There exists, even among long term practitioners, gross misunderstandings of magical principles. Even after the lessons of chaos magic theory (CMT) regarding belief as tool rather than operating system, some magicians still cling to the delusion that (for example) tracing five lines into a shape human minds recognize as the pentagram is by itself magically efficacious. Long-time practicing magicians (those who should most know better) are not immune to this phenomenon. Indeed, a tendency exists to imprint one’s own tradition as the operating system of reality, lending their system an objective belief Robert Anton Wilson described as “the death of thought.” Most modern magicians show at least a passing intellectual understanding of a principle outlined succinctly by Uncle Al several decades before CMT made it creed:
“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth, and the Paths, of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether they exist or not. By doing certain things certain results follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.” (Liber 0 I:2).