About Malcolm R. Campbell

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of "Sarabande," "The Sun Singer," "At Sea," "Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire," and "Conjure Woman's Cat."

Magic: The Rosicrucians

“In the end mysticism isn’t a belief. It is simply an art of knowing. The mystical experience transcends nature. Often the person will receive a feeling that far surpasses anything which could be conveyed by words. Furthermore, this insight, devoid of ego, is thoroughly comprehended as truthful.” – The Rosicrucian Order (AMORC)

Strictly speaking, mysticism isn’t magic any more than the self-improvement techniques taught by The Silva Method are considered magic. However, I am considering them in this series of blogs about magic because some of the skills/techniques/results of some mystics and some personal growth practitioners appear to be magic to those outside the teachings of either group.

Wikipedia graphic

The Rosicrucians are secular mystics with a strong emphasis on ritual who focus on hermetic teachings, alchemy, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the so-called greater and lesser mysteries, and the development of knowledge that is often referred to as western mysticism. The Silva Method was created by Rosicrucian Jose Silva and focuses more on the development of an individual’s latent mental abilities including intuition than on a direct connection with nature and/or the Creator (referred to generically by Rosicrucians as “the Cosmic”).

The Rosicrucians’ Rosy Cross, which predates the Christian use of the cross, refers to the unfolding consciousness (the rose) in physical matter, that is, the body, which is represented by the cross. Rosicrucian studies are a lifelong process of transformation. The information is presented in monthly monographs in a logical fashion and includes experiments students can use to develop the techniques in the lessons. Students/members who live near the group’s lodges in major cities will benefit from the fellowship as well as the rituals available there.

You can see from this that Rosicrucian teachings have a basis in long-time concepts. Wikipedia illustration.

I have been a Rosicrucian, as well as a Silva Method graduate, for almost a half a century. The teachings, in my view, complement each other. Typical students probably develop their psychic and healing abilities must faster through the Silva Method, while the Rosicrucian teachings provide, over time, a solid grounding in esoteric traditions and principles. Neither group has the high-profile approach and publicity associated with such books as The Secret or such approaches as the Law of Attraction or the newer approaches/terminologies such as “Twin Flames” and “Lightworkers.”

As always, I look for consensus and wish the newer approaches to magic, self-development, and mysticism would state how their beliefs and techniques compare and contrast to methods that have been around for years. My personal belief system–which is probably neither “bad” nor “good”–is that mysticism and magic are primarily for serving others and transforming oneself rather than for attracting power and wealth.

I’m including these ideas as an example of a “world view” that serves as the basis for what one accepts or does not accept when it comes to magic. One starts with a world view, I think, and then adds or subtracts other ideas and philosophies from it. When I read about something new, I tend to see how it meshes with what I have already found to be true for myself.  Personally, I like the idea of foundation beliefs. Mine are Silva and Rosicrucian, with strong influences from the Seth materials (written by Jane Roberts) and from Hawai’ian mysticism (Huna). I am comfortable with this. You may need or want something completely different.

That’s fine. There are numerous approaches to magic, mysticism, personal transformation, and self improvement. I like the idea that there are many paths and that each of us walks along those we like best.

Malcolm

As an author, I base the magic in my contemporary fantasies and magic realism novels on my understanding of actual systems of magic to make the stories as accurate and realistic as possible.

 

 

 

Magic: what should I do first?

“Alpha waves are one type of brain waves detected either by electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography(MEG) and predominantly originate from the occipital lobe during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes. Alpha waves are reduced with open eyes, drowsiness and sleep. Historically, they were thought to represent the activity of the visual cortex in an idle state. More recent papers have argued that they inhibit areas of the cortex not in use, or alternatively that they play an active role in network coordination and communication.[2] Occipital alpha waves during periods of eyes closed are the strongest EEG brain signals.” – Wikipedia

I have included a quotation here about alpha waves because they represent the level of relaxed brain activity used for intuition. As the Silva Method teaches, your intuition works best at the alpha level–as opposed to the beta level of our usual waking world functioning. I can’t reproduce their technique here other than to say that when you count down from ten to one (or something similar) and visualize yourself becoming more and more relaxed, you will tend to be producing alpha waves.

So, in many ways, what one does first is enter into a state of relaxation conducive to visualization and intuition. That’s a given. Many people have found that recorded guided visualizations help them reach an alpha level.

Assuming you can relax, take a step away from your worries and goals, and silence the ever-chattering voice inside your head, the first step is belief.

