Paradox need not apply…

Ordinarily, this blog updates once a weekon Monday. I didn’t think it was fair to stretch The Three Laws of Magic over most of April. Next week’s post may be delayed by a day or two.

The supposition that the Earth might be spherical was being examined at least 2,500 years ago. It took 80% of that time for circumnavigation of the planet to become possible. It is now commonplace. If satellites in orbit are included, it’s a constant. Nevertheless, there are still people who believe the Earth is flat.

Despite some progress, some of which includes true high points in thought, our oblate spheroid planet still harbors a discouraging spectrum of prejudice. In 1941, some American leaders believed that the Japanese were too inferior to Caucasians to have successfully attacked Pearl Harbor. Clearly, they’d have required the help of the Germans. That was nearly 75 years ago – but embarrassingly recent.

Religious and gender-based prejudice is not new. Laws that attempt to control the behavior of “The Other” have existed since there have been laws. The timeline for one side being brutal to another side – of any stance or argument – is incredibly long. Do we have to share a world with luddites and bigots? Probably. And I will probably (and ironically) continue to look down on them. There is, however, no excuse for We as the Whole to give up trying. The weakest link in our enlightenment chain might always be our education system. Good enough is not good enough.

All this to introduce the Third Law of Magic. If you’ve recently been following this blog you know the First Law is that “Magic is a personal force”. At the most basic level, that means that magic begins with a single person’s energy. The Second Law is that “All magic is permanent.” Multiple layers of permanent magics may have a range of results.

Magic becomes a force unto itself.

Laws of MagicNone of this is supposed to be science and this musing of mine is background material for most of my fiction. That said, we do have it within our power – with care and consideration – to improve our thinking. It may be true that ill-conceived notions are cars that never leave the racetrack. Accepting it as a truth makes it a foregone conclusion.

There have been a few novels I’ve read and slowed my reading pace when there were just a few pages remaining. When a good story is about to present a hopefully good ending, I like to savor right up to “The End”.

I’d like that to be more readily possible in the non-fiction section of the Corpus Humanum. As I mentioned in this blog on Feb. 2, “…centuries without proof of a hypothesis is not proof of the antithesis.” The word “impossible” should be reserved for violations of the Laws of Physics.

Please consider yourself invited to Comment, Like, and/or Share.

The Second Law…

Six years ago, almost to the day, I was asked to create a 3-page comic for a magazine. The assignment was to make something challenging – even provocative. I chose to make the story an answer to the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”.

The premise was that the Shaarei Tefillah (the Gates of Prayer) are closed. In essence, I used those Gates as a symbol of the Age of Miracles having come to an end. We’re told by several religions that our culture exists between an epic past and an epic future. Are we bored and eager?

Fiction has us in the doldrums between epics, too. J.R.R. Tolkien’s saga is set on this world – just 6,000 years in the past. Magic and epic was leaving Middle-earth. I recently read someone’s opinion that magic was alive and kicking even after the events of The Lord of the Rings. Although I’m not Tolkienist enough to argue, I will say it’s been a long while since I’ve seen a spider that wasn’t dwarfed by pocket change.

The opinion, however, stands to show that people Want their magic and will defend it. Tolkien’s suggestion that Arda (Earth) would face Dagor Dagorath (the End of the World) means that defense may be Pyrrhic-Cadmean and ultimately Sisyphean.

If the majority of arrows point in the same direction or aim at the same target, what is the point of other arrows? I am not writing (this blog or the stories it may mention) to be defeatist, pessimistic, or nihilistic. Quite the opposite. Therefore, the Second Law of Magic is: All magic is permanent – at least in my fiction. Any subsequent magic gets stacked on top to either counteract or augment the initial intent. But that first magic will always be there. (Yes, I can hear the arguments about entropy already. The answer to that is: Remember, this is magic.)

ThomaturgySo… what is a good person to do when a bad thing happens? I would begin with Shaarei Tikvah (the Gates of Hope). Sola Spes (By Hope Alone).

Hope + Compassion has been my definition for Minimally Human for at least the last 15 years. For about the same amount of time my motto has been, “The only raw material required to manufacture hope is time.”

And “minimally” may not be fair. Achieving that combination is often a high enough hurdle.