The Ra material and the Cassiopaeans

veronica33

The Force is Strong With This One
why did these spirits talked so sweet and so much with out foretelling don's death he got to much than an answer or his rate was different
 

Nienna

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veronica33 said:
why did these spirits talked so sweet and so much with out foretelling don's death he got to much than an answer or his rate was different

Have you read Laura's The Wave series?

This question, and much, much more is discussed in these books/articles.

You can also look up the word Elkins, Don's last name, in the search engine here on the forum for some information.

But to get you started, you can look here.

What happened to Don is what happens to a lot of people that don't watn to look at life objectively. The "Love and Light" crowd are going down the wrong path. Well, I guess for them, it's the right path, it's just way longer.
 

Windmill knight

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I think the short answer is that Ra would not interfere with Don's free will, as he didn't want to know the details of what was threatening him, under the incorrect belief that we must ignore darkness in order to protect us from it. But as Nienna Eluch says, it would be much better to read the Wave as it covers this issue (and much more) in detail.
 

Sheebah

The Force is Strong With This One
SAO said:
C's said:
Q: (L) We would like to know a bit more on the subject of rituals, which you have warned us are restricting on many
levels. Why is this?
A: If one believes in one's activities sincerely, to the greatest extent, they certainly will produce SOME benefit, at SOME
level. But, merely following patterns for the sake of following patterns, does not produce sincerity and faith necessary for
ultimate benefits to result. So, therefore, as always, one must search from within, rather than from without, to answer that
question. Do you understand? To give you an example, to be certain, you meet this all the time. If you read material in
the pages of a book that advises one form of ritual or another, and you follow that form of ritual because you have read
words printed on the pages, does that really give you the true sense of satisfaction and accomplishment within yourself to
the greatest extent possible? Whereas, if you, yourself, were to develop an activity which one or another could interpret
or define as a ritual, but it comes from within you, it feels RIGHT to you, and you have a sincere and complete faith in it,
whatever it may be, does that feel right to you?
MagiAwen said:
Indeed. Rituals are rituals. I perform a ritual every morning when I shower and brush my teeth.
Those are not really the same type of rituals. They don't involve limiting assumptions and "faith" in the ritual itself instead of knowledge. Those are just activities that have objective and direct results and don't require "faith" as in assumption.

I will first just say this entire post is so well put together, so eloquent...I'm just going over and over it to really grok it all.

Now I think I know where that well meaning but assumptive person in the diet and health section was coming from: Don't get mesmerized by the ritual!!! And, remember, all medicine is ultimately a placebo!
How fortuitous that I found this particular thread and this particular post to clarify for me where that person was coming from, because my post might have come across as someone who is putting too much faith in the therapy itself instead of my ability to do what needs to be done in the moment.

The saying, "don't worship idols" comes to mind as well. When I first got into all this and started reading all the usual magick and ritual stuff, "sans lust of result" stood out as a very important thing to remember, and one of the hardest to embody. Right from the start at age 21 I NEVER EVER did any rituals by the book, it was all about making it up as I went along and being creative in the true sense. I used to get some ideas and such, like from the herbal magick books especially since I am so attracted to plants, but never took any of it at face value. It was more like making art to me than anything. Yet the "lust of result" is something I've always had to watch out, which is very human. We're programmed from birth to lust for results!

I saw what happens to people who are all about the ritual and the glamour and the front of "magick". The Crowley obsessed OTO people stalked me during my awakening in my early 20's in the Pacific Northwest and you wouldn't believe some of the street theater those goons put on for me! I went into Powell's, the biggest bookstore in the world, and some OTO guy with one eye starts telling me all the highly accurate personal information about me out of the blue. Stuff like that. I wound up a few times at parties where they would do their S&M rituals and most of the artists I knew were into that stuff out of a sense of pure self importance. It's all ego candy, PERIOD! I told them to read Castaneda even back then. :cool:

It's about working from the inside out and not the outside in and that is why I'm attracted to the C's materials and also where I have been striving to come from for some time now. I'm going to do more study now, thanks for this post in particular tho, it really stand out! ;D
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
First, let me say that I am, by any standards, a neophyte as regards magic and ritual. Yet I read the above exchange with great interest and a critical mindset, as I am considering to use kabbalistic pathworking in order to balance out given aspects of my psyche. That is, I would use the process of Jungian active imagination in order to conjure objective archetypes and thus go through an inner experiential (rather than intellectual) dialectic with the chosen aspects of my psyche.

This would qualify as magic and is surrounded by ritual, so understanding the position taken in this thread about magic/ritual is important to figure out whether/how to go about this process.

Now, it seems that there has been a very Gurdjieffian lack of common ground in this thread, specifically regarding the various connotations that the words 'magic' and 'ritual' can carry.

The Ra entity defines magic thus:
The heart of white magic is the experience of the joy of union with the Creator. This joy will of necessity radiate throughout the life experience of the positive adept.

and

Ra: I am Ra. Magical ability is the ability to consciously use the so-called unconscious.

