The Mieville Magical Academy
“What is important for you to understand, Mr. Arkright,” said Professor Hopswilly, “is that the study of magic is, primarily, a spiritual journey.
“A quest for a particular form of mental discipline, much like the Asian martial arts. We seek to build an adytum of the mind, a space that is at once a sanctuary, and yet, transcends all boundaries… an intellectual enclave where we are free to commune with the energies of the universe and thereby open ourselves to new possibilities and ways of seeing.
“In honoring the totality of creation and paying homage to its majesty, we gain the favor of our ancestors, the blessings of the gods and the cooporation of the spirits of nature… who themselves become open to the suggestion of those who are humble before them.
“Our dedication and humility are the currency with which we purchase enlightenment and wisdom and unlock the ancient knowledge of the workings of the world and its many planes of perception.
“The mysteries abate and the patterns, whose runnings and intersections and collisions form and shape the waking and dreaming realms, become as books awaiting only eager eyes to behold their intricacy and test their strictures.
“Transformations, the casting of spells and glamours, the brewing of potions, the reverent employment of talismans, even the invocation of the most venerable of metaphysical beings are merely token expressions of a deeper learning, perfunctory interactions with the physical sphere that yield only the smallest hint of an adept student’s efforts in the pursuit of arcane scholarship and their subtle connection to the elemental, the infinite, the eternal and the divine.
“But we don’t teach advanced mathematics here, so go away.”