The life cycle of a typical animal consists of birth and death, and in between, reproduction, eating and excreting. Perhaps there are certain other niceties along the way, but that is the basic contract for life. Everything else, in fact, is a sort of magic: that which holds us in some spell, which engages our interests and time, which changes our minds and changes the world in certain purposeful ways. We as human beings must appear like this to the “lower” animals: that we are magicians to be able to do as we do, magic indeed that allows us move heaven and earth beyond the accidents of wind and tide. These activities of ours may have nothing to do with the basic contract, yet usually, what is known as the meaning of life — what it is all worth — strangely, it is found only there. In the magic. And perhaps this is no accident, either.
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