To begin, can we agree that magical thinking could equate with misapprehension? This subject’s tricky, considering anyone who creates also walks a fine line between imagination and madness. I mean, aren’t we somewhat delusional to believe that what we produce might resonate with another person? Perhaps. Maybe there’s comfort in the old political saw that if one person feels a certain way about an issue, there are at least 100 others who feel the same. That would be our herd. However, first we need to eliminate the possibility that we are actually lunatics. Not Nietzsche-style insanity, though. He did end his life locked away, after all. So, when we leave a room and close the door, the room’s still there and the same color as when we left. Okay?
Or not. Evidently, that message didn’t reach all the people who need to hear it. Thus in my neck of the woods, there are people who, due to lack of preparation, send chills down my spine and cause me to wake up panicked at 3 a.m. Yes, these are people I care about who have decided to accept the original premise. They see nothing wrong with lying on their backs staring at their ceilings…
Can I now add a caveat that just because we can’t perceive a thing does not mean it isn’t there? I mean, it’s only in recent years that science could effectively view a virus. And what about that crazy radiation–unseen but heard via telemetry. Okay, and yes, I have a special place in my heart for masses of fairy folk and others that crowd our world. And synchronicity–that I depend upon. After vast amounts of groundwork, that is.
Without mentioning names, there’s a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Before that, she attended and held meetings of local faith healers, women who believed in variations of healing via prayer, thoughts, touch or almost touch. Again, just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. However, when this woman, who is also a mother, learned of her diagnosis, the healers scattered to the four winds. She still speaks of this event with greater hurt and sadness than the actual cancer, which she treated and evidently eradicated through Western medicine. Yet she and the others had built this world in which healing occurred by other means. Until it didn’t.
Then I’m acquainted with a talented artist, shy as any woodland creature, who lives in a house so tiny that it’s beginning to find fame in today’s less-is-more culture. She creates visual art, then trucks it to farmers’ markets from late spring into mid fall in hopes of generating enough sales to get her through winter. In previous years, before this year-of-the-shoulder, my guy and I delivered loads of firewood to her woodstove-only place along with boxes of human and kitty foods along with other supplies. Her belief has cemented into the view that if she needs something, magically it will appear. In fact, this belief system dominates her life to the point that she refuses to take work-for-pay when it’s offered. Yet last time I saw her, her appearance shocked me. She’s too thin and has begun to lose teeth. Yet she still subscribes to this magical thinking that to me has become frighteningly delusional. I want her to accept a job, fix her teeth and actually pack her own chute. It worries me that we have enabled her illusion of reality. The thought of her causes me to awake in a panic on winter nights when even our 4-wheel Toyota can no longer reach her. What’s the option, though? Finding her frozen and starved body when the spring thaw arrives?
In part II, we’ll explore how to construct the necessary suspension of belief inherent in building magical worlds. Warning, it requires critical thinking.