Thursday, February 23, 2017

Theory of Knowledge - The Archdruid and Parmenides

When I first started writing the Hermetic Lessons, I assumed the readers would have a great deal of knowledge that simply isn't there.  Subject knowledge that I thought was effectively required by the WMT, namely Mathematics, Science and Philosophy, isn't there at all or is way below the level that one would need to seriously navigate the field.  The adage of ''What they do not know they fear and what they fear they destroy'' explains a lot of the bizarre animosity against science and mathematics that occasionally emerges as anti-intellectualism in our community and is further revealed by the way these topics are assiduously avoided in mainstream occulture.

On that note over at the Archdruid Report JMG is taking his readers through a powerful introduction to  Philosophy of Mind and I highly recommend reading his work as a refresher if you are well grounded in the topic and as a solid foundation if you are not.

For those who are reading it there are a couple of points I'd like to address.  A lot of the arguments that JMG is discussing, and partially critiquing, are based on a development of core ideas in philosophy that may or may not have been fundamentally misunderstood at the outset - similar to the way in which errors and misinterpretations totally destroyed understanding of the Kabbalah in the WMT.  For instance to be able to distinguish between Plato and Socrates is itself a challenging task and to interpret exactly what either of them meant is problematic due to translation. Compounding this the problem with working with the Pre-Socratics, for example Parmenides, is that the work that has been passed down to us is extremely fragmentary.

In a book called ''To Think Like God: Parmenides and Pythagoras, the Origins of Philosophy'' Arnold Hermann argues that Parmenides was actually a lawyer so that when he was distinguishing between Truth and Opinion in ''On Nature'' he was not developing a metaphysical argument but a legal one. To what extent Socrates/Plato knew or did not know that is up for dispute (they may have reinterpreted this for their own needs) but all the way up to Popper etc we have been reading this [fragment of a] text as metaphysical in nature.

As Hermann argues, in Elea, Parmenides' home town, they enjoyed legal disputes and had a bizarre method of legislation by hanging, where the legislator stood with a noose around their neck and if the court didn't like the legislation then they would immediately be hanged.  Situated on this litigious peninsula what Parmenides was really talking about was what really happened (i,e. the truth) in a given crime as opposed to what witnesses thought they observed (i.e. opinion).  In his discussion of the logic that follows what he is really doing is laying the foundation for the cross examination of witnesses and the way in which lawyers will attempt to expose logical loopholes in their testimonies to disprove their worthiness.  In the final sections of the fragments we have he discusses how science (as it was back then) is still in the realm of opinion - this is why scientists etc at court are referred to as expert witnesses.

We can, and many Gnostics and Kabbalists do, believe the universe is a crime scene or at least the aftermath of some tragic accident or catastrophe.  Here I think there is mileage in continuing to transfer the legal explorations of Parmenides to a more universal metaphysics and indeed the system of Cellular Consciousness and the Metabolism of Time  relies heavily on his work ''On Nature''.  JMG argues that to suggest there is no such thing as movement or size, as Parmenides does, is fairly ''questionable'' but when you connect with Cellular Consciousness and understand that the universal substrate is Thought (like Anaxagoras) then you can easily show that the representations are made of one immobile undifferentiated substance.  The system of MoT then builds on this as its foundation, in fact the Allegory of the Cave does too.

The truly tricky problem is what we mean by thought, or mind or consciousness and by focusing on Schopenhauer JMG is certainly pointing us in a good direction to a more advanced discussion of the topic even though based on the Archdruid's other posts I don't think I am necessarily going to agree with his conclusions.  Although I agree that there is a ''thing out there'' I do not believe that it is ''matter'' persay but an interstitial fluid existing between the cells of consciousness, a bloodstream of time, which is co-created consensually from the stuff of the cells themselves  i.e. according to his definition I am a reductive or possibly an eliminative idealist.

