Do You Believe in Magic?

How long has it been since you believed in magic?

Advertisements

How many of us believe in magic?

Nearly all of us did once, at a simpler time in our lives, but I doubt many of us would still say we do.


 

Since I was a little boy, everyone from teachers to parents to priests have reiterated to me how silly the idea of magic is. 

As a boy, I didn’t believe them. I remember running through the woods behind my house, certain I was in a magical place.

When you’re a child, everything from the brightest star in the sky to the smallest insect in the dirt is magic. After the age of seven or eight, however, it was no longer appropriate to believe. There was no longer a Santa Clause, or an Easter Bunny. It was time to grow up.

I still remember when the Harry Potter series came out, schools all over the world were banning the books in a desperate attempt to contain the potential spread of something as demonic as witchcraft and wizardry.

By the time we reached adulthood, magic was something only the strange or the unintelligent still believed in. We were grownups now, after all, it was time to think and act like one.

We were taught to scoff at the ancient spiritual traditions all over the world. Medicine men, shamans, wuyus, mystics, oracles, priestesses, and witch doctors were all terms that became synonymous with barbarism and the uncivilised. Silly adults splashing water, singing strange songs and burning incense in honour of spirits with funny sounding names.

61aa8f4ca80eed9572c1ce9671977696
Some see a healer full of wisdom; others see a savage.
So, how many of us believe in magic?


Well, there’s around 2.2 billion Christians in the world, with the Americas and Europe providing the largest percentage of those who follow Christianity.

There’s an additional 1.6 billion Muslims in the world.

Add another 1 billion Hindus, 400 million who follow the traditional religion of China, and 375 million Buddhists.

All up, around 5.6 billion people make up the following of the top five religions in the world. 

That’s a lot of believers in magic.


 

Because really, what is the real difference between magic and religious practice?

I look at their priests and monks and see adults splashing water, singing strange songs and burning incense in honour of spirits with funny sounding names. Sound familiar?


 

 magic

ˈmadʒɪk/

noun
 
  1. 1.
    the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

 

What religion doesn’t claim to have that power?

Religious practitioners believe they can influence eternity by uttering suggested prayers or through the singing of hymns and mantras. Whether its going to heaven, attaining saṃsāra, or improving the quality of our next life by raising of our karma, we must first place our faith in the mysterious and supernatural in order to find salvation.

We must believe in the prayer, the chant, or the mantra. We must believe in the magic. Without our faith, there is no power behind our actions.

We’ve somehow legitimized a select few forms of magical practice and file them under the term “religion”. We’ve used the power of words to shape our perspectives and change our opinions on what is legitimate and what is not (that, and a few good old fashioned witch hunts never hurt as a deterrence).


 

witchesguernsey
You know what they say: there’s no better way to beat the competition than by burning them alive and, for good measure, also throwing their baby into the flames.
Instead of chants, we call them hymns. Instead of incantations, we call them prayers. Instead of minor deities, we call them angels. Instead of acolytes, we call them priests – or nuns instead of priestesses. In the end, it’s all just magic.

Has anyone seen the epic wizard staff the Pope carries? Even Gandalf would blush at the sight of it. If we were in the Harry Potter universe, that bad boy would be a 72 inch wand, made from elder wood (coated in gold) with a dragon heartstring core.


 

 

gandalf and pope
Seriously, how is the Pope NOT a wizard?
I’m not knocking religion. I think there are wonderful lessons to be learned from every religion and their texts. I’ve had profound moments reading the Bible, the Vedas, and various Buddhist teachings. I carry many of those lessons with me every day. Anything that makes us better people towards our fellow Earthlings and helps us to dive deeper into the deepest parts of ourselves, I absolutely support.

Our greatest gift as humans is the immense power of our belief; the strength of our faith. It gives power to the mind, body, and soul, that we never knew we possessed. Truly believing is the power behind our visualization and manifestation practices. There is no mountain we cannot climb as long as we keep the faith. The faith in ourselves; the faith in the universe. That is where the magic happens.


 

Children naturally possess the gift of magic. They possess imaginations that are limitless and a faith in the universe that is unwavering. They innately understand their own magical power – the power to manifest their own reality. They see the universe as it is: infinite, expanding, beautiful, and full of potential.

That is why I find it so hypocritical that we readily stomp on those imaginations and shatter their belief in magic, and yet we take them to mass on Christmas to perform ritualistic hymns for a deity who will burn them for eternity if they don’t follow his rules.

We turn a child’s world from one where anything is possible into a world with walls and barriers and limitations. They come to us wild, free, and full of self-belief, and we put them in shackles and convince them of their limitations.

Instead of teaching our children how to fit into boxes, maybe it’s time we learn from them how to live outside of them.

Maybe instead of teaching them religion, we let them teach us how to believe in magic again.

Be good to each other,

~ MG.

 

 

 

Photos:

Gandalf: MTV.com
The Pope: Wikipedia
Burning at the Stake: breitbartunmasked.com
Medicine Woman: pinterest.com
Featured Image: dreamatico.com

 

 

16 thoughts on “Do You Believe in Magic?

