The Flaw in the Theory of Miracles
From ‘Conjunctures and Conjectures’ Vol. 1 – Magic, Miracles and Tricks.
From priests and clerics to seers and shamans, there is no shortage of miracle workers among humanity. There are several theories about the origin of divine power among humans – the simplest is that those priests that do have the ability to perform miracles are, in fact, Gifted. While certainly true for some of them, this theory seems to ignore one very important fact: a Gifted individual will be accompanied by the results of their imbalance all their lives – believe me! – both socially and through the limited, often accidental, manifestations of their Gift. In direct contrast to this, many of the priests that come to perform miracles have at no point in their lives shown such ability or even inclination.
Some Skeptic scholars would readily claim that the Gift of imbalance of miracle workers is a self-imposed injury, a result of years of obsession over their respective religions. Others, more aggressive in their Skepticism, go even further, claiming that blind faith in an elusive, superior being is, by definition, proof of the Gift – an imbalance. Regardless of such philosophically inspired debates, the aforementioned gap in the original theory that miracle workers are Gifted has led some to form another theory. According to this, the power of such individuals does not stem from themselves but is rather the manifestation of the will — or even the actions — of another being or other beings. Whether that would be Theos or an Aspect, some Nord dead god, a City States’ divine patron, another entity altogether or multiple ones, no one knows but the theory’s advocates debate that there is no shortage of lesser primordial shards in the world, only possibly remnants or fragments of the Heavenly Host. Drawn to faithful souls like moths to a fire, the limited semi-personalities and obsessive individualities of such shards find purpose and self-fulfillment in the belief of strong-willed individuals. While this theory too has flaws, today it is the prevailing one among most Skeptics.
Alas, as imaginative as the Skeptics’ theory on miracle magic is, it only serves as proof that a little knowledge is worse than no knowledge. The way the Skeptics approach the problem would mean that the Shards who are “attracted” to the faithful are always and ever willing to act on their mortals’ behalf and perform the specific miracle that the specific priest has in mind at any given specific moment. To be blunt, this portrays as limited an understanding of primordial powers as it does a moronic one. The power of even the slightest, most diminutive Primordial Shard cannot be “channeled” at the behest of mortals, much less so without even realizing one is doing it. Assuming that for whatever reason a specific Shard did feel so inclined, the results would be as unpredictable as they would be catastrophic, and the “size” of the Shard matters little. In fact, the smaller and less self-aware a Shard, the worse its understanding of the “little things” beyond its nature, such as Matter, Life, Time or Gravity. Such refined limitations like the bodily functions of a specific organism or the extent of a wound do not even register in their scopes. Try and heal a wound (a favored miracle among priests) by channeling the unfettered powers of a Shard and, if the injured limb and/or individual is not removed from existence because it is flawed, you may grow two more limbs from that wound. Some well-known and hunted warlocks throughout history have practiced such techniques or have forged such “cooperations,” and it is the reason why the results of their magic have proved so catastrophic and why their own mental health deteriorated as fast and as absolutely as it did.
The way miracles are performed would imply a direct connection between a mortal and a pure Primordial Shard and an absolute control of the former over the latter. This I believe to be possible; it does not, however, simply “happen” as the Skeptics would imply, and neither Deists, shamans, Theists or any other miracle worker have achieved this. If this scholar’s theory is correct, the one time this was truly and properly achieved, it required the motivation to kill a god, the amassed knowledge of the entire Old Dominion’s history, decades of research and practice; and it resulted in the near extinction of life as it is known.
Rather than try to speculate about things they cannot even fathom, those “inspired” Skeptics should instead focus on facts for if they did, there are only two possible answers, and they are obvious:
One is that Primordial Elements are forces beyond their physical expressions, as mortals perceive them. They are primal powers, energies, potentials and influences, exerted at all times over all of reality. In a single atom, all elements are present in one way or the other, keeping the cosmos together from the simplest, smallest particle to the existence and movement of galaxies through their respective effects. As each Gifted individual is restricted in their understanding of Elements beyond their Gifts, it is quite simply possible that Belief is simply another element, one with its own restrictions and potentials – and potentially one with different manifestations in its Gifted.
The second one – which, I must note, is not mutually exclusive to the first one – is that miracles are feats of magic and belief is power. Therefore, miracles are magic powered by belief. The way the various dogmas are structured, this belief from the faithful is sent to the ether; unfocused, unchanneled, unrestricted; and yet somehow specific priests become vessels for that power and are then able to channel it according to their will and understanding. While the obvious connection between the source of power (the faithful) and the wielder of that power (the priest) is their shared faith, there is one, very tangible, solid and specific, thing that miracle workers share at the very center of their practices, one which allows for this transfer in the first place.
The primordial forces that forged the cosmos permeate creation in more forms and manifestations than pure Shards. Belief is power, that is true. But there is also power in shapes. There is power in materials. There is power in numbers, designs, ideas, rituals and even images – this is made evident by preformed spells, the prepared “recipes” of magic that even the most renowned Gifted employ. Even the Dweghom comprehend this, and their graphs are proof. The shamans of the Nords recognize it. The cults of the W’adrhŭn can sense it. One must suspect that even the Orders know and have applied this to their Temples, judging by their designs. While the monikers are misleading, Sacred Geometry, Sacral Architecture and even totemism are very real things and where the Gift might seem insufficient by itself, there are ways through which individuals can surpass the limitations of their meeker Gifts, being fueled by the channeled power of the faithful. In the Fourth Chapter, ‘Miracles: Why am I not in awe?’, we will explore the nature of the so-called ‘divine magic’ and attempt to decipher its true nature.