One characteristic of occult training is a ‘trained mind’. Dion Fortune talks about that quite a lot in her works and it is certainly true that the work we do rewires the brain and results in a mind that is able to perform visualization and concentration on demand. I read last night with great interest in ‘Moon Magic’ how Dion’s character, La Fay Morgan, talks about building an astral temple using visualization and the trained mind. I can do this too these days and actually very easily when I put my mind and my training to it.
But, that Shadow, he robs me of my ability to concentrate, to visualize – he utterly disrupts my ‘trained’ mind. How? It’s almost like the old idea of the devil on one shoulder and the Angel on the other. The Angel is saying… “yes… good… now visualize the windows…. great… looking good… yes – you can do it…”. Meanwhile the Shadow is smiling with his arms folded occasionally saying things like – “You know right now she is screwing you over?” “You really think this stuff works?” and “Jeez, why don’t you watch some Internet porn – it’s far more interesting than this!”
The Shadow, works on your base desires, insecurities and fears to completely knock you off track (which is why I used the porn example I hasten to add!). Despite my ‘trained’ mind, eventually, the Shadow’s work is so disruptive because it is designed to engage your conscious mind and pull it back to the fore via the ego. Yes – it works at the subconscious level too but to take that Lovers tarot card and how it seems to depict the inner relationships, the Shadow is speaking to the Man and attempting to make him look away from the Woman. In fact, the Shadow, seems to try to maintain the relationships seen in the Devil tarot card.
Shutting him out takes a sustained level of will and effort that sometimes just isn’t there.
Now, I got an answer of sorts on how to address this from ‘Moon Magic’ too. Dion Fortune’s character is also knocked off her balance by events and in trying to discover the BIG picture, she meditates on the COMMON aspect of the events and follows that thread.
There are two techniques at work there…. Seeing the bigger picture and seeking the common thread.
I’m finding already that if I try to constantly see that bigger picture, the Shadow’s comments become ludicrous. Its difficult to explain without resorting to my current situation which is too personal to discuss here, but it does work. Next, by looking for the one or two things that appear to be the common thread and following them through, a whole set of realizations emerge.
Echo made a statement in a comment here that there is always a light switch and you just have to fumble for it to find it … or words to that effect. Well, the common thread is the light switch.
Dion Fortune was a truly remarkable lady!