…. [T]he scientific credo of our time has developed a superstitious phobia about fantasy, but the real is what works. —Carl Jung
If you read the Lessons With Nature essay, Clouds: The Perfect Metaphor Revised, you may recall this line: “The rarity of shared experience makes it feel more magical, more real when it happens.”
Did that jump out at you as something that needed further explanation? Did it provoke an insight for you where the explanation became apparent? Or was it just another line in another essay?
How do we read? Why do we read? How much attention are we giving any one thing in this world of distraction, this world of illusion, both necessary and un?
Why do we say that something that feels magical feels more real than the logical? We tend to say that the magical is subjective or illusory and the logical closer to how things truly work, yet logic feels bland and magic has a spark of aliveness to it. What causes the discrepancy?
The marriage of the magical and the real is the marriage of two people sharing a revelation. Seeking a common vision, such as an elephant in the clouds, even when being led to see it, requires focusing and letting go at the same time. Focusing on what the other person is telling you to look for because you want to see what they see and letting go all of the other ways you’re viewing the cloud. Finding that shared perspective is magical and for that type of magic to come alive, to feel real, there must obviously be at least two people involved. Not so obviously yet equally true, this means that when we, by ourselves, feel a touch of magic in the effortless shifting art of clouds, we must be divided inside.
Logically, however, if we keep our heads in the clouds, we see whites and grays in various shapes and sizes, name them, and figure out some of their properties. We work with them. We leave the imagining to kids and adults having fun. That’s all playtime; logic is the serious business of figuring out what’s really going on up there, scientifically speaking.
The logical, “objective” view, then, has us imagining that what we comprehend through the limitations of our senses and the current of our times is the real. Less arrogantly, but still so, we may say that we don’t yet have the answer to what is objectively there, but are discovering it incrementally through observation and experimentation.
Both the logical outlook and the magical outlook require magical thinking. Logic is in denial of its magical thinking. The magical outlook is accepting of the logical because it understands the delusion of its denial, for it understands the logical is also magical. It understands the logical as itself, like how a parent understands a child. Logic believes it is the parent, but you can’t be a parent if you deny your child is real. That’s actually what children do when they go through their “terrible twos” — they mistake themselves for the authority figure. As their growth pulls them into a world of differentiation, they rebel against the fact of the world not revolving around them–a scary prospect to children–and narcissism is their answer, until they are no longer afraid of being individuals.
Healthy integration, not expulsion, is the way to handle necessary illusions. Normally, such a statement would be the lead-in to a call for the unifying of magic and logic by acknowledging the power and necessity of both. But these getting integrated into the self is still illusion having its way. In Truth, one must understand all of this—one must understand the self fully and completely—for healthy integration to be the case. Integrating necessary illusion is not the solution, it is the outcome of complete understanding. It can’t be measured, quantified, and worked toward. It can’t be visualized and spoken of wisely.
Well, in thought it can. Not in Truth.