As a society ‘develops’ it loses touch with many of the things that its people need to stay balanced and healthy. One of the first things to go is trust in magic.

This is a great loss. Before we had organised religion or modern medicine magic played a vital role in both spiritual and physical wellbeing. Belief in mystical things was taken for granted and it fulfilled human needs in ways which science can never do.

Magic is everywhere

Like storytelling, magic appears in all cultures everywhere, so there’s probably a good reason for it. Throughout history, great scientists and philosophers have courted it. Even today, if you read between the lines of the introduction in any book about science you’ll find the existence of magic alluded to. Of course, these writers don’t mention ‘magic’; they call it the unknown, the unexplained, the yet-to-be-discovered…

This is not to knock scientific understanding and progress, and I’m not proposing an either/or choice. You can believe in the rationality of science and also keep a place in your heart and mind for those things which cannot be explained. You don’t even need a name for them, you just need trust.

I’d go further and say that unless you can do this, you’ll be poorer for it (in both the modern sense of having less material stuff and the philosophical sense of spiritual impoverishment). Call it superstition if you like, but for me, weird is wondrous, inevitable, and necessary.

I’m a psychologist, coach, and therapist. All my work is aimed at enabling people to improve personal aspects of their lives and work.



  1. Philip Carr-Gomm April 25, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Great stuff Barry! A favourite phrase of a friend whenever he was in awe (after a great night out for instance)?was “that was magic”. He’s died now, but I still can see him saying that with a huge smile and wide open eyes.

    • Barry Winbolt April 25, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Thanks Philip,
      That means a lot coming from someone who has recently published ‘Lessons In Magic’. I’m glad it brought a positive memory for you.

  2. Sue Marsh April 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Thank you for this Barry. I believe in magic – it’s everywhere, even inside us – all we have to do is open to it.

    • Barry Winbolt April 27, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Well said Sue, that’s worth remembering. People are so pressured these days I guess it’s often forgotten.

      • Sue Marsh April 28, 2017 at 10:34 pm

        If I commit to acknowledging at least one magical thing each day, if I acknowledge that I can’t fix everything and if I smile and practice kindness then my pressures go away. I’ve found that even when I’m feeling down if I just make myself smile at folk I always get some smiles back and then I start to feel better. Sharing the magic helps.

  3. Linda Newman April 27, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Thank you Barry. I just found this the other day and guess we’re all thinking along the same wavelengths. This is by Ben Okri “It is precisely in a broken age that we need mystery and a re-awakened sense of wonder: need them in order to be whole again”

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