Recently I was sitting around and thinking and it struck me that in a rational world, one of the worst things we can do is to lock ourselves into one vision of how things are.
I started on this train of thought by listening to “Istanbul (Not Constantanople)” By They Might be Giants. This lead me to where did their name come from which lead me to the Wikipedia Entry on the band.
From the article:
The band takes its name from the 1971 movie They Might Be Giants starring George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward (based on the play of the same name written by James Goldman). The play (and movie) title is an allusion to Don Quixote, who mistook windmills for giants. George C. Scott’s character discusses man’s ability to invent and analyze past the obvious, saying:
Of course, [Quixote] carried it a bit too far. He thought that every windmill was a giant. That’s insane. But, thinking that they might be… Well, all the best minds used to think the world was flat. But, what if it isn’t? It might be round. And bread mold might be medicine. If we never looked at things and thought of what they might be, why, we’d all still be out there in the tall grass with the apes.
And then I found myself in the desert of the mind where very fertile ground resides. I planted the seed of that thought and it bloomed into a concept.
In magick we analyze past the obvious all the time. It is what a magickian does as a matter of course. If they didn’t, then you wouldn’t have all the books on magick that exist talking about clearing Chakras, spinning vortexes and so on.
What rational person who can see the life around them and dismiss it simply as mechanics. That is someone who has no creative spirit and who cannot see posibilities.
Self help groups and books advocate that we look past the obvious and think creativiely, but it takes time and effort to do so. Seeing a windmill, most people would see simply a windmill. A smart person would see a way of pumping water or grinding meal. They could see the internal mechanics and function further with that. But only a few insane or genius intellects could see a giant who is rooted to the spot it grew at who is waving its arms around.
It may be that the windmill is simply what it appears to be, a windmill, but it could be something else, and “could be” is one of the most powerful phrases we ever hear.
A picture drawn by a child of their family may be blobs of crayon on a piece of paper, but remember back when you were drawing that. Those blobs became environments, they became people, they were your mommy and daddy in a real sense. Your siblings and pet were captured in a picture for you to look at and to treasure forever. Your animal companion whom you snuggled with each night wasn’t JUST made of fluff and cloth, they had a soul and feelings, and they responded to you. They would get lonely without you and you told them everything.
Your invisible friend may have not had a body, but that didn’t make them any less real at all. Mine was a really good person, kind and generous who loved me simply because I drew a breath. He was honest with me and made sure that I knew that he loved me because I was myself, not because he had to or because I imagined him alive. When my mother would take the clothing off him that I had placed on a representation of him (a bear) I would get really upset, for she had undressed my brother, someone I cared about.
She saw a teddy bear dressed in clean clothing of mine.
So don’t discount the highly improbable. Don’t forget “Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” â€” Sherlock Holmes
After all, they might be giants.