Do you believe in magic? Do you believe in the magic of the flowers outside, blossoming all around us? The magic of creation? The magic of what you share with other people?
I recently received suggested edits back from the editor of my upcoming book, Becoming a Sun: Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence for a Happy and Fulfilling Life. Every place I used the word magic, she changed it. Her thinking was that people might misinterpret the word magic, which potentially has negative connotations like trickery or sorcery. So she substituted the word wonder and other good words for the word magic. Making sure that the context for the use of the word magic was clear, I’ve chosen to retain the word in the book. I think magic is a good word, if we know that we are talking about the miracle and wonder of life itself.
Sometimes we look out at the natural world and we call it wild. We look at creatures that live in the natural world and we call them wild. But if you really look at videos of wild cats in Africa, they’re really not wild as we might apply that word to a human being who is out of control. They are under great control. In some ways, they are anything but wild. I just drove through downtown Denver at rush hour. Now that’s wild!
In the magic of Creation there is order. As I thought about how some of the people in my world act, I had this thought: God forbid that the order of Creation would operate in our human experience. God forbid that the intelligence that we see all around, the magic that we see all around, would operate through us as human beings and how we function together.
Our choice as human beings is either to live in the magic of Creation—and in the order that is inherent in that magic—or to gravitate to the world of human personality drama. Each of us chooses which it will be.
Picture a young person growing up who chooses a life of human personality drama. They choose to see everything in terms of personality and what other people did and how they, themselves, are reacting to that. They experience themselves as a human personality, and never discover something more. They never discover that driving force of creativity that is within them that would compel them to truly create in their life, to build beautiful things, to create beautiful relationships, if they were open to that force. They choose to see themselves as a victim of what other people are doing and therefore in competition with others, forced to protect themselves from the words and deeds of others.
Now picture that same person making the choice to live from the creative urge within themselves that is begging for self-expression—that is calling them to know themselves as a creator, connected to the Creator of all things. Picture that person knowing that they are not separate from the wild cats over in Africa or from the Creation all around them—the trees, flowers, rocks and seas where they live. And knowing that they are not in competition with the people around them, but destined to live in harmony with them.
There is a big difference between identifying yourself as a human personality and knowing that you are a creator expressing yourself through your humanity. There is a very big difference between being dominated by thoughts and feelings that are obsessed with the human personality drama and expressing through thoughts and feelings and personality.
I do believe in the miracle of creation. It’s magic because there are things about it that we just can’t explain. I don’t know where the wisdom that created the flowers of the Colorado summer came from. I could attempt to explain it scientifically. They evolved to attract bees. While that’s nice to know, it may be missing the point. The magic of Creation is at work. It’s working through the flowers and it could be working through you and through me. We could be relating as beings who are creating and not stuck in the world of suspicion, complaint, accusation, distrust, victimhood, perpetration and all the wonderful things of the human personality drama.
Here is a story about the magic of Creation. And then there is a story within the story.
I was recently traveling Norway, England and Wales. We traveled from the east coast of England in Norwich to the southwestern Wales. It is truly a magical part of the world. There is a kind of spiritual connection that people in Great Britain make that doesn’t seem to be as easy in other places. And for all the stiff upper lip and intellect of the English people, right below the surface are fairies and magic. There is a veneer of sophistication, but underneath it there is an attunement with the magic of Creation.
The history of that part of the world is filled with magic. As you go around the countryside, there are sites that come from ancient times—castles, standing stones sites like Stonehenge, and what are believed to be prehistoric burial sites.
On our recent trip we visited with Tessa Maskell in Malvern and conducted a Healing Chant session at the Church of the Ascension. Tessa shared that she was doing a workshop that revolved around the legend of King Arthur. They were reading a contemporary version of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur as a text for the workshop.
Visiting with Tessa, I began to think about the possibility that we could create a touring workshop based on the archetypal stories of King Arthur—stories of the Round Table, Guinevere and Excalibur.
A week later, I created a mock-up flyer for such a tour to see if I thought that idea would work. Only days after that, I was sitting around a campfire in my backyard with friends from the Global Purpose Movement Synergy Forum. I was telling my new friends, Joseph Rosado and Nina Patrick, about my recent visit to England and my desire to lead a King Arthur tour. I had led a Healing Chant session during the forum, so they knew something of the work I do.
Hearing of my interest, Joseph and Nina invited me to be their guest on a tour of sacred sites they were conducting this summer in Glastonbury and Cornwall that featured the King Arthur legend. And then to explore co-leading a similar tour next year!
What are the chances of such a thing happening? Truly there is magic afoot in our live if we are open to see it and live it.
So now the story within the story. This is the seminal story of the King Arthur legend.
In ancient times, after the Romans had brought Christianity to Britain and then left, Uther Pendragon was king. His wife, Igraine, gave birth to a son. There were competing nobles in the land and the threat of Anglo-Saxon tribes from the north. So, fearing for the life of their child, Arthur, they had the magician, Merlin, secret the child away to be raised by Sir Ector. Shortly thereafter, Uther Pendragon fell ill and died. The kingdom fell into chaos.
