Fantasy, as a temporary escape from your everyday world, gives you emotional release–a mental or emotional break from your day. As entertainment, role playing can allow you to release stress and possibly elevate your mood. As a magician, I tend to take the more practical route to collecting information and performing ritual, magickal and psychic techniques.
Magick is meant to produce results–some sort of change on the mental, emotional and/or physical levels. When people say that magick AFFECTS spiritual levels or produces spiritual effects, that might be more of an error in interpretation and understanding. The spiritual level cannot be affected–however, our consciousness can be affected to be aware of the spiritual level. According to one model of reality, we exist on the spiritual level as complete beings, at one with the Divine. At this level, we experience Oneness, wholeness. The spiritual level cannot be affected, because it is the state of Completeness.
To have a human experience, we take on mental identification with limitation and boundaries. According to this theory, we are actually “hiding” things from ourselves in our awareness of them. We play “hide and seek” with the universe. We lock in these human concepts and therefore experience the emotional level, creating dependence on mental justification to allow ourselves to feel particular emotions/feelings at particular times, according to particular triggers. Because of our emotional and mental experience, we project those specific focuses as the physical world as our personal likes, dislikes, fears and hopes.
From the perspective of the Spiritual level, pure Spiritual consciousness is distracted by the activities and events of the mental, emotional and physical dimensions. The more that one identifies with any one level, the more that his/her actions are inspired by that level. While I am not advocating ignoring the practical aspects of human life, one should keep in mind that the more one is focused on spiritual peacefulness WHILE they perform the actions of daily life (chopping wood and carrying water while focusing on spiritual peace–rather than giving importance to gossip, envy or pettiness), the easier human life is, as well.
This is what I keep coming back to–a spiritual way of living my human life. The energy in which my awareness sits, while performing my daily activities. What I need now is a little different from what I used to need back when I first started studying.
I am more discerning with the techniques that I invest my time into, nowadays. When any of us say that we want Wisdom or Knowledge, it might be more productive to define what it is that we really want….or want to accomplish. With all due respect for everyone’s process or reasoning as they navigate their course–it seems that most of us have a very vague idea of what Knowledge or Wisdom is, so consequently most of our spiritual pursuits are also very unfocused and do not make life better in any concrete sort of way.
One of the problems with what most people pass off under the umbrella term of Spirituality is that many of the techniques, exercises and rituals that people practice are mainly exercises in daydreaming, with no real or lasting effects on any other level. Given, there is no exact, universally-agreed upon definition for Spirituality. I can only share my interpretation, for whatever it’s worth.
My understanding is that Spiritual being can be characterized by what we consider as the “higher” essences of Love, Peace, Joy and Oneness. When we rest in those energies, we are in our Spiritual state. Anything which is not those energies is not spiritual…simply energies and concepts on another level.
What distracts us from the Spiritual level are those concepts on the mental and emotional levels. When we explore the deeper meanings of spirituality and magick, what we end up doing on the emotional level is calming and deactivating those triggers which normally keep us in negative states–any feelings/emotions which do not represent those energies of Peace and Love are not spiritually-oriented. We have logical reasoning and justification about why we might experience anger, sadness or disappointment….and according to that logic that we’ve learned as humans…and by the fact that they are socially acceptable responses/reactions, we find it normal to experience and express negative emotions.
However, one aspect that we need to do as spiritually-oriented beings is to question–How productive and practical is it to keep feeling negative emotions? What are the effects of allowing ourselves to continue to experience negative emotions? Are there any real benefits to allowing ourselves to feel negative emotions? What are the very real-world consequences of staying in negative feelings? Do these negative feelings move you in any way towards whichever goals you have in mind?
On the mental level, it would serve us to think in terms of healing our life situations. By this, I mean that instead of just resigning ourselves to keeping our life scenarios as they are, it might reflect the wholeness of spirit to constantly expand our perspective of what we can possibly do to make each scenario better and more reflective of the blessings of our spiritual nature.
By giving more attention to the spiritually-oriented aspects of the mental and emotional level, physical world manifestations will tend to shift towards more positive versions and variations. What we consider positive manifestations in life are those that reflect the abundance and blessings of Spirit–what tends to remind us of Love, Peace and Joy. These positive manifestations are constant reminders of and brought into manifestation through positive emotions and feelings. These positive physical manifestations reflect positively-oriented thoughts. In short, we can either focus on the positive essences of Spirit or use the reflections of those positive energies as they appear in the mental, emotional or physical plane.
Keeping this in mind, I tend to gauge the validity of magickal teachings as they affect my focus back into the spiritual level. Personally, I tend to not be interested in very much mythology (–or as some might consider it, history–) or alleged events which happen on other planes. This is simply because I do not find a study of mythology as personally useful as other techniques. For me, keeping track of a series of events as purely mental images (in my memory) might not be as inspiring as remembering the sensations of a guided meditation, that I could fully relate to.
When we first begin to consciously explore the theories and practices of magick, we often have goals that we are aware of AND those underlying or hidden goals that we might be too embarrassed to admit out loud. These hidden goals still drive us, even if we do not express them. As we come along in our pathways, it might be useful to discern which practices are actually helpful or useful.
Simply be honest with yourself, even if you are embarrassed to share your thoughts and feelings with anyone else. If you really want to be aware of your nature as a spiritual being, weigh out how much of your magickal activities bring your focus back to the spiritual essences of Love, Peace and Joy. Be aware of what your magickal activities do to you on the mental and emotional levels. If you simply want to manifest physical objects or affect life scenarios, be honest about that–but don’t kid yourself that earth magick is as direct and equivalent to a more spiritual focus.
Magick is practical, in the general sense. It is supposed to produce effects on some level. There is nothing wrong with performing a spell or ritual for purely inspirational purposes or for the beauty of the experience, but be aware when your intentions to manifest do not make any changes in the intended area after your performance.