Often we here that only those of a “balanced and stable” mind need apply for these darker (or any other for that matter.) works of magick. Out of curiosity, I was wondering if any here have any thoughts on what the definition of an overall “sound” mind may be? Barring schizophrenia or other obvious mental disorders.
If you’re cautious, level headed, and know to balance yourself.
If you’re just jumping into things you barely understand, then you run a greater risk of being consumed by the darkness.
Self-awareness and insight, first and foremost - the ability to think about your own thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions, and make a reasonable attempt to view them objectively.
Emotional resilience, so that you can handle disappointment or being told things (by spirits or divination) you didn’t want to hear.
Pacing yourself - not doing magick when you’re actually down to your last 5% of energy and hope, so you can handle ups and downs (for example, if you do a working for the perfect job then lose your own, you’re not so beaten down you kill yourself before the job that was landing in tomorrow’s mail arrives).
Knowing when to stop and go ground through a meal or sports or sex or anything else totally unrelated.
Sense of humour at yourself, the work, the people you meet if you join any communities.
But also, good boundaries, the ability to say no, the ability to know your own ethics, and the ability to tune out someone else’s noise and attempts to distract you from your own experience with their theories, so that’s down to having healthy self-esteem.
The ability to pause, reassess, again accepting you might not always like what you see, and to make adjustments without berating yourself as a fool - “grandiosity” crops up a lot as a symptom of various MH problems and prohibits such honesty but it’s ESSENTIAL not to just cruise on a carpet of self-delusion, nor to have an internal model of yourself as HAVING to be perfect against which you then torment yourself for the mistakes everyone makes from time to time.
If you’re prone to mood swings, knowing that decisions made or conclusions reached in a peak or trough don’t represent The Way It Is.
Willingness to accept magick as a journey - not a destination to be reached, upon which “arrival” everything will somehow become perfect. This also helps with detachment from outcomes, even in goal-oriented magickal works.
And recognising that no-one else is “there” with their own journey either, because “there” doesn’t exist (this prevents harmful negative self-comparisons, and the inevitable disappointment that comes from placing another person on a pedestal).
Basic understanding of concepts in clinical psychology as well as pop-psychology, personal development etc., to increase insight into how our minds work.
Finally, the ability to focus on certain things no matter how you FEEL - to know that feelings are important but they’re not your gods, and that simple everyday meditation on your breath for five minutes, and/or energy-work, etc., can be useful even if all you want to do is stay under the duvet.
Its basically about dominating the whole experience you are going to create.
Very good replies! Perhaps i may add another to the disturbed mind paradigm. How far have you gone to abandon the faiths, and deal with the mental fallout, you where raised with, Judaic/Christian for most I am sure?
To me, a stable mind, is not so much a mind that is completely balanced, but a mind that is infinitely flexible, and capable of constantly readjusting itself to whatever the situation warrants, whether it is extreme turmoil or extreme peace. A powerful, “stable” mind, in my opinion, is one that can jump into the deep end and be “consumed by darkness,” to quote Euoi, but can surface if and when it wants to.
If you haven’t lost your mind yet.
You’re not doing it right.
Now, Gnosis is feeling it! Right on!
I was not raised in any religion. So I haven’t had to do anything to get rid of religious beliefs.
Indoctrination can be a serious hang up for some whose blood screams at them to abandon the teachings they where exposed to from womb to adolescence. Euoi, You are a step ahead.
Ha ha, I know.
Having a sound mind comes in KNOWING what you believe, and not wavering in that belief. The more you doubt, the more anxiety you’ll feel, and the more you’ll want to turn back. There’s no turning back, however, and it’s important to be able to accept that.
In regard to your second question, as an ex-Christian who now throws up at the thought of it, the hardest thing was accepting that I was my own god. I command angels, demons and spirits. I have the seals, and with them can subjugate whatever spirit I want.
In terms of how far I’ve gone to divorce myself from it, I hate wearing my wedding band. It makes me feel like I’m together with someone because “God” says I have to be. If I want to be with someone, then it should be MY will that decides that. Not wearing it allows me the freedom to decide it every time someone flirts with me. People may disagree with me, but I also feel like it’s an affront to the spirits I work with.