Those who built the legendary companies wisely understood that it is better to understand who you are than where you are going – for where you are going will almost certainly change. From Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras
I found this saying and I feel it applies as much to a person’s spiritual journey as it does to the creation of a great business. So much focus is on the journey that we sometimes forget how important it is to simply be present for the experience. Knowing who you are (as best you can) provides a guiding light for your journey, a north star as it were that keeps you on course during your journey. I think that what makes the journey meaningful is the experience and that experience is meditated by your identity, that awareness of who you are.
So much emphasis is put on the journey, but the journey changes constantly. The one constant you have is yourself, and even that changes, but what makes it constant is that it is you, it is part of you, something you know and experience each day. The journey changes and yet it is always relative to your sense of self and as such is oriented around that self hood and how it responds to the journey as it unfolds. If you recognize this, then you can rely on that sense of self to ground you in your journey, for no matter where you go, there you are.
As to how all this relates to magic and your practice of it, its a reminder that even the magic itself can’t replace your sense of identity or its role in your life. Knowing who you is the essential principle of magic, because from that awareness arises the drives that inform what you are doing magic for. When you apply magic to your journey, you are inevitably applying it from that sense of self in order to bring the journey back into alignment with who you know yourself to be. At the same time, the journey may illuminate that sense of self and provide you a different perspective that consequently changes the values informing the journey. Being open to this is always useful, for no self awareness should be so static that you can’t change it as needed. Your identity, while grounding your journey, is nonetheless something which should be open to change from the very experiences you have.
Everything changes…when you accept that then you are open to the journey and the experience because nothing is set in stone and change is welcomed as an inevitable part of what will happen. We can’t stop change, but we can move with it, and flow into it and use it propel us forward, while also steering the north star of our self knowledge and awareness.