Newton's accidentally dog set fire to 20 years' of the great man's work. Image Source: Wiki.
Caption for the above image: Artist's engraving [by Morel from 1874] of apocryphal story of Newton's pet dog knocking over a candle and setting fire to his papers. Sir Isaac Newton had on his table a pile of papers upon which were written calculations that had taken him twenty years to make. One evening, he left the room for a few minutes, and when he came back he found that his little dog "Diamond" had overturned a candle and set fire to the precious papers, of which nothing was left but a heap of ashes. It was then that he cried, "Oh, Diamond! Diamond! thou little knowest what mischief thou hast done!" Story published in The Life of Sir Isaac Newton By David Brewster (1833) and later in St. Nicholas magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4, (February 1878).
Considering they provide the namesake of this blog, it took me awhile to search online for Newton's occult writings about the Philosopher's Stone (the mythical element that would turn lead to gold and provide a means to immortality), the Tarot, astrology, alchemy, magic, and the end of the world. Newton also wrote of Atlantis in his Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms. He concealed these works to avoid criticism. When he died, these papers were considered 'unfit to publish.' When they finally surfaced in 1936 after being kept for centuries in the Earl of Portsmouth's attic, they were auctioned. One of the people who eagerly bought and read Newton's secret writings was John Maynard Keynes - that is food for thought as the world's economic crisis deepens. After reading them, Keynes reportedly said, "Newton was not the first of the age of reason, he was the last of the magicians."
Perhaps most notable is Newton's prediction about the end of the world, written around 1705. His comments have been interpreted to mean that he was talking about an apocalypse during or after the year 2060. He also saw the 'end of the world' not as an obliteration of human society on our planet, but rather a moment of momentous change and evolution. Wiki quotes Newton's musings on this topic:
According to Wiki, some of Newton's esoteric writings are now available for free online; you can have a look: "In recent years, several projects have begun to gather, catalogue, and transcribe the fragmented collection of Newton's work on alchemical subjects and make them freely available for on-line access. Two of these are The Chymistry of Isaac Newton Project supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, and The Newton Project supported by the U.K. Arts and Humanities Research Board. In addition, The Jewish National and University Library has published a number of high-quality scanned images of various Newton documents."So then the time times & half a time are 42 months or 1260 days or three years & an half, recconing twelve months to a yeare & 30 days to a month as was done in the Calendar of the primitive year. And the days of short lived Beasts being put for the years of lived [sic for “long lived”] kingdoms, the period of 1260 days, if dated from the complete conquest of the three kings A.C. 800, will end A.C. 2060. It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner. This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fancifull men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, & by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail. Christ comes as a thief in the night, & it is not for us to know the times & seasons wch God hath put into his own breast.