Pondering About Magic and Creation

It was my 5th birthday.
Although he was no magician my father knew some magic tricks and he was going to do a small show for my friends. But before they arrived he took me into his room, lit a cigarette, took a few puffs. Then he closed his hand into a loose fist. I watched with amazement as if I felt something extraordinary was about to happen. He took the cigarette out of his mouth, dropped it into his hand, blew some smoke over the still closed fist and then slowly opened it. The cigarette was gone!
I couldn’t breath for a few seconds. I was overwhelmed with emotions I had never felt before. Apart from this outburst of butterflies in my belly I was aware of one thought:” If this was possible anything could be done!!”

This was the start of a long, exciting and sometimes difficult and dangerous journey.
I didn’t want to let go of this joyous feeling and liberating thought. And I tried to reproduce those fanatically over the next days by diving deep into my first magic box. I checked out every trick that was in the box and turned it inside out and upside down only to come out very disappointed. I didn’t seem to be able to evoke this totally magical state of consciousness (don’t panic: those are words I would use today, not when I was 5 or 6 years old). The magic box only contained tricks and the effect of doing them didn’t come anywhere near what I was looking for. And performing them was an even bigger disaster. My performances must have looked bad because most of the reactions were very kind and supportive but I could easily see that my audiences looked right through the tricks. This did not look like what I had pictured in my mind’s eye at all. And of course I blamed the tricks for that. Slowly the afterglow of that wonderous feeling and the awareness of limitless possibilities started to fade. And with it my determination to find out the secrets slowly diminished. And in my early teens I didn’t even remember the whole thing anymore.

I must have been 13 when we celebrated Sinterklaas.
This is a Dutch tradition, very much like Santa Claus, whose name in fact derived from Sinterklaas. We tell our children the story of a holy man who lives in Spain and celebrates his birthday in the Netherlands by giving everyone presents that he drops down the chimney. As adults we still celebrate this by creating humorous poems mildly criticizing each other. The poems are attached to presents that are hidden in some surprise package shaped like something that is meaningful to the receiver. As I unwrapped one of my presents that year I was disappointed because it seemed to be a book that, judging it by the cover, looked very unfamiliar and not exciting at all. I didn’t recognize the writer: Bram Stoker. But moments later my heart started pounding. I did recognized the title: ‘Dracula’. I had seen Dracula and Frankenstein movies on television and I loved them. My attention was raised and that very same night I started to read and didn’t stop because I had re-discovered a feeling I had long forgotten.
Again I got hooked and tried to find more mystery stories. I discovered , myths, all kinds of weird scientific data, horror, unexplainable facts and they all seemed to evoke very special emotions, thoughts and questions. They nourished my hope that there is more than meets the eye and more than my mind could grasp.

Every time I read stuff like that I got very excited and energized.
My mind filled up with questions I couldn’t possibly answer in my early teens. Questions like: Is there anything like ‘real magic’? Can people float in the air? Is it possible operate people without anesthesia or to make incisions using your bare hands? Can we travel through time? Can we read minds? Are we creators like God is? Are we capable of instantly materializing a birthday cake just by thinking of it?
Actually the latter became my guiding vision. I decided, for the second time, to embark on a quest that would end at the very moment I could instantly materialize a birthday cake in my own hands. On this quest I would discover that everything I read and heard about magic and creating new realities is actually true. We can float, we can make ourselves disappear, we are capable of moving things from one place to another, we can read minds and walk through walls and we can transform ourselves into anyone or anything we like. All those features are build into our core; the thing is that we often don’t recognize them because they but it manifest themselves in quite a different way than we see in Harry Potter movies and other fantasy stories.

So the adventure started.
I left performance magic behind and I wouldn’t take it up until my early thirties when I redefined the art of performance magic for myself after many life-lessons. For now the world of strange phenomena was far more exciting than magic tricks. I wanted to have answers (and preferably definite answers!) to all of my questions about human behavior, our mind and spirit and how life, magic and creation worked in general. So I started to study books. Over the years I read a great variety of books on practically any subject: science, mythology, philosophy, alchemy, religion, art, psychology, magick and so on. And instead of getting answers they raised, much to my disappointment, an infinite amount of questions. Trying to figure out how to diminish the never-ending flow of questions I discovered that some of them could be answered in theory but most of them I had to answer by living through experiences. Experimenting in real life seemed to produce another kind of knowledge. From the moment I discovered that I started to evolve what felt like a kind of split personality. On the one hand I was the dreamer being totally happy within the world of thoughts, philosophies, theories, fantasies and feelings. This dreamer had no problem at all with mixed emotions or thoughts that clearly contradicted each other. On the other hand I was this very practical and sometimes skeptic guy in need of straight and clear guidelines and convinced that there would be just one definite answer to all of his questions.
In order to let them communicate them with each other I fed the dreamer with stories, theories, insights and fantasies. And I fed the practical guy with life experiences. If I look back I think that, in fact, I started to connect heaven and earth: my highest vision with everyday life.

