Does magic really work? And if so, through what mechanism, and what’s the secret behind it? I’m not talking about magic tricks, because everybody knows that they are deliberate illusions created for amusement. I’m talking about magick with a k, which Aleister Crowley defined the following way: “Magick is the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will”

Magic is as old as humanity itself. The earliest depictions of art dating back thousands of years served a magical purpose. These cave drawings depicted deers and other animals, and recreated the scene of successfully hunting them down. I can imagine some of our ancestors even throwing their physical spears at the image of the wild animals.

Humans are highly intelligent creatures, and we all possess the ability of visualization. Before we want to do something, we first imagine it in our minds, and we make a plan. This is what gave us our evolutionary edge, because we can play out different scenarios in our heads before trying them out in reality, often risking our lives.

Putting our plan on paper, or in this case, drawing it on the wall, is the next logical step to this process. This way, it’s not just a fleeting fantasy anymore, but something more physical that we can touch and see. Making a representation of an animal becomes a symbol of that given animal, it captures its spirit in a way, at least that’s what our ancestors thought.

That’s the same reason why some tribal people hate cameras: they believe that the photograph steals their souls. They confuse the representations of themselves with themselves. This is known in professional language as sympathetic magic, or the belief that like attracts like. If the deer is killed on the wall of the cave, it will raise the chance of the success of the real hunt, as well.

Ancient hunters were also known to have dressed up as animals, by putting the skull of a deer on their heads, for example. By this, they attempted to see from the animal’s perspective, to become empatetic with it, to persuade it to be hunted. Shamans in many cultures also attempt to embody animal spirits by dressing up as them. The belief that magicians can transform themselves into various animals comes from this ancient practice.

This is an example for another kind of magic, known as contagious magic. Namely, that once two people or objects have been in contact, a magical link persists between them. So by influencing the object, you can also influence the subject indirectly. This is the basis of voodoo dolls, but it’s also the reason why people would give more money for a piece of clothing that belonged to a celebrity than for something they can get at the store.

One of the very first tools of humans was a simple wooden stick. It was an all-in-one device, a paleolitic swiss army knife if you like, that shamans also used for their own purposes. This simple stick became the magician’s wand, a symbol and amplifier of his intentions. Before remote controllers were invented, people used to switch channels with a long stick on their television sets.

Afterwards, the stick became shorter, and now you can direct your TV and many other device with the push of a button. The magic wand is the shaman’s remote controller, through which he can influence events in a distance.

Whether it’s sympathetic or contagious, all kinds of magic rely on one basic assumption: that some unknown and invisible supernatural force connects all things in the universe. I can assure you that there’s no such thing except for consciousness, and nature follows the laws of nature. So then, why has magic survived in almost all cultures for so long?

Basically, magic is a survival mechanism for the last resort. Just put yourself into the shoes of our pre-historic ancestors for a moment. Their lives were in constant danger, as they were almost a free prey for the elements of weather, for various diseases and for all kinds of predators. It must have seemed to them that life is nothing more than a cruel struggle for survival, that they could neither control nor truly understand.

Even researchers proved that superstition arises more easily in times of uncertainty, and I can’t really imagine a more uncertain era than the paleolitic. We naturally seek to gain understanding and influence over our circumstances so that we can raise our chances of survival. By feeling more in control, we also reduce our existential anxiety, and become more confident. So while magic provides only a questionable physical advantage, it has a very real psychological benefit.

Although magic was the precursor of science, it lacks the scientific method with which we can come closer and closer to truth. The main problem with magic is that – like the name suggests – it utilizes magical thinking. Magical thinking means the misinterpretation of the causal link between actions and events. In scientific terms, this is called post hoc fallacy.

For example, crossing your finger before an exam, and then successfully passing said exam, may make you think that the gesture itself brought you good fortune, when it probably had to do with your preparedness. The next time you want to be lucky, you cross your fingers again, just because it can’t hurt. This is a common superstition that you probably learned from others, and most people don’t even know its origin.

But there are also personal superstitions, which were not conditioned by society, but you conditioned yourself to the habit. The famous psychologist, Skinner, gave a great example for such a case when he experimented with pigeons. In the laboratory setting, a pigeon was put inside a cage, and received food through a slit at random intervals. After a while he noticed the pigeon behaving quite weirdly.

The animal was performing a repetitive behaviour over and over again. The same behavior it must have made by chance before receiving the food once in the past. From this he concluded that the pigeon formed a faulty causal link, and was trying to influence the dispenser with its ritualistic behavior, even when it was not reinforced, or in human language, because it can’t hurt.

You may laugh at the stupidity of the pigeon, but do you have the courage to spot your own silly superstitions? It’s not so harmless like you would like to think, because all kinds of cruelties and murders were committed throughout history in the name of magic. Besides, every belief, especially those that are proven to be wrong, take you further away from truth.

In this free report, I’ll reveal my number one secret to spiritual enlightenment that almost nobody else speaks about. Download it now below, to find out what it is! I can guarantee you, you’ll be surprised!

Memento Mori!

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