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What makes it what we call it?

To: alt.magick
From: (Robert Scott Martin)
Subject: Re: What makes it what we call it?
Date: 16 Aug 2002 09:53:01 -0400

In article <>,
Rick   wrote:
>Sun Wu-K'ung wrote:

>> The best ways are describable with hints, dreams, stories, metaphors,
>> and (best of all) work.
>Okay. If you're willing, let's see what we can do with this idea. You
>tell a story, a metaphor, or whatever, and I, or anyone else who wants
>to, can try to translate it into other terms. Than you can critique how
>close the translations come to what you meant to express. How does that

Magick can be defined as "antic ontic arbitrage."

THERE WAS ONCE a certain king, who had four -- no, let's say eleven --
eleven daughters. One summer, for reasons of his own, he invited a
mendicant confessor to interview each of his beloved girls, the better
to chronicle their lives and preserve their youthful exploits in words,
like dragonflies in amber, for the edification of future generations who
would otherwise be too unlucky to know the princesses directly.

One by one, ten of the princesses were brought before the confessor. One
by one, they revealed their adventures to him, and in so doing they
revealed their inner characters. One girl prayed from morning to night;
another preferred a more active lifestyle filled with riding and other
sports. A third spent her days in the study of mathematics, and so on.
The confessor wrote everything down. All the girls were impressed by
that, although some were a little bewildered as well.

When it was her turn to tell her story, the eleventh daughter found it
difficult to wrap up her life so neatly. "Sometimes I pray and sometimes
I prefer field hockey," she said. "But sometimes I just spend the day
napping. I like to sail too, but there are days when the weather's good
for that and days when it's not."

The confessor nodded sagely, tapping his pen.

"I guess," the girl concluded, "I just do whatever I feel like doing,
when the mood strikes me."

The king died shortly thereafter. The next summer, the princesses called
for the confessor to update their memoirs, as a tribute to their absent
father. Ten dutifully repeated their testimonies, but the eleventh
missed her appointment. And she missed it the year after that. And so
on. Time wheeled onward and ten of the eleven books that the king had
had made to contain his daughters' lives became full, but the pages of
the eleventh remained nearly empty.

As the books became full of memory, each of the girls told the confessor
to give it a title. The first princess, who loved to pray, called her
book RELIGION. The second daughter-book was named SPORT, and then there
were SCIENCE and FEELING and ART and all the rest. But the eleventh book
remained nameless. This caused the confessor great consternation until
one day the dead king spoke to him in a vision: the eleventh book
belongs to herself. Let her continue to belong to herself. While
enigmatic, this suggestion from beyond the grave soothed the aged
scribe's conscience. He died before the next round of appointments,
passing his duties on to an apprentice.

One by one, the girls themselves grew old. An extreme surfing accident cut
the book of SPORT off early; while SCIENCE droned on for volumes until
(the apprentice, himself no longer young) reported the time, temperature
and even the velocity of her death. The people's revolution finally
claimed both POLITICS and ETIQUETTE; the coroner found the two sisters in
a murderous final embrace. The lives of the princesses became fixed in the
weight of ink on paper, rooted in the record. Each book ends with an
obituary lovingly clipped from the society columns. Except the last.

Nobody knows what happened to the eleventh daughter, who eluded (e-ludo,
al-ludo, ludus ludi) confession. She's most likely as dead as her
sisters, but proof is lacking. She could just maybe still be alive.

Since all we know of her is that she did whatever she felt like doing
and that she resisted definition, let us call her book "MAGICK". But you 
could just as easily have called it "PLAY" or anything else.

Now let's leave that nice Chinese gentleman Mr Sun King alone so he can
finish his ablutions, or I don't know what.

"The second said: But unfortunately only in parable. The first said: No,
in reality: in parable you have lost." -- Kafka

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