i really haven’t followed the harry potter stories much besides every so often noticing the blockbuster lines around a book shop when a new volume emerges and the posters at the box office. i saw the first movie years ago and then, last night, the second one for me, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” i think this one is nearly the full evolution of the story… i would imagine not just because it seems there is hardly anything left to flesh out for harry and hogworth academy, but because the actor, Daniel Radcliffe is demonstrating all the devastating signs of manhood that might inhibit the continuation of the adolescent saga. i found myself fairly transported by all the beautiful animation in the film, the otherworldly and mythical creatures and that very English feeling of a true and parallel departure from our reality. that is, in fact, a nice theme in the story: the “muggle” world, or ordinary reality, set against the scrim of another world, high above, or below, or wherever it is, indiscernible to those unbelieving, interred in the social machine. it is out of their world that one marches to catch the parallel train system that takes us into the land of sorcerers, the phoenix, and TRUE psychic danger. magic. overlooking some of the mechanically generated conflicts in the film, i found myself asking, “what is magic?” what is this that produces non-belief among reality-mongers, or something miraculous, parabolic to our standard experience? i find this one of the most wonderful questions one can ask, and it’s full of excitement because it is a real question, applicable now… it is a strict question of belief. and not that of external things so much as of belief in oneself. i was thinking of all the people in the gospels that ask christ for a miracle, and he says that all he will “produce” is the miracle of jonah (going to the belly of the earth for three days)–and for those of you who may have allergies to religious talk, bless you!–and that other occasion when he makes all the leaves on the fig tree whither. ? more to point: if you ask for a miracle, that is, if you ask for magic, implicit in your question is non-belief: you, who proclaim magic, must show me in order to convince my understanding. and the magician will nearly always feign from such a demonstration, not because s(he) cannot produce, but because it is unwise and perhaps dangerous to practice for reasons of NON-BELIEF. it is necessary FIRST to believe! there are a million different possibilities for what’s going on behind closed doors in our world; “they” would have you believe that it’s always the incandescent blue flicker of the tonight show or whatever the hell people are watching… but some are practicing magic… and yet others some darker arts… and one must be careful about making assumptions.