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What is the relationship between science and metaphysics?

HoldAll

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I am completely against scientism. The other classic fallacy is 'X is weird and Y is weird so they both must be connected'.

As I've said before, if you want to use science to explain paranormal phenomena, you cannot classify those phenomena as supernatural, otherwise any 'explanation' you come up with will either be one of these useless scientism analogies, or will boil down to 'a big boy did it and ran away'. Once you take that step, it is (as I have discovered over thirty years) possible to explain magic, but you have to start with the physics and work backwards, or you will inevitably fall into scientism.

For me, one of the big revelations of Chaos Magic is that magic clearly requires a belief system of some sort to work, but it is immaterial what the belief system is; it is purely that it should induce a certain set of brain states that facilitate magic. So you can have the most complex magical system ever, but it will be functionally equivalent to another person who can create the same state just by being sufficiently convinced in their own abilities.

My favourite analogy for this is the old Sufi story about the six blind men and the elephant :)

What I have discovered that in practice (and contrary to Carroll), adopting other belief systems is only possible when ut involves a certain (involuntary) emotional investment. So the Kabbalah works for so many people because of its antiquity, awe-inspiring history and mysterious origins, but if you are unable to work up sense of awe and mystery, it probably won't work for you. So belief may be completely random in theory but not all belief systems generate the required concomitant emotional charge for a specific individual in practice, which narrows down options considerably - some pantheons simply don't speak to me, e.g. the Norse gods or Wicca. I wonder if the forced paradigm shifting many chaos magick authors propose as a consciousness-expanding exercise really works, esp. when they suggest the adoption of belief systems utterly repulsive to the practitioner, for example that of the Bible Belt Christian fundamentalist. There must be more pleasant ways to get your mind blown.:)
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What I have discovered that in practice (and contrary to Carroll), paradigm shifting is only possible when involves a certain (involuntary) emotional investment. So the Kabbalah works for so many people because of its antiquity, awe-inspiring histoy and mysterious origins, but if you are unable to work up sense of awe and mystery, it won't work for you. So belief may be completely random in theory but not all belief systems generate the required concomitant emotional charge for a specific individual in practice, which narrows down options considerably - some pantheons simply don't speak to me, e.g. the Norse gods or Wicca. I wonder if the forced paradigm shifting many chaos magick authors propose as a consciousness-expanding exercise really works, esp. when they suggest the adoption of belief systems utterly repulsive to the practitioner, for example that of the Bible Belt Christian fundamentalist. There must be more pleasant ways to get your mind blown. :)
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Shit, double posting.
 
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Robert Ramsay

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What I have discovered that in practice (and contrary to Carroll), adopting other belief systems is only possible when ut involves a certain (involuntary) emotional investment. So the Kabbalah works for so many people because of its antiquity, awe-inspiring history and mysterious origins, but if you are unable to work up sense of awe and mystery, it probably won't work for you. So belief may be completely random in theory but not all belief systems generate the required concomitant emotional charge for a specific individual in practice, which narrows down options considerably - some pantheons simply don't speak to me, e.g. the Norse gods or Wicca. I wonder if the forced paradigm shifting many chaos magick authors propose as a consciousness-expanding exercise really works, esp. when they suggest the adoption of belief systems utterly repulsive to the practitioner, for example that of the Bible Belt Christian fundamentalist. There must be more pleasant ways to get your mind blown.:)
You are correct that not all belief systems are equally useful to all people. Different people require different belief systems to work at maximum efficiency. 'Fake it till you make it' can only get you so far.

The important point is that the belief system is only a tool to achieve this subconscious (and, thus, as you say, emotional) state.

I think the belief shifting exercises are still useful, because they give you a better idea of how belief systems are formed and how they work with you personally - adding to the very important 'Know Thyself' in some way. Certainly you won't do better magic with a system that doesn't suit you, but it gives you more flexibility in terms of not fooling yourself.
 
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