Magical Thinking

6 Degree Vignettes for May

It’s hard to be positive some days. When there is overwhelm, with lots of stuff to do, it is easy to get behind schedule. You may perhaps have health problems or financial worries, and looming debt or threat of impending doom may be enough to just paralyze you. And then the walls begin to close in around you.   Well, it’s times like this we think of those poor devils who really have it hard! The ones who are living through wartime conditions in Ukraine now, or the people who lived during the Great Depression. And if we really want to go way back in the “Wayback Machine,” we can just imagine what those folks were doing when tasked to build the pyramid at Giza!   Ways to stay Cheerful while building the Pyramid at Giza   It’s hard to stay cheerful all the time. You can think of “High Hopes” or “You Gotta have Heart” and sing like the birdies sing for a while with old musical medleys. And then people go out and just shoot themselves.   That’s not the way to do things, but you can almost understand when people get to the end of their ropes. And it’s then I am reminded of the Egyptians who had to build the Great Pyramid and had about 20 years to do it. I think of the great quote from Eddie Cantor: “It takes 20 years to become an overnight success!”   And now we know so much more about these guys. You can think of truckers and people who complain about tight deadlines. Those shipments must be delivered by a certain date in order to meet their quota. Imagine what the guys at Giza had to do to get a huge piece of rock moved from the quarry to the building site!  And that includes sailing it down the Nile on a barge!   Working the night shift   To paraphrase the great Bob Dylan, you have to: “Please her/please him…20 years of schoolin’ and they put you on the Day Shift!”  And those who try to be a success will have to try to suck up in order to be a “Suck-cess!”  It’s never a fair fight when we are always having to contend with “Corporate.” Be they modern-day CEO’s or the Pharaohs of yore…It always comes down to deadlines and having to move the merchandise. Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well. (He was the one who was stuck on the night shift at Giza!) The Stuff that Dreams are made of…   We have been raised to believe that if you have True Grit or The Right Stuff, you have it made. Whatever you want to call it, Bogey was right… It’s the stuff that dreams are made of. And it’s also the foundation upon which we exist.  The cornerstone of the American Dream is the belief that we all have a chance for success.   Moral Fortitude and small bits of beefed-up “Magical thinking” is what lies inside most Americans who believe in the American Dream. That is the belief that we can make it if we try hard enough.  Or if we believe in ourselves then our dreams are enough to keep us plugging away.   We all love a good challenge. But only when we think that there is a chance that we can succeed as much as the next guy. My Dad hated women to be called ‘guy’. But in many ways that can be considered a good thing these days.   Because it’s a generic term that can mean almost anything if you want to be seen as just ‘one of the guys.’ That comes in handy for most women. Especially in the workplaces of old. Those were the times when women may have been asked to turn around and walk for the boss and then wear short skirts! (Or not-depending on the shape of her legs.) American Delusions   America is and always has been this mythical, magical dream of high purpose and ideals. And the illusions are mostly delusions as we see the reality of the bubble burst. There are people who Do live in bubbles.  They are the ones isolated in their own grand delusions of themselves; with the belief that money can buy them a ticket to heaven or wherever they think they are going.   So that is one way to look at it. Keeping busy always signals to us that there is something that has been missing and we can “Fix It!” We can fix the broken parts by speeding up the narrative and just powering through.   Letting Go vs Let it Be   Have you ever experienced a dream so wonderful…and then you just couldn’t really remember anything about it the next day?!…   I am grateful that I do have the time and grace, the mind and heart and soul, and the body to know that there are flaws in the engine. Things are going to break down, and it’s not going to be what we want it to be. And there are times we just have to let it be. But “Let it Be” is often just another way of saying Let Me Be. Let it go and let it be are two different things.   By Letting Go, we acknowledge the past and all the faults that lie within us.  And that includes our own broken souls that may have been battered and yet have survived. By letting things be, we know the future will unfold as the universe has intended in mysterious ways. And we must let it be as God intended.  Because that is how the plot unfolds.   As writers, we are always hoping there may be multiple universes hidden inside the shell of our brain. (You may remember from last month…that’s the “Pale Fawn Fluff” that exists on top of my head!) And at some point, there may be an opportunity to bring those

