Many of you will know that for a long while I have an interest in magic. It’s often the word I use when I want to refer to miracles, to the spooky, to the supernatural. I’m not talking here of the art of the showman, the David Copperfields of this world. I’m talking about something far more primal, more connected to the true power of the world, to the energy flow that runs at the core of our universe. It seems to me that a real connection to that energy will produce effects so outside of our current expectations of the behaviour of the world as to be indistinguishable from magic.
(An apology to my female readers – for some personal reason, probably connected to literature and media, I don’t like the word ‘witch’, and so I avoid it – but whatever I say applies to both men and women alike (and probably our more open and sensitive fairer sex will find the whole concept easier).
Some of my closest friends have recognised that in some way I am following the path of the wizard – at some level perhaps supernatural, magical (as Dr Hew Len, the Hawai’ian shaman from Zero Limits, remarked when I met him), at some level perhaps very natural in the way I work with people.
I’d warn you, though – the path of the magician is a deeply uncomfortable one. When you find someone with the magician’s stamp on their life (or the visionary, the prophet or the healer) – anyone for whom the gap between the seen and unseen is paper thin – then you will find someone whose life has been taken to the very edge of destruction. That might be through debilitating illness, or through emotional turmoil – their life may have been devastated through circumstances and events – but somewhere, you will find that they have been taken to the very edge of existence: they know that life is tenuous at best.
I’ve been fascinated by the real magicians of the world – people like Jesus Christ, perhaps, or Merlin, but also the archetype that’s alluded to by Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings" or Ged from "The Earthsea Chronicles". I think these archetypes are so permanent in our myths and in our stories because they speak of a truth that’s part of our genetics… we know this is at some level real. We know at some level that we are all magical beings.
There’s no space to go into it here (perhaps later!) but it’s my belief that our calling is to remember that our basic nature is that of God – as Jesus himself said "those things that I do, you will also do”. Or as Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, "all creation stands on tiptoe just to see the sons of God come into their own". This, I know in my heart, is our heritage, our birthright – it is what we are called to. Perhaps this is where evolution takes us next.
I believe at some level we are all capable of magic. It’s the wizard in each of us, the sorcerer (as Castenada called him – truly connected to the source). We are all capable of extraordinary miracles. It’s a part of our true nature. As Tom Holt observed in the wickedly funny "The Portable Door":
"It was at that moment that Paul realised the simple, basic truth. The world ought to work properly, there was nothing wrong with it, but sometimes it stuck or it wouldn’t start in the mornings. Magic was the confident, well-placed clout on the side of the casing, the clip round the carburettor that got it going. Magic wasn’t changing the world or making it do impossible stuff; magic was persuading it, by force of will and a little controlled violence, to stop fart-arsing about and get on with what it was supposed to be doing. Simple as that."
Magic is normal, natural, part of life. We experience it in so many ways – and as Arthur C Clarke famously observed, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." – it’s just, perhaps, that we don’t understand ‘how it works’ yet.
So my poor scientific brain has had to deal with learning and understanding energy work as demonstrated through the science of the Emotional Freedom Technique (www.emofree.com) or chakra work – or through technologies such as Reiki (I’m a reiki practitioner too) – technologies that in a rudimentary way explore the use of energy fields. I think this is the next huge technology leap for humanity – we’re only just scratching the surface of what this means right now: but I can see the control of these energies (and I don’t know if ‘energy’ is the right word for it) is the key to the fossil fuel crisis, to health and healing, to the environmental puzzle and more.
But back to magic…. We know that the magician has the power to create, producing something from nothing; the power to transform, changing one thing into another – and the power to destroy – to make things disappear. I think, along with many of our more coherent thinkers, that when we chose to live on this planet, we chose to forget who we truly are, what we’re truly capable of…and sometimes, we remember, just for a moment, what incredible power we truly have at our disposal. Sometimes we remember that we actually are made in the image of God.
Or as Neil Gaiman put it in "The Graveyard Book" "You are alive. That means you have infinite potential.. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change."
Christmas, it seems, is one of those times when the walls between the ‘real’ world and the ‘magical’ world become thinner – when we start to truly believe that magic can happen. And magic appears at all sorts of levels. From the things that we write off as ‘coincidence’, to the magic of a love affair, or a new born infant – to amazing healings, to remarkable restoration of fortunes. Somewhere, it seems to me, something is happening at a level that we can’t quite understand yet. Somewhere, magic is happening.
I don’t think we know who we are yet – still children, not yet fully grown into our true potential, still not understanding what we are truly capable of, not yet understanding the power that we have at the core of our beings. Perhaps, even now, we are waking up.
The last word, perhaps, goes to Richard Bach, from his wonderful true love story ‘Bridge Across Forever’.
"We think, sometimes, there’s not a dragon left. Not one brave knight, not a single princess gliding through secret forests, enchanting deer and butterflies with her smile. We think sometimes that ours is an age past frontiers, past adventures. Destiny, it’s way over the horizon, glowing shadows galloped past long ago and gone.
What a pleasure to be wrong. Princesses, knights, enchantments and dragons, mystery and adventure … not only are they here-and-now, they’re all that ever lived on earth!
Masters of reality still meet us in dreams to tell us that we’ve never lost the shield we need against dragons, that blue-fire voltage arcs through us now to change our world as we wish. Intuition whispers true: We’re not dust, we’re magic!"