Magic in Real Life (Part 1)


As our civilization becomes more and more technical, as we rely on our computers, smart phones and other electronic gadgets and gizmos, it seems as though the last thing we can concieve of is whether or not magic can manifest in our lives. If you are staring at your computer screen and the face of a departed loved one appears on it rather than the Word document or Facebook page, we are more likely to think we are being hacked by somebody in an obscure part of the world rather than thinking that maybe our loved one has somehow managed to figure out how to use the computer's circuitry to communicate with us. And, even if this could actually be the case, we would be more skeptical of the reality of such a thing than we would if the image of the loved one appeared in a mirror or some less technological place.

One of the reasons for this is that we think of our technology as 'scientific' and therefore more 'real' than any of the less technological part of our lives. It is sad, but this is too often the case even with people who claim to believe in magic and spirits. It's almost like we have this need to confine our magic to its 'proper' realm, that is, the natural world which, sadly in our culture, we successfully are able to marginalize. Close the door, turn on the electric light, the air conditioning, the stereo and the phone and boot up the computer. The fairies in the garden need to stay out in the garden while we look at their pictures on Facebook or Pinterest.

Why do we do this? In an earlier post, I discussed the love/fear relationship that us modern people have with the realm of dreams. They scare us on a deep, visceral level and so we often seek to escape from them into the 'scientific' realm of technology. But they still call to us. And, we have to sleep sometimes. So, they constantly invade our dreams and unguarded moments when the gadgets are turned off and we find ourselves in a natural environment such as a wood or a garden preferably when the only light is provided by a full moon.

The thing we need to do is to stop being afraid of the natural world, the world without the technological safe space. We need to seek the magic. It’s out there, on the other side of the window. It’s even found when we shut off the switches and do some natural world types of things. Sweeping a floor. Cooking a meal. Walking a dog. Chopping wood. Watering a garden. When we are engaged in these kinds of activities, our hands and feet are moving but our minds are still, our hearts are open. Then, the magical, the mystical, the numinous can come quietly up behind us and tap us on the shoulder. The departed loved one can whisper in our ears and the fairies can come out from beneath the leaves and wink at us.

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