Magic and Illusion

[In reference to religious rites and blessings] Everywhere and at all times there have been rites d'entreé et de sortie [rites that precede or proceed an event] whose magical efficacy is denied and which are impugned as magic and superstition by rationalists incapable of psychological insight.

But magic has above all a psychological effect whose importance should not be underestimated. The performance of a "magical" action gives the person concerned a feeling of security which is absolutely essential for carrying out a decision, because a decision is inevitably somewhat one-sided and is therefore felt to be a risk.

When the rationalist directs the main force of his attack against the magical effect of the rite as asserted by tradition, he has in reality completely missed the mark. The essential point, the psychological effect, is overlooked.

[C.G. Jung]
The Undiscovered Self, p.18, 19

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Magical practices are nothing but projections of psychic events, which then exert a counter-influence on the psyche and put a kind of spell upon the personality. Through the ritual action, attention and interest are led back to the inner, sacred precinct, which is the source and goal of the psyche and contains the unity of life and consciousness.

[C.G. Jung]
Psychology and the East, p.25

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By what criterion do we judge something to be an illusion? Does there exist for the psyche anything which we may call "illusion"? What we are pleased to call such may be for the psyche a most important factor of life - something as indispensable as oxygen for the organism - a psychic actuality of prime importance.

Presumably the psyche does not trouble itself about our categories of reality, and it would therefore be the better part of wisdom for us to say: everything that acts is actual.

[C.G. Jung]
Modern Man In Search Of A Soul ('The Aims of Psychotherapy'), p.74

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For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

[William Wordsworth]
Passage from 'Daffodils'

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Related posts:-
Take a break (watch a film)
The gods are within us
Faith vs Reason
A Way In
The Importance of Rituals 
How do you take your metaphysics? 

1 comment:

  1. So I realise that is a slightly unfashionable view, and many of you would like to see quacks and psychics locked up. But I think the answer to bad ideas is better ideas, that people walk into these situations with their eyes open, and that the greater threat are the morons who present themselves as superficially plausible and “sciencey”, while undermining the public understanding of evidence.

    [Ben Goldacre]
    Here: http://www.badscience.net/2008/04/my-unfashionable-views-on-regulating-nonsense/#more-658

    ReplyDelete