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Author Topic: What is Magic?  (Read 8685 times)
Mithril
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« Topic Start: August 23, 2007, 05:57:20 pm »

I know this thread's already been done, but it's really long and hasn't been posted in for a while, and I want to be more specific anyway: is magic a force (like gravity), a wave (like light), or is magic simply phenomena of all types that science hasn't explained yet?
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« Reply #1: August 23, 2007, 06:04:22 pm »

I know this thread's already been done, but it's really long and hasn't been posted in for a while, and I want to be more specific anyway: is magic a force (like gravity), a wave (like light), or is magic simply phenomena of all types that science hasn't explained yet?

The latter, I suspect. Something science has yet to explain -- or even really study.

(Side note: Light is both a particle and a wave -- it behaves like whichever one you are testing for. One of the weird quantum mechanics things.)
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« Reply #2: August 23, 2007, 06:21:15 pm »

(Side note: Light is both a particle and a wave -- it behaves like whichever one you are testing for. One of the weird quantum mechanics things.)

Yeah, I know! Isn't that the absolute *coolest* thing in the world!!!??? I would agree with you that it's something science has yet to explain, but that doesn't really explain how we can manipulate it the way we do. I'm thinking that there are two categories to it. The first doesn't require will. Things like magnetism and the healing properties of herbs fall into that category for me (yes, science has exlained them, but they at one time were magic under the definition that magic is what science hasn't explained, so magic and science to me are synonymous, which is how i rationalize wanting to be a scientist and believing in magic at the same time). The second category would be what we do when we focus our will. are we somehow channeling our body energy, or are we tapping into a force around us and manipulating *it* somehow with our energy/something else? did that make sense? I probably could have done a betterjob phrasing it... oh well.
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« Reply #3: August 23, 2007, 06:28:38 pm »

Things like magnetism and the healing properties of herbs fall into that category for me (yes, science has exlained them, but they at one time were magic under the definition that magic is what science hasn't explained, so magic and science to me are synonymous, which is how i rationalize wanting to be a scientist and believing in magic at the same time).

I don't think everything not yet explained by science is magic. Smiley

Personally, I don't see anything weird about believe in magic or in deities and wanting to be a scientist. For example, while the fundies want to believe that scientists studying evolutions are all hard core atheists, many of them are really Christian -- just not of the Biblical literalist variety. While many scientists are atheists, many are just are not -- and some even practice magic. For example, one of the people I studied CM with in the 70s was a research chemist with a number of published papers.
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« Reply #4: August 23, 2007, 06:38:02 pm »


Personally, I don't see anything weird about believe in magic or in deities and wanting to be a scientist. For example, while the fundies want to believe that scientists studying evolutions are all hard core atheists, many of them are really Christian -- just not of the Biblical literalist variety. While many scientists are atheists, many are just are not -- and some even practice magic. For example, one of the people I studied CM with in the 70s was a research chemist with a number of published papers.


Really? That makes me feel a lot better.
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« Reply #5: August 23, 2007, 06:45:57 pm »

I know this thread's already been done, but it's really long and hasn't been posted in for a while, and I want to be more specific anyway: is magic a force (like gravity), a wave (like light), or is magic simply phenomena of all types that science hasn't explained yet?

Well for me everything around me is made up of energy. Matter IS energy, it doesn't just contain energy. When I do magic I call on that energy, in me and in my surroundings and THAT is magic. So not a force as such, just a manifestation of the inherent energy around us.
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« Reply #6: August 23, 2007, 06:48:05 pm »

Well for me everything around me is made up of energy. Matter IS energy, it doesn't just contain energy. When I do magic I call on that energy, in me and in my surroundings and THAT is magic. So not a force as such, just a manifestation of the inherent energy around us.

That makes sense. The problem is that most of theories I've thought of make sense to me, so that makes it impossible to chose.
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« Reply #7: August 23, 2007, 06:51:14 pm »

That makes sense. The problem is that most of theories I've thought of make sense to me, so that makes it impossible to chose.

