“The Question of Magic”
To dare to go beyond…or not.
The more we are inspired, the more we open up, the more the blessings, the more the…magic.
Here is Chogyam Trungpa describing the process, from his book Journey Without A Goal, in the chapter entitled, “The Question of Magic”:
“The question of magic at this point is completely relevant to our life, to our path, to our actual practice. Magic is real, direct and personal. It is so personal that it becomes excruciating, and it is at that level that we have a glimpse of magic. We find ourselves on the threshold, and at that point, we can, in fact, push ourselves one step further. That threshold occurs when we think we have gone too far in extending ourselves to the world. There is some kind of warning, and at the same time a faint invitation takes place. Quite possibly, we chicken out at that point because it requires so much effort and energy to go further. We feel we have put in enough effort and energy already, and we don’t want to go beyond that. So-called sensible people won’t take such a risk: “Oh no! We have gone far enough. We mustn’t go too far so let’s step back…”.
As you can see, stepping back into the safety of our programming is stepping back into our fears and relying on hopes, which delays our progress. This is our habitual patterning; we turn off! The “I” identification has become so used to a limited view, that this ‘switching off’ seems normal. We ignore and become indifferent, and may not even notice what we’re saying! 😀
This obviously happens at street level where it goes unnoticed, but it’s also very much applicable to the spiritually-inclined. We learn a little something and get stuck there, flinching back from active experience as it’s too shocking and uncomfortable.
I feel that, too often, teachers do not want to push or upset their students as they may lose their audience (and revenue). We need to test the teacher and the teacher needs to test us. Progress is made through conflict. That’s how we walk: the conflict of foot with the ground!
To step forward, we need to be fearless, and face the excruciating – which means giving up ‘our’ illusion of safety. If we do not step into it, the feeling of fear becomes exaggerated. When we do step in fear we find nothing there at all. It’s no longer excruciating. Wow! Freedom! I haven’t been to formal retreats for years, and feel great!
At the moment of the Buddha’s enlightenment, he was attacked by fear and desire in the forms of flaming arrows and seduction. Demonic activity over-stretches itself and becomes weak, and in this way, it is our teacher.
That’s why goodness will always win over badness.