12/18/2016 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Thomasina Belle ~
A colleague of mine was telling me about seeing an illusionist. She was blown away by his tricks: sawing a man in half, cards appearing out of nowhere, escaping from a tank after being submerged in water in a strait jacket for three minutes, etc. She said her husband couldn’t enjoy the show because he was just trying to figure out the mechanics of it all. She agreed with me when I remarked that even though nowadays it’s easy find out the man-made secrets of magic, it’s still amazing to see. I think it makes “magic” even more amazing, just knowing about all the complicated work involved behind the scenes, and how our brains are still deceived into seeing something they’re not.
It is so much like our journey from religion to the other side. For most of my life I believed in “magic.” Even when seeing a magic show, I thought something supernatural was going on. I believed in ghosts and demons and angels. I believed in a supernatural “savior/magician” who was watching my every move, knew all of my thoughts and was making stuff magically happen in my life. It was the ultimate comfort knowing the magician was in charge of the show and I could be disappointed, satisfied or elated at the performance; but in the end it was he who was performing, not I. Sometimes I still miss that. I want my invisible friend by my side who’s “got my back.”
I'm asking myself, "Is the magic gone?" It was who I was, and I’m asking myself, is the “magic” gone? My invisible friend has disappeared. How ironic. It’s just little old me now, and I’m performing the show. But am I really alone? In one sense, yes, but the magic is still be there, more than ever. My thoughts are freer. I can wonder at the universe. I can appreciate other cultures without judging them for not being Christian. I can investigate formerly forbidden information without feeling guilty. I am free to question anything. The universe, the cosmos is so unspeakably vast and varied and fascinating. It’s not limited by a man-made book. That is magic. Human beings are capable of ultimate beauty and ultimate ugliness. That is magic. I can train myself to be calm in any situation. That is magic. I can make a difference in others’ lives by my kindness and compassion. That is magic. The magic is everywhere. And it’s here, not up in “heaven.”
I can appreciate life in a better way, without the superstition, mysticism and fear. I can appreciate it for what it really is: a beautifully mysterious wonderful existence that’s not limited by a god and his book. And that’s magical.
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