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I’ve previously said that mental muscles, ethereal software, and other magickal structures are “non-physical,” to convey that you won’t find mental muscles on an MRI, and you won’t find magickal connections with a microscope. Most people accept that logic, and when I do get questions, they’re always asking for clarification, not questioning the reasoning.
But recently, a physicist friend, S, asked about the underlying logic. Then she smashed it, and taught me about physics and matter and magick in the process.
I started by explaining my logic: These magickal structures don’t have a physical location, and they don’t take up space. They don’t push objects, cast shadows, or otherwise interact with the physical world unless a skilled mage gets a lot of these structures working in very precise ways. Clearly, they’re something different than physical matter.
Then S brought up dark matter. You see, dark matter doesn’t push objects, cast shadows, or otherwise interact with ordinary matter. It affects gravity, but that’s about it. In short, dark matter interacts with ordinary matter even less than magickal structures do.
And yet we don’t call dark matter “non-physical.” We call it a special kind of physical matter, which obeys a set of physical laws — perhaps one set of laws for interacting with other dark matter, and another set of laws for interacting with ordinary physical matter, but it obeys physical laws.
And this, S explained, is what “physical” really means to a physicist: That it obeys regular, predictable, mathematical laws, even if we don’t know exactly what they are yet. Also, that it can be modeled as interacting with atoms or quarks or whatever level of physical thing it interacts with. But she said that dark matter is physical, and light is physical, and gravitons are physical, and magickal structures should be physical, too.
I thought for a minute. I tried to come up with a counter-argument, but couldn’t. Then realized she was right, and that I’d just learned something about magick from a non-mage. Which kind of made my day.
So, I’m revising my original statement. Rather than saying that all those magickal structures are non-physical, I’m calling them magickal matter. Similar to dark matter, they’re physical, but a special kind of physical matter, different from ordinary physical matter, and only interacting with ordinary matter in certain limited ways. Hopefully this will make my writing clearer, at least to the physicists in the audience.
And, if I’m lucky, maybe this thinking will lead to a more public-friendly term for magick, like thought matter or solid thought or something like that. Thoughts?If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.