Does anyone here believe in magick?

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Chaos Magic, like Alan Moore, maybe, actual magic, nah.

SpunkeyMonkey:

1. Reading a lot of the above posts, I have to say I think that people just daren't try it because they fear they'll be proved wrong.

2. That wasn't my question, I asked if you had tried any of them - not mine specifically?

3. I find it quite frankly astounding that someone would dismiss 4000 methods without at least sampling a few of them themselves.

4. Such much ill-placed faith and reliance in others opinions and theories, instead of trusting the own instincts and judgements you were born with. It's a bit sad really. Conform, consume, marry and reproduce.

1. You cant attatch whatever reasoning you want to people then attack them for it. You do not get to tell me what i think. This is not the reason. You are wrong. Stop that. Youre making this discussion impossible because right now in this post youre behaving pretty aggressively and antagonistic. Ill pretend this wasnt on purpose and say, what youve written is incredibly presumptuous and ill thought out. Be better than that. Seriously.

2. "I just dont have the time or energy to go through them all and since i give none any special preference i have no reason to select some over others to try."

3. Because each method is a unique entity trying some wont tell me anything about the validity of others. Since im assuming most are bullshit id rather not wade through them all searching for the right one. If one appears to be better than others ill use it, but that takes evidence. If you bring me enough to interest me and show yours is unique ill go for it. Until then its just another drunken story about mermaids.

4. Well this just undermined your point entirely. You said earlier that people with stronger belief in powers like reekiey became better people? Youve just demonstrated that its made you incredibly snide, insulting and condescending to those who dont agree with you. So either reekay doesnt work or it utterly failed to improve you to a point where youre above such crude attempts at a superiority complex. I went through this entire disucssion avoiding personal attacks, you failed at that. And i didnt even need to believe in reakey! Go me. Also when i was 8 my instincts told me there was a monster under the bed. My instincts mean NOTHING in the face of hard evidence. I like them sure, but they dont prove anything conclusive nor do i depend on them unless i really absolutely have to. They are not the best tool by a long way.

Look try and see this from my point of view. Lemme make a point for you, youre showing bias toward rieki because you think it worked for you:

"My magic system works like this, you burn some flowers and chant "diputs si siht" for 3 hours a day. This heals your inner energy by synchronising it with the moons internal resonance cascade inherent in the laylines of the world. Crystals, the more expensive ones, also assist this process."

Now id ask you why dont you try this out, it worked for me AND my friends. So id like you to try it. For about a week to get a real feel for it. Will you? If not why not?

Going by your logic the only reason NOT to try it is fear it might actually work. So now you have to try it or admit youre afraid. Id like youtube videos documenting your attempts please so i can see if youre doing it correctly.

The point of my example is to demonstrate what your claim looks like from my perspective. Youve made a pretty important claim about something that has a power ive never seen before. The explanation uses words i recognize but in an order that really lacks any meaning im familiar with. The time and energy needed to "properly" invest in them as you put it isnt extreme. But its significant for something random a stranger is telling me to do. The evidence presented is the same words a person would use to try and prove something he KNEW was fake was true, like i did above. If you sound JUST like the conman people might mistake you for him even if at heart youre not. And there are MANY conmen in the world of magical abilities. If they offer the same amount of reason to listen to them as you do to listen to you and i KNOW they are fake why should i trust you?

Theres also the 3 hours. You say i dont want to try because im afraid. I think the main reason youre not going to try my invented system is:

a: I invented it and admit it
b: Youre putting in 3 hours straight of your time in some random thing a stranger claims is true based on nothing substantial.

Which is exactly the same reason i dont want to try your system. I think its invented like a lot of other, VERY similar, admittedly invented systems. I also think my time is important and when i invest it i want a good reason to do so. Because random people tell me isnt a good enough reason.

4000 was a WAY too smaller figure. The one i invented counts as one now. ANY personally invented magical system is equally valid to others. Even if i try a 100 there are likely MILLIONS of separate magical systems. And since one magical system says nothing about the validity of other systems trying 1 or 2 doesnt really tell me anything other than 1 or 2 are fake. Anyone could come up to me and say "Pfff youve only tried one or 2 out of 100,000,000? Youre such a sheeple!"

Actually i have tried some. I tried prayer once when i was smaller. That didnt work. So ive tried one system. Ive also been reading my astrology news paper segment. Its almost always wrong. So thats two. Ive wished upon a star. Thats three. Ive made a wish on my birthday candles. Thats four. Ive made a wish on a "fairy" seed. Thats five. Ive been to a tarrot card reader, who was wrong. 6. Ive been to a palm reader. 7. Ive been to a crystal ball reading. 8. Ive tried picking up pennies for good luck. 9. Ive meditated. 10.

There are INFINITE ideas about magic. Ive tried 10 that i can think of but probably more without even thinking about it. There are so many. I dont think you understand how daunting it is to be expected to try random things because strangers tell me to. You need to EARN my time by PROVING to me something is worth it. It isnt fear. Im just a little lazy. And if rieki lessons take significant time and money (driving there, taking them, driving home) you need to prove im not wasting it. Im kinda poor. My money is important. I want to feel like i will get a return.

SpunkeyMonkey:

Using the example stated earlier the world is flat right? If you hold a spirit level up to the horizon they will line up and thus prove that the horizon, and earth are flat right? That's science.

This is a terrible example to use as it's flatly wrong! In fact this can be used as a proof that the world is spherical. Next time you're near the sea or a very large lake hold a ruler out so that both ends touch the surface of the water from your point of view. The actual surface of the water curves, coming to a maximum at the halfway point of your ruler.

Anyway, for somebody who preaches open-mindedness, you seem awfully invested in your version of events. Yes, yes, you experienced it and that's enough proof for you. But think about it, which is more likely:

a) there are forces that are readily experienced and can be reliably used to produce measurable benefits and yet is completely undetectable by the very best measuring equipment available or

b) through a combination of self-suggestion and the reinforcement of people around you who were likewise invested in generating a positive result, you've managed to trick yourself into believing something that's unscientific and insubstantiable. Through a combination of self-suggestion (possibly even a mild form of self-hypnosis) you and/or the reiki recipient "feel" the treatment, the recipient reports improved health through a combination of the placebo effect, confirmation bias and post-hoc rationalisation, and likewise you remember the hits but find ways of ignoring the misses.

If your claim is "this is a ritual that is pleasant to do, helps calm and relax people, and people often report feeling better after" then I'd buy it, because you'd be doing nothing more "magickal" than a masseur or counselor; namely, helping people relax, giving them attention and helping them cope with their problems. The minute you start attributing stuff to "chi" and "energy" or "chakras" then you'd best have some pretty convincing proof. That which is asserted without evidence can be rejected without evidence.

You guys are right, "magic" doesn't exist and the successful people I know who's lives have moved forward massively in a positive direction since they accepted trying it are all just flukes. Thanks for proving this through 3rd party theories and don't ever even try any of these things, you already know better and the vast experience of not 1 person who's here disputing it having tried it should be ignored.

Maybe virgins should start giving sex advice based on some books they've read? lol.

SpunkeyMonkey:
You guys are right, "magic" doesn't exist and the successful people I know who's lives have moved forward massively in a positive direction since they accepted trying it are all just flukes. Thanks for proving this through 3rd party theories and don't ever even try any of these things, you already know better and the vast experience of not 1 person who's here disputing it having tried it should be ignored.

Maybe virgins should start giving sex advice based on some books they've read? lol.

I dont think anyone in the thread was arguing that magic definitely wasnt real? We are arguing that no one, you included, has given us a good enough reason to think it does let alone waste time and money trying it. Magic could be real. Magic MIGHT be real. But you havnt done anything to prove to me that it is other than "Some friends did stuff and then good things happen to them". My friend who picks his nose a lot is pretty successful. FLUKE?! I think NOT! You havnt tried every magic system. Youve probably tried 1 or 2 more than me, and i listed 10 ive tried anyway so i HAVE tried some. If ive tried 0.00001% of magic systems and youve tried 0.0000101% of magic systems i imagine you deserve 0.0000001% more authority on all of them than me.

Also:

http://www.readingschoolofreiki.com/Home_Page_6GU1.html

"Reiki 1 125"

Masters is 450 POUNDS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!

