Folks, this was a wonderful discussion initiated by the brilliant Camelia Elias, with my 2, 4, even 6 cents thrown in here and there.
Originally posted on Camelia Elias' Taroflexions:
Magic is making something out of nothing. But this cannot happen unless you prime your mind to something first. Let us call this something ‘tradition.’ This means that if you can see it, it exists. Priming your mind to seeing demons or angels is working with fiction. You need fiction in order to get to the significant and workable ‘nothing’. If magic didn’t come out of nothing, it would not be magic. It would be ‘tradition’ alone.
If magic works it is not because you read some formula in an old book, but because you allow for the fiction in your head to let ‘nothing’ pass through. If magic were not ‘nothing’, it would be borrowing. Without ‘nothing’ magic is other people’s claims; their thoughts, not yours. Without ‘nothing’ magic is impersonal. Without the personal magic is nothing, where ‘nothing’ here means highlighting the unsuccessful operation.
We need tradition as…
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