A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

Home | About | Alternative Health | Contact

performed in order to be effective. There are a number of principles which govern magical spells, rites and substances. As with science, a special technique is developed. In magic as in other activities, man can undo what he has done ; in fact, the quantitative equivalents of black and white seem to be much more exact and the effects of witchcraft much more completely eradicated by counter-witchcraft than is possible in any practical art or craft.
Magic was man's earliest attempt to control nature on the belief that hope cannot fail nor desire deceive. Science, on the other hand, is based on the continuity of nature and on experimentally discovered laws of cause and effect.
Both magic and religion arise and function in situations of emotional stress ; and both exist in the atmosphere of the miraculous. Magic is the specific art for specific ends ; every one of its forms has come once only into the possession of man, and then had to be handed over in direct descent from generation to generation. Hence it remains from the earliest times in the hands of specialists, and the first profession of mankind is that of a wizard or witch.
Magic is the quality of the thing, or rather, of the relation between man and the thing, for though never man-made it is always capable of being influenced by man. In all tradition, in all mythology, magic is found only in the possession of man and through the knowledge of man or man-like being. It implies the performing magician quite as much as the thing to be charmed and the means of charming. It is directed as much to nature as to man's relation to nature and to the human activities which affect it. Moreover, the effects of magic are usually conceived not as a product of nature influenced bv the charm, but as something- sneciallv magical.