On Reality - or the state of things as we perceive them

Many of us when they were young had imaginary friends. For all of us who are now frowning, thinking ‘Well, not me!’ I honestly wish you've had as well. The question wether imaginary friends are better or worse than real ones is pretty irrelevant here. What is relevant is how either of them enrich our lives.

Let me explain why I think this is not only true for the subject of imaginary friends... 

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As we grow out of childhood life becomes more complex and we lose the wonderful simplicity of distinguishing between ‘imaginary’ and ‘real’ friends. The line starts to blur. And we foster this blurring as good as we can. Maybe that is because we are taught that ‘imaginary’ is something bad and real’ must be something good? Strangely enough most of us show little resistance while their filters get manipulated. Where children tend to pivot on ‘boredom vs. joy’ rather than ‘imaginary vs. real’, adults through some strange magic seem completely contempt with prioritizing the latter above the former. 

So as we grow up it becomes increasingly important that whatever we chose to interact with, believe in or rely upon on has received the ‘real stamp’. While this in itself might not be a problem, it does become one as soon as we discover the extremely narrow and biased filter our everyday society applies to the term ‘real’. You could claim that an appropriate definition of the term ‘real’ is that which exists without subjectivity being necessary to experience it. 

For something to receive the 'real stamp' scientists want to be able to catch, kill, dissect, measure, stitch it up and see it in life action again. While that might work well for atoms, chemical elements and physical matter in general, it filters out an amazing richness, wealth and beauty of life: Technically speaking a dream isn’t real, but the nerve-impulses in our brains are. Technically speaking the world around us isn’t real but the inverted light-points in the back of our eyes are. Technically speaking the kiss isn’t real, but the lips touching each other are - or not even them? Technically speaking poetry can’t be real and so cannot be anything subtle or beautiful that relies more on the power to be perceived subjectively than on the ability to be repeated under scientific conditions. 

See, I just read a long article in a German weekly newspaper on esotericism. Of course it was rubbish and I didn’t expect anything different. That is mainly for two reasons: 

  1. It is just as easy to ridicule ‘esoteric people’ than it is to make fun of children who have imaginary friends. In both cases the people who make fun of them are missing the actual point. The point is NOT wether esoteric techniques can be scientifically validated or wether imaginary friends can be seen by others. The point is wether either of them make us happier people. The bullshit filter shouldn’t be ‘Would other people believe in the same things as I do?’ the filter needs to be: ‘Do the actual things I believe in contribute to making me a happier person?’ 
  2. I didn’t expect anything other than rubbish because whenever the topic of the esoteric or occult comes up in German public the established churches have done a great job in applying their (commercial) filters beforehand. They are doing an outstanding job in not allowing us to break through existing limitations, traditions and prejudices. Thus someone is considered ‘sane’ when saying they belief in matter and spirit, yet they are ‘esoteric’ if they belief in e.g. subtle energies. Can anyone explain to me where the scientific difference is between spirit and subtle energies? It’s simply that one of the terms has been around since a few millennials and the other one has just arrived on the Western linguistic playground... 

So the rubbish I read in this article reminded me of something really crucial for anybody who wishes to embark or proceed on the magical path: You better get over the question of ‘real vs. imaginary’ as early as possible. Or else it will stall you all along the way. 

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If you want a piece of advice, I would go for: Just treat all things the same - wether you experience them and they can be measured by scientists or wether you simply experience them on your own. Treat the people you meet in a dream as respectfully as the people on the streets. Treat your emotions as respectfully as a stray dog out on the fields: it might be playful or needy or dangerous or all at once. Treat the spirits you meet in rituals as you would a temple in a far away country: Don’t assume you know, keep your eyes open and your mind calm and your heart full of curiosity... 

When embarking on learning spiritual techniques - just apply the same filters. Observe yourself carefully and brutally honestly with regards to the effects you achieve on yourself or the world around you. If it doesn’t work, don’t put lipstick on a pig. Try harder or let go. If it still doesn’t work, it might well work for others. The trick is discovering the things that work for you - and then to master them. That is what the journey is all about. 

Also, apply the same filters when riding a train or driving home at night. Maybe the things you are experiencing right now don’t deserve to carry the ‘real stamp’ either? What are you feeling, seeing, tasting right now? Did this drink, this food, this encounter, this recent thought make you more happy or sad, tranquil or agitated, fearful or serene? Keeping a tight mental record of your interactions with the world, will help you develop your consciousness as well as your inner and outer senses...

The threshold we need to step over is this: When walking the path of magic you don’t take anything for granted. Neither the imaginary friends nor the real ones. Neither the kisses nor the lips. Every little thing you encounter has a reason to be a wonder. And no wonders will ever be validated by science. Because they are measured on a scale of inner experience and amazement and not of outer probability.

The wonderful Polish Chassidic communities of the early 1900s - most of which were destroyed and dispersed by my German ancestors in WWII - knew about this and had a mysterious term for how to discover these types of wonders. They called it tikkune. Another wonder to be explored and discovered...

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