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Thread: The dark side of magic

  1. #1 The dark side of magic 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    We have a lot fun with magic. There is the magician who devises clever illusions to entertain us. There are stories of other worlds where things work a little differently than they do in our everyday world and these entertain us in stories and films. What is it about magic that appeals to us so much that we find such delight in these performers and books and films?

    I think there are two sides to us that magic appeals to which I am going to label a light side and a dark side.

    On the light side, magic fires our imagination to see beyond what we think life has to be and causes us to consider what it might be if things were different. There is often repeated the observation that much of what is possible today because of technology would very likely appear to be magic a few centuries ago. Just consider what that means. It means that by this idea of magic people would imagine things that they had no way of accomplishing and yet a few centuries later we had found out how to actually accomplish those things. Thus I believe that this idea of magic has played the role of an important tool in the use of our imagination to leap over our ignorance about how things can be done to give us the dreams which ultimately motivate us to find out how to do things we could not do before.

    But I think there is a dark side to this idea of magic as well. What happens if we actually believe in magic as a way of accomplishing things by the action of our will alone. The obvious danger that such a belief will keep us from ever seeking real means of accomplishing our goals may seem a little unlikely, because it is hard to imagine persisting in just willing things to happen when this really doesn't accomplish anything. But the problem is, strangely enough, that this underestimates the power of belief.

    A little while ago I started a post entitled "how belief affects reality" and in the examination of this question what was clear is that what belief affects most is ourselves and especially our perception of things. This fact is what contributes to the this dark side of magic. The fact is that people are capable of giving themselves over to a will for something to such an extreme that it alters their perception of reality to the degree that they become out of touch with reality and rather unreasonable. Thus the danger that the idea of magic can become an obstacle to the realization of our dreams by preventing us from actually seeking the realistic means of accomplishing them is not so ridiculous after all.

    Nowhere is this idea of magic more extreme, as I see it, than in the idea of wishes, whose dark side is something called wishful thinking. The idea of the wish is that we simply say what we want and what we want comes true. I see the worst of magic in this idea because in this idea our desire is completely divorsed from action and any thought about how to accomplish our desire. What I find particularly ominous is the fact that a wish is not bound by any constraints of logical consistency with the reality of who you are -- and thus people quite often wish to be someone other than who they are. I think that sort of wish is somewhat akin to a wish for annihilation - a candy coated deathwish.

    There was a book I read that I have never forgotten called, "The Traveler in Black" about a man who goes about the world (medeival era) granting people's wishes knowing full well that the result will always be a complete disaster. I could point out the similarity between this traveler in black and the mythology of death. Anyway this traveler in black sees himself as a champion for the forces of order and reason and you might think that is a little strange considering the chaos that he creates in his wake. But I think the point is that he pulls the magical thinking out of people like pus from an infection to teach them that the short cut that wishes make is not the correct way to pursue our dreams. The damage done by wishful thinking as it festers and paralizes people is revealed for just how pathetic it really is when you see that even if such wishes were granted they would not accomplish anything good anyway.


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  3. #2  
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    I'm reminded of those Chinese funeral goods shops where one may buy - for dispatch to afterlife: Hell bank notes, paper cell phones, cardboard mansions, miniature cars and TV sets, credit cards... everything the departed could ever need. Is this the world's crassest ritual or an ironic reality check?

    In my experience most "magic" appears not in personal belief but rather in entertainment, for plot device or visual interest. Magic glows and turns good guys bad. So I think MM's really means wishful thinking here and I hope the thread doesn't stray from that.

    We also have religion focused on destruction of wishful thinking.


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    Mitchell, I like your opening post & I agree with your opinion that there are 2 sides to magic. Very well-put. I think that magic will only work its, haha, magic on you if you believe. It's only tested by the limits on the flexibility/imagination of the recipient, me thinks.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    I am surprised that this post hasn't yet provoked responses from some of the magic believers who often post here. I expected them to jump to the conclusion that I was pronouncing that the magic they believe in isn't real. Actually I do no such thing. The point I am making here remains true regardless of whether their beliefs about magic have any truth to them or not.

    Someone familiar with the philosophy of pragmatism will see the strong strains of pragmatism (from Charles Sanders Peirce) in the OP. This is because it concerns itself with the effects of belief on the lives of those who believe rather than merely the truth of those beliefs apart from this effect. It is the approach of pragmatism that these effects need to be considered in the process of evaluating the truth of the beliefs in question.


    Further observation to add to the OP:

    Magic is quite often given a strong association with childhood. I think we can see the light and dark sides of magic clearly in that relationship from two aspects of childhood - one which should be encouraged to grow and be retained in adulthood and the other which we should grow out of. On the light side is this rich use of imagination as part of your exploration of self and the world. The dark side comes from the basic experience of infancy where the infant's only way of acheiving its desires is to cry and scream and somehow the parents scramble to figure out what will make the infant happy. Thus this idea of magic as a means of acheiving your desires by will alone is directly derived from the experience of infancy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    We also have religion focused on destruction of wishful thinking.
    Of course part of my intent in pursuing this topic is to reach for some kind of discernment between religion that is healthy and good and religion that is not.
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    Clearly, religious thought encompasses the "dark" side of magic as it conjures up talking snakes, parting of seas, global flooding due to rain, turning people to pillars of salt, people swallowed by whales, splitting the moon, gods, angels, devils, and all the rest of the magic invoked by theists who believe such nonsense. It has been shown throughout history theists prefer to legitimize and choose their "dark magical thinking" in favor of those who would attempt to accomplish their goals.
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    Nowhere is this idea of magic more extreme, as I see it, than in the idea of wishes, whose dark side is something called wishful thinking. The idea of the wish is that we simply say what we want and what we want comes true. I see the worst of magic in this idea because in this idea our desire is completely divorsed from action and any thought about how to accomplish our desire. What I find particularly ominous is the fact that a wish is not bound by any constraints of logical consistency with the reality of who you are -- and thus people quite often wish to be someone other than who they are. I think that sort of wish is somewhat akin to a wish for annihilation - a candy coated deathwish.
    Everything human begins as a wish. If there are no wishes, there is despair, lack of direction and finally a nihilist society that ends in extinction. You can see it around yourself. Those who "have it all" will cling to irrelevancies and live meaningless lives. Ultimately, their only release comes from giving it away, if they have any sense. Otherwise, they simply destroy themselves.

    Sure, you should be realistic. But to have no expectations is to break no boundaries, to expect only that which is possible is to ignore that the impossible comes to those who brave the odds.

    Why would you try to destroy something like that?
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    Hey Michell, I highly recommend Pon Poko as absolutely topical. It's about wishful thinking magic, and its demise.
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    Jiminy Cricket: [after singing "When You Wish Upon a Star"] Pretty, huh? I bet a lot of you folks don't believe that, about a wish comin' true. Do ya? Well, I didn't either. Well, of course I'm just a cricket singing from heart to heart, but let me tell you what made me change my mind.



    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey

    Everything human begins as a wish. If there are no wishes, there is despair, lack of direction and finally a nihilist society that ends in extinction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Everything human begins as a wish. If there are no wishes, there is despair, lack of direction and finally a nihilist society that ends in extinction. You can see it around yourself. Those who "have it all" will cling to irrelevancies and live meaningless lives. Ultimately, their only release comes from giving it away, if they have any sense. Otherwise, they simply destroy themselves.

    Sure, you should be realistic. But to have no expectations is to break no boundaries, to expect only that which is possible is to ignore that the impossible comes to those who brave the odds.

    Why would you try to destroy something like that?
    Why indeed. Thus we see another type of unhealthy pseudo-religion in the anti-theists like Marx, Lenin and Q, they would have us all grow up and live in the "Land of Adults" (episode 4 in "Kino's Journey"). But when we see the kind of world they would create either in the communist countries or in the anime, it is abundantly clear that what they are really seeking is our enslavement. We cannot stop people from lobotomizing themselves if that is what they choose to do, but we do need to be careful that these shell people don't make into positions of power.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Hey Michell, I highly recommend Pon Poko as absolutely topical. It's about wishful thinking magic, and its demise.
    I am an avid fan of the Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films, so I have of course seen this film several times. Not my MOST favorite of Gibli films and so I don't own copy as I do in the case of "Laputa" (Castle in the Sky), Naoshka (Nausica), My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and Kiki's Delivery Service. Many of these I first saw in Japanese before there was any english translation and I enjoyed them despite the fact that I couldn't understand a word of them.
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  11. #10 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    a book I read that I have never forgotten
    Novels are magical aren't they? They impart insights that just won't "grok" if studied at arm's length. Participation is the key I think. Often we come away with something both inarticulate and palpable.

    And if it hinders, then it's dark magic? Also if it maliciously disturbs, as in David Lynch films? Is this dark magic?
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  12. #11 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Also if it maliciously disturbs, as in David Lynch films? Is this dark magic?
    I don't know what this is. So I don't know what you are talking about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Why indeed. Thus we see another type of unhealthy pseudo-religion in the anti-theists like Marx, Lenin and Q, they would have us all grow up and live in the "Land of Adults"
    No one is forcing you to grow up, Mitch, you can hold onto your childhood fantasies as long as you want. We're just getting tired of those fantasies getting shoved down our throats.

    But when we see the kind of world they would create either in the communist countries or in the anime, it is abundantly clear that what they are really seeking is our enslavement. We cannot stop people from lobotomizing themselves if that is what they choose to do, but we do need to be careful that these shell people don't make into positions of power.
    Oh Mitch, you sure know how to spin some whoppers.

    Don't be afraid to grow up and lose those childhood fantasies, Mitch. You wouldn't want to be enslaved by dark magic your whole life, would you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Why indeed. Thus we see another type of unhealthy pseudo-religion in the anti-theists like Marx, Lenin and Q, they would have us all grow up and live in the "Land of Adults" (episode 4 in "Kino's Journey"). But when we see the kind of world they would create either in the communist countries or in the anime, it is abundantly clear that what they are really seeking is our enslavement. We cannot stop people from lobotomizing themselves if that is what they choose to do, but we do need to be careful that these shell people don't make into positions of power.
    "Land of Adults" is that a Ghibli production too? :P

    Yeah, I listen to the vision of such people and its like a descent into a sterility of thought populated by monochromatic robotic creatures. Very stark. I doubt even they would want to live in the world they would create.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    ...vision of such people and its like a descent into a sterility of thought populated by monochromatic robotic creatures.


    "Dark Magic"
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Why indeed. Thus we see another type of unhealthy pseudo-religion in the anti-theists like Marx, Lenin and Q, they would have us all grow up and live in the "Land of Adults" (episode 4 in "Kino's Journey"). But when we see the kind of world they would create either in the communist countries or in the anime, it is abundantly clear that what they are really seeking is our enslavement. We cannot stop people from lobotomizing themselves if that is what they choose to do, but we do need to be careful that these shell people don't make into positions of power.
    "Land of Adults" is that a Ghibli production too? :P
    No. I don't know who produced it. Its an anime tv series called kino's journey, about a girl who travels from one country (or citystate) to another on a talking motorcycle called a "motorad". It explores the kind of choices people make about how people can live in community by looking at extremes. Episode 4, "Land of Adults" tells the story about how she started on this journey for that is actually the land of her own birth. It is a country in which children on their eleventh birthday get an operation to become adults so they can be happy with doing whatever job their parent do. But she encounters a traveler visiting her country who gets her to start thinking about things (ooooh dangerous).


    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Yeah, I listen to the vision of such people and its like a descent into a sterility of thought populated by monochromatic robotic creatures. Very stark. I doubt even they would want to live in the world they would create.
    Q is so tired of having the fantasies of others shoved down his throat, so he shoves his own fantasy down the throats of others. Very logical isn't he?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Q is so tired of having the fantasies of other shoved down his throat so he shoves his own fantasy down the throats of others. Very logical isn't he?
    Like the fantasy of not having the Abrahamic beliefs shoved down my throat?

