Magic in a Time of Uncertainty
This is the first of a TWO-part blog on the subject of using magic during the coronavirus outbreak.
The world is gripped by panic. Fear of an impending pandemic worse even than Spanish flu or cholera is gripping the people of every country on earth. Yesterday, I went shopping and found the supermarket emptied of tinned goods, pasta and rice, breakfast cereal, toilet paper and cleaning products. And this is England, home to a normally a non-panicky, keep-calm-and-carry-on sort of people.
As I write, we have had 104 deaths in the UK.
But the apocalyptic news coming from Italy everyday predicts this is just the beginning of the start of the slow decline. The tip of the iceberg. We are in the calm before the storm and people in every nation on earth have thoughts of death and loss on their minds.
In the light of all this horror and fear, impending, imminent or present, it perhaps seems a little shallow, a little frivolous, and perhaps even downright disrespectful to be talking of magic. I am a self-help writer who teaches people how to improve their experience of life by using magic.
Maybe I should keep quiet until all this blows over, until people are ready to start feeling positive again.
As I see it, there’s never been a greater need for magic, nor an opportunity to discover it.
Now, I’m not talking about creating cars and houses and million-pound businesses. I’m talking about the deeper, more profound aspect of magic, that which is infinitely more valuable than money or jobs or international travel.
The thing is, we live in a time of unprecedented peace and health. If you’re reading this, you almost certainly come from a country where death and disease are not an everyday occurrence. In Europe, the US and UK we don’t talk or think about death very often. We tell our children that dead pets have gone to visit their friends, or have left home to live on a farm rather than talk to them about illness and death. The result of this is teenagers and young people often believe they are never going to die.
(At least, that’s what I remember!)
Just a hundred and twenty years ago, you could have expected one in 4 of your babies to die before its first birthday. And as recently as 1950 worldwide mortality rates were FIVE times higher than now. Even today, in some countries in the world, life expectancy is low, child mortality is high disease is rife.
So, we should all be grateful for what we have. Is that what you’re saying?
No. That’s not what I’m saying at all. This is nothing to do with being feeling gratitude because ‘you’ve never had it so good’. Gratitude is a wonderful tool for change, but this isn’t what I’m talking about here. Neither am I suggesting you should be happy with your lot because other people have it worse. I’m drawing your attention to something quite different.
Because beneath all the horror and news stories of disease and confinement and disaster, something has been happening. Something has been going on. Something that’s always been going on.
Bubbling away, oblivious, life is still going on.
Throughout all of human history, even in times and places where people have been faced with disease, danger and sickness every day, life has gone on. While people were living in daily threat of cholera, polio, childbed fever, and when even a cold or flu could lead to death… people still were having babies, getting married, falling in love, baking bread, making cheese, brewing wine, meeting friends, petting cats, writing books, making discoveries and creating inventions, laughing and crying, learning and growing and planning for the future.
Life goes on. Life will go on.
In fact, you’ll carry on living until you die. Your parents, grandparents, friends will all carry on living until they die. In that sense, nothing has changed. We were always all going to die.
I’ll probably get coronavirus. That is a fact. I will die one day. That is also a fact. But I’m darned if I’m going to let knowledge of those facts spoil my present moment, to let them spoil my life! If my time to leave this earth is coming sooner than I had expected, there’s no way I’m going to waste my time on fear and worry. If anything, the slight possibility that I won’t be around next year has made me MORE aware of my moment to moment existence, and just how much we all tend to squander our enjoyment of simply being alive.
Of course, our day to day activities have changed dramatically.
Whether you are practising social distancing, self-isolation or are in total lockdown, unable to leave the house, we are all in a similar boat. We all have to slow down a little. We can’t work as hard as before, we can’t travel as much, we have to cancel events. And of course, that is going to have a negative effect on people’s businesses and livelihoods. There is uncertainty and there will be financial difficulties for many. But eventually, people will adapt, new ways of getting by will be found. Life will go on.
So don’t let fear of a possible future spoil your present moment. Because in every moment is the opportunity for the sort of complete and utter peace, joy and contentment you’ve been looking for your whole life – the joy and contentment you always thought was to be found in working hard, and earning more and travelling to distant lands to have new experiences. All that time, you though joy lay in the outside world. And now that your outside world has been compromised, changed, and you can’t go about those activities you thought were one day going to bring you happiness and contentment.
But it was always an illusion.
The feeling of happiness comes not from the outside world, even when it really looks like it does. All feelings of happiness and contentment come from only one place – within you. They reflect, not your external circumstances, but how close you are to your inner core of perfection, to your magical essence, to your true self. This is what counts as happiness. This is what happiness IS.
And it is always there. Right now, it is there. In the midst of terror or impending death or disaster, it is there. Under all this panic buying and media horror stories and fighting politicians and blame and counter blame, your inner perfect core of magic is sitting quietly and waiting to show itself.
And I’ve decided that, even if I don’t make it to my 52nd birthday, I’m going to enjoy every second of my time on this earth.
Care to join me?
Keep calm and wash your hands, folks. Hug your loved ones. Stay home if you can, or if you must. But above all, enjoy your life.
PS. In part two of this blog series, The Hidden Gift of Coronavirus Isolation, I’ll discuss the incredible and unexpected opportunity for us in the current situation. In the midst of isolation, I believe there exists the chance to find peace, love, happiness and everything you’ve ever wanted.
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