This guest post on Magick is an excerpt from Klaas Pieter van der Tempel's "Pause, Play: A Higher Consciousness Handbook." It seems this may be a good entry level approach for some people, a foot in the door as it were, though it's not my particular cup of tea. Readers interested in seeing more can purchase the book here for under $3
What: Being conscious of our influence on ‘reality.’
Why: To take control of our mind, instead of letting it control us.
How: With imagination and will. Imagine something you desire, know that it can become real by being aware that you are everything (creator, sustainer, and destroyer), then let it go and see what happens.
Everything is magical, whether we can see it or not. Creation, time, evolution, change: these are all going on without us knowing how or why. Something must be making them happen. It could be a god. It could be us. It could be that everything is making everything happen.
Whatever else may be helping us along, magick is one way for us to tap into the source of that change; to become co-creators, consciously evolving from moment to moment.
Magick will is just another way of saying that we are engaging our consciousness in the steering of our mental and physical desires. If I feel like having sex because I’m horny, that’s not magical will: that’s just unconscious bodily programming. That’s how I was engineered to be before I was even born. But if I can overcome the fact that I’m being unconsciously programmed, and make use of my horniness for my own conscious purposes (perhaps because I desire to become a mother or father), well, then it’s magick will.
Magick will is the commanding of the unconscious fields of experience. We participate in creation through intent, through a will that is activated in deep thought, symbols, rituals, or prayers.
This will is not the will of the ego. This is the will of the transcendental ego, to which we can attune ourselves through mindfulness and other ways of changing consciousness. In the end, we are the will of the universe, flesh and bone, and the whole secret to magick is to be aware of this. To be mindful of our greater identity.
Our ideas about reality are a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we believe is true literally becomes true, within limits to be found through experiment. All magick means is doing this consciously: believing something because we want it to create a new truth, a new reality. We project desire into reality and expect to change that reality. In other words, a magus, or magician, is an experimental believer. A scientist experimenting with his or her own (state of) mind.
Anything can happen. And we can want anything to happen. So make things happen. Don’t just hope for it. Think things to happen. Imagine them to happen. Ask them to happen.
Most of the time we spend in our heads we are being more or less rational, constructing visions of the future or reconstructing a memory of the past. In other words, we are rationalizing and escaping the present by creating these huge scenarios of “I should have said this” or “What if that happens?” Try instead to let the picture of what you are thinking about to become clear to your conscious mind. Learn what your mind wants (and what it doesn’t want. See @Mindfulness). Then you can truly project what you want - such as the positive version of the picture or feeling you were having - and beget for yourself what you truly wish for. Reality will be made to conform to your will, once you know what your will is. * The world responds to your every thought. You may not always notice the results, as they may happen over time or in a different way than you expected, but they are there.
Your will is whatever you will it to be. But it has to be your will, and it has to be willed consciously.
How exactly do you know what your magick will is?
The best way to know your true will is to transcend your normal state of consciousness. Align yourself with your higher self. Be overwhelmed with purpose, will, and vision. Or use mindfulness. Here, you can catch the moment before a thought determines your feelings, behaviors, or perception. You can step outside of your mind. How do you think about stopping to think? This is obviously a paradox, one which any student of meditation will quickly be confronted with. You’d have to stop thinking about stopping thinking about stopping thinking, ad infinitum, before you would finally stop thinking. Or until something would snap and you became enlightened.
But here’s a trick. In your mind, connect this circle of infinite thoughts back to yourself. Don’t worry about thinking about not thinking about not thinking till infinity wears you out. Just let your mind do what it does. With your eyes closed, pass your consciousness through your body. Feel it and be fully present inside it. Then realize that your body and mind are one with reality. Realize that you are everything. Since you are everything, it is your intent, your will, which is the universal will, and vice-versa. As above, so below. Now realize your influence through this two-way connection. Realize your divine influence. You can direct your thoughts, as they are the thoughts of the all, and you can make them accord with your will.