    Totally illogical, but yeah, I'm there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    No. I don't know who produced it. Its an anime tv series called kino's journey, about a girl who travels from one country (or citystate) to another on a talking motorcycle called a "motorad". It explores the kind of choices people make about how people can live in community by looking at extremes. Episode 4, "Land of Adults" tells the story about how she started on this journey for that is actually that land of her own birth. It is a country in which children on their eleventh birthday get an operation to become adults so they can be happy with doing whatever job their parent do. But she encounter a traveler visiting her country who gets her to start thinking about things (ooooh dangerous).
    Sounds interesting, I'll look it up

    Q is so tired of having the fantasies of other shoved down his throat so he shoves his own fantasy down the throats of others. Very logical isn't he?
    Q has fantasies of a world where everyone will be like him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey

    Q has fantasies of a world where everyone will be like him.
    Does the fact that Burkas come in a variety of colors somehow distinguishes one automaton from the next? Is the Quran a book in which ALL sheeple must abide or just one lamb?

    You attempt to paint a picture of a fantasy, which in fact is a reality based on a fantasy; Islam. And it is Islam that demands all people be the same.

    Spin us another fable, Sam.
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  20. #19 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Also if it maliciously disturbs, as in David Lynch films? Is this dark magic?
    I don't know what this is. So I don't know what you are talking about.
    Unlike some others I'm attempting to grasp some strand of your original post.

    So I'm suggesting that fiction/art/shared insight is this "magic". And it may be constructive or destructive. That last link is just a mean meme, that spreads by hitting a magic pressure point in the collective unconscious. It is dark magic, if dark magic is real.
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  21. #20 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Unlike some others I'm attempting to grasp some strand of your original post.

    So I'm suggesting that fiction/art/shared insight is this "magic". And it may be constructive or destructive. That last link is just a mean meme, that spreads by hitting a magic pressure point in the collective unconscious. It is dark magic, if dark magic is real.
    Is there anything that human beings get their hands on that can somehow be devoid of destructive capacity? Saying dark magic is destructive is akin to saying science is destructive. The destruction comes not from the magic or science. A nuclear bomb will kill more people than wishful thinking
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  22. #21 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    A nuclear bomb will kill more people than wishful thinking
    Well how many die believing themselves sober enough to drive?
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  23. #22 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    Saying dark magic is destructive is akin to saying science is destructive. The destruction comes not from the magic or science. A nuclear bomb will kill more people than wishful thinking
    But, it will be a theist with his dark magic as his guide who will push the button.
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  24. #23 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by samcdkey
    A nuclear bomb will kill more people than wishful thinking
    Well how many die believing themselves sober enough to drive?
    Touché
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  25. #24 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Also if it maliciously disturbs, as in David Lynch films? Is this dark magic?
    I don't know what this is. So I don't know what you are talking about.
    Unlike some others I'm attempting to grasp some strand of your original post.

    So I'm suggesting that fiction/art/shared insight is this "magic". And it may be constructive or destructive. That last link is just a mean meme, that spreads by hitting a magic pressure point in the collective unconscious. It is dark magic, if dark magic is real.
    I mean I don't understand the significance of David Lynch or the youtube film you linked. I am clearly missing something here about what you intented to communicate by linking that film. Is that just a random link saying that any piece of enertainment is a meme? Yeah human communication has all the character of the kind of dynamic structure that we can call a life form. Some of the ideas communicated can be considered sources of health and some as sources of mental illness. Is that the point you are making???

    I looked up David Lynch and I liked the "Elephant Man" but most of his other films I am not too familiar with.
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    In line with your OP I'm suggesting fiction & art are vehicles of magic. David Lynch devised his movies to disturb - not to enlighten but simply to screw with people, so they'd be dark magic. Also some cheap memes - a kind of art? - are basically just viral annoyances, so those too are dark magic.

    Or is this magic you speak of entirely private and incommunicable?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    In line with your OP I'm suggesting fiction & art are vehicles of magic.
    Hmmmm.... Does this mean the question is whether our entertainment industry helps us reach for possibilities or whether it simply becomes a substitute for acheivement? Doesn't this happen on an individual level? I would say that the artist are definitely reaching for possibilities, but I suppose it is possible for the audience to make these forms of entertainment a substitute for life. The potential for this in the computer game industry is particularly high.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    David Lynch devised his movies to disturb - not to enlighten but simply to screw with people, so they'd be dark magic.
    But disturbing people is a part of enlightenment, because enlightenment has two parts to it. First there is the waking up - seeing the questions. Second there is seeking answers to those question. I think there is no doubt that it is the first that is the most important. In fact one can feel that the second part just helps to put people back to sleep for in the finding of answers to the questions they stop seeking anymore. In that case, you might very well feel called to disturb people and to screw with them, but to avoid providing any enlightenment, because you don't want people to go back to sleep but to wake up and think for themselves. It is a very Zen approach, don't you think?


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Also some cheap memes - a kind of art? - are basically just viral annoyances, so those too are dark magic.
    Ah I see... maybe what you are after is to use these ideas as a way of judging what is good art and what is bad. Well one way is to ask which panders to wish fulfillment and which stimulates the imagination, in which case you would find fault with those forms of art which are more participatory: book more than painting, film more than book and games more than film, and computer games most of all. Another way is to ask whether they encourage an actual belief in magic as real, and perhaps that kind of judgment has some part in the historical condemnation of Dungeons and Dragons or the Harry Potter stories. But I think all this is purely subjective for there is always the implicit presumption when dealing with art, that it isn't real - we are just having fun - we are not actually expected to believe than any of it is real.

    I don't know. LOL I really hate reality TV shows and I would love to concoct some rational for saying that these represent an example of "dark magic". LOL But clearly I would just be pandering to my own prejudices and perhaps there would be more wishful thinking in the attempt to construct such a rational than there is in the reality TV shows themselves.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Or is this magic you speak of entirely private and incommunicable?
    I was really speaking of the very idea of magic itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I was really speaking of the very idea of magic itself.
    Like the full moon wart cure? I doubt many people do or ever did believe in magic. Not the literal enchanted way we like to imagine. Not in any way consequential. Surely you're familiar with being called a magic worshiper, and trying to explain "it's not like that." Isn't it ignorant and demeaning? But we all smugly agree those Stonehenge Druids and other prehistoric shamans must have swum in superstitious hokus-pokus... for they can't talk back.

    I have yet to see a primitive rite so elaborate and costly to the culture as our Santa Claus rituals. Maybe someday when I'm old and withered I'll chide the anthropologist, "You listen but you don't hear. It wasn't like that."
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I was really speaking of the very idea of magic itself.
    At least you got the right forum for that discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I was really speaking of the very idea of magic itself.
    Like the full moon wart cure? I doubt many people do or ever did believe in magic. Not the literal enchanted way we like to imagine. Not in any way consequential. Surely you're familiar with being called a magic worshiper, and trying to explain "it's not like that." Isn't it ignorant and demeaning? But we all smugly agree those Stonehenge Druids and other prehistoric shamans must have swum in superstitious hokus-pokus... for they can't talk back.
    ???
    But I was saying that magic has a light side and a dark side. Shall I repeat again in this context. On the one hand such ideas as you describe here does represent the excercise our imagination that cures may be possible when we don't in fact know any way of actually doing so, on the other hand we should be careful that they do not stand in the way of actually seeking ways of really accomplishing them.

    So in regards to religion, I guess what I am saying is that religion which embraces or even inspires the efforts of scientific discovery could be said to represent the light side of magic and religion which opposes science would represent the dark side.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    I have yet to see a primitive rite so elaborate and costly to the culture as our Santa Claus rituals. Maybe someday when I'm old and withered I'll chide the anthropologist, "You listen but you don't hear. It wasn't like that."
    Yep. I find that quite easy to envisage, indeed.

    Hmmmm... It would be interesting to see if we can think of a dark side to that particular example of "magic" but cannot think of any. BUT I would not be suprised to find that a psychiatrist might be able to help on that score.



    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    At least you got the right forum for that discussion.
    Yes Q I did. And as usual, your blind side leaves us speechless.
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    Sorry MM I can't get a toehold in this thread. It seems too vague or contrived or something. Where's Absum! when we need her?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Sorry MM I can't get a toehold in this thread. It seems too vague or contrived or something. Where's Absum! when we need her?
    Can't get a toehold? What do you mean? Do you mean that cannot understand what I have said? Or is it a matter of understanding where I am going with this?


    I guess this thread comes from a linkage of ideas connected with my criticisms of what I call magical Christianity. How does one visualize the omnipotence of God? In magical Christianity it seems to be some kind of magic -- i.e. God accomplishing things by will alone. I don't believe in that at all.

    As I see it, there only two context in which things can be accomplished by will alone. One is in dreams which I think are characterized by the lack of any need to be consistent. This is because the dream has no reality outside the mind of the dreamer. It is like an Escher painting - it doesn't really have to make sense.

    The only other context is that in which, unknown to the one who commands the magic, there is some agency that supplies whatever know-how and substance that is required to bring what is willed to realization. But this would, of course, be complete nonsense when speaking of God and thus I am inclined to think that these magical Christians are projecting their own infantilism onto God.

    Some actually do conceive of God's creation in terms that are very similar to dreamig. There are two particular doctrines/ideas which support this in particular. One is an absolute sovereignty and forknowledge of God which make nothing of free will and reduces the work of creation to something that is little different from writing a novel. The other is the idea that God has to actively support what he has created so that without God's attention the universe would cease to exist, which is another characteristic of dreaming.

    I cannot see any of this sort of thing as least bit different from pantheism or panentheism and I think it denies God any power of authentic creation of something apart from Himself. What is particularly fustrating to me is that such Christians in their inability to imagine God actually creating anything apart from Himself, completely cut themselves off from any comprehension of God's motivation for creation. They project such infantile motivations on God, such as creating the universe to show how great and wonderful He is. It boggles my mind.



    What does Absum have to do with this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Yes Q I did. And as usual, your blind side leaves us speechless.
    I'm not the one blind to magic, I see it everywhere, where you see a reality. If you could actually distinguish dark magic from Christianity, or any other religion, I'd like to hear it?
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    Pong I was actually responding to this thread but got waylaid with stuff

    I'm sorry Mckain, you do know a lot about Physics and religion and Christianity but you fall short on Magic!
    And I don't want you misleading people with all this talk of light and dark.

    People already think the subject is a bad one, and that is a terrible shame against humanity, because magic is a science and an art.

    It's an extremely effective form of practical psychology whose sole aim is to produce sane healthy balanced individuals connected to their higher selves and deals directly with human nature.

    Anything which deviates from this such as spells hexes charms etc is usually just superstition which acts as a placebo and could be classed as black magic, witchcraft or evil.
    And it is only evil because it often seeks to do harm and interfere in nature and doesn't aspire to self-improvement or the higher self.

    Magical knowledge can give you an advantage over others, and there is a temptation in practical magic to let things go to your head and by allowing certain human qualities in such as greed and a lust for power things can go drastically wrong. Which is why in Magic one of the essential preliminaries is to train the will and undergo self analysis, using Goetia for example in order to consciously recognize and pluck out those demonic forces inside such as greed and put them under the wills command.

    It works. It works a darn site quicker and better than simply seeing a shrink once a week and promising youself every night tomorrow will be better. Sometimes the psyche needs a kick start to make things better. Magic provides the numinem and motivation.

    Black or dark magic could be considered to be any act or thought which doesn't seek to elevate consciousness and unite with the higher self.

    High magic is a very worthy pursuit. It seeks to elevate mans consciousness up with the gods, to expand awareness and truly experience mystical union with Divinity or god head.

