Magic is always involved in power, and is a necessary part of what it is. But being all-powerful is a fatal aberration produced by a fatal kind of irresistible magic. Any people under its spell are doomed.
And in our present global culture this means nearly everyone. We have been overwhelmed by this all-powerful magic – the belief that we have grabbed the world in sucked it into ourselves. Making us everything.
Now that I have written that last paragraph, I am amazed by it. I am usually perplexed by the difficulty explaining this new environment. Perhaps I should explain how I came across this sudden inspiration.
I was watching a bus-load of German tourists taking pictures of our Catholic Church, one of the few remaining from the Colonial Era. I asked myself “What on earth are they trying to do?”
I am also reading a book about Imagism in poetry. Where the author, Daniel Tiffany, is discussing Visuality – a surprisingly difficult subject.
And I have written about my father the photographer whose studio produced images intended to show the respectability of his customers. An obsession that was fading, and disappeared, along with the studio.
And I am listening to The Winds of War, and marveling at how well it illuminates WWII – and also how it has had no effect, because the survivors of that war had lost their ability to appreciate it – or indeed, anything else.
And even, at the subliminal level, the religion of my family – who thought they were the chosen people (and therefore very respectable) but who too were in the process of disappearing.
People who are all-powerful are not concerned with their respectability.
Closely associated with respectability was the impulse towards perfectibility. Which was being superceded by its opposite – the impulse to be defective and make defective.
Finally, in my declining years, I can look back and see these conflicts (and their resolutions). And compare myself to another recluse – Emily Dickinson. A genius who is still in the process of being discovered – over one hundred years after her death.
But let me return to the subject – and the magic that makes all-powerful. Which has consumed the world. And is in the process of destroying it.
No one, as far as I know, has noticed this. And I can only marvel. Instead, everyone is determined not to notice it.
And this is where we are.