  1. I’d rather not turn back to the dark ages when everyone believed in ‘magic’, it’s already hard enough being a woman in this day and age, I guarantee you I would’ve been one getting burned at the stake for being a witch if I was alive back then. I don’t have an issue with faith or what people believe, but I for one would rather be secular, secular schools, politics all of it. Because I hate the whole cherry picking of the things we used to, religion has a way of justifying old practises that are still not right, and I’d rather not have my child brainwashed into a false sense of fear when there’s no proof of heaven or hell. In my opinion, there is only magic if you think there is, and if you’re riding on a broomstick down the street playing an imaginary quidditch match with imaginary wizards then you’re probably just going to get classed as insane. I don’t believe in magic, only imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Women were getting burned at the stake over 500 years after the “dark ages”. The 1800s were not long ago at all.

      If you believe in imagination you believe in magic. By its very definition, anytime you try to alter reality with powers you don’t understand you’re practicing magic.

      So if you imagine something (also known as visualising) you’re putting the energy of change into your observable universe. You don’t have to “believe” in it, but the power of visualisation has been both medically and scientifically documented.

      Here’s a good example. If you’ve ever cooked a cheese toastie, you’ve performed magic. You don’t understand the complex chemical reactions that occur while you’re making it, you probably don’t even think about that while you’re cooking (I know I don’t) but you definitely don’t know how to un-toast the toastie when you’re done! That’s a chemical reaction that is not reversible. You’ve changed the reality of the bread through powers you don’t understand – that’s magic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Magic to me maybe but a scientist could tell you an exact reason why you can’t untoast toast, and it will be science that explains it. Sounds like the best cop out though to not answer a kids question
        Little Jimmy ‘where does the water go after you drain it from the bath?
        ‘i don’t know, magic’

        It’s not magic if you can’t understand it, it’s just undiscovered territory. I believe that I don’t know that much. But I also know that’s because I NEED to find out. Magic is just not a good enough answer to me, it’s religions number one argument.

        Like

        1. That’s the point. 100 years ago a scientist couldn’t tell you what happened to the toastie. No one could. So if magic doesn’t exist, neither can that toastie, because you’ve altered its reality by means that are supernatural to everyone in the world at that time.

          All you’ve done is applied connotations to the word magic that don’t actually exist. Magic isn’t an explanation for anything.

          When a child asks where the water goes when you drain a bath, you can explain exactly the process by which it drains into a complex sewer system, and to the child that is absolutely still magical that the power of the human mind can create something so wonderful.

          I agree that it’s not magic BECAUSE we don’t understand it, but just because we think we do understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t magic.

          The problem is, you’ve become attached to the fantastical representation of the word “magic ” by the religions that tried so desperately to disempower you.

          It’s not religion’s #1 argument, it’s their number #1 argument for why WE need THEM.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ok then it’s the definition we choose then. The way I see magic is very blatant, wizard has a wand and does a spell and that’s magic, fictional. But a person in the real world that practises magic like a magician, is merely practising illusion, and I think religion is somewhere between an illusion and delusion, not magic. But I don’t think a toastie (I only just figured out that’s a jaffle) is a good explanation either, because it’s the same as the drain argument. It can be explained by science and anything that can be explained is no longer magic. I don’t believe we would have science without philosophy though, isn’t that the closest thing we have to magic?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Yeah I’m using the textbook definition of magic, according to the dictionary.

            We have lots of magical studies that we legitimised with words. Chemistry is just a name for Alchemy, or to a lesser extend Potions haha.

            Newton is renowned as a scientist but he dabbled in alchemy and “magic” more than was considered “appropriate” for the enlightenment. He was so obsessed with alchemy that he wit Cambridge and started working at the mint with gold coins. Funnily enough he increased production by %500 or something. Greatest wizard ever!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I just find it hard to see magic in water flowing through drains and bread becoming toast ;). Where do miracles fit in then, are they magic or just karma? (another thing people may or may not believe)

            Like

          4. If you wished for the miracle and it happened, that’s magic. It’s again altering reality with forces you don’t understand, in this case belief and desire.

            And no one said magic has to be spectacular, that’s just applying connotations to a word that doesn’t actually exist. There’s nothing fantastic about water in a drain, but it’s actually an amazing feat of engineering that most people don’t understand.

            Like

          5. It’s a lot like my post “On babies and pizza”. You don’t think there’s anything magical about a pizza, but it’s actually the result of an infinitely vast collection of brilliantly interconnected events.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great post, magic is up to each and every one of us. It lives in our imagination, in faith and hope that we can achieve anything we set our minds to. As children we have it and then as adults so many of us become bitter and lose it, the ability to see magic in the everyday and ordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spot on, Mike! The supernatural tries to suck magic from the natural by muffling the senses. Luckily we have the sixth sense – imagination, creativity, free association, call it what you will. The battleground, as you indicate, is early education …

    Liked by 1 person

Enlighten Me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s