Do you know your limits?
I teach this to everyone who says they’re interested in spirit work, because you need to know how to handle the living first.
Gone are the days when I still gave a chance or two to the “starry eyed” crowd who got overly impressed by the Occult. I no longer help them. I understand where they’re coming from, though. There’s a sense of mystery and wonder to working with “that which most people can’t see”. Movies are made about it (and at best, portray laughable stereotypes, but who cares, it’s entertainment, we like it). We’ve been telling ghost stories and tales of magical adventures since the dawn of times, and even the most scientifically inclined enjoy this “guilty pleasure” once in a while. Long story short: yes, I know, humans find it difficult to be indifferent to mysteries. I’m not saying it’s easy, though. I’m saying it’s necessary.
We must at the very least try to have some semblance of self-control when dabbling in the occult, or else we go crazy. There’s no shortage of stories of people who got seriously lost (yes I mean mentally) in the pursuit of something exciting “beyond”— and they’re unfortunately non-fiction stories. But then again, I won’t go too deep into “why”, because if you don’t have the common sense needed to agree with me here, I’m not interested in teaching you anyway.
So instead of trying to persuade childish people to stop being childish (which, frankly, is not gonna happen), I’ll just speak to the ones who already have the level of maturity necessary to follow my train of thought. Are you one of them? If so, great, keep reading.
When you think of the idea of “self-control”, what else comes to mind? No-go areas, perhaps? Taboos? Borders? Limits? All that and more. It’s not a fun topic, not even to me, but we must explore it every once in a while — just like it isn’t fun to do maintenance in your security equipment, but better safe than sorry, aye?
So, that brings us to the central question here: what are your limits and why are they in place? Don’t be too anxious — your limits are totally allowed to evolve and change with time. No explanations needed, you’re sovereign. Just ensure they exist, and you know both where and why.
Most important of all: what are your limits with living people? What kind of behaviour is a complete “no-no” to you and you won’t ever tolerate? It’s a good exercise, because you don’t need a 6th sense to see living people. And a lot of spirits behave like us mortal beings anyway (or use the same manipulation tactics to try and cross your boundaries and start using you. That’s what we DON’T want).
I won’t dictate to you what are good limits or bad limits. I want you to decide your own, and always enforce them.
The world is full of insecure people who don’t believe they’re worthy of respect — and in turn try and project that onto people like me by saying I’m “discriminating”. Ah, sure, go on Karen, come back to complain again when you have your shit together, because this whole universal acceptance you’ve got going on is clearly not doing you any favours. I have to be honest sometimes, I’m sorry. People who preach “acceptance, uwu” are usually (if not always!) just too insecure to feel worthy of making choices and setting standards in life. They’re just in denial about this insecurity. But that’s THEIR problem to solve, not mine.
Nobody should be forced to accept every kind of degrading behaviour from people in their lives. Let’s normalise respecting OURSELVES too much to put up with bullshit. Because let me tell you: one-dimensional villains aren’t the only kind of villain. The hardest to defeat aren’t those who announce to the four winds “hey, look at me, I’m evil”. No. Those are easy. The hardest to defeat are the ones who try to fool you, capitalise on guilt and shame, put on a mask of “fragile victim uwu” amongst the LEGIT fragile victims you’re protecting. They’ll dress up as whatever underdog you normally protect, and stay there undetected, using you, abusing you, draining you, until you say “enough is enough”. But how do you do that? Well, in order to do that, you must first acknowledge that just ’cause someone is in your clique, that doesn’t make them immune to scrutiny.
That’s why it’s important to be able to get out of this generalisation mindset when it no longer serves you. “Oh, mr so-and-so is gay and acted abusive towards me, therefore A) I hate all gays, or B) I love and support all gays so I’ll pretend this didn’t happen and never hold him accountable”. You see where I’m going? The same applies to any other group of people in today’s world — not only the oppressed. It applies to politicians for instance. “Oh, this and that politician were corrupt and psychopathic, so this new friend I made who turns out to be a politician must also be psychopathic” — Ehhhh, no. Stop. I mean, sure, your grievance makes sense, and so does the generalisation, I’m not judging you or trying to shame you for it. I understand it. But is it serving you a good purpose? Is it useful? Is it good for you? Objectively, no.
