Magic

Today’s Message from the Universe
Thursday, December 26, 2002

Good morning fellow adventurer!

Look between the sights, hear between the words, feel between your heart and mind… and there you’ll find the Universe, conspiring, on your behalf, with magic, miracles and more.

Your friend,
The Universe

Today’s Message is written by our friend and fellow adventurer Mike Dooley.

You know, this sort of thing bothers me. Oh I do not mean that I am resentful of it and wish for it to be banned, nor would I scoff at an old woman who said it. But it appears to me to be the product of cognitive processes, of the projections of one’s biases onto the world (while not realizing it). It is frustratingly amusing that I should encounter daily people who hold such ideas as this as to the highest order of truth, but staunchly oppose any psychological explanation as to why and how it occurs.

People want their magic, and I must admit that this entails me also. It is one thing to have a cold assessment of why a thing is believed to be the way it is, and it is another to have warm feelings of magic around them. Like the Patriots winning the superbowl, everyone wanted to believe that the underdog could beat the mighty Rams. It is the sustaining character of Cubs fans everywhere, we believe in magic and for us every game is magical, an opportunity to experience it. It isn’t that we watch a game and think only “this is the moment when it all turns around and the Cubs win“. No. Instead is is more like “this is a moment, along with many such moments, that will make the ensuing World Series win that much sweeter.” For to relish that World Series the Cub fan also relishes each losing season, each heartbreaking loss, however deeply that sentiment might be. That is why you’ll never find a true Cubs fan turn his/her back on the team. To do so would to give up one’s soul for magic.

People want their magic.

I am a hair’s breath from finishing the book The Brothers Karamazov. My admiration for Dostoevsky has grown even more. This book is like a rich meal. Lots of readings are like sugar cookies, they are fast to give you the goods, the emotions, and lows, the villians and heroes and that is that. Soon afterward it is all gone, erased from your body and soul. This book sits in your gut digesting like a thick piece of steak and potatos. Its going to take a while. At the first I identified with Alyosha’s naive innocence and purity toward the world. His insistence on honesty strikes me as something to strive for. I sympathized with Dmitry’s sensualist outbursts, his unruly behavior and passionate heart. Yet tonight it is Ivan that I feel the closest to. I was happily shocked and entertained when in the last portion of the book the Devil came to meet Ivan. Ivan is, for one who hasn’t read the book (and I strongly recommend this book as a great piece of literature in all things human) the cool, intellectual, scientific atheist. It is his voice and reasoning that reminds me much of my self recently. Ivan was visited by the Devil in a hallucination (as the doctors called it, a brain fever) and he was rather let down that the Devil appeared in the guise of an old sponging gentleman and not a terrible brutish devil with smoke and wings and thunderbolts. There was no magic in the old gentleman’s visiage.

People want their magic.

The library opens in a few hours. It is almost 6 am and the coffee shop opens in a little over an hour. The library itself opens in four hours. The paper delivered this morning has a section on the library, showing floor plans and photos. I fell asleep around 10 pm and awoke again around 3 am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I know that it is pointless to attempt to go to sleep right now. I am too anxious to see the library. What book will I check out first? I will finish my current one first, but I want to check out a book on the library’s opening day. But what? Perhaps the book that I went in search of on my last library visit, Great Expectations. Whatever book I decide on, I will be happy to be in the library, my church, my temple, my new home. It is the temple of human experience where I can walk along aisles of ideas and believe that man has performed truly remarkable feats. We may be only animals, but we are damn smart ones for how many badgers have been to the moon?

People want their magic.

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