Woman playing flute by reflecting pool: San Francisco Chinatown post-1910
Leisure activity in consumer culture is usually ready-made and pre-designed – and within it’s predicable banality it’s no wonder that the ‘magical’ has grown in popularity and most importantly, profitability.
Where’s the fun?
The ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ magical options are astounding in their variety – the Crowley-ites, Queens of the Nights, fey Renaissance fairs, the law of attraction, tricked out tantrikas, the burning people – all kinds of allure from ordinary reality – a little love and light, or a little light bondage will bridge the gap between boredom and consumption.
Consumer culture loves the mainstreaming of the occult. It sustains and maintains what it needs most to thrive – our energy, self-absorption and our self-interest. The mainstreaming of magic offers a ‘more’ real world of the esoteric – a clever choice for sophisticated audiences who poo-poo what is ordinary.
Each era seems to have its own variety of cognitive dissonance; like the dissonance required for monks in the Middle Ages to burn people alive, take their money for positions in heaven and then say mass. This is not unlike the Law of Attraction with it’s training to “block the negative”, and only see what is possible for ourselves, a kind of feeding frenzy of self-interest.
At the root of it all is money. To pursue leisure and magic – to have exotic experiences and attract more money –you first need money.
Money allows us live in alternative realities. It also allows us to create real alternatives so that all the children of the world – the millions now living in poverty and abuse – are given the chance to experience what it means to have some fun within “leisure time.” We have the means and we have the opportunity to transform our relationship to money and leisure from being takers of experience to caretakers of existence.