We don’t find freedom by knowing fear inside and out. We merely find that we can be free and hop back in the hole most times. People are in love with the devil they know.
How role playing applies to your metaphysical practice.
First, it can get you over the hump of believing in “reality”. Asking if what you do is real is actually entirely useless. What matters is if your practice is useful. Does it help with your daily life? Does it expand your ability to enact your will? Does it give you strength to cope? That’s the “reality”, but more than that, it can make you aware of how easily available magic is at any time.
A famous artist said that a true artist can never cease being a sorcerer, and that they had to remain on their guard to avoid going mad. Though he did not have a formal metaphysical practice, his insight was entirely valid. People accept the limitations of reality, because they are easier to deal with, if also core deadening. But when we enact any process of will, we can see it in the sense of role playing. It may be literally true that your ritual tool has no power, or that a chant or incantation is just physical sound, but when we suspend our accepted limitations, break the slavery of the consensus, then these practices and symbols have power in that they serve as focuses for our attention. Attention = power. You have power over nothing to which you will give no attention.
Why we engage in structured metaphysical practice is to create our own context to work in. To give our attention to something that might seem to us to have no material reality. We select our symbols and enact our practices with the intention to act “as if” they will create the desired change. There is actually no solid evidence for the theory of cause and effect anyway. It’s just a reliable experiential construct. Science doesn’t know why time never goes backwards, or why decay never reverses itself, but these are still the truth. But back to the point, it doesn’t matter if your practice has a direct causative relationship to a change you seek to create, or if it only changes your views and state of being. The change can still be made whether it happens quickly or takes a season.
Now, people try a metaphysical practice once and then quit it. Declare in their “wisdom” that it just doesn’t work. But that’s delusion, and all the energy you put into any practice you have builds. Even if you don’t see the purpose of magick as being to change yourself, it will anyway. It doesn’t matter if it’s a science or an art, it works.
I see it as those being impatient. Non believers. Well, even their belief doesn’t matter. It just creates an empty disconnect. They will still feel like their life is affected by the “unseen”, and they are right despite the fact that they don’t want to be.
Now back to role playing. There are a lot of schools of metaphysical practice and thought that say magic or will working only works the way they say it does. In my experience, this is egotism and hypocrisy. Metaphysical practices work to the degree that they correspond with your experience of life and your self knowledge. So if I discover that by staring at someone and willing them to calm down they do, and if that works reliably enough for it to be worth trying every time I want to, then that is my magic. Special words or items be damned, special attunements or initiation, it’s a broad world and it’s all magical.
My wife tells my hiccups to go away and they do. It’s still a mystery to me why, but they do. So I even ask her to tell them to go away, because they are very strong to the point of being painful.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.