The Allen Wrench

I am asked often by students about magic. What is it, how do you do it, is it in keeping with this or that established religion and is it “of the Devil?”

Putting the question back to them,  I ask how they would know magic if it was already happening in their lives. My diabolical plot is sending them on a path of self examination by way of reading the signs and patterns in everyday life. Mostly, this answer is a big disappointment. Reading the signs from the Universe, Source, God, Life is different for everybody and not magical in the glamorous, mystical, pointy hats and cauldron sense.

Some times, these sign posts are quite dramatic. I’m sure we have all read stories of people who were late or absent for work at the Twin towers on September 11, 2001. Or people who inadvertently missed a plane flight only to learn the flight later crashed. With experiences like these life patterns are automatically altered. After the shock and disbelief, the “why” questions begin and with those questions and their answers, the slow changes in the life pattern emerges.

A less dramatic example of the weave of fate or destiny may be something so simple we take it for granted. The other day I was setting up a massage table for a client at my office when the face cradle fell in pieces on the floor. I picked up all the bits and to my chagrin, realized I need an allen wrench to fully reassemble it. My client was arriving in a few minutes and I needed the face cradle so she would be comfortable. Knowing I didn’t have the correct tool, I went to the kitchenette of our office to look for a knife or something I might use to at least partially re-assemble the cradle. Upon opening a drawer, I found none other than…an allen wrench! In disbelief, I took it to see if it might possibly fit the hardware  if even only partially so I might tighten the screw.(there are literally dozens if not hundreds of sizes of allen wrenches). To my surprise, and disbelief, this one was the exact size I needed. I went through the rest of the day in gratitude, joy and wonder! What are the mathmatical odds of this happening? Talk about “right place, right time!”All the myriad forces of the universe, MY universe, had conspired that day to provide that allen wrench for me.

I hear some of you furiously explaining to me how the wrench happened to be in that drawer. And you’re quite correct. Nothing woo-woo about it. But the how’s and why’s don’t really matter at all. It simply WAS.

The first chapter Dao de Jing explains this phenomenon of an intangible experience building out of a series of nameable events as a guide. A way can be a guide, but not a fixed path. names can be given, but not permanent labels. I can name the events, the allen wrench, the face cradle, me, but I must grasp the intangible to convey the full meaning of the event. Chapter One continues:

Non-being is called the beginning of heaven and earth; being is called the mother of all things. Always passionless, thereby observe the subtle; ever intent, thereby observe the apparent. These two come from the same source, but differ in name; both are considered mysterious.

The warp and woof of the unseen forces (being and non-being) that brought that allen wrench to my rescue that day are vast and mysterious, yet without me and the allen wrench, two very touchable and nameable entities, nothing would have happened. Human Beings are unique creatures by virtue of our DNA, yet we are the carriers of universal forces of creation and destruction shared by all humanity.  My consciousness is part of that vast warp or woof and the little wrench was immortalized in my psyche and thus the eternal record. So, yeah, it was kinda magic. Or, as the last line of Chapter One of the Dao de Jing states: the mystery of mysteries is the gateway of marvels.

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To attain knowledge, add things everyday.

To attain wisdom, remove things every day.

Lao Tsu, Dao de Jing




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