MAGIC AND EGO
MAY 22, 2011. There is much baloney that needs to be swept off the magic table. Who could be interested in the subject with so many cheap substitutes sitting there in piles?
A few words on EGO. Which is from the Latin and means: “I.” That’s what it means. It’s a pronoun. You know: I, me, you, he, him, she, her…
One of the biggest globs of nonsense floating around is the notion that ego is intrinsically bad. Part of this, of course, comes from a semantic distortion many centuries in the making.
Ego is now supposed to be associated with boastfulness, lack of concern about others, lying and trampling to move one’s own status forward, and so on. That’s how it comes down to us.
Humility, on the other hand, is a virtue. This is what we’re told. Well, when you get in there and look at it, it usually translates into, “I’m not important, I only serve others, I’m non-self-inflating. I’m kind, generous, and loyal. Please give me a gold star. I’m a model citizen, but somehow I can’t catch a ride on the trolley.”
It’s an act. It’s a role. It’s theater with a quite low transmission level.
Let’s get it straight. You can be creative and powerful without trampling on other people. Okay? And you can be generous without wearing an old robe and going up the hill to catch your water in a storm drain every morning.
Both these terms, EGO and HUMILITY, are useless. They’ve been walked on so much that no one can find a clue in them anymore. They’re misdirections. Mechanisms for social control.
But people still love to play with them. Goody-two-shoes types really work them. It’s a twisted morality game that comes straight out of religion. I don’t know about you, but I was never raised to be egotistical or humble. That wasn’t part of the dinner conversation.
“So, Jon, what did you do today? Did you help an old lady across the street and then bow down to her and make three prostrations? Or did you stand on the hill looking over the school and raise a bullhorn to your mouth and shout your name a hundred times and pound your chest?”
Can’t remember such a conversation in my sallow youth.
Magic has absolutely nothing to do with humility. Or Ego.
You take a word, EGO, and in Latin it means “I.” That’s all it means. Then, centuries later, it means “a terrible person who only cares about himself and uses other people and deceives them and harms them, in order to advance his own power.”
Hmm. Is there a clue here?
Somebody wanted to erode and mangle the sense of self by loading it up with abhorrent qualities. Gee, who would do that? Religion? The Church? In the effort to control the individual?
Let’s check that out. The myth starts with eternal guilt. Well, yes. Adam and Eve ate an apple and destroyed the future of the human race in four seconds. It wasn’t even apple sauce or cobbler. One bite. Boom. Guilty. Bad boy! Bad girl! Sin of pride. “I’m more important than God.” “He told me not to take the Porsche to the dance, but I stole the key and crashed it into a lamppost.”
Then fast forward…if I’m not mistaken, there were people all over Europe who were doing some kind of conga line with whips, flagellating each other and themselves. Seems to convey an attempt to arrive at HUMILITY.
Eat the apple and destroy humanity or beat myself with the whip? Any other options? No? Well, okay, give me that nine-tails. Can I put on some cream first?
Keep in mind, as well, that the Roman Church controlled the Latin language, was its central keeper in Europe after the fall of Rome. Ego is Latin. Want to twist a word? Helps if you control the language of which it’s a piece. Might be something there.
…And then, down the road, when psychology enters the scene, EGO gains new meanings and contexts. For example, and this is a beauty, “ego defense mechanisms.” Hello? Excuse me, but when you break this down, doesn’t it simply mean a person will try to ward off external threats? But that doesn’t sound like “science.” Ego defense mechanisms. The implication is: people set up defenses against imaginary threats because they’re insecure…and to one degree or another, everybody operates this way. More erosion of the simple notion of “I” and “ego.”
Hey, I was just saying “I” and all of a sudden I ate an apple and was guilty forever and so I beat myself for a few centuries and now I’m insecure and trying to defend myself by making up imaginary paranoid threats? I was just going to say, “I think I’ll go to the store.”
But wait, there’s more!
In the 1960s, the US began to import various Asian spiritual philosophies. Of course, the few really good parts were left in Asia. The stuff America (and other countries) got was all about, how shall I put this, NO-SELF. In several forms. Stay poor, if you can. Forget about your power, you don’t really have any, that was just a delusion. Do nothing for self and everything for others. Otherwise, you’ll just be pushing your own EGO, which is terrible, terrible, very naughty.