....... i just dont have that money to waste... thats why i wont try it. This is blatently a con. A very successful con. Im sad if you spent that much money learning this o.o

SpunkeyMonkey:
You guys are right, "magic" doesn't exist and the successful people I know who's lives have moved forward massively in a positive direction since they accepted trying it are all just flukes. Thanks for proving this through 3rd party theories and don't ever even try any of these things, you already know better and the vast experience of not 1 person who's here disputing it having tried it should be ignored.

Maybe virgins should start giving sex advice based on some books they've read? lol.

Cool, enjoy your expensive cult/placebo.

Also, cow dung tastes delicious. You should totally try some. Whassamatter, not chicken, are ya? Not closed minded, are ya?

BiscuitTrouser:

Also:

Interesting... wait, Hopi ear candling? @Lil devils x, get in here! Is this a genuine Hopi thing, or a bit of shameless cultural appropriation?

BiscuitTrouser:

I dont think anyone in the thread was arguing that magic definitely wasnt real? We are arguing that no one, you included, has given us a good enough reason to think it does let alone waste time and money trying it. Magic could be real. Magic MIGHT be real. But you havnt done anything to prove to me that it is other than "Some friends did stuff and then good things happen to them". My friend who picks his nose a lot is pretty successful. FLUKE?! I think NOT! You havnt tried every magic system. Youve probably tried 1 or 2 more than me, and i listed 10 ive tried anyway so i HAVE tried some. If ive tried 0.00001% of magic systems and youve tried 0.0000101% of magic systems i imagine you deserve 0.0000001% more authority on all of them than me.

Also:

http://www.readingschoolofreiki.com/Home_Page_6GU1.html

"Reiki 1 125"

Masters is 450 POUNDS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!!

....... i just dont have that money to waste... thats why i wont try it. This is blatently a con. A very successful con. Im sad if you spent that much money learning this o.o

Well to be fair mate that's fair enough, and I certainly don't know enough about it totally, undoubtedly "prove" it per say. All I was saying was those that claim to have 100% disproved, based on 3rd party claims and not having even tried it, are talking nonsense.

125 isn't cheap for your average working man/woman so I can totally understand why you'd opt not to do it. But I think it says a lot about some of the other posters that they were looking for excuses not to try it without even looking into the finances of it.

Even by looking into you have got far, far more about my point than most others. And that point is don't dismiss anything 100% until you've tried it yourself. 125 used to be a lot of money to me.......until I tried opening up to other possibilities.

Batou667:

SpunkeyMonkey:
You guys are right, "magic" doesn't exist and the successful people I know who's lives have moved forward massively in a positive direction since they accepted trying it are all just flukes. Thanks for proving this through 3rd party theories and don't ever even try any of these things, you already know better and the vast experience of not 1 person who's here disputing it having tried it should be ignored.

Maybe virgins should start giving sex advice based on some books they've read? lol.

Cool, enjoy your expensive cult/placebo.

Also, cow dung tastes delicious. You should totally try some. Whassamatter, not chicken, are ya? Not closed minded, are ya?

Lol. I have actually tried cow dung (and horse dung for that matter) lol - drunken tomfoolery as a cub scout years ago. Funnily enough, both taste like shit (although the horse manure is considerable better and I didn't swallow either).

I've also ate an ashtray full of fag-nubs and did swallow them - sick as a dog.

SpunkeyMonkey:

Well to be fair mate that's fair enough, and I certainly don't know enough about it totally, undoubtedly "prove" it per say. All I was saying was those that claim to have 100% disproved, based on 3rd party claims and not having even tried it, are talking nonsense.

125 isn't cheap for your average working man/woman so I can totally understand why you'd opt not to do it. But I think it says a lot about some of the other posters that they were looking for excuses not to try it without even looking into the finances of it.

Even by looking into you have got far, far more about my point than most others. And that point is don't dismiss anything 100% until you've tried it yourself. 125 used to be a lot of money to me.......until I tried opening up to other possibilities.

Im not a working man im a student :P A biomedical student. Hoping to one day practice as a physician. Healing people the way I think would be most efficient. If i truely thought this would help heal the sick id do it. Id practice blood magic if it worked enough to make people who were suffering better. Its something ive dedicated my life to. Its why i dont like magic. Ive been to hospitals. Ive seen people dying of diseases magical people claim to be able to treat. I watch doctors do their damn best to heal these people and they succeed more often than anyone. I see no magic. Either it doesnt work or the people are too lazy to dedicate their lives to go to hospitals and start mass healing everyone inside. I know the doctors succeed though. And thats why i opted to join their ranks rather than go with magic.

BiscuitTrouser:

Im not a working man im a student :P A biomedical student. Hoping to one day practice as a physician. Healing people the way I think would be most efficient. If i truely thought this would help heal the sick id do it. Id practice blood magic if it worked enough to make people who were suffering better. Its something ive dedicated my life to. Its why i dont like magic. Ive been to hospitals. Ive seen people dying of diseases magical people claim to be able to treat. I watch doctors do their damn best to heal these people and they succeed more often than anyone. I see no magic. Either it doesnt work or the people are too lazy to dedicate their lives to go to hospitals and start mass healing everyone inside. I know the doctors succeed though. And thats why i opted to join their ranks rather than go with magic.

Lol, blood magic's the way lol.

A noble cause chap and again fair play. I'm guessing as a student that you're in you're early 20's? Keep pursuing your path and best of luck because I dare say you'll come across a few things like this in the course of that work, and find some more answers along the way.

SpunkeyMonkey:

No, I'm saying that until you try something for yourself you're opinion is all theory and that theory is significantly inferior to practice.

Alright: what are the flaws with peer-reviewed research that make it incapable of seeing that Reiki is true? Why does this system, which has been proven to work thousands of times, suddenly fail when it tries to test this?

I acknowledge that others have tried various studies and experiments to prove/disprove certain theories, but I also acknowledge that certain scientists such as Darwin were dismissed by certain sections of society as his theories didn't fit in with well known "facts" of the day. The presumption that science is THE be all and end all, and that there aren't other things which we've yet to discover (which have scientific rootings, but which we may not currently be able to quantify) is not only closed-minded, but it also disregards the example set by those scientific forefathers who looked for other solutions.

Do you know why evolution became an accepted theory? Because Darwin produced massive amounts of irrefutable evidence. He didn't bitch that people who disagreed with him were closed-minded. He didn't tell them to go to the Galapagos to find the evidence for his hypothesis--he did the work himself to produce the evidence. Because he was a scientist, and he actually understood what that entails. He did the work necessary to be respected as a scientist. He did the work necessary to have his ideas respected.

You, on the other hand, have done nothing more than make some claims and then insist that disagreeing with you is a sign of closed-mindedness. You've got a hell of a way to go before you can start comparing yourself to a grad student, let alone one of the titans of science like Darwin.

Using the example stated earlier the world is flat right? If you hold a spirit level up to the horizon they will line up and thus prove that the horizon, and earth are flat right? That's science.

No, that's what people who are ignorant of science thinks science is. Actual science involves testing your hypothesis repeatedly to figure out all the ways you may have gotten something wrong. It also involves taking into account all of the data, like the way a ship looks when it comes over the horizon, or the behavior of shadows.

Ah, but wait, in reality we know that not to be true and that other factors cause an optical illusion - so why can't that same illusion be happening with such other events?

Such illusions do happen with other events--that's the entire reason why personal testimony of Reiki working is worthless. That's also why me experiencing it for myself would be worthless. I'm just as susceptible to such illusions as anyone else. Scientific tests are deliberately set up to work out if the effects of Reiki are real, or if they're the result of those illusions.

I can totally understand why people have placed so much stock in these tests, but how many scientists "proved" the earth was flat with their limited knowledge back in the day?

None that I'm aware of. Perhaps you could name a few?

I'm not trying to convince you, I'm not trying to make up your mind for you. All I'm asking is that you try these things in their full context and you find the answer yourself, instead of drawing that answer from 3rd party tests.

You've yet to explain why this should be necessary. Vague claims about how science sometimes gets things wrong isn't a good argument for why we should dismiss the specific evidence against Reiki. If you want to argue that the experiments done with Reiki are unreliable then you need to show the specific errors made. If you can't do that then your argument is nothing more than "they disagree with me so they must be wrong".

I view experience and practice as far superior to theory and testing.

If you demonstrated a basic level of scientific understanding your views on the matter might be meaningful.

BrassButtons:

SpunkeyMonkey:

No, I'm saying that until you try something for yourself you're opinion is all theory and that theory is significantly inferior to practice.

