What Magic Means to You?

Rational discussions on metaphysical and abstract topics.
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Nefastos
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What Magic Means to You?

Post by Nefastos »

It is surprisingly hard to say what magic is or is not. Everyone has an idea, but since the word is so immense, every try to formulate it either becomes too sterile to mean anything, or factually inadequate. Characterizations which embody the thrill better usually overstress the human being's personal aspect (for example, one's often petty & deterministic desire) in the magical working.

Personally I would like to say that magic is the great power into which all other powers belong; but seeing it in everything becomes the more problematic the more exoterical one's world view is. One already needs to have quite a complex spiritual world view in order to see the uplifting possibilities in the "magic is the force uniting everything" credo.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: What Magic Means to You?

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My attempt at defining magic: magic is when subjective control over imaginary/mental/spiritual variables causes perceived effects in inner or outer intuition. The opposite of magic here is not non-magic, but the effect of magic.
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Nefastos
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Re: What Magic Means to You?

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Insanus wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:33 amMy attempt at defining magic: magic is when subjective control over imaginary/mental/spiritual variables causes perceived effects in inner or outer intuition. The opposite of magic here is not non-magic, but the effect of magic.

I like many parts of this. First, how it keeps the two regions (magic and effect of magic) in an "8" of sorts, in two intimately close circles. Second, how the objective world can be termed to be outer intuition. Such a way to say it bridges the usual problem about the subjective & objective worlds, for example the dream- or post mortem astral worlds as opposed to the physical one. All of these can be understood as manifestations as one's outer intuition.

I only have a slight problem with the word "control", although it is hard to avoid. For the human beings, it is indeed important to go "against the wheel" (the etymology of control), but not only it is even more important to go "according to the (greater) wheel", but it would make all magic black. Yet that could be said, in a way. Every being using the magic of his own kind will do that in "going against the wheel" of the greatest kind. But that would create an oxymoron of the very name of magic, which has its etymology in the "greatness", the oneness. If the greatest wheel of all is not magic, it does not seem valid. But perhaps we could say that this last wheel is the one that "goes against" the even greater wheel of absolute void? That last not-wheel is then pure abstraction.

Or, if we take the etymology even more literally, and the control is "going against the lesser wheel", then all magic would be uplifting. Not necessarily White, but at least building of one's Ego. This sounds right. It would also be in line with the old idea of making magic & mediumism (losing one's control to non-human entities) as opposites.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: What Magic Means to You?

Post by Rúnatýr »

In individual esoteric practice I'd define magic as an intentional process of becoming a higher being by effecting Metanoia. But this is only one of the thousand other equally valuable definitions that don't exclude each other when going from universal to particulars.
The birch is a many branched tree and a gentle Goddess, an evergreen queen of the aeon of women. The birch is the foster child of Venus and a white maiden, the mother of the dragons of wisdom and a noble duchess.
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Re: What Magic Means to You?

Post by Rúnatýr »

I also subscribe to the thought of Magic as the Science of the Self.
The birch is a many branched tree and a gentle Goddess, an evergreen queen of the aeon of women. The birch is the foster child of Venus and a white maiden, the mother of the dragons of wisdom and a noble duchess.
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Re: What Magic Means to You?

Post by Smaragd »

Good question. To see magic and its effects as the opposites of each other, as Insanus put it, is joyously mind bending way to look at it. Although one may experience it is easy to see the objective world from the perspective of pantheist and animistic worldview, and similarly see the subjective world composed by the same divine factors in another scale, there is easily left space for such statement to feel a bit exotic and in that way distant from ones reality. Admittedly something that may ring distantly true but the personal realization lacks something to deeply acknowledge this. Nefastos’ words of seeing the outer world as ”one’s outer intuition” bridges the distance to some degree for me. For a seeker of truth the world remains endlessly open, and such openess can lead even to different kinds of overly emphasised open states that will not allow the seeker, for example, to rise above the knowledge and to actively wield the power. To see the objective world connected to the subjective in such an intimate way as to regard it ones own intuition, yet recognizing the differences of the subjective and objective so that the connection would not become corrupted, allows the opposites of the Sword and the Cup – the active and passive factors to become, indeed magically united.