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Monday Muse: The Keys to the Kingdom leads us to Magical Thinking

Keys to the Kingdom There is a concept in Unity Church teachings that speaks of the Golden Key. The founder, Charles Fillmore, used this phrase often in terms of unlocking the spiritual being that is our nature to let go and let God be a part of our inner life and soul. And we have always been familiar with the phrase, “The keys to the Kingdom.” In past times of despair, I recall those who have thrown up their hands and said “It’s as if they’ve been given the keys to the Kingdom!” One of my favorite lines to tease my mother is tell her: “The world is your oyster!” But both these phrases have deeper connotations when we lay out the foundation of the thoughts behind them. If we do seek spiritual peace, and self-worth, and work to grow and to help others, we are all on a quest for the elusive keys to the kingdom! It is something that we are given as spiritual beings to understand. Some search for Nirvana or heaven on earth, but most of us dwell on thoughts of a golden pot and magical place that dwells in another realm. And although no one can know for sure, there is comfort and gladness and hope in our lives when we realize the search for that kingdom can begin and end with us. Within our own lives, we have the power to realize that joy and that place that is made possible by our faith and our beliefs. We are all on the hunt for the keys to the kingdom! Conviction Charles Fillmore wrote in The Revealing Word that “We should affirm with Conviction those mighty words of Jesus: “All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth.”-Matthew 28:18. He’s telling us that it’s not enough only to affirm the words of Jesus. We need to be positive in our conviction and our beliefs. When we speak with passion and with conviction, on a subject that motivates us, and it is one that we truly believe in, we can realize our full potential as a growing and spiritual human being. We all know that if you try and do something half-heartedly or dispiritedly, we are not only being false to ourselves, but we are making ourselves unhappy and unwell. When we don’t believe in what we are saying or doing or act in ways that are not in keeping with the focus of our own spiritual needs and growth, the energy saps away and leaves us lifeless. Conviction is a force that we all need to nurture in our own mindsets and in our actions and in our deeds. When we sit and contemplate those things that really matter to us, our convictions and our plans going forward come into sharper focus. Magical Thinking As a writer, I am very fond of the term: Magical thinking.  It speaks of the non-reality that is at the heart of all the good stories that we have heard in our lives. And we all know of those who don’t live in reality or see things only in terms of ‘magical thinking.’ Indeed, the writer who coined this phrase called herself out for spending a year of magical thinking in denial of the illness of her beloved husband. And when we indulge in magical thinking, it has always been seen to be a negative. And yet, there are children and young people, guilty of magical thinking, who aspire to great things. We shouldn’t simply dismiss all dreams as products of magical thinking. There is hard work and sometimes luck that is involved in successful endeavors and projects. But the future is something that many of us see in terms of magical thinking. And when we live with conviction and focus our hearts and our souls on the prize of the keys to the kingdom, we all indulge in magical thinking. I prefer to see it in terms of spiritual thinking, but those who live with a positive mindset are forgiven for looking at life with those rose-colored glasses. Positive planning is quite different from magical thinking, as you do need to lay a foundation in reality. However, reading the words of Rev. Paul Hasselbeck, who spoke of the Golden Key that the Fillmore’s referenced, was able to rationalize the magic and mystique of the magical thinking behind our faiths and beliefs. He said there really is nothing magical or mystical about believing in things like “The Golden Key.” And when we read and listen to the words of Jesus, ..”we form a thought colony around those words and they grow in consciousness.’ The idea of the Growing Group is to grow in spiritual faith and belief, so this is a perfect way to understand why spiritual growth is so vital in our lives. For myself, I look forward to years of faith and growth in my spiritual and magical thinking!                              All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on Earth- Matthew 28:18 Mantra: I will begin to think in different terms about the phrase, “The keys to the kingdom.” I will speak with conviction about my own beliefs and those things I am most passionate about. And when I do indulge in magical thinking, I will understand it for the dream that it is. And when I indulge in Spiritual Thinking, I will realize the truth of finding the keys to the kingdom within me, as I begin my search starting today with conviction and with faith.

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