It’s a kinda magic

Is magic real?

Do you believe in magic?

Define magic. If we wiki it, we see the words: belief, rituals, witchcraft and demons. Then if we skim some more, we might come across this:

‘During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Western intellectuals perceived the practice of magic to be a sign of a primitive mentality and also commonly attributed it to marginalised groups of people’.

Or by the 19th C., European ‘intellectuals’ regarded magical practices and beliefs as:

‘a sign of psychological impairment and marker of racial or cultural inferiority’.

Gasp! More skimming and you’ll find more about — not just the history, but how our perceptions of magic changed from ‘sinful’ and ‘trickery’ to the more modern interpretation of a fun and friendly ‘magician’.

But fast forward to an important element of magic. We can philosophise all we like, but the innocent bystander in any interpretation of magic is one of wonder.

Why and when did we lose the ability to see magic all around us?

Naturally, if you ask someone these days about magic, you might get the odd ‘Oh, but you know it’s not real, right? — there’s no such thing as magic’ or ‘magic is just an illusion — a trick of the mind’. And then a scientific explanation to back up the claim would follow. And this was a huge kill joy bug block for me when I started researching the science behind meditation. On one hand I was over the moon to have discovered — and experienced — so many magical and beneficial wonders around the practice and have them validated by science, but on the other hand, If all was objectified then where was the mystical wonder?

When I sat down on my cushion to get into the zone, I had times when I felt some form of intangible, well…magic. But, was higher consciousness just a load of old twanky? The more I learned about the physical mechanics and the science behind meditation, the more I reluctantly questioned the magic. I didn’t want everything to be absolute, determined, or black and white. Because, every time I looked up at the stars, or stood on a cliff watching the surf, or was early enough to watch a sunrise, I knew that there had to be something bigger than us.

So I researched some more in the hope of finding an answer to my question:

If it’s all science, where is the magic?

And the funny thing is, it was staring me in the face, I just hadn’t recognised it. And it seems I am not alone.

Over to Deepak Chopra who answers this so beautifully, after which there is no more to be said:

The mathematical formulations and abstract notions and concepts that emanate from our brains as a result of electromagnetic storms in synaptic networks are as much an expression of nature as the beautiful and myriad colors on the feathers of a peacock or the wings of a butterfly. They are as much a pattern of movement in the universe as the rotation of stars or the eddies of a whirlpool or the swirling of a tornado or the electromagnetic storms that create thunder and lightning.

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Viv Speers

Viv Speers

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I am a writer, session host for London Writers Salon and a mindfulness guide. But don’t let that fool you.