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.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The 231 Gates and Time Travel

Their End is imbedded 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

I started the work on time travel during my stay at Edward Kelley's Tower in the Donkey and Cradle House in Prague and many of the posts on the Hermetic Lessons made during that time were taken down which is why 2014 seems like a particularly weak year for the blog.  Those posts relate to the 231 Gates project which I was undertaking with the use of the so-called Time Phone, which is itself an interpretation and application of the Sefer Yetzirah passages that relate to those self-same gates and to the golem, galgal and Gilgul.  During those experiments various phenomena involving time (time freezing; rejuventation or time rewinding; communications from entities in the ''future'') were experienced on top of the background haunting of the tower itself.   These experiences and the experiments themselves were mind bendingly complicated and riddled with paradoxes.  Subsequent work, both theoretical and practical, followed with the assistance of Raziel in the years that lead to ''Now''.

Twenty-two Foundation Letters:
He placed them in a cirlce
like a wall with 231 Gates.
The Circle oscillates back and forth.
A sign for this is:
There is nothing in good higher than Delight,
There is nothing in evil lower than Plague.

2:4, Sefer Yetzirah, Gra Version

The roots of time travel work are not hard to see in the Sefer Yetzirah.  Ch 2 in the Gra Version is all about the way in which language (the 231 gates being formed from the connections of all 22 letters arranged around a circle and then paired off) is the very substance of time (in the form of astrology), how Deity spoke the Creation.  I have spoken before about the association between this process and what is happening in the nuclei of your cells, the way in which that information is transcribed into proteins, or ''words'' and how this is tied to light entrained circadian rhythms. Of course if you read this section in the imperative, which is entirely possible, then it becomes an instruction manual for how to do this yourself, the He becomes I - you place the letters in the circle.

The language in The Arrival is rendered in a very similar way to the 231 Gates  - we see linguists drawing lines between and linking up different sections of the Heptapods circles of ink to comprehend the meaning, the symbolic nature of various roots are discovered until we finally understand that this language will change our perception of time to non-linear.  The film deviates from the scifi about half way through to examine the emotional impact such a way of viewing time (the future as prexisting)  would have on a person - would they then truly value the moments that they do have more, savouring each one, etc?  Yes, but for those who do, that attitude will already have been predetermined surely.  To me the more interesting scifi was in the creatures themselves - Lovecraftian yes but Yetziratic too.  What are they?  Are they like 4-5d hands and fingers writing on reality, are we stories and characters of theirs or do we evolve into them?  Why do they need us?  The retrocausal questions were very similar to Interstellar and it seemed that both films were in essence about the same thing.

Back to the 231 Gates Project and where 2017 will lead.  The larger goals of the Great Work to Know Thyself and to find the Philosopher's Stone are unaffected in order to answer both of those questions we have to wrestle with Cronus.  What have we learned so far?  Well ''If time travel is possible then it will happen therefore it already has'' so questions emerge a) where are all the time travellers? b) what is to stop someone going back in time to change time in such a way that time travel is not possible?  The alternative to this is that time travel is not possible so the whole exercise is, has been and will be futile.

According to Raziel the time travel paradox of going back in time and altering time in order to stop the invention of time travel is not possible because the period of time leading up to the invention of time travel is protected - like a museum and therefore everything is predetermined - and also that it is the invention of time travel that kind of ''ties the universe together'' and so that protection or tying up of time is a necessary factor of existence itself.  There are parallell unvierses but a lot less than we expect, this is because most potential timelines do not ''end'' or ''start'' in time travel and therefore do not exist.  But there a few, according to Raziel (and I suppose the Sefer Yetzirah?) we have around fourteen each.   This is the extent of free will in the museum, selecting which of the fourteen exhibits (of ''yourself'') you see and for how long you see them but they are fixed and finite.  After death you would go back through the reversiverse.

In order for the museum to be truly closed (and finite) the ''invention'' must happen in the past as well as the future - these moments are called the pinchpoints.  The past and future past the pinchpoints are absolutely free, or untied, but they would not be realisable without that knot.  At the moment of the invention of time travel, hordes of timetravellers will spontaneously appear and time will merge (?) with space.  These timetravellers will appear incredibly alien - whether humans have morphed beyond all reckoning by then, or that these alien appearances are in fact necessary components of the time travelling suits such entities would wear, I don't know.  What I have been told is that they will be coming back along those lines from the future to their ''Year 0'', i.e. the pinchpoint, which acts as a kind of Mecca from a Time Traveller's perspective.  Something somehow similar must happen in the past as well - more mindbending problems for 2017!

He permuted them, weighed them, and transformed them,
Alef with them all and all of them with Alef
Bet with them all and all of them with Bet.
They repeat in a cycle and exist in 231 Gates.
It comes out that all is formed
And all that is spoken
Emanates from one name.

2:5 Sefer Yetzirah, Gra Version

What is the ''invention'' of time travel, does it really need high energy particle accelerators to achieve or does it already exist as consciousness - are the birth and death of language themselves the source/invention of time travel - if so is the pinchpoint we are approaching the death of language - what does that look like?  Is that what happens when the timetraveller swarms emerge?  Are we literally lost for words?  Is that realisable?  Earlier work on the Metabolism of Time shows how our character generates an attitude to time, or vice versa.  Our minds time travel constantly and inaccurately through memories and imagination - to what extent can these faculties be polished like a diamond - truly reflecting the future and the past?  Is our mind the source of anti-time and are we therefore time travellers already - just with greater and lesser degrees of understanding? Can I then see the deep future or is the death of language the death of realisation itself, does my language really determine what I can see? 

In the past I have always enjoyed spirits that can reduce me to an inarticulate wow.