Sunday, June 5, 2011

Use your spells wisely

I have been sitting back, skulking in my masoulem, reading. It's always a nice diversion, flipping through dead trees and ink, absorbing thoughts and ideas. The book I read was "Changes", by Jim Butcher (gotta love that name), and it's about a Supernatural Investigator (and Wizard, no less) battling against a Vampire enemy. Humoursly written, with a lot of subtle cultural reference that may be lost on the less astute.

Through no direct inference in the book, however, it started me down a thought process, which I have given a few days to ferment, heavily laced with W101-applicable metaphors.

In the book, the protagonist, Harry Dresden, speaks briefly about the the effects of *will* and *intent* in casting magic. In W101, we count pips, and hope for "the right card" to play, in our battle strategies.  However, in blogging, Twitter, chat, Skype, what-have-you, we all persistently, if unconsciously, wield spells of great power, on a daily basis. The power of words.

Words are, indeed, powerful spells. When properly crafted, they can be a cure, or a curse. They can open portals, or close them. They can unite sovereign entities, or divide them. The letters of the alphabet (regardless of the language) are runes that string together ever more complicated spells, expressing ever more complicated ideas.  It is the base of our relations with those around us, the canoe between the islands of our separate realities. It is how we translate the intangible, and create that which does not exist. We can summon images, and direct them to the recipient of our spells.

Funny that singularly identifying letters in a word a word is called "Spelling", huh?

In the book, it is also explained that emotion is a powerful, if unpredictable reservoir of potential energy, and can skew the casters intent. All too often, we, in our perceived defense, hurl out our strongest spells at our opponents, oblivious to the long-term destruction our lingering spells may have, so long as our opponent is defeated. Many times, we burn bridges and close doors we have not even gotten to, over the event horizon of time, due to spells we have cast far into our own forgotten memories. I myself have, in time, come upon these bridges, and wondered aloud "Huh, I don't remember burning this..I just got here". However, such are the consequences of careless spell-casting.  If we let emotion flow freely, our ability to focus becomes diminished, and our "Sniping" spell can be more akin to a verbal shotgun, hitting much more than our intended target. Collateral damage is never a good thing, when it's a matter of "You break it, you bought it."

It is significantly easier to destroy, than it is to create. A single fire can consume cities, or Empires, even. All the greatest fires to flash across mountain and plain can oft be attributed to a single spark. Many an arsonist has been consumed by an overly-successful 'creation'. The power to do it is "easy", the will , and discipline to NOT do it is wisdom. What is the intent of your spell-casting? What are the caster's true, if not obvious motivations? These are things that should be taken into consideration. On the internet, ours spells have an excessive longevity, a half-life of about a gazillion or so years (give or take). Will the spells you cast today come back to assist you at a later time, or open a rift between you and your goals, making them unattainable?

Of course, nobody can know these things, for sure, but Life , itself, is a "stacked deck" already, and there is simply no need to actively provide your future adversaries the ammunition to undo you with. None of us have the perfect +12 armor of the fay. We all are subject to the stray fire of errant spells. I would, with caution, advise moderation in all things. Cast not with an un-calmed mind, for you may "pull" more than your tank can mediate. We all need our future bridges as intact as possible, our future portals open.

"Cast unto others as you would have them cast unto you" seems to fit, here. "Verbal PvP" is fine for the safe confines of an Arena,(it's called "Debate") but when it becomes a free-for-all, hither-and-yon, there are inevitably scores upon scores of innocents that get caught in the crossfire. It is no different in game than it is in life. Go play a game on an "open PvP" server, there is always someone waiting around the next corner. Why make things harder for yourself than they absolutely need to be?

In closing, none of us are above reproach. We are all human, therefore we err. It is the hallmark of our imperfect nature. How we take those imperfections , and what we do with them, defines us as individuals. Whether we chose "wisdom", or "barbarity" is determined by the time effort, and amount of impurities we allow in the forging of the swords that are our minds. The more we hammer, and fold, and work at our goals determine whether we forge a bronze Gladius, or a steel Katana.

We, as always, are the authors of our own fate, with the spells we cast, in ink and in spoken sonic resonance.

Cast Well.

1 comment:

Kevin BattleBlood said...

Bookmarked for life. Whatever wisdom I pass onto my future children and grandchildren, this will be one of those that I inevitably will dig up for. Insightful tie to your book, and now I'm interested in it :)