There is a curious problem with objective reality, which I’m hoping most of the readers of this blog will already know about – it doesn’t exist. Reality is in the eye of the beholder, and we are each capable of constructing our own subjective universes around us. Many things are taken for granted, as “just so”, and this cements them in the collective unconscious – the sky is blue, grass is green, Toblerone® tastes amazing because it’s made by the Illuminati… you get the idea. This is the narrative, the overarching idea of how things are, and it is taken to task frequently on my astoundingly perceptive friend Gordon’s blog RuneSoup. Incidentally, I’ll bet you just went to check the sky…
Further to my last post here on the Blog of Baphomet I’d like to confess something: I am guilty of a grave sin. No, not dallying with redheads and playing dangerous games with the forces of the universe, that’s pretty much my job description. I am guilty of transgressing my own paradigm of praxis, and falling into a fallacy which I rail against on a regular basis. The word of Sin is restriction – and I have been restricting my beliefs by my situation.
The universe is not structured in such a way that the smallest building blocks of the universe create dominant belief systems by their combination, but this is how a majority of people perceive their existences. It is wrong to think that the molecules of a table must come together before it is there in your living room, and that you must encounter the table before you can conceive of the thought of a table, and believe in the existence of a table. In actual fact, you must first believe in the idea of a table, as the creator of the table once did, which then transforms that perfect idea of the table into many thoughtforms which can then be made, one of which will be the table crafted and delivered to your home, and when you finally set eyes upon it YOU will cause the waveform to collapse and the elemental particles to snap into line for your observation. Consciousness is King, and your sub-conscious mind is connecting to the very highest ideal of a table before you even understand that there is a table to go and sit on in your living room.
In a real world example of this, I was recently involved in a situation which needed an item found, and found quickly, rather like the curious case of Dion Fortune’s chalice. Her antique and powerful artefact went missing from a Glastonbury magical emporium due to misunderstanding, and by the entire occult community coming together across Britain, it was returned to its rightful owners not long afterwards. What happened? Well, the shopkeepers put out a message of friendly welcome to whoever had come to possess it, and refused any suggestion of foul play, and sure enough that came to pass as the result. They changed the narrative from one of “Alack and alas! A magical artefact has been stolen to order! ‘Twill never be seen again, i’faith!” into “a Saturday girl accidentally sells priceless artefact, what a carry on, it’ll all be sorted by teatime really.” Miraculously, it worked.
In my own case, faced with a situation which was becoming unbearable for all parties concerned, and aware that the narrative was due to become very negative, I went to external parties and reiterated with all my force of will that, again, the item was lost rather than stolen, and that it should and would turn up very soon. I could see that, without any intervention, the prevailing narrative would be that the item was gone forever, and that would become the reality whether it was true or not. After talking late into the night with a friend outside the situation entirely, I came to the conclusion that this was going to require a macro-ritual within the community.
The next day I ritually showered, shaved, and applied my best magick cologne (Hellstone), then banished; because you always wear clean pants and banish before you leave the house. I headed into town, first to see some mutual friends and make a dent into the psychic landscape. I then travelled on, stopping to buy a coffee and talk coffee beans and blends with the cafe owner, because in my personal narrative the hero is suave and cultured and buys a Caffé Sospeso on top of his order. It gave time for the magick to percolate, and to reassess the narrative landscape. I carried on, as things seemed to be sliding in the right direction, and by the end of the day had had some incredibly productive conversations – most of which were entirely apart from the mission. As I returned home, I received a text message to say that the item had indeed been recovered, and all was well.
So why did this work? What was the great secret to the magick? It was the people and the belief that was fostered in the right outcome. Let’s make a case study, and look at the self-fulfilling prophecy in magical terms.
Say you have a date tonight, and it’s with that person you called because you have run out of friends with benefits but don’t want to seriously look for a new partner. They’ve shown interest for a while, you’re not too sure, but you need to do something with your love life before they take away your licence to own attractive clothes and send you a Crazy Cat Person Starter Set. So, you call some mates for advice, and what happens next seals your fate. Friends Alex, Beth, and Charlie know that you are quite desperate, and think that your date is pretty different to your normal crowd, so think you won’t have anything to talk about with them. They offer to meet you beforehand to provide some Dutch courage and wave you off to the romantic Somme. As predicted, the date is a disaster, with awkward silences punctuated by grim small talk landing like mortars every five minutes. You resign yourself to some niche websites and a bottle from the kitchen for the rest of the weekend.
Now let’s rewind back up the trousers of time to the decision to call those friends, as if we could somehow tell your former self to call someone else. Sure enough, Danny, Eddie and Fox all have a different opinion on the matter. They think you’ve cruised through your little black book for too long, and need to speak to someone outside your normal circle. They also offer to meet up beforehand, and remind you of how you came in to your group of friends back when you dated one on the inside. The date, naturally, is a fantastic success, and you take an interest in learning all about them while you tell funny stories about your mates.
What happened there? The narrative changed. A different decision, to call the positive friends and seek out people who would tell you that the story has a good ending, changes the outcome entirely. If you think this is complete bollocks, go and try it for yourself. Meet with a friend who is always down (we all have ‘em) before going out, and meet with a friend who is irritatingly optimistic (we all have those too, dammit) before hitting town, and see what results come about. The narrative landscape that we operate in, as practitioners of magick, has a tremendous impact on the Result, and that landscape is defined by which words we allow to be spoken. Words have Power.
Finally then, my confession. I have laboured under the awful misapprehension that certain aspects of my life cannot be changed, because I do not believe in them, and that I didn’t believe in them because I was not being given any proof that things could improve. I had failed, however, to realise I was being trapped by this fallacy, which this Blog’s own Nikki Wyrd pointed out to me. Magick is all about belief first and result later, and I had bought into this myth that I couldn’t believe in a positive outcome; I had begun to sour my own narrative. I had started to become that pessimistic person whenever the subject had come up, and I was no longer the optimistic, anything-can-get-better guy I used to be, and I was no longer the person wielding my Will to improve my circumstances – which is why we all do magick, right?
I’m happy to report that things are looking significantly up, and for all that I’ve achieved in the last couple of years, the next year is going to be even better. And when I’ve proven myself right, I’m going to come back here, and thank Gordon and Nikki. Likely with a house party in my new awesome abode! More on that in a later post – you’d all better believe it!
While the standard Thelemic caveat of “in accordance with Will” lest “direful judgements” applies, of course, remember that you can edit your own narrative whenever and however you want. This is your story, your incarnation on this rock, and you are the person in charge of the narrative. I look forward to hearing how your next adventure ends.