I’m attempting to keep the magic in my (earth like) world from impacting the speed of mundane technological or scientific advancement too much. The argument for this is that ability to do things with magic could keep people from developing solutions through technology. I’ve been trying to do this by limiting what can be done with magic through the perception of the possible and through physical consequences of using magic.
But, intellectual traditions are barking on the door. Now this world has reached its classical age. It is seeing the rise of more abstract thinking and I’m worried that this will also affect how people are relating to magic.
Features of magic in my world important to the question
Original access to magic:
Through meditating on a substance or object in a waking dreamlike mind-state altering and pulling the substance becomes possible.
An example of limits through physical consequences:
Magic in my world is in its raw form unstable and retroactively sympathetic. This means that trying to do something with air runs the risk of either making you more like air or more like something you associate with air. Most peoples in this world treat such alterations as stigma and shun or kill people manifesting such changes.
An example of limits through the perception of the possible:
People couldn’t make fire with magic before they realized it was possible to make fire.
Advanced access to magic:
Through such as incantations, spell writing, dances or songs it is possible for people to begin to distance themselves from the negative consequences. This, however, is notoriously difficult and require years to master and a lifetime to excel at.
With the emerging advance of schools and academic traditions the inhabitants of my world might be on the verge of outsmarting me and my attempts at limiting their magic use.
- How could I possibly stop them?
- Or would I need to?
- Could the changes be interesting enough to keep?