I have previously written on magic – and this beautiful morning, I intend to do so again. Maybe it is because the magical island of Bali (packed with offerings and ceremonies) that I have recently made my home is affecting me. Or, perhaps it is because the older I get, the more convinced I feel that there is magic everywhere.
Our daily lives are mostly monotonous and routine-based, and the majority of our time we are steering through familiar surroundings and making use of well-known objects, when we transport ourselves from a to z, cook, eat, and work. But, the vastness of the universe, and the incomprehensibility of human life is always present. All we have to do is look towards the stars in the sky or contemplate on the time that flows through our live; always, constantly. Like river-water, always in motion.
However, the ability to do so; to actually look at the sky with wonder or to contemplate on human life conditions is something that we need to exercise and refine. Being able to sometimes stop in awe, paying attention to and appreciating the beauty in our surrounding world nourishes our soul and connects us to the dimension of life that makes up the counter-pole of triviality. And we must nourish that ability by allowing for magic – or the inexplicable – to occur in our lives. By viewing magic as some that is real.
My partner always sees the same three-digit number; it will appear as the time of day when he randomly checks his phone, on signs, as the arrival time on a gps, on computer screens, as the amount to pay in supermarkets and cafes, in documents and bills. All over the place! And he and I have discussed many times what on earth that means. What is the denotation of this number? What does it symbolise? What is it trying to tell him (if anything)? Is it just random? (it sure doesn’t seem to be). We have looked into the symbolic meaning of numbers (which can be overwhelming and confusing, as there as so many different connotations attached to numbers, depending on which source you consult).
As my partner is very synesthetic it is natural for him to connect colours with numbers; but even these associations haven’t proven to be much help in the search for the answer to why this number keeps materialising. Maybe the number is “just” an indication that he is on the right track in life; that he is doing what he is supposed to do. Maybe seeing this number frequently should be understood as a discrete nodding or a “yes, you are going the right way – keep believing in this life path that you have chosen.” I say this, because whenever we decide to do something rather big; like moving or following a new professional ambition or path in life, this number seems to appear more frequently. And recently, when we decided to shake up everything and deliberately break out of our comfort zone (by selling more or less everything we own, and moving to Indonesia), the number seemed to appear on a nearly daily basis. As a: “you can to this — this is right” kind of thing.
In the culture that I am brought up in, i.e. the late-modern western culture governed by capitalism and rationalism, believing in magic is not common and not really approved of. Everything that cannot be explaining rationally is basically cut out of daily life. Therefore, it was with great wonder and awe that I experienced the introduction-days at the Green School, which my kids have recently started attending. They were packed with stories on magic, beautiful incense filled welcoming ceremonies and water blessings as well as introductions to topics like “social and emotional intelligence” and “DEAR” (Drop Everything And Read; a title that I love so much that I borrowed it for this blog post) and daily mindfulness moments initiated by the school gong.
In order to experience magic, and beauty for that matter, we have to be open to it – and if we are not, we must learn how to (re)cultivate that ability.
We are all capable of having magical unifying, edifying, meaningful experiences; just think of the magical universe of the child (of each child), but somewhere along the path to adulthood most of us have unlearned how to feel connected to the world and how to experience magic. We can maintain and exercise our ability to be receptive to magic, but it requires an open mind and a wish to acknowledge the irrationality and inexplicability of some phenomena. If we want to be in a constant state of control by being able to explain everything we lose something important; we lose the ability to have sudden irrational bursts of meaningfulness flow through our bodies and souls. And we lose the beauty of feeling aligned with our surrounding world.