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 "working Model"
Kath
post Jun 22 2010, 02:19 PM
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Imagine if you will, a monkey (lets call him George) in a laboratory cage. Now imagine that a lab technician (lets call him Frank) sets up a device within the cage, which consists of a lever and a chute from which bananas will drop into the cage when the lever is pulled.

In time, George will become aware of the cause & effect relationship of pulling the lever and receiving a banana. But HOW does it work? what brings the reward? How will George explain this newfound sense of causality?

Lets say that George understands the lever to be the phalus of the banana god, Nanner. (now many centuries later, monkeykind will debate at great length whether the lever is truly Nanner's penis by way of transubstantiation, or whether it is merely the symbol of Nanner's universal phallic-ness... but I digress). It is the understanding of George, that if Nanner's phallus is fondled, Nanner will rain down the blessing of curved yellow fruit on the faithful fondler. And so, George's reality is understood to be a small world, with bars at its edges, ruled over by the benevolent god Nanner, who rewards his faithful.

Now then, is George right? Is it actually Nanner who gives him bananas? Or is it just a few gears and a trapdoor? To us, the question seems pretty silly. BUT, George's version of things is an excellent "Working Model". You can say that George's ideology is askew, but when he pulls Nanners yingyang, it rains bananas, immediately. And that's pretty darn powerful magic if you really think about it. It 'works', even if its not true.

The point of all this, is that the issue of 'truth', is not the same as the issue of 'effectiveness'. And further, beyond this, is the larger realization that effectiveness can lead to delusions of truth!

Because of the potency and reliability of George's 'Nanner Magic', he will probably never come to question the validity of his paradigm. And because Frank loads the banana chute every Tuesday, he too will never question the validity of his own concept of what causes bananas to fall from the chute. George will never stop to think, "is it just some mechanical device?". And Frank will never stop to think "am I really just an agent of Nanner's will?".

Of course this is why, on the final day of reckoning, when Nanner begins his reign on earth, Frank will be put up against the wall and peeled with the rest of the nonbelievers.


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esoterica
post Jun 22 2010, 02:41 PM
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one day frank, the banana loader, gets hit by a car, nanner runs out of bananas, and george wonders what he did wrong, and what he needs to do to appease the infuriated god nanner - george dreams of burning bananas, for after all sacrifice is sacrifice, and almost starves himself to appease his god, and when that doesn't work he commits suicide because his god failed him

they get another george, and this george thinks 'oh its just a mechanical device' and goes on whacking off the nanner machine all day until he gets so fat he has a heart attack and nanner laughs at the stupid monkey...

so they get yet another george, and this george also knows its just a machine, but this george lacks the introspection of the previous georges, and he becomes aggressive, throwing the bananas everywhere, pelting everybody with bananas and banana peels! - and so they finally have enough and put george to sleep

and so they get yet another george, and this george has empathy, and even if it is a machine, george feels that it too has feelings and he manipulates it to not only feed himself but to let it get off too - this george is different, sensitive to feelings and even reaches out to a passing researcher who feels pain, and the researcher just looks at george with a blank face, thinking that george is only a non-intelligent monkey, but george continues to reach out - then one day one of the banana peels that the aggressive unethical george threw into the ventilation system catches fire and the whole place burns down, killing everybody in the building

kath said:
>>The point of all this, is that the issue of 'truth', is not the same as the issue of 'effectiveness'. And further, beyond this, is the larger realization that effectiveness can lead to delusions of truth!

and i say ethics can be applied to either 'effectiveness' or 'truth', and is more concerned with empathy than merely looking for results - the scientist that shies away from developing the next new bomb will be replaced by one who doesn't care if his children are the target - you think bp wants to stop the oil spill? - there is a reason a lot of magic is for seeing into the future, and its not all self-centered but more service-to-others than service-to-self

This post has been edited by esoterica: Jun 22 2010, 03:26 PM


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Kath
post Jun 24 2010, 09:03 AM
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I really only intended this thread to explain in a very simple analogy how there is often a disparity between "truth" and "magick that works". And that as magicians, we should not confuse things that work with 'truth', nor confuse 'truth' with what can be made to work.

it's not intended as an ethical debate really.
But since you bring it up, insinuating that any pursuit of effectiveness is blind to ethical consideration, and is like a scientist murdering his children with superior bombs... is pretty out there. Why not tell Sony that because they invent blue ray disks which are 'better' than DVD's, that they're killing children with their blind lust of self improvement without compassion or foresight? Aside from being off topic, it's a 'horrible' argument from the standpoint of applying logic.

