From a human perspective, the Cosmos has an Unseen portion and a Seen Physical World (known by the 12 Senses–color, sound, smell, taste, balance, motion, direction, heat, cold, weight, tactility, and pressure). The Unseen Unknowable Reality subdivision includes the Spiritual and the Subjective Realms–both capable of being experienced (e.g. by meditation or upon ones death).
The Unseen Knowable Reality–the Sublime and Astral Realms–are “Felt.” The “Invisible” Realm is Imagined (i.e. fashioning a mental picture of something as existing)–the Supernatural. Its story begins with Primitive (the first people) Africans presuming Gods and Spirits to be Magicians. They produced magic out of the hat or out of nothing in demonstrating powers of creation of birth.
These Spirit Magicians transformed the way everything is by continually turning something into something else–day into night, child into an old man, rain-water into wine, grass into milk. So these Africans instituted techniques of coercion–the first use of causation–to influence Spirit Magicians by using the magical arts of activating the power of Spirits to counter the “bad” Spirits; Spells to either persuade the angry Spirits to give up their vindictive acts and/or to control some of their powers by means of mystical words, dances, and rituals; or prayers to show appreciation for the gifts of the Gods.
My perception is that these practices involved Indirect Telementation, the use of influencing Mind-Power forces of vibratory currents to affect some Cosmic thing. This process involved such intensive concentration as to form vivid mental images of what was targeted, whether real or imagined. Next, to influence its essence came Word Magic (Spells including incantations and curses), as if one were in the actual presence of that target. Since all real things are composed of sound waves, any vibrations from words generate sound waves which can thereby affect the underlying structure of all things and events. The Symbols’ duty was to condense physical and Cosmic energies.
Later thought of these Spirits being ‘specialized’ meant Astrology was required to pin-point their appearance for determining when the Magic had its best chance of working. Binding these practices to certain rules in a formed ritualized space where powers are to appear or to work constituted the original form and beginnings of Religion. Then, Very Ancient African Magicians sought to join with Spirits and collaborate in the divine work in Spiritual Realms.
This led to studying the sky to learn about the laws of Nature–and that necessitated the development of Mathematics. These helped establish necessary connections with the Cosmic Mind–providing the knowledge to understand essentials within the Cosmic Circle of Wholism. By embracing the Seen and Unseen Realms, these Magicians’ wisdom acts could conform with Nature’s natural ways (e.g. the sun or planets).
In ancient cultures millennia afterwards, some Magicians deviated, choosing to act on their own account in pursuing personal designs. They specialized in both Natural Magic (Sorcery, Juju use of roots, herbs, animal substance, etc.) and Ceremonial Magic. Both required Words of Power and Symbols because of their special relationship with the faculty of Imagination to do Conjuring (producing illusions involving the Supernatural). Yet, their ‘magical’ powers only lay in the mental state of belief, faith, and fear of the persons affected. Hence, for those who “believe” or “fear” that another has the power of adversely influencing or affecting them, then how they are affected depends largely upon their degree of belief, faith, and/or fear.
Such negative mental states are self-induced, making them receptive to adverse influences directed against them. Nevertheless, outside of Ancient African concepts, the history of most religions has followed conceptions of the Supernatural–a man-made non-material realm characterized as being higher, greater, and larger than the physical and natural world but in some sense containing both.
Many of its current practices as well as now shunned Superstitions are holdovers from the earliest of times. To illustrate, Religion’s original purpose was to provide assistance to its followers in the “performance of Miracles” when all else fails–e.g. pray, ritualize, or meditate out of trouble–and this still applies. Europeans say the Supernatural is the home of Spiritual Beings (e.g. angels, demons, fairies, and dead ancestors); of “Super-humans” (possessing a special aura of omnipotence), of heaven and hell, and of where God dwells.
Joseph A. Bailey II, MD, FACS, was reared in Wilson and Greensboro, North Carolina where he became an Eagle Scout (twice). Then he attended the University of Michigan, Morehouse College, and Meharry Medical School; interned at Los Angeles County General Hospital; and as a USA Air Force captain in the Philippines was chief of the Family Practice Clinic in charge of 10,000 troops and their families. On off-duty hours he helped care for wounded soldiers flown in from Viet Nam.