 Cheesy But mine is based on science! Look at E=mc2 (I can't do a squared sign) and think about it, it doesn't make sense that matter is not made of energy. I have no time now but if you want then I can post a better explanation later.
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« Reply #8: August 23, 2007, 07:03:10 pm »

Cheesy But mine is based on science! Look at E=mc2 (I can't do a squared sign) and think about it, it doesn't make sense that matter is not made of energy. I have no time now but if you want then I can post a better explanation later.

You're probably right, but I still think it's possible that magic is some kind of force like magnetism and gravity (electron, prontons, and magitrons??).

(ok, bear with me, i've been reading a bunch of brain/mind books, so this is probably going to sound nutty)
It would make sense there is some kind of *thing* in our brains that allows us to somehow make the connection between what we want and what we cause to happen either by using the magitrons or energy. The *thing* I'm talking about is the bridge between mind and brain. The bridge between them, it seems to me, will be the key.

I'm not making sense, I know, but at least this is forcing me to think through my theory. Ok. Thus far, I think magic is:
The effect caused by the the manipulation of energy/magic particles, by way of the *something* that bridges the mind and the brain.

Ugh Huh
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« Reply #9: August 23, 2007, 08:16:21 pm »

The effect caused by the the manipulation of energy/magic particles, by way of the *something* that bridges the mind and the brain.

I would not consider magic and effect or result of anything.  Afterall, it is not only a result.  It is the act itself.  No matter what the effect, the effect is not the power behind it.  In other words, the 'manipulation' is the magic.

On another point, I am not sure how you are defining the diffence between the mind and the brain.  Please explain so I can understand your theory.

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« Reply #10: August 23, 2007, 08:24:37 pm »

I know this thread's already been done, but it's really long and hasn't been posted in for a while, and I want to be more specific anyway: is magic a force (like gravity), a wave (like light), or is magic simply phenomena of all types that science hasn't explained yet?

Well, personally, I'm not convinced that magic is an external, natural force - I believe that it's something that exists in our minds. Not to say that it doesn't exist at all. It's a psychological reality. I might be inclined to say that "magic" is made up of whatever "thought" is. (And, as occultists say, "thoughts are things.") But of course, this is coming from someone who has not yet been entirely convinced that magic has an effect on external reality. (I'm open to the idea, but I haven't done enough experimenting outside of dealing with psychosomatic illness.)
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« Reply #11: August 23, 2007, 08:43:41 pm »

Well, personally, I'm not convinced that magic is an external, natural force - I believe that it's something that exists in our minds. Not to say that it doesn't exist at all. It's a psychological reality. I might be inclined to say that "magic" is made up of whatever "thought" is. (And, as occultists say, "thoughts are things.") But of course, this is coming from someone who has not yet been entirely convinced that magic has an effect on external reality. (I'm open to the idea, but I haven't done enough experimenting outside of dealing with psychosomatic illness.)

I try to believe, but it has to be explained in order for me *to* believe completely. Do I hope with all my heart that magic is real? Definately. Do I really think so? I will if I can convince myself that it's possible.

This discussion is heading in the same way as the Time discussion. I need to read more Brian Greene. Randall, do you recommend anyone else?
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« Reply #12: August 23, 2007, 10:01:02 pm »

This discussion is heading in the same way as the Time discussion. I need to read more Brian Greene. Randall, do you recommend anyone else?

In what field? Magic?
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« Reply #13: August 23, 2007, 10:10:54 pm »

In what field? Magic?

No! quantum mechanics. i've already read the elegant universe and one other book, but i forgot what it was called...
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« Reply #14: August 24, 2007, 03:46:35 am »

I know this thread's already been done, but it's really long and hasn't been posted in for a while, and I want to be more specific anyway: is magic a force (like gravity), a wave (like light), or is magic simply phenomena of all types that science hasn't explained yet?

None of the above.  Ok, I don't really believe in magic anymore.  But when I did, I tended to view it as breaking the rules, and transgressing against the natural cause of events.  That is, things happen in a certain way.  There are normal ways of influencing ongoing events.  Magic I see as something that circumvents that, in a way that I think might be fundamentally impossible to describe.

I don't believe in magic anymore, of course, but I still tend to work with a vague theory like that when I use it in fiction.
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