The Sword and the Cup is a theme which also connects to the question of control Nefastos mentioned. Magic as balance and an act of these two instruments would be the ability to go according to the great wheel – control being the active manifestation of Will power according to the highest and thus most timeless center the magician has found within, and the Cup being the intermediator and feminine roundness, wholeness of the sensibilities to bring this timeless together with the timely conditions (perhaps this could be seen as uniting the powers of white and black magic, and the greater and lesser wheels). I just happened to watch this documentary on J.R.R. Tolkien and these wheels reminded me of his views of the machine which seemse to be his word for black magic. There’s also a mention of the ring in The Lord of the Rings representing the machine and coming very near to the idea of magic in this black sense.
Nefastos wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:35 am
Every being using the magic of his own kind will do that in "going against the wheel" of the greatest kind. But that would create an oxymoron of the very name of magic, which has its etymology in the "greatness", the oneness. If the greatest wheel of all is not magic, it does not seem valid. But perhaps we could say that this last wheel is the one that "goes against" the even greater wheel of absolute void? That last not-wheel is then pure abstraction.
Through this we come to the first thought I have when thinking about magic. Magic is the whole phenomenal world and its supporting metaphysical structures, the intoxicating soma in the Cup and the Cup itself, Māyā etc, the objective and the subjective world. When all the magical liquid in the Cup has been sublimated, the world becomes void. I tend to think there’s still a timeless clock - the same greatest wheel going on in the background to mark the divinely intuitive moment (absolute void would spark from such a place that I have to use words like ”timeless clock” and the abstract enough ”intuitive” which are to suffice, for we are not able to point there properly anyways) when the next round is to begin.
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Re: What Magic Means to You?

Post by Nefastos »

Rúnatýr wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:18 pmI also subscribe to the thought of Magic as the Science of the Self.

Taking magic as "something of something" is a good, aphoristic way to approach the deep question. In this case my most obvious choice would be that magic is "the philosophy of oneness". In a way this is just another aspect or emphasis to talk about the "Science of the Self", at least if we give to Self a Jungian or Oriental interpretation.

Smaragd wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:34 pmThe Sword and the Cup is a theme which also connects to the question of control Nefastos mentioned. Magic as balance and an act of these two instruments would be the ability to go according to the great wheel – control being the active manifestation of Will power according to the highest and thus most timeless center the magician has found within, and the Cup being the intermediator and feminine roundness, wholeness of the sensibilities to bring this timeless together with the timely conditions

Just a moment ago, when I was doing a little meditative focusing after the noontime prayers, I had a clarifying vision about the unity of the poles within man. The sign of the Sun, when seen as three dimensional, makes the center point a vertical column, which is the axis mundi. I was contemplating how to manage a demanding phase of Work when in the sphere there is so much "feminine" worry (large amount of the need of help), but the vision gave the answer that regardless of that worrying, the centermost "masculine" point stands tall over the process, giving it permanent stability. These are the Shakti & Shiva, the Cup and the Sword.

Smaragd wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:34 pmWhen all the magical liquid in the Cup has been sublimated, the world becomes void. I tend to think there’s still a timeless clock - the same greatest wheel going on in the background to mark the divinely intuitive moment (absolute void would spark from such a place that I have to use words like ”timeless clock” and the abstract enough ”intuitive” which are to suffice, for we are not able to point there properly anyways) when the next round is to begin.

This is the difficult metaphysical difference between the three first stanzas of the cosmogenesis of Dzyan.

Book of Dzyan wrote:. . . Where was silence? Where the ears to sense it? No, there was neither silence nor sound; naught save ceaseless eternal breath, which knows itself not.
The hour had not yet struck; the ray had not yet flashed into the Germ; the Matripadma had not yet swollen.
Her heart had not yet opened for the one ray to enter, thence to fall, as three into four, into the lap of Maya.
The seven sons were not yet born from the web of light. Darkness alone was father-mother, Svabhavat; and Svabhavat was in darkness.
These two are the Germ, and the Germ is one. The Universe was still concealed in the Divine thought and the Divine bosom. . . . (2:2-6)
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Re: What Magic Means to You?

Post by Rúnatýr »

Nefastos wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:08 pm
Rúnatýr wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:18 pmI also subscribe to the thought of Magic as the Science of the Self.
In a way this is just another aspect or emphasis to talk about the "Science of the Self", at least if we give to Self a Jungian or Oriental interpretation.
Or a nordic / germanic one. (Sacrifice of the self for Self.)

I also equate Magic to the occult in general, and for me occultism means - mysticism aside for once - practical self discipline and a wholesome / holistic way of life. One of my practical generalizations for the occult would be "banging your head against the wall until you die or get enlightened". :roll:
The birch is a many branched tree and a gentle Goddess, an evergreen queen of the aeon of women. The birch is the foster child of Venus and a white maiden, the mother of the dragons of wisdom and a noble duchess.
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