Greetings Dear Ones –
In my line of work, illusions can get a bad rap. In the context of healing and coaching, I’m often questioning the stories that may be unconsciously ruling our lives. Our mind is constantly playing tricks on us – robbing us from the gifts of the past, aliveness of the present and limitlessness of the future by projecting our conditioned version of “reality” over it all.
Often we simply watch our script of life playing out.
But even in those moments of full presence when we meet life with our eyes wide open, illusions are still at work. When I look at a tree, I’m not seeing the literal tree. The cells in my retina absorb and convert light into electrochemical impulses carried through the optic nerve in my brain, which then does it’s best to translate the impulses into a picture of what I have learned to call “tree”.
The genetic condition in my ears, which affects the mechanical functioning of my hearing, has led to many experiences where I *perfectly* heard something the person never said. They may have said “please pass the potatoes” and I heard, clear as day, “I sneezed past the tomatoes” Since my ear bones had fused together impeding the clear signals, my brain stitched it together to resemble some form of language, even if it was a bit nonsensical.
All of our senses, including our sixth sense, are constantly transmitting information through our central nervous system, which then works to translate these waves into a digestible reality in sync with our current understanding.
This reality is only as fixed as we perceive it to be. But the true reality is multi-dimensional, and stretches far beyond anything that any of our senses can comprehend or our linear minds can conceptualize.
When our experience doesn’t match what we have come to know – our minds either disregard it completely or do their best to whip up a new box that can hold an understanding about whatever just happened. When this doesn’t work – we call it supernatural… miraculous… magic.
Speaking of magic, last weekend I attended a show of the illusionist, Brad Barton,“The Reality Thief”. He spent the show bending our linear time and space understandings, asking our minds to do olympic level gymnastic moves.
I certainly wasn’t gold medaling in understanding his magical ways, but I made it fit with the logic that “he’s clearly not doing actual magic, he’s just really good at his job”.
But then I got called up on stage to be part of one of the tricks. The short version of this elaborate and mind-blowing illusion involved his presenting a sealed envelope containing a letter he had written before the show. While on stage he asked me some personal questions, including my mom’s name and plans I had for the week. Then, ta-da! He opened the sealed envelope, took out the letter, and asked me to read aloud what he’d written. The letter included my specific plans for the week and my mother’s name, Lorelei (spelled correctly, no less, which even people who know her often miss). Say what???
No matter how much “magic-plaining” my logical mind reaches for, my inner jury still comes back with the verdict that what he did was totally impossible. It just literally couldn’t have happened the way I saw it. So my only choices are to… ignore it and move on…. assume that he can time travel… crown him the slickest illusionist in town… and ultimately, to surrender to the liberating knowledge that there is SOOOO much happening beyond what my mind can see, interpret or digest.
I wonder how much magic have I missed in my life, having stuffed it into a box of my knowable reality? How often have my beliefs kept me from seeing something I wasn’t expecting?
There is, of course, a base level of stability we all need to function, and part of this stability involves leaning on pillars of what we “know” to be true. But these pillars sometimes need to expand, lean or even fully crumble to wake us up to our soul’s next evolution. When we trust knowable concepts as capital T truth, this can feel terrifying. But when we surrender to remembering that life is infinitely bigger than we are, and say yes to flowing with the mystery, this disorientation becomes exciting and even magical…. explainable or not.
With love… and magic,