Alive in a World of Muggles

by Christopher Lovejoy on May 27, 2018

Are muggles really as ignorant, intolerant, and insufferable as we think they are?

The matter of rounding them up and guiding them surreptitiously into some sort of concentrated space would, in all likelihood, be easy to do, but there are so many of them that this course of action would likely and eventually result in widespread rebellion, if not a complete shutdown of society.

The secretive elites of this world have names for them ~ useless eaters, disposable containers ~ but I find these to be rather unimaginative ~ much too obvious for my liking, and a tad too harsh and demeaning for the more loveable ones, and so I prefer the prudent use of “muggles”.

Here, we owe J.K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame) a small debt of gratitude.

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So who are the muggles of this world? Who are the muggles of any world, including the world inhabited by the likes of Harry Potter and his friends? (and yes, I do think these are worthwhile questions).

If I may be so bold, let me start with my take on their rather narrow relationship with reality and reason: first and foremost, the muggles of this world have a frightfully pinched relationship with the unknown.

There, I said it, and yes, it most certainly had to be said, as muggles do not, can not, will not tolerate any sort of ambiguity in reality, opting instead to circumscribe their lives in strict accordance with all manner of scripts, habits, routines, patterns, structures, and attachments.

I dare say, if you get too close to this calcifying aspect of them, you will, invariably, come away gasping for air ~ that is, if you can manage to escape their sticky, oppressive, energy-draining presence without you yourself feeling unduly stuck, oppressed, or drained of vital energy.

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Many muggles are astonishingly easy to shame; all you have to do is show up in their space with only a hint of magic in your voice, your step, your eyes, your conduct, your presence ~ they seem that far gone.

These jittery folks generally, and all too easily I might add, tend to feel guilty, anxious, ashamed, nervous, or uncomfortable about things that those with only a little magic in their hearts can take in stride.

Could this jittery character be a consequence of muggles finding it next to impossible to accept themselves and their creaturely natures without indulging a near-constancy of chagrin or complaint? Or, for that matter, without even thinking to dwell on these and other related matters?

Acceptance.

Forgiveness.

The muggles of this world would do well to add these words to their vocabularies, or if they’ve already added them, to make good on them for themselves and for others, but especially for themselves.

Dear muggles, if you haven’t already, could you please add the words “acceptance” and “forgiveness” to your vocabularies? And if you have, could you please put them to good use? Thank you.

I fear, however, that this would be asking for too much.

*

Muggles, because they are so much in resistance to being creaturely, have no real appreciation for the fine art of simplicity (or complexity), pushing instead to (quickly!) conflate the simple with the simplistic.

For example, they simply cannot find any reason to be minimalist in their approach to life, to appreciate art that is minimalist, to find common cause with those who savor the experience of being minimalist; they simply have no clue when a minimalist prioritizes quality over quantity.

Muggles have no appreciation for tapping, tuning, and tasting a world of difference between the blessings of authenticity and the burdens of artificiality; for them, straining for effect is par for the course.

*

You can tell muggles apart by asking a simple question: what is your mission in life?

Possible rejoinders, muggle-style, include the following: a blank stare; a look of puzzled scorn; “huh?”; “I don’t have a mission”; “what’s a mission?”; “why are you asking me?”; and … “I’m not a religious person”.

These clipped reactions speak to an absence of vision in muggles, who seem to have little appreciation of what it means to be of service to others; sad to say, they also seem bereft of any idea or appreciation of what it means to be of genuine, heartfelt service to themselves.

*

Dear muggles, do you like spending time alone?

A look of incomprehension flickered in the eyes.

Muggles, owing to their mostly vacant hearts and minds, cannot bear to spend a moment alone with themselves, as their thoughts and feelings are simply too preoccupied with external matters, so focused are they on sensing, thinking, and judging a very narrow bandwidth of reality.

Dear muggles, can you not at least savor a single solitary moment of joy and bliss with yourself? Can you not at least savor a moment in time alone with the sun, the clouds, and the trees? Can you not at least savor a moment of time alone in the breeze of a warm, soft, light rain?

No? Why not? Are you so bereft of sensibility that you have lost all sense of divinity?

For muggles, consensus conditioning (parental and societal) is strong.

*

Muggles need others ~ desperately ~ and much more than they let on.

Muggles need others to feel a flicker of goodness about themselves, and so, when the occasion presents itself, muggles will strain high and low to find any reason at all to push others down to bring themselves up, if only to soothe the dull look of emptiness that pulsates in their eyes.

Admittedly, such pushing can be quite subtle; just listen for a tone of voice.

They simply are not yet wise enough to be interdependent, pushing instead to be in dependence with others, and all the better if they can catch you unawares and draw you into a dynamic of codependence.

Like children in a nursery or a sandbox, muggles very much depend on the good opinion of other muggles, all the more so when the status of rewards, awards, and honors are at stake, for how could they possibly feel good about their busy lives without the popularity and prestige?

