Monday, February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015 - Mind Over Matter


“I wish I were magic!” we would say, not realizing what we were asking for.  We were just children, and children see the entire world as magical.  We would wave our magic wands (a stick found on the ground) and make our wishes known.  Then we would stare at whatever we were trying to magic and wait to see the transformation, which we rarely saw.  Maybe we didn’t wish hard enough, we’d tell ourselves.  Maybe we didn’t stare at the thing hard enough.  Maybe we didn’t have the right magic words.  Maybe our stick-wand was a dud.  Then we’d run off and play something else, bored with the hard labor of fruitless magic.

But we didn’t know.  Watching this leaf crawl across the snowy field, completely at the mercy of the wind, I was reminded of childhood games from long ago.  “Abracadabra!” and the leaf crawls across the yard.  The wind blows this way and that, taking the leaf along for the ride.  The immobile leaf is now mobile, thanks to the wind.  Although now “dead,” it still carries latent energy from the tree.

The immobile leaf cannot receive the command.

There are other things in our world that function but cannot move.  Take, for example, yeast in bread dough.  Yeast is alive and consumes the starches of the bread dough around it, giving off gas, alcohol, and other fermentation byproducts.  But it cannot move on its own, and once it has consumed all of the starch around it, it goes dormant.  Unless we come along and flatten and stretch the dough out, thereby moving it to new territory where it can continue its magic of fermentation.  But it cannot continue without us.

That’s a big “abracadabra” right there, and most people don’t even know it.  The yeast does the transformation, but only under our directive.  The leaf on the snowy field lies immobile until the wind blows or until I go out and pick it up and move it.  That is the real magic right there.  That is mind over matter.  The leaf is not the matter in question; my hand is.

What I mean to say is, no wand was ever needed when we were children (or now, for that matter).  No magic words are necessary.  No mumbo-jumbo.  We have a mind (in addition to a brain) that can perform all kinds of magic.  Hold up your left hand and look at it.  Make it into a fist.  Now open it.  Repeat--fist and open.  That is mind over matter.  Your mind tells your body to do something, and your body does it.  Your mind tells your body to pick something up, to build something, to create something--and your body does it.

In case you think that’s not a big deal, you might want to think again.  We are a privileged species on this Earth, capable of doing almost anything--from the mundane to the mystical--for any reason or for no reason at all.  All we need to do is to say it to ourselves.  Open your hand.  Close your hand.  Fetch that leaf.  Make that bread.  Spin that wool.  Build that house.  Pass that law.  Build that plane so that you can fly, even though the human body is incapable of flight on its own.

There is no other creature on the Earth capable of creating, building, doing, destroying, moving, etc., the way humankind is.  The magic was never in the stick.  It’s in the performance, the carrying out of the intention.  You are the magic, so guard it well.  Pay attention to your thoughts and your actions, for there are surely “others” out there who are paying a great deal of attention to what you think and what you do, and they would be only too happy to have you continue to believe that you have no power.  Guard your thoughts:  make sure they’re your own.

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