Monday, March 02, 2015

On Ophiel's Sphere of Availability: What can we really manifest in life?

I want to talk a little about the concept in Ophiel's book on Creative Visualization called the "Sphere of Availability".

Donald Kraig defines it well this way:

Sphere of Availability: A concept first described by the occultist Ophiel (née Edward Peach). The idea is that things you can achieve or gain through magick must be usable by you. If you cannot use them you are prevented from obtaining them as they are outside your Sphere of Availability.
source: Modern Magick, by Donald Michael Kraig.

But the concept of the Sphere of Availability is not so simple and utilitarian. Here's Ophiel on the topic:

"TO SUM THIS UP - The intelligent and accurate appraisal of your present life's position in regard to your wants, and needs, and desires, is the FIRST STEP IN THE RIGHT USE OF CREATIVE VISUALIZATION AND THE SECOND IS THE ACCURATE APPRAISAL AND UNDERSTANDING OF THESE THINGS IN RELATION TO YOUR SPHERE OF AVAILABILITY."

Needless, to say, OPHIEL COULD HAVE DONE WITH AN EDITOR. Regardless of his prose, the point he makes emphatically is that you can't manifest stuff unless it's in your sphere of availability. And, according to Kraig, it's in your Sphere of Availability solely because you can use it. 

Something you can use is in your Sphere of Availability. Something you cannot use is outside your sphere of availability.

Ophiel continues:

"It can be said, quite truthfully, that we middle class people are the most difficult subjects for Creative Visualization work. We have many things on hand now and many other things automatically coming to us..." 

Ophiel then says that we ought not use Creative Visualization for that which is going to come to us anyway. Like what, for example? 

Well, like inheritances; affordable shoes, clothes, and goods; or, speaking internally, for patience which you might best develop by your own effort. 

This begs the question: how is Creative Visualization different from simply desiring things clearly and strongly? Ophiel makes it clear they are the same in his introduction. But he says we must do this work on a goal which we couldn't get through natural means, implying that Creative Visualization is for the creation of supernatural results. Here I think Ophiel is simply distinguishing between the effort of the mind and character, on the one hand, and the effort of spirit and will on the other. Creative Visualization concerns the latter.

But since the Sphere of Availability is based on utility (as Kraig suggests) and on supernatural goods that are missing from our lives (as Ophiel suggests), then what we are really talking about is ethical virtues or excellences. The Sphere of Availability is responsive to existing good qualities and skills and assets. We might even call all these "virtues".

So if I have the virtue of patience but not the virtue of courage, I'll be likely to have, perhaps, poor timing or emotional mastery. The use or good or gift of wanting something better in life is that I automatically must develop courage to attain it.

The entire Creative Visualization process then becomes an internal development. "Why," (we might ask) "do you want that surfboard?" Because, the answer will be, you have implanted within you the precise good qualities which that surfboard would make real. Those good qualities are just on the surface, right here and now, and you can access them at any time easily. 

On the other hand, you may not be able to manifest that aeroplane right here and now because you have no good qualities within which are made actual by the possession of that plane.

So, we are left with a fairly simple two-sided equation:

  • If you have good qualities developed by getting the thing, then it's in your Sphere of Availability.
  • If you don't have the good qualities developed by getting the thing, then it's not in your Sphere of Availability.

It follows from this equation, finally, that:

  • If what you want hasn't come, then you probably don't need it or need to want something nearer to your uniquely active good qualities.

I'll close with three Sphere of Availablity questions:

  1. What good qualities are within your reach reasonably soon?
  2. What projects or actions have you been putting off because they're too mundane, in favor of a more exciting fantasy project which has born no fruit?
  3. What goal frustrates you no end, which you could simplify to a lesser goal instead that would fulfill you?

These are some sharp and precise Sphere of Availability questions!


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