Magic is a theme that has played a dominant role in all four of my novels. I’m not sure how the idea of magic has woven its way into my thinking but it has, and I continue to find new ways to interpret it. I’ve seen many of my favorite artists latch upon a single idea and go back to it again and again. A good idea, a unique paradigm, is worthy of being mined again and again.
My main characters are magicians but my books aren’t so much about the performing of tricks on stage. Nor are they the kind of magicians that go to Hogwarts and turn people into animals. No, they are quite human people without any special powers. Except, perhaps, perception. They are able to see life in a way few people take the time to, are able to see beyond the accepted realities that have been built by a sort of group think. They walk paths off the beaten trail and so are able to see the things other people are too busy, too herded, to see. After all, being a magician is not a normal profession. It is perhaps something we think of doing when we’re young, but eventually we grow up and get real jobs.
But there is something to the illusion, the sleight of hand. We want to know how the trick is done but we also want to believe that there’s something more than a trick involved. Sure, we know it’s not real, but it’s not really about reality, is it? There is something beyond the reality, or something that is real but not conforming to what we generally agree upon as “real”. What is truly magical, miraculous, is what takes place within us as we observe a trick being performed. That is where magic exists, within us, in our hearts and in our minds when we are able to observe things with un-jaded eyes. And that area where magic exists is an area quite foreign from science or objective observation. It has its own reality that can run concurrent to what we can quantify but exists slightly apart from it. It is a world of belief and faith just as it is a place that permits doubt and questioning of what the rest of the world accepts as solid fact. You see, when we believe, when we have faith, we are able to achieve many things that the outside world may say is impossible. And when we doubt what is accepted fact, we are able to overcome barriers that others never try to overcome. Indeed, many of us are never even aware that the barriers are there. I have noticed a growing idea that there is no such thing as free will. And for those who do not believe in free will it truly does not exist. You have to be able to see beyond the existing paradigms in order to overcome them.
Hundreds of years ago religion was misused in order to restrict people’s reality. All of the advances of science would have then been considered impossible given the limits that were placed upon free thought. But scientists pushed bravely onwards and built an entirely new world beyond the imagining of anyone living a few centuries ago.
But now ironically science itself is often used as a bludgeon to try to prevent us from seeing beyond the walls that have been constructed around us. Science has constructed rules and laws in the same fashion as religion once did. You see, no matter how enlightened we may believe ourselves to be, we cannot remove humans from the equation, their imperfections and unpredictability. Which is bad as far as science is concerned, but it’s where magic is able to flourish.