I must admit though that the work with Raziel and fully grasping that matter and consciousness can be best understood as time and anti-time (which is in fact the same thing, going forwards and backwards simultaneously) may shift my position as it unveils itself - probably ending in something truly esoteric like Zurvanism, which, in the way JMG is suggesting this all results in high end mysticism, I may in fact be proving his final point.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Small Movements in Time - Response to Golem Builder

At the starting of the week
At summit talks you'll hear them speak
Its only Monday
Negotiations breaking down
See those leaders start to frown
Its sword and gun day
Tomorrow never comes until its too late

Six Days, DJ Shadow

As explained in the Metabolism of Time the human being/body is quite literally the expression of the necessary steps in the Metabolism of Time.  From this perspective the head is located in the future, planning and anticipating, the torso is located in the present (heartbeat, breathing and appetite) and the lower abdomen and genitalia located in the past (digestion, excretion and reproduction).*

By placing the diagram of Feelix the Perfect Helix next to the diagram of the Metabolism of Time one gets a sense of exactly how this breaks down - for instance it relates the function of the immune system (and the position of the thymus gland) in our reaction to the present, or the action of the kidneys (salt retention, cleaning the blood) in our ''forgetting and remembering'' of the past.  In Secret Powers of Time posted by Trainee Golem Builder, the presenter discusses six archetypes of time-based personality (2 present, 2 future, 2 past) and argues for differentiation of type being largely the result of culture, education and to some extent exposure to technology.  As you can see above, the system espoused in the Metabolism of Time differs in that it is based on ten archetypes (3 future, 3 past, 2 present and 2 bridges - the inner mind, and the experience of the moment) and that differentiation between types occurs mainly as a result of genetic and ultimately temporal factors.**

In the quote from Abraham Abulafia in Small Movements in Time we see that the great Kabbalist believes that the body, cycle and world are created with 10 sefirot each and that these are scales reflected in the 4 worlds model of Kabbalah.  The total of 30 Sefirot discussed in the quote are 10 x 3 so we have a Tree of Life of Atziluth, a Tree of Briah, a Tree of Yetzirah etc but if we included Assiah this would correctly be 40.  As time is the primary axis of the Saadia Tree (Depth of the Future, Depth of the Past) I relate the property of time to Atziluth and understanding time in the way explored in the diagram is an attempt to understand the activity of the so-called ''highest world''.

The world of Briah (Self/Consciousness - Depth of Good, Depth of Evil)) is populated by the ten character archetypes that are derived from the ten temporal archetypes of Atziluth so we have the character of the Altered Future (known as the Ignorant Genius) or the character of the Altered Past (known as the Many Mannered Mind Man).  This idea of them being derived is important in Kabbalah - temporal factors first, then genetic factors, then social factors - in the same way Atzilith can be considered the highest or perhaps more accurately deepest world which the other worlds emerge from.

The world of Yetzirah (space) is where we have this sense of characters interacting and therefore building into communities, or if we want to use a more Kabbalistic term from the world of Yetzirah - hosts.  For the purposes of getting closer to understanding the population can be split into ten, with a host of people gravitating towards one of these archetypes, and another host gravitating towards another, the range of the host and the specific distance individuals are from the pure type, spawning the 22 paths or spectra.  In the 3rd Act of the Metabolism we look at the way in which communities of differentiated individuals work together in order to complete their metabolism.  Any group - a company, a military division, a country - can be expected to contain all of the archetypes although not always in equal measure and this may lead to problems.***

In Assiah we have these three components (time, self/consciousness and space) working together to form our personal sense of the world.  In the final act of the Metabolism of Time we discuss the way in which the individual can both complete their metabolism as a part of the host and how to begin to seek the whole within themselves and begin rectification, Tikkun, and ultimately achieve return, Teshuvah.

To conclude Time is indeed the fundamental property of the four worlds and the only property that runs throughout them all.  The spiral of our DNA is in fact the literal expression of the world of Briah, derived from Atziluth, the root of consciousness as a crystallisation of the principles of time which then goes on to form individuals and populations that interact with each other in space or Yetzirah.

Ten Sefirot of Nothingness
Their end is embedded in their beginning
And their beginning in their end
Like a flame in a burning coal
For the Master is singular
He has no second
And before one what do you count?

