In the last six months I have found myself talking about magic more and more. It seems like the word that for me most naturally describes the indescribable mysterious creative force that animates things, the lively creature that reliably seems to snuffle its inquisitive snout into any piece of unpolluted space that I am ever able to conjure up.
This sort of space isn’t something I can rent by the hour, and time spent inside it is usually at the expense of more “productive” work-time, so I suppose I have grown to see money and magic as mutually exclusive. Although it is often the case, it is obviously something I will have to find my way around sometime soon.
Money can definitely be a magic-murderer. Its axe is out and hacking whenever I hear myself talking about “keeping a roof over my head” or “putting food on the table.” Or when I’m working today in order to play tomorrow (always tomorrow…). Fun is a frivolity, which maybe I can indulge in once the hard work is done, unless I’m too knackered or don’t feel like being silly. Silly, of course, because “I should be working”, so off I go to the office – you won’t be seeing me for a while.
There is a certain delicious virtuosity associated with this modern type of martyrdom. Lots of organisations have a vested interest in “their people” having this attitude, and sprinkle it with money, like magic dust. Such sacrifice is very rarely asked for directly of course; that would be too truthful to be palatable. Instead, it happens is such a way that I ask it of myself, telling myself I need to “secure my future”, or “give my children the best possible start in life”. Also, let’s not forget that hard work is what makes me a man. Each of these catchphrases is a nail through my hand and into the cross I’ve made. Being strung up is no fun… so it kind of feels right.
Fun is not frivolity. Fun is freedom, and freedom is as necessary for my health as air and water.
Without freedom I am powerless. And I see that feeling of powerlessness as one of the root causes of much of the closet misery that is rife, but rarely owned up to, and buried under layers of virtuous martyrdom. Invisible, self-applied shackles.
I have so often found myself in a discussion around whether the freedom to make life-enriching decisions can only come from having enough money to do so. Amazingly, there is not one person arguing this view who ever feels they have enough money yet; it serves the system of continued martyrdom wonderfully.
Money can never be a reason for incapability, it can only be a convincing excuse. The real reason is that feeling of powerlessness.
If a person knows their own power, what could possibly ever hold them back? How could anyone else ever decide what is good for them and what will make them happy, or dupe them into doing something unhealthy, or utterly tedious? The absurdity would just be laughed at with genuine humour. Such concepts are unthinkable to one who knows their own power. But I don’t see these people around much.
I think it is probably impossible to keep in touch with my own power while participating in mainstream life. The mainstream regurgitations swallowed from well-meaning parents, the lessons from well-meaning teachers in mainstream education, the messages from (not well-meaning) mainstream media and the demands and rewards from (psychopathic) mainstream business encourage conformity and dependence, and directly replace free thought and action. This powerlessness is important for the smooth-running of a system of efficient redistribution of money from large groups of poor people to small groups of rich people. But there is little free-thinking anywhere along the way, just the groupthinking power of market forces, and a whole lot of unwhole people virtuously and voluntarily cutting off their own limbs.
It is my challenge, and will soon be my children’s challenge, to chuck away the axe and the martyr-like servitude and get down to the very unserious business of conjuring magical power.
Money is not bad, it is just magnetic. It gets attracted to sources of power. I would rather that be my own source rather than someone else’s; to live by means of adventure rather than torture.