Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Charles Hoy Fort on magic

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Charles Hoy Fort

My general expression is that all human beings who can do anything; and dogs that track unseen quarry, and homing pigeons, and bird-charming snakes, and caterpillars who transform into butterflies, are magicians. In the lower—or quite as truly higher, considering them the more aristocratic and established—forms of being, the miracles are standardized and limited: but human affairs are still developing, and “sports,” as the biologists call them, are of far more frequent occurrence among humans. But their development depends very much upon a sense of sureness of reward for the pains, travail, and discouragements of the long, little-paid period of apprenticeship, which makes questionable whether it is ever worthwhile to learn anything. Reward depends upon harmonization with the dominant spirit of an era…

Considering modern data, it is likely that many of the fakirs of the past, who are now known as saints, did, or to some degree did, perform the miracles that have been attributed to them. Miracles, or stunts, that were in accord with the dominant power of the period were fostered, and miracles that conflicted with [it]…were discouraged, or were savagely suppressed…And that, in the succeeding age of Materialism—or call it the Industrial Era—there is the same state of subservience to a dominant, so that young men are trained to the glory of the job, and dream and invent in fields that are likely to interest stockholders, and are schooled into thinking that all magics, except their own industrial magics, are fakes, superstitions, or newspaper yarns.

Charles Hoy Fort, Wild Talents

Written by nevalalee

December 29, 2013 at 9:00 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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