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  • Writer's pictureEve Was Right

Is Magic Real?

Updated: Apr 8

When did we lose our sense of mystery, and how do we get it back?


Are witches real? How about vampires? Ghosts? Magic? 


It’s considered quite unbecoming to broach these subjects today. To be fair, the people who proclaim themselves modern witches are not exactly doing themselves any favors.  


But why shouldn’t we ask these questions? Why shouldn’t we wonder? The same road that led to us avoiding topics like magic also led to the decrease in genuine innovation and creativity we see today. For example, if they make one more movie canonizing World War II, I might scream. 


The same road that led to us avoiding topics like magic also led to the decrease in genuine innovation and creativity we see today.

These seemingly distinct events originate from the same root. We’ve lost our ability to wonder. And one of the primary things captivating human imagination is magic. 


So many atheist and theist debates follow this exact structure: 

Theist: God exists. 

Atheist: You can’t prove God exists. 

Theist: But I believe He does.

Atheist: God doesn’t exist. 

Theist: But you can’t prove God doesn’t exist. 

Atheist: You can’t prove a negative! 


The end. It cracks me up because this is accepted as a reasonable point in the atheist’s favor. 


You can’t prove a negative…


Exactly! 


The fact that you can’t prove a negative is precisely why we should avoid deciding it’s fact. In scientific terms, it’s open for debate. God will always be open for debate. The whole point of us being here is to question and figure out our beliefs. 


The fact that you can’t prove a negative is precisely why we should avoid deciding it’s fact.

Finding the answer isn’t the point; I very much doubt whether God cares if we believe in Him. By asking ourselves these questions and engaging with the topics, we develop our minds. We evolve. The journey is the destination.


If an atheist says, “I believe God doesn’t exist; He might, but in my personal opinion, He doesn’t,” it would be a different story. But let’s be honest, that’s not what atheists believe. Atheists state their truth in the same way theists do: as fact.


I believe in God, but do I know exactly what said belief looks like? Not in the slightest. Over the past year, I’ve gone through at least four major shifts in my belief system. Each time, it feels a little scary, but I’ve always come out the other end okay, and I’ve started to trust the process. 


Change should feel scary! More importantly, our beliefs are supposed to change because we’re supposed to change. If our opinions never vary, it means we’re not evolving. Then what’s the point? 


GIF of someone with a stethoscope saying frantically, "Things are no longer under control."

I empathize with the underlying urge driving the atheist movement. The same urge drove the Age of Reason. As the world grew ever more complex, individuals felt their understanding of the world slip away. We’ve never been able to control our environment; disease, famine, and many other things always wait in the wings to kill us. 


But at least the world was simple enough to be knowable. We had a good grasp on the contours of our lives and environments, and how big they were. Then, the world changed and became infinitely more complex. People wanted control, and since they couldn’t shrink the world back to where it used to be, they narrowed the boundaries of what was possible. Mentally, the world became smaller.       


I used to be an atheist and was active in atheist circles. Atheists use this poem by Tim Minchin as one of the most lovely depictions of atheism: 



'Here's what gives me a hard on, I am a tiny insignificant bit of carbon, I have one life, and sure it is short, and unimportant, but thanks to recent scientific advances, I get to live twice as long as my great, great, great uncles's and aunts's, twice as long

to live this life of mine, twice as long to love this wife of mine, twice as many years of friends, wine and sharing curries, and getting shitty at good looking hippies, with fairies on their spines and butterflies on their titties...''


During my atheist phase, I watched a video of Minchin performing this poem. A wrenching sense of despair hit me as I grasped for some way to see this as lovely. 


Because I just don’t believe it. I can’t believe our existence is purposeless and meaningless. I can’t believe the shared awe we feel when watching a sunset over the Serengeti, seeing a mama bear with her cub, or any of the millions of beautiful things in this world, are the product of random chaos. I just see too much meaning all around us. 


So that’s why I believe in God, but it’s also why I’m not too fussed about God’s gender, whether God has form, or any of the particulars. At the end of the day, I’ve chosen to believe in meaning and our shared human experience. 


I’ve chosen to believe in magic, aliens, and a bunch of other things because it’s more rational than limiting this world to just the tiny sliver I can measure and touch. 


I’ve chosen to believe in magic, aliens, and a bunch of other things because it’s more rational than limiting this world to just the tiny sliver I can measure and touch. 

Who knows if it’s true, but I know its effect on my life. I’ve regained my sense of wonder and awe. The world became big again! It’s full of mysteries, and my lived experience is also filled with potential mysteries. I am full of potential mysteries.

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