Is magic real? What is the nature of reality? Do we have free-will? Is there a God? What do you believe?
Everyone has beliefs. Even those who claim that they “believe in nothing” are expressing a belief. Beliefs shape and define your personality and colour your experience of life and reality. What you believe about life, reality, and the nature of magic shapes and limits your ability to create change in your life.
Your beliefs are often unconscious, and you are not aware of many of the critical beliefs that strongly affect your life. You can become aware of them in various ways, for example by watching recurring thoughts that run through your mind. You may become aware of them when you argue with other people on topics such as religion, politics, and moral issues. If you feel that you are ‘right’ and other people are ‘wrong’ then you are expressing a belief that you hold about the rights and wrongs of an issue.
This course is shaped and limited by my beliefs. The various lessons are all reflections of my beliefs about magic and what is necessary to learn and effectively practice magic. The beliefs may work for me, making them personally useful. However, they are should not automatically be considered to be truths. They may reflect aspects of the truth, and of my personal reality, based on my personal experiences. They may contradict your beliefs, causing a conflict – do you believe what I have to say, or do you continue to believe what you hold to be true? Conflicts like this are essential for your magical development, and can lead you to realise that you can make a choice about what to believe. I may be wrong about various things, or I may be only partially correct. It is for you to explore various beliefs and discover, for yourself, what works for you.
The first exercise of this course an exploration of some of the beliefs that you hold relating to magic and the nature of reality. It is beyond the scope of this course to explore your broader beliefs in any great depth, but it is worthwhile taking the time to look deeper into the various beliefs you hold, how you developed the belief, and how they affect your life.
Exercise – Beliefs
I recommend that you explore the various concepts on separate days. Don’t be in a hurry to complete this work, as it is essential that you explore each concept deeply and not look at things only superficially.
Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for the duration of the exercise. Read through the instructions several times before performing the exercise.
Concept to explore: magic
- Sit comfortably and close your eyes
- Take a few deep breaths and allow your body to relax
- Allow your mind to focus on the concept of magic.
- What immediately comes to mind?
- What feelings and emotions are present while you think about the concept of magic?
- What experiences do you recall relating to this concept and the beliefs you hold?
- Where did you learn about these beliefs?
- Who are the people who have influenced the development of these beliefs?
- What things do you believe to be ‘true’ regarding magic?
- What things do you believe to be ‘false’ regarding magic?
- Allow your mind to focus on various physical sensations relating to magic. What tastes, sounds, smells, physical sensations, and images do you relate to this concept?
- What do these beliefs and thoughts tell you about yourself?
- When you are ready, open your eyes, and write in your journal about your beliefs and thoughts relating to this concept.
- Close your eyes again.
- Take some time to think about the concepts again, and see if anything else comes to mind.
- Allow a single image to form in your mind that summarizes your current understanding of magic. See it vividly in your mind’s eye.
- Open your eyes and draw the image you saw relating to this concept.
- Write any final thoughts into your journal.
Repeat this exercise for the following concepts: the nature of reality, fate/destiny, God
Last modified: 12 June 2010