The Uses of Enchantment

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We want magic.

Children want magic but they are gradually persuaded that success is superior, and that being enchanted is something naive and un-adult. I beg to disagree. I think we all need enchantment and that’s why the arts are so important. They feed the soul.

The problem is, we are locked into our rational mind to such a degree that enchantment is locked out. We’re a very sensible people, and it’s not healthy. We need to re-enchant our world. We need to imagine it differently, more soulfully, if I may use that word.

Stories are the lifeblood of enchantment. The kinds of stories we tell ourselves about life on earth and how the mechanics work manage to drain all the magic out of it. That’s not good for an individual, and it’s fatal for a civilization.

There is a lot of talk here about the metrics of Medium and how to successfully work the system, what to do and not do. That’s fine, we do have to live, but it’s only the first step.

We are artists, we have to create beauty, we have to offer the world some enchantment. If we don’t do that, if we focus exclusively on “success,” it seems to me we have not given the world our gift.

We are here to give our gift, I believe. We are artists and on this platform we are magicians in the realm of words. If we speak only of writing as a business tool to make money, we are not the help the world needs.

Creating beauty does not come from the calculating mind. The mind that creates meaning is not the same mind that creates metrics and end-results, in my opinion.

Belief in “success” and its overwhelming importance is invisible to us as Americans. I think it’s important to ask ourselves if it deserves the place we have given it in our society.

I think we could use a more enchanting story of our life on Earth. We have a chance to do that here.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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