Magic and the Placebo Effect – Is Magic Real?
There are many people who believe in magic, and many people who don’t. Some people who do, place limitations on it. Some people claim they don’t, but speak of things that are synonymous with magic. Some people think that magic absolutely works, and don’t care how. Some believe it doesn’t, and say it’s all in the other people’s heads. That last bit is what I want to talk about. Basically, the placebo effect of magic.
I believe that magic is real and can do amazing things. I’m not talking about levitating pencils or changing hair color with a wave of your hand like on television, I’m talking about what I call “real” magic. To me, real magic is when you want something to happen, and purely by will (with or without ritual) you bring that into reality. Examples would be healing, overcoming obstacles, changing outcomes and so on.
Now, I could go off on a very long description of how I believe energy works and how science can actually mostly explain magic, but that’s not what this is about. What I want to get at is the belief some people have that magic is not real, it is simply a placebo effect. My question is, how is that a bad thing?
The placebo effect is most easily explained through the example of someone being given sugar pills, being told that they’re real, and experiencing the same healing as someone taking the real medication. Many people see the placebo effect as a negative, claiming that it isn’t real, because it was achieved only in the mind. However, as many studies can show, the healing is absolutely real, and can be seen and documented in the physical body. The pill didn’t create the healing, but the healing happened just the same. I happen to think that’s pretty awesome.
If, theoretically, magic works on the same principal, whereby a person believes strongly enough that they achieve a result, that doesn’t seem like a bad thing. Whether magical results are achieved through some nearly inexplicable convergence of spiritual powers and/or entities, or they just happened because someone thought they would, result are results. And who’s to say that the ability to believe in something and have it manifest isn’t the very definition of magic, and isn’t a result of something higher or bigger at work?
Maybe it’s “all in your head” or all in your heart, but who cares? I’d say that reality is based on results, not the ability to explain how you got the results. It also gets me that some people claim that prayer is real and it works, but that magic isn’t, even though they both work the same way. Both a prayer and a spell are a person calling out to something outside themselves, asking for a result, believing they’ll get it, then experiencing the result. If one is real, they both are. Oh, and chew on this: Since science can explain (to an extent anyway) the placebo effect, then they’ve technically explained how magic works, especially for those who try to claim that magic isn’t real because it’s a placebo effect, but they believe the placebo effect in medicine can have actual results. Yeah, that’ll mess with your head.
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