The Enemy of Magical Study
The biggest enemy of magical study are the cognitive biases that interfere with clear thinking. “I don’t have time to meditate,” for example, is the one that gets me a lot. It’s the function of a mental filter that skews reality. What it actually says is “these other things I need to do are much larger in my mind than they are in reality.” Objects in your imagination may appear larger than they are.
Confirmation bias haunts attempts to study magical systematically. The best cure to confirmation bias is to keep a brutally honest journal that includes every single magical act you ever perform. I’ve written elsewhere that I’m not convinced of the value of a magical journal. I’m coming around there, because it does serve to keep you honest, and that’s what matters. But it can also become a downward spiral of self-reinforcing delusion, so keep it practical and concrete.
And, of course, ego. We want to protect our ego, our self-esteem. We’d be better off developing a sense of self-efficacy. Then we won’t feel attacked when someone tells us our magical order isn’t the whatever the hell such people argue about.
What are your cognitive biases? What gets in the way of your magic?