Saturday, March 14, 2015

Magic is a Burden to Others

Sometimes we choose the magical world.
Other times it chooses us.
Most people don't really want magic in their lives.

What else can we call it? Supernatural phenomenon. Hauntings. Prophetic dreams. Visionary experiences. Intuitive knowing. Or simply: any inexplicable encounters with the unknown.

Whatever we call it, let's face it: magic is inconvenient to most folks, disrupts their daily routine, takes away from the enjoyment of a "happy" day (whatever that might be), and generally disturbs and confounds their belief systems upon which has been built the immovable foundation for A Normal Life. Anything that does not align with the traditional status quo is therefore a pain in the ass, a thorn in the side, a discrepancy in the matrix, and something to be avoided at all costs.

As a child, I had many magical experiences - I've written about some of them on my website. Not sure why the world of mysticism & magic seemed to single me out, except perhaps because I slipped through the cracks of traditional upbringing - or, put another way, I was spared the dubious benefits of a lot of the programming which most children endure just by virtue of being alive. Living in an isolated rural environment, with a mother who was at work from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., and a father who was less than attentive, I more or less ran wild in the neighborhood in a time before fences or pit bulls. The swamp, the lake, and the orange groves were my milieu, and as an only child, my so-called 'invisible friends' were my only friends.

It was idyllic.

Thing is... in hindsight, I can also clearly see that the lack of traditional programming allowed my mind/spirit to develop in what I would consider to be a more natural fashion than most kids growing up today. With no television in the house, no telephone, no video games, no VCR, no DVD or computer, and very little adult supervision, I was essentially forced into a bond with the natural world and, ultimately, the 'supernatural' world.

So the tales I tell here may sound like fanciful imaginings of an isolated little girl, remembered by an elder witch through the eyes of poetic license. If that's what makes you sleep better, then you are free to inject that belief into your own programming in the same way a doctor might inject morphine into the IV line of a patient experiencing a great deal of pain.The morphine doesn't really make the pain go away, of course. It only masks the symptoms, but for the most part, that's what patients are looking for. And it's what "most folks" are looking for in their day to day lives.

I'm reminded of Arnold Mindell's comments in his excellent book, THE SHAMAN'S BODY:
Is it your fault if you remind others of dreams they do not want? And who can blame the group, either for resistance to you or for the life-and-death struggle that ensues? These people are fighting for their lives, equilibrium, homeostasis - indeed, for the perpetuation of history. "Do not disturb us more than we can take," they say.  
From a global viewpoint, you disturb your organizational system, and history must fight for continuity. In this universal and fated interaction, the warrior's friends become the voices of the web. Their warmth turns to ice. They accuse you of unjustifiable behavior, egotism, and criminality as they become possessed by their lawmaker role in this eternal drama of human history.
The collective you live in must pursue you for what it experiences as criminal acts and bring you to trial, just as you have challenged other rule breakers in the past. Now it is you who enters into a life-and-death struggle with the universe..."
For those who have been engaging in the world of 'shamanic sorcery' for any length of time, it is almost a certainty that you, too, have been labeled as a pain in the collective ass of society, or even your own family & friends. If you have been on the path as long as I have, it is even a strong possibility that you are a lone practitioner now - for the ugly truth is that this path does not really make us many friends. Oh, we might connect from time to time with other warriors on a parallel path, but when we commit to this journey with the totality of mind/body/spirit, we quickly discover that in order to be true to ourselves, we can no longer uphold the expectations of others in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

What does that mean? "Surely you jest, Della!" someone is sure to say. "I have dozens of friends and a loving and supportive family, and I am still a warrior!"

Maybe.

My mantra is simple: IT. HAS. TO. BE. REAL. And it is when we begin to be absolutely true to the Self that we find ourselves out of step with the status quo.

What is the status quo? Greatly simplified, it is the consensual reality, in which there are rules and agreements we are all expected to live by. Which brings us to expectations, of course. What is expected of us by our friends? Our family? Other warriors? And if we find ourselves leaning toward wanting or needing to somehow satisfy those expectations, are we then attempting to mold ourselves into the consensual programs as a means to seek acceptance and that sense of well-being we are "supposta" experience when surrounded by family and friends?

