What is real?
Perhaps a better question would be.. what isn't?
To that I would say.. nothing...for nothing, is a false abstract illusion.
There is always something... everything.. is something..
All experience... is real experience.
In western culture, often, is it only the consensus reality sanctioned, media fed, government approved experiences and truths that are considered sane and fit for mass consumption.
When in fact, all that you imagine is real.. is. (Somewhere..)
Where do dreams take place?
What are we really doing when we imagine?
When do we stop?
For the vast majority of human history we lived in societies in which magic was not slight of hand or David Blaine in a box... no... it all, was.. magic.. and magic was real ( it still is ).
Most cultures throughout time have held that everything is alive, and that everything has spirit.( This has been, somewhat, popularly recognized in our culture through the study of eastern religions and quantum physics ). It has been the goal of many throughout human history to strengthen one's conscious ability to communicate with and know these spirits, along with the spirits representing any concept one imagines ( example .. Hermes the greek god of speed ( or his modern counterpart DC comics the Flash * see chaos magic )would be communicated with and used to access parts of "the mind" associated with a concept that otherwise would not be in contact with "the observer" ). This view is at the heart of many if not most religions and belief systems ( whether they refer to gods, spirits, elves etc. ). As it is also directly related to the western concept of "Shamanism", a mongol-turkic word, adopted to describe the multitude of belief system's held throughout time, in which spirits are communicated with, "non-ordinary" reality journey's occur and through this, spiritual and physical healings are performed.
That this is at all possible is a testament the remarkable similarities shared between these "shamanic" cultures, often completely isolated from each other. Native Americans, Siberians, Aborigines, Costa Ricans, Greeks, Celtics, Druids, Egyptians, Romans , every tribe in africa, every tribe in the amazon, every tribe, every where, ever... all have had their gods, their spirits, their way of communicating with the universe, and all have had their Shaman.
The Shaman, is the member of a community who has been chosen ( by the spirits.. ) to venture out into, what we refer to as, altered, non-ordinary states of consciousness, and who brings back knowledge for the "tribe".
In these altered state journeys, the shaman, the holy man, the oracle, the witch, the prophet... will communicate with aspects of the mind in such a manner as to allow the mind to communicate to them, to allow the universe to reveal it's knowledge, with out the interference of desire, of the ego, the self.
Religions, cults, magick systems have all had different interfaces for interacting with the invisible, ( the unshown , the other dimensions, what we are not perceiving, yet whats affects what we do perceive ) but what is common appears to be that they are communicating with the universe that is the mind, that flows through us, powered by "imagination" and belief.
Our society tells us that imagination is what we exercise before we "grow up" and join the "real" world. It sets up elaborate games of illusion ( the tooth fairy, animation, cnn.. ) only to dispel them, the lesson seemingly being that "really" there is no magic, that we just must be some cosmic fluke, purely the mechanical consequence of the big bang and all that stuff flying around or.. perhaps not..
perhaps the universe does love us..
maybe, we are living magic
Maybe, we can be magic ( believe )
There is a depression in modern humanistic thought, it has stepped away from nature, from it's own blessed nature, and attempted to impose a harsh sterile, false, mechanistic, oppressive paradigm over the infinite..
Yet... there is love... there is this.. ( close your eyes, still your thoughts for a moment.. ( ...you are the universe...) )
According to the current biological model we are all quite related, 140,000 years ago we all had the same great grand mama. Humanity is a family. Care. Reflect love, light can be amplified.
Be your own Shaman, be the salvation, bring the love you have in your heart to the world. Show your brothers and sisters how life can be, what reality could be, if we just relaxed and let love be. Enter alternate realities, communicate with the spirit(s), be more then "human", find your true nature, as nature, as a force, a source of life, of light and love, and bring it back ( show and tell * )
Imagination is power. So many are so creative at finding ways to twist new information around old ideas, yet they don't use that same creativity to imagine a way to better humanity, or often even themselves. How many people enjoy what they do all day? How many are benefiting the tribe and how many are poisoning it? destroying us
Many cultures have considered the shadow world, the Aborginal's dreamtime, the imaginal realm, even more "real" then this dimension, everything must happen there first.
As Robert Anton Wilson, notes at the end of Prometheus Rising:
" The future exists first in imagination, then in will, and then in reality ".
When we "grow up" we give this power to the government, to the media, to e! entertainment television, to Rupert Murdoch and Oprah, to President George "mother slaughtering war criminal" W. Bush, to christianity, or islam, judiasm, hinduism, what ever current scientific theories are generally accepted ( at this stage in history ). Take back the mind. Let's take back reality. It is magic, it always has been, it always will be.