This seems a quite reasonable definition, if a bit underwhelming a first sight. However, we should remember that the word "unconscious" includes both the subconscious and the superconscious. Thus, in one sense it is an analogue of Gurdjieff's self-remembering, Jungian individuation (through integration of the subconscious into consciousness) and even oriental styles of mindfulness meditations, while on the other hand it can also imply work with greater forces as is usually understood by the word, such as meditation, channeling, shamanic practices or even kabbalistic practices including divination or invocation. Such a specific yet wide-ranging definition is very interesting in and of itself.

On the other hand, Nicklebleu referred to a dictionary (unidentified):
Nicklebleu said:
"Magic: The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces"

This is a weak and unspecific definition, which should only satisfy the unitiated. I am also sure that most here are aware that "supernatural" forces are a contradiction unto themselves; it makes no sense for the universe to have any laws that allow for violation of its own natural laws.

Rather, keeping in mind Isaac Asimov's observation that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", I submit the tentative definition of magic as spiritual technology, hence based on advanced (esoteric) understanding of objective natural laws, regardless of whether these laws concern the inner or outer universes.

Thus magic, being understood as a tool within the realm of technology, is not endowed with any inherent (lack of) legitimacy, the latter being a function of the intent and attitude with which the tool is used.

Such a tentative definition of magic as well as a nuanced analysis of magic's legitimacy will be important, as I aim to underline what appears to be cognitive dissonance and inconsistencies in the unilateral argument against magic/ritual.

(Please allow me a short parenthesis here:

For instance, without the nuance I am introducing above, I do not see how Reiki could be spared by the criticism from the MAGICK AND RITUAL AS A FALSE SYSTEM OF ESOTERIC WORK article quoted by Laura. Yet it seems to me that Reiki is generally regarded positively on these boards, including by Laura, a fact which I have a hard time to reconcile with the quoted article's unforgiving stance.

Indeed, isn't Reiki a form of white magic which:
  • presuppose a "fixed" result in the future based on the rationale and reasonings of our 3rd Density, linear minds (healing)
  • [STS] constantly tries to stack the odds in favor of itself by artificially altering events and situations
  • a cosmically limited and helpless human is "commanding" the divine force to "flow" through him (cho ku rei)
  • a "trained initiate" is trying to impart something, in other words change something within the candidate, by use of ceremony (attunements).

    Worth noting here is the criticism that Ceremony is not imparting knowledge on the candidate, nor providing enlightened discussion or instruction, nor allowing the candidate the chance to change as a result of self motives and efforts. So how exactly does a ceremony "stir up the inner faculties"? Perhaps they just serve to convince one that this has happened when, in fact, it has not.
  • wishful thinking that one is gaining knowledge and awareness (or, in this case, healing) with no strain or effort

End of parenthesis)

Before entering in a specific criticism of the aforementioned article, let me expose why my reasoning does not currently allow such a categorical position, keeping in mind these previous comments regarding magic/ritual:

nicklebleu said:
As "ark" points out, there isn't a definition here that entails "magic" as we commonly use the term, in fact, the definition that RA uses, has for me not much to do with magic at all: "Magical ability is the ability to conscioulsy use the so-called unconscious". I think that is what psychoanalysis and hypnosis attempt to do, and we don't call that magic either. It is "magic" in a sense that for most people this is just not a reality - accessing yur unconscious conscioulsy. And that is partly what we are trying to achieve by The Work (we just call it recognizing your "programs" or your "mechanical nature").

C's said:
Q: (L) We would like to know a bit more on the subject of rituals, which you have warned us are restricting on many levels. Why is this?
A: If one believes in one's activities sincerely, to the greatest extent, they certainly will produce SOME benefit, at SOME level. But, merely following patterns for the sake of following patterns, does not produce sincerity and faith necessary for ultimate benefits to result. So, therefore, as always, one must search from within, rather than from without, to answer that question. Do you understand? To give you an example, to be certain, you meet this all the time. If you read material in the pages of a book that advises one form of ritual or another, and you follow that form of ritual because you have read words printed on the pages, does that really give you the true sense of satisfaction and accomplishment within yourself to the greatest extent possible? Whereas, if you, yourself, were to develop an activity which one or another could interpret or define as a ritual, but it comes from within you, it feels RIGHT to you, and you have a sincere and complete faith in it, whatever it may be, does that feel right to you?
Yes it does, especially if my knowledge backs it up!

C's said:
Q: Are there any limitations to what our physical bodies can transform to if instructed by the DNA? [...]
A: Receivership capability.
Q: What is receivership capability?
A: Change to broader receivership capability.
Q: (A) That means that you can receive more of something.
A: Close.
Q: (A) It means how good is your receiver.
A: Yes.
Q: (L) What is your receiver? The physical body?
A: Mind through central nervous system connection to higher levels.
Q: So, that is the whole issue of gaining knowledge and developing control over your body. If your mind and CNS are tuned to higher levels of consciousness, that has significance in terms of your receivership capability?
A: Close.

SAO said:
MagiAwen said:
Indeed. Rituals are rituals. I perform a ritual every morning when I shower and brush my teeth.
Those are not really the same type of rituals. They don't involve limiting assumptions and "faith" in the ritual itself instead of knowledge. Those are just activities that have objective and direct results and don't require "faith" as in assumption.

