4 Unique Features of Direct Magick

by Mike Sententia on April 16, 2014

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How is Direct Magick different than other systems? Here are the four main ways.

Conscious Ethereal Muscles

Everyone agrees that magick comes from the mind. Even ritual magick requires mental focus. Whatever magick you do, you need to engage the right parts of your mind to make the magick work.

Every system has some concept of these magick-driving parts. Some systems don’t name them. Others call them “the unconscious.” Personally, I find it’s useful to name them, to separate them out from the other parts of the unconscious that handle breathing, digestion, and everything else.

In Direct Magick, we call these parts ethereal muscles. It’s a metaphor: The difference between imagining walking vs actually moving is engaging your leg muscles, and the difference between imagining change vs actually doing magick is engaging your ethereal muscles. (We’ll get into the details of how they move later.)

(If you use a different system of magick that calls them something different, that’s fine — we’re probably talking about the same thing.)

In Direct Magick, we make our ethereal muscles conscious. Instead of directing our unconscious with visualizations or rituals or temporary beliefs, Direct Magick consciously steps through each motion of our ethereal muscles, so we can see how they respond and adjust our techniques accordingly.

Choose Your Ethereal Software

Most systems of magick use external forces. Chaos Magick has egregores. Reiki healers channel energy from “The Universe.” Other practitioners talk about thoughtforms, and some leave the forces unnamed. Don’t get too caught up in the terms — a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and choosing to call a force “The Universe” doesn’t make it all-encompassing or infinite.

In Direct Magick, we call these forces ethereal software. It’s another metaphor: When you use computer software, you press some buttons, and depending on your software, you get a Google search, or powerpoint slides, or Mario jumping. The software handles the details of making that search / slideshow / game work. Similarly, when you use ethereal software, you send it your intent (using a ritual, visualization, or other technique), and it handles the details of causing that change in the world.

Like computer software, different ethereal software is better for different tasks. Some software does energy healing, other software does psychic intuitions. Some psychic software specializes in medical information, other software is better for warning about physical danger.

In Direct Magick, we make conscious decisions about which ethereal software to use, and routinely learn new software as we solve new problems.

Doing Magick Without Ethereal Software

If you’ve ever gotten a Reiki healing for a serious condition, or tried to make a coin repeatedly landing heads, you know there are some things we can’t do with magick.

Or maybe we can’t do them yet. Maybe the mechanisms of magick could solve those problems, if only we knew how. After all, energy can reduce pain, which means it can affect neural firing — maybe the right energy, in just the right spot, could help depression, or epilepsy, or paralysis. Maybe the same mechanisms that create luck in job searches could also determine coin flips, if only we understood how they work and how to make them more reliable.

Maybe the problem is, the forces we channel — our ethereal software — only knows how to do a tiny fraction of what magick can ultimately accomplish.

That’s why advanced Direct Magick practitioners learn to do magick without ethereal software. We do healing techniques, not by channeling energy from an outside force, but by figuring out the right signature of energy for a particular condition, figuring out where that energy should go, and driving the healing energy ourselves. We test it, debug it, get it working. Then we program our ethereal software to do that technique, so other mages can use it, too.

Most mages will never do that. But that’s what advanced Direct Magick is about, and it’s the origin of the name: Doing magick directly, without channeling external forces.

Sensory Connections

This goes hand in hand with the previous item. To build techniques, we need to see the ethereal structures we’re influencing. In Direct Magick, we do that with sensory connections. Here’s how they work:

Magickal energy follows connections. Most people use connections to send energy. When you do that, you mostly feel the energy you’re sending. But if you instead make a connection without any energy, it absorbs energy from whatever it’s connected to. Not a lot, not enough to bother anyone, but enough that you can sense that structure’s signature.

In practice, I use networks of sensory connections. Each connection goes to a different spot in whatever tissue or structures I’m working with, and together, they give me a picture of how it operates. It’s active, and quite different from receiving images or intuitions.

Sensory connections only work if you can feel the energy they absorb. Channeled forces can send you intuitions and images, but they can’t do sensory connections for you. And, since you’ll need sensory connections to develop other Direct Magick techniques, it’s the first technique most people learn when they start doing magick directly.

As far as I know, other systems of magick don’t have an equivalent technique.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Synchronicity April 20, 2014 at 3:38 AM

Your software/signatures/connections metaphors always make me wonder about the Simulation Hypotesis:

http://www.thatsreallypossible.com/news/1100/evidence-our-universe-is-a-simulation/

Do you think it’s plausible? (Or, at least, may it be an useful model?)

The spirit’s role/position would be more like…
– software agents, operating inside the “matrix” with us… or…
– programmers of the simulation, up in the “external universe”?

Reply

Mike Sententia April 21, 2014 at 9:01 AM

I read Nick Bostrom’s ancestor simulation article last year. (Summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis#Origins). I find it somewhat convincing, certainly interesting to think about.

