I’m tiny and the universe is immense. I’m weak compared to the power of nature. I can’t survive on my own. I have needs that I cannot fill by myself. Life is tough and I have to fight to survive. I need a way to fix that fight in my favor.
Enter: magical thinking!
Basically, magical thinking is the concept that performing some action, holding some belief, or sacrificing something of value WILL affect an outcome in my favor. For example, I might pray (with genuine earnestness) to some “higher power” to do some improbable thing (like a miracle) for me so that I get MY intended outcome.
There’s a problem with that kind of thinking – causality!
Causality is the immutable relationship between cause and effect. Altering that relationship would change the entire universe by invalidating universal law. Suppose my god or genie did grant me my wish and changed causality to benefit me in the way I asked. Suddenly, the entire universe must adjust to MY causality. No longer would predictable outcomes be predictable – instead, they’d be subject to MY intervention.
The universe doesn’t function according to MY whims – fortunate for you and me! Instead, it functions according to LAW. When I understand the law there is no need for magical thinking.
And yet, I still TRY! I still WANT TO BELIEVE that I can control causality!
My Magical Thinking Hell
So, the universe won’t bow to my wishes nor obey my whims. How then will my prayers to some all-powerful god result in me getting the miracle I expect? Why should I bother doing good deeds for others if I can’t control how they’ll receive them? Why bother sacrificing my time, energies, and fortunes if doing so doesn’t matter (as in: I don’t see a result I want to see)?
Perhaps I might reconsider my place in this hell of my own making.
Due to the immutable nature of causality, the universe is geared to give me predictable outcomes. Due to that predictability, I can count on accountability. I don’t need information, things, sacrifices, etc.
In the end, my “hell” exists in my failure to learn from the results of my magical thinking. My hell can be easily escaped through education. In seeking understanding, I open doors to realms of consciousness where magical thinking submits to enlightenment and disappointment surrenders to gratitude.