Jason, first of all, you and me, next time you’re in Chicago, a cup of coffee. Maybe sushi. I’m buying. I know a good place.
Second, thank you for your comment. I’ve put some of it here, so I can address it point by point, but man oh man I do not want to get into a flamewar about this. I respect your work too much to do so, so if it goes that way, I’m bowing out.
Lets play madlibs:
The acupuncturist is using a needle to alter the flow of BLANK through a certain meridian to help you quit smoking.
Qi. Which means “breath,” not “energy.” Since it’s not literally breath, then qi must be a symbol for something else.
The Tantric practitioner is accumulating BLANK in the central channel to melt the BLANK drop in the forehead and trigger the descending bliss.
I’m not up on my Tantric terminology, but I imagine there are terms for these things that don’t literally translate to “energy.”
The Orgone Accumulator is gathering BLANK in the subject that is resting inside
Orgone. Which is probably a symbol for well-being to the person sitting in the big metal box.
When I used pore breathing to load a series of rooms with elememtal BLANK the subjects in those rooms were clearly influenced by the elemental BLANK inside.
Bardon called it “fluid.”
I think you are suffering from a bit of compartmentalizing. You are a linguist and see things through the eyes of a linguist and an academic. Lo and behold the best explanation for all magic winds up being a specialized term from the field of linguistics.
Well, okay, you saw my straw man and raised me some ad hominem. Perhaps my training in linguistics helps me understand a phenomenon that is, ultimately, semiotic in nature. That could also be the case. And I could interpret this argument as you clinging to an outmoded model. Neither of these interpretations is charitable or fair, so let’s not.
In the past you said something along the lines of “It would be good if we could find one mechanism behind magic”..l Why is that good?
Because it would provide explanatory force and help us advance the study of magic so that it might have greater effectiveness.
In the past you also mentioned something like “magic is worthy of academic study, but if it insists on using junk words like energy, it will never be taken seriously”. My response is that academics can study whatever it likes, but if academics are deliberately altering the field to make it ripe for study that is a a seriously flawed study. Its like an ornithologist killing all purple birds because there arent supposed to be any.
Did I say “academic?” I hope not. I think a university department of magic would be downright silly, and I would not want to publicly support such a thing. But it is worthy of study. It better be. I study it. So do you. And I don’t see how I’m deliberately altering the field; after all, I’m not the one translating diverse cultural concepts all with the same word.
I just don’t get where you are coming from here. Other than the few examples that you provide of very lame ass things like gathering pink energy at the heart and crystal crap you are not even attempting to deal with anything legitimate magic style that discusses energy.
No true Scotsman, eh? I’m Irish, actually.
I am with you in the ultimate sense that all is consciousness. But until you fully realize that ultimate truth, the relative truth is there as a tool. This inncludes energy just as much as matter,
Energy is matter. That’s my point. Using “energy” is often an excuse to reduce magic to a subset of materialistic ontologies. I think magic offers us a way of knowing that can exist alongside of and contribute to the scientific method, but is separate from it. When we start speaking and worse, believing, that magic is essentially a material phenomenon involving “energy,” we start to lose that way of knowing in favor of material reductionism.
As vehemently as I argue against the unthinking use of “energy” as a term, of course, I recognize that it can be a useful symbol if used mindfully. Your Bardon example is a good one above: even Bardon said it wasn’t actually an energy in the literal sense. He used terms like “magnetic” and “electric” to give people a felt sense of the process of focusing the attention on a single symbol.
By the way, you might also say that acupuncture manipulates electromagnetic energy and therefore is literally moving energy. But if that is the case, then acupuncture is not magic at all, because magic is metaphysical and energy is physical.