Alright: what are the flaws with peer-reviewed research that make it incapable of seeing that Reiki is true? Why does this system, which has been proven to work thousands of times, suddenly fail when it tries to test this?

I acknowledge that others have tried various studies and experiments to prove/disprove certain theories, but I also acknowledge that certain scientists such as Darwin were dismissed by certain sections of society as his theories didn't fit in with well known "facts" of the day. The presumption that science is THE be all and end all, and that there aren't other things which we've yet to discover (which have scientific rootings, but which we may not currently be able to quantify) is not only closed-minded, but it also disregards the example set by those scientific forefathers who looked for other solutions.

Do you know why evolution became an accepted theory? Because Darwin produced massive amounts of irrefutable evidence. He didn't bitch that people who disagreed with him were closed-minded. He didn't tell them to go to the Galapagos to find the evidence for his hypothesis--he did the work himself to produce the evidence. Because he was a scientist, and he actually understood what that entails. He did the work necessary to be respected as a scientist. He did the work necessary to have his ideas respected.

You, on the other hand, have done nothing more than make some claims and then insist that disagreeing with you is a sign of closed-mindedness. You've got a hell of a way to go before you can start comparing yourself to a grad student, let alone one of the titans of science like Darwin.

Using the example stated earlier the world is flat right? If you hold a spirit level up to the horizon they will line up and thus prove that the horizon, and earth are flat right? That's science.

No, that's what people who are ignorant of science thinks science is. Actual science involves testing your hypothesis repeatedly to figure out all the ways you may have gotten something wrong. It also involves taking into account all of the data, like the way a ship looks when it comes over the horizon, or the behavior of shadows.

Ah, but wait, in reality we know that not to be true and that other factors cause an optical illusion - so why can't that same illusion be happening with such other events?

Such illusions do happen with other events--that's the entire reason why personal testimony of Reiki working is worthless. That's also why me experiencing it for myself would be worthless. I'm just as susceptible to such illusions as anyone else. Scientific tests are deliberately set up to work out if the effects of Reiki are real, or if they're the result of those illusions.

I can totally understand why people have placed so much stock in these tests, but how many scientists "proved" the earth was flat with their limited knowledge back in the day?

None that I'm aware of. Perhaps you could name a few?

I'm not trying to convince you, I'm not trying to make up your mind for you. All I'm asking is that you try these things in their full context and you find the answer yourself, instead of drawing that answer from 3rd party tests.

You've yet to explain why this should be necessary. Vague claims about how science sometimes gets things wrong isn't a good argument for why we should dismiss the specific evidence against Reiki. If you want to argue that the experiments done with Reiki are unreliable then you need to show the specific errors made. If you can't do that then your argument is nothing more than "they disagree with me so they must be wrong".

I view experience and practice as far superior to theory and testing.

If you demonstrated a basic level of scientific understanding your views on the matter might be meaningful.

You can't seem to grasp I'm not out to "prove" anything and not out to win an argument, I was just offering an alternate POV for you to explore if you chose too. if you don't want to then that's fair enough, I just thought some of you may want to make your own minds up about it all as opposed to living your lives through others.

Best of luck with your approach though, and if that approach and science-only POV has taken your life to a state of brilliance and happiness then it's the right one for you, and you should continue to use it. I sat down with my fiance and a girlfriend of ours last night and we all had different views on the matter, but it's all about what works for each individual and I actually found me putting some of yours and others points across to the girlfriend who's a reiki master. I was good to see things from both POVs, but that's how I am and how I choose to experience things, whereas it might not be yours. We ended up getting carried away with other things and I forgot to try that glitter test though, so next time she's over I must remember to give it a go.

SpunkeyMonkey:

You can't seem to grasp I'm not out to "prove" anything and not out to win an argument

No, it's perfectly clear that you're not out to prove anything. That's part of the problem--you're claiming to have done something spectacular (and which could possibly have massive benefits to mankind if it could be properly studied and understood), but when asked for evidence you either dodge the issue (telling us to go find the evidence is a dodge) or you make up reasons why the people who don't believe you have something wrong with them (we're all closed-minded, or afraid, or we let others make our decisions for us). And then you went a step further and tried to discredit all of science so that you could dismiss the studies done with Reiki without needing to actually show anything wrong with them.

I just thought some of you may want to make your own minds up about it all as opposed to living your lives through others.

See, this is the kind of thing I mean. Rather than actually address anything I've said to you, you choose to dismiss it out of hand for reasons you made up (I'm not letting others make up my mind for me). But now that I've pointed out your error you'll simply say "but I'm not trying to prove anything" in order to avoid having to address the actual things being said.

Best of luck with your approach though, and if that approach and science-only POV has taken your life to a state of brilliance and happiness then it's the right one for you, and you should continue to use it. I sat down with my fiance and a girlfriend of ours last night and we all had different views on the matter, but it's all about what works for each individual and I actually found me putting some of yours and others points across to the girlfriend who's a reiki master. I was good to see things from both POVs, but that's how I am and how I choose to experience things, whereas it might not be yours. We ended up getting carried away with other things and I forgot to try that glitter test though, so next time she's over I must remember to give it a go.

And if it does show the ideomotor effect, will you change your mind about Reiki? Or will you make excuses for why the test was somehow flawed because science is so unreliable?

BrassButtons:

SpunkeyMonkey:

You can't seem to grasp I'm not out to "prove" anything and not out to win an argument

No, it's perfectly clear that you're not out to prove anything. That's part of the problem--you're claiming to have done something spectacular (and which could possibly have massive benefits to mankind if it could be properly studied and understood), but when asked for evidence you either dodge the issue (telling us to go find the evidence is a dodge) or you make up reasons why the people who don't believe you have something wrong with them (we're all closed-minded, or afraid, or we let others make our decisions for us). And then you went a step further and tried to discredit all of science so that you could dismiss the studies done with Reiki without needing to actually show anything wrong with them.

I just thought some of you may want to make your own minds up about it all as opposed to living your lives through others.

See, this is the kind of thing I mean. Rather than actually address anything I've said to you, you choose to dismiss it out of hand for reasons you made up (I'm not letting others make up my mind for me). But now that I've pointed out your error you'll simply say "but I'm not trying to prove anything" in order to avoid having to address the actual things being said.

Best of luck with your approach though, and if that approach and science-only POV has taken your life to a state of brilliance and happiness then it's the right one for you, and you should continue to use it. I sat down with my fiance and a girlfriend of ours last night and we all had different views on the matter, but it's all about what works for each individual and I actually found me putting some of yours and others points across to the girlfriend who's a reiki master. I was good to see things from both POVs, but that's how I am and how I choose to experience things, whereas it might not be yours. We ended up getting carried away with other things and I forgot to try that gitter test though, so next time she's over I must remember to give it a go.

And if it does show the ideomotor effect, will you change your mind about Reiki? Or will you make excuses for why the test was somehow flawed because science is so unreliable?

You're so right, thanks for making me see the light. I chose not to address the issues because you've convinced me to have faith in all the 3rd party evidence so much that I'll keep asking questions so I can reach your obvious level of 100% certain knowledge, being as you have no need to test things out yourself. Well done. I was going to do that anyway, but you deserve a gold star for playing your part.

Regards the test I'll just keep asking questions and trying things out, not taking other peoples words for it. It's just my way whereas yours is obviously not.

SpunkeyMonkey:

Regards the test I'll just keep asking questions and trying things out, not taking other peoples words for it. It's just my way whereas yours is obviously not.

We're cool and stuff dude but remember the test youre telling us to take costs 150 pounds :P And youre asking us to spend the money on this becaaaaaause... we should be "taking other peoples words for it" thats its a worthwhile test :P Yours! If i asked you to spend 150 pounds testing unicorns i dont think youd spend that money. Because you DONT want to take my word for it that:

The test works
Theres any return
Unicorns can be tested

The reason we dont wanna test is BECAUSE we dont take your word that the test is worth spending money on :P

Have you ever read a real research paper before? Legitimate question, do you know what a scientist produces from work? It isnt just a statement that we need to take on word alone.

When scientists publish an article it reads like this (only 2 pages here):

http://www.abenteuer-universum.de/pdf/miller_1953.pdf

Ive helped do work to write these before in my work experience and ive read a few to write articles. When you accuse us of "taking someones word for it" i dont think you realize how that "word" is formatted.

