Process is not control

In a discussion I had with one of my students, I brought up the point that the process is not control. It might seem to be contradictory to say that and yet also say that when you know the process of how you do a given magical activity, you can then make changes to the process, but actually it makes complete sense. I'll explain why. The first issue to note is that for the most part control is really based on insecurities, on tension and stress that we don't want to feel and try to repress. Control, in most circumstances, arises from this stress, and we will act out that stress and tension re-actively as a way of trying to assert control of not only our internal awareness, but also our external surroundings.

However, control can be healthy, in a very specific way. Control is healthy when it is applied to a person's reactions and responses to a situation. While we don't have even complete control of our reactions, we do have some control and with conscious work we can acknowledge the triggers of those reactions and then make an informed choice as to whether or not we want to re-act or consciously choose. We can also modify the unconscious triggers, provided we do the necessary internal work. In that context, control is healthy. It becomes unhealthy when we try to control everything else, and creates blockages and tensions, because such control is usually indicative of unresolved issues.

The second issue to note is that in order to truly understand a process, you first have to submit to the process. You need to do the process step by step, and learn how it works. You can't change it until you understand it...actually you can try to change it, but the results are usually disastrous. So to understand a process you need to submit to it and do it. Only after you've worked in a process, and come to understand its mechanisms, can you begin to change it. Even then you don't control it, so much as you understand how it works, and so can see where you can make modifications to improve the process. We call this personalization, but the magician must still submit to the process to test its efficacy.

You might wonder then what the point is for doing magic, if you're not more in control as a result, but I'd argue that control is a fixation and obsession that tends to stay further out of reach when you try to grab it, as opposed to when you let go, trust your process, and work your system, as best as possible. The reality of magic is this:

Magic is one process, among many, with a variety of sub-processes that can help you balance your internal life, and provide you more awareness of possibilities in your life. It's up to you to make the deliberate and informed choice. A deliberate and informed choice can only occur when you actually understand yourself well enough to know if your choice is an automatic one based off unconscious triggers, or a conscious one based off awareness and understanding.

Let go of control. Process doesn't need to be about it. Process, instead, can help you make a deliberate and informed choice, because you understand how your process works and also your place in it. And making a deliberate and informed choice is more effective and powerful than trying to control everyone else and every situation.

In fact, if you find yourself using magic to solve situations that come up in your life, it's time to stop and critically examine what is calling those situations into your life. You will likely find that it is actually you calling those situations into your life, and usually because you need to learn something. So stop, examine the situation, own your feelings and responses, and then make a deliberate and informed choice on how to handle it. If that includes magic, then that's fine, but recognize how your internal issues feed into the situation, before using magic. Otherwise whatever results you get will only temporarily work, until you actually deal with your level of responsibility for the situation.

Trust your process and work your system...and make informed and deliberate choices. That can be the most powerful magical working you ever do, and it doesn't even need to involved anything overtly occult.