What comes out of this is the qualitative difference between a rote ritual, which implies mechanicalness, restriction and absence of understanding, and a "ritual" which comes out of objective knowledge and an attunement to higher consciousness.

Let us take, for instance, the example of a Japanese tea ceremony. What may look like a ritual to an unitiated outsider can have a totally different quality for the participants. In this case, the ceremony has a definite zen character, that is, its execution requires a specific state of mind. Every single action of the ceremony ought to be done with presence - self-remembering - and the slightest mechanical act spoils the ceremony.

In other words, the worth of this ritual comes from the fact that it is executed with the knowledge that it is an exercise in self-remembering, and its aim is to refine that state of mind in the participants. It thus becomes an experiential, living koan.

It is with this understanding that the ritual transcends rote repetition and becomes worthy of being called "Work". But wouldn't this attitude also transfer to other types of ritual and magic?

To figure this out, I will go over the criticism contained in MAGICK AND RITUAL AS A FALSE SYSTEM OF ESOTERIC WORK and try to comment it in order to refine its categorical stance towards greater understanding, inquiring how magic/ritual can be seen as consistent with the Work. My comments are in black within the quote block.

Laura said:
In any event, a QFS member who had spent years involved in ceremonial magick, rituals, the whole nine yards, wrote an article about the topic to hand and I will present it here:

AH said:
MAGICK AND RITUAL AS A FALSE SYSTEM OF ESOTERIC WORK
AH said:
[snip]

A brief explanation of magick

Magick is predicated on the notion that there are forces and intelligences beyond our normal physical understanding and perceptions. Primarily the forces of nature and the "natural" elements (fire, water, air, earth, and spirit) are utilized, but other spiritual intelligences and hierarchies such as angels, archangels and demons figure prominently into the mix. Magick holds that there is a mystical structure to reality being mostly determined by the evocative kabbalistic glyph called the Tree of Life. Everything that exists, to include man, the Earth, animals, plants, minerals, energy, forces, elements, angels, and demons, etc., all have their place on the cosmic Tree of Life according to a divine plan of organization and categorization as expounded by the kabbalists.

Magick also claims to adhere to the hermetic maxim "As above, So below". The Greek microcosmos within the macrocosmos. Man himself being the microcosm within the macrocosm of the magickal cosmos. And both of these entities in turn are structured around the Tree of Life as a template.


Indeed. The understanding that the Tree of Life describes both the macrocosm and the microcosm provides an archetypal framework for understanding man's psyche and thereby is a foundational tool to Work on crystallization/Self-Individuation. For instance, Malkuth (earth, ego) branches upwards towards Hod (the moon, repressed unconscious and intuition), Yesod (mercury, the rational mind) and Netsach (venus, sensuality and emotions). All of these paths need to be first opened, then balanced. With such a strong foundation, it is then possible to transcend the ego into Tiphereth (sun, the higher self) out of which higher manifestations are accessed in Geburah (mars, willpower and severity) and Chesed (jupiter, mercy and compassion).

Similarly, this framework provides an understanding of the pathologies that can arise through incomplete/misguided work. For instance, an overly developed Yesod (moon) that is not balanced by further development towards Hod (mercury) leads to gullibility, lack of discrimination towards anything coming over the psychic channel and even obsession or possession. On the other hand, the ego, fearing its own destruction, can avoid the transcendence of any of its principles (especially of the mind as, as it is the prime source of ego) and escape higher into Geburah (willpower) or Chesed (mercy) without passing through the Higher Self (Tifereth) leading to problems such as intellectual pride, esoteric militancy, excess nitpicking of others while disregarding one's own failures on one side, or self-righteous selfishness, greed and debauchery on the other.

Note: I do not claim to have completed any of this Work, but I can attest to the fact that this framework, concurrently with understanding the proper functioning of the chakras/centers and the inner workings of the ego/predator mind, has been greatly helpful to me in finding out which aspects are either undeveloped or overwhelming the others, thus guiding the process of self-remembering/mindfulness and individuation.

Problems on the Path of Return:
Pathology in Kabbalistic and Alchemical Practices
http://hermetic.com/stavish/essays/problems-return.html

[snip]

White magick, on the other hand, is almost nothing like the popularly held vision of this type. Most people assume that white magick is the opposite of black magick in the false dichotomy of selfish versus unselfish. In fact, white magick could be said to be "selfish" in the sense that it uses magick for the purposes of developing the spirituality of the practitioner. White magick is NOT the use of magick for helping other people, though there certainly are authors who present things this way.

Keeping in mind the tentative definition of magic as spiritual technology, isn't this a misleading and superficial understanding of selfishness? Gurdjieff said that in order to do, it is first necessary to be. How then could it be said to be "selfish" to develop one's own spirituality, if the aim/intent is to attain a level of being from which the Individual can reliably and efficiently align oneself with STO forces? Indeed, it is the only thing we can aim for - as the alternatives to this judgment are either to try and forcefully develop spirituality in others (big no-no), or otherwise to not develop one's own spirituality, both of which are unacceptable to STO-candidates.

