Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Today was interesting. In the summer, I play a real character from the Renaissance, Marco Bragadino, who was probably the most successful (or at least one of them) alchemists in history because he wasn’t an alchemist at all. He was a con man who convinced kings that he can transmute base metals to precious so they would give him huge sums of gold to build a gold manufacturing plant. As such, I’ve requested $1,250 of the gold-tone dollar coins (the smallest sum the bank would order for me), and I’m looking for a coin swap trick to I can convince people to give me a quarter, and “transmute” the metal from silver to gold. Here in town, we have two “magic” stores, which I visited hoping they sold props for magicians. They were not what I thought. As it turns out, they were occult stores, or, using their vernacular, “magic stores”.
Magic fascinates me. People love believing in magic, which fascinates me. Sometimes, it’s very logical. In alchemy, the goal was to convert cheap “base” metals like lead and mercury into precious metals like silver and gold. The goal is purely economic, and considering the prices of groceries these days, I don’t blame them.
Recently, I’ve come across a service that will cast a love spell on some poor unsuspecting victim and force her/him to fall in love with you whether they like you or not. People upset with the prices of gig pharma are resisting the vaccination for the Covid family of variants, but they don’t want to give up hope on controlling their own destiny, leading to holistic healing and untested treatment being promoted by political parties.
Ultimately, I think that’s what magic is. It’s an effort to control the world that cannot be controlled or know what cannot be known such as the future. I’m sure I’m irritating many of my very own friends, and I’m sure they would argue the reasons behind their beliefs. And I’m not saying that they are wrong. I’m open to the idea that there is more to this life than I (or science) fully understand, but I’m not willing to base my life on it. The “evidence” so often presented in support of magic is anecdotal, which is never reproduceable.
If I bought into that service and cast a spell on a special woman that I know to make her fall in love with me, there is, after all, a chance that she will fall in love with me. But how would I know if it’s the spell, or if, maybe, I didn’t know that she already was in love with me? This is anecdotal. The litmus test in science is reproducible, meaning that if the spell were real, it could be performed by anybody, anywhere in the world, and work a statistically significant percentage of the time. My friend’s brother’s wife got better is not evidence.
And yet, people who want to have some control over their life give up on science and turn towards magic. It isn’t logical. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love it myself. Heck, I’ve had a friend do a Tarot card reading for me. I’ve had a psychic do a drawing of my “soul mate” for me as well. But I don’t plan on changing my life for any of it. And the sad reality is that I enjoy occult stores and styles far too much.
I really went overboard with my purchases today. I bought a giant skull, for example, which is now sitting on the floor waiting to welcome people to my home. When I say giant, it’s probably three or four times larger than an actual skull. For some reason, I’m really into skulls. I have a small skull downstairs (sadly about the size of a child’s skull), a very realistic skull on my desk, and a full-sized skeleton, skull and all, right outside of my bedroom door.
Along those lines, I also bought a Baphomet statue. In case you’re not sure, Baphomet was the “false idol” that people were worshiping that, according to the Old Testament, ticked off God and led to one of the ten commandments. Today it is associated with Satan worship (or at least paganism), and I bought it as a tribute to the Satan Church. This is not because I worship Satan, but because the Satan Church seems to be more active to protecting the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of American than many of our congressional representatives. So, yes, I bought it as a tribute to the church and the rights for which they fight.
On a different vein, I purchased a large Tibetan singing bowl. A huge bowl was featured in one of the scenes in the movie The Golden Child. The tone is supposed to help alleviate stress and anxiety (speaking of holistic healing) and can be modified by putting water in the bowl. And I even bought a LOT of crystals. No, I don’t really believe in crystal power, but they are SO beautiful.
Okay, you can laugh. I get it. But I like it.