Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Changing the World

Here's the question: can we use our magical abilities to transform the minds and perceptions of others, and if so how? To clarify further, can magick influence others directly and on a mass scale? My answer would be a qualified yes, but the problem is that I'm not sure what all the qualifiers are. In my opinion it's one of the most important questions that a magician can approach, and the benefits of solving it correctly are too numerous to list. Through our practices we work toward awakening ourselves, but imagine what humanity could accomplish with a whole world of awakened people.

This article started off as a response to comment by Suecae originally posted over at Doing Magick. Since I know Suecae reads this blog as well, I figured I would take it out of the comments there and address it here in greater detail than a short response would allow.

With regards to the interesting question posed by Ananael. I don't think there are any easy answers, at least I don't see them myself. Earlier in my life I dedicated an extreme amount of time on political campaigning. A whole lot. In unison with that I studied political theory.

Did you do magick as well during this period to help you accomplish your goals? I always do when I have a political objective that's important to me. When done properly magick is the ultimate force multiplier. One person can make a difference, but one magician can do so much more with the right set of techniques.

I so wanted to change the outer, that the inner got forgotten completely. I forgot who I was in the process. Later the pendulum had to swing back, and I am not involved any more to any greater degree. But I still think that we need to change society in ways.

The real challenge in magical work is to unify the inner and the outer in a sort of dynamic balance. Macrocosm and microcosm are like the poles on a battery - one pole might give you a bit of a shock but to accomplish anything useful you really need them both. Furthermore, both should be of equal strength, because the limiting factor in your circuit is always the weaker of the two. When your focus swings like a pendulum between the inner and the outer you are simply transitioning between two states that are equally ineffective from a magical perspective.

Virtues such as kindness, mindfulness and evolving inner qualities is much more important for me today. By doing that, I hope that I can reflect this upon my surrounding in a better way.

And these are certainly important - I don't mean to sound like I'm diminishing the cultivation of inner awareness in any way. I just go further than that in my own practice and combine my mystical pursuits with magical exercises in such a way that I transform both myself and the world around me as I progress in ability. I want the external conditions in my life to support greater realization in addition to the internal ones.

Realization and power are closely related to each other, and while there are a lot of mystics with little interest in shaping the world around them by thaumaturgic means, I would contend that any highly realized individual should have the ability to do so if they so choose. Similarly, working magick over time confers some degree of realization, since the expansion of consciousness is a requirement for effective sorcery to work. Either you are focusing your own power, in which case your consciousness must expand to accomodate the magical tools, implements, and so forth, or you are acting through an intermediary, in which case you generally must invoke a godform of some sort in order to acquire the necessary authority to command the spirit with which you are working. Either way realization of some degree is inevitable.

The inner work remains important because while thaumaturgy will eventually lead to advanced realization, there are certain meditative practices that will develop it more quickly. Because of this the thaumaturgist should not neglect such inner work, but instead add it to his or her practices. Realization supports power - in effect, by journeying up the Tree of Life you are placing your consciousness in a better position and giving it a better lever with which to move the universe. As a result, you should be able to trace your inner progress by observing your outer abilities. A genuine spiritual realization may or may not increase the objective probability shift that you can create with a spell, but such a realization should never decrease it. An apparent realization that results in an objective reduction in power is probably a step backwards rather than forward.

I often say a prayer for the people who suffer from the hands of the vices of the world. I remember the rosicrucian motto: "To cure the sickly, and that Gratis." This sickness is not only mundane and obvious. But a deeper complex, I think.

In one sense any magical act can be thought of as healing, in that we generally seek to improve and perfect the health of every aspect of our lives and by extension the world. People around us who fail to realize the true extent of their consciousness could perhaps be thought of as diseased by ignorance or conditioning or social preconceptions, and with this in mind perhaps healing is the right way to go about enlightening the world around us.

That would be Mercury, to map it onto the Tree of Life, and I'm good at planetary magick. I think perhaps some experimentation is in order along those lines.

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7 comments:

Suecae Sounds said...

You did right in taking my little post here. I will return and read it again, I think you are on to something important.

You also posted an important question. Did I work magic when I was politically active?

No. Like I stated I was outwardly focused to a degree that was not healthy. I can honestly say that I was unbalanced. I did accomplish some things, but I also drained myself totally of energy. It became a ill-dignified sacrifice of sorts.

Today I am more inwardly focused, but the pendulum is not to the opposite any more. I am attempting to develop a kind of balance where the outer and the inner are harmonious. That is my big goal.

One of the aspects in accomplishing this is that I am working the tree in a simple ritual, on a daily basis. I also work the Tarot. It is not advanced magic by any degree.

