by Micah Hanks via Mysterious Universe
It has been an art employed by some of the greatest minds and practitioners of the sciences over the centuries, as well as many of the more nefarious names in history as well. From scholars like Pythagoras in Ancient Greece, to medieval wizards like John Dee and, much later on, the controversial occultist Aleister Crowley, magic has been heralded as a force by which man can connect with the parts of reality beyond which most mortal men could otherwise reach.
By the standards of most today, what we call “magic” involves archaic processes of trying to utilize spells and sorcery–in addition to belief that such things can prove effective–in an effort to change or bend the forces of nature. Due to the perception that such things are indeed remnants of what are now outmoded ways of thought and belief, the idea of using magic for practical purposes today has lost much of its appeal. And yet, there are still many that do act as proponents of the use of ritual magic for bettering their lives, and changing the world around them. Is their belief in such ancient arts completely in vein, or are there elements to the mystery of the modern magi that do make their esoteric practices worthwhile?
Webster’s Dictionary defines magic as “the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.” Even while looking up this definition, I began to notice my own preconceptions and biases toward the word all unto itself; immediately, I envision either a corny series of silly images involving spellcasters and sorcerers, or conversely, I’m reminded of the darker perceptions attributed to “black magic” and the dark arts.
Read More: Magic, Spells, and Sorcery: High Strangeness, or Hocus-Pocus? | Mysterious Universe.
There are lots of things we don’t know. But there is a difference between things we don’t know and things that can’t be known. For example, no-one knows when Shakespeare was born (although we do know when he was baptized). However, it’s not impossible that in the future we could find out – a long lost document might be found that mentions his birth, so Shakespeare’s true date of birth is not unknowable, just unknown. This list contains 10 things that are unknowable in principle. Not only are they unknown now, they can never be known.
Keep Reading: Top 10 Unknowable Things.
Reiki (sometimes mispronounced as /rejˌiki/, it is properly pronounced /reːki/) is a pseudoscientific therapy based on the following beliefs:
- there is a universal and inexhaustible spiritual “energy” which can be used for healing purposes
- through an attunement process carried out by a Reiki Master, any person can gain access to this “energy”
- this “energy” will flow through the Reiki Master’s hands when he/she places his/her hands near the patient
- this “energy” has human-like intelligence
- as this “energy” is intelligent, there is no need for diagnosis. This “energy” will automatically judge the disease and will heal the patient.
It can be dangerous, or even life-threatening, if someone avoids evidence-based medicine and relies upon Reiki for treatment.
Keep Reading: Reiki – RationalWiki.
Reiki Is Nonsense
Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Reiki is one of several nonsensical methods commonly referred to as “energy healing.” These methods are based on the idea that the body is surrounded or permeated by an energy field that is not measurable by ordinary scientific instrumentation. The alleged force, said to support life, is known as ki in Japan, as chi or qi in China, and as prana in India. Reiki practitioners claim to facilitate healing by strengthening or “balancing” it.
Reiki has no substantiated health value and lacks a scientifically plausible rationale. Science-based healthcare settings should not tolerate its use, and scarce government research dollars should not be used to study it further.
Read more – Reiki Is Nonsense.
Also see The Skeptic’s Dictionary: reiki