The relationship between magic and being

Posted on August 15, 2012
Filed Under identity, Magic | 2 Comments

When I think about magic and identity, I think about embodiment and being. In particular with the word being, I think of it as a verb that denotes a person’s life as as a process of presence entering into collaboration with reality. The presence of a person contains all the potential of the person, as well as access to possibilities of what the person can become. Magic, when employed, is a melding of the identity of the person (his/her being) with the situation. It is presence joining reality, merging possibility with what already is to create something which nonetheless contains the presence/being of the magician.

When we no longer divorce our actions from our state of being what we find is a different awareness of possibility and magic. No longer is a problem looked at as something external and separate, but instead there is an acknowledgement of the connection between the magician and the problem. The magician examines not merely the problem as it shows up in the world around him/her, but also the problem as it shows up in him/herself, to understand the connection it has to his/her life, and also to understand how to solve it, not merely in the environment around him/her, but also within.

When being is a verb there is a recognition that ontology is not some static image of identity, but an active presence of identity that challenges the magician to know him/herself as a fluid reality that mixes with possibility on a regular basis. We are all gates to possibility, and thus our state of being is one of change. Identity, when perceived this way, is not about attachments but about becoming and unbecoming all at once. Magic is a process of identity, part of the becoming and unbecoming, simultaneously binding us to possibilities while undoing connections to others. Reality itself is no longer perceived as static, so much as it is a canvas to be painted on. What seems real falls away as possibilities are embodied in everyday life. What becomes real is a melding of presence and reality and as such it can become unreal under the right circumstances.

Magical practice based on an ontological approach frees the magician from a doing and having perspective which tends to cause the magician to objectify reality and even him/herself. To have something is to own it and possess it, and yet it also possesses you. To do something is to act on it and yet try and separate yourself from it, ignoring that it has its own influence on you. Such perspectives limit the magician and dull the mind. The ontological approach acknowledges that everything is connected and that what is acted on, also acts on the magician. There is no objectification of reality, but instead a profound realization of connection and understanding that any situation encountered by the magician has a connection that goes deeper than what casual observation displays. And when the magician can make changes to his/her presence, the core of his/her own reality, s/he also makes changes to reality around him/her, changing the ontological state of not only him/herself but also reality as s/he interacts and understands it.


Beth G
Beth G

I like this post so much I "stumbled" it. Very interesting, complex, yet simple truths are revealed here. Nice nice job indeed.