When Arthur is 18 years old, Merlin is asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury to devise a method of choosing the next high king of Britain. Merlin set a sword in an anvil upon a stone, with this inscription:
Whoso Pulleth out this Sword from the Anvil
That same is Rightwise King born of England.
At Christmastime, there is a tournament. Sir Kay competes and breaks his sword. And so he asks Arthur to bring him another. Arthur finds the sword in the anvil, easily pulls it out, and brings it to Sir Kay, who claims that he is now the rightful heir to the throne. But when put to the test, Sir Kay cannot penetrate the anvil with the sword. Arthur does and withdraws it easily, and so is declared High King.
There is so much in this archetypal story that speaks of your life and mine and the magic of Creation. It speaks of our true heredity and our true calling in our life. It also speaks about the human personality drama, acted out by Sir Kay, who stands in stark contrast to the innocence of Arthur.
I told this story in Africa. We had a Creative Field Conference in Cape Town and there was a Zulu woman who was there, Mmatshilo. I told of King Arthur and the sword, and at the end of the story she was just in tears. I wondered why this proud and defiant black woman was so moved by such an English story; apparently such a masculine story. How could it apply to her?
Mmatshilo told of how her grandmother had carried the magic for the village. And Mmatshilo had known that it was her calling to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps, to inherit that magic. In fact, her grandmother passed on a blanket that for Mmatshilo carried the magic of the lineage for which she was responsible. She had left the blanket at home in a chest, and she had left her village under difficult circumstances. So for her, the blanket was symbolic of not claiming her own heredity and her own rightful place in the world as a healer. The King Arthur story reflected all this back to her and she felt the calling ever more deeply and the great compulsion to return to her village and claim the blanket.
We all have earthly parents. Mine were Al and Ginny, and in some ways I’ll always be Al and Ginny’s kid, and proud to be. But in another way, I, like you, am a child of the universe. In some way they were foster parents. And I’m grateful for them, but what truly brought me into being was a magic that I can’t explain and don’t want to. I wasn’t created by them, certainly not by their human personalities, though I’m grateful that their human personalities played a part.
We all come from some magical place we don’t understand, and we all come into this world with a rightful place in this world that’s based on where we came from and who we are. When we live into the magic of who we are, we have that to share, and we inherit the order of the kingdom from which we came and the kingdom that we’re bringing here. We become, not humanly wild but naturally wild, which means that we bring the supreme order and intelligence of the Creation and of the creator that we are, through us. We know that reality, we embrace that order, we embrace that intelligence and the discipline beyond human discipline to be a living embodiment of that order and that intelligence. And just as the wild cats of Africa walk the plains of Africa with supreme control in their wildness, we are wild while being supremely guided by an inner order, an inner reality that so transcends all the stuff and nonsense of the human soap opera.
We are here in the middle of all that drama to wear the blanket that is our heritage, to wear the mantle of our nobility and to hold the sword of our kingdom. When one person does that, they remind all the rest of us of that truth.
Like King Arthur, we have a destiny, which is to bring the kingdom and to create Camelot. In his case, the kingdom was England and he was called to bring peace to that land. We have both the kingdom of our own immediate world and the peace to bring to that land, and then peace and order to bring to the larger world in which we live.
Arthur dared see himself on that world stage and he had an impact on that world stage. Is that beyond you or me? “Who, me? Change the world?” I say we are changing the world. I am changing the world. I am influencing it in profound ways.
We share the magic of Creation. I embrace the magic and eschew the craziness of the human personality drama.
Yes, magic is an appropriate word to describe the power, the creativity, that’s released when a person says “YES” to Life’s opportunities. It’s like 1 + 1+ 1 = 5 or more. That magic arises through the act of “YES” – the seeing of opportunity, seeing the radiance, and the whole hearted “YES” response. It’s the power of the One Law in action, and it does lead to magic.
In a month’s time, I’ll be leaving Riverdell after 9 years of saying “YES” to what Life has called me to in this place. As I reflect upon that time, and see the magic that’s appeared in so many ways, what gives me most pleasure is that Riverdell has provided opportunities for many people to wake up, grow up, clean up and show up, and magic starts to happen in people’s lives. Life now calls me to a different role with respect to Riverdell in which I’m moving from the driving seat on the bus to further back on the bus in my role as Board member. My love and support for Riverdell hasn’t changed. My responding to Life’s calling to me hasn’t changed. What has changed is that there’s magic waiting to happen at Riverdell that no longer requires my presence because there’s a sufficient body of people present know are claiming the magic of creation for themselves and together. This thrills me and I look forward to what Life will manifest as a result.
Thanks for giving voice to this important dynamic of claiming what we’re born for – the magic of creation