If you want to vent and cry and break things in anger, sure, by all means, do that. Emotions are valid. BUT if you want to actually make progress, you must put an end to these knee-jerk reactions somehow. I mean — we keep having them in our day-to-day lives. Then we turn around and tell the spirit worker “oh sure I’m ready to start learning from you”. See the irony? If you’re not even capable of keeping a level head among LIVING PEOPLE who displeased you, how are you expecting to do that among spirits that are harder to see (and even MORE cunning)?
Although there aren’t “good limits” or “bad limits” per se, there are good or bad WAYS to decide on limits. It’s bad to generalise; it’s good to consider the individual.
A lot of people cling to this tribalistic idea of “right” and “wrong” because deep down they feel too weak or powerless or incapable of setting the boundaries their hearts truly desire. And I get that. I’ve been there. If you’re one of them, you’re probably thinking “yea this whole idea of pursuing what I really deserve sounds nice but I don’t stand a chance against the world so lemme just follow this bunch of sheep here because united we’re stronger”. And to that I’ll say: okay, I get what you’re saying. It’s intelligent, but it’s not really effective. Trust me. It just seems good on the surface, but if you dig deeper into it, you’ll see it isn’t. You’ll see it’s actually sabotaging you.
First of all, let me tell you a secret that only the “smartest” people know: we’re fully aware there are people stronger or smarter than us in the world. It’s bound to happen. How big is humanity now, 7 billion? Yeah I keep my figures up to date. Someone, somewhere, could use their higher status (whatever it is — strength, money, influence, etc) to try and force me to comply with them if they felt like it. And there’d be nothing I could do against it. So I’m not actually fearless. I’m just aware that this logic works both ways. I am more powerful than a lot of other people. It’s also bound to happen. And that’s life. It will always be that way. Nobody is the absolute mega blaster beast, and nobody is the weakest fragilest most unfortunate poor soul on Earth (if you see yourself that way unironically, seek help asap). Humanity is made of grey areas. The difference between people like me VS overly fearful people, is that I’m aware of this fact.
It can change depending on where you go, too. It’s heterogenic WITHIN individuals too — so, this guy is superior to you in the “having money” department, but perhaps you’re superior to him in, Idk, intelligence? Looks? Maturity? Strength? Speed? Charisma and talent to make friends? Persuasion? Stubbornness? There’s always something you can leverage to still get what you need in the end. “Oh but I’m not good at anything”, the crybabies will say. Not true. Are you alive? Okay. How old are you? Well. All these years you’ve been alive. Somehow, you got here. And some (or most) of this survival is your own merit. There you go.
You see, even within the groups you’re in, and you love and trust, this difference in levels of power is bound to keep happening. That’s how we get fake prophets, that’s how we get corrupted people in hierarchies, that’s how we get manipulators. So, joining a protective community is not going to make you immune to human nature. Surprise surprise, communities are made of humans. You just get an illusion of protection against the “big bad wide world”, but you’re still in the exact same place in society, so it changes nothing. Sometimes, it can even be worse, because you’ll have to compromise on some of your standards in order to stay in.
Just so I make myself clear, I don’t hate groups and tribes and so on. I like them in fact, and belonging is a thing I hold very dear to my heart. All I’m saying is joining communities should be a CONSEQUENCE — not the CAUSE — of your list of values and boundaries in life. Or else you’ll just keep getting bad deals everywhere.
“I was so nice to you and THIS is how you treat me?”
— Every manipulator
This (and other similar crocodile tears) are one of the top favourite manipulation tactics used by wolves in sheep’s clothing. It works so well because it’s taking advantage of people’s natural empathy. When you play the victim, you can often deflect someone who was calling you out for trespassing a boundary, even though it was their right to call you out. That’s why manipulators love using this tactic.
