My Favorite Posts from Other Blogs (August 21)

by Mike Sententia on August 20, 2012

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

Once again, it’s time to let other bloggers do my job for me. Here are some of my favorite posts from the past few weeks.

Ananael picks apart some of the claims of NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). I don’t know that much about NLP, but it’s always sounded like pseudo-science wrapped in flashy language, and it’s nice to see someone subjecting their claims to real scientific inquiry. (And not terribly surprising to see those claims wilt upon inspection.)

Taylor of Magical Experiments writes about the role of proof in magick, and the difference between proving magick to yourself vs proving it to doubters who demand an obvious demonstration in 5 minutes or less. It includes some case studies of his own magick, and you know how I love case studies.

RO has a post on greatness. It’s a bit of a kick in the rear to anyone who focuses on trying hard rather than succeeding, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

New blog for me: Weird Shit Not Bullshit. He has an interesting series about why occultists are particularly prone to believing in conspiracy theories. Summary: Because we spend so much time exploring correspondences and symbolic meanings, it’s easy for us to do that in the mundane world, which leads to psychosis rather than truth.

Mr. Black writes about mentor-student relationships online, and how different they are than in-person work. Scroll down for a long comment from me.

Ona has a series of posts for experienced meditators. I don’t meditate much, but I particularly enjoyed the one on expectations vs reality, because I think every field has a moment where the reality of being skilled somehow doesn’t match how you imagined it when you were a beginner.

And Jason discusses how to make a niche for your occult store. Short story: Craft a remarkable story. Also, enchanted cockrings. (Now I’m going to show up on all the wrong google searches.)

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ananael Qaa August 21, 2012 at 7:44 AM

I’m glad you enjoyed the NLP post. I was pretty amazed to see Donald Michael Kraig of all people jumping all over me in the comments for claiming that NLP was “unscientific” – which it clearly is, if you define scientific as “conforms to the scientific method.” I didn’t say it was useless, pointed out that by that same definition magick was unscientific, and so forth, but nonetheless still got condescended at by someone who in my opinion should know a whole lot better. Apparently there’s some stuff on NLP in the latest version of Modern Magick, so my guess is that he must be claiming that it’s “scientific” or something in his book and felt compelled to defend that statement (which, if it’s there, is simply wrong – to be fair I don’t know if it is, since I haven’t read his latest edition).

Personally I think the article and comments can be taken as a cautionary tale for those of us who want to develop magick into something akin to a conventional science. “I tried it out and it seemed like it worked” (Kraig’s apparent definition of “scientific,” according to his comments) is anything but. You need controlled testing with empirical, independently measurable results and a decent sample size before you can make anything resembling the “scientific” claim. Subjectivity doesn’t cut it.

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