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  • #139814
    Stryse
    Participant

    A piece I am working on…

    Before we can begin discussing the relationship of ‘magic’ and the ‘Force’ we must first understand what ‘magic’ ultimately boils down too.

    Magic is, simply, the art and science of change.  All acts of change are inherently magical acts.  We are, of course, not talking about stage magic, but the kind of magic most often spelled as magick.  The ‘K’ was popularized by Aleister Crowley and has since become the defacto standard in the modern pagan community.  However, if one is so inclined, it would be best to meditate upon the numerological differences between the various spellings to gleam a greater understanding of each.  For our purposes here, any spelling will do.

    Magic is change.  It really isn’t any more complex than that.  (I  know, you were probably expecting something a bit more elaborate, and I am sorry to disappoint you.)  A side effect of human existence is that any action we undertake creates change.  Thus everything we do, in life, is magical.    In that regard, magic is not particularly special.  (Again, I am sorry to disappoint you.)  The focus, however, is not on the mundane changes we create with every breath, but rather those that we effect upon the fabric of ‘reality’ itself.  These types of changes are conscious acts of will, intended to shape the very fabric of ‘reality’ toward a desired end.  As any Jedi would tell you, that fabric is “The Force!”

    Terms such as psychic (or psionic for the more sci-fi-friendly crowd) do not necessarily speak of anything different than terms such as magick or witchcraft.  As someone who has studied and trained in the Traditions of Ceremonial Magick and Witchcraft, which are generally regarded as distinctly different systems of magic (and by some, regarded as opposing angles on the practice of magic), I remain rather unconvinced that there is any real difference whatsoever.  There are different techniques one can use to wield the Force, but wield it is all that you ultimately do.

    The terms we use to differentiate have more to do with the focus and application of the art than it does the fundamental nature of the art.    Traditionally there are two major branches, or schools, of magic:  High Magic and Low Magic.    ‘High Magic’ simply refers to any work on the ‘spirit’ side of reality.  ‘Low Magic’ instead refers to any work on the ‘physical’ or ‘mundane’ side of reality.    That’s really it.  Nothing more fancy need be added, but those who practice magic are, by definition, artists and artists often express eccentricities.

    While metaphysics is defined as the study of reality itself, magic is the practical application of the knowledge acquired in that study.  It is from studying that which was mysterious that anything scientific ever came to be.  Such has certain knowledge ascended higher up the Pyramid of Truth.  For a Jedi, the underlying ‘thing’ of reality is the Force, and so any study is of the Force.  Thus is magic the practical application of that knowledge in the Jedi’s use of the Force.

    Thus also is the term Jedi, another name of Magi.  It is said, in the history of the fictional Jedi Order, that before there was an order, before there was a republic, or much in the way of interstellar travel for that matter, that there were those few upon all the worlds with sapient races that had felt this ‘thing’ and learned some of ‘its’ secrets.  This they taught to new generations until finally the day came when Hyperspace travel came to be.  The ‘wizards and shamans and mystics’ of various worlds could gather together, for the first time, and learn from one another.  It is from this congregation that the term ‘Force’ was adopted, and from there, the first Jedi Order.    Perhaps they settled on that moniker because they all came from a variety of spiritual and/or scientific traditions and wanted to find a generic enough term that wouldn’t conflict with individual interpretations of just what that ‘Force’ really was.  (God, energy-field, resonant-consciousness-matrix, etc.)

    Here on Planet Earth, we’re undergoing a similar situation.  We’re isolated from any other civilizations that live on other planets, but we are a very diverse species all by lonesome selves.  Persecution by various Institutions acting in the name of their God has isolated and driven underground those humans who were born with a natural gift that let them feel and study this ‘Force.’  Much of what the Ancients knew about this ‘Force’ is lost to the ages.  However, pieces of it have survived, in some cases as unbroken traditions, to the twenty-first century.  Since they all evolved in isolation, when the interweb came along and made it a small, small world, suddenly these disparate groups could congregate and learn from one another in relative anonymity.  They are still called by the names of ‘wizards and mystics and sorcerers and witches.’  Yet as the twentieth century drew to a close, a new breed found inspiration and took up the mantle of Jedi. 

