Magic, Indo-Europeans and The Taming of The Masses

by Daniel Gurpide

From an anthropological perspective, traditional magic practices were perfectly adequate to a certain level of development. In this sense, ‘authentic’ magic aims at clarifying a psycho-technique (self-discipline) with a specific goal in mind; it guides man into the appropriate form for a given project. It either prepares man to bear without excessive anxiety the hostile pressures of a universe that he does not yet control, or it helps give free reign to certain instincts and repress others, so that he can accomplish more successfully a certain undertaking.

With this type of magic, man had learnt to manipulate himself. He had given himself a self-chosen nature, and had succeeded in his hominisation. Hence, authentic magic constitutes the original ‘know-how’ of human self-domestication, and the domestication of the psyche by consciousness, organised by a science that was born through reflection on the know-how of animal nature.

Magic degenerates as soon as it claims to find application to a relation diverse from the one instituted between consciousness and psyche: that is, between man (as living being) and the world (as event), under the wholly imaginary pretext that the human psyche participates in the cause of that event. It then leads to a cosmological theory that is entirely unfounded. On the other hand, where this reflection allows him to isolate the true terms of the ‘magic relation,’ man acquires an exact description of himself and his circumstances, and of the position he occupies within the living world. He transforms himself, from then on, into the domesticator of the living world.

Hundreds of thousands of years after hominisation, it was with the Indoeuropean/Neolithic Revolution that another type of man emerges. Having learned what ‘moves’ himself, man tries now to ‘move’ animals and plants according to his wishes and needs. As far as social animals are concerned, he intends to take on a directive role, becoming the leader of the pack. Similarly, having attained a superior consciousness—thanks to the correct understanding of magic—he presents himself as aristocracy in relation to the rest of society and affirms his own sovereignty.

With the advent of Indoeuropeans, man’s taming of the living world occurred in parallel to the taming of the mass—by the elite. Hereafter, ‚religion‘ comes to be the ideological system that will serve to ‘tie fast’ society and subject the group to a certain influence.

(from Curt: Man began domestication of man, just as he had domesticated Fire, Metal, Plant, and Animal. That is the meaning of aristocracy: parenting (domesticating) the animal (lacking agency) man. )

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