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Switch to Forum Live View Two Choices: Christian or Magician
3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 8:41AM #1
Adelphe
Posts: 28,707

Looking something up, I came across this glossary--and started reading.

Under the entry for "magic" we find:

Magic. The "great" Science. According to Deveria and other Orientalists, "Magic was considered as a sacred science inseparable from religion" by the oldest and most civilised and learned nations. The Egyptians, for instance, were a most sincerely religious nation, as were, and are still, the Hindus. "Magic consists of, and is acquired by, the worship of the gods," says Plato. Could, then, a nation which, owing to the irrefragable evidence of inscriptions and papyri, is proved to have firmly believed in magic for thousands of years, have been deceived for so long a time? And is it likely that generations upon generations of a learned and pious hierarchy, many among whom led lives of self-martyrdom, holiness and asceticism, would have gone on deceiving themselves and the people (or even only the latter) for the pleasure of perpetuating belief in "miracles"? Fanatics, we are told, will do anything to enforce belief in their god or idols. To this we reply: — In such cases Brahmans and Egyptian Rekhget-amens or Hierophants, would not have popularised the belief in the power of man by magic practices, to command the services of the gods: which gods are in truth but the occult powers or potencies of Nature, personified by the learned priests themselves, who reverenced only in them the attributes of the one unknown and nameless Principle. As Proclus, the Platonist, ably puts it: "Ancient priests, when they considered that there is a certain alliance and sympathy in natural things to each other, and of things manifest to occult powers, and discovered that all things subsist in all, fabricated a sacred science from this mutual sympathy and similarity. . . . and applied for occult purposes both celestial and terrene natures, by means of which, through a certain similitude, they deduced divine natures into this inferior abode." Magic is the science of communicating with, and directing supernal supramundane potencies, as well as commanding those of lower spheres; a practical knowledge of the hidden mysteries of nature which are known only to the few, because they are so difficult to acquire without falling into sin against the law. Ancient and mediaeval mystics divided magic into three classes — Theurgia, Goetia and Natural Magic. "Theurgia has long since been appropriated as the peculiar sphere of the Theosophists and metaphysicians," says Kenneth Mackenzie. "Goetia is black magic, and 'natural' or white magic has risen with healing in its wings to the proud position of an exact and progressive study." The remarks added by our late learned brother are remarkable: "The realistic desires of modern times have contributed to bring magic into disrepute and ridicule. . . . Faith (in one's own self) is an essential element in magic, and existed long before other ideas which presume its pre-existence. It is said that it takes a wise man to make a fool; and a man's idea must be exalted almost to madness, i. e., his brain susceptibilities must be increased far beyond the low miserable status of modern civilisation, before he can become a true magician, for a pursuit of this science implies a certain amount of isolation and an abnegation of self." A very great isolation certainly, the achievement of which constitutes a wonderful phenomenon, a miracle in itself. Withal, magic is not something supernatural. As explained by Iamblichus, "they, through the sacerdotal theurgy, announce that they are able to ascend to more elevated and universal essences, and to those that are established above fate, viz., to god and the demiurgos: neither employing matter, nor assuming any other things besides, except the observation of a sensible time." Already some are beginning to recognise the existence of subtle powers and influences in nature, in which they have hitherto known nought. But, as Dr. Carter Blake truly remarks, "the nineteenth century is not that which has observed the genesis of new, nor the completion of old, methods of thought"; to which Mr. Bonwick adds, that "if the Ancients knew but little of our mode of investigation into the secrets of Nature, we know still less of their mode of research."




Now the glossary was helpful because it was obviously written by those who have a keen understanding of--and systematic approach to--what is referred to in Scripture as the "world's" systems, iow, anything which operates outside of the following parameters:

"We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ" (2 Cor 10)

and

"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." (2 Col)

So you see Christianity has a very specific worldview.  A worldview which would be incompatible in its totality with the world's opinions on and answers to the following:

1.  What is the True and Universal reality? (Ontology)
2.  How can we find this True and Universal reality? (Epistemology)
3.  What are the Universal concepts between Mind and Reality ? (Metaphysics)
4.  How do we apply Universal truth to further Humanity? (Moral Epistemology, Religion)
5.  What does Science allow, or deny, within True and Universal Reality? (Metaphysics)

(Each and every one of us has opinions on and answers to the above, whether or not you've actually thought about it and can state them by their name and definition within philosophy which includes political positions, outlooks, and approaches, etc.  Your particular positions do, in fact, have designated names within philosophical categories whether or not you happen to know the names by which those concepts are called and defined.)

Anyway, back to the glossary.  Oftentimes I stumble across the most confused garbage when it comes to the concepts listed within it and this is one of the first times I have seen them laid out methodically and with some measure of logic and consistency.  There are some people who confusedly dabble in this stuff and then there are some who really get it, like here.

In reading the above definition of magic, we see:

"Faith (in one's own self) is an essential element in magic"

Well now that says it all, doesn't it?  How does it feel to be the superstitious one; no better or different from an ancient pagan prophet peddling your primeval religion?  And a fanatical one, at that?  "Fanatics, we are told, will do anything to enforce belief in their god or idols."

As eloquent as the entry above is, don't let the "religious" sounding phrases obscure the fact that this is describing the modern mind.  In a nutshell, all it's saying is God is off the throne (or dead), and Man Is King.  When that happens, man is nothing more than a practicing magician.  A goofy wizard.

Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe.  Here I stand.  I can do no other.  God help me.  Amen.
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 11:31AM #2
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

The choices are not 2, but actually endless.  The choices of gods alone are plentiful.  So this is oversimplified...