See when i wanna take someones word for something important in medicine writing an essay i read things like the above (my favorite experiment of all time). Its not really "taking someones word for it" because the writer includes lots of pictures, statistics and descriptions of exactly what he did and what happened. Im free to decide if he made mistakes or not. He included a little picture of the apparatus he used and a picture too of the results he got and then told us how he got them. Im free to doubt or see mistakes in his workings but hes used peer review that i can also check to show others did his work to see if it was correct. And trust me its fun shooting down other peoples work by pointing out mistakes.

In my work experience i also helped review a paper. Our team ripped it apart, despite it agreeing with OUR work, because it was shoddy and poorly cited and written and the guy made loads of mistakes. We noted where it went wrong and why his results, despite leading to the correct conclusion, were almost useless. If you dont wanna take MY word for that i can cite you an article i wrote on the work experience and to the blog of the lead researcher on my team. She was incredibly nice and i think youd like her :3

I seriously think you should do more research into what science looks like and how it works. Its far more stringent and clever than you make it sound.

You never have to take someones word for it in science because when they write a paper to record what they did i can freely poke holes in what they did to gain their conclusion. If they made no mistakes i can see i believe them. If they did make mistakes i can freely point them out. Its NEVER taking someones word for it.

Im fine with you believing whatever but seriously youre using a computer. In a country that vaccinates its population. Science works. And it works. Damn. Fucking. Well. Always. So yeah magic might work AS WELL. But like i said. Your computer is science. Planes are science. Your food is grown using science. Vaccines are science. Medicine is science. And little bits and pieces of magic here and there IF they do work cant hold a candle to it. Even remotely. The miracles of science make magic look pretty crappy by comparison, even if we assume all the claims are true. Even single tiny thing in your daily life that makes it better like concrete for pavements and a roof over your head was developed by a scientist. Working hard. So dont try and discredit science as "Taking peoples word for it". Fair enough if you didnt mean that but thats what i took from it :P

BiscuitTrouser:

SpunkeyMonkey:

Regards the test I'll just keep asking questions and trying things out, not taking other peoples words for it. It's just my way whereas yours is obviously not.

We're cool and stuff dude but remember the test youre telling us to take costs 150 pounds :P And youre asking us to spend the money on this becaaaaaause... we should be "taking other peoples words for it" thats its a worthwhile test :P Yours! If i asked you to spend 150 pounds testing unicorns i dont think youd spend that money. Because you DONT want to take my word for it that:

The test works
Theres any return
Unicorns can be tested

The reason we dont wanna test is BECAUSE we dont take your word that the test is worth spending money on :P

Have you ever read a real research paper before? Legitimate question, do you know what a scientist produces from work? It isnt just a statement that we need to take on word alone.

When scientists publish an article it reads like this (only 2 pages here):

http://www.abenteuer-universum.de/pdf/miller_1953.pdf

Ive helped do work to write these before in my work experience and ive read a few to write articles. When you accuse us of "taking someones word for it" i dont think you realize how that "word" is formatted.

See when i wanna take someones word for something important in medicine writing an essay i read things like the above (my favorite experiment of all time). Its not really "taking someones word for it" because the writer includes lots of pictures, statistics and descriptions of exactly what he did and what happened. Im free to decide if he made mistakes or not. He included a little picture of the apparatus he used and a picture too of the results he got and then told us how he got them. Im free to doubt or see mistakes in his workings but hes used peer review that i can also check to show others did his work to see if it was correct. And trust me its fun shooting down other peoples work by pointing out mistakes.

In my work experience i also helped review a paper. Our team ripped it apart, despite it agreeing with OUR work, because it was shoddy and poorly cited and written and the guy made loads of mistakes. We noted where it went wrong and why his results, despite leading to the correct conclusion, were almost useless. If you dont wanna take MY word for that i can cite you an article i wrote on the work experience and to the blog of the lead researcher on my team. She was incredibly nice and i think youd like her :3

I seriously think you should do more research into what science looks like and how it works. Its far more stringent and clever than you make it sound.

You never have to take someones word for it in science because when they write a paper to record what they did i can freely poke holes in what they did to gain their conclusion. If they made no mistakes i can see i believe them. If they did make mistakes i can freely point them out. Its NEVER taking someones word for it.

Im fine with you believing whatever but seriously youre using a computer. In a country that vaccinates its population. Science works. And it works. Damn. Fucking. Well. Always. So yeah magic might work AS WELL. But like i said. Your computer is science. Planes are science. Your food is grown using science. Vaccines are science. Medicine is science. And little bits and pieces of magic here and there IF they do work cant hold a candle to it. Even remotely. The miracles of science make magic look pretty crappy by comparison, even if we assume all the claims are true. Even single tiny thing in your daily life that makes it better like concrete for pavements and a roof over your head was developed by a scientist. Working hard. So dont try and discredit science as "Taking peoples word for it". Fair enough if you didnt mean that but thats what i took from it :P

I guess my whole point is just that, IMO, it pays to try things for yourself for various reasons - not just to prove what's right or wrong, but mainly to obtain a different perspective on things in the first place which allow you a broader view on things and a more complete conclusion. I totally understand why someone wouldn't be able, or want, to spend a note-able amount of money on doing that - makes perfect sense - but previous posts from other posters show their totally unwillingness to try anything regardless of cost, in fact you are the only person to have looked so far into it. This to me is evidence of the "closed mindedness" of others I've spoke about as many have rejected the thought before even progressing to that stage.

That's all I'm asking, keep asking the questions but more importantly appreciate that theory and study without experience is often worthless. In fact I'd love you to return and me and speak to me more on theory/experience when you have finished your studies and are several months or years into your profession.

I've a lot of faith in science, in fact if you go back to my first posts in this thread you'll see that I think "magic" (or whatever it is termed) is rooted in science. But as your post shows.......

Its not really "taking someones word for it" because the writer includes lots of pictures, statistics and descriptions of exactly what he did and what happened. Im free to decide if he made mistakes or not. He included a little picture of the apparatus he used and a picture too of the results he got and then told us how he got them. Im free to doubt or see mistakes in his workings but hes used peer review that i can also check to show others did his work to see if it was correct. And trust me its fun shooting down other peoples work by pointing out mistakes.

.........it's all only from one perspective. What if there's a fault with the apertures? What if the guy doing the test is half-drunk? I know these are unlikely and a bit irrelevant, but you get my point - doing those things for yourself is the only way to get a more rounded view on the project.

That said as originally stated I'm in no way doing science itself down, Christ no. In fact I've had many debates the other way with spiritual people, as recently as last night in fact with my fiance's and mines girlfriend who is a reiki master, and I encourage them to look into scientific explanations for various things as much as I am encouraging others to look for non-scientific explanations on here.

The whole debate started down this path because I was essentially getting bombarded with 3rd party studies as "proof" that I was talking nonsense. As someone who's works alongside the media and has seen the spin and fabrication that goes into even documentaries I thought it ironic that would be presented as "proof". I'm not saying it was wrong, just that, again it's an example of why experience is as valid a part of any opinion as anything else, and for me without it you can't have the full POV on things.

Btw chap, no need to worry about me taking any of this personally or as a dig. It's just a debate and I don't view you or any of these other posters as any less likeable for your comments. If anything I appreciate you all taking the time to put your POVs across so that I can broaden my view on things.

SpunkeyMonkey:

.........it's all only from one perspective. What if there's a fault with the apertures? What if the guy doing the test is half-drunk? I know these are unlikely and a bit irrelevant, but you get my point - doing those things for yourself is the only way to get a more rounded view on the project.

Lovely you said exactly what i hoped you would! This is where science gets fun :D

Yes your average pleb will use a single study to prove something and let it stand on its lonesome. And yeah i did say my favorite study was the one i linked but its also my favourite in a series of studies ALL produced by different people and ALL done on other sides of the world. All agreed with the first one i linked above, which is why its my favourite.

