Heaven Comes to Iowa Shoeless Joe/Field of Dreams
by W. P. Kinsella
In the opening scene of Shakespeare play Macbeth ( 1606) three witches are hovering over a boiling pot. As the protagonist passes, the "weird sisters," as they are labeled, call out to Macbeth that he will be "King hereafter!" The rest of the play develops the manner in which this in fact did happen. Not to be outdone, Arthur Miller, in his 1953 play The Crucible, implies that the seventy-two men and women hanged for being witches in Puritan Massachusetts during the 1628 witch trials occurred because a slave named Tituba, along with several young ladies of Salem, sang, danced, and chanted around a boiling cauldron in an attempt to conjure up a dead baby. Even today, the practice of voodoo is a reality. Voodoo is a form of necromancy, "the conjuring of spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events." Is any of this real? If there is even the remotest possibility that it is real, why not a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield on which games are played by long-dead athletes?
The origins for this selection go one step further back into primeval mythology than either Shakespeare or Arthur Miller. It begins when the common belief of a culture is a direct relationship between nature and magic. Sir James Frazer, in his multivolume work The Golden Bough stated:
Thus its [magic's] fundamental conception is identical with that of modern science; underlying the whole system is a faith, implicit but real and firm, in the order and uniformity of nature. The magician does not doubt that the same causes will always