PART 3: THE SCIENCE OF MAGIC
Once one realizes that magick works, and that it works based on scientific factors, the next step is to hone one’s skill to reach repetitive success. What makes magick so interesting is that because we are individuals, the combination that unlocks the door to success will vary from person to person, yet the main thrust of the work operates on a specific set of scientific formulas that our scientists are only now beginning to fathom. The mystery, then, lies within each of us.
~ Silver Ravenwolf ~
The coming of the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century brought radical change study of the art of magic. It was a period of scientific awakening in Europe that took the Church head on in its tackling of issues of religious and scientific studies that had been suppressed as heresy for well over a millennium. It was a period that Thomas Pain wrote of as "The Age of Reason", when it once again became possible for an inquiring mind to discover what it wanted to know and understand through reasoning that based on observable evidence and not on the dictates of brutally enforced Church dogma. Because of this shift in the intellectual paradigm you could now study Galileo’s heliocentric view of the heavens or sit down in front of the TV and watch Star Trek without fear of the Inquisition dragging you from you home and burning you at the stake for being a heretic.
Though many would have thought that this “new age of pure science” would have brought an end to such superstitious beliefs as the practices of astrology, alchemy and magic in favor of more scientific approaches, it actually had the opposite effect. The advances in the understanding of science principles did not put an end to the study of mysticism, but in many scientific circles physics and metaphysics began to find common ground for discussion.
This is all is somewhat ironic in that the Age of Enlightenment largely centered around John Locke’s book “Essay Concerning Human Understanding” (1690), which was a relentless attack on what Locke considered to be baseless metaphysical arguments that posed the existence of objects that could not be observed. At least not observable with the limitations of the scientific technology of the time. Now that science does have the technology to prove the existence of these objects we are left with the startling revelation that things just do not behave at all in the way we had come to expect they would behave.
Every time the physicists asked nature a question in an atomic experiment, nature answered with a paradox, and the more they tried to clarify the situation, the sharper the paradoxes became.
It took them a long time to accept the fact that these paradoxes belong to the intrinsic structure of atomic physics, and to realize that they arise whenever one attempts to describe atomic events in the traditional terms of physics.
~ Fritjof Capra ~
Quantum (plural Quanta) is the smallest unit of physical matter presently known to science. But the laws of Quantum Physics tell us that it is not always physical matter. Quanta only appear as physical matter when it is consciously observed by a human being, other wise it remains as energy. As even Einstein himself said, quantum theory is 'spooky' in the sense that, at the sub-atomic level, the world does not behave in the way that everyday observation and common sense would lead us to think it should. It just does not make sense.
Quantum Theory says that your consciousness has the potential
to transfigure energy into matter, just like magic?
The idea that conscious awareness is somehow needed for energy to become matter is one of the most outlandish concepts ever presented by science, yet the mathematics of quantum theory has been shown to be unquestionably correct and however the mathematics is interpreted, this nonsensical behavior is not only predicted, but confirmed through experimentation. Despite how unbelievable this is, the reason that the computer and video screen you are reading this article on work is because of their technology is based on these seemingly crazy theories of quantum physics. It does not make sense, but here we are...but, where exactly is "HERE"?...one can't believe impossible things!
Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one can't believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen.
'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day.
Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'
There are two approaches to understanding the science of magic, (or the magic of science) and both of these approaches seem to be leading to the same path.
Quantum Mechanics attempts to describe a set of principals, which explain the behavior of matter at atomic (or subatomic) scale in order to understand the nature of matter and energy on the physical plane.
Quantum Mysticism, (or spiritual quantum mechanics), seeks to understand the correlation between what we find in the scientific principles of the nature of matter and energy and the metaphysical concepts of the ancient mystical traditions.
I see science and mysticism as two complementary manifestations of the human mind; of its rational and intuitive faculties … The mystic and the physicist arrive at the same conclusion; one starting from the inner realm, the other from the outer world. The harmony between their views confirms the ancient Indian wisdom that Brahman, the ultimate reality without, is identical to Atman, the reality within.
~ Fritjof Capra ~
Both approaches are searching for fundamental reality, truth and even God and the difference in the two approaches is not merely in the difference between science and mysticism, but in the difference between the Western mind and the Eastern mind. In West, the world is perceived as a multitude of separate objects and events, while the Eastern view of the world holds that all things and all events perceived by the five senses are connected and are merely different manifestations of the same Ultimate Reality.
Unlike the monotheistic Abrahamic religions of the West, the local religions coming out of the traditions of Eastern Mysticism share an animistic view of existence. That is to say that they are comprised of a philosophical, religious or spiritual pagan belief that souls or spirits not only exist in humans but also in other parts of the natural environment. So those who can ascribe to such a viewpoint are able to view magic more as a part of everyday existence, while their counterparts in the West can accept magic only as some strange and uncommon occurrence, a “miracle” coming form some extraordinary divine intervention.
That was not always how it was in the West. Certainly the ancient Celts and Native Americans knew that rivers and mountains were alive and they could talk to the animals and trees and hear songs in the wind and the rain. Until that belief was beaten and intimidated out of them. Their beliefs that had grown out of the living of life were replaced with a faith that was imposed on them that could not be questioned no matter how loudly the wind would sing to them.
