Thursday, 19 September 2013

What is Magic?

Magic or sorcery is practiced in many cultures, and utilizes ways of understanding, experiencing and influencing the world in a manner akin to that of religion.[1][2][3][4] Hanegraaff argues that magic is in fact "...a largely polemical concept that has been used by various religious interest groups either to describe their own religious beliefs and practices or - more frequently - to discredit those of others".[3]
The concept of magic as a category separate from religion first appeared in Judaism, which derided as magic the practices of pagan worship designed to appease and receive benefits from gods other than Yahweh.[2]
The belief in and the practice of magic has been present since the earliest human cultures and continues to have an important religious and medicinal role in many cultures today.[5]
"Magic is central not only in 'primitive' societies but in 'high cultural' societies as well..."[6]
Modern Western magicians generally state magic's primary purpose to be personal spiritual growth.[7] Modern perspectives on the theory of magic broadly follow two major views. The first sees magic as a result of a universal sympathy within the universe, where if something is done here a result happens somewhere else. The other view sees magic as a collaboration with spirits who cause the effect.[8]
Magic is often viewed with suspicion by the wider community, and is sometimes practiced in isolation and secrecy

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