Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Magic, Evolution, and Other Things

I was thinking about Gordon's recent post, on how Chaos Magic is good enough for him. I went off on a tangent after Jason's response to him, but I never actually addressed the ideas in the original post proper. Big Magic vs Little Magic. It also reminded me of a past post of Gordon's, here.

Honestly, I don't see a difference in scope, simply a difference in goal. Maybe because this shit is my area of nerdery. I am an Occultism dork. It's a fandom for me. Some people have scifi, or anime, or computers, or fashion (Fashionista is a gussied up word for Fashion Dork. Thank you for that, Deb.), or cars, my dad bred animals as his dorkery.. whatever it is. It's my area of obsessive interest, my passion, one of them anyway. Everyone should have at least one. In fact I would wager that everyone with enough spare time and energy does have at least one, only some are more socially acceptable, like sports, or food.

A thousand, million, fireflies can light up the night just like a spotlight, just like the moon and stars. "Big Magic" is like the Prima Donna belting out her solo. "Little Magic" when done right, is the whole Orchestra. The essence is still Music, still Magic.

By our Work we DO re-enchant the world. Big or Small, it's the doing that matters. My silly ass loves both, because I don't see a division. (I am seeing less and less of those, recently. Soak Universe, soak in my sweet Alkahest!) Spheres, levels, grades, abysses.. They are all good goals. As good as any other.

Traditions older, fancier, and more Baroque are en vogue, currently, and I think that is a good and necessary balance to where we were heading from in the 20th century. I don't think the Magicians and Witches of the 20th led us astray at all with their infusion of psychology, technology, new and strange drugs, and their exploitation of a rapidly globalizing society. We wouldn't be where we are without them.

Much like the mistakes of the Greatest Generation, despite it all, they did the world more good than bad, I'd say. Growing pains, and being people of their own age, and all that. Their children became hippies and revolutionaries in the 60's, and the children of the hippies became yuppies in the 80's, to Gen Xer's in the 90's, To Gen Y and onward. Each generation an outgrowth and reaction to the previous. Each a reaction, a mutation given history, economics, and the prevailing culture of the time.

Thus I will also be happy when the magico-cultural meme changes to the more accessible, more free form, and more hacktivist revolutionary, which will then be balanced out, and then that will be counter balanced, and so on. The pendulum always swings both ways, and thank goodness it does! What a boring, static balance things would be otherwise.

Older strains will continually be reintroduced to strengthen the line, so long as they are useful. New innovations and adaptations will always be welcome, sought out, and cultivated, so long as they are useful to the line. Utility is the key. Success is your proof. The Prince of Darkness himself is part Neanderthal.

In the Dune series, the Bene Gesserit stopped trying to breed a static superman, after they managed to get one. Order was established by the God King. Order has a beginning, a middle, and an end. After the reign of the God King, they took a lesson from him, and focused on breeding in diversity, a genetic soup geared towards producing exceptional individuals, who instead of creating a paradisaical order, were able to navigate chaos. Adaptability over a static ideal.

Various memes will rise in Magic as they do in culture, or genetics, Thesis, Antithesis, Synthisis, which develops its own Antithesis.

 I've always wanted participation, and recognition within a given meme. I wanted to BE that static ideal. But that requires an outside validator, someone to be accepted by, and the acknowledgement that I am participating in someone else's game. For whatever reason, I needed that validation, needed to be accepted.  To be in with the in crowd. Perhaps it was the large swaths of time I spent alone.

Except I always had to tailor myself TO the in crowd. A personality, shaped and buttressed by the personalities around me.  Nature unfolds spontaneously and naturally, and so shall I. I will not live for the approval of the breed trait to judge my worth. I am a mutation; I am my own breed. I set my standard.


Gordon said...

I like how you say "some people" have scifi... and then you reference Dune.

You're a scifionista and you know it.

Frater A.I.T. said...

I support all Dune related occult references.