The meanings of the term “magic” are multiple. Considering the variety of significances that the word has taken during the history of the humanity, it is almost impossible to give it a definition. In this article, in which we analyze one of the basic principles of Magic, we refer to it as the art of effecting change in accordance with our will.
The use of the term “art” is not casual. We will not consider magic as a science, since it is almost impossible to repeatedly and statistically prove that an act of magic has a certain effect; in other words, magic is visible but not measurable. And even when it’s visible, the manifestation could be different depending on the observer. At the same time, we will not consider magic as a religion, since magic, in his extreme essence, is an act and not a belief.
So, what’s better than art? Like an art, magic is the material expression of something that comes from the deep of the human being. It is a creation that comes from the inner plane and whose material results can be seen by other people in the outer, real plan. Like any creation, it could come to light or remain potential, and it could come out in different forms, depending on the individual, the talent, the culture and the grade of inspiration that exists in the moment of the performance. Some acts maybe similar, like a performance in the theatre, but they will never be precisely the same.
Magic is something old, that was used in the early history of the humanity by almost all populations. His origins are strictly related to the shamanism, and to the connection to nature. At the beginning, magic was a way to understand a supernatural phenomenon or something that the human intellect could not comprehend. But at the same time, it was also a discipline used to control these occult forces, to direct them in a specific path.
While religions were created to generate a theory of the existence, and science was created to empirically explain it, magic was simply an act: the act of accepting the existence as it is and investigating through our conscience its variety of aspects. The first discovery of this investigation was very simple: reality was not something static: it was the result of a series of connected events over which the human being was not just a simple observer, but could be an active influencer. Prometheus’ Myth, by describing him stealing the fire from the Gods, is a perfect exemplification of this process: a fire could be generated by a torment, but could also be created by the man itself. Human beings were an insignificant little particle in the universe, and yet they could influence it, they could create something, just like the Gods.
The use of Magic at the beginning of the human history was nothing but this: the use of the will to make some event happen into the Universe. Being the magic an act of the conscience and not a simple belief of the intellect, magicians have always used some tools to reach their ends. These tools were, and are, always the same: rituals, symbols, actions, gestures, and language. Raining dances, processions, manipulation of certain objects, use of special dresses, consumption of special food, drink, or drugs, and much more.
The use of these tools has a purpose: to create an individual or collective conscience focused on the specific aim that we want to obtain and, by doing so, to generate an event and move it in the direction we want. We all dance, because we all want the rain, and consequently this will increase the possibility that clouds come and bring the rain to us. It’s one the basic principles of magic: we desire something, we focus on it, we make some act designed to reinforce our will to obtain what we want, and voilà, we get it!
Is this true? Can we really, with our simple will, have an influence on the fact that a certain event take place into the Universe? Can we influence our reality, and get what we want? And what do we really want?
“How do you do magic?”
“I use my will.”
“Precisely. It’s one of the basic principles of magic.”
— Conversation between Pipi and Balthasar, “Pipi and the Midnight Express“
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