Last night, I went to bed with an entirely different attitude. The cycling thoughts tried to intervene but just like in a meditation, I was able to say no, quietly, and those thoughts departed. This may be normal for most people but not I. Negative thoughts often cycle through my brain of their own accord. They wind me up to a frenzy. This sparks certain behaviors that I don't like.
There was a quiet conscious decision as those thoughts occurred last night, "No." It worked. It felt a bit like Tai Chai. I simply redirected the incoming energy. I do not know if it will work today or tomorrow. I do know it worked last night and I slept beautifully.
Today, I am a bit scared for a couple of reasons. The Dalai Lama's ideas of choosing an emotional response to given situations and by looking at the problems situations would cause had they broken the way I wanted to has had an impact. I can see the unhappiness had my coven situation gone another way. Do I really want to be engaged with some of those folks? No, their attitudes about certain things are so contradictory to my own that I'd be unhappy to get along by going along. Others in that group, I'd be more than happy to associate with. However, the problems caused by the others certainly would have a chance to trump that happiness in tragic ways. I am looking at other more recent blows and seeing them the same way.
So why is that scary? Because known to others or not, these perspectives very much colored my outer personality, self-perception and a host of other things. Changing those perspectives will change my outer personality, self-perception and a host of other things. This is uncharted territory.
My mind is not afraid at all. However, I am having a physical fear reaction. If you lived in my head, you'd find that contradiction utterly fascinating. It is like living on the edge of the qabalistic G'uph (physical body/soul) and the Ruach (personality/mind soul). I can see both acting independently. It is pretty cool. Which being pretty cool with being scared is, well, a unique sensation.
The second reason for being afraid is something John Michael Greer once told me. He said that he was amazed at, "...what some people feed their heads." The phrase has always stuck with me. I thin he meant some of the garbage spewed forth in the name of entertainment and the like. I am not sure as that conversation was five or six years ago.
In this case, this is what his words sparked within me.
In my occult career, I have always worked on myself. I was deeply moved by the internal purification process. That isn't going to work anymore. The parts of me left that I viewed as needing purification no longer really exist. They are not real parts of me but habits. Simply put, they are dead but given that there is nothing left to replace them they live as ghosts in my machine. I am now working on things to replace them.
The first step is improving my reading material. While I didn't realize this when I picked it up, The Art of Happiness at Work by the Dalai Lama was my first step in this direction. I don't think think the rest of my magickal work will be so focused on the purification part. No doubt I will revisit those themes from time to time but it will not be my continual primary focus.
So, I suppose the second reason for fear is related to the first. This represents a great change as well.
I am not a huge fan of Pen Jilette but this USA Today promotional material for his book God No! lays out his atheist ten commandments. They look pretty impressive to me.