I remember the good ol' days of childhood, when it was still acceptable to have magical thinking. It is described by child developmentalists as a
Magical thinking is a common phase in child development. From the age of a toddler to early school age children will often link the outside world
with their internal consciousness, e.g. "It is raining because I am sad".
I love being the Tooth Fairy in the middle of the night. I sneak around putting the tooth away for later, giving her a present. she leaves a glass of
water by her bed for the fairy to dip her wing in to show her what color she is. (evidence) And I get to pretend I am a very good actress for a while.
Her friends on her bus have told her they aren't real, but she doubts that. Either I am a very good magician, or she is still in that "phase".
In anthropology, psychology, and cognitive science, magical thinking is nonscientific causal reasoning that often includes such ideas as the
ability of the mind to affect the physical world, correlation equaling causation, the law of contagion, the power of symbols, and the meaningfulness
There is a huge nonscientific database of evidence that this occurs on the internet.
So if we don't understand cause and effect, we create some kind of story to go with it in our own minds? As adults? What happened to the phase
theory? Shouldn't they tell us it starts there and continues for the rest of your life?
We continue to have to ask ourselves if Santa is real, or the Tooth Fairy even when we grow up, but now it is UFOs, conspiracies and doomsday
prophecies. It seems to be somewhat of a coin toss. Either it is real phenomena or someone's imagination. We tend either believe or we need proof, we
ignore it, or chalk it up to Karma.
Some say even words have magical qualities.
Another form of magical thinking occurs when people believe that words can directly affect the world.
This can mean avoiding talking about certain subjects ("speak of the devil and he'll appear"), using euphemisms instead of certain words, or
believing that to know the "true name" of something gives one power over it, or that certain chants, prayers or mystical phrases will change things.
More generally, it is magical thinking to take a symbol to be its referent.
It is the process that is used against the UFO sightings. Since we don't understand what it is, it must be magical thinking. That what you see is not
evidence because it can't be put in glass jar and be poked. Dreams, abductions, all kinds of strange phenomena are discounted, but happen to so many
We decribe our ancient myths as just that "myths", because we cannot explain why they would think that half-man half-beasts could have possibly
roamed our Earth at one time. Was that magical thinking by adults? or was it that they didn't know the cause of what they were seeing?
From the point of view of outside observers, magic is a way of making coincidences meaningful in social terms. Carl Jung coined the word
synchronicity for experiences of this type.
So is it just a coincidence that cultures all over the ancient world believed these creatures
existed, or did they all communicate with each other socially and this is how they dealt with it? They made it meaningful?
And if you are thinking magically and there is no social understanding or mass syncronicity involved then you are mentally ill?
In each it can
take a different form peculiar to the particular illness. In OCD, it is often used in ritual fashion to ameliorate the dread and risk of various
dangerous possibilities, regardless of whether it has real effects on the object of fear. It contributes more to peace of mind, in that the person now
feels they can engage in a risky activity more safely.
But if it is acceptable you are just religious or superstitious?...
This is not unlike magical thinking in non-afflicted individuals; lucky
garments and activities are common in the sports world
and to top it all off, Science does the same thing when they find something statisically significant with very little testing, because "magically"
they want it to be so. Many of our sciences create stories (theories) to describe their research.
oh and good ol' reporting bias... (because all my sources came from Wiki.);p
So we think magically, is it our downfall or our blessing?
Does anyone have a thought? Something to add? Experiences they would like to vent about? Any advice?
[edit on 28-6-2008 by seagrass]