Quotation by Henri Bergson

It goes without saying that religion thus conceived is the opposite of magic. The latter is essentially selfish, the former admits of and often even demands disinterestedness. The one claims to force the compliance of nature, the other implores the favor of a god. Above all, magic works in an environment which is semi-physical and semi-moral—the magician, at all events is not dealing with a person; whereas on the contrary it is from the god's personality that religion draws its greatest efficacy. Granted that primitive intelligence thinks it perceives around it, in phenomena and in events, elements of personality rather than complete personalities, religion, as we have just understood it, will ultimately reinforce these elements to the extent of completely personifying them; whereas magic looks upon them as debased, dissolved, as it were, in a material world in which their efficacy can be tapped.
Henri Bergson (1859–1941), French philosopher. The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, ch. 2 (1932) trans. 1935.
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