Magic: Imagination flowing into intuition – Part Two

While practicing healing and intuition exercises, beginners are told to begin with their imagination and that in time, their imagination will slide away and they’ll be seeing reality. (See Part One.)

Here’s a personal example that surprised me at the time, first that it happened at all, second that it was vivid and intense.

In a discussion group composed of people who at taken one or two Silva Method courses, we often talked about visualizing healing energy flowing from ourselves to other people. Usually, these were people we knew were sick, and the energy was sent after we relaxed our minds and closed our eyes and “saw” the energy as a beam of pure white light flowing toward (and enveloping) the person.

Some suggested we could send energy to people we saw on the street or on a bus or in a room full of people. We’d simply imagine it happening without closing our eyes or using any self-hypnotic countdown of numbers to relax our minds.

Headlights and Tail Lights

Clipart.com image.

I tried this out on a dark country road that had a relatively small amount of traffic. My plan was to send energy to the people inside the cars as represented by pairs of headlights and tail lights ahead of me, on side roads at intersections, or in my rear view mirrors.

When only a car or two was visible, I could “say” in my mind, “Healing energy is flowing into your car for all of you.” When traffic grew heavier, that changed to quickly saying “Energy to you” for each pair of lights.

Even though I wasn’t far from home, the night was very dark, so I couldn’t possibly recognize any of the cars or the people in them.

After doing this for ten or fifteen minutes, I began to “know” how many people were in the cars, whether or not any of them were really sick or depressed or happy or having an argument, and sometimes whether they suddenly felt a “jolt of health” or a “jolt of happiness.” Their thoughts and conversations were becoming strongly apparent.

Soon, I was in tears because the impressions were so strong, the white light of the energy appeared before my eyes like flashes of lightning, and for some of the cars there came a validation that I was sensing actual moments and/or providing (through the energy) a bit of help.

I was an emotional wreck by the time I reached my destination (my house) and sat in the dark driveway for a long time trying to process what had just happened. I have never tried to replicate this experience because the impressions and flashes of lights were so vivid, they were beginning to dangerously impact my driving. I worried that I might close my eyes without realizing it and end up wrecking my Jeep.

So What Did It Mean?

First, it demonstrated that what begins as imagination can become more than that. It also showed me that the shift from imagination to intuition is most likely to happen when one isn’t trying to force it to happen. I thought I was pretending to send energy. Maybe it began that way, but it became an overwhelming validation that the process works.

Second, it gave me the confidence–usually in an easy chair with my eyes closed–to send energy or “see” situations while my mind was in a relaxed (alpha waves) state. The experience showed me what it felt like when intuition has taken over. So, I was going to a place I knew. People using biofeedback to lower their blood pressure while hooked up to a flashing light that indicates their progress, discover (when the light slows down) what it feels like when the biofeedback works. This allows them to do it without the flashing light wired to their fingertips. If you practice intuition and/or various energy healing programs, including Reiki, “what it feels like” is a good guide to how you’re doing, so to speak.

As a writer, artist, musician, or any other creative person who loves to let their imagination run free, I think we all discover in time that whether we’re writing a book or playing mind games, sometimes we learn things we didn’t expect to discover.

Even now, I “know” (even though I’m not thinking about that old exercise) what kinds of people are in the cars represented by headlights and tail lights on the roads at night. Yes, I avoid those who seem malevolent or feel a kinship with those who are happy or depressed. One never knows why kinds of faculties an exercise will unlock.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism novels where the magic and the realism are real.

Magic: Imagination flowing into intuition – Part One

There’s a fair amount of discussion on the Internet about the difference between imagination and intuition. In a sense, imagination is active, sometimes day dreaming play and sometimes the mind working to figure out what something is like or might be like whether it’s a novel, a prospective new job, a relationship, or a thousand other “what if” kinds of questions.

Intuition is passive, listening to what’s variously described as one’s inner self in contact with events or people we cannot–at that moment–see or hear or otherwise logically know about.

Participants in mental improvement courses, such as The Silva Method and others that lean toward the development of intuition, often begin exercises by being asked to imagine something. The intent of this is to focus and connect the relaxed mind on, say, a person or a place, and then allow one’s attention to to take over and begin providing impressions, visual or otherwise, about what is really happening (outside the scope of what we could possibly have known already).

Beginning with one’s imagination is easy because most of us can imagine just about anything. There’s no pressure in that. Since there isn’t any pressure, the mind is now free to widen that imagination into “seeing” what we previously didn’t know about.

When your imagination “switches” over to intuition, you will–as people often say–experience stronger feelings about the images, along with an inner knowing that they are true. When you are practicing, try to get feedback.