The magic of the old ways is gone and the only way for the logical Western mind to be able find that magic again is through a scientific argument that mind cannot ignore and is powerful enough to give that mind the strength to free itself from the chains of the propaganda of indoctrinated, unreflective thinking and allow it to accept a system of beliefs borne of its own experience.
Sadly though, seeing the way that creationists so stubbornly resist the science of Darwinism and the evidence of fossil records that show the Earth is millions of years old, it is unlikely that the science of magic will be accepted by many with any less hostility.
There is another, and some would say more disturbing, ramification to the impact that the Age of Enlightenment has had on the practice of magic, at least from the point of the public’s perception of magic. This “New Age” has cast a new light on the question … “Who’s really got their mojo working?”… and the answer might not be as simple as just who, (or what), is putting on the magic show.
“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” ~Tom Robbins ~
Prior to the Age of Enlightenment the practice of magic was seen as almost solely the purview of the witch and witchcraft, at least in the eyes of the general public.
There were, and are many different types and traditions of witchcraft, but in the minds of ye olde common people the witch was generally thought of as the eccentric old woman of the village, growing strange plants in her garden to make even stranger potions in her kitchen.
When times were good to the community the witch’s magic was as the healer or midwife of the village. But, should any sudden malady inflict the community the witch was the first to be blamed and her magic was suddenly seen as demonic and poisonous to the well being of the good church going people, who in their fear could turn more demonic and poisonous than any witch and far sinisterly motivated.
The witchcraft hysteria that had existed throughout the Dark Ages reached its climax with of the infamous “Salem Witch Trials” that took place in 1692. This atrocity began when a group of young, apparently bored and seeking attention, accused three local women of being witches. The situation escalated when certain individuals realized that they could take possession of the land and property of the accused, (and executed) victims of this persecution. When word of the executions reached Massachusetts Colonial Governor William Phipps in Boston he quickly realized what was happening and put an end to the trials. With the threat of the government now willing to put the witch hunters on trial, the witchcraft hysteria came to an end and faded into the past.
With the coming of the Age of Enlightenment and the subsequent Romanticism Movement of the 18th Century there was a drastic change in the practice of magic, at least from the viewpoint of the general public.
No longer was magic the province of the village witch, now it became part of the realm of often shadowy cabals of secret mystical societies or brotherhoods.
Based on the supposedly esoteric knowledge of ancient Egyptian and Kabalistic mystics, there arose groups like the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Rosicrucian Order and the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, amongst others, became cult like centers where select groups of chosen initiates were trained in the magical rites of the ancient mystical traditions. These groups proliferated into the 2oth century with the Feri and Wicca movements being the last to come together in an attempt to draw the more common people into semi-organized magical coalitions.
The simple fact that these groups were both secretive and selective in their membership and outwardly professing to be practicing magical rituals was enough to scare a lot of people. But, when it became clear that many of these organizations were internally working toward not merely spiritual, but economic and political goals the matter took on a sinister and ominous air.
Whether a conspiratorial agenda for world domination existed in the beginning or not, by the middle of the 19th century there were many who were convinced that the conspiracy was real and that dark and evil magic was being used to take control.
The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments' plans …The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.
Although there had long been stories of secret societies such as the Knights Templar being the hand that secretly held the power of the banks and governments of Europe, they were mostly just stories. The Knights Templar may have been the group that Freemasonry came out of and they also might have been the founders of the banking empire of Switzerland, but these were just stories seemingly born out of legend. Now though, these stories were seemingly moving from legend into fact and it began to appear that magic, specifically black magic, was being used to secure the power of a self appointed elite over the rest of the world.
As any reader of the Dan Brown novels is aware, the subject of secret societies trying to impose a New World Order , (or Novus Ordo Seclorum), under a one world government composed of members of these groups is a long and convoluted tale with enough twists and turns that it is difficult to know just who is who amongst these cabals and just what kind of magic that may be at work within them.
In recent years there have been seemingly newer groups that have emerged on the scene, presenting a more public face than the others, but by no means any less secretive and they really have people frightened by the power and influence they have.
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the Field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.
The Bilderberg Group and Bohemian Grove are two names that stoke the fires of one world government conspiracies more than any others. Bing comprised of members from some of the richest and most powerful families in the world, who meet in secret with their special chosen guests (mostly nabob politicians) their meetings, much like the more mystical secret societies are also said to be filled with magical rituals. But their black magic may be a lot more substantial and a lot more powerful than any magical ritual could produce.
Theirs is the magic of technology. They control all aspects of communications; telephone, television, radio and most importantly World Wide Web and any device you use to access it. They can control not only what you see know, but how you know it … and the people are seemingly willing to go along with letting them having that power, as long as they let the people have their new iphones.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
~ Arthur C. Clarke ~
As technology rushes toward a brain-internet link where you will be connected to the internet Matrix , 24/7, through a chip implanted in your head, the time is quickly approaching where they will have the control they are after and their black magic is so subtle that the people will literally hex into subjugation. Seeing as it is not so difficult to envision a line of people waiting outside the store at midnight to be amongst the first to get connected to the newest ipad or ereader; then you should also be able to envision the line of people that will form to get their brains wired, so they can experience the magic of the internet while imprisoning the magic that is within them.