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ArthurC.Clarke vs. Occultism

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.skeptic,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick.chaos
From: nagasiva 
Subject: ArthurC.Clarke vs. Occultism 
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 15:32:14 GMT

50030807 viii om

sci-fi/fantasy and occult worlds often interact / collide.
ACClarke set a standard for enthusiasts of science and its
fiction for assessing wonderment and mystification, but is
inexpect in distinguishing intent or actual influence. as
a skeptical approach to occultism, Clarke's dictum:

	Any sufficiently advanced technology is 
	indistinguishable from magic.   

doesn't *literally* include a definition of magic per se,
though it is often taken to include a dubious assessment 
as to the reality of magic on the whole (not much, since
magic is fiction, fabrication, and misunderstandings).

one might invert this typical bias and admit not only
is any sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable
from magic, it is also indistinguishable from psychicism,
or from any other activity we don't seek to define.

defining magic as involving symbolism or formulae serves
to immediately allow such a distinguishing to take place
if there is no symbolism which is part of the technology.
broadly, magic *is* technology, whether or not we consider
it to be "advanced" or "primitive" or something else.

Carl :
#># ...taken the term magic in a more modern dictionary 
#># concept than Magick.

have they changed them from Christian influences yet, or are the
better English dictionaries still reflective of anti-magic bias?
Ed Allen:
#> You contested a popularly-held definition of what magic(k) is. 
#> What is your definition of magic(k) if it is not what this 
#> definition states it as?

intentional change effected through symbolic means. the context
of its performance determine's the difficulty of its practice.
internally, magic is usually described as mysticism or medicine.
often these are combined: e.g. the 'Universal Medicine' which
some magicians are supposed to be able to create and guard.
#>#># ... agreement that magic is basically a psychological 
#>#># state of mind.

there are people who talk about "magical thinking", and they're
often talking about a sequences of mind-states or thoughts that
rely on irrational or semi-rational leaps of logic. 

alternatively, you may be describing a socially-mediated 
activity which includes interactive influences to 
consciousness that may or may not include symbolism.

still more likely, you're describing the limitations to which
you think magic are typically encountering success (such as in
the realm of the subject -- conservative ground to which those
in Theosophical and Hermetic circles will sometimes retreat,
describing magic as intentional change in *consciousness* 
and craftily ignoring any engineering or psychic issues.

#>#># So why is this Magick.... its seems common sense to me 
#>#># that if you believe something and enforce it continually 
#>#># the chances of it happenning are going to significantly 
#>#># increase, especially when approched with a possitive
#>#># attitude. 

thought and series of mind-states are not, themselves, magic.
these are possibly influenced by magic, such as fetishes, and
rituals and charms, but they are not usually themselves magic
unless they intend a change and are symbolically-implemented.
without implements it becomes a kind of psychicism.

#>#># So again why is this magick?

it isn't. if you're talking about Crowleyan Magick, then it
might qualify, because its definitions are weak and inclusive.
i.e. there are a bunch of definitions, for example, and just
the qualifer of 'intentionality' might be the criteria. all
you'd have to do is be directing your thoughts, by this kind
of assessment, and you're doing magic. it is hyper-simplistic.
sweeping your porch is magic, etc.

#>#> Why do you define it as something different than magic?

because its mechanism doesn't include the symbolic.

Joseph Stifel :
# Consider also that once something is fully understood it 
# is no longer "magic(k)"

the Arthur C. Clarke kind of magic: ignorance-criteria.
it is convincing to those whose focus is achievement 
without regard for its procedural character / method.

# Magick being that replicable act that works consistantly 
# even though we don't know how or why, once the how and 
# why are understood it ceases to be magick and becomes 
# whatewver it is in the first place.

engineering, presumably, leveraged force in sum.

# Our word magick only denoteing that aspect of an act 
# that we, by our use of the term, admit our ignorance of.

lots of words get used in the same way: 'hoodoo', 'voodoo',
'juju', 'mumbo-jumbo', etc.  the implication is usually as
an outsider, just like the term 'magic' initially was used 
to identify the activities of the Persian religious as
somehow dark, mysterious, and not trustworthy (as compared
to 'our religion' (Greek)).

if it doesn't matter whether it's intentional, then we might
apply 'magic' to that which is an error, mistake, or folly.
it is something about which we plainly have some ignorance,
else we would avoid the inaccuracy or fumble and recoup.

Clarke's category of magic is as good as the old Greeks,
but it doesn't suffice for those applying it ourselves.
like satanism, the projections may have been entertaining,
or horrific, but they tend toward different activities in
those applying it ourselves: in which case knowledge does
indeed begin to factor into the practice -- sometimes as
a primary aim, element, or criteria of its implementation
(as with formulae).


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