I started to consciously create my relationships, my careers and my personality.
I was very curious if there were limits to any of those areas. Are there limits to what I can achieve? Can I really reinvent myself and follow any dream I have? And because I’m always in a hurry to get things done, I’ve lived many lives in the last almost thirty years. I was a student in college, I worked in health care, was trained as a programmer and system developer later on and became more a sales-person after that. Then I switched again and reinvented myself as a trainer/coach/consultant and created large Management Development programs for big organizations. And now I feel very happy having created Spiderworks Ltd. and traveling all around the world doing magical corporate shows and theatrical shows.
At the same time I tried to discover my spiritual, sexual and relational personality (and much of the time those coincide) to meet the love of my life, Marja, some twenty-five years ago. We raised our kids, two vastly different boys, and are ready for the next phase. Also at the same time I was trained in many skills. I was a rebirther, a massage therapist, learned Reiki, was trained in Tantra-techniques and much much more. I did judo for almost twenty-five years, was trained as an actor, played the accordion. In my working life I was taught business economics, sales techniques, management techniques, teambuilding in the orthodox way and much, much more.

All of my experiences are framed within the questions I asked myself in my late teens.
Although I’m pondering everyday about new questions I think I’ve discovered the answers to many of the main questions. And no, I still can’t materialize a birthday-cake with a snap of my fingers. Well in fact on stage I can! But in real life I can’t reproduce that act without the use of trickery magic. I would need more time, energy and help from other people to make it happen. But I’m well aware that all of the aspects that are in play in the process of materializing a birthday cake are very magical. It involves the visualization of the cake, communication with other people, the combined efforts of the inventors and the end-producers of the birthday-cake, the use of a piece of paper with green ink on it that the baker seems to accept as something with enough value to trade his cake for which I think is one of the big illusions of our time in itself. The magic behind the creative process of materializing a birthday-cake can be applied to your life as well. You can materialize any reality you want. Look around you. Everything you see has been preceded by a thought, a feeling and an action. The clothes you are wearing, the books you are reading, the house that you’re living in. Light without fire was an unthinkable thought once. And even you yourself started with a thought, hopefully a feeling but definitely an action!
We are born creators and we are using all of the ingredients involved in the creative process already on an everyday basis. You might not do it consciously. You might repeat a lot of the same creations everyday in a pattern you don’t like anymore. You might limit yourself in what you’re thinking or doing. But, nevertheless, they are still creations. So the power is there. You might only need some updates to refresh your memory in order to reinvent your life, your relationships or your profession. And I hope the essays will help you to do just that.
The next four essays are actually a very brief summary of the first two books inside my Big Book of Creativity (only available in Dutch at this time). I will try to cover most of my insights that hopefully inspires you. And I will do my best to describe one or two practical strategies to create a vision or a strategy to make your vision come true. The book itself is filled with many of those techniques to help people dream their lives and live their dreams.
The next parts will be:
Part 2 – Principles: The Three Laws of Perception®
Part 3 – Practice: the CHI goal
Part 4 – Pragmatism: the Survival Version
Part 5 – Peace

As for my own vision: I’d love to redefine the Magician and Alchemist in present day life.
I would love to connect two of the oldest traditions in Transformational work and let them relive in the 21st century. And in my own market I’m experiencing the success that I envisioned some 7 years ago. But that’s only the start. One day people will recognize that all the ingredients of the old magic ritual, like dance, song, magic, stories, good food and consciousness altering drugs like coffee, cocoa and cannabis help them to transform their lives in any way they like. We as magicians and alchemists will play an important role in that process connecting all the separate elements and connecting them to soul-bound journeys people make. Instead of earning money by doing a job you don’t like, people will be aware of their creative powers and have no problem to come up with their highest vision and living it at the same moment. We can rave all night and meditate all day, and we’ll call it work. A big co-creation where we will consciously use what’s already wired in in our system: spirit, imagination and learning skills.
Life will become much more difficult for those who live like zombies and never connect to their heart’s desire because we will take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. But it will be so much more fun! This learning process may take the next two or three centuries (don’t look sad because A. you can live it right away and change your world within seconds and B. on a scale of millions of years in which humanity was created three centuries is very short).
Magicians and modern media will help us to reflect, acknowledge what’s already there and use it to benefit all people on this living planet.

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