Archive for May, 2014

HyperMagic

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

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Those acquainted with Neuromancer, The Matrix Series, Aeon Flux, Fight Club, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Holographic Universe Theory, Zhuangzi, Jorge Luis Borges, Jean Baudrillard, Umberto Eco, Garry Crystal, John Tiffin, Nobuyoshi Terashima and George Ritzer will grasp more easily the meaning which the term “Hyperreal” is intended to express.

In short, a common term in Semiotics and Postmodern Philosophy, “Hyperreal” is the quality of something that is real without having an origin or reality, or an authentic fake. It is also what appears to be “more real than reality itself”. Tiffin and Terashima inform us that Hyperreality is the condition in which what is “real” and what is fiction are seamlessly blended together in a way there is no clear distinction between where one ends and the other begins. As it was pointed by Ashin Ottama in a video shared by @hippi in Kenosophy, we live 96% of our lives in concepts (representations or interpretations of reality). Hyperreality is, thus, the representation of reality mistaken for reality itself; and we mostly live within it. People often mistake the character for the actor; Disneyland is the Hyperchildhood; Gatorade is the Hyperwater; The Media is Hypercommunication that deals with Hypertruth; Porn is the Hypersex; Fitness, the Hyperbeauty; Coke is the Hyperhappiness. Celebrities, the Hypergods. Nespresso, the Hypercofee… and the list of artificial realities can grow frighteningly longer. Money. Plastic Surgery. Safety. Las Vegas. Anastasiya Shpagina. Snowboard in Jamaica. Numbers. Dubai. Banana flavored taffies that taste more like bananas than the actual bananas. Ego. The American Dream. Cosplay. Mind. Science. Sex dolls. Electronic cigarettes. Internet. Facebook. Democracy. Stock Exchange. History. Kabbalah. Solar System. Nagual. Politics. Consumerism. GPS. Air Conditioning. FREEDOM – yeah, baby, freedom is indeed a lie; if you think you’re free, think twice; you’re probably wrong.

In a Hyperworld, Magic alone is maybe not enough. A Hyperworld calls for Hypermagic. But isn’t any magical practice already Hyperreal per se? It seems that human experience of Hyperreality isn’t all that new.

Reading Marcel Mauss’ “General Theory of Magic” and, before him, James Frazer’s “The Golden Bough”, we are led to the conclusion that Hyperreality is the essential basis of Magic. Frazer calls Hyperreal “Homoeopathic Magic”. He says: “Homoeopathic magic commits the mistake of assuming that things which resemble each other are the same”. If Magic is about shaping reality, then it is first necessary to understand the principles that rule ‘reality’. And of course this raises other one-thousand deeper questions; questions that were already pondered by Zhuangzi, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and others, and that became known in Western Philosophy as “The Dream Argument”. It postulates that any state depending on our senses should be cautiously examined to determine whether it is in fact ‘reality’. In the Dream state (except for Lucid Dreams), we are usually unaware that we are in fact dreaming. So what would be, then, safe grounds for us to determine, while in the Waking state, that we are living in the ‘real’ World? Eastern mages had realized this long ago and developed a system of consciousness exploration called Dream Yoga, also called Milan or Svapnadarśana, which is basically what we know as Lucid Dreaming. Apart from our senses, there is another body of rules that are usually employed for ‘reality checking’; and it refers to what we learn, not by experience, but by being told. Of course I have to agree thus, with Marcel Mauss, when he asserts that Magic is a social phenomenon (usually an unnoticed or overlooked fact). Memetics. No wonder Chaos Magic and Thelema work better than Shamanism or Traditional Witchcraft in big cities. People willing to perform Shamanism, Pagan Rites or Witchcraft will inevitably feel the need for wilderness.

To summarize, Nothing is Real (can you perceive the truth in the sentence? Only NOTHING is Real); everything else is meaning. Reality and Fiction are identical if the proper stimuli can be provoked in consciousness. Everything consists of interpretation, conceptualization, representation. Model and Paradigm. That’s why Perception plays a stupendous role in Magic. To manipulate ‘reality’ (or better saying, Hyperreality), we have to manipulate consciousness.

So I feel more than compelled to formulate the questions: is there something like Hypermagic? The practice of Magic through representation of Magic? If Astral Travel (model), Sigilization (representation) and Ceremonial Magic (simulation) are already Hyperreal and Magical in essence, what forms would Hypermagic take? Is it possible that we are in fact practicing Hypermagic instead and that there could never be something like ‘real’ Magic? Can this puzzle be solved?