Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

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4 years 8 months ago #3641 by Naomi
Naomi replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?
Speculation: The "laws of magic" are less "laws of physics" and more "social agreements". Moreoever, these are agreements involving the spirits that exist and have banded together for mutual survival and benefit.

As this relates to karma-based magic: The person casting the spell is petitioning a court of spirits that their target has performed something worthy of blessing or punishment, as well as what blessing or punishment they'd suggest be placed upon them. If the spirits agree that it is appropriate, they create the spell effect as desired and maintain it for as long as necessary. If they disagree, they'll give a weakened version, an alternate effect, or even curse the petitioner for bringing something unworthy to them. No matter what, though, they'll take all of that lovely essence as payment for hearing them out.

Revenge spells are illegal for two reasons: One, the court systems tend to detest people going around them in any way because that lessens their own power. Two, spirits aren't humans. They think differently from humans. What they consider a reasonable course of action will often conflict heavily with what a human thinks. With them taking things out on a person threefold, "cruel and unusual" could easily come into play very rapidly.

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4 years 8 months ago #3814 by Dawnfyre
Dawnfyre replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Naomi wrote: Speculation: The "laws of magic" are less "laws of physics" and more "social agreements". Moreoever, these are agreements involving the spirits that exist and have banded together for mutual survival and benefit.

As this relates to karma-based magic: The person casting the spell is petitioning a court of spirits that their target has performed something worthy of blessing or punishment, as well as what blessing or punishment they'd suggest be placed upon them. If the spirits agree that it is appropriate, they create the spell effect as desired and maintain it for as long as necessary. If they disagree, they'll give a weakened version, an alternate effect, or even curse the petitioner for bringing something unworthy to them. No matter what, though, they'll take all of that lovely essence as payment for hearing them out.


I think karma based magic is more akin to the current Wicca belief, There is a price to pay for every use of power, positive uses grant a benefit/reward to the spell caster while negative uses tend to have punishments.

Naomi wrote: Revenge spells are illegal for two reasons: One, the court systems tend to detest people going around them in any way because that lessens their own power. Two, spirits aren't humans. They think differently from humans. What they consider a reasonable course of action will often conflict heavily with what a human thinks. With them taking things out on a person threefold, "cruel and unusual" could easily come into play very rapidly.


Within the W.U. it is less spirits than the Tao that would be exacting the price / punishment / revenge.

Stupidity is a capitol offense, a summary not indictable one.

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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #3818 by Naomi
Naomi replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Dawnfyre wrote: I think karma based magic is more akin to the current Wicca belief, There is a price to pay for every use of power, positive uses grant a benefit/reward to the spell caster while negative uses tend to have punishments.


Fundamentally it's the same issue, isn't it? That view is just that it's innate to the use of magic itself (or even to all actions, ever) instead of something imposed by outside entities. Though given that the rule of three didn't exist (or at least wasn't known) in the distant past, that would require the laws of magic themselves to be shifting for some reason.

Dawnfyre wrote: Within the W.U. it is less spirits than the Tao that would be exacting the price / punishment / revenge.


Doesn't really fit the Whateley-verse's Tao's MO, I don't think; justice/revenge/karma doesn't encourage balance between good and evil or whatever else it wants to be "balanced".

Personally, I think the Tao is just some extra-dimensional deity-class entity that really needs to be banished or annihilated because it has far overstayed its welcome.
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Naomi.

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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #3820 by Malady
Malady replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Naomi wrote:

Dawnfyre wrote: I think karma based magic is more akin to the current Wicca belief, There is a price to pay for every use of power, positive uses grant a benefit/reward to the spell caster while negative uses tend to have punishments.


Fundamentally it's the same issue, isn't it? That view is just that it's innate to the use of magic itself (or even to all actions, ever) instead of something imposed by outside entities. Though given that the rule of three didn't exist (or at least wasn't known) in the distant past, that would require the laws of magic themselves to be shifting for some reason.


The Laws have shifted since the Sundering, Look behind the spoiler here.

Naomi wrote:

Dawnfyre wrote: Within the W.U. it is less spirits than the Tao that would be exacting the price / punishment / revenge.


Doesn't really fit the Whateley-verse's Tao's MO, I don't think; justice/revenge/karma doesn't encourage balance between good and evil or whatever else it wants to be "balanced".

Personally, I think the Tao is just some extra-dimensional deity-class entity that really needs to be banished or annihilated because it has far overstayed its welcome.


That's my Fanon too. I'm gonna try to kill it, whenever I get all this magic stuff to work for my crossover...
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Malady.

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4 years 8 months ago #3821 by Naomi
Naomi replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Malady wrote: The Laws have shifted since the Sundering, Look behind the spoiler here.


Sorry; I worded that poorly. Yes, regardless of reason you believe it is known that the Laws of Magic (or at least the KNOWN Laws of Magic) have changed over time and that must be reconciled in some way. I think that the agreements between spirits (who casters commonly hire for their services) changing with time is more likely, and more appealing, than the fundamental Laws of Magic shifting over time. It's entirely a personal thing.

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4 years 8 months ago #3840 by Sir Lee
Sir Lee replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Naomi wrote: Doesn't really fit the Whateley-verse's Tao's MO, I don't think; justice/revenge/karma doesn't encourage balance between good and evil or whatever else it wants to be "balanced".