For example, have your spouse or your friend tell you (when you’re in a relaxed state) the name and location of a person you don’t know and have never heard about. Imagine that you see that person in your mind’s eye, and then just start talking about what you’re “seeing.” While you’re doing this, your spouse or friend might blurt out “OMG” and other surprised comments when you get something right. Or, they might wait until you finish “your reading” and then say where you were accurate.

The more you do this, the better you will get at it because you will begin to know what the intuited information feels like.

If you have nobody to practice with, you can pick out a town or other location that you’ve never visited, never seen on the news or the Internet, and never heard about. Just pick the name of a town off a list of the towns in one state or another. Then imagine you are there and see what you see. After doing this, Google the town and find some pictures and see how many of the parks, streets, and building match your impressions.

I have always found imagination to be a perfect doorway into intuition, though over time the need for lengthy imagination becomes less unnecessary. Some people are born with “psychic abilities” and know things without having to walk through that “doorway.” For the rest of us, imagination is a wonderful threshold into the innate abilities of our minds that we are working to develop.

Yes, it seems like magic.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell’s novels and short stories almost always include magic because that’s how he sees the world.

 

Magic: Thoughts about healing

Healing is difficult to discuss because many people associate it only with the forms prayer takes within their chosen religion. Also, it’s often associated with quackery, whether it’s the traveling preacher who plants supposed sick people in his audiences who come forward for a healing and then appear to get well on the spot, to the claims and counter claims made by people about various over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements. Also, it is very easy to run afoul of various laws about practicing medicine without a license to prohibitions about advertising oneself as a psychic or healer.

I don’t really see healing as magic, but I place it here because–other than prayer–most people tend to see generic healing methods as paranormal in some way.

I do believe in the power of prayer within the context of an organized religion, other than to note that (in my view) the Christian Science Church has the most comprehensive approach to healing and the way the world is constructed than most other Protestant denominations.

Having said that, I also want to mention that the Silva Method and the Rosicrucian Order, both of which I’ve mentioned before, teach methods of absent healing (healing at a distance). The Silva Method provides a much faster introduction to healing and other intuitive technqiues than the Rosicrucian order due to their short seminars and courses.

Reiki

Reiki, as it tends to be taught in the United States, provides both laying on of hands and absent healing methods. Personally, I have found its methods to be very effective and to mesh well with my spiritual views. As the website says, The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”

While its origins are different, Reiki is very compatible–in my view–with Silva and Rosicrucian Order techniques. Among other things, all of these methods teach that the energy does not come from the person acting as a so-called healer, but from Creator. These methods also stress that the healer does not instruct the energy on what or how to do to accomplish its purposes. Reiki, which is taught by certified instructors, can also be researched in books. Instructors are better, I think; also finding the best books–outside of any recommended by an instructor is problematic since some of the more popular ones are criticized for either being inaccurate or otherwise outside of standard Reiki teachings.

Fools Crow

Years ago, Fools Crow, the Teton Sioux healer and medicine man who died in 1989, said that in order to heal another person, me thought of himself as a hollow bone through which the energy flowed.The better he was as a person, the cleaner that bone was. (I am speaking of the Fools Crow in Thomas E. Mails’ book based on interviews and not the novel about a Blackfeet medicine man written about by James Welch.)

Fools Crow’s hollow bone is another way of looking at the fact that the healing systems I’m most familiar with teach that the “healer” is a channel through which the Creator’s healing energy flows. Part of being a good channel is having a positive attitude, generally acknowledging your connection to “all that is” (God/Creator/Cosmic) and living in accordance with the highest precepts such a connection entails.

If you want to help people as a “healer” in addition to or instead of traditional prayer, you might have positive results with the be generic method below if you don’t have the resources to become involved with Reiki, Silva, or the Rosicrucians. Also, if you are not part of the culture in which conjure/hoodoo or shamanistic practices are used, I think going onto conjure/root doctor or shaman websites for healing methods is a mistake. If you grew up in these cultures, then I suggest finding a practitioner to train you rather than trying to learn a rather complex system out of a book.

Generic Technique

In a strictly generic sense, one can attempt absent healing by doing the following:

