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MAKE EVERY KIND OF MISTAKE

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“Let me add that it is a well-attested fact of magical experience—beginning with Tarquin and the Sibylline books!—as well as a fact of profane psychology, that if you funk a fence, it is harder next time. If the boy falls off the pony, put him on again at once: if the young airman crashes, send him up again without a minute's avoidable delay. If you don't, their nerve is liable to break for good and all. I am not saying that this policy is invariably successful; your judgment may have misled you as to the necessity of the Operation which loomed so large at the moment. And so on; plenty of room for blunders! But it is a thousand times better to make every kind of mistake than to slide into the habit of hesitation, of uncertainty, of indecision. For one thing, you acquire also the habit of dishonourable failure; and you very soon convince yourself that ‘the whole thing is nonsense.’ Confidence comes from exercise, from taking risks, from picking yourself up after a purler; finding that the maddest gambles keep oncoming off, you begin to suspect that there is no more than Luck in it; you observe this closely, and there forms, in the dusk dimly, a Shape; very soon you see a Hand, and from its movements you divine a Brain behind the whole contrivance.”

Magick Without Tears, Chapter XLV: “Unserious” Conduct of a Pupil

 


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