The Magical Message of Merlin Versus Modern Materialism
Approaching a subject such as lore about Merlin the Magician is to engage an old, old story that has been cast in poetry, history, music, art, and literature. Through it all is woven a story that has stood the test of time. A poet, an artist, and a musician engaged in an esoteric, enlightening discussion that offers them all a transcendent vision of the human condition may all see the world and humanity's place in it in a new way that seems somehow transforming. Not having the prosaic language to quite put their insight into words, they may all resort to their own particular medium. The poet writes a poem. The artist paints a picture. The musician composes a song. The poem, the picture, and the song are totally different from one another, but they all produce similar feelings in their respective audiences because they are all based on the same, shared, transformative theme. They hope to convey an important insight.
Merlin is More
Is the myth about Merlin based on a historical figure? Maybe. But probably not. Is Merlin a composite formulated from several people who lived in different geographical locations and different historical times? Maybe. But probably not. Are his actions based on actual events? Maybe. But probably not. Could he really produce magic simply by being Merlin? Maybe. But probably not.
Over the course of time Merlin's importance has grown far beyond the motivations, methods, and deeds of any one man. It's his story that is of eternal importance, not the historical relevance of his deeds. Sometimes religion is not enough. People need more. Sometimes scientific explanations are insufficient. People need more. Sometime mythological relevance doesn't quite satisfy. People need more. Sometimes psychological motivation doesn't do it anymore. People need more. Sometimes philosophical discussion falls short. People need more. Merlin has become the "more."
Merlin vs Materialism
Today people live in a maddeningly literal age. Many have accepted the idea that if a character isn't historical, he or she isn't ‘real’. People have come to believe that if a historical Buddha didn't live in India 2,500 years ago, Buddhism is simply an intellectual structure. If it could be proved that a historical Jesus did not walk the paths of ancient Galilee, Christianity would cease to be deemed viable.
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Jim Willis is author of nine books on religion and spirituality, he has been an ordained minister for over forty years while working part-time as a carpenter, the host of his own drive-time radio show, an arts council director and adjunct college professor in the fields of World Religions and Instrumental Music. He is author of Supernatural Gods: Spiritual Mysteries, Psychic Experiences, and Scientific Truths and Ancient Gods: Lost Histories, Hidden Truths, and the Conspiracy of Silence
Top Image: The Magic of Merlin ( denissimonov/ adobe stock)
By Jim Willis