Monday, July 20, 2009

A look at witchcraft and society

Article by Marc Aupiais

Witchcraft, sorcery, magic of sorts, is often included in children's' television, and even in more adult shows and movies. With L'Osservatore Romano, recently endorsing the Harry Potter franchise, keeping up a very liberal editorial scheme: in which they have consistently contradicted Pope Benedict XVI: I think it important to cover this issue. That said, as I have stated before, I am not entirely against the use of 'magic' as a plot device- in the entertaining arts.

With the physical, there is both good and evil, fullness and lack that is: but the spiuritual is imperishable: and is therefore either of life, or of death: there are no two sides to any one force: each spiritual element falls purely within the spectrum of good and for life, and evil, which is lack and always leads to death. There is prayer, conscience, intuition on the side of good, but sorcery and spells and the evil rituals etc, are always on the side of evil. How then do we chose which television and books to be entertained by, and which to allow children to make use of?

Personally, I believe that these books, including Harry Potter, can have both good and bad effects. The closer to the actual effect of witchcraft, or occult worship these come: the more dangerous: the more fantastical: the less dangerous: but still a danger to the weak.

The positive of these shows, is that magic can be seen as an example of power. In fact, of sorcery we say: that it comes from an evil desire to lord power over our fellow men. Magic and power, are intricately connected, and so: in the metaphor of magic for power, we can see some benefits in teaching. Unfortunately, this comes with the negative side effect of possibly promoting sorcery.

As every evil is a distorted version of good: I would say that the distortion which comes with the idea of sorcery, or the supposed power of it: is the distortion of an extremely powerful truth: that of the gospel.

The saints wield unusual powers over the lives of men, as with God: and the spiritual forces of good and evil: both exert force on the world. It is by rituals, and prayers, that we gain power in God: grace, salvation, hope, etc, and spells and movements and rituals mimic these evilly!

Granted, there is such a thing as the butterfly effect, and often the intuition tells man to take an action, and the intuition is proven correct, in the saving effect on the man: but intuition is observant, and in touch with Natural order, and reacts to what seems to be around one: sorcery, is active, and chooses not simply to adapt to the world for advantage: but rather to gain power over others in a way which involves interventions beyond our natural powers of self. That which is spiritual: above our natural ability that is: but not of us, and not of the side of Good, is not neutral.

Witchcraft: whether real or false: can be seen as a manifestation in the psyche: of the powers of good and evil: and evil, and of the power of prayer. After all, every spell: is it not generally a request: but he who requests of the unknown endangers himself. The Christian prayer is to God, who has all powers of good. The Christian also petitions saints, or acts according to his intuition, which is that depths which are blessed in God. The fact that prayers are not always directly answered in the expected manner- is to the credit of God, and saints, who better see our lives than mortal creatures can.

Witchcraft, ultimately leads to a desperation, a dependency on the unknown effect of seeming magic, and towards a desire to control the world, to the exclusion of God's plan even. With God, we know we depend on him anyway, even to breathe, what harm is it to rest more weight on the solid ground, or more dependency on God- so far as we do not neglect our responsibility to ourselves and others?

That which is unknown, or which we admit to be lacking and evil: should never be relied on. Rather, we know of a much more powerful force, who works only for our good: and who seeks to aid, and not harm us: his true children who obey Him.

Witchcraft, is a form of pride: that sin of sins.

And so, does that mean that we must avoid, and have others avoid all stories involving sorcery of sorts? It depends on the individual situation. There are certainly both good and bad effects, depending on the viewer: and with many viewers these effects, are surely multiplied!

I personally, see many metaphors to the Christian truth in many stories involving magic: after all: evil is lack, and there are lacking truths in everything. I say I see metaphors, in that these sorts of shows can in my view have very positive effects: that said, they can also harm the honest Christian.

Note: this article is written from the perspective of a Catholic, based on understanding of Catholic morals and doctrine: the references to good and evil, or to something harming or aiding a person, or to sins: are meant to be taken within this framework, and do not imply any extra-doctrinal meaning.

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