“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” –Roald Dahl
What is magic, anyway? Wikipedia has several articles on it, depending on the sense in which the word is used. Magic as illusion is the art of appearing to perform supernatural feats by means of sleight-of-hand, escapology, or other means. That’s the kind of magic that stage magicians do.
Then there’s magic as a control mechanism, which is the use of paranormal methods to control other people or to manipulate natural forces. This ranges from black magic, which involves the intent to harm or destroy, to white magic, which involves beneficent intentions. Both are forms of control, however well-intentioned they may be. That’s why this type of magic is considered by many to be a spiritual violation: even God, who could easily control everything in Creation doesn’t completely control us. We are allowed to make our own choices, so that we can experience the consequences of our choices and learn from the experience.
Arthur C. Clarke, the science-fiction writer, had another definition of magic. He said, “Magic’s just science that we don’t understand yet.” That makes sense. For me, right now, electricity is a form of magic, and I know it would seem magical to someone who lived during the 1500s, for example, if such a person were able to visit his future/my present.
For artists, composers, and inventors, when things seem to come together to produce a work of art or a new invention without much effort, that’s magic. They describe this as happening when they are “within the flow” or “in the groove,” meaning that they are functioning at full capacity and at the peak of their creativity.
There’s another meaning of magic. It has to do with the idea of synchronicity, or two events that are unrelated in any normal causal sense, which seem to come together in a meaningful way. An example would be thinking of a friend who lives far away, and having that friend call you a few minutes later. Many who are on a spiritual path (as opposed to those who are members of an established religion) say they experience synchronicity all the time, and that it tends to happen when we are fulfilling our destiny for the current lifetime and living or acting in accordance with Divine Spirit.
Merriam-Webster dictionary hints at the meaning that Roald Dahl’s quote, above, seems to be about. That is a sense of wonderment or enchantment, a sense of being enchanted by something. We experience magic when we fall in love, when we see a new baby (whether it is ours or not), and when we are having a wonderful time with friends.
When was the last time you experienced magic? 🙂