    In fact magic rituals are no different i n purpose than are Christian or all other religious rituals.

    Magic is a way of life. It's a method of studying life which includes all the sciences as well as the metaphysical philosophical psychological, because magic seeks to know and understand and then utilize that knowledge and understanding towards one goal and one goal only.
    Dark Magic or Low Magic attempts to interfere and disrupt nature. High Magic seeks to work with nature and not against it.

    Jesus. Low magic is very bad for you and dangerous. One of the arts of magic is that if you want to project something or you want to use a particular energy or quality (within your psyche) then first you must become that which you want to project and use. So you can imagine the consequences of wanting to harm someone for example. First you must become black and diseased yourself in order to cause another to.

    Yes now you will think I am talking poppycook here, but we still know very little of the human mind and what it is capable of. And it appears it is capable of some amazing feats with some training and will power. As Jesus proved Mckain and so have many others.

    Demons in magic are simply another name for uncontrolled impulses in the human psyche.

    I am going to start a thread about the subject of magic because people still have totally the wrong idea about it, and I am surprised to find such ignorance on this forum.

    Please don't condemn something because you've been influenced by others opinions of the word. Take a look yourself first and you might find something quite surprisingly and pleasantly different than what you expected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    magic is a science and an art

    sole aim is to produce sane healthy balanced individuals

    usually just superstition which acts as a placebo

    doesn't aspire to self-improvement

    there is a temptation in practical magic to let things go to your head

    undergo self analysis

    simply seeing a shrink once a week

    Magic provides the numinem

    magic rituals are no different in purpose than are Christian or all other religious rituals

    Magic is a way of life

    one goal and one goal only

    First you must become black and diseased

    now you will think I am talking poppycook here

    I am surprised to find such ignorance on this forum

    .
    .
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    magic is a science and an art

    sole aim is to produce sane healthy balanced individuals

    usually just superstition which acts as a placebo

    doesn't aspire to self-improvement

    there is a temptation in practical magic to let things go to your head

    undergo self analysis

    simply seeing a shrink once a week

    Magic provides the numinem

    magic rituals are no different in purpose than are Christian or all other religious rituals

    Magic is a way of life

    one goal and one goal only

    First you must become black and diseased

    now you will think I am talking poppycook here

    I am surprised to find such ignorance on this forum

    .
    .
    Lol

    Q

    You are a sausage!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    It's an extremely effective form of practical psychology whose sole aim is to produce sane healthy balanced individuals connected to their higher selves and deals directly with human nature.
    ...
    Demons in magic are simply another name for uncontrolled impulses in the human psyche.
    Now that is a way of thinking about magic that I can relate to, and I don't think what I have been saying in this thread has been entirely at odds with such an approach.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Yes now you will think I am talking poppycook here, but we still know very little of the human mind and what it is capable of. And it appears it is capable of some amazing feats with some training and will power. As Jesus proved Mckain and so have many others.
    What is vastly different between us is our range of experiences and it is these experiences which must be the basis of our judgement of what is real, for I think it is abundantly clear that we cannot just believe what others tell us is the case. We can to some degree suspend judgment, but this can be difficult when there are incompatbilities with what we know. The only way I can overcome the difficulty I have as a scientist is by pointing out that there is no reason to accept the metaphysical naturalist presumption that the objective scientific view of the world is a complete one. Thus I must see my own religious convictions residing within the subjective aspects of reality, and I think that necessarily means that we cannot expect these aspects of reality to be experienced in the same way by everyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I am going to start a thread about the subject of magic because people still have totally the wrong idea about it, and I am surprised to find such ignorance on this forum.
    But that is another problem with the subjective nature of what you are talking about. You cannot expect it to be objectively considered knowledge any more than my religious convictions. In that case, it is entirely unfruitful to use the word ignorance. It makes you sound like the muslims denouncing our ignorance of the truth, as if every non-ignorant person must have an interest in the Quran.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Please don't condemn something because you've been influenced by others opinions of the word. Take a look yourself first and you might find something quite surprisingly and pleasantly different than what you expected.
    Well I don't think you are asking me not to condemn the dark side of magic. LOL

    P.S. Did you manage to see that movie yet, "Bee Season"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Yes now you will think I am talking poppycook here, but we still know very little of the human mind and what it is capable of. And it appears it is capable of some amazing feats with some training and will power. As Jesus proved Mckain and so have many others.
    What is vastly different between us is our range of experiences and it is these experiences which must be the basis of our judgement of what is real, for I think it is abundantly clear that we cannot just believe what others tell us is the case. We can to some degree suspend judgment, but this can be difficult when there are incompatbilities with what we know. The only way I can overcome the difficulty I have as a scientist is by pointing out that there is no reason to accept the metaphysical naturalist presumption that the objective scientific view of the world is a complete one. Thus I must see my own religious convictions residing within the subjective aspects of reality, and I think that necessarily means that we cannot expect these aspects of reality to be experienced in the same way by everyone.
    I agree that our subjective experiences are different therefore we all interpret our world slightly differently.
    Science is a discipline which strives to overcome subjectivity by attempting to produce the same resulting phenomena again and again through experimentation whoever might be doing the experiment. In that way it becomes objective knowledge and not simply subjective and mankind can then be assured that he has grasped some facts about the world and is not just making it up!
    Science now admits that the participator is as much part of the experiment which can include variances, and this is especially witnessed in Quantum Physics.

    In fact the weird world of this branch of Physics could be comparable to the strange qualities of the whole of human consciousness, which are difficult to comprehend with ordinary everyday awareness.

    The problem with Magic as a science is that it is very much based on subjective experience. But there are many practices which produce similar results in different people. And this is how it's methods have been constructed over many years, by trial and error experimentation and seeing what works and what doesn't. Practical Magic seeks to find as efficient a route from a to b as is possible, and there is sound methodology which can attain this which anyone can practice and anyone can attain.

    Some people are more gifted in certain areas such as we see in talented musicians and artists as well as scientists.
    But the sad mistake us humans make is thinking that such people are special and we somehow fall short of the mark and we could never attain what they have. That is wrong thinking and it's those ideas which have stalled evolutionary progress in the capabilities of mankind.
    Our most valuable asset is consciousness, and consciousness in a nutshell is awareness. We cannot grasp or comprehend anything which we are unaware of, including talents and our capabilities.
    If I think I am crap at music, then I will always be crap at music. If I am willing to accept that I could be talented musically with training, then that becomes a possible reality for me.
    For others certain things seem to come easily, and for others, to get to that same level requires training. But it seems the only things which are not possible are those which the human mind cannot comprehend or wont accept.

    Self improvement through practical magic invokes dormant capabilities which otherwise couldn't be accessed through normal consciousness.
    Magic seeks to elevate consciousness. Gods in Magic are natural qualities and forces personified by the human mind in order to better comprehend it's nature. Normal consciousness is limited in its perception, but the human imagination is limitless.
    Magicians recognize and use a plurality of Gods and mythology in order to utilize the imagination in forming a connection with that particular God and it's quality whereby it is recognized and assimilated over time into the self. This is not to say Magicians don't recognize one source of Creation.
    Everything is considered to be an emanation from the one source. Qabalah expresses this idea very well through number.

    Magic can be split into two branches -

    1. Practical psychology which seeks to balance the mind and body and control the impulses and demonic forces and train the will and imagination in order to construct a suitable vessel to receive higher knowledge, understanding and inspiration. This is a crucial preliminary for the next stage of higher magic.

    2. Higher magic seeks to unite with the one source. It does this by elevating and expanding consciousness through ritual, dance, symbols, mantras etc, until the ego and identity of self dissolves into the one. This experience has been described by many mystics as ecstatic.
    This ecstatic feeling has a tendency to fade. Rituals are called rituals because they are constantly repeated. It's purpose is to continually re-mind, or re-member, or otherwise re-join.

    The magician seeks to elevate consciousness and expand awareness through constantly reminding the magician of his intention by using the whole of his senses and associated symbols in order to exalt normal consciousness and direct the whole will into uniting with this God and idea and all it's qualities in order to bring some of those qualities into ordinary awareness.
    When you trek up an awesome mountain and see a magnificent sunset it's elevating, and that elevation can stay with you for days. The magician seeks constantly to elevate in this manner using every trick in his magical book possible!

    Just as scientists must change their ideas and awareness and sometimes even look sideways to comprehend the bizarre mechanisms of physics, so also is it necessary to look sideways and in a different manner at the human mind in order to understand it.
    Philosophers have demonstrated the difficulties with the mind analyzing and knowing itself through ordinary reason and logic.
    Daily we work with our everyday conscious rational mind. We educate it, we question it, we fill it with data and we try to understand ourselves through our behaviors expressed through this sphere. But there is another just as big and just as important portion of our minds which lies hidden behind normal wakefulness, yet still plays a major part in producing conscious experience. Yet this side of us is woefully neglected. It is here where genius and talent lies, where the oddities of human nature are expressed and the phenomena of Jesus' capabilities came from.
    This portion of the human mind is far more powerful and capable than the logical rational mind. Logic and reason are simply tools for it's use.
    These modern ideas about the importance of normal consciousness and the power of reason and logic have caused an imbalance in people and societies. Never mind magic & its powers, this imbalance itself creates a lot of unhappiness and mental illness.
    It does not surprise me in the least that so many people are visiting doctors for anti-depressants because they have given up hope and can't see the point in life anymore. This is one of the symptoms of this imbalance and I do believe looking at statistical research that there is an epidemic of depression and despair in the West. This is because people have lost touch with an important part of themselves.

    I'm not slagging you off Q and I appreciate your devils advocacy, but you are a good representation of the prevalent negative attitude towards the portion of the human mind which uses imagination and creates.

    The unfortunate thing is, now people have become afraid of the imagination. It's now regarded as a thing only reserved for childhood and put aside upon becoming an adult in order to be able to take a more serious look at the world.
    The imagination has enormous capabilities for us, but only if it is looked after by the rational mind.
    Think of the rational mind as the pigeon fancier and the imagination as a pigeon. Now imagine that the fancier has the capacity to become the pigeon and see through it's eyes. Now regularly set the pigeon free! You can always put it back in it's cage.
    What the pigeon then gives because it can fly is a much broader perspective, it can encompass much more in it's vision, it's comprehension and understanding than the fancier and his limited capabilities because he's stuck on the ground.

    The irrational and rational, or the conscious and the hidden portions of us should be like brothers in arms constantly referencing and comparing information between each other with no part thinking it is any better. They simply give different perspectives which should make up the whole comprehensiveness of human awareness.

    Neurologists have discovered that exactly the same portions of the human mind are at work when we are remembering something that actually happened and when we imagine something to have happened. Imagination & reality become blurred over time as most Historians will tell you.
    The things in life which we most particularly remember vividly are those which are accompanied by strong emotions.
    Hence why magic uses yet another faculty we have, the emotions, in order to excite the mind and body and fix the idea or quality we wish to attain within us.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I am going to start a thread about the subject of magic because people still have totally the wrong idea about it, and I am surprised to find such ignorance on this forum.
    But that is another problem with the subjective nature of what you are talking about. You cannot expect it to be objectively considered knowledge any more than my religious convictions. In that case, it is entirely unfruitful to use the word ignorance. It makes you sound like the muslims denouncing our ignorance of the truth, as if every non-ignorant person must have an interest in the Quran.
    Well I can understand a Muslim getting a little impatient with a vehement non-believer or accuser who has never picked up the Quran and read it before.
    And this type of ignorance is rampant in this modern world where we are fooled into thinking we are all so knowledgeable about everything thanks to ego, education and the media.
    I have no time for anyone who even has an opinion about a subject which they haven't even bothered to look into themselves and they are just mimicking parrot fashion someone else's views. Sorry but people who operate in that manner should either be shot or locked up because they perpetuate and promote the most grossest of ignorance.

