Open Letter to a Curious Non-Mage

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A new non-mage friend, S, has started reading my blog. She sent me a thoughtful, honest email about her response to magick. This post is my reply.

Let’s start with an excerpt from her email:

To describe my current state of mind, I would say it is both skeptical and open to learning something new about the way the world works that is very different from what I thought before. As a scientist, this is exactly how I would like to approach any new or alternative theory about the way the world is and the way it works – with healthy skepticism and an open mind. … [But] I have not been able to completely erase the social stigma from my opinions and my thoughts.

I have a few thoughts on this.

First: I prefer respectful honesty to false praise any day, and you hit the note well. Thank you for your email, and for trusting me enough to send it.

Second: I would never expect blind acceptance. Among people who have not experienced magick, the rational response is to believe the world works according to standard physics.

Third: Skepticism is highly undervalued, especially in magickal circles.

My people are the skeptics*. The scientists. The people who don’t believe an idea simply because a teacher or a book said so, who won’t believe in magick or energy healing — or physics, for that matter — without evidence, and who can follow an experience to its natural conclusion, even when that’s not the conclusion they were hoping for.

So, in fact, I’m quite glad that you aren’t able to banish your skepticism. That means that (1) you’re honest with me, and trust me enough to not lie out of politeness, and (2) you are my kind of person.

*I’m using “skeptic” in the proper sense: Someone who distrusts unproven ideas and weighs evidence rationally. Different from aggressive skeptics, who are more interested in winning than truth.

One more item: Thank you for being polite enough not to ask me to demonstrate magick, and for taking the time to read my blog and engage my ideas and decide for yourself. I think you understand that this is a very young science that’s not ready for on-demand demonstrations, and that, with a little patience, you’ll soon have plenty of your own experiences to draw from.

For now, have you seen my case studies? I think they might be helpful.

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