Magic or sorcery is an attempt to understand, experience and influence the world using rituals, symbols, actions, gestures and language. Modern Western magicians generally state magic's primary purpose to be personal spiritual growth. Modern theories of magic may see it as the result of a universal sympathy where some act can produce a result somewhere else, or as a collaboration with spirits who cause the effect. The belief in and the practice of magic has been present since the earliest human cultures and continues to have an important spiritual, religious and medicinal role in many cultures today. Magic is often viewed with suspicion by the wider community, and is sometimes practiced in isolation and secrecy.