In occult circles there is an interesting discussion going on, fueled by the need of scientific proof for esoteric assumptions and claims about historical legacy. First of all I want to state that I think scientific evidence for historical claims is very important.
At the same time I want to emphasize to protect a crucial aspect of the spiritual traditions: the power of imagination. Loosing that power would mean: throwing away the baby with the bathwater! The world i-magi-nation contains the word ‚magic‘. The definition of Magic is „The art and science to create changes in consciousness“, causing changes in your life. That very art is endangered when the scientific movement within the occult community would tip the balance at the cost of the power of imagination!
The power of imagination is underestimated in mainstream society. In medicine, doctors talk derogatory about the ‚placebo effect‘. Some of the illnesses that people suffer from, are located ‚between the ears‘. Meaning: you have a psychological problem rather than a physical one. Expressions like ‚this only exists in your imagination‘, or ‚he has an overactive imagination‘ are no compliments.
At the other hand there are complete industries, whose only business it is to charm you by influencing you, using imagination. First of all, think of all the arts: here the use of the imagination is purest. In its most positive form, arts use the power of the metaphor to create awareness about society and enchant by beauty. Soon it becomes dubious, and degrades in shades of grey.
For example in the fashion industry: from the genuine wish to create beauty the industries degrades into cosmetic operations on healthy people, and is co-responsible in causing eating disorders in insecure adolescents.
Think of companies who constantly try to influence you to buy their products and even pay scientists for a favorable outcome of scientific research.
Think of politicians who try to degrade their opponents by associating them with ’nazis‘ or other fearful archetypes. All these industries use the power of imagination to enchant you, so that you make choices that are beneficial for them. They do that by creating mindscapes.
A mindscape is a landscape in the mind. By a mindscape you define who you are, what you believe in, what motivates you and what stimulates you to action. Propaganda and marketing companies do that by videos consisting of powerful images, combined with melodies and spells. They abuse the powerful techniques that belong to religion, shamanism and magic. We are less and less protected by ‚beliefs‘ embedded in the spiritual traditions, that – with all their failures – at least give us a structure of human values, personal development and stewardship over the planet.
Mindscapes in the imagination can also be are extremely important psychological and magical constructs, to observe the unfolding events around us. Creating powerful mindscapes of our own, makes us more independent and protects us against the ongoing propaganda surrounding us.
For this reason: I consider it to be the job of modern magicians, to raise awareness in the audience, for this side of a reality that we are living in, or captured in. And when necessary: alter that reality and choose a better one!
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Ina Custers van Bergen
For Enchanting Self-development