    It has been difficult for this latest entry to the roster, as those that came before them survive upon a foundation of secrecy.  The word Occult means nothing more than hidden (as in, to occlude something).  It is occult lore that contains much of what humanity already knows about this ‘Force.’  Some of that occult knowledge is hidden no longer, but can be readily found in the new age section of your favorite bookstore.  Unfortunately, the secrecy is still imbedded within it.  You will find clues, but not complete answers to the mysteries you seek to know.  Fortunately, there are those who have strayed from their old paths, to instead walk the Jedi’s path.  They bring with them some of this still-occluded knowledge. 

    That which distinguishes the various types of magi is the rituals they use to access ‘The Force.’    That is all a ritual is:  the means by which someone accesses the ‘Force’ and uses it to their own ends.  It is the inherent gift of the human species (though not a gift unique unto us) that we have the power of Change.  Creation and Destruction are beyond us, but Change we can pull off, sometimes with astonishing ease.    Change, however, is the fundamental process of all existence.  Thus magic is the fundamental process of all existence.  As Jedi might tell you:  all existence flows from, and returns to, the ‘Force.’  Time, incidentally, is merely the means by which we are equipped to observe change, as it is happening. 

    Earlier I mentioned the distinctions between High and Low magic.  In this I spoke of the dual sides of reality.  That which is the ‘spirit’ and that which is the ‘physical.’    Those words are accurate enough, but at the heart of them, and of our own corporeal existence, there is that which is seen and that which is unseen.  That which is material, and that which is not.  That which is apparent, and that which simply is.  These ‘sides’ of reality are thought to be separated by a veil, one that is believed to vary in thickness (and effectiveness) along the cycles of our planet; in particular, the cycle of our planet’s seasons. 

    Although the validity of this is subjectively valid enough, we must remember where most of our occult lore comes from.  What remains often does not come from the centers of ancient civilizations, but from the outlying communities where the shadow of persecution was not as opaque.  The pagans (in the pre-Christian usage) as it were.  The peoples of these communities were, by necessity, more agrarian, and so most of their systems and techniques are tied to the cycles of agriculture that largely dictated their day-to-day lives.  It is very important, however, to remain aware that regardless of whether they practiced their particular form of magic in some inner sanctum of a city or out in the wilderness upon the fringe of society, that the people who practiced it were very fluent in the language of symbols.  To unlock any of their secrets, a Jedi must become equally as fluent in this long-forgotten language.  It is the language of our subconscious minds, the means by which we access the ‘Force’ at all.  To master this language is to hold the very keys to the universe, and yourself within it.

    Those who practice High Magic are most often practicing it for the purposes of self development and ongoing spiritual enlightenment.  The practices of the Ceremonial Magicians are often defined as being exclusively in the realm of High Magic, with the focus being again on self-development.  Their practices can be easily adapted to a Jedi’s training.  Be not daunted by the use of Enochian and Hebrew constructs.  The God of the Abrahamic traditions is a much humanized rendition of what the Ancients understood it to be.  The nature as the Ancients knew it is still personified, but what is behind that personification is no different than the Jedi’s Force.  Incidentally, the Force is also fundamentally the same as the underlying concept behind the Goddess that is at the center of most traditions of witchcraft.  Use the constructs as given, if you like, or adapt them into your own framework.  The ‘names of God’ used in rites such as the Middle Pillar Ritual are also ‘names of the Force,’ or at least aspects of it.  The Kabala is also heavily featured in Ceremonial Magic, due to its ties with the Abrahamic traditions.

    Visualization is a technique that is employed by virtually all magic traditions.  It is also a tool employed by Jedi.  This may also come as a disappointment,  as it’s not as mystical as you might have wanted, but your imagination plays a very important role in the practice of magic and ultimately in your wielding of the ‘Force.’  It is the engine by which we bridge both ‘sides’ of ‘reality.’  The trick, and you can only master it through practice, is in loosening your conscious grip over your imagination and letting your subconscious, instead, take hold.    Only then can your imagination stop being flights of fancy and begin to bring you real gnosis.

    #155080
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    Thanks for sharing this stryse.  It was a nice read.  I never knew about the duality between high and low magic (or if I did I had forgotten about it).  I will definitely keep all this material in mind, and I like the analogy of the development of the Jedi order between the fiction and real life. 

    Also I also like that very last paragraph, and how you started to explain the difference between subconscious and imagination.  I’m not sure which I draw on.  I’m sure its more imagination.  But then those days where the imagination seems stronger, or I have a better Force connection…is that my subconscious? How do we better switch between the two?

