It’s just turned 2011. So I’m going to write a list of what I want to happen that would greatly improve my life and the lives of others. It’ll start off with ‘Give Arnfrid a big load of cash’, then ‘let him achieve world-wide fame yet keep him anonymous and happy’ and ending with ‘peace on earth and good will to all men,’ especially those on my side.
Then I’m going to nail my 2011 wish list to a tree trunk in the garden as that’ll mean during the night when Elves, Pixies, Fairies and Foxes feel safer from us earthlings and come out to lark around, they’ll see my list and stuff will happen or it won’t.
I love a good Magical Belief. I know I know, you’ll all laugh even guffaw at my simple mind, but how do you explain the mystery of the disappeared yellow sock which turned up mysteriously in the arm of an old army sweater? Hey?
During my life I have been greatly comforted and cheered by a whole host of Magical Beliefs. I’ve dipped into them when the going was tough and they’ve seen me through some rough old times when the only friends I seemed to have had wings and lived in Bluebell woods – Fairies.
Far from being at the bottom of my garden, and a million miles away from Danny La Rue, I believed the little creatures were on my doorstep. Every dark glade of every forest could support a whole eco-system of Fairy Folk. Worker Fairies, Queen Fairies, Fun Fairies and whether or not I seem bonkers and create comforting illusions, I don’t really care.
Angels! Angels are controversial. If you are tolerant of a good old conversation about Angels being around and doing their bit to alleviate the gloom and doom of life, from finding you a parking-slot at a busy supermarket to making you the sole survivor in a multiple traffic pile-up, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. However if the very word ‘Angels’ sinks like a stone in your heart as being one of the world’s most boring and bonkers and unscientific ideas, you’ll probably have zero tolerance.
Re-incarnation! I want to hold on to re-incarnation. I just love the idea, but will only agree to come back as something glamorous. At the moment my reincarnate of choice is a Roman Centurion or a Medieval Monk. Both outfits are quite manly and fetching, but my girlfriend tells me I’ll come back as a Night Soil Attendant in Blackburn or a worm in a mouldy apple.
Does anyone ever imagine they’ll come back as something worse than they are now or do we always go up the ladder of glamour? And if we do always go up the ladder of glamour, why is that?
I am someone who used to follow many rules for living that promised much, Magical Beliefs that were accessible and controllable. Not just ‘eating little and mainly plants’ and ‘being kind to children and animals’, but also the rules of gurus, masters, avatars, saviours, priests and philosophers, but oddly enough never really the Ten Commandments much.
I moved into Magical Beliefs pretty early on in life and with considerable gusto and have kept them bubbling in my life soup ever since. I embraced loads, though never quite fitted into crystals and Feng Shui, but have given the rest of them a good shot – personal development groups, spiritual healing lodges, mystery workshops, round and square tables, spiritualist circles, enlightenment seminars, you name them. All of them turned out to be so many magical mystery tours.
And yet, life’s mysteries feel good to me, though not making me tremble with hopeful anticipation anymore as they did in the past. More and more, I appreciate the freedom of delicious chaos, but not always. The rules of the masters seem so beguilingly certain, so irrefutably logical. And it’s so easy to submit things to the authority of their magic, to surrender one’s entire life to their Magical Belief Systems. Why? Could it be that we are often too frightened to stand alone, to be our own masters?
The question I ask myself is, do Magical Beliefs diminish and constrict me by their very nature? Do Magical Beliefs impose their own brand of authority on my mind, which destroys the discovery of reality? I know they can cheer and comfort me when I’m fed up, but they can also keep me in zombie-like mental suspense, before the penny finally drops – the wish list I nailed to the tree trunk in the garden didn’t work. What have I done wrong?
There is magic, yes, and for me, it’s the magic of the moment, which is the mystery of life – chaotic and random, often cruel and surprising, with all the gods we serve daily, anger, hatred, greed, jealousy, envy, fear, but also love, forgiveness, mercy, empathy, compassion. Aren’t these human qualities the channels through which we realise our Gods, in ourselves?
Through every action we energise our God of the moment, the God we believe in and serve then and there. These are the living Gods, living in and through our deeds, dissolved in the ultimate mystery, which cannot be captured in the net of human language or, to put it in Wittgenstein’s words, ‘Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.’