All you need to do is release your expectations, not expecting anything to happen simply because you want it to, but having faith that those things will happen which are in accordance with the universal will. Just be careful to direct your will towards the reality you want and enjoy, not the one you dislike. Also, beware of doubts. Self-doubt has a tendency to form a negative feedback system between the conscious and unconscious mind. Magick usually works in the cases where there are no doubts; where your intuition tells you that something will happen. It also works where you’ve completely forgotten about doing the magick. So listen to your intuition!
Joseph Campbell once wrote the following. He said that “The best advice is to take it all as if it had been of your intention. With that, you evoke the participation of your will.” What Campbell is saying is that we never have to ask the question “WHY ME??” again. We can ‘decide’ to be our own creators, and reconcile ourselves with anything that has happened in our lives. We made it happen, whether it was the conscious or unconscious part of us, and we made it happen for a reason. Believe that everything happens according to your (transcendental, or magickal) wish, and you raise yourself from being a victim of reality to being its central hero(ine). Make the leap from “Why me?” to “BECAUSE ME!”
If we always expect things to happen the way we want, and then they don’t, and we get pissed, we’ve gotten our egos caught up in our magick. Instead, accept that existence is a mystery. We can’t explain all of it, nor can we change or predict all of it either. Understand that that mystery is a part of yourself. Even the things you can’t understand are a part of you. The reason for using higher consciousness instead of the ego in magick is to recognize the unconscious, the mystery, instead of wanting to consciously control everything. In other words, we have to let our projected desire go. Have the idea, feel it, project it, and let it go. See what happens.
An example: some years ago, I had been single for some time. So had one of my friends. One day, my friend told me that he woke up in the morning with an intuitive realization; “I am going to get laid today.” And guess what? He got some action. That made me realize that I could do the same thing; simply open myself up to a desire, and will it to happen. So I did. I put myself into an altered state of consciousness and told my ‘higher self’ that I was ready to meet the woman of my dreams. And then I let it go, and forgot about it. A few days later a young woman came to my front door for a spontaneous get-together with friends. She literally came to me. We hit it off right from the start, and she has been my girlfriend, partner, and soul mate ever since. Only after a while did I remember how magick had been a part of our meeting.
It helps to remember that the balance of forces in reality is always maintained. In magick, we should be aware that when we take, we will have to give something in return. Therefore the most important balance to maintain is to A) Consciously craft our reality, while also B) Surrendering to the experience. Take turns being a magician and a robot; being the one who creates a reality and the one who lives in it. Imagine your reality before you play in it. This is a balance of submission and control.
Here’s one very simple magic technique I stole off of a soccer player on TV. After he scored a goal, he pretended with his hand that he was waving a wand in a circle and then he poked through the imaginary circle. It was like a little magic ritual confirming the power of his will to score. If you need to put your magick will into something, try this yourself: speak out your will, make a circle in the air, then poke it. As if you’re holding a wand and using it to give something power. Then forget that you ever did something so silly and let your unconscious you take care of the rest.
Or, if you’re planting a garden, create a circle of protection around it by pouring water around it and addressing the potential predators of your seedlings. Ask them to take only a bit of your crop, and not to ravage the garden whole. Or, if someone has given you their business card, write on the back of it what you hope this person will mean to you.
There are endless ways of applying magickal thinking. All it takes is awareness - awareness of self-as-everything and everything-as-self - and the will to co-create this world. And the magick works because you - we are the magick.
Wake up! You could be willing right now. Not just doing things; but being things while you do them. If you practice on simple things, like doing the dishes, conscious will will come more naturally when you’re doing something complex. Practice awareness; willed action. “I am. I am doing these dishes. I am doing this. This is magick. I am doing magick. I am doing. I am. I. I am. I am magick. Hello, me!” Do magick, any time, for any reason, in any way. Reread this section again a few times to make sure you’ve understood Magick and the Magick will. Final tip: engage your love before you desire something. Love is the link that can make things real.
* This is the classical interpretation of magick. But you could just as easily turn it around, and say that ‘Your will will be made to conform to Reality.’ In other words, through magick, you can put yourself in accordance with the natural way of things. You accept everything, having understood that everything ‘is you’. This may be the more honest perspective. Which interpretation you use will depend on your preference.