When we recognize that we live in a magic-filled universe, we realize that we don’t have to create magic, but rather, simply allow the intrinsic magic of the universe to reveal itself. If this is indeed the case, let’s do an experiment, and see if in the joint co-operative venture of writing (my job) and reading (your job) this article, we can indeed let the inherent magic of the universe shine through our shared endeavor. In my career as a writer I have learned that when an article I am working on is birthing itself into form, at a certain point the universe itself always seems to step in and “conspire” (which literally means “to breathe together”) with the article, infusing it with an energy that I am not able to supply by my lonesome self.
On the one hand, I have so much to say about magic—and the figure of the magician—that I don’t know where to start. On the other hand, I don’t know if I am able to say anything overly interesting about the topic of magic at all, as it doesn’t easily lend itself to words. I am confronted with the question: Will my words obscure and get in the way of illuminating and bringing forth magic, or will they be the very medium that brings magic to life?
In any case, I have been quite unsure how to proceed, and then I found something in a book that caught my attention. The words appeared with the force of a revelation; as soon as I read them, I knew I had found a way into what I wanted to write about. Here are the words: “Seeing the world as separate from ourselves has become the prevailing and institutionalized worldview of ‘the academy,’ a viewpoint that takes the heart, soul and ‘magic’ out of the world, reducing it to a dead, inanimate, insensate domain.” It was as if seeing these words unlocked something in my mind.
I knew exactly what the author meant, at least in my imagination. “The academy” is mainstream materialist, reductionist science, which views the world as an object “out there,” separate from ourselves. Even after the advent of quantum physics, which has empirically proven beyond even the slightest shred of a doubt that the notion of an objective universe is a meaningless idea, the pre-quantum, classical worldview of relating to the world as objectively existing still holds sway in the collective unconscious of our species. It is as if we are a bit behind the times regarding what cutting edge science—in a sense, our modern wisdom tradition—is revealing to us about the nature of reality.
Viewing the world as objectively existing immediately dreams us up to be “subject” to the world as object, as the two—subject and object—reciprocally co-arise and condition each other. The idea of an objective reality links with the idea of a subjective center of psychological operations—the reference point of ego—in such a way that these ideas reinforce and co-create each other, reciprocally assisting each other’s survival in the meme pool. Thinking that the world exists as an object outside of ourselves, we dream ourselves up to be separate from this world, which further constellates the world to supply all of the evidence we need to prove to ourselves the rightness of our point of view in a self-reinforcing feedback loop whose ultimate source is our own mind. We have then put ourselves under a spell of our own making.
As if “bewitched,” we have then entranced ourselves by our own innate unrealized genius for co-creating reality. It is as if we are powerful wizards wielding a magic wand, but seemingly disempowered and not realizing our own divine gift, we are using our power to create our world unconsciously, which is to say destructively. We have forgotten that we have reality-shaping powers at our disposal, thereby unwittingly placing ourselves in what William Blake calls “mind-forg’d manacles.” To the extent we have fallen under our own self-created spell, it is as if we have become dis-oriented (and deranged) magicians who have created a world for ourselves that doesn’t serve us, all the while thinking that we are just encountering—and being victimized by—an objective reality that we cannot change. The truth of our situation, simply put, is that we are geniuses with amnesia.
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