[snip]

What's wrong with a shortcut?

An honest and understandable question. Much has been written about using shortcuts for personal gain and particularly spiritual gain. In fact, anyone who chooses to follow the path outlined by Gurdjieff and Mouravieff, as well as the Cassiopaeans and the Quantum Future School, must resist spiritual shortcuts with all their strength of will. But why?

Magick uses one of the more dangerous forms of shortcut, ritual and ceremony. A magickian is trained to perform rituals and ceremonies that allegedly work by effecting the subtle energies in the astral plane. In white magick, these rituals are supposed to bring spiritual enlightenment and union with the divine. Rituals are encouraged for one's spiritual growth instead of hard and honest work on one's self. Some authors of magick hold in contempt systems that require hard work on one's self, saying instead that magickal ritual is infinitely more effective and "verifiably" quicker than other systems.


This stance seems to consist of unsubstantiated spiritual luddism. Keeping in mind the tentative definition of magic as spiritual technology, it is interesting that according to the author there is a restrictive (and also unspecified) category of spiritual techniques which constitute "hard and honest work on one's self" while the rest is defined as a dangerous shortcut.

But are the increasing efficiency of spiritual techniques truly deserving of the negative connotations the author instills in the word "shortcuts"?

I will use the main stages of my own progress in order to illustrate why I hesitate to attach a negative connotation to "shortcuts". For instance, before I had my first glimpse of spiritual realities, the only tool I had was living my life as it came, unaware of my own sleep and relying on the mechanicalness of my life (and a drive to understand the physical universe) to guide me ahead. Any spiritual technology was unwelcome, as I regarded anything as basic as self-help books to be escapism for losers and insecure people.

Of course, devoid of any tools to effectuate my work I had to start from scratch, and barely made any progress over a period of 20 years.

When I started seriously studying philosophy and psychology, aiming for self-therapy, I believed this was the best tool available, and having heard of meditation thought it was a dangerous type of "shoveling clouds" (french expression for meaningless subjective activity). But I started to grasp the mechanics of ego and consciousness, which led me to faster progress and more efficient tools.

And so on when my progress led me to the technique of mindfulness meditation and thus my first phases of actual wakefulness. Even at that time, channeling seemed like excessively dangerous/misleading hocus pocus*. But going from no tool at all, to psychology, to mindfulness (as a self-remembering analogue) did not reduce the amount of honest effort I put in the work - it rather increased as I came to see how it was a vital yet disregarded part of my life.

*: I actually stumbled on Cassiopaea around 2008, led by a french interview with Laura about Political Ponerology, but was turned off right away when I saw what her project was about. Even today, I would still not personally touch channeling with a ten-foot pole, although I am grateful for the effort and diligence that Laura has demonstrated in her own work and sharing it with others. I can now at least recognize its worth!

Isn't the EE meditation program infinitely more efficient than living one's life in mechanical sleep? Definitely. Does that make the program an easy way out, a shortcut that avoids "hard and honest work on one's self"? Not at all. What about channeling? We know enough about the tests that Laura had to endure and the responsibility she bears to know it is no walk in the park.

Back to the criticism of magic as a shortcut. It sounds exactly like "back in my day, there were no cars, and we walked 5 miles to the school everyday, in 3 feet of snow and uphill both ways!". We all went through this phase. But through effort and hard work, we learned to build a bicycle, to maintain it and ride it. Should we keep walking and waste the fruits of our efforts - even if the bike is meant to permit us to work even harder?

I have been more wordy that I initially thought would be needed. I plan to go over the entire article if necessary, but have already spend a considerable amount of time on this project today and must move on to other responsibilities. Thus, before I become inconsiderate and simply swamp you with a short novel, I would enjoy to hear your take on the matter.

Thanks for your attention!
 

Approaching Infinity

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United Gnosis said:
First, let me say that I am, by any standards, a neophyte as regards magic and ritual. Yet I read the above exchange with great interest and a critical mindset, as I am considering to use kabbalistic pathworking in order to balance out given aspects of my psyche. That is, I would use the process of Jungian active imagination in order to conjure objective archetypes and thus go through an inner experiential (rather than intellectual) dialectic with the chosen aspects of my psyche.

This would qualify as magic and is surrounded by ritual, so understanding the position taken in this thread about magic/ritual is important to figure out whether/how to go about this process.

Now, it seems that there has been a very Gurdjieffian lack of common ground in this thread, specifically regarding the various connotations that the words 'magic' and 'ritual' can carry.

The Ra entity defines magic thus:
The heart of white magic is the experience of the joy of union with the Creator. This joy will of necessity radiate throughout the life experience of the positive adept.

and

Ra: I am Ra. Magical ability is the ability to consciously use the so-called unconscious.

