Change Your Vision; Change Your World
Almost everyone is familiar with Lewis Carroll’s children’s story, Alice in Wonderland. The companion work, Through the Looking Glass, is not as widely read, but it’s just as surreal and mind-altering. The entire story, although it seems like a whimsical children’s fable on the surface, is actually a series of logic problems that also outlines the moves in a chess game. Lewis Carroll, who was actually the Reverend Charles Dodgson writing under a pen-name, wrote the books to entertain but also to teach the mathematics in which he himself was expert. I can’t say reading Through the Looking Glass improved my understanding of math, but it did teach me how to look at the world around me from a different perspective.
After reading the books as a child I, like probably a great many others, found myself gazing at every mirror in the house wondering what strange worlds might lie just on the other side of the glass. One of my aunts noticed this and took it upon herself to show me a trick. She sat me down in front of the bedroom mirror and held up a rather large hand mirror so the bedroom mirror was reflected in the hand mirror. After adjusting the angle of the hand mirror a few times, an endless corridor of reflections opened up, as the image of the bigger mirror reflected the image of the smaller mirror reflecting the image of the bigger mirror on down to infinity. This was just amazing to me at the time, and I subsequently spent the next several hours twisting myself and the hand mirror around to see just how far down I could see through this reflective rabbit hole.
After playing around with this for a while, I tried looking into the hand mirror from different angles. Ultimately, I ended up walking around with the hand mirror held at a tilt against my brow, looking at the world upside-down while I was still walking right-side up. At first, this only made me dizzy, but after a while, I began to adjust, moving through the upside-down world with the ease of one native to it.
I spent hours – if not days – playing around with the reflected world of my home turned on its ear. Seeing my familiar environment from such a radically different perspective made me notice details that I had never seen before – mainly because they were so familiar that they just blended into the background. The patterns on the wallpaper, the texture of the rug – everything was different and new.
I never forgot how this mirror-play gave me a new appreciation for both my environment and my relation to that environment. A lot of our inflexibility is built up through habit and familiarity. Once something becomes so familiar that is it just background to us, we assume that it will exist as it has always existed – and magickally, that means that we impose changelessness upon it. If, however, we are able to raise our perceptions above such assumptions and perceive the world around us in a different light, we become able to make changes in that world – and magick is all about making change.
Applied to your practice, techniques for altering your perception will help you approach the conceptual world from many different angles, leading to a plasticity of mind that is one step closer to making objective changes in that world through a conscious extension of your divine Will.