Subject: Re: "divining rod", "slag rute", "slag ruta"
From: Joseph (
Date: 1998/05/15
Newsgroups: alt.magick

On Thu, 14 May 1998 17:08:40 GMT, "Tom Schuler" ( wrote: >There are skeptics and then there are True Nonbelievers. Randi presents >himself as a True Nonbeliever. I am a skeptic. We agree on a lot of things, >but Randi likes to declare that things don't exist and demands proof that he >is wrong. I don't do that. I doubt that psychic powers exist and seek solid >evidence either way. There is a great difference between these attitudes. Indeed there is. The latter is sincerely searching, the former is a professional asshole.

You say you "seek solid evidence either way", but the logical trap of trying to prove a negative creeps in here. You cannot "prove" that paranormal phenomenae do NOT exist.

I once had an attitude similar to yours. Eventually I reached the ultimate conclusion to my skepticism, and became skeptical of my skepticism. This prompted me to make a sincere effort (or at least to FAKE a sincere effort) to try the tools of magick for myself, using my own body/mind as the laboratory. This is the ONLY way you will ever move beyond where you are now.

Magick is the ultimate "uncertainty". More than any other area of human endeavor, one CANNOT stand outside of it and make "objective" observations -- because objectivity in magick does not exist. But neither is magick "merely subjective" in the common defintion of the term.

Much of the criticism of the "reality" of magic arises from the inability of the tools of science to quantify it. But most of the effects derived from Yoga practice (or Tai Ch'i, or several other meditative mind/body disciplines) are such things as a general sense of well-being, heightened alertness, fewer and less severe illnesses, more "energy", more restful sleep, etc. -- things that cannot be easily quantified by technical measurements. But they are unequivocally _real_ to anyone who practices these disciplines.

Furthermore, just about anyone who takes up serious practice will manifest almost identical results; it is not a case of "purely subjective" effects. They are predictable and repeatable across a wide range of human subjects -- and have been for thousands of years. But you can't measure these effects as an outside observer. The only way to "prove" that this is the case is to take up the practice yourself and judge the effects for yourself. I consider Yoga and Tai Chi to be forms of magickal practice, and the observations above apply equally to all other forms of magickal practice.

This is what I suggest you do, Tom, if you are sincerely interested in determining the facts in a comprehensible way. Otherwise, you will NEVER discover anything beyond what you already know. If you want to find out if magick is "real", then you must take up the practice yourself and THEN judge for yourself. MAGICK IS NOT SCIENCE. It can't be evaluated scientifically any more that any other form of art can be so evaluated. When the scientists come up with instruments that can judge "artistic quality", they might also be able to evaluate magick. Until then, there is only one instrument that can be used -- your own mind and body.

- J:.M:.555