The artificial polarity. It’s either EGO or HUMBLE. Take your pick. Of course, either way, you’re screwed.
And if you don’t think variations on this perverse ego-humility theme survived, with twists and turns, into the 70s and 80s and right up to the present day, I have a time shares on Pluto I’d really love to stick you with.
Magic is about power. Can’t skirt it or walk around it or build a detour or pretend it’s all coming from some collective goo of consciousness in the waa waa of the daa daa.
But you see, power has been hooked in with ego and humility, through social programming, and that leaves lots of people confused, helpless, and beached. Because they went to the 99-cent store and bought the program and plugged it into their heads.
Magic is basically the power to create extraordinary realities. Ultimately, without limit.
People who don’t want to cross the line from non-magic to magic think that ordinary reality is peachy-keen and quite enough for a lifetime or a hundred lifetimes.
They’re right about one thing. Ordinary reality, in its own way, is quite astonishing.
How did it get here? Who let it in the door? Was it the result of a fire sale? Did they empty out the stables and the castles and the junkyards of stars from some other universe and dump all the leftovers here?
“Well, we don’t need this gizmo, what’s it called? Law of the Conservation of Energy? Give it to them. See what they can do with it.”
People are touchy. You start talking about magic and they want to tread a narrow space. They may hear a sentence or two they like, and it’s all good…and then you say something that pushes them off a cliff. At least, that’s what they think is happening.
You say, “Suppose I could turn ten minutes into six hours. Would you come to my house?”
And over the cliff they go.
“I can compress an hour into four seconds.”
“No thanks. Look, Ihave to see my orthodontist.”
But some day soon, when they invent a machine you attach to your ear, and a movie streams into your head in 30 seconds, a whole two-hour film, people will buy it. They’ll hook up the earpiece and play the movie, and after the 30 seconds is over they won’t have the slightest idea what it was about, but they’ll feel as if they do. They’ll feel something enormous happened, and they’ll be happy with that. Because it was a machine. So the earpiece did shrink time, and that was okay.
A machine can be magic, but a human can’t.
There is a set of rules about that. Tinkering with time, au naturel, is a felonious act. By definition. And that’s all it is, a definition.
Let’s get real about this. You have seven or eight billion people on the planet who ALREADY believe in magic. Only they call it religion.
They shove their religion into a non-theatrical context where they have an arrow that leads straight up to heaven. They’re sold on it. They’re operating out of a change that happened somewhere in the 4th century, when a few people decided that religion in the West should become rational.
That was the cover story. “Oh yes, we have rational religion now. It’s different. See? It’s all founded on a solid basis. We know where to go for the official information. The depot. They have it there in a book.”
And the witches of the Middle Ages were different. They were the outsiders, the heretics, because they were looking at other books. Instead of going into Barnes and Noble, they were frequenting little independent operations, and that was that. Heretics. Besides, they were actually trying out manifestation and direct healing, which was supposed to be property of the Roman Church.
Property? What? Somebody suddenly owns magic and has a monopoly on it? No anti-trust laws? No law suits?
The Church eventually decided their own rudimentary attempts at magic weren’t worth the effort. They had a business to run. They were sending salesmen out into the field. They were building franchises in some pretty tough places. They needed to screw their minds in tight and concentrate on the bottom line. Numbers of adherents. Collection plates. Taxes. Treaties and deals with monarchs. Cost-risk assessments of missionaries skewered on spits versus new members signed up for the duration.
They had St. Thomas Aquinas, who was recycling Aristotle to prove there had to be a God, and even though his argument had holes in it you could drive an 18-wheeler through, it was a good imitation of rationality.
They had stern people with pinched faces talking about redemption and absolution and, quietly, bribes.
“We can get you into heaven, but it’s going to cost you. Joey here will be around next Tuesday to collect the silverware. Put it in a bag.”
Redemption? From what? I was eating an apple in the back yard, and three guys in crazy hats walked through the gate and asked to see some ID.
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