Thursday, June 25, 2009

Magic, Still

We live in a universe with pretty regular laws. Oxygen is oxygen, even on Mars, and the absence or presence of oxygen can be pretty well and easily inferred from conditions on the planet. That is, if it has lots of oxygen, we can make a good hypothesis why. If we were able to travel to the center of the galaxy, we would find oxygen.
All these laws mesh together. The presence of oxygen determines what sort of life forms will evolve, whether or not things will burn, how much water there will be, and so on.
If I accept the postulates of magic, I have to assume a second set of laws, not connected to the ones we can verify. The laws of magic seemed to be based on an interesting concept: The word is the thing. If I can know the true name of a thing, I can control it. Similarly, the symbol for a thing is the thing. A doll is a person.
These laws of magic, on the other hand, seem to be spotty and not really uniform. Nor are they replicable. My best guess is that they are figments of the imagination. I will continue to think this until I am turned into a toad.


bekkieann said...

When a flicker (bird) was stuck in my chimney and then in my basement, my friend told me of some Native American lore about flickers and what it means when they visit you. Even though I don't exactly believe what I read, it was rather cool thinking that the flicker deliberately came to me and that there was some message in that.

Thinking with a clear head, it seems ridiculous that a bird might bring you a message. But I think it sort of feels good to a lot of us to think there might possibly be unseen powers acting on the world and our lives. So while I'm not a believer, I call myself an agnostic: I'll reserve judgment.

On both your houses said...

I think the message the flicker was leaving was, "Help. I'm caught in a chimney." If you were spiritually attuned, you would have gotten that.