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There’s a meme in movies and tv that people used to believe in magic, and that magic used to be stronger because of it. That our current lack of belief has somehow stripped the world of magic.
People didn’t believe in magic. They believed in psychology, hypnosis, placebo, and a dozen other things, erroneously calling those things magic as a shorthand for “we don’t know how they work.” And we’ve since gotten a handle on them, separated out the various mechanisms, and properly moved them to the realm of science.
Magic, meaning “we don’t know how it works,” is the opposite of science. Magick, meaning “phenomena based on ethereal energy, connections, and so on,” will (hopefully) become a science. But magick can only rise as its own field once placebo, hypnosis, and those other easier-to-produce phenomena are separated out, no longer confusing our testing and exploration.
It’s not a tragedy that people no longer believe in magic. It’s a triumph — it means we can truly get to work.If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.