“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke
I was once told a story, by a mentor, about an intricate piece of clockwork that had suddenly found itself upon the laps of savages. It was an experiment by a well known woman anthropologist who lived to the age of ninety despite her addiction to peaceleaves. She observed that, despite the inherent benignity of the design, it was treated with fear and loathing by the primitives. They would throw sticks, stones, and spears at the automaton because, they said, “They wished to free the souls they saw trapped within the contraption.” The object was an early form of radio receiver at a time when batteries were at the advent of their invention; power for it was generated by turning a crank. The souls the savages wished to free were nothing more than the voices they heard emanating from the device.
I was sure the story was apocryphal, but it did deliver message clearly. Just as the man, who I have quoted, said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” This is the nature of the writing you are reading now. This is an attempt, by a humble craftsman, to enlighten his people and free them from the dark aged dogmas that continue to hold them bondage. They call me erehe; they call me blasphemer; they call me filibustero; but I am merely a servant of the light. I am here not as the holder of truth nor even the bringer of it, but merely a butler who draws the curtains to let the sun in. I bring you fresh air, brother. Breathe in and open your eyes.
On the nature of magic and science, I only assert that magic is nothing more than another word for knowledge. It is also such to the occult; occult being the word for hidden knowledge. But if such things are knowledge, no different from science and conventional academics, why the need to hide them? Because it is the prerogative of a learned man to be responsible. Knowledge, like everything else in this world, is nothing more than a tool; it is neither bad nor good; it merely is. The good and evil, which the apologetic never fails to mention, are only found in the purpose through which a tool is used for. A responsible person, knowledgeable of what is good and what is evil, will never place such powerful tools in the hands of another who would mean to do evil, or in the hands of a child who would not know the meaning of good or evil. Imagine a loaded revolver in the hands of a madman. That is what hidden knowledge serves to prevent.
Thus, true knowledge is only for those who are responsible and mature enough to realize that such things do exist; they must also hold the passion and determination to seek them out through personal paths. True knowledge is never gained through mentors, classrooms, textbooks, or treatises written by hermits and doctors of mysterious disciplines; it can only be gained through the self, and the most which those who have learned could do is provide an unmarked map. It is a straight path we are all destined to walk. In the end, it is you who decides how straight you wish to walk.
“Faith could move mountains,” a wise man once said. It was not just a lesson, or an example, it was a statement of a fact. What we are dealing with here concerning the nature of magic and science, including their relationship with each other, are realities and perceptions. Do understand that perceptions never reflect realities and realities never completely form perceptions. They are rarely in congruence, and even then, only mildly. It should, however, be realized that there is such a thing called personal reality. Many scientist's have already caught a glimpse of it and what it could do to reality at large when personal reality is stronger than external reality. Conventional laws concerning our understanding of the material world tend to...eschew.
This is why magic was brought far, far away from its original meaning of being nothing more than knowledge. People have observed things which they could not completely and properly explain, even the scientist. Those who have taken the supernatural perspective of such phenomena have been branded superstitious, be they civilized or primitive. They call these things urban legends if not outright myths. The dogmas call them miracles, if acknowledged; and witchcraft by some who know no better.
In fact, they are nothing more than manifestations of the Natural Order of the Universe. All things generate reality and reality, be it personal or external, is at a constant flux. One influences, changes, or molds the other. Many people try to name it many things, but this is nothing which could ever truly be defined, only understood, imbibed, and unified with. Only one term is ever accepted among the truly learned, that is mystical. We often find it amongst the most mundane of things; focus, intuition, the ability to modulate your emotions at will, and even extreme concentration. At even more sophisticated levels of proficiency, as the wise man once said, “Faith,” could move, “mountains.”