There has always been a hunger in the world for great magicians.

There are magicians everywhere around us but we have the wrong names for them and cannot easily identify them. The past century has seen the rise of many great magicians: D.W. Griffith, Hitler, Marilynn Monroe, John Lennon,  Martin Luther King, J.K. Rowling, Michelle and Barack Obama, so many others. There is no explanation for the power and impact of these people. There is no logic in the fanatical faith of their followers. It is not about logic. It is about magic.

Both science and mythology struggle to find the proper alignment of self and reality. Do you see the wind as the manifestation of an invisible presence or as the manifestation of invisible force? Is it magic or magnetic? Absolute angles or absolute Angels?

The members of an African tribe were told that germs were tiny creatures, too small to be seen, that got inside them and made them sick. They replied politely that the missionary had taught them not to believe in invisible demons anymore. The difference between mythology and science is often only in the spelling of the terms. They just have a different word for everything. Reality remains unaltered by vocabulary.

Magic, “true magic,” is wholly a function of will power and only of will power. The cause and effect of magic are not tied to physical law. Levitation differs from flying only in the source of lift energy. Flight can be examined, explained and duplicated. Levitation cannot. Anyone can make a machine or an engine. The instructions for these are simple and direct—but how do you make a leader? An artist? A kind person? A psychotic? How do you make someone love you? How do you make someone vote?

Getting people to agree with each other is the most powerful magic we have and the most difficult to perform. Technology uses physical law to shape and change reality. True magic is the power to change people’s behavior, beliefs, hopes or fears, to make people do something that will change reality and to motivate them only by means of will power. Stage magicians who use sleight-of-hand trickery and con men who use outright fraud have always been pointing to the truth. Their real magic lies in their ability to make us believe that we have witnessed physical law overcome by will power.

The dismissal of this kind of magic as “merely psychological” is an attempt to defuse its awesome power. We are afraid of its reality, yet in the same response we yearn to control it. We do not elect leaders, rather we elect the magicians who made us believe that they can overcome physical reality with political will power. We do not choose our entertainment, rather we rejoice in the will-o’-the-wisp phantasm that catches our delight, leading us beyond mundane thought. We are not so much thinking animals as feeling beings who think.

Being fully civilized requires the use of both technology and magic. Medicine has been the first science to acknowledge that some degree of magic is needed to make the technology work. Magic and technology are as different, and as much alike, as differing orders of infinity. Technology is really very simple. True magic is so profoundly complex that often those who use it best have the least understanding of it. True magic can turn back on the user and undo them. Black magicians are as common as any other and can masquerade as white, and vice versa. It is as subtle and as powerful as the difference between mind control and thought control, between self-control and mob control.

The magic of will power is a most difficult force to master, but once under control it is the single most powerful force on Earth, the highest magic. Even global famine created by the realities of physical law can be averted by the magic of human cooperation. With powerful enough human cooperation, we could survive even the death of the Sun itself, but only if a powerful enough a magician can make us cooperate.

Science and technology are needed to measure the reality of these changes, but only magic will make the better angels of our nature reach for the stars.