Here’s an excerpt from Jason Miller’s Magick Monday Newsletter this week:
From now on, when you think about magic, I want you to think about Grilled Cheese.
I was taught to make Grilled Cheese with butter on the outside of the bread, and American Cheese on the inside. Simple tasty and effective.
Later in life, I realized that I can make a better grilled cheese by using American (for melt), Cheddar (sharp), and Swiss (stringy). I also learned that if I coat the inside of the bread with a little mustard or garlic salt it really just blows my mind. So that’s my optimized Grilled Cheese for when I have time and materials available.
If I don’t have time and materials available, then this version is not optimal because if I insist on all these elements I will go hungry. Under such circumstances the basic grilled cheese is optimal.
But what if I don’t have butter? I can still make a Grilled Cheese using Mayo on the outside of the bread. To me, its not as tasty as butter, but it gets the job done and is still a grilled cheese. Technically.
Let me repeat this: It is not the SAME but still counts as THE THING.
Some twisted souls, I am told, like the mayo version better. I bet there are even some culinary philistines that prefer Miracle Whip. Now, me, I would rather go hungry than use that crap, but its still technically a Grillled Cheese sandwich. It may even be marginally healthier, which makes optimizes it from that point of view.
You could potentially switch out fats, cheeses, and types of bread to make endless combinations of grilled cheese.. All would be DIFFERENT, but all would count as GILLED CHEESE, and all would fill the basic function of a grilled cheese, which is to provide something to eat.
Does this mean that anything at all is a Grilled Cheese if we want it to be. Is nothing is true and everything permitted?
NO, IT DOES NOT.
A plate of spaghetti is not a Grilled Cheese. I think all sane people would agree on this.
So where is the line? Well, gets into contested territory.
Take for example the crime against humanity that is the KFC “double down”: two pieces of fried chicken fillet, as opposed to bread, containing bacon and cheese….
For me this is not a grilled cheese and I wouldn’t allow it to be discussed in a Grilled Cheese group if I ran one.
Others would disagree and defend their definition until heart disease eventually overtook them.
The double down will however provide calories, and so, while not qualifying as a gilled cheese in my book, nor functioning in the way a grilled cheese functions, it can still satisfy the underlying need that a grilled cheese is meant to satisfy: that of providing calories. (note I did not say nutrition.)
All this seems pretty obvious right? Why is Jason yammering on about this?
Because people rarely every take this level of thinking and apply it to Magic or Religion. When people see a ritual or spell with an indredient that they have trouble with people tend to fall into two camps:
1. I can change anything I want and its still the same because nothing really means anything.
2. If I change anything at all then it is an epic failure because any deviation is unacceptable.
Honestly even the question of “Will it work or not?” is an unacceptable binary.
As I just demonstrated with Grilled Cheese, even ordinary things are not as simple and cut and dried as this. If we are dealing in subtle forces and occult powers then our thinking must also cut deeper and more subtle.
“Grab yourself a copy of Consorting With Spirits “
Plenty of good stuff on this blog and the site it sits it!