Conclusion: Why These Parts?

by Mike Sententia on September 4, 2013

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This is part of An Initiation into Direct Magick – Book 1.

Before finishing this tour of the major pieces of direct magick, I want to answer two common questions:

  • How did you pick which concepts to borrow from other systems of magick?
  • Why aren’t other common concepts (like chakras) included as well?

This model didn’t happen all at once. It came from years of exploration, from trying to solve problems, from training with spirits and other human mages, and from finding models that lead to new, useful techniques. Even the components that logically have to be there, like ethereal software (since it works out details that are too complex for the human mind), have proven themselves time and again as I’ve developed new techniques for healing, manifesting, psychic intuitions, shielding / protection, and more.

Better techniques may seem like an odd basis for a model of magick. After all, anyone can try a few dozen approaches, notice which one works the best, and adopt it. That doesn’t mean you should trust their story about why it works, it just means they got lucky.

Indeed, that would be an odd basis for a model. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Here, I’m talking about a model that singles out a complex procedure I never would have considered without the model. A model that said, “This one procedure should work,” and got it right after one or a few tries, when random chance would only get it right one time in 100 or 1000.

Or, put into scientific terms: The model using these components made non-obvious predictions — predictions I would not have made using other common models of magick. It predicted that particular techniques would be more effective than the other methods I had available. And it got it right, again and again, even when I didn’t quite believe in the techniques myself.

(I didn’t discover those techniques in my first year of magick, and we won’t learn them for a while. But if you’re curious, some of them are in case studies on my blog, at https://magickofthought.com/tag/case-studies/ )

As for other common concepts, like chakras, they’re not included because the model in this book is a snapshot of my current beliefs as of 2013, not my final thoughts on the matter. I’ve gone looking and haven’t found chakras (and ghosts and other things), so they’re not included. But the world is a big place, and the human body is incredibly intricate, and it’s possible I’ve simply missed them. It’s certainly happened before.

Actually, that’s much of why I’m writing this book: To bring more collaborators into direct magick, drawing new ideas from different backgrounds. That’s how we’ll create an even better model of how magick operates, and how we’ll build even better techniques. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll be part of that.

And now, we’re ready to see direct magick in action.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

John W. A. September 4, 2013 at 10:49 PM

A ‘Model of Magick’ is not primarily a way to explain ‘how magick works’, but rather it offers a method of ‘doing’ magick (and it’s never the only one out there).

It is an explanation you temporarily adopt as being true (as a belief system), which gives you the confidence/certainty needed to ‘do’ magick with the method outlined in the particular ‘Model of Magick’ you happen to using.

Using a ‘Model of Magick’ to explain magick is a very, very bad idea. I tried it once, and it lead to me nearly quitting magick. Honestly, a ‘Model of Magick’ is best used as a useful method of ‘doing’ magick, rather than an explanation of how it works. But that might be a little long-winded of a debate to get into in the comments.

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Mike Sententia September 5, 2013 at 6:49 AM

As a scientist, a model is how I believe something works, and its value is in making accurate predictions. I’m aware that some people use “model of magick” to mean “what I think about when I do magick,” but that’s simply not what I mean by the term.

If exploring magick in this way makes you want to quit magick, then direct magick may not be for you. Which is fine — no one thing is right for everyone, and I’m sure there are other systems out there that will be a better match for you.

(Also, notice that I don’t capitalize “Model of Magick” the way you do, and that I don’t even use the phrase that much. That’s because I’m using the standard meaning of “model,” not your specialized one. Do try to keep the standard english in mind before correcting someone’s terms.)

I discuss models some in this post: https://magickofthought.com/2013/07/my-take-on-the-4-standard-models-of-magick/

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Simon September 7, 2013 at 4:50 AM

If a ‘Model of Magick’ is really a method of ‘doing’ magick then why not call it what it is: a method and avoid unnecessary confusion?

