I have been struggling over this post for some time. I believe in “Magic”, I just don’t necessarily believe that Incantational magic is something to be pursued by those wishing to grow in this lifetime. So much of the very essence of “Magic” as one sees it through the Harry Dresdens and the Harry Potters is an attempt to control the elements, or another human being. According to Harry Dresden’s take on that, an attempt to control another human is Black Magic, so I can respect the Dresden/Butcher perspective. And since the two “heroes” I have spoken of are fictional, I could choose to leave it there and not be wrong. BTW, for those who wish to explore the ability to control others, may I suggest that you read the Dresden Files, as you will not just see that attempting such control is wrong, but why.
There are, however, a growing number of folks who desire to learn the ways of magical control of the elements around them, and it is for these that the struggle presents itself. Let us say, hypothetically speaking, that you are one of those rare birds that actually does have the “power” to turn aside storms and control floods. This would certainly be a handy skill in emergencies. I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t have liked to have that ability at some point in their lives.
But what about non-emergencies . . . . .what about the times when you are just disgusted with someone’s actions . . . . . .should you pull a storm or strong wind, or lightening, or some other elemental phenomenon down on their head? Can you see clearly enough all the circumstances surrounding an incident, so that you do not send the lightening in the wrong direction? Do you truly have a “God’s Eye” view of all of the particulars of a given situation so that you know exactly what is needed? Or would you, like Butcher’s hero, Dresden, make some mistakes along the way that would be painful to live with at the very least?
The thing that has slapped me around these past several years, and in fact, was a major reason for my disgust with at least the fundamentalist sect of the Christian church, is that attempts at controlling others, or circumstances themselves, even when approached with the highest of intentions, can move so quickly from the clear to the murky as to be the proverbial slippery slope. I have witnessed the prayers of those who were intent upon doing only “God’s Will”, praying that “Brother Joe” find himself in the midst of a storm, (whether of weather or circumstances), in order to find the need for “Jeeeesus in his heart!” If you listen to these folks with a clear heart of your own, you will recognize that it is not God’s will they are wanting to put forth, it is their own will, for it would not do for “Brother Joe” to be “saved” in a Presbyterian ministry, when they are “Full Gospel”! No matter what it is that “Brother Joe” really needs.
I know most pastors and ministers out there would argue with me on this regard, but I see such prayers as being akin to the controlling incantations spoken by some silly love sick child who wants some boy to fall in love with her. One is putting the same intent out into the Universe. It’s all about control. And that, dear readers is the crux of the matter. To attempt to control the hearts and minds of others, by whatever means, is wrong. As far as I am concerned it should rank in the first order of “Thou shalt Nots”.