There was no need for a term like ‘magical thinking’ in the Golden Age of Man. There was only genuine everyday magic and mysticism. Children were not mocked or scolded in those days for singing to the rain, or talking to the wind.
We often also have imaginary friends at this age. The process of exploring the actual limitations of our time-space reality lasts several years. Most ‘magical thinking’ typically disappears around the time when a child finally accepts that there is no such thing as the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Clause. As our understanding and knowledge of Earth reality increases, we lose our imaginative sense of the magical and metaphysical.
However, we never fully lose the tendency to see the magical or mysterious in the ordinary. Findings in cognitive science suggest that magical thinking is an inherent, human trait that persists into adulthood and this appears to be prevalent in all societies and cultures. It is also a phenomenon that is found in all civilizations. Throughout recorded human history we find clear evidence that mankind has always believed that some things are sacred; that things can be cursed; that the human mind can control matter; that rituals bring prosperity or good fortune; that there is power in words and the names assigned to things; that there is justice and moral order in the Universe (such as karma or God’s judgment); and finally that the Universe is ‘alive’ or has a conscious awareness of its own existence.
The fact that these fundamental beliefs are widespread and common in all cultures is no coincidence or accident. If we accept that we are spiritual beings having a physical, human experience, our tendency towards ‘magical thinking’ and metaphysical belief makes all the sense in the world!
However, many scientists attach absolutely no metaphysical or spiritual significance to these phenomena. For example, researcher Dr Eugene Subbotsky refers to it as "magical ideation" and suggests that we retain our preference for magical thinking because “it’s much more comfortable to think that your fate is written down in a constellation of stars than that you’re one of a certain group of intelligent animals who are lost in frozen space forever."
It is also my experience that a true spiritual awakening is always accompanied by the return of so-called ‘magical thinking’ to our consciousness in some way, shape or form. Without ‘magical ideation’ true spiritual awareness seems impossible.
Yes, we did come here for a physical human experience and therefore we have to make do with little or no awareness of our ‘superpowers’ for a large portion of our life. It is part of the deal. One cannot expect to have a truly physical life experience bound by time and space, while retaining your full spiritual capacity. The two states of being are mutually exclusive.
In this lifetime we are like Superman who must remain disguised as the nerdy newspaper journalist Clark Kent, or Harry Potter and his friends who are not allowed to do magic while they are on holiday, away from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
We don’t mind this compulsory precondition for our current physical incarnation, because being more physical than spiritual is essential to the authentic human experience. It is after all what we originally signed up for! However, we were not meant to completely abandon our metaphysical nature and enter this time-space reality entirely ‘unarmed’ and powerless. Even Harry Potter and Clark Kent get to tap into their special powers once in a while, especially when the going gets tough.
© 2012 Anthon St Maarten