Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Some Thoughts On Paranoia

Based on something tonight, I felt I wanted to discuss this a bit.

In many cases, magick aids and abets paranoia. The magician having created a fully functional microcosm, and adjusted to trance - especially by its very nature oracular trance - will often find that significance and meaning are picked up by cues in his surrounding. These are often in relation to his or her own life, but the more adept (and note that the term is in lower case in this choice of words) can do the same for the world around them. The danger lies in applying significance to fears or desires, rather than coming possibilities. In other words: the shuffle of tarot cards reveals a set of symbols relating to patterns which surround one - which can be complex or simplistic - and can reveal things of which we are consciously unaware. Those particularly skilled, can glean this information without a set oracle. (Yes, I am implying that I can detect patterns of meaning from wandering down the street and letting my eyes drift over license plates until the "shock" of a coming or going occurance - be it microcosmic or macrocosmic occurs. In fact, I've done it with news reports to aptly predict future patterns a few times while quite stoned and scared my less magically inclined compatriots shitless.)

However: this form of trance, and communication with the oracle, becomes dangerous when unfulfilled desires or previously dwelling issues take hold and pervert the meaning. The burdgeoning magician easily becomes convinced s/he's special; and they are quite right. And wrong. By participating in this form of communication with the universe they are special. However they are hardly of significance on a grand scale in many cases. The crux of the problem comes in two forms early on:

1. Convinced that they are "special," they believe they enter communication with an entity and it feeds them lies. They then conclude that they are in some way macrocosmically important. This ideation often involves belief that one is an Avatar, the right hand of God, or something similar. They immediately seek to bring this message of their living embodiment of whatever to the wide world. The response of the world, normally bitchy and snarky, often hits them not unlike a large truck driving down the road at sixty miles an hour and breeds a martyr complex. (They become convinced that agents of a hostile universe to their message of love are everywhere.) The good news here is that they rarely get enough followers to make a religion and at best have a handful of people that listen to them.

2. Convinced that they are "special," they enter communication with some of their inner (unconscious) drives and desires, and similarly become convinced that they've achieved a pinnacle of experience before they have, in fact, reached the necessary point. This is the face of the Uber-Adept. The 18 year old Magister Templi. The would-be badass. The wanna-Blessed Be. The good news here is that few pack a punch.

Now, those are just two examples and the list is endless. The big thing to remember is that paranoia on its own isn't dangerous - in fact attempting to completely remove it from one's self can be even more so to you - but that when it's fueled by delusions of grandeur or fear it becomes something quite different. Magickal paranoia is typically really just a type of oracular trance which allows you to detect patterns within information structures and derive personal or otherwise meaning from. But if fear, a deep seated need to be something more on a grand scale (delusion), or hate fuels it then it becomes the sword that cuts into one and severs the actual meaning of data.

The basic mechanisms for destroying problems of these sorts are skepticism - in fact a personal skepticism that can occasionally borderline on cynicism and focused on the self - and grounding. The act of returning to the earth, like a tribal shaman gathering food for the village, is particularly important because if delusions get too out of hand they can truly destroy one's capacity to grow magically. On the other hand, since the above examples are quite common, they are occasionally simply stumbling blocks to step over. (Just hope people don't remember when you were an idiot or, better yet, remember when they were also idiots.)

Our fears personified by trance and technique can become demons which haunt us when these situations are reversed into the negative. Likewise paranoia becomes fuel for a repeating pattern in which the affirmation that "something is going on" even if the fact is that we are causing it all own our own.

The best curses are always self-induced. Who knows what we fear - about ourselves and the world around us - better? Not a single soul. That is the hidden power found in flashing the "Evil Eye" at a superstitious individual. Often the threat is more than enough for the sorcerer or witch to aid them in destroy themselves.

1 comment:

Rose Weaver said...

Just wanted to tell ya, this is an excellent essay. Yes, there are times when one can see the patterns for what they are and understand that "outside forces" may be at work. However, this seems to be rare and I've found that for the most part, fears, especially those which generate paranoia, come from one's own inner demons. Gain control of those and one will note the melting away of the paranoia and fear... big time.

And no, this comment has no relation to the Enochian posts. LOL