    Thanks for sharing this again
    Phoenix

    #155087
    Stryse
    Participant
    Quote:
    Thanks for sharing this stryse.  It was a nice read.  I never knew about the duality between high and low magic (or if I did I had forgotten about it).  I will definitely keep all this material in mind, and I like the analogy of the development of the Jedi order between the fiction and real life. 

    Also I also like that very last paragraph, and how you started to explain the difference between subconscious and imagination.  I’m not sure which I draw on.  I’m sure its more imagination.  But then those days where the imagination seems stronger, or I have a better Force connection…is that my subconscious? How do we better switch between the two?

    Thanks for sharing this again
    Phoenix

    Ha ha.  Apparently I already have your take.  LOL.    The subsconscious and the imagination can be so intertwined as it is…  its hard to say which is taking a the lead in those situations.  I’d be surprised if you weren’t drawing upon both.   

    I’ve personally found guided meditations to be particularly helpful, as all I have to do is sit down and maintain a clear mind, and let someone else guide the images playing in my head.    Good ones are sufficiently ambiguous that your subconscious has to fill in the blanks.  “You enter a clearing.  What do you see in the clearing?”  vs  “You enter a clearing, and in the middle of it is a dragon.”    If I saw a dragon in the first instance, i’d be more inclined to accept it as a ‘real’ dragon visitation than if I encountered it via the second instance, as that was planted there by someone. 

    So, I guess, there isn’t really a good answer to your question, because its all rather individualized.  What you get from these not-so-imaginary-imaginings is what we call Gnosis.  Specifically the personal gnosis.  There is also peer-collaborated gnosis which is where you and I independently reach the same conclusion about something..  (Dragons like offerings of cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip ones in particular) but neither of us have anything concrete to point to and validate our notions against.    In the end, you’re the one that would know best what is just your imagination and what actually rings true to you.    (How’s that for terribly unhelpful?)

    #155088
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    so…. so….

    so… all those damsels taken by dragons were taken because….

    they taste like cookies!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?          :ponder

    #155089
    Kol Drake
    Moderator

    sorry… went out for a cookie…  mmmmmm cookies.

    *****

    Stryse and I are talking about the same thing… opening up your senses and practicing to better connect with the energies around and ‘in’ us.  Most of the WWTF posts address it in a more ‘learning to connection consciously’ rather then letting the subconscious handle most of the details.  Not that there is anything wrong with that method but, I believe, if one is to really learn ‘how things work’ one should go the extra distance and investigate the how and why and what of it rather then letting sub-systems handle it all.

    Plus, once you HAVE learned how the ‘basics’ work, you can go deeper and discover new areas to activate and work with to improve other skills — be they telepathy, rapid healing (of self and others), remote viewing, etc. 

    Even so, what Stryse is illustrating through the Jedi Mystic path is not so different from what I present.  We all are working to find ‘common language’ to explain the path and discoveries along the way in terms we can all wrap our brains around comfortably.

    #155090
    Stryse
    Participant
    Quote:
    sorry… went out for a cookie…  mmmmmm cookies.

    *****

    Stryse and I are talking about the same thing… opening up your senses and practicing to better connect with the energies around and ‘in’ us.  Most of the WWTF posts address it in a more ‘learning to connection consciously’ rather then letting the subconscious handle most of the details.  Not that there is anything wrong with that method but, I believe, if one is to really learn ‘how things work’ one should go the extra distance and investigate the how and why and what of it rather then letting sub-systems handle it all.

    Plus, once you HAVE learned how the ‘basics’ work, you can go deeper and discover new areas to activate and work with to improve other skills — be they telepathy, rapid healing (of self and others), remote viewing, etc.   

    Even so, what Stryse is illustrating through the Jedi Mystic path is not so different from what I present.  We all are working to find ‘common language’ to explain the path and discoveries along the way in terms we can all wrap our brains around comfortably.

