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Magic

Arthur C. Clark once said, “Any technology beyond our own would seem like magic to us.”  This is the essence of magic.  It is the doing or the occurrence of something which an observer does not understand how the end result came about.  In some cases, even the practitioner of the magic may not fully comprehend or understand how something worked -- and yet still be able to use it.

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Strictly speaking, aspirin for many years has been magical.  It was observed that it worked -- at least had the illusion or appeared to do so -- but science did not understand how or why it worked.  Medical science was delighted to use it, to replicate the experiment over and over a billion or a trillion times, and to rest comfortably in the belief that it would always act in the way it was expected.  But the how and why eluded them.  

One dictionary definition of magic is: “the supposed art of influencing the course of events by the occult control of nature or of spirits; witchcraft.”  It goes on to provide synonyms of “sorcery, wizardry, black magic, necromancy, the black art, voodoo, devilry, diabolism, occultism, theurgy, white magic.”   

The extreme bias of this definition derives from several sources, the most obvious being the use of word “supposed”, as if one can not be sure that such a thing might exist.  And yet, in the same volume, “therapy” is not defined as “the [alleged] treatment of physical or mental disorders,” or a “thermistor” as, “a resistor whose resistance is [supposedly] greatly reduced by heating, used for measurement and control.”   

The synonyms are also a bit much, with eight or nine (out of eleven) words denoting some kind of influences which have little to recommend them.  “White magic” doesn’t sound too bad, while “theurgy” sounds like a word used in “increase your word power.”  

The problem with such bias, is that based on the definition and suggested synonyms, one might want to make a special effort in the future to avoid magic at all costs.  Certainly, the idea of dealing with voodoo (or even doovoo) is not particularly appealing.  

(4/1/07) Even less appealing is the idea of so-called satanic rituals disguised as some form of magic. But as the essay on The Ninth Gate demonstrates, even apparently ill uses of magic may in fact contain notably more profound and positive benefits than one might initially have imagined. The Ninth Gate does suggest that magic is often the difference between what is perceived by the magically ignorant and those in on the secrets of what is really happening.

And yet the essence of magic is that not every observer has a clue as to what is happening, and that there is no authority which proclaims that the observed event has a rational (or acceptable to authority) explanation.  The inability of the observer -- or any and all groups of which the observer has confidence in their opinions -- to understand what has just been seen, is a characteristic of the observer -- their failure, their lack of information or under-standing, or simply their inability to see the forest for the trees.  

Parking Prosperity is the practice of visualizing a parking place in an area to which one is proceeding, and then upon arrival finding a convenient parking place (even in the midst of a crowded street).  It is one mundane example of Creating Reality, but because modern science does not have a ready explanation, or even just the claim that the phenomena is well understood, the very idea of such prosperity comes under the category of an alleged event or circumstance.  The fact that, when done properly, parking prosperity works...  

A Technomage, i.e. a magician of technology, who utilizes “Invocations of Equations,” is also a practitioner of magic -- particularly if the equations are not well known and/or not accepted by mainstream science.  And yet, these practitioners are involved in Alchemy, Biological Transmutation, Wicca (the actual name for the bastardized witchcraft), Connective Physics, and/or Sacred Mathematics -- most particularly, Sacred Geometry!  There are also a fair number of Technomages involved in areas where they haven’t even told us about yet!  (They’re not stupid, you know!)  

What is all comes down to, is that magic is a transitional term, one between phenomenon encouraging awe, wonder, and a Gee whiz! or two; and observations which are... ho-hum.  

]]]]]]]]]  

P. S. “Theurgy” is defined as: a supernatural or divine agency, esp. in human affairs, the art of securing this, the magical science of the Neoplatonists.”  Hmmmmm.... The art of acquiring divine intervention sounds a lot like prayer.  Thus the equation-invocation for the day becomes:

Prayer Ű Magic  

]]]]]]]]]  

Robert Hand <http://www.stariq.com> wrote an excellent treatise on Magic, wherein he also noted that “the idea of magic is only slightly removed from devil worship, even being considered in these same circles as trafficking in demons.  (And lest this seem extreme to some of you, I would like to remind our readers that there are those who consider even Astrology to involve trafficking with demons.)  Even I, myself, not too many years ago regarded any kind of magic (except stage magic, of course) to be highly dubious and risky.  I never thought of magic as intrinsically evil, but I did believe that it required a high degree of spiritual awareness to transcend the temptations that might be involved.  So as a matter of course, I steered clear of it, without, I might add, having clearly defined it myself.  