You see in science we use meta analysis, well, always. It might seem sensible to link one trial in an internet debate but in medicine the idea is almost laughable. To sell your drug you need WAY more trials than one to convince anyone at all even for a second. In meta analysis you take EVERY study that has been performed on the topic. ALL of them. You go through each one and consult your peers to decide how well it was carried out and how likely a mistake like the one you listed was made and give each a rating. You then compare it to other results from ALL the other tests and make a graph based on a LOT of studies all together, with the best carried out tests being given more importance than the worst. This gives you a general idea. Heres a lovely picture of my favourite.

image

This was the graph that linked MANY studies with fairly weak results to conclude that a simple steroid dose to pregnant women giving birth gave them a much better survival chance, up to 50% better chances of survival for new born babies with defects. You see in the picture each line represents a trial. The width of each line is how accurate the trial could have been, its a margin of error either way for what the result could show. The longer lines could be inaccurate to any point on that line and the shorter ones are more accurate. Only when shown like this does the result clearly show theres a trend to the left. The place that showed babies lives could be saved easily. Scientists ALWAYS compile results from many perspectives before deciding most things, individual trials serve to contribute to a much wider picture. In this way we dont need to do things for ourselves, from just our perspective, we can combine the perspectives from hundreds to show a trend one way or the other.

In medicine its very important your trials are third party, carried out by no one who invented the drug and no one who opposes it. You see MANY drug companies would be tempted to make tests, slant them on purpose, and then use them to support their own drugs. Its the reason to be frank i wont trust a rieki masters word that rieki works. He makes 150 pounds a pop from each lesson. Up to 450 in fact. So he has an invested interest. Its why any test set up and conducted by him has the chance to be heavily bias. As does a test set up by someone who likes rieki. Or who hates rieki. A third neutral party is almost ALWAYS necessary to conduct tests because they dont care about anything but accuracy. The results one way or the other dont matter, what matters is the test is fair and shows the truth. The results are secondary. A third party in the case of "Do i trust the guy who makes the pills or the guy who hates the pills" is the MOST trustworthy.

I know its nice to want to do things yourself but in medicine there are beyond thousands of different drugs and treatments for millions of illnesses. I dont have time to test all these myself and i need to start somewhere in knowing about what remedies to use because if i just guess people could die. So using these compiled tests is a good way to learn about what works and doesnt work as a starting point. Im happy to use my experience over the top of this but as a baseline im sticking with the tests. Med school already takes long enough. If i had to repeat every medical test i used id die of old age. Doctors need a system to trust other doctors so the meta analysis and peer review system is used. Its pretty damn effective.

SpunkeyMonkey:

You're so right, thanks for making me see the light. I chose not to address the issues because you've convinced me to have faith in all the 3rd party evidence so much that I'll keep asking questions so I can reach your obvious level of 100% certain knowledge, being as you have no need to test things out yourself. Well done. I was going to do that anyway, but you deserve a gold star for playing your part.

People who aren't interested in winning arguments don't typically construct straw men.

Regards the test I'll just keep asking questions and trying things out, not taking other peoples words for it. It's just my way whereas yours is obviously not.

Does this mean that, no matter what happens with the test, you will still believe that Reiki is real?

Let me put it another way: what would it take to convince you that you're wrong?

BiscuitTrouser:

See when i wanna take someones word for something important in medicine writing an essay i read things like the above (my favorite experiment of all time). Its not really "taking someones word for it" because the writer includes lots of pictures, statistics and descriptions of exactly what he did and what happened. Im free to decide if he made mistakes or not. He included a little picture of the apparatus he used and a picture too of the results he got and then told us how he got them. Im free to doubt or see mistakes in his workings but hes used peer review that i can also check to show others did his work to see if it was correct. And trust me its fun shooting down other peoples work by pointing out mistakes.

In my work experience i also helped review a paper. Our team ripped it apart, despite it agreeing with OUR work, because it was shoddy and poorly cited and written and the guy made loads of mistakes. We noted where it went wrong and why his results, despite leading to the correct conclusion, were almost useless. If you dont wanna take MY word for that i can cite you an article i wrote on the work experience and to the blog of the lead researcher on my team. She was incredibly nice and i think youd like her :3

I have a friend who's a paleontologist. At one point in grad school he had a paper of his seriously critiqued by a professor, to the point where the guy ran his pen out of ink. My friend, who had always been an excellent student, turned pale. His teacher assured him that this was a GOOD thing, because if the paper had been truly terrible he would have just tossed it out :D

Im fine with you believing whatever but seriously youre using a computer. In a country that vaccinates its population. Science works. And it works. Damn. Fucking. Well. Always. So yeah magic might work AS WELL. But like i said. Your computer is science. Planes are science. Your food is grown using science. Vaccines are science. Medicine is science. And little bits and pieces of magic here and there IF they do work cant hold a candle to it. Even remotely. The miracles of science make magic look pretty crappy by comparison, even if we assume all the claims are true. Even single tiny thing in your daily life that makes it better like concrete for pavements and a roof over your head was developed by a scientist. Working hard. So dont try and discredit science as "Taking peoples word for it". Fair enough if you didnt mean that but thats what i took from it :P

I disagree with you a bit here. Depending on what it can actually do magic could be incredibly useful. Hell, a lot of the magical abilities I've seen people claim would be capable of saving millions of lives, easy. And that's without considering the charities that could be helped if the magician were to take some of the skeptics challenges offering money for proof of the paranormal.

SpunkeyMonkey:
.........it's all only from one perspective. What if there's a fault with the apertures? What if the guy doing the test is half-drunk? I know these are unlikely and a bit irrelevant, but you get my point - doing those things for yourself is the only way to get a more rounded view on the project.

What makes a person's personal experience more valid than anyone else's? Why would two scientists who are far more experienced than I am doing two independent tests less valid than one scientists test and my own experience?

I am a praticing wiccan with a Celtic/Nordic focus so yes i believe in magic.

Not I cast Flare magic. That would be bad ass though.

BrassButtons:

I disagree with you a bit here. Depending on what it can actually do magic could be incredibly useful. Hell, a lot of the magical abilities I've seen people claim would be capable of saving millions of lives, easy. And that's without considering the charities that could be helped if the magician were to take some of the skeptics challenges offering money for proof of the paranormal.

See i was careful in my wording. The POTENTIAL for magic is enormous yes. But even if all "supposedly" magical events ARE magic magic has still done jack shit. Combined its healed less than 0.000000000001% of people that medicine heals. Its contributed almost zero to society at large. Not a single day to day thing we need and improves our lives takes advantage of it. Its a quirk so far. A gimmick. If it IS real it COULD be used for massive benefit but my main argument against it is basically "Why hasnt it...". Theres this enormous power of the universe and its best claim to fame is one of healing miracles out of billions of medical success stories or dowsing for water once in a blue moon compared to actually using scanning technology to detect oil and water beneath the earth unnearing accuracy. You also get to play charades with the dead where they scream random letters at you. Not particularly impressive... It just has a very sparse list of achievements despite having infinitely more power and use than science. Why is there such an imbalance?

BiscuitTrouser:

BrassButtons:

I disagree with you a bit here. Depending on what it can actually do magic could be incredibly useful. Hell, a lot of the magical abilities I've seen people claim would be capable of saving millions of lives, easy. And that's without considering the charities that could be helped if the magician were to take some of the skeptics challenges offering money for proof of the paranormal.

See i was careful in my wording. The POTENTIAL for magic is enormous yes. But even if all "supposedly" magical events ARE magic magic has still done jack shit. Combined its healed less than 0.000000000001% of people that medicine heals. Its contributed almost zero to society at large. Not a single day to day thing we need and improves our lives takes advantage of it. Its a quirk so far. A gimmick. If it IS real it COULD be used for massive benefit but my main argument against it is basically "Why hasnt it...". Theres this enormous power of the universe and its best claim to fame is one of healing miracles out of billions of medical success stories or dowsing for water once in a blue moon compared to actually using scanning technology to detect oil and water beneath the earth unnearing accuracy. You also get to play charades with the dead where they scream random letters at you. Not particularly impressive... It just has a very sparse list of achievements despite having infinitely more power and use than science. Why is there such an imbalance?

Ah, I misunderstood you then. We actually are in agreement here.

Coppernerves:
By magick, I mean causing coincidences in the world, or changes in your self, by doing rituals, chanting incantations, drawing imaginary circles etc.

If so, how does it work?

And how would you suggest trying it out?

First of all, if you have interest in studying occult phenomena, I would firmly suggest you avoid ritual magick involving incantations or circles. That method is for making direct contact with entities that typically have wills of their own. If you're unfamiliar with the term, look up bodhisatvas from Hindu mythology. Most ritual magic boils down to similar dynamics, but it's nothing to get into if you don't already have a basic understanding of the occult.

Causing coincidences in the world and changes in yourself is best accomplished through clerical magick. Clerical magick is great for things of that nature because it primarily involves growing your understanding of personal energy systems, your control over the condition of your mind and body and your awareness of the stimuli around you.