Some people see belief as a catch-22 trick foisted on the rest of us by those who write books about magic. The so-called “trick” is, if you don’t believe, the magic won’t work, though until you’ve seen evidence of it working, you have no basis for belief. I suggest approaching this issue in a spirit of play. Pretend you’re playing with the techniques rather than trying to prove anything one way or another the first time out. In time, you’ll begin to think, “hmm, this seems to be working.”

Some people, especially those whose focus is ancient ritual magic, say will power comes first. This is not altogether wrong, though I shy away from saying that because in today’s world, I think will power suggests a brute-force, logical approach. I’d rather use the term “intention.” For magic–however you define it–to work, your intention cannot be scattered with distracting thoughts about daily concerns. Your intention should also be highly focused, that is, on a specific result rather than a vague, open-ended result.

Those of us who believe in magic also believe that belief and intention play a large role in the reality we experience, and that includes the results that we see from our goals, hopes, and dreams. That is, your are already using intention and belief subconsciously, so why not use it “properly” for better results.

A generic approach to self improvement

“Properly” means not only using relaxation techniques and focusing your process, but avoiding second-guessing it later. A lot of people “undo” their best of intentions by thinking negative thoughts about them the rest of the day. Stop doing that.

Magic also works better when you can imagine the end result. All of us can see things in our mind’s eye. That’s what we do when we remember people we’ve known and places we used to live. We can see all that quite clearly. In the same way, we can imagine what things will be like when our goals–and our magic–come to pass. If you have visualized yourself moving into a better home, think of that place in your idle time: imagine the yard, the gardens, the front door, the entry hall, and the other rooms. Pretend you are there fixing a meal or watching television. What is is like?

Workable magic is usually very dependent on a relaxed level of mind, a belief in what you’re doing, a well-focused intention, and on the ability to imagine what you are creating.

Malcolm

 

 

Birds, stay the hell off my car

Wikipedia Photo

My wife and I have discussed the reality that we own the dirtiest car in the neighborhood. If it were a Jeep covered with mud from our latest off-road adventure, we could feel proud of our badass look. But, alas, it’s an ageing Buick LaCrosse.

The car had collected several years of road dirt, unknown scum, pollen, and bird shit. I finally got tired of it.

So I washed it. My wife will be shocked. Normally, I rely on rain to wash the cars. But today, I used Armorall, a hose, a sponge, and a drying cloth. Most of the appalling dirt came off. I was surprised.

But then, two hours later, some damn bird and landed on the side mirror and used the thing as a toilet. We never had this problem before moving to the country. City birds know better, I guess. So, I trudged back out with the sponge and washed it off. Maybe a shotgun will solve the problem. Or a grenade.

When we had problems at a former house with woodpeckers hammering on the gutters, we got rid of them by tying a helium balloon to the corner of the house. I really don’t want to get that started with the car’s mirror because I’ll have to untie the thing every time I leave the house.

If you know how to keep birds off your car’s side mirrors, let me know.

–Malcolm

Review: ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane’

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane (Scots Edition)Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stane by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This buik is a joy tae read fur o’ tis inventive ‘n’ sprightly translation intae standard Scots by Scootlund leid expert Matthew Fitt. Some fowk say it’s mair fin than Rowling’s Sassenach edition. Ah gree. Th’ wurds fair jump aff th’ page. If ye dinnae speak Scots, dinnae fash yersel aboot it. Maist Sassenach speakers wull be able tae figure it oot, mibbie wi’ a bawherr o’ hulp fae an online translator. “Harry Potter ‘n’ th’ Philosopher’s Stane” is mair fin that a barrel o’ doolies (goblins. )

Thare is plenty o’ cantrip ‘ere fur Harry Potter’s mukkers.

–Malcolm

View all my reviews

Magic: 4 Myths about Faeries and How to Avoid Them 

“There’s a lot of curiosity out there about the beings known as Faeries. And so many of you are feeling a call in your hearts to know, understand and work with them on a REALLY deep level at this time.But you’re still struggling to really tap into this realm and access its transformative magic and healing power for yourself. It’s a kind of novelty that sits on the shelf of your consciousness, waiting for a bit of air time. And when you really stop to consider it, you might even admit you find these these beings downright baffling and elusive.So what gives? If you’re not making the Faery connection it’s probably because you’re going about it all wrong. But not to worry. Because in my experience, I’ve found four myths about the Faeries are to blame.”

 

Source: 4 Myths about Faeries and How to Avoid Them – Faery Light

From time to time, I plan to post other people’s ideas about magic. You may find them variously absurd, interesting, your cup of tea, just plain crazy, or worth wondering about. I thought I’d start with the world of faerie since, for most people (including me), it’s a difficult possibility to consider.

