Extreme Measures

Had a very long talk with a friend of mine awhile ago. She was on the verge of hopelessness over her circumstances, and carrying years of grief and anxiety brought about by wrong decisions and regrets. Listening to her was a very painful experience for me, since I've known her for so long. We've had our own difficult times and yet we managed to rise above it all and strengthen our bond. But in our long talk, she reeked of desparation despite her soft careful tones, and I had to play the objective listener to help her through.

What struck me during the middle of our conversation was her admittance to resorting to unorthodox means to "solve" her problems. Call it the Supernatural, or Witchcraft, or Coptic Magic. These, to me, are the most extreme -- short of insane -- of measures in dealing with supposedly insurmountable challenges. And we're not talking Gandalf's ROTK flashlight here. This is the real stew.

Now I've considered using them before, yet never pulled through because of my fear of Karma. Even without magic, I've felt the backlash of Karma like hot needles to my eyes, and it's not the most appealing experience. I akin using any kind of ritual magic to contemplating suicide: you don't think, you just do.

But my friend was still having doubts even if she had already made a downpayment. And I told her that the mere existence of doubt means that she still harbors hope in other means. Since I have no control over her life, I urged her to think things through again and again, to be 200% certain that this is the only alternative left, and to have an escape clause in case things foul up. (I'm not absolutely sure if an escape clause can be arranged... this is my Dungeons-and-Dragons mind talking.)

But I know enough to say that dabbling in magic is not an option, at least in the case of my friend. She has personal issues to deal with, and years of rotting emotional baggage needs to be cleaned out. I told her she had to change the way she looked at her own life first, to clean her own backyard before mucking up another's life with some behavior-modification hocus-pocus for her own benefit. Succeeding in freeing oneself from all that burden and reorienting one's life-view is one of the greatest spells ever, because once it takes effect, more marvellous things can happen. It won't make life perfect, but it can make things better.


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