… is the attribution of causal relationships between actions and events which cannot be justified by reason and observation.
… is a fundamental dimension of a child’s thinking.
… involves several elements, including a belief in the interconnectedness of all things through forces and powers that transcend both physical and spiritual connections.
— The Skeptic’s Dictionary
Here‘s what psychologytoday.com says about Magical Thinking:
Think you don’t believe in magic? Think again. Our brains are designed to pick up on patterns: Making connections helped our ancestors survive. You’re not crazy if you’re fond of jinxes, lucky charms, premonitions, wish fulfillment, or karma. You’re just human.
I’ve got some recent examples of magical thinking by
, in The Years(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally:
- I wrote, two days ago, that I was not afraid of Ebola. Poof! The same day, the media reported a possible case of Ebola in Boston (where I live and work), too close for comfort.
- I bought a portable drive to relieve storage problems (mostly for photos I’ve taken for this blog). Poof! Installing the drive took up too much space and screwed up several things on my laptop. The magical thinking here: Whenever I try to make things better, I actually make things worse. (By the way, that drive has gone Poof! back to the store.)
- Because I wish to be Freshly Pressed here on WordPress, (Poof!) I won’t be.
- Because I’ve been feeling “too good” and “too confident” lately about (1) work, (2) giving presentations, and (3) writing these posts, I’ve been wondering: WHAT AWFUL THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!
- Because it’s getting darker and colder in these parts, I’ve been thinking: WHAT AWFUL THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!
Magical Thinking was a lively topic of discussion, over breakfast yesterday, for me and my friend Deb (who has made previous magical appearances in this blog, including here and here).
In that second photo, Deb is telling me how she magically created a wine bottle in one of her glass-blowing classes!
When there were several problems with the service and the food at that restaurant yesterday, I had this passing thought, which I shared with Deb:
The server hates us!
Now, that is definitely a great example of the cognitive distortions of Mind Reading and Personalization, but I’m not sure if it qualifies as magical thinking.
What are your magical thoughts on all this?
As you’re making your own magical connections, here are more photos I took, yesterday, with “magical thinking” dancing in my head:
Do you have any magical thinking about what magical, musical number might appear — Poof! — in this post, right now ?
After several moments of magical thinking, I made up my mind to show you that YouTube video of The Lovin’ Spoonful performing “Do You Believe in Magic?” on Shindig! in 1965.
Did you have any wishes that a different song about magic might have appeared here, instead?
Before I — poof! — magically transport myself back to work, I wish to share a dream I had last night.
I dreamed that, in various ways, my health kept deteriorating, until I was bedridden. Thank goodness, I do NOT consider myself psychic. When I have a dream, I don’t think, “That is now going to come true.”
I am thinking, though, why that dream might have magically appeared. I’m reading this extremely compelling, well-written, heart-rending, thoughtful, soulful, and otherwise admirable memoir by a fellow WordPress blogger, Charles Gulotta:
I think The Long Hall is magic, in this sense of that word:
special power, influence, or skill
Many thanks to Charles, to Deb, to winged fairies and black cats, to The Lovin’ Spoonful, and — of course! — to all you magical thinkers out there.