Copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. This article is is licenced
for free non-commercial distribution only.


    ' The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as
    unreal as that of our faces in a mirror....We cannot affirm
    any quality in an object as being independent of our
    sensorium, or as being in itself that which it seems to us.
    Nor can we assume that what we cognize is more than a partial
    phantom of its cause.'  ( --Aleister Crowley, Magick, p. 110)

  Your awareness of the physical world and of your place within it
is mostly based upon the physical senses (hearing, sight, smell,
touch, taste). These five senses continually send information to
the mind, and it is up to the mind to select and interpret them.
If you could not do so, your senses would overwhelm you and be
meaningless.  Selection and interpretation of your sensory inputs
is essentially an automatic, mostly subconscious function of the
mind. The program or map which the subconscious follows as its
reference point is called a 'model'. The model is a subconscious
mental photograph of how you believe the world looks (ie.
worldview, mindset, egregore, or belief system).  It was built up
from an early age by your religious and cultural background
through interaction with family and others. It contains your
experiences, attitudes, and habits. And whether you realize it or
not, most of your behavior, thoughts, feelings, and habits are
based upon and conditioned by that model; even personality. The
model is one of the mind's master programs. Change in behavior
generally requires a change in the model. These limitations built
into our way of thinking cause our perceptions to be subjective.
That is why Hindu philosophy looks upon the world as illusory
(maya); the world itself (object) is not an illusion, however from
our viewpoint through perception (subject) it is.

  Thus we are all conditioned by experience. Except that our
perceptions, hence our experiences, are first conditioned and
limited by the model. Our perceptions and experiences tend to
conform to what we expect. We tend to misinterpret or ignore
things which do not match our preconcieved notions about them.
This is automatic.

  The forgoing demonstrates how it is that there are so many
different versions of 'truth'. One's particular view is almost
arbitrary. Although numerous religions, philosophies, and occult
systems abound, they do not contradict one and other as much as it
might appear.  Rather, they describe the same (universal) reality
taken from different perspectives. For there can be no ultimate
truth in the physical world. We can only base our actions upon
assumptions and agreements. All experience is subjective. I like
to think of the universe as something indescribable, perhaps a
4-dimentional 'thing'. As soon as we attempt to put it into our
3-dimentional knowledge-base, something changes and we only see an
aspect of the big picture. Just as a photograph can only show us a
flat *representation* of a greater thing, so it is with any
attempt to describe *spiritual reality* in physical terms.

  Yet, there is a separate reality within each of us which is
often ignored unless we seek it. This inner self is in magick
called the 'true will'. The true will is the center of
consciousness and identity. It is the 'real you'.  Everything else
is an interface or link to it from the outer (illusory) world.
Since that interface is based upon our model, it is conditoned and
may sometimes produce false information. 'Do what thou wilt'
(Crowley) is an axiom of magick; for the true will expresses our
exact desires. And what we truly want ('down deep') we tend to
automatically get. This isn't always in our best interests, since
the true will can be conditioned (tricked) by the illusion; and
then we might desire and obtain that which is not ultimately good
for us. (Karma strikes again!) The task of the magician therefor
is to awaken his awareneess of the true will, to be free of
conditioning, and thereby to transcend maya. ('My will
unconditioned is magical' -- Spare).

  There is no great secret to changing behavior or habits. It is
largely a matter of determination. It requires that you ignore the
'pull' of the model when you strive for changes within yourself.
The model is, after all, a collection of 'habits', some of which
must be unlearned for permananent change to occur. There are two
ways to do this: direct, through will power and awareness alone --
observing and acting out in an unattached or indifferent manner;
and indirect -- through conditioning such as affirmation
(explained later), self-hypnosis, and magick. Meditation may help
too, by relaxing tension and conflict.

  Emotions follow physical expression: smile and act happy and you
will tend to feel and be happy. The same is also true for other
emotions. Also, emotions can be purposely used (or programed) to
replace other emotions.  Using this technique, a magician is
somewhat like an actor in that he learns how to turn his emotions
on and off at will. Note that this is not 'fakeing it'; the
magician is probably more in touch with his true feelings than
most people. And for these reasons we say that happiness is being

  Magick always involves self-hypnosis. However, it may be more
than that. For one thing, there are objective forces involved (or
so it would seem). Deities, spirits, and cosmic force can have an
independent existence. And the repetitive physical movement
sometimes involved in ritual can itself generate PK force. On the
other hand, it could be argued that all of this is subjective to
the magician.  Or that the deities and spirits are nothing more
than architypes or cosmic patterns which the magician energizes
with his own vitality. Perhaps all magical effects could be
produced through hypnosis alone. But the effects are certainly

  Great complexity is not necessary in magick.  Although basicly
magick is a medieval system of symbolism (in a modern context),
any cosmological system will work from Cabala to Star Wars. We
usually use the medieval one in magick because it is convenient
and traditional, and because it seems to fit our thought processes
well.  Traditional symbols have greater emotional effect on the
magician than modern ones because of his familiarity with them.
What really matters is that the model of the magician be
understood and programmed, and thus that the model and the
cosmological system do correspond.

1) Contrast subjective with objective.
2) What is a 'model'?
3) Explain the task of the magician.

Eric Berne, Games People Play.
Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics.
Carlos Castaneda, The Fire From Within.
Arthur Koestler, The Roots of Coincidence.
John C. Lilly, The Center of the Cyclone.
------, Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer.
------, Simulations of God -- The Science of Belief.
Alan Watts, The Book (on the taboo against knowing who you are).

Phil Hansford, 4/88 Mysteria (818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83 Tujunga, CA 91042

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