Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More on that Saturn Magic Thing

I think Jason recently recommended a Christian book called the Prayer of Jabez. It's based on an obscure scripture reference in the Bible, and it's a good example of the kind of result I was talking about in that post. Here's the scripture:
Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from evil, that it not be to my sorrow! God granted him that which he requested. - 1 Chronicles 4:9-10
See that "enlarge my border" part? That's what I'm talking about, but in terms of ... well, it's not about time management, necessarily. That's a side effect, a secondary result of what we're doing primarily. I know I said it was a result, but it misrepresents what is going on.

Taking this rite as a method of simply increasing a skill you already have, "time management," is off a bit, and it's my fault for rushing through that part of the post. That's still working within the same borders, the same limits. If you look at time management, it's still sacrificing something to be able to do more with the same limitations. This is about moving the boundaries of your limitations, and the result is what looks like better time management.

It's about having the capacity to do more. The overwhelming stress comes from having as much or more to do as you possibly can. You're maxed out. Enlarging the borders doesn't change the amount of things you have to do, it just lessens the degree of impact. If you're running at 110% of your capacity, you're going to blow out the systems. If you upgrade the system, the same amount of work or responsibility goes down from 110% to maybe 85% or 60% of your total capacity.

It's leveling up. In video games or role playing games, you might start out with a character who has 50 health points. An enemy doing 25 points of damage can hit you twice and you die. You upgrade the character a few times, and your total health points go up to 200. Now the percentage of damage that same enemy can do to you has shrunk from 50% of your total health to 12.5%. It's doing the same damage, but you can take more.

As Simon Tomasi says, this happens incrementally as people adapt in normal situations. Game functionality is modeled on real life, after all. The Saturn/Venus rite is like finding a health capacity upgrade in a video game that you don't have to spend any experience points on.

Only you are spending experience points, it's just magic experience instead of mundane experience. You're taking advantage of the short cuts we have access to as magicians.