How do we reach our potential?
Potential is all around us. It is abundant in every kernel of our experience. Anyone who has seen MacGyver knows that if your the right person in the right situation you can make a hot air balloon out of homemade glue, random scraps of nylon, a metal shed, and some gas canisters and fly off to safety (Season 3, Episode 6). MacGuver sees the potential in everything and thus always gets to his destination. If you can pick the right lotto ticket you can change your financial status instantly. The potential is there for anything to happen right now, if only we can see it.
Our potential is unknown to us, it is an every expending mystery whose corners always go deeper. So if we are to reach our potential, how do we figure out where to go? How will we get there?
Dictionary.com defines “Potential” as “possible but not yet actual.” How do we find something which isn’t actually there?
Scott M. Peck says in The Road Less Travelled, “The more clearly we see the reality of the world, the better equipped we are to deal with the world. …our route to reality is not easy. First of all, we are not born with maps; we have to make them.”
In order to get anywhere you have to define where you are going. This is the map that Peck is talking about creating. Even if you don’t know where it is you want to be you should at least have a general idea of what you are looking for. Are you looking for love? joy? wealth? a challenge? a new beginning? something never done before?
To begin to solve this mystery you must start your map first by drawing out your current location. The part of your map that says “You are here.” Where are you right now? What have you accomplished already? What opportunities do you see around you?
Second, you need to have a general idea of which direction you need to head. What do you want? What is the highest possible place you imagine you could be. What obstacles are going to make this path interesting? The main effort here comes in discovering these extremes. The challenge is to find a destination between the here and now and your imagination’s dreams which you can define and grasp and which will bring you closer to your limitless potential.
Give up on thinking that there is just one destination to go to. There is no end game, no final monster at the end of the game of life. We can’t go many places at once (yet) but you try to go in the direction that brings you the most of what you want. Just know that this will change, you may decide you have chosen the wrong destination, even the very moment you set out. Be prepared to steer your ship in new directions constantly. Constantly search for that hidden potential and be excited at the new destination it reveals to you. It is this journey that makes life. No destination is worth abandoning your potential over. Just pick a destination and be prepared to change it when it no longer suits your dreams.
This destination is the first part of your ceremony. It could be: “pass my class,” “keep the chores done,” or “finish that book I’ve been reading.” Write you destination down to define it. Around your destinations description write your name and favorite symbols. Associate yourself with your destination. Keep this paper or object and make it part of your ceremony if you choose.
If we think of life as a train on railroad tracks that must go to one place then the second something gets on the tracks the whole train could derail. It is important to have a proper vehicle, one which can change directions and adapt to all the possibilities you might encounter.
In the physical world our vehicle is our body. Our system of science uses it’s knowledge to construct vehicles where our current body will not go. With the limitations of our flesh body it would seem to the ignorant that man could not go faster than a cheetah, higher than and eagle, deeper than a squid and farther than the moon. Automobiles, Airplanes, Submarines, and Space Craft all take us places that would not be possible without the knowledge of our scientific systems.
In Pansha Kosha there are five bodies of man: physical body, vital(emotional) body, mind(memory) body, bhudda(higher thought) body, and the Cosmic(Divine Body). The Tree of Life has 10 sephiroth consciousnesses within the one unified man. Psychology has the ego, id, and super-ego. It goes to show that to explore destinations that are beyond physical reach one must construct a vehicle that can navigate the realms these bodies occupy as the vehicles of science explore the realm of physical existence.
Often our destinations are in these other realms “joy” is in the emotional realm, “invention” in the intellectual realm and “imagination” in the highest of realms, furthest from our physical existence. We want all of these things and we cannot hope to get to any of them in a space ship. So how do we make such a vehicle?
There are hundreds, even thousands of systems out there which explore these other realms of conscioussness. Some work better than others for different individuals. There are therapies, magical systems, philosophical road maps and too many more self help systems and philosophies to list. Not one of them will be perfect for anyone.
Each of us interacts with the universe in a unique way. We each have unique life experiences which create our perceptions of the world around us. What I define as “God” when I hear the word is based on my life experience and what you define as “God” I am sure is at least a little different because you learned about the word “God” with a unique set of life experiences which will never fit into my own path. It is these experiences which make up our system of understanding and it is the getting to know this understanding that helps us to build our spaceship and it’s extensions of yourself with which he can travel to our destination.
We must study everything we can learn about our emotions, about our mind, about our spirit, about our soul, about nature, about science about everything. When we study anything certain parts of the knowledge we are absorbing will light us up inside in these non-physical places we seek. This is the knowledge activating that part of us that resonates with it. Go with that, you have just found a piece of your vehicle. Keep searching, search and search until you construct a vehicle, a system of understanding that gives you the information you need to believe you can reach your destination.
This information will help you construct your ceremony. You can start with ceremonies that resonate with you and add your own elements while removing what is undesirable.
Remember you will need different vehicles for different tasks so be sure that you never think that one vehicle system is going to get you everywhere. Choose the knowledge that resonates with you and in the process you will create your own system. Patrick Dunn in Post-Modern Magic says “Remember, the act of magical authority is simply expressing the desire aesthetically.” By expressing your desire into a system you are creating in yourself a magical authority, what I am calling a vehicle, by which you can reach that which you desire.
