Well-crafted and deftly presented magic is captivating. Quality magicians plying their trade can be mesmerizing.
I particularly enjoy sleight of hand acts with playing cards. I've worked for years flicking a card from my fingertips to have it disappear into nothingness. And even with that amount of effort my bit is still regrettably amateurish.
Nonetheless, done well, magic stirs us - which is its siren call.
But when A Course in Miracles refers to magic, it isn't card tricks or skillfully secured rabbits or even disappearing monuments. Although it does relate to deceptive acts that move us in some way.
Magic in the course is anything in the world that we believe brings us either temporary peace or seemingly diminished pain. Thus things like medicine and money and quality relationships would qualify as magic for most of us.
The core principle in the course is to have us choose the miracle instead of magic as the path to lasting peace. And the miracle for which the course is so named is the return to our mind and the choice against the ego.
There's just one problem. Choosing the miracle is very, very hard.
Not difficult from a process perspective, which is fairly easy. No, choosing the miracle is challenging because we are incredibly terrified of returning to our mind.
Because we've been so conditioned to believe that within the mind lies annihilation. The painful, destructive end of our identified self-concept.
This is what the ego has taught us - a belief reinforced for many, many years - if not lifetimes. Consequently, this unconscious terror maintains our mindlessness.
And that is why the course counsels a compromise approach of both miracle and magic. When we are seemingly unable to choose the miracle, the course suggests:
... it may be wise to utilize a compromise approach to mind and body, in which something from the outside is temporarily given healing belief. This is because the last thing that can help the non-right-minded is an increase in fear. (T-2.IV.4)
In other words, we utilize aspects of the world for provisional relief until our fear has sufficiently lessened by which we may choose again. A balance of magic and miracle pending our permanent choice for the right mind of spirit.
Join me in Thursday's class where we'll explore this magic compromise and learn how we can employ this practice to advance on our awakening path. I look forward to seeing you then.