    Yes!  and to clairfy… i’m not advocating that you let your subconscious have total control of everything… but rather.. when using the engine of your imagination (visualizing), try to avoid conscious fabrication of the images.  let your subconscious communicate to you without conscious-interference.    At least, when you’re just ‘looking.’  Obviously if you’re about to do some healing on someone, you kind of need to consciously control the visualization to direct the Force where it needs directing.    However, if you’re off meditating on a question… let your subconscious mind faciliate the answers without any interference from the conscious, and intellectual, mind.  So yes… that whole section clearly needs a bit more work.  :) 

    Kol’s WWTF series is very on-track about training yourself to have conscious control over your force-enabled-talents.  (And he’s doing a fabulous job of stripping it of all the unnecessary mumbo-jumbo that magicians have been piling on top of their techniques… often with no regard as to why they’re doing it.)  Its also why ritual (with or without tools) is so involved in most of what you’ll find on the subject of magic.  The ritual itself isn’t important.  What’s important is that you’re training your subconsious to do exactly what you want it to do, when you want it to do it.  (Ritual, mind you, need not be any more convoluted than simply.. ‘when i meditate, I always start by going to a garden in my mind’ kind of thing… ) 

    What you don’t want to have happening is when the Force starts warlocking through you.  (Meaning, things happen without you consciously doing something to bring them about.)  I should think the dangers of letting it run on autopilot would be fairly self evident.  So while that isn’t necessary Kol’s intention with training you to be conscious about your connection to the Force.. its a very welcome side-effect of doing so.  You need to be very consciously aware of ‘how things work’ so that you can properly program your subconsious mind to do it correctly.

    Take breathing.  Look at a baby and how it breaths, and compare that to just about every adult you encounter.  Notice anything different?  Babies don’t think about how to breath, they just breath and their natural breath is the right breath.. fully oxgenating their little bodies.. their bellies fill out.    Adults, from a variety of variables, become conditioned to breath differently… usually more shallowly.    Yet, we can apply conscious control over it and reprogram that part of our subconscious that handles autonomous breathing, so that our breaths are complete, like when we were babies.  Before we know it, we’re not having to consciously monitor or breathing habits anymore, as the subconscious’ new programming has taken over.

    (ah the joys of the cylon-brain)

    Which will of course be a good segway into the ‘Three Selves’

    Quickly though… the subconscious mind corresponds to your child-self… so called because it behaves much like a child might…  you want something done, and it does it without really thinking it through (implications, consequences).  This can be disasterious if you happen to be having a momentary slippage in concentration and let, say, a stray thought of frustration turn into a well placed bolt of Force Lightning  (okay, so generally things aren’t nearly so dramatic.)    So… the reason we insist that our padawans practice practice practice (and practice) is not to drive them insane but rather to ensure their subconscious mind is well programed so that ‘magic’ doesn’t happen unless the Jedi consciously wills it so.

    In my own magical training… ritual was all-important in the early years.. religiously adhereing to the formula handed down to me by my mentors…  this teaches you all sorts of things… and with time I learned what was really necessary (not much as it turns out) and what I could skip.  My early chakra/aura cleansing excercises would take me maybe a half hour to an hour to fully do… now I can pretty much do it without much thought in a manner of a minute or two.    This isn’t to say you don’t still sometimes go the longer, drawn-out route… for the more concentration you put into something, the better your results… but I don’t need to draw a circle with an athame anymore to create a potent perimeter ward.      (there are, of coure, reasons why i would still want too… but it has little to do with ‘you need one to get a circle cast’ than it does ‘these are the pros to using an object to augment your ward’)  Now, with me, things are much more impromptu with little regard for structured ritual.  (And most that I find myself part of now are revealing my own Type Z personality tendancies…)

    Know this, if nothing else:   

    You only need four things to effectively weild the Force:  Trance, Intimacy, Imperative, and something we mystics like to call Silence.

    With those four things you will DO and without them you will DO NOT.  :yoda

    #155091
    Stryse
    Participant
    Quote:
    so…. so….

    so… all those damsels taken by dragons were taken because….

    they taste like cookies!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?          :ponder

    Well… somebody has to bake them… and when abduction-by-dragon was, shall we say, a more common-place event… it was really really hard to find a male that had the first clue about how to bake anything… let alone cookies.

    Far be it from me, though, to even wager a guess as to the motivations of dragons.   

    #155105
    Jedi_Phoenix
    Moderator

    Thanks for sharing all this material Stryse and Kol.  To be honest, I have now officially reached that overload absorption stage, so I’ll probably spend a few days reading, and re-reading, and re-reading what you guys are posting to make sure I get it. 

    I like that summary of the points at the end (always a fan of summaries).  I’ll try to remember those four key points as I continue to practice with the energy.  I never realized how much of my practice actually parallels what you are sharing as far as rituals and magic is concerned.  I guess at some level, anything that is stripped down can be similar to something else, but its nice to see the comparison.  Hopefully if I can better grasp this material, I can wield the Force with more discipline and control..and a little more understanding!

    Phoenix

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