I think there's a truth behind every superstition. The idea of magic goes way back in history and I really don't think the idea would have become so
popular in the first place if it was based entirely on myth. Yeah, you'll have crazy people that believe things without ever having experienced any
trace of it, but still...
A kid's belief in Santa Claus is a perfect metaphor for what I consider "magic" to be. The kid is told something that's *snip* insane: that every
Christmas morning, some fat guy goes to nearly every household in the world by riding a sleigh driven by flying reindeer and delivers wrapped gifts to
every child who behaves nicely throughout the year. All the kid has to do in order to get what he wants is write out a list of things he desires.
His faith is restored every Christmas morning when everything he asked for "magically" appeared under the tree. He never suspects human interference.
Its just magic
. He's trained to accept that nobody understands how it happens. For all he knows, the "elves" were the ones who made it
In reality, "Santa Claus" and the elves are allegorical characters for your parents. They're the ones who have been practically spying on you
throughout the year to determine whether or not you deserve any gifts. They were the ones secretly taking note of what you hoped to happen. They
were the ones who bought the gifts and made it happen. But, as a naive little kid, you knew nothing of the steps between wishing and happening.
That's what magic is. Thinking you can produce a tangible effect just by meditating on it.
Now think of the potential a system like this would have for ruler in an ancient civilization. You could easily appoint your own secret service to
spy on your citizens. Get the peasants involved in routine rituals where they get together and verbally announce what they wish to happen. Have your
"secret service" present during these rituals but obviously under the disguise of a regular civilian. Have them report back to you what these
peasants had wished or prayed for. If it was something feasible, have your servants make it happen. Since all of the peasants witnessed the ritual,
they will all be amazed when their prayers are "magically" answered. They've already been conditioned to naively think there was no human labor
expended to make these things come true. Of course not all of their divine requests come true, but they will always focus more on the few successful
times. As a ruler, you just need to claim that you have some divine connection with the gods and the peasants will humbly accept this as fact. You,
yourself, are practically a god to them and they would never dare to antagonize you. This would be the way to go if you fear your royal bloodline
doesn't mean # to them anymore and you think you might have to deal with civil disobedience in the future.
I think this same concept is used in modern day by religious cult/clan leaders EVERYWHERE. All you need is a small group of gullible, servile, #ed up
people. You can easily enough just let them come to you. You claim you have some kind of expertise in witchcraft and they will automatically trust
you. You teach them how to perform rituals when, sparing the redundant details, all they have to do is clearly state their desires in your presence
(or, if your group is big enough, in the presence of a trusted "eye"). For all they know- the process ends there. A lot of kids who seek out
"Satanic" cults are really just looking for drugs, sex, and retribution toward somebody. You could easily give these things to them if you have good
relations with a local gang or Mafia. "Magically" fulfill their desires, awe them, and leech off their trust. If your gang buddies are
"professional" enough, they could make the death of somebody look like an accident or even a suicide. The police would laugh if they heard "that kid
in the Satanic cult casted an evil spell to have the victim murdered". And your clan members would be more loyal to you now than ever. Only you know
how to work with real magic...
Anyway, I'm fairly confident now that I could go out to join a local cult that practices black magic and find somebody who's associated with a huge
organized crime ring... your thoughts?
This just came from an epiphany I had. I'm sure somebody will put my theory to shame, but whatever. Just felt like sharing XD
edit on 3-6-2011 by gallopinghordes because: (no reason given)