You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.
3 techniques to overcome doubt, each more useful than “Fake it til you make it,” and how to recognize when doubt is healthy.
Most teach “fake it ’til you make it” — for success as well as many magick practices. As you stated, doubt can kill any ‘magickal’ progress… where does belief (in self) come into play as to connecting with and/or somehow manipulating energy — energy within and without?
I think “fake it ’til you make it” is an easy answer that doesn’t require much understanding of how magick works, and it doesn’t work for a lot of people. It’s a cop out.
If you are so paralyzed by doubt that you don’t do anything, then absolutely, start faking it. To succeed, you must do the work. And if your magick starts working once you start faking it, then keep doing it.
But what if you’re faking it, but the “making it” isn’t happening? That’s when you need a technical understanding of how magick works.
Belief Communicates Intent
Let’s start by understanding how doubt prevents magick. I mean, doubt doesn’t prevent you from kicking a ball, writing a letter, watching a movie, etc. (It can make you procrastinate, or not put your full effort in, but it doesn’t flat out prevent you from doing it). So why is magick so impacted?
Magick is all about communicating your intent to your mental muscles, which then drive the magick. That intent can be an overall goal (heal this injury) or a specific procedure (connect to this tissue, fill it with this signature of energy). But at some point, your conscious mind has to tell your (unconscious) mental muscles what to do.
If you imagine energy flowing to the other person and healing the cut, but you’re also thinking “this is all bunk, nothing will happen,” then your mental muscles won’t get the right instruction. They’ll respond to your expectation (that nothing will happen), and not do anything.
That’s why doubt impacts magick so much: It interferes with even making your (mental) muscles move.
Mental Posture Beats Doubt
Now that we know the inner-workings of the problem, we can see the solution: Mental posture.
Your mental posture is how you hold your mind — which parts of your mind are engaged and paying attention. Once you can consciously engage your mental muscles, you can make sure they notice your visualization, and tell them to pay attention to the visualization, not the doubt in the back of your mind.
Click here for details on consciously controlling your mental posture. (Takes a couple hours to learn).
Rituals Beat Doubt
Learning mental posture requires that you can already work with energy. What if you can’t?
In that case, you’ll need outside help. And the most readily available sources of help are the forces that ritual mages channel. (I call them “systems”). Systems respond to specific ritual actions, so doing the LBRP will make a system connect to you, even if you don’t believe in magick. (Whether you’ll notice it without any magick training is another thing entirely).
Once connected, most ritual systems will start preparing your mind to notice and perform magick. So it’s a good way to bootstrap your magick if energy meditation isn’t working.
Testing Beats Doubt
Once you’re doing some magick, you’ll probably still doubt yourself sometimes. Good testing can help. Here are some posts on testing:
- An easy test you can do with a friend.
- Avoiding placebo and coincidence (and more coincidence) in your tests.
When Doubt is Healthy
Someone who never doubts anything is just as crazy as someone who thinks everything is a dream. If you’re trying a new technique or striving to do more advanced magick, it’s only rational to doubt the outcome.
If you tell your mental muscles the overall goal (“heal this person”), and let them fill in the details, that doubt will probably impact your results.
But if you step your mental muscles through the process (“connect to this tissue, make energy in this signature, etc”), then you can still be confident in each step, even as you doubt the overall goal. Remember, doubt impacts your ability to instruct your mental muscles, but doesn’t affect how the external world behaves. So doubting the end result won’t matter as long as you can accurately and confidently guide your mental muscles through each step.
When Belief Doesn’t Help
Your mental muscles inherently know some aspects of magick, but not others. Like how babies know how to walk (even before they’re strong enough), but you need training to do gymnastics. If you’re trying to get your mental muscles to do something simple, like building energy in your body, then belief can help. But if you’re trying to get them to do something complex, like make good sensory connections, then you also have to train your mental muscles.mikesententia.com.