Occult Magic, Belief and Confirmation Bias

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confirmation bias

Articles about Confirmation Bias:

http://skepdic.com/confirmbias.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

What confirmation bias is, is the tendency for any person to come to evidence already with an opinion, and to pay much more attention to and credit as more relevant the evidence that supports that opinion, and to pay less attention to, or even dismiss or discredit, evidence contrary to that already existing opinion.

Skeptics are fond of claiming belief in religion, the supernatural and the occult is only possible because of the reality of confirmation bias. We believe the horoscope because we pay more attention when a coincidence confirms the horoscope and when the horoscope is irrelevant to that given day, we don’t notice that. The same with other divination, prayer, magic and so forth.

Now the catch phrase of Chaos Magic is – “There is no truth, everything is permitted.” So while a skeptic is very concerned with evaluating ideas for truth, a Chaos Magician really isn’t interested in truth as much as results.

The reason to work with occult magic is because you believe in luck, you understand there are waves of luck  and unluck – and likely you believe there is a way to impact that luck. Actors say “break a leg” as magic charm to make a performance go well, many people have objects they believe to be lucky, the daily horoscope gets a fair amount of attention, sales people know to keep a positive mental attitude  means better sales… and so forth.

And here’s the point, if the lucky rabbit’s foot can be scientifically proven to hack probability, or if it cannot – it makes no difference. Because we live in a subjective appreciation of the world, if you believe the rabbit’s foot is lucky, the rabbit’s foot is lucky – with it you are  more confident, and life itself – you have reason to, with confirmation bias, look for evidence of good luck! Compare that to looking for reasons to be right about how much your life sucks!

Occult Magic is not science, when starting with spells you should always work for easy results – a sigil spell to enjoy a nice piece of apple pie kind of thing.  Why? Precisely to grow your belief, to encourage confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is bad when it comes to politics, keeping you from appreciating valid points made by the political party you aren’t affiliated with, increasing polarization of thought.

But when it comes to religion or magic – belief is important, and confirmation bias helps develop that belief, that faith.

Maybe you don’t believe in magic, but if you believe in luck, if you think there  might be a way to hack your personal luck – that’s all magic is!

Zos, or Austin Osman Spare, invented a magic system that became the basis for chaos magic developed by Peter Carrol. Chaos magic is a meta-paradigm, a theory of how magic works that can be applied to any other magic system:  Belief plus desire plus ‘gnosis’ equals magic. Belief can be literal belief or even simply a suspension of disbelief, desire is distinguishing the result you want to produce and ‘gnosis’ is any moment the conscious mind is quieted allowing access to the subconscious mind. Any conversational hypnotist knows very well that normal consciousness is marbled with ‘absent minded’ hypnotic gnostic states of mind as well, but stronger more concentrated gnosis can be made available with ceremony, meditation or sexual orgasm.

Become self aware of your own confirmation bias, and you may become wiser about evaluating your beliefs and opinions, especially political ones. But understand it has its use to develop strong belief for magical purposes.  Magic is not science, if you want to have the unfair advantage of magic, you have to let go of  trying to prove its real and simply allow yourself to believe it is real. Try magic for yourself before discounting it, but if you want positive results allow yourself to believe and allow the confirmation bias do its thing. The results, those are always real and be it magic or be it coincidence, a magician doesn’t care and you shouldn’t either.


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