Problems of modern society.
I have been planning to write this article for around one year now, problem always was to name the main issue correctly and to provide a suitable set of arguments supporting my thesis, now I can do both :).
TraditionSo, where to start? We, humans, are little scared creatures, whatever makes us nervous is a reason to get rid of it and we do so for thousands of years. This way we used to get rid of demons, bad dreams, bad luck, then to get rid of witches, sorcerers, devils, then to get rid of church and finally, to get rid of all the sanity.
Consider our perfect education system. Do we really study truth? Yes, of course, at least a certain portion of it. You might learn something about Pythagoras' triangle, but you will hardly learn about his pentagram or about his occult activities. Same applies to Archimedes, same applies to Platon... We got rid of the "supernatural" bogey-man but as the result we do not accept anything supernatural, just mentioning it on public will lower your prestige. Magick is taken as a complete opposite of science, as something completely unscientific and "childish".
Yeah, of course, someone forgot to mention those silly horoscopes, right? Some fool just takes some symbols and puts them down on the circle and... And now we should explain something: those "funny" horoscopes don't use random silly symbols in random silly order. These symbols are symbols of zodiac, symbols of 10 star constellations of zodiac, and are placed into the circle in the exactly same order as they can be found on the sky.
Magick, including astrology and alchemy was a foundation of modern society, foundation of modern science, alchemy with its knowledge of chemicals and herbs was foundation of chemistry, astrology gave complex set of rules and methods known collectively as Mathematics, it also gave us clear understanding of astronomy. It was an astrologist who said first that Earth isn't flat, it was an astrologist who said first that Earth isn't centre of the universe, I hope you can conclude that geometry exists thanks to astrology, as well.
Time changed, we once again became scared of what we don't know and we found another shell where we can hide ourselves, the tradition. Scientists became traditionalists, traditionally rejecting anything "silly" and modern "magicians" became traditionalists in rejecting anything new or scientific. We made this split between science and Magick but even after this virtual split, truth is still the same, science isn't any different from Magick, science is Magick's child, identical in more things than you can actually see, unfortunately...
Observation - divergent and convergent thinkingNow we are getting to the sad part, why similarities between science and Magick are not seen? Education... As I said, we are not taught the complete truth in schools. We are not trained to use divergent (intuitive) thinking, we are trained to focus on convergent (logical) thinking. We are trained to reject our feelings in sake of logical thinking. Do you think that Archimedes discovered his law under conditions of controlled experiment? No, he was in the bath when he yelled "Eureka", he got the aha moment when he was bathing and AFTER that he used convergent thinking to validate the experiment.
Don't take me wrong, logic has its place. It helps us to deduce same or similar qualities and possible usages from observation. Logic gives us structure we can use to search for new values of already learnt, it helps us to build solutions based on previous experience and also to analyse our past experiences.
Bad thing happens when we are exposed to something outside our scope of convergent thinking, to some situation we consider "irrational", situation that shouldn't exist in our little world. That's the situation when we should switch to divergent thinking and obtain new knowledge, new understanding of the situation, but can we do that? Were we even taught there is this possibility?
This is not a problem of science or of Magick, this is problem of tradition, problem of dogma.
Go and study the daughter of mysticism: psychology. You will find amazing things: Exercises for relaxation and meditation, methods how to fight stress, how to fight our demons. You will also find out a lot of sad things about our society. Results of experiments that could improve our situations, but no change ever happened... Did your teachers teach you how to learn effectively? Or did your teachers act with everyone in the class as with a talented student?
Pygmalion effectThere is this nice think called Pygmalion effect. Experiment was done where psychologist randomly selected a group of "talented" kids and "foolish" kids and a new teacher was notified of these students as if they truly were parts of these groups. This experiment has shown a very shocking result. Students taken as talented had improved a lot from their previous state, they didn't only obtain better grades, their intelligence advanced, as well.
Why? Observer (in this case teacher) had a certain formula in his structure and he subconsciously affected the process of observation to match this structure. As a result these students, marked as talented, were really seen as talented and acted with as with talented students, which motivated them for better performance.
Same thing applies to "untalented" group, as well. They truly were observed as fools and many of them had to try their hardest to break this view, unfortunately many of them stopped trying and acquired worse results, their motivation was gone.