On "Magick"
  • Another excerpt from communications between myself and dbot:

    "As a prelude to a potentially "off-topic" discussion about something which has been troubling me a bit for around a week now, what are your general thoughts on "magick", not necessarily in the traditional meaning, but rather in the sense of ill-defined or poorly understood preternatural phenomena which may initially appear to be "magick" in the traditional sense? In some of your posts, you've mentioned things like auras or energies brought about by pheromones and/or personal changes you've made in your life that may have affected others at a distance through mechanisms you can't discern. This is strange topic for me, because I am typically very analytical and rational, but the end result of this is that I refuse to immediately discard ideas like those you and I have described, simply because I know there is an absurd amount that we do not yet know about the world (and I don't know how much it is that we don't know, obviously). Thus, when you and others describe or mention such ideas, I don't think "WITCHES AND MAGICK SPELLS AND INCANTATIONS AND GHOSTS" but I do think "correlations, causations, unknown and unexplained forces which may be illusory but may also actually exist." There is room in my mind to accept the possibility of some as-of-yet vague shaping force powered/influenced by thought."

    If anyone would like to express their thoughts on this, you are more than welcome to do so.

  • I'm really glad you raised this issue because it's a topic that is near and dear to me. As a young man I spent a great deal of time acquainting myself with various systems of mysticism and magick, and as a therapist I consider my profession to be a modern form of shamanism.

    I'm trained as a scientist, but very much subscribe to Rupert Sheldrake's view of modern Scientism as a collection of dogmas, complete with proselytizing "atheists" and an orthodoxy of professional debunkers.

    As Sheldrake points out, the common "scientific" position that all unexplained phenomena, like telepathy and telekinesis, are illusory is simply an assumption, and one which is contradicted by a preponderance of evidence. Sheldrake himself has done lots of great research, and he's certainly not the only one. The fact that reductionist science cannot explain these phenomena does not mean that they do not exist; it means that reductionist science is incomplete.

    I've been tooling around on how to answer your question... there's so many different aspects to explore, I think I'll break it down into a few different aspects that I think are really important/interesting...

    1. Morphogenetic Fields, Morphic Resonance, & Quantum Biology

    Sheldrake's central theory through the past 20 years has been the existence of morphogenetic fields and morphic resonance.

    Morphogenetic fields are nonlocal fields which act like a database of ideas from which the forms of the universe are drawn. Morphic resonance is the process by which those forms enter into material being. Sheldrake argues that genes and the biochemical processes they control are insufficient to explain the mechanics of living systems assuming their characteristic forms. Instead, he hypothesizes that the genes are not themselves the contributors of form, but rather like tuning dials which enable organisms to access particular records in the morphogenetic field through morphic resonance.

    The same reductionist scientists who dismiss Sheldrake's ideas about morphic fields out of hand are the ones who claim that quantum mechanics has no bearing on macrobiology. Because Sheldrake is essentially claiming quantum processing at the macro level. However, recent findings demonstrate that quantum mechanics are fundamental to the functioning of diverse biological systems:

    Those references demonstrate quantum-level activity in the macro-level functioning of sound, vision, and -- you guessed it -- olfaction.

    Prominent quantum physicists have embraced Sheldrake's ideas along with their spooky implications about nonlinear, teleological biological development and nonlocal connections between conscious entities. http://discovermagazine.com/2000/aug/featheresy

    Sheldrake's theory and research support earlier ideas that I see as very important for understanding the nature of consciousness, such as Carl Jung's concept of synchronicity (an acausal connecting principle which ties objects, events, and beings together in a pattern that is meaningful, not causal), and even the theosophic concept of an akashic record, (which originates in ancient Hindu and Buddhist writings, and holds that all information in the universe is recorded in a kind of invisible, omnipresent library.)

    If our senses are quantum processes which can be influenced from afar and likewise exert influence from afar, and if our conscious and unconscious ideation can be access by other conscious entities in a nonlocal fashion (such as intention in Sheldrake's psychic pet studies) -- then unconscious effects on our own senses should influence others' perceptions of us. This theory explains the common phenomenon of pheromone self-effects creating other-effects at a distance, possibly by way of epigenetic changes (which would explain why mostly people who have been using pheromones for a while seem to experience this.)

    In my next post, I'll try to draw together some of my ideas about where I think shamanistic rituals, ceremonial magick, and even modern psychotherapy fit into this picture...

    Can we actually, literally choose our own adventure?
  • I think a person working with magick must have extremely clean intentions.
    There must be no influence from others, there must be no doubt the he himself caused the effect and that he is solely responsible for this spesific effect.
    The spreading of responsibility is a dangerous thing generally, you are then able to blame others which in turn will lead to a distortion of your reality.

    A false reality is sometimes also called stupidity. It will take down your power.
    And your power is weak already as you have done this many times before.

    Well, a good way to not be influenced by others is just to do your stuff secretly.
    If one needs an audience one might start as a stage magician :))
    Some people need to play with a toy car a few years before they try a real one.

    Another troublesome tendency is planning a journey to the moon when you haven't yet explored the bottom of your local lake.

    At this time I am mostly working on curing my own cold a few times every year. Saving the world will come a little later. I have actually learned a few magickal ways of curing a cold with only spiritual or mental techniques, it's a fun place to start.

    Ok, I will have to admit that I have seen things happen at a distance, like another person changing his attitude totally after I myself had handled a spesific conflict in therapy.

    Was it Einstein that said "Magic is just a mechanism you have not yet understood"?
    Well, someone said something like that.

    End of rant.
  • Hm. I haven't yet had a chance to read through the articles you've posted, dbot, but I plan to finally pore over them this weekend. The thoughts and explanations so far have me quite eager to read and understand more.

    It was Arthur C. Clarke who said "Magic's just science that we don't understand yet." I actually first became familiar with the phrase when it was mentioned by spoken-word poet Anis Mojgani in a TED Talk.
  • @Ridder - Mystical healing is a particularly interesting area of study, and there is compelling evidence that such a thing is not only possible, but happens regularly and has for thousands of years. I saw psychologist Howard Hall, Psy.D., Ph.D. speak about his research on Sufi wound healing a few years ago and was astounded! He went to Iraq to study with the Sufis there, and took part in their healing rituals.

    Here's a really academically respectable researcher demonstrating phenomena that appear to be supernatural -- and which he (an expert also in the field of clinical hypnosis) claims there is a clear distinction between potential hypnotic effects (which are remarkable in their own right) and what he terms bioenergetic effects. Here are some resources on his amazing work:


  • I checked out your links, thanks.
    Really interesting that one kind of gets a "protection" first and then the physical laws are "set aside" so that a very rapid healing takes place.
  • One of the things I've been thinking hard about lately is the distinction between high magick and low magick -- between light & dark. These traditionally distinguish between acts which are intended to perfect the individual performing them (high & white magick) and acts intended to affect the outside world in a way beneficial to the practitioner (low & dark magick).

    These concepts may have a lot of value when applied to pheromone use, occult science that it is. Thinking back on my experiences, it occurs to me that positive synchronicities have resulted from pheromone use for me when I was more focused on self-effects and on opening myself to new experiences. Negative synchronicities have generally followed attempts to use pheromones for personal gain.

    Is anyone else seeing this pattern?
  • I think there might be a lot of truth in this. I will have to take a closer look at my past with these concepts in mind and see what turns up. It rings true in some way.

    By coincidence I had a little study of the concept of serendipity just a few days ago..

    Thanks for the ideas.

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