in the effectiveness of an actual and a virtual radionics device. It may well be possible to derive magical effects from symbolic devices, but I agree with Dr. Hieronymus that there is something being conducted and processed by the physical circuits. As I once explained to a friend, it’s like saying that Bruce Lee didn’t need anything but his bare hands to kick your ass. But then, when he picked up a pair of nunchucks, he could kick MORE ass, faster and more effectively, than with his bare hands alone. And so it may be with radionics devices. If one has sufficient magical power, one doesn’t need the physical devices. But if it makes the work stronger and more effective, why not use them?
Update: Another consideration is that some radionicists, like Ray Mattioda, considered the physical devices important because they shielded the practitioner from “feedback” from the subject of the work. Once the subject has been analyzed, and the Rates set, the practitioner can drop the “psychic link” between them and let the machine do the treatment. This is valuable because sometimes one is working to help the body heal itself of deadly miasmas, and one doesn’t want such things to rebound from the patient to the practitioner! The idea being that, if it’s your mind-power alone that’s doing the work, it’s not really radionics per se, but radiesthesia. As evidence, Mattioda offered that many of the radionicists that practiced heavily with symbolic devices, from De Warr to Tansley to Cosimano, have suffered some rather severe medical problems in later life, while others like Abrams and Hieronymus who worked almost exclusively with physical devices lived long healthy lives.