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General Topics => General Chat => Topic started by: DragonsFriend on September 22, 2015, 01:45:05 PM

Title: Magik or Luck?
Post by: DragonsFriend on September 22, 2015, 01:45:05 PM
I suppose this is a philosophical question, more to ponder on a personal level, but I am interested in your thoughts and beliefs.

I believe that the two are mutually exclusive. If I accept that I am a magikal being then I must accept the responsibility for the things that happen in my life.
If I believe in luck, then it is just the law of averages that determine where I am and what happens.

Tell us how you feel about it, after pondering the question.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: earthmuffin on September 22, 2015, 05:15:32 PM
I'm not sure I consider the two mutually exclusive. I do accept responsibility for things that happen in my life to a large extent, but I do think there are things outside of my ability to control.  So to some extent I believe that certain things that happen are due to chance (perhaps things like being in the wrong place at the wrong time) and where we exercise our personal power is how we choose to deal with chance events and their effects on our life. Certain types of events do seem to be to be a bit predestined, in that I think we come into the world with certain lessons to learn just by being who we are and the person we are will affect the choices we make at various points in time. Later as we learned the lesson from that choice we might choose differently but we really don't have that capacity until we learn the lesson that comes from the choice. So some things that happen to us might seem like chance events at first when really they are more likely to occur or even bound to happen given the person we are from our upbringing, temperament and such. But other choices might not have such a consequential effect on what happens or our growth. I also believe events and things in the universe are more connected than readily apparent so again we tend to view certain connected events as unconnected and due to chance when in reality there is something tying them together but we just can't comprehend the relationship.  So to sum up, I'd say I believe a bit in luck but also in our personal power to effect change and evolve as individuals.

Good thought-provoking question. Thanks for asking.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: Tirya on September 22, 2015, 08:46:34 PM
I don't have enough hubris to believe that I can control everything that goes on around me. Do I have the ability to influence my surroundings and help bring about the outcome that I would like using magic? Yes. Are some things just luck that I have no control over (or that were set in motion by someone else)? Yes.

An illustration: Do I believe that something I did (or didn't do) resulted in me being a widow at the age of 38? No. That would be ridiculous.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: DragonsFriend on September 23, 2015, 12:20:27 AM
I am going to give an example of an event in my life. It does not reflect on the answers already given but is perhaps one more step in my believing that I own responsibility for what happens to me.

I had a small accident and cut my finger. I went to the doctor and got the stitches necessary to close it up and a shot to prevent infection. I was told to come back on the following Saturday to have the stitches removed and a final exam. My wife and a few close friends were putting together an event and we set up an appointment with a venue to hold the event mid-afternoon on Saturday. No problem my appointment was for 9:am. I got to the doctors office a little early and checked in. At 9:00 I reminded the nurse that my appointment was for 9am and that I had another appointment so If they were more than a half hour behind that I would have to reschedule. She assured me that the doctor would be with me shortly. At 9:20 I was called back to the exam room to get my vitals checked and wait for the doctor. The nurse came in at 9:50 and told me the doctor had one more patient before me. I asked how long it would be and she told me that it would be 15 minutes or so. At 10:15 I walked out of the exam room and informed the nurse that I had to leave. She explained that the doctor was tied up with this las patient and I would be seen next. I reminded her (same nurse) that I had an appointment and If I waited any longer I would be late. I left and drove back to my home. Well almost to my home. I was waiting behind another car at a red light when I noticed a car approaching from behind at higher speed than the speed limit. I pumped my brakes to alert her but she did not see. Her car hit mine head to tail. The car she was driving was not hers but it was totaled. My car suffered less damage but the collision was enough to break the seat and mess up the back of my car. I also hit the car in front of me but did no damage to her, her car or the front end of my car.
Long story shortened I had two operations on my neck to relieve pressure on the nerves that controlled my right arm - finally got the use of it back and the feeling back in it and the nerves that controlled my right diaphragm. I got the use of my right lung back. After 10 years I am off all narcotics, and trying to rebuild my strength.

I did not cause her to hit me but I was obviously put in that position at that time by my impatience. If I had not been there that sweet little old lady in front of me might have been hit instead or maybe the accident would never had happened at all. I must take the responsibility of putting myself at that place and time.

