I’ve been thinking a lot about magic lately. What is it? How do we define it?
In times long past, the things we now know as science were often considered magic. The ability to make an illness go away or a cake rise or a new metal emerge from the combination of two others. The creation of new life.
Magic has also long been connected to religion. The pagan ritual, the shamanistic trance, the demons lurking within a summoners circle. There’s the power of illusion too — glamors, of course, but also the fleeting beauty found in between the lines of musical compositions or under the deft brush strokes of a master painting.
So, the unexplainable, the mystical, and the genius have given rise to the belief in magic in the past, but where do we find magic today? Is today’s magic the next frontier of the scientific unknown? Teleportation. Faster than light travel. Death rays. The zombie apocalypse. Is much of what we like to think of as science fiction actually magic?
Maybe magic is nothing more than the belief in the impossible, the act of wishing the unthinkable and unreal into existence. Maybe novelists are magicians.
What do you think? How do you think of magic and where do you find it in today’s world?