Magic is a very broad topic of study, but it gets down to one thing - to control one's consciousness. The human thinking process is erratic and incoherent, and the consciousness is not concentrated on one thing at a time. Consciousness growth is seen in humans mostly during the early stages of life; a grown adult preserves his/her character and almost doesn't change. A person lives in a world of other people and does so by their laws, as accepted in society. Any attempts to practice Magic do not fit the norms of society and are met with resistance. Magi treat their sea of consciousness as an object and learn to handle it as children learn to use their arms and legs. Initially, human consciousness is a formless cloud of chaos,
Consensus reality or conditioned reality is the reality most people perceive. This reality is dependent on the average human perception of the real world. All mass prejudices and beliefs are products of this conditioned reality and may or may not be real. People may think aliens do not exist and that practicing Magic is useless. Still, these viewpoints are some subjective experiences of individuals, and those experiences were accepted by society. If a person only reads religious texts and has not met the aliens, then they may not exist in his picture of the world. Any doubt about one's worldview is the first step to spiritual growth. People, too tied to their beliefs, cannot change as their consciousness always returns to those beliefs.
Magus learns to be unentangled from previous knowledge and experience. The experiment comes first, and then comes experience, which is structured into knowledge and expertise.
The world exists as a large spectrum of emanations; the human consciousness may perceive and experience only part of that spectrum. Just like human senses are very limited, eyes, for example, see radiation in a small amount of the wavelength spectrum, human consciousness is also very limited.
For every person, there exists a basic position of the perception window or frequency. It's the so-called "normal state of mind," where reality is routinely perceived in the same way every day. Personal experiences and an individual's worldview determine the perception's basic position. When practicing Magic and working with energies, the perception changes, and the ability to perceive different energies and frequencies also changes. When there's a permanent change in perception, it could be a sign of spiritual development occurring.
There are altered states of mind, in which human consciousness may be on some conditions, and the assemblage point of a person is moved from its original basic position. In Magic, these states are used to gain new experiences and knowledge about different parts of the world or realms. The notion of the existence of other worlds comes from one who might have experienced different emanations than those perceived normally. When a practice ensues, the perception changes, and the practitioner perceives a different part of reality previously unaware of. The experiences in that altered state will lead to engagement with that part of reality. For example, when working with the Water element, there's a perception of time dilation due to synchronizing the internal body clock with past times rather than the present time.
Therefore, an adept of Magic may receive energy and knowledge from a new place and time, contributing to spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is not achieved by reading mantras thousands of times a day or repeating the same exercise for ten years; it's achieved by subjecting consciousness to new experiences and energies. The repetitive exercises are different; they have the goal of strengthening already-known skills to perfection.
Meditation is the main instrument for changing perception. In the state of a normal human, the thought process is active, logical thinking. With this, the stability of perception is achieved, as the human consciousness is isolated from the external energies and is not forced out of the equilibrium position. In the meditative state, the thought process is reduced or completely turned off, and then the conscious can perceive the true reality as is and not through the thick glass of one's worldview. With meditation, a person can expand his consciousness and change perception by focusing on the objects or ideas outside his worldview.
Accumulation of energy in the sea of consciousness as a consequence of personal magical experiences gives direct spiritual development. Some people learn a lot of theories about Magic, read many books about it, and understand symbolism but have no personal experiences. Or some people strive for experience without proper knowledge, so the experiences are negligible. Sometimes a person practices far above his level, and there's no net energy gain. Therefore, it's possible to waste many years achieving no results.