I like the permutations of george though, very humorous.

This post has been edited by Kath: Jun 24 2010, 09:04 AM


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coppa0
post Jun 26 2010, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE(esoterica @ Jun 22 2010, 03:41 PM) *

and i say ethics can be applied to either 'effectiveness' or 'truth', and is more concerned with empathy than merely looking for results - the scientist that shies away from developing the next new bomb will be replaced by one who doesn't care if his children are the target - you think bp wants to stop the oil spill? - there is a reason a lot of magic is for seeing into the future, and its not all self-centered but more service-to-others than service-to-self


Oh that sounds like a great idea. Serve and help others spill oil. We get what we deserve.

This post has been edited by coppa0: Jun 26 2010, 08:57 PM

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esoterica
post Jun 28 2010, 11:08 AM
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we ARE getting what we deserve...and still they drive the suv's...

i want an affordable electric car that i can plug in and recharge

30000$ for this? - http://www.autoblog.com/gallery/nissan-leaf/#11


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greenlantern153
post Apr 6 2014, 06:36 AM
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I realize this is an old topic, but I wanted to post this anyway, because I think about this sort of thing a lot. The question is can we know what the 'truth' is in the most literal and objective sense at all? It may be that we cannot and that metaphors / symbols are all we can work with. Let's suppose for the sake of argument that the most objectively true perspective on reality we can hold is the one presented by quantum mechanics: quadrillions x quadrillions of particles / waves constantly interacting with each other in all sorts of ways. Now we can never directly perceive them, they are just far too small and therefore we can never 'know' the truth experientially in this way, unless we make some gigantic evolutionary leaps.

We already know that what we perceive as light, sound, smell, taste, feeling, are all creations of the mind, and are therefore symbols of reality, but not literal reality. We can laugh at George for invoking the banana god but his metaphor for what he is experiencing may not be that different from what we're doing when we're invoking Thoth, or any god for that matter. In the end, everything we experience are just symbols / metaphors for a reality that might be unknowable. So I wouldn't get too hung up on what the truth with a capital T is, unless you're a scientist for a living.

Belief shifting as part of the Chaote's practice inevitably leads to messing around with our symbols that we use to conceptualize reality. You could think of the universe as software, and you the programmer. Or the universe as a clockwork machine, and you're flipping switches. Or the universe as a giant mind, and you're a decision-making part of that mind, etc. As long as you can really immerse yourself in the paradigm. The truth? Don't worry about it. Effectiveness is better to spend time working on (imho).


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fatherjhon
post Apr 6 2014, 04:42 PM
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It is good to note the separation of truth and what works. To build on your quantum analogy note that now science is rethinking what works based on comparing it to what we see. Working models get revised to bring them closer to the truth and doing so let's us do more than the last model did. Effectiveness and truth are not separate.Because gorge lives in a cage he has no need for a great working model- meener will do. We live more complex lives and need better models and do more impressive acts. Inis w make you, a mage, more effective. When "it works" is good enough it means the needs of the speaker are not large.

This post has been edited by fatherjhon: Apr 6 2014, 04:46 PM


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Cosmic consciousness is devoid of diversity; yet the universe of diversity exists in notion....
We contemplate that reality in which everything exists, to which everything belongs,
from which everything has emerged, which is the cause of everything and which is everything....
The light of [this] self-knowledge alone illumines all experiences. It shines by its own light.
This inner light appears to be outside and to illumine external objects.

-Sage Vasishtha

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