Friday, June 24, 2011
The Clarity of Disenchantment
Fierce looking sky beings floating above DC this week.
Who doesn't love falling into a spell of enchantment? I do anyway - it's fun! It's blissful, ecstatic, oh yeah. Enchantment casts a diffuse glow around everything, softening hard edges, masking all flaws and problems. Ahhhhhhhhhhh ....
Within the rubric of enchantment I would include infatuation with people, things and places. For instance, you go on holiday somewhere. Everything is PERFECT. You love the landscape, the people, the weather. It's heaven! You imagine living there - you can't see anything that might not work out. But of course, you're on vacation, so indeed everything can easily feel perfect. An actual move, including everything it takes to get settled into a new place, is never quite as enchanting as the initial infatuation.
Falling in love involves some kind of uber-enchantment. People "fall" in love, become utterly entangled. It's only later that they begin to discover each others flaws and annoying habits, etc. True love (this is my opinion) takes time. True love is beautiful, but perhaps not enchanting except every now and then. In the case of true love, people stick it out with each other even when they are not enchanted.
We humans are prone to enchantment on so many levels. It's pretty clear that within Nazi Germany, no one was able to think straight. Everyone was enchanted, to one degree or another, unable to see what was actually going down.
The people who believed the world was going to end on May 21 of this year, who sold all their stuff or gave everything away: enchanted. The hard working employee, dreaming of advancement: enchanted. Every ad, every form of marketing: enchantment. The culture of celebrity: enchantment. Yep. "What if" thinking is a very insidious form of enchantment, i.e. if only I made more money, lost 20 pounds, had a baby, bought a new car, got a new job, (etc.) everything would be GREAT.
Everyone who sits down to gamble in Vegas is under some sort of enchantment, even the ones who decide how much to lose and are able to quit when they reach the bottom line. Right? Because gambling is how the state of Nevada stays afloat financially - obviously, gambling is not about winning.
Ever play the lottery? Yeah. Uh-huh!
Enchantment is a form of dreaming. I'm not against it! Sometimes it opens the mind/heart, bringing hope and visions of good things that might lie slightly out of reach. Sometimes it obfuscates the very thing that would be good to look at directly. It's part of being human, indeed.
I could go on, but I believe I've made my point. Right now with my heart continuing to open, an interesting side effect is that my tendency towards enchantment has decreased. I've been looking at situations, people, all my fancy ideas, with a much clearer eye than before. I trust that seeing clearly can reveal a world of disenchanted, complicated, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional beauty. At least this is what I've perceived so far. The transformation I am experiencing is just beginning.
All I can say is, in a happily disenchanted sort of way: WOW.