On the other hand, if you go outside on a quiet day, sit down and lean back against a favorite tree, and just listen imaginatively, you may be surprised at what your impressions. Or, you’ll fall asleep until your spouse comes out and wakes you up. Either way, who knows what might happen.

–Malcolm

 

Your suggested password is BDH#$%cX*%qw

When My desktop PC had to be taken back to factory settings–which was a lot of trouble–that meant my browsers had to be re-installed. The new versions didn’t know my passwords.

I’m tired of passwords. Every site has a different set of rules about length, special characters, CAPS and lowercase letters. We’re told not to write these down. Many gurus also say don’t allow your browser to remember them for you.

So, when I tried to log on to WordPress today with my new browser, I couldn’t remember my password. I tried all the usual passwords even though we’re not supposed to have usual passwords. I clicked on a link that would allow WordPress to generate and–I swear I’m not making this up–the suggestion looked like this: BDH#$%cX*%qw.

Get real. How the hell can I remember something like that? Perhaps Data on Startrek, the Next Generation can remember that, but otherwise, nobody can. So, I used something easier and wrote it down on a list of 10000000000 other passwords for everybody from my doctor’s office to Microsoft to Amazon to Facebook.

If anyone breaks into my house and finds an empty Funk’s G Hybrid sack beneath the house, they’ll discover my list of passwords. There are snakes and spiders there, so who ever needs to play like they’re me and log on to WordPress and create a fake post will have to be very determined.

I’ve seen enough TV crime shows to know that even if I didn’t need a password and could access my accounts through a fingertip reader, somebody would kill me and use my finger to log on. So, there’s no sure thing, password-wise. The only plus to forgetting and constantly changing my passwords is the fact that we’re told to constantly change our passwords. That means we’ll forget them more often and change them more frequently. Maybe that’s how the whole password thing works.

Now, if I could only remember the danged user names (other than my e-mail address) which a lot of sites require.

Malcolm

 

 

Magic: Guided Visualizations and Meditations

If you search Google for either “Guided Visualization” or “Guided Meditation,” you’ll get a lot of hits. I first encountered these mental field trips in the 1970s when I was taking a relaxation/intuition seminar.

Briefly, a leader–in person or in a recording–leads individuals and groups through an imaginative (or recalled from memory) landscape, sets of affirmations, suggested visualizations, and other relaxing audio experiences that, faith-based or secular, are intended to help you experience deep relaxation and self-affirming statements/goals that are often accompanied by music.

In a group, people often lie on mats on the floor while the l leader reads from a prepared or spontaneous script; leaders also use pre-recorded visualizations or meditations. One beauty of the pre-recorded format is that it’s often available for purchase, so you can use it at home when it presents an experience that resonates with you.

Many visualizations begin with a relaxation method that’s akin to self-hypnosis. Some have you count down numbers, affirming that while you are doing this you are becoming more and more relaxed. Others ask you to pretend that you are doing down a stairway or an escalator or a trail to the valley floor.

While you are there, you might repeat scripted affirmations, imagine that you are meeting gurus or totem animals with messages for you, or simply listening to the music while pretending you are in a relaxing place. Leaders often give you a chance to say your own affirmations or think about your own psychological/spiritual journey.

(Note: Many experts say that affirmations–which often sound like New Year’s resolutions–are most effective when you do more than repeat them while relaxed or meditating. You need to do things in your waking world that support them. For example, if your affirmation is that you are getting more and more healthy every day, you need to tie this to doing healthy things–exercise, nutritious foods, etc.)

At the end of the visualization, the leader will usually end with a phrase such as, “Now I’m going to count from one to three. Then I say ‘three,’ you will be wide awake, feeling much better than before.”

If you use this process often, you will find that in time you can instantly “go” to your imagined relaxation status without having to count down. You know what it feels like to “be there,” so simply intend to feel that way as easily as you decide to raise your hand or sing a song.

The beauty of these visualizations/meditations is that you can listen to them often, learn how to replicate them, and–while you’re learning new skills–you’re having an enjoyable experience akin to listening to a favorite piece of music. If you listen to one at home, you’ll discover that you’ll often fall asleep. So, make sure you won’t be disturbed and that you really have time to fall asleep.

I haven’t listened to a guided meditation or visualization for a long time because I heard so many of them, that I can make up my own and/or reach the desired level of relaxation or active imagination without needing a series of steps. For most of us, this is the end result we want–a way to relax without medication, a way to handle stressful days, a way to discover the benefits of meditation, and a way of developing the so-called intuitive abilities that are latent in all of us.

–Malcolm

P.S. My thanks to Melinda for mentioning this subject in a comment in an earlier post. That reminded me it might be helpful to others.