Personally, I have come to see the expectations of others rather like individual bars on a cage. How are you doing? Fine, thank you (the expected response, when in reality you have a painful hemorrhoid and your dog won't stop pooping on the rug). And how is your lovely wife today? She's doing well, thanks for asking (even though she's on anti-depressants as a result of catching you in bed with the pool boy twice last week). Would you like fries with that? No, I'd prefer a dinner salad, thank you. (But you're lying and you know it. You want the fries. Fries good. Salad bad. But you say the right thing because you're having lunch with your skinny friends who have been duly assimilated by the tao of lettuce.)

But I digress... Your painful hemorrhoid and your crapping dog and your inability to keep your pecker in your pants are still foibles which polite society will agree to overlook in order to maintain their illusion of normalcy. After all, the priest may tell you - we are only human with human shortcomings. Say a few Hail Marys, kick the dog out the back door, get some Preparation H, slap your errant prick into submission; and all will be right with the world. And who knows... in the world of matter & men, in the world of polite society, perhaps the preacher is right to the extent of his understanding of the agreement. You may be an asshole, but you're a normal asshole - a card-carrying member of The Human Agreement.

Ah, but what if you were to be sitting there at lunch with all those malnourished, well-to-do, normal friends of yours, and you just happen to casually mention during the appetizers that you were abducted by aliens last night. Everyone laughs it off, of course, because you are obviously joking around as you are wont to do, you little minx, but by the time that nasty-tasting dinner salad arrives, you've made a reference to a prophetic dream you had last week, and now the laughter is getting somewhat more nervous and your best friend's wife has dropped her fork with a loud clattering sound more than once.

When the main course is served, you turn the conversation toward the fact that your house seems to be haunted by the spirit of the former occupant, who appears in the mirror over your sink every other Thursday and whispers, "Cats really do go to heaven," in a melodic but androgynous voice. Now you're keeping in mind that these are your closest friends - maybe even people you grew up with, went to high school or college with, friends with whom you have discussed all manner of philosophy at one time or another. Is there life on other planets? Is religion a comfort or a crutch? Did don Juan really exist, or was Castaneda just stoned on mushrooms and made the whole thing up? Was Nietzsche onto something with nihilism or is nihilism just much ado about nothing?

To you, these things are just a part of your inventory now, maybe even the fuel that drives your imagination. So by the time dessert arrives, you're talking openly about the projection of the shaman's double as a quantum vessel of energetic awareness, replete with free will and the ability to transcend the space/time continuum.

But what you have perhaps failed to notice is that your friends left Neverland long, long ago. They went away and grew up and got married and had lots of babies, so by this time, their amusement has turned to outright discomfort, and the males at the table have turned to talk of Nascar and beer, while the females have retreated to The Ladies Powder Room to do whatever it is females do in the restroom that seems to require at least 30 minutes and the assistance of their 12 closest friends.

You are alone.

In the middle of friends, surrounded by those closest to you...

You are alone.

Magic is a burden to others. At some point, this becomes obvious. If you are extremely fortunate, you find yourself merely alone and not hanging from some makeshift cross or secured to a handsome pile of very dry kindling while the stuffy magistrate recites the charges against you.

This is where the journey takes a sharp and dangerous turn, and you have some decisions to make that are going to be painful.

Do you really want to be a sorcerer at all if this is where it leads?

But... far worse... do you have a choice anymore, or have you already wandered past the point of know return?

Journal entry - July 31, 2008
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Copyright 2015 by Della Van Hise
All Rights Reserved

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1 comment:

Izaak Stivala said...

A Likable article, one which states a lot of the truth about society. I do agree with you when you think you are alone, because as a healer/seer or whatever supernatural phenomena you experience, it will always be you, who had seen the truth of it and it is very hard to express it to others with their own perspectives in mind. In My experience, even after all the struggles I've faced to break any programs and still the ones that still come up to my awareness. The people i have helped, respect me for who i am and what i do, even tough they dont understand it.

i think that we all have our place in this world and we will find it, when its time, we will be the ones changing the consensual reality of the whole world.