Thursday, March 24, 2011

Am I A Horrible Magician?

Frater Robert spoke about equations and magickal states. It truly inspired me because my focus has not been too great, as of late. The Path has been throwing distractions at me so fast that I have been forgetting who I am. I need to focus internally, use my own resources/abilities and forget about what "she said" or "he said". The answer is within myself and I know it is there.

I love equations. I do. I had to learn to love them, understand them and work with them. In a world of grey, equations have given me a comfort and peace. I can summarize and solve all of the known issues with a stubby pencil on the back of a ketchup stained napkin.

Then, I got older and I got wiser and I found that all answers dont always boil down to "42".What I found after many all-nighters and countless failed experiments is that one can manipulate the variable and force the answer to be "42" whenever one desires. Personally, I used to have a creed that stated, "Ask for 150% of what you want and settle for 100". Unfortunately, in the real world what happens is that one winds up with 100% of something that really doesn't work. I gave up that creed long ago.

When it comes to my magickal experiences, I always try to look for the metaphor. Fortunately, because of my professional background, I am able to draw upon experiences and resources, that an ordinary person could not. I have always been grateful for that.

So, when Frater Robert started to try to put an equation to measure a magician's skill, I was so there. I began to wonder if I had to come up with an equation for magickal skill, how would I do it. Obviously, it had to have an association to space and time, therefore the equation would require at least 4 variables? It follows, obviously, we are dealing more than just temporal and spatial relationship, so therefore the equation must include other variables such as temperature and other mechanical properties. Then, it follows, obviously, we need to include the work and the internal/external energy components in the equation that includes the temporal/spatial relationships, temperature and other mechanical properties. Then again, it follows, obviously, we need to include the work, the internal/external energy components, temporal/spatial relationships, temperature/mechanical properties AND include the control volume analysis.

"EUREKA!" It must be the Conservation of Energy Equation!!!!

Pulled out my door stopper of a reference manual, "thunk", started to swish thru the the 1000+ pages and was going to put the entire monstrosity of the equation here in my blog. I was also prepared to feverishly write a 100+ page blog post doctorate-thesis dissertation of the Metaphysical Metaphors within the Conservation of Energy Equation.

I began to remember, what it was like to feel tears stream down my cheek, on to spreadsheets and prototype models til 3AM. Praying desperately to God and the Universe that I will be okay despite severe emotional abuse, a failing marriage and a toddler still in diapers with a father inflicted with alcoholism/substance addiction. I could make the numbers in the spreadsheet work and I could make the prototype that would defy all laws of physics....but my own personal life, I was not very confident I could get it to work at all.

After some introspection, I overcame the distractions , centered myself and realized this discussion was not about the Conservation of Energy equation, or the number 42 or forcing the form/result of the answer or even about a sucky personal life. This discussion was about the magick. How good of a magician am I? What do I have?

I have persistence and determination. In my heart, these qualities are good enough.


WitchDoctorJoe said...

Awesome post, it takes courage to write this well. Not everything fits into a nice neat equation, the most potent and profound elements of magic are not quantifiable, nor should they be, that's what makes them magical.

Scott Stenwick said...

Answer: No, you're not a horrible magician by any measure. Actually, I find that the scientific approach that you take to the work is what's missing from that of a lot of practitioners. It is true that the most profound aspects of what we do can't be quantified, in much the same way that you can't really explain Gnosis to somebody who's never experienced it, but at the same time there are signposts along the way that can give us some insight into our own personal progress.

Over at Robert's place I just proposed that he try revising his formula to:

(Wisdom/Perspective) * ((Effort + Immersion + Knowledge)/3) = State of Magical Being

With the averaging estimation errors don't propagate as much, and I think the resulting curve still makes Wisdom and Perspective as prominent as he wants them to be. I'm still not sure that I agree with his take on some of those factors, but IMO this version makes the math work out better.

PhoenixAngel said...

Thanks Joe. After working with numbers so long, I realized that they are just a tool, like a wand of an athame, useful but not required. As for the courage, the scariest part of this post was facing myself... ((HUGS))

PhoenixAngel said...

@Ananael Qaa: Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes, I feel like the odd (wo)man out in the magickal blogospere and wonder if my perspective is hard to relate to. I definitely do NOT write like the other bloggers. I truly believe in the hermetic principle of "as above, so below..." so I try to use this concept to understand the path. If I can write about it, then I know I have the beginnings of understanding it. You honor me with your input. Thanks ((BOW))