Sunday, July 9, 2017

Let There Be Magic

I read fantasy fiction. There, the secret’s out! This professional woman in her early sixties curls up, during lunch breaks and on many evenings, with tales of fairies and dragons, heroic quests and enchanted kingdoms.

Near the end of my current book, The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks, Wil Ohmsford confronts the fear that has kept him from accessing the power of the Elfstones, power needed to combat the evil that threatens the land. In this pivotal moment, Wil realizes his fear was not “of the thing that haunted…his dreams, or of the Demon that hunted Amberle and him south from Arborlon…It was his fear of the magic.”

Fear of the magic. Something in that phrase grabs me and won’t let go.

In our own epic journey as a species in this world, many things frighten me…hate, greed, and the harm inflicted upon the Earth and our fellow inhabitants, to name a few. But could I also fear the magic?

The magic I’m referring to is not, of course, contained in Elfstones or legendary swords. It is the magic of the human spirit, imbued with love and aligned with a greater force for good. But am I afraid of that magic? I don’t think so. If I’m truthful, though, I often forget about it. And sometimes, even when remembered, I don’t fully trust it.

The obstacles facing us are, indeed, formidable…and mostly of our own creation, born of spirits and psyches out of balance. Things can seem rather grim. Dismal. Hopeless. When I’m snagged by such reactions, fear has me in its clutches for sure. Magic seems a distant thing at best.

As I hear of another hate crime~~against a vulnerable individual, the Constitution, or the Earth itself~~I have a choice. To what shall I give my energy? I can certainly lend it to fear in its various guises~~dread, anger, apathy~~and thereby strengthen fear’s grip on the world. 

Or I can heed Sharon McErlane’s words from her book Casting The Net. “Let your hearts open,” she writes. “Let compassion well up in you and then serve…with your hands, your voice, and your listening. But most of all, serve with a loving heart…This is all you need to do. This is everything.” 

Every spiritual tradition offers such sentiments, as well as practices to align our hearts with that greater good. The choice, though, is always ours.

Perhaps that fictional line stuck with me so that I might confront the fact that I don’t always trust Love, with a capital L, that unfathomable essence at the heart of all things. It also offered me a choice to trust anew.

So once more, I give myself fully to the magic and offer it safe passage into my world. Like Wil Ohmsford with his Elfstones, I too say, finally and again, “Yes!”


PS. Be sure to read the comments...there are many today...and feel free to leave your own! Blessed be!!!


Petya said...

I wish we could make a larger footprint of good, but these are the only feet we have. And we can only walk in the good, no matter the terrain or the storms around us We can’t change the bad, only live in the good.

Leia said...

Thank you for this, Petya. Yes, these ARE the only feet we have. May we use them well, no matter the terrain or the storms we walk through. Thank you for speaking.

Caryl said...

There are many ways to divide up humanity, but the division that intrigues me now is between those who feel they can accomplish something productive by hate and violence, and those who feel that only love is an agent for change. Still, walking forward in love does not make one invulnerable, does not help one to protect the beloved or the helpless.

Leia said...

Thank you for this, particularly the last line. THAT is the part that's hard to look in the eye~~innocents will suffer. We all need to find some way to come to terms with that. Personally, I've never felt comfortable assuming those innocents are living some sort of karmic lesson through their suffering. What works for me is an acceptance that pain happens anyway, and I must keep my eye on what I am called to do, in my own position on this planet and with the talent and skills given me. The suffering will happen with or without me, but my question is always what am I called to do. And putting my dollop of energy into a loving heart, with hands and feet to match, is mine.

Thank you for writing, Caryl!

Trish said...

What seems clear is that we can not, must not, fight evil with evil. Richard Rohr’s words from the link below feel astoundingly true to me, but very hard to LIVE day by day, personally and politically. But what an inspiring effort to make. Day One of the rest of my life.

(Leia here. You must copy and paste the link above into your web browser. Sorry, but this program doesn't allow hyperlinks.)

Leia said...

It IS hard to live this stuff, isn't it? Figuring out the day to day applications in the muck of our own individual lives...geesh! I'm soothed in my own feeble efforts by the fact that great souls have struggled with these questions throughout no one expects ME to get it right! Whew!

Thank you for this, Trish, and for the link to modern day mystic, Richard Rohr.

Leia (again!) said...

One more thought...mystics seem to dip always into a vast well of spiritual sustenance to support them in their Earth Walk. We must do the same if we are not to become depleted. We each have our own ways to fill the cup. This morning, mine have included lying in my husband's arms, a hot~hot~hot jacuzzi bath, and watching as summer green leaves lighten and brighten with the morning sun. We must fill up FIRST and ALWAYS. When we do so, we can more easily greet the rest with a loving heart and feet that walk in beauty.

Anonymous said...

Love and Magic - bah humbug! An easy way to get burned in this life, I say.

Leia said...

Ah...the other side of Light and Love appears! Thank you for posting so honestly a view that most of us feel, at least occasionally.

There seems to me a continuum, with naiveté on one side and cynicism (or one of the other manifestations of fear) on the other. Each of us must decide where we stand on that continuum. And that position must be flexible, responsive to the particular situations in which we find ourselves. If we are naive, our Pollyanna stance will get us burned, AND if we are cynical, our very cynicism burns us as well, as it diminishes a full and rich experience of living.

We won't get out of this human experience without getting burned, without feeling pain. So how can we move along that continuum wisely, and what stance offers us the greatest likelihood of experiencing the good of life?

There’s nothing naïve about the stance I’ve tried to capture above. I recognize the horror embodied in the hate crimes I refer to above. But will I add my own energy to hate, to fear, to disinterest? Or do I love anyway, taking action but from a place of love, a love mingled with wisdom?

Tricky stuff this. Thank you so much for writing!

Cindy L. said...

FEAR! Ha yes the dreaded fear, it has kept me from doing many a thing that might have helped me grow. But take heart, humility is not thinking lowly of yourself but thinking accurately of yourself. The humble heart does not say, I can't do anything, But rather, I can't do everything. I know my part and am happy to do it. Fear
can be paralyzing at times but the trick is to be loving to yourself and not to say I have no place, but to say I know my place. Love can teach us what we can do without pain and fear. And those things can be very rewarding and add to the love in the world.
Cindy L.

Leia said...

I love the simple phrases you gave us..."The humble heart does not say, I can't do anything, but rather, I can't do everything" and the challenge being "not to say I have no place, but to say I know my place." And I couldn't agree more that doing what is ours to do from a place of love adds to the love in the world.

Thank you for reading and for writing!

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Leia Marie