Skepticism and the Enchantments of Life
I get tons of emails filled with great questions. I got this inquiry from Roger (name used with permission), and had to share it with you. Roger writes:
‘All of this stuff you write here is very entertaining, but is that all it is? Entertainment? For example, is there proof of earth elementals, magic, and anything else you describe that is out of the norm? I am very interested in knowing this stuff, but I don’t want to delve deeper if I am going to be let down in the long run.’
I think this is a great email. It appeals to my innate skeptic, and it smacks of a willingness to go beyond the mundane – to reach out for more – even if tentatively.
Well, Roger…I’ll be honest…it takes a certain amount of belief and faith to encounter elementals, or enchantment in life. It takes attitude, that’s for sure. This is not to say we all frolic willy-nilly into fairy land.
Too much dreaming without substance is all fluff. That’s why I appreciate healthy skepticism. It’s necessary to question.
In my experience, I’ve encountered things that logic cannot explain, and so my inquiries persist. Science comes close to explaining the enchantments of life, but it cannot fully explain the human-element which deals with attitude, perception and the dynamism of mind/spirit.
So, I guess my answer is circumventing the question, in that I’d say the realness of magic would be dependent upon your perception and reality.
I once wrote: ‘Magic is inherent in every inhalation of life.’ and that really is true. From a studious stance, science and metaphysics can track down logical, organized connections within energetic phenomenon taking place in every moment of our conscious existence. From a creative, imaginative stance…magic just “is”. It’s in every atom, every cell, every nook and cranny of life. It doesn’t have to be explained, or shoved under a microscope – it’s just present – at all times, and in all things.
It’s the glimmering sword of reason humans must wield in an effort to slice away doubt. But we’ve got to be able to suspend our doubt long enough to marry logic with imagination.
Life requires balance, and living a conscious life represents an endless Q&A between provable tangibles and intangible mysteries. It’s healthy to be skeptical. I certainly am. Believe it or not, I’m hugely suspect of most things I encounter that deny logic. But I think that makes me a great intuitive. Why? Because I’m not mindless. I pick apart the unexplained. In that process of picking, I usually come across a loop I can hook my psychic claws into. Once hooked, I can suspend my analytical mind just long enough to peer into an opening of magic, wonder and wisdom.
Plus, I can’t help but revert back to my ancestry – and the ancient lineage all humans share. Native Americans, Vikings, ancient Celts, Aborigines, etc….all the Old People of the Old Ways. They had old school psychic chutzpah. They knew stuff that went deep into the core of what it meant to live and be alive. We can argue they didn’t have the science to explain stuff as we do today. But does that make their wisdom any less significant? I don’t think so.
Take sympathetic magic for example. This is a kind of practice that sees corollaries in nature, and mimics them in ritual to bring about a similar, binding effect. An illustration of this is the Celtic Druid approach to mistletoe. Science tells us mistletoe is a parasite on the oak tree. Druids saw it as a snuggly, symbiotic partner to the oak. As such, Druids harvested mistletoe and used it in sacred ritual to bind their community. It was used as an omen or a symbol to keep marriages together, and bind the clan together. Mistletoe in ritual was used to imitate a clinging, a kinship, a glue to that which is deeply rooted and strong like the oak. Were the binding rituals effective? I can’t say. But I’m certain the divorce rates of ancient Celts were far less than that of the population today. Am I suggesting that all marriages end in divorce because a hand-fasting or a mistletoe ritual wasn’t employed? Certainly not.
What’s relevant here is the connection and collaboration with nature. I wholeheartedly feel (and have experienced) the effects of natural energy when profoundly, respectfully connected to it.
I guess I’m saying we can’t put all our eggs in one basket. Yes, indeed, there is such a thing as magic. Look around at the miracle of Earth and our galaxy…that’s proof enough of magic. Yes, magic can be conjured too. Is it the end-all-be-all of an outcome? No. I don’t think so. I think magic requires fortitude. I think tapping into the enchantment of life requires intellect, imagination and a willingness to believe while still maintaining an even mind.
I rarely make guarantees. But I promise you this: There is absolutely a superior, enchanted life taking place beyond our bills, our jobs, our kids crying, and long lines at the grocery store. There is more to this life than what we see day-to-day.
There is a gossamer veil that divides common experience from uncommon experience. Luckily, that veil is translucent and ephemeral. Luckily, if we want to, we can venture behind that veil to access otherworldly experiences. It takes an altered perception, and a balanced perspective to straddle the common and the uncommon. Am I saying it’s easy? No. But I am saying it’s doable.
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