Friday, April 13, 2007

You are the Magic

As part of my April A-Z blog on all things mystical, here's the letter M...

If you've been following my series on all things mystical you might have thought my "M" word would be "mysticism"...but I thought I'd talk about Magic... why we all have it, and how many use it on a daily basis whether they realize it or not.

There are varying household definitons of magic, served up primarily by writers of fiction and fancy. In some lore, only a chosen sect have the gift; in others, the magic lies with the wand (or hat, like Mickey Mouse's The Sorcerer's Apprentice). Or perhaps a user must spend a certain degree of training time before abilities are unlocked. But how about a more pragmatic view of magic?

Magic, in a very real sense, is the use of ones' energy and will to achieve a desired goal. Ever hear of the power of positive thinking? That's magic. Are you a writer who was taught to push forward, dedicate effort and keep an upbeat approach in order to realize your goal of being published? That energy is magic,too.

All things are comprised of energy, so directing and manipulating energy is how we impact change. We boil water to make steam, or freeze it for ice. The same science applied to other types of energy work in similar (albeit more mystical) ways. Sure, there are downright metaphysical implications. Consider that it may not sound very magical to talk about willing a board to break by hitting it, but ask a martial arts student how they are taught to do it. They'll tell you it has more to do with proper focus and the mental direction of energy (chi) toward the goal than it does with physical strength.

Granted, this particular birds-eye view isn't one where you will see money materialize from nothing, or watch martial artists fly through the air without the benefit of stage wire. But the power of attitude, thought, and focus has been known throughout history as one of the most valuable forces on Earth.

Magic is done through a variety of actions, which is where stories of potion making, magic wands, and strange rituals come about. The mental concentration, energies raised, and items employed makes it more focused and powerful, the way expending energy on improved writing tools or classes and workshops increases the chance of writing success. However, magic can also be as simple as lighting a candle, meditating, visualizing a goal, or even praying.

Yes, I must insert the "results vary" disclaimer here, and those with practice are likely better able to move metaphysical energy for a desired outcome. Consider the martial arts master and the student taking his first lesson. Who will most consistently be able to break a board? Still, each and every one of us has innate ability to use all the energy at our command--our thoughts, our will, and our physical and spiritual strength--in order to change our lives and environment. There's nothing more magical than that.