April 15th, 2003

abstract butterfly

on coincidence, on destiny, on magick

"Room in the east invested with meanings,
Open to none but the strange and the wild
Sunset encounters with destiny's chances,
Envelopes marked for the personal life" --Bill Nelson

I met a powerful warlock once. How did I know he was powerful? It's simple, you see. I knew he was powerful because he told me so. In fact, he was so powerful that he had never met his equal in the handling of magicks. As I recall, his magick proved unequal to moving out of his mother's home, owning an automobile, or holding down a fulfilling job. As nearly as I could see, his magick was most strongly suited to dinner conversation, between liberal puffs of infinite cigarettes. But he was a powerful warlock--he told me so. What can be more powerful than an assured set of words?

I am a firm believer in destiny and in coincidence. I think that the universal is so complex that something can be both entirely destined and utterly coincidental.
I know, deep down, that destiny and coincidence are "magicks" that really do not exist side by side. But somehow it's less important to me whether my belief is literally true than whether it is what I experience as true.

I think that the search for genuine truth sometimes requires mistrust of one's emotions and "feelings" about truth. But I also think this same search sometimes requires embracing and doting on one's intuitive feelings about what is real. The process is like faith and skepticism liberally admixed--it requires a bit of both utter trust in emotion and utter disregard for emotion, although the two notions do not fit together.

I also wonder if it matters so much whether I live in a universe of destiny--or a universe of coincidence--or if, instead, it matters how I live in my mundane little part of that universe. All the great theological debates may be resolved in the teacup of science or the crucible of faith; still, my own part surely is little more than to be kind, meet my obligations, and perhaps pray liberally. Some wizards are destined for powerful magicks. But I believe that I'm called to live as if by coincidence.