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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 255 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Soothsaying  (Read 8352 times)
Posts: 3453

« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2003, 07:52:45 AM »

John, so that's actually not like what Ms. Paxson was doing at all.  In her case, in many of our minds, the characters she was playing (dead ancestors, gods' messengers, even a god, as you remember) had independent existance and predated her.  She wasn't "playing" them, she was communicating with them, objectively.  In a lot of ways, to a lot of the supplicants, thinking that she were just using roleplaying to pass on her own human wisdom would rob her answers of validity.

It sounds like you wouldn't take that position wrt your magically significant characters, though.



Posts: 2807

« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2003, 11:55:33 AM »

Hello, my name is "Wet Blanket" and I have invited myself to this party.

Now I think theres huge relationship between posession, or perhaps "posession", ritual, and RPG.  Having dabbled exploratively myself, I've performed the odd ritual here and there in my youth, but as my confidence in atheism grew I developed a slightly different perception.

Very much like the discussion of whether or not characters exist, I would tend to see the similarity between RP and the above phenomenon as the priest, or performer (and I strongly agree with that comparison in all three cases) strengthening their performance through the adoption of a persona.  With conviction, but not much more actual reality than that of a method actor.  The performer is selling a product that, fundamentally, does not exist, and so the pitch relies strongly on the real or apparent conviction of the seller.  Modern advertising proceeds along a similar course.  I think its entirely possible for the posession, or the perception of supernatural presence, to arise from this source.  The playing of a character to the point that it appears to be a real alternative mentality would be a marvellous device for this purpose, I contend.

Jack Chick was both right and wrong - right to see true magic and ritual, wrong to see supernatural effect or relevance.

Impeach the bomber boys:

"He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Posts: 250


« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2003, 01:38:29 PM »

After the ritual (a See, from the Norse tradition of oracle/mediumn magick), I talked with Ms. Paxson about her experience of the rite. She said it was oddly detached - she had awareness of the present world, but as if seen through a lense, and the voices though clear felt distant. She was aware of the questions and of her answers, but the thought process was not entirely her own as it would be normaly.

 In context of this discussion, this phenomena reminds me of times when I am deeply in character and suddenly I know things only my character would know, that I would not have discovered if I was just casually chatting about my character.  Similarly, the times when things arise out of play that are far more intense and interesting than we could have consciously planned.

On another hand, the whole 'magical thinking' that early role-playing (aka 'pretend') contains is fascinating and may bear on this thread. The gist is that young children can enter their pretending so deeply that the experiences become emotionally and psycologically real to the child. On some levels, the child knows the imaginary from the waking world, and on others, you better not sit on Mapoey the Wonder Monkey by accident just because he's invisible.
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