Sunday, August 4, 2013

Defence Against the Dark Arts Part II: Terry Pratchett’s books

I have found that Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books brighten the atmosphere: they are ideal for driving away black moods and dispersing the dark clouds of depression.

I particularly like the books that feature his three main witch characters, Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. The three witches in Macbeth were the inspiration for these ladies: he said that three is a natural number for witches. It is just a coincidence that when I was at school, someone likened me and my sisters to the three witches in Macbeth!

Not only do these books entertain, amuse and raise one's spirits, they also contain material that seems to me to be relevant to some topics on this blog. I have already made a connection between the effects that Terry Pratchett’s illusion-creating elves have on humans and the effects that some glamorous energy vampires have on their victims. Some of what Pratchett says about magic and how it attracts undesirable entities could apply to unconscious or psychological black magic and how it attracts – or is even caused by - forces that sabotage the lives of the practitioners.

From Lords and Ladies:

 “Don't try the paranormal until you know what's normal.”

I interpret this as advice to use natural methods as much as possible to achieve goals and get through life: do what a normal, decent person without special powers would do.

“There is something about the woman’s tone. The smile is pleasant and friendly, but there is something in the voice – too desperate, too urgent, too hungry.”

That last quote immediately made me think of human sharks and energy vampires. Beware of people who seem to be hiding a desperate need for you to do or give them whatever they want.

From Equal Rites:

“People interested in magic and mysticism spend a lot of time loitering on the very edge of the light, as it were, which gets them noticed by the creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions who then try to use them in their indefatigable efforts to break into this particular reality. Most people can resist this, but the relentless probing by the Things is never stronger than when the subject is asleep.”

“If you use magic you draw attention to yourself from Them. They watch the world all the time. Ordinary minds are just vague to them, they hardly bother with them, but a mind with magic in it shines out like a beacon. It’s not darkness that calls them it’s the light. They want life and shape: they have no life and shape themselves other than what they can steal. They couldn’t live in this world. They hate us because we are alive.”

“They are reflections: you can’t beat your own reflections as they are always as strong as you are. They feed off magic, so you can’t beat them with magic. They draw nearer to you when you use magic, and they don’t get tired. Not using magic because you can’t ….. is nothing, but not using magic because you can, that really upsets them. They become scared and weakened. They hate the idea, because when people stop using magic, the Things die.”

“If magic gives people what they want, not doing magic can give them what they need.”

Again, my interpretation is that it is best to use normal methods for getting what you want and getting along in life. If you have the ability to unconsciously influence people and use it, you will attract attention and the consequences will be unpleasant; if you realise that you have this ability and refrain from using it, you will confound the evil entities. It is better for people’s welfare to learn how to negotiate with others than to use mind power to influence them or drive them away.

I have encountered people who get away with a lot: no one ever confronts them. These people give out subtle, unspoken messages such as “If you confront me you will pay for it.” They often have a hypnotic influence too: no one notices their wrongdoing. Such smokescreens and defensive force fields come at a high price: the perpetrators get deeper and deeper into debt and have to pay more and more only to get less and less in return. As with payday loans, short term benefits turn into long term nightmares.

People who habitually practice psychological black magic end up in a very bad state.