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I feel awkward talking about magick with non-mages. Talk about influencing probabilities, and they think you’re getting tricked by placebo and positive thinking. Talk about specific case studies, and you’re threatening their worldview. Neither is a great conversation.
But I was impressed by with acupuncturist I met at a party recently. Without mentioning magick, I asked about his practice. His explanation (poorly paraphrased by me):
Before modern biology, people examined the body, saw problems and figured out cures, and had to come up with terms so they could talk about it. Different cultures picked different names: The four elements, the four humors, and so on. They didn’t have modern science available, so they used whatever metaphors seemed most natural to them to describe what they saw.
It had an overall tone of, “Sure, they used names that sound kind of silly now, but that’s just a terminology problem. We’re all describing basically the same things, so let’s see what the ancient people uncovered.”
When I asked directly, he said that, yes, his work involves energy. But then he went back to talking about the history, about how modern pharmacology is drawing from ancient herbal remedies, and so on. He just skipped the non-mainstream parts.
Seems like an excellent strategy.
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