    Yes the word ignorance is fitting, because people choose to ignore but still think they have the right thereafter to form an opinion. Perhaps the better term is stupid?

    The subject of magic in it's many forms has been shrouded in secrecy in the past out of neccesity due to the real fear of persecution. In this way its secrets were also preserved. Nowadays the veil and secrecy of magic has been lifted and there is a mass of available literature on the subject.
    Yet there is still a this ignorance about magic which is obviously perpetuated by the above stupidity.
    Say Magic and people instantly back off and think your a heathen with conjuring the devil and some are even fearful that I might turn them into a frog or give them warts etc etc.
    And then these such people then accuse me of living in a fantasy world when it appears that I am closer to reality than they who believe such nonsense!

    I will repeat again Mckain -

    Magic is a scientific art which practices well used methods to achieve particular phenomena that can be measured and repeated. So it is NOT all subjective experience.
    The only variances where Magic falls short is through time.
    Two people practicing the same technique in order to produce the same result, will achieve this result at different times because all humans have their own speeds.



    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Please don't condemn something because you've been influenced by others opinions of the word. Take a look yourself first and you might find something quite surprisingly and pleasantly different than what you expected.
    Well I don't think you are asking me not to condemn the dark side of magic. LOL
    No don't condemn anything except displays of stubborn ignorance.

    If we elevate our thinking in order to comprehend more, then we can appreciate that we live in a relative universe, and even the dark has it's purpose, because without it there wouldn't be light to show us the way.

    Death disease & decay could be considered as darker elements, but in higher thinking, all these are seen as essential stages of life, and on an even higher and more profound note one could agree that without such things there would be no life and so they are not really evil at all, and it is only us which turns them into bad.



    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    P.S. Did you manage to see that movie yet, "Bee Season"?
    Funnily enough, I have just finished downloading it, so I am going to watch it later this week.

    Will let you know what I think
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    I'm not slagging you off Q and I appreciate your devils advocacy, but you are a good representation of the prevalent negative attitude towards the portion of the human mind which uses imagination and creates.
    Nonsense, I have and use my imagination with the best of them. You're referring to delusions.

    I have no time for anyone who even has an opinion about a subject which they haven't even bothered to look into themselves and they are just mimicking parrot fashion someone else's views. Sorry but people who operate in that manner should either be shot or locked up because they perpetuate and promote the most grossest of ignorance.
    Careful what you wish for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    I'm not slagging you off Q and I appreciate your devils advocacy, but you are a good representation of the prevalent negative attitude towards the portion of the human mind which uses imagination and creates.
    Nonsense, I have and use my imagination with the best of them. You're referring to delusions.

    I have no time for anyone who even has an opinion about a subject which they haven't even bothered to look into themselves and they are just mimicking parrot fashion someone else's views. Sorry but people who operate in that manner should either be shot or locked up because they perpetuate and promote the most grossest of ignorance.
    Careful what you wish for.
    Lol Q -

    You're a string of sausages! :-D

    I am wishing that you would lighten up and live a little
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    I would just like to add something to the issue of 'magic'

    I do not particularly like the term magic, although this terminology has the potential of affording the subject with the numinosity which is necessary in it's application and practice.
    The term 'magic' also has been given through its misunderstanding many negative connotations ideas and associations.

    Perhaps 'Theurgy' might be a better word?

    Science often displays an aversion to this term and this can lead to many to instantly turn their backs, deride or even refuse to entertain the idea of what is simply a worldwide ancient art-form which preceded and has served (and still does) modern day psychology.

    It is no strange coincidence that this art has been practiced in various forms and with different names throughout all civilizations in history.

    It is a fact that consciousness can be manipulated to achieve particular desired outcomes

    It is a fact that there are different levels of consciousness which also include the unconscious.

    It is a fact that certain practices achieve particular results and inner transformations which serve to influence and transform the external environment.

    It is a fact that science still knows too little about human consciousness and even more less about the nature of the unconscious.
    And it is also a fact that the ancients knew much more about these subjects than modern day science does.
    Only recently are certain practices from various cultures which were once described as magic are now being taken seriously and put into practice by the modern day psychological branches of science.

    Of all the psychological theories I have studied, I have to say that Jung and especially Roberto Assagioli are magicians.

    Roberto Assagioli's theory and practice of Psychosynthesis is magic, but instead it uses the terminology of psychology.
    So if you want to understand what magic is without being turned off by the terminology of divine or angelic beings and demons etc then take a look at the practice of Psychosynthesis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    And it is also a fact that the ancients knew much more about these subjects than modern day science does.
    That is a lie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I would just like to add something to the issue of 'magic'

    I do not particularly like the term magic, although this terminology has the potential of affording the subject with the numinosity which is necessary in it's application and practice.
    The term 'magic' also has been given through its misunderstanding many negative connotations ideas and associations.

    Perhaps 'Theurgy' might be a better word?
    Excellent. The use of different word to make distinctions between various aspects of a subject is very helpful.

    In was my first thought that I could make the clarification that my OP is entirely about magic and not about theurgy. However I have second thoughts....

    But perhaps I can ask you this question: It has been becoming clear in recent reading that magic in the sense of witchcraft which I suppose you would include in what you now call theurgy, has a great deal in common with what other religions call prayer. Does that sound about right to you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    And it is also a fact that the ancients knew much more about these subjects than modern day science does.
    That is a lie.
    No it isn't Q


    Please give me some evidence that it is a lie

    And I will now go and gather for you lots of information that will prove to you that it isn't..............which also depends of course on whether you are able to comprehend the proof of such data with your restrictive outlook.

    Here let me give you some brief examples to start with....

    Let's start with the ancient art of Alchemy

    'The fundamental ideas of alchemy are said to have arisen in the ancient Persian Empire.[1] Alchemy has been practiced in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Persia (Iran), India, Japan, Korea and China, in Classical Greece and Rome, in the Muslim civilizations, and then in Europe up to the 20th century—in a complex network of schools and philosophical systems spanning at least 2500 years.'
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alchemy)

    Please note the generally recognized fact, also from the same source-

    'The practical aspect of alchemy generated the basics of modern inorganic chemistry, namely concerning procedures, equipment and the identification and use of many current substances.'

    Alchemy and its symbolism is also a philosophical and spiritual discipline. The practices of which preluded and informed modern day psychological theories and methods.

    The Great Work of the Alchemists took various stages all of which are now recognized by modern day psychology as describing particular stages of the therapeutic transformation of the individual in psychotherapy.

    The 1st stage - Associated with the colour black, is called the stage of putrefaction.

    In chemistry this is the breaking down of organic matter with a gentle heat, in order to separate the coarse from the fine.
    In plain speak this is distillation by evaporation, whereby the finer elements are separated from the denser.

    In the philosophical, spiritual & psychological process, this is through particular practices and observation of the self in order that the grosser elements of the self are separated from the finer.
    These practices simply meant observing the self and its experiences and reactions in a detached and objective way patiently as an astronomer might watch a particular star.
    Through observing the physical sensations, the emotions, the mind, one realizes how ambivalent all are and how they fluctuate. Through observation one realizes that they actually do not make up the whole of the self at all. And simply by stepping into the shoes of observer do you begin to realise that there is somebody else there behind the scenes, observing, witnessing, and being none of these things being observed.......

    The Alchemist art of putrefaction or separating the gross from the fine also involved spiritual practices of devotion and aspiration towards a higher being.
    In modern day psychology this black phase of Alchemy is recognized as the analysis stage whereby the individual recognizes the false elements of his nature and through this begins to recognize the more real aspects, He also realizes that he has a sense of self control, because of his growing awareness of a bigger better part of him unaffected by body, emotion and mind, thereby creating a unified personal self awareness and identity, a solid foundation of a positive individual self, with which he can encounter and deal with the world and himself in it.
    This has been termed the process of 'Individualisation' or 'Individual awareness'.

    These individuals have also come into contact with a part of themselves that is separate from their bodily sensations, their emotions and their mind by simply observing all these effects. This part is another part that seems to exist beyond and higher than your previous perception of self.

    The realisation of this other I leads on to the next phase of the Alchemical process

    The 2nd stage - associated with the colour white.
    In ancient Alchemy, this is the realization of a higher self.
    Alchemists believed in 'As Above So Below' and the Microcosm reflected the Macrocosm.
    They also believed in Gods or Gods, if we remember the civilizations and cultures Alchemy has been exposed to (In Pantheistic religions, the Gods represented persona's of various natural energies and phenomena, including mans psyche and usually there was one God from which these all emanated).
    But in modern psychology this is considered more to be an idea of a higher self or soul, and it's external realization is in soul universality, that there is one. A one self, that we realize through our observational and aspirational practices, and this leads us to realize that everything we witness outside also belongs to that one, we realize we are part of a much bigger picture than we ever could have imagined.

    In spiritual alchemy this leads to an awareness of God and a higher being.

    In modern psychology this recognizes the higher self and a universal awareness of being.
    This recognition leads to the urge to unite and become that being and leads to the third phase.

    The 3rd Stage - associated with the colour red.

    To desire become one with God, or the Universal life force, to become one with the higher self, and in psychology, to unite with that higher self and the universe through identification.
    By marrying and becoming passive and absorbing like the bride, which is a symbolism of the procedure often used in religions. Or as welcoming and as virgin and barren as an empty crucible upon the Alchemists altar.

    And only strictly until the preliminary stages have been completed can this phase be achieved.

    It is a fact of nature that humans experience different levels of consciousness.
    If we consider consciousness as being 'that of which we are currently aware' It is also a fact that normal everyday consciousness has limited capacities of what it is currently aware and persistently the mind forgets information and ideas temporarily, and there also seems paradoxically new ideas and perceptions thrown into conscious awareness all the time.
    Where do things we temporarily forget go? Where do these new ideas spring from?
    It is a fact that there is a large part of human nature which lies buried and unconscious which affects to a great extent our conscious perceptions and experiences. More so than what the limited daily conscious awareness can perceive.

    The question is, how can we contact that part of us which lies buried and hidden?

    The ancients were fascinated with consciousness to such an extent that they devised methods through observation & experimentation in various forms to attempt to contact, discover and learn about this hidden part to the psyche.
    They discovered that they could not gain full access to this silent part of themselves through normal consciousness and rational reason, but discovered that it's language was symbolic and for that reason often appeared irrational to the normal rational conscious mind.
    Which is why fairy stories & myths talk of bizarre irrational things & beings, but kind of make a strange sort of sense on a more deeper inner level.
    This is why symptoms of insanity become symbolic through obsessions and fantasy, because the root cause of mental illnesses always stem from within the unconscious.

    Psychology realizes that suppression of any event in a persons life fixed by strong emotion is dangerous, because unresolved conflicts and emotions will always seek another route, and if suppressed it's reappearance will appear as uncontrolled and irrational.
    The ancients did not focus exclusively on the unconscious, for this would be a mistake to say that the conscious is not the unconscious, because they realized through experimentation and observation that everything which is experienced and perceived in conscious awareness first originated in the unconscious. And by accessing and manipulating the unconscious through it's language of symbolism, often expressed through literature and the arts, it could create definite changes and benefits on the conscious level of perception & awareness.


    In the alchemists mind the chemical process whereby evaporation and distillation of a mans soul actually occurred is as real as symbolism will ever get.

    Is science to say that a persons soul does not have substance, does it know that for a fact? The alchemists knew that as fact and they understood it so deeply that everything they did aimed for that transformation. Evolution doesn't come by chance. It isn't just a physical phenomena. It takes hard work. It takes intelligence. It takes striving.