There have been many events in my life where I avoided harm by "knowing" it was there and taking steps to avoid it. I have even used magik to prevent physical harm before. I know that if I had put a shield in place or thought to feel like a witch that nothing would have happened. Now I work daily to ponder what my day will contain and what I want. I get what I expect when I have expectations and intent. When I don't pay attention, I pay the consequences.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: Eternal Seeker on September 23, 2015, 07:14:43 AM

   I feel that the "luck or magic" question is a false choice. Everything we are or do is a function of "luck", the random and chaotic nature of the universe. The things we do affect the likelihood or odds of something happening, but you cannot completely remove random chance from the equation. That was the lesson of the "Kobiyashi Maru" test in Star Trek- to drive home the fact that you can do everything right and still fail... and the flip side they didn't show, that you can screw up and succeed as well- it's all in that roll of the dice.
   Your behavior can affect the odds. When you step up to the plate in baseball, your odds of getting a hit are much improved if you've been practicing. But no amount of practice will guarantee you a hit! Being nice to everyone makes it much more likely that people will like you- but there will always be those who don't.
   What magic can do is alter the odds, the probability. Maybe you had one chance in a hundred before, and after the ritual or spell you now have one chance in ten- but it's still "luck". And the fact of the magic working will change the odds of other things as well- often, things that never occurred to you; that's why all the warnings. But the "luck", the element of chaos, will always be present.

Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: earthmuffin on September 23, 2015, 10:50:39 AM
As always, ES says exactly what I wish I had the eloquence to say and gets extra points for the Star Trek reference. :) May the odds be ever in your favor, ES.  :D
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: DragonsFriend on September 23, 2015, 12:24:23 PM
This is really interesting for me. Quite a wide range of beliefs here. I thank you all for your insights.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: VisionFromAfar on September 23, 2015, 03:16:46 PM
As a Heathen, considering "luck" as just the chaos of the Universe at play is a little difficult. I'll second ES's analogy of baseball and social dynamics, though.
As a big fan of Chaos Theory, however, it kinda does work out. There isn't "chance," because everything has momentum, even (and at times, especially) in the dimensions we can't directly interact with (anything beyond 4). A butterfly flaps its wings an extra time in Cali, and tornadoes rip through a football stadium in Kansas. It's not controlled or understood, so we call it "chaos." To our limited perception, the impact we do see is so far removed from the root catalyst that connecting the two isn't possible. Like billiard balls after a break: events, people, countries, planets, atoms...everything jumbles together in the soup of reality, some with more weight and momentum than others, but it pays to recall "Give me whereon to stand, and I will move the Earth." Intent and magic can and do affect these momentums, the web of wyrd, but so do other things. Opposing spells can cancel each other out, or the tiniest nail can flatten a tire and cause either a rough morning, which leads to a chance meeting at the repair shop, which leads to a happy marriage. Calling it clockwork is wrong because that implies ordered procession of events, but that's not what happens. It's a dancing web of uncontrolled causation, and we're just along for the ride.
All of this is to say, I think magic and energy can help me 'align' or 'deflect' things to my advantage, but it's one small aspect of what I need to do to control my life. The biggest thing I'm trying to learn right now is how to maintain my own momentum, to not let these collisions and sparks divert my own course. It's not easy, but I'm trying.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: Tinevisce on September 24, 2015, 05:20:57 AM
A really interesting question, DragonsFriend- and one which I haven't been able to satisfactorily answer myself thus far. That said, it's something that's really pertinent to me because I struggle with the fatalism vs indeterminism (is that even a word? No words came readily to mind for fatalism's opposite) question a lot in my dealings with divination.

I come from a culture where astrology is very much a part of daily life- especially when it comes to things like marriages or starting new business ventures. Basically, you wouldn't consult astrology to figure out how your week's going to go...but if you're getting hitched or starting a new venture, you probably might. It isn't exactly belief so much as a niggling worry at the back of your mind.

I don't know if- but am sure it probably does- western astrology operates from the same paradigm that eastern astrology does, but over here your natal charts can theoretically map out your entire life...down to the gender and number of your grandchildren (!)....and the celestial bodies (the Sanskrit word graha is used for planets, moons and starts as well) are taken as the only factors affecting your life....your personal ability to affect changes in the wyrd (I love the conception of the wyrd- the imagery makes so much sense!) is non-existent or goes un-acknowledged.

So a period of ill-dignified Mercury (I'm totally making this example up, please don't kill me  :whistle:) in your life isn't about facing challenges in communication so much as a period of everything communication related going wrong in your life- do you see the difference in perspective?
What disturbs me even further is how prospective spouses are astrologically evaluated for compatibility.

Depending on the time and place of birth (basically, which stars you were born under) a person can be Manav (Human), Dev (God) or Rakshash (Demon)*: the groups are somewhat like personality types.

(Interesting tidbit... a Dev or a Rakshash is usually very easy to spot from their personality)

You have rules which dictate how compatible these groups are with each other: M-M, D-D, R-R usually get along fine, as does M-D. D-R couples usually are too busy fighting to make a relationship work whereas, and here's the kicker, M-R matches are forbidden because the M half of the couple generally gets killed before their time.  :brickwall:
Something in me really, really bristles at the idea that two different kinds of people will somehow "magically" invite influences into their lives which will result in this kind of a, just no.

Evaluating how well two people will get along based on their natures is something I understand- I can do similar things with the Tarot- but I just can't get myself to accept that someone's nature can "invite" tragic circumstances like an untimely passage.