1:7 Sefer Yetzirah, Gra Version

*Your experience of your body is in fact a map of the mind that contains it.  Thus your memory is located in the physical sense of your gonads, your ''present awareness'' is located in your breathing your heart beat etc.  In the same way you never feel anything only feel the feeling.
**There are some overlaps in type between the video and the MoT - for instance present based hedonist translates to ''Shellfish'' * (archetype of Chesed or ''reaction to the moment'') although I would argue that the tendency to be that way comes from an underactive immune system which will come with a whole host of other problems, advantages and physiognomic qualifiers.
***Certain groups like the police would be expected to have more ''Confused Venutians'' (immune cells with a ''crime detection'' speciality) than other types and in fact a shortage of Confused Venutians in the police force would be considered a bad thing.  Similarly an athletics team may be expected to have more ''Jays'' (i.e. adrenaline based characters) than average - maybe even exclusively ''Jay''.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Teaching the Metabolism of Time

Last year I presented a three part series of lectures on the Metabolism of Time at a local teahouse with a reputation for hosting esoteric speakers.  The lectures were very well attended and I learned about the various challenges presented by delivering this material and also reflected on the idea of teaching and learning within the community and to the public at large.  Although a number of people expressed an interest in wanting to study the material further I decided that no candidate was suitable. As I embark on more student hunting this year its useful for me to go over exactly what it is that I am offering.

When I first received the Metabolism of Time, it appeared to me as a vision of characters living alongside a double helical river (perhaps the Euphrates and the Tigris) and as I contemplated the dream language of this vision and related it to the world around me it began to reveal its secrets.  I learned the cosmogony and the outer edges of the physiognomy.  During university I encountered the Western Mystery Tradition alongside my studies in Genetics and Biochemistry and began working towards a grand fusion of the ideas that culminated in a channelling of the text in 2001. This appeared in the form of 4 Acts, mirroring the notion of the 4 Kabbalistic worlds.  Over the last 15 years I have studied QBL in depth and harmonised a rectified Tree of Life with these discoveries through the use of the Sefer Yetzirah and the consultation of Raziel.

In Act 1 (Atziluth) - The Metabolism of Time - we find the explanations of the hyper-spheres of cellular consciousness: the sensation of the physical body, the sensation of physical reach, the sphere of perception and the sphere of consciousness which completes the occupying being.  Closely examining the occupant we discover how each individual moment of time has to pass through ten steps in order to be understood and how these steps differentiate into characters.


In Act 2 (Briah) - The Book of Fantastic Lies - we find the physiognomical descriptions of the characters, i.e. The Cast, their underlying associations with the endocrine system and also various details of how those characters interact with other characters, i.e. the Scenes. The Scenes describe a shattering of the primal self (the Fool) into a collection of characters that seek unification through dialogue around the two rivers which are the personification of the Metabolism of Time itself.

The Cast
  • The Ignorant Genius - Pituitary
  • The Ignorant Fool - Pineal (serotonin)
  • Mr Fernando, the Bloodless Being - Pineal (melatonin)
  • Bobblepin the Treefrog and her woolly unicorn - Thyroid/Parathyroid*
  • The Shellfish - Thymus (immune recognition of self)
  • The Confused Venutian - Thymus (immune recognition of foreign bodies)
  • The Prisoner and Anarchist - Pancreas (insulin and glucagon)
  • The Mime - Adrenal Cortex (cortisol)
  • The Semi-psychic Jay - Adrenal Medulla (adrenaline)
  • The Many Mannnered Mind Man - Gonads*

The Scenes**
  • The Early Works of an Ignorant Genius
  • The Treefrog's Hopeless Quest
  • The Observations of the Shellfish and the Principles of Trade
  • From Conversations with Mr Fernando
  • The Prisoner's Voice
  • Compassion in the Face of the Jay
  • The Final Works of an Ignorant Genius

In Act 3 (Yetzirah) - Conflux and the Zeitgeist - we find descriptions of the processes that all spheres of consciousness undergo (on any scale) and how the occupants now differentiated into characters interact with other characters to acquire nutrition and to complete the metabolism.  We also encounter the concept of masks and how through spoiling/abuse a small percentage of the population do not have ''masks'' that fit with their underlying genetic structure.  We learn how to identify this and to provide healing.

