On the Road with Rama


On the Road with Rama - Magic

Today is April the 25th, and it's around twenty-five of six in the early evening. I'm at around 6,000 feet at Lake Tahoe, and today I'm going to talk to you about magic.

I'm parked here facing the lake on a small beach, and there's some early evening commuter rush hour traffic behind me. Not too much, since this is an interesting time of year here. I'm in-between the ski season and the beach season so it's not very crowded - a good time to come here. In the distance I see the snow-covered mountain peaks, and on the other side of the lake the waves are rolling in. Tahoe is more like an ocean, I think, than a lake - an ocean that's 6,000 feet above sea level.

Magic doesn't really give us answers. It gives us questions- questions about identity, about the movement of time and space, about the elementals - earth, water, fire, ether.

Magic. What is magic? Life is magic. Death is magic. Time is magic, space. Magic is the ability to perceive beyond the surface. We say that something is magical because it's not logical. It doesn't fit into the ordered scheme of things, which is what makes it worthwhile because we all know that everything that fits in the ordered scheme of things can drive us completely up the wall after a while. So magic really has nothing to do with that at all.

Magic is our awareness of the timelessness of time - real magic, that is. Oh, there is the magician who struts and frets his hour upon the stage, pulls rabbits out of hats, hats out of chipmunks (Rama laughs), does all kinds of great things through the sleight of hand, the quick blurred movement, through distraction. But there's another kind of magic, which is really a science. It is the ability to move awareness and to do literally anything with it. What can you do with awareness? You can change yourself, you can change someone else, you can change the universe, anything. But in order to really practice magic, you need to study in the school of awareness for a while.

The school of awareness is the school of mysticism. Mysticism is the experience of eternity, of that which lies beyond the physical phenomenal experience. Not that that is even what it appears to be. Taking a walk isn't really taking a walk, taking a shower isn't taking a shower, living isn't living, dying isn't dying. It only appears to be that way because of the centering of our awareness.

So the school of awareness is really perception. Everything is perception. And perception, as you know, is limited by the way that you think. When I say "think," I don't simply mean word thoughts - ideas that come through your mind in terms of language - I am speaking, and you're hearing my voice. But there's also a language that takes place not only in the conscious mind but in the subconscious. It is a language of categorization - always trying to fit your experiences into a little box to make everything work out, to make everything seem uniform.

Now, magic is not categorical. It is not really uniform. That is what makes it interesting. It is beyond logic. It is beyond time and space. And in order to practice magic, of course, you need only one thing - awareness, what we might call power. Now, everybody has a certain degree of awareness. Everyone is awareness. But people are aware of so little.

Within you there are thousands of rings of luminosity, bands, and each one is a universe of perception. In the average person's lifetime, they might just open up two or three, maybe only four of those bands. Those bands are keys to doorways that lead to other universes, other understandings of life, other experiences, other selves; we have other selves.

You see, that's the magic, isn't it now? We have other selves that are not of this world, of this time, of this cycle. We are ancient beings, evolving forward and backwards simultaneously. We are not structured in time. That only appears to be to the uneducated eye, or the over-educated eye. We are eternal travelers, eternal voyagers - appearing to be here when in fact we are somewhere else.

Rama smiling with his arms crossed wearing a designer suit
Seeing is the ability to tell what really is.

The works of Rama – Dr. Frederick Lenz are reprinted or included here with permission from

The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism.