Flying and Fireballs

by Mike Sententia on September 24, 2014

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Could magick give us flight, fireballs, and other movie special effects?

Responding to an aside on the limits of magick (bottom of the post), George asks:

Might we get flying and fireballs eventually? What would the nature of the restrictions be – just that we don’t have the appropriate software in existence yet?

Most magick “breaks the law” to some extent – how far can it go, do you think? What stops us pushing it?

When I think about magick, I start with the mechanisms we already know about:

  • Energy seems to inhibit or promote cellular processes. We can target particular processes / tissues based on the signature of the energy.
  • Manifesting seems to have some way of tapping into future events.
  • I’ve seen manifesting operate by influencing my decisions.
  • Other mages also report manifesting that seems to operate by minor influences of physical objects. (I’m thinking about weather and lottery here.)

That last one is particularly interesting. It suggests that ethereal matter can exert a force on ordinary matter. If we could understand and harness that force, could we move large objects? Could we move our own bodies? I have no idea, but maybe.

A few risks to consider, though: What if you generated the 170-some lbs of force required to lift me, but you did it all in one square inch of my arm? What if you did it inside my heart, brain, or other vital organ? What if you distributed it throughout my body, but the forces didn’t all point in the same direction? There’s a lot that could go wrong. Still, it sounds plausible.

What about fireballs? I don’t see anything that makes me think ethereal matter combusts, or that we could control it. Even if it is possible, why bother? Guns work better than fireballs anyway.

(Fireballs are also inferior to any number of simpler magickal effects. We can already influence nerves, and I’m sure there are ways to hurt someone with that. Or, if you somehow created fire out of ethereal matter, just create fire inside your victim’s body. Really, the only reason to throw a fireball is because it looks awesome in movies.)

Also relevant to this topic: Privileging the hypothesis. That is, there’s no reason to focus on flight and fireballs instead of, say, producing light, air vibrations, gravity, or any number of other equally-hard things.

One more question I want to answer:

[Is it] just that we don’t have the appropriate software in existence yet?

At one level, this is correct: If we had ethereal software that could levitate a person, and we could command that software, then we could levitate a person.

But at another level, this misses the point of Direct Magick. See, that software doesn’t exist, because no one knows how to levitate a person. So it’s not just a matter of making the software. First, we have to figure out how to do the technique ourselves, using the basic forms of ethereal matter — energy and connections, basically. That’s hard. If you’ve been reading my weekly updates, you know what goes into building a simple technique (like creating sensations) from just energy and connections. Flight would be vastly more complex.

Creating those techniques is the real point of Direct Magick, by the way. That’s why we learn to do magick without ethereal software — so we can build new techniques from the basic forms of ethereal matter. That’s what it takes to push the limits of what magick can do.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

George September 25, 2014 at 12:04 AM

For fireballs: ball lightning, perhaps? That’s actually something that probably could be done.

> See, that software doesn’t exist, because no one knows how to levitate a person.

Yes, that’s interesting. And is a restriction that the “direct” approach highlights. Even alternative descriptions (“habits” and so on) suggest the same thing.

The “lottery question” is interesting. Because, in what sense does it adjust the numbers? And many manifestations seem to require events prior to the magickal working, so that’s a “outside of time” influence, which is pretty curious. Software being time-less, space-less, in essence?

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John Doe September 25, 2014 at 10:55 AM

> The “lottery question” is interesting.
> Because, in what sense does it adjust the numbers?

Precognition seems more plausible.

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Mike Sententia September 25, 2014 at 11:05 AM

That’s what I’d expect, also. But in Ananael’s testing, it apparently doesn’t matter if you’re predicting or altering the numbers. No idea how it works, but that seems to be how it works. A problem to tackle in the future…

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George September 25, 2014 at 11:51 PM

I think you just can’t tell the difference between “altering a future event” and “receiving the information about a future event”, or indeed between these ideas and that maybe your magickal action and the result are both the result of intention (as in, they are both effects, neither is a cause).

If we are in a fundamentally time-less universe, then our intention affects the whole “pattern of the universe and its events” at once, skipping the problem. (If it makes sense that ethereal software would be outside time perhaps.)

There is a bit of a problem when we try to imagine software “physically adjusting things”, just as a little tiny magickal person would do if present, but if we are happy to step back and talk about events themselves being created as physical experiences from scratch, then maybe there’s a way around this.

But if it can’t be tested, then this is just “story-making” I suppose.

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Stefen September 29, 2014 at 7:58 PM

I’ve been giving this topic some more thought myself.

From what I understand, and I could be wrong, magick works on the etheric level, not the physical level. Things happen on the etheric level before they do so on the physical level. This is why we don’t see sparks, fire, etc, or hear anything when magick is being used. Also, it’s easier to bring about very small changes on the etheric level via magick such as healing. So, when you talk about fireballs or ball lightning, I’d say it’s entirely possible to throw an etheric ball of energy that’s intended to damage someone’s etheric body. It just won’t be seen by the physical eyes or heard with the physical ears. Damage to their physical body won’t happen right away, but damage to the etheric body will eventually manifest in the physical body. If you want to fly around and see fireballs and ball lightning, I hear the you can do this sort of thing when astral projecting.

As for precognition, remember that things happen on the etheric level first. It’s entirely possible that you’re getting information from that level just before it takes place on the physical level.

Regarding levitation and psychokinesis, my research suggests that these abilities make use of the aura to interact with the object rather than using the power of thought alone. My understanding is that the aura is some kind of bioelectric or electromagnetic field, so that doesn’t sound so far off. There are those who claim to be able to do such things on a small scale, but I don’t know exactly how it’s done.

So are these things possible physically? I’d like to believe so. However, as has been said, there are better uses for magick such as healing. We have enough ways to kill one another as it is. However, if you want to experiment, I say go for it. Just don’t expect these things in the near future. Be open-minded, but realistic as well.

Hopefully this makes sense.

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