Today’s Prompt:  “Suppose you woke up one morning and had magical powers for a day.”

This is a strange prompt for me as I am a skeptic at heart. If I have not observed something with my own senses, then it does not exist. Moreover, beyond my own experiences, I only accept something as fact if it is observable in repeatable, objective testing, and documented by disinterested parties.

On the other hand, my favorite books to read are of the fantasy-fiction persuasion. As long as it is contained within the pages of a book with a dragon or a wizard on the cover, I will suspend my disbelief for as long as the author keeps the magic spells flying.

While contemplating the last paragraph, I looked up the phrase “suspension of disbelief,” wandered through the surprisingly well-written entry for it on Wikipedia, and discovered Tolkien’s idea of the “secondary belief” which is, for me, far more relevant. I copied this from the Wiki: “Tolkien says that, in order for the narrative to work, the reader must believe that what he reads is true within the secondary reality of the fictional world.”

That is what I am doing while I read. I transport my mind (as long as the story is a good one) into that fictional world, and I don’t have to suspend anything. I am there, and the authors truths become my own.

If I woke up tomorrow morning with magical powers, I would be, while they lasted, inside my own secondary reality. I would believe completely. However, the next morning, when the magic is gone, I will be, once again, content within my tangible, skeptical world.

2 thoughts on “Magic

  1. I woke up this morning with magical powers. Even though I am just a collection of atoms, I have control over some of them. I can move these atoms around and pick up other atoms, make music come out of them. If I put other atoms in or around me they offer sensations. I get visions and sounds and smells and tastes.
    It’s astonishing. I hope I get to keep these powers tomorrow 😉

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    1. Ah yes – the powers we so often ignore and take for granted.. so true. (also brought to mind the end of Tim Minchin’s awesome poem, ‘Storm’)

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