Dead Names, Dead Dog: A Magical Muddle, Part 1

I had a quick talk with John today, and I think we’ll be putting Dead Names, Dead Dog to bed at least temporarily.  As far as I’m concerned, Dead Names is the gift that keeps on giving, but there’s plenty of interesting material to write about that has nothing to do with “Simon.”  If you want more on a particular point, just let me know – and we’ll be covering Gates of the Necronomicon when it comes out in another month.

For our last series, we’ll be examining what we might call the magical rhetoric of Dead Names.  This can be a touchy subject, so let me make some preliminary comments.

My goal is not to convince anyone, one way or another, that magic does or does not exist.  I have met many sincere, dedicated people on both sides of the debate, and I cannot fault either side for believing what they do.  My co-author, John, is a believer and practitioner, and has been for many years.

One of the most controversial decisions that John and I made when writing The Necronomicon Files was to include material describing the beliefs and experiences of those who practiced Necronomicon and Mesopotamian magic.  It was a controversial decision.  Some readers have said that such material was inappropriate for us to include, that it weakened our case.

Nearly a decade after the book first appeared, I must disagree.  Sure, we might have alienated some readers, and our invitations to the CSICOP Winter Solstice Party probably got lost in the mail, but I still feel that approaching magic as a rational topic that is undertaken by actors just as rational as everyone else (both good and bad).  Even for those who do not believe in magic, exploring it can yield a great deal of insight into situations that otherwise remain remote.  I’m sure that anyone who reads John’s section, even if they laugh it off, will gain valuable insight into the mindset of those who believe the Simon Necronomicon is real.

So set aside criticism for the time being and read on.  What I uncover might surprise you.

Published in: on September 30, 2006 at 10:07 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] Following the previous two sections, I want to recap one aspect of “Simon’s” critique of John from Dead Names: Gonce attacks it from the point of view of a self-described pagan and ceremonial magician. […]

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