I think that's really the crux of it: semantics. If you define magic this way, sure, I don't think there's a problem with it. I'd even describe the events and experiences Laura relates in the Wave and Amazing Grace as 'magical'. As for Reiki, I don't agree with your comparison. It seems to be a real, not imaginary, phenomenon, unlike such New Age nonsense as "quantum touch", "chakra alignment ceremonies", "earth kundalini meditations", etc. If it is an objective phenomenon, it is not much different than certain types of surgery to fix broken parts in the body, just on a more 'subtle' level. And as for the black/white distinction, having met several people who engage in so-called magick, I'd agree with the author of the article that both a selfish practices. Sure, a person practicing "white magick" might eventually find something more substantial (in the same way Gurdjieff mentioned that occult groups, even if they're phony, often provide the doorway to something like the Fourth Way), but from what I've seen of people following such paths, they have always struck me as being simply more spiritual narcissism. But that's probably all they're good for: opening the door to something else.

So overall, I think you're nitpicking, and the energy you've put into the post suggests to me that you've had a corn pressed and it's been 'eating you'. FWIW.
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
Approaching Infinity said:
United Gnosis said:
First, let me say that I am, by any standards, a neophyte as regards magic and ritual. Yet I read the above exchange with great interest and a critical mindset, as I am considering to use kabbalistic pathworking in order to balance out given aspects of my psyche. That is, I would use the process of Jungian active imagination in order to conjure objective archetypes and thus go through an inner experiential (rather than intellectual) dialectic with the chosen aspects of my psyche.

This would qualify as magic and is surrounded by ritual, so understanding the position taken in this thread about magic/ritual is important to figure out whether/how to go about this process.

Now, it seems that there has been a very Gurdjieffian lack of common ground in this thread, specifically regarding the various connotations that the words 'magic' and 'ritual' can carry.

The Ra entity defines magic thus:
The heart of white magic is the experience of the joy of union with the Creator. This joy will of necessity radiate throughout the life experience of the positive adept.

and

Ra: I am Ra. Magical ability is the ability to consciously use the so-called unconscious.

I think that's really the crux of it: semantics. If you define magic this way, sure, I don't think there's a problem with it. I'd even describe the events and experiences Laura relates in the Wave and Amazing Grace as 'magical'. As for Reiki, I don't agree with your comparison. It seems to be a real, not imaginary, phenomenon, unlike such New Age nonsense as "quantum touch", "chakra alignment ceremonies", "earth kundalini meditations", etc. If it is an objective phenomenon, it is not much different than certain types of surgery to fix broken parts in the body, just on a more 'subtle' level. And as for the black/white distinction, having met several people who engage in so-called magick, I'd agree with the author of the article that both a selfish practices. Sure, a person practicing "white magick" might eventually find something more substantial (in the same way Gurdjieff mentioned that occult groups, even if they're phony, often provide the doorway to something like the Fourth Way), but from what I've seen of people following such paths, they have always struck me as being simply more spiritual narcissism. But that's probably all they're good for: opening the door to something else.

So overall, I think you're nitpicking, and the energy you've put into the post suggests to me that you've had a corn pressed and it's been 'eating you'. FWIW.

Oh, yes, a button was pressed and I was quite aware of it. That is, being on work leave for the last few weeks, I've been on full-on research/Work mode. As stated above, I'm considering adding the element of kabbalistic pathworking to my Work, through active imagination in order to work on balancing lacking aspects. As my intellect is surdeveloped, it often overwhelms my ability to be present in the moment. Thus I have a reason to believe it would be most productive to actualize my intuition and sensuality/creativity while keeping in mind transcendence of the ego.

I was aware that the stance about magic in this thread conflicts with my stated thought framework/aim, and such felt a need to try and reconcile it. Even if it is only semantics, we must ever be aware of such failures of communication (a clear example of using the same word with different meanings) and wished to ensure that the baby was not thrown out of the bathwater - or to receive external feedback if I am deluding myself.

Another point I did not have time to touch is about the article's criticism of divination/invocation as a form of escapism into subjective reality, while I have reason to believe per personal experience that jungian archetypes have a distinct, objective existence in and of themselves (as in La Synchronicité, l'âme et la science by Reeves, Cazenave, Solié, Etter & von Franz). This is especially important in order for work through active imagination to objectively assist me towards indivduation.

As for Reiki, it is not my criticism but rather that of the article applied to that specific discipline; I truly think that it is STO, which is what first led me to question whether the criteria offered where either too categorical or otherwise lacking in specificity to sufficiently discriminate between STO and STS magic. Whether Reiki is objectively real or not did not figure in the criteria, in the same way that the article does not ask whether white/black magick is real to nevertheless reach its conclusion.

For the record, I have been initiated to Reiki on Oct. 23rd and have since then had enough subjective proof (from myself and others) to have a fair degree of confidence in its effectiveness, although I have not had objective proof yet (maybe since I have not had the opportunity to treat serious cases, and have not noticed any spontaneous/severely reduced healing times on minor cuts I accidentally inflicted myself). Hence my questioning of Reiki was open-minded and more specifically aimed to demonstrate that the criteria were erroneous.

Thanks for your input. Further opinions are more than welcome!
 

