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Once the dark student has managed to succeed in developing his independence from weakness, from patheticness, from the herd of the common folk progression can be made. No longer will he be tied, swayed and influenced by their interdependence; he is now the wolf, and he is not scared of the loss of the herd. Be wary though, the predator needs his prey, and so one should not distance themselves too much from such a superb resource, otherwise he will lose the bounty that he craves for so much.

Without the ties and bonds of the herd, the nagging placed upon the soul that subliminally calls to the self and changes and morphs him in ways one doesn’t even notice, one can work to heal the wounds caused by being part of the herd for so long. As well as this, the apprentice can search his entire character for the demons that lurk within the self, in all the dark corners. The soul and character are huge and complex places, penetrating the deepest depths of self on many physical, metaphysical, and further levels. As such, one will be searching an entire lifetime to understand the geography, the mountains, rivers, lakes, quicksand and all that lies in between. The dark apprentice can learn tools and ‘bushcraft’ of this terrain to help him, but pure perseverance and desire to understand will be the quintessential features needed within their personal toolbox.

The sprites within ones personal and emotional landscape that bite, tear and manhandle one’s desires, dreams, and wishes are the vermin that chain you down to the meager existence of averageness. Freedom from this handicap comes from the genocide of this breed and race. And it is a deadly race; from each death can grow two new sprites to bug you and manhandle you. The gorgon sprite will rapidly grow. Through time and training and the dark arts you will learn the valuable skills to make your fight more effective, more skilled, like a martial art of a greater war than mere physical contact. You will learn to wipe whole fields of sprites from the path before you, and how to tackle monsters and demons much larger than mere sprites. But the path to that skill starts here, with simple practice.

Like the pesky mosquito, often the first sprite on our journey, is weak but constantly persistent and nagging, always lurking at the back of our minds, holding us down. The physical mosquito is small and weak, however, and physical force can easily overcome one of them. The first sprite can also be overcome by good mental strength, can be overcome so easily, if the right application of self strength is called upon.

For many, the first sprite encountered is procrastination.

Attached to our feet, it drills down to a steady rock and clamps on, not letting us stray too far, not letting us walk off, run away, and definitely not soar high into the sky way above us. Every single man or woman I have known who has escaped this fearful beast has been successful. Success is not an accident, it is simply the result for people who have the effort to reach a finish line, whereas most people never leave the start line. How many projects have you had that you never even bothered with? And when did your mind stray to finding a project to fill up your time? From athletes such as Paul Scholes, to entrepreneurs such as Sir Alan Sugar, each person got there by having the will to simply go out and work.

Many reasons exist for not working. On one hand is habit of not working; we are not required through childhood to work much, and so it is not a skill engraved upon our habitual natures. Another reason is the creation of the distractions modern life brings to supplement this habit of lack of work, and to cater to the mind of the easy going sheep that is scared of the pain and effort that would lead them to success. Third, there is the concept that the human mind cannot see the benefits and advantages in the short term, there seem to be no bonuses in the there and then, and so they overlook the future, and fail to construct or place any faith in that future.

Let us hypothesize some methods to combat our enemy.

The first determined weapon we need to neutralize is habit. Changing habit comes down to strength of mind. To develop this skill, so you can be an effective combatant, there are many mental skills to use and learn. Positive mental attitude: the effort placed upon being positive, and looking for the good things in life – put effort into this. If you come across a hard time and a bad area, and cannot think with positive creative and productive thoughts, then a method of realignment can be used. To do this a manifestation of your positive thoughts and attitudes should be used. A common method is a pendant, within which you conceal your power and commitment by wearing it solidly for a set amount of time, the longer the better, and affirming your strength within it, by praying upon it every night and every morning, creating a strong mental link with the object. Whenever you have a good mental experience, invest this energy into the pendant by clenching the pendant tightly and feeling your happiness of the moment ebb and drain into it. Whenever you now have difficulty being positive on your outlook, clench your pendant and feel its power within your grasp.

Another method for distilling your strength of mind to a proof worthy of giants, if the use of affirmations. This is the use of the power of sound, as generated within your self, to impose mental patterns on your method of operation. The mere action of telling oneself one is good, with a strong and confident tone, out nice and loud and clearly, has wondrous effects. Remember to talk in a good, clear, grammatical fashion, a fashion that would command respect in yourself if you were listening to someone else. Remember to talk clearly, firmly, and in a loud voice. Then repeat as a mantra a set number of repetitions of self praise to generate self confidence.

The second weapon we need to neutralize is that of distraction from productivity. These can take many forms, from the television set, to unneeded or wanted responsibilities like socializing with certain associates you kidded yourself into thinking are friends under a false pretense. In life, often the best method of defense is offense, and I would charter this as such a case. Attack all that which threatened to tie you back, hold you down and impede your fight with the sprite. Destroy your television, remove such an artifact from your life, distance yourself from anything that threatens to handicap you. Remove the TV, the internet connection, remove the social groups and friends, and be honest, tell them WHY so that they have no desire to come back to you, leaving you in the peace and quiet so you will find plentitude.

The final weapon to neutralize is the human desire to be at a destination, rather than to appreciate the scenic views of the journey. Not everyone will have to deal with this weapon, as everyone’s journey is different, and we will all come to learn to assess our own personal situation, our own personal enemy, and tackle the weapons brought to the battle field of our souls. Traveling can be a chore, for those of the less than open minded. They want to get from A to B, that is all that is on their mind, and they commit to the journey. They pay no attention to their surroundings, to the beauty of the world they are submersed in, their passions, emotions, and desires in reflection of the beauty of Gaia in all its physical forms, let alone looking deeper into the heart of Gaia, and the metaphysical strength that lies deep within, the love, the hate, the beauty, the pure passion, in all its refined form. Success is a journey, not a destination, and to realize that you are in the most wonderful place you can be requires you to look at where you are. Look at how stagnation causes it to rot away and fall off in large chunks around you, then look at how flowing harmonious change and movement creates a tapestry weaved from threads of pure awe-inspiring standards.

Exploration of the self and the documentation of the sprites, how they operate, and careful analysis of how to beat them. Do this systematically, work vigilantly on this. Record everything in a way that suits you; few people have the mental domain to store it there, use art, calligraphy, writing or movement. Use YOUR language, and then walk forward through this adventure, progressing, challenging and destroying that which wishes to undo you from within.

– Kissed by Shiva