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.


Baby fig.

13 comments:

Cyndy said...

That is very interesting. Things often do seem to be much clearer with a little space in the perspective.

SG said...

You know, the numerous occasions that I have been enchanted, nothing in the world seemed better. At that point, I wanted to live in that phase forever. When out of the reverie, that spell of enchantment felt like a temptation that I gave in to. With disenchantment, comes objectivity and clarity. That is an amzingly simple, and profoundly true statement.

p.s. I love the picture of the baby fig.

steven said...

reya - i recognize your idea of enchantment . . . it's been such a good feeling so many times, like caffeine in the morning, a hand made beer in the evening, it offers a softening of perspective or an enhancing. it glistens, it glows. it's as you suggest almost addictive. hard to let go. and then there's the stuff of living that steps away from that shininess, that instant likeliness and sustains itself just because it is truth. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

I like both states of being. Just noticing how much I'm not enchanted at the moment. It's very interesting!

Pam said...

I had my own experience with enchantment lately. The cat, after a long return, seemed to have an extra gentlenesss and wisdom. Enchanted, I watched the way it was looking,it's way of being and did I see some new form of profound depth?
In my own way,I hoped it had some form of psychic epiphany and been bumped up to the next stage of development and evolution, to reach an almost human understanding on a deeper level, and after all, did the Egyptions not consider their cats sacred?
It promptly threw up on the kitchen floor. Big time.
It can change your perspective as you wipe up the chunks.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pam! Oh my god.

Linda Sue said...

Enchantment is fun, tingly, optimistic - and can be dangerous( ie Nazi mention) Or the enchantment of a better life to come when one dies where all is ideal and lovely making this life not quite so important or well lived...I fell out of enchantment long ago and it's OK because Carl Sagan, Chet Raymo, poets of science give it back , but it is called reality, more fantastic and optimistic than leaning on specious enchantment.

Reya Mellicker said...

Carl Sagan was definitely enchanted, too - oh yeah! I'm not against enchantment and too I don't believe in "reality" - what's that? But I sure am enjoying this current bout of clarity. Wow!

Tom said...

ah, so true. Spent the last week floating in it, but the risidual effect is fading...

Val said...

i nearly always choose enchantment over reality; but reality seems to press on nevertheless. That leaf is entirely enchanting for instance. magical. i can get distracted by the smallest things

Pauline said...

Enchantment is like chocolate - a little bit is good for you! I like being dis-enchanted, too. It's like looking into clear water. The veil is still there but you can see through it more easily.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pauline I totally agree!

The Bug said...

It's funny you should mention falling in love - I went to church today with Daddy & Amy & the preacher talked about how you fall in & out of love with your spouse all the time. One day you couldn't love them more, the next you want to ring their neck. He said that love is just one component that makes a good marriage work - & that commitment is the main thing.