Alana

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United Gnosis said:
Oh, yes, a button was pressed and I was quite aware of it. That is, being on work leave for the last few weeks, I've been on full-on research/Work mode. As stated above, I'm considering adding the element of kabbalistic pathworking to my Work, through active imagination in order to work on balancing lacking aspects. As my intellect is surdeveloped, it often overwhelms my ability to be present in the moment. Thus I have a reason to believe it would be most productive to actualize my intuition and sensuality/creativity while keeping in mind transcendence of the ego.

The way you describe how you want to put together these elements to Work on yourself, doesn't make much sense to me. Active imagination - or any other type of imagination - seems to me like something that takes you away from the present and into the world of - well, imagination. It seems to me that humanity is kinda lost in imagination and not in touch with reality anyway by default, thus the state we find ourselves into. If you want to be present in the moment (a healthy objective from where I stand) then trying to pay attention to everyone and everything around you with full awareness will be the best route, I think. That is Work, try it ;)
 

aragorn

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UG, you might want to get more familiar with the principles of Reiki.

Indeed, isn't Reiki a form of white magic which:
presuppose a "fixed" result in the future based on the rationale and reasonings of our 3rd Density, linear minds (healing)

In the original Usui Reiki, the practitioner does not anticipate or try to "fix" anything. The idea is "whatever is good for the individual". There's no "healing" or "magic", the practitioner just strengthens the connection to the universal energy, which the individual the utilizes in ways that is useful for her-in some cases she might not "use" the energy at all.

[STS] constantly tries to stack the odds in favor of itself by artificially altering events and situations
a cosmically limited and helpless human is "commanding" the divine force to "flow" through him (cho ku rei)
a "trained initiate" is trying to impart something, in other words change something within the candidate, by use of ceremony (attunements).

See above. There's no "commanding" of anything going on. 'Choku rei' is a key and a opener to access the universal energy. It can be seen as grounding in electricity, where the 'circuit' is created to strengthen the flow of energy. That's why it's often used with the other symbols, too, because it locks them in (grounds). And, as i see it, the negative impacts of a 'ceremony' depends on ones understanding what and why they are doing it, what is the goal and intention. In the case of Reiki attunements, the goal is to improve our ability to help others, if they so wish.
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
United Gnosis, are you at all familiar with the work of Gurdjieff?

You appear to be wandering around in a dream, taking it as reality and that is always concerning to see. If you are sincere about awakening, then I strongly recommend becoming familiar with Gurdjieff and how his work is applied here on this forum and its associated pages. That would be a move toward Reality and away from the dream.
 

Approaching Infinity

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FOTCM Member
United Gnosis said:
Oh, yes, a button was pressed and I was quite aware of it. That is, being on work leave for the last few weeks, I've been on full-on research/Work mode. As stated above, I'm considering adding the element of kabbalistic pathworking to my Work, through active imagination in order to work on balancing lacking aspects. As my intellect is surdeveloped, it often overwhelms my ability to be present in the moment. Thus I have a reason to believe it would be most productive to actualize my intuition and sensuality/creativity while keeping in mind transcendence of the ego.

I was aware that the stance about magic in this thread conflicts with my stated thought framework/aim, and such felt a need to try and reconcile it. Even if it is only semantics, we must ever be aware of such failures of communication (a clear example of using the same word with different meanings) and wished to ensure that the baby was not thrown out of the bathwater - or to receive external feedback if I am deluding myself.

I'd take that as a sign of a sacred cow. In other words, an inessential part that you fear losing, thus causing your intellect to look for loopholes and connections that aren't there. Gurdjieff's Work, combined with insights from modern cognitive science, is all about balancing aspects of the self, in the simplest terms possible. I'd say anything else is window dressing at best and downright wrong at worst.
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
Alana said:
United Gnosis said:
Oh, yes, a button was pressed and I was quite aware of it. That is, being on work leave for the last few weeks, I've been on full-on research/Work mode. As stated above, I'm considering adding the element of kabbalistic pathworking to my Work, through active imagination in order to work on balancing lacking aspects. As my intellect is surdeveloped, it often overwhelms my ability to be present in the moment. Thus I have a reason to believe it would be most productive to actualize my intuition and sensuality/creativity while keeping in mind transcendence of the ego.

The way you describe how you want to put together these elements to Work on yourself, doesn't make much sense to me. Active imagination - or any other type of imagination - seems to me like something that takes you away from the present and into the world of - well, imagination. It seems to me that humanity is kinda lost in imagination and not in touch with reality anyway by default, thus the state we find ourselves into. If you want to be present in the moment (a healthy objective from where I stand) then trying to pay attention to everyone and everything around you with full awareness will be the best route, I think. That is Work, try it ;)

Active imagination is a Jungian technique similar to pre-existing alchemic, sufi and shamanic practices. Now, I have barely read about 20 pages on the topic, which is why I mentioned I am considering adding this element to my practice. Let me define it a bit more clearly for you so you can see what I intend to do through this technique. Here are a few short snippets from Wikipedia:

Islamic tradition

The imaginal realm is known in Islamic philosophy as alam al-mithal, the imaginal world. According to Avicenna, the imagination mediated between, and thus unified, human reason and divine being. This mediating quality manifested in two directions: on the one hand, reason, rising above itself, could attain to the level of active imagination, an activity shared with the lower hierarchies of the divine realm. On the other hand, in order to manifest the concrete forms of the world, divinity created a range of intermediate beings, the angelic co-creators of the universe.[1]:11 According to philosophers of this tradition, the trained imagination can access a "nonspatial fabric" which mediates between the empirical/sensory and the cognititional/spiritual realms.[2]

[snip]

Corbin

Corbin considered imaginal cognition to be a "purely spiritual faculty independent of the physical organism and thus surviving it".[3] Islamic philosophy in general, and Avicenna and Corbin in particular, distinguish sharply between the true imaginations that stem from the imaginal realm, and personal fantasies, which have an unreal character, and are "imaginary" in the common sense of this word. Corbin termed the imagination which transcended fantasy imaginatio vera.

