“The world is its own magic.” (Shunryu Suzuki)
We give counsel to kings, boom to the voice of the wizard and call the blue hot fire of the universe to dance. We are the golden child that has come into our inheritance in every age by seeing anew and delving deep and finessing the fantastic. It is in entrusting the world to see with us that we come to find our new places; the things that were there all along but overlooked or unrecognized for want of a frame. When years cloud our eyes it gives us a better line of sight and with any luck the high angle of the sun brings us wisdom and comfortable shoes. But faith without sister reason is lost and leads us too into delusion where the projected phantasms of hope and despair haunt our dreams. Synthesizing sight and muse reveals the real magic where we find inspiration and science and the sacred entwined.
Age over age we build our beliefs like new cities on top of the old ones and we cover our gods until we cannot see them imprisoned in our own mythologies. Poor Odin and Minerva who answered many a prayer in combat and labor and blessed the names of the first born and kept the hearth warm are now broadcast in syndication as cartoon characters – outrageous, trivial and amusing. We now stand on Olympus and lord over them with the same indifference and impunity they once enjoyed. Nothing substantial has changed, only our affect of looking up or down.
So what will be said about our most hallowed beliefs? It is a sad irony that we see the divine face styled in brush and bronze but cannot see it in the mise-en-scène of our own kind. We must begin again and rejoin those very things we have torn asunder starting with the miasma in the morning mirror. We are neither cause nor effect, subject nor object, but apportion of both. We are Self aware; not Self created.
The seasons between lunacy and illumination, error and enlightenment are short. It is in improving our imperfections that barber becomes doctor, alchemist becomes chemist and bicyclist becomes aviator. Our explanations of creativity at work advance as superstitions to be replaced by science only to be overtaken in turn as ignorance. Though we may now find the botany flawed the blossom is not. While we may contemplate those heavenly places beyond time and space to gaze upon Dante’s pure white rose, we must plant our bulbs in the fall and tend to them in spring and make do with the beauty and symmetry that brings our amazement. Nothing is ever perfect or complete; only constantly becoming. All grows with us to conjoin possibility with reality. Perhaps the most essential part of the garden is the loving hand of the gardener who sees himself as both benefactor and beneficiary. Growth is all we are and all we can give to others for it is through the generative act that we keep on after all else falls away.
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