The concept of magic has always intrigued me. As an avid player of Dungeons and Dragons, a big fan of fantasy films and books, and someone with a runaway imagination to a fault, I have long dreamed of mystical sorcery capable of doing the impossible. Of course, I also believe in the scientific process and have a passion for understanding the world as it is, not how I would like it to be, so I understand that magic isn’t real.

Then again, magic is just a word. After all, we have devices that fit in our hand that allow for communication anywhere in the world, machines heavier than a cement truck capable of flying high above the clouds, and medicine capable of extending the human lifespan to double what it was five hundred years ago. If you call these things telepathy, levitation, and potions, magic doesn’t seem so imaginary anymore. And those are just a few examples from off the top of my head.

The way I see it, either nothing is magical, or everything is. That the world exists, that we are here breathing and thinking and aware, that may be a miracle in and of itself. Sure, much of it can be explained by leading theories of the universe expanding and the solar system forming and life beginning and evolving into us. But does that change the magic of it? Even in the worlds of the Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons, magic is something that is studied, just like the laws and behaviors and phenomena of our world. The only difference boils down to us, and how we look at it.

It is our experience that gives the world its magic. Our awareness of it, our appreciation of it. What we call it, really. Because that’s kinda what belief is, in the fundamental sense of the word at least. Belief is how we think of things. The stories we tell ourselves about the world so that we can understand it. The paths we take to understanding, to enlightenment. And the wonderful thing about our beliefs is that they’re real in a different way than facts are, because they aren’t right or wrong; they’re the means to an end, and that gives them power. Beliefs have the power to control how we see the world, and that’s one of the mightiest things that can be done, because when it comes down to it, reality is just another story we tell ourselves. We’re the authors, so what’s magical is up to us.

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