It's interesting, sometimes, how questions can answer themselves in unexpected ways.
My mind had recently come to settle consciously to wondering about something I had been annoyed by, but not given much thought to, before today. Having finally wondered at it consciously, I once more went back to not thinking about it.
Normally, that would have been that. But this same day, I had read a bit of "Quantum Psychology," it gave me a fresh insight into Buddhism, which drove me to write an LJ entry about it to be published when I next get online, which required a quote from the book, and the book being out must have sparked something in me, because I stopped listening to Harry Potter 5 on audiobook, and began to read "Cosmic Trigger 1" by Robert Anton Wilson (same author who wrote "Quantum Psychology."
Over the next few hours, Wilson's skeptical but experimental Discordian lifestyle, full of weirdness and synchronicities as he scientifically went about experimenting with altered states of consciousness and purposeful explorations of alien reality tunnels, everything about the tone and content of the book seemed to stimulate the answer.
The question, incidentally, was "Why is it that when I do magick for other people, I get spectacular results not just for them but also for me, but when I try to do anything for myself, nothing happens?"
Sitting on the toilet, taking a crap, the answer came to me. It was so absurdly simple, I can't believe I didn't get it sooner: because when I've done things for other people, the doing of it for someone else was merely the excuse to get me started. An excuse to cut loose, lose myself in the process, and just PLAY at it.
Suddenly, other support for this knowledge came flooding in. The two most powerful mages in our collective are 1. Pi: a nonhuman shapeshifter, and 2. Molly Elizabeth: a child. And my most powerful magick involves extremely potent visualization, which is just a code-word for IMAGINATION. My most powerful magick happens when I just lose myself in playing with magick, lose myself in the sheer child-like delight of imagery and visualization and IMAGINATION. I forget mundane reality completely, the parts of my mind that ground me in the mundane shut down, and I jump whole-heartedly into the act of raising power, of feeling the power, and of BECOMING the power.
Whereas, in the failed magick workings, my skeptical mind and other magickal roadblock parts of my mind were still active. I was so intent on results that I forgot you have to forget about results, stop caring about results, lose all doubt, and simply KNOW that the power is there, is real, and works. It's very important, that; magick works best when you temporarily shut off all doubt and skepticism, and then you have to both concentrate on the goal AND not worry or care whether it works or not. (Of course, if you succeed at shutting down your doubt, it becomes easy to do. Asburdly easy, in fact.)
I can't believe I forgot this. I've known for years that the key to my particular brand of magick is my astonishingly powerful imagination, an imagination that can model complex systems easily and realistically1 and keep them there, visualizing them with such power that not only do they have colors and bright lights, but also, if they weren't translucent I could swear they were real. (I have actually, once or twice, made that recognizable "holy shit" stumble/stop to avoid running headlong into something I was visualizing and had forgotten about, before noticing the translucence and realizing it was just imaginary. But that very rarely happens.)
Then something else came to mind, after the first realization was made. I thought back to the early days of working with Shao'Kehn, and the many strange things that happened in them. I thought about how I could always count on spells for getting a job working, though working in unexpected ways that gave me a powerful sense of Shao'Kehn having fun with me. (In a "be careful what you wish for" sense.) I remembered, also, experiences like the one where, for something like 20 minutes at a stretch, the world seemed randomly to shift, and suddenly all the little noises of the city that I usually either tune out or label "noise" became this hauntingly beautiful symphony, and the whole world was an orchestra.
I remembered these things, and connected the lack of this kind of thing over the years to the events in my life driving me deeper into depression, and the struggles to return to those old abilities. I realized that I'd been powerfully into Discordianism back then, and was playing around with other stuff as well. But the key word, again, was PLAYING. And I had been doing it often enough to keep in a pretty much constant state of receptiveness to the whims of intuition that were guiding me back then.
And so, I made a second realization: I need to do like Robert Anton Wilson did, kinda. Instead of constantly fretting over what to do in order to reconnect to my spirituality, I needed to just play with it again. Lose myself in the play, choosing to shut my doubt down, stop taking everything so seriously, and just play. I need to choose, specifically, the type of play that compliments reality rather than obscuring it.
(I also remembered that back in the early Shao'Kehn days, I had fewer headaches and neckaches, and had more energy. I could do more back then. Sure, part of it may be old age, but I think most of it is the depression. And I think I can counter it by using directed playfulness.)
I did it once. I think I can do it again. But managing to do it without worrying about the results might be the hard part.
1 = Such as a small stream flowing over a small waterfall into a pool, and seeing all the currents, eddies, ripples, and other water behavior of such an occurrance. This sort of thing being a leftover from the days when I used to use my imagination to escape reality. Because of the translucence, I always knew I was rejecting reality and getting lost in make-believe, though, no matter how realistic the images otherwise were.