I have been reading about the nature of magic on a blog post via my friend and fellow blogger Sean, and I feel as though an interesting perspective of magic is developing. For starters, the idea that magic is about affecting the internal world to produce changes in the external on, rather than casting effects on the physical world in order to directly effect physical entities and environments like in so many fantasy novels, movies, games, and other media. And, the idea that magic need not be strictly limited to grand rituals, ritualistic texts, and established esoteric symbols. or defined solely by them.
I feel this means that lots of things can be magical, or spells onto themselves, as they influence the internal world, and practically anything can be a ritual if it is designed as such to inspire power and affect the will and the internal world. That said, I feel as though religion or faith can be its own kind of magic. Think about it: faith and religion affect the internal world of the individual. Religion in particular is designed to alter the will of the individual and alter the reality of the individual. If you believe in an afterlife designed for you by another religion with such certainty, you’re probably going to get that afterlife, so be careful what you wish for. I feel I lean closer to the idea that Hinduism and Buddhism have a magical affect aimed at altering the self because they want to change your perception of your self based on their teachings.
Churches themselves can be places of magic contained for religious purposes, or to be house a kind of magic powered by faith to affect the individual will. Has any secular person been to a church to attend Christian ceremonies with family and felt a tension during the ceremonies? I swear that might be a struggle between your will and rites of everyone else, a kind of religious magic trying to take its effect on the non-believing individual. Or how about any temple for that matter? They could house a source (or sources) of power and inspiration for the individual (be that in the form of any gods worshiped in them, the architecture, or the kind of force you feel that draws you in some you).
And what if ideals are a form of magic too? Not only do they have a power for the individual who truly believes in them as they are true to him/her, human history has shown many times how ideals can affect the world in both positive and negative ways and that continues to this day. Through ideals, and the power of ideals, humans have a way to create a world, or shape this world, and perhaps influence people. This might offer an interesting explanation or angle to why I tend to be so interested in ideals and beliefs and their affect on the world of Man.
Another idea that caught on is how what you experience in the mind is real even if it’s not, how every experience that happens to you happens in your mind, and how the experiences still affect the real world. What does this mean for the gods in your mind? Perhaps the archetypes in your mind have a way of influencing you and the external world without being physical gods. Or the gods are a source of power and inspiration for the self.
These are all my guesses and they may not apply in the way that they seem to, but I want to entertain these ideas in the hopes that they stimulate in some way.