Thursday, April 07, 2011

Quantifying Results and Expectation Management

RO, Flying & Invisible at the Same Time
So Jason says that grimoire magic is not the best magic in the world. He says it's not clearly superior until he sees people turn invisible and fly.

For the record, I turned invisible and flew. Swear to gosh. I even have a picture. That's me, invisible, flying over on the right.

Like most skeptics though, even this clear evidence won't be enough to sway him, I'm sure.

But anyway, I'd like to take a moment to address something he said for real. In talking about someone who expressed the following experience:
They were convinced that following these texts [The Grimoires] as close to the letter as possible was the key to real success, but after a few years of spending lots of time and money on doing just that, they were not getting any better results than anything else he tried. Even worse, when he really looked around at the reports from the people that are trumpeting this approach as the key to magic, they really are not reporting results that are markedly different than what anyone else reports. No one is turning actual lead to gold or learning chemistry directly from the mouths of spirits.
Jason goes on to say that all systems, if practiced diligently will tender the same results. I'm paraphrasing.

I've got mixed thoughts on the subject. On the one hand, like Jason, I went through the pop magical trends as they came up, though I was a few years behind him because I'm younger than a coprolite. My path was neopaganism, Ceremonial Magic ala Kraig's Golden Dawn stuff in Modern Magick, followed closely by Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice, and then Chaos Magick. And to their credit, all this stuff worked. I got results. I could change the world, sort of, using the techniques of each system.

But then I got into the grimoires of the renaissance, and started using them, and fuck me, dude, the power was just incredible. I did the same kinds of things I did as a neopagan, ceremonial magickian, and chaos magickian in terms of goals aimed for and achieved, but the speed that the changes came internally, the speed that the changes came materially were just totally off the charts in comparison. The time to manifest went from three months to a couple of weeks. The time for the internal changes I sought through initiations and contemplation/vision questing (pathworking) went from months to weeks too. I went from thinking "it's all in my head" to talking with entities who knew more than I did, and could do a lot more than I can, and who were clearly not me. They were other.

But, as you know, no piles of gold showed up in my garage, no matter which spirits I Worked with, no matter how I treated them. I'm not bitter. Really.

Ok, maybe just a little.

So I managed my expectations a bit. I accepted that at my level of attainment and initiation, the way the spirits manifest stuff for me is the way they manifest everything else, through natural law. No such thing as supernatural or natural, let these two asses be set to grind corn and all that. Bending the laws of manifestation the way Reb Shimon did, piles of gold filling a valley to prove how little money mattered to a student of the KBL and such takes the kind of single minded and physically devoted focus that I just don't have time to do at this point in this incarnation.

Oh, but man, I catch glimpses. Eighth Sphere stuff, the reason I'm always on about it, it's the shit. It's the True Shit that blows everything else away. And ever since I had that sweet little taste, I haven't been able to do much exploring. What good is what I've got so far? Not much, except it manages my expectations. It teaches me what I need to know: It's possible, but not yet, for me, because I've made other choices.

Quantification. How do I tell you that Grimoire Magic is superior to everything else I've experienced when I can't Midas everything around me literally? How do I quantify the difference between the results I get form grimoire magic compared to chaos magic or GD magic or Thelemic Magic? All I can really do is point to the time differences I've found. Weeks instead of months. Great. Still not instant.