Spiritual advancement does not always take the form of an ability to manipulate external conditions. Sometimes, it simply reveals itself in the capacity to identify evidence of intelligent design in our unwanted experiences.
This is the difference between magic and mysticism.
Magic is the ability to mold physical substance into desired form. It is the power to modify the happenings of the outer world in accordance with one’s intent.
Mysticism is the art of discerning the elements of meaning in the cosmos. It’s aim is not the transformation of that which is perceived to be imperfect, but rather the recognition of that eternal principle of perfection already inherent in the present state.
Magic controls the dots. Mysticism connects them.
Magic seeks harmony with the power behind the universe. Mysticism seeks oneness with the presence behind the power.
The breadth and diversity of life requires us to approach some things as a magician, other things as a mystic.
Sometimes, we are called to turn water into wine.
Other times, we’re called to drink from the cup we’ve been given with an understanding that, from a higher vantage point, it is the best of all possible cups.