Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Magic and Reality

For any one who studies or practices magic, all seasons are magical, as 'natural magic' seeks to comprehend and harness natural powers. The season of the Winter Solstice always has felt particularly magical to me, however, and the way that Christian traditions incorporate ancient pagan ones is for me a compelling reason to participate in all of these beautiful rituals.

Children fascinated with magic often think in terms of making things happen that are contrary to 'natural law' but I always believed that magic was a matter rather of tapping into natural law. There is an old magical analogy of life as a river. The magician or practitioner of magic simply learns how to divert the flow of the water.

By this means, it is possible to change the course of one's life or the course of events to some extent. To what extent it is possible to affect natural powers such as the wind and rain would depend on the skill of the practitioner. It is interesting to compare a modern meteorologist with an ancient witch. After all, they have discovered that clouds can be 'seeded' with rain, haven't they? I am not much of a scientist alas. I often wish I had found science more interesting as a child. It appeared dry and tedious, when in fact it deals with the very structure of our planet and our existence here.

Unfortunately, Christianity and Science presented themselves as adversaries to some extent in past centuries and this ridiculous emnity has poisoned the wells of knowledge in the West. The 'Age of Enlightenment' did not improve the relationship between Christianity and Science, seeking to disprove the existence of God and attempting to set Science as a Deity in His/Her stead, rather than acknowledging a binding relationship between them. Islam, on the other hand, declares that science is a matter of learning more about Allah. To love Allah is to try to understand all of Allah's creations. 'Nearness to God' is achieved with knowledge rather than ignorance.

I am not an advocate for any organised religion, but I do believe that a life without a spiritual foundation is an empty shell of an existence. Religions merely offer signposts and often these signposts misdirect, but at the heart of every great religion must be a desire to understand as much as possible about the 'other realm', that world that we cannot see and yet of which each one of us is aware to varying degrees.

Some perceive this 'other realm' as one which is above us somewhere in the heavens, where some see it as another layer of our own reality. I have had an awareness of layers of existence on more than one occasion, and this awareness was so vast and complex that my senses could not support it. It was akin to sensory 'overload'. I believe that my friend Fleming has experienced this as well.

Of course, there are those who might say that this sounds suspiciously like madness... In my opinion, the fundamental difference between a madman and a seer is that the seer has some control over his/her visions and always retains the power of return. The madman, on the other hand, cannot return to this reality at will.
I feared that as a child, actually. I longed to visit other realms but I feared that if I allowed myself to believe too strongly in any fantasy, I might find myself imprisoned in it.

1 comment:

Fleming said...

This is a fascinating and inspirational post.