Rumi’s Field of Enchantment

The practice of enchantment doesn’t focus on what happens as much as it focuses on how to see what happens. Enchantment is about practicing conscious, creative seeing, then conscious, creative response. Manipulators, on the other hand, want us to see by means of evaluation and classification, which result in all the boring binaries — approval-disapproval, good-bad, righteous-evil — and then we’re locked into little boxes. We’re twitchy, reactionary, and easy to upset. Enchantment steps outside judgment. Enchantment sees nuance, complexity, dimension, wholes.

Binary thinking might seem built into our bicameral bodies. But having two eyes doesn’t mean seeing with one eye or the other, nor does it mean seeing twice as many things. It means seeing with something new: depth perception. Our left-right twos are not either-or binaries, or both-and additions. They are simultaneous, mutual enhancers. Each part multiplies the other’s effect.

Rumi wrote, “Beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.” Beyond judgment, the poem finds a place of radical magic: fullness, connection, wonder, soul. Rumi conjures that field through a conscious act of imagination, then invites us to join him. Practioners of enchantment gladly accept. Who knows what might happen there.

“To change how we see things takes falling in love…”

“To change how we see things takes falling in love. Then the same becomes altogether different. Like love, a shift of sight can be redemptive–not in the religious sense of saving the soul for heaven, but in a more pragmatic sense. As at a redemption center, you get something back for what you had misperceived as merely worthless.”

– James Hillman, The Soul’s Code

Stardust’s Guide to Entertaining Possibility

First, make the space inviting. Clean the clutter. Light some candles. Turn electric lamps down low.

img_0067Now issue an invitation on your very best stationery. Write in ink. Use sealing wax. Do NOT invite Possibility’s enemies: Perfection, Convention, Sarcasm, Should. Those demons can swoop around outside but for now they may not enter.

When Possibility arrives, she might just slip in unannounced. She might act shy and sideways, but remember her name comes from the root posse, which means ability and power. This form of power expresses through indirect speech: metaphor, image, poetry, song. Learn that language. Speak it to her. She’ll reply. She knows what stardust is capable of. She will remind you if you forget.

Stardust Powers, Activate

An enchanted life involves enchanted being and enchanted actions. Like this:

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Step 1: Enjoy what you’re doing.

Step 2: Do more of what you enjoy.

Feel for the sparkle that’s always there, then do something you know carries extra sparkle: a walk, or drawing, or cooking a nice meal. Then do something for someone else’s sparkle: a kiss, a gift, a surprise night out.

Make overtures to enchantment, and watch enchantment respond. Watch it gain a foothold. Watch its strength develop. Watch it come up with fabulous new ideas for more enchantment.

Imagine, If You Will

If it’s true that your thoughts affect your experience – which it is – and if it’s true that you can think – i.e. imagine – consciously, then it follows that you can consciously affect your experience by means of imagination. Your imagination casts your own personal spell. So what kind of spell do you want to cast? Do you want to live half-asleep, as though ensorcelled? To live in conflict, as though bedeviled? To experience wonder, as though charmed?

Note that little magic phrase: as though. As though is a glittering gateway into the imagination. Go ahead, step inside. See the world as though seeing stardust. Look at the soil: stardust. Look at the ocean: stardust. Look in the mirror: stardust. Stardust eats breakfast. Stardust gets great ideas. Stardust follows through. Stardust has stardust eyes that shine with possibility.

Jerusalem, plate 53, by William Blake
Jerusalem, plate 53, by William Blake