The autonomy and the authority of growing and flowing through challenge so as to greet the rewards of meeting such challenge with an ever growing, flowing sense of mastery are completely lost on muggles.

“Autonomy? What’s that?,” asked the ever popular plastic muggle.

*

To the magical ones among us, we know and love each other dearly, in no small measure because of our capacities to wonder and appreciate freshly, and perhaps naively, the good things in life, with a sense of awe that can bloom with trust into wholesome pleasures that border on ecstasy.

Muggles, by contrast, have little to no capacity for awe and wonder, or if by some slim chance they ever had one, seem to have lost it to the sands of time. For muggles, after just one or two fleeting encounters, most experiences are deemed by them as “meh” ~ stale and boring.

“Been there, done that,” intoned the ever prideful, self-righteous, and experienced muggle.

Do yourself this favor: in the presence of muggles, keep your awe and wonder to yourself.

*

Peak experience: in the personal development literature, this experience is called flow. Other attributions of peak experience include “being in the zone”, “finding your sweet spot”, and “going with the flow”.

Going into and out of the Zone to understand and appreciate flow by contrast is something of an art form in life, work, and play, and is your definite go-to response for dealing with the muggles of this world.

Needless to say, muggles have no concept of flow beyond the mere sensorial sensations of flowing; they simply have not yet evolved far enough to understand and appreciate the fine art of flow.

*

Muggles, owing to their relative lack of intelligence or maturity, have few if any feelings of compersion or compassion for others. They do, however, mix reasonably well with their own kind when they find each other, but feeling a kinship or a connection with others in general is lost on them, as is any genuine desire or gesture to help the human race as a whole to find its peace and prosperity in harmony.

I say “relative lack of intelligence or maturity” for the simple reason that they are very much of this world; being the salt of this earth, they can sometimes surprise you by what they can teach you about it. Do not be too smart with them, if only to give them a chance to surprise you.

If you happen to be wedded to a muggle, at work or in life, you do have a few options.

One, treat the wedding as an exercise in patience: just how long can you go without blowing your top? Two, treat the wedding as a learning experience, one that teaches you to deal with muggles in your own unique way. Three, treat the wedding as an opportunity to be enjoyed.

An opportunity that responds thus: “this is my plan to make a graceful exit …”

*

The magical ones among us are naturally blessed with a deep sense of democracy, viewing and treating anyone of suitable character with a casual friendliness, one that transcends the hooks of sex, gender, class, color, creed, status, education, ethnicity, religion, and ideology.

We are generally, naturally humble and respectful ~ even with muggles.

Muggles, however, are acutely conscious of all the hooks of difference, which to them seem so obvious and significant as reliable sources of pride and prejudice in their daily … discriminations.

Conscious, yes, but not aware, as they remain highly susceptible to projecting their own prejudices onto others, accusing them unfairly of what they themselves are so obviously inclined to do, namely, prejudge or judge others on the basis of characteristics both innate and acquired.

Muggles reveal themselves constantly and unequivocally with pride, prejudice, and projection.

In other words, muggles aren’t very good at hiding their prejudices.

*

Muggles hang with other muggles who share their prejudices. If you ask a muggle, “do you have any deep ties with anyone?”, they will most assuredly look at you as if you just teleported from another planet.

The magical ones among us not only appreciate having deep ties, we also tend to have few deep ties, for the ones we love profoundly are few in number for the simple reason that depths require time to plumb.

Suggested exercise: find a lovable muggle that you like; engage as if seeking a deep tie.

Key operative words here: “as if.”

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The morals of muggles are mixed. On the one hand, they know enough not to commit any heinous crimes, but they also have no problem with telling lies to get their own way if they think they can get away with them; they might even encourage you to tell lies to get your way.

Muggles, having no concept of “do right and do not do wrong” as a modus operandus, follow base notions of good and evil or right and wrong that are conventionally informed and reinforced by other muggles.

As for the magical ones among us, we have our own notions of what constitutes good and evil or right and wrong, if indeed we even deign to construe experience in these terms, that generally remain flexible and responsive enough to both transcend situations and include them.

Muggles, on the other hand, remain ethically bound by other muggles.

*

In his master work, Motivation and Personality, Abraham Maslow made a mistake in his formulation of what characterizes a self-actualizing individual: those who actualize themselves are fixed on ends rather than means, by which said means remain subordinate to said ends.

The magical ones among us are not fixed, period; we know better than to fix or be fixed. Certainly, we know enough to set a course with an outcome in mind, but we also know enough to change course as required or desired, remaining ever mindful of changing circumstances.

Magicals are fluid, flexible, mercurial even, as and when a situation or interaction requires or demands it. Muggles, by contrast, are generally fixed in their scope and range of what they think they can or cannot think or feel, say or do, have or not have, gain or keep, be or not be.

Muggles suffocate themselves and each other with the forces of should and must, and if you should ever dare to insist on staying around them long enough, this same suffocating force will suffocate you.

