People believe the darnedest things

So I saw a cool picture of one of the Dawn of Sorrow sigels on the 4chan front page. I clicked it and wound up in /x/ — /x/ being the paranormal board. Being a skeptic, Paranormal usually gives me a laugh and most people don’t seem to take it too seriously, but the post that image lead to was started by a person claiming to be an ‘ex skeptic’ who became a practitioner of ‘chaos magic’. So I immediately thought that ‘ex-skeptic’ is the saddest thing ever, but then I read more! The poster gave an example of what magic was doing for him!

“As is recommended, I’m practicing vigils on smaller, less significant things. This sounds stupid, but I created a sigil for my desire to get a Valmanway in Castlevania HD, pretty sure I charged it, then I tried to get a Valmanway for about an hour, and nothing. I get called into work 3 hours later so I stop dicking around on my xbox and go to work, and have to handle the workload of 2 people that called out, luckily a higher-up took notice of my “hard work ethic” and I’m getting a promotion pretty much out of nowhere. Not sure if I totally fucked up the sigil, since it didn’t affect what I wanted it to, or I did too good of a job and had a much better effect than anticipated.”

I laughed out loud at this point. Later he goes on about how unexpected him being praised would be and how it’d be “Some coincidence” if it was merely that. So I have to ask… I know it’s generally not cool to say “Oh well so and so could never have REALLY been (X) if he’s now (Y)”, but really, if you go from skepticism to a magic system where you worship *FICTIONAL DEITIES* (and no, I don’t mean fictional in the atheistic sense, I mean like, stuff out of Lovecraft or even Crom from Conan if you want!), and then fall for simple confirmation bias (and not even a good example of it!) can you REALLY claim to be have been a skeptic? It’s just so hilariously daft that I had to post it. Someone else gave an example of this “magick”…

“Also, sigils work best when you are not conscious of the desire. From your description I take it you were playing the game wondering “wtf! is this thing even working??!”

Here’s an example of a simple sigil exercise I did recently: In this particular instance I decided to manifest a candy bar. I visualized a chocolate bar half opened with a bite out of it. I focused until I could taste and smell the chocolate. Anyways, four days later I was hanging out with my fiancĂ© and she wanted to surprise me. She made me close my eyes while she drove me to the mystery destination. It turned out to be my favorite spice and tea shop. She wanted to buy me my favorite bloody mary mix but the store was closed for some odd reason. We ended up wandering into the Seroogy’s candy shop next door. We browsed for a while and she ended up buying me four chocolate meltaway bars. Fast forward to the next day. I was meditating in my hot tub when all the sudden I realized. Holy shit, I got my candy bar!”

The idea of “I wanted to get a candy bar and then 4 days later I bought a candy bar it’s soooo magical” is pretty hilarious. and, even if somehow true, amazingly ineffectual compared to just GOING OUT AND GETTING THE CANDY BAR WHEN YOU WANT IT, but this is somehow way less ridiculous to me because at least this guy didn’t claim to be a former skeptic. I suppose it’s fun to live in a makebelieve world where every little coincidence was caused by your will!

Anyways this was just really silly and I needed to post about it. People believe this stuff!

2 thoughts on “People believe the darnedest things

  1. Clearly, our chaos magician was never a skeptic… Seeing as he/she doesn’t seem to know what the word “skepticism” means.

    I always find it hilarious how much of spiritualism/religion/etc. is simply confirmation bias and apophenia…

  2. For some reason Tim Minchin’s beat poem “Storm” comes to mind. To paraphrase
    “Isn’t this enough? Just…this…world? Just this, beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable, natural world? How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of man-made myths and monsters?”

    In other words, it’s somewhat silly to have to believe in magic in order to be blown away from the world.

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