So I walked through the kitchen the other night and my kids were hanging around the table playing a card game called Magic. Your probably have heard of it, it is like pokemon but for older geeks.
Sidenote – I know. I have ruined my children. They are doomed to be nerds. That is the consequence of being influenced by me your whole life. I really feel sorry for them. Most kids would play tee ball as youngsters. My kids received narrated tales of Middle Earth and had to solve chess puzzles before going to bed. Our household conversations are about the internal politics of our Robotics team, the gossip on the release of Brandon Sanderson’s latest novel, and what if the human cold virus spread in a fractal pattern just like frost on the sidewalk?
The kids never really play Magic. They set up to play and then they debate for 4 hours on the rules of the game and contemplate what if scenarios on who would win if they had this character or that. The conversation I ran into that evening was about Mana. If you do not know, Mana is a hold over from Dungeons and Dragons days and is a measure of a character’s mental prowness or spiritual energy. In basic terms, the more mana you have the more spells you can cast and they more powerful they are. I find this concept of Mana very interesting. I sort of wonder if the inventors of these role playing games were really on to something.
Can you tell when your mana is low? I certainly can. There are days when you are on fire, motivated, ready to go. Other days when you just barely feel like you can lift your arms. I used to try to find one single source for this problem, but I have learned that the reasons for this low feeling are many. It could be diet, it could be exercise, or both. It could be stress, or something out of balance. Too much of something, too little of another. Regardless there are days when your mana is just low. You are not going to be casting any awesome spells that day!
I have researched this topic several times. Mana is borrowed from Hawaiian culture. The interesting thing is that this concept of spiritual energy that flows in the universe is a universal concept. Almost every culture has this concept. Interestingly enough, they all believe that it is not something that can be created or destroyed. They believe it can be controlled, harnessed, manipulated, moved, pushed away, pulled in. You get the picture. In Hinduism it is called Prana, in Igbo it is caled Chi, Pneuma if you are fond of western civilization and ancient Greece. There is no end to the terms for this from a variety of cultures. Ruah, Manitou, Energia, Qi. Or if you prefer, the Force is what the Jedi use in Star Wars. That is another thing. Every culture believes this energy is not good or bad, but can be used for good and bad. If you are a total skeptic – then you can use the word vitality. Look it up. Same concept.
I went to a spiritual healer once. The experience was sort of embarrassing. Maybe I will share the story one day. I am willing to try just about anything in my pragmatic quest for hacking my soul. I am definitely down this path of realizing there is some inherent truth to ancient civilization focus on spiritual energy. There is no mistaking the difference on days when I am feeling well and days that I am not. Probably the greatest impact of my commitments and habit forming has been the increased frequency of the good days, and the reduction of the number of bad days. Exercising the body, improving the mind, giving the soul time to rest are all aspects of my daily commitments and they have all had an impact on giving me more “mana.”
Maybe this is silly, but perhaps we should actually look at our lives the way you would playing a role playing game? If I engage in an intense activity, then my mana is naturally going to be low. I need to recharge before the next activity. If I am under a stressful deadline, then I need to take time to allow my self to rest and recover, or to build up my supply of mana before I really commit to the deadline. I know that it sounds crazy, but I can tell you, that some of the things that I am doing – like running – have been beneficial for increasing my capacity to handle stress. A person who practices Hinduism told me that my concept of visualizing my future self was very much rooted in the harvesting Prana. I guess I can understand that. Truth by a different name does not change the fact that it is true.
So go forth you level 10 elf warrior mage princess! Grow your capacity for casting cool spells by increasing your mana supply! Do this by keeping the commitments you have made to your future self.
Guy Reams (433)
80 Days Left to 1st Marathon