Now that you know where you want to go and how to get there what is left? Many people get this far and never reach their destination. Why? They don’t believe they have enough. It is doubt that keeps us lazy. It keeps us from waking up on time to do Yoga, that keeps us from eating the right food, and from enjoying our life fully. It is actually using your vehicle, powering it up and moving it around that gives it life. If we just learn about our potential but never go there we will start to doubt that what we have learned is valuable. Do not be afraid to try your vehicle, even a mere prototype. If we power up our vehicle and it breaks we can always build a new one and this time we will know more about it’s mechanics and be able to build a better vehicle for future discoveries.
Empowerment is the act of picking up the system (vehicle) we have created and moving within it. Using words, movements, and other ritual we command our ship where to go.
Ritual is powerful because of the practice. By repeating the ritual we become more and more in tune to it’s meaning. If we ritualistically train ourselves to look for something besides our destination by focusing on what we don’t want we will see what we practice. The more we notice what we don’t want the more our vehicle will take us there. On the other hand if we train ourselves to notice those thing we do desire, it will be impossible to avoid into them.
This has little to do with manipulating the world around us as most people imagine when they think of magic. According to Aleister Crowley “Magick is the Science of understanding oneself and one’s conditions. It is the Art of applying that understanding in action.” By performing ceremonial Magick one is really just changing himself, opening his senses and understanding to that potential and possibility all around. Our potential is always there and we just need to notice it to approach it.
Modern psychology is full of exercises which teach us to focus on the right goals in order to allow us to achieve them. The same is true of ceremony. By practicing ceremony we entrain ourselves into our system, learn how to navigate our vehicle and make our destination reachable.
Create A Ceremony That You Believe In
The best way to create a ceremony is to first consider what you believe? Ceremony can work for anyone, a Christian, Bhuddist, Agnostic, even Aethists have beliefs. Write these down, write down everything you have learned and resonate with. Call on these beliefs to create a concept you can trust. Do you believe in a higher power, a connection between all beings? Do you believe in science and rational thought? Take these ideas and write them down. The symbol can be anything like your religions God, or it could be something as simple as a visualization or a drawing of an imagined space craft that will take you through the world of you emotions. If you are trying to navigate the emotional world be sure to use your emotions to create your craft. Be sure to put everything you know into it. There are parts of pieces to the puzzle all around you. Try not to leave anything out. This is your vehicle you are creating.
Second, write down your destination. Think about specifically where you want to go. Do you want to buy a car, find true love, travel to europe? Write it down thinking of all the details and imagining yourself arriving at your destination. Use this goal that you write down to create a phrase that you can repeat during your ceremony.
The third thing you need to do is clear your bodies of doubt, fear and all the things keeping you back. Find chants, a breathing exercise, yoga routine, walk, meal, or other activity that you feel centers you. Clear the space you will do the ceremony in, remove distractions and sounds and lights that will disturb your meditative state. Get grounded in reality and in tune with yourself. The healthier, more aware, sober, and in tune with yourself you are. The more effective you will be.
The final step is to do it. Don’t expect yourself you get retrained immediately. There is a reason these are called practices. You must practice regularly. The more you practice the better your results will be. Be open to your goals and repeat your phrase during your ceremony. When you are not in ceremony but feel that your goals are failing. Sit down in a quite place and return to the place where you were in the ceremony. You will get back on track immediately.
A Ceremony to Try: Magnetic Ceremony
Sit down in a comfortable position. Imagine yourself in a pyramid of bright white light. This pyramid is protecting you from the influence of any forces in the outer world which challenge you. You are complete and contained in yourself. Imagine your chakras one at a time top to bottom. As you pass through each chakra imagine the color of that chakra saturating the space all around you. One at a time move down the chakras to your feet. When you reach your feet, imagine golden energy from the earth rising up through your body and energizing you with the energy of your potential.
Take in three deep breaths slowly inhaling and exhaling. Keep imagining yourself in this protective pyramid. Take in a deep breath and breath out chanting the syllable “Hu.” Elongate the sylable so that you spend a few seconds each time you say “Huuuuuu.” Take a deep breath and say it again. Imagine the sound waves of “Hu” vibrating and harmonizing within you and without you. Imagine them vibrating with the colors and objects of the Universe. Chant the phrase over and over again until you feel your hands tingle and your mind and mood elevated.
Say the phrase “I am a magnet for Love, Abundance, Success, and Good Fortune.” Say it with feeling and emotion. Imagine each of these things Love, Abundance, Success, and Good Fortune happening as you say them. Imgaine you are a magnet and these forces are attracted to you and pulled toward you wherever you go. Be sure to repeat the phrase slowly and put your energy into it. Repeat 10 times and then relax and breath in deep. Breath in three deep breaths. and end your ceremony with “So Be it.”
This ceremony can be adapted to whatever ideas and needs you have. Be creative imagination is the highest of powers so be sure to put your imagination and creativity into everything you can. The forces in this ceremony can be substituted for any destination or need.
You will find over time that you begin to feel differently and think differently about things. As your creat your own ceremonies you will realize that there is not limit to the things it can help you with. It is important to recognize the flaws in your perception of reality and your ceremonies can be directed at retraining those parts of your conscioussness you have difficulty with. Research your difficulty and design a ritual to combat your fear. Potential is all around us and the ways to unlock it are infinite. The simple practice of ceremony allows us to spend a short period in our busy lives refocusing our scattered perceptions, allowing our bodies or consciousnesses to align with our desired path and sail directly towards our true human potential.