You have been warned, as forearmed is forewarned.

I respectfully refer you to the three options above.

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Have you ever seen a muggle laugh? Have you at least heard a muggle laugh?

I know, I know, dear reader, not a very pleasant topic to bring up, but here it is.

Recalling briefly the suffocating force that I just told you about, humor for muggles is a strange affair that involves releasing tension from the strangulation of suffocation. If you can believe it, muggles actually indulge in hostile humor. How so? By making people laugh … by hurting others.

I know, hard to believe, but true.

Muggles also like laughing at the expense of others with their withering and demeaning notions of inferiority, using said notions as a kind of hedge against being so identified. Truly and sadly, if ever there were a counterfeit source of self-respect or self-esteem, this would be it.

To their credit, muggles use humor as a weapon of rebellion against authority that they perceive as unjust or unfair; trouble is, such humor is often harsh, smutty, Oedipal in nature, or simply unfunny.

In short, muggles laugh at others; magicals laugh with others.

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As of this writing, I am of the opinion that muggles do not (cannot?) have a single creative bone in their bodies. No, wait. Scratch that. Muggles, if they can be creative, are in a class all their own, meaning … a class of creativity that is duly borrowed, copied, imitated, and/or regurgitated.

What I meant to say is that … muggles do not have a single original bone in their bodies.

With their brand of creativity, they can indulge their ignorance and intolerance to no end.

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Muggles simply cannot resist what is known as enculturation; indeed, they might even have a bit of trouble pronouncing it. Like fish in water, muggles remain wholly immersed in the cultures of their birth, never to venture outside them to explore new ways of being and becoming.

The magical ones among us, by contrast, in a deep, daring sense that can be quite profound and meaningful, begin to resist enculturation the very moment we begin to awaken to the value of maintaining a clear calm inner detachment from the culture(s) in which we find ourselves.

Such detachment is vital to any striving to explore and create; indeed, said detachment is vital to any striving to be creative and original. And so, where magicals can oftentimes remain at choice about their attachments, muggles have no choice but to remain immersed and attached.

Truly, could reincarnating as a muggle not be a fate worse than death?

I ask you this in jest, of course, but with a jest that is a bit serious.

*

They say that “practice makes perfect”. Now who do you suppose said that?

Now who really cares about perfection when you can harmonize to optimize?

As magicals, we can see that muggles need everything to be perfect, like … every. single. moment. of. every. single. day. Well, almost; yes, I do exaggerate ~ they do have other preoccupations (see above).

Because magicals are relatively few and muggles are definitely many, magicals were vulnerable growing up in a world of muggles, assuming many burdens along the way, such as … silly, wasteful, or thoughtless habits; being boring, stubborn, or irritating; being given to a superficial vanity; and last but certainly not least, the bane of pride, prejudice, and projection that is the trademark specialty of muggles everywhere.

Such burdens, of course, can drive magicals to distraction, or worse, to outbursts of temper, which is why magicals are well advised to keep their distance from muggles, physically and/or psychologically, as required or desired, as and when the opportunities present themselves.

This, too: such burdens are best processed and released for the sake of being magical.

Magicals in the company of other magicals are truly magical.

Muggles in the company of other muggles are simply muggly.

*

A stable sense of safety and security can be assumed naturally, almost automatically, by those who can accept the nature of reality, who can embrace the necessity of value within reason, who can take the ontological necessity of awareness to learn to grow to flow, who can live with the reality of human nature, and who can play with the customs and constraints of the many cultures that underpin much of social life.

The muggles of this world, however, are at a distinct and serious disadvantage in the face of those who can assume such an easy sense of safety and security. Truth be told, the muggles of this world are suffering; not only are they suffering, they are sensing their disadvantage.

And this state of affairs is not good for anyone, including muggles.

For the magicals among us, there comes a time in our spiritual awakenings when the dichotomy between selfish and unselfish disappears, as every act, at least in principle, is both selfish and unselfish.

Perhaps, by our example, we can teach muggles to be so.

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In spite of all that I have written here, the temptation remains strong to engage the muggle, but I have a better idea: muggles are best viewed as children, tweens, or teens who occupy adult bodies who have yet to grow up, and so are best treated, not with condescension, but with compassion, or if this is too much to ask (and believe me, I do empathize with this common resistance), then with a warm, quick wit.

As I’ve hinted throughout this post, muggles have strong, enduring tendencies to be ignorant, intolerant, and insufferable, and it’s time to call them out, and maybe, just maybe, it’s also time to make a fine sport of calling them out with no small measure of grace, charm, and finesse.

Having trouble with muggles? In the Zone, the answer is plain.

More grace, more charm, more finesse means … more peace.


This post has been filed under Commentary in the Ultimate Outline.

Note: my evolving outline on approaching a realization of the ultimate in personal fulfillment can be found here, accessible from the nav menu under the page “Be Here Now”.

Note: this ever growing perspective began here: Ultimate Perspective

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