A History Of Magic

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Major Religions And Magic: Confucianism

Chapter 12

There is no rejection of magic or of Western witches and wizards amongst practitioners of Confucianism. They do not reject magic as much as disavow it. They would claim that what Western wizardkind identifies as “magic” is simply “Li,” or the ability to make something happen without taking direct physical action. How this differs from “magic” is not entirely clear, though, of course, physical action is required in many forms of magic, at least as Western wizardkind practices it most often. Thus, it is possible that the followers of Confucianism simply fail to utilize some forms of magic, while excelling in others.

Confucian wizards and witches consider themselves to be allied with “The School of the Scholars.” Were they to attend Hogwarts, they would be overrepresented amongst the Ravenclaws, and secondarily amongst the Hufflepuffs. In their own wizarding academies, the tendency is so strongly to be sorted into the House of one’s parents that to be sorted otherwise makes one a bit of an oddity.

Confucian wizarding practice is strongly ritualistic and formal, even in small bits of magic. As with Western magic, Li is used for even the smallest of household tasks, but is often cooperative in nature, invoking a relationship to accomplish even simple tasks such as summoning spells.  Confucian approaches to magic are, in fact, so cooperative that the desires of the individual wizard are often sublimated to those of the group.

Perhaps the best statement of this philosophical approach is a quote of one Confucian wizard, known by the single name “Spock,” who famously stated, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one… or the few.” It is entirely possible that a misunderstanding of this ethical stance on the use of magic is responsible for the twisted perspective that Gellert Grindelwald developed; that wizardkind should assume power over Mugglekind “for the greater good.” A deeper understanding would have informed him that this stance is completely antithetical to the principles of Confucianism.

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