The End of Magic by Ariel Glucklich

By Ariel Glucklich

All through historical past, magic has been as greatly and passionately practiced as faith. yet whereas faith maintains to flourish, magic stumbles in the direction of extinction. what's magic? What does it do? Why do humans think in magic? Ariel Glucklich unearths the solutions to those questions within the streets of Banaras, India's so much sacred urban, the place hundreds of thousands of magicians nonetheless perform historic traditions, treating hundreds of thousands of Hindu and Muslim sufferers of each caste and sect. via learn and interpretation of the Banarsi magical rites and those that partake in them, the writer offers attention-grabbing residing examples of magical perform, and contrasts his findings with the main theories that experience defined (or defined away) magic during the last century. those theories, he argues, forget about a vital sensory phenomenon which he calls "magical experience": a unprecedented, although completely traditional, nation of know-how wherein magicians and their consumers understand the consequences of magic rituals.

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Alfred Russel Wallace was a self-taught man, trained as a land surveyor, a socialist whom conservatives today would regard as a bleeding heart. Though lacking Charles Darwin's wealth, he managed to finance his own world travels and spent years in the tropics. By the time he reached twenty-one years of age, he was known to Darwin as an excellent collector of beetles, butterflies, and birdskins. One day in 1858, about twenty years after Darwin's Beagle journey, when Darwin's evolutionary theory was nearly complete, Wallace sent a letter to him.

These, of course, were the easiest to fake, so, with the improvement of detection methods such as infrared photography and video technology, spiritualist phenomena became increasingly mental. This meant that the mediums reported to their sitters information obtained from the spirit about its life, including both past and future events. Alfred Wallace began his experiences with spiritualism as it was ascending in popularity in England. But this is not to say that he was risking nothing by lending his name in support of its practitioners and phenomena.

Christof von Furer-Haimendorf, Life Among Indian Tribes: The Autobiography of an Anthropologist (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1991). 2. The Kausika Sutra of the Athrava-Veda. ed. Maurice Bloomfield. ). 3. Larry Dossey, Meaning and Medicine: Lessons from a Doctor's Tales of Breakthrough and Healing (New York: Bantam Books, 1991), pp. 1-3. 4. This story was narrated by the Kajjal Baba, a charismatic renouncer who healed villagers and city residents long before he became a holyman. 5. James E.

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