1965 was a big year for me, a year in which some of the more memorable moments were accompanied by The Lovin’ Spoonful’s hit song, “Do You Believe in Magic.” The strains of that song followed me out the doors of high school, into the Navy and around the world, eventually to Viet Nam. Fortunately, after two deployments, I made it home alive and in one piece. This year, however, “Magic,” takes on a whole new meaning for me, as I research the subject for my newest novel, “The Practician.”
In this new story, magic will play a major role, as it has throughout our history on Earth. The Patrician will be the first novel in a grail-mythology quartet. The title and the theme are a reference to the main character, Rick Townsend’s past, and his “gift” that will profoundly alter the future for us all. So, as I research the subject of magic and its history, I thought I would post about the things I’m learning from time to time, here, on my author blog, but returning to the question, “Do you believe in magic,” I wonder what your answer might be?
The question holds great interest for me, as a student of the Bible, because the Bible is a book whose subject is almost entirely about the supernatural and yet, the church, who claims the Bible, has, more or less, convinced Christianity that “magic” is nothing more than superstitious mumbo-jumbo. Is it? Maybe. Certainly, through my childhood and up to more recent times, magic, for me, was illusion and slight-of-hand, more trickery and ingenious engineering than supernatural power. In the distant past, however, this was not the case, and lately, I have seen things that I cannot explain, things I am forced to attribute to the supernatural. I confess that what I’ve seen was on video, it could have been manipulated, but I don’t think that it was, because I know from my studies of scripture and from my research in extra-biblical sources, that real magic, that is, “transcendental magic,” truly did and likely does still exist.
When I say, “transcendental magic,” I’m talking about magic beyond illusion. I’m talking about the kind of magic Pharos’ magicians used to change a rod into a snake when they desperately needed to duplicate Moses’ amazing feat. Of course, the feat was supernatural in both cases. The transmutation of a wooden rod to living serpent wasn’t accomplished by Moses, nor was it accomplished by Pharos’s magi, but it was accomplished by powers beyond their hands, powers beyond their world, powers that they called upon, from beyond time and space, as we know it. That’s the kind of magic I’m talking about. There was a time when it was common. Perhaps it was because people were more willing to believe in it than they are today. Perhaps what is required is a mind that is open to the possibility, a mind that doesn’t need to stuff everything into the boxes provided to us by modern science, or academia, or by the church. Perhaps believing is the key to true transcendental power and the sole requirement for it to be present in any age, I don’t know. I don’t practice magic, though the New Testament Bible tells me that I could and should. From that same source, I have come to understand the practice of calling upon powers beyond our world, and by it, I also understand that the power of real magic, transcendental power, lies beyond my hands and beyond our world of flesh and physical laws. Join me in the next adventure.