A few weeks ago I gave some examples of my recent successes with magic (or “intention manifestation”). The method I was using had three basic steps:
- Make sure you really want it.
- Believe it can realistically happen.
- Feel the gratitude for it.
A simple method, and some good results can be achieved with it. I gave four examples in my previous post, in which I generated some quick cash, repelled mosquitoes, improved my performance at pool (and caused my opponent’s performance to suffer), and located my lost beard trimmer. In this post I’ll share some other recent successes, and discuss in some detail the question of what it means to really want something, which extends into the areas of the collective subconscious, dueling wizards, free will, and — what the heck! — the role of the Twin in mythology.
Recent Successes I: Move Over, DEET
During my recent hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail, I had plenty of occasion to get more practice repelling mosquitoes. It was late August in western Massachusetts, and the mosquitoes were out in force. I took no insect repellent at all. I was out there for about six days, and most of the time I was hiking I was surrounded by a swarm of the little beasties. They have this really annoying whine you can hear when they’re near your ears, and I heard it for hours on end — it nearly drove me batty! They landed all over me — I felt them on my face, hands, arms, ankles, neck…
But during the whole trip, I was only bitten maybe five or six times. I would actually see them land on me, hop from one place to another, and then take off again. It was as if they simply changed their minds at the last minute. It was totally surreal.
Recent Successes II: Spiritual Healing
As I mentioned in this recent post, I went on the Trail hoping to gain some clarity and insight, but I got precious little. It turned out that I was actually subconsciously blocking the messages that my spiritual guides were trying to send me. I’ll share more details at another time; but when my friend Slade helped me realize what I was doing, I felt completely at a loss. My conscious mind wanted spiritual guidance, and Spirit wanted to guide me, but my subconscious mind had somehow sabotaged the whole thing. And I didn’t know why.
However, I knew what to do about it. I put out the intention to somehow find a way to break past the barrier — to uncover some way to re-establish the link. And within a couple of days, I suddenly got a message out of the blue from Paula Kawal, who — what a coincidence! — had just learned some techniques for remote spiritual healing, and was itching to do some kind of trade in exchange for a landscape reading and name analysis.
Talk about service! Paula did an amazing job — already I’ve felt some profound effects — it’s like I suddenly remembered how to open my eyes again…! I can’t recommend her enough. I will have more to say when events have played themselves out more fully, but for the present I just want to emphasize how intention manifestation brought me the perfect teacher and healer.
What Do You REALLY Want?
As the second example there shows, the first step of the spell — making sure you really want it — can be very tricky. I certainly consciously wanted to contact my guides, but subconsciously, I did not. The same thing happened when I tried to find my beard trimmer — subconsciously, I was curious about how I would look with a long beard! Your whole self, conscious and subconscious, has to be on board, or your results will be mixed at best.
The Collective Subconscious
And this point strikes the word “you” into sharp relief. It’s easy to say that you have to really want something, but what is this “you”? It has to include both your conscious and subconscious selves — and, it seems, even more.
While I was camping, I brought along Robert Place’s Buddha Tarot and excellent companion book, and somewhere in it — I forget where — he mentions Jung’s theory of the collective subconscious, and describes it in a way I had never heard before. I had always imagined the different parts of the self as each being separate things, with clean breaks between them; I thought they were clearly demarcated. But according to Jung, as reported by Place, there is no clean break between them. Instead, there is a continuum of experience between the conscious self, the subconscious self, and the collective subconscious.
Another way of thinking of it: as you explore deeper and deeper into your subconscious, you will eventually find that you are no longer in territory that belongs to just YOU.
And this means that, at the deepest level, something that YOU want is in fact something that the collective subconscious ALSO wants. So if you really want something — if you completely fulfill step #1 of intention manifestation — you are automatically aligned with the collective subconscious. If you are not aligned with the collective subconscious, then you are not following #1 completely, and your results will be mixed at best.
This is a solution to one of the nastiest puzzles surrounding magic, intention manifestation, and the Law of Attraction: what happens if two equally matched magicians cast conflicting spells? Who wins?
The classic example in the intention manifestation tradition is of two people who both want the same position in a company. Both of them use the Law of Attraction perfectly. Who gets the job?
The answer I’m suggesting here is simple: they can’t both use the Law of Attraction perfectly, because presumably the collective subconscious is going to have a preference about who gets that job. (It’s logically possible that the collective subconscious would not have a preference, but I doubt that happens much in practice — the collective subconscious knows too much.) And this means that one of the aspirants is going to be struggling against part of him/herself that really doesn’t want the job. All else being equal, the collective subconscious’s preference will win out.
Free Will & The Twin
All else being equal…
None of this means that we are doomed to be servants of the Collective. On the contrary, our conscious minds have free will, and our subconscious minds appear to have free will, too! If these wills go against the collective subconscious, our results will be mixed, but probably not fail completely; and the desire of the collective subconscious will also be frustrated.
The oldest postulated Indo European myth tells of twin brothers, named Man (“Human”) and Yemos (“Twin”), who lived in beginning times. In the myth, Man has to kill his brother, and Yemos’s body is used to create the world, and the rest of humanity. Yemos is the first being to die. But in death, Yemos becomes lord of the underworld, and the caretaker of the dead. Echoes of this myth are found in the Norse jotun Ymir, the Indic death deity Yama and Avestan god Yima.
There are plenty of ways to interpert this myth, but what strikes me most forcefully today is the way in which we are each twins. We hold within us at least three individuals — the conscious, subconscious, and collective subconscious — that are at once different, yet all the same. To make magic — to manifest the world around us — requires the three to work together; but in doing so, their individuality is compromised. They have to sacrifice themselves to bring the world into being.
I may be making this sound like the collective subconscious is a puppet master, nefariously controlling our lives and gradually assimilating us like the Borg. But what I am really saying is quite the opposite: the voice of the collective subconscious is the faintest one, drowned out by the individual subconscious and especially by the individual conscious mind. You will hear it only in meditation, in your times of most relaxed solitude, in your dreams. It seems to be the smallest, quietest, most private part of yourself… And yet it is this part that is universal to us all. It is not an external, controlling force; it is our deepest heart.
Yemos is not sacrificed by the Collective for the Greater Good. Instead, like Odin, he is sacrificed to himself, for himself.