IMHO, magic isn’t an end in itself but a system by which we can try to understand, or at least try to try to understand the universe from a subjective point of view.
much like mainstream science, magic serves a number of roles from ancestral nature worship (i.e, paganism in its various forms) to the “applied spirituality” of our era, with the end of ascent and material manifestation. much of what we take for granted today came from the golden dawn, but the only objective truth in the universe is the subjective truth we accept for ourselves.
this may sound like a weak argument, and no doubt, a certain degree of objectivity exists, but any phenomenon which we call objective, when witnessed by a million people, is only objectively real in that it exists as a million different subjective experiences. i suppose the old riddle of the sound of one hand clapping could be used to sum it up. i’ve been thinking about this of late (rather coincidentally), and i’m puzzled by the notion that if nothing in the universe existed (not even an electron), and the universe itself was indeed truly infinite (which i don’t believe it is), and we were flying through space as the only thing in existence, would we really be moving at all? without another object, particle or ray of light, how can we say if we are moving if there exists nothing toward which, or away from which to move?
this excludes the phenomenon of acceleration/deceleration of course, which would impart inertial force and therefore prove that motion were taking place, but at a constant theoretical velocity, the puzzle still holds. and yes, the speed of light limitation would be another point where the model falls apart, but that’s getting all too literal for the time being.
i don’t discount others’ perspective of reality, however you want to define it, but i can’t believe or trust in any given thing until i’ve integrated it subjectively within myself. once it’s a subjective reality, i’m open to the possibility that it exists as an objective phenomenon. of course, i still learn from documentaries and wikipedia, so it’s not like i go about my day consciously testing every little thing, but in terms of philosophy and magic, i believe first-hand experience is necessary not only to understand, but also to make something “real” or objective in the first place.
kind regards, james.