Sunday, August 25, 2013

Newton, the Narcissist

In my earlier post on the many disquieting things one learns about Isaac Newton from his private writings I provided a link to a BBC documentary regarding his life as revealed in his private writings.  One of the things revealed was the extent to which Newton was a classic case of religion as an expression of pathological narcissism.

Newton, it seems, was convinced that he was chosen by god to learn god's secrets.  Thus, his obsessive study of alchemy, mathematics, and the solar system were a product of his devotion to the god that had "chosen" him to perform these tasks.

In the link provided in my previous post, there is a quotation from the producer of the documentary that is quite revealing but not contained in the documentary itself:
"Producer Malcolm Neaum says: 'Newton prayed daily for the end of the world which he believed would herald the Second Coming of Christ. This would usher in the 1000 year rule of the Saints and Newton believed he would then take his place as Chief Saint.'"

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