A Place Where Magic Can Evidence Itself
The main presumption of existence is that life is one thing after another—that time is a one-way, no-return, take-your-lumps kind of deal. Hence the mild surprise with the question whether time has to go one way and not the other.1 Our existence is a past, present, and future kind of existence, yet, past, present, and future aren’t immutable facts. What would time be like, if the kind of time we talked about gave time? Suppose one could live not in time, but in possibility? If that were the case, a lot of questions that are important in time would fall by the wayside, and new questions would arise.
There’s not a lot of excitement in a future given by the past. The only place the future exists (that isn’t based on the past) is in our speaking and listening—we can create the future as a possibility by being a certain conversation. It’s not a matter going to work on the possibility we created from our history out to a particular goal, it’s a matter of working from that commitment back to the present. The commitment isn’t like a matter of resoluteness, but something that wakes us up in the morning that literally gives us our life—it’s a place that invites action, invites self-expression.
There is an enormous freedom and joy in living a life in the context of possibility. Living in time (past, present, future) is appropriate to an “in order to,” to “getting to” some place—to becoming; living in possibility is appropriate to being. It’s not that it’s magical, but it is magic—a place where magic can evidence itself.
1. Charles Petit, “Time Trajectories,” Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/30/91.
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