Note: This article was first published in Indonesian, as a guest post on Agus Sukarno's blog .
"How can I enter the spiritual realm?"
Muallaf (a fresh convert) came to the Timekeeper with that line opening their meeting. "In my previous religion, the spiritual world is glued to everyday conduct, whereas in this, only the sensible – the things that are within the reach of our senses – is approved."
"Come close," said the Timekeeper, "closer please, so that you may properly faint when I properly slap you."
Muallaf added his respectful distance and maintained his persistent curiosity, "I'm sorry, did I say something wrong?"
"If you faint, you'll enter the spiritual realm. If you sleep, you'll be there too. Eventually, when you die, you're definitely going to be there. Which method do you prefer first?"
"I've heard of people who can enter the spiritual realm through other means, like meditation and offerings and mantra…"
"Them fools are lying," said the Timekeeper, his voice disclosed annoyed disdain.
"But they can, sir," said Muallaf, his polite voice disclosing the annoyance of a disdained, "and they only needed to mutter spells or dance on top of graves or something …"
"Moving between realms require energy," said the Timekeeper in compromise, "Prior to conception, a father spends energy to move the soul from its realm into the womb. In birth, a mother risks her life's energy in moving a child from the womb to the world. Along the basic rules of physics, the bigger an entity is larger the energy required to move it around."
Since Mu'allaf kept a his ears and attention perked up, the Timekeeper sighed and continued, "Magic is a reaction between two worlds; catalyzed with offerings and mantra. A bit of muttering might bring you a used shroud. Some chicken blood might make you walk on fire for show. Use your imagination in figuring out what it takes to hurt others with magic, because I'm not going to tell you that here."
"Aren't all of those black magic? What about white magic?"
Haven't I already offered that to you, whether you want to faint, sleep or die?
White magic, the kind that is blessed and confirmed by the Lord, occurs every day without getting noticed, much less admired.
Earth never complains running around the sun. The rice in your stomach submits to digestion. The air passes through you with ease just to make you live longer, one breath at a time.
Those are examples of the most gracious, most miraculous white magic that ever existed.
As long that normalcy is marginalized, there isn't a lot of magical miracles that you can expect going on in this life, or the next.
Normalcy is divinely blessed; when was the last time you took notice and gave thanks?
Image: Pete Turner
Image: Pete Turner