The best regimen I can think of for studying clerical magic is to take up the study of a divination system. You will also find it practical to take up meditations. Formal studies of Yoga or Tai Chi might benefit you but if you don't have reliable access to lessons you could easily replace them with daily bouts of stretching. If you're unfamiliar with the exercise, it will be in your benefit to sit down some days after meditation, close your eyes and imagine that you are forming a ball of energy between your two palms in front of your chest. The physical results of this are immaterial, if you look there will not be a ball between your hands and you should not expect for there to be. The purpose of the exercise is merely to feel the ball of energy.

As with all things, if you have an interest the best way to further it is to read up on the field. Most of occult literature is bunk. Avoid anything by Aleister Crowley, his works are written to mislead. On the other hand, I can happily recommend Robert Anton Wilson, Manly P. Hall, MacGregor Mathers and Carlos Castaneda as reliable sources for occult information. I'd also highly recommend you read Carl Jung's work on the collective unconscious and anything you can get your hands on concerning the theory of Synchronicity, which is pivotal to a greater understanding of clerical magic. As I recall, Robert Anton Wilson has a good one on that.

Finally, I suppose it's fair to say studying magick in this fashion will be far from spectacular. If you were looking for an adventurous foray into occult happenings this method will not provide that. However if you actually have an interest in developing an occult understanding, this is the course I'd recommend.

Khedive Rex:

Causing coincidences in the world and changes in yourself is best accomplished through clerical magick.

Given the nature of coincidences, how does one know if they caused a coincidence or if it happened coincidentally?

Clerical magick is great for things of that nature because it primarily involves growing your understanding of personal energy systems, your control over the condition of your mind and body and your awareness of the stimuli around you.

Please define "energy".

Most of occult literature is bunk.

How do you work out which parts are bunk and which are not?

BrassButtons:

Given the nature of coincidences, how does one know if they caused a coincidence or if it happened coincidentally?

One doesn't with empirical proof, I suppose. A thorough study of Synchronicity theory should ideally discourage from attempting to control coincidence, but there is a value in recognizing the synchronistic implication of coincidence and the greater sense of personal awareness that is essentially the focus of clerical magicks promote this.

Please define "energy".

I'd be loathe to. For convenience sake call it a similar concept to the energy discussed in acupuncture. It's not electricity, it won't spark, it doesn't glow, it feels different for everyone and, again, feeling it alone is 100 percent of the exercise.

How do you work out which parts are bunk and which are not?

The same way you might read a philosophy book with some discern. Which can be the problem, if you don't have much pre-existing occult knowledge to build a greater understanding off of finding reliable source in the begging can be difficult. There are occult book awards and reviewing sources but when those don't satisfy the best advice I can offer is to check the credibility of the source. Whose the author and what are his credentials? If he or she has none, its unlikely they'll be wonderfully reliable. If on the other hand they've studied academically (and not just under weird gurus), or abroad or are otherwise remarkable in their field, that will come to light in the credentials.

Khedive Rex:

One doesn't with empirical proof, I suppose. A thorough study of Synchronicity theory should ideally discourage from attempting to control coincidence, but there is a value in recognizing the synchronistic implication of coincidence and the greater sense of personal awareness that is essentially the focus of clerical magicks promote this.

That didn't answer my question at all. Given that a coincidence is "a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection" how can you separate a genuine coincidence from one caused by magic? Heck, if you can tell it was caused by magic does it qualify as a coincidence?

I'd be loathe to. For convenience sake call it a similar concept to the energy discussed in acupuncture. It's not electricity, it won't spark, it doesn't glow, it feels different for everyone and, again, feeling it alone is 100 percent of the exercise.

You know what would be even more convenient? If you told me what your definition of the word is so that I can understand what "personal energy systems" are. "Energy" is a word that gets used a lot in paranormal claims, and it's almost never given a definition that makes it possible to actually pin down what the speaker is talking about.

The same way you might read a philosophy book with some discern. Which can be the problem, if you don't have much pre-existing occult knowledge to build a greater understanding off of finding reliable source in the begging can be difficult. There are occult book awards and reviewing sources but when those don't satisfy the best advice I can offer is to check the credibility of the source. Whose the author and what are his credentials? If he or she has none, its unlikely they'll be wonderfully reliable. If on the other hand they've studied academically (and not just under weird gurus), or abroad or are otherwise remarkable in their field, that will come to light in the credentials.

Ah, I thought by "bunk" you meant "not true", which requires looking at more than the author's credentials (good authors sometimes make major blunders).

BrassButtons:

That didn't answer my question at all. Given that a coincidence is "a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection" how can you separate a genuine coincidence from one caused by magic? Heck, if you can tell it was caused by magic does it qualify as a coincidence?

Quite on the alternative, I did answer your question. Empirically you can't. Synchronicity theory rejects the concept of coincidences not having apparent connection or a guiding theme. Familiarity with synchronicity theory encourages people to be aware of what the coincidences in life seem to imply by way of common source or connection. In this way coincidence can be controlled by understanding what causes it and addressing the source.

You know what would be even more convenient? If you told me what your definition of the word is so that I can understand what "personal energy systems" are. "Energy" is a word that gets used a lot in paranormal claims, and it's almost never given a definition that makes it possible to actually pin down what the speaker is talking about.

I don't know what you'd like me to say. As previously stated, I hesitate to provide a definition for a phenomena I don't understand.

I suppose if pressed I'd say the "energy" in question ultimately boils down to phantom sensory input that's merely a side effect of attempting to put mental awareness on biological senses and process not usually at the front of the brain. Sensing "energy" from other people is similarly just a method of handling stimuli from senses that typically are under-worked.

Ah, I thought by "bunk" you meant "not true", which requires looking at more than the author's credentials (good authors sometimes make major blunders).

If you are looking for a few reliable sources on occult information, I listed them earlier. If you want to argue about how to tell if an occult source is credible, I'm actually gonna turn down that debate. Inspect the credentials of the author, check the reviews of the work and read with a discerning eye. Its the best advice I can think to give.

Khedive Rex:

BrassButtons:

That didn't answer my question at all. Given that a coincidence is "a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection" how can you separate a genuine coincidence from one caused by magic? Heck, if you can tell it was caused by magic does it qualify as a coincidence?

Quite on the alternative, I did answer your question. Empirically you can't. Synchronicity theory rejects the concept of coincidences not having apparent connection or a guiding theme. Familiarity with synchronicity theory encourages people to be aware of what the coincidences in life seem to imply by way of common source or connection. In this way coincidence can be controlled by understanding what causes it and addressing the source.

You know what would be even more convenient? If you told me what your definition of the word is so that I can understand what "personal energy systems" are. "Energy" is a word that gets used a lot in paranormal claims, and it's almost never given a definition that makes it possible to actually pin down what the speaker is talking about.

I don't know what you'd like me to say. As previously stated, I hesitate to provide a definition for a phenomena I don't understand.

I suppose if pressed I'd say the "energy" in question ultimately boils down to phantom sensory input that's merely a side effect of attempting to put mental awareness on biological senses and process not usually at the front of the brain. Sensing "energy" from other people is similarly just a method of handling stimuli from senses that typically are under-worked.

Ah, I thought by "bunk" you meant "not true", which requires looking at more than the author's credentials (good authors sometimes make major blunders).

If you are looking for a few reliable sources on occult information, I listed them earlier. If you want to argue about how to tell if an occult source is credible, I'm actually gonna turn down that debate. Inspect the credentials of the author, check the reviews of the work and read with a discerning eye. Its the best advice I can think to give.

Wait, so Synchronicity theory basically states that there are no such things as independent events. That can probably be tested statistically. The probability of a certain result from two independent systems is not generally equal to the probability of the same result from dependant systems, so by getting say random number generators (or even flipping coins would probably do- there was a paper recently which described how the uncertainty in coin tossing could be shown to arise directly from quantum uncertainty, it's pretty cool.) and seeing how often they generated the same number you could establish whether or not they where independent of each other.

Given that my understanding is that quantum uncertainty leads directly to macro or real world uncertainties (and that chaos theory shows how small fluctuations in complex systems leads to system wide differences (the whole butterfly effect)) I am naturally sceptical of the implications of predictability and that things don't happen by chance, so I would confidently place money on synchronicity being falsified by such tests.