It is as much a grounding exercise as it is balancing the sephiroth's on the microcosmic level.

I am in a process of change, and in this change I plan on incorporating more magical techniques as I go along. I am already thinking about the next step. But I also recognize that I am essentially still a neophyte.

Gordon_Finn said...

>>Through our practices we work toward awakening ourselves, but imagine what humanity could accomplish with a whole world of awakened people.

I shudder to think. The magickal community already has problems despite our size. And some people wouldn't be able to handle what we know.

Ananael Qaa said...

One of the aspects in accomplishing this is that I am working the tree in a simple ritual, on a daily basis. I also work the Tarot. It is not advanced magic by any degree.It doesn't need to be. Regular daily practice is the best way to progress as a magician, even if the work you're doing is relatively simple.

The magickal community already has problems despite our size.
I'm not sure what you mean by problems here. That there are jerks who do magick? Of course there are, especially online. That's not unique to the magical community at all, more like part of the human condition. Or are you talking about something else?

And some people wouldn't be able to handle what we know.While I believe that it should be possible to facilitate awakening to some degree I doubt that it is possible to awaken people beyond what they are in some sense ready for internally. That strikes me as working magick in direct opposition to their True Wills, which is always very difficult if not impossible.

I'm exaggerating a bit when I talk about a world of awakened people, but I still think working in that direction is worthwhile. In my experience most people are less awakened than they could in theory "handle," and I think that even raising the awareness of others a small amount could be worthwhile in terms of improving life for everyone.

Gordon_Finn said...

>>Or are you talking about something else?

We're constantly bombarded by role players and wannabes and fluffies. And, because of ego development, we have a lot of infighting and high emotions that give way to bad reactions sometimes. This is just online. It's more quiet face-to-face because we often don't want to attract attention. There are also the noobs that want 'proof' or have some fucked up idea of what magick should be based on whatever they've got wrapped around their heads, many not wanting to do the work and still thinking magick is the shortest path.

>>That strikes me as working magick in direct opposition to their True Wills, which is always very difficult if not impossible.

They wouldn't be able to. They'd get frustrated, not want to listen, and then, they lash out and fuck things up.

>>I think that even raising the awareness of others a small amount could be worthwhile in terms of improving life for everyone.

The trick is getting them to listen. Most don't.

Ananael Qaa said...

We're constantly bombarded by role players and wannabes and fluffies. And, because of ego development, we have a lot of infighting and high emotions that give way to bad reactions sometimes.
I agree, but I'm don't think that it's unique to the magical community. You see it in business all the time, for example. It's often even more intense there because money is on the line.

There are also the noobs that want 'proof' or have some fucked up idea of what magick should be based on whatever they've got wrapped around their heads, many not wanting to do the work and still thinking magick is the shortest path.
This is a case where I think a little enlightenment could go a long way.

They'd get frustrated, not want to listen, and then, they lash out and fuck things up.
Bear in mind that what I'm talking about is not getting everyone to think that they should be practicing ritual or ceremonial magick. I'm talking about expanding their awareness and degree of realization. Obviously everyone isn't going to want to be a magician or have the talent for it. But, for example, I think that we would see good results if people in the business community were acting from a more mindful place, whether or not they do any magical practices at all.

The trick is getting them to listen. Most don't.
True, which is what the spells would be for. I'm thinking that working directly at the level of consciousness could very well prove more effective than talking for this sort of thing. You need to show people realization, you can't just tell them about it.

Gordon_Finn said...

>>I agree, but I'm don't think that it's unique to the magical community.

Oh, I wasn't suggesting it was unique to us. It's just that we have problems being a cohesive whole despite our relatively small size.

>>True, which is what the spells would be for. I'm thinking that working directly at the level of consciousness could very well prove more effective than talking for this sort of thing. You need to show people realization, you can't just tell them about it.

This might be best handle by making them see sign after sign after sign till they finally say out loud with their material voice 'enough already; I get it'. Then, keeping do it to help reenforce it.

Ananael Qaa said...

It's just that we have problems being a cohesive whole despite our relatively small size.

That's true, but I think that if we were really looking at a spell set up to affect people worldwide the goal wouldn't be to create any sort of cohesive whole in terms of practices or methods, just to get people to be more awakened and aware in general.

Every culture has its own form of esoteric practice, and presumably each person affected would make sense of it in the context of his or her own traditions. That might include esoteric practices, but it also might not. Part of the design of the spell should be the intention that anyone affected would be able to have easy access to the materials they need to make sense of their experiences in an effective manner.