I’m here to tell you how you can become a practitioner of the unseen arts. Knowledge and application of the craft require a fair amount of subtlety and willpower. With the secret out, you’ll probably be needing a new way to structure your life. Although I’m a fan of Big Magic, there’s something to be said about the quieter kind, the one that’s less about the creation of a thing, as much as channeling raw potential.
Manifesting the power and focus needed for a lasting effect requires more from a person than merely moderating its flow. The energy I’m referring to is that of the human soul. Churning within each one of us is an infinite well of potential, which already produces energy. The Secret made it seem as if merely thinking about one’s potential allowed the product of said potential to manifest. This is wrong.
Instead, the manifestation of one’s soul power derives itself from the thought being acted upon. It requires an intention to come into being. The thought is merely the seed of the energy; it needs action to be harvested. This action cannot be any wild, indirect thing. It must have a concentrated will, thus the necessary focus of intention. The effect occurs when said intention is acted upon.
These unseen arts are about subtlety, grace, precision, dedication, discipline, and willpower. As you’ll see later on, I refer to other things like habit as a way to structure your approach to quiet magic. In time, you’ll understand why these arts are unseen and how you can become your own personal sorcerer(ess).
Mark Manson, a wizard in his own right in harvesting soul power, has quite a few theories one should consider before attempting the arduous task of channeling potential energy. In his book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, he notes three subtleties which serve as cornerstones in this pyramid of personal sorcery. In sum, they are as follows:
- Not giving a fuck means being comfortable with being different.
- To not give a fuck about adversity, you must care about something more important than adversity.
- Whether aware or not, we’re always choosing what to give a fuck about.
Let’s break down each of these subtleties, although we will definitely come back to them later on. The first subtlety is all about daring greatly, especially daring yourself to endure discomfort. If you expect the process of productively channeling your soul power to be an easy one, you’ve got another thing coming.Many people are too afraid to stand up and stand out because of the discomfort adjoining difference. Remember, disruption of a preconceived notion indicates change. And change is hard. Despite its inherent difficulties, the best way to grow from change is anticipating the growing pains and embracing uncertainty.
On top of change’s inherent difficulty, there come growing pains. These pains are rather necessary and indicate that progress is in motion. Manson notes that negative emotions are a call to action, which holds true in every sense.
Pain has a purpose. Don’t hope for a life of no problems. Instead, hope for a life full of good problems.
If I’d read C.S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain, I’m sure I’d mention the important points he makes. Sadly, I have yet to read this work of his, but I can tell you about my own experience with suffering and growth.
The entire concept of creation from destruction, of rising from ashes, revolves around misconceptions of pain. Most of our lives are spent numbing ourselves to the rougher stuff in life. If you don’t think that’s true, consider this: The rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality are the highest of all time in this generation. (Bear in mind, less data was collected on mental health before the current generation.)
In a world where we place personal happiness over the well-being of humanity, it’s no wonder we can’t get our shit straight. We spend so much of our time avoiding feeling, so how could we ever connect with the real pains of other people, with reality? Avoiding pain turns the world gray. It dampens everything in life worth feeling and living for. It leaves your seeded potential buried beneath the earth.
Also, when I quote Manson’s use of being different, I am not referring to the snowflake phenomenon often associated with Millennials. If you’re actively being different, you’re too busy channeling your potential to compare yourself to others. Ideally, your happiness doesn’t serve as your measurement of self-mastery; hopefully, it’s a by-product.
Second in our triad of arcane theoretics is finding something larger than yourself to care about. This is otherwise known as motivating oneself. To avoid reliance on external motivation, you must question the standards by which you evaluate your progress. Everyone’s process for channeling their inner potential is different.
Finding your purpose isn’t so much about following your passion. Passions are fading things, often wont to change. They’re not really reliable as a routine conduit for your soul power. In a pinch, they might do just fine. Otherwise, I’d rely on something a little more constant, like habits.
One thing I found particularly helpful in defining my own goals was looking at myself externally. Covey’s first principle encapsulates the basis of this second subtlety. Determining the values which govern your magical manipulation of self means thinking “big picture.” Not all of us are visionary by nature, but we can learn. A good place to start is figuring out how who you want to become fits into said big picture. What would a portrait of your life look like in hindsight?
Last and most unseen among the subtleties is that of choice. We’re so keen to progress that we forget the way to do it. We forget the conversion of action into, often attributing our blessings and curses to forces outside ourselves.
As Manson names it, metrics are critical to our perceptions of potential. If we compare our success or define ourselves by others’ lives, we’re establishing infernal contracts with regret, despair, resentment, and apathy. These very quickly become greater demons of numbness and hopelessness. As a novitiate in self-magic, you would be wise to avoid these devilish deals.
Instead, measure your happiness by your fulfillment and impact. Determine for you what fills you with purpose and act upon it. As Manson mentions, you choose your burdens. Do you wish to become an overburdened beast? You can choose to share your difficulties with others, and seek aid. Or you can climb to the top of each of life’s mountains, as an overwhelmed ass. To choose is your choice.