Magical Thinking Makes Life Difficult – Insights from the Wilderness #121

Magical Thinking Makes Life DifficultThere is an old saying that says life is hard. And sometimes it is. But it doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. It would be more accurate to say that life itself is not hard to deal with, but it is extremely hard on our assumptions, expectations, and our beliefs. This is especially true regarding the magical thinking process of our unconscious primitive ego.

To state this differently we could say, our primitive ego is responsible for creating almost all of the struggle and suffering we experience in life because it attempts to change the world using magical thinking. Which of course makes sense given that children believe in magical thinking, and our primitive ego is the ego-psyche of our unconscious inner-child.

  • I wanted to go on a picnic today. I’ll get upset so it will (magically) stop raining.
  • I don’t like how my friends are behaving so I’ll get mad and tell them to (magically) stop.
  • They shouldn’t drive that way, so I’ll beep my horn to make them (magically) change.
  • My beliefs and emotions have the power to (magically) change the world around me.

The Wisdom Of The Mystics

If your goal in life is happiness and authentic spiritual growth, awakening to the presence of your unconscious primitive ego will be the most important spiritual work you will ever undertake. And as the great spiritual teachers and mystics warned, probably the most challenging.

They taught that awakening our consciousness begins when we have the courage to embrace two important spiritual practices—— changing the way we think, and removing our resistance to reality.

Because our primitive ego does not like change, it resists both of those approaches to life.

What Makes Life Hard

Rather than changing the way we think, our ego would rather use magical thinking to change others. Rather than embracing reality, our primitive ego attempts to use magical thinking to resist and change reality.

In other words, life offers us the simple reality of “what is”, but the never-ending emotional wants and desires our ego would rather have reality (magically) conform to what we think it should be. We use magical thinking to resist “what is” rather than embracing what life brings us.

Of course, using magical thinking to change the reality of the real world never works out very well, so we suffer and tell ourselves life is a struggle. Life is hard.

We do use this same magical thinking when others don’t (magically) conform to how “we believe” they should behave, or how “we believe” they should think. When they continue being who they are, we sigh and tell ourselves that life is hard. Life is a struggle.

Which of course it “is” because our ego is again emotionally attempting to make the world (magically) conform to “our” personal understanding of how things “should” be.

Real Magic Vs. Magical Thinking

When we have the courage to drop magical thinking and learn to accept “what is” by changing the way we think, a different kind of “magic” happens—–the whole world actually begins to change! Changing the way we think begins to bring coherence into our life. Our mind and emotions come into alignment with the wisdom of our heart energy. Instead of resisting reality, we become observers of reality.

When we change the way we think, the way we experience life and the world around us is transformed from painful struggle to peaceful calm. Learning to embrace “what is” allows us to live in resonance and harmony with the creative evolutionary impulse that has been creating our universe, without our help, for over 13.7 billion years.


Using childhood magical thinking to emotionally resist reality, not only drains away our life energy, it creates most of the pain, suffering, depression, and sadness so many of us experience in our day-to-day lives.

Happiness and authentic spiritual growth depend on our ability to grow in self-awareness, and learning to bring the magical thinking and emotions of our inner-child’s primitive ego into coherence and harmony with the deeper insights, wisdom, and warmth of our heart or soul energy.  When that happens, the outer world is mystically transformed, and life stops being a difficult struggle.

When we learn to drop our resistance to reality, and find the courage to change the way we think, we begin to create the harmony and balance of an awakened consciousness—–the life energy of an awakened presence that has learned to let life unfold as it was meant to unfold. Instead of resisting reality, we learn to “become” the change we would like to see in the world.

When we learn to embrace life with an open heart and let it be what it is, we will know we are on the path toward enlightenment, authentic spiritual growth, and the joys of an awakened self.

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2 Responses to Magical Thinking Makes Life Difficult – Insights from the Wilderness #121

  1. Jean Crane November 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Please explain what seems to be a contradiction: “My beliefs and emotions have the power to (magically) change the world around me” is one of your examples of primitive ego thinking. Later on you write, “Changing the way we think, a different kind of magic happens — the whole world actually begins to change.”
    I do believe the world we see is a mirror of our beliefs and emotions — and becoming aware of this is a function of our higher consciousness. We change our mind, we change our world. What do you think?

    • DickRauscher November 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Jean,
      I was making the point that childish “magical thinking” was not helpful. When I commented on a “different” kind of magic I was referring to how when we change the way we think, the whole world “appears” to magically change. I probably could have said it more clearly. :-))
      I agree with you, when we change our mind, we change our world.

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