However, it could be that I am misunderstanding the theory or its empirical basis, I am only working off of one paragraph on the internet after all. If this is the case I would be grateful for a lengthier explanation.

(Also, if I've completely got the statistics wrong, I'd also appreciate a correction from someone)

I doubt magic or "magick" exists. I can't prove it doesn't, but I've seen nothing to indicate that it does. Virtually any type of "magick" has been shown to be fraud.

I just don't see how "magick" could even work. We know a lot about the universe - we know about the forces of electromagnetism, we know that fire is just not "magical" but rather heated air from an exothermic chemical process. We know that water is hydrogen and oxygen molecules - we KNOW this - if science wasn't correct, all the technology around you wouldn't work, but it clearly does. We know an awful lot about the laws of physics and the elements and biology.

Magic completely contradicts that. A universe in which humans can control the elements with a few works and hand-waving, COMPLETELY runs against the scientific view of the world, since that view states that forces are composed of particles and quantum packets, which manifestly are NOT influenced by spells and words (which are just sound-waves produced by the human body, and which can't influence chemical processes at all).

Science and Magic or "Magick" contradict each other - they can't BOTH be right - one must be right and the other wrong.

What has science given us? Microwaves. Satellites. Jet Engines. Computers. Rockets. Plastics. Virtually all modern electronics - I mean, the list could go on and on and on. Science is backed up by the world's mathematics and all of modern technology. IT WORKS.

What has Magic or "Magick" given us? Considerably less. In fact, nothing at all! I can't point to a single concrete thing Magick ha ever achieved.

Khedive Rex:

Quite on the alternative, I did answer your question. Empirically you can't. Synchronicity theory rejects the concept of coincidences not having apparent connection or a guiding theme.

So it's a semantics game. You're working with a different meaning for "coincidence", which allows you to avoid the logical conundrum that arises if you use the common definition.

I don't know what you'd like me to say.

The definition of the term as you are using it. Doesn't have to be one you made up--feel free to quote one of your sources. Just so long as the result isn't so vague as to be useless.

As previously stated, I hesitate to provide a definition for a phenomena I don't understand.

I'm not asking for an in-depth explanation; I just want to know what you mean when you use the term so that your statements aren't just vague gibberish. Right now "your body's energy systems" is a complete nonsense phrase to me.

I suppose if pressed I'd say the "energy" in question ultimately boils down to phantom sensory input that's merely a side effect of attempting to put mental awareness on biological senses and process not usually at the front of the brain. Sensing "energy" from other people is similarly just a method of handling stimuli from senses that typically are under-worked.

So clerical magic involves raising awareness of phantom sensory input that comes from focusing on biological processes you don't normally focus on?

If you are looking for a few reliable sources on occult information, I listed them earlier. If you want to argue about how to tell if an occult source is credible, I'm actually gonna turn down that debate. Inspect the credentials of the author, check the reviews of the work and read with a discerning eye. Its the best advice I can think to give.

So actually testing the claims being made isn't part of your process? Or does that fall under "read with a discerning eye"?

Khedive Rex:
As with all things, if you have an interest the best way to further it is to read up on the field. Most of occult literature is bunk. Avoid anything by Aleister Crowley, his works are written to mislead. On the other hand, I can happily recommend Robert Anton Wilson, Manly P. Hall, MacGregor Mathers and Carlos Castaneda as reliable sources for occult information. I'd also highly recommend you read Carl Jung's work on the collective unconscious and anything you can get your hands on concerning the theory of Synchronicity, which is pivotal to a greater understanding of clerical magic. As I recall, Robert Anton Wilson has a good one on that.

You're saying that most occult literature is bunk and mentioning "real" credentials, yet you recommend Carlos Castaneda, a man whose entire occult literature is based on his acclaimed experience of shamanism as taught by his personal Yaqui?
By that account what makes Crowley's work bad? I've read the Liber AL vel Legis and I agree it's confusing as hell but that doesn't necessarily undermine the credibility of Crowley's Thelema any more than Gerald Gardner's Witchcraft Today improves the credibility of Wicca.

And also, there isn't really "the occult" is there? Or rather, as with any belief-system there are a myriad of varying and even contradicting occult systems. On the one hand you have the Lurianic Kabbalah's concept of Gilgul, where, until the arrival of the Messiah, souls are inherently imperfect and trapped in a cycle of regeneration through man, animal and even objects traditionaly considered to be inanimate such as rocks, wind and rivers. On the other hand you have Japanese Onmyodo, which has no form of afterlife whatsoever. And Wiccans can't even amongst themselves agree on a concept of afterlife, some go for human reincarnation, some for general animal reincarnation; I've even heard of eternity in Summerland.
It's a bit weird that Wiccans can claim to summon the spirits of the recently deceased while according to Kabbalists the same spirit has already moved on into its next vessel, don't you think?

Magic does not exist for me. There is almost always a logical explanation for magic. For example:

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/blogs/singaporescene/man-raffles-place-sitting-invisible-chair-033500353.html

Nope Rod that supports him.

ClockworkPenguin:
Wait, so Synchronicity theory basically states that there are no such things as independent events. That can probably be tested statistically. The probability of a certain result from two independent systems is not generally equal to the probability of the same result from dependant systems, so by getting say random number generators (or even flipping coins would probably do- there was a paper recently which described how the uncertainty in coin tossing could be shown to arise directly from quantum uncertainty, it's pretty cool.) and seeing how often they generated the same number you could establish whether or not they where independent of each other.

Given that my understanding is that quantum uncertainty leads directly to macro or real world uncertainties (and that chaos theory shows how small fluctuations in complex systems leads to system wide differences (the whole butterfly effect)) I am naturally sceptical of the implications of predictability and that things don't happen by chance, so I would confidently place money on synchronicity being falsified by such tests.

However, it could be that I am misunderstanding the theory or its empirical basis, I am only working off of one paragraph on the internet after all. If this is the case I would be grateful for a lengthier explanation.

(Also, if I've completely got the statistics wrong, I'd also appreciate a correction from someone)

Synchronicity theory as it breaks down from a scientific perspective is essentially the concept of a-temporal cause and effect. Its convenient you should bring bring up quantum uncertainty theory as its a scientific discipline that might provide the right context to explain synchronicity and greater pursuits of clerical magick.

Most prominent String Theorists, Quantum Physicists and Classical Physicists will agree that the perception of time as passing chronologically is just human bias. Many of these professionals will say that time isn't real all, the way humans understand it. On a similar note, from quantum physics we acquire the concept of quantum superposition and the observer's phenomenon which independently establish first that a particle or wave's perceived location in space has no bearing on it's empirical placement in space and second that the power of a human mind's observation or awareness can measurably and reliably alter the function of universal components at what most quantum physicists will argue is the smallest and most basic scale the universe acknowledges.

Once we accept all of these hypotheses, the human presumption that the cause of events in our life must always be traceable to an event which occurred chronologically in the perceived past and physically near to us is hard to defend. If aren't attached to this idea, we have to look for evidence that might suggest the opposite, that the cause of events in our life are not restricted to perceived past events or events which happened physically near to us. When we do, we find scientific studies such as the one that showed participants reacting physiologically to unsettling images posted randomly on a screen before the images were actually displayed. Or the fact that massive groups of people paying attention to one thing has been shown to skew and alter the process of random number generators physically far removed from any of the observer's supposedly responsible for altering the random number generator.

That's essentially the scientific grounding of Synchronicity Theory. Occultists focus more on the aspect of being aware of the potential a-temporal causes of events in their life and practicing the active use of the observer's phenomenon to influence events in their life or in the world, a-temporally.

Korolev:
A universe in which humans can control the elements with a few works and hand-waving, COMPLETELY runs against the scientific view of the world, since that view states that forces are composed of particles and quantum packets, which manifestly are NOT influenced by spells and words (which are just sound-waves produced by the human body, and which can't influence chemical processes at all).

Except that Quantum Physicists uniformly agree that human observation alters the behavior of the same particles and quantum packets we're discussing. If you want to unfairly reduce all occult study to the art of hand-waving and spell memorization, that's your own choice. But it's intellectually dishonest to say science has proven no connection between the underpinnings of the universe and human awareness. The one factually affects the other.

Science and Magic or "Magick" contradict each other - they can't BOTH be right - one must be right and the other wrong.