    Alchemy is a very good start to describing magic, because even though Alchemy has passed through many cultures and civilizations, it's fundamentals stay the same. Nothing changes, except it's adornments.
    That's because it's a process that works. Which is why it has been adopted and used by modern day chemists.
    And also why it is a subject which is gaining a high regard and respect in modern psychological practices and there is a growing recognition that the ancients knew a lot about human nature, than we think we know today.

    Modern man suffers from a disease. A wrong thinking that the modern age has all the answers because it is 'modern'.

    All it takes to observe human nature is a witness. It doesn't take machinery or advanced technology. All it takes is a witness. An observer. It doesn't take a genius to devise experiments and wonder about what 'i' actually is.

    Mankind has had centuries of experimentation and observation of this I, of consciousness, and many experiments have been wrought, to some effect. Modern day attitudes think that if it isn't tomorrows world, it isn't real. It's outdated, out-moded, ineffectual etc etc


    So Q..........please give me some evidence that it is all lies
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain

    In was my first thought that I could make the clarification that my OP is entirely about magic and not about theurgy. However I have second thoughts....

    But perhaps I can ask you this question: It has been becoming clear in recent reading that magic in the sense of witchcraft which I suppose you would include in what you now call theurgy, has a great deal in common with what other religions call prayer. Does that sound about right to you?
    No Mitchell, i would not include witchcraft in my idea of Theurgy.

    I am curious how you made the relation of 'witchcraft' and it's magic to prayer?

    Theurgy i would describe as God work. And although witchcraft uses the ideas and worship of Gods. It's descriptions of Gods only appertain to forces of nature. Witchcraft attempts to manipulate those forces of nature.
    Theurgy simply recognises the superior nature within mankind and his natural environment and through realisation of these higher elements and by understanding and utilizing the nature of the tools of body mind and emotions at his disposal he will then attempt to manipulate and enhance certain elements inherent only in the inner world of the self.

    This, theurgy, i would classify as Higher Magic and witchcraft and other practices which attempt to manipulate external forces as Lower Magic.

    A High Magician will see the validity in such practices of witchcraft and it's spells simply by understanding the nature of belief and the power of will. Such spells that might attempt to remove a wart or make a person better work on a placebo effect. Belief is a very powerful force capable of changing a mans inner environment and therefore has the potential of changing his outer.
    Many other effects of witchcraft and lower magic occur through coincidence.

    But for a true Theurgist or Higher Magician to practice such things is to lose the way.
    The difference between High Magic and Low is the difference in levels of understanding and awareness.
    A Theurgist has come to understand that the interests of the Witch or Sorcerer is simply a distraction. Instead a Theurgist has advanced to the awareness of the ultimate source of his higher self and the higher elements of nature. He has realised the one source, and the only direction for a Theurgist to go is up to that source with the aim of uniting and becoming one with it. Anything else is a deviation.
    The practice of sorcery and witchcraft is only considered to 'bad' because it does not serve the one aim and only leads a person away from the truth. And the truth is that all magic and sorcery is an illusion, because there is only one true reality, and that is pure awareness and consciousness which can be only achieved by realizing the higher nature and uniting with it.

    Prayer is a practice which focuses the will and intention in one direction.
    You could say that mantras of Yogis and incantations of witches or recitals in magical or religious ceremonies are the same kind of practice.

    A prayer asks for something specific from the higher source.

    A spell of a witch might ask for something specific from a lower source.

    The secret here is that the best way to achieve this something specific is by actually uniting and 'marrying' the higher source and make it part of self and self part of it.
    By identifying divinity in ones self can the divine then be brought to the physical plane and act upon it.

    So you can imagine then what the consequences of bad or evil magic does, which means to harm another. It requires the practitioner to identify with his lower nature and to encourage particular forces which most people would consider to be undesirable. Such people who practice the Black Arts do far more harm to themselves than they are likely to do to anyone else, because they operate in ignorance.

    Mckain, what have you been reading that made you think practices of witchcraft and prayer are similar?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    So Q..........please give me some evidence that it is all lies
    Modern day scientists already know alchemy is bullshit nonsense, something ancient men didn't know. So, it's still a lie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Q)
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    So Q..........please give me some evidence that it is all lies
    Modern day scientists already know alchemy is bullshit nonsense, something ancient men didn't know. So, it's still a lie.
    Sorry Q

    that isn't good enough

    That answer sounds like an expletive from a bitter soul
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!

    Sorry Q

    that isn't good enough

    That answer sounds like an expletive from a bitter soul
    As I'm sure you'll find all kinds of lame excuses to suggest that your penchant for the magical and mystical, and the superstitions and ignorance of medieval men constitutes more relevancy than today's standards of scientific knowledge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I am curious how you made the relation of 'witchcraft' and it's magic to prayer?

    Mckain, what have you been reading that made you think practices of witchcraft and prayer are similar?
    Nothing scholarly (if there is such a thing) to be sure. Just popular literature, the only value of which, that I see, is that it does represents some peoples ideas of what witchcraft is about.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Theurgy i would describe as God work. And although witchcraft uses the ideas and worship of Gods. It's descriptions of Gods only appertain to forces of nature. Witchcraft attempts to manipulate those forces of nature.
    Theurgy simply recognises the superior nature within mankind and his natural environment and through realisation of these higher elements and by understanding and utilizing the nature of the tools of body mind and emotions at his disposal he will then attempt to manipulate and enhance certain elements inherent only in the inner world of the self.

    A prayer asks for something specific from the higher source.

    A spell of a witch might ask for something specific from a lower source.
    Now that is what I would call a theological distinction and the arguments of theology are not only endless but the fact of the matter is that we are a bit far from being on the same page in that regard so it is more fruitful to skip over such things. Of course I am all for appealing to the highest "source" in prayer. LOL


    So I am more interested in the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Prayer is a practice which focuses the will and intention in one direction.
    You could say that mantras of Yogis and incantations of witches or recitals in magical or religious ceremonies are the same kind of practice.
    which is basically an answer of yes to my question. And this leads me to the completion of my thought which is that for many purposes I could well have given this thread the name of "The dark side of prayer", and most of what I said in the OP is equally applicable to prayer. The exception is the application to theology and talking about how God accomplishes things, which I do not believe is through some magical means of "by will alone" but rather by knowledge and action.

    The rest of your post seems seems to be expressing pretty much the same basic idea that I was setting out in the OP, but you highlight two things which I agree are particularly important.

    The first is the question of manipulation. A prayer appealing to God is certainly foolish if it you are seeking to manipulate God. Manipulation is a standard human modus operandi for it is our first way of dealing with the world from infancy. But part of the process of growing up is learning to provide for ourselves rather than manipulating others to provide for us. In any case I can see how this same principle carries over into your way of thinking about "Higher Magic" that appeals to a "higher source".

    The other is the question of what is really worth seeking. One thing we seem to agree on is that whatever we may call it, we have an aspect to our being that is more important than either the body or mind (which I call it the spiritual). It is one of the greatest blessings for a Christian in prayer that God can respond with what we really need rather than with what we think we need. This is a big part of why the manipulation of God is so pointless, for He will not be manipulated into giving us what we want to our own detriment.


    As for your comments on witchcraft I must remain aloof, for I am sure that their are practitioners of it (religion, magic or whatever you want to call it) who would not agree with your assessment. Endless are the criticisms and condemnations of one religion by another. But perhaps your comments help me at least in regards to some of the less pluralistic comments in the Bible about witchcraft. For I can observe that witchcraft as understood by many people is a dark, dangerous and destructive thing depending on what you mean by it. Not that we can for a single second consider supporting any actions implied by Exodus 22:18 (which some people think actually refers to poisoners, though considering OT attitudes towards other religions, I have my doubts) any more that we would support other Old Testament practices like the stoning of those found committing adultery. We must put the standards of religious liberty and tolerance first before any ideas of a particular religion or way of thinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    I am curious how you made the relation of 'witchcraft' and it's magic to prayer?

    Mckain, what have you been reading that made you think practices of witchcraft and prayer are similar?
    Nothing scholarly (if there is such a thing) to be sure. Just popular literature, the only value of which, that I see, is that it does represents some peoples ideas of what witchcraft is about.
    Yes, popular literature and the media has often distorted the truth about magic and witchcraft in order to get dramatic effect, much to the detriment of a scientific and psychological subject that has the potential of benefiting everyone




    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    So I am more interested in the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Prayer is a practice which focuses the will and intention in one direction.
    You could say that mantras of Yogis and incantations of witches or recitals in magical or religious ceremonies are the same kind of practice.
    which is basically an answer of yes to my question. And this leads me to the completion of my thought which is that for many purposes I could well have given this thread the name of "The dark side of prayer", and most of what I said in the OP is equally applicable to prayer. The exception is the application to theology and talking about how God accomplishes things, which I do not believe is through some magical means of "by will alone" but rather by knowledge and action.
    I don't understand what you mean by 'Darker side to Prayer'. The function of prayer as I have described is a tool by which the mind can focus all of it's energies and will into one particular direction.

    It does not necessarily matter what you are saying in Prayer or Mantra or Incantations, you could be ranting gobbledy gook, the effect it has is the same.
    It is purely a mechanical operation. Think of is as a fly wheel which has the effect of throwing off any other intruding thoughts and narrowing the attention towards it's pivotal point. Thereby increasing concentration.
    The only important and essential ingredient to this operation is the intention behind it.
    Remember that it is impossible to access the unconscious through normal everyday consciousness. Prayer and mantra have the effect of opening a gap through normal every day consciousness.
    God or the Higher self can only be accessed through the whole of our being. We can safely say that in normal consciousness our attention to any given thing is normally only partial because there are other things grabbing our attention, other thoughts intruding and other concerns pressing. Prayer and mantras have the effect of shutting out these intrusions so we can focus wholly on our intention of the operation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The exception is the application to theology and talking about how God accomplishes things, which I do not believe is through some magical means of "by will alone" but rather by knowledge and action.
    Don't underestimate the power of Will Mitchell.
    Most peoples Will power is impotent because it is diluted with partial knowledge and indecision.
    Most people embark on activities with only half a heart and their minds are preoccupied with other concerns.
    For a practicing Magician learning the control of the will and most importantly how it operates and functions and how it can be concentrated is one of the most essential tasks.
    Is it not the quest of the religious to submit the lower Will to the Higher Will of God?
    Well this is exactly the same in High Magic.

    The magician after the realisation through self analysis discovers the Individual persona to be an illusion and through the act of observation discovers a Higher Self which is expansive and universal.
    The Magician makes it his aim the to fully realize and learn about this Higher Self which he then discovers is not only a part of himself, but is a part of the whole of humanity.
    It brings with it the expansive embracing qualities of humanitarianism, altruism, universal love. It removes the fear of Individual death, the qualities of greed, hate, and negativity bred from fear, because the Magician becomes aware that all is one and that division is only a temporary illusion on the physical plane.
    He realizes that this is the link to the presence of God. This is the part of him that is also part of God. He then seeks to incorporate this Higher Self into his being and submit the lower individual self to the will of the Higher. It is now not he, the person which makes the decisions it is the Higher Will or the will of God.

    This is why it is utterly impossible for a Magician who has managed this task to operate in any way dark or evil. Evil would not even enter his mind!

    Only in this relative world of matter does evil reside because there is duality. For there to be light there is dark, the same with good and bad etc.The magician sees duality as an illusion and therefore knows the truth and all his being aspires towards that truth. That beyond life's multiplicities and its temporary illusions there is a permanent unchanging source to everything. It is to this source which the Magician aspires.

    Will is a potent force because prior to any knowledge or action, it is the Will which makes that choice. It is the will which directs us towards knowledge and action. We learn and absorb knowledge only when we want to, when there is a desire to. We act only when the Will first decides we act. We act only when we desire to.

    Will is desire.

    Now see how much pain and suffering has been caused and still is being caused throughout the world by peoples desires. The Will is a potent force when trained and it is anchored to a mind and its body and emotions which has learned to become unperturbed by their chameleon nature. The Will is a devastating force when untrained and flits hither and thither not knowing what it wants or what it shall do from one day to the next.

