Thursday, April 29, 2010

Magick Without Tears. Chapter LXIII: Fear, a Bad Astral Vision

Examined Crowley's advice on fear and combating fear.

Crowley relates being full of fear and abused by the other children in school due to his physical weakness. To combat his fears he attempted to strengthen his courage by picking up the most dangerous and courage needing hobbies he could think of. He reports success from this attempt and then proceeds to suggest other extreme methods, making a habit of walking dangerous areas of town and moving to plague stricken areas, before presenting a summation of how to put this into practice.

"But the essence of the practice, as a practice, is to seek out and to face what one fears. Do not forget that courage implies fear—what else should fear be useful for?"

The direct route. Discover your fears, then face them by doing the opposite. Further, without fear there can be no courage. Fear is useful in that it can be overcome.

"One excellent practice, the general idea of which can easily be adapted to a host of particular cases, is the use of the imagination."

From the general to the practical, he then outlines a specific practice to overcome a particular fear you may be dealing with, which is the use of active imagination, much like meditation AAA in Liber CCCXLI. One lies down in Shavasana, relaxes, then you vividly place yourself into the scene and presence of your fear. This must be done with absolute clarity to actually induce the fear accurately in your mind. Repeat, you must be afraid for it to work, take it as far as you need to. If done correctly the fear will soon begin to fade, then you will become indifferent to it, before succeeding in having the fear vanish. Familiarity breeds contempt, as he put it.

"There is comfort in the thought that the persistent practice of seeking out one's fears, analysing them and their causes, then deliberately evoking them to "come out, you cad, and fight!" (W.S. Gilbert), presently sets up a habit of mind which is a strong fortress against all fear's modes of assault; one springs automatically to action when a patrol sneaks up within range of one's guns."

Fear is a basic primal human emotion, a survival mechanism, evolved to help keep us alive. As such it is hard wired into the species and will never be fully removed, nor should it be, but there is value in seeking within, discovering, naming, and then combating them. This should be an ongoing process that progress can be made in but never fully completed.

Note:
We shall put Crowley to the test. Utilizing the outline above I have devised two meditations to specifically deal with the fears as expressed in Fear: Part 2

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