This has come up before. A common Western misconception of Taoism (and Heather has backed me up on this) is that it aims for a balance between "good" and "evil."

But the thing is, the idea that in any pairing of opposites one is intrinsically "good" and the other "evil" is not a Taoist concept; it's a Abrahamic concept, descended from Zoroastrism.

The "opposites" Taoism is concerned about are more like complementary concepts -- male/female, light/dark, hot/cold, order/chaos. But Taoism does take a position in favor of good; it's just that it defines good as the result of balance between such opposites, and evil as their imbalance.

And indeed, there are numerous examples of the evils of extremes on either side, and the virtues of finding a happy medium -- starting with the Earth's orbit around the Sun, which is known among astronomers as the "Goldilocks zone" -- neither too hot nor too cold to hinder development of life. For extremes of Order and Chaos, look at North Korea and Somalia respectively -- does anybody rational want either?

The thing about the Whateley Tao is that we don't really understand its perspective -- it's just too broad and too long-term for the human mind. Yes, it is an Omniscient Morality License , with all the issues the TVTropes article lists. But it is not a "balance good and evil" thing.

Don't call me "Shirley." You will surely make me surly.
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4 years 8 months ago #3842 by Malady
Malady replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Sir Lee wrote: Snip...


Thank you! ... I really wonder how I missed all that...

At least now, if I diverge from canon, it won't be out of ignorance!

So, the Tao's pretty much good, but now, if it has a sense of self-preservation in addition to wanting to keep the balance, my characters are gonna come in contact with it.

Any speculation on how karma magic works, Sir Lee? Or are you a 2nd Gen Author? I don't really follow that stuff...

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4 years 8 months ago #3843 by E M Pisek
E M Pisek replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Malady wrote:

Sir Lee wrote: Snip...


Thank you! ... I really wonder how I missed all that...

At least now, if I diverge from canon, it won't be out of ignorance!

So, the Tao's pretty much good, but now, if it has a sense of self-preservation in addition to wanting to keep the balance, my characters are gonna come in contact with it.

Any speculation on how karma magic works, Sir Lee? Or are you a 2nd Gen Author? I don't really follow that stuff...


And at what point does my head explode as I try to bring all of this to sense? Before I get drunk or after so I don't feel the headache in the morning.

I'm really interested on where those that came up with the magic side brought it all together.

What is - was. What was - is.

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4 years 8 months ago - 4 years 8 months ago #3854 by Sir Lee
Sir Lee replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?

Malady wrote:

Sir Lee wrote: Snip...


Thank you! ... I really wonder how I missed all that...

At least now, if I diverge from canon, it won't be out of ignorance!

So, the Tao's pretty much good, but now, if it has a sense of self-preservation in addition to wanting to keep the balance, my characters are gonna come in contact with it.

Any speculation on how karma magic works, Sir Lee? Or are you a 2nd Gen Author? I don't really follow that stuff...


Actually I was not talking so much about the Whateley Tao but rather about the philosophy of Taoism in general. But, as I mentioned, Heather has backed me up on my interpretation, so you may assume that that's pretty much how the Tao works in Whateley (with the minor difference that the Whateley Tao is rather "activist")

(Side note: I'm quite non-religious, but I have a mild interest in Philosophy. I find the different worldviews of the different religions fascinating, and it really bugs me when I see attempts to strong-arm one worldview into the framework of another -- I think that is missing the point entirely.)

Regarding karma... from a real-world perspective, I'm not even sure that it's an appropriate nomenclature for the sort of thing we are seeing at Whateley, such as the "threefold returns" thing. My understanding of karma under the dharmic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism) is that it's a bit of a long-term thing -- you don't get punished/rewarded by your deeds in this life, but in the next one. Sorta like the Christian concept of sin and afterlife, only it is in another life in this plane. I mean, Christians don't really expect sinners to be struck by lightning, but they are assured that there will be a punishment after death.

(Which is what makes Buddhism fascinating to me, too -- it is not a "let's work at getting a better hand at the next round of the game" philosophy, it's a "let's quit this rigged game outright" thing. Quite subversive in a way.)

Anyway, getting back on the subject, the threefold-revenge thing is more of a Celtic tradition as far as I know, so there is probably a Celtic term more appropriate than "karma".

Don't call me "Shirley." You will surely make me surly.
Last Edit: 4 years 8 months ago by Sir Lee.
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4 years 8 months ago #3865 by Naomi
Naomi replied the topic: Let's speculate on 'karma'-based magic?
Personally, I don't think that the Tao of the Whateley-verse is more than remotely connected to actual Taoism. Theory: An extradimensional entity somehow arrived in this dimension (perhaps it was summoned by actual taoists, or something) and pretended to be the Tao of the philosophy in order to advance its own agenda that at least looked superficially similar. It kept the differences subtle until those who could actually tell the difference were dead (and those who noticed beforehand received "accidents" or were "threats to the Balance") and wiped away historical records so that it would be harder to figure out what actually happened. End result? People are convinced that this alien entity is a fundamental force of the universe and that there is absolutely no point in opposing it.

And, yeah, "karma" isn't a particularly good word for it, though the two concepts could be merged together if you really wanted to. (Magic allows for karmic weight to be "called due" in this life instead of the next, for example)

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