Would you like the good news first, or the bad news?
The good news is, all of you who have been clamoring for the pathway to magickal powers are about to get your wish.
The bad news is, if you actually take this route, you’ll probably go insane.
Please, lets be clear here for a minute: This series of articles is not about accumulating supernatural powers. Doing something like that for it’s own sake is not something I care to endorse, even in jest. These abilities are meant to be markers for the changes in your consciousness and byproducts of the introspective and meditative aspects that I’ve focused more on so far.
For those of you who don’t read my other stuff, ( and it seems a great many of you dropped in with your opinions without reading anything else of mine on these subjects ) I’ve written at great length about the deviations associated with cultivating psychic or occult powers for the wrong reasons. Do yourself a favor and read up on the hazards before you start playing this game.
So what constitutes the ‘right’ reason? Well, the ideal is to devote your practice to some cause or value that transcends your selfish perspectives as much as possible. Generally speaking though, you notice them if they come, develop them as learning tools, use them if you really really really have a good reason, and do your best to forget about them the rest of the time.
There are literally thousands of special powers you could attain, and the literature is rife with them. Some of them are relatively benign and form the core of most magickal practice. These are things like focused prayer, divination, possession, and summonings of various entities. The reason I say ‘benign’ is because you can have a certain amount of success with them with a minimal amount of effort, but they tend to hit a ceiling before you run into too much trouble. Others are referred to in yogic writings as the ‘siddahs’ or attainments, and are of a different order. I’ll discuss both in good time, but for the purpose of this installment they have a common root.
That root is concentration. Your ability to channel and shape energy is directly related to your powers of concentration. Any time you, or anyone else, bumps up against the so-called limits of occult power, they’ve done no such thing. All they’ve done is bump against the limits of their ability to concentrate. So before you start throwing around ill-informed pronouncements about what is and is not possible, go do some samatha meditation for five hours a day for ten years and then tell me what is and is not possible. kay?
Of course, if you actually did that, you’d probably go through half a dozen or more nervous breakdowns, bouts of paranoia, degrees of psychosis, epilepsy, and neurological disorders of various stripes. So I can understand why the misinformation out there runs so thick.
The reason most people in our society have such ridiculous ideas about what our minds can do is simple: our minds are ridiculously weak. If you think five hours staring at a wall is a ‘long time’ you don’t get a opinion in the occult powers debate. Thanks for comin’ out. If you think it’s ‘impossible’ to do anything, and you’re prepared to debate your belief in any form of ‘impossibility’, you’ll have already crippled yourself in that department anyway, whether it be starting a new nation or standing up to armed men. I’m sure you guys were helpful at the foundation of all the countries that exist right now.
I’m always sort of amused when people talk about how ‘the media’ screws with our minds. How did they do that? Are you saying the media is stronger than your own will? Did someone put a gun to your head and make you watch alla that CNN?
CONCENTRATION. Chances are your mind is so hopelessly splintered and contradictory that you couldn’t finish a half hour sitcom. A safe transition to occult powers is probably not in the cards for you. If you try, you’ll probably freak out, or kill yourself. Most postmodern ‘occultists’ have all the willpower of a heroin addict with fetal alcohol syndrome, and most of the material out there is meant to soften that fact to themselves. Old Uncle Aliester would die of embarrassment. But don’t let me get in the way of your consumer instinct towards instant gratification. For the foolish or truly dedicated, the exercise is as follows:
1. Sit still.
2. Pick an object of concentration. It helps if it’s relatively static and simple. The breath is ideal. A circle on the wall, or a potted plant will do.
3. With as little daydreaming, mind wandering and internal babble as possible, hold your focus on the object.
4. Do it every day for at least an hour.
5. For a year.
6. Yes really.
After each session, transition as quickly as possible into some kind of skill or activity you enjoy doing. If you’re obsessed with developing explicitly supernatural powers, I’ll throw in some exercises for that purpose a little farther down the line. If you don’t do the first part, none of that will do a goddamn thing for you anyway. So keep your yap shut and concentrate, grasshopper. I don’t need to hear your complaining, or tedious playa hating. Save it for your mother, or the ‘chaos’ magicians wanking their way to enlightenment.
This practice will supercharge pretty much everything in your life. Every skill will improve, every emotion will become richer. You will become clearer, stronger, more decisive. If you are already good at something it will quickly transit into the subtly supernatural. Don’t dwell on it. If you do, you’ll find yourself automatically hitting the wall in your development and you may never get past it. Focus on your training, and keep your eye on the ball. If you start freaking out, banish some more and lay off for a week or two.
Next time: reading the entrails