asher63 (asher63) wrote,

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On Magic

Were you fascinated by magic and mysticism as a young person? I was. I think it's a trait I inherited from my mother, who must have been interested in mystical things as a young woman; she would speak the name "Edgar Cayce" as one recalling an old lover.

When I was a kid, I was into Tarot cards, the Kabbalah, yoga and chanting and mysticism and metaphysics. At 43 ... well, I still am. And it's different now, but it's still the same.

Sitting on top of my bookshelf is an old clock that belonged to my parents. When I was twleve years old, I put a magical charm inside the clock where nobody would find it. (In case you're wondering, it was the "Abracadabra triangle" written in one of those mystical alphabets, Crossing the River or Angel Writing or something. And yes, I still have the magic clock paper.) Why at twelve? Was there some erotic urge behind it? I don't know.

I always loved the Tarot; could never quite convince myself that the cards in a spread held some special information about my future, but oh, I loved the art and the symbolism. I devoured Paul Foster Case's book. Now I have six or seven decks, and Stuart Kaplan's lavish three-volume Encyclopedia.

As a kid I read everything I could find on psycic power or "ESP" as the catchphrase was then. I would get books and magazines on magic, astrology, alchemy, and those kinds of things.

There's something about power that grabs us. Especially when we're in our teens and twenties, I think, we are drawn to books like the Neconomicon and the Key of Solomon. If we got picked on in school and felt powerless, naturally we would dream of something that would give us some kind of power and even the odds.

Does this change as we get older? I don't think the degree of the attraction changes. I do think the nature of it changes.

After you get older, the hills and valleys aren't as exaggerated because you have more experience of life and you have more data points to compare to. You develop your social skills and your career skills, and you discover that if you want to "bend others to your will", being able to hold a job or a conversation works wondrous well.

And yet there's still something that draws us to the mystical, even later in life. It's the desire to enter the parts of reality that are hidden from us. It's the conviction that there is something beneath and beyond all this stuff that we see. The physicists of the twentieth century drove themselves crazy trying to resolve the wave/particle duality; finally they had to accept that there is simply a dimension of the universe that our machines can never reach.
Tags: geekery, life

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