Not in a Peter Pan, clap if you believe in fairies, kind of way, because that is something entirely different. Some people might call that magic, whereas I would call that children’s literature, which, of course, it is, and spawned an entire industry around the subject of “The Peter Pan Syndrome”, (Dan Kiley), which refers to boys who won’t grow up, and women who want to ‘Wendy’ or mother them.In London’s Daily Mail, (online edition, 2011), there is an article on this very subject.
I always find the psychological slant rather intriguing. I probably think too much, which is why the subject of magic has particular importance in my life.
What produces magic in your life?
For many people, it is the emotional link to a child or spouse; a passion or hobby. Pure magic, they’ll say, and they are right because it lights them up. And when we are lit up from the inside, we are in contact with our inner source or knowing. You don’t have to be spiritual or religious to be lit up. Did you know that? You just have to believe. When we focus our attention and energy in a particular direction, we are giving our life force to that person, place or subject. We are feeding it, nurturing it and believing in it. When we don’t give our attention to something that has personal meaning to us, we are in that space where we are simply getting by and killing time.
What is it about time that we want to kill?
How often have you heard someone say to you, that he or she is just putting in time until they retire, and then they are really going to get on with their life? Sadly, these people often drop dead when they retire, as they simply don’t know what to do with themselves – they don’t really believe in anything and have lost sight of their inner magic.
I believe that magic is a deeply personal concept. What is magical to me is not magical to you. In my case, the creation of an active imagination is very important, and therefore magical to me. I have always been fascinated by stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. When I discovered the writer Joseph Campbell and read his book: “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, I had to agree with Time Magazine when they placed the book in its list of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since the magazine was founded in 1923. Even George Lucas who created the famous Star Wars movies acknowledged his debt to Joseph Campbell. We want meaning in our life and Campbell understood the power of myth to give our life meaning.
The wisdom to understand the deep importance of myth and legend, even though we may view something as a ‘fairy story’, is a message for us all. This is why, I think, the ABC television show: “Once Upon a Time” has become such a big hit. It has a great cast and is well-written, but step back a moment. How did this happen? A television show whose basic premise revolves around storybook characters (such as Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood) juxtaposed, (love that word), against the modern day struggles of a young woman who happens to stumble into (a town called) Storybook. Really? Yes, really, and it has been developed in such a way that it is rather captivating.Now look at this through the eyes of Joseph Campbell, whose writing has had a massive influence in the 20th century. In both cases, we can see the way in which myth and legend, fantasy and reality are interwoven. And this is how the magic of stories plays out in our own lives.
We tell the “story of our lives”. We “have a story” and we are the leading characters creating our lives each and every day. That is why I enjoy writing this blog so much. You can see that I create every day – we all do – and I extract a few moments from my life and ask myself how I will move forward now to shift my reality.
Today I have been contemplating the impact of magic and my own stories and symbols. I can tell you that I do believe in unicorns. Granted, I haven’t met one yet and probably never will, but I do have a rather interesting story to share about a unicorn.
Some years ago, I was on a course in England, near Guildford, where there was a gathering of lamas from all over Europe. At that time, I had only come across the Dali Lama, (whom I greatly admire), and didn’t know there was a sort of training school for lamas of all ages but there you have it. I had the good fortune to stumble into this training school and eat lunch with a boy lama-in-training and his mother. She told me how he would shift from an ordinary boy, to an altered state of awareness. It was a remarkable thing to witness in a child. He suddenly turned to me and said:
You have a unicorn with you. He’s over there to your left. I can see him. Can you see him?
No, I didn’t. But I believed him. It felt right to me. While I may not be able to “see” unicorns, I will continue to believe – and feel – the magic.
- The Mythology of Our Time via Joseph ‘Jedi’ Campbell … (iamdustycole.wordpress.com)
- The Power of Myth (requiredreadings.ca)