Writing about the difficult and gradual transformation of the main character (the Materialist Magician herself) allowed me to address issues about change. The repetitive hardships of the daily grind, and striving to be faithful through them, are one of the great means for change. It is a daily opportunity to partner with God, the Holy Spirit, for the benefits God wants to grant. We have to pray, converse, commune, and rely on God continually. The everyday, routine, mundane efforts and failures, is where habits are formed that result in our character. We are not quite what we do; but our habits, especially the practice of our faith by which God leavens and flavors our life, become us. We have habits of will, emotion, thought, action, and faith. These are formed by practice and effort that is tempered and enriched by God. God forges us into an alloy of partnership with him. Much is formed in the crucible of our daily grind—if we are striving to be faithful to God.
“Prayer and fasting for Eve and by her, the embarrassing abundance of patience, forgiveness, and love showered on her by many during her first year of marriage help immeasurably—and not at all. Neither she nor the situation changes the first year.Despair grow, desperation deepens. She spirals into a black hole.” p. 264
“Eve knows in her depths that practicing spiritual disciplines and Biblical and theological knowledge benefits her little compared to her daily hardships. She knows relevant passages in the Bible and literature, but it is enduring the hardships that bit by bit reform her.” p. 272
Col. 3.17, 22-25 NRSV And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I keep learning what The Materialist Magician is about even though I wrote it. Numerous conscious and unconscious motivations and processes were involved. I have had an intense interest in how people change for decades. I have a personal interest (How can I change?) and a professional interest as a Clinical Psychologist (that is also very personal for me because I greatly desire to help my clients change).
For this book my interest in change as a follower of Jesus (aka a Christian) is foremost. I have done some reading and thinking about “spiritual formation.” I prefer to think of it as “human or personal formation.” Jesus, the eternal Word, did not become fully a human so that we could be freed from our humanity but that we might come to fullness of life in him as humans. He was not raised from the dead bodily so we could abandon our human form but that our human form could be redeemed and we could reach our God planned destiny—redeemed and consummated humans.
So, the book addresses how a very warped and mangled personality (aka me, you, and anyone) becomes human. More on that in the next blog. Cloyd Taylor 2/17/2015
The demons emptied her of all goodness, love, friendship, enjoyment, and infected good memories of her parents and twin brother with wounds and injuries they contrived and planted in her unconscious. She was a hollow person they punished and warped to desire power, domination, sexual gratification, fame and fortune to assuage the cold vacuum within. They trained her to crave only her own self and advancement but it was a deception to further their goals. She was they unwitting willful puppet. She believed she was fully in control, disbelieved in any power but her own—she became The Materialist Magician.
The demons had immunized her against any influence from God and any attraction to him. They carefully constructed armored layers of pride, vanity, and a need to be powerful and adored and trained her to have passions and desires antithetical to God, good, and humanity. She despised the weaknesses of humanity, virtue, and goodness and was intent on crushing it in herself. They provided her tools to magnify her power—tools whose use would increase their grip on her and domination of her.
But God used their tools against them to plant good seeds in her.
It is similarly on a far smaller scale for me—and you. We are in a battle. Rather, we are the prize of the battle. One side wants to consume us to nourish them; the other wants to fill us to nourish each of us to magnificent individuality—free, unique, and connected to others and the ultimate Other. The destroying side wants to limit our role and control us; the freeing side desires to free us to take a greater and greater role, an eternal one, in our co-creation. Our most weighty option is simply which side we elect—the battle continues.
My blog on this:
Indeed, it's all beyond me. It was far easier (and it wasn't easy at all) to write about it in story form than it is to talk about it in an explanatory mode. An explanation is too much in the “about” mode to capture living changing dynamic “processes” (i.e., humans living, growing, and changing)—“it must be lived.” Stories and narratives add to living by enlarging and granting new experiences, thoughts, emotional reactions, and by creating and strengthening desires of the will. Writing this story certainly did that and more for me. I hope that reading it will expand your living space and enrich your living.
“It is perfectly true, as philosophers say, that life must be understood backwards. But they forget the other proposition, that it must be lived forwards.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
“Ye cannot know eternal reality by a definition. Time itself, and all acts and events that fill Time, are the definition, and it must be lived.” from The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis Copyright © 1946 by Macmilland Publishing Co., Inc.
Writing this story spurred an odyssey of exploration, in the story and personally. How does a winsome identity develop? How does one become an increasingly free and consistent person even throughout the unconscious? When the writing and journey began I was clueless where it would lead. It led to dreams and intrusions of the unconscious into her life (and mine). We are oblivious how the hidden sways our lives. Ninety percent of an iceberg is hidden; most of my “self” is also. There is commerce between my conscious self and my far larger unconscious. I take wrong turns in living, wandering and meandering far off course. How can such a mass of contradictions form a coherent me? We steer a car through traffic, around curves and potholes, towards our desired destiny. We make continuous course corrections. How is my moment-by-moment-living steered to connect all that is truly me together? I’m a jumble of thoughts, emotions, desires, intents, and actions both deliberate and unconscious with miscellaneous bits and pieces of random and unclassified stuff mixed in. I’m a tad like that previous sentence. How is all “the mess that is me” forged into an alloy fit for living with love, joy, and wonder? It is beyond me.