The Processes

  • Flux - Change, Energy, Fuel - glucose, Experience, Cycling
  • Shards - Stored Energy, Fat, Memory
  • Rifts - Imbalance, disharmony, exhaustion, starvation, stress, infection, breach
  • Veil - Mortality, finitude, apoptosis
  • Colour - Infinite experience derived from the finite, archetypes derived from mortality 

The (natural) Masks

  • The Director - The Ignorant Genius
  • The Angel - The Ignorant Fool
  • The Timelord - The Bloodless Being
  • The Magus - The Shellfish
  • The Demon - The Confused Venutian
  • The Dreamer - The Prisoner
  • The Lover - The Mime
  • The Immortal - The Jay
  • The Vampire - The Many Mannered Mind Man
  • The Gambler  The Treefrog

In Act 4 (Assiah) - Interactive Theatre and Strategic Drama - we find a selection of various practical activities based in the idea of removing/countering blockages or knots in the soul (similar to the Yogic concept of Granthis).  The magickal applications discussed in this section are almost entirely medical, in the sense that they seek to heal the self/other people and the approach is firstly bio-psychological building towards the psychic as we move people from a material model towards a Mind model***.  The idea of initiation as healing is discussed and we see that as ''blockages'' are removed various powers are released, unlocked or tapped.  These powers include charm/magnetism, enhanced memory and referencing from ''outside the mind'', discernment, mind control/telepathy, remote viewing, astral projection and time travel.

I think the material contained in the lessons is useful for a number of reasons a) It provides an illustration as to how spirits and/or magickal memory can communicate ideas/abilities across time and between incarnations and b) it updates a lot of the material we have with the modern findings of endocrinology and biopsychology providing unique bridges in understanding and solutions for problems in healing.

*In the crossover to The Kabbalistic Tree of Life, The Treefrog (Thyroid) occupies the position of Daath because of where Briah (the 2nd world) is in relation to the Shattering, i.e. ''Malkuth'' has not ''fallen''.  In Yetzirah there is no position for Daath and the mask of the Gambler, the Natural mask of the Treefrog is in the position of Malkuth.  This is complicated :-)
**The scene list was incomplete in that it did not deal with all possible interactions between the characters leading to the idea of ''secret paths''.  Some interactions are highly unlikely in natural conditions although various strange hybrids and distortions of nature can be created in synthetic ''high pressure'' environments.
***I don't mean psychological I mean panpsychic.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nick Bottom, Midsummers Night Dream

Let me play the lion too: I will roar that I will
do any man's heart good to hear me: I will roar,
That I will make the duke say 'Let him roar again,
Let him roar again.'

Nick Bottom, Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare

I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare as I consider him to be a poor dramatist compared to contemporary writers.  Bardolatry dominates theatre in the UK and across the world often excluding incredible playwrights and their stories from the stage.  Although I am very familiar with his work and have a great deal committed to memory I have only directed the Tempest and the Winter's Tale and the only character I have played in a Shakespeare production is Nick Bottom.*

Who is Nick Bottom?  When I first encountered this character in Midsummer Night's Dream I thought he was a bit of an arrogant goon, Shakespeare mocking a ham actor, and played him like this. In hindsight and with age, I can see that he is a charming fellow who is loved by his friends and driven by his goofy passion for theatre.  His desire to play all the roles in the play of the mechanicals is driven not only by ego but that he knows he will give his all to any part he plays, he is driven by love.  This could even have been Shakespeare projecting himself into the play.