If you look at some of Jason Miller’s stuff it can be used as ‘gumball magic’. Meaning you put a quarter in the ‘machine’ and a gumball drops out. What happens inside the machine is not necessary to know or believe any more than turning the key in your car’s ignition requires belief in the process. Nowhere in this METHOD (or as Mike has termed it ‘process’) does Jason ask you to come up with some elaborate explanation to convince yourself its going to work. Sure he mentions theories and you might find them interesting or not. Personally I don’t really like Jason’s ritualistic stuff and it didn’t make any sense to me the way he explained much of it. However I forced myself to carry out the PROCESS in the spirit of experiment and still get a result. If John is going to insist I used the ‘Model of Magick’ called ‘experimental curiosity’ then I don’t see where that’s getting us.

Also, to be clear, it wasn’t that I ‘temporarily adopted’ the tricky run-around belief: “magick can work like a gumball machine without any belief or confidence in the process”. I strongly believed the opposite at the time – magic was all about intent and belief and that operations mechanically carried out could NOT be effective. Really I had a NEGATIVE expectation of what I was doing. Yet I still got a result.

So I don’t personally agree with this ‘Model of Magick’. I used to buy into the chaos magick stuff and I love the spirit of freedom inherent in it. But when it comes down to it I agree with Mike: this ‘belief and intent powers magick’ model just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. And yes I just used model in its normal meaning – an explanation of how something works.

As to whether the ‘mechanism’ underlying magic can be uncovered and intellectually understood in the same way we can understand, say, the mechanisms of cell division or nutrient cycling in plants. Well the jury’s still out on that one for me.

I can see magick can be treated in a systematic way that develops reliable predictions to a degree- a true meaning of science. But this is a different matter from buying wholesale into the assumptions of a materialist reductionist philosophy. Even calling something a ‘mechanism’ invokes images of a Newtonian clockwork universe and Descartes ‘dead lifeless universe’. Those are a-priori philosophical assumptions; they are not scientific observations even though many scientists are currently promoting them as if they were (you know who I mean Dawkins and company).

I know you’re not especially meaning to invoke all that and are using the term ‘mechanism’ in a metaphorical way. However it opens a big old can of worms. Way too big for now..one that will eventually have to confronted head on in your work I think.

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Mike Sententia September 10, 2013 at 5:27 PM

That’s basically where I come down on this: It’s great to talk about procedures, about ways to suggest your intent to your unconscious or to get ethereal software to connect to you or to otherwise make magick work, but let’s call those something other than “model.” Because we need to be able to discuss what’s going on under the hood, and how we understand what’s going on under the hood, and that’s what a “model” actually is.

On your experience with Jason: This is a perfect example of how understanding what’s going on under the hood — that is, having some insight into the true mechanisms of magick, through a good model or through trial and error or both — lets a person develop a good procedure, which somehow works in accordance with those underlying mechanisms. Users don’t have to understand why it works any more than I have to understand why Martha Stewart recommends baking soda instead of baking powder for a recipe. She understands cooking, Jason understands magick, and if a person just follows their procedure, they get good results.

And yes, I’m using mechanism metaphorically, in the same way that I might ask about the mechanism by which a robot can navigate hallways. The answer involves software, sensors, and a ton of other stuff, but I just mean to say that I want to understand all the steps involved.

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Yvonne September 5, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Hey Mike,
I was passing by. Two thoughts on your awesome work.
1. Chakras are important. You should get to know them in a personal sense, and in a scientific sense, if you have time. (I know, I know, but they are REALLY important)

2. What is a ghost?

see ya,
Yvonne

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Mike Sententia September 9, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I’m using “ghost” in the common english sense: A dead person, somehow existing beyond death, who can interact with the living in some limited capacity. Sometimes, when I say “spirit,” people think “ghost.”

On chakras: I intend to return to erotic energy, energy in the body, and other aspects of physical effects in the coming year. I may look into chakras more then. If you have a good resource with a clear description of what, exactly, they are, that would be helpful. Thanks!

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