Posts Tagged ‘Limits of Magick’

Flying and Fireballs

Wednesday, September 24th, 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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