“Did you get what you wanted out of that meeting?” my boss asks me.
“Did I get what I needed?” my inner voice echoes back.
“What did I learn from that experience?” my second thoughts ask. The thoughts that spy on what the rest of my conscious mind is doing, making sure in the heat of the moment no irreversible decisions are made or actions taken. “Having separated out the things I want from those I need, the next question is if I’ve grown and learned from what has gone on before.”
“Do you understand?” projects my unconscious mind. It’s a familiar question and feels like metaphorically being hit over the back of the head with a wet haddock. Not a frozen haddock, that’s reserved from when I’m being particularly slow in grasping what life-lesson is being taught.
Whether it’s following a magical, mystical, other path or no path in particular… stuff happens. Some good, some not so good.
Hopefully the you coming out of those experiences is a better person, although what “better” means is something you have to figure out for yourself. Also… sometimes it can take a long time to understand the lessons that are there to be leaned. The conscious mind can take decades coming to terms with the past; the unconscious mind doesn’t always see time in such a linear manner.
So what is the benefit of following a path of development focused on magic or mysticism over say mastery of martial arts or cookery? The simple answer (in my opinion) is that it provides you with a unique set of tools, techniques and most importantly way of viewing & interacting with the world.
An old man walking along the street is knocked over by a punk. Bystanders rush over and make sure the punk is ok. What’s wrong with the picture? Perspective. The punk deliberately knocked down the old man as there was no other option to stop him having a fatal collision with a moving vehicle. If you’re watching the old man fall down, would you also notice the speeding car?
It’s a rhetorical question based around a fictional example. But it hopefully highlights that as a witch, wizard, priest, initiate, golem builder, or whatever you are constantly developing a more nuanced magical view of the world that defines things in a context that others do not look at. It does not necessarily make you special, it makes you different.
What can make you special is how you choose to respond to any given situation. My wife has recently been teaching me in a loving but stern way about patience. When I get frustrated by what the kids are doing she gently prompts me by asking: “Who is the adult in this relationship?”
My challenge to you is to constantly view the world from many viewpoints, one of which is a magical or mystical viewpoint, and ask the question “What have I learned from this experience?” and “How do I as a (insert title) best respond in this situation?”