Friday, August 15, 2008

Hammer and Chisel

One of the things that can be said about occultism is the tendency of many to write about it in an extremely dense manner, so wordy that one needs a hammer and chisel to figure out what they are going on about. This may or may not be a bad thing depending upon what your purposes are. If your purpose is to figure out what the writer is going on about, it is a bad thing; if you are trying to conceal something, then it is a good thing.

I was reminded of this today when a new writer got added to my “What is this writer prattling on about” list. I tried to figure out what they were talking about, but gave up after a few minutes and several articles. If I want to work at chiseling meaning out of something dense and convoluted, I have pretty of university homework to do.

Basically, if it takes you forever to get to your point, or if it is concealed under layers of nonsense, I wander off and start doing something else. I suspect that the same is true of many readers.

So why do people write about the occult, and magic, in such a manner? My current theory is that they are trying to conceal how much ignorance they have about the subject; they figure if they imitate the classical writers on the subject (or academic writers) that no one will notice that they have not a clue. Or that they are trying to attract a following that associates that style of writing with knowledge and scholarship.

Personally, I just find it easier to admit that I don’t know everything. It saves time and effort for both me and my readers.

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