  1. Whether you use counting down with numbers (self-hypnosis related) biofeedback, a recorded guided medication, or meditate through another method, the process begins by calming the mind and entering a condition where your intuition is enhanced and not focused on concerns and projects of the day. To use Silva’s terminology, you are slowing your brainwaves from beta to alpha.
  2. Various people use the term “mind’s eye” in a variety of ways. When I use it, I consider it to be like a movie or TV screen that I imagine I’m looking at when my eyes are closed. So, when I say visualize something in your mind’s eye, I mean that you are imagining seeing something with, say, the same clarity you might visualize a memory. In this case, you’re imaging seeing the person who is ill. If you know them or have seen a picture of them, then you already can recall their likeness in the same way you’d do that if you were simply thinking about them. If you don’t know what they look like, then you will probably have a name and maybe the town where they live. Pretend that you are seeing this person.
  3. I should mention that if you do this a lot, you will discover over time that the person in your mind’s eye has become more of a psychic impression than your imagination. You’ll know this is happening when you accurately see image of people you don’t know.
  4. “Healers” have various methods for acknowledging at this point that the energy comes from outside themselves. Many of us “say” something like “I am offering myself as a connection and a channel of attunement for the healing energy now flowing to [person’s name].”
  5. If you know the person’s ailment, your mind’s eye impression of them may show them as somewhat translucent with the ailment highlighted in red.
  6. Outside the specific methods taught by Reiki, Silva, and the Rosicrucians, some “healers” simply visualize white or blue-white or even golden light flowing into the image in their mind’s eye and, in the process, seeing the red disappear. It’s best to avoid saying/think something like, “This energy is fixing Bob’s heart” because when you do that, you’re telling the energy (which is smarter than you) what it ought to do.
  7. Healers tend to remain passive at this point while maintaining their visualization of the person and/or while imaging the energy flowing unimpeded through themselves. Really, they need to get out of the way rather than thinking about the person, the ailment, or the process of serving as a channel. As I see it, once you’ve started the process, there’s no particular length of time you need to spend. Five or ten minutes, perhaps.
  8. Then you close out your “session,” thank the Creator for using you as a channel for healing [name of person] and then conclude your meditation in a way that works for you. Many will count numbers upward as a “code” (so to speak) for coming “up” from deep levels of mind to the level of mind used for everyday things.
  9. It’s important to consider–as many disciplines teach–that a physical ailment might be caused by many things. That is, it may result from an imbalance within the person’s life and thoughts. So, one never wants to focus on removing pain because the pain is a signal that something is wrong. And, it’s quite possible that the physical ailment can be healed only to return later because the imbalance that caused it was never addressed.
  10. Basically, if somebody online or in person asks me to pray for somebody who is sick, this is what I’m going to do. Directing energy to those in need doesn’t conflict with what their doctors are doing: if the person or the doctors notice anything, it might be that the person got well sooner than expected.

Malcolm

 

 

 

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

 

 

Try Magic: What have you got to lose?

If you’ve read this blog and/or my books for a while, you know that I don’t doubt the reality of magic. Magic is–or should be–an optional subset of mysticism, that is to say, a direct communion with the god of your heart. I have always thought magic worked better within the context of one’s belief system rather than as an end in itself.

When some people read books filled with promises–like “The Secret” they are often inspired to try what they otherwise might not try. Sometimes they succeed. They’re more likely to succeed right after reading the book because they are attuned to the idea that all things are possible. So, before doubts enter into their thoughts, they often see things happen that they might never have expected prior to reading the book.

Magic, and by that, I don’t mean the sleight of hand and illusions of stage magicians, is always part of a larger system of thought, a way of looking at the world that isn’t confined to the limitations of every-day logic. For example, the hoodoo practices I talk about in my Florida Folk Magic novels are part of the culture in which they thrive. One can’t extract the spells and modes of thinking from the culture and expect them to work.

The same could be said about magic within the “old religion” (true witchcraft rather than Wicca), Hawai’ian mysticism (Huna), the practices of shamans in multiple cultures, Celtic (Druid) worldviews, and others. The first problem many people have after they finish a book or a weekend retreat or a class on magic and/or psychic techniques is merging their new knowledge into their own culture.

If you live in, say, Orlando, Florida, it’s difficult to merge, for example, Huna practices into your daily life because Hawai’ian mysticism is not the world view of most people living in Orlando. So, whatever you have learned, you will be at a disadvantage unless you can shield yourself from the mainstream worldview where you live and work.

Magic need to be culturally dependent, that is, it can be eclectic and not an integral part of a specific culture. While the tenants of this magic don’t synchronize well with what most of one’s friends and colleagues believe in, they are easier to pursue than those that are part of a minority group or culture. Nonetheless, the magic is still part of an altered way of looking at truth and the world and the “big picture” and cannot be separated from it. I have found this an easier route than, say, following hoodoo or Huna or Native American belief systems. There is nothing wrong with those systems other than the fact that (for me) I’m not attuned to those cultures. So, my approach is based on my own culture instead of somebody else’s culture.

You can find magic and mysticism at The Rosicrucian Order and The Silva Method that aren’t based on the cultures and rituals of marginalized groups. These are, so to speak, somewhat generic. Or, if you’re looking for inspiration, perhaps you’ll find if at Duirweigh Studios or in the books by Joseph Campbell. These are all routes to magic.

