As noted by E.E. Rehmus, “Will is one of the two natural human powers for altering reality (the other is imagination).” There certainly exists a connection between the two. What we imagine, we can create through a willed act. This is not passive daydreaming or fantasizing, but a focused direction of the imagination, coupled with a desire to create or be the change, made manifest by the power of the Will.
Émile Coué outlined four laws of Imagination and the Will:
- When the will and the imagination are antagonistic, it is always the imagination which wins, without any exception.
- In the conflict between the will and the imagination, the force of the imagination is in direct ratio to the square of the will.
- When the will and the imagination are in agreement, one does not add to the other, but one is multiplied by the other.
- The imagination can be directed.
Coué emphasizes that the expressions “in direct ratio to the square of the will” and “is multiplied by” are illustrations to make the meaning clearer, rather than being precise measurements.
It is the last two laws which are of particular interest to the magickian, that the imagination can be directed, and that when the imagination and Will are “in agreement” the result is a multiplication of the two forces.
A more magickal description would be to say that when the Will and Imagination are directed via focused attention a magical act is performed.
Paul Foster Case, writing about the Magickian tarot card, stated that: “The primary manifestation of Spirit is Will, of which Attention – the wand – is the essence, and to which Memory – the wallet – is closely linked. Wisdom, having for its essence Imagination – the rose – is the secondary expression.” That is: the two main manifestations of Spirit are Will (with Attention being the essence) and Wisdom (with Imagination being the essence).
It is worth noting that the Gnostic writers using the term luminous epinoia to represent one aspect of the perception or awareness, which some have linked to genuine insight, conscious awareness, and imagination. This is a clue that within our imagination lies genuine wisdom, although it may be in a symbolic form that we don’t immediately recognize, as the insights from luminous epinoia are imperfect, more like glimpses and hints, and as alluded to in the saying, “in a mirror, darkly.” It is important to remember that signs and symbols are not important in and of themselves, but the concepts and ideas they represent. Imagination imparts glimpses and hints on the nature of reality, but these glimpses are not that truth or reality; in many ways the symbols are the reflections of the true nature of the reality.
When magick is performed the imagination and Will must both be directed toward the desired goal. This is where the qualities of the Will such as concentration, attention, one-pointedness and focus come into play. There is no point in mumbling magickal words while thinking about some mundane distraction. All the magickian’s attention and focus is concentrated upon performing the required steps in the process. The magickian must make the present moment (the Now) the focal point for directing the magickal energies of the Will towards the desired outcome. Whether the magickal rite is a physical ritual or is solely an astral working the imagination is still the primary tool for seeing the desired goal becoming manifest. Ceremony or meditation, the process is still a form of trancework, with any tools or decorations serving as symbolic focal points for the mood and setting of the working.
- Nothing – put these concepts into practice.