Thursday, April 16, 2009

To Put It Another Way...

In a follow up e-mail to my posts from yesterday I re-explained it like this: 

If Trithemius or Agrippa came accross a Muslim Magician, Indian Tantrik, or Taoist Alchemist they would not worry at all about sticking to their own tradition, being true to their egregore, or some other nonesense like that. They would pump their informant for all the information that they could get, and use it to enhance their understanding of what they were doing. They didnt view it as some kind of system amidst other equally valid but separate systems any more than science views different models as inherently non-compatible. In their minds they were doing science. 

It is a pretty universal truth that magicians, contemplatives, and mystics from varying traditions often get along better with similarly minded people from other traditions better than they do non-magicians/contemplatives from their own traditions. Because they know they are all just interfacing with reality. 

The interface of systems that is enabled by modern modes of travel and information technology is one of the strengths of the age if you use it right. 

Hack Reality

Engineer Probability

View Truth directly


Frater POS said...

Get information from someone not from my own system? Why, I'd never do that. Nope. Not me.

Qabalier said...

In a way, that post-modern attitude of self-contained, conflicting worldviews is a form of cultural racism: instead of different 'races' living in one world, now we've got one human race, yes, but living in different 'worlds', with no common ground -which among other things justifies ghettoization-.

I've always thought that different magic systems should be more like scientific disciplines dealing with different areas, like astrophysics and chemistry.
(so I love it when, for instance, someone explains that this or that technique simply works on a different plane... If I have to choose, I prefer "Everything is true" to "Nothing is true".)

The problem would then be the risk of oversimplification, such as hastily concluding that an atom is just a small solar system, when comparing models.
(Relativity and quantum mechanics are not compatible yet, but we're getting there... Maybe what's needed is a string -or a more traditional quantum gravity- theory of magic?)

Rufus Opus said...

I used to call myself a "Probability Engineer" in my chaos daze. Had a signature line and everything. :)

You're right, Agrippa would have pumped another mage for info and used it to inform his system. He didn't have google though.

I think we're too easily inundated with half-assery today, in some ways. I can google witchcraft and get everything from a 3rd degree Alexandrian's informed opinion on 19th century traditional techniques to Mannwynn Faeryblossom's gushing blog posts about how she's discovered she's a PAGIN and a NATURAL WITCH this week and is ready to tell you all about how MagicK works. (Ok, exaggerating to prove a point, but check this expert opinion out.)

There's gold out there, but without a decent screen to filter out the crap, it's easy to waste a lot of time. If I counted every year I've been interested in occultism, studying and practicing LBRPs and such, why I'd have 18 years of occult experience to brag about. Thing is, only three years of that were valuable, productive, or useful, and that's only been the last little while. I've got 15 years of occult bullshittery that in all honesty just. don't. count.

They prepared me in some ways, of course, but so did reading Dune. I love Dune. It shaped my philosophy. It reflects several of my ideals. It's not magic.

Gordon_Finn said...

What is so wrong with saying there are old traditions and there are newer ones based off the older ones and saying they aren't the same?

Fr. Ausharrenwille said...

I just figure it's more tools for the toolbox. Sometimes perspective is needed to see the textures we miss when we are looking at only on thing.

Jow said...

I completely agree on treating magic as a science. Dogma doesn't really have a place there. If something works, keep it. And many times there are tech trees, which I appriciate as an RPG nerd.