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It's a kind of magic

I asked some people whether they do magic. I included magical thinking and faith in this definition if they felt comfortable with that. I had about 50 responses.

When I asked the same people to what extent the magic changed the magician and to what extent it directly changed the world beyond the magician, I got a lot of discussion about the nature of the world, whether inside the magician and outside can be truely said to exist independently of each other and much philosophical discussion I wasn't really expecting. At no point did I challenge anyone on their beliefs nor was that my intention. Should I draw any conclusion from this?

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
thefon
Jul. 28th, 2007 12:27 am (UTC)
You could conclude that you need to define the questions more specifically, in order to get useful responses?
unquietsoul5
Jul. 28th, 2007 12:39 am (UTC)
The obvious opinion when dealing with practitioners of magical thinking is that there are many thoughts on the subject and they usually become a philosophical avalanche.

Ask 3 magicians/priestesses/priests/druids/shamans about magic and get 9 opinions from them... all different and in conflict with each other in some way.

Such is the nature of things.

Fnord.
caffeine_fairy
Jul. 28th, 2007 12:15 pm (UTC)
That you asked the right people?
gbsteve
Jul. 28th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
It wasn't so much that they couldn't say how they did magic, it was that almost all of them were reluctant to say, outright, that magic was action at a distance. Instead they all said it by attempting to negate the idea of distance.
whakiwhyg
Jul. 30th, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
What magic itself is?

I always thought magic was altering reality indirectly.

But this could describe any publicity hype.

9/11 mobilised the west to war against Iraq. There is little or no evidence to suggest that Saddam or any Iraqi goverment official had any thing to do with 9/11.
whakiwhyg
Jul. 30th, 2007 01:14 pm (UTC)
'gbsteve' sez:
"...Should I draw any conclusion from this?"

That some people that 'practice' magic and talk about it openly are a lot like missionary christians that talk about their faith a lot. They're insecure in their beliefs?

It's my belief that people who have very strong faith in christianity, magic, buddism or any esoteric/religous beliefs don't attempt to do the missionary thing( IE: always trying to convince you that their version of god/the comos/whatever is the one & only true faith) simply because they don't feel the need to.

How many car drivers do you know try to convert people to the benefits of the internal combustion engine? It gets them to work every morning. Why would they even consider trying to prove it's superiority/relevance to society and the universe?


But it's hardly surprising that people who believe in magic aren't insecure about it. The last time someone was on trial for witchcraft in the UK was in the thirties. In Africa it is still common to hear of old ladies burnt as witches.
whakiwhyg
Jul. 31st, 2007 10:50 am (UTC)
correction
Can't be bothered to spellcheck/delete the above again.

However ...

"But it's hardly surprising that people who believe in magic aren't insecure about it."

...should read:

"...who believe in magic are insecure about it"
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )