Alvin walked outside of his home through the back door. He sat in his chair on the mountainside that his house was built on. A pool of blue-green water seemed to go on forever in front of him until it reached the sunset. There were no edges to mark its end but instead the water fell off with the mountainside. The black chair Alvin sat in was equal in luxuriousness to his pool and home that was made of African blackwood and glass. He set a sleek black cup of coffee on a small black table next to him and began to look out across the view. The only thing that didn’t fit the scene was Alvin’s visage. His forehead was indented with lines of worry and his eyes looked on past the glistening water and the colorful sunset to somewhere no beauty in the world could pull him back from. He had gone into the very depths of his subjective experience where there was anything but matching black amenities and comfortable living. It was lonely there and the loneliness pervaded every part of Alvin’s Body until it enshrouded the whole world with its icy touch, with a sting so strong the ice felt like fire. There Alvin sat. The home he had built was made of the secrets of his past. Whether his dwelling was a prison or a safehouse he didn’t know. He had become friends with the loneliness inside him. It was at times too difficult to deal with but always loyal and trustworthy. It was the one thing that was always there when everyone else slipped out of his life.
In a sense, Alvin’s life was accomplished. He had many of the awards and accolades he had dreamed of receiving in college. He married a beautiful wife with whom he had 3 children that were his joy throughout his middle age. He also had more money than he knew what to do with. The stress in his face was still there though. He is divorced now at the age of 60. Alone again even more so than when he came into the world. He reminisced of those wonderful times of his past. He was probably aggrandizing how great those times were a bit but even for the worst days, he yearned to go back just to feel something. Of course, he wasn’t feeling nothing. That was the biggest problem. Alvin’s life had reached as far as he had ever dreamed to go and yet something kept telling him to live. The great mystery of life that precedes all dreams and adventures was still inside him. Even if society would say he completed all there is to a life well-lived he still kept on living. He just didn’t know what he was living for.
There he sat thinking of new dreams to chase. The difference now was his dreams were of a dangerous reach. They were no longer bound by acceptance in society, or by his hope to be there for his children and wife. He didn’t even care if he made it back from these dreams. There was one dream he felt still inside him that would surely take him to the end. It was going to be so grand and ambitious that he could never hope to return from it. It was a dream worth dreaming. At least that is what his emotions told him. His brain hadn’t quite caught up with how he felt. He still didn’t know what he was going to do.
Ellie turned 26 before she could even comprehend that she was an adult. In the time since high school, She had made a copy of all her brother Alvin’s journal entries on the old computer. She had also made a separate file containing only the interesting excerpts. She would read them from time to time but they didn’t help much anymore in providing inspiration. The problem was that these entries seemed to end right when her brother seemed to take off. She knew he had been very successful in life and if she could just ascertain what his secrets were she could prove to be successful herself. She thought her brother must be about 42 now. She had tried to meet with him from time to time. She even mentioned his journal on the old computer. He always responded with a distant voice that seemed to carry her on to great possibilities only to drop her back down to the ground when he closed his mouth. She could tell he still loved her but his dreams were so far apart from hers that he couldn’t be bothered.
She walked out of her run-down apartment building and looked out upon the weeds and dandelions making up the small yard that grew out to the road. She sat in her old somewhat creaking chair and looked out over the neighborhood. She had stopped to think in this chair so many times she began to worry that she would form wrinkles on her face from overworking her facial features. It didn’t quite worry her as much as not knowing what to do in life though. She considered some dreams for a second but cast them to the side as she thought of being a mother, and surviving within an overly competitive society. She needed to make more money. She needed to go on dates but so much of it seemed out of her control. Her impression of guys to this point was that they were all idiots who couldn’t stop blabbing about how great their new business was going to be. She had dated a few girls too but surprisingly wound up with a similar result. Of course, it was all fun and games until she realized that the very dreams she despised in others were a reflection of her own. It was this time on the chair that she realized everyone thought they were going to make it and be the new Rockefellers and Buffets of the world. She started to question if she was any better than her peers. What was so great about herself that she would do any better than everyone else?
There she sat letting go of her old dreams. Screw the American dream, screw society. Her dreams started to reach dangerous levels until they were brought down again by the thoughts of love and finding a partner. Then in a moment of a true test of self, she cast even those dreams of love aside. Those dreams were out of her control, she thought. They would come or they wouldn’t but she needed to worry about her own dreams even if they seemed to get in the way of finding love. Out of the bounds of society, her dreams found a new freedom. Strong emotions started to stir and at this moment her emotions matched with her thoughts.
She began putting together all of the interesting things she had found in her brother’s journal entries plus some of her own ideas. She didn’t know if her brother had already discovered contemporary magic but she was going to do it anyway. He sure didn’t seem to be using it if he had. Even if her brother wasn’t going to help her she was determined now with a resolve that only crushed old dreams can make.
The pieces of contemporary magic were beginning to form on a file Ellie had started. Using her brother’s ideas and some of her own she began to form the foundation of her research.
Notes on Contemporary Magic
Secrets are what keeps magic working into the future. Truth is the magic of the past. Contemporary magic is the wisdom of the past mixed with a creative organization of the unknown.
Obtaining knowledge from the past requires reading about a lot of things that are no longer important. It requires an ability to separate the things of significance and things that are worthless.
Forming wisdom from knowledge of the past requires practice and refining of significant knowledge. Some of the knowledge will work within you and the other knowledge is meant for someone else. Everyone has natural tendencies for contemporary magic and those skills are best discovered through practice. Wisdom is the ability to use the magic of the past.
Forming contemporary magic requires both wisdom and creativity. Wisdom will only get you as far as others have gotten before you. Contemporary magic is the path to where no one has gone before.
Telling secrets unravels contemporary magic. As soon as everyone knows about magic it becomes truth and past magic. Sometimes truth is more powerful than contemporary magic. My brother Alvin disagrees. He says truth must always be earned and never given. I think he had too much experience of telling the truth and being rejected for it. Truth is difficult to wield because it can oppose past magic. Contemporary magic must always be used first before truth can be brought out. The trick with truth is knowing when to keep it a secret and when to tell it.
Magic starts over with every new birth of a human being. If people are kept isolated from knowledge, past magic works as powerfully as it did in days of old. The recorded word and the memory of the past are the only paths to learn of past magic.
Magic unlearned is magic used against you.
Contemporary magic depends on how much past magic someone knows. Contemporary magic in one situation is different from that of another. A powerful magician knows the context and environment in which the spells are being cast.
Magic too far into the future comes across as silly or strange. Sometimes even dark and scary.
Those were some of the ideas Ellie had developed on contemporary magic. Ellie had also started to form her own book of spells. The problem was that it was difficult to write. Some spells she wrote became silly the next day. Other spells like the one she used on her friend Jenny in high school turned out horribly wrong. Still, other spells were good sometimes and not other times. It was all just a big mess. She had begun to work on artificial intelligence and data analysis to combat this problem, but writing a spellbook had proved thus far to be almost impossible.
The next day Ellie could be found at her usual desk in the office. She was supposed to be putting the paperwork together for a new client that just took out a car loan at the credit union. She was having difficulty because her focus kept drifting off thinking about magic. Her thoughts led her to the conclusion that she could still get a decent amount of time to read and study at the library even if she had to work too. However, She also figured she needed to do more than just read. She needed to start organizing her society. Nothing could be accomplished very well on her own.
She thought of the guy at the library that could be found reading on a couch in the south corner almost every evening. He seemed curious because not only would he read but on occasion, he would start typing things on his computer. It made him seem as though he had a purpose in his reading. She wondered if he would be a good person to work with to start her society. He seemed about her age, maybe a couple years older. She had tried for the past couple of weeks to muster the courage to go over and talk to him but she could never manage to do it. While she sat at her office desk sick of putting title loans together she resolved to finally talk to him tomorrow. He would probably think she was hitting on him but she had to give it a go. In the worst-case scenario, she would just never return to that library again.
With her mind made up on what she would do to further her work on magic she was finally able to start filling out the paperwork for the client to be granted a new loan. It was such boring work. She hoped to be rid of it soon. Finally, the workday was done and she signed out of the computer at the office only to sign back into her personal one at the library. She was tired from a long day but at least she enjoyed the work on magic. She saw the guy at the library but she would talk to him tomorrow. Today it was enough to just get some reading done.
That night she had difficulty sleeping. Her mind was racing with the possibilities of starting an organization. Even if the guy wasn’t interested in what she had to say it was the idea that she was going to start talking to people, and opening up about her thoughts on magic that kept her up. Finally, she fell asleep lost in the labyrinth of racing thoughts that soon transpired into dreams.
Part #4 Meeting with Joe