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Oct 17, 2009

Empedocles too has ascribed to him marvelous powers associated with later magicians. This guy was definitely touched by gods, if you know what I mean. In ancient Greek stories we learn that is, he is able to heal the sick, rejuvenate the old, to influence the weather and summon the dead. Empedocles was a combination of poet, magus, teacher, and scientist. Since much of the acquired knowledge of individuals like Pythagoras or Empedocles was somewhat mysterious even to those with a rudimentary educations, so such might be associated with magic or at least with the learning of a Magus.

After Empedocles, the scale of magical gifts in exceptional individuals shrinks in the literature. Individuals might have the gift of healing, or the gift of prophecy, but are not usually credited with a wide range of supernatural powers that Orpheus, Pythagoras and Empedocles have. Plato even tells us that he takes healers, prophets and sorcerers for granted. He mentions that these practitioners existed in Athens, and they had to be reckoned with and controlled by laws, but one should not be afraid of them, their powers are real, but they themselves represent a rather low order of humanity.

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Posted: Oct 17, 2009 12:30pm
Oct 9, 2008

I was always interested in the ancient belief in magic from the perspective of history. It was always amazing to learn how different cultures tried to attach to natural phenomenon supernatural powers. After all, magic, sometimes also known as sorcery, was formed as the whole conceptual system that asserted human ability to control the natural world, including events, objects, people, and physical phenomena, through mystical, paranormal or supernatural means. The term can also refer to the practices employed by a person asserting this influence, and to beliefs that explain various events and phenomena in such terms. Even today, as well as in the past, in many cultures, magic is under pressure from, and in competition with, scientific and religious conceptual systems. As a web analyst I had to go through so many Internet documents to understand how ancients view magic. I learned many things about magic when I was doing a new salvo of researches for my web analytics company.

So, let's start with the land of magic, India. All in all, it has been often stated that India is a land of magic, both supernatural and mundane. Hinduism is one of the few religions that has sacred texts like the Vedas that discuss both white and black magic. There are Vedas  that deals with mantras that can be used for both good and bad. The word mantrik in India literally means "magician" since the mantrik usually knows mantras, spells, and curses which can be used for or against forms of magic. Many ascetics after long periods of penance and meditation are alleged to attain a state where they may utilize supernatural powers. However, many say that they choose not to use them and instead focus on transcending beyond physical power into the realm of spirituality. Many wizards, called siddhars are said to have performed miracles that would ordinarily be impossible to perform.


 

 
 
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Ekaterina G.
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Delray Beach, FL, USA
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