Blog Post Round-Up (July 18)

by Mike Sententia on July 19, 2012

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

You know the comments roundups, where I let my commenters do my work for me? I’m going to expand on that, and let other bloggers do my work for me, too.

Ananael slams that silly movie, “What the Bleep Do We Know?” I hated it too, and really enjoyed seeing him take it apart.

Rune Soup has a great post on how to maximize memory. To me, this is a straight science post, not particularly magick-related, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ona had a great comment on “Politely Leaving the Mysterious, Mysterious,” along with a great post on the subject, with actual answers, rather than just questions.

Mr. Black wondered how much we should help beginners. Should we activate their mental muscles (to use my terms), or let them explore on their own? With the work I’m doing for my book, this is very much on my mind.

Inominandum points out that spirits often don’t understand money, and may give bad advice where human matters are concerned. This has been my experience as well, and I realized that I’ve never really talked about it, and I haven’t seen it discussed in other blogs, either.

And Taylor suggests that if we treat spirits with respect, even normally-dangerous ones like the Goetia may become helpful and pleasant.

Note: I scheduled this post to go up automatically today. I may still be incommunicado on my way to Australia.

Other posts in this series: If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Ananael Qaa July 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I’m glad you enjoyed my takedown of “What the Bleep.” That movie started out with an interesting premise, but went beyond silly pretty darn fast.

As far as Gordon’s post on memory goes, the connection between memory and magick has a long history. The “Ars Notoria,” or notary art, was all about enhancing memory and it was considered a branch of magick up until the modern era. I would also point out that memory plays an important role in integrating the correspondences of modern ceremonial magick such as those found in Aleister Crowley’s “777.” So even though I can see where memory work is unrelated to direct magick as you practice it, that’s not necessarily the case with all magical styles.

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Gordon July 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Thanks for the shout-out.

Although, I’m a little unclear on where you see the disparity between science and magic, but then I tend to work to an Arthur C Clarke definition of both.

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Mike Sententia July 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think of research on memory as part of neurology or psychology, or some other standard science. Like other little-studied areas of these fields, it might seem like magic to some people. (Hypnosis is another case of standard psychology that might seem like magic.) But really, it’s just ordinary psychology / neurology, no magick involved.

When I talk about magick, I’m really talking about the mind directly altering the physical world, or about other ways to use mental muscles and ethereal software and the other bits of my model of magick. Using energy to change how your brain works is magick; using research to know when to schedule activities is not.

Though you are right, I shouldn’t talk about magick vs science, because I do want magick to become a field of science. Though we’re not there yet.

On Arthur C Clarke: He was talking about how to tell good stories, and about a mistake that less-technologically-advanced people are prone to make, not actually saying what magick is. Post here: https://magickofthought.com/2012/06/indistinguishable-from-advanced-technology/ I look forward to a lively discussion with a Clarke fan at some point on this :)

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Simon July 21, 2012 at 3:27 PM

“I do want magick to become a field of science. Though we’re not there yet.”

Reminds me again of one of the things I found during my astobsessive internet research:

http://www.iacworld.org/jofc/journal-conscientiology

According to these guys the science of ‘conscientology’ is “well established” for several decades now (despite most people having not heard of it!) and has over 70 sub-disciplines such as ‘projectiology’. Their research focuses on ‘lucid projection’ but did notice some potential parallels with your approach. Shame they had to choose a name that sounded similar to Scientology and- for me- larger ‘spiritual’ organizations are still guilty until proven innocent. But they’re kind of interesting to look at as a model.

i’m also away for a week then i’ll start alpha testing your mad- genuis multi-dimensional coffee machine.

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Mike Sententia July 21, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Yeah, I’m always wary of self-proclaimed sciences involving magick. Doubly wary of anyone claiming to be well-established. Every one I’ve seen does shoddy work, which makes it that much harder for someone to one day do it right. The 70 sub-disciplines is a red flag to me, too: I can’t imagine that one nascent, un-head-of field really needs 70 sub-categories, but it might sound impressive in some contexts.

Ultimately, I think they’re trying too hard. Science is kind of like being popular: You don’t tell people you’re popular, but if you really are, then people around you will realize it. With science, if you’re really uncovering useful laws and properties, this will lead to replicable findings and new products you can sell, and people will realize you’re onto something.

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