Peace and Magic Making

I’ve been living, as the poem below says, in Mercedes Lackey’s Valedmar, filled with Mages and Companions. It’s been lovely. I was tired and depleted, and it’s been a grand vacation. When you can’t lie on a beach, go to the library!

I don’t read sci-fi in general, rather I read a very small segment of the genre, women’s fantasy, often sword and sorcery fantasy. (and THAT’s about the most I’ve ever admitted in public!) I read it for three reasons, first because it completely interrupts the real world. It helps me stop thinking. When you live in this brain, stopping thinking is an occasional blessed relief — maybe even a rite of holy obligation! Second, I like the that the heros and heroines are always striving for a better world. In my world, I find inertia and stagnation often drags me down, tempts me to ignore my calling to do the same, seduces me to work around my values and beliefs. Heroines on paper? Nevah! Third? I’m beginning to think that authors’ use of magic is really about their longing for to create Peace, which is, I believe, the biggest magic we have available to us in this world.

In this series, I was really struck by the the author’s description of the aftermath of the working of great magic, the disruption it causes in the world. She was envisioning storms arising from a working of great evil, in increasingly larger ripples. But isn’t that how things are? One little action, and sooner or later, ripples begin to spread. With evil-doing, the ripples are two-fold: greater acts of violence and increased indifference them. But isn’t it the same with acts of Peace. One person acts and another is encouraged. One person acts, exposing the ugly root and another sees and acts for the good.  We have choices about the ripples we want to put into the world. Indifference or action? Violence or Peace? Willful Blindness or Vision and open hearts?

It’s January, almost February. Here we are, gathering the shards together to begin building our own Dream for Peace, however great or small. Those dreams as we implement them will cause ripples. When people see us act for good, they are empowered to do the same.

January’s Peaceful Values

It’s interesting to me that if we really want to find the push to do the work that’s important to us, we need most to keep looking within. The question that is our biggest motivator is or should be, “What do I believe?” It’s easy, easy, easy to say, I believe in Love, I believe in Peace. But what we believe in is what we act on. So if we’re not acting from love, a couple things could be happening.

We could be frightened, frightened to take out our precious, precious values and expose them to a scornful world. But then we waste them. Our values are there to act on. And if people dismiss us because our beliefs are too corny or naive, ok. We then need new associates. We have a much better chance of making Peace work if we ally ourselves with like-minded, like-hearted, and like-souled people.

Some of us may like the notion of ourselves as a sort of Joan of Arc, ready to take out our beliefs only when the perfect cause comes along. But every cause is perfect and every cause is flawed. Act now, get in practice. Then should the big cause come along, you’ll be well practiced in the art of dreaming your ideals into being.

And some of us haven’t done the work to develop our ideals to the point that they direct our lives. We may say we believe in X, that grand and glorious X, but in fact it never touches our lives because we’re afraid to really believe that x will make a difference. We like the way it sounds. We hang with people who also say that. For whatever reason, we haven’t taken our spoken values into our hearts.

That means that something else is operating. So, better, far better to dig down and see what’s really going on. I’ve been reading a lot of empty my mind books lately. It’s been wonderful to uncouple from life a bit. But in my little sci-fi fantasy world, magic is afoot. And in this series the author talks about magic being imposed from the outside… If I think about it, the commercial brainwashing we undergo (every time we open a magazine, sit on a bus, watch a tv, open our computer) does a very good job of diverting us from what is deep and meaningful.

Our hearts are true… we just need to get there! So… what drives you?