This is another discussion online that I decided to curate since this question pops up a lot. This one was a discussion I was involved in on Reddit. The original thread can be found here.
…It made me wonder if magic is real at all, with real I mean if it is possible to use your willpower to produce supernatural effects. It also made me wonder if all the deities and demons modern occultists describe are real external entities or just part of the practicioner’s psyche which he or she ‘summons’ through psychological exercises.
So what I’m wondering is if magic and the occult is real as in external and independent of the practicioner or if it just in the practicioner’s head. So what do you guys think?…
My answer to her question was:
You know how the number 4 can be written as 1+1+1+1=4 or 3+1=4 ? That can be interpreted as 4 being being an aggregate of what makes it. It is “higher” than 1 and 3, right? If you are speaking of dimensions, this means two-dimensional things have one dimension and another dimension. A three-dimensional thing has two dimensions and another one. Three dimensions would have two dimensions and another one. Four dimensions would have three dimensions and another one. You can think of a higher dimension as being n+1 dimension in this example. That’s important to my answer.
Magic is a higher-dimensional force that exhibits fractal properties that occurs within domains that are supersets of our physical dimensions. A force is something that can influence something else where you can say that thing has been influenced because it is now different. Magic can influence and change things ergo it can be thought of as a force. In the most abstract sense, magic is a higher-dimensional force that can influence and change things where it is tightly correlated with experience and intentionality. The scope of the things that magic can influence is beyond the scope of whoever uses it.
To say it a different way, a spell cast to make it so people have a bit more good fortune is technically shifting ensembles of probabilities by making events of good fortune more likely. Those ensembles are associated with waves. Basically, any time-dependent object can be described as a wave form via Fourier Transforms. Temporal histories are a set of harmonics that are composed of sine and cosine waves. Waves are energy. This means things contingent on temporal histories, like probabilities, also have energy and when you shift probabilities around, you shift around the associated energy. To say it more concisely, kinetic energy is the result of a time derivative, so if you are shifting around fortune, you are, technically, shifting around kinetic energy – a real and tangible thing, to manipulate events around people and things – also real and tangible things.
So, if we were to think of time and space as a lake and probabilities as waves spreading across the surface of the lake, magic is like a wind blowing over the surface of the lake to create and interfere with the waves across the surface.
This is a rather hard magic and not very mystical interpretation of magic, but that sounds like that’s what you wanted. In short, yes, magic is real and it seems like magic is a higher-dimensional force.
Personally, I am an atheist and a sorcerer (as well as an engineer) so what I practice isn’t contingent on believing in any type of theistic pantheon. From what I can tell, though, abstractly, magic seems to be a higher-dimensional force that is a superset of our physical reality. Now, the details around the cosmology vary based on what you practice. It’s a real thing, though, meaning that it is not just all in the person’s head.
Can a person influence the physical world with magic? Yes. Does this imply that spirits, demons, gods, and other supernatural creatures exists necessarily? No. I am not saying that they don’t; rather, I am stating you can’t go there are humans who can wield this force to influence physical reality ergo angels and demons are real any-more than you can say there are humans who can harness mechanical technology ergo angels and demons are real. It just says we know of magical humans that exists.