Is the idea useful for magick? Probably not. To be useful, a model has to make predictions that solve problems. In magick, this almost always means suggesting a new technique to heal an illness we couldn’t heal before, or to do manifesting more precisely. Saying “Maybe the world is a simulation” doesn’t seem to do either.

(I know that some mages use “useful” to mean “an interesting way to focus the mind and communicate my intent to my unconscious.” And you might be able to use “the world is a simulation” in that sense. But we have lots of ways to communicate intent to the unconscious, so that’s just solving a problem that’s already been solved, which doesn’t rise to the level of “useful” for me.)

But yes, the idea has crossed my mind. Thanks for writing!

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George April 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Or perhaps Conscious Realism and the Multimodal Interface Model?

http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/ConsciousRealism2.pdf

It’s a sort of similar idea, saying that the experience you have is comparable to that of desktop icons vs the real workings of the computer. The objects you experience as the world come to you in the form of being useful rather than being accurate representations. The world behind the scenes is made up of “conscious agents”.

I find it’s a useful view for summoning that feeling of “more behind the facade” when doing magickal stuff. The analogy of the virtual reality tennis game used in the paper is particularly good.

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Mike Sententia April 21, 2014 at 9:08 AM

I’m a firm materialist. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

I just include magickal structure in “material.”

So, consciousness emerges from the interactions of lots of nerves. Computers emerge from the interactions of lots of transistors. And ethereal software emerges from the interactions of lots of connections or other similarly-simple magickal structures. You don’t get a complex actor like consciousness or ethereal software as a basic building block of the universe.

Quick note: I’m going to make sure this discussion stays on-topic for this blog, and moderate this thread heavily.

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George April 21, 2014 at 10:33 AM

I think of it as “the material has both a physical and a mental aspect”. Otherwise it’s hard to see how tinkering with one can have an affect on the other? And for complex consciousness to be emergent, I think it has to be present in a basic form in the first place, at the building block level.

Anyway, the point of MUI is that it has conscious agents and symbolism – basically, magick – already baked in. Since there is only symbolism – i.e. temporary forms emerging from a formless background – it cracks open what is potentially possible. You should indeed be able to tune into forms directly and change them without conjuring an intermediate mechanism.

The difficulty is, it’s hard to change something when at the same time you’re paying attention to how it is in its current form. You have to focus on something and let go of it at the same time. Do you find this? Ethereal software and similar gets around that by keeping you one step removed, I think.

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Mike Sententia April 21, 2014 at 12:02 PM

It sounds like this model assumes something really complex — minds, or something similar — as a basic building block. Then it shows how we can solve a lot of problems if only this basic building block exists.

Sorry, I don’t buy it. A mind is a complex object. You can’t just assume that it’s a basic building block.

I believe you that, if “consciousness in inanimate objects” exists, then lots of other questions become simple. I just don’t believe that thing exists.

More here: http://www.magickofthought.com/2011/12/servitors-minds-and-maxwells-equations/

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George April 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I don’t think it (the model) really supposes something complex as a basis. By saying that “consciousness” is fundamental, it doesn’t mean a human-level complex mind, making contemplative decisions and so on (nor does it imply a controller of some sort).

Rather, it’s more akin to electric charge: it’s a fundamental property which, when scaled to atoms, molecules, cells, neurons, brains, etc, emerges as complex circuitry. “Mind” emerges from complexity and degrees of freedom: simple structures have basic mind-like properties, complex structures have correspondingly complex ones.

The servitor thing is an interesting example. Surely, if you don’t include a mind-like aspect right at the beginning, you’re just kicking the can down the road: at some point, no matter how detailed you get, you’ll always hit the a point where you go from ‘dead material’ to ‘conscious material’? (Putting aside our tendency to over-anthropomorphise our descriptions of how things work anyway.)

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Mike Sententia April 22, 2014 at 7:09 PM

I may have misunderstood the paper. I only read the abstract.

At this point, though, we’re leaving the realm of magick and entering into philosophy. I will say this:

– Everyone agrees that particles interact, sometimes in interesting ways. If you want to call this “mind” or “consciousness,” I can’t stop you, but I think terms like that obscure the truth, rather than helping us find it.

– Transistors add up to some pretty complex behaviors. But we’re all pretty clear that video games and websites and everything else emerge from the behavior of lots of transistors, while each transistor is itself pretty simple. You can’t point to one transistor and say, “This transistor contains 1/1000th of Zelda.”

– Once again, like most other scientists, I’m a materialist.

For anyone interested in this topic, google “philosophy of mind.”

I’m going to close this thread now, so we can get back to magick.

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Sean Dough April 23, 2014 at 11:14 AM

It could be that thought interaction or energy works with a push and pull mechanism. this could be due to the electromagnetic polar opposites that are also present in electromagnetic waves which is what emits from our “minds”. just like magnets have almost “magik” qualities to hold on and move on, maybe the idea of holding on and letting go to change can somehow effect it. in other words maybe to change the environment we must energize that environment by pulling and letting go of it enough that the reaction occurs. this is speculative and also somewhat intuitive.

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