The Valley of Despair

by Mike Sententia on June 11, 2014

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It’s a term from tech startups. The valley of despair is when the initial excitement wears off and the founders realize how much work goes into creating a company. Many quit. Experienced folks write about the valley so newcomers know it’s normal and stand a better chance of working through it.

(It’s from other places too. The bible? Anyway, I know it from tech startups.)

Magick research has a valley of despair, too. If you create new techniques, you’ll hit a point where the initial excitement is gone, you realize how much work goes into understanding and building this stuff, and you’ll want to quit. And you’ll stand a better chance of working through it if you know you’re not alone.

I’m in the valley this week with my sensation research:

  • I’ve gotten my arms around the problem, and I see how big it is. These two often go hand in hand, by the way — It’s a good sign when you realize what’s involved in solving the problem, but that’s also the time it’s easiest to get overwhelmed.
  • I’m learning to control energy consciously. That’s another good and necessary step, but it means I’m feeling the effort of learning each new step, at the same time I’m seeing how many steps there are.
  • Sometimes I test a technique, manage to do all the steps right, and get better results than I’ve gotten with visualization. But often, I mess up one step and get no results. And about 1/3 of the time, I realize there are more steps than I thought, my list gets longer, and my valley gets deeper.

The valley will fill you with doubts. Is this project worth it? Am I even able to do it? What if magick isn’t real, and I’m just wasting all this time? Those thoughts are normal. They’ll pass once you get out of the valley.

There’s no secret to getting out. You simply work the problem, learn the techniques, keep going. Once one technique starts working — once you have something to show for your effort — you’ll find your way out.

Hopefully, knowing this is normal will help you keep going, too.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Takeo Otori June 12, 2014 at 8:11 AM

Well I’m at a point where I can’t proof my work correctly. I have nobody to share/test this and often something happen and I’m not sure if I did this correct as I should or not.
So, mediation, vision, healing, energy moving, alerting some (random/unknown) ethereal muscles does work, but what now? How to get better results? How do I find other ethereal Softwares? How to communicate with it?

Also, I need more information about Connections/Signatures/Scales for my learning purpose. I’m not sure if I understood how to make more specific/deeper connections correctly and If I can differ between the Signatures …
Sometimes I’m not even sure if this was an energy/signature shift what I felt …
I think I can differ between 5 … My normal state, my steady/calmed state, when I use Reiki and when I connect to your ethereal software – and: my “coffeine-state”. That’s how I call a Signature that I can shift into that makes me alert, awake, full of energy and very emotional. Sunno what it is but I can reproduce it.
See my problem? I feel something working under the hood but I don’t know what I should look for …

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Synchronicity June 13, 2014 at 3:12 AM

Hi Mike, what happens if you apply your delta-signature trick on the current state of feeling overwhelmed toward the original state of excitement?

Also, you might consider the “informal crowdsourcing” option for your experiments. I think you’ll find many enthusiastic volunteers among us.

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Mike Sententia June 14, 2014 at 9:20 AM

It’s interesting, I rarely think to use magick to solve problems like this.

I think you’re referring to shifting the signature of someone’s head / brain to change their mood. It might work. But I’m hesitant to do it — these shifts are usually short-term, and I don’t know about doing it to sustain excitement for weeks at a time.

And I like the idea of asking readers for help testing things. When the effect is ready, I’ll program it into my book’s ethereal software, and have all of you give it a try. Thanks!

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George June 16, 2014 at 4:41 AM

Mood Changing:

I’d forgotten, but I used to do exactly this when studying, usually when up against it. I was always a bit of a depressive-anticipator when studying for exams, but I’d lie down for a bit and kind of ‘grab the feeling of enthusiasm/excitement/confidence/certainty’ then seeding it then magnifying it. Not by visualisation, sort of by ‘feel’. Like by expanding your awareness into your body and then changing its nature (its signature I guess).

(“Mood” perhaps isn’t the right word there.)

An interesting side effect was that, during this process, I’d often have intuitions as to the exam questions topics that were going to come up for that particular topic. Pretty much without fail they were correct (and for one particular exam that I was going to struggle with, the four past-paper questions that occurred to me were the exact ones that then appeared – top marks, saved!).

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