I’m teaching my son about the deep magic. The powerful forces that exist outside time and place, those things that we inherit product of our special status as humans and which are unchanging; rock islands standing strong amidst the raging torrents. “Why…?” the haughty ignorant often ask. “Why do you insist so? Give way, surrender your magic to us,” they say, “for we have found a better way,” the Falstaffian assertion goes. Steadily we respond, “We need these things, for upon which to build our happiness.” Because those of us who are older know this, we who have too often strayed; and for this reason it is our duty to pass on the deep magic to our children – because who else will? Peers, who themselves are ignorant? Schools, buttressed by the winds of politics and progress? Other adults? Those of you who read me often know how I feel about humanity’s ability to see through the veil. Yes, I am a little worried about my boy these days – I suppose every father of a little boy says that. In a bait and switch, the deep magic is being called ephemeral while those incantations which dry and crack to powder, blowing away in the harsh winds of progress are lifted up like a golden calf – to the same result.
Of course they are, I expect no better from an ignorant world. Blind and mean; for there is nothing more dangerous than a one-eyed man who in his pride would rather pluck out his other eye than admit he sees imperfectly and condescend to follow paths laid before him by those more illuminated. Which begs the question – who are the more illuminated? A hard question for some, as the wicked keep setting forgeries upon the torturous path of illumination, to point the way to better trodden roads. Safety in numbers, right? So says the Pied Piper – incidentally another story about the deep magic.
Ah, but that is what the deep magic is for – because it was there first, if we are only to look for it, which so few trouble themselves over these days. I just finished reading “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” to my little boy. Because I want him to learn first about the deep magic, and from me – lest a fellow point him down a misbegotten path. I want him to learn about the principles of the deep magic; I want him to carry the lion and the witch in his consciousness even when he is making great advances – building rockets to the moon or exploring the deep places where none have gone.
I want him to learn about restraint; that eating an entire bowl of Turkish delight might be gluttony; that destroying your enemies when you can might negate a higher purpose; that glory comes only in the fullness of time. I want him to learn about sacrifice; that greatest of all sacrifices which comes when a lion surrenders his life for a little boy – a God for a fallen man. I want him to learn about loyalty; to stand shoulder to shoulder with his army even when the enemy is overwhelming in number and in strength. I want him to learn about love; love of the dewy morning, of Christmas and of beauty and of family. And I want him to learn about truth; of the wicked plants that grow from the tiniest seed of a lie. And I want him to learn the hardest lesson of all, that of eucatastrophe; when out of the horror of the advancing darkness, our deep magic is suddenly and deliberately victorious. That is, after all, the Christian story – is it not?
These all are the incantations of the deep magic, which my little boy must learn for to have a “life more abundant”. And they are my duty, a duty I do not shirk – fatherhood too is part of the deep magic, against which there is no effective hex. When the cotton candy world has dried and blown away, my little boy will still have our stories and the deep magic of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”.