If you are unfamiliar with the Prague Shakespeare legend created by Vincent Bridges, the Bard was said to have spent time in Prague as a spy (during his so-called lost years) and stayed at Edward Kelley's Donkey in the Cradle House.   Some of the supposed evidence for this can be found in several Prague legends, stories and folklore that ended up in Shakespeare's works particularly Midsummer Night's Dream - for instance Oberon is related to a sorcerer from central European legendary history called Alberich, or the fact that a group of guilds-men were in competitions producing plays for Rudolf II at the same time that Shakespeare was said to be in town, or the story of the head of a baby that Edward Kelley turned into a donkey.

Chet, you're surprised - her name is Lille, she's my mother's sister's girl. Good luck Chet! Sam you stick with Chet, he's got his own M.O., modus operandi.

Gordon Cole, Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch

Not by choice, but through virtue of collaboration with other departments in my college, I am studying this text in class at the moment and it made me reflect on only ever being Nick Bottom (as far as Shakespeare performances) and how that connected to my time in the Donkey in the Cradle house.  I have never made the connection before (!) and its quite curious to me, another little element tying me to this place.  Last night I watched Fire Walk with Me and the dream language of Lynch helped me to unpick the dream language of the Bards' Dream. As I reflect on this at the moment I note that Nick Bottom is a weaver, with the esoteric links to the Cathars that this suggests.  It was the weaver that was translated, whose head was turned into an ass and who was subjected to the delights of the company of fairies rather than the bellows mender or any of the other mechanicals.  It was the weaver, driven by love, who was willing to play any part.

I need to give this more thought and there are things that relate to the 231 Gates project at the Tower that I still cannot reveal, the details of certain Enochian rituals during Midsummer and their effects, although I will in due course.  As I promised to myself I attempted my weekly astral work last night - ascended to the astral plane to find some kind of faerie kingdom.  The space weather was decent (although in two days we should have a nice boost of cosmic energy from the Sun), I ate very little meat and also a lot of strawberries and blueberries.  Still on some painkillers.  Managed to see a kind of white fuzz of tangled threads that resolved themselves into some kind of thicket.  I was looking at a glade from the grass level and managed to focus in on some grass and bluebells.  A snarling goat appeared in the thicket and banished me.  When  I tried again, I kept getting memories as opposed to escaping my own gravity well.

I don't consider this to be a particularly successful attempt.  Some of the failure I put down to destination again.  I no longer think** that there are various locations on the astral plane like a kingdom of fire elementals etc, in the same way that I used to although when I was plotting my course it was this redundant thinking that guided me.  Next time I attempt to project to the fae I will plot my course into the past or astral past.  Saying that though, I definitely ended up somewhere and was possibly remote viewing an actual glade where some faerie activity went down way back when and there is very little there now.  This connects to something in Fire Walk with Me***, when Cooper goes looking for another agent and asks what was in a particular place in the trailer park and the trailer park owner goes what do you think was there a trailer! -  my point is that there are probably epic legendary places where there are car parks and dumpsters now so there must be a destination in time as well as space if you really want to get something.

I am curious about the fae in general but I don't know it this is enough.  I am curious about my own history with the fae, and how or if it relates to my prior experiences of life as a weaver**** but this is the exploring of a deep personal memory as opposed to astral work, or at least I expect it to be.  I am curious as to how the Cathars relate the Kabbalists as there has to be some kind of connection there (via the south of France, Sefer Ha Bahir, etc), even if it is virtually impossible to explore from a research perspective.  I will give this more thought, the synchronicities are strong enough for there to be some kind of looping of the thread here so I need to ask myself what I really want to get out of the experience.  What is my destination?  Or like an actor, what is my motivation?

I have had a most rare vision I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was: man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.

Nick Bottom, Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare

*I have played Dr Faustus a couple of time though by Shakespeare's contemporary Kit Marlowe.

