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I’m home and (sort of) rested. Let’s dive back into visualizations, and why I avoid them. It’s been a few days, so here’s a quick recap of the series:
- Like any other process, a magick technique has many substeps.
- You generally aren’t aware of the substeps. Your mental muscles know how to do a lot of magick already.
- But some techniques don’t come naturally. You have to consciously design them out of substeps and sub-substeps, then consciously guide your mental muscles through that technique.
Directing vs Perceiving Magick
Remember that first post, on directing vs perceiving magick? We’re ready to tie that in now.
First: If all you want to do is magick that comes naturally, you only need to direct your mental muscles. Just tell them what you want, and they’ll do it. But remember, that’s only a fraction of all the magick that’s possible.
Second: Most mages only do magick that comes naturally. (Remember, natural might be difficult, but it doesn’t require consciously designing techniques, substep-by-substep.) So, most books and teachers focus on ways to direct your magick, even if they’re not great for perceiving each substep.
But, if you want to consciously design a new technique, you need to know which substeps you can use, and how they work. And, speaking from personal experience, you’ll also need to debug that new technique, because this stuff is complex and the first design rarely works. And to do both of those, you need to watch everything your mental muscles do, and all the external structures they act on as they do it. In other words, to consciously design techniques, you need to perceive all the details of your magick.
Perceiving Requires Relaxed Focus
Listening to your mental muscles requires a relaxed focus. It’s unlike any other activity, but let me try some comparisons:
- Like daydreaming, you need to be open to thoughts entering your mind.
- Like listening to a liar, you need to feel each of those thoughts and discard the false ones. (“False” = Came from your own expectations, rather than your mental muscles).
- To do both of those at once, you need to be alert and present and un-distracted.
- And you also need to keep track of your goals, and direct your magick.
Now, you don’t have to do that all perfectly, but it’s where we’re trying to get. Particularly if you want to design new techniques, you need to be able to hold that mental posture reliably most of the time.
By this point, you probably see where I’m going: Visualization focuses on the goal, to the exclusion of the listening. Rituals aim to distract your conscious mind, which is great for intuitive, natural magick, but terrible for perceiving the substeps of your mental muscles. Both are designed for natural magick, not consciously designed magick. We’ll discuss that tomorrow, then get into ways to listen to your mental muscles later in the week.Other posts in this series:
- Visualization is Overrated (August 25, 2012)
- The Many Substeps of Magick (August 25, 2012)
- Some Magick Won't Come Naturally (August 28, 2012)
- Why We Need Unintuitive Magick (August 29, 2012)
- Directing vs Perceiving Magick (September 2, 2012)
- Visualizations Direct (But Don't See) Magick (September 3, 2012)
- What I Do Instead of Visualization (September 5, 2012)
- The 3 Ways I Direct My Mental Muscles (September 8, 2012)
- How I Develop New Techniques (September 12, 2012)