“So what is magic, assuming that there is one all-encompassing definition?  And let’s assume also for the moment that there is such a thing as magic, because until we have given it definition, we can’t really talk about whether it exists or not.  Let’s also be clear that we are not talking about stage magic, or legerdemain, also known as “sleight of hand.”  Stage magic is simply a form of deception for the purposes of entertainment.  

“Has real magic, whatever it may be, ever involved sleight of hand?  Almost certainly! People who have attempted to master magic have also mastered other technologies, and that has made various forms of “sleight of hand” quite easily doable.  But I am not talking about that.  I am talking about something else that may have existed besides that.  

The Supernatural  

“It is often said that magic involves the supernatural, meaning that it is some violation of natural law as it is understood.  I have no problem with the idea of a violation of natural law “as it is understood,” but that is only because natural law as it is understood at any particular time, and in any particular culture, has never been, and never will be, a complete understanding of the truth.  All systems of natural law have been, and will continue to be, only approximations of the truth, and there will always be phenomena that do not fit the current system.  Thus we may get an appearance of the supernatural, but the real thing is unlikely.  [emphasis added]  

“There is, however, a possible way in which there could be genuinely supernatural phenomena, but it requires a view of things that is even more at variance with the prevailing reality system than magic.  This “view” is not unfamiliar to people who study the so-called occult.  It simply states that in addition to this world of nature and physical phenomena, there are other worlds that may lie within this one, outside of this one, all around this one or whatever.”  [Multiple realities: Multiple Universes, Multiple Timelines, Multiple Choice!]  

Is There a Supernature?  

[Why not?  There is after all, Superstrings, Superconductivity, Superdeformation of Nuclei, Supervisors, and Supercalifragelisticexpealodious!  Why not Supernature?]  

“One often hears almost casual references to the ‘astral’ or ‘etheric’ planes, alternate realms of being that have some particular relationship to the physical world.  The nature of the relationship varies from system to system.  In Kabbalah [Ha Qabala] one speaks of Atziluth, Beriah, Yetzirah and Assiah.  In Neoplatonism there is the One, Nous, Soul and Cosmos.  The basic idea is simple.  In addition to the realm of nature or cosmos in which we live, there are other ‘natures’ that are usually considered to be ‘higher’ than this one, supernatures, as it were. (The quotation marks used in the previous sentences should be understood as my questioning the validity of the words in quotation.  The marks mean that I am using the word without having a clear sense of exactly what it means.)  

“With this kind of multiple-worlds [Multiple Universes] view, the concept of the supernatural is not self-contradictory.  We can take the view that almost all phenomena that we encounter can be accounted for by referring to the laws of nature as we understand them, and insofar as they are complete.  But occasionally, we might encounter phenomena that are the result of things operating in another one of these worlds that leads to a chain of events that somehow impinge on this world, the world of nature, without having originated within this world.  

“The problem with this hypothesis is that modern science does not recognize any sort of multiple-world theory of the nature of existence.  For modern [mainstream] scientists, the concept of supernatural is indeed self-contradictory because there is nothing beyond nature, and therefore, anything ‘supernatural’ must either be a violation of natural law, or an indication that our understanding of natural law is inadequate.  Here we are right back to the original problem of Astrology as stated at the beginning of these articles.  Is astrology the result of some kind of comprehensible natural law that simply has not been discovered yet, or is astrology an indication that the universe is much different from what we have thought it to be?”  

Someone once said something to the effect that the universe is not only stranger than we might imagine, but stranger than we can imagine.  Obviously, we all need to work on increasing out imagination -- not just our word power!  

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Biological Transmutation         Transmutation         Alchemy         Daath

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