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Magical utility

Re: Magical utility
October 28, 2013, 12:38:51 PM
Magic is the science of the gods.

Actually, crow and lost wanderer explain it well.

We still divide science and magic in practice because for some inquiry to be scientific, it must be testable by other individuals, and the outcome of any test must be proven consistently regardless of the individual who performs the test.

Magic is different. A person's psyche and imagination (where understanding of magic begins) is too chaotic to let us match up consistent results between individuals.

Let's say one person has trouble sleeping, so he uses a magical technique involving burning incense in order to fall asleep at night. He might recommend this technique to a friend who is also having trouble sleeping, but there is no reason to think the technique will be effective for his friend, even if it works for him one-hundred percent of the time.

Magical work is only scientific in so far as it can be applied and tested for concistency personally, not among groups of people.

Furthermore I don't see any reason to guess that there is some higher purpose beyond magical practice. It is a tool or a path, but not an end itself. You would only apply magic to obtain a desired outcome, not for the sake of application itself. That would be like someone who collects tools just to display them and look at them.

Re: Magical utility
October 29, 2013, 10:24:51 AM
science is just a form of magic in a way.

I think it is more accurate to describe magic as a type of science, but this requires that one understands by the word science the traditional meaning of that word which is, generally speaking, the study of the practical applications of knowledge.  In this case, magic may be described as the science of attaining tangible results from subtle causes through various methods.  The modern conception of science as nothing other than the empirical study of the material world is fundamentally inadequate.

It may be worth noting here that in general magic is not regarded as being particularly profound or significant by any tradition.  Since it deals primarily which the attainment of tangible results which are vastly inferior to the attainment of metaphysical knowledge.  Magic holds fascination for moderns for precisely this reason.  It may also be a significant distraction for anyone seeking spiritual knowledge since people  tend to become intoxicated by its results and the power that they bring.

Re: Magical utility
October 29, 2013, 05:48:59 PM
That was a succinct, yet exhaustive description. Nice one!
 

Re: Magical utility
October 30, 2013, 01:00:27 AM
Out-of-body experience enters the field of magic?
as you can get someone to read the cards and palms of the hands?

Re: Magical utility
October 30, 2013, 01:25:26 AM
Anything inexplicable to the everyday experience of humanity might be thought of as magic.
How many people get to experience out-of-body states?
It's probably magic.


Re: Magical utility
October 30, 2013, 02:43:23 AM
science is just a form of magic in a way.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

My feelings on the subject are sort of the inverse of this. Magic, which I include with esoteric practices and superstition, are born of people observing unexplainable phenomena and managing to manipulate them without fully understanding the underlying mechanisms at work. Dead Last's first post here illustrates that fairly well; that tarot cards work by allowing us to catch a glimpse of our subconscious. Of course, we haven't figured out everything the brain is capable of and how it works, so this kind of magic is the most practical method we have at the moment. As science progresses, we no longer need our pseudo-scientific approaches, being able to get more effective results through mathematically and physically proven methods. Unfortunately, this takes the element of the unknown out of the equation and sterilizes the aesthetic value of it. (Like dissecting a frog: You understand how the frog works, but it kills the frog in the process).

An example I really like to pull out is how, in the old testament, shellfish are forbidden from being eaten. This is because shellfish are a hotbed for dangerous bacteria, but as the actual cause of this problem was not known to the ancient Jews, it became easier to attribute the disease to the wrath of God. Even though in fact God had put out no such decree, the Jewish people still benefited from this "supernatural" dietary restriction.

Re: Magical utility
October 30, 2013, 12:24:15 PM
science is just a form of magic in a way.

I think it is more accurate to describe magic as a type of science, but this requires that one understands by the word science the traditional meaning of that word which is, generally speaking, the study of the practical applications of knowledge.  In this case, magic may be described as the science of attaining tangible results from subtle causes through various methods.  The modern conception of science as nothing other than the empirical study of the material world is fundamentally inadequate.

It may be worth noting here that in general magic is not regarded as being particularly profound or significant by any tradition.  Since it deals primarily which the attainment of tangible results which are vastly inferior to the attainment of metaphysical knowledge.  Magic holds fascination for moderns for precisely this reason.  It may also be a significant distraction for anyone seeking spiritual knowledge since people  tend to become intoxicated by its results and the power that they bring.

This is only partially accurate. The kind of attitude toward magic that you exhibit in the second paragraph is fit for modern "mainstream" magic like witchcraft and Wicca. You also convince me that a doubt of mine was legitimate; I should have used a different word from magic, because it means too many things to too many people. The type of magic I've taken an interest in is nothing like the type of magic modern day people use to talk to angels, read horoscopes, heal ilnesses, or make someone break up with their boyfriend. That. Kind of practiceis rubbish and should be treated that way.

I practice a more subtle magic that does not offer tangible, worldly results. It is more like the Hermetic practices that is based on the idea that all religions are a gift of esoteric knowledge, and to get in to the fine clockwork of the universal mechanisms, we need to find where those religions give us knowledge that lines up with consistent observations. Hermeticism really is a splendid synthesis of "science and magic" in that sense.

My only goal in this practice is to learn what there is to learn. By exposing my own hidden clockwork to the scrutiny of my mind, I get a reflection of the entirety of universal clockwork ("As Above, so Below"), which is must more resistant to being stripped down and parsed out, poked and prodded. I guess it is like a matter of psychic dissection. Probably at some point I will gain some knowledge that allows me to produce tangible results beyond influencing my own body chemistry and state of mind, but that is not the point of the excersize, like I stated earlier.

Re: Magical utility
October 30, 2013, 11:03:19 PM
Out-of-body experience enters the field of magic?
as you can get someone to read the cards and palms of the hands?

No I don't think so. Some say that magick is unexplained science.

Re: Magical utility
October 31, 2013, 12:12:31 AM
Magic, to me, is being able to recognize a fox I once knew, in an ageing mother raccoon, and my long-dead coyote in the crow I raised. It is sowing grass seed, for a new lawn, and seeing it show shoots in twenty minutes. Or folding a straight, flat highway up, into a roller-coaster, for two hitchhikers demanding to see a miracle.
It is the utter impossibility of a Pentecostal woman, calling me by a name nobody has called me since childhood, in the exact accent of my mother.
Magic is stuff that doesn't quite scare me, but fills me with an awe that demands respect and reverence.
Magic is, above all, mystery.