Acronym: Garbage in equals garbage out (GIGO)
Definition of GIGO care of Wikipedia: In the field of computer science refers to the fact that computers, since they operate by logical processes, will unquestioningly process unintended, even nonsensical, input data (“garbage in”) and produce undesired, often nonsensical, output (“garbage out”). The principle applies to other fields as well.
I first heard this term a generation ago while learning how to use an Inertial Navigation System (INS). As a precursor to GPS, it operated via the calculations derived from three gyroscopes and three accelerometers to tell an aircraft operator where they were. Reliability of these devices was contingent upon proper maintenance and entering your starting coordinates correctly. Any errors in those two items resulted in wildly inaccurate navigation.
Hence garbage in equals garbage out.
Hermetics is a path of will. All of the processes, properly utilized, in Hermetics reinforce the will. The primary limitation of this methodology is that it tends to reinforce the belief structure of the participant.
Good schools of Hermetics stress the use of journaling, and precepts, to help filter out the crap generated in the mental and astral worlds to enhance the life of the practitioner in the physical world.
Likewise, the better monastic orders tend to mandatorily rotate their practitioners through periods of practice and service to help control delusional behavior as well.
Delusional behavior tends to reinforce itself and breaking this can be a real problem. Scientific research suffers from this just as often, which is why the editor of the Lancet pointed out that roughly half of all scientific research papers could not be validated (see: http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960696-1.pdf).
So, if you sit around watching youtube videos all day about how nuclear reactors are going to explode and destroy the world, the Illuminati are set to take over human society and that the Jews run the world using mind control…well then you will find evidence in your practices that support all of this.
What is to be done about this?
First off journal. A lot. And review this periodically to see where your practice and training is going.
Keep good records regarding your health and injury status. You may believe going vegan is “healthy” for you, but if your training records show you being sick more often, injured more often, and weaker over time then clearly that is not the case.
Second, obtain a degree in engineering or a certification in the trades. Note, I didn’t say “the sciences” or “the arts.” Engineering, and the trades, are about making things happen in the real world using real resources. It turns out all of the alternative power methods are crap if you have an even basic understanding of thermodynamics. On the other hand, economists are worse than whores in that they will tell you anything you want for the right amount of funds. You will just never get the money shot.
Third, keep a wide circle of friends or at the very least engage those outside of your core belief structure. Group-think is contagious and seeing how the other side lives is important. Equally important is being able to observe how the belief systems of others impacts their lives.
Fourth, accept the fact that everyone sees the world through rose colored lenses. The clearer you can make this the better. And applying this to yourself is the best approach possible. If you are always broke, then managing your resources better and making more money are clearly things you need to work on.
Fifth, vigorously engage the world. Just as drinking all day with the lights turned off in the basement surrounded by firearms probably isn’t a healthy lifestyle choice…sitting at home all the time by yourself is an equally surefire method for reinforcing the crazy. I truly believe that the path of the hermit is a trap. And the penalty for engaging in that practice is steep. We are in the world to do things. Escaping the world negates that.
Best of luck with your practice.