Thursday, 25 January 2018

Magical Thinking - The future of Magic

If the magic of Original Participation was Sympathetic Magic; and that of the modern Consciousness Soul era was Ritual Magic - then the magic of the future could be Magical Thinking.

Magical Thinking is Primary Thinking - considered as a form of magic. 

In Magical Thinking, the real self - that is the divine self, that which we inherited from God as being Sons and Daughters of God - knows, predicts and creates.

You have probably experienced this - for example during 'enchanted' times when you knew that the world was an unfolding delight, and that you could depend on 'synchronicity' to make good things happen. Those times and moods when you know that around that corner, over that hill, in that cafe there will be something important and delightful: and there always is.

As long as we stay in the enchanted mode of thinking, then life is good, we are involved-with the world and other people, and all will go well. This is Magical Thinking.

It is Enchant-ment but is Not Enchant-ed - this state of being is not 'imposed' by the surroundings, nor is it 'imagined' by our-selves - instead Magical Thinking is precisely that there is participation going-on between both self and world.

In Primary Thinking, our knowledge of the world is based on our participation-in the unfolding reality of the world; and therefore is bound up with the creativity of our real selves.

Creativity is intrinsic to the Final Participation situation, because Primary Thinking is the thinking of our real, divine and free selves: free in the sense of agent, and agent meaning that the divine mind is an origin of thinking (having 'free will' should be understood in this sense of being an uncaused cause: specifically, an uncaused-cause in the realm of Primary Thinking).

In different words: The real self is divine, hence generates thinking not merely caused, but itself causal - hence the real self knows reality, and is original and creative. The real self knows reality directly, unmediated; and this is also a consequence of Participation - the real self knows reality because in its Primary Thinking, it is identical-with reality.

(In the Original Participation of childhood or early tribal man, the individual also knows reality directly; because he lacks full consciousness, his self is passively immersed in reality. The purpose of the developmental evolution of consciousness is exactly that we become able to participate in reality again; but actively-participate; with freedom and creativity: the fully-divine mode of being.)

Thus in Primary Thinking the thinking is original and generative - it is intrinsically creative. The thinking participates-in the world and brings something new to this world.

Thus Magical Thinking is something by which you change the world, but not by 'manipulating' reality. Instead, the world inevitable changes as a consequence of the unity of the self with reality; and the fact that the self brings something new, original, self-generated to reality.

Magical Thinking is therefore our individual contribution to the God's ongoing creation. It is a real magic, because we personally can know reality including some ability to predict reality; and we personally make-a-difference to reality.

But by Magical Thinking we cannot and will not shape reality to our own personal ends - but only to divine ends.

Thus there cannot be a 'black magic' of Magical Thinking. Magical Thinking is (as we experience it) intrinsically good because it is the divine in us (God immanent) really participating-in the reality of continuing divine creation.


Unknown said...

From a mathematical perspective, Magical Thinking in the sense you describe involves the addition of new information to the Universe from "outside". The Universe gets more "detail" as a result of the process. From the perspective of ordinary perception and cognition Magical Thinking is uncaused, unpredictable, and free -- otherwise it could be derived from already known information and would not be new / creative.

Note that theosis is often described as a process of liberation: people who are more saintly are harder to predict; equivalently, their free will is enhanced. External observers often notice miraculous (unexpected / unpredicted / improbable) events around saints without any obvious physical action by the saints. This is because the saint is manifesting the new information into the world directly through Thought.

Note that we have identified a critical weakness in evil: it is not creative and is thus fundamentally predictable, whereas Good is fundamentally unpredictable -- it cannot be completely modelled. Jesus is an excellent example of this: he always knew what his enemies were up to while they couldn't predict his next move (the Resurrection was the ultimate surprise).

Observe how Hollywood / the Media gets more boring and repetitive as it gets more corrupted.

We should be able to formulate in a more precise way why increasing evil constrains creativity -- why corruption limits the use of Magical Thinking.

-- Robert Brockman

Bruce Charlton said...

@RB - Good comment!

Unknown said...

First approximation of why evil is limited in creativity: destructive interference.

Assume for the moment that the universe has a single "real" configuration (at this point I suspect that any parallel universes that do exist are less "real" than ours in important respects). Good agents will be able to add their separate information to the universe without "overwriting" each others' influence. In contrast, evil agents are constantly in conflict with all of the other evil agents as well as the good agents.

If two agents are trying to alter reality in different ways, what determines who "wins"? Probably each evil agent is limited by something like his own will. In contrast, good agents can call upon the combined will of all of the other good agents (including Jesus) to overpower any local evil Magical Thinking that may be in opposition. As a result we would expect the effects of Magical Thinking by evil agents to be diminished to undetectability under normal circumstances.

It is likely not a coincidence that institutional evil mostly operates through physical manipulation (i.e. "the world") and by convincing people that Magical Thinking doesn't exist / doesn't work.

-- Robert Brockman

Chiu ChunLing said...

It is more likely that the alteration involved in what you describe as "Magical Thinking" is more in our attitude towards the world as it is rather than the world being altered to suit our whims.

Though perhaps I am saying this wrongly, as someone who has come to appreciate the irony and narrative drama of tragic events on a global scale. It is not that I have really come to be happy that these things happen (because I willed or caused them), rather I have simply lost my individual offense that the world as a whole does not simply bend to my desires.

Not that I seek in the least to deny that, in some important if difficult to explain sense, I do will and cause what I see happening.

This is what may be tritely (but memorably) described as "an attitude of gratitude". While I do feel this sense about things that are not intrinsically vast tragedies affecting millions or billions, I feel that when there is really something that any sane person would spontaneously describe as "good" even if it were avoidable, the attitude of grateful acceptance of it happening is little more than what a sensitive awareness of felicity inspires naturally. It is an addition to such moments in life, but not the whole of what may be good in them.