Sunday, November 22, 2015

Balancing Personal Will and Permissive Will in Magickal Practice

That word is 'willing.' It's an attitude and spirit of cooperation that should permeate our conversations. It's like a palm tree by the ocean that endures the greatest winds because it knows how to gracefully bend. ” 
- Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare

There's something inherently curious about the "Will." Anyone deeply involved in magick is well aware that one's will is of great importance...the will directs the intention, the energy, the spirits, etc. toward one's desired end.

Curiously though, I have found over the years that, even as a magician, one should not overvalue the personal will. What I mean to say is that there are times when our will can lead us seriously astray, times when getting what we thought we wanted would have been far worse than not. Sometimes the will can be countervened in a way that makes our magick seem as if it failed when in fact our "failure" to manifest a desired outcome leads us to something better that what we wished for.

Then there are times when magick happens without the involvement of our personal will. These times, linked to one's alliances with one's gods, spirits, HGA, Higher Self, etc., and the natural harmony with reality brought about by spiritual practices such as meditation, prayer, yoga, qigong, etc. allow what is best for us to flow to us not by will, but by "willingness" or Permissive Will....which is receptive state of non-doing, non-craving, natural flow.

In Taoism, this state of being is called "Wu Wei." Wu Wei is a state of non-doing, non-craving, effortless flow that, within the context of magickal practice, implies a deep trust in the gods, ancestors, spirits, etc. to provide for you that which is in alignment with your deepest needs.

It has been my experience that these times of effortless alignment to our own Highest Good (often a good unknown to the personal will) are times when we are granted boons far greater than those we would have received if had impressed the desires of our will upon the universe...thereby pushing for a specific, limited outcome.

It seems to me that one must balance one's active "will" with one's receptive "willingness." It seems that one's True Will is to be found more so in the latter than the former, at least until such time as one's personal will is in greater natural harmony with the will of the One Thing (who we may see manifest as God, Goddess, the Self, the gods, etc.) which is, in my understanding, naturally aligned to that which is best for all beings.

What is "best" is may or may not be what is, from our limited perspective, what is best for the individual ego-personality, but instead what is necessary for that being holistically (in regards to the entirety of the individual)....even if, from the view of the ego-personality, what is needed appears terrible, tragic, or needless. This is a different perspective, and one, at odds unfortunately with the prevailing paradigm of magickal practice which tends to confuse the True Will with the desires and predilections of the magician's ego-personality.

The axiom "As above, so below" comes to mind here. The "above" is that Will that knows more, knows better, and knows deeper than the the personal will (which is the "below") because it has a far vaster perspective. In aligning the "below" with the "above" we naturally come into alignment with experiences, awareness, knowledge, and wisdom that is more in keeping with our needs than than that which we could have manifested without that alignment by relying on the lower will alone.