That said, since this is one of those nebulous, boogeyman sort of things...I can't completely forget it either. Like I said, a niggling worry at the back of my head.

On the whole, I think I'm most inclined to agree with Tirya would be hubris to say I'm the only one in control of what happens to me...but at the same time, I do get to have a pretty substantial say in what happens around me.
(By "me", of course, I mean generic me...being on the path of mysticism just means I might have a certain kind of arsenal at my disposal to affect changes; someone who isn't into mysticism might have another equally valid kind of arsenal)

*there really isn't an English equivalent for the Sanskrit words rakshash, daitya, asur etc. We use the word demon to translate it because they were frequently at odds with the people who worshipped the Vedic deities; but they were not unholy cast-offs like Abrahamic demons. Many asurs were ardent devotees of some God of the pantheon, and frequently came by their powers by pleasing the Gods.
Anthropologically, they are probably how the tribal, fringe populations were remembered by the so-called "civilised" vedic peoples since there must have been racial/cultural skirmishes The asurs represented threats to the Vedic way of life but were definitely not considered any less worthy of worshiping the Gods

Personal power is a concept that I do struggle with often. From the meek, victimised attitude to the arrogant, "master of my/the universe"'s a sliding spectrum for me.

Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: DragonsFriend on September 24, 2015, 01:17:28 PM
I love (and I don't use that word lightly) the replies and points of view in this thread.
A good question is, "can anyone "control" all facets of their life?"
I believe that a well disciplined and "educated" person could but I am not that person. I like the "momentum" concept because it plays an important role in everyones life. It is never a single big decision that turns a person into a "monster" or a "savior". It is always a history of small decisions that lead to a life that enhances or opposes society.
There is also our fears. Anything that we expend an undue amount of time and energy on, is likely to manifest itself in our lives. That manifestation comes because we don't learn to overcome the fear so it keeps occurring until we are forced to deal with it. If we learn to deal with it while the challenge is small then we don't need the extreme event to force us to overcome it.

My take on astrology is that it reveals our strong and weak points so that we can work to balance our lives and grow beyond the limitations of our birth. I was born a Virgo with a Scorpio rising. That combination can be extreme. The Virgo can be just well organized or be obsessive and lost in detail. The Scorpio can exacerbate the tendency for obsession. The Scorpio can, on its own, make a person vindictive and power hungry or it can give one the ability to rise above the primal instincts and soar above the petty path of self destruction. Add the Virgo to it and the concentration on the perception of the wrongs of others adds to the concept of vengeance.
I have learned to be an organized and cooperative person with the ability to lead or stand my ground without blindly striking out against those who intrude. I hesitate to say that I am powerful and use the term potential to moderate the importance of personal power. I know my potential but I also recognize that each of us has the same potential.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: vordan on September 25, 2015, 09:36:16 AM
I tend to see the universe as a chain reaction of infinite complexity, magic, actions, prayer and thought can slowly nudge things in one direction or another. This seems to be within the parameters of the universe this use of magic for some things, but has it's limits. If for example you are standing on a beach and look up to see a giant tidal wave bearing down on you only seconds away then you are out of options at that moment. That tidal wave is beyond your control it is fate, bad luck or destiny...Okay I removed my ramble about the nature of the universe. In short luck is where the universes actions are greater then your intention.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: Tirya on September 26, 2015, 09:37:59 AM
I am going to give an example of an event in my life. It does not reflect on the answers already given but is perhaps one more step in my believing that I own responsibility for what happens to me.

I had a small accident and cut my finger.

Was that your responsibility, or was that luck?

Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: earthmuffin on September 26, 2015, 11:01:26 AM
I think trying to control all facets of one's life would leave a person exhausted and entirely too anxious or deluded in his/her complacency. Personally, I find I take on too much responsibility for things that are not within in my control or should not be "my job." I often think that believing we are in control is calming but is really just an illusion. I find it interesting that in American culture, yielding or not being in control is not accepted; we are taught to push ahead and be aggressive at all times, whereas in the eastern religions one of the main objective is to let go of the need to control. By yielding, one often becomes more powerful. This is probably one of the reasons that eastern religions appeal to me.

Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: DragonsFriend on September 26, 2015, 01:29:11 PM
I am going to give an example of an event in my life. It does not reflect on the answers already given but is perhaps one more step in my believing that I own responsibility for what happens to me.

I had a small accident and cut my finger.

Was that your responsibility, or was that luck?

I accept that I placed myself at the scene of the accident. Had I stayed at the doctors office I would not have been in the same place at the same time.
That was the responsibility that I accepted.
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: Tirya on October 03, 2015, 08:36:09 PM
No - the accident that cut your finger in the first place. Your responsibility, or luck?
Title: Re: Magik or Luck?
Post by: DragonsFriend on October 04, 2015, 01:12:22 AM
That was my responsibility too. I am supposed to approach things with sharp edges with care. knives are always sharp and I am not always paying attention. Does that mean the knives are sharper than I? ;)