**Due to the influence of Raziel.

***Possibly something similar in Mulholland Drive where the hag is hiding in the alley behind the restaurant.

****I have strong connections to the Cathars (past life memories, etc), one of the few plays I have written (I am primarily an actor and director) relates to the legend of the escaping Cathar monks and the text they carried with them.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Metabolism of Time - Physiomancy

A few years back I made a post based on a competition from Patrick Dunn's Post Modern Magic blog entitled physiomancy which involves predicting your future based on the faces of people you encounter.  I had an extremely interesting encounter over the last few weeks which relates to this topic and I wanted to address it here.  I was working as an actor for a film that is being made in Prague at the moment and one of my old friends and mentors from Edinburgh contacted me out of the blue.  What was strange was that there were strong physio-gnomic commonalities between him and the director of the movie - they were both clearly Treefrogs i.e. the character that is referred primarily to the thyroid gland.  I knew how to relate well to this character employed that knowledge in my transactions and received an extra day in the film, an extra scene, another line and was upgraded to a named character.

Let me explain a little about how physiomancy works and how it can improve your understanding of the mechanism behind the Metabolism of Time.  As we have discussed at great length in the Hermetic Lessons you as an individual are at the centre of your own cell of consciousness - you have your awareness of your physical body, your awareness of your physical reach, your perceptual bubble and finally the membrane which encloses this in your mind.  People who enter your cell, while having their own cell of consciousness themselves act as a chemical messenger inside your cell, the message's underlying code being revealed by the physiognomy of the person.  From this knowledge of the message you can predict with a great deal of certainty the kind of scripts, physical acts and other transactions that person will engage in.  Similarly you are also acting as a chemical message on any other cell that you interact with and your chemical message is also written in your face and body.

I'll furnish you with a simple example.  Lets say I am living with a Prisoner - a character derived from insulin and the pancreas who can be expected to have a rich imagination (sometimes appearing as boundless creativity, sometimes as a tendency to day dream), typically introverted, have a strong inner monologue, the propensity for abdominal fat storage, a certain ''piggish'' quality to the face (this sometimes can be a cat-pig) and a very sweet-tooth.  Knowing this I can expect this person to be frequently lost in their own thoughts, probably write in a diary or other medium and either fill the house with sugar or vocally wrestle with the desire for sugar.  Simply put as they act on me as a chemical message, I might become more like them by sheer dint of the fact that there is more sugar around and therefore I am more likely to gain weight.  I will also be exposed to the richness of their imagination and, depending on my own tastes, being inspired or tired by it. Conversely they will be influenced by the chemical messages that I am emitting.

The reality is more nuanced - in order to understand physiognomy more precisely I have to be able to use the paths and place people on various spectrums between physiognomic archetypes (partzufim) associated with the Sefiroth.  I can immediatly differentiate between types of prisoners just from thinking about the path between the Treefrog and the Prisoner (Daath and Tifereth) as opposed to the Prisoner and the Many Mannered Mind Man (Tifereth and Yesod).  The former character is likely to have more ''resting nervous energy'' and be more inclined to travel and the visual arts, and the latter is likely to be prone to frequent bursts of energy, wildness, anarchy (stimulated by glucagon and testosterone) and be more into musical arts.  We can expect dead centre prisoners to be interested purely in writing (which on a cellular level correlates to the Prisoner as nuclear membrane).  As you can imagine these nuances will produce different types of chemical message - different scripts, different habits, different psychodramas - so I want to be clear this is not about simplifying people this is about ways of understanding their complexity.

The foundation of the system explored in the Hermetic Lessons is Chokmah ha Partzuf (the Wisdom of the Face) and is certainly related to whatever Isaac Luria was practising in Safed where he was known to read people's karma from looking at their face and body.  Physiomancy is one application of this knowledge but there are many more for example combined with a form of logotherapy it can be the foundation for a system of healing.  These ideas are fundamentally tied to my ideas of initiation where I expect physical representatives of these archetypes (partzufim) to be closely associated with me as I approach and unlock the Sefiroth they are tied too - that in their scripts and psychodramas are various secret clues to understanding if I see with eyes that see and hear with ears that hear.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Tree of Life - Summoning the Letter M

Three Mothers Alef, Mem and Shin
are Air, Water and Fire
The nature of the heavens is fire
The nature of air is wind
The nature of water is earth
Fire ascends and water descends
And wind balances between the two.
Mem is silent, Shin is sibilant
And Alef balances between the two.

