Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Coin of Paralysis

"Oh, my beautiful idiot.  You have what you've always had!  You've got me."
-- Idris, Doctor Who Episode The Doctor's Wife

In the course of working with my therapist on my issues with depression, at one point she observed that there seem to be things about me that I'm not incorporating into my sense of self.  This intrigued me greatly, because I can point to certain things that this applies to, but at the same time I suspect that there is more there that I'm not seeing.

The more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that I've repeated the same thing with other things in my life.  Most notably for this blog's purposes, that has extended to my magical practices.

In my last post I mentioned that there are issues in my life that I have not been addressing with magic, and have instead been focusing solely on mundane actions and personal work to deal with them.  For some time, I've been wondering why this is.

In one regard, it is fear.  Fear of all kinds of things.  Fear of failure, fear of success, the usual schtick.  But there is also fear of the effort, fear of self-embarassment after ease after fear of effort, paralysis from indecision, and it can go on and on.  Fears that hold us back can be so pernicious!  But then there is also limited thinking.  Due to a variety of reasons, mostly in reaction to opinions found on the net and other resources, I'm pretty sure I limited what magic can help with in my own mind.  Even that can tie into fear (fear of lack of implementability).

This side of the coin is Knowing What To Use Magic For.  The advice I gleaned from this is: Don't limit what you think magic can do.  Keep an open mind to the possibilities of things it can effect!

The other side of this little Coin of Paralysis is How To Do Magic.

See, I've been studying magic for a total of 15 years now.  In that time the amount of tech I know has grown pretty big, in my opinion.  Trying to decide how to work toward a particular goal using magic has, at times, been daunting.  The Paralysis of Choice comes in here again.  Yes, you have many valid choices to pick from.  Yes, it can be overwhelming.  But for starters, know what techniques work best in which situations.  Each thing has its place.  And for those things which all share the same place, there is a heuristic I like to use:  When faced with many valid choices, pick any one of them!

That's it!  Pick any one of them and go with it.  List them alphabetically and pick Technique A, then B, then C.  Assign them to numbers on a die and roll the damn thing,if you have to!

But the last thing you should do is put on blinders and not act!

The way we deal with the Coin of Magical Paralysis is through open-mindedness and decisiveness.  My conversation with Adam the other night helped me to come to this conclusion.  You already have what you need to do magic.  In the end, it's not outside of you and it is not beyond your ability to comprehend.

Good God, Man! Where Has Ocean Delano Gone???

My poor, neglected blog has been left by its lonesome for too long, I think!

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how my online presence has calmed down in recent months and how it reflects a lesser amount of magical activity on my part.  Although I've maintained a semi-regular practice, I have not done much aside from a small amount of client work.  Initially I chalked this up to a lack of immediate need for magical activity to subsequently write about.  After taking a look at my life, my goals and current problems I decided that was not the case.  Then I guessed it as a lack of inspiration...and I think that's partially correct.

See, once I got my current job and it proved to be as stable as one can get in this economy, my level of Will-I-Have-A-Home-Next-Month quality of stress began to truly lower for the first time in a while.  But then something happened: my drive to continue improving things magically ebbed away over the course of a couple months and this complacency set in.  I've recognized it for some time now, but have mainly watched because at this time in my life, I've been going deep into my mind and figuring out truly what makes me tick.  It's not to say I haven't continued to improve my life, but it's almost like I've avoided the use of magic in it.  I've been watching for the thoughts behind the complacency, the laziness (I dig Cognitive-Behavioral techniques).  However, I've swiftly been realizing I need to break out of this because it has the possibility of taking everything I've rebuilt from the ruins of my late 20's and bring it all crashing back down.

The other night, I had my hipster, musical, web master, designer, fantastic werewolf and all around awesome friend Adam over.  As usually happens, some fantastic conversation happened that stretched through the corners and crevices of various topics with a flashlight, illuminating things we both really needed.  It was one of those conversations where, to both of us, it felt like we were digging our way down to something awesome and revelatory.

Even though it's been a couple days since, I'm still processing parts of that conversation, and trying to get my brain to remember others.  But there are things that stand out.

When it comes right down to it, I've been getting in my own way so much it's just about shameful!  One of the worst ways I have done this is by having this unconscious limit on what I feel magic can help me with, and the variety of ways I can implement its use in my life.  Coming to the realization that, despite my proficiency with magical technique and theory, the person holding me back since before I started this blog was *me*...well, it hasn't been comfortable.

You see, Adam is a magician and doesn't know it.  During the Conversation, he talked about things that touch on purpose and one's bliss in life (a phrase which he hates).  In the end, we reframed it into a person's work.  Follow your work!  And then, as we kept going, he eventually uttered it.

You know what I'm talking about.  He totally said it.

"The Great Work."

And this is coming from a guy who, despite being an Atheist and not being involved in the occult at all, has as his work the drawing of ideas from the great abstract and fleshing them out, giving them form, giving them harmony, and realizing them in material reality!

Sounds a bit like magic to me.

So.  Work.  Each person has it, whether they realize it or not.  I'm not going to launch into using Crowley as a basis for this topic, flinging 93 and True Will all over the place like a drunken Thelemite.  But it makes sense to me that each person has their work to do.  They can avoid it, and just simply not do it...if they don't care about having a fulfilled life.

And the essential message that came to me from my conversation and hangage with Adam the other night is basically the importance of getting up off your ass and doing your work, whatever that work is.

I've had a background understanding that I've mostly been the one getting in my way, magically speaking.  But now this fact is in the light of day and, much like the light of Helios rotted away the monster at Delphos after Lord Apollo defeated it, it will be obliterated by the light of crystal clear awareness!