Author Topic: Could rich imagination actually be detrimental for magic(k)al work?  (Read 156 times)

Ave Lucifugus

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I took a gander at a particular occult forum which is rather unique, nothing like the other occult forums, to be sure. And I do not mean this in a positive way. To put it bluntly, when I look at that forum, I wonder if most members there are suffering from schizophrenia or delusions of grandeur. And I'm a practicing magic(k)an myself! Now, I take into account that some of them might be fishing for attention. But, all of them? Nay, doesn't seem right. Their accounts are too fantastical, yet at the same devoid of any profoundness. They seem rather incongruent with experiences of many practicing magic(k)an, including myself. I do not wish to get into detail, nor do I want to give out the name of the forum. I don't want any drama. That said, I guess I'll have to give you a small hint so that you can at least picture what I'm getting: on that forum, you'll see a lot of people claiming to becoming the New Lord of Hell, and how all the high ranking "demons" (they mostly work with "demons") are bowing to them, addressing them by various royal titles, giving them pet nicknames, proclaiming their eternal love for them, having sex with them all the time, and so on.

So it made me wonder: could these people have a very strong imagination that it causes them to simulate a reality in their own head, and have these experiences? I mean, think about it: if you have an uncontrollable, over-reactive imagination that's bound to bleed into your workings, no? I often hear magicians talk about the importance of imagination in magic(k), but I think that's a bit wrong. I think getting in touch with your subconscious mind is that which is beneficial (dream work, shamanic journeying, altered states of consciousness, because that's when the ego is silent and unable to have strong influence), while imagination, to me at least, is that which the ego projects, so naturally there will be a lot of censorship, ego-stroking, self-image preservation, content that's almost always pleasant to the person, etc.

I understand that the way I presented these ideas are a tad Freudian, but I can't help but agree with the man on this topic.

What do you folks think? @Olive , I'm especially curious as to what your opinion is, since we talked about imagination in another thread, albeit briefly.

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Re: Could rich imagination actually be detrimental for magic(k)al work?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2018, 02:18:05 pm »
Bump

"The Dragon became as a many-headed Serpent,
It's fiery tongues bearing forth speech
Into all the kingoms of the Earth."


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idgo

Re: Could rich imagination actually be detrimental for magic(k)al work?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 04:24:04 pm »
you'll see a lot of people claiming to becoming the New Lord of Hell, and how all the high ranking "demons" (they mostly work with "demons") are bowing to them, addressing them by various royal titles, giving them pet nicknames, proclaiming their eternal love for them, having sex with them all the time, and so on.

Sounds like Subjective-world wish fulfillment stuff. I don't think it's any less "magical" to attain those experiences if they're what you set out after.

It's when you add claims that there's only one Hell, which can have one New Lord at a time, and that multiple forum members hold that title, that it's really time to go make popcorn.

So it made me wonder: could these people have a very strong imagination that it causes them to simulate a reality in their own head, and have these experiences?

Absolutely. The skill usually described as "imagination" is integral to many types of invocation and evocation working. Is a book less real for having started as a component of its author's imagination?

Imagining something is not sufficient to make that thing real in a way that others can perceive, but imagination is the necessary first step to realization. Imagination also underlies all scientific pursuits: To test a hypothesis, you must form a hypothesis. To form a hypothesis, you must imagine new rules about how the world might or might not work.

Yes, they and everybody else are simulating "a reality" with their imagination... and that's a good thing! Imagination is an access route to the brain's own simulator of the outside world. The brain is a powerful pattern matching system, and it use patterns from past sensory inputs to predict what future ones may be based on various criteria. So, to "use your imagination" is to consciously access that simulator -- perhaps you simulate a goal of outcomes you desire, then backtrack along possible causes of those outcomes till you reach some action you can take to move you toward the goal. Having a simulator of the near future that's reasonably accurate and running most of the time in your brain is Really Important for survival, as well as self-actualization stuff. Your imagination helps keep you alive by saying "hey if you jump in front of that car it's extremely likely to hit and maim you", "Hey don't eat food with mold on it because it'll make your digestive system try to run a full self-clean cycle and it'll be miserable", or "If I don't have enough food stored to last the winter I might die a horrible death so I'd better plant enough crops in the spring".

I often hear magicians talk about the importance of imagination in magic(k), but I think that's a bit wrong. I think getting in touch with your subconscious mind is that which is beneficial (dream work, shamanic journeying, altered states of consciousness, because that's when the ego is silent and unable to have strong influence), while imagination, to me at least, is that which the ego projects, so naturally there will be a lot of censorship, ego-stroking, self-image preservation, content that's almost always pleasant to the person, etc.

As with any sandbox or simulator, imagination can be used as an escape to create illusory internal satisfaction as an excuse against the inconvenience of making external changes. If occasional misuse makes imagination itself "bad", then so too is every educational technology that a child has ever used to procrastinate on a less pleasant task a "bad thing".

I haven't done much with shamanic journeying yet, but close examination of dreamwork and altered states has shown me that ordinarily-invisible parts of my mind use features of imagination as a communication medium to translate thoughts too abstract to think on their own into a symbology that's accessible to the parts of my mind closest to everyday experience. They build art in imagination's sandbox, rather than just using it to waste time, but it's the same sandbox nonetheless.

I also find that underlying patterns too subtle to be perceptible in my mind to ordinary thought are often amplified into visibility by imagination. When you let your focus wander through imagination, much like letting a puppy off its leash in a park, it will often lead you to interesting things you hadn't been aware of before. But you have to meet it on its terms, with a mindset of "why is that interesting?", or else the branch that the puppy is fascinated by because it's not from any tree around here is just a boring stick that the stupid dog won't shut up about.

If your own imagination is overwhelmed by "censorship, ego-stroking, self-image preservation, and subjectively pleasant content"... why? Why aren't you looking under the censorship to analyse how the deleted concepts got such power over you? Why aren't you looking under the ego-stroking to see what bruised your ego so it needed reassurance, and examining how to build it back with less frailty than before? Why not use it to expand or adjust your self-image into something that's not constantly falling to pieces and needing to be internally reassembled due to the circumstances of the outside world? And why not lean into your imagination's captures of unpleasant circumstances from your day, to find and make the small personality or outlook tweaks that can slow or even eliminate your experience of a whole category of mundane unpleasantnesses?

Quote
Could rich imagination actually be detrimental for magic(k)al work?

Absolutely. If you lack the discipline to use your tools in accordance with your Will rather than in accordance with your whims, having too good a tool can be detrimental or even dangerous. To a sufficiently immature practitioner, getting access to an imagination capable of fulfilling every wish in fantasy can be like a toddler getting handed a running chainsaw. Imagination is a tool, and like any effective tool, it's the responsibility of a competent user to differentiate between what the tool should change and what it should leave untouched.


« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 04:41:10 pm by idgo »
If everything's imaginary, it's all the more important to speak clearly and precisely when communicating meaning is the goal. But English flows better with synonyms, so I may interchange:
External = Objective = Consensus = Outside World
Internal = Subjective = Personal Reality