Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Master Magician Within



The word “magic” has many meanings—it is linked to ideas of deception, trickery, and irrationality. But let’s put the negative associations aside and focus on the magic that interests anthropologists and psychical researchers.[i]  There is in fact real magic in nature. In each of us there is what we can call a master magician.  This “magician” inhabits the secret depths of our minds.  Most of us are oblivious to its existence and its strange potentials. The magician within?  What else but our own mind, our own soul?  Magic is about the elusive powers we inwardly possess to transcend the obstacles of matter, time and space.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Animal Consciousness


If you’re an animal lover, you might want to pick up a copy of the current Time magazine Special called The Animal Mind.  The photographs are worth the price, and the written account by Jeffrey Kluger is excellent.  The title of the edition suggests a new idea for science: the idea that your cats and your dogs, as well as the birds and squirrels in your backyard, have minds.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Levity and Levitation

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In his closely observed life, Joseph of Copertino proved himself a mystic known for his frequent ecstasies and startling phenomena such as levitation. The friar appears as a giant counter-example to the one-dimensional metaphysics of physicalism.

But now for a moment let us shift the perspective and decon­struct the idea of levitation. There are less literal ways of looking at the phenomenon that also seem to speak to us. Surely there’s some­thing here of significance, beyond admiration and wonder. But what exactly? Are there threads of wisdom from Joseph’s otherworldly career we can weave into the mix of mundane life?

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