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Finding Magic in the Natural and the Common - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 13 December 2011 Finding Magic in the Natural and the Common Magic is often defined as something out-of-the-ordinary, like young magicians in TV who can vanish into thin air, including the motorcycle they are on, or levitate a few centimeters from the ground…
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Finding Magic in the Natural and the Common
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"Finding Magic in the Natural and the Common"

Download file to see previous pages This essay explores the magic in daily life through these stories. What is magical in people's lives is their ability to imagine and to appreciate common events, acts, and liberties. Human imagination presents fertile ground for magic, as it concocts beautiful ideas and images that cannot be realistically enjoyed in real life. Cortazar's Letter to a Young Lady in Paris is about a man who vomits bunnies. Such an occurrence has not been documented yet as possible in real life, but the idea of creating bunnies in itself is a creative idea that makes life magical. With an active imagination like Cortazar's, people can escape life's chaos and dreariness and live in another world. They can find new ways of seeing and doing their duties and tasks and enjoy the novelty of their creative ideas. New images also, by themselves, generate magic, such as magic of wonder, enjoyment, and happiness. Imagination presents magical moments that can occur in daily life. Common events and acts can also lead to magic. Miner’s Body Ritual Among the Nacirema talks about a society that turns common activities and behaviors into something magical. The Nacirema are people who both ironically value and devalue their physical bodies through their spiritual rites. On the one hand, they value their physical bodies by ascribing holiness to their body parts. ...
Very sick people also go to latipso ceremonies. These ceremonies are quite perplexing to other people not used to these customs. Apparently, the Nacirema can only enter the temples that hold these ceremonies by bearing lavish gifts, even if they are aware that “[it] is where [they] go to die” (Miner). At the same time, these “patients” cannot also leave the temple without bearing more lavish gifts. In other words, they pay to get hurt. What is magical in these acts is that they are crucial to people's development. Miner cites Malinowski who says that without crude and irrelevant magic, “early man could not have mastered his practical difficulties as he has done, nor could man have advanced to the higher stages of civilization.” But what is higher civilization anyway? Perhaps a higher civilization is one that is kinder and more loving. Otake et al. shows that kindness is magical too, because it makes people happier. The more kindness that people “give” forward, the more they feel connected to other human beings. This can be the kind of connection that makes people more human, and in turn, helps them feel happier “in” their humanity. Even in desperate times, kindness can alleviate the emptiness of life. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl argues that people can find something meaningful in what could otherwise be meaningless existence. As a former prisoner during the Holocaust, he is a man who has survived great tribulations and has come out with his identity and soul intact. He believes in the value of being “worthy” of one's “sufferings,” for it provides “spiritual freedom” that makes life worth living for (72). People can ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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