("Magic is the art and science of making coincidence go your way more often than is statistically possible at all.")
I've never been a huge person for movies or TV. The last time I went to the cinema was ten or twelve years ago, with a child for their amusement. It's been months since I put on a DVD, and I never hire them - the few that are worth watching, are worth owning.
And I've never been a huge computer gamer, either. A year or so ago a friend of mine who also isn't very much of a gamer either introduced me to a particular computer game, I won't bother naming it here. I quite liked it for all the reasons most gamers wouldn't like it: it didn't present a lifelike representational image on screen at any time. Instead, it presented words and numbers, and you had to construct the "landscape" of the game within your own mind.
For that reason, I found it actually more potent than more lifelike, impressive games I've sampled then abandoned, because it engaged my own creativity and visualisation more fully, and therefore was more satisfying.
Magic and self-development are both about personal engagement, visualisation, constructing thoughtforms and solidifying the flexibility of your own inner landscape. So was this game. I played with it casually, as a pleasant time-waster for a while, enjoying how I created a given world that existed nowhere else but in my mind, not even in the game, as a response to the game.
Then a contact of mine found themselves in magical and emotional trouble, struggling with their inner demons so to speak. I did all the usual things, emotional support, providing a safe space to talk, all that sort of thing. Then it occurred to me: this person was struggling with their inner landscape and "negative forces" within it. I was toying with an inner landscape and the negative forces within that.
Perhaps I could, through the magical focus of my mind, link the inner world of that particular game, formed and forged by the strength of my mind, with the inner world of his mind. Perhaps the battles they were fighting - and losing - and the battleground they were being fought on, could become the battles that I fought and so often won. After all, they was fighting with thoughtforms and visualisations, and I was fighting - more successfully - with thoughtforms and visualisations. Inner Space, we all know is infinitely flexible.
So the day after I had that idea and thought about it for a while, I entered the game and hefted my imaginery weapons for real. As I had so many times before, I looked at a screen with lines of coloured writing and numbers on it, and in my head they became fleshed-out opponents and allies. Only now I was championing a real person's cause against real forces of negativity. I felt my mind power up. I felt real force - although my fingers didn't hit the keyboard any harder. I felt my focus narrow and intensity, and I felt it seek out my enemy, a real (if intangible) one this time.
And I fought until I ran out of turns. Later, I fought again. And again. In less than a week, I felt a definite moment when everything seemed to pull in the direction I wanted it to go. By this stage the person was out of touch with me, but we met up a fortnight later. By then I was merely playing the game again - it had stopped being a battleground. And when we met their colour was better, they were more relaxed, they felt they had their inner world more in control. I was delighted for them, and congratulated them - the battle they themselves had undergone couldn't be emphasised enough over that period of time. And when I asked, the time I felt everything shift in the inner world of the game that had become a battleground, was about the time they felt everything shift in the inner world of their own mind.
All magicians (except conjurers) will tell you that it is the power of mental force that effects magical change on the inner planes. What this particular experience taught me, though, was that symbolic landscapes created for pure entertainment could be re-forged into symbolic landscapes to symbolise the great battles between good and evil, death and life, health and disease, madness and Mind. It's all about mental discipline.