The Magic of Transformation

“Quit your job now, pursue your dreams, and live a long and happy life. Otherwise, prepare for a premature death because stress is killing you, Hombre!” the pot-bellied Cuban doctor reprimanded Pedro. 

Pedro is a rotund man, with a big red nose scarred by rosacea, and a gray mustache. He is an overworked, underpaid, frazzled truck driver. When his doctor gave him the diagnoses of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, he was in despair. Cheap rum became his medicine.

“I am killing myself slowly with a fork and the bottle,” Pedro thought to himself. At only 57 years old, he has less than 10 years to live if he does not change his life! Pedro did not tell his wife Mary about his new diagnoses. He was afraid of what she and his three kids would think.  

After five consecutive nights of blacking out on the sofa from too much rum, Mary knew something was wrong. She could read him like a book. “What trouble have you got yourself into now?” griped Mary.

Pedro tells his childhood sweetheart everything. His pain, his inner struggle, and his despair… “I hate my job and I hate my life,” Pedro mutters.

“I know,” Mary says. “I am here for you Pedro, follow your heart,” she softly whispers in his ear.

Pedro has had a lifelong dream of being a magician. In his spare time, he practices magic. He spends countless hours listening to audiobooks on magic tricks during his monotonous long hours of driving. Luckily, he was earning enough money on the side as a magician to quit his day job as a truck driver.

Finally, he mustered the courage to quit driving trucks and became a full-time magician. Pedro the magician wakes up every morning with a spring in his step and a sparkle in his eyes. Although he does not make as much money, he makes enough to pay the bills. Now, he is happy and living his life’s purpose. When Pedro sees the joy on a child's face from a magic trick, his heart rejoices. When an elderly man bursts into laughter after being duped by a simple trick, Pedro is thrilled.

Through the happiness, wonder, laughter, surprise, awe and joy that magic engenders in everyone’s heart, Pedro has found his life’s meaning.  Magic is universal. It connects all human beings.

Pedro, by living his truth, gains equanimity of mind and is contented. Sometimes money is tight. Although life still has its ups and downs as a professional magician, Pedro, Mary, and their three kids get by. Amazingly, even during challenging times, Pedro has an imperturbable mind. Through mindfulness and meditation he discovers profound peace and serenity. For the first time in years, he is healthy. 

“I love my job and I love my life,” Pedro the magician thinks and has a feeling of gratitude.

The next decade flies by and Pedro is in perfect health. When he caught a sinus infection, he discovered that his Cuban doctor had died of a heart attack a few years back. “That is odd,” Pedro thought. “He was younger than me.”  Pedro remains healthy, performing magic, and inspiring others for another 30 years. 

Pedro the magician is now 97 years old and dying of a smoldering blood-borne cancer. The oncologist offers him weekly blood transfusions that may extend his life another 18 months. “I’ve lived a long and happy life, Doctor,” Pedro states as he declines further treatment. With full head of white hair, a large goatee, he appears slim and healthy. A twinkle in his eye, the magician is lucid and playful until the end. He was in perfect health until the last 72 hours. Rumor has it the magician lost his mental faculties, although the veracity of this remains in question.

His wife, Mary, of 75 years was caring for him in the hospital for an arduous last couple of days. She needed a break and called the hospital chaplain for some relief so she could go home for a quick shower and nap. Mary wanted to come right back to be near her lifelong sweetheart. Her first and only love. She and Pedro had been through a lot together and she wanted to be there in the end…

“Please be with my husband for a while,” Mary asked the chaplain as tears streamed down her face. “He is losing his faculties, I think he is hallucinating,” she said. 

The chaplain said, “Take care of yourself, Mary. Get your rest. Your husband has delirium or ICU psychosis, which is common. I’ll make sure he is not alone.” 

The chaplain enters hospital room 108 in the ICU. Surprisingly, it is quiet and dark. A full moon casts a dim light on the empty hospital bed. It is eerie, the magician is not in his hospital bed… “Where can he be?” thinks the chaplain.

“We have been waiting for you,” utters the magician from the corner of the darkened room. The chaplain looks around and sees no one but the magician. Realizing the situation, the chaplain goes along with the magician’s apparent hallucination. “We would like to initiate you into the ancient brotherhood of magicians,” the dying old man states with conviction.  

The chaplain says “O.K.” and then gulps. What the chaplain witnesses next is stuff of legends...

The nimble old magician hops from one leg to another while chanting ancient incantations. “Amasuetepanete-saksutepenpanet-eaduanama-ketipajaru,” over and over and over again. Suddenly, with dignity, the magician stops chanting and slowly walks to the hospital bed and lays down in the mummy pose. Laying there motionless, he calls the chaplain over to his bedside. The chaplain obliges. He gestures to the chaplain with his hand, as he whispers, “Come closer”. The chaplain comes even closer. This request happens a few more times until the chaplain is so close to the magician he feels his warm breath on his face. 

“Too close for comfort,” the chaplain thinks to himself. At this point the chaplain is four inches away from the magician's face, staring into his luminous hazel eyes. 

Then the magician whispers, “Watch me disappear!” At that instant, he closes his eyes and stops breathing. And just like that, poof—he was gone! His last magic trick. 

Moments later, an ICU nurse entered the room and officially pronounced him dead. As rigor mortis sets in, the chaplain looks at the corpse and is dumbfounded by the sequence of events.

In his last act, the old magician consciously shuffled off his mortal coil. Life was his stage, and for the final curtain, he put on a show. A magic trick only a true Grand Master can accomplish.

The chaplain has goosebumps, and a chill runs up his spine. The room is silent but emanating a sacred peace. This was the most peaceful and beautiful transition he ever witnessed. However, he is terrified to tell Mary that her husband of 75 years has passed away and she was not there by his side, at the very end... 

The chaplain called Mary, his voice trembling, and told her the entire story from beginning to end. Then he concludes by saying, “I am so sorry, Mary.” 

Mary says, “Don't be sorry. I am so happy you were there with him and not me!” Baffled, he asks Mary why.  Mary says, “I know all of his magic tricks, and he never would have pulled that trick on me!” Suddenly, the chaplain could not hold back his tears, when he realized the extraordinary connection Pedro and Mary had.

Some say the transformation from Pedro the frazzled truck driver, to an enlightened magician, is an apocryphal story. We all have the power to live a long, happy and healthy life by practicing the five universal principles. Just like the magician, through the science of the five principles we can experience an inner and outer transformation! There is magic in the transformative power of L.O.V.E.S.

There is so much hatred, violence, negativity, bigotry, islamophobia, homophobia, sexism, discrimination, and fear mongering in today's world. We need a strong antidote. We cannot combat this negativity with more negativity. The answer is combating hate with L.O.V.E.S.