    Will always comes first. To know God, to commune with God, to act with God, one first has to Will it.




    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The rest of your post seems seems to be expressing pretty much the same basic idea that I was setting out in the OP, but you highlight two things which I agree are particularly important.

    The first is the question of manipulation. A prayer appealing to God is certainly foolish if it you are seeking to manipulate God. Manipulation is a standard human modus operandi for it is our first way of dealing with the world from infancy. But part of the process of growing up is learning to provide for ourselves rather than manipulating others to provide for us. In any case I can see how this same principle carries over into your way of thinking about "Higher Magic" that appeals to a "higher source".
    You've questioned this idea of 'Manipulation' before Mitchell and I know that the idea of manipulating God does not appeal to Christian thought and makes you feel uncomfortable. It could even be considered as disrespectful because God cannot be moved, he does the moving.

    Now I agree with you here. God cannot be moved and nor can the Higher Self, because both are one and the same thing.

    Many Christians think it arrogant to consider part of our nature (what lowly man?) is part of God and that if we identify with this element we can also 'become as Gods'. I can never understand this contradiction in Christian thought which seeks to connect with a God as if he existed outside of us, when surely if everything came from God, then we are essentially as much a part of God as God is himself?

    Now as for the manipulation part hear this.....man in his quest of evolution and his desire to survive in the physical world out of necessity manufactured over many years of evolving a self which can cope with the physical world. A self which sometimes must be greedy, must be covetous, must be tyrannical and must focus himself on the physical plane in order to function and survive.
    Now that is all well and good and essential on the physical plane. But during this process he lost touch with the Higher Spiritual part of himself which was unconcerned with the physical world. This Higher Self is part of God. It is the spiritual side of mans psyche.
    This individual self is plastic fluid and changeable. It has to be in order to be able to adapt to survive. The body, mind and emotions are simply tools that serve the individual and as we have noted, they also are changeable fluid and often fickle.
    The manipulation I am talking about, is the manipulation of these parts which in their ignorance do not pertain and aspire towards divinity. In many respects the body mind, emotions and the individual persona can often be annoying aggravations that can often appear uncontrolled and certainly have a tendency to oppose our control.
    Try it, try to Will your mind to focus on one thought alone and see how it rebels. Try to control the emotions and see how they refuse to submit. The body can be much easier to control than these two.
    The Will becomes essential to train these functions which create many distractions.

    When you attempt to control these functions, you will see how manipulating and cunning they are, especially the mind. In some ways it almost seems like they are a force in themselves independent of your control. And that's exactly what they are. They are not used to being actively and purposefully controlled by a higher will. They are used to calling the shots, making the decisions and manipulating you!
    A lot of people don't realise this fundamental truth. Only when you start to try to enforce control do you become aware, and this awareness is frightening. Because mind and emotions have the potential of wreaking havoc and harm when uncontrolled. And more often than not, even with individuals that think they have full control, they are not.

    This is the only manipulation that's done Mitchell. On the self, and only to submit all these parts of self to a higher authority. It can take the form of a battle of wills between all these parts that initially refuse to submit.

    The Yogi trains the body through Assana

    Mind is trained through persistent narrowing down and eliminating the barrages of thoughts and intrusions of ideas so that it is able to focus on one thing for a duration. The ultimate is when the mind is capable of thinking of nothing.
    Mantra is used in this exercise to train the mind to throw off thoughts and to focus on one point.

    The emotions are trained through observation. When one steps into the shoes of observer, one immediately separates the self from the actual effect
    . This self observes in a detached fashion with the attitude of a scientist observing an experiment. This is the art of dis-identification. Which is the nature of controlling all the three aspects of being.

    When you identify with something it has power over you. When you dis-identify you have power over it.

    It is then the art of Magic to dis-identify himself from all his human parts in order that he can have power over them and identify with his Higher Self or God, in order that God or the Higher Self has power over him.



    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    The other is the question of what is really worth seeking. One thing we seem to agree on is that whatever we may call it, we have an aspect to our being that is more important than either the body or mind (which I call it the spiritual). It is one of the greatest blessings for a Christian in prayer that God can respond with what we really need rather than with what we think we need. This is a big part of why the manipulation of God is so pointless, for He will not be manipulated into giving us what we want to our own detriment.
    Yes I call it spiritual too. It lies above the body, the mind and the emotions. These three parts lie within the sphere of the physical plane. The Higher part or God, lies beyond this plane, just as the unconscious lies beyond the conscious in man.

    In psychology it is now being recognized that action, thought, behavior and ideas first appear to originate in the unconscious, which is why much of psychological analysis and therapy now focuses on this area.
    It makes sense to treat the root here than it's growth in the conscious. Treating the conscious symptoms only is much like hacking the visible stems of Groundsell and wondering why it still keeps growing!

    So from that understanding we then realise that in the bigger scheme of things behind the physical conscious visible realm there lies a spiritual unconscious invisible realm from which the physical world springs. If this is the case, then the reality which lies closest to the truth actually lies more in the spiritual realm than the physical realm.

    And if we want to alter or change anything in the physical realm we must then begin in the spiritual realm. Because doing it purely on the physical is the same analogy of attempting to rid the the soil of Groundsell by only cutting off it's visible stems.

    This is the fundamental belief in Magic. The Magician is aware of the invisible and spiritual realm which lies behind and is the cause of all visible phenomena on the physical plane. This includes everything living and growing, as well as inert objects.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    As for your comments on witchcraft I must remain aloof, for I am sure that their are practitioners of it (religion, magic or whatever you want to call it) who would not agree with your assessment.
    Witchcraft is a very small branch of this subject.

    I have studied the subject of Magic for 21 years now and all it's branches, in all it's lower and higher forms and all it's multi-cultural and historical expressions, including Christian Mysticism, which is simply another form of the High Magic which I describe.....

    Of course there will be people who disagree with my estimation. We are conscious in the realm of relativity, duplicity, multiplicity, changeability and illusion, therefore I would expect and welcome disagreements.
    But the truth of the matter lies beyond the physical plane. That's where the real answers lie in such matters. When people learn to strip away personal labels embellishments as well as the covetous labels of my belief and right and wrong. Only then will people see that all along everyone was arguing about the same thing and everyone although on different rides were all heading in the same direction.
    If we get that far without wiping our species out. I know for a fact some long way off in the future mankind will have the grace to laugh at it's primitive foolishness of what it calls the modern world.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Endless are the criticisms and condemnations of one religion by another. But perhaps your comments help me at least in regards to some of the less pluralistic comments in the Bible about witchcraft. For I can observe that witchcraft as understood by many people is a dark, dangerous and destructive thing depending on what you mean by it. Not that we can for a single second consider supporting any actions implied by Exodus 22:18 (which some people think actually refers to poisoners, though considering OT attitudes towards other religions, I have my doubts) any more that we would support other Old Testament practices like the stoning of those found committing adultery. We must put the standards of religious liberty and tolerance first before any ideas of a particular religion or way of thinking.
    You have to remember Mitchell when certain parts of the Bible where written and included and the prevalent attitude of the time.
    Exodus was written approx 1491 BCE.
    There was a real fear towards sorcery then because of a lack of understanding of the times and also it was a tool used to persecute the innocent.
    Threats of Magic and Witchcraft were brilliant weapons used by the religious authorities to force people to submit to church authority because they could include all manner of evils and demons and even such ideas as the Devil himself!

    In fact the Christian Church has always had an inner sanctum which practiced Mysticism and Magic. It has known about the truth of such things for a long time and it has kept such things secret.
    There's a lot to be said for power.
    For many years the Church has not wanted to share the rights of this power and empower others into this knowledge.
    People are much better to control when they are kept in ignorance.
    If people began to learn that they had free Will and that they had a Higher Self and that they alone could access God without having to go through a Church or Priest the Church would not be able to control such people or take their money so easily.
    That's the truth of it Mitchell.

    However much you aspire to the ideal of Christianity and desire to turn away from such undesirable revelations about the Religion that facts remain the same.

    You speak of 'Dark' Magic and 'Evil'. But lets' see exactly what we mean here by Dark and Evil.
    Dark is simply that which lies hidden. A fear of the Dark is an inherent instinct in the primitive psyche of mankind. We fear the 'unknown'. Because when a thing is known we have power and control over it. When a thing is unknown it has the potential of having control and power over us. The unconscious is considered dark and mysterious because it lies hidden. In Mythology parts of nature are regarded as dark, Mysterious and potentially dangerous because they lie hidden.
    Humans do not like the dark or that which is hidden. Our security comes from that which is known and we have power over and can control. In our collective psyche there is a fundamental terror of the dark which began from the darkness in the womb, to the dark shrubbery from where terrifying animals would spring, from the darkness of caves. It is a fear that continues to be perpetuated by Dark tales of Dark terrorists (living in caves) to Dark devious Warlords wanting to take over the world. To Dark Magic and Black witches and demons etc etc.
    In our modern age we now have the darkness of conspiratory stories. We mistrust and fear Governments because we think they lie to us and keep us in the dark. If they keep us in the dark and we don't know the truth, but they do, they have power over us. I'm sure you can think of many more instances where this darkness prevails.
    Dark is that which lies hidden and unrevealed. It could also pertain then to ignorance.
    On the opposite end Light is associated with truth and Divinity. We bring things into the light in order to be able to see them clearly.
    Dark conceals and hides. It is secret. It shape changes. Which is seen in the physical world when we lie in bed at night and the dressing gown at the foot of our beds takes on the shape of a monster. In the realm of the psyche, the Dark Realm is the unconscious, that part that speaks in strange symbols. Where a picture or a piece of music will invoke unusual feelings and moods within us. It is the part that imagines monsters, weird dreams and ideas.
    AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - It is the part which the imagination has the most fun with, when it doesn't know the truth and manufactures monsters, delusions and fantasies.
    In normal every day life this is seen most obviously in relationships. Where a partner is doubtful of the intentions and actions of the other, it is because they are in a state of not knowing when there is a state of not knowing in any situation in life there becomes ambiguity. When we are in the dark the imagination then automatically takes over and constructs all sort of possible scenarios that might be true, which become more and more gross as the desire for truth becomes more desperate.
    This is also clearly seen in a Mother whose child has just gone missing. Not knowing can flood consciousness with all sorts of terrible imagined horrors.



    The church has known about all the Magical secrets I have described to you, and if you want me to prove that to you by giving you masses of references fro your own inquiry than i will gladly.
    The Inner Christian Church practices all the Magical practices I have described. It keeps this secret from the Masses because it doesn't want them becoming independent and powerful in their own rights because the Church will lose control.

    This is why the Church has attempted to deter people from making their own explorations into such matters through tall tales of devils demons and the dangers of evil sorcery and threats of persecution and even death should anyone attempt to try.

    I have respect for anyone seeking a connection with God or the Higher self through whatever means or religion or practice of their choice.

    I have no respect for a Church or Religious body which seeks to control it's congregation and not liberate them and keeps its congregation prisoners in misery by denying them the truth simply because the Church wants power over these people.

    That is not Spirituality and has nothing to do with the spiritual plane.

    That is another example of Black Magic. The Christian Church, and many other Religions have for many years practiced Black Magic by denying people the truth in order to have power over them.

    Magical is a psychological art that manipulates psyche to a particular end.

    High Magic, which is spiritual, attempts to manipulate all the aspects of the personal psyche in order to gain power over the individual self with the aim of uniting that self with Divinity and submitting the self to Divine Will. It seeks to interfere in nothing else outside itself, except to bring the Higher qualities it has gained into the physical realm. More importantly it seeks the light with the aim of illumination in order to get closer to the truth.
    Low Magic attempts to manipulate external objects and psyches in order to gain power and control over them so that they will submit to the power of the will Low Magician.