You seem worked up. I wonder if you would demand the same ultimatum between science and ancient alchemical practice. Or science and the Pythagorians who cultishly worshiped angles and lines in ancient Greece, helping to establish the current geometric discipline. Or to give up the concept that all science is uniform, how about between quantum physics and classical physics, which follow entirely different working hypotheses?

I'm personally excited for the day a doctor can sit me down with a map of the human brain and explain which parts have lead me to my false assumption and what the correct explanations are. Until then, resenting study merely because it's unscientific is perhaps myopic considering what fields science has already borrowed great advancement from.

What has Magic or "Magick" given us? Considerably less. In fact, nothing at all! I can't point to a single concrete thing Magick ha ever achieved.

You want to discount all occult study? What about the ones adopted by science? Such as chemistry, (from kooky alchemists), geometry, (from kooky cultists), medecine (from herbologists, witchdoctors and some kooky greeks), sanitation (an idea originally bored from hebrew religious doctrine) or magnetism and electric charge (originally an occult science practiced by sheep herders)? All of these concepts have been around since before the scientific process was. And while science sophisticated the arts (as science is great at achieving), resenting these fields of study because science has not yet sophisticated them, may be a mistake.

BrassButtons:

So it's a semantics game. You're working with a different meaning for "coincidence", which allows you to avoid the logical conundrum that arises if you use the common definition.

I don't understand why acknowledging that there is currently no empirical method of testing coincidence somehow devolves into a semantics game. Do you know of a way to test coincidence? Why should I be better equipped than you?

I provide a clear explanation for my understanding of Synchronicity Theory above. I think thats what you were looking for in any event.

So clerical magic involves raising awareness of phantom sensory input that comes from focusing on biological processes you don't normally focus on?

The perception of energy in the course of studying clerical magick, in my opinion, boils down to phantom sensory phenomenon. Exercising the senses that provide this phantom sensory phenomenon is one of the goals of clerical magick. Others including exercising and understanding the power of human observation on the physical world, attempting to reach and sophisticate lower strata of human consciousness, and attempting to form a working understanding of cause and effect in an a-temporal universe. Successful study of these fields makes one an occultist because these fields are currently a-scientific.

So actually testing the claims being made isn't part of your process? Or does that fall under "read with a discerning eye"?

First of all, yes, its covered by read with a discerning eye. Second of all, do you test the claims made in philosophy books? If so in what fashion? Finally, have you ever actually read an occult manuscript? I get the impression you're imagining spell books with fancy rituals for summoning storms. I wouldn't recommend any of those books and if they are your full impression of occult literature, you have an artificially deflated understanding of the genre.

Quaxar:

You're saying that most occult literature is bunk and mentioning "real" credentials, yet you recommend Carlos Castaneda, a man whose entire occult literature is based on his acclaimed experience of shamanism as taught by his personal Yaqui?
By that account what makes Crowley's work bad? I've read the Liber AL vel Legis and I agree it's confusing as hell but that doesn't necessarily undermine the credibility of Crowley's Thelema any more than Gerald Gardner's Witchcraft Today improves the credibility of Wicca.

Carlos Casteneda is a font of occult wisdom. Read Journey to Ixtlan. All I have to say on that subject really.

As for Crowley, the man was an acclaimed occultist in his own right and I didn't mean to associate his material with bunk. By the same token, his works are written to mislead and I do not recommend him for people who are just entering the field of occult study. And to be perfectly honest, I think of Crowley's work as far inferior to MacGregor Mathers who was head of the Golden Dawn long before Crowley usurped the position and ran the organization into the ground. If I was going to suggest reading the literature of Golden Dawn, it would be through the medium of Mather's works and not Crowley's.

And also, there isn't really "the occult" is there? Or rather, as with any belief-system there are a myriad of varying and even contradicting occult systems. On the one hand you have the Lurianic Kabbalah's concept of Gilgul, where, until the arrival of the Messiah, souls are inherently imperfect and trapped in a cycle of regeneration through man, animal and even objects traditionaly considered to be inanimate such as rocks, wind and rivers. On the other hand you have Japanese Onmyodo, which has no form of afterlife whatsoever. And Wiccans can't even amongst themselves agree on a concept of afterlife, some go for human reincarnation, some for general animal reincarnation; I've even heard of eternity in Summerland.
It's a bit weird that Wiccans can claim to summon the spirits of the recently deceased while according to Kabbalists the same spirit has already moved on into its next vessel, don't you think?

Allow me to return the question. Is there "a" science? Will the skills learned in biological chemistry help you to launch rockets? I'd assume you call both scientific study.

Occult study is a broad genre still mostly filled with legend. I'm not obligated to account for contradiction across alternate fields of study anymore than a doctor should have to provide the final word on quantum theory.

Khedive Rex:

I don't understand why acknowledging that there is currently no empirical method of testing coincidence somehow devolves into a semantics game.

The word "coincidence" means events that appear meaningful in some way, but are actually the result of just random chance. So if "Synchronicity theory rejects the concept of coincidences not having apparent connection or a guiding theme" then Synchronicity theory is working with a different definition for "coincidence". That's how you avoid the issue of "causing coincidences" being a contradictory concept--you changed what "coincidence" means. (Just a note, I'm using a general "you", here, since I imagine you didn't come up with this terminology yourself.)

The perception of energy in the course of studying clerical magick, in my opinion, boils down to phantom sensory phenomenon. Exercising the senses that provide this phantom sensory phenomenon is one of the goals of clerical magick.

By "phantom sensory phenomenon" do you mean something like phantom pain?

Others including exercising and understanding the power of human observation on the physical world, attempting to reach and sophisticate lower strata of human consciousness, and attempting to form a working understanding of cause and effect in an a-temporal universe. Successful study of these fields makes one an occultist because these fields are currently a-scientific.

They're only a-scientific if you go about them non-scientifically. If you do it scientifically then it's a new field of science. Of course this is only possible if it can be studied scientifically (testing, falsifiability, independent verification--that kind of thing).

First of all, yes, its covered by read with a discerning eye. Second of all, do you test the claims made in philosophy books? If so in what fashion?

Depends on if the philosophy is testable (if it's not then I don't accept it as true, because I have no way of discerning that). The nature of the test depends on the nature of the claim. Usually it comes down to two things: is the claim logical, and is there any empirical evidence which contradicts it?

Finally, have you ever actually read an occult manuscript?

Nope.

I get the impression you're imagining spell books with fancy rituals for summoning storms.

Also nope.

BrassButtons:
The word "coincidence" means events that appear meaningful in some way, but are actually the result of just random chance. So if "Synchronicity theory rejects the concept of coincidences not having apparent connection or a guiding theme" then Synchronicity theory is working with a different definition for "coincidence". That's how you avoid the issue of "causing coincidences" being a contradictory concept--you changed what "coincidence" means. (Just a note, I'm using a general "you", here, since I imagine you didn't come up with this terminology yourself.)

Then yes. Synchronicity Theory proposes a different definition of coincidence which challenges one of the presupposed criteria for it. By the same token, what word was I supposed to use? Is there an English term for supposedly unconnected sensory events that are as yet unconfirmed to be connected but may be? You understood what I was talking about and that was the point. I'll concede an argument of definition but I have trouble imagining that's all that interests you in this discussion.

By "phantom sensory phenomenon" do you mean something like phantom pain?

What I really refer to is unfamiliar sensory information received from one of the up to twenty additional senses science currently proposes we have. The average person is taught sophistication with only four of the senses we have access to; when focus is moved in the brain from these sense to ones we rarely acknowledge, there isn't as sophisticated an infrastructure for processing the stimulus and it therefore gets reported as vague, unfocused, amorphous "energy". It really just a physical feeling in the absence of context or comprehension. But gaining context and comprehension of this extra sensory input, exercising sophistication through practice, has certain advantages. Goals like these are the goals of clerical magick.

They're only a-scientific if you go about them non-scientifically. If you do it scientifically then it's a new field of science. Of course this is only possible if it can be studied scientifically (testing, falsifiability, independent verification--that kind of thing).

The term "Occult" comes from the Latin for Hidden. By definition, if an occult study were easy to substantiate through a scientific discipline it would no longer be an Occult study. Once an occult study is substantiated, it becomes a field of science. Until it has been substantiated, it is strictly the territory of Occultists. It's a different discipline. The people who brewed white willow leafs to eliminate headaches were occultists. The people who mass produced aspirin after studying the advances of these occultists were scientists. I wouldn't want to be without either side of that equation.

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