pic c/o SmilingOwl
At this time of year, I'm always struck by our love of the idea of magic and in particular of magic folk who transcend the laws of nature to embody and enact our longings and desires. Prime example being the ol' fella in the beard (but ssssssssshhhhhh dont' tell anyone) who plays such a big role in our storytelling and rituals…
It's not that the world isn't wonderful [literally] – it is! – or that things are awesome [literally] – ditto – quite the opposite; it's just that we don't need to invoke magic to explain the amazing stuff around us.
Sure there are limits to how we'd prefer to understand things (the causal connections are very rarely on the surface and are very rarely singular…) but that doesn't make it "magic".
Here's a thought:
"This Christmas I’m going to be thinking about what a magical and
amazing place the world can be without any recourse to nonsense; that
people can get pain relief simply from taking a sugar pill, or a
salt-water injection; that we can have an almost psychic sense that a
friend is in trouble, from barely perceptible unconscious social cues;
that improbable things really do happen; and people really can meet,
and fall in love, with a depth so great that it feels as if it was
always meant to be. These are all things to be celebrated, because even
if there is no destiny and no magic, the effects are still the same". [Ben Goldacre at New Humanist]
Happy Christmas, everyone…