Sefer Yetzirah 3:3, Saadia Version

During the Sefer Yetzirah study myself and my fellow students worked with a letter per month over the course of 22 months.  We followed this for a further 22 months studying their Kingships.  The original impetus behind the work was the request from Raziel to ''study the letters of our names''.  I felt that the letters in the name of each angel formed some kind of code and by understanding the letters I would understand more of the totality of the angel.  The details of such work varied between the students - some more research based, others meditative and others more practical.  Various Kabbalistic/Yetziratic methods were used - Tzeruf for example - alongside others with a more hermetic bent who continued to explore them through associated forms like Tarot.  Letters were pursued in vision and along the paths.  During the work each letter seemed to resonate like a glass or ceramic vessel until it cracked open and released a spirit - more often than not physical phenomena associated with the letter accompanied this spirit. In sharing a small account of an example of this work I hope that other practitioners will find new ways of working and different ways of looking at their Arts.

I had been working on summoning Mem (the letter M) for a few days - letting my mind obsess over it and its accompanying symbols/kingships of waves and water (MYM), thinking of words that began with the letter M, humming (M hums, Sh hisses), writing out the letter over and over, and whenever I broke from these concentrations guiding myself back on to the path.  My mind thus excited I pursued the letter on the astral - carving into the membrane of my vision and letting the light spill through the gate.  The letter would fluctuate, change shape, elude me, multiply, flash and then it was held.  A letter engaved on the clay of the mind carved out, quarried, and finally sculpted from the stuff of the astral. People speak to a variety of lunar deities, some speak to the Moon, but very few seek to speak to the letter M herself.

After several days of this, one afternoon I returned from work to find that a giant M had been constructed in scaffolding over the back of the building I was renting, the landlord was doing some work on the windows in my upper floor flat.  I entered the room and looked out through my window, through the M, and was amazed by a beautiful sunset that cast a golden light on a pyramid shaped building in the city, an approaching rainstorm and a gigantic double rainbow.  The letter cracked open like a chocolate egg in my mind and a delicious caramel of mystical ecstasy flowed through my blood.  I left the flat walking through the M on my house towards the M in the sky over the city.  My heart was racing, and my mind, stunned but beginning to interpret the phenomena as I went towards it.  As my mind operated on the experience of the event, I could feel it working like an enzyme, breaking down the experience through analysis, turning it into words, robbing me of direct experience and as this happened the rain clouds drew ever closer.  I turned a bend in the road and a swan, out of nowhere, fell from the sky and crashed into the pavement.  I stopped.  This swan was a symbol for my heart, brought down from the mystical, magickal experience through too much interpretation and analysis in those first few minutes.  It turns out that when the emergency services arrived to rescue the bird that it had crashed because it was dehydrated.

It is difficult to maintain what Kaplan refers to as Chokmah consciousness or non verbal consciousness.  One of the leading causes of failure in astral work is that you will analyse the experience you are having (turn it into words) causing it to break up or corrupting it with your preconceptions and judgements.  Judgement is the root of the shattering. In learning how to explore visions and experiences like this, Kaplan suggests that your consciousness is a penduluum you learn to swing longer into Chokmah ever extending your time in this state but when your heart runs returning to the place.  Mystical and magickal pursuit of the letters themselves enriches your mind and your experience of reality.  Rather than simply spending your time with spirits and other characters from the Book of Time you are reaching into the principles of the enchanted language itself - a chemistry of spirits, not a sociology.  You learn to see past the exterior of the being and into the code itself. Like the genetic physiognomy discussed throughout the Hermetic Lessons, Kabbalistic work with the letters lets you reach into the physiognomy of spirit itself.  And like the last fifteen years of experiences, I am ever thankful to Raziel for showing me the way.

He bound the twenty two letters to his tongue,
And revealed to him their foundation.
He drew them in water,
He flamed them in fire,
He gave them sound with breath,
He ignited them with the seven planets
And directed them with twelve constellations.

