A passion for something absent

When you experience chaotic change, you find yourself smack in the middle of disorientation.  It is a place of potentialities- it can be an opportunity for honest self-assessment or damaging self-deception. The tipping point is in the ancient art of magic, the oldest impulse of the human soul. Perhaps because it is the deepest. The following thoughts are from the rich insights of Ruben A. Alves.

Why do humans create magic? When the natives of Trobriand Islands were to fish in the inner lagoon there were no magical ceremonies for the occasion. The situation changed however, when they had to go out to sea.  Now the whole process was carefully prepared by magic. Why? The reason was simple. In the lagoon they had a sense of self-assurance and control. There was no danger. Their lives were not being risked. The deep sea, however, took their self-confidence away. The game was dangerous. They were gambling their lives. In one situation they had a sense of power, in the other a feeling of impotence. 

Man practices magic when he feels he lacks power to carry out his intention by means of his own resources.  That is, when encountering chaotic change there is an obstacle that brings our activity to a halt. Our intention is frustrated. We experience reality as it is. We are absent our omnipotence.

With magic, we act out of a passion for something absent, and therefore refuse the verdict of the present. 

Magic is an expression of hope, to transform the absent into the present. 

Whether we like it or not, magic goes on making history — one of the reasons I focus on a vibrant imagination as an inherent ability to migrate effectively through the quandaries of chaotic change.

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Jeff Vankooten is a speaker and author focusing on the power of resilience to effectively engage the challenges of change. He helps leaders, businesses, and organizations develop the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly unpredictable business environment.
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