In the Process of Magic course I discuss the principle of limitation to some extent in a way that challenges the perceptions of limitation as an obstacle or something is containing you. In my experience limitation is actually a very useful magical tool that can lead to many breakthroughs in your life if you know how to use it. And the fact is that you can use any limitation you encounter, because as much as it may seem to limit you, the limitation also effects other people, and it can provide you with opportunities to think and act on novel methods for dealing with the limitation. I favor using limitation in a few different ways in magical work.
1. Use Limitation against itself. Limitations are usually imposed by authorities as a way of constraining what people can do, but those same limitations can also have a similar effect on the authorities that enforce them. So why not use the limitation to your favor? For example if you choose to go to trial for a ticket, try delaying the trial for as long as possible. Aside from the fact that such delays keep the ticket in a limbo it also can work in your favor against the memory of the person who gave you the ticket. Thus you use the limitations of the legal system against it as a way of gaining leverage. You use the limitation in your favor to achieve a more favorable result.
2. Recognize that limitation defines the situation. Limitations define the parameters of situation, at least on the surface. But actually if you examine limitations you’ll find that what they really do is only define the obvious parameters. A limitation is very distinct in what it define as well as what it doesn’t define and you can use what isn’t defined to get a different perspective or discover a way to work around the limitation.
3. Focus on discovering possibilities. Similar to number 2, recognize that limitations actually provide possibilities for you to explore. While a limitation limits you it also provides possibilities that occur as a result of having the limitation. If you cultivate the right attitude you can discover a lot of positive possibilities that come from limitations. The Book The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is an excellent example of how to use limitations to discover possibilities of empowerment. A good example that comes to my mind about this principle is from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. In one episode the character is formless, able to change into anything, but unable to do anything. A horizontal line ( a limit) is provided and suddenly the character the can walk. The point is made that while the limitation limits the character’s ability to be anything s/he wants, it also provides him possibilities. He can now walk, when he could not do anything before. In our own lives limitations perform a similar function, enabling us to do a lot as a result of the limitation, even as the limitation limits us in a specific way.
In magical work limitations are a useful part of your process because they help you understand what will or won’t work but also challenge you to discover how to use those limitations in your favor. Additionally limitations provide you definitions for what you are doing and what you are effecting. Everything is limited but those limitations provide you empowerment because something can be changed. Without limitations no effective change could occur because we’d live in a constant entropic state. So I think limitations should be embraced as useful tools that when applied correctly can make life easier instead of harder.