Sunday, November 7, 2010

Do You Believe in Magic?

Forget about Houdini, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. The kind of magic I am talking about here is the power that lies within good luck charms or superstitious behavior. An interesting article from "Scientific American" recently got me to thinkin'. Please take yourself a gander at it here.

This article speaks of good luck charms and superstitious rituals. Choosing to focus on good superstitions rather than the bad ones (ie..."Can you really break your mother's back every time you step on a crack?", the article limits itself by delving only ever-so-slightly into this topic. Perhaps this is due to the scientific nature of it's source and it may well be where science is limiting itself in learning/reporting just how magical we really are!

The article suggests that whose who believe in good luck have an edge over those who don't. It is not the actual objects which are inherently "lucky", Valdesolo's findings suggest, it is the owner's BELIEF in them which makes them so. He suggests not to run out and acquire a lucky gem or create any new rituals for this purpose since anyone who has just read this article would now be too aware of that fact for it to work. Now that they know "it is just you and your abilities", all magic is off the table.

I think it is in this realization where we can all discover our true magic. When I read articles such as these I am equally fascinated and frightened by how easily manipulatable we are. It is frightening because we are constantly being controlled into believing certain products, people, choices, and things are "good" or "bad" based solely on what someone else TELLS us to believe. Some of this is conscious and intentional manipulation (marketing/politics) and some is not. It is fascinating because, once we become AWARE of the fact that some things are SO simply because we BELIEVE they are, we become empowered to change our beliefs as we see fit. Once we know it is "just us and our abilities" we have the power to see around some of the beliefs which are forced down our throats by those around us and create those which serve us best.

The article doesn't seem to want to get too deep and falls short of even mentioning negative superstitions. I am fine with focusing on the positive but it bears mentioning that if this is true about our belief good luck, the power of bad luck beliefs are just as powerful, if not more! Let's forget about the "break your mother's back" thing. I'm fairly certain we entertain smaller but more dangerous negative superstitions fairly often without even realizing it. Why do Mondays always seem to suck? Why do we "never seem to have enough money?". Why is every politician "crooked"? Well, these aren't so much "superstitions" as they are negative beliefs but I doubt they couldn't use some tweaking!

Do you read your horoscope? Do you believe everything it says? I am one who enjoys reading mine after the day has ended since I know how manipulatable I am. Astrology can hold a great deal of power but it does not have to!

Some people find it disheartening to learn of the placebo effect but again, this just shows us how powerful our minds really are. We have far more control over our health and the world around us than we are aware of. The minute science analyzes and reports on that is the minute we begin to stop being manipulated and continue to evolve.

Do you believe in magic? Would it feel better if you called it something else?

I recently took my Level 1 Reiki Certification which turned out to be a rather "magical" experience. Even though I was blown away by the undeniable power I became aware of that day I couldn't help but question the validity of it. Was I really able to transmit the Universe's healing energy through my hands or was I going nutty? I could definitely FEEL it without concentrating on it very hard at all. Did I really need my Reiki Master to connect me with this power? It is said that even non-believers who receive Reiki report feelings of relaxation even if they don't imagine themselves to be "healed". But isn't relaxation healing? Is Reiki real? Do we all have the power to heal ourselves by laying hands on each other? It it all a bunch of hooey? I do not know. It comes down the believe or not to. What harm does it do to believe in this incredible power? How is it any different than believing in prayer?

There will always be skeptics and naysayers. There will always be people who will challenge anything that crosses their path. There are those who will refute any/all scientific findings that support any type of "magical" thought. Those people will probably always choose not to believe. I don't know about you but I choose to believe.


Jeannette said...

I know what you mean about how some people are disheartened rather than empowered to learn about the placebo effect.

And questioning whether reiki is real or whether it's our belief in it that makes the difference. I've wondered the same thing about the effects of psych-k belief programming.

I guess the point is to remember that ultimately the power comes through us, not the process or the "magic pill."

Great post!

Visionary Fairy said...

Thanks for reading and writing Jeannette! I totally forgot to credit YOU with having pointed me to the article in the first place! Sorry!!

I actually ended up happening on one of your archived calls about this same topic in regards to you and your vitamin pills. I really do enjoy referring to all of this as magic...but not the type of magic where the power is outside of ourselves. I love knowing how powerful we are and think it's fun to BE MAGICAL! It is funny how much the words you use can make a difference in how someone reacts to/takes in what you say. Just another reminder to be using the "right" ones with ourselves as well!

Visionary Fairy said...

p.s. I haven't learned a lot about psych-k belief programming yet but I want to now! Thank you for continuously teaching me!!!

Ande Waggener said...

Yes, I believe in magic! :)

I think the fact that we're so easily manipulated, as you say, is great incentive for us to "manipulate" ourselves. If we are so susceptible to beliefs, why not choose the magical ones? That makes so much sense ... to believe what serves us.

As Jeannette says, the power comes through us.

Visionary Fairy said...

Precisely Ande! It is sort of another word for "faith", but I think "magic" got a bad connotation a long time ago. Some people really do not like the word "magic"!

Well whatever you call it...I prefer to believe in SOMETHING rather than nothing.

Thanks for reading and commenting!