For the most part, I have stayed away from issuing opinions on things here. Mostly, because such posts just start an argument. For instance, my ideas about Mastering Witchcraft received this comment from Harold Roth of The Alchemists Garden.
"Nor does this kind of condemnation seem conducive to any exchange of ideas" See the comments section of the Mastering Witchcraft post previously linked for the full text of his comments.
Now, let me get this straight. I brought up a topic making its way around the blogs that some of my readers may have missed, thus exposing them to the book. I linked to a post that was full of links to the participants in the discussions, thus exposing them to opinions counter to my own. Then, I issued an opinion of my own. An idea, it appears, that Mr. Roth would wish that I didn't express. May I politely ask which one of us is not being conducive to the exchange of ideas?
Mr. Roth writes very well and I recommend his space if you are interested in the topic(s) he presents. His comments to my posts make some good points. If you haven't read them, you may want to.
That said, my take on magick is that it is a spiritual exercise. It isn't about raw power or control of other humans. Though, it can be used for those things. In my opinion, dropping a "philter" into someone's drink is damaging spiritually to the operator as well as the 'target'.
My definition of magick is a rip off of Crowley's "Magick is the art and science of causing change in conformity with the will." The definition I use for my personal magick is "Magick is the willed art and science of unfolding the soul." When we do things not in alignment with the nature of our souls, we close down, not open up. I call this stepping away from our virtue.
Your virtue is very different that mine because your soul encompasses different things than mine. Your life lessons come from that which you are. The fully negative lessons come from exploring that which you are not.
Most people, would come to regret dropping a philter in someone's drink because we chose to incarnate within the moral structure of this society and thereby have difficulties in violating those shared mores. Those regrets weigh down the petals of our soul and cause us to close up.
A closed soul isn't doing magick in accordance with the definition I use. Since I assume my readers either a) do their magick in some way that is marginally related to my point of view or b) at least understand my point of view enough to keep reading, I feel free to issue the opinion of that work in the context of what is expressed here.
This to me is the free expression of ideas. I plan on continuing to do that.