[snip]

Jung

As developed by Carl Jung between 1913 and 1916, active imagination is a meditation technique wherein the contents of one's unconscious are translated into images, narrative or personified as separate entities. It can serve as a bridge between the conscious 'ego' and the unconscious and includes working with dreams and the creative self via imagination or fantasy. Jung linked Active Imagination with the processes of alchemy in that both strive for oneness and inter-relatedness from a set of fragmented and dissociated parts.

_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_imagination]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_imagination

Thus Active Imagination is understood as a meditation/visualisation technique through which archetypes (as well as personified experiences, be it a traumatic past event, unresolved issue or hypothetical problem) may be met/confronted through an actual dialectical experience.

Here is a short yet more fleshed-out (4 pages) summary on the technique:
http://www.archventures.org.uk/Active%20Imagination%20-%20Rahima%20Spottiswood.pdf

I understand this to be a useful tool. As seen from buddhist philosophy, there are three kinds of wisdom:
  • suta-maya panna - unintegrated data ("knowledge" within apostrophes) acquired by listening to others or reading books
  • cinta-maya panna - analytical understanding gained from discussing/criticizing the data (esp. by discussing with others, i.e. the networking done on this forum
  • bhavana-maya panna - wisdom based on direct personal experience

Basically the difference is between reading a book about how to ride a bike, actively discussing with an experience biker how to ride a bike, and riding the bike itself. By the C's standards I would propose that only the second and third types of wisdom qualify for the saying "Knowledge protects".

I would gladly speak of the issues i wish to work on but that might be better off in another thread. Still, I hope you can see how and why I think the Active Imagination technique might be useful in acquiring knowledge through direct personal experience. This is not about being lost in imagination but rather actualizing my potential to be within this reality. For instance it might be used to consciously confront programs, buffers and other type of issues in the context of a trigger situation without needing it to be actually taking place - a kind of pre-emptive Work, if you will.

As for the rest of your post, I do practice self-remembering on a constant basis. What I meant by the mind taking me out of the present moment might have been loaded with personal connotations and not that vital to the discussion at hand. I can expand on this if you wish.

Aragorn said:
UG, you might want to get more familiar with the principles of Reiki.

Indeed, isn't Reiki a form of white magic which:
presuppose a "fixed" result in the future based on the rationale and reasonings of our 3rd Density, linear minds (healing)

In the original Usui Reiki, the practitioner does not anticipate or try to "fix" anything. The idea is "whatever is good for the individual". There's no "healing" or "magic", the practitioner just strengthens the connection to the universal energy, which the individual the utilizes in ways that is useful for her-in some cases she might not "use" the energy at all.

[STS] constantly tries to stack the odds in favor of itself by artificially altering events and situations
a cosmically limited and helpless human is "commanding" the divine force to "flow" through him (cho ku rei)
a "trained initiate" is trying to impart something, in other words change something within the candidate, by use of ceremony (attunements).

See above. There's no "commanding" of anything going on. 'Choku rei' is a key and a opener to access the universal energy. It can be seen as grounding in electricity, where the 'circuit' is created to strengthen the flow of energy. That's why it's often used with the other symbols, too, because it locks them in (grounds). And, as i see it, the negative impacts of a 'ceremony' depends on ones understanding what and why they are doing it, what is the goal and intention. In the case of Reiki attunements, the goal is to improve our ability to help others, if they so wish.

I am familiar with the principles of Reiki. According to the website which is commonly refered here (lost the address after downloading all its content locally), Chokurei means "By Command of the Emperor" and represents an edict, a proclamation. The Takata translation is "Put the power here", which is exactly the way in which my Reiki master also explained it. I submit that it is not an opener to access the universal energy, as the first attunement already creates a permanent channel which does not need to be switched on and is already active at any time the hands are in physical contact.

I take your point about the reiki being meant to deepen the subject's connection to universal energy, whatever the form that takes. I must have become fixated on "healing" as a result, but remember that non-expectation was a vital factor as explained in my formation.

Please remember that what I was trying to do is illustrate how the criteria used to criticize magic in the aforementioned article might be insufficient to properly discriminate between STO and STS magic - that is, I was exposing how they might produce false positives. It was not meant specifically as an attack on reiki.