One of the best books–which you can find free on the Internet–about magic is James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh. Really, this old book says it all. For magic to work in your life, your worldview–whether “generic” or based on a particular culture–must accept the tenants and practices of the magic. Seriously, the magic and everything that surrounds it must be part of your life.

When it comes down to the nitty gritty, magic won’t work if you don’t think it will work, or if you have doubts about it. That’s a tall order because we’re expected to believe before we have any proof. I know, that’s not logical, so you must set logic aside before you practice magic. And don’t rush it.

–Malcolm

Positivity is the world’s saving grace

“I’d like to invite you to join me for two days of pure positivity. Forty-eight little hours of looking for and at only the good stuff. Of ignoring what isn’t beautiful. I’m not asking you to give up misery forever. Forty-eight hours and one minute from now, you are welcome to seek out all the stuff that makes you angry, sad, frustrated, and worried, but for two days, let’s sweep all that under the rug and then dance atop it. What do you say, are you in?” – Beth Grace in Your Voice Within

Focusing on the good stuff ain’t easy.

positivveSeems like the world throws a lot of curve balls at us and our friends–and at other good people as well. Getting depressed or angry is probably a very human response.

Plus, many of us have “hot buttons,” issues that almost automatically bring fire-breathing anger and personal issues that upset us so much we lose our cool and say words we can never call back.

I’ve spent a lifetime working on controlling negative emotions, damping down what I jokingly refer to as my “volatile Scots’ temper.” My temper doesn’t flare up  as often as it used to, nor as forcefully. For one thing, the logical side of myself realized years ago that anger primarily hurts the person who’s angry unless they haul off an hit, shoot or bully somebody with words, things I hope I will never do.

My logical conclusion is: anger is a waste of time. The person or group I’m angry at doesn’t even know it. Yes, if it’s a social matter or a political matter, I can join others in protesting it or expressing my beliefs about the issues involved, but anger won’t help me do that. Meanwhile, the anger is hurting me, causing anything from indigestion to a preoccupation with fuming thoughts that distract me from the things I’d much rather be doing.

The Silva Method

Years ago, I took a two-weekend seminar that was developed out of the research of a man named Jose Silva that focused on positive thinking, mediation, improving memory, and on techniques that helped bring dreams into reality. Few of us could match the adeptness of our instructor in any of these areas. But we all reported a similar benefit: for many months after the course, we all felt like we were walking on air. We were simply completely happy and confident.

Unfortunately, most of us didn’t spend enough time in the years following the course to maintain such a high level of bliss. The world gets to you after a while. It not only throws those curve balls, but it mocks you if you maintain a peaceful and nonviolent approach to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Like the martial arts, sports, music, learning another language, and almost everything else we may wish to master, mastery of oneself and one’s emotions and negative mental chatter requires constant monitoring and practice. Life gets in the way, doesn’t it? We get up at 6:30 a.m., commute to work, get home early in the evening, have supper, and then fall into an easy chair and watch TV until it’s time to go to bed. It just too darned easy to skip meditation and practice. So, without vigilance, even after one takes a course or listens to an inspiring speech, it’s easy to slip back into the old habits.

Rosicrucian Order

I have been a member of the Rosicrucian Order for almost half a century. I’m embarrassed to admit this because I’ve probably spent a tenth of the amount of time required to fully take in the wisdom of this mystery school and apply it to every day life. I apply it more to my writing than to myself. I’m grateful for the magic and mystery that ancient wisdom brings to my writing. However, I have–it appears–chosen to bring less of it into my day to day living than I should have. Like studying Kabbalah  and other ancient “big picture” approaches to the universe and how it works, the order takes a positive, non-judgemental approach to improving one’s life while making Earth a better place for everyone.

So it is that I am pleased when I read posts like Beth Grace’s “48 Heart-Centered Hours.” Beth, and others, remind me how dangerous to oneself negative thoughts can be, and lead us back into the fold where positive thoughts are more the norm than an anomaly. Sheepishly, I think, “Well, I knew that, so why haven’t I been more dedicated in living a life based on a positive focus?”

Beth’s invitation to two days of heart centered hours came at the same time that I’ve been doing the final revisions on my latest book. What a wonderful experience this has been! The words fell into place because I was staying away from negative thoughts, thoughts that really have no value whatsoever no matter how “right” we think we are about one issue or another. And yes, I have felt more bliss and energy during the last 48 hours than usual!

I have an edge, perhaps. Age has brought me to a point where getting angry is just too much trouble. I tend to look for other ways of addressing issues that need to be fixed. But I need reminders. There are many positive blogs around that help me find my loving center again. Beth’s is relatively new and one that has helped me ind my bliss again.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell writes magical realism because he believes in magic.