But given the silly parameters here, I myself would choose "Goofy Wizard"  as there is ample evidence that man exists, yet none that any of those gods, including yours, exist.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 11:58AM #3
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

I'm not understanding why the need for the absolute dichotomy. I can think of at least two former members of these boards who called themselves Christian Witches. Now would play the old chestnut and say they aren't really Christians?  Aren't really Witches? Or would rather just ignore their existence entirely?



Dropping things into black and white forces one to ignore all sorts of grey. And quite a bit of color as well.

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 12:13PM #4
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

;)



Gee Addie, I don't know if I should take offense or not  "no better or different from an ancient pagan prophet peddling your primeval religion". 



You seem to wish to correlate the practices of modern religious (primarily Christian) IMO hucksters, and some concept of a pagan "prophet" peddling their belief system. 



Most likely you are referring to specific versions of polytheism that originated around the Mediterranean and were associated with the state.  In these a "prophet" or a "priest" would dictate the desires of the deity or deities to the population, but be essentially amorphous and unknowable to the general population.  In that case, sure, I can see the comparison.  Both forms of religion are dominated by those who are in the "know" and will tell those that are not in the know what is expected of them.  Of course this carries with it the same possibility of abuse in all cases. 



My theology is different.  You see, the grains of what would eventually become the state were just beginning in the area that gave rise to my theology.  Grains that were seized on and used by the invading Christianity to enter and take over the area.  In my belief we do not rely upon someone else telling us what the deities desire, and so within that belief, I do not think that we would fall prey to the same type of problem of religious hucksters that we believe are speaking for the gods dictating our behavior. 



all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 12:29PM #5
koolpoi
Posts: 6,437

"Taking every thought captive" sounds disturbingly similar to CCP ideology.

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 12:37PM #6
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Feb 8, 2012 -- 12:29PM, koolpoi wrote:


"Taking every thought captive" sounds disturbingly similar to CCP ideology.




Great comparison.  Both Mao ZeDong's ideology and christianity teach that one should NOT think, but rather listen and parrot what some book says (little red book and bible respectively).


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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 12:47PM #7
jlb32168
Posts: 13,260

Feb 8, 2012 -- 12:29PM, koolpoi wrote:

"Taking every thought captive" sounds disturbingly similar to CCP ideology.


Nothing you’ve said sounds appreciably different from any other skeptic, koolpoi.  The same goes for Bob.  Do you simply parrot things you've heard other skeptics say?


You’d say we were rude were we to say that the Taoist “He, who knows, does not speak. He, who speaks, does not know” sounds disturbingly like the Khmer Rouge’s crusade against intellectualism, where those who spoke out were culled and simply disappeared.

Victim of this, victim of that, your mama’s too thin and your daddy’s too fat, get over it! - the Eagles
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 2:08PM #8
Bob_the_Lunatic
Posts: 3,458

Feb 8, 2012 -- 12:47PM, jlb32168 wrote:


Feb 8, 2012 -- 12:29PM, koolpoi wrote:

"Taking every thought captive" sounds disturbingly similar to CCP ideology.


Nothing you’ve said sounds appreciably different from any other skeptic, koolpoi.  The same goes for Bob.  Do you simply parrot things you've heard other skeptics say?


You’d say we were rude were we to say that the Taoist “He, who knows, does not speak. He, who speaks, does not know” sounds disturbingly like the Khmer Rouge’s crusade against intellectualism, where those who spoke out were culled and simply disappeared.





I'm not a skeptic, I'm a Buddhist.  As such, I'm not skeptical about Theism, I'm completely confident in something else-which happens to be atheistic.  


And parrots don't change their faiths, they don't try a variety of things, open to the idea that truth could be anywhere-that requires not only skepticm, but also optimism that the truth exists, combined with an effort to seek it out.  Parrots sit on their branch and repeat what they've heard, and never leave that tree.


And I've never heard my Mao analogy from anyone else-although I see it quite clearly:  In Communist China (by this I mean under Mao 1949-1979), Mao was essentially GOD.  And that's interesting to me.... that they were so atheist-they got right back to theism. 

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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 2:56PM #9
jlb32168
Posts: 13,260

Feb 8, 2012 -- 2:08PM, Bob_the_Lunatic wrote:

Parrots sit on their branch and repeat what they've heard, and never leave that tree.


As I said, Bob.  You’re saying nothing different from what other atheists say and have said for the entire time I've been on B'net and before then.


The point is that when I hear others’ ideas and now own those ideas, I say that I’ve listened to what they’ve said, analyzed it, concluded the ideas are representative of truth, and now possess the ideas as mine own – a product of my superior critical thinking; however, when others do the same thing (but their conclusions align with other ideas contrary to mine), mysteriously, they’re just “parroting what they’ve heard”.


Truth certainly hasn’t enlightened us that much if we still demonize an entire group of people as being unsophisticated, ignorant, provincial cattle unable to think for themselves, who believe what they’re told to believe and parrot it on cue.  If anything, it suggests we’re not in possession of truth.

Victim of this, victim of that, your mama’s too thin and your daddy’s too fat, get over it! - the Eagles
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3 years ago  ::  Feb 08, 2012 - 3:39PM #10
bigbear6161
Posts: 3,816

Let me get this straight. Liberals approaching faith in a modern or post-modern way are superstitiously believing in "magic" but conservatives believing in a historical resurrection are not believing in magic.  There is much irony in this.

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