Approaching Infinity said:
United Gnosis said:
I was aware that the stance about magic in this thread conflicts with my stated thought framework/aim, and such felt a need to try and reconcile it. Even if it is only semantics, we must ever be aware of such failures of communication (a clear example of using the same word with different meanings) and wished to ensure that the baby was not thrown out of the bathwater - or to receive external feedback if I am deluding myself.

I'd take that as a sign of a sacred cow. In other words, an inessential part that you fear losing, thus causing your intellect to look for loopholes and connections that aren't there. Gurdjieff's Work, combined with insights from modern cognitive science, is all about balancing aspects of the self, in the simplest terms possible. I'd say anything else is window dressing at best and downright wrong at worst.

Oh, yes, that is definitely a sacred cow. That is, the logico-structural integrity of my mental edifice is a part (vital, not inessential) which I cannot afford to lose. Might I mention that I was using the word reconcile as defined by Merriam-Webster: "To make consistent or congruous". To illustrate, "The scientists had to reconcile their theory with new data from their experiment".

Thus, I was not looking for loopholes, but rather applying the basic concepts of dialectical reasoning: on one hand I have my carefully constructed and criticized mental edifice, on the other I have an hypothesis about magic which is not yet ready to be integrated. I am looking for a consistent logical chain which can link the two; otherwise, one of them is necessarily wrong. As discussed above by Approaching Infinity, the apparent conflict seems to originate from semantics, that is, my proposal of a tentative definition of magic as spiritual technology. This might be too wide-ranging, since things as basic as self-remembering and meditation would fall under that umbrella. Balancing and integrating the aspects of my Self is indeed what I seek to do, using straightforward techniques (if one is not turned off by the semantics of the matter).

Basically, I will simply need to let go of my hope to have a clear and wide-ranging definition of magic and simply stick to more specific terms.

anart said:
United Gnosis, are you at all familiar with the work of Gurdjieff?

You appear to be wandering around in a dream, taking it as reality and that is always concerning to see. If you are sincere about awakening, then I strongly recommend becoming familiar with Gurdjieff and how his work is applied here on this forum and its associated pages. That would be a move toward Reality and away from the dream.

I humbly submit that you are either being antagonistic, or have not read carefully my above two posts, in which case I might ask why you are criticizing me without due diligence. I referred to the Gurdjieffian awareness that words can have incongruent meanings due to personal connotations, quoted his "In order to do, first it is necessary to be" and referred to Work as well as self-remembering many times - in those terms, as well as under the label "presence" (zen) and "mindfulness"(buddhism) which are direct equivalents.

For the record I am familiar with Gurdjieff, having read ISOTM, every term in the cass glossary and a large amount of posts on this forum. Further books concerning him are on the table but I await my completion of the wave series (currently in Vol 5.) as well as of Political Ponerology before moving on.

As for your assessment that I appear to be wandering around in a dream, please note that this is both a qualitative and unsubstantiated statement. There is no constructive feedback for me to consider in this affirmation. Please explain in which way I appear to be wandering in a dream, or expose your reasoning regarding why, and I will gladly revise my stance.

Again, thank you all for your precious feedback!
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
I'm not being antagonistic at all. I think you will be on much better footing after you read the Wave Series since, at this point in time, your cup seems rather full, which leaves me wondering what response you're really looking for on these recent posts of yours?
 

United Gnosis

Jedi Master
These 3 posts were an attempt to revive this topic with a deeper and hopefully insightful examination into the nature of magic, along the lines of "That which is clearly understood is easily expressed". It obviously was at least quite unsuccessful as I failed to get both my point and meaning clearly across, although Approaching Infinity got what I meant. Overall I realized that I am too much of a neophyte to discuss these matters deeply (which I remarked on as a prologue to my first post in this thread, although I thought that by being categorically rational I could step over this obstacle).

One last time thanks everybody. I do not believe I have anything else to contribute here and would not wish to waste your time further.
 

EmeraldHope

The Living Force
United Gnosis said:
These 3 posts were an attempt to revive this topic with a deeper and hopefully insightful examination into the nature of magic, along the lines of "That which is clearly understood is easily expressed". It obviously was at least quite unsuccessful as I failed to get both my point and meaning clearly across, although Approaching Infinity got what I meant. Overall I realized that I am too much of a neophyte to discuss these matters deeply (which I remarked on as a prologue to my first post in this thread, although I thought that by being categorically rational I could step over this obstacle).

One last time thanks everybody. I do not believe I have anything else to contribute here and would not wish to waste your time further.


UnitedGnosis, perhaps a little more research and learning is in order here? Seeing that you are new, one thing to keep in mind is that within the responses that you receive is feedback ot give you "hints". No spoonfeeding. You are missing some important dots that you need to before you can begin to be rational. Finishing the wave will help. Also, perhaps some researches into magic on this forum using the search function to understand how that is viewed? You also are trying to combine many different traditions without an understanding of the line of force behind each.


Magic at its root is "commanding" something to your will, which is STS, or entropic in nature, and against the aim of the forum. What is being suggested to you is further research into these things and further reading so that you may learn to discern these things for yourself.


You cannot easily express what you do not understand. That being said, all here have had a steep learning curve and we all experience it. The question is, can you accept that and empty your cup to learn?
 
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