    I would describe certain aspects and authorities of many orthodox religions then to being Low Magicians of the Highest order, and practicing dark magic by keeping their flock in ignorance for the sole purpose of having control over them.

    Now I know Mitchell, that this is not always the case with the Church, and that it has a good element where much of its members are aspiring towards what is right.
    BUT - your ignorance, and I don't mean that as an insult, but your ignorance of the subject of High Magic, which I have attempted to thoroughly describe, and your insistence on confusing it with Witchcraft and Black Magic and missing its relevance to Christian Spirituality demonstrates to me that the Church is still not giving away nothing, and on the contrary is still keeping people veiled in darkness by continually promoting such ideas as dark and black and evil.

    The Church knows all about dark, black and evil, because it consciously promotes it and uses it to keep the flock as fools. It gives the flock its frightening description in order to prevent anyone looking deeper into the subject and finding out the truth.
    Darkness and Evil are simply ignorance, and they are keeping their flock in ignorance about a spiritual practice and art which would benefit all of mankind, and they do this because they know full well, if they revealed that secret, they would not have the power over people they still continue to have today.

    It's necessary to point that fact out to you. You began the discussion about 'Dark Magic'
    But you never realized how the Church also practices Dark Magic
    Absum! has never been bored in her life, but is becoming increasingly bored of the Science Forum! :?


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  51. #50  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    It's necessary to point that fact out to you. You began the discussion about 'Dark Magic'
    But you never realized how the Church also practices Dark Magic
    On the contrary, it has been my implication from the very beginning, which I made explicit in my discussion with Pong, that this dark side of magic is very much applicable to Christianity. I just reinforced this when I said that this thread could to some degree be called the "dark side of prayer". It should be clear from many of my posts that I think that Christianity has this same dark side I have been talking about and which I have referred to as "magical Christianity". Now I know you don't like the implication in this term that magic is something bad or negative, and that I agree with you to some degree is part of the purpose of this thread. The idea of magic IS NOT wholly negative in my thinking and in the OP I did elucidate some of the positive effects. But it is inevitable that words like "magic" mean different things to us and thus your take on this is not quite the same as mine. I certainly have no experiences that can make the claims you have made about magic any more real to me than what I read in a fantasy novel like the Harry Potter books.


    So have you watched "Bee Season" yet? When you have, perhaps the way I think about the film can shed further light on this subject.
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  52. #51 Re: The dark side of magic 
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    Ok Mitchell, apologies if i seemed too harsh in my judgment.

    But I am confused by some of your ideas and how you came to them about the subject of magic, and what exactly you mean because some of your explanations and reasoning are a bit hazy.

    I will begin with your OP and show where i found things confusing and give you the definition of my understanding.

    Which I would like to hasten to add that I have not achieved this understanding through personal effort alone but have learned about magic from a diversity of sources, cultures and times.
    A definition of magic can be taken from all of these because when stripped of it's cultural and period embellishments, it's procedures, philosophy and methods speak the same language.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    We have a lot fun with magic.
    It's meant to be fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    There is the magician who devises clever illusions to entertain us.
    Trickery and sleight of hand. Personal psychological Magic is similar in that the Magician purposely tricks the mind with intention, instead of allowing the mind to trick him willy nilly!

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    There are stories of other worlds where things work a little differently than they do in our everyday world and these entertain us in stories and films.
    Myths, Fantasy and Fairy tales have a much more an important place in civilization than as mere entertainment.

    Mythology has commonly given personifications and characterizations to natural phenomena and the elements of mankind's psyche and the stories describe the effects, dynamics and interplay between them in order that the human mind can better conceive and comprehend them. This is obviously seen in Greek Mythology.
    Remember we didn't always have scientific knowledge and its methodologies to explain such phenomena, and so through the act of observation and sensation of all these effects our ancestors relied on their imaginations in order to explain them.
    But that doesn't mean that they are solely fantasy and unreal, because Myths are the first records of our observations of those phenomena which do exist.
    Our understanding of nature, including the human psyche, for that is part nature too, not only involves what it is and what it does, but it also involves our experience of it and what affect it has upon us. Whether that be physical or psychological.
    Science explains the nature, ingredients and purpose of things in the physical world. Myth explains the experience and affect of all things in the psyche.
    Myth has the benefit of encouraging the psyche to respond and participate imaginatively and creatively with these forces, instead of becoming overwhelmed by them.

    Fantasy Myth and Fairy Tales also work in symbolic form and analogies which offer deeper messages.
    Beneath the strange tale, lies another story about a human condition or experience that often takes place as landmark transitional stages of a human life. Such as coping with adolescent and the pain of moving from child to adulthood.
    In fact there has been a lot of study into the importance of fairy fales and mythology in therapy and healing. Because they help people come to terms with life experience and their selves.

    The famous psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim (1903 - 1990) used Fairy Tales extensively in his work as an educator and therapist of severely disturbed children and has written lots of books on their benefits.
    Jung of course is another psychoanalyst who regarded symbols allegories myth and fairy stories as important in human development.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    What is it about magic that appeals to us so much that we find such delight in these performers and books and films?
    Because it speaks and appeals to the unconscious and superconscious, and both these parts of our being are desperate for communication and participation.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    There is often repeated the observation that much of what is possible today because of technology would very likely appear to be magic a few centuries ago. Just consider what that means. It means that by this idea of magic people would imagine things that they had no way of accomplishing and yet a few centuries later we had found out how to actually accomplish those things.
    Yes, absolutely!

    Which is why it saddens me when intelligent people who show an interest in science seem to at the cost of their imagination.

    With the above knowledge in mind, it is a fallacy to state that something definitely does not exist because it still is yet to be proven.

    It is utter blindness and stubborn ignorance and makes a person stupid to then vehemently deny any growing evidence which develops a favorable probability to something once considered supernatural superstitious magical or delusional, like telepathy for example, because it doesn't fit in with a persons world view!

    And such people have the balls to describe themselves as scientific explorers?
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...icle629413.ece

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Thus I believe that this idea of magic has played the role of an important tool in the use of our imagination to leap over our ignorance about how things can be done to give us the dreams which ultimately motivate us to find out how to do things we could not do before.
    That's only one of it's roles.

    I think what you are saying is that it keeps the imagination dynamic and the creativity flowing which enables mankind to come to better decisions by constantly moving into new fields of awareness with new possibilities?

    If that's the case then you have hit the purpose of magic on the nail and on the head!

    When faced with a rock to move up a hill, or a personal battle of wills, a person could, if his perception is centered on the physical plane alone become overwhelmed and defeated by the task ahead, because he sees it only as a physical act, and the rock looks heavy and arduous.
    The heavy physical effects of inertia takes over. But if a person is also aware of the dynamic within through magical thinking and has the capacity to utilize the imagination and one imagines Hercules for example, and this is exactly why the function of mythology works, because it enables visualization.
    Visualization is a potent human force in motivation which is sorely neglected in most humans. But if a person imagines Hercules and reinforces with visualization and identifies with the strength of Hercules, such a person feels that they can move mountains and easily the rock.
    The mind has a profound effect on the capabilities of the body

    It's it not just the superconscious through aspiration which motivates.
    The unconscious also motivates, especially through the residue of previous experience. To good or bad effect.
    The unconscious is indifferent to good or bad, it simply produces. It is in the unconscious where the problems of humanity lie, from repressed issues, past trauma and unexpressed suppressed emotions.
    The unconscious could be considered like a container, which contains and hides things, and many mental illnesses stem from there being too much being held in and the pressures this puts on the floodgates between normal consciousness and the subconscious. Human health depends on release and expression and tension should only be part of the preliminary towards expansion, not from bottling things up.
    Humans think it is wrong to express certain things and it is good manners or demonstrates cultivation to inhibit expression. Wrong thinking! Everything should be expressed. Sometimes temporary restraint and alternatives must be made if we are to be sociable but negative thoughts and feelings can always be expressed positively.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    But I think there is a dark side to this idea of magic as well. What happens if we actually believe in magic as a way of accomplishing things by the action of our will alone. The obvious danger that such a belief will keep us from ever seeking real means of accomplishing our goals may seem a little unlikely, because it is hard to imagine persisting in just willing things to happen when this really doesn't accomplish anything. But the problem is, strangely enough, that this underestimates the power of belief.
    This is where i don't understand you Mitchell.
    What is this objection to utilizing the will to accomplish things?
    What else do we have but out Wills? Without the dynamic of will power nothing would be accomplished.

    I think what you are claiming her is the idea that if man to were depend on his will alone to accomplish things, then he would not need the will of God to assist him.
    Now that's impossible because God's will is part of our own whether we are aware of and use that fact or not!

    ....But yes man has a choice A person can either be small minded and focus his attentions about solely his own needs utilize his will for personal ends and achievement and individual goals, and remain attached to the material.
    Or a man can alter his perception and become aware of another level of his will which is motivated by universal ends and impersonal aims and ambitions which involves humanity as a collective and is attached to the spiritual.
    God lies latent and his will impotent when man centers his awareness on the limitations of the individual self alone.

    Gods will can only act through man if he thinks like a God and perceives beyond individual consciousness towards a universal one.

    Magic does not take away Gods power. Magical practice is not the arrogant will of man who thinks he has no need for God.
    Magic is a tool and a means to an end in transcending individual consciousness and know the universal expansive nature of God.

    Man begins from the individual ground level perspective.
    It takes a huge effort of evolutionary consciousness for man to elevate his individual self to the universal self.
    It takes profound changes in consciousness. This cannot be achieved at ground level centered around the individual consciousness, but that's all we've got to start with. So that's where a person must begin.
    This is the nature of the Qabalistic tree diagram and it's practical applications. It describes the assent a person takes in the journey back to God consciousness. Just at the tree also expresses the flow of God and all it's divisions into the physical plane.
    Certain magical practices, all such practices which aim towards the same thing, be it yogis mantra to religious prayer to magical ceremony are demonstrations of the individual attempting to alter perception, increase awareness and reach the state of consciousness described as God consciousness.

    The magician uses his will, which is his desire, to direct his aspirations to God.
    Just as an arrow is directed at a target.
    Every magical act should express this desire. Any other act which doesn't express this desire could be considered 'evil' in human terms, because without this aspiration, man will not consciously evolve and will remain forever trapped in his individual lonely prison.
    Science makes the mistake in thinking human evolution involves physical processes.
    This is only a very small part of the picture.
    True evolution occurs in consciousness and this in turn affects the physical. Science is only really just beginning to discover the profound effect the mind has upon the body.
    Our perception makes our bodies as much as it does our environment and reality. When humans finally absorb and understand this truth there truly will be a revolution in human consciousness and we will see just how many things for so many years we have got completely back to front!
    This is what I keep saying. Things do not begin in the physical world. They begin on the ethereal spiritual planes. If you have a problem in body, first look at psyche to resolve it.
    I don't think we can limit evolving consciousness to humans alone. Plants have been proven to thrive when love is projected towards it from a conscious being, and other plants which haven't been subjected to feelings of love in the same experiments, but have been fed and watered the same, don't thrive so well.
    This opens the possibility that all living things are could possibly be affected by our states of consciousness.
    This is seen quite clearly of course in our family and relationships. We affect others by how and what we think. Could it be possible to impart a feeling of depression to others when we ourselves are feeling down, without even having to state how we are feeling? Of course, because our whole selves express the conscious state we are in.
    We have a responsibility to ourselves and the rest of the universe to strive for conscious evolution. We are ignorant, foolish and hurtful otherwise.

    Anyone who consciously strives towards this goal, whether it be through gardening, poetry, Tia Chi, music, art, prayer, yoga etc etc deserves a medal, because they are doing something hugely difficult and massively important for the rest of humanity.
    There is a possibility of critical mass. Minds influence other minds in the nature of epidemics.

