Jason Miller has an interesting post on the relationship between magick, psychology and personal growth. I agree with a lot of it, and yet, it somehow feels like it isn’t quite right. This post is me trying to make sense of that intuition.
You should probably read Jason’s post first.
Magick Explained as Driving a Car
In response to:
I have even run across some who reject the idea of mind as having any role within magic, at least not any more than driving a car or any other task. This is a grievous error on many levels.
On one level, I agree. Having the proper mental posture is quite important, and I talk about that a fair amount.
But I also compare magick to cars, and engines, and walking. And there’s a reason for that: Most of the interesting stuff happens outside your mind.
Connections are external magickal structures. They have an independent existence outside your thoughts. So does ethereal software, spirits, the energy pathways I use for healing, and basically everything else I talk about. Just because it’s non-physical doesn’t make it mental.
If you’re new to magick, learning the right mental posture to engage your mental muscles is quite important. But once you’ve learned that, I think it’s a lot more productive to focus on the external magickal structures, rather than focusing on your mind.
Magick As Curiosity
In response to:
If you are not in the game for some kind of awakening, or improvement of the self in a spiritual sense, I really just have no idea why you are bothering. If you seek power, or money, or sex, or anything else there are better and surer ways of achieving those ends than magic.
I’ve also said that magick is a bad path to material gain. At very high levels, a mage can probably solve problems that a non-mage cannot. But it takes years or decades to get there. If you want to heal people, becoming a doctor or nurse is a faster path to truly solving the underlying problem. And if you want money, you can build a company more quickly than you can learn enough magick to pay the bills.
Aside from Mike: More and more, I’m seeing how adding a little magick to your non-magickal efforts can really improve the results. I think developing useful , easy-to-learn techniques that give a small bump to normal effort — for manifesting, healing and other domains — is an important step to growing magick into a mature field.
But Jason’s focus on awakening doesn’t do it for me, either. I mean, I’ve developed effects for personal growth (consciousness integration in particular), but it’s like how Jason treats magick for financial success: I’m glad to know it, but it’s not the reason I practice magick. And if you took it away, I’d still practice everything else.
For me, magick is really about curiosity. How do all these parts work together to change the physical world? What are the underlying mechanics of the world that most people never notice? It’s that sense of exploration that drives me.
So, I’m not exactly disagreeing with Jason. I agree with the basic idea, that someone pursuing magick for money / power / etc. won’t get very far. And I’m sure that personal growth is a drive for a lot of mages. I just think he’s missing other paths.
Magick Doesn’t Cause Enlightenment
I like Jason’s point at the end, about magickal skill not necessarily coinciding with enlightenment. That’s something that’s been on my mind, to, as I think about the limits of the techniques I would teach in a public blog.
So, I have a question for Jason, and anyone else thinking about these things: If you are doing magick for an awakening / enlightenment / personal growth, which techniques focus on that? How do you go about it? And how do you know if it’s effective?
I have my answers for consciousness integration, but it’s definitely not a traditional approach to enlightenment, and I’m curious what the traditional approach entails. Thanks!Other posts in this series:
- Magick, Mind and Enlightenment (This post) (March 9, 2012)
- Strategic Sorcery on Enlightenment (March 15, 2012)