Sefer Yetzirah 6:4, Gra Version

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Astral Projection - Failures and Analyses

Since my recent experience with the angelic alien insects I have made several attempts to go on the astral plane that have resulted in failure.  I want to describe and analyse my failed attempts now and what I can learn from the mistakes.

On my first attempt after the experience, I managed to get on the astral although the plane was not as inviting (the weather was not as good I suppose you could say) and I didn't really have a clear intention when I went on.  As I cleared the ''psychic gravity well'' of Earth I decided to attempt to astrally project to Venus because it had been very clear in the sky.  I stated my destination and began to move through the astral.  I felt like I had entered some kind of flesh-coloured pulsing tesselating tunnel which seemed very Venutian.  I travelled down the tunnel and then ''saw the light'' at the end. The tunnel opened out on to what was some kind of viciously hostile atmosphere, I could see clouds of gas lit by lightning and I worried that if I left the tunnel I might be consumed.  After getting the fear like this my experience broke up.

During the second attempt I made a big mistake.  I was lying on my back staring forwards and used a ''climbing the ladder'' model of pulling instead of the more recent innovation of the ''rowing'' model of pulling.  What this effectively had me do is ''climb'' at 90 degrees to my intended direction (up) as I was imagining my hands actually climbing and I was lying down.  I was so into my climbing that I was concentrating on the ladder model more than where I was in the astral.  When I stopped ''climbing'' and decided to look around me it was clear that I was still very much on Earth as nothing was happening - I had moved in completely the wrong direction.  I reverted to the rowing model and also just focused on my head as the ''boat'' and the oars being where my ears are.  I moved forward (up) rapidly in this manner, but again I was more focused on practising technique than on destination. I stopped and looked around me and the astral environment was rich with potential but I realised I didn't have any goal so I just let myself float back down.

I just want to discuss some matter arising from this:

  • Does the activity of certain planets and the Sun make for a more difficult/easy launch? I will make sure to make notes on astral weather using my planetary calculator (paying attention to the Moon) and also check before working to see if there is any correlation between the richness of the astral environment and solar activity (geomagnetic storms, CMEs, flares, spots, etc)  
  • What's in my blood/brain?  For the last few weeks I have been taking painkillers for my teeth and the excessive use of ibuprofen definitely dulls the light.  Note what is in my blood.
  • State your destination?  There are two types of people when it comes to remembering long forgotten things.  People who go ''it'll come to me'' then forget that they are trying to remember and then the information comes to them in a few moments vs people who actively try to remember and sit there straining at it for five minutes.  I think this is the difference between using your mind/brain and being your mind/brain.  Since I am one of the former I have been increasingly training my mind/brain to do tasks that I do not have to concentrate on, stuff that it can just run in the background so to speak.  I have been applying this to the astral for some time, not worrying too much about which angle I am facing to make it to my destination but asking my brain to do the necessary maths on trajectory for me.   This generally works really well.
  • Have a destination?  I am intending to be systematic about my astral work this year and get to know local space as intimately as possible.  In the recent case of the insects I have a feeling that I moved so fast that I not only projected in space but also in time.  I got the sense that I was really far out there, remote from Earth and the present - what Mage the RPG used to call the Deep Umbra.  Although I think I will find things on the planets that will kick me off, I am going to dedicate an evening each week to attempt to project to one of them. 
  • Is the rowing model better than ladder model?  In Egyptian Mythology and elsewhere we have this notion of rowing through the Underworld bearing in mind that the Underworld can actually be referring to space and in Jewish mysticism the idea of Jacob's Ladder is frequently used when describing scaling the heights of heaven.  I have generally had more success with the rowing model although I have not described or directly experienced it in this way before the feeling of rowing seems to resonate more than the feeling of climbing.  It seems easy to imagine rowing with your ears (I know how weird this sounds, but in muscles of the mask Raziel made some good points on how to use facial muscles and so on to ''inflect'' the astral and I have made great headway with this technique) and less likely to make a mistake by attempting to use your body, deviate in your perception to an objectified view of the self and thereby negate the astral view.