from Real Magic by Wayne Dyer.
Excerpted from Real Magic by Wayne Dyer. Copyright © 1993 by Dr. Wayne Dyer. All rights reserved.
According to the illustrious magician Harry Houdini, magic is achieved through illusion. A simple example is an illusion created by using smoke and mirrors. The illusion is called magic simply because it appears to be unexplainable. Late in his career, though, Houdini alluded to something that he experienced which he called "real magic." He apparently had acquired the ability to produce results that were in fact unexplainable. These magical results could not be accounted for even as the product of illusion.
I chose the title of this book because I became attracted to the paradox inherent in those two words, real magic. You, like most people, are probably convinced that if something is real it cannot be magic, and if it is magic it cannot be real. However, it is my belief that when we get caught in this paradox we are inhibited from experiencing our magical dimensions. I believe that we experience real magic when we transcend the paradox and that the transcendent view encompasses the experience of real magic as indeed very real, and also magical.
In the past several years my life has undergone a magnificent transformation. I find myself on a path leading to levels of awareness and results that I can only describe as miraculous. They are simply unexplainable in any other terms. I am convinced that there is another realm to experience when we are ready to go beyond this life to which we have become accustomed. This other realm defies our laws of science and logic. It is a place within each of us that is free of ordinary boundaries, rules and limitations. This is not some wonderland that is available only in imagination. It is magically real and available to each person when he or she is ready.
I cannot explain how or why I have arrived at this place in my life. I am surprised I am talking about it! It simply feels as if experiencing and writing about real magic is my purpose or mission at this time in my life. Regardless of explanations, I find that I am filled with awe and respect for this unexpected part of my life path.
I am intrigued with Leo Tolstoy, in part because of what I see as parallels between his life and mine. He was a famous author during his lifetime and a man who had spent much of his life in hedonistic pursuits, one who had no spiritual bent in his early writings but witnessed in his own life a shift that seemed to be happening to, him without his consent. His writing began to reflect a spiritual quality, and he wrote of the journey of the soul and the world of real magic. Yet he was uncertain about why or how this transformation had taken place.
Recently a copy of a handwritten portion of Tolstoy's will, written by him twenty years before his death, was given to me by a woman who is one of the world's leading experts on Russian literature. In this will Tolstoy described how he felt about his life's work, which is precisely how I feel as I contemplate my own:
Furthermore, and in particular, I ask all people near and far not to praise me. (I know they will do so because they have done so in my lifetime in the most unseemly way.) But if they want to study my writings, let them look carefully at those passages in them in which I know the power of God spoke through me, and make use of them for their own lives. There have been times when I felt I was becoming the bearer of God's will. I have often been so impure, so full of personal passions, that the light of this truth has been obscured by my own darkness, but nevertheless this truth has sometimes passed through me, and these have been the happiest moments of my life. God grant that these truths should not have been defiled in passing through me, and that people might feed on them, despite the superficial and impure form which I have given them.
And so too this unexpected turn that my own life has taken has occurred almost without my consent. I had no grand plan. I had no such goals or objectives for my life. What I did have was a willingness, an openness to seeing things another way. Now that I have been a witness to miracles in my own personal life, I feel compelled to share this new magical awareness. Perhaps you have been drawn to this book by the same natural flow of life that has motivated me to write about real magic.
Three Paths toward Enlightenment
As I look back at the entire tapestry of my life I can see from the perspective of the present moment that every aspect of my life was necessary and perfect. Each step led eventually to a higher place, even though these steps often felt like obstacles or painful experiences. Every successful, truly happy person that I have encountered has confirmed their knowing that there simply are no accidents. They see the universe as all-purposeful, including the so-called accidents. All agree that every unique happening in our lives leads us to a higher place. As Henry Miller said, "The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order."'
Begin right now to reconsider your entire life experience as a beautiful tapestry or journey toward greater awareness. A simple way to do this is to envision your life as a journey with three ascending paths.
1. Enlightenment through Suffering
On the first path of your journey, you learn through a process I call enlightenment through suffering. At this time of life, which has nothing to do with chronological age, you ask, "Why me?" when something occurs that is painful or difficult. If it involves, for instance, the unwanted breakup of a relationship, you spend your present moments suffering and wondering how and why such a disaster could have befallen you. After a while, as you recover, you are able to look back and say, "Now I know why I had to go through that breakup," and you see, with the benefit of hindsight and suffering, that it allowed you to move on to another life experience of great value. From the perspective of looking backward, you realize that you had to experience the pain in order to transcend it.
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