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The Return of Magic

Discussion in 'Theological Concepts' started by Samantha Rinne, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Resident Genderfluid Writer/Artist

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    Writer of the Mune Shinri (Aiken religion)
    No, I'm not talking about sorcery, which is expressly forbidden by many religions.

    I mean "the power of faith manifest in the world to enact seemingly impossible things, distinct from miracles, in that they came from the person's faith not by intervention." Theat is, a miracle id a special occurrence, but being able to use faith healing or protection is distinct from that. What most sane people would call "prayer" rather than "miracles."

    We look at these fairy tales, and most of us see basically an author trying to entertain the public. But I see it differently.

    I see a time where faith allowed things to happen, like people healing, driving out demons, protecting others, etc. But there's a flipside to this. You also have fear basically allowing awful things to happen (think of all those possessed people in the Gospels), and you have angry people able to use the power of their mind to do nuke-level magic (Hindu scripture has stories of stuff like this).

    Which is why, at some point, magic began to be sealed. Less and less people had it. Until people thought of it as a myth.

    Why is this important? Well Revelation (and possibly other end times religioys text) tells of a time where every tear will be washed away from people's eye. Either God micromanages people's lives, or....

    But before any of that, the reutn of actual prayers that work ("magic") would probably be signalled by many people who are afraid creating alot of bad situations.

    What do we have right now? Riots, burning, killer bees, a plague, natural disasters, etc.
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    A song.

     
  2. Father Heathen

    Father Heathen Veteran Member

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    Sorcorery may be forbidden, but what about wizardry?
     
  3. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    And this is why I fear that humanity is doomed. Far too many people are looking for 'magic' to fix all of our problems instead of reason and logic.
     
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  4. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    I guess we'll have to wait for the end times to know if there is any validity in your musings.

    That should be any day now.
     
  5. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Resident Genderfluid Writer/Artist

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    Writer of the Mune Shinri (Aiken religion)
    You're a wizard, Heathen.

    You're confusing "magical thinking" with actual magic.

    Magical thinking is "the belief that unrelated events are causally connected despite the absence of any plausible causal link between them" according to wikipedia. That is is to say "oh noes, I saw 11:11 like twice today, it must be a sign!" Or maybe it's because twelve hours have passed?

    By magic, I mean the idea that the rules of reality are fundamentally beginning to change. Here's an example of what it looks like. Suppose some ancient time people have no technology but they can do mind powers and light a fire. Suppose then, that people start to get in the habit of making fire with sticks together or flint and steel. Are people watching the second going to believe the first is possible? Heck no. In fact, supposing you'd never seen people lighting fires any of the traditional ways, your imagination would be further limited to lighters and matches. These are mental patterns.
    On the other hand, in a monastery where people regularly practice reiki, this would be significantly easier to believe (though still probably impossible for most people). In other words, unorthodox mental patterns significantly change our understanding of the world, but they do not change the world itself. While reiki experts may be able to heal some people, under traditional rules of reality, creating fire with your mind was a no.

    But consider the strange things happening lately.

    If we view this as a giant Yin Yang circle with fear on one side and faith on another, currently we are in an imbalance towards fear (normally, we are unable to do anything at all besides very minor healing and the occasional weak miracle, because of a strong antimagic that pervades the Earth). And as a result we see some seriously bad events. But the opposite can also be true, shifting more towards positive energy. This however takes a change in mindset that is hard when things seem miserable.

    elgoonishshive.png
    (Image courtesy of El Goonish Shive, 2020)
     
  6. ecco

    ecco Veteran Member

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    If people could light fires just by thinking, why would they ever bother to do it with sticks or flint and steel?
     
  7. QuestioningMind

    QuestioningMind Well-Known Member

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    You're confusing "magical thinking" with actual magic.

    You are confusing a concept from fantasy with something that actually exists.

    This is why we're doomed. We have people saying: Imagine that once upon a time everyone had MAGICAL abilities! And now imagine that we're getting those MAGICAL abilities back so we can save the world from all its problems!

    It's going to take living in reality for us to solve our problems, not trying to escape into some fantasy make-believe world of magic.
     
  8. February-Saturday

    February-Saturday Devil Worshiper

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    Not to be the bearer of bad news, but the examples you're giving actually are examples of magical thinking. There is no known mechanism that can causally connect mental states with this sort of effect in the world, thus making a belief in its possibility a form of magical thinking.

    Reiki (and pretty much all "subtle energy" teachings like chi, mesmerism, and vitalism) and spellcasting (which prayer is included under) are both forms of magical thinking. So is homeopathy. So are the narratives throughout various cultures of people walking on water after achieving highly spiritual states. So are many of the practices of chaos magick and synchromysticism. So is hoodoo. So is faith healing. These are actually major examples used in anthropology to describe this understanding of magical thinking, which is actually inseparable from anthropological definitions of magic to begin with.

    The key part here is the "plausible" part of "plausible causal link." Even systems with rigorous explanations for how these effects work are considered forms of magical thinking if those explanations are considered implausible, poorly explained, founded on excessive assumptions or undemonstrable speculation, or taken on faith.
     
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