This Deleted interlude from Charming speculates on magic, the structure of the universe, and the nature of God.
Interlude: The Final Insert
What I’ve been leading up to is that all magic is based on one principle: everything is connected – thought, time, and space. And our minds aren’t just connected to our physical environment…all of our minds are connected to each other in ways that we instinctively deny because we are terrified of losing our individuality. Have you ever heard of that ninety percent of the brain that we never use? There are pathways that our minds are capable of travelling that go unused, connections that rarely get activated, numbers that never get dialed. Some types of magic, like the Pax Arcana or sigils, plug into this untapped mental unity and harness the electrical impulses of mass minds to shift reality even when the individual conscious minds of those involved have no idea what’s going on.
Symbolism is key in this process of uniting minds because symbolism is a shortcut that relies on generalization. All symbols condense complicated truths into visual or verbal representations that have strong emotional charges. We call symbols that do this consciously art. We call symbols that do this unconsciously archetypes. Symbolism is like mental spackling or spot welding, making instant connections between perception and reality that might not hold together under doubtful scrutiny but get the job done in the moment. It goes straight to a part of the brain that we don’t consciously access.
I personally believe that the reason everything is all connected…thought, time, and space…is because before our reality was our reality, everything…all of us… existed as a thought in the imagination of one being. For lack of a better word, we call that being God.
These are not new concepts. Jung called the place where all minds are united the collective unconscious. Buddhists believe that physical reality is a shared dream created and maintained by our minds, and Nirvana is where the God mind frees itself from the shackles of illusion and all physical reality melts and souls reunite into one shared consciousness. Medieval Christians believed that a cavern angel put a finger on the lips of all newborn babes and told them not to tell anyone where they had just come from, and that this is why lips have clefts and why souls can’t remember being joined in heaven. At least some pagans believe that every living soul is a part of God, that we are the vehicles though which God experiences the world. Plato believed that our reality is a series of reflections and shadows corresponding to perfect truths that we sense but cannot consciously recall.
Maybe God is a mental breakdown, and we are all aspects of a divine multiple personality disorder, paranoid and haunted as we try to make sense out of our fragmented existence and pull ourselves back together, never feeling complete or finished. Or maybe all souls going through so much – experiencing so many emotions and discoveries and temptations from billions of different perspectives across time – is a healthy form of self expression for an all knowing sum that is much greater than its individual parts. Maybe physical reality is a collection of tiny particles constantly changing and merging and re-emerging because like all works of art, it is a reflection of the soul of the creator who made it. Or maybe God made us because there was nothing good on cable.
I personally believe in a loving God whose ways are mysterious and often seem cruel, but I don’t claim divine knowledge. Whether one believes God is malign, benign, insane, incompetent, non-existent, indifferent, or nurturing is ultimately a choice that each person has to make for him or herself. Maybe if we ever believe together, we’ll know for sure.
In any case, beings who understand these principles on a far deeper level than I do are able to play around with our atoms and our minds because they understand that they are the same thing. This is why some beings are able to shape the way we perceive reality, and thereby shape the reality we perceive. Maybe they’re just being prudent because mankind is not emotionally mature enough to peacefully coexist with anyone, even ourselves. Or maybe we’re in a metaphysical knife fight, and the other side is packing guns.
I never claimed to have all the answers