Thursday, October 28, 2004
Science, Transcendent
As mentioned in my last post on this blog, the Science/Transcendence relationship presents our first challenge to understanding the nature of the ontological perspective I am trying to unfold. In order to move our understanding forward, it is necessary to introduce another triplet.

First, an aside. Previously, I used the term triumvirate to describe these related concepts. I must now apologize, as that word selection was intended only to avoid the need to introduce two terms from diametrically opposed religious perspectives in a single post. The word isn't very satisfying, since it has overtones of governance that don't seem appropriate in this context. The word I would prefer these triplets to be referred to as is trinity. Henceforth, this will be my term of choice.

Now I believe introductions are in order.

Our third trinity is that of Body, Mind, and Spirit. This introduction is somewhat isomorphically pleasing. If there is to be some guiding principle that allows us to unite our ontological disjoint, then a metatrinity seems just the thing. Aesthetics aside, this trinity is necessary in order to make sense of the relationships already discussed, as well as to prescribe the solution to the problem posed..

The very nature of Science deals with the underlying principles of the physical world in which we live. Attempts to introduce more abstract belief systems into science are categorically met with ridicule and outright derision: it is unlikely that you will see a glowing review of The Physics of Immortality in a scientific journal. From the perspective of Science, it would be perfectly fair to say that it has transcended the Spirit. Spirits, after all, are the ultimate chimerical concept, remaining by definition undetectable and immeasurable (despite the claims of some proponents in the field of Kirlian Photography).

Examining the relationship of Science to this latest trinity, the most obvious correlation is with the concept of Mind; after all, the Mind is the primary tool through which Science is advanced. However, this observation misses an important point: the "Mind", while less chimerical than the Spirit, is still shrouded in a cloud of Science whose basis is often questionable, and certainly not subject, in toto, to rigorous scientific examination. Science, it would seem, is ground firmly in the realm of the Body, whose physical nature is both unique and perfectly suited to scientific scrutiny. This, I believe, is the root of the problem.

As a species, we are uniquely qualified to reason at a level that allows us to derogate critical aspects of our existence; even those aspects directly responsible for this ability are subject to this capacity. Science, in extremis, relegates our existence to a complex collection of chemical reactions: nothing more, nothing less. It is this perspective that destroys both Religion and Magick. It is this perspective that must change.

Hopefully I have set the framework upon which the rest of the posts in this series will be based. We will, in turn, examine the two remaining relationships (Magick/Infancy and Religion/Ego), and their interactions with this final trinity. Armed with the knowledge we gain, we will then move on to the ultimate goal: a reconciling perspective that allows us to see all these relationships through a single, unified perspective.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Where Has the Magic Gone?
When broaching a subject whose theme smacks of the occult, the author must either be especially sensitive to the needs of their audience, or especially unconcerned with their reaction. Since either option fits me quite nicely, I will leave this ponderous issue behind, and allow its implications to serve as sufficient warning for those able to receive them; those without such capacity are unlikely to be impacted by the message anyway.

It has often struck me, like a bad case of heartburn, how jaded I have become as time passes over my body and soul. I look about, desperately seeking the spark that once ignited every everything I did with passion, but am left with naught but the glowing embers of glory past. Don't get me wrong-- I still consider myself quite capable and successful. It's just that the cause, the modus operandi, seems less inspiring than before. As is normal in the topsy-turvy world that serves as my perspective, I began to reflect on this issue a while back, and have stumbled upon an interesting premise that bears consideration.

I have always believed that the influencing forces in our universe are cyclic, and operate at a variety of levels, impacting their environment in similar ways. It is part of the nature of discovery to realize that two seemingly disparate observations are part of the same motive force, different not through cause, but through the observed effect. Such, I believe, is the case previously mentioned under consideration-- and magic is the key. Not the Lance Burton, Siegfried and Roy kind of illusion, but magic with a capital "m". In order to differentiate, I will refer to this force as Magick in this post, without deference to or acknowledgement of any group that might feel inclined to accept that spelling as endorsement of their perspective. Magick, after all, should be above that.

Magick is, undoubtedly, a significant aspect of mankind's history. Shamen, witchdoctors, and mystics have played an important role in our past. It is also without question that the conscious influence of Magick has declined, supplanted first by religion, and more recently by science, as the dominant framework of mankind's perspective. Magick, Religion, and Science form an ontological triumvirate through which all of human history can be examined. Further, their relationship is relatively linear, with each influence slowly taking over from its predecessor.

There is another triumvirate, related to the introspective ontology of self. Called (among other things) the stages of life, I will use the labels Infancy, Ego, and Transcendence, though other labels have been applied (including the tangled instance of Hinduism). These too are relatively linear, suggesting a potential correlation with the aforementioned ontological triumvirate.

Examining this relationship further, it seems that there is conflict. The Magick/Infancy relationship is deceptively simple. Science/Transcendence is problematic only if you refuse to believe modern dogma-- though in my view there is something...unsatisfying in the relationship. Finally, Religion/Ego seems nearly contradictory, as despite the effects of interjecting poorly motivated individuals into the mix, religion has in principle been purposefully devoid of ego.

It is my premise that each and every one of these associations is completely valid. Once our perceptions have been adjusted by removing the vicious coupling of our supra- and infra-ontological perspectives, the clarity that this understanding provides is significant. In future posts, I will discuss each of these pairs, as well as my view on how this knowledge can be used to improve our metalogical view. It should be an interesting journey, to say the least. I hope you enjoy it at much as I have.

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