It’s an appeal to emotion, let’s be honest here, because there’s no real logic to it. I mean, if it was logically true that it’s wrong to call out a friend (or other near-and-dear person) for their shitty behaviour, then slavery is good and moral (?) And it definitely is not. But this is what you’d be to them — a slave. Unable to stand up for your rights even if you felt the deepest need for that. “Yes sir, yes sir, keep hurting and mistreating me like a worthless pile of crap, because all the instances when you were nice to me make up for this and justify continuing the relationship without as much as a serious talk”, said no-one ever.
The fact is, we’re all surviving. Is kindness good and necessary? Well, of course. But you can’t take it for granted, from anyone, even if they tell you they’re kind. Life in general isn’t too different from commerce, after all. There are days when you’re absolutely proud of this great product you’re selling, but there will also be days when you need to sell something faulty and pass it off as “good” just to make ends meet, and that requires lying and manipulating. Throw the first stone who has never done that. Now multiply that by… several billion today? Everyone has done that, at least once. If you just take things at face value all the time, you need to grow up.
Take this from me, don’t just rely on how “nice” someone is being to you. I know, I know, we’re all in need of love, but look for that in a romantic setting only. You must be a bit more cunning if you are to be successful getting what you need. We all know that to some degree, not always consciously, but I want you to learn that consciously. Decide on your standards by thinking, “how is this behaviour cooperating with me? / how is this behaviour uncooperative with me?” — this will help you tell who is bullshitting just to trespass and test you. People can be nicely, kindly, and sugary-sweet uncooperative. It happens all the time. That’s what we DON’T want. People can be bluntly and aggressively uncooperative, too, but those are easy to spot (and run away from). And there are the blunt and scary…but cooperative! Funny bunch. They’ll growl and stomp their feet but be like — “I help you. Here’s what you asked for, take it”. Don’t assume things.
So if you value privacy, don’t give in to a person who is “nicely” looking through your stuff without your permission, am I right? Same with all other things that you value and need to have at all times. Sometimes it’s just a matter of letting the person know this is your limit and they can’t trespass. Other times, they’ll keep trying, because deep down they aren’t a real friend and don’t care for you. Do I even need to say what to do in that scenario?
Sure, image is important. Some might think, “but what will people say if I’m too stubborn with my limits”, well, here’s the thing — whoever says your standards are “too high”? They’re bluffing. They’re trying to get the upper hand over you. You know why? Only YOU can tell if your standards are too high (aka, you’re never EVER reaching them), but if somebody ELSE tells you that, chances are they don’t know shit. They aren’t in your head, they don’t wear your shoes. They’re just appealing to your preoccupation with image in order to get you to comply with their fantasy of power or whatever. Tell ’em to get lost. Spirit or living person, it works all the same.
If you want an image of sanctity, agreeableness, etc, okay. I don’t judge. But chances are you already have it, because if that’s important to you, you’ve been pursuing it for way longer than that one bully even knows you for. Whoever says “if you don’t comply with me you aren’t a nice person at all” is just manipulating you, same way a merchant says “this one product is unlike anything else of its kind”. Bullshit. A useful bullshit, but bullshit nonetheless. No one single thing compares to a lifetime of effort, do you see what I mean? And rest assured, your genuine moments of selflessness and niceness (when nobody asked for it and you still went there and acted nice) are the ones that get the MOST recognition. They help your image a lot more than some lame guilt trip by some lame bully.
In the end, you don’t truly know what people think of you, either way. You’d be surprised how many acts we put up all the time, even for seemingly vain reasons. You’re better off simply deciding what you think is prudent, then keeping to those rules. And if some turn out to be wrong, no problem, change them — nobody’s keeping tabs on you. That’s the beauty of our insignificance.
This article was partially written with help from a merchant friend who once lived in a Pictish kingdom near today’s Glasgow. Not sure what time (Christian I suppose). If you’re curious, it’s from the second last title onwards.