And That’s What I Wanted
What I wanted out of this discussion was an intelligent engagement with the theory behind magic rather than a rote acceptance of it. I got that, and so I am quite happy. I don’t mind the disagreement; how else could I ever refine my ideas if people don’t challenge them?
Finally, Augoeides (the person with the blog, not the angel with the wings) has weighed in on the topic and what he says is a must-read, not because he agrees with me but because he changes the game entirely. I’ve got to reread his post a few times and let it percolate before I can address it, but I think he raises a very, very good point about the role of energy in magic. If you’re following this argument please give it a read.
I think I finally understand why Spare made up terms like “Kia.” Any word we use will have cultural baggage. I was going to address the “how do you translate qi” thing by pointing out that etymologically, “spirit” is a far better translation than “energy” — but in truth, both have so much cultural baggage that either will impose western ideas on another culture. We cannot translate without orientalizing. No wonder the Italian word for “translator” and “traitor” are the same.