By Charles McBride
Limits and The Metaphysical
There are hard and soft limits in the world that we must always be ready to recognize. Hard limits are those that can not be broken completely such as the permanence of death, the fact of gravity as a force acting upon us, and the nature of time. However there are also soft limits in reality such as events that are in motion that may play out, the roll of dice in motion within our world, and how much hard limits are impacting any moment sometimes fall into the realm of this soft limit. Discerning the two is ever important in the mystic’s life and it is the art of the mystic to know the difference between the two.
A hard limit is by definition not breakable without other physical actions in place. Examples of this include gravity. Without some intervening force gravity will hold things down. However when we interject against that force, such as by throwing a ball, jumping, running, or using our muscles we create energy in motion. Once energy is in motion a hard limit becomes a soft limit. Through proper application of energy we can then alter the hard limit directly. This means running faster, jumping higher, or becoming heavier or lighter to perspective forces. This is often seen in the “light as a feather, stiff as a board” exercise that many try when entering the mystical workings. It is seen in the control of a candle flame, the flexing of energy through a muscle, or the amplification of force when we strike an object. Energy when in motion is not a hard limit, but when at rest it becomes a hard limit.
Soft limits are those limitation of how greatly we can influence energy in motion. You may amplify your energy when striking an object so that you break through it but you have not amplified your energy enough to strike it and rebuild it. This is because the energy is being applied to a physical force in motion. The more practical application to the mystic is the soft limit of probability. At any one moment you have a probability of thousands of things that could be beneficial or detrimental to your life and existence. It is this soft limit that magick influences by subtly shifting the soft limit of probability. As probability is the “weakest of the soft limits” this makes the directions of events in accordance with will the easiest of magicks in many ways.
What about those times when a Soft Limit simply is not giving way though? These situations are where a Soft Limit and a Hard Limit are being confused. Let us take the classic “Job Application Spell” that is used so frequently. A mystic casts for a job application to be accepted, yet there is less than a 1% chance of that acceptance. The person has none of the qualifications, a poorly written portfolio and resume, and to boot has no experience in the field. No amount of magick is going to redirect this as there is nothing in motion on the side of the person being cast for. Simply put magick encourages the possible to resolve in our favor, it does not encourage the truly impossible.
Often people will ask “What about Curses” when hearing this. To be fair a curse is playing on whatever probability exists to cause ill toward a person. In any given day there is some percentage change of a fire happening, a storm occurring, a driver missing a stop sign, or a thousand other things that could cause injury, harm, or death to another person. In this respect it is easier to throw a curse than it is to cause a benefit to a person as this is an energy in motion constantly. Our lives are at risk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without stop. Any time you look at the news this reality comes into play. Curses then are generally the easiest things to do as they only aim toward the ill happenings of a person.
If curses are easy then so are general blessings. A general blessing is magick that brings SOME kind of good toward a potential target, and increases the chances of good things happening for them. The more specific a blessing the harder to achieve the result. This said as there are any number of a thousand positive events that can occur to someone in a given day, nearly as many as negative events, it is very easy to place a blessing upon another person or ourselves. In fact this simple, but powerful, form of mysticism is often overlooked. People want “this job” or “that deal sealed” instead of recognizing that a general blessing will get them the ultimate result of better life circumstances!
Knowing the difference between Hard Limits, Soft Limits, and the gray area between the two is important in magick. Often the mystic is called upon to work on something closer to the Hard Limit than the soft limit. Likewise you will often find either from a mystic, or as a mystic yourself, there will be the encouragement of actions to help turn a situation that is a hard limit into a soft limit to increase the effectiveness of magicks. This is necessary as overcoming a Hard Limit through raw force of will while not impossible is considerably costly in both time and resources. It is rare that a Hard Limit is overcome directly. However likewise many things are simply NEAR the spectrum of a Hard Limit and as such with time, patience, and the application of proper work will become closer and closer to a soft limit until such time as they become a reality. Never underestimate the power of magick, but don’t jump out of a plane without a parachute either.