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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Git Gud...or...The Wrong Kind of Fool

Magical folk like to associate themselves with wisdom. There is a certain way in which understanding hidden elements of reality and being able to use them to your advantage might be considered wise. An expanded situational awareness and the ability to deftly redirect things that are happening to help your cause might be thought of as being wise too.

But maybe all of that is just a matter of being clever. Not precisely wisdom, but still good.

The fixation on being wise leads to a lot of stuff that isn't magic. Attempts to claim credentials, or to have known certain people or to have read certain books. It leads to a focus on practicing a lot of impractical techniques. Some of these are mystical or are developmental and can help make you a better magician. Some are good for being a more successful person. Some are a waste of time. But we eat them up like a sweet confection made into a smoothie.

They're easy. They make us look good. They aren't something for which success is measurable. And they lead to guru level bragging rights without the stress of failure.

We laud people who memorize philosophical platitudes from JV team occult philosophers and regurgitate them with just the right cadence to make them seem mystical instead of creeperish or dysfunctional. We whack off to memes of quotes from famous renegades even when they really aren't useful statements magically or for life in general.

Because...we have to be wise, so we have to be in on the hidden wisdom. We have to show we GET IT and are part of the club.

Honestly, a lot of this stuff. It can be good. It can be useful.

But we fill our cups with so much of it we forget to actually learn and do magic. We don't immerse ourselves in the powers which will actually make our lives better and at the same time transform us into something better.

Because we're busy. We're busy with being the cool kid in the misfit club. We're busy embracing stuff to tell us how awesome we are in a way that is so fixated on that embrace that we forget to actually make sure we're awesome.

This hurts us because it leads to us no longer being open to learning things. We're convinced that some basic stuff makes us so l33t that we know the score. We don't have to listen anymore, we just have to talk, because the shit coming out of our mouths, or flying off our fingers into the electronic aethyrs of the internet...well that shit is fucking gold.

But it isn't.

We listen to people who don't know shit because we've decided they're cool because they regurgitate the same unexamined poorly sourced mish mash that has become the norm. And then we spoon up more of the same for the next guy.

While all this is happening, we still don't do magic. Because we are busy, we have to take time to gesticulate and gibber so we can catch a good case of the feels. At least 15 minutes a day.

We don't question people or say people are wrong. Because people who don't want to be questioned have told us it's rude. They've told us everything is right. They've told us it's all about how we feel or about what we want.

I'm sorry. Reality doesn't work that way.

If we want to be serious, and take magic seriously, if we want to be successful and real, here is some wisdom. Understand what is true, and use it. Appreciate learning what is false, because it helps you understand what is true. Call people out on their shit, or at least, reject it. Reject your own shit when it turns out it's nonsense, even if you wish it were true. Don't worry about being wise. Embrace being a dumbass who needs to find out everything and who needs to explore and who needs to drink deeply from the well of knowledge because without it you're going to drown in all the goofiness that surrounds you. Don't worry about being the teacher, or being the best, or showing you know the score.

In my own life, the road to successful development has never been about understanding that I know stuff or that I get it. It's always been about finding someone who is bigger and better than me, someone who knows more so I can say "I'm not as far along as him, I need to get there." Or seeing a system and saying "I don't understand that, maybe I'm not ready to now, I need to make sure I get to the point where I do get it."

Know what you don't know.

If you want to git gud. That's how you do it. Inspiration. You can't be inspired to be better if you know you're the best.

Git gud.

It's what you want to do. At least up to whatever point is good for you.

So get your ass handed to you. Read the comments on a thread which answer a question better than your answer does. Question your masters and determine if it makes sense. Reject what makes you feel like you're top dog when you realize it's not more than a feeling. Ask questions so you can listen to the answers, not just to show off how clever you are for asking, or how cool what you're doing must be.

And do magic. Serious magic. With right and wrong answers being part of your worldview.