I started a conversation with Artikano about the relationship between gender and Mysticism and Magic, and it really got me inspired to explore something openly.
What happens when the function of Magic and Science switch places?
Because I really think it's happening.
... Let me explain. First by quoting a scientist. Then by quoting an anime.
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction" - Sir Isaac Newton
"Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost." -FullMetal Alchemist
In the world as we know it, there is this rule of balance that is in every aspect of life. Call it Karma or Homeostasis, this rule cannot be broken. There are those, however, who would try to break it. This is called cheating, and it elicits both intensely negative and positive responses when it is seen.
It's what happens when someone robs a bank.
Or, it's what happens when someone wins the lottery.
It appears that the person in question "Broke the Balance". But... have they? Clearly the bank robbers have lost something, but what about the lottery winner? What years were lost to gambling, what relationships destroyed, all in the name of winning a fortune. And then, afterward, what rewards were reaped? How often does this story ends in bankruptcy, divorce, and suicide?
The connection remains intact.
This is also the primary reason Science disdains of Magic. How could a pumpkin turn into a carriage? Or how could asking your deity for relief cure a cancer brought on by a lifetime of poor lifestyle choices? Or how could invoking God's name help us win a war (especially when the other side is doing the exact same thing)? The action and the consequence are not equal, and so we are reasonably skeptical.
And yet, we are less than skeptical about our food industry, about our lifestyle choices, and about our medical industry.
"Follow these 6 steps to a new life!"
"See how one simple trick helped me lose 50 lbs!"
"Take this one pill to lower your cholesterol and prevent heart disease!"
Of course, many of us see these and shout "SCAM!". But what about our food industry?
Can we really create the amount of widespread animal suffering, environmental pollution, and public ignorance and expect NO equal and opposite reaction?
Or what about jobs?
Can we REALLY outsource to a people doing work for pennies and expect NO immediate and long-term consequences?
The consequences are always there. A collapsing economy, or a people plagued by a host of chronic and painful diseases. The connections are just more subtle than we realize. And so, we fail to make the connection and we thank the science of industry for helping us to cheat on Karma. We thank God for the Magic of Science.
And then there's Magic.
Taking time to Meditate. Fostering compassion. Praying for those we love every night.
Is it so absurd to think that perhaps, the subtlety of reality might facilitate these into real consequences?
Accumulating hours of time in quiet meditation, is peace of mind... or some sort of "Enlightenment" so absurd?
How skeptical should we be that working at a soup kitchen might cure our cancer? After all, honest compassionate acts releases a host of positive mechanisms in our body.
Or praying for those we love every night. Perhaps it might not magically bless those we care about, but in reinforcing our compassion we might foster the kinds of relationships that do.
This is why I believe in a kind of science in magic.
Of course, this is a limited response to specific circumstances.
I'm NOT saying that magical thinking is good. "Magical thinking" that says we can cheat the system is nearly always bad or misguided. It's just another word for Ignorance.
But what I HOPE I'm saying is this: please remember that there is always a balance to things, even (and especially) those things that seem to defy explanation.
A little humility about our own limitations can help us all to thrive.
Listening to: Food for Thought
Watching: Spice and Wolf