Artist Versus Magician

Okay, minor gripe. I don’t care how mysterious and cryptic a creative artist is, but that doesn’t automatically make them a magician/witch/sorcerer/shaman. Even if they are rather talented in their own particular sphere. 

So, I have a lot of respect for Jodorowsky’s work, but claiming he’s a sorcerer seems a wide stretch. I haven’t read his books, but I’m getting the feeling that he’s an expert on magic the same way I’m an expert on molecular gastronomy; I know just enough to make many people think I’m an expert without actually being one. And I’m picking on Jodorowsky right now because he just turned up in my feed. He’s far from the only one.

I guess it’s the same old problem of people getting their politics from the music lyrics they listen to, rather than reading books and newspapers.

There are, actually, a lot of musicians, painters, and writers who do magic. Most are dabblers, and I can respect that– not everyone has the same calling or to the same extent. Others are practitioners first and creatives second; though the world may not see them in that order. (A lot of the problem, which is obvious if you think about it, is simply the dilemma of time management.)

What does get under my skin is when creatives adopt spiritual disciplines as an enhancement to their mystique and have little or no real experience with the real stuff. And then they become (to varying degrees) competitors to hard working authentic practitioners in the free market of ideas, authority, and brain space.

A friend of mine recently suggested that perhaps I expect too much of people. Well, maybe so. It’s just part of who I am.

Magic Versus Creativity

Highly creative persons are no more magicians than they can levitate or raise the dead at will. Occasionally there will be overlap; a practitioner of magic will also be a highly creative professional in another unrelated realm. This is the exception rather than the rule.

Yet when you think about it, is it really a big asset for a self-proclaimed wizard to be talented at making shit up with ease? It might actually be a strong negative, like a “creative and whimsical” brain surgeon. It helps arm those who claim magic is deceit, or the product of an overactive imagination.

I blame Walt Disney, who helped popularize the notion that magic and the imagination were the same thing. There is too much conflation, and too much redefinition; and it is making clean research difficult. Magic is not a metaphor for something else. It is what it always has been; the mortal production of marvels by spiritual means.

The Myth of “Boy Wizards”

True wizards begin their careers when everyone else’s are winding down with retirement in sight.

This is because magic is about wisdom as much as it is about power, and all the discernment in the world cannot compensate for the lack of experience of youth.

There are no “boy wizards”, nor ever were.

I would have disagreed with this thirty years ago, but now I know better.