I came across a quote today in The Magicians by Lev Grossman, a quote that somehow explains how I think of myself.
“You actually still believe in magic. You do realize, right, that nobody else does?”
It’s kind of a sad quote, but somehow not. I think that, at some point, most people stop believing in the impossible. Ghosts and faeries and imaginary worlds fall to the wayside to be replaced by textbooks and bills and innumerable other inconveniences of modern life. Somehow, the more we know, the less we know. In the process of growing up, it seems like we lose our connection to the unbelievable.
Or maybe we just have so much access to information, to other people’s facts and theories, that we don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the things we don’t know. But, childish though it may be, some part of me still knows, beyond all rationality, that magic exists in some form, even if I never see it. The reality of life is that there is nothing we can prove beyond a shadow of doubt, magical or mundane. We can’t even prove that our own existence is more than the imagination of some unknown consciousness. We can theorize and hypothesize, but we can never really know. And that is its own form of magic. What we are, why we are, it’s all subjective. I think it’s kind of a fantastic realization to know that the only thing we know is that we don’t know anything, which is a paradox all on its own.
I’m feeling the need for a good existentialist debate.