Ambition has its price, nothing ever works for me . . . I’m problematic
I’m a little down today, partially because it’s a dreary rainy October day, and I just got a letter saying my book was out of print. Meh. Such things happen, and when you consider how many 31 year old brand new shiny Ph.D.’s can say “my book is out of print,” I’m pretty lucky. But I don’t feel lucky. Little things, like the fact that the very expensive boots have a screwed up seam inside that makes them largely unwearable, throw me well off the track.
So what do you do when you claim to be an All Powerful Magician who nonetheless occasionally has a mildly crappy day?
First, you don’t claim to be an All Powerful Magician — and that’s why. Sure, yesterday I talked with an angel, but today, I tried (and largely failed) to get my boots fixed. How do you reconcile that? By regarding both things as ordinary challenges to an ordinary life.
Second, you reconcile yourself to matter. The nature of matter is to be imperfect, whether that matter is your body (the sore tendons, for example, in my left wrist) or your clothes (a bit of extra leather on one seam that rubs my heel). As much as our consciousnesses are That, all manifestations of the underlying Logos, etc., etc. . . . we’re still engaged in slogging through matter, and to expect matter to be other than what it is, is irrational.
Third, you recognize that things change, and no change is entirely good or entirely bad. Fine — my book is out of print. That, on the surface, is a bad thing — but is it really? Isn’t it better, if my book’s not selling right now, that my publisher cut corners and maintain funds to print my next book (assuming it’s accepted)? So a close friend with whom I’ve fallen out of touch is in dire circumstances . . . at least he’s alive, and now I can contact him and help him. When we repudiate change, we repudiate opportunity too.
Fourth, recognize the interconnection between self and other. What helps my publisher helps me, in the long run. Moreover, what helps my rivals helps me, in the long run, even if I don’t much feel that way right now. After all, if some other occult author sells more books than I do, say (not hard to do), he or she might inspire some people to buy more books, and among those might be mine. Not every single thing that happens to me can be good, but they can all be turned to some good with some effort. Or, at least, turned to neutral.
Fifth, recognize that things can be fixed. The boots are just boots. I can take them back; hell, that’s another excuse to head into the City, after all, which I do dearly love to do. And the book — well, out of print isn’t forever. And even if it is, I have other books. Finally, as for my friend in his dire situation (the real thing that’s bothering me — bothering me so hard that sometimes, I confess, I don’t really want to get out of bed, except that I truly love my job), even that isn’t forever. And when it’s over, we’ll have reunited at least by mail, and I’ll have regained someone important to me that I thought I had lost.
Last, magic. Magic can help you regain your equilibrium, balance, and poise. It can help make you aware of old opportunities and open up new ones. Best of all, it can turn bad or annoying situations into opportunities and challenges.
Notice I listed magic last. Magic is one tool out of many to aid in the art of living. But eventually you gotta just live.
Don: I’m there with you right now.