    A high magician makes his will strong through various practices, and empties the vessel of his individuality by clearing away the fallacies that body mind and emotion give in order to be filled by a universal consciousness and have a will strong enough for God to take over.

    Persistence is one of the faculties of will. Without persistence will would drop at the first hurdle.

    How can that take away belief?

    Belief surely simply gives direction for the will to travel?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    A little while ago I started a post entitled "how belief affects reality" and in the examination of this question what was clear is that what belief affects most is ourselves and especially our perception of things.
    I will take a look at that thread you started.

    Of course belief affects our reality. That is what I have always been saying. What we perceive is what we are conscious of.

    This is why we call the hidden part of us unconscious. But whether we are conscious of it or not doesn't change that fact that things exist beyond our perception. When we turn our back on the sun it doesn't go away.

    We talk of reality as if it is static and stationary. It isn't. Our reality changes constantly depending on our consciousness. Some days we feel small and trivia obsesses us because perception has narrowed restricting consciousness. Extremes of his state can bring obsessions to detail and a feeling of isolation. Other times we feel big & expansive, forget about trivia and bigger issues involving humanity enter our field which expands consciousness.
    Every time we learn something new, incorporate new knowledge and grow our consciousness grows also and so therefore does our reality.
    Consciousness is a two way interaction between the interior and exterior. What we experience externally affects our perceptions and what we perceive affects what we are conscious of in the physical plane.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    This fact is what contributes to the this dark side of magic. The fact is that people are capable of giving themselves over to a will for something to such an extreme that it alters their perception of reality to the degree that they become out of touch with reality and rather unreasonable.
    No it is not the will that makes a person become out of touch with reality and unreasonable. It is what is motivating the will that can be dangerous and unreasonable.
    The will is simply a tool to get things done. It is a dynamic moving force.

    What makes the will dangerous is bad thinking and lack of perception.

    One of the biggest dangers to mankind is ideology.

    Ideals should become the new sin! Ideals are mans bane!!
    They create stagnant stinking rotten pools out of humanity because they are static and fixed.
    There lies the problem with institutionalized religion.
    Religion is lived and breathed and moves and grows with it's people just as God lives breathes and moves within them. It has only grown bad when it's texts, doctrines and laws were set in stone. People are still encouraged to follow rules of conduct and laws written thousands of years ago and still arguing over the correct interpretations of ancient verse. God does not exist in the past. Divinity lives here right now. God would probably be relieved if man were to rip up his religious doctrines and start living and making his spirituality in the present. Man misses God when he bows his head looking for him in ancient texts and manuscripts, or even as a Kabbalist in secret words and signs. If only he would look up, throw away those words, shut his mouth and open his heart and dance with the wind and the stars. Then he would find God easily!

    Religion is a good thing if it is allowed to grow naturally through individuals. If that were the case we would probably naturally already have a universal understanding of religion and god which everyone agreed on. Instead we have fragments of stone scattered all over the place with everyone wasting time fighting over the pieces!

    So it is what motivates the will that can lose touch with reality and cause a person to be unreasonable. How unreasonable and far removed from reality are those with fixed ideals who then impose those ideals onto others. A recipe for disaster and misery! They fix their beliefs in ideal and then project that ideal onto the rest of the world. If that isn't evil and contributing to the downfall of man then I don't know what is!

    The will is essential in knowing God. If the will is directed towards this aim without projecting the will onto others, then no one can complain.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Thus the danger that the idea of magic can become an obstacle to the realization of our dreams by preventing us from actually seeking the realistic means of accomplishing them is not so ridiculous after all.
    Only if magic is misunderstood.

    Magic & the Occult has a definite allure, I'll grant that.
    It particularly seems to allure those with weak wills, drug users, social deviants, loners, psychotics etc
    Now the reason for this is because it offers the attraction of power. These poor disillusioned souls think that there is some omnipotent force that they can tap into to relieve all their ills and misery and even give them power over others.
    Now there is as we know an omnipotent power that can do this, but God doesn't grant his grace so easily to those fixated on self alone.
    Just as some people think they can pop a pill and suddenly feel good and better without any effort, the same people will think that by acquiring the necessary paraphernalia described in a magical operation and after muttering a few words and making a few gestures they will be granted a little demon to do their bidding.
    Fortunately such individuals on discovering what magic is actually about and the hard work and effort to achieve anything worthwhile will usually flee at the first sniff of self analysis and pop a pill to make themselves feel better!
    Magic does not work like that.
    Magic is essentially self analysis and a psychological process.
    Anybody who attempts to use magic for any other purpose than to improve the individual self and aspire towards the expansive Higher Self and then onto unity with Divinity is not only sure to fail, but is more likely to further increase their delusions and make for themselves a very broken self and a place in a lunatic asylum.

    True magic which seeks a higher aim, on the contrary, is a brilliant tool to enable a person to realize their true potential and their dreams and is a very realistic means to accomplishing them.

    On the subject of dreams. Which are obviously ambitions. When a person works on the self and begins to change, they will discover that their ambitions and dreams will change dramatically. This is one of the transformations which an individual undergoes.
    In normal individual consciousness our ambitions, dreams and goals are directed on the material plane, towards physical object or wealth.
    With universal consciousness this direction completely changes, and so does our perception and so does our beliefs and ideals become as fluid as mercury. That's where real transformation occurs, and that can change the whole world, inside and out.

    This aint just fancy sound-bite rhetoric. I am trying to describe the nature of a reality and consciousness that exists. I hope one day humans will incorporate universal consciousness in its description of 'normal everyday'.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Nowhere is this idea of magic more extreme, as I see it, than in the idea of wishes, whose dark side is something called wishful thinking. The idea of the wish is that we simply say what we want and what we want comes true. I see the worst of magic in this idea because in this idea our desire is completely divorsed from action and any thought about how to accomplish our desire. What I find particularly ominous is the fact that a wish is not bound by any constraints of logical consistency with the reality of who you are -- and thus people quite often wish to be someone other than who they are. I think that sort of wish is somewhat akin to a wish for annihilation - a candy coated deathwish.
    Well this 'wishful thinking' goes along the same lines as the desires, ambitions or dreams as I said above.
    Desires motivate the will. Fortunately the will is not cultivated or strong enough for most people to make their dreams a reality. Perhaps God meant that as a reason to protect us all from peoples thoughtless desires!

    I think the only dark side to wishful thinking is what exactly are you wishing for?

    If it's a desire to be a better person or closer to God then great. If it's to hope that the neighbour you don't like to fall down the stairs then...hmm!

    There is real power in magic, but its not easily got, and it will never be got by the pill poppers and curios seekers, and i thank God for that!
    Power comes from the exercises and practices, as well as the expansion of consciousness through contemplative exercises.
    The two must go together.
    The reason for this is that real power comes via self analysis and eradicating inner conflicts, ambiguity and duality which drains personal power.
    Training the body, imagination, concentration, visualization, and waken and enhance these potentials to such a degree that they are working at optimum proficiency (that's the aim)
    Now the will is the force. The other tools of imagination visualization etc are simply tools to reinforce will and it's direction.
    Imagine the power this would give an individual?
    Now imagine if such an individual were to use the strength of this mighty will for ill!
    This occurs all the time. People do use their wills badly and cause others to suffer, including themselves.
    Anybody can train themselves to have a formidable will without having any spiritual inclination. People are daily influenced by overpowering wills stronger than their own.

    This Mitchell is THE real danger of magic.

    This has been one of the reasons its practice has been kept in secret, with a select few and away from the masses. Because it has the potential to be misused and distorted when not used for the ends it was designed for.

    In high magic the magician practices these techniques alongside other techniques which aspire towards the Higher God consciousness.
    By the time he has acquired a strong enough and powerful will he will have attained Universal consciousness and will have no desire to harm another or misuse his will.

    The only danger from people thinking that a wish blown on the wind will bring them what they want is disappointment! Oh if only life were that easy eh!
    If there is no willpower or effort behind it then it's about as useful as me sticking a note on the back door for the milkman who delivers to the front door, and expect to get milk that day!
    If people want to sit around day dreaming that's up to them. I am not worried about them, except they get in my way dawdling at the supermarket.
    It's people who wishful think and then do something about it. What I would be concerned about was what exactly were they wishing for and then how capable they are in actually carrying it out.


    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    There was a book I read that I have never forgotten called, "The Traveler in Black" about a man who goes about the world (medeival era) granting people's wishes knowing full well that the result will always be a complete disaster. I could point out the similarity between this traveler in black and the mythology of death. Anyway this traveler in black sees himself as a champion for the forces of order and reason and you might think that is a little strange considering the chaos that he creates in his wake. But I think the point is that he pulls the magical thinking out of people like pus from an infection to teach them that the short cut that wishes make is not the correct way to pursue our dreams. The damage done by wishful thinking as it festers and paralizes people is revealed for just how pathetic it really is when you see that even if such wishes were granted they would not accomplish anything good anyway.
    Lol

    That sounds like an interesting book i will have to keep my eye out for a copy!

    I think magical thinking is important in society. It can't not be, because it part of our nature. It is the part which makes religion, literature, art, myth, songs etc.

    Magic is the part of us which aspires towards God.

    I think what this book describes is the wrong type of wishful thinking.

    Each time we go after something on the physical plane we expend energy. All well and good because we need to expend energy to grow and gather food and to live and even breathe.
    But when we waste our time and energy chasing after things in the belief they will give us happiness, such as that car, winning the lottery etc and all the other whimsy ideas we think will bring success then a part of us does die.
    It's like setting fire to our bank notes to keep warm whilst sitting on a fallen tree log.
    A part of us dies because every time we desire some thing we forget God and the more we forget God the less we live.

    We should be saving our energy and using our time for proper desires and goals. Those that would truly give us inner peace and happiness as well as making our external world a better place.

    Magic is a valuable resource, when it is properly understood and used.

    In fact, you use magical formulas every day in everything you do, whether they work effectively or not, depends only on whether you realize it.
    Absum! has never been bored in her life, but is becoming increasingly bored of the Science Forum! :?


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  53. #52  
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    Mckain

    Bee Season

    Great film

    But it has little to do with Kabbalah ( butI prefer Qabalah)

    But has more to do in illustrating obsession, delusion and emotional and behavioral dysfunction that the indoctrination into any religion, not just Kabbalah, can bring.
    Absum! has never been bored in her life, but is becoming increasingly bored of the Science Forum! :?


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  54. #53  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    Bee Season

    Great film

    But it has little to do with Kabbalah ( butI prefer Qabalah)
    I did say that. And yet ideas from/about the Qabalah are central to the film.


    Quote Originally Posted by Absum!
    But has more to do in illustrating obsession, delusion and emotional and behavioral dysfunction that the indoctrination into any religion, not just Kabbalah, can bring.
    Boy! I didn't think that was what it was about at all. I cannot imagine what religion you are blaming everything on THIS time. Seems to me that we have 4 people each exploring the nature of their existence in their own way. Yes some are more obsessive than others and yes some are less socially acceptable than others and yes some are dangerous and some can get us into pretty big trouble and yes some may seem pretty weird to most of us. But in my view the most disfunctional thing going on in the film is the excessive expectations of normality. I am not sure the film is even allowing for a well defined line between sanity and insanity.

    In my view the film was about the irreducibly mysterious nature of our lives and how little we understand how to make it all work the way we want. It suggests that we may find a rare epiphany that tells us how the most unexpected actions can achieve what we want. The film suggests that in our individual searches/obsessions we can drift farther and farther apart, but that we can also choose to put our self-indulgence aside and find each other again. But I don't think this is necessarily an indictment against our individual endeavors and obsessions at all. It is just an observation of the choices we have in front of us.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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