May 23rd, 2004


Science and Magick

[Many thanks to Davmhl & LadyD, in the previous thread, for (by their own compelling posts) helping me to focus these thoughts.  :) ]

Sol in Gemini, Luna in Cancer, Dies Solis
4 Gemini C / 23 May 2004 EV

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

0. All human activities are Arts. There are no Sciences.

1. That is: Science is (ideally) a method of reasoning, of greater or lesser precision: Science is not a body of doctrine. There are no "scientific facts": at best, there are assertions of fact, arrived at with an attempt at logical rigor which may be termed "scientific."

2. Is the statement, "All belief in magic is unscientific," a "scientific" statement? (a) No, if by it we mean that nobody who "believes in" Magick has got there using precise, rigorous analysis to the best of her or his ability. OTOH, (b) Yes indeed, in the precise sense that "all belief in the existence of anything beyond oneself is, at least in part, necessarily unscientific." This is not to argue for solipsism (which I cordially reject); it is to assert the truism that one never experiences anything outside one's own experience (hence, see 0. above  :D ).

3. The great use of "scientific" reasoning in magical work (IMO) is its tendency to unclutter the mind. Thanks to the principle of parsimony (Occam's Razor and all that), "scientific" reasoning prejudices us in favor of the simplest possible explanation of an event which will cover given data -- at least until data show up which explode the previous explanation, however appealingly simple it might have been. The great danger of "the sciences" for magicians is their tendency to clutter the mind: to induce the belief that a current "scientific" paradigm consists of "proven facts." The hypnotic appeal of a current theory may blind the magician to the fact that it is a theory. A current scientific paradigm may have the same aura of compelling Authority that God and His Holy Angels did, a short while back; whether with greater or lesser accuracy, time will tell.

(Up to a always.  ;) )

Love is the law, love under will.

Yours in "Scientific Illuminism," AJ  :)