I recently read a quote by Walter Isaacson about Apple founder, Steve Jobs: He could drive himself by magical thinking. I liked this quote so much because it got me thinking about the kind of person Steve Jobs was and why the world loved him so.
Magical thinking is a childlike quality that some people possess that makes them seem vulnerable and yet very much insulated from the world. It’s an irresistible quality that brings out the creativity in self and others.
Little ones, being closer to God than the rest of us, create entire universes with their minds. It’s beautiful. Great, expansive universes where anything is possible. Why are we encouraged to lose this quality as adults?
What I understand as faith is actually the practice of magical thinking. It’s believing something with no tangible proof to support the belief. And I do not think there is anything wrong with that. There may be those who think I am denigrating faith, but I’m not, I think it is one of the most important spiritual tools we have. I just think sometimes we over complicate things. Most spiritual practices are simple, they just seem complicated because they have huge consequences.
The people who refuse to give up magical thinking are the ones who become poets and musicians and gurus. They are the ones who go around gently waking others up.
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” ~Buddha
How does one cultivate a pure mind? Become childlike. Children have pure thoughts because they don’t know any of the harsh stuff yet. And because their thoughts and minds are still pure, they radiate joy.
“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:3 Jesus seems to think it’s pretty important to be childlike.
Magical thinking is the silver thread that runs through my life. It enables a person to endure all manner of hardship without becoming bitter. I can’t imagine being any other way.
A friend recently told me that I do not look calcified like some people my age. Interesting word choice I thought, but mostly accurate I’d say. I explained to my friend that I’m pretty sure I will never get old. It’s because of the way I think.
Whenever we are free to be ourselves, we give others the gift of the freedom to be themselves as well. Creativity comes from this freedom.
I think we should all think as many goofy, silly thoughts as we can while believing all things are possible. From that place in the mind all kinds of great ideas are born. I think Steve Jobs might agree.