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The Theorem of The Double Bind

Every magical being inherits an extraordinary propensity to be drawn (attracted) towards magical objects or other magical beings.  This "drawing" power and "being drawn to power" is often seen as a positive attribute of magic in our makeup.  However, through Deep Magic, we know it can present danger and/or difficulties to us because of the many aspects of the phenomenon known as The Double Bind.

On the plus side, we find it easier than non magical beings to sense when treasure or other magical objects/beings are near to us.  These objects, in turn, help us to acquire riches (often, they are riches themselves).  In other cases, we acquire wealth when we sell these objects.  (That is why the well-intentioned gift of even the weakest-powered magical object should be gratefully received because it is a gift which transfers not only power, but opportunity, to the recipient.) 

 But, through Deep Magic we are also warned of the pitfalls of this natural attraction.  The warning comes to us through the Theorem of the Double Bind.  This theorem first posits that the greater the magical power of an object or being, the greater the pull or attraction of that object/being upon another.  Its second premise is that the greater the power of the magical being, the greater the "desire" on behalf of another object/being to attach itself to the first.  Therefore, a magical being and a magical object (or another being) of equal (even if  very diverse) powers are well-matched and are bonded very easily.  In this case, the most usual, the bonding is seen as positive and it is also very difficult to break, unless the being or the object desires to sever the attachment/ relationship.

However, what happens when there are an unequal power levels involved in the attraction?  Here, the third premise of The Double Bind takes effect.  If the magical being is much more powerful than the object, the object is irresistibly drawn to the being and, if already possessed, it will be "restless" and not function properly.  The theorem posits that the weaker object/being will feel threatened and with good cause:   it gradually could have its powers siphoned off by the more powerful being.  This occurs even when there is no intention to do so, although the loss of power is speedier when the more powerful being intends to "use up" the powers of the weaker object/being.  Regardless, as a wizard becomes ever more powerful, the wizard "outgrows" the object and a Good wizard will give or sell the weaker object to a less powerful wizard so that the more equal power levels will produce a better bonding. 

 Of course, if there is sentimental value/reasons for keeping an object (as is often the case), the wizard should isolate the object in some sort of magical container so that there is an enchanted impenetrable barrier (wood, glass, stone, crystal, metal) between the wizard and the object.  This would prevent the object's powers being inevitably drawn from it.*  (Under no circumstances, of course, would a Good wizard keep another being captive.) 

* An extreme extension of this precept concerning such imbalance is the phenomenon of  a "magic allergy."   This is most often seen in a younger wizard who possesses an unusually high level of natural CHI.  (As discussed in "Specialization," wizards' powers are usually greatest, but least directed and controlled, in youth.)  In most cases, this power takes time to manifest itself fully, so that these young magical "giants" often seem inept and clumsy when around, or using, magical objects.  In some cases, the youngster actually becomes ill from exposure to magical powers.  This is because he or she is already "filled to the brim," so to speak, with magic and his or her young and smaller body cannot "take any more" of the magical powers that other objects and wizards automatically start to transfer to him or her.  (There have been cases of Evil wizards trying to destroy young magical prodigies through "exposure" to extra magical powers.)   Fortunately, with physical and mental maturity, the latent CHI is more fully utilized and other power can now be accommodated by the wizard and he or she "grows out" of the "allergy."

It is within the situation of an object having much more power than a wizard acquiring it  that most problems occur.  They may be serious, indeed.  In this case, the fourth premise states that the object slowly, but surely (each time the object is used), draws out and weakens the powers of the wizard.  This is done so subtly that often the wizard has "no clue" that it is happening until it is too late to recover the lost power.  In essence, the wizard suffers a sort of "addiction" to the object.  Then, when the object is acquired by a more powerful wizard, the first wizard is also "bonded" to the new owner through the object's power.  If the new wizard is Good and ethical, then the weakened wizard will be "unbonded/unbound" by the "master" wizard--but it may be a long time before the first wizard recovers.  The "master" wizard may be very generous and invoke spells to restore some of the ailing wizard's lost power.  In this case, the Rule of Reciprocity takes effect and the restored wizard owes a great deal of CHI as well as gratitude to the "rescuing" wizard.  However, if the acquiring wizard has evil inclinations, then the bonded wizard is in deep trouble—he or she may be used for acts from which he or she retains little power to refuse to do.  Nor does this excuse the used magical being—he or she would still be considered culpable for those actions unless it could be proved that he or she was used unwittingly—a difficult defense to prove.

We can see immediately that the greatest protection for a wizard is to "Know Thyself"--the ancient wisdom of Socrates.  If we have a sound and accurate assessment of our own natural CHI and acquired magical skills, then we can judge the advantages and disadvantages if we were to bond with an object or being.  We will avoid acquiring both types of objects:  those either greatly magically weaker or stronger than we are.  If we are not sure, a team (usually three) of mentors (older, wiser wizards or friends) may help us evaluate the object.  Their combined powers should be enough to control any Dark Magic/Evil propensity or property of the object (e.g. perhaps it is Orc-made).  In short, confidence in our known powers and skills is beneficial, but egotism and ignorance are devastating.

How does this affect us in our daily lives?  First, by following The Rule of Three we are partially protected from acquiring too many objects that are either less or more powerful than we are.  Second, we also should keep sentimental, unused, or waiting-to-be-used possessions isolated so that we don't inadvertently drain them or have ourselves drained of power.  Third, we should get rid of extra objects that we know are much less powerful than we are--give them away or sell them to less-experienced or less-powerful wizards.  Fourth, if we wish to acquire new objects, have them evaluated for our suitability to them or theirs to us.  Fifth--BEWARE of gifts from strangers!  Friends, of course, would not knowingly give you anything to harm you.  But, there are Evil wizards who, knowing you will be attracted to an object's power, may use trickery in hopes you are lazy and fail to evaluate the object (or, will be greedy and covet it), subsequently to be ensnared by it.  Sixth, if you are fortunate enough to bond with an object or being of equal magical CHI growth potential as your own, then treasure that item or being.  It will mature with you as long as you use it wisely and for Good.  It will become an extension of yourself and it will aid you and even advise you as you go through life.

This is the nature of The Double Bind (many natures, really) and understanding the theorem helps us manage both our magical property and personal relationships.

May the heavens always find you well!  Prof. Opal Dragonfly

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