THERE ARE FAIRY TALES buried in all our souls and not just the ones we heard as children. We are also influenced by the ones born of our cultural influences: the people with whom we interacted during our formative years, the architectural environment that surrounded us, the books we read, the television shows we happened to see, the movies that inspired us to seek adventure and to reach for Olympian heights in our lives.
Clearly, we are all subject to major forms of influence during the course of our formative years, but virtually all of these influences are given a personal twist in our minds in retrospect and it is that in conjunction with the inexact nature of memory that lends them a certain mythical quality, and turns them into storybook tales.
It seems equally evident that we do not come into this world as blank slates. Rather, we seem to be hardwired from the beginning to be driven by unconscious predilections, instincts and impulses, and to be gifted with a certain level of intelligence.
Where, we must ask, do we get these inherent drives and qualities? If these derive purely from our genetic inheritance alone, then we should all pretty much think and act as our mothers and fathers think and act. In other words, there should be as much congruity in terms of our personalities as there is in the way most people physically resemble their parents.
Yet, almost invariably, children prove to be very different from their parents. This is most obvious in terms of predilections, drives and desires.
A very feasible explanation may be that we humans actually do reincarnate and come into our present situation having experienced multiple lives before our arrival here.
Whether that is true or not, our present life is definitely an opportunity to pursue experience in a fresh new way and become the person we want to be.
Unless and until we are conscious of the consequences of our behavior, however, we can easily keep making the same mistakes over and again.
Conversely, when we are conscious of our every thought, word and deed, everything changes for the better, for we avoid the pitfalls and problems that plagued us in the past.
In every life there are positives and negatives, of course, but strangely enough that is ideal, for if we simply had a free ride, one full of pleasures only, we would end up self-centered and lacking in empathy for others. Conversely, too tough or horrific a life would do nothing but drive us into the depths of despair, which is the antithesis of an evolutionary imperative that places surviving and thriving as a chief directive.
Fortunately, the natural world favors balance.
Even more fortuitously, reality itself manifests as a union of subjective and objective rudiments. In other words, “self and other” arise together as a unity in a polarized spectrum of potential and it is within this spectrum that we are compelled to live out our lives.
From the objective perspective, the world is a given reality which we must subjectively confront day in and day out.
From a subjective perspective, however, reality is not a given. It is more like a magic mirror. That mirror reflects the evolution of our perceptions and the sense we make of those perceptions. This translates into insights and understanding, and hopefully wisdom.
Life can, therefore, be perceived as a miraculous adventure, a banal grind or an absolute horror.
Whether life seems an amazement, a commonplace circumstance or a nightmare, however, is down to us; to how we react to events, to other people and to the circumstances of our life.
In brief, perception is the most vital component of our essential being. It energizes our inner drive to take action and boosts the desire we generate in order to transcend the conditional environment in which we find ourselves. These inherent promptings are doubtless as natural to us as the burgeoning of seeds and the growth of plants.
The key to creating positive growth is through understanding that reality is indeed like a magic mirror and that we can actively and consciously put forward into it our best face at all times.
This, it seems, is the way to make real magic.
Real magic is not the fairy tale variety that children so love, nor is it the kind that results in fireworks that dazzle the eye and boost the superficial self, making us feel as if we are great sorcerers or wizards.
What real magic results in is a form of experiential wisdom that dazzles the inner